Words and Music

The importance of WORDS and MUSIC:

When the internet started, I was so excited. “I can write something, and within moments it can be in front of my uncle on the other side of the world? That is amazing!”

Now, people are used to texts: Short blurbs, conveying vital or inane information, in under a paragraph. Since the hand-held phone is becoming the ‘go-to’ device for reading ANYTHING sent to you… how many chapters does the average person read ON THEIR PHONE on a daily basis.

Paragraphs are the casualty, and literary expedience is far more important than knowledge or playful alliteration. If it’s long, it’s wrong.

When I was young, I remember my mother would be angry, and she would write A LETTER!

50 years ago, the written word had teeth. Today, when someone spends hours trying to find JUST THE RIGHT words to convey information, it is received thusly:

“Oh. They have words. Yeah, I have them too. We all got words.”

This specific assemblage – which is the entirety of what ANY writer does – doesn’t matter! If you got words, that’s good. If you don’t got em, that’s fine too!

That is what sucks about texts. ‘Texts themselves’ didn’t do it. The advent of texts as the primary communications tool of the 21st century has done it. We may, in fact, be done for. Stay tuned.

I grew up listening to LP’S. I would look at the album cover, read blurbs, or the lyrics… I felt the Bass from my very seat. That is because I WAS SITTING ON THE SPEAKER!!! This size reflected not just volume, but a measure of IMPORTANCE. (I realize they are connected, stay with me here…)

The best thing about going ANYPLACE in your car was – – YOU CHOSE THE MUSIC. Everyone in that vehicle was subjected to what you wanted to listen to, and usually at the VOLUMES you chose!!!

This generation, oh yeah. They sit in the car and text, and listen to their own thing, or play games, or text someone who isn’t present, or someone who is, or… this generation will never know the power of controlling the music for the duration of the car ride.

Then they pull the phone close to you as you strain to make out even chord changes in the tinny little speaker on their phone… “Isn’t it a great song?”

I don’t know. It might be. I can’t really hear it.

BUT… as a mobile recording device it is great. Now, how to find even a small group of people who cares about the assemblage of the high quality musical interaction crisply recorded…

Rant over.

Intolerance will NOT be tolerated!

Tolerance is a buzzword. I am here to be a buzzkill.

If you utilize the definition, you aren’t playing by the rules. If you utilize the rules, you are playing with the definition.

Think of all the things you currently believe deserve ‘tolerance’. Okay. Got your things? Are you sure? Think hard about it. I want you to be certain.

My guess is your list consists of things you already agree with. Is this tolerance?

Tolerance is ‘allowing’ things you don’t agree with, even though you don’t agree with them! So now: What are the things you believe most deserve ‘tolerance’?

Hate speech? Bullying? Molestation? Rape? Terrorism? My guess is that you want ‘tolerance’ of things you already support. I don’t support this view of tolerance. I am intolerant of ‘tolerance’.

On social media I have stated: Intolerance will NOT be tolerated! I have often received acquiescence from unsuspecting oxymoronic adherents. Being intolerant of intolerance is, quite simply, being intolerant. No big mystery there. However, what about my stance: Intolerance of ‘tolerance’? What then?

Surely this palette is much grayer. I am serious, but about what, exactly?

The english language. I just want things to mean what they mean, and not their morphological 2nd cousins once removed. I understand ‘Google’ is a verb. I can accept that because it is a word which is only decades old, at best. It hasn’t removed anything. But I like words to mean what they were intended to mean. Perhaps I expect too much. Maybe I am just a dying generation – that needs to go away – to make room for those who ‘don’t care much for words’.

Take the word ‘save’, for example. The oldest generation alive are the only ones who are even aware of its meaning: to keep money. Everyone else thinks it means ‘to spend’. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! What does that mean? It means to spend, doesn’t it? If it doesn’t mean spend, how are you going to ‘save, save, save’, without funds? Actually, there is an answer: You borrow. That’s right. You can borrow money in order to… save, save, save!

If this word actually meant ‘save’, spending money should make you rich.

But there will be no tolerance for english. There is barely tolerance for words in the 21st century, let alone a collection of them utilized for cohesion.

Could this be a Vast-Winged conspiracy? Some sort of over-arching design? Perhaps.

But I’m not playing.

The Quest for Meaning

There has been lots of talk recently of doing away with ‘religion’ altogether. This would be the wonderful manifestation of a truly enlightened society. I woke up and thanked God for the day. The ‘enlightened society’ thanks no one.

Methinks the thanks is thwarted heretofore in the process.

What would it look like, if we could actually abolish religion? Would we be a calmer – –  more reasonable species – – intent on furthering mankind?

Why?

‘Truth’ is the casualty of marginalizing religion.

