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The “Yellow Vest” Protesters “burned the City down?”

(There’s an update to this article at the bottom of this page).

Hola a todos. Have you been following the “Yellow Vest” Movement (YVM) in France? They call themselves the “Gilets Jaunes,” or yellow vests, in French. I suspect most USians have never heard of it when the truth be told, and many USians probably don’t even know where France is quite frankly. “What’s France?” Clue: It’s part of the EU which stands for European Union. You know, the group of countries — 28 member states — that Great Britain is trying to leave with PM Theresa May’s Brexit disaster, or have most USians not heard about that either? Note to international readers: I’m sorry to say that being stupid is a fad here in the US, which you may already know considering the current orange despot resident in the White House who, as just one example, doesn’t know the difference between “border” and “boarder.” (sigh, roll eyes) Listening to many San Francisco Millennial residents talk (if one can stand to), the only word in their vocabulary is the shallow Valley-girl word, “like” which they say as often as possible.

Launch of Xmas Lights on the Champs Elysees with Karl Lagerfeld

The holiday lights on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.  Dominique Maitre

I read a comment on a message forum saying that the Yellow Vest Movement had “burned the City down.” No, no one has burned Paris down. My, some people exaggerate don’t they? Some protesters of the YVM — or were they people who put on a yellow vest in order to infiltrate the leaderless YVMovement? — burned some things on the wealthy Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Some protesters broke shop windows, burned some cars — but that’s not “the City” since the City of Paris is still fully alive, intact and pretty much looks the way it did before the protests — and some protesters spray painted messages to French president Emmanuel Macron on Arc De Triomphe. The YVM protested in other cities throughout France. A total of 100,000 protesters — if I remember correctly — throughout France in the cold rain. It’s not easy to get USians to protest in clear blue skies, much less cold and foggy rain on consecutive weekends. But these YVM protesters don’t mess around if they get pissed off. Right-on!

Someone asked if a Yellow Vest type movement would start in the US? Well, I certainly wouldn’t bet on it. If one were to start here, I don’t think it would be like the one in France because our protesters are too “polite” and orderly boot lickers, and frankly fucking lame compared to the YVM protesters. Our protesters go along with the protocol by asking permission from The Establishment to protest. Well, if one has to ask permission to protest then it’s not a protest. It’s a state-sanctioned farce/charade. And if a YVM did start here in The Cesspool/the US — highly unlikely — it would be crushed by the goons/nazis called police thugs. To my knowledge, the YVM in France does not ask permission of anybody to protest. They just do it! They have been announcing when they will be protesting. And despite the violence of the YVM, the French public still strongly support them. That would not be the case here in the violence-loving US. The public in the US are such conformist wet doilies that they become boot lickers for The Establishment at the first sight of any violence from protesters. That’s when the strong hate for protesters begins. A rather curious response since any other time the public can’t get enough violence here in this violence-loving country. The thing is, they love violence except when it involves protesters protesting some injustice. Can you imagine how the US public would have reacted at seeing the violence of the revolution that began the US? Mi amigo/My friend was saying: The corporate media hardly give any time or attention to peaceful protests, they’re just a blip on a newscast. If you blink you’d miss the story. But they will spend their entire newscast with their reporters on the streets on a protest containing some violence and will usually talk about the reasons the protesters are protesting to inform the public on issues of social injustice. Yes, that’s true. Also, as some French citizens have said: “Our police are professionals. The police in the US are thugs.” The closest we had to the YVM was the Occupy Movement and the Obama regime gave the cops the licence to crack their skulls, so that was the end of them. I’ve seen what the vigilant protesters of the Yellow Vest Movement have done and, no, you’d never see that in the US, nor that vigilance. People in the US are too distracted by and addicted to their phones. I see very few people on a phone in the YVM. In the US, most people couldn’t care less. The French government — well specifically it was the Interior Minister said that the YVM had “created a monster.” No, you’re not going to lay that on the Yellow Vest Movement. It’s the Macron government that has “created a monster” by his being a president for the wealthy, which is the way most of the French population see Macron which is part of what the YVM is protesting against. Glad to see it. I think the #1 theme of the Yellow Vest Movement is the widening disparity between the rich and the poor in France. The catalyst for the Movement from my understanding was the 30 cent fuel hike which was not for the rich. And because the poor were stuck eating the fuel tax, it doesn’t bother the wealthy at all. Macron is of the wealthy. And most people in Paris don’t drive vehicles. They ride the elaborate Paris métro. As of this writing, this is the fourth consecutive week(end) of YVM protests. Some analysts are saying that if the Movement continues that it could very well lead to a major revolution in France, as they have seen in their history, including the French Revolution.

It was mostly the third weekend (last weekend) where the violence occurred on the Champs-Élysées and the spray-painting of messages to Macron on the Arc De Triomphe and with tear-gassing of protesters.

On the fourth weekend of protests (8 décembre 2018): The shops on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées were closed as well as department stores throughout Paris, monuments, major museums, the Eiffel Tower and some 200-plus métro stations (the Paris métro has 245 stations). And four international embassies urged their citizens to avoid the French capital on the fourth weekend. The fourth weekend was the biggest clamp-down on the protesters. As of this writing, I think the YVM is spreading to Brussels (Belgium) and Amsterdam (Nederlands).

Of course we have very similar situations here in the US with the widening gap between the rich and poor, especially here in the Tech Capital of San Francisco. But again, it would disturb the comfort level of most USians if they had to actually do something like the vigilant protests of the Yellow Vest Movement are currently engaged in. And from what I’ve seen, most of the Yellow Vest protesters are rather lean and slender. Not overweight blimps like most USians who couldn’t walk one city block — much less run anywhere — without taking a smoking and or phone break. Pathetic really.

Now on another topic about the holiday lights: I included a picture of their holiday lights on the Champs-Élysées up the page because they’re very pretty and nicely done, despite the commercial reason it was done. The red lights were chosen to match a Chanel fragrance campaign. Here in San Francisco’s Castro barrio/neighbourhood, the best they can do here is to wrap boring, drab, ubiquitous clear lights — some people call them “white” light — around part of the trunk of trees. The lights are about 2 feet in length up the trunk of trees. Don’t put yourselves out by trying to be the least bit imaginative or creative you useless conservative Castro Merchants here in San Francisco. And their Holiday Shopping Tree at Castro/18th Street is the usual drab, boring, dull, with all clear lights (the merchants — or is it that conservative hardware store that’s responsible for this? — apparently hate colour and or are colour-phobic). Why does The Holiday Shopping Tree always look the same? No imagination whatsoever. The holiday lights in Paris looks so much better, as do many other things. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Update: The orange despot — who lives under the illusion that he’s an authority on all matters but knows nothing about anything it seems and who just makes up anything — stuck his nose in French politics and said that there were protests all over France because of the Paris Climate Accord [Source]. Wrong again. In reality, the YVM has nothing to do with climate change or the Paris Climate Accord. So the French International Minister told the orange despot to stop meddling in French politics, and that Macron had told him the same thing. (That’s hard to believe considering what I’ve seen of Macron’s behaviour towards the orange despot and their earlier “bromance” where they looked like they needed to get a room somewhere with all the touching, hugging and kissing they were doing. It was embarrassing, as if Macron felt he needed to eat the orange despot’s ass.) The narcissistic orange despot also said that the protesters were chanting, “We want Tr*mp.” Oh good lord, this child in an adult body knows no limits. No, the YMV protesters did not chant, “We want Tr*mp” and I’ve seen no protest signs of the few signs there have been written in English. They’ve all been in French, as one would expect them to be in France. The French International Minister said that the YVM protesters were not protesting in English so he couldn’t have heard “We want Tr*mp.” You know, this piece of narcissistic trash en la casa blanca just says anything. Also and not surprisingly, the orange despot used the outdated and pejorative language, “third world countries” (the right-wing love that language), rather than saying “poorer countries.” But if there is one “third world country” on the Earth, it’s most assuredly the backwards Cesspool known as the US. And if one is asking: What’s wrong with saying “third world countries?” Well, other than being language from the Cold War Era, por favor/please click on the link up above and that will answer your question.

Related:

Yellow Vests: Macron to address nation on crisis after new weekend of clashes

France 24′s coverage of the Yellow Vest Movement (in English)

Zelenka – Missa Divi Xaverii ZWV 12 – Collegium 1704

Hola a todos. This superb performance below from Amsterdam was part of the opening concert of the Utrecht Early Music Festival in August 2014. It’s a performance of Jan Dismas Zelenka’s Missa Divi Xaverii ZWV 12 (composed in 1729). After hearing this and some of his other works, I can tell you that this guy Zelenka really liked choral fugues, and so do I.

