I remember the first time I sang the Messiah solos of Comfort ye and Every Valley. It was in the chapel at Princeton Seminary for a wedding. I wonder how good I was as a 19 year old. Today, I heard my son sing his first pass at the Messiah solos at Ardmore Baptist in Winston Salem. He was so much better than I was at his age. Style, composure, artistic message, command, and fine, elegant singing. Tenors are a funny stressed bunch of souls. Singing comfort ye is not comforting normally. Today, I was calm and comforted for lots of reasons.
The artistry of the the PrillaKids is well known to most but today it feels like the first time I’m comfortable that the coming valleys will indeed be straight. I’ve sung that line hundreds of times, but clearly I need to listen more than talk more often. They have got this.
First time I’m comfortable saying that I’ve turned the page. Every day is a chance to step back and see that all we like sheep have gone astray and yet Hallelujah and amens still happen in spite of us. Our masks are ripped off and the face is there for all to see.
The media coverage and fear mongering has been the deadliest piece of the disease.
Vaccines are helpful but not magic.
Survivors were and remain the index for success.
Mask mania spreads fear and mistrust. It was never effective and was never going to be effective.
The public health control measures are being evaluated against the self identified public health success criteria and the “goalposts” move to manage the message. This is politics, pandering, and propaganda 101. It is NOT science.
The best protection is for each individual to choose to protect themselves. This choice protects both liberty and society.
Selective social distancing. Don’t go out of sick same as always.
Fresh air, filters, and fellowship.
Education and personal responsibility.
Therapeutics and actual medical science in place of promises and political science.
Drugs… that said, Vaccines don’t protect against the spread, they only lesson the impact of infection. They are not equivalent to natural immunity. Why are they being “mandated” if the effect isn’t complete? Use all of the drugs available at direction of your doctor not government agencies.
We MUST Question the premise of every statement from an “official” and if it stands up to clarification and scrutiny at scale and duration, then perhaps follow the guidance. Ignore speculation. Questioning and proving/disproving IS science. That is, if you are even allowed to question.
If you posit that our collective response was a failure then the real question is why are the same failed control and fear measures still being deployed.
Consider that the Covid response model exemplifies psychological warfare more than it does the practice of medicine.
Diminishing trust and access to proven medicine in hospitals, offices, clinics, and even schools is and was a choice. Leaders stopped thinking and panicked. In their rush to maintain power and influence, they traded respect and influence degrading results. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t mean to kill millions. They did it. History will prove me and so many others to be correct.
None of us is promised tomorrow.
The mandates’ isolations from family, friends, fellowship, and faith are devastating and wrong.
Have I trained myself to be dissatisfied with what I have? Finding the balance between ambition(growth) and static decline is hard. If you aren’t growing you are dying but happiness is understanding that a journey is required every flipping day. Taking things for granted is the way to lose.
I said Omicron 3 times. I’m still not afraid. I admit that I am getting tired of so many that are. You know how to protect yourself. Do it and stop pretending that there is science to back up mandatory masking and lockdowns and mandates of every variant. Move on America. Yes we can.
Trust in the Lord… none of us is promised tomorrow. That is a fact. Straight talk reality check.
A brilliant light has left this world. The world remains blessed because of his execution and legacy.
“Having just the vision's no solution, everything depends on execution.”
- Stephen Sondheim
“Bit by bit, putting it together...
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just the vision's no solution,
Everything depends on execution,
Putting it together, that's what counts.”
- Stephen Sondheim
“It's not so much do what you like as it is that you like what you do.”
- Stephen Sondheim
“Anything you do, let it come from you. Then it will be new. Give us more to see...”
- Stephen Sondheim
“I chose and my world was shaken, so what? The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not.”
- Stephen Sondheim
All from Sunday in the Park with George
I am thankful for an end to this year and another day tomorrow.
I am thankful for the lessons I have learned.
I am thankful for my children’s transition to adulthood.
I am thankful that I have a place to be me.
I am thankful for my job and the opportunities it provides.
I am thankful that I live in the greatest country in the world.
I am thankful for my health and prosperity.
I am thankful that I can sing.
I am thankful for the examples around me, showing me who I do not want to be.
I am thankful for connections and community.
I am thankful for my brothers : the Brandon Bacon Bunch
i am thankful for the engineers and technology tools enabling me.
I am thankful that God loves me in spite of me. It is amazing.
I am thankful for warm fires, cool pools, fields to work in, and the ability and desire to work and provide for others.
I am thankful for the abundance of food and drink in my life, including bacon.
I am thankful for the freedom provided to me by the sacrifice and service of so many before me.
