Cristina Ortiz y Nelson Freire play Momoprécoce by Villa-Lobos

Hola. Below are two performances of Momoprécoce by el Brasileño composer Villa-Lobos.

Momoprécoce is a Fantasia para Piano, and in the first performance below we have pianist Cristina Ortiz y Regente/conductor Roberto Tibiriçá con Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana “Simon Bolívar,” Sala Simón Bolívar Centro de Acción Social por la Música – Caracas, Venezuela.

Momoprécoce was one of the works for piano and orchestra that Doña Cristina recorded early in her career after she won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1969, and Vladamir Ashkenazy (who served as a mentor to her of sorts) was the conductor in that performance.

When I watched this video the first time I didn’t check to check where the performance was held and then the camera showed the concert hall stage and I said to myself: Oh that’s Caracas. It was. They have a beautiful concert hall in Caracas. (Off topic: They also have a nice metro in Caracas which is better than some metros in The Empire/The Cesspool/the US/Los Estados Unidos. It’s better than the metro we have in San Francisco, and yet so many USans are so mindlessly stuck on that US Exceptional-ism nonsense (that arrogant and false thinking that USans are so damned special and superior to other people around the world. Ha! I can’t stand arrogance and ignorance.) Now back on the topic:

In the second performance: pianist Nelson Freire y Orquestra Sinfônica de São Paulo con Marin Alsop. I was glad to see Don Nelson using his score on the piano; I talked about that “playing from memory” nonsensical tradition in the screwed up classical music field in my Rachmaninov article.

The camera work is generally very good for these performances. I watched a Rachmaninov performance recently with Doña Cristina and felt very frustrated with the camera work. There’s usually one particular part in a piece where I’m especially interested in seeing the keyboard. Well, for two of the videos I watched of Doña Cristina the camerapeople made sure they did not show the keyboard in those places. I said to my screen: What are we doing back here in the back of the hall or over here on the right side of the stage where I can’t even see the keyboard and the piano is over there in the distance? What is wrong with these camera people? Clearly they’re not pianists or even musicians otherwise they would know that the camera should be on the keyboard in this particular well-known section of this piece. Then, of course, after that section ended that I wanted to see they put the camera back on the keyboard. Ugh. Humans! The camerapeople reminded me of the inept camerawork of an Anglican church I used to write about on occasion where their camerapeople were determined to show up and down the High Altar and the entire ceiling of the Nave each week even though the ceiling never changed from week to week, as well as showing the cracks in the ceiling while the Choir was singing and the organist was playing. I wanted to see the Choir and the organist, not the ceiling, its cracks or the High Altar, especially since they don’t change from week to week. So I gave up on them as I found their camerawork too frustrating to deal with.

I read an interview with Doña Cristina—it was from quite awhile back but I think it still applies—and I agreed with most of what she said. She doesn’t like the pianos in The Empire/the US because she prefers the Hamburg Steinways, which we don’t have, and she can immediately tell when she’s playing one or from just touching the keys (since the keys are different). Also, she prefers the orchestra to be around the piano more like in chamber music—where the first violins are directly behind the pianist or slightly to the left and the cellists are in view straight on from the pianist’s view—rather than having the piano stuck out front like a what-not and isolated from the orchestra the way it’s done in The Empire/the US. She considers the US way very cold and I agree. She doesn’t play much over here in The Cesspool and I can completely understand why. Her preference (with the piano placed more in the orchestra) is the European model and I prefer that as well. I think it also looks better. She also doesn’t like the (what I’ll call) the traditional bowing protocol. I can’t stand that either. It looks ridiculous to take a bow and then rush off stage and then immediately turn around and rush back out, take a bow and repeat that nonsense a few times. It’s fine to take a bow and appreciate any applause but just stay there (on stage). I like the way pianist Evgeny Kissin handles bows. At the end of his performance, he shakes the hand and hugs the conductor (for a piano concerto) then shakes the hand of the concertmasters/leaders 1 and 2, then he pauses and bows deeply to the audience, he turns around and applauds the orchestra, he joins hands with the conductor and bows, he pauses, then turns around and bows deeply to the orchestra and then he leaves the stage. To me, that’s perfect. There’s no need for anymore than that. I especially like that Kissin bows to the orchestra at the beginning and at the end of his concerto performances. There’s no need for an artist to leave and return to the stage, unless planning to do a perfunctory encore, and encores can be a bit much too. As Doña Cristina says, the pianist is dead tired at that point and has played enough. That bowing routine nonsense I talked about earlier—which also seems to be a US thing from what Doña Cristina said—is one of the more stupid ego trips of the screwed-up classical music field especially in the US. There are so many ridiculous “traditions” followed in the classical music field in the US. What is wrong with this country? Oh don’t get me started! What humans came up with that nonsense. Was that Don Franz Liszt again that some idiots need as their god? It seems that everything el hombre/the man did people just genuflected to, and some still do. Ugh. Humans (especially the humans in The Empire/the US)!

Well, enjoy the performances below from Doña Cristina y Don Nelson. Chau.—el barrio rosa

The NYCGB performs Toward the Unknown Region by Ralph Vaughan Williams

The Chorus is Glorious!

Hola. ¿Qué tal? Below is a superb performance of Toward the Unknown Region by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. It’s performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (NYCGB – Ben Parry, Chorus Director). Assisting is Codetta (which is a Chamber Chorus) and the Irish Youth Chamber Choir. The Chorus is huge for this performance, which is conducted by Vasily Petrenko. He’s the principal conductor of the National Youth Orchestra. The text for the piece is from Walt Whitman and it was RVW’s first choral work, although he called it a “Song.”

I’ve read that the acoustics are not very good in the Royal Albert Hall—the musicians can’t hear each other—except for large-scale choral works such as the Berlioz Requiem. I would think with the Chorus being split it would be difficult for one to hear the other, and there’s quite a distance between the two. In that case, one has to rely solely on the conductor. And apparently they did because they were splendid in this performance. The Chorus is very precise and polished. Also, one doesn’t hear any fluttery, wobbling, shrill sopranos in this Chorus as one does with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

I embedded this video on this article about Rachmaninov’s The Bells, from Boston University’s School of Music performance at Boston’s Symphony Hall. Someone left a comment about “Toward the Unknown Region.” He wrote that the Chorus was glorious and almost brought tears to his eyes. Yes, it has the same effect on me depending upon when I listen to it. The Chorus is superbly prepared and so is the Orchestra. Some nut said—referring to the Orchestra—that they sound like a professional Orchestra. They are a professional Orchestra whether they are paid or not.

I never performed this piece with any of the Orchestra Choruses I was a member of but I’ve always liked it and I learned the different choral parts on my own. Since I have the choral score only (Edition Novello), I didn’t realise until watching this performance that it requires such a large Orchestra including pipe organ, which is heard nicely at the end. The organist is not afraid to open it up. As I said in my Rachmaninov article, this performance reminds me of the first performance I heard of this piece by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (in the UK) with Norman Del Mar conducting. I played this video for mi amigo and asked him what he thought (and he usually tells me exactly what he thinks.) He said: “It’s a very relaxing piece to listen to, especially the first part and the Orchestra and Chorus are superb.” Yes they are. So enjoy. Chau.—el barrio rosa

The last remaining Lesbian bar in San Francisco is closing

Queer San Francisco is disappearing. The Lexington Club en el Distrito de la Misión de San Francisco is closing.

