WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Know

I know what it's like to be a Salmon swimming upstream.

I know what it's like to be a little wriggling sperm inching towards the golden orb.

I know what it's like to be a birdie flapping my wings against the wind.

I know what it's like to wrestle with the shadow world.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Happens?!

So what happens when you no longer believe in organized religion? What happens when you no longer believe in Heaven or Hell? Or the power of a free market? Or State, Local or Federal government? What happens when you no longer believe in "your country?"

What happens when you don't believe in a "Saviour?" What happens when you no longer believe people want to "do the right thing?"

What happens when you no longer trust your banker, or financial advisor? What happens when you no longer look up to rich people (they are just the beneficiaries of a crooked game)? What happens when you no longer envy celebrities? What happens when you no longer believe in "playing by the rules?" Or in "getting ahead?"

What happens if you don't care about "keeping up with the Joneses?"

What happens when you think you're just as smart as the smart ones, and not as dumb as the dumb ones? What happens when you no longer believe there are any smart ones?

What happens when you no longer trust in the safety of the food you eat or in the water you drink? What happens when you believe the air you breathe is poisoned? What happens when you believe that humans are basically "crazy monkeys" who have evolved a highly in-efficient brain that they use to justify the unjustifiable?

What happens?!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Better Angels - Lombardi & Lennon

Lombardi tells me: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

And just where are we going?

Johnny tells me: "To the Toppermost of the Poppermost!"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cognitive Slaves Unite!

Love this from Global Guerillas. All those power users of Facebook and Google are "cognitive slaves." Welcome to the New World Order. And of course our slavery came willingly!

"Let's take Facebook as an example. Currently it's valued at ~$25 billion by the market. However, it could be argued that ~100,000superusers out of 500 million part time users, are the reason that Facebook is valuable. They generate the core network that is the backbone of the tool. Their devoted use, high levels of connectivity, and loyalty forms the engine that grows Facebook, year in and year out. They are the materials, labor, and product of Facebook's assembly line. Yet they aren't paid for their effort. They aren't generating wealth for themselves or their families.

How much wealth? If we awarded 4/5 ths of the value of Facebook (and the same exercise could be done with Google at a couple of million superusers) to its superusers, leaving the tool managers $5 billion in value, each superuser would now be worth $200,000 from their contributions to this tool alone. But they aren't. They haven't earned a penny for their effort. " - John Robb

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maximum Volume...

You know how a record comes out and then there's all the hype and success and then well, hell they even turn it into a Broadway show? And then in retrospect you think "no, it's not that good."

Well "American Idiot" is not that record. I discovered it a few years after it came out (blogged about it here).

The last few days, I've been working at our storefront space sprucing it up, and I have repeatedly been blasting that Green Day opus through our little P.A. system at maximum volume.

The record didn't knock me out the first time I heard it. I actually thought it sounded a little too slick. But you know, over time it has really grown on me, just sounded better and better to my ears. Some kind of masterpiece. I think it captures our dysfunctional empire in decline.

Volume is critical. At ear-splitting volume it really comes alive. And that Billie Joe Armstong is some kind of r&r Messiah. Lennon-esque!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Foiled Again!

And then the little bastards try to throw sand in our eyes. But of course, we wear cheap sunglasses! Foiled again weasels!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full of It!

When the arguments start to get long and convoluted, when people decide to hide behind obscurities, you know that they are full of it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Loser's Hand

Another American President "boxed in" by the military. You start to wonder who those four star guys really work for.

Afghanistan is now Obama's War...

"Mr. Obama’s struggle with the decision comes through in a conversation with SenatorLindsey Graham of South Carolina, who asked if his deadline to begin withdrawal in July 2011 was firm. “I have to say that,” Mr. Obama replied. “I can’t let this be a war without end, and I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”

And from this vantage point it's a losing proposition. It's one of those - if you win you lose, if you lose you lose. The main theme is LOSE! Or put another way, you stay you lose, you leave you lose. Might as well cut your losses and leave now. But instead there will be years of dithering in other people's misery. And lots of people who shouldn't die, will die.

Hope dies last, Hope dies hard!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Frog

I suppose Yoga wasn't invented as some kind of torture. A smiley-faced torture.

