REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

What our world has become.

POSTED BY: FREMDFIRMA
UPDATED: Sunday, June 3, 2007 09:38
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 11432
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Thursday, May 3, 2007 12:15 AM

FREMDFIRMA


I am not going to explain it, nope, am hoping that you will trust my word that this is fascinating as hell.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007
040401721_pf.html


I just hope the link doesn't break after a while, tho.

More comment later.

-F

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 12:52 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Not going to give away the article, just making sure it stays near the top.

---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 2:41 AM

GEE


This was a fasinating article,

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 3:50 AM

DEADLOCKVICTIM



our world indeed....
now, i would venture to say that any hack from american idol would have drawn a huge crowd.

a sad commentary

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:20 AM

MAL4PREZ


Wow. That really is sad. No wonder so many people are depressed. Look at we go through life, plodding with our heads down...

-----------------------------------------------
I'm the president. I don't need to listen.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:24 AM

KANEMAN


Great article. Although I come from a musical family and would have defenantly recognized his talent, I think being rush hour I would have spent about 20 seconds and a dollar on Mr. Bell.....

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:37 AM

AGENTROUKA


I can say that I'd LIKE stop stop and enjoy the moment a lot more often than I feel I can explain to my boss.

"There was a guy playing music - I just wanted to appreciate the beauty!" -- not going to go over well if it makes me late.

It's not all down to the "wrong priorities", if the priorities mean paying rent and food on the table.


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Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:44 AM

CAUSAL


Well, we could sneer about "what our world has become" or we could try to examine it phenomenologically, like Weingarten did. Is it that these people are fools? Or was there some validity to the art-without-a-frame thing? Seriously, we're conditioned to register street musicians as annoying presences and move along. It doesn't surprise me too much that no one listened to Bell. That sort of environment is the one where people see a musician and say, "Homeless schill wanting my money" and then walk right by. But if they got dressed up and went to a concert hall, the experience would be phenomenologically different. Because there people see a musician and say, "Genius playing masterpieces." Seriously, let's not get to sanctimonious about these people. I suspect that most of us would have been in that majority that kept right on walking.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:47 AM

CAUSAL


Also, by titling the thread "What the World Has Become" there seems to be the implication that it wouldn't have been that way in the past. You're right about that. Some DC cop would have walked up and cracked poor Joshua on the skull and told him to get lost. Let's not get too nostalgic for a past that never existed. Or do we honestly think that 30 years ago all those thousand people would have dropped everything for a listen?

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 4:55 AM

KHYRON


I completely agree with everything Causal said.



"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 5:11 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
That sort of environment is the one where people see a musician and say, "Homeless schill wanting my money" and that walk right along. But if they got dressed up and went to a concert hall, the experience would be phenomenologically different. Because there people see a musician and say, "Genius playing masterpieces."




Yes, context is big.

With a musician on the street, their art is pushed onto you, whether you're in a frame of mind to receive it or not. It's like a child demanding your attention - and then asking for your money. *Snap* Appreciate on demand - or you have the wrong priorities? Some enjoy that, but some don't. Many don't.

In a concert, you can choose to experience it. You choose to give your attention. And money. It's not forced onto you. Of course you'll perceive it differently.

I don't think it says sad things about humanity that when their mind is on business, their mind is not on art. It's a question of concentration.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 5:28 AM

DEADLOCKVICTIM


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
It doesn't surprise me too much that no one listened to Bell. That sort of environment is the one where people see a musician and say, "Homeless schill wanting my money" and then walk right by.



I don't totally disagree, but the sad part, IMO, is the failure of these people to disengage from the routine that has become their day to day life and recognize the beauty that occasionally surrounds them... that we as a society can't take the time to appreciate the things that should matter the most to us is upsetting.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 5:42 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by deadlockvictim:
...the sad part, IMO, is the failure of these people to disengage from the routine that has become their day to day life and recognize the beauty that occasionally surrounds them... that we as a society can't take the time to appreciate the things that should matter the most to us is upsetting.



When have we "as a society" been able to?

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 5:43 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by deadlockvictim:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
It doesn't surprise me too much that no one listened to Bell. That sort of environment is the one where people see a musician and say, "Homeless schill wanting my money" and then walk right by.



I don't totally disagree, but the sad part, IMO, is the failure of these people to disengage from the routine that has become their day to day life and recognize the beauty that occasionally surrounds them... that we as a society can't take the time to appreciate the things that should matter the most to us is upsetting.