Conductors take one of two approaches with choral fugues. It depends upon the conductor. Some conductors like for the listener to hear each entrance of the subject of the fugue when it appears throughout and will have the other sections of the Chorus tone it down slightly when the subject (re)appears so that the entrance of the fugal subject can be clearly heard each time. Another way of doing it is to make sure that when your section of the Chorus enters with the fugal subject (again), sing as if you are a section of stately trumpets, to be heard above the other sections of the Chorus. Václav Luks, the conductor in this performance, does not take that approach. He pretty much keeps all sections of the Chorus even in volume throughout the fugues. The mic’ing for the Chorus in this performance could have been better. I don’t know what they were thinking but I see some mics up and some mics down rather than all at the same level. I think the tenor and bass sections could have been better mic’d to better hear their fugal entrances just as one clearly hears the soprano section entrances. I don’t think it was the Chorus but rather the mic’ing.

If you don’t know what a fugue is, think the simplistic example of “Row, row, row your boat” that you probably sung in elementary school (I’m referring to the US; I would think they would have something a bit more tasteful than that in the EU). You may have heard “Row, row,…” sung where four people were singing the subject (“row, row, row your boat”) at four different times with one person starting after the other has sung the subject. I’m trying not to get too complicated here. But that’s a very simplistic example of a fugue when “Row, row, row your boat” is sung like that.

The Orchestra and Chorus here are the Collegium 1704 & Collegium Vocale 1704. In this instance, the Orchestra has its own Chorus, and Václav Luks is the ensemble’s permanent conductor. Václav is an outstandingly superb musician-conductor (well they all are for that matter!), and I assume he prepared both the Chorus and Orchestra. From watching him conduct and his rapport with his choral and orchestral musicians, and as a former Orchestra Chorus member myself, I think he would be a pleasure to work with. Like myself, he seems to favour the soprano section particularly in this performance, such as in the Gloria. Even though he and his stellar musicians are from Prague, Czech Republic, in their performances I’ve seen — and like some other conductors I’ve seen in the Nederlands — Václav doesn’t usually use a baton when conducting. I don’t care one way or the other; he should do what he wants. He obviously gets superb results without a baton. More and more conductors, from what I’ve seen, seem to favour no baton in the Nederlands and especially for symphonic choral performances (such as in this performance of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis).

Have you heard of Zelenka? He was a Czech composer and musician of the Baroque period, a contemporary of JS Bach. Bach lived between the years of 1685 – 1750. Zelenka lived between the years of 1679 – 1745. I think his music deserves more attention. One could give god Bach a rest, no? I think he’s certainly gotten plenty of attention at this point in time. Let’s give some attention to Zelenka. (Not likely to happen in the US or in its poodle colony the UK). Zelenka’s chorale sections are in the style of Palestrina. If you listen closely, you may hear that some of his harmonies were ahead of their time. But overall, his music is closest to that of Johann Sebastian Bach’s. Zelenka is sometimes referred to as the Catholic Bach, whereas Bach was Lutheran.

Again, the Orchestra, Chorus and conductor, Václav Luks, in this performance are all musicians from the Czech Republic. I mention that because someone in the YT comments wrote this nationalistic-sounding comment about this performance. Apparently they had done no research and erroneously thought that all of the performers were Dutch as well as Zelenka. As someone astutely pointed out, the only thing that’s Dutch about it is that it’s a performance from Amsterdam and was recorded by Avrotros Klassiek, the Dutch public broadcasting network.

These musicians seem to really get into their music and their performance which is good to see. Notice how the 4th chair violinist starts to smile and sway in rhythm and mouthed the words to (“Dominus Deus, Rex coelestis”) with the soprano and alto soloists in their duet from 18.00 forward in the video. She obviously knows the piece well and enjoys it.

I have a couple of parts of this that I especially like, such as the Gloria. Also, the choral fugue on the text, “Cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen./With the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father. Amen.” is wonderful. That begins at 29.10 in the video (start it slightly before that). The subject of the fugue is first heard by the tenor section followed by the basses and so on.

I don’t understand why this guy Zelenka works are not performed more often, other than Händel and or J.S. Bach are often given prime space on concert stages when Baroque period music is performed. Give god Händel a break — I think he’s had amply attention by now, don’t you? — and perform Zelenka. His works that I’ve heard are just as good, if not rival, Händel’s. No, I’m not putting Händel down. I’m just saying that some of his works are over-performed. Especially that war-horse Messiah which is dragged out every holiday season because the sheeple expect their “annual tradition” of Messiah. In my opinion Händel’s Israel in Egypt is far more interesting than Messiah with Israel known as the “oratorio of choruses.” Collegium 1704 and Collegium 1704 Vocale have performed Messiah too and I really enjoyed their interpretation. Václav Luks, their conductor, chose tempi that reminded me of those used by Margaret Hillis (Founder and Director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus) when she conducted the Oratorio Society of Washington and the National Symphony Orchestra in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall one holiday season years ago. The Washington Post the next day gave that performance an excellent review and titled it “A Brisk Messiah.” My music friends and I talked about that performance for years afterwards. That’s how much of an impression it made on us. We’d never heard Messiah done like that before. The closest performance to the Hillis at the time was the newly-released Messiah by the Academy and Chorus of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner conducting. But it still wasn’t the Hillis performance.

The vocal soloists in this performance are all excellent, which is something I rarely say about vocal soloists. I usually can’t stand most vocal soloists, the screaming opera divas invited to scream and wobble their way to symphonic choral performances. These soloists are not screamers. These soloists are true artists and have real talent and don’t need to resort to using annoying wobbling and fluttering vibrato to cover up bad vocal technique or pitch problems. Unlike the screaming divas one constantly hears in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth, for example, (the quartet of usually-screaming soloists in that work most often resembles a train wreck), these soloists strive to blend their voices together and they do so beautifully. They are a pleasure to listen to. All of them. The soloists mostly sing with a lovely and beautiful straight-tone, but even those soloists who use some slight vibrato for their solo passages, when they return to the Chorus they turn off their vibrato as the superb Chorus sings with a lovely straight tone giving them perfect intonation in all vocal sections (SATB). Here are the names of the soloists from the Chorus:

Hana Blažíková, sopraan
Kamila Mazalová, alt
Václav Čížek, tenor
Tomáš Král, bas (Zelenka)

I also liked the various coloured ties that the guys of the Chorus wore which added nice colour. Each guy has on a different coloured tie. I’ve seen this with other choral ensembles around the Nederlands. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

Collegium 1704 and Collegium 1704 Vocale

May the Beautiful Black Woman in the Sky watch over Ray Taliaferro

That’s what Ray would want.

Update: There’s an update about Ray’s death at the bottom of this page under “Related.” (By the way: “His son tells ABC7 there’s been no luck getting in contact with his late father’s wife.” This wife of 6 months who couldn’t keep her story straight.)

Hola a todos. You may have heard that former KGO Radio (San Francisco) talk show host, Ray Taliferro, strangely disappeared on 10 November 2018 in Kentucky and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. WTF was he doing in Kentucky? Suffering with dementia, did Ray know he was in Kentucky? The media reports about his disappearance have been written as if they were typed by people in another country. In other words, they don’t jive, with so many different stories and versions of the events leading up to Ray’s disappearance. Even Ray’s new wife of only 6 months has varying versions of how he disappeared. With dementia, did Ray know that he was recently married to her? Or were they married for her to have full access to his wealth/estate? Did she have some scheme for him to be knocked off six months later after their marriage so she would be the beneficiary of his wealth? She should be the #1 suspect regarding his disappearance even if she had accomplices in Ray’s disappearance. Was Ray drugged and pushed in the Ohio River? None of the articles I’ve read about his disappearance speak of her being at all distressed, in a state of grieving, surprised or shocked by his disappearance. Could that be because she’s behind all of this?

Ray’s new wife is supposedly 57 years old. If that is true, the question has been asked: What woman of age 57 marries a guy who’s nearly 80 and who has dementia and who has suddenly (and conveniently?) disappeared — as of this writing — three days short of 3 weeks? Answer: A woman after his money/his wealth from his decades of being employed by the corporate media in San Francisco. Some people clearly do not have their “loved one’s best interest at heart.” Does she come from a bad financial situation? “Furthermore, marrying for money is more likely to be the case if you’re getting hitched second time around and later in life.” [Source].

The Ray I knew from listening to his show on KGO for decades wouldn’t dream of leaving his beloved San Francisco, yet this new wife of his says they were planning to move from their home in San Francisco (presumably Ray’s apartment/condo on Hyde Street in Russian Hill?) to southern Illinois. Ray leave San Francisco to live in hicksville southern Illinois, the land of the KKK? The Ray I knew would not knowingly move to Illinois as other listeners to his show have said.

