Tiësto… A Contemporary Toscanini?

INTRO… Either playback the above vid as you read along or save it for the end to compare it to two traditional versions.

In the music biz, radio airplay can be instrumental to a song’s rise in popularity. Such was the case way back in 1938, when the baton of Arturo Toscanini… the NBC network’s conductor… first brought Samuel Barber’s 1936 classical music masterpiece… Adagio For Strings… to the attention of a goodly portion of our global community.

Ever since, Barber’s strings have become tightly interwoven into the fabric of humanity… mainly because this musical swell has become the Go-To track for mourners. This well-crafted sequence of notes has been heard following the demise of eminent leaders (e.g. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy), floating amidst the still settling dust of communal tragedies (e.g. 9/11… 2016’s Brussels bombing… 2016’s Orlando, Florida Pulse nightclub massacre)… and whenever our losses literally hit home / involve close family and friends.

I can personally attest to how Mr. Barber’s musical staff… akin to a supportive walking stick… had kept me on my feet… twice walked me through the darkest days of my own mourning process. My description of this twostep phenomenon goes like this. First, his orchestral commiseration helps us cope. Next, just knowing he’s counselled a long line of survivors before us, does offer us hope… i.e., if they could bravely go onward with their lives, so can we.

I’ve dubbed this therapeutic process, “The Adagio For Strings Experience.” End of story?

NOPE, not when a high tech, latter-day Toscanini… DJ Tiësto… has emerged to eagerly accept the inter-generational passage of the (figurative) baton… not when this mix-master has taken “The Adagio For Strings Experience” to a novel, higher astral plane… best described as contemporized, synthesized, beat driven and dance club ready.

Say what? Yep, I can practically hear classical music purists’ group gasp / groan … hear their protestations…

  1. CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH A GOOD BEAT THAT’S EZ TO DANCE TO?
  2. AN ADAGIO?
  3. WOULD SUCH A MASH-UP EVEN BE WORTH LISTENING TO?

Stunningly… the answers to that trio of Qs is YES! YES!! YES!!!

Admittedly, upon first ear-witnessing Tiësto’s mix, I could not help but wonder…

Is our world really ready for such a radical departure from the musical norm?

Well… almost instantaneously… I answered that Q with another Q…

Is not our world facing down its own radical departure from the sociological / political norm?

Even without factoring in the disheartening specifics… the long litany of specific societal ills, which the unwise powers-that-be have inflicted upon us… which typically, disproportionately target / devastate commoners (like me)… how can we not conclude that both fair-minded leadership and civility, itself, are all but dead? Under such glum circumstances, who amongst our decent, worldly citizens would not wind up in deep mourning… in dire need of “The Adagio For Strings Experience”?

More to the point… since the younger generation has so much more to lose than those of us who, at present, have far more days behind us than ahead… they need Barber’s counseling even more. We must consider their hitting the dance floor to Tiesto’s beat akin to group counseling… musical motivational training… their rallying anthem.

Now… I fully realize that DJ Tiesto’s interpretation may not be everyone’s cup of tea… as it were… so… keeping the classical music purist in mind… I’m also including…

 

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini (NBC World Premiere)

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Leonard Slatki (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)

 

 

 

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The Trampled Moral High Ground ~ 1 Quick Limerick #067

To prince who kills, the fake prez remains true,
The moral high ground, he’ll always eschew,
His dark, depraved, fucked-up feelings,
Doth plunge beneath big-bucked dealings,
That is because he hates reporters, too!

 

For more limericks (as well as other verses and song parodies, etc.), head over to my “Categories Menu” and select “Poetry”.

 

A Brief Relevant Video Montage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/11 Message ~ Sagan’s WorldView (Hindi Translation)

Originally, Carl Sagan’s stellar oratory had summed up his eloquent reaction to the Valentine’s Day 1990, Voyager 1, Pale Blue Dot snapshot (taken from our solar system’s outer edge). However, on this day, the 17th anniversary of 9/11, the wise, heartfelt, timeless sentiments of this American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator take on extra special meaning.

Indeed… his words do live on… but… will we?

Such a spot-on, soul searching speech exemplifies the common bond we humans share with each other… translates out well… spans the ages, acreage and cultures of Earth. No better proof of this fact is the above video featuring Azhar Meghani’s English to Hindi translation / voice-over and editor Lokesh Kumar’s skillfully juxtapositioned, cross-culturally appropriate imagery.

Terrorism and warfare would soon vanish off the face of the Earth were the entire human race to fully embrace Dr. Sagan’s worldview. Consider this his urgent appeal for peaceful co-existance amongst all Earthlings everywhere!

 

So fleeting a video’s existence can be… so vital is Sagan’s message… I’m including this text version, too.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

 

A 9/11 Memorial Message… Carl Sagan’s WorldView

On this day, the 17th anniversary of 9/11, the wise, heartfelt sentiments of the late Carl Sagan take on extra special meaning. The words of this American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator live on. Will we?

Terrorism and warfare would soon vanish off the face of the Earth were the entire human race to fully embrace his world view.

Consider his timeless words to be his address to all Earthlings everywhere.

Since videos are oft short lived I’m also providing an alternative, offsite YouTube clip to view and the full text to read below.

Dr. Sagan’s reaction to Voyager 1’s Valentine’s Day 1990, Pale Blue Dot photo (snapped at the outer edges of our solar system)…

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

 

Musings While Fireflies Flicker and Crickets Sing

The overnight hours of late summertime can provide a wonderful opportunity to contemplate the mysteries of our vast universe… thoughts which surface just as the Man in the Moon ducks behind a passing cloud… while the fireflies flicker and the crickets sing their timeless, one note song.

