There are several great moments in this video, which is the fifth time I’m featuring in a blog post because everything that needed to be said about it, hasn’t been said yet. First, starting at 2:10. Guitarist Jeff Ament walks up to Eddie Vedder, as though he were checking to see if he’s all right. He’s got that “you okay brother?” look. Ament comes into the frame, then steps out, and then leans in again a moment later. Why?
Ament has interesting eyes. He and Vedder both have a strong facial structure. Contrast that with Vedder’s posture the performance. Strong face, vulnerable body language, an anguished lion’s roar in the outtro. Look at his eyes at 4:19.
The lyrics to “Black” are worth looking up, what-with Vedder’s unusual pronunciation. how quick the sun can drop away…
Open thread. Also, other great moments:
An aesthetic visual at 3:30 – a closeup of guitarist’s and bassist’s hands at work, with plaintive Vedder in line with them. This camera angle repeats twice shortly after.
The drummer at 4:35 – an intense low-weight, high-rep set.
There is an effort-post to be made about the White Energy in this performance.
Pearl Jam’s “Black” is a Requiem. It has grandeur. The artist is a conduit between the metaphysical and the material plane, which is why he has to be very careful with what he opens himself to. He rarely understands his own work. Sometimes, neither does his audience until at least a generation later.
Click on the video’s title, not the arrow in the center, to be able to play it from a WordPress page.
World War II had two winners. Poland, though the victory came at a terrible price and wasn’t obvious until seventy years after the fact; and international communism. The latter is convulsing with hatred upon seeing what the former is doing: Poland increases restrictions on abortion:
Poland’s top court has ruled that abortions in cases of foetal defects are unconstitutional… Poland’s abortion laws were already among the strictest in Europe… The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights said the day marked a “sad day for women’s rights”
The focus of this post is not about abortion as such, but about women’s shit-tests. Or “fitness-tests,” as those things are also called.
The men of eastern Europe failed a giant fitness test by losing the Cold War. Yes, of course, everybody hated the Soviet rule but that’s linear logic. By the biological logic of women’s prerogative for reproduction with fit men in a safe environment, the two decades that followed 1989 brought austerity and uncertainty. And with the collapse of the former social system, a psychological shock not unlike after losing a war. Resultingly, Poland’s birthrates collapsed and many young women found a reason to move abroad.
The political fight over abortion can be framed as the country’s women testing their men. It’s said that feminism was the greatest shit-test in Western history, and it’s reasonable to conclude that license to murder a child is a cornerstone of feminism. So, thoughts on men passing that particular test? Multiple choice:
A. “Guys who get pussy support a woman’s right to choose.”
B. “Alphas pretend to agree with whatever the media planted in a silly girl’s head.”
C. “The wages of sin is death.”
There was a brainstorming session in an international communists’ conference room, during which, to much hand-rubbing, slogans that appear in the photo below were cranked out:
“An alarm about women’s rights” – on the booklet
“Abortion without borders”
“First dignity, then fertility”
“We will not be victims”
None of that is organic. It’s a foreign assault. Those and similar slogans, their diction and cadence, have an alien feel to them. To compromise with any of it would be even worse than a failed shit-test. It would be losing a war. Poland’s top court decided wisely.
“I’m Bengali, my boyfriend was black – and my mum freaked out.” The article is very readable, a train-wreck drama. The illustrations are well done too. One is never quite sure whether these kinds of stories are written as cautionary tales or as validation of female rebellion. Themes and observations:
Come over to contaminate the West, get contaminated right back!
Abomination-Romance is a literary genre related to Horror. The fantasy element lies in the wish-fulfillment of unpunished betrayal.
The opening paragraph is pure inverted-world: “When a young British Bengali woman with a black boyfriend got pregnant, her family’s reaction forced her to confront their anti-black prejudices.”
The Bengali woman sounds like she has a good extended family, the only source of love and protection in this world, and she destroyed that bond…
… just as her emigrant-parents destroyed their own bond with their homeland.
The moral failing, in the narrarive, lies solely with the Bengali woman’s family members because they are reluctant to accept the interracial affair.
The Bengali family is described as Muslim; they seem to be middle class, but there is no mention of any male relatives.
Shock-spoiler: the black boyfriend goes vamoose after knocking her up.
The horror of ‘sharking-bastardy doesn’t hit you viscerally until you see it.
It’s cold comfort, but comfort nonetheless, that this isn’t just pushed on us.
For GenX and younger. Humility with regards to the Boomers, our elders.
