November 29, 2017

New Version of Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; he's really great; the best. I don't need anything... takes me to the best places, golfing — the greens are beautiful, really good. Nice lake. Takes great care of the highways, really good care... sign with his name on it, so he gets the credit. Great job! Even out in Death Valley... I was there once. Really hot, but heat doesn't bother me. He sent his whole staff, we had a good meeting. Very good meeting. Nice lunch, even with Chuck and Nancy there. Losers. But we’re doing great things. Really good things, always. 


November 26, 2017

Remembered Music

Some members of the parish at which I'm an associate (Advent, Baltimore) have inspired me to dig out my recorders and start playing again. I was an avid recorder player in high school and college, and played in a consort (“The Flying Buttresses”) in my early years in NY, and during my time in the choir at Saint Luke in the Fields.

Since then the instruments languished, and I fell out of practice. Happy to say that much of it comes back, somewhat like bicycling, though I am by no means back up to speed or agility. But I'm continuing to practice every day, and enjoying playing music I much missed. Hoping to connect with other recorder and early music enthusiasts, and play a bit with the parishioners who inspired me to get back into the swing of things, I've even rejoined the American Recorder Society after a 30 year hiatus, and will look into the Maryland Early Music Society.

(The image is from the late 80s or early 90s... playing an alto recorder at a Brotherhood of St Gregory liturgy.)

November 18, 2017

The price of liberty, or libertines

I’m sure I'm not the only one who has noticed that in an era where hard-core porn is accessible to fingertip reach on ubiquitous screens, and things appear on network TV that in earlier years would have been subject to prosecution even if displayed in private smoke-filled back rooms, there is a simultaneous call for an almost Victorian propriety in the workplace, in which an off-color joke or a misplaced hand on an unwilling shoulder might be cause for dismissal. I find the tut-tutting of commentators expressing horror and disgust at the Al Franken photo to be incongruous given the language and attitudes expressed on, say, the Celebrity Roasts on basic cable channels, where crowds applaud the most vulgur obscenities about both women and men, issued with the proviso of “no disrespect.” To say nothing of the incongruity of the incumbent in the White House joining in the tut-tutting.

Perhaps Yeats was right after all, and the center cannot hold, but we are entering the widening gyre where prudery and license spin, and the moral compass cannot find true North.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG