Music

I’m an ‘outside in’ musician. Before I ever played, I fell in love with music. I soaked it up. I had freed music from it’s external abode so it could come out of me.

I love all sorts of music. One of my favorite past times is sitting at the computer, doing work (or playing around,) and having my musical library on random. Hard to soft, classical to eclectic, jazz to metal. It is all vital. It is all good.

There isn’t a musical genre I dislike. Sure, I have favorites. There are categories which are sparse, or even non-existent. But I have yet to hear a genre which repelled my sensibilities categorically. I understand there is music designed to do just that, but I often love it for that very reason.

I relate to the world in musical terms. There are chords, chord changes, varying rhythms and textures. Some of it is intense and in your face. Other parts are barely discernible, and go by unnoticed. With life you can’t just back it up and hear it again. You snooze you lose. If you don’t appreciate life as it happens, you can’t go back. The music keeps moving.

Some life is dissonant. Minor chords abound. Simplicity is often best, and most beautiful.

But it is really about the truth of music. It can’t be nailed down. You can’t ‘freeze frame’ music. Music is motion. Life is motion.

The best parts of life are appreciated by few people. Popular life is BS. Many people will claim to enjoy things, but few people understand the things they claim to enjoy. Truth, though hidden right in the fabric, can often deceive.

Here’s my secret admission: I enjoy having access to multiple audio sources. In the privacy of my own little office, I will start 6 pieces of music simultaneously. I then limit the scope of music to a single elongated song, in some cases, or set timers in others. The random music from the computer would be the constant, and one final musical piece will prevail as the soul source – – after about a half hour. 6 becomes 5, then 4, 3, 2… those two would mix for a while until the lone musical number will play out in what suddenly seems an immensely structured form, regardless of genre.

Music needs to breathe. I find ‘stuffing up music’s congestive cracks’ to be an enjoyable mental exercise, and one that no two people would hear the same way. As it finally pairs down to a single piece, music is once again allowed to breathe. Like the allergies which give us headaches from our inability to breathe, the lone piece becomes a breath of fresh air.

(So is silence.)

Does it Track?

The government needs more power.

If the government had more power, then they would be able to work EVEN MORE magic than they already do. A smaller government would decrease their power to give us all this fabulousity.

Size is so important to Our Government as to be omnipotent. There is a war on. That means we need a military. We need to protect ourself against the enemy. The enemy is called ‘terrorism’. Since our enemy has neither a face nor a place, military spending must be unlimited. That is the only way to ever rid the world of all the evil that just might be coming out of your neighbor’s stereo system at this very moment.

Healthcare: Since everyone needs healthcare, the government simply needs to increase spending in order to regulate more insurance (thereby creating more pharmaceutical outlets) enabling everyone to be on drugs: If you are 5 and figity, you are ADD. Ritilin or some other wonderful drug for children will be put into the General Consensus Soup, spilling out onto our playgrounds and coursing through our public school systems. This will eventually create a need for psychiatrists at every school, justifying even still yet more money for bigger government.

The bigger, better – new and improved – larger government is welcomed as an increased benefit for taxpayers. The monstrous vats and coffers required to pool, skim, and subsidize our increased needs are demanded by the voters.

Here’s the sales pitch: Until the government gets close to 90% of all the wealth in this country, it will just not be able to operate properly. (And I have only begun to touch on some of the expensive stuff.)

Is it just us, or is this Government tailor-made for an ailing country?

People are as healthy as they are un-medicated. Whenever pharmaceuticals increase, populations become less healthy. The current healthcare system is to thank for our medication dependence and subsequent decrease in overall health.

Not to be outdone, our government wants a piece of the action.

Enter: Obamacare. Once this kicks in, more and more medicated people from all walks of life will be wandering aimlessly in hospital corridors waiting to be given their latest prescription, enabling the pharmaceutical company profits to skyrocket even further. The moment Obamacare reduces pharmaceutical use in the USA, I will bow, and insist everyone else does the same.

