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Messages - xasop

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Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Irish reunification
« on: September 16, 2021, 08:53:54 AM »
Let's compare and contrast how the UK is treating Northern Ireland with how the EU treats the Republic.

Northern Irish farmers can no longer take their cattle to Britain for sale, because they can't bring them back if they don't find buyers.

The union’s deputy president David Brown gave evidence to the Stormont finance committee yesterday on the headaches caused by new rules which hamper the movement of goods (in this case animals) from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

He said for example that when it comes to pedigree cattle, many Ulster breeders traditionally travel to big Welsh, Scottish or English shows to exhibit livestock.

But the new rules mean “any animals coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland would have to have a six month residence period”.

Mr Brown (a cattle farmer from Fermanagh) explained exactly what this means on the ground.

At Stirling in Scotland in 2018, there were 109 bulls at the spring sale from 43 exhibitors.

In 2019, the number was 120, from 37 exhibitors.

In 2020 the sale was cancelled due to Covid.

But in 2021 the figure was four bulls, from three exhibitors.

Meanwhile, in Strasbourg...

The European Parliament approved over €1 billion in subsidies for Ireland to help manage the economic impact of Brexit on Wednesday.

Ireland is by far the biggest beneficiary of the so-called Brexit Adjustment Reserve, a pot of €5.34 billion set aside by the EU for the countries hardest hit by the disruption caused by the departure of the United Kingdom.

Fine Gael MEP for Midlands North West Colm Markey described the funds as “hugely welcome” and demonstrating “a high degree of EU solidarity with Ireland”.

The fund was approved with an overwhelming vote of 652 votes in favour versus 32 against.

When will the DUP realise they're better off with Brussels than with Westminster?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Holy shit, vegans suck
« on: September 14, 2021, 06:13:27 PM »
What source do you have for what Judeo-Christian values are that isn't the values observed by Christian society?
This is where you've crossed the line, and my willingness to reply ends. That is not at all what I'm claiming
Not word for word, no, but it is a logical implication of the things you've said. I don't feel the need to demonstrate anything otherwise because I don't consider that question unreasonable, given the things you have said.

If you want to walk away, fine by me, but don't pretend it's because I've "crossed a line".

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Holy shit, vegans suck
« on: September 14, 2021, 04:06:39 AM »
Hypothetically, yes, but I have yet to be made aware of any tangible reason to entertain this possibility.
That is because you claim that all positive consequences of Judeo-Christian values are actually examples of moving away from those values. If your definition of Judeo-Christian values is "opposition to progress", then yes, your warped view of those values will be opposed to progress.

I respond to your words as I understood them
No, this is obviously false, since you claim I used the word "created" when I did no such thing. I used the word "produced". You invented something I did not say, so you can't have been responding to my words.

If you want to be interpreted differently, clarify or alter your claims.
I provided such clarification in the part of my previous post that you cut out of your quote.

In my description, Judeo-Christian values are vehemently anti-science, but eventually cease to be influential enough to continue suppressing people's minds. We therefore moves away from Judeo-Christian values, and I am happy about it.
I understand that that's your description. What I can't understand is where you are getting that idea from, given that you claimed you base your ideas on the values people lived by, and that science flourished in the Christian world for centuries. Those two things are inconsistent.

What source do you have for what Judeo-Christian values are that isn't the values observed by Christian society?

In your description [as best as I understand it, before you once again accuse me of playing 4D chess by simply reading what you had written], Judeo-Christian values were vehemently anti-science, except then they started being pro-science, and therefore they're to be credited with their contributions to science. I find that to be a desperate attempt at shifting the goalposts.
That's not at all what I'm saying. Indeed, I don't think Judeo-Christian values are either for or against science. That position is left up to individual rulers and their political whims. I'm simply using the spread of science in the Christian world as an example that Judeo-Christian values are not opposed to science.

Of course. The flaw is that you conflate faith with the values it created, represented, and entrenched. I reject this conflation, and, consequently, the argument that stems from within.
I'm not conflating those two, no. I am following the logical implications of your argument that the "real outcomes" are what matter. If you are picking and choosing which outcomes of Christian society matter to you, then you are basing that choice on some other source, and that is the real source for what you believe Judeo-Christian values are.

When we stick to the subject of this conversation - values - it is evident that Galileo did not share Judeo-Christian values. He frequently found himself questioning these values, and speaking out in opposition of them in spite of his faith.

Galileo suffered through the humiliation of having to deny his theories in order to save his life. He was Catholic, believed in God, but, on the other hand, he was a great believer in the role of science and the fascinating beauty of God’s creation.

