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Joan

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About Joan

  • Rank
    A Muse's Muse
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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Lovettsville, VA, USA

Previous Fields

  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
    both
  • Musical Influences?
    dave carter, stan rogers, patty griffin, guy clark, leonard cohen, joni mitchell, david massengill

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  1. I'll tell you how far the climate has worsened in my lifetime. For most of my voting life, it's been more or less true that conservatives think liberals are stupid, and liberals think conservatives are evil. Now, conservatives think liberals are both evil and stupid, while liberals think conservatives are both venomous and vacuous, both dim-witted and duplicitous. I don't know what it'll take to take things back to where they were in the 1990s and the early 2000s. As lately as the George W. Bush years, it seemed to me people could separate their feelings for political leaders from their feelings for those who'd voted them in. We'd give each other a pass, as in, "Okay, you wanted lower taxes, I get it. And you couldn't get them without bringing on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and making promises to the pro-lifers. You give something to get something, I don't like it but you didn't do it; it's not personal between you and me." Similarly, no matter how much conservatives might have hated Bill Clinton, it didn't necessarily poison their feelings toward their liberal friends, families, co-workers. There was still a lot of dating across party lines. In 2017 that's mostly out the window. There's actually a lot of divorce this year along party lines.
  2. Yes, you're right. After the Revolutionary War but before the War of 1812, still touch and go as to whether the colonies would hang together as a nation. If you dispute my larger point, that the Second Amendment was a concession to the South enacted to help preserve slavery, would you be willing to share your reasoning on that? If I'm remembering correctly what I've read, the South pushed for the Second Amendment both as a tool for subordinating slaves and for facilitating duels, which were far more prevalent in Southern than in Northern culture at the time.
  3. Bob, I haven’t been through the agony of an abusive relationship myself. You’re not alone in wondering why anyone would stay. The easy answer, though it doesn’t always apply, is that in some homes violence feels normal because it’s reminiscent of scenes a person had grown up with. I’ve seen friends through family violence and leaving a time or two, and have had a lot of conversations with other friends who’d been through it before I knew them. Here are a few of the constants: 1. By the time he’s first laid a hand on her, she’s already very much under his control because of all the steps leading up to it. By then she’s isolated and alienated from all her friends, most of her family, and sometimes her livelihood. Sometimes the people she reaches out to are his friends and family, who tend to be more sympathetic to his point of view than to hers because they know him better than they know her, and they've never seen that side of him. 2. She blames herself for him not being himself. She doesn’t want to change him, she just wants him to get back to being that guy she first fell in love with who was so sweet and gallant to her. And she blames herself for a lot of what he does. 3. She keeps waffling between staying and leaving, which makes her incredibly difficult to support. If you know them as a couple and are under pressure to socialize with the two of them after the things you’ve heard, you can feel kind of manipulated yourself. 4. If you know her through the guy, it crosses your mind more than once that whatever happened, she had provoked him into violence he wasn’t really prone to. Unfair, unkind, and maybe untrue, but it does cross your mind. 5. Some of the help she needs is difficult to provide. Like babysitting her wild kids who might be prone to beating up on your kids. Things like that. 6. Sometimes the abused one is the husband. A friend of mine killed herself a couple of weeks ago, the first friend i ever lost to suicide. A depressed and alcoholic friend who physically attacked her husband, also a friend, just as he thought she was about to go for inpatient rehab treatment for her out-of-control drinking. He left the house for his own safety, and she hanged herself while he was gone. You never know all of what’s going on with people, or what a dark and dangerous place they might be in. 7. i couldn't see myself adding firepower to the mix with any of these people under any circumstances. But I do know that it’s more complicated than helping someone who asks, because asking means telling, and telling brings on the shame. And at least one (female)friend who left an abusive husband did arm herself, and did feel safer for it. In fear for your life, sometimes there's a place for that.
