Saturday, December 10, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

"Many Christian theologians have moved resolutely away from an exclusive Christology. Today Christology has become (or rebecome) inclusive….” ~Paul F. Knitter

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – where people become divisive about religion.  The angst of “Happy Holidays,” the “share this status if you believe…”

So many contradictions

When in the continuum of Christ theocracy did it become acceptable to exclude people? As one who lives on the fringe of acceptable society, I find exclusion troubling. 

I celebrate Christmas and I say “Merry Christmas” with great joy.  However, I know many who don’t celebrate Christmas.  I see nothing wrong with saying “Happy Holidays.”  Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s Day are within a week of each other this year.  This is a Holiday period that INCLUDES Christmas, so why EXCLUDE – Isn’t that the Christian thing to do (you know, that “love thy neighbor” thing… taken from the Torah)?  I do not do it to be politically correct; I do it to share with ALL in the joy of the season.  If you find “Happy Holidays” or anything other than a specific reference to Christ offensive, then remove your “Christmas” tree (ancient pre-Christ Middle Eastern practice condemned in the Bible,(Jeremiah 10: 2-4) and rethink Black Friday and all of the great bargains you are getting in the name of Christmas. 

As I write, I sit here listening to Christmas Carols.  Nice pagan practice in celebration of the Winter Solstice that was taken over by the ancient Roman and Greek Orthodox churches.  I don’t feel particularly blasphemous doing this.

Christmas as we know it today is a combination of many practices and rituals from many cultures and religions.  Does this in any way diminish it?  No.  I find that it makes it richer.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

Friday, November 18, 2011

What I Should Have Said

It is one of those classic situations.  A comment is made, you are caught off guard and mutter something vapid, then later think of a thousand great responses.

I was on a sidewalk when a woman walking her two little rats on a split leash strolled right into my path.  I could either stop or get out of the way.  Since it was a busy sidewalk, I had to do an ungraceful twist to avoid squashing one of the little bugs.  She stops, looks at me with an expression like she just smelled something bad and says, “Smile, it’s really not that tragic.” 

Oh, the possibilities…

I fought my immediate urge to blurt out something rude. I am still not sure why.  I felt the bitchy bile boil up and I swallowed it in all its bitterness.  Instead, I said “You’re right, it is not tragic.”  Unfortunately, that only emboldened her further.  “I don’t know what your problem is…”  WTF?!?

Again, the possibilities…

I just wanted to get past it (and her) so I said “I was not looking at you.”  I might as well have said, “Yeah… well you too!” or some other lame, dumbass thing.  For some reason my filter was fully engaged and all the myriad possibilities just vanished in the evening breeze.

It took only seconds for the “You know what I should have said?” to kick in. 

First, the facts… she had a scowl the whole time she was telling me to smile.  Maybe she was smiling in her mind, but the amount of cosmetic surgery over the years allowed only the rictus grin I saw.  Her little rat dogs were way too far ahead on the leash than one would expect in polite society.  Oh, that’s right, I live in Florida… ain’t nothin’ polite about it.  Her age inappropriate clothing only added to the picture that screamed “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!!!”… and I reacted to none of it.  I suppose I should be proud of myself for not stooping to her level, but it would have felt soooooo good to throw it all back at her.

OK, I need to get it out of my system.  WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID:

“Have you looked in a mirror lately?  Now that’s tragic!”  

“I am smiling.  I just stepped on one of your dogs.”

“Oh, that’s just me not giving a crap about what you think”

“Wow… have you saved those clothes since the 70’s?”

“I’ll smile when you can.  Maybe your surgeon can sew one for you.”

You get the idea.  Call it a missed opportunity, momentary lapse of reason, or just being someplace else mentally.  I promise I will not let this happen again… I have a reputation to uphold.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

All that Jazz…

…and every other style of music. 

My world has taken a serious turn toward seriously handling my music seriously.  I’m serious.

I will not rehash what I just wrote in my other blog eSyrup, which you can access from my profile page, hint, hint…  But let it suffice to say that I am focused.  Between managing my Facebook music page, SoundCloud page, and my other blog, I am flooding myself toward a singular purpose – getting back in the studio and making new music.

By taking on all of this, I am giving myself a boot in the appropriate place.  From a young age, I spent a lot of time with my music and it exploded in the ‘80’s.  First, performing in a couple of bands, and then creating a home studio where I composed and recorded feverishly.  Then, in 1998, it stopped.

What happened in 1998?  I quit my job of 20 years and bought a Bed and Breakfast.  Aside from the fact that it was a 24/7 business, it was not exactly conducive to playing and recording.  Knowing I did not have a place for my piano, drums, PA system, keyboard stands, and lots of miscellaneous goodies, I either sold them or put them in storage.  The electronics left in storage for five years did not survive and I just couldn’t get it together enough to build it all from the pieces I had left – let alone the cost of replacing what was gone.

But I did…slowly.  Now I am at the point where I can pick up where I left off.  Still, finding the motivation has not been forthcoming.  That’s where the boot in the butt comes in.  I have now put myself out there in the virtual world.  I have only a limited amount of properly recorded material that is suitable for public consumption.  Soon, I will need something new… and that spells motivation.

My life has been less than balanced these days.  I have known all along that music is the answer.  It is my passion and something I will always have the desire to do.  It is also something I can do that is a unique artistic expression – and that is important to me.

So enough of all that jazz… let’s play!