Back in January of this year, Jordan Peterson and Tucker Carlson answered a question about where they saw 2024 headed. Here we are in the middle of the year, and what they have to say is still relevant. This is a 10-minute excerpt from a much longer show, which I'll say upfront I haven't seen. But, being a very much johnny-come-lately fan of both men, I appreciate their differing points of view—and especially how they come together at the end.

Fathers, we need you. The future of the world depends on you. Well, no—not entirely. But the great Father upon whom all depends invites you to be part of His work. Understand the truth of the dark times Carlson foresees, and take hold of Peterson's optimisitic solution.

Happy Father's Day!

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, June 16, 2024 at 6:00 am | Edit
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On June 8, 2023, we were in Gdansk, Poland. It was just for a day, and Gdansk was not for the most part a particularly pleasant city to visit. Poland has had more of a struggle than, say, East Germany in the aftermath of winning its freedom back in the 1980's, and Gdansk is far less clean and modern than the former East Berlin.

However, Gdansk was as moving and as inspiring as Berlin, where we had touched remnants of the Berlin Wall and stood at the site of Checkpoint Charlie. Arguably, Poland led the revival that liberated Eastern Europe, and it was an awesome experience to see the Gdansk shipyard where the Solidarity Movement had its beginnings.

An unexpected additional blessing was that we were in Gdansk for the Feast of Corpus Christi, and we were vividly reminded that in Poland during the Soviet era, the Catholic Church resisted the assaults on Christianity more successfully than in most other Eastern European countries, and that the Church's leadership and courage was a major factor in their liberation.

It came as a complete surprise to us, walking around the city, suddenly to find ourselves in the middle of their Corpus Christi Day procession, and what a moving experience that was. Even with all the tourists (like us) milling around and taking pictures. (I was not so moved as not to notice the very clever sound system, with speakers strategically placed throughout the procession to keep everyone together. I've been in too many much, much smaller Palm Sunday services, in which the tail of the procession gets hopelessly and painfully out of sync with the head, not to appreciate this innovation.)

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, May 30, 2024 at 6:00 am | Edit
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I have nothing to improve on the Memorial Day posts I have made in the past, except this thought that has been on my mind lately.

Perhaps the best way we can honor those who stood bravely "between their lov'd home and the war's desolation" is to stop taking for granted the freedom they gave their lives to protect. Let's not defile their sacrifices by treating lightly the present-day assaults on our sacred liberty and Constitutional rights, but work to preserve what was gained at so great a cost. 

Oh! thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, May 27, 2024 at 9:03 pm | Edit
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Not long ago, I ran down an interesting rabbit hole.

As a genealogy researcher, i have both an interest in and a knack for finding people and stories. Today a friend's casual comment on a completely unrelated subject led me eventually this meme on Facebook:

It caught my eye, both because it speaks an important truth and even more because I knew a friend who would especially appreciate it. But I'm also researcher enough not to pass something like this along without knowing more about the context. So I did a Google image search for the picture.

That turned out to be so much easier than most of the image searches I do. I've mentioned before that I'm organizing my father's journals, and also the old photographs from the same time period. Since most of the labelling on the photos is missing or minimal, Google Lens has been of immeasurable assistance, though a good deal of detective work is still necessary.

The context of this photo popped up immediately. (Well, almost—I'll get to that caveat in a moment.) Wikipedia has the exact picture, and helpfully explains that it is a photo of "Polish Jews being loaded into trains at Umschlagplatz of the Warsaw Ghetto, 1942." On this, I think Wikipedia can be trusted. So it's legit.

But I mentioned that the search wasn't exactly as easy as I had implied. That's where this rabbit hole got especially interesting.

Google refused, at first, to show me any results, as they were likely to be "explicit." I don't know about you, but to me, that designation implies that the results would show me pornography or graphic violence or other obscenity. Granted, the ideas and actions represented by that photo are obscene enough, but not the photo itself, which legitimately documents an important and dangerous time period.

In order to see it, I had to turn off Chrome's "Safe Search" feature, which I had heretofore assumed was there to filter out graphic sex and violence. The feature manages to discern the difference between pornography and the naked ladies featured in art museums; why is historical data a problem? Some day I may get curious enough to check out other browsers. Anyone here have experiences to share?

On top of that, I learned that what I was seeing was someone's second attempt at sharing this meme, Facebook having taken down the first. What Facebook found offensive I do not know. I'm tempted to post it directly myself and see what they do, but I'll try cross-posting this first. I generally just post links to Lift Up Your Hearts! when I want to share them on Facebook, and I doubt the FB censors will dig that deep. We'll see.

