J.S. Bach Keyboard Partita selections – end of D Maj & start of the E Min (2013May30)

XperDunn plays Piano
May 30th, 2013

Selections from J.S. Bach’s
Keyboard Partitas

– end of D Maj & start of the E Min (2013May30)

Vincent Van Gogh (Self-Portrait)



This and thousands of other artworks are newly available for free download and non-commercial use–through the courtesy of The Nederland’s Rijkemuseum-site

Begin The Beguine by Cole Porter (1935)

XperDunn plays Piano
May 29th, 2013

My Piano Cover of
“Begin The Beguine” by Cole Porter (1935)


And one more Cole Porter tune:


In Memorium

20130422XD-Googl-Mandelbrot03So what are we dedicating in memory today? Fallen fighters, great men and women who make the ultimate sacrifice—and all those whose sacrifice is drawn out over a long life of ‘walking wounded’ through their days—and all soldiers, really, it seems (now that we’ve accepted Post-Trauma-Stress as a disorder, rather than a sign either of cowardice or of a non-battle-related psychosis) we should be laying wreaths at the graves of their innocence and peace of mind, amputated forever from all who see combat, even if they returned to us apparently unscathed by bullets or shrapnel.

And how could they not? Many third-world places ‘live’ in PTSD, their society is arranged around PTSD—as would yours if you had to physically scramble for the bits of food that represent either starvation or survival for your entire family—every day, and hiding from bands of mercenaries (or in some cases, the US military).

We are raised to be civilized in most of our country—with growing areas of unrest due to economic hardship of a depth and duration not seen since the 1930s. Perhaps we are wrong to do so. Perhaps we should raise our kids as the Spartans did, preparing them for war from the moment of their birth. Or we could just enlist recruits from those areas of our nation which see conditions not unlike the third-world.

Whatever we do, it will still be nothing compared to the firefights and kill-zones our children encounter when sent to the Middle East (or elsewhere) as soldiers—if our children fight, all our tenderest, most loving hugs and kisses will be wasted. Worse, we provide them with a past the memory of which is part of the torture of seeing combat—the tremendous contrast, the overwhelming urge to return to the land of the ‘living’, makes their nightmare worse.

Are we to remember the victories they fought and died for? What did we win in Iraq? Nothing worth Americans’ lives and blood. What are we still trying to win in Afghanistan? Our enemy, Bin Laden, was living in the country next door—the war in Afghanistan made it easier to muster up a helicopter night raid into Pakistan to kill Osama. Have we freed the Iraqis and the Afghans? Not really—they have their own way of freeing themselves and we seem to be in the way.

So I think it is just and proper that we remember, on Memorial Day, that our fighting men and women do their duty, same as the Light Brigade, and we should be serious about sending them in harm’s way. They will fight and die and bleed, and they will always win (a real plus, as armies go) whether they are sent on a fool’s errand or in defense of our freedom. So perhaps, more importantly, we should remember the next time we go to war, as we do today, that it is no small thing to send crowds of our best young people into an orgy of violence.

Osama Bin Laden proved this to us—he relied upon our willy-nilly response to the 9/11 debacle to trick us into spending rivers of cash to ‘close the barn door’, if you will. This, with a little help from greedy Americans, caused our economic implosion five years ago. We beat the Soviets the same way (which makes it even more galling) by scaring them into outspending their means on the ‘war-tech race’ that ended the Cold War—and the Soviet Union.

So we look with pride on the heroes in uniform today and yesterday, particularly those who never came home, and we feel the security they provide to this entire country—and we steel ourselves for the future. For only by keeping our military out of questionable conflicts can we solemnize our responsibility to make sure their blood isn’t ever on our own hands.

It’s Scarier When it’s Real


It’s Scarier When it’s Real


(Pardon this re-post from a year ago–I posted it before I acquired all my new friends and followers.)

(c) April 2013 Xper Dunn

(c) April 2013 Xper Dunn

I would also like to point out the ‘Christopher Dunn’ StreetArticles.com site contains 70 essays/articles on a wide range of current events, scientific and artistic developments, and popular culture. It would be nice if a few people read some of them before they are rendered moot by the passing of time.


And there is one more thing I wished to point out:

If you read one of my posts, on this site or my others, please remember to click ‘like’ or make a ‘comment’–anything at all that lets me know I’m not talking to an ’empty room’. I’d be so appreciative….


