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Awful horrible bad shit is happening in the USA right now, if you are afraid of your fucking feelings getting hurt this isn't the website for you. ×


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  1. Matt Walsh is a right-wing commentator popular among my evangelical friends. He trades in the kind of dismissive equivocation present in those tweets (note: I’m not saying that you are doing this; he is). The right voice could use this footage to unite us behind what’s going on against police brutality (similar to what you’re voicing). That isn’t a what he’s doing though. He equivocates to perpetuate the status quo.
  2. I think it would help if ignore included quoted posts. It might already do that, but I don’t think it does. Thread-specific ignore would also be an effective feature. Or people could just not take the bait.
  3. There's also maybe a distinction and gray area between political statements and statements that declare a political identity. Declaring you are a Republican or Democrat or whatever is pretty benign and doesn't really cause problems. The political nature of sources various posters reference as well as the way things are described and named can become a little murkier and often leads to the "I'm not being political, you are" nonsense that takes over pages. On a broader scale (since this issue relates mostly to the Minneapolis and COVID threads), is naming the current pandemic the "Wuhan Flu" a political statement, even if the surrounding content is factual and politically neutral? It's no doubt a declaration of political identity, but I'm not sure if it's political. Is citing Daily Kos a political statement, even if the material is factual? Again, it's no doubt a statement of political identity even if it might not be political. As individual cases, none of these kinds of statements cause too much of an issue, but in aggregate, they contribute to the inability to distinguish politics and news. Your opinion of what is and isn't political will likely be defined in part by your political identity. I don't think there's a good answer for this other than hiring better posters. Maybe if Blacklab gave us all raises we'd attract better posters. If I were running a message board (which seems miserable to me, so thanks mods), I'd go full Thunderdome: almost no moderation with a robust and easy ignore feature. Being married, I have an ignore feature in my brain, so I don't really use the site's, but it would be useful to be able to ignore users just in certain threads or forums.
  4. It would be nice to have essentially a game thread free from the politics of what’s going on (even if the entire event is wholly political). The problems are: 1. Certain posters (on both sides) try to see how close they can get to the line. It becomes a passive aggressive game and gets combined with... 2. The discussion over what is and isn’t political is inherently political and is far more tiresome than the occasional line crossing. It creates two echo chamber threads (DT and CR) both of which are mostly political. These two points are a real beating. 3. Objective reality has now become a political topic. There are no longer facts, only political statements. The lines between news and politics are often blurry, but in a healthy culture, we could navigate that. We can’t navigate that because we’re not healthy.
  5. He fails the potted fern test daily. We’d be better off with a potted fern in his place.
  6. This right here. He’s failing the potted plant test. We’d be better off with a potted plant as president. An absence of leadership would be an improvement. It isn’t really a political problem, at least as we’d traditionally consider it. When and how to reopen is a reasonable subject for political debate, and decent thoughtful people can come to very different conclusions. Same with how to manage the flailing economy and all sorts of other issues. It’s not a that Trump necessarily always makes bad decisions, it’s that his approach to leadership (cultivate division and confusion) undermines everything. Even if he were making wise decisions (and he surely isn’t) we’re so much worse off due to the manner in which he leads. The mask issue is a glaring example.
  7. In the American church, the Gospel has been replaced by self-actualization and worship of self. It’s most blatant in the prosperity churches (live your best life), but’s much more widespread than that. There’s a tension between the Gospel and American values. Among many of my evangelical friends, staying home from church is interpreted through the the inward-looking “fearing death” rather than the outward-looking “loving our neighbor.” They are concerned with how the crisis impact them. God has been replaced by self. Church involvement has been a wonderful part of my life and missing out on weekly services has been a great loss in my life. It’s been an imposition on my life and I resent it. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging this, but the Christian response should be to lay down our lives for one another and serving our communities. This service includes not meeting. Real leadership would have recast this whole mess in these terms. Sadly, we have something worse than no leadership; we have leadership by chaos and division. I’ve seen the argument that the church has historically met during pandemics and that God kept them safe, but the way this is framed is a perversion of the Gospel. The church that continued meeting during past pandemics did so in service to their community and at their own cost and peril. They were essentially doing what health care workers are doing now. They didn’t meet for themselves, but as a ministry to their community. Sunday school is a wonderful ministry, but it’s ultimately an inward looking one. Largely in America, the church meetings that have been fighting to reopen (no one is shutting down their food pantries) are meeting for the sake of Christian fellowship. This is a good thing, but a good thing that can be sacrificed for the sake of our communities. Christians shouldn’t fear what can destroy their bodies, but that which can destroy their souls. This false Gospel will do both.
  8. This will be an extremely effective wedge. The optics of being deemed “essential” has been a real battleground in evangelical circles. It plays into the theme of Trump as the champion of Christians, fighting for them against persecution. Christians will be hit hard with this and abortion propaganda until the election. It’s bad for the country, worse for the church (in terms of acting out and furthering the Gospel, it’s great for the bottom line even as it rips the church apart), but it’s going to be a good play for Trump’s reelection.
  9. Mole

