The Traditionalist Anthem

I really like the band ‘Skillet,’ to the point where I’ve had to impose a rule against using any more of their songs in my ‘Appreciation’ videos. The other day I found this song, which pretty much perfectly expresses my attitude towards the modern world in general and progressivism in particular:

Particularly love the line “I don’t care, so why pretend / wake me when your lecture ends.”

It’s the perfect song to play when the other side starts blaring Bruce Springsteen or “This is Me.”

“These Are Nowhere Near the Best Years of Your Life”

I’m a big fan of Country music: I love it. To me it’s one of the most reliably pleasant and uplifting art forms on the market today. And one of my favorite artists is Mr. Brad Paisley. As a matter of fact, it was Mr. Paisley’s music that first made me a Country fan. Before discovering him, I had heard Country music before that I had liked, but Mr. Paisley was the one who caused me to embrace the whole world of Nashville with a delirious enthusiasm.

Among the first songs of Mr. Paisley that I discovered, and still one of my favorites, is a bittersweet song called “Letter To Me,” in which the singer meditates on what he would say if he could write a message to his seventeen-year-old self. There’s a lot of gentle wisdom and heart-tugging regret, but in the midst of it all is the simple message which Mr. Paisley says he would end with: “Have no fear / these are nowhere near the best years of your life.”

That is to say, high school is not life. It isn’t even an especially important part of life. It’ll pass away, and you’ll experience joys and triumphs that you could never have imagined, while all the drama and heartache of adolescence will appear, in retrospect, to be rather silly and unimportant.

It occurred to me that this is true not only of high school, but of life in general. The life we are leading now is only the equivalent of high school: a highly atypical and often unpleasant threshold on the way to something much greater and more substantial than we can appreciate. Like in high school, there are people who obsess over this life and who seem to consequently do very well. But they’re putting their energies into something temporary. To be sure, some of the skills required for success in high school will help you get by in life, but not as many as you’d think. Besides, high school is so unlike normal life that it won’t really help you much. Even so, those who obsess over success in this life will find themselves unprepared for the next.

Similarly, those who actually are preparing for their actual future existence tend not to be very popular either in high school or life. They are the outcasts, the losers, the freaks, and yet very often they’re the ones who actually make something of their lives while the popular kids sink into obscurity, knowing that their best days are gone.

And so, the same advice applies to life as to high school: it’ll pass and it’s not as important as it seems now. Just be yourself and concentrate on preparing for your future and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. Their power and prestige is based on a world that will pass away much quicker than you think. Just like how “at seventeen it’s hard to see past Friday night,” it’s hard for us to see past the temporary mortal existence which comprises the bulk (I will not say the entirety) of our experience. But, just like high school, this will pass away and we’ll look back and wonder at how silly and stupid the whole thing was.

Pluto Day!

I’ve got a lot of things I want to write about, but that can wait. For right now, let’s celebrate New Horizons finally reaching the late ninth planet with my favorite song about Pluto (granted, there aren’t many).

Dueling Nights, Or the Internet Amateur Outdoes the Celebrity

As you know, I’m a big Minecraft fan. Now, something most non-Minecraft people don’t know is that the Minecraft community (for lack of a better word) loves to come up with songs about the game. Usually these are parodies of popular songs, but occasionally we get original ones. I’m serious; there are a lot of Minecraft songs out there: on YouTube you can find “Top 20” or even “Top 50” countdowns.

One that almost always shows up in the top ten of any countdown is called Don’t Mine at Night, which is a parody of Miss Katey Perry’s Last Friday Night. Meaning no offense to Miss Perry, but I actually think it’s a better song than the original.

Here’s the original:

Now here’s the Minecraft version:

See, I think Don’t Mine at Night is just a better song. It has stronger lyrics: it’s less repetitive, it flows better, and it doesn’t stretch for rhymes as much. The original version is basically a series of random thoughts set to music: Don’t Mine is also a little random, but more coherent and better structured. One lyric transitions into the next better than in Miss Perry’s version.

Anyway, that’s what I think, possibly influenced by the fact that A. I heard Don’t Mine at Night before I heard Last Friday Night and B. I’m more comfortable with a song about the disasters that befall in Minecraft than I am with a song about how much fun it is to do really stupid and degrading things, be it oh so catchy.