34 thoughts on “The ghost ouside the machine

    1. Mark, That was actually his great great great great great great great great great …. grandpa consciousness

        1. Hey, it’s important to maintain thematic consistency – we’ve seen from the Bible what happens when you don’t 😉

          1. It’s actually a PET scanner which is more useful for determining areas of activity as opposed to structure.

          1. Well Freak Out! is the deal for me…cliche, of course and I can’t be honest with the songs because I know them but don’t know them. My Zappa indoctrination started with Hot Rats and continued forward. Hot Rats to me is one of the best rock creations ever recorded. MoI is fun and memorable, but I see it as a means to Frank’s early considerations. And Hot Rats was a very beautiful beginning (as a sophomore try). Sometimes I wish he went back to those roots. Yellow Shark/ Lather…tries to go back I think. But nothing like the young raw guitar master and arranger that was Zappa arranging Hot Rats.
            I also agree with people here that his 80’s live work is probably the best. He got better and better…like a true artist should. I don’t think about FZ much lately, but I like how he is a theme today. A spandrel of Jerry’s “Whipping Post” post. Gotta go to bed.

          2. It’s not a Mothers of Invention album, but I’d vote for Hot Rats. It’s one of the few instrumental works that can keep me interested all the way through, and it’s basically one 45-minute-long piece of music. I love all his wacky lyrics, but he was a master of composition.

            It’s also neat that he made up all of his guitar solos on the fly. Not an easy thing to do.

            His last project before he died, Yellow Shark – an orchestral work – received a 20 minute ovation on both nights despite him being almost entirely absent and unable to participate due to severe pain from cancer. It’s mostly not to my taste, but it’s an innovative work, and some parts are brilliant. It’s a shame that he died so young. In interviews whenever the topic of his cancer was broached, he seemed frustrated by his impending death and the cancer’s effects on his work, almost as though he had a lot more he wanted to do. He was just starting to get into alternative classical music projects in a big way – he had done some before, but they were relatively small and unpolished – and alternative classical music is actually what got him excited when he was young. I’d have really liked to see what new masterpieces Zappa could have brought us had he lived longer…

            1. Yeah…I know it’s not MoI…wasn’t clear on that. It was his sophomore solo act.

              I like what you have to say about his direction later in life. I enjoy parts of Yellow Shark too…it is brilliant, but much goes over my head I think.

              Re. his cancer, I remember an interview where he was really pissed-off at his doctor(s). He said he had urinary tract problems for a long time and they’d just send him home with antibiotics…so basically a mis-diagnosis that cost him his life. Really sad.

              At least Dweezil is continuing the legacy…or at least was. A number of years back I saw him on the Zappa plays Zappa tour. Was a fantastic show.

  1. Ooh those sly, tricksy ghosts in the machine. I suppose that the characteristic of ‘not being able to be examined by science because they don’t WANT science to see them!’ gets to flip flop between a necessary attribute and an accidental one, depending on whether or not some pseudoscientist on the fringe is claiming to have proven them or not.

    I think one of the most frustrating aspects of both the supernatural and the paranormal is the frequent assertion that God-ghost and ghost-ghosts only appear to those with humble, respectful, and above all expectant demeanor — as if these phenomenon were shy or suffered from low self-esteem.

    “A nonbeliever??!! That is just so hurtful. Sniff sniff. I won’t come out.”

    Notice how it frames the Believer rhwb as a sort of rescuer.

    “Well *I* believe in you even on meager evidence. I can love the weak hypothesis, I can. I feel your truth with my heart.”

    1. It took me a moment to get it, too. I think the joke is that dualism is real, but the ghost in the machine just hides whenever people actually go looking at how the brain works. Kind of like how the religious often say that prayer works, but only when you’re not testing it!

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