Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Opera Wednesday

Victor Borge, the Great Dane, offers us a little opera comedy - and, let's be honest, who among us couldn't use a little laughter nowadays? The brave Marilyn Mulvey accompanies him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander: incident at the Renée Fleming recital

The recent recital at the Peace Center in Greenville featuring Renée Fleming that I attended (also scratched her name from the "best singer I've yet to see" list since I have now seen her;  that honour goes to Анна Нетребко) also caused a microaggression by the Left after I entered my seat that cost only one Andrew Jackson (a twenty dollar ticket is still better than a sixty dollar ticket that's 150 feet away for a mega-pop star).  In time, you must show the Left a taste of their own medicine.  As I introduced myself to a few people around our seating area before the event, the young woman next to me introduced a second woman as "my wife".

That was an automatic red light district.  That is not possible -- a woman cannot take a wife (only a man can).  Citing Sections 20-1-10 ("No woman shall marry . . . another woman.") and 20-1-15 ("A marriage between two persons of the same sex is null and void ab initio."), I knew this wasn't real.  This was offensive to anyone, especially the seventy-eight percent in this state that made their vote heard in 2006.  To take from Leviticus 18:22, "(A man) shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."  In this case, a woman shall not like with womankind, as with mankind.  As Romans 1:27 noted, these two women left the natural use of the man, burned in their lust one towards another, and women with women working that was unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Thankfully someone had a seat in another section that his daughter was to use but she had been given a ticket to move up to the best sections, and I took that seat in a lower section.  I was pleased that I took the seat, since these people need to learn they are offending The Seventy-Eight Percent with their actions.  Why is it these crybabies get to dictate their mandate to everyone else?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Flashback Friday: The legacy of Steve Jobs

Bruce Frohnen has some thoughts on Steve Jobs, and they're not pretty.*  Example:
To put it bluntly (as is my wont) what I have read about him leads me to see him as a mean-spirited narcissist who translated a certain aesthetic sensitivity and capacity for bullying and hucksterism into a colossal waste of money and collective time, further separating Americans from one another in pursuit of a false control over their environment. As bad, his personality and corporate ethos furthered highly damaging political and economic structures of a kind best described as libertarian socialism, in which corporations and rich individuals behave without conscience, expecting the social programs they vote for but seek to escape funding to pick up the pieces from their own “creative” destruction. I also see him as in many ways a sad character, emotionally and spiritually stunted in part because of the failings of the infantilizing environment in which he grew up. 
*(H/T - I wish I could remember.  A mind is a terrible thing to waste.)

Frohnen looks at Jobs through the lens of what it means to grow up as a spoiled child in the culture of the '60s and '70s, with virtually no restrictions on his behavior.  "Jobs was, frankly, coddled. His father sacrificed his career, moved, rearranged his workspace, and berated Jobs’ teachers, all to see to it that his precious genius would be given the best experiences and life chances possible."  The parents allowed him to quit going to church (not surprising, since "too many parents were mostly going through the motions" themselves), indulged him, sacrificed to give him whatever he wanted.  It was, in other words, all-too typical of the lifestyle one finds in California, "a place people moved to get more money and better weather, and where being the first one on the block to recycle, or get a fancy car, was more important than staying married and taking care of your kids, let alone showing common decency."  More:
Eventually, Jobs moved out of his hovel with the drug den in the attic, travelling to the commune (probably still there—did I mention Reed is in Portland?), to his parents’ house, and to India. He got a girl pregnant along the way, denied paternity, encouraged her to get an abortion (she didn’t), then walked away, still denying paternity for some years after. In other words, he engaged in all the usual “hi-jinks” and “mind expanding experiences” one associates with the adolescent mindset of the counterculture.
I've never been a Steve Jobs fan; visionary though he may have been in certain areas, I always thought it came at too high a price, and was of dubious merit.  I admit, I've got an iPhone and an iPod, and my next laptop is probably a Mac.  Nevertheless, as I've said before, the ends seldom ever justify the means.  So it's no surprise that I'd read Frohnen's words with relish.  But to simply revel in insulting Jobs because I didn't like him is pretty hollow unless it can be put in context - I prefer, whenever possible, to have a good reason for not liking someone - and this Frohnen does.

Because in the end, miserable person though Jobs may have been, one can't help but feel a certain sympathy for him, because he was so obviously a product of his time: let down by his parents, indulged by society, free to come up with brilliant ideas (many of which have had devastating consequences), but free also to live a lifestyle that demeans his humanity.  Whether looking at free sex, drugs run rampant, the fruits of Vatican II, or so many of the things that have come out of the era, it's clear that what we are left with is the wages of sin.  And, as Frohnen concludes, "Thanks in no small part to Steve Jobs, his fan clubs, and his like-minded competitors this is, potentially, our future. And we should be very, very afraid."


Originally published May 26, 2014

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Opera Wednesday

One of the loveliest moments in opera: the unforgettable, bittersweet trio that concludes Richard Strauss' magnificent Der Rosenkavalier. This clip from 1982 features Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Judith Blegen, and Tatiana Troyanos. The conductor is James Levine, with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra.

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