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On Your Soapbox

"Be the spokesperson for the cause of your choice;
Insert your own Public Service Announcement here...."
I'm tempted to say something like "support the arts," but I'm probably preaching to the converted in this forum! It may sound simplistic and clichéd, but I say do what you can to make the lives of those around you better, especially friends and family. Help out when you can, go out of your way to do something nice, it can make a HUGE difference. I believe this is the most concrete way that we as individuals can make the world as a whole a better place.
    - M. Bentley: the foundry

I am rather torn here, for while there are indeed more than a few issues about which I feel strongly, I prefer to keep silent about them within the context of music. If my music has earned the ears of several listeners, it does not follow that my political or other views are at all of interest to those listeners; rather, those views must make their own way to those ears on the basis of their own merits rather than on the coattails of an at best tangentially related collection of sounds. I tend as well to aim for an emotional rather than an intellectual experience in the music I make, and my hope is that in emotional clarity listeners will be able to find their own truths rather than nod to mine.

And on the other hand I hope not to attire the abstractions of sound in the concrete shoes of a visible agenda, as even I will tend to be on my guard when I sense the approach of the latter. Which is not to say that I have any objection to politicized music or that I wish to retreat into an idealized aesthetics purified of political content but merely that I choose - at present - to keep music and politics quite separate in my own case.
    - Joshua Maremont: Thermal / Boxman label

i believe strongly in a lot of things (i'm a vegetarian, i don't believe in god) but don't like to preach, boast, or push my beliefs on others...i think i'll pass on this one...
    - taylor deupree:12k

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is an organization that's pretty close to my heart. You can check out their web site at

They are an incredibly well run organization, and are also very efficient with the donations they receive. In a perfect world, I suppose, a place like St. Jude's wouldn't be necessary. I'm not that good with words, so check out their web site. They are a wonderful place.
    - Jeff Pearce: ambient guitarist

Maybe I could talk about how everyone should eat a vegetarian diet (for their own good and that of the planet), or how people should be discouraged from driving huge SUVs and minivans (due to the effect on both air quality and global warming), but what really, really REALLY matters to me is something else....

I wish that our government, our police, or our military (or possibly all three) would do something about the number of young men out there with goatees, backward baseball caps, or both. This fashion development is one that troubles me deeply. Goatees are bad enough (nothing wrong with them, actually, until 99% of the young male population is wearing them), and so are backward baseball caps, but the truly alarming thing to me is the number of young fellas offending in both areas.
    - M. Griffin: Hypnos Recordings

Refugees in Britain are currently on a voucher scheme, rather than getting proper cash money, and being demonised by the press. as if they've not had enough trouble.
    - Nigel Ayers: of Nocturnal Emissions

EQUALITY! Damn if this doesn't get me all frothing-at-the-mouth and insane, but we've GOT to treat each other better! _Everyone_ and _everything_ has value, no one is above any other, and the sooner we realize that what we have in common binds us together more than our petty differences can ever pull us apart, the better we'll all be prepared to take that next big step. I'm an anarchist -- not the "destroy, burn and pillage" type the media so often portrays us as, but the "stop oppressing others, their value is equal to yours, respect everyone and everything" type. There are creatures (humans included) living in absolutely dreadful, horrific conditions on this planet, and we can all do a little bit to help, we just often don't _think_ so. I truly believe that if _everyone_ believed in themselves just a little bit more, this would make Think Globally, Act Locally _really_ work!

Here are some links: -- I don't agree with everything Mr. Pearce writes, but it's very interesting, very human, and it's obvious that he cares quite a lot. I would love to meet him one day. -- The worst thing one can do to a kid is not care. -- The power of tears ... makes my heart wilt with despair and well up with hope in 30-second cycles ...
    - John Michael Zorko: AdAstra Records

The list of evils is too long. Tell you what, jettison the whole lot into space and good riddance.
    - Andrew Lagowski: noise programmer

See - I think that there's this whole environment of noise that is getting worse and being reflected in contemporary music. There's this trend of high volume super repetitive beats in music that tend to wear the listener down rather than inspire. I call it the "beat coma". I think that fewer and fewer people are conscientous about what's going into there ears, and you can hear the low grade soundscapes wherever you go. The grind of the factory, the squeal of cars, buses, and trains, as well as the obnoxious sound of car horns and car alarms. I especially and most particularily find low booming car rattling music where you can hear it all the way down a block or two rather intrusive.

There just seems to be less and less respect and value in silence. The quieted and gentle air around us needs to be preserved! Noise pollution is now be considered an environmental issue and has its own department in the EPA.
    - Vir Unis: ambient/electronic artist

I don't like climbing on soapboxes, I'm afraid of heights...
    - Dino Pacifici: Music-Language of the Spirit

LIBEARTY - worldwide campaign to protect bears World Society for the Protection of Animals
    - lk: (audiochrom)

As I have recently taken the step and become a strict vegan it seems the obvious thing to talk about my views and experiences. I would like to point out that I feel that we each have a right to conduct our lives living our own truth and do not wish to force feed (pun intended) my opinions - simply read and see how you feel about my ideas.

I have had many heated discussions over the years with various meat eating individuals about their choice to eat the flesh of another animal. Their reasoning and rationale on the whole all seemed to be well thought through and range from mildly humorous to deeply disturbing. I will give you a few examples: "we have incisors therefore we must eat meat", "we have made the land what it is, so we can do what we want to anything on it", "you can't tell me an animal has the same intelligence as me!!!!, so I can do what I like to them!!!". To the last comment my reply in hind sight should have been "yes I can, and not only are they as intelligent as us they also have a similar nervous system and can feel pain just as we do" and the thought that just because we have incisors we have to eat meat is absurd, it's like saying "well I have a fist therefore I must smack you in the mouth" which I must point out wasn't my reply to this particular individual, as I always prefer a more pacifistic approach.

Moving swiftly on to nutrition. It is a common misconception that vegetarians and vegans are malnourished and I feel it is worth pointing out that there is only one potential nutritional flaw in a vegan diet; vitamin B12 which I have to say is abundantly available in a variety of non-animal forms. This combined with a well thought out and other-wise balanced diet negates the need for any animal products or animal suffering.

We must think very carefully of our position as a race of beings and as individual contributing to the slaughter industry. We are seemingly the pinnacle of evolution, yet why do we use and abuse other animals if we are so civilised? How can we expect peace on Earth to simply happen if we don't each take a step towards harmony ourselves - what is the first step; to stop killing each other or to stop killing full stop???

It is of course and individual choice but we must make sure that we feel 100% comfortable with the way in which we conduct our lives.

Surely it is easier to not enslave and abuse other lifeforms and to just live as one of those lifeforms.
    - Maitreya: Ambient Artist @ Council of Nine

This QOM posted May 29, 2000 | QOM Index

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