Monday, January 24, 2011

Beauty is...

I started this morning with an unfinished paper for my Comp II class. The assignment was to write a 1-2 page essay with each body paragraph beginning with the words "Beauty is..." I came to school today prepared to skip American History this morning so I could have it finished by 2:00 (which is when my Comp II class starts). Well, instead of skipping American History, I attended class and finished the paper during the hour I usually spend getting lunch. 'Cause I'm just a regular Superman like that. Anyway, I felt like sharing the stupid thing since it was so hard to write, so here it is. Notice that I (un)intentionally and (un)creatively left it untitled.

What makes a person beautiful? Is it physical characteristics—blonde hair, blue eyes, slim figure, and a well-formed face? Obviously these answers differ from person to person. Not all people find the same features attractive. And in any case, how fair is it to judge a person’s beauty solely on their looks? Doing so only demotes the concept to that age-old taunt, “Beauty is only skin-deep.” Rather, people exhibit beauty in ways that transcend outward appearances.

Beauty is more than physical appeal. It is not what magazines sell as beautiful. It cannot be found in the right products with the right brand names, purchased at the right stores. Beauty is not the girls buying into the latest trends, believing they can find their own beauty by imitating the cover girls of fashion magazines, slaving to become what pop culture deems beautiful. That is tragedy. Beauty is the girl who cancels all her subscriptions to fashion magazines when she realizes she does not need to resemble a super model to feel good about herself.

Beauty is in the ways people comfort each other. It is the glow of warmth felt by the cancer patient as her family holds her hand, reminding her they will never stop loving her, whether she makes it through the chemotherapy or not. It is the sense of togetherness felt at her funeral, inspired by the gathering of all the lives she ever left a mark on. It is the smile worn by the couple admiring their first child, and the smile worn again as they admire their first grandchild.

All people are capable of beauty. It may not manifest itself in the ways people anticipate, but not everyone gets to model for trendy magazines, and nor does anyone deserve to spend their youth in front of a camera. Such is the beauty that withers away with age, dimming slowly like a fire burning out. True beauty—the beauty of love between different lives—is what makes a person beautiful, and it never fades to black.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Caged and lonely lioness

With beauty so mysterious

I wish to set you free—

And I'll settle not for less

The cage that schisms you and me,

Do I hold its golden key?

Or must you be in pain

As I look on, helplessly?

Lioness—roar—once again!

For I can break the distance chain

That keeps us both apart,

That binds you to your barren plain

So weep not o'er your broken heart

It will be mended once we start

To share our loneliness

And love together, heart to heart

I actually wrote this a while back. It was sitting in my drafts of Facebook notes (did any of you recognize the font?) for quite a while, thought I'd dust off the cobwebs and finally publish it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Why Should We?" Preview

I have lyrics on this blog to several songs I wrote, but in the end those are just words on a screen. They don't convey any of the music that really brings those words to life.

That is where this video comes from. I want you to hear these lyrics come alive, so I made this one-minute clip of music. It is a sampling of what I have in mind for the song I posted about three posts down called "Why Should We." Hope you like it.

The final version will feature a full rock band (drums, bass, electric guitars, etc.), likely giving it a pop-punk sound. But, this is just to demonstrate the part of my songwriting that works beyond the pencil and paper.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Still Sticking to Your Guns, Tea Party?

Broken up over multiple tweets, I posted this paragraph last night in response to Saturday's shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona by Jared Loughner:

It's too early to say what Loughner's motives were, and too much of a stretch to claim Palin's Tea Party politics are directly responsible. The Tea Party is known for rallying around xenophobic vitriol and jumping to their guns too quickly (so to speak), but we cannot meet such bitter sentiments and hate-mongering with equally divisive blame-gaming. So long as this can be analyzed rationally and handled calmly, we can prevent this act of terrorism from escalating fear and distrust amongst the country's own citizens.

All that being said, I don't want to let the Tea Party off the hook so easy. Hey Sharron Angle, will those Second Amendment remedies bring Gabe Zimmerman, John Roll, and Christina Green back from the dead? And Sarah Palin, still think "Commonsense Conservatives" like Jared Loughner should "RELOAD"?

I understand that it is unfair to hold Palin, Angle, and other Tea Party politicians accountable for the actions of a disturbed young man. However, we cannot let them get away with spouting loaded, rabble-rousing speech any longer. Words have meanings. Actions have consequences. One cannot batter the public with calls to arms, promotions of "Second Amendment remedies," and urges to "take aim" at opposing politicians without expecting some sort of repercussion. It is sad that it took an act of terrorism (and make no mistake, this shooting is terrorism) to realize this truth.