WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Did You Ever Listen to Your Self?

The more I hang with people, and the more I hang out with myself, the more I am convinced that we all are basically crazy. I mean, did you ever really listen to people? Did you ever really listen to your self?

Nuts!?!

And maybe that's not a surprise. I mean, the world seems nuts too. Did it all really start with a Big Bang? Are we all really "star stuff?" Are we all really related to everything else in the universe?

Did you ever look at your hand? Freaky. Strange. And hell, I'm not even stoned...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Much Trouble Results!

Once you realize that logic and reason are really just blunt force instruments that can be wielded simply to win an argument, you are no longer surprised that you will never see eye to eye with some people in the world.

In some hands logic and reason are not logical and reasonable. As Paul Simon once put it: "A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest."

And this failure to see eye to eye is sometimes completely, irrevocably, unbridgeable.

So then, much trouble results!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

One Fell Swoop!

I'm surfing the web, reading news stories - politics, finance, events of the day, etc.

I decide, "Nope, not gonna worry about this one," "Nope, I can't contemplate that one," "Yikes, I will forget I read that one," "Holy shit, you've got to be kidding me!? I didn't even see that one!"

I dispense with the news of the day in one fell swoop of denial. I feel lighter already!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Land of the Blind!

They tell us here in the United States, that we live in a class-less society. We know that's a lie! Of course, that's not unusual, most of what "they tell us," is a lie. The whole convoluted edifice is built on an elaborate architecture of lies.

Once you see the lie, you soon realize you are swimming in lies, an endless stream of lies. Big ones and little ones.

So, of course, contrary to the lie, our society is ruled by a class of people. They are the envied and lauded class. They are the class that pretends that everyone is welcome, but of course that is a lie too.

Much of our politics has devolved into a battle of the classes. And finally the war of the classes is totally out in the open - the rich vs the middle vs the poor. There are no longer any excuses offered, there is no longer any pretending. The rich are shameless, they are squeezing the juice out of the middle class, and the middle class stupidly blames the poorer class. The unfortunate poor are the punching bags for everyone else.

It's happening in plain daylight. Still many people don't even see it. And then there are many who see it and lie about it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Zombie Road House

Our band went 40 mins north-west last night. A road trip to the road house. Visions of the Patrick Swayze movie dancing in our heads. It wasn't exactly like that movie, but sort of like it.

The trip was a short tour of the slow death of suburban culture. No burning buildings, but lots and lots of empty strip malls: big, hulking empty spaces, cheesy theme restaurants, the consumer paradise crash-landing on hard times. This is the land of sprawl: lots of manicured lawns, lots a stream-lined corporate headquarters.

It's a car culture. No one gets anywhere unless they have wheels. It's a culture that celebrates easy money and cheap gas. That celebration seems to be fraying around the edges, or no, it's collapsing in slow motion, vanishing before our eyes. Lots of deadness. A true zombie culture. A dead way of life. These people just don't know it yet.

The r&r show itself was pretty disappointing. A huge place, a hollow palace dedicated to gambling, drinking and lousy food: cold beer and big heaping plates of fried shit. I mean it just looked like mountains of fried shit heaped up on a plate! And much of the audience was big; I mean enormously fat. Maybe it has something to do with all the artery-clogging empty calories?! Who would of thunk it?

We played a short set. We gave it a valiant effort. But the sound was terrible. Loads of first class equipment, big amps, expensive p.a., a supposedly experienced sound guy, but it was all for naught. The sound was cheap, thin, booming, muddy.

We got out of there intact, but sort of muddied by the whole thing; vowing not to go back.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Delirious New York/Glorious Diversity!

I agree with Andrew Sullivan that the vote to legalize Gay Marriage in New York is a BFD! And I am someone who has never been married, and don't really want to get married, and well, it's basically not my issue.

But I love the fact that our society has "progressed" to the point where gay people are being recognized as having the same rights and deserving the same respect as anyone else.

