Song of the Day #2033

Song of the Day: Making Contact (“Soundtrack Suite”) [YouTube link], composed by Paul Gilreath, is from a 1985 West German horror-fantasy film (also known as “Joey”), directed by Roland Emmerich, which features a demonic-possessed ventriloquist dummy named Fletcher, of whom I’m not too thrilled. Just as Emmerich provides various nods to “Poltergeist“, “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” and “Star Wars“, so too Gilreath, who re-scored the film for its US release, provides nods to the scores of John Williams and James Horner in this lovely suite.

Don Lavoie Lectures, 1980-1981: Part II

Last Monday, February 13, 2023, I unveiled the first of three YouTube presentations featuring the late Don Lavoie. Today, the second installment debuts on my YouTube channel.

“Planned Chaos: The Failure of Socialism” was recorded at New York University on September 23, 1980, as part of a series of lectures that the NYU chapter of Students for a Libertarian Society dubbed “Libertython”. This lecture, with its accompanying Q&A, runs over 90 minutes in length. In many respects, it is a precursor to the central themes that Don explored in his 1985 book, National Economic Planning: What is Left?

See Facebook discussion on this lecture here.

Song of the Day #2032

Song of the Day: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (“Soundtrack Suite”) [YouTube link], composed by Klaus Bedelt, is from the 2003 film that began a five-film franchise. The score benefited from the collaboration of Hans Zimmer as well. It’s got all those rousing themes befitting a modern swashbuckler.

Russian Radical Review in “Savvy Street”

Marco den Ouden wrote a really nice retrospective review of my book, Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical for The Savvy Street. Marco writes:

In a brilliant piece of philosophical detective work, Chris Matthew Sciabarra examines her Russian background and Russian education and discerns distinct influences of both on her methodology.

Early in this review I quoted Sciabarra to the effect that during his research he “rediscovered elements in Objectivism that challenged my entire understanding of that philosophy and its place in intellectual history.” Sciabarra’s book did the same for me.

I had hitherto taken a disaggregated view of Rand’s work. The problem with such an unintegrated view is that it lets you take isolated elements of her work out of context. This is the error of many of her followers who focus on her politics to the exclusion of the other elements of her philosophy. This was the source of her disdain for libertarians. If you consider her philosophy as an integrated whole, libertarians focused on one narrow element, her politics, and even there, they focused very narrowly on one maxim, the so-called non-aggression principle. They saw only a solitary tree but missed the grand forest that was her work.

Sciabarra’s book gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the holistic nature of Rand’s work, for her ability to parse and dissect disparate elements of current events and to integrate them by their essences. To see connections that others miss.

Check out the whole review here.

Song of the Day #2030

Song of the Day: Terms of Endearment (“End Credits”) [YouTube link], composed by Michael Gore, is one of the most poignant themes from this 1983 Oscar winning “Best Picture”, starring Debra Winger, and Oscar-winners Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson. I was fortunate enough to see many of the lovely locations in which this film was shot, from Houston to Galveston.

Song of the Day #2029

Song of the Day: Ben-Hur (“London Festival Orchestra Soundtrack Suite”) [YouTube link] is yet another suite that has been orchestrated in celebration of the great Oscar-winning Miklos Rozsa score to the epic 1959 film version of the Lew Wallace novel. Starring the “Best Actor“-winning Charlton Heston in the title role, the film won 11 Oscars, a record tied but never beaten. It remains my all-time favorite, and it’s a Film Music February Festival ritual to post something from its soundtrack on this date every year. It’s my birthday after all—and yes, this film will always be older than me, since it was released almost three months to the day before I was born.

Postscript: On Facebook, well over 150 people posted well wishes on my Birthday Timeline, and I posted this in response:

I wanted to express my very deepest appreciation to everybody who posted on my ‘birthday’ timeline, or who reached out to me with a note, a text, an email, a phone call. Though I’ve read every greeting, it would have been too difficult for me to respond individually to each person who posted.

Suffice it to say … as most folks know … this has been a transitional period in my life on so many levels. Despite the enormous difficulties I have faced, I count my blessings for all the love & support I’ve received from so many caring people.

That’s why I’ve been reacting with all those ❤s today. Thank you so very much.

Breaking Bad Franchise Tribute on the Super Bowl

In January, I ran a month-long tribute to the music of the Breaking Bad Franchise. For those who didn’t catch it, there was a funny Breaking Bad-themed Popcorners Super Bowl commercial! Check it out!

Song of the Day #2027

Song of the Day: The Dark Knight (“Orchestra Suite”) [YouTube link] includes memorable themes written by both Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard for the 2008 film based on the DC Comics superhero, Batman, for the second leg in the Dark Knight Trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan. The film is notable for having earned a posthumous Best Supporting Oscar Award for Heath Ledger, for his diabolical portrayal of The Joker.