miscellanea


  • Finished the piano piece. 100% of people who have heard it really like it. Maybe I should mention that’s with an n of 2. I’m going to release it in the coming days once I’m confident no additional edits are needed. The title is quartet for piano. It’s not a piano quartet, but literally, a quartet for (solo) piano. The score will make it all clearer. Hopefully.
  • As many know, I’m not a big fan of Israel’s actions, towards its Palestinian neighbors, its 20% Arab minority and anyone who isn’t an Orthodox Jew (ie, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionists are all out of luck). But I think the self-righteous indignation towards the alleged Israeli spy ring that assassinated a Hamas operative in Dubai is ridiculous. Have these folks never seen any of the Bourne movies or read any of the Robert Ludlum books? Or even seen a James Bond movie? Guess they have no clue what spy agencies do with their spare time. Guess what-intelligence agencies from most countries do, at one time or another, assassinate someone viewed as counter to their country’s interests. The CIA does it. The KGB does it. MI-6 does it. And it’s well established that Mossad does it. Get over it. I’m not countenancing assassination, mind you, but I do think the holier-than-thou attitude taken by several Arab and EU nations over alleged misuse of passports is ludicrous. Again, what do they think intelligence agents do with their time?
  • Pass health care reform already. In 20 years everyone will look back and wonder what the big deal was all about, as we would now about the angst over Medicare in the 60’s. I recently came back from three trips to the EU where folks were amazed that just raising the notion of universal health care (which the current HCR bill definitely is not) is such a hot button issue on this side of the pond.
  • Been listening to a lot of different music lately. A lot of Eliane Radique drone-based music, some stuff by Somei Satoh and music by the somewhat obscure Dutch composer Matthijs Vermeulen. And to the dismay of my son Isaac, some music by Beyoncé and Keke Palmer. Hey, I’m not ashamed. Well, maybe a little.
  • Still getting through the massive A People’s History of the United States by the late Howard Zinn on my iPhone’s Kindle Reader app. It’s a great book.
  • Also been delving into the complex history of the Cuban Revolution and Che Guevara. I know many have criticized Steven Soderbergh’s movie about Che for omitting everything between the battle of Santa Clara and Che’s revolutionary fomenting in Bolivia (other than a few snippets of his 1964 speech at the UN). But I understand why Soderbergh did it. I’m not saying that Che was a really nice guy who preached nonviolence. He wasn’t and didn’t. He was the polar opposite of Gandhi in some respects. But while I can’t excuse his actions at La Cabaña in 1959, in which many Cubans were executed, I also can’t condone the murder of 20,000 Cubans by the Batista government, nor can I ignore the fact that Che was driven by a desire to combat imperialism rampant against the Latin American world, then and now. And it strikes me as interesting that so many conservatives who bitch about Che can’t bring themselves to criticize the Bush/Cheney administration’s killing of unknown numbers of Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and others, along with numerous acts of torture, rendition, etc.