Dem Ole Deadly Sins

enAs much as it
may or may not
surprise some folks,
I don’t consider myself
much of an expert
on the concept of vice ……

Or of the old Catholic
and literary traditions
of “Cardinal Sin” —

Otherwise known as the “Seven Deadly Sins” .pride

I guess if I did call
myself an expert,
I’d be guilty of one of em –

Pride.

Wait….,

I’m already almost
a poster child for that one,
— now that I think about it.

So maybe I’d better pick
another one
as an example……lust

After all,
there’s 6 other ones
that I’m sure
I don’t know
anything about.

Uh yeah.

Like Lust.

Like lust ?

Yes,
I do like lust, avarice
thanks for asking.

A lot.

Ummm…
Uh oh….

Five others to choose from.

Actually,
to spare you an awful lot
of hemming and
hawing around,
I’m just gonna give you
the rest of the list —envy

–cause we both already know
that I’m no saint in any of these areas……….

Let’s see–

We started with Pride.

And actually,
biblically speaking,
that’s where all the hassles
in the Garden of Eden started….

Interesting coincidence.guttony

Then there was Lust.

And lust certainly
was a big part of the whole
“Landlord revoked our lease-
everything must go,
especially us”
 thing, too.

As it is in real life, often enough.

I’m sensing a pattern here.

Ahem….sloth

Before I forget,
I want to point out that the illustrations
of the ‘big 7’ (pics 2-8)
on this post were done
by the renowned French artist
Bernard Charoy in the 1960’s.

He draws great pin ups, too.

But, back to the rest of the list.

Number three is Gluttony.
Then, there’s Greed.
And Envy.anger
Number six on the
sinners hit parade is Wrath.
And let’s not forget,
— bringing up the rear is Sloth.

Now, as I said,
I don’t have to act all innocent
and pretend I’m not totally
conversant in most of these things —

I mean,
I would if I could sell it,
but I don’t really think 12
my regular readers
would buy it.

But, truthfully,
the various potential permutations
can boggle the mind.

If they’ve got Lemon Gelato on special
at the local Ice Cream shop,
you can bet I’m going to be theremaxbruening
— spooning out the ‘Gluttony’ —
one cold, lemony,
sweet and sour bite at a time.

And, yes, perhaps
I do have somewhat of a reputation
as a super big pain in the ass
when I’m pissed off  –
which certainly could be translated
as ‘Wrath’, I guess.

And I have to admit that
the grass at my house definitely needs
it’s first Spring cut-
overdue, in large part,
because of a tendency of mine toward ‘Sloth’.

And because it’s been
raining like cats and dogs,
…… dammit.

I’m not an ‘Envy’ kinda guy, though.

And I actually find ‘Greed’ and ‘Hate’
to be the most detestable of sins.

Sure,
I know ‘Hate’ ain’t on the official list.

But it is on mine.

So,
I wonder —

Is it bad
that I hate greedy people?

Ah well….

A man’s gotta have vices, right ?

HOY !!!!!!

.

a1

Early Learning And The Mozart Effect

effectsSeveral years ago,
my daughter was asked to
write a paper on a phenomenon
referred to as “The Mozart Effect” —

the assignment was to explain what it was,
and how it supposedly worked.

She dutifully complied,
writing a glowing report on the potential benefits
to society of this newly discovered innovation.

a2She described how these three researchers
at University of California Irvine had
experimented playing Mozart sonatas
to a small group of college students
and observed the effects.

She explained, that in their October 1993
report published in Nature, they seemed
to be suggesting a cause and effect
relationship between the sonatas and
higher scores on participating student’s
scholastic performance tests.

The results were so exciting at the time
that Georgia Governor Zell Miller had
even started a State program to distribute
classical music CD’s to parents of newborn Georgians.

My daughter’s enthusiasm for the
‘Effect’ seems to have the won the day, a1
because she received an award for her paper,
as an evidence that she was not the
only amateur psychologist in the house.

When she had initially asked me about the subject,
I had expressed some hopeful interest .

You see, when both my son and my daughter were babies, we had music going in the nursery at a very low level 24 hours a day, because we felt intuitively that it would have a positive impact on their development — and I believe it certainly did —

But I was skeptical that this could be clearly shown as the result of a scientific study, and certainly could not be narrowed down so specifically to Mozart’s music.

moz

If indeed, such a method could be proven to help people learn and do better on tests, it would be both a validation of our parenting method, and more importantly, a boon for society at large.

Mozart’s music is readily accessible everywhere in the world, on all types of media, which means that disadvantaged learners of all ages, races, and social strata could immediately benefit —

— the ‘Effect’ could indeed, bring about a whole new way of looking at human cognitive processes, learning, and development. It would be no overstatement to say that it could change the world.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after the U.C. Irvine study was released, that sales pitches making exaggerated claims for ‘Effect’ based products appeared — all claiming “scientifically proven results”.

bartIt all began to sound more akin to a marketing gimmick than it did to psychology or science, and so I decided to help her research her project, and perhaps learn for myself just how much of it was ‘steak’ and how much was ‘sizzle’.

