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Posts posted by Grant

  1. as the movie never makes a firm stance on if Ozzy's final decision is right or wrong - you decide.

    This seems to be my only problem with the movie.

    While he makes a point of showing that in the end the truth always surfaces, he doesn't show much virtue in that, as it seems everyone lived happilly ever after without it anyway.

  2. I've been reading The Romantic Manifesto where Rand states that art is "a selective recreation of reality according to the artist's metaphysical value judgments". She says that one defining characteristic of art is that it have no utilitarian value but simply be an end in itself. So if your website is there to provide a platform for publishing your blog articles, for example, then no, according to Objectivism this wouldn't be art.

    Hopefully that helps as a short answer. I'm still reading the book and I don't think I completely understand the distinction yet. I guess basically according to Rand maybe 2% of the stuff that's presented to us as art today actually qualifies as "real" art. I'm starting to think that maybe I've never actually seen any art, just a bunch of crap that is supposed to be "artistic", and that's why I can't tell the difference :huh:

    Websites, likes books or movies, are merely a medium. They are not in themselves artwork. For instance, if a book contains a fictional story, then that story is art. If on the other hand, it is a non-fiction book, then there's no art involved. The book itself (i.e. pages bound together) is not art. In the same way, websites sometimes contain artwork in the form of stories or paintings(see www.2advanced.com), but the websites themselves are not art. They are merely a medium through which one is able to portray art.

  3. He did something evil? Okay, how exactly is it evil? Does the film destroy your sense of life? Does it rob you, hurt you remove your rights in any way shape or form?

    Okay, I get it you didn't like the movie, you didn't like the premise or the world it portrays but does that film compare with murder, slavery, theft, fraud? Do the directors equate with Stalin, Hitler, the KKK? :)

    An act doesn't have to directly involve others to be evil. When an artist paints an image of a rotting corpse, I consider this evil. Not because the image may offend others (that shouldn't be his concern) but because it is a concretization of his values (which is what art is), which are evidently evil. If an artist derives pleasure from painting an image of that kind, that is evil.

  4. I thought it was a waste of time: a movie that went nowhere.

    Ditto. Sat there bored out of my mind waiting for it to end, and when it did, I was left confused and bewildered.

    I'm torn. Part of me is rightfully revolted with the world the directors portray and the other part is appreciative of the skill it took to elicit such strong reactions as those you see above.

    I mean if an artist sets out to paint a picture of a rotting corpse and manages to get it so right that the painting is considered revolting by all who view it has he failed or succeeded?

    He's succeeded in doing something evil. Nothing to be appreciated there.

  5. Did Ayn Rand give any reasons for disliking Beethoven?

    Personally, from the little i've heard of him, I find some of it maelvolent(like the fith and ninth).

    The more I listen to classical music though, the more i've found that I can hardly listen to anything else but Rachmaninov.

    Yes, as you've described it, she too found it malevolent. I struggle to see that in the fifth though. Perhaps it's somewhat evident in the 9th, but even that ends on a triumphant note.

  6. Interesting. Of all Sibelius symphonies, the 2nd is my least favorite. I'm going to have to go back and listen closer.

    Just wait till you get to the 3rd!

    Yeh, just gave the 3rd a listen. Didn't really do anything for me. So far, the 2nd is my favorite by a country mile. Oozes emotion and power in certain parts.

  7. I saw no Sibelius on there. Tisk tisk. I highly recommend his 1st and 3rd symphonies, as well as his violin concerto. Judging by some of the other material on that list, you'll fall in love with him, start to finish.

    I have a differant taste, and I wouldn't recommend my likes to the passive listener, but if you want a work out in your listening, I highly recommend the Prokofiev Piano Concerti 1-3, and Stravinsky's Firebird (and for a very adventurous listener, The Rite of Spring).

    Just to let you guys know, I'm actually preferring Sibelius' 2nd to his 1st at the moment. Seems to be a bit more melodic.

  8. On a related note, I find it strange that this particular composition of Grieg's has not made it onto the top of Objectivists' lists. It is absolutely stunning. Did you get Leif Ove Andsnes performance of it? By far he is the top performer who I have heard. He's from Norway and is a great admirer of Grieg, in general. There is a video of him expressing his admiration here.

    I actually watched his performance on Youtube last night. Absolutely incredible. I didn't end up buying his album though. For $10 you get the Grieg and the Schumann (which I already have) concertos and it wasn't with the same orchestra as he performed with in that video, so I wasn't sure how great the recording would be. I opted for an $8 album instead which got great reviews on Amazon (not sure how much that means). It has the Grieg, Mendelssohn's 2nd and Liszt's 1st - none of which I had.

  9. Hmm...Looks like a lot of good stuff. There are so many Chopin pieces that are terrific that you seem to not have. Vivaldi's Four Seasons is missing. Also Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and his "On Wings of Song".

    You have some on your list that I haven't listened to yet, so I'm going to give those a try.

    Yeh, I'm reluctant with solo violin pieces. I haven't quite grown used to the violin as a solo instrument, but stick 10 of them in an orchestra and I love it. I tend to prefer the piano as a solo instrument, but I will give those pieces a try.

    There's a number of pieces on my list that I haven't actually listened to yet. Many of them came on the same album as other pieces I purchased.

    Do you think Berlioz's Fantastique is a must?

