December 12, 2017

The Internet Monk Saturday Brunch (1/14/17)

THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH

”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

Yes folks, it’s Inauguration Week (aka “The Impending CRISIS”). Next Saturday when you arrive here to join us at our weekly soirée, Mr. Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America.

If ever I wished I still believed in the Rapture, it is now.

Ah well, eat drink and be merry and all that. Tomorrow, who knows?

Come to the table! The grand buffet of weekly stories, comments, and observations is served…

WHO WILL LEAD US IN PRAYER AT THE INAUGURATION?

  • Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, who leads Great Faith Ministries in Detroit. He once said of the President-elect: “Donald Trump is an example of someone who has been blessed by God. Look at his homes, businesses, his wife and his jet. You don’t get those things unless you have the favor of God.”
  • Paula White,  leader of New Destiny Christian Center near Orlando, Florida. As an example of the divine wisdom she has been given, she recently said, “”Far more than what divides us, this election has revealed what unites us. I have never seen such solidarity between evangelicals and Catholics, Pentecostals, charismatics and Baptists. We were brought together with a mutual love for our country and through a mutual faith in God. The election started the conversation, but what will come from these new and renewed relationships will have far more impact than anything that could be realized through the election of any politician. We aren’t ending this season so much as entering a new one, ready to love the world together to a degree greater than we ever could alone.”
  • Franklin Graham, evangelist and president of Samaritan’s Purse, who is placing his hope in Trump to protect Christians from the threats of this non-Christian world: “So when we see Christianity being attacked worldwide, not just by militant Muslims but by secularism, it’s refreshing to have a leader who is willing to defend the Christian faith.”
  • Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founding president of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and Ivanka Trump’s rabbi. As the head of an organization that exists “to confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our world today,” Rabbi Hier has drawn a lot of criticism from fellow Jews for appearing for Trump, whose candidacy, they believe encouraged discrimination and gave courage to white supremacy groups.
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and senior pastor at New Season Christian Worship Center, an Assemblies of God congregation in Sacramento, Calif. Rodriguez was not a Trump supporter, and has had misgivings about Trump’s positions on immigration. But after prayerful deliberation and discussion, he felt praying for the country on the inaugural platform was an opportunity he shouldn’t pass up. Rodriguez recently told NPR that he has heard a “change of tone” from Trump in the past few weeks, and now has high hopes for better relations between Hispanics and the Trump administration.
  • Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Dolan has had a long relationship with Trump in NYC, and has expressed mixed feelings about the President-elect, hoping that he will take action on pro-life issues, but speaking out clearly against Trump’s views on immigration.

Read “With His Choice Of Inauguration Prayer Leaders, Trump Shows His Values” at NPR

THE GREAT PORT-A-POTTY COVER UP

It seems that the company that is the Washington area’s top provider of portable toilet rentals and long-time provider for important D.C. events ran into the possibility of a little stink this year.

The company’s name is Don’s Johns.

This was evidently unacceptable to Inaugural organizers, so the name has been taped over. Wouldn’t want to offend a certain prominent individual at the Inauguration, apparently. Only those toilets that might come into camera range for TV were covered up. Robert Weghorst, the company’s CEO, said he didn’t know of the matter until the AP reported on it.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the Presidential Inaugural Committee had no immediate comment.

QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

In what countries is it hardest to be Christian, and for what reasons?

Can Mennonites be funny? (Answer: yes, very)

You heard it here first — What will John Hagee’s next prophetic book be about?

How does President Obama talk about his faith?

Should Christians praise Scorcese’s new film, “Silence”?

Will the Cubs use a 6-man pitching rotation in 2017?

Mr. Ryan, do you think I should be deported?

Why do our recorded voices sound weird to us?

Will the Chargers find a welcome in L.A.?

Will a Tennessee Southern Baptist hunter get the world’s record for a whitetail deer?

CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT EXCORIATED

It is certainly not the whole problem, but according to a new Justice Dept. report, Chicago’s police department is certainly part of the problem that has made the city notorious for its gun violence and murder rate.

From the Chicago Tribune:

In perhaps the most damning, sweeping critique ever of the Chicago Police Department, the U.S. Department of Justice concluded Friday that the city’s police officers are poorly trained in the use of force, resort to lethal force far too often and target minorities too frequently.

