Author Archive: Helen Bell

Jenners and Music

Hey everyone! So did you catch all the fuss today? I certainly didn’t expect it. I woke up in my usual time and found myself looking for news on Twitter (it’s fast and it’s easy to fact check) and I noticed that Kendall and Kylie were trending. I checked out the reason (wouldn’t you?) and I saw SO much hate hurled in their direction.

Although that in itself isn’t anything new, the reason why they were receiving so much criticism struck such a nerve. Even with yours truly. The famous (although I’m not quite sure why they’re famous) sister had launched a bunch of “vintage” tees that showcased several classic rock bands and rap legends and pretty much slapped their initials and face over the faces of the icons.

Who honestly told them that would be a good idea? First off, copyright infringement. As the bands and personalities they picked to go on their t-shirts were established musicians with years worth of contributions to our popular culture, it would be pretty much common sense to realize that you’ll have to pay for the right to use those images. Especially since they’re going to be sold as merchandise that isn’t even part of the estate of those artists.

Second, where do they get the sand, the gall, the inclination, the right to do something to incredibly disrespectful? Have these young ladies been living in a bubble that they’ve effectively become so tone deaf to what’s appropriate and what isn’t?

The indignation of people the world over was right and justified. The cutout of an Instagram post over the face and brand of an icon? THAT’S WHAT CONSIDERED ART NOW? That is something that’s worth $125 of people’s hard earned money?

Kylie and Kendall Jenner are clearly out of touch with common sense. They’re young and they make mistakes, that’s fine. What about their consultation team? Their legal team? How about all the other adults around them? It’s like those people effectively don’t exist.

This issue became so big not only because of the apparently disjointed world view of the Jenner sisters and their overestimation of their accomplishments that would make them think that it’s okay to slap their faces on already established iconography. The music that these people created were important pieces of art that helped elevate our culture as a whole.

Biggie and 2Pac were both incredible artists and influenced so much of the culture that the Jenner sisters are using for their own gain. It’s incredibly appalling, if I’m honest. Since the issue broke out, the sister cancelled their vintage t-shirt line (due mostly to cease and desist orders) and apologized.

Is this really something that a simple ‘we’re so sorry’ is going to fix? What’s to stop them from appropriating more cultures for their gain? It’s not like their track record for improvement is anything good. It’s disappointing, particularly for two people who are quite sadly idolized by so many of our youth.

If anything, I certainly hope that this is the last time that music icons are used by culture vultures.

Why Music is Important

Music is the greatest creation of man, which touches the soul and also helps man to sympathetically manifest unspoken desire and humanity in him. The effect of music in man is what that separated him from other animals. Due to the high effect of music in the life of human being, it is capable of breaking boundaries to unit people from different background and cultural heritage. Indeed, there are lots to say about music making it one of the most important factors in the life of human being of all races and religions. In fact, music can best be described as wonderful force that is capable of bonding people together and instituting international brotherhood, love as well as peace. This article is dedicated to pinpoint some importance of music.

Music draws people together and uplifts them

Indeed, due to the power of music in the heart and bone marrow of human being, it can draw millions of people from different parts of the world and uplift them emotionally. For that reason, music can easily be used as instrument of peace when there is chaos between people of different origin and background. You can easily notice this particular effect of music when you have issue with your partner and he or she started playing music you love to hear. If you are a strong-hearted human being you may not settle the issue due to the music but the annoyance in your mind will gradually subside just because of the music.

In times of tragedy, a memory of a song is often enough to band people together and start to heal. This was very true in the wake of the Manchester bombing. The memorial in which people gathered had participants who spontaneously sang “Don’t Look Back in Anger”.

Music is one of the best ways of expressionism

Whether you are music enthusiast or not, the best way you can express your feelings, anger, love, passion, joy and other kinds of feelings is simply through music. It is rightly said that when words and letters failed the best option is music. You will be able to express the intent of your heart through music which ordinarily may not be possible for you to either do in words or letters.

Music is therapeutic

In most cases, doctors and therapists normally recommend soft music for their patients. This is because, with the effect of the music in the heart and entire being of a sick person, there will be revival of hope of living, joy of existence and happiness in the mind of the sick person making it easy for the him or her to respond positively to treatment.

