Sunday, February 22, 2009

Theories on Relationships, and Etc.

So, I have been focusing a lot on politics as of late and figure that it is time to switch gears, perhaps to something a little more palatable for my readers. Needless to say, I've had a few recent discussions regarding some form or other of relationships with various friends and figured that I could use that as a springboard for thought for the next few posts before mixing it up again. As such, I would like to start by including a poem that I had written six years ago dealing with relationships. A little background is necessary. At the time that the poem was written, I was attending a singles ward in Claremont (church for single adults between the ages of 19-31). I wrote the poem based off of two things: my observations and my theories. Keep in mind, this is not the best poetry that you will ever read--I'm sure that you can easily pick it apart. Nevertheless, Epistle 3 contains many of the theories that I had developed six years ago, some of which I have expanded upon in the present. Feel free to skip to that section of the poem if theories on relationships interest you. If not, simply skip this post all together.

by Brett Hall
(February 2003)

Epistle 1
On The Wisdom Of The Oracles of Claremont

The oracles of Claremont rarely speak
On why we men and women are so weak
In our pursuits to obtain happiness
And grasp the grace of God whose will's to bless.
The oracles, they say that talk is cheap,
And with vain words, vain practices we reap,
And in our clicks and in our paltry ways
We scurry through our most abhorrent days
As singles in a world of married bliss,
We dream of marriage long before a kiss.
O fools who dream of capturing a mate
without the effort of a simple date.
What reason's lacking deep within the mind
That thinks to wait, a better one to find?
'Tis foolishness to think that one exists
Who'll top the current rankings of your lists.
So settle down, let reason mark your way,
And work toward a more productive day.
Use reason and your heart and you'll abound--
These proverbs here portrayed may prove profound.

Epistle 2
On The Proverbs Of Dating; Foremost Advice For Men, Followed By That For Women

Why is it that our love always begins
With those whose hearts we know we'll never win?
How often has your interest been ignored
By one with whom your dreams has been abhorred?
When touching issues that relate to love,
As fools we seek that which is far above
Our own capacity to stretch and reach,
Rejection is the law we fail to breach.
A principle that every man must learn:
Pursue what's in your grasp lest you get burned.
Too often men pursue beyond their means
And become jilted, upset and obscene.
They can't control indifference and spite
And rant and rave within a lonely night.
This pain a man might easily remove
If he would but pursue what he might prove.
If one has not an education yet,
He shant pursue a woman doctorate.
If one may only rise to five foot tall,
He shant pursue a six foot babe at all.
If one has constant battles with his weight,
He shant procure the petite for his date.
If one can't live the standards of the Lord,
He must expect that he will be abhorred.
O fools who judge a woman with their eyes,
Know this, they judge you too and may despise
The very person you have come to be
With your own faults and chided heraldry.
A principle that every woman needs:
Show int'rest both in words and also deeds.
If a man has called you once and then again,
It is alright for you to then call him.
The interest that you show, I guarantee,
Will lead to dating (or so it is with me).
For men will test the waters here and there
To see if women even really care.
And thus a man will seek to you invite
To some activity some weekend night,
And if you never invite in return
He'll feel that if he asks you he'll get burned.
And when a man has asked you on a date
Do not despair and some excuse relate.
If you've no interest tell him rather plain,
For honesty will keep both parties sane.
But if in truth you're busy on that eve,
And you would like your words to be believed,
Then tell him, "O, this Friday's rather bad,
But if you'd like, next weekend I'd be glad."
How often one's attempts are all in vain
Because the other party won't speak plain.

