free speech, free decisions, whats the problem?


oh dear. as bit of free time returns, i start to poke my nose around the world once again and hey, it's always full of surprises and semi-tragedies.  well, there are real tragedies as well, but those are sincere situations which deserves a bit more respect than what i tend to hand out on my blog posts.

the recent one is about aussie feminist writer and a man who was fired because he called her a slut.

the writer ms. ford wrote about chauvism.  mr. nolan wrote on her facebook, calling her a slut. ms. ford wrote to his employer (a hotel chain). the employer fires mr. nolan.

then the firework ensued.

many people are angry about ms. ford 'ruining' a man's life. im kinda confused.

1. yes, there is the right for free-speech in australia.
2. so a feminist writer can write about chauvinism.
3. a person can protest her point of view in public.
4. and a person may protest about a protesting opinion.
5. hotel chain is not run by the aforementioned feminist writer.
6. hotel chain is free to employ/fire whoever they wish, as long as the reasons stay in legal limits.
7. hotel chain decided to fire male, freely.
8. it is hotel's right, as a private company, to terminate employees that the company deems as damaging.

so what exactly is the problem?

and after all, if a job termination as a middle-level worker in an average company is a ruination of a life, i think life mustve been pretty good. this is not to diminish the difficulties that a person may face based on job termination- financially and mentally. however, it is a common situation among the general population- isnt it? many people get their jobs terminated for one reason or another. and many people find an alternative employment, and no, there is no guarantee that an employment will run in complete parallel to one's personal belief/behavior/philosophical world.  in fact, there is such thing as a professional commitment, and such commitment is accentuated because it may conflict with one's personal life (ex. dont feel liking showing up cuz you are hung-over and tired? well, this may lead to you getting fired, not because company doesnt care, but because company does not have an obligation to meet your personal requirement within the legal limit). and it was the COMPANY who made the decision to terminate his employment.

anyway. every coupla hours, im going back to the fb thread to read what people wrote for entertainment.  i do think this may be a case of schadenfreuden, but hey, im only a human... happy wknd, everyone!


Take time with a wounded hand 'Cause it likes to heal

just over the weekend, i heard about death of one of my favorite singers, scott weiland.

his raw voice paired with the bands (stone temple pilots and velvet revolver) were a big part of my auralscape as a teenager.

or perhaps it was his continuous fight with his own demons- depression and substance abuse that made it even more real- a typical, therefore real, falling angel. angel with the wicked voice and the weird intoxicating mixture of glam and destruction.

during first couple years of my immigrant life, there were moments i felt lost, isolated and worthless. i do not think i had particularly strange teenage years. i dont think anyone had it easy. but perhaps it's the combination of his voice in the music and the strange collection of words in his songs that i built my symbiosis- with my north american life, with growing up, with english language.

back in korea, being an elementary school kid, i was not allowed to listen or watch pop music program. i didnt really care. in canada, in high school with very little friends, with no parents to guard the media exposure, i watched much music videos, hours after hours, doing my late night homework. all these bands spoke in tongues. they spoke of different world, through english. the destruction of strict definitions and grammatical grids, building of new imageries- so real that the reality seemed pale.

stone temple pilots, radiohead, alice in chains, nine inch nails, nirvana, pearl jam, blur, rem, red hot chili peppers, weezer, tool, portishead, beck, smashing pumpkins, the cure, depeche mode.

i built my vocabularies based on their words. of love. of fear. of rejection. of challenge. of dispassion. of death. of loss.

i ate their words, hungrily, greedily. the grating guitar, the torn grunge jacket, i chose, along with most sublime schubertian melodies, to be the songs for my days. the days i banged my head on the wall, i dreamed of my favourite singers, doing the same, leaving stains of life on that white wall.

and now, i am calmer, older. i sit with my arms on the desk, with fading scars, and think of my days that were filled with scott weiland's voice.