Any idea needs to follow a line of reasoning which makes sense throughout. Ideas need to ‘track’. For example: if you go to the doctor and you are healthy, you don’t come away with a prescription do you? Imagine your doctor saying: “Hey, everything is great. Just fantastic! I am going to put you on these meds… just to make sure that doesn’t change.”

Does it track: Does this seem to track with your experience? How many people do you know who are on one med, and one ONLY? The argument that ‘we are living longer’ is paid for by the system that administers these drugs. Yes we are living longer, but – – is that really because of all the 90-somethings scoffing down 17 prescriptions a day?

Increasing the time before life expires does not increase the life modern medicine has managed to sustain.

The internet is fabulous for those who use it properly. However, what is ‘proper’ is completely unregulated by government. Am I the only one who believes hard-core pornography shouldn’t be instantaneously accessible to anyone with internet access? The Government has done nothing to crack down on free internet pornography, but not to worry: they do keep tabs on all we do here.

While I can’t fathom the internet was invented to allow the government to keep tabs on all of us, what a spectacularly invasive Governmental Glom! Henry Ford never created the automobile with the idea of restricting our freedom, but that is what a ‘motor vehicle’ does. Unregistered ‘freedom’ likely results in large financial penalties, or even jail time. Any perceived freedom comes at a cost far greater than your registration, or the gas at the pump, or the plane ticket.

In the 21st century, your movement costs you your freedom.

Our government doesn’t need to design invasive entities. They need only to regulate the inventions. This allows their Orwellian Fingers to grope every skin-tag in our lives. You can’t buy your way out, either. The more money you have, the more invasive technology pervades your life. Poor people are just too damn hard to track. Why do you suppose that is?

ABORT THE MISSION: The abortion issue is easy if you don’t care about life. I think parents should have the right to abort their child when they are in Middle School: “Sorry, son. Your mother and I have been reevaluating. On second thought, forget your mother… I have been reevaluating.”

Look at the News: Fox News gets a bad rap. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, and all the other forms of information gleaned from a source called ‘media’ are controlled by the same corporations. As a result, news programs are largely responsible for dumbing down America. Interestingly, the most reliable source of information is the internet – – which (overall) has a lower reliability than the media outlets. (It’s a quantity thing).

Behind the scenes, our Democratic President is mucking up our country.

‘Say one thing, do another,’ is the battlecry of politics. ‘The people will fight our battles for us. We can just sit here in Washington lapping up champange with the opposing party.’ True partisanship is in the college electorate. A candidates speech defines their beliefs as much as William Shatner’s world view is defined by the words he uttered on Star Trek.

Before you pull the levers, do some research. I am not talking about the issues themselves. The issues are just ‘talking points’ designed to make the pavlovian electorate drool with common conviction. Real research comes from finding the funding filling the campaign trail coffers. You can’t be The American Cancer Society and have a great deal of funding come from Philip Morris… can you?

I like Ron Paul, but this is his swan song. The enormous funding sources aren’t interested in someone they can’t control. He means what he says, and nobody is going to fund that disaster. Where does his campaign money come from? (Hint: it’s not Big Business.)

The words spoken by politicians don’t reflect who they are, and what they believe. Politicians on the campaign trail only utter what they believe will get the vote. Why else would every elected president be full of promises which pop like bubble wrap? A few years later they hold up their tattered bubble-wrapped promises, and point to the two (intact) bubbles – the promises kept – stating, “I keep my promises.” While farcical, it rings of truth, right at election time. (Ain’t that a coincidence?)

Ayn Rand. George Carlin. Frank Zappa. They were the last of the true free thinkers. I don’t know of anyone alive who gives me confidence in the future of our society. America has become a sloth of sedentary beings – operating on pre-packaged ideas – fueled, funneled and funded by the government.

Happy voting!

Scientific Proof of The Virgin Birth

The Virgin Birth is a governmentally sponsored program, taught in public schools.

I’m not kidding.

It isn’t just viable, it is a done deal. Scientific FACT, as it were.

