#SoundtrackSunday…Come Together and Other #Beatles Re-makes

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This week’s theme has really made me think about how great it would be if everybody’s “theme” song played, when they walked into a room or met someone for the first time…If only there was a song, for each of us, that could act as an “introduction”…there would be no more need for “ice breakers”, no need to answer the question “Who are you?”.

It would be such a relief to just shut up and let the music talk for us, sometimes…to let the song explain everything that we can’t communicate…to find people who “march to the same tune”. As Kerry from Aspernauts pointed out, this could very well be an entire mixed tape…because we are not one dimensional…because how could one song possibly communicate everything about a person?

Still, the very essence of a person can be communicated in a single, simple tune. After all, music is vibration…a manipulation of the air around any given space…Music works in the same way that a “soul” does. We are all instruments and the vibrations of our energy….who we really are…communicate and reach out to the people around us. So, it is possible that there is a song for each of us…a tune which matches our vibrations and could let people know who we are, at the core.

There is something about my spirit which is very old…yet has been remade with the passage of time…it’s the mix between gentle messages and banging melodic beats of an electric guitar…a buzzing which can’t be contained or tamed…a natural inclination to go against the grain and create change…to vibrate across the land around me in a buzzing, whirling fashion, changing everything I touch…

My spirit gravitates toward times of great upheval and social change…the roaring 20’s, the rebellious 80’s…the sweet 60’s. When it really comes down to it, I suppose you would say, that I’m a Hippie at heart (although I hate labels and rarely refer to myself as such)…and so it seems fitting that The Beatles provide a theme song for me…but I’m not a flower child…I am remade…I’m (kindof) relavent…I’m a Hippie for the New Age and so it must be a re-make.

So, I chose the Across the Universe Soundtrack, most notably these songs: Come Together, Revolution, Don’t Let Me Down, and Helter Skelter…really, any of the songs in this playlist would do the trick….I guess it just depends on how strong my spirit is on any given day…because our spirits; the fundamental truths about us don’t change, they simply weaken, strengthen and change general direction. Because on the inside and on the most basic level, I am the sound of an electric guitar. Sometimes, I strum along in melodic timing and sometimes I roar…

Check out the entire playlist on YouTube, Here.

 

“Within A Mile From Home”…#SoundtrackSunday

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I grew up in the Mountains of West Virginia. My hometown was just a blip on the map but it was warm and comfortable. I was raised in the arms of Mother Nature and the songs of my summers were rooted in my Irish heritage. In those days, I yearned for change. Instead of appreciation, I stared, in spite, at the steady streams and felt smothered by the hills. My hometown was so small and I felt so big. I, somehow, wanted to be more than the place I came from.

So, I traveled. With every new beginning, I became something more than myself but I never became something new. Instead, I found myself clinging more tightly to my everything I had run from. I searched for the faces of my hometown in the moon, stars and above. I listened for the sweet sounds of my grandmother singing; her Irish voice ringing clear in the wind.

The further I am from my beginnings, the harder I search for them. Eventually, it has become a reminder of everything I have lost…and gained. No matter where I go in life, or how many new beginnings I may have, I am always “Within A Mile of Home.”

The grittiness of my Irish Heritage, the soft blow of the mountain wind, and the rhythm of my Uncle’s guitar…these are all things that are so ingrained within my soul that they can never be removed. Yet, I have removed myself from them. In doing this, I have become a hybrid of the world. The rhythms of all the places I have been and every person I have loved adds to the foundation that was built during my childhood. I replace my bluegrass roots with the punk rock of my rebellious spirit. It’s the same rhythm but at a different pitch. I am the same soul but with a  different song. I’m “Within a Mile From Home” but still so far from it.

Flogging Molly is a perfect example of this…they are so traditionally Irish with a punk rock twist. It is impossible to limit their music to just one genre. Like me, they are hybrids of the world. Still, they remain true to their roots. I love this band, and this song because it reminds me that in all my twists and turns in life, that I am never far from being the person I was at the beginning…it reminds me to stay true to myself and never turn my back on the place from which I came….

“Don’t turn your back on me, don’t ever let me down.” 

I hope this is a promise that I always keep.

almostheaven

Robots in the System

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Physicalism argues that the soul doesn’t exist in such that a counter argument against the dualist’s explanation of the soul through reasoning. While the dualist may explain that the soul can be proven by the human ability to hold desire and reason, the physicalist argues that this is simply a function of the physical body (the brain). One example used for this is the chess playing computer. It is argued that computer has the ability to reason and so it will respond to moves made on its own king with defense. The physicalist will argue that the ability to reason is implied and that the computer therefore has the desire to win, or it wouldn’t react in a defensive manner to my moves. Therefore, we are nothing more than a computer ourselves and nothing exists within us outside our very physical ability to hold desire and reason.

