The State of the Arts and Other Reflections
  • A mere month and a half ago it would have been unthinkable to imagine that Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts or the Boston Symphony Orchestra would furlough or permanently let go personnel, or that regional organizations that gird the economy of the western part of Massachusetts, like Tanglewood Music Center, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Norman Rockwell Museum or the Shakespeare & Company, would come to a complete halt and that their employees, from ticket takers to famous artists, would suddenly be out of work.

    (I apologize if this link is for subscribers only.)

    Regrettably, this bad dream is not going to end as quickly as it began. As most know, a significant part of the financial support for arts programs comes from older citizens, the very people who will be most reluctant to return to a crowded concert hall or museum corridor. Until a vaccine is developed the arts are in for a prolonged dry spell.

    Several of my church musician friends have also been placed on leave or have had their positions terminated. To the broader culture that may not seem as tragic as the empty silence of Symphony Hall, but there is a firm link connecting the neighborhood piano teacher and local parish choir director to soloist in the renowned concert hall. When one suffers, we all do.

    Like many of you, I wonder when we will return to normalcy and how things will differ when we do. Will arguments for greater solemnity and appreciation of artistic craft in our liturgies find more sympathetic ears? Will many on-the-fence Catholics decide not to come back at all? Will strident divisiveness abate, whether political or liturgical, or will we simply refortify old entrenchments? [Am I the only one old enough to remember when at a holiday dinner table family members would kid each other about their political alliances? In recent years, politics is the one topic we know instinctively not to bring up.]

    But not every recent change and adjustment has been to my disliking. With only 50 people allowed in at a time, I actually find my nearest supermarket shopping less harried than before. Through weekly call-in orders, I’ve also gotten to know the owners of our local bakery and fish market more intimately. And when out for daily walks, neighbors always greet me with a friendly wave (well, it is small town Maine). Most importantly, my wife and I have commenced to pray together as part of a daily devotion. We’ve been married for many years but had never done any spiritual activity together outside of Mass. I suspect it will be a permanent routine.

    I am also most grateful that to date no acquaintance or family member has contracted the virus. (Two of my wife’s sisters are on the front lines in urban hospital settings and one can sense the physical and psychological toll in their voices.) I pray each day that each of you remain in good health and that God will sustain us in this time of financial peril.
  • I’m starting to think choir will be no more for a long time since social distancing requirements won’t be lifted for at least a year and group singing is an increased risk activity.
  • Sponsa,

    At some point, enough people will decide that the "social distancing" requirements are unwarranted, and then they will fall away like scales from our eyes.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw dad29
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,040
    There's a good article by Rod Dreher at the American Conservative website today that touches on how some ardently conservative Catholics/Christians aren't taking the science of this pandemic seriously and believe it's hysteria. Reading it will shed some light on some comments that have appeared in this forum. Quote:

    The coronavirus has made me realize that, in order to be a “conservative Catholic” is good standing, you really have to deny a lot of things that are actually true. My conservative friends’ Facebook feeds are full of conspiracy theories positing that the general idea is that the whole thing is overblown, this is just the flu, and the shutdowns are just a power grab. Needless to say, this is all based on clearly flawed or nonexistent evidence. The idea seems to be that everyone has the right to their opinion, and that it’s possible to find facts supporting almost any opinion, so it’s up to you to pick which opinion you like best.

    I know not all conservative Christians are like this, but a very high percentage are, and those tend to be the most vocal. Realistically, if you’re joining a group of conservative Catholics, you’ll either have to be (or pretend to be) a fervent Trump supporter, deny global warming and most likely evolution as well, and view anything coming from the “mainstream media” (defined as any source that isn’t explicitly conservative) with extreme skepticism.


    Hear me: I am not saying that anybody who questions the lockdown is a denialist. I genuinely believe that we are going to have to have a serious conversation about how to roll back some of these restrictions in a responsible way. That is going to mean determining how much death we are willing to accept. The MIT model warns us, as other epidemiologists have, that loosening restrictions too soon is going to mean a “catastrophic” increase in mortality. In Singapore, early restrictions flattened the curve, but now, having backed off too soon, they’re in trouble again. In the US, a CDC expert says that our official Covid death rate is probably far too low because our testing is so poor, and a lot of people are probably dying in their homes. We have to also face the possibility that the virus will mutate, greatly complicating vaccine development.

