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Moral obligations toward rocks
Posted: 29 August 2007 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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[quote author=“unsmoked”]Do we have a moral obligation to soul music, but not to rock music?

We might, but some people just don’t buy it. No wonder sales are down.

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Posted: 30 August 2007 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Is there a hard line between rock and soul, or are there some tunes that bridge the gap?  Instead of trying to pick and chose, saying, “I am morally obligated to ‘you’ (soul), but not to ‘it’ (rock), wouldn’t it be easier just to be morally resposible toward all?  On second thought, there’s heavy metal and rap.  We certainly can’t be morally responsible toward heavy metal and rap.  It’s like, if I argued with Sam, saying that we Do have a moral obligation toward rocks, I’d go on to postulate that we do not have a moral obligation to radioactive rocks.

In other words, now I’m thinking that if something harms us, we cease to have a moral obligation towards it.  So, in music, we need some kind of instrument, like a Geiger counter, that can measure what is music and what isn’t - what entertains and enlivens us, and what harms us - you know, damages the cochlea or currupts the youth.  However, then we’d need a music police to drive around to the different clubs to take readings and shut down offenders.  I can see the morning headlines now:  PLYWOOD FACTORY SHUT DOWN BY MISTAKE - Music Police mistake factory for nightclub - take reading on log peeler.  Jail filled with angry plywood workers who threaten to sue city.

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Posted: 30 August 2007 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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[quote author=“unsmoked”]Is there a hard line between rock and soul, or are there some tunes that bridge the gap?

Some dualists imagine this is possible. I scoff at their fantasies. There has been no demonstration that they can be considered separate entities. You have to revert to the primordial Ylem of popular music, the Blues. But quick as a wink, you will find yourself listening to Ragtime, and shortly thereafter, to Schubert. Or possibly Bach. Or Yoruba folk songs.

The only escape from this infinite regress is Tuvan Throat Singing. These are truly gravelly vocals. Which does bring us back to rocks.

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Posted: 30 August 2007 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”]Tuvan Throat Singing.

Talk about yer duality.

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Posted: 30 August 2007 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“unsmoked”]Is there a hard line between rock and soul, or are there some tunes that bridge the gap?

Some dualists imagine this is possible. I scoff at their fantasies. There has been no demonstration that they can be considered separate entities. You have to revert to the primordial Ylem of popular music, the Blues. But quick as a wink, you will find yourself listening to Ragtime, and shortly thereafter, to Schubert. Or possibly Bach. Or Yoruba folk songs.

The only escape from this infinite regress is Tuvan Throat Singing. These are truly gravelly vocals. Which does bring us back to rocks.

Without, to my knowledge, ever having heard Tuvan Throat Singing, the mention of it conjured an image of a Neanderthal clan sitting around the fire on the evening the first song was born.  Off in the gloaming, some wolves howled, first on one hillside, then an answer from another.  One caveman howled in response, for fun, and the wolves answered.  Then the whole clan joined the sport, and they noticed some harmony, that it was fun, and they kept it up for a full 20 minutes.  The next night, baby Yorga went missing, and singing was banned henceforth, not to resurface for another twenty-three thousand years.

When I was a child, I was told not to whistle in the bathroom.  I think my mother had seen a horror movie in her youth, in which this activity was unwise.

I once wrote a WWII screenplay.  In one scene I have over 300 German bombers passing over the White Cliffs of Dover on a bright moonlit night.  Picture it.  They are passing through a formation of small white clouds.  Though maintaining radio silence, the pilots are all in a good mood.  They wave to each other, and point down to the cliffs, and to a signal light flashing offshore from a U-boat. 

Then, in the distance, they see the approaching Spitfires and Hurricanes, and searchlights begin piercing the sky.  On the manuscript, I scribble in instructions for Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ to begin.  Imagine my embarrasment when I was told that this music had already been used for the flight of American Hueys in Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’.  Imagine how my embarrasment turned to humiliation when I remembered that I had seen ‘Apocalypse Now’ years before.

That screenplaly still lies in a drawer, waiting for new inspiration for the score.  Schubert or Bach won’t do.  How does Tuvan Thoat Singing go?  Anything Germanic about it?

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Posted: 30 August 2007 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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[quote author=“unsmoked”] How does Tuvan Thoat Singing go?  Anything Germanic about it?

Not a bit Germanic. The most amazing thing about it is that they sing two notes at the same time. Kind of like some birds can. So it’s more avian than German. Might work for those planes, or you could just use bird songs. I’d suggest House Wren and Yellow Warbler. Or maybe The Beatles’ Flying. They used to play in Germany.

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Posted: 31 August 2007 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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[quote author=“g.wood”][quote author=“unsmoked”] How does Tuvan Thoat Singing go?  Anything Germanic about it?

Not a bit Germanic. The most amazing thing about it is that they sing two notes at the same time. Kind of like some birds can. So it’s more avian than German. Might work for those planes, or you could just use bird songs. I’d suggest House Wren and Yellow Warbler. Or maybe The Beatles’ Flying. They used to play in Germany.

Listen, I’ll bet Lawrence Welk had some gigs in Germany, and did a few numbers with lederhosen and yodeling.  That’s not enough.  And House Wrens and Yellow Warblers won’t do.  You’re not even trying.!  Try to get the picture:  Now, the bomber escort, the Messerschmitts, tilt in unison, drop away from the bombers, then come up under the Spitfires and Hurricanes which, in response, fan out and veer up toward the bombers. 

