The musician

MusicalNotes was in Bosnia, the biggest single act of ethnic cleaning I had witnessed to date.... and there was an old man who stopped to talk to us.... and he was 80 years old and he looked as though he had already died.... and I asked him do you mind if I ask you Are you a Croat or a muslim? And he said, "I'm a musician".... (BBC World Service, June 26, 2022 03:00AM-06:00AM BST, Internet Archive)

This is crucial: all sectarianisms: all loyalties to social groups are bad: they make a person see himself (herself, otherself) as a member of his group cut off by the group identity fro everybody else. We and them.The Hatfields and the McCoys. the Medici and the Pazzi. And, of course, the Galicians and the ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

As I have written elsewhere here, the so-called "prep" school I went to which migh be better called a perp school had the kids dobrutalizing body-contact athletics whic hthey called sports but were more like combat: tackle football and lacrosse. And they got the kids all hyped up on their aggressive hormones before the big game to beat some rial school. "Beat Gilman!" They never had the ids write essays on whether the students at Gilman School got all hyped up to beat Gilman – the very notion i absurd. No they got hyped up to beat our school. THe kids wer never assigned to write serious reflectieessays on this phenomenon:

If our school should win, why don't the kids at Gilman School help us do it?

Come on, kids, answer the damned quetion! And go over to Gilman School and ask them to help you with the assignment. Don't be cowards!

Ditto the old cartoon (Pogo?) where two ranks of infantry soldiers are facing each other at point blank range, each soldier on each side aiming directly at the heart of his opposite number. The officer on each side commands his men: "Fire!" — After the soldiers on each side pivoting 180° and discharging all their bullets each side intoits wn officer's body. And all the soldiers embrace each other and live happily ever after.

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Persons need to identify not as Croats or muslims, St. Paul's stuedents o Golman students, Americans or Russians, Christians or Hindus or Jews, men or women, whatevers or whatothers, but as: musicians. Substitute your favorite professional sill here, for instance: physician, teacher, chef, potter, aviation pilot, physicist, whatever. Any universal skill where you can serve all partisans equally, or if you well: indifferently. As a physician, you should treat a Russian equally as you treat a Ukrainian, a man as a woman, a black person as a white person. Without prejudice. You do not hav to like the person, just apply your skill to the situation the person is in and where you can help them. That is one of the reasons wy all partisanships are bad: A doctor should not need to think tht is he hs treatin gan injured soldier and returns nhim to health the man will fight on one sid eor the other. If ther ae no sides then there is no problem. All sides are bad by the simple fac of being sides.

Bond with the other person not based on any attribute but on their skill. It would ba absurd for potters to go to war with glassblowers, or for teachers to go to war with epidemiologists. It is all too easy for Asmericans to go to war with russians. So don't be either an American of a Russian: be a musician.

When is it necessary to take sides?

There is a script which goes something like this: You do not know enough to know the right thing to do therfore you should do what we tell you you should do. At least three actors appear to try this trick: (A) Parents, (B) the government, (C) God. Well: if I don't know enough to hmake the right decision, how can I be sure that obeying you is the right decision?

The ovious solution is for them to give me an option that they see as good fo rthem and which I see as good for me: win-win. But htat's not wha tthey want: They want ot take without giving. The Aemerica goernment wanted to send me to Vietnam as meat.

In The Village.... USDAZ

It seems ther was no advantage in me going along with them: If I didn't go along wit hthem they migh ttorture me. If I did go along iwt hme I would be tortured. Fortunately I got out. But had they come and respectfully asked me to serve in a capacity aehere I ideally be intellectually challenged of at leat find it a sinecure to help them, of coure I would have gone. Win-win.

Why is it especially shameful when scholars and intellectuals are partisans?

All beliefs are beliefs. They are things people believe in. The scholar or intelelctual should recognize this and study them not believe in them, as simple folk simply do. Of course if you meet The Abrahamic Deity or Jesus Christ in the road and have a convversation with Him, that is reality, not something believed in.

But to "be" a jew or a christian is to believe stuff in a book or social customs, like maybe believing the earth is round because it says that in a book or your teacher told you it was, too (see here). It doesn't matter much if you believe the earth is round because your teacher told you so. It matters a lot of you believe Russia should be defeated in the Ukraine war and President Vladimir Putin publicly humlilated in from=nt of the Russian people and then executed a sa war criminal but Ukraine's President Zelensky should be honored as a hero of freedom because your government's President told you so, and that the reason your fixed annulty no longer pays the bills is because if the Russians win the Ukraine war you will be tortured and then exterminated in a Putin Gulag concentration camp, not because America's current President Biden wants to make America the unipolar hegemon not just a peer nation in a mulitpolar world.

An intellectual should not support the side he lives in nor the other side, nor be against the side he lives in or against the other side. He should be on the side of truth, andagains all sides that do not support open scholarly inquiry (see here), especially scholarly inquiry into the side's own socio-politico-economic agenda. That doesn't leave many sides to support, does it? But no matter how much they lie to their own people or to others, intellectuals should volunteer to negociate peace between all belligerents, because "the spirit" is universal, and all sides are just [to borrow Edmund Husserl's term:] noetic objects therein.

Trying to understand music

I have been puzzled about a question I am not even sure I am asking well: What does music mean? How to interpret music? Can a musically educated person "read" a score analytically like I can read and analyze prose text? Doe he follow a deductive argument like a mathematician and a mathemetical theorem? I don't find a lo tof art criticism meaningful. So what about the "golden mean"? Obviously partiotic music tries to stir up hate-the-enemy-and-get-off-on dying-to-kill-them emotions. "Romantic" music distracts you from how bad or at best forgettable your daily life is.

Now I am hypothesizing tha tmisic is an extension of gesture. Low quality music is like an oaf touching your body. Yuk!

+2024.02.12 v068
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