Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The real injustice is that Muppet Babies is unlikely to come out on DVD.

Rehearsal last night was good and all the kinks have been worked out, assuming that everyone remembers how we worked the kinks out when we get on stage. I think the rehearsal space felt hotter than it ever has, and after a few hours, we all felt like we didn't have much more to give, and called it a night. There's not a lot of ventilation in the room we practice in, and when you fill it with 6 bodies and 3 tube amps, the heat accumulates. We used to practice in my garage, which was pretty awful in the summer. By the end of a lot of practices, we would all have stripped to our boxer shorts, and we'd still be miserable. So, count our blessings and all that.

When I got home, I watched the back half of an episode of "Intervention" with Leah. That show is so depressing. But intriguing. At one point I turned to Leah and said "We just have to keep our kids off drugs." I'm not scared of pot. Almost everyone tries it at some point, and as those things go, it's virtually harmless. By the time Harper is old enough to care, it might even be legal and then who really gives a shit? But every time you hear some story about someone being brutally murdered, though, it's always drug related. Nothing good can come from being into real drugs, as far as I can see.

Tomorrow, I guess that Matt and I are going down to the News 8 building to record an acoustic version of "It's better to spend money..." for their Summer Rooftop music series. I fully expect it to suck since we will have maybe 5 minutes before we record it to rehearse it. I hate that shit. I hate "acoustic versions." I don't want to hear anyone else's "acoustic version" either, because what it really is, is the "boring version." It's like thin crust pizza. Maybe some people like it but, to me, it's like "Hey, can I pay you the same price for less food please?" After this one, I'd like to say that I'm not doing any more. Unless we know it's going to sound OK, and be something we're happy with, it's a total waste of time, in my humble opinion.


  1. Hey, I love thin crust pizza but hate acoustic sets. How 'bout that?

    Oh, and I want my kids to see Muppet Babies.

  2. Yeah. I'm not sure that I am prepared to raise my daughter in a world where she will be unable to enjoy animated muppets. Or video games you have to blow on to get them to work.

    Sometimes less is more. In fact usually less is more.

    Under what conditions is it morally permissible (even praiseworthy) to enjoy a recreational drug? I think this question is more complicated than it seems. The ability to enjoy a drug in moderation is important, but I don't think that is the only condition. Even though pot is probably less dangerous than consuming alcohol, I'm inclined to think that typically the latter is morally permissible, while the former isn't.

    And when you consider that the organizations who bring the vast majority of marijuana (among other drugs) into this country do so in a way that involves raping, pillaging, exploiting, and oppressing the ordinary working people of central and south America, I would say that consuming those drugs is a positive moral evil for that reason alone.

  3. I would agree about that one point, but I would also say that if pot were legal and you could just pick up a pack of Marlboro joints then that wouldn't be the case.

    As far as the drug itself, it is not addictive, doesn't cause cancer, and when is the last time you heard about someone getting high and beating their wife? There is no reasonable, ethical case to say that alcohol is more moral than pot. How many people will die from tobacco use this year? About 440,000. How many will marijuana kill? Big fat 0.
    I've never tried it, and doubt that I even would if it were legal, but there's no reasonable case against it that I can see. Not to mention the economic benefit that legalizing and taxing it would have, and the medical benefit that many people in terrible pain could enjoy.
    I should clarify that I'm not for the legalization of all drugs, just the harmless one.

  4. What is morally permissible and legally permissible are two different things. Though I do think that smoking pot for recreational purposes is not morally legitimate, I don't think a case can be made for keeping it illegal. There are all kinds of things that are morally impermissible that should not be illegal. Like eating a KFC 'Double-Down' sandwich for every meal. Or chugging beer out of a 'beer-bong'.

    Even though alcohol is a more 'dangerous' drug than marijuana is, I believe that the responsible consumption of it is a positive moral good. I think the means by which we enjoy the effects of a drug are important in determining whether or not it is morally permissible to take. Well made wine, beer, and spirits are capable of of effecting incredibly rich and meaningful aesthetic experiences in us. The moderate effects of alcohol on the body are not only physically beneficial, but also spiritually and emotionally healthy. That's why Paul Draper has called wine a 'wholesome drug', for instance.

  5. "Morally impermissible"? Not even going there.

    TD, have you ever smoked pot? Are you favoring alcohol because it is mentioned in the bible and pot isn't? I don't understand your criteria for judging these things against one another.

    I've indulged in both things plenty (PLENTY) of times. Most of the time people drink (and I mean more than a glass of wine to um, benefit themselves spiritually), there usually ends up being a lack of self control, lack of inhibition (both physically and verbally), unreasonable emotions start flying around sometimes to the point of violence, people get sick sometimes to the point of hospitalization, people black out, people pass out, they get addicted, they have long term illness, et al. And far too many times, someone gets behind the wheel of a car and kills someone.

    Pot however, in my experience, always seem to end up with friends laughing together, sharing ideas openly and peacefully, and self control and the ability to inhibit oneself is pretty unaffected. I would say, thanks to a harmless amount of paranoia ;), people are probably more cautious when they're high. At worst, people get sleepy or eat a few too many snack cakes.

    That seems pretty "morally permissible" to me but we obviously have very different ideas of morality when it comes to these things, which makes the morality argument kind of silly in the first place.

    You espouse the benefits of alcohol but conveniently ignore the medical benefits of marijuana.

    It's the actions that people choose to take while under the influence that should be shunned. People make really bad choices when they're drunk, and they know there's a possibility beforehand and do it anyway. You can't always blame the drug.

  6. Hey Travis,
    Yeah, what criteria are you using to say that alcohol is more morally legit than marijuana? Past what seems like personal preference, I don't see that you have a case at all to make that claim.
    Looking past the means by which marijuana has to come into the country, of what evils are the takers of that drug guilty that makes it less morally acceptable than alcohol or tobacco, or the KFC Double Down (which I've heard sucks, but still know that I will eventually partake in)?

  7. Teresa,
    As always, it's possible that I might have some sort of cultural bias against marijuana that I don't have against alcohol, but I don't think so. I grew up in a family that abstained from alcohol for what were thought to be biblical reasons, so if I had been totally blinded by my biases, I would probably be against drinking too. And I don't think it's a matter pot being absent from the Bible- caffeine is too, and I am enjoying that as I type this.
    I’ve been around enough pot to know that it isn’t particularly dangerous, and I certainly don’t think that people who enjoy smoking it are horrible people. Many of my closest friends smoke. If we put aside the horrible way that pot is brought into this country, I don't think smoking pot is evil, I just think that enjoying it amounts to intemperance, which I do consider to be immoral. I just don't think that consuming marijuana contributes to the flourishing of ourselves as human beings, where other drugs can.
    And again, I’m only talking about the recreational use of marijuana. There may very well be good medicinal uses for it, but that’s a different issue. I’m against taking opiates for recreation too, even though I think using them for the purpose of managing pain is often perfectly appropriate.
    And again, there is a difference in whether or not something is moral vs whether it should be legal. I think I would actually be in favor of legalizing marijuana (or at least not against it), if for no other reason than it would eliminate the black market and all that that entails. At one time I was in favor of legalizing all drugs, though now I’m not sure I would go that far.
    I wrote out the two conditions that I think are necessary for the morally permissible enjoyment of a drug. It ended up being a little long, so I just posted it here. The point I was making about KFC was just that consuming too many of those sandwiches would make you a glutton, which is immoral, but that I don't think outlawing overeating them is permissible. Thus the distinction between the legality and morality of something.