Swallows, maybe, but remember it’s 2 A.M.  Something nocturnal, ominous, fateful, - you see why I’m stuck?  It’s Wagner.  Anything on the Dobro?

[ Edited: 04 September 2007 06:13 PM by ]
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Posted: 31 August 2007 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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Peacocks! Lots of peacocks! Ever hear them scream? Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhkkkk…...!

Dobro?

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Posted: 31 August 2007 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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[quote author=“g.wood”]Peacocks! Lots of peacocks! Ever hear them scream? Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhkkkk…...!

Dobro?

Odd that you should mention peacocks.  My neighbor has them.  Even though there’s a third of a mile of impenetrable woods between us . . .
And, true, nightfall means nothing to them.  I suppose he’s got one of those halogen streetlights to discourage people from creeping into his yard at night with a blunderbuss.

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Posted: 31 August 2007 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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[quote author=“unsmoked”]...peacocks.  My neighbor has them. 

What is he, a Nazi or something? Well, there you go, live recording. Layer it all up with lots of crazy pan and reverb, those Messerschmidts will scare the bejeezus out of ‘em, much better than Herr Wagner.

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Posted: 02 September 2007 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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[quote author=“g.wood”][quote author=“unsmoked”]...peacocks.  My neighbor has them. 

What is he, a Nazi or something? Well, there you go, live recording. Layer it all up with lots of crazy pan and reverb, those Messerschmitts will scare the bejeezus out of ‘em, much better than Herr Wagner.

The Unknown WWII

Yesterday the flying ants emerged for their annual nuptial celebration, and at twilight I was watching the bats swooping over the trees picking them off.  That’s when it came to me -  Strausse’s Die Fledermaus!  And, get this, I’ll interject the bats’ sonar into the music, made audible to the human ear.  See what I mean?  Hitler and Strausse were both from Austria, Britain was using radar for the first time, and bats use sonar to navigate in the dark!  Perfect.

Further, your idea for crazy pan and reverb shook me out of my stodgy plot and dialogue - stuff we’ve seen and heard a hundred times.  So, the Messerschmitts get low on fuel, and have to head home, leaving the bombers to fend for themselves as they continue on to their target - Clydebank Shipyards near Glasgow.  So, now we have a waltz from Die Fledermaus as the Spitfires and Hurricanes bank gracefully, picking off their lumbering prey - instead of machine guns we hear the bats’ sonar as they close in for the kill.  A bomber bursts into flames and the crew bails out, drifting peacefully downthrough the small white clouds over the Scotish countryside.  This is where the plot becomes totally unpredictable.  One of the chutists lands accidentally on a barrage balloon, and we have cameras in a helicopter filming him tramping spongily around on the balloon, unhooking his collapsed chute, hanging onto cords and peering down over the edge - trapped 500 feet above the ground!

Now we cut to the blitz itself.  Not only are the shipyards destroyed, but a whiskey distillery has been hit.  The Germans look down in astonishment to see a blazing river of whiskey winding its way toward the Clyde River.  This is a side of World War II that no one has seen before, but it happened.

Now the bombers, what’s left of them, are going home.  One of them finds that he’s still got a bomb left over and he drops it on Glasgow where it hits the Glasgow Menagerie.  An elephant is running down the street headed for Kelvin Grove, and, (here we use the peacocks in the soundtrack);  a pack of monkeys rushes into an air raid shelter where the children, who have been thoroughly propagandized, think that they are Nazis.  I won’t give away any more, but anyway, it’s all coming together very nicely, and I may have it ready in time to compete with PBS’s Ken Burns WWII special.  If Fox buys it I’ll send you 10% of the royalties for the peacock input.

[ Edited: 04 September 2007 06:11 PM by ]
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Posted: 02 September 2007 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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[quote author=“unsmoked”]If Fox buys it I’ll send you 10% of the royalties for the peacock input.

Well, I’m flabbergasted. That was much more engaging than lumbering through the minutia of Why Religion Is Crazy and if we give a good yeehaw about rocks.

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Posted: 04 September 2007 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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[quote author=“unsmoked”]This is a side of World War II that no one has seen before, but it happened.

It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.

I actually got farther with it than just that sentence.

And those weren’t Messerschmitts, but only a bunch of Fokkers.

The Messerschmitts were all shot down because they had no “D”.

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Posted: 04 September 2007 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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Salty,

I went back and fixed Willy’s name wherever I could.  I wouldn’t like it if someone called me ‘unsmoket’.

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Posted: 07 September 2007 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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You make a good point about taking into account the value of certain “rocks” when determining whether and what ethical obligations we have in various situations.

I don’t read Sam Harris’s “rock” point to conflict with yours.  His basic point (oversimplified) is that generally we owe ethical obligations to biological beings (some would say just to humans, others to some or all animals and plants) and not to inanimate objects.  He chose a “rock” to illustrate his point.  I presume he had in mind any of the countless garden-variety rocks one commonly sees.  True, one could suppose that a reference to a “rock” would encompass even a special rock, like the Buddhist statue, or a massive collection of rocks, like a mountain or the entire planet, but that would, I think, stretch Harris’s simple reference far beyond anything he meant and far beyond anything he needed to mean to make his point.

AmericanHumanist, I think, sought to make much the same point that ethical obligations are between biological beings, and rocks are implicated only to the extent that they play a role in the ethical obligations we owe other biological beings, whether human or otherwise.  The end result may be much as you advocate, i.e., we should refrain from blowing up the statue or house or planet because to do so would violate our ethical obligations to each other and to the other beings inhabiting the world.

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