Stormfields

Steven Wilson on Porcupine Tree’s Unexpected, Slow-Simmering Reunion – SPIN

I’m excited you’ll be reissuing the first Storm Corrosion album this year. I know you get asked this a lot, but…have you and Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt talked recently about making another album?
It is the 10th anniversary, so we’re doing a new version, and we’re gonna get together and do some press to promote it. We even talked about recording a new track for the new edition, but we said, “If we’re gonna do that, why don’t we just do a new record?” So the subject certainly has come up. I think we would love to do something else together. I don’t think we’d do a follow-up to that record. I think we want to do something quite different again. I don’t know what that would be, but I know that’s the way he is and what I am. That record is so perfect and definitive in what it tries to do and what it achieves. It’s a little diamond, I think. And I think a lot of people missed out on it because it’s not what they expected us to do. But I know that for some people that it’s their favorite thing that either of us have done. I’ve heard that more and more. There’s a little cult growing up around that record.
— Read on www.spin.com/2022/06/steven-wilson-porcupine-tree-reunion-interview/

Owen Barfield’s “History in English Words” ~ The Imaginative Conservative

An extraordinary man by any measure, Owen Barfield (1898-1997), one of the least known of the Inklings, published his first book, History in English Words, in 1926, at the very young age of 27 or 28. One of the finest books I’ve ever read, History in English Words is an in-depth examination of the history of Western civilization as seen through the eyes of English speakers, measuring a significant number of words through their individual journeys and evolutions.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2022/08/owen-barfield-history-in-english-words-bradley-birzer.html

Yellowstone at 150 ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Granted, I love the American West. I love open skies, I love mountains, and I love cool, dry air. Even given all these personal loves, I still think Yellowstone is something truly special. Everywhere you look—in addition to seeing families—you see an abundance of nature, God’s creation at its most glorious. Mountain ranges, vast meadows, deep canyons, pine tree forests, dynamic rivers and waterfalls, boiling and steaming geysers, petrified trees. The landscapes in Yellowstone are as varied as they are vast. As my younger children noted, many of the landscapes in Yellowstone rivaled anything in a fantasy novel (specifically Narnia) or a painting.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2022/08/yellowstone-150-bradley-birzer.html

Yellowstone at 150 ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Yellowstone National Park is something truly special. Everywhere you look, you see an abundance of nature—God’s creation at its most glorious: mountain ranges, vast meadows, deep canyons, pine tree forests, dynamic rivers and waterfalls, boiling and steaming geysers, petrified trees… (essay by Bradley Birzer)
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2022/08/yellowstone-150-bradley-birzer.html

The Apple Store Time Machine is a really fun way to revisit four of Apple’s retail stores as they looked the day they opened

Walking virtually through these stores is a really neat experience. It brought back so many memories seeing the software titles that are on the shelves. (Remember buying boxed software in a retail store?) I began my Apple retail career in 2005, and the stores then still had a similar layout to Tyson’s Corner, complete with the white corian counters. Apple Fifth Avenue opened about a year after I started with Apple, and seeing all of the third-party products on the shelves in the app was a fun stroll down memory lane.
— Read on yourappleupdate.substack.com/p/the-apple-store-time-machine-is-a

The new MacBook Air’s SSD controversy: Apple mistake? Or no big deal?

We have to keep in mind that there are several things that contribute to the speed of the computer. The processor, the GPU, the size and amount of RAM, the wifi hardware, etc. One of things that many people don’t think of is the hard drive. We’re not that many years distant from a time when most computers came with a spinning platter hard drive. Those were mechanical components that looked and functioned somewhat like a record player with a read/write arm and a spinning disk. When SSD hard drives became available and affordable, one of the easiest ways to make an existing computer noticeably faster was by upgrading to an SSD. How quickly your Mac is able to access and create data locally is definitely one component of how fast your computer feels.
— Read on yourappleupdate.substack.com/p/the-new-macbook-airs-ssd-controversy

On tour with Bent Knee: Inside the modern economics of a rock band – CSMonitor.com

What does it take to make a living as a musician in the modern economy? Our reporter goes on the road with genre-bending rock band Bent Knee.
— Read on www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Music/2022/0722/Almost-famous-With-merch-tours-and-hope-this-band-rocks-on

America’s Anti-Slavery Legacy ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Yet, there are many problems with this. Aside from the critical fact that half of the states, prior to the Civil War, didn’t have slavery, and free labor radically outproduced slave labor (thus, leading to the conclusion that America and capitalism were really built on free labor, not on slave labor), perhaps the biggest problem resides in our very Founding and the documents that define it. In particular, it is worth considering the Declaration of Independence, passed on July 4, 1776, and signed on August 2, 1776. In it, Jefferson first defines the nature of the universe and man’s role within it. That is, “when in the course of human events….” In the following paragraph, though, Jefferson made a statement that astounded the world. But, to Jefferson and Congress, they were merely stating the obvious: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” To be sure, this has to be one of the most powerful sentences in the history of the world, especially in its non-religious history. Critically, the statement claims that “all men”—not some men, not non-Catholics (see, for example, the 1689 English Bill of Rights), or not non-whites—are created equal. The founders could have easily tempered this statement, but they didn’t. Indeed, it exists in a world of glory, and it became, as Martin Luther King, Jr., so profoundly understood it, a promissory note. Just because Americans did not live up fully to the statement in 1776 did not mean that they never would.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2022/07/americas-anti-slavery-legacy-bradley-birzer.html

