good holiday wishes to all

…and may more people’s thoughts turn toward…The Prince of Peace and his message.

Rescue helicopters have discovered debris in the Black Sea from a Russian military transport plane which went off radar en route to Syria. Most of the passengers on the Tu-154 were members of the famous Alexandrov Ensemble army choir.

According to preliminary reports, the Tupolev transport plane had 92 people on board, including 84 passengers and eight crew members. It went missing over the Black Sea at 2:40 GMT shortly after refueling at an airport near Sochi.

Most of the passengers on board were members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, the official choir of the Russian Armed Forces, the Russian Defense Ministry said. They were travelling from Moscow to the Russian military base Khmeimim near Latakia, Syria to take part in a Christmas celebration with troops deployed there. The head of the choir, conductor and composer Valery Khalilov, is among the 65 members of the ensemble presumed dead in the accident.”  [snip]

“Over the decades, there have been around four dozen fatal incidents involving the aircraft, most of which were due to pilot error or improper maintenance.”

May they rest in peace.  And for those of us who might wish they had a river…

and i can’t leave out one of darlene love’s annual performances on letterman:

finally, peter, paul, and mary’s channuka song; the beauty and righteousness of it make me weep w/ gratitude :

(the lyrics)

23 responses to “good holiday wishes to all

  1. bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang

    what did those singers ever do to anyone?

    • poignant question w/ no good answer i reckon, jason. surely they’d brought mountains of joy to so many people. the investigation continues, but not a few claim…well, yanno. the roosians say either human error or mechanical failure, not terr’ism.

      speculation that it may have been sorta like this:

  2. Think of who we’ve lost this year among singers, songwriters, musicians. That must be getting to be one kickass heavenly choir now.

    A reading that struck me today was the On Stupidity letter from Dietriich Bonhoeffer in Letters and Papers from Prison.
    “Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed—in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical—and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.

    If we want to know how to get the better of stupidity, we must seek to understand its nature. This much is certain, that it is in essence not an intellectual defect but a human one. There are human beings who are of remarkably agile intellect yet stupid, and others who are intellectually quite dull yet anything but stupid. We discover this to our surprise in particular situations. The impression one gains is not so much that stupidity is a congenital defect but that, under certain circumstances, people are made stupid or that they allow this to happen to them. We note further that people who have isolated themselves from others or who live in solitude manifest this defect less frequently than individuals or groups of people inclined or condemned to sociability. And so it would seem that stupidity is perhaps less a psychological than a sociological problem. It is a particular fonn of the impact of historical circumstances on human beings, a psychological concomitant of certain external conditions.

    Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political ora a religious nature infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, One virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.”

    It goes on to say that what is required is not instruction but liberation. And then, because he is writing from prison and because that is the language that theologians use with each other, he talks in terms of those who are stupid requiring the life experience of the fear of God. But that they should not be isolated but engaged because they are stupid only in one area. If the sort of religious language used at the end is not your internal language, it takes a little bit of wrestling with.

    It’s significance is Bonhoeffer’s own biography and historical situation at that moment. He was among the German (state) Lutheran Church’s resistance to Nazism through the Confessing Church movement within the German Lutheran Church.

    Another one of that gathering of witnesses.

    • mornin’, thd. i did edit out the blockquote html so that i could read it, rather than paste it into a word doc, change the font, tra la la. i suspect i haven’t a clue as to how many went to the ‘heavenly choir’ this year since i know so few of the names i’ve seen in headlines. i’d have to say that trudell’s ‘ride coming for him’ was hardest for me, even though it came in the first week of dec. 2015.

      i have a few things to take care of now, so i’ll just stick in bonhoeffer’s wiki (holy crow, so to speak), and include this quote for the time being:

      “No man in the whole world can change the truth. One can only look for the truth, find it and serve it. The truth is in all places.”
      ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

      and posit that hannah arendt’s ‘banality of evil’ owes a lot to him.

      ““Her thesis is that Eichmann was not a fanatic or sociopath, but an extremely average person who relied on clichéd defenses rather than thinking for himself and was motivated by professional promotion rather than ideology. Banality, in this sense, is not that Eichmann’s actions were ordinary, or that there is a potential Eichmann in all of us, but that his actions were motivated by a sort of stupidity which was wholly unexceptional.”

      lotta food for thought, worthy of studying it more closely.

  3. And to y’all, youse, yinz & y’all’s youse’s & yinz’s.

    • Und sonne, Mond und Sterne, alles liegt in weiter Ferne, doch das Gute das ist ganz nah – ein glückliches und schönes neues Jahr, herr von davidly!

    • is it okay to ask about your sense of the zeitgeist in berlin? i also should have said that i pretty much wanted to skate away on joni’s river up yonder, but we did okay, although our guest stayed…quite late. and as it’s boxing day today, we’ll have to swap duties w/ our servants. hope we’re up for it.

