Coachella, Politics, Talent, Jogging in the Dark

Coachella this weekend was amazing (pics here!). I came to Bakersfield Thursday for my good buddy Wes’ going-away party, and remembered the Coachella Arts & Music festival was the next 3 days down in the desert east of LA. I was lucky to buy good tickets on Friday at face value from a stranger off Craigslist and had a free hotel stay from my Marriott rewards card. After 7 hours of driving from Bakersfield to Indio, CA (normally a 3-hour trip), I made it safe & almost sound.

There were so many highlights, from delightful new sounds, to people-watching, to art exhibits, but for now I’ll just touch on the last headliner (as my posts have been rather religion/politically-oriented as of late). Rage Against the Machine put on a great, flawless performance, and very political/revolutional, as expected. I liked the meat of his message, which was that Americans philosophically do not want to be the country that invades other countries preemptively, then profits from the country’s reconstruction. He said that this has been our path for generations, and that every American generation has to fight to keep such urges from proliferating.

I personally am thinking that Bush has 70%+ of this country worried because his actions smack of a fledgling moral imperialistic power in the world, which was NOT the value America was founded on (never mind the regretable treatment of America’s natives, and other such invasions since then (Mexico, etc.)!). He defends his stance on abortion and gay rights based on what God says is right (which in itself is very open to interpretation), which is quite impossible to argue against (because absolutes deny any intrusions of logic or contradictions). The problem is, if you give on the issues of gay rights & abortion, you open the door to all sorts of policies based on what “God” says is right. Of course, the justifications given are never overtly “God said it was so,” but when you get to the heart of the issue that is usually where one ends up.

But enough of the heavy stuff for tonight…

I’m also thinking about talents lately. When you go to a festival like this, you realize these people have all spent a long time developing one specific talent, whether it is DJ-ing, singing, walking on stilts, making art, etc. It makes me wonder what my talent is….What it is that I am contributing to the world. Is it enough to do many things well, or is it better to specialize in your highest talent? And how do you know what your highest talent is? I spent 5 years training to be a hammer thrower, more years training to sing, some time training to play piano, flute, saxophone, many years journaling & writing, constantly decorating & re-organizing things, playing basketball, softball, volleyball, studying the Bible, volunteering & helping others, learning basic massage, studying chemical engineering, etc. I could go on and on about the different trades I’ve dabbled in, but Master of None is still my label. And I’m trying to be satisfied with that.

PS: Apparently it is difficult to see a 3-inch dropoff in the asphalt when it’s pitch black..probably shouldn’t be moving big bodies with weak ligaments at high rates of speed under those conditions. Note to self. (sprained my ankle pretty good jogging away from the concert at Cochella, and skinned up my left hand (which I’m going to Urgent care to get checked out tomorrow a.m. Better safe than sorry. I’ll spare you the picture on this one too)

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16 years ago

So cool that you were able to make it happen to go to Coachella on such short notice. Sounds like it was a great time. Good to see you in Bakersfield.