An Ode to White Supremacy

In regards to the White Supremacist rally in Charlottesville last night, this is the best thread on the matter written on Twitter by @Julius Goat. I am copying it here because it is incredible. If you do ONE thing today, it should be to read this:


“Imagine if these people ever faced actual oppression. Nobody is trying to legislate away their right to marry. Nobody is trying to make them buy insurance to pay for ‘male health care.’

The law never:

  • Enslaved their great-grandparents
  • Robbed their grandparents
  • Imprisoned their parents
  • Shot them when unarmed

There is no massive effort at the state and local level to disenfranchise them of the vote. There is no history of centuries of bad science devoted to ‘proving’ their intellectual inferiority.There is no travel ban on them because of their religion. There is no danger for them when they carry dangerous weaponry publicly.

Their churches were never burned.
Their lawns never decorated with burning crosses
Their ancestors never hung from trees.

Their mothers aren’t being torn away by ICE troopers and sent away forever. They won’t be forced to leave the only country they ever knew. The president has not set up a hotline to report crime committed at their hands.

They are chanting ‘we will not be replaced.’
Replaced as … what?

I’ll tell you.
Replaced as the only voice in public discussions.
Replaced as the only bodies in the public arena.
Replaced as the only life that matters.

THIS is ‘white people’ oppression:
We used to be the only voice. Now we hold the only microphone.

THIS is ‘white man’ oppression.
We face criticism now. We were free from it, because others feared the consequences.

THIS is ‘oppression’ of white Christians in this country.
Christmas used to be the only holiday acknowledged, now it’s not.
I would so love to see these people get all the oppression they insist they receive, just for a year. Just to see.

Give them a world where you ACTUALLY can’t say Christmas.
A world where the name “Geoff” on a resume puts it in the trash.

Give them a world where they suddenly get a 20% pay cut, and then 70 women every day tell them to smile more.

Give them a world where their polo shirt makes people nervous, so they’re kicked off the flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.

Give them a world where they inherited nothing but a very real understanding of what oppression really fucking is.

Give them a world where if they pulled up on a campus with torches lit and started throwing hands, the cops would punch their eyes out.

Put THAT in your Tiki torches and light it, you sorry Nazi bitches.
Good morning, by the way, how is everybody.”

Posted in Education, Lifestyle, News and politics, Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Unholy Rackett

Excerpted from the Unholy Rackett, a stellar music group discovered on Facebook. As I wished to share the info provided by the Unholy Rackett Facebook page to the Woodwind Forum I took some highlights from their Facebook page with the hopes they would be okay with the share. What a fab group.

rackettsThe instruments shown in this photograph are both called ‘racketts’. However, they are only very distantly related to one another, and they never coexisted during the same historical period. Although superficially similar in appearance, they are as different from one another as a harpsichord is from a piano, a violin is from a viol, or a banjo is from a guitar. The fact that they are both referred to as ‘racketts’ today is a historical coincidence.
On the right is the instrument used in our video, the renaissance rackett.

The renaissance rackett is a double reed instrument with a narrow cylindrical bore, like a bagpipe chanter or a crumhorn. The bore is coiled nine times within the body of the instrument, emerging at the side of the instrument as a simple hole. The renaissance rackett’s large double reed is blown with the assistance of a pirouette, like that of a shawm. Due to their cylindrical bore, renaissance racketts play at 16’ pitch; that is, an octave lower than expected from the length of the bore.

Like all renaissance instruments, the renaissance rackett came in a family of sizes, from alto to great bass, famously depicted in Michael Praetorius’s Theatrum Instrumentorum of 1620.

RackettReferenceThe rackett seems to have appeared in the German-speaking states in the the 1570s. The earliest evidence we have for it is a miniature by Hans Mielich of the Bavarian Hofkapelle in Munich, ca1570, which depicts the composer Orlando di Lasso with a consort of singer and instrumentalists, amongst whom is a man playing a rackett. The first written evidence of a ‘Ragget’ was in 1576 at Ludwigsburg. Over the next half century they were variously referred to as Rageten, Ragecken,’Rogetten’ and ‘Racketten’. There is one tantalising reference to the renaissance rackett from France (Mersenne 1636), depicting what it calls a ‘cervelat à musique’ – a musical sausage. This is the only extant reference to a renaissance rackett outside the German-speaking states. There is no evidence that the word ‘Rankett’, used for an organ stop, was ever applied to the woodwind instrument in its day.

The renaissance rackett appears to have died out in the decades following the Thirty Years War, when German musical tastes shifted away from renaissance polyphony toward the new baroque style. Three original renaissance racketts survive, all made of ivory.
The instrument shown on the left of the photograph is a baroque rackett.

SchematicOfRackettThe baroque rackett probably appeared around 1700, and survived until around 1750. The baroque rackett is effectively a compact baroque bassoon, which has had its bore folded several times to fit inside a single billet of wood. It has a conical bore, the same as a baroque bassoon, uses a small lip-controlled reed the same as a baroque bassoon, and plays at the same pitch as the baroque bassoon (8’ pitch, with a compass of BBb – g). It was only available in one size, and was probably something of a novelty.
The folded bore gave it its German nickname, ‘Wurstfagott’, or ‘sausage bassoon’, and in French, ‘cervelas’, or ‘sausage’ (similar to the renaissance rackett). There is no evidence the baroque rackett was ever referred to by terms such as Ragget/Raget/Rageck/Rogett or Rackett during its day.

