Blue-faced Beethoven and sacrificial pigeons

To: michael hunter <>
Subject: Blue-faced Beethoven and sacrificial pigeons
From: Scot Mcphee <>
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2007 13:44:18 +1000

On 04-12-2007, at 11:40 AM, michael hunter wrote:

What about the sacrificial pigeons Scot?

Well, I would hazard that being in a predator/prey relationship is a perfectly natural order. After all, the individual pigeon does have a chance of escape from the predator. The major problem I would have with it is mostly about the propagation of a feral species (I assume here that 'pigeons' means 'rock doves'), and a general one about the impact of agriculture on native species. So, yes it's concerning, however I don't think it's on the same level of personal culpability as the rock-chucker, who was only doing it because it upset his sense of aesthetics (a mere trifle compared to the life and death matters of human food supply, no?).

Additionally, and I didn't say this straight up because I thought it would be too much of a distraction - I think the rock-chucker displays a terribly stuffy view of "fine music" whereby it has an entirely fossilised relationship to the space it is performed in - contrast, for example, to John Cage's 4'33".

Which is to say I not only have an issue to the behaviour as it concerns cruelty to an animal and disturbance (in both counts) of a native animal's natural behaviour but also I have an aesthetic objection as well - it reduces nature to merely a passive visual "backdrop" over which music is performed. A most curious reaction to a performance of Beethoven, one of the greatest Romantic composers! Romanticism, as anyone who has seen a Caspar David Friedrich painting should be able to attest, most certainly does NOT think of nature as a merely passive recipient of man's actions - quite the reverse, it's all about the sublime, untamed, natural elements that overwhelm man and his intellect. And here we have a person who thinks he can appreciate "Beethoven" in a natural setting while driving off the untamed natural elements he deliberately chooses to set the performance in. In other words, an intellectual pygmy of the highest degree.



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