Jeff Carl.
June 29, 2008
  a big one? Well, in 30 minutes, I'm turning 18. I suppose people may be expecting some majorly contemplative entry in regards to life's ever-changing years and progressions, spawning nothing but regret and nostalgia.

Wrong. Yes, I'm glad I'm turning 18, and yes, there are memories and fears and whatever in my head, but honestly, this year I'm going to do something different.

I'm going to be simple. I'm to the age now where I could care less about expecting gifts. I'm just happy to be alive and well and part of a family that's so amazing, in a circle of friends that's so incredible, and servant to a glorious God who never ceases to amaze me.

What more could I ever want? So here I come, life.

-Jeff Carl

I heard some quote today about how the deepest thoughts usually come from the most simplistic of minds. That's what I want to strive for. 
June 25, 2008
  Bad music or jealousy? Critics' attitudes bug me. My disclaimer to that statement is this: CriticISM is good (specifically constructive criticism), but I can't stand when people judge things too much. What I'm thinking about now is with music, but I guess it could be applied to movies, musicals, art, etc... I just can't stand when people get so hateful towards an artist.

Case in point: Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, and the likes.

Now, I know with even mentioning those names, people are already cringing. That's my point. As fully aware as I am with the fact that Disney is out to make a lot of money, tween culture rules the lives of today's young generation, etc, it doesn't change the fact that there are lives involved. The other disclaimer of mine is this: I don't love everything that Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers put out. Part of me is baffled by the Hannah Montana Revolution and the JB Fanaticism. It can bug me at times, sure, but I'm never going to personally bash them because of their career choice.

Ok, reason for this rant is this. I went on to iTunes to check the new music for the week, and I saw that Jonas Brothers had a new song out ("Burnin' Up"). I listened to the preview, liked it, and I bought it. I saw that there were already over 2,000 reviews. I was interested to see some of the reviews. I also saw that Hannah Montana had a new single out recently (I haven't bought it), but I read the reviews for her "7 Things" song (almost 4,000 reviews already... crazy). Both had obvious positives from their fans, but I was specifically looking for the bad ones and was amazed by what I found.

"Their voices are soooo fake. They are just enhanced, the song writing is horrible, and it lacks any depth." (in regards to JB)

"This is awful. What is the world coming to when Disney teen acts rule the charts. These guys will be laughed at in a few years, and no one will know who they are. First Hannah Montana... then THIS? Bad song. Two of these guys are way to old to be doing stuff like this. Why do parents let their kids listen to this awful music. Please do not buy this!" (in regards to JB)

"She's awful. She can't sing. This is such a waste of money." (in regards to Miley Cyrus)

"Ok, Miley. Here's some unsolicited advice: DON'T SING!!! Your voice sounds manly and very, very wrong for this kind of music...." (in regards to Miley Cyrus)

"....her voice sounds like a pig...." (in regards to Miley Cyrus)

I could go on, but you get the picture. I don't know what I can't stand more... the fact that these people have no sense of understood appreciation or that they don't realize themselves how stupid they sound. I realize that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I don't think it's fair when it digs deeper than what they're supposedly referring to. Maybe you don't like someone's song, but you don't say things like, "she sounds like a pig." That's just immature.

I don't understand what peoples' issues are with Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers are. It seems like it should be a simple equation: If someone's music isn't your style, don't listen to it. Simple as that. Not a big deal. So WHAT is the issue? Maybe it's that they're under the Disney umbrella, so people just figure that they "floated to the top" as opposed to working for it, or they got famous because they're rich or because their daddy's already in the industry. My reply to that is WHO CARES? Regardless of the fact that HM or JB are money making, cookie cutter, pitch-corrected (like everybody else), Disneyesque, etc... it doesn't take away from the fact that Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, and Joe Jonas are human beings with dreams just like you and me.

So honestly, people, what's bugging you more... the fact that their music isn't necessarily your personal style, or is it that they "easily" floated to the top of the charts while we're sitting here complaining about who had the last of the leftover chocolate cake? They got off their butts and followed their dreams, one way or another, and are living the life of their dreams. Who are we to take personal attacks on them, even if their music is enhanced, cookie cutter, and whatever. Obviously they're doing something right, because they've reached their target audience instantly. I mean, how many national tours have sold out in less than five minutes before? And how easy is it to have four songs simultaneously on the iTunes top 10 list? I could keep going, but I guess what I'm trying to get across is simple. Think before you just go and bash someone personally, without taking it account that they are human beings who've worked hard and maybe just maybe deserve all the success and attention they're getting. Not to mention the tens of millions of kids that are having a great time listening to their music all over the world instead of listening to other types of music that deal only with violence, drugs, sex, etc. Give them a break, people.

ptsh... I know if I had the option, I'd love to be living their schedule right now. 
June 20, 2008
  *chuckle* You know... just when the details of every day life start to nag at you and get you down, it's so awesome when all that just gets shattered to pieces. I so easily get down on myself or lose hope, but then I'm just reminded in so many subtle and different ways that I matter and that my dreams aren't worthless. I guess what I'm beginning to realize is that it's not even my dreams that are specifically what matter, but just that I never ever stop fighting for them. That's what matters.

I've said it before. The instant you give up on yourself is the moment that you die. Maybe not physically... but emotionally. I will not become yet another hopeless, apathetic, self-pitying dreamer that only wishes upon the stars. I will fight forward so that I can not just make a difference or hope for change. I want to be a difference and be a change.

The big picture. The bird's eyes view. That's all it takes. I could live a lifetime and only have a positive effect on one person, but it's worth it. I won't be remembered for giving up. I won't. 
June 09, 2008
  Ronald Jenkees... holy crap hero.  
June 06, 2008
  Oh, to be a Carl. Well, life is an adventure, that's for sure, and my family is right in the middle of it. Much prayer would be appreciated by all of my family members, as God is really working on us. Trial after trial, he's proven faithful, but within the last year, there has not been much room to take a breath. Doctors only refer to the physical, but it is clear that there is some very serious spiritual warfare going on right now. Satan is trying to destroy my family. It's a curse, but it's also a compliment. Not to mention, he's failing. The opposite of his goal is happening, and our family is actually being united and brought closer together by these events. Satan hasn't won yet. There have been some recent developments lately that are very serious, and none of us know quite what's going on... YET. Answers are hopefully on the way, but... just.... pray. Thanks.

-Jeff CARL (proud to be one) 

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