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Category: theft

04/28/06 03:15 - 54ºF - ID#23654

JOSHY!

Did you *accidentally* take my charger again with you? PLEASE LOOK!

<3

Your bro
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Permalink: JOSHY_.html
Words: 14
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: music

04/19/06 04:01 - 68ºF - ID#23653

Shosty's Fifth

I found my analysis of the Finale of Shostokavich's 5th Symphony today. I wrote it for a class when I was at UB. I do not know how to analyze a piece of art, but I do know how to analyze a piece of music.

    In 1937, Dmitri Shostakovich's 5th Symphony in D minor was premiered. It is widely considered one of the most emotional and personal pieces of classical music ever written. In the Soviet Union of Shostakovich's time, the Stalinist regime dictated complete control over Russian society, including cultural aspects such as art and music. Shostakovich wrote his 1st Symphony when he was merely a teen, and throughout his early career his music was frowned upon by the communist government. His 4th Symphony was rehearsed, but never performed until 1961 because of the unpleasant consequences that he may have faced if his music had been performed in public. The 5th Symphony was considered a musical answer to the limiting communist government of his time. It explores a wide range of emotions, all of which can be easily felt by the listener. Rather than explore the entire forty-four minute piece, we will concentrate on the Finale (which is also considered a masterpiece on its own).

    The piece starts with a distinct crescendo, and from the beginning it is obvious that the piece is making a profound statement with the timpani eighth notes and the swift sixteenth note runs by the winds and violins. The main theme, which is presented in the beginning, is the basis on which the entire movement is constructed. It contains a strong brass fanfare, as well as the familiar timpani notes that we are introduced to in the very beginning. We will be presented with the same motive throughout the entire movement. Continuing with the musical phrases, we are introduced to multiple polyrhythms, with the violins playing staccato eighth notes and the low brass repeating the main theme. It is important to remember that the same type of musical behavior is repeated throughout the entire first portion of the movement, noting that the background notes are traded on and off by the strings and the winds. Overall, the rhythm is generally of a disjunct nature. There is some jumping around, and some dramatic interval changes in a very short period of time. It is important for the listener to recognize this, because later on in the piece Shostakovich switches some things up. Continuing again with the musical phrases, we then hear the trumpets playing a set of chromatic triplets, and then a dramatic ritardando which includes the timpani and the brass. At this point, we hear another theme played by the French horns, and the violins playing a tense set of eighth notes which constantly rise in pitch. This marks the beginning of the second portion of the piece.

    The second portion of the piece takes the same main theme that we heard in the beginning, and Shostakovich pleasantly and ingeniously transforms it for us. The tempo is considerably slower than the first portion (which had a more moderate, fast-paced tempo). At this point in time, we can instantly recognize the conjunct motion with which the rhythms are flowing. It marks an important musical and emotional change in the piece. Earlier, we heard very angry (almost shouting!) types of musical phrases. Now, we hear more of a subtle crying out by Shostakovich. The flutes and horns primarily play the sorrowful melodies, with dramatic crescendos and decrescendos to accent and add more texture to the piece. The low brass comes in, playing one last ominous phrase, and then a piano comes in playing a peaceful phrase, with rising pitches. The strings continue in the background, rising in pitch with the uplifting piano phrase. A dissonant chord chimes in, and then the winds present us again with the main theme, the tempo of the piece increasing to almost the same tempo as in the first section of the movement. The low brass plays the main theme, while the winds play sixteenth note background phrases (more polyrhythm!). This is a musical transition into the third section of the piece.

    The third section markedly begins with the trumpets slowly playing the main theme. The low brass chimes in, and the strings continue playing a variation of the theme. The horns play a tense, rising musical phrase, and the trumpets come in playing a syncopated set of rising chords. The tempo dramatically slows down, the trumpets hold their notes, and various instruments chime in at different times, combining to finish this tense section of the piece with a very dissonant, loud chord representing Shostakovich's angst and tension which he felt at the time. The tension finally breaks, and the trumpets play a very triumphant and jubilant fanfare, which I feel represents Shostakovich's triumph, jubilation and eventual victory over the limiting communist regime. A set of repeated major chords play (again representing victory musically, as compared to the minor modes played by the orchestra throughout the entire piece). The piece ends with an extended unison note, marking the end of a very personal musical statement by Shostakovich.

    This piece is vitally important sociologically and historically. At the time, Stalin very personally disliked Shostakovich's music, because it didn't accurately represent what he thought the Soviet people and their culture were all about. The 5th Symphony is a final emotional thumbing of the nose at the Stalinist regime, and its control over not only music and art, but the entire social aspect of Russian society and life in general. The fiery emotion that Shostakovich penned to paper transcends music. The multiple emotions that Shostakovich felt at the time (as well as the moments in the piece in which these emotions change) can be accurately felt by the listener. It is a testament to the brilliance and genius of Shostakovich's writing. It represents a breaking apart from the binding communist government of the time, and since the premiere of the piece it has been widely considered not only one of the most brilliant pieces of Russian music of the early 20th century, but also one of the most important pieces of music historically in the early 20th century as well. To this day, Shostakovich's 5th (along with the 9th) is considered to be one of Shostakovich's most revered pieces of music. When one takes into account the historical and emotional context within which the piece was written, it is plainly obvious why it is (and has been for a long time) so widely loved.

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Permalink: Shosty_s_Fifth.html
Words: 1088
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: satire

04/18/06 01:12 - 56ºF - ID#23652

Alcoholism

Who is damaged most by alcoholism?