Ray was suffering from dementia according to Brian Copeland (another talk show host at KGO when Ray was there) but all Ray’s wife would say is that Ray had become “forgetful.” I have to say that things are not jiving with this story. It’s as if there’s a major cover-up of sorts. For example, this wife of his first said that she and Ray were walking the grounds together of the new home in Illinois she had inherited — then that was changed to the house “belonged to her family,” well which is it? — and then she looked back and Ray wasn’t there. He had left the property in their rental car. Oh come on! She didn’t hear Ray walk away and get in the car and leave? Then her story changed to: Ray stayed in the car while she looked at the property. She went to check a window in the back of the house and Ray drove away. Well which version of her story would she prefer that we believe?

And where is Ray? Does that wife of his know where he is? It’s dipped down to at least 6 Celsius/22 degrees overnight in the town where he disappeared nearly 3 weeks ago, and the wide Ohio River is nearby.

Since his wife should be the #1 suspect regarding his disappearance as far as I’m concerned, in this article I’m not including the other details of where Ray supposedly went, such as to a local bank and his 15-20 minute conversation with the Director of Music at a local Baptist church.

Wherever he is, I know that Ray would want for the Beautiful Black Woman in the Sky to be watching over him. He spoke of her often when he mocked organised religion especially on his Wednesday morning Prayer Meeting show, which was a mocking take-off of the Wednesday night prayer meetings held in churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, also known as Bigots Incorporated. I’ve had some experience as a church musician in Southern Baptist churches so I speak from experience, although I will say that everyone in the Southern Baptist churches I played in were very nice to me even if they knew or suspected that I was Queer, but I’m well aware of the official anti-Queer position of the SBC and the many closet cases therein.

Ray’s Wednesday morning prayer meeting was always interesting especially when religious nuts called in to challenge Ray. He didn’t put up with any shit from them, and sometimes humored them.

I’ve seen images of the wide Ohio River in that area of Kentucky/Illinois. It reminds me of the Mississippi River, and it is the largest tributary by volume of the Mississippi River. If Ray ended up in the Ohio River by being deliberately thrown in the river or — giving someone the benefit of the doubt which I don’t do in this instance — him accidentally falling in the river, I don’t see how he could possibly be alive today.

Wherever Ray is, alive or dead, most likely the latter at this point is my guess at this point, my wish for him is that the Beautiful Black Woman in the Sky is watching over him. This was a terrible way for him to die, assuming he’s dead.

One of my commenters said that Ray’s son Anthony (Tony) Taliaferro committed suicide (this was back in 2013). I knew Anthony had died, but I didn’t know that he took his own life. So I know that must have devastated Ray and perhaps he felt some responsibility for that. According to Tony, Ray wasn’t really into the “family thing,” although Tony respected Ray from a distance.

Ray said on the air that he wanted to go to hell when he died because that’s where all the good, fun people would be. All the great jazz musicians and jazz legends would be there. He had no interest in going to heaven where all those uptight, prudish stuffy people would be and swimming in a gooey river of milk and honey or sitting on the right hand. So, even though we haven’t had Judgment Day yet and that’s supposed to come first according to Christian beliefs, most Christians don’t even believe what they claim to believe so they bypass Judgment Day and say that the person who has died is already in heaven with the heavenly father. It’s a feel-good assumption to provide comfort to the grieving person.

I choose to think that Ray is in hell with the Beautiful Black Woman in the Sky, god herself, watching over him from above. We’re told that god is all-knowing, omnipotent, all-powerful and all that stuff so surely the Beautiful Black Woman in the Sky has the power to see down into Hades to see brother Ray having a jazz session with Vernon Ally and other jazz artists. Don’t you think?

I have a feeling that even some of Ray’s most devoted listeners didn’t appreciate the Beautiful Black Woman in the Sky concept because they had been brainwashed from probably childhood with the Christian god fellow script. So in their mind per their brainwashing, the Christian god fellow has to be male and white. There’s a problem with that though. Jesus (he’s the “Son” part of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit) was born in the Middle East, so he wouldn’t have been white. But a white Jesus is the false image of much of Christianity.

For those who don’t know, Ray was an accomplished classical musician. He mentioned playing the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor. I assume he played that with an Orchestra (versus with a second piano playing the orchestral part), but like myself, we both learned one of the same piano concertos. He also had his own choral ensemble in his earlier days, the Ray Tal Chorale, so I know he had an interest in choral music. And of course, he loved jazz and blues and for years was connected with the Monterey Blues Festival.

Since I think that Ray is probably no longer with us, I would like to say this to him: Have a good trip to hell, Ray. One day I’ll join you and we can sit back and listen to Margaret Hillis (formerly Founder and Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus) or Robert Shaw (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus) who will likely be there as well conduct the Hades Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Hymn of Praise), Op. 52 using soloists from the Chorus. Or it could be another symphonic choral work of your choice, if you prefer. Of course the Hades Symphony Chorus will sing with a straight-tone guaranteeing perfect intonation in all SATB section, with no god-awful wobbling vibrato. And maybe we can have a slice or two of your favourite sweet potato pie — Ray preferred sweet potato pie to pumpkin pie — assuming you brought your recipe with you. Eggnog also sounds good. Ray liked Eggnog and said it should be made all-year round. (By the way, one can get the same thickness texture in eggnog — by using whipping cream instead; you could even whip it up some before adding it to the egg/milk mixture — and avoid using unhealthy GMO-corn syrup which is terrible stuff that was used in commercial brands of egg nog up until some years ago.) But again, have a good trip Ray, wherever you are. Go on Big T! And here’s my original article and tribute to Ray Taliaferro:
Ray Taliaferro: “Go on Big T. We Are Right !!!” Chau.—el barrio rosa

I’d like to dedicate this piece to Ray. I think he would love it. It’s the superb Pat Metheny Group performing, “Last Train Home” with my favourite Pedro Aznar from Argentina doing the vocals. Enjoy, Ray, wherever you are. If you listen closely you should hear a bit of, “My Old Kentucky Home” in this piece:

Related:

Former KGO talk radio host Ray Taliaferro found dead in Kentucky

Gay guys are not equal

Hola a todos. Gay guys are far from equal but they don’t seem to care about that anymore. And the obituary for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement was written shortly after gay marriage became legal here in The Cesspool/the US. That seemed to be the end of the Movement. (Related: What was the ultimate goal of the Gay Rights Movement?) But haven’t most gay guys gone back in the closet? That’s the impression I and others have here in San Francisco’s Castro, the former Gay Mecca. For sometime now The Castro has been a Breeder Mecca. In recent years, breeder Millennials have moved to San Francisco to have babies with many copy-cat pregnancies. That doesn’t seem very intelligent considering we’re the most expensive City in the nation now. Add that to the price tag of at least two babies and that’s extremely expensive. Well, despite all the breeder Millennials wearing funeral-black and grey clothing 365 days a year and pushing their black baby strollers (the strollers have to be black too), The Castro is quickly dying. The conservative merchants deserve what they get. There are so many closed shops now as of November 2018. The number of Castro closed shops I saw while writing this article is 53, and that was as of March 2017. It’s only gotten worse since with one of the icons of the Old City/Gay Mecca Castro, Harvest Urban Market, having closed recently on Market Street near Castro Street. Harvest was quite the gathering place during the Gay Mecca for their vegetarian-vegan salad bar where customers could sit on the benches outside the store and talk with others — this was before the phone addiction — and or people watch. But the Gay Mecca is gone and so is Harvest. It’s as if they were sort of one in the same. It is clear that The Castro is economically failing, in part, due to the immense greed of the Real Estate Industrial Complex and outrageous rents both for retail space and rental apartments. Also, the neighbourhood having become a Breeder Mecca. The so-called “gay community” is mostly gone. The gay guys still here would probably fill up a couple of bars, maybe. That’s the way it seems. And apparently Millennial breeders don’t shop in “brick and mortar” stores so there’s much less foot traffic now in The Castro. And despite the over-saturation of Rainbow Flags, they can’t hide the dying Gay Mecca where the in-your-face straights have taken over. But no one says any of this except me — and no, I’m not patting myself on the back — and some of my commenters. From what I’ve seen, nobody tells it like it is about what’s happening around here because they don’t want to offend anybody, such as the precious breeders or the techie trash who are responsible for ruining this once Bohemian City. These days, I can’t tell who is gay and who is straight. That’s indicative of closet cases living in a former Gay Mecca. Astounding really. Again, there are still some gay guys living here but they don’t look any differently than the straight guys. Mi amigo and I were in The Castro on a recent Saturday night. The place was dead. Dead on a Saturday night? This used to be the party-to-get-drunk night in recent years after the straights started pouring in here? The restaurants and bars only had a few people in them. All of this is the opposite of how The Castro was when it was a Gay Mecca. And the people? There’s no sense of community now and no alternative-looking (gay) people anywhere the way it used to be. Everyone looking the same. Conformist and heteronormative. This is what the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement worked decades for? And every straight couple we see is him-tall/her-short — they never can be the same height — and she must be very submissive to dominant him. From my research into that awhile back, that’s her head trip. Feminism is dead by the looks of it.