Media mania is a thing. It is dangerous and debilitating and has intense impact on the poorly educated and unaware. Protesting a trial outcome where rules of evidence and law were enforced based on a media narrative is pathetic. The jury had the burden to decide if the prosecutor proved the case as charged. This narrow function is by design. This equivocation emotional cancel victimization environment is destroying us because too many don’t understand the law.
Rule of law must stand. Constitution must stand.
I am pleased with the RIttenhouse verdict but my criticism would apply equally if he had been convicted.
Our system is not perfect. It is however the BEST system in the world. Public safety is best protected by an informed and armed population along with respect for the police and military.
Trying to quantify my disappointment in the public schools is seemingly impossible. Just when I think they can’t do any worse, another dysfunctional decision and approach is made clear. The equation seems to be designed to continue checking the existence box regardless of any measurable success criteria. Parents MUST retake control of their children’s education at all costs.
I recognize that a lot of those teachers are doing the very best that they can. It is simply NOT good enough.
Sunday dinner was never about pressure. It was about priority. We go to grandma’s house because family and time is precious. Of course the food is important. Yes it is nice to watch football and maybe even have a fire. Ultimately it is about making people the priority in your life and showing respect for that blessing. Every week isn’t required. Grandma understands. It is the ritual of prioritizing and choosing to spend the rare and precious time of a blessed day with people that matter that matters most of all.
Each of us chooses our example and making the effort in spite of the constant challenges and obstacles is what this whole life thing is all about. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat.
Willful ignorance, intentional elevation of buffoonish behavior, unchecked doublespeak, bottomless hypocrisy, laughing it off but not changing anything — signs of #idiotsincharge that make me insane and wake me up in middle of night
These “metrics” are prevalent In failing institutions everywhere, from churches, to schools, to governments, to families. The outcome is always the same. Failure.
Too many church communities have no courage. They seek popularity and “members” above all. Like most of us, trust is placed in skills, in govt leaders, and things of the world. The problem is that we live in the world but are not of the world. Cowards are irrelevant to the courageous. This is hard. Churches in 2021 are almost universally soft. #mustchange
Mixing virtual and in person. Reducing in person Increasing online components- flipping the classroom. Maybe 3 days in 2 out?? Education not a daycare function but has to solve for parents timing needs.
Shorter classes and face time. More motion and movement though modules/classes.
Must be willing to test and learn. Identify 10-20% of failing or under producing practices and change them up annually.
Teachers. Tech savvy. Willing to embrace new way. Capable of change and outcome thinking over incremental thinking.
Solid Stable metrics to evaluate student progress.
Pedagogy is important but it is only piece. The teacher mindset and enablement is the critical enabler.
Using arts to enforce a “creator” based framework. As teach them to create art, (music, art, drama) barriers to learning fall away.
Athletics and competition are attractive and exciting. Choose a lane to start. Use a publicized mix/ratio.
Parent empowerment and choice. Offer parents solutions to teach and be involved… but don’t require.
Multi generational perspectives focused on today. Not yesterday.
Incentivize acceleration and achievement beyond standards. For teachers, parents, and students.
School is equally about the teaching teacher community as it is the student community.
Allow parents choice with their education funds. Open Charter schools. Teachers have choices for where they want to teach. Existing system, which obviously isn't all that great will be reborn with competition. Advanced degrees, remediation opportunities, grade accelerations...
Best schools win. Best teachers win. Students and parents win.
We know for sure that putting more money into public schools hasn't fixed them. What is wrong with doing something new and different? Nothing I say. Nothing. When you can't fix something in place, best plan is to build another option in parallel and evolve everything, decommissioning what doesn't pass muster.
Lots of friends seem to be little confused. Here is what I mean when I say it.
1. Joe Biden is a bumbling failure as POTUS. We should Elect Republicans Everywhere.
2. No more lockdowns, EVER. No more mandatory masks, EVER. I won't be giving up ANY guns.
3. The liberal media is utterly corrupt and useless. The constant defense of the #idiotsincharge by altering the “news” is toxic. Doublespeak is real.
4. Biden policies are destroying more lives than the Republicans would have if they were in power. I am very bitter that the moochers in DC are in control of my livelihood. I'm already working to change that.
5. Government needs to stay the hell out of my life.
6. Covid pandemic is OVER. My respect for the federal government is at an all time low… and that is saying something because it was pretty low before all of this mess.
7. The current meltdown in Va schools is a tragedy. I blame BOTH Biden and Lord Northam of the blackface clan.
8. The constitution restrains the government, not the citizenry. In particular, the federal government is limited by design, and needs to be whack smacked down to size.
9. I would run for office and do a better job than these corruptoCrats but I can’t get elected because I’m honest and write things like this.
10. Big government is the problem, not the solution. Period.
It can only be truly defined by the artist. Art is A creative construct which exceeds and connects perspectives. Across time, culture and status.