It isn’t that religion is truth, for it is not, but the search for truth is the sole thread searing through all religions. This isn’t a religious stance, but a truthful one. Mine isn’t an argument for religion, but for truth. We can only find what we seek. If we stop seeking truth, what then, will we find?

This has brought us empiricism, and I love empiricists. They adhere to life’s testable, reliable facts. ‘Proof’ is what they seek. They insist: if it isn’t empirical, it cannot be relied upon. Empiricism – for them – is the only viable way to reaching the truth in any matter.

Empiricism: What a concept.

Truth (as we know it) isn’t pliable, but it does change. This is an empirical truth.

Atheists, unbeknownst to them, insist on non-logical processes. Oh, they may say: “Think about it! Be logical…” but they are depending on a non-logical process to bring about a ‘logical mind’. Without a logical predecessor, logic itself is the outcropping of an illogical process.

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”

-Albert Einstein

There is truth, and it is ‘out there’. In fact, it very well may be ‘out of this world’. If life has meaning, something other than our minds, (and their neighboring cousins,) is responsible. When being brutally honest with themselves, atheists will admit that ‘meaning’ is just a comforting delusion. Barring the quest for ‘ultimate truth’, meaning isn’t just illusory. It is the ultimate illusion.

IMG_5535

We are truly responsible not by abolishing the quest for Ultimate Truth, but through seeking it ourselves.

Try accomplishing that without chafing against religion.

Cell-phone upgrade?

By the time you read this, it has likely already been done. I have caved in to the pressure to make my cellular telephone into the modern-day phone/computer bandied about by oodles of adults squinting at the palm of their hand.

I hate it.

This requires not just a decision, but a commitment. I don’t have a problem with decisions – – but commitments are another story altogether.

I have a 2004 Honda Odyssey wagon. It has a CD player, a GPS, and a DVD player. This probably added almost 3 grand to the purchase price. All of these functions are now available in a cell phone.

Many people stay on top of current technologies, especially the Mac-o-philes: They had the I-phone the first week on the market… same with the I-pad. What was once ‘cutting edge’ now seems to have taken on a much more sinister look. It has become The Pride of The Wasteful: “I bought this for 15 hundred dollars a year ago and it is worth almost 200 bucks today.”

I thought my 04 car was cutting edge. When purchased, I believed this would keep me ahead of the curve. But here is the really daunting perspective: Has technology finally advanced so quickly it has become instantly irrelevant?

My current cell phone makes calls. I can send and receive text messages. If the file is not too big, I can get a picture message. That is it. A few years ago, the text thing wasn’t around. That feature would be considered ‘the balls’. It is a mode of communication I truly despise. Compare that with an available technology that falls under the radar: You can record a message, and send it to another phone. Though this has been available for over a decade, nobody uses it. Perhaps it seems too impersonal. Is that even possible?

Spending time looking down at my phone – and punching digits – is a waste of time, energy, and sensory input. This assessment must be mine alone, since texting is extremely popular. In fact, spending time with friends is often spending time with a friend and their phone. They can’t get away from it, and you can’t get away from ‘it’ without getting away from them. 

So do you ask your friends to turn their phone off? Seems – oddly – rude! Imagine how far we have come as a society. Years ago it would be considered rude to talk on a cell phone at a cash register. Now it is commonplace, and interrupting the chat – in order to be present – is rude.

My cell doesn’t work properly. The call waiting feature hasn’t worked for years. I’m not aware of new messages for days. Sometimes service drops for no good reason. Recently the owner of the company I work for called me, and I didn’t get his message for 2 weeks.

But it isn’t simply a phone, it is a whole ‘plan’ decision. I am not under contract, so I could change carriers. Since everyone who has a phone hates their carrier (as everyone who has cable hates their cable company,) most would be delighted to give the middle finger to their provider. I try not to fall prey to this mindset, tempting as it is.

The upgrade would give me roving internet capabilities, and always-available GPS. I would be able to find restaurants and coffee shops with just a few finger movements. I could watch TV. I could read ‘stuff’, during down times, while waiting for scheduled stuff to come to fruition! I could check my email…

This the problem.

I don’t want to be ‘the guy’ who is observed looking at the palm of his hand. This is how a cell phone allows your life to pass by. ‘Life’ is right there in front of you. Is the item in your palm more interesting, pressing, or are you just obsessing?

Technology has taken people away from personal interactions. This has been replaced by a private, cerebral interchange. This isn’t just bad for the mind, it is bad for the spirit. We need to follow our heart, guided by our mind to the lives beyond the screen. This allows us to be positive members of society. Sometimes it even results in boredom.

Nobody has mental down-time anymore.

Imagine yourself on the beach at sunset. There is a warm breeze blowing across your face. The sound of seagulls is mixing with the waves crashing on the sand. Your feet are in the sand, and the water rushes over them and is drawn back out to sea. The sunset is orange bleeding into the blue sky, and a quarter moon can be seen in the distance, weaving in and out of the small wisps of clouds.