One of the great achievements of the grand liberal, melting-pot American Experience has been the relentless march of Civil Rights (Human Rights!), for all. I am with the Dali Lama when he reminds us that we are all human beings and in that fundamental sense we are all the same. And our differences make us unique, and those differences should be supported and celebrated!

I love the grand diversity of the human continuum! I also love New York. One of the most amazing cities ever imagined and constructed.

This a small step along the way, but it is also a major step forward. It almost seems ridiculous that it's still even an issue, but the forces of Reaction are strong and backward and recalcitrant. But I do think that human beings can sometimes see clearly, and it is in everyone's interest to recognize the beautiful humanity of all those around us.

Those unhappy folks pounding old musty books declaring that we've pissed-off God need a major re-think!

Friday, June 24, 2011

We Pick Up Shit, So We Don't Have to Take Shit!

Let's say I was going to start my own Anarchist Collective of Dog Walkers. Which tune would I choose as our fight song? Iggy Pop's "I Wanna Be Your Dog," or Howling Wolf's "I Ain't Gonna Be Your Dog?"

I don't know, since I'm a wobbly Anarchist, not good at making up his mind, I'd say let's go with both!

But I'm am pretty sure what our motto should be: We Pick Up Shit, So We Don't Have To Take Shit!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Choose Love First

The wise ones tell us: find something that you love to do and do that for life. I do think this is great advice.

And remember what you love won't necessarily pay the bills, or make you famous, or make your neighbors envious. If you think those things are important, maybe you aren't really playing the game of love correctly.

I advise you to choose love first! And damn the consequences. Doing what you love to do is it's own justification and it's own reward. But choose wisely. Love can be all consuming. And the road of love can actually be a hard and lonely road.

They usually don't tell you that part. Following the road of love means you are on your own - you get to make the rules, and you take the responsibility for your life. You choose love even when it comes with all the other human baggage too: pain, sacrifice, loneliness and just plain LESS.

That's because love is actually more than meets the eye. It will fill you up! And that's the good life!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Awful People Run the World!

I guess when the revolution comes, and I'm pretty sure it is coming, (something has to give) I just don't think the rich folks are gonna suddenly wake up one morning and voluntarily decide to do the right thing, to share their wealth; so finally the great masses of the poor and unwashed will have to rise up, even if they don't want to, or even if they are too tired to raise a fist, and when the revolution comes (as per Mao) it probably won't be a dinner party.

At some point the hungry and oppressed ones will be pushed against the wall and they will just have to make a stand, and then the walls will start to shake and all hell will most likely break loose.

At least, that's my script.

It's clear that there are powerful, monied interests that rule the world, (here in the U.S. the vaunted middle class has been systematically robbed and dismantled!) and it's obvious that there is a class of folks who do not care if there are others suffering, and they are too arrogant and greedy and self-absorbed to see that it's really in their best interest to have an equitable society, to have lots, if not most, or really all, of the people of the world with more than just the basic necessities - well fed, well-educated, with health care and a decent pay for a decent day. There is more than enough to go around, we have a distribution problem and to fix it there needs to be a major reshuffling of the deck.

As Eschaton so succinctly put it yesterday, "awful people run the world!" And their day of reckoning is probably coming. Although, it may take time, and the poor, little folks will endure lots of pain and heartache first, before the new dawn breaks. If our last hope is for a class of benevolent rich people to wake up and fix things, I think we have a re-think coming!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It is a war of those with little vs those with much!

Don't want to sound like a broken record, but actually a broken record would be a good symbol for our times. A vinyl (oil-derived) platter, big and clunky, no longer useful, stuck in the tracks, needle skipping back over the same lines again and again. Making noise. Just plain noise!

My brother called yesterday and said, "everything is broken." I agreed. Yes, everything is broken. Or at least that's how it seems. And maybe again the Greeks are just ahead of the curve. They are just a little farther down the broken curve.

There is blood in the tracks. I can't help rooting for the people in the streets. It seems they are pitted against the bankers and those calling for more pain for the people who don't have anything already. It the same all over the world. The people in the streets against the well-heeled and well-financed.

