Sunday, January 25, 2009

Q&A #2

Until now, I've never posted much about politics or other current events. I hate fighting and arguing. I grew up in a tumultuous household where everyone fought all the time. Even now that we make the effort to get along, there's still an undercurrent of tension. With my sister being a politically and socially conservative fundamentalist Christian and me being a progressive, liberal, semi-atheist who on some days is agnostic, it's difficult to have a conversation about anything other than skin care and make-up tips without things spinning out of control. So generally, when it comes to politics and religion and anything else remotely controversial, I keep my mouth shut. And as far as heavy personal stuff, well, I'm not sure that stuff belongs on a blog for EVERYONE AND HIS MOTHER to see.

But that's left me to basically talking about trivialities on this blog. Worse, it's left me to talking about myself, which, despite nearly 150 posts about ME, I don't especially like doing. I'd rather talk about ideas. I mean, I enjoy being light-hearted in talking about how good-looking the new presidential administration is, but let's face it—there's more to politics than that.

So here's what I propose. You ask me a question about a subject, and I'll answer. No trivia questions, such as How many pairs of slippers do you own? Or What day did you discover that Rahm Emanuel is a crazy-sexy, smokin'-hot guy who you can't have, ever? No personal questions, either. Real questions, about ideas. Real answers. I promise to think really hard and not to take any criticism too much to heart. (Seriously, criticism I can handle. It's the compliments I have trouble with these days.)


fairyhedgehog said...

That sounds like a very difficult home to grow up in.

I don't have any questions for you, freddie. I've enjoyed what you call trivialities and I've enjoyed hearing about you. Sorry.

Bevie said...

"I keep my mouth shut. And as far as heavy personal stuff, well, I'm not sure that stuff belongs on a blog for EVERYONE AND HIS MOTHER to see.

I'm sorry, but I had to read that sentence four times before I found the word "not". After that it wasn't funny anymore.

It's hard when everybody want to "win", and they don't share the same ideas. At least you still meet. My family doesn't.

I'm with FH on enjoying your posts thus far. Please don't abandon them. Hang this quote from someone I believe to be quite brilliant where you can read it at least weekly: It's not important to be important every day. What's important is that you are always you. Take at least some days to tell us about freddie - or we will compliment you. [grin]

Okay. Here's a question which you may, or may not, find thought-provoking.

If "they" are in charge, and "they" keep changing the rules so "they" win and "you" lose, so "you" decide to just quit the whole mess so "they" get their way, did "they" really win and did "you" really lose?

Believe it or not, that is a real question I struggled with for some time.

What do you think?

(If this question doesn't really fall within the scope you provided, just ignore it.)

freddie said...

Okay, two votes for freddie. Excellent!

If "they" are in charge, and "they" keep changing the rules so "they" win and "you" lose, so "you" decide to just quit the whole mess so "they" get their way, did "they" really win and did "you" really lose?

Have you learned nothing from Lord of the Rings? : )

It depends on what you're quitting. Is it a job not worth hanging on to? Is it participating in politics? Is it family? Is it life in general? There are lots of ways to quit life in general without actually offing yourself. I speak from personal experience. All I can say is, it sucks. The longer you stay out of the game of meeting new people and experiencing new things, the harder it is to get back into the game once you've decided you've spent enough nights staying home and watching Law & Order reruns.

But if you quit to let the people in charge have their way, then yeah, they win. You lose. Gotta keep fighting. Whether it's speaking up on your blog or volunteering at the library or voting or what have you. I know it sounds like a cliche, but cliches become cliches for a reason.

Bevie said...

"if you quit to let the people in charge have their way, then yeah, they win. You lose."

Really? (I'm not saying no. I just believe the answer is more complex.)

In general, I have found that when "they" behave this way, what "they" are really trying to get is - "you". If "they" don't get "you", then "they" lose.

Lord of the Rings, to me, is less about quitting/not quitting than it is about doing what needs to be done, no matter the cost.

Sometimes, is it not true that - in order to defeat "they" - "you" must also lose? Is that not what happened to Frodo?

There is also another cliche to consider: There's no point in beating a dead horse. Sometimes, W.C.Fields was correct: There comes a time in everyone's life when they must grab the bull by the tail and face the situation squarely. Sometimes there is no way to win.

I'm not saying you're wrong. In fact, the smart money supports you. I like your answer.

"There are lots of ways to quit life in general without actually offing yourself."

That is my personal experience, too. Quitting life is ultimately what Frodo did.

"The longer you stay out of the game of meeting new people and experiencing new things, the harder it is to get back"

Sadly true.

However, I don't think quitting always means the other side wins. What is true is that "you" can't win if "you" quits.