    What I’m calling out is what Ohio reader is calling out: Christians who are committing themselves to conspiratorial interpretations of what’s happening, and to denying science if the science tells them to do something that they do not want to do. (The Washington Post reports that this is a phenomenon of the populist right, egged on by Fox News and talk radio.) A Catholic reader in the Midwest sent me some material being passed out by a lay religious leader in his parish who does not believe all these lockdowns are necessary, and who is calling for resistance. The feeling there is that if you do believe that the lockdowns are necessary, then you are a fraidy-cat.

    Read, if you're interested:

    I'll make an observation that I made some time ago but withheld from stating until now: remember the threads asking about the prevalence of creationist/geocentrist/anti-evolution thinking in TLM parishes? I've noticed a strong correlation here between those who support young earth creationism and those who dismiss worries about the current pandemic as being overblown.
  • Sponsa,

    At some point, enough people will decide that the "social distancing" requirements are unwarranted, and then they will fall away like scales from our eyes.

    Our social distancing requirements have been made into enforceable law with fines starting at $1000/person and $100,000 for businesses and organizations. Our mayor has implemented an anonymous snitch line for people to snitch on their neighbors for not social distancing. It’s gone stupid here.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    I’m starting to think choir will be no more for a long time since social distancing requirements won’t be lifted for at least a year and group singing is an increased risk activity.

    That would depend on the size of your choir. 6ft away is far from ideal, but smaller choirs/scholas will do fine. If you have 30 people in the loft, not so much.

    I think, also, that once testing becomes readily available, the guidelines will be altered. On one podcast that I follow, guests are administered a test before entering the studio. It takes only 15m to get results. The cost is $200+ and its not available everywhere at the moment (cue political outrage), but as it becomes more available and hopefully cheaper and/or covered by insurance, it’s not impossible to imagine that the guidelines will allow larger groups (such as a choir in the loft) to gather in close quarters, assuming all have tested negative.

    Surely we are all suffering without the ability to attend Mass, but as I saw written elsewhere, we can use this time to reflect on the suffering of those missionary regions where this is the norm. For many in the world, they don’t need a dispensation from their Bishop or guidelines from their government - they simply don’t have the option to attend.

    God will be with us through this pandemic, and he will be waiting in the tabernacle when the church doors reopen. I pray that everyone’s faith is strengthened through these strange times, our trust in God is amplified, and all your choirs sing joyfully with the heavenly hosts following that first Gloria in excelsis deo...
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,410
    Our social distancing regulations have been based on the planning shown below. The assumption is the same as made in the UK, that they cannot stop everybody who is susceptible from catching the virus, what they hope to do is spread it out over more weeks. That will mean that they can support those in need of care, and more of them will survive. (There is nothing yet known to be effective other than 'general supportive treatment' ie keep them breathing). So if the regulations are fully effective, there will be no point keeping them beyond the end of May, they will have achieved the result hoped for.
    Of course the assumptions may be quite wrong.
    830 x 438 - 18K
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Mark,

    I don't read Rod Dreher, so I'll have to take your quotation as accurate.

    I was writing back and forth with someone recently, who claimed that climate change is indisputably true and biological sex is just more complicated than the binary system of male and female that some people like to assume to be true. Thing is, he wasn't trying to be cute or funny. He seriously believes this. His illogical nonsense doesn't give other people the right to be illogical or nonsensical, or to disbelieve objective reality, but when educated people advance such silly nonsense, it is difficult for the rest of us to take them seriously when they say that we must trust the experts and the models.

    I have said to students that they shouldn't challenge evolution on theological grounds, but on science grounds (of which there are several). Climate change would be so much more plausible if it hadn't also been called "global warming" and "global cooling" in my lifetime alone. Scientific projections of the population bomb have been inaccurate so often that they're not worth taking as scientific.

