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Monday, April 01, 2019

OT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April 2019)

Guess how many songs in the Top 10 biggest tracks in the U.S. last year were written by a solo songwriter? Zero. The year before that? Zero.

In 2016, just one solo-written song made the year-end Top 10: “Stressed Out,” by 21 Pilots, written by Tyler Joseph. In 2015, there was also just one solo-written track (Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen”), while in 2014 there were two, including “Counting Stars,” by One Republic (written by Ryan Tedder), and the biggest song of that year, “Happy,” by Pharrell Williams.

This is a snapshot of an overwhelming trend in the music industry over the past decade: the near-complete decline of the solo singer-songwriter pop hit, and the near-complete dominance of songs written by committee.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: April 01, 2019 at 08:38 PM | 443 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: movies, music, off-topic, television, whatever else belongs under the rubric of 'popular culture'

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   201. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 12, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5831174)
Flip
   202. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 12, 2019 at 12:43 PM (#5831184)
Alex Ross Perry Is Pissed At the Film Industry and Not Afraid to Explain Himself

A pungent Shakespearean epic starring Elisabeth Moss as the feral and drug-fueled Becky Something — a sinking ship of a woman who seems hellbent on taking the rest of her riot grrrl band down into the abyss along with her — “Her Smell” is a heartfelt barnstormer of a film that will go down as one of the boldest go-for-broke American indies of this fading decade. Spanning 10 years, dozens of actors, and 135 minutes, the movie is by far the most ambitious thing that Perry has ever directed, and worlds removed from the sterile and sardonic comedies that anyone who hasn’t been paying attention might expect from a skinny white New Yorker raised on the likes of Woody Allen and Peter Bogdanovich.

(...)“We always think we’re making this big thing,” he said, “but when people see the movie they’re like ‘Um, it’s so abrasive and shitty and weird?’ It’s a deliberate self-delusion. In order to take these huge creative leaps we have to set ourselves up for a fall.” A box office miracle notwithstanding, “Her Smell” seems poised to be their most dramatic plummet to date — a fitting outcome for such an arrestingly vertiginous piece of work.

“I think the jig is up on the economic risk of a movie like this,” Perry said. “I couldn’t make another film of this size again, and I don’t really know why I would make another one as small as ‘Queen of Earth. I guess I could be surprised by what happens next, but people will only support things that seem like they’re going to pay out, and at this point I’ve failed at that enough that I don’t know why I would ask someone to take that chance. Where does that leave me? It leaves me nowhere. Take your ball and go home.”
   203. PreservedFish Posted: April 12, 2019 at 12:55 PM (#5831194)
The film industry is interesting. I'd never heard of Alex Ross Perry but I just looked him up. He's directed, in order:

1. An absurdist comedy based on Gravity's Rainbow, undistributed
2. A dark comedy in b&w based on Phillip Roth's works, undistributed
3. Another dark comedy which also sounds like it's based on Phillip Roth, made $200k
4. A psychological thriller, made $90k
5. A family drama set in Brooklyn that made $40k

So what happened next?

In April 2015, Disney hired Perry to write a live-action adaptation of the Winnie the Pooh franchise, with the resulting Christopher Robin released to theaters in August 2018.
   204. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 12, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5831201)
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
   205. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 12, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5831212)
I was so ready for that trailer to end with a “Wesa knee big bombad gunz to shoo da bad gice” voiceover.

But, close enough, I can’t complain.
   206. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 12, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5831227)
Regarding the ACTUAL closing lines, the best movie has an explanation:

PALPATINE: Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis "the wise"?

ANAKIN: No.

PALPATINE: I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. It's a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life ... He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

ANAKIN: He could actually save people from death?

PALPATINE: The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

ANAKIN: What happened to him?

PALPATINE: He became so powerful . . . the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Plagueis never saw it coming. It's ironic he could save others from death, but not himself.

ANAKIN: Is it possible to learn this power?

PALPATINE: Not from a Jedi.

The books and tv shows give us the possibility that he cloned himself (we know he was behind the original creation of the Clone Army on Kamino.
   207. JJ1986 Posted: April 12, 2019 at 02:07 PM (#5831231)
That's a terrible title.
   208. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 12, 2019 at 05:55 PM (#5831310)
   209. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 12, 2019 at 06:27 PM (#5831317)
Do you guys remember that month after Trump won when we all pretended Hillbilly Elegy was a good book?

Well Netflix is hoping you do cuz a movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close is on its way!
   210. Master of the Horse Posted: April 12, 2019 at 09:33 PM (#5831362)
Out and person asked for Blantons and ginger ale and bartender said no. She said she would not serve a fine bourbon mixed with anything but water. You go barkeep!!!!
   211. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: April 13, 2019 at 12:29 AM (#5831402)

   212. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: April 13, 2019 at 12:44 AM (#5831403)
Are there any formal elements that distinguish one episode of Game of Thrones episode from another?

