Recital by Roman Rabinovich in Baltimore; Beethoven, Haydn, Schumann, and his own “Capriccio: A Clown on a Bicycle”


Today, Uzbekistan (Tashkent)-born pianist Roman Rabinovich (b. 1985) gave a recital at the George Washington Carver center for Arts and Technology in Towson MD.


The program opened with a Sonata in G Major, Hob.XVI:39, by Franz Joseph Haydn.  The Sonata sounds courtly, with the openly Allegro Con Brio almost a gavotte.  The Sonata form is monothematic.  The closing Prestissimo ends quietly.


Next Roman played his own 4-movement sutie, “Capriccio: A Clown on the Bicycle” (sounds rather Truffaut-like).  The music tended to be mostly linear and polyphonic, and a bit Stravinsky-like. The movements include a gigue and waltz.  It was premiered at Alice Tully Hall in NYC in 2016.


He then followed with the largest work of the concert, the Piano Sonata #28 in A Major, Op. 101, by Beethoven. His own remarks noted that Beethoven had not composed for four years, having sunk into depression.  The opening movement begins on the dominant E Major, and manages to keep a lot of quiet tension by original use of old harmonic patterns.  The second movement is a march (anticipating a similar movement in the Schumann Fantasy), with an inquisitive trio.  Then there is a shot Adagio  in A Minor that briefly recapitulates a little material from the first movement, before the joyous finale, with becomes the main event.  The development section of the Finale is a fugue that anticpates the Hammerkavier.

After the Intermission he followed with “Surfaces”, a four-movement programmatic suite by Michael Brown, based on four abstract paintings by Roman.  The music uses tone clusters, and the quiet ending is described as a send-off into outer space.  Somehow this music reminded me of Michael Crichton’s 1997 novel “Sphere” with the 1998 film by Barry Levinson, about a spaceship discovered under the ocean.

The concert concluded with “Faschingsschwank aus Wien”, (“Carnival Jest from Vienna”) Op. 26, is a suite in five movements (B-flat), somewhat like a sonata, but with the first movement very episodic. The music is supposed to be a sequel to the Carnival, Op. 9, and is another example of Schumann’s building big works out if miniatures. ‘

I bought his autographed CD, which includes the Couperin “Ordre 18eme de clavecin”, a Sonata in A-flat by Haydn (who was not afraid of more black keys), and the 24 Preludes of Chopin.

Rabinovich likes to perform the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 (I’m not sure which first movement cadenza).  When meeting him, I forgot to ask him if he is familiar with the C#-Minor Piano Concerto if Amy Beach, or the first piano concerto (a mammoth one-movemen work) of Eugen D’Albert, whose form is inspired by the Liszt B Minor Sonata, but which adds a fugal cadenza and thrilling short finale at the end.

(Posted: Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 11:45 PM EDT)

“Command and Control”: our close brush with a nuclear explosion in Arkansas after an accident in 1980


Name: Command and Control
Director, writer:  Robert Kenner
Released:  2016
Format:  HD video
When and how viewed:  Landmark E St, 2016/9/23
Length 92
Rating NA
Companies: PBS, American Experience
Link: official 

Command and Control”, directed by Robert Kenner, for PBS and American Experience, gives a riveting account of the 1980 Damascus Titan Missile Explosion, near Little Rock, AK. It’s based on the book “Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, The Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety” by Eric Schlosser.

The incident happened because the maintenance protocol changed, and a technician overlooked it and brought the wrong torque wrench, late in the day Sept. 18, 1980.  A rivet fell 80 feet to the bottom of the bay (which was not netted) and bounced against the missile, causing a fluid leak, leading to eventual explosion   The feared nuclear explosion did not happen, but the film maintains that it could have gone off.

The initial team evacuated, and another team came in but could not prevent the blast, which killed one airman and severely burned several others.

Several politicians in Little Rock, where a Democratic fundraiser was being held, were told by phone and feared nuclear explosion. Bill Clinton was the young governor at the time and acted naïve.

