Thoughts, Opinions, Gripes, and Grievances


Kian Pfannenstiel, Writer

First and foremost, I have stopped working on the phonetic alphabet because, as it turns out, we already have one that is much more comprehensive than mine would have been, we just don’t use it. My opinion on this matter is similar to what I thought while I was developing my own alphabet: we should use the phonetic one, not our current one. It’s called the International Phonetic Alphabet, and if you want to know more about it, it is linked here.

I have a few other things to say, of course. I’ve only once used the alphabet as a full article. First of the ideas I have to say is that we need a Woodstock III. In the ’60s, there was a concert called Woodstock, taking place on a farm in Woodstock, New York. It was the biggest musical event of the century. There were thousands of people there, and many, many performers. The event lasted three days. In 1994, there was a second Woodstock to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the legendary musical event. It has been another 25 years, but there is no Woodstock III to continue the should-be tradition. If we were to have a Woodstock III, we’d need to attempt to build the same kind of crowd. Music of every genre and subgenre imaginable. We’d need big bands (of course) but also smaller bands (imagine if your rock band got its start from opening for Disturbed or Avenged Sevenfold, or your pop career began by opening for Adele). This would be the musical event of the century, just like Woodstock was for the 1900’s. Old bands and new bands alike. Classical and modern music. The glory of such an event would be insurmountable.

Now for a hard change of topic. If you happened to see this on Facebook, that’s because I wrote it there first.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of discussions with people about religion. Not what they believe, but why they believe it. I’ve gotten a lot of responses, but my favorite thus far has been “well… Well, the universe definitely wasn’t started by the big bang. That didn’t happen. No way.” The reason I like this one so much is simple: their first example of what wasn’t believable was entirely based on the creation myth (a phrase I’ll touch on later). It’s funny, I think, because her example of what her faith (Christianity, if you hadn’t guessed) believed as absolutely true was originally written allegorically, hypothetically by Hebrews before they were taken over the first time. The story of Adam and Eve is probably a story about exile, a sentiment that I am sure most Jews, if not limited to Hebrews, can relate to. I’m not, to be clear, stating what Jews believe; I am not an expert on their religion or its subsets.

Now onto the phrase “myth,” and, more accurately, it’s relationship to “religion.” What I’ve noticed is simple: “myth” refers to a faith that someone will get upset at the notion of it being called a myth. I thought, initially, the difference might be in it’s following. For instance, the Greek mythos (Hellenism), is called “mythology” and the Hindu mythos is called “religion,” and I thought if I asked someone what the difference between Hellenism and Hinduism is, they might answer that Hellenism isn’t believed by anyone anymore, it’s a dead religion while Hinduism is believed by 80% of all Indians. The problem with this belief is that it isn’t true. There are still people who believe and practice Hellenism. It’s now called Hellenistic Revivalism, which is a form of Neopaganism. So, if “myth” status isn’t determined by whether people believe it or not, what is it determined by? My rhetorical question has one answer that I know; a religion is determined a religion by the fact that people want it to not be called a mythology.

As always (though I’ve never outright said it, I always hope it’s assumed), you are welcome to contest anything I said, as long as a respectful dialogue is maintained. I always like to think of these in the same manner one ought approach philosophy: dialogue on topics of interest to come to the most true conclusion.