Actually yes? I may just not understand the question. Most episodes cover a lot of ground checking in with a lot of characters simply to keep things moving in a structureless plot haze, but there are large set piece episodes, smaller bottle episodes (Ian McShane's appearance), and at least some of them at least appear to focus on characters and issues along a thematic throughline. As a general rule the pace/structure varies throughout the season, with the penultimate episode usually the climax of the story and the finale sifting through the rubble.
   213. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 13, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5831457)
Has anyone here seen MONSTER HUNT? Is it appropriate-ish for a 5-year-old?
   214. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 13, 2019 at 10:41 PM (#5831668)
We are watching ON THE BASIS OF SEX because my wife is 38 weeks pregnant.
   215. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 14, 2019 at 12:34 AM (#5831676)
It ends with Ke$ha singing a song called "Here Comes the Change" that features lyrics like "Is it a crazy thought/ That if I have a child/ I hope they live to see the day/ That everyone's equal?"
   216. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM (#5831692)
RUTH: “On what grounds, Miss... Roemer?”
ROEMER, an Angela Davis-type, rises.
ROEMER: “That Florida’s juries violated the U.S. Constitution, ‘cause there were only men on them. Kenyon said a jury with women on it may have convicted Hoyt of a lesser crime, like manslaughter.”
BENNETT, a male student, calls out:
BENNETT: “That law makes sense though. Women can’t take care of their kids, if they’re on some sequestered jury.”
WHOA! It doesn’t go over well with the women in the room.
   217. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 14, 2019 at 05:10 PM (#5831769)
INT. HARVARD STUDENT UNION - DAY

Couches and endless book shelves. Warm light through the windows. Students study, read, and hang out. AND IN ONE NOOK:

Emily is on a couch with another female FRIEND (20s). Martin and TWO OTHER GUYS (20s) are on another. Beers all around. Ruth stands before them... THEY’RE PLAYING CHARADES:

FRIEND: “Everyone ready? And... Go!”

Martin begins.

GUYS 1 & 2: “A song.”

Martin curls his lip, shakes his arms, and gyrates his hips. They enjoy his spot-on impression -- especially Ruth.

GUY 1 “By Elvis.”
GUYS 1 & 2: “Three words. ... First word.”

He points to a blue pillow

GUY 1: “Pillow! Chair!”
GUY 2: “Blue! Blueberry Hill!”
GUY 1: “That’s Fats Domino.”
GUY 2: “Third word

Pointing to his feet, Martin does a bit of fancy footwork.

FRIEND: “Nice moves!”

Martin winces, clutching his belly. And cries out.

Emily: “No sound effects!”

These guys are the worst ####### Charades players in the world.
   218. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 15, 2019 at 07:07 AM (#5831883)
Over the weekend, in between cleaning the flat and strongly encouraging our visiting friends to try a game of 'Dice Hospital' - think Theme Hospital as a boardgame, though sadly not as tongue-in-cheek - I got grabbed very strongly by Hearts of Iron IV. Man, I am not good at this game, but finally making some progress as the UK, except that my fleet in the Med keeps coming off second-best to the Italian Navy, and I haven't worked out how to transfer my successful North African army using a naval invasion yet. Time to click some more tiny buttons and see what they do!
   219. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5831892)
Peter Lovesey's Bertie and the Tin Man is the most entertaining book I've read in,oh, maybe ever.

It's a detective story, but the detective is Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales. And it's really really really really really ####### funny, as the novel portrays him as an incredibly stupid and vain and licentious man who is also, you know, the future King of England. And makes him a private detective. (The case he's investigating is the death of real-life jockey Fred Archer, so, you know, something there for you horse-racing fans too.)

There are two other entries in the "Albert Edward, Private Eye" series, and I cannot wait to read them.
   220. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5832016)
Carruth’s “Modern Ocean” Many Years Off
Out doing press for Bill Senese’s “The Dead Center” in which he has a role as a doctor, he was asked about what its status was to which he told Indiewire: “Only word is that it’s not gonna happen anytime soon… I really can’t say much [about what I’m doing next]. I’m doing a lot of writing; there are multiple projects, but I don’t have anything interesting to say.”

At last report Anne Hathaway, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe, Jeff Goldblum, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Tom Holland will all star and the film, which stretches from Algerian trading houses to the ocean floor, deals with: “the competition for valuable shipping routes, the search for the hidden cache of priceless material and the powerful need for vengeance will converge in a spectacular battle on the rolling decks of behemoth cargo ships.”
   221. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5832021)
I finally watched Avengers: Infinity War last night. I really enjoyed it. Not a superhero movie guy, but I can recognize this whole universe as a really impressive production. They do a fine job of striking a balance between funny and serious, and I appreciate the jaunty pace of the film, the juggling of story lines and heroes. The 2.5+ hour breezed by.

Thanks to members of this board for recommending which of the films were required viewing to understand what the hell was going on in this one.
   222. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5832022)
“the competition for valuable shipping routes, the search for the hidden cache of priceless material and the powerful need for vengeance will converge in a spectacular battle on the rolling decks of behemoth cargo ships.”


I would watch this. I find behemoth cargo ships totally fascinating.
   223. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5832024)
To those who think complaining about the portrayal of Charades in an RBG biopic is pedantic, I ask you:

Why didn’t anyone care enough to spend the extra 5 minutes necessary to make it not suck? Why do they think so little of you as a viewer?
   224. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 12:56 PM (#5832025)
It’s like the hot dog eating contest in Green Book, immortalized in my haneke. Why do we settle for crumbs?
   225. JJ1986 Posted: April 15, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5832032)
Peter Lovesey's Bertie and the Tin Man is the most entertaining book I've read in,oh, maybe ever.
I read all three of these in high school and have this one on my bookshelf still. I don't remember much about them, but they were definitely enjoyable.
   226. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5832035)
That typo in 224 will forever remain.