After Galileo heard the sentence of condemnation, he had a final conversation with his supporter and friend, Malvasi:

Malvasi: God helps and blesses you, Maestro.
Galileo: What are you saying, God blesses me, a scientist?
Malvasi: God is nearer to you than to many others, you have encountered God today.
Galileo: In the humiliation, in the annihilation?
Malvasi: In the emptiness... Look for him and forget yourself. You will find him in the deep of your heart.
Can you explain what you think you are proving with this quote?

I'm not the one who proposed this definition - AATW was. Nonetheless, that is a very accurate definition - I named many examples of Judeo-Christian values I disagree with, and expressed my delight at us abandoning them.
I can agree that you asserted many things are Judeo-Christian values with no evidence, other than the fact that people who happened to be Christians instituted them. Yet for some reason, you stop following that line of reasoning when Christians do good things.

That is indeed a common argument amongst Christian apologetics, but it falls flat when contrasted with how much worse Christians made slavery in the name of Christianity. Remember, I don't care about what was described in the Bible as a work of fiction (deplorable as it may be), merely in how it affected the real world.
I will not be able to believe that until you address why the bad real-world impact of Christianity matters, but the good impact is just an example of not following Judeo-Christian values.

No, there was no "minimisation" of the damage. On the contrary, the self-declared superiority of Christians and their "values" was a convenient excuse for centuries of oppression and injustice from which we're still recovering. Because, luckily, Judeo-Christian values are in decline, slow as it may be.
I would turn this precisely the other way around and say that Judeo-Christian values are in recovery, following centuries of lies and abuse by the Latin Church and others. I suspect that we agree on which values are good and which are bad, and this is merely a question of nomenclature.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Holy shit, vegans suck
« on: September 13, 2021, 04:21:32 PM »
I disagree. Taking this logic to the extreme, we cannot call Nazi values bad, because the NSDAP had some poilicies which were very beneficial to Germany and Europe, and which still benefit it to this day. The fact that Christianity had some good aspects does not overturn its overall terrible track record.
I simply disagree that its track record is overall terrible. The issue is far too multifaceted for any such simplification to be valid, but if I had to make one, I'd say it has been overall neutral.

Nonsense. Your objection would only work if you were to demonstrate that it's possible that those people's values were entirely unaffected by Christianity. Otherwise, you tacitly acknowledge that it was a factor, and you're left with the option of arguing that it's a lesser one than I'm claiming (but still a net negative one).
No, there is the option that things would have been even worse without Christianity, in which case it was a positive influence that was, for some periods in history, outweighed by larger negative influences.

Irrelevant. You claim that Christianity created the conditions for this progress to flourish. It did not. That was the Islamic world, whose ideas were assimilated by Christians after the Reconquista.
You are picking on a specific choice of words, interpreting them in the way you want (and one that doesn't make a whole lot of sense), and then asserting that must have been what I meant. This is a very common tactic of yours, and it isn't going to advance the discussion.

The fact remains that science flourished in the Christian world, and far outside the boundaries under former Islamic control. To say that the Christian world didn't produce the conditions — however much they might have been inspired by prior art — in which Kepler, Newton, Euler and Freud worked strains credibility.

Those conditions then remained in place for centuries, allowing us to make the progress we have. This is despite the strong opposition of the Judeo-Christian value enjoyers - yet another excellent example of how moving away from those has benefitted us.
You are once again characterising people you disagree with as "Judeo-Christian" and just asserting that anyone you do agree with must not be following Judeo-Christian values. Have you considered that using "Judeo-Christian" as a synonym for "bad" might constitute circular reasoning in this discussion?

Failed to put a stop*, in spite of earnest attempts. Those were unsuccessful because, even then, our great march away from Judeo-Christian values was ongoing. Therein lies the point.
You might have a point, if you could demonstrate that Galileo Galilei was any less sincere in his faith than Urban VIII. Instead you keep asserting that only the bad guys followed Judeo-Christian values, and then concluding that Judeo-Christian values must be bad. Do you see the flaw yet?

I have no idea what you're implying, but I'm pretty confident that I can just say "lol, no."
What I'm saying is that, in claiming that all progress in a time long before Christianity in Europe began its decline is based on departure from Judeo-Christian values, you are implicitly defining Judeo-Christian values as those of people you don't agree with. That is neither accurate nor productive.

