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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #11-45


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 11, Number 45

                 Saturday, 20 August 2005

Topics:

                Why Art Is Anti-American.
                       Axis Anyday
           You'll gather your senses, I'm sure.
                     Re: Pub Lick Can
                     Weirdness Afoot!
                     Re: Brian Wilson
Remastered DVD bittorrent for XTC Gaston Hall concert, 1980. Now available
                      More still...

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----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 00:30:20 -0400
From: Duncan Watt <dwatt@fastestmanintheworld.com>
Subject: Why Art Is Anti-American.
Message-ID: <9E8C4510-0ED7-11DA-83C2-000393D30A40@fastestmanintheworld.com>

On Tuesday, August 16, 2005, at 10:19  PM, HB Sherwood metastasized:

> Words, note. Words obscuring the Image.

...it's funny, I almost replied to Mr. Pastula's reprehensible remark,
but i was furious and too close to the argument, so I dropped it. Also
figured ol' HB for a good *gaeshi-waza*...

So instead, i was in a car driving to see Coldplay (against my better
judgement, as i'm not a fan, and I find them to be so copying U2 (also,
coincidentally *songwriters*, I can see those fighter planes ) except
without the emotional content, and I was right, they're the same live,
but the video-cum-light-show was so so amazing, the guy doing live
music-video-style 'remixing' was so jazz, a true artist, what a
presentation, what a delight), and so anyway I told my British
brother-in-law the Coldplay fan about our little list and the things I
didn't say and he so concisely said "if artists can't complain about
the world, then who can?"...

,,,which is what I should have said. 'Cos there ain't that many
loudspeakers out there, and the politicians and pundits keep hoggin'
em. Art rules OK!

Duncan

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 14:22:02 +0200
From: "don device" <device@noos.fr>
Subject: Axis Anyday
Message-ID: <000a01c5a326$4680fb70$a43e4251@computer>

Pedants  Unite!

Back again:

I'm quite aware of most of the Wikipedia entries on the subject of Axis
Mundi, having added to them myself on occasion, and holding a degree in
Comparative Mythology and Theology myself...

A word to the wise: watch that Wikipedia! It reminds me of the
'Hitchhhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' being written by whoever happened to
stop by and feeling like having a go! I was just speaking to a friend of
mine, a Professor at London College about our personal fave subject, the
Cathar Heresy of the 12th century in Languedoc (now Southern France) and how
rife with errors it is, so rife in fact that we agreed there's no use trying
to fix it...

That said, I quite appreciate your insights into the song, some of which had
not occured to me even though that song(s?)  is by far my favourite from WS
(itself a reference to Aztec or Inca mythology, I forget which). AV and WS
helped me greatly through my own divorce and rebirth, so I'm right with you
there...

I seem to remember reading in an interview with Andy that he'd been reading
some (attention, loaded term here, but I'm too lazy to think of a better
one) Goddess-revisionist-type mythological dictionary whilst writing for the
discs...

My guess that he'd picked 'Axis Mundi' up from a medaieval dictionary came
from my sentiment that he's quite attached to that period of history,
through Skylarking and all, but I may be projecting...

Pedantically yours for the taking or leaving,

The almost-always Rt Reverend d"

PS: FWIW My thesis paper was on the Celtic pre-christian origins of the
Greenman and it's semi-systematic inclusion in early to late middle-age
Catholic churches... Once again around the maypole!

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 15:43:44 -0700
From: "Pastula Aaron" <pastula12@hotmail.com>
Subject: You'll gather your senses, I'm sure.
Message-ID: <BAY109-F34D078BD38C9C4A7FD6D67A2B30@phx.gbl>

I guess I knew it would come to this...skip down if you're so inclined...

In between the bursts of froth and spittle, Dom said:

>that like most weapon-waving
>buffoons Mr. Pastula fails to see the connection
>between lots of people owning guns and lots of people
>being shot (accidentally or otherwise)?

