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Pseudonym

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Pseudonym last won the day on December 20 2019

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  1. I thought that, nearly two years ago. I'm still here, mate.
  2. Local customs usually prevail. I am a dual US-UK citizen. When I engage with my fellow Americans, I try to respect the fact that Americans (a) overwhelmingly still pay lip service at the minimum to the monumental achievements of the Constitution, and (b) an awful lot of my fellow Americans have no real grasp of it but like an argument. Marketplace of ideas, and sometimes it gets ugly. When I engage with my fellow Britons, I try to respect the fact that (a) Britain has a long history of dealing with intractable systemic flaws by exhausting every comic possibility they offer, and (b) as long as a Briton is willing to engage at all, it most likely happens in good faith. One the whole, and leaving aside the very real and nasty strains of violence and hatred that are part of the human condition, Britons tease those they love and ignore those they do not. Being mocked is far, far better in the UK than being shunned. Mockery is familiarity but not necessarily contempt. I have always encountered much more good humour than mean spirits in both countries. And I'm a genuinely pessimistic misanthrope, so that's saying a lot.
  3. It's because we have the Den of Iniquity thread, where civilised, well-mannered types rehearse all manner of martial fantasies with comic brio and a general ethos of trousers-down absurdity. It's all so harmless it makes Sgt. Bilko look like the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan. There's no place there for twonks who dress like those idiots at the Capitol without a sense of how ludicrous it looks. Also, there is often cake. In real life, of course, I'm a crass oaf who cannot string two words together without punching someone out of sheer frustration. I'm 99% sure the other people on the DoI thread are absolute sweethearts, prone though they may be to flogging dead llamas.
  4. I just popped in to see what other people have been doing, and apparently they are running a seminar in international relations. Which is nice.
  5. Yes. By the looks of it, "OFC" (upper case) is oil finish colour in Warwick posts, and "ofc" (lower case) is "of course" used in all manner of posts. I still prefer words, but YMMV.
  6. I just did a quick search of the "for sale" threads and from the contexts I saw it looks like it could mean "of course". Is that a possibility? Had I not searched, I would have suggested "original flight case". Where it crops up in "for sale" posts, however, that would not make sense.
  7. Pseudonym

    Ayup!