Epistle 3
On The Proverbs Of Relationships

So I shall speak now to the general crowd
With a few proverbs if I am allowed,
That explores theories contemplated long
For you to judge if they be right or wrong:
In solitude, what happiness for man
May reach and bless according to the plan?
A noble mount with peace its own reward--
This peace is doubled with a mate adored.
And what of joy within a meadow green?
One's twice as happy when one share the scene.
And what of worries, half when all alone?
'Tis twice the comfort when support is known.
Love's supreme wisdom, mortal and divine,
Put it into action and a soul's refined.
The deepest things within us can't be pressed
By one who wants the other to confess
Of all that deep within them may reside,
For this is given freely or denied.
That which we truly love is rarely seen,
For eyes know not just where the heart has been,
And one who seems a friend more than the rest
Is where love is and where it's hidden best.
How oft we settle with being content
With what we have and not with what is meant
For all the children, God's posterity,
To inherit, be sealed and blessed be.
How oft we speak as if we are to prove
The means by which another wills to love,
When words as proofs prove one is nothing more
Than insecure with what he may adore.
Love is a gift, its price--sincerity,
And if you have it--happy you will be.
The soul's true language is uttered in tears
Whether in happiness, anger, or fears.
Mark them well and you will understand
How love may move a lover's caring hand
To soothe in times of need and to repent
When one has caused the other to lament.
And further when one's happiness unfolds
And you may share that moment made of gold.
But tears unnoticed fall upon the ground,
One tiny drop, yet splashing it resounds
Into the distant caverns of despair
Leaving a lover nevermore to care.
And caring not, a lover is annoyed,
Creating a deep chasm dark and void.
And poetry--it is a dying art
Which never proves the way to a dear heart.
It cannot move a woman's to affection--
It stimulates the heart already won.
And when in love seek not a soul to change--
This makes relationships become estranged.
But seek to serve with honest charity
And change will come, and that most nat'rally.
One's life is too much filled with pain to waste,
live right, live happy, and please live chaste.
Pain pierces life in many ways too far,
Don't add that which prevention would not scar.
Uncommon wisdom lies in common fields,
Uncovered once, all fruitfulness it yields.
And when exposed it leads a happy life
Amid our pains, our struggles, and our strife.
And what is wisdom most important for?
To find a mate--the process we explore.
And many false perceptions herein lie
That lead to lonely heartache and deny
The searching soul of what that soul may find
If false perceptions did not make it blind.
In truth there is but one requirement
That makes our search one which is heaven sent:
'Tis this, that everyone should seek a spouse
That they make happy, not that they arouse.
'Tis not to say you lack intimacy,
But that it's used within a harmony
That leads a soul beyond lustful desire
Into a perfect love that Gods admire.
Beware the soul who's stingy in selection,
Who always seeks an image of perfection.
Perfection comes within eternal spheres
After a couple's tried a thousand years.
Rather, seek a soul with great potential
And your reward in life will be substantial.
But also be weary of compromise
That fills one's heart and soul with petty lies.
For truly one should marry but the best
And leave behind desires for the rest.
But best is something only you define,
What you consider best may not be mine.
How sad to say you settled on your mate,
Leaving her to feel she's second rate.
But best is not so easily discerned--
The best is found in one that you have earned.
So wipe away all of your vain excuse
And date the woman that you freely choose.
For agency's a gift given to all
That through our choices we may rise or fall.
So choose in wisdom with a true desire
That you may live within celestial fire.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

100th Post

So, I have finally reached my 100th post and, as promised, I am going to offer a list for my readers. I allowed my readers to vote on which list they would like and the list of 100 favorite songs won out in large part to the enthusiastic replies by my good friend Mike Gissel who created a blog just so that he could vote! The bad news is that I couldn't come up with a list of 100 favorite songs. . . there were just too many songs that I couldn't eliminate, so instead, for my 100th post, you are getting my 200 favorite songs. If you think that is cheating then just read from 100 to 1. Thanks for all of your input and enjoy the list.