First of all, "lots of people" do own guns, but let's look at the statistics
in the US:  You are twice as likely to die from alcohol poisoning as you are
from a gunshot.  The top twenty or so causes of death in the US are much,
much, much, much more likely to kill you than a gunshot is, sometimes tens
and hundreds of times more (check out the CDC if you don't believe me). In
fact, you have a better chance of dying in a bucket of water -- not a pond,
not a pool, not a puddle, mind you, A BUCKET OF WATER -- than you do from a
gunshot.  "Lots" of people?  Well, perhaps...but compared to "lots" of other
things, it's not that high, and in many cases, it's not even remotely close,
so your statement could easily be called inaccurate...and I personally would
go so far as to also call it disingenuous, but that's just me.

>You'd have to be thicker than pigshit and blind
>as a bat to miss that nugget of cause-and-effect
>action.

You mean, the wholly absurd glittering generality you just made up?  Yeah, I
guess I did indeed miss that benchmark of logic and reason.

>And I'm sure Mr. P (NRA division) hasn't really
>completely misunderstood his own constitutional right
>to be a violent, oppressive, pistol-packing
>slave-whore to the fascist, corporate right in
>America

Sorry -- is this the part where I'm *really* supposed to start taking you
seriously?

>Is shooting fun?

Yes, immensely.  I suggest you try it sometime.  I suspect it gives one the
same sense of satisfaction as they would get from any activity or sport that
requires discipline, practice and attention to detail.  Not to mention the
enjoyment one can get from the sound/power of a gun, from striving to
improve one's performance and accuracy, or the appreciation we
knuckle-draggers have for the precision engineering and mechanics of a piece
of equipment like a gun, which are pretty remarkable, actually.  Some people
like to take apart and/or work on or learn about engines and see how they
operate and gain an appreciation for how their myriad parts interact,
perform, etc., some people do the same with guitars and music, some people
guns; me, I like all three to one degree or another.  Go figure.

>but
>really, Aaron, what's your point about gun culture in
>the USA?

My point is that there is a distinct difference between GUN culture and
CRIMINAL culture.  The former is a group of at least, and probably more
than, 70 million members who legally own and operate their firearms under
safe conditions and in manners of respect that I doubt you could fathom, who
fire literally hundreds of millions of rounds safely and legally each year
for every single round used in a criminal act, and whose legally obtained
and registered weapons account each year for .01% of gun-related crimes (or
is it .001%?  I can never remember how many zeros are in that stat), and who
own guns for hunting, personal defense, sport, or merely as a hobby.

The latter is a group of untold numbers who will abuse the functions and
legality of a gun without any care or consequence, just as they would abuse
the functions of a knife, baseball bat, boxcutter, credit card, cell phone,
automobile, or any other device to achieve their criminal ends.  If you want
to get all worked up because each of those implements has the ability to be
used con-structively as well as de-structively, be my guest, but I suggest
you worry more about what makes people choose criminal over lawful behavior
instead of trying to advocate the retroactive babysitting of the majority of
people just because a statistically insignificant few -- and their
apologists -- want to ruin it for the rest of us.

A common mistake of folks like yourself is that you combine gun culture and
criminal culture, and they are two vastly different things.  And, in all
honesty, this is the mistake that I believe a song like "Melt the Guns"
ultimately makes...and I even share some of Andy's lamentations in that
tune; it's just his remedy that just doesn't make any sense to me.

>"No guns for us, thanks! Those
>things are frickin' dangerous!"

Yes, they certainly can be.  In fact, they were used in 11,829 homicides
(what we often call "manslaughter") in 2002, which is probably why some
people would love to see them banned for good.  On the other hand, 17,419
people died that same year due to alcohol-related automobile accidents (what
we often call "vehicular manslaughter"), yet I don't hear much call for the
banning of cars or alcohol; on the contrary, we largely advocate that people
should instead learn to use both of those things responsibly.  Ironic, isn't
it?  Especially when total gun deaths each year (including suicides, which
if I'm not mistaken always account for the largest number) is around 30,000,
and yet the number of instances in which guns actually are credited with
*preventing* a crime is about 2.5 million each year.

So, to bring it full circle -- at least 70 million legal gun owners, and
about 30,000 gun deaths per year...that's .0004 fatalities per member of the
"gun culture," and 2/3 of those are suicides (meaning they probably would
have found another way to do it if not for the gun).  That still sound like
"lots" to you, Dom?

