Posts filed under Sound Bites

Sound Bite: Celebrating weakness

I think the least powerful aspect of our humanity is our physical strength or ability. Life really is about the strong surviving, but as humans, we had to understand and share our weakness and vulnerability to survive the predators and weather the dangers of our circumstances. I think, in some way, we have lost, or fail to celebrate, much of that element of being human.

-Steve Gleason, formerly with the New Orleans Saints, in this beautiful Sports Illustrated column that outlines his battle with ALS, a disease I lost a hero to nine years ago.

Posted on July 23, 2013 and filed under Sound Bites.

Sound Bite: Reaching peak bullshit

Up until recently, I would have said that the only proper response to our culture of BS is cynicism; that it would just get worse and worse. But I don’t believe that any more, and I think this matters for what comes next for you. I think we may have reached a critical turning point.

I’m going to say that word one last time. I believe we may have reached “peak bullshit.” And that increasingly, those who push back against the noise and nonsense; those who refuse to accept the untruths of politics and commerce and entertainment and government will be rewarded. That we are at the beginning of something important.

And what’s awesome is that you — the graduates of schools like Pitzer — will be the ones who are best prepared and most likely to lead this movement. What’s striking about the culture of this school is an unabashedly sincere desire to do good in this world; to be responsible for one another and to carry yourselves with integrity. And it’s exciting that, maybe — just maybe — those traits won’t just mean you do good; that this earnestness, this authenticity, will help you succeed in a society that is demanding those qualities with both hands.

-TV writer and former President Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett, in his commencement speech to the 2013 graduates of Pitzer College. 

Posted on June 21, 2013 and filed under Sound Bites.

Sound Bite: Fans are critics

When you sing off-key or devote yourself to inane subject matter, people who are paying attention to you (i.e. your fans) notice. Even if they immediately forgive you or have the tact to avoid mentioning it. Even if they decide that your particular faults are part of your unique charm. A critic simply notices and then says so.

-Chris Wilcox on the value and role of the critic, a topic that’s surfaced again thanks to this Shania Twain quote:

I think the only thing that makes me nervous is the critics. The fans are who I’m out there for. I’m there for them, and I feel it. They’re there for the same reason that I’m there. We love music, and we love the entertainment. So I feel like there’s a really positive exchange there. And critics just make me nervous. What can I say? That’s the nerve-wracking part of it.

Posted on December 12, 2012 and filed under Sound Bites.

Sound Bite: Steven Tyler the sorcerer

It’s like things levitate in a room when we get in the studio. We’re like modern living sorcerers because we’re creating music and writing lyrics, and at the end of the day, there’s a live living thing there dancing around that everyone’s gonna be singing in a few months God willing. It’s just magical.

-The sometimes ludicrous, sometimes poetic Steven Tyler on "The View," discussing Aerosmith's  new album, due out Tuesday. 

Posted on November 4, 2012 and filed under Music, Sound Bites.

Sound Bite: Hank Williams Jr. and ignorance

There is no excuse for being so ignorant. Not in the globalized world we live in. Not in the richly diverse country that we live in. Not when we have so many thousands of years of recorded history where dividing a nation’s population into “us” vs. “them” has resulted in so many horrific acts of violence, genocide, and oppression. Not when there are so many other marginalized groups that are dismissed, devalued, and degraded because they are “them” and not “us.”

From the Iowa State Fair stage on Friday night, Hank Williams Jr. made a blatant appeal to the most base and vile instinct that lurks in the darkest parts of us: “You are not like me. You do not believe what I believe. You are the enemy.”

 -Kevin Coyne in this from-the-gut post. A must read.

Posted on August 20, 2012 and filed under Sound Bites.