Irving Babbitt and the Crisis of Nationalism, 1915 ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In the 1910s, one of America’s greatest humanists, Irving Babbitt (1865-1933), surprisingly decided to dive into the realm of political theory and, to a lesser degree, practical politics in his many writings. Up to this decade, Babbitt had written literary and cultural criticism, defenses of the liberal arts, and explorations of Chinese philosophy and religion, but little to no politics. This changed with the advent of World War I, and Babbitt decided to apply all that he had done prior to the decade to the political philosophies of Nietzsche, of internationalism, and, especially, of nationalism. In a series of articles in The Nation in 1915, Babbitt perceptively analyzed the world, its recent past, and its most likely future. Indeed, if anything, Babbitt’s words were deeply prophetic and should have been heeded by all.

All modern European history began, Babbitt declared, with the French Revolution. Though it had proclaimed a sort of radical internationalism, it had devolved very quickly into a brutal and violent nationalism, with “Viva la nation!” becoming its unholy war cry.

Infected by the ideologies and “isms” first propounded by the French, modern Europe had, too, devolved into particular chaoses of national units. “Europe is to-day less cosmopolitan in any genuine sense of the word than it was at almost any period in the Middle Ages. Moreover, the type of internationalism that has broken down so disastrously, as well as the type of nationalism that has overthrown it, are both of comparatively recent origin. ‘The sentiment of nationalities,’ says Renan, ‘is not a hundred years old.’ And, he adds that this sentiment was created in the world by the French Revolution,” Babbitt explained. The so-called brotherhood of the Jacobins, Babbitt reminded his readers, was not so much one of universal love, but rather an alliances of “Cains, men whose hands were stained with blood and who looked on one another with incurable distrust.” The French, Babbitt continued, moved from universalism to particularism to “bestiality.”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2022/01/irving-babbitt-crisis-nationalism-1915-bradley-birzer.html

Jeff Bezos & Richard Branson Spaceflights Should Be Celebrated | National Review

A thirst for exploration has always been a crucial part of the American spirit, so it is fitting that both forays took off from the United States — Richard Branson’s from New Mexico, and Jeff Bezos’s from Texas. Americans should seek to build atop these admirable breakthroughs and to ensure that, 20, 30, 40 years hence, when the next vaultingly ambitious entrepreneurs try something astonishing of their own, they, too, find a safe and welcoming reception on American soil.
— Read on www.nationalreview.com/2021/07/to-boldly-go/

Big Big Train – Common Ground (Album Review) – The Prog Report

Big Big Train matters. Common Ground matters.

A new release from Big Big Train is never just another release in the world of prog. Since 2009’s The Underfall Yard, the band has been one of the leading bands of third-wave prog, the signal marker and bellwether. Indeed, every release from Big Big Train for the past decade has manifested itself as a fundamental shift—a very rethinking of who and what we are as a community—of the genre itself. While there are innumerable great prog acts out there, none quite match Big Big Train when it comes to innovation, to creativity, and to cohesion. Is there any band with such a fanatic and determined fan base? If so, I’m not familiar with them. Big Big Train is as much a movement as it is a band.
— Read on progreport.com/big-big-train-common-ground-album-review/

Barfield’s Romantic Logos ~ The Imaginative Conservative

For Barfield, Steiner became—and remained for the rest of his long life—“the master of those who know.” Following the work of the German Romantics—especially that of Goethe—Steiner had identified the true German spirit. Not the nihilistic spirit of Nietzsche or the totalitarian spirit of the National Socialists (the “septic disease of Europe,” Barfield noted), but rather a humane spirit that gave to the German people a dramatic and assured purpose within existence itself. Through its efforts, it came to provide a sort of “spiritual voluptuousness” that the English missed. To defeat the Nazis, Barfield wrote in 1944, the English must not only regain such a spirit, but they must pursue it throughout the post-war period of reconstruction. “I firmly believe that the question whether our own Commonwealth is to stand for something more in the history of human consciousness or is to become a hollow political shell and go the way of Nineveh and Tyre, will depend largely on the candour with which the spirit of this Island learns to open its arms to that spirit and its gifts,” Barfield warned.

What then, one must naturally ask, went wrong with English Romanticism?
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2021/05/barfield-romantic-logos-bradley-birzer.html

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