MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

Music

More than a Korean Susan Boyle

If you have not seen Sung-Bong Choi’s story, please take a moment NOW to watch this Korea’s Got Talent clip:

I don’t have too many words to say except this: Wow.

We should know by now that the way a person looks has very little to do with the talents that they possess.

Even if you don’t believe in God, this has to be one of the few times you feel compelled to believe in a Divine Justice.

Unfortunately, the world does not operate under a perfect justice–

The rich get richer.  The poor get poorer.

Good things happen to evil people.  Horrible things happen to great people.

The Yankees win the World Series.

Heidi Montague and Spencer Pratt have fans.

Etc. Etc.

The story and voice of Sung Bong Choi grab me because I am seeing someone who is walking proof that Grace exists.  Yes, he has lived an unbelievably heart-wrenching life up to this point, but he has also been given a gift from the Hand of God Himself.

And he is making sure he doesn’t waste it.  This Grace is meant to be shared.

Keep singing, Sung Bong Choi.  You are obviously loved and you deserve every bit of the Divine Justice bestowed upon you.

What intrigues you about his story and voice? 

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The End of 40 Days! A Best Of…

My pledge to blog everyday for 40 days has come to a close!  I want to thank those of you who have checked in periodically to journey with me in my writing.  I hope that it was as fun, interesting, and inspiring for you to read as it was for me to write!

I wanted to close this chapter by recapping the past few weeks with links to some of my favorite posts (based on your responses as well as my personal enjoyment in writing them!)

Today also marks the end of the iTunes Card giveaway contest.  I will announce the 2 winners tomorrow!

Here are the best of the last 40 days in no particular order:

My American Idol (Guessed) Rankings

Share in the Japanese Sadness

The UCLA Racist Girl

Humility

A Letter to Charlie Sheen from the future

Judging

Putting Heaven on Hold

Three Cups of BS?

The most read post out of all of them?  It was the one about the UCLA Racist girl.  Apparently racism and regrettable youtube videos make for interesting reads!

So I would like to know, which was your favorite?  Any thoughts on future topics I should attempt to address? 



Could I Be a Lead Singer in a Rock Band? and how to fight racism. (Music Monday)

**Remember my iTunes giveaway contest ends a week from today!**

Our world has made great strides in regards to race issues but as you may know, we still have a long ways to go.

I saw a funny youtube post in which the guy mentions jokingly that intermarriage is a good way to combat racism since there’s no clear way to be racist toward a person of mixed heritage.  Pretty funny but I also think there’s something there.  Hmmm… intermarriage, huh?  Makes me think of another word along that same vein: Integration.

Integration. 

I believe that one of the most powerful yet untapped race-uniting forces in the world is the medium of music. 

When I look at the musical landscape in a country like the States, I see a vast ocean of talent (and lucky wannabes with the right connections) who are influencing the next generation with their lyrics and style.

Though there have been exceptions over the years, one really important piece is missing: Integration.

Integration.

When was the last time you saw a rock band comprised of dudes from different ethnic backgrounds?  You usually have a frontman with really cool hair and edgy tattoos, along with a melancholy bassist, an eccentric electric guitarist, and an easily-excitable drummer . . . all of whom are usually white.

If we were still in the 60s, diversity would be a lot to ask for. But were in 2011 now.

Hip hop?  With the exception of Eminem, this is a genre of music that is dominated by our African American brothers.

Again, I know there are more exceptions but I mention those two genres because they are a couple of my favorites and I want to make a point.

We can’t have ethnic enclaves within music.  Not if we want to move forward.

To my Asian folk, I’m seeing that you’re talented.  Really talented.  But set the bar higher and stop just performing for each other.  Maybe you do this because 1) you’re scared that you won’t make it into the mainstream so 2) you settle into what’s comfortable and 3) never explore the greater world outside.  You are committing musical incest.

I’m proud of Far East Movement for proving to the world that a bunch of Asians can bust out into the music scene.  However, I think there’s a lot more work to be done.  I don’t believe it’s enough to say “See!  We’re awesome too!”  The question is, can you work under diversity and produce something great?  I believe this is the goal for any artist seeking to bring about a greater sense of unity across cultures.