Hola. ¿Qué tal? Finally, more people are starting to notice or at least talk about what has happened to San Francisco. Some people are slow, or choose to live in Denial that the San Francisco that I moved to in the late 1970s is dead. Fin. The End. That city is gone. I didn’t think I would ever say that because I never expected this city to change so drastically as it had done, and do a “180″ (become conservative) as the city now is.

As is the case with the misnamed “Democratic” and Republican corporate-fascist political parasites in The Empire’s government/the US government (or what mealy-mouthed people refer to as an “Oligarchy” in their attempt to offend no one), the corporate-fascist politicians in San Francisco also work for corporations and parasitic techie companies (which receive corporate welfare from the city). These politicians don’t work for the average person. These corporate-fascist politicians can use Newspeak words like “vibrant” every breath to describe barrios/neighbourhoods around San Francisco, but this city is now dead compared to how it was when I moved here. The word “vibrant” would apply to that time. The only thing that is close to “vibrant” around here today is the horrendous/gridlock traffic in the city (presumably from the techie basura), as many people are noticing.

San Francisco has become a lobotomised city, where activists, culture and counter-culture have moved to the East Bay and elsewhere, because they could no longer afford to live in outrageously expensive San Francisco. We now have the highest rents in the nation because of corporate greed and the vulgar greed of the Real Estate Industrial Complex and their Corrupt Liars for whom el alcalde/the mayor works. The average rent in San Francisco is $3,500.00/a month the last figure I saw. This city is a city of class warfare today, with the haves living right beside the have-nots in some cases and the numbers of the poor homeless people increasing.

The last remaining lesbian bar in San Francisco (The Lexington Club) is about to close. That’s very sad. These days, “straights” are going to gay bars (to take them over). WTF? And gay bars are closing in the city, although not yet in the former gay mecca known as The Castro, at least to my knowledge. The conservatives in San Francisco adore the new conservative and lobotomised city. They now love this city that a little over 5 years ago they despised. Because the conservatives “own” the city now—technically a billionaire techie owns it and controls policies with el alcalde/the mayor as his puppet—they now arrogantly call San Francisco “everybody’s favourite city.” Like hell it is! It certainly isn’t my favourite city any longer. They have made San Francisco like any other city: mainstream and corporate. The uniqueness we once had is gone, and it’s been deliberately erased by the corporate-fascists in positions of power.

A lesbian said in an article I read about the Lexington Club closing that she is very femme and doesn’t feel comfortable hitting on another female in a “straight” bar, and that’s why she feels there is still a need for gay and lesbian bars. Despite this bull shit nonsense that “straights and gays now love each other,” the reality is that there will always be a need for gay and lesbian bars. And from what I hear, these gay hook-up apps on the stupidphones are a major waste of time. Queers spends day and night on them and end up home along jacking off because there’s nothing but flakey people on them. Also, anti-gay comments and anti-gay looks/stares are on the rise in San Francisco (mi amigo has noticed this especially in the snooty, pretentious and wealthy Upper Market area, for example) as “straight” young, white techie trash take over Upper Market and other areas of the city. I’ve heard stories about gay guys hitting on “straight” guys in gay bars—thinking they were gay since they were in a gay bar (what the fuck is a “straight” guy hanging out in a gay bar for?…there’s got to be something in the water!)—and things got heated when the Queer boys approached “Mr Straight” who responded to them like an asshole, in their own bar.

I read an ignorant comment from a local lesbian idiot who wrote that “Queers are mainstream now” and that’s why there may not be a need for gay and lesbians bars. Ugh. The ignorance of some people! She went on to say that a gay/lesbian person can be “out” at work (well some people can and some cannot) and get married and have kids. In some places one can. In other words, she’s all jacked that gay people can be heteronormative. Be like the “straights.” So apparently being like the “straights” was the goal of the now-dead Gay Rights’ Movement. I and others I’ve spoken with never knew that was the ultimate goal of the Gay Rights’ Movement. Or did the movement get hijacked by those wealthy, corporatist GLBTQ Obamabot-organisations with their bloated executive salaries that survive by residing in the upper colon of the useless and irrelevant “Democratic” Party? If one goes on the site I call ClosetList, one will see lots of gay guys (including in San Francisco) who are not “out” at work or anywhere else and they specifically say they’re not “out” in their ads. So I don’t know what drugs this lesbian is on. I’d like to inform her that if Queers were so “mainstream” why is it that I see only “straight” (usually white) couples in television ads and programmes. If Queers are so “mainstream” why is it that whenever I see Latin male singers, the producer or someone makes sure there are only las muchachas hanging all over the male singers. I never see any Queer couples or lesbian couples in any television commercials or programming. And on Telemundo, I’ve repeatedly seen (and been turned off by) the heteronormative situations they set up where one or more of Telemundo’s personalities (who are thought to be gay or lesbian but are not officially “out”) pretend to be “straight” and they do this skit of showing signs of sizing up and wanting to beso/kiss or make out with the opposite gender person they’re standing or sitting with. If Queers were so “mainstream,” Telemundo would have their (suspected) lesbian show host stand with a female and not with a chico and have the lesbian show an interest in the female and size her up and give her a long beso on camera for all the audience to see. But all I see on my television is heteronormative behaviour, heteronormative programming and heteronormative commercials. Also, just because Queers can get married (which is a conservative “institution” in itself) in some places and have children in some places, does not at all erase the sheeples’ prejudices and phobes (often based on religious beliefs) against Queer people. Court rulings do not erase or remove people’s prejudices. And if Queers were “mainstream,” why are so many Queers saying that they are “discreet” (instead of being “out and proud”) today in major US cities, such as New York City (read: The “Discreet” Gay Guys in New York City) and going to all extremes to be heteronormative. So that’s just how “mainstream” Queers are, you idiot. I can’t stand ignorant people.

More people in San Francisco are talking about the “fabric of the city of San Francisco having permanently changed” and how sad that is and that the alternative/counter-culture city is gone. And that people flocked to San Francisco decades ago to explore their sexual identity in the gay mecca of that day. They don’t come here now for that. The only thing they come to “explore” now is corporate greed through a fucking techie job. Basura!

Mi amigo asked me: What happened to all the faux-hawks and earrings/bling and the counter-culture “alternative-looks” that we used to see around here and that Queer boys used to wear? One doesn’t see that now, unfortunately. I asked him: What about at your gym? He said that everyone looks the same there as the gay populace has done its best to become very conservative, lobomotised (they don’t seem to care about anything), corporatised (wearing clothing with corporate logos on them, including corporations well known to using child labour) and pro-conservative Establishment. They’ve done a 180. Nothing alternative here. Nothing counter-culture here. Conservative is how los muchachos in the gym look. Pretty much every one looking the same, he said. No individualism. Cookie-cutter. Seeing someone who looks counter-culture or “alternative” is rare in San Francisco today.