If the things I think and say shock you, you don’t know me.
Musing Monday on my day off for me. Tenors set the tone. Power and lines. Nail the high notes and minimize the low. Never be afraid of the bombastic. Embrace the sublime.
Mixing, matching, making… manahmanah. Doo do ba doo doo manahmanah.
There are people that want to have eliminate advanced diplomas, lower standards to accommodate more at the expense of the few, and teach that success and livelihood is based on your race. They need choices.
Ban Critical Race Theory. Open charter schools now. Kids Lives Matter.
Va must vote for hope and change. Vote for Glenn Youngkin for Governor.
"WE" did this but there is a difference.
I stood against the tyrannical authoritarian view in favor of personal accountability and freedom of choice. You know it and I know it.
I won't forget and neither should you.
I used to be a gullible squishy Republican. I even voted for Bill Clinton twice. I am not anymore.
I learned and accepted that I was wrong. Liberals and moderates can do the same I think. Virginians/Conservative classical liberals must lead. We must get off the sidelines.
I refuse to lower expectations and accept principles championed by murderous and despotic regimes. History and legacy is fact. Collectivism without competition and choice is toxic and destroys societies at scale and duration every single time. Globalism is a fallacy that requires America to fail ultimately.
Get out and vote for republicans and life in every sense. Don’t go back. Leap ahead.
Vote for Glenn Youngkin.
Vote for school choice and charter schools.
Vote to end the lockdown control mindset.
Vote to empower parents and families.
Vote for life.
Vote for lower taxes, small businesses, and local local local impact.
Vote to preserve and expand gun rights.
Vote to support rule of law, police, and a strong military.
Vote to put America and Americans first.
Vote. Vote. Vote.
A man is forced by mandate to get an injection for which there is NO medical need. Non compliance will cost him his job. This is not a valid choice for most. Sacrificing livelihood which provides for family and life is blackmail. It is immoral and wrong. It is deplorable and despicable.
If you support this and are willing to force compliance in spite of logic and the science you should be ashamed and you can barely cause yourself a free American.
There is risk. There are consequences. You are indirectly responsible for this crap if it goes badly. When the choice was removed using the force of government contracts you were made culpable.
I know of a case where the medical potential for harm is actually significantly greater than the benefit. Medical exemption denied. The mandate doesn’t care. The job is required for the future. The only choice is compliance.
This is not honorable leadership, policy or example by the president of the United States. Shame on the defenders of this authoritarian insanity.
Thus endeth the rant. I’m furious.
What will you do when they (cancel culture victimization culture, blame game types) come for your family, your friend, your neighbor?
When “they” attack the character of a person you know... when their livelihood is threatened….
Will you stand with your friend, family, neighbor supporting their God given right to disagree, even with you? That is a damn good question and test my friends.
If I don’t trust and rely on you, then distance and boundaries are increased. Separation can and will occur and it could be permanent. #musingtime
Art (for me music) does not need a reason to exist. It is born of a divine spark. The artist is simply a conductor for the energy. Singing in church, on a stage, in any venue is a blessing but it isn’t required.
The culture around me tells me that I am a victim. Everyone is a victim of some oppression related to race, money, age, weight, parents, gender… you know how the story goes. We are told to wrap ourselves in blaming others and be dependent on ???
This is all a lie. I don’t know why so many are wired to think this way but it is toxic to life.
As a retired performing artist, perspective is important to me. I see and think about what I am seeing constantly. My life is filled with challenges just like yours. My life is NOT an exercise in suffering. Every day is an opportunity to do something, to improve, or maybe just to rest but it is not a burden to bear. Each day is a blessing and a gift. It is from God, bestowed on me, not because of my worth or my deeds, but because of Gods extraordinary love.
The constant complaint, blame game, victim approach is a construct, a choice, that destroys relationship. This is from Satan. It separates us from one another and most importantly it separates us from God. This is sin my friends. The seed may practically originate with your mother, your neighbor, your Sunday school teacher, even your wife and children but it is of the devil.
Life, my life, your life, is about loving and doing in spite of the human challenges which we all have. Living is not about fear and control and the constant envy of what could have been if… this is foolish fallacy.
I am not special. I am a specific, beloved, first born child of God. The systems of men always fail. Gods love does not. I am destined for glory in God, but not because of what I do here and now.
1. see the behaviors which are rooted in blame, victimization, and self
2. reject the victim mindset and choose to be grateful. Focus on blessings. They are always there.
3. Live into the future however it comes. Choose wisely, but choose. Don’t let others choose your thinking.
as to all of that blame and victimhood and pain… it is real. To move ahead, you must let it go and forgive everyone. Period.
Intersection of principles and practices...