Saturday, October 26, 2002

Conservative Rock is, of course, an oxymoron. Rock and roll is meant to be a rebellious evolutionary art form, therefore the idea that it can be conservative or "classic" is self-defeating or self-negating. However, the Bruce Bartlett address that got several of these discussions started (I'll attribute Ben Domenech, where I first read of it) expressly mentions "Conservative Pop Music" not Rock -- Rock and Roll can be a subset of Pop music (or an intersecting set).

Barlett's criteria are interesting -- but it's what makes his list, in my opinion, a failure. The first and second are related: he looks to what is expressed by the lyric, not the person singing the lyric. Fair enough. Were the Beatles political conservatives or liberals? On the basis of Taxman, mentioned by both Bartlett and Domenech, conservative. But I doubt you'd find any of the fab four doing fundraisers for the Tories. However, these two criteria aren't the main problem -- the main problem is the third criterion: he limited himself "to songs that made Billboard’s Top 40 chart after 1955." This is why, in my continuing opinion, Ben's list is far superior to Bartlett's.

Before I continue, I'd like to echo the comments made by Charlie Murtaugh -- Barlett's inclusion of "'Sweet Home Alabama,' which basically endorses segregation and makes excuses for Watergate." Lynyrd Skynyrd's song was on its face reactionary to Neil Young's "Alabama" and "Southern Man" In the first of these, Young sang of
Alabama, you got the weight on your shoulders
That's breaking your back.
and he continues
Oh Alabama.
Can I see you and shake your hand.
Make friends down in Alabama.
I'm from a new land
I come to you and see all this ruin
What are you doing Alabama?
You got the rest of the union to help you along
What's going wrong?
I would hope my conservative friends would see these as conservative sentiments -- are they anti-conservative?

Southern Man, written and recorded earlier, I will acknowledge, is more incidiary, yet it begins
Southern man better keep your head
Don't forget what your good book said
Southern change gonna come at last
Now your crosses are burning fast
Is there a problem with a call to temperance, a reliance on the Bible, a warning about cause and effect (personal responsibility -- isn't that a conservative virtue?)

However, and now I've gone off on a tangent, there are other rock songs that are out there that should be considered for inclusion on these lists -- I'll put a few up in the days to come.

Friday, October 25, 2002

Goodbye Senator. I will miss Senator Wellstone greatly, even though I would never vote for him. He was someone who was very true to his principles, and, although I disagreed with him strongly, admired him nonetheless for keeping his hand to the plow and not looking back. I have not been able to watch any TV lately and when I turned on "Public" radio they were in the middle of a pledge drive and had completely jettisoned any regular programming. Nevertheless, I imagine that the tributes will come from both sides of the aisle and that they will be heartfelt. He was the kind of opposition you would want -- someone who gave the very best and challenged every argument.
Normal. I stopped and got gas on the way home from work. Everyone was smiling and visibly relieved. The lady who pulled in behind me actually did a little twirl right behind her car after she got the gas going -- like Maria (Julie Andrews) at the opening of "The Sound of Music."
NFL Power Rankings. I've been having major problems with Blogger since last night. Posting this now -- assuming it doesn't crash like last time. I will post the introductory explanation and source links tomorrow.

No. Team Cu. Hi Lo
1 Saints 2.13 1 7
2 Packers 2.75 1 5
3 Broncos 3.88 1 6
4 Chargers 4.38 2 11
5 Eagles 5.13 1 8
6 Dolphins 6.25 2 9
7 Raiders 7 6 8
8 Bucs 7 3 10
9 49ers 7.38 3 9
10 Bills 11.88 8 18
11 Steelers 12.13 10 14
12 Patriots 12.25 6 17
13 Colts 12.63 10 15
14 Cardinals 14.13 10 25
15 Ravens 14.88 11 18
16 Chiefs 16 13 19
17 Jaguars 17 13 19
18 Falcons 17.13 12 25
19 Giants 19.75 18 23
20 Rams 19.88 17 23
21 Browns 21.13 20 24
22 Cowboys 22.88 21 25
23 Titans 23 20 26
24 Bears 23.13 18 27
25 Panthers 24.25 21 26
26 Redskins 25.13 22 27
27 Jets 27.25 25 29
28 Lions 27.25 23 30
29 Seahawks 28.63 27 29
30 Vikings 29.75 27 31
31 Texans 31 30 32
32 Bengals 31.88 31 32

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

On the run. Had to stop by Home Depot tonight to make a return (lot's of visible security there, btw). My wife gave me a big kiss and wished me well -- in part a joke and in part serious. We're all jumpy around here -- I guess you'd have to be here to know how it is. The bus driver who was shot had just picked up some tickets last week from someone I work with. Another victim was a family friend of a different co-worker. As I indicated before, I've driven by those gas stations and streets where the shootings have taken place. Even the Ashland shooting -- that's a frequent stopping place on the trip back from my parents (although we generally go to the BK or Taco Bell or just stop to use the bathrooms at Cracker Barrel).
Design Changes. I did a conversion of my browser and wiped out all my bookmarks -- this helped me to realized that I haven't done an update of my links on the left. There are a number of blogs I visited pretty regularly that were in my bookmarks but aren't on the left. Therefore, I would appreciate it if you could leave me your blog cite in the comments or send me an email and I'll try and get things updated. Thanks!

