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Greg P

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  • Interests
    Running, music, movies, vintage hollowbody guitars, WWII history, travel & running for public office

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  • Favorite movies
    My Neighbor TotoroThe Thin Red LineSidewaysE.T.The Twilight SamuraiBottle RocketRushmorePaper MoonBreaking AwayThe Elephant ManApocalypse NowThe ApostleLost in TranslationSling BladeThere Will Be BloodSpirited AwayIts a Wonderful Life
  • Favorite music
    Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Skip James, Radiohead, Mono, Fleet Foxes, The Replacements, Husker Du, early KISS, Jimmy Webb, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Lightnin' Hopkins, Wilco, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, cheesy AM Gold 70's Laurel Canyon balladry, early Sesame Street songs, The Band, Syd Barrett & Floyd, Johnny Cash, Flaming Lips, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Marco Benevento/ the Duo

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  1. Christian, I'm going to have to check out this book! Despite the fact that I've never taken psychedelics, and am not particularly excited about the prospect of trying, I have been intrigued by the potential therapeutic utility of these substances (Coincidentally, just this week the FDA approved the nasal spray variant of the street drug Ketamine, for use in combating severe depression.) You are right-- an awful lot of people seem to walk away from clinical psychedelic trips, firmly convinced of a benevolent other in the universe and of a very real realm beyond the physical. The 2016 John Hopkins study, on the use psilocyben with terminal cancer patients, revealed the same kind of phenomena. Large numbers of participants, who were previously very anxious about end of life, walked away from the study peaceful and clear-eyed about their futures. What is most remarkable is that these post-trip perspectives appear to NOT be transient. It'll be interesting to see how the Christian community approaches this issue of drug-induced spiritual experiences-- particularly as these things become not only legal, but commonplace. There's even a growing movement of people micro-dosing (ingesting smaller, sub-psychedelic doses of LSD or psilosybin to increase productivity and/or feelings of well-being). As someone who tends to partake of cannabis on a weekly basis, I can attest to its efficacy in diminishing normal anxiety/stress and of opening up a unique kind of portal into contemplative thought. Psychedelics are for big boys, and I admit to being chicken.
  2. I'm not sure what the specific reasons are. Perhaps this is a valid place to start?
  3. The only thing to make of it, is to realize that very few women contribute regularly and that there might be some specific reasons for that, re: the tenor of conversations and the social dynamics at play. Maybe?
  4. A&F was there for me 12 years ago, just as I was making a break from evangelicalism and flexing my newfound skepticism. It was a great time for me and as embarrassing as some of those early, awkward discussions would seem to me now, they were a big part of me finding a new vantage point outside the confines of church. Everyone has made much more cogent points than I can at the moment, but I think middle age has played a big factor in sapping the core A&F community. Facebook also stole some of the sense of immediacy and intimacy from smaller discussion groups like this one. But ultimately maybe the community always felt a little too insulated and circle jerkish to newcomers and outsiders. I know a few years ago my then-girlfriend joined, in order to participate in our marriage equality debate. I think she posted twice, lurked around for a while and then seemed to feel that the proceedings felt a little unfriendly to women. I know she wasn't the only one to ever get that impression here (and she was an extremely confident academic, historian and debater-- hardly over-sensitive) I'm not sure if that criticism has any real merit, but it's out there.
  5. Have already listened to it a bunch of times , all the way thru and feel much happier with this direction than I did with KoL, five years ago. It's heavy on Greenwood's oblique orchestrations, heavy on keys/acoustic guitar and light on electric guitars. Also lots and lots of wonderful vocals...It all gives me the slight impression of a Yorke solo album with Jonny doing arrangements. I'm not sure if this will have the staying power of In Rainbows, but it certainly feels like the kind of music that 50-year old guys should be making and perhaps emotionally open in ways their music hasn't been before. Highlights: (in order) The Numbers, Past Tense, Desert Island Disk, Glass Eyes, True Love Waits... Spectre is the best song they've recorded in a decade-- it's a damned shame it wasn't included here.
  6. I used to listen to the Howard Stern show in the 90's and early 00's and Trump was something of a regular guest. My assessment of him based on these call-in discussions was that he was a raging narcissist, loved to talk about celebrity ass and "rate" women's hotness, was clearly irreligious and quite moderate, politically speaking. I find it fascinating that leading up to his run for presidency, he began a very deliberate series of tweaks and re-inventions to gain favor with Christians, the most notable being his new found interests in the American Evangelical franchise. As he ascended, he was very careful to mouth the essential code phrases from the 21st century Evangelical catechism: the Bible is the most important book in the world, America is a nation explicitly founded on Christian principles, Christians are being persecuted in this country, gay marriage is wrong and abortion must be stopped. Add to this a supreme mistrust and antagonism towards the federal government (informed in evangelical circles by the book of Revelation and Left Behind) and a kill 'em all foreign policy, and you have a candidate who looks nothing like the guy who used to play "F, Marry Kill" on Stern and who is finally ready to be embraced by Southern Baptists and Assembly of God members.
  7. New album of orchestral pop tunes, streaming.
  8. Greg P

