Archive for September 2010

Ichinose Kotomi: Violin rehearsal

September 27, 2010

This is the piece she was practicing for. It wasn’t until I realized that the clacker and the bell were coming from the instruments shown in the rehearsal that I realized… this song was it.

And I spent several periods of time near the ending of the visual novel wishing I could have heard her after she had improved. It felt like one of those plot twists at the FIN, like Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Sixth Sense, or Matrix 1. In this case, Kotomi from Clannad, had a special surprise, on top of all the other surprises, in reserve. It was seeing the triangular device. Suddenly, I remembered that the song itself had this dinging sound that was not from a violin. That was the connection. Given Kotomi’s arc focusing so strongly on music, it was an interesting easter egg to find.

If I recall correctly, the “violin of death” on the school grounds was organized (and paid for) by Kyou as a sort of practice session before her real recital. Which was never presented in the VN.

Power of Culture

September 27, 2010

I was rather surprised to hear a song sung in English that used a Japanese word as the center keystone. So I went and looked up the authors of the song, TATU, who I found to be two individuals of Russian origin.

Two female Russian singers using a Japanese word as the keystone of their song, and then making a music video using Japanese animation styles in the bargain?

That’s the power of culture there. Not your own culture, but any culture that can be accessed on the internet or in other low barrier esque fashions. The problem with America culture is that most of the exportable kind is nihilistic and profit driven, rather than driven by an ideology of capitalism or liberty or family values or patriotism. It doesn’t matter what idea drives a cultural value, so long as it is a strong idea. One that people will go to extremes for. Japan is a nation of those who pursued their ideals with extreme devotion. And that shows, even in these matters.

High Crimes and Disdemeanors

September 25, 2010

The Fix was in, as a lot of us said. Democrats, who control the fix, talk about fixing the fix. Like that was a good idea. They hypocritically say that they should be trusted with power, because the “system” rules. But the Dems rule the system, not the other way around.

Pandora Music Now

September 22, 2010

I recently finished watching Sukiyaki Western Dango

It’s very strange from a cultural perspective.

Now to the main feature. This is a great song. Whenever I want to heard good music that I have never heard before, I go to http://www.pandora.com

Their music dna database works with a high degree of accuracy. Something you can’t say for the US government or other big orgs.

The Magic Gaze of Man and the Domestication of Dogs

September 21, 2010

Two pieces, domestication of dogs and the magic gaze of man, put together a complex and thorough history of human-animal relationships.

For cave paintings, form followed from function. The function of how animals behaved were put to artistic work by paint and hand. It served the purpose of educating new hunters and perhaps served as a great backdrop for stories and imagination. To imagine how to hunt well while in winter and then applying the new thoughts in the spring. Such did humans ascend the ladder of creation.

Getting Fired for Criticizing Obama

September 21, 2010

When blacks said the “Man” had you down and was keeping you down, they weren’t kidding.

Oh wait, blacks are for Obama? He must be the Man then.

A Virtuous Population under Good Government

September 20, 2010

There’s nothing in the Declaration that requires us to choose another Republic, or another Democracy. We do have Aristotle’s options, and his warnings, before us. We talked about that recently; and it’s a problem still. You have three good modes:

Royalty (government by one virtuous man or woman)
Aristocracy (government by a few of the virtuous)
Constitutional Government (government by many of the virtuous)

Each of them is subject to corruption, though. And it is the particular corruption our author identifies: the seeking of self-advantage (he calls this servility, not doing the right thing unless there is an advantage). These three corruptions are:

Tyranny (a corrupt government by one)
Oligarchy (a corrupt government by a few)
Democracy (a corrupt government by many).

Now, Aristotle suggests Constitutionalism because he feels that the corruptions are less perverse as power becomes more diluted. That seems reasonable.

Our author here suggests, however, that democracy may have a particularly threatening character to the moral life. If that’s true, it upsets the Aristotelean model. Instead of Constitutional government being the most attractive (because its corruption is the least perverse), we have to have a special fear of Democracy. It doesn’t just pervert government, but it destroys the moral life that is at the root of all human happiness.

That seems like a new problem, and one that might alter our calculations substantially. The old models assume Aristotle was, essentially, right about the levels of perversion.

-Grim

I would introduce additional layers of complexity to counter the fact that in a democracy of vote franchises, the people tend to slack off and due to moral hazard let others conduct proxy decisions for them.

In any complex or large society, there are always several layers or sub-sections. For the US, it is the military, the social elites, the rich, the poor, the educated, the uneducated, and so forth. A united society based upon trust and social cooperation, tends to be self-reinforcing in that the people in their particular social circles work well with those from others. Or perhaps they even belong to multiple branches and circles.

The Left seeks power through division and conquest by divide and rule. Because America was partially based upon countering power and argument, the Left rode this popular sentiment as a wolf uses sheep’s wool as cover.

To promote and maintain virtue, whether amongst the followrs or leaders, one must necessarily create an additional organization or circle of membership for that purpose. It is not enough to attempt to use the status quo organizations and social connections. Even the Left had to create new organizations in order to divide the people who once were closer in thinking and philosophy, though they belonged to disparate tribes and social circles. To make the function of society smoother, additional organization and organizations are required.

It just goes to show that in a closed system where the status quo does not change, entropy takes hold and everything goes to the slums. To shake things up, certain organizations and connections must be broken and replaced by new ones. Instead of reducing complexity, increase it and thus disrupt the plans of the status quo retainers.

People naturally become subservient when the organization they are part of stops growing or changing. It doesn’t need any new leaders or visionaries. Thus there is no social reward nor personal reward for taking risks and experimenting. If you disrupt their daily lives, however, then there’s a chance that people will experiment and try new things. And in doing so, they will grow or fall by their own efforts. While war is the most extreme rendition of this sort, it is not the only process by which growth can be accelerated.

