Capitol Hill Blue
'

My innocent remarks about H.P. Lovecraft piqued the interest of a number of Ranters, so I thought I would start a thread to go more deeply into the matter.

Originally Posted by numan
I have often wondered why the USA has produced almost nothing but second- and third-raters in the arts --- particularly in literature.

I suspect it is because there is such a strong aversion to telling the truth in American "culture" --- it has a very stultifying effect on thought and art.

Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
Numan, I can put up with (even though I disagree) with much of your anti-American ideas, but about the arts? Man, you just don't know your arts if you think that.

Sigh. I am amused (faintly) that so many Americans mistake truth-telling and even the gentlest satire as anti-Americanism. Tetchiness is an extremely American tendency, the vanity of Americans is usually seen by themselves as pride (quite a different thing), and so many, many Americans have absolutely no sense of humor!

Originally Posted by Schlack
Jazz and the Blues.

nuff said

I agree with you that jazz is a contribution to world culture, and, given twenty-five hundred years of undisturbed evolution, might reach the level of sophistication which classical Indian ragas already have attained.

But jazz is the product of an oppressed minority of the US population; the dominant culture had no hand in its creation --- other than to make so many millions of their fellow Americans so miserable that they could only find an outlet for their feelings in musical creation.

The musical tradition of the dominant majority has been vacuous and limited in the extreme. The only composers of real quality I can think of at the moment are Aaron Copland and Alan Hovaniss --- and the latter was at least as influenced by his Armenian heritage as his American.

I think that Sacred Harp singing may be juxtaposed in an interesting fashion against jazz. Both are products of the southern American tradition. I first heard it as a teenager on very low fidelity ethnographic recordings from the early 1940's. I knew nothing about what I was hearing, and someone asked me where I thought the music came from. I thought perhaps from deepest, darkest Africa! As I became used to the recordings, I was vividly carried back to 19th century America, to the peasant culture of the "poor white trash," to their rootedness in the earth, to an uneducated, uncultured people in whom burned an intense flame of simple-minded faith in a primitive religion which sustained them in their life of hardship.

Alas, in my short lifetime that has all vanished away! Modern Sacred Harp singing, though more popular and widespread than in the 40's, has lost its soul and is as shallow and heartless as most other aspects of modern American "mass culture" [an oxymoron if ever there was one!].
numan,

your anti-americanism is yours to stroke and love all you want, but your disdain for all things american as it is represented here has hindered your ability to see the forest for the trees, as it goes. our irish brother has handed you two fine examples, two that have been embraced lovingly by the world, yet you can even find a reason to denigrate that. there are a number of american masters where the arts are concerned, but it is apparent that you would argue to the death against such a fact. frankly, i do not see opportunity for discussion here, based upon your past inability to see america as anything other than an obstacle to the rest of the world.
'

Your criticism is incorrect. In fact, I praised jazz. It seems that, in your eyes, my sin lies in the fact that I did not over-praise it. All too many Americans feel outrage unless their country is over-praised.

By the way, objectively, the USA is an obstacle to the rest of the world. The most recent, obvious example of that fact is the present economic calamity.

.
Originally Posted by numan
'

shallow and heartless as most other aspects modern American "mass culture" [an oxymoron if ever there was one!].

Just out of curiosity, which modern mass culture do you present as an admirable alternative?

'

Is it not interesting that in the land of the vulgar "Pursuit of Happiness," so many of the best writers are gloomy and morbid? One thinks of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, and a host of later luminaries (or at least what passes for illumination in the USA).

Edgar Allan Poe is interesting; he was influential in the 19th century (almost the only influential American writer in the 19th century), particularly in France --- analogous to the unfortunate case of Jerry Lewis in our own time. He was at least a good third-rate poet, but his works are sadly dated --- and one of the crucial tests of great works of art is that they do not become dated. He did produce one great poem --- the ever-glorious To Helen.

Mark Twain rarely rose above being a second-rate writer, but his Huckleberry Finn rose to the heights of greatness --- at least before the descent into bathos and vulgarity at the end of the novel. It certainly deserves to be considered the "Great American Novel." I have always considered it comparable to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness; it captures, as no other book does, the essential horror and nullity at the heart of the American experience. No wonder it was one of the few American books Stalin permitted to be published in the Soviet Union during the Cold War! How amazing that so many people consider it to be a children's book!

The only other possible contender for the title of the "Great American Novel" is Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. It is an extended, sophisticated metaphor about Europe's rape of America and America's corruption of Europe.
Originally Posted by numan
'
By the way, objectively, the USA is an obstacle to the rest of the world. The most recent, obvious example of that fact is the present economic calamity.

.

Objectively? Perhaps any opinion you have is self defined as objective? Is it your (objective) assertion that economic crisis started with the creation of the USA and would never recur if the USA was to disappear? which nation do you propose as standard bearer whose leaders never make mistakes. Which country in history has achieved great power and not abused that power? Which nation has achieved a political system devoid of corruption by the wealthy? Which nation is populated by people that are not human, but near god like in their disdain for seeking personal benefit? Where is the Valhalla that we should all reference with adoration? Perhaps you would agree to be philosopher king of the world and save us all from ourselves?
Originally Posted by numan
'

Your criticism is incorrect. In fact, I praised jazz. It seems that, in your eyes, my sin lies in the fact that I did not over-praise it. All too many Americans feel outrage unless their country is over-praised.

By the way, objectively, the USA is an obstacle to the rest of the world. The most recent, obvious example of that fact is the present economic calamity.

.
im not interested in over praise. i said you can even find a way to denigrate it and my point is bolstered by this comment, written by you:
Quote
But jazz is the product of an oppressed minority of the US population; the dominant culture had no hand in its creation --- other than to make so many millions of their fellow Americans so miserable that they could only find an outlet for their feelings in musical creation.

Let's not forget these quintessential American inventions:

Roller Derby, Demolition Derby, and Costumed Wrestling

And what other country on Earth has a near-universally available media channel dedicated solely to presenting fake news stories to keep the mentally-challenged occupied?
Well, the cinema is a largely American creation, yes I know there are others, but I rest my case. Now just off the top of my head:

Leonard Bernstein
Cole Porter
John Williams
Stephen Sondheim
Esa pekka Salonen (while foreign born, most of his works were created while in residence in America)

John Singleton Copley
Albert Bierstadt
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Gehry

That is a start, go for it Numan.
Aaron Copeland, Andrew Weyth, e.e. cummings, O Henry, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Numan~Here I must challenge you. Culture or what anyone considers culture is subjective and a matter of taste. And there are some things that can transcend many tastes and be known for both very bad and supreme examples of said culture. You seem to be well-read, well-informed and well-experienced. You know what you like, what you think is sensible and can articulate very well that which is your opinion. I respect that and have agreed with you on several points. But I think.IMHO, that you do have a very anti-American view that colors any feeling towards and actually inhibits objectivity to anything produced or practiced by this country. i.e, when you damned Jazz with faint praise.

Americans have shown several instances of bad taste, bad music, bad art, bad dance, bad sense and bad actions. But that is not the strict purvue of Americans. That is a human condition and world-wide.

As I said on the RT, where this was first introduced by you. What one considers great or terrible is a matter of personal taste. I like American Blue, you prefer Canadian Red. One is better to me, the other to you. Neither wrong, just different.

I do have to admit, that I have liked most of your choices. You have shown a truly sophisticated palate and caused me to look over some of my own choices to enjoy all over again. I give you thanks for that.
I'm fond of John Henry Twachtman's work. He was an American.
John Wayne in "The Searchers".:-)
Yours in an artsy-fartsy mood,
Issodhos
Iss, you and I agree. The Searchers is one of my favorites and one of the best movies ever made. In fact, I like anything directed by John Ford, including The Grapes of Wrath with Henry Fonda, which I saw a few weeks ago.

I will also add, in the painting category, N.C. Wyeth. Pure American.

EmmaG
since you bring up the grapes of wrath, let us not forget steinbeck.
Absolutely, 2wins. I mentioned him the other day in the other thread.
Gee.... where'd numan go?? LOL
'

It may surprise you to know, Skyhawk, that I have a life, out side of this site. However, I am back!

.
Originally Posted by Ardy
Perhaps you would agree to be philosopher king of the world and save us all from ourselves?

I would attempt to save only those who could be saved. Triage, you know.

Quote
Is it your (objective) assertion that economic crisis started with the creation of the USA and would never recur if the USA was to disappear? which nation do you propose as standard bearer whose leaders never make mistakes. Which country in history has achieved great power and not abused that power? Which nation has achieved a political system devoid of corruption by the wealthy? Which nation is populated by people that are not human, but near god-like in their disdain for seeking personal benefit? Where is the Valhalla that we should all reference with adoration?

Thank you, Ardy, for pointing out the shortcomings of American society even more forcefully than I have --- even though it has nothing to do with the topic of this thread.

.
Originally Posted by 2wins
im not interested in over praise. i said you can even find a way to denigrate it [jazz] and my point is bolstered by this comment, written by you:

Originally Posted by numan
But jazz is the product of an oppressed minority of the US population; the dominant culture had no hand in its creation --- other than to make so many millions of their fellow Americans so miserable that they could only find an outlet for their feelings in musical creation.

I fear that your emotions of righteous indignation are causing you to say something which you do not mean.

I might be accused (even though unjustly) of denigrating the dominant culture of the USA, but there is not the slightest degree of criticism of jazz in the statement which you quoted.

.
Originally Posted by numan
It may surprise you to know, Skyhawk, that I have a life, out side of this site. However, I am back!
Must have been sleeping, eh?

'

Excellent! That was almost droll, Skyhawk!

You seem to have some embers of humor in your nature; I hope that you will fan them into a brighter fire!

.
Originally Posted by numan
'

Excellent! That was almost droll, Skyhawk!

You seem to have some embers of humor in your nature; I hope that you will fan them into a brighter fire!

.

being patronising really persuades people doesnt it?
Originally Posted by Schlack
Originally Posted by numan
'

Excellent! That was almost droll, Skyhawk!

You seem to have some embers of humor in your nature; I hope that you will fan them into a brighter fire!

.

being patronising really persuades people doesnt it?
[Linked Image] ROTFMOL
Originally Posted by Scoutgal
Numan~Here I must challenge you. Culture or what anyone considers culture is subjective and a matter of taste. And there are some things that can transcend many tastes and be known for both very bad and supreme examples of said culture.

I think that we agree much more than we disagree.

I think it is wise to make a distinction between taste, which is subjective, and aesthetic judgment, which has a core that is objective, and does not change.

I agree with Shakespeare, when he has Hamlet say,

"Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of which, one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others."

The objective core of art is notoriously difficult to define, but in a finger-pointing way of defining it, I think it comes down to the traditional clich� of the Good, the True, the Harmonious. As Plato said in the Philebus,

"If we are not able to capture the Good in a single idea, we shall do so with three: Beauty, Harmony, and Truth."

The highest works of art are those which best permit goodness, truth and harmony to shine through them; that is why Bach and Mozart are greater than any rock-and-roll or heavy metal music.

It may be objected that even in heavy metal music, American militarism and Nazi ritual there are aesthetic components which have a certain "beauty" of their own. This is true, but to become Platonic, these are very dim, fading shadows of the true Beauty which shines forth in the great works of Art. In general, whatever aesthetic components such trash possesses are merely formal, superficial craftsmanship and illuminate true Beauty very ill. Bach, on the other hand, raises us to a transcendent realm where we glimpse what the angels sing to God.

Germany produced Bach, and many, many other towering figures in the arts. Europe is resplendent with Great Art.

The United States produced Elvis.

American barbarism, if it had any sense, would bend the knee and worship at the shrine of European Greatness.

.
Originally Posted by Schlack
being patronising really persuades people doesnt it?

And flattering their vanity rarely causes them to think.

.
Originally Posted by numan
And flattering their vanity rarely causes them to think.
We'll remember not to do that to you, numan. LOL
Trying to avoid those that have been mentioned and granting that even the best can produce clunkers, I offer for consideration:

Arthur Miller
Eugene O'Neill
Stephen Crane
H.L. Mencken
Lillian Hellman
Cecil B. deMille
W. D. Griffith
Frank Baum
Robert Frost
Gwendolyn Brooks
Frank Norris
Clifford Odets
William Faulkner
Gene Kelly
Langston Hughes
Louisa May Alcott
Jack Wolf
Washington Irving
Harper Lee
Ernie Kovacs
Robin Williams
Charles Schultz
Al Capp
Jim Henson
Walt Disney

for starters
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by 2wins
im not interested in over praise. i said you can even find a way to denigrate it [jazz] and my point is bolstered by this comment, written by you:

Originally Posted by numan
But jazz is the product of an oppressed minority of the US population; the dominant culture had no hand in its creation --- other than to make so many millions of their fellow Americans so miserable that they could only find an outlet for their feelings in musical creation.

I fear that your emotions of righteous indignation are causing you to say something which you do not mean.

I might be accused (even though unjustly) of denigrating the dominant culture of the USA, but there is not the slightest degree of criticism of jazz in the statement which you quoted.

.
first, do not pretend to tell me what i mean. you may well possess a great deal of rote knowledge and you might even have a bit of that old high brow palate, but your intelligence is centered in your ego and your arrogance knows no bounds. yes, yes, we are called upon here to avoid such remarks but it is impossible to sit back and watch this go on without saying it outright. too bad for you, numan - interesting nomenclature by the way - because you are missing out on so much of the beauty that is life from the perch where you have placed yourself. i hope one day you will come down off that self-imposed perch and join the rest of us low brows by enjoying the dirt and grime and toil that is the human race. it's actually one of the finest places i have ever been and i have been just about every place a person could possibly go. good luck to you on your journey, i hope you find what you're looking for.
Originally Posted by numan
And flattering their vanity rarely causes them to think.

Originally Posted by SkyHawk
We'll remember not to do that to you, numan. LOL

I cannot remember any instance of you sinking to that level of vulgarity. wink

.
Originally Posted by 2wins
first, do not pretend to tell me what i mean. you may well possess a great deal of rote knowledge and you might even have a bit of that old high brow palate, but your intelligence is centered in your ego and your arrogance knows no bounds.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.... wink

.
'

Neither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered
that they are fools. This is the first step toward becoming either estimable
or agreeable; and until it is taken there is no hope.

--- Lord Melbourne

.
Anyone who breaks into "nanny nanny boo boo" gets a time out.

Julia, the Ranter
oh dear, guess its a time out for me
Originally Posted by EmmaG
I will also add, in the painting category, N.C. Wyeth. Pure American.

EmmaG
Andrew Wyeth was not bad, either. ThumbsUp
[Linked Image]
Yours,
Issodhos
Originally Posted by numan
My innocent remarks about H.P. Lovecraft piqued the interest of a number of Ranters, so I thought I would start a thread to go more deeply into the matter....
I missed you remarks about Lovecraft, but are you familiar with the works of another American writer very strongly influenced by him - Robert E. Howard?

Originally Posted by numan
I have often wondered why the USA has produced almost nothing but second- and third-raters in the arts --- particularly in literature.
Is it necessarily a reasonable comparison to make between the artistic accomplishments of a culture that is barely four centuries old and its European parentage that has 2.5 millennia of development? Or to the East Asian cultures that you so obviously admire and their four millennia of artistic treasure?
Originally Posted by Ron G.
Is it necessarily a reasonable comparison to make between the artistic accomplishments of a culture that is barely four centuries old and its European parentage that has 2.5 millennia of development? Or to the East Asian cultures that you so obviously admire and their four millennia of artistic treasure?

The point you make is worthy of consideration, but it merely shrinks the arena of comparisons to a span of four centuries. During that four centuries, Europe has vastly outshone America in art and letters.

Moreover, America has not sprung from the forehead of Zeus; in the main, it is a side-branch of European culture. That makes the degeneration into barbarism of its culture all the more appalling,
'

The essential failure of America is that it has no High Culture.

Let me emphasize that I am not referring to the culture of a snobbish clique. I allude to what I mentioned in a previous posting here. The goal of High Culture is the elevation of the spirit; it is centered around the pursuit of the Good, the True and the Beautiful. It drives consciousness into realms which could never have been conceived without the transcendent fire of artistic creation.

To paraphrase Aristotle:

True Art is the energy of the soul at its highest peak, as it pursues the goal of existence.

It is a measure of the utter degradation of American consciousness that these statements sound ridiculous or incomprehensible to most Americans.

American life is dominated by pop culture and mass entertainment. Profit is its driving force, not the expansion of consciousness. Its "art" is ephemeral, shallow, the "suppliance of a moment" --- which is inevitable, since most Americans no longer have the ability to concentrate their minds for any length of time.

It is this almost total lack of a High Culture, and the triumph of garbage in the marketplace, that renders plausible the false view that art is a matter of taste, rather than the traditional view that there is an inner core to art which is real and unchanging.
Numan -

I have, I am sorry to say, serious questions about your taste.

Over time you have suggested that Americans have no real culture, that our population is ignorant, uneducated, and devoid of curiosity. You feel that our government is deeply disordered, corrupt, self-serving, and fatally flawed.

Given that most of the members of this board are Americans, your views and your values must make spending time at RR a bit like a visit with the tattooed denizens of a trailer park.

You are, of course, welcome here; you always have been. But there must be boards like this where the membership is primarily Canadian, European, anything but American; I find myself shaking my head that you continue to spend your time with us.

I can only assume that other sites have not been as welcoming - or perhaps you prefer feeling like the fast fish in a slow pond.

Still, I feel it wise to remind you that there are many boards in the webisphere where you could express your opinion without running the risk of insulting the other posters, where your erudition could be appreciated by members who were raised and educated to value it properly, and where those members can engage with you on a more equitable level.

Until you find a board like that you will, of course, continue to be welcome here.

Julia
Poster
Thank you, Julia. You say things so nicely.
Indeed, Julia. Thank you.
Numan, to put it bluntly, you are either woefully uninformed or just plain wrong. America is widely recognized as the heart of modern "high" culture and your statements to the contrary exhibit either animus or ignorance.
I believe the one truly distinctive feature of American Arts and Letters is not really geographic, but rather temporal. We have simply moved beyond the times that a single individual can be a true polymath. During most of the centuries of European Culture, an intelligent person with adequate resources could (and usually did) master almost all of the science and literature available in their time. That is impossible now.

The result is that we see very few scientists, engineers, or doctors writing great literature (or even studying it much). We see very few great writers who have studied any technical field. Most "technical writers" are just people who didn't get very far in a technical field or writers who study a bit of science and technology to get to the "hobbyist level". And we see an awful lot of humanities majors who can't program their own digital watches.

Just because there is a self-referencing circle of "intellectuals" who see themselves as the epitome of civilization, doesn't mean they really understand much outside their self-inflated little puddle of "fine literature", "fine art", and "fine music". The highly-intelligent in America (and pretty much everywhere else, too, these days) go into engineering, or medicine, or the "hard" sciences.

Quote
I would occasionally purchase the works of other sages, who enjoyed great riches and the sweets of success, to learn what sort of things they wrote about. Well, they wrote about the difference between the front and the rear, about the wondrous structure of the Tyrant's throne, its sweeping arms and all-enduring legs, and tracts about good manners, and detailed descriptions of this and that, during which no one ever praised himself in any way, and yet it worked out somehow that Phrensius stood in awe of Schneckon, and Schneckon of Phrensius, while both were lauded by the Logarites. And then there were the Voltaic brothers catapulted to fame: Vaulter elevated Vauntor, Vauntor elevated Vanitole, and Vanitole did likewise for Vaultor.

Stanislaw Lem, from The Cyberiad
Originally Posted by Mellowicious
Over time you have suggested that Americans have no real culture, that our population is ignorant, uneducated, and devoid of curiosity. You feel that our government is deeply disordered, corrupt, self-serving, and fatally flawed.