Is anybody doing anything today regarding equality for gay people? Not that some of us can tell. Oh I know those national corporate Queer organisations continue to have their lavish annual gala dinners (Dahling) and events for the Queers of a certain income bracket, which doesn’t include any poor or homeless gay people, you can be sure of that! But I couldn’t care less about over-priced gala dinners (Dahling). What are these national Queer organisations doing for the “real people” who are gay?

Straight-looking lesbians are now the iconic image for the so-called “gay community”

I watched this programme produced in Paris having to do with “LGBT” Gay Parenting. Not one gay male couple was featured/interviewed in the programme. One was led to believe that only lesbian couples are parents. But not just any lesbian couples. The lesbians in these couples looked like straight women, mostly with long flowing blond or brown hair. One could easily see any of these lesbians they interviewed walking around San Francisco’s Castro holding hands with a guy in these breeder couples. I wonder why they took this one-sided slant of excluding gay male couple parents? Why did they choose to feed the public this misconception when producing the programme? Answer: Because straight-looking lesbians and straight-looking lesbian couples are considered “safe” for today’s bigoted, anti-gay male-couples audiences. The same network has interviewed a gay guy who had been the subject of a hate crime in Paris where he had his face bashed in, but they apparently couldn’t bring themselves to show their audiences a gay male couple equivalent to the well-off straight-looking lesbians they interviewed. And 99.9% of the time when they show anything gay-related, it’s lesbians.

I’ve read a few comments online from some older lesbians complaining about how lesbians today have sanitised themselves and are trying to look like straight women (heteronormative). (Related: Lesbians trying to look like straight women). They’ve abandoned the dyke-image that many/most lesbians had for decades and especially during the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement. But since the Movement is dead, I guess lesbians consider the dyke image passé and that it could reveal their lesbian sexual orientation to others, so they prefer the more closeted approach and choose to look like straight women, with only few exceptions to that.

It’s amazing how much we accomplished during the Movement, isn’t it? [sarcasm intended] Who knew that in the end — decades later — that being heteronormative and having the right to marry would be the ultimate goals? A few other gay rights were accomplished along the way but I hope the reader gets my point. Back in the 1970s or before, someone should have announced: The ultimate goals of our movement are 1) to look like, dress like and “act” like the straights and 2) to be like them in every way including having the right to marry and adopt children. Yes, we want to be just as miserable as they are in their dysfunctional relationships! (When the truth be told: From what I’ve seen of gay relationships, they are nothing like breeder relationships; they are much, much healthier and far less dysfunctional, much more mature). But if goals # 1 and 2 above had been said from the beginning, it shouldn’t have taken decades for that. All gay people could have started dressing like and “acting” like the straights immediately, so that would only leave the marriage and adoption goal. Maybe someone in top authority would have said at that time, “Well hell, if that’s all they want, I guess we can give them that!” End of Gay Rights Movement. All’s been accomplished.

Far from it.

But today, straight-looking lesbians and straight-looking lesbian couples are now the showcased image being shown for the so-called “gay community.” Consequently, gay male couples have been shoved back in the closet — they’re forbidden to be shown from what I can tell — even though gay guys and trans individuals are responsible for starting the Gay Rights Movement in the first damn place.

You might remember that Starb*cks had a lesbian couple’s hands featured on their holiday cups awhile back. When might we see the hands of a gay male couple on their cups? Probably Never.

There are many other examples of this inequality towards gay guys that I could list, such as gay guys being required to dance with females whenever dancing is shown on any network whether it’s a reality show dance competition or ballroom dancing. I can tell you that gay guys would prefer to dance with other guys and not females.

You know, from where I’m sitting, in hindsight it looks like the Gay Rights Movement was a dud when it comes to achieving full or even a modicum of equality for gay guys. Lesbians seem to be preferred today.

Is that because of the revisionist history “LGBT” that one sees spammed all over the internet?

Did rewriting Queer history and putting lesbians first in that asinine “LGBT” acronym that’s used worldwide have anything to do with this inequality? Some of us find “LGBT” as in “ladies first” sexist because 1) lesbians did not lead the movement or do most of the work of the movement and therefore 2) they don’t deserve first billing. They hijacked the movement. Of course gay guys are partly to blame for allowing lesbians to hijack our movement (lesbians moving themselves to first place with “LGBT” when the original acronym was GLBTQ). “LGBT” is the revisionist history I’ve often written about.

At the rate things are going: gay guys, trans people and bi guys are being kicked to the curb, while straight-looking lesbians are being propped up on a pedestal as the so-called “gay community,” because straight-looking lesbians are considered “acceptable” to bigots because 1) they don’t really look “gay,” and 2) they just look like your sisters and it’s okay for girls to kiss and hold hands because “that’s what girls do.” But if two guys kiss and hold hands? “Get those faggots off my television screen!” That’s about what it amounts to, sadly. Such a double standard. Yes, we’ve made tremendous progress! [sarcasm intended]

As of this writing, the orange despot en la casa blanca is asking the US Supreme Court to keep trans people out of the US Military Industrial Complex Killing Machine. Trans people should have the same rights as anybody else. But there’s one thing I don’t understand about this. Why would trans/gays/Queers want to serve in the US Military Industrial Complex Killing Machine to begin with? Queers enjoy killing other Queers do they? When did this thinking start? Queers were part of the peace movement. Queers opposed war, death and killing up until their messiah Obama got in office and Mr Nobel Peace prize left office with 8-9 wars in progress. Gay people opposed Bush’s wars (because Bush is a Republican) but they went along with Obama’s wars because he’s a “Democrat.” Brainwashed-partisan beliefs certainly do reveal people’s hypocrisy. Since the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement, gays have done a complete flip. To be like the breeders? (Related: Gay Men Glorify War and Nationalism and Queers glorying war on Gay Freedom Day Weekend and Why do Queers want to kill other Queers ?).

Do gay people not realise that they could be killing another gay person when given military orders to kill by some piece of lying political basura in the District of Columbia? I’m referring to military orders given by the White House or the Pentagon. Well, the Pentagon is technically in Arlington Virginia, across the Potomac River from the District.

MAKE LOVE. NOT WAR.

Let me talk to gay guys specifically for a moment: Gay guys, you do realise there are some very hot and sexy Middle Eastern guys out there that you could be making love to and having fun with and not killing just because guys of Middle Eastern ethnicity are the “Enemy of the Day” as designated by the corrupt, racist and lying US Oligarchy (“Democratic” and Republican Establishment). You do understand that, correct? I know some of you do because I’ve read your men-for-men sex ads and some of you specifically say you’re looking for Arab, Middle Eastern guys, which is very good of you considering the political climate of today.

And this needs to be said: No one in the US military is “defending our freedoms.” That is feel-good pabulum intended to play on people’s emotions and work up people’s pro-war fervor. I would like to point out that our freedoms, our rights — what’s left of them — are guaranteed in the United States Constitution/Bill of Rights which the US military has nothing to do with. They’re not protecting any Constitution when they’re in war. And when was the last time the US was threatened? No international intruder or international body can touch the US Constitution. Our freedoms and rights can only be eroded, trashed or erased by corrupt US politicians through an inside job such as 911 — “the threat will come from within,” as has been the case since 2000. The US military is not “protecting” or “defending” the US Constitution or the US flag. Instead, they are on a mission usually based on banks of lie fed to the gullible public by corrupt, lying political scum with the intent to steal the natural resources of other nations (oil and precious minerals especially) for US Empire building and world domination as documented in the neocon’s PNAC agenda. That’s the way Empire’s have always done it. By stealing from the poor to build their Empire. The US with its ugly and immature superiority complex puts this veneer of “We’re different, we’re better than anybody else, we’re entitled” on it when in reality they’re not. They’re liars.

So again, I fail to understand why any transgender person wants anything to do with the barbarism of the US Military Industrial Complex, and this goes for other gay people as well. What is wrong with you? Have you completely lost your senses and abandoned what you once stood for during the peace movement? You’ve taken this “we must be just like the breeders” heteronormative thinking to the extreme. Why adopt the worst traits of the breeders just to be like them? That’s loco./crazy.