Music is a good way to convey love

Probably, you have been searching for a way to reignite love and passion in your relationship with your spouse that is simply because you have not tried music. Really, no matter the pain in the heart of your spouse, the best solvent you need to melt the pain and replace the space with love and passion is simply gentle and soft music. In fact, music is love, peace, passion, creativity and music is capable of enchanting both the heart of man and God.

Of Music and Moods

Hi everyone! Ele here. How’s the season been treating you guys? I’m currently visiting some good friends in Asia so lemme tell you that it is H-O-T where I am right now. You would not believe how warm it gets! I swear I could bake some cookies on the balcony of my friend’s home.

Whenever I feel uncomfortable, I always try to find a space where I can be by myself and plug in my trusty pair of earphones. When I want to feel cooler or at least, trick myself into feeling cooler, I play nature sounds–specifically the sounds of waves crashing against the shore. I just close my eyes and envision that I’m at the beach. It’s also pretty helpful that there’s often a bit of guitar that accompanies most nature sounds.

My friend Jon saw me and remarked on the visible improvement of my mood. I told him that music is pretty powerful in affecting moods and current philosophies. He seemed really interested in how this works and I really enjoyed the conversation that I decided to share some of the points I gave.

Music, according to science, is known to tap into various parts of the brain. The meter, timber, rhythm, and pitch of music are managed in areas of the brain that deal with emotions and mood. The key areas in the brain are the hippocampus, pre-frontal cortex, and the parietal lobe. The hippocampus, a structure of the limbic system, is responsible for spatial orientation, navigation and the consolidation of new memories. It also brings about emotional responses. The pre-frontal cortex, on the other hand, manages extreme impulses and emotions. It is known as the “seat of good judgment,” it enables one to make good and acceptable calls so that inappropriate behaviors are prevented.

The parietal lobe is in charge of spatial orientation, information processing, and cognition. Because of its ability to alter the different parts of the brain, music has been utilized in a number of therapies. For example, it has been applied to stroke victims to teach them how to talk once again. At the same time, it is recommended to stutterers so that they can dictate words clearly once again. Since it reaches the emotion-related barriers too, music is now being utilized as a mood-altering therapy for depressed and anxious individuals.

So it’s actually pretty beneficial to make use of music to alter moods and sometimes, it can even alter held philosophies. Mostly, music has several significant and often immediate effects on people.

Music can make people happy.

No, that’s not a joke. If you’re ever sad or depressed, try listening to something upbeat. Soothing tunes foster the release of serotonin. That’s the hormone that fosters happiness and a general sense of well-being. It also floods the body with dopamine–a neurotransmitter that makes people feel good.

Music also paves the way for the release of norepinephrine, a hormone that brings about euphoria and elation. With all the hormones that flood the body with happy thoughts, you do not have to purchase expensive anti-depressant medications just to feel better.

Music makes a pretty good motivator.

High five if you’ve ever started a workout session to the tune of Eye of the Tiger! The message carried by the song and the tune it uses is a pretty swell way of uplifting moods and can give that extra burst of energy.

A lot of people now make use of music as a sort of timer to get tasks done.

Music can shift your perception.

Music is pretty powerful stuff. Have you ever had a moment where you’re perfectly fine and a song comes on to remind you of a sad event and suddenly you’re a blubbering mess on the floor? Yeah. The reverse is also true. A study conducted by experts from the University of Groningen shows that people enjoy a ‘happier’ perception when they listen to lively music. So if you want to drown all the depression away, crank up the radio and expect your perception to be changed – at least for the better.

So yeah, music is a good way to help alter moods from one to another. Which is why it is important to be careful of what you expose yourself to at certain points in your life. As for me, time to crank up the beach sounds because the heat is getting to me again.

‘Til next time, buds!

-Ele

Philosophical Questions

Hey, everyone! As it turns out, my last post garnered a bit of positive feedback from you guys. Instead of philosophical quotations, some of you sent us some questions that are quite philosophical in nature. It was quite a joy reading through them and answering them. So I asked Julie for another nightcap and we came up with our answers.

Is it wrong to buy your kids Christmas presents when a disaster has struck your area and others are struggling?

Me: Hooboy. This one made me think quite a bit. To be honest, I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s still my money and it’s my prerogative on how I’m going to spend it despite the occurrences around my family. In fact, since there was a disaster in the area, having an extra holiday cheer will go a long way for the morale of my family.