  4. Nevertheless the sun hides not Virginia’s Dismal Swamp, nor Rome’s
    accursed Campagna, nor wide Sahara, nor all the millions of miles of
    deserts and of griefs beneath the moon. The sun hides not the ocean,
    which is the dark side of this earth, and which is two thirds of this
    earth. So, therefore, that mortal man who hath more of joy than sorrow
    in him, that mortal man cannot be true–not true, or undeveloped. With
    books the same. The truest of all men was the Man of Sorrows, and the
    truest of all books is Solomon’s, and Ecclesiastes is the fine hammered
    steel of woe. “All is vanity.” ALL. This wilful world hath not got hold
    of unchristian Solomon’s wisdom yet. But he who dodges hospitals and
    jails, and walks fast crossing graveyards, and would rather talk of
    operas than hell; calls Cowper, Young, Pascal, Rousseau, poor devils all
    of sick men; and throughout a care-free lifetime swears by Rabelais as
    passing wise, and therefore jolly;–not that man is fitted to sit
    down on tomb-stones, and break the green damp mould with unfathomably
    wondrous Solomon.
    New Year’s dilemma: how not to put any more bricks in this tower of babel vanity project of whatever the hell the modern capitalist state thinks its building of the world. the emptiness of all this activity, sad the waste. monday after xmas, & what are a good many USAians up to now? the collective social stupidity known as shopping. “hey, humanity, let’s all get together & do and build something colossally stupid, a stairway to nowhere. just for the hell of it. cuz we can’t think of anything better to do. and not worry about the consequences of putting all our resources, time and labor into this stairway to nowhere.”

    RIP George Michael. not my cup of tea but i remember being threatened by his musical persona (way too gay) as a teenager. probably not a bad thing.

    and someone get that kid a lozenge. jeeeeesus.

    • fine and apropos quote, yerself, mon ami. silly that i had to check to see if it’s melville. how not?

      is michael the (cough) singer then? i lasted till 1:08, lol (old curmudgeonly enuff).

      i reckon loads of the shoppers are returning things; nightmare time at the big box stores, as i remember it. now you’ll love what our grand-daughter gave as gifts: she collected ‘lost items’ around the house, wrapped them up, and gave them to those who’d forgotten they’d lost them. my tears spilled over as i crowed with delight on hearing it. fancy the imagination at work in that darlin’ lil child! dayum, i hope they all appreciated them; i got so wrapped up in it all, i’d forgotten to ask…. gotta go; laptop recharger is failing again.

      • lol. ‘is michael the (cough) singer then?’ you credit me w/more interest in limp bisquick than i have. this is the only song of theirs i know and hopefully ever will know. i watch this video, not the singing or the song itself, but their antics and 3 words come to mind: FUCK WHITE PEOPLE. i make it to the screamer’s 1st scream fest, start cracking up, and turn it off cuz: enuff already. i get it. i used to know somebody who, at karaoke, could imitate mr. screamer *perfectly*. my throat hurts just thinking about it.

        yes, melville, “the try works” chapter. i meant to mention that. “rather talk of operas than hell.” that’s funny.

  5. while i still have them on a temp word document, i’ll offer these that came in w/ the popular resistance newsletter. first is a srsly sick ‘merry christmas’ from the idf, w/ an additional note that you’re all likely familiar with:

    (“Note: Israel moved to respond to the UN’s declaring settlements in occupied territories to be illegal under international law, by moving to approve thousands more settlements. Israel’s daily land thefts and violations of international law continue.”)

    “BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces Friday suppressed Bethlehem’s “Santa Claus March,” shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants, with many suffering from tear gas inhalation.
    A number of demonstrators, including five journalists and foreigners, participated in a march near the Israeli checkpoint 300 in the north of Bethlehem, which separates residents from Jerusalem.
    The march, which includes participants dressing up as Santa Claus close to the Christian holiday of Christmas, was launched under the banner “Terrorism and occupation are two sides of the same coin,” and demanded the opening of Israeli checkpoints for Christian tourists to celebrate the holiday in the birthplace of Jesus Christ.”

    the US abstained, apparently at O’s urging. fuck the idf and bibi, the rest is here. oh, and trump’s claiming that he’ll move the U embassy from tel aviv to jerusalem is hideous, and israel is reportedly quite happy. will it give further ballast to ‘jerusalem: and complete and undivided, capital of israel’? sure, and piss off millions of muslims.

    ‘Christmas And Resistance To Slavery In The Americas’

    “It was a humid Christmas day in 1820 when twenty-five-year-old Santiago Martínez presented himself before the army commander stationed in the frontier Colombian town of Quibdó for service in the republican army. Just the year prior, in 1819, the new republic of Gran Colombia, a nation encompassing the present-day countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador, was created in the final throes of the Wars of Independence against Spain. Four feet and five inches tall, with a notable, long scar on his right cheek up to his eyebrow, Martínez sought to serve in the local army, perhaps heeding Independence leader Simón Bolívar’s call for voluntary conscription in the young Andean nation.” (the rest is here.)

