wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Various Thoughts and Musings...

*You look for the secret code to understanding your fellow human beings, and the Economics Professor and Opinion Writer tells you, "It's all about race and class." And you think to yourself, "I already knew that, but I always forget."

*You think maybe everyone has one Superpower, and one Fatal Flaw. And you think, "My Superpower is my sunny disposition. And my fatal flaw is being way too sensitive."

*My Generation, if I was thinking of it like that, is the Drug Generation. We grew up thinking there were two kinds of people - The Heads and the Straights. A Leading Head, for example, would be John Lennon, A Leading Straight, for example, would be Richard Nixon. All the cool people were Heads. This led us down the path to major drug abuse, early death, wrecked lives & rehab. We all just thought the carnage of taking drugs were the "wages of sin." And sin was hipper!

*There are the Miracle Drugs that help save and extend lives. And then there are all the rest of the drugs that destroy our minds and bodies. 

*Abstention. Abstinence. Complete. It's the only thing that really works. "Say no!" Or since we all lack any kind of willpower at all, say yes, to the drugs that do the least damage, for instance, my favorites: caffeine & chocolate!

*The worst of the drugs amongst us are those most socially accepted (nearly required!), prevalent and legal - alcohol & nicotine. Especially alcohol. Go to any bar, any party, any college campus, any sporting event. The mind-numbing, soul-crushing reality of alcohol abuse is stunning. Opting out of it is a radical, necessary move. The life you save may be your own!

*It's now the pharmaceuticals, prescribed by doctors, that are the new scourge. Better living thru chemistry. Big Pharma clouding our brains and bodies. Living for the next dose!

*It's easy to diagnose and suggest solutions to problems of other folks. Much harder to do for yourself.

*As I get older, I can really "see" time passing. Everything seems to go by so quickly nowadays. History just gets longer and farther away. The future is tiny, just a glimmer. The present is like a blur, gone before I can even blink an eye.

*You learn things. But you realize that maybe the greatest lesson is that you can also unlearn things. What you "always knew," isn't always right. There's humility in that, and humility is a good thing to know.

*You just try to live. With grace & love & humor. That is the best of it...

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Day to Day Battle!

This morning I stumble across Brain Pickings writing about Timothy Ferriss' new book "Tools of the Titans." Seems like essential reading...

One chapter is about Ferriss' own struggle with deep depression, and suicidal thoughts. Brings up the key questions: How not to commit suicide? How to live? How to fight off crippling depression?

Those are some of the deepest, most fundamental questions we ask ourselves. Some of us ask those questions pretty much every day!

And the tools or answers are pretty plain, simple & and easy to do...

1. Get out of your own head and think of others... those you know and love.
2. Focus on your body - move, walk, work-out. Eat well. Sleep well.
3. Do something nice for someone else.
4. If you can't make yourself happy, try to make other people happy. Buy them a cup of coffee. Smile. Make a positive comment.

I do my best to follow these rules myself. Habits. Simple. Not simple-minded. Good hygiene to keep the dark thoughts away. It's a daily thing. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

A Life & Death Journey!

We just revamped our band website and went live with it yesterday. You can check it out here: whitewolfsonicprincess. It's all a bit more up to date, easier to navigate, and it's all more functional.

You can listen to tracks, stream our Records click over to iTunes or Bandcamp to purchase downloads or order T-Shirts. There's a Sound Cloud section that features kitchen demos, band rehearsals, live tracks from shows.

There's our on-going and frequently updated R&R Diary, where we write about latest happenings  with the band. Plus band Bio, Reviews, Upcoming Shows, & Booking Info.  

Very happy with how it all came together. Another collaboration with my favorite creative partner. We have a very intimate and productive working method. In some ways we are very different, and those differences really emerge when we delve into a project together. 

We are both committed to the creative work, the "good work," and it means everything to us. Nothing is taken for granted. Everything counts. We pour our hearts and souls into everything we do. So yes, even working on a website can become an interesting, life & death journey. That's the way we do it.

It was fun going thru photos over the last few years to decide what to put on the website Photo page. Love this action photo from one of our Bucktown Garden Walk shows a few summers ago...

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Is it Over Yet?!

"Is it over yet? You know the Trump Era? Can we finally put it in the history books and move on? It's been so horrifying, for so long. So many people have been maimed. Oops. Never mind. I mean, shit, it hasn't even officially started yet, right? Obama is still President. Trump isn't sworn in until January 19, 2017... holy crap..."

Besides the terrible havoc and destruction this man will wreak on us domestically and internationally, (I mean, it could get really bad, and stupid. I mean, like, stupidly bad) what's especially disheartening, is that we actually have to, sort of, kind of, pay attention to the Idiot. 

It's kind of like that Crazy Uncle you like to keep away from the kids and the dogs, but in this case, not only can't we hide him away in the attic or basement, he will actually be strutting around on the world stage for all to see and gape at. Yikes! And in order to stay somewhat engaged, we may actually have to follow along once in awhile. What a terrible waste of our precious time!

At least, can someone please wrestle his smartphone from him? And bury it deep in the bottom of the ocean? And please god, someone please, delete his freaking Twitter account? 

If we can't get rid of his Twitter feed, how about we get the major newspapers and news sites, to set up a special section, that will appear daily, a column devoted especially to his tweets, maybe they bury it in the back next to the Obituaries. The Heading of the special section will read: The Bat-Shit Crazy Shit that Nasty, Stupid Dude Tweeted Last Night at 3:00! a.m

Keep it contained. Sequestered. You know treat those tweets like they are an especially toxic virus detrimental to all thinking humans. Not for polite company!