The only biblical literalist I've referred to in this conversation is yourself, and I'm reliably informed you did not live before the Reconquista. So, yes, you are no true pre-Reconquista Christian, and there isn't much of a fallacy behind stating that fact.
I'm not a Biblical literalist, incidentally. The Bible is a product of its time and must be read in that context. So, for example, when the New Testament talks about slavery, the values it is expressing have nothing to do with slavery. That was simply common practice at the time which the authors of the Bible couldn't change, so they did the next best thing and tried to minimise the damage, much like socialist activists of today who campaign for better working conditions under capitalism.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: September 13, 2021, 02:34:43 PM »
Largely agreed but any measures should be proportionate to the risk those measures are designed to mitigate.
There are multiple factors involved in determining whether a measure is reasonable or not, and risk is only one of them. Another important factor is how much of a burden the regulation is on the individuals to whom it applies, and in this case it's asking them to take half an hour out of their busy schedule to take a treatment which approximately all experts agree is perfectly safe, and which may save other people's lives.

Most people go their entire life never being helped by a seatbelt, but it's considered reasonable to require everyone to wear them because it's not a huge inconvenience to buckle up.

I'm a bit unsettled at this creating a "two tier society", even if people are choosing which tier to be in.
I also don't agree with that assessment, incidentally. The purpose of these measures should not be to punish the unvaccinated, but to motivate them to get vaccinated. Once the vaccination rate levels off again, there is no longer a purpose to such restrictions and they should be abolished.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: September 13, 2021, 10:21:41 AM »
False equivalence. Someone like that would actually be unpleasant to be around. Someone who hasn't been vaccinated would...well, you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference unless they told you.
It's still a personal choice. Why do you get to decide which personal choices are acceptable and which aren't?

How much of a hazard to others are the unvaccinated really?
There are some people who cannot get vaccinated due to allergies. Granted, they are a very tiny minority, but they depend on other people to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Someone who chooses not to get vaccinated is putting the health of such people at risk.

Other than that, there's the discussion we've already had about the risk of incubating a vaccine-resistant strain.

I've not seen any data which would indicate to me that unvaccinated people are such a big public health risk to others that they should be treated like second class citizens.
Well, that's the thing. There won't be any data about a new vaccine-resistant strain until it already exists and people are getting sick from it. Similarly, in January 2020 there were no data to suggest shutting down international travel was warranted, and look where that got us.

Proper preventative measures are necessarily based on what is likely to work, not what we have data on. That's what makes them preventative. This implies that we must err on the side of caution, even if it turns out later that some measures were unnecessary.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Holy shit, vegans suck
« on: September 13, 2021, 07:07:41 AM »
Personally, I'm more interested in the real outcomes than whether something better was written down on a piece of paper nobody followed.
How have you isolated the "real outcomes" of Judeo-Christian values as compared with the other influences on Western society?

Religions and worldviews get warped and perverted all the time. Unfortunately, there is no undoing of thousands of years of Christianity, and it will always stand for its history. Some splinter movements may have some legitimacy in claiming to be separate, but that doesn't apply to any church with prominence in the UK.
I simply don't agree that the history of Christianity is as damning as you seem to think it is. It is very easy to find examples of atrocities committed in the name of any ideology that has stood for 2000 years, but there are also many positive aspects to Christianity's history that are often overlooked.

For example, it gave the continent of Europe (and later, many other parts of the world) a common moral guide for the first time in history. Despite its perversions for political reasons, this laid the foundation for the common European values we still hold today and is what makes it possible for an Italian to visit Norway without having to worry about having her hand cut off or being imprisoned for life because she was unaware of the local customs.

This strength is perhaps even more visible in the colonial world. In South Africa, one of the few things the many native tribes have in common is the Christian faith. Without it, they may well have been too busy fighting one another to be able to stand up against their European oppressors and win their country back.

So, if the history of Christianity is mixed with examples of good and evil, it cannot stand by itself as an example of how very very bad Judeo-Christian values are.

At its core, it seems that we disagree on what "Judeo-Christian values" are. You seem to imply something adjacent to strict adherence to the Bible, whereas I'm aiming for [my perception of] the values that people lived by.
That approach is only valid if you can demonstrate that the values people lived by were influenced by Christianity and absolutely nothing else. I assert that this is patently false, but it is difficult to study the influence of Christianity in isolation from the fourth century AD onwards due to its increasing politicisation by Roman emperors and bishops.