Improv – Rascality [with ‘Sweet Baby James’ piano-cover] (2013May21)

XperDunn plays Piano
May 21st, 2013

Improv – Rascality

[with a ‘Sweet Baby James’ piano-cover ‘chewy center’ – courtesy of the great James Taylor]

Good Word of Mouth


Tuesday, May 21, 2013                   8:52 PM


(paintings by Correggio)



I’ve been stumped for writings lately—maybe I’ve finally run dry of grumpy-old-man-op-ed essays—who knows? I’d actually like that, I think… I only write those things because I want to expel the bile that festers at my brain when I see intentional stupidity and intentional harm. I’m no cynic—the people that own everything are intentionally making our lives worse—intentionally widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots.


What’s worse is, we help them do this—every time we take a paycheck to look away—supporting a family is no excuse, it only makes it worse, since we are destroying the society they will inherit, while we collaborate in the name of ‘supporting them’. What is the answer? When an entire town is centered around a military complex, what do we do with those townspeople when The Base gets abandoned due to budget cuts? Do we keep it open for the sake of the town? That only sounds correct to the townspeople, god bless’em. Does the government simply walk away, and leave the gutted town to turn ghost in their wake? That sounds wrong to everybody. So, we see at once that simple solutions are not to be had. What do we do?


Do we go out and protest in public? To me, that always seemed like giving too much power to the opponent—telling them to act, instead of us acting on our own initiative—though I suppose the media attention (if you could catch it, and for as long as it lasts) would be valuable. We’d have to come off as the ‘good guys’ on camera, though—and pissed-off people rarely look like ‘good guys’, at first glance.


Sensible people might point out an obvious solution—enact a program of decommissioning an entire ‘economic zone’, not just the Base it once supported. Find (or Found) businesses that are a good match with the town’s focal skill sets. In areas where closing the Base means total evacuation (say mid-desert, like) then enact a program to place the townspeople in other towns still operating as theirs once did. It would still be a breakup of the community, but it doesn’t have to be an economic disaster as well. Letting a whole town full of people go dead broke will cost a lot more, in the long run, than helping them transition to new homes and new jobs.


But all you sensible people out there know the chances of that course of action—none to little. So let’s think about political solutions that approximate the sensible solution. The last two days in Oklahoma have seen recording-breaking tornados (in both size and wind-speed) that devastated communities in Tornado Alley. So we liberals may enjoy the very bleak comfort of saying ‘I told you so’ to the climate-change-deniers, but down in Okie country the praying has been non-stop—the people there have put their faith in the lord—and so cannot be harmed. That explains why they would choose live in an area called ‘Tornado Alley’.


I just know we could be doing all of this stuff so much better if there were better people in politics—but I’m damned if I’m gonna spend time with those nut-jobs. That’s why we need young people in politics—we used to insist on old people because our elders tended to know more than the rest of us. I’m getting into ‘old guy’ territory myself these days—and I can assure you, the people my age and older are as likely to be swamped by the Future Shock Wave that is remaking the globe as they are to have depths of wisdom–which applied to an earlier, pre-internet age—and so may no longer have any relevance to our present times, anyhow!


Only the young guys and gals can even appreciate these new fulcrums of power, and the consequences of blindly trying to do business in the past. Plus, younger men and women are less ‘free for the purchasing’ than old cronies whose lives have always been defined by business. Today’s global business is a threat to humanity—soon, a tiny group of uber-bankers will own the entire world—and us with it, since we’ll all need to make a living.


In the old days, when America and Big Business were synonymous, the famously quoted ‘business of America—was Business’. But that is no longer true. The business of International Mega-Corporations is ‘Business’—the business of we Americans has become ‘fighting a rearguard action against global corporate culture in an attempt to resume control of our own government’. That’s the new business of America.


I’m tired of being proud of my country—it’s that right-or-wrong business—there is so much wrong with our society, our industry, our quality of life, and our Freedom from Fear—and then up pops these Tea Party people-Doh! You know, if the Cold War was still ongoing, I’d be sure that the Tea Party was a fifth-column action to make a nonsense-of-shouting out of what were once the Founding Documents, to turn Freedom of Expression on its head by using it as a shield against those who accuse them of hate-speech—and using Freedom of Religion to suggest that it implies their particular faith is the Default Faith for the whole country.


