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I felt your foot the whole time
Last night was an 110dB+ peak show. Louder than most. Typically the peak dB recorded hovers around 100dB. This is the transitory peak, of course. We don’t spend much time up there. Time-weighted averages are between 85-90dB.
Any reading taken much over 100dB or so from the sound booth at the back of the house is crowd noise.
An “110dB show,” therefore, indicates a happy audience. The cast gave a performance commensurate with the crowd’s enthusiasm. Everyone was on their game. Two of the happiest patrons were my neighbors at the table tucked up against the side of the sound booth.
At the end of the show, the slightly inebriated young woman leaned in to express her delight with the cast, adding, “you were great too! I felt your foot the whole time!”
I’m a toe tapper.
Conducting the orchestra in my mind
On the face of it, this may seem a dubious claim. Quiet, a little reclusive, rarely shows up at parties; it is understandable to lump in “not a toe tapper” with that characterization (we’ll just leave the long-gone “Mr. North Beach” out of the discussion).
From the time when I was barely old enough to tie my shoes, I’d stand in front of the (1) speaker of the family Hi-Fi (long before wi-fi) using a long, purple tinker toy as a conductor’s baton. I conducted the orchestra in my imagination.
In one way or another, I’ve been doing that ever since.
In my mind, that little kid is conducting his orchestra. It’s always been a nearly unconscious habit; “happy feet” tapping the rhythm of the music (even if the music is only in my head). Unseen, the tapping feet hold it all together.
Anyone familiar with the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” may remember the scene when Sundance had to prove his marksmanship. At first, he stands there and can’t hit anything.
“Can I move?” he asks.
When he can move as he shoots, it all comes together. He can’t miss.
And so it is. (Though, unlike Sundance, I most certainly still miss).
The tinker toy is now a $20,000 sound mixing console (or it was ten years ago). The context notwithstanding, it seems the natural thing to do. It’s innate.
Everything else is a struggle.
Photo by Arindam Mahanta on Unsplash
Donald Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement
I admit that I had held out hope until the very end. Until I received the news alert at 11:45 this morning, I thought that even Donald Trump would recognize the lunacy of pulling out of the Paris Agreement. That is, of course, my mistake. Just like the sucker punch of election night (which, until then, had been a great birthday celebration), Trump has once again rattled my perception of reality.
That’s a good thing. If there has been one iota of “normalizing” a Donald Trump presidency, then today was the slap in the face I needed. Humans aren’t designed to be on high alert all the time. It can’t be “fight or flight” 24/7, but that is no excuse to let our guard down. Even when it feels hopeless.
In Bonn, Copenhagen, and Paris, I’ve been fortunate enough to see the UN process from the inside. It is often a grinding, disheartening experience.
The spirit of Paris
COP21 was truly remarkable. Reaching beyond the short-term, self-interest endemic of global nation-states, Paris marked a threshold in human progress. For the first time in the troubled history of our species, we looked head on into the tragedy of the global commons we managed to chose a path of mutual cooperation.
Then along comes an infantile, arrogant, ignorant narcissist. Unconcerned with the truth, out of touch with his own humanity – let alone anyone else’s – and the delicate balance of international diplomacy crumbles in a heap.
Decades of hard-fought negotiations may seem for naught, but it is not so. It just means the United States will no longer lead the global effort. The train has left the station and Donald is nowhere to be found. America suddenly becomes on par with Syria and Nicaragua.
His Rose Garden announcement belied either his utter lack of knowledge of the Paris Agreement or willingness to lie about it. It doesn’t really matter anymore. Donald Trump, if there was every any doubt, is not to be trusted.
I’ve chased after the global warming beat for awhile now. I may just be tilting at windmills, but I’d be a coward to stop now.
More than ever, I – we – can’t allow the despair that inevitably bubbles up dissuade us from the notion that there is another way to live.
In the meantime, we must persevere in a lunatic world.
tds a.k.a. chastise man
Reflection on living in dangerous times As Assad continues to bomb the same neighborhood overtaken just days ago by Sarin gas, a Russian naval group steams toward Syria, and U.S. forces move to counter North Korean attempts at … [Continue reading]