Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Hanged Man

If a hospital, or perhaps a chain of hospitals, has a nursing shortage and also due to the poor economy has instituted a hiring freeze, then that shortage of nurses becomes fixed.

As wealth is concentrated upwards into the hands of the lucky few, so misery is concentrated in the lower echelons of society, and there is no one lower on the scale of being than hospital patients. They walk around bare-assed. They are bankrupt. They are not working.

I have a facsimile of John Dowland's First Book of Songs. It folds open with each of four musical parts facing to the four different sides of a table. Four singers and a lute player can seat themselves around it and read the music with their own part facing them. People knew how to sing music from written parts back then.

A rather fancy family might have a chest of recorders, viols, or some other consort of instruments. Sackbutts and krumhorns, anyone? It was home entertainment in a low-energy time, when we did not have electricity funneling various amusements into our homes for us.



An early music specialist came to my college and we formed a "broken consort" of unlike instruments (lute, bandora, cittern, viola da gamba, and flute,) to rehearse and perform a concert of Elizabethan music. I played the little cittern. The only time I ever have. I had been studying on my own and I could read the tablature notation, so the early music professor recruited me for the gig.



The headstock of the cittern I played had a blindfolded man's head carved into it.

Citterns, lutes, mandoras, and other instruments used to hang from the walls of Elizabethan barber shops. Loops of string tacked to the walls would hold the instruments by their headstocks. The blindfolded man was a sort of common joke, as the loop of string would circle under the neck of the hanged man.

While you were waiting for your shave or haircut, you would take an instrument down from the wall and play upon it.

Now we have fucking Fox News everywhere. So I refuse to have my hair cut at a salon anymore. It can grow to my knees.

4 comments:

wunelle said...

I didn't even know what a cittern was. You made me look it up. My education for the day.

And ditto on the FFN (Fucking Faux News). I'm inclined to boycott anything Fox-related, and even to send letters to sponsors saying as much. They should be hooted right the hell out of business.

This latest thing with Dana Perino just about gives me a stroke.

(WV "unter")

Ruth said...

I actually had good success in complaining to a motel manager that I had to listen to Faux news over breakfast. I pointed out that only about 20% identify themselves as right wing, so that would not be an inducement to many to come to that motel, instead of the many others nearby. She thanked me and said she would talk that out with the restaurant vendors. I'll be sure to check before I go back to that motel.

Eli Blake said...

Heck, I'd even settle for a barbershop quartet to provide music while I was getting a haircut.

As for Faux News, I live in a rural area and that's pretty much all that's on if you walk into a truck stop. There is a truck stop in the small town I live in and they have Faux News on 24/7, year round. I wonder if they will even change the channel for the Super Bowl.

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God helps those who help themselves........................................