We created the AltRight, which is what was needed at the time. It had served its purpose. It also planted seeds for something magnificent. But that’s it for GenX’s moment as principal actors in a historic drama, for now.
Boomers have their QAnon. Q is aligned with Trump, the catalyst for global liberation from enslavement. Amidst the excitement around us, we’re seeing that there is no such thing as retirement for the Boomers after all. Everybody gets to play twice. And so this election, right now, is their moment the sun.
I’ve said plenty about the feckless Boomers. There are those who continue to administer the intergenerational beatings to them until repentance improves but that’s no longer my task. What needed to be said, was said. At this point I’m not going to try to red-pill a regular-guy Boomer who thinks that Latinos are swell because they’re hard workers. And that’s fine as long as he votes for Trump next month and spends as much time as he can with his White grandchildren.
I’m done with boomer-bashing. What that means in real life is that I will continue to do what I’ve always done when talking with men over the age of about 75 — ask lots of questions about his job when he was starting out, about his earliest recollection of life during his childhood, his opinion about the Presidents over the course of his youth. Ask all kinds of questions because life rushes on faster with each decade and one day they will be gone.
Addendum: early-90s Rock was our music. A worthy echo-supernova to the late-1970s explosion in musical creativity. That said, Pearl Jam is better than anything that came out in the 60s and 70s. Take that as fighin’ words, old man.
It’s difficult to find a fan of Richard Spencer after his endorsement of Joe Biden in an August 23rd Twitter post — “I plan to vote for Biden and a straight democratic ticket. It’s not based on ‘accelerationism’ or anything like that; the liberals are clearly more competent people.” Matt Forney isn’t a fan, as you’ll find out:
Styx and Richard Spencer had a debate on the Killstream a few days ago and I wanna go through it — number one, to laugh at it. And number two, to just kind of logically deconstruct things.
Forney’s color-commentary, when he pauses the Styxenhammer-Spencer debate, can be pretty funny. Those of you who remember Forney from his “Ferdinand Bardamu” In Mala Fide days a decade ago know that he’s a sharp guy. He likens one of Spencer’s complaints about Trump to that of a jilted lover.
Styx gets the better of Spencer in this amicable clash, and he does it by holding Spencer’s feet to the fire on his public statements. Styx is a MAGA/QAnon libertarian. Spencer makes his points in turn. Forney had some technical difficulties, so start the video at the 7:35 mark:
About the group of men in Michigan who are charged with plotting to kidnap their state’s governor:
“Have you ever dealt with big talkers?” defense attorney Scott Graham asked an FBI agent on cross examination… Defense lawyers contend that there was no probable cause to arrest and charge the suspect, arguing, among other things, that the suspects had no operational plan to do anything, were engaged in all legal activities — including talking in encrypted group chats and practicing military exercises with lawfully owned guns — and that it was the informants and undercover agents who “pushed” others to do illegal things. “One of the most active leaders was your informant,” Graham said. [Link]
Be wary of someone at turns flattering and riling you up to do something. Based on what’s in the article, it appears that nothing illegal was done by the defendants, even with their meetups. It’s just feds entrapping innocent people. Real stand-up guys these agents, aren’t they?
An online “fed” needn’t be an actual law enforcement professional. It could be some guy who worked out a deal to play the part.
With my rudimentary understanding of the German language I can read simple text, carry on a basic conversation, understand much of a slow-tempo pop song and more or less follow a film’s dialogue. I’ve once memorized the first three verses of Friedrich Schiller’s An die Freude. The video of pop artist Nicole, featured at the end of this post, is from the golden age of Eurovision, recorded in 1982. From the comments under the video:
there are many dialects. Also the song is sung in ‘high german’ so the ‘real’ german without any dialects can sound soft and bavarian german is very similar to the bavarian dialect… I studied german and yes, it’s mostly a ‘rough’ language… German from western regions is much more delicate. Nicole is from Saarbrücken, people there speak very differently than, say, in Berlin. … to me German language sounds particularly harsh and unpleasant, but I listen to Nicole with pleasure.”
To the non-speaker’s ear, German language has an effect not entirely unlike Arabic: aggressive, intimidating. No wonder Sylvia Plath wrote her famous love poem to it. Hearing it spoken socially though, I like the sound of German. Contrary to the cliché, there is in fact a playful lilt to it.
By way of comparison, Dutch is the hardest-sounding of European languages. And the most beautiful language in the world: French despite (because of?) its guttural R. After that it’s Lithuanian and Latvian, which are said to be the closest living languages to the extinct Indo-European speech.
