Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In the White House

I watched the White House concert last night on PBS.

I'm a blues fan - I've been a fan since high school.  I don't listen much any more - but I can always get into it when I do.

Nevertheless, it just seemed so strange to watch the performance in the White House last night - playing the down and dirty blues.  I noticed the Obama kids weren't in the audience - real blues is pretty blue, pretty raw - was that why?  I don't know.  While Mick Jagger performed, I got this really weird feeling watching him.

It was the same kind of feeling I used to get at open air concerts, everyone stoned - doped up - and stuff was happening.  Even back then I felt an uneasiness, something that told me, 'this isn't quite right'.  I don't know what it was.  I had the same feeling when I was around really dark people - heavy duty rockers - I was uneasy.   Something was off.  When I felt like that I left the party, the concert, the bar, the group - I got away.  It's pretty much what drove me back to the Church.  But I digress.

It sounds dumb to just call it a feeling.  It's really hard to explain - I think it has to do with having acquired a more sensitive conscience or something - which is why I no longer listen to the Stones, or the Blues, or a lot of other music I once loved.  I know, I know, I sound narrow minded, uncool, and conspiracy-theory directed, but I watched the concert with those same old doped up feelings and thought to myself: 'this is the revolution - it already happened.'

Back in the free-concert/Woodstock-Altamont-wanna be concert days, the attitude was: 'the revolution is coming'.  Last night it looked like it was here.

The drug-store music was playing in the White House and the gang was all there.

It was just a feeling however.  Thank God it was just a feeling.  Feelings do not matter.  Besides, it was only a concert.  It was only a concert.  Everything is okay.

(Jeff Beck and B.B. King were awesome though!)


  1. Feelings matter, in my opinion - rightly undertood at least:


  2. Ex-metal head here. I know that feeling.

  3. I would describe it as a sense of sorts. I know that sense I get when I'm around darkness be that a place or people. I get very uneasy. There was a time in my life when I lived in darkness. I liken it to be being in a cave and being close enough to the entrance that you can still see light however dim it might be. The danger of course is being lured in deeper further from the light and your eyes become more used to the darkness. I liken that to what happens with a soul in mortal sin.

    I have a strong sense to leave a room when something objectionable is on television. We are so desensitized to forces of darkness around us that we don't often see its insidious influence on our lives. I'm always having to reevaluate what I listen to and enjoy: is this for the greater glory of GOD and my own sanctification and edification?

  4. +JMJ+

    I still remember the time my family finally subscribed to cable TV and I watched MTV for the first time. Beavis and Butthead scared me. I didn't understand any of the jokes and yet the only word that came to mind was "evil."

    When I tried again a few days later, a Red Hot Chili Peppers video was on, and the word that came to mind was "satanic."

    Obviously, I'm much more desensitised these days. MTV is just "crass" to me now, not evil or frightening.

    On the other hand, I just spent about a week listening to some of the most wholesome (and boring) Pop music you could imagine--the kind you could put on the player while your grandmother is in the room. And I've been walking around with a lighter (if slightly shallower) heart. Coincidence?

  5. It's great to know I'm not the only one who gets these feelings.

    I wonder if Mother Dolores got that same feeling at the Oscars? Because when I first left the monastery I was shocked by everything.

  6. When one considers the filth and garbage that flash across the television screen today in broad daylight. We've become so desensitized to it that it doesn't even bother us. How strange Our Lady's words at Fatima must have sounded when she said, "certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much". These "fashions" are the norm today. I remember how odd I found it as a child in the 1970s that my cousins did not have a television and were forbidden to watch any. It seemed so extreme to me then. She homeschooled them in the 1970s (which I also found odd at the time). I know now they were the sane ones. They were the lucky ones. Spared being tempted to buy into the empty maxims of the world at an early age. We didn't arrive where we are today by being faithful Catholic people. I know my family would have been spared much misery had we prayed the family rosary together after dinner instead of watching "three is company". If we are not watchful, vigilant and immunized spiritually against the contagion of the world then that's why we have what we have today: catholic contracepting like non catholics, catholics cohabiting like non catholics, catholics divorcing like non catholics, catholics who don't believe in the real presence, catholics who don't know what a rosary is or how to say it, catholics who do not know what the Mass is, catholics who are as immodest as the world is........I mean it just goes on and on.