Time is often not theirs to take, though.

Our society works because it is based on precision. People being in certain places, doing certain things at very certain times. In between that we're supposed to fit our lives, families and sleep.

Does it rob us of certain freedoms and is that sad? Yes. But with as many people as we are, inparticular concentrated in one place in big cities, it's probably the only way to keep things running smoothly.

To quote Wash, "Work work work..."

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 5:49 AM

KANEMAN


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
Quote:

Originally posted by deadlockvictim:
Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
It doesn't surprise me too much that no one listened to Bell. That sort of environment is the one where people see a musician and say, "Homeless schill wanting my money" and then walk right by.



I don't totally disagree, but the sad part, IMO, is the failure of these people to disengage from the routine that has become their day to day life and recognize the beauty that occasionally surrounds them... that we as a society can't take the time to appreciate the things that should matter the most to us is upsetting.



Time is often not theirs to take, though.

Our society works because it is based on precision. People being in certain places, doing certain things at very certain times. In between that we're supposed to fit our lives, families and sleep.

Does it rob us of certain freedoms and is that sad? Yes. But with as many people as we are, inparticular concentrated in one place in big cities, it's probably the only way to keep things running smoothly.

To quote Wash, "Work work work..."




Absolutely. If this little experiment were done at say...lunch hour, I am sure a crowd would have formed. Just as it does around the drummer playing trash cans.....

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 6:05 AM

DEADLOCKVICTIM


Quote:

Originally posted by Causal:
When have we "as a society" been able to?



A poor choice of words on my part - all I’m saying is this, beauty is a fleeting thing - the wonders of the world around us should be more important than catching the train on time -

I’m not saying that a person’s profession isn't important or that dedication to that profession is not admirable. However, alluding to this threads title, “what our world has become” implies to me that maybe if we took the time to appreciate life as the gift that is, there might not be as much suffering and turmoil as is so prevalent today.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 6:53 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Gotcha.

YBHT, sort of, just a little.

The reason I posted that without comment was to see. and show, just how deep the corpo-drone conditioning goes in our society, to see if anyone would come forth and justify.

Interesting indeed.

To me, a street musician, if he's any good, is handing out a gift, and yes, they'd like you to spare a little if you can, but rather than the corporate scheme of the RIAA with their grip firmly around your throat (legally) extorting you - the streetie is reaching out to your humanity, which makes him a cut above.

I probably would have stopped for quite a while, and dumped a fistfull of small bills in his box - I can live without my luxuries, it comes to it, and memory is forever.

I think, socially, we need to pull our heads out and really take a good hard look at what our priorities are - what is so all damn fired important about work-work-work-die to further enrich the moneyed elite who screw us on everything from medical care benefits to pensions ?

If all you accomplish in life is to afford your children the opportunity to work-work-work-die, can you even really say that you're alive ?

We condition ourselves to accept the unacceptable, and then justify the lie to ourselves every day, just step back and look really hard at your own life for a moment, how much of your life is really yours ?

How much of the fruits of your labor goes to the enrichment of YOUR life, and how much goes up the ladder ?

I dunno about you, but some folk would rather starve happily than gorge miserably, and I am one of em - it's not often I am thankful to be a self employed cabbie, but this is one of those times.

"How did this happen, who's to blame ? well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty.. you need only look into a mirror..." - V

-Frem

It cannot be said enough, those who do not learn from history, are doomed to endlessly repeat it

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 7:01 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


About the article specifically - the violin is not my favorite instrument to listen to, especially when played by professionals who are taught to play it to stridency. I've heard violins played sweetly, without being overly cloying (being cloying is an issue with the 'gypsy' style of playing). So I'm not sure I would have been enammored of this event.

But I have occasioanlly stopped to hear the music even at the risk of being late.

IMHO music in general can be another language that can tell you things you can't put in words. And some people have the gift. Where you don't hear the technique, the instrument, the overlayed emotion, or the notes - you hear the music.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 7:52 AM

AGENTROUKA


Frem:

But you draw from this event the assumption that people don't make time for beauty in their lives at all, or so it seems.

Not everyone can enjoy the independence of being self-employed, be it personal inclination or because certain things just won't get done efficiently that way. Say, hospitals.

