Monday, April 16, 2007

Paul McCartney

Though John Lennon is often portrayed as the leader of the Beatles, Geoff Emerick, observant author of Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording with the Beatles would suggest otherwise. Lennon was the outspoken "cheeky" rebel who stole the show whenever there was one to be stolen, but McCartney seemed to be the amiable, confident, kind leader who could calm Lennon down whenever he got out of control. Paul was the baby-faced Beatle that everyone loved because he had a good heart and a good voice.

Paul was very into drugs in his early years. It is said that when the band stayed up late to write and record their songs, they were given "prellies" (Preludin) to aid them in keeping their energy high. It is said that Paul took one and John would take five. Anyway, this led to Paul's heavy usage of cannabis (which was introduced to him and the Beatles by Bob Dylan). It can be noted that many of Paul's songs contain references to marijuana. His song "Got to Get You Into My Life" sounds like a song about a girl, but he's really singing about weed. In 1967 he and some other smokers paid for an ad in the Times Magazine that asked for the legalization of marijuana.
Paul had quite a strange marriage. He met Jane Asher in 1963 and convinced her to become his girlfriend later that same year. He and John practiced many of their songs at the Asher's household. In fact, the world's most covered song (Yesterday) was written there. They had a strong relationship for the next for years. Then things would become strained.
In May of 1967 Paul met photographer Linda Eastman while she was shooting a project on the bands of the "swinging sixties". After a date, she finished her project and went back to New York.
But things with Asher went on as planned. In December of '67 they were engaged. When the Beatles when on their trip to India in '68, Asher accompanied Paul. One day Asher came back from Bristol and found Paul in bed with another woman. She ended the relationship and though attempts were made later in the year to mend it, they parted for good.
May of that year Paul ran into Eastman again while he and Lennon were in New York. She flew back with him to London. They got married less than a year later in March of '69 when Eastman was four months pregnant with their first child.
When McCartney was at the top of the world during the Beatlemania years, he too had the realization that there was more to live for. As a musician, he realized that the music that he made, though great, couldn't really change the world. His success wasn't enough for him-- he felt the need to do something that he felt had purpose. Where did he turn? To an unlikely place.
Paul McCartney is an outspoken vegetarian and animal rights activist. Many of his concerts are for raising money to support animal rights groups. In fact, in the year 1999 McCartney paid around 3 million pounds to make sure that his wife's food was free from GM (Genetically Engineered) ingredients. Paul wants to do something to change the world for the better. So why is he choosing try to help animals??
I'll be honest, I like Paul McCartney. I'm still trying to decide whether I like him or Ringo more. The truth is, though, is that McCartney's values are all skewed. The truth is that whatever it is he accomplishes for the animal kingdom will burn. Everything that he has ever accomplished has no meaning unless in has in some way furthered God's kingdom. Sadly, it seems as though Paul has rejected the kingdom of the Almighty for a kingdom of animals.