  7. I grew up in the 70’s and I have to say, even though things seem so much more debauched now, there is something inherently creepy about the 70’s. The occultism of Led Zepplin, the whole “swinging” thing in TV and movies, the drug use, the smell of patchouli, the “trippy-ness” of it all. If you’re in your 30’s or 40’s you might get what I mean. For example, my little sisters and I were watching an old Strawberry Shortcake cartoon from our childhood and everyone commented that the song at the 6:00 minute mark is so creepy we can barely listen to it:


    That’s the icky 70’s feeling.

  8. I've sort of naturally drifted away from certain bands I used to like a lot, though on occasion I might enjoy a song or two, I just can't get "into" it.

    The Stones are one of those bands - especially when their music is glorifying something evil. ("Some Girls", etc.). But then again, their version of "Just My Imagination" is still one of my favorites. Led Zeppelin is another. I can't really listen to the dripping-sex raunch themes anymore, but some of their music was a bit more cerebral, and "Ten Years Gone" is still beautiful.

    I dumped Black Sabbath, Metallica, and AC/DC altogether. I still love Pink Floyd, though understood properly I find they are actually very critical of modern life - and the Kinks openly hate modernity, haha.

    David Bowie I have to filter through. Songs like "Heroes" and "Young Americans" are good, but gender-bending crap like "Moonage Daydream" or "Soul Love" are not even in my playlist anymore.

    My big problem with art and music is this - how does one avoid the puritan impulse the throw away everything that might have a tinge of something not in line with Christian Truth, yet is on the whole good, and whose value may still be enjoyed?

    I think this way with the Beatles, but also with certain classical composers like Wagner. And novels are not always "totally Catholic" - even devout Catholic authors like Evelyn Waugh and Walker Percy depict characters behaving badly without necessarily making overt commentary on it.

    Being scrupulous as I am, this is hard to deal with. "OMG they just made a dirty joke - to the trash bin!"

    With TV shows, there is little I watch - I still like "the Office" a lot, but other shows lost me when they started actually *promoting* evil behavior - "Heroes" had one of the main characters "just try out" a lesbian relationship. That's agenda-driven, pure and simple.

  9. And it goes without saying that I no longer see anything heroic in Jagger, Bowie, or any of them. I wouldn't ever want to meet them.

    They don't even have the "stupid and sinful but their heart is in the right place" quality of say, John Lennon or even Mark Knofler, but seem to worship debauchery for its own sake.

    Ray Davies, on the other hand, I could see converting to Catholicism.

  10. Also, what does it mean to ask "is this for the greater glory of God and for my own edification and sanctification?"

    Obviously thongs that are directly contrary to that must be excluded, but doesn't this mean that even innocent songs that are fun but have no specific religious purpose (think "Sweet Home Alabama" or "Will it Go Round in Circles" by Billy Preston), or love songs that aren't raunchy but not perfect (Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic"), or comedy movies that have no other purpose but to make us laugh ("Napoleon Dynamite", for example), or action movies mystery novels, and even secularly-themed classical music are all sinful in some way?

    Can we ONLY rightfully listen to religious music and read religious books and watch movies with a moral message? I hope not.

  11. Yep, do you think it was because Blacksheepdog used to help them consecrate their records to the devil?

  12. pink floyd. *shine on crazy diamond* good song.

  13. Badger - yep - I bet that is it.

  14. CK, I feel the same way about the seventies.

    Terry, I so badly want to know Mother Doloras' opinion of Hollywood. I also wanna know how she was treated.


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