The Air Force tried to keep the ultimate danger quiet, and disciplined several airmen and ended the careers of a few officers.  The technician got an Article 15.

The documentary uses a lot of stock footage and some models. Many of the men are still alive today, and talk about how gung-ho they were when in their 20s.  The film recapitulates several accidents, especially the crash over Goldsboro, NC in January 1961.

The director points out that nuclear weapons technology is vulnerable to unanticipated human error that can have catastrophic results.  There have been many other near misses.  One or two of them could have started WWWIII with the Soviet Union.  It’s also appropriate to consider the dangers posed by loose nuclear waste (Yucca mountain was mentioned in the QA, but materials in former Soviet republics are a big risk, as demonstrated in the film “The Last Best Chance” (2005) produced with the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

QA Session






(Posted: Friday, September 23, 2016 at 11:50 PM EDT)

“Salam Neighbor”: the “Living on One Dollar” filmmakers now experience a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan



Name: Salam Neighbor
Director, writer:  Chris Temple, Zach Ingrasci
Released:  2015
Format:  HD video
When and how viewed:  2016/9/22, Netflix instant
Length 75
Rating NA (PG-13?)
Companies: Living on One, Ryot
Link: official 

In “Salam Neighbor” (2015, “Salam Akaykum”, or “Peace Be With You”). Filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci follow up on work they did with “Living on One Dollar” (in Guatemala) now by spending a month in a Syrian refugee camp, Za’atari, less than ten miles from the Syrian border, in Jordan.

The young men (whose filmmaking style reminds me of Andrew Jenks) process through Jordanian authorities as if they were quasi-refugees themselves.  They set up their tent (with two or three other men).  But soon camp security advises them to spend the nights in Maifraq, where they are barely able to rent an office storage room to sleep in.

By day, the camp is one enormous, flat expanse of tents and white buildings in the desert, rather like an Army post. There’s one shot of a brief, intense haboob.

This particular camp has built up an underground “free market” economy of retail shops, so the standard of living for some people has slowly risen.  Lives are limited by the lack of more infrastructure, as with the resources of Jordan and UNHCR.

Women often work (sometimes their husbands died), which is novel for them since Syrian families had been patriarchal.  One woman makes about 200 headdresses a month, enough to make a living.

As the film progresses, the young American men start to bond with the kids, to an extent unusual in documentary film (I’m reminded of “The Mission in Belize”).  There is a complicated arrangement to provide some school, and Save the Children is active in providing support for teaching. The personal connections that the filmmakers make with the people could become significant if the US ever allows private sponsorship of refugees.

Toward the end, the film provides a retrospect of the ruins in Syria, from whom the refugees have fled. Many ruins are shown, yet some cities had been beautiful before, with canals and gardens.

Toward the end, the film provides some statistics, particularly on the volume of refugees that Jordan has absorbed.  One woman cannot support her kids and has applied for admission to the US as a refugee.  Canada has a private refugee sponsorship program but the US does not (for the most part), a subject covered in detail on my news commentary blog.

(Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 10 PM EDT)

“The List”: a “black” romantic comedy about the perils of upward affiliation in relationships


Name: The List
Director, writer:  Brandon Sonnier
Released:  2007
Format:  1.85:1
When and how viewed:  Netflix DVD
Length 92
Rating R
Companies: RossWWMedia, Warner Independent Pictures
Link: Black Film Festival

The List” (alternatively titled “I’m Perfect”), from 2006 and directed by Brandon Sonnier, at first sounds like genre “indie” black romantic comedy (rather like Tyler Perry), but in fact it broaches a “morally” important topic:  what happens when we approach romantic or intimate relationships expecting the other partner to be “perfect” enough?  Call this the “upward affiliation” problem (a term coined in the 1980s by conservative writer George Gilder).

The plot is heterosexual, and some reviewers have noted that this story would work regardless of the race of any character.   In more recent years, in fact, casting diversity has started to become a “political” flashpoint in Hollywood.