Monday, December 05, 2016

It is Only R&R and Love!

"What do you have this morning Sunny Jimmy?" 

I don't know. It's sort of gloomy this morning. Cold. Snow on the ground. We had a great rock & roll show over the weekend, but it's the day after the day after.

"How do you make a great r&r show?" 

Beats me. There are so many factors. The time & place, the weather, the vibe of the night, the vibe of people, the competence of the sound guy, the luck of the draw, the lineup, the order, the fates, the benevolent r&r gods looking down upon our sorry souls and taking pity on us.

Once in awhile everything converges. And then it's like magic. And of course, nothing is ever perfect.  So part of the whole thing is realizing that nothing is perfect, and still giving it everything. Being totally there in the moment.

So it can be great, but not perfect. And that's rock & roll. There are way too many factors that come into play. A universe of variables. Can't account for them all. And well, isn't that how it goes?

It is only r&r. And love.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Weird. Nauseating. Strange.

So yes, I live in a little progressive/liberal bubble. No doubt. And most of the people I know live in that same bubble. And our bubble has been popped. Big time. I mean our world has crashed. People are in deep mourning for their vision of a better day, a better USA.

It's a sad, doom-ridden new reality. One day, events conspire, and suddenly, "everything we know is wrong!"  Are we over-reacting?! I think, probably not. We all know that things can go horribly wrong, horribly quickly.  And we can come up with a multitude of dire scenarios fairly easily. The new man to be at the head of the government is a very sick, incompetent, and repulsive man. Not normal!

If you have a good imagination, and well, most of my friends are artists and creatives, they all have powerful, vivid imaginations, you can think of million ways we are now totally fucked. How to stay positive and engaged? Still working on that one.

I do think we need to reformulate as a force of opposition. And demand clarity. And truth. And refuse to succumb to a numb cynicism. But it is hard. Especially when you realize that there are many, many of our fellow citizens who see a completely different reality.

One day you find yourself a "stranger in a strange land." You are in the same place you were yesterday, except now, everything is totally different. Weird. Nauseating. Strange.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

You Do Not Want this Man on the Phone to Taiwan, Pissing Off the Chinese Dragon. Not in this Reality!

Is it just me? No, probably not. For sure not the 65,250,336 people who voted for the sane, progressive Woman. BTW - just to remind myself and the world, that's 2,561,274 more votes (and still counting) than the Creep.

Anyway, so, no, probably, it's not just me who thinks that if the USA is going to "get tough with China," the effort probably shouldn't be led by a guy who has failed repeatedly at his business, who has declared bankruptcy many times, who owes lots of money to lots of people (we don't know the details, he still won't share his tax returns with the world), a guy with a very loose relationship with the facts, a guy with loose lips, who says lots of really stupid things often, about people of all sexes, races, religions.

I mean, maybe Reality TV works in the good old USA, but I do think finally Reality TV will bump up against the real Reality. And the shit will fly!

Yes. I mean, No. You do not want this guy on the phone to Taiwan, basically pissing off the Chinese Dragon...

Not a good idea in any Universe. And when it comes to negotiating, I don't think Trump can negotiate himself out of a paper bag.  The Chinese? Really? Hah!

Friday, December 02, 2016

The Death Rattle of Western Civilization

I was gonna write about something else besides politics this morning, so maybe Pop culture? 

Maybe I should write about Kanye West? I mean what's up with Kanye? How come our rich, beautiful, talented, pampered Pop celebrities can't keep their head's together? I mean, actually, I guess my question is, "How do any of us keep our heads together?" It's freaking hard out there!

Or maybe Sports?

I turned hungrily to the Sports Section of the NYT yesterday. I used to kind of kid my father about immediately turning to Sports first thing in the morning, I used to think that he was missing the bigger picture, but now I understand, and usually do the same. Who wants to delve into the bigger picture first thing in the morning? The bigger picture seems so fractured, ugly.

So I came across this wonderful profile of the oldest Defensive Cornerback in the NFL. Terence Newman is my new hero. He 38 years old, which doesn't sound very old at all to me, but for the job he holds that's pretty much ancient. And he's a wizard. I loved reading this article. How does he do it? He studies obsessively. He works out. He eats well. He sleeps. He keeps a sane, regular schedule. Oh yeah, and he studies some more. What a cool guy. Keeping his head together, splendidly.

So anyway, worrying my little head, back to politics...

Kevin Drum points out that in our new Trumpian Universe there really are no facts anymore. And this is truly how our little experiment in Democracy will die. If the people are so divided, if they are so willing to suspend their rational faculties and make up shit and believe made up shit, we are truly sunk. How can we possibly work together? How can we reach consensus? How can the better ideas win out, if facts are fungible, pliable, and anything we want them to be? We are deep into George Orwell territory, probably time to break out my rumpled copy of 1984. It sounds so old world, but, really I think it's so of the moment.

Trump is a master of this post-truth, post-fact era. He lies with impunity, with enthusiasm, with no shame. It's the apotheosis of the death rattle of Western Civilization. And Pop Culture or Sports Culture aren't gonna save us if the bigger picture is so fractured.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

But, You Know, There it is... Revenge of the Walking Dead...

It's probably not very enlightened of me to think that anyone who disagrees with me is an IDIOT...