The so-called “gay community” has never had a “Family Script” blueprint forced on them the way the breeders do, unless the gay person was/is in the closet. In that case, the gay guy will hear the same “Family Script” that breeder guys hear which is, “How many girlfriends do you have now?” That’s followed by: “When are you going to get married (to a female of course)? Then after getting married comes, “When are you going to start a family?” It’s all about pumping out babies, which in return is all about females and their pregnancies. Oh what a fucked-up society we live in.

Personally, I and the gay people I know have never felt the desire to be like the breeders/straights in any sense and all the baggage that comes with that. That’s one of the many benefits of being gay and out of the closet as well as being true and honest to oneself and with others. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

The official acronym is now: LGBTQQICAPF2K+

Lea DeLaria: The LGBTQIA+ acronym is divisive

The Century of Insanity

Fake-Progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorses Establishment Pelosi

The “left” consistently helps the right move farther and farther to the right, and Pelosi’s (neo)con job.

Hola a todos. Mi amigo/My friend felt the need to vent politically and he thought the only place he would be allowed to do that would be here on pink barrio, where his thoughts wouldn’t be deleted as they would likely be anywhere else, since he and I hold pretty much identical political views. His comment is near the bottom of this page.

I thought I’d preface his comment by saying the following so you’ll know what he’s talking about:

Some of the fake-left — meaning “Democratic” Party Cultists, heavily partisan-brainwashed “Democrats” — in the US are saying that the “left” must support Republicrat Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House of Representatives because, according to them, Pelosi is the closest to the “left” who’s running for speaker. That’s what the fake-left consistently does which helps move the fake-opposition party (the “Democratic” Party Cult) farther and farther to the right as has been the case since 2000. The genuine left/genuine progressives (all 3 of us) wouldn’t consider supporting millionaire Establishment Pelosi or any other “Democrat” from the corrupt, right-wing “Democratic” Party Cult. One of the fake-progressives in the House and newest messiah figure, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — whose intent is to give a “left” veneer and gloss to the right-wing “Democratic” Party Cult — seems to have gotten her orders from The Corrupt Establishment and or realised that in order for her to be successful in the House of Representatives she must get in line with the Establishment and become part of the problem — because she has already endorsed pro-Establishment Republicrat Pelosi. Even though Pelosi minimised/dismissed Ocasio-Cortez’s win when she won the New York primary. After Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Pelosi, Pelosi began eating Ocasio-Cortez’s ass as thanks for the endorsement.

During the campaign, Ocasio-Cortez said: “It’s fine” if Democrats run on a right-wing platform. Is that what one would expect someone on the genuine left to say or a genuine progressive to say? Answer: An affirmative NO.

When war monger John McCain died and was canonised by the corporate Corrupt Establishment, Ocasio-Cortez said this about him: “John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service. As an intern, I learned a lot about the power of humanity in government through his deep friendship with Senator Kennedy. He meant so much, to so many. My prayers are with his family.”

Oh good lord. The “power of humanity in government?” WTF is she on? Apparently la mujer/the woman loves to embarrass and disgrace herself. Ms Ocasio-Cortez revealed her real feelings toward the pro-war positions of the “Democratic” Party Cult when she gushed praise on one of the chief hawks/warmongers in the US Senate, John McCain. Even though she made claims to being an anti-war candidate, during the Democratic primary she made virtually no reference to the barbaric pro-war US international policy of constant war and imperialistic US Empire building and world domination per the neocon’s Project For The New American Century (PNAC) agenda. Mr Nobel Peace Prize Obama left office with 8-9 wars (I lost count) in progress.

Based on her sweet words about McCain, if John McCain were alive today and ran as a “Democrat,” I think he would have the support of fake-progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

After winning the primary, she distanced herself from any association with socialism, disavowed an online comment she made criticising Israeli’s massacre of Palestinians, and gave her support for “border security.”

Does anyone else get the feeling that la mujer/the woman is a Republican plant?

Does one not remember seeing Corrupt Establishment Pelosi and illegitimate George W Bush at the congressional picnic holding hands? (I wonder how Pelosi’s husband or Laura Bush felt about that?) Looking at that image, does Pelosi look like someone on the “left” to you? Someone snuggled up to George W Bush and who took impeachment of Bush “off the table?” Any wonder why? Here’s the image of Bush and Pelosi I’m referring to here and here. You can also see Pelosi and the subhuman orange despot hereThe orange despot recently declared his support for a murderer from Saudi Arabia who killed a US journalist.  Dinero/money is the bottom line for the orange despot and not any sense of human decency, of which he is completely void.  And then there’s Michelle Obama and George W Bush who have have become quite an item. This is why I often refer to the fake-opposition party. Michelle seems to have a thing for war criminals.

I should point out that Pelosi has repeatedly taken impeachment “off the table” for the vile subhuman despot currently occupying la casa blanca as she did again recently as of this writing.  She mocked “Democrats” who support impeachment of the orange despot and who want to abolish ICE.

Mi amigo said to me while I was writing this: You know, there’s not much more scum on the planet than a politician. Nothing but scum. There’s one thing that politicians consistently do: Say one thing and mean another.

Here’s what mi amigo wanted to say:

Why is it that if one is on the left in politics (I’m talking about the genuine left) that we have to go all the way to the right to vote for a Republicrat like Nancy Pelosi? What’s that about? We never get to vote for someone who is genuinely on the left. There’s always a reason why that can’t be done. That’s why I personally abandoned both corporate right-wing parties long ago and put my energy into left-leaning independent candidates. If you think about it, why would a genuine progressive vote for a Republicrat like Pelosi? That’s a contradiction in one’s principles. When instead, I could vote for someone I really like who believes in the same policies that I do. But no, it’s always the left that has to abandon their beliefs and candidates and are told they have to vote for a right-wing Democrat. Yet the right-wing never support or vote perceived left-wing candidates in any way. So one-sided. This is exactly why there is no genuine left in the US today. And if someone comes on here and tells me that I have to vote for someone on the right or a Republicrat, I have one thing to say: FO!!

Gracias, amigo. Chau.—el barrio rosa

I’m looking for that song called Beethoven’s Ninth

Hola a todos. To most people, the musically-illiterate — especially in the shithole US where some people consider it “cool” to be stupid — any music they hear they call “a song,” including major Beethoven symphonies. Even though there’s no one singing in Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 1-8. There are people singing in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in d, Op. 125 (Choral) but Beethoven’s Ninth is not “a song.” It’s a symphony with part of its title being (Choral) in parentheses. And the people singing in the last movement of the Ninth are the Chorus and the vocal quartet (4 voices).1 What they are singing is not called “a song.”

On the rare occasion, some people will point out this mistake to others such as when someone wrote in a YT comment about a Rachmaninov piano concerto: “I love this song.” One person responded with: “That’s funny, I didn’t hear anyone singing in that.” Exactamente. Gracias for that. At least someone knows that a piano concerto is not “a song.”

I decided to write this article because I get so tired of reading comments from people referring to any piece of music as “a song.” I see this mainly in dumbed-down YT comments. It seems that people who have no music training — and even a few who do and who should know better, one wonders where they trained? — erroneously call any piece or work of classical music they hear “a song.” Very amateurish.

Alright class, here’s a bit of Conservatory of Music training for you:

Question: Do you hear anyone singing in a piano concerto?
Answer: No.
Then it’s not “a song.”

Question: Do you hear anyone singing in that clarinet piece?
Answer: No.
Then it’s not “a song.”

Question: Do you hear anyone singing in that flute concerto?
Answer: Again no, just the solo flautist/flutist playing and being accompanied by the Orchestra.
Therefore it’s not “a song.”

Question: Do you hear anyone singing in that violin concerto?
Answer: No.
No one is singing in any of the above music.
Then it’s not “a song.”

A song has to be sung. A song is usually sung by just one person, a solo voice.

A song can be sung by two people in what’s called a duet (a soprano and alto, for example). But even when you hear a Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform the massive Berlioz The Grande Messe des morts (or Requiem), Op. 5, for example, where there are vocal soloists, that is not “a song.” In that case, it’s called a Requiem, as the title of the piece indicates. It’s a major work for Chorus and Orchestra. Even when one person is singing an aria in an oratorio — an oratorio is a sacred work for Orchestra and Chorus without costuming or scenery — that’s not called “a song” either. It’s called an aria. An aria is a lengthier, usually piano or orchestral-accompanied piece for a solo voice. Arias are found in oratorios and operas.