The story presents a young ad executive Lewis (Wayne Brady) who has a peculiar intellectual way of processing everything.  As a manager, he makes lists of goals.  For romantic partners, he makes lists of desired attributes.   Lew proposes to the perfect lady on his own reality television show, and she says “No” to the Big Question.  In fact, the lady retaliates by showing how far Lew falls from perfection himself. But Lew will not be deterred from using his “list” technique.  He soon has his eyes on Cecile, played by Sydney Tamiia Poiter (daughter of the actor Sidney Poitier, as from “In the Heat of the Night” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, both 1967).  He will experience his own battle of head vs. heart.

The film gradually gets back into his ad business, which involves casting and filming commercials in Los Angeles – somewhat away from the actual entertainment film business.

The “upward affiliation” problem can drag on the resilience of a population.  If people are too picky about whom they will bond with (enough to marry and raise children), or not willing to stay in an intimate relationship during physical adversity, a people becomes more vulnerable to adverse externalitie and even enemies.

The idea of a personal “list” has another implementation: one can have a private “list” of persons he or she thinks the most of or would fantasize getting intimate with, and “to hell” with everyone else.  Although, in my own short story “The Ocelot the Way He Is,” the ocelot doesn’t have clay feet after all.

(Published: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 at 9 PM EDT)

“Best Gay Romance”: explicit fiction, but sometimes hitting issues (like jury duty sequestration)


Author/Editor: Felice Picano
Title, Subtitle: “Best Gay Romance”
publication date 2016
ISBN 978-1-62778-092-6
Publication: Cleis, 206 pages, paper
Link: (2008 version site)

Best Gay Romance” is an anthology of 16 short stories, edited by Felice Picano, carrying on a series originally created and run by Richart Labonte.  The editor says that he sent out a call for submissions to over sixty gay writers, and he did get a lot of submissions.  The book, from Cleis Press, was available at Outwrite DC in August and I bought a copy.

The stories tend to be explicit.  They tend to see male homosexuality in terms of quickly coming to climax with genitals.  There is not usually an ambiguous buildup of tension where you don’t know where it’s going.  That’s more what I like, and I’ll come back to that.

The first story, “Transitions of Glass”, by Simon Bleaken, does remind me of a familiar setting from my own earlier coming of age.  A closeted gay man feels attracted to a charismatic coworker, and isn’t sure whether his idol might be gay.  In this case, the story comes to an explicit climax too quickly; the air is let out of the pliable balloon too suddenly.  Maybe that’s just men.

The fourth story, “Jury Duty”, is by Tom Baker, author of the novels” and “The Sound of One Horse Dancing” and “Paperwhite Narcissus”.  I met Tom at a gay book fair in New York in March 2012.  He graduated from William and Mary, but had a major incident there in 1963, two years after my own expulsion in the fall of 1961.  His first novel reflects the life of an educated man having to develop the street smarts of life as a hustler to survive.  The short story, which might be autobiographical, sets up a situation when the protagonist is sequestered early in jury duty because of the potentially controversial nature of the trial (set in New York).  Denied television, newspapers and Internet access, there is not much else to do but, well, find intimacy with another juror.  But, seriously, jury sequestration would be a serious issue for me if it ever happened, as I would lose all contact with my own “blogger journalism” operation.  Flirting during jury duty can indeed happen in real life.  I almost go into trouble over this in Dallas one time in 1986, as  explained here.   An important concept underneath all this is that jury duty, even if it can lead to an existential professional sacrifice, is a civic obligation, the way military service used to be.

My own sense of pacing in a gay-themed erotic story is expressed more in my own short story “The Ocelot the Way He Is”, the last item of my “Do Ask, Do Tell III” book, which is a little bit parallel to the 2006 film “Old Joy” (Kelly Reichardt), less so to “Bugcrush”.

(Posted: Tuesday, September 21, 2016 at 10:45 PM EDT)

“Lured”: riveting play shows targeting of gays in Putin’s Russia after 2013 law


Name: Lured
Author: Frank J. Avella
Released: 2016
Format: stage play  (official site)
When and how viewed: 2016/9/18, Theater for the New City NYC

Lured”, by Frank J. Avella and directed by Rod Kaats, finished its run at the Theater for the New City in the East Village in New York City Sunday night.

