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A religious — Russian, Orthodox, choral, submarine, nuclear — oddity rebuked

Friday, March 1st, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — this post models the transition from nuclear threat to celestial peace — a transition our poor minds surely, sorely need ]
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I’m very fond of sacred choral music, and the Orthodox sacred choral music of Russia can be beautiful indeed. Some of that beauty can be heard in this performance in the Cathedral of St. Isaac in St Petersburg, which drew a standing ovation and sustained applause just a week ago:

The Eparchy, or ecclesiastical authority, however, “eventually” expressed displeasure with the event. One might wonder why?

Radio Free Europe’s report provides the answer:

The song’s first verse describes a nuclear submarine with “a dozen little bombs of 100 megatons each” crossing the Atlantic.

“I call to the targeting officer,” the lyric goes, “‘Take aim, Petrov, at Washington!'”

**

While we can still draw breath, you at least deserve a taste of Russian chant of the kind targeted at the heart of God:

It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 11

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — beating the drum, dancing around, clapback, bracing, blocking, curve-ball, armed to the teeth, showdown, passion play, game-changing, end-game — and some appalling religious hate ]
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Quotes:

Rachel Maddow: that new curveball in the Manafort case coming up next — stay with us ..

**

Chyrons, ok:

Prosecuting Trump:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, aka AOC:

Then there’s this set of three horrific sub-captions, drawing distinctions between three major religions..

One on the National Emergency question:

And a game-changer screen-grab re Elizabeth Warren:

I chose these grabs for their wording, not their politics — bracing, clapback, massage, blocking, game-changing, hellscape — and those three stunning alt-right subtitles.

**

Quotes, continued:

Ari Melber:
04/5 Rob Rosenstein was sort of dancing around it [indicting Trump] when he spoke about the normal rules for non_presidents, so to say..
We’re now in this interesting period of a kind of an end game ..
We’re in this interesting end-game, and everyone is thinking, Who’s going to do what?
07/8 David Frum: Special Prosecutors seek prosecutable offences. This js a drum I’ve been beating since early in 2017.. There is a real risk that in this highly legalistic culture, that we look to Bob Mueller to do things that it’s really up to Congress to do ..
08 Frum: We’re not at an ending, we’re at the beginning of the game ..
Rep Joe Neguse: We’re not at the end-game, we’re at the beginning ..
Ali Mystal: Southern District of New York is the bear of the Trump vs Leonardo DiCaprio and this time we’re not sure the bear is going to let him 29: go..
It’s Don Junior and Ivanka who, to my mind, are going to be the first people over the falls ..
32 [SDNY]: If they have to play a role in this passion play, I’d set them up to be the Avengers ..
41 Bernard-Henri Levy: there is a massive attack, today, onbthe very udsea of truth ..
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Hardball, Chris Matthews:
17 Charlie Sykes: That would be the smart play ..
53: he needs to be a little more strategic about this — time your hits, do them in the right way..
towards end: We could be looking at a showdown between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire .. This could be what amounts to an elimination contest between the two of them ..
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All In:
He thinks he’s Teflon Don ..
Why he holds his cards so close to the vest .. he has another hand to play ..
He had an opportunity to show his hand, and he didn’t show his hand ..
32: Republicans came to the table armed to the teeth ..
?40 Elizabeth Warren: We are going to play by some rules that are way past now ..
55 Neera Tanden: .. changed their calculus on this ..
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Singing: In short, in matters quasi-international and criminal / [?Kusmani?] is the model of a modern major-general..
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53: the big/?/great reveal ..

So here we can add dancing around, beating the drum, armed to the teeth, showdown, passion play, end-game ..