200—California Love—[edited version] (2Pac featuring Dr. Dre)
199—On The Ouside (Oingo Boingo)
198—Simple Kind Of Life (No Doubt)
197—Rose-Colored Times (Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories)
196—Silent Shout (The Knife)
195—Smile Like You Mean It (The Killers)
194—Dom Andra (Kent)
193—Drive (Incubus)
192—Life In One Day (Howard Jones)
191—Special (Garbage)
190—Let It Die (Foo Fighters)
189—Hunter (Dido)
188—Hard Time Killing Floor Blues (Chris Thomas King)
187—There’s No Other Way (Blur)
186—Our Swords (Band of Horses)
185—Roam (B-52s)
184—Colorblind (Natalie Walker)
183—Once Upon A Time (Waltz For Debbie)
182—Ballerina Out Of Control (The Ocean Blue)
181—I’m Shipping Up To Boston (Dropkick Murphy’s)
180—Steam Machine (Daft Punk)
179—Vinheta Quebrante (CéU)
178—Wink Of An Eye (Kaskade)
177—Along The Wall (Leigh Nash)
176—You’re A Wolf (Sea Wolf)
175—Hard Rain (Shout Out Louds)
174—Heretics (Andrew Bird)
173—Comforting Sounds (Mew)
172—Tom’s Diner (Suzanne Vega)
171—Such Great Heights (The Postal Service)
170—Buffalo Soldier (Bob Marley)
169—From Paris To Berlin (Infernal)
168—Mama, You Got A Daughter (John Lee Hooker)
167—Lovers-Flower Garden (Arigat Orchestra—House of Flying Daggers Sound Track)
166—The Long Day Is Over (Norah Jones)
165—Starry Eyed Surprise (Paul Oakenfold)
164—Nature Of The Experiment (Tokyo Police Club)
163—Gepetto (Belly)
162—Heaven (Lamb)
161—One Perfect Sunrise (Orbital)
160—We’re Going To Be Friends (The White Stripes)
159—Busy Child (The Crystal Method)
158—Message In A Bottle (The Police)
157—No New Tale To Tell (Love & Rockets)
156—Poison Arrow (ABC)
155—It’s No Good (Depeche Mode)
154—Blow Me Away (Breaking Benjamin)
153—Ayla-Ayla Part 2-Club Mix (Ayla)
152—Trying To Be Clever (Airliner)
151—New Soul (Yael Naim)
150—In Between Days (The Cure)
149—Island In The Sun (Weezer)
148—Counting Backwards (The Velvet Teen)
147—Synaesthesia-Fly Away (Thrillseekers)
146—Tribute (Tenacious D)
145—Time (Stonebridge featuring Therese)
144—Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (The Smiths)
143—Unsound (Savoy)
142—The Beat Is Rockin’ (Erick E)
141—Dirty Mouth (Hot Hot Heat)
140—Unravel (Bjork)
139—Fidelity (Regina Spektor)
138—Wonderwall (Oasis)
137—I Want You (Third Eye Blind)
136—Suedehead (Morrissey)
135—Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)
134—We’re From Barcelona (I’m From Barcelona)
133—Rain (Gaelle)
132—Renaissance (Hooverphonic)
131—Idle-The Rabbit Song (Hem)
130—Here I Go Impossible Again (Erasure)
129—Remember Me, v.1 (Blue Boy)
128—Eple (Röyksopp)
127—Talk (Cold Play)
126—It’s Not Up To You (Bjork)
125—Today (Smashing Pumpkins)
124—Breathe In (Frou Frou)
123—Nothing Left To Lose (Mat Kearney)
122—Running Out Of Reasons (Magne f)
121—You And Me (Club 8)
120—Bruised (Lasse Lindh)
119—Blue (Monaco)
118—You Don’t Have To Change (Magne f)
117—Winter (Tori Amos)
116—Prelude From Unaccompanied Cello Suite No, 1 in G Major (J.S. Bach)
115—Put ‘Em High (Stonebridge featuring Therese)
114—Boyfriends Stay (Club 8)
113—I Melt With You (Modern English)
112—Sudden Rush (Erlend Øye)
111—Back To The Old House (The Smiths)
110—Rock Me Gently (Erasure)
109—Am I Wry? No (Mew)
108—I Wanna Be Adored (The Stone Roses)
107—Move For Me (Kaskade)
106—The Boxer (The Chemical Brothers, feat Tim Burgess)
105—Say Yes If You Love Me (Acid House Kings)
104—Lips Like Sugar (Echo & The Bunnymen)
103—Summer’s Evening, Op. 71, No, 2 (Edvard Grieg)
102—Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
101—Moss (Gusgus)
100—Pagan Poetry (Bjork)
99—1979 (Smashing Pumpkins)
98—Ten Miles Back (The Crystal Method)