My heart and head is with the people in the streets. Even if they don't have an answer or program. They are tired of being beaten down over and over while they are asked to bail out and make whole the well-heeled and well-financed.

It is a war of those with little vs those with much!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's that kind of Monday morning...

The universe has conspired against me. I think. I have found myself here. Not really of my own own volition. Or at least I don't remember giving the "go ahead" to my conception and birth, although some of my "spiritual" teachers have informed me that I really did choose to be born, I did choose my parents, I did want to actualize myself on this little blue planet.

Maybe. I can't be sure either way. I mean, "it's all my doing" isn't really any more implausible than to think that my reality is the result of a many billion years sequence of Rube Goldberg-like accidents and coincidences.

Bottom line, I'm here.

And I've had some good times and also gotten into some shit too. I was wandering the neighborhood and noticed there are monuments to people who were born after me, and now are dead and gone before me.

It's a strange feeling, to realize that you are sort of out of time. And then there are times when I can see that time has altered me. And is continuing to alter me. By the time time gets through with me, I may be unrecognizable.

And then there does seem to be a part of me that is "out of time" or beyond time. Untouchable by time. Not sure what part, it just seems that there is something at the core that can't be altered or touched.

Maybe. Can't be sure. That's just how it feels. And I want to sort of protect it, make sure it doesn't get harmed, but really, I have no control over it. I don't even know what it is, or where it resides, or if it really exists...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guitar Circle

So what did I do on my "day off?"

It wasn't really a day off from being me. I mean, how does one get a vacation from being themselves? And I'm not talking about that long, dark permanent vacation, I'd like to put that off for awhile.

It was restful day. A day of rest. A day to sit and reassess. I didn't really reassess. Just sat and watched and listened. Too tired to do much more than that.

The highlight of the day was our little Guitar Circle. It's an every other Saturday kind of thing. Down at the local church. The only way you are ever gonna get me in a church.

I've always been little skeptical of the guitar circle idea. Sit around in a circle, play guitars. Usually it's kind of the "lowest common denominator" kind of thing. Simple songs, 3 chords, songs that everyone can track with.

But it's actually always pretty amazing. You kind of drop your ego, or if you want it to be an enjoyable experience you should. The circle is about communication, community. It's about connecting with other players. It's not a place to show off your chops. It's a place to kind of let go and play. Simple chords, in time. It works best when you enter the circle and just "reach out!"

Music happens. It's a very human thing. Perfect for a day off.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Life An Odd Job

I've been working some odd jobs. Maybe my life has basically been an odd job. Never really thought I had a career, even when the job I was doing was considered by others to be a career. I had a job, just an odd job.

Some jobs payed pretty good. The best paying jobs were usually the worst jobs. I mean, I ended up doing shit that I didn't really want to do, didn't believe in. Maybe I was paid good money because I agreed to do shit that I didn't want to do, and didn't believe in, and worked with the absolute worst people in the world.

I used to take lots of showers when I had really bad, good-paying jobs. I think I was always trying to wash the job away. Sort of like Lady Macbeth.

I've also had some really great jobs that paid pretty poorly. These jobs entailed lots of physical work: walking, lifting, riding a bike. These were usually very "low-level" jobs. Didn't pay lots of money, but I didn't have to do anything I didn't believe in: delivered a package, walked a dog, carried stuff around.

If I took a shower after these jobs, it was usually to wash off the sweat.

Most of my life has been an odd job. The best ones, I was basically me, being me, doing something in a time and place that I wouldn't normally do, except I was doing it because someone was paying me.

Today, after many days (every single day) in a row of doing odd jobs, I'm "off." Today I get to do my normal odd job of being me, on my own time. I wonder what I'll do? It will probably be a no-pay odd job!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Note

She said, "You don't have to leave a note."

I said, "If I don't leave a note, it's like I never existed."

Yes, I would be like a ghost, or a specter, or a visitor from another dimension. A distant passenger with no stake, no hold on this existence.

