I'm sitting here in my New York City abode listening to one James Sykes, a piano player, playing Mister Charles Ives's Piano Study #9, the AntiAbolishionist Riots--to master a Charles Ives piano piece takes such a deep effort very few but the brave pianists tackle it--and this transcends pianists on up to conductors and executers (what Virgil Thomson called "symphony" musicians), it taking the brave in general to tackle anything of Mister Ives, a pianist by natural inclination, a many-moves-ahead composer by brilliant mind and deep effort at changing the direction of American "classical" music--what Mister Ives came up with is the Original American Classical-style music.
Mister Ives wrote the music he manufactured in his head, a compendium of stepping-out-of-the-norm rhythms topped with or hidden under them the various experimental leaps in composition suggested by these mix o'rhythms he'd copped from theater pianists, sideshow pianists, pianists playing Stephen Foster, pianists practicing Beethoven, church pianists and organists, from marching bands, from fire engines, from fireworks going off on the Holidays, the American Holy Days, and the feelings these compositional sounds and rhythms intimidated and coaxed out of standard chordal patterns, intervals, experimental clusters of notes atonally arranged and prepared pianos tuned to his own quartertone scale--what am I saying? Mister Ives wrote down the musics in his head before anyone ever, even Mister Ives, tried to play them. Mister Ives is what I call a "thinking moves ahead" person--like great chess players can before each move, even a simple pawn move, go on and finish out a whole remaining game, all, of course, betting your opponent's response will follow your game plan, though your opponent's move will be already thought-out, too, the game based on plays-and-responses-to-plays and this in turn makes chess such a nervewracking game--the best professional chess players, like the late great Bobby Fisher, in their ordinary lives become so extraordinarily eccentric--their whole mental functioning is devoted to studying games and memorizing chess games by their moves. Same thing happens to true writers like myself (I love bragging in print). Their minds become filled with narratives, narratives of all sorts, including nonfiction narratives, which, if truth be known, are really part-truthful fictional narratives. Narrative upon narrative is being manufactured in their novel-thinking heads, each narrative related to the big narrative because they are being manufactured in the same mind and all striving toward the same denouements that are leading toward the same "The Ends," ends of narratives that leave the reader or listener thinking "Wow, what a story! I'm ready for another one! Come on, give me another one!"
Mike Moffatt in the introductory paragraph to his about.com explanation of the difference between "Recession" and "Depression" writes:
"There is an old joke among economists that states:
A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.
A depression is when you lose your job.
The difference between the two terms is not very well understood for one simple reason: There is not a universally agreed upon definition. If you ask 100 different economists to define the terms recession and depression, you would get at least 100 different answers. I will try to summarize both terms and explain the differences between them in a way that almost all economists could agree with." [from "Economics" on about.com]
You can also watch Wall Street tumble, too, on economics.about.com --an up-to-the-minute stream comes at you from Wall Street from the right side of their page--as I write this, Wednesday mornin' 11 am, the stock market has tanked 115 points.
So I'm listening to some Ives piano music--it's changed from James Sykes to two piano dudes playing Ives's "Quartertone Piano Pieces," played by two dudes performing on "fixed" pianos. Mister Ives built his own quartertone pianos and devised his own quartertone scale. I've had experience with this quartertone scale and have composed piano pieces using it--composed them on an electronic keyboard on which you can detone or off-key enough to make it a quartertone piano--based on this Ivesian scale.
I'm in a happy, a very happy, mood. Why? you ask, when the world is tailspinning out of control. The whole Iceland economy has crashed--Iceland has asked Russia to bail it out. Iceland is a European country--they use the Euro there! Britain has nationalized a couple of its crookedest banks today. China has lowered its interest rates in order to save some of its banks. Japan is in financial trouble today--its biggest banks tanking! Germany is propping up its banks. Spain is nationalizing some of its banks. The Russians, Ukraines, Romanians, and Indonesians have shut down their stock markets!
And I'm in a very happy mood. I've quit singing "Shrimp Boats ["Chaos" in my version] Are a'Comin' Their Sails Are in Sight"--The shrimp boats have landed. How chaotic is all this shit being thrown in our faces NOW? How pompously chaotic is our faux president and his mentally unbalanced statements these days? He's left us flat. He's inflicted upon us a deliciously complex chaotic situation, which like defining "Recession" and "Depression" is impossible to define. And all of this while the bailed-out millionaires on Wall Street are out in California spending a half-a-million dollars a week at a resort of rich leisure for the privileged few, laughing their bailed-out asses off! The biggest Wall Street crook of them all, Henry Paulson, helping his asshole-fucking buddies, bailing them out, saving them from ruin and prison and fines and confiscation of all their wealth to give it back to the people they stole it from--the people who rightwing nutjobs like John McCain and his imbecile nutjob running mate are blaming for this crisis. Yeah, I heard Paleface Palin saying it was We the Peoples's fault for accepting these loans they knew they would be unable to pay back in the first place.
You see, folks, these sons of bitches blame We the People of this country for all the chaotic situations these numbskulls, and pompous numbskulls at that, are deliberately, I think, getting us into. It's their "economic theories" that don't work but that they keep insisting they do work! How chaotic is that?
for The Daily Chaotic Growler