What makes good music?

This is just to make a point:  there is good music, and there is kitchy (sp?) music.  For me, one of the best indicators of a good song is to take a look a the lyrics.  Let's compare lyrics of one of my favorite (albeit obscure) songs, with one of America's favorite songs.  Reading through the entire lyrics of a single song can become monotonous, so if you're a lazy blog reader, just read a snippet of each song and I think you'll still get my point.

"Furr" by Blitzen Trapper:

When I was only 17, 
I could hear the angels whispering, 
So I drove into the woods and wandered aimlessly about -
Until I heard my mother shouting through the fog 
It turned out to be the howling of a dog. 
Or a wolf to be exact, the sound sent shivers down my back, 
But I was drawn into the pack and before long 
They allowed me to join in and sing their song. 
So from the cliffs and highest hill, 
We would gladly get our fill, 
Howling endlessly and shrilly at the dawn.
And I lost the taste for judging right from wrong 
For my flesh had turned to fur,
And my thoughts, they surely were 
Turned to instinct and obedience to God. 

You can wear your fur like a river on fire 
But you better be sure if you're makin' God a liar 
I'm a rattlesnake, and, I'm like fuel on fire 
So if you're gonna' get made, Don't be afraid
of what you've learned 

On the day that I turned 23, 
I was curled up underneath a dogwood tree 
When suddenly a girl with skin the color of a pearl 
She wandered aimlessly, but she didn't seem to see,
She was listenin' for the angels just like me.
So I stood and looked about 
I brushed the leaves off of my snout, 
And then I heard my mother shouting through the trees -
You should have seen that girl go shaky at the knees -
So I took her by the arm, 
We settled down upon a farm 
And raised our children up as gently as you please. 

And now my fur has turned to skin, 
And I've been quickly ushered in 
To a world that I confess I do not know. 
But I still dream of running careless through the snow, 
And through the howlin' winds that blow, 
Across the ancient distant flow, 
It fill our bodies up like water till we know: 

You can wear your fur like a river on fire, 
But you better be sure if you're makin' God a liar. 
I'm a rattlesnake, and, I'm like fuel on fire 
So if you're gonna' get made, don't be afraid
of what you've learned.

* * *

"Baby" by Justin Bieber

You know you love me, I know you care
Just shout whenever, and I'll be there
You want my love, you want my heart
And we will never ever ever be apart

Are we an item? Girl, quit playing
We're just friends, what are you saying?
Say there's another and look right in my eyes
My first love broke my heart for the first time
And I was like...

Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you'd always be mine (mine)

Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you'd always be mine (mine)

For you I would have done whatever
And I just can't believe we ain't together
And I wanna play it cool, but I'm losin' you
I'll buy you anything, I'll buy you any ring
And I'm in pieces, baby fix me
And just shake me 'til you wake me from this bad dream
I'm going down, down, down, down
And I just can't believe my first love won't be around

And I'm like
Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you'd always be mine (mine)

Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you'd always be mine (mine)

Luda! When I was 13, I had my first love,
There was nobody that compared to my baby
and nobody came between us or could ever come above
She had me going crazy, oh, I was star-struck,
she woke me up daily, don’t need no Starbucks.
She made my heart pound, it skipped a beat when I see her in the street and
at school on the playground but I really wanna see her on the weekend.
She knows she got me dazing cause she was so amazing
and now my heart is breaking but I just keep on saying...

Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you'd always be mine (mine)

Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you'd always be mine (mine)

I'm gone (Yeah Yeah Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah)
All I'm gone (Yeah Yeah Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah)
Now I'm all gone (Yeah Yeah Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeah)
Now I'm all gone (gone, gone, gone...)
I'm gone 

* * *

I think if I hear the word "baby" one more time, I'm going to barf.  However, I think I could read the lyrics to "Furr" over and over again.  That song is worth memorizing.  What a clever and beautiful allegory to the life journey of a boy.  My point:  be careful what you listen to.  It may inspire you, entertain you, fill the silence, or even (heaven forbid) make you dumber.  Please, try for the former over the latter.


The Business of Relationships - Social Currency

At the very basic sense, relationships can boil down to a business transaction.  When you meet somebody of the opposite sex, you must ask yourself (and answer) some very basic questions:

1) Are we talking about a romantic relationship?
2) Are you interested in me?
3) Lastly (but definitely not least), am I interested in you?

If we're answering "yes" to these questions, we can start to draw parallels between relationships and businesses:

1) Are we doing business?
2) Do I have something you want?
3) Do you have something I want?

Interestingly, when people get married, the credit score of the male almost always increases.  There's a business transaction for you.

However, what I want to focus on in this post is the matter of "social currency."  I'm trying to reproduce the gist of a conversation from KN, who offered these insights.  I don't totally agree with the analogy, but it does shed some interesting light on the subject.  With some expansions of my own, here are some thoughts on social currency:

Cash:  It's fast, it's easy, and almost everybody accepts it.  It's the most basic, visible form of currency.  This is your appearance and presentation.  Everybody seems to like it and to understand it.

Also, cash is easy to steal, and you're asking for trouble if you start flashing it about indiscriminately.  If you market yourself only on your appearance and presentation, you might get the wrong kind of attention (i.e. you might become the victim of repeated "social robberies:" a subject for another post altogether).