The 164-page report, the product of more than a year of investigation, paints the picture of a department flawed from top to bottom, although many of the problems it cites have, for decades, been the subject of complaints from citizens, lawsuits by attorneys and investigations by news organizations.

…At a news conference, Lynch said the department’s pattern of excessive force “is in no small part the result of severely deficient training procedures and accountability systems.”

“CPD does not give its officers the training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and lawfully,” Lynch said. “It fails to properly collect and analyze data, including data on misconduct complaints and training deficiencies, and it does not adequately review use-of-force incidents to determine whether force was appropriate or lawful or whether the use of force could’ve been avoided altogether.”

All of these issues, she said, have led to “low officer morale and erosion of officer accountability.”

Read Justice Report Rips Chicago Police for Excessive Force, Lax Discipline, Bad Training” at the Chicago Tribune

FIVE-YEAR PROTEST AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY

Shane Claiborne, Doug Pagitt, and other Christian leaders are inviting people to participate in a protest against the death penalty held once each five years at the Supreme Court.

The protest is put on by The Abolitionist Action Committee, and will be held this upcoming Monday and Tuesday.

Every 5 years we risk arrest in nonviolent civil disobedience on the Supreme Court steps in Washington, DC. As planned, we will once again gather at the U.S. Supreme Court to protest for an end to executions, in what is expected to be the largest act of civil disobedience against the death penalty in recent U.S. history. There will also be a legal, family-friendly vigil component, so all people are welcome – even if not willing to risk arrest.

Pagitt outlines the events taking place:

On January 16-17, dozens of groups — including families of the murdered and families of the executed, along with wrongfully-convicted death row survivors — will converge at the Supreme Court to call for an end to executions. January 17 marks 40 years since the first modern-era execution, after a decade-long moratorium. In the years since January 17,1977, there have been 1441 executions.

Monday, January 16, there will be a two-hour program (6-8pm) featuring “Voices of Experience” who have been directly affected by the death penalty (families of the murdered, families of the executed, exonerees who were wrong-fully convicted and sentenced to die).

…Tuesday morning, January 17, there will be a powerful vigil and public protest at the Supreme Court, beginning at 9am. We will unveil 40 posters with the names of the 1442 people executed over the past 40 years. Faith leaders and other activists will carry roses for the victims of both murder and execution and declare together: “Violence is the disease, not the cure.” This action will be nonviolent and family friendly, ending with a peaceful, prayerful action on the steps where we anticipate over 30 faith leaders and activists being arrested – the largest direct action against the death penalty in the past 40 years since executions resumed.

Read more at The Abolition Action Committee

SONG OF THE WEEK

Tomorrow is the birthday of Gene Krupa, famous jazz drummer, born January 15, 1909 in Chicago, IL. Read his biography here.

Rolling Stone voted him the #7 best drummer of all time. In their blurb, they quote Neil Young, who called Krupa “the first rock drummer, in very many ways. He was the first drummer to command the spotlight and the first drummer to be celebrated for his solos… He did fundamentally easy things, but always made them look spectacular.”

Krupa started working in a music store at age 11 and chose the drums because they were the cheapest item in the store’s catalog of instruments. His parents groomed him for the priesthood, but his love for drumming kept him from taking vows.

Gene Krupa is often credited with inventing the modern drum solo. He is also considered the father of the modern drum set because of his work with Slingerland drums and Zildjian cymbals, where he helped develop tunable tom-toms and the modern hi-hat cymbal. He came to prominence playing with Benny Goodman, and as one of the BG Trio, Krupa was part of the first jazz act to play in Carnegie Hall.

Here is Krupa playing with other jazz greats Benny Goodman (clarinet) and Harry James (trumpet) with Goodman’s band. They are playing “Sing, Sing, Sing,” which features Krupa’s manic drumming prominently.

Gene Krupa died in 1973.

Comments

  1. Hmm. Not sure I would have chosen Julie Roys’ piece on “Silence” for inclusion here, as I do not think she’s familiar with Endo’s book, nor does she seem to understand what he was trying to convey. It is based on actual historical events, for one thing.