In music — especially the classical music genre — things have a specific name for what they are and they have that name, in part, to make things easier to identify. So when someone sloppily says, “I heard this song on the radio and I wanted to know who it was; I didn’t catch the name,” that would tell me nothing. I would be thinking maybe it was “a song” by perhaps Helen Reddy, Gloria Gaynor or some pop star, and not what the person was really looking for which was a Rachmaninov piano concerto they had heard that they are mistakenly calling “a song.” There is no one singing in any of the Rachmaninov concerti or in his concertante work for piano and orchestra, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Another example of things having a special name for the piece in the classical music genre: Referring to one of my long-time favourite choral works, Händel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt for Double Chorus, someone asked in YT comments: “Is this song Lutheran?” This song? An oratorio is not “a song.” Have you ever known “a song” to last for 1.5 hours? I can’t think that I have. Most songs are relatively short, 5-7 minutes or less. Israel in Egypt — often called “the oratorio of choruses” because of the abundance of back-to-back choruses in the work — is one of Händel’s well-known works for Chorus, Orchestra and Soloists. It is not “a song.” Even though there are vocal solo passages in it, those passages are not called “a song.” And no, it’s not a Lutheran work. Another person referred to Israel in Egypt as “this opera.” Opera? That’s wrong too. Why would someone think it was an opera? There’s nothing operatic about it. (Sigh) Oh the ignorance out there! Opera is a large-scale production with costuming and scenery and heavy vibrato in the singing — or more accurately described as screaming — from the soloists and the Opera Chorus. Whereas an oratorio has no costuming or scenery and hopefully no vibrato in the Chorus (or soloists), but rather all choristers singing with a perfectly blended beautiful straight tone (no noticeable vibrato).

Referring to Rachmaninov’s Колокола, Kolokola/The Bells, Op. 35, someone wrote in a comment: “Rachmaninov is my favorite composer, but this is a strange song.”

The Bells is not “a song.” It’s a choral symphony. It’s a symphonic choral work for Chorus, Orchestra and two soloists. And what is “strange” about it? What’s your problem?

I see these things all this time, which is why I’m writing about it. It annoys me and nobody has the time to correct every fucking idiot out there that refers to “a song” whenever they hear any piece of classical music.

The problem here should be obvious at this point: It’s musical illiteracy, musical ignorance and a lack of music education here in the shithole US and our public school system. Music and arts programmes continue to be cut in the public schools here in The Cesspool. Which reminds me that I never see anyone — particularly any young people — carrying musical instruments with them these days. All I see anyone carrying and “practising” is their phone that’s nearly embedded in their face. There are millions of people with terrible posture all hunched over staring at their screen and never seeing where they live, other people or their surroundings. Pathetic really.

To seriously study a musical instrument one would have to overcome one’s immense phone addiction, turn that phone off and put it down in order to have full attention to one’s music. Music training requires one’s full concentration. I can attest to that. From what I see out there, that would be impossible for most people. Most people cannot take their eyes off that screen even if their shoes were on fire or if someone were standing in front of them with a gun. Instead, they would have to immediately go on millionaire-billionaire owned “social media” — if they weren’t already on there — and upload images of their shoes on fire or the person about to mug them with a gun to see how much attention they can get for that and see how many “Likes” they get. Meanwhile, the person with the guy has grabbed their phone and ran off. The phone zombie becomes more concerned about their phone than their life. That’s about the extent of it. Another example of the Century of Insanity. I’ve seen what appears to be lobotomised phone zombies walk right into metal street poles and street signs in front of my apartment building in San Francisco unable to look up from that phone embedded in their hand permanently. After they crash into it, then they glance up for a split second to see what that metal sound was that their head just banged into (it didn’t seem to hurt them; there’s nothing up there anyway with these lobotomised phone zombies), but they step slightly to the left and continue on mesmerised by that screen as if they’re reading the most important message in the world. Well, to be successful as a musician, one must have talent to begin with and lots of it, as well as intelligence, years of hard work are required (for professional musicians it’s a life-long pursuit), discipline and a long attention span. And of course some dinero/money helps to pay for classes and private instruction.

Music education continues to be a primary budget cut for US schools while the pro-war, imperialistic US Oligarchy spends hundreds of billions USD on the bottomless pit known as the Military Industrial Complex Killing Machine. That’s the indicator of a sick society. In fact, the pro-war, corporate one-party system with two names voted to give the narcissistic orange despot/international joke — who is void of any sense of human decency and who makes an ass of himself wherever he goes — a larger military budget than this basura had asked for. As I’ve written repeatedly, despite their theatrics to the contrary intended to deceive their constantly gullible cultist supporters, I think the fake-opposition party (the “Democratic” Party Cult) is really quite fond of the orange despot, who’s never served a day in the US military. (He and Nancy Pelosi — whom the voters of San Francisco keep returning to the House of Representatives no matter what she does for the Republicans — are certainly all smiles standing together in this image). The orange despot conveniently got a deferral from military service by getting a diagnosis for bone spurs. Did he have to pay extra to get that diagnosis or did it come legitimately? His other four deferments from US military service were for college enrollment. That’s odd. As stupid, willfully-ignorant and absolutely devoid of any semblance of human decency and “common sense,” clearly his college years were spent partying. And can one assume that his grades were given to him rather than earned by bullying the right people? Along with plenty of “pussy grabbing” along the way? Some people do go to college or university for the wrong reasons. Yet today he’s all “rah, rah, US military.” That’s so typical of those basura who love to rattle on about (fake) patriotism and nationalism. Could someone please buy him a GI Joe set or something so that might help him therapeutically work through his military fantasies.

But with the musically ignorant:

1) Everything in music is “a song.”
Or
2) If a performance involves a Chorus, it’s always called “opera,” by the sheeple, with few exceptions. I don’t know why someone sees an Orchestra/Symphony Chorus on stage and automatically thinks “opera.”

I guess to many people, anything vocal is opera. Perhaps that’s the thinking.

One exception being that I’ve never heard Händel’s Messiahthat ubiquitous warhorse dragged out every holiday season — called an opera and I haven’t heard it called “a song” either. And I suspect most people don’t know it’s an oratorio nor do they know what an oratorio is. Messiah is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “The Messiah.” The name of the oratorio is “Messiah” with no “The” in the title, as you can see here on this Editions Novello score (the authentic/performance edition score cover. I don’t see as many people making that mistake anymore, fortunately.

A brief aside: Händel’s Messiah along with Beethoven’s Ninth and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana are about the only symphonic choral works now on the “classical pops” list. Think: sheeple, “50 great classical moments” such as the perfunctory Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture, Beethoven’s Für Elise or Für Therese (the title of that piece is not definitive; take your pick on the correct title), The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a by Tchaikovsky, Pachabel’s Canon in D, Debussy’s Claire de lune, and the Rachmaninov PC #2 is being overplayed locally on one classical radio station. He wrote PC 1 & 4 as well, why not play those? There are many more pieces I could add to the “50 great classical moments” list and some are probably played more often than these pieces, but they’re not coming to mind at the moment. These were just off the top of my head. Also, when an Orchestra decides to do a choral work on the rare occasion these days, one can count on it being one of those three (Messiah, the Ninth and Carmina Burana) usually. Symphonic choral works and especially oratorios are being performed much, much less than they were when I was in Orchestra Choruses. I think it was for this past season looking at the schedule of performances with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in the Kennedy Center that the Choral Arts Society of Washington had only one engagement (they had 4-5 engagements each season with the NSO when I sang with them), the same for The Washington Chorus and the University of Maryland Concert Choir was performing Messiah. When the “now-retired” superb University of Maryland Chorus existed, they had numerous engagements throughout the season. During the Antal Doráti years with the NSO, Dr Paul Traver’s University of Maryland Chorus was practically the Official Chorus of the NSO. Doráti preferred them and chose them as often as possible, which pissed off the Choral Arts Society. The NSO used to do a lot more symphonic choral works than that, but that’s for another article.

But back to the topic, can’t the public get the name of anything correct? No, apparently not. That’s why some people show up here at pink barrio by having searched “Boston Symphony Orchestra Chorus,” because I’ve written about the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. No one has arrived here by searching “Tanglewood Festival Chorus.” There is no “Boston Symphony Orchestra Chorus.” That’s not the correct name. The BSO’s Official Chorus is called the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (TFC) having been founded by John Oliver for the Tanglewood Music Festival, the summer home of the BSO. The TFC have been around since the early 1970s with their name on the BSO programmes and with WGBH-Boston radio and television announcers crediting the Tanglewood Festival Chorus before and after their performances, yet musically-illiterate idiots with no attention to detail still don’t know what to call them. Astounding. To my knowledge, that wasn’t the case when I was in Orchestra Choruses. People seemed to know the names of choral ensembles back then. I heard performance-goers say, “that Maryland Chorus (referring to the University of Maryland Chorus which also went by the name “The Maryland Chorus”) can sing the shit out of choral music” (I heard someone say). Even one of my non-musical relatives who often listened to country music talked about the Choral Arts Society of Washington when I was in that. She didn’t say, “that Chorus, whatever the name of it is, that my relative is in….” But these days? Ugh. I swear, the dumbed-down public. But I need to keep in mind that choristers are often most unfortunately considered second class musicians, they’re not considered “real musicians” by much of the public and or by some orchestral management, so perhaps that explains that.

