One of the music reviewers online whose videos I enjoy–there are quite a few–is named Anthony Fantano, who claims himself to be the Internet’s busiest music nerd . Some time ago a magazine wrote a hack job on him that falsely claimed that he was making videos in order to appeal to the white nationalist alt right , which is completely untrue as he tends to be a fairly notable Progressive in terms of his own political opinions, which he makes clear from time to time when he talks about his more serious opinion pieces. Although I happen to be generally hostile to Progressive politics, and therefore have much to disagree about with Mr. Fantano, I find it abhorrent that he had a speaking tour canceled because a libelous article managed to stir up a great deal of unrest on the part of venues as well as his booking agent, forcing him to lie low at present and wait for the storm to calm down before he is able to try again at doing a speaking tour as a comedian and public figure.
Earlier today, a young man in our local congregation sent me a message asking for a favor, and it ended up being that he needed someone to take his place leading songs tomorrow at services in our congregation because he was going to be with his family in a neighboring congregation. I had no problem agreeing to the request, and when I saw what songs he had picked out I thought that they would be fine to lead before the congregation as a pinch hitter of sorts while he encouraged his maternal grandmother. Later on this evening I got a call from one of our deacons asking if the songleader had gotten in touch with me and I was able to report that his wife (the pianist scheduled for tomorrow) will be able to practice the songs that were on the website. Now I just have to find some people to give the opening and closing prayer. I hope my fellow brethren don’t get bored of seeing me on the stage. As it happens, while I was discussing the songleading for tomorrow I was also arranging to sing with a combined choir in about three weeks for the memorial of the grandfather of the young man who asked me to take his place this week as a songleader.
Recently the cooperation between different secession movements has been something of interest to me, and although in general I am in favor of secession movements on the part of peoples with a recognizable culture and a lengthy history of oppression in tyrannical and/or failed states, I must admit the international community as a general rule is not very fond of those areas which buck the status quo and which want to redraw the maps of the world. In both Iraqi Kurdistan and Catalonia , we have seen a marked phenomenon where separatists have taken the high road, at least as far as the international community and those who could be judged as sympathetic to their cause while both of the nations involved (Iraq and Spain) in trying to resist separatism have failed badly in presenting themselves as nations that any restive region wants to be a part of. It is striking to see rebels take the high road and those authorities that consider themselves to be legitimate taking the low road so painfully obviously.
Indeed, in life we often find ourselves caught between taking the high road and taking the low road. It can be easy to forget when there is something that we feel needs to be done, or alternatively, needs to be prevented from happening that we are dealing with other people with whom we can expect a great many interactions in the future. The short-term gains we get from taking the low road often end up backfiring in the long run when we find that we have a lot to look forward to in dealing with others who are less likely to want to do anything with those who have been unkind before, or, in contrary, are more inclined to deal with someone who has been gracious and honorable and generous in their dealings. The choice is ours to make, in so many areas of life. Do we choose the short-term ease or do we take the time and effort to build something that can last?
 See, for example:
 See, for example:
 See, for example: