Saturday, October 30, 2010
JFK and MLK Today
Religion and Science
Characters From Animal House and Animal Farm Respectively
How a friend described the Brothers Kim, pictured above from this story — No Love Lost Between Kim Jong-il's Sons. "North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's best-known sons -- his eldest Jong-nam and his third son and heir Jong-un -- barely know each other, sources say." On the left, "Kim Jong-nam has lived in virtual exile in Macau and Beijing since he was effectively expelled from Pyongyang after he was caught attempting to enter Japan on a forged passport in 2001." On the right is the heir apparent.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Antonio Lotti's Crucifixus Sung by King's College Choir, Cambridge
Bangalore and Buffalo
Russell Shaw on Thomas More
Silencing Tariq Aziz
An Eternal Bond
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., and the Geto Boys
"Right-Wing Social Democrats"
Another author he quotes argues that "neoconservatism rejects individual rights" and holds that "principles such as individual rights, limited government, and economic freedom are neither morally edifying nor practically sustainable." More disturbing, it holds "that philosophers exist on a higher plan than the rest of humanity," and that these alone "can absorb the truths that God does not exist and that ordinary morality rests on no foundations." Thus, "[f]rom a strictly philosophical perspective.... the neocons have, on principle, dispensed with principle" and "do not think that an immutably true moral code can or should be generated from man’s mutable social reality."
"The masses, to the contrary," writes Mr. Gordon, "require the consolations of religion and morality. The philosophical elite must guide them according to the wisdom it alone can discern." He argues that the author "successfully shows that though the neocons often invoke the American tradition, they do not genuinely believe in the 'unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'"
A Latter Day Anti-Federalist
Language, Fleeting and Eternal
South Korea Joins the Big Boys
The Falls, 1840
The image above was taken by "an English scientist named Hugh Lee Pattinson, who traveled across the state into Canada with a daguerreotype camera -- then a technology only a few years old"— Historic first photo of falls to go on display.
Far more pristine, like Iguaçu Falls, than what we see today, but then again, what would the Falls be without the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum or Maple Leaf Village, two of my favorite places as a kid?
As the daguerreotype shows and as many say, the Falls are more beautiful from the Canadian side. As Western New Yorkers reply, that's because from there you can see the American side.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Samuel Scheidt's Courant Dolorosa, Galliard and Paduan, Performed by Hespèrion XXI, Directed by Jordi Savall
John Zmirak on Hallowe'en, Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants
Calling "All Souls' Day (November 2) the most distinctively Roman Catholic holiday in the calendar," he writes, "The Orthodox pray for the dead, but if you accuse them of agreeing with Catholic teaching on this subject -- as on any other --they will vigorously deny it." He continues, "Likewise, their liturgy and traditions affirm truths suspiciously similar to the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, which they only began to deny once Rome declared them infallible." He goes on to suggest, "The Protestant Reformation was pretty much started in reaction against Halloween and All Souls' Day; Luther nailed up his denunciation of indulgences on October 31, which is still in some places called Reformation Day."
Understanding the President
Here's the original, which used to be my daughter's favorite (even my father picked it up on his first visit to the country five years ago) with original lyrics in English — 곰세마리.
Tariq Aziz's Death Sentence
"Many believed that Aziz's religion, his friends in the international community and the fact that his hands are not stained with blood like Saddam would have spared him the fate of former colleagues who ended at the hangman's noose," sugeests Mr. Moubayed. More:
- The fact that he was recently sentenced to only 15 years in prison was seemingly an assurance that Aziz would remain "sheltered" from execution at the age of 74. Many believed that it would have been very difficult for the post-Saddam leaders of Iraq to hang Aziz - a man who was given red-carpet treatment at the Vatican in 2003 - even if they wanted to.
That would have sparked off too much tension within Iraq itself, especially between Muslims and Christians, and vibrated strongly around the world. During his 2007 Christmas mass, Emmanuel III Delly, the Patriarch of Babylon and primate of the Chaldean Catholic Church, called for Aziz's release, making government authorities in Baghdad very nervous.
