CNN panel presents its book “Unprecedented” at Politics and Prose; a visit to Comt Ping Pong Pizzeria, after the fake news scandal

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I did visit the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria today in Washington DC just as it opened.

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I also attended a book-signing party at Politics and Prose Bookstore (next door) with a panel from CNN for its book “Unprecedented” headed by Brian Stelter.

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There was an introduction by the business owner on the fake news crisis in the neighborhood.

The panel follows.

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3 Question about the future of the Democratic Party

4 My question on Trump and social media v. libel, wartime concerns, and fake news

(Posted: Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 10:45 PM EST)

Cato Institute forum: “Free Speech in the Age of Trump”

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Here is my video from the Cato Institute forum “Free Speech in the Age of Trump”, at 6 PM EST on Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Kat Murti moderated. Danish publisher Flemming Rose, from the Jyllens Posten cartoon controversy (the book “The Tyranny of Silence”) and Reason magazine editor Nick Gillespie spoke.

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7 I ask a question as to whether “state of war” against civilians (from ISIS) could justify clamping down on free speech

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Last four were on cell phone

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(Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at 10 AM EST)

Travel article on Krakow, Poland reminds me of the opening of my novel

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The Washington Post travel section on Sunday, December 3, has a long article by Hugh Biggar on Krakow, Poland.

I visited Krakow on May 1999, arriving on a train from Berlin, that made many night stops in former East Germany and Poland. I had bribed the conductor to get a roomette because I had a wrong date on my ticket.

I found a taxi to take me to Auschwitz-Buchenwald, and spent about 90 minutes that morning visiting the ruins. That experience inspires the first chapter of “Angel’s Brother”.
In the chapter, the character Randy, whose normal day job is that of an AP history teacher in high school in Dallas, who is married with three kids (one adopted), is around 45 and is near the ending of his days of always looking to be in perfect physical shape, has been summoned there by his secret job as a contingent CIA investigator. On the grounds, he meets a seemingly gifted college student, Sal (described as a Caucasian Latino), around 20. A conversation gradually starts, that will build up to major incidents later involving aliens and what happens to the rest of us.

I realize that I have to be careful in the writing about the mechanics of the meeting, of the initial social clumsiness as to whether they want to take the cab ride together back to Krakow. (He had seen the “College Kid on the Train” before.) Oh, yes, Randy’s gay desires are coming back, despite his successful marriage so far – but his wife has only recently gotten a little suspicious. I also have to work on the issue of how much she would really know about his “business trips”. (My own dad, as a manufacturer’s representative, made a lot of them when I was growing up. But it’s harder to pull this off if you’re a high school teacher.)

That day, I also went to the Wielickza salt mine, before coming back to the hotel. panel

I remember that the phone was expensive. I had a clunky cell phone but it didn’t work in Europe. But I would need to explain why Randy would have a problem like that today. Then I mention “Bill”, and some other agents, and leave open the question as to whether people like Ali Mogul really exist or are just meta-characters in Bill’s book (sort of “nocturnal animals”).

Wikipedia link for Krakow picture, p.d.

(Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 1 PM EST)

Music composition activities: an update (emphasis on separable miniatures)

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I want to provide an update of my music composition activities, particularly with respect to preparing miniatures that are performable on solo piano or (for practical reasons) by organ transcription.

I had discussed some of this on Nov. 25, 2015.  On Jan. 28, 2015 I described the progress of my Third Sonata.  On Aug. 21. 2016, one of the miniatures was played.

Here is a list of the items I have worked on.  For each element I have a print PDF, and MP3.  Some slower tempo items are not effective when played by the computer, as they need human nuance.  The fast pieces, toccata-like, sound effective.

“Losing It” (a curious title that I won’t explain here, other than it comes from my dark days at NIH in the Fall of 1962, about the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis), is a three-stanza hymn without words in B-fat Major.   The tempo is moderately slow.  There is a middle section in F minor.

The elements are LosingItRev2, LosingItConc (concluding a dour middle section) and LosingItClose, which recasts the original tune a little more cheerfully.

The song (originally numbered Su506Bf, had been originally envisioned as an interlude in a “choral song symphony” back in 1974.

The first stanza was performed on Aug. 21.

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The other pieces in the best shape are the “PolyTonal Prelude” (PolyTonalPreludeV2 and Coda) and the “Adagio Religioso” in B Major (Sonata3Mov3MReligioso) which is a middle section in the slow movement (third) of the Third Sonata,  This section was conceived in the spring of 1962 after a college friend at George Washington University was struck by a car near campus and killed (one of the outstanding students in the chemistry class).

