wwsp albums on bandcamp!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We live in that world...

We live with the illusion of personal power - I choose to do this, not that, I will be this kind of person, not that, I will think like this, not that; but it seems ultimately we live in a world where we are pretty much powerless. 


Lots of the "big stuff" is beyond our powers; the times in which we live, the bodies with which we are equipped, the major events that define our existence: births, deaths, the broad social landscape in which we find ourselves.


Of course within those constraints, we make decisions, we make choices, we live a certain way and this is what we define as our "power."  It's limited in scope, and it's all we have to call our own.  We imagine a world, we create it, incorporating all we can't control, and all that we can, and we live in that world.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

silent in the silence

can you be silent in the silence
can you hear the dark child calling
beyond the crooked river


do you see the dark star falling
can you dream inside a dream


can you find the beauty 
beyond the simple wreckage
of a pretty face

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Process

There 's the process of weeding out.  The process of holding on.  The process of letting go.  It's all just process...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shimmering, Driving, Chiming! Transcendent!

Winter in Chicago means, hunkering down some evenings, with a space heater, a cup of hot tea and some cool DVDs.  We have a great video store in our neighborhood, and over the years we've seen lots of great movies and cable TV series.


I do think we are in a golden age of cable TV series.  Some of our favorites, the ones that have really resonated include: Mad Men (sublime!), Rome (powerful!) and the Tudors (pure, anglophile, trash!)


We just watched the first season of Boardwalk Empire - 12 episodes in about 2 weeks, (the best way to experience the work), and it is just superb.  The cast, the writing, and the era (1920's America) are eye-opening and engaging.  I love that Steve Buscemi is front and center as Nucky Thompson, and  I love that Chicago's own Michael Shannon gets to do his "twisted dude" thing.  It is all so beautifully done.  And has lots to say about then and now. 


And just how much sin are you willing to endure...?


And maybe my favorite part of the series is the opening intro; it's surreal, sort of a Magritte-like, and the music by Brian Jonestown Massacre is just so thrilling.  If you've ever seen Dig (an absolutely great rock documentary about two bands), you know a little bit about Anton Newcombe and the rocky road he and his band have traversed over the years. Hopefully Anton got a great licensing deal for letting the show use this shimmering instrumental interlude.


I'm a sucker for chiming, driving guitars, I love the ebb and flow of the track, it's a perfect match with the images of Buscemi on the shoreline, and all those bottles of booze.  In some ways, it's so unlike the actual series, the images are so unreal, dream-like, the music is an anachronism, but on the other hand it's maybe the best intro ever, and just captures something so transcendent, and beautiful... and it rocks too!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Blue Marble

NASA provides us with this picture of Earth. The Blue Marble, our little planet. It's spinning out there in space. We are tiny beings walking around on the thing.   It looks so calm, and peaceful, and beautiful... Of course that's from a very great distance...



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mixed Signals - Maybe there's a song in there somewhere?

Last evening, flicked on the radio and listened to Obama's speech.  It was all so rational, logical, middle of the road.  I pretty much agreed with everything the man said.  He had some good ideas for moving America forward.  And then, of course, I thought, "none of this is gonna happen," at least not if the GOP can obstruct it.  That's our lovely democracy!


So, as Obama spoke, I picked up my guitar and worked on a new riff.  Riffs and songs always seem to come when you least expect them.  They kind of sneak up on you.  I've learned to have a digital recorder handy.  You need to catch the butterfly when it's floating above you.


So yeah, I caught the butterfly and I went to sleep feeling sort of optimistic.  Woke up this morning with that Bee Gees song in my head, "staying alive!"


So things are sort of peachy keen right?!  Surfing the web I come across Felix Salmon's post Fear in Davos and these words from George Soros:


"The world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil.” Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether."


Yeah, okay, period of evil, riots in the streets, brutal clampdown, but hell, I have a new riff!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fear and Contempt - Fear and Loathing Redux

Fear and contempt too.  Yes, Kevin Drum tells us that Newt is not only channeling anger, he is the prefect embodiment of a class of folks who are seething with fear and contempt.  That's certainly a potent mix.

Watching all this is sort of like watching a car wreck.  You are horrified and fascinated simultaneously.  And you feel bad that you actually are witnessing it all.  Somehow you are implicated too.

I am convinced Newt will implode, partly because of his impressive mass of contradictions - one body cannot withstand so much hypocrisy, and partly because of his massive ego - you can only blow up the balloon so big.

All this attention to Newt is feeding the beast, and will pump his ego to such massive proportions that finally the Newt gas-bag will blow up in a fiery blast just like the Hindenburg.

