You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2017.
“Perhaps the best reflection of these emotional extremes is the Second Movement, which he titled “Funeral March,” a powerful musical evocation of the massive state funerals then taking place in Paris.
The music suggests the thunder of drums and the roar of the crowd. In this movement, Beethoven explores grief, its public face and its intimate expression.
The oboe solo at the beginning is a personalized and interior expression of grief within a public ceremony. It’s a modern solo in that it has tremendous psychological dimension.
The music is evocative—we can almost see the funeral procession pass before us and ask, What really has died here? Perhaps it is part of Beethoven that is being mourned.
In the years before he wrote Eroica, Beethoven realized he was going deaf, and his initial reaction was terror and shame. He tried to keep it a secret. He couldn’t bear for anyone to know that he—a musician—was not able to hear.
But he came to realize that, as a musician, he could function perfectly well. What really scared him was being cut off from other people, losing the possibility of hearing intimate conversation.
What kind of strange, isolated, lonely, crazy individual was he in danger of becoming? That was the real terror.
As Beethoven’s personal crisis deepened in 1802, he took refuge in the village of Heiligenstadt. He hoped that the quiet of the countryside would bring relief to the distortions in his hearing. And he needed time to get himself together—to face the decision, literally, of whether to live or to die.
In Heiligenstadt, he wrote the most important document we have that reflects the turmoil in his life. The so-called Heiligenstadt Testament is a kind of last will, or possibly a suicide note.
It wasn’t meant to be read during his lifetime. But it reveals Beethoven’s state of mind just before he wrote Eroica. Somehow he found the strength to go on. In the works that follow the Heiligenstadt Testament, he inserted his humanity into the very fabric of the music.”
The second theme always gets me at 30:00. Such struggle, fighting with inevitable fate, such majesty… yeah. There I go again. :>
Driving into work today I listened to a story about how many large countries of the world had recently banned imports of Brazilian beef and chicken into their countries. Reports from a whistle-blower about cardboard being ground up with raw chicken, mixing of fresh and rotten meat and of course, chemical baths for tainted meat to hide the smell of decay.
I thought to myself, what a lovely metaphor for Capitalism in general. Brazil’s meat packers export some 10.2 billion (US) dollars worth of beef and chicken to the world. Our capitalist friends and the notion that they hold would like us to think that because these meat exports are crucial to the Brazilian economy every care would be take to insure that the product being delivered to tables across the world would be of the highest quality.
“The investigators allege that JBS and BRF disguised inedible beef, pork and chicken, bound for both domestic consumption and export, by injecting the meat with chemicals and acids to improve its appearance and smell; by mixing expired meat with healthy meat; and by fleshing out meat that was considered weak with water and low-cost starch, such as manioc flour.”
This would seem to point to a different narrative about meat packers goals and aspirations it goes something like this. The global supply chain for beef and chicken is quite complicated, thus actually tracing product directly back to us (Brazilian producers) will be difficult at best. Every pound of product is more profit for us, and there are quick and easy methods – acid baths to remove the tainted smell, cardboard/cellulose stock to stretch the grinds – that will significant improve our bottom line. A few people far away might get sick and/or die, but that won’t come back to bite us because of the nebulous supply chain, and thus the acquisition of profit must be prioritized.
The government food inspectors must also be bribed into complicity because if they were actually doing their jobs, this second narrative could not happen. Sadly, this seems to also be the case in the Brazilian situation.
“Investigators say Operation Weak Meat uncovered evidence of bribes paid to Brazilian officials, including some at the federal Ministry of Agriculture, to look the other way. Police issued 38 arrest warrants and closed 21 meat-packing facilities for further inspection.
Brazil’s federal Justice Minister, Osmar Serraglio, was allegedly caught on tape calling one of the inspectors under investigation “big boss” in a phone conversation with one of the leaders of the bribery scheme in Parana state.
Serraglio, who oversees the investigating police force, said the police raids prove he is not interfering in the inquiry. Police in Brazil said there was insufficient evidence to launch a separate investigation into the minister’s involvement.”
This is the true face of capitalism, the face that we don’t learn about in school and the news. The capitalism that always places profit over people, the capitalism based on the exploitation of others, the capitalism that makes our way of life possible. We are insulated from the sharp pointy bits of capitalism, perhaps shedding a maudlin tear now and then for the exploited poor, wherever they happen to be in the world, and then moving to the next goal of material acquisition.
“However, Elliott anticipates the scandal will have worldwide consequences, provoking a rise in commodity prices globally. He also believes that similar arrangements — bribing officials to grade unsuitable meat as edible for consumption — will be uncovered in other countries that export large amounts of meat, as importers begin tighter inspections after Brazil’s revelation.”
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair,
The Brazilian tainted meat situation exemplifies what is wrong with the current system and what was wrong with the state of things in 1906 when Upton Sinclair’s the Jungle was published.
Ain’t progress grand?
“It appeared as if the whole world was one elaborate system, opposed to justice and kindness, and set to making cruelty and pain.” ― Upton Sinclair,
Transactivist: Aint nothing radical about your “movement”…. you’re reactionary. You’re all bigoted and transmisogynistic. Step ya pussy game up.
RF: do u even know what “radical” means lol, it means “getting to the root”, as in getting to the root of women’s oppression which is male desire to control women’s reproductive capacity
TA: Trans women are women too….. if you wanted to get to the root of the problem you would include trans women as well…
RF:the root of the problem, and by problem we obviously mean misogyny and female oppression, is sexism and sex-based oppression (sex-selective abortion, forced pregnancy, female genital mutilation, stigma against periods, lack of reproductive rights, etc) and guess what transwomen face literally N O N E of those things because they have penises so i don’t know what benefit would it bring to include them when they aren’t even affected negatively by the same things we are? why don’t transwomen just create their own separate movement to address their own separate struggles instead of trying to hijack the women’s rights movement?
