Monday, April 26

Thoughts about music:

I like music, a lot. I like listening to the radio, provided that it's song I know (though if lyrics or a really good guitar riff catch my ear, I might not switch the station instantly). But I've been thinking lately: should I stop listening to some music?

I was listening to the radio the other day, and "Toxic," by Brittney Spears, came on. I think some of the music in the song is pretty cool, though the words are deplorable. But here's the rub: the song is about seduction, and the music started to get me a bit heated up.

This is not good. Now, I'm not prone to listening to that particular song most of the time anyway. But it's not just the one song. Music affects me, affects me a great deal. And if music makes me act or think in ways I shouldn't...then I should stop listening to it.

Songs that are in doubt:

Toxic--see above

Bring Me To Life: I love Evanesence. I think they're a great new sound. But this song makes me angsty when I shouldn't be. I'm prone to my own angst, and don't need to be taking on more. Should I stop listening to this great song?

My Immortal: also by Evanesence. I don't think I should stop listening to this one, because it's a truly great song. But...I should start being careful with it. I tend to use it to mourn things that I have given up, things that I gave up for good reasons. As long as I'm careful, I think this one will be ok.

Are You Gonna Be My Girl?: Honestly, this song just makes me drive a bit wild. That stinkin' awesome guitar.....

This Love: I used to hate this song. Now I love it, I think it's highly original in sound. But some of the lyrics are pretty racy. But, they don't make me feel seductive or seduced....This one's a tough one.

Simple Plan: Their music in general. It's fun. It's junior high, but it's fun. But should I really be listening to whiny music? I dunno....Especially the songs about fighting with your parents and not being able to wait till you leave the house....I like my parents, and we get along really well. But these songs are so much fun....I don't want to engender those kinds of emotions.

All I Wanna Do: I like this song. I like "SoCal" type songs that mention places I know ("until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard"). But...I dunno, not a great message with this song. It's probably fine, but I'll have to be careful.

Big Yellow Taxi: I love this song. Absolutely, 100%, love this song. Great melody. Terribly dated lyrics in spots, but hey. The chorus makes up for all. People will probably always be singing that chorus. Problem: It's a bunch of BS. I simply don't agree with it, but it's fun to sing and *pretend* to agree with it. Verdict?

Ok, enough of those. Now for the really awesome songs on the radio right now(granted, I listen to an odd mix of radio stations. KRTH 101.1 tops the list though):

Can't Stop Loving You--Phill Collins. Great song. Really fun to sing.

Don't Know Why--Norah Jones. the woman has a gorgeous voice

Billy Joel: still the man

Simon and Garfunkel: enough said

Evanesence: My Immortal: yeah yeah, so this one made both lists. Get over it.

Come Clean: Hilary Duff another junior high style, but a good song

Michelle Branch: All You Wanted fun song

and, in my opinion, the best song on radio right now:

Sarah McLachlan: Fallen

The words to this are so good I have to post them here. Seriously, this song is amazing. Who talks about sin and repentance nowadays? This song dodges no responsibility for any wrongdoing, and admits that only heaven can "take my hand, there's nowhere left to turn."

Fallen, by Sarah McLachlan

Heaven bend to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight

Truth be told I've tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
THe past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
In the lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It's the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.

I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

Heaven bend to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I'm lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarassed
Pretend that they don't see
But it's one missed step
You'll slip before you know it
And there doesn't seem a way to be redeemed

Though I've tried, I've fallen...
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don't come round here
And tell me I told you so...

comments: e-mail
Thoughts on singleness:

At the moment, I am committed to being a single person. Maybe the right person will come along eventually; I won't deny that'd be nice. But I've wasted too much time rushing after every nice person to want to spend any more time on that. Enough is enough. Time to live.

