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April 18th, 2005

Altan: not much too loud

It turned out that the Altan concert was tolerable with foam earplugs just barely in, although I am having a slowly developing migraine headache that it didn't help at all. I took a second dose of zolmitriptan and it is starting to work.

Altan was great. I wonder if they all just pack into Dáithí Sproule's place when they are here together in the Twin Cities. I'm picturing something like that scene in "A Night at the Opera" with all the hard boiled eggs.


Not long ago there was a Mike Malloy program (airamericaradio.com) in
which Malloy said how he hated religion, but had nothing against
"spirituality." That word means "nothing" to me. Seriously, I didn't
know what he could be talking about. There is no such thing as a
"spirit," so what in the world is "spirituality"? It can mean nothing
but a form of superstition.

We cannot rid ourselves of a superstition if we cling to any part of
it. There is a really good general diagram of this situation towards
the end of the article at http://www.esgs.org/uk/art/ak6.htm.
Rather than go into the matter in detail, I'll just refer you to the

Maybe all we need to do is rename so-called "spirituality" as
"substantiality," which would have the benefit of covering as well,
without prejudice, those areas of our lives in which we resemble
animals. Maybe some nice and good clergy people wouldn't mind that
terminology, either, though it's up to them.

(Note: The diagram is good but the words in it don't render correctly
in Opera, Konqueror, Dillo, etc. Mozilla and Firefox work, however.)

All quiet on the Midwestern front

Not much news lately on the political front, because I'm waiting to see how the current atrocities develop. Who has jumped the shark and who is just feinting.

Had to get a temporary crown put back on today. Ow. It's on a wisdom tooth and so has barely anything to hang onto.

Joseph Cannon has been peevish about the treatment of art in the United States, with some justification. My own artistic pet peeve is memorial statues that suck, which is nearly all of them, with their people posed so heroically. It makes me want to puke soft-boiled eggs like when I had scarlet fever in 1967-68. The last memorial I saw that I liked was at the site of Timothy McVeigh's handiwork. I like that memorial a lot. I think I would also like Maya Lin's Vietnam and Civil Rights memorials.

Another pet peeve is art museums. My attention span is kind of short for them; I want visual art to just be part of the environment. The last time I was in Ottawa, in 1996 I think, me, my wife, and my Canadian friends were in the National Gallery and a painting there looked awfully familiar; it was my "sort of favorite" painting, on loan from the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It knew we were coming! :) I say "sort of favorite" because I don't really remember anything about it, except it was a portrait of some kind. It's a painting that attracted me mainly because at the MIA it was at an interesting spot in the environment, a small wall at the end of a big hall or something.

The National Gallery is within walking distance of where my friends live, but we were there by car. Kristy went down to the below ground parking to get the car to pick the rest of us up. That evening we learned from the news that a wild lynx had been found roaming around in that parking garage that day, right around the same time. From its tag it was seen that cat had wandered up from New York state. Kristy is fond of lynx but in zoos, not in parking garages.


Never heard of Flook until yesterday, but I have bought myself tickets to the concert in a couple of weeks. Today I encountered Flook a second time, while looking at inexpensive bamboo flutes on the web. Inexpensive but with a waiting list to the end of the millenium. I don't like taking care of "wood" instruments, anyway; but I did buy tickets to the Flook concert, after seeing it was a very flutey ensemble.

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