Thursday, August 30, 2007

it's just what I do

Cindy wrote the greatest post on her blog yesterday about The Amazing Bill. It was a tribute of sorts, as KERA broadcast an essay Bill wrote for their "This I Believe" segment. Bill's essay was a perfect and beautiful crystallization of what I love so much about the guy. More than that, though, it was yet another confirmation that he and I, in my humble opinion, are flip sides to the same coin. The differences we have are pretty extreme - he's a man of strong, sincere Christian faith, whereas I'm a person with a strong, sincere (and intentional) lack of religious faith - but I find it kinda fascinating that we both arrive at those places with the same motivations driving us: compassion, admiration for people more creative than us, and a desire to serve. Someone...something...somehow. Bill's found his way to do so and he does it well. I'm still working toward getting myself into a condition where I'm able to do something I'm proud of or consider honorable - either for a living or at the very least on a consistent basis. (Maybe I need to rethink that whole religion thing...)

Cindy was "furious at the world" yesterday. Bill's essay inspired her to see events like the one she wrote about in a different light...not as a reason to be pissed off at everything but as an opportunity to contribute in a way that she finds mentally gratifying. I still think it's okay to pissed off so long as you have a purpose.

I was furious at the world yesterday, too. (What else is new...I'm usually pissed about something that's going on and, frankly, it's becoming a drain on my mental and physical health. As I've stated many times, moderation is not my strong suit.)

The reason for my anger...Without getting into politics or soapboxing, I'd just like to draw your attention to the following two articles in the hopes of finding out whether I'm alone in my conclusion that there's a disparity on display that is...well, you be the judge:

New Orleans marks Katrina anniversary

Not far away, President Bush visited a school. "We're still paying attention. We understand," he said before heading to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, also devastated by Katrina...

...(Said a man) whose house was the only restored home on an otherwise desolate block, "There was supposed to be all this money, but where'd it go? None of us got any."

Bush to request $50 billion more for Iraq war: report

The additional funds would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing the supremely talented and inspiring Kristy Kruger play the AllGood Cafe, with a really kick-ass band called Rose's Pawn Shop first backing her, then following with their own set. This show was for me what Bill's commentary was for Cindy, as it was a benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

But the topics in the two above articles collide even more starkly if you know that Kristy's been on her own personal mission lately. Aside from - or in addition to - the fact that she lived and recorded in New Orleans and considers it her "true home," Kristy's older brother, Doug, was killed on the first day of his deployment to Iraq this past November. She plans to play shows in all fifty states in the U.S. in his honor. In her words, "Since he died in the name of this country, I'd like the country to know his name. And I'd like to see America, the whole thing. I'd like to see what he died for."

I videotaped (thanks again, Val) Kristy's tremendous show last night. I hope it turns out decent so that she and maybe Cindy can use the footage. If it winds up looking all Zapruder-film-jumbly or something, at least I got to enjoy some awesome performances, buy a copy of Kristy's third album and give a few bucks to the cause.

I considered showing the two aforementioned articles to Kristy last night. Not to push an agenda on her, but to see what her reaction would be. But something told me it would be inappropriate or insensitive (or both) to do so.

I'll get into the politics and ranting and raving about this later (trust me). In the meantime, I guess I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank Bill and Cindy and Kristy for inspiring me. And reminding me to do something with what hurts or angers me. To serve...somehow.

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Blogger Cindy said...

Ya know something Danny-boy...and I bet you hate when people call you thinks the deep crud I had to wade through to find you in my life was worth it.

I'm with you on the whole "lack of religious faith." Religion is a subject we all, you me Bill and whomever else wants in, would make for an interesting round-table. I consider myself "spiritual" and rather confused about a lot of the Christian beliefs...oh heck, that's for an in-person discussion...although I do have faith, just not sure I understand, nor believe in the...nah, let's get together with all and discuss and learn.

However, very unlike most "Christians" I've come to know, Bill truly offers a sense of's hard to form into words. He just...stimulates...which probably is most definitely not the proper word I'm sure, but he DOES "stimulate" a sense of peace within me, with his religious thoughts and writings.

You know what might make for a great night? A Lock-In at SPACE.

Gather together, lock the doors, keep the audio recorders and cameras rolling, talk, learn, understand and accept.

Plus, that way I can come to Dallas and have a free place to stay...yeah, yeah, I know...hell, here I come...

7:12 PM  
Blogger bill h said...

you two are great folks. You two really always encourage me, and i appreciate it. I'm reminded of the words of Ghandi, something to the effect that he might be a Christian, but for Christians. I can relate. We've drifted really far from the actual words of the man.

I love Kristy too, Danny. I should have made that show.

I always enjoy our dialog. A roundtable at space sounds fun.

7:09 AM  
Blogger rama666 said...

I think the lock-in idea is brilliant. I'd LOVE to do something like that...

7:45 AM  

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