The original study that got Mozart’s ball rolling wasn’t really a scientific report at all —

but a brief, three paragraph letter written by Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw, and Katherine Ky —

restand it was published,
not as an article,
but under ‘scientific coorespondence’ in the British journal “Nature”.

In it, the authors described a very fleeting increase in IQ test scores for a test group after being exposed to the music of Mozart for ten minutes, when compared to a control group, which heard either silence or a relaxation tape.

This ‘effect’ was quite temporary, and lasted only as long as the experiment itself. The letter made no assertions about causality, nor did it imply any.

waveNevertheless, the letter generated a great deal of interest among scientists, and many efforts were made to repeat the experiment on a larger scale in order to verify, clarify, or expand upon the purported results.

Frances Rauscher, one of the Psychologists who participated in the original study, had followed it up with additional studies, one showing a dramatic sixty percent improvement in IQ scores, among a group of 36 college students, after listening to Mozart’s ‘Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major’.

At the University of Illinois, researcher John Hughes used a similar set up on epileptic patients, and found that 29 out of 36 showed a significant decrease in symptomology and spiking during the time they were exposed.

terMost attempts at replicating the results, however, have proven unsuccessful. A much larger and more comprehensive study, done at Appalachian State University, exposed 206 students to identical conditions of the original experiment and found that:
… the results were consistent with prior failures in other laboratories to produce a Mozart Effect “. Kenneth Steele, one of the researchers on the ASU study summed it up this way: “The bottom line is that there is no ‘ Mozart Effect ‘.”

Another similarly unsuccessful attempt at Midwestern State University concluded:
“The findings suggest caution in measuring differences in various cognitive tasks as indicating increases in intelligence scores”.

And, the most persuasive study on the subject to date, a joint work by William Forde Thompson, E. Glenn Schellenburg, and Gabriela Husain found that when the elements of musical preference, mood, and arousal factors were held statistically constant, the effect vanished.

mozartAt this point, you may be asking, ” Then, why all the attention? Haven’t several states actually recommended Mozart music to parents as a learning aid?

Enter merchandising and the mass media. The press certainly primed the pump by running articles with titles like: ” Mozart’s Notes Make Good Brain Food ” and ” Classical Music Good For Babies “.

And despite the fact that the original report drew no conclusion about the ‘Effect’, (or what a psychologist might call an ‘artifact’),

— and that many further attempts at replicating it have been unsuccessful, entrepreneurs have jumped into the fray with both feet.a1a

“Mozart Makes You Smarter” themed products suddenly appeared :

— with names like
“Get Smart With Mozart”,
“Baby Needs Mozart”,
and “Expanding Your Mind With Mozart”.

Smelling profit — the author of one such work “The Mozart Effect (TM): Tapping The Power Of Music To Heal The Body”, Don Campbell (probably TM’d as well) even trademarked the name “Mozart Effect”, and touts the medicinal musical miracle like a patent cure-all.coltrane

So, does Mozart’s music make you smarter?

The research continues,
but the short answer is no,
probably not.

There is good news, however.
According to Dr. Stanley Greenspan, author of several books on brain development in children:

The issue isn’t whether listening to Mozart is specifically helpful for spatial reasoning. That’s far too specific a question. The issue is whether music in general enhances critical development in young children, and there’s a lot of evidence that music is very helpful.”

quote

Stress Off

b1The rough and tumble pace
of every day life can really
be a challenge these days…

The stresses of:
worry….

in
work, money,
relationships…..

It can really cut
into your horizontal
fun-time quotient, ya know ?

We’re working more,
but we have less leisure time,
and less money for recreation—

wifeAnd, if there’s an energy crisis anywhere,

–it’s in the amount of energy
we have left to expend on the
more fun, interesting and sexier stuff.

— after working,
paying taxes,
and fulfilling our responsibilities,

we’ve got little left over.

There’s been all kinds of social changes,
bringing their own special problems…

For instance,1
kids are living at home longer now…..

— it’s actually very common for 20 somethings.

And this certainly could put the KYE-BOSH
on any fun-time activities …..

for anybody,
and everybody in the house !

Sure,
I guess if you think about it hard enough,  a1
you could always find alternative places
where you could go to ….
errrr …..
express yourself…..

But the atmosphere of some places,

even the more out of the way places,

a…. can just kinda ruin the moment.

The sweet girl-next-door –

– and the stalwart,
hard working,
monogamously-dedicated family-man types

are becoming pretty rare,

and I guess it can be hard to meet those kinds of folks at times…

— but then neither type was ever really known aa
as all that sexually adventurous to begin with, anyway.

Certainly,
internet dating is kinda impersonal,

and can be very unreliable……

Candor in terms of personal online relationships has tanked.