It is sad what my fellow Queers have become in their dire and desperate attempt to be accepted by the fucking “straights.” Why the fuck is that so important to Queers to be accepted by (many prejudiced, anti-gay) “straights” in the first place? Who cares what they think? Queers have completely lost themselves and abandoned their radically-proud past. These days, as I’ve said before, Queers have more in common with Anita Bryant or that war criminal sack Dick Cheney than they do with Lily Tomlin. Queers in San Francisco (of all places!) acted just like prudish Anita Bryant when it came to hating on the 2-3 naked guys occasionally walking around The Castro. The conservative gay populace overwhelmingly favoured imposing the city-wide nudity ban for San Francisco because of 2-3 naked guys on occasion in a roughly 2-block area of the city.

There’s also the sex drug problem with many Queer guys who—according to their ads on the site I call ClosetList—apparently are unable to have sex without being strung out on meth, cocaine or some other drug (including alcohol), and they want to ParTy [sic] and “be in the clouds,” or they’re already “cloudy,” or want to “go skiing.” “Skiing” refers to snorting a line of cocaine. They refer to “the snow” in their ads, which is code language. Or they’re in the gym bragging like a teenager—even though they’re 60 years old or more having never matured and they look like an alcoholic—about how they went to all of these parties and how the drinks flowed and they got so drunk and don’t remember any of it. (What exactly is the point of that then?) So clearly they don’t go to the gym for health reasons based on their lives and activities outside the gym. I suspect it’s the same way with “straights.”

It’s really pathetic what the so-called “gay community” has become, and I can’t relate to them at all. Chau.—el barrio rosa

UPDATE:

The San Francisco lesbian who made the ignorant claim that “gays are now mainstream” should read this article:

Gay banner removed from Pride DVD cover in US
“It’s an unfortunate commercial reality both here and in the US that distributors have to deal with and consider in getting films onto the shop shelf. LGBT material is largely marginalised outside of rare hits like Brokeback Mountain.”
Note to ignorant (or wishful-thinking) lesbian: When something is marginalised, it’s not “mainstream.”

The “Straight” Castro

One of the local gay homeowners I know refers to The Castro now as “the heterosexual Castro.” I know what he means. No doubt about that. I saw a Queer amigo earlier today. He said he’s not usually in The Castro during the day on Lunes-Viernes/Monday-Friday. But he was today. He was walking down those wide sidewalks on Castro and he told me he saw nothing but “straight” couples anywhere he looked. No Queer boys or Queer couples in sight. He said: The Castro is now “straight” (especially) during the day, I take it. The many “straight” couples were walking in the required hand-holding mode that they’ve been programmed to do and some felt the need to stop and beso/kiss and make-out on Castro. He felt they were trying to be “in your face” with their heterosexual sexuality on Castro. He said, “how would they feel if we came to their neighbourhoods and did that?” Well, we both know how they would feel about that. I know what he’s talking about because it’s one of the reasons I now avoid The Castro. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of seeing “straight” couples coming out of Queer bars and feeling the need to make out in front of a Queer bar—sort of a “in your face” thing—and almost fuck on the sidewalk in front of the Queer bar. I’m sick of it. And if we Queers did what they do in one of the traditionally “straight” areas of San Francisco, some people would scream at us: “Take that back to The Castro. Get out of here.” Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

The Conservative Gay Heteronormative Populace

What was the ultimate goal of the Gay Rights Movement?

Can gay people live anywhere today?

The Anti-Gay Agenda in San Francisco

Who’s responsible for the new San Francisco?

Why are hetero couples going to gay bars?

Why many GLBTQs resent “straights” coming to gay areas

I wouldn’t do well as a “straight” person

The Gay Populace: The (new) Tool of The Right

The Techies Class Warfare

The “Where to take a shit?” app

A Proposal to replace San Francisco City Hall with Luxury Condos

Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus perform The Bells (Op. 35) by Sergei Rachmaninov

The Boston Symphony Orchestra should invite the Boston University Symphonic Chorus to perform with them and give the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (TFC) some time off. TFC might sound better after they reworks/refine their rough-sounding, non-smooth-sounding, fluttering (and shrill) soprano section, no? Why have an “Official Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra,” when they are inferior to the Symphonic Chorus at Boston University?

Hola. ¿Qué tal? This article is about two Orchestra Choruses in Boston: The Boston University Symphonic Chorus and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, as well as some general choral information, and my experiences that some people might find interesting (all 2 or 3 of you). It’s a lengthy article, in part, because I’m critical of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and I give examples of why. Well you can’t fairly criticise someone without giving legitimate reasons why.

I and mi amigo have been watching two video performances from Boston’s Symphony Hall with the Boston University Symphony Orchestra (David Hooser, conductor) and Symphonic Chorus (Dra Ann Howard Jones and Scott Jarrett, Chorus Directors.) One video (below) is a performance of the choral symphony,The Bells, by Sergei Rachmaninov (in Русский/Russian: Сергей Васильевич Рахманинов/Колокола), and the other work is the oratorio Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn (in Deutsch: Elias). We enjoyed both performances. I think the Symphonic Chorus was better for the Rachmaninov. It was also a larger Chorus, and some of the same choristers were in both performances.

Dra Ann Howard Jones, Director of Choral Activities at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts School of Music, was recommended to BU by Robert Shaw. She worked closely with Shaw in Atlanta and was assistant conductor of the superb Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus (one of my favourites) for fifteen years. Dra Jones is unfortunately having health problems so Interim Director of Choral Activities at BU, Scott Jarrett, has been preparing the Symphonic Chorus and conducting some performances in her absence.

We very much enjoyed the excellent BU Symphonic Chorus. Because of their overall young age they remind me of the superb University of Maryland Chorus (from my past) which performed regularly in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra. The Maryland Chorus had quite the legacy under conductor Antal Doráti. They also had engagements with many other national and international orchestras. Like the University of Maryland Chorus—which was considered a “town and gown” Chorus (meaning membership was open to the town of College Park Maryland/the public and UMD students upon audition)—the Boston University Symphonic Chorus is an auditioned ensemble open to BU students, faculty, staff and friends, according to BU’s website.

Boston University has an outstanding Symphony Orchestra. I’ve never heard such an excellent student Symphony Orchestra and they are very interesting to watch. They have a beautifully smooth string section and with the skilled camera work in these videos one gets to see the perfectly synchronised bowing of the violins, for example, and we noticed that some of the page turns were perfectly synchronsised such as at 5.13 in the video. One of the orchestral members, Ceylon Mitchell (piccolo) uploaded the Rachmaninov video on YouGoogleTube and you’ll see Ceylon playing at approximately 18.49 into the Rachmaninov video. Muchísimas gracias/thank you very much to Ceylon for the video of the performance. From what I can tell from looking at the two performances, it looks like the violin section has a rotating rather than a fixed seating system. The concertmaster was the same for both performances. I also noticed that Rachmaninov wrote a very busy part for the First Chair flautist. He rarely had a break. And don’t miss the French Horn section at 25.32 in the video. Our favourite movement was the Presto. And with Rachmaninov’s writing he had the string section sounding like a “machine” beginning at 22.56 in the video (and watch the heads and facial expressions of the violinists in that part).

