ACD Test Wordpress

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Archive for February, 2004

Ravening Wolf

Posted by acdtest on February 24, 2004

Ravening Wolf

Naomi Wolf, in her now (in)famous article for New York Magazine wherein she accuses celebrated Yale professor Harold Bloom of sexual molestation, herself being the victim, gives the following as her reason for leveling the accusation some twenty years after the fact.

I began, nearly a year ago, to try-privately-to start a conversation with my alma mater [Yale University] that would reassure me that steps had been taken in the ensuing years to ensure that unwanted sexual advances of this sort weren’t still occurring. I expected Yale to be responsive. After nine months and many calls and e-mails, I was shocked to conclude that the atmosphere of collusion that had helped to keep me quiet twenty years ago was still intact-as secretive as a Masonic lodge.

[…]

I was also in a state of spiritual discomfort. Keeping bad secrets hurts. Is a one-time sexual encroachment by Harold Bloom, two decades ago, a major secret or a minor one? Minor, when it comes to a practical effect on my life; I have obviously survived. […] My career was fine; my soul was not fine. I had an obligation to protect others from which I had run away.

Every Yom Kippur, Jewish tradition requires a strict spiritual inventory. You aren’t supposed to just sit around feeling guilty, but to take action in the real world to set things right. We pray, “Ashamnu. Bagadnu. We have acted shamefully . . . behaved wickedly.” The sin of omission is as serious as the sin of commission.

Every year, I wonder about the young women who might have suffered because I was too scared to tell the truth to the people whose job it is to make sure the institution is clean. I am not at peace when the sun sets and the Book of Life is sealed: I always see that soft spot of complicity.

And does Ms. Wolf feel Bloom is a danger, and that he ought to be punished for his alleged action twenty years ago (he allegedly put his hand on the inside of Ms. Wolf’s thigh), and be removed from his teaching position at Yale?

Apparently not.

Is Harold Bloom a bad man? No. Harold Bloom’s demons are no more demonic than those of any other complex human being’s. Does this complex, brilliant man’s one bad choice make him a monster? No, of course not; nor does this one experience make me a “victim.”

So what, then, I kept thinking as I read the article, was gained by Ms. Wolf identifying Bloom by name in the piece (as opposed to identifying him by name in her private discussions on the matter with the powers that be at Yale)? If what she wanted to accomplish by writing the piece was what she asserts she wanted to accomplish — viz., make Yale University in future accept accountability in such cases, and set up grievance procedures that are genuinely strong — there was zero necessity for publicly identifying Bloom by name. Professor X or any other anonymous designation would have served the purpose equally as well.

Ms. Wolf’s declared purpose, that is.

But there’s a disconnect between that declared purpose and what Ms. Wolf actually wrote. Her article positively reeks of the dishonest. Not as it concerns the alleged twenty-year-old incident, which I suspect happened just as Ms. Wolf said it happened (and so what?), but as it concerns Ms. Wolf’s declared altruistic central reason for writing the piece, which declaration is, not to put too fine a point on it, a clear crock. The article has all the earmarks of personal vendetta — or worse, a bid for personal public attention too long in decline — masquerading as feminist do-gooding, and as such is nothing other than contemptible as it stands to unnecessarily damage permanently, or at very least permanently tarnish unnecessarily, one of the great careers in American letters.

Ms. Wolf needs to have more than her knuckles rapped for this little caper. And we won’t even speak of what New York Magazine needs rapped for its part in this business.

Advertisements

Posted in Print Media | Comments Off on Ravening Wolf

Problem With Disney Hall

Posted by acdtest on February 24, 2004

Problem With Disney Hall

This report from The Associated Press on a problem with Disney Hall.

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The glare off the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s shimmering stainless steel curves is so intense it’s heating up nearby condos at least 15 degrees, neighbors complain.

Before concert hall officials recently ordered a temporary fix, reflections from Frank Gehry’s $274 million architectural landmark, which opened in October, hit Jaqueline Lagrone just as she arrived home for lunch.

“You couldn’t even see and then the furniture would get really hot,” said Lagrone, 42, whose unit faces the new hall. “You would have to literally close the drapes and you’d still feel warmth in the house. You would have the air conditioning on all the time.”

The reflection off one corner of the building known as the Founders Room can drive up temperatures as much as 15 degrees, some condo owners claim.

That corner is clad in a glossy, mirror-like steel that reflects the sun more harshly than duller brushed steel used elsewhere. Disney Hall officials have put up a temporary synthetic net while they work on a permanent solution – dulling the shine.

“We’ve chosen a sort of sandblasted finish,” Gehry partner Terry Bell said.

Architects considered the impact of the shiny steel on neighboring buildings, Bell said. But during construction, the curving sheets of metal ended up facing a slightly different angle than plans called for, he said.

Disney Hall is so drop-dead gorgeous, and such an architectural masterpiece aesthetically and acoustically, I’m tempted to say that the solution to the problem is simple: Demolish the condominiums, and relocate the tenants. Or to put it more succinctly: Let ’em eat cake.

As I said, I’m tempted to say that, but I won’t.

Oh dear. I already have, haven’t I.

Quel dommage.