  4. Is that what you do, Bob? How many times have you bought a gun for an abused wife and taken her out to the firing range to make sure she knows how to load and fire it? Or are there more abused spouses out there, even whom we know personally, than we know what their situations are because nobody's talking about it? Because there's always an innocuous alternative explanation for a black eye or a dislocated shoulder or a broken tibia? Leaving an abusive spouse is one of the most physically dangerous moves a person can make. That's the point where the danger really ratchets up, so good for you with your one-on-one self-defense courses.
  5. You know what’s hardest for me whenever I see the text of the Second Amendment, Bob? It’s the commas where no commas should be. When a phrase is set off with commas, like the phrase about what a well-regulated militia is necessary for, that phrase is supposed to support the phrase it comes right after. But here it doesn’t. But it seems to be trying to. But it’s written with punctuation that isn’t used these days. So there’s that. I’ve read that the Second Amendment was a concession to Southerners sitting on the fence about joining the other colonial states in the rebellion against England, that what they were most concerned for was their continued ability to form organized, armed fugitive slave patrols. I haven’t reached any conclusions on that myself, but don’t worry. Your Second Amendment is safe from the likes of me. You can keep your firepower, you don’t worry me. It’s the crazies and the hotheads and the depressive alcoholics who brood vengefully when their wives move themselves and their kids out of the family domicile to get away from the threats and the yelling and the throwing and the black eyes. Those are the ones who worry me. Nobody’s dangerous with a legally obtained weapon until they are in a high liquid funk. You’re not that kind, I can tell.
  6. Pushing for gun control is not fighting to ban personal weapons. It’s about keeping guns away from violent offenders and people with dangerous mental disorders. People with diagnosed mental health disorders, who are so impaired by those disorders that they can’t hold a job and are getting disability checks, who are so impaired that those mental disability checks go into the bank accounts of their guardians instead of to them directly, can legally buy guns. Most gun owners agree that this is a problem, but the NRA does not agree, so neither do the congressmen and senators who do the NRA's bidding. This congressman who just got shot was one of the legislators who blocked the bill that would have turned that around, that would have raised the bar just that little bit for being able to legally buy firearms. Which I’m sure you already know if you follow bills as closely as most people do who care about these things. Does it make you feel safer knowing that?
  7. Kuya, if you're a lawmaker who is perpetually on the side of easier firearms access for more people, of course you must own the fact that some who shouldn't have access, do. The whole point is that some of the millions who have guns, shouldn’t. This guy shouldn’t have had legal access, but he did. This alcoholic, abusive hothead who shot rounds at his foster daughter's dates, whose foster daughters complained repeatedly to the proper authorities about his physical violence, had no problem obtaining and keeping his weapons and his ammunition. People like this gravely wounded congressman — may he recover quickly and fully — make careers out of impeding common-sense efforts to rein in the gore. Yes, you can kill with a knife, with a knitting needle, a vial of poison, a box-cutter or a spork. You can make a shank out of a toothbrush and slice open someone's carotid artery. But it’s easier to kill, and to kill more people from a distance, if you’re using projectiles propelled with gunpowder. Guns don’t kill people but shooters do. That’s where the snark and irony and sarcasm come from, when one of these people who make it more dangerous for us all is caught up in it himself. If your next-door neighbor is armed, I sincerely hope that person has a steady temperament and an amiable outlook on life. So many of the gun guys I know are twitchy, foul-tempered, intimidating, and always with the veiled and not-so-veiled threats. Not all gun owners, just way too many of them are. I live in the country and I can see the type coming from a mile away. Our property is sometimes fired upon during hunting season, despite the numerous posted warnings not to, and despite the quadrupled fines for firing on property with posted No Hunting warnings. Plus, we have gun guys who live on bordering acreage. Not everyone who keeps firearms is a gun guy, just the ones who talk about them all the time and won't go anywhere without them. If that's their hammer and every problem seems like a nail to them, we're all in trouble.
