Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sometimes one listens to a song and hears the other times one hears a song and "feels" the music. Tonight while I was at the gym listening to Pearl Jam's song World Wide Suicide I found myself "feeling" the emotional force behind this song...then...later I found my mind pondering why I sometimes feel like we are at the brink of a World Wide Suicide...and... Here are 15 reasons why I sometimes feel the existential angst behind this particular song.

When I am reminded of the war in Iraq and the loss of American and Iraqi lives.

When I continue to hear one bad story after another regarding the economic situation in America and the potential implications for the rest of the world.

When I am reminded of the story of a woman I know who was raped by her father who was a deacon in the church and a leader in the community.

When I see people I know who have been legitimately victimized and can't break themselves from the shackles and bondage of the victim mentality.

When I see politicians willing to do "almost" anything to win an election.

When I see so much money spent on the nomination process.

When I am channel surfing and come across one of those ridiculous reality shows. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I "hate" all these shows...for the record.

Whenever I hear one more story about the Reverend Wright and the guilt by association implications that come from some quarters.

When I see people I know who are caught in the destructive web of workaholism.

When I visited my mom's vacant house and discovered gang bangers had tagged the entire inside with graffiti. I almost threw up.

When I drive around town and see house after house after house either for sale, rent, or in the process of being foreclosed.

When I am overwhelmed with such powerful emotions like fear to the point where I feel like I am having an out of body experience.

When I hear idiots who have not stepped into a classroom in twenty or thirty years assert they know and understand the terrible plight of public education in this country.

Anytime I allow myself to listen to talk radio...and...remember that millions of people listen to this "shit"...pardon my French...

And finally, whenever I hear a anyone assert that Barack Obama has no substance and anyone who follows or supports him is simply caught up in a "cult of personality"


Dave said...

That's quite a litany of lamentations, Bill. I was especially saddened to think about your mom's house. That just seems so random and cruel and pointless. Of course many others are suffering worse abuses, but that just struck close to home. Maybe because I work with kids who are liable to do something that stupid and thoughtless and don't probably have a clue as to how much hurt they're causing to people who they have no reason to despise.

But yes, there is a lot of negativity going around these days. I just saw a poll this morning that says 81% of all Americans feel the country is on the wrong track. I wonder who the 19% are who say they're satisfied with the way things are!? Of course not everyone agrees on what the solution is but clearly it seems like without some kind of significant, maybe even drastic change, we could be in for the kind of brutal collapse that Eddie Vedder prophesies in that classic song from 2006.

I also get what you said about the impact that a song can have when one listens to it while working out at the gym! I had a run of songs all about love this morning - I had a mix of songs from 1978 on my iPod: "Love Is Thicker Than Water" by Andy Gibb, "Who Do You Love" by George Thorogood, "Love Is Like Oxygen" (you get too much, you get too high, not enough and you're gonna die!) by Sweet, and "Flying High On Your Love" by the Bar-Kays (classic funk band.) I swear I didn't set it up that way - I was on random shuffle - but they came out in that order. Made for some interesting introspection, to say the least. Later, after about 45 minutes on the cardio machine, the workout ended up with "Complete Control" by the Clash and "Crawling to the USA" by Elvis Costello - not exactly the ideal "cool down" tunes by any measure! But it worked pretty well for me today. :o)

Kansas Bob said...

I read your list Bill and I thought of the words greed, materialism and selfishness. I think that these negative qualities are somewhat ruining our culture. I think that we are becoming an increasingly hedonistic culture. It makes me sad.

I was saddened when I read about your mom's house.. sad about many of the thoughts on your list. I am glad that you teach Bill. I'm glad that you have a heart to light a candle in what is a somewhat dark place.

Bilbo said...

Hi Dave,

Good to hear your voice. Although I am pissed off and hurt about my mom's house I hear you about kids not having a clue about what they are doing. I work with a bunch of knuckleheads who probably do the same kind of thing with their spare time. I grew up in that house and it was my refuge for the first four years after my divorce. If my mom hadn't allowed me to live in her house with me I probably would have went bankrupt...I hope my "lamentations" did put too much a damper on your day. I am not particularly depressed more than normal, but I had a pretty rough couple of days earlier in the week...and...all the bad economic news doesn't help. 80,000 thousand laid off last month. I think we are headed for some really rough times...Good to hear that you are getting some exercise and maybe I should spend this week-end listening to some "love songs"....nah...that will probably make me more depressed...out of here...heading off to the Scottish games for the rest of the day...

Bilbo said...

Hey Bob,

Good to see you pop in...I concur with your reference to greed, materialism, hedonism, and selfishness. These are givens from my perspective which is why I didn't mention wanted to personalize the source of "my angst"...and...I am fortunate to have the kind of job I do because it has been the only thing in my life for the past twenty years that has been a positive outlet for me day in and day out...and...I probably would have lost it and gone over the edge a long time ago if I had the kind of job most people do...Appreciate your compliments Bob...and...I hope your Jayhawks do well. Although I am from Southern Cal, I really don't care who wins...I'll probably root for UCLA but I have no emotional ties with the Bruins. I'm an USC guy....

I was saddened when I read about your mom's house.. sad about many of the thoughts on your list. I am glad that you teach Bill. I'm glad that you have a heart to light a candle in what is a somewhat dark place.

3:40 PM