I think that is a fair assessment of my views.

The great problem is that Americans, by and large, think that they have a superior society, and in fact, in so many ways, it is a very inferior society. Americans refuse to recognize this, and this "false consciousness," this disconnect between reality and belief, is at the heart of much of the evil that infects modern America. This is what makes Americans such easy prey to all the lies they are told, and which they tell themselves. Until they have the courage to face the truth, there is no hope for them.

Like Socrates, I am a gadfly, asking questions and pointing out truths which most Americans find very "inconvenient." If we were living in ancient Athens, I am sure there are some people who, having read my innocuous remarks, would already have forced me to drink hemlock.

This reaction of rage and dislike are, I think, an indication that what I am saying is true. If Americans are such a self-confident, liberty-loving people, why would they resent my remarks so much? Cultivated Europeans, by and large, would not react in such a manner. Civilized people have been trained to be able to listen to anything without losing their their tempers or their self-confidence.

As to why I do what I do: I am an American who actually wants a better America --- as opposed to all those who merely profess, amid the rockets red glare and flags waving in air, to love their country. I hope, perhaps vainly, that some people will wake up to the true condition of their society before it is too late. As someone far more awake than I reputedly said, "There are some whose eyes are only lightly covered with dust; it is for them that I will speak the truth."
After reading what you wrote Numan, I strongly urge the purchase of a mirror.
Originally Posted by numan
This reaction of rage and dislike are, I think, an indication that what I am saying is true. If Americans are such a self-confident, liberty-loving people, why would they resent my remarks so much? Cultivated Europeans, by and large, would not react in such a manner. Civilized people have been trained to be able to listen to anything without losing their their tempers or their self-confidence.
numan, you amuse me more than anything. LOL

Quote
As to why I do what I do: I am an American who actually wants a better America.
So, presumably, after receiving a formal education in America and being employed by American organizations that gave you a pension, you ran away to Canada in order to bring about a better America.

Ya know, numan... I think you have succeeded. America IS better for your choice. ROTFMOL ThumbsUp
Quote
why would they resent my remarks so much?

Numan, I believe you are confusing "resentment" with "ennui."

There is no hemlock here.
numan i read and re-read your most recent post and i am constantly reminded of germany, france, spain and italy during the first half of the 20th century. you could easily be describing what took place during the rise of european fascism. so that leads me to ask, precisely what group of europeans are you speaking for in this last post?
Originally Posted by numan
The great problem is that Americans, by and large, think that they have a superior society,
I hardlyt think Americans are unique in this. As far as I can tell, nearly every nation ion the world thinks they are "special".... if you talk to the greeks, they think they are special above all aother, as do the japanese, as do the chinese, as do the french, as do the germans. The mexicans think that they are the best, and every other latin american nation is sure they are wrong. Blacks despise the koreans, and vice versa.

In any case, while it is true that many americans are proud of the nation's accomplishments... only a small minority would choose lasting artistic achievement as the best measure of that greatness.

Further it is rather absurd to compare Elvis with Bach... and judeg a society based upon that comparison. And then call that an objective measure. We might as well comparte ABBA to Copeland and judge the Europeans based upon that "objective" measure.

I am not convinced that mass culture in any nation is particularly admirable. I have done some traveling in India... and as far as I can tell, the mass culture there is significantly below the classical raga standard that you mention. I would say that most Bollywood movies adehere to an even lower standard than their hollywood compatriots.

I also have traveled in Europe... and have had several restaurant meals ruined by blasting euro pop music. Not to mention people smoking beside me.
Quote
Like Socrates, I am a gadfly, asking questions and pointing out truths which most Americans find very "inconvenient."
And your quest to enlighten americans is furthered by comparing elvis to bach?
Quote
If we were living in ancient Athens, I am sure there are some people who, having read my innocuous remarks, would already have forced me to drink hemlock.

This reaction of rage and dislike are, I think, an indication that what I am saying is true.

It is not difficult to go to a foreign nation and make remarks that generate rage and dislike. It is even possible that those comments might be true.... although rage generation is no measure of truth. YOu could go to Israel and deny the holocaust... it would generate rage without any connection to truth.

But, lets suppose that we go to some nation and make truthful comments that generate rage.... I would never the less wonder if such and excercise would be inherently instructive for that nation. Perhaps the only point of the excercise would be our own self gratification
Quote
As someone far more awake than I reputedly said, "There are some whose eyes are only lightly covered with dust; it is for them that I will speak the truth."

Thanks for pointing out that Elvis is not Bach.... that was very enlightening.
Originally Posted by SkyHawk
So, presumably, after receiving a formal education in America and being employed by American organizations that gave you a pension, you ran away to Canada in order to bring about a better America.

I wish my fellow man (and woman) well, but I am not suicidal. I see little point in standing shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with those who are determined to destroy themselves.

"It is not reasonable that a wise man should hazard himself for his country,
and endanger wisdom for a set of fools."

--- Theodorus of Cyrene

Moreover, I have, much more than most Americans, opposed corrupt power, and put my life and happiness into jeopardy. Now, in my sunset years, I think it is the responsibility of younger people to pick up the torch. I have only words left to contribute.

I understand your remarks, and where they are coming from, but they are unjust. A wise man suspends judgment until he has all the facts.

Originally Posted by Mellowicious
Numan, I believe you are confusing "resentment" with "ennui."

There may be ennui, but there is also resentment --- and active hatred.

Quote
There is no hemlock here.

Tell that to Martin Luther King.

.
Originally Posted by Ardy
We might as well comparte ABBA to Copeland ...


Yeah! Ya'll never hear of Merryl Streep starring in a movie built around Copeland tunes. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL
Originally Posted by numan
There may be ennui, but there is also resentment --- and active hatred.


Or could it be that some of us are just having ... fun?
Originally Posted by humphreysmar
Originally Posted by numan
There may be ennui, but there is also resentment --- and active hatred.


Or could it be that some of us are just having ... fun?

Unlikely since numan has already made an objective detiminatiuon that americans are lacking in humor
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by SkyHawk
So, presumably, after receiving a formal education in America and being employed by American organizations that gave you a pension, you ran away to Canada in order to bring about a better America.

I wish my fellow man (and woman) well, but I am not suicidal. I see little point in standing shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with those who are determined to destroy themselves.

"It is not reasonable that a wise man should hazard himself for his country,
and endanger wisdom for a set of fools."

--- Theodorus of Cyrene

Moreover, I have, much more than most Americans, opposed corrupt power, and put my life and happiness into jeopardy. Now, in my sunset years, I think it is the responsibility of younger people to pick up the torch. I have only words left to contribute.

I understand your remarks, and where they are coming from, but they are unjust. A wise man suspends judgment until he has all the facts.

Originally Posted by Mellowicious
Numan, I believe you are confusing "resentment" with "ennui."

There may be ennui, but there is also resentment --- and active hatred.

Quote
There is no hemlock here.

Tell that to Martin Luther King.

.
violin
Originally Posted by 2wins
violin

Thank you for your sympathy --- and lack of resentment.

.
Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
After reading what you wrote Numan, I strongly urge the purchase of a mirror.

Why would I need a mirror, when I have you?

.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by 2wins
violin

Thank you for your sympathy --- and lack of resentment.

.
well, at least you get that i have no resentment. but pity would be more like it numan. and numan, pause for a moment and think about this board. do you really think you are not on a board with people of the world? most of us, as i have come to know many over the years, have much experience in the world outside the u.s. and most of us are not the type to bleed red white and blue. however, we do possess the ability to see beauty beyond the scars and the grime that is accumulated by any culture. for better or worse, i have never looked upon us as an exclusive entity in the world. rather we are a part of a whole. and whole of course is the human race. and for all of humanity's foibles, downfalls and shortcomings, we are capable of great beauty, compassion and despite the obvious trend toward destruction, there are still many both in this nation and throughout the world who work toward overcoming those shortcomings both in ourselves and the human race. if you cannot see that, the violin that plays is an expression of my pity, not sympathy. and yes, i did get the sarcasm in your post. your sarcasm is difficult to miss.
Originally Posted by numan
Moreover, I have, much more than most Americans, opposed corrupt power, and put my life and happiness into jeopardy. Now, in my sunset years, I think it is the responsibility of younger people to pick up the torch. I have only words left to contribute.
Then perhaps what we see amply demonstrated in your words here is the bitterness of your own experience rather than true objectivity.

Quote
A wise man suspends judgment until he has all the facts.
Indeed.
Quote
As to why I do what I do: I am an American who actually wants a better America --- as opposed to all those who merely profess, amid the rockets red glare and flags waving in air, to love their country. I hope, perhaps vainly, that some people will wake up to the true condition of their society before it is too late
Bold is mine.

Why???

And how will spending time on RR...with its preponderant population of senior citizens...be productive in effecting that end? Methinks posting on a predominantly youthful board would be far more profitable. Old dogs can learn new tricks, but may not want to.

Personally, I find beauty in what I find beauty in; it may not be what amazes or delights you, but why should that be my...or anyone else's...concern? [Linked Image]
Quote
Arthur Miller
Eugene O'Neill
Stephen Crane
H.L. Mencken
Lillian Hellman
Cecil B. deMille
W. D. Griffith
Frank Baum
Robert Frost
Gwendolyn Brooks
Frank Norris
Clifford Odets
William Faulkner
Gene Kelly
Langston Hughes
Louisa May Alcott
Jack Wolf
Washington Irving
Harper Lee
Ernie Kovacs
Robin Williams
Charles Schultz
Al Capp
Jim Henson
Walt Disney

Awesome list, Martha!! Bow
Originally Posted by 2wins
most of us, as i have come to know many over the years, have much experience in the world outside the u.s. and most of us are not the type to bleed red white and blue. however, we do possess the ability to see beauty beyond the scars and the grime that is accumulated by any culture. for better or worse, i have never looked upon us as an exclusive entity in the world. rather we are a part of a whole. and whole of course is the human race. and for all of humanity's foibles, downfalls and shortcomings, we are capable of great beauty, compassion and despite the obvious trend toward destruction, there are still many both in this nation and throughout the world who work toward overcoming those shortcomings both in ourselves and the human race.

2wins, everything you have written could have been said about many decent Germans during the Nazi regime, but that does not change the fact that the Nazi state and society were evil.

.
'

Getting back to the topic of the thread, I would never say that there is no aesthetic virtue at all in the inferior productions of American mass culture, but these worthy elements are swamped by the vastly greater amount of evil that is propagated by this "culture."

Plato had justification for wishing that inferior art be banished from his ideal Republic --- which was, of course, a metaphor for banishing it from the life and consciousness of the individual person.

Even if we do not go so far, it is wise to treat any art which is not worthy to be considered High Culture as a dangerous drug, which may serve some positive ends, but which should always be used with a keen consciousness of the evils which it may introduce into the purity of the soul.

.
I have been re-reading, and thinking, and perhaps Numan has a point.

I see most of us spending our time on this site being critical of the world in general and the US in particular, and suggesting ways in which we think it could be improved.

But there is obviously a poster or two out there who has flown under my radar, and as a mod, that concerns me.

So before this conversations goes much further, I'd like to hear from that poster or posters - you know, the ones running around waving American flags, who believe the war against Iraq was in retaliation for an injury done to us by that country.

I want to hear from the poster who believes all our government officials are fairly elected and pure as the driven snow.

I want to know which of us think that what the starving people of the world need is another McDonald's.

I want to hear from the fool who says "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and "American Idol" are great gifts America gave to the world, and inform him or her that both those shows originated in Great Britain.

Who is it that is driving Numan to educate us all? Step up!
numan has offered a wholesale condemnation of the human race both here and on other threads. he is baiting and clearly enjoying the ride.
Originally Posted by 2wins
numan has offered a wholesale condemnation of the human race both here and on other threads. he is baiting and clearly enjoying the ride.
Yep, he certainly is a Master baiter.

(Think I'll blame that one on Naomi. wink )
Originally Posted by numan
'


Even if we do not go so far, it is wise to treat any art which is not worthy to be considered High Culture as a dangerous drug, which may serve some positive ends, but which should always be used with a keen consciousness of the evils which it may introduce into the purity of the soul.

The "purity of the soul"??? Well, damn, my soul must be fetid, putrid mess...because when all is said and done, just gimme some of that ol' time rock & roll!!! What could be more American than that!!!
funny how rock n roll seems to have become such a universal sound too. but alas, it must be our low culture appealing to the common masses, unawares of our insidious plan to infiltrate their minds with our garbage in hopes of lower the global common denominator.
Originally Posted by numan
'


Plato had justification for wishing that inferior art be banished from his ideal Republic --- which was, of course, a metaphor for banishing it from the life and consciousness of the individual person.

Why stop at just banishing "inferior art"? Let's just banish "inferior people." That way, there will no longer be consumers of inferior art! Problem solved.

"I know, it's only rock 'n roll, but I like, like it, yes I do!"
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
Awesome list, Martha!! Bow


Thank you. And the more I think about my choices and read this thread, I realize that, to me, an honest attempt at art, even Art, needs to present what the person perceives as truth and/or in some way pushes the envelope.

I'm not as highfallutin' as Numan.
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
Why stop at just banishing "inferior art"? Let's just banish "inferior people." That way, there will no longer be consumers of inferior art! Problem solved.

You're really stretching for it there, aren't you? rolleyes

.
Originally Posted by numan
Plato had justification for wishing that inferior art be banished from his ideal Republic --- which was, of course, a metaphor for banishing it from the life and consciousness of the individual person.


Which is why I've alwaya believed Aristotle to be far superior to Plato.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
Why stop at just banishing "inferior art"? Let's just banish "inferior people." That way, there will no longer be consumers of inferior art! Problem solved.
You're really stretching for it there, aren't you? rolleyes

Nah. Just another form of Nazi-like thinking. grin Sort of like people who cough shouldn't be allowed outside.
Originally Posted by SkyHawk
Yep, he certainly is a Master baiter.

Am I a baiter, or am I just someone who is trying to get people to think in something other than clich�s?

You know, for there to be a baiter, there must be someone who is baited.

If people would just calm down and look dispassionately at the pros and cons of a matter, the intellectual life of the human race would be more aesthetically pleasing.

.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
Why stop at just banishing "inferior art"? Let's just banish "inferior people." That way, there will no longer be consumers of inferior art! Problem solved.

You're really stretching for it there, aren't you? rolleyes

.
`he's really not saying anything you haven't already said, nu-man.
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
The "purity of the soul"??? Well, damn, my soul must be fetid, putrid mess...because when all is said and done, just gimme some of that ol' time rock & roll!!! What could be more American than that!!!

"Musical modes are nowhere altered without changes in the most important laws of the state."
--- Damon of Athens [quoted in Plato's Republic]

.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by SkyHawk
Yep, he certainly is a Master baiter.

Am I a baiter, or am I just someone who is trying to get people to think in something other than clich�s?

You know, for there to be a baiter, there must be someone who is baited.

If people would just calm down and look dispassionately at the pros and cons of a matter, the intellectual life of the human race would be more aesthetically pleasing.

.
perhaps you really are sincere in your endeavors nu-man, which really makes it all the more disturbing.
Originally Posted by 2wins
funny how rock n roll seems to have become such a universal sound too. but alas, it must be our low culture appealing to the common masses, unawares of our insidious plan to infiltrate their minds with our garbage in hopes of lowering the global common denominator.

How percipient of you to realize this truth.

.
Of course, rock and roll was hugely influenced by British performers - some of whom were influenced, in turn, by American blues - but I think there would be a bit of an uproar in Great Britain if Americans were to take all credit for the art form.

You know who I'm talking about - bands like, oh, the Rolling Stones, and the Kinks, and those other guys (there were four of them, but really they had so little input that it's no wonder I can't think of the name...)
Originally Posted by numan
Plato had justification for wishing that inferior art be banished from his ideal Republic --- which was, of course, a metaphor for banishing it from the life and consciousness of the individual person.


Originally Posted by humphreysmar
Which is why I've always believed Aristotle to be far superior to Plato.

You should remember that Plato was the teacher of Aristotle.

To write about one or the other being superior to the other is a singularly unproductive way of thinking --- they are not really comparable. They were, in general, pursuing different purposes.

All my life I have heard so much blither about Plato! If only people would actually read Plato, rather than parroting the clich�s they have heard about him!

People seem to be determined to misunderstand the Republic! Plato had his political ideas, but the Republic should be viewed primarily as an extended metaphor, as a disquisition upon the proper ordering of the individual human soul. For cryin' out loud, Plato himself says this as clearly as anyone could:

"{Glaucon and the rest] wanted to arrive at the truth, first, about the nature of justice and injustice, and secondly, about their relative advantages. I told them what I really thought: that the enquiry would be of a serious nature, and would require very good eyes. Seeing then, I said, that we are no great wits, I think that we had better adopt a method which I may illustrate thus: suppose that a short-sighted person had been asked by some one to read small letters from a distance; and it occurred to some one else that they might be found in another place, which was larger, and in which the letters were larger --if they were the same text, and he could read the larger letters first, and then proceed to the smaller -- this would have been a rare piece of good fortune!

Very true, said Adeimantus; but how does the illustration apply to our enquiry?

I will tell you, I replied; justice, which is the subject of our enquiry, is, as you know, sometimes spoken of as the virtue of an individual, and sometimes as the virtue of a State.

True, he replied.

And is not a State larger than an individual?

It is.

Then, in the larger, the quantity of justice is likely to be larger and more easily discernible. I propose therefore that we enquire into the nature of justice and injustice, first as they appear in the State, and secondly in the individual, proceeding from the greater to the smaller and comparing them."

--- Book II, 368D

Quote
You know, for there to be a baiter, there must be someone who is baited.

But no harm done unless the baitee is gullible enough to bite.

Quote
If people would just calm down and look dispassionately at the pros and cons of a matter, the intellectual life of the human race would be more aesthetically pleasing.
If that means to make no judgments at all, I completely agree. But since the second part of that sentence is a judgment, I guess that's not what you meant.
Ya know, I used to hear this stuff when I worked for Russian-American TV. The Russkies would grumble and snort "Amerikka not have any culture!"

It's a stuffy, elitist sort of argument that attempts to narrowly define what constitutes culture itself in the first place, and then when anything outside it's tiny sphere intrudes, the reaction is to narrow the circle further in an attempt to exclude more.

I see it used everywhere, from country clubs that dread "Jews and Negroes" to Taliban purists who insist that everyone else is
"not a true Muslim" to auto race sanctioning bodies that rule out previously qualified engines that win too many races.

But if it's one thing America is the very best at, it's at being the Great Cultural Aggregator and Integrator.
From the American cultural mixing bowl have come the very greatest hybrid cultural offspring and indeed, the very greatest dissemination of culture itself.

But the anti-miscegenation wing of the cultural purists are routinely horrified that anyone would dare to mix cultural inputs, to which I can only quote in response from Steve Martin:

"Funky Tut - he's mah favorite HONKY!"

That's a cultural grab and paste spanning what, six thousand years? Stick THAT in your Thomas Eakins.

Originally Posted by numan
"{Glaucon and the rest] wanted to arrive at the truth, first, about the nature of justice and injustice, and secondly, about their relative advantages. I told them what I really thought: that the enquiry would be of a serious nature, and would require very good eyes. Seeing then, I said, that we are no great wits, I think that we had better adopt a method which I may illustrate thus: suppose that a short-sighted person had been asked by some one to read small letters from a distance; and it occurred to some one else that they might be found in another place, which was larger, and in which the letters were larger --if they were the same text, and he could read the larger letters first, and then proceed to the smaller -- this would have been a rare piece of good fortune!

Very true, said Adeimantus; but how does the illustration apply to our enquiry?

I will tell you, I replied; justice, which is the subject of our enquiry, is, as you know, sometimes spoken of as the virtue of an individual, and sometimes as the virtue of a State.

