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Ninth Doctor

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  1. Gary Johnson made a good impression on me here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ_Udfhkr-k Ron Paul is too old to be elected President, whatever your evaluation of him is.
  2. I gather English isn’t your primary language, and as written, you contradict yourself to the extent that I can’t reliably determine your meaning on a couple points. No you didn’t. If you’re going to accuse me of careless reading, please provide a quote from your post. What did I miss? You disapprove of “desperate dissonance”. As opposed to what, “confident, light-hearted dissonance”? As found where, in the Rachmaninov concerti? I’m recommending you listen to Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto. Have you heard it? I bring up its popularity because you are criticizing one of Prokofiev’s lesser masterpieces. Try picking on Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, the Fifth Symphony, the “War Sonatas”, Alexander Nevsky, or Lieutenant Kijé. I take this to mean you don’t like anything that isn’t based on the modern Western tuning system. It has nothing to do with Prokofiev, except that both fall in the category of music you don’t like. "Integrateable" by you. Can you accept the possibility that your ability to integrate musical data is undeveloped, or in other words, that you’re ignorant? I’ve spent many hours listening to Indian music, and while I enjoy it, I still regard myself as ignorant in that area. I certainly wouldn’t presume to say that a particular Dhun or Raga is “evil” if I don’t like it. It’s pointless for me to attempt a substantive reply to this, the grammar is nonsensical. You claim a level of knowledge of Stravinsky’s voluminous output such that you can pass a moral judgment on 50% of it, yet you’ve never heard Prokofiev’s march from the Love of Three Oranges?
  3. The Prokofiev 2nd makes no sense? Let’s see, it starts of with an arresting, limpid melody, giving way to a pungent second subject, both developed and juxtaposed skillfully, with thrilling virtuosity displayed by the soloist. What’s not to like? His third concerto is one of the most performed pieces today, as popular as the Rachmaninov ones (2 and 3), while the second is somewhat less well known. The third was used memorably in the climax of the film The Competition, worth seeing. Your weird invocation of “Muslim sense” reminds me of the writings of Lindsay Perigo, who is prone to statements like “Sibelius is for dyslexic empiricists”. He’s not kidding, and he’s one very silly fool posing as an Objectivist authority. It seems you reject Prokofiev's work in toto, so I will point out, much as I dislike anything that smacks of argument from authority, that one of Ayn Rand’s favorite pieces was his march from the Love of Three Oranges, a piece she liked to play at gatherings and conduct using her cigarette holder. Beyond that one, which is a rather pungent piece, I suggest you try the Balcony scene from his ballet Romeo and Juliet, which has some of the most romantic (or is it “post-romantic”?) music ever written. I can only link two videos per post, so you’ll have to look for it yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWASdK3EKRk Now, you claim the Tchaikovsky 1st is “logical”, yet it begins with a memorable, soaring melody which never recurs. Please explain the logic in that. Compare to the second movement of his First Symphony, which also has a memorable melody, but which is repeated (arguably) too many times, with little development to show for it. Perhaps I’ll disabuse you of the notion that Stravinsky is “despiteful” if you’ll first explain what that means.
  4. Pack a bowl, spark it, and inhale deeply, episode 2 is out! It’s all about the environmental movement, emerging out of hippie communes here on spaceship earth. One of the interludes from Britten’s Peter Grimes is the source for some of the music. I’m not through it, but there hasn’t been any Ayn Rand yet, though it is tagged so it comes up if you do a YouTube search for her. I’m starting to like the program. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjEsk2lBj8chttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTx7ahO5jLw I loved the polyphony of ideas. As long as you don’t believe in them, the collision of two ideas-both false-can create a pleasing interval, a kind of diabolus in musica. I had no respect for some ideas people were willing to stake their lives on, but two or three ideas that I did not respect might still make a nice melody. Or have a good beat, and if it was jazz, all the better. Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum, Chapter 7, pp 49-50
  5. Good summary, but you left out the sex. What’s Monica Lewinsky doing in this documentary? Juxtaposed with so much discussion of Rand's sex life? Here’s the fifth segment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZqOVzbCpWU I bet this program makes much better sense if you take a hallucinogen before watching it. It has that ooh-wee-ooh-wee soundtrack, I bet there’s a theremin playing somewhere.
  6. It is certainly bizarre, I’m trying to watch it now more attentively, and it’s only getting stranger. There’s no denying the production values, so this isn’t some crank production, plus it went out over the BBC. I think the break out, by timing, of the material presented is about 1/3 Ayn Rand, 1/3 Bill Clinton (including too much Monica Lewinsky) and 1/3 dark hints that computers are to blame for something bad. John McCaskey appears in it, BTW. Here are two more of the parts. It seems the forum software will only allow two links per post, so you’ll have to go hunting for part 5. Obama and Pelosi appear in part 5, so this program must be new. I'm thinking the BBC tried to put together a piece on Ayn Rand, and weren't happy with it as a standalone program, so they had interviews in the can and decided to work them in here, regardless of sense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhsTYjXhgcg&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfYR-x_tUYs&feature=player_embedded
  7. Has anyone seen this before? The interviews don’t look new, particularly Nathaniel Branden looks a good bit younger than he did on the Penn & Teller show a few months back. The show is pretty weird, the Rand stuff doesn’t tie in very well with the rest of the material, and the voiceover commentary isn’t quite accurate. Thesis: It seems the computers are taking over, and Ayn Rand’s sex life is to blame. Of course it doesn’t say that, but if you just skim the program I think that’s the impression you’ll come away with. Strange brew. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX5jImWRREc&feature=player_embeddedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnSthwB6oMo&feature=player_embedded There are 3 more parts, the forum software won't let me link them, but they're on YouTube, seek and ye shall find.
