A Funhouse Mirror

Today was my day off.  I spent most of the evening recording a home demo, as I’m trying to get things as mapped out as possible before I hit the studio later this year.  Earlier today I was in a restaurant and I caught a rare glimpse of CNN.  It was dealing with the horrific and sensational.  Everyone has heard the saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.”  It says nothing to me about my life.  That’s not because I am unsympathetic to pain and suffering around the world.  But just showing a horrific incident doesn’t teach me anything.  We all know that the world can be a tragic place at times.  But day after day people face little decisions, that in and of themselves may be insignificant, but as a whole lead to more pain and suffering around the world.  What we eat, where we shop, how we travel, and what ideas we consume, all help to create the daily world that we all inhabit.  We’re in a maze and the light isn’t very good.  A thousand things are going on around the world at any one moment.  We should know about A,B, and C, but cable news is constantly showing D.  Some people think what is on cable news mirrors the world at large, but it is a funhouse mirror at best.

Ratings Down

One of my favorite phrases in modern America is “ratings are down”.  Although this will occasionally refer to a beloved TV show, mostly this term is associated with some kind of thought destroying piece of mindless claptrap.  Let me give you an example:  CNN’s ratings are down.  It has a certain poetry to it doesn’t it?  Wolf Blitzer, or whatever soft ball throwing host that appears, is no longer afflicting as large a portion of the general public with ideas like both sides are right and deserve equal serious treatment.

However, if you are going to give it, you best be able to take it.  My ratings for this blog are down the last two days.  From being in a band I know that sometimes people just drift away for a moment, to return a week later like nothing has ever happened.  Two days or one show does not mean much in the scheme of things.  There may be some event going on that you don’t know about, it may be a full moon, or possibly a weird mass psychosis has temporarily set in as the result of the daily grind.  Things in music and writing can only be measured long term.  One must bury their ego and have enough self belief to wait out the low times.

That being said I am interested to know if there are any topics you would like to see me cover given the general broad range of this blog.  I can’t promise to cover them in a way that you like, or to not be in slight ignorance of a topic.  However, I am up to the task of either retackling something that you liked hearing about before, or even diving into something new as best I can.  I’m always happy to learn something I didn’t know before.  Also remember, if you think what I’m doing has any value, even if it is just to entertain you and keep you from doing any real work at a terrible job, to please kindly spread the gospel. Although I am strangley blessed with some free time right now, there will come a time when I will need your support to keep traveling down the long and winding road.  |

Have at me.  I sit above the dunk tank, awaiting you to connect with the target.

Waving a Flag is Easy

I thought about commenting on the Syria situation, but I generally feel like I should stay out of issues that I don’t feel that I completely understand.  I just read a good article at cnn.com by Peter Bergen.  I don’t know what his politics are, but it seemed that he grasped the complexities of the situation regardless.  If you are looking to understand the issue it’s a good article to read.  It’s called For U.S., Syria is Truly a Problem From Hell.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/26/opinion/bergen-syria-problem/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

I intend to keep reading different sources over the next few days to see what’s going on, although I probably won’t blog further on this unless I have a clear grasp of the facts.  After our recent history, post 911, I tend to think we should stay the hell out of the Middle East as a general rule, but I could be wrong in this thinking.

I am curious to know several things as I search around the internet.  What is the potential for blowback if we either do or do not act?  Is it moral or not to intervene in a sovereign nation during a civil war?  How does that morality change if there are chemical weapons being used or genocide going on?  What multinational corporations stand to benefit from U.S. military interventionism and are these companies pushing our hand?  Basically what is at stake and why?

It was pretty clear to me and a lot of people on the left that Iraq was a giant mistake.  I remember clearly the sick feeling I had watching the first bombs fall in Baghdad.  My parents went to a protest before that war started.  I would have been truly happy now if we had been wrong, if Iraq had turned into some immaculate beacon of freedom in the Middle East, but that is obviously not the case.

Sometimes it is wise to distance yourself from the news.  There is so much on TV that has nothing to do with our everyday lives.  It’s easy to watch the news and feel that the world is a place full of fear and evil, when in reality our lives may be filled with a great amount of love and beauty.  The TV news can twist your mind up if you aren’t careful.

However, just remember that every time we drop bombs on another country we have helped to pay for those bombs.  We may have even signed a petition, gone to a protest, or voted for a candidate that was antiwar, but there is still a small amount of blood on our hands.  War is one thing that we should never emotionally disengage from.  Waving a flag is easy.  War never is.