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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:23 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
Hi PB+J. I just wanted to query one thing. I'm not being a pedant, honest; it's just that I can read two completely different meanings in something you wrote there:

PB+J wrote:
America is a "mongrel nation (Mongel! for fcks sake!)

You've spelt "mongrel" differently in each of the two instances in the above phrase. Did you mean that you thought he was saying that America was a "Mongol nation", or were you simply offended by him using the phrase "mongrel nation"? I don't want to assume ...


Well you are being a pedant. It's "mongrel:" that's what he wrote. I made a typo.

Ironically nativists claimed Irish immigrants would make the US a "mongrel nation." They weren't wrong: the US is a "mongrel nation" in the sense that right on my own typical block we have a German American married to an Italian American, a Chinese American married to an Italian American, A Jewish American married to a Fillipina American, a Jewish American married to a Korean immigrant; a French American married to an English American, a French American married to a German American, an African American married to a Swedish American, an east Asian Indian married to an Irish American: OMG the mongrelization is rampant.

It's not that he's wrong about the US being "impure:" it's that he's a racist who thinks "mongrelization" makes it impossible to play music the right way, and he's basing his aesthetic claims on an idea of racial purity. The layers of stupid in that essay are onion like in their extent and their irritating stink.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:54 am 
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PB+J wrote:
Well you are being a pedant. It's "mongrel:" that's what he wrote. I made a typo.

No. I really wasn't. I couldn't be sure, and didn't want to assume.

Anyway, thanks for clarifying.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:09 am 
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I'm sitting here pondering whether Mr. Ellis really wants his name (in the title) associated with the current thread drift.

Best wishes.

Steve

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:29 am 
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Steve Bliven wrote:
I'm sitting here pondering whether Mr. Ellis really wants his name (in the title) associated with the current thread drift.

Best wishes.

Steve


I certainly am guilty of getting "philosophical" a couple of pages back, so I share some responsibility for any sort of hijacking that has taken place :-). You'd think I'd have learned from having spent years getting mixed up in such discussions, but alas no.

I guess any publicity is good publicity? Hmmm...

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:01 pm 
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None of the “drift” has anything to do with Mr. Ellis’s flute, which remains marvelous. Also please give me, the OP credit for several times trying to keep it on track!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:49 pm 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
An opinion is a fixed viewpoint that implies that we have all the information and have considered an argument from every possible vantage point (which is impossible).

That impossibility is exactly why I consider my opinions to be provisional. In really getting to the meat of the matter, I would use the word "moored" rather than "fixed". Perhaps for some that's splitting hairs, but to me the difference is fundamental.

Steve Bliven wrote:
I'm sitting here pondering whether Mr. Ellis really wants his name (in the title) associated with the current thread drift.

Indeed. All we have to do is bring up authenticity in any context, and away we go.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:16 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
That impossibility is exactly why I consider my opinions to be provisional. In really getting to the meat of the matter, I would use the word "moored" rather than "fixed".


"Moored" really is the mot juste! An excellent way to distinguish between something rigid and something that keeps its mobility. The difference between "opinion" and "viewpoint". An opinion is a conclusion, whereas a viewpoint is just that: what we see from our current vantage point in our travels.

I don't wish to start any semantic hares, either! Just appreciating the nuances of the language :-)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:24 pm 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
The difference between "opinion" and "viewpoint". An opinion is a conclusion, whereas a viewpoint is just that: what we see from our current vantage point in our travels.

I've tended to use those and similar words interchangeably, and with little if any differentiation in overall meaning, but while I agree that "opinion" carries more of a sense of arriving at a conclusion, it isn't as strong for me as it seems to be for you. I do make a distinction between opinion and stance, though, and I think my meaning of "stance" may be more akin to your meaning of "opinion". For example, in my opinion/viewpoint/perspective, kicking puppies is bad. It is an opinion, for others may disagree. But more than that, my stance too is that it is bad, and that will brook no opposition. In the end, though, it all depends on what the speaker means, and we don't read minds, more's the pity.

