A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Friday, December 26, 2003 :::
A quiet Christmas. The flu of last week means in the place of Midnight Mass with His Holiness and Christmas dinner reading alone in the one halfway decent restaurant within the shadows of the Vatican, there was Mass at 10 in the morning, a lousy dinner at a restaurant on the beach with Dad, a later dinner with the rest of the family, and lots of work on translations and other things. But it is always amusing to see people crowd over on the right side of the Church so they can receive Communion from the celebrant, as if there were more Jesus in that bread than in that handed out by the deacon, but Jesus is just as present in the Host from the deacon's hand as the Host from the priest's, and in Wilmington, NC, as He is in Rome, only being in the presence Karol Wojtyla at least makes everything SEEM more real.

There's a name for that doctrine--that Jesus can't be broken up into little bits--and it slips the old mind.

A few thoughts.

The difference between country music and pop? Country musicians still play their own instruments, and play them very well. Last summer, in Palo Alto, A Mind That Suits saw the saddest comment on our musical culture: two rich kids "busking" with their synthesizer, which meant one of them occasionally pressed a button while talking to the other kid. Clint Black was on CMT with a concert of Christmas songs. Just him and his guitar, sitting in front of fireplace, picking out the most lovely guitar work you'd ever want to hear.

Now, the older generation of Heavy Metal artists are in fact first rate guitarists. Richie Sambora, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani--all first rate, and all apparently Jersey Italians, judging by their names. The regrettable Yngwie Malmsteen was in fact one of the last students of Carlos Montoya, the greatest classical guitarist of all time. But one suspects the day when that is true is quickly fading...

Speaking of music, a nice long list of country music greats from friend Tom, along with a list of other great music, brings to mind one of the funniest things about living in a Hispanic neighborhood, which A Mind That Suits has done forever, and that is the evident discomfort of rich young activist types on discovering that living with the masses entails enduring some of the cheesiest music ever made by man. But constant exposure has revealed to A Mind That Suits that there are real treasures out there, some of them are even produced by Enrique Iglesias, the best crossover pop act out there right now.

But activists are looking for one kind of music--indeed, for one kind of experience--and that is something that will remind them of the sadness of the world, and how much more they feel it than anyone else does. And so the "world" music they like always sounds exactly the same, no matter what country it comes from. But Third World people are identical to people everywhere, and they want music to accompany every moment of their lives,especially the one that comes at the end of the work week.

For some reason, C-Span thought that a good way to celebrate Christmas was to rebroadcast a panel discussion on German reunification with George H.W. Bush, Helmut Kohl, and Mikhail Gorbachev. Now if there is one person that it would be nice to never have to see again, it would be Mrl. Gorbachev. He has had entirely too long a run speaking at conferences of people who want to think that their misconceptions about the Cold Ward were in fact right. He used to even make fun of those slightly out therethings that Ronald Reagan was quite capable of saying. A Mind That Suits found hiimself dreaming of being able to pony up the $1k for a dinner seat tso he could ask Mr. Gorbachev how it was that silly old Ron was able to sit in a room alone with Mikey-boy and force him to give up his wretched empire. It is to Gorbachev's credit that he quit when he knew it was over, rather than inflict untold more suffering on his own and other people, but his main role in history was losing gracefully. Last time he ran for President of Russia, he got less than 1% of the vote. These days, this old Reaganaut simply wants this man to go away. Now would be a good time.

The odd thing is that Helmut Kohl was probably the smartest of the three, but he was also the biggest, most uncouth lout. No social skills whatsoever, which means that he was subject to even more abuse than Reagan by the elites in his country. And his goofy personal style never helped much. At his greatest moment--the convening of the first united German parliament in 45 years--he stood up to address his colleagues, the nation, and the world. Only some aide had abbreviated "meine dammen und herren" (ladies and gentlemen). And so he began his most important speech ever, "My Deutsche Mark and gentlemen." True story, but a larger than life man. The ignominious end to his public career should not blind us to the fact that if he had not stood strong in Central Europe in the 1980's, Gorbachev might have squeezed a few more years of life out of the Soviet Empire.

Well, two days of hard travel, so no blogging perhaps until Monday.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 8:42 AM



Post a Comment


A Related Website on Christian Spirituality
The Fullness of Him
The Easiest Way to Keep Up With the News:
Best of the Web
Links to Web Friends
One Good Turn
A Dog's Life
Power Line
Rambles and By-ways

What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Powered by Blogger