97—The Dead Heart (Midnight Oil)
96—Saeglópur (Sigur Rós)
95—Soul Meets Body (Death Cab For Cutie)
94—Comfortable (Fleming & John)
93—Walk On (U2)
92—Släpp In Solen (Ingenting)
91—Waiting For The Siren’s Call (New Order)
90—Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
89—Ready Steady Go (Paul Oakenfold)
88—The Rebels (The Cranberries)
87—Fast Cars (U2)
86—We’re Simple Minds (Club 8)
85—Better Together (Jack Johnson)
84—C’mon Through (Lasse Lindh)
83—River (Natalie Merchant)
82—Heaven (Club 8)
81—Burning (The Whitest Boy Alive)
80—London School Of Economics (Acid House Kings)
79—Brothers On A Hotel Bed (Death Cab For Cutie)
78—You Make Me Feel (Gus Gus)
77—Liz On Top Of The World (Jean-Yves Thibaudet)
76—Solitude On The Mountain (Ole Bull)
75—Someone Else (The Radio Dept.)
74—Gold In The Air Of Summer (Kings of Convenience)
73—Crystal (New Order)
72—Take On Me (a-ha)
71—Young Folks (Peter, Bjorn, & John)
70—The Black Keys Work (Erlend Øye)
69—Bizarre Love Triangle (New Order)
68—A Long Term Plan (Acid House Kings)
67—Here To Stay (New Order)
66—She Lives By The Water (Club 8)
65—Monochrome (The Sundays)
64—The Employment Pages (Death Cab For Cutie)
63—With Or Without You (U2)
62—Blood On My Hands (The Sundays)
61—Failure (Kings of Convenience)
60—Holy Ground (a-ha)
59—Run Wild (New Order)
58—Ask (The Smiths)
57—The Summers Of Our Youth (a-ha)
56—Young Bride (Midlake)
55—Yankee Bayonet (The Decemberists)
54—A Place In My Heart (Club 8)
53—I’d Rather Dance With You (Kings of Convenience)
52—Did Anyone Approach You? (a-ha)
51—Pulling Our Weight (The Radio Dept.)
50—Vivid (Electronic)
49—The Secret Life of Daydreams (Jean-Yves Thibaudet)
48—Norwegian March, Op. 54, No. 2 (Edvard Grieg)
47—All Through The Night (The Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
46—Whatever You Want (Club 8)
45—The Saturday Train (Acid House Kings)
44—Where The Streets Have No Name (U2)
43—Parallel Lines (Kings of Convenience)
42—You’ll Never Get Over Me (a-ha)
41—Heartstopper (Emilliana Torrini)
40—Vicious Streak (New Order)
39—The Mariner’s Revenge Song (The Decemberists)
38—A Bad Dream (Keane)
37—Crosses (Jose Gonzalez)
36—Whalebone (Savoy)
35—Shh (Frou Frou)
34—What Else Is There? (Röyksopp)
33—Californication (The Red Hot Chili Peppers)
32—Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley)
31—Galapagos (Smashing Pumpkins)
30—Figures (The Whitest Boy Alive)
29—Heartbeats (Jose Gonzalez)
28—Reflected (Ronderlin)
27—There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)
26—Mushaboom (Feist)
25—Nothing Here To Hold You (Magne f)
24—Seasick, Yet Still Docked (Morrissey)
23—Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)
22—Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect (The Decemberists)
21—I Feel My Savior’s Love (The Mormon Tabernacle Choir)
20—Sunday Morning (Acid House Kings)
19—Folk Song (The Sundays)
18—Running To Stand Still (U2)
17—Where Damage Isn’t Already Done (The Radio Dept.)
16—Your Heart Is An Empty Room (Death Cab For Cutie)
15—Here’s Where The Story Ends (The Sundays)
14—Misread (Kings of Convenience)
13—Krafty (New Order)
12—Summer Moved On (a-ha)
11—Summer On The Westhill (Kings of Convenience)
10—Gone (The Sundays)
9—Marching Bands Of Manhattan (Death Cab For Cutie)
8—I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (U2)
7—Jesus, Walk With Me (Club 8)
6—I Don’t Like It Like This (The Radio Dept.)
5—That’s Because You Drive Me (Acid House Kings)
4—Regret (New Order)
3—I Don’t Know What I Can Save You From (Kings of Convenience)
2—Analogue (a-ha)
1—Temptation (New Order)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

