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Author Topic: rude 'n' ridiculous rants + polite but painfully-slow prattle with passers-by  (Read 19743 times)

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Offline Starlequin

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #100 on: July 30, 2012, 01:34:20 PM »
Mmph. I admit, I wasn't in the clearest state of mind when I wrote that last night. Anyone with more than a cursory understanding of physics could probably point out half a dozen errors or misconceptions, but I hope it was coherent enough to get my point across. As for my choice of vocabulary...yeah, I really didn't put as much thought into my words as I should have. (Well, one of them, at least.) Reading again this morning, I realized it sounded...snippy, which was not my intention. I'm very sorry. (I was going to edit and correct myself, but I seem to have lost my 'Modify' button.)

When I said it was 'pitiful', what I meant was that it seems so...inconvenient, unlikely, poorly thought-out, invented. I'm sorry, my morning-addled brain can't seek to find just one word to describe what I mean, so I guess I'll have to use a bunch of them. Why would an all-knowing being wait for so long to reveal himself to humanity, only to give this precious knowledge to a bunch of bloodthirsty, misogynistic, genocidal, enslaving, illiterate tribesmen, the majority of whom wouldn't even believe it when it supposedly happened during their own lifetimes? Especially when China was only a few thousand miles away with literature, science, and detailed, accurate record-keeping. It sounds so contrived, that's the word, so made up, that this god would select such a pathetic group as the Judaic tribes to be his special 'chosen' people. It would be like the President appointing a mentally disabled, psychotic murderer to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In a sane, rational world such a thing would never happen (at least, we hope not), but a deluded maniac might tell himself he'd been chosen by the President to make himself feel better.

Earlier, you used an analogy that humanity is like a child compared to God. Well, you know how to talk to children. Do you hide in the house when they look for you and only talk to them through half whispers and scribbled notes on fogged up windows, and expect them to understand even a little of what you tell them? Do you threaten and destroy them if they cant hear or understand you? Or do you speak clearly and simply to get your message across, correct them when they make mistakes and protect them when they're in danger?

And then there's my other word choice -- uplifting. I actually did put some thought into that, and I'll stand by it. I think it is uplifting to consider our origins via simple forces and pure, random chance. It's so much more amazing to me to realize that we are the product of billions of billions of coin tosses, that we exist only by sheer luck and the progression of time, than the idea that we were actually created like this by some divine providence (I won't call it intelligence, because frankly its never displayed any such attribute in any way that humanity could understand it). After all, which is more incredible: that an engineer could build some fantastic machine, or that the fantastic machine could build itself?

Well, I guess thats enough philosophy for now. Time for bacon!
~Starlequin

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #101 on: July 31, 2012, 01:45:12 AM »
Mmmm ... bacon.  *drools profusely*



Replies to things are pending; thanks for being patient!



This is yet another post that may have no value whatsoever to anybody, but I want to post it anyway.  Feel free to skip.

Who doesn't think that they need to work their ass off in order to succeed in life?  The only people who don't think that are either lazy or stupid, right?  So we're taught.  As children, we are taught to think of hard work as a virtue in and of itself.  But there are different kinds of hard work.

Hard work that is done freely and willingly and happily is a true pleasure and a true virtue, something to be enjoyed and sought after:  to enjoy the task or the results of the task so much that either the work seems effortless or the difficulty of the work only makes the eventual accomplishment all the sweeter.  I do this kind of hard work sometimes, but not often.  There are people who do this kind of hard work primarily and frequently, but those people are few and far between, I suspect; many if not most of those who claim to do this kind of hard work are just lying about it, perhaps even to themselves.

Most of the time, we do the other kind:  hard work that is done out of desperation or fear, imagining that we must push ourselves to our absolute limits and then beyond, again and again, in order to keep up with others and succeed in life ... I must stretch my capabilities to their very breaking point intentionally in order to ever expand them.

Many of us don't even recognize that there's a difference between those two kinds of hard work.  For some of us, we are taught early on that hard work is such a virtue that it should always be maximized, and the only good reason to ever ease up is when you feel certain you've reached your tolerance threshold.  How many of us live our lives this way?  How many of us think we have no choice in the matter?  Doesn't our entire culture teach us to make ourselves as hard as possible?  Relaxation is a luxury for the mega-rich, something the rest of us deliberately minimize in our daily schedules or else feel guilty about.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #102 on: July 31, 2012, 03:53:30 AM »
Graargh.  I shouldn't be posting now, cuz I'm a bit tipsy.  Hmm.  I could drive at this level of intoxication though, I think, without killing anybody.  Of course, that's what every single drunk driver in the history of the world thought before killing somebody and/or themselves.  Sorry, that's too morbid a subject to make light of, isn't it?  Hehehe well the searchbots don't mind!  That'll be my new mantra, heh ....

You know, I've had a shocking, freakish number of days in the past five years or so that seemed like one of the best days of my life.  Today was yet another.  That's gotta be a delusion, right?  I worry about getting delusions, since I have a mental illness (depression), and I have a sibling with a different mental illness (bipolar disorder aka manic depression), so I live with the perpetual and nagging fear of developing unfamiliar and scary symptoms of a different mental illness like the one my sibling has.  Scariest thing I've ever seen or experienced in my entire life is the way mental illness affected my brother.  Goodbye familiar personality, hello terrifying new person who scares the shit out of everybody.  I don't want that to happen to me, ever, and it very well might, so -- I worry. 

Oh no, I just followed a very positive happy sentiment with a super-negative, depressing one.  Hehehe welcome to the world of living with depression, people!  We depressed people do that sometimes.  Excuse me a sec ...

Sorry, "Bring on the Night" by the Police just came on in my earphones.  It's a new song for me, because I'm just now getting to know the Police's second album, although I've owned it for many years.  "Bring on the Night":  sublime.  I don't even know what the hell kind of music this is.  Obviously the chorus is reggae-like, but what on earth is happening in the verses, and how do you pair that with the chorus????  Then, what's up with the effing guitar solos in the bridge???????  The first one is just one or two fucking notes long, for God's sake!!!!!  He just sits on 'em, bends 'em, drains 'em for all they're worth.  Ingenious, ballsy ... Who ever heard of such a thing?  God I love the Police.  Don't forget it:  these guys were the real deal. 