Like leaving no footprint. Like seeing no image in a mirror.

I must leave a note. Even if she doesn't read it. Even if she just balls it up and tosses it in the trash. Even if the note is false, or it just skims over things, or isn't actually relevant to the things of this world, or it's just silly made up stuff.

Yes, I must leave a note...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Trouble-Makers

Yes, it probably always comes down to the "trouble-makers." Those who make trouble. They may have good reasons for the trouble they make, or maybe no good reasons at all.

They can stir up trouble just about anywhere, and at any time. They are unpredictable, unless you predict that trouble is right around every corner - and then in that case, you'd be a pretty damn good prognosticator.

Sometimes the trouble is just annoying, and sometimes it blows a hole in the fabric of our reality. It's the same impulse. The idea of stirring things up, upsetting the apple cart, turning the world upside down. Just because.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Double-Life

One advantage to be always moving, you seem to be perfectly in the flow of the day. One disadvantage, your body can only expend so much energy, and find yourself bone-tired.

There is something "clearing" about a total physical exhaustion. There is a certain joy in making it to the end of the day. Still kicking.

Maybe this kind of existence connects you back to the Neolithic past? It's a more primitive, primal way to live. And it's the simple pleasures that drive you forward: a good meal and a refreshing sleep.

Strangely to live so totally in a physical realm releases the mind to kind of float. You can actually imagine yourself floating above yourself and observe how a human exists. Interesting double-life!

And there is still enough energy to imagine other worlds and other ways to live.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Fun House Narrative

The Narrative of a life. It seems our narrative is in the hands of an "unreliable narrator." How post-modern! There is a narrative arc - born, lived, died. But then there are all those little detours and details.

Then again, some say that we are our own narrator, that we are the authors of our own destinies. Still this doesn't let us out of the conundrum. We may be be the authors, but we too are unreliable, unknowable, inscrutable. Even to ourselves!

We end up doing all kinds of shit that we can't explain. Oh yes, we try to explain our actions. We come up with all kinds of reasons why we did this or that, but really, there is no rhyme or reason for much of what we do...

So we live in a story where we can't even trust our own inner monologue, our motivations and explanations. It is sort of a Fun House tour of giggles and frowns. Some really funny shit happens, and then of course, death and tragedy sneaks up and grabs us too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Failure of the Nation-State

Others have been on this case for a long time, especially Global Guerillas. But if you peruse the news over a pot of coffee, it's easy to see that "failure of the nation-state" seems to be endemic across the globe.

There seems to be an invisible hand pulling the strings towards a massive debilitating entropy. Maybe it's globalism itself, or it's just a planet straining under the bulging human horde.

Too many mouths and hands and heads. Rich countries, poor countries, it doesn't seem to matter.

And the rich are trying to hold onto the reins of power with all their money and might, and the poor are starting to wake up to their dismal futures. You wonder if it's always been so.

Still, it's never been this crowded on the planet. And we've never been this connected. And all the usual institutions of power have never seemed this corrupt and clueless, and discredited.

It's time for a new picture. There's a glimmer somewhere of a different vision. But the coming of the vision could be really painful and ugly. Or maybe it's could be surprisingly easy and beautiful...

You must believe...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Your Life is Worth Something

And they think that you are different and have some kind of "magic," and you don't really know what it is they want from you, but they want it. Maybe to use it for themselves, or to kill it.

And you think you don't really have any magic, (not sure what it is), and whatever you do have is not something you can control, or bottle, or sell, or loan.

You do think you do have "something," and you don't want it crushed or dead, but it's not what they think it is, and it's not a big thing, it's a little thing, and it comes and goes, and it descends when it wants to, no matter what you think or want to do about it.

And they hate you and envy you and want to crush you for something you don't even really possess. Which is good to know. It's good to know that you have enemies. It's good to know that there are assholes in the world. And they will destroy you and other delicate things just because they can.

