Tag Archives: the chalice and the blade

The Soundtrack of my Life

My life has been lived to a soundtrack. Growing up in an age of ubiquitous car radios, restaurant juke boxes, record players and later stereos, it seems like the popular songs of the day were always playing in the background, over and over. Music affects us emotionally and can evoke strong feelings of all sorts in the listener. In my case it also became a sort of storage mechanism for a lot of those strong feelings.

Forty years later I can hear a pretty mundane pop song like Tommy Rowe’s “Dizzy”, which I heard constantly when I was in my junior high years and I can be overcome with the feelings of being that young teenage boy with a crush on a girl but afraid to tell her or even talk to her. Those sort of emotional memories stay with you and I believe shape you subconsciously.

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Five Themes of American Conventional Wisdom Part 2: Scientism & the Culture of Professionalism

Following up on yesterday’s post, “Five Themes of American Conventional Wisdom”, I continue the thread by looking at my friend Ron Miller’s second theme (from his book, What Are Schools For?) which he labels as “Scientific Reductionism”. What intrigues me most in his text is his description of science as a belief system or “ism” (scientism) and the “culture of professionalism” that emerged in America from that belief system.

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Religion is Not the Problem… Patriarchy Is

Conventional wisdom of many on the progressive side of politics and social change is that religion, particularly Christianity, is a key source of our culture’s problems if not evil in general. John Lennon’s classic song “Imagine” conjures a utopian world that would be free of this supposed source of division and strife. Many people more on the conservative side of things do not share that concern about the Christian faith and its practice, but see Islam in that same sort of negative light. My take is that neither (nor religion in general) is a source of hate, war and oppression, actually came into being to promote love and humanistic ideals, but have been manipulated as tools of a much older ideology of domination and “us and them” thinking that some would call “Patriarchy”.

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Drive: Self-Direction, Mastery & the Purpose Motive

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]Commenting on my blog “Much More and Much Less than a Boss” on Daily KOS, Alpha99 put up a link to a video on YouTube that they thought I would appreciate called “Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us”, done by Daniel Pink, who writes about business and human motivation, based on his book by the same name. I played it and was practically mesmerized by this visually captivating and provocative piece, done on a white board with markers and a rapid-fire voiceover by Pink. The issues it calls out are a perfect illustration of what I see as the transformative shift going on in our culture from the hierarchical control model to more of an egalitarian circle of equals.

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