The brief (one hour) riveting play portrays the violence on gay men inspired by Russia’s “anti-gay propaganda law” passed in 2013.

The play comprises three scenes.  The middle scene occurs earlier, before the law was passed.

In the first scene, an oafish man is tortured after being lured by a sex ad.  A woman joins the torture.

The second scene presents more physically attractive characters, as the tormentor actually seems attracted to the young man he is kneading and undressing. It would be nice if the young man were facing the audience.   But a female raves about who gay lifestyles undermine the culture and future of Mother Russia.  This is obviously a reference to Russia’s low birthrate, and Putin’s idea that gay men will encourage other men to have fewer kids.  The play also often refers to irrational beliefs that gay men prefer minors.

The last scene returns the characters from the opening movement.  The two women create a confrontation, as the oafish man bleeds to death in a bathtub. The law seems to encourage police to look the other way, but the characters wonder whether to seek help after all.

I can throw cold water on the premise of the play.  Did the victims behave recklessly in responding to ads?  Or did they actually pick people up in bars who had disguised themselves as gay.  That’s always been rare in the U.S., but maybe it happens in Russia.

The cast includes Cameron August, John Ball, Carlotta Brentan, Cali Gilman, Brian Patterson, Dave Stishan, and Ian Whitt.

After the play, the actors and a party at Pinks, a nearby bar.  Later, at the nearby Bean, I met a screenwriter who showed me a script “Shared Needles”.  The ultimate indie film.  I recall doing table readings in Minneapolis, and attending formal readings of proposed films at the Jungle Theater on Lyndale in Minneapolis, back in 2002-2003.


(Posted: Monday, September 19, 2016 at 10 AM EDT)

“Snowden” by Oliver Stone and Gordon-Levitt not quite the real thing


Name: Snowden
Director, writer:  Oliver Stone
Released:  2016/9/16
Format: 2.35:1
When and how viewed:  2017/9/17, Cinepolis, NYC, 23rd St (Tribeca site)
Length 135
Rating R
Companies: Open Road
Link: Site

I don’t think that Oliver Stone’s new ongoing biography of Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is quite as powerful as Laura Poitras’s own “reality” documentary “Citizenfour” (see Index), because the real Snowden is so charismatic.  I’m reminded of Jesse Eisenberg’s playing Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network”.

The film, where Snowden tells his story in flashbacks, is a visually engaging account of his ardor, which started when he trained to be a Ranger and broke both legs because his bones couldn’t handle the stress.  That sounds like some sort of genetic condition, and I wasn’t aware that he had epilepsy, and had to avoid the meds to stay sharp on the job.

The film does display his brilliance on various contracts, such as the hippy Gabriel (Ben Schnetzer), his young Hawaii boss Trevor (Scott Eastwood), and various teachers and recruiters (Tom Wilkinson, Nicholas Cage), journalist Glenn Greewood (a youthful Zachary Quinto, still spock-like) and earnest filmmaker Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo) and girlfriend Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley). I thought I saw Oliver Stone in a cameo.

Much of the film centers on the Mira Hotel days in Hong Kong, before Snowden escapes (through a cooperative Asian family) to Moscow and seeks ironic political asylum. The film explains how “Xkeyscore” could spy on ordinary data that Americans don’t post in public mode in social media. It also documents the Guardian’s publication of the “NSA Papers” and shows how Snowden got the San disk out through security hidden in a Rubik’s cube.

I saw the film in the Cinepolis in Chelsea.  The theater allowed the film to complete over an hour after the explosion in the neighborhood, which we discovered when leaving the theater.

The film was produced and distributed as quasi-independent by Open Road.

(Published Sunday September 18, 2016 at 11 AM EDT)

“Extremis”, end-of-life care; “Conflict”, photographers explain their calling in filming war


Today, two more major documentaries on Netflix.