Though we are told it is both theory and fact, the theory has more holes than the human body has pores. Everything enters through these pores, yet the one organism which takes in the information is led astray by The Science of Theory.

I used to sit firmly on the other side of this debate. Unfortunately, I don’t lean with a political party. This leaves me to fend for myself when it comes to the daunting task of thinking. Ultimately, we are all experts in the realm of experiencing our own lives.

The scientific explanation of organic matter evolving from nothingness just doesn’t sit well with me. Perhaps it is because entropic origins mutating into highly structured cells and organisms hasn’t been explained in a manner which my wanton feeble mindedness can easily approach. However, all is not lost.

I may yet evolve into a being capable of processing such ‘proven’ processes.

Is it possible the origin of life and the origin of species are unrelated?

There must be instances – scientifically reliable data – which proves this happened before and/or since, no?

Because ‘the origin of the species’ doesn’t explain the origin of ALL species, Darwinian evolution throws scientific method in the middle of a ‘random chance’ argument by example.

Science purports:

1.) Thermodynamics is scientifically sound.
2.) The Big Bang is scientifically sound
3.) Evolution is scientifically sound.
#1 doesn’t rule out #3. #2 gives it some problems, but doesn’t rule it out. However, #1 and #2 seem incompatible, since energy must come from somewhere.

The Resurrection is not disputed by evolutionary theory. In fact, it is like sparklers on the 4th of July. Christ rising from the dead pales in comparison to Darwinian science: a virgin cell formed, (parentless,) from nothing.

Every distinct life-form spawned from the self-procreating Virgin Cell on a lifeless planet.

Thankfully, our taxpaying dollars educate our youth that The Virgin Birth is FACT.

(BANG!)

More than love

Is love ever stranded?

The recent trial of Casey Anthony created a brand-new parenting conundrum: How many weeks should pass before you face the realization your 2 year old just isn’t coming home? During the investigation into your missing child, are you justified in lying to the police? Finally, are the tatoos on Tommy Lee more obscure than the parental neglect of Casey Anthony?

Parents do for their children, out of love. While it can be a singular gesture, it is always interactive. Love is never an oasis.

When thay are young, we love, nurture and protect our children. This same love sends them out into the world to face all of it’s challenges, and danger, when they get older.

Protection – like a credit card – has it’s limits. Despite the fancy newfangled pop-psych phraseology, overprotection isn’t loving too much, it is protecting the wrong thing. As parents, we need to protect our children from danger. When they get older, we need to protect them from reliance upon us.

If this is supposed to be easy, let me know. I must have missed the single-cell stage and went straight to the multiplex cinematic version in 3d with magic fingers and sensurround.

As a word, love never sits there. You can look at it, roll your eyes, and view it like a bed of moss: far too soft for stable travel. Conversely, your eyes might well up. Then it is you who is too mushy for travel.

Many say God is love. There is nothing in the natural world which would negate this. Since love cannot ever be stranded, we are an extension of God’s love. The first law of Thermodynamics is merely love interacting with science. Big-Bang Evolution claims existance sparked life. What else could it be?

Love needs embrace.

In order to have a beginning, something needs to begin spinning upon an axis, if only in the cosmos. It needs to move, live, breathe… love. Dogs can’t do science, but they must love. Dog owners feel what non-owners can’t begin to comprehend. You can never give to your dog what the dog gives to you, unconditionally. When ‘Spot’ starts putting spots on the carpet, we say, “What did you do?” We watch with amusement as the canine ears recede, the head goes down, and they shamefully acknowledge our displeasure.

At the end of a repulsive day, our dog never greets us saying, “What did you do?”

Unconditional love is boundless, even when it bounds towards our pristine fibers at the end of our less than pristine day.

Unconditional love is the lesson of parenting. My daughter just squeaked past her 11th Birthday. There is nothing she can do which would make me stop loving her. At times I wish she wasn’t aware of this, for me thinketh she takes advantage herewith.

