Showing posts from July, 2008

Music wars: Classical vs WHO?

"Everyone has the right to think that their music is best, including the teenagers who hurry through Toronto's Bathurst subway station to escape the classical music played through the PA system to deter them from hanging around. But only classical fans and organizations believe that the quality of their music gives it and them a natural entitlement to the lion's share of public funding." - Canon Fire Robert Everett-Green

Now we have a hot issue. Public funding of the arts. I'd like to hear Obama and McCain talk about that as it applies to culture in the Unites States and abroad. Maybe music could again serve as a powerful unifying medium for global politics.

The only problem would be that everything else is likely to take priority, thus leaving the dialogue and decisions up to "WE the People" I doubt we will do any better finding common ground on the arts than we do with religion and politics.

Again, if we even discuss it openly, we should likely prepa…

Culture Wars: Obama & McCain or Me & You

I read this article on the Washington Post/Newsweek site today and this paragraph seemed worthy of more thought. Can and should the president really get involved in the so called culture wars? I think it is inevitable that a leader must engage in this arena, but the writer was correct. We started it. We "the people" are in some sort of perpetual internal war. We have forgotten how to love one another, take accountability for our own actions and simply agree to disagree.

From "A whole lot of ugly"
" 'Senators McCain and Obama,' they concluded, 'each of you has great potential to model a new type of leadership. Each of you has the power to heal the country and carve a new path forward through our shared common values. We humbly submit our joint prayer that you, Senators McCain and Obama, help bring a just end to the culture wars.'That would help, but it's not their job to end the culture war. We all started it. We're all responsible for w…

Adoration: Obama-anity

Does anyone else out there think the media is overdoing their "love affair" with Obama just a bit? I know a lot of people like the man, but come on..

I also know that I have declared as a John McCain supporter, but the tone of every interview and soundbyte seems to almost ooze "I Love You". I seriously do get that the man has charisma and appeal. He had me thinking about him for months. Yes he is black, and is a poster child for diversity, and a role model for millions of underprivileged kids and adults for that matter. There are athletes and actors and plenty of others who fit this bill. Can he actually LEAD this country?

He is campaigning to be our President and he needs to show more than flash. The speeches often sound good, "believe, change, etc" but he has to be able to actually deliver on all that idealism. How about a little Straight Talk? When will he start answering HOW he will do all of the things he is talking about. The soaring rhetoric …

Walked the walk, not just talk.

How many times have we all heard the promises, the ideas, the "rhetoric".

I am a guilty as most of talking too much, but in the last few years I have refocused my actions and made choices to deliver results. Not always popular, often requiring great sacrifice... I succeeded sometimes, failed a lot and I have gotten better and better over time. That is the great equalizer of experience coupled with a spirit to learn and constantly improve.

Instead of the Wall St fund disclaimer, perhaps our captions should read like this: "past failures coupled with willingness to change are a good indicator of future performance". Mantra of champions is usually to keep trying and get better and better. Don't be afraid to fail.

Great article on the transformational experience model of John McCain in NY TIMES.

True, experience is not enough in the end, but then again when the stakes are high and failure is not an option, is there any real substitute for experience? I often wis…

Obligations of Obama & McCain

I heard an interview on NPR yesterday with Brian Mclaren who is supporting Mr Obama. I think very highly of Brian and have visited him at his church n Maryland, in addition to reading almost all of his books. The story on NPR used a biblical quote/ imperative to listen to a man's words as a grounding for voting.. This got me thinking about what I am obligated to do for this election, system etc.. and what the candidates and parties are obligated to do for me.

First off, I am stunned that so many people think that we should so centrally use religion as a litmus test for a president. The principles set up by our nations' founders were rooted in an understanding and respect for religion but they understood that the line had to be drawn short of religious litmus tests and mandated belief systems. There are plenty of things we need to talk openly about and understand how these gentlemen think..

" thousands of conversations, millions even -- around dinner tables, sitting at the b…

Mclaren: Presidential candidates

Anyone thinking about not voting should read this thoughtful commentary by celebrated author Brian Mclaren.

Here is a comment/quote that really struck me.

" I don't expect any candidate to be perfect. In fact, my theological beliefs tell me that I will always be choosing between the lesser of two evils - or more positively put, the better of two less-than-perfects. The fact that candidates are willing to endure the hard work, the media scrutiny, the pressure, the responsibility - of both the election and the office - can be seen a sign of something good. After all, if all a candidate cared about was personal peace, personal comfort, or personal wealth, there are a lot better ways to get ahead. So rather than say, "I don't think either candidate is good enough for my vote," I'm more prone to say, "Thank God that people are willing to run at all, and thank God that we have two…

Rhetoric vs Reality

Couple of comments came in today on my McCain post and they struck a chord with me.  I have definitely spent a lot of time in the past few years trying to figure out where to embrace reality.  I recognize that I often revel in rhetoric. I guess that is just how it is.  
As much as I try to become objective. I can't embrace indicting and accusatory ideas very well. This gets me and many into trouble when we have to make hard decisions.  Guess it is good I'm not running for President.  I'll say a prayer for those who are.  
I sincerely hope that we can all cut through the rhetoric and find an objective standard on which to base our decisions. Mine aren't perfect, but then again, I'm not sure any are. I'll keep working on it.   
Consistency through inconsistency.

Decision Made: McCain

I am a republican through and through.. yet I have spent months thinking about voting for the Democrats. I haven't been pleased in the past few years with my parties' performance.. however, I have to say that in the past few weeks, my decision and support has been made clear. My gut tells me to go with integrity, patriotism, knowledge and experience.
John McCain is the right choice for our future. I hope more and more people will spend time reading, learning, listening and thinking very carefully instead of listening to the media. Learn and think for yourself.. use your own personal experience to make decisions.
Mr Obama has personality, energy and charisma, but by his own admission, a tremendous lack of experience. John McCain and his straight talk express are the way to go.
Our world is out of control, our political system isn't perfect... we need leadership not just "hope" Hope is not a management strategy. It is essential, but it must be what is left, not w…

MultiVocational Vacations...NOT

Balance is the trick but it may not really exists, at least not in a linear form. For sure, the cycle time for restoring balance is difficult for me to handle these days. As the scales tip from one side to the other, it seems to take a LONG time to correct. That is a dangerous cycle, that means I need to make, more, smaller corrections.. instead of the big ones.. OR DO I?

Just like many artists, I am forced to maintain a "day job" to sustain my family. Our world doesn't value classical artists even when they value the art. We are just the entertainment for the week in most cases. Certainly not worth, paying for... when movies, and HD TV are available. (sorry that is a whole other tangent)

I have used my vacation time for performing in the past few years but that has put me into a dilemma. I don't ever seem to get a vacation. My recharge time is extremely limited and in the past months, it seems to take me longer and longer to switch gears between "vocational&qu…

Old and New

In the past few weeks, Tracee and I have been privileged to travel around and perform quite a bit. Musicians are strange creatures. Perhaps it is a performers curse, our souls seek out the art form for which we are suited.

I spend hours on this computer, writing, thinking, and "communicating" yet, I feel more disconnected than ever. It is so exciting to see names and faces on services like facebook and linkedin. Memories of old times return in a rush of emotion and energy. When I couple those "old" experiences with recent ones, at the Lasker Summer Music Festival, at the Powhatan 4th of July concert, and then this morning at Bon Air Baptist.. I am encouraged. The memories that seem to matter all revolve around making music and spending time with family. Connected or not, it is the actions and not the words that matter.

My community sustains me, both old and new. It burden and constrains me, both old and new. Connections to systems, and institutions set the bar for su…