Charlie's Blog: Over the Hills and Far Away


Over the Hills and Far Away

Many have I loved - Many times been bitten 
Many times I've gazed along the open road. 
Many times I've lied - Many times I've listened 
Many times I've wondered how much there is to know.
LED ZEPPELIN, Over the Hills and Far Away

There's not much I can say about this song. It has an acoustic/electric thing going on. It sounds like a happy song, and it rocks. But for some reason, this song is not up there like Stairway or Ramble On. My wife seems to like it as I watch her dance to the beat. Her taste in music tends towards the Soul/R&B side of things. Stevie Wonder does the trick for her. I'm more of a Black Sabbath guy.

Seeing the pictures of the flooding in Louisiana takes me back to the flood we had here in SC about a year ago. Those people will bounce back because the people here have already bounced back. I got through it unscathed because I don't live next to a creek or river.

Metallica has a new song out, and I don't like it. When I listen to the old Metallica stuff, I am surprised at how good it is. This would be the three albums that Cliff Burton played on. When that guy died, Metallica died with him. Nothing post-Burton ever matches that early stuff. I don't wish to give all the credit to Cliff, and I know that some of his influence carried through to the Justice album. One of my favorite songs from the Cliff days is Orion. It is instrumental and has the thrash riffs but also a classical tinge like something from Bach. It is also some of the best bass playing from Cliff Burton. That song is the best demonstration of the man's influence on the band. I imagine Burton sitting in the studio saying what was cool and what was not. When he died, that influence was lost, so cool and crap just went through to the final product.

Metallica has aspired and struggled to return to those glory days when they made really good music. I don't mean to be a critic because I appreciate how hard creative endeavors can be. I see the same frustrations with writers, painters, and other musicians. I also have them. You struggle to produce good stuff, but you are not always able to deliver. Metallica comes back from a five year hiatus, but we should call it what it is--creative exhaustion.

My thoughts have been on economics lately. As mentioned before, there is a fight in my brain between Distributism and the free market economics of the Acton Boys. Both are Catholic but disagree. Distributism has a greater claim to being faithful to magisterial teaching while the Acton guys are truer to the reality of the world. I think that God has put it on me to wrestle with these two schools and come to some firmer conclusion on things economic.

I have been frustrated for four years in my homesteading aspirations because of an inability to secure a suitable piece of property. This frustration is what makes me debate Distributism vs. Acton. I liken my desire to homestead to wanting to return to horseback riding as transportation in a world of automobiles and interstate highways. Now, this seems absurd to do in modern times until one day OPEC turns off the petroleum spigot. Then, riding a horse seems pretty smart.

Homesteading is about self-sufficiency. The free market is a great idea until you realize that we do not have a truly free market because of the Federal Reserve and Too Big to Fail. Most of the gold bug/libertarian/free market types on the internet are also big on prepping, survival, homesteading, and the rest. This looks exactly like Distributism. The problem with Distributism is that a reinflated real estate bubble makes it hard to acquire property needed to check out of our chaotic economy.

The simple fact is that both sides of the debate make really good points. And because of this, I can't decide who has the lock on the truth. I can dismiss Marx and Keynes, but I have a hard time dismissing Mises and Chesterton. I just need to read way more until I can come to some sort of resolution on these matters.

I have the Sunday blues now. I dread having to return to work tomorrow. My life is a perpetual grind.