Saturday, May 3, 2008

What The Hell?

You may be wondering just what, exactly, you have stumbled upon. I, Jake, have done my best to offer an explanation by way of the info directly under the title ^up yonder^ as well as the definitions you see to your right. -->

For further clarification, let me offer this explanation:

I am personally struggling with addiction. More specifically, I am addicted to various blogs. I suppose it's not really a struggle though, as I quite enjoy it! It is oddly relaxing for me to sit at my computer for a few minutes -- Okay, hours -- everyday to see what my friends are up to. What they are currently thinking, feeling, doing, etc. I find it fascinating.

I've always been a "people watcher" myself, and those of you who are guilty of it to some degree know exactly what I'm talking about. Watching people's behaviors, actions and reactions is one of my all-time favorite past times. I'll admit there are elements of judgment to it as well. The more obvious aspect being people sense of style. Or lack thereof. Not simply for aesthetic reasons, mind you. A persons sense of style and what they choose to wear tend to reflect a bit about their personalities. A part of the whole which I am observing.

Excuse me; I digress. That will happen a lot though.

Reading blogs has become, in a way, an extension of my pathological people watching. In addition to keeping up to date with the goings-on of my friends, I can watch the way they interact with the world around them. My voyeuristic tendencies are not restricted to those I know personally either. There are a small handful of complete strangers whom I check in on regularly as well. Though they don't really feel like strangers anymore, really. Observing them in their world long enough has created this strange connection that feels like a friendship of sorts.

To that end, while there are many blogs I "lurk" around silently, there are many still that prompt in me the desire to participate. Commenting would be the technical term, and is an accurate description for the majority of the little traces of input that I leave at the end of someone's post.

There are times that commenting just isn't enough for me though. I end up participating in the conversation. I've been known to leave "comments" that end up being longer than the original posting itself.

Over the course of the past year or so, this has fascinated me more and more, and here I find myself today ready to explore this phenomenon a little further. If I'm having the same reaction to the stimulus of the written word, surely there must be others who feel the same way, right?

I've decided to put all the conversation into a different format, essentially. Now, rather than someone reading a post and having to click on the comment link to see what everyone's reaction is, you can see some of that conversation, that all to beautiful human behavior we call "banter", right on the front page.

Obviously, I'm not going to extend an open invitation for everyone in cyberspace to create a new post on this blog. That would be what my partner calls "crazy talk". While everyone will still have the opportunity to leave comments the "old-fashioned" way, there will be a core group of people actively participating in the posts you see here.

Whether it be reactions to someone else's posts that feel more like written conversations, or simply a random post generated out of boredom, it will be here. There may be many occasions where the author's have posted something on their own personal blog and decided to share a copy here as well.

I personally don't intend to copy every post I make to blog and put it here. My personal blog is there for specific reasons, and will (hopefully) have a certain feel to it. I'm not trying to re-create that here.

What I hope to achieve, at the heart of it all, is this: I have a wonderfully diverse group of friends, and I want the world to see how it is possible for all of us, differences and all, can love each other. We're all very different people, and while a cacophony of voices may sound like nothing but so much noise to some people, it sounds beautiful to me.

That's why the word "dissonance" is in the title, my friends. I remember sitting in rehearsal for a cappella choir my senior year of high school, and our director played us a record. The record was a recording of our high school choir from years and years ago (hence the vinyl versus a cassette or CD) singing the song that won them a rating of "I" (that's a one for you non-Roman individuals) at state competition. They did so well with the song, and took it so far, that they were actually pressed in vinyl for posterity. Obviously before sports took over as the priority of our school district, but that's a rant for another time.

At any rate, our director played us this song to get our feedback, as she was considering including it in our repertoire for competition that spring. Did we like it? Did we think we could handle it? It was a beautiful and dynamic piece of music, and I wish I could remember the name of the piece. The reason it was so difficult, and why it won them such acclaim for mastering it is this: It was written in a non-traditional way. It utilized what is known as dissonance, meaning that the notes, chords, rhythms, etc. were not complimentary as we are traditionally used to hearing them.

The composer was able to create a piece of music which did not "mesh" in a traditional sense, and make it beautiful. Different voices singing what would appear at first to be different songs or wrong notes, but in actuality singing the same song from the same page.

What better representation of the world at large could you get?

Maybe I'm delusional, but I think there are other people in the world who can hear the song as a whole and think it beautiful, too.

"Beautiful melodies created by our differences." Indeed.


ellenjane said...

I never understood dissonance musically. I always thought it meant something was wrong, that it was something that needed to be fixed.
Reading you explaining dissonance clicked for me that I feel the same way about relationships in my "orbit". Since I was little I felt the overwhelming need for people to just get along. If I noticed dissonance then I would be in a full out panic until it was fixed, or at least until a nervous truce had been worked out.
As you (very) well know I was like that in HS too (hello Nicole and anyone else lol)...I just wanted there to be no dissonance. None at all.
It really wasn't until late last year that I really became comfortable with dissonance. That I began to see the beauty in it, the growth that comes out of it, the intimacy that is developed in relationships because of it.
Good stuff...I'm taking it to my blog too :)

I love this idea btw, almost as much as I love you!

Raquel Mendoza said...

WOW, I love it! I love your thoughts, your feelings and the way you are able to capture that in print. Truly insightful!

Julie said...

Two years ago, we had a kid stay here with us that was working with the HS kids at band camp in the summer - a college kid here for the week from Michigan. He played piano, and as luck would have it, ours was in tune! A lot of the music he played was what he called "contemporary classical". He said his dad hated it, because it had too many clashing notes. It was amazing! sounds that shouldn't go together were just amazing! ... so I kinf of know what you mean, as far as that goes, I think..

As far as people? A dissonant group of people is the best kind of group there is! Take groups we get on holiday weekends for example! ... but we blend together pretty damn well, if I say so myself :)

Oh yeah - and running the risk of sounding repetative, I LOVE how you write!

Pete said...

Alright, first of all let me tell you how in love I am with this whole idea! I too am a people watcher both physically and blog wise as well. I too find it fascinating and comforting.

I love dissonance music, I was raised in a very musical family and my cousin composed an entire semesters worth of music using that theory and it was beautiful! There is something to be said about the relationship between music and human beings.

Anyway, just thought I would say how great this idea is!