Which piece of music was the first to “move” you?

Jordan Peterson and two clergymen are discussing range of issues here. One question that suddenly popped up was: Which song was the first that “moved” you, as opposed to the first song you “liked”? Meaning, which song touched you deeply because it transported some meaning?

The Bishop said, people usually know this, and he named something that was his first; I didn’t quite catch the name, but it was something modern.

I know exactly what he means. For me, it was this: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, 2nd movement. I will never forget the first time I heard it. I was 11 or 12. It was as if the door to a different, better world had been opened.

“I bid you stand, men of the West!”

The title is a quote from Aragorn just before the final battle in “The Lord of the Rings” – here are clips from the film of that scene.

Writes a commenter under the above linked Youtube:

“Aragorn embodies what true masculinity is. It’s not about being aggressive and pushing your weight around to dominate others. It’s about service. Service to the people you love, to protect them, to lead by example and bring others up with you when they are down.”

Die Walküre, Act 2, Scene 4

The hinge of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle

Start here, the scene takes about 15 minutes (with English subtitles). Then watch the following 10 minutes to the end of the act, where there will be a dramatic battle. (I chose this particular version, from Bayreuth in 1979, because here the singers not only sound great, they also look the part.)

Here‘s the whole story.

The above linked scene is central to the whole story of the 4 mega operas. In this scene, Brünnhilde, Wotan’s daughter and favourite Valkyrie, “grows up” so to speak and does what she thinks is right (and knows that her father really wants) instead of what her father told her to do.

She initially tells Siegmund that he is about to die. But it’s all right, she says. You’re going to Valhalla (the Nordic equivalent of heaven). Siegmund asks some questions about Valhalla, which Brünnhilde answers: Will he be there alone with Wotan (no), will his father be there (yes, but Brünnhilde doesn’t say that Wotan is his father), will a woman greet him fondly there (yes, and not just one). But then he asks: Will his twin sister and love of his life, Sieglinde, join him there (no, and Brünnhilde initially doesn’t say why: Sieglinde is pregnant). Because of the last answer, Siegmund declines the offer and says, if he has to die, he’d rather not go to Valhalla.

What get’s me every time I watch this is the fact that Brünnhilde is the half-sister of Siegmund. She knows it, and loves him dearly. He doesn’t know it. For him, Brünnhilde is a beautiful apparition, but a stranger.

The scene I’ve linked above is well-directed with some great ideas that enhance the storytelling by the music and words. When Siegmund rejects Brünnhilde’s offer to go to Valhalla and says he thinks she is heartless and cold, the actress wonderfully plays the deeply hurt sister.

When she sees Siegmund’s determination not to go to Valhalla (because his great love Sieglinde will not be joining him there), Brünnhilde changes her mind and says that, contrary to what she said before, Siegmund will win the coming battle with his love rival.

When, during the battle, Wotan finds out that Brünnhilde is defying his instructions, he makes sure that Siegmund does die after all, even though it hurts him terribly. He then runs after Brünnhilde, who has fled the scene with Sieglinde.

At the beginning of the next act, we hear the famous “Ride of the Valkyries“.

By the way, JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” contains a somewhat similar scene. Similar in that it contains similar archetypes and archetypal relationships. I mean the one where King Théoden dies, with his niece Éowyn by his side to comfort him, who had just before heroically saved him from being devoured by the monster carrying one of the Ring Wraiths. Watch the two-minute scene here.

My two favourite Beethoven symphonies

I’m not listing the ninth. That’s just otherworldly and can be savoured in small dosages only. It’s in a league of its own.

However the ninth has a worthy “little sister”, and that is the 7th. Of those available on Youtube, I like this version best, with Iván Fischer conducting the Dutch Concertgebouworkest.

The other Beethoven symphony on my favourites list is the 3rd, or “Eroica”. This is the version I like best, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker.

What Everyone Is Missing About the Putin/Carlson Talk

Article by Tom Luongo.

Excerpts:

What does matter is that is how Putin views this conflict. And we have to deal with it. Period.

What also matters is that those who stand behind Putin are even less patient and circumspect than he is.

In order to avoid that bigger war only the oligarch class wants, we, as people, have to accept some responsibility for it getting to this point. Without that there can be no basis for a negotiated settlement.

This conflict between the West, and this includes all of Europe, the UK as well as the US, and Russia is one with existential consequences.

What Putin said, quite clearly, is that this ball is in our court. We can either sit down and have an honest discussion of a negotiated future or we will be at war. If that is what we in the West want, it is what we will get. Putin has put his sons on the line in eastern Ukraine. Are we?

See also this article by Martin Armstrong.