Monday, April 9, 2007

John Lennon

This man was presumably the leader of the Beatles. At age five he was forced to choose between his father or his mother, and he ended up choosing his mother. Shortly after the split and John's decision, his decided that she didn't want to take care of John anymore so John had to move in with his Aunt Mimi.
This only caused John to rebel.
For a super interesting read on John Lennon's life click here. It's all about John's life and the legacy that he left us Americans.
When the Beatles reached the absolute top and they couldn't go any farther, they started searching for something else that could give them happiness. John's life, which happened to be one full of sin and rebellion, always gave him temporary pleasures: drugs, sex. Though in his rebellion he sought true freedom-- freedom from the restraints of society and the social norms that he was expected to live up to-- he only found bondage. He became a slave to the drugs that he took. He couldn't go a day without getting a fix because it was the only thing that could get him through the day.
After the Beatles broke up, John, as the time went on, increasingly became more reclusive. He would lock himself inside his apartment alone and watch TV. He didn't go outside very often because he hated the media following him around. For some reason, he liked to watch televangelists. During one Easter Sunday message, John found himself crying and wanting to be saved. He wrote Oral Roberts a letter refering to the lyrics of his song: Money can't buy me love. "It's true. The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, 'You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.' Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He [Jesus] love me? I want out of hell." Wow. Talk about bondage to sin. He couldn't take it anymore. And, after a series of letters back and forth to Oral Roberts, John Lennon became to call himself a born again Christian (a great article on this period of John's life)<-- seriously read that.
John, however, was the rocky soil, for when the seed landed in him, it began to grow but never developed roots, and when the trials came, he ditched it all.
He became an old, paranoid man. He felt alone and unhappy. Some people believe that in the last years of his life he went insane. This is an interesting look at the latter years of John's Life
LENNON’S NEAR INSANITY. There were many evidences of insanity during Lennon’s final years. In the early 1970s, Lennon and Yoko underwent psychological therapy at the Primal Institute in California. Dr. Janov testified: “John was simply not functioning. He really needed help” (Giuliano, p. 18). The therapy consisted of giving oneself over to hysterical outbursts in an attempt to purge the psyche. Lennon would scream and wail, weep, and roll on the floor. “John eventually confessed to several dark sexual impulses: he wanted to be spanked or whipped and he was drawn to the notion of having a spiked boot heel driven into him. . . . Later in his life, John gathered together a collection of S&M-inspired manikins, which he kept tucked away in the bowels of the Dakota. These dummies, adorned with whips and chains, also had their hands and feet manacled. John’s violent sexual impulses troubled Yoko” (Giuliano, Lennon in America, p. 19). Lennon was plagued by nightmares from which he awoke in terror (Giuliano, pp. 83, 137, 142). Though never really overweight, Lennon was obsessed with his weight and when he found himself overeating, he would hide in the master bedroom and force himself to vomit (Giuliano, p. 92). After the couple moved into the Dakota apartments in New York in 1973, Lennon spent most of the time locked indoors. He referred to himself as Greta Hughes, referring to Greta Garbo and Howard Hughes, famous recluses. “More and more, the increasingly reclusive Lennon began to shun his friends. . . . Lennon’s anxieties were rapidly getting the better of him. . . . Everybody’s working-class hero was sliding steadily into a morass of hopelessness and solemnity” (Giuliano, pp. 84, 97, 105). He “quietly slipped into a dark hibernation,” spending entire days in bed (Giuliano, p. 129). To help him conquer his $700 per day heroin habit, Yoko introduced him to a form of therapy involving self-hypnosis and “past-life regression.” He thought he was actually traveling back into his past lives. In one session he discovered that he had been a Neanderthal man. In another, he was involved in the Crusades during the Dark Ages. Lennon was so paranoid that when he visited Hong Kong in 1976, he did not leave his suite for three days. He thought he had multiple personalities, and he would lie down and imagine that his various personalities were in other parts of the room talking to him. “In doing so, Lennon was in such a state of mind that the slightest noise or shadow would terrify him” (Giuliano, p. 122). When he went out into the crowds he would hear “a cacophony of terrible voices in his head” which filled him with terror. When he returned to New York, he became a virtual hermit, “retreating to his room, sleeping his days away, mindlessly standing at the window watching the rain. Once Yoko found him staring off into space groaning that there was no place he could go where he didn’t feel abandoned and isolated…” (Giuliano, p. 142). In 1978, Lennon “locked himself into his pristine, white-bricked, white-carpeted Dakota bedroom. Lying on the bed, he chain-smoked Gitane cigarettes and stared blankly at his giant television, while the muted phone at his side was lit by calls he never took. . . . he stayed in a dark room with the curtains drawn…” (Giuliano, pp. 173, 174). By 1979, at age 39, “John Lennon was already an old man haunted by his past and frightened by the future” (Giuliano, p. 177). He swung radically “from snappy impatience to bouts of uncontrolled weeping” and could only sleep with the aid of narcotics. Yoko talked Lennon into visiting their Virginia farm in 1979, but he became so paranoid and shaken from the brief excursion into the public (they rode a train) that when they arrived back at their home in New York he “erupted violently, reducing the apartment to a shambles.” The man who is acclaimed as the towering genius behind the Beatles had “all but lost his creative drive and confessed he’d sunk so low he had even become terrified of composing” (Giuliano, p. 130).
It's amazing what sin can do to the life of an individual. Once again, we find that happiness is not found in all the pleasures of this life. The only real joy we can have is in the transcending hope that there is real meaning in this life and it is to know God and learn how to love him day in and day out. Without a God, nothing has a point-- Lennon realized that once he hit the top, and then again once he hit the low. Hopefully we won't all have to do that before we learn the truth.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Beatles

Because of my late obsession with the Beatles, I've decided to do a post on them. Yes, that's right, I'm going to scratch the surface of my knowledge of the Beatles and what they've done to the world.
We all know John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They've become icons over time because of their music and what they've contributed to rock & roll in general. Is that all they were? Did the extent of their influence end with their music?
No. The Beatles set off a movement that defined the 60's and the 70's and fueled the counterculture movement. They came into America with long hair (we look at their pictures now and think that was long?). The hair they had then was not the norm. The music they played was not your conventional music. The teenage generation (the babyboomers) fell head over heels in love with this band. Girls would faint at their concerts. Guys would scream like girls. For some reason, this generation was looking for someone to follow-- they looked to the Beatles and followed them right into rebellion against social norms.
Now every teenager wanted long hair. They didn't want to listen to classical music, they wanted music that rocked. When the Beatles got into drugs, their fans did too. When Lennon, in the first song ever meant to be listened to while high called Tomorrow Never Knows said "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream" what do you think the fans did? Drugs, and history tells us, were rampant. Promiscuous sex was everywhere. McCartney's "Why Don't We Do it In the Road" may have had something to do with that.
The generation which was once founded on solid principles dissolved into a culture of self satisfaction. Before the Beatles, songs had meanings, told stories, or love songs. The Beatles changed all that. They began the shift from concrete to abstract. You can see this if you look at their early songs. Here is an early song called Eight Days a Week.