Yoga isn't just a supposedly well-meaning demonstration of your body's limits, an elaborate, seemingly benevolent show designed to enlighten you to the frailties of your body.

I mean, Yoga can't just be this esoteric practice passed down through the ages, intended to show you that your body is a frog's body. And that you are basically and definitely a frog!

I mean, no, it can't be...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Conscious Optimism!

And then I my Spiritual Advisor just pops into my consciousness and she delivers the right message at the right time! How is that possible?

My great teacher, Kris Cahill nails it... conscious optimism!

And yes, being conscious can be painful. But then maybe embracing it can somehow kill or transform the pain. And we are left with some kind of mad optimism (I throw my lot in with the MAD ONES!) that can't be snuffed out...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spike Lee School of Spirit

Someone turned to me for some "spiritual advice" yesterday. I dispensed a few nuggets of wisdom - I carry them with me just in case, and then I bathed in the love of affirmation. Even the little dog who happened to be an accidental observer to the scene, looked up at me with soulful eyes brimming over with love and good vibes.

Now don't feel sorry for the person who looked to me as some kind of spiritual guide. She knew everything she needed to know before she sought my counsel. I was just the sounding board for her own inner monologue. I made the right sounds and suddenly everything seemed clearer.

And what was the essence of the words I spoke? It can all be distilled down to the Spike Lee School of Spiritual Guidance: DO THE RIGHT THING!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zen in the Middle of a Train Wreck

Finding Zen on a lonely mountain-top seems like a piece of cake. To find Zen in the middle of the train-wreck, now you're talking about something...

If I focus on the "big picture" I see myself, eyes wide shut, curled up on the oriental rug in a fetal position. Better to focus on the "little picture," one step, one meal, one day at a time.

Still, I know the train is hurtling down the track, the track ends, either it falls off a cliff, or backstops into a brick wall. There's no slowing down, there's no engine driver. So I guess, I must do something, so I sit in my seat and look for the Zen... it must be in the moment, it's all I've got...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Materializing in Your Head

You think it's all leading up to something. Like there's been a secret plan all along. You forget the false starts, the dead ends, the mad circles, or you figure they were all just part of the plan too. You think the outline of the thing is materializing in your head. You wonder if you might be hallucinating...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Helicopters

My black helicopters were white. It was kind of a Philip K. Dick-like morning. Yesterday it seems some guy blew his own head off with a pipe-bomb. So the neighborhood was buzzing. We heard the helicopters hovering above our apartment building. I went for a run, and I swear those white helicopters followed me.

Later at the coffee shop everyone was talking about the guy who decapitated himself. He blew himself up near a middle school. A guy walking his dog discovered him. The cops descended. You wonder what the guy was up to? Did he really want to blow himself up or did he have other plans that just kind of went up in smoke?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bat-Shit Crazy!

We argue about imaginary things. And ignore the bat-shit crazy stuff right in front of our noses!

Monday, September 13, 2010

"I Read the News Today, Oh Boy..." - J. Lennon

Our political discourse seems to be held hostage by idiots. My "Outrage Meter" is over-loaded. I watch my fellow citizens get all riled up by ridiculous inanities and well, I just have to laugh...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I Just Type...

I'm sipping coffee, listening to Bowie singing, "I demand a better future." Sometimes I just type, I don't really have to think...

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Stupidity!

And even though you think it really couldn't, the stupidity just keeps multiplying!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Clowns Lie Too!

Let's say you are little Lying Weasel, and your lies start unraveling. I mean, what's a Lying Weasel to do?! Well of course, you lie some more! And you get some other clowns to lie for you too.

Still, the countdown to your day of reckoning is coming! The Truth will out! And the Underdog will be vindicated! Yes, indeed! Which again brings me to one of my favorite all time videos...


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Barney's Folly!

Our Matthew Barney obsession continues...

We were strangely compelled to see the last two installments of the Crewmaster series from Mr. Barney yesterday. We caught the series out of sequence, so yesterday it was Crewmaster 1 &2.

Love him or hate him, (and it seems there's lots of folks on either side of that equation), Matthew Barney is certainly committed to his unique vision. And he followed through with a series of films unlike anything else I've ever seen.