Imagine the pleasure of falling in love all over again with a band that you've been listening to for nearly 25 years.  I have so much music that I love that I'm just now getting around to studying the back catalog of many of my favorite bands.  It is absolutely blissful; everyone should have it this good.  I hope to God that people younger than me can still enjoy music as much as I do, even if they do it with different bands and in different ways.  This is it, baby, this is life at its fucking best -- if you haven't fallen head-over-heels in love with at least one form of art (music, film, books, visual art, something) then you haven't been alive yet, as far as I'm concerned. 

Everyone has their thing, right, when it comes to the arts?  Hell, even my parents, whose taste in the arts is as far from mine as humanly conceivable, even they love a few songs and a few movies and a few artists of various kinds, thank God. 

Yay, time for another shot, I think.  I'm experimenting with carefully tracking the frequency and volume of my alcohol consumption because I'm nervous about turning into an alcoholic someday.  If that's going to happen to me, it will take at least five to ten years of much more frequent drinking than I've ever done so far in my life, so in other words, it's hugely unlikely, but then again, I have a penchant for addictive behaviors.  Did I tell you I used to smoke?  15 years straight.  That was years ago.  Miss it every fucking day.  Smokers got it made, man.  Go have a cigarette please, then come back and tell me all about it, every little detail, every sensation and ritual -- exhale some second hand smoke in my face, I can't get enough of it, please pretty please!  God I miss smoking.  :(  hehehe  ;)

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #103 on: August 02, 2012, 06:00:04 PM »
Starlequin, I may or may not get some replying to your highly-interesting posts done today.  If not today, soon.  :)

@ Oniya

Quote
(Just as a note, someone who shows up as 'Guest' is a non-searchbot who hasn't bothered to set up an account yet.  That's the nice-ish thing about the public area, and also the tricky bit about it.)

Yeah I kind of knew this, although it's nice to hear it confirmed.  I've started to assume that the vast majority of hits to all the E blogs comes from guests and searchbots, which is fine of course, but it would be nice if the view count could differentiate between actual members who read things vs. searchbots and random hits from people who probably don't read much and never return.  I guess I must think about that more than other people, I dunno.

It's probably a sign of insecurity, wanting people to read things I write.  I've come to realize recently that I'm unbelievably and ridiculously plagued with insecurities.  It's either a direct symptom of my mental illness (depression) or a natural tendency that's strongly reinforced by it.  Either way, feeling insecure sucks donkey balls, and I do it too much, dernit.

I suppose this blog itself is an attempt to fight against personal insecurities about opening up to others and being overly self-conscious.  I can't tell if it's helping much in those ways or not.  The blog is great fun in other ways though.

Quote
Regarding falsetto - This has absolutely no basis in musical theory, but I sort of hope that when a male singer hits notes that I can't hit, that he's using falsetto.  I'm in that weird range of mixed alto-soprano for women, but can typically hit most tenor notes.  I seriously hope that Geddy Lee uses falsetto, because otherwise I would worry for the existence of his children.  :o

Rush!  I miss listening to Rush.  I think I have a hits collection of theirs in my CDs, but if so, I haven't dusted it off in far too long.  Saw them in concert in about 1994; excellent show, and that in spite of me only knowing about 1/4 of the songs played.

As to vocal types, I got curious after you posted this, Oniya, so I went and read up a little on Wikipedia.  I was amazed to discover how little I knew about them.  Turns out "alto" doesn't even refer to any of the common voice types; I didn't even know what they were, although they were all terms I'd heard many times.

Turns out Geddy is considered a very high sort of tenor, believe it or not.  :)  I'm starting to think that Sting sometimes sings so high into the tenor or "countertenor" range that he slips in and out of whatever range is considered falsetto.  He still doesn't sound like he sticks to falsetto alone very often, from what I can tell, but I may be totally wrong.  When I think of falsetto, I think of a very limited singing range, much more limited than Sting's high range.

Oniya, you can sing, huh?  I envy that so much.  I wish I'd been forced into doing choirs and the like when I was little, just so that I might have developed some comfort with singing, because I admire singers sooo much.  Probably woulda helped my crappy sense of timing too; that's something I fight with every day when I work on my guitar noodling.

I'm chatty today for some reason ...
« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 06:03:41 PM by rick957 »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #104 on: August 02, 2012, 07:04:08 PM »
I'm not trained or anything - not even school choir - but I can carry a tune without a bucket and not embarrass myself too badly when I have the headphones on.  My only 'technique' is the same one I used when learning how to tune a guitar:  try and match the note I'm producing to the note I'm hearing.  There are a few songs that I can match the singer with serious accuracy, like the last couple lines of Styx's 'Haven't We Been Here Before' (also one of the few songs that I can take either vocal part on, to the chagrin of my college dorm-mates).  I taught myself to pick out harmony lines to annoy my kid sister.  ;D

The only music training I was pushed into was piano lessons, and I still have an unreasoning distaste for a certain over-played piece by Beethoven - not even one of his better pieces - as a result.  When the time came that my piano teacher refused to assign me a piece because she said it was 'too hard for me', I was inspired to show her up, learned the thing (Mozart K545) and determined she had nothing more to teach me.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #105 on: August 05, 2012, 07:21:49 AM »
Just finished listening to-slash-watching Charlie Rose (TV journalist extraordinaire) interview Robert Caro, whose latest volume about Lyndon B. Johnson is just out or coming out.  I am convinced that Charlie Rose's self-titled PBS show is not only the best thing on television today, but the best use that has ever been made of the entire freaking medium of television.  Yeah, I'm prone to sweeping overstatements like that, heh, but I stand by 'em!, for whatever that's worth.  :)  Not that I know enough to make such claims, either, but anyway ... best. show. EVER.  As to Caro, I will admit to knowing nothing more about him or his books than what little I've gleaned from a couple of his appearances on the Charlie Rose Show.  As to LBJ, I studied him many years ago and remember next to nothing. 

About halfway through the hour-long interview, I have to drop the other scutwork that I'm doing and start watching instead of simply listening to the conversation, because it's yet another instance where Rose and his guest are setting the room on fire with the intensity of thought and idea and communication and expression and exposure and history and emotion and everything.  The room is on fire, and it's far from the first time I've seen it happen on that show, and with different guests talking about subjects as diverse as one can possibly imagine, from architecture to politics to art to culture to cooking, fer chrissakes.  (Best. Show. Ever.) 

What gets to me most is how Caro is talking about his research and writing on Johnson's life, and you can't help but notice how completely enraptured he is by his subject.  He hasn't spent some 30 years or something of his life writing about LBJ because he thought it would make him famous or win him awards or get him on television or turn him into one of the most acclaimed biographers ever, although it seems to have done all of those things for him, and more.  No, all you need to do is listen to the excitement with which he recounts scenes from the latest book to tell that he did this with all those years of his life because he got wrapped up in it and swept away by it, absolutely transported. 