That is why I brought up early Christians, who — prior to the conversion of Constantine — were persecuted for their faith wherever they went. They aimed to imitate the life of Jesus, which included being generous to the poor, healing the sick and forgiving the sins of others. All of these values are foundational to modern Western civilisation and its welfare state, as is the belief that our way is the right way and must be spread to the less enlightened parts of the world (see also: Afghanistan). We simply don't call it a religion anymore.

What is significant to me is not what things were done in the name of Christianity, but whether those things were done because of Christianity. I don't think the absence of Christianity would have made Rome any less willing to give up its position of power in mediæval Europe, though it may well have made it more difficult not to.

This is a controversial claim at the best of times. The contributions of the Islamic world which "we" shamelessly stole when [re-]claiming Iberia are much closer to the actual source of modern science. Before the Reconquista, "we" had an ugly Judeo-Christian habit of burning the scientifically inclined for the crimes of heresy, magick, and witchcraft.
The Reconquista happened half a millennium before some of the most important advances in modern science, especially those relevant to helping the sick and disabled to lead fulfilling lives. Vaccination was unknown until the late 18th century, modern psychology was born in the 19th century, and many ideas in political science fundamental to the welfare state were only realised in the 20th century.

At best, you are saying that Christians didn't put a stop to the scientific practices of the Islamic world, which is incongruent with the idea that Christian values stand in opposition to social progress.

If anything, the fact that this eventually stopped is yet another welcome move away from Judeo-Christian values, even if you take the biblical literalist view on what those are.
You just got done telling me that you prefer to look at the values people actually lived by, and now you're telling me that the values some Christians before the Reconquista lived by are more reliable than those other, later Christians lived by. Is this a no true Scotsman fallacy I see?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: The workings of European democracy
« on: September 12, 2021, 01:40:59 PM »
European Parliament is having its first plenary session following the summer break at 17:00 CEST (15:00 UTC) tomorrow. You can watch it here or read the agenda here.

Technology & Information / Re: I Hate Linux Distros
« on: September 11, 2021, 02:44:32 PM »
Arguing about which of Windows or Linux is better is like trying to decide whether to order a shit sandwich or a turd burger.

I don't use my email to log into windows.  I use a local account.
I think Microsoft may be fucking with me personally and specifically.
No, they recently changed the installer so that if you install with a network connection, you have to use a Microsoft account. If you don't know about this in advance, the installer also won't let you go back and deconfigure your network to avoid that step. But if you already have an existing installation, you don't get forcibly "upgraded" (as far as I know).

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Holy shit, vegans suck
« on: September 11, 2021, 01:50:24 PM »
Thanks to thousands of years of progress away from Judeo-Christian values, yes.
I don't think blaming Judeo-Christian values for this is at all justified, for several reasons. One, Christianisation in Europe generally supplanted pagan customs with even less regard for human life. Indeed, the Old Testament, in which murder is only bad if you murder someone in the in-group, is a prime example of the sort of thing Christianity tried to fix. Early Christians made sure to maintain a record of that. Even if we accept that Judeo-Christian values are inherently bad (which I don't), it's more accurate to say that they were a step in moving away from primitive customs, not that they were the primitive customs.

Two, the values exemplified by mediaeval Christianity were those of the Roman Empire (and later the Latin Church), which adopted Christianity as a tool to pursue its political agenda. Any religion can be misused in this way, especially if the population is too illiterate to study the religious texts for themselves. If the practices under discussion were truly based on Christian values, every modern church would still be advocating for them.

Three, there is an argument to be made that without the technology and social structures to properly support people with serious illnesses, putting them out of their misery was the best available option. In that case, it is not changing values that ended such practices, but an improved understanding of biology, psychology and sociology. It was notably Christian society that produced the conditions that allowed modern science to flourish.

Finally, I don't agree that we are moving away from Judeo-Christian values. It is true that there are fewer and fewer practising Christians today, but the values of Western secular society are based on the same core values as those of early Christians 2000 years ago. If you confuse those values with political agendas or social customs that were pursued by specific churches in the intervening period, I can certainly see how it might appear otherwise.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: September 11, 2021, 09:09:05 AM »
I think people should get vaccinated but I’m finding this “two tier society” which is being created unsettling. I don’t think that is part of some “government plot”. People can, after all, choose to get vaccinated. But I don’t like the idea of those who choose not to being treated like second class citizens who can’t get certain jobs or travel or go to certain venues
If you show up to a job interview with offensive body odour, you will probably not be hired, yet nobody is campaigning for their right not to wear deodorant. Smelling like a hobo, though unpleasant, is far less of a hazard to others than not getting vaccinated.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Holy shit, vegans suck
« on: September 08, 2021, 08:18:20 PM »
I care about animal welfare. I think something needs to be done about the deplorable conditions animals kept for meat currently suffer through.

