Dr. Rat

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About Dr. Rat

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    not really a doctor
  • Birthday 05/13/1967

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  • Website URL http://www.wnmc.org
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  • Location Traverse City, MI
  • Interests My . . .<br><br>radio, of course, jazz, old American music, history, crossword puzzles, evolutionary biology, urban development, media theory, genre novels (mysteries, fantasy, etc.) that can teach me a lot about something (e.g. Umberto Eco), African music, Pre-Castro Cuban music, political theory and philosophy, Wassily Kandinsky, Jurgen Habermas, eating good food, making good food (so long as there is not too much effort involved), soccer, beer.<br><br>That's it. I don't think I'm interested in anything else. Oh, sex.

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  1. Harrison Ford plane crash

    Wait a minute; where did he land? In the turf
  2. organissimo: 2000 - 2010

    Haven't been around the forums in quite a while, but wanted to let you guys know that your efforts were appreciated up here in TC. I'm only sorry we couldn't do more to turn that appreciation into some financial wherewithal for y'all. Good luck to everyone associated with the band in their future endeavors. Stay in touch via Facebook and whatnot! Let us know when RE-Organissimo happens! --eric
  3. Hoops 2008-2009

    This looks to me to be a good trade for both teams. Watching them in the playoffs last year, I thought DT really needed a dynamic scorer--somebody who can really change the tenor of a game when it needs to be changed, and AI can do that. And he showed under Larry Brown that he CAN play fine defense when he wants to. Particularly if he's in a solid defensive system, like he will be. I think that his movement with the ball will tend to open up some space for Rasheed to get to the bucket, as well. OTOH, Carmello with Billups seems perfect to me. Anthony doesn't need another big star, he needs someone to play a strong supporting role. Billups seems perfect. Should be interesting, but I think this makes the Pistons a more serious contender.
  4. Can't listen to music anymore...

    Larry: Sorry to read about your loss. Reading over the responses here. I have to suppose this sort of response is fairly common: I experience something like this years ago (while I was relatively young--I'd been avidly collecting and listening for 5 years or so). It was about a year and a half after my mother died. For whatever reason the acute feeling of loss that I had had when she first died came back in spades. I hardly listened to music for weeks . . . months perhaps. Sometimes it just seemed to be very bothersome--useless noise. . . sometimes it was because I knew it wanted to move me in a way I didn't want to be moved. Eventually, gradually I think, I got interested in some new sounds and then things were pretty much back to normal. A few time the same symptoms come up again now I'm somewhat older--music brings on the same sort of feelings as my mild claustrophobia does: urgent need to escape. But they've only last for days/weeks rather than weeks/months. Anyhow, I wish you the best. Particularly I wish you the joy of music again, --eric
  5. Happy Birthday, Eric!

  6. Ratliff isn't saying that innovation itself was a product of the 1960s, but rather the ideology that innovation was a sine qua non of jazz. Whereas earlier generations may have recognized innovation as an important part of jazz's legacy, whether or not it would always be innovative was more of an open question.
  7. Well, he's searching for God. As I put it in my Circling Om article: You can go way back for devotional stuff in music. I mean to Gregorian chant, or Islamic incantation or any amount of ritual music, probably from the dawn of time. Even to non-religious people (e.g. me) some Church music is quite sublime. With all your debunking stuff ("easy slippage", "inarguable, new-agey quasi-religion", "Coltrane's legacy is ...that of a celebrity."), you seem uneasy with that. A lot of 60s avant garde jazz has a spiritual element - and Ellington. Simon Weil You're right, I'm . . . averse to appeals to spirituality in the discussion of art (or politics or philosophy). I'm NOT hostile to the idea of the sublime, though. Often, though I think the spirituality arguments tend to load up ideas of the sublime with the arguer's specifics of choice, whereas I think of the sublime as something ultimately neurological. That doesn't make it unimportant, just it has nothing to do with anything that exists outside of us, but rather with something we pretty much all have internally. And it may be that that something is ONLY really important because it is common.
  8. what the fuck are you talking about? it's a pretty competitive field lately but Rat, but it's pretty clear you are thee single most inane .5-wit here; couple that with the least sense of self-awareness & like... wow. (& congratulations-- a new paradigm!) let's compare a push lawnmower & a homemade bottle of Guinean ginger beer next, or maybe this bottle of Astroglide [blah blah blah in the usual manner] OK: I'll give you a little help: error does not necessarily evacuate a text of meaning and value. Admittedly, we're talking about two kinds of error: textual errors and factual errors, but if you like we can start talking about great historians and their factual errors and why one still can read Tacitus (or many other good interpretive historians), say, knowing damn well he's misrepresenting things, and still get something valuable out of it. Lazaro: Did the "cult of the solo" begin with Lester Young? Well, something started with Lester Young, something quite important to an entire generation of musicians. "Cult of the solo" may be the wrong moniker. I don't see this as being colossally important--what's important is what was it about Lester Young that got under the skin of so many jazz musicians in the 1940s & 50s? I'm fairly sure it didn't stop at music. The form argument--yes, that's sloppy, but I think we all know what he's getting at, though this is a rather stupid misstatement. The "hippie myth" thing: isn't it? Not a myth that is the sole property of hippies, but a myth nonetheless. And just the sort of neo-romantic kinds thing we'd associate with certain influential streams of 60s thought. As is the easy slippage into inarguable, new-agey quasi-religion: "internalize the salvation radiating from the core of Coltrane's music." If you asked me Iggy Pop/Coltrane sounds like an interesting avenue of inquiry. Coltrane's legacy is not, after all, just that of a musician or a channeler of salvating radiation, but perhaps most importantly, that of a celebrity.
  9. Yes, at a certain point mistakes can make comprehending the larger point of the book impossible. But Joyce's Ulysses is riddled with mistakes. Does that make it worthless? No. Would I question the judgment of someone who read it and started to talk to me about errata? You betcha. The book clearly suggests better things to talk about than trivia. You need not like the book, but errata are not top of the list of things to mention regarding it. Unless, of course, you are uncomfortable with talking about what the book wants to talk about. In which case pedantically enumerating errors is a fine distraction. (I used to notice this tendency among certain post-modern thinkers. Whenever someone would point out something untenable or contradictory in their thinking, they'd immediately focus on some trivial factual error or unimportant but unwarranted assumption in the criticism. This was greatly preferable to entertaining doubts about their own assumptions.) There is a degree to which the fetishization of the trivial (what some might call the substantial) begins to overwhelm not just Ratliff's book, but the music itself. If you told Coltrane that his music was bound to be collected in much the same way as baseball cards are, and that his music would be talked about more or less in the same way that athletic performances are (who was in the lineup?, what position did they play?, who had the big solo performances?, who scored the drugs?) and that any attempt to evaluate his work from a philosophical, historic or aesthetic standpoint would be dismissed as "intellectual bullshit" I think he'd be rather dismayed. Books are written into contexts--pretty rich contexts, in Ratliff's case. The single greatest negative consequence of Ratliff calling Hartman a tenor will be his own embarrassment. Or perhaps the opportunity for self-congratulation he's provided for certain folks. I suppose one doesn't have to think about the intellectual bullshit if one doesn't want to, but I think a musician like Coltrane was playing for listeners of a philosophizing bent rather than for those of a philatelist bent.
  10. Don't know if Woodward is reading a lot into the book, but Ratliff certainly seems to be making big enough points to distract us from the pedantic. I really don't care if Ratliff mistakenly refers to Hartman as a mezzo-soprano. Who cares? What I'd like to know is what he really has to say in the book, not in a catalog of his trivial errors. Granted they ought not be there, but one ought really be able to read past them.
  11. 1. The Clash: London Calling. 2. Wailers/Lee Perry African Herbsman 3. Baaba Maal/Mansour Seck, Djaam Leeli. 4. Duke Ellington, Blanton-Webster recordings 5. Cal Tjader's Latin Concert
  12. Rome

    I, Claudius is pretty low quality [technically] by today's standard, but Rome has its own problems. The sex in Rome is pretty much of the gratuitous variety, though, reflecting far more on the base motivations of the modern producers than on the base motivations of the characters. I'd say Rome is essentially a fairly well-done soap opera which uses history as an inspiration. Claudius is more a historical novel--an elaboration on history--with some pretty interesting reflections on power, sex, governance, empire and family. There is no mind like Graves' behind Rome that I can tell. It pretty much shouts the fact that it is a product of the entertainment industry. Any deep thinking went into the financing and marketing. By the standards of such products it's well done--like the Sopranos, say. There's enough intelligence in the writing to keep you amused for a while, but for me I can just as easily walk away mid-episode and imagine my own developments. Or read Vidal or Graves or someone else who can imagine better than me.
  13. why is US switing from analog to digital Tv transmissions in '09?

    It's primarily a bandwidth issue. The FCC has been pressured quite a bit by folks who need more bandwidth--cellphone providers, people with all kinds of wireless shemes--to do something about the large amount of bandwidth currently taken up by analog TV signals. See image here. (AM, which also takes up quite a bit, is less desirable for technical reasons, I believe) By switching to digital, they'll be able to jam a whole load of higher-quality signals into a much smaller bandwidth and then auction of the remaining unassigned bandwidth to folks with other ideas. FM radio doesn't take up that much space and (my bet is) probably won't be forced to go give up its analog signal for some time to come. As with every change, some people will lose out. I can't find my favorite brand of big salty pretzels here, anymore. Raw deal for me, business as usual for Frito-Lay, which seized its shelf-space. --eric
  14. Fairly sure I read that Jones lobbied BN not to mention the Ravi connection, and maybe that resulted in playing down her heritage.
  15. XM, Sirius to merge

    One part of the story behind this is that satellite is in a race to get adopted before the advent of high-bandwidth Internet access in your car. If there is not already a whole lot of satellite infrastructure out there (receivers in cars, essentially) when a practically infinite number of free Internet music services become avaialble, satellite is dead. I think part of the gambit here is that if there are two compteting companies, it's going to be tougher to get the car companies to buy in to the extent the satellite companies really need. If they succeed in simplifying the question for car companies (and consumers) to satellite or no satellite rather than XM, Sirius, or sit on my hands and see what happens next, they might get a lot more radios and subscribers out there, in which case they'll have a lot longer to milk the cash cow when Internet in the car comes along. From what I've heard, the money people are not particularly happy with the business outlook for either of these companies --eric