Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Art of Translation


Aren’t machines wonderful? Well, yes, sometimes, when they work. Like the opportunity for me to have a daily “newspaper column” without going to journalism school and actually having to get hired. (This blog). But as I’ve always said and will keep on saying, keeping the machine servant to the human and with living/breathing back-ups is the best arrangement, whether it be with phone calls (where I’m always screaming at the robot “Agent! Agent!”), parking lot exits (“This machine will not accept your card” while the cars behind you are honking) or translation. Someone from Russia wrote something on Facebook praising my work and here is what Google translator said:

With Doug Gudkinym I met 10 years ago on ruf-seminar in novgorod. I was shocked by them as a musician. All the sounds, what we did, great sounds, had a form and content!
 Maybe it was my first standard and benchmark, who sat in my head. Music should always be, even if it's simple! Otherwise, it's primitive! Thank you Doug for science and example.

Huh?! Well, I can help a little. “Gudkinym” is “Goodkin,” “ruf-seminar” is “Orff seminar.”
As for the benchmark sitting in her head and being thanked for science, that takes a bit more thought. But I kind of like the line, “Music should always be, even if it’s simple.”

Speaking of machines, I used online movie ticket purchase instead of buying a ticket from a person and was so proud to have our seats ahead of time to go with two friends to the John Coltrane movie. But when we gave the tickets to a real person, the real person showed me that I had bought them for the night before and tonight's show was sold out. Aaaargh!!!! And then another real person gave us passes for a future movie and we looked on a machine to see if we could catch any other movie and found space at a theater a couple of miles away and rushed there in time to get to see The Circle. That’s a movie about machines worthy contemplating. Not only is Big Brother watching you, but you’re on the screen in his living room with a few million or billion at the party eating popcorn enjoying shots of you picking your nose in the car stopped at the traffic light. Chilling.

Okay, Blog, do you work and send this out. And let people know that all those “great sounds, which had a form and content” came from our own voices and bodies and simple instruments made from wood and metal with no plugs or moving parts. Simple technologies, great results.
That should be our “standard and benchmark” sitting in our heads.

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