You know, for instance, those folks who thought Hillary was no different than Trump. You know those folks who thought her "emails" were an important issue. You know those folks who thought Trump was gonna "shake things up in Washington." You know those folks who thought, "At least, he's not a politician." You know those folks who thought he'd "Make America Great Again."

It's probably not such a good thing to think that many of my fellow Americans are total freaking IDIOTS...

You know the ones who ignored all the stupid shit that came of out Trump's mouth during the campaign. You know the ones who are cheering him on now. You know the ones sitting back watching as he fills his administration with Asshole-Billionaires, and Neanderthal-Right Wingers. 

It's not very nice of me to think that half the freaking country is totally, freaking, Brain-Dead...

But, you know, there it is... Revenge of the Walking Dead...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Who is in Charge?

"Who's in charge?" Often you are reminded, "No one." There are the folks in positions of authority,  those who call the shots for countries, governments, companies, churches, boy scout troops, school councils, they have some sway, some power, but the picture is bigger than all of them combined. And all of them need support, followers, voters, workers, acolytes, etc. 

Who's in charge? Everyone, and no one. What happens on the human realm is the collective energy of all of us. There's the good, the bad, the ugly all mixed up in a ball of confusion.

We face a big existential threat? We're probably toast. None of us can really think as a species, we can't work in a coordinated fashion to the betterment of all. We aren't built that way. So yes, "global warming," or "climate change," or maybe better, "the poisoning of all of our ecosystems" will continue on, we can't/won't stop it. We will deal with the consequences as they roll out - rising temps, overflowing oceans, epic drought, flooding, starvation, mass migrations, dying species, displaced people, dying oceans, but no doubt we will burn the oil, extract the coal, we will burn this little planet up, who is gonna stop us?

And sometimes countries, nations, people do really stupid things, and we all pay the price. Sometimes the crazy, madman, megalomaniacal strongman takes over the reins of power and wreaks major havoc. And many, many of the little people cheer them on, and give them encouragement and enhance their power. Last century there was an amazing collection of uglies: Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, Milosevic, Kim Il-Sung.

It can happen here. We've been pretty lucky. We've had some weak and ineffective Presidents. We've had some really dumb, destructive, ignorantly malevolent ones too - George W. Bush immediately comes to mind. Probably the craziest, sickest, dude we ever had as President was Richard Nixon - vindictive, petty, crooked, a liar, paranoid, spying on the DNC, conspiring against enemies from every corner, at war with Pop Culture & the students of America, bombing the shit out of North Vietnam, basically out of spite, proving he was a "madman," - but some of those qualities didn't emerge until his Watergate meltdown. It wasn't until we heard the tapes that we realized that H.S. Thompson's darkest imaginings were actually right on and true. When he ran for President he told America he had a "secret plan" to end the war, and he would be the voice of the "silent majority."

So now we come to Trump. An overtly sick, twisted, man. Right out of the box. His sick and twisted nature was a feature, not flaw. And 60 million or so folks actively supported him. Mind-numbing. He tells us he will build a wall, round up and deport people, crack down on dissidents, curb civil liberties, curb a free press, roll back voting rights, take health care away from poor people, cut taxes for the rich, encourage citizens to arm themselves, tear up treaties with other countries, get tough with China, cozy up to Russia, put white people back in front of the line.

It's an ugly agenda, led by a sick, corrupt, incompetent and ugly man. Will the USA just go along? Maybe our Democracy is falling apart? Our Democracy fails when the people don't believe in it, don't invest time it in, don't participate, don't care anymore. We have all grown so cynical, sarcastic, we believe all kinds of falsehoods, lies, conspiracy theories. Our Democracy fails when a person like Trump can win the Presidency. It's a total failure of the system. No doubt. Will there be any checks and balances? Who will stand up? Who is in charge? Maybe no one. Right?!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Outrage Every Ten Minutes?!

Kevin Drum tells us this morning that Trump "flips out yet again!" I am beginning to think that I just won't be able to keep up. A Trump outrage per day, per hour, per every ten minutes? Someone should confiscate his smartphone right now, lock it away in a secure location, so we all can take a break. I mean, he isn't even sworn in yet, and I already have major Trump fatigue!

He is a bumbling, babbling madman. Yes, he is gonna be President (unless some kind of black swan miracle happens), and it's gonna be a long cold, lonely winter for progressives. We have to fight the fight, keep hope alive, root for the opposition, march, vote, etc. But we may have to just tune out that idiot for much of the duration.

Let the man babble away. Most of what he says is total gibberish. He is so brain-addled, maybe he will just twist himself into a big, fat, useless pretzel. Laughter and Love. And a decided Deafness. Those are our best tools. Just decide not to hear a word that man says. And figure that whatever he says is really, really stupid, and must be countered every step of the way.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Man is Undermining Democracy with Every Breath He Takes!

Somewhere in the New Yorker, the issue where 16 writers wrote about the tragedy of the 2016 election, someone pointed out that Trump is a "performance artist." This seems so true to me. And if you look at him through that lens, everything starts to make more sense.

Everything he does is guided by his need for attention. What he says, what he does, is only performance, an acting out. He does it in real time, no filter. People find this compelling, interesting. Many people can't wait to see and hear what the man will do next. It is all performance art as sickness.

What he says has no meaning, no purpose, no staying power - except as an acting out, a cry for attention. So truth or lie has no meaning. Words are only tools for attention. So yes, lots of provocative, stupid, ignorant, repulsive, retrograde, bigoted, racist, misogynist bile comes out of the man's mouth, but these words are only vehicles for attention. 