Yet, understanding the cosmos almost seems like child’s play when compared to our attempts to fathom the chaos of the Trumpian Universe… a sphere overpopulated with multiple millions of his diehard supporters.

As of late, I’ve actually begun to feel sorry for them. NO… my compassion is not inclusive of allowing them to have their way / reelect their hero. But still… they are suffering from a form of mental illness and somehow, some way, someone must come up with some therapy… provide them the compassionate care they so desperately, urgently need.

It’s nearly impossible to fathom how anyone could go through life with so little intellectual curiosity… be so utterly unable to understand the cause/effect relationship. About all they are capable of is stubbornly refusing to accept the fact that nearly everything they believe is in error. Further complicating their problems is their deplorable POV… tainted with their white nationalism, demeaning sexism, pseudo-evangelism and mutilated patriotism. All things considered, one has to accept the possibility that Donny’s Diehards just might be beyond any help, whatsoever.

I had originally planned to feature a Donny’s Diehards vid to prove my point… but…

Why humiliate them any further than they’ve already humiliated themselves?

Of course, my following typed out transcript could still showcase one man’s flawed reasoning… yet preserve his anonymity. And believe it or not, that dude, when compared to his peers, was one of the more lucid case histories. Here’s the verbatim account of that vid’s Q & A “oral exam”…

Donny Diehard: Barack Obama had big [sic] part of 9/11.
Interviewer: Which part?
Donny Diehard: Not being around. Always on vacation. Never in the office.
Interviewer: Why do you think Barack Obama wasn’t in the Oval Office on 9/11?
Donny Diehard: That I don’t know. I’d like to get to the bottom of that.

I suppose the Interviewer could’ve reminded Donny Diehard why Barack Obama wasn’t in the Oval Office on 9/11… i.e., mainly because 9/11 had occurred on G.W. Bush’s watch… more than seven years prior to Obama becoming president… BUT… would any chronic, Trump supporter have ever accepted the factual, historical timeline?

To award Donny Diehard some partial credit on his “oral exam”… he did ALMOST get it right. That bit where he had said, “Not being around. Always on vacation. Never in the office.” did perfectly sum up the pre-9/11 G. W. Bush’s asleep at the switch / slacker MO. All of that unpresidential sloth in spite of the fact that W had multiple warnings that Osama bin Laden’s attacks on American soil were imminent!

If you’d still like to see Donny Diehard themed vids for yourself, COPY the search parameter “Trump Supporters Say The Darnedest Things” and PASTE it over at YouTube. WARNING: If you’re not careful, you might wind up binge watching these clips for at least an hour.

 

 

BlogCast Special: A 9/11 Soundtrack

 

This time around, our musical get-together doesn’t require much of a set up at all. In fact, my above headline says it all.

Simply scroll down, click away and, while listening, be sure to remember all the good people we lost or who got wounded on this day, sixteen years ago… all their surviving families and dear friends… all the victims who live on, forever physically scarred, challenged and disabled.

Remember, too, all who’ve met similar fates while fighting on the side of good during the subsequent wars on terror… as well as all the innocent bystanders residing in the vicinity of those battlefields.

And never forget that the ongoing, more recent terrorist attacks, still spread like raging cancers all over our world and are no less damaging and deadly.

 

Tom Paxton ~ The Bravest

Mary-Chapin Carpenter ~ Grand Central Station

Be sure to also check out MCC’s interview.

Sheryl Crow ~ God Bless This Mess

Eagles ~ Hole In the World Tonight

If you LIKE what you heard, click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast scheduled for Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

9/11’s Wars Only Filled Coffins and Emptied Coffers

 

On this 16th anniversary of 9/11, America’s darkest day in recent history, it would’ve been far too easy for this blogger to extensively lambaste America’s alleged ruler of that era… fault him for ignorantly or indolently or intentionally failing to heed a key intelligence briefing… one which would’ve provided him five full weeks to try to thwart that terrorist attack.

That squandered opportunity resulted in nearly 3,000 dead and over 6,000 injured on 9/11, itself, and, subsequently enabled war profiteers to make a killing (both figurative and literal) once the U.S. got entangled in two, ill-conceived, unwarranted wars. By some accounts both endless, never to be won battles, to date, have slaughtered 1,000,000 innocent souls… while bleeding humanity and the U.S. treasury dry. In other words…

All we have to show for the war on terror are filled coffins and emptied coffers.

Now, if you think my three above paragraphs are too strong and too long, you should’ve seen my three-pager word document, re this same subject matter, which never hit the www on this day!

Just so there’s no misunderstanding… I totally despise all terrorists especially ISIS, al Qaida, the Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan. However, we can never expect conventional wars to ever combat and conquer any of these deplorable insane, intracranial ideologies. Indeed, terrorism’s specific latitude and longitude cannot be found on any world map, which makes the boots on the ground approach obsolete… which makes a damned fool out of any leader, who’d ever declare a war on terror.

The best way to thwart terrorism is to end nutritional and intellectual starvation wherever it’s found in our world… to see that everyone makes full use of their God given (or if you’d prefer) their innate talents… to not stand in the way of every industrious individual’s progress. When nearly everyone has a purpose in life… feels fully contented with their lot in life… it will become nearly impossible for any terrorist recruiter’s sales pitch to ever gain any traction.

True, that’s a tall order to fill and will take considerable time and effort… but that’s true of all worthwhile endeavors. And the sooner we, as a society wise up, the better.