True, he replied.

And is not a State larger than an individual?

It is.

Then, in the larger, the quantity of justice is likely to be larger and more easily discernible. I propose therefore that we enquire into the nature of justice and injustice, first as they appear in the State, and secondly in the individual, proceeding from the greater to the smaller and comparing them."

--- Book II, 368D

Im gonna write a little letter,
Gonna mail it to my local dj.
Its a rockin rhythm record
I want my jockey to play.
Roll over beethoven, I gotta hear it again today.

You know, my temperatures risin
And the jukebox blows a fuse.
My hearts beatin rhythm
And my soul keeps on singin the blues.
Roll over beethoven and tell tschaikowsky the news.

I got the rockin pneumonia,
I need a shot of rhythm and blues.
I think Im rollin arthiritis
Sittin down by the rhythm review.
Roll over beethoven rockin in two by two.

Well, if you feel you like it
Go get your lover, then reel and rock it.
Roll it over and move on up just
A trifle further and reel and rock it,
Roll it over,
Roll over beethoven rockin in two by two.

Well, early in the mornin Im a-givin you a warnin
Dont you step on my blue suede shoes.
Hey diddle diddle, I am playin my fiddle,
Aint got nothin to lose.
Roll over beethoven and tell tschaikowsky the news.

You know she wiggles like a glow worm,
Dance like a spinnin top.
She got a crazy partner,
Oughta see em reel and rock.
Long as she got a dime the music will never stop.

Roll over beethoven,
Roll over beethoven,
Roll over beethoven,
Roll over beethoven,
Roll over beethoven and dig these rhythm and blues.


Chuck Berry -- 1956
Originally Posted by Mellowicious
Of course, rock and roll was hugely influenced by British performers - some of whom were influenced, in turn, by American blues - but I think there would be a bit of an uproar in Great Britain if Americans were to take all credit for the art form.

You know who I'm talking about - bands like, oh, the Rolling Stones, and the Kinks, and those other guys (there were four of them, but really they had so little input that it's no wonder I can't think of the name...)
ill give your assertion this much, julia, the brits did advance the form light years, but rock and roll is purely american. but
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by 2wins
funny how rock n roll seems to have become such a universal sound too. but alas, it must be our low culture appealing to the common masses, unawares of our insidious plan to infiltrate their minds with our garbage in hopes of lowering the global common denominator.

How percipient of you to realize this truth.

.
the truth is, i like doughnuts for breakfast but can't eat them because the sugar makes me irritable.
[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by 2wins
Originally Posted by Mellowicious
Of course, rock and roll was hugely influenced by British performers - some of whom were influenced, in turn, by American blues - but I think there would be a bit of an uproar in Great Britain if Americans were to take all credit for the art form.

You know who I'm talking about - bands like, oh, the Rolling Stones, and the Kinks, and those other guys (there were four of them, but really they had so little input that it's no wonder I can't think of the name...)
ill give your assertion this much, julia, the brits did advance the form light years, but rock and roll is purely american. but

Paul McCartney once said that there would have been no Beatles if there hadn't first been Crickets, referring, of course, to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.
Quote
And is not a State larger than an individual?

It is.
[Linked Image]
'

It has been noted that subtlety in artistic expression seems to flourish in compact, homogeneous cultures.

As examples, one may point to Japan and traditional English culture.

The smallest hints may convey a world of meaning to those who share a common body of discourse.

In contrast, large heterogenous states, like the USA, lack subtlety, because people of widely different backgrounds literally do not understand what other people are saying.

In such conditions, subtlety and wit are almost impossible, and only the loudest, coarsest expression is likely to be understood.

In Japan and England, litotes, or understatement, flourishes, while Americans are notorious for hyperbole.

Consider the (highly superior) writing of Aldous Huxley, and compare it with the blatant, in-your-face style of Mark Twain or Gore Vidal.

In humor, I may express what I mean by citing these two examples:

A Texan, having bragged at length to an Englishman about the superiority of Texas in all things, concluded: "And do you know that all of little-bitty ole England would fit into just one corner of Texas?" The Englishman replied in a tone of sweet innocence: "Yes, and wouldn't it do wonders for the place!"

Versus:

An American, travelling with his son in England, met two Englishmen whilst riding in a first-class railway carriage. They began talking to each other, and the American enjoyed the conversation very much. Just before parting, the American said, "I've enjoyed this very much, but I still don't know your names." One of the travellers said, "Oh, I am the Earl of Widwater, and this is my friend, His Grace the Duke of Chalfont." The American replied, "Well, I am pleased to make your acquaintance, and may I introduce my son, Jesus Christ."

.
In your second "joke", how is it that the cultured Englishmen are so devoid of proper etiquette as to not introduce themselves but deign to carry on a conversation with an uncouth American?
Originally Posted by 2wins
the truth is, i like doughnuts for breakfast but can't eat them because the sugar makes me irritable.

Ah, that explains it!

PS: By the way, thank you for exemplifying American hyperbole.

.
Originally Posted by Scoutgal
In your second "joke", how is it that the cultured Englishmen are so devoid of proper etiquette as not to introduce themselves but deign to carry on a conversation with an uncouth American?

I was hoping no one would notice that --- but after all, it is an American joke, not an English one.
[Linked Image] now you see, i prefer corn pones. but there are some who wouldn't understand the virtue of such a local food because they have not had the advantage of experiencing such a local culture. instead, they rely upon the parochial misconception that they have experienced all that could possibly be experienced; in short they believe they have reached the apex of indulgence. too bad, really, 'cause corn pones, hot off the skillet, smattered in hot butter, with a helping of fresh cut greens soaked in pepper vinegar, well not even the finest palate would pass it up if that palate was adventurous enough to indulge in such a low economy.
Originally Posted by numan
Consider the (highly superior) writing of Aldous Huxley, and compare it with the blatant, in-your-face style of Mark Twain or Gore Vidal.

I'll see your Huxley and raise him with a Kinky Friedman.
There's more subtlety in Kinky's little finger than a planet full of Huxleys.

And there's always Harlan Ellison.
If you can't see the subtlety in Ellison you should lose a finger.

Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
Originally Posted by numan
Consider the (highly superior) writing of Aldous Huxley, and compare it with the blatant, in-your-face style of Mark Twain or Gore Vidal.

I'll see your Huxley and raise him with a Kinky Friedman.
There's more subtlety in Kinky's little finger than a planet full of Huxleys.

And there's always Harlan Ellison.
If you can't see the subtlety in Ellison you should lose a finger.
but but ... kinky's a texican. you cain't git no more low brow then a texican.
"You cannot truely appreciate Shakespeare until you've heard it in the original Klingon."
remember folks, for those of us arguing with our esteemed expat, we are 'mericans and by virtue of that fact, would lose said argument. we cain't gain no ground 'cause we ain't got none in the first place. rolleyes
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
"You cannot truely appreciate Shakespeare until you've heard it in the original Klingon."
now you're talking brother.
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
Ya know, I used to hear this stuff when I worked for Russian-American TV. The Russkies would grumble and snort "Amerikka not have any culture!"

It's a stuffy, elitist sort of argument that attempts to narrowly define what constitutes culture itself in the first place, and then when anything outside it's tiny sphere intrudes, the reaction is to narrow the circle further in an attempt to exclude more.

Well, culture is very important to Russians.

It is true that the worship of culture can degenerate into snobbism, but this is true only of people with baser characters. True culture expands one's horizons; it does not narrow them.

Americans tend to be so defensive when confronted with culture. It is an indication that, on some level, they understand that they are lacking in this regard.

.
Strang;

I�ve read just about all of The Kinkster�s novels and have a few favorites, Road Kill and Elvis, Jesus, and Coca Cola come to mind. But I was wondering how he did in the governors election? Never heard much about that and was wondering if old Kinky was subsequently found swinging from a shower curtain rod?
Quote
they understand that they are lacking in this regard.
i always felt the british lacked an overall creativity in their food.
[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
"You cannot truly appreciate Shakespeare until you've heard it in the original Klingon."

Well, I have studied the pronuciation of English in Shakespeare's time. It is quite different from both American English and modern Received Pronuciation in Britain. It does deepen one's appreciation of Shakespeare to hear it as he would have spoken it.

I find it as disagreeable to listen to the language of modern English Shakespearean actors as to hear Americans mangle the language. [The horror of listening to Charleton Heston attempting to act in Julius Caesar I shall never, never forget!]

PS: Schlack, of all modern English dialects, Irish English comes closest to Shakespeare's language. Cromwell and all those other Tudor and Stuart invaders, you know.
Quote
Americans tend to be so defensive when confronted with culture. It is an indication that, on some level, they understand that they are lacking in this regard.

This defensiveness explains the surprising number of firearms at Lincoln Center. Heck, I've noticed the same thing right here at Opera Omaha.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
Ya know, I used to hear this stuff when I worked for Russian-American TV. The Russkies would grumble and snort "Amerikka not have any culture!"

It's a stuffy, elitist sort of argument that attempts to narrowly define what constitutes culture itself in the first place, and then when anything outside it's tiny sphere intrudes, the reaction is to narrow the circle further in an attempt to exclude more.

Well, culture is very important to Russians.

It is true that the worship of culture can degenerate into snobbism, but this is true only of people with baser characters. True culture expands one's horizons; it does not narrow them.

Americans tend to be so defensive when confronted with culture. It is an indication that, on some level, they understand that they are lacking in this regard.

.

The Russians have an eight hundred year head start, so I grant them their lead graciously. The Euros on the other hand, have had opportunity after opportunity to plant their seed here, but instead of letting it bloom and flourish they opted to treat America as the redheaded stepchild, so America told Europe to stick it where the sun don't shine.

But in any case, whether it's a sandy haired Van Cliburn wowing the crowds in the heart of Vienna while doing "cover tunes" or a
boisterous Leon Russell holding a tent revival in Japan to a sold out house with his wholly original compositions, or an Ed Ruscha painting hanging in a revered spot at the Centre Georges Pompidou, or a Frank Lloyd Wright craftsman home holding its stateliness in Illinois, one thing is certain, the culture wars will never be won so it makes more sense to fraternize with the enemy instead of ridiculing the opposition.
Great things always come of such illicit affairs.
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
Paul McCartney once said that there would have been no Beatles if there hadn't first been Crickets, referring, of course, to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

Say it isn't so! I thought he was referring to the bea insects. ROTFMOL
Originally Posted by 2wins
i always felt the british lacked an overall creativity in their food.

It has been said that every country has bad cooking, but only the British specialize in it.

And there is the old joke:

"Heaven is where: the police are English, the cooks are French, the lovers Italian, the mechanics German, and the whole place is run by the Swiss.
Hell is where: the police are German, the cooks are English, the lovers Swiss, the mechanics French, and the whole place is run by the Italians."


In fairness, it must be said that British cooking has improved to an amazing extent in recent decades. And English breakfasts have always been great; the very best part of their traditional cooking. They are the foundation of the wonderful breakfasts you find in the American South.

.
Originally Posted by numan
It is true that the worship of culture can degenerate into snobbism, but this is true only of people with baser characters. True culture expands one's horizons; it does not narrow them.

Alas. We've tried so hard and still you refuse to expand. cry
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
"You cannot truly appreciate Shakespeare until you've heard it in the original Klingon."

Well, I have studied the pronuciation of English in Shakespeare's time. It is quite different from both American English and modern Received Pronuciation in Britain. It does deepen one's appreciation of Shakespeare to hear it as he would have spoken it.

I find it as disagreeable to listen to the language of modern English Shakespearean actors as to hear Americans mangle the language. [The horror of listening to Charleton Heston attempting to act in Julius Caesar I shall never, never forget!]

PS: Schlack, of all modern English dialects, Irish English comes closest to Shakespeare's language. Cromwell and all those other Tudor and Stuart invaders, you know.

SWISH! Hand passing over head? confused rolleyes feedtrolls
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
"You cannot truly appreciate Shakespeare until you've heard it in the original Klingon."

Well, I have studied the pronuciation of English in Shakespeare's time. It is quite different from both American English and modern Received Pronuciation in Britain. It does deepen one's appreciation of Shakespeare to hear it as he would have spoken it.

I find it as disagreeable to listen to the language of modern English Shakespearean actors as to hear Americans mangle the language. [The horror of listening to Charleton Heston attempting to act in Julius Caesar I shall never, never forget!]

PS: Schlack, of all modern English dialects, Irish English comes closest to Shakespeare's language. Cromwell and all those other Tudor and Stuart invaders, you know.
rolleyes man, nu-man, now you're pushing the envelope. well, i'll agree that anything heston did was awful, but i sure as hell would love to hear those old english recordings you have. must be fun to listen to a dialect so old. i'll be there is all that wonderful scratchy.
Originally Posted by numan
PS: Schlack, of all modern English dialects, Irish English comes closest to Shakespeare's language. Cromwell and all those other Tudor and Stuart invaders, you know.
grin
My British friend (who lives in northern England and sounds Scottish to me) says my accent (I was born and raised in the south) is the closest to what she thinks of as an American accent.

Numan, you wouldn't last a minute in my small town full of musicians and artists of all kinds.
We're terribly uncouth.
Ask the surrounding counties. wink

Judging art is so subjective.
I don't really understand this whole conversation.
But then I've been out of town and haven't read every single post.
Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Art, music, sculpture, clean water, clean air, pretty girls, great schools, great food, great health care and hardly a condescending note in the whole cacaphony of culture to be found.

With Minneapolis and San Francisco we have a couple of very nice European cities, stocked with culturally savvy American, of course.

Oh, and a very well known American bard that even the Russians respect, named BOB DYLAN.
Bob Dylan is God.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Bob Dylan is God.

And he played Rock and Roll-OMG! wink grin [Linked Image]
Quote
The event also represents an unprecedented collaborative opportunity for scholars from more than a dozen disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, engineering, and business, many of whom have come to identify their work as part of the emerging area of "Dead Studies." This kind of collaboration emphasizes academic rigor and a traditional multi-disciplinary perspective, according to University of South Carolina oral historian Nicholas Meriwether, author of All Graceful Instruments: The Contexts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon, recently published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

"Ultimately," says Meriwether, "the Dead phenomenon suggests a new way of looking at yourself, of what we are capable of in a modern western society that appears increasingly fragmented, media-driven, manipulated and alienating...In an era in which academics are increasingly aware of the need to collaborate across disciplinary lines, a topic with as broad-based an appeal as the Dead phenomenon should be fascinating--and welcome."

Unbroken Chain: The Grateful Dead in Music, Culture and Memory at UMass Amherst


It's a matter of perspective and what you want out of life.
I don't want to be that narrow to not see beauty where beauty is regardless of it's so called....pedigree.
OT: Thanks for the reminder; I almost missed Dylan's radio show. The man is an amazing musicologist. My BIL won't listen to it because "he plays weird sh*t." Dylan's explanation is that he doesn't want to play music everyone has heard; he wants to play the stuff you haven't heard but ought to. Everything from Memphis Minnie to Tom Waits.

Which reminds me of another distinctly American piece of culture.
JOHNNY CASH.

In his eulogy Bob Dylan said that "Johnny Cash was the North Star".

Quite fitting.
Late, late, too late to read all 12 plus pages, at the risk of being redundant may I add Bluegrass (though we stole it from our Irish brothers and sisters), Country and Western, Dixieland, Zydeco and one more, Jolie Blon by Jo-el Sonnier - which is, well, if you don't like real C&W you won't like this Zydeco song, skip it; West Coast IPA (Laugh, laugh you wastrels! England created IPA and California, Washington and most especially Oregon created a style of IPA that transcends all IPAs the world over); and TV preaching. I'm serious.

Look, I hate TV preaching as much as I hate ballet, ice skating, choral singing, bars in Salt Lake City, US Airways, the BCS, snow, mutton, ties (especially bow-ties; I don't own a feckin tie), family reunions, oyster stew, anything except sleep before 10.00 AM, sweet cornbread, small talk at forced gatherings, ANYONE who rings my doorbell, vodka, people who hate France, the mistreatment of animals - including hunting, Washington DC, and marching bands, however, TV preaching is now an art form and that cannot be denied.
Love your style, SM!

I love zydeco (truly I do...fascinated by it) but I love ballet too.
Sorry can't help it...dancin is dancin and dancin is good.

[Linked Image]

I don't own a tie either and anymore panty hose.

My daughter was in marching band....so well. You know.

I'm not up on tv preachin....so I'll take your word for it.
Yikes! How could I have not included Clifton Chenier? Sorry.
Computer problems. Can't get the youtubes yet... cry
Quote
England created IPA and California, Washington and most especially Oregon created a style of IPA that transcends all IPAs the world over)

Well I am proud and happy you recognize the deliciousness of Oregon IPA�s. They have taken the malts and especially the hops to a new level. Bridgeport out of Portland makes the best large produced IPA, bottles and draft IMO but there are many smaller players in Oregon that produce fine quaffing IPA�s.

Ninkasi in good ol Eugene puts out something called Tricerahops Double IPA that will knock your beer moustache off with double everything and comes in at 8.8% alc/vol. An artform in itself. Enough said.
Quote
i hate....marching bands,

There you--and I-- go again! Check out these guys (and gals) from, you guessed it, Oregon---March Fourth Marching Band. They just might change forever your opinions on marching bands.

March Fourth Band
But...marching bands aren't distinctly American in origin - even if a large part of their time is spent on football fields.

I won't say I hate marching bands; I'll just say I'm not fond of brass. smile
I love this thread. Once everyone got on board with the topic, "what's distinctive about American arts and letters", it really took off. Thanks numan!
"What is distinctive about American art and letters"

I have a theory... but it takes a little explaining.

I was visiting Europe with my wife (who is from Europe). We were having a lovely time... sitting on a park bench overlooking a river. My wife was a little tired, and I encouraged her to stretch out on the bench with her head on my lap.

Later on, my wife told me how difficult this was for her to do. People in Europe do not stretch out on park benches... it is NOT DONE.

So my theory is that the "old culture" has a lot of rules that people have absorbed into their being. And, I think that America is a place that is more free to try different things... outside the rules. IMO this is why an improvisational art form called Jazz evolved in the USA.

In letters, consider the example of Mark Twain. I think he was pretty much the first author to successfully incorporate the vernacular of common people into literature.

Of course now there are improvisational artists also in Europe... but I think this was a distinctive gift of American arts and letters. And, yes, I know there are down sides also... there is a lot of improvisational crxp as well.
Quote
In letters, consider the example of Mark Twain. I think he was pretty much the first author to successfully incorporate the vernacular of common people into literature.
he is certainly credited here and it seems to make the more squeamish, erudite types uptight. mark twain equalized literature. he was, is, and always will be, the quintessential american. and that is a compliment.
Originally Posted by Ardy
I was visiting Europe with my wife (who is from Europe). We were having a lovely time... sitting on a park bench overlooking a river. My wife was a little tired, and I encouraged her to stretch out on the bench with her head on my lap.

depends on age really, cant see too many 50 year olds doing this, 15-20 year olds would be another matter entirely!

Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
I love this thread. Once everyone got on board with the topic, "what's distinctive about American arts and letters", it really took off. Thanks numan!


Me, too! I've just e-mailed my friend Tessa to borrow any Clifton Chenier CDs.
'

I really wish people would not use acronyms. I have no idea what "IPA" is supposed to mean. The only thing that it suggests to me is the "International Phonetic Alphabet."

.
"IPA" stands for India Pale Ale, which is a style of ale known for its distinct "hoppiness." It's certainly my favorite.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Bob Dylan is God.

Well, I like the work of Bob Dylan, too. On a good day, when I am feeling particularly sunny, I will entertain the proposition that it lies at least upon the fringes of Great Art. "Mr. Tambourine Man" is my especial favorite.

