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Free Thinker

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Everything posted by Free Thinker

  1. I went to go and see Batman Begins again last night, and I really came to admire it. I believe that my initial assessment wasn't well thought through; I was so concerned with a number of peripheral issues (altruism of Thomas Wayne, for instance) that I missed the crucial and heroic nature of the movie. I hope that the threads of altruism will not become larger in the next movie; as it often does. (Remember 24, Season 1?) I agree with Felippe that adherence to the comics in it of itself has no meaning; but I think that the original comics, made by Bob Cane (when Batman was still published under Detective Comics) were brilliant.
  2. Can you eleborate? Why did you enjoy about the novel?
  3. I actually have never heard Mozart's 11th symphony, I was actually thinking of Beethoveen's 7th. Sorry.
  4. I suspected as much. People tend to take things on authority. I understand what you are saying, but I don't think one can consider that evidence for Mozart's lack of musical brilliance. Rachmaninov, in my opinion, is the greatest composer that has ever lived, but few (if any) people can whistle his works. You have it right on. Pretentious is defined as " seeming or pretending to be very important or excellent; showing off" (Webster's New World). This sums up Mozart's work. In my opinion, his music is generally nothing more than flashy scales and high notes sung in female arias. However, the works Turkish March and his (I believe) 11th Symphony are great. I will have to check that out. I didn't read through the entire article, but I liked the following line: "While his libretto has been derided until recently as "childish" and unworthy of the superb musical score, Goethe remarked that "More knowledge is required to understand the value of this libretto than to mock it!" " Yo have it right on. I did like some of Cherebino's arias, and also the last aria (sung by Susanna), but other than that - pointless. Thank you. It was what I expected.
  5. I have found Mozart to be terribly boring. The plots in his works, at times, is funny and/or interesting. Other than that, I forced myself through them. Thanks, it does! I, overall, do not like Mozart; but I am a great fan of Beethoven. I was at the library the other day and I was thinking about whether or not he had written any operas. Exactly my problem. Operas take a long, long time to finish. I watched the Magic Flute performed on video, then I went and re-listened to it on CD. Waste of time. The Magic Flute is a ridiculous opera. (BTY, is that opera a metaphor of some kind? If not, it seems rather childish) Check. Check. I only have listened to complete versions. Check. Thanks a lot for for input, it is much appreciated! PS - BTY, what is the difference between a opera and a operetta? Is a operetta easier to digest?
  6. I read your review Oakes, and I am impressed by your lucidity and objectivity. Your review was straight forward, and to the point. Well done!
  7. Free Thinker