At the same time, I love eating meat, and have no plans to ever stop eating meat, and I feel no shame about either.

The argument that we should stop eating meat altogether if we love animals is nonsensical. We don't need to undo millions of years of evolution to demonstrate that we care about animals.
I would go further than this and say that the best way to improve livestock conditions isn't to stop eating meat, but to support meat suppliers who treat their animals well. If everyone who cares about animal welfare gives up meat, then the only people buying meat are those who don't care, and they will just buy whatever is cheapest.

So if animal welfare is the goal, being vegan is actually counterproductive. Of course, there are other potentially valid reasons to be vegan.

Technology & Information / Re: I Hate Linux Distros
« on: September 08, 2021, 11:00:36 AM »
I'm using Ubuntu with the Plasma desktop environment. Shit's kind of cash.

Ok it's not cash. I realize the GUI is kind of an afterthought in Linux, but this looks like they picked a random person shopping at Walmart to design it.
Imagine installing bloated shitware and then complaining that you're using bloated shitware.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: xasop reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: September 08, 2021, 12:40:46 AM »
Tuesday, 3 May, 1988
The Ahoy, Rotterdam


Frank Zappa (guitar, synclavier, vocals)
Ike Willis (guitar, synth, vocals)
Mike Keneally (guitar, synth, vocals)
Robert Martin (keyboards, vocals)
Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugel horn, synth)
Bruce Fowler (trombone)
Paul Carman (alto, soprano and baritone sax)
Albert Wing (tenor sax)
Kurt McGettrick (baritone and bass sax, contrabass clarinet)
Ed Mann (percussion)
Scott Thunes (bass, Minimoog)
Chad Wackerman (drums)

Set lists

All tracks authored by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

The Black Page
I Ain't Got No Heart
The Orange County Lumber Truck Medley [most on Make A Jazz Noise Here]
Advance Romance
Find Her Finer
Big Swifty [a few seconds on Make A Jazz Noise Here]
Texas Motel Medley (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Zappa)
Peaches En Regalia

Sinister Footwear [parts on Make A Jazz Noise Here]
Packard Goose (incl. Royal March From "L'Histoire Du Soldat" (Igor Stravinsky) and Theme From The Bartok Piano Concerto #3 (Béla Bartók))
Heavy Duty Judy [short part on The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life]
Trouble Every Day (incl. Thirteen)
Penguin In Bondage
Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel
Bolero (Maurice Ravel) [The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life]

Joe's Garage
Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?

Stairway To Heaven (Jimmy Page, Robert Plant)

I Am The Walrus (John Lennon, Paul McCartney)
The Illinois Enema Bandit (q: Handsome Cabin Boy (trad.))


1988 was a special year, for three reasons. First, the band. This is the largest ensemble Zappa toured the world with since the Wazoo outings of 1972, complete with a horn section and synclavier. Second, the repertoire. Frank had just spent several years digging through his old archives in order to re-release his early albums on CD and compile the first couple of volumes of You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, and he has been inspired to rejuvenate his set lists as a result. Third, the improvs. The 1982 tour had superlative musicianship, and the 1984 troupe were sultans of side-splitting snorts, but this band combined technical skill and juvenile humour like none other.

"Geef mij wat vloerbedekking onder deze vette zwevende sofa" are some of the first words out of Frank's mouth, referring back to the insane 1971 show. After (highly unusually) reading out the set list for the evening, he adds "Black Napkins tomorrow night", in response to an enthused fan with a sign. Without further ado, the band launches into the new age version of The Black Page, as heard on Make A Jazz Noise Here. This song was the opener for most 1988 shows, and what a beast it was. A solid reimagining of a classic tune, and with a satisfying solo to boot.

I Ain't Got No Heart is the treat it always is, spiced up for one tour only by the horn section, which leads us into the first Orange County Lumber Truck medley since 1968. This is the performance released — almost in its entirety, with only the vocal part of Oh No edited in from London — on Make A Jazz Noise Here. If you've heard that album, you already know the majesty of this number, and if not, may you never hear "vloerbedekking" again.

Advance Romance is generously seasoned with "fish bone" as a secret word and garnished with the sort of metal-tinged blues Frank often injected into this song in the '80s. So this is where the variety we missed in 1984 went.

