Mindsets

Salonen

True story:

Applicants for the post of principal conductor of the LA Phil were asked to submit a list of works they’d like to conduct in their first season. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s list was full of pieces by challenging contemporary composers. At the interview, the chair of the board looked severely over his application, turned to him and said,

“I don’t quite know how to put this to you, Mr Salonen, but… here at the Phil, we prefer our composers… dead.”

As I show in Appendix 1 of my book, I attempt not a normative reconstruction of some timeless ancient wisdom, but a descriptive account of ritual life within changing modern society. See Debunking “living fossils”.

For the great Salonen, see also here and here.

Theory and practice

The lack of dietary restrictions among household Daoists is all the excuse I need to cite Woody Allen’s Hassidic Tales:

A woman stops a great Rabbi and asks, “Rabbi, why are we not allowed to eat pork?”

“We’re not?” the Rabbi said incredulously. “Uh-oh.”

Surprise

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This is often claimed as a photo of Mozart’s wife Constanze (1762–1842), just imagine… Or is it? See here.

Many of us would like to give it the benefit of the doubt. If it is her, then it will be one of the most surprising things you will ever see. OK, it was taken in 1840, when he was long gone. Few wives outlived their husbands. As Munger says, she became the Yoko Ono of the 19th century.

If only we had photos of the Li family Daoists (and their wives) from then… Even the photo of Li Peisen and his wife from the 1940s is rare enough. Indeed, in a world where female members of a family are taken for granted at best, people remembered her as exceptionally able and intelligent too.