*handle
   227. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5832036)
Why didn’t anyone care enough to spend the extra 5 minutes necessary to make it not suck? Why do they think so little of you as a viewer?

Why do you think everyone is good at charades?
   228. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5832044)
I think everyone is good at charades.
   229. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5832070)
A thread from a real-life friend of mine—

@ZeppoMarxist
All right, well I'm gonna let all 73 episodes of GAME OF THRONES run silently on my iPad while I work at my desk.

I have never seen GAME OF THRONES.
   230. bunyon Posted: April 15, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5832075)
Notre Dame cathedral on fire. Roof is gone and the inside is blazing away.
   231. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5832081)
@CatholicHerald
Crown of Thorns and relic of the True Cross still inside Notre Dame de Paris
   232. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5832088)
@TheHill
Cathedral spokesperson says entire interior of Notre Dame is burning, will likely be destroyed

@MtrKDJoyce
“the spire and stained glass aren’t original we’ve replaced them before” may be meaningful from an architectural point of view but the RELICS OF THE PASSION are literally irreplaceable
I want to throw up

@VP (Mike Pence)
Notre Dame is an iconic symbol of faith to people all over the world – and it is heartbreaking to see a house of God in flames. Our thoughts and prayers are with the firefighters on the scene and all the people of Paris.

@CathIntegralist
“Symbol of Faith” —— It’s a symbol of the Catholic faith, sir.

@EggerDC
The loss of Notre Dame is heartbreaking, but not cause for despair. The glory of the church is not ultimately in its buildings. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

@IronSpike
You don’t have to French, or Catholic, or really anything but human to mourn the loss of a unique work of art and a piece of our collective heritage. Notre-Dame was objectively one of the beautiful things we could accomplish when we really tried. This is tragic.

@JoshsHeavin
I’m already dreading all the symbolic takes to come about modernity & the West & the impossibility of living in another age and the rest of it. An irreplaceable beauty and history are lost, even if rebuilt; and with it, the kind of thing Christians seem to no longer create.

@JamesPoulos
If you were waiting for a sign concerning the scope and seriousness of what must be rebuilt in our age, and what will happen if not, this is it.

@StevenPMillies
Can a despiritualized post-Christian consumerist and materialist world process the loss of this 1,000 year old church? #NotreDameDeParis

@BroderickGreer
I am devastated. This simply can’t be, not during Holy Week. No.
   233. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5832093)
I wish I could be more upset. Full disclosure, I have never been there.

Things burn, things collapse, entropy always wins. I'm not in favor of what the Catholic Church has represented in my world and the world at large. I am sorry choral music can no longer be sung in that acoustic, and I am sorry that people are upset by this and genuinely hurt.
   234. bunyon Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:19 PM (#5832097)
I'm more upset than I'd have thought. I mean, it's not a school shooting, but, in terms of inanimate objects, it's a pretty big one for me.

Note that I'm not Catholic and - no offense, Davo - don't believe those relics are what they're claimed to be. It's still a tremendous amount of history and irreplaceable art. The point that nothing humans build is eternal is a good one. But, still, this sucks.
   235. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5832103)
That twitter thread could have been machine generated. Every cynic with a political or academic axe to grind has lined up like a ghoulish pack of vultures to spin a prosaic occurrence into an apocolyptic symbol.

The Catholic Church is far bigger than any individual or group, and has represented so many different ideas, that to speak of what "[it] has represented" is almost meaningless.

But only almost.

One thing it has always represented is endurance and eternity--the hope and promise that entropy never wins, and cannot win, for although the illusion of destruction and decay abides on earth, all that is virtuous forever rejoices, radiant, in the endless glory that awaits beyond the bounds of time.

[Also--and prefaced with assurance that I do believe the above--would not the destruction of the relics constitute disproof of their authenticity, as such? But I've always figured that relics are much like transubstantiation of the host, in that what matters is the idea being venerated, and the object is consecrated into a vessel to embody it. So while they are worthy of veneration by virtue of that process, they nevertheless aren't really historically the original objects in question. Unfortunately, it's probably not possible in the 21st century to simply consecrate some new objects to take their place.]

   236. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5832104)
I am also sorry that organ was lost. (Well, I assume) That's a blow.
   237. Master of the Horse Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5832106)
FWIW there was engineering work on aspects of the structure that even now were not clearly understood by modern engineers or scientists. So those mysteries now will never be answered.
   238. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:52 PM (#5832111)
I've been to Notre Dame and it was glorious. The real tragedy of losing it is the architecture and especially the figures all over the exterior. That's the most irreplaceable. Though if I had to choose I'd say much better Notre Dame than any of a dozen of the best churches in Rome. Notre Dame doesn't have the great frescoes and other paintings of the Italian churches, things which would be 100% ruined by fire. Something will be salvageable here.