This man Caro is doing something that he was meant to do; doing the thing he was meant to do; and he is doing it well, so unbelievably and mindblowingly well, according to everyone and anyone paying any attention whatsoever; so well that people are paying attention in droves, people are shelling out for one book after another after another of what was originally conceived as a much shorter biography but has grown and grown and grown and overtaken this author's life, become the focus of his best years and best energies ... but he isn't doing it for any of those reasons.  He isn't doing it because he was meant to do it, or because he thinks he was meant to do it; he's not even doing it because he's so good at it and has found such success at it.  I'm not saying those aren't factors, but ...

What I'm saying is, there are sparks shooting out of his eyes as he talks about LBJ, and you can tell that he's leaving out 90 percent of each story because he knows that it's only a one-hour TV interview, so he's restraining himself, but not so well that you can't see the pure unadulterated motherfucking joy streaming from his pores.

It doesn't hurt any that Charlie is on the other side of the table, with the same level of carefully-controlled enthusiasm, spinning out question after question and doing the thing that he was meant to do, the thing that he does so well, so much better than anyone else ever has, so much better than anyone even knew was possible until he came along and did it -- Charlie is eating Caro up, every word and idea and anecdote is fuel for his fire, and he's scoring points right and left with tiny little side comments that demonstrate that he is right in sync and on track and doing a full-on mindmeld with Caro right there in that room during that recording of the show. 

It's what he does, and he dives into it with boundless energy and total commitment and then just hangs on for the ride, and what a fucking ride it is.  I'm probably never going to read Caro's books because there are so many other books I want to read first, but I can't help but become completely engrossed in the conversation taking place, completely fascinated, hanging on every word, watching the rainbows and sparks and flames dance around this dark, harshly lit room, where two men simply sit and talk for an hour.  (Best. Show. etc.) 

It's about joy, it's about rapture, it's about what life is about, what life should be about, what life is meant to be about ... it's about exactly the things that I fucking want.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 07:26:53 AM by rick957 »

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #106 on: August 05, 2012, 10:42:17 AM »
@ Starlequin, and/or anyone who read his recent posts here

I've been straining my brain to come up with something intelligent to say in response to your recent posts, Star, but my attempts so far haven't reached a stage where I'm comfortable posting them.  I hope your interest in these topics will not have dissipated by the time I manage to come up with a sensible reply.

In the hopes of stoking that interest, in the meantime, and only if you have nothing better to be doing, here's a link to a 17-minute interview with this guy Jim Holt, who writes about science for both the New Yorker and the New York Times; he just wrote a book exploring proposed reasons for the existence of the universe.  In the course of the interview, he touches very briefly on a number of issues raised in Star's recent posts. 

I know nothing about Holt and am not endorsing him or anything; I'm just mentioning it because it seemed surprisingly pertinent in a general way to the topics we were discussing.

I also thought that without specifically setting out to do so, he did a pretty effective job of representing the current consensus view among Western intellectuals with regard to the nature and purpose of life itself, in the broadest sense:  why is the universe here, why are we humans here, where's everything headed, what's the point of it all, etc. etc.  He doesn't spell out anything in detail at all, because the interview is mostly about promoting the book, but he does drop a lot of telling hints and quick factoids that give a cursory sense of not only his personal views but those of other Western intellectuals whom he interviewed for the book.

I suppose it's rather dry stuff unless you're extremely interested in big existential questions, although the guy does have a disarming sense of humor, and he seems to know his stuff, for example, he claims to have been pals-y with the late Chris Hitchens, and he manages to explain the Higgs boson particle thingamajig in under 15 seconds or so, which ain't too shabby, at least in the opinion of me, the know-nothing intellectual dilettante.  :)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 10:46:24 AM by rick957 »

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #107 on: August 08, 2012, 09:57:28 PM »
Depression; tautologies; snobbery

They say that depressed people have an over-abundance of negative thoughts, a high frequency of them; there's a stupid word psychologists use for it, something like negative "ideation" or something.  (If you know the term I'm referring to, please let me know if that's the right word.)  The reason I think it's stupid is because I think it's a tautology; the word is synonymous with "thought" or "thinking" but in my opinion adds nothing useful whatsoever to those words, and those words are common ones and widely-understood, so it's better to use the words everyone already knows.  Snobby smart people frequently utilize obscure words in place of simpler and more common ones for no apparent reason other than to show how smart they think they are.  Snobs.  :)  (I do it all the time!  Me not so smart tho.)

Anyway I'm up to 34 35 negative ideations, and I've only been awake for about 4 hours, so that's over 8 negative thoughts or feelings per hour.  Is that a lot?  Probably.  :(  The last two occurred while I was typing this up!  hehehe Stupid mental illness.

I'm setting aside a penny for each negative thought, and then I'll buy myself something nice with them eventually.

Should have enough for a pricey hooker in no time.  ;)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 10:03:29 PM by rick957 »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #108 on: August 08, 2012, 10:10:12 PM »
Yup, that's the right word.  The only real thing that it adds compared to 'thought' is a sense of persistence.  Everyone has negative thoughts now and then, and the average shrink doesn't think much about them (unless they're occurring in patients, in which case the shrink might be thinking about how much a vacation in Rio will cost, and how many therapy sessions it will take to afford one.  ;) )  Thoughts of a specific nature (delusional, negative, all those other bad shrink-terms) that just won't go away get tagged as 'ideations'.

Yet another real word that my spell-checker doesn't like.  ;D

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #109 on: August 09, 2012, 02:42:22 AM »
Thanks for the tip, Oniya.  :)  I don't recall if my spellchecker knew "ideation," but today, I found out that it knew "rococo," and that impresses me.  It doesn't know "miniscule" for some reason, although it may know "minuscule," which isn't the spelling I personally prefer.

English nerds unite!  ;)






@ Starlequin

Okay, hope you're still out there and that you notice me finally getting around to responding to the posts you made a while back.  :) 

It sounds to me like you care a great deal about having scientific support for any belief system or religion before you would feel comfortable accepting their claims.  That's an understandable expectation, perfectly natural, and I also think that it's a wise way to approach life in general:  when confronted with any claim that has important ramifications, one ought to test the claim with one's truth-sniffing equipment before accepting it or rejecting it.  Science and logic are the best truth-sniffing equipment available to anyone ... sort of.

