truth

Music: Promote This Star

I used to think that country was one of the most pure forms of music left. And I don’t mean in terms of sound but lyrics. Country used to be more about love, family, and let’s face it, religion, without being overtly sexual or demeaning. Now, however, that has changed.

More and more country singers are turning to the ways of their comrades in other musical genres and creating lyrics that are actually pretty sexist and degrading to women. Now, I’m not talking about the musics videos, let’s be clear here. Basically all music videos are demeaning to women and even men more recently, in terms of let’s call them costume choices and dance moves.

No, the issue that concerns me is how many country singers are actually starting to treat women like sex objects. However, a new duo called Maddie & Tae has come up with a great answer to all those songs. It can be found in the above video and I, for one, find it very entertaining and satisfying.

Great voices, witty lyrics, and caustic comebacks from two beautiful women who, in other circumstances, might have been a “Girl In A Country Song”.

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Mystery Ending

(From the Daily Post) Now, the “challenge” part of this challenge: every day for the next four days, open your draft and add to/edit what you’ve already written to fold in something new. Here’s your progression:

  • Day One: start your post.
  • Day Two: add a quote from a conversation you had with someone today (an email, instant message, or text conversation is fine, too).
  • Day Three: add something related to what your childhood self wanted to be when you grew up, or a dream you have for your future.
  • Day Four: add a reference to something currently in your refrigerator.
  • Day Five: add something inspired by a song you heard today. If you didn’t hear any music, use something you read (and turn on the radio!).

 

In a society that consistently pushes us to be better than the person next to us and define that gap a little more clearly, have we lost what it truly means to be great? When we celebrate participation and don’t keep score at sporting events, haven’t we really started to praise mediocrity? There are students who overwhelm themselves trying to be everything at once and others who simply can’t be bothered to try. Some schools hand out A’s like they are candy simply because having a C is now seen as not average but less in some way. Coursework has gotten easier in some ways and more difficult in others. And those who want to learn are often throw into a system that can’t properly cultivate that thirst for knowledge.

For example, I had a conversation today with a young woman who didn’t know what an amended tax return is, and I should probably mention that this student also happens to be a finance major at a prestigious business school. If our youth are so unprepared to meet the world that they don’t even know how to file their taxes, let alone amend them if need be, then what has all of that schooling really been preparing them for? Schools aren’t teaching lessons on how to be an adult and act in the real world but rather they are being sheltered from what they really need to know in order to survive. Something as simple as creating a budget or filing your taxes should be a class taught to our students rather than drones of meaningless facts and equations that they will probably never use again.

I had a variety of careers that I wanted as a kid, most notably, I wanted to be a doctor. But of course for me, I had a specific type in mind. I don’t remember which book gave me the idea, perhaps it was “Toxin” by Robin Cook, but I decided I wanted to be a cardiac-thoracic surgeon. That is until I heard the sound of a bone snap for the first time. Then that dream died. Now, I want to be a novelist. Well a writer, at least. Plus I want my writing to mean something, to influence people, specifically I want to inspire young women to embrace who they want to be. I want them to celebrate what they can accomplish in their lives and never have to give up on that dream.

And one of the most important parts of being a writer is obviously the snacks. And the tea but that’s a topic for another time. In the quest to make a difference, you have to treat your body well and to that end, I went to Trader Joe’s today. Boy, have I missed that store. I brought my 10 year old cousin with me and introduced her to the magical world of organic and all-natural. And we bought chicken pot-sticker dumplings. And damn are they good. Definitely worth keeping in my fridge, or rather in this case, my freezer.

As it is now Sunday, I can’t remember any song that I heard on the radio on Friday. But fortunately, I am reading a fascinating book by David Sedaris. His views on family and holidays are highly entertaining. “Holidays on Ice” is hysterical yet odd at times. I read a story called “Dinah – The Christmas Whore” and I had to try so hard not to snicker loudly late at night. No idea how this story might tie into the earlier ideas on society and mediocrity but I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned in there. I am very much enjoying Sedaris’ take on life, his humor, although sometimes dark, has the ability to make you think about life in different ways.

I’ve also decided that I’m not going to bother to go back and reread or edit any of my thoughts from the previous days. I’m simply going to post this and let the world see it for what it is. Love it or hate it, it is what it is: the product of whatever I was thinking and feeling on a given day. So have at it.

The Truth About Capitalism

A friend of mine recently posted this article and after reading it, plus some of the redirected articles embedded within, I am simply floored.

With joy and awe, that is.

Our nation is in crisis mode, and now, more than ever, we need people willing to stand up and say things like “Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.” Nick Hanauer, an ultra-rich capitalist, is the man who wrote that.

Finally, there is someone on the other side of the fence that is getting the right idea and putting it out for the public to see!! Hanauer goes on to talk about how the conversation about raising the federal minimum wage and the declining middle class shouldn’t be about injustice or pity but it should be about regaining what this country stands for: equality. And no, this isn’t a plea for redistributing the wealth but rather one to restore the balance of power.

“That is why investments in the middle class work. And tax breaks for rich people like us don’t. Balancing the power of workers and billionaires by raising the minimum wage isn’t bad for capitalism. It’s an indispensable tool smart capitalists use to make capitalism stable and sustainable. And no one has a bigger stake in that than zillionaires like us.”

Hanauer discusses trickle-down economics and how ineffective it is for allowing sustainable capitalism growth. The gap between the the upper and lower classes is rising and not shrinking and the policy writers in Washington don’t seem to grasp that workers and consumers are the same people. Higher paid workers have more disposable income to spend which in turn grows businesses. True, some small businesses might suffer at first under the higher overhead of a larger minimum wage, but the end result would be happier, more productive workers that can spend more as consumers. 

The article also addresses the constant cry of “supply and demand” and what it really means in real-world economics. A rich man doesn’t need more things than a poor one. They both require the basic necessities. And while the rich man might buy a wider assortment of products but no significant depth in any one category. Do you know where the rest of their money goes after all the purchases and investments? The bank. Same as anyone else’s. And do you know what it does there? Nothing. It sits and perhaps gains interest. But do you know what it’s definitely not doing? It’s not being put back into the economy. They already have all the shirts and pants and pillows and furniture they need.They already bought their car and their vacation home. So the rest of those millions that they earned? They sit, unspent, wasting space.

Read the article embedded at the top of this post. And definitely leave comments or reblog if it speaks to you in any way, positive or negative.