It's all just "look at me!" So yes, sort of compelling, kind of like watching a car crash is sort of  compelling, horrifying too. Still, you wouldn't want this type of person as a father, husband, boss, or President. It's a strange quirk in our system/culture, that such a clearly wounded, sick, narcissistic person could find any position of power in society. 

Trump has a Twitter account, (I am not going to link to it, find it yourself, if you dare!) with 16 million followers. This is where you can follow along with the thought-stream of the man. It's a strange place to be. Scary strange. Fact or fiction is not even a thing there. Whatever bubbles up from his lizard brain makes it into 140 character tweets.

Yesterday Trump got on an unhinged rant about the recount of Wisconsin and (hopefully) of Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump is obviously unhappy that he is the All-Time Biggest Popular Vote Loser in American History. So he's lying about it!

Now I find this pretty damn interesting. Trump is saying that millions of people voted illegally! If that's true (he's making it up), shouldn't we recount and audit all the election results? And he is implying that all the illegal votes were votes for Clinton. That's freaking crazy. I mean crack-cocaine-crazed-crazy. Doesn't a mature Democracy require that we all agree on a free and fair election? Isn't this really bad performance artist completely undermining his own win in the Electoral College? Is he saying that the 2016 Election is a Fraud?!

The man is undermining Democracy with every breath he takes. You wonder if the people will rise up soon. Could America be heading to it's own Tahir Square Moment? Scary thought...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

60 Million Radicalized White People!

I have read my share of post-Trump articles. My head has been swimming in a sea of unknowingness, spinning like that little girl's head in the "Exorcist." How could it be that many of my fellow citizens voted for such a clearly repulsive, retrograde con man?

This article from the Globe and Mail is quite the good read: "Whitewashed!" You should read the whole thing. It's actually got facts and figures, and real stories about real people, well-researched, well-written, just the kind of thing needed to clear our heads.

Read the whole thing so you can get to the last line, which is a keeper: "If they want to end this nightmare, they will need to find a way to reach 60 million radicalized white people and find words that can bring them back to earth."

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hack the Hack or maybe UnHack the Hack!

Blame it on the pie (see previous post). Make no mistake, pie is powerful stuff. All that wholesome goodness - fruit, sugar, organic flour - shaped in a mystical, ancient, circular pattern. Food of the Gods for sure. Can you over-do pie? Yes, for sure. Look out for the sugar rush, the food coma, the extra calories. But there's is nothing quite like a human being on a pie-binge!

So, anyway, post-pie, I am ready to put on my Political Agitator Hat. There are a few good reasons for the Electors to NOT cast their votes for Trump, and to choose Clinton instead. I say "Hack the Hack," or maybe "Un-Hack the Hack!"

This all may be a long-shot, a Hail-Mary, another Black Swan event, following a Black Swan event, but so what?! There is something fundamentally wrong about the thought & reality of a Trump Presidency, wrong on so many levels.

1. Trump's business interests conflict with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. He hasn't divested himself of his business interests, he hasn't released his Tax Returns, and it's obvious he has many business conflicts world-wide. It's actually Unconstitutional to have him serve as President. He has already essentially violated the clause, in the Transition period, mixing his business & politics. The man is one, unconstitutional, massive, coruscating, conflict of interest!

2. The Russians & extreme right wing elements in the FBI essentially corrupted the election process by spreading Disinformation. The Russians also may have colluded with the Trump team to disrupt the vote before the election. Clinton still won the Popular Vote but her margins were less robust because of the info-hacks from a foreign Government and an American Government Entity (FBI) infiltrated by Anti-Democratic elements.

3. The Electoral College itself is a "system hack" originally created to induce Slave-Holding States to join the Union. In this case, the Popular vote and Electoral vote are so "out of whack," Trump's Electoral win is truly UnDemocratic! Democracy undermined! As of this moment Hillary Clinton's Popular Vote Win Total over Trump is 2,103,589 (and counting)! That's a lot of Democracy!

Oh yeah, he's also a bigoted, racist, misogynist of epic proportions, a man totally unqualified for the job. But any one of the above 3 reasons are probably enough to deny him the Presidency!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pie in the Sky When You Die!

Death by Pie. Is it possible? Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. But then again, as Wm. Blake once wrote in the Proverbs of Hell: "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."

I guess it depends on what you mean by excess, and how much excess you can take. And just exactly what kind of substances, or habits you are indulging.

Opioids? Coke? Scotch? 

So pie. How bad can it be? I mean, you start with a slice of the Cherry, then you try the Apple/Cranberry, and well, 3 slices of that one seem to go down quite nicely, and then well later, after all the hubbub back in your own quiet little bubble you try another slice of Cherry with a sidecar slice of Pumpkin pie.

Yes, too much. Way too much pie. Still you feel kind of happy from this episode of wanton indulgence. You reel from a happy sugar rush and call it a night. Deep sleep comes, and well, you dream of pies. Floating pies. Of every variety. And you wonder did you die and ascend to Heaven? 

Pie in the sky when you die...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Put the Panic on Hold!

A day off. Finally. A day to chill, to reflect. To panic?! Oh please, God, no. Maybe put the panic on hold.

I mean, yes, well, there are plenty of reasons to panic. I won't list them, but let's just say the list is long, deep, and pretty convincing that we are all on the wrong freaking track. Knocking on the door of some weird, ridiculous Apocalypse. Ice is melting, seas are rising, oceans are dying, ecosystems disappearing.

Totally crazy people will soon be in charge. And the common people are turning on each other. Like mad dogs. Aaarrrffff!