Here's why it matters: Knowledge of history is essential. My 15-year-old self would have choked on that, as of all the history classes I endured, there was only one I thought worthwhile. (I take that back; there was also the unit on Native Americans back in fourth grade, which was pretty cool.) Nonetheless, one of the lessons I remember best from all my years in school is that one of the clearest characteristics of a totalitarian régime is its attempts to cut its people off from their own history, whether by re-writing it (à la the novel 1984) or by changing the language (whatever the benefits of simplified Chinese, it has greatly limited the people's ability to read historical Chinese documents), or by simply encouraging an atmosphere of ignorance.

The meme, it turns out, is as much about the First Amendment as the Second.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 7:50 am | Edit
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I've long known, and been troubled by the fact that nearly all of our vitamin C comes from China.

It's not that I'm against trade with China. When two powerful enemies have a thriving trade relationship, they are much less likely to seek to blow each other to bits.

On the other hand, China's terrible reputation when it comes to health and safety, environmental, labor, and human rights concerns really ought to be taken more seriously, especially when it comes to what we ingest.

I'm sufficiently convinced of the value of vitamin C in preventing/mitigating illness that it's a regular part of my health routine. As I said to one of my doctors, who agreed that he followed a similar philosophy, "I don't care if it's only the placebo effect—the placebo effect itself turns out to be effective about a third of the time." For that reason, I've been seeking a non-Chinese alternative to vitamin C.

I think I've found one: LifeSource Vitamins.

It from no one's recommendation, no advertisement, nothing but a simple internet search on "vitamin c not from China." So this is not a review, nor an endorsement of all they offer. But their vitamins do not come from China, and what's more, they're local (just across town in Winter Park). That was good enough for me to give them a trial. I ordered their 500mg vitamin C, and also decided to try some multivitamins and minerals. The latter is a whole lot more than just vitamins; I reproduce the back label here, not only for your information, but so I can easily read it when I want to; to read the actual label I have to resort to a magnifying glass.

I have no idea what good all these various things are supposed to do for me. (Chlorella Cracked Cell Wall Powder, anyone?) I'll let you know if I can suddenly leap tall buildings in a single bound. I'm more interested in the more ordinary ingredients, and will note that the "serving size" is three tablets (you're supposed to take one with each meal), so if some of these percentages look a little high to you, it's easy to take just one.

And that's another thing I like about these vitamins: they are easy to take, period. I don't generally have trouble swallowing pills, but often have a real problem with vitamin C tablets. For whatever reason, they sometimes stick in my throat, causing me to choke and/or vomit. It's not pleasant to feel I'm rolling the dice everything I swallow a vitamin. These vitamin C tablets, however, don't have the customary rough coating, but are smooth—and slide right down.

As I said, this can hardly be a review of the product at this point—why do companies ask for reviews from people who can't possibly have enough experience to say more than, "Yep, it arrived in good time and the packaging was intact"? But I asked for non-Chinese vitamin C, and I'm grateful to have found some.

So I'm passing along the information the best way I know.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at 3:26 pm | Edit
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The Elfun Society was an organization related to the General Electric Company. My father worked for GE from college graduation to retirement, and he and my mother would occasionally go to Elfun Society special events. On January 18, 1966, they attended a program featuring Peter Jennings as the speaker. Jennings was 27 years old at the time, and only one year into his job as ABC anchorman. Dad, in his journal, remembers him as a young Canadian, "witty when he wanted to be and also very serious when he wanted to be."

Here are a couple of things he found memorable.

He started his talk by referring to President Johnson's favorite phrase when some negotiating needs to be done: "Come, let us reason together." He said that a little research shows that this comes from the Bible, the first chapter if Isaiah, 18th verse: "Come, let us reason together, saith the Lord." That brought down the house, and then he read further. In effect, the Lord then says that those who do things his way will be rewarded, and those that do not will be "devoured by the sword."

Knowing more now about our 36th president, I'd say Jennings was pretty astute about American politics for a Canadian in his mid-20's!

The following is an old joke, but then again, this was almost 60 years ago, so who knows?

He also commented that as far as his own political views are concerned, he is not a member of any organized political party—he is a Republican.

