That's the spirit of the whole thing, isn't it? A place to discuss whatever is on your mind - ask questions when you have them, propose theories or explain thoughts when they come to you. An open place for conversation among many diverse individuals.


If you would like to join our community, please leave a comment, and we will be sure to add you as an author. You're also welcome to join the conversation on Twitter, just search 'weekendphilosophers'. All questions can be directed to

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A response...if you will

I'm so glad I'm not alone in my desire to ave a little conversation that actually requires a little though prior to speaking (or in this case typing, but the response is the same). It seems that whenever someone leaves an institute of learning, they immediately leave anything intelligent they may have had to say as well. "I didn't know" or "it's someone else's responsibility" are more and more becoming acceptable excuses for endangering incompetence. While it still seems little are fetched that stupidity could be the downfall of society, I sometimes fear that this ineptitude will lead to things far worse than we could ever imagine, if not on the global scale, at least here in America where things have already begun crumbling. I feel like a Roman as the empire came crashing in on itself due to spreading of military forces and corruptness in our political leaders. Some serious changes need to occur and it looks like it'll have to start with our that's some scary shit because I know these kids and I wonder if we're up to it. I hope this thing catches on though, I really enjoying having these types of talks, and yet it seems that there is no real appropriate place for them out in the "real world." Somebody remember to discuss the "real world" at a later date, the whole concept would make an excellent discussion, however, moving on past my own hubris on creating this wonderfully popular blog for us to talk these things out...

As for the music industry, I could not agree more. Mainstream America's silence here during a national disgrace ongoing in Iraq is more unsettling than anything else. Has pop music really gone that soft? Do they have nothing to say? What is wrong with this picture? I suppose first we must look at the movement against Vietnam so we have that starting point for argument. So it was the late sixties and the two most influential artists of all time, the Beatles and Bob Dylan, were at the top of their game and campaigned endlessly against the war (so much, in fact, that the FBI tried to have John Lennon deported). I think this had a major contribution into the protest efforts on mainstream America since it was sold as the cool thing to do - it wasn't at all controversial, it was what the big guns were doing, so everyone could do it. Today, there are no Beatles or Bob Dylan leading the way for songwriters and radio DJs, really it's a big guessing game on what will be popular and what will disappear into pop trivial history. On one side, I see the logic of the record industry staying away from the controversial topics with all of the other problems they are dealing with. The four remaining majors (with another merger imminent) are falling fast to piracy and new competition like cheap DVDs and video games, while the bread and butter of the industry, the teenagers, just don't seem to care anymore and aren't buying CDs as a sign of the times. They keep hoping one amazing hit single will save them, but they have to look bigger than that...and that's the side I see, that they are playing the only game they know how and aren't looking for alternatives. They are playing it safe with songs they know will do well on the radio and staying as far away from controversy as possible, probably as a kind of response to the Dixie Chicks backlash. A boycott like that could be the fatal blow to an already crippled industry. They aren't seeing, however, the main catalyst in the Dixie Chicks situation - the Dixie Chicks' main audience was made up entirely of red state supporters. Pop music is made up of a lot more diverse, politically, audience. I suppose indie rock has always had it's political moments, but unfortunately the limited audience isn't changing any minds or motivating any apathetic listeners. Way back in 2003, the Fiery Furnaces released "We Got Back the Plague," one of the first truly political songs to come out of the indie underground in response to Bush and his antics. I think it may have taken this long because it did take a while for 1) everyone to move past September 11th, as it was such a catastrophic event for us, as a nation to witness and 2) figure out that we were indeed being duped into some pointless war...we all saw the writing on the wall, but couldn't exactly read it until it was too late as we were wrapped up in swell of other emotions. Once the occupation started in 2004, many bands from Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M. and Pearl Jam toured and campaigned for John Kerry and while the concerts were a huge success, they ultimately came up short wen stirring up the vote. Later year, Eminem released his lackluster political single "Mosh," but it was October and most states had already closed registration for those of voting age. The same can be said for P. Diddy's, Moby's and others failed voting campaigns - too little too late. That's not to say music is a complete failure on the political front. More songs came out, for instance Rilo Kiley "It's a Hit", Bright Eyes "Road to Joy" and the Decemberists "16 Military Wives", but after the 2004 election was a bust (how did he get re-elected?) a lot seemed to move on, or lose hope (Bright Eyes went apocalyptic on "No One Would Riot For Less"). The Beastie Boys released "To the 5 Boroughs," both a grieving album for New York, but also a venting of sorts towards the maddening stupidity and bad decisions coming out of OUR White House. With 17 months to go until the next election and nobody seems to be able to wait - now that's depressing!

Now to answer my own question, I prefer the Prestige because the love story in the Illusionists seems too contrived and while it is difficult to dislike a film with both Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, but I don't much care for Jessica Biel and poor on-screen chemistry didn't help much. As for the Prestige, it was an intriguing story that had me guessing until the very end, plus David Bowie as (my favorite eccentric scientist) Nikola Tesla! Just my opinion though, yours?


No comments: