Plato: Bad Music Destroys Democracy, by David Yeagley

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David Yeagley is the great-great-grandson of Comanche leader Bad Eagle.
David Yeagley is the great-great-grandson
of Comanche leader Bad Eagle.

This post is a re-e-print of a July 12, 2009 article by *David Yeagley of BAD EAGLE.COM.

Although this elegant material may be a bit esoteric for these pages, the concept might penetrate and remain. [BC]

“In The Laws, Plato’s character, the Athenian, claims that bad quality music corrupted the democracy of Athens. If this work was written ca. 350 BC, then the commentary is curious. Alexander the Great, of course, came on the scene in 336 BC. This would mean that, at least in Plato’s view, the city state democracy of Athens was long foiled. But what of that? Why would Plato theorize that it was the quality of music that destroyed the democracy? And what difference did that actually make? It certainly didn’t deter the empire.”

“In Book III of The Laws, Plato’s Athenian said it started with a breach of public manners. Educated people behaved during concerts. Then bad music started being performed, and audiences responded with a lack of decor. It was the erosion of public manners and social graces–caused or inspired by the vulgar quality of music. One think led to another. It seems that the artists, the composers in particular, were to blame. And it seems the poor or bad (immoral) quality of the music was the result of mixing styles.”

“From the Jowett translation:”
And then, as time went on, the poets themselves introduced the reign of vulgar and lawless innovation. They were men of genius, but they had no perception of what is just and lawful in music; raging like Bacchanals and possessed with inordinate delights-mingling lamentations with hymns, and paeans with dithyrambs; imitating the sounds of the flute on the lyre, and making one general confusion; ignorantly affirming that music has no truth, and, whether good or bad, can only be judged of rightly by the pleasure of the hearer. And by composing such licentious works, and adding to them words as licentious, they have inspired the multitude with lawlessness and boldness, and made them fancy that they can judge for themselves about melody and song.

“The Trevor J. Saunders translation says the composers were “gripped by a frenzied and excessive lust for pleasure,” and that was the motivation for the mix.”

For if the democracy which judged had only consisted of educated persons, no fatal harm would have been done; but in music there first arose the universal conceit of omniscience and general lawlessness;-freedom came following afterwards, and men, fancying that they knew what they did not know, had no longer any fear, and the absence of fear begets shamelessness. For what is this shamelessness, which is so evil a thing, but the insolent refusal to regard the opinion of the better by reason of an over-daring sort of liberty?

“Heavy thought here. Very heavy. And then Plato’s Athenian comments on the social effects of such lawlessness in music, where the common people rule:”
Consequent upon this freedom comes the other freedom, of disobedience to rulers; and then the attempt to escape the control and exhortation of father, mother, elders, and when near the end, the control of the laws also; and at the very end there is the contempt of oaths and pledges, and no regard at all for the Gods-herein they exhibit and imitate the old so called Titanic nature, and come to the same point as the Titans when they rebelled against God, leading a life of endless evils.

“These things are of course all subject to interpretation, both historically, as well as philosophically and sociologically. But, it is difficult not to draw immediate parallels in our modern Western society.”

“In the history of Western music, there has always been a distinction between good and bad music, sacred and secular, and classical and popular, shall we say. Lyrics have always been a key indicator of the quality and effect of the music. Secular lyrics have always tended to be about romance, courtship, and the like. Sexual love, to put it plainly. This music, however exciting or pleasurable, was never known to elevate the soul or to encourage spirituality.”

“I must say, this distinction between the sacred and the secular has been the one pursuit of my entire academic life. The issue was consciously focused in me at the age of sixteen. I pursued this topic through my years at Oberlin Conservatory, at Yale Divinity, at Emory University, and it finally became the topic of my doctoral thesis at the University of Arizona in 1994. My thesis was on a piano composition by Franz Liszt, The Dante Sonata”

Hungarian Franz Liszt, 1811-1886
Hungarian Franz Liszt, 1811-1886

“All these many years I attempted to determine what was “religious” about religious music. What was irreligious or secular about non-religious music. Could it be nailed down to a note? Such a pursuit was not programmed in any degree layout. I was on my own in this quest. This is the reason I ended up with such a broad background, including parts of literature, history, biblical studies, psychology, philosophy, and political theory. I looked into the classical Greek social commentary of Plato and Aristotle (et al.) to see how they defined music. It was strictly by its effect they defined it. Its effect on humans. It was a social activity, essentially.”