Jesus claimed that he was the Truth; truth could only be found in him.  What the hell does that mean?  I don't know, exactly, but that's what he said, or at least, that's what certain sources claim that he said. 

The claim could be false, either because the sources were unreliable, or because Jesus never existed, or because he did exist but was full of shit.  Those are all possibilities that we can't rule out using our best truth-sniffing gear -- using science (in this case, scientifically-sound historical research) and logic. 

If the claim is true, however, it has extremely important ramifications for each and every person alive.  Jesus was claiming to be God and expected to be worshipped and followed; he expected his followers to devote their entire lives to him above all else.  Any person who believes his claims has to conduct their lives in a very different way than if they rejected his claims.

Christianity claims to contain the absolute universal truth about life.  Here's another way of saying the exact same thing:  Jesus claimed to be the Truth with a capital "T".  He claimed to be the highest authority on truth -- higher even than science or logic; highest of all.  That means that if science or logic point in one direction, and Jesus pointed in another, then science and logic are wrong, and Jesus is right. 

The last sentence in the last paragraph ought to stick very badly in the craw of any sensible adult, because any sensible adult ought to know that science and logic are the best truth-sniffing equipment available to anyone -- far, far better than emotion; often better than popular opinion; sometimes even better than the advice of loved ones.  When a person's mother, for example, tells that person to do something that seems illogical to that person, he or she needs to do what seems right to him or her -- go with what his or her judgment (logic) indicates, rather than what mom said to do.  That's what it means to be an adult who is responsible for himself or herself.

Strictly applied, science and logic tell us that we cannot rule out the possibility that Jesus's claims were true.  Science cannot rule out the possibility that the Christian God is real and is the one true God.  The Jim Holt interview (linked above) included a mention of this fact that the best physicists are aware of the many mysteries that are beyond the reach of physics; God falls into that category.

From what I could tell, Star, you were using the scientific principle of the importance of simplicity to assert that God's involvement in the formation of the universe is unnecessary and therefore highly improbable.  I don't disagree.  Jim Holt mentioned the simplicity emphasis of science also; it's sometimes referred to as "Occam's Razor."  It's a sound principle (although there are some rare exceptions to it, even in nature, I think).  Probability or likelihood is not proof, however.  If one is going to use logic and science as a guide, then one must apply their rules strictly, and using science to say that God's existence is improbable is not at all the same thing as using science to say God's existence is impossible

My point here is just to say that if one is going to take a sensible, scientific, and logical approach to life, then when confronted with Jesus's (and Christianity's) key claims, one cannot rule those claims out.  Each person has to decide whether or not to believe the claims using something other than strict logic or the best science.  The most that those things can tell us is that Christianity is improbable and perhaps entirely unnecessary, but still not impossible.

Whether you accept any of what I'm saying here or not is for you to decide, Star, and I realize that it's highly unlikely that anything I say will change your mind about Christianity being a big crock.  I don't feel that I have any responsibility whatsoever to change your mind about that.  What I'm trying to do here is simply share my thoughts about the subjects you raised in your posts, and those subjects included assertions of the falsehood of Christianity.  I consider it true and feel a responsibility to say so and to explain why.

I wonder very often why any person who is not a Christian would ever think about becoming one.  I also wonder why any person who is a "nominal" or "casual" Christian -- someone who takes the religion more lightly than I do -- would ever think about focusing their entire lives on Christianity, as I try to do.  Science and logic do more than just tell non-Christians that Christianity is improbable and unnecessary.  They also tell Christians that too much Christianity is a major pain in the ass and will only result in personal hardship and unpopularity.

There are many times in life when doing what Christianity suggests to do -- doing what Jesus said to do -- leads to an outcome that is bad according to any sensible, human criteria.  [This, by the way, is also why I am somewhat perplexed and in awe of non-Christians who conduct themselves according to strict moral rules.  Living with strict morality will get you some respect from other people who strive to live that way, but IMO, it will also cause you grief in many many real-life situations.  Life is full of times when doing the right thing gets you the wrong fucking result -- it ends up hurting you and sometimes doing no good for anyone else either.  In those situations, the pragmatic and reasonable person bends his or her moral code and does the expedient and sensible thing instead.  Most Christians do the same.  (Just one of the simplest and most obvious examples:  you'd have to be a little stupid or some kind of a masochist to literally "turn the other cheek" when physically assaulted.  Most examples in life of situations where Christian teachings don't work out the way Christians would hope are far less obvious but just as befuddling and difficult to deal with.  One of my favorite Simpsons quotes:
Bart: What religion are you?
Homer: You know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that don't work out in real life. Uh... Christianity.
]

If Christianity is true, then the only way for anyone to live a "good" life is to follow Jesus above all else.  I think this is probably the only sensible reason for any non-Christian to become a Christian, or for any Christian to take his or her religion seriously:  it will make your life "better" in a real way.  The reason "better" is in quotes is because it doesn't always feel better; sometimes it actually feels worse.  Sometimes the non-Christian or the nominal Christian has an easier time of things and feels better than the devout Christian; very often, in fact, in my opinion.  But if Christianity is true, then the hardcore Christians are still the ones with "good" or "better" lives -- better in the only real sense, whether our human feelings tell us that or not.

This, to me, is what Christianity comes down to:  it's the fucking truth, the only truth; it is what's real, above and beyond anyone's opinions.  That's the reason to believe it.  Do you care about truth?  Want to know what's real in life, and what's not?  I know truth; I know what's real; more real than how anybody feels, more real than anybody's fucking opinions about anything; more real and true than anything else I can tell you; and the only reason I know it is because it was given to me freely, without me deserving it; and it is freely available to you and to everyone.  the truth has a name:  Jesus is Truth, and anything other than Jesus that claims to be truth is a lie; any lifestyle or philosophy that doesn't have Jesus as its top priority is a bad way of living -- living according to lies or half-truths.

I know that whenever I say shit like that, I sound like a Bible-thumping zealot.  :(  It's probably part of the reason why I have this compulsion to use lots of expletives whenever I talk about religion:  because most Bible-thumping zealots are uncomfortable with using expletives, and I prefer to distance myself as much as possible from other Bible-thumping zealots.  Unfortunately, for better or worse, I am a Christian zealot, or aspire to be one, at least ... albeit one who likes to cuss and jerk off to porn and get drunk and get high sometimes ... (not all at once, hehehe) ... one who (still) doesn't attend a church (yet; WIP) ... one who feels incredibly uncomfortable around other Christians, most of whom would probably consider him a mega-hypocrite or a misguided freak or a judgmental jerk ... one who does an unbelievably shitty job of following Christ or Christianity ... but a "zealot," nonetheless.  "Fanatic," "devout," what-have-you.  Sadly, it's something I have in common with a lot of unattractive and super-unlikable people, even some nutjob assholes like the Westborough Baptist bunch.  Many Christians are nutjobs or assholes.  I'm a Christian who may or may not be a nutjob asshole -- you can be the judge of that.