As with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the one problem I had with the Boston University Symphonic Chorus was their soprano section. From what I’ve read about BU, they consider themselves to be a “solo school.” (Translation: Producing soloists. Does that mean opera soloists?). But even with soloists there are times where a soloist needs to or is supposed to blend with other voices and turn off that godawful, heavy, wobbling vibrato. Ugh. Can’t they do that? With the soprano section, what happened to the concept of sounding like one voice, or perfect intonation in good choral singing? A section (such as the soprano section) cannot sound like one voice when various choristers use or cannot turn off heavy, fluttery vibrato. With the human voice instrument too much vibrato is a major turnoff, at least to me and others I’ve talked with. I expect to hear heavy vibrato in opera and with an Opera Chorus, but neither of the works being performed by the Boston University Symphonic Chorus in these video below are opera (one’s a choral symphony and the other is an oratorio). I was wondering if the soprano section of the Boston University Symphonic Chorus (BUSC) were trying to emulate the rough-sounding, non-smooth-sounding, non-refined-sounding fluttery soprano section of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus? Who would want to emulate them?

When they were founded back in 1970 by John Oliver to be the Official Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, I liked the Tanglewood Festival Chorus very much. But since then, either they have changed or I’ve changed, or both. I do have a very different “ear” now for listening to choral music and Orchestra Choruses than I did back then because of my own Orchestra Chorus experience (see bottom of the page) and from listening very closely to performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus under Founder/Director Margaret Hillis, as well as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus under Founder/Director Robert Shaw and other national and international Orchestra Choruses and choral ensembles. Have they (Tanglewood Festival Chorus) been doing too much opera repertoire over the years or something? I don’t know, but I don’t enjoy them now. And they don’t sound like the same Chorus to me as they did in their early recordings (such as in the Berlioz Damnation of Faust, for example). I hadn’t heard them in years until a small group of them sang for senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral. I vaguely remember briefly watching/hearing them in that video on YouGoogleTube and I thought: That’s Tanglewood? What’s happened to them? I listened for a bit but had to turn it off. I couldn’t listen to it. I thought: I don’t remember Tanglewood sounding like that when they were founded back in 1970. I heard wobbling, fluttering vibrato in the sopranos, and in that church space where the funeral was held it did not sound good at all. They sounded more like an amateur church choir of untrained women’s voices – wobbling. They may have sounded better if they had used the entire TFC. Then a small group of the TFC sang for another funeral, Thomas Menino’s Funeral this year – 2014 and you can hear the sopranos wobbling/fluttering in that video. Does that sound like an Orchestra Chorus to you, or members of? Does that sound like members of the “Official Chorus of the BSO?” It doesn’t to me. I take it that the standards have been lowered, not that anyone would admit that. I saw another video of the TFC, which you can see here. In that video, members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus are singing a holiday piece complete with some bobbing up and down movements and other silly facial expressions/acting gestures from members of the Chorus. I found it to be childish and amateurish to tell you the truth. I was waiting for the June Taylor Dancers to come out at one point to do some “chorus line,” dancing for us (if anyone remembers them; I vaguely remember them so I looked them up and they were on The Jackie Gleason Show). I played that video for mi amigo and he said, “I wouldn’t expect what I saw and heard in that video from any ‘professional’ Orchestra Chorus.” Well I wouldn’t either. Neither of us could watch all of that video because we were so turned off by it. Making little childish facial expressions and gestures and “ump-pah-pah” bodily gestures while singing turns me off. Leave that to musical theatre/musicals.

The way I remember it when the TFC was founded, they were a very young Chorus. They looked like the New England Conservatory Chorus they replaced (I bet there’s a story there! Some chisme/gossip). Today, the TFC is an older Chorus and older voices can sound differently than younger voices. In the past couple months I heard TFC perform several choral works with the BSO and, again, they’re clearly not as good as they used to be, in my opinion. I heard things from the TFC that I would not expect to hear from the Official Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra or any Orchestra Chorus for that matter. For those who don’t know, Orchestra Choruses are supposed to be the very best around to match the orchestra they serve as the resident/permanent Chorus for. So recently when listening to TFC, once again, I thought: What’s happened to them? I don’t think I will be asking that again. I can list a few examples of what I heard: I heard the tenor voices cracking/breaking in one part of Beethoven’s Ninth (I’ve never heard that from any other Orchestra Chorus), I heard shrill/screaming/fluttering-wobbling sounds coming from their soprano section in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“The Resurrection”) as well as Beethoven’s Ninth on the highest notes of both works. The sopranos sounded like they were cackling/screaming on some of the highest notes in the Beethoven. The entire TFC sounded like they were struggling some at the very loud choral ending of the Mahler. Someone may say, “you’re nitpicking.” I’m telling you what I heard from listening objectively and without any partiality, and I see no need for anyone to make apologies for an Orchestra Chorus or rush to their defence. Tell it like it is. These things are not what one expects from a well-prepared, highly-trained Orchestra Chorus. In some of their performances I heard consonants that were not together, as if John Oliver said: “oh that’s close enough.” In Beethoven’s Ninth, I heard final “t’s” that were splat; that were not together in one place on the word “zelt”. That should have been drilled/set in rehearsal (“Chorus, the ‘t’ of zelt goes on the _____ beat. Mark that in your scores in red.”) Upon reflection, maybe that’s the problem. They didn’t use their scores and sang “from memory” and some couldn’t remember where the “t” of zelt was supposed to be? Also, apparently it’s tradition that every Summer on the last day of the Tanglewood Music Festival—which is a little over 2 hours west of Boston on the Tanglewood estate in Stockbridge and Lenox MA—Beethoven’s Ninth is dragged out every season and performed by the BSO/TFC. (A brief aside: Has anyone noticed that Beethoven’s Ninth is becoming as over-performed as Handel’s Messiah and yet they call the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto “a war horse!”). With TFC’s 20014 Beethoven’s Ninth performance, on the last page or so of the choral score—the very fast section at the end; I don’t have the score in front of me—is where I heard what I would call “choral screaming” especially from that soprano section again on the notes in the top of their register. I played it for mi amigo and he said, “the sopranos sound like they’re screaming; they’re not musical.” I thought the same. At the end of the performance the audience predictably applauded wildly, as expected for Beethoven’s Ninth. Apparently they like screaming there at Tanglewood, or they can’t tell the difference between singing and screaming, no?

In TFC’s performance of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, the tenor section of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was the best section (and at times they were the loudest section which was an interesting effect), followed by the basses. But unfortunately it went downhill from there on with the altos and soprano sections coming in as the worst. I do not like the sound of the soprano section of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. They don’t have a refined sound. I can’t recall ever hearing the sound that they have before. It’s a very unique sound, and not in a positive way. They don’t have a smooth, polished sound. They have this rough sound, this fluttery sound, which was especially noticeable in Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place.” They were fluttering all through that. Ugh. It was hard to listen to because of the soprano section. jesus! Who likes that sound? Overall, the soprano section is the worst section of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, which is odd, because from my choral experience the soprano section was usually the best with a very smooth, polished sound. I guess one way to describe them is that they sound like they’re trying to be the soprano section of an Opera Chorus (perhaps) than that of a Symphony/Orchestra Chorus, and they’re supposed to be the latter. It’s as if someone is not clear on the concept that they are an Orchestra Chorus.