One vanilla Find Her Finer later and we get dumped straight into the Big Swifty theme. Most tours had at least one tune for extended improvs, but in 1988 there were several, and this is the only one we get tonight. Bruce takes first solo on trombone, followed by either Paul or Albert accompanying him on sax (I can't tell if it's an alto or a tenor). Throughout, there are regular breaks in the backing vamp for Frank to doodle around on his synclavier. Then we run through a percussion solo from Ed and a drum/electronic percussion solo from Chad. To be honest, this isn't one of the better '88 improv sessions, but when this sort of thing really took off (such as in Brighton and Munich), you got the calibre of performance heard on Make A Jazz Noise Here. This version is enjoyable, but nothing special.

Always a treat, the Texas Motel Medley is Zappa's reworking of three Beatles songs — Norwegian Wood, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, and Strawberry Fields Forever — with lyrics concerning Jimmy Swaggart's involvement with a prostitute, which took place during the first weeks of the 1988 tour, gifting it this medley, among other variations on songs. Tonight, our Texas motel hooker says — in place of "how 'bout some head?", itself a replacement for "it's time for bed" — "how 'bout vloerbedekking?".

Peaches En Regalia is the perfect cherry on top for the first set, before Frank tells people to go out and buy more beer during the half-hour intermission. When he returns, he reads out the set list for tomorrow's show. "Oh yeah, we'll squeeze that in, don't worry" (to the fan who had raised their sign requesting Black Napkins again).

And then it's time for Sinister Footwear. I always preferred the '82 version of this — it really suffers without Steve Vai's guitar, in my view — but these '88 performances with horn solos aren't half bad. Oh yeah, and this version is partly on Make A Jazz Noise Here, though I'm not sure exactly which part.

The segue from Sinister Footwear into Packard Goose is gorgeous, as is this year's arrangement of the latter. Frank has replaced the guitar solo in the middle with arrangements (by Scott Thunes) of Stravinsky and Bartók compositions, and the result is monocle-popping.

Heavy Duty Judy is always good to hear, and tonight's guitar solo is better than usual for this tune, which is saying something — though it can't hold a candle to the definitive Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar release, of course. A short snippet of the head here is released on the (otherwise from Würzburg) version on The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life.

The Trouble In Bondage At The Green Hotel sequence has been inherited from 1984, but with some changes for the better. First and most notably, the Trouble Every Day guitar solo vamp has been completely excised, and replaced with the Thirteen vamp (as heard on Stage, vol. 6). This beautiful vamp in a bizarre time signature produced some of Frank's best solos in this song since 1974, and tonight's is no exception.

Secondly, we get some of the variation that was lacking from the 1984 performances in these solos, which makes them overall more pleasant to listen to in succession. Finally, the Hot Plate Heaven solo vamp has also been replaced, with the blank canvas-style vamp that can be heard on Broadway The Hard Way. Sometimes it works better than others, and tonight's is a solidly average performance.

Bolero is a sweet way to round out the second set, and is the performance released on The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life. If you haven't heard it, just imagine the Bolero you know and love destroyed by Zappa's trademark graffiti. Simply divine.

The first encore is Joe's Pee, which is a treat to hear for two reasons. First, the 1988 arrangement of Joe's Garage is mercifully not reggae, unlike the 1988 version, sounding much more like the version we had in 1980. Second, the ending (from "turn that down!" onwards) has been reattached, with a rare live appearance of The Central Scrutinizer. The segue into Why Does It Hurt When I Pee? comes later than in earlier live renditions, making this a more complete and more enjoyable rendition than any other tour's. Tonight, Joe appropriately has "coffeeshop gon-o-khackus".

Frank introduces the second encore as "some comedy material", before the band launches into Stairway To Heaven. This is, a few moderately comical interjections aside, a relatively straight version, comparable to the Best Band release. It is nevertheless a nice source of contrast and stands well on its own as an encore here.

The third and final encore is the marvelous I Am The Walrus pairing with The Illinois Enema Bandit. Walrus was usually done straight in '88, although there seem to be some visual antics not captured on this tape, as Ike is laughing too hard to sing at times. Bandit brings us the final and most kickass guitar solo of the evening and some more "fish bone" secret wordage, which is apparently about Bobby choking on a bone in some fish he was eating on a flight. A fitting end to a kickass concert.

This is a very good show. It doesn't feature so many of the laughs that were frequent in other shows in May 1988 (though there are a few), but it makes up for that with a killer set list, excellent musicianship, and better-than-average guitar playing from Frank for '88. It's hard to pick, but this might even be the best show of the thread so far. But hang tight, there's another tomorrow night. See you soon!