“At any rate, I came early to the conclusion that music had meaning via association. “Who put the spook into the bass clarinet?” I asked. “Whoever first conceived of the spook,” I answered my own question, in a bit of a Platonic dialogue style.”

“Religious music is chiefly so due to the religious sentiments preexisting in the composer and his listners. I cannot say that irreligious or non-religious music encourages religious sentiment. It is for a different purpose. Yet, I cannot say religious music guarantees a religious experience. At best, it can only suggest it, only encourage it, or provide a venue for it. Religion is religion. Music is music. Music is a mirror, or an expression. Not an alien power that wields its own world. It is first the composer’s or performer’s expression of his emotions or values; then it ignites the same in the listeners.”

“In America, today, we have the market. The free-enterprise approach to everything–even down to the nail polish on the woman’s toes. We have incalculable variety of music. We have an interminable mix in our society. Plato would probably suggest that we have corrupted our democracy, entirely. Absolute freedom is chaos, or anarchy. Not the way society survives.”

*David Yeagley is the great-great-grandson of Comanche leader Bad Eagle. Read more…

– Photographs are from Bad Eagle’s website.
– This post was re-e-printed with express permission from David Yeagley.

Access the original post, from Bad Eagle’s Journal, on Bad

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I was immediately drawn to the above article. Although my limited education in this area is **mostly, self-aquired, I can still reap tangible benifits from it. On a lessor level, I acquired some musical knowledge in garage and garden-party bands in the 50s & 60s, and in Hollywood recording studios in the 70s. On a higher level, the most profound expierience was studying Classical Guitar and becoming fairly proficient playing ***compositions, such as: JS Bach’sLute Prelude in D Minor.” As well as pieces by Mozart, Fenando Sor, Matteo Carcassi, Ferdinando Carulli and others. This dual perspective seems to give me enough fodder to understand the gist of: “Plato: Bad Music Destroys Democracy.” [BC]

I met the great, great grandson of the Apache leader, Geronimo.

**Took master-classes from John Harrison.
***[Music] “known to elevate the soul or to encourage spirituality” (from the above post)

“Vandals deface ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ icon” – “Mayor recommends: Off with their heads”

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Photo credit: Sarah Gerke, LA Times
Photo credit: Sarah Gerke, LA Times

This article is from” (LA Times Online) The Movable Buffet: Dispatches from Las Vegas by Richard Abowitz.

“If terms like “street art” seem a little disingenuous, I have to admit graffiti was never an issue that has really upset me much. But some jerks going at the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign Monday really upset me and a lot of people I have spoken to about this vandalism. Like many cities, we have graffiti everywhere, but no one has ever vandalized the welcome sign before in the memory of anyone I reached, and it seems likely that this may not have ever happened before. Take that in for a moment: Since the sign was first created to greet tourists in 1959, no one has put graffiti on it despite the countless alcohol-soaked tourists who must have posed with the welcome sign over the years. I don’t even think a fraternity has ever stolen it as a prank. This is one bit of Las Vegas history that no one has suggested replacing or taking to the Neon Boneyard (though it gets moved south occasionally to keep pace with the growth of the Strip). The welcome sign is the one link with old Vegas that remains totally relevant in 2009.”

“I guess my surprise is that kids don’t scribble their initials on the sign more often, because it is so accessible and popular. But until Monday, the Betty Willis design has received nothing but respect from tourists and locals. I always smile when I drive past it going to and from work. Buffet photographer Sarah Gerke was out there this morning, and most of the scribbled initials left by the vandals had already been removed. But there is still some graffiti you can see in the lower left corner of the photo. A cleaning crew should finish restoring the sign today, according to the Review-Journal, which also has a shot of the more extensive graffiti, since removed, placed on the sign.” finish this article from The Movable Buffet: Dispatches from Las Vegas by Richard Abowitz

Here’s another perspective from Las Vegas’ Review Journal:
“Vandals deface iconic ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign.” “Mayor recommends: ‘Off with their heads”

“The famous diamond-shaped “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada” sign received an unwelcome addition this weekend — a series of initials scribbled with a red marker.” read more from MIKE BLASKY –

click for full image - click – Photo by John Gurzinski

“Arizona tourists Joseph Harris, left, Laura Massengale and Emily Viramontes pose Monday in front of the graffiti-blemished Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada sign that greets visitors on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard.”

Visit the main pages of the LasVegasBuffetClub here or click under “Website” (right.)