The problem with the soprano section of the Boston University Symphonic Chorus is that they also have too much fluttering vibrato especially in their upper register. I’m beginning to wonder if this a Boston thing, or what? I don’t understand it. I noticed no vibrato from BUSC’s soprano section when they were singing quietly and lower in their register. Their fluttery vibrato was especially noticeable in Elijah in the chorus, “Holy, Holy, Holy is god the lord,” which begins (at 1.49.59 in the video) with the semi-Chorus and the full Chorus answers and that pattern continues for the rest of that particular chorus. But when the men came in with, “Go, Return Upon thy Way,” the men sounded good and without vibrato. So what’s with the heavy fluttery vibrato in the sopranos (it was especially noticeable in the first two rows or so of the semi-Chorus)? Fortunately, there was less vibrato in the Rachmaninov, but I still heard some in the sopranos. Does Dra Jones like that fluttery vibrato sound of the sopranos? If so, that’s very curious because the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus doesn’t sound like that at all. No section of the ASOC sounded like that under Robert Shaw and I’ve never cringed listening to the ASOC, so I find it curious that Dra Jones allows excessive vibrato/fluttering or likes it. How could anyone like it unless one is heavily into opera, which I’m not? And again, they weren’t singing opera. They were singing an oratorio and that vibrato sounded awful. As is the case with TFC’s soprano section, they sounded like your average, untrained women in an amateurish church choir with their wobbling voices, and I suspect that’s not how the BUSC soprano section wants to sound.

An oratorio is not opera so the Chorus for an oratorio should not sound like an Opera Chorus. It should sound like a Symphony/Orchestra Chorus. That’s one reason why there are two different types of choruses. One of the indicators of a superb Chorus is to be able to sing beautifully softly/quietly and Boston University Symphonic Chorus does that.

With BU’s performance of Elijah, at times I could have used more diction and more spitting of the consonants so that the consonants reach the last row in the hall as we were trained to do (especially in the University of Maryland Chorus, known for their diction). On occasion I thought I heard some US r’s (r’s as pronounced in US-English, as opposed to The Queen’s English). I know I did from the bass soloist which I thought was questionable. For those who don’t know what that refers to: in well-trained choral singing if you have the word “Lord,” for example, it’s sung as “Lawd.” No US “r’s.” That US “r” twang sounds hideous and untrained. Mi amigo says it sounds hick. Yeah, you could say that too. I could have used more pipe organ. He was playing but I couldn’t hear it—except on one chord that’s usually heard in Elijah—and they have a recently renovated pipe organ in Symphony Hall. I was wondering how the semi-Chorus was chosen. Are they considered the best voices in the BUSC or are they part of another Chorus in the School of Music (such as the Chamber Chorus, the Concert Chorus, the Women’s Chorale, or the Boston University Singers)? The semi-Chorus consisted of the first two rows of the Symphonic Chorus closest to the orchestra.

In Elijah, my favourite soloists were the tenor and the alto. The soprano soloist for the Rachmaninov had heavy vibrato. I could hear the pitch in my ear that she was supposed to be singing but due to her vibrato she was fluttering back and forth on at least two pitches. That’s the negative thing about vocal vibrato: The pitch/note that is indicated in the score is contaminated or clouded by other notes because of vibrato (I hope you know what I mean by that), whereas when one is singing with no vibrato (or with a straight tone) the pitch/note is purer and there is no doubt as to the note being sung, as one would hear the note played on a piano.

In the classical tradition, I’ve never understood why it seems to be a requirement that opera soloists/singers be dragged in as soloists for performances that are not opera. Why have heavy vibrato opera soloists for an oratorio when fortunately the Chorus for the performance does not sing with vibrato? Why can’t the soloists come from the Chorus? Some people would answer that by saying: “Because no one will come to hear the performance. You have to drag in big-named opera stars as bait to get the sheeple to come.” Really? And this seems to be an international standard. For example, I recently watched a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s’ A Sea Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and BBC Proms Youth Chorus. The Symphony Chorus and the Youth Chorus were superb. Excellent diction. (I even heard the “f” of “following” in the text). No vibrato at all in the Chorus, including the refined, smooth-sounding soprano section. The rough-sounding, fluttery soprano section of Tanglewood Festival Chorus might want to watch that video as they could certainly learn from them. But the two soloists sang with vibrato, especially the soprano. For me, she was a bit much to listen too and also watch because of her theatrics. It was almost as if she thought she were in a play.

Shouldn’t the soloists come from the Chorus?

Chorus = no vibrato.
Soloists = no vibrato.

How difficult is that to arrange or to understand?

I’m also glad that the Boston University Symphonic Chorus uses their choral scores. They don’t look like a bank of robots regurgitating the score on cue like the Tanglewood Festival Chorus look. I read what John Oliver (TFC’s Founder and Director) had to say about their “from memory” routine:

“Memorization is not a trick. It internalizes the music for you; it makes the music, somehow, a part of your own physical being. And you can express so much more like that. If you don’t see a singer’s face and you don’t see the posture of a singer, the address of a singer to the audience, you’re really not getting what a singer can deliver in music and what composers expected the singers to deliver.”

Ludicrous! I wonder how long it took him to come up with that? I read that paragraph to mi amigo and he said: That sounds like gobbledygook. Why do some people come up this “philosophical” nonsense and try to pass it off to unthinking people who unfortunately don’t posses critical thinking skills? Such people would respond to hearing that quote by saying, “Oh good, that sounds real good. Yeah that makes sense.” But fortunately, some people possess critical thinking skills and they would respond to that BS by saying: Well, I had no trouble seeing the faces or the posture of the BUSC choristers or the soloists using their scores. Is Oliver saying that composers in general expected singers to perform “from memory?” Really? I’ve never heard that before. Where did he get that? So when soloists represented by international artist agents are contracted for performances and use their scores, no matter how beautiful their performance they are not “delivering what the composer expected?” I think that will be noticias/news to them.

It’s Ludicrous! Although I suspect some gullible people fall for it.

As for performing “from memory,” Tanglewood Festival Chorus stands there with arms down all staring straight ahead at the conductor and showing little emotional involvement in what they’re singing (no body movements at all). They look like a wall/bank of statues.

Whereas Boston University’s Symphonic Chorus look like they’re involved in their music they’re performing, some move around a bit, some move their scores slightly in keeping with the tempo which I like to see as they’re getting into their music, and they are more musical, in my opinion.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra always use their scores/orchestral parts so why shouldn’t the Tanglewood Festival Chorus use their choral scores? Is the TFC trying to appear to better than the BSO musicians or better than another Chorus by singing “from memory?” There’s no sense to be made from that “performing from memory” nonsense—with its double-standards—of the classical music tradition where it’s perfectly acceptable (and expected) for some musicians to use their scores when performing but not others, and also depending upon what it is they’re playing and the setting. The double-standard is ridiculous and hypocritical. Does one know the score better when performing “from memory?” No, not necessarily. With some artists performing “from memory” can make them less comfortable and more nervous which can cause mistakes and memory lapses. With TFC, it looks like one is trying to impress somebody. It looks pretentious. I’ve seen some other choruses perform “from memory” on the odd occasion and to me they all pretty much look the same. It doesn’t matter which Chorus it is: A motionless bank of robots/statues. Fortunately, none of the Orchestra Choruses I had the privilege of performing with sang “from memory.” We used our scores.

