Arrested Development, back when Tambor was Kingsley not Bluth (or Pfefferman)

I knew the day was coming, and now it’s here: our two-year-old knows what’s going on around him. Things like sex and violence on the TV. Things like words and lyrics.

It’s particularly sad, because I just got back into regularly listening to vinyl, and I would love to pick up some hip hop, but most of it has a ton of language. My interest in vinyl is about communal musical enjoyment, often including Milo (then known as “special Daddy music”), and so I’m not particularly interested in investing in stuff I can’t listen to when he’s around. I was at a loss until I remembered…Arrested Development exists. And I picked up their Zingalamaduni on vinyl years ago.

Yes, very white dad with blonde-haired, pale white two-year-old listening to (and/or dancing to) early 90s Afrocentric rap. In our defense, if you feel we need one, Arrested Development is fantastic.

Any other parents out there who are concerned about what their kids hear, even in the background: what do you do?

Tuesday Reading Roundup

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I quoted it yesterday and raved about it last week. Read Wolf Hall, then read this. (Or if someone else already has Wolf Hall checked out from your library, read Bring Up the Bodies then Wolf Hall.)

“Emptying the Bell: An Interview with Peter Matthiessen” by Lawrence Shainberg. In the wake of Matthiessen’s death this past week, Daniel Burke (@BurkeCNN) tweeted the link to this illuminating piece from the Fall 1993 issue of Tricycle.

“How to read the Bible” by Celia Wolff. Wolff is a Th.D. candidate at Duke, and she has provided with this post a fantastic, brief way for anyone (whether Biblical scholar, theologian, preacher, layperson, or reader of the Bible as literature) to learn to read the Bible better. Seriously, if you are interested in the Bible at any level or in any way, read this, post it to your Facebook wall, tweet it, email it to your church’s preacher(s). (Thanks for serving us all with this one, Celia! However this post relates to bigger projects you’re working on, you are doing it right.)

“Learning guitar licks and other tricks at Afghanistan’s Rock School Kabul” by Larisa Epatko. A burgeoning rock scene in Kabul is being helped along by music educators.

“Life Is Short, Proust Is Long” by James Camp. It’s not so much that I agree with this fairly critical read of what is trying to do for the world of reading, but that conversations with friends about this article brought me back around to reassessing the usefulness of speed-reading in my own life.

On the Trinity by AugustineDoesn’t need my recommendation, but if you’re familiar with it, I’m about to begin Book IV. Also, buy the edition I linked to. The footnotes and various introductions written by translator Edmund Hill are fantastic.

“The Other’s Language: Jacques Derrida Interviews Ornette Coleman, 23 June 1997” translated by Timothy S. Murphy. A beautiful and natural pairing that I would not have known to wish for, if I had not learned this week that it happened.

“The Praying Habit: Catholic” by Carolyn Browender. Over at Killing the Buddha, Browender has been pursuing a Lenten discipline of praying within various traditions other than her own (and you can see them all here). In this particular post, she talks through her relationship to Catholicism, her favorite saints, and her attempts at learning the rosary, along the way describing how her relationship with all of that is one of both consternation and blessing.

The Sonnets of William Shakespeare. Reading about Henry VIII has me wanting to read more about the other Henrys and about Elizabeth I, which leads me to Shakespeare. From Sonnet III:

Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime:
So thou through windows of thine age shall see
Despite of wrinkles this thy golden time.

Tuesday Reading Roundup has been a regular feature of this blog and its predecessor for several years. Entries must: 1) Have been read by me in the previous week; 2) Have been particularly interesting, thought- or conversation-provoking, and/or entertaining.

Frank Turner is Not Billy Bragg (Which Is Perfectly Okay)

When I first heard of Frank Turner, it was because of his most recent release, Tape Deck Heart. My interest was piqued by the story of his move from young punk rocker toward socially conscious (lefty) folkie. This, in addition to his Brit-ness, means he is Billy Bragg, Jr.!!!

Except he’s not. Billy Bragg is enough Billy Bragg for a couple generations at least and Frank Turner is Frank Turner, and that’s great.

“The Way I Tend to Be” is the song that I found myself listening to every time I got into the car for days on end. I could present some argument for how it’s not emo, even though it is sonically and emotionally clearly emo (which might just make it emo, which might mean I enjoy an emo song). Strike two, of course, is that he is quite handsome.

Let’s listen to the song already (and perhaps read the lyrics below the video as you listen):

Some mornings I pray for evening,
For the day to be done.
Some summer days I hide away
And wait for rain to come.

Cause it turns out hell will not be found
Within the fires below,
But in making do and muddling through
When you’ve nowhere else to go.

And then I remember you,
And the way you shine like truth in all you do.
And if you remembered me,
You could save me from the way I tend to be,
The way I tend to be.

Some days I wake up dazed, my dear,
And I don’t know where I am.
I’ve been running now for so long I’m scared
I’ve forgotten how to stand.

And I stand around in airport bars
And I gather thoughts to think:
That if all I had was one long road
It could drive a man to drink.

Because I’ve said I love you so many times
that the words kinda die in my mouth.
And I meant it each time with each beautiful woman
but somehow it never works out.

You stood apart in my calloused heart,
and you taught me and here’s what I learned:
That love is about all the changes you make
and not just three small words.

And then I catch myself
Catching your scent on someone else
In a crowded space
And it takes me somewhere I cannot quite place.

If you want to hear some great lyrics, also listen to “Fisher King Blues,” (not to mention the entire album, which, yes, has an explicit label).