America's Political Change: A New Party in Power--The Same Corruption and Stupidity

Politicians are an interesting breed. They have buried deep in the recesses of their own psyche a self delusion that allows them to magically forget that they have been elected to serve the people of the United States of America. Rather, they feel that by being elected, the American people have allowed them to look to personal interests and force the American people to serve the politicians' own desires. One would think that politicians would learn from the failures of previously elected officials, but no, in their narcissism, they believe that they are immune where others failed.
Take the current political situation in America. We are in a financial crisis. The American people have made sweeping changes to the electorate, offering the Democratic party an opportunity to control the branches of government. The American people are thinking that the Republicans had an opportunity to live up to their promises and failed, so lets give the Democrats a try. The problem, instead of learning from the failures of the Republicans, the Democrats are making extremely poor decisions.
Two key examples are the Obama Administration's desire to offer cabinet level positions to political allies that have broken laws for which average Americans would be brought to trial, and the Democratic Congress and Senate's push for an outrageous "Stimulus" bill. In the first case, Obama has attempted to defend his political friends, to whom he has offered cabinet positions, stating that what they have done (tax evasion) is no big deal, yet he expects the average American to be "patriotic" by paying higher taxes in order to meet the needs of government. Of course, once he learned that the American people saw right through his hypocrisy he began to speak of his moral decision to have his friends withdraw their nominations from the process. This is the exact corruption that the American people were hoping Obama would transcend--it has proven to be quite disappointing for those who shared the "audacity of hope" that Obama frequently championed on the campaign trail. Further corruption by the Democrats is evidenced by their push to pass a Stimulus Bill for the American people. The speak of it as if it must be passed now or the whole country will crumble economically and we will never recover (a true apocalypse that far surpasses the Great Depression) and that they are doing it for the good of the American people and their economy. Unfortunately for these Democrats, the majority of Americans see through their smoke and mirrors, recognizing that they are using the term "Stimulus" as a cover for "Spending Bill." Instead of truly being concerned with what will benefit the American people, the Bill focuses on Democratic special interests--things that will not benefit the economy or the average American but will benefit those who voted for the Democratic party. It is exactly this type of political stupidity that has turned the American people against the Republicans and now that we have elected the Democrats in the hopes to overcome this stupidity, they are doing the same thing, only spending far more than the Republicans ever proposed.
This is sad really. All Americans should be outraged by this phony "Stimulus" Bill. I think that it is high time we elect new blood in both the Republican and Democratic Parties--fresh faces with fresh ideas from among the ranks of average American citizens rather than this life-long politicians who give us smiles and kisses to our faces and offer us the finger behind our backs. Remember this over the course of the next few election cycles. We need to take back our government or create a new party that will do the bidding and the interest of the American people, not the bidding of politicians which will injure our nation.