Friday, August 18, 2006

Why Wait?

As I was driving home this afternoon, I happened to listen to Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer. It's a lovely sounding song - Mayer has a lot of talent and great pipes - but I don't agree with his lyrics. It is interesting in this era of an unpopular war to listen to this generation of protest songs. Click on the link above for the full set of lyrics to the song.

Basically Mayer's message is that our generation is misunderstood and people think we don't stand for anything. "Now we see everything that's going wrong/ with the world and those who lead it/ we just feel like we don't have the means/ to rise above and beat it." Wow, what an amazing attitude - that will get you places.

Now, if you're reading this you may think I am taking a song way too seriously, but it's a serious topic and raises some questions. First, we live in the richest country in the world. We can vote, we can say what we like without the gestapo whisking us away in the middle of the night - we pretty much have every means at our disposal to make change happen. If you're bothered about what's going on, use your head, use your voice, use your youth and energy. If you're over 25, start a grassroots campaign and run for office. We live in a NOW society, but change can take a while. It took time to get where we are, and it will take time to change direction.

The second thing in Mayer's lyrics that bothered me was "and when you trust your television/ what you get is what you got/ cause when they own the information, oh/ they can bend it all they want." Ok - this is incredible. If you're getting all of your news from television you may need some more help than one woman can provide. Never in the history of the world have we had such amazing access to all sorts of media - not only newspaper and radio, but a cornucopia of web content. With the web, nobody owns the information. Download an RSS reader and subscribe to newsfeeds! Make your own information in a free blog or web site. Rank the importance of a news story at I am a librarian and therefore I try to get my news from a variety of sources, and I can guarantee you I am not seeing only pro-war content out there. Salon and the New York Times are huge and freely accessible on the web if you want perspectives that you feel you aren't getting from the Fox News network.

Finally, the third line I want to take to task is: "It's not that we don't care/ we just know that the fight ain't fair/ so we keep on waiting/ waiting for the world to change." A fair fight? I'm sorry, but the fight began when we were suckerpunched by suicidal monsters in airplanes. That wasn't fair.

Even if there was no link between Al Qaeda and Iraq, we took down an absolute despot. This is a guy who would have his countrymen arrested, strip them naked, hang them by their hands with their arms backward, and have them beaten or electrocuted to death. In any case, I am sure Saddam Hussein would not have refused the opportunity to have a go at the Great Satan with Osama bin Laden. I find it interesting that those who say conservatives see things only in black and white tend to have some of their own monchromatic viewpoints.

So John, I have to say I give it a 5 for the music and a 0 for the lyrics. I'm just not buying it. Being passive and being a pacifist don't mean the same thing. Remember, my young minstrel - a man of thought AND action gets more chicks.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Book On Deck

Next up on the reading list: Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be: A Rock & Roll Fairy Tale

I am excited about this one. I have gotten on a biography/authobiography kick lately, and this one looks very cool. It's a memoir by a woman named Jen Trynin. Apparently she was on the verge of making it big around 1994 - she was on the cover Billboard and in Rolling Stone and had Aimee Mann as her friend/mentor, and things just sort of bottomed out and it didn't happen. Anyway, the book came out this year. I haven't read it yet so I can't recommend it, but it looks very promising! Here is her site:

Almost finished with Savage Beauty. If you don't read any other poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, read "Renascence."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Series of Tubes

I had heard about this on the news, and looked it up and found a hilarious recap on BoingBoing:

Sunday, July 2, 2006
Sen. Stevens' hilariously awful explanation of the Internet
Senator Ted Stevens, a neutricidal maniac who wants to allow the phone companies to charge Google and others for delivering their packets to you, gave this incredible description of his understanding of how the internet works. This man is so far away from having a coherent picture of the Internet's functionality, it's like hearing a caveman expound on the future of silver-birds-from-sky and why we need to keep them from flying so high they anger the gods.

"I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially...

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material."