Rapture

Okay, okay… so it didn’t happen. The heavens didn’t crash down upon us like cardboard walls on a television set. We are all still here. The birds are relentlessly chirping. Moving veritable mounds of molecules, they live by example: Sing.

So we sing to the heavens, and the gates of hell have closed their entranceway as well. The DJ at my brother-in-law’s wedding announced the upcoming moment when the scheduled event was to happen. I felt nothing. There wasn’t an ominous overtone. The skies were clear and gorgeous. The ground only moved for those who overindulged. But I like to think I am aware of spiritual shifts in the cosmos. With nothing whatsoever to base this assertion, I believe I would have sensed the impending doom. Now, alas, I will never know.

Is it possible we are already there? What if the event took place, but God is taking us – one by one – rather than all at once? That may not be biblical, but neither was the fallen prediction. If one person was gone, would the world notice? As the days went on, I think we most certainly would. If the dude pressing the button at the crosswalk flew into the sky and didn’t return, I would definitely make a note of that. (I would also begin to fear for my own soul, but how long do I expect this post to be?)

Look, it happens to the best of us. We predict we will be millionaires by a certain age, then we predict the government will sap all our earnings for our entire life. Only one of these predictions is guaranteed. The silver lining is that even if we achieve prediction #1, we haven’t avoided prediction #2. While that should make you rest easier, I predict it will not.

I try to keep my predictions predictable:

I predict I will write a blog about Harold Camping’s prediction. I predict this will change less lives than his prediction about The Rapture.

I predict I will love my daughter no matter what she does. Stay tuned.

I predict there will be hardship ahead for myself, and for all of us. I predict many will be unprepared.

I predict The Bible will provide solace for those who read it. I predict those that don’t will deny the solace could exist for them.

I predict I will stay calm. I predict that will work well for me.

Bin Laden

THE Guru Of Evil. The good ol’ USA has hoisted him up to levels undeserving of such paucity. But don’t expect that sheer adulation to end anytime soon. This country is enamored, and our government wants us to stay that way.

Celebrating a death never defines the deceased, it defines the celebrant. We simply must get over ourselves.

It amazes me how badly the bulk of us miss the mark. There is great power in ignorance. That is the power of a 3 year old playing in the middle of a busy street. Ignorance is dwarfed, however, by the power of ignoring: This power presents itself in the form of the parents who allowed their child to be in this predicament. Then there is the power of goodness. This is exemplified by the person who stops their car, gets out, stops traffic, scoops up the kid and returns the child to their parents.

Unless you would drive around the kid – or run them over – you are one of the three.

We all fall prey to these variations, from time to time. There is no getting around it. We don’t always pay attention. We aren’t always at the top of our game. Our human frailty is not a weakness, it is our greatest strength.

Get over yourself.

After 9/11, I spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to keep ‘what happened’ from happening again. That was me, staring at my ceiling September 15th at 3:00 AM. I could also be found waking up September 20th at 4:00 AM thinking of how this event could be prevented in the future. Then again on the 22nd. Again on the 25th. I didn’t get much sleep at all that month.

I couldn’t get over myself.

As the Government rounded up the troops to bomb areas of Afghanistan, I was trying to figure out how to keep someone other than the pilot from flying a plane.

Obviously, I missed the boat.

The media sold the story of our victimization. Bin Laden had an agenda, and we were victims. We needed to gather some patriotism, pour in a generous dose of hatred, and begin the bombing. Then the media would keep the public’s attention on terrorists, and training camps, and information gleaned outside the scope of the terrorist networks.

Face it: if we had inside information, the problem wouldn’t exist.

Always looking outward for a solution is a blame game. That is what we have been caught up in ever since. While making it possible to completely ignore reality, blaming and victimization go hand in hand. Responsibility always acknowledges truth, and accepts the burden. You can look to others for inspiration, but you cannot lead except by example.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: hard to have any of it without responsibility.

Look at your own life. Tell me all the success stories you have had from blaming someone else. I’m not saying bad crap hasn’t happened, for surely it has. I just want to know how your fault-finding victimization created success in your own life. Can you give me an example? Even one?

