An inventive, perspective-broadening approach to examining different life philosophies.

The Worldview Theme Song Book

EXPLORING THE FEELINGS BEHIND WORLDVIEWS

A guide to various philosophies—presented musically.

In his offbeat and intriguing book, Cook (The Worldview Literacy Book, 2009) attempts to distill the world’s most prevalent cultural mind-frames into sets of objectively fair lyrics, then set those lyrics to the tunes of well-known rock and folk songs. A detailed opening analysis of human neuroscience and sociology includes a multipart discussion involving everything from Richard Dawkins’ concept of memes to the biochemistry of naturally produced substances such as oxytocin, “the cuddle chemical.” He then undertakes big-picture analysis of the underlying themes in what he sees as the 81 most prominent worldviews employed by humans today. The underlying themes are TFJD—thinking, feeling, joining, doing—which underpin worldviews ranging from monotheism to addiction to libertarianism to “Bitterness & Vengeance.” Cook attempts to generate lyrics describing all these views, and the results are unfailingly earnest. For instance, the lyrics for “Free Will” (sung to “Thick as a Brick” by Jethro Tull”) assure the listener: “I won’t interfere if you want to pray / May even laugh as you children play.” In “Apocalypticism” (sung to “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones), “The End Time is right now: / Fate all sealed and signed / I’m no believer, pal, I’ve been left behind.” Other lyrics are less successful. “Valuing Human Rights” (sung to “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen) goes: “Human Rights, we need to fight for them / Human rights, if not now, then when?” His attempts to assess the advantages of even the most repellant worldviews—scapegoating, fatalism, religious fundamentalism, etc.—aren’t always convincing, but open-minded readers will find them thought-provoking just the same.

An inventive, perspective-broadening approach to examining different life philosophies.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0962734946

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Project Worldview

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2015

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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