Monday, August 15, 2011

The Brain is the Soul - For the Secularist

The other day I had my mid-year review at my office.  After the main portion of the meeting, in which we talked about me, my performance and my goals, my boss asked if there was anything, anything at all, that I thought could increase the unit's efficiency.  Since it was a private meeting and she seemed generally curious, I said, No, there isn't, because a certain coworker of ours has been much quieter recently.  I said it with some pleasure because a few weeks earlier the story would have been different.

This coworker is 100% office nightmare stereotype.  Beer belly, stiletto heels, miniskirts, late 30s, is always talking either about how many hot guys she met at the club or how she is going to raise her children after she is married, etc.  She is quite loud when she does so, and of course quite loud when she is on the phone yelling at customers.  A few months ago a few of us complained to various managers and she obviously got the message.

My manager seemed to want to vent ever so slightly.  She said that this coworker had been like that for years, and that when it was first mentioned to her she responded with tremendous anger.  My manager stopped herself from going into too much detail and simply said she was glad, as was I, that the situation had improved.  Then she added, apropos of nothing, that Miss Noisypumps is the smartest person she's ever met.

Now of course I don't believe that, and looking back I don't think my manager does either.  Yet I don't think it was a lie, either.  It was more like a benediction.  It's pretty nasty to let on that you think someone's character is rotten, but there is nothing apparent about Miss Noisypumps' demeanor, work performance, or appearance that would redeem her.  My manager had to balance out our mutual recognition of Noisypumps' worthlessness with something that seemed substantial, yet couldn't be disproven.

As far as I know, no Christian ever seriously attempted to measure the human soul.  It wouldn't make any sense to do so.  Yet measuring brainpower is a pretty straightforward business of progressive matrices, reverse digit span, vocabulary, etc.  So why does the PC left say it can't be measured?

Or should I say, why does the secular PC left say intelligence can't be measured?  Put that way, the question is in the answer: secularists threw away the soul because they didn't know what it was used for.  Unfortunately, they also suffer from mind-body dualism, and seem to believe that your body is not your self but merely a servant of your self.  With the soul gone, the only thing left to be your self is your brain.

Measuring the brain is easy enough, but dead brains don't count.  It's what the brain does that is so important.  Therefore, the secular PC left, egalitarian to the core, refuses to measure intelligence, or even to admit that that is possible.

Egalitarians need brainpower to be immeasurable so that whenever they run into an overgrown, silicone-enriched female thing wobbling around in high heels yelling about how hard she parties, they can say, "That is a person too.  That person is valid and human and as legitimate as me and it would be wrong of me to push that person down a flight of stairs."

The alternative, for people who just can't figure out the soul, would be maturity and self-control.  "That bipedal creature is a waste of space.  The community would be better off if it were euthanized.  However, that is not my job."  No speculation, no pretty lies about cognition, no extraneous moral judgements, just a recognition of facts.  Alas, the PC left seems uninterested in maturity and self-control.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Factually Incorrect Humor

I prefer my jokes to be based on facts.  Here is one that isn't (and my humorless replies, suitable to the humorless joke that civilization became when it died).  (And another version.)

Your car is German.  (Mine is indeed an import; I had a Ford until it got totaled; if hunting season were longer someone might have bagged the doe that was waltzing on the freeway before I hit her.)

Your vodka is Russian.  (Can't stand the stuff.  The word "vodka" probably originated in Poland.)

Your pizza is Italian.  (Semantics.  Heavy-cheese low-veg pizzas are really an American thing, but leftover veg on flatbread is indeed Italian.)

Your kebab is Turkish.  (Uh-oh ... kebabs originate in Persia.)

Your democracy is Greek.  (The Greeks had a sensible democracy with a limited franchise.  Universal male suffrage is a Franco-American corruption.)

Your sauna is Finnish.  (Go Finland!)

Your coffee is Brazilian.  (Probably should have skipped this one.  Dozens of countries export coffee.)

Your movies are American.  (My movies are British.  I'm interested in neither vampires nor serial killers, thankyouverymuch.)

Your humor is Jewish.  (This is the truest item on the list.)

Your electronics are Chinese.  (Maybe, I usually see them credited to the Japanese.  The import innovations were all American.)

Your numbers -Arabic.  (Hindu, actually.  Oops, second time an Indo-Aryan invention has been assigned to someone else.)

Your letters -Latin.  (True.)

Your tea is Tamil.  (See "coffee", above.)

Your shirt is Indian.  (Oh.)

Your oil is Saudi Arabian.  (Not my fault, but true enough.)

And you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant?  (Hmm...


I fled to an area with low crime and it just so happens that none of my neighbors are immigrants.  If I lived next to the charming Chinese family who runs the second-best restaurant in town, I doubt I would have any complaints.  If I had unpleasant immigrants for neighbors I wouldn't complain anyway since many employers would fire a white man for speaking his mind, and many immigrants would get violent with him.  I have a family to provide for and I can't do that while unemployed, in the hospital, or in prison fighting "hate crime" (self-defense) charges.

In case the person making up this joke didn't know it, kebabs, shirts, and saunas don't reproduce.  If they did reproduce, it's not entirely clear to me that the first generation of US-born kebabs, shirts, and saunas would commit crimes at rates several times higher than their parents.