So class: I’ve attempted to cover this topic thoroughly and hope I’ve done so. If you’re unclear on what to call something that you hear in classical music, to be on the safe side use these words: “that piece” or “that work” or just use the name of the composition, the name of the piece listed in the title area such as Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor. Or you would call that: This piano concerto. See how easy that is? And hopefully one learned something today. This Conservatory instruction has now ended. And you’ll never refer to a piece of music as “a song” again, unless it is “a song,” correct? Oh yes I’m sure. Ugh. (roll eyes) Chau.—el barrio rosa

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1 What usually sounds like a screaming quartet in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in d nearly always sounds like a train wreck (as one guy online astutely described it) because the four soloists — especially the screaming, heavy-vibrato soprano soloist — are not trying to sing beautifully and harmonise with each other. Instead, the soloists/screamers seem to be trying to out-scream, out-do each other as the prima donna some of them think they are. So the sound they’re producing sounds like over-singing, harsh screaming, as if they’re pushing their voices, which one should not do. It usually sounds awful. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the quartet in Beethoven’s Ninth where I said “what beautiful singing.” Instead, with those annoying soloists screaming (especially the soprano and tenor trying to out-do each other) it sounds more like opera even though Beethoven’s Ninth is not opera. Why does it seem to be a requirement to invite operatically-trained soloists to serve as the quartet whose voices cut through/scream through the entire Orchestra and Symphony Chorus? Then when it comes time to take bows, the quartet give the impression they think they have been the stars of the show, instead of the Orchestra and Symphony Chorus who were really the stars and performed most of the work. The screaming soloists have a small role in that piece. But every time I hear Beethoven’s Ninth which is over-performed these days, I have to bypass the sections featuring the quartet. I just can’t take it. I mean, anyone can scream to the point where it sounds like noise rather than music. And when vocalists these days say, “I’m classically-trained,” what they really mean to say is, “I’m a screamer and I scream with heavy-vibrato to cover up my pitch problems and my lack of vocal technique. You’ll hear me clear across town. I was trained with a megaphone-mouth.” That’s what it amounts to most of the time. Well Beethoven’s Ninth starts to sound like (screaming) opera when those soloists get going. But that’s acceptable because audiences have been brainwashed with this thinking that screaming, heavy-vibrato opera is equal to being well-heeled (Dahling), bougi (Dahling), upper class (Dahling) and of course white which is the dominant audience for opera (Dahling). I can’t stand hearing supposedly well-trained musicians mistaking screaming for beautiful singing with their god-awful wobbling vibrato, again, often used to cover up bad technique and vocal problems. And of course the Symphony Chorus should be singing with a lovely straight-tone (no noticeable vibrato whatsoever) otherwise I can’t listen to them either. And I don’t want to hear any cackling, shrill, harsh screaming sounds from the soprano section in their top register like I heard from the unrefined/unpolished wobbling and fluttering soprano section of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in one of their performances at the end of the Tanglewood Music Festival 2-3 years ago. It sounded awful. Clearly some of the choristers have been in that Chorus too long and their voices are no longer what they used to be. Not what I expect to hear from the Official Chorus of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Lowered standards? I would say so. But there’s good news about that. As of this writing, James Burton, the TFC’s new Chorus Director hired from the UK is working to raise the standards of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. About time! But that’s for another article.

“Man the Borders?”

Change “Man the Borders” to “Secure the Borders,” — or something, even though I’m for open borders — and leave the sexism out of it. And don’t expect the rogue US to start using the language, “our international policy” instead of “our foreign policy.” That especially won’t happen with this despotic crowd.

Hola a todos. A reader I didn’t know I had — a high school student — sent me an e-mail recently. He’s a self-described “language person.” Rather unusual these days I must say that someone in high school cares about language, other than saying the Valley Girl word “like” every-other-word that we hear in The Cesspool, also known as the dumbed-down, shithole, rogue nation US. (Related: It’s like, i’m like, if you go lick and It’s like cool like to like be stupid like in like the US). He read where I wrote that I’m a language person and he said that’s part of his attraction to my site. I appreciated his e-mail.

He wrote to say that they had changed the name of a programme in his school from “Foreign Exchange Student Programme” to “International Exchange Student Programme.” Excellent. That’s good to hear. At least some people are thinking in this Century of Insanity. I knew that some schools had made this change in the names of courses in their curriculum. I had also read that some exchange programme schools have changed their name from “[name of city] Foreign Exchange School” to “[name of city] International Exchange School.” By the way, we have San Francisco International High School here in The City with a student body of approximately 400 students. It’s a school for recent immigrant students who have attended school in the United States for four years or less. Notice that they didn’t call it San Francisco Foreign High School. There’s also the International Semester Exchange – School of Law at San Francisco State University. They didn’t call it Foreign Semester Exchange – School of Law.” In the small-print descriptions of some schools, they use both “foreign” and “international” in their language, I guess, for the dummies that have been brainwashed with the word “foreign” and can’t figure out what “international” means. Now, I hope I don’t need to explain the reason for this change to anyone. I’m sure I don’t to my regular readers. They’re all very bright, intelligent and thinking people. I’m fortunate in that way.

But then there are those other people who show up here. The navel-gazers. They would likely ask me, “What’s wrong with the word ferrrrrrn (that’s redneck hick for ‘foreign’)?” I know I’d have to explain this to the orange despot’s zombie supporters (and they would quickly reject this change) as well as the hicks and conservatives. Or are they one-in-the-same? After hearing a bit of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings charade I’d say they are the same. Where on Earth did those redneck hick trash who can barely speak understandable English in the US Senate come from? What an international embarrassment. And they were heard in sound clips around the world about that hearing, and they talk the way they do. They sound damn-near illiterate. Internationals must have been thinking, “No wonder they’re in such a mess over there in the rogue US with such illiterate-sounding people running thing there.”

But frankly, I don’t care about the hicks/conservatives/right-wing basura. They would adamantly resist this change from “foreign” to “international” — it’s part of who they are — because they are proud to use the most backward, outdated, offensive, sexists, chauvinistic, misogynistic, and nationalistic language that they can. They don’t care who they offend, and they rush to defend governments using antiquated language and policy sheets from the 1920s. So you’re not going to change the conservatives, or anyone really.

Then there are the fake-progressives and fake-liberals who, after talking with them, one can often feel one has just talked with someone on the far-right pretending to be “a liberal.” They won’t go for this change from “foreign” to “international” either because it would mean that they would have to make changes within their own language, and these days from what I’ve noticed the fake-progressives and fake-liberals are all about conformity with the right-wing “Democratic” Party Cult Establishment — and The Establishment uses the word “foreign” — and their darling right-wing celebrity politicians of the “Democratic” Party Cult variety.

The bottom line: Those who are going to understand the reason for this name change at this student’s high school already do, without my having to explain it to them. When I was commenting on political so-called “progressive” message forums I tried to explain this (“foreign” versus “international”) to the audience there, but hit a wall of resistance each time. It did feel like I was on a right-wing site based on the comments I received in response.

And regardless of how many decades outdated/offensive language has been used by governments (governments are not at all known for forward-thinking language usage), as well as courts and other official bodies, the word “foreign” has an off-putting “us versus them,” and “they’re not one of us” and nationalistic pejorative connotations to it. I mention that because the right-wing/conservatives tirelessly cite offensive language historically used by (corrupt) governments as justification for using the word “foreign.” They also do the same with the word “illegal” usually writing that in screaming caps as if they think people can’t read lowercase letters.

The word “international” is a neutral word. It doesn’t have all that negative baggage. It has none of those negative associations with it.

An international is a person of the world regardless of the geographic borders they live within.

The word “foreigner” has this menacing “this person is not like us/what’s wrong with this person” connotation to it. The word “foreign” and “foreigner” is language based in nationalistic, xenophobic, flag-waving, fake-patriotism geographic borders. As in someone who is not “of my country.”

Every person on this Earth is a citizen of the world, of this planet Earth, and that’s all one should be concerned about. Not what little area on the Earth we’re from or coincidentally happened to be born in which reminds me of children in a sand box arguing over who has what territory or place in the box (“I’m over in this corner. You stay out of my corner!”)

Why does that matter? So childish.

I’m not at all talking about disrespecting international languages and peoples cultures. All I’m saying is that people should be able to live and move about where they want on the Earth. To me, that’s one of the most basic human rights a person has, or should have. And these days, no matter where you look, wherever migrants are moving it’s often to escape horrendous conditions and so often due to barbaric US Military Industrial Complex imperialism, war, Empire building and world domination per the PNAC (the neocon’s Project For The New American Century) document.

