bill harris 
Member since May 15, 2007


Folly Beach

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Recent Comments

Re: “Best Coffee House

Perhaps Disneyland can create a Charlestonworld?

Posted by bill harris on May 16, 2007 at 10:38 PM

Re: “Best Coffee House

Fair enough: you're only offering data of the "what is, is" variety. Likewise, my apologies for having sounded personal. And as my belief, moreover, is that the role of criticism is to discourse upon the unfamiliar and the unaccepted, feel free to personalize me as "elitist snob", "marginal" ...whatever. Yet more to the point, without the likes of Ms Hackler your city might well become a mini Atlanta in the making. Treasure your Cassandras before it's too late.

Posted by bill harris on May 16, 2007 at 5:36 PM

Re: “Best Coffee House

Thank-you, Kristin. Charleston is ill-served by a writer who confuses "best" with "most popular" as, ostensibly, it's the critic's primary job to distinguish the two. Moreover, speaking as only a frequent visitor, it's amazing how I can discover haunts like Clara's while he cannot. More to the point, I was introduced to Clara's by a downtown resident upon simple inquiry. The appointments are warm and cozy; and far from mere politeness, both the staff and owner were anxious to get to know this first -time visitor as he stumbled out of a freezing December rain some two years ago. Hospitality in times such as this stick forever. The coffee was fresh --and not over-roasted!-- the grilled cheese was made to order, and I was even invited to stay for a game of chess. Now I make Clara's a definate stop whenever I'm in town, and have encouraged my friends in hometown Atlanta to do likewise. Indeed, I "warn" them that the service is not of the falsetto-italiano variety with an infinite variation on the theme of dull coffee plus steamed milk; but rather simple, elegant, refined, and fresh. Down-home kindness trumps high-fructose any day. Yet if our esteemed "critic" truly prefers the later perhaps he might reconsider relocation to that corporate-friendly and variance-challenged metropolis of North Georgia. Then you can take his job.

Posted by bill harris on May 15, 2007 at 9:28 PM

Re: “UNSCRIPTED ‌ The Bell Curve

It's not so much a question that The World is "out of balance" in the Navaho sense as, rather, what mode of balance exists in modern America. Our lives are such that presentation counts for everything; while labor, skill, and effort are nothing. This is to say that behind a concert violinist stands years of practice, a highly refined sensibility for sound, and a passion for expression. Classical music is created to make us think and feel; as is therefore redundant. On the other hand, as modern pop junk helps to cheer us up a bit as we slog through another day. It achieves a functional balance that the classics can only serve to disrupt, and the shallowness of its presentation mirrors the lives of those who choose to listen. It is as close to a heart as we’ll ever know in a heartless world. Balance is also a matter of the cost/benefit that an individual must weigh in any given situation. For example, I wouldn’t stop to listen if threatened with termination for lateness—and neither would you. So what we’re talking about is a balance of power, of sorts. For the self-empowered, a ten-minute hiatus from the grind by the subalterns is inexcusable, and on the balance sheet the aesthetic moment is simply unproductive. Moreover, the modern office politics of kiss up/ stomp down is not a talent held in great esteem by the creators of classical music themselves. As a result of personal refusals to compromise, many suffered hardship and early death for what we lucky few enjoy, and the repertoire itself is chock-full of works that satirize the crude inanity of the un-contemplated, balanced life. In short, art itself exists in order to un-balance. There is no natural state to which we can return—only a hopeful agitation to a more sensible existing.

Posted by bill harris on May 15, 2007 at 8:47 PM
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