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A Merry Christmas to all Zenpundit readers

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — Christmas greetings, classical and jazz versions ]
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If you’ve seen this picture of the interior of Notre Dame in Paris after the blaze..

you might think of it as the Good Friday version of the great cathedral, central to France’s spiritual and national life, devastated by the fire that swept through the 800-year old structure in the heart of Paris in April this year.

Today is Christmas day, however, so here’s a joyous Christmas version — from last year’s Christmas Mass, a great organ peal leads into the carol Adeste Fideles, here sung in Latin, but known in English as O Come, All Ye Faithful:

Here’s wishing you a Merry (and if you don’t mind such things, a blessed) Christmas and Happy New Year!

**

And for those of you who prefer jazz to the classics, here’s a taste of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Church of St John Coltrane, held in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco this July:

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, happy holidays of your choosing!

Greeting & three musics for Sunday Surprise: Rouse, Ligeti, Teeth

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — with a definition that places poetry and the drama as a subset of music ]
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L’shana tovah!

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Christopher Rouse just died. I knew nothing of him, but already I love his Gorgon:

May he rest in peace.

Ligeti, Mysteries Macabre with the astounding Patricia Kopatchinskaja:

Furiously at play!

Kopatchinskaja it is, I guess, who writes:

Temperature and ocean levels go up. Whole world regions dry out. Hundreds of millions will have to leave, migrate, millions will fight wars, no end being in sight. Can we go on listening as usual to Buxtehude, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Bruckner?

and at last Teeth — with the Ligeti from the late ’70s as context, the stunning Roomful Of Teeth plays Caroline Shaw‘s Pulitzer-winning Partita:

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Music, it would seem, is the chosen placement of sounds, random or chosen, from the field of all sounds, in some form or container within which they may bounce and reverberate.

Note that under this definition, the barnyard’s sounds may sound (Ligeti, children’s rhymes), as may silence..

the words of operas and masses..

Note too, that under this definition, plays and poetry are a subset of music, also.

**

L’shana tovah!

Trump — King or Queen? A Biblical DoubleQuote

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — a gender-bender for our times, and a caution against messianic projections on all too fallible humans }
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Either way, Donald Trump:

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To be frank, I don’t think Trump is either one — but Biblical excuses made by or on behalf of those Evangelicals who favor Trump‘s policies, and particularly his choices for the bench, are worth considering on their own merits.

King David notoriously slept with Bathsheba after sending his friend, her husband, off to die on the front lines, and yet G*d seems to have favored and used him. Similarly, Cyrus wasn’t even one of the Chosen People, yet he seems to have been one of the people chosen.

An aside — while I’m not sure if he originated the idea, it’s interesting that David Koresh, the leader of the Branch Davidians, named himself “Koresh” — “Cyrus” in Hebrew — and gave himself the title “sinful Messiah” because he felt both convinced / convicted of his sinfulness and called to a salvific, nay messianic, purpose. Esther? She was Jewish herself and beautiful, and protected the Jews from a holocaust back in the day.

David exemplifies the leader with a shady, nay adulterous and murderous, past.

Cyrus is the unbeliever in a G*d who uses him for his own purposes. And Esther is a ruler who preserves the Jewish people in a time of trouble.

Each analogy in turn has its merits — yet as regular readers here know, while I’m an enthusiast for thinking via analogies, I’m also concerned to bring critical appraisal to them. I have to admit I don’t see a Cyrus, David, or Esther here, and tend to think the long history of messianic projections by enthusiastic crowds, and messianic pretenders who came and went, should be a caution for us.

Trump looks to me like a man, is all. I wouldn’t trust him, and I don’t even trust myself.

**

Sources:

  • CBN (2016), Chaos Candidate: Is Trump a Modern-Day King Cyrus?
  • WaPo (2019), Holy Moses. Mike Pompeo thinks Trump is Queen Esther
  • Too good to miss, recent miscellanea

    Thursday, August 29th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — i don’t know about you, but wondrous strange stuff passes before my eyes daily, as in a dream — here’s a sampler ]
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    First off, two graphics too good to miss:

    From my friend Rabbi Lobel:

    and via David Metcalfe:

    I should probably stop there — the two of them are so stunning. But I need someplace to park some other recent items that caught my attention..

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    Then, a chyron ouroboros so brief as to be stunning:

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    And here are a couple of other tweeted ouroboroi

    And this one with the added distinction of coming from a Q-source:

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    Best game as metaphor for politics meme:

    Best folk religion image — Holy Child, Patron Saint of Gas Thieves

    **

    BTW, does QAnon get it’s Q from Quelle, German for source and popularly abbreviated Q in New Testament studies, where it is the “hypothetical written collection of primarily Jesus’ sayings” (Wiki) on which Matthew and Luke draw for materials not found in Mark?

    Or as I suggested to Ali Minai a day or two ago:

    the letter Q is what you get when you try to construct a Moebius strip on a plane surface.

    Don’t get me started on Borromean rings..

    And is there a Q in that initial snake graphic, at the head of this post? Thus I bite my own tail..

    Alchemies of church & bookstore, French Open court & gardens

    Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

    [ by Charles Cameron — two instances of somewhat unexpected balance ]
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    Here, first, something you’ve already seen — the Maastricht bookstore in a restored church, arguably an instance of word being made flesh:

    and the gardens now surrounding the clay court on which the French Open is played:

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    Sources:

  • Marcus Fairs, A shop in a church by Merkx + Girod Architecten
  • Gerald Marzorati, How the French Turned a Tennis Court Into a Garden
  • **

    I say alchemy because marriages of hard and soft, above and below, word and flesh, have it in common that they bridge significant metaphysical divides — like the fall of the Berlin wall, to take a political equivalent within living memory — and thus perform a healing work.

    Tikkun olam.


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