Credit:  Probably the most complex part of the analogy.  Almost everybody accepts at least some form of credit, though if you think of cards like American Express, you can't use it just anywhere.  My Sinclair Card gets me great deals, but it can only be used at Sinclair gas stations.  Credit, says KN, is an allegory to your personality.  Whatever it is, your personality will never fit with everybody, and it might take a little looking around to find a place where your personality is accepted.

Also, have you noticed that some of the cards with the greatest benefits are also restricted in their use?  The same may go for personalities - the more powerful of a personality you have, the more you may have to look to find somebody that really "gets you."  That's not necessarily a good or a bad thing, it's just the way it is.  Now, we know that credit is no good unless there is some cash to back it up.  Applying our analogy, if you don't take care of the basics of your appearance (cash), no matter how great your personality is (credit), you will never find a "social buyer" and thus a stable relationship.  You don't need a lot of money to have a good credit score, you just need to be wise with what you've got.

Savings Account:  If you know how to use a savings account, you rarely touch it, and it's not readily apparent to passersby.  For example, half of America's millionaires have never purchased a watch over $235, a suit over $399, or a pair of shoes over $140, and the car they drive most often is a Ford F-150 or Explorer, not luxury vehicles like Lexus or BMW - taken from "The Millionaire Next Door," which I recommend.  If you're using it right, your savings account accrues in value over your lifetime and helps you out only on milestone purchases (a house, a car, an education) or when you're in between jobs.

Your savings account represents your personal, invisible assets, such as intelligence and talents, and I might add spiritual strength here too.  A strong "savings account" makes for a stable relationship, because it assures you of a strong foundation.  The trouble of the social savings is that it is both the most important aspect of social currency, and the least visible.  This is probably why we proceed forward with caution in relationships.  If you're intelligent, reliable, and spiritually secure, your relationship will stand strong come hell or high water.

* * *

So, you can also ask yourself questions such as "how is my social savings account?"  Do you have passion, drive, are you made of the tough spittle it takes to make a relationship work the way it's supposed to?  And you can also ask yourself what type of social consumer you are:

Cash Only:  Places that take cash only are often the least reputable of business - mobile hot dog vendors, booths at state and county fairs, seedy knock-off brand salesmen on the streets of manhattan, etc.  If you buy something here and it breaks immediately, you're still not going to get your money back

 Don't be a cash only consumer - focusing only on the physical aspect of your love interests will only bring you swift and meager returns followed by confusion and emotional pain.  Don't get me wrong, I like myself a good hot dog occasionally, but if that's all I ate, I'd be contracting heart diseases like my freshly washed car attracts bird poop.

Credit, and Credit Only:  If a business is taking credit, they tend to be more well-established and usually more trustworthy.  You can bet they probably have a business license.  Some very classy institutions, such as hotels, will only take credit.

What kinds of credit do you take?  That decision is definitely up to you, and as you approach relationships with appreciation for personalities, you will find there is a great deal more to a person than their "cash value."  Relationships become much more meaningful when you connect on a deeper level than raw physical attraction.

Savings and Investments:  The type of purchases made with savings and investments rank among the most meaningful of your entire life - i.e. your education, your home, and your transportation.  By the time you're ready to make these kinds of non-fluid investments, you're ready to commit yourself to the purchase, hoping that the returns are likely to exceed the sacrifice.  This kind of investment in a relationship is akin to marriage - the deepest commitment.  If you and your love interest have a solid "social savings" account, you'll have a lot to draw from when the tough times come.

Lastly, might I mention that good relationships will probably draw from all three categories.  Like many things, balance is the key.


Liz posted this and I thought it was hilarous so I just had to steal it.



I love how at least ONE person comments on my blog nearly each time I post.  I'm glad you are reading them, folks.  I'm also glad you comment - I think it's healthy for us to make our voices heard, because it can make a difference in the world.  Each day, I commute from Salt Lake to Provo (and back, of course), and I spend a lot of that time listening to NPR.  Today, on the Diane Rehm show, a panel was talking about how the only people who write to congress are those who are either (a) told to do so by somebody else, and told what to say, or (b) radical in their views, and thus they tend to be more vocal.  The panel urged its listeners who were more in the middle of the road to give voice to their opinion!  I wonder how the nation would be different if the silent majority was a vocal one instead.


Summer Bucket List

We're well into JULY and I just realized I should probably put together my summer bucket list!  Here's what I wanna do before the summer is out:

1) Go rock climbing lots and lots
2) Take a waterskiing trip!
3) Movies at the Capitol Building
4) Twilight Summer Concert Series!
5) Go to my Fetzer Family CABIN (haven't been for years, sadly)
6) Summer pool parties in Midway (come! come!)
7) Rodeo, anyone?
8) Concerts at Usana Ampitheatre
9) Go to ZIONS (and other campouts)
10) Hike King's Peak
11) Hike Mt. Olympus

Do you wanna get involved?  GOOD!  Let's make it happen, cap'n!  I looove summer and all that it brings!


What the...?

The Salt Lake Temple is closed for the week - glad I found out before I drove my nice duds down there!  I could have paid 10 bucks just to enter and exit the parking lot.  Whew!  Close call.  Next week, I'll be back.