February 17th, 2013

Blessing

Because It's Sunday

Inspired by a large number of things I've read online over the past couple days, some things that never cease to befuddle, amaze, anger and/or disappointment me (in no particular order):

  • The number of Christians* who believe that financial success is a sign of God favorably looking upon your actions, despite Matthew 19:24, "And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Note that by most other standards in the world, most Americans are indeed rich.)
  • How Christians can complain about the government infringing upon their ability to practice their faith as they see fit (see Catholic complaints about Obama administration regulations regarding health care plans) while simultaneously attempting to change secular law to enforce their religious beliefs about how society should work.
  • The ability of anyone to simultaneously insist that when prayer works it makes a difference and that when it doesn't work then it was God's will. Isn't it always God's will and God's plan? Are you saying that praying enough will cause him to change his plans? If that is possible, then isn't it awfully capricious of God to allow prayer to change some things but not others.
  • The chutzpah of those who claim that it is impossible for atheists and agnostics to be moral to rationalize and justify their own immoral behavior. Some of us non-believers actually have an innate sense of right and wrong and don't need the fear of hell to do the right thing.
  • How anyone who claims to follow a faith that preaches good will and tolerance towards others can engage in rhetoric that divides people in to "us vs. them" (if you're not with us, you're against us).
  • Non-religious catagory: how anyone can claim that the Second Amendment right to own any type of gun is sacrosanct and should never be infringed while also professing that American's gun violence problem is the fault of the media and the answer is censorship (i.e., infringing up on First Amendment rights).

I swear, there are days where I feel like an alien amongst my own species. I just cannot comprehend the hate, proud ignorance and lack of logic/curiosity expressed by such a significant percentage of the human race.

*The use of the word "Christians" is highly generalized and does not denote all of those who practice Christian faiths.
Moose Music

Hall of Songs, Outer Circle: Part 3

Previous installments: Part 1, Part 2

After finishing the last installment, I realized that if I discussed what I loved about each and every song then I was ultimately setting myself up for rather repetitive posts, as I am drawn to certain types of songs. So, moving forward I will be free-associating a little more often. Though my comments will continue to be relevant to the song in question, I'm allowing myself the freedom not to say anything in particular about why I chose the song for this list. Besides, sometimes the song chose itself -- I had no choice in the matter.

"Everything Else Disappears," Sister Hazel



Roughly 13 years after they had their big radio hit, I finally went through a Sister Hazel phase, making up for lost time by going through most of their albums over the course of 6-9 months. This was a major stand-out for me -- a simple, extremely heartfelt, acoustic love song. When TeenLitGirl and I selected music to play at our wedding party, this was one of my selections for the playlist.

"Fantasy," Earth, Wind & Fire



The Temptations are still touring these days, even though they only have one original member left in the lineup. EWF strikes me as one of those bands that will be doing the same thing in another 10-15 years. Hell, that might even be true of them right now, and I don't even know it (other than Philip Bailey, I am literally unable to name one member of the band). However, I've never seen them live and would like to do so at one point -- even if they are just to down one original member. So long as EWF (whatever the lineup) sounds really good, I almost certainly won't care.

"Forever Young," Alphaville



This was one of my very first iTunes purchases after signing up for the service over 10 years ago. Managing to avoid hearing a song too much probably plays far more into this list than I am willing to admit. I recall first hearing this on the radio back in the mid '80s, but it wasn't until I did a little research for this entry that I discovered the song never cracked the US Top 40 -- it peaked at no. 65. If "Forever Young" actually charted much higher and received the proportionate levels of airplay, would I love it as much?

"The Ghost of Tom Joad," Bruce Springsteen, featuring Tom Morello
(Magic Tour Highlights EP version)



I always liked the original version of this song. As a very socially aware, crunchy-granola liberal with an English Lit. degree, I was a natural to enjoy it. However, my love for the song exploded exponentially when I heard the extended live version featuring on guitar Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. It gave the song some real teeth and anger to compliment the tired frustration and resignation featured in the original recording. Springsteen tends to get attention for his stadium rock anthems, but he has an angsty edge that doesn't always get the attention it deserves.

"Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life)," Green Day



I don't have any guilty pleasures when it comes to music. The term "guilty pleasure" implies that you think that the song isn't any good, and in my opinion, you cannot like a song if you don't think it's good. However, I do have songs that I am almost embarrassed to admit that I love. "Good Riddance" is one of those songs because I have this general impression that this song has become a cliche for certain moments and events in your life, and I frakking hate cliches. Yet, I love this song... so I guess my hatred of cliches isn't 100% universal.