Aaron Vanderzwan on Blogger

Monday, November 28, 2005

General Christian Perception of the World

"For God so loved THE WORLD that God gave God's only Son..." - John 3:16

God loves the world, not just part of it, just as God loved the Israelites. There were 12 tribes of the Israelites. Only one of them, the Levites, were the devoted worshippers of God. What were the other 11 tribes doing while the Levites were worshipping? Well the common response is, obviously sinning. (Nathan Johnson, The Cinematic Underground)

I created this post out of a frustration that The Cinematic Underground expressed during their concert; this idea of N.E.C. Art, (Not Explicitely Christian Art) being rediculously bogus. This is the "hip christianity". They were frustrated (as I understand it) because Jesus came to redeem the world not just the Christian part of it. Christians categorize themselves as being the group that God loves and puts the rest of the world into this "other" category, a category of the unclean, the sinful, the foresaken. They speak for God in that God only loves one tribe, the Christian tribe. The truth is, God loves THE WORLD... all of the tribes, clean or unclean, sinful or righteous. This is the primary reason, as I can understand, that God sent God's son... to redeem THE WORLD. This obliterates the idea of N.E.C. Art because if this is really the case, every art becomes N.E.C. art.

Please let me know your disagreements, or if I misrepresented.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Photo - Looking Out of a Coffee House Window at Night

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Richard Cory - Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored, and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good-morning," and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich - yes, richer than a king-
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Media Player - 11.17.05

------ Added ------
+15. Fort Minor - Where'd You Go [Official Website]

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

On My First Son - Ben Jonson (1573-1637)

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy.
My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and thee I pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy,
To have so soon 'scaped world's and flesh's rage,
And if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and asked, say, "Here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry,"
For whose sake henceforth all his vows be such
As what he loves may never like too much.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Media Player - 11.15.05

------ Added ------
+14. Cinematic Underground - My Dear Self (Calvin College -> Thurs. 17, 2005)
[Official Website]

Pop Music... *sigh*

Okay. So a couple of nights ago I went to a Yellowcard show. The Pink (somethings) and Acceptance opened for them. It was actually a decent show.

For anyone who knows me recently, you understand that I have kind of become, for lack of a better word, a "music nazi". I like to say that I am only one in the laziest, weakest of forms, but non the less, still a "music nazi". For anyone who doesn't know, that is someone who is very particular as to what is considered "good" music and what isn't.

I imagine this is a non-issue for most people, probably even most people that are going to read this post (of the 4 or 5 that do... haha), and I sympathize with that notion; whatever sounds good, is good. However I also feel that music is something that should be reserved for artistic expression. My largest problem with corporate music has been it's 'dumbing down the listener' movement. It often seems to promote the lack of attention that is needed for listening to honest artistic expression and just caters to what people want to hear. I see this as a problem because then when an artist does want to use music as artistic expression it gets washed down the drain with all of the other wannamakemoney garbage. People eventually don't even notice what the song is saying, simply "how fun it is", or "how it makes me feel".

Corporate music is often focused, not on the art, but on the money that can be produced from faking the art. They take the money and opportunity away from the ones that are trying to be meaningful and give the money and opportunity to the ones that will follow the script and die their hair black because they are "rebellious teenagers".

I am being very cynical and most of it probably isn't necessary but hopefully I am getting some kind of point across.

So here we are. This is my issue with corporate music. Yellowcard falls deeply into that category. I was watching it and so much of it seemed scripted: verse, bridge, refrain, verse, bridge, refrain, interlude, quited bridge, heavy refrain 2X, end... "this is what you do to make money". Now that may not be true, but it not being true brings me to my next point. I was sitting there, definitely condemning the other people, who were standing around me, for loving the music that they were singing so much, music that supported nothing substantial, asked no honest questions, used the most horrible imagery possible (but rhymed) and was as predictable as 3 follows 2. But through my contempt for these people I realized something:

There was such great community in the room. It dawned on me that even though all of these people were singing lyrics that really meant nothing, they were all singing the lyrics together, and were leaning against each other, meeting others, sharing, exiting their suberban bubble. There has to be something good that can be said about that right? I mean, if our common goal is community (from my earlier post), there was definitely something community about everyone in there with the same passion for the same (crappy) band.

