Monday, December 31, 2012

Thoughts on the New Year

2012 was truly a year of some wonderful highs and troubling lows. As I look back, it was a real roller coaster of a year. It is very disconcerting to see the year end with such tragedy and cause for concern. We have some serious political, economic and social challenges going into 2013. While the re-election of our President was cause for optimism for a better America, the forces that are fighting against change seem ever more determined to undo the will of the people. Let us hope that the forces of peace, justice and equality prevail over those that wish to obstruct change.

Those "obstructionist" forces are on the wrong side of history; the conservative right, the NRA, and the Republican congressional leadership to name a few.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy in Newtown

Today tragedy struck in my home state of Connecticut. 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, CT, about 60 miles from my home. Twenty of the deaths were elementary school students, 4th grade and under. This tragedy follows recent other incidents in a movie theater and another in a shopping mall. There is something wrong in a society where guns are so prevalent. Not only are they so easily obtained, but they are glorified in movies, television and video games.

If today's events don't provide the impetus for much tougher restrictions on gun ownership, I don't know what can. None of these tragedies would have happened if guns were not so ubiquitous in our society. I'm sure everyone of these perpetrators felt they had a constitutional right to own their firearms.

All I can say is shame on the NRA and the politicians that defend them. Many of those politicians have sold out to the NRA for 'generous' campaign contributions. In some small way, this blood is on your hands. Some of the blame must also lie with our entertainment industry that uses gratuitous gun violence in movies, television and especially video games. If only that industry would show some responsibility instead of simply appealing to such base instincts in order make their big profits. But I suppose that is asking too much.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Time Out - Remembering Dave Brubeck

red hot cool brubeckDave Brubeck is remembered in this week's jazz podcast. Brubeck passed away this week on December 5, just one day shy of his 92nd birthday. His album Time Out was the first jazz album to sell one million copies and to go Platinum. For many, like myself, Dave Brubeck and Time Out was our first introduction to jazz music.

We begin the podcast with his music and then we will hear from some modern artists that have been influenced by Brubeck's unique use of time.