Maliki today, four years into power and preparing himself for another round at the premiership, apparently feels confident enough to take affirmative action on something he has always dreamt of - revenge against Aziz. He knows that he can sign off the death warrant and face little, or no, opposition. Had Aziz been a Sunni or Kurd, for example, whose support is much needed for Maliki for a 163-vote majority he needs in parliament, then hanging him would have been very difficult.
Some Japanese Brush Paintings for the Season
Fisking the Dechristianization of the Middle East
- Across the Middle East, it is the same story of despairing – sometimes frightened – Christian minorities, and of an exodus that reaches almost Biblical proportions. Almost half of Iraq's Christians have fled their country since the first Gulf War in 1991, most of them after the 2004 invasion – a weird tribute to the self-proclaimed Christian faith of the two Bush presidents who went to war with Iraq – and stand now at 550,000, scarcely 3 per cent of the population. More than half of Lebanon's Christians now live outside their country. Once a majority, the nation's one and a half million Christians, most of them Maronite Catholics, comprise perhaps 35 per cent of the Lebanese. Egypt's Coptic Christians – there are at most around eight million – now represent less than 10 per cent of the population....
Yet nowhere is the Christian fate sadder than in the territories around Jerusalem. As Monsignor Fouad Twal, the ninth Latin patriarch of Jerusalem and the second to be an Arab, put it bleakly, "the Israelis regard us as 100 per cent Palestinian Arabs and we are oppressed in the same way as the Muslims. But Muslim fundamentalists identify us with the Christian West – which is not always true – and want us to pay the price." With Christian Palestinians in Bethlehem cut off from Jerusalem by the same Israeli wall which imprisons their Muslim brothers, there is now, Twal says, "a young generation of Christians who do not know or visit the Holy Sepulchre".
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
J.B. Lully's Suite Alceste, M. Marais' Suite Alcione, & J.P. Rameau's Suite Les Indes Galante & Suite Les Boréades
Where Have All the Protesters Gone?
While "George W. Bush was the perfect hate object" and "his neoconservative advisers were almost caricatures of evil," Mr. Raimondo notes, "now there’s a new warmonger in town, a new Caesar who is not quite such an easy target." He later reports, "At a recent 'antiwar conference' held in Buffalo, New York, which was dominated and largely organized by a Trotskyist group known as Socialist Action, the participants voted to pour their energy into building the October 2nd pro-Obama demonstration recently held in Washington, D.C., which dubbed itself 'One Nation Working Together.'"
More of the Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Conservatism and Peace
- Just what is that philosophy? Is it a philosophy at all, or just a natural disposition to reject radical change? These questions have been debated for centuries, and I can only suggest an answer.
Briefly, conservatism is a more or less articulate sense of normality, whereas liberalism has been described (by G.K. Chesterton) as “the modern and morbid habit of always sacrificing the normal to the abnormal.” Conservatism can tolerate many abnormal things that can’t be eliminated from human society, but it doesn’t call them “rights” or confuse them with normal things. And, after all, few things are more abnormal than war.
So today’s alleged conservatives (and especially the misnamed “neoconservatives”) are aberrations. They delight in destruction; they are full of enthusiasm for violent and radical action; they lack the ironic and skeptical attitude of real conservatives, the prudent sense that precipitate acts bring “unintended consequences.”
The Tao of Lì Mǎdòu
A Catholic Approach to Immigration
The Dear Leader's First Son and Chef Weigh In
Catholic Aziz Sentenced to Hang
"The charge against Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, is religious discrimination," writes Felicity Arbuthnot in her appeal to "His Holiness Pope Benedict xvi, His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace the Archbishop of Westminster, The Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon., David Cameron, The Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt., Hon., Nick Clegg, The Foreign Secretary, The Rt. Hon., William Hague" — An Open Letter to Save Tareq Aziz.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
A. Vivaldi's Magnificat, Stella Doufexis, Daniel Gundlach, Gächinger Kantorei, Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, Helmuth Rilling
Pseudo-Conservatives are the Real Deal Says Left-Liberal
"Encoded in the conservative movement's DNA, the argument for violence derives from Burke himself," the author asserts, in one of the most tenuous arguments I've ever read, based soley as it is on the philosopher's idea "the self is desperately in need of negative stimuli of the sort that can be provided only by pain and danger," which the author admits comes from "his early 20s" and "predates his entry into politics" and is often "dismiss[ed]... as apolitical juvenilia."