As a schoolchild, perhaps you were blamed for something that another kid did. Perhaps you were able to shirk off the blame, and throw the responsibility on the kid who slung a rubber band at the back of Molly’s head. But this wasn’t success, you simply avoided blame. If the other kid fessed up, he came out looking better than you! He took responsibility. You shirked responsibility, while placing blame.

The whole thing is wildly unfair.

While Bin Laden’s arsenal was far more dangerous than an unguided rubber band in a classroom, shirking responsibility yields correspondingly similar results. The structure doesn’t change, only the stakes do.

Bin Laden’s capacity never scared me nearly as much as the free-range fly zone over our nation’s capitol nearly an hour after two major terrorist attacks. One of these is gone. The other can only be secured through responsibility.

Security has been tightened at airports. Now, despite millions of frequent flyer miles, you or I can be groped like a private lap dancer in front of disgruntled passengers. This wasn’t the ‘responsibility’ I was hoping for. Box cutters weren’t the reason for the terrorist attack.

I think Pilots should have seats which weigh them. When they get up, only their exact weight will be able to fly. In addition, there needs to be a code every time a pilot sits down. Without that code, the plane goes on autopilot. Needless to say, Pilots should have a monitor, with a camera looking into the cabin.

So we have been wrong for 10 years, but now we are all right.

As George Carlin said, “We like war! We’re a warlike country. We’re good at it!” But our vulnerabilities are as wide as the Grand Canyon. While my trust in our government wasn’t changed knowing we corralled Bin Laden in under a decade, implementing the ideas I mentioned would help me sleep. Once we are able to ignore Bin Laden – thus giving him the attention he truly deserves – I will celebrate heartily.

I like to think I can make a difference.

I need to get over myself.

Genuine

My therapist is right. She told me: “You are a person who places a great deal of importance on being genuine. You become frustrated when your true self isn’t allowed expression.”

This was a genuine evaluation, and it hit the mark sharp and pure. I had never really analyzed this facet of myself. I aspire to be as genuine as possible. In others my highest esteem is given to this un-fakeable characteristic.

Since seeing Tina Dico last January, I have tried to pinpoint what is so compelling about her. I discussed this with my wife, who is also becoming quite a fan. Aside from writing songs which have great lyrics and a tremendous hook – every one of them – I identify with her. She is The Real Deal. Her lyrics are raw and personal. What you see is what you get. The persona and the person are so closely linked it is indistinguishable.

When I met Tina at the Highline in New York City in early 2011, I was taken by her interest in MY interest in HER. At the time I only knew a few songs. My friend Antek was so enamored by her presence, when I took a photo of him with his arm around her shoulder, two clicks later his knees had turned to jello and he slinked away. This left me to try my hand at conversation without much knowledge beyond that evening. Since then I have collected her CD’s the way a squirrel gathers nuts.

This was a great moment as well as a missed opportunity. It isn’t that I couldn’t speak, I just didn’t know what to say. Now, a mere few months removed from that moment, I would have hours of questions and much to converse about.

While not every Tina Dico song moves me, many do. I listen. I hear the melodies. I learn the lyrics. I listen again. I sing along.

When I ‘discover’ a song, it resonates with me like a tuning fork. I also understand that – like a tuning fork – this exact song, melody, lyrics, and HOOK won’t resonate the same with everyone. (But that’s what makes music so cool.) Not everyone likes the same stuff, and you don’t continue to like the same stuff forever. Some music stays, some fades. Your personal tuning fork keeps adjusting with age. Different songs resonate differently at different times. Some wane. Some fall out of favor. Some come roaring back in, then out again.

Genuineness is no doubt why I like Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn so much. They are – heart and soul, mind and spirit – true through and through. Few artists qualify. Tina has done a wonderful job in her art largely because – like great writing of any kind – when you are finished you feel as if you know the person better.

This song has been wearing out the victrola recently. I dedicate this to my beautiful daughter, (who is also becoming a huge Tina Dico Fan!)

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