Arts & Entertainment / Re: xasop reviews Dutch Zappa concerts
« on: September 07, 2021, 03:18:59 AM »
Sunday, 16 September, 1984
The Ahoy, Rotterdam
He called her a slut, a pig, and a whore; a bitch, and a smurf...


Frank Zappa (guitar, vocals)
Ike Willis (guitar, vocals)
Ray White (guitar, vocals)
Bobby Martin (keyboards, sax, vocals)
Allan Zavod (keyboards)
Scott Thunes (bass)
Chad Wackerman (drums)

Set lists

All tracks authored by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

Chunga's Revenge
Teenage Wind
Truck Driver Divorce
Trouble Every Day
Penguin In Bondage
Hot Plate Heaven At The Green Hotel
Cocaine Decisions (q: Happy Birthday To You (no really, go copulate with a cactus))
Nig Biz
He's So Gay
Bobby Brown
Keep It Greasey
Honey Don't You Want A Man Like Me
Carol, You Fool
Chana In De Bushwop (Zappa, Diva Zappa)
Kreega Bundola (aka Let's Move To Cleveland)

The Closer You Are (Earl Lewis, Morgan "Bobby" Robinson)
Johnny Darling (Louis Staton, Johnny Staton)
No No Cherry (L. Caesar, J. Gray)
Cosmik Debris

Dinah-Moe Humm
Whipping Post (Gregg Allman)


"Are there enough echoes in here for you?" says Frank, by way of greeting. The much-maligned 1984 band blended comedy and music in a way none of Zappa's ensembles had previously, with mixed results. The first half of this show is missing any sort of comedic deviation from the norm, but that changes once we hit He's So Gay. This is one of the better-sounding European tapes in terms of audio quality, and Frank's guitar is nice and loud in the mix, but is the performance worth the oxide it's recorded on? Let's find out.

The show opens with a solid Chunga's Revenge, and Zappa's solo, while obviously not up to the brilliant standard of 1982, is pretty damn good by 1984 standards. Then we're treated to a mercifully faster (as usual for this band) run-through of Teenage Wind, which serves as little more than a lead-in to Truck Driver Divorce, guitar solo vehicle number two for the evening.

Frank opens his Divorce solo with a fast-paced and slightly irritating loop, which nevertheless contrasts well with the more contemplative melody he begins to craft. This keeps up for a couple of minutes until he starts to dive into some unusually-bizarre-for-1984 experimentation. Chad seems to be in a good mood tonight, as he keeps pace with Frank's whimsical twists and turns. A short but satisfying affair.

Next comes the delicious Trouble In Bondage At The Green Hotel medley, as heard on the Does Humor Belong In Music? release. Of course, this is a different performance, and all three of these songs have guitar solos, which leaves substantial room for variation. Frank is in a mood to rock tonight, apparently, as he wastes no time diving straight into a much more inspired and simply loud Trouble solo than the one released on Humor.

I can say the same for the Penguin solo, which is very short but stands alone as a terrific rocker. After all the other rockers in this show, though, it feels a bit wanting for variety. Hot Plate Heaven, again, brings us more of the same. These are all good solos, but it feels like Frank is just throwing the same formula at each one in turn. Where's the beef?

Not in Cocaine Decisions, that's for sure. There are only two redeeming qualities to this Cocaine Decisions: it's shorter than the 1982 version, and it leads into Nig Biz, one of the 1984 tour's underrated gems. This time around, everyone (except Chad) gets a solo spot. It goes around via Ray, Bobby (on sax), Ike, Allan and Scott (yes, Scott!), until finally Frank steps up to round things off. These solos aren't spectacular, but they are pretty tasty, and it's an extremely rare opportunity to hear an Ike guitar solo and a Scott bass solo in one song. The highlight of any '84 concert in which it features, of which there are too few.

Next up, Frank sends Sharleena on home to us, complete with the occasional humorous interjection between lyrics (which are too fast and obscure for me to reliably transcribe here, so I won't even try). The Sharleena solo is, as always, solid — but more of the same style of playing we've had in the other songs up until now. A bit of that 1982 variety would go a long way here.

Then comes the Honey, Don't You Want A Gay Greasey Bobby? medley, as seen on the Does Humor Belong In Music? DVD (but not the album). Unlike the earlier Humor medley, this one has no solos of any kind, although "smurf" surfaces as a secret word in He's So Gay and continues to spice up the medley a little ("none of the smurfs can even tell I'm a homo"). It's not quite as hilarious as the Bobby Brown on Stage, vol. 3, though.