It's not all about serving the enemy "up there". I currently answer phones for a living. If I am not there, people who have a right to tell me their acute issues don't have the opportunity. My coworkers can't get their stuff done if they have to pick up my slack. It's my immediate environment that suffers, not some societal oppressor.

Does that need to be punctual mean I don't enjoy beauty in my life, that everything I do revolves around work or mental slavery for the sake of wealth? No. Neither am I wealthy, nor am I numb to my environment. I write, I paint, I act, I enjoy my family and friends, food and sleep, beautiful sleep. I have a lot of small "ooh, the universe is lovely" moments in my day. Would I have stopped for Bell? Probably not.

I am kind of offended by the presumption that the attention I pay a street musician, even one who is actually a recognized genius, should be the measure of my quality of life.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 8:15 AM

KHYRON


Quote:

Originally posted by AgentRouka:
I am kind of offended by the presumption that the attention I pay a street musician, even one who is actually a recognized genius, should be the measure of my quality of life.

Well said.

Fremd, your argument seems to be that we're either drones too busy working for the "evil capitalist system" to appreciate life (bad), or fullblown sentimentalists fully appreciating any random bit of "beauty" we come across (good) - beauty is a subjective concept, btw; like Rue indicated, not everybody likes the violin. Or classical music, for that matter.

That this experiment was apparently made during rush hour makes the article's point irrelevant anyway. Like Kaneman said, if it were done during lunch hour one might have had different results.



"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:09 AM

THATWEIRDGIRL


I'm glad I decided to see what the FFFers were up to today. It's been a while...

It is a little sad that people didn't stop to enjoy the music. I would have stopped, I usually do when there's a street performer of some kind. I would have clapped and smiled. I would not have given him any money though, I don't carry cash because I don't have cash to spare. I always feel guilty walking away from a free concert, but I'd feel worse having ignored them completely. It happens so rarely though that I do not plan for for such situations.

I'm not surprised people didn't stop. They are hurried and rushed and stuck in their heads. For some, music may not be the way they relate to beauty, it would not have occurred to them to stop no matter the time or talent.

I do think it should be noted that multiple people mentioned how people would react in other cultures. Americans ( I know this is a generalization) do tend to think of street artists as annoying petulant children. Those that can not successfully ply their trade are considered failures.




---
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."
-- Charlie Brown

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:24 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


"What our world has become"

Another thought occurred to me - have US cities ever been kind to buskers, especially classical musicians? In general Americans don't have much interest classical music. You practically have to be a snob or geek or French to like that sort of thing.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:29 AM

CAUSAL


I'm smelling a lot of self-righteousness comin' off this thread.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:31 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


In what way?

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:38 AM

CAUSAL


Well, this seems like the high school smart mouth. He was the kid who talked sh*t about everybody all the time. He was quick to point out the faults of others, and he always managed to drag other people into his mockery (whoever the target was). But you just knew that deep down he was really just try to make himself feel smart by calling other people stupid, or popular by calling other people losers, or valuable by calling other people worthless.

I just sense a lot of that tone in the thread. "Those people are just _______. I would never have done that because __________." It doesn't really impress me much when people try to look cool by talking down about others. I have no problem admitting that I almost certainly would have walked straight past Bell. Not because I hate music (I don't), not because I can't appreciate beauty (I can), not because I hate homeless people (I don't), but because if I were in that terminal, it was probably because I had to go to work. A lot of the posts make it sound like if you ignored Bell in order to get to work on time, you're some kind of soulless automaton. But since when did valuing timeliness and being a hard worker mean that you're a bad person? As has already been stated, putting him in there at rush hour skewed the data. Because I'm sorry, but at rush hour I just have other priorities. Put him in there at lunch time or on a weekend, and I'm there. But I think that it's just a responsible thing to do to recognize that there are times for stopping to smell the roses, and times where that's not the highest priority. Contra some of the posts, I think that that's not only not unhealthy, but a sign of maturity.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:45 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


Thanks. I wasn't sure which direction your post was going.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:48 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Hey peeps!

Do you suppose you can look at a criticism of a situation and NOT take it as a personal affront?

I prolly would have reacted much the same way as everyobody else: I would have hurried along and specifically not looked. Because (a) I was in a hurry and (b) if I acknowledged the music and "took" something of it then I would be obligated to pay and altho not poor it would take up even more time and (c) I would feel a little sorry for a guy playing so well but in a station that knowing that I can't help in any substantive way I would have to ignore and (d) if the person looked at all dangerous (I realize not in this case) I might have concern for my personal safety.