  8. Christ, man. How I would hate for anything like that to happen to you. The quote was "in part self-inflicted." Meaning that in some literal or figurative sense, the person shot had placed the weapon into the shooter's hands. In this case that would be referring to all the pro-gun legislation that had been sponsored, co-sponsored or actually introduced by Rep. Scalise, and all the gun control legislation he had worked to block. The TV journalist was in no sense whatsoever claiming the shooting had been justified, as Kuyo argued, or that the congressman had shot himself.
  9. Self-inflicted doesn't mean justified. Justified would mean that the shooter was at least partly in the right to take the shots, and that's not what Pelley was saying at all, nor was he suggesting that Scalise somewhat deserved to be wounded because of his political positions. Rep. Scalise is a gun lobbyist's dream congressman with an A+ rating from the NRA. He's for all pro-gun legislation and opposed to all gun control legislation. He and his political allies are why guns are so easy to buy in this country, why it's so hard to obtain accurate data on shootings, why it's so hard to close gaping loopholes in our gun laws, why it's so hard for pediatricians to talk to parents about guns kept in their homes, and why it's so hard to make laws that would keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses. Rep. Scalise was shot by a man with a gun who shouldn't have had a gun. I think that's why Pelley asked whether the wounds were in part self-inflicted: because Scalise position on guns makes it arguably easier for people who mean to do harm with firearms to obtain firearms. It might be too soon to point that out, with Scalise still in the hospital in bad shape from his wounds, but it's a fair point to make. The trouble with waiting until it's no longer "too soon" to say something, is that by then there's been another big shooting, which makes it again "too soon" to politely bring the subject up on the air.
  10. A fine, vicious rant, this would be enthusiastically received in either of my two favorite coffeehouses. I'm glad you posted this. I've got a Trump song too, but am still getting the guts up to post it. I think songs in this vein aren't about trying to change people's minds. They're more about comforting the afflicted, and also inspiring other people to write. And about blowing off steam. Well done!
  11. Here's the story I took the timeline from. The site is DNAinfo, a digital news service not associated with either wing of the bird. Founded by the guy who founded TDAmeritrade. I don't use political advocacy sites to quote facts, especially when I'm talking to someone on the other side of the fence: too much energy wasted on defending the source. You might call it a left-wing site anyway, because it contains data someone to the left of yourself used in a post. But I notice you're not disputing the dates or the events I quoted. You were trying to make a connection between strict gun control and worsening gun violence. I'm trying to show that since even before Rahm Emmanuel took office in 2011, gun control in Chicago has gotten looser and looser, at the same time as gun violence in Chicago has gotten worse and worse. Not that I'd claim a causal connection or anything. As long as national gun control remains lax, with loopholes, black market trade, background check failures and low, low bars to firearms access, there's not much any US city can do to keep firearms out.
  12. Barney, your information is way out of date. The Chicago police say they would love to go back to the pre-2010 days when buying and carrying a gun were a lot harder than they are these days. I found this time line which might put it in perspective: • June 2010: Chicago's ban on handguns was ended by the Supreme Court in the McDonald v. Chicago case • December 2012: Illinois' concealed carry ban — the last of its kind in the United States — ended in a court decision, though the state still restricts where people can carry concealed guns • July 2013: The Firearm Concealed Carry Act went into effect, providing regulations for concealed carry • September 2013: Chicago ends its gun registry • January 2014: A judge rejected Chicago's ban on gun shops
  13. Vara, you can learn a lot from spending time on Kickstarter. And you're right about needing money to ask for money, some of the pitches look like some serious time and money went into putting them together. The home page helps you navigate to crafts, inventions, music, art, business ventures, etc. Just click on the “music” box and take a look at some of them. Each one has a funding goal, with a running tally of how long they’ve been up and how close they are to the goal. I asked about trans-friendly open mics not as a place for your band to play once it’s together, though that works too, but as a place you could meet other trans musicians. Any truly friendly open mic is a trans-friendly open mic, but the atmosphere sometimes depends on the region. I've been to open mics in Portland, Oregon where trans musicians did just great. Is there an LGBT club where you live, and could you start an open mic there? You’d need a sound system if you don’t already have one. Once you have bandmates, maybe the three or four of you could cobble one together from equipment you already own. But that does lead me to ask, do