I think it is the poor. They can least afford to spend their dollars on booze, because the net effect is greater - $5 on a six pack means that maybe their kids don't get food that day. The money means much, much, more than it would to middle-to-upper class people.

In the best interests of the poor, I think we should ban alcohol in the city of Buffalo. Take it out of all stores completely. Keep the bars and clubs open, but remove all the alcohol from those places as well.

It is the only compassionate thing to do, so we can protect people from themselves.

  • Sits at home and waits for everyone in Buffalo to start throwing rocks and garbage*
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Permalink: Alcoholism.html
Words: 127
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

04/17/06 01:56 - 48ºF - ID#23651

Funny Dreams

When I don't take my medicine, the dreams I have are amazing. I've become very adept at being more of an active participant in my dreams, rather than staying a helpless spectator. The themes are always the same. I'll share with you:

A) I am in high school, behind on credits, and sweating about it. Sometimes it's college as well, but I am always behind and trying to catch up.

B) My ex girlfriend comes back to torment me in many ways, leaving me depressed, angry, and feeling helpless. I wake up sweating like a whore in church, inconsolable, wanting desperately to feel nothing, or at least neutral. This is when I am a danger to myself.

C) I am in the military, very elite, and hunting the bad guys down. I have popped many a cap in my dreams, but never in real life. The people always deserved it, but I always was left feeling filthy.

D) Flying. Or, more accurately, floating. Not flying in the Superman sense, zipping around the globe, it seems much slower. It is the most amazing sensation, but it always leaves me drained and tired. I can't keep it up for too long before having to rest.

E) I am a performer of some sorts, entertaining people through musical theater. In my dreams, my singing is angelic.

I will share two of my dreams with you.

In one, I was more or less a character involved in a movie musical - think of something Disney-like. A very noble kingdom, with many good people, is falling to some kind of evil. I look above, and it is not a sky, more a sheet of ice, and it is crumbling on top of everyone and everything below it. I tried so hard to save as many people as I could, but I couldn't help everyone, leaving me feeling like I could never do enough.

Then, out of the blue, in the middle of this mystical musical dream, my deceased Grandfather pops into view. He didn't look old, more like in his mid 40's. He was wearing a plaid shirt. He looked good and healthy, bringing a smile to my face. I realized I was dreaming, and cried out to Grampa "Jack, what in the world are you doing here?" He was expressionless. He would say nothing to me, only bothering to stare blankly back at me. I desperately wanted him to talk to me, to say something, to let me know he was doing okay. I got nothing of the sort. I was freaked out. Say something, Jack, PLEASE! Nothing like this had ever happened in a dream of mine. Eventually he left, and I woke up.

The second dream is one of the most pleasant experiences I've ever had, dreaming or not dreaming. I was at my Grandparents' house in Jamestown, out in the lawn, hanging out with three little kids who were starved for attention and entertainment. One of the kids begged, "Show us a trick, Jason! PLEEEEEEZE!" How could you say no? I leapt in the air and started doing the backstroke through the air, floating along backwards, yelling BACKSTROKE! The kids started giggling their little heads off, and I couldn't help but feel pleased and happy. It was sunny, a beautiful day, utter paradise. I felt a lot of satisfaction bringing joy to these little kids. They begged me to teach them how to do the backstroke through the air, but I told them they had to wait until they were older, and that it took a lot of practice. "Okay Jason, we'll do our best!" I woke up, it was a beautiful day, and for once I was happy.
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Permalink: Funny_Dreams.html
Words: 618
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: holiday

04/16/06 12:58 - 48ºF - ID#23649

Happy Easter!

Have a happy holiday e-peeps!
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Permalink: Happy_Easter_.html
Words: 5
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tech

04/15/06 01:17 - 56ºF - ID#23648

Linux Media Follow-Up

Thanks to everyone for writing. I'm now happily enjoying ALL of my media in Linux! Everything is working beautifully. I also got a cool app for the iPod, like iTunes without podcasts. Anyone know of any software for downloading podcasts?

Thanks again
Jason
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Permalink: Linux_Media_Follow_Up.html
Words: 43
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tech

04/14/06 01:33 - 61ºF - ID#23647

Linux Semi-Novice Needs Help!

I finally found a distro that actually will recognize all of my components. Yay!

Now, how do I play MP3 files or my DivX videos? I have way too much of it to convert to something else. If I'm going to use Linux, I need to be able to use my media otherwise it is POINTLESS!

Can anyone offer tips?
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Permalink: Linux_Semi_Novice_Needs_Help_.html
Words: 60
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: potpourri

04/06/06 01:17 - 44ºF - ID#23646

Tardiness

So I go to the place today to engage in therapy to help my depression. I get there about 10 minutes late today. Who knows why. I had to take a shit. Anyway I get there and the guy tells me, "You know Jason you should really try to be on time - I'm supposed to just boot you from the program if you're late."

WHAT MOTHERFUCKER?!?!? WHAT?!?!

How about every damn time I go there, and have to wait, and wait, and wait, and pick up the Newsweek, and wait some more. If I judged them the same way they judged me, I would have booted their ass on DAY MOTHERFUCKING ONE. This is my first ever time being late, so why the fucking harsh treatment?

So tomorrow I make up my appointment at 10:30.


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Permalink: Tardiness.html
Words: 134
Location: Buffalo, NY


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I miss you too!...

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