I'd like to dismiss Prof. Robin's screed as left-liberal juvenilia, but methinks the author, who, "[d]espite being a progressive, [has] devoted his scholarly attention to the study of the contemporary forms of American conservatism and neoconservatism," is stuck in what Bill Kauffman once called one of the two "ideological veal-crates" Americans are offfered. Citing Strauss, Teddy Roosevelt and Francis Fukuyama in the same paragraph with Burke shows he hasn't a clue about his supposed area of expertise.
His research has probably introduced him to some of the antiwar conservative publications and individuals often linked to here, which perhaps first intrigued him but ultimately repelled him when he realized they didn't fit into either veil-crate. Like the pseudo-conservative, he cannot fathom someone not agreeing with every point on his agenda. Unlike the true conservative, he cannot tolerate people with whom he disagrees on certain issues. This tortured article is the result of his confusion.
The Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Conservatism and Peace
How the Scholastics Founded the Science of Economics
- The real founders of economic science actually wrote hundreds of years before Smith. They were not economists as such, but moral theologians, trained in the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, and they came to be known as the Late Scholastics. These men, most of whom taught in Spain, were at least as pro–free market as the much-later Scottish tradition. Plus, their theoretical foundation was even more solid: they anticipated the theories of value and price of the "marginalists" of late 19th-century Austria....
It is not precisely correct to say that the Late Scholastic thinkers who discovered economics were exploring theological territory and stumbled inadvertently upon economics. They were in fact intensely curious about the logic that governs relations among choices and people in the marketplace, and they looked at this subject without feeling the need to point constantly to theological truth. The relationship between economics and theology was assumed to be a part of the scholarly enterprise itself, and this is why the Late Scholastics could write with such precision on economic subjects.
Germany Is Back
It's as if with the odious Treaty of Versailles, which paved the way for the rise of the aberarration that was Nazi Germany, finally behind them, the great German people can finally be normal again.
Adagio Trio Performs "Greensleeves"
"Almost everyone thinks 'Greensleeves' is a sad song—but why?" asks Ferris Jabr, noting that "the melody prominently features a musical construct called the minor third, which musicians have used to express sadness since at least the 17th century" — Music and speech share a code for communicating sadness in the minor third. The author reports on "a study in the June issue of Emotion suggests the minor third isn't a facet of musical communication alone—it's how we convey sadness in speech, too."
Rome's Synod of Bishops for the Middle East
Mahapawarana Day, the Day of Permission
"Love North Korean Children"
He goes on to say, "At first I was thinking of opening an orphanage, but the government wouldn't allow that. They say North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is our father, so there is no need for orphanages. So then I decided to open a bakery." We learn that "Rhee is a minister in the Assemblies of God Church and has its backing for his charity" and [m]ost of the costs are borne by three Dutch Christian foundations, the Barnabas Fund, Stichting Ora and Dorcas Aid International."
Yet, as Christopher Hitchens would have it, "religions poisons everything."
Some Contemporary North Korean Paintings
Monday, October 25, 2010
Charles Ives' Variations on 'America' Performed by Virgil Fox
The Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Patriotism and Nationalism
- Patriotism is like family love. You love your family just for being your family, not for being “the greatest family on earth” (whatever that might mean) or for being “better” than other families. You don’t feel threatened when other people love their families the same way. On the contrary, you respect their love, and you take comfort in knowing they respect yours. You don’t feel your family is enhanced by feuding with other families.
