Posted on | May 22, 2012 | 48 Comments
An item in the blogs yesterday talked about snooty eating.
After viewing a few organic foods, comfort foods, or control foods, participants who were exposed to organic foods volunteered significantly less time to help a needy stranger, and they judged moral transgressions significantly harsher than those who viewed nonorganic foods. These results suggest that exposure to organic foods may lead people to affirm their moral identities, which attenuates their desire to be altruistic.
Wasn’t A Diabolical, Oldworld, Legendary Fascist also vegetarian? Not that there is any meat on the connecting bone between our Lefty friends and that monster, mind you.
The more interesting point I’ve noted in life is that the more of yourself you invest in, well, anything, the more tedious you can become. I went to a two-week school, years ago, on highland bagpipe. Jimmy McIntosh was instructing on the topic of Pìobaireachd (note how I opted for the most anal-retentive spelling, replete with snooty ‘i’). The musical form is strictly solo. Spitball thrower that I am, I inquired if two world-class pipers such as himself could do a duet. His head ‘sploded. There are less than 200 or so canonical examples of Ceòl Mór. Sure, it’s still written today, but it’s far cooler to decry the loss of the Noble Savage air breathed by the MacCrimmons, know ye not?
Done correctly, it constitutes performance art. You really have to have the instrument and the piper in top shape to rattle off one correctly. Done sloppily (e.g. by me) it’s a dog’s breakfast. Here is Dave Mason working out on The Massacre of Glecoe
You really have to commit to the full tune to understand how, acoustically, it’s like a blurry image that is slowly brought into focus as the variations get gnarlier. By the time it climaxes, the piper is truly getting the most out that instrument.
The thing is that these pieces take years to get any good at playing. Or at least it would me.
But the point of this post is that one of life’s challenges is to pick enjoyable things like the pipe, do them well, but not become insufferable about them. Writing software is another example I could have chosen, but which uses fewer Unicode vowels than Gaelic, proving software’s inferiority.