    [Admin note: deleted a line here.-RC]
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,777
    Rod Dreher's blog can be linked, once one gets the hang of it, using the icon the looks a bit like a 20c computer, the 2nd from right in this interface.
  • Carol
    Posts: 856
    I had procrastinated about ordering tickets to Tanglewood in February when the brochure arrived in my mailbox, and now I am glad I did not get around to placing an order. It is one my favorite places, but I will wait and see. This week on Divine Mercy Sunday, I am sure no one will be able to go to the Shrine in Stockbridge either. God willing though, there will be other seasons and many more concerts in our future.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    I know all of us have lost something. I lost a significant chuck of income because of HW and Easter gone. I though I would look around and do research to see if the govt's plan would offer me any reimbursement...

    How could I have been so naive?

    The plan does not give a penny to any workers or employees. It grants funds to employers who (if they feel like it) pass it along to the workers.

    Thant's it folks!

    Now, the employee has no power over whether his or her employer will apply for the grants. In my case, the church who hired me is not going to apply, so I am stuck.

    This is what we pay out taxes for and it enrages me. Don't get me started. The last straw in this whole trial was, after the govt. created - in TX alone! - over 1 million jobs gone, they happy voted themselves a pay raise.
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 1,063
    Biological sex is indeed more complex than merely male or female - that doesn't mean that demolishing our binary system as unnecessary makes the slightest bit of sense. (The few exceptions to the rule are either superficial - androgyny - or so completely rare as to be a rounding error.) Similarly, using climate change as a pretext for implementing one's preferred economic system screams too much of the Trojan horse to me.

    It remains to be seen how much of the COVID changes will remain in force after the dust settles. My situation has been passable at worst, but I've heard of much worse that reminds me of the above, including several pastors who took the opportunity to terminate all music staff claiming that the diocese required them to do so (I fall under the same jurisdiction and read the communication to clergy, and it did not require termination) and, of course, the opportunistic ban on lingual Communion by some clergy. If much of the political power grab continues after the pandemic dies down, I will have to submit to those who were more skeptical of our secular authorities. Until then, I remain convinced that more damage has been done by those viewing this pandemic opportunistically than from legitimate medical and political response to the crisis.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732
    The destruction wrought to music is going to be vast... We will now have 6 weeks of fake lockdown (we can go out when we like, we have plenty of excuses, and the law is more lenient than the Government guidance) But all this time the churches are shut, the opera house and concert halls are closed. How do they pay the bills, how do the people on lessened salaries make the needed contributions?
    What happens if the lockdown does not allow churches etc. to open for 3 months?

    Here is the U.K. the tide is turning, at first we had a small majority demanding a lockdown, and the government eventually gave way. When the press is carrying on with the Fake news, advertising worst case scenarios, it whips us fear and panic. But the Press is now the least trusted in opinion polls, and more people are asking about the exit plan!

    This is only going to grow, and as the death rates are not that bad, and the economic damage is really bad the balance will change and the lockdown will end because of political pressure. At the moment with have a narrowing majority in favour of the lockdown. We also have plenty of people that like to spy on their neighbours, and denounce them to the State (Which is familiar phenomena from the previous century (and perhaps the couple before that) over the Channel in Europe).

    The other problem is the vaccine will it work? and will it be safe? remember the people that will be vaccinated will be the 50% (Iceland and cruise ship figures) that have no symptoms, or the 80% (Chinese and others figures) that have mild symptoms. Also by the time they get the vaccine most of us may already have immunity!

    Anyway I will not be getting any vaccine, and will happily tell people who exactly used to employ me (Big Pharma!)
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    One potential positive result for me is that it appears some conferences and courses are going to be offered online which usually aren't. This opens up more possibilities for me to 'attend' without spending to travel overseas and without having to upturn my home life to go on a long trip away.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I am not familiar with Dreher and will have to look into that. In terms of views and beliefs I would consider myself rather conservative. The reality deniers are not conservative but anachronistic, longing for a world that doesn't exist, if it ever did. They are not the same and as Big Bird says, "One of these things is not like the other."
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    One thing about rounding errors and very large denominators: a marginal percentage of a very large denominator can still seem like a larger-than-expected absolute number. Especially when technology allows integers in the numerator to find one another and amplify their mutual volubility.