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus performed The Bells last month in Symphony Hall. I listened to their performance On Demand, and I still heard their screechy (especially on the highest notes in the soprano section), non-refined, rough, fluttery soprano sound. For The Bells, the TFC had a rather bright sound. A bright sound is not Russian. The Russian choral sound is a very dark sound, especially in the basses. I did hear some “Russian bass” sound in the Presto movement, but I noticed that the entire Chorus had a bright sound especially in the first movement. It didn’t sound “Russian” at all. I thought that the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus (with a darker choral sound) performed the The Bells better than the TFC and the BSO. The playing from both orchestras was excellent but I preferred BU’s superb performance.

Overall, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus seems to be “hit and miss.” Some performances are better than others. I’ve already spent too much time on them so I didn’t bother to check their schedule to see how many choral works they perform each season in Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood. I was wondering: Do they perform too many choral works a season and don’t have the time to be thoroughly prepared for each performance? Or is John Oliver accepting anybody he can get these days—their soprano section certainly sounds like that’s the case—as long as they’re a fairly good sight-reader? They (TFC) need to take off some time and work on refining that godawful soprano section, I can tell you that! They rely on screeching, shrill and a bright sound (when singing loudly). The Boston University Symphonic Chorus relies on power, precision and a darker tone. They sound like a more powerful Chorus even though they are not quite as large as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

I was talking with mi amigo while writing this article and he said: “Perhaps that’s the problem with an orchestra having their own Chorus. The Chorus and the Chorus Director know they will be used/performing with that orchestra regardless of how they sound (mistakes, blemishes, screaming/shrill/fluttering/cackling/unrefined-sounding sopranos and all!). They have no competition when they are “the official Chorus,” so the level of choral excellence doesn’t necessarily have to remain high.” Yes, perhaps. But then there’s the possibility of an orchestra disbanding their own Chorus. That happened with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. They no longer have a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and one reason given for disbanding was that their Symphony Chorus wasn’t that good. I never heard them. So after the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra disband their own Chorus, they invited the stellar University of Maryland Chorus to perform with them when they performed a choral work, until The Maryland Chorus was “retired”/liquidated by the University of Maryland at College Park about five years ago. These days, Baltimore SO invite the Baltimore Choral Arts Society on occasion as well as the University of Maryland Concert Choir, which is an all-student/music majors Chorus and which seems to have replaced the “retired” University of Maryland Chorus. But I doubt that the Boston Symphony Orchestra has any intention of disbanding their Tanglewood Festival Chorus, no matter how they sound, which reflects on the orchestra. Doesn’t the BSO notice how the TFC sounds, and especially that soprano section? Ugh. Or have they gotten used to it? I don’t know how one could get used to that. They make me cringe whenever I hear them.

We’ve very much enjoyed both The Bells and Elijah from BU, and felicitaciones to the Boston University Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Chorus. They should be very pleased with their performances.

Regarding their other performances: We’ve wanted to watch BU’s other performances but on our systems we can’t get the Vimeo videos to play smoothly, no matter what we do. Even though I don’t like GoogleTube—because parasitic and predatory Google has absolutely ruined the former YouTube particularly with all the (obnoxious) ads embedded in videos—the BUSO and BUSC should have kept all their videos on GoogleTube. I don’t watch any of the ads on GoogleTube. I can’t stand ads. I minimise the video and bring it back up when I think the ad has played. And if I accidentally see what’s being advertised, I make a mental note: Don’t buy that.

If I had a choice to go hear the Tanglewood Festival Chorus or BUSC, I would choose Boston University’s Symphonic Chorus. Even with fluttery vibrato, to me vibrato sounds better with the younger voices of the BUSC.

Enjoy these two performances by them in the videos below. Chau.—el barrio rosa

I made reference to this superb performance in the article (Ralph Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony, performed by the BBC Symphony Chorus, the BBC Proms Youth Choir and the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo).

I didn’t mention this piece in the article, but thought you might enjoy it. I’ve watched this many times and have thoroughly enjoyed both the Orchestra and Chorus. It’s a splendid performance of Toward the Unknown Region also by Ralph Vaughan William with the National Youth Orchestra and Chorus of Britain, Codetta and the Irish Youth Chamber Choir. This performance reminds me of the first performance I heard of this work years ago by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the UK.

[My choral background: I had the opportunity and privilege of performing in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall as a member of the Choral Arts Society of Washington (Norman Scribner, Founder and Chorus Director), the Oratorio Society of Washington, now called The Washington Chorus (Robert Shafer, Chorus Director), the University of Maryland Chorus (Dr Paul Traver, Founder and Chorus Director) with the National Symphony Orchestra and guest national and international orchestras, and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus (Margaret Hillis and Vance George, Chorus Directors) in Davies Symphony Hall.]

A Slave to their Screens

The people of the world have become a slave to their screens


ONE WAY TO GET PEOPLE
TO PUT DOWN THEIR STUPIDPHONE

(Click on “Skip” to skip
the damn annoying ad/commercial
after 5 seconds)

Hola. ¿Qué tal? This almost feels futile to write about since it’s already happened. Everywhere I look, people are staring at their hand. When I leave my apartment, people are staring at their hand. When I monitor television programming/ads, people are staring at their hand. When mi amigo goes to his gym, people are staring at their hand and working out their thumbs. People are staring at their hand when they’re supposedly walking their lonely dog. People are hunched over staring/squinting at that tiny box with a screen in it. I noticed that people were staring at their hand (at their stupidphones/more commonly known as “smartphones”) during the pope’s Mass on Navidad. I thought: You need a stupidphone for Mass, do you? How did you manage to get through Mass all these decades without one? (Related: From zdnet: Smartphones are transforming society into a sea of stupid).

The sheeple of the world have become slaves to that box in their hand, but if one told them that they wouldn’t care. Most couldn’t care less. Their addiction to that box is all that matters. Some might say, “yeah it’s pretty bad isn’t it?” and then they would continue on with their addiction. I see it wherever I go, unfortunately. And with these stupidphone/”smartphone” idiots, it’s as if they think that by having that stupidphone in their hand that makes them completely safe and exempt from any bodily harm whatsoever no matter where they are. It’s as if they think no one will try to mug them when they’re paralysed standing in dark places late at night and fucking with that screen which is lighting up their face for any potential mugger to see, and no motorists will try to hit them when they walk right out into traffic without looking either direction because their eyes are on their screen. They really are fucking idiots! You can’t get any dumber than that! A stupidphone for the stupid. As someone I know says: “I tell people that having a smartphone and a smartvehicle doesn’t make you smart.”