Following this display of shamelessness the 1984 band was truly capable of, Carol, You Fool is, in turn, a display of the beautiful vocal harmonies they were capable of, as heard on Stage, vol. 3. Chana is always a treat to hear, too, and tonight the dude with a long loaf of bread says "smurf, smurf".

Sadly, this band never really took the chance to spread its legs it had been granted in Cleveland, and so this version sounds much the same as the one on Does Humor Belong In Music?. Allan gives one of his trademark "volcano" solos, followed by a drum solo from Chad (though with less non-drum sound effects than Humor), and finally Frank gets his solo spot, which was the only part of this tune that varied significantly from night to night.

And, finally, Frank gives us the variety we've been missing all evening. I won't call this solo fantastic, but it is at least somewhat creative, and runs through a variety of styles, all based around a simple one-chord loop. Chad does an excellent job of keeping up with Frank's variations here, making this a highlight of the show.

During the banter before the first encore, it transpires that someone has given Frank flowers labelled for every member of the band. Fittingly for such a romantic gesture, the first encore begins with The Closer You Are, one of the most beautiful love songs Zappa ever covered. This is the Closer/Johnny/Cherry medley as heard on Stage, vol. 4, only this rendition doesn't have the band laughing all over it. These songs were never bad.

A secret word-riddled Cosmik Debris rounds things off, with Frank turning it into something about a guy who has a lot of debts to pay off ("now I don't understand what all these transactions are"). Probably an inside joke of some sort, but it turns out really well, and the mood infects his guitar solo, which turns out to be one of the bluesiest of the evening. This first encore is another highlight, with Frank cracking up too hard to sing at times.

Dinah-Moe Humm is mercifully faster this year, as heard on Stage, vol. 6, taking up only 3:18 of my life. Better yet, the secret words turn this into a song about our mystery debtor giving his lender a blow job. One of the few versions of this overplayed tripe I've actually enjoyed in a very long time.

"And how about you, fauna? How would you like to be tied to the Whipping Post?" Frank was always the master of low-budget segues, and this Allman Brothers classic was always one kickass way to round off a concert. What's more, the solo vamp here is not reggae for a change. Frank gives us one last six-string serenade for tonight, and while it's not one of his best, it is a respectable performance. Bobby, of course, finishes up with the orgasmic frenzy we know and love from Does Humor Belong In Music?.

This concert is worth checking out for Nig Biz and the encore sets alone. The other conceivable reasons to get it would be if you really enjoy Frank's guitar playing (enough to put up with sorely lacking variation between solos), or if you really enjoy hearing about smurfs (but the humour only really finds its stride halfway into the first encore). Other than that, it's a solid show, but not a great one. I enjoyed it, but as usual for 1984, there is just something intangible missing that holds it back.

There are two more shows to review, as Frank decided to grace us with two nights in Rotterdam for his last tour. See you in 1988.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Terrible Political Memes
« on: September 06, 2021, 08:28:58 PM »

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: September 04, 2021, 10:08:34 AM »
No vaccines here so our natural immunity is much better than the death jab peeps.
In order to have natural immunity, you must have already been sick with COVID. Have you?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: Coronavirus Vaccine and You
« on: September 03, 2021, 01:14:46 PM »
The latest news clearly indicates natural immunity is the way to go.
Once again, natural immunity requires getting sick with COVID to achieve. Are you really suggesting we prevent people from getting sick with COVID by making them sick with COVID?

Flat Earth Theory / Re: Something odd about magnets
« on: August 27, 2021, 08:55:21 AM »
However like Xasop said, magnetism is a force that can be observed on a sub-atomic level as being the result of atoms being attracted to one another if their charges are opposite (meaning one has electrons to share and another electrons to store)...
That is not what I said, nor is it correct. You seem to be confusing at least three different things. Electrons are electrically charged, not magnetically charged, and an atom has zero net electric charge by definition.

Flat Earth Theory / Re: Something odd about magnets
« on: August 26, 2021, 04:01:06 PM »
Isn't your Wiki the source for that? If you look up gravity in your Wiki the first page you get is the UA one
This page says nothing about an invisible force. I wasn't contesting the rejection of conventional wisdom regarding gravity, but the reason for its rejection.

For "many FEers" in the above quote, you could read "many FEers outwith this small subset at TFES"
We can't answer for FEers elsewhere. That only makes this thread even less relevant in the FET board than it already is.

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