Posted in Architecture | Comments Off on Problem With Disney Hall

Victorian Primer

Posted by acdtest on February 19, 2004

Victorian Primer

Weblogger Enoch Soames of The Charlock’s Shade is running a series on sundry matters Victorian. Start here, and follow the links at page top for previous posts in the series.

Posted in Worthwhile Articles Elsewhere | Comments Off on Victorian Primer

Another Midget Squeaks

Posted by acdtest on February 19, 2004

Another Midget Squeaks

Another “hard”-science besotted idiot — another philosopher / intellectual, not a medical man, of course — savages Freud and psychoanalysis.

Don’t these envious midgets have better things to do than nibble away impotently at the ankles of giants?

(Thanks to the always indispensable Arts & Letters Daily for the link.)

Posted in Worthwhile Articles Elsewhere | Comments Off on Another Midget Squeaks

Culture Of A Different Kind

Posted by acdtest on February 17, 2004

Culture Of A Different Kind

Weblogger Greg Hlatky of A Dog’s Life reports on Lovely Bride’s, his, and Borzoi bitch Lacey’s adventures at the venerable Westminster Dog Show, and the less well known (to the general public) Rocky Mountain Borzoi Club Specialty dog show. Report begins with this post (read subsequent posts of the report by clicking the left arrow at page top).

Warm congratulations to Lovely Bride, Greg, and Lacey!

Posted in Worthwhile Articles Elsewhere | Comments Off on Culture Of A Different Kind

The Music

Posted by acdtest on February 17, 2004

The Music

In an article on the past, present, and future of classical music, Alex Ross, eloquent music critic for the New Yorker, opens with,

I hate “classical music”: not the thing but the name. It traps a tenaciously living art in a theme park of the past. It cancels out the possibility that music in the spirit of Beethoven could still be created today. It banishes into limbo the work of thousands of active composers who have to explain to otherwise well-informed people what it is they do for a living. The phrase is a masterpiece of negative publicity, a tour de force of anti-hype. I wish there were another name. I envy jazz people who speak simply of “the music.” Some jazz aficionados also call their art “America’s classical music,” and I propose a trade: they can have “classical,” I’ll take “the music.”

and closes by writing,

Two centuries ago, Beethoven bent over the manuscript of the “Eroica” and struck out Napoleon’s name. It is often said that he made himself the protagonist of the work instead. Indeed, he engendered an archetype-the rebel artist hero-that modern artists are still recycling. I wonder, though, if Beethoven’s gesture meant what people think it did. Perhaps he was freeing his music from a too specific interpretation, from his own preoccupations. He was setting his symphony adrift, as a message in a bottle. He could hardly have imagined it travelling two hundred years, through the dark heart of the twentieth century and into the pulverizing electronic age. But he knew it would go far, and he did not weigh it down. There was now a torn, blank space on the title page. The symphony became a fragmentary, unfinished thing, and unfinished it remains. It becomes whole again only in the mind and soul of someone listening for the first time, and listening again. The hero is you.

I here provide the above quotes, and the above link to the full article (which, though long, I urge you to read), without immediate comment.

Posted in Worthwhile Articles Elsewhere | Comments Off on The Music

Teachout Touches On Gould

Posted by acdtest on February 9, 2004

Teachout Touches On Gould

Print journalist and weblogger Terry Teachout of About Last Night has some brief observations on Glenn Gould, and two brief questions as well, to which latter my brief answers are 1) Mostly not, and 2) Nope.

And as to Mr. Teachout’s comment on Gould’s literary preferences; viz.,

Eeuuww. The man behind that reading list sounds a perfect bore to me, and humorless to boot-just the sort of person who’d dislike Chopin, all French music, and most Mozart, as Gould did.

A “perfect bore” only to card-carrying members and fellow travelers of the, um, progressive New York cultural elite.

As to Gould’s dislike of Mozart’s music, much of that dislike was grounded in Gould’s dislike of the not strictly contrapuntal in all music (he was not overly fond of many of Bach’s preludes in The Forty Eight, for instance). And as to Gould’s dislike of Chopin and all French music, I can only remark that in that he exhibited discernment of the most exemplary sort.

Posted in Worthwhile Articles Elsewhere | Comments Off on Teachout Touches On Gould

Fencing Bears

Posted by acdtest on February 9, 2004

Fencing Bears

Weblogger George Hunka of Superfluities has some salient thoughts on puppetry and fencing bears in relation to the art of the theater.

Honest. I kid you not.

Posted in Worthwhile Articles Elsewhere | Comments Off on Fencing Bears

Too Precious

Posted by acdtest on February 3, 2004

Too Precious

Gads!, this is just too precious. And too precious as well is the irony of the, um, criminal’s name.

(Thanks to ArtsJournal for the link.)

Posted in Worthwhile Articles Elsewhere | Comments Off on Too Precious

Interesting

Posted by acdtest on February 3, 2004

Interesting

First, there’s this brief proposal last month on this weblog. There then followed an eMail exchange on the matter with Drew McManus who maintains a weblog on ArtsJournal, which weblog is devoted to discussing the problems of modern-day orchestra management. Mr. McManus liked the idea, but had serious doubts concerning my proposal.

Today I read Mr. McManus’s weblog, and find this. No mention of my original article, our eMail exchange, or this weblog, of course.

Interesting.

Posted in Music, Recordings | Comments Off on Interesting