Thursday, 1 March 2018

The Twaklinesque Decorum Forum

The appropriate use of style in relation to subject matter distinguishes the serious arts and sciences from less serious activities.  Most forms of entertainment have little decorum.  Most business models have little decorum either, and nor do most political parties.

This forum will continue over the next few days.  It may even continue after the South Australian State Election.  That is still more than two weeks away.

My name is Sister Cyannce La Burra-Tree.  I am one of the Custodians of the Adelaidezone Gateway.

Whether you believe elections are serious activities or not is very much up to you.  However, policy proposals are rarely presented with sufficient Poetics.

If you agree that elections in your part of the world have little in common with Ars Poetica, how much of that view is dependent upon your prior education?

Which election campaigns have been epic, from your point of view?

Which have been comic and which have been tragic?

And what have you made of the style of the rhetoric used?

Although you may not yet have read the Rhetorica ad Herennium in relation to a recent or forthcoming election, doing so may be a good idea before you next vote.

There is a possibility that political life in many societies could be improved through the use of poetic diction, especially when politicians and political candidates address the news media, or indirectly address the public through the news media and a variety of marketing and public relations firms.

In this ethereal theatre, the epic is usually preferred.

In much of the rest of Villa Twaklinikawt, at least when members of the ordinary public are present, didacticism is preferred, in the hope that autodidacticism is second nature to those visitors.

Elsewhere in the Adelaidezone, and in Adelaide and South Australia more generally, a more bucolic, pastoral style of communication is usually required.  This is particularly the case on and around sporting fields.

Politics is usually conducted in a mock-heroic style in Australia, though I have noticed that several fantasy genres are current preferred for election campaigning purposes.

During the Twaklinesque Decorum Forum, the Mozarty Party Climatologically Cool 100 countdown is likely to continue.  We are currently awaiting news of number 17.

If you are inadequately familiar with the Twaklinesque or the Mozarty Party, why is that?

Just as there have been many different perceptions of the first Age of Enlightenment, and what it meant in terms of influence, who and what is shaping the consistent and unified meaning of the second Age of Enlightenment?

What do you believe to be the relationship between enlightenment and decorum?

How are you contributing to the 21st century Enlightenment?

Are you doing so with sprezzatura?

Do you make your art seem natural?

Are you willing and able to protest against injustice through the most subtle and exquisite means?

Do you address corruption and other abuses through the use of tasteful, justifiable humour?

If you have been teaching yourself about the Twaklinesque for several years, you should be able to answer those questions quite well by now.

Most people are usually bored by the excessively expected, especially when the excessively expected is already known to be boring.  This is particularly obvious during election campaigns.

Meaningfulness is found through an acquaintance with Twaklinology.  Are you a Twaklinologist?

To be a Twaklinologist is to investigate relationships between creativity and fairness in a scientific way.

Rather than denying or distorting history, the Twaklinesque, the Twaklinist and the Twaklinological always draw upon the past as accurately as possible, and transform that information appropriate in the service of current circumstances.

The practitioners never seek publicity or popularity for themselves, though they do not mind if their intelligently creative approaches to societal problems become popular with voters and are subsequently implemented properly.

The Twaklinesque uses elegance and imagination for ethical and aesthetic purposes.

The Twaklinist uses reason and elegance for compassionate, egalitarian purposes.

The Twaklinologist uses evidence, elegance and reason for scientific purposes.

Twaklinesque, Twaklinist and Twaklinological practitioners respect the value of cultural and natural heritage.  They often perform together as accomplished collaborators.

The dangers of the mob are as clear in the minds of such practitioners as the dangers of oppressive regimes.

No-one associated with Twaklin-derived concepts would ever convey aggressive language, or express indecorous actions.

In their work, the Twaklinists, in particular, highlight the educational, historical, psychological, ethical and aesthetic qualities of enlightened cultures.

I am trained mainly as a Twaklinologist through I have recently been learning more about Twaklinist approaches to the expression of scientific knowledge.

How do you tell the difference between the Twaklinesque, the Twaklinist, the Twaklinological and other associated practices?

Have you ever completed a Twaklinoviacy?

Have you ever participated in other accomplished collaborations?

When faced with meaninglessness, many people turn to irrationality, through entertainment and other consumerist habits.  They abuse their bodies.  They abuse their minds.  That in itself is distressing, and possibly depressing, to enlightened observers.

Fortunately, my sisters and I, from the secular Order of the Perpetual Wait, have acquired an exquisite sense of humour through our daily devotions.  We put our minds well above the despair we observe in the wider world, without losing our compassion, our reason or our imaginations.

In this Twaklinesque Decorum Forum, I am here to answer any questions you have been unable to satisfy elsewhere.  Obviously, I expect you to be well acquainted with the library generously opened to the public by the Duke and Duchess of Wikipedia.