People can’t even shop for groceries without stopping paralyzed, mesmerised, in a trance in the middle of the aisle staring at their screen so they can get another “hit.” What do I mean by another “hit?” Well, in scientific terms it’s called a dopamine rush. You can read more about that here: Dumbphone addiction and Screen time releases ‘happy chemicals’ in the brain). One or two customers in the entire grocery store have the courtesy to pull over out of the way and engage in their stupidphone addiction while shopping. Some people put their shopping list on their stupidphone rather than using their mind—and making their mind/memory work a bit perhaps for the first time since they got their stupidphone toy—to remember what they need to buy at the grocery store. Then you see those customers who are staring at their screen and they apparently must be watching the funniest comedy show ever created by looking at the expression on their face. They had to do that while buying groceries?

The worst and most obnoxious stupidphone addicts are those who walk down the sidewalk and don’t give a fuck who they run into. If they run into you, it’s your problem seems to be their thinking. Most stupidphone addicts have stopped saying, “sorry” or “excuse me.” Their screen is all that matters. They have no time for real, in-person “social.” They’re only into detached “social” on their stupidphone (translation: typing to people with their thumbs instead of verbally talking with people). Would they read a book while walking down the sidewalk if that were the latest fad? Probably.

I have an amigo who drives a vehicle on occasion in San Francisco. He tells me that he can usually tell who is on a stupidphone by the way they’re driving: They’re driving slowly, haltingly as if they have no clue where they’re going. Then when he passes them, their head is down (they’re not even looking where they’re going) and they’re fucking with that stupidphone. Probably typing to someone the following critical text: “C U @ tha bar @ 6pm. He, he, ha, ha.”

The other day I read an article about this stupidphone/”smartphone” addiction. The writer said that awhile back (2007, as I remember) he was in Tokyo and when he rode the Tokyo metro everyone on there was either asleep or reading a book. But on his most recent visit to Tokyo, everyone on the metro was either sleeping or staring at their screens. No one was reading a book. What was on their screens? Well, he looked to see what everyone was so mesmerised by and he said that most were playing games. Not reading books. Playing games is often what I see stupidphone addicts doing. They’re either playing mindless games or scrolling through endless sex profiles trying to find some caliente/hot chico/chica in sex profiles (filled with lies and exaggerations about how caliente and VGL-very good looking the person supposedly is with his 16″ dick).

The servers of these Orwellian-named “social media networks” billionaire corporations are now filled with tons and tons of useless text garbage. Most of it being meaningless drivel. Nothing of real value there.

The sheeple all over the world need their toys and that’s what these stupidphones/”smartphones” are. They are the “adult” equivalent of a baby’s pacifier/rattler. They are a distraction/entertainment for the masses from the things that really matter in the world and in our lives as a society.


I Forgot My Phone

I recently talked with a visitor to San Francisco from the UK. In our brief conversation, the stupidphone/”smartphone” addiction came up. He told me that he and his partner had seen them (and the addiction to them) in every city they’d been to on their trip. He said “they’re the biggest mind control device there is.” True.

The corporate media through advertising have brainwashed the sheeple into thinking that, “you’re not anybody if you don’t have one of these stupidphones/gadgets and are not glued to it 24 hours a day like all the happy, smiling, pretty, young, white people in our ads.”

I use a PC. I see what people are doing on their stupidphones, and I have zero interest in doing any of that even if I could haul my PC around with me and fuck with it throughout the day. Using it when I get home for me is sufficient. I’m not a luddite as I use some tech myself (my PC is tech as well as WordPress and knowing how to use that). It’s just that I see what the sheeple are doing on their stupidphones, I see what the sheeple have become, and I don’t see how anyone could spend hours and hours every day doing that. All of one’s time playing mindless games or nonstop scrolling through miles of sex profiles? Or nonstop typing with the thumbs? And many people I see go into trances with these things. They are a slave to their stupidphone.

As one article I read recently said: stupidphones/”smartphones” are for immature, bored people with no life, no personality and no social skills. Their stupidphone serves as a baby sitter for them. From what I’ve seen, that sounds about right.

I’ve seen some speculative talk about the sheeple supposedly abandoning their stupidphones when they can no longer afford them because of world economies crashing and going into depression. But from what I see, I think most people would go without food and water just so they could have their stupidphone/”smartphone.” That’s how intense, desperate and dire their slavish addiction to these gadgets is. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

The “Where to take a shit?” app

Twitter, Instagram, Vine: Fast track to nitwit

Are you Pro-Choice or Pro-Birth?

Are you Pro-Life Pro-Birth?

Hola. ¿Qué tal? I saw a bumper sticker the other day saying, “Be Pro-Life.” The crowd that pretends to be “pro-life” is really pro-birth or anti-choice, and their bumper sticker should read, “Be Pro-Birth.” That’s because these “pro-life” nuts don’t care about the life of the child after it’s born. They just want the child to be born. After that, they couldn’t care less about the child or the quality of the child’s life, especially if the child is not white. These are the same people who vote for scum-of-the-Earth corporatist politicians who cut programmes to help better children’s lives. So how the fuck can they claim to be “pro-life?” They’re not. It’s bull shit, more Newspeak and deception. Take for example the nuts that voted for illegitimate George W Bush and that despicable sack of fecal matter Dick Cheney who illegitimately parked their asses in la casa blanca for eight long year after stealing two elections (Florida in 2000, Florida and Ohio in 2004) with the complicity of the useless and misnamed “Democratic” Party. During his political “career,” that corporatist parasite Cheney voted to cut funding for Head Start, a programme to help children’s lives. How the fuck is cutting the funding for a programme to help children’s lives being “pro-life?” The pro-birth crowd are the same scum that are all “Rah, Rah, US military” and into mindless US flag-waving. If only they could get that excited about the US Constitution. They love to send USans off to some needless war for Oil and US Empire Building (translation: stealing the natural resources of other countries). They support sending drones to places such as Africa where wedding parties are bombed by US drones (how is bombing wedding parties, “pro-life?”). They support killing innocent women, men and children throughout the world in the name of this phony “War on Terror” nonsense per the neocon’s Project for the New American Century (PNAC) agenda. How is killing innocent men, women and children “pro-life,” idiots? They’re rabidly gung-ho in promoting The Empire’s Military Industrial Complex and their Corrupt Liars. The so-called “pro-life” rhetoric is completely hypocritical, bankrupt, a sham and very transparent to any person possessing critical thinking skills, which I assume the pro-birth crowd lack.

If someone reading this is pro-birth, you’ll likely continue to be. If the reader is pro-choice, you’ll likely continue to be. The title of this article, “Are you Pro-Choice or Pro-Birth?” is rhetorical and is intended only to make the pro-birth point. I have no interest in talking about abortion in the comments. The decision to have an abortion (or not) should be left up to la mujer/the woman and her partner to decide, not the government. And if someone opposes abortion, then don’t have one, but don’t arrogantly and omnipotently decide for other people what they should do in their circumstance. It’s a personal decision. I’m just bringing this topic up because I’m so tired of hearing/reading these pro-birth idiots lie and charade as being “pro-life,” when they’re clearly not. They’re pro-birth and that’s what their bumper stickers and anything else they put their hypocritical message on should say.

