prolost

vivere est cogitare

Tag: τέχνη

acer palmatum dissectum

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I made a typology for ART 140. I am rather fond of it. Perhaps I will write about it at length when I am not so exhausted. Perhaps I will not. It is a mystery.

july 5

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o’er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,
And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom’s reign,
To man his plundered rights again
Restore.

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

God speed the hour, the glorious hour,
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant’s presence cower;
But to all manhood’s stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his Prison-house, to thrall
Go forth.

Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I’ll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive –
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate’er the peril or the cost,
Be driven.

hocus focus

arm is moved
hat is different
leaf is missing
foot is moved
skirt is shorter
sleeve is shorter
summer is shorter
temper is shorter
something is different
heart on sleeve is missing
heart fell off shorter sleeve
chest is different
chest is emptier
smile is smaller
hand is missing
john is patrick
hot is colder
time is longer
life is shorter
young is older
you are missing
you are moved
i am not
everything is different

by Rebecca Hoogs (rendered as faithfully as possible from a recording)

maybe i’m just an elitist

For some reason, when I saw the previews for last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent, I thought the American version of the opera singer dude would actually be good. Alas, just like Mr. Potts, he was okay but really not all that good. A decent performance and much better than anything I could muster, but far from any standard that would be applied to a professional tenor.

Of course any such comparison is ludicrous, but the fact is that people have made comparisons between Paul Potts and real opera tenors. I’ve seen remarks about how “emotional” his singing is. That’s nice, but good tenors are emotional and have good technical skills. The technique of Potts and Boyd just really don’t stand up to scrutiny.

And what is it about Nessun dorma? Seriously, can’t you come up with something more technically challenging, that will demonstrate your ability a little better? The only reason that aria is popular is because Pavarotti made it so. Hell, they even repeat his inserted syllable in “vincero” (probably without realizing it). There are plenty of beautiful, challenging arias out there.

cruel necessity

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Lawrence Brownlee is one of the best singers I’ve ever heard. With his marvelous bel canto as Arturo, he was definitely the most impressive voice in last night’s Seattle Opera production of Bellini’s I puritani, despite only being present in two of the three acts. It’s hard to find a tenor these days with such a beautiful voice.

Also, I have to agree with those who say that the libretto is rather absurd. The ending is a total cop-out, and the story is basically trite nonsense. But the music is beautiful so meh.

This Friday (a very hot one, as was Saturday) I presented a poster at the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, and was approached by a gentleman with a really curious offer to help with some sort of “new paradigm” in biomedical research. It was extremely thin on details, and a little questionable, but I figured there might be something to it so I gave him my email address.

And while 90°F is pushing it, I really like it when the weather is in the 70s or even hovering around 80. It makes me miss being (however briefly) in Southern California.

long time no see

It’s been a busy month. Presented a talk in lab and at the UW Honors Research Colloquium, and bringing a poster to the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, had 2 papers and 2 midterms. All in the first 10 days of May.

I Puritani is next week; it will be the last opera of the season, and I don’t yet know for sure whether I will renew my subscription. Opera is a magnificent thing, but it costs a lot of money. It can be a difficult expense to justify.

Art itself, in fact, begs for justification. As long as it remains quiet, unoffensive, cute and trite, art draws no criticism, and indeed hardly any attention at all. Putting aside constraining definitions of art itself, what is its purpose? And more to the point, does expression have limits?

Wafaa Bilal’s minor modification of Night of Bush Capturing, in turn a modification by the Global Islamic Media Front (likely a media arm for Al-Qaeda) of Quest for Saddam, a game created by Jesse Petrilla, a conservative American citizen, drew great ire from conservatives in Troy, NY where Bilal was exhibiting his work (sorry for the complex arrangement of subordinate clauses). The ignorance and failure of reason here is staggering. The original American-made game perpetuates negative stereotypes and ignorant hatred of its targets; the Global Islamic Media Front modification simply turns it on its head, and reflects back upon us how inaccurate and harmful such portrayals can be. And Bilal, in placing his own likeness into the game, is expressing how easily the attitude of those orchestrating and supporting the Iraq War can contribute to the disillusionment and even defection of people who previously had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda. Such perspective ought to be valued, not vilified.

And what of Burma/Myanmar (it doesn’t matter which name is more “correct;” the politics of language is always problematic)? Does coercive humanitarian aid (a rather awkward and loaded construction) constitute a perpetuation of Western Imperialism? Many Colonial and Imperialist endeavors have been attached to ostensibly noble goals.

If nothing else, the hesitation of the United States to even undertake supply airdrops without the permission of the Burmese government highlights the utter hypocrisy and ruthlessness of the Iraq War.

On a lighter note, Nate finished building his computer. But Linux drivers… :effort: