Sunday, August 19, 2018

Today's Music is Crap, Reports Old White Guy

Jon Henschen has just published the article "The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality)", an atrocious compendium of well-intentioned ignorance. You can read it here.

This article is full of errors and misconceptions, designed to promote a conservative musical agenda. The author associates the ability to read the Western European stave as indicative of quality music. This instantly ignores traditions from the rest of the world that generate music of extraordinary sophistication. (Coincidentally, the Irish gamelan orchestra is currently performing in Java. I wonder if Henschen is even aware of this music?)
Friday, August 03, 2018

Angst and Beans: How Food Ideology Feeds Despair

We live in the Anthropocene, an epoch named for the decisive changes our species has made to species diversity, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, and climate of the Earth System [Crutzen and Stoermer 2000]. It is long past time that we questioned our assumptions about our place in this system. Each of us needs to start with their own discipline, to perform a radical ("from the root") reappraisal of fundamental beliefs and assumptions.

For myself, this starts with interrogating ideologies of nature. I am currently writing a paper on acoustic ecology that critiques the foundational text of this discipline. It's not easy work, but it's necessary.

So what should arrive in my Facebook stream but an article from The Atlantic, "If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef" [Hamblin 2017]. While I am sympathetic with those who call for a re-appraisal of our diet and land use, it is regrettable to read arguments such as these, which feed the very system they mean to challenge.