There's a long list of great cathedrals destroyed by fire. Coventry is the most famous one of the last century (destroyed by bombs and fire); it's very arresting to see the ruins next to the Brutalist church next door. Old St Paul's in London (wrecked in the fire of 1666) probably the most famous burned cathedral. Lots of German & Italian churches were destroyed in WW2. Reims Cathedral was destroyed early in WW1, but restored enough that you can't entirely tell. Then there are of course the endless depressing examples of the vandalism of Henry VIII, the Puritans, and the Jacobins. These can be as small as a gargoyle with it's face smashed off in some small town in the middle of nowhere. People can really suck sometimes.
Can a despiritualized post-Christian consumerist and materialist world process the loss of this 1,000 year old church? #NotreDameDeParis
The pedant in me points out that it's an 850-year-old church.

Erasmus liked to joke about how massive the True Cross must have been since they were able to get all of those thousands of relics from it. I accept that the reliquaries in Notre Dame are/were important devotional objects, often with a long history, but at best they are to the physical reality of the Passion what the communion wine is to the blood of Christ.

I mostly love the Catholic Church.
   239. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5832113)
I think it's a tragedy. I've been there, and it was an extraordinary place.

I also find it distasteful that people are already searching for their chosen metaphors even while it still burns.
   240. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:13 PM (#5832117)
Monsters Inc.:

So the monsters live in a parallel universe. Their universe has portals (in the form of closet doorways) through which they can enter the human world.

The only source of energy in MonsterWorld comes from the screams of children. Hence, every night, monsters enter the Human World, scare children, and collect their screams, which are then converted to power/electricity/fuel in MonsterWorld.

The plot is set in motion with the development of an energy crisis. They aren’t able to collect as many screams as before (due to kids becoming less scared of monsters—a result of our coarsening culture and excessively violent/scary entertainment options). There are rolling blackouts in MonsterWorld.

The CEO of MonsterWorld solves this problem by *forcing* children to scream more, but, it has some morally questionable elements (they have to kidnap children from HumanWorld forever.)

Our heroes quash and expose the kidnapping/ScreamForcing scheme, and oust the CEO.

You would think this would then force the monsters in MonsterWorld to work collectively to solve the energy crisis/shortage. But, no. Our heroes discovered that the LAUGHTER of human children generate ten times more energy in MonsterLand than the SCREAMS of children did. So now they just make kids laugh and never worry about conservation again.

This of course is no solution, they’re just kicking the van down the road, and in no time at all, as the Monsters’ consumption increases more and more, they’ll be facing energy shortages yet again, and will once again resign themselves to solving it by kidnapping children and attaching them to a tickle machine. They’ve not addressed the underlying cause, which is capitalism’s unquenchable need to grow grow grow at all costs.
___________

It is all very problematic.
   241. BrianBrianson Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5832119)
I have been, and partly - yes, it sucks, and partly - having lived in Europe, the scope of damaged and destroyed history is so massive that you're sort of numb, sort of accepting, and sort of okay because there's so much. I think I emotionally processed out a lot of it learning the history of Stonehenge - which being deliberate and wonton, bothers me a lot more, I think. Even all the stuff lost to wars wasn't as bothersome as "let's hack a chunk out for fun".
   242. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5832125)
The problem only exists if you want it to be a morality play. In reality, there's no reason to think there's an end to growth as long as we focus on growth instead of on the fear (or the not-so-secret wish) that it's unsustainable. The rising tide not lifting all boats is a problem, but for the boats to be lifted, the tide has to rise.

This is not OTP, though, which presumably also waits in radiance at the end of days.
   243. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5832130)
(And that’s to say nothing of its appalling gender dynamics, where even after the Laughter “revolution” female monsters are still only ever employed as secretaries, only male monsters get the lucrative doorway jobs. Thus the sad spectacle of Celia Mae repeatedly prostrating herself before the obnoxious Mike Wazowski—her only hope for upward mobility lies in marriage to a man.)
   244. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5832138)
@Medievalists
A priest from Notre Dame Cathedral reports that all the art work and the holy relics contained in the cathedral has been saved.
   245. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5832139)
I'm more upset than I'd have thought. I mean, it's not a school shooting, but, in terms of inanimate objects, it's a pretty big one for me.

It's probably the single biggest tragedy of my lifetime. People dying is always tragic, but none of us is going to be here 100 years from now, much less 850.

That art and beauty should have been available for generations and generations to come to enjoy. The French MUST rebuild it, as exactly as they can.
   246. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5832140)
A priest from Notre Dame Cathedral reports that all the art work and the holy relics contained in the cathedral has been saved.

Praise be to God if it's true, but how is that possible? The stained glass survived?

It looks like they saved the bell towers, which is incredible. The statuary on the front facade is magnificent.
   247. Master of the Horse Posted: April 15, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5832149)
I will not be surprised to find out that people died trying to save stuff from the fire. When people put a great value on something they will do some crazy things. Human condition.
   248. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:01 PM (#5832151)
It's probably the single biggest tragedy of my lifetime. People dying is always tragic, but none of us is going to be here 100 years from now, much less 850.

I've said it before, and I will surely say it again in the future, but I find your worldview disturbingly baffling.
   249. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5832153)
I've said it before, and I will surely say it again in the future, but I find your worldview disturbingly baffling.

What's baffling about thinking the loss of irreplaceable art of that magnitude is the worst tragedy of my life?

What do you consider the greatest art in the world? What if the Louvre burned, or MOMA, if that's what you like? Loss of that kind of cultural patrimony is inestimable.
   250. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:09 PM (#5832156)
"Art vs human life" is an impossible conversation, IMO, and it's so abstract as to be impossible to really come to grips with. You'll never have to choose between saving the Mona Lisa and saving a schoolbus of children. Probably.
   251. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5832157)
I'm not going to get into a debate about it and drive this further off topic. I shouldn't have posted the original comment. I meant what I said, but you're allowed to be as upset as you want about this, and I don't need to prod you while it's happening.

