It is so turned around these days.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Brave New 1984

When I was in high school I was fascinated with futurist (don't know if that is an actual term) thinking. Books like George Orwell's 1984, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley inspired me to think about where technology and social constructs would take us in the future. I remember borrowing heavily from both books in a high school Creative Writing class to create a similar world. Back then I was impressed by how close their visions of the world came to pass. Quite frankly, with each passing year, the similarities are frightening. My story was set in 2315, if I remember correctly, and every inch of the Earth had been developed. All except a 100 by 100 mile patch in Colorado. That's where people went when they became useless (over the age of 40). After living a life surrounded by buildings, factories and dwellings they could get a glimpse as to what nature would look like had we not developed and urbanized everything. After spending a day there, they were shot. Give me some slack here....I was in high school. But I thought for a high school student my theme was quite estute (BJ pats himself on the back). That when you live in a city or urban local, you are surrounded by man's creation. There is very little to give you pause and reflect without the praise directed back to somebody or some institution. But in the wilderness you are surrounded by God's creation. In an effort to snuff out God, the society in my story had created a world almost completely void of God's creation.

I bring this up because lately I have been listening to a podcast by Ravi Zacharius where he makes reference to both of these books. He makes a point about these books that I had not thought of. Where I had once thought that these books were quite similar, Ravi points out how completely different their overall philosophies are. Orwell was concerned about the restriction of information and freedom. Huxley was concerned about the abundance of pleasure. I think that Huxley's point rings true in the end. Or should I say "more true."

Yes I think that there is some pretty funky stuff that our government is probably hiding from us. Yes big brother is starting to pop up in more and more places. Yes our language is getting slaughtered by the new techno-culture. These things Orwell got right. But he guises it in the form of oppressive government and conspiracy. Huxley realized though that with the advent of technology came great founts of pleasure. His idea being that there would be no need for conspiracies or book burning because nobody would care enough to read them. I think that Huxley gets it right. That's where we are as a nation/society now. Consumed with pleasure, filled with diversions, caring only until the next episode of The Sopranos. This is a bad place to be friends because it is only going to get worse. Blogging is just the tip of the berg of ice. If you don't believe me then check Second Life out. I was just researching it for work today and wasted/spent 5 hours on it.

I write all this to say that we are a culture that is looking more and more for meaning. But yet the current Progressive thinkers will tell you "there is no meaning, except what you infer to be meaning." Which is why I am not at all surprised as to why people are ready to accept the pursuit of pleasure (not happiness) as meaningful. It makes us feel like there is meaning without any of the trappings of God or morality. I am not sure who said it but it goes something like this. "Meaninglessness does not come from growing weary of pain; meaninglessness comes from growing weary of pleasure."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

So here I am.....

sitting on my front porch bloggin'. We got a new laptop and wireless router. I am so 2004. Anyway, sorry for being quiet on the blogging front. I have been trying to figure out how I want to spend my time lately. Part of it has been focused on songwriting. I have been forever writing snippets of music that I really think are cool but have yet to string anything into a complete song. I guess maybe I am too critical of anything I record. So in an effort to get me to finish a song, one of my bass students (I give lessons), actually gave me some homework. It was quite funny and humbling at the same time. He says, "BJ, it's just a matter of priority. Make a list of what yet needs to be done on your songs (homework)and then make an effort get them checked off." It is so simple and yet so true. He wrote the list for me. I think I like to play and write for fun, but when it comes time to actually work on writing something then it becomes, well, work. But I am actually focussed on some of these ideas and hope to birth them soon. I am planning on having demos recorded by the end of the year (having a studio in my basement makes that easy). I am planning on putting them up here for your consumption. And possibly a "myspace" as well.....myspace scares me though. But I would love to get some feedback from you when the time comes. Also, does anybody know of any Peoria area "open mics?" I would like to start playing out again. Peace.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A new look for Dennis Prager

For those who care Dennis Prager has changed his web location. He is now at You can now get podcasts of the previous days shows. Listen via streaming audio. Fill your empty liberal cup with Judeo-Christian goodness. Lately he has had some great guests. He recently had a great interview with Francis Collins which I was planning on posting it until my computer decided to quit working and needed to completely restore my OS (a Mac even....lost the file...not happy.) Anyway, Dennis has been on a roll lately with some great shows. Here is yesterdays show about Moral Absolutes. I like the fact that he discusses both views and takes on opposition to his beliefs. It's about 35 minutes but well worth a listen. I guess that this is going contrary to my last post as this will probably generate an empassioned discussion. And that's o.k. Lets get our discussion on. Next week I am going to put up his discussion as to why liberals are liberal. Should be another fun discussion. Enjoy!!