It brought deep shame upon me. How could I be the only one in the room wishing death on all of these people? Who am I to sit here and think myself better? I still buy from the mall, put gas in my car, and do all sorts of things that is just as bad as pay $15 to support "the machine". Hell, Death Cab for Cutie, one of my most respected bands has completely sold out to big business commercialism, and are now making millions. I have a problem with that, but isn't that their opportunity? Does this mean that their music is any crappier? Aren't the truly amazing bands not the Yellowcards but the Nirvana's and the Wilco's anyways? (take that Death Cab)

I was greatly humbled, especially when explaining how I was going to the concert some of my friends laughed at me and gave me a rough time. Well screw that, isn't that in a way just as much of a machine? I hated that it was 'me' who was laughing at me.

I am not at all advocating not being critical of the music that we listen too, in fact I believe that we should be critical more than ever. I think that I just have to remember not to look less upon people with different opinions, focuses, or goals than I do. I was disgusted by my own behavior and greatly humbled. Who knows maybe I will write a song about it that no one will pay attention to... *sigh*

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Media Player - 11.13.05

------ Additions ------
+1. Stars - Heart
+2. Laura Cantrell - Hammer and Nails
+3. Bloc Party - Banquet
+4. John Doe - Twin Brother
+5. Amestory - Constants
+6. Great Lake Swimmers - Various Stages
+7. Starsailor - Some of Us
+8. Dead Meadow - At Her Open Door
+9. Neverending White Lights - The Grace
+10. Toad and the Wet Sprocket - Walk On
+11. Sigur Rós - Glósóli (see the video here)
+12. Cinematic Underground - Annasthesia
+13. Port Authority - My Faith Is Worn

------- Removals -------
-1. The Dreadful Yawns - Village Idiot
-2. Dolorean - Hannibal, MO
-5. The Ebb and Flow - Framer Framed
-7. The Stairs - Escape Clause

Photo - Coffee House

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Media Player - 11.12.05

Today I added a link to my media player. I will be continuously adding and removing songs that I enjoy. Let me know if you enjoy them aswell or the opposite and preferable why. I will post when there are any changes.

------ Additions ------
+1. The Dreadful Yawns - Village Idiot
+2. Dolorean - Hannibal, MO
+3. John Doe - Twin Brother
+4. Stars - Heart
+5. The Ebb and Flow - Framer Framed
+6. Starsailor - Some of Us
+7. The Stairs - Escape Clause
+8. Toad and the Wet Sprocket - Walk on the Ocean
+9. Sigur Rós - Glósóli (see the video here)
+10. Cinematic Underground - Annasthesia

------ Removals ------

Photo - Coffee House

Coffee Shop

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Racism... Still alive and well...

I will just share my disgust. I came across a person today that said, "They are so dumb. Why would you be offended by being called what you are, black." I almost hit him in the face. I couldn't really believe what I was hearing. I have always thought about why there is still racism and repression still going strong in our world and could never understand really where it was. I think about all of the movement over the last 50 years towards something called equality especially in the United States, and I don't understand why someone would argue something like this. It really seems that these comments lead the progression back on its heels, back towards the box it so deserves to be released from. Hit from below; it's balanced is questioned but only for a second.

But in all honesty the ignorance that is still EVERYWHERE in the world today (myself included) really suffers the movement of equality. Even among secular sects of contemporary philosophy there is a strong movement of morals being sourced in the value of community and friendship. I see in no way how comments like this could bring about any positive reaction among any group of people. In fact, I really think that arguing towards classifying people does the exact opposite of building community in a world that is so desolate and in need of love.

I don't know. It seems to me, religion excluded, if our common goal is existence, it is then a common imperative that we support an idea of community and happiness. Anything opposite, to the extreme, leaves us empty and lifeless. This is an ethical judgement I am making that is easily debateable. However, I truly feel like community is a place to start. Primarily following aristotilian philosophy of moral good, friendship is quite high on the list. Either way, it is hard to see how comments and arguments like these bring us towards a better life or resolution.

Especially today, people are not red and yellow black and white. Our world, if it happens to continue for a while longer is moving in the direction of a single race and single culture. If the earth lasts long enough, that is where we will be. Think about it, you have 20 paints and you slowly mix them, eventually you have one colour. The truth is our differences in this planet are very small. We all express and emote, and we are all full of shit. Moving people into different categories of our existence is absolutely in no way towards something positive, instead it moves us in the opposite direction, the direction of disrespect and persecution.

I understand that this comment was said in conversation between a few and in my opinion, the guy who said it isn't racist, just questions common norms. However, this does not seem to absolve all blame. Maybe he understood who I was and that I would not at all be swayed by his comments, but for many the race issue teeters between the sick Jim Crow idea that the african american man as an evil creature and being an equal to any other man. I don't feel like this comment would compel anyone in the direction that I think is important for our society, the one towards equality. For this I was deeply frustrated...