Will you be doing this again? Will I be allowed another go? [grin]

freddie said...

The thing is, I don't know what "they" you're referring to. Is it your bosses? Politicians? Enemies? Your critics?

The LOTR reference was a bit of a joke, but it does tie in well with my philosophy.

It's one thing to change direction or tactics when things aren't working. But I'm not a fan of the 'looking reality squarely in the eye' philosophy. Most people I've met who think that way are really pessimists, not realists. Optimism, not giving up, going on in the face of hardship—those are the things I admire and aspire to adhere to. If you give up, you're giving in to despair. And that is the surest way to evict yourself from a life that has some meaning. Even if "they" don't win (and I'm not sure it would matter if they did), you still lose.

I think the real lesson from LOTR is Sam's behavior. The thing is, Frodo did sort of quit right before he was to throw the ring over. It was Sam who stepped in and kept him going. And what did Sam do after? Did he despair? No. He finally kissed the girl he'd had a crush on and then he married her and had kids and was incredibly happy. Maybe there's a cost to all journeys, and Frodo was the one who paid. I don't know.

Bevie said...


"They" are whoever you are struggling against at any given time. It could be a boss, politicians, family members. Probably not critics, as there is no real struggle there.

My "looking reality in the face" comment was more directed for knowing when you simply are never going to get what you want. The job went to someone else. They married someone else. Things like that.

You're right about Sam, too. He was the hero of Lord of the Rings. And he best represented doing what had to be done.

I'm not sure we're quite talking about the same thing when we say "quit", but I am sure I like your answers far better than mine. Good job.


So, do I get to ask another one next time? Or do I have to take a time out? [grin]

Robin S. said...

I love ya just the way you are, girl.

But if you want are a few I'd like to know about.
With your music, what inspires you? You know, what lights you up and you think, oh, oh, I've got to record/write this down? What's the process when someone is composing a soundtrack? Do you look at footage or read the script and try to get in the head of the action/scene/author?

What soundtrack do you wish you'd written, and why?

When you're finished with your degree, are you moving to CA or NY, or staying put?

Robin S. said...

By the way, did you notice Graveyard by Neil Gaiman is EE's next book pic? Chris said she really loved it, and he deserved the award.

That's another topic - authors you like, and why. Like this guy...

freddie said...

Everything inspires me. I know that's not very specific, but it's true. Except punk rock and hair bands. And most commercial country. (I like the old stuff, though.)

I don't know that I have a 'process' when scoring to film. I try to get as much info as I can about the time period in which it's set, get a copy of the script. Then I watch a scene several times, trying to feel where there should be music. Then I start the messy process of writing it. Usually I play around until I find a melody I like and that fits and work from there. I almost never start with harmony or chords. It's always melody.

I really wish I could have worked on the Harry Potter scores, as well as LOTR. I would have liked to have written the theme to Six Feet Under, as it's so weird and different and original and creepy.

We have to complete an internship in California. Once I'm there, I'll most likely stay put.

Of course Gaiman is a favorite. Mostly I love his ideas. No one is doing anything even remotely like what he is doing. I'm convinced he can because he's read SO MUCH. King is another fave, and his son, Joe HIll, is quickly becoming another favorite. I love Gene Wolfe, too, though his prose is not for everyone. I love Rowling for her ability to really tell a story. And then of course there's Bradbury for his skill and for his ideas. Those are the authors I go back to over and over for inspiration.

At first I didn't know what you were talking about, but then I saw on twitter that Gaiman won the Newbery. So far (I'm almost done) I really love the Graveyard Book. Can't wait to finish it.

Robin S. said...

Yeah, working on the Harry Potter music would've been wonderful, I agree!

Melody first. I haven't read music for a while, but I can see how you'd start there - easier to let your imagination loose that way, right?

freddie said...

Exactly. And I'm a melodic composer, anyway. What's the point of listening to a piece of music if it doesn't have a good melody?

freddie said...

And Bevie, ask away. You can ask whatever you want right now, if you like.

laughingwolf said...

how about joining us on the flash 55 challenge, stated by g-man [link on my page], where you tell a complete story or poem in exactly 55 words, you pick a topic, and get as personal as you want to, or not...

i call mine Mini, so far I - VIII posted

the idea is to post one every friday, but i took aerin's challenge, too, so will post more

or, for the lazy: 6-word stories... again, our choice of topic, but a complete tale in 6 words ;)

freddie said...

That sounds fun. Which blog is it? Forgive me, but I'm having trouble finding it on your page. Do I find the link at the paws and reflect blog?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Would you rather be right or happy?

Took a long time for me to decide I'd rather be happy.

freddie said...

In my personal life, I'd rather be happy. I'm wrong so often anyway. : )