    Good at intros, however. Welcome. You will find any number of self-deprecating bassists here who you somehow know could blow the back wall out. I'm not one of them -- I really do aspire to mediocrity.
  8. In other news, the search continues for solutions to polarisation that do not themselves construct laughably simplistic binary oppositions.
  9. Summoned as I am by an upper-case challenge, a full reply might settle this non-argument. 1. I don't care about his money one way or another. I don't really care about my money either, but a taxi driver often does and I do care about getting where I need to be without worrying about being late. My point: sometimes money represents intangible, unquantifiable aspects of life. 2. I don't care if he's a git. I'm not asking him to join me for dinner. If he treats people badly, that reflects poorly on him (as it does on anyone), but after all the lyrics for "Yesterday" aren't "Yesterday/Hurry up with my sandwich you grotty nobody". Most listeners aren't going to experience that side, they merely hear the music. 3. Taste is subjective but also indicative. When a lot of people share a taste, there might be any number of reasons for that. I'm interested in the reasons, which are complex, rather than in the subjectivity of aesthetic responses, which is obvious but unlikely to shed light on anything. 4. I don't care about popularity or lionisation except as phenomena. What I like isn't especially popular except when it is. Popularity would be a meaningless measure of anything I do, except when it isn't. Being lauded and being popular only overlap sometimes (cf. thread on Banksy). McCartney's popularity in 1964, or 1980, are less interesting to me than his durability as an exponent of musical genres that are not as fleeting and short-lived as their commercial dimensions suggest they might be. 5. My subjective view? Well, okay. I formed my initial musical tastes in popular music from whatever Radio 1 played throughout the 1970s. That included some truly impressive moments (Bowie, Roxy Music, Slade at their most cheerful, Elvis Costello at his most acerbic, etc). There was much dross, of course; there always is. The Beatles remained popular and got played a lot; their stuff just worked like all the other stuff to my ahistorical ears. I knew it was "old" (i.e. not made last month), but I liked it anyway. So, lesson in the obvious for the young 'un: catchy songs endure. And McCartney was responsible for quite a lot of them. Wings didn't impress in the same way but did confirm that he was still in the game. McCartney II came out in 1980 with "Coming Up" on it. It isn't Bowie with "Fashion" or some similar display of acute musical antennae, but it does reveal a musician with a taste for incorporating new-found elements into his own work simply because he likes them and thinks he can use them. Another lesson: things change, and open-mindedness applies in all directions. I could like PiL, Madness, and "Coming Up" at the same time -- and then find Macca's Christmas single silly but oddly catchy. I saw that I might not be his audience for everything, but there is more than one audience. He is a populariser; including rather than excluding. Does he do it to make money? Sure. Does he only do it to make money? Of course not. He's having fun, and that comes across the way even a mediocre film can be elevated by an ensemble that is obviously having a whale of a time. And this was significant for me, an anxious child who quite obviously overthinks everything. Sometimes, having fun is a virtue in itself. I went back to the Beatles and listened property. It's like nothing else and everything else: a wide range of musical antecedents transmuted into songs realised at such a clip that they retain their spontaneity. They are seldom overworked. Many people deserve credit -- George Martin being the one everyone points to -- but McCartney is certainly crucial. Studio experiments; harmonies that evoke pre-modern chants; a transatlantic gumbo of styles worn lightly; and energetic performances from a band that was learning as they went, and which quickened the transition from studio as venue to studio as laboratory. Listening to the Beatles in the early 1980s was an education in itself. In 1981 I was teased for it by the kids who in 1989 were in love with it. Lesson: massive popularity does not preclude artistic validity. Were the Beatles a literary phenomenon, that artistic merit would be less clouded by the stigma of adolescent adulation. What do I find exciting and moving about his music? To be honest, I am lukewarm about most of his post-Beatles music, with a few exceptions, but I respect what he does with it. I respect the fact that an overpetted moptop still has the urge to form an ambient techno group with Youth. I respect the fact that he is obviously inclined to be a crowdpleaser until he drops, like he's Tony Bennett. But exciting and moving? Well, I associate Abbey Road, the last thing the Beatles recorded, with the frenzied, intoxicated lovemaking that characterised the breakdown of my first serious relationship. It's the sound of something that knows it is dying but is compelled to pretend otherwise, the sound of emotional demolition. I associate the guitar solo of "Taxman" with the transition of my taste -- and, crucially, the personal values that taste signifies -- toward the kind of jagged loss of self that I still try to invoke when I play the guitar to try to stay halfway willing to live. I hear in McCartney's bass playing a path through my own musical limitations as I pick up the four-string after 40 years with six thin ones. But, if were are going to get close to the bone, so be it: in the hours before my wife died, I played her six tracks. Five of them were mine. The other was "Things We Said Today". If you can write a song that captures so sweetly the sense of love beyond the reach of communication, you deserve McCartney's money, but I'll lay odds you can't. I question the premise that we can draw a general rule from your own subjective dismissal of a musician because he was unkind to you and you don't like plutocrats.
  10. Your disagreement is noted. Obviously, all posts of this kind make assertions. You might notice that I do not say McCartney necessarily meets the critieria I mention, merely that I offer possible reasons why (a) some think he is great, and (b) others really do not. In that sense, I am not asserting facts. I am merely proposing criteria in relation to an inherently critical topic. It is up to you, or to anyone, to judge for yourself whether you think McCartney is one of those musicians who meets the criteria I set out in the first sentence. Obviously, you do not, but I don't have any sense of whether you think the yardsticks themselves are invalid. Second sentence, regarding noteworthy technique, by now has a critical consensus that appears robust. That is about historical significance more than technique per se, of course. Third sentence about virtuosity is, again, a stipulated critical perspective, widely shared by aficionados of popular music (and acting, visual art, literature etc) regarding all but the most strictly formalised modes of creativity. (It is also why it is pointless to compare classical performance with improvised jazz, for example.) But the notion that the world would not miss a single one of his songs seems a little far-fetched, given that they still sell and it is not hard to find enthusiasts young enough to be McCartney's great-grandchildren. This is ultimately a commercialised form of music we are talking about. He doesn't need to be Mozart. I don't rate him as an artist the way I rate numerous other well-known figures. But I don't think his longevity and appeal are any great mystery. Craftsmen also endure. As much as the Beatles were more than the sum of their parts, perhaps McCartney is one of those artisans who is more than the sum of his abilities. Whether he bores you or not, I assume you would agree that not everyone shares your view. I am more interested in the structure of his appeal to those who like his work, because an individual's boredom doesn't really need explication if it provides no general rule. If McCartney bored everyone, your boredom would be interesting. As it is, it is a matter of taste, and I completely respect that. He might be a git. He might be a git sometimes. He might be a git to you. Does it really matter? A gobby taxi driver who gets me to Heathrow in record time still gets a big tip from me.
  11. That makes sense, I think. There are very few musicians who are simultaneously (a) distinctive instrumentalists, (b) prolific and astute composers and/or lyricists, (c) charismatic performers, (d) long-lived contributors to a musical canon, and (e) willing to experiment even after decades. If McCartney were merely the bassist he is, that would make him noteworthy -- his technique was quite radical in the early 1960s. A creative or performing artist who works well within his limits is not necessarily inferior to a virtuoso who works perfectly within pre-existing limits. I wonder if the fact that McCartney is notable for several reasons possibly dilutes critical evaluation of his specific abilities. Also, he can come across as a man who never outgrew the arrogant humility that he embodied as a young man. He is, perhaps, more gauche than we expect from an iconic musician. He's not Bowie, or Miles Davis. McCartney was never particularly cool. He was simply extremely good at what he did. Had he simply thought of himself as a bass player, rather than treating his bass playing as one ingredient among several, he might now be lionised for that alone. But in some ways he is too much of a cheerful, normal, sometimes foolish man to inhabit the persona of greatness.
  12. Off topic briefly, but offered in the spirit of safety: after you clean it, perhaps it is worth trying a vapour barrier bag for long-term storage. Foam can certainly react in an unwelcome manner. Regarding the OP's quest: I don't think Hercules discloses the formulation of their foam. Neoprene should work with anything but a nitro finish that hasn't finished curing, I would guess. If in doubt, perhaps neoprene covered in a fabric that you know will be safe? I agree that keeping the vauable nitro instrument in its case is a wise approach regardless.
  13. I suppose a lot of us a getting a bit long in the tooth for raves.
  14. They seem well-mannered compared to Senior Common Rooms, the Royal Courts of Justice, and games of bridge among genteel ladies in the vicarage. Is it possible that Basschat is where a bunch of raving psychopaths come to indulge their decent, respectful, witty and warm-hearted alter egos? Just want to make sure I'll get out alive if I ever meet any of you in person.
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