   252. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:16 PM (#5832159)
I saw one of the Twin Towers fall with my own eyes - the video of the spire falling, and the conversation of greatest tragedies, does not bring back good memories.
   253. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5832162)
To tell the truth, I was unaware of the Relics in the Notre Dame. Do people actually believe they're real?
   254. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5832163)
I think it's a tragedy. I've been there, and it was an extraordinary place.

I don't want to give the impression that I don't think it's a tragedy. It is.
   255. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:28 PM (#5832165)
The stained glass survived?

I had read (today) the stained glass was almost entirely replacements anyhow.


What's baffling about thinking the loss of irreplaceable art of that magnitude is the worst tragedy of my life?

The entire National Museum of Brazil burned this previous September.
   256. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:41 PM (#5832169)
Do people actually believe they're real?

You can't be serious. Of course they do.
   257. bunyon Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:48 PM (#5832171)
"Art vs human life" is an impossible conversation, IMO, and it's so abstract as to be impossible to really come to grips with. You'll never have to choose between saving the Mona Lisa and saving a schoolbus of children. Probably.

I've obviously been thinking more about it and I think they're just two different things, people vs. things. Of course no one person is likely to be here 100 years from now but...so, what? Down that path lies all sorts of dark acts. OTOH, I get your point. Losing our ties to our past is tragic.

However, I'd point out we've been losing things like this constantly. The museum in Brazil is obvious and recent. But the list of destroyed, sacked and vandalized cathedrals ain't exactly short. At least, Notre Dame is very well preserved digitally even if all was lost (which doesn't seem likely, thankfully.) Notre Dame itself is mostly not 850 years old anyway. While it's never been destroyed, it's been damaged and aged. I mean, that scaffolding wasn't there just for a closer view.

I end up in the same place. I have a profound sense of loss but it's an altogether different feeling than I have when human life is lost.


Also, some reading I've done suggests the whole thing may ultimately have to come down. The wood frame will be gone and there is a question as to how much damage heat (and water) will do to the stone. It's not clear that the answer is none and it may in fact be a total loss. Let's hope not.

EDIT: And the next thing I read is that the side towers have been saved and they're suddenly more optimistic about the overall structure. Which is good news.

EDIT2: Still probably too early to say it's saved. The stone isn't going to collapse (well, probably). But there is a chance the intense, prolonged heat will weaken the stone to the point that it can't support the building long term.
   258. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5832173)
253 is a great Kael-like “How did Nixon win? No one I know voted for him” admission.
   259. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 05:56 PM (#5832175)
Just to be clear I'm not saying this is the greatest tragedy to me, personally. That would probably be the death of my best friend.

I'm looking at it from a Civilizational perspective. 13 million people a year got to enjoy that beauty. Not even to touch on the spiritual aspects of what went on there.

I'd say the same thing if MOMA burned down, even though I dislike most of that art. It wouldn't hurt me personally, but would still be a huge loss to our civilization.
   260. bunyon Posted: April 15, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5832177)
Snapper, yeah, that's basically it. People close to you dying or suffering is worse than the death or suffering of others. Yet, we can understand the death and suffering of others and it touches us deeply.

Losing something of the magnitude of Notre Dame, the age, history, etc. is pretty hard to fully grasp.
   261. PreservedFish Posted: April 15, 2019 at 06:04 PM (#5832178)
You can't be serious. Of course they do.


I know, I know.

253 is a great Kael-like “How did Nixon win? No one I know voted for him” admission.

Guilty.


>>> Edit. Deleted some stuff because this isn't the place for a religion debate.
   262. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 06:16 PM (#5832179)
I would guess some relics are real and many are fake.

The Shroud of Turin actually has an interesting scientific case for being real, including textile and pollen analysis that link it to the 1st century and the Holy Land.

Look for a TV series "Secrets of the dead'. The did a very solid review of the evidence.
   263. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 06:25 PM (#5832181)

I've been to Notre Dame several times, the most recent about two years ago when I happened to be in Paris for work. I'm not a Christian but it was a magnificent place and its loss is tragic. I'm also glad that there don't appear to have been any casualties and that the fire was contained just to the church and not any of the surrounding buildings on what is a pretty densely packed island.

We are so good at / focused on preserving places and art like this today, that we (or at least I) forget that they can in fact be lost, although the burning of the National Museum of Brazil and the senseless destruction of ancient sites by ISIS provide additional reminders.
   264. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 08:05 PM (#5832203)
Godless, premarital sex-loving, progressive den of sin Vassar, bitches:
I know this doesn't help, but we have exquisite 3D laser maps of every detail of Notre Dame, thanks to the incredible work of @Vassar art historian Andrew Tallon. Prof Tallon passed away last November, but his work will be absolutely crucial

https://t.co/YJl3XXUZTg
   265. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 15, 2019 at 08:31 PM (#5832215)
Godless, premarital sex-loving, progressive den of sin Vassar, #######:

I know this doesn't help, but we have exquisite 3D laser maps of every detail of Notre Dame, thanks to the incredible work of @Vassar art historian Andrew Tallon. Prof Tallon passed away last November, but his work will be absolutely crucial


Many thanks to Prof. Tallon, and may he Rest in Peace.