you live in a town, or close to a town, where a trans band can gig? I could be wrong about this, but I think you need a hometown club scene where your band can gel and get the buzz going from. I don’t think you can go straight from rehearsing in a living room to touring LGBT clubs out of your home region. But if you’re all experienced performers, you could go right from living room rehearsals to a local club. Another thing to think about now: If your band comes up as a trans group in front of a more general audience than LGBT-specific, that will shape the songs you write. That will shape whether your band will be trying for a general audience or a cult audience. You know how there are gay comedians who play just for gays, and then there are gay comedians who play for everyone. Not that you can’t do both, but I think it helps to decide early on which way you want to go. It impacts who your imagined listener is while you’re writing a song. Will it be more “This is what I want to tell you about us” or will it be more “I know what you've been through because so have I.” Again, not that you can’t do both, but where you play, and in front of whom, will very much impact how you write. Those are two very different directions to put your energy into, and it really helps to decide early on. And if your group is musically enticing in a way that has broad general appeal, your message might shift over time. For a trans band, that would be earth-shattering and barrier-shattering. I know there are exceptions to this, but it’s pretty much true that nobody goes to Kickstarter to look for something to send money to. Just like producers don’t randomly click around SoundCloud or SoundClick looking for an act to take on. The first people to see you on KickStarter will be the people who know you, and who got the link to your KickStarter site from your FaceBook post. Then if a few of them get really enthusiastic about it, they not only make a contribution but they share that link on their own FB page, and then things might start to happen that take a site viral. Then somebody writes an article about you, “the Internet sensation,” and some of the people who read the article go looking you up on YouTube. Yeah, easier to get struck by lightning twice. To become an Internet sensation, and get funding from strangers, you need to already be polished, working, and have your shit together to be ready to benefit from all the exposure. And as you say, once you’re at that point, you don’t really need Kickstarter. For most musicians who want to record, like the two I gave money to, their funding needs are moderate and can be met by their circle of family and friends by way of Kickstarter.
  14. I've contributed to two music projects by way of Kickstarter. One was a friend, the other was a friend of a friend. Both of them had videos on their Kickstarter sites, playing a song they wanted to record in the style they wanted to record in. Running over the video was text that went into what they were trying to do with the projects. One had written an album's worth of songs about family history, both her own and in general, trying to bring out the universals and connect with listeners' interest in their own family stories. The other was a young woman whose father had disappeared on a "Bike Across Oregon" bike ride, wandering away from his tent and was never seen again. He had a medical history of a brain tumor that had possibly come back. Her song collection was about grief, loss, recovery and love, all themed about this thing that had happened in her family. Their projects seem to have been funded by friends, family, friends of friends, and some fans. But in each case, their songwriting and performing skills were already first rate. The songs for the projects had already been written and performed many times. To get people who don't know you to contribute is a hard one, and to get people to contribute who don't already know and like your sound, I don't think that happens often. You might already be closer to your goals than your post would suggest. If not, it seems it would be good for you to concentrate first on growing your skills in songwriting, on your instrument, and your vocals. If you're new to performing in front of audiences, also showmanship. Maybe your band mates could collaborate on the songwriting. If your vocals and guitar are already there but the writing is shaky, maybe you could start out as a cover band and gradually branch out into using original material. Okay, I listened to the songs you posted, and you must already have a very clear idea of how you want to sound and what you want to communicate, that right now you're figuring out the best ways to communicate those ideas and feelings. As you wrote, "Get good now, get original later." Do both, then record, when your fans are really bugging you to. It's not too soon to try to put a band together. Are there trans-friendly open mics where you live?
  15. I'm in, preferably as a lyricist, but interested in the kind of collaboration where both of us would be involved in both the music and the lyric. I had a couple of terrific experiences working that way with Ron. If there are too many lyricists, I'd be available to switch to doing music instead. And I really like Paul Canuck's idea of people posting lyrics or tunes, and others signing on to work with what others had started.