RF: It’s like the transgender advocates are out in the middle of a lake in a canoe with only one paddle. They’re trying so hard to figure out how to get to shore, but they won’t pick up the other paddle, which is actually lying in the bottom of the canoe. They won’t touch it, and so they keep spinning around and around, far from shore … making the same leaky arguments that get them nowhere.
RF: I used to think if they grasped the fact that feminism is the political movement for the liberation of women they would then realize what women are fighting to be liberated from.
Hint: As to what women are fighting to be liberated from, it starts with a ‘P’. :/
I wasn’t really a part of the economy in the 80’s, but I do seem to remember getting some kick ass savings rates for the filthy lucre stowed away in my junior savings account. Young me, didn’t realize at the time that to get those 15% returns on a savings account what the banks had to be charging on the loans they made.
With jobership and homeownership and adultship all having occurred – I’m more than a little concerned about an upward trend in the prime interest rate, because things that are affordable at 3%ish interest become much more untenable at 15 or 20% interest.
“The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark overnight interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, which means that the folks who borrow from the Fed (which is kind of like the Bank of Canada, and whose customers are other lenders) will now pay in a range from 0.75 per cent to 1 per cent.
Up until Wednesday, the range was as low as 0.5 per cent.
A quarter of a percentage point? Doesn’t sound like much, so no wonder the announcement got overwhelmed by everything else.
Consider this: the Fed’s rate is now double what it is in Canada. It’s very difficult to believe that the decision there will not have a ripple effect that will eventually hit Canadian mortgages and lending rates — and along with them, people who’ve never lived and owed when rates suddenly jack up.
But let’s think about the decision, which is only — believe it or not — the third time that the Fed has ever raised a rate since the financial crisis that engulfed the world in 2008. (It is, on the other hand, the second hike in three months.)
On the upside, the hike is generally perceived to be an indication of growing strength and optimism in the American marketplace.
“The simple message,” said Fed chair Janet Yellen, who is expected to step down within a year, “is the economy is doing well.”
But what many people in the finance world are expecting is more of the same; that is, more hikes. Another is expected in June, and the Washington Post used the words “more frequent” to describe what the Fed’s hikes will be like from now on.
The purpose of a rate hike, especially while rates have been (when you think about it) remarkably tiny is to keep inflation in check.
But the other side of that coin is what higher rates can do to ordinary consumers, including those on this side of the border.
This is where my head has been lately.
It seems to be we’ve had a full generation of consumers that don’t know the piercing agony that comes when interest rates are high, or who might be inclined to believe that what they’re paying now on, say, their credit card bill is high enough.
Moreover, these consumers may not appreciate to what extent that lending rates have, for almost a decade, have been artificially low. (I’m tempted to call them politically low, too, in light of the 2008 crisis.)
Now, some history, both provincial and personal: In the early Eighties, interest rates were not just in the double digits, they were above 20 per cent. The recession that came with it was harsh, deep and sweeping in its destruction.
The local impact was crushing, perhaps because there was an ebullient feeling in the wake of the 1979 Hibernia discovery. In 1988, a few years before he died, St. John’s businessman Andrew Crosbie reflected on the wicked boom and bust of the early Eighties.
“We certainly got caught — but I don’t know if it was in the oil euphoria rather than the interest rate euphoria” that caused so much damage to businesses like his own.”
The idea of being ‘caught’ and forced to make unsavoury financial decisions isn’t particularly appealing – and having one’s future rest on the ‘market’ is distinctly unsettling. :/
Yet more evidence that identity politics is bad for women.
“Pregnant woman” is not an identity. It is a social reality. A pregnant woman’s ever-contracting rights – whether she can choose to end this pregnancy, whether she will risk imprisonment for drinking too much, whether she will lose her job, whether she will be murdered by her partner – can only be seen through the filter of her inferior social status: that of woman. She neither chooses nor identifies with this status and it matters that the restrictions it places on her and others be fully acknowledged. Hundreds of women died today because of the way in which pregnancy intersects with their political and social status as women. The term “pregnant people” denies them the specificity of their deaths and masks the cause.
What gender-neutral pregnancy campaigning has achieved is wholly negative, making it impossible to articulate why there exists a class of people who are not granted full sovereignty over what lies beneath their own skin. It has located the abortion debate (which should not be a debate at all) back where conservatives want it: on the status of the foetus, not that of the woman. It has allowed the misogynist left to consolidate their definition of woman as “passive fantasy girl with tits” as opposed to “person with independent physical functions, emotions and needs.” Above all, it has created the illusion of an opt-out to being placed in the inferior sex class. Well, there isn’t, at least not until you can be bothered to challenge the fundamental idea that half the human race is inferior (oh, but that’s so much harder than messing about with words!).”
Trans-patriarchy/patriarchy. Not much difference if one observes material reality. A well written post articulating the appropriation of the term women and the sex specific issues that come with being female.
“Cis Women. Miright?”
This is an actual quote from the Geek Girl Puit’s article entitled, “Trans Girl Periods. Yes, that’s right. No, I’m being serious. Just read the damn article.”
I was reminded of this gem today when realized I had started my period. At the time of reading this, and frankly I don’t remember how I came across it, I remember googling more into the subject and being utterly pissed in trans women’s complete appropriation of periods. According to them, their hormone treatments fluctuate and once a month they get “period symptoms” – so they get “periods”, while “cis women” get “menstruating periods.” In other words, trans women appropriate the original term, despite complete lack of biological function related to the original term, while “cis women” have to define otherwise. And many trans women and liberal feminists are buying into this complete appropriation and false description of biology to…
View original post 1,301 more words