For virtue to be maintained or grown, the entire landscape from the bottom up first, must be dynamic and challenging. If too much top down umbrage exists, there will be no light, no growth, and no opportunity. If the “Leader” says that Plan A is the only option, the followers can only follow Plan A even if they fail a thousand times. If the followers are disconnected from their usual sources of authority, then they will start to think for themselves, because it will be required of them. This generates argument, chaos, and doubt. But only in this fashion can virtue be attained. Americans have “just followed orders” for awhile now, trusting in the promise that they will be “taken care of”.

And it has led to a reversal of the pendulum.

9/11 The Moment of Truth

September 11, 2010

To mark this incidence, I have often times said nothing on this blog of mine. Besides relating some cursory info on the time and place where I first saw it, there’s nothing else I find particularly striking enough to write down. I wasn’t there and I didn’t know anybody that was. The story of other lives can be best related by those much closer to the subject in question. Instead, I’ll let others speak in my stead in the poetic, artistic, and philosophical sense.

Axes flash, broadsword swing,
Shining armour’s piercing ring
Horses run with polished shield,
Fight Those Bastards till They Yield
Midnight mare and blood red roan,
Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Follow orders as you’re told,
Make Their Yellow Blood Run Cold
Fight until you die or drop,
A Force Like Ours is Hard to Stop
Close your mind to stress and pain,
Fight till You’re No Longer Sane
Let not one damn cur pass by,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Guard your women and children well,
Send These Bastards Back to Hell
We’ll teach them the ways of war,
They Won’t Come Here Any More
Use your shield and use your head,
Fight till Every One is Dead
Raise the flag up to the sky,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

Dawn has broke, the time has come,
Move Your Feet to a Marching Drum
We’ll win the war and pay the toll,
We’ll Fight as One in Heart and Soul
Midnight mare and blood red roan,
Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

and

Dry your eyes and quietly bear this pain with pride
For heaven shall remember the silent and the brave
And promise me they will never see, the fear within our eyes
(my eyes are closed)
We will give strength to those who still remain

So bury fear, for fate draws near
And hide the signs of pain
With noble acts, the bravest souls
Endure the heart’s remains
Discard regret, that in this debt
A better world is made
That children of a newer day might remember
And avoid our fate

(I’ve waited all day in the pouring rain, but nobody came, no, nobody came)

And in the fury of this darkest hour
We will be your light
You’ve asked me for my sacrifice
And I am Winter born
Without denying, a faith is come
That I have never known
I hear the angels call my name
And I am Winter born

Hold your head up high-for there is no greater love
Think of the faces of the people you defend
(you defend)
And promise me, they will never see the tears within our eyes
(my eyes are closed)
Although we are men, with mortal sins, angels never cry

So bury fear, for fate draws near
And hide the signs of pain
With noble acts, the bravest souls
Endure the heart’s remains
Discard regret, that in this debt
A better world is made
That children of a newer day might remember
And avoid our fate

And in the fury of this darkest hour
We will be your light
You’ve asked me for my sacrifice
And I am Winter born
Without denying, a faith in God
That I have never known
I hear the angels call my name
And I am Winter born

And in the fury of this darkest hour
I will be your light
A lifetime for this destiny
For I am Winter born
And in this moment..I will not run
It is my place to stand
We few shall carry hope
Within our bloodied hands
(bloodied hands)
And in our Dying, we’re more alive-than we have ever been
I’ve lived for these few seconds
For I am Winter born

And in the fury of this darkest hour
We will be the light
You’ve asked me for my sacrifice
And I am Winter born
Without denying, a faith in man
That I have never known
I hear the angels call my name
And I am Winter born

Within this moment now
I am for you, though better men have failed
I will give my life for love
For I am Winter born
And in my dying
I’m more alive, than I have ever been
I will make this sacrifice
For I am Winter born

Japanese Westerns

September 10, 2010

Something very strange is being watched by me here and now.

Sukiyaki Western Dango seems to be a Japanese made Western, that’s in English and mimics both Japanese accented English and Texan-Southern drawl English together.

It is strange. Maybe it will be entertaining as well.

Kill Bill

September 9, 2010

I was surprised at how much Japanese elements were in Kill Bill, when I watched it recently for the first time. Some thoughts on the related fights.

The Bride swings the sword two handed like a baseball bat, using her arms and shoulders. It tends to overcorrect for her balance and make it impossible to recover or change the direction of the blade.

The stabbing thing was iffy. There’s the matter of point control over the broadness of the top of the katana blade and then there’s the matter of it only being edged on one side. Thus creating a slow but certain imbalance when sliding through a body. Targeting, inserting, and extracting both take necessarily more time than a blade specifically designed for thrusting. Although such a blade thrust just enough to lodge into a body cavity, with one step can rip the blade out on the sharp edge and basically create a mortal wound by effect of cuttng the body from the inside out. Small hole going in, large hole coming out, principle.

Also, I didn’t see any twists of the blade. An insertion and withdrawal from a thrust is not certain to be mortal, unless you go out of your way to twist the blade while it is inside the body. Creating havoc amongst the issues and inducing internal bleeding. Helps speed mortality along so he doesn’t come back with a death blow while dying.

When against multiple opponents, make them as one. All this twirling about tends to use up energy needlessly and it can in no way shape or form provide real strength behind a cut, thus making the cut not a cut but a simple slash. Non life threatening. Using Miyamoto’s terminology, which is only translated to English in one fashion.

It makes a difference if the Japanese word is kizu or shin, to wound or sharpness.


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