Extremis”, by Dan Krauss, 24 minutes, f/8 filmworks, records in real time the agonizing end-of-life decisions for several patients at end of life (I think in Chicago).  One is a homeless man, and two are African-American women surrounded by family, and one is a 38-year-old white woman.

The film is shot in Highland Hospital (Rochester, NY). It starts with a doctor trying to get a patient to write down what bothers her because she can’t talk over intubation. As the film progresses, the cases involve whether to keep patients intubated with breathing tubes.  Patients might linger for six months, into a vegetative state, or might live a day or two breathing on their own with family around them (in two cases).

Capital Hospice writes that it is important for family members to stay at the bedside of loved ones even when they are unconscious while passing away naturally.  There is more indirect evidence than ever that the soul gradually stays around before merging into an afterlife.  I’m not sure I could say I complied with that.


Conflict” (35 min, Ridflix), directed by Nick Fitzhugh, seems to be a “mini-mini-series” of reports from six conflict journalists about their work.   There is some interchangeability between the concept of “journalist” and “photographer”.

The strongest statement may come from Peter Moeller, who goes first, reporting from South Sudan.  Moeller says it is ironic that one the world’s youngest nations has the same hyperindividualistic position on self-defense (and “take care of your own first”) as the world’s leading democracy.  He says he is a conflict photographer and not a combat journalist for its own sake. He says that journalism should be service, and should be personal.  His message to his subject is “let me represent you.”  That sounds like something said in a sermon by youth at a local Presbyterian church here in northern Virginia back in 2012, almost the same speech.  (That church actually has an indirect ministry in that country.)  He also says that war is quiet, that it slowly eats lives away.

The next journalist is Jiao Silva, from South Africa, who reports first on the post-Apartheid violence in Johannesberg  (“Jo-berg”) and then from Kandahar in Afghanistan.  If I follow right, he is the person who loses both legs in combat and walks out in the last scene, long pants, on prosthetics.

The next journalist, Donna Ferrato, reports on domestic violence from New York City.  She gets into situations where she needs to intervene physically.  She encounters husbands who think they “own” their wives.  So some of the rest of us think we’re better than that.

There follows Nicole Tung, who, based in NYC, travels to Syria and crosses illegally from Turkey.  She loses two male reporter friends, the second of whom is beheaded publicly by ISIS.

Robin Hammond reports on the internal violence in the Congo, which, as Anthony Bourdain had explained in a CNN “Parts Unknown”, is indirectly a result of colonialism.  He notes the unfairness of life, and says “ignorance is not an alibi for inaction”, a aphorism that motivates his work.  He thinks he really makes a difference.

But Eros Hoagland, reporting from Mexico and Central America, sees his own profession as a bit of a spectator sport, that could get him killed.  He says, “we fear wolves because we never see them.” True, he rails against corruption in Central America as the reason why drug cartels run the countries.  But he says, if you want to help people, become a doctor and go overseas to poor countries.  I’m reminded of the doctors (and even one journalist) who got Ebola in Liberia and fortunately all recovered with intensive care back in the US or in Britain.

YouTube  preview link is here but disables embedding.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture from Syria-Turkey border by Kevorkmail, CCSA 3.0.

(Published: Friday, September 16, 2016 at 10:15 PM EDT)

DC Shorts: “Be Careful What You Wish For”, especially in post-Soviet “Subotika”


I got to one more DC Shorts program, “Be Careful What You Wish For”, a conservative adage.  It showed in a large auditorium at Landmark E Street.

The longest film shown was “Zero M2” or “Zero  Square Meters” (18 min, French) by Mathieu Landour.  An appealing young male graduate student (economics) arrives in Paris and looks for a flat to rent.  He finds a landlady willing to let him rent a room for a bargain basement price, and he doesn’t read the fine print on the lease.  So the room keeps shrinking.

The landlady, at one point, says she inherited the property, as if the inheritance came with strings (a “Dead Hand”) and social obligations.  So her goal is to increase the stock of affordable housing by shrinking the apartments into microtubules.

