Here are a couple of things from this past weekend that I neglected to mention in my previous post:
On Saturday when we were in Milwaukee, we lost the satellite radio station (“Soul Town”), so I switched to the local hip hop station. Travalon noted with some surprise that the music, while still not his taste, was much better than the music our local “hip hop” station plays. I said that was because the Milwaukee station plays true hip hop, while our local station plays a lot of terrible pop music masquerading as hip hop, such as Post Malone. Maybe this is because in Milwaukee they figure there is a big enough fan base for true hip hop, while here in Madison the main market for their station is a bunch of wealthy white teens.
On Sunday Travalon stumbled across a documentary featuring Michael Palin of Monty Python fame traveling to North Korea. I was very curious, so I watched it with him. The people seemed very normal, just people going about their day, but the place seemed really creepy. The thing that weirded me out most of all was how in Pyongyang music started playing downtown at 5 am and played for several hours. You could hear it out Palin’s hotel window, and it was loud. I was trying to describe this last night to Rich and Luxuli before choir practice, and it was hard to say what exactly was so creepy. The music was aesthetically pleasing, a very Oriental-sounding tune that was instrumental but apparently had words about how great the Dear Leader is. I said the only other places that had creeped me out so much were the Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and the whole city of Seattle. So… I am going out on a limb here, but maybe what creeps me out so much is anything where someone other than God is being worshiped. In North Korea, it’s the memory of the Dear Leader. I am not sure what to say it is in Salt Lake City, but I will note that I had the opposite reaction to mosques in Istanbul, for what that’s worth. And in Seattle, it could be that they worship the individual. It seems like a place lacking in any concept of the transcendent.