That is a very good argument. I, however, am not a physicalist. I am a dualist. I believe that humans have souls and are motivated internally. The computer, for instance, does not have full range of free will. It is programed to react in X manner when Y situation occurs. In other words, the computer is not acting out of TRUE desire but instead simply choosing from the list of options included in the software when the program was developed. Both the desire and reasoning were built in from the programmer and not an actual attribute of the software program.

Then again, one must consider whether or not humans today possess the type of true desire and reasoning that my dualistic view leads me to believe in. Aren’t we programmed, just like the software? We are programmed as a child to think, feel and behave in a certain manner throughout our interactions with the great institutions of our society (family, school, religion, ect.). These interactions provide us with our “options” when faced with certain stimuli.

Take one of the most basic human desires: the desire to live. In order to live, a human must appeal to the basic needs of the human condition. The human must perform X task in order to obtain food, water, and shelter. In today’s society, this means that the human must submit to a monetary system, attend work, and submit themselves to the will of their masters in order to survive. Although it is intuitive for the human to respond to this need in this manner, it is not required (as is the case with the computer program). The computer program does not know how to resist its programing and the human does. The outcome may be homelessness, starvation and ultimately death but it is an option that the computer does not have.

This realization is the greatest supporting evidence that we have into the existence of something “more” being possessed by humans…still it is being exercised less and less today. If the ability to resist programming is intrinsic to the exercising of the soul and humans become less likely to do this, does it mean that the human race is “selling” its soul to the institutions that program us? Is our submission to the monetary, governmental and religious institutions the first move in a de-evolution of soul? Are we, now, nothing more than robots in the system? 

School Uniforms and the Rebel with a Cause!

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My stepdaughter has issues with authority. I’m not referring to the normal, disrespectful quality that most American preteens possess. This is a deep seeded and intense disrespect for authority that has grown out of a pure lack of consistent and valuable authority in her early life. I appreciate a healthy level of rebellion, I really do. In the case of my stepdaughter, I could tell her to take her hand OUT of the Alligator’s mouth and despite common sense, she would shove it down further into the alligator’s mouth just to spite me.

It has been a struggle. She’s a really good kid: super smart, funny, talented and very likable. She just doesn’t trust authority. I can’t say I blame her because with the decline in the economy and public opinion of the president down, it seems that everybody’s confidence in authority has been shaken.

I have worked very hard to build some trust in authority with her. I have done the one thing that parents hate to do…I explain myself to her. I tell her why I am saying no and explain why I have instituted the rules I have. I don’t want to crush her rebellious spirit because I think it’s healthy to question authority from time to time. I simply want her to have enough respect and trust in authority that she can succeed in a capitalistic society.

Then, we moved and she started a Middle School that requires school uniforms. School uniforms aren’t that bad. I can easily explain to her that the purpose of school uniforms is to promote a sense of “sameness” among students. I can explain how school uniforms help focus the student on learning, as opposed to the clothes they are going to wear each day. I can explain how school uniforms are supposed to even the class structure within the school. I can  even explain to her why our religious symbols are banned but other religions are tolerated.

What I cannot explain is why her belt has to be free of stitching; why her socks must be below her ankle (even with pants); why she is not allowed to wear sandals. I can’t explain to her why it is okay to wear shorts and pants but not capris. Most of all (the rule that bothers her the most), I cannot explain to her why there is a strict hair length rule for guys.

For a lot of parents in this area, the school uniform code is an annoyance. For me, it’s a real problem. I know my stepdaughter will not have faith in the authority at her school if she feels they are instituting unfair rules. She is a good student and is great at following school rules (usually). However, I’ve seen what happens when her rebellious spirit takes over. I have seen the method that she uses to question authority that she thinks is not strong, and it is not pretty!

I have this mental image of my stepdaughter in school doing something crazy like shaving her head in protest of the hair rule or drawing fake tattoos all over herself to annoy the teachers. I want her to respect the authority of the school but I also see her point here. When an institution creates a rule structure that does not make sense in the mind of the individual, it should spark a sense of rebellion. If it wasn’t for this spirit, the American Revolution would have never occurred, we would not have labor unions, African Americans and women would not be able to vote and the list goes on and on.

I suppose what I am saying is that I admire her spirit. I don’t blame her for feeling the way that she feels about the dress code. In fact, a large part of me blames the school for not considering the rights of the student when planning the dress code. I suppose that I, too, am tired of power hungry institutions imposing ridiculous rules upon the whole of society, simply because “they can”.