  10. I'm glad you like them! In Grieg, I love the drumroll leading to the chords of the piano at the start of the first movement. Additionally, there are some beautiful melodies in that piece. Oh, and the cadenza is terrific. And the finale.

    I actually like the 2nd movement especially. I'm a sucker for a great adagio.

    Here's all the music I've bought in the past few months since my classical music addiction began: http://www.grantshapiro.com/playlist.gif

    Let me know if you think I'm missing any critical pieces :) And yeh, I have a few duplicates of the pieces I love.

  11. Other good classical music that I have discovered (from my limited exploration of it):

    Vivaldi's Le quattro stagioni

    Rach's Piano Concerto No. 3

    Rach's Symphony No. 2

    Rach's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

    Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1

    Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto

    Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite

    Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

    Mendelssohn's On Wings of Song

    Liszt's Liebesträume (absolutely beautiful)

    Grieg's Piano Concerto No. 1

    Chopin's Etude for piano No. 3 in E major

    Chopin's Nocturne for piano No. 2 in E flat major

    Tchaikovsky's Symphony #6 (Pathetique)

    Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique

    Elgar's Serenade for Strings in E minor

    There's many more, but I can't think of anymore off the top of my head.

    So, I went by your recommendations here and bought Grieg's Concerto, Liebestraume and Bach's Jesu. All 3 are incredible, especially the concerto.

    Thank you.

  12. As for a philosophy-based approach to the music, while I'm probably not qualified enough (as I haven't read much about music as it relates to philosophy) to speak about this yet, I'd say you have to interpret the emotion (if any exists) that the composer is attempting to convey in their music. From Rach's 2nd concerto, I get a feeling of immense benevolence. He takes the listener on a journey of struggle and hardship, ending in great triumph.

  13. I have listened to them, and they haven't appealed to me too much, though they are nice. I can't really put my finger on why. (I usually find that to be the case for music I like or dislike, which is part of why I wanted to ask people who probably have a philosophy-based understanding of their musical taste, and are probably more articulate than me anyway.) I like his solo piano music more, however.

    What are your opinions on the concertos?

    I've only recently, in the past 3 months or so, started listening to classical music again, after not having actively listened to it in around 12 years (when I was around 12 too). At that young age, I appreciated only a few pieces and not to the extent that I can appreciate them today. I had never listened to Rachmaninov though.

    12 years later, I can now say with absolute certainty that Rach's 2nd concerto (with his 3rd concerto and Tchai's 1st concerto trailing closely behind) is the greatest piece of music I have ever heard. It does what all great music should do. It strikes hard at an emotional level. I'm also a sucker for beautiful melodies and it offers that in bucketloads. I must say that the first couple times I heard it, I was not all that crazy about it, but after listening to it attentively a few times, I grew in love with it. The emotions that Rach has sewn into the piece are deep, raw and full of power. The feelings I get from listening to it actually resembles the emotions I felt while reading Atlas Shrugged. A sombre/melancholy story with bits of light here and there, ending in a climax of great release and immense grandeur.

    Perhaps you haven't heard a good performance of the piece? Give Earl Wild's interpretation a try. I'm a sucker for the 2nd movement (although I love all 3 equally for different reasons): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG6Y-6cWVno...feature=related

  14. I was speaking with the husband tonight and he said he would love to see the The Worchowski (sp) Brothers write it. They did they screen play for the 300 as well I believe.

    I also think they could do Atlas Shrugged justice in a very exciting way that would draw numerous teens and young adults to it, possibly more so than it would as a straight live action film.

    The Wachowski brothers? Ugh...No. They did The Matrix trilogy, Speed Racer and wrote the V for Vendetta screenplay. They weren't involved in 300. I don't see them being suited to directing Atlas Shrugged.

    As for the potential Dagnys, the only reasonable choice I see there is Blanchett. Keira Knigthly? Oh HELL no. I don't think Roberts and Theron are suitable either.

  15. Yes, outside it's proper role. I agree completely there.

    But what about inside its proper role?

    Well, efficiency's a non-factor with regards to its proper role, since only a proper government is able to uphold and maintain a police force, army and judiciary bound by an objective law. A market is completely incapable.

  16. While I agree that it should be limited to the protection of individual rights only, I don't think one can go as far as saying that government is inefficient by its very nature. That's like saying it's evil by its nature; just because it has been in the past doesn't mean it has to be that way.

    In providing services outside the realm of the protection of individual rights, I'd say it's inefficient by its very nature. There's no program (health care, social security, roads etc.) that the market couldn't and definitely wouldn't do better. A bunch of 'selfless' central planners are never as efficient as selfish for-profit businessmen.

  17. So people should no longer be concerned with the ethics of forced redistribution (they should not be asking themselves if it is right to do so) but rather they should focus on the efficiency of redistribution.

    Yep, pretty much what I said.

  18. I'm guessing you guys didn't hear him when he said that he would get rid of the government programs that don't work...

    I heard him say something along the lines of, "It's not about whether government is too big or too small. It's about whether it works."

    So... it doesn't matter whether it's wrong or right, but whether it gets the job done.

    How exactly does he define what "works" anyway? There's not a single government program (bar the necessary ones) that work NEARLY as well as a free-market alternative would. Do you think that means he's going to scrap all of them? Not a prayer. Governments make every excuse in the book for keeping disfunctional programs active. Even if they're costing the US tax payer an exponential amount more than a market alternative would, so long as some poor (undeserving) folks are getting help, they'll have an excuse keep them going.

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