Bottom line: just because something can be dangerous doesn't mean it is
inherently bad or should be banned, or that its elimination is going to
change much.  For example, guns are largely, if not entirely, absent from
the British culture, partly through social preference, and partly through
legal measures.  But this doesn't diminish crime in a city like London,
where a friend of mine who works for Scotland Yard informs me that
knife-related crimes are rising (along with crime in general).  In fact, I
read recently that your "sentient" British government is, as we speak, in
the process of advocating and possibly implementing a ban on *large kitchen
knives* because of an uptick in attacks and homicides with said cooking
utensils...so, Dom, if your civilized countrymen start attacking each other
with clubs and pointed sticks, are you then going to ban wood?

>I bet he'd choke on that
>passionately-sung cover version like a lump of
>recently-slain-kiddy gristle.

I highly doubt it, but with all due respect to both of you, if Andy were to
take a stance as histrionic and poorly argued as yours, then let him choke
on it.  But after hearing how we took the scat outro of "Guns" right into
the drumbeat of "Travels in Nihilon" (geez, and I'm not even a
nihilist...how DARE I sing that tune!), I bet he'd just smile.

Then, Todd said:

>Oops, big logic gap there, Aaron! Your "therefore" doesn't work.

I disagree.  Simon said he would only respect my opinion if I were to take
the stance that it had no more validity than his opinion; in other words,
only if I were to admit that we were somehow "equal" in our opnions no
matter what.  Now, if it's my opinion, then *by definition* I think it has
more validity than his (which is NOT to say that I don't respect Simon's
opinion or wouldn't give him ample opportunity to try and change mine), and
if I take that stance, then he essentially admitted that he would
essentially discount -- in other words, invalidate or render inferior -- my
opinion because I consider it to be better than his own.  Basically, I don't
have a chance on those terms of doing anything but either witholding my
opinion or having it invalidated.

>when facts come on to the scene, then it's
>perfectly possible for one opinion to be more valid than another.

Depends.  I mean, I can indisputably fill a glass to 50% of its potential
volume with water, and you and I can then trade opinions indefinitely on
whether it's half empty or half full.  Or, if you want a better example, see
my facts above with regard to guns, and let's see whose opinions change as a
result of them...

>How could you "passionately" sing that song if you don't believe in the
>lyrics?

Oh, I don't know, how many willingly childless XTC fans out there have
belted out the words to "Pink Thing" or "Holly Up On Poppy" while driving in
the car?  Have any church-going XTC fans that I'm not aware of burst into
flames while singing along to "Dear God" or "Greenman?"

Anyway, that's all for the "Firepower Hour" here on Radio Chalkhills.  We
now return you to your regularly scheduled effluvia...

Next silly question,

AP

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 07:16:12 -0400
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <cauldron@together.net>
Subject: Re: Pub Lick Can
Message-ID: <a06110400bf2b6e9c0d1a@[165.121.128.50]>

Dom wrote:
>
>Well, after the report was over, I heard the opening riff to "Dizz
>Knee Land" by Dada and then felt the pavlovian urge to  puke as the
>riff crossfaded into the vocalizations of Hannity, and I lunged for
>the CD button.

P.S.  Welcome back Dom.  You've too long been absent from the games.
He probably never even listened to the whole song, just thought the
riff was catchy. Rush Limbaugh's been using the very left wing
Chrissie Hynde's "My City Was Gone" as his opening theme for years,
and for a while in the 90's was using the opening bars from several
songs from a couple of Utopia's out of print 80's albums. I haven't
listened to him much since GW Bush got elected, he was a lot more
interesting and funny when Clinton was in office. These days he's
GW's lapdog and very boring and repetitive.

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 08:46:54 -0400
From: "Ben Gott" <bgott@rectoryschool.org>
Subject: Weirdness Afoot!
Message-ID: <5D5C24A6F6FBA04F9C937B65A81EAE58015ECC@INET.rectoryschool.org>

Does anyone else find it unusual that Jon Brion worked closely with Kanye
West on his new album?

Does anyone else find it unusual that you've never heard David Rice?  You
should go to http://www.davidricemusic.com immediately to remedy the
situation.

David Rice and Kanye West: now there's a combo!

...And XTC!