you spoke the words of my world that i could not conjure. you crooned and looked into the world through your metallic eye make up, knowing that there were many who also saw the world through distortion.  your voice helped me to console my own grief, night after night. as i built myself strong on these words, to grow through the words and music, to be able to stand and look into the mirror, not being afraid to speak, not any more. i so wish you are also still here, scott, to continue to speak in tongues, to live, and even with the faults of life, to live joyously-

And I feel that time's a wasted go
So where ya going to tommorrow?
And I see that these are lies to come
Would you even care?

what a loss. there'll be a small glittered empty void in my heart. you were too young to die, weiland.  you were too loved to die, weiland.  your fans. your friends. your family. your children.  only if you could have saved yourself, as you saved many from falling further.



dividends. loads and loads of it.

this semester, i play for a local community choir, every monday night. as the winter creeps on, everyone shows up through the darkness, steps light with excitement, to a beautiful church in midtown toronto.  i first got to know them as an assistant engineer, recording their winter and spring concerts. always interesting music and congenial people. liked them enough as an outsider, that once an opportunity came up to audition for the accompanist job, i jumped onto it.

re:choir members, i dont really know the individuals too well yet.  they are a bit older (than univ kids); they got stories and histories to share, but because the rehearsals run so efficient, there is not enough time to catch up on people! i find this bit funny. ha ha. may be next term, i can be more strategic to get to know them better!

what i do know is that the group works very well. that they got a great atmosphere and they really do want to/do sing out. every monday night. probably at home as well.

this season, they picked britten's ceremony of carols. not an easy music but incredibly beautiful. and they worked constantly. every rehearsal. i wish i could contain that energy in on a to-go box and share it at schools, where things can be little tired and little lost.

the main difference may be that they have lived. they have seen the wider world. that they know life does not always guarantee the chance to sing. to see beauty. and that beauty does not come to you necessarily in a silver platter. one must seek beauty and constantly crave it.

once we take beauty for granted,

it loses its luster.
it loses its leaves.
it shrivels to... mundane.

i thank them for having me in their group.

it's a good-paying job. im sure there are people who wanted this consistent, dependable income.  they did not have to choose me.

however, it worked out so that i am part of it for the fall 2015, and im genuinely happy to be there. of course, work should pay, but the kind of work that one does, determines the quality of the work required, i believe.

i tend to guard self from working purely for money.  living costs dollars and there's no shame in working. but if i am to work in a field where humanity is concerned, i should at least have my primary focus on being a good human- and be a good person.

i see too many people around me who can no longer see their work as integrated part of a larger entity- of society, of people, of humanity. then life digresses into boring and meaningless bits, such as paying bills, doing as least work as possible, dismissing peoples lives and stories, and the ultimate unhappiness and emptiness, which leads to anger, dissatisfaction, delusion and... changed persons.

it is not to say that i am better. i am as good as the company i keep.

this past friday was the concert and i was proud of it.
i write love letters and i will be so happy to see them tomorrow night, for a outreach concert.

life can be beautiful. i just have to keep looking for the beauty. and it helps tremendously to have such lovely people in one's life regularly. thank you, choir! how did i get so lucky!

ive been kinda sickie so now i write... (sniff)
there's two more concerts and im looking forward seeing everyone!
the fri concert was impressive! (it was a super easy one for me as i just sat in the corner and enjoyed the intricacy of the britten ha ha)-
it was impressive because technical things were fixed and was presented in our best. the selections were beautiful.  the calmness of the backstage (with just enough buzz) was awesome.

and your energy during the performances- that was my favourite part.
anyone can sing anything on a given day, sure. and we all can sing, as humans. if we can distinguish people's emotions through the phone conversations, we can all sing, i believe.  but to sing with others, to learn new things and continues to learn, knowing that learning can be illusive (sometimes it works, sometimes it is back to square one, argh), and willing to put it out as personal and collective expression, that is a big investment.
and like other investments, there is no guarantee there will be any dividend at the end, haha.

and on friday, there was a great payout.
i hope some audiences took pictures. you all looked radiant and happy.
and you all worked hard. and you were proud.
so my hats off to you, choir,
i am so happy to be associated with you all and i really hope i can get to know you all better next year.  thanks for sharing yourselves so generously.
see you tmrw!