If your iphone had batteries, you could ignore it all.

Depressed, you leave this scene and retreat – – to charge the source of all happiness the world has to offer.

There is a world out there, and a world of people missing it.

What in the world has come over us?

People nowadays

Does it Track?

The government needs more power.

If the government had more power, then they would be able to work EVEN MORE magic than they already do. A smaller government would decrease their power to give us all this fabulousity.

Size is so important to Our Government as to be omnipotent. There is a war on. That means we need a military. We need to protect ourself against the enemy. The enemy is called ‘terrorism’. Since our enemy has neither a face nor a place, military spending must be unlimited. That is the only way to ever rid the world of all the evil that just might be coming out of your neighbor’s stereo system at this very moment.

Healthcare: Since everyone needs healthcare, the government simply needs to increase spending in order to regulate more insurance (thereby creating more pharmaceutical outlets) enabling everyone to be on drugs: If you are 5 and figity, you are ADD. Ritilin or some other wonderful drug for children will be put into the General Consensus Soup, spilling out onto our playgrounds and coursing through our public school systems. This will eventually create a need for psychiatrists at every school, justifying even still yet more money for bigger government.

The bigger, better – new and improved – larger government is welcomed as an increased benefit for taxpayers. The monstrous vats and coffers required to pool, skim, and subsidize our increased needs are demanded by the voters.

Here’s the sales pitch: Until the government gets close to 90% of all the wealth in this country, it will just not be able to operate properly. (And I have only begun to touch on some of the expensive stuff.)

Is it just us, or is this Government tailor-made for an ailing country?

People are as healthy as they are un-medicated. Whenever pharmaceuticals increase, populations become less healthy. The current healthcare system is to thank for our medication dependence and subsequent decrease in overall health.

Not to be outdone, our government wants a piece of the action.

Enter: Obamacare. Once this kicks in, more and more medicated people from all walks of life will be wandering aimlessly in hospital corridors waiting to be given their latest prescription, enabling the pharmaceutical company profits to skyrocket even further. The moment Obamacare reduces pharmaceutical use in the USA, I will bow, and insist everyone else does the same.

Any idea needs to follow a line of reasoning which makes sense throughout. Ideas need to ‘track’. For example: if you go to the doctor and you are healthy, you don’t come away with a prescription do you? Imagine your doctor saying: “Hey, everything is great. Just fantastic! I am going to put you on these meds… just to make sure that doesn’t change.”

Does it track: Does this seem to track with your experience? How many people do you know who are on one med, and one ONLY? The argument that ‘we are living longer’ is paid for by the system that administers these drugs. Yes we are living longer, but – – is that really because of all the 90-somethings scoffing down 17 prescriptions a day?

Increasing the time before life expires does not increase the life modern medicine has managed to sustain.

The internet is fabulous for those who use it properly. However, what is ‘proper’ is completely unregulated by government. Am I the only one who believes hard-core pornography shouldn’t be instantaneously accessible to anyone with internet access? The Government has done nothing to crack down on free internet pornography, but not to worry: they do keep tabs on all we do here.

While I can’t fathom the internet was invented to allow the government to keep tabs on all of us, what a spectacularly invasive Governmental Glom! Henry Ford never created the automobile with the idea of restricting our freedom, but that is what a ‘motor vehicle’ does. Unregistered ‘freedom’ likely results in large financial penalties, or even jail time. Any perceived freedom comes at a cost far greater than your registration, or the gas at the pump, or the plane ticket.

In the 21st century, your movement costs you your freedom.

Our government doesn’t need to design invasive entities. They need only to regulate the inventions. This allows their Orwellian Fingers to grope every skin-tag in our lives. You can’t buy your way out, either. The more money you have, the more invasive technology pervades your life. Poor people are just too damn hard to track. Why do you suppose that is?

ABORT THE MISSION: The abortion issue is easy if you don’t care about life. I think parents should have the right to abort their child when they are in Middle School: “Sorry, son. Your mother and I have been reevaluating. On second thought, forget your mother… I have been reevaluating.”

Look at the News: Fox News gets a bad rap. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, and all the other forms of information gleaned from a source called ‘media’ are controlled by the same corporations. As a result, news programs are largely responsible for dumbing down America. Interestingly, the most reliable source of information is the internet – – which (overall) has a lower reliability than the media outlets. (It’s a quantity thing).

Behind the scenes, our Democratic President is mucking up our country.

‘Say one thing, do another,’ is the battlecry of politics. ‘The people will fight our battles for us. We can just sit here in Washington lapping up champange with the opposing party.’ True partisanship is in the college electorate. A candidates speech defines their beliefs as much as William Shatner’s world view is defined by the words he uttered on Star Trek.

