Blog Archives

The Best of Depeche Mode, Volume 1 for the Weekend

Alan Parsons for the Weekend

Genesis Live, for No Particular Reason at All

My favorite song from Invisible Touch

Weekend Head-Banging: Powerslave by Iron Maiden

Simply Irresistible (or not?)

As a slight but necessary tangent to my series on free will and choice, which is itself a slight but necessary tangent to the issue of universalism, it’s necessary here to discuss the three basic views (there are subcategories, but these are the main ones to consider) regarding free will, or the lack thereof.

Libertarianism (not to be confused, in this context, with the odious political party or the even more odious political philosophy) is the belief that humans do indeed have free will.  Free will, in short, is real, not an illusion.  Just so we’re clear, we’re talking about the commonsense definition of “free will” as “the ability to do whatever you want, within the constraints of ability and duress”.  The last clause is important.  I am not free to flap my arms and fly to the moon, since that’s impossible.  The poor man is not free to eat at the Ritz, as the saying goes, since he lacks the money.  If I’m in jail or under the influence of drugs, my free choices may be prevented (I can’t just walk out of jail) or suppressed (I might do things under the influence that I normally wouldn’t).  Still, the basic definition–that I can do what I want, if I’m able to do so–is a good one for free will.

At the risk of stating the obvious, it is worth saying at this juncture that free will implies moral responsibility for one’s actions.  If I freely do something bad, I am responsible for that and worthy of blame, or even imprisonment or execution, if what I do is bad enough.  If I do something good through my own free will, I am worthy of praise and perhaps even honors and accolades.  This accords with the commonsense view of what free will is and what it entails.

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The Police Live: Invisible Sun

With guest vocals by Bono.

Duke Suite by Genesis


A transitional album.  Arguably their last full-out “art rock” album before they gradually began to move in a pop direction, for better and/or for worse, depending on one’s taste and viewpoint.

Some 80’s for the Night: Joe Jackson


A few years ago a local radio station started a new format and started billing itself as an 80’s music station.  I listened to it for awhile, but it was a disappointment.  It didn’t play the weird or quirky stuff from that decade, which didn’t surprise me.  Most oldies stations do that–they do sort of a Top 10 version of the decade in question.  This one didn’t even do that–it was a subset of a Top 10 station, playing some artists–Michael Jackson, the B-52’s, the Eurhythmics, and such–in heavy rotation, with a smattering of others; while many other songs and artists that were very prevalent in the 80’s were nowhere to be heard.  Joe Jackson is a case in point–I clearly remember that in the early 80’s, he was wall-to-wall over the airwaves.  I don’t think I ever heard him on the station I mentioned.  It eventually changed to a generic oldies, playing mostly 70’s with a bit of other stuff.  Anyway, I heard “Steppin’ Out” on a grocery store’s sound system this morning, not having heard it in years, and thought it deserved a post.  Enjoy!

Beyond the Silver Rainbow


Some snowy-day Saturday afternoon musical freakiness from Genesis.

Under Pressure


When I went to YouTube for the David Bowie video at the top of this post, I saw this in the related videos tab.  This is one of my favorite Queen songs, and one of my favorites from the 80’s in general.  Thus, I figured, what the heck–I’ll post it!