7-11 trip to the Colorado Casinos

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Ameristar Hotel Casino
Black Hawk, Colorado
Ameristar Hotel Casino
Black Hawk, Colorado

We made a “Happy Birthday” trip up to the casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado on July 11, 2009. One of us was celebrating a birthday on 7-11. The Riviera Casino sent the birthday reveler a comp for two (free) buffets. So we brought along a 2-4-1 buffet coupon, which we already had, bringing the total to: four dinner buffets for the price of one. (Back to the buffet in a minute.)

Since we hit the casinos around three o’clock in the afternoon we had more than enough time to do a little gaming. The birthday person was good to go since this person was given a nice amount of cash as a birthday gift.

We first stopped in at The Ameristar Casino , checked out the buffet (two in our party had not seen Ameristar’s buffet,) which is something to see: The round, rustic buffet room, beaming with energy, has high, vaulted ceilings finished with high-quality wood paneling/beams. Top craftsmanship is evident. The buffet is loaded with food choices, Las Vegas style.

The Centennial Buffet at the Ameristar Casino:
BRUNCH : Sunday 10am – 3pm ($16.99) Champagne Brunch
LUNCH: Monday – Saturday 11am – 3pm ($11.99) Lunch Buffet
Sunday – Thursday 4pm – 9pm ($17.99) Dinner Buffet
Friday & Saturday 4pm – 10pm ($18.99) Dinner Buffet

After checking out the buffet, we fooled around at the slot banks near the buffet. After a while I was expounding on my top criteria for picking a slot/video machine: (1) pick a machine that is in view of a captured audience, like the diners at a buffet/restaurant or people standing in line at a buffet/restaurant. The theory being that “loose” machines are placed in these areas to create excitement, and to evoke a winning vibe. If you ran a casino, would you want customers staring at dead space? Also, sit at machines near money cages, gift shops, slot clubs etc. Stay away from machines that are in out-of-the-way corners of the floor or by restrooms. Someone going to the restroom has something other than gaming on their mind.

*Just as I was explaining my theory (standing by a bank of machines near the buffet) a gentleman hit a loaded video poker hand: a $1 (5X) Royal Flush for $4,040 and change. Visit these pages for more gaming tips.

Riviera Black Hawk
Riviera Black Hawk

Back to the Riv’s buffet. The large, high-ceilinged room is “blue” with huge, somewhat awkward chandeliers. We were shown a cozy, secluded table in a corner and went immediately to the salad bar, which is decent/average (they might want to identify the salad dressings, since no one knew what was what. ) There were tiny markings on the ladles, but the ladles were all mixed up. Anyway we feasted on shrimp, Snow Crab legs, roast beef, pastas, salads, fruits, veggies and desserts. Other items at the buffet were chicken/fixins, Asian dishes, soups, breads and more.

Although the food is tasty and well prepared, the Riv’s buffet is limited (by Las Vegas standards.)

The Riviera Buffet’s Hours and Pricing:
Breakfast: Monday – Friday / 8am – 11am ($5.99)
Lunch: Monday – Friday / 11am – 4pm ($9.99)
Dinner: Sunday – Thursday / 4pm – 10pm; Friday – Saturday / 4pm – 11pm ($12.99)
Brunch: Saturday – Sunday / 9am – 4pm ($12.99)

After our buffet feast (as we left the buffet, theire was a fairly long line waiting to get in – in fact it was the longest line I’ve ever seen at the Riv,) we played a little (at the casino.) The casino floor was lively and busy. I was playing Multi-Strike for pennies and hit the top line (loaded) for about $40.00. Not a bad hit for an under a dollar bet. I was disapointed to find that **Hexbreaker was removed from the casino floor. Thanks anyway Riviera for the birthday gift…

Isle of Capri
image by
Isle of Capri
image by ColoradoGamblingForum

Next, we walked across the street to the The Isle of Capri Hotel Casino.

The consensus of opinion was that The Isle of Capri was a definate Fav. Probably because three of us were getting (many) free beers/drinks at the bar, I (self-designated) was the designated driver. Also, the same three got nice comps for signing up for Slot Cards. They will get (in the mail) a voucher for a free room + a slip for $10.00 cash. All they had to do was play $10.00. The birthday guest got two dessert comps – he already had a card.

