the usual stuff

Written by jupiterj. Posted in Uncategorized


I had quite the day yesterday.

In between classes I managed to point the psalm and prepare the rest of the info for Easter II and email that off. I skipped out early from my noon class (with permission of the teacher) for a funeral. When I arrived about twenty minutes before the service there was no place to park and the place was already standing room only.

The man who died was a musician. I quickly sat down at the piano which was near the door I had come in and began improvising including versions of gospel hymns as requested. Later the widow told me the family was sitting in the back chapel listening and found my playing comforting. I had already decided I would do the entire service at the piano. This was partly because the man who died was a pianist. Also, the choices for the service were a little better served on the piano and the family had requested piano.

I barely knew the man. He did not attend the later service at the church. We had maybe one or two conversations. I was vaguely aware that he was a musician.

It was a good thing that I had chosen not to use the organ as the choir area was already full of mourners when I arrived and it was impossible to move easily between the piano and the organ.

The funeral lasted till a bit after two. I went home for a bite to eat pretty exhausted but satisfied I had done a good job. I went back for a brief meeting with my boss about the upcoming liturgies and prepared for the even choir rehearsal. Came home with little time to spare before going back for the rehearsal so no treadmilling for Steve.  Eileen and I ordered a pizza.

Back to church for choir rehearsal. Now for four days with a service each day.

1. Iraq Shuts Down the Abu Ghraib Prison, Citing Security Concerns –

2. A Question for Seder: What Role for Screens? –

These kinds of questions always interest me. How do we adapt to tech? Yesterday at the funeral when they played  a CD in which the singer invited everyone to sing along (Just a closer walk with thee) most of the people present sang.  Fascinating and a bit surreal for this old musician.

3. Louisiana: Anti-Sodomy Law Stands –

Posted this link on Facebooger with the comment: “What year is it?”



Spelunking with Ray Bradbury

Written by jupiterj. Posted in Uncategorized


Up this morning, reading and thinking about The Allegory of the Cave by Plato (from the Republic, book VII).

Reading Plato over my lifetime, has, I guess, had a lasting effect on my little brain.

And not only on my pea brain, the Allegory has had a huge impact on how people in the West thinking.

The reason I am thinking about it this morning is George E. Connor’s essay, “Spelunking with Ray Bradbury: the Allegory of the Cave in Fahrenheit 451. ” (found in Harold Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations  Series.

Connor describes a six part division of the Allegory which confused me so much that I looked once again at Plato.

Thanks to the miracle of the modern interwebs, I had downloaded a free clean version of Plato’s Republic to my Kindle within minutes. My Plato is upstairs near the bed and I didn’t want to disturb Eileen.

Reading through the beginning of Book VII and then re-reading Connor’s section on a six part division of the story led me to conclude that Connor’s presentation was not that clear.

He is working towards finding characters in Plato’s allegory that he can relate to Bradbury’s story. Unfortunately Plato’s exposition in my reading has more to do with how Socrates is continuing to drive home a point by telling the cave story.

For what it’s worth, here are Connor’s six divisions (if I have them correct).

1.  The allegory begins with those bound in the cave who can only see shadows on the wall

2. Behind them are the “puppeteers” who are casting the shadows as they move

3. Then he weirdly leaps ahead in Plato to mention the “madmen” who would kill the returning enlightened person who would free them and take them into the light

4. THEN he talks about the initial escape made by a person who is drawn into the light

5. He cites another author who says that their must have been a “guide” to draw this person out of the cave

6. The final division is the return to the cave of the enlightened

I’m still reading the essay. The dang book is due in a few days, but it’s not that hard to begin to see how Connor is going to spelunk Bradbury.

Montag has got to be the enlightened dude, Clarisse is probably the guide, the firemen, Montag’s wife and her friends have to be the madmen, Beatty and the unseen hand of the government might be the puppeteers, and so on.

I especially like the the idea of relating the burning fire in the cave and the burning in the book. Probably not his point.