    Might be applied to not only trans/NB integers but also alt-anachronist integers, as it were.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • I had a substantial commentary primed. But instead of that, I will simply thank @MarkB, and go to the gym.
    Thanked by 1MarkS
  • sergeantedward,
    You get to go to the gym?! Wow
  • For yrs now the arts are cut from school budgets- as “nonessential”
    And now the faith viewed as same, when in reality it’s The One Thing Needed
    How are we expected to be ok with that?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Madame,

    You're not supposed to be ok with that. You're expected to decide that the government knows better than you do, and accept your helplessness. On the other hand, at my wife's prodding, I've conducted a music/singing class as part of our homeschooling efforts. The broken-voiced males in our house are learning a 3-part setting of the Regina Caeli, by Adrian Willaert, but most people are told that they should use spotify or some other app to give them whatever they want, and let the algorithm pick music for them.

    I should, in fairness, add that Ray Bradbury described our situation quite well in Fahrenheit 451, and George Orwell did as well in 1984.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    Lay down people. You have no rights. We are the king. We will control the vertical and the horizontal. Just relax and obey your TV set. (fire engine red... not purple...)
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Meanwhile, one bishop has taken the step of authorizing public Masses with limited access:
    and a re-opening has at least been proposed in Germany.

    And the commentator Msgr. Charles Pope has urged bishops and priests to get off the fence and make the sacraments available.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Madame,

    Imagine Soviet art and music.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • I have read online and in scientific news articles, that sunlight (a specific type of UV light), along with high humidity and temperatures tend to significantly kill most viruses. Although this might sound simplistic, why aren't more people out in the sun? I see in my area, a lot of children and teens out in the sun here in California. Many seem quite well, although the Coronavirus seem to be more of a problem for us older people and those of course with weaker immune systems, I put forth that more sun, exercise, vitamins, good sleep and food, and a routine of regular prayer and listening to and or creating beautiful music (like singing to yourself or practicing an instrument), could all work well towards restoring ourselves and thus situations within our sphere. I am diabetic and not in great shape - actually truthful I'm seriously ill, but I try to do all I have suggested in this above, and I am very happy, at peace and most of all, my love for Christ Jesus has never been stronger. I know, whether in life or death, all things will work for my good and the good of all who believe in Him and His great love. Fear not my brothers and sisters, we will live and declare the works of the Lord! Listening to "Dextera Domini" by Cesar Franck.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732
    @Ken of Sarum
    why aren't more people out in the sun?

    Because people believe in science, it is their god, it will solve their problems. Well apart from last month when it was responsible for Global cooling, sorry warming oh, climate change. Many places have put scientists in charge of policy, and the problem is they look at the problem through a microscope, they only see what they look for. They can't see the bigger picture! They also can't agree as one group forecasts more deaths while another group say end all the lockdowns.

    The people are now worshiping the vaccine god, whether it will save them or not is another matter. One of the better outcomes will be it works as well as the Flu vaccine, but already this year more people have died of the Flu!

    Sadly so many scientists do not realise we are like the emperor and we have no clothes, and if the people discover that their god cannot help them... they may end up throwing the baby (all the good that science does) out with the bath water.
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I think folks want to look for the reassurance of easy answers. Sometimes there aren't any and they would require a knowledge base that isn't there yet. Given enough time the medical folks will probably find either a cure or a preventive. The difficulty is staying healthy until then.

    I would agree that getting some fresh air isn't going to do much harm, unless you are a prisoner inside because of allergies. As for the sun, after my last bout with skin cancer - thanks, Scottish ancestors - I have been told to only go outside long enough to get to and from my car between March and November.

    Sadly so many scientists do not realise we are like the emperor and we have no clothes, and if the people discover that their god cannot help them... they may end up throwing the baby (all the good that science does) out with the bath water.

    Throwing babies out with the bathwater is, I'm afraid, basic human nature.
    Thanked by 3Carol tomjaw CHGiffen
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 542
    In re UV light:

    Sunlight contains three types of ultraviolet light – UVA, which tans your skin (and ages it) and can cause eye damage; UVB, which burns and also ages skin; and UVC, which is "the most harmful one" because it's quite good at destroying genetic material, explains Juan Leon, a virologist who focuses on environmental health at Emory University. Luckily, he notes, the sun's UVC rays don't reach us because they are filtered out by Earth's atmosphere.

