Tag: philosophy

George Takei, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denying the Holocaust, and The Danger of Hypocrisy

George Takei, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denying the Holocaust, and The Danger of Hypocrisy
Are you tired of politicians ranting about our rampant drug culture, yet being outed as heroin addicts? Do you fear your co-workers because they’re bright and sunny to your face, while calling you every name in the hopes of getting you fired? Are royally pissed when a religion touts love, acceptance, and forgiveness, while lambasting... Read more »

Why I love wearing lipstick and why anyone who laughs at that should 'stick it'

Why I love wearing lipstick and why anyone who laughs at that should 'stick it'
Indulge me in a quick flashback: When I was about four or five years old, I was browsing the costume shack at Sonny Acres Pumpkin Farm in West Chicago. The year was approximately 1995, many years before the current acceptance of a person’s free will in defining their gender. I bounded excitedly towards an exquisite... Read more »

"Call Me Now!": The death of Miss Cleo and the demise of the commercial psychic

"Call Me Now!": The death of Miss Cleo and the demise of the commercial psychic
When my sister was a teenager in the early 90’s the most important relationship she fostered was with her telephone. It was a lifeline to the world, calling friends, pranking unsuspecting elderly curmudgeons, and infuriating our parents with slightly more expensive phone bills. Yet, there was one time where the cost of the phone exponentially higher than... Read more »
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Warning: Nostalgia or "Living in the past can drive you NUTS"

Warning: Nostalgia or "Living in the past can drive you NUTS"
“I wish it was like the good old days again!” How many times have we heard that tired aphorism in our lifetimes? People yearn for days of yore, childhood moments where life was simple and the world was seen through rose-colored glasses. We remember moments that warm our hearts, bring a smile to our faces,... Read more »

“I chose to be an American": Reflecting on Freedom on The Fourth of July

“I chose to be an American": Reflecting on Freedom on The Fourth of July
Author and philosopher Ayn Rand was heckled during a speech with the question, “Why should we care what a foreigner thinks?” Rand, a Russian immigrant who came to America to escape the horrors of Communism, responded with her usual passion and bite: “I chose to be an American. What did you ever do, except for having been... Read more »

"I write to understand as much as to be understood": Celebrating the life of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

"I write to understand as much as to be understood": Celebrating the life of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)
When I wrote my blog about Elie Wiesel’s memoir Open Heart, I had no idea that in less than half a month he would be dead. Wiesel died today at the age of 87. In our lifetime, we have figures who stand at the finish line of tragedy and teach the world to learn from it.... Read more »
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"Death and Taxes": Singing for Funerals, The Fountain of Youth, and the Brittleness of Mortality

"Death and Taxes": Singing for Funerals, The Fountain of Youth, and the Brittleness of Mortality
Everyone always thinks that the life of a professional musician is glamorous. Their picture is The Beatles, with millions of screaming fans devouring every song. Their image is of The Rolling Stones, jet-setting and drugging to every “sextreme.” The reality is, unless you’re Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger, you’re going to have to take some... Read more »

“Here pity only lives when it is dead": a moment in the Chicago neighborhood of John Wayne Gacy

The quote in the title of this article is from Dante Alighieri’s immortal poetic depiction of hell, The Inferno. The Inferno is a perfect moniker for where I wound up yesterday on a beautiful Monday in Chicago. Throughout my childhood I heard the name John Wayne Gacy passed around like a boogeyman, a hush falling... Read more »

"You shall choose life": Reading Elie Wiesel's Open Heart in the shadow of a week of tragedy

"You shall choose life": Reading Elie Wiesel's Open Heart in the shadow of a week of tragedy
Like many millennials, I discovered author, scholar, and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in high school after reading his memoir of his time in the Naxi Concentrations Camps during World War II, Night. I remember the moment I started to read the book, I was shaken by the starkness of his prose and the underlying power of... Read more »
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The Orlando Shootings: A musical reflection on the day of an American tragedy

The Orlando Shootings: A musical reflection on the day of an American tragedy
I have almost always been eloquent with words. I use words as verbal camouflage, to an extent. But when I woke up this morning and heard the news of the Orlando shootings, I couldn’t begin to describe how I could felt in words. I’m a composer and a few years ago I wrote a piece... Read more »