Beethoven Piano Sonata No 1

I have decided to start publishing Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas.  I have been posting a lot of music for orchestra, but I rarely get to hear music composed for one instrument or chamber type music.

So, I am going to listening to all of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas to correct this.

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Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone by Auguste Rodin


A caryatid is a sculpture of a woman that is supporting a building.


Rodin imagines that the woman has fallen down with the stone above her.  It’s sad, but also kind of funny.  I don’t know why.

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43rd Annual Cleveland International Film Festival!

It is the 43rd Annual Cleveland International Film Festival.

By the time it is over, I will have seen 3 full length feature films and 4 collections of shorts.  🙂

This is the most number of shorts I have ever seen in a festival.

I am doing this because last year I was not able to take off time for the film festival, so I “only” saw five full length feature films last year.

This year, as compensation, I am seeing four collections of shorts, including the Audience Shorts Winners.

I am not seeing any full length documentaries this year, though I will see short documentary films.  That’s OK.  Between Naila and the Uprising, RBG, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, and Three Identical Strangers (the latter three I saw at my local theaters) I saw a few documentaries last year.

I think I have FINALLY entered my theme phase of the Cleveland International Film Festival.

Basically, for the next few years, I will pick a theme based around one of the various competitions.  50% of the films I will see will be from that collection.

This year, it is short films.

Next year, I think, will be documentaries.


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Gamin by Augusta Savage


Augusta Savage was a sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance.  She was born in Florida.  I like this work.  She gave the young man a real personality!

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Pomp and Circumstances No 1 by Elgar

I heard the Cleveland Orchestra play this piece when I was a child.  We went to a children’s show with my elementary school.  Our music teacher played it for us in the preparation for our trip.  She told us she would not even need to introduce us the second section of the piece.  As we heard that, we all exclaimed in recognition.

Sure enough, I would march to this piece years later when I graduated from high school.

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Captain Marvel and The Truth about Strong Female Characters

So Captain Marvel comes out today, and now is as good a time as ever to talk about Strong Female Characters.

Captain Marvel (2019) poster CR: Marvel Studios

hate them.

I didn’t come to this realization right away, but Sofia McDougall helped me see the light.  She hated Strong Female Characters long before I did, but she is right.

Natalie Portman also hates strong female characters as well.  She is also right.

Here’s the thing with Strong Female Characters.  When we say Strong Female Characters, what we mean is “Masculine Female Characters.”  Strong Female Characters are characters that, to use the feminist nomenclature, “perform masculinity.”  In a sense, Strong Female Characters do not validate women.  They validate masculinity.  And the message they give is that women will be accepted, but only if they perform masculinity.

Feminists argue about a lot of things, but one of the arguments they have is with regards to what their goals should be.  Some feminists want women to get a seat at the table; other feminists want to destroy the table.

When it comes to films, I want to destroy the table.  But my goal is not (only) to see more films about women.  My goal is to see a wide variety of stories.  And we can’t see a wide variety of stories of masculinity is the only valid perspective through which to see the world.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have Strong Female Characters.  I just don’t think that we should only have Strong Female Characters.

So, a request.

I know a portion of guys are not seeing Captain Marvel to protest the film’s perceived “political agenda.”  Instead, they are planning on seeing Alita: Battle Angel, because they think that’s a better kind of film about women.  In a sense, they are virtue signaling this weekend.


But I have a request for the guys who are planning to do this.

Go watch an additional movie that weekend.  You can rent these movies on Amazon.

Go watch Ida, a film about a Polish novice who leaves the convent to discover her Jewish heritage and the state of communist Poland.

Or Wadjda, a film about a young girl in Saudi Arabia who wants a bike.

Hey, both of those films have subtitles.  I hate subtitles!  

OK, how about Belle?  It’s the true story of a biracial English woman living against the backdrop of the emerging abolitionist movement.

Or Suffragette, about the suffragette movement in Britain?

Ugg, period pieces! 

OK, how about Volver or All About My Mother?  They are films by the great Spanish director Pedro Almodovar.

Subtitles again!  

OK, how about Eighth Grade?  It’s a film by Bo Burnham and was one of the best films of 2018.

Or I, Tonya?  It’s tells the (somewhat) true story of Tonya Harding.  Plus, it has Sebastian Stan!

I don’t know who Sebastian Stan is. 

That’s Bucky, The Winter Soldier.


Happy International Women’s Day everyone!







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View of the Chrysler Building by Rachel Hartley


I got to see this at the Jazz Age exhibit.  I don’t know anything about this artist and I don’t see any information about Rachel Hartley online.  So she is a mystery.

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