    Sunlight can be a good disinfectant with other pathogens. Leon notes that's why in the developing world, the World Health Organization recommends sterilizing water by putting it in plastic containers and leaving it outside in the sun for about 5 hours.

    "Right now, there is no data on whether the UVA rays of the sun can inactivate this coronavirus," says Leon. However, research on SARS, another coronavirus closely related to the one causing the current pandemic, found that exposing that virus to UVA light for 15 minutes did nothing to reduce its infectivity, Leon says.

    The results with UVC light were more promising, notes virologist Julia Silva Sobolik, a researcher in Leon's lab at Emory. "UVC for longer durations, over 15 minutes, was found to be more effective at inactivating SARS," she says.

    In fact, UVC light is frequently used to sterilize equipment in medical settings, says Leon.

    But while UVC products are available for consumers to buy, there aren't really any uniform performance standards, and testing validation can vary greatly, according to the International Ultraviolet Association. Besides, UV light of any kind can be harmful to eyes and skin – and UVC is the most damaging kind, so you'd have be extra careful and properly trained not to seriously hurt yourself, experts say. (And you definitely shouldn't try to use any kind of UV light to disinfect your body, WHO has warned.) For disinfecting your body, soap and water will do the trick.

    That said, researchers believe UVC light has a part to play in the fight against the coronavirus. In China and Italy, UVC-wielding robots reportedly are being deployed to disinfect hospitals.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709
    In re UV light
    I guess the UV light god has spoken. Knowledge can be helpful, but it cannot be the end to the means. If we were just organic plants, that would be one thing, but we are human... body, soul, mind and spirit... "consider the lilies of the field"... and please don't forget (or ignore) that truth.
  • @mmeladirectress Home garage gym.

    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • The science communtiy has figured out that the spread of Coronavirus is based solely on two things.
    1. How dense the population is
    2. How dense the population is
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen MarkS Carol
  • Madame,

    Very clever. I almost didn't see the play on words.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Dear Madame -
    I believe that of your two options for the cause of the Wuhan virus's spread, no. 2 is the most likely - though no.1 cannot with certainty be ruled out. Further, it really depends on which means which (or if both mean each), does it not.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Carol
  • francis
    Posts: 10,709 other words, God is calling the entire world to go into their closet, shut the door and pray
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,039
    how some ardently conservative Catholics/Christians aren't taking the science of this pandemic seriously and believe it's hysteria.

    Actually the "science" of this pandemic is hardly monolithic and far from clear-cut. There are a number of reputable (dare I say "mainstream") voices saying that the lockdown was not warranted. Calling into question the mainstream version is not necessarily hysteria. (I have sometimes seen this contention presented as a sort of "last word" on the subject that is intended to squelch debate, which I find troubling.)
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732
    Actually the "science" of this pandemic is hardly monolithic and far from clear-cut.

    Just because some scientists (or medics) have the ear of Government or the media, does not make their theories or predictions anymore accurate. Also just because a majority of scientists conclude something does not mean they are anymore accurate than a minority of scientists.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,410
    But if I see a bear approaching, I do not stop to research whether it wants to bite my face off, or is hoping that I have some cream buns in my bag. We know that this virus is highly contagious, and that it kills some people, it might well have killed the UK Prime Minister if he had not been treated in ICU for three days, and AFAIK he does not have 'underlying health issues'. The 'experts' have typically been saying "somewhere between 30,000 and 120,000 will die prematurely", how this is relayed by politicians or reported in the media is another question. The BBC reports carefully, statements from the UK health authorities like "723 people have died in hospital with Covid-19", NB not 'of' Covid-19, not that there were no deaths outside hospital either 'with' or 'of' Covid-19. We won't know until well after the event, what actually happened, that is hardly a reason to wait and see.
  • Hawkins,

    Trumpet players don't share mouthpieces -- for our purposes, the reason they don't is that they would share saliva.

    Violinists don't have this problem, since only when people use extremely poor hygiene do violinists share saliva by trading instruments or bows.