The above isn't as well-written as I'd like -- (heh, is it ever?) -- but it's representative of my thoughts on these matters, so there ya go.  Star -- I read your posts closely but chose not to respond point-by-point; if I failed to respond to things that you would like responded to, let me know, because I'd be glad to.  And as always, any responses you have are welcome but not obligatory in any way.







Considering that so much of my ridiculous blog has been talking about Christianity, it's way past time that I simply wrote out what I consider to be the core beliefs that constitute true Christianity.  But, being incredibly and pathetically lazy by nature, I'm going to put that off for another time.  Thanks for reading, whoever you are!

Offline Starlequin

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #110 on: August 09, 2012, 05:19:17 AM »
I won't lie, Rick. I'm not certain I know how to respond to that. Perhaps its simply my lack of experience with debate, but I don't see how anyone could. You've basically said, and by all means correct me if I'm wrong, that you don't care or hold any kind of respect for any form of logic, reason, or evidence that disagrees with your understanding of God, and will not accept any manner of argument that I or any other mortal could provide. This effectively brings our discussion to an impasse, because logic and reason are pretty much all I have to offer.

I won't bother asking you to respond to any of my earlier points unless your fingers just get itchy, lol. But I think it would be best if I withdraw from this debate temporarily, until you do get those 'core beliefs' written out. Until then, I can't see much point in continuing, as I have no interest in taming invisible lions. :-\ Have a good night, hermano.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #111 on: August 09, 2012, 10:32:18 AM »
Quote
I won't lie, Rick. I'm not certain I know how to respond to that. Perhaps its simply my lack of experience with debate, but I don't see how anyone could.

Far from showing a lack of experience with anything, it sounds to me like you've understood my argument pretty clearly.  It is a kind of anti-argument or pseudo-argument; up to a point, it is presented in a logical way, but ultimately, it intentionally rejects or defies logic and therefore eludes counter-arguments.  I'm going to nitpick with your word choices a little in order to make some additional points, but really, I agree with most everything you said there.

Quote
You've basically said, and by all means correct me if I'm wrong, that you don't care or hold any kind of respect for any form of logic, reason, or evidence that disagrees with your understanding of God, and will not accept any manner of argument that I or any other mortal could provide.

Personally, to better capture my perspective, I would prefer to flip parts of this sentence around, like so:  I "will not accept any manner of argument" ... "that disagrees with [my] understanding of God".  Precisely so; argument and debate involve the application of human logic to an issue or question or problem, but Christianity cannot be fully grasped by human logic.   

There are a great many Christians who disagree vehemently with this suggestion of mine; they might argue or debate on behalf of Christianity until their faces turn blue, and in the process, the smartest of them (sometimes known as Christian "apologists") will be so clever and complex with their logic that a few people will be convinced to believe what they say.  In my opinion, however, the smartest non-Christians can logically defeat even the most subtle and erudite pro-Christian arguments.  In part, this is due to the intrinsic nature of religious faith; by its very definition, it cannot be grasped using mere human logic or by any other means.  (At the end of the day, all faith is blind, to the very extent that its object cannot be grasped by logic or scientifically demonstrated.)  Also, in part, and in my opinion, there are limitations and flaws within human logic that make it unreliable as a method of determining certain truths.

The major Christian arguments and counter-arguments are well-known enough that you can find references to many of them by simply perusing any Elliquiy P&R thread that covers Christianity.  Even though the arguments in those threads will be overwhelmingly against Christianity, many of the posters have extensive knowledge of Christianity and make solid arguments against it, arguments that are either difficult or impossible to defeat.  Frankly, Star -- and I mean this as a compliment -- your positions on philosophy and religion and Christianity demonstrate that you either know the major arguments and counter-arguments already, or you're smart enough to work them out in your head without hearing them first from other people.  Anyone with a good education and a strong grasp of logic and debate (rhetorical persuasion) can figure these things out; you seem more than qualified in those categories.

I've mentioned this before, but if you've never read some of the well-known Christian apologists, it might be worth your while; I'm not learned enough to recommend any except C. S. Lewis, who (separate from his classic children's books) wrote extensively about Christianity.  My posts about religion probably plagiarize from him and bastardize a few of his most famous arguments; the originals are infinitely more persuasive and profound.

On the other hand, getting back to your post, and further mangling the sequence for the sake of making a point -- I would certainly not say that I "don't care or hold any kind of respect for any form of logic, reason, or evidence that disagrees with your understanding ... that I or any other mortal could provide."  On the contrary, I'm extremely interested in such arguments and claims; I care about people who (like you) are interested enough to make such points, and I want to understand those people and their perspectives better.  I can learn a lot from such people, as long as I can find ones willing to discuss these topics frankly and honestly with someone like me, who may strongly disagree with them, even after the discussion is over.  That doesn't mean I won't learn; it doesn't mean I think I'm always right; it doesn't mean that I'm not open to rhetorical persuasion or new information or evidence.  I hope (and pray) that I will always be humble enough and smart enough to know that I don't know very much and I am prone to mistakes in thinking and judgment. 

Can I be argued into rejecting Christianity?  Probably not, because I've thought about it a lot, and I am strongly convinced of its truth, not just because it makes better logical sense to me than any alternative I'm aware of (although it does), but also because I have enormous emotional and personal investment in Christianity, by choice:  it is the thing I care the most about in life, or at least, that's how I want my life to be.

Nonetheless -- and you can be the judge of whether I'm being honest about this or not -- if Christianity is false, and if I remain open enough to being corrected and learning from those who may know better than me, then I can only hope that I will eventually see the error of my ways.  That's not likely to happen unless I can keep finding people who disagree with me and are willing to help me understand how and why, through the process of civil discussion and the exchange of a range of ideas.

Quote
This effectively brings our discussion to an impasse, because logic and reason are pretty much all I have to offer.