If I were to start a band, I would be intentional about working with a variety of people of different backgrounds. This is different from affirmative action.  This is me believing that I would be able to find the best people for my band outside (but not excluding) my own culture.

Imagine what our world would be like if a few bands with a global following similar to the likes of U2 and Coldplay would rise up, comprised of an Asian lead singer (because this is my dream and I would gladly take this role), a Black bassist, a Hispanic drummer, and a White electric guitarist (or any combination)? Our world would be a different place.

As crazy as it sounds, I believe that we could achieve greater inter-racial harmony through musical representation in this manner.  What if the Beatles were a diverse band of brothers?

Check this video out.  I thought it was really well done and illustrates an aspect of what I’m trying to convey.

As with most things I write about, more on this later.

Am I the only one who thinks this is important?  Or that it’s even possible?


My American Idol Guesses (Music Monday)

Before you read this post, you must take into consideration the following bit of critical detail: I have not seen a single episode of this season’s American Idol.

So that explains why I can’t even call this a predictions or rankings post.  I know nothing about the contestants except that apparently some girl named PIA was ousted last week and no one seemed to be happy about it.

Whether you’ve kept up with the show each week like a true fanatic or you’re like me and haven’t seen a single tick, this post is for you!

Consider this my answer to the March Madness craziness that takes place every year when un-knowledgeable wannabe-fans fill out brackets using incredibly unorthodox (and sometimes dumb) methods such as best uniform color/design, coolest mascot, and cute star players (not my method at all) to make their selections.

These are the unorthodox methods I’ll be using to make my “predictions” for American Idol: 1) Profile Picture, 2) Name, 3) and other arbitrary assumptions and observations I choose to make based on the nothing to very little I know about the contestants.  If you’re scared that this post is going to be lame, inappropriate or slightly mean . . . no need to fear.  Everything’s gonna be alright.  Let’s have some fun!  You ready??

Without further ado, these are my American Idol Guesses going from last to first:

(more…)


3 Awesomely Bad Songs (Music Monday)

The last time I checked, “Friday” by Rebecca Black had over 81 millions hits on youtube.  That is just insane.  Never in the history of the world has something this bad, gotten so much attention.  Actually, I take that back.  Our society thrives on diverting all attention to all things bad (exhibit A: Charlie Sheen).  However, when all is said and done, this song may indeed be the most famous awesomely bad song ever.

Notice I said that “Friday” could be the most famous awesomely bad song ever.  This means that there are many, many other tunes out there that are not as well known but equally bad or far worse.  Now I understand that “bad” is a rather relative term but I think we can agree every once in a while when something is truly horrendous.  Here’s a few you may or may not have heard, and unfortunately, they are all songs that were written by people of a faith background:

The Breakfast Song

Of all the things that you could sing about in the “name of the Lord,” why breakfast?  Someone please get the poor woman a cot because she needs a nap, like right NOW!  These folks make heaven sound like a horrible place… no mo’ chicken?  No mo’ Cap’n Crunch?  No mo’ bacon?  Sounds like hell to me!  I’m hungry.  Let’s eat breakfast!

Jesus is My Friend

As forum bulletin boards like this one will show, there is speculation behind the authenticity of this song and video.  Either way, it is one of the most ridiculous songs I have ever heard and it is definitely worth a mention here.  Lucky for these guys, Jesus loves everybody and is a friend to anybody who needs one… and I’m sure these guys needed friends.

Dogs of Glory

This is a great example of creativity gone wrong.  The make-up is just a little too good and essentially takes this video from a G-rating to an “R” simply because of it’s immense fear factor.  Dude looks freaky and the whole performance scares the bejeebus out of me (but Jesus is here to stay!).  And just because you talk about God, Jesus and glory doesn’t necessarily mean your song has soul… this is unfortunate but true.

And finally: “HOWL-ELUJAH”??  Are you kidding me?  “HOWL-ELUJAH”???  That unholy concoction of a word alone makes this the worst song of all time … at least for me.

What about you?  Have any songs to add to the pot?  Hope you’re having a great start to your week!

(NOTE: this is supposed to be a fun post.  no offense to the writers of these songs and their relatives!)