Monthly Archives: December 2010

American politics still amaze me, and that tea party stuff is just insane sometimes!!!


I must say that I still don’t understand much about american politics. The more I find out about it, the less I see coherence or logic in some of it. The regular democrats and republicans are already strange to me sometimes (just as our Belgian parties can be pretty freaky) but the so-called ‘tea party’ is sometimes more freaking weird than I’d expect reality to be, and more something for some over-the-top unrealistic movie.

This is a good example: “Tea party leader: Restricting vote to property owners ‘makes a lot of sense’”. I know the tea party is a loose bunch of protestors who react against something that’s supposed to be ‘socialist’ or even ‘liberal’ who don’t always have much more in common than to be ‘conservative’ and against Obama’s politics, but time after time they baffle me!

(As a european I myself would call a lot of their views plainly (neo)liberal, and the McCarthyist witch hunt against ‘socialism’ reminds me of those anti-rock’n roll preachers who see Aleister Crowley from a mile even when he isn’t there, but would not recognise Jesus if he’d stand just before them)

The Founding Fathers originally said, they put certain restrictions on who gets the right to vote, (…) one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community. If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.

Apart from the fact that I as a non-American am probably just unable to understand the veneration of the ‘founding fathers’, to the point that they are misquoted and re-invented to fit a lot of different ideologies, this idea sounds to me like a lot like the ‘ancien regime’, or the supposed ‘stupid evil guys’ I’ve learned of that came before belgium was a real democratic country. I know that in those days we even had a system that gave rich people more votes, and poor people none, which is just plain unfair. The ideas of this ‘tea party’ guy are one step in the direction of bringing those injustices back under the guise of ‘democracy’….

I’ve always found that the American 2-party system and representative democracy is a very weak and dilluted form of democracy. An actual real and non-represented democracy would only work in a small community or tribe anyway; and the polarisation between 2 arbitrary party programs that have grown historically looks very strange to an outsider. But that’s something I’m used to. But this is an insult to anything that’s left of the idea of democracy!

I’m affraid that it’s only the tip of the weirdness iceberg, and I guess people like this are to American conservatism what Fred Phelps and the Westboro baptist Church are for Christianity: an evil parody, that does much harm for the thing it claims to represent. And still it’s scary…

And one would almost echo the question of those psychologists: is political conservatism a mild form of insanity? (I don’t believe in any conservative-progessive polarisation I would agree with one of both sides sometimes, disagree with both at other times…)

shalom

Bram

Christian music as a genre?


Michael Gungor, the guy who wrote the instant hit ‘God is not a white man‘, has written a very interesting blog post about the genre of christian music, a topic I am planning to also write about in the near future.

The 2 problems he sees with the ‘Christian music’ category’ are very interesting:

First there is the issue of discrimination.  If a record store had a “gay music” section, people would be infuriated.  Why?  Because it’s discriminatory.  To relegate someone’s art to a small subculture of sub-art simply because that person is gay is wrong.  It hurts that artist.  It hurts all of us.  I think it’s the same with Christian music.  There are plenty of us who are Christian artists who have no desire to simply stay within some CCM ghetto around people that all think the same about everything.  There are plenty of us who are open minded to the thoughts and opinions of others who would love to enter the conversation of our culture not as a superior, bigoted judge of the rest of the world, but as a fellow human being who also has opinions and thoughts about the world that we live in that we love to express through music.

Being placed in the Christian section is the musical equivalent of a pizza company being forced by somebody to call their pizza place “Pete’s Christian Pizza” even if they’d rather not.  Can you see how forcing a business person to label their business a Christian business just because they are a Christian would be discriminatory?  It is the same thing forcing a musician who simply wants to make beautiful and honest music into the Christian category of music.  You might as well paint a scarlet letter across our chests.

Secondly, I think that this categorization hurts the art.  Because this category exists, it comes with baggage.  Imagine if you were a Republican, and you really believed Republican values, but you found out that if you wanted to make a record that it would be placed in the small Republican Music section in the back of the store.  That might effect how you make the music…  If you are going to make a “Republican record” as opposed to simply making a record as a Republican, it would probably effect the art.  In fact, it might have a tendency to overtake the art and turn it into Republican propaganda.  The music becomes secondary to the message, which means the music is probably going to suck.  You can only rhyme “Limbaugh” with so many things after all… (more here)

Michael is right on in my opinion. What do you all think? If we’d be consequent and put music in categories of content, we’d have a ‘hate and violence’ section with a lot of rap and some metal, and an ‘empty oversexed nonsense’ with a lot of top 40 R&B and pop. Now that would be interesting ;)

And the next song (a 2001 hit from the dutch symphonic metalband within temptation) would be definitely in a  ‘pagan gaia worship’ corner of the record store… I’ve always found that the whole CD sounded a lot like a Christian album but then  from another religion, and that’s not really a compliment I’m affraid.

stay (un)tuned, I hope I’ll get back at this topic soon…

Bram