BUT.

That doesn't mean that I think it's right that we should have to make these choices. I would defend my choice based on my circumtance, but not a system that kills the interest and enjoyment out of children until everyone is turned into a droid.

---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:56 AM

SAHARA


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Hey peeps!

Do you suppose you can look at a criticism of a situation and NOT take it as a personal affront?




Maybe because the topic title ('our') implied inclusion?
Just a thought.





Sahara
Blackbird fly into the light of the dark, black night.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 9:57 AM

KHYRON


TWG: Good to have you back, hope you stick around.

Causal: Couldn't have said it better myself.

SignyM:
Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
Do you suppose you can look at a criticism of a situation and NOT take it as a personal affront? Or do you identify with "the system" so closely that you're co-dependant with it?

The criticism of the situation was meant to be a personal affront to everybody who would've walked past Bell in that situation. "Didn't take time to appreciate the music? You're capitalism's bitch!"

And here you now come and say: "Don't like being called capitalism's bitch? Then you might be capitalism's bitch!"



"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 10:13 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


I didn't get that feeling. Maybe it's because I've seen Koyaanisqatsi http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085809/usercomments?start=10 (which the article refers to) and My dinner With Andre but I thought the emphasis was on what our society has become, not on what we have become.

I think the movies- Koyaanisqatsi, its companion films, and Dinner With Andre- try to show how our creations sometimes head off in directions that we didn't intend or anticipate. Individuals are clearly at the mercy of the buildings, roads, rules, timetables, and the structure of "everything". It's OK to make the choices that we are forced to make, but that shouldn't prevent us from looking up, or down, or however it is we need to look in order to ask "why".

BTW- I edited out that part about co-dependency before your reply post because I thought it was unnecessarily provocative. But I find lack of analysis and insight frustrating. People who think that everything is directed at them necessarily limit their scope of thought.

---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 10:23 AM

FREMDFIRMA


Ok, ok.. I better come clean before this turns nasty...
Although the fact that it has started to is, in and of itself is worthy of a thought or two as well.

This whole thread was kind of a setup, and yes I deliberately used loaded language in order to put folk on the defensive and in a personal position of defending the established social order as we know it, but also in the intent to try to get folk to challenge those pre-conceptions within themselves, to think about why they value them so much.

Mostly however, to inspire serious, *honest*, thoughtful discussion on the topic.

Sorry if I pissed anyone off, but I wanted to get some honest answers, and some times the best way to do that is to present a loaded argument as a stalking horse for them to shoot at.

-Frem

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 10:30 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


"We're busy. Americans have been busy, as a people, since at least 1831, when a young French sociologist named Alexis de Tocqueville visited the States and found himself impressed, bemused and slightly dismayed at the degree to which people were driven, to the exclusion of everything else, by hard work and the accumulation of wealth."
Probably true. USers get less vacation than Europeans. Eat fast food rather than good meals. Have, as a motto, "whoever dies with the most toys wins".

"If we can't take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that -- then what else are we missing?"
This is, to me, an unproven extrapolation - and also partly right and partly wrong. USers really aren't taught to enjoy classical music. It's part of the self-satisfied mantra "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." So it's no wonder the only people who stopped were the ones who already were interested in classical music or the violin or Bell, or some combination. But I agree that most Americans don't know what they're missing. You really have to live in another country long enough to lose your blinders in order to 'get it'. What it means to be in a place that believes a humane life for all is better than a wealthy one for few. But that's not a recent development in America, not is it a personal fault of Americans. It's more like culturally-induced blindness.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 10:34 AM

CHRISISALL


*hangs his head down*

....I may be capitalism's bitch...
*looks up*
But at least I'm man enough to admit it!

Spikeisall

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 10:40 AM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


'The criticism of the situation was meant to be a personal affront to everybody who would've walked past Bell in that situation. "Didn't take time to appreciate the music? You're capitalism's bitch!"'

A PERSONAL affront ?

And what could possibly be wrong with looking at US culture with a critical eye? And learning from others ... Even US NEws & World Report did that recently.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070318/26intro.htm
How They Do It Better
By Susan Headden
Posted 3/18/07
We have the biggest GDP, the finest universities, the highest ownership of color TVs, and the greatest number of Nobel Prize winners. So how come the Danes are the happiest people in the world? Living in the dark, no less. Schoolchildren in New Zealand are cleaning our clocks in math and science. Teachers are better paid and more respected in Japan. Our highways are choked with traffic, but we can't manage to build a train that goes more than 150 mph.