    Another thought: a Catholic church in Hiroshima was at the epicenter of the atomic bomb blast. Remarkably, parts of the structure survived. Southern Japan was the only part of the country that the Jesuits reached; most converts went into hiding after a certain point. The thing is, the Japanese rightly reared becoming part of a European empire, which is the main reason that the authorities opposed the Jesuits and other orders. It was political for them, not primarily religious.

    Also, Roys’ admitted love for films thst show martyrdom of one sort or another is… creepy. Very, imo.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      > It was political for them, not primarily religious.

      Yes; and when you take a step back and look at history: “missionaries” are often the tip of the spear of colonization. It would be appreciated if martyr movies, generally, would give a little more time to the other side of the story and an epilogue of what happened next [not awesome in many cases].

      I am ambivalent about seeing “Silence”. Maybe if Jethani’s podcast “The Movie Proposal” likes it I will think about it. But another exploration of brutal human behavior…. eh; it sounds exhausting. What will I learn?

      > martyrdom of one sort

      There certainly are sorts. Opposing evil is one kind of martyrdom, standing up to aggression…. a lot of martyrs did not do that.

      • +1

      • Adam,
        The novel Silence is a story about faith, not failure of faith or human brutality. The brutality in the book is the setting in which the exploration of faith, its nature and character, arises.

      • Dana Ames says:

        Finn, I would encourage you to get the book from your library and read it. (The book is always better than the movie, even a movie with this stellar a cast.) It’s not an easy read, but as Robert wrote, it’s about faith. When I got to the end, I was left breathless contemplating the humility of Christ. Also, lots remained unresolved for me. I think that makes it a work of art.

        Dana

    • Also, Roys’ admitted love for films that show martyrdom of one sort or another is… creepy. Very, imo.

      That creepiness has always existed in the Christian fetishism for the age of the martyrs. As depicted in the idealized and romanticized hagiography, many of those martyrs relished and sought martyrdom. Did they hate life, as the Romans accused? Judging by some of the legends, either they or those who wrote their legends did.

      • Hate is as powerful a driver for change as love… and unfortunately, a hell of a lot easier to generate than love.

      • Robert – ikwym. The “accounts” of the dests of sts. Perpetua and Felicity come to mind. Very tragic, since they apparently sought death and refused repeated offers of clemency. There’s so much I don’t get about that period in church history – I mean, Christ died, but nowhere did he command his followers to seek martyrdom. (The whole early “cult of saints” thing makes me want to run away, along with what became an incredible over emphasis on vows of celibacy + monasticism and the crazier early asetics. I do not have much faith in the development of The Faith, both early and later on, though there have slways been saner minds and ideas mixed in with the weird ones. Am rereading Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, which has me musing on a number of these topics.)

        Fwiw, i mean “cult” in the religious dtufies sense, not in the way we normally use the word.

    • I read the book after finally succumbing to a friend’s suggestions. He had read the book multiple times and continued to rave about it, not because it was uplifting, but because it questioned faith that can’t deal with God’s silence in the face of persecution.

      My take on it was that the main characters were idealists who held an exalted view of the possibility of martyrdom in the face of persecution, but were armed with a faith that was largely culturally based. Their failure was a foregone conclusion even before they entered the country.

      Perhaps when the novel was written questioning the cultural biases of missionaries in the past was a new subject, but from the very beginning of the novel it was apparent that the brand of Christianity that was being foisted upon the Japanese was one that held very little in the way of real hope and salvation and more of cultural importation.

      I personally know missionaries who spent a lot of time acculturalizing themselves before they attempted to portray a Christ idea to the indigenous peoples they chose to reach in Peru. A good example is the book “Peace Child”, by Don Richardson, about reaching cannibalistic peoples in New Guinea. And on that idea I can also suggest that we here in the USA need to become familiar with the way people think within our own borders before trying to foist upon them some idealized philosophy that seems a “no brainer” to us. The idea of a Savior of mankind is too great a subject to portray simplistically as a solution for all of mankind’s troubles.

      But, unfortunately, I considered my time reading the novel as time wasted. It’s ideas were archaic and it’s questions were unanswerable. My friend, though, loved it and recently saw the movie. Predictably he praised it, but I will still wait for the DVD version. I refuse to pay $11 to $15 for the “pleasure” of being assaulted with a depressing theme. I can read the New York Times if I feel that urge.