Their ignorance is epic—but that’s OK, cuz they don’t hold much stock in all the edjicashun nonsense, no how. They are a tremendous threat to our nation. They are the pawns of folks like the Koch Bros. and they even act against their own self-interest—when that runs counter to whatever mind-boink of a narrative cheerleaders like Sarah Palin are feeding them through the mass media they all despise so indignantly—it’s pure stupid, and hold the rest, out there in Tea Party land.


So I’ll be happy to be proud of my country when we start taking it back from the private interests of the super wealthy. I think we should start by refusing to respond to any TV or internet advertising—let’s all agree that we’ll only vote for a candidate when someone we trust gives that candidate a good reference. We should all unite in refusing any electioneering from anyone we don’t know and respect. Word of mouth will be the only criteria that we will base our decision on. And we disqualify all of the incumbents just to make it a clean start. (If we lose a good congressperson, we’ll come to re-elect that person, in time—but we must sand the floor before we slap on the new paint.)


A total re-boot of federal representation via word-of-mouth may result in something more democratic than the moneychangers we endure today—but even if it doesn’t work, they’ll do no less than the last decade of blockage -and- it’ll keep the crooks busy enough to slow their insatiable greed.


Word of Mouth Only! Word of Mouth Only!

Chant it with me now—


Word of Mouth Only! Word of Mouth Only!

Wrong-Way Harrigan

Things get reversed for the slightest reasons. I’m drinking coffee right now—it was made hours ago and I put too much sugar and cream in it. It doesn’t taste as good as the last cup—but I know if I were starving or dying of thirst, this simple mugful would seem nectar from the gods. Whenever I’m not enjoying my food, I try to imagine I’m in a death camp—I take small bites and chew for longer than I usually do—sometimes enjoyment is missed simply because we pass by too quickly.

It’s always ‘backwards-day’, in my view. I have found that ceasing to need to find something makes it suddenly appear—and you can’t fake it, it only works if you’ve really stopped caring. Another example is from our younger days, when Claire and I would frequently dine at the finest restaurants (and this was back before they outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants). Claire and I joked one night that my having just lit my cigarette was the cause of the waiter’s appearance with our next course. But we used it ever afterward—when we would tire of waiting for our food, I would light a cigarette and, voila!—our food would appear. It was really quite effective and rarely failed us.

And I am prone to noticing these things because I’m a great ‘achiever’—I want to get things done, I want to close that sale, I want to make friends and influence people. But I never do a proper job of it—no one who goes straight at their objectives ever has an easy time of it. The truly successful people in the world are those who want to avoid specificity, and straight lines.

A banker, for instance, will never look you straight in the eye, having just heard your uninterrupted business-proposal pitch, and say, “Loan approved, my good man.” Life doesn’t work like that. It took me a long time to appreciate the importance of being comfortable—comfortable people are in no hurry—they cannot be frustrated by long pauses, additional questions, or verbal BS without end. They are the ones who still have half their drink left when everyone else in the meeting room is trying to pretend they’re not chewing on the ice cubes.

Of all the things a person does, being patient, not being in a hurry, and most certainly not being eager, is one of the most important—successful people never buy during scarcity or sell during a glut—they wait. Successful people like to complicate things—they don’t waste a transaction when they can also use that transaction as leverage for some other, future transaction. Successful people are rarely gracious, although they will go to great lengths to appear so—being truly gracious is simply too much overhead and extra time for successful people to spare.

Successful people try to appear under many disguises (the better to eat you with, my dear): the knowing old man, the sensitive person, the philanthropist, the concerned friend. All these masks have been so effective over time that even corporations will try to wear the same masks—‘at Gadzooks, Inc. we really care…’, ‘Mutual of Plymouth helps protect you from the unexpected.’, or try, ‘We at BigOilDotCom are ensuring a cleaner world for your children and your children’s children.’ And to finalize the confusion, there actually are such things as ‘knowing old folks’, ‘sensitive people’, philanthropists, and concerned friends!

Advertisers use these transparent manipulations because they work. And they have worked, on a more face-to-face level, for centuries. People want to believe—they want to trust—and that’s very nice. But it’s really great from the standpoint of manipulative, non-linear, successful people who want to get something from someone less ‘worldly’.

That word bothers me—‘worldly’—as if learning about the commonness of human deception automatically equals the taking up of this practice without question. We who feel too soft to join in are despised out loud by the players and shakers. They assume we despise them, silently, in return—but we are more likely to feel sorry for their jaundiced view of life and the way in which such an attitude prevents anyone from ever finding happiness, or even contentment.

