a bit of philosophical wax
The strain of coronavirus now plaguing our world is more contagious than most understand. Our minds aren’t built to grasp exponentials. The math of this virus does not favor the desires of the human heart for social interaction and the need to continue life as we know it. Isolation is very hard, despite how dreamily utopian introverts may describe it.
Few of us have the resources, patience, or diligence to wait it out. Our leaders are obviously not great at leading us, and yet most of us are still waiting for them to show us the way before we take action. Their incompetence and our subservience will lead us to destruction. We need another way.
Sadly, the misdirection and misinformation will continue.
The immediate effects of the virus (the sickness, the dying, the isolation, the worry, the fear of each other) certainly will last well into late 2020, if not 2021. But the economic, social, and political repercussions will echo for much longer than that. Millions will die, then a great depression will come. We will have no other option than to rethink what this world is and what this life should be.
And yet I am hopeful.
think know that the generous, beautiful, creative, anticipatory, unshaken, non-idle minds among us will turn inward to self-examine, find new meaning, develop methods, find the paths forward, and churn out new works to benefit their own being. But the fruit will not be simply to fill their own pockets. From the outset, these gems among the masses will know and act from the postion that the fruit of such diligent and relentlessly hopeful pursuit will spill over the rims of their own cups to inspire, engage, encourage, and challenge those around them that may have lost hope or can no longer see the way. Soon (in big picture sense of time) we will reap the harvest of great works of art, literature, music, and thought. Answers will emerge from this time of correction. They’ll come out of necessity, but with no less passion. Perhaps even more so.
Do not give up heart. Plant a garden, expect a harvest. Double down and reinvest in the soil of your own heart and mind knowing that your endeavors will better the lives of others. Dig deep and resolve to be a beacon of hope, self-reliance, exponential good, unselfish abundance, and goodwill to others when all around you the world may fall away.
A bee only happens to pollinate the flowers while in search of its own sustenance. Seek life and you will find it and you will give it to others.
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These are my reflections after seeing an artistic incident.
In a most fortunate series of events I was able to see Counting Crows, Līve, and Boom Forest perform in Hartford, Connecticut for free last night. And despite the show being hosted at a huge corporate venue (as all things tend to be once enough people show enough interest), the show seriously reaffirmed many THINGS for me.
A few of those THINGS are:
- why I do music
- what makes me loves music
- why I write music the way I do
- what I hope to hear in every song
- how I hear melody
- how I hear instrumentation
- what I believe a song can accomplish
- what the world needs
- what I can do to help
- why good band dynamics are so important
- there are kids (of all ages) out there that will always need encouragement, goading, sympathy, reminders, or some sort of whatever-“RESONANCE”-means-to-you to give them enough hope, vision, courage, bliss, distraction, fear, fuck-it, or tears to face another day, another challenge, another impossible life to overcome (or at least to survive and commiserate with the realities of life).
A huge part of what makes me who I am musically (and probably life-ly) is due to what I learned from listening to the recordings of the frontmen Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ed Kowalczyk (Līve). These guys have come to life from different directions, but both are virtuoso lyricists, vocalists, and performers with tremendous insight. They had immeasurable impact upon my informal path to learning and understanding of the effort, energy, and emphasis that good music requires of the singer/songwriter, demands of the listener/thinker, and begs of the disengaged/disingenuous. I cannot overstate the profundity their efforts have infected and hovered over my own work.
HIGH ART can often feel unachievable. It is truly difficult to achieve, but I find myself continually returning to those works that wreck me most and they are the most basic of forms. The simplest words are the most profound.
When Līve performed their relatively non-hit, but surprisingly prescient song “White, Discussion” (especially when considering the current U.S. presidential administration), Ed Kowalczyk offered this statement:
“I just want to turn off all the news and listen to rock and roll for the rest of my life.” — Ed Kowalczyk, Hartford, Connecticut, August 15, 2018
And though that sentiment may seem childish or dismissible at face value, it reminds me of why I began investing in music in the first place. We are humans and we are bigger than than the circumstances we happen to find ourselves landing in. The news is worth shutting off. It is designed to make us reel, react, and regurgitate. Instead we should revolt, reinvent, reset, and remind each other of why and how we should live.
