The Taser's Edge

A Tale of Two Viddies
October 9, 2006, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

That was a base stealing of nadsat for my own uses, and for that I apologize.  But we're all about punserie here at Taser's Edge.

So, I didn't want to do two posts.  I wanted to do one.  But when I logged onto YouTube to find the video I wanted, I came across another one.  Since I really wanted to write about something good happening in the world, I'll write my original post last.

But first, I actually heard about this from Holly, and then saw the actual video, and then threw up into my heart (which made it bitter, uncomfortable, and sticky).  Below is a video of the recent protest at Columbia University.  The speaker is Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minutemen Project, a not entirely unified militia group that has decided to take protection of the United States border with Mexico into their own hands (if my verbiage didn't reveal it, I have a large problem with their tactics and, in large part, their underlying philosophies).  Gilchrist was invited to speak at Columbia's campus, but then shouted down by the audience.  Don't feel like you have to watch the whole thing to get the point.

Perhaps my reason for having a problem with this is obvious to most of my regular readers, but I don't want to assume.  Here it is–I would like to align myself more with causes of the left.  Among these attractive causes are social justice and insuring that the Bill of Rights (save 2, I suppose, for many liberals) is protected.  I think that the left at least talks more than the right about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and helping “the least of these” in general.  But this video…what happened to freedom of speech here?  I wish that I could articulate all that is wrong with this situation.  And, although I would like to think differently, I am sure the same thing could play out here at Duke.

And now, finally, I can talk about what I wanted to address.  Namely, I have this morning decided that The Bad Plus is the height of God's creation.  If you don't know of the band, and you skipped that link, it is a modern jazz trio.  And when I say “modern jazz,” I don't mean Kenny G, or even name-your Marsalis.

I really do not like most jazz since about 1975 (only an approximate date), although I will perhaps admit that I haven't given it much of a chance, if you have an argument in hand.  To my ears, it's almost always the same thing over and over.  Why did Miles Davis pioneer, if not invent, about five types of music in his long career, while most serious talents (and they are incredibly talented) in jazz are still playing hard bop?  This is not one of those cool preservationist movements, where we set up a Dixieland band with instruments that they might have used and try to exactly reproduce concerts and recordings from the 19teens, using a hand-written arrangement from some obscure and unknown arranger in New Orleans.  This is jazz minus innovation, which equals, in my mind, hack music.

Enough with the negativity (very definitely a carry-over from the first part of the post), and consider the (very positive future of jazz) following:


If you thought you recognized that song, it was “Flim” by Aphex Twin (to hear the original go here, and click on the play arrow in front of the song title).  And sorry for the video quality, but it is Youtube after all.  There is a better-quality video of the band playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (yes, that one) offered on NPR's All Songs Considered.


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