And there is another example—to pursue happiness itself is a foregone failure—one only finds happiness in forgetting oneself. This is often cited as a reason for charitable activities—but one needs only to forget oneself—it is not strictly necessary to serve others. Hence the popularity of movies, books, TV, hobbies, and gardening. Of course, there is nothing wrong with charity—but it should not be held up as a highway to happiness, only as a righteous activity—and an opportunity, for some, to forget themselves in service to it.

But this is just one aspect of ‘backwards-ism’ in daily life—we are happiest when we forget ourselves. Also, we are at our most capable when we don’t watch ourselves too closely. I used to be very good at eight-ball—I would make incredible shots simply by taking them without lining them up or aiming at all—it’s that ‘Zen’ thing—as soon as someone exclaimed at how great a shot I’d made, I would become too self-aware, and I always missed the next shot because of it.

That may even explain the ‘beginner’s luck’ phenomenon—on our first try at something new, we haven’t yet learned what to worry about doing wrong—we have no precedents to trip ourselves up with.

When we can’t quite remember something, we have to wait until we’ve stopped trying to remember before the memory will return. When we try to be friendly to others, we get tongue-tied—but if two people, total strangers, say waiting on line together, see a kid being really cute, and their eyes meet, they experience something together and they suddenly feel a connection that no amount of small talk would engender.

My motto has always been ‘Moderation in all things—including moderation’. It speaks directly to the issue of ‘backwards-ness’. If I like to eat something, I eat too much and I never enjoy eating it again. If I enjoy reaching out to others, I do it too often, and people begin to avoid me. If I want to be able to concentrate, suddenly the whole world is knocking on my door, ringing my phone, and emailing me multiple times. If I feel like company, the whole world has gone out of town for the week.

We delude ourselves with the concept of ‘qualities’. Example: “Women are weak”. It’s true. But it’s only true in one way—upper body strength and aggressiveness. In all other ways, Women tend to be superior—they’re better insulated against cold, they have greater stamina, their pain-tolerance is much greater, and they are less vulnerable to stress. I remember much was made of this subject at the time of the ‘Space Race’—the question arose, “Can women handle the rigors of space-flight?” and one pundit’s op-ed pointed out that, from a purely biological point of view, women were in fact better suited to space travel than men.

Women, though incredible, are not perfect. They have that whole menstruation meshegas to deal with every lunar month. Men are always quick to jump on that fact whenever the subject of female superiority is broached. We’re drones, trying to find self-justification in a women’s world—we can’t help it. But it is only ‘backwards-ness’—women are stronger but weaker, women are steadier but less steady. I think that’s what the whole Yin-Yang thing is about—everything contains its opposite because it wouldn’t be ‘everything’ if you left out opposites.

“Who Needs To Dream” by Barry Manilow (2010Oct13)


I was rummaging around in my old Youtube Channel ‘xperdunn’ uploads and I came across this interesting span of days’ works:

“Who Needs To Dream” by Barry Manilow (2010Oct13)
XperDunn plays Piano
Oct 13th, 2010



Selections from “The Joan Baez Songbook” – Part 1
XperDunn plays Piano
November 1st, 2010


Selections from “The Joan Baez Songbook” – Part 2
XperDunn plays Piano
November 1st, 2010


Selections from “The Joan Baez Songbook” – Part 3
XperDunn plays Piano
November 1st, 2010



“Two Improvs -Ocean Waves & Pageant Procession”
XperDunn plays Piano
October 16th, 2010



The History Of Popular Songs – Episode Five (2013May07)

XperDunn plays Piano
May 7th, 2013

The History Of Popular Songs – Episode Five

Three New Videos on YouTube


Improv – She Enters The Saloon   (2013May05)

XperDunn plays Piano
May 5th, 2013

Improv – She Enters The Saloon


[from The FitzWilliam Virginal] –    (2013May05)

“Woods So Wilde” & “O Mistris Myne”   by Wyllyam Byrde

XperDunn plays Piano
May 5th, 2013

from The FitzWilliam Virginal:
Two Works by William Byrd–

“Woods So Wilde”
“O Mistris Myne”


“Whiter Shade Of Pale” (cover) & tribute/Improv   (2013May04)

XperDunn plays Piano
May 4th, 2013

“Whiter Shade Of Pale” (cover) & tribute/Improv


The History Of Popular Songs – Episode Four (2013May03)

XperDunn plays Piano
May 3rd, 2013

The History Of Popular Songs – Episode Four

(covers of “Sweet Baby James”, “White Room”, and “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”)