The Rhythms of Rock and Roll

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Well, in the past week I’ve packed up all my things, moved 500 kilometres back home, unpacked stuff, gone through all the remaining stuff I have at home, repacked everything, put it all in a van, and then moved another 50 kilometres and unloaded and unpacked everything again. I guess you could say it’s been an exhausting week. Now I’m back at school for another term, though, which I’m pretty excited about. I’ve got plans to do some reading, plus try to be more active, and also work on expanding my culinary repertoire as well by finding some new things to cook. I think it’s going to be a good term.

Anyway, in the process of going through my stuff at home, I was looking through my parents’ bookshelf for anything that might be mine. I ended up finding a wonderful gem, which I took with me to school (shh! don’t tell my parents!) so that I could read it. It’s called Rock & Roll: The Devil’s Diversion, and it was written in 1967. I just got finished reading it, and it’s absolutely hilarious. And fascinating at the same time. Essentially the author blames rock and roll for everything that’s wrong with society, backs up very little of what he says other than with random stories and anecdotes, and then ends it all off with an “anti-rock pledge.” All throughout the book, I couldn’t help but wonder what this guy must think about the fact that probably 90% of evangelical…Continue Reading

Plans, People, and Privilege

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I don’t have a lot to say today. I have other stuff I need to be doing, so I’ll try my best to keep it short. But I’ve been thinking a bit more about moral obligations, helping the poor, and making a more just society. It’s been causing me to think about what I want to do after graduation. My plan for the past little while has been to go to graduate school for social psychology, with the eventual plan of getting into psychological research, most likely at a university. That’s what I’ve been telling people for the past little while, but primarily just because I hated not having an answer to the question of, “So what do you want to do after school?” I mean, I like psychology, and I like research, and I think I would enjoy it, but I think I would enjoy plenty of other things as well.

So the past few days I’ve been mulling over in my mind some things that might change my plans. In particular, I want to find a job that directly helps people. That’s the reason I went into psychology in the first place – to get into counselling or clinical psychology, in order to diagnose problems and give advice, etc. Through my time at university, I changed my focus to be more on research, because I found that more enjoyable. But now I get the feeling that I may not be satisfied with a job where I don’t help…Continue Reading

Intellectualism, Existentialism, and…Adventurism

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Time has flown by way too quickly. I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last update! But at any rate, I fully meant to write something here much earlier; I just didn’t have anything to say. Work has been going fine, but it’s nothing to get excited about. Mostly it involves crunching numbers and doing data analysis, and then writing up and editing papers. So while I enjoy it, it’s not something I’m going to write about a whole lot.

I’ve kind of gotten into an intellectual slump for the past little while. I think I’m just all tuckered out from thinking too much. I’ve been taking an online course in existentialism this term, and while I’ve found it interesting, it just means that I don’t feel like thinking about anything else. So I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to (other than the five books I’ve had to read for the course), and I haven’t been doing a whole lot of deep thinking like I was when trying to figure out moral obligations or political/economic systems. I guess I’ve just been taking a vacation for the time being. I’ve been watching TV shows and movies, and living life. I’ve also made sure to do some things around the Ottawa area while I’m here, like going to the art gallery and some museums and such. That’s about the extent of my intellectual activity.

At any rate, with that said, since learning about existentialism, I’ve been…Continue Reading

Politics and Perspectives

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Well, it’s been almost a month since my last update. It’s hard to believe that time has gone by that fast. I’ve been busy with stuff here and there, but I like the pace things are at right now – not too quick that it drains me, but just quick enough to keep time going by.

At any rate, I have a few scattered thoughts, none of which are all that significant, but hey, when is anything I say significant anyway? You people that read my blog should be well used to that by now.

Anyway, the first thing I want to say is that I think I’ve figured out my political views. I’ve spent the last couple months reading, essentially, about the history of socialism/communism. I found a list on Wikipedia of countries that have constitutional references to socialism, and have literally gone through that list and read up about the history of the country – what the conditions were that brought about the “revolution”, how it affected the country for better or worse, and what led to the demise of the socialist state (if it’s no longer one, which is the case for most of them). Now, I understand that reading about a country’s history on Wikipedia is not exactly a comprehensive review of socialism, but I figured it would give me a pretty nice overview that would give me a general feel for things. And I think it’s done so.

Essentially, most of the countries that have…Continue Reading

Reflection, Resolution, and Rejoicing

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Another day, another decade. Tonight is, of course, New Year’s Eve, and at the stroke of midnight, we’ll be ushering in another year, and indeed, another decade. This day, over the past few years, has always been a day of reflection for me, as I’m sure it is for many others. A few years back, I started an annual tradition of writing a letter to my future self, one year down the road. It all started with a dumb project in Careers class where we had to write a letter for five years down the road, but when I finally opened it and read it, I realized the value it had in reflecting on the past. I could see how much I had grown, what I was thinking about at the time, and what I expected for the future. Since that time, I’ve started writing letters to myself every year, and this one will be no different. I always forget what I write, so it’s great to open it and read it like it was the first time a year later.

This year has been one of growth for me. That’s obviously a good thing. I’ve learned many things about myself and the world around me that I think I will keep with me for a long while. When reflecting back, something that still comes to mind is my deconversion from Christianity. Though it’s still fairly recent, it seems like ages ago that I took that step. I suppose that…Continue Reading

Problems and Possibilities; Money and Morality

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As I’m sure is obvious from some of my recent posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about moral obligations as well as economic systems. Right now, I’m very dissatisfied with capitalism as it stands today. It has turned our culture into an obsessive consumerism. It does much to perpetuate poverty and oppression. It forces people to, in effect, continually sell themselves and their labour in order to feed their family. Somehow this has become “normal” and accepted, and I’m not sure why. So I’ve been doing some research on alternative forms of economic systems. I have looked into communism and various forms of socialism. I have also read up on participatory economics; I’m not sure that I like it, but I think it’s an interesting form of economics that has some promise. Right now, the system I like best is free market socialism, which avoids the central government planning that was used in areas like the Soviet Union and instead keeps the market structure, but uses worker cooperatives to allow workers to own the means of production. In essence, it gives ownership of the business to the workers themselves. I find this a fairly satisfying alternative to traditional corporate capitalism, but right now all my conclusions in this are tentative. I want to do more research, especially since I’m not an economic expert.

But I wanted to write a little more on the subject of morality and economics. I think morality in general is an important topic. It seems…Continue Reading

Of Mice and Meditation

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I just realized a few minutes ago that I haven’t ranted about my Psychology of Religion class yet (…on here anyway). And it definitely deserves some ranting.

So I’m taking this class this term – Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. And despite what you might infer from the title, it is not located within the Psychology department. Instead, it’s cross-listed under both the Religious Studies department and the Spiritual and Personal Development department. Before the classes started, I was curious as to why that was. But now I know why – it has very little to do with psychology.

Now, sure, we do talk about what different psychological theorists have said about religion. People like William James, Sigmund Freud, Abraham Maslow, Gordon Allport, for example. And that has been interesting. And the textbook is fairly decent. But the prof is another matter. Throughout the course, it’s been a struggle not to completely challenge him on his personal philosophy as well as his academic methodology. I know that sounds strange, and normally I would never challenge a professor like that….but this guy needs to be challenged.

During the first class, he went over some of the major theorists and topics that we would be covering in the class. After mentioning a few of them, he said that each theory has valuable insights to share, and that we needed to view them in complementarity in order to get a fuller picture of religion. Now, while I agree with that to a certain…Continue Reading