--------------



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Thursday, May 3, 2007 10:52 AM

AGENTROUKA


So, puppet master, did the rats in the maze press the right button to get "Right" or "Wrong" in your eyes?

Are you questioning any of your own views or just patting yourself on the back for predicting a very predictable reaction?

It's kind of rude not to share the results of your little experiment.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:08 AM

CAUSAL


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
But I find lack of analysis and insight frustrating. People who think that everything is directed at them necessarily limit their scope of thought.



Hope I'm not the one you had in mind as you tapped this out. I just thought Frem's initial post was one-sided to the point of the absurd, and wanted to counter-point that. As it turns out, he was trying to provoke a reaction with deliberately loaded language. But I hope you're not suggesting that I'm limiting my "scope of thought." It's not that I was personally offended. It's that I thought Frem was dead wrong. Meh. Or maybe I'm just capitalism's bitch.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:17 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Awww..... Chris.... *hangs head* I'm capitalism's bitch too.

I have a co-worker who's retiring at 50 to Costa Rica next month. He's a ray of honesty. But living your ideals is a lot harder than talking them.

---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:33 AM

DEEPGIRL187


I don't know whether to laugh, or just cry.

**************************************************

"If you want to win a war, you must serve no master but your ambition."


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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:36 AM

CAUSAL


Why would you do either?

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:36 AM

CLJOHNSTON108


Quote:

Bell decided to begin with "Chaconne" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor. Bell calls it "not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It's a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect. Plus, it was written for a solo violin, so I won't be cheating with some half-assed version."

Bell didn't say it, but Bach's "Chaconne" is also considered one of the most difficult violin pieces to master. Many try; few succeed. It's exhaustingly long -- 14 minutes -- and consists entirely of a single, succinct musical progression repeated in dozens of variations to create a dauntingly complex architecture of sound. Composed around 1720, on the eve of the European Enlightenment, it is said to be a celebration of the breadth of human possibility.



ALESSIO BENVENUTI suona Bach
Sonate e Partite 1004-1006 Parte II

http://www.arteagency.com/bachsonate002.htm

"Chaconne" (Ciaccona) is Track 5

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:40 AM

FREDGIBLET


I found the article interesting but misguided, like many others here I would have moved on not out of myopia or inability to appreciate beauty but rather because if I was there during rush hour I'd be going somewhere and "I stopped to appreciate some beauty" isn't going to fly with my boss unless it was a naked Jessica Alba and I took pictures for him. Also the article assumes that everyone has the same standard for "beauty" I have nothing against violins but I have no special love for them either, unlike many of the classical music snobs I don't see the violin as the be-all end-all of instruments so to me the guy playing a violin on a street corner doesn't automatically deserve more attention then the human-beatbox down the street.

On the other hand, if I had nowhere pressing to go I'd say there a better than even chance that I'd hang around for a few minutes and toss a buck or two into his case. I don't see it as a failing of society that we don't stop every time something "beautiful" happens and watch entranced until it's done.

As for the scorn in the article for parents who pulled their children away, the parents are under the same constraints that the rest of are and given the option between getting to where they need to be on time, staying with their child and letting it watch the performance and leaving their child to watch the performance while they move on I know what almost every parent is going to choose. In that situation I'd ask my kid afterwards if they liked the music and if they did I'd buy a classical CD or two and let them listen to it.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:56 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


The issue isn't whether the people were under time contraints, but SHOULD they be under such time constraints?


---------------------------------
Some people just don't get it.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:57 AM

FREMDFIRMA


My, such hostility, Agent.

There is no black/white to this, only shades of grey, there's no right or wrong answers, and the results are right here in front of you, I wanted to provoke an honest discussion, in part by putting some folk in the position of defending something they perhaps do not particularly like but see as a necessity and get them to question it, is all.

Something both you and Casual put a good bit of real thought into when you replied.
And why would you ever think I do not question my own views on it ?

And I did apologise for the mild chain yank, if you noticed.

By putting both extremes up front, and defining them, it does give us a better look at the middle ground in between, does it not ?

I do think our social values need to be re-examined, especially in light how screwed up american social consciousness is, but it's not like I have an actual answer to it, these discussions are the kind that lead to ideas of that sort.