I do not like Bob Dylan the man. I think that his style and attitudes, in general, have a depressing and negative effect on the people who listen to him. He is usually morose, whiny, full of put-downs, often nasty, and sometimes even trivial [Typically American, now that I come to think of it]. I usually do not care much for his later work; I fear that when he suffered that terrible motorcycle accident, something magical departed from his psyche. (Great artists should never expose themselves to danger; the loss to the world is too great if they are injured)

Now I would never for a moment suggest that we should judge the work of an artist by his or her character as a person, but their character may stand as a barrier to the higher realms of art and culture. Judging by most of what Dylan produced, we would never know that such things as the Good, the True, the Harmonious, and the Beautiful even existed.

In the end, Allen Ginsberg is a greater poet than Bob Dylan. He plumbed the depths and heights of human experience far more than the usually superficial Dylan; the Good and the Beautiful were ever at the forefront of his concerns and its guiding star. HIs short poem in Howl on a flower blooming amid the dust and ashes of a railway freight yard is a classic of enlightened conscousness. The poem Howl itself is Great Art, and, incidentally, one the the most objective views of the America of his time --- or of present day America, for that matter.
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
"IPA" stands for India Pale Ale, which is a style of ale known for its distinct "hoppiness." It's certainly my favorite.
chuck, nu-man is above that sort of thing. american micro brewery is too, well, american.
Quote
But...marching bands aren't distinctly American in origin

That�s true, but their style and performance art (they must be seen as well as heard) is distinctly American having influences that begin in jazz and head off from there. They are not your mothers marching band.





You got here with that info first, Chuck. I was going to offer that up.

Speaking of preaching and art...

Rev Howard Finster

Speaking of Bob Dylan, he was in the news recently...

New Jersey Homeowner Calls Cops on Bob Dylan
Quote
"He was really nice, though, and he said he understood why I had to verify his identity and why I couldn't let him go," Buble said. "He asked me if I could drive him back to the neighborhood when I verified who he was, which made me even more suspicious.

"I pulled into the parking lot," she said, "and sure enough there were these enormous tour buses, and I thought, 'Whoa.'"

Her sergeant met her at the hotel parking lot.

"I got out of my car and said, "Sarg, this guy says he's Bob Dylan,'" Buble said. "He opened the car door, looked in, and said, 'That's not Bob Dylan.'"

"So we go over to the tour bus and knock on the door and some guy answers and I say, 'Are you missing someone?'"

"Who's asking?'' came the reply, according to Buble.

"I was in full uniform, so I say, 'I'm asking! I'm the police.'"

Eventually, the police were shown Dylan's passport, which Buble said she looked at, saw the legend's name, and rather sheepishly handed it back to Dylan's manager.

I don't know that much about Bob Dylan the person but that doesn't sound very morose and whiny to me.

I have to say, numan, though I often agree with you politically, I find your constant put downs of Americans to be very much as you described Bob Dylan's demeanor (which may be for all I know...I just don't know that).
I truly don't understand why you want to hang out with us.
Dylan doesn't look like the image we all think of, that's for sure - but it's been a long road with some rough miles.

I try to keep the artist separate from the person. On Dylan's radio show he has a wry sense of humor and is very good at poking fun of all kinds of things.
I have to admit I don't keep the artist and the person apart usually especially if it's stuff I really really like.
Then I go look at what their life and interests are. Their political beliefs if they are known. Their activism, etc.

Maybe I'm a snob but I have a hard time supporting art or music from somebody I have fundamental moral differences with.
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
"IPA" stands for India Pale Ale, which is a style of ale known for its distinct "hoppiness." It's certainly my favorite.

Originally Posted by 2wins
chuck, nu-man is above that sort of thing. american micro brewery is too, well, american.

Once again, your judgment about me is in error, as is also your notion about micro-breweries. It is, perhaps, an example of the inward-looking self-absorption of the American character to imagine that micro-breweries are an exclusively American phenomenon.

On those rare occasions when I quaff beer, I enjoy it very much, though it must, of course, adhere to the deutsche Reinheitsgebot, --- the German Purity Law. No contamination by North American commercial additives, please!

.
Originally Posted by 2wins
man, nu-man, now you're pushing the envelope. well, i'll agree that anything heston did was awful, but i sure as hell would love to hear those old english recordings you have. must be fun to listen to a dialect so old.

Why would I bother with recordings? I recite Shakespeare to myself aloud. I want the poetry to which I listen to be of the highest quality.

There is one recording to which I do listen --- over and over. It is a recording of the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley. It is recited by, of all people, Vincent Price! He was a much more cultivated man than most people realize. I have never heard Shelley better read. It is on the old Caedmon label, and if you get a chance to hear it, do so! It will probably change your view of Shelley's poetry forever!

.
Numan, inward looking is not all bad. you should try it sometime.
Originally Posted by numan
Why would I bother with recordings? I recite Shakespeare to myself aloud. I want the poetry to which I listen to be of the highest quality.
Bow
Ok, that was truly cute, numan.

I like our vinyl. I know you're talking about a different thing but music of old sounds better with the imperfections.
Depends on your definition of "quality" I guess though. wink
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
"IPA" stands for India Pale Ale, which is a style of ale known for its distinct "hoppiness." It's certainly my favorite.

Originally Posted by 2wins
chuck, nu-man is above that sort of thing. american micro brewery is too, well, american.

Once again, your judgment about me is in error, as is also your notion about micro-breweries. It is, perhaps, an example of the inward-looking self-absorption of the American character to imagine that micro-breweries are an exclusively American phenomenon.

On those rare occasions when I quaff beer, I enjoy it very much, though it must, of course, adhere to the deutsche Reinheitsgebot, --- the German Purity Law. No contamination by North American commercial additives, please!

.
yes, yes. im quite familiar with german purity laws and all that. and of course american micro breweries are not exclusively american. you miss my point and as phil suggests, perhaps a little introspection on your part and a review of your positions might do you some good. after all, you are beginning to contradict yourself.
Originally Posted by olyve
I like our vinyl. I know you're talking about a different thing, but music of old sounds better with the imperfections.
Depends on your definition of "quality" I guess though. wink

Don't throw away your LP's, the tone arms of the world shall rise again!

The best quality LP's still exceed the best CD's in accuracy and quality of sound reproduction.

A very able mathematician-physicist friend of mine estimated that CD's would need to contain 3 to 5 times the quantity of information as they do in order to begin to compete with audiophile-quality analogue LP's.

.
True about CD v. vinyl -- used to be a big issue among DJ's when I was active.

Now it is all digital computer files which can have as much quality as your sound card can deliver.

But I digress
Quote
I think that his style and attitudes, in general, have a depressing and negative effect on the people who listen to him. He is usually morose, whiny, full of put-downs, often nasty, and sometimes even trivial [Typically American, now that I come to think of it].
Continuing the spirit of good-natured contentiousness, there is an idiom about the pot calling the kettle black.

(The originator of the idiom may have been William Penn, British founder of the state of Pennslyvania. Said idiom allegedly resides somewhere in his writing, Some Fruits of Solitude...a piece of work I have no interest in reading for the sole purpose of locating the exact phrasing or context. I have to assume that my disinterest is a direct result of having been born in the United States.)
I wish we had little thumbs up and thumbs down things so we could rate individual posts, because Almost Naomi would get a...

wait! We do! ThumbsUp
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
Continuing the spirit of good-natured contentiousness, there is an idiom about the pot calling the kettle black.

If it is indeed true that I err in this regard, I shall ascribe it to my American heritage and background.

.
Quote
If it is indeed true that I err in this regard, I shall ascribe it to my American heritage and background.

Ahhh...but if it is indeed true, and you can't change that to which you were born, what possible hope is there for such mortals as we...???

[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
"IPA" stands for India Pale Ale, which is a style of ale known for its distinct "hoppiness." It's certainly my favorite.

Originally Posted by 2wins
chuck, nu-man is above that sort of thing. american micro brewery is too, well, american.

Once again, your judgment about me is in error, as is also your notion about micro-breweries. It is, perhaps, an example of the inward-looking self-absorption of the American character to imagine that micro-breweries are an exclusively American phenomenon.

On those rare occasions when I quaff beer, I enjoy it very much, though it must, of course, adhere to the deutsche Reinheitsgebot, --- the German Purity Law. No contamination by North American commercial additives, please!

.

rolleyes Your ignorance is showing, Numan. Most North American micro-brewers would die before they used additives, "commercial" or otherwise.

As for micro-brewing itself, I, for one, never claimed it to be an American original. I said that American micro-brewers raised the bar on IPA. I would consider their worthy efforts to worthy of art. I would also submit that you don't know enough about beer to argue the matter.
Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
"IPA" stands for India Pale Ale, which is a style of ale known for its distinct "hoppiness." It's certainly my favorite.

And you've got great IPA, world class, just over the line in Delaware at Dogfish Head.
Originally Posted by olyve
Love your style, SM!

I love zydeco (truly I do...fascinated by it) but I love ballet too.
Sorry can't help it...dancin is dancin and dancin is good.

[Linked Image]

I don't own a tie either and anymore panty hose.

My daughter was in marching band....so well. You know.

I'm not up on tv preachin....so I'll take your word for it.

I seem to remember the Sanford Marching Band years ago when they marched onto the field and spelled "Urine". That, I liked.
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
Ahhh...but if it is indeed true, and you can't change that to which you were born, what possible hope is there for such mortals as we...???

I know, but I still hope --- perhaps forlornly.

.
Quote
I know, but I still hope --- perhaps forlornly.
Might hanging out with the likes of us evoke faint feelings of nostalgia? [Linked Image]

Your concern for our welfare is appreciated. But you could also just sit back and enjoy us from a distance. We do have fun, in our own base ways. After all, life is short and, in the end, none of what we artistically value...or don't value...matters. Creating and choosing from the heart does.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by olyve
I like our vinyl. I know you're talking about a different thing, but music of old sounds better with the imperfections.
Depends on your definition of "quality" I guess though. wink

Don't throw away your LP's, the tone arms of the world shall rise again!

The best quality LP's still exceed the best CD's in accuracy and quality of sound reproduction.

A very able mathematician-physicist friend of mine estimated that CD's would need to contain 3 to 5 times the quantity of information as they do in order to begin to compete with audiophile-quality analogue LP's.

.
No worry, numan
Much of this collection is old and the rest is...old too (and been through other hands).
We listen to it often (last night) and have no plans to exchange it for something else.
We enjoy what we enjoy.

Originally Posted by olyve
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by olyve
I like our vinyl. I know you're talking about a different thing, but music of old sounds better with the imperfections.
Depends on your definition of "quality" I guess though. wink

Don't throw away your LP's, the tone arms of the world shall rise again!

The best quality LP's still exceed the best CD's in accuracy and quality of sound reproduction.

A very able mathematician-physicist friend of mine estimated that CD's would need to contain 3 to 5 times the quantity of information as they do in order to begin to compete with audiophile-quality analogue LP's.

.
No worry, numan
Much of this collection is old and the rest is...old too (and been through other hands).
We listen to it often (last night) and have no plans to exchange it for something else.
We enjoy what we enjoy.
thankfully LPs are making a comeback. record companies have been expanding their offerings by producing LPs recently and you can find more and more of them for sale just about anywhere. you can also find great turntable set-ups on e-bay.
Originally Posted by 2wins
thankfully LPs are making a comeback. record companies have been expanding their offerings by producing LPs recently and you can find more and more of them for sale just about anywhere. you can also find great turntable set-ups on e-bay.

Yes, I suppose LPs are makining a comeback. It is nice if only for the nostalgia of it. But, it will reamain a niche market. Very few people have the motivaton or discernment to explore the sonic benifits of the LP.

It is obvious that record companies could ude dvd, or HD DVD to pack huge amounts of information onto a High def. audio recording. And I guess there actually is a format to release high def. audio recordings. But again, the demand is trivial. A playing CD is seldom more that background music to one's life.

And, in the end, there is no recording that can replace a live performance for those who are truly interested in appreciating music.
Originally Posted by Ardy
And, in the end, there is no recording that can replace a live performance for those who are truly interested in appreciating music.
absolutely
we love our albums and enjoy them with an intensity
but as most of you know, we go to music concerts too....a lot.
Originally Posted by olyve
Originally Posted by Ardy
And, in the end, there is no recording that can replace a live performance for those who are truly interested in appreciating music.
absolutely
we love our albums and enjoy them with an intensity
but as most of you know, we go to music concerts too....a lot.
and im sure you athens folk get some good shows your way.
Originally Posted by numan
(Great artists should never expose themselves to danger; the loss to the world is too great if they are injured)


BULLS..T! Everyone, great artist or not, has the right to expose himself to whatever he wants--as long as he doesn't drag anyone else--even a barbaric and uncouth American--along with him.
Originally Posted by Ardy
And, in the end, there is no recording that can replace a live performance for those who are truly interested in appreciating music.

That is true up to a point.

A really good LP recording, played on those very few properly configured sound systems which exist, can reproduce sound with a clarity, linearity, and dynamic range that most people never experience on garden variety sound systems. Listening to a great artist on such a system is far superior to listening to a mediocre performer live.

Just as it is true that the American public has been dumbed down by advertising and other forms of propaganda, so has the tolerance for bad sound reproduction been increased by worse and worse sound recording and penny-pinching motives.
'

Many persons have been mentioned on this thread as paladins of American culture.

Almost all of them are deriviative, or superificial --- or both. [One person even brought up the name of John Wayne! Let me forget that as soon as may be possible!]

Frank Lloyd Wright, Jackson Pollock, the Wyeths, Mark Twain, e e cummings, Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Aaron Copland, Alan Hovaniss --- these few are artists who are worthy of deep respect, but beyond them the pickings become slim indeed.

Moreover, European culture has seen many creative revolutions in art, for example, Impressionism. America has been extremely derivative and uninventive, with the exception of jazz and its satellite, rock-and-roll. A rather shaky case might also be made for motion picture technique.

However, if America had produced many times the number of the artists whom I have mentioned, ranking with them in quality, it would still be as nothing compared to the brilliance which has shone forth into the world from Europe.

Starting no earlier than the era when the ill-begotten American Republic was formed, one might mention Mozart and Beethoven in music, and Goethe in literature, who by themselves outshine the whole pantheon of American practioners of their respective arts.

But many Americans, being ignorant, may not have the knowledge to make a just assessment of Goethe. Let us then, almost at random, throw in Shelley, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, W. B. Yeats, and Dylan Thomas. They tip the balance decisively in favor of Europe.

As for painting, no one in their right mind would ever rank America's productions with those of Europe! Picasso alone eclipses everything American!

.
Numan, you have missed one of the greatest accomplishments ever in American culture and that is the invention of High Frequency Trading. In my mind that is the pinnacle of American art, combined with science.

Enjoy reading the article while you quaff a pint of International Phoenetic Alphabet. Sounds delicious.
Originally Posted by numan
'

Many persons have been mentioned on this thread as paladins of American culture.

Almost all of them are deriviative, or superificial --- or both. [One person even brought up the name of John Wayne! Let me forget that as soon as may be possible!]

Frank Lloyd Wright, Jackson Pollock, the Wyeths, Mark Twain, e e cummings, Robert Frost, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Aaron Copland, Alan Hovaniss --- these few are artists who are worthy of deep respect, but beyond them the pickings become slim indeed.

Moreover, European culture has seen many creative revolutions in art, for example, Impressionism. America has been extremely derivative and uninventive, with the exception of jazz and its satellite, rock-and-roll. A rather shaky case might also be made for motion picture technique.

However, if America had produced many times the number of the artists whom I have mentioned, ranking with them in quality, it would still be as nothing compared to the brilliance which has shone forth into the world from Europe.

Starting no earlier than the era when the ill-begotten American Republic was formed, one might mention Mozart and Beethoven in music, and Goethe in literature, who by themselves outshine the whole pantheon of American practioners of their respective arts.

But many Americans, being ignorant, may not have the knowledge to make a just assessment of Goethe. Let us then, almost at random, throw in Shelley, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, W. B. Yeats, and Dylan Thomas. They tip the balance decisively in favor of Europe.

As for painting, no one in their right mind would ever rank America's productions with those of Europe! Picasso alone eclipses everything American!

.
rolleyes
I would say that Martha Graham, Twyla Tharpe, Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins are great artists in the realm of performing arts. As are The Dance Theater of Harlem



And the Alvin Ailry Dancers:



The Joffrey ballet:





Numan, I am afraid you are over your head here, and possibly the ignorant one is not Americans nor those of us posting names and suggestions, sir, but you.
Quote
I would say that Martha Graham, Twyla Tharpe, Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins are great artists in the realm of performing arts. As are The Dance Theater of Harlem.

I once saw this lady who was a pole dancer at a gin mill in Bossier City, Louisiana. If I remember it correctly her name was "Star"...wait, no, it was "Angel", I think. Or maybe it was "Bambi". At any rate, that woman sure could dance. The audience was captivated. It was so quiet you could hear a five dollar bill hit the stage. Now that was art!

Since that rapturous evening in Bossier City, I've come to believe that opera and ballet would be more meaningful if the women were nekkid. Oh, yeah, and cheerleading.

I'm just saying.
And poetry. Sweet Jesus, would that be better if women were nekkid when they read that crap in front of an audience!

I'm most grateful that poetry is not an American creation. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that poetry was first conceived in the brain of some Canadian wandering around Italy high on mushrooms.

I've actually been to a poetry reading - once. Show me a guy who willingly goes to a poetry reading and I'll show you one desperate sumbitch trying to get laid.

I was tricked into going by an account in Chicago. It was a horrible experience. People clapped and murmured in awe, women cried. It was disgusting, truly. I pretended to have eaten a bad chilli dog for lunch and hurriedly excused my way to the Gents.

As soon as made it to the lobby of the little theater I grabbed an usher and demanded to be escorted to the bar, "quickly". There wasn't one. Or it wasn't open for the reading, fear clouds the memory. I saw two other guys, terror stricken, looking for a portal to reality. I followed them outside and bummed a smoke (I had long since quit). The three of us stood in the cold Chicago night mumbling about fate, trickery and not getting laid.

Slipped~You are a cultural breath of fresh air! ROTFMOL Bow

Mick... [Linked Image] You make me laugh...
'

Meanwhile, back in the world of High Culture, which alone makes life worth living....
Originally Posted by Slipped Mickey
Quote
I would say that Martha Graham, Twyla Tharpe, Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins are great artists in the realm of performing arts. As are The Dance Theater of Harlem.

I once saw this lady who was a pole dancer at a gin mill in Bossier City, Louisiana. If I remember it correctly her name was "Star"...wait, no, it was "Angel", I think. Or maybe it was "Bambi". At any rate, that woman sure could dance. The audience was captivated. It was so quiet you could hear a five dollar bill hit the stage. Now that was art!

Since that rapturous evening in Bossier City, I've come to believe that opera and ballet would be more meaningful if the women were nekkid. Oh, yeah, and cheerleading.

I'm just saying.
ROTFMOL
Originally Posted by Slipped Mickey
And poetry. Sweet Jesus, would that be better if women were nekkid when they read that crap in front of an audience!

I'm most grateful that poetry is not an American creation. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that poetry was first conceived in the brain of some Canadian wandering around Italy high on mushrooms.

I've actually been to a poetry reading - once. Show me a guy who willingly goes to a poetry reading and I'll show you one desperate sumbitch trying to get laid.

I was tricked into going by an account in Chicago. It was a horrible experience. People clapped and murmured in awe, women cried. It was disgusting, truly. I pretended to have eaten a bad chilli dog for lunch and hurriedly excused my way to the Gents.

As soon as made it to the lobby of the little theater I grabbed an usher and demanded to be escorted to the bar, "quickly". There wasn't one. Or it wasn't open for the reading, fear clouds the memory. I saw two other guys, terror stricken, looking for a portal to reality. I followed them outside and bummed a smoke (I had long since quit). The three of us stood in the cold Chicago night mumbling about fate, trickery and not getting laid.
ROTFMOL ROTFMOL
Originally Posted by numan
'

Meanwhile, back in the world of High Culture, which alone makes life worth living....