I wondered if this film could have been turned into a sci-fi story of being compressed into a black hole, and finding out what it would like to go into one.  If the black hole were really massive, you would be too sinful to notice,

Red Rover” (15 min, Australia), by Brooke Goldfinch, presents us with a young teen couple who don’t buy their evangelical family’s idea that an asteroid is going to destroy the world. They get out (after the family eats cyanide for dinner) to find the townspeople believe the same thing, and have a “motel hell” orgy.  The ending of the film will remind you of Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia”.

Subotika: Land of Wonders” (14 min, Switzerland, “realistic” animation), by Peter Volkart, has an appealing young couple taking their honeymoon in a hidden post-Communist (specifically Soviet) enclave, where slag heaps provide scenic attractions and communication is by pneumatic tubes.  The geography of the place reminds me of the wasteland in my own sci-fi screenplay “Baltimore Is Missing” which I entered into Project Greenlight in 2004. Actually, this film is fascinating to watch.  It looks like a real place, maybe on another planet.  Is this movie “conservative” (because of the obvious attack on Soviet-style collectivism) or “liberal” (because of environmental concerns)?

40h Anniversary” (14 min, Spain), shows a 60-something couple making confessions as they sit in an outdoors Madrid café.  The camera never moves.  The worst confession is that the husband euthanized his mother after she had become a vegetable through end-stage dementia, so he could get on with his life.

Boy-Razor” (12 min, Sweden, but with actors of color), by Peter Pontikis, has a troubled kid placing a razor blade in a crevice of a water slide to get even for being bullied.  We really don’t see many of the consequences.

Sundae” (7 min, Sonya Goody), has a mom driving around Queens asking her son for the house her female enemy lives in, with a reward of an ice cream sundae,

Mine” (about 12 min), filmed in Kensington Gardens, England, by Simon Berry, seems to be a last minute replacement.  A woman leads her husband to a spot in the woods where he steps on a mine (reminding one of a recent incident in Central Park that cost a teenager a leg).  But the dead hand is active.

Last Door South” (“Derniere Porte au Sud”) by Sacha Feiner, from France, wasn’t shown, but the “Making of” video (22 minutes) for this black-and-white animation story about a two-headed mom raising her two-headed son is fascinating,  The realistic animation is shot from models and puppets that took enormous painstaking work by many artisans to create.  I couldn’t easily recreate this with my own trainset downstairs.

(Posted: Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 at 11:15 AM)

“Introvert: The Friendly Takeover” by Linus Jonkman: how do the “four temperaments” compare to Rosenfels polarities?


Author: Linus Jonkman
Title, Subtitle: Introvert: The Friendly Takeover
publication date 2016
ISBN 978-91983276-18
Publication: Egonaut Consulting
Link: author

Introvert: The Friendly Takeover”, by Swedish psychologist Linus Jonkman, seems to retrace the territory of the 2002 book “The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World”, link to review in the Index. The new book appears to be self-published and translated from Swedish. Let me note that Jonkman uses the spelling “extravert” but I think it’s equally accepted.

My interest in the book is a moral one, to weigh some of my own decisions right now.  His psychological test at the end definitely show me to be profoundly introverted, although I think the labeling is misleading. For example, in high school I actually wore brightly colored shirts, which disturbed my roommate in College back in 1961 and started things downhill.  I can get into smalltalk sometimes, if it relates to something I know something about, like Major League Baseball.  I can prattle. I can blurt out like an extrovert, sometimes.  But in casual situations (unless I make a specific effort to the contrary), I tend to become a slob, and not care how I look (or how home looks — scruffy hospitality indeed).  But I can remember making an advised internal company transfer within Univac in the fall of 1973 because I “didn’t’ have a marketing profile.”  No, I don’t like gratuitous social contact just to huckster things.

Jonkman paints introverts as more careful, more focused, often more intelligent (in being about to solve new problems or “connect the dots” in new ways), and often risk averse.   They see around corners and calculate consequences. Introverts don’t like to be interrupted by salesmen pitching things out of the blue.  They guard their time.  They like others to be concise.   They also can make things that happen within their own minds (or dreams) into “real events”.