Before you pull the levers, do some research. I am not talking about the issues themselves. The issues are just ‘talking points’ designed to make the pavlovian electorate drool with common conviction. Real research comes from finding the funding filling the campaign trail coffers. You can’t be The American Cancer Society and have a great deal of funding come from Philip Morris… can you?

I like Ron Paul, but this is his swan song. The enormous funding sources aren’t interested in someone they can’t control. He means what he says, and nobody is going to fund that disaster. Where does his campaign money come from? (Hint: it’s not Big Business.)

The words spoken by politicians don’t reflect who they are, and what they believe. Politicians on the campaign trail only utter what they believe will get the vote. Why else would every elected president be full of promises which pop like bubble wrap? A few years later they hold up their tattered bubble-wrapped promises, and point to the two (intact) bubbles – the promises kept – stating, “I keep my promises.” While farcical, it rings of truth, right at election time. (Ain’t that a coincidence?)

Ayn Rand. George Carlin. Frank Zappa. They were the last of the true free thinkers. I don’t know of anyone alive who gives me confidence in the future of our society. America has become a sloth of sedentary beings – operating on pre-packaged ideas – fueled, funneled and funded by the government.

Happy voting!

Scientific Proof of The Virgin Birth

The Virgin Birth is a governmentally sponsored program, taught in public schools.

I’m not kidding.

It isn’t just viable, it is a done deal. Scientific FACT, as it were.

Though we are told it is both theory and fact, the theory has more holes than the human body has pores. Everything enters through these pores, yet the one organism which takes in the information is led astray by The Science of Theory.

I used to sit firmly on the other side of this debate. Unfortunately, I don’t lean with a political party. This leaves me to fend for myself when it comes to the daunting task of thinking. Ultimately, we are all experts in the realm of experiencing our own lives.

The scientific explanation of organic matter evolving from nothingness just doesn’t sit well with me. Perhaps it is because entropic origins mutating into highly structured cells and organisms hasn’t been explained in a manner which my wanton feeble mindedness can easily approach. However, all is not lost.

I may yet evolve into a being capable of processing such ‘proven’ processes.

Is it possible the origin of life and the origin of species are unrelated?

There must be instances – scientifically reliable data – which proves this happened before and/or since, no?

Because ‘the origin of the species’ doesn’t explain the origin of ALL species, Darwinian evolution throws scientific method in the middle of a ‘random chance’ argument by example.

Science purports:

1.) Thermodynamics is scientifically sound.
2.) The Big Bang is scientifically sound
3.) Evolution is scientifically sound.
#1 doesn’t rule out #3. #2 gives it some problems, but doesn’t rule it out. However, #1 and #2 seem incompatible, since energy must come from somewhere.

The Resurrection is not disputed by evolutionary theory. In fact, it is like sparklers on the 4th of July. Christ rising from the dead pales in comparison to Darwinian science: a virgin cell formed, (parentless,) from nothing.

Every distinct life-form spawned from the self-procreating Virgin Cell on a lifeless planet.

Thankfully, our taxpaying dollars educate our youth that The Virgin Birth is FACT.

(BANG!)

Rapture

Okay, okay… so it didn’t happen. The heavens didn’t crash down upon us like cardboard walls on a television set. We are all still here. The birds are relentlessly chirping. Moving veritable mounds of molecules, they live by example: Sing.

So we sing to the heavens, and the gates of hell have closed their entranceway as well. The DJ at my brother-in-law’s wedding announced the upcoming moment when the scheduled event was to happen. I felt nothing. There wasn’t an ominous overtone. The skies were clear and gorgeous. The ground only moved for those who overindulged. But I like to think I am aware of spiritual shifts in the cosmos. With nothing whatsoever to base this assertion, I believe I would have sensed the impending doom. Now, alas, I will never know.

Is it possible we are already there? What if the event took place, but God is taking us – one by one – rather than all at once? That may not be biblical, but neither was the fallen prediction. If one person was gone, would the world notice? As the days went on, I think we most certainly would. If the dude pressing the button at the crosswalk flew into the sky and didn’t return, I would definitely make a note of that. (I would also begin to fear for my own soul, but how long do I expect this post to be?)

Look, it happens to the best of us. We predict we will be millionaires by a certain age, then we predict the government will sap all our earnings for our entire life. Only one of these predictions is guaranteed. The silver lining is that even if we achieve prediction #1, we haven’t avoided prediction #2. While that should make you rest easier, I predict it will not.

I try to keep my predictions predictable:

I predict I will write a blog about Harold Camping’s prediction. I predict this will change less lives than his prediction about The Rapture.

I predict I will love my daughter no matter what she does. Stay tuned.

I predict there will be hardship ahead for myself, and for all of us. I predict many will be unprepared.

I predict The Bible will provide solace for those who read it. I predict those that don’t will deny the solace could exist for them.

I predict I will stay calm. I predict that will work well for me.

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