For my Low Culture friends - may I attempt translation? It's difficult to get the nuances just right, but I believe this comment falls somewhere between "Oh, yeah?" and "Your mama!"
LOL! Exactly, Mellow.

In fact, I've often wondered why such a brilliant, learned and cultured non-American, such as Numan, spends a great measure of his time on an American Internet site that focuses largely on American issues of politics and other forms of low culture.

How cultured is hatred, vitriol and obsession?

Numan gonna ride that one trick pony and call it good.
Originally Posted by Slipped Mickey
And poetry. Sweet Jesus, would that be better if women were nekkid when they read that crap in front of an audience!

I'm most grateful that poetry is not an American creation. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that poetry was first conceived in the brain of some Canadian wandering around Italy high on mushrooms.

I've actually been to a poetry reading - once. Show me a guy who willingly goes to a poetry reading and I'll show you one desperate sumbitch trying to get laid.

I was tricked into going by an account in Chicago. It was a horrible experience. People clapped and murmured in awe, women cried. It was disgusting, truly. I pretended to have eaten a bad chilli dog for lunch and hurriedly excused my way to the Gents.

As soon as made it to the lobby of the little theater I grabbed an usher and demanded to be escorted to the bar, "quickly". There wasn't one. Or it wasn't open for the reading, fear clouds the memory. I saw two other guys, terror stricken, looking for a portal to reality. I followed them outside and bummed a smoke (I had long since quit). The three of us stood in the cold Chicago night mumbling about fate, trickery and not getting laid.
dang, mick! this is pure poetry in its own right. only a southern boy can be so poetic with such low country slams. i would like to title this piece "the ballad of bubba." ROTFMOL
Originally Posted by numan
Starting no earlier than the era when the ill-begotten American Republic was formed, one might mention Mozart and Beethoven in music, and Goethe in literature, who by themselves outshine the whole pantheon of American practitioners of their respective arts.

So, if I understand correctly....
you are saying that by 1700 (approximately) the settlers in North America should be artistically compared with the cultures of Europe... which had been there for 1000 years or more (approximately)... and this, taking into account that in some measure, the people who came to settle in North America would not have done so (for the most part) if they already had settled and successful lives in their former countries.

If that is what you are saying Numan, it is really quite absurd.

-----

I would also observe that generally, it seems that modern culture has produced fewer great artistic geniuses than in the past. Who is the last Beethoven or Shakespeare? And, if there is a reason that modern "culture" produces fewer artistic giants... then it is logical that the same dynamic would be active in America.

I do not claim that America has been some great artistic wellspring. But, compared to Europe in the same time frame, artistic output over the last 100 years seems about right given the fact that these are new countries are without the established institutions and traditions of our European cousins.
John Ciardi, an American poet who perhaps should have been included in my first list, proposes a theory of great art that says it appeals first to the people in the time when it is created. Then, throughout history, great art will still hold its appeal in other eras. By that theory--which makes sense to me--none of us knows what will be great art from our time. Ciardi's approach makes more sense IMHO than dismissing an entire culture.
Originally Posted by humphreysmar
John Ciardi, an American poet who perhaps should have been included in my first list, proposes a theory of great art that says it appeals first to the people in the time when it is created. Then, throughout history, great art will still hold its appeal in other eras. By that theory--which makes sense to me--none of us knows what will be great art from our time. Ciardi's approach makes more sense IMHO than dismissing an entire culture.
we could argue that mark twain's work is then great literary art, counter to earlier comments by one person here. twain's work is revered both here and abroad. it has managed to stay relevant for over a century now.
Originally Posted by 2wins
we could argue that mark twain's work is then great literary art, counter to earlier comments by one person here. twain's work is revered both here and abroad. it has managed to stay relevant for over a century now.



That's the one American I'd put in for sure.
Originally Posted by humphreysmar
John Ciardi, an American poet who perhaps should have been included in my first list, proposes a theory of great art that says it appeals first to the people in the time when it is created. Then, throughout history, great art will still hold its appeal in other eras. By that theory--which makes sense to me--none of us knows what will be great art from our time. Ciardi's approach makes more sense IMHO than dismissing an entire culture.

I would think that Ciardi's theory is borne out by history. Those who attended the Great Bard's plays at the Globe Theater were certainly not "high brow." I would imagine that there were "numans" back then who considered his plays "second-ratef" and not worthy of consideration as a "classic."
chuck,

excellent point! the globe was attended by a number of different folks, most of the poor uneducated sloths! Ha! My how, things change but seem to stay the same. and i want to add that the globe was pop culture of the time, as you point out, not thought of highly by the upper crust.
"the ballad of bubba"
Well there you go, numan.
Mick is proof positive of what you say.
We aint go no couth.

It's like trying to clean up trailer trash.
He's moved all the way out there to Arizona from Georgia to try and get him some and you see what happened.
Not a damn thing worked!
You can just imagine what my world is like still back here in Georgia.

Yes, 2wins, we do enjoy our music and art here very much and feel quite blessed. smile
But then, I'm easy to please apparently. wink

I haven't read the entire thread, I don't really have the heart to as I can tell it would be pretty fruitless to. But as to the names of some great American authors...

Theodor Seuss Geisel or as most know him, Dr. Seuss. I'm sure numan will poo poo him, but his name will outlast most, he was both an author and artist. And his papers are housed where I work, UCSD.
Now for stuff that numan might consider more *ahem*... cultured... may I point at UCSD's Archive for New Poetry Almost all American, some well known, some not, but poets often aren't except for those in the field.
I would like to mention that Austin, Texas is coined, "The Live Music Capital of the World". Now that might sound a bit Texan cuz it's always been sort of a Texas thing to say that everything in Texas is big. But, there are untold number of bands in every venue possible that travels to Austin to play.

But, one really dominate factor is for the many who visit Austin specifically to catch Texas Blues, Texas Rock-A-Billy, Texas Infusion with all types of music. Some believe that there is a very unique flavor and art to the Texas music influence mixed with other types of music such as...Chicago Blues.

So the art of music seems to flow through the streets of downtown Austin like wine in Napa Valley.

By the way...it's not at all uncommon for European bands to make their way to Austin.

you texicans are uncouth braggards. ThumbsUp
Originally Posted by 2wins
you texicans are uncouth braggards. ThumbsUp

Ohhhhhh, 2Wins...absolutely can't deny your observation. Texicans are...well, Texicans. Since I'm born and raised it's hard to imagine being anything else...except maybe I'd like to be an Idahodian...like say near Sun Valley.

Here's To Texas[Linked Image] and all the other great states.
Originally Posted by AustinRanter
Originally Posted by 2wins
you texicans are uncouth braggards. ThumbsUp

Ohhhhhh, 2Wins...absolutely can't deny your observation. Texicans are...well, Texicans. Since I'm born and raised it's hard to imagine being anything else...except maybe I'd like to be an Idahodian...like say near Sun Valley.

Here's To Texas[Linked Image] and all the other great states.
ROTFMOL
Oh oh....Austin is doing a...mine is bigger than yours thing! laugh
Yes darlin, yours is bigger than mine.
It is.

I wonder about per capita though.

Your South X Southwest has an Athens stage. grin
Originally Posted by numan
Meanwhile, back in the world of High Culture, which alone makes life worth living....

Those who live in the lowlands may think that art is merely a matter of taste, and mock the distant mountains which they have never seen.

But those who have wandered, however briefly, among the towering peaks of Great Art, can never again be satisfied with the Cities of the Plain.

.
Originally Posted by Ecto
But as to the names of some great American authors...

Theodor Seuss Geisel or as most know him, Dr. Seuss. I'm sure numan will poo poo him, but his name will outlast most, he was both an author and artist.

On the contrary, I agree with you; Dr. Seuss was a great American. He was unique: original, artistic and, rarest of all things in the American scene, he had a positive influence on the lives of many millions of human beings. I used his books when I was teaching a class of graduate students in a Japanese University!

A great proportion of the positive education of young Americans can be traced back to attitudes and techniques which he pioneered. Unlike most of his fellow citizens, he truly cared about children, and did as much as one person could to instruct them, and counteract the negative influences which surround American children and which batter, abuse and subvert their young, tender spirits.

.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by numan
Meanwhile, back in the world of High Culture, which alone makes life worth living....
Numan, I find that sad.
High culture ALONE makes life worth living?
Not me. I'd rather just not, I think. That's not living.

Haven't you ever just wanted to dance in the streets, man?
Maybe even in the rain?
Maybe even naked?
Be stupid and spontaneous?

If I thought I had to (HAD TO) understand and appreciate all ancient art forms in order to validate my life, I think that would be enough for me to want to check out.
That's just too heavy for me.
Art should be about what touches you.
What makes one person shallow and another deep? Why does it matter?
Who are you to say? And why is your way better?

You started this thread to negate all American art and effort.

I don't have a measure stick like you apparently do.
I just don't feel the need to even have one.
Kinky Friedman and Fred Reed provide me with half my cultural leanings, some of the old European masters another third, and the rest is rock and roll.

But "A Brass Pole in Bangkok" is a trip to ecstasyland.
Lots of culture in them thar pages.
Originally Posted by olyve
Haven't you ever just wanted to dance in the streets, man?
Maybe even in the rain?
Maybe even naked?
Be stupid and spontaneous?

I wonder why you think that dancing in the streets is antithetical to High Culture?

And stupidity and spontaneousness are often very important to the creative process --- just so long as the stupidity does not become excessive, as it does in certain nations which shall be nameless, but which ye wot well.

Originally Posted by olyve
What makes one person shallow and another deep?

Ah, that is a deep question! And it would require a deep analysis on another thread.

Originally Posted by olyve
Why does it matter?

It matters because the shallow people are destroying the Earth.

.
Originally Posted by numan
A very able mathematician-physicist friend of mine estimated that CD's would need to contain 3 to 5 times the quantity of information as they do in order to begin to compete with audiophile-quality analogue LP's.

.

---For about ten plays.
Vinyl wears out.

And optical discs are not the only way to distribute digital media. Therefore all you need is a high enough bit rate and enough bit depth.

It's the same with video...I constantly hear people prattle on about film being better than digital, that they can tell when someone is projecting film, and that there is no way a digital projector and digital video can outperform film.

It's a tough challenge, but allow me to borrow a 6K Christie digital projector, let me choose the file format and let me choose what to shoot the project on.

I choose the RED One Digital Cine camera with Cooke lenses
and the RAW R3D output. I will post in Vegas and output to
a Sony SRW-5800 HDCAM SR VTR.

You won't be able to tell, even if you're four feet from the screen.

That's when they start talking about the romantic feel of "gate weave" and "grain". I can insert gate weave and grain if you want, and even a little gaussian blur.

And in reality I could get away with 4K or even 2K and if you're
more than ten feet from the screen there's no physical way your rod and cone cells in your eyeballs could discern the difference.

And nothing can match the contrast ratio of a good Christie data projector, or even a good JVC D-ILA model for that matter.

At 880 MB/sec, 440 or even 135 you won't be able to see ANY digital artifacting. I can't help it the DVD industry settled on
10 MB/sec for SD and 40 MB/sec for Blu-Ray disc.


But I bet most folks wouldn't be able to tell even at 20 MB/sec
on a 1080P screen.

I can't help it the CD industry settled on their meager specs either. It was all about squeezing the most money out of the least number of bits and bytes.
Shallow bit rate and bit depth destroyed the musical and visual world too, but that doesn't mean that the bits aren't there in the original. They just got compressed is all.

Sorta like our national consciousness.

But there are some originals out there that defy "compression".
Quote
It matters because the shallow people are destroying the Earth.
But most, if not all, the good people on this board are not destroying the Earth. If this is a major concern of yours...and non-destruction of the Earth is certainly worthy of one's attention...why are you wasting your time here, when you could be using it far more productively?

A good bunch of us Ranters are intelligent, peace-loving, tree-hugging types. I'm sure there are many, many boards that are populated by those you refer to as shallow. Or at least they're substantially more shallow than we are. Why not use your time productively to spread your wisdom and concerns there?
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by numan
Meanwhile, back in the world of High Culture, which alone makes life worth living....

Those who live in the lowlands may think that art is merely a matter of taste, and mock the distant mountains which they have never seen.

But those who have wandered, however briefly, among the towering peaks of Great Art, can never again be satisfied with the Cities of the Plain.

.
nu-man, your mistake is thinking that those who enjoy the lowlands haven't lived high in the mountains.
Don�t you think this stuff from Numan is all a joke and a put on? I do�could be wrong as I have been away from the board for awhile, but I think ol Numan is having quite a laugh getting everyone�s shorts in a knot. Could be wrong�but����.
I think so, Ken. That's why I mostly just watch lately.

EmmaG
But that would be part of the fun in being a Ranter.
If you can't have a good time getting everyone's shorts in a knot once in a while, what's the point?

My only requirement is that the effort be at least somewhat original. Otherwise, if I want to get my shorts in a knot the CHEAP WAY there's always the endless parade of hysterical right wing political emails that certain friends and family members send to me almost every day, most of them repeat performances from five years ago.

So, even though Numan is having a good laugh by appearing to be an effete snob who holds his Earl Grey with one pinky extended, I figure he lets his hair down once in a while with a good episode of "My Name is Earl".

He just would never dream of telling anybody.
Me? My guilty pleasure is "Big Love" and old episodes of "Roseanne", both of which qualify as high culture for me.

And my wife and I raise our family pretty much the way the Conner family does, with a little less junk food.
We're almost like the Conners, but maybe a little more politically aware.
Quote
But that would be part of the fun in being a Ranter.
If you can't have a good time getting everyone's shorts in a knot once in a while, what's the point?

Guess you're right, CS. But I have trouble censoring myself, so better to watch sometimes.

My children's cousin is in Big Love. Chloe Sevigny. She's my late ex-husband's niece.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by olyve
Haven't you ever just wanted to dance in the streets, man?
Maybe even in the rain?
Maybe even naked?
Be stupid and spontaneous?

I wonder why you think that dancing in the streets is antithetical to High Culture?

And stupidity and spontaneousness are often very important to the creative process --- just so long as the stupidity does not become excessive, as it does in certain nations which shall be nameless, but which ye wot well.

Originally Posted by olyve
What makes one person shallow and another deep?

Ah, that is a deep question! And it would require a deep analysis on another thread.

Originally Posted by olyve
Why does it matter?

It matters because the shallow people are destroying the Earth.

.
Good points, numan except the part about me being a participant in destroying the earth. I'm not. cool
I'm shallow but I'm a good steward of this earth in my own meager way.
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
But that would be part of the fun in being a Ranter.
If you can't have a good time getting everyone's shorts in a knot once in a while, what's the point?

My only requirement is that the effort be at least somewhat original. Otherwise, if I want to get my shorts in a knot the CHEAP WAY there's always the endless parade of hysterical right wing political emails that certain friends and family members send to me almost every day, most of them repeat performances from five years ago.

So, even though Numan is having a good laugh by appearing to be an effete snob who holds his Earl Grey with one pinky extended, I figure he lets his hair down once in a while with a good episode of "My Name is Earl".

He just would never dream of telling anybody.
ROTFMOL
Yes.

Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
---For about ten plays.
Vinyl wears out.
CS, Mr O has had at least half his collection for more than 40 years and it all sounds great.
Much of the other half was purchased from people who bought theirs 30/40 years ago.
Vinyl is wonderful and sounds great if you take care of it.
I'm not as technologically knowledgeable as you are (duh) but I'd much rather listen to our albums than CDs.
Plus we have a lot of fun crawling around in old used sections of music stores looking for cool stuff.
Originally Posted by numan
It matters because the shallow people are destroying the Earth.


It's taken a long time, but I now revel in my shallowness. I've even come to appreciate Times Square.
Originally Posted by olyve
I'd much rather listen to our albums than CDs.

Until you wrote that, I had not really thought about it. I remember how much the pops and clicks etc bothered me back in the day... and so I was happy to clean digital recording. But, now as you mention it, I even have a nostalgic fondness for those dusty defects. I never thought I would say that!

But, one thing I do not miss is the struggle to move a large collection of records. OH my. Or finding space to store a large collection

I also notice that I am sometimes inclined to refer to a CD as a Record out of habit,
Quote
appearing to be an effete snob who holds his Earl Grey with one pinky extended,

From the posts by numan I have read I kept thinking he reminded me of someone, and after much pondering it dawned on me that someone was the Paxton Whitehead character Dr. Philip Barbay in the movie Back to School. Pinky fully extended! Now that movie is the pinnacle of American Culture.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Quote
But that would be part of the fun in being a Ranter.
If you can't have a good time getting everyone's shorts in a knot once in a while, what's the point?

Guess you're right, CS. But I have trouble censoring myself, so better to watch sometimes.

My children's cousin is in Big Love. Chloe Sevigny. She's my late ex-husband's niece.

OMG we LOOOOOVE Chloe Sevigny...her character is absolute genius!
She's a fantastic actress.
Oh what I would not do for an autographed 8 X 10...my wife would think I was a big mover and shaker.

We're both crazy about the show, and I am a casual acquaintance of one of the former Directors of Photography (I know him through an online video group) who shot one season of the show.
Originally Posted by olyve
CS, Mr O has had at least half his collection for more than 40 years and it all sounds great.
Much of the other half was purchased from people who bought theirs 30/40 years ago.
Vinyl is wonderful and sounds great if you take care of it.
I'm not as technologically knowledgeable as you are (duh) but I'd much rather listen to our albums than CDs.
Plus we have a lot of fun crawling around in old used sections of music stores looking for cool stuff.

---I wasn't saying that it became unplayable, it certainly does last a long time if cared for.

But using the same audiophile technical measurements and criticalities, one can indeed measure significant loss of both high and low end information from a vinyl record after a dozen plays.

There IS one machine that will NOT wear out a vinyl record.
It costs FIFTEEN GRAND but it uses a LASER instead of a stylus to read the vinyl grooves.

I will look up the make and model later.
It's an amazing piece of technology because it uses modern lasers and therefore nothing touches the record.
Here it is!
Feast your eyes and open your wallets!
The ELP Laser Turntable - only 15 thousand bucks!

Of course the problem is, if you are not playing 100 percent untouched virgin vinyl you WILL hear those pops and clicks very clearly with this machine.

Oh okay after further research I see they have a limited edition with less features for only ten grand.
Originally Posted by olyve
Originally Posted by AustinRanter
Originally Posted by 2wins
you texicans are uncouth braggards. ThumbsUp

Ohhhhhh, 2Wins...absolutely can't deny your observation. Texicans are...well, Texicans. Since I'm born and raised it's hard to imagine being anything else...except maybe I'd like to be an Idahodian...like say near Sun Valley.

Here's To Texas[Linked Image] and all the other great states.
ROTFMOL
Oh oh....Austin is doing a...mine is bigger than yours thing! laugh
Yes darlin, yours is bigger than mine.
It is.

I wonder about per capita though.

Your South X Southwest has an Athens stage. grin

Well Olyve...

Its common knowledge that Texans do have bigger egos... LOL

As you know...South By Southwest is really a big ordeal. It draws musical artists from far away places, and it's a draw for music business people who want to scout for new talent.

So I guess it might be the "biggest" showcase of musical talent at any single event throughout the country.

*****************************************************

To Numan:

Have you totally lost any sense of love for "your" motherland?

I can't believe that you've developed rigid view of what constitutes art. Really...that's a total surprise. While we're all drawn or attracted to certain types of art, it all gets down to the old saying, "Beauty is in the eye (or ears, or smell, or touch) of the beholder". The more those admire a certain type of art...well, the greater the value, I guess. But one admiring a certain type of art need'nt be a instrument of ridicule.