As to the alien phonics of English, from the perspective of my childhood before I spoke a single word of it, the language I’m writing in right now sounded, to describe it in one word, intelligent. It also sounded confident but not aggressive. My experience at age seven: I’ve seen written English here and there, and noticed that the word “the” pops up everywhere. The first point of puzzlement was, “how do you pronounce that?” I then asked my dad, who spoke English well, what “the” means. Going about answering that question takes skill when the kid’s native language does not use articles.
Polish, I’ve been told, sounds harsh to the foreign ear in it own way: it’s sibilant like rustling leaves. When I first heard that explained to me in childhood, I could see how it could be so. Still, that was a strange way to describe what to me then, instinctively, was the only easy, normal and natural form of human speech.
Back to the titular subject of this post. My favorite song in German is this one. I sing out loud with it when my music app plays it, I understand about 70 percent of the words. The song perfectly expresses its intended mood. The lead-up to the chorus is dark Romantic poetry:
Und das Atmen fällt mir ach so schwer Weh mir, oh weh Und die Vögel singen nicht mehr
An impressive, ZFG effect of German pronunciation is how the letter V, like in Vögel or “bird,” is pronounced “F”.
This is my second-favorite song in the German language. Gorgeous male vocal timbre. He was Austrian. That song also has a reference to regrouping in the forest, a central element of the northeastern European spirit. “Wir müssen weg hier / Raus aus dem Wald / Verstehst du nicht?” The song is about the abduction of a teenage girl but let’s be open-minded on the lyrics:
When I had to show you the way Who lost whom — You, yourself? Me, myself? Or … or, we each other?
There were protest in West Germany against President Reagan’s escalation of the nuclear standoff with the USSR. I remember seeing a clip on the news circa 1985. Judging by certain songs from both sides of the Iron Curtain, in retrospect, Europeans simply did not want to be incinerated in a nuclear brother-war that they wanted no part of.
They had no idea that World War III wouldn’t involve the deployment of thermonuclear weapons, it would be waged by means of the insertion of cockroach-humans into Western countries. It’s a war to be won because Europeans are ready for an overthrow of their ruling classes. “Ich werde in die Tannen gehen…” Nicole, the 17-year-old Eurovision winner in 1982:
Her eternity is in hell, unless… While most of us aren’t wicked like the pictured female, be not proud. Everyone is a sinner. As explained by Adam Blai, demonologist for the Pittsburgh diocese: when a demon possesses a human being, it sometimes brings a damned soul along like suitcase and makes it act out the demon’s commands during exorcism.
From the comments: “Writing is gay. What’s manly is having adventures, or barring that, a life.“
Antonio Salieri was, perhaps slanderously, depicted in the mid-1980s movie “Amadeus” as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s tormented mediocrity-foil. There was this serious man of consummate devotion to the metaphysical, pleading with God to tell him why he [Salieri] was burdened with this desire to glorify His creation through musical composition, but that talent was instead granted to yonder obscene laughing boy Mozart.
I don’t know anything about the personalities of either of the two composers, but I thought that heavy-handed liberties were taken with both of their characters.
A fictional scenario I just made up. You’re a low-paid lecturer, no tenure, at some university’s MFA writing workshop. Your class is composed of students of mostly average GRE with a few bright exceptions. They’re good young people, none in the circumstances of money. Each has his bad reason for being in grad school, but to each of them it’s a good-enough reason. Typically it has something to do with them having at some point been told that they’re creative but they have nothing to show for it. Blame macroeconomics a bit. They’re trying to figure out what to do next, so here they are. In your class.
You’re a middle-aged man of experience, you have your bruises. You understand not just life, but you understand that what you once took seriously, is not that serious. Other things are — so you’re neither a nihilist, nor are you a cynic. Two different things. A nihilist can be sympathetic to those students’ misguided search for whatever it is they hunger for but he dismisses all of it as foolishness because there is nothing worth a sacrifice if it has to be believed-in; a cynic wants to steer them away from repeating his mistake of believing in something that’s good, that can’t be measured.
You started writing a novel at a young age but never finished it because you had a great opening scene but no idea where to take the narrative arc. Being neither a nihilist nor a cynic, you want to bundle up the value of your experience and make it useful to the one of your students who can use it. Do you have such a student? Yes you do. It’s…
Per script of “Amadeus,” it’s that callow boy who values nothing. His laughter makes your fist curl up. But you read his work, and its landscapes are like nothing you’ve ever read or even imagined before. He has something you haven’t seen in maybe ever in person, talent.
Is the above a true-to-life scenario or a movie script-writer’s fantasy? It’s a single-take reaction to something that I connected with in the quoted comment.