TS10: The Problem

Just recently, I heard a preacher speak on the New Testament book of James. He spoke with passion as he implored the audience to gain perspective, to see things from the proper viewpoint. During his discussion, he referred to a newspaper editorial from years ago in which the paper asked its readers to define what was wrong with the world. Things felt amiss. Something was wrong and the paper wanted to know what the problem was.

Renowned theologian G. K. Chesterton apparently sent an answer to that question. His response was simply “I am.” From what I understand, Chesterton was a good man and his writings have impacted lots of people. However, when considering the malaise hanging over the world, he saw himself as the cause. He was the problem. And so am I. And so are you.

Racism exists because we let it (and sometimes we facilitate it). Same with sexism, senseless gun violence, police brutality, and on and on and on. I am the problem. You are the problem.

While that seems heavy (and it is), that concept is also laced with hope. If the problem is in me, I can do something about it. I can’t control what anyone else will do. But, I can do something about the hideous stuff that lives in me.


WARNING: This playlist contains some intense language here and there.

Artist Focus, Poignant Songs

2015 Tomme Suab Song of the Year: “Raising the Skate” by Speedy Ortiz


A couple of years ago, a friend of mine told me about a band called Speedy Ortiz. I checked them out on Spotify, liked them right away, and then proceeded to (basically) forget them. That is, until this year…

Early in 2015, I downloaded a compilation album from artists who would be playing at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky later in the year. One of the tracks was Raising the Skate by Speedy Ortiz. I was immediately in love. It’s funky, sassy, and provocative. Easily my favorite line is from the chorus: I’m not bossy; I’m the boss. Talk about setting a tone… And that tone is pervasive throughout Raising the Skate.

No matter how many times I’ve listened to this song, I keep going back to it and it still makes me giggle every time. So, I’m pleased to name Raising the Skate by Speedy Ortiz as the 2015 Tomme Suab Song of the Year.