**

Previous Metaphoric Snow posts:

  • One delicious ouroboros and miscellaneous chyrons &c
  • I have a huge dose of chyrons and a great ouroboros
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 2
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 3
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 4
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 5
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 6
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 7
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 8
  • It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 9
  • Second Civil War? It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 10
  • Physicists playing Calvinball

    Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — wishing I was fluent in music, and might as well ad mathematics, Hebrew, Arabic, classical Persian, you know the drill, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Japanese.. and their courtly modes and rituals, and could play badminton, chess, dharma combat, go, eh? ]
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    Here’s a wonderful description of a game in which the rules — in this case, mathematical languages — change from move to move:

    It happens again and again that, when there are many possible descriptions of a physical situation—all making equivalent predictions, yet all wildly different in premise—one will turn out to be preferable, because it extends to an underlying reality, seeming to account for more of the universe at once. And yet this new description might, in turn, have multiple formulations—and one of those alternatives may apply even more broadly. It’s as though physicists are playing a modified telephone game in which, with each whisper, the message is translated into a different language. The languages describe different scales or domains of the same reality but aren’t always related etymologically. In this modified game, the objective isn’t—or isn’t only—to seek a bedrock equation governing reality’s smallest bits. The existence of this branching, interconnected web of mathematical languages, each with its own associated picture of the world, is what needs to be understood.

    That’s from A Different Kind of Theory of Everything in The New Yorker, an intriguing rerad, though as a non-physicist, seeing an equivalence with Calvinball — a game in which the game in play constantly changes — is about as far as I can go.

    When I was talking with Ali Minai, I said that both music and math were languages I didn’t speak, and that cut me off from much by way of discourse with mathematicians (Ali himself) and musicians (my nephew the conductor Daniel Harding), and Ali commented that music is at least an embodied abstraction, whereas math is a pure abstraction with no embodied component. I hope I’ve understood and expressed that well enough. Anyway, it was a striking comment, and not one that had ever crossed my mind, on a topic of considerable interest and real regret.

    **

    Calvinball:

    Richard Feynman would have enjoyed a Calvinball reference, methinks — but for any sober-sided physicists who don’t play bongos, here’s the philsopher Alasdair MacIntyre to much the same effect:

    Not one game is being played, but several, and, if the game metaphor may be stretched further, the problem about real life is that moving one’s knight to QB3 may always be replied to by a lob over the net.

    **

    I’d hoped to have more intriguing math or game quotes to offer here, but no luck so far, so I’m gonna post anyway.

    It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons, ignore unless interested 5

    Monday, February 18th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — a quiet weekend with no chyrons, but yasukuni, heavy metal, and three stunning headers on faith, forgiveness, and guns ]
    .

    Kamikaze, yay! As war-relate epithets go, it’s among the very finest — strongest, most halo’d with associations — from my POV as mythographer and poet:

    As myth and legend, dream and imagination have it in some circles in Japan, kamikaze is spirit wind, downward-rushing, warships targeted, headlong warplanes in full nose-dive, martyrdom almost — tinged with cherry blossom and droplets of blood, patriotism, self-sacrifice ..

    The controversies swirling around the Yasukuni Shrine and its inclusion of war criminals as patriotic heroes is something we’ve addressed in Zenpundit before — for both the controversy and the mythopoetics, see these excerpts:

  • Zenpundit, Why is the Yasukuni Shrine so controversial?
  • Zenpundit, Japanese self-sacrifice with intent to kill Americans
  • **

    Saturday wasn’t a chyron-collecting day for me — I had the distinct pleasure of a visit from Omar Ali, and live conversation trumps Trump every time — so I don’t have many items to display here… but this one caught my eye today, Sunday, as much for the color of the header as for its provocative content:

    Heavy Metal Confronts Its Nazi Problem

    Among bands that are said today to fall into the category of N.S.B.M., as it is often called, are ?8?8??, from Russia, whose fans have given Nazi salutes during performances; a Finnish band, Goatmoon, which has performed in front of a backdrop resembling a Nazi flag; and Der Stürmer, from Greece, which shares a name with an anti-Semitic German newspaper whose editor, Julius Streicher, was convicted during the Nuremberg trials and then executed. Those bands and others, including Stahlfront, Sunwheel, Absurd, and Dark Fury, performed in December at the Asgardsrei festival, in Kiev, where Nazi-style displays abounded.