Monday, October 21, 2002

Jesus Lived! Well, of course, says the orthodox Christian. Moreover, He Lives. It's a matter of faith, but also strong probability -- it's only the modern self-blinded skeptics that really doubt He lived.

Anyway, today there was a press conference in D.C. by Biblical Archaeological Review, indicating an ossuary held by a private collector featuring an Aramaic inscription, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." The BAR has confirmed that the relic is 2,000 years old. Here is the Christianity Today article.

Regrettably, or perhaps not, the ossuary contains no bones.

Something about this reminds me of one of my favorite stories:

It seems that back in the 1950s a team of Roman Catholic archaeologists conducting a dig in Jerusalem stumbled on the bones of Jesus and became convinced that indeed these were the bones of Jesus. Obviously, this was for them a horrifying discovery.

So they called up the pope to notify him that the bones of Jesus had been found. And the pope decided that this was a matter of such terrible ecumenical concern that he was going tohave to convene an ecumenical council. And he asked his advisers, "Who's the greatest living Protestant theologian?" And he was told it was Paul Tillich.

So the pope called up Tillich on the telephone, explained that the bones of Jesus had been found. There was a long silence on the other end of the line.

And finally Tillich said, "So then, he really did live."
Sniper News?. You may have heard that there has been an arrest (or arrests) of one or two men in the Richmond area and the seizure of a white van. There is a press conference scheduled for 1 pm (EDT) that will be carried live on the internet by WTOP radio.

Update For the record, this did not pan out.
VeggieTales. We took, let's see, four adults, three students, five children, and three infants to see Jonah this weekend. I'd say it was so-so. The visuals were great. It had one tremendous song, the gospel "Second Chances" performed by Anointed. [Here's an .mp3 clip] and one horrible song (because it's so catchy and so mindless): Billy Joe McGuffrey (and the Chris Rice with all 12 verses is even worse). But overall, I thought the story tended to drag a little and tended to be a little lacking in the humor and zaniness that is a trademark of the best VeggieTales videos.

BTW, if you see the movie in the theater, be sure to stick around for the Credits Song.
Football. So I'm sitting there watching the Redskin game yesterday and they show that Shannon Sharpe had 214 receiving yards and 2 TDs and I think "I wonder who the sap was that had to play against that guy [in the Blogger Bowl 2K3 fantasy league]." Turns out that I'm that sap and there goes my winning streak. Congratulations to Ellis Domenech, coach (I don't like to think of us as being "owners") of the Liberty City Diablos. Unfortunately, I got far too many points from LaDainian Tomlinson (39 carries, 153 yards, 2 TDs) and not enough from Rod Smith. (I'm a Raider fan.)

I'm wondering what the Chargers need to do to get some respect -- they have a bye next week and then play the Jets, so going into Week 10 against the Rams they should only have one loss. That kicks off the rough part of their schedule -- following the Rams they play the 49ers, Dolphins, Broncos, and Raiders. Nevertheless, I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking that had Snyder stuck with Marty the 'skins wouldn't have stopped using Stephen Davis in the 3rd Quarter (24 carries for 91 yards). The Redskins averaged 4.3 yards per rush attempt versus 3.1 yards per pass attempt.

More. The Redskins challenged the officials rulings twice yesterday and lost both times. However, there was an earlier call* that they should've challenged that would've been upheld. Patrick Ramsey brought his arm forward to pass and then brought the ball back in almost immediately after, GB stripped the ball from his grasp. Pursuant to the "Tuck Rule" (NFL Rule 3, Section 21, Article 2 Note 2):
When Team A player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.
In the play in question, Ramsey had "started a forward pass" and then attempted to bring it back in but had not made contact with his body yet -- that (body contact) is the operative fact that turns off the period in which ball is considered to be a pass and not a fumble if separated from the passer. (But see note 3, that attempting to recock the arm also turns off that metaphysical period.)

* For those die-hard 'skins fans who want to check the tape, it occured with about 2 minutes left in the 3rd; 3d and 14 at Wash 37 -- the "fumble" was recovered by Nate Wayne.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Cover Watch. Love v. War. We're living in a Time of War -- al Qaeda is showing a new resurgence. Newsweek pins its hopes on Nirvana. Kurt's Dead.