My friend Lucas Misael Cuadra, who is doing a great job creating the Spanish translation of "Emotion in Life & Music" had a terrible family tragedy: his house burned down. Blake Andrews set up this fundraiser to help Lucas and his family rebuild their house. Please think of helping them out, as I did.
This summer I had the pleasure of teaching a week-long pilot music camp at Guidepost Montessori School in Flower Mound, Texas. I was very impressed with the school, and highly recommend it.
There I brought the "Montessori Music Extension" curriculum I've developed over the past couple of years to a new group of students and it was, I think, quite successful. Here is the overview of the Guidepost summer program as a PDF.
If you'd like to know more about the curriculum, you can also visit the page on my website.
Do you know any Heads of School who might like to adopt this music program? Please put us in touch through my contact page.
Gennady Stolyarov II, a futurist whose book "Death is Wrong" I have and still do highly recommend--has written a review of my book "Emotion in Life & Music." Often, reviewers put their skew on the content of a book, so that the author's meaning is obscured. But this review is remarkable in summarizing content from the book very accurately.
Seeking the famous rain
Mister Mark Twain travelled to Spain
But, alas, his quest was in vain
He began to cry
As the ground was dry
But his tears were few
Since the sky was blue
That hardy man from the old frontier
Had hardly ever shed a tear
But when your thoughts are set
You sometimes forget
That what you expect
And what you think is due
Might not connect
With what turns out to be true.
by M. Zachary Johnson
Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
I'm pleased to announce two upcoming performances:
A Musical Tour of Asia
A new play using classic songs from throughout Asia
Performed by students at The T.E.C. School, under my direction
Thursday, Jun 7, 2018, 6pm
Jeppson Hall at Trinity Lutheran Church, 73 Lancaster Street, Worcester, MA 01609
Annual Show & Open House
The Center for Arts & Wellness
Sat, June 9, 4:00pm – 8:30pm
Sam Placentino Elementary School, 235 Woodland St, Holliston, MA 01746
Featuring solo performances by 7 of my piano and singing students!
Feel free to join us!
In working with musician Lucas Misael Cuadra on the Spanish translation of my book "Emotion in Life & Music", an interesting conundrum came up: there is no remotely near equivalent in Spanish for the English poetic/emotional concept "brooding."
Partly I explained to Lucas that I think this is because Spanish speakers are continuously brooding, so they have no contrast and therefore haven't formed the concept.
Anyway here is a footnote I wrote to explain the idea. Any thoughts?
*The english poetic term “brooding” uses the root idea of cultivating a nest, of gestating or incubating something, as with sitting upon a brood of eggs or newborns to enable them to grow in a warm and protected way, but in the emotional sense particularly congealing one’s diffuse, searching melancholy into a more coherent and resolved form of pain. Thus the biological analogy of slowly helping your babies carries over to mean a mental activity of dwelling upon your shadowy and mysterious threads of hurt, gathering and forming into some living synthesis.
I used the snow day today to finish this little poem for my students at the T.E.C. School in Worcester, MA.
Vis and Vat
- or -
What Does Thor Swing His Hammer For?
by M. Zachary Johnson
Stuck together by some glue,
Little pairs of letters run.
Such letters number two,
But their sound is only one.
We call these symbols “digraphs,”
And we use them all the time.
They pervade our every paragraph,
And every nursery rhyme.
The “S” and “H” in “shoe”
The “K” and “N” in “kneel”
The “C” and “H” in “chew”
The “W” “H” in “wheel”
Without these married pairs
Holding hands and having fun
Our tongue falls down the stairs
Descending into pun.
The puniest of puns,
The sniveliest of puns,
The very lowest
And most elegantly wrong
Contortions of language imaginable!
This is what happens if we take
The special sound that we make
With “T” and “H”
And kill their special bond,
A sin from which meaning and sense
Can never recover.
I'm afraid you’d be quite shocked
If your handy spool of thread
Into your old cousin Fred!
Your companions may be distraught--
The ones you sit at dinner with--
When they learn that your seat has brought
A bit of a smelly whiff!
When you pass the age of twelve,
Should people think you have not just aged another year,
But acquired a new and old-fashioned profession?
You've become a teen who trades in animal pelts,
Apollo killed the python
So his advice is “pithy”
But its gravitas is gone
And it doesn't sound too spiffy,
This smelly turd, this highly iffy
Weakened word called “piffy.”