I didn’t really check out the buffet at The Isle of Capri, but here’s their info:

Calypso’s Buffet at The Isle of Capri
Breakfast • $7.99 Daily • 7:00am – 10:00am
Saturday & Sunday Brunch • $14.99 Sunday • 10:30am – 3:00pm
Lunch • $10.99 Monday – Friday • 11:00am – 3:00pm
Dinner Seafood Buffet with Snow Crab Legs
$12.99 Monday – Thursday • 3:30pm – 6:00pm
$15.99 Monday – Thursday • 6:00pm – 9:30pm
Signature Buffet – July, Barbeques of the World
$18.99 Friday – Saturday • 3:30pm – 11:00pm
$18.99 Sunday • 4:00pm – 9:30pm

*The LasVegasBuffetClub is not saying that you will hit a jackpot if you follow these suggestions, only that the chances of succeeding may be increased with this methodology.
**Hexbreaker was also removed from The Isle of Capri.

Visit the Colorado Casino’s pages of the LasVegasBuffetClub
Visit the main pages of the LasVegasBuffetClub

tweet tweet tweet!

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“He rocks in the tree-top all a day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singin’ the song
All the little birds on J-Bird St.
Love to hear the robin goin’ tweet tweet tweet”

“Rockin’ robin (tweet tweet tweet)
Rockin’ robin (tweet tweet tweet)
Oh rockin’ robin well you really gonna rock tonight” read the rest of the lyrics to this hit song from 1958 on

Rockin’ Robin is a 1958 song by Bobby Day. The single was Day’s only hit single, becoming a No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 hit. The song was covered by The Hollies on their first album in 1964 and would be revived as a single again in 1972 by the teenaged Michael Jackson as his second single release on Motown. Jackson took his version to number two on the U.S. pop singles chart that year” read more on Wikipedia

Adding my input to the Twitter landslide, this must be the definitive song for Twitterers: Bobby Day’s 1958 hit “Rockin’ Robin.” The word “tweet” is used 24 times, that’s two dozen tweets.

If anyone can show me a song with more than two dozen “tweets,” I’ll give them a nice prize.

Bobby Day’s Rockin’ Robin on YouTube

“An important cog in Los Angeles’ doo wop community during the ’50s, Bobby Day wrote three often-covered early rock classics in 1957-1958. Day was part of the Hollywood Flames, one of the area’s top R&B vocal groups, and briefly part of Bob & Earl, later to hit without Day on “Harlem Shuffle.” Day formed his own group, the Satellites, in 1957, cutting the original “Little Bitty Pretty One” for Class Records. A nearly identical cover by Thurston Harris beat the original out, so Day countered with the driving “Rockin’ Robin” in 1958, an R&B chart-topper. Its flip, “Over and Over,” was a hit in its own right, although the Dave Clark Five’s 1965 revival is better remembered today. Day waxed a few more hits for Class in 1959, including “That’s All I Want” and a derivative “The Bluebird, the Buzzard & the Oriole,” flitting from label to label during the ’60s.” ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide [This info is from JohnB1948Two’s YouTube channel.]

The fine clockwork, drum work on Rockin’ Robin is by Earl Palmer.
“Earl Cyril Palmer (October 25, 1924 – September 19, 2008)[1] was an American drummer and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

“Palmer played on many recording sessions, including Little Richard’s first several albums and Tom Waits’ 1978 album Blue Valentine. According to one obituary, “his list of credits read like a Who’s Who of American popular music of the last 60 years” more from Wikipedia

Visit the main pages of the LasVegasBuffetClub…

“FULL BUCK MOON” July 7th, 2009

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amitc-neon4x3 …click for larger image *This is the “Adobe Moon in the City” poster.

The “FULL BUCK MOON” will be 100% full at 2:22 a.m. July 7, 2009, Las Vegas time.


“American Indians gave names to each of the full moons to keep track of the passing year. The names are associated with the entire month until the next full moon occurs. Since a lunar month averages 29 days, the dates of the moons change from year to year. Here are titles most closely associated with calendar months” read more from The Western Washington University Planetarium Website

In the Zuni language, the name for The July [7] Moon is: “dayamcho yachunne” (“when limbs of trees are broken by fruit.”)

The Zuni Tribe of Southwestern New Mexico



“Historically the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons. Each full Moon name was applied to the entire month in which it occurred. These names, and some variations, were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.” read more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Full Buck Moon “The full Moon name for this month is Full Buck Moon. Bucks begin to grow new antlers at this time. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon, because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.”

[Both of the above sites seem to disagree on the official moon names. Just pick one!]

“Here is the chart for the Full Moon in Capricorn, exact on July 7th at 5:21 am EDT, followed by a penumbral (partial) lunar eclipse at 5:38 am EDT.” read more from… This is an insightful perspective from an astrologer. [Variances in FM times are due to geographical differences.]