    • Edit: the church that was bombed is Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki. Apologies for the error.

  2. Feared, not reared.

  3. Adam Tauno Williams says:

    From the article about seeing the movie Silence: “””The movie actually reminded me of a quiz my son was given by a public school teacher, which presented numerous no-win moral dilemmas and then required him to choose. The only purpose I could imagine for the quiz was to undermine a Judeo-Christian ethic”””

    So confronting impossible choices undermines the Judeo-Christian ethic? Perhaps this is why I increasingly dislike “religious” movies/books; because they read the world this way. Such a quiz does not undermine ethics – it exemplifies ethics in the real world –> sometimes it REALLY SUCKS. There is no guarantee that there is a squeaky clean way out of every situation. People faced with impossible choices need mercy not critique.

    • Yes; agree.

    • Agree.

    • Oh, my YES! I am more & more convinced that as the world’s complexities grow, most Christians seek unrealistically simplistic answers to most problems. At least many Christians I know. They seem to think that when God says you must receive the kingdom of God like a child, this means you don’t need to think any more about all things spiritual than you did when you were 5. Whatever you thought and learned in Sunday school is where you stay.
      And then you walk around with a chip on your shoulder believing the culture (which you are more a part of than your 5 year old mentality can fathom) is out to undermine your very simplistic beliefs, which really are undermined because your simplistic way of seeing life won’t stand up to reality.

      • I think that’s a failing of humans in general. Complex systems aren’t the easiest things to grasp..

        • I think so, too, Eeyore. i also think this is why we seem to be seeing a rise in angry fundamentalism across religions. With all the complexity and interconnectivity of modern life, those simplistic ideas are harder to hold on to. So, there is a lot of pushing back in angry ways.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            I remember something from a book on Cold War Strategy, an essay about decision-making as it’s REALLY done. When overwhelmed by information overload, the decision-maker starts taking an axe to the firehose of (often-contradictory) information into his cerebral teacup, chopping out everything until the remainder is small enough to grasp. Whether what’s left is important, trivial, accurate or not.

            This seems related to “displacement behavior”, where when overwhelmed by an out-of-control situation the reaction is to ignore the actual problem, tunnel-vision on some aspect or trivia you CAN control, and micromanage that aspect to death while ignoring the rest.

  4. In what countries is it hardest to be Christian, and for what reasons?

    Without reading the article I would guess the US and Saudi Arabia.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      > In what countries is it hardest to be Christian

      How one answers that may hinge on the meaning of “be”.

      The list reads like the-usual-suspects; not places on anyone’s bucket list: North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea. The majority of those are at least near qualifiers for the description “failed states”. In such places I doubt it is healthy to be anything other than unnoticed.

      • Agree. I think this gets at the bigger picture, which is that these kinds of lists don’t do anything to account for covariance or make any attempt at scientific modeling. Also, there is almost always an ethnic and/or socio-economic correlation as well. And of course, there is the whole “visible vs invisible” church thing as well. I doubt “be Christian” is limited to faith and good works; my guess is “be Christian” means engaging in shared (public) ritual. Which to be fair was the only definition of Christianity prior to the enlightenment.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says:

          > socio-economic correlation

          But this is America; we cannot talk about Class, we can hardly bear to think about it. And we prefer to ignore that Ethnic issue too, although not so intensely as we like to wave away Class.

          > My guess is “be Christian” means engaging in shared (public) ritual

          For any kind of external measurable there also isn’t much other choice, practically.

    • For totally opposite reasons.

  5. HEY!! I wouldn’t mind being arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court building…

  6. Sing, Sing, Sing surely swung, swung, swung!

  7. That atypical rack may be worth $100,000 ? That will produce a sizeable tithe from the SBapt hunter ;o)

  8. Ok, “Tim Keller Goes for a Walk” was hysterical. Thanks for posting, CM.

  9. In the video of Ryan talking about DACA…the next question had to do with his philosophy about health care coverage relative to the Tweetster’s statements about universal coverage. This will be interesting, to say the least. I suspect that whatever the Repubs do it’ll be even worse than the AHCA, which if repealed will put millions of folks out of insurance coverage.