    If there is a trumpeter who goes down from being ill, other trumpeters would be well advised not to use his instrument. A violinist wouldn't share this concern, if there were, for example, a dearth of violins or a surfeit of violinists.

    Therefore, the impact on the arts would be unequal.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Trumpet players don't share mouthpieces -- for our purposes, the reason they don't is that they would share saliva.

    Even if they did, it would be very easy and quick to sanitize it. Meanwhile, as an oboist, my oboe instructors were always playing on my reeds to check them and fix them. I’m pretty sure I’m immune to everything now.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,169
    SponsaChristi, speaking as an oboist, too, I also had your experience with reeds being shared with instructors (or with my own reed making students), checking for the purpose of adjustment. That was a long, long time ago, though.

    I've also had the experience of sharing briefly lower brass instrument mouthpieces, again a long, long time ago.

    As for violins & violas, there is the facial contact of the chin rest when one shares the instruments. After all, we have been told that it is not just a matter of sharing spit that we are supposed to be wary.

    And for the organ or other keyboard instruments likely to be shared, there are the keys and stop tabs/knobs that come into contact with the fingers/hands.

    The process of singing, especially loud passages and/or those with lots of enunciation (of vowels & consonants), also results in the release of myriad saliva droplets into the air which neighboring singers might well inhale.

    At least I do my composing on my laptop ... I haven't used my old Steinway as an adjunct to composing for ages. And, last I heard, one doesn't communicate corona- and other viruses, via the sharing of PDF & MP3 files.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,155
    Don't know about that CG. I've heard those computer viruses can be pretty bad
    Thanked by 3Elmar CharlesW Carol
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,169
    Insert: other biological viruses.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 503
    Online music projects are going viral everywhere, as does live-streaming of masses.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,040
    Let's hope this doesn't go viral in liturgy, even though the video/audio production values and the vocal performances are very good.

    It's probably the best job of streaming parish Mass videos that I've seen from a technical production standpoint, but it's not how Catholic Mass should be celebrated. Nevertheless, there is something very seductive and alluring about the music to people who are seeking religious entertainment, which is why that style is going semi-viral in parishes that are aiming for a contemporary flavor.

    No chance of locking down that stuff, or locking it out of Mass, I suppose.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Elmar
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    So how did that Lockdown in NYC work out?


    So the "science" may be imperfect? Who'da thunk??
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    MarkB I don't find it much different than what the Protestant mega churches are packing the house with every Sunday. What was that in scripture about having our ears tickled?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Elmar
    Posts: 503
    Let's hope this doesn't go viral in liturgy
    Mark, that is a great danger indeed.
    In your linked example, I have to admit that there were a few highlights, in spite of this continuous performance-style singing: the way of the sequence in the vernacular, going over to the Alleluia with the Easter verse (missing in the subtitles, what a pity) was pretty well done - which may be more telling, on the other hand, about the general level of vernacular liturgical music ...

    Here's the live stream liturgy channel from our cathedral for comparison. Extremely well done technically and liturgically, they really draw people into the liturgy as to almost forget the 'screen barrier'. Also a very sophisticated way of ensuring the physical distance rules within the (temporarily modified) rubrics. Lots of top-level liturgical music with just four singers at a time!

    I really enjoyed it, until the Lamentations on Good Friday: The quartet from the (100+) cathedral choir sang the Da Vittoria setting, very beautifully indeed, but - actually it's exactly what parish choir used to do (a little less beautifully), but this year it had been canceled; like all choir singing in Mass, whether live streamed or not.
    Also we would have needed a reahersal, which is forbidden within social distancing rules - seems that the cathedral choir magically studied their revised Good Week and Easter music without any coming-together after March 15th.