What does the word decorum mean to you?

Does it have anything to do with moral integrity?

Does it have anything to do with enlightenment?

Does it have anything to do with management?

Does it have anything to do with sprezzatura?

Does it have anything to do with artistic integrity?

Does it have anything to do with auditions?

I have just received news that the work at number 17 in the Mozarty Party countdown is a sonata?

Do you know the difference between a sonata and a cantata?

Are you musical at all?

My first experience of the Order of the Perpetual Wait was when I heard its choir, quite by accident, whilst visiting a relative in Nilkawt.  Are you a Nilkawtian?

I went walking alone one day in the Dadadian Mountains and heard the most beautiful choir, echoing around me.  I listened there in amazement, quiet still. Then, tears started streaming down my face.

The sky was clear.  The landscape was almost as dry as the Nilkawtian sense of humour.  There were therefore no streams or creaks or waterfalls nearby but I had ensured I was not dehydrated.

But why was I crying?  I had no reason to cry except that I was alone in a strange, slightly parched landscape and I could hear voices, beautiful voices, singing in harmony, with elegantly Twaklinesque phrases about saving the world and creating peace everywhere.

I had read a few pieces of Twaklinesque poetry in a Twaklin Anthology, placed at my bedside by my Nilkawtian aunt, prior to my arrival.  I could not understand them.  I had not been trained to appreciate their symbolic meanings, but the poetry in the mountains was obviously Twaklinesque to me.  I had at least grasped the ability to identify their contextual structure.

Classical music of the Mozartian sort is noted for its formal structure.  Only initiates understand that structure deeply.  It is the same with the Twaklinesque.

My prior, main career was as an ecologist.  That was why I was exploring the Dadadian Mountains.  There are several unique biotopes there.

I had been fortunate enough, with the assistance of my aunt, Professor Gaia La Burra-Tree, to be one of the first non-Nilkawtians permitted into the conservation zone of the mountains.  Even most Nilkawtians are usually banned from entering that area.

Why, then, could I hear an entire, angelic choir?

As I looked up, there they were, singing away in twelve, shimmering hot air balloons, floating high above me.  One of the ladies, for they all appeared to be ladies, was playing a harp.  Another was playing a lute.  They all sang gloriously together, polyphonically.

They sang of ecosystems and food webs.  They sang of microclimates and trophic levels in their strophic songs.  They sang of Pterophyllum and Apis mellifera.  They sang of holism and evolution and pollination.  They sang of phylogenetics and biogeography.  They sang of mutualisms and symbiosis.

Do you sing?

Do you write songs?

The choir of floating ladies sang of photosynthesis and phytoplankton and the Anthropocene, all in minor keys.  They sang of geo-political landscapes and the Red Queen hypothesis.  They sang about thermodynamics and ecological resilience.

They sang about the dynamic equilibrium of biogeochemical cycles.  They sang about thermoclines and orographic lift, and then they floated away, out of sight and out of range of my hearing.

As you can imagine, I was not expecting to have such an experience.  My main research interest, at that time, concerned the mycological aspects of soil fertility.

My aunt had mentioned that the conservation area contained the rare but highly nutritious Agaricus cacao, deep blue in colour, much like a Lactarius indigo but three metres tall and tasting strongly of milk chocolate, even when uncooked.  I had not believed my aunt until I spotted one, shortly before seeing the ladies in the sky.

It caught my eye, down in a valley, full of butterflies and purple-blossomed trees.  I attempted to clamber down the steep bank but there were dense, thorny shrubs in my way, also covered in butterflies but with tiny, daisy-like flowers.  

But I am forgetting myself, just as I did then.  You are expecting to hear about a sonata by Mozart.  Do you know the difference between a sonata form and a sonata as a work?

You are probably also wondering how this forum is to be formally facilitated. That is understandable.

Have you ever facilitated a forum?  I may ask you to assist me in a few moments, even if you have never done such a thing before.

Well, at number 17 in the countdown, we have the Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332/300k.  No-one is quite sure, exactly, when and where Mozart wrote it.  He did not, I am sure, write it in Adelaide or Nilkawt.  He may have written it in Paris or Salzburg or Mannheim.

Fortunately for us, he did not leave it unattended in a coach in France.

As you may be aware, Don Giovanni, has already been part of the countdown.

That character had no respect for decorum at all, like the thief of a valuable painting.

Yet music has great power when used appropriately.

Are you a practitioner of sound art?

There is little decorum evident when sound interferes negatively with other people's enjoyment of a time and place.

Everyone could have a much easier life if noise and other intrusions could be appropriately managed.

