Definition: Myopia Theory

Myopia Theory

Theorizes that when under influence of enough alcohol, the here and now is not only what matters most to you, but also influences what matters to you. That is, you don’t think much about the future and potential consequences, but that also in not thinking, you let your environment determine how you act and feel such that you experience very different things under the same influence if in a quiet bar by yourself versus a crowded and rowdy frat party.

 

More formally…

A cognitive-physiological theory on alcohol abuse in which many of alcohol’s social and stress-reducing effects, which may underlie its addictive capacity, are explained as a consequence of alcohol’s narrowing of perceptual and cognitive functioning.

 

The first explanation is a lot easier to understand, in my opinion. I got it from Malcolm Gladwell in this podcast episode below, talking with Oprah Winfrey.

 

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Favourite Songs I Heard for the First Time in 2009

What were your favourite pieces of music that you heard for the first time last year?

I don’t necessarily mean music that came out last year, just that you heard it for the first time last year because it was new to you. If you care to share, you can put it in the comments following the post. I’d love to know to expand my musical horizons.

Below are a list of favourite songs I heard for the first time in 2009, enough that would fit on CD were I to have made one. Most were from musicals as I really got into them in 2009 after my classic jazz year in 2008. A few were one-off takes on television events, though, so I’ll start with one that was both. It was available on YouTube like most of my selections so I have included the videos to have the music right here for you. I also linked the songs to blog posts I did inspired by them, where I did one.

Someone Like You

from Jekyll & Hyde
Linda Eder & Frank Wildhorn on 2000 PBS Special
Linda Eder delivers a loving performance of this gorgeous song with touching lyrics, accompanied by husband Frank Wildhorn, who had composed the song. (blog post)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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If You Were Gay

from Avenue Q
Rick Lyon and John Tartaglia

Love and humour, not just in song but also video spoof. (blog post)

The Internet is for Porn

from Avenue Q
Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Rick Lyon & the Guys
Possibly the funniest song I have ever heard! (blog post)

Mix Tape

from Avenue Q
Stephanie D’Abruzzo and John Tartaglia

A song that dragged my emotions up and down, enhanced by Stephanie’s nuances of acting while singing this song. (blog post)

As Long as You’re Mine

from Wicked
Idina Menzel and Norbert Leo Butz
An often overlooked song from Wicked that I only heard once I saw the musical, rather than hearing the more popular songs from it. However, I loved it immediately, especially the soft-spoken ending.

Academy Awards 2009 Introduction

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway
This number was both brilliant and unexpected in being clever, funny and spectacularly performed. My intro to the full talents of Hugh Jackman. (blog post)

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Monologue Song

from Saturday Night Live November 7, 2009
Taylor Swift

How to trash everybody you want to with class and humour while being really cute about it. (blog post)

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Dark Eyes

by Bob Dylan
Judy Collins
Judy Collins gives this sad Dylan song a haunting rendition. (blog post)

Better Angels

Lesley Gore
The original It’s My Party girl seriously grows up with this beautiful tune I first heard on CSI Miami (compilation video of episode shown below).

I Got a Feeling

Black Eyed Peas
Just an awesome dance song, ’nuff said cause I’m getting dancing! Best 2009 song in my opinion. (I chose the flash mob version shown on Oprah for the video cause it’s also so awesome!)

Wake-up

The Arcade Fire
I heard this song via the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are and thought they had made a pretty good choice for a theme song.

The Closest Thing to Crazy

by Mike Batt
Katie Melua
Pretty much describes what feeling in love feels like to me. (blog post)

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

Gayla Peevey
I heard it on a Telus commercial and loved it immediately, a bit surprised I had never heard this 1950s seasonal classic until now. (blog post)

You’ve Gotta Have a Gimmick

from There’s No Business Like Show Business
Bernadette Peters, Julia McKenzie, Ruthie Henshall
This is probably the ultimate example of my claim that girls have all the fun songs in musicals, and the video only emphasizes the point.

Married

from Cabaret
Ron Rifkin, Michelle Pawk
A charming little song about marriage. A compact version is shown below.

Mystery

performed on the show Inside the Actor’s Studio
Hugh Laurie
A hilarious and charming example of how lyric writing sometimes feels like to me, trying to find desperate rhymes and more desperate words that conform with desperate rhymes. (blog post)

Love, Look in my Window

from Hello Dolly!
Ethel Merman

There isn’t a video for this one but the piece was written for Ethel Merman when she joined Hello Dolly! If you hear her perform it with the emotions she does, you’ll know why it was written for her. I can hardly keep from crying at points in it. Probably good I don’t have the music for that reason!

Aren’t You Glad Joe Biden is Vice-president and not Secretary of State Given his Gaffes?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice-president Joe Biden

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice-president Joe Biden

It was just a matter of time before “shoot from the lip” US Vice-president Joe Biden would commit his first public gaffe. It just took V-prez 101 days into the term to do so, longer than most Vegas bookies would probably have given him credit for.

This gaffe isn’t all that bad, though. When asked on NBC’s Today show for advice he’d give to family members considering flying to Mexico in light of the swine flu situation, the Vice-president said

“I would tell members of my family – and I have – I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico. It’s you’re in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft.”
(Yahoo! News)

The Vice-president also added he wouldn’t suggest that his family members ride the subway either. Basically, Joe was implying no air or subway travel, although I’m not sure how many interpreted that as such.

Just an hour an a half later, the Washington government spin machines were in full motion trying to “reinterpret” that statement, saying things like

“The advice he is giving family members is the same advice the administration is giving to all Americans: that they should avoid unnecessary air travel to and from Mexico. If they are sick, they should avoid airplanes and other confined public spaces, such as subways.”

Well, whatever. I’m surprise people were making a big fuss of such a thing in the first place, but they did. The Centre for Disease Control had to issue statement it did not recommend avoiding air travel. The airline industry was not amused, and so on. However, let me ask you this regarding Joe Biden and his gaffes that’s going to present throughout this presidency. Given how sensitive things are politically around the world at what American leaders say, reinforcing the well-known ignorance Americans have so plenty of, aren’t you glad Joe Biden is Vice-president instead of Secretary of State that deals with other nations around the world?

The story of that decision offer came from another well-known loose lips Biden gaffe, though not Joe’s but rather his wife Jill, on the Oprah Winfrey show on January 19 2009. Reference 1:40 into the video below.

Supposedly, President Barack Obama went to Joe Biden with the offer of being Secretary of State or Vice-president. But because Jill speculated Joe wouldn’t be home much as Secretary of State, a diplomat to the world, he and Jill decided he should take the Vice-presidential role. Hillary Rodham Clinton, of course, the very diplomatic and politically articulate Hillary Clinton, became Secretary of State.

But can you imagine if Biden took the Secretary of State post? I mean, sure, he’s got international experience, but not in the spotlight like Secretary of State! If he can’t get his English straight, can you imagine what he might do with foreign names and titles? He could well mistaken the Pakistani capital of Islamabad as Islamisbad in an interview one day, or call Jilalabad in Afghanistan as Jilajihad. He might refer to Muslims as Islams, confused Barack Osama with Obama bin Laden. He might let on a few secrets in negotiations, break a few cultural customs, etc. There are so many things he could goof and you know there’d be major consequences. At least in America, they just chill and let him be and move on. Do some of those things I said he might, or probably worse, and we’ve got some other serious image problems, or worse, that will plague the United States.

Personally, I’m so glad Joe had Jill’s insight to help him choose the Vice-presidency, cause I wouldn’t trust Joe Biden to any job containing the word “secret” in its title.

And amen to world traveler Hillary as choice of Secretary of State!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 10.2

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