This is good to know. This knowledge reminds you that your life is worth something.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

More & More Mixing (Sessions #8,#9 & #10)

We've been doing mixing sessions on our new music at the recording studio on a weekly basis. 3 or 4 hours at a time. One session results in about (give or take) one finished song.

It's a weird way to do it, but it also allows us to mix and then listen to the results all kinds of ways: iPod, home stereo, boom box, headphones, car stereo; good systems and not so good systems. We can then go back and tweak the mix as necessary. The goal is to have a track that sounds good no matter what.

Mixing is a long, arduous and meticulous process. There's no way around it, no way to fake it. Since we are "producing" the album, we are there for every last second of the process. What's amazing is that our recording engineer is also an amazing guitar player, a sonic avant-gardist, and a recording technician of prodigious talent.

It's kind of like working with Robert Fripp, Brian Eno and Tony Visconti all rolled up into one big bear-like dude. Last session we asked our recording Guru to add more guitar flourishes to a track. It was an intense session and the results were stunning.

I think of myself as a pretty competent guitar player, but our Guru really does play a different instrument. He's a true lead player and a creator of sonic landscapes, kind of Fripp, Zappa, Belew and the Edge, with something totally his own too.

It's weird, I don't really want to just "talk up" our project, I'm really just kind of reporting the process, the music will have to stand on it's own, but the actual process has been thrilling. We are so close to it, don't really know if it's as brilliant and beautiful as it seems...

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Lighting People Up

The Lovely Carla: "Jimmy, you are in the business of lighting people up."

Sunnyjimmy: "Holy crap! You're right!"

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Jumble of Madness

I surfed the news this morning. It's all such a jumble of madness. No need to point to the particulars. Makes you wonder if everyone is just fiddling while Rome burns.

And maybe we are all secretly rooting for the fire? Those hearty souls talking about solutions or answers seem to be overwhelmed by the lying and thieving hordes of nothingness.

Finally it seems we are left to our own devices. If there are solutions or answers to our dire straits of existence, well I guess we're gonna have to imagine them ourselves.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Happy?!

Happy?! I think it was Dylan who said happiness was like the rain; it occasionally descends upon us unbidden.

Certainly if you are looking for happiness, you are on a fool's errand. It's not "out there." Out there is chaos baby. And chaos is not happiness.

And it's not "in here" either. Look inside and there's a war going on. A war of emotion and crazy-ass thoughts burning and churning.

My best advice on the happiness front: throw yourself head first into something that fully, completely, madly engages you.

I'm not promising happiness, but most likely you will be so deep into whatever you are doing that you will forget about that mad quest.

And then maybe, just maybe the clouds will open and some glimmer of something will light you up.

Monday, June 06, 2011

A Matter of Focus

Yes, well, some times it helps to have "tunnel vision." You focus on one point in the distance and trudge to it. This can also be problematic, because the tunnel is actually illusory.

There are all kinds of detours and obstacles along the journey. And if you are tunneling, they may whap you upside the head because your focus is a little too focused!

On the other hand, if your vision is too wide and far-reaching you can be paralyzed by the options and risks and contradictory data that is constantly streaming towards you.

What with the 24/7 Global Behemoth constantly streaming data down upon on our heads, it's easy to get distracted and side-tracked. So sometimes tunneling is absolutely necessary.

That's how little men in black pajamas once endured a long-term hellacious carpet-bombing campaign in the jungles of Southeast Asia a long time ago.

So tunneling is sometimes our friend. Until, of course, it isn't...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Iggy's The Idiot

I've been listening to Iggy's The Idiot obsessively lately. I think it has something to do with Iggy's uncanny ability to embody both unlikely success and inevitable disaster.

Iggy was the primal, punk rocker from Detroit, who flamed out with the Stooges and found himself without a band or career. He was walking down Sunset Blvd. in L.A. and David Bowie riding in a limo pulled over and picked him up.

That was the start of a pretty amazing and productive collaboration between two very unique creative souls. Bowie had worked with Iggy previously on the Stooges Raw Power, but it had failed to keep the Stooges together and then they all had a falling out.