Out of balance. Out our heads. Hopefully not out of luck. Today is the day where Sisyphus can take a break from rolling that stone up the hill. He can chill out. Eat turkey and pie, and watch football, or argue politics with his relatives. Hopefully no one comes to the dinner table armed. Could get messy.

Funny thing. Sisyphus will miss rolling that rock today. Too much time to reflect. Too much time to think. And quickly those thoughts turn dark. Better to do. That's the lesson of the story. Keep on rolling that rock. Even if it comes back down. I mean, actually it's a really good thing it keeps rolling back down, gives old Sisyphus a purpose, a reason to live.

It doesn't take much to keep going. Life wants to carry forward. It's a natural thing. All it takes is a little glimmer of a light. A tiny little glimmer. There's hope in that little glimmer. Yes, there is, for sure.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What is Good and Right for Me?!?

Wisdom. What is it? "The quality of being wise." That sounds a bit "tautological." 

I'd say wisdom is an idea or phrase that holds meaning or truth over time. 

We are in the middle of season 2 of Fargo, (yes, that's right, Fargo, we are binge-watching via Amazon, it's a freaking, kooky, joy-ride; a wild masterpiece, and a real pleasure to watch) and one of the characters said the following, and these words ring so true right now, but really, they probably ring true just about any time, (my definition of wisdom):


"We are out of balance. Don't know right from wrong. No moral center."

Couldn't those words be spoken in pretty much any era? Any time in human history? Yes. Probably. For sure and especially right now. But of course, we are always in the right now!  Still it really smacks of deep wisdom.

Morality.  Slipperier than you think. As Joan Didion once remarked, I'm paraphrasing from memory (basically making it up), "Once you get past the idea of burying your dead, morality gets all kind of fuzzy, and hazy. Ephemeral."

I suppose it comes down to "who decides?" Do you defer to a King, a Pope, a President, a Judge, a Cop, a Council of Elders, your Parents, your Friends, your Tribe? Often we are left to our own devices. And isn't it amazing how self-righteous people can be? What is good and right often turns out to be what is good and right for me!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hope Under the Shadow!

What gives me hope under the shadow of Trump?

1. Barack Obama. This is a must read: David Remnick interviews Barack Obama.  I do think Obama will be a strong voice leading the Loyal Opposition. He is always reasoned, measured, and not one to panic. He is an incredible force, the finest President in my lifetime for sure, no doubt, and maybe, just maybe, he will help the Opposition stand strong.

"This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. And you should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or may be inside you and you have to vanquish. And it doesn’t stop. . . . You don’t get into a fetal position about it. You don’t start worrying about apocalypse. You say, O.K., where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward.”

2. Also, I think it's clear, already, that Trump's Presidency will be comically sordid. The Dude has so many conflicts of interest. And he has no clue. To him business is politics, and politics is business. And of course, it isn't. Pretty sure this will sink him. I have high hopes that real investigative journalists will do their jobs. And if and when the rot is revealed, the Body Public will expel the virus!

3. Hillary Clinton's Popular Vote total continues to grow. You can track the vote totals here: the real, raw numbers from the 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker. As of this morning, her Winning Margin stands at 1.3% of the Popular Vote.  Contrary to earlier reports, total vote count is actually up since 2012. We must never, ever lose sight of the fact that more people voted for Clinton than Trump!

4. Alec Baldwin. His portrayal of Trump is epic. His Twitter war with Trump was quite entertaining. Baldwin has obviously hit a raw nerve with Trump via his work on Saturday Night Live. How to destroy the Strutting, Pompous Strongman? Laugh at him. Loudly, proudly. Destroy him with big, joyful, belly laughs. Trump is a fool. Yes, a dangerous fool, but a fool nonetheless.

Ha, ha, ha!

Monday, November 21, 2016

How Far Back Will We Go? 1950? 1850?

Yesterday I did a lot of reading, thinking & talking. With/to a few close people. Sometimes things finally do clarify... and it helps... at least a little bit.

The Trump phenomena, what is it? For a minute, don't think of him as a person, think only of him as a symbol. A big, loud, strongman. Wealthy. Powerful. White. Privileged. Speaks off the top of his head. Doesn't really know what he's saying, but says it anyway. He's actually low-class, white-trashy, uneducated, but street smart. He was born wealthy, never really had to work hard - things were given to him because of his birthright. By an accident of being white and wealthy, he gets it all. And that's the way the world worked for white folks/white men, for centuries!

And whatever he says it's always said loudly, definitively. Realize that to him words don't really matter. They are only tools to help him get what he wants.

He can say one thing this moment, and something totally contrary the next. And whatever he says in the moment is all that matters. He only watches TV. He gets all his news, all his knowledge of the world comes from TV. He doesn't read. Doesn't use a computer. He owns a phone and likes to tweet at 3:00 a.m. He must know something about America I don't know. I never watch TV. 

So okay. His only nods to the present are TV and Twitter. Makes him seem with it and modern, but he's not.

He is a throwback to another time. Let's all set our clocks back. How many decades or centuries back shall we go? We will go back to a time when big, loud white men had all the power, all the privileges. Woman were objects to be used. Minorities were slaves and servants - objects to be owned, and pushed around.

Folks who supported Trump and voted for him, voted to go back to the Past!

When Trump says "Make America Great Again," he is telling us that he doesn't believe in the Present or the Future, he really only believes in the Past! And his followers do not want to live in the Present or the Future either. They want to go back to a Past that exists only in their dreams.

