Musical Defiance

The great Russian 20th century composer Dimitri Shostakovitch said in his memoirs that living under Soviet rule was like living in an insane asylum. To illustrate the point he told the following story about his friend and classmate in the conservatory, the piano virtuouso Maria Yudina.

One Sunday afternoon during the war Yudina was the featured soloist in a live broadcast over Radio Moscow of Mozart’s piano concerto 23. It just so happened that Stalin was listening to the broadcast that afternoon and was most favorably impressed. The following day he phoned Radio Moscow and “requested” that they send him the recording of the Mozart piano concerto with Yudina they had just played. Of course, having been a live performance, no such recording existed, but nobody at Radio Moscow was going to risk Stalin’s wrath by telling him that. So, they frantically summoned the entire Radio Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the conductor and Yudina to an emergency recording session that night…. Read More

It was already after 10 p. m. before everyone showed up, and the original conductor was so nervous about making a “mistake” and incurring Stalin’s ire that he could not beat time effectively. After several false starts, he was sent home and another conductor was summoned in his place. The second conductor arrived so drunk that he kept conducting sections of movements out of sequence.

After about 20 minutes of this, the orchestra members rebelled, put down their instruments and refused to play for him. He was sent home.

To everyone’s great relief, the third conductor summoned knew the score perfectly by memory. It was well after 1:30 a. m. when he arrived and was informed of his mission. He took off his coat, walked to the podium, rapped his baton on it and declared: “Alors, Mozart!” and proceeded to whip the musicians through the entire concerto in a single take! The tape was replayed, everyone nodded their assent, and a single disc was pressed and sent to Stalin.

About two weeks later Yudina received a note from Stalin himself congratulating her on a marvelous performance and expressing how much he approved of her interpretation of Mozart. Enclosed with the note was a personal check from Stalin to Yudina for 20,000 rubles!

Now, Yudina was a devout (some would say fanatical) Russian Orthodox Catholic who did not allow the official ban on religion in Soviet Russia deter her for a single second from practising and promoting her beliefs. Indeed, her public tweaking and avid annoying of the authorities in this matter had earned her the reputation of being one of Russia’s foremost “gifted eccentrics.” Good Christian lady that she was, she sent Stalin a thank-you letter which went something like this:

“Dear Josef Vissairyonovich,

“I wish to thank you for your most generous gift and express to you how much it touched my heart. I will continue to pray for you and your soul every day and every night for the rest of my life. Please remember that God’s love for you is as infinite as His mercy, and if you but confess and repent He will forgive your many sins against our homeland and our countrymen.

“Once again, I wish to thank you for your gift. I have donated it in its entirity to the church which I regularly attend.

Most sincerly,
Maria V. Yudina”

When this letter arrived at Stalin’s dacha it was opened and read by Stalin’s secretary, who promptly informed Moscow’s police chief of its contents. The police chief, in turn, passed it along to Beria, the head of the KGB. Together, all three of them showed it to Stalin, scrutinizing the leader’s face for the slightest sign of disapproval, which would have meant that Yudina was to “disappear.” Stalin read the letter, and without so much as arching an eyebrow, crumpled it and tossed it in the trash.

As the Russian author Gogol once said: “In an insane society, the sane person must convince his keepers that he is more insane than they.”

On March 5, 1953, Stalin died in his bed. Spinning on his record player was Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, performed by Maria Yudina.

HT — Caleb Hayden

Not Quite The Idea

Gulliver passed the boundaries into a strange country named “Notquiterightistand” where people seemed to grow up out of the ground from the shoulders up. At the same time a low, indecipherable chant could be heard bubbling up from under the ground. Curious, Gulliver took a stethoscope and placed it against the earth from which these bodies sprouted and the indecipherable mantra suddenly became coherent. In a thousand different timbres and a million different pitches Gulliver could make out the unmistakable words repeated endlessly … “God is Sovereign.”

A Story With A Happy Ending

To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last.