Little wonder how we humans are so capable of talking past each other. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
The difference between "opinion" and "viewpoint". An opinion is a conclusion, whereas a viewpoint is just that: what we see from our current vantage point in our travels.

I've tended to use those and similar words interchangeably, and with little if any differentiation in overall meaning, but while I agree that "opinion" carries more of a sense of arriving at a conclusion, it isn't as strong for me as it seems to be for you. I do make a distinction between opinion and stance, though, and I think my meaning of "stance" may be more akin to your meaning of "opinion". For example, in my opinion/viewpoint/perspective, kicking puppies is bad. It is an opinion, for others may disagree. But more than that, my stance too is that it is bad, and that will brook no opposition. In the end, though, it all depends on what the speaker means, and we don't read minds, more's the pity.

Little wonder how we humans are so capable of talking past each other. :)


I think your definition of opinion is more in line with the actual dictionary definition. I tend to think of opinions as being a more calcified viewpoint, but that's not really accurate (in terms of the technical definition). In fact, opinion is just a synonym for "viewpoint" and vice versa. I have clearly developed sub-definitions of my own! Hence the need for so many philosophical discussions to start with "So...define your terms." Very Woody Allen, I know, but helpful.

My own stance is that I refuse to kick puppies.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:25 pm 
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Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
I think your definition of opinion is more in line with the actual dictionary definition.

Then I can assure you it would be entirely by accident. Like the rest of us born to it, I've acquired this language mostly by the seat of my pants.

Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
I have clearly developed sub-definitions of my own!

I suspect most of us have developed our own sub-definitions as well, and more than we realize.

Geoffrey Ellis wrote:
My own stance is that I refuse to kick puppies.

Good man, yerself. We give puppy-kicking no support around here. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:52 pm 
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Opinions aren’t al! equal though. I mean, Geoffrey Ellis’s opinions on flutemaking are way more informed than mine and because of that experience, rightly carry more weight and a higher degree of certainty. I’ve got a career’s worth of experience in some areas: that certainly doesn’t make me 100% right, not even close, but it gives me a higher degree of certainty about some opinions. That’s just obvious: a car mechanic’s opinions on my brakes are way more certain then mine.

When I give my opinions about a flute, I always stress my inexperience and offer the opinions in that light. If I’m still playing ten years for now, my opinions will have more weight, probably, maybe. Forty years of research into, oh, say, the connections between race and nationalism might have some import on the relative certainty of one’s opinion .


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:51 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
Opinions aren’t al! equal though.

Even I am not so out there as to suggest it.

PB+J wrote:
OMG the mongrelization is rampant.

I prefer to think of it as hybrid vigor.

PB+J wrote:
None of the “drift” has anything to do with Mr. Ellis’s flute, which remains marvelous. Also please give me, the OP credit for several times trying to keep it on track!

Attaboy. :twisted:

No, seriously, keep swingin'. Keeps us honest.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:30 am 
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I think the thing is all nations are "mongrel nations."

There's a really interesting book I read not long ago called The Quest for The Irish Celt, about the Harvard Irish Mission, which was a 1930s project to excavate and document neolithic sites in Ireland as well as measure the heads and bodies of living and dead Irish people and do field work in rural communities. The goal was to document the pure Celt, uncontaminated by the influence of the Romans, with some sense that the original inhabitants of Ireland were more purely white. It had the full cooperation of DeValera's government, and his director of the National museum, Adolf Mahr, who was a full-on Hitler-saluting Nazi and wanted to find the Aryan race uncontaminated by those "Eyetalians," as my Irish American grandmother would have put it. Mahr is probably a spy for the Germans: at one point the Americans send over their own spies to spy on the Germans. DeValera uses it as a jobs program, hiring local farmers to dig up stone circles and lake forts, and he hopes to get evidence that Ireland is not England racially. The excavations mostly fail to show what's hoped for: the evidence at most sites includes clearly roman-derived artifacts. Fascinating stuff.

