Saturday, September 30, 2006 2:45 AM
Friday, September 29, 2006 8:00 AM
"Today comes more evidence of the left's painful struggle to deal with its diminished standing and repeated rejection at the polls. In the subscription-required Why Voters Like Values, [New York] Times columnist Judith Warner claims that "the Christian right's ability to stir voter passions is based not on values, but on psychology." Warner describes having bravely gone inside the belly of the conservative beast, recently attending a Values Voters Summit in DC, and declaring it "imbued with so much intolerance and hate." This is presumably in contrast with liberal love-ins, where Bush & Co. are regularly depicted as liars, murderers, Hitlers, etc.
She later describes a schadenfreude-provoking scene of the day after Kerry's 2004 defeat, picking through the rubble with Harvard psychology professor emeritus, Jerome Kagan, who tried to console Warner and presumably himself. As she describes it:
"Our conversation drifted to the Republicans' 'values' [note scare quotes] agenda, and Kagan's belief that values sell because they're an antidote to the endemic mental health problem of our time: depression.
"'Humans demand that there be a clear right and wrong,' he said. 'You've got to believe that the track you've taken is the right track. You get depressed if you're not certain as to what it is you're supposed to be doing or what's right and wrong in the world."
"People need to divide the world into good and evil, us and them, Kagan continued. To do otherwise-- to entertain the possibility that life is not black and white, but variously shaded in gray-- is perhaps more honest, rational and decent. But it's also, psychically, a recipe for disaster."
Got it? Liberalism is "more honest, rational and decent" than conservativism, but that's just not what the benighted public wants. They're looking for political Prozac, a Manichean worldview they can cling to, and that's what conservatism cunningly offers.
Less controversial values are provided by yesterday evening's Pennsylvania lottery-- namely, the values 4, 5, and 6.
For a discussion of these values under the guise of musical intervals, see Professor Kagan again, in a paper (pdf) he wrote with Marcel R. Zentner, "Infants' Perception of Consonance and Dissonance in Music" (Infant Behavior & Development, Vol. 21, No. 3, 1998):
Adults judge as most consonant either the octave (difference of 12 semitones) [or the unison, difference of 0 semitones], the fifth (7 semitones), or the major third (4 semitones).
Illustration (see also yesterday evening):
Notes and frequency ratios
The paper discusses consonant intervals
as an example of alleged
Related material on universals
suitable for today, the Feast of
St. Michael and All Angels:
The material in Shining Forth
is also related, tangentially, to the
following presentation of the
Warner "values" essay
in today's online New York Times:
The above three Times items,
taken together, suggest that
those in search of "values"
should consult Betty Suarez:
Click on picture for further details.
Friday, September 29, 2006 12:25 AMImmovable Feast
Thursday, September 28, 2006 8:28 PM
Thursday, September 28, 2006 2:27 PMGrace
Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:00 PM
|search.yahoo.com... ||9/28/2006 11:34 AM|
Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:15 AM
|From the diary|
of John Baez:
September 22, 2006
... Meanwhile, the mystics beckon:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. - Rumi
September 23, 2006I'm going up to San Rafael (near the Bay in Northern California) to visit my college pal Bruce Smith and his family. I'll be back on Wednesday the 27th, just in time to start teaching the next day.
"Out beyond rightdoing and wrongdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there."
This is the starting place of good spirit for relationship healing and building prescribed centuries ago in the Middle East by Muslim Sufi teacher and mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273).
Even earlier, the Psalmists knew such a meeting place of adversaries was needed, sacred and blessed:
Après l'Office à l'Église
de la Sainte-Trinité, Noël 1890
(After the Service at Holy Trinity Church,
Christmas 1890), Jean Béraud
Let us pray to the Holy Trinity that
San Rafael guides the teaching of John Baez
this year. For related material on theology
and the presence of enemies, see Log24 on
the (former) Feast of San Rafael, 2003.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 9:00 AM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 8:48 AM
"Prophesy to the wind,
to the wind only for only
The wind will listen.
And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper,
"Juliana said, 'Oracle, why did you write The Grasshopper Lies Heavy? What are we supposed to learn?'
have a disconcertingly superstitious way of phrasing your question,'
Hawthorne said. But he had squatted down to witness the coin throwing.
'Go ahead,' he said; he handed her three Chinese brass coins with holes in the center. 'I generally use these.'
She began throwing the coins; she felt calm and very much herself. Hawthorne wrote down her lines for her. When she had thrown the coins six times, he gazed down and said:
'Sun at the top. Tui at the bottom. Empty in the center.'
'Do you know what hexagram that is?' she said. 'Without using the chart?'
'Yes,' Hawthorne said.
'It's Chung Fu,' Juliana said. 'Inner Truth. I know without using the chart, too. And I know what it means.'"
Our Lady of
"One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is Doomsday."
-- Emerson, Ch. VII, "Works and Days," in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Vol. VII, Society and Solitude (1870)
Monday, September 25, 2006 10:00 AM
Saturday, September 23, 2006 12:24 PM
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Danny Flores, who played the saxophone and shouted the word ''tequila!'' in the 1950s hit song ''Tequila!'', died Tuesday [Sept. 19, 2006]. He was 77.
