Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Song: What Will it Take?

My first actual song, not score, not arrangement, my first rock song in 15 years. Inconsolable grief started rolling over me like a dark tide on Friday and wouldn't let up until I started writing on Sunday. This song is the result. I'll try and post a recording in the next few days. Check back then.

Note: Recording is taking much longer than I'd hoped but I'm making slow progress. I've made small but important changes to the lyrics in the bridge. I left the original as strikethrough so that you can see the changes. I hope to have a basic guitar and vocal track posted in the next 24 hours.

What Will it Take?

music and lyrics by Rich McCracken, copyright 2012

It would break your heart if you let it,
and it cuts right through the bone
while the distant sound of the siren screams
pierce through your dreams at home.
There’s a ticket that will not be taken,
an empty seat waits through the years.
For the gun has found it can turn the sound
 of laughter to dust and tears.

What will it take?
What will you give
to turn back the tide of hate,
to learn how to live and let live?

When the Christians are no longer Christ-like
and their fruits nourish like stone,
and the Pope sings lies covering backstage cries
from the boys on his horny throne.
Talking heads poison our air
for dollars soaking in blood,
entertaining those lacking heart to hear
the cries of those seeking love

What will it take?
What would you give
to turn back the tide of hate,
to learn how to live and let live?

So the frightened keep buying more guns,
hoping they will be left alone,
‘til their fear flooding out,
brings more fear terror and more doubt.
leaving shattered lives, shattered homes.
Who can live in a killing zone?

What will it take?
What would you give
to turn back the tide of hate,
to learn how to live and let live?

#theater #shootings #mass #murder #gun #lobby #aurora #colorado #movie #holmes #killing #song #lyrics

Friday, June 22, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Switch Hitter

Via Gavin Newsom, this New York Times Op-Ed contribution by David Blankenhorn comes to my attention this afternoon. Mr. Blankenhorn claims he has switched sides, and is now in favor of same-sex marriage. My first reaction to the article was, "With friends like him... Oy... who needs a drink? I DO!."

After re-reading the article several times, my reaction has softened a bit. He reasons that societal stability is the main reason to support marriage equality and that human dignity is paramount. Another point he makes is for creating a more fair and civil society (Blankenhorn uses the word, "comity.") His last reason is because it's becoming very clear that the majority's opinion is moving very fast toward seeing opposition to same-sex marriage as wrong, and it's time to unite over this issue and move on.

All of that is good and right. My main objection is that he starts out with asserting that children have a right to "know and to be cared for by two parents who brought them into this world." He supports his notion by stating that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child met in 1990 and decided that the right to be brought up by birth parents should be a guaranteed right. Blankenhorn provides a hyperlink to the supporting document by UNICEF.

I've reviewed the entire UNICEF document and can find no assertion or preference to birth parents. The point of the document appears to be that society has a responsibility to make sure that all children are treated fairly without regard for sex, gender, origins, or birth status, and that they be given every opportunity to reach their full potential.
"Marriage is how society recognizes and protects this right. Marriage is the planet’s only institution whose core purpose is to unite the biological, social and legal components of parenthood into one lasting bond. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its children," Blankenhorn theorizes.
If we're to assume that birth parents are superior to all other kinds of parents, then does that include birth parents who are untreated drug-adddicts, alcoholics, or pedophiles? What about birth parents who are narcissists, sociopaths, bi-polar, or suffer from any number of psychological disorders? Are they superior to well-adjusted and successful step-parents, adoptive parents, or gay parents?

After reading Blankenhorn's letter, I too am concerned that his arguments in favor of same-sex marriage still show a huge amount of ignorance. I understand and appreciate that his beliefs may still be evolving, but this letter is distasteful to me and as a litmus test of tolerance, fails completely.

Upcoming Movies: Ender's Game

It's a wrap!

The long-gestating Ender's Game movie wrapped principle photography on June 18. If you haven't heard of Ender's Game, then you are not a full-fledged geek yet!

After Earth's military is decimated in a war with some very nasty alien invaders, Ender, an extremely intelligent and resourceful young boy, is sent off to a kind of space camp where it is hoped that he and his young comrades will learn to fight and one day, hopefully save mankind.

The writer, Orson Scott Card, isn't as visionary as Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clark, Issac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, or Frank Herbert, but he did predict the influence of the Internet and Blogosphere, and though his writing is often clumsy, he's created a memorable character in Ender Wiggin.

The film has good credentials with Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), and Ben Kingsley. Asa Butterfield (Hugo) stars in the title role of Ender Wiggin. The production is in the capable hands of  Gavin Hood, the director of Rendition, Tsotsi (Oscar for Foreign Film), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This film could be Mr. Hood's first breakout hit.

The film is slated for release right before Thanksgiving 2013 after being pushed back from a pre-Summer release date. My guess is that Summit Entertainment, after looking at a the director's work thinks it might have a possible Oscar contender for best picture.

Geek out by reviewing the films production blog here: . Check back here in a few months. I'll be sure to post the trailer in 1080p once I can get my geeky little hands on it.

Geek on, Geek out!

Gay Pride

Happy Friday, everyone! It being Gay Pride Weekend, I'm in a celebratory mood. I hope you are too. After Michael arrived home from Boston last night, we stayed up and watched the sad, yet uplifting film, "We Were Here." It's about the period of 1970-1990 in San Francisco from the standpoint of the AIDS crisis. 

It's easy to push the sad and difficult parts of your life in the background. It's too easy to forget what we do to survive in a crisis. I know I did, but last night brought it all back. In 1987, My friend, Susan Fong and I decided that we couldn't stand by and watch as so many around us were getting sick and then dying in a matter of a few weeks. I don't know what compelled us. Maybe it was just an act of survivor guilt, but she and I ran full speed into the place where everyone else seemed to be fleeing from. At the time, it never occurred to us that we might get sick ourselves. We just knew that we were needed, so outside of our jobs, pretty much all of our spare time became about helping those whose lives were literally falling apart.

I'm posting this because I'm so thankful to still be here and so very proud to be surrounded by a community of like minded people who also ran directly into the fire.

Space Travel

Size comparison of actual spacecraft that humans have built or are thus far planning too the (fictional -- so far) Starship Enterprise. Via Astronomy Blog, Supernova Condensate