  8. In case any doubters remain, watch at 1:30 to see Glauce under the influence of the poisoned dress, then zap to the last minute to see Jason confront Medea. The only way you can convince me Picasso’s painting isn’t based on this film is by pointing out that he painted it about 50 years before it was made. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SEslkm-epU
  9. No-no-no, from right to left we’re looking at Medea, Jason, and Glauce. Glauce is naked because Medea hasn’t given her the poisoned dress yet. Some scholars believe that the dress is just out of view, and Glauce is looking at it. The “drawings” in the background are not drawings at all, they are the Furies, and they look depressed because they know big time tragedy is coming. The title, La Vie, means “Life”, making explicit that this work is the definitive statement of the artist’s sense of life. This painting is as anti-reason and trashy as anything in Euripides. QED. The Rembrandt is closer to how I felt about the movie.
  10. There’s a worthwhile Village Voice article about Mamet’s ideological evolution here: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-03-11/news/why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/ I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism. One of his best creations is the film The Edge, here’s a scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MewNn3VIpV4
  11. Proven? What was proven? A one to one relationship, or force is inseparable from faith, or vice versa? Perhaps a Venn diagram would be helpful here. There are radically pacifist faiths, most notably Jainism, but also Islamic Sufis and Christian Quakers, that are incompatible with force and which lack a history of resorting to it. These faiths generally don’t thrive, cultures based on them are easily conquered so to survive they generally have to coexist with others. However their history and continued existence does serve to refute the assertion that faith qua faith is inseparable from force.
  12. I asked a question, I didn’t draw a conclusion. You claim Muslim clerics can’t be trusted because they endeavor to reconcile their scriptures with “what they want Islam to be portrayed as”. This, instead of studying and then to the best of their abilities, determining what Islam teaches, then applying it to the modern world. FWIW I don’t doubt for a moment that there are some who are as dishonest as can be. Serious answer: I don’t. Sarcastic answer, included because I think it’s illustrative: Martin Luther and his doctrine of grace, which is essentially the Pauline view, was not honest theology. He picked his side because the Jamesian view, the true Christian way (says me), could be used to justify the sale of indulgences, and he just hate hate hated that. He got buggered by an indulgence peddling Dominican around 1500, and swore to avenge himself on the whole world (this is one of those Vatican library secrets, but even Dan Brown won’t touch it).
  13. Do you believe that they do in fact agree, but some choose to disguise the truth while the others are honest? That’s a hell of a conspiracy theory. How about an illustration, something I presume will be a bit closer to home. I assume you’re an atheist. In the context of Christian theology, do you achieve salvation by faith alone, or is faith without works not sufficient? This is a conflict within the text of the New Testament, St. Paul vs. St. James. How do you, a nonbeliever, decide? And if some nut case cites St. James as his reason for bombing an abortion clinic, and the Pope cites St. Paul for why he shouldn’t have done that, how do you decide which one is the consistent Christian? If you take the time to study it, you’ll find that Islam has about as many theological schools of thought as Christianity. And no Pope, for better and for worse.
  14. There’s a wide range of experiences different people report. You might want to look up Carl Sagan’s piece, just to get an intellectual’s take on it. Above all, it’s not a big deal, don’t expect something life changing. It feels good, but if you do too much it puts you in a stupor. Like alcohol does, but it's a different kind of stupor. So have some favorite music ready to go, food that won’t take a lot of effort/skill to prepare (consider pizza delivery), and plan to spend a few hours relaxing on the couch.
  15. By now he's enjoying his celestial martyr's reward. Is it 72 virgins, or 72 white raisins? Islamic scholars debate the correct translation.
  16. Expect Catholics to credit this to intercession by Pope John Paul II. They just beatified him and have had his coffin out on display in Rome, with thousands of people marching past and praying. It’s a miracle!
  17. If you’re going to have a tune stuck in your head, the Rach 2nd concerto is one of the better choices. Unlike, say, the Rach 2nd symphony, where it’s liable to morph into a nagging pop song lyric. I think they should have had the composer take the melody from the Mussorgsky piece that Rand liked (embedded above), and spun it out. Like Max Steiner did with “As Time Goes By” in Casablanca.
  18. Beats me. Of course, the finale of the Rach 2nd is referenced in The Fountainhead, maybe you’re conflating the two.
  19. Do you have a citation? Facets of Ayn Rand by Mary Ann Sures (linked above) says something else. Also, there's a Peikoff podcast that covers the same ground, and basically agrees with her. http://www.peikoff.com/2009/09/28/episode-081-9282009/ About 7 minutes in.
  20. According to this (scroll to the bottom of the page): http://facetsofaynrand.com/book/chap7.html the music she had in mind for Halley's fifth concerto (no symphonies mentioned) was this, presumably without the singing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c44P-S3Mre4
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