And the explosion of electronic technology
has blurred the lines of recreation…

Reverse electronic fantasies –

afantasies that reality can’t measure up to,

—but electronics CAN put into some digitized form –

have replaced the kind
you used to try to make come true for yourself.

Certain aspects of our culture have left people feeling
as if human face to face contact isn’t necessary,
or even desirable,
in order to enjoy our lives….

As if somehow, we could,
or should, call
exist as if we were all living in some kinda vacuum.

I read last week about a guy who claims to be in love with his .

His vacuum cleaner, that is.

I think it was a Hoover.

I wonder if it was one of them ones
with all the special attachments.

(I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a Roomba, anyway. )

Oh sure,

airbubbleI guess you might choose
to add some sex toys to your repertoire
to attract more interest from the opposite sex …

or perhaps it might have the opposite effect ?

No man really likes the idea
that a mechanical device can do a better job
at satisfying a woman than he can…

….although,
from her perspective,
it must be hard to argue with 40 pulses per second.

And there’s no substitute a1a
for knowing what to say and how to say it….

That’s one of the purposes of a tongue, ya know.

Ahem.

Still……

If it becomes too much trouble to get you some,

it’s certainly easy enough
to find a up close and personal substitute for REAL sex,
peterpeckerI guess…

you can get you an inflatable
Rachel Hunter doll with real imitation Kiwi accent.

Cricky Dick!!
Oh BONK me fanny with yer wee cracker!
! ” —

Or, for you girls,

the Peter Pecker Doll,
always a big seller….

So there’s always options, I guess.baa

You could even open up
one of them there sex farms
like they got up there in Washington State.

Oh..

maybe,
that’s a baaaaaaaad idea, that.

Or, you could do things the OLD FASHIONED way,

aand then,
if you really want some variety,

… all you’d have to do is switch hands.

Hmmm……………..

I dunno……

There’s still something missing,
though,

Don’t ya think?

Passion?gygan

Romance?

Ambiance?

The experiential element ?

Doesn’t anybody think that
the most interesting thing about sex
is the physical, mental, and emotional interaction
between two people anymore ?

Or is really just all about orgasms in a vacuum?

Wait…
not that Hoover thing again.

HOY !!!!

111

Can’t Figure What You Mean

figuresThis post will probably
strike my readers
as a bit out of
the ordinary —

No,
come to think of it,
— probably not.

It certainly is a weird
ass blog, anyway–
so no.

Ah well.

Bad News:

If you’re planning on spending any timetv
with Phyllis Jefferson of Akron, Ohio,

—- be sure to bring plenty of chips and dip.

I mean, she takes these things
extremely seriously, apparently…

— as her last love interest
found out the hard way.

She was accused of stabbing her boyfriend
multiple times because he was:23
“… eating all the salsa.”

The bastard.

And BY THE WAY — TV GUYS —
Felonious ” is spelled thusly .

No,
— this isn’t just some bad trip , right?

Yeah–

Keep telling yourself that.burroughswithpattismith

Ahem.

In 1967,

William S. Burroughs wrote an article
for the underground magazine
“The Evergreen Review” called:

23 Skidoo — Eristic Elite “.

In it, he tries to explain
how the language of mass media
(and particularly cults) works, skidoo
in his own imitable, nebulous style.

I thought an excerpt of it might make
for an interesting post one day,

and have been trying to put into
some kind of frame of context
that would be relevant
for the Muscleheaded Blog.

And finally,
23skidoo
I just said….

Fuck it.

Let the man speak for himself.

I can surely find
some
cool
vintage
23-skidoo postcards
to
go
along
with
it.

And I did.

So, here’s a piece of William Burrough’s mind:

.

” Anything they can do,
you can do better.

Pick up the Concise Oxford Dictionary ,

— and mix your own linguistic virus —

concentrates fire burn and cauldron bubble

— return confluently the compliment:

eristic elite impacted banal limitrophic

imposture impotently flailing effluvial grout

mud incumbent ME grume intervolving

abrassively affricative incubus interpositional

inconsumate lubricious investiture decommissioned

externalized incondite amastrophe incrassate

misinformed ME palatogram’s epidemic

anfractuousity eschatological obscurant retiary

disaffected lumper uxorious urubu

anarchronic prologist consentual nevermore ……

….. blind man’s bluff any number can play …..

blind prose but it has direction and purpose.

One purpose is to protect a camouflaged
thesis from the embarrassment of factual testing.

If I say “England is an island’,
I can produce evidence to support
my statement should any call it into question.

If they write an article attacking the
Olympia Press as sexualizing congruent
accessibility to it’s heart of pulp fecundate
with orifaces perspectives in the name
of human privacy, they have placed
their thesis beyond the realm of fact,
since the words used refer to nothing
that can be tested.

The words used refer to nothing.

The words used have no referent. ”

.

evergreen