    Wilco - Star Wars

    Agreed. I bought Being There when it first came out and I was still in my 20s, so I feel pretty deeply invested in the band. But their past few albums have been quite forgettable and boring - which is criminal, seeing that their lineup for the past 8 years is in point of fact one of the best live bands on the planet with one of the few bonafide modern guitar heroes at the helm. Not sure if the songs are so great, but my first impression is that it all feels like a much -welcomed jolt of ramshackle garage noise.
  9. Amen and congrats! This thread came to mind a few weeks ago after the SCOTUS decision, along with thoughts of the handful of gay A&F contributors, past and present... It's wonderful to read the early posts in this thread and think of how far we have come
  10. I'm not really a Sufjan fan, but I love this album. I have always felt his arrangements and voicings were clever and brilliant in spots (Illinoise) but I rarely hear much emotion in his songs, even when they are undeniably pretty. I've listened to this new one about a half dozen times in its entirety and I hear and feel something more immediate in these recordings. Perhaps it's the restraint in the compositions/arrangements (these really aren't minimalist at all, as I've read some comment, elsewhere), but the whole thing really strikes a nerve with me. Are we really having a discussion about his prosaic use of the word (gasp)"Masturbate", as if it was somehow morally repugnant or shocking? In context it's not even a terribly intimate disclosure, really-- which i think is his point.
  11. Greg P

    New Stuff Worth Hearing

    Badbadnotgood and Ghostface Killah's new collaboration Sour Soul is out and it's pretty fetching, especially if you dig the whole notion of the live band/hip hop template. Badbadnotgood serve up short but tasty doses of weird lounge jazz and 70's exploitation soundtrack music on this- the kitschy arrangements and production tell me straightaway these young guys have got quite an album collection at home. I've listened to this a lot over the past week, and although a few of the tunes don't seem quite fully formed, overall it's pretty wonderful (Danny Brown's cameo on "Six Degrees" is a highlight) http://youtu.be/H-qmZ_J7WGc
  12. Sorry! (Such a noob!) Did anyone see this the other night? http://youtu.be/_sNNTpORtDQ
  13. I haven't dated exclusively Christian women. However, the two most glaring and dare I say dedicated enthusiasts of this proclivity i've encountered were both Christians who were raised in the Church and attended private Christian schools growing up. For the record, I don't think this means anything at all. Those who find excitement in exploring the pain/pleasure lines just seem to just be hard- wired so. And again, purely anecdotal, but if I've dated 20 women, I would say a good 3/4 of them have admitted to a) liking some form of pain in sexual encounters, no matter how light, i.e. pulling hair, spanking, slapping etc and/or b.) enjoying the idea of total male domination and control (as "play" within a safe relationship-- and that is the key distinction. This includes being told what to do, or not to do and degrees of physical force) What was so off-putting initially about this experience, was that in every instance it came from sources that were very strong, independent and what i would label ANTI-"male-dominated patriarchal society" female personalities. So yeah, it seemingly crosses all feminist, political and religious lines.To be blunt, I am actually surprised now if I meet a woman and she doesn't admit or hint to liking some variation of this, no matter how light.
  14. Haven't seen the movie or read the book-- and won't be shelling out cash for either one anytime soon. But having dated a fair bit over the past four and a half years, I will add this anecdote and try and keep it tame: an awful lot of single, 30 and 40- something women out there derive tremendous pleasure from degrees of pain, physical restraint and/or the act of being dominated. And by domination this can be more than just rape /forceful stranger fantasies (as mentioned in the Psychology Today article, linked earlier), but also include a lot of things apparently addressed in the book, like invasion of personal privacy, intrusion into routines, and even degrees of emotional control etc) My impression is that a LOT of women "totally get" this, even if they don't actively participate in any form of BDSM with their husbands or SO's, which may be the biggest reason why the book sold 100 million copies.
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