"Ooo I need your love, babe guess you know it's true Hope you need my love babe just like I need you".

And here is a later song called I am the Walrus.

"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together /See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly /I'm crying "

The lyrics went from concrete to abstract. It is not the lyrics that changed culture, it's the idea behind the writing of the lyrics. The idea is this: there is nothing of true value; there are no absolutes; therefore, no one can say that one word is better or worse than the next; I can put any words together that I want to simply because I want to. One message is no more virtuous than the next.
The Beatles came to be an example of lives lived without absolutes. Each one came to their own conclusions of how life should be lived. In the next few blogs, I will be giving brief histories of the individual Beatles' lives, and their searches for meaning in a world with no absolutes.

Business these Days

I put a google ad on my blogsite so that when people visit my blog, if they click on it, I will get paid for it. Isn't that crazy how business works nowadays? All I have to do is create a blog or a website that gets a lot of hits and I can make money. Like I've said before, every thing can be done nowadays without leaving the computer.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Here are Some Pictures

On this blog I'm going to just post a few pictures for your enjoyment. I hope you enjoy them.

Here I'm holding Tae for the very first time. See how long my fingers are? Tae's are going to be bigger. I'm telling you, he's going to be palming a basketball by the time he's three.

Here are some good looking men. Nuff said.

Here's the one we took at the Laker's Game. No, we're not in a blimp above the court. We're just in really high seats.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Student Moons Teacher

This would never have happened 50 years ago.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Enjoy Mark Twain

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. "

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

"What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce. "

Mark Twain

Baby I'm Rock Star

Baby I'm a rock star.
That Alaskan cruise was so much fun.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Friday night Isaiah Kottke, Brandon Tussy, Ryan Zamroz, Andrew Penniman and I spent the night at the beach. Here's the story.
Ryan and I left Master's around 8 thinking that the other guys would already be there by then. It turned out that the other guys spent too much time at Tussy's school in Thousand Oaks and ended up leaving after Ryan and I had already been on the road for at least an hour. Knowing that It'd be a while until they caught up with us, we went to a convenient store to buy some snacks and look for a Ralphs. We got the snacks and found the Ralphs, but Penniman and his crew had just left. We chilled for a while until they got there. Even then, Penn wasn't sure where the place was; he had a perfect spot in mind but he didn't know how to get there. We drove back and forth for a while until we finally found the spot we had been searching for. To our dismay, it had been taken by a pack of high school girls. See, the place they had taken was perfect because it was between two big sand dunes and the wind didn't blow through there. Since we couldn't take the perfect spot we set up a few dunes down. We then realized that our spot sucked, and we wanted the perfect spot.
I tried to make a fire for a while but every time it'd get going the wind would pick up and snuff it out. All we were getting was smoke. I eventually came up with an ingenius idea to make a log-cabin looking design with the firewood. We had paper as the foundation. Penn made a firewood hotdog as he called it (a piece of wood wrapped in newspaper) and set it in the middle on fire. It worked! The wind could not blow that sucker out. Right when our fire had been built and was sustaining itself, the high school girls left. So everyone decided to go down to their spot. I was mad because I had just accomplished the fire creation.
So we set up down between the dunes, got out the iPod dock to put on some tunes, pulled out the towels and took a seat by our new, easily-made fire. We talked until 1:30, when we decided it was time for bed. This is when it got interesting.
I was on the left end, Zamroz was to my right, to Tussy was next to him, and Isaiah was the other book end. All we had was a couple thin blankets and towels and let me tell you: it was freezing. At first, we figured we could take it if we huddled close together for warmth and stayed close to the fire. This was true for a while. We talked even more after we began spooning until about 3:15 when we all fell asleep. It was freezing.
The fire went out. I couldn't feel my feet. The moon was so bright it was laughing in my face. I was shivering and trying to get comfortable on the sand. Eventually, I woke up and began thinking "When in the world is the sun going to come up." During all this I was tossing and turning. When I was rolling over Ryan woke up and said, "Dude, let's go to the car." And I said, "Okay." We ran to the car and it was 5:30. We turned on the heater. Oh man it was great.
Then, Ryan was like "you wanna just go?" I nodded, and we took off. We got back to school around 6:45. I went straight sleep, slept till 11, at brunch, went back to sleep at 12, and slept till 3.
See, you read this and think, why in the world would you want to put your self through all that crap? That doesn't even sound fun! We I got two words for you:

That phrase, by the way, has been deemed the phrase of the night.