Saturday, 13 October 2012

Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima

I'm not going to to comment on the music for now, but this is some new material that has reached the humble workings of my ear, and no, I didn't know what the word 'threnody' meant. Right now I'm thinking about mental people and oddballs. More specifically Temple Grandin and her inspiring speech on autism, found here: It's trying at first. She leaps from one idea to another at something like the speed of light, but she does have a point; namely that all ways of thinking are necessary to make a better world. The reason for a personality clash between two people is often because of misunderstanding and misconception. That clash does not have to rule out the possibility that the opposing forces could come to harmonise over time. It interests me how all the different minds link together. Past experience determines how we think and feel. Can't change that. Not out of the question to learn to get along on some level though, like pieces in a jigsaw. In my view the causes come down primarily to -- 1) Genetics 2) Family background/Environment 3) Ambitions (1) is Darwin, Dawkins and the like i.e. the fact that when we look to our parents and ancestors we find that our physical attributes were passed down to us from them, as well as some of our personality traits. Grandin suggests that as we get older, move away from home, meet new people and try new stuff, there's potential for our personalities to change a lot. Scary. A bit like when you meet someone with a strong regional accent and you find yourself mimicing it. As we adapt to a new way of life we come up against the trade off between social ability and contemplative ability. The moment when the thinkers come out of their cave to view the social butterflies in action. They begin to think, "I want that," and for better or for worse they leave the darkness of their bedsit, strewn with takeaway and fad magazines, to swap that time for the company of others. (2). Whether that's right is another issue all together. Should that nerdy bespectacled dude who excels at maths but not at telling jokes learn from the 'in' crowd? Maybe. Instinct warns that natural is best, but sometimes it is satisfying to break down these mental barriers that set up for ourselves. Depends what you're after though. (3). The truly ironical thing is, just by considering taking a new course in making friends, the nerdy sociophobe would have to take more 'thinking' time to weigh up the pros and cons, because if he didn't he might not realise until it was too late that it was the wrong course of action. I don't consider myself to have autism though apparently we are all in some ways autistic. Severe autism can be a very real inability to associate properly with others. I've read that it is a type of hyper sensitivity, like when we hear a noise that's too loud or shield our eyes from the light. This was the point that Grandin was making. These people have to trade off their brain time for the right reasons. You can't force someone to be more social or to feel more comfortable. It has to be genuine, but those real moments are hard to find.

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