Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday Musings - Less is More and Star Trek

RGV show #2 down, 21 to go, not including the RGV Music Festival. (Update: down by 4 now - this was written a few days ago.)

It's obvious my children do not suffer from even an ounce of anxiety when we have to face new areas with only half-polished music, especially the younger two. In fact,  if there is one thing I must teach that boy child is the concept of "less is more". He LOVES to mess with the audience. Let Sean near a microphone and he's home. 

He doesn't know when to quit though. One chuckle from the audience and he upstages everyone until the break, when I have to pull him aside and tell him he's going to far again and to back off before Katie hits him with the banjo, or worse, Alex knocks him out with a painfully directed, burning evil eye. He says sorry, as sincerely as he can muster, then he goes and hangs out with whomever is at the door coordinating the event and gives them our life story in the most socially awkward way possible.

Aaaannnddd... we repeat it at the next show with a whole bunch of new people to experiment on, to see what weird behavior gets a chuckle without getting him into trouble with Mom. 

After all of this I think to myself, I just have to hang out and play a mediocre mandolin the rest of my life if I can get that boy to stick around. In a few years he'll gladly take the show.

Here in the valley there are a LOT of family bands performing. I really wonder sometimes what the family dynamics are like behind the stage. You get these goofy ideas in your head that they must be perfect to be so good. Do the siblings squabble? Or do they speak lovingly to one another, encouraging each other along the way? Yeah, probably not. What about school? Do they sit and do a well-thought out curriculum to get them into an ivy league school, or do they try to throw in a bit of math or grammar here and there in hopes that something sticks enough that they don't embarrass their parents?

The picture on the left does not relate to this post. Just thought it was cute.  She made a fluffy snake from a fluffy pipe cleaner, complete with google eyes.

Then there is media. We were watching Star Trek: Next Generation the other day, because we're closet Trekkies. Of course, we can't just watch it anymore. We pick it apart. The first generation is easier, because of William Shatner's girdles, or tin foil miniskirts worn by the alien women who flirt with him. However, to the sophisticated sarcasmer (one skilled in sarcasm) you can certainly enjoy Stark Trek: NG in a whole new way, especially with your 18yo daughters. Are other Christian family bands willing to ever let a show like Star Trek cross over their TVs? Do they even have TVs? Perhaps they sit around in the evenings, after a good practice, followed by a Bible study, then read one of the classics?

Does it help to know that my favorite way to watch is with a bit of sarcasm, and the occasional verbal eye-roll, and to pick apart the fallacious thinking of the worldview, even while enjoying the interesting plot lines and unique characters? I mean, honestly, what's with the "we've evooooolved beyond the need for money; every child is a scholar; we have a ship's counselor now who helps us with our feeeeelings, so we no longer have any nuts running around the universe." No more sin. No more guilt. Oh, no more greed either. They've gotten over their childish need for religion, because they have science to figure out everything. It's an atheistic utopia! Squeeel!  Now we have brilliant Wesley Crusher to save the day, empathetic Troi to solve our problems, and Warf to show how our evolved human understanding is so powerful that it even works on aliens! Even barbaric aliens! You know, kind of like Texans. Ok, Picard is cool, and so is Data. However, the twins are always sing "Reading Rainbow" when Geordi comes on the screen. Not sure what to make of that.

Directly related, in a very strange way, is the fact that Katie studies logic for fun. Seriously, she devours books on logic in a way where I have to almost drag her away from them to pay attention to the rest of life. She has a field day with wordviews that are walking contradictions, and Ravi Zacharias, skilled in picking apart worldviews, is one of her favorite speakers ever. So, far from being annoyed when her mother makes remarks, it enhances the whole Star Trek experience. (That's my story, I'm sticking to it.)

I know, I know. To a true Trekkie, I'm doing it wrong, but I kind of think this sort of thing goes further in some weird, warped way, in helping them learn to interact with today's word and popular thinking. I don't do it with Doctor Who... much. Doctor Who doesn't take itself so seriously so I don't have to. Doctor Who knows how to do science fiction without getting just plain silly.

Sigh, sigh, and double sigh. So, we've concluded from this Star Trek rabbit trail that I watch Star Trek wrong. I have also concluded that, world view studies aside, I am probably doing the whole media thing wrong by not just watching Lawrence Welk reruns, or perhaps just turning it off and reading a classic novel with my older daughters, after vigorous classical studies with my younger two, filling their young minds with Latin, poetry, and Bach. If we all just did that, we'd live in a Christian utopia with no more sin, guilt, or greed to have to deal with, right? I can't do it though. I tried and I felt so very... someone else, but not me. I need something to snark at, I suppose, and that's as good a target as anything.

I bet there is another family band out there that watches Doctor Who and Star Trek. Betcha.

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