September 23, 2001 12:51 AM   Subscribe

Huh? This article swings from sort of equating the WTC attack with AIDS, to something about fundamentalism in music composition. I think. This is NOT for WTC discussion. Rather, I'm curious what people think of the analogy and whether you even follow his argument and/or think it's appropriate.
posted by Su (7 comments total)
Geez, he writes like he composes. Not surprising, I suppose. I think his main point is the same as the old argument that America (and the world) is not a "melting pot" but a mosaic of cultures. People should not preach one superior set of morals or beliefs (fundamentalism) but be tolerant of the multiple beliefs that make up our world (pluralism). And that doesn't just apply to religion but to the arts as well. I'm sure he has lived through a lot of criticism for his support for AIDS (writing symphonies inspired by the suffering) and also for his modern composition techniques (1/4 step dissonance!?!) so he's using that perspective to try to make many analogies which confuse his main point. But I did agree with his argument after I pieced it together. And that AIDS part is appropriate. Take a look at the AIDS statistics. 2.8 million deaths worldwide in 1999 alone. Congress did approve and reapprove the Ryan White CARE Act. But there's so much more to be done to support and not stigmatize people who are "different", whether it's because they compose atonal music, have same sex relationships, or dark skin.
posted by girlhacker at 1:39 AM on September 23, 2001

People should not preach one superior set of morals or beliefs (fundamentalism) but be tolerant of the multiple beliefs that make up our world (pluralism).

"I don't tolerate intolerance!"
posted by dagny at 2:33 AM on September 23, 2001

Corigliano uses an interesting combination of rhetorical tropes here.

I was a little startled to see so many people wearing red, white, and blue ribbons since the 11th in the same manner that a red ribbon was used to signify the tragedy of AIDs. I did see a lot of ribbons. I think the association between the two has been made, and it's not something that Corigliano has done here in his analysis, but is rather something he is commenting upon.

His observation of this adoption of a metaphor by society is what he uses as a springboard to compare the roots of the two tragedies. He focuses upon an aspect that ties the two together - the difficulty of defining their sources.

His next step was to cite fundamentalism as a source that has both limited the funding of research for AIDs, and has been a source of the hatred of those who attacked us. The dig at Falwell (no matter how well justified) weakened his analogy building because he didn't emphasize enough that intolerant views have limited AIDs research.

He then focuses upon fundamentalism in the arts, especially music - using synecdoche to define the concept of fundamentalism by giving us a close up of its affect in one narrow area. This is intended to show us that many aspects of our life, and the way our culture is shaped, is at risk by the thinking behind the terrorist attack.

I think his argument would have been more persuasive if he started out writing about fundamentalism in music, and then expanded his focus. But it probably was too difficult to pass up the attention that using AIDs in his opening (and headline) would bring.
posted by bragadocchio at 3:06 AM on September 23, 2001

I think the attention you brought up, Bragadocchio, is a large part of my problem with the article.

While the analogy might be correct, I can't get over the feeling of it being some sort of weird attempt to coopt the misery of the WTC. Sure, it may make sense, but my immediate reaction when I saw the headline--in a list of others all dealing with the WTC aftermath--was, "What the hell does AIDS have to do with this?"
Frankly, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I think of it, which is why I'd like to see others' thoughts.
posted by Su at 4:17 AM on September 23, 2001

today, bin laden cringes from the sting of american .gif ribbons and mad photoshop skillz. tomorrow, he shall come to know the face of atonal composition.

layers | merge | flatten all.

take that, ignorant goatherd!
posted by quonsar at 4:46 AM on September 23, 2001

layers | merge | flatten all.

lol... sorry, that's just hilarious.
posted by lotsofno at 9:07 AM on September 23, 2001

Photoshop commands— Now that's an alagory!
posted by Down10 at 12:19 PM on September 23, 2001

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