Monday, February 20, 2006

The Hills Are Alive

I was reflecting the other day about the pleasure I find in listening to music. I think I almost take it for granted, but I'm always close to it. From the home stereo, to the pimped-out car system (with subwoofer), to the iPod, to the computer, I'm almost constantly exposed to sounds that thrill my senses. Well, most of the time they thrill my senses. Sometimes they shrill my senses.

I've also always had this desire to learn to play. About 10 years ago, I started taking piano lessons. Lasted for about 5 years, then I basically lost the motivation to practice. Haven't played since. I chalk it all up to the changing circumstances of life, and new interests and responsibilities. Somewhere in there, I also dabbled with the classical guitar. I still have the piano, but not the guitar.

In the past couple years, I've gotten more into electronic music. I'm drawn to the grooves, and the layering of sounds and textures fascinates me. I think alot of the creative ideas in music are happening in the electronic realm, as opposed to rock, etc. I had a former pastor declare once that he thought the music in heaven would be country.

Wouldn't that more properly be described as hell?.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Democratic Values

"A U.N. investigation has concluded that the United States committed acts amounting to torture at Guantanamo Bay, including force-feeding detainees and subjecting them to prolonged solitary confinement, according to a draft report obtained Monday." (Source:

Just how much do we "value" democratic values?

Since when do prisoners NOT have the right to wage a silent protest through the refusal of food?

We certainly don't know all the facts on this's a developing story. But how many more of these compromises of what this country believes in can we endure before we have absolutely NO credibility or claim to the "moral high ground"? I really feel it's time for our government to conduct a thorough review of ANY policy that deals with the treatment of foreigners, whether they're prisoners or not.

If we're going to ask other countries to embrace democracy, then we have to model it to the highest standards ourselves.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blink, Think, Resync

Recently finished reading "Think", by Michael R. LeGault. It's basically his rebuttal to the bestseller "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell, which advocates that our best decisions and choices are made quickly, through intuition and gut-level responses to circumstances. LeGault fears that in contemporary life, far too many of our choices are made by "Blink", rather than "Think"...a more reasoned, critical, analytical approach to decision-making. He feels this ability to reason is becoming a lost art in American society that is affecting our economy, our educational system, parenting standards, and creates more political polarization and a culture of instant gratification.

Both authors acknowledge the value of both approaches. As far as I can tell, each author simply favors one approach over the other. To me, it seems like a simple matter of common sense...sometimes circumstances force you to make snap judgements, and sometimes it's prudent to take a step back and spend some time in critical reflection and analysis.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

State of the Disunion

So I watched the State of the Union speech last night. I always try to enter in to watching a Presidential speech with an "ok, now impress me" type attitude.

I wasn't impressed.

Maybe my expectations were too high, but here's my impression. Alot of political cliches. Alot of false choices (ie. spreading freedom vs. there can't be some sort of even better middle ground). Alot of small ideas. And I really got the feeling that Iran is next in the crosshairs. If they decide to go forward with their "nucular" program, it sounds to me like this administration will consider that WMDs in the hands of a tyrant...and we all know what happens when this administration comes to that conclusion.

People start dying.