Crewmaster really does work as a series. It's a compelling vision, it's haunting, beautiful, ridiculous, hermetic, obsessive, etc. What I love about it - it's totally open-ended, with no commercial value, a useless (?!?) artistic confection - that leaves you to puzzle out your own meanings.

I came away totally clear. Sort of like washing someone else's dreams or hallucinations through your own nervous system. It was kind of exhilarating. The art world has sort of embraced Matthew Barney, the movie critics (at least the local Chicago ones) pretty much dismiss him.

We are in the embracing camp!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Iggy and the Stooges Live!

If you have always been a fan of Iggy Pop, and if you've read the biography about him, "Open Up and Bleed," you know that his life has been one of achievement and defeat, of improbable survival and unbelievable self-destruction, of horrific tragedy and ridiculous comedy, of hardcore discipline and over the top debauch, of pure good luck and absolute bad luck, of madness and clarity, of inspired rock and roll and misguided dreck.

Finally it's clear that Iggy has always been more than a force of nature. At 63 he is finally recognized as essential to the rock and roll canon. If you've read the book, you also know that he and James Williamson, the dark star guitarist, crashed and burned long ago.

So it's amazing and gratifying to read that they re-united, and that they played a raucous and deliriously received show in N.J.

Iggy's saga continues and it always amazes...

Monday, September 06, 2010

Oddly Twisted Stuff

We went to the movies yesterday. Saw a couple films from Matthew Barney's Crewmaster Cycle.

Well what can I say? Pretty sure you haven't seen anything like it. Very strange, beautiful, hermetic, disturbing, ridiculous, infuriating, inspiring, thrilling, boring, awe-inspiring, stupid, silly, icky...

Kind of repelling and addictive too. There were times the coffee didn't help and I started to drift off. No dialogue, long shots, weird music, oddly twisted stuff...

I guess you could say we loved it, although not sure. Yeah, I guess let's say we loved it. We talked about it for hours afterwards, and we are still puzzling this morning over what we'd seen and what it all added up to. Now that's some kind of achievement.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

R&R Svengali

I was never really a fan of the Runaways. But we watched the movie last night and really enjoyed it. A sort of r&r cliche come to life. But the story is told with style. I thought the movie was filmed quite beautifully.

But what really made it for me was Michael Shannon's portrayal of that serious eccentric and r&r Svengali, Kim Fowley. I know Michael from his work in the theater community here in Chicago, I saw him in some amazing shows in a little black box theater on Wells St.

Also there's a great scene featuring Iggy Pop's "I Wanna Be Your Dog." A perfect melding of music and image.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Lennon Bash

Yes, October is gonna be really cool. We will be hosting a John Lennon night. It would have been his 70th birthday on 10/9/10. Kind of mind-blowing...

A night of Lennon songs. Lots of performers doing Lennon stuff. He touched so many people across generations. I've been listening to lots of Lennon lately from his Beatles' days to his solo years. So much great music. One of the great r&r voices.

He was the angry one, the rocker, the weird one, the leader of the pack, the prophet of peace, the working class hero, the lost one, the bitingly funny one, the brilliant one, the naked one, the longhair, the junkie, the tripped-out one, the mad-head-over-heels-one, the one who always wore his heart on his sleeve, the primal screamer, the drunk one, the enlightening one, the inspirer, the dreamer.

I'm thinking of doing "God" and "Come Together," but then there's others I'd like to do too... "Rain," "A Day in the Life," "I'm Only Sleeping." Some seem impossible, how do you do justice to the man?!

Lennon is one of my personal touchstones...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Shoes

Shoes. Got lots of shoes. Every day is a shoe decision day. Got running shoes. Got dress shoes. Got boots. Got new shoes, old shoes, really sad, old and beat-up shoes.

So, first have to decide what kind of shoe today, and then must live in my shoes for the day.

And then here's the trick. Must live in the world with other people. And must be able to imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes. An empathetic existence. Without losing ourselves to the other.

Sometimes it's easy to imagine and sometimes it's hard. And of course, the world is even more interesting and complicated than our imaginations. So we bump up against real shoes and imaginary shoes. And we do our best to navigate through the world of shoes.

And then finally, after all the sound and fury, we walk alone...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

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