When I was a young feller...I went to commercial art school and fine art school to learn how to paint in oils.

When I was 13 I use to work at an Art Supply Store on Saturdays...sitting in the display window doing oil paintingsd to attract customers. Well, the place didn't get ran over with customers...so my job only made it through one summer.

When I was 18, I tried to sell my car to buy a Salvador Dali 8X10 wood print for 650.00. It was sold before I could sell my car. That print today is worth about 20 times what I could have bought it for. I'm still crazy about Dali's work.

Also Dali had a young protege. His name was David Smith. He is a genius in his own right.

I also like Georgia O'Keeffe's works.

I'm even a fan of Norman Rockwell.

I'm an incredible fan of Dutch artists who brought to art a new way of presenting light and contrast to paintings.

The world is full of contemporary and of course classic arts that just inspire me and fill me up.

I have to believe that you too are impressed with a much wider range of art that you've led on to admire.

It might do you good to step out and smell the Poppies from time-to-time.

Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
OMG we LOOOOOVE Chloe Sevigny...her character is absolute genius!
She's a fantastic actress.
Oh what I would not do for an autographed 8 X 10...my wife would think I was a big mover and shaker.


Me, too. But my husband would just look confused. Who's Chloe Sevigny? What's Big Love.

Ye gods, now that I think of it, he might share some qualities with Numan. shocked grin
Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
If you can't have a good time getting everyone's shorts in a knot once in a while, what's the point?

I can assure you that "getting everyone's shorts in a knot" has no place in my primary or secondary goals. I merely say what I think. I must admit to being slightly amused at the reaction I get when I criticize those elements of the American psyche which Must Never Be Questioned. Vaunted American tolerance goes only so far --- and a short distance at that!

I admit that I like to laugh at the foibles of other people --- and at my own. Recognition that one is a fool is one of the most elementary requisites for being an adult.

As for being repetitive --- well, other people who post here are as repetitive as I am --- though about other matters. Strangely, they do not ellicit the same animus as my humble jottings do.

Many people are very one-sided in their praise of Mom and Apple Pie, and the other venerated dogmas of the American tribal religion. May not a single person look with a jaundiced and disapproving eye at the dark side of the American scene? But it seems that in the United States, more so than in many other places in the world, people are quick to pound down the nail that sticks up.

Originally Posted by Checkerboard Strangler
So, even though Numan is having a good laugh by appearing to be an effete snob who holds his Earl Grey with one pinky extended, I figure he lets his hair down once in a while with a good episode of "My Name is Earl".

It is a simple fact that I have never read or heard of the phrase "My Name is Earl," and I have never watched any prole-feed connected to it.

And I assure you that my pinky is quite athletic.

.
Quote
Must Never Be Questioned.
nu-man, no one here has suggested, hinted or out right stated that american anything should not be questioned. if you are referring to elsewhere, then be clear about it. if not, then you have once again proven that you are clueless.
Numan said~
Quote
As for being repetitive --- well, other people who post here are as repetitive as I am --- though about other matters. Strangely, they do not ellicit the same animus as my humble jottings do.

Maybe it's the delivery of the message. snooze
Originally Posted by AustinRanter
To Numan:

Have you totally lost any sense of love for "your" motherland?

I would say that my feelings toward my "motherland" are quite conflicted. Consider the feelings of those who left Germany after Hitler came to power. It should be easy to imagine how conflicted their love of their fatherland was.

By the way, isn't it interesting that one can get away with calling the United States a "motherland," but it sounds quite odd to call it a "fatherland"?

The Bush junta started the fashion for calling it a "homeland," but it no longer feels like home to me.

Originally Posted by AustinRanter
I have to believe that you too are impressed with a much wider range of art that you've led on to admire.

It is indeed true that I am impressed by a wider range of art than many people appear to think. However, the purpose of my postings on this thread has been to draw a clear distinction between art seen as craftsmanship, technique and taste, and HIgh Art, which illuminates the Good, the True and the Beautiful to a much higher degree than art which merely appeals to individual taste.

In the United States there is much art which displays individuality, quirkyness and interesting techniques, but there is a remarkable lack of High Art which inspires one with a love of the highest pinnacle of human awareness, the knowledge of the Good, the True and the Beautiful.

Yeats has one of his fools say:

All men live in suffering,
I know as few can know,
Whether they take the upper road
Or stay content on the low,
Rower bent in his row-boat
Or weaver bent at his loom,
Horseman erect upon horseback
Or child hid in the womb.
Daybreak and a candle-end.

That some stream of lightning
From the old man in the skies
Can burn out that suffering
No right-taught man denies.
But a coarse old man am I,
I choose the second-best,
I forget it all awhile
Upon a woman's breast.
Daybreak and a candle-end.


Americans, in general, prefer comfort, like the fool in the poem. They turn their backs on the fire from heaven.
Originally Posted by numan
As for being repetitive --- well, other people who post here are as repetitive as I am --- though about other matters. Strangely, they do not ellicit the same animus as my humble jottings do.

Originally Posted by Scoutgal
Maybe it's the delivery of the message.

No, I think it is mainly the content.

It is true, though, that straight talk has never been much appreciated in the United States.

Tippy-toeing and sidling are far more popular.

"Traditionally, the virtuous member of the middle class is encouraged to cultivatre sincerity and its twin, hypocrisy. the sort of harsh truth-telling that one gets in Aristophanes, say, is not possible in a highly organized zoo like the United States, where the best cuts are flung to those who never question the zoo's management."
--- Gore Vidal
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by numan
As for being repetitive --- well, other people who post here are as repetitive as I am --- though about other matters. Strangely, they do not ellicit the same animus as my humble jottings do.

Originally Posted by Scoutgal
Maybe it's the delivery of the message.

No, I think it is mainly the content.

.

Numan, you can't convince me that you really have that much contempt for the U.S. Sorry, don't buy it.

You may disagree with US government...lifestyles of many citizens, capitalism, or whatever, but overall...people are just people for the most part, just doing life a day at a time and hoping their respective governments don't do somethng to kill them all.

All of the stuff about art, yadda, yadda, yadda...all are a by-product of culture.

People are all a circumstance of birth...having no choice whatsoever as to who they would be after being born, who they were born to, any of their physical characteristics...and so-forth. You know that. So in the end...none of us had a choice.

We haven't evolved enough yet to overcome our wild, dark age, agressive, materialistic, self-centric ways. But, we're all working on it little by little.

We still love ya...but come on...not every aspect of the world of America is all that bad. It's a damn mess right now, but if we survive ourself...we'll become better folks in the end.


Originally Posted by AustinRanter
Numan, you can't convince me that you really have that much contempt for the U.S. Sorry, don't buy it.

Well, you're right; Americans are just like everybody else --- only more so!

I don't know why so many people think that I have contempt for the United States. I suspect that it is because so many Americans are hyper-sensitive to fundamental criticisms.

I merely try to look at the American scene with as much dispassion as I do the society of the Roman Empire. There is much that deserves negative criticism in both societies.

There is one historical circumstance that affects Americans more than people living in most other countries. Americans live in a country which is large, influential and relatively rich. More than other countries, it is important to many sinister elements in the world (the Military-Industrial Conspiracy springs to mind) to control and influence the thoughts and emotions of Americans in order to make big bucks for very special interests.

Therefore, Americans are the most propagandized people in the world, and their emotions are constantly being manipulated --- definitely not for their own good!

The Science of Manipulation is very well developed, particularly in the United States; that is why so many Americans have become zombie freaks.

Here is a very important truth: almost any reaction you have in the modern world, of whatever nature, is likely to be the result of manipulation; very few of your emotions really come from you yourself; they have been injected into your psyche by those who definitely do not have your best interests at heart. It is best to have no reaction at all --- just analyse.

And have as little to do with the zombies as possible.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by numan
As for being repetitive --- well, other people who post here are as repetitive as I am --- though about other matters. Strangely, they do not ellicit the same animus as my humble jottings do.

Originally Posted by Scoutgal
Maybe it's the delivery of the message.

No, I think it is mainly the content.

It is true, though, that straight talk has never been much appreciated in the United States.

Tippy-toeing and sidling are far more popular.

"Traditionally, the virtuous member of the middle class is encouraged to cultivatre sincerity and its twin, hypocrisy. the sort of harsh truth-telling that one gets in Aristophanes, say, is not possible in a highly organized zoo like the United States, where the best cuts are flung to those who never question the zoo's management."
--- Gore Vidal

Unlike your comments, "straight talk" isn't wrapped in disdain and condescension. It is delivered without any broadbrushing generalties, or disguising opinion as fact.
'

Well, I think straight talk is often interpreted as disdain by those who are hyper-sensitive.

.
numan, is there a reason that you have to have an insulting tone in your writing? And, no, it isn't because I am hypersensitive. It is because you have an insulting tone.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
numan, is there a reason that you have to have an insulting tone in your writing? And, no, it isn't because I am hypersensitive. It is because you have an insulting tone.
precisely. criticism is fine. for god's sake, i'm incredibly critical of much of what we call culture here. i have enjoyed and revered so much of what you claim to hold dear. but your tone, your demeanor is flat out insulting and it does nothing to perpetuate your argument. and i just plain do not agree with your assessment of mark twain.
'

Is it really true that you are not hyper-sensitive?

When the strongest criticism that you can make about someone is their "tone," rather than the content of what they say, you are starting down a very slippery slope. "Tone" is notoriously subjective; what one person may interpret as insulting, another person will see as mere joshing.

My views are very often sardonic; I am constantly seeing the absurdities in human life, and I am indeed sometimes sarcastic. You would see these characteristics developed to a much higher degree in the writings of Gore Vidal, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, and even Mark Twain. Very few literary critics would interpret the styles of these notable figures as "insulting."

.
'

Is it really true that you are not hyper-sensitive?

When the strongest criticism that you can make about someone is their "tone," rather than the content of what they say, you are starting down a very slippery slope. "Tone" is notoriously subjective; what one person may interpret as insulting, another person will see as mere joshing.

My views are very often sardonic; I am constantly seeing the absurdities in human life, and I am indeed sometimes sarcastic. You would see these characteristics developed to a much higher degree in the writings of Gore Vidal, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, and even Mark Twain. Very few literary critics would interpret the styles of these notable figures as "insulting."

PS: I forgot to include Gore Vidal in my list of notable American literary figures. He is unusual among American writers in being genuinely witty --- though being an American, his wit is not as subtle as that of, say, George Bernard Shaw. His novels about American history are about as accurate as a novelist can make them, and are more objective than the canting boosterism of most "professional" American historians! Even more, I like his novel based on the life of the last pagan emperor of Rome, the Emperor Julian. Even more than his novels, I like his beautifully written essays. He is not always right, but his errors are more impressive than most people's truths.
Well, guess what, numan. I find you insulting.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Well, guess what, numan. I find you insulting.

That is a matter of taste and personal psychology. For an insult to exist, there must be someone who feels it to be an insult.

I, for instance, do not feel insulted by your personal comments about me.

.
Originally Posted by numan
Here is a very important truth: almost any reaction you have in the modern world, of whatever nature, is likely to be the result of manipulation; very few of your emotions really come from you yourself; they have been injected into your psyche by those who definitely do not have your best interests at heart. It is best to have no reaction at all --- just analyse.

And have as little to do with the zombies as possible.
(my acknowledgment of your dramatization in red bold)
I am always on alert when someone starts off by telling how important their information is.

The above struck me.
How did you escape that fate, numan?

You use the word "you" in such an all encompassing way.

I wonder if you're doing some sort of transference here.

I mean are you saying that every single American who chose not to leave...like you of course...is exactly the same? (( mean after all some people can't leave for various reasons..kinda like Katrina. you know?)
Every single one of us has allowed ourselves to be manipulated and propagandized?
Every single one of us lives a plastic life?
When you use the word "you" in such a broad sense is that what you mean?
You can't talk to any one of us as an individual?

I mean...and I mean this seriously...you sound a little bit like a zombie to me. It is starting to sound like some sort of spiel.

That is a serious observation, numan.
What's your point? Why are you here?

As a whole, this country has a crummy record.
I agree with that and worry about our future.
I'm pissed off at some Americans too and spend a lot of time bemoaning their stupidity.

But as an individual, I live a very modest simple life (very) and it works very well for me.


Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Well, guess what, numan. I find you insulting.

That is a matter of taste and personal psychology. For an insult to exist, there must be someone who feels it to be an insult.

I, for instance, do not feel insulted by your personal comments about me.

.

numan, this is not in any way an attack. But I think I can see part of the communication problem.

Emma says she finds you to be insulting.
You respond that in order for insult to exist, someone must feel the insult. Although Emma has just explained that she does feel the insult, you negate her completely by saying that since you don't see insult, it doesn't exist.

It doesn't exist for you, but it does exist for her. But her perspective doesn't seem to be important to you.

Emma has been posting here for some time; her posts are well-written, on topic, and generally backed up by facts. She deserves more respect than a simple negation.

In fact, everyone here - including you - deserves that. It is the courtesy of listening to what others have to say, and responding. It is a very basic part of what the Rant is all about. The Ranter mission statement says "At Reader Rant, everyone is expected to treat each other with dignity and respect. " That is crucial to the conversations here.

Sometimes it truly isn't about what is said, but how it is said - or what is heard. And it has to be a two-way street - otherwise, it's a monologue, not a dialogue. The Rant is a dialogue; a monologue is better suited to a weblog.
Originally Posted by Mellowicious
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Well, guess what, numan. I find you insulting.

That is a matter of taste and personal psychology. For an insult to exist, there must be someone who feels it to be an insult.

I, for instance, do not feel insulted by your personal comments about me.

.

numan, this is not in any way an attack. But I think I can see part of the communication problem.

Emma says she finds you to be insulting.
You respond that in order for insult to exist, someone must feel the insult. Although Emma has just explained that she does feel the insult, you negate her completely by saying that since you don't see insult, it doesn't exist.

It doesn't exist for you, but it does exist for her. But her perspective doesn't seem to be important to you.

Emma has been posting here for some time; her posts are well-written, on topic, and generally backed up by facts. She deserves more respect than a simple negation.

In fact, everyone here - including you - deserves that. It is the courtesy of listening to what others have to say, and responding. It is a very basic part of what the Rant is all about. The Ranter mission statement says "At Reader Rant, everyone is expected to treat each other with dignity and respect. " That is crucial to the conversations here.

Sometimes it truly isn't about what is said, but how it is said - or what is heard. And it has to be a two-way street - otherwise, it's a monologue, not a dialogue. The Rant is a dialogue; a monologue is better suited to a weblog.

Excellently explained, Mellow! Bow
"What is distinctive about American art and let"

I also agree with Mello's post. But want to return to a general comment on the initial topic:

"What is distinctive about American art and letters"

I wonder why there would be anything particularly distinctive?
I am not saying there is not... just wondering why there would be?

From a logical perspective, America has been peopled by settlers mostly from Europe (initially) And later on, from all over the world.

Is there a reason why these people would arrive on these shores and lose any previous inclination towards arts and letters? Or is there some presumption that the governments of Europe had some policies that were essential for the creativity of Beethoven and Shakespeare?

Even if we were to reach some agreement that the arts of the USA are pathetic, or worse even.... what is the point? Is there something about the USA that disallows meaningful creative expression?
Originally Posted by numan
...my humble jottings do.

LOL LOL ROTFMOL LOL LOL
Thank you, Mellow.
Speaks my mind.

Good thoughts, Ardy. I would be interested in that perspective too.
Some of this actual is a good conversation if we can keep it positive instead of condescending and dogmatic.

I'm not sure this has been asked yet but it just occurred to me, what kind of fine art, etc has come out of Canada?
Of course there is Neil Young who I admire greatly.
And Joni Mitchell, of course. But they are both popular artists and do not qualify according to what we've been hearing.

There are, in fact, a large number of Canadians who have come the US, many of them permanently; I am very fond of David Rakoff and especially love his story of becoming a citizen (he had been living here for a long time, but after the 2000 election arrived, he knew he wanted to be able to vote in 2004.) Hmm. His story is rather diametrically opposed to our numan's.

In terms of writers, there are of course Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje (Sri Lankan born,) but again they're both still living so would not qualify. W.P. Kinsella, Alic Munro - again, though, they're current.

Go back further, I guess, and I'm not that familiar with Canadian culture; my older Canadian reading is limited to young peoples' work like Mrs. Mike and the "Anne of Green Gables" series.

Oh. Wait. One of the most famous Canadian writers of all: Robert W. Service.

"A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou. "

Maybe we'd better back up and consider Ondaatje; to my mind one of the finest English-language writers of the late 20th century.
First of all, thanks Mellow and Olyve and others for your emails on my behalf. I never should have even written the first word.

Second, one of my earliest memories is a book of poems by Robert Service. We loved those in my family and often read them out loud. My father's favorite was "The Cremation of Sam McGee" and he always read it in a scary voice.

There's a song by Bob Dylan that always reminded me of a Robert Service story.

Isis

Quote
We came to the pyramids all embedded in ice.
He said, "There's a body I'm tryin' to find.
If I carry it out it'll bring a good price."
'Twas then that I knew what he had on his mind.

The wind it was howlin' and the snow was outrageous.
We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn.
When he died I was hopin' that it wasn't contagious,
But I made up my mind that I had to go on.
Quote
From a logical perspective, America has been peopled by settlers mostly from Europe (initially) And later on, from all over the world.

Is there a reason why these people would arrive on these shores and lose any previous inclination towards arts and letters? Or is there some presumption that the governments of Europe had some policies that were essential for the creativity of Beethoven and Shakespeare?

I've been thinking along those lines, too, Ardy. After all, there are very few real Americans. Maybe it's because the US is still in its childhood, compared to much of the rest of the world. We just haven't been around that long.

People tend to cling to their ethnicities for at least a couple/few generations. But their backgrounds and cultures, of necessity, commingle and interact daily. There won't be a solid and exclusively American base to evolve from for decades to come...if ever.

And that's okay. It is what it is. (As Numan has said, it's best to have no reaction at all.)
Originally Posted by numan
'
The only other possible contender for the title of the "Great American Novel" is Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. It is an extended, sophisticated metaphor about Europe's rape of America and America's corruption of Europe.
If one applies enough PoMo, one can find "sophisticated metaphor about Europe's rape of America and America's corruption of Europe" in a McDonald's menu. I think it was probably a rather straight forward story about a pedophilic sexual pervert who attempted to place the blame for his feelings and actions on a young girl -- you know, the whole blame-the-victim thing.

As to which nation is deficient artistically, relative to others, it should be with another nation -- not a geographic region (e.g., Europe). It's an apples and oranges thingie.

Also, I have found that, for me, art is to be enjoyed and appreciated for its own sake regardless of the nationality of the artist. It is such a time saver if one does not get overly distracted by the analysis and categorization of "Truth, Beauty, and Harmony", don't you think?:-)
Yours,
Issodhos
Yes.

EmmaG
Absolutely, and well put, Issodhos.
Yes
Me too.
Thanks
very nice, iss. very nice.

Originally Posted by issodhos
I think it [Lolita] was probably a rather straight forward story about a pedophilic sexual pervert who attempted to place the blame for his feelings and actions on a young girl --

To regard anything written by Vladimir Nabokov as straight-forward is a very unsophisticated view of his artistic accomplishment.

.
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
But most, if not all, the good people on this board are not destroying the Earth.

This is clearly untrue. There is not a single person alive today who is not abetting the destruction of life on Earth. In the words of Isaiah:

"We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are as filthy rags."

There is not the slightest possibility of changing this situation until we all clearly realize our own ecological sins, and the sins committed in our name.

Above all, we should be furiously angry with our rulers forcing us to be ecological sinners! (For example, by their willful inefficiency in urban planning, and by destroying almost all other means of transport than internal-combustion vehicles)

.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
But most, if not all, the good people on this board are not destroying the Earth.