It's also fascinating to look at when the flute became the Irish flute. Hammy Hamilton's article points out that it's not common till probably the 19th century. Francis O'Neill doesn't bother much with the flute in his histories of Irish music--he barely mentions it.

I just got one of Mr Ellis's ebonite Irish flutes. It's great! I'll post something about it later today. It's a bit easier to play in a familiarly "Irish" way on the ebonite pratten. But if I was a more original thinker musically, I'd probably gravitate towards the "essential flute."


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:46 am 
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PB+J wrote:
Francis O'Neill doesn't bother much with the flute in his histories of Irish music--he barely mentions it.


Ah, perhaps you haven't been looking in the right place. Page 409 of Irish Minstrels and Musicians (Capt. Francis O'Neill), starts Chapter XXVII: The Flute and its Patrons. It starts:

"No musical instrument was in such common use among the Irish peasantry as the flute. From the "penny whistle" to the keyed instrument in sections it was always deservedly popular." O'Neill goes on to talk about the advantages of the flute, and document a number of famous fluters from his period and before, starting with Oliver Goldsmith.

O'Neill himself was a fluteplayer, fiddler and piper. "In our own case, we had the good fortune to be taught the flute by Mr Timothy Downing....". There's a statue of Francis playing the flute at the O'Neill family home in Tralibane, Co. Cork.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:06 am 
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Terry McGee wrote:
PB+J wrote:
Francis O'Neill doesn't bother much with the flute in his histories of Irish music--he barely mentions it.


Ah, perhaps you haven't been looking in the right place. Page 409 of Irish Minstrels and Musicians (Capt. Francis O'Neill), starts Chapter XXVII: The Flute and its Patrons. It starts:

"No musical instrument was in such common use among the Irish peasantry as the flute. From the "penny whistle" to the keyed instrument in sections it was always deservedly popular." O'Neill goes on to talk about the advantages of the flute, and document a number of famous fluters from his period and before, starting with Oliver Goldsmith.

O'Neill himself was a fluteplayer, fiddler and piper. "In our own case, we had the good fortune to be taught the flute by Mr Timothy Downing....". There's a statue of Francis playing the flute at the O'Neill family home in Tralibane, Co. Cork.



No I actually posted that here once before. He does say that lots of people played flute, and recalls hearing flutes from a distance over the hills, but when it comes to documenting musicians, flute players get scarcely a mention--its pipes, first and foremost, and the fiddle. In the quote you added he goes on to say that anyone serious as a musician--anyone desiring to make money at it--played the fiddle or the flute: "No one but a born musician, or one who had no other outlet for his musical instinct, was likely to learn to play the flute." Flute players are only a tiny part of "Fascinating Hobby" and "Irish Minstrels and Musicians." For example, you can search both at Google Books, and in Irish Minstrels the flute is mentioned on 33 pages, while the fiddle is treated on 78 pages, at much greater length, and the pipes get 89 pages. In Fascinating Hobby there are no mentions of the flute OR the fiddle, but 100 pages treating the pipes

(Also I've been to see the statue and posted pictures of it here a couple months ago. Believe me, I've been spending quite a lot of time with O'Neill, including all the original letters Irish archivists were willing to let me see!)

I think it's odd the way he treats the flute--like it's the instrument of the amateur and the extremely poor. He says, as you note, that once you got a flute you didn't need to do or buy anything else--no strings or rosin or reeds or bow hair, so in that sense it was the friend of the poor. But in pictures of the Chicago Irish Music club a lot of people are playing flutes, and flutes are among the earliest commercial recordings of ITM.

So I think we'd agree the flute was widely played in Ireland in, say, 1860, but for some reason it's not held in the same regard as other instruments by the primary historians of Irish folk muisc


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