I do think most of us 30+ folk are a bit too set in our ways to effect that kind of change, just as an opinion, but I can be as wrong as anyone.

What do YOU think, then, Agent ?

-Frem

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:57 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Hope I'm not the one you had in mind as you tapped this out


Not usually.

---------------------------------
Always look upstream.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 11:58 AM

AGENTROUKA


Signym - So how do you propose city life should work without the need for precision and punctuality?


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Thursday, May 3, 2007 12:07 PM

KHYRON


Quote:

Originally posted by rue:
'The criticism of the situation was meant to be a personal affront to everybody who would've walked past Bell in that situation. "Didn't take time to appreciate the music? You're capitalism's bitch!"'

A PERSONAL affront ?

Sig's choice of words, not mine, but yes. Wasn't that the point? People can hide behind saying "oh, we were looking at society and culture, not individuals", but ultimately people think about how they whould've reacted and it sorts them into two groups, those who would have walked past Bell and those who would have listened. Those who walked past are deemed to not be able to appreciate "beauty", and that so many walked past (at rush hour, big surprise...) is then used to fallaciously conclude that there is a larger problem in society, namely that people can't appreciate "beauty" when they come across it. I take it as a personal affront because of what Agentrouka said, the part that I quoted before.
Quote:

And what could possibly be wrong with looking at US culture with a critical eye?
Nothing as long as they do it properly and don't use some artificial experiment and how I would have reacted to it, and loads of others did react to it, to make half-assed conclusions about me ("can't appreciate beauty") and society ("can't appreciate beauty").



"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 12:07 PM

AGENTROUKA


I guess what made me hostile was the smugness involved.

You don't really want a balanced debate, or you might have made the effort to question both extremes - except there is only one extreme.

None of the people who said they wouldn't have stopped made judgments about the people who did/would stop, but the other way around it is implied that people are drones who - since you feel the need to make them do this - don't question their place in society and society itself.

You just question one side.

And while you say it's a grey area, something I can somewhat agree with, you clearly have a strong bias. If you have enough of an opinion to be biased in this way, why can't you offer up some suggestions about how things should be, practicably? Otherwise, you could have the courtesy to try and get the people who'll gladly make others wait to enjoy some free art question their own value system.


Quote:

What do YOU think, then, Agent ?


I think, as others here have said, that this experiment says very little that is relevant and valid, because of the timing involved. You can't expect people to ignore their committments, which during rush hour most would have had, and then make a judgment about those who didn't ignore them, regarding an issue that is entirely subjective to begin with.

It's an attention-getter of an experiment, but it's not something I can take seriously.

If you want to question the nature of people's committments, the thing that creates rush hour, then you can do it directly. But doing that would put you in the defensive position because it'd put you in a place of posing alternative suggestions. If you really can't think of any alternatives, maybe, just maybe, the current system is not just a case of artificial oppression? Maybe sometimes people just will be busy to get things done for what is not just the elite rich but each other as a society?

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 12:11 PM

RUE

I have a vote and I'm not afraid to use it!


I think Americans have "hurry sickness". It's part of the culture to spend your time (your life) accumulating and amassing. For many people there is no option - they work two or more jobs just to have a place to sleep and to put 'food on their family'. But for others it's a choice.

Personally I find shopping to be extraordinarily depressing, especially at malls. People are rushing all over trying to spend their way to happiness with plastic baubles and artificial colors. Did you ever look at their faces? Harried, stressed, and distant.

Maybe the answer is not how to function in a society frantic to cram in 'more', but how to create a society that is comfortable with enough.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 12:14 PM

FREDGIBLET


Quote:

Originally posted by SignyM:
The issue isn't whether the people were under time contraints, but SHOULD they be under such time constraints?



From 7 to 8 A.M. in the morning? Sure why not? 24/7? No but then they aren't unless they choose to be. I have to be at work by 9:30, I leave work at 6:30, before and after I choose my activities. Outside of work the only thing that I do regularly that requires a modicum of punctuality is gaming 2-3 weekends a month, other than that I can mosey around all I want and spend as much time listening to street musicians as I fell like, I see this as a decent balance.

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Thursday, May 3, 2007 12:17 PM

KHYRON


For those who see this as being a comment on the pace of the urban lifestyle, I think this article does so with less emotional baggage.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6614643.stm



"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

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