While patriotism is a form of affection, nationalism, it has often been said, is grounded in resentment and rivalry; it’s often defined by its enemies and traitors, real or supposed. It is militant by nature, and its typical style is belligerent. Patriotism, by contrast, is peaceful until forced to fight.
The patriot differs from the nationalist in this respect too: he can laugh at his country, the way members of a family can laugh at each other’s foibles. Affection takes for granted the imperfection of those it loves; the patriotic Irishman thinks Ireland is hilarious, whereas the Irish nationalist sees nothing to laugh about.
The nationalist has to prove his country is always right. He reduces his country to an idea, a perfect abstraction, rather than a mere home. He may even find the patriot’s irreverent humor annoying.
The New Beginning links to the original essay — Patriotism or Nationalism? In it, the "Reactionary Utopian" laments that "many Americans admire America for being strong, not for being American." He continues, "For them America has to be 'the greatest country on earth' in order to be worthy of their devotion. If it were only the 2nd-greatest, or the 19th-greatest, or, heaven forbid, 'a 3rd-rate power,' it would be virtually worthless."
"The Greatest City of the Americas"
Permanence, Verticality, Iconography
Velikovsky Gets Righter and Righter
Friday, October 22, 2010
M. Rodríguez de Ledesma's Misa de Difuntos Performed by Coro Matritum Cantat & Orquestra Sinfónica de Madrid, Directed by Tomás Garrido
Hilarión Eslava's Miserere Performed by Fernando Lima, Coro Matritum Cantat, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Directed by Luis Izquierdo
M. Rodríguez de Ledesma's Oficio de Difuntos Performed by Coro Matritum Cantat & Orquestra Sinfónica de Madrid, Directed by Tomás Garrido
Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci
- Benedict's conferral of the purple on him looks like an unambiguous rehabilitation of this preeminent maestro of Gregorian and polyphonic liturgical music, treacherously expelled from the direction of the Sistine choir in 1997 by the directors of pontifical ceremonies at the time.
What a shame that since then, without him, the choir of the Sistine Chapel has fallen to abysmal levels. Nor is there any reason to hope for a worthy rebirth in the appointment as its director, a few days ago, of Salesian Fr. Massimo Palombell, a protege of the cardinal secretary of state.
The Firing of Juan Williams
For the record, I love National Public Radio and have been listening to Juan Williams for twenty years. Still, I think a cutting of federal funding would make it a far better network and think that Guy Benson may be on to something with this — NPR Finally Finds An Excuse To Fire Juan Williams.
That said, I disagree with Mr. William's statement: "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous." Mohamed Atta et al. weren't dressed in "Muslim garb" when they carried out their orders.
In Malaysia, I taught a group of Bangladeshies (I affectionately remember them as my "Bangla Boys") who often spoke of their country's pride in being the only nation to have fought a war of independence over language (much to the dismay of the lone Pakistani in the class; the Taiwanese guy was clueless). How those young Muslims sang the praises of Hindu Rabindranath Tagore!
Pope Joseph Ratzinger Receives Ambassador Thomas Hong-Soon Han
For his part, the Ambassador reminded the Pontiff that the Korean Church was founded "not by any foreign missionary but by Korean lay faithful themselves and boasts of the martyrdom of more than ten thousand faithful who heroically offered their lives for the great cause of God in the 19th century" and today is held in "high esteem by her people for the contribution she has made to the modernization and development of her country, always in fidelity to the Papal Magisterium."
The Late, Great Joseph Sobran on Peace
The Best American Presidents
- Grover Cleveland might have been the best of the lot. He was a sound-money advocate, generally pro-market, and had both the personal ethics and the backbone to face down Congress and the powerful interests behind the annexation of Hawaii.
The conquest of Hawaii, in my opinion, was one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history, because of the massive level of fraud and deceit involved, which was quite different from the relatively simpler xenophobic extermination of other natives. Grover Cleveland basically said that Hawaii would never be annexed while he was president, and that's exactly what happened.