And should anyone try to “bait” me into a so-called “discussion” about abortion in the comments, don’t waste your time with that as I’ll delete your comment. The topic of abortion has been hashed out and hashed out and rehashed and rehashed for decades now—and no one’s mind is going to be changed—so I’m sick of it. Nor am I interested in allowing a so-called “discussion” about it in the comments because all that ever ends up being is dysfunctional arguing between the two teams (pro-choice versus pro-birth) going at each other for days and one team putting the other team down, and the pro-birth team dragging in their twisted interpretation of bible bunk and what some muchacho supposedly said in the bible. Well, go do that elsewhere on some other blog that encourages and thrives on dysfunctional comments. I can’t stand dysfunction so you’re not doing that here. Fin./The End. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Females are so insecure and needy

Hola. ¿Qué tal? Below is a comment left on this article, but I decided to make it a post. Here’s what she wrote:

“I’m glad you have the spine to write about why many of us gays and lesbians resent straights coming into our gay areas. Most people wouldn’t have the courage to write that because they wouldn’t want to offend the straights, but sincerely I don’t care whether they are offended or not. I went to the gym this past Sunday. I go to the gay gym in the Castro that you’ve written about. You would have been turned off by what I saw. Two straight couples came to our gay gym while I was working out. Thank goodness one of them left but the other stayed (a young white couple in their early 20s). What got me was that the female of that couple had to hold the hand of the dude she was with to walk from one piece of workout equipment to another during her workout. I’ve never seen that before in our gym. During my workout I watched them and was getting more annoyed as I watched this girl being so insecure with herself and with her man that she had to show all the gay guys in the gym that he belonged to her. She must be one of these ignorant straights that think that a gay dude is interested in any dude just because he has a dick, so to show all the gay dudes in this gay gym that this dude belonged to her she had to hold her man’s hand in the gym walking from machine to machine. If she’s so afraid of the gay community in the Castro she and her man should go somewhere else where she feels more comfortable. There was one gay couple there and they’ve been there forever and they always hold hands but not when going from one piece of equipment to the other so it was good to see they were there and hopefully this straight couple got an eye full of the gay couple and got turned off and cancelled their membership. I can hope can’t I?! Thank you.—Liz

Muchas gracias for your comment, Liz. As you can see, I’ve titled this “Females are so insecure and needy.” That title came to me after I read about your experience at the gym. From what I hear, that gym is changing for the worse, just like San Francisco.

Not all females are insecure and needy, but from my experience the majority of females are. In my past, some muchachas whom I worked with were not at all needy and never into drama or attention at least around me. But the overwhelming majority of las muchachas I’ve dealt with were very insecure, needy, in need of drama, and some muchachas will admit to that. Other muchachas angrily deny it.

Most females need all this attention, this constant hand-holding, this constant holding of some kind, besos, doors opened for them, chairs pulled out for their needy ass, this done for them, that done for them, on and on, they’re such helpless needy people. Turn on that television and one sees the same needy, insecure behaviour from females in network programmes, obnoxious commercials and noticias/news. That’s in part where las chicas and their chicos learn this stuff and come to expect it in their own lives.

I’ve talked with some divorced guys over the years who were once married to a female and they confirmed this as well, and it was part of the reason they divorced. They referred to the females they were married to as, “she was High Maintenance” (they were being polite) and they couldn’t deal with it anymore. Some muchachos don’t divorce, they don’t feel like going through all the legal and emotional hassle and emotional baggage so they just stay away from home as often as possible so as to not be subjected to the neediness, the insecurity and constant nagging about what el muchacho hasn’t done for her that she expected (with her often needy and unrealistic expectations). There are the constant female mood swings which all men know about in detail, including gay chicos who have experienced the mood swings with amigas. One minute she’s fine, happy and laughing and the next minute—for some unknown reason—she’s an emotional wreck, in tears with an emotional meltdown in the works and storming out the room over something trivial. Five minutes later when she returns and one asks, “are you alright?” she responds with: “Yeah I’m fine, why?” She doesn’t remember any of it; it never happened according to her. One cannot predict a female’s behaviour or her mood, so don’t bother trying. With most females, you never know what her mood is going to be. She’s unpredictable. Which personality will show up today?

And of course this insecure and needy behaviour of females encourages chauvinistic behaviour from el chico whom she’s desperately grabbing the hand of as she needs/demands security/attention from him and clings to him.

After reading Liz’s comment, I was wondering how that mujer/woman in the gym would have travelled from one piece of workout equipment to another machine if her chico hadn’t been there to hold her needy hand and take her from one machine to another? What would the woman have done? Since she apparently couldn’t have travelled from one workout machine to another without him being there, no? How unfortunate that she’s never heard the words: independent, self-sufficient, autonomous or feminist.

From what I see these days feminism is dead and it’s people like this woman’s behaviour in the gym that has caused feminism to die. I especially see this chauvinistic behaviour in The Castro with young “straight” couples who look like they’re in their 20s or 30s. Is your clinging to him like a magnet to supposedly “protect him” and keep him away from the gay boys? Don’t flatter yourself, muchacha! Is it to let everyone know he belongs to you? Well who the fuck cares?! You’re in a major city where know one knows you (except your amigos, if you have any), you’re not in some small hamlet where everyone knows you. Psssssst: If your chico is interested in or wants a gay boy there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, muchacha. And your clinging to him and neediness might backfire on you and turn him off. I know I’d damn-well get tired of it. jesus!

I know of two “straight” married couples (probably in their 40s or a bit older) where the partners are both equal in their relationship and in their interaction with each other. They don’t act at all like this couple from the gym: With that couple, did the female require “daddy” to hold her little hand going from machine to machine? The couples I know behave as equals, rather than the female being chauvinistically subservient to the guy. Ugh.

I’m also glad Liz brought this up: Just because el chico is gay does not mean he’s into any chico he sees. What fool thinks that? Just like any “straight” chico is not into any chica he sees. Well it works the same way with GLBTQ people. But some anti-gay morons or just ignorant people out there—and it sounds like that needy mujer/woman in the gym that Liz talked about might be one of them—do indeed hold to that fucked-up-in-the-head thinking that a gay chico is into any chico he sees because he’s into any dick, which is nonsense.

And finally, whenever I have the misfortune of seeing a “straight” couple around here as part of the “straights” invasion of the gay Castro barrio, el muchacho (of the “straight” couple) is always taller (at least a head taller if not more) than la chica he’s with. Is that so he can tower over her as some sexual, chauvinistic head-trip he’s on or they’re both on? She’s staring up at him like she’s looking up at a skyscraper—well really she looks like she’s desperately trying to climb up on him somehow standing on her tiptoes looking way up at him in her craving need for attention—as if she’s looking up at “daddy” with puppy-dog, limpid eyes and pleading, “daddy, please give me attention, I demand it, I crave it, por favor.” I see that scene I just described too often in The Castro these days. Ugh.

By contrast, most gay and lesbian couples I see around here seem to be about the same height.

Muchísimas gracias, Liz for your comment. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

Chauvinism in The Castro (San Francisco)

I wouldn’t do well as a “straight” person

Why many GLBTQs resent “straights” coming to gay areas

San Francisco’s last gay gym fading to straight

Can gay people live anywhere today?

“Straights” come to the Castro to cheat

Why are heterosexuals so attracted to gay areas and gay bars?

More sanitising of San Francisco’s Castro

Gay Culture is Dead in 2014