The US is the arrogant, self-absorbed, self-entitled World Bully, a rogue nation, isolating itself from the rest of the world — excluding those led by despotic dictators whom the orange despot warmly embraces — currently led by an insane and septic illegitimate, despot regime. The US has to keep telling itself and its people how special, deserving and great it is. That’s a form of brainwashing. If the US were truly great and special it wouldn’t need to keep doing any of that. An analogy: Musicians after a performance merely bow and show great appreciation. They don’t arrogantly stand before the audience — like the US does — and constantly say, “Didn’t I play beautifully? Aren’t I great? Don’t you just love my playing and adore me? Aren’t I special? Yes you do so love me so keep the applause coming, my worshipers.” But these people in this despotic US regime are absolute trash! The scum of the Earth. A bunch of fake-Christians who don’t begin to practise the teachings of Jesus. And the lead fake-Christian’s church is a golf course every Sunday. Basura.

As some locals in San Francisco have told me, “We look forward to when someone finally puts the immature US in its place. Can’t come soon enough. Enough of this arrogant chest-beating nonsense.”

So what about my reader’s suggestion of replacing the word “foreign” with “international?”

Well, it’s not going to happen. I say that because we as a society are rushing in the opposite direction, particularly under the orange despot. We’re going backwards to 1930s-50s language. And it’s not a generational thing, because we’re hearing this return to 1930s-50s (or before) language from all generations, as if they’re being brainwashed once again with the antiquated, outdated, sexist, ageist and bigoted language. All the language that some of us fought against for decades and fought to change and did change at least for awhile, is returning. Despite the lie one constantly hears in the shithole US that it’s the “liberal media,” the media are owned by mostly conservatives, right-wing. These are corporate networks. That’s likely where people are hearing this backwards language. Then, if you say something about it to correct someone who uses the outdated language, you’re instantly attacked as being “politically correct,” which is now considered a pejorative term.

I saw an example of this cringing-language used on the Debate programme on France 24′s English language network: The caption read, “Man the Borders.” “Man the Borders?” Man? Why not “Secure the Borders,” and leave a gender out of it, France 24? Don’t you pretend to be a “progressive” network? They allow comments under their YT videos, but I thought: Why bother? Sometime ago I complained about them using the “illegal” word referring to undocumented migrants and several commenters agreed with me, but in the end my comment didn’t make any difference at all. They’re still using “illegal” on occasion, although they mostly use the word “migrants.” I saw it (“illegal”) the other day on their screen caption referring to migrants in the EU.

I favour open borders. I can hear the loud gasps now. “YOU’RE FOR OPEN BORDERS? BUT WHAT IF….?!” But “what if” what? Does one mean “What if” someone comes here that doesn’t look exactly like you or speak your dreadfully-hashed version of what one calls speaking “English?” Try learning some world languages, pendejos. Again, people should be able to live where they want in the world as a citizen of the world rather than based on childish arbitrary borders which have created nothing but problems (including wars) for generations. But I’m well aware that countries like borders for “their people.”

So my reader asked how can we get people to start using the word “international” instead of “foreign?” You can’t. Period. I know from experience with other language words that it’s nearly impossible to do that. Most people will adamantly and even angrily resist change because it means having to change their own language, which most people are not about to do. All you can do is to change your own and use the word “international,” instead of “foreign” and forget about what others do. I remember once complaining to a fake-progressive about their use of the word “mankind.” They didn’t get it. They responded to me by saying: So we’re supposed to go through the entire language and change things such as Aaron Copeland’s Fanfare for the Common Man? No, I wasn’t suggesting changing the title of musical compositions or the language from the bible used for the text in oratorios (such as in Messiah or Israel in Egypt by Georg Friedrich Händel) and taking out the word “man.” I never said that. jesus, why are some people so damn dense? I was merely suggesting not using “mankind.” Just in one’s own speech. Is that so difficult to comprehend? I wasn’t talking about going through the entire classical music repertoire and changing titles of pieces. Sigh. Good lord, what is wrong with people?! I swear I have no patience for dense stupid people, and they’re so often fake-liberals and fake-progressives.

As I said, even the fake-progressives and fake-liberals will resist this. I know this from personal experience. Despite what they call themselves, they’re nearly all conformists as well. Meaning they intend to keep conforming to the words “foreign” and “foreigner.” Because they are the words “everybody else uses them.” Contrast today with during the height of the feminist and now-dead gay rights movements where genuine progressives and genuine liberals were very concerned about language usage. During those days “mankind” became “humankind” as one example, which in part, led to the term “politically correct” which at that time was considered a positive thing as a way of not disrespecting any non-majority group by the language and words one uses, and trying to rid our society of sexist language. But that was then. Today, from what I’ve seen online and heard in public, most people don’t seem to give a fuck. I see fake-progressives today describing themselves as “old school” writing shit like this: “This is the best thing known to man.” Known to man? What about to women? Don’t they count? Conservatives would say that women are included in the word “man.” I don’t think women care to be included in the word “man.” When challenged on this, they get angry rather than having the maturity to say, “You are correct. I should have said: This is the best thing known to peoplekind.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau uses the word “peoplekind.” My experience is that the “old school” fake-progressive crowd is no different than talking with the right-wing. It feels the same to me.

It’s such a different time today. These days, because the genuine progressives and genuine liberals of past decades have become conformist pro-Establishment disciples of the right-wing “Democratic” Party Cult, they have abandoned their former concerns about language. One example that comes to mind: they refer to and give respect to the current illegitimate White House resident by using the word “President Tr*mp” with a capital P, which denotes respect. But back in 2000, they refused to do the same when illegitimate George W Bush was squatting in the White House for two terms. They referred to him as “Resident Bush” or “pResident Bush.” Remember that? Unfortunately these days, most fake-progressives and fake-liberals are nothing but conformist cultists of the right-wing “Democratic” Party Cult and their celebrity politicians. There’s little “progressive” or “liberal” about any of them other than they might do a little bit of recycling on the odd occasion. And don’t most of them eat meat while pretending to be concerned about our environment? Their hypocrisy is noted. Meat production is one of the leading causes of methane on the planet. They would likely say that “you have to eat meat.” Rubbish. Does one enjoy having been brainwashed by the Meat Industrial ComplexTM? I haven’t eaten meat since the early 1990s and recently had blood work done and the results came back and they were excellent. My physician asked me, “What do you attribute to your excellent health?” I said: Well, being a vegetarian may have something to do with it and I exercise regularly, so I see the two combined. The same is the case for mi amigo/my friend who is also a vegetarian. Of course it’s not just about being vegetarian or vegan, but exercise is also very important and part of my excellent blood work results. I ride my bike up San Francisco’s hills or walk most days of the week.

(The United Nations urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet. Lesser consumption of animal products is necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change, UN report says). But I’m fully aware that the sheeple don’t give a fuck about that.

Reality: Taking part in a thoroughly corrupt “election” system and voting for corporate “Democrats” no matter what they do for the Republican Party Cult is about the extent of one being a “progressive” or “liberal.” It’s a very different time politically as well as with language usage. Again, most people don’t seem to give a fuck, frankly. Even the people who once did. They have become corporatist conformist to get in lockstep with their corporatist conformist cult of a political party/cult. I’m speaking of the “Democratic” Party Cult, which most of the time works for the Republican Party Cult. Both political parties in the shithole US are like a cult or a religion for their blinders-on followers. Let’s tell it like it is.

And getting the corporate media to make these language changes as well as world governments will be impossible. Looking through realistic eyes, world governments are not going to change the name of their “Foreign Minister” to “International Minister” for example, even though they should, but that’s not going to happen. Period. On the rare occasion a news department somewhere chooses to use the word international, such as in this headline: “Indonesia seeks international help following tsunami….” It didn’t say, “Indonesia seeks foreign help …” I guess we have to appreciate these small steps when they come, although rarely. So why say “foreign” all other times when they’re really talking about international? Because “foreign” is brainwashed into most people.

While writing this, I read this online: “People will just move to foreign countries….” Why not say, “people will just move to other countries” or “people will move to another country?” What’s “foreign” about them? Because one is ignorant of those countries, their languages and cultures? Yes, the sheeple have been heavily brainwashed with the word “foreign” in relationship to the countries of the world, therefore they mindlessly repeat “foreign” and that’s not going to change.

But I appreciate the e-mail from this high school student (muchas gracias) and it’s good to know there’s one or two other thinking people in el mundo/the world who still care about such things. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

Low or High Income Countries or “Developed nations” has gone back to being “First World” which brings to mind the pejorative “Third World” language