Wednesday, January 23, 2019

We Are The....... Hey, Who's That Guy?

What a generation knows is often lost to the next! This is from January 31, 2015.

I show a video clip in class every day to cement a teaching or hit a nerve or provoke some thought. I often use those that illustrate human kindness. For example, on Thursday, I showed a short video of the Lipscomb University baseball team building a field in Dominican Republic, the same impoverished village that is home to Bartolo Colon. (See link below if interested!) A day before, we watched the We Are The World/USA For Africa clip, thirty years to the day after it was recorded. I gave a bit of background, how it was used to raise funds as well as awareness of the drought/famine/need in Africa in the mid 1980s. I also revealed how I portrayed Bruce Springsteen in an impromptu recreation at Lipscomb's basketball camp that summer. (FYI- Bob Ford was Stevie Wonder.) I even did my impersonation of Springsteen for my 8th graders- they were incredulous but after watching agreed I nailed it. As we started in each class, I would ask the identity of the soloists as they appeared. They all knew Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, Dionne Warwick and Cyndi Lauper. Many identified Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers, you know the guy on the new GEICO commercial. But when Bob Dylan's face showed up on the screen, all were stumped. As far as I know, not one of them recognized the singer/songwriter who for many was the face of a generation and the voice for social change in America. They were aghast at his voice. (Amy, one of my 8th graders, made an astute point. She commented that all of the singers had interesting, distinguishable, and unique voices and bemoaned that you can hardly tell one singer from another these days on the radio.) But then again, they've never heard Blowin' In The Wind or A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall or It Ain't Me, Babe or Like A Rolling Stone or I Want You or................... And from my perspective, they missed out.

This really isn't about whether some teenagers could pick Paul Simon, Kenny Loggins, Al Jarreau, etc out of a thirty year old film. But it does cement to me the principle that each generation does not automatically acquire the knowledge of its predecessor. I'm amazed with how many of my students who are bright and will excel in college are in the dark of what I consider to be common knowledge. Several days ago, I asked a class of high school kids if they knew Alex Haley- blank stares. I mentioned Roots and they knew the book but could not place the author. Maybe my teachers had the same concerns for me and maybe my folks did as well. But we all have GOOGLE now to bail us out so maybe it isn't that big a deal. But what is a deal is passing on faith. I don't mean shoving it down the throat of your offspring but exposing your children to the teachings of God, to model the life of Christ in the home, to pray and sing songs about the Bible, is a must. Many of our kids have received that blessing. Many, notably those from other nations, have not. That makes my job crucial. They can get by without knowing that Bob Dylan's birth name is Robert Zimmerman but they need to know about spiritual rebirth. You know, 
We are the world,
We are the children....of God.

Applicable quote of the day:
If I wasn't Bob Dylan, I'd probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself.

Bob Dylan

God bless,
Steve (formerly known as The Boss)
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

To watch the terrific Lipscomb baseball clip, copy and paste the link below:

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