Anyway, The Idiot was an experiment for Bowie, he wrote the music for most of the tracks and played guitar, sax, keyboards. Iggy wrote the lyrics and sang. It is dark, cold, icy music, very much influenced by the music coming out of Germany at the time (Faust, Cluster, Kraftwerk).

Very un-Stooge-like. Iggy was kind of wearing a Bowie straight jacket. It is some kind of dark masterpiece. Sort of funny too. It was the beginning of a pretty creative period for Bowie (Low, Heroes, Lodger). Iggy went on to do Lust for Life, another really good disc.

Bowie and Iggy kind of do a mind-meld on The Idiot. Really strange. And cool
.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Cracker Jack!

Yesterday someone said to me: "You are a Jack of All Trades." And I replied: "Yes, and Master of None." That's what we in vaudeville call a "routine."

It's true I have tried my hand at many trades. I have hustled and schemed. I come from a long line of hustlers and schemers. I wonder, can that kind of thing be passed down through your DNA?

My father had the "gift of gab," and was a hustler par excellence! My uncle, also a legendary conversationalist, was known as "the Artful Dodger."

What happens when you mix a little Irish with a little German and a little Polish? You get a little bit of a mutt. I come from a line of mutts. That is my tribal affiliation. Not exactly White Trash, but sort of white trashy. Kind of a shining example of the great American melting pot experience.

So yes a Jack of All Trades. That would make me The Cracker Jack! And don't you just know there's a surprise lurking somewhere inside the container?!

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Precarious Ones

Things are going relatively well...

Still there's that weird, unsettled-like feeling emanating from the solar plexus. A turbulent queasiness. Not an overwhelming feeling, just a slightly disturbing aura, kind of hovering within and without.

The radio tells me this morning that there is a generation of youngsters in Europe who call themselves "the precarious ones." Me thinks we are all really part of that club. The desire for security, the wads of money squirreled away, the social safety nets constructed to catch those who fall, are all ways to help tamp down that bubbling "precariousness."

But of course, all that is illusory. Our precarious situation comes from all quarters. There are the spiritual and physical pricks and kicks, and the waves of energy generated from the teeming, wanting, needing, grasping masses all colliding against each other.

It is such a turbulent soup of energy. So easy to lose your heart and head. Precarious is just part of the deal.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

No Longer Works Era!

How do governments govern?

If you are a Dictator or Police State, fear is your tool. If you are a Democracy, trust is your tool.

So no fear - government no longer works. No trust - government no longer works.

Sort of looks like the era of no longer works!

And if this is true: the richest 1% own 40% of the world's wealth, well something is really, seriously wrong. A systematic Redistribution of Wealth is gonna be necessary! Anybody smell Revolution?!

Serfs of the World Unite!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Letter to Arc Angel

Dear Arc Angel - The question you must ask yourself: how much humiliation can one being withstand? Just a reminder: humiliation is a state of disgrace, a loss of self-respect. The first part of the definition concerns those who know you, the second part concerns your own inner picture of your self.

Scars, broken bones, failures of every kind make up a life. How do you weather the weather? Can you stand up, face the music, take the humiliating blows, the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?"

Be careful. Do not puff yourself up. The loss of self-respect is probably the hardest cut. You can handle the opprobrium from the gathered masses. They are the baying hounds of mediocrity. They are simply herd animals. Their job is to shun those who are different, those who seem weak, those who stand out for their shiny heads and bright colors.

The self-respect part is hard to get around. There you need some serious work. What is your life? Who are you? What do you want? What is your purpose? Do you understand to your core that although you live and die in the physical realm, you are on a spiritual journey?

Your sense of self is malleable, it can morph, it can shrink and grow. It all depends on the circumstances in which you find yourself. If you must crawl, crawl! If you must beg forgiveness, beg! If you must beg for mercy, beg some more!

So be it. You can't actually die from too much humiliation. And the humiliation is not permanent. It is only a dark cloud in which you have temporarily lost your way.

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