    THIS WILL BE INTERESTING.

    • Yep, 50% of people DON’T want more government bureaucracy, the other half DON’T want more corporate bureaucracy, and people overall will continue to get older, poorer, and need more care.

      Yeah, this will end well.

    • Interesting will not be good.

    • Interesting and terrifying. It would be interesting if I was 25, but now, as retirement looms several years on the horizon, I’m more terrified. I’ve had a job almost continuously since the mid-70s and am now fearful I will have nothing when I can’t work any more. I would like to retire someday but I am more & more convinced that this is a pipe dream because my husband & I have always worked in the “helping” professions which don’t pay well so we have no amassed large reserves. At least, I figured we’d be able to see a doctor now & then with Medicare, but that seems to be on the chopping block, too.
      Interesting times, indeed.

  10. I’d like to see “Silence”. I first read the novel many years ago, and my appreciation for it has grown with rereading. The so-called failure of faith on the part of the Portuguese Jesuit priest who is the main character is actually the occasion of a rebirth of his faith in a new form. Father Rodrigues is delivered from triumphalist expectations about martyrdom by events in the story, and brought to a place where being an ideal heroic martyr is set aside in preference for simple human love of the lives and well-being of the Japanese converts, who are being tortured and killed to coerce his public repudiation of the faith. Publicly repudiate he finally does, but at the bidding of Christ himself, who breaks the novels longe silence to let Rodrigues know that he loves the lives more than deaths of his servants and children. Many Christians won’t like this story because it rejects and deconstructs traditional pieties about martyrdom, and they will miss the depth of faith expressed by it because they will be blinded by that rejection.

    • Ironically, what Father Rodrigues encounters in this new revelation to him of God’s character is God as we would expect him to be according to the theology of the cross rather than the theology of glory. Rodrigues goes on to live the rest of his life under house arrest in Japan, a shamed stranger in an alien land. In this long suffering, he comes to know the presence of the silent Christ more and more, and stays with him in shame, defeat and humiliation.

      • Clay Crouch says:

        Evangelicals will hate this film.

      • I was mildly interested in seeing this, but you make me really want to see it!

        • Read the book before you see the film. I have been told that the film accentuates certain issues that the book doesn’t. I read the book and hated it. see my post above for an explanation.

          • Oscar, that is true of virtually every screenplay that’s based on a novel or play. Even in theater, directors use their own interpretations of works in staging and performance. It goes with the territory.

            Endo was a devout Catholic, despite some of the bad press on this and other novels by him.

            • Endo was a committed Catholic from the time of his baptism at around 11 years of age until the end of his life, yes, but his relationship to his faith was ambivalent. He felt like an alien in Japanese culture from the time he became a Catholic; then he went to France where he spent time studying and teaching at university, but he also felt like an alien there. In his late novel, Deep River, one of his characters speaks of the cruelty of converting a person to a foreign religion, and then leaving them abandoned in their original unconverted culture, where they no longer can belong. His novels also dealt with how inhospitable Japan is to Christianity; he sometimes called Japan a “swamp” in which Christianity could never thrive unless it changed some of its characteristic qualities and emphases.

              For example, he wrote that in Japanese culture, love and compassion is never sought in fathers, who are viewed as remote and severe; given this, he said, the importance of the Father in Christian theology made it difficult for Japanese to accept Christian teaching. He thought that, to appeal to the Japanese, Christianity must stress the soft and mothering humanity of Jesus rather than the Father, whom could only be viewed as distant and severe by those reared in Japanese culture.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

                Which is why Catholicism (with its use of St Mary as type example of “the soft and mothering humanity of Jesus”) had an advantage over, say, Calvinism.

          • Clay Crouch says:

            Like I said, evangelicals will hate it.

      • Y’know, this is the 2nd film version of the novel; the 1st was made in Japan, a couple of decades ago. It’s very good.

        Also, the “silence,” in that version at least, refers directly to the answers to Rodrigues’ queries about what happened to the other priests. Nobody replies.

        I am perplexed as to why there’s such polarization over both the novel and Scorsese’s new treatment of it. Endo is someone who never shied away from asking hard questions, especially in the face of the Axis powers, WWII and its aftermath in Japan.