But, it doesn't seem like the good Professor was Godless:

poughkeepsiejournal/obituary
   266. Lassus Posted: April 15, 2019 at 08:33 PM (#5832217)
I didn't call Tallon godless, simply the place that supported him and his work.

They give out BIRTH CONTROL!
   267. Howie Menckel Posted: April 15, 2019 at 10:46 PM (#5832276)
Georgia Engel - "Georgette" on the Mary Tyler Moore Show - is no more

oh, that appears to be the weakest accidental hijack effort in BBTF history

carry on

hundreds of millions of Catholics worldwide are distraught tonight, and I empathize with them
   268. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:23 AM (#5832359)
hundreds of millions of Catholics worldwide are distraught tonight, and I empathize with them

Although the damage appears to be far less than what was feared. The early photos of the interior are encouraging. Apparently most of the stained glass survived as well.

Kudos to the Sapeurs et Pompiers de Paris.
   269. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5832364)
I must say that I enjoyed the Marxist takedown of Monsters, Inc.
   270. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:31 AM (#5832365)
Kudos to Jean-Marc Fournier

A priest who comforted the wounded in the Bataclan concert hall after the Paris terror attacks in 2015 joined a human chain of firefighters to help save priceless religious relics from the burning Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday night.

Jean-Marc Fournier, the chaplain of the Paris fire brigade, insisted on being allowed to enter the edifice with firefighters, Philippe Goujon, the mayor of Paris’ 15th district, told reporters outside the cathedral on Tuesday.

   271. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5832368)
I find the question of rebuilding the Notre Dame an interesting one. The cathedral had already been rebuilt and expanded and such several times, notably in the 19th century after it had fallen into a sorry state post-revolution. Invariably any number of inauthentic and anachronistic choices were made, choices which gradually became perceived as authentic as future generations accepted them and they became indelible parts of the image of the cathedral. Probably it would be simplest to restore it to how it looked yesterday morning, but I suspect there will be some debate about that.

What I wonder is if it is best to eradicate all evidence of the fire? Is the fire an error that should be erased and forgotten as much as possible? Or is the fire itself now in fact a part of the history of the building?

It's complicated because this isn't a dead monument to the past, like the Coliseum or the Pyramids. It's still in use. It still has a vibrant life. There's a balance to be struck between preserving history and breathing life back into it. (Obvs, you can't just have mammoth holes in the ceiling.)

Much of the stained glass was like Theseus' ship, already replaced so many times that it was no longer original, but still with an undeniable unbroken link to the original. If a window had been totally lost yesterday, is it correct to replace it with a 100% reproduction? Was the unbroken link to the 13th century severed, or can it be restored? Or is it an opportunity to add some new art? A highlight of the Reims Cathedral, which is just as old as the Notre Dame, is Marc Chagall's windows, installed in the 70s.

One of the world's most amazing religious sights is Angkor Wat in Cambodia. When it was rediscovered it was an Indiana Jones fantasy, a vast complex of forgotten temples that had been reclaimed by the jungle. It's been extensively restored to its former grandeur, but they did leave some of the complex somewhat as it was found, decayed and choked by the encroaching jungle. I like that - I feel like the decay is part of the history of the thing. In some way it's more authentic than a reconstruction or restoration. But by the same token, you could argue that extensive renovations, updating and modernization of the Notre Dame would be more authentic, as a natural evolution of a building still in daily use.

Anyway, it's complicated.
   272. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:10 AM (#5832377)
Probably it would be simplest to restore it to how it looked yesterday morning, but I suspect there will be some debate about that.

I would say this is the way to go. Unless you had some way to make it closer to the older (pre-Revolution) state. I doubt the documentation exists to do that.

   273. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5832380)
I assume any restoration will involve increasing the number of luxury boxes.
   274. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5832381)
I now live in a city that's been heavily reconstructed following WW2, to the extent that its 'Old Town' is younger than much of the surrounding area, and yet is still regularly filled with coachloads of tourists admiring the supposedly historic streets and, mainly, bars. I moved there from a city where one of its most iconic buildings is a near-deathtrap, and is getting closer and closer to going the way of Notre Dame, while it if anything deals with more people, more activity, and more demands on its creaking structure.

I would say that the history of a place is how it functioned in the past but not necessarily how it functions in the present, and it's perfectly possible to represent that history in a cosmetic sense rather than a functional sense. Evidence of the fire shouldn't be erased, but evidence of the fire that makes another fire (or a flood, or a lightning strike, or a chunk of masonry falling on an attendee) even a little bit more likely is just a preview of the next tragedy waiting to happen. And the next tragedy may not conclude without loss of life.
   275. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5832383)
One final snapshot of my twitter feed, if this is annoying, skip it and know you won’t see one again!

@Pontifex (Pope Francis)
Today we unite in prayer with the people of France, as we wait for the sorrow inflicted by the serious damage to be transformed into hope with reconstruction. Holy Mary, Our Lady, pray for us. #NotreDame

@UKMoments
A Paris fire official confirmed Notre-Dame's main structure, including its iconic towers, have been "saved and preserved."

@TheologicalLion
The Rose Window, which has encouraged so many to faith in Jesus Christ - has survived!

