Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A love letter to NPR

One of the best parts of my day is just after I wake up.  I wander to the kitchen and make some coffee with the radio tuned to 91.7 FM.  That's our local NPR station.  I love getting my brain going with such quality information.

NPR does good reporting on so many things.  I have learned about new psychological research, which I included in my class. I have learned about scientific breakthroughs, world politics, artists, films, books and writers.  I read things I would never have read, watch things I would never have watched, and even eat things I would never have eaten. Case in point: a number of years ago, I tried the infamous Pepto-Bismol pink cranberry relish that Susan Stamberg extols each year at this time. It has become a staple of our Thanksgiving feast.

This morning I heard Tina Brown of The Daily Beast/ Newsweek on Morning Edition. She talked about articles by Peggy Noonan and David Brooks, two well-known Republican writers.  Most of you who will read this know that I am firmly on the opposite side of the aisle.  However, because of the appearance on NPR, I was willing to give them a chance.  In fact, I read both columns and they are great, not just good.  I had to think and accommodate new information and opinions.  This is a good thing.

Wherever you are, find the closest NPR station and listen.  There is only the bias provided by actual facts and there is so much more than that.  You can also expect to be entertained and moved and challenged. Let this happen and enjoy the experience.

Thanks for reading.  I'll try to do better next time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Stupid people and other Arizona politicians

Jan Brewer is an idiot.  Once upon a time on this blog I defended her actions.  That was before the wildly racist SB1070 and her fictional account of the border debate with the federal government. Then she decided to overstep her Constitutional authority to remove an independent from the Arizona redistricting commission.  Now that she has finally been stopped (by an entirely Republican Supreme Court), she is playing dumb and denying that she knows why her arbitrary action was overturned.

Yes, Jan Brewer is an idiot.  We need to recall her, just like we recalled Russell "The White Supremacist" Pearce. There is no room for racists in public office. And there is no room for stupid people.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Random stuff on a random day

I finished writing music for the new Mass responses and prayers.  I hope they work out. After spending a lot of time with the new texts, I'm really not sure why a lot of these changes needed to be made.

The Lions are the first team since at least 1950 to win three games in which they trailed by 17 or more points.

Today Tony Stewart won the closest NASCAR championship race in history.  It reminded me of the great 1992 race which Alan Kulwicki won. (BTW, if we had been operating under today's Chase rules, Kyle Petty would have been champion that year.)

The idiots who booed Michelle Obama at the race are the people who give rednecks a bad name.  Most of those in attendance were cheering her appearance on behalf of Veterans and the families of deployed service members. Apparently the moron contingent who were booing are not in support of our military.

My wife is the best person I know.

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving with the whole, gigantic, extended family.  And also a little nervous.

Thanks for reading.  I'll try to do better next time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Words of wisdom

Howdy everyone!

I have been horrified by some comments I've seen on Facebook in response to a new law in California.  I thought I'd revisit my favorite story on the subject.  It also happens to be a wonderful reflection of Rich Mullins, a man I admire very much. 

This is the story:
In November 1995, the late Rich Mullins was in concert in Knoxville and told a story that stopped this writer in his tracks. Rich’s story was later recounted in the June 1997 edition of CCM magazine that was devoted to AIDS, Christian artists and the church.

Rich said he befriended a man at a steakhouse while hiking along the Appalachian Trail. As darkness fell, the man (whom the magazine refers to as "John) offered Rich a ride back to his campsite. As the truck pulls out of town, John speaks up.

John: I probably oughta tell you that I’m gay.

Rich: I probably oughta tell you that I’m a Christian.

John: Well do you want to get out of the truck?

Rich: No. It’s still getting dark, and (my camp) is still four miles up the road.

John: But I thought Christians hated gays.

Rich: That’s really weird. My understanding of what Christ told us was that Christians were to love. I didn’t know there were a lot of parameters set on that.

John: I thought God hated gays.

Rich: That’s funny, because I thought God is love, and He has no choice but to love because that is what He is.

John: Do you believe AIDS is God’s punishment on gays?

Rich: Well possibly, in the same sense that presidents are God’s punishment on voters. I mean there are consequences. We make choices, and there are natural consequences for those choices.

John: Will I go to hell for being gay?

Rich: (I was ready to go, "Well, yes, of course, you’ll go to hell for being gay." But that was one of those moments when the Good News really impressed me. What I heard myself say was ...) No, of course you won’t go to hell for being gay any more than I would go to hell for being dishonest. The only reason anybody ever went to hell was because they rejected the grace that God so longed to give them.

John: I grew up in the church, and I’ve never heard anybody say that God loved me.

Rich: I think that of all the diseases in the world, the disease that all humankind suffers from, the disease that is most devastating to us is not AIDS, it’s not gluttony, it’s not cancer, it’s not any of those things. It is the disease that comes about because we live in the ignorance of the wealth of love that God has for us. What a great message we in the church have. It’s relevant to people with AIDS and people without AIDS. It’s relevant to homosexuals and homophobes. It’s relevant to Republicans and Democrats, to abortionists and anti-abortionists. It’s relevant across the board.

And that's about all there is to that.  Thanks for reading.  I'll try to do better next time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stay Gone

I'm not sure anyone still reads this, but just in case, here's my latest effort.  This is a great tune by Jimmy Wayne from a few years ago.  It's about the prettiest kiss-off song I've ever heard.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie

This is my newest video.  It's a few years old so there are probably a ton of versions out there already.  But I like it and I think I just heard it for the first time this morning.  One of my students asked me to do a Death Cab For Cutie (worst band name ever) song, and this might even be the right one.

Thanks for listening.  I'll try to do better the next time.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jesus... for Good Friday

This is a Rich Mullins song I love very much.  I hope you like it as well.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My oddest music post yet

I decided to try posting one from YouTube just for fun.  I hope you all like this goofy one!

Thanks for reading (and listening).  I'll try to do better next time.