    Now I continue watching their programs to enjoy & learn from the singing (afterwards; so I can skip the spoken parts of the liturgy). For the Mass, I've been joining into a televised TLM on Sunday mornings since Easter.
  • I was sent this link to an NPR reporter's article on the Spanish flu pandemic and the Anti-Mask League of 1918-9
    Strangely (to me), it was published on Twitter, so is broken into tiny paragraphs... maybe to reach the max number of readers? ... but IMO is worth reading through.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    Another thread hijacked by regrettable science deniers, pandemic doubters and lockdown naysayers. This from Catholics who ostensibly respect the sanctity of life etc. etc. Sad. I am reminded of a quote from a city official in Galveston just before Hurricane Ike hit, when asked what would happen to those who refused to evacuate (Hurricane doubters, not doubt) - I am afraid many of these die hards are going to die hard, he said. The tragedy in his pandemic is that science deniers, pandemic doubters and lockdown naysayers aren't just die hards who will suffer the consequences of their own delusions and ignorance, but that many innocent people will also die hard due to these peoples' lack of respect for the sanctity of life and lack of basic Christian charity.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,732

    I remind you I am a scientist!
    So can you produce peer reviewed evidence, with an effective control that lockdowns work? And do they work against flu type viruses?
    Can you show me that a majority of scientists are always right and a minority always wrong? Can you show me that the majority of scientists actually agree with the measures?
    Can you show me how many people have died of Covid?
    Can you give me data as to how many people have caught Covid?
    Can you provide evidence for the death rate?

    The science is not settled and will not be settled until we get reliable data... and even then the scientific method requires far more data for it to become a scientific law.
    Thanked by 1dad29
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    Some will deny any and all data from the most reputable sources, no matter what, so there is really no point in posting data in response to their questions, although the data is out there on the public record on the websites of reputable organizations for intelligent Christians to peruse (Johns Hopkins, for example.) In addition, some will reply to this data with information taken from sources that promote various conspiracy theories, for example, that Jews have taken over the global media or that the Ruwanden genocide didn't happen, which calls into question the validity of everything these people say or post about anything. One wonders why some people continue to post on any subject after demonstrating such a complete lack of credibility.
  • JPNZ71,

    The thread didn't get hijacked. Read back through it.
    Charles Giffen observed that viruses couldn't be transmitted by PDF files, and B H Cordova pointed out that Computer viruses can be transmitted through those files. (Which is both true and an indication that the word "virus" can mean more than one thing, which is a beautiful aspect of English.)
    Charles "corrected" himself, observing that biological viruses couldn't be transmitted by PDF files.
    Mark then picked up on yet another use of the word "virus", to describe the spread of something over the internet. Playful language then went for its own gymnastics routine.

    Now, I think you and Tomjaw are using the same language and meaning two different things by it. He, being a trained scientist, raises the question of scientific method and how something becomes accepted as a scientific theory or a scientific law, while you use
    "scientific" to mean "decided by "experts"".
    science deniers, pandemic doubters and lockdown naysayers.
    are all expressions whose typical use is to bludgeon others into cooperating with whatever is being advanced by those who use the terms. (You may not be using them this way, but it certainly sounds as if you are.) In the field of "arts" something similar happens. Our National Endowment for the Arts pays for Piss Christ,by Robert Maplethorpe, and people who get upset about such a use of the dollars are then described as repressive or anti-art or something similar.

    To be explicitly on topic for this thread, I want to observe that times of crisis sometimes produce beautiful works of art, but sometimes they produce merely that which is strikingly ugly. (The painting called Guernevica comes to mind. It was portraying an ugly thing, and the artist decided not to paint it in a merely stylized way.) The 1812 Overture describes the spread of the Revolutionary Virus all across Europe, until the great armies of Mother Russia defeated it. Britten's War Requiem is another piece which reflects on a time of great tragedy.

    So, to Randolph Nichols' observation that a mere six weeks ago the idea of closing cultural venues would have been unthinkable except by Philistines who hate art, I must say that there is hope for the time after the S-I-P orders are lifted, but I must acknowledge that the S-I-P prevents artists from collaborating in the same room and makes us (whether instrumentalists or vocalists) more dependent on the technology or our patience. It's quite rational, it seems to me, to be disturbed that musicians can't make music in the same way and to be more so disturbed if one perceives that the S-I-P is un-necessary.

    It should be noted that theatre people (being theatre people) often don't care about whether something is safe to do or not, since many of them (but by no means all) are engaging in their art (nowadays) for the purpose of shocking others.

    Thanked by 2tomjaw dad29