Home »

Pissing in the moonlight

Reader be ware: Urine for it.

January 20th, 2021 | Journal | , | Comments: 2

For approximately half of humankind the act of relieving themselves of excess liquid is an entirely indoor affair. I happen to be of the male variety of my glorious species homo sapiens, so the world is my oyster (and by oyster I mean ‘thing I can pee on’).

Today is Wednesday, January 20th, in the Year of Our Lord 2021, which doesn’t mean much if you’re from another planet, galaxy, or whatever. But for most of us human beings that means that today at noon (when the sun was mostly over head) a guy named Joe Biden replaced a guy named Donald Trump as Ultimate Supreme Leader of All That Really Matters on This Planet™ and it was something of significance, at least within the timelines of our lives, meaning the lives of the people currently living. I don’t expect you (whomandwheneveryouare) to understand this, because honestly I’m not sure any of us beings currently existing really understands it. But I do think that for our present timeline these events are a thing of significance.

Most days that you are alive (and I’m being descriptive, not prescriptive) the days just feel like every other day. But on rare occasions some days will feel like they are a bit more, like somehow the day really will end up having more value than the other days. I don’t know why or when or how these days come to be having more oomph than the others, but they do. History somehow provides us at random with days of seemingly more significance than the ordinary days that mark our regular passage of time. These extra-ordinary days that mark the fleeting days of our lives somehow come to define us.

I know exactly where I was on 9/11. I remember so many details about that day. But the day after? No clue. That was just 9/12, another ordinary day.

The Christian liturgical calendar of Western and Eastern traditions marks days between Resurrection Sunday (“Easter,” as I knew it in my Methodist upbringing) and Christmas as the ordinary days. The term “ordinary” doesn’t mean what we commonly understand it to mean. This term “ordinary” is understood today as “boring, common, or totally to be expected.” But in liturgical context it means something like “counted,” meaning “these are the days we count until the next event of major significance.”

Many days of our lives are insignificant. But some days are not. 9/11 certainly is a day that a lot of humans will count as significant. 9/10 and 9/12 are way less significant for most of us.

But today, January 20th of 2021, the year of our Lord Jesus Christ and/or the Common Era (a debate in itself), was certainly a day that was significant in the big story of homo sapiens regardless of what specific part of planet Earth those homo sapiens called home.

Tonight, like many nights, I stepped outside to relieve myself of excess liquid. I do this regularly, equally to save the environment of yet another flush and to feel connected to the earth from which I know I have come and one day will return. The backdoor is also closer than the bathroom, so laziness prevails.

Regardless, as I stood pissing in the moonlight on the eve of A SIGNIFICANT DAY, I couldn’t help but feel like none of it mattered.

Yes, in real day-to-day terms it really does matter who the Big Dude at the top of this pile of excrement is.

But I also felt the long term insignificance of the New Guy and the Old Guy as I gazed up at the really old guy Orion whilst relieving myself of that-which-I-can-no-longer-contain.

I’m not even sure what the point of this writing is about. I only know how freeing it is to look up at the night sky and know that for countless ages our species has looked to the night sky while relieving themselves and thought, “Ahhhh, whatever.”

2 Comments >
Home »

News vs. Rock And Roll

These are my reflections after seeing an artistic incident.

August 16th, 2018 | Journal | , , | Comments: 1

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:

  1. why I do music
  2. what makes me loves music
  3. why I write music the way I do
  4. what I hope to hear in every song
  5. how I hear melody
  6. how I hear instrumentation
  7. what I believe a song can accomplish
  8. what the world needs
  9. what I can do to help
  10. why good band dynamics are so important
  11. 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 (LÄ«ve). 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”

1 Comment >
Home »

THE SNOWDEN ULTIMATUM

Where does Bourne end and Snowden begin? Where’s the line between truth and fiction? What’s the difference between copyright infringement and fair use parody for the sake of satire?

20130625-193140.jpg

After thinking about the scandalous NSA manhunt for Edward Snowden, I realized there are a lot of similarities between the news right now and the Bourne trilogy movies. I tweeted this a couple of days ago.

https://twitter.com/scotttroyer/status/348805858991423491

The next day I thought it might be fun to photoshop Snowden’s face onto a Bourne movie poster. The Bourne Ultimatum promotional image seemed like the best for trying to match up with the photos I could find of our dear whistleblower. (Shout out to the original artists of The Bourne Ultimatum image! See update below.)

The gun in Matt Damon’s hand didn’t really fit the Snowden plot line, so I replaced it with my own hand holding a USB drive (actually an iLok 2). It was a fun little project that only took a few
minutes.

The day after I posted the image to Twitter, Andy Greenberg, a tech reporter for Forbes, saw it and asked if he could use it for an article he was working on. I was a bit surprised. Here’s the great article he wrote: Take a Break From the Snowden Drama For a Reminder of What He’s Revealed So Far

I wish Forbes wouldn’t have cropped the image, because I think the USB stick really makes the image. But oh well. It’s entertaining to see something I made get spread around a little. And hopefully the image gets people thinking about why nearly everyone considers the fictional Bourne identity a hero, but so many view the very real Snowden otherwise.

Let me know if you see the image out there in the wild. 😉

Update 2013-06-26 11:44am: As you can see in the comments section below, a guy named Jasin Boland, who appears to be the photographer of the original image, has contacted me. I’ve emailed him with some questions. Whether he is the sole owner of the copyright or not is still unclear. Perhaps it belongs to Universal Pictures or other digital artists have claims on it as well? Regardless of original ownership, my manipulations of the image for the sake of satire are considered “fair use” under copyright law. Furthermore, I claim no ownership or copyright of my manipulated image and have received no compensation for its usage anywhere.

Update 2013-06-26 12:35pm: I contacted Andy Greenberg at Forbes about the situation. This is his reply:

…I checked with our editorial lawyer, who says that it’s “quintessential parody use. There is no actionable claim for infringement.”

She says she’s even planning to use it as an example in a law school class she’s teaching next semester.

7 Comments >