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Monthly Archives: November 2004

Have I mentioned Six Feet Under?

I know I’ve mentioned Six Feet Under more than a couple of times lately, but this is kind of a new thought.

Many of the people that I know and consider my friends would easily fit into the description of white, middle class, conservative, Christian families. I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for so many parents of these households. They have clear ideas of what they believe and what kind of life they are hoping to establish for themselves and their kids. Particularly and appropriately, they are concerned with the movies/tv shows/video games/books their kids take in, and are even very careful about the media they take in themselves.

This, in itself, seems very positive to me. I think it’s very important for parents protect the innocence of their children’s hearts and minds as long as possible. There are plenty of scary things in this world, there’s no reason for children to face them any sooner than necessary. I sometimes find myself questioning the stringency of the filter enforced by some of these parents, but that’s really not any of my business or at least a topic better suited to its own blog.

What has struck me lately is how skewed the individuals’ filter can be. TV & Movies containing themes and shots of nudity, overt sexuality, homosexuality, cursing and foul language, and sometimes even hints of fantasy like Harry Potter or anything related to Dungeons & Dragons are categorically dismissed and/or berated and condemned. At least they’re abstained from. However, near-nudity (like in fear factor), greed, self-centeredness, deception, backstabbing, scheming (like in the Apprentice and just about every other reality show), self-loathing and pre-occupation with outward beauty (as in extreme makeover or the Swan) literal violence (like in Jackass or viva la bamm) are rarely, if ever questioned.

I am very perplexed. I don’t want anybody who may read this to feel like I’m attacking their behavior. It is just so odd to me to know that a number of people I know couldn’t even get through a single episode of six feet under for moral reasons. These same individuals would probably feel that I was, at best, walking a thin-line on the edge of slippery slope for embracing a show like Six Feet Under or a movie like Magnolia or American Beauty. But, how do I deal with the fact I have a hard time dealing with shows like Fear Factor, The Apprentice, or Jackass for moral but different reasons?

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Posted by on November 28, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

shack in la la land

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, I was a little freaked out about going to this conference by myself. The main thing was that I was trying to bolster myself so as not to be afraid of life.

I now realize that I was worried about being afraid of life because I thought this particular conference was small. For some reason, I had in my mind that there would only be 500 people there tops. It turns out there were more like 3,000. In which case, nobody particularly stood out and I didn’t feel the pressure to be any more outgoing or personable or impressive than I normally am anyway.

As far as my trip went: I’m really glad that I did it, and I hope to scrape together the money to pay for the plane ticket and hotel room again next year. It did what I had hoped in motivating me to get my act together and get busy writing and being the artist that I think I’m supposed to be. It also sparked some new ideas of how I should tackle the whole marketing aspect of being a performing songwriter that I hope to implement. More than anything, I’m just hoping to do all the things I’m doing, but do them much better. A few potentially key contacts were made and as to whether those contacts actually help me remains to be seen. For now, I think I just need to do whatever I have to do to make myself be more productive. ( i.e. write more….)

The only thing that I feel kind of weird about is that I didn’t really do anything outside of the hotel. I know there was at least one show that I would have liked to see while I was out there, and the fact that i was so close to the beach and didn’t make it makes me sad. However, I didn’t transportation or extra money to provide transportation and honestly the conference had plenty going on to keep my schedule filled. Maybe next time.

Since getting home I’ve been enjoying:

-Watching the 3rd Season of Six Feet Under

-Trying to finish Book 4 of the Dark Tower Series

-Anticipating and buying U2’s new CD last night at midnight at Hastings. They had free pizza!

In case I don’t blog again for awhile, I hope that you all have a Happy and safe Thanksgiving. I pray that we would all learn to be more thankful for what we have.

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

U2 – and my partisanship

It may or may not be surprising to any reader that I’ve been very quiet on my blog about the recent election. I did vote, but the truth of the matter is that I didn’t have any particularly strong feelings about who won. Honestly, I think that both candidates were basically good people who wanted the opportunity to lead the country using the best ideas they could. Obviously, not all of those ideas would be good or right, but the reality is that nobody is going to have all of the right ideas/plans all of the time. And frankly, I’m glad that I don’t have to carry that kind of responsibility on my shoulders and I’m very appreciative of individuals like Bush or Kerry who were willing to do so in my place.

Some would call me stupid and/or naive to think that both candidates had (have) the desire to do the best they can for our country. That’s my biggest problem. My biggest irritation of the whole ordeal was the constant demonization of the opponent. Give me a break. If one side is a bunch of pure evil/stupid/horrible abominations then it stands to reason that the opposing side is as well. In which case, we’re all screwed no matter who gets elected to what office. It’s strange to me that I feel like a flicker of optimism emanating from me seems like the smarter course of action then rampant pessimism. I think that’s about all I have to say about that.

All that said:

I just watched last Saturday’s Saturday Night Live to see U2 perform. I’m being completely honest: I cried.

I’ve been a fan of U2 since Unforgettable Fire which was BEFORE Joshua Tree and the rest of the world discovered them. There was a short time that I couldn’t get over Joshua Tree and didn’t appreciate Rattle & Hum or their first steps into re-invention/experimentation and I didn’t get into Achtung Baby! But now, I’m a complete fan of their entire catalogue. (I don’t love Boy or October as much and I still don’t love Rattle & Hum, but for the most part I love everything from War on. Achtung Baby is now one of my favorites.)

In just a couple of minutes, I’m going to Hastings to pickup my copy of their new CD at midnight. So, here’s my big political statement:

Anybody who doesn’t think U2 is the greatest rock band alive is a complete idiot!

But you can have your own opinion if you want to.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2004 in Uncategorized

 

la la land

In just a couple of days, I’m going to be flying out to LA for a music/networking convention. I was planning to go with a friend who is also a musician/songwriter, but now it’s looking like he can’t go because of family issues.

As much as I was looking forward to experiencing this with my friend, I recognize the fact that I’ll be traveling and attending by myself could mean additional opportunity for personal growth and networking.

So much of the music industry in general, and this convention specifically, focuses on networking. Who you know and can interest in whatever it is you’re doing has so much to do with getting help in getting your stuff out there. If my friend went with me (and I still hope that he might get to) it would be very easy for us to interact with each other. Like anybody else, this is would be the natural, easier, mode of behavior.

If he can’t go, I’ll be on my own. I don’t know anybody that will be there. The thing that I need to keep in mind is that I will probably not have any contact with anybody out there ever again unless I make those connections. What’s there to be afraid of? I don’t know them. They don’t know me. Who cares what they might think? And wouldn’t making some kind of impression be better than making no impression at all?

I know a couple of people in my life, who just naturally charm anybody and everybody they come in contact with. And I know that there are some times when I have had that particular spark. The problem is that when I have had it, it was accidental. I can’t or don’t simply turn it on like a couple of people I know. That would be helpful this weekend.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2004 in Uncategorized