It was clearly intended to be a joke. Jennings would not become an American citizen until nearly 40 years later, so was unlikely to have been directly involved in American politics. But it reminds me of something else he said that night. Dad did not write it in his journal, but quoted it enough times afterwards that I've never forgotten. What Jennings said was that journalists are always trying to portray themselves as neutral and unbiased in political matters, but that's impossible. One's own biases always come through in the reporting. What is important, Jennings said, is to be upfront about where you are coming from, so the audience can take your prejudices into account. I've always thought he was right about that, but I surely do miss the days when those who reported the news at least gave lip service to fairness, instead of the can't-distinguish-news-reporting-from-editorial-comments circus we have today.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 3:31 pm | Edit
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The headline was admittedly clickbait: I’m QUITTING Gardening After Reading THIS, So Should YOU. And it caught me. I actually suspected that it didn't mean what it sounded like, and in the process I discovered another interesting YouTube channel.

After his brief rant, we get to see him transplanting fruit trees, dealing with gophers, demonstrating his "weedeater," and more.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 6:13 am | Edit
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I'm the kind of person who sees standardized, multiple-choice tests as fun puzzles. I always did well on them—but only because I learned to shut down that part of my brain that delighted in finding alternative answers, in favor of that part that could discern which answer was probably in the minds of the test-makers.

My gut wanted this t-shirt.

Sadly, the other part of my brain overruled it, insisting that there is a valid and important place for politics in our lives. What I need is a shirt that says,

Turning 
Everything
into
Politics
Ruins
Everything

A case in point:

Back in 2014, I was introduced to the hymn, Lift Every Voice and Sing. Here's what I had to say about it 10 years ago.

We arrived early at church, and having discovered that the processional hymn was a new one to us, I plunked it out on the piano several times before the director arrived. It may sound easy, but it is decidedly not if you've never heard it before. Mercifully, he took it down a whole third from what is written in our hymnal.

I would never have guessed that Lift Every Voice and Sing was an African-American song, much less the "Black National Anthem" as it is sometimes called. Not knowing the tempo at which it is apparently usually sung (judging by the YouTube recordings I listened to), I took it at a faster clip, and would have guessed it to be a World War I era song, or maybe something from the Salvation Army. If you listen to it and note that the middle part sounds like the more militant parts of Les Miserables, be assured that this was written 'way back in 1899/1900 by James Weldon Johnson and his brother John Rosamond Johnson.

Our church usually sings that hymn on a Sunday near to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and I love it, despite the fact that I'm not really comfortable with singing it in a worship service. I get uncomfortable when we sing music in worship that honors secular occasions, such as Independence Day, Veterans Day, Mothers Day, etc. I can't really say it's wrong, but it makes me uncomfortable.

Nonetheless, Lift Up Your Voice and Sing is a powerful song, and I was excited a few weeks ago when I learned that it is going to be performed during this year's Super Bowl. I made a comment to that effect, and was shocked at the can of worms I opened. First of all, I revealed my complete ignorance of football games in general and the Super Bowl in particular, by stating that I sure hoped they would sing all the verses, because the words are very important for our time. How was I supposed to know that the attention spans of football fans are so small they wouldn't tolerate more than one verse? (There are only three.)

There are some songs in which some verses can be removed without doing damage to the meaning—and other songs where that is decidedly not true. You'd be amazed at how often a church will sing only the first verse of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, which leaves off at a most unfortunate place.

A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood,
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
His craft and power are great,
And armed with cruel and hate,
On earth is not his equal.

I mean, really?  You want to stop there?

Our own Star Spangled Banner, when sung, almost never includes my favorite verse:

Oh! thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Lift Every Voice and Sing deserves (and needs) all of its verses.

But worse was yet to come. I then learned that the singing of this song had become a football of the political variety. I don't know what all was said; I'm deliberately avoiding it, and I certainly will be avoiding the Super Bowl for other reasons. But it's a shame, because this is a marvellous anthem full of faith, hope, caution, history, and patriotism, suitable for anyone who has struggled through difficulties and still faces challenges.

So here, since you are highly unlikely to hear them performed at the upcoming game, are all the verses of Lift Up Your Voice and Sing.

Lift every voice and sing,
’Til earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on ’til victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed.
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
’Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at 1:17 pm | Edit
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The first video is from Task & Purpose, and presents a brief history of tiny El Salvador, the progress that has been made against the powerful gangs that have held the country hostage, and at what cost that progress has come. Insights into how previous political mistakes can turn around and bite you, especially if you insist on compounding them with present political mistakes. Plus the question: How much liberty are we prepared to give up in the name of safety? We surrendered much in the face of COVID, which for most of us was a very mild threat. What would we do if threatened by violent, merciless, implacable gang rule?