It's a mythical, beautiful time when everyone knew their place. Woman were not a threat. Minorities were not a threat. The big multi-cultural experience of America was not "out of control." Men were men. So yes, everything that us Liberals/Progressive found repulsive about Trump were actually the primary features of his appeal to another slice of the population.

I was stumped for a long time on the question, "How could they even think of voting for that Man?" The answer to the question: "Because they don't believe in and are afraid of the Present & the Future, they really do want to live in a Retro Paradise from another time."

It really is about the "old order." A time before Civil Rights. Before Roe v. Wade. Before Equal Pay. Before Political Correctness. Before China & India were economic powers. 

So now we see Trump, sort of like Jed from the Beverly Hillbillies, or Stalin in the 50's tromping around the halls of power in Washington. For some of us, it's ridiculous, sad, so backward, and transparently ugly, and contrary to our hopes for the now and the future.

But it is that ridiculous, backward picture, exactly, that Trumps supporters are excited about. How far back will we go? 1950? 1850? 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Fierce Vision!

You know I did the sane, rational, upstanding, right thing. For sure. I voted for the progressive woman with a long track record of competence and dedication to public service. I voted to continue Barack Obama's agenda. I voted for a positive future. An inclusive, multi-cultural soup of a country.

And my candidate won more votes than the other one, maybe close to 2 million more votes, (never forget), and the guy who is taking office will be entering it with the lowest approval ratings in the modern era. Oh yeah, he has also shown himself to be an unashamed bigot - misogynist, racist -  a man of colossal flaws, with a sea of conflict of interests floating around his rotund body. He never once tried to hide this reality. And nearly half the voting public voted for him anyway.

Baffling. Unexplainable. So, anyway, everyone in my orbit is freaking out! Totally. And we are all scratching our heads, asking, "What happened?!"The Black Swan has landed. Right in the middle of our multi-cultural soup.

It's funny. We are the ones doing the soul-searching. We are vowing to clean up our acts, be better people. We somehow feel we have let folks down. We did the right thing, but for some reason we are all being punished. The gods are not happy. They are bringing down the Reign of the Con upon our confused land. It's such an ugly picture.

How to move forward? That's been the question hanging over us the last week. And it's a question that will hang over us for a long time. I don't wish anything terrible to happen to the Hollow Con Man, that would be counter to my "spiritual" ideals. But I do hope that he "gets what he deserves," you know, "reaps what he sows." If you act hateful you attract hate. If you cause pain, you attract pain. If you treat others with contempt you create contempt for yourself. That's the land he lives in: hate, pain, contempt!

I intend to live in a different land, one that coexists with the Reign of the Con, but in loyal opposition to it. Instead of hate - love, instead of pain - comfort, instead of contempt - joy.  I will cling to this vision fiercely!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Outrage is Just Starting!

Yes, it's like a death in the family. No doubt. No way around it. And the Outrage is just starting. Hasn't even been sworn in yet. So it's a slow-motion, multi-year death, that will hang over us all - this country, this world, this mankind, for a very long time - and things will never be the same again. Maybe it's more like a plague. A deep disease that has infected the land.

Sounds pretty fucking dire.  Yes, and it is.

No way around it. And as Krugman reminds us, none of this should be "normalized." People must call it out, they need to take a stand. 

"And anyone who doesn’t — who plays along and plays it safe — is betraying America, and mankind."

I say, gimmee the truth. No, scratch that. I figure no one is gonna gimmee anything. We need to search for the truth. To nail it down, find out the sources, confirm the facts. Too much disinformation floating around. Too many conspiracy theories. 

Tune out the noise machine. Search out the true investigative journalism. Search out the true progressive voices. Be tough-minded. Don't fall prey to lazy thinking. 

We the People have some explaining to do. How could we be so thoughtless, cavalier, contemptuous of our own democracy, our own country? It's a shame. And a tragedy. Many of us are to blame. And now we will bear the consequences. No way around it.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump Trifecta: Kakistocracy, Autocracy, Kleptocracy!

Bad shit happens. Maybe you learn something. I learned a new word this week: Kakistocracy. "Government by the worst people." Welcome to your new American Dream. Ryan Lizza tells us the first week of Trump is already quite "alarming." 

And Masha Gessen, an old hand at living with Putin, gives us some rules for living with an Autocracy. What is an "autocracy?" A government ruled by a person with total power. Think Putin. Think of Trump as America's Putin. Some of the rules to navigate our new reality:  #4 Be Outraged. And. #3 Institutions will not save you. And. #1 Believe the Autocrat.

Chilling. Scary. A new way to think about your new America. We have entered uncharted territory. Maybe it's much easier to destroy our country than we ever really imagined?

And Matt Yglesias delves into how Trump will almost assuredly be our most corrupt President ever.  It's pretty much a given. A built-in feature, not a flaw. Think Kleptocracy. Seeking status and personal gain? Mixing business with politics? Using power to punish people? That is the essence of Trump.

Only a week into the transition to Trump. It's clear we are fucked. Beyond our imaginings. Anyone who spent any time worrying about Hillary's emails, should have their freaking heads examined. It's gonna be a long, painful, 4 year, winter.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Dark Ages Redux Again Survival Tool-Kit!

How to survive the New Dark Ages Redux Again? (See previous 3 or 4 posts).

1. I recommend sleep. Lots of sleep. Sleep to recharge, to recover, to dream. And dream about a better world, sunnier days, and sweet revenge. You know revenge in just the best way.