Several original baroque racketts survive, including some from well-known eighteenth century woodwind makers such as Robert Wijne from the Netherlands, and Charles Bizey from France, both of whom also made regular baroque bassoons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this instrument the origin of the English expression ‘to make a racket’? No. The rackett was unknown in English-speaking countries. It is purely a coincidence that these words look and sound the same. ‘Rackett’ is a German word meaning a ‘firework-shaped instrument’. It shares the same root word as the English word ‘rocket’.

Is the rackett the predecessor of the bassoon? No. Organologically speaking, the renaissance rackett is in a different family from the bassoon due to its bore shape. However, the baroque rackett is related to the baroque bassoon, and is descended from it. Chronologically speaking, the curtal or dulcian appeared ca. 1550, the renaissance rackett appeared ca. 1570, the baroque bassoon appeared ca. 1660 and the baroque racket ca. 1700.

Where can I buy a rackett? Renaissance racketts are made by Phil and Gayle Neuman in the USA, and All’Antica in Switzerland. Secondhand racketts by older makers (Moeck, Wood, Beekhuizen, Loraine) are occasionally available online.

As far as we aware, nobody is currently making baroque racketts. You might be lucky to buy one secondhand, but these instruments are essentially impossible to get. Hopefully a clever instrument maker will start making them again soon!

From the group: If you have a different interpretation of the primary evidence, or know of any new evidence that has come to light, we would love to hear from you. Thanks!

More pictures:

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Just a nice picture …

Wish I could credit it. I found this on the Internet today. So crazy. The colors, the patina, the expressive. Devine.


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“There are, of course, inherent tendencies to repetition in music itself. Our poetry, our ballads, our songs are full of repetition; nursery rhymes and the little chants and songs we use to teach young children have choruses and refrains. We are attracted to repetition, even as adults; we want the stimulus and the reward again and again, and in music we get it. Perhaps, therefore, we should not be surprised, should not complain if the balance sometimes shifts too far and our musical sensitivity becomes a vulnerability.”
~ Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain


“Sarah turned her narrow-eyed gaze on him, making me glad once more that Antimony’s comic books got it wrong, and telepaths can’t actually kill you with their brains. Give you a whopping headache and earworm you with annoying jingles, yes; kill you, no. (Although sometimes, when she’s managed to stick “The Happy Banana Song” in my head for a week, I sort of wish she could kill people with her brain. It would be kinder.)”
~ Seanan McGuire, Discount Armageddon

“When I wasn’t internally grumbling about my physical state, I found my mind playing and replaying scraps of songs and jingles in an eternal, nonsensical loop, as if there were a mix-tape radio station in my head. Up against the silence, my brain answered back with fragmented lines from tunes I’d heard over the course of my life – bits from songs I loved and clear renditions of jingles from commercials that almost drove me mad.”
~ Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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8 years of suffering under Obama

Something to think about.

Teri Carter's Library


3C54DC7D00000578-4140672-Barack_Obama_waves_as_he_boards_Marine_One_and_departs_the_Capit-a-77_1484945371469 Photo credit: The Associated Press

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.”

Fair enough. Let’s take a look.

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled, closing at 21,414.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.


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To be a woman …

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.” ~ Joseph Conrad

handmaids-tale-coverWith Hulu’s recent release of the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, I was reminded that my dear sister’s recommendation that I read this book. I was doing a theater pit gig (on bari sax, bass clarinet, and clarinet) there were long breaks in the music making so I read it in three weeks. I will never be the same.

“Atwood herself has explained many times that the novel is not a prediction for the future at all – the circumstances she describes have all actually happened, and continue to this day. Women are reminded every time a new law is passed making it impossible for us to access abortion clinics, obtain contraceptives, fight domestic abuse or support our children. We’re reminded of it when we’re paid less than our male peers, when bosses say we should be more “helpful”, and when complete strangers insist that harassment is flattery. Yet this fact seems to have been overlooked, in the most basic and symbolic sense, in the decision to retell this story.” the Guardian

So I thought I’d share a tale of how I first became exposed to the challenges of being a woman. Lessee, it was the ‘80s and I was creating an AOW account for my wife. Once created, I started tweaking it so that it would reflect who Suzy is to our friends. Within minutes her new account had three, no five, no ten emails! I thought, what the heck?You'veGotMail

You see, I had made a serious error using “Suzy” in the email address. The emails were from men wanting to “be a in hot tub with her” or more intimate suggestions. I was shocked, flabbergasted—was this what it was to be a woman? Could women not escape the lust of the average joe? I was sickened and quickly deleted the account. I recreated it using a generic letter/number stream.

I don’t know how women put up with the assaults on their freedom from everyone like the random character on the street to the vintage politician in DC. I just know that I hope to be at a place in my world where I can be a valued male to the women of this world.

Posted in advice, Health and wellness, Internet, My World, Myths | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fantasia for Alto Saxophone ~ Claude T. Smith

This lovely piece performed by Otis Murphy presented in a form allowing you to play along. Quite the workout indeed.

There is so much altissimo in this one. Still a wonderful performance by Otis.

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