Julia: I can see why this is a touchy topic for some. It’s the same line of logic as “Should I feel bad for spending on expensive food when there are people dying of hunger?” sort of thing. While I think the world would be a better place if we all helped each other out, this is something that should be done out of the goodness of your heart and not because you feel socially pressured into it. I, personally, would hold a family meeting to discuss this. Do we spend on Christmas presents and the like or is there something else we want to do with it. Ultimately, it is the decision of the family or of the parent which determines the outcome regardless of outside opinion.

Is life devoid of meaning if we live forever?

Me: Yes. Life is beautiful because it is fleeting.

Julia: No. Meaning is placed into something we value. If you value every single day of your immortal life, you can still have meaning in your life.

Is it possible for something to be in two places at once?

Me: Ooh I love the answer to this one. One of my favorite movies is A Walk To Remember. One of the dreams of Mandy Moore’s character is to be in two places at once. Her love interest takes her to a state border and has her stand above it–effectively being in two places at once. So realistically, in that sense, yes–it is possible to be in two places at once.

Julia: It’s a bit odd now as the concept of ‘being’ is rather fluid. Physically speaking, probably not–unless you send your body parts to different places–EW. But for example, if you have a relative who’s abroad and they video chat with you–physically you aren’t there but on the emotional aspect of the thing, you are. You aren’t missing out on whatever it is they’re showing you and you get to stay exactly where you are. So in doing so, you are sort of in two places at once.

Why do we dream?

Me: I think we dream because we need it. We get to explore worlds, scenarios, and feelings that can sort of prepare us for if and when it occurs during waking life. Personally, I look forward to my dreams each night because it’s like my own personal movie.

Julia: To stay sane, really. Our brains process so much data that it needs an outlet for certain thoughts or rationalizations. I think we dream because we can. If that makes sense to you.

 

Some Philosophical Life Quotes

I have a good friend by the name of Julia who picked out the habit of gathering philosophical quotes for me. I have no idea why she does it but it’s been a pretty good exercise. Julia and I often pour hours of discussion over different quotes–how we personally perceive it, how we think it’s relevant to our lives, how we can adapt it (if we haven’t already). So I figured that maybe you guys can do that to with your own friends or family. I’ll be sharing some quotes with you today along with some thoughts from me and Julia.

Life is a long road on a short journey. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Ele: For me, I believe this refer to how life can feel so long when you’re still at the beginning or at the middle–yet when you’re nearing the end of your life, it then feels so utterly short. I suppose that’s why one of the more popular villain tropes are rich old men who want to extend their lives by any means necessary. They all have the common exclamation that life is too short and how youth is wasted on the young.

Julia: I think this philosophy isn’t limited to the scope of just life. It’s applicable in other topics too–like listening to a song that you really like or more commonly, the anticipation of a vacation. It can feel oh so dragging when you count down the weeks and days before going on a vacation. Yet, when you’re on it–it’s like time decides to just zip by. It’s like there was a lessened amount of hours for the duration of your vacation.

Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it. ~Christopher Morley, Thunder on the Left

Ele: I like this one. It gives the idea that no matter how proficient you think you are about the topic of life–in the end, you may not actually be as knowledgeable as you think. It actually is quite humbling when you really think about it. Do any of us really know what we’re doing?

Julia: I don’t know. I think it’s one of those feeling fluffers like “It’s okay if you don’t quite understand life–no one does anyway!” The thing is–this is precisely the reason why some really pursue excellence and strive to accomplish something in our lives. If we don’t really know what we’re doing, at least we leave something behind for those who are going to continue the journey. If you’re a person that really likes this quote it’s kinda sad. Don’t limit yourself in the belief that it’s okay if you don’t have direction or someone else is just pretending to be living right (since in the end we all don’t anyway)–strive for more.

Following straight lines shortens distances, and also life. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Ele: Hrm. I think this refers to how a neatly planned life can seem quite short. It’s like a burger with no condiments or lettuce, onions, or tomato. Sure you have a pure meat burger but it doesn’t seem like much, does it? When you just follow the already beaten path, there’s no surprises but at the same time, are you really living?

Julia: For me, I think this refers to how if you keep at a set goal with no distractions, when you get to your destination and look around–you may end up wondering where all the time went. When you’ve been so focused on one thing, you let all the other things slip through your fingers. This can give you the idea that you’ve missed out (which is something I really hate).


So that’s it so far–I’ll share more discussions Julia and I have about philosophical quotes. For now, we need refills.