This is clearly untrue. There is not a single person alive today who is not abetting the destruction of life on Earth. In the words of Isaiah:

"We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are as filthy rags."

There is not the slightest possibility of changing this situation until we all clearly realize our own ecological sins, and the sins committed in our name.

Above all, we should be furiously angry with our rulers forcing us to be ecological sinners! (For example, by their willful inefficiency in urban planning, and by destroying almost all other means of transport than internal-combustion vehicles)

.
Including you, Numan, I take it.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
But most, if not all, the good people on this board are not destroying the Earth.

This is clearly untrue. There is not a single person alive today who is not abetting the destruction of life on Earth. In the words of Isaiah:

"We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are as filthy rags."

There is not the slightest possibility of changing this situation until we all clearly realize our own ecological sins, and the sins committed in our name.

Above all, we should be furiously angry with our rulers forcing us to be ecological sinners! (For example, by their willful inefficiency in urban planning, and by destroying almost all other means of transport than internal-combustion vehicles)

.
it's not an unfair point. however, i would add to AN and say that those of us here are working toward better practices.

Quote
Originally Posted By: Almost Naomi

But most, if not all, the good people on this board are not destroying the Earth.

Quote
This is clearly untrue. There is not a single person alive today who is not abetting the destruction of life on Earth.

Well...okay, Numan. You may have a valid point there. grin As does Phil when he notes that you have included yourself in the Destroyers of Earth Club. But yes, I sometimes generalize the big picture.

However, my point was (as I went on to say in the post from which you extracted the above) that there are boards where the participants are NOT the intelligent, tree-hugger types that some of us here are. Why not spend your time where you can do the most good?

Speaking of big pictures... Nothing lives forever. No matter what we do or don't do. Slow destruction of the earth isn't the best choice...but destruct it eventually will. At least that's how I see it.

Here's my even bigger picture: That it's all an illusion. Nothing has any import whatsoever...other than our own interpretation, in the present instant, of whatever it is we believe we mentally or physically perceive. All thoughts and experiences are lessons from which the thinker alone can learn and evolve.
[Linked Image]
Originally Posted by 2wins
however, i would add to AN and say that those of us here are working toward better practices.

I would agree that most of the people who post here have characters and intelligence that are a notch above the generally low levels we see all around us.

However, no amount of separating glass from paper in your trash, and other sops to ecological bad conscience, can amount to more than a hill of beans in the face of the catastrophe that confronts us.

Only when we regard the ecological crisis as the "moral equivalent of war" can anything useful be accomplished. There must be a total mobilization of all the resources of society directed to restoring some balance in the world --- at least as all-encompassing as took place in World War II --- if utter disaster is to be averted.

It is well and good to say that change begins with each of us --- but it is a dangerous half-truth unless balanced by the dictum of the almost ever-wise George Bernard Shaw:

"I insist on teaching people that they must reform society before they can reform themselves."

.
Originally Posted by olyve
You use the word "you" in such an all encompassing way....

I mean are you saying that...every single one of us has allowed ourselves to be manipulated and propagandized?

Every single one of us lives a plastic life?

Yes, I am saying that. Every single one of us lives and swims (and drowns) in an ocean of drivel and lies that cannot be escaped in the modern world.

The sooner that one clearly recognizes this fact, the sooner can one take counter-measures that may allow one to neutralize some of the more harmful effects of this manipulation, and to escape from those who would destroy our humanity.

The more one denies that one is being manipulated, the more one turns one's back on it and pretends that it does not exist, the more surely will one lose one's soul.

[There, Olyve! I managed not to use the word "you" even once in this posting! At least, above this parenthesis!]
'

I, as an atheist, have always thought that the words of Isaiah,

"We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous acts are as filthy rags"

very well sum up ten thousand years of human "civilization."

We are very poor stewards of the Earth.

.
Originally Posted by numan
[There, Olyve! I managed not to use the word "you" even once in this posting! At least, above this parenthesis!]
Well done!
And thank you, numan.

I actually agree with much of what you say.
Although I've made dramatic adjustments to my lifestyle (I live very modestly) over the last 20 plus years, no matter what, I cannot completely escape the drivel and lies of the modern world.
It frustrates me too.
I don't watch tv so that's not a problem but I do go to the grocery store and there are a lot of lies and certainly attempts to manipulate there.
But I have to eat.

In the bigger picture, there are several threads going on here at RR that discuss the manipulation of the public and how they are soaking it up.
I think the general population here agree with that and don't like it.

Having different and very distinct tastes in art is a very different thing from all of that though to me.
I'm not as deep as you are, numan.
I enjoy a rainbow more than I'd enjoy a statue of a greek god or an essay written 2000 years ago in a barely understandable sentence form (to me). Or a pick up corner street band to Mozart.

Originally Posted by numan
We are very poor stewards of the Earth.

.
I agree....as a whole we sure are.
Don't slam the weak but true hearted efforts that some of us are making though please.
That discourages any effort if you're trying to educate us.
Quote
I enjoy a rainbow more than I'd enjoy a statue of a greek god or an essay written 2000 years ago in a barely understandable sentence form (to me). Or a pick up corner street band to Mozart.


I'm right there with you, Olyve! [Linked Image] Those are the kinds of things that bring tears to my eyes...beauty and life in the here and now...but to each his own.



Originally Posted by olyve
I enjoy a rainbow more than I'd enjoy a statue of a greek god or an essay written 2000 years ago in a barely understandable sentence form (to me). Or a pick up corner street band to Mozart.

It may surprise some people that I agree with you about the rainbow. The works of Nature always, in the end, surpass the feeble human art that, as its highest end, reminds us in some degree of the transcendent grandeur of Existence.

Just imagine a great painting. If we examine it very closely, the art very quickly disappears. Through a magnifying glass, all we see are chaotic bumps and splotches of color. But nature, at whatever level you examine it, from clusters of galaxies to the sub-atomic particles and beyond, never ceases to amaze us with its beauty, its art and its elegance.

As for ancient Greek, if you have not learned the language, you truly have no idea of the wonders you will never experience in your life.

And to prefer a "pick up corner street band" to Mozart! I am shocked, truly shocked and appalled that you would say such a horror! wink

.
Originally Posted by issodhos
...
If one applies enough PoMo, one can find "sophisticated metaphor about Europe's rape of America and America's corruption of Europe" in a McDonald's menu.
How about in an old Budweiser Super-Bowl add, the one's with frogs, lizards, weasels and explosives? Or do you think that is just a bit to sophisticated for even the avant garde of the PoMo cultus? shocked coffee shocked

Quote
I think it was probably a rather straight forward story about a pedophilic sexual pervert who attempted to place the blame for his feelings and actions on a young girl -- you know, the whole blame-the-victim thing.
About as subtle and extended a metaphor as say, Playboy - that is to say, a rather straight-forward demi-fantasy story line about the appeal of sex and the pretense that the author is somehow weaving out a tapestry of great Truth. sick

Quote
Also, I have found that, for me, art is to be enjoyed and appreciated for its own sake regardless of the nationality of the artist. It is such a time saver if one does not get overly distracted by the analysis and categorization of "Truth, Beauty, and Harmony", don't you think?:-)
My favorite American art is by some of the Primitivists - the unknown "artists" who produced those simple, useful and indescribably elegant Clovis points. Perhaps my favorite "old world" artistic creation? That beautiful green diorite bust of Khafre, builder of the second pyramid at Giza.
Originally Posted by Ron G.
[quote=issodhos]

Quote
I think it was probably a rather straight forward story about a pedophilic sexual pervert who attempted to place the blame for his feelings and actions on a young girl -- you know, the whole blame-the-victim thing.
About as subtle and extended a metaphor as say, Playboy - that is to say, a rather straight-forward demi-fantasy story line about the appeal of sex and the pretense that the author is somehow weaving out a tapestry of great Truth. sick
And, surprisingly enough, Ron, the book was banned and/or confiscated in the "civilized" countries of Britain and France, but allowed to be published in the "barbaric" US of da A.:-)
Yours,
Issodhos
Originally Posted by numan
It may surprise some people that I agree with you about the rainbow. The works of Nature always, in the end, surpass the feeble human art that, as its highest end, reminds us in some degree of the transcendent grandeur of Existence.

Just imagine a great painting. If we examine it very closely, the art very quickly disappears. Through a magnifying glass, all we see are chaotic bumps and splotches of color. But nature, at whatever level you examine it, from clusters of galaxies to the sub-atomic particles and beyond, never ceases to amaze us with its beauty, its art and its elegance.

As for ancient Greek, if you have not learned the language, you truly have no idea of the wonders you will never experience in your life.

And to prefer a "pick up corner street band" to Mozart! I am shocked, truly shocked and appalled that you would say such a horror! wink

.
Numan, I agree with every single thing you said especially my emphasis.

I don't believe a word of the last sentence though! grin
Originally Posted by olyve
I don't believe a word of the last sentence though!

You interpret my writing with a subtlety which I do not often find here. wink

.
Originally Posted by Ron G.
Perhaps my favorite "old world" artistic creation? That beautiful green diorite bust of Khafre, builder of the second pyramid at Giza.

It is a remarkable work of art. However, my favorite work of non-monumental Egyptian art, even if it does come from the New Kingdom, is the bust of Nefertiti which is presently held by the �gyptisches Museum in Berlin.

[Linked Image]

As with all great works of sculpture, it looks very different depending on the angle at which it is viewed, and the type of lighting with which it is illuminated. Sometimes she looks young and innocently mischievous, but I am most impressed when she is seen as holding a noble pose, looking eternally across the ages, never flinching as she awaits her gods to speak to her. That sometimes moves me almost to tears.

P.S. What has the United States ever produced that even approaches the magnificence of this single work of art?
Originally Posted by issodhos
...the book was banned and/or confiscated in the "civilized" countries of Britain and France, but allowed to be published in the "barbaric" US of da A.:-
Well, perhaps those refined Europeans - especially the British official that declared it to be the filthiest book he'd ever read - were insufficently aware of the subtle, extended metaphor. A bit too nuanced for them, perhaps?

I believe that Nabokov also achieved some academic fame as the founder of Wellesly's Russian department, and as the curator of Harvard's lepidoptery collection. Too bad he couldn't achieve his potential in the "civilized" world.

And I'll wager a half-donut that he was not at all insulted by the money that Lolita made for him in the land of the barbarian hordes. grin
Originally Posted by numan
...
[Linked Image]
...P.S. What has the United States ever produced that even approaches the magnificence of this single work of art?

It's truly a work of art, isn't it?

And where is "civilized" Europe's and Asia's work that has approached the magnificence of the images of the earth and the moon from space? The blue and white jewel of Earth against the jet black of space, above the harsh, gray-bright and dead surface of the moon rolling past beneath Apollo?

The first Earthrise, from Apollo 8

Should this sublime image from nature, produced by the artistry a raw, young culture, be considered inferior to anything produced by older cultures?

'

Sigh. The obtuseness of so many Americans is one of the many things that make living in the USA so very trying. Dealing with the almost paleolithic lack of sophistication of Americans is like trying to swim through a sea of molasses.

The well-known Canadian novelist Robertson Davies wrote that the theme of Lolita is "not the corruption of an innocent child by a cunning adult, but the exploitation of a weak adult by a corrupt child". It would be more true to say that both these themes are woven together seamlessly with consumate artistry; and even that view of the novel is but a shadow of the higher theme of the exploitation of innocent America by cunning Europe, and the corruption of weak Europe by amoral and exploitative America.

Moreover, Lolita is filled with wit and humor that is uniquely Nabokovian --- though since one would need to be civilized to appreciate it, it will pass over the heads of most Americans.

I know of no work of art that says so much about modern America in so short a space as Lolita, --- not even Aldous Huxley's After Many a Summer, or Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One.

Curious that the best writing about the United States has been by foreigners; but Americans seem to have difficulty seeing even the surface of things --- being taken up with watching the self-congratulatory images flickering across the inner screen of what may be called their minds.

.
Originally Posted by numan
P.S. What has the United States ever produced that even approaches the magnificence of this single work of art?

And your point is?
Originally Posted by numan
P.S. What has the United States ever produced that even approaches the magnificence of this single work of art?

How about this?

or this?
Originally Posted by numan
'
Dealing with the almost paleolithic lack of sophistication of Americans is like trying to swim through a sea of molasses.


.
What does a sea of mole's arses have to do with art, numan? LOL
Yours,
Issodhos
Originally Posted by Ron G.
And where is "civilized" Europe's and Asia's work that has approached the magnificence of the images of the earth and the moon from space? The blue and white jewel of Earth against the jet black of space, above the harsh, gray-bright and dead surface of the moon rolling past beneath Apollo?

Are you now claiming that the United States created the Earth and the Moon?

That seems to pass beyond the customary hubris of even an American!

.
Originally Posted by numan
...
Are you now claiming that the United States created the Earth and the Moon?
That is preposterous! By what sophistry can one possibly arrive at a conclusion that I said/implied any such thing? In the second paragraph, which you omitted, it is my clear and unequivocal statement that

Should this sublime image from nature, produced by the artistry a raw, young culture, be considered inferior to anything produced by older cultures?

Where is there anything that can even be remotely construed as making the claim that you impute to me? I said the image was the product of that artistry, not the articles of nature.

Quote
That seems to pass beyond the customary hubris of even an American!
Had I actually said that, you would be correct. But, since I said no such thing, you appear to be totally wrong.
'

Ron, if taking some photographs of natural objects were to be regarded as high creativity in the arts, I would agree with you.

But it isn't, and I don't.

.
Originally Posted by numan
'
...But it isn't, and I don't.
As I said, a sublime image from nature, and the artistry required to capture it needed great genius and great pains in order for the to have the perspective that it did.

What pallid daubing on canvas, what refined scribbling on paper, could compare to that image? What artist's vision of that great truth and unsurpassed beauty can excel the thing itself?

It is a great feat of art and I believe you are wrong...just as you certainly were when you erroneously implied that I'd claimed "creation" of the Earth and the Moon.
Not to mention the incredible genius it took to get someone up there to take those images.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Not to mention the incredible genius it took to get someone up there to take those images.
Exactly! That is the artistry, the talent I meant.

When I first saw that image, I was moved to tears by the shear power of it. No words to describe that incredible feeling of awe - like Jody Foster in Contact, where she says "No words!... No words to describe it!...They should have sent a poet!"

If it is the purpose if great art to inspire in us that recognition and appreciation of the beauty and truth of the creation about us, then this image was for me - and very possibly for many others - art of unsurpassed quality and depth, even if it was only a stream of electromagnetic pulses emanating from a point a quarter-million miles away from us.


And so it appears that Americas pinnacle, her greatest achievements, are not arts and letters at all, not the daubing of various pigments on canvas, nor the pecking on typewriters by apes until art is achieved, but indeed, the Teknological Artes!
The discoveries of our Natural Philosophers and the productions of their machines. The creator of the camera becomes more than the equal of the greatest painter, the inventor of the recording device more talented than the greatest musician because they can capture all that god has wrought and present it flawlessly to the manufacturer who creates not a single paltry masterpiece but millions upon millions of perfect images and recordings.

Originally Posted by numan
'

Ron, if taking some photographs of natural objects were to be regarded as high creativity in the arts, I would agree with you.

But it isn't, and I don't.

.

I would submit that the photography of Ansel Adams, who took "some photographs of natural objects" should be regarded as "high creativity in the arts."
in the end, it's all relative. numan's approach is numan's approach. do i believe he is wrong? of course. but for his own purposes, and his alone, he is right. of course, based upon the posts i have seen, numan would not agree with this assertion.
Originally Posted by Greger
The creator of the camera becomes more than the equal of the greatest painter, the inventor of the recording device more talented than the greatest musician because they can capture all that god has wrought and present it flawlessly to the manufacturer who creates not a single paltry masterpiece but millions upon millions of perfect images and recordings.

Even Americans don't claim that they invented photography.

.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Not to mention the incredible genius it took to get someone up there to take those images.

Genius? Most of the genius involved came from non-Americans.

Talent, organization and hard work there were in plenty. These are qualities for which the pedestrian American character has a flair.

Originally Posted by Chuck Howard
I would submit that the photography of Ansel Adams, who took "some photographs of natural objects" should be regarded as "high creativity in the arts."

I don't claim that photography can't be art. Obviously, it can.

But the NASA Earth photograph is not an artistic creation. It could just as easily have been taken by a ship-board computer. No creativity at all was involved.

Ansel Adams was a talented, creative man. To call him a genius is probably going too far.

By a curious chemistry of mental association, he reminds me of John Muir and Henry David Thoreau, who were Americans with at least a touch of genius.

.
Originally Posted by numan
...
Even Americans don't claim that they invented photography.
Nor do I think that any of them have claimed to have created the Earth and the Moon, despite your wholely erroneous implication to the contrary.

George Eastman gets credit for having invented a practical dry-film process that made photography a an accessible art for the millions. IIRC, the scientists of the Eastman Kodak Co. get the credit for having developed a practical color film process - Kodachrome - that is 75 years old this summer and which is soon to be discontinued.
Originally Posted by 2wins
in the end, it's all relative. numan's approach is numan's approach. do i believe he is wrong? of course. but for his own purposes, and his alone, he is right. of course, based upon the posts i have seen, numan would not agree with this assertion.

Still, I ask " what is numan's point?"
Assuming what he says is true in his context
what is the point?

ON a different thread, numan asserted that
Originally Posted by numan
One can indeed find much talent in America, but it is notably lacking in genius --- which is one of the most salient indicators of the barbarism and degeneracy of its society.

IMO this is speculative at best...
and, IMO demonstrably wrong since there has been barbarism and degeneracy associated with great art as well as the lack of great art.

Originally Posted by numan
...
Genius? Most of the genius involved came from non-Americans.
IIRC, Werner von Braun stated that the Raketenforschung of the Third Reich derived from the work of American physicist Robert Goddard, of Clark University; he seemed to be surprised that no one understood that.

Quote
Talent, organization and hard work there were in plenty. These are qualities for which the pedestrian American character has a flair.
And for which much of the world seems to be appreciative, even if it is not acknowledged. I believe, are we not, having this exchange through a medium whose existence is almost entirely attributable to the virtues of that pedestrian character which you so readily scorn?

Quote
I don't claim that photography can't be art. Obviously, it can.

But the NASA Earth photograph is not an artistic creation. It could just as easily have been taken by a ship-board computer. No creativity at all was involved.
Perhaps it is better than an artistic creation? A perfect rendition of the truth and beauty of the creation about us, unsullied by the misconceptions and prejudices of the human dauber. Which truly transfixes the soul, the "earthrise" from Apollo 8, or the countless "artist's conception" daubings from works of both science and fiction?
numan, is it your mindset to pretty much disagree with anything anyone says and to then continue on to oneupmanship on every and all occasions? Because it sure seems like it.

Somewhat offtopic
Because of my son's incessant and critical blogs and petitions aimed at Kodak, they have sent him a bucketload of new film technology and asked him to review them. He has also been asked to write photography columns for Blackstar. The first article

Just for fun

Happy day all.

EmmaG
Emma, that's terrific. You must be proud.
Fantastic, Emma!

Originally Posted by numan
You interpret my writing with a subtlety which I do not often find here. wink
I can be trained.
Really. smile
Originally Posted by EmmaG
Happy day all.
EmmaG

Thx so much for sharing that...
I really enjoyed
Originally Posted by EmmaG
...
Because of my son's incessant and critical blogs and petitions aimed at Kodak, they have sent him a bucketload of new film technology and asked him to review them. He has also been asked to write photography columns for Blackstar.
Emma, I shall most graciously concede that your son's claim to fame is worthy of some passing consideration so long as you and he are not so gauche as to assume that this implies a real talent for things artistic, whether written or visual. You must remember the limitations inherent in the American character, American society and American education, and that he has hit the trifecta.