Some John Adams
Fuzzy (or Furry) Math?
International Gold Confiscation?
T.S. Eliot Was Right
All Tomorrow's Tea Parties
A Murder in Red China
Of course, many of those outraged by this see no problem with a mother's "choice" to drag her eight-month-old fetus "kicking and screaming" to an abortuary. We are shocked by something as commonplace historically as the State murdering one of its citizens, but take something as absurd and horrific as a mother murdering her own child for granted.
W.A. Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 13 3rd Movement Played by Glenn Gould
Thank God for Mitochondria
The hypothesis, coming from Nick Lane of University College London and Bill Martin of the University of Dusseldorf in Germany, begins with that point in evolutionary history in which "a cell engulfed some bacteria and started using them as power generators – the first mitochondria." (This a graduate student in bioinformatics explained to me a while ago.) The researchers, however, suggest "the textbook idea that complex cells evolved first and only later gained mitochondria is completely wrong: cells could not become complex until they acquired mitochondria."
The conclusion: "Simple cells hardly ever engulf other cells, however – and therein lies the catch. Acquiring mitochondria, it seems, was a one-off event."
"If the Chinese did militarily occupy the Senkaku Islands is the US willing to go to war with China over it?" asks our man in uniform. "It would seem that with the defense treaty with Japan the US would be obligated to and by participating in this exercise it appears that Washington is sending Beijing that signal." That's why the Founders warned us against "entangling alliances."
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Zoltán Kodály's Ave Maria Sung by the Fiesole Youth Choir and Ostrava Music School Children's Choir, Directed by Milan Chromik
St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning for the Poor
Marianne Stokes' Pre-Raphaelite masterpiece to accompany these stories on the latest papal general audience — Wife, Mother, Princess, Saint and Pope says Elizabeth of Hungary a model for those in authority.
Traditionalist Conservative James Kalb on Islam and Women
- Men can have several wives, and they can divorce at will. So the bond between man and woman is weaker and less balanced, and there is less mutual trust and more use of force than in traditional Western society.
Principles like that have some effect on day-to-day life, and a big effect on the likelihood of the kind of extreme situation that makes the news. So there are a lot more honor killings and stonings for adultery in Muslim societies, just as there are more babies who get their skulls punctured and brains sucked out in liberal societies.
General principles don't determine everything though, and in any event there are also general Islamic principles requiring fair treatment and whatnot. On the whole, people are people, life is mostly particular events, domestic ill-feeling is no fun, and women know how to get their way even if men are supposedly in charge. So I don't think the "generalized system of sexist abuse" theory holds water. How could such a system be maintained in household after household century after century over whole continents? Why would so many people go to such an effort?
- The women didn't have much public presence where I was, but that didn't mean what people here would expect. There's less public life in Muslim countries. The classic Middle Eastern city was a bazaar and some palaces, mosques, and barracks in the public sphere, and also walled quarters where people lived among their own and ran their own affairs.
The family was generally a unit of production as well as consumption, so the idea of "career" was mostly irrelevant. That's still largely true, by the way. Career depends on large formal organizations, and such things don't work well in the radically divided societies you find in the Middle East and Central Asia. People are mostly farmers, artisans, or shopkeepers, and the ideal is having enough to live on so you can sit at home drinking tea.
I remember a guy in Kashmir (another Muslim region) asking me--very tentatively, he didn't want to seem like a fool who takes everything he hears seriously--whether it was true that in the West people didn't think it was enough to have money to live on and hang with their friends but also wanted to work as a positive good thing.
So the basic idea has always been that everything's behind walls, with extended families living together in compounds, and outsiders only admitted to the relatively small public areas. Behind the scenes, which is where everything took place, the women were much freer and certainly part of what was going on. There was also lots of to and fro through back doors into other compounds. The images of imprisonment you get in the West aren't at all accurate.
