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July 2009

Your Our Tax Dollars at Work

If I were asked to trace the precise moment they lost me, it would have to be the loving closeup of the prosthetic racing leg at 0:16.  

"Let's be completely honest" in the first few seconds runs a really close second.

In the immortal words of Sheridan Whiteside: "I may vomit."

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Update [mere moments later]: 

Seriously, my head is in danger of going full Cronenberg each time I watch this.  

[Insert inarticulate, gurgling scream here.]

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Further Update [30 minutes or so after that}:

Even more seriously, this ad would not be running at all but for its creators' confidence that the American public might be swayed by it in a useful way.  Each time I watch it -- and the fact that I keep returning to it is not a healthy sign -- I find even more to be amazed by: the fallen hockey player, the charging thoroughbreds, the surging bean sprouts, the "Extreme Home Makeover"/barnraising, the solar panels and wind turbines, Joe Louis, and the gol-durned Moon Landing, all in one glossy, toxic package.

Sure, its only hope is to sell some of your neighbors a car -- and to sell all of us on a multi-billion dollar charitable donation to a wallowing leviathan -- but this spot cannot but reminds me, in a kinder-gentler way, of the classic and still kinda creepy indoctrination sequence in Alan Pakula's [mysteriously hard to come by ] The Parallax View (1974):

Of course, I may be overreacting.

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If Arranging Philip Glass for Marching Band is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right

Those who think that the music of Philip Glass is just tweedly-deedly argeggios, repeating incessantly all tweedlily and deedlily and arpeggiotically and then doing it again with incessant repetitivity again, and again, and then again, and yes I said yes, again -- 

which some of his very best music is, actually,
not that there's anything wrong with that

-- have not paid sufficient attention to his Symphonies.  

In particular, Glass's Symphony No. 3 for strings has become, over the past year or two, one of my favorite orchestral works ever.  In its structure and approach, I hear the Glass 3rd as a contemporary echo of/rejoinder to Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. 

A"The apotheosis of the dance! Thumbs up!  A non-stop rollercoaster of whiz-bang orchestral action!" 

    -- R. Wagner on the B7

The Glass 3rd is written for strings and strings only.  It is not meant to be performed by a high school marching band.  And yet, what is not meant to be may be, mayn't it?  It may.

Here we have the final movement of the PG3 arranged for and performed by a high school marching band, to wit, the Bloomington North Cougar Marching Band of Bloomington, Indiana.  No strings are attached. 

It is quite wonderful.

The Cougar band's repertoire also includes a selection from PG's score for The Hours, which sounds a bit more obviously Glass-y:

Fight fiercely, Minimalists!

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For further reading

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