        But I know that a slightly younger verdion of myself would probably be outraged. Except: because of family ties to post-WWII Japan, I have known about the missions, martyrdoms and “secret Christians” since childhood. Though shocked then by the accounts of the demands to trample on the representations of Christ and Mary, I aldo thought that the people whomdid so might have been better off. Forced conversiin to Chtistianity during the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions = similar results among Jews who had little choice but to confirm. I believe history is on their side, not that of their allegedly xtian tormentors.

      • What is a silent Christ? Or who? Because I don’t know if that’s a Christ we see in Scriptures, or if it’s a Christ we made up later on that we then apply Christ stuff to.

        • In the novel, the silent Christ is the one that does not answer Rodriques’ prayers for divine intervention to stop the torture and killing of the Japanese Christians. The only time he speaks to the priest (perhaps only in his own thoughts) is when Rodriques has made up his mind to publicly renounce the Christian faith, thereby giving up both his own ideal of martyrdom and gaining the release of the Japanese Christians. At this time, Christ seems to say, “Yes, stomp on my image! Stomp! It is for this that I came into the world!”

    • Interesting that the typical pietistic reaction to forced apostasy, especially by leaders – shunning and excommunication – was eventually ruled to be a heresy itself.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donatism

    • I suppose I should’ve posted a SPOILER ALERT warning at the top of these comments.

  11. quiet
    Saturday morning
    no paper on the doorstep

  12. >> Gene Krupa is often credited with inventing the modern drum solo.

    Oh dear. Thoughts of a special room in hell come to mind. Well, if we are forced to undergo this barrage of blatant unrestrained ego from time to time, we can always turn to Connie Kay. I had the good fortune to catch the Modern Jazz Quartet in person several month before he died. Connie demonstrated that “intellectual”, “sophisticated”, “spiritual”, “restrained”, and “gentleman” can all be used in the same sentence with “drummer”. I was just now astounded to learn in a Wikipedia article that he sat in with Van Morrison on occasion. Raised both of them up a notch in my already high estimation.

    • Charles, the MJQ wasn’t a big band, and they definitely had an aesthetic that was closer to a classical chsmber ensemble than that of most jazz combos, large of small. I love Connie Kay’s work with them, but my huess is, that much like vibes player Milt Jackson and bassist Percy Heath, he cut loose a lot more in other settings. The key to being a good accompanist is to be adaptable and to support thd other playerd. Kay and all the other members of the group fulfilled their roles admirably, but at times, I think they were *too* restrained. Still, a terrific group, and I’m glad you got to hear them live.

      • Guess. Batting zero today re. typos; my tablet can be pretty contrary!

        • They’re not typos so much as the result of having big fingers, I think, based on the errors I see relative to the arrangement of a standard keyboard. I myself am subject to this same malady.

    • A “special room in hell” would be Charlie Parker being forced to listen to minimalist “praise and worship”/Hillsong…

  13. Re: Krupa: He did fundamentally easy things, but always made them look spectacular.

    Is that a creditable musical achievement? I’m not sure that flashy showboating has anything to with musicality, however much it has to do with entertainment. But I suppose that much of rock and Las Vegas and contemporary worship depend more on entertainment than on musicality.

    • Sometimes “musicality” isn’t much more than brain candy.

      • And “entertainment” is mostly eye candy.

        • Don’t get me wrong, Tom. I love watching and hearing Neil Young play his “fundamentally easy” rock guitar solos like a possessed shaman, especially circa 1975. For lack of a better word, there seems to be a difference between authentic showmanship and phony-baloney showboating, though I can’t define it and others would disagree with just about every place I draw the line.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGuOL6UQye0

          • Gotcha Robert. We know it when we see it.

            Big Bands, like Goodman’s in the late 30’s, or even much later into the 70’s and beyond–such as Don Ellis or Buddy Rich–are just as much showmanship as the music. Matter of fact, I’d say the music is tailored to enhance showmanship.

      • “Sometimes “musicality” isn’t much more than brain candy”

        Jazz! Especially progressive jazz!

        • Oscar – ? Also, not sure what counts as “progressive jazz” in your book…csn you hrlp me out here?

