The Guitar Is an Instrument of Democracy
Question: What advice\r\nwould you give to someone learning guitar?\r\n\r\n
Josh Ritter: Well, I\r\n think one of the great things about rock 'n' roll and guitar and the \r\nidea of America is that we all have our own unique voices, and I think \r\nthat that’s something that we have very distinctively since we’ve become\r\n a country, that each one of us, our own opinions, are just as important\r\n as the next guy's down the street. And that’s the\r\nsame as guitar. Guitar is not, like,\r\nan instrument that is stuck in a canon, or stuck in a particular form. Blues is this continually evolving\r\nthing. Blues and jazz and rock and country... and\r\n to me, I guess coming out of playing violin, where you had to play\r\nthose things perfectly, you had to play the notes written on the page \r\njust as\r\nthey were written, or you were play wrong. It was\r\n such a freeing thing. And I’ve always embraced \r\nthe idea that my own guitar playing\r\nis very distinctively my own, and whether it’s good or not is beside the\r\npoint. It’s just my own playing\r\nand it evolves, and in some ways it gets better, but it’s always just\r\nmine. And I always thought that\r\nwas cool.\r\n\r\n
So, I guess my advice in that way is to never—don’t\r\n hold\r\nyourself to whatever is on the page. \r\nAnd I feel that way about whenever you are playing someone else’s\r\n songs;\r\nmake it your own by playing it the way you would.\r\n\r\n
Question: What’s the\r\nsecret to successful songwriting?\r\n\r\n
Josh Ritter: I\r\nthink it’s not necessarily like the writing the song part, it’s the \r\nwillingness\r\nto like just survive because it’s like, it’s really—to me I don’t know \r\nwhat I’d\r\ndo if I wasn’t doing this. And I\r\nfeel that it’s perseverance and it’s also self-confidence, and it’s like\r\n very\r\nfew things in my life I have confidence about like I have about\r\nsongwriting. And that doesn’t mean\r\nthat the song is necessarily good, it means that I think it’s good, and I\r\n feel\r\nlike I’ve come—and I’m willing to let the songs that aren’t very good go\r\n by the\r\nwayside because I know I’ll have a song that I do feel that kind of \r\n"Eureka!"\r\nfeeling about.\r\n\r\n
And so, from what I’ve seen in 10 years of playing \r\nmusic,\r\nit’s a complete mystery to me what somebody else is going to like. You know, the song that I think is just\r\na great song, or friends of mine who have like a great song, and never \r\nget out\r\nof their bedroom with it. That has\r\nnever made sense to me. And also,\r\nyou know, people who come out and are successful that I think, I don’t\r\nunderstand why. There’s no way to know\r\nthose things. So, I think that\r\neverybody starts out playing music because they love it and if you’re \r\nlucky you\r\nget the chance to keep on doing it because you love it, but I think that\r\nthat’s... I have no idea why. It’s a\r\nmystery.
Recorded April 5, 2010
Interviewed by Austin \r\nAllen
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Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"
- A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
- Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
- Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
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