What if Shakespeare wrote an Ode to Thee
But you thought that you owed a fee!
If you try to sell a widget,
And say that the cost is 3,
Your income becomes a midget.
Your customer heard that it's free.
Your bank account will suffer
Your life will end in shame
And it's your own lazy puffer
And your sloppy tongue to blame.
It's a matter of harmony or strife--
Whether you and your wife
Thought over something
or fought over something!
After all: What does Thor
swing his hammer for?
Now this compulsive “F”--
Is it some kind of thrill
Of the highest order?
Or is it just a frill,
A delicate little border?
Living on the edge,
And decorating it,
Are two. different. things.
Just how are people to know
If you are “froufrou” through and through?
Are you a man
bearing it out through thick and thin?
Or a fickle fish
flapping a dorsal fin?
You're all set
On the first day of Christmas
As long as you feel no thirst.
Luckily, on the second
Your problem is not the worst.
Did you know that in urban slang,
A “ferd” means a man with no sense?
Don't be one on the Third.
Or any other day, preferred.
After bird calls on the fourth,
I'm afraid your tongue will be too tied
to garner any golden rings on the fi-f-th,
any laying geese on the sixth
any swimming swans on the seventh
any milking maids on the eighth
any dancing ladies on the ninth
any leaping lords on the tenth
any piping pipers on the eleventh
and certainly your tongue will not be ready to call for
any drumming drummers on the twel-f-th!
Perhaps some are too busy
Putting their tongue in their cheek
To put it between their teeth
Or should I say “tief,”
The German word for “deep”?
Which also sounds suspiciously like “thief”
But I guess that should be “feef”
But up this, I cannot keep.
Forgive me if I be so bold
As to chide and act the scold
But this thing is growing like a mold
And people need to be told.
To save the clarity of language,
Just apply a little bandage.
Because we have good reason to fret
Over such an imminent threat.
copyright 2018 M. Zachary Johnson
All Rights Reserved.
Here are some of my outline thoughts in preparation for my upcoming participation in a panel discussion at FreedomFest 2017 in Las Vegas, on the topic, "Trigger Nation: How to Overcome Manipulation by the Media & Academia."
1) Influence exists. 2) It can be good or bad. 3) We can be influenced without realizing it. And, 4) therefore, we are better off if we understand influence better, so we can sort out good and bad influences, and understand where things come from.
Below are some example questions to anchor the discussion. Anyone have other examples?
What is the impact of the audio message on the New York Subway, repeating at regular intervals the statement, “Ladies and Gentlemen, bags and packages are subject to random search by the police”?
What is the effect of gender neutral bathrooms on people psychologically? When was this new front in the culture war opened up? What does this suggest about the motives for selecting this particular front for activism?
What insight is there in the line from the BBC comedy, “Yes, Minister,” in which an associate minister suggests, “Never believe anything until it is officially denied”? How does this relate to examples such as the news stories that announce from the first moment of coverage that an atrocity doesn't seem to have any connection to terrorism?
College student activists hold protests against conservative speakers on campus. Many suggest this is a spontaneous uprising by the students. What influences acted upon those students beforehand, such as from their parents or schools, that would have grown in them such a motivation?
In today's media culture, when there is so much competition for attention, is it possible to have your message heard without being provocative or inflammatory? How does this relate to Milo's success or troubles? To the influence of libertarian economics professors?
How does it influence a conversation when someone uses the term “conspiracy”?
Why is the opening statement of a discussion important? Does the first speaker in a debate have an advantage?
Related question: Are free will and influence compatible? Can you both choose your actions and be influenced?
I'm pleased to announce that I'll be a speaker at FreedomFest in Las Vegas later this month.
I'll debate Jeffrey Tucker, content director at the Foundation for Economic Education, about the rights of artists and inventors: "Can You Own an Idea? Both coming from a libertarian point of view, Mr. Tucker argues the problems with Intellectual Property, while Mr. Johnson defends its basis and value."
I'll be signing copies of Emotion in Life and Music as well as my new book You DID Build That: Defending Creative Rights. You'll be getting the publication announcement about that new book shortly!
I'll also be participating in a panel discussion titled "Trigger Nation: How to Overcome Manipulation by the Media and Academia." The panel with include Ron Meyer, Katherine Mangu-Ward; Russell Fulmer is the moderator. Here's the official description: "Today we face constant manipulation of our perception by academia and the media. This workshop focusses on recognizing and counteracting influence triggers to take back your life and your mind."