Perhaps, but I hope not, for the reasons above.  Also, I think you have more to offer me than just your "logic and reason," however valuable those things are; you have a personality and a lifetime of experience that inform your perspectives.  Even if I remain unconvinced by arguments, I can learn a lot from the way the arguments are made, or from the person making them, or from the opportunity for an engaging and stimulating dialog.

I hope the same is true in reverse, with regard to this blog and all my talk about religion:  I don't necessarily expect to convince anyone reading this blog to agree with my beliefs or my reasons/logic, but I hope readers can still find something of value in the way I express myself or in the personality behind the words.

Quote
I won't bother asking you to respond to any of my earlier points unless your fingers just get itchy, lol.

I tried to make all my key points already, but if you point me towards anything that you feel was unjustly overlooked and in need of further consideration, I'd be happy to keep commenting.  I'm just always afraid that I'm boring people by beating topics to death.

Quote
But I think it would be best if I withdraw from this debate temporarily, until you do get those 'core beliefs' written out. Until then, I can't see much point in continuing, as I have no interest in taming invisible lions.  Have a good night, hermano.

The beliefs summary is forthcoming, but those are propositions that can only be accepted by faith, so I fear that they may leave just as little room for logical "debate" as some of my previous statements have.  Perhaps there will be opportunities for discussion at least; I hope so.

Anyway -- be well my friend, and thanks as always for your presence here in whatever capacity, as reader or participant.  :)  I hope we get to dialog further about these or about any other topics. 
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 11:00:04 AM by rick957 »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #112 on: August 09, 2012, 11:08:12 AM »
Actually, C.S. Lewis's children's books are still rather extensively about Christianity.  It's no accident that the neighboring kingdom (featured in 'A Horse and His Boy) draws heavily on Arabian imagery, or that Aslan gives his life for Narnia in 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe', or that all five of the children come back in 'The Last Battle', despite Peter and Susan being 'exiled' at the end of 'Prince Caspian'.

Minor point of interest, nothing more.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #113 on: August 09, 2012, 11:34:14 AM »
Somehow I made it out of my childhood without finishing a single children's book by C. S. Lewis.  (Read a couple of the adult philosophy ones tho.)  I've never read Tolkien either.  See how deprived I am?  It's shameful.

I was under the impression, perhaps wrongly, that the Narnia series is loaded with Biblical allegories and metaphors but can be thoroughly enjoyed without understanding the religious references, or at least, without understanding their implications in any specific religious terms.  Actually, I always assumed that the non-dogmatic, universal qualities were essential to the series' long-lasting popularity.  Yea?  Ne?

I watched that cartoon movie about a million times though.  Has that disappeared?  Maybe I saw it so much because I grew up in a backwoods West Virginia Fundamentalist Christian la-la land, also known as the Slough of Despond or Tenth Circle of Hell.  :)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 11:36:00 AM by rick957 »

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Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #114 on: August 09, 2012, 11:54:33 AM »
The first six books - you can probably get through those and overlook the themes.  When I read them for the first time, *mumble-mumble* years ago, I was fine until the seventh book.  The last one, though, even at a young age and still attending an RC church, kind of went heavy-handed for me.  Mr. Oniya went through them on audiobook last year, and had the same opinion of the final book (I had not told him why I wasn't fond of that one - I let him make his own opinion).  I found that his 'Perelandra' series was much more obvious with its allegory, until I forgot that I was supposed to be reading a science fiction book, and must have somehow wandered into the theology section.

I'm pretty sure the cartoon is still around - although it may have lost popularity with the three live-action movies (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Voyage of the Dawn Treader; and Prince Caspian).  So far, IMDB lists The Silver Chair and The Magician's Nephew as pending, with no word on A Horse and His Boy or The Last Battle - I'll be interested to see if they manage to get those signed.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #115 on: August 10, 2012, 01:33:57 PM »
Today I want to share something very personal with you.  Very, very; something I've told no one else yet.  I'm not exactly sure why I'm putting this here.  Cooperating with sudden impulses is something I'm working very hard lately to get better at.  It seems to improve not only my guitar playing but any other part of my life in which I can do it.

I try to pray a lot.  I know that sounds insane or ridiculous to most people.  It's a natural thing to do if you honestly believe, as I do, that God listens and answers prayer.

It's worth noting, by the way, that my belief or faith is not strong at all in so many ways.  Here's how weak my belief or faith is:  I pray to God regularly and ask him for things, but whenever I finally get something I asked for -- it happens very often, but not every prayer is answered quickly or answered according to my preference -- I usually feel astonishment.  Why would you be astonished when you are given a thing that you've asked for, perhaps hundreds of times?  Only if you didn't honestly believe that you would ever get it.  That's how weak my faith is.  I am no saint or good person.

Here's the prayer I've been saying recently, a few times a day.  It has four parts.  I made it up myself, although it's nothing special in terms of language or content.

1) "Help me to have faith."  Jesus said that a person who has faith the size of a mustard seed -- a mere speck of faith -- is able to move a mountain.  I believe he was not being figurative or employing metaphor; the power of faith is far greater than anything we can comprehend in human terms.  I sometimes think that if I can have half a mustard seed's worth of faith, I'll be content.  :)  I don't need to move any mountains any time soon, but I've got some big fucking hills in my life that I'd desperately like to relocate.

2) "Thank you for your blessings."  I have so, so, so many more wonderful things in my life than so, so, so many others, and yet, I spend so much time feeling bad about things and wishing my life were better.  Saying thank you for the good things frequently reminds me that they're there and they're not ever to be taken for granted.  I did nothing to deserve most of these wonderful things that I have -- health, prosperity, safety, physical comforts, wonderful relationships; though I worked a little to get some of those things or to maintain them, each of those things depended upon all sorts of variables that were completely out of my control.  Who can decide in advance and really control which people will become one's father, or mother, or lover, or friend?  Who can keep his or her body functioning well in every way all the time?  These are things that I believe only God really has control over.  We have a little influence over a few of these things, and we must not forget to do what we can to help ourselves in those ways, but we should also never imagine that we have real control over things that are out of our hands.  He alone gives and takes away.

