Thursday, November 17, 2011

Winter is almost here

Going through a bunch of autumns (knowing that you are about to deal with a winter where in spite of your best-laid plans, mother nature WILL try to kill you at least once) has taught me to become pensive, fearful, cautious, and downright gloomy this time of the year.  This feeling is like being depressed except it is based on reasonable expectations and hard-earned lessons.  Even if you have moments of joy, you wonder if you aren't missing something obvious.  Oncoming winter WILL do this to you!

Yesterday's post is the perfect example of what comes of that feeling.  Tonight Keith Olbermann was interviewing Michael Moore and the subject of the Adbusters suggestion (that was part of my post) came up.  Moore was much amused by the suggestion that
we clean up, scale back and most of us go indoors while the die-hards hold the camps. We use the winter to brainstorm, network, build momentum so that we may emerge rejuvenated with fresh tactics, philosophies, and a myriad projects ready to rumble next Spring
Moore reminded us that Adbusters was a Canadian outfit and suggested that they were far too worried about whether we Yanks could handle winter.  Moore, who delights in the youthful energy and creativity of #OWS was quite sure the kids were just going to press on as if NYC cops existed to motivate people.

Of course, winters are much milder in NYC than in much of Canada so Moore has a point.  But so does Adbusters / me.  One of the primary reasons cold-weather people tend to build technologically sophisticated societies is that they have developed a whole alternative lifestyle that allows them to survive winter.  Adbusters was suggesting that much good comes from switching to a winter mode. But unless you have learned how to make the most of winter from experimentation, this act of switching to a cold and dark existence is going to be treated the way Moore treated it.  Of course, he is from Michigan so knows how to switch but he was not about to step on anyone's youthful exuberance.

Anyway, winter is long and I'll have plenty of time to worry whether the Europeans are going to crash their financial systems because their ideological blinders prevent them from doing otherwise or that the kids in #OWS will a provoke a hypermilitarized police force to murder.

So as I awake to temps in the teens (°F) this morning, I would rather write about music and Producer play.  Because the very best antidote for the evil and insanity in this world has for me always been Bach.  Yesterday I discovered an extremely clever commercial made in Japan for a cellphone.  It has been seen by over 7 million on Youtube.  No matter where you are in the world, if you want to make a statement about your seriousness and refined taste—the soundtrack is Bach. USA even put Bach on the first record we sent out of our solar system.

And this makes me happy. As a very strictly raised preacher's kid (no movies, rock music, cards or games of chance, dancing, etc.) I left home about the most un-cool person to walk the planet. But I did have music. My mother loved the opera and listened faithfully on Saturday afternoons, my sister played the pipe organ so well she played for a wedding in 5th grade and had a teacher-student genealogy that went back to Bach, and I was in so many choirs I finally made it to the Minnesota Bach Society—got to sing St. Matthew's Passion, the B minor Mass, the Magnificat, etc.

The piece in this commercial was chosen by my mother to march down the aisle of her wedding to my father. I'll bet I have heard it 500 times on everything including kazoos. But this was especially sweet—the Japanese do Bach extremely well and this was a remarkable tribute.

And the making of this commercial.

And what this wonderful piece of Bach sounds like when done with a chorus and orchestra.

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