The topic of abusers and the arts has been discussed here recently, with suitable decorum, of course.  No-one with decorum discusses disgusting habits, except whilst remedying them.

You may already be aware that wit is the only antidote to exasperation.

Are you listening carefully?

There was much decorum at the recent Australian Political Reform Club presentation here.  There is little decorum in Australian politics, hence the urgent need to reform it through suitably beautiful leadership.

Ladies, particularly scientific ladies, especially desire decorum, for both personal and professional reasons.

What were your impressions of the recent two-part presentation here on science for ladies?

Were you able to answer all the questions relating to part one?

Were you able to answer all the questions relating to part two?

Throughout my life, I have been interested in rarity, whether in nature, or the arts, or in manners.  There are rare diseases and rare fungi.   You may even have had a disease caused by a fungus.

On my Nilkawtian journey, I was particularly keen to examine the mycorrhizal associations of Agaricus cacao.  I continued on my way, horizontally along the steep hillside, hoping to find a gap in the thorny shrubs.  There was a gentle breeze.  It was early in the afternoon.  I hope to reach the valley to unpack my small picnic there.

As I was watching the butterflies around me, I did not notice the large, exposed root under my foot.  I tripped and fell and tumbled down into a half-hidden gully.

Down and down I went, suddenly finding myself rolling and sliding under a thorny shrub and out the other side.  I tried to cover my head with my arms as best I could and I worried I may lose the pack on my back.  After all, I was feeling very hungry by then.

I came to a stop after bumping into something seemingly soft and squashy.  It was an Agaricus cacao.  The impact of my body against it had knocked it over.  I felt rather guilty for that, knowing it to be so rare.  But as I looked around there were several more still standing, towering above me as I lay on the ground.

The butterflies nearby were hovering around little daisy-like flowers, similar to the ones on the thorny bushes now above me.  Yet I was most intrigued that the leaves were similar, too, though there were no thorns, as far as I could see.

I could see no purple-blossomed trees in that area.  They were at some distance away from where I then sat.

It appeared to me that the butterflies were all of one species, though I did not know which one.  The wings were pink.  That is all I can really remember about them.  I was more interested in the large, blue mushroom next to me.

I crawled over to its cap and broken off a tiny piece to try.  I nibbled the edge.  It certainly did taste like milk chocolate.  I love chocolate.  I tried a little more, just to make sure I was imagining it.

That was when I noticed the ladies floating past.

My first instinct had been merely to wave at them.  But I felt powerless to do anything but listen and watch.  That was when the tears welled up in my eyes.

I then used the mushroom as a pillow and wondered why I was crying.  I was not in pain.  I knew the way back up the hillside.  I had a map and a compass, a bottle of water, a recyclable fork and a plastic box containing a very well-tossed Nilkawtian salad of chopped vegetables and herbs with sprouted grains, beans, seeds and olive oil.

But I was no longer hungry.  I was merely tired, so I thought, though I may also have been, quite naturally, in shock.

I wiped my eyes and nose on my sleeves as I had forgotten to pack any tissues or a handkerchief.  My straw hat had somehow stayed on my head though it was a little worse for wear.  I then remembered I had put my arms over it to protect myself.  My poor hat had also become rather more dilapidated as I tried lying down in it, so I took it off and inspected it carefully.

Then I heard the ladies again, but only about three or four of them.  I tried to get up to clamber around to the other side of the mushroom to where their voices appeared to be.  What a mess I must have looked to them in their beautifully clean habits.

They were dancing with the butterflies and singing about polymorphism and metamorphosis and structural colouration and flower constancy.  I then noticed one of the ladies was carrying a small backpack.  They stopped singing and one of them greeted me warmly by name.  They then examined me attentively, took my pulse and examined my eyes and swabbed my face and gave me a tissue with which to blow my nose properly.

My aunt had not told me that the ladies were, and are, the care-conservators of all natural environments in Nilkawt.  Perhaps she thought such information was irrelevant to my scientific interests.

While the other ladies had returned to their remote headquarters, the Abbey of Needle's Eye, the ones then examining me had landed after first noticing one of the mushrooms was not as it was the previous day.   They spotted my presence and thought it would be wise to investigate the situation.

Their main concern, it turned out, was that they were afraid I might be attempting to steal some spores.  The ladies had, for many years, been attempting to grow cultivated Agaricus cacao for the philanthropic export market, but without success.

They helped me up and we walked, slowly, back to their biogas-powered balloon.  They helped me into the basket and encouraged me to eat my salad as we sailed away.

We have given up attempting to cultivate the mushrooms.  I am sure the world with think that a great pity.

But now I have other, more urgent duties.  Cultivating good manners is just as important as the cultivation of nutritious, delicious foods.  I hope to do so as musically and poetically as possible.