@Bloomberg
The billionaire families behind Gucci and Louis Vuitton have pledged 300 million euros to rebuild Notre Dame

@inflammateomnia
The destruction of #NotreDame is tragic. It is also symbolic of the collapse of faith in France & Europe in general. Mass attendance is in the single digits, these gorgeous churches are simply tourist attractions/museums.

Weep for Notre Dame, yes. But also for France's apostasy.

@trillmoregirls
honestly i did not realize until today, seeing clips of the notre dame cathedral on fire while on the train, that living during the probable end of the world is going to include watching a lot of the world's architectural wonders be destroyed in real-time

@bdmmclay
that nobody died / the Eucharist was rescued / the stone is still standing is, to me, maybe the closest thing I'll see in this life to a miracle

@NCROnline
The president of France and the archbishop of Paris have vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire, continuing what a professor of architecture described as the natural lifecycle of a historic building.

@InCaeloBlog
Medieval architecture saved the Notre Dame. The stone vault remained mostly intact as the roof burned away, preventing burning timbers from falling down onto the floor of the cathedral, causing much more damage.

@Thom1st
#CNN keeps asking about the #NotreDame building, architecture, & sacred objects, but the priest being interviewed keeps talking about the #resurrection of #Jesus as the heart of the #gospel.

The media can't fathom a world where #God means more to people than material things.

@Incunabala
This is Father Jean-Marc Fournier, Chaplain of the Paris Firefighters @PompiersParis, who ran into the cathedral with them, to save the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament. "He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics [...], and made sure they were saved."

@getfiscal
How should we respond to leftists who mock the tragic damage to the Nortre Dame cathedral? — Forgive them.

@cathjmag
A gentle reminder: saying that the Church could help people instead of restoring its architectural and artistic heritage is a well-worn trope of anti-Catholic rhetoric. (1/5)
   276. manchestermets Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5832397)
I now live in a city that's been heavily reconstructed following WW2, to the extent that its 'Old Town' is younger than much of the surrounding area, and yet is still regularly filled with coachloads of tourists admiring the supposedly historic streets and, mainly, bars. I moved there from a city where one of its most iconic buildings is a near-deathtrap, and is getting closer and closer to going the way of Notre Dame, while it if anything deals with more people, more activity, and more demands on its creaking structure.


You moved from London to Frankfurt?
   277. jmurph Posted: April 16, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5832400)
You moved from London to Frankfurt?

I thought the new city might be Prague, but I'm torn on the old city. Which near-deathtrap in London were you thinking?
   278. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:03 PM (#5832406)
I now live in a city that's been heavily reconstructed following WW2, to the extent that its 'Old Town' is younger than much of the surrounding area, and yet is still regularly filled with coachloads of tourists admiring the supposedly historic streets and, mainly, bars.

I don't know what city you're talking about, but Warsaw was almost completely destroyed. They rebuilt the downtown to look exactly like it did before. So, it's both new, and old at the same time.
   279. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:04 PM (#5832408)
One final snapshot of my twitter feed, if this is annoying, skip it and know you won’t see one again!


Good stuff. Thanks for sharing!
   280. BrianBrianson Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5832410)
I could peg a lot of cities onto either of them. Prague is an obvious guess - really, any big city in eastern Europe fits the "rebuilt" + "tourists like a drink". Budapest is an obvious example, I think Riga & Tallinn are very much like that. Munich?

And pretty much anywhere in Europe can map onto the old pretty well. Rome is the most obvious, but almost nothing would surprise me.
   281. Master of the Horse Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5832411)
WTF: @inflammateomnia
The destruction of #NotreDame is tragic. It is also symbolic of the collapse of faith in France & Europe in general. Mass attendance is in the single digits, these gorgeous churches are simply tourist attractions/museums.

Weep for Notre Dame, yes. But also for France's apostasy.


Yet already both the govt and individuals are committing to get the cathedral rebuilt. Damn demon spawn #############. Always up to no good!
   282. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5832414)
notre-dame-paris-hope-in-the-ruins

Very good personal reflection on the meaning of the Cathedral.
   283. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5832416)
Coming late to this, but with almost every Medieval cathedral there's not really such a thing as anachronism. It often took centuries to build them, and they are inevitably in a mishmash of Romanesque, Gothic, and classical revival styles, with further centuries of additions and repairs. The interiors can be full of furniture and art made at any point between 1100 and last week. (For an extreme example, see San Petronio in Bolonga, begun in 1390, not completely roofed until the 16th century, and finally consecrated in 1954. It has half a facade, and inside has late international Gothic art, a 17th century astronomical tool, some dead 19th century portraits, and plastic baby Jesuses.) The restoration of Notre Dame should strive to be authentic, but it's almost impossible to know what "authentic" might mean. To echo PreservedFish, it's complicated.

