Monday, September 10, 2012

A Little Bit More About My Platform

However, this is me, and "a little bit" usually means "walls of text" because I go off on rambling philosophical tangents and have a hard time finding my way back.

The joys of reading dictionaries, encyclopedias, and philosophy books for fun. It makes you think. And thinking can be dangerous, you know. It might actually make you start reasoning. Not rationalizing, but reasoning. Logic is a great gift to mankind. To put it one way, logic is the art of thinking rightly. Unfortunately, no one likes to think logically these days. Most people don't like it. It usually contradicts what they'd like to hear.

Logic is closely related to Logos, and I'm not talking about the rhetorical appeal. I'm talking about In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum. Logos is Greek for Verbum, which is Latin for, "THE WORD".

I suppose I could have chosen for my platform (and this is not all to say that I cannot or will not change my mind somewhere along the way in the future) something a bit more hands-on. Those types of things seem real popular. Concrete results are very much desired. People like seeing something they have helped bring about. They like to see that their efforts are not in vain. People would much rather help build something, plant a tree, pick up litter, etc., because they can see the difference they have made.

But that's not what I have chosen.

I suppose I was playing to my strengths when I thought of my platform. I have been taking piano lessons for thirteen years. Playing the piano for old people was something I could do and hopefully not freak out about. I wouldn't see a physical difference that I had caused, but if I can make some person happier, that will be recompense enough. It's in very much the same vein that I say, "Good morning," to the bus drivers when I get on at Darby, and that I tell them, "Thank you," whenever I get off. No one else may do this, but I shall. Because I appreciate them, and I want them to know I am not selfishly taking what they do for granted.
    Tonight, coming to UNA for forum, one of the buses was sitting at Harrison Plaza waiting. The veteran guy was in the driver's seat. As I walked past the bus and he turned in my direction, I smiled and waved. He opened the bus door to say hi to me and wished me good luck with my late class. He's such a sweet old man. Niceness doesn't cost anything, and it often comes around to you in the end. I wish a lot more people would be nice. It wouldn't end war or fix hunger, but it'd make the world a tiny bit less unpleasant.

But I'm probably asking for a lot.

Back to music, though. I want to make some people happy. I may be committing the fatal rhetorical error of sweeping generalization and wild mass guessing here, but I don't know that most old people in assisted living and nursing homes get visited much. Maybe playing the piano for them would make someone happier. I hope so.

I believe music is not just a great gift to the world. I belive it is a positive good. Music is something fundamental to our natures. It reflects the fundamental order and harmony of Creation. In The Magician's Nephew, Aslan sings to create Narnia and its inhabitants. In the Ainulindale part of The Silmarillion, the book documenting the history of Middle-Earth (and Aman and all the other regions of Arda) before The Hobbit, the Ainur sing before Eru Illuvatar (God), and He gives to their song the Flame Imperishable and makes it real. And hasn't someone saying that singing is praying twice?

Plato said the first step in education in the good society is music and that it is also the first step to corruption in a bad scoeity. A musical revolution always precedes a cultural revolution. Just think of the rock and roll revolution and what followed... Not to say that rock and roll is inherently evil. But I think it is a bit closer to chaos and noise than, say, Beethoven, and so is more corruptible.

Good music produces order and harmony. Bad music usually just degenerates into noise, and Noise is a hallmark of Hell. There's no pretty way to put it. Music and silence are characteristic of Heaven.

I do try to aim for the good music side of things, you know...

Incidentally, probably my favorite song is, Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee. My ringtone is Ode to Joy, I think (my phone's always on vibrate, so setting any ringtone is perfunctory), and Ode to Joy is the tune of Joyful, Joyful. It doesn't have any words, the ringtone. I love Christmas music, too- not the cutesy ones like Santa Baby and The Christmas Song and I'll Be Home for Christmas but the hymns, like Silent Night, Adeste Fideles, and, one of the best, Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.

I am sad that it is getting cooler again and the days are getting shorter as we procede irreversibly towards fall. However, I love the Christmas season- my family can attest I will sing Christmas songs at any time of the year- so there is always a silver lining to the clouds. And even pyrite is yellow. (No, you don't have to get that reference.)

In Pace Christi,


P.S. I have passed over 160 posts. Go me!

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