Flores, who lived in Westminster, died at Huntington Beach Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Kathleen Curran. He died of complications from pneumonia, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.
The man sometimes called the ''godfather of Latin rock'' was born in Santa Paula but grew up in Long Beach. By age 5, he was playing guitar in church and at 14 he was a member of a trio that performed Mexican music.
In 1957, Flores was in a group that recorded some work with rockabilly singer Dave Burgess. One of the songs was based on a nameless riff Flores had written. He played the ''dirty'' saxophone part and repeatedly growled the single-word lyric: ''Tequila!''
''Tequila!'' went to No. 1 on the Billboard chart and won a Grammy in 1959 for best rhythm and blues performance. Flores continued to play it for the next 40 years.
"Echoes (Aug. 11)" --
Saturday, September 23, 2006 9:00 AM
-- Under the Volcano,
"It has a ghastly familiarity,
like a half-forgotten dream."
-- Poppy (Gene Tierney) in
"The Shanghai Gesture."
"We tell ourselves stories in order to live....
We interpret what we see, select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.
at least we do for a while. I am talking here about a time when I began
to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a
common condition but one I found troubling."
From Patrick Vert,
... a unique study on phantasmagoria and the history of imagination. The word originates [in] light-projection, the so-called ghost-shows of the early 19th century....
... thought becomes a phantasmagorical process, a spectral, representative location for the personal imagination that had been marginalized by scientific rationalism....
This phantasmagoria became more mediated over time.... Perception became increasingly visually oriented.... As this occurred, a narrative formed to encapsulate the phenomenology of it all...."
For such a narrative, see
November 5, 2002, 2:56 AM,
November 5, 2002, 6:29 AM,
January 3, 2003, 11:59 PM,
August 17, 2004, 7:29 PM,
August 18, 2004, 2:18 AM,
August 18, 2004, 3:00 AM, and
November 24, 2004, 10:00 AM.
|From a Christian fairy tale:|
Aslan's last words come at the end of The Last Battle: 'There was a real railway accident [...] Your father and mother and all of you are--as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands--dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.'....
Aslan is given the last word in these quiet but emphatic lines. He is the ultimate arbiter of reality: "'There was a real railway accident.'" Plato, in addition to the Christian tradition, lies behind the closing chapters of The Last Battle. The references here to the Shadowlands and to the dream refer back to an earlier explanation by Digory, now the Lord Digory:
"[...] that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end.
It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia, which has always
been here and always will be here: just as our world, England and all,
is only a shadow or copy of something in Aslan's real world. [....] Of
course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow
or as waking life is from a dream. [...] It's all in Plato, all in
Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at these schools!"
|"I was reading Durant's section on Plato, struggling to understand his theory of the ideal Forms that lay in inviolable perfection out beyond the phantasmagoria. (That was the first, and I think the last, time that I encountered that word.)"|
"Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of
the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words:
'In the beginning was the logos.' This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, syn logo, with logos. Logos
means both reason and word-- a reason which is creative and capable of
self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word
on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome
and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and
synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist."|
-- Remarks of the Pope at the University of Regensburg on Sept. 12, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006 7:00 AM
a Log24 entry
from October 29, 2002--
Our Judeo-Christian Heritage:
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Thursday, September 21, 2006 8:00 AM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:00 AMPublic Space
If we replace the Chinese word "I" (change, transformation) with the word "permutation," the relevance of Western mathematics (which some might call "the Logos") to the I Ching ("Changes Classic") beomes apparent.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006 10:00 AMFor a Dark Lady,
Monday, September 18, 2006 1:00 PM
Monday, September 18, 2006 9:14 AM
Log 24, January 18, 2004:
A Living Church
"Plato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead. Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you with any more. But imagine what it would be to live with such men still living. To know that Plato might break out with an original lecture to-morrow, or that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a single song. The man who lives in contact with what he believes to be a living Church is a man always expecting to meet Plato and Shakespeare to-morrow at breakfast. He is always expecting to see some truth that he has never seen before."
-- G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
C. P. Snow on G. H. Hardy in the foreword to A Mathematician's Apology:
"... he had another favourite entertainment...."
If, as Chesterton might surmise, he... met Plato and Shakespeare in
Heaven, the former might discuss with him the eternal Platonic form of
the number 17*, while the latter might offer....
A Living Church,
ON 6-6-6 --
Sunday, September 17, 2006 12:00 AMAt Midnight
on the Emperor's pavement flit
Flames that no faggot feeds,
nor steel has lit,
Nor storm disturbs, flames
begotten of flame,
Where blood-begotten spirits come
And all complexities of fury leave,
Dying into a dance,
An agony of trance,
An agony of flame that cannot
singe a sleeve."
-- From Byzantium, by
William Butler Yeats
"The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre--
To be redeemed from fire by fire."
-- From Four Quartets, by
Thomas Stearns Eliot
"Look around you. There is an eerie sense of Panic in the air, a silent Fear and Uncertainty that comes with once reliable faiths and truths and solid Institutions that are no longer safe to believe in..."
"If you passed, you got to live, and if you failed you were burned alive on a pyre that's now the Transgender Studies Building."
"At midnight on the Emperor's pavement...."
Saturday, September 16, 2006 4:00 PM
Saturday, September 16, 2006 11:07 AM
and a related