Given your son's limits as a result of his misfortune to be an American rather than the scion of a civilized nation, please understand that he will never be able to write some subtle, extended metaphor such as a sublime word-craftsman like Nabokov would bring forth, or the complex nuancing of the tortured soul that would spring from the brow of a Tolstoy or a Proust or a Joyce. He must, alas, be content with short, rudely-energetic bursts of words that would splatter from the pen of someone like Hemingway, the exemplar of the bloated, drunk and violent culture that is the real America.

Nor should you consider his photography to be real art, for it is mere technology, and any culture - even a pedestrian one like that of America - is capable of reproducing it as it lacks the soul of true art that is exclusively the birthright of those blessed to have been born and intellectually nurtured in some less toxic cultural womb. Therefore, when he - without imagination or real appreciation of truth and beauty - points and clicks at some dull American face that is unanimated by any true sense of taste or refinement, remember that it is not really art, it is just a subtle and extended metaphor of American rape of the world of true civilization and refinement.

Other than those modest proposals for the consideration of your doubtlessly-limited comprehension, I graciously extend to you my leave to enjoy the moment.

grin ROTFMOL grin
Originally Posted by EmmaG
numan, is it your mindset to pretty much disagree with anything anyone says and to then continue on to oneupmanship on every and all occasions?

Well, you are getting warmer. I like to take accepted "wisdom" and stand it on its head. The fact that it most often makes as much --- or as little --- sense as its opposite shows how incorrectly framed our ideas usually are.

My "mindset," as you call it, is to take unquestioned assumptions and question them. If I can make people feel like fools for swallowing so much nonsense, that is all to the good. It is a sound pedagogical method --- at least in the United States, where people are so used to being flattered, not to mention flattering themselves.

.
Originally Posted by Ron G.
Werner von Braun stated that the Raketenforschung of the Third Reich derived from the work of American physicist Robert Goddard, of Clark University; he seemed to be surprised that no one understood that.

von Braun understood very well that you need to flatter Americans outrageously if you are to get anywhere in the United States.

.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by EmmaG
numan, is it your mindset to pretty much disagree with anything anyone says and to then continue on to oneupmanship on every and all occasions?

Well, you are getting warmer. I like to take accepted "wisdom" and stand it on its head. The fact that it most often makes as much --- or as little --- sense as its opposite shows how incorrectly framed our ideas usually are.

My "mindset," as you call it, is to take unquestioned assumptions and question them. If I can make people feel like fools for swallowing so much nonsense, that is all to the good. It is a sound pedagogical method --- at least in the United States, where people are so used to being flattered, not to mention flattering themselves.

.

Thank you for explaining yourself, numan. I now know to ignore anything you say.
Originally Posted by Ron G.
Emma, I shall most graciously concede that your son's claim to fame is worthy of some passing consideration so long as you and he are not so gauche as to assume that this implies a real talent for things artistic, whether written or visual. You must remember the limitations inherent in the American character, American society and American education, and that he has hit the trifecta.

Given your son's limits as a result of his misfortune to be an American rather than the scion of a civilized nation, please understand that he will never be able to write some subtle, extended metaphor such as a sublime word-craftsman like Nabokov would bring forth, or the complex nuancing of the tortured soul that would spring from the brow of a Tolstoy or a Proust or a Joyce. He must, alas, be content with short, rudely-energetic bursts of words that would splatter from the pen of someone like Hemingway, the exemplar of the bloated, drunk and violent culture that is the real America.

Nor should you consider his photography to be real art, for it is mere technology, and any culture - even a pedestrian one like that of America - is capable of reproducing it as it lacks the soul of true art that is exclusively the birthright of those blessed to have been born and intellectually nurtured in some less toxic cultural womb. Therefore, when he - without imagination or real appreciation of truth and beauty - points and clicks at some dull American face that is unanimated by any true sense of taste or refinement, remember that it is not really art, it is just a subtle and extended metaphor of American rape of the world of true civilization and refinement.

Bravo, Ron! I knew that you had a sense of humor --- buried somewhere very deep within you!

I see also that my gentle remonstrances about the American scene have awoken apperceptions of the truth in you. Socrates would be proud of me! I could not have said it better than you have! Every sentence you have crafted has the lustre of true gold! Dare I say that this is a work of art?

Moreover, Emma's son, or anyone else, if they take to heart the truths you have imparted, has some hope of escaping the handicap and darkness of being born American, and entering the sunlit uplands of true civilization, where they may achieve the chief end of a human being: to glorify Beauty, and enjoy it forever.

.
Quote
Moreover, Emma's son, or anyone else, if they take to heart the truths you have imparted, has some hope of escaping the handicap and darkness of being born American, and entering the sunlit uplands of true civilization, where they may achieve the chief end of a human being: to glorify Beauty, and enjoy it forever.
ROTFMOL you are full of yourself . ROTFMOL
Originally Posted by 2wins
ROTFMOL you are full of yourself . ROTFMOL [/quote]

It seems some residual of numan's american heritage remains. You can take the american out of america... etc
Originally Posted by Ardy
Originally Posted by 2wins
ROTFMOL you are full of yourself . ROTFMOL

It seems some residual of numan's american heritage remains. You can take the american out of america... etc [/quote]damn, if there was a slap my knee emoticon i would use it. LOL
Originally Posted by Ardy
It seems some residual of numan's american heritage remains. You can take the american out of america... etc

That is a perceptive remark. Yes, some of my Americanness remains; it is my handicap and my cross to bear. I take some comfort that it may serve as a warning to others to flee from the infection of things American.

.
Originally Posted by numan
Originally Posted by Ardy
It seems some residual of numan's American heritage remains. You can take the American out of America... etc

That is a perceptive remark. Yes, some of my Americanness remains; it is my handicap and my cross to bear. I take some comfort that it may serve as a warning to others to flee from the infection of things American.

.

Did you flee the infection, or merely spread it?
In any case, you have clearly gained our rapt attention.
Quote
In any case, you have clearly gained our rapt attention.
Ain't that the truth!!

I tend to be bored by the Ancients, the Classics and yes, even the dear, dead, deranged Geniuses (unless their lives had been interesting enough to merit a story in history's equivalent of a tabloid newspaper). There's more than enough in the here and now to keep me amazed, amused, educated and occupied...and pedantic pedagogy makes me rolleyes if not sick.

But I do come back to these discussions (frightening as that might be shocked )...and am wondering why...and if maybe I should seek out a 'smiley' that has his tongue embedded in his cheek...
[Linked Image]there ya go, Naomi. I got this one from you.

High fives, babe. wink
Originally Posted by numan
...
von Braun understood very well that you need to flatter Americans outrageously if you are to get anywhere in the United States.
Flattery or not, the reality is that the pioneering work in liquid-fueled rocketry was done by an American, Robert Goddard, mostly in the 1920s, and that it was the foundational science upon which von Braun, Ley, et al. built the German V-2 program.

Goddard's work is documented, so, barring any actual and credible evidence from you that such science was the pure or largely unadulterated product of one of your preferred European national cultures, then I prefer to accept the reality rather than your prejudices.
Originally Posted by numan
...
I see also that my gentle remonstrances about the American scene have awoken apperceptions of the truth in you. Socrates would be proud of me! I could not have said it better than you have! Every sentence you have crafted has the lustre of true gold! Dare I say that this is a work of art?
Actually, you completely missed the point. In reality it was a subtle and extended metaphor on the snobbery of the faux intellectual. They are easy to spot and an easy and cheap source of low humor, whether they be effete Europeans angered at their impotence, ex-pats from somewhere else trying to rationalize their coming here to make a living, or ex-pat Americans trying desperately to appear worthy of a reserved table at some Left Bank hangout for wannabes.

I imagine that Socrates would have been put off at your hubris and sophocles or Euripides would have made you the butt of Olympian vengeance.
Quote
My "mindset," as you call it, is to take unquestioned assumptions and question them. If I can make people feel like fools for swallowing so much nonsense, that is all to the good. It is a sound pedagogical method
A couple points for your consideration Numan:
1. We are not here to be taught, so pedagogical methods are inappropriate. We are here to discuss and yes, learn from one another. But to assume a pedagogical stance is insulting to the rest of us for it assumes you know something we should learn and have consented to that relationship. It may come as news, but in all the many postings here I have very seldom seen anything you said that was a fact that none of the rest of us knew. It is all opinion, and that is not a part of the pedagogical method.

2. Questioning any and all assumptions is valuable. But that is not what you do. You claim to express truth, I suppose in your mind "truth to power" which is not a challenge to accepted knowledge but a claim of knowledge. Again, almost never do you state facts, and even rarer is your backing up your claims with links to background or source material, as is urged by our guidelines. Where are your reasoned, thought through suggestions for making change in your former home?

3. This assertion of a unique view of knowledge lacks all semblance of humility and is thrown in, you now apparently admit, merely to incite "Americans." That is an argumentative stance that is offensive and merely riles people up, not inform or seek truth.

Everyone on this board knows that the U.S. is a terribly, maybe even fatally flawed nation. But that knowledge is coupled with a desire and in most a commitment to find ways to improve those flaws. I do not see that in your post. As a matter of fact, you have fled the U.S. and now seek to demonize over 300 million people.

You know you could have stayed here and helped out rather than run away and take pot shots at us. I truly hope you are happier where you are and that your new home allows you to flourish.

But if you aren't part of the solution -- and I mean more than bloviating -- then you are part of the problem no matter how you try to paint things as "pedagogical."

So, simply put, you need a lesson in humility.
'

Americans are so cute when they get angry.

.
Originally Posted by Ardy
Did you flee the infection, or merely spread it?

I think of myself as a kind of vaccine that confers resistance to the disease of Americanism.

Quote
In any case, you have clearly gained our rapt attention.

You are too kind.

.
I'm wondering how you got that infection and what happened that filled you with such hate against America. Were you in prison? Beat up by a motorcycle gang? Kicked out of college for being too ... smart?
Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
So, simply put, you need a lesson in humility.

It seems to be my fate to be always teaching the lessons in humility.
Originally Posted by EmmaG
I'm wondering how you got that infection and what made hate of America poison you so.

Oh dear, oh dear! Americans are so "either--or"!

I'm wondering what scarred you so that you see mild criticism as hate?

.
It was not an either-or statement. It was a question you don't seem to want to answer.
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
I tend to be bored by the Ancients, the Classics and yes, even the dear, dead, deranged [?] Geniuses....

Too bad; that is your loss.

Aristotle was asked how the educated differed from the uneducated. He replied, "As the living from the dead."

That pretty well sums it up.

.
Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
That is an argumentative stance that is offensive and merely riles people up....

It is almost the essence of the disease of Americanism that they are so quick to take offense.

.
Quote
Too bad; that is your loss.

Why would you think that, Numan?

What is a loss to you is not necessarily a loss to me.

I enjoy life, love a good laugh, have wonderful friends. I cry when something exquisite, sad, loving or simple touches my heart. I can touch the incredible and infinite existence of my soul. I'm rendered speechless by the beauty of nature, by animals of all kinds, by the innocence and honesty of children, by my granddaughters' smiles, by the compassion and helping hand given by one stranger to another...and by so much more, every day.

I don't feel any sense of loss due to the fact that some man-made things bore me. What lights my fire may not light yours. And that's okay.

I've done so much more in 62 years than I ever thought I would. I'm content. I welcome new experiences, but won't chase after them. Let them come to me; it's better that way.

If you'd like to pity my 'loss' that's fine. But I won't join you in that.

Quote
Aristotle was asked how the educated differed from the uneducated. He replied, "As the living from the dead."

Depends on one's definition of educated. Life is my school and I'm always in attendance.

Sure, I shuffled through what, to me, were dry, dismal, waste-of-time years sitting in classrooms, memorizing what was then, and still is now, generally useless to me...most of which I happily forgot when the final exam was over and I could get back to life.

Academically I got through easily enough. (I'm a member of MENSA but let it lapse years ago. I find those people a bit strange.) But I learned so much more of real importance...to me, at least...once the academics ended.

Life is short. All book-learning, music and art will be meaningless once I'm dead. My choice is to learn by following my heart and soul...and trusting them to take me exactly where I need to be. Not to your destinations, or anyone else's, but to mine.

For me, that pretty well sums it up.
Originally Posted by Ron G.
Goddard's work is documented, so, barring any actual and credible evidence from you that such science was the pure or largely unadulterated product of one of your preferred European national cultures....

Did you ever hear of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky?

[Linked Image]


Von Braun would have been praising Tsiolkovsky instead of Goddard, if it had been the Russians who had taken him prisoner, rather than the Americans.

YOUTUBE: Tom Lehrer - Wernher von Braun

Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
Depends on one's definition of educated. Life is my school and I'm always in attendance.

If that is true, then you are educated.

.
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
Quote
Too bad; that is your loss.

Why would you think that, Numan?

What is a loss to you is not necessarily a loss to me.

I enjoy life, love a good laugh, have wonderful friends. I cry when something exquisite, sad, loving or simple touches my heart. I can touch the incredible and infinite existence of my soul. I'm rendered speechless by the beauty of nature, by animals of all kinds, by the innocence and honesty of children, by my granddaughters' smiles, by the compassion and helping hand given by one stranger to another...and by so much more, every day.

I don't feel any sense of loss due to the fact that some man-made things bore me. What lights my fire may not light yours. And that's okay.

I've done so much more in 62 years than I ever thought I would. I'm content. I welcome new experiences, but won't chase after them. Let them come to me; it's better that way.

If you'd like to pity my 'loss' that's fine. But I won't join you in that.

Quote
Aristotle was asked how the educated differed from the uneducated. He replied, "As the living from the dead."

Depends on one's definition of educated. Life is my school and I'm always in attendance.

Sure, I shuffled through what, to me, were dry, dismal, waste-of-time years sitting in classrooms, memorizing what was then, and still is now, generally useless to me...most of which I happily forgot when the final exam was over and I could get back to life.

Academically I got through easily enough. (I'm a member of MENSA but let it lapse years ago. I find those people a bit strange.) But I learned so much more of real importance...to me, at least...once the academics ended.

Life is short. All book-learning, music and art will be meaningless once I'm dead. My choice is to learn by following my heart and soul...and trusting them to take me exactly where I need to be. Not to your destinations, or anyone else's, but to mine.

For me, that pretty well sums it up.
Nice post, Naomi.
I plan to live life until the day I die too.
Originally Posted by Almost Naomi
Life is short. All book-learning, music and art will be meaningless once I'm dead.

Everything will be meaningless once we are dead --- except for the everlasting glory of Beauty, Goodness and Truth.

It's nice if there is an echo of us in that magnificent Immensity, but it is not essential.

That pretty well sums up Enlightenment.

.
Originally Posted by numan
...
Did you ever hear of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky?

[Linked Image]
Yes I have. Like Goddard, he was largely unappreciated in his own time and place.

Quote
Von Braun would have been praising Tsiolkovsky instead of Goddard, if it had been the Russians who had taken him prisoner, rather than the Americans.
Think so? according to your Wiki article, he got his act together only after hearing of Goddard's 1919 LFR work.

Thus, the fact remains that the German V-2 program, a LFR, was indebted to the work of Goddard, and since the Russians relied largely on the German researchers captured by them, it would appear, too, that the lineage of Soviet rocketry is more traceable to Goddard than to their own native son.

Goddard and Tsiolkovsky should, like Newton and Leibniz did for calculus and Adams and Leverrier did for Neptune, be accorded essentially the same honors.
'

Tsiolkovsky for elegant analysis, Goddard for grubby tinkering:

Europe and America!

.
Originally Posted by numan
'

Tsiolkovsky for elegant analysis, Goddard for grubby tinkering:

Europe and America!

.
Hardly.

Goddard was a physicist, and his "grubby tinkering" - as you choose to dismiss it - was well-founded on the theoretical work that he did.

Your attitude reminds me so much of others I've met over the years who expressed a similar sense of the cultural equivalent of penis envy.
Originally Posted by numan
'

Americans are so cute when they get angry.

.
Once again, Numan, you are speaking into your mirror. Can't handle the truth, can you?
Originally Posted by Phil Hoskins
Can't handle the truth, can you?

Hard to say; I never find anyone who speaks it.

.
Originally Posted by numan
[Everything will be meaningless once we are dead --- except for the everlasting glory of Beauty, Goodness and Truth.
How will you KNOW that, numan? Being that you're dead and all.. wink.
numan, this thread keeps going because you keep hanging yourself and we seem to be enjoying that.
Originally Posted by SkyHawk
How will you KNOW that, numan? Being that you're dead and all.. wink.

My knowledge or lack of same is irrelevant. The Source of All Glory surpasses mere knowledge as life surpasses death.

Videmus nunc per speculum in aenigmate: tunc autem facie ad faciem. Nunc cognosco ex parte: tunc autem cognoscam sicut et cognitus sum.
We see now in a mirror in darkness, then however face to face. Now I know but a little, then however I shall know just as I am known.

Not quite right. Better would be: "there shall be knowledge just as I am known."

There is no human being on earth capable of declaring with certitude who he is. No one knows what he has come into this world to do, what his acts correspond to, his sentiments, his ideas, or what his real name is, his enduring Name in the register of Light... History is an immense liturgical text where the iotas and the dots are worth no less than entire verses or chapters, but the importance of one or the other is indeterminable and profoundly hidden.
--- Jorge Luis Borges

Originally Posted by 2wins
numan, this thread keeps going because you keep hanging yourself and we seem to be enjoying that.

I am pleased to be a source of innocent merriment for all you fine folks.

.
you're a good sport numan
Originally Posted by 2wins
you're a good sport numan

I know. grin

Ah! By wracking my brains, I have thought of another American who may be regarded as great!

My local library has a DVD of Edward S. Curtis' 1914 classic, In the Land of the War Canoes, which I viewed, once again last night. It was, I think, the first ethnographic movie, and is a masterpiece. It shows that America can occasionally produce an intelligent man, and casts yet more shame, if that is possible, on D. W. Griffith, whose Birth of a Nation was made at about the same time.

For those who have been unfortunate enough not to have seen Curtis' film, it is about the pre-contact life of the Kwakiutl Indians of northern Vancouver Island.

Curtis' major work was his stunning photographs of the North American Indians. He was someone of whom Americans could be proud, so naturally he has been ignored by his philistine countrymen.

Here is a clip from youtube. I couldn't find the war canoe scene. Too bad!



numan, I disagree that Curtis has been ignored, but I didn't know he made a film.

EmmaG
curtis has hardly been ignored. but let's be careful not to make too much hay over his work. while much it was beautiful and his heart was in the right place, he also had his critics. curtis managed to travel with a costume bin, if you will, and would create his photographs to his liking, forgoing the tragic state of the american indians at the time he was photographing them.
'

And some people imagine that I am overly critical.of things American!

Sometimes i think that only those Americans who are really worthy of respect are the targets of most Americans' spite and envy!

.
Originally Posted by numan
'

And some people imagine that I am overly critical.of things American!

Sometimes i think that only those Americans who are really worthy of respect are the targets of most Americans' spite and envy!

.
let me be clear here. i love curtis' work. if i could afford the reprints circulating from his original plates i would have them. instead, i have books containing his prints. books i have and continue to por over. however, i am also familiar with the history of his expeditions, what i believe to be a genuine concern for the people he photographed, from the perspective of a white man of his period. but to look at the photographs thoughtfully and respectfully, one should also know the history, what took place and why. to appreciate art, appreciating the beauty is not enough, imo.
Originally Posted by 2wins
...to look at the photographs thoughtfully and respectfully, one should also know the history, what took place and why. to appreciate art, appreciating the beauty is not enough, imo.

Beauty is always enough, in my not so humble opinion.

But I agree with you that it does not hurt to know as much about the art and artist as possible.
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