          Signed,
          Perplexed jazz lover

          • Dana Ames says:

            Oscar can answer for himself, but I have to say that if a what a musician is playing lacks some kind of harmony, rhythm and (for me) a mentally trackable melody, it’s simply noise. I like early jazz and Big Band Era stuff. I like some of the later artists, too, esp Brubeck and Chick Corea – those who throw me something to hang on to, musically speaking. Otherwise, though I recognize artistry, I can’t approach the performance as a listener, and I switch off after a minute or two.

            Dana

            • Dana, I grew up hearing bebop, hard bop and various post-bop styles, so I’m probably not the best qualified to get where some folks are coming from regarding a “trackable melody.” I mesn, unless you’re listening to free jazz (which still has a structure or msybe better to say structures), it’s there, though it might seem a but sbstract and/or it csn be easy to get lost in improvisations on chord changes and the like, if you either don’t know the piece (assuming it’s a standard), are unused to the conventions of how players typically approach s,piece, ir bith.

              All the bebop and post-bop players relied on popular songs for the basic repertoire, apart from their oen originals. You could, for example, pull up Spotify and listen to a vocal version (perhaps from one of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Songbook” albums), and then do a search on the title of the piece for instrumental versions, and give a listen.

              Ikwym about Corea, if only because he is part of a bigger “Latin jazz” continuum, where musicians are still plsying for dancers. Myself, I like trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez a lot, because he works with bebop material, but also is vety deeply rooted in Afro-Cuban music. I also like Poncho Sanchez’s band, to give you sn example of someone who does play for dancers and who has a terrific groove. (Jerry is more “smoky nightclub eith everyone sitting and listening”-oriented.) You might also realky enjoy the late Bebo Valdes, a Cuban pianist whose small group albums have are some of my very favorites. You won’t lose the thread of either the melody or the rhythm there.

              But I think there are dome similarities to clasdical music, in that jazz is very diverse, and in that it can take time and patience to learn to hear and appreciate a lot 8f it, and how it works. To take an example from clasdical music, there are Bach’s keyboard works, and then there are Chopin’s, Debussy’s, etc. All composers for, and players of, keyboard instruments, but their works are very different (albeit C. and D. ate indebted to earlier composers, and not just Bach…) I think there’s plenty of jazz that you might enjoy that’s much more recent than the 30s-40s. But I know it can be intimidating to just try snd jump in.

              Ted’s wife hosts a jazz show every other week on a locsl public radio station. I have a feeling you might enjoy some of her choices. Am sure he can hook you up with the info.

              • Apologies for the typos!

                Tunes like “Love fir Sale,” by Cole Porter, or “Someone to Watch Over Me,” by the Gershwins, are a couple of good titles that have been widely recorded by both singers and instrumentalists. And some of the default jazz play lists on Spotify are very good.

                Anywsy, my .2 on the subject, fwiw.

              • Thanks, Numo. If you have never done so, maybe give KUVO Denver a try. They stream online and I listen with Wifi radio. I find my own tastes best met usually in the 6:00-10:00 pm Eastern time slot but they are quite diverse, and being in Colorado take care of their Latino audience as well. Just between you and me, I pretty much divide people up twixt those who understand jazz and everyone else.

              • Numo, I’m just seeing this. Thanks for the plug for Jeri. The station is out of Blue Hill, Maine, WERU-FM 89.9. Streaming live over this big ol’ world at https://weru.org/

                She’s on every other Monday night 6 to 8 (not tonight) but there are other jazz hosts, and jazz I think at least 4 nights per week. Me, I’m more of a folk, blues and reggae sort, and there’s a bunch of that programmed too.

              • 1968, Don Ellis. This is where jazz started my education.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8Qy7YhFeeQ&feature=player_detailpage

            • Dana, and that is some of what made for the GratefulDead’s 50 year career. Melody, RHYTHM, harmony and harmonics, and it was DANCE-ABLE–even the improvs.

    • I don’t know. I heard a guy who had been an aspiring drummer say that he used to try and imitate Krupa’s drumming and found it next to impossible to achieve a comparable result. Doing simple things consistently well (regardless of the level of showmanship) is a mark of good craftsmanship.

    • I don’t think that’s an accurate assessment of Krupa’s playing, really.

      • Meaning the negative comment by someone who isn’t a set player. Krupa’s sense of time and timing are pretty impressive.

