Thursday, June 13, 2013


     This post is a project for a Humanities class to show examples of modes of reflection and expression.  I mirrored it to my regular blog so the links would work correctly.

     The YouTube link below will take you to a 2008 performance of Cool #9 by Joe Satriani in Paris.  He is accompanied by bass guitarist Stu Hamm, Jeff Campitelli on drums and Galen Henson (a Lubbock native) on rhythm guitar.  These are some of my musical heroes and I've had the honor of meeting them.  This piece was released on Joe's self-titled album in 1995.  In this album, he explored a different style of recording based on multiple live tracks, and he called in some top notch talent to back him.  The album has a fusion feel with Joe's rock roots.  I've been a fan since his first album over 20 years ago and have enjoyed hearing his music evolve.  Joe writes so much music that he often names pieces by the "feel" of the song and the sequential number, hence the title "Cool #9."  A few others have made it to press with their original names:  Dreaming #11, Ice 9, etc.  Stu is my bass idol and it's worth the searching to hear a few of his solos.  The recording begins with a vamp groove and the song starts at 1:25.  The guitar lick at 2:48 will send a chill up your spine (still puts a lump in my throat) and there's a nice little break at 3:30.  Joe will be making his first appearance in Midland on September 29.  My son and I already have front row tickets.

     I'd also like to share with you a piece by Dick Kramer.  Dick is well known in the police and military for his representational art depicting specific military branches, police roles and individual units in pen or pencil drawings.  He has an interesting bio:  I had the pleasure of meeting him at a SWAT conference several years ago.  He's a very nice fellow and I bought a large print of the following piece that now hangs in my office with his autograph.  He gave me the best advice for buying art: "Buy what you like, then wait for me to assume room temperature and hope the value goes up."  This piece is called "Homeland Heroes."  It depicts a SWAT team covering their grenadier who's deploying a "flashbang) distraction device. Photo is from Dick Kramer Studios,
     Studying stoicism and epicureanism in this class has often reminded me of Tomas Paine's "The Age of Reason."  This pamphlet conveyed a belief in Deism, which similarly dismisses much religious thought in favor of reason and natural law.  The following is a portion of this writing that is often referred to as his "creed:"

          I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.
          I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.
          But, lest it should be supposed that I believe in many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them.
          I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
          All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
          I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
          It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this?
                                                            -Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason" (1794)
     Last is a Haka, or Maouri dance and chant called "Ka Mate" and came to be sometime around 1820.  It is performed before each game by New Zealand All Blacks, the famous rugby team.  The video at the end is the All Blacks performing the haka before a game. It exemplifies a Maori belief in the triumph of life and good over death and evil.

Here's the All Blacks' version:


                                                 Ka Mate Haka

Ka mate ! Ka mate !I die ! I die !
Ka ora ! Ka ora !I live ! I live !
Ka mate ! Ka mate !I die ! I die !
Ka ora ! Ka ora !I live ! I live !
Tenei te tangata puhuru huruThis is the hairy person
Nana nei i tiki maiWho fetched the Sun
Whakawhiti te raAnd caused it to shine again
A upa ... ne ! ka upa ... ne !One upward step ! Another upward step !
A upane kaupane whiti te ra !An upward step, another.. the Sun shines !!!
Hi !!!
(Translation from