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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

tis a poor thing...

...but my own
One of the things that prisons for kids (also called "public schools") has done that is beyond monstrous is that it has endeavored to drive a stake through the very heart of that which educrats view as a vampire that will suck their very lives: minds of imagination and memory and appreciation of Beauty. What is worse is that it has mostly achieved this goal.
OK, here's an example... a poor thing, but my own. I had said in the previous post that I was about to fire up some good music and read a good book as an anodyne to the pain of contemplating contemporary "culture"... but... phone call, hour late, WonderWoman in bed. Listening to music on headphones is just... not right, somehow. So.
Even with tiredness enveloping me, turning up the volume on my tinitus, I can "listen" to Copland's "Fanfare..." by remembering it. By reading it. Whichever and/or both. And still read such as,
"The thing I do not propose to prove, the thing I propose to take as common ground between myself and any average reader, is this desirability of an active and imaginative life, picturesque and full of a poetical curiosity, a life such as western man at any rate always seems to have desired. If a man says that extinction is better than existence or blank existence better than variety and adventure, then he is not one of the ordinary people to whom I am talking. If a man prefers nothing I can give him nothing... "
...from Chesterton's Orthodoxy (a citation from the introduction I ought to have woven into the text of my previous post).
I've learned not to speak of such things in "normal" company, though. Most people look at me like a calf at a new gate if I mention "listening to music" in my head or quote a piece of Kipling, Shakespeare or Stephenson. But I can recall my grandfather quoting chapters of Tennyson's Idylls of the King or Scott's Ivanhoe or Lady of the Lake or any one of many poets he had read in his youth... and memorized extensively, so I do not feel any great accomplishment in the few snatches of the "good stuff" I recall.
But... these poor things that have become my own in memory, these things I can hear and taste and see no matter where I am or in what circumstances I find myself, these are denied (by whatever mechanism—natural or, more often, inculcated stupidity, for the most part) to too many in our land today.
*sigh*
Back to Chesterton and... I think one of the Bs this time. (I never get enough of Ludwig's an freude, let alone everything that builds up to it... I know, I know, musical snobs say it's performed too much, but what do they know?)
Good night, Gracie.
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