Newt is just so Nixonian.  He is certainly from the Tricky Dicky school of politics.  First time tragedy, second time comedy.  Except this is a comedy where real people fall down and break bones.

You kind of wish the young Hunter S. Thompson were on the campaign trail this season...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Newt! Go Ass-Clown Go!

I myself am surprised by how entertaining the GOP primaries have been so far.  It's kind like watching a Zombie Death Match; Brain-Dead Zombies knocking each other around a boxing ring, all for the enjoyment of the predominantly Angry White Guy (and Gal) voters, who are salivating at the chance to rally behind their favored Zombie candidate and then take on that Militant Kenyan Socialist Rabble-Rouser in November.

And I suppose I'm most entertained by the candidacy of Newt Gingrich.  In my book, the man is a supremely transparent hypocrite and liar.  He's a noxious gas-bag.  He is channeling the Angry White Guy, he is a man who is in love with his own voice, and he will literally say anything!  He is a piece of shit for sure.

What's funny, he may be a Teflon Zombie!  You cannot really insult the man.  Whatever bad thing you think and say about him, the reality of the man, and his record, and his thought, is actually worse than you can imagine!

So yes, no doubt, Newt is a fraud, a fool, an ass-clown, a noxious gas-bag, a hypocrite, a liar, a supremely toxic and corrosive energy unleashed upon the land.   But no matter what you say about Newt, he is actually worse than that!  And that is precisely why these GOP voters are voting for him!

Newt!  Go Ass-Clown Go!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

That Was a Good Day!

I walked with a boxer named Peaches yesterday morning.  We walked along Lake Michigan.  It was a mass of choppy ice.  The beach was icy, the rocks on shore glistened like highly polished glass.  Peaches is a dog, she doesn't wear her name well, she looks like "Gollum" from "Lord of the Rings" except with a major, mush-mouthed, over-bite.


Then there was a photo shoot in our dining room. Michael our "soul-stealer" manned the camera.  He had all the tools of the trade, all the tricks of light and shadow at his command.  He was taking photos of whitewolfsonicprincess.  Trying to capture iconic images of the band for posterity.


And then there was a band rehearsal in our kitchen.  All four of us, jammed in, cozy-tight, along-side the refrigerator, the oven, the dishwasher.  We pooled our energies and let them vibrate together through our songs.  It was thrilling, soul enhancing and fun.


Later, that evening we watched episodes from the first season of Boardwalk Empire.  Sublime.  That was a good day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

No Man is an Island, But Everyone is a Critic!

As they say "everyone is a star."  And also in this media-saturated world, everyone is a critic too.  We are all so pop-culturally smart.  We all know film, we all know music.  Your grandma can talk about the great tracking shot that unfolds in the beginning of "Raging Bull," and your local Barista can engage you in an enlightening conversation about Black Death Metal bands from Denmark.


As the Telepaths front-man and my good friend, Uber Critic tells me, being a professional movie critic is like being an endangered species.  What with the internet, and all that freaking social media, it means everyone has a platform to broadcast their opinions.  And everyone, but everyone has an opinion.  And they can't wait to hit you over the head with it.  And if everyone is a critic, then well, it's a task just figuring out who is worth listening to, or reading.

And how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?  You have to listen to people you trust.  An example:  Anthony Lane of the New Yorker once tipped me off to the great Wes Anderson flick called "Rushmore," and I have been forever in his debt.  So yes, I give an ear or an eye to Lane's reviews of movies.  He's a funny guy too.  So even when I don't agree with him, I do enjoy reading his take on movies.


I also personally know Pat McDonald, the Uber Critic at Hollywood Chicago.  We write songs for the Telepaths together, and have discussed movies, music, pop culture and politics.  He often surprises me.  He's funny, intelligent and he takes to the task of reviewing movies very seriously.  Like it's a calling.  Sort like a priest-hood or something.  And I do think he deserves a medal or something for wading through movies that I go out of my way to avoid.

So I usually check out his year end list of "best movies" of the year, because I know he's seen just about everything.  I haven't seen most of these, the only one I saw was "Tree of Life," and I'm not sure if it's great or not so great.  I'm kind of ambivalent about it.

But I know I will check some of these out when they make it to DVD...  here's Uber's 2011 list!


And then there's Terry Flamm who has a wonderful music blog called Broken Hearted Toy.  Terry is a founding member of the great Famous in the Future comedy group.  Terry is funny, (one of the great Chicago comedians), kind, intelligent, and he knows music.  We've had some great conversations over the years.  He specializes in "Power Pop, Garage