mm320: Soothing the savage, etc.

March 17, 2008

Danger! Western Cultural

Treasures Content!

Run Away!

MUDGE’s Musings

Sunday, actually got off of my lazy — uh, seat, and made the effort to attend a cultural event: a concert in town of our community orchestra.

Over the course of 10 months 11 days of daily posting, yr (justifiably) humble svt has been circumspect about his identity, as well as specific locality.

If one was paying attention, one might find some references in this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© to north-eastern Illinois, and especially Chicago, the source of the energy driving this 3rd largest U.S.metropolitan area.

Well, my suburban town is hereby outed.

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mm314: Was Spitzer a crimeless victim?

March 13, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

If a left-leaning curmudgeon constantly finds good things to think about in the writings of Chicago Tribune editorial board member Steve Chapman, whose credentials are at risk?

As the smoke dissipates from the extinct shooting star that was the public career of disgraced governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, Mr. Chapman takes a look at the underlying story: why was hiring a prostitute illegal?

After we posted the night of the revelation about the true victim of this stupid tragedy, the martyred Mrs. (how much longer?) Spitzer, we saw many others pick up on that angle.

And the schadenfreude thing: all picked up on the irony of Mr. Attorney General Scourge of Prostitution Rings caught, by the FBI no less, as a wildly overpaying client of one of the most flagrant.

So, maybe it’s not just a victimless crime, this prostitution thing; maybe it isn’t a crime at all. Mr. Chapman?

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mm308: Do you live in the right city?

March 7, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

What I love about today’s electronified world is that you never know when and from where the next great thought is going to emerge, but you know darned well that it’s coming.

placeyoulive

“Why the Place You Choose to Live is the Most Important Decision of Your Life,” by Richard Florida is today’s great thought. Here’s the first page of his presentation:

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mm299: More than the economy, we’re in intellectual trouble

February 27, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Susan Jacoby has just released a book, “The Age of American Unreason“, and contributed to the Opinion page of the Washington Post a couple of Sundays ago.

washingtonpost

The Dumbing Of America

Call Me a Snob, but Really, We’re a Nation of Dunces

By Susan Jacoby | Sunday, February 17, 2008; B01

“The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson offered that observation in 1837, but his words echo with painful prescience in today’s very different United States. Americans are in serious intellectual trouble — in danger of losing our hard-won cultural capital to a virulent mixture of anti-intellectualism, anti-rationalism and low expectations.

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mm286: Nothing less than domestic terrorism

February 15, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings

All the adjectives are used up. Horrifying. Ghastly. Tragic. Pointless. Frightful. Sickening.

Another perfectly normal person, on a perfectly normal day, bursts into a college lecture hall and murders five people. And then does what he probably should have done in the first place thereby saving us most of those used up adjectives, and shot himself.

Now the Chicago area has a new St. Valentine’s Day massacre for a new century.

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mm278a: [Repost] Don’t look back: Something may be gaining on you.

February 8, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings

Found a video that I had seen, along with zillions of others, some time ago, but it gained fresh context when connected to a recent briefing in the best magazine on the planet, The Economist.

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mm277: 20th Century classical music is 100 years old – and we haven’t learned to listen to it!

February 6, 2008

MUDGE’S Musings

Danger! Western Cultural

Treasures Content!

Run Away!

On MUDGE’s recent, grotesquely obnoxiously huge birthday (let us suggest that no candles were placed on the figurative birthday cake, since nobody could figure out how to find a cake large enough to accommodate the grotesquely obnoxiously huge number of candles required), my lovely children gifted me with a book that seems intriguing. The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century by Alex Ross is next up, kids, I promise.

They know (and you might, faithful reader from posts like this one and especially here) of my general interest in serious (classical) music, and my mature years dismay (as a youngster I toyed with appreciating it as kids toy with lots of stuff they ultimately outgrow) with what has happened to it in the past 100 years or so.

Well now I feel especially guilty that I haven’t hit the Ross book yet. The late David Halberstam’s Korean War epic, The Coldest Winter, is currently nibbled at [confound it, this newfangled blogging thing has bitten voraciously into book reading time!], and as it is borrowed from a coworker, has priority.

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