Monday, April 03, 2006


I rarely say much about my personal doings but I would not be a blogger if I did not do so occasionally!

Having become something of a recluse in my old age, I rarely go out these days. Only my addiction to classical music occasionally gets me moving. As Mozart is my second favourite to Bach and as this year is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart, however, I decided (or Anne decided) that it would be a good time for me to go to a Mozart concert. So we went on Saturday night to a performance of the famous Requiem (in the Beyer realization).

To help get us in the mood for some of the greatest of German music, we had some good German peasant food for tea before going to the concert. For starters we had some excellent Zwiebelfisch (raw herring pickled with onions, peppercorns etc) followed simply by ham and mustard on Roggenbrot (black bread). The ham was the strong-tasting Gypsy ham, which I got from our local Croatian delicatessen.

When we arrived at Brisbane's newish and first class concert hall, I was amazed at the crush of people. Every seat was booked. I was of course delighted to see such a robust following for Kunst und Kultur so far from its homeland. The Requiem is rather sombre by Mozart's standards, so had I thought it might not attract a big audience.

The audience was of course overwhelmingly of Northern European appearance, though there was also a good scattering of North Asians -- mostly Han Chinese, I think.

We had the overture from Zauberfloete for starters followed by piano concerto 27 (his last). While I was listening to the concerto I kept thinking that it sounded more like Kammermusik than something for a full orchestra so I was rather pleased to note later that the program notes also decribed it as having "a chamber-music mood".

When we got to the Requiem after intermission, the forces available were excellent. There was a huge choir and a strong string section -- including 4 double basses and six celli. Other than that however there was only a few brass players. The big traditional pipe organ (much acclaimed when it was built) supplied the wind sounds.

Slightly suprisingly, the conductor was European -- Estonian in fact. Half a world away from Europe we still needed European talent. Since by far the greatest part of classical music is of Northern European origin, however, I suppose it stands to reason that Northern Europeans should have the best feel for it.

The Requiem itself was so absorbing that it seemed to me to take only 15 minutes, though I believe it took more like an hour. I greatly enjoyed the complex music of my people and culture -- and I was nearly as pleased to see that it still has a strong following in our society.



Keith Burgess Jackson recently moved his blog devoted to exposing the unpleasant Brian Leiter from Blogspot to PowerBlogs. Leiter apparently has now threatened PowerBlogs with a lawsuit. Typical bullying behavior. Leiter did not dare take on someone as big as Google (who own Blogspot) but a small firm is fair game.

Muslims destroying German education: "Police have been deployed at a Berlin school after teachers complained that they could not cope with their students' aggression and disrespect. Six officers were posted at the Ruetli secondary school in Berlin's Neukoelln district to check students for weapons. In a letter asking for help, the head teacher said it had become almost impossible to hold orderly lessons. Students were said to be ignoring or even attacking the teachers and fighting among themselves. A teacher who recently left the school told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that ethnic Arab pupils were in the majority and were bullying ethnic Turks, Germans and other nationalities. A student at the school told German N24 television that pupils were coming to school armed. "Things have been getting worse and worse because people seem to be crazy here. They are bringing knives and weapons to school," the teenager said. The education minister for Berlin, Klaus Boeger, said the school would soon be given two social workers and two psychologists to help pupils."

Summit: Arab nations urged to go nuclear: "Secretary-General Amr Moussa called on Arab leaders Tuesday to move toward a goal of 'entering the nuclear club' and making use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. ... Moussa was particularly emphatic about Iraq in his address. 'Any solution for the Iraqi problem cannot be reached without Arabs, and Arab participation,' he said. 'Any result of consultations without Arab participation will be considered insufficient and will not lead to a solution.' Moussa called on Arabs 'to enter into the nuclear club and make use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,' a plea that comes as the world is wary about nearby Iran's nuclear ambitions."

Buchanan on Europe: "Since World War II, every country in Western Europe has been ruled for a time by socialists. These regimes put in place laws that ensured job security, a living wage, a shorter workweek than in the United States, generous unemployment benefits, early retirement, magnanimous pensions and state-subsidized health benefits. To finance these maternal welfare states, European regimes take 40 percent or even 50 percent of the economy in taxes, as compared with a U.S. federal, state and local tax bite of 33 percent. But with globalization, European companies and workers who fund these munificent benefits are finding themselves in neo-Darwinian competition for survival, not only with American, Japanese and East Europeans who work longer and harder, but Asians who work longer and harder for a fraction of their pay and few of their benefits. European companies are being stretched and stressed, and some are breaking. The capitalist goose that laid the golden eggs for the Eurosocialists is aging, tiring and becoming ever more barren.... What is coming is a time of continuous and constant cutbacks of benefits in every First World country. Public employees will have to work longer for less today and less tomorrow when they retire".

Corrupt army bosses?: "Soldiers will no longer be allowed to wear body armor other than the protective gear issued by the military, Army officials said Thursday, the latest twist in a running battle over the equipment the Pentagon gives its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army officials told The Associated Press that the order was prompted by concerns that soldiers or their families were buying inadequate or untested commercial armor from private companies - including the popular Dragon Skin gear made by California-based Pinnacle Armor. ... Veterans groups immediately denounced the decision."

Chris Brand has just done a new lot of posts on the latest news about IQ.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here). I also post several times a week on "Tongue-Tied". There is an archive of my "Tongue-Tied" posts here or here


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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