From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)
Greetings and welcome to our 20th issue. This was a tough one to complete. The summer has been busy, lots of family commitments, and more review submissions than ever has meant increasing our staff of reviewers. Phewwwww..... where does the time go? But you know... I wouldn't trade it for the world. And I'm really lucky to be in a position where I can pursue my interests during my leisure time.
Looking around at all the shit going down in the world like the suffering of the Afghan people, Palestinian youths who grow up knowing nothing but violence, and even starvation in certain parts of the world... it all makes me realize how truly wealthy I am. I am RICH!! No, I haven't got any money. But how do we measure wealth? Well let's see... I live in a small but comfortable apartment that's amply heated in the Winter and the central air conditioning keeps me cool in the Summer. So I've got the shelter thing covered. Taking a peak in my refridgerator I see that it's packed with food. Nothing fancy, but all nourishing. So I'm well fed. I'm happily married and my step-daughter has two little boys whose lives I'm deeply involved with. So I have companionship. And I have a job that pays a wage that doesn't provide me monetary wealth, but does allow me to pay all my bills and gives me just enough of a surplus to let me to do the things I like to do. And my job rarely exceeds 40 hours a week so I have plenty of leisure time to spend with family and work on personal projects.
So if we have enough money to meet our basic needs, then I'd say that true wealth comes in the form of food, shelter, companionship, and leisure time. And leisure time, for me, is the greatest wealth of all. Leisure time allows me to do personal projects like Aural Innovations. I have the time to read books and listen to music and establish relationships with people that share my interests... things that enrich my life. I can "afford" to "spend" as much time as I do on Aural Innovations because I don't have to worry about feeding, clothing, or housing myself. In that sense I'm obscenely wealthy. I'd take more time in each day over money in a heartbeat.
And when we have leisure time and are reasonably reflective people, then we spend a lot of that time in introspection and being aware of our personal needs. Hell, why do you think therapy is such a thriving business in America. BUT... let us never forget that the daily concerns of much of the world - possibly most of it - are taken up with Survival. Dealing with starvation, oppression, or the horrors of war. Imagine being a teenager in the West Bank or Gaza. Or a family in a country torn by civil war where you suffer abuse from both the rebels and the government soldiers. All of this leads to desperation. And radicalism. And radicalism becomes entrenched when young people grow up knowing nothing but suffering, poverty and oppression. And this is a KEY point to understand. I would never condone acts like the plane hijackings that led to the devastation in New York or the Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel. These actions are absolutely unacceptable. BUT... if we don't understand the mindsets of young people who grow up amidst suffering, and how susceptible they subsequently are to the influence of radicals, there will be no end in sight. Look at the ages of some of those Palestinian suicide bombers. And what about the child soldiers in Africa? I don't have any answers. I just realize how really rich I am.
As usual, a huge thanks must go out to all who contributed to this issue of Aural Innovations. Long time readers will notice Keith Henderson's name is absent. Keith came on board with issue #2 and was an important influence on the magazine particuarly in it's early days. His more critical reviews provided a balance and contrast to my own descriptive "experience of the music" style. Keith is scrambling at the moment to finish up his Phd at Ohio State University and prepare for a move to Switzerland for post doctoral studies. I hope we'll have him back on board once he's settled. Good luck Keith! Deb wants to have you over for a goodbye dinner before you leave.
Roger Neville-Neil (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rashad Salahuddin (email@example.com)
Albert Pollard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Louis Hesselt-van-Dinter (email@example.com)
Scott Heller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Charlie Yuga (email@example.com)
Brian Faulkner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jeff Fitzgerald (email@example.com)
Bret Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ian Compton (email@example.com)
Doug Walker (Dwa2898572@aol.com)