So, some thoughts about this whole "single" thing:

1. Churches really need to rethink their adolescent "True Love Waits" thing. (Before I proceed with this, let me state: abstinence or monogamy are the only options. Any other way is trouble. ) Think about it: a large number of Christian kids, being instructed to wait for sex till marriage. Great! It's a great lesson. HOWEVER: think about the numbers. There are far more women in churches than men: Christians are expected to marry other Christians: where does that leave the girls who can't find Christian men? Today's Christian girls need to be told: Marriage is more than sex, and singleness is more than celibacy. Celibacy needs to be discussed as a valid lifestyle, not only for nuns or freaks. Lifelong singleness does not mean that a girl is not wanted or has never been loved, neither does it mean that she is afraid of love or sex. It just happens that way sometimes.

2. Singleness is not boring! Many in the conservative Evangelical church (my own background and heritage) would seem to think that marriage is the only way to be really happy; if someone is lonely or unhappy, they simply need to get married. The expectation is that everyone will marry. This is patently untrue. The divorce rate among this demographic group indicated that marriage does not solve all problems; many marriages end in divorce. The single does not have to worry about adapting his life to someone else's, nor about making the bed if she doesn't feel like it (I admit, I haven't made my bed in years; I still do not see the point of it if no-one else is going to see my bed!). The single is more free to travel, spend money, work longer hours, give time to volunteer work, etc. In fact, singleness can be a great opportunity to learn the old art of hospitality!

3. Singleness is not the golden road to happiness. Much of the surrounding culture is dedicated to telling people that singleness is the best lifestyle available. After all, you can live as you please, spend your money how you please, and you have no ties to anyone! The downside, of course, is that you have no-one to tell you what you may need to hear, no-one to help when finances get tough, and no ties to anyone. Singleness gets tough, especially on those long nights when all you want is someone to hold you and tell you that everything is alright. Singleness is not the path to happiness.

4. Reach out. Make friends, lots of them. Make friends, a small close circle that you can really count on. Make friends, at work, church, school, and in your neighborhood. Reach out.

5. Let others reach out to you. Many singles get so independant that they no longer know how to let others help them. Allow yourself to be helped; you like helping your friends: they probably enjoy helping you just as much.

comments: e-mail
Why the cynicism?

A fascinating presentation was given in my art history class today. The assignment chosen was to compare and contrast a Baroque artist with a Rococo artist. This team had chosen Caravaggio to represent the Baroque period (I dearly love Baroque art) and, oddly enough, Thomas Kinkead to represent the Rococo. Kinkead actually does embody Rococo art fairly well, though his work may be considered a reference to or recapitulation of Rococo ideals rather then truly sharing them. After all, Kinkead is not about hedonistic pleasure-seeking, or the ideals of romantic love, as seen in Rococo art. But I digress. The class got into a lively discussion about whether or not Kinkead is, as he claims to be, a "counter-culture" artist. The case can be made (convincingly, I think) that Kinkead is indeed going against current art culture. He is not even speaking to the art world, as such, but to the consumer world(which is another issue entirely which I shall not address here.)

One member of my class insisted that his work was "boring" and asked no questions of the audience (a comment I might agree with.) She claimed that he was "making things appear valuable" which really weren't, and that was too idealistic. She then went on to insist that his work might be "good art" if he painted his houses with a bit of irony or sarcasm.

Why? Why must we have this sarcasm? Are people not tired of feeling like all artists are mocking them? Why do you think the common man does not go to contemporary art galleries? Because he wants someone who speaks his language, who will not take what he values and turn it into a farce. This is why the Getty is so enduringly popular; anyone with $5 for parking can go and see great art that is reasonably understandable to Everyman. Yet art people don't like the Getty; want to guess why? Enough is enough.

We do not need more sarcasm. (Granted, I don't think we need more Kinkead, either). We need a Rembrandt, a Caravaggio, an Artemisia, a Van Gogh; someone who will take common life and glorify it, instead of taking what is sacred and valuable and making it ironic.

Who will be the next artist to show us incarnation?

comments: e-mail