    I have just started to seriously listen to operas. I have listened to The Magic Flute, and am now working on The Marriage of Figaro - both of which were written by Mozart. Two things - 1) Are there any opera fans out there? If so, what have you listened to, who are favorite composers, etc. 2) (contingent on 1) Do you have any tips to a beginner? I check out CD's from the library, and I am experimenting with my listening styles. To explain - I first tried to following along (in the libretto) line by line, but that got hard to do - plus I missed the music. I then tried reading the page, and then sitting back and listening to the music, but then I would lose my place frequently, and also lose track of the story. Any suggestions?
  8. Just out of curiosity, how many copies/subscriptions have you sold, overall?
  9. I agree. But what was stressed in the movie was not that they donated the train for selfish reasons (which would be proper), but rather for selfless reasons. If you read my previous posts, you'll find instances in the movie which support that. FYI - I did, however, recant the majority of the grievances I had put forth in that post. I would give the movie a strong ***, possibly a *** (1/2).
  10. I used to work at Byerly's Grocery store, and apparently, before I got promoted, things got pretty bad with the union. The Bagger's Union (believe it or not) made every worker work at least 15 hours per week! So (and this is what happened to my friend) in some cases people who wanted to take vacations couldn't, because they weren't able to come in to work! In general, however, unions can be good. Nowadays, most unions are simply bueracracies that don't help workers at all. But to speak of unions as they should be; they operate as a system of leverage with the employer, allowing the worker's grievances to be heard. This, by no means, should infringe on the employers ability to fire every last one of them, if he so wishes, but it is simply a vehicle.
  11. I just came home from "Howl's Moving Castle", and I was very impressed by it. It was a Myazaki film, which meet that the odds it being a great movie were pretty high. The plot itself was interesting and was fun to follow. The most important feature of the film was the hero, Howl. He is selfish, and is DAMN proud of it. He is a powerful magician and, from the moment he came on screen, a riveting character. Towards the end of the movie, he races out to fight, and says to his love interest (who is pleading with him to stay in safety) "I have to fight. I have something to protect now." Probably not completely philosopically sound, but very admirable nonetheless. Here is a link to a site with some trailers. PS - The soundtrack was incredible as well!
  12. Check this clip out! You have to find the one titled "The Science of Star Wars", under the tab Newest.
  13. Felipe, I have thought about your comments and my original post, and I have to apoligize for my slander of the movie. I can see why you were so vehement in defending it. I can see how good it is; esp. in comparison to the other Batman movies.
  14. The sample of the Fifth includes some commentary at :46 seconds, you can fast forward past it to 5:06.
  15. The sample of the Fifth includes some commentary a minute or so in; you can fast forward past it.
  16. My high school band recently performed Shosty's Fifth Symphony, which I enjoyed playing and listening to. Any thought on him or his work? Here is a site that feature samples of his work (including the Fifth); you have to scroll all the way down.
  17. Here is a link to a site with a bunch of articles by or inspired by Foucault. I also forgot to mention I read his essay "What is Enlightenment?", which is a critique of Kant's essay (same name), and also the fact that Foucault doesn't believe in mental illness qua mental illness. He believes that MI is simply a means of control; an attempt to "normalize people".
  18. When I was in high school debate, the most popular philosopher by far was Ayn Rand....just kidding, it was Michel Foucault. I personally helped make the files on "Bio-Power ", read extensively the file we bought on his theory of "Disciplinary Power", and helped make a file on a Foucaultian look on "Technocracy and Patriarchy via the Hospitals". I have also read part of "The History of Sexuality - Part I" and "Discipline & Punish : The Birth of the Prison". I can try to explain each of three ideas I mentioned, but keep in mind the amount of varying interpretations are endless. "Bio-Power", as I understand it, talks about the role of government. According to the theory, we, the governed, have given the government the power of life - via our support of public services (hospitals, police, fire depts, etc.) Inadvertently (and necessarily), we have also given the government the power of death (via the military and weaponry, which is used to go and kill people abroad, to (according to F) "protect us at home"). The answer to this problem? Decentralization (as is most postmodernists answer to everything.) "Disciplinary Power" is a much simpler idea. "Disciplinary Power" simply states that within our society, power is not decentralized as we would hope (via checks and balances, state level bueracracy), but rather it is highly centralized. The solution? Anarchy for a while, then a reevaluation of government and its purpose. In essence, following a policy of Decentralization. The phrase I coined, "Technocracy and Patriarchy via the Hospitals", is a strange idea. According to "Foucaultian" theory, we live in a highly technocratic society, with technology permeating and controlling every aspect of our lives. The hospital, the alleged benefactor of mankind, is simply an extension of this. When we are wheeled into a hospital (as the theory goes), we are not treated as a human being, but rather as a collection of interchangable parts (organs and tissue). Some machine tells us what is "wrong with us", and that part is operated on; irrespective to the rest of the body. The solution? Decentralization. The last idea I want to discuss is his theory on Sexuality. Foucault, in his book, studies the history of sexuality, from the Victorian Age and before up until now. His thesis is simply that, sexuality has ceased to become simply about sex, it is (you guessed it) about power. For example, he states that while sex has not to be discussed in public in the Victorian Age, now a days it is socially fine to. He later draws a link between this power struggle and Bio-power. The solution? Decentralization.
  19. To throw in my two cents - I agree with what Mrs. Speicher and with what a few of you have said so far. I know, to speak personally, the problem wasn't necessarily lack of properly inducing Objectivism, but the lack of consciously inducing anything! Before coming to this conclusion, I hadn't learned the power of ideas, and as a result I passively absorbed them for my environment - whether that be church, or debate club, etc. For teenagers especially, the idea that one can live a life in the moment, without thinking about the future or one's goals in life is very tempting - I was sucked in for a while (living on Nirvana and skateboarding). But (to give this phenomenon its name) the "noble savage" idea isn't a successful escape from ideas, it is a surrender.
  20. I just finished Michael Crichton's latest work, "State of Fear", and I enthusiastically recommend it. The novel, as many of you may know, contains Crichton's critique of the global warming theory. The story is fast paced and exciting, taking you "from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles." (taken from inside flap). The book was also highly researched as footnotes appear very frequently throughout the book. In fact, the Bibliography alone was 20 pages! The book very clearly demonstrates the fanaticism of environmentalists; as the plot revolves around terrorists from ELF and their various destructive actions around the world. A quote from the book especially struck me; appearing on page 527. The hero of the novel, Dr. Kenner states: "You just don't get it, do you? (he is talking to a supporter of global warming and a "return to Earth" movement, Ted Bradley) You think civilization is some horrible, polluting human invention that separates us from the state of nature. But civilization doesn't separate us from nature, Ted. Civilization protects us from nature. Because what you see right now, (referring to a tribe of cannibals) all around you -this is nature." "Oh no. No, no. Humans are kind, cooperative..." "Horseshit, Ted." "There are genes for altruism" "Wishful thinking, Ted" "All cruelty springs from weakness." "Some people like cruelty, Ted."
  21. I really like the picture (s) on the top of the forum; the man with wings, holding a ball of light. Is there any way to see a larger version of it (them)?
  22. One final note, could you provide evidence for the following statement you made in your review - "The second idea, the one that was most shocking to me, was the idea of taking pride in selfishness. The hero of the movie actually conveys pride in selfishness." Where does he take pride in selfishness?
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