Feeding the Hungry
Domenico Bartolucci's Jubilate Deo, Ave Maria & Sicut Cervus, Rossini Chamber Choir, Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini, Simone Baiocchi
Some sacred music from the the soon-to-be-red-hatted maestro in perpetuo of the papal choir of the Sistine Chapel — La Toscana ha un nuovo cardinale: Domenico Bartolucci.
First, the bishop "named in 2008 to head the Vatican's highest tribunal, [who] came to the post with the reputation of being one of the most outspoken U.S. bishops on moral and political issues" — Cardinal-designate Burke a vocal leader on moral, political issues. Second, "the only Asian among the 24 new cardinals," who has faithfully served as the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments — Sri Lankans welcome Mgr Malcolm Ranjith as a new cardinal.
Finally, and most excitingly, the maestro in perpetuo of the papal choir of the Sistine Chapel and a composer of sacred music in his own right, about whose elevation no English headline could be found — La Toscana ha un nuovo cardinale: Domenico Bartolucci.
Tammy Wynette Sings "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Ensemble Lipzodes Perform Quantelcta, Oy Hasemos Fiesta Todas, Salamanca, and Aparajad Ballesteros
Ensemble Lipzodes, "a unique group that combines voice, shawms, dulcians, recorders, and percussion to bring to life the rarely performed music of 16th century Guatemala," on Brazilian television.
Ensemble Lipzodes Perform Mulier Quit Prolas, Oy Sube Nuestra Esperança, Pabanilla and Maria de Solo un Buelo
Ensemble Lipzodes, "a unique group that combines voice, shawms, dulcians, recorders, and percussion to bring to life the rarely performed music of 16th century Guatemala," on Brazilian television.
"Not to put too fine a point on it, but I hate Bono," begins Steven Sherman, quoted by Steven Hand — Bono’s Bad Ideas. "He epitomizes everything that’s wrong with Clinton/Blair style liberalism: an intense desire to appear to care about the world, matched only by a complete unwillingness to stand up to any of the corporate or militarist complexes that stand in the way of progress."
TLM in the ROK
Kyung Hee Kim on American Creativity
Christine O'Donnell, Constitutional Scholar
How stupid! No, not Mrs. O'Donnell, but her ignorant opponent, her equally ignorant "law school audience," and the deceitful Washington Post for publishing this crap.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution begins: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Notice, the amendment refers to Congress, not the several States. Thus, it was not until the 1818 Constitution of the State of Connecticut that Congregationalism was disestablished as the state religion of the "Constitution State." Separation of church and state was first expressed in "Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists Association in 1802... reassuring [them] that their religious freedom would remain protected - a promise that no possible religious majority would be able to force out a state's official church."
This changed with the questionable reading of the questionably worded Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which mandated that "[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" and that "Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."
Indeed, the history of Anglo-Saxon constitutionalism can be said to begin with the first clause of Magna Carta, which guaranteed "that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired."
New York State Senatorial and Congressional Endorsements
The Rent Is Too Damn High Party failed to persuade me, as did the even more unconvincing Republicratic Party, so I have split my vote among the Libertarian Party of New York, the Green Party New York, and the Working Families Party respectively:
This blog hereby endorses Randy Credico for Senate 2010, because, like the candidate, it stands "against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and would like to help elect a Senator who cares about the basic rights and concerns of all New Yorkers."
This blog hereby endorses Cecile Lawrence for U.S. Senate, if only because she "encourages the entire conversion of front lawns to shrubs, herbs, tomatoes and flowers as she has done." "She’s also demonstrated in Washington, D.C. to the end the war in Iraq and participated in peace vigils in Binghamton, NY and Owego, NY, including speaking at anniversaries of the Iraq war and during the trial of the St. Patrick’s Four," and "lobbied and participated in rallies in Washington, D.C. against the Bush administration’s attacks on Habeas Corpus and other constitutional rights."
This blog hereby endorses Brian Higgins for Congress, because, he regognizes that "Western New York's future is limitless, but we need leadership that continues to push through the barriers that have led this community to too many years of inertia and inaction." What's more, the candidate pledges to "continue to fight the bureaucracy and develop real momentum on the issues important to Western New Yorkers."
