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Myth-of-the-Month Club: No need to PANic.

Play that funky music, goat man.
Play that funky music, goat man.

Pan – the little goat-man, lover of beautiful girls, and chaser of dreams. His presence creates panic in men because of his wild nature, the forces that cannot be controlled, when we lose ourselves to crazy behavior, mob rule, or “herd” mentality. When we act like sheep, Pan is the deity to blame.

PAN was the god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music. He wandered the hills and mountains of Arkadia playing his pan-pipes and chasing Nymphs. His unseen presence aroused feelings of panic in men passing through the remote, lonely places of the wilds.

Maybe that’s why over eons Pan morphed into a devil-like manifestation: from Greek mythology, he changed into something to be feared, a representation of temptation, debauchery, and evil. Mankind versus Nature has been an age-old conflict, and we all know which side Pan is on.

But perhaps Pan doesn’t deserve this reputation. Maybe he was just ‘green’ before everyone else was. He was a funky hippy dude, playing his flutes, hanging out with Mother Nature, and making organic feta cheese to sprinkle on his pita chips. Soap wasn’t his friend, per se, but animal instinct was his middle name. Pan is the free-thinker, the non-conformist, kind to animals, and not intending any harm. He has his share of heartbreak, too. Maybe if he had used a little deodorant…but there was no way to cover up that stink.

The mythos of Pan gave us other personifications of wildness, youth, and nature, not just the devil. We have the charming tale of never wanting to grow up, in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and of course, we all get a little ‘satyr but wiser’ with Phil, the trainer in Disney’s Hercules.


Pan is also featured in one of my favorite authors, Tom Robbins’ novels. But he’s not until you get to college.  Not that anything’s bad, just some more grown-up ideas. Sometimes experience does have its benefits, young ones.

So, when you’re feeling like you need some time to kick back, listen to some music, and just chill, thank your friendly neighborhood Pan for helping you get back in touch with nature. And, don’t forget: reuse, recycle, and reduce!

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Music to Our Ears…

Video: The Guitar Maker

Jack White, Jimmy Page, The Edge
Jack White, Jimmy Page, The Edge

One thing we can all agree on is that we don’t all have to agree – right? Your tastes in music may be very different from mine. But, don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions and assume I only like one type of music. I like a lot of genres of music – everything from The Beatles to Black Eyed Peas, from Mozart to Moby, and everything in between. I put my i-pod on random shuffle and listen to the surprising results. (When did I download that? Oh, this is one of my favorites. This is new! Cool!)

Some music I grew up with when I was a teenager, back when I rode a dinosaur to school and only had three channels, included U-2 and Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin’s heyday began long before I was in high school, but once I heard them, I thought, yeah…this is awesome! In college, when I had a broken heart, I listened to Since I’ve Been Loving You about 1,299 times.

During my senior year a friend of mine, Chris, told me about U-2, telling me it was, and would remain, one of the greatest bands. Ever. Period. I wish I knew where he was today so I could tell him his prediction turned out more than true.

The White Stripes is an acquired taste, but I do like their raw, simplistic sound.

There is a documentary called It Might Get Loud coming out on August 27 that highlights the three main musical talents, geniuses, gurus, whatever title one may wish: Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Jack White, and The Edge of U-2. Yes. The Edge. That’s his name.

So, I’ll be there, front row seat, hoping to get a glimpse inside the hearts and minds of three very talented musicians.

What are you listening to?