        I dunno about him virtually inventing the modern drum kit, though… other jazz drummers of his day were experimenting with sll kinds of mods and improvements. Most of them were black; not sure that any of the manufacturers signed on black endorsers at that time.

        Just saying…

        • I’ll have to admit I’m not familiar enough with Gene Krupa’s work to say whether he deserves to be listed as the 7th greatest drummer of all time, but any list which places Buddy Rich as low as 15th must be considered suspect. When I was in my high school’s band back in the mid-1970’s, the drum set players who liked jazz wanted to be like Rich while the drum set players oriented toward rock wanted to be like John Bonham or Keith Moon.

  14. As a San Diego football fan since 1976 I can say “GOOD RIDDANCE” to the ownership of the team! Unfortunately, I have to express my sorrow at losing a local point of pride and shame in the sports world as “Our Team” is now “Los Angeles'” team. But not really! Although the Chargers are a better team than the resident Rams, and will probably qualify for the playoffs, barring outrageous injuries, there is no natural following in L.A., nor is there much interest in the team.

    Next season we here in San Diego will be bereft of our ritualistic discussions on the hopes and predictions for “Super Bowl” glory for our home team and will be reduced to projecting our football interests onto some out of town team in some cold weather state and subscribing to the outrageously expensive NFL Network in order to follow them. The one positive is that I will no longer be thinking about the game while sitting in church on Sundays.

    As a former Clevelander this scenario feels oh so familiar, but at least we have better weather…

    • Randy Thompson says:

      I don’t think the NFL has really processed the fact that Los Angeles could live quite happily without an NFL team for decades. St. Louis and (now) San Diego will do the same. NFL Football is nothing more than a club of billionaires seeking to get richer at the expense of fans, who, if they had any sense, would start exploring Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Sunday afternoons (and Monday nights) instead of watching football teams that have no sense of place and no loyalty. My hope for the NFL is that it will hemorrhage money until it comes to its senses.

      Canadian football, anyone? Go Red Blacks! (Best team name ever!)

      • Andrew Zook says:

        Better yet, how about real football… where a telecast only lasts 2-2.5hrs and it’s 90+min of actual action, instead of 13min of action and the rest of the 3-4hrs is commercials and shots of booth guys talking, coach/game player stalking the sidelines and cheerleaders…

        • Please! No soccer!

        • >> coach/game player stalking the sidelines and cheerleaders…

          Wait, wait, now they’re showing coaches and players stalking cheerleaders on live television? That’s outrageous! I’m surprised their fathers let those girls take those jobs.

      • Not trying to be combative Randy, but your comment is kind of silly. Of course the NFL is a bunch of billionaires seeking to get richer at the expense of the fans. So is pretty much every company that you purchase anything from. That is how economics work. The NFL creates value for its fans, and fans trade money for the product. You may not like the product, but so far the NFL has been pretty darn successful creating and selling a product that its millions of fans across the globe are willing to trade a pretty penny for. So setting up normal market dynamics as some kind of us-versus-a-clueless-them storyline is just silly. As well, you might find it easier in life if you don’t construct negative narratives around everything you don’t like in life.

    • Los Angeles Vikings has a nicer ring to it.

      • Oh, like a Minnesota sports franchise would ever move to Los Angeles without changing its name….

  15. Vinny from Tennessee says:

    Gee! It only took a couple sentences for you to bust on Trump. Thanks for showing restraint! Also, you don’t believe in the Rapture? Good-googley-moogley! Guess I missed that one. Liberal madness! Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

    • Is he not allowed to give his view on Trump without you using the pejorative–“Liberal.’

    • 2,000 of christian FAILURE on the rapture. You worship nothing. Bye now.

    • Andrew Zook says:

      “Liberal madness!” No; orthodox Christian understanding of morality, ethics and the Bible as opposed to your partisan demagoguery…

      • A lot of people are dead by the hand of orthodox christianity.

        • Vinny from Tennessee says:

          Boy, Andrew, wish I were as enlightened as you. Must be a lot of pressure being able to interpret the Bible as being Anti-Trump. Sweet!

          • Bless your heart you had to reply to each one of us that responded to your flaming comment. It says a lot about you and it is not good.