January 22, 2006

Let it be known that when I appear to have disagreements with you philosophically, I’m not arguing from firm ground. The questions I ask are not to make you see how right/wrong I am, but are more to encourage you to search for who you are, what you believe in and learn of your own inner conflicts that you may not be aware of (ie maybe you’re more conservative in thinking than you are liberal).

At the same time, I am searching for truth. It’s becoming more clear to me that I honestly don’t know what I hold as being of value anymore. I am at odds with my ways of thinking. The way I’m helping to relieve this is through my curiousity and questioning. Maybe I won’t agree with what you say completely, but maybe there are things in there that I have in common, or maybe I see the opposite of what you understand, or maybe it’s neither but your comments sparked some other thought.

Perhaps I am using you in this search for the truth, but I tend to think of it as a journey together in search for that little bit of truth that we may be able to share with each other or take with us to other people. It is for this reason that I get so involved with philosophical discussions. I am looking for that extra bit of life in my life and the world.

It also the reason why discussions that don’t involve ideas are so dry for me. They lack meaning. You can’t hold a debate about music, because music is sound. You can only discuss the music completely when you are listening to it. Making comments like “This track rocks!” is pointless if the people involved in the conversation can’t hear it, and is really only relevent if you’re listening to the song at the same time. By the time the second person makes a comment about that first track, the first person is already onto a new track, something better and fresher. Also, music either appeals to someone or it doesn’t. You can’t easily convince people that drum and bass is their music. The way you enjoy music is probably quite the opposite of how that other person enjoys it. You may tap your foot, dance, sway your head side-to-side, or just let it blend into the background without really paying attention. You can only offer music up for someone to listen to in hopes of them actually enjoying it.

Some may point out that you can have discussions surrounding the ideas behind lyrics. The lyrics don’t apply to the argument of music being full of ideas that can be discussed. When people discuss the lyrics of music, that isn’t music; that’s poetry. You can’t talk about the dialogue of a play and say it’s theatre, because it’s not. Theatre is the live event with the dialogue, scenery, costumes, an audience, etc. The lyrics and dialogue of a play are static and separated from their real “bodies.” To me, this nature of lyrics applies to all the arts, sports (when the discussions are not focused on the statistics), and media. Things may be discussed surrounding these items, but it’s not being completely honest to the subject matter when you exclude portions of it from the debate.

With politics and philosophy, they are the event. They thrive in debate, in conversations, in lectures, letters, and so forth. The more you speak of an idea with another person, the more that idea springs to life and flowers in front of your ideas. The further you push the conversation, the more it takes root in the soils of the minds of the people engaged in the act. The impact of ideas on a person are permanent once they reach deep into the soil. Some ideas may be cut off above the soil, but over time they just re-grow into a new form.

Take the example of birth control and the debate over abortion. At some point in your life, you encountered an article, had a conversation, saw something on television and started to create a response to one side of the issue or the other. Five years later on, you’ve continued to read and participate in the debate about which side is right or wrong. The side you chose to be on is stronger now than it ever had been before. Then someone close to you is faced with the real decision behind the ideas. It’s not just deciding what feels right; it’s deciding what is right. No matter what happens, chances are your tree limbs have been cut off and you’ve had to re-analyze your feelings on the matter. Your roots are still in place, however, so the tree grows back with a slight lean away from your first reaction. Perhaps you’re more sympathetic to the idea of choice, or maybe you’re thinking more of the “what if” of the child that could have been. Either way, you probably won’t have a complete reversal and become the opposite of what you started out being.

All of the above may in fact be wrong in many ways, but it is how I will live my life until someone comes along to change it, whether by text, voice, media, whatever. You have the power to influence my direction- but I may influence yours just as much. Such is the difficulty behind debate and why people do not engage in it more often. People truly are scared of change.

Please note, the only discussion relevent to the ideas behind music are such:
God really is a techno DJ, the “c” is silent in “rap”, and there’s a reason why there’s a “try” in country- the more you listen in hopes of enjoying it, the less likely you will.

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