Extroverts are painted as living for the psychic pleasure of belonging to the group and competing for station in the group (or “station in life”). They are more likely to make a living selling someone else’s products or goals.  They may be more “partisan” in political behavior (at least that’s my theory).  They may place more moral weight on social solidarity within their group, even if the group is “wrong” about some things.  They may be louder in carrying picket signs.  They be somewhat more inclined to join ass movements (as in Hoffer’s “True Believer) or seek camaraderie in tribal behavior (as in Sebastian Junger’s “Tribe”, May 31). Jonkman concludes many short chapters with advice to extroverts.  Like call before you knock.

Introversion has sometimes been connected to mental illness, incorrectly.  Jonkman dispenses the idea that mass shooters are introverts, and dispels some other terms on p. 178. (words like asocial, shy, anti-social, unsocial).  I think some people would try to connect it with “schizoid personality disorder’, although that might categorize 25% of humanity, then.  I think Jonkman’s ideas show how extroverted personalities can sometimes become combative.

Jonkman says that moral culture a century ago was introverted.  Children were to be seen and not heard.  I would say that is authoritarian.  Jonkmam sees liberalization of social norms, especially starting in the 1960s, with culture’s gradually becoming extroverted.

. One central question would be how extraversion – introversion matches up with the personality categories (polarities) of Paul Rosenfels    I think that roughly speaking, extroverts have “balanced” personalities (masculine-subjective or feminine-objective) and introverts are unbalanced (feminine-subjective – me and Paul, or masculine-objective). Unbalanced personalities are more insistent on pursuing expressive goals chosen by them;  balanced personalities place more weight in fitting in to the group (and that can lead to bizarre problems on social media among immature teens).

But on p. 59 Jonkman presents a “Nolan chart” of the four personality types of Hans Eysenck, which become the “four temperaments” (Paul Hindemith’s symphonic suite, or Carl Nielsen’s Symphony #2).  Eysenck presents what Rosenfels calls balanced as “stable” and unbalanced as unstable.  Now, I have been much more stable than what would predicted thy theory, but this gets into the moral area, because I had some advantages others “like me” didn’t get. Rick Warren’s Christian idea of a “purpose driven life” probably appeals more to balanced personalities., you know, “It’s not about you”.   Some “evangelical Christians” have presented the homosexual as a “melancholy personality” (Tchaikovsky), but that does not correspond to the science (not even to Nietzche’s “The Gay Science”).

There’s a moral problem in that an introvert can “play coward” and, especially in an Internet-enabled world, benefit from the risk-taking of extravert others.  “People like me” don’t like to join groups and profess loyalty to leadership or to causes that serve narrower ranges of justice concerns (like “Black Lives Matter” or, for that matter, labor union solidarity). I’ve also been told “You don’t see people as people” because I don’t seem to get enough value from the personal interaction required to help people with adaptive needs.

Like Rosenfels, Jonkman provides an overview of “creativity”, but it seems less involved with the process of interaction with “real people” than with Rosenfels.

Jonkman mentions that many popular actors are introverts, including Christian Bale, Tobey Maguire, and Clint Eastwood.  Directors are often introverts.  He discusses a number of films (“Taxi Driver”, “Lost in Translation”, “Edward Scissorhands”, Amelie, “Gran Torino”.   Many Silicon Valley entreprenuers (like Mark Zuckerberg) seem to be well-developed introverts (and extrovert couldn’t have invented Facebook in his dorm room).   Journalists would need introversion traits to all the fact checking and dot-connecting.   I think some people are hard to characterize.  Inventor Taylor Wilson seems introverted, but Jack Andraka seems mixed (his older brother Luke appears more introverted).  Independent movie personalities like Jesse Eisenberg, Richard Harmon, Timo Descamps, and Reid Ewing seem very mixed and hard to characterize with Jonkman’s world view.  Cat lovers may be more introverted than dog lovers – but some people love both, and have different pets getting along.

It strikes me that Army Basic Combat Training was designed, at least in 1968, to force all young men into mandatory extroversion.

(Published: Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 3:15 PM EDT)