(EDIT: Saying there's no such thing as anachronism when it comes to cathedrals isn't the same as saying that there's no such thing as bad taste, of course.)
A highlight of the Reims Cathedral, which is just as old as the Notre Dame, is Marc Chagall's windows, installed in the 70s.
My favorite individual bit of Hereford Cathedral (another cathedral that had a tower collapse, this one in the 18th century) is the Thomas Traherne windows, which were dedicated (to a 17th century poet) in 2007. Hereford's another classic mishmash, with a main structure built between about 1080 and 1540, and a 19th/early 20th century rebuild of the parts that collapsed in the 1780s.
   284. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5832419)
I'm curious what Davo makes of that account in #282 - as both a devout Catholic and an anarcho-socialist-something. What is a cathedral if not a monument to human inequality, a legacy of the Catholic church's most powerful and corrupt era?
   285. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5832426)
What is a cathedral if not a monument to human inequality,

I'd say exactly the opposite. The whole community came together to build a monument to the glory of God, that they all owned. The art and beauty of the Cathedral was there for everybody. The lowliest peasant could come and visit every day. The illiterate could learn the Bible from the statuary and stained glass. Even for the literate, a Bible cost as much as a whole parish Church, so most everyone would rely on public art, and public preaching. It was a true public good.
   286. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5832427)
There's an awful lot of valid guesses, but I moved from London to Düsseldorf, and the death trap in question is Westminster. There's been a lot of resistance to Parliament moving out for several years to let the needed work be done, preferring instead a constant program of patchwork, or possibly a kind of part time presence. Get out, do the work, make it safe is so clearly the right course of action.
   287. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:49 PM (#5832430)
284-not to hijack, but to clarify: while I have intense admiration for the Catholic Faith, I am not a member of the Church.
   288. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5832432)
Snapper, we'd have to ask a 13th century peasant, probably.
   289. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5832434)
Davo, what are ya?
   290. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:52 PM (#5832435)
while I have intense admiration for the Catholic Faith, I am not a member of the Church.

What's keeping you from swimming the Tiber? Is it the anti-socialism?
   291. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 12:57 PM (#5832439)
Snapper, we'd have to ask a 13th century peasant, probably.

Yes, but you'd have to able to put yourself in theirs heads; to understand the major role faith played in their lives. Thomas Asbridge does a great job of this in his books on the Crusades. Though not a believer himself, he takes the participant faith seriously.

It's similar how we fail to understand Islamic extremists today. Or failed to understand communist in the last century. You can't rely on material explanations for ideologically or religiously motivated actions.

   292. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5832441)
The church I attend is a Baptist church, but that’s more because I value the sense of community and peace it provides (rather than an agreement with their polity or anything.) I believe we are all equal from the view of He Who created us; consequently, I’m opposed to all hierarchies, even the ostensibly well-intentioned hierarchies established by churches.

IOW I’m even crankier than Catholics: I think all churches have gone astray!
   293. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 01:09 PM (#5832443)
or TLDR: My Christian faith is modeled after Tolstoy’s.
   294. BrianBrianson Posted: April 16, 2019 at 01:24 PM (#5832451)
Hmm, I never really thought of Dusseldorf as a tourists for the bars kind of city. Are they coming from nearby high alcohol tax countries (which compared to Germany, seems to be any nearby country)?
   295. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: April 16, 2019 at 01:28 PM (#5832454)
   296. PreservedFish Posted: April 16, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5832456)
Yes, but you'd have to able to put yourself in theirs heads; to understand the major role faith played in their lives.


Yes. Their perspective would probably be almost unthinkably foreign to my own, and even to yours.

We know that at the time of the French Revolution, people associated the Notre Dame with the monarchy, tyranny, oppression, etc. But a lot happened in the intervening centuries.
   297. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: April 16, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5832458)
Hmm, I never really thought of Dusseldorf as a tourists for the bars kind of city. Are they coming from nearby high alcohol tax countries (which compared to Germany, seems to be any nearby country)?


It's more of an evening activity after a day spent in Cologne (for the cathedral), on the Ko (for the fashion district), or at the convention center (for the exchanging of business cards and free T shirts). But popular among students too. We're not far from the Netherlands, but I had understood that tourism mostly flows the other way.

There's also a significant Asian population here, so it's a decent starting point for tourists from that part of the world.
   298. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5832467)
Yes. Their perspective would probably be almost unthinkably foreign to my own, and even to yours.

We know that at the time of the French Revolution, people associated the Notre Dame with the monarchy, tyranny, oppression, etc. But a lot happened in the intervening centuries.


Very much true. Medieval society is fascinating. The web of institutions that governed life (from Church, to guild, to multiple layers of aristocracy up to the King or Emperor) was largely swept away in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. These institutions governed a complex web of reciprocal rights and obligations among all levels of society.

Absolutism and centralization was totally foreign to the medieval mind, as was individualism and freedom (in the modern sense). Everybody was governed by their obligations. If you look at rights as encapsulated in the Magna Carta (for example) they are not at all abstract. It's all concrete and relational. Freedom was having your ancestral rights respected, and your duties limited to what was actually owed. It had nothing to do with being able to do or say whatever you wanted.

Much of the problems and tumult of the early modern age was caused by the dissolution of all these bonds. The classic example is how Henry VIII seizures of the monasteries was a huge blow to the poor, because the monasteries had been a major source of charity and employment for the impoverished. Likewise early capitalism was especially harsh because the guilds were no longer around to enforce workers rights.
   299. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 16, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5832473)
Very good personal reflection on the meaning of the Cathedral.

Thanks for posting, snapper. I very much enjoyed reading everything Rod Dreher wrote when he was at the Dallas Morning News, and the paper has never been the same without him.
   300. Random Transaction Generator Posted: April 16, 2019 at 02:26 PM (#5832488)
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