3) "Bless and keep those with needs."  This is a ridiculously broad blanket statement asking God to reach out and help anyone out there who is in need of it.  It's a little stupid to ask for something so vague and unspecific, and so incredibly huge that I can't even comprehend the scope of what I'm asking for.  I trust that God can handle such a request according to his wishes, and I trust that praying for such a thing actually means something, it's actually worthwhile.  Scoff as you will.  :)

4) "Pray for the salvation of the lost."  My apologizes for the church-speak in that one.  "The lost" refers to all people who do not believe in Jesus.  "Salvation" means believing in Jesus.  I'm asking God to help anyone who doesn't believe in the truth of Jesus to help them to do that.  If that sounds like I'm looking down on others for not believing the things that I do, all I can tell you is that I don't think I look down on them for that; I know that all these people who have different beliefs than I do are no worse and no better than me, and I trust that they're just as worthy of good things in their lives, and they're just as deserving of finding the truth about life.  If one actually believes that one has found the truth about life, and if one believes that there is only one such truth, one specific and real thing, then one naturally wants all the people whom one cares for to receive the same gift of that truth.  That's what it is, of course; a gift that it is received and freely available to anyone.  Anyway, sorry if this one sounds vain.

Every day or nearly that often, I wonder why so many people who seem just like me or better than me in almost every way that I can imagine believe things that I believe are false, and they believe that the things I believe are false.  It's hard to have so many close loved ones and to look up to so many people with whom one has such a fundamental and important disagreement.  If I could, I would rather throw out all the things I believe and stand with those people whom I love, rather than enjoy the benefits of my beliefs while those same benefits seem to be withheld from others.  These things are out of my hands, really; I can't decide what God will or won't do, nor can I or should I decide what anyone else should believe.

What I can do is pray to the person who is in control of everything, who happens to be a very good and caring person, very good and caring indeed.  So I try to do that as often as possible.  Thanks for reading.  Bye now!

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #116 on: August 10, 2012, 03:32:44 PM »
(Another personal post, but personal in a totally easygoing and likable way!, rather than a potentially off-putting way.  :)  )

You can divide pop music guitarists into two broad categories. 

The first category has the following features in common: 
They like to play incredibly complicated music simply because they can and many other people can't. 
They probably spend countless hours developing their playing ability using mindless rote exercises and painful, boring, repetitious practice routines.
Most of them are not famous.
The ones who are slightly famous are only popular with other musicians (who want to be like them) or non-musicians who envy the abilities and fame of certain musicians.
When they write music, it's boring and derivative.  The only innovation or creativity involves esoteric new playing techniques, often ones that no one else can recreate without going through lots of boring exercises.
They basically use the guitar as a prop phallus with which to masturbate in front of others.  They are insecure exhibitionists desperate for the approval of fellow musicians and audiences.
Their taste in music sucks because they listen to each other's stuff too much.

In contrast, the second category of pop guitarists are like this:
They play whatever they feel like playing and are usually content to play simple riffs and melodies; sometimes they may even join in playing the repetitious rhythm guitar parts instead of bothering to play a different, more complex lead part.
They probably did some mindless exercises at some point to improve their precision or expand their range of available techniques, but much of their practice involves honing their creative skills through improvisation or exploring the potential of music or equipment that they were previously unfamiliar with.
Most of them are not famous, but all of the most famous pop music guitarists are in this category.  (Wanna bet me on that?  heh)
Musicians and non-musicians alike love these guys because the music they play is cool and fun and catchy in some way.
When they write music, it may be derivative, but it's always full of catchy hooks or other pleasing or interesting sounds; the emphasis is on the overall enjoyment of the song rather than showcasing the musical ability of any particular player.
They are insecure exhibitionists desperate for the approval of audiences, or else they wouldn't be pop music guitarists.  However, they're happy to get that attention by doing the least amount of work possible with their instrument, and since most audiences can't tell how difficult it is to play one guitar part versus any other, they don't worry about playing complex stuff just to impress anyone.
They listen to whatever music thrills them and moves them emotionally, regardless of the complexity or simplicity of the songwriting, so their taste in music is primo.

Category-one-type guitarists you may have heard of, in no particular order (I'm embarrassed to not be able to come up with more names off the top of my head, but I know them all, I just suck big-time with people's names; I forget my own sometimes, heh): 
Steve Vai
Joe Satriani
Yngwie Malmsteen
Zack Wylde (probably) (sp?)
the guy from Extreme
the Rage Against the Machine/Audioslave guy (probably type one but aspires to be type two)
Buckethead (maybe, maybe not, too weird to say for sure)
Dave Mustaine
Dave-whatever from Jane's Addiction
ALL the Stevie Ray Vaughan clones and wannabes
about half the jazz guitarists (?)
all the prog rock guitarists
all the speed metal/thrash metal guitarists
more than a few of the late-90s and 00s alt-rockers
bluegrass guitarists who started out playing something else and hope they can go back someday
rap-metal guitarists, yeah even the really good ones whom I love
(Incidentally, I absolutely love the music of some of these guys, in spite of what I said above about them; I'm complicated like that sometimes.)

Category two-types, no real order: 
Hendrix, THE GOD of all the type-twos
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Eddie Van Halen (debatable, but I'd put him here)
Edge
Lou Reed
Neil Young
Dylan (rarely credited for his great guitar prowess)
Prince, big time
the AC/DC dude
Motorhead
KISS
Peter Buck
Kurt Cobain
the Radiohead guy who's name I don't even know but whom I love
Robert Smith and The Cure guitarists
Sonic Youth
most of the late-80s and 90s alt-rockers
the other half of the jazz guitarists (?)
all the rock guitarists prior to the 70s
almost all the first-wave punk guitarists, except for one or two new-wavers
all the second, third, and umpteenth-wave punkers
hardcore (post punk) guitarists, probably all
most blues guitarists
most country guitarists
most bluegrass guitarists
most of the hair metal guys
all female guitarists (is that a sexist thing to say?)
Page
Clapton (a surprisingly tough call though!)
Chuck Berry, grandaddy of the rock guitar
the almighty Tony Iommi and all his true disciples, 'nuff said
(As you may have suspected, and although I'm definitely not a fan of everything above, my musical loyalties and affections fall soundly and consistently with the second type of guitarists, even though the first type sometimes impresses and pleases me too.)

Guitarists whose category is impossible for me to guess (and again, some I love, some I don't):
Metallica's guitarists
Santana (probably type 1)
Kim Thayil and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden
Pearl Jam's guitarists
Slash
the Dinosaur Jr. guy
Dave Grohl and the other Foo guitarists
Grateful Dead
Dave Matthews Band
Phish and the Further Fest-type-bands, whose entire genre name escapes me at the moment; you know, the post-post-hippie types
studio musicians (fifty-fifty?  mostly type two?  mostly type one?  these guys are all nameless, faceless bad-asses, so who can tell?)
emo (is that still around?  do they have lead guitarists?  heh)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 03:58:57 PM by rick957 »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #117 on: August 10, 2012, 03:59:01 PM »
Not sure if you've mentioned if you've played guitar personally, but there's another - I'm not going to say type so much as technique.  I wouldn't try to analyze it, but it's taking something that's structurally simple, and making it sound complex as all get-out.  Two examples off the top of my head are The Who's Behind Blue Eyes, and Kansas' Dust in the Wind which can be played mostly by locking down on basic chords with the left hand and doing all the real 'work' with the right.