I’ve added a section where the chorale religioso theme is reharmonized, with a lot more outright dissonance, near the end of the slow movement (Sonata3Mov3Da2).

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The “Hymn tune” in the Finale (of #3) first appears quietly but with restless harmony (HoldApplauseHymn2)

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That’s some time after the playful Toccata-like introduction (MSonata3FinaleS1) , which is surprisingly self-contained.

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I’ve added to the cadenza before the coda in the finale  (Sonata3Mov4Cad), which is very toccata-like and plays well on the computer.  There are some invocations of the Scriabin “Black Mass” motive, and the music progresses through atonality before settling on a G#-minor chord, before the Coda, which will start in F# Major and finally migrate to C.

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The Coda is on two files (Sonata3Mov4Coda1a and Sonata3Mov4Coda2b)..  I’ve marked the hymn melodic line in blue, and a secondary melodic line in pink.  The “Hold Applause” theme (which came to me in a dream in 2011, shortly after mother’s passing) is supposed to be singable.  There is a little bif of reference to Chopin (the A Major Polonaise, and then the Op 61 Fantasy) except that the descending interval is a major third, not a fourth (Chopin’s Op 61 sounds almost like a Scriabin Sonata to me).  But then there is a “double fist take” to settle on the final C Major outburst, with the toccata-like themes earlier in the Finale played over rising bass figures, taken from the conclusion of the Bruckner #7 and the scherzo of Bruckner 8.  The final 12 measures try to pile the history of postromantic music on top of one another in a skyscraper-like structure.  Finally, the work crashes to a close on a major third (C).

Coda Part 1 Page 1

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Coda Part 1 Page 2

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Coda Page 2 (end)

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My “legacy” site (doaskdotell.com) holding all the music mp3’s has migrated to a new server recently,  I’ll copy the new files to it soon.  Right now, they’re private (in the cloud).

(Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 at 12:45 PM EST)

Donald Trump! Footage of a protest outside his hotel today in Washington DC

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The protest (of Donald Trump’s election)  was from high school students in DC schools.  Many were white  (probably 50%) and “upscale”.  Some people were there to chant and demonstrate but others were there to film “The Hunger Games 4” with Trump as President Snow.

There were lots of chants like “Not my president”, “No justice no peace.

There is another rally at George Washington University.  It’s likely I’ll recognize people in that crowd from the LGBT community, Town and Cobalt.

The president-elect should realize that some younger adults who have tweeted very explicit language about his election are people whom he would have respected personally and who would have survived “The Boardroom” had they been on the Apprentice.  I doubt that many of his hires from that show approve of all of his behavior.

Cell phone videos

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Cannon Power shot videos

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10 People start to climb into the windows or “swing from the chandeliers” as if getting detention!  People did this one time at a middle school when I worked as a sub, contributing to my being banned from the school for not having classroom management.

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12  Again, kids in the window

13  An “upper income” teen climbs the Ben Franklin scuplture

 

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Some more stills”

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Then I went into the Trump Hotel lobby (the “enemy’s lair”)

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(First Posted: 4 PM EST Tuesday, November 15, 2016)

A drive through “Trump” country in Pennsylvania

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I drove yesterday through the countryside NW of Gettysburg, on 394 and 234, and on many named Pennsylvania roads without any route numbers and not on the maps.   There were many roads with no businesses, no signs directing me how to get out of a maze.  I could have passed into the afterlife this way.  I crossed gaps in the “Blue Ridge” three times, finally come out near Catalonia State Park near US 30, east of Chambersburg.

There was a “Gun Shop Road” near one of the ridge tops.  Reminds me of the 2001 movie “Bill’s Gun Shop“.

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Everywhere I saw Trump and Pence signs, and no Clinton signs.  People said to me, they weren’t interested in politics, they just wanted to be left alone.

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(Posted: Monday, Nov. 14, 2016 at 11:30 AM EST)

 

AGLA 35th Anniversary Dinner in Arlington VA clips

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Here are some clips from the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance 35th anniversary celebration at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City in Arlington VA.

1   Opening speaker suggests that sometimes appearing in drag is necessary and morally cleansing

2   T.J. Flavell talks about progress of gay rights in northern VA since 1981

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5  (Democratic VA state senator Ebbin)

6 A transgender assistant Secretary of Defense regarding energy procurement

7  Gavin Grimm, teenage plaintiff in Virginia public school bathroom case before the Supreme Court (4 parts) — ACLU link on litigation.

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(Posted: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016 at 2:45 PM EST)

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Comparative media reviews on hot topics