Think about that next time you watch the world pouring over the Texas-Mexico border and spreading throughout the country. (21 minutes)

For over 60 years our educational system has been fixated on our ignorance of math and science. (Not that we've done much to ameliorate the problem, but at least we pretend to try.) For much of my life I was on board with that, being a fan of the hard sciences, with little respect for social sciences and humanities. The older I get, however, the more I realize that our greatest educational lack, the deficit far more likely to make our lives miserable or even kill us, is in history and current events. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been. "It can't happen here" (or now, or in my family/town/nation) is a critically dangerous attitude.

Bret Weinstein, who himself lived for a while in Panama, visited the infamous Darien Gap, a gauntlet that kills many and maims most of the migrant families as they fight their way to the Mexico/U.S. border. In the process, he discovers evidence of not one, but two migrations: a migration driven by the pursuit of greater economic opportunities in the United States, which includes people from all over the world, and a lot of families; and a second, cryptic migration which includes mostly people from China, of military age, heavily skewed towards men. Bret and Heather discuss his visit, and his resulting hypotheses about our border crisis, on DarkHorse Podcast #210. I have not actually made time yet to see that podcast, which is an hour and three-quarters long, but here's Tucker Carlson's interview with Bret, which covers the story very effectively. It's an hour long itself, but worth every minute, if you can fit it into the interstices of your day. Or get hooked, as I did, and watch, transfixed, from beginning to end. I prefer to hear the normal pace of the interview, but it also works well at higher speeds.

And neither of these videos considers how much the Mexican drug lords would love to spread their control throughout the United States.

As my daughter said recently: We all have our own kind of hard. Her attention at the moment is on holding her family together while their two-year-old daughter fights for her life against a rare form of leukemia. And it is meet and right so to do.

We all have our own kind of hard, and most of us are overwhelmed.

How can I help our granddaughter and her family in the struggle for her life? In small ways of encouragement, and especially by prayer.

How can I help in the struggle to make the world a good place for her to live that life? I can pray, and I can vote, two of the most powerful actions. I can also keep my eyes open, learn, think, and write, in my very small corner of the Internet. 

If [a watchman] sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if any one who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes, and takes any one of them, that man is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. (Ezekiel 33:3-6)

No one, not even those who do not already feel overwhelmed with critical duties, can keep up with all the sources of danger, but it behooves us to find and listen to those who do the watchman's work. I am not a watchman, but I am a watcher of the watchmen, and what I learn I like to share here. What others take from my writings is not my responsibility; but woe to me if I see a sword coming and don't blow my little trumpet.

Posted by sursumcorda on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 3:20 pm | Edit
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Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, January 5, 2024 at 10:46 am | Edit
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It is said that someone once asked Martin Luther, "Why do you preach salvation by faith alone, week after week after week?"

"Because," Luther replied, "You forget it week after week after week."

In that spirit, it's time to bring back once again this much-needed, and clearly forgotten, scene from A Man for All Seasons.

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at 5:59 pm | Edit
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Once again, the CATO Institute has come out with its assessment of relative personal and economic freedom among our states. I'm always suspicious of all those surveys that purport to measure "best state to live in," "happiest city," "most family-friendly country," and such, because so often their criteria are not only different from my own, but even polar opposites. But the CATO Institute appears to have done a good job, and they're open about their criteria and how they calculate their rankings. It goes without saying that there are "freedoms" considered here that each of us would be happy to do without. I'm actually rather pleased that Florida ranks #37 in "gambling freedom," although I understand why that's included in the calculations. They even have an appendix for high-profile issues, such as abortion, that make a generalized assessment of freedom difficult.

Here is the definition of freedom that undergirds this ranking:

We ground our conception of freedom on an individual rights framework. In our view, individuals should be allowed to dispose of their lives, liberties, and property as they see fit, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. This understanding of freedom follows from the natural-rights liberal thought of John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Robert Nozick, but it is also consistent with the rights-generating rule-utilitarianism of Herbert Spencer and others.

Here is an image of the overall freedom rankings. I encourage you to go to the website, however, where you can find much more information.

Way to go, New Hampshire and Florida, the gold and silver winners!

The dubious distinction of coming in dead last goes to my birth state of New York, where I lived until I was 15 and came back again for college and several years thereafter, home of my beloved Adirondack Mountains, and birthplace of our children. I still love New York and pray for it daily, but can no longer imagine—as I once dreamed—of returning to live there. However, your mileage may vary. One man's liberty is another man's license, and New York may be just where you'll feel freest in the areas that matter most to you. (If so, please stay there and enjoy it. Don't move to Florida for the weather or the low taxes and then do your best to make us like New York.)

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 5:56 am | Edit
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Here's a PBS story with information on how Neanderthal (and Denisovan) genes live on in modern humans. I'm taking it personally; after all, 23andMe tells me that I have more Neanderthal genes than 91% of their customers: Out of the 7,462 variants we tested, we found 279 variants in your DNA that trace back to the Neanderthals. Granted, my Neanderthal ancestry adds up to less than 2% of my DNA, but it's still more than most people have.

So if you think some of my ideas are old-fashioned, even Stone Age, at least I come by them honestly.

The bad news:

In 2020, research by Zeberg and Paabo found that a major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals. “We compared it to the Neanderthal genome and it was a perfect match,” Zeberg said. “I kind of fell off my chair.”

The good news:

The next year, they found a set of DNA variants along a single chromosome inherited from Neanderthals had the opposite effect: protecting people from severe COVID.

The science behind the news (links in the quotes) is more than I want to think about, and I have no idea how the protective vs. risk factor genes work out in my case. After all, I may have more Neanderthal genes than most, but that's still only a small fraction, and I don't even know if the variants involved are among those tested by 23andMe. So I'll just go back to making my Covid decisions based on other factors.

And smiling when someone suggests my views are out-of-date.

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 7:23 am | Edit
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Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside.

— Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind

I saw the part in bold quoted online and knew I had to share it here. As usual, my cynical side insisted I confirm that the attribution was correct (so many aren't), so I was able to include a litte more of the text.

One more book for my already impossible need-to-read list.

Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, November 17, 2023 at 6:04 pm | Edit
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It is refreshing when someone whose eyes are wide open to "the hosts of evil 'round us," and has suffered much in exposing them, finds evidence that all is not lost. Heather Heying writes about this in Natural Selections: "The Flame of the West Is Alive." The post, as usual, is long, and for quite a while is more dark than hopeful. But near the end, Heather tells the following story:

My sign-off for DarkHorse, which seems more apt than ever, is this:

  • Be good to the ones you love;
  • Eat good food;
  • And get outside.

To which I would add two things: music and dogs.

When in Prague two weeks ago, after the launch of the Czech publication of Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide by Institut H21, several of us went to a pub and stayed late. Two Czech men with opposite politics sat across from me, disagreeing, laughing, drinking. I only met them that night, but I feel confident in saying that they are both good men. In part I have that confidence because I watched them describe positions of almost polar opposition—on Trump, on what is being taught in schools, on guns—and they listened to one another, and to others at the table who disagreed or agreed, and they did not dissolve into puddles or erupt in fury. How many places would that be possible in America now?

The director of Institut H21, the amazing Adam Ruzicka, had brought a guitar that evening, in the hopes that we could sing around an actual campfire after the book launch. Weather did not permit, but he broke out his guitar in the pub instead, and began to play Czech folk songs, of which there are many. I heard estimates that all Czech people know the words to at least thirty folk songs, which they can and will sing along to, given the opportunity.  [Editor's note:  That is not exactly how Adam's surname is spelled, but my platform's editor curled up in a ball and died when trying to swallow all the diacritical marks.]

Adam pulled out his guitar and began playing, and in short order a young man at the next table pulled out a violin and joined. The joy grew, and the singing got louder. A few women from a neighboring room came in and began to dance. And at the third table in the room, a man pulled out an accordion and joined in as well. I know—I must be making this up. Exaggerating. But I am not.

Everyone but us two Americans were singing along, including the men who had been arguing amicably just moments before. When one song ended, another began. The guitar was handed around and played by others before being returned to Adam’s capable hands.

It was late though, well after 1am. The pub was on the bottom floor of a residential building, and it was a Tuesday. The bartender came in from the other room and asked Adam to keep it down. The noble subversion of the Czech spirit kicked in then, inspiring Adam to raise the decibel level considerably, encouraging even more raucous singing, before finishing with a flourish.

Later, the bartender would tell Adam that in his position, he would have done the same thing.

I dare not quote a larger section than this, so to find out what she has to say about dogs, you'll have to go to the original post.

I'll close with the comment I wrote there:

A hearty YES! to the civilization-saving importance of music, by which I mean above all homemade music, such as you experienced in Prague. That sounds like an impromptu Czech version of the Irish seisiún, also found in pubs. Or the regular Friday-night pizza dinner/hymn sings at our daughter's house.

The difference between making music yourself, especially with other people, and what plays omnipresently in our homes, our stores, our doctor's offices, and our earbuds, is like the difference between raw milk, unpasteurized apple cider, or homemade sourdough bread, and what goes by the names milk, cider, and bread on the shelves of our grocery stores.

Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 8:00 am | Edit
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