Date: 2009-01-06, 3:43AM EST

I was the white guy with the black Burberry jacket that you demanded I hand over shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend. You also asked for my girlfriend’s purse and earrings. I hope you somehow come across this message.

I’d like to apologize. I didn’t expect you to crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. Truth is, I was wearing the jacket for a reason that evening, and the reason wasn’t that it was cold outside. You see, my girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for Christmas, and we had just picked up a shoulder holster for it that evening.

Beautiful pistol, eh? It’s a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head, isn’t it? I know it probably wasn’t a great deal of fun walking back to wherever you’d come from with that brown sludge flopping about in your pants. I’m sure it was even worse since you also ended up leaving your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. I couldn’t have you calling up any of your buddies to come help you try to mug us again.

I took the liberty of calling your mother, or “Momma” as you had her listed in your cell, and explaining to her your situation. I also bought myself and four other people in the gas station this morning a tank full of gas on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home that took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful!

I gave your shoes to one of the homeless guys over by Vinnie Van Go Go’s, along with all of the cash in your wallet. I than threw your wallet in a fancy pink “pimp mobile” parked at the curb after I broke the windshield and side window out and keyed the drivers side.

I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. They’ll be on your bill in case you’d like to know which ones. Ma Bell just shut down the line, and I’ve only had the phone for a little over a day now, so I don’t know what’s going on with that. I hope they haven’t permanently cut off your service. I could only get in two threatening phone calls to the DA’s office and one to the FBI with it. The FBI guy was really pissed and we had a long chat (I guess while he traced the number).

I’d also like to apologize for not killing you and instead making you walk back home humiliated. I’m hoping that you’ll reconsider your choice of path in life. Next time you might not be so lucky.


PS: Remember this motto …… “God created man equal, and Mr. Colt kept them that way.”


Gideon Redux

25 Now it came to pass the same night that the LORD said to him (Bret), “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of the state that your people have taken, and destroy principled pluralism (multiculturalism) that is produced by it; 26 and build an altar to the LORD your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” 27 So Bret took ten men from among his servants and did as the LORD had said to him. But because he feared (Bret had always been plagued by cowardice) his father’s household and the Radical two Kingdom men of the church who propped up the city of man by their “theology” too much to do it by day, he did it by night.

28 And when the Radical Two Kingdom men of the church who propped up the city of man with their “theology” arose early in the morning, there was the altar of the state, torn down; and the principled pluralism (multiculturalism) that it produced was beside it, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said indignantly to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “Bret the son of David has done this thing.” 30 Then the Radical Two Kingdom men of the church who propped up the city of man with their “theology” said to David, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has torn down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the principle pluralism (multiculturalism) that it produced.” 31 But David said to all who stood against him, “Would you plead for the state and principled pluralism? Would you save it? Let the one who would plead for it be defrocked by morning! If the state is god, let the state plead for himself, because his principle pluralism has been torn down!” 32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubstate, saying, “Let the state plead against him, because he has torn down his principled pluralism.”

You know you might be Republican …

if where a spine is supposed to be there is linguine instead.

if you’re more afraid of the news media then you are the voters.

if you think big government is bad unless your party is in charge.

if your goal is to simply “moderate” Democratic ideas and policy.

if you think it “crafty” of you when you make sure the Democrats get only 95% of what they want.

if you think Ron Paul is an extremist.

if you’ve never read a book.

if you can’t decide who is better looking … Nancy Pelosi or the Congressional pageboys.

if you took John McCain seriously.

if you can’t make the connection between the Warfare State and the Nanny State.

if you could proudly say without cracking up …. “George W. Bush is my President.”

if you never doubted “weapons of mass destruction.”

if you thought the worst thing that Clinton did in the White House was to get serviced by an intern.

if the phrases “monetary policy,” “fiat money,” “fractional reserve banking” and “inflationary cycle,” find you scrambling for a dictionary.

if you’re genetically incapable of realizing that the lesser of two evils remains evil.