The rate of kebab-perpetrated violence is negligibly low in any case.  Shirts and saunas, on the other hand, can be downright brutal.  See, I can be funny too!  It's just that my jokes don't make light of the physical and demographic persecution of the decent, ordinary descendants of a once-great, spacefaring, inventive, generous civilization by the Mexican mafia, Islamic extremists, Islamic moderates, and the like.)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"They Don't Make that Kind of Music Any More!"

I've heard it a hundred times.  People wonder where classical music went, and a cynic tells them "that kind of music" is dead, killed by serialism.  Tonal, non-serial music, we are told, is too naïve, or perhaps too beautiful, to have survived modernism (read: World War I).  

Somewhere, in one of the darkest corners of the right end of the blogosophere, I ran into Richard T. Hill.  (I think it was in a tract someone wrote about how black metal is a conservative revolution in music.)  He is an eclectic musician.

Your idea of eclectic may be one of those ska musicians who does a little reggae on the side, or a modern jazz guy who does a little swing, or a doom metal head who dabbles in death metal too.  Richard T. Hill plays a guitar in a band and composes formal music for strings, winds, and piano.  It's no gimmick, either; this is no Guns and Roses backed by the London Snoot-Harmonic.  This is the real mccoy - melody, harmony, classical timbres, and form.

For this post, I'll review his String Quartet No. 1: Iberia.  Other reviews will follow.

Hill's treatment of melody is classic.  By that I mean it recalls exactly what I want to hear when I am listening to classical music - a melody that is not too sweet but not abstruse.  If you can imagine your bubblegum pop song tasting like bubblegum, and your university-approved pantonal serial thingumbob tasting like the pages of your nine-grade algebra book, Hill's melodies taste like a filet mignon in a Béarnaise sauce.  (This is what happens when you read music reviews by people who have no education in the subject - you get food analogies.)

The handling of mood is also classic and kept me coming back.  For some reason, when the mood becomes sad toward the end of the first section, it is always a little bit of a surprise, which engages me toward the piece as a whole rather than leaving me just coolly noting "That's a nice melody."  Unchanging mood is a huge turnoff and why I can't get into minimalism or serialism (if the mood changes it is in way that is too abstruse for me).  I feel like the same mood leads off the last section and then transforms.

The harmonies are not as easy to digest.  They show hints of modernism, a little dissonance here and there.  The effect is to lighten the piece somehow, not to make it comical, but to show that Hill isn't trying to imitate old-fashioned harmonic rules.  

Hill's use of pizzicato (he devotes one of the piece's four sections to it), is quite ambitious.  In my experience it is unusual for such extended use of this technique, which is used sparingly most of the time it is encountered.  The pizzicato conversation between Hill's strings continues, carrying the listener through the piece's least emotional ideas.  

Then of course we are treated to a tango which is the only revisitation of the original melody which was obvious to me.  It is classical music as it should be - a voluptuous melody is established and superseded until the music becomes unrecognizable.  The composers teases us with beautiful timbres in unfamiliar melodies which refuse to repeat what we so want to hear again - for a time.  When the sweetness returns we want to cheer, if only it were that kind of music.

Invent beauty.  Declare it boldly.  Develop it in several directions - don't be afraid to get cerebral.  Then bring back the simple beauty.  This form seems to have been forgotten by the hyperformalist composers of the academy.  Why even bother to write a nice melody if you're going to throw it away?  But of course "nice melody" is not the kind of thing people get MFAs in any more. 

Emotionally, Iberia reminds me of The Gathering's "In Motion" more than anything else - a pair of ambient / goth / metal songs that have nothing in common with Hill's composition in terms of instrumentation, rhythm, or any of that.  Why?  Because Anneke's voice is one the boldest statements of feminine beauty in music I've ever heard.  The violin in Hill's quartet is a glimpse of the same kind of beauty.

Listen to Hill at Reverb Nation.  (Oh, and you can listen to The Gathering at YouTube.)

Friday, August 5, 2011

The WTMJ News Team Tells the Truth

In a surprising instance of actual news coverage, WTMJ posted an uncensored news article covering black-on-white mob violence in Milwaukee.  It was picked up by Fox Nation.
[Violent black bigots] were looking in everybody's windshield as they were running by, seeing who was white and who was black.  Guarantee it....  I saw them grab this white kid who was probably 14 or 15 years old.  They just flung him into the road.  They just jumped on him and started beating him.
This is the first incidence of honest reporting of random anti-white violence perpetrated by black in a mainstream news source.  This is big.  Make no mistake.

Naturally, bloggers with more time and energy than I have already covered this.  Dennis has, and so has Ryu at M4 Monologue.  At American Renaissance, Joseph Kay wonders whether the mobs represent the end of the unspoken agreement between ruling-class leftists and underclass blacks, since the former are still ponying up other people's money and job opportunities to appease the latter, but the latter aren't playing nice any more.  Hat tips to you all.

I'd just like to make note of a silver lining (unprecedented media honesty) as well as the storm clouds (August is not over yet, nor is the depression).

Addendum: Donovan and Dudzik, two of Milwaukee's aldermen, have released a statement specifically naming African Americans as being the perpetrators of anti-white violence.  (Hat tip once again to AmRen, which is really doing sterling work.)  I expect the retaliation from the establishment left will be swift, but I'm no longer so sure it will be decisive.  No Arizona sheriffs have been assassinated, after all, and they have a whole lot tougher guys mad at them.

Also, Unamused posted on this.  I expect it will be less polite than Mangan's, maybe a smidgen more polite than Ryu's.