2. Be careful what you listen to, what you watch, what you read. Avoid click-bait. Go to real news sources with real investigative journalists. Read stories with original reporting, not just opinion pieces. Although, I'd recommend always checking in with Paul Krugman to see what's on his mind. This will sound like a Liberal's reading list, and it is, but remember, "reality has a distinct liberal bias." Stick to publications/websites like: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox.com, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New Republic, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo.  Now that I think of it, don't watch the news at all. Forget Cable, forget the Network News. No time to waste on TV.

3. Submerge in books, plays, movies, long-form series. Lose yourself in another story, another time, another place. 

4. Create. Something. Anything. The act of creation itself is a positive thing. Doesn't matter what. Knit, sew, write, sing a song. Whatever. 

5. Move: Walk. Run. Jog. Dance. Twirl. 

6. Meditate. Sit in silence. Alone. For long stretches of time. Clear your mind, or create pictures in your mind, or repeat a mantra. Maybe try all three methods. Breathe. Deeply. 

7. Music. Listen to music. All the time. Jazz. Classical. Rock. Country. Rap. Anything. Really.

8. Stay engaged. On your terms. Don't let the news overwhelm you. Don't let cynicism, or sarcasm sink you. Keep your sense of humor. Keep your sense of yourself.

9. Love. Show it. Live it. Mean it.

10. Hope. For a better world. A new day. I know, it might sound a bit sappy, like a Hallmark Card thing, but really, I really, really I mean it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Soundtrack for the New Dark Ages Redux Again!

It sure looks like we are in for a long, concentrated and determined, darkness. I think the word, "clusterfuck," should come in quite handy in the next few years. How to survive? Love, laughter, poetry, dance, art, music, living a full, well-rounded existence.

We will probably need to do some marching, protesting, and standing around with other like-minded folks too. Most of us (actually 1 million more, and counting), voted for a much more enlightened, progressive future. So we must not be silent.

I was thinking we need a soundtrack for the new Dark Ages Redux Again. So here goes...

First up, here's the great British sage, Richard Thompson. He reminds us that "Good things happen to bad people, but only for awhile..."



Next up, the 2016 Nobel Laureate, that great, switchblade-like, prophetic, old testament voice, older than the mountains, older than dirt; the always elusive, shimmering, mercury-like magus, Bob Dylan: "Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull, from the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol..."




And finally from my own band, whitewolfsonicprincess. This song, and a few others too, now seem like songs of prophecy. Didn't quite know where they were coming from, but now I have a glimmer of an idea that we were just seeing things very, very clearly, maybe a bit, clairvoyantly... "Didn't want to look into your eyes, it couldn't be helped, didn't want to see through your eyes, it couldn't be helped... didn't want to put a curse on you, it couldn't be helped..."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

No Silver Lining!

It would all be sort of funny, if it wasn't so tragic. What is that saying, something about tragedy repeating as comedy? A black, dark comedy. A dark comedy so dark, laughter hurts, draws blood.

Names floated in the new Dark Ages are the  reliable old "stormtroopers" - Giuliani, Gingrich, Carson, Bannon. These are the worst of the worst, the dregs of the dregs. The loyal henchmen to the big Con Man. Bad news, follows bad news. It is hard to avoid it. 

Doing my best, but still the stench, the rot filters in. Looking for a "silver lining?" There is none. Guiliani is being floated for Secretary of State? Hah! The mind reels. The rabid, frothing dog traveling the world, how embarrassing, and of course, how dangerous.  The new Dark Ages. New and improved. Darker more retrograde than your wildest imaginings.

Monday, November 14, 2016

It's like the Dark Ages Redux Again!

"Yes it's like the Dark Ages have descended... and, we all know the exact moment: this day, this time, it has begun... the darkness came, and nothing was ever going to be the same. And we all know what living through dark times is like, we can remember those years of terror, torture, and institutional ignorance. Not that long ago, except it feels like another lifetime. That time we didn't know, we were dancing in the dark, not realizing how dark it was going to get, how bad things we going to be, but this timewe know, it's as if we all have "precognition," we can see what's coming, and it's not good. It is not a happy, sunny vision. This time the forces of darkness are overloaded, abundant, all-powerful, and willfully, proudly, diabolically ignorant. It is so dark at the moment, we have to root for ignorance to somehow undermine, or override the whole grand, lurching, movement. But of course, ignorance on it's own can do great damage too."

Sunday, November 13, 2016

America's Original Sins Come Back to Haunt Us!

Spending lots of time alone with my acoustic guitar. Finding new riffs to fill the void. I am only tangentially engaged with the world at the moment. So many pictures and words I just don't want to see or read. It's funny. I truly am mourning the death of an idea, a dream, a vision of my future and the future of my country.

I do see this as a pivot point in time. And the pivot is in a backward, reactionary direction. It's heart-breaking to point out that by the time all the counting is done, the progressive woman with a firm grasp on policy, the most qualified candidate, will end up with around 2 million more votes than the other person. The progressive woman won the "popular" vote. Which is the actual, real vote!

And this interview enlightened me... why do we have an Electoral College?   Seems it was basically an inducement to entice the slave-holding states of the South to join the union of states. So instead of one man/one vote, we concocted a mechanism to give weight to smaller states, and established electors who actually elect our President. It's useful to recall that many of our Founding Fathers were slaveholders, they embraced Democracy, but their version excluded African Americans, women, and Native Americans.

America. Dig a little deeper, just below the surface, and somehow racism and slavery (and of course genocide) always come to the fore. Slavery, racism, sexism, prejudice, are truly America's original sins. 

