Category Archives: Uncategorized

Planned Parenthood

This was initially going to be a comment on Facebook to a friend’s post. He is in the army (not sure if that’s relevant) and someone I greatly respect, but there are a couple things with his post that I felt needed to be clarified. I also don’t like stirring up issues on Facebook, though, because I think broader political topics tend to bring out not the worst in people, but the disingenuous. He also didn’t ask for rebuttals and it’s not like I disagreed with what he was saying. It’s more that I felt a need to drive a larger point: that we can’t be okay with these decisions.

His post:

I support a woman’s right to choose in every way possible…that said…we knew that defunding of planned parenthood was pretty much bound to happen considering our government. Whats important to remember is that it isn’t going away…they didn’t cut these programs they’re defunding them…they’re still there. While its frustrating that people don’t want to support a company like that with taxpayers dollars, we must help each other out. donate to planned parent hood. help them to help us. just my thoughts on the issue not really looking for any rebuttals or arguments. just some thoughts I had this morning.

Scribbled quickly in Notepad, my comments:

People also didn’t want integrated communities for fear of the market values  on their homes dropping. We live in a country and there is a lot a lot of things we’d prefer our money to go to, but it comes down to what we believe to be morally/economically soluble and representative of our national best interest. Poverty is a massive problem, widely understood to be the base-most issue that stems into the many things ailing our social climate. Contraception is a provable solution to this.

It’s also the statements these decisions represent that worry me. If it’s true that we vote with our dollar, then what is our government actually voting for? I fully support people shelling out their own money for something like this, but discretionary spending is so adhered to the national consciousness that it worries me what this will mean for women 20 or 30 years down the line.

And what if people don’t fund it? In the financially fraught climate that many Americans find themselves (especially the ones immediately impacted by the things PP deters) is it right to expect the people to bank-roll it? I feel that we do vote with our dollar, but if PP goes under, I’d be remiss to blame market interest. Plus, with inevitable overpopulation, scarcity, widened poverty gap, this is just one of many things that will only perpetuate instead of doing much to relieve individual suffering.


Pop Music Today Vs. Yesterday (1)

This is not going to be brief, it’s something that has bothered me for years. By and large, people seem to feel that music has gone “down hill” since the ’90s. They view pop music today, the Cyruses and Swifts and the Jonases and the Kanyes and see a lack of either inspiration or plain understanding of what music today is. To me, this is largely untrue. I’m a music lover, perhaps obsessively so. One of the few whose group of friends takes pleasure in shutting the hell up around a set of speakers (singular in my case. My left Bose blew out and now have to run both channels through the right.  Besides panning, everything still sounds great) and simply listen to very diverse music. We informally critique, find what works, and move to another artist. It’s a fun exercise that you don’t see many people do. I think it’s because people typically view music as a vehicle for experience. They do something, so surely music must accompany it. It’s a lifting force that can add a spectrum of emotions to anything you do.

So I think it is pretty excitingly odd that my friends and I normally do nothing to music. We simply listen. Not because we’re so up our own asses that we’d rather analyze than live, but because music is an art form that requires so much attention. The reason I think it’s so popular is because of its passive nature. It’s hard to read War and Peace. It’s hard to even convince yourself to approach that work. Imagine sitting down and allot all 248 minutes to viewing Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra (1963) with intermission (can’t recall if that is included in the run-time). While for some, this isn’t a challenge at all, the fact is that both require a level of attention dedicated. You can’t claim to have read War and Peace is you don’t literally read it. Music can be heard while doing just about anything. While different activities allow different levels of attention, the fact that music allows any room for multitasking is a huge advantage. Now take any work (regardless of length) from Beethoven or Brahms to Cage or Davis and there is something simpler in those approaches. You can listen to any of them in the car, or while running, or while drawing, or while watching.

Music strikes us in a different fashion. How many soundtracks have you heard? Have you heard any of them separate from the media they were meant to accompany? In other words, do you need to listen to John Williams’s work by themselves to have appreciated them? War and Peace holds cultural, historical, and linguistic divides that prevent a large consumer base from fully enjoying it. Music holds very few barriers and even in extreme cases rhythm serves as a fantastic bridge. When in doubt, watch for the bass.

But what bothers me is how people view music of today. Despite amazing technology and talent, people still feel like eras previous were “better.” It’s unfortunate because that’s such a repulsive view. What good can come of it? That’s the ultimate betrayal of music’s mythology, particularly that of Orpheus. Why look back?

A Snowy Start

It was 1/23/2015 when I stayed up, looking for the right “theme” to display this blog under. When I found the right one, and made a couple adjustments, I went to bed.

I live in Owings Mills, MD, about 20 minutes from Baltimore, and the last couple days have been hailed by scads of snow.  It’s been nice though. I look outside to my apartment complex and watch everything within a couple kilometers vanish, blanketed by gray and visual gust.

Snow really is an amazing thing. Absolute in its elegance, it falls slowly bit by bit as the purest shade of white. Then, before we realize, it consumes anything it touches. To awake the next day, perhaps for work, we realize the consequence of it. It’s a good lesson for over-staying one’s welcome, but that’s pretty obvious. Regardless, my relationship with snow is unbalanced at best. I never know how to feel about it. During days spent in asylum, unable to call delivery or even walk very far, I wonder how I should spend the “perfect day,” as I always consider such days. And the regret is never doing the “right thing.” Perhaps not reading enough (or the right book), not spending enough time with the roommates, not playing the right game, or watching the right movie, or not stopping to simply enjoy the snow by going outside or staring blankly out a window. Nope. Nothing ever feels “correct” during these days.

There’s a feeling I’m trying to unearth, I think. For all of us, I assume, snow days are very nostalgic. They trap us from out day-to-day and remind us of a time (maybe grade school) where the rat race hardly existed. Where we could stop and appreciate not only ourselves, but the moments we spent not thinking at all.

In our youth, how much did we think? Truly. I wonder this often, because I am almost completey aware of when my “awareness” kicked in. But that’s not what had interested me. I wonder how I thought prior. What’s most interesting about Kids’ Fiction and prior is how those books are directed at an audience that lacks a fully developed brain. How odd?

I’m losing my point and worry I will never find it again. The point is that snow days are nostalgic and there is no way to fully enjoy them in the way I seek. Those days are gone, and just as it was then, the day following a snow storm is denouncement, a return to the ordinary world. Back to work. Back to school. Either way, the real treasure is memory and the ability to revisit. I only hope in 10 or 20 or 30 years, when the bad snow returns, I will have the same nostalgia for this moment. Of me writing. Hopefully, I will reflect on where this all started.