I remember this very clearly. I was in 1st grade at Tanglewood Elementary in Fort Myers. Our music class was at the end of the hall if you walk in the front door of the school and turn right down the first hallway. So we’re there and we were taking a test and one of the questions was “Can [instrumental] music tell a story?” I answered “Yes” but I was wrong. I remember being angry because I thought the teacher was dead wrong about this. I still believe she was dead wrong about it.
There’s something about music that is powerful. It might not tell a story in audible words, but it invokes emotions if it’s good. And given a title to the piece, it can tell some of the best stories.
I’ve made a playlist on grooveshark.com that is only for epic instrumental soundtracks. Right now I’m listening to “Black Hawk Down.” Wow! Talk about epic. The music style, chosen instruments and tone of “Leave no man behind” are causing some strong emotions. I think about the conflict in Somalia that raged throughout the 90’s and it makes me sad. I think about my friends in Naivasha who are no stranger to conflict in their own town. I hate that the world is such a violent place. There’s no winner in war, and that seems so dumbly obvious to me that I find myself asking “Why do people/nations/tribes/ethnic groups do things that will cause war?” The best answer I can come up with is a struggle to fill an insatiable need for love and acceptance (which is sort of an ironic answer on the surface, I know) coupled with a need to protect ones-self and their people group.
The worst cause of conflict comes from individuals, or a small group of people, who are corrupt and try to achieve power and money (are they separate things?) via stepping on the backs of anyone and everyone they can. Not that the US is perfect by any stretch of the imagination (I could write a book on problems with the US), but in this country there is a fairly decent infrastructure of checks and balances for power that prevents corrupt leaders from obtaining/maintaining said power. In many developing countries the checks and balances are not in place and the result is far sub-standard living, famine, rampant disease (many that are curable), and general extreme poverty because a corrupt few (many?) have taken much for themselves. I’m not just talking about leaders from the countries in question, I’m talking about business men in the US, and pretty much any 1st world country, that deepens poverty through unethical (sometimes illegal) business practices.
Are these people rotten to the core? Maybe some are? Maybe some are so far removed from the effects of their deeds that they can’t really feel the evil they are breathing out on the world. Mostly, I think it’s the need for love and acceptance that drives them. “Acceptance” to them means a relentless pursuit of power and a relentless pursuit of wealth. The epitome of this idea are warlords. Play the game Modern Warfare 2 and you will see, what I think, is a fairly accurate depiction of corruption and warlords given (or taken) free reign. They themselves are killing hundreds, even thousands themselves just so they can get that much more power and that much more money, so they can try to satisfy their need for love and acceptance just a little bit.
How can people do this to other people? I know the reasons, but how do they do it?
That is what powerful music causes me to hurt for and pray about. Epic. God, when will this sort of thing end?