  6. Thanks for the article about Christmas resistance. It made perfect sense for those fortunate to have a Christmas-observing slaveowner.

    Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, which ties rebellion, resistance, and the abolition movement into a single historical thread shows all all of those strategies were present from the beginning of the African slave trade.

  7. my efforts at jiggering the adapter haven’t worked, so i’ll save my remaining minutes to order a new one (who know how long it will take to get here), and throw up an open menu…just in case.


  8. …greetings wd

    …Holiday Greetings and Best Of This Season of White and Light

    …George Michael was a long time favorite…was one of a kind …

    …RIP GM


  9. @ davidly: good slip slidin’ away? ;-) i just kinda wondered what diff there is there compared to what any amerikan city’s response would be, as in: completely military, full court multi-‘security agency’ press.

    @ arrow amigo: and i return your wishes

    @ jason: i should have called him ‘a vocalist’ ;-)

    @thd: i’d still like to respond a bit to bonhoeffer’s essay from prison, bless his heart when i can..

    • No, sorry. I knew that. Kneejerk response on my part. The flack-vested coppers ‘ve been part of the culture enough here for a while, due in large part to their harassment-happy policy vis a vis squatters, antifas and kettle-escort practice for demonstrations. More on what the new Berlin coalition will mean in that regard later (i.e. not much diff prolly).

      The reaction to the market crash from the public-at-large — from my perspective, at least — is one thing on-line, another in meat space. Every headline for the following couple of days was all about the escaped and dangerous “was he is or was he isn’t O-Mighty Isis?” and on & on about your typical “is this the new normal” or “we cannot let on that this is the new normal” and everything within and without in between and beyond that’s possible to journalistically obsess about on behalf of the — as you put it — Zeitgeist — that the press is so proud to pretend they represent more than craft.

      Of the virtually dozens of friends, acquaintances, co-dwellers, clients, and general public with whom I have interacted since — both extensively in negotiated conversation and casual chitchat — I can say without hyperbole that it has not come up even one time. Not even alluded to. This is not my way of discounting the importance, but it does highlight where it lies in terms of Zeitgeist. Maybe the Zeitgeist has reached a place of voidy numbess (h/t Matt “TheThe” Johnson for that one). Or maybe people intuit what I wrote in my diary about it. Dunno.

      • how silly of me to not have realized that the po-po there would already have been flak-jacketed, but hopefully w/o the uzis or whatever the us police sport. i rarely click into the ‘new ter’rist atacks’ click-bait, nor “credible isis threats to attack US cities” rubbish.

        it’s all designed, of course, to give maximum funding to the po-po’s, military, compromised NGOs and intel services. sadly, it’s working just as they and the scribes to the imperium and its lackey states knew it would.

        lovely to hear that you and your extended family/comrades aren’t even mentioning it. and i love “voidy numbness” w/o knowing of matt “thethe” johnson. ;-)

        and silly jason: fun ya teased about the bumpy ridey-ness, but it ain’t over for me yet. using mr. wd’s machine for me is a bit like being on a carousel gone mad, producing similar queasiness and eye-brain meltdown. the ‘new adapter’ is slated to be here any time between friday and the 12th of never, and i hope to hell it will fix my machine; it’s all a bit on an x-file. shouldda ordered a new keyboard, too, but $$ and all….

        this un’s such a foreign land that i may not adapt soon enough to write new content w/ it, and i’m almost glad when he needs it back. gift horses, mouths, and all that…notwithstanding…

  10. welcome back w.d.! it was a bumpy ride…

  11. There’s still time for me to say a good Christmas to all, belated though I be – ’tis a season of contrast here, with many hot blue days abruptly followed by arctic nights. I’ve taken, when I see sun, to dragging my bones out to the garden corner that’s sunsoaked, spending the short day in mindless meditation. Needless to say that is not conducive to anything like the reminiscences and soliliquies this blog deserves and already has in abundance – but to bookend the lovely Schubert (and he has the “c” I left out of Carrie Fischer’s name, sorry) Ave Maria, here is the Rachmaninoff version:

    I’m being very altruistic only listening to the first couple of bars – we sang it “Hail, O Maiden Mother, bearer of God in flesh. . .” in the Santa Fe St. Francis Cathedral, Christmas of 1988. This ensemble looks similar to ours.

    To the victims of the Russian plane crash and others who died this year, memory eternal.

    • and good christmas to you, juliania. that version is exquisite, but i dearly love it being sung as a solo, and barbara bonney’s voice might be the sort that could break crystal, as she seems to hit every note as close to perfectly on tune as i can imagine.

      i can imagine that being a part of such a large chorale group was thrilling; not since i went to church in high school have i been in one. (most of us young uns only went for the brilliant choir director); after they fired her in a jealous pique, i’d reckon, did most of us…leave the church. what a stoopid thing to have done (canning her, i mean.) i’m certain that she still lives in the hearts of all of those she directed and encouraged.

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