I remind you…as I am reminded…as I remind myself…
If anything without love rules you, overthrow it.
If anyone acts as though they are above you, remind them how the “Lightning Crashes”.
If any task seems too hard to start, to endure, or to end, return to the beautifully complicated truth of “Anna Begins”.
And as always, “If Ever In Doubt”…
But blogs are blogs. Blah, blah, blah, blogs. And as “White, Discussion” sums it up:
“Look where all this talking got us, baby”
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Feeling up for the fight?
We are unsuited for the battle this world presents.
When it comes down to it, it’s us, each of us, the individuals, versus the world.
Mostly unwittingly, we pit our own knowledge, logic, and wisdom, against the collective knowledge, logic, and wisdom of the entire rest of the world. When any one of us does anything or makes a statement, we open ourselves to be potentially judged by the entire world.
When we post a tweet or Facebook status update that contains something ignorant, foolish, unvetted, or decidedly individualistic and singular, we cast our vote to the roughly seven billion other people living on the planet (and those yet to come). Then they get to decide what to do with us.
The odds are astronomical.
The chances of any one of us having it all put together into a package that’s approvable by all the other humans is next to impossible. It’s more probable that I’ll win the lottery than be a person who has all of my thoughts inline with the zeitgeist of this age (or any age, really).
The truth is this: none of us has it together.
Most of us are fortunate enough not to have the eye of public scrutiny upon us because we are essentially not “persons of interest.” Some of us are wealthy enough to hide the parts of us that we know won’t pass The Test™. But even those among us that are fortunate enough to be able to hire PR reps, editors, or life coaches can rarely pass either.
The unfortunate ones among us are those that get our laundry aired for all to see. You know the ones – they’re in the court cases we read about, in the tabloid pictures we see, and news broadcasts we watch at 6pm and 11pm every night. They’re made infamous in YouTube videos and lynched on Twitter.
We relish these Darwin Award moments, because “Haha, who would be that stupid?!”
Answer: regular folks like you and me.
We all have laundry. And it’s dirty.
It’s sad how much dirt I personally have on the people around me. God knows, many people have dirt on me.
We could divulge so much about the people we know. Luckily, most of them are not famous enough, nor “valuable” enough for society-at-large to have reason to tear us all down. If you’re reading this, it’s likely (both statistically and by association with me) that you are not worth destroying either. You’re probably not a powerful politician, CEO, nor Kardashian with an empire to lose.
And lucky me.
Because you’re not “valuable,” you’re entire life will be spared the microscopic, fine-tooth comb of large-scale public examination.
But just because you’re not a congressperson, fat cat, or reality TV star doesn’t mean you aren’t guilty. You probably think you aren’t, act like you aren’t, and judge others like you aren’t, but guess what… you’re guilty of something and you wouldn’t survive the gauntlet.
If your life and history were scoured by journalists, if your friends and family were interviewed to get the dirt on you, if everything you posted on the internet made its way onto the evening news, the verdict would come swift and sure: “You have failed.”
Perhaps even: “You are a failure.”
I don’t care how sure you think you are in your own belief and reasoning, if you ever come to find yourself in the spotlight and the World (that beastly, collective entity of humanity) gets to do it’s thing, you can be sure that “they” will find the fault in you. They will spare no judgement, penalty, nor harsh word to put you in your place.
It doesn’t matter what good deeds you’ve done. We only need one false step, one moment of humanity, a split second of personal expression to tie the boat anchor to your neck and sink you.
We’ll love watching you drown. We feed on the gossip, believing we’re innocent. We’re humans. This is our sickness.
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