*The [c.2009-Adobe Moon in the City] poster is available for purchase. The full moon in this poster was photographed in Las Vegas in the 90s. The image was inserted into it’s “frame” with a Photoshop type application. The poster is 24″x36″.

View our blog post on The Man In the Moon, from November, 2007.

View the LasVegasBuffetClub’s main pages

Cherry Creek Art Festival – 2009

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heavy-metalsteel_fred-conl2 This Heavy Metal Dead Head (metal and steel) was welded from pieces of steel, metal, nuts and bolts, tools and other misc. pieces by Fred Conlon / Sugar Post (see below.)
[ Photograph is reproduced with permission of the artist. ]

19th Annual Cherry Creek Arts Festival July 3, 4, 5, 2009 Denver, Colorado, USA

“350,000 visitors annually enjoy the visual, culinary and performing arts and interactive activities for the whole family. Experience Colorado’s signature and award-winning cultural event!” read more and access the Official Cherry Creek Arts Festival’s Website…

I attended the 2009 Cherry Creek Art Festival on July 3rd and 4th. The show got rained out, AGAIN……………..on the 3rd.

No, I don’t know everything, however, I know what I like. I like the following artists’ work (not in any particular order.)

The following links will take you to the CCAF page (click on the artist’s name for information and an example of their work,) and a website or page with information about the artist:

Larry Preston – Oil painting (I remember these oils from a past show…)
Festival Booth #88 – Plainfield, MA
Larry Preston , website

Loretta Petraitis – Stark Oil Paintings of industrial scenes.
Festival Booth #144 – Saint Petersburg, FL
Loretta Petraitis, website

Jon Smith Art – Oil on Canvas
Festival Booth #171 – Clearwater, FL
Jon Smith Art, website

Fred Conlon – Sugar Post Metal Art – Whimsical metal/steel sculpture. (see photo above)
Festival Booth #3 – Salt Lake City, UT
Fred Conlon – Sugar Post Metal Art, website

Jeffery Berryman – Oil on rivited sheet metal.
Festival Booth #232 – Kersey, CO
Jeffery Berryman, website

Jeffrey Zachmann – Kinetic Sculptor
Festival Booth #115 – Fergus Fall, MN
Jeffrey Zachmann, website

Stephen Hayes – Mixed Media
Festival Booth #97 – Petersborough, Ontario, Canada
No website available

Jerry Berta – Ceramic & neon sculptures
Festival Booth #195 – Rockford, MI
Jerry Berta, website

Gary Seidel – Photography
Festival Booth #126 – Davie, FL
Can’t find a website

Stephen Sebastian -Painting, Graphics & Printmaking
Festival Booth #101, 102 – High Point, NC
No website

Marie Vlasic – Photo-Realistic Oils on canvas and board (serious nudes)
Festival Booth #216 – Denver, CO
Marie Vlasic, website

Access the Cherry Creek Art Festival’s Official Website…
Visit the main pages of the LasVegasBuffetClub

Declaration of Independence July 4th, 1776

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0_flageagle1d Declaration of Independence July 4th, 1776

“Document in American history used by the 13 British North American colonies to proclaim their independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was adopted in final form on July 4, 1776. It can be divided into three parts: a statement of principle concerning the rights of man and the legitimacy of revolution, a list of specific grievances against England’s King George III, and a formal claim of independence.”

Casinos raise stakes in Colorado

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LVBC Ace of Spades

At 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 2, 2009, Colorado casinos raise gaming stakes a notch: raising wager limits from $5 to $100, adding Roulette and Craps, and extending hours to a full-blown 24/7. Prior to the passing of amendment 50, the casinos closed at 2 a.m. and the only (table) games in town were: poker, blackjack and let it ride.

From ColoradoGamingNews:
“24/7 gaming will be available soon”
“Are you ready to gamble?”

“Gamblers and casino operators alike are anxiously anticipating 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, July 2, when Amendment 50 goes into effect and high stakes gaming becomes a reality in Colorado.”

“That’s the exact minute when craps tables and roulette wheels will be unveiled. Five-dollar limits will be a thing of the past. And when 1:45 a.m. rolls around, gamblers won’t hear that ominous loudspeaker voice announcing that it’s time to cash out and head to their rooms or, for day gamblers, head home.” read more from ColoradoGamingNews… or click here for the CGN home page…
Visit the LasVegasBuffetClub’s Colorado Gaming pages…