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A preview of restoring meaning in a world gone mad

Joe Biden is giving a presidential address tonight and I’ve read on various platforms that the topic will be on MAGA Republicans. He probably thinks they’ve been normalized for far too long. I appreciate that he’s willing to take this on.

The thing is, why did MAGA republicanism happen in the first place? The same phenomenon by different names is happening in many parts of the world. And why isn’t liberalism (the enlightenment kind) able to compensate for the acceleration of our lives and the accompanying uncertainty that is unsettling many people?

I ran across this Big Think video featuring Jamie Wheal a couple of months ago. He explains why traditional religion and liberalism are not meeting the requirements of the time and why there needs to be another option, preferably one that doesn’t involve Andrew Yang.

So, take a look at this video. It’s not long. And then watch Biden’s speech. We’re going to have to feel for a solution. Is this the beginning?

As a lifelong Tolkien reader, I can attest to the fact that his stories offer a lot of what Wheal says would contribute to Meaning 3.0. The Rings of Power start tomorrow on Amazon Prime.


14 Responses

  1. In advance of the speech, a difficult wordle which I finally got in five tries.

    It is ridiculous, but not surprising, that Republicans are furious that Biden said some were semi-fascists. The term needs to be used more, because the vast majority of them are fascists. They use it against Democrats, too, as a form of inoculation from having it used against them, something they consistently do.

    • In advance of the speech, a difficult wordle which I finally got in five tries.

      Got it in 4 but I do think they have taken the level of difficulty up a notch. I can see someone who gets the I N and G easily wasting a try on an ING word. August was the toughest month (at least for me) since I started keeping a record of my play.

      It is ridiculous, but not surprising, that Republicans are furious that Biden said some were semi-fascists.

      Whats really surprising is that some of them were NOT upset about him saying only semi.

  2. Wheal says music is one of the ‘evolutionary drivers’ that bring meaning into our lives. I would love to hear more about this. Music has always played a major role in my life: my father was a musician/musicologist and my husband is also a musician.

    I find some music can indeed be healing; emotionally, if not physically. My husband has recorded original compositions for me that I find extremely meaningful and soothing. But other music, at least to me, has the exact opposite effect. Very jarring and upsetting, although it may be quite popular among the masses. I simply cannot listen to it.

    A friend who is a music therapist says Native American flute music is calming to the mind and body. She also recommends listening to Gregorian chants. She calls both types of music ‘grounding’, which she says is important in difficult times.

    Is certain music more evolutionarily ‘in tune’ with our minds and bodies? Is that about personal preference or is it universal? A particular beat or sound? What music can we find and listen to that will help us navigate the storms all around us?

    I wonder what music people here would recommend? What music brings meaning into your lives?

    • I like melodic music, but I don’t often listen to much music which would be called soothing. I probably like music which has a melody, but might feature minor chords.

      I grew up with ’60’s music, from folk-rock to psychedelic. I like pretty tunes, including British indiepop, and then sometimes swirling and haunting music. I do not like “anthem rock” of the ’70’s, and I cannot listen to more than ten seconds of rap music.

      In my six-disc CD holder in my car, which I do not change enough, I have Blueboy’s “The Bank of England,” from 1998, featuring the absolutely exquisite voice (lead vocals on some tracks, backing on others) of Cath Close, whom I know few have heard of. Then I have the Nuns, “Romania,” with the immensely talented and so underappreciated Jennifer Miro. That is rather dark, though melodic, so many might not appreciate it. Then “The Bird of Music,” by Au Revoir Simone, from New York, very pretty and enjoyable to listen to.

      Then a couple of CDs made of when I guest hosted on a weekly radio show. One featured music by Judith Durham of the Seekers, what an incredible voice and talent ,and such a wonderful person. Her recent passing was very sad for me. And then a show I did where I chose various artists, finishing with Broadcast, from England with the extraordinary Trish Keenan who tragically died from complications of pneumonia from swine flu, which makes me feel sad every time I listen to her music, but she was truly unique. And then finally, disc 2 of a two-disc set of the only recordings of The Doll, featuring writing and singing and guitar of Marion Valentine, who I did not know much about until I recently bought this, and who I now think should have been a superstar, along the lines of Deborah Harry of Blondie, she was from the same era, and from the North of England. The first two songs on disc 2, the better one, are melodic punk, the rest would be described as new wave, but better than almost all of it from that time.

      That might give some ideas. For a while, I was buying and listening to American music of the 1920’s. In general, I do prefer female vocalists, but not always.

      • Judith Durham’s death was very sad. Such a marvelous singer. From what I have read about her, she had a beautiful soul to match that voice.

        • Absolutely. I had bought and read her autobiography, “Colours of My Life” ( the title of a very pretty song she wrote), as a little background for the guest hosting, and also just because I liked her so much. She was really a special person. There is a video on YouTube of her being celebrated on an Australian version of “This is Your Life,” some years ago, and she was so happy and grateful to be appreciated, and to see old friends. She thought it was necessary for her to leave the Seekers in 1968 (she later joined again for years of concerts and a couple of albums),and did not regret that but realized how disappointed they and all her fans were, and felt bad about that. The reunion concert albums, “Night of Nights,” and “25 Year Celebration,” I think it is called, are wonderful.

      • ‘Swirling and haunting’ music is not what I am searching for in these uncertain, unsettling times. If it works for you, that’s good, but I need grounding music. The world is already swirling and haunting enough. I do like The Seekers, as well as other folk groups of the 1960’s.

    • my father was a musician/musicologist

      Did I know this? Me too. And my mom (she was one of his graduate students – oldest story in academia).

      • Yes, Propertius, we have discussed this before! We are faculty brats. My parents probably knew your parents.

        It’s a small, small world…

      • My mother was a few years older than my father. She was already teaching Fine Arts (studio art, mostly oil painting, but also ceramics) at a small liberal arts college when she met my father who was working on his PhD at a nearby university.

    • I used to listen to a Sikh prayer during my chemo infusions. Highly recommended:

  3. A friend who is a music therapist says Native American flute music

    Agree 100%… I must have 6 or 7 Nakai CD’s. Saw him once live when I lived in AZ.

    • Nakai is an incredibly gifted artist. I have several of his CD’s. They even help my terrible headaches. When I listen to his music, I can feel my head vibrate to the sound in a positive way. Often takes away my pain. It’s amazing.

  4. Usual Friday night reminder:

    Friday nights 7 PM – 8 PM North American Central Time:

    The Magical Mystery Tour. Host Tom Wood takes a look at the Beatles from a different angle each week.

    Friday nights 8 PM – 12 AM North American Central Time:

    Beaker Street, the legendary rock radio program, has returned. Hopefully, Clyde Clifford remains recovered from his recent illness.

    Both shows can be found at http://arkansasrocks.com/

    If you can’t catch Beaker Street live, MP3 files are available soon afterward at https://beakerstreetsetlists.com/

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