-Ben

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 11:31:33 -0700 (PDT)
From: The Colonel <captainextraneous@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Brian Wilson
Message-ID: <20050819183133.85741.qmail@web34106.mail.mud.yahoo.com>

J.D. Mac previously said:
>
>Tonight, I went to see Brian Wilson's show near Washington, DC.
>Before the show, there was an assortment of music playing over the
>P.A.  It really made me *SMiLE* when the song "Pale and Precious" came
>on!  After the show, I asked the soundman who chose the pre-show
>music.  I was really hoping he was going to say Brian, but the
>pre-show tape was assembled by band member Darian Sahanaja.  Still
>cool, none the less!

My response:

Well, Darian is a member of the excellent Wondermints,
so that's still nothing to sneeze at. Anyway, Brian
Wilson has said in the past that he doesn't listen to
new music, just "oldies but goodies." Someone
interviewing him asked him if he was aware of the
profound influence he'd had on, say, the Elephant Six
collective and like-minded fans turned professional
musicians, and that was his response.

-The Colonel

------------------------------

Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2005 23:24:48 -0500
From: "Rich" <rich@clevercaboose.com>
Subject: Remastered DVD bittorrent for XTC Gaston Hall concert, 1980. 
Message-ID: <000501c5a53f$1ab2b810$8e0a1b41@dual>

Now available

I've just started a bittorrent for a remastered DVD of the XTC concert at
Gaston Hall, Georgetown University, January 24, 1980. You can download it
from:
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=55913&viewcomm=616561#comm616561

If you have the original, I think you'll want this one.
The video is substantially brightened -- the original was very dark.
The audio has been improved in a major way. The original had little bass,
all 2kHz, essentially mono.
The remastered audio has stereo separation, good bass, etc, etc.
I've included both a stereo track and a 5.1 surround track.
I think you'll agree that it sounds fantastic...I can say that because I
only worked on the video; a friend of mine took the audio into his recording
studio and spent 10+ hrs adding some magic.

I pulled Mark Garland's photos from the chalkhills site for the DVD menus.
I tried earlier to find him via this newsletter and get his permission, but
no one responded.

If anyone knows any other forums and/or newsletters with an interest in XTC,
please forward the link to the torrent.

------------------------------

Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 10:49:39 -0700
From: "Pastula Aaron" <pastula12@hotmail.com>
Subject: More still...
Message-ID: <BAY109-F13C283FB197B69E884235AA2B40@phx.gbl>

Come on, I'm sure the Mariah Carey list is just as happenin' as this
place...

Harrison "It's called a 'jump to conclusions mat'" Sherwood wrote:

>THEREFORE:
>
>4) All art is pretty much completely meaningless.

Of course not.  But neither is it imbued with *all* meaning.  It's an
interpretation, and just like any other account or statement, can either be
interpreted as being totally valid, totally invalid, or somewhere inbetween.

>The thing that seems to be being missed here is that "the view of the world
>where Andy is sitting" is precisely the point.

No, I didn't miss it at all, but *my* point is simply that Andy's point is
not the *only* point, and that sometimes I agree with him, and sometimes I
don't.  Why is that so hard to understand?

What I'm gleaning from yours and previous comments is unltimately that I
shouldn't be listening to or singing "Melt the Guns" if I like shooting.
Shouldn't drive a car if "River of Orchids" is my favorite XTC song.  Can't
apply my own interpretation of the cold war to "This World Over."  The
conclusion is a little extreme, I realize, but you see my point...please
tell me if I'm overreacting.

I mean, if Picasso's Guernica leads you to believe that ALL war is
unequivocally evil and unnecessary, and leads you to morally equate the
intentions and effects of all war, then so be it.  Me, I look at Guernica
and I see many of the same things you do...and then I weigh it against, say,
the image of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, and I'm certain that I then come
to vastly different conclusions about what the "universal lesson" is that's
being expressed in Picasso's work.

To me, the greatest "universal" aspect of any art isn't the lesson or
message that one person takes from it, or even the message or lesson its
creator intended -- it's the ability of art to reveal different "universal
truths" to different people.

Anyway.  Think I'll pop over and see what Mariah's peeps are going on about
this morning.

AP

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #11-45
*******************************

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