    Composition Thread

    I use noteflight.com for pretty much everything notation. It's free (with some limitations as far as printing individual parts and how many scores you can have). The paid version is like $30/year or so. I think there are education rates. She probably won't need the paid version. There's no software to download; it just runs in your browser. It has a few problems with Safari, but I haven't run into any issues with Chrome or Firefox. It's way more intuitive than Finale or Sibelius. You can pretty much figure it out by just mashing keys and seeing what happens. There are a few minor things (mostly to do with layout of a full score than is minimally noticeable) that it doesn't do well or can't do, but I haven't run into anything major. They're pretty responsive to issues as well. To give you an idea of what I can't get it to do: when writing for a full ensemble, usually the left-hand side of the score has various bracketing connecting sections, so the ww/brass/percussion/strings are visually organized on the side of the score (for an example, check out the left-hand side of http://ks4.imslp.net/files/imglnks/usimg/d/dd/IMSLP17070-Mahler-Symph1fs.pdf). You probably wouldn't notice it unless you're looking at a lot of scores, but it's easier on the eyes with all the bracketing than without. You can have section breaks in the bar lines, so it's a little easier on the eyes, but I can't get noteflight to do what the linked score does. In all, that's not really a big deal.
  10. They compliment each other well as far as learning goes, but guitar players that act like the bass is just a guitar down an octave are a beating.
  11. That homemade HCQ recipe reminds me of the Anarchist’s Cookbook smoking banana peels recipe.
  12. I don’t know, man, that was some pretty eloquent preaching in that proclamation that he wrote.
  13. Regarding Trump’s lack of lip service to faith: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-national-day-prayer-americans-affected-coronavirus-pandemic-national-response-efforts/ His proclaimed conversion that conveniently happened some unknown time before he election (a “baby Christian” calling adult film actresses “horse face”) seems lacking in any apparent change/repentance, but some of the statements here about a lack of public proclamations haven’t quite been accurate.
  14. Mole

    Best Books On Music

    My list is focused on performing, since that's my focus, but I guess a really hot unauthorized biography of Bob Dylan's gardener could be a good read as well. These aren't just my favorite books; they're the ones that radically transformed my thinking about music and ultimately changed my life. 1. Sound In Motion, David McGill: this book blew my mind and is now an annual summer read. It's the greatest (really only) book on music phrasing I've ever come across. It transformed the way listen to and play music. It's pretty thick reading and probably demands at least a few semesters of college level music theory to really make heads or tails of. It is very classical music focused, but could change the life of anyone trying to understand why some musicians seem to really be able to turn a phrase and others seem to fall flat. It's based on Marcel Tabuteau's (famous former oboist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and teacher at Curtis) system for teaching phrasing. It can come across a little overly systematized and prescriptive for something as personal as phrasing, but once you get it (and HEAR it), you'll never be the same. It's not a light read, but it's worth it. 2. Effortless Mastery, Kenny Werner: this book blew my mind as well. It was a slow read, not because it's particularly dense, but because I had to pause every few pages and just meditate on what I just read. It deals with all of the baggage we bring to our practice and performing. It's filled with straight truth, although I'm not sure I'll ever know what to make of that truth. 3.Tennis, The Inner Game, Timothy Gallwey: this isn't a music book (Gallwey wrote a music book as well, but I've never read it). It's mostly just Gallwey's observations in learning to play tennis. It's usually discussed as a goto book when someone is dealing with nerves, but it never seemed like that to me. It's really just a great treatise on how to learn a skill. 4. This isn't a book, but pretty much anything Hal Galper says blows my mind:
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