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy
Labels: America the Beautiful, Conspiracy Analysis, Deutschland, Food, Iraq, Islam, Leviathan, Militarism, Norks in the News, Occupied Palestine, Persia, Terrorism, The Catholic Faith, The Philippines, The Pornography Industrial Complex, Tyranny
Concordia Perform William Byrd's Browning à 5 and Claudio Merulo's La Zambeccara
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Westminster Abbey Choir Sings Thomas Tallis' "If Ye Love Me Keep My Commandments" and William Byrd's "Prevent Us, O Lord"
Guiseppi Verdi's Requiem Performed by UC Davis Symphony Orchestra and University Chorus, Directed by Jeffrey Thomas
Above, in its entirety, a composition that expresses, in the words of music critic and Vicar of Christ Pope Benedict XVI, "the gamut of human sentiments in face of the end of life, man's anguish before his natural frailty, the feeling of rebellion in face of death, disconcert on the threshold of eternity" — Verdi's Requiem Seen as "Cry to the Father".
The article informs us that "Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) wrote the Requiem Mass in 1873 as a tribute to Italian writer and humanist Alessandro Manzoni," and that Pope Ratzinger, hailing it as the composer's "apex, the final moment of his musical production," called it "not only a tribute to a great writer, but also the response to an interior and spiritual artistic need that confrontation with the human and Christian stature of Manzoni aroused in him." The Supreme Pontiff, acknowledging that the composer called himself "somewhat of an atheist," further praised the work as "a great cry to the Father, in an attempt to overcome the cry of despair in face of death, to rediscover the aspiration to life which becomes a silent, heartfelt prayer: Libera me Domine."
Ástor Piazzolla's "Libertango" Performed by Yo-yo Ma and Friends
Something to accompany Robert Badger's latest post, on the "prominent Argentine tanguero" who "grew up partially in the United States where he was exposed to jazz and Bach at an early age" — Astor Piazzolla. "Piazzolla’s new tango was very controversial in Argentina," Mr. Badger informs us. "It took a while for it to become accepted. Piazzolla even found himself the object of death threats."
Who's the Victim in This Crime?
That won't happen, as "the police said they terminated the investigation as the two had sex under mutual consent and there was therefore no legal grounds to punish the teacher," as "current law punishes only adults having sex with those aged under 13." (Schizophenically, Korea does not allow people to marry until they've reached age of majority.) However, "the school plans to fire the teacher for the unethical relationship," and rightly so.
That said, I'm not that scandalized by the case. Of course, since the teacher is married, she should be tried for adultery, which is still on the books here in Korea. Since the teacher was a woman and the student a male, the victim is clearly the husband. (Robert Koehler reports that "oddly, while the newspapers all have the story, her husband has not been told" — ‘Hot for Teacher’ comes to Korea.) and her lover a co-conspirator who should also stand trial, as an adult. It would be a different story had the teacher been male and the student female, of course. In such a case, the teacher's crime would go beyond adultery to statutory rape and robbing a young woman of her virtue.
From the Blogs
Saint André of Montréal
Saint Andre Bessette, ora pro nobis. With two of my recently-added blogging colleagues posting about him, I thought I'd better learn a thing or two about him, and from whom better to learn than them? "I wanted to contact The Western Confucian and tell him that Brother André Bessette was made a saint on October 17th," writes the discerning Pak Kongwŏn, going on to say, "He was nothing special: just a doorman," whose "holiness has elevated him to the litany of saints" — What to do?
"I recall older relations telling me, when I was a small boy, about how when members of my family would always visit Frère André when they visited Montréal," writes Matthew Palardy, praying that "the magnificent shrine built by this small, humble porter in honour of St. Joseph still stands on the mountain, along with the cross, brilliantly illumined at night, to remind us of the glorious heritage and, we can hope, destiny of the city of Montréal and the province of Québec" — Saint André Bessette.