In my lifetime this has come back to haunt us big time. I try to imagine a President Gore being elected in 2000 or a President Hillary Clinton in 2016 and my heart skips a beat. Both won the popular vote!

It's also sadly ironic, that it is the now the former slave-holding states that are so intent on preventing & suppressing the votes of African Americans. First they were worried they'd be underrepresented in the new country because their slaves couldn't vote, and now they are doing their best to make it really hard for the descendants of slaves to vote today.

Did anyone say, diabolically tragic?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Disrupted, Unsatisfied, Troubled Imagination

Events conspire, and we fall back or are propelled back to the basics. If you are a writer, you write, a painter, you paint, a poet, you poetize, a singer you sing. Pushed from the public square (you know the place where they cheer the new leaders, it's also the place where they hang the new transgressors), back to your lonely room.

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a movement and a mob.

The lonely room is the natural habitat for some of us: cast aways, refugees, renegades. In opposition. To the prevailing national conversation. Being in opposition comes naturally. When I was a wee lad there was the culture, and there was the counterculture. From my perspective, in my lonely room, I could see clearly that much of the fun, creativity, beauty, love and wisdom was with the counter side of the equation.

In my imagination I will fall back on this dichotomy: Nixon vs. Lennon.

Time is not linear. Time is a wheel. Time is an illusion. Events unfold. Progress is not a given. There is action and reaction. We can waste lots of time fighting the forces of reaction. The fight doesn't have to be in the streets, or the public places, although it probably will be fought there, but more importantly it will be fought in our heads. In our lonely rooms. 

A revolution in the head.

So dark times can create works of light. I am not talking about "political art," most of what we consider political art, art that directly addresses politics, is pretty much dreck. I am thinking of deeper, subtler works, works of the deepened heart and the disrupted, unsatisfied, troubled imagination.

Light in the age of the darkness.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Imagine the Light!

If you've been around long enough, and you pay attention, some things become clear...

Any day is anything can happen day. Anything happens all the time. Good things. Bad things. I suppose it's all in the eye of the beholder.

And good things happen to bad people. And bad things happen to good people. And there is no justice on the human realm. And when human beings try to enact "justice," things often end up even more unjust.  Maybe there's some cosmic, karmic justice, but as beings in this grand edifice we are too little and too dim to make it out. We don't get to make those kinds of judgements. And my guess, Judgement Day is just another thing like the Tooth Fairy. Sounds good, but probably not real.

Is there a plan? Is there fate? Is it all luck and probability? We don't know, and probably never will. We have developed some nifty tools: math, physics, economics, philosophy, religion, science, psychology, art; they are all ways to try to make sense of this constant stream of never-ending, always confounding, moments. Nifty but inadequate to contain what we want to contain.

We will make predictions and plans, and sometimes they will work out, and sometimes not. You would hope it would kind of even out, but it doesn't work that way. You can have a good streak, a bad streak, and those streaks can define your life.

And we are all going to live through events and times that are unbearable. For sure. We will witness the death of loved ones, we will endure broken hearts and broken dreams, we will lose things most precious to us. Some of us will also experience incredible love and acceptance, and have great moments of insight and transcendence. Again it's all sort of a crap shoot. If you are lucky maybe the good and bad can kind of even out, but that is not a given. 

What to do? Carry on. As best we can. Lean to the light. Even if we don't see the light. Sitting in darkness, in silence, we can imagine a light. Sometimes the imagining is all we get. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Waiting to See the Light!

I think David Remnick nails it in the online version of the New Yorker: "An American Tragedy."

What can I add? Nausea. Waves and waves of nausea. Chalk it all up to bad luck, or bad timing, or bad karma. Whatever.

Progress is not assured. Maybe it's an illusion. Anything can happen. And anything did. I do not think it's a good thing to give the keys to the car to an "unhinged" madman. I cringe to see that the GOP, the forces of reaction, now will control both houses of congress, the White House, and can populate the Supreme Court with backward-looking stooges.

I fear for our country, our democracy, our future. It's hard to see anything positive from this at all. Progress can be unmade. Good will can be squandered. The future can be made dark. This fine country can be destroyed. Maybe easier than we all realize.

Why do we suffer? To deepen our hearts. Lots of heart deepening around here. Someone said that "the wound is where the light comes in." I see and feel the wound, waiting to see the light.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Ouch!

The noxious dirigible (see previous post), landed safely! Who knew?! No one that I knew & trusted: the Pollsters, Political Pundits, the Wonky Data Crunchers. They all missed it. Nate Silver was the only voice I heard in the wilderness that said, you know, it's possible

One of his unlikely scenarios turned out to be the likeliest scenario: one candidate, you know the sane, rational one who knew the issues, the woman would win the popular vote (translation: more people voted for her, but her people primarily live in big urban areas), and the other candidate, you know, the crazy, irrational one who didn't know the issues, but talked really loudly & stupidly, won more Electoral votes (translation: we are toast!).

This morning it's hard to imagine how this could be a good thing for our county and the world. Pretty sure it really, really isn't. I tend to lean towards an optimistic frame of mind, but can't really conjure that mojo this morning. I worry for our country, and our democracy. I am baffled by a good proportion of the old USA. I do not understand the thought process of many of my fellow citizens. At all.

It's like a ton of bricks with an improbable hairdo dropped on all our little progressive hopes and dreams. A really, really bad joke with no punchline. Just a punch to the gut.

Ouch!

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