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #118 on: August 10, 2012, 04:14:40 PM »
Hmm, interesting point.  Actually one of my personal favorite super-obscure guitarists (guy named Bill Mallonee) does exactly what you're describing there; someday I want to learn the approach.  I'm a wannabe, shitty guitarist, trying very hard to become at least competent, but I've been trying to do that for decades now.  Sounds like you play or have played, Oniya?  Or is it just another topic in your library of knowledge?  :)  Another thing you may know more than I do about.

With my limited knowledge, I'd put Townshend and the Who in type two ... thundering riffs and all that.  Kansas I don't know except for their biggest hits, so I couldn't say.  They were kind of borderline prog, right?, but mostly just good straightforward 70s arena rock?  70s prog would be type one, IMO -- kind of the first type one guitar-playing to enter rock, which previously had been more consistently simple; but I'd say type two for all the popular, power-chord-y arena rock (a la Eagles, Frampton, Nugent, Foreigner, Survivor, REO Speedwagon, all the way up to the anthemic, arena-metal guys like Def Leppard).

Offline Starlequin

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #119 on: August 10, 2012, 04:23:20 PM »
*gasp* Wha? No list-y love for Santana? Richards? Knopfler?! I...I don't even know you anymore, man!  :P (Heh, not to give the impression that I'm any kind of musical acolyte; the above are just part of my personal all-time 5 greatest guitarists, along with Hendrix and Clapton, lol.)

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #120 on: August 10, 2012, 04:41:13 PM »
*gasp* Wha? No list-y love for Santana? Richards? Knopfler?! I...I don't even know you anymore, man!  :P (Heh, not to give the impression that I'm any kind of musical acolyte; the above are just part of my personal all-time 5 greatest guitarists, along with Hendrix and Clapton, lol.)

No no no, you didn't read closely enough!  ;)  I like certain people in all three sections listed above.  Santana is a complete lunatic whose music I adore; the Stones rule, and how could anyone not love the walking corpse of cool that is Keith Richards?; and Marc Knopfler, oh my God, he is the epitome of type one two.  Your musical taste gets my thumbs up.

EDIT  Frick, I can't even keep my own categories straight.  :(  And there's only two of them!  Aargh!  :)
Keef is big-time type two.
I can't decide which type Santana would be, honestly.  He takes his guitar playing very seriously, and it's very intricate, sometimes at least, as far as I know; but there's also no doubt that he's got "soul" to spare.  So it's a toss-up.
Type-one guitarists got no soul, of course; type-two got the soul.  O8)







I recently realized that in recent months and years, and for the first time in my life, when I hear a new popular expression, I feel irritation and annoyance and a strong aversion to adopting said expression.  When and how did this happen?  :(  I feel so ooooollllllllddd!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 04:47:03 PM by rick957 »

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Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #121 on: August 10, 2012, 04:51:13 PM »
I have two or three songs that I play well (Behind Blue Eyes is one I could probably brush the cobwebs off without too much trouble), a few songs that I play when I want people to ask me to stop playing (about three lines of Stairway to Heaven), and a good handful of not-quite-power chords.  I might even remember how to tune by harmonics, but don't pull a pop quiz on that one.  I subscribed to Guitar for the Practicing Musician for a few years during and after college, but half the stuff they printed - I just didn't have any interest in playing.  (Yeah, Nugent's definitely power-chordish.  I've seen the tab for 'Cat Scratch Fever')

As far as the approach, it's not far off from what the classical composers did with chords - break them up and play those notes in a set, but interesting way.  With a guitar, once you have the left hand clamped down, it's a matter of hitting individual strings instead of sweeping the whole set at once (no windmilling until the bridge!  ;) )  I think bluegrass and country probably have a fair share of this type.  The technique in Dust in the Wind is termed 'Travis picking', named after Merle Travis, who was a big country guitarist in his day.  You can hear it in Fleetwood Mac's Landslide as well - you use the fingers and thumb as independent picks to get a complex sound without a whole lot of repositioning.

(And, since Starlequin mentioned it, Knopfler does some serious finger-picking.)

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #122 on: August 10, 2012, 05:04:52 PM »
Yes, I thought of Lindsey Buckingham too when I read your description of the technique, although I suspect he puts his left hand to work too at times, along with working the right.  He's scary-good.

I need to find a Merle Travis record somewhere with his big stuff on it.  He ruled.

So Oniya, did you learn first on the guitar, or did you start on piano?  I'm guessing piano because it sounds like you know a lot about music.  Do you play any instrument frequently, and is there one you're most comfortable and most skilled at?  Just curious.

Knopfler, oh Knopfler -- a master of understatement.  I've wanted to bear his children ever since Brothers in Arms.

Offline Starlequin

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #123 on: August 10, 2012, 05:10:05 PM »
Knopfler, oh Knopfler -- a master of understatement.  I've wanted to bear his children ever since Brothers in Arms.

Lol, I've been listening to him literally since the moment I was born. Walk of Life was playing over the radio in the delivery room when I was being delivered. To this day, I'm convinced that's the reason why I have such a finely tuned sense of rhythm and time.  8-)

Offline rick957Topic starter

Re: Rick's Blog. yeah wall o' text don't read it
« Reply #124 on: August 10, 2012, 05:43:18 PM »
Lol, I've been listening to him literally since the moment I was born. Walk of Life was playing over the radio in the delivery room when I was being delivered.

This is priceless.  :)  Talk about a fortuitous circumstance for a birth. 

Quote
To this day, I'm convinced that's the reason why I have such a finely tuned sense of rhythm and time.  8-)

Are you a musician or singer?  Any particular instrument(s)?  Or a big dancer maybe?

They say that the best drummers have an innate sense of timing that cannot be learned.  Actually, I suspect that's true for many pro musicians.  I also suspect that many people with the talent to become great musicians never do because they don't know they have the skill.  (True for many other types of arts, too.)  (True for many types of skills outside the arts, even, I suppose ...)
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 05:45:39 PM by rick957 »