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    A Storm and Rock and Roll

    October 30, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    Last night the Lord treated us to quite a display. Si called on his way home to tell us that there was lightning leaping from cloud to cloud {we were inside and it was too far away to hear the thunder}. We ran outside and enjoyed the show until the downpour soaked the driveway and the toddler took a tumble that made it all become Less Than Fun.

    The children opted to watch from the front window while I finished preparing dinner.

    Later, we went grocery shopping, and all was calm. We thought the storm was over.

    But then, right at bedtime, the skies were full of flashes once again. So we grabbed Number One and Number Two {leaving Number Three to go to bed as she should} and sat outside under the safety of our covered patio and watched. The lightning was amazing and the thunder was perfect–not too quiet, not too loud.

    It was the perfect night for a little dose of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. I was fourteen years old when I first fell in love with this song. A lot of folks thought the band sold out when they published a real ballad. I thought they came of age, but that was probably because true heavy metal gives me a headache, especially in large doses.

    But, really, the intro alone is beautiful, especially on a cloudy night.

    So, there you have it. I have an affection for rock and roll. Another confession.

    I felt guilty the other day when I read this:

    Not only does the child imitate what is presented to his imagination, but the fundamentals of music, rhythm, and melody imitate the virtues of just anger, gentleness, courage, and temperance that, under the physical power of music acting directly on the senses, takes these admittedly difficult and complex concepts and reverberates them throughout the body and mind as a kid of real experience of the concept. There existed in the time of Plato and Aristotle a kind of “rock and roll” music associated with the wild celebrations of the cult of Dionysus with its emphasis on percussion instruments that attracted large numbers of youth. So, when Aristotle speaks in the tradition of Socrates of the qualities of music contrary to the virtues, to grasp his meaning we have only to recall the obvious effects, worldwide in our day, of rock music and musicians on manners and style of life on millions of children. Braving a generalization in the spirit of Socrates, I would say such music perfectly promotes the contraries of the virtues: violence, brazen vulgarity, and intemperance. {James Taylor in Poetic Knowledge}

    Of course, Nothing Else Matters doesn’t place a lot of “emphasis on percussion instruments” so I can excuse that one. However, I think I see good reason to continue with our classical and hymns emphasis in our schooling. Just in case it’s true.

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