    Asgard, hoke of the Æsir in Norse mythology — sacred to some though not all Asatru in a way reminiscent of Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine..

    **

    Okay, moving along, here’s a football ref, buried in the text of Uranium One informant makes Clinton allegations to Congress:

    An FBI informant connected to the Uranium One controversy told three congressional committees in a written statement that Moscow routed millions of dollars to America with the expectation it would be used to benefit Bill Clinton’s charitable efforts while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton quarterbacked a “reset” in U.S.-Russian relations.

    Don’t you just love quarterbacked? Like wingman and running point, it comes up all the time, but that was a stellar quarterback example in terms of paragraph content, ***** in my book.

    Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve captured one of this week’s favorites yet — making an end run around Congress:

    Finally, I ran across three headers with religion-connected content today (Sunday at time of writing)…

    **

    A Senator praying his party would avoid a second shutdown may well be no more than a figure of speech:

    Republican Chuck Grassley was on the Senate floor, asking the entire chamber to join in seeking divine intervention with Trump. “Let’s all pray that the President will have the wisdom to sign the bill, so that the government doesn’t shut down,” he said, as Washington waited, once again, on its capricious President.

    Susan Glasser, the New Yorker writer, seems to take it a bit more seriously..

    So it’s finally come to this: only God can stop Trump, as members of his own party are admitting that they’ve basically given up trying.

    **

    The story here is best told in this image, the work of the artist Wendy MacNaughton recording the words of a National Portrait Gallery guard, Rhonda:

    Falling on one’s knees in prayer is definitely a mark of religion, even though Obama isn’t generally considered an object of religious devotion..

    **

    And this may be the most remarkable of the three. In the guns as religion article, it’s the mother of a teen-aged son who was shot and killed — a mother who is now a US Representative, Lucy McBath — who ssuggestd gun culture is an American quasi-religion — but she’s the one described in the article as deeply religious in her opposition to gun violence, refusing the request the death penalty for the killer of her son:

    We never considered pushing for the death penalty because I firmly believe that I am not the one to choose who lives and who dies. Morally and ethically, I believe that decision is left to God. We suffered so much pain and so much anguish, and I actually did not want to be the one to inflict that upon his family, and I didn’t want to be rooted in those kinds of decisions, because I truly believed that would be the noose around my neck and I would not be able to move forward to actively champion for safer gun laws and a safer gun culture, because that’s what I believed that I was given to do, and I couldn’t do that without forgiveness, and I couldn’t do that without releasing myself.

    That’s a stunning level of faith and forgiveness.

    Remember?

  • Zenpundit, From the Forgiveness Chronicles: Rwanda
  • Zenpundit, Of martyrdom and forgiveness
  • Zenpundit, More from the Forgiveness Chronicles
  • **

    Sources:

  • New Yorker, The New Republican Strategy for Dealing with the Emergency That Is Trump
  • Atlantic, The Obama Portraits Have Had a Pilgrimage Effect
  • New Yorker, Lucy McBath on the “Religion” of Guns in America
  • Sunday surprise special

    Monday, February 18th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — selected from among the very best of Dylan, Bach, and Joni ]
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    I don’t think I’ve ever posted either of these two pieces here on Zenpundit, but in my mind they’re the rock Passacaglia par excellence and the similarly towering classical exemplar — and if you’re exclusively classical in temperament, you may not know Bob Dylan‘s masterful Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands:

    while if you’re straight rock in taste and experience, may I introduce Bach‘s Passacaglia, certainly one of his greatest organ works, here played by Ton Koopman:

    **

    Okay, that’s the classical and rock compare and contrast — here’s Bob Dylan‘s peer — and there aren’t that many — Joni Mitchell, with her wonderful Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter:

    — and that’s a bonus..


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