Why the Carbon Hysteria is a Huge Threat to Your Personal Freedom and Financial Wellbeing

Interview of Doug Casey in International Man

Excerpts:

International Man: Western countries are leading the charge in restructuring their economies around the issue of climate change. They’re committed to a comprehensive agenda to “decarbonize” their economies by 2050.

What’s your take on this?

Doug Casey: To sum it up in one word, it’s insane. In two words, it’s criminally insane.

[. . .]

Look, this is all about politics and money, but disguised as a religious movement, which is quite clever. There’s no question that Greenism is being promoted as a new religion.

Christianity is a dead duck in Europe, and it’s dying in North America. But people need some type of religion, a replacement for Christianity, to hold on to.

People will be encouraged to treat their taxes as tithes to wash away their sins against Mother Nature—much the way they tithed the church to expunge their sins in the Middle Ages. It’s an exact analogy. They’ll buy “carbon credits” as an analog for building cathedrals and monasteries.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Forgotten Lesson on Good and Evil

There are neither good people nor bad people, but individuals struggling between good and evil from within.

Article by Annie Holmquist.

Excerpt:

Although a decorated commander in the Russian army, Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned near the end of World War II for disparaging comments made privately about Joseph Stalin. His years in prison were hardly pleasant, but as Solzhenitsyn writes in The Gulag Archipelago, those years gave him striking insight into the reality of human nature:

It was granted me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer, and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. And it was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.

Solzhenitsyn goes on to say:

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.

This realization led Solzhenitsyn to recognize the problem with revolutions, namely, “They destroy only those carriers of evil contemporary with them…. And they then take to themselves as their heritage the actual evil itself, magnified still more.”

What to expect in the near future

Article by Howard Kunstler.

Excerpts:

American oil production may be at an all-time peak now at about 13-million barrels-a-day, but most of that — about 8-million — is shale oil, which is a manifestation of our tremendous debt roll-up since 2009. Now that we’re at the absolute limits of debt, we’re also at the limits of shale oil. The production of shale oil paralleled the accumulation of all that debt both in size and rate of increase, and as the debt goes bad — meaning, unpayable — the organized capital sector will blow and shale oil production will fall as sharply as it rose. It is also a fact that shale oil is subject to natural limits — we’re out of “sweet spots” to drill.

That’s America. Europe is way worse because aside from whatever oil is left in the North Sea (not much), Europe has no oil. Europe’s largest gas field — Groningen in the Netherlands — is scheduled to cease operations in October of this year. You all know what happened to the Nord Stream pipelines. And then Germany, in some psychotic fugue state, shut down its entire nuclear power industry, while France is just not replacing its nuke plants as they age-out. Europe is completely screwed. They won’t have anything we might call modern industry. In the meantime, the WEF is playing them like a flugelhorn, keeping them distracted with “green” politics, an unchecked immigrant invasion, and sexual confusion.

So, the period of disorderly transition we’re in is not moving toward greater dominance by giants, but to the survival of the small and nimble. We will not see capital formation like the orgy of recent times; rather the vanishing of things falsely presumed to be capital, contraction not expansion. You’ll be struggling to identify and preserve real wealth, which you’ll find in unexpected places, like the friends you can count on, your reputation for honesty, your dependability, acquired skills, and your health, physical and psychological.

The WEF won’t be able to impose its Globalist nightmare of elite transhumanism and surveilled bug-eating serfs, and they know it now. They’re running scared. The vile Yuval Noah Harari has even said so publicly. The political figures and agents serving that cabal will be lucky if they are not hanged in the public squares. The political criminals here in America, the hoaxsters, the grifters, the seditionists, the Lawfare agents, the election fraudsters, know very well the danger of their looming prosecutions, and that’s exactly why the Democratic Party and its blob henchmen and flunkies are acting like desperate lunatics.

Expect: failed national governments, maybe even state governments; failed supply lines; failed electric supply, failed trucking, failed big box stores, failed supermarkets, failed giant companies; failed banks, failed investments, failed money, failed news orgs, failed airlines, failed car dealers, failed hospitals, failed colleges, and much more. But don’t discount human ingenuity and resourcefulness, our ability to work-around and reinvent systems for daily life, even if it’s on a downscaled and more modest level.

Expect rebuilt local economies from production to wholesale to retail. Expect smaller stores, fewer things to buy but much of it better quality. Expect a lot less long-distance travel but a lot more happening in your locality. Expect the rebirth of local culture — theaters, live music, news-sheets, dances — to replace all the canned entertainments we’re used to. Expect small private academies to rise to replace the shuttered central schools. Expect small, local clinics to appear from the ashes of the medical conglomerates. Expect Americans to return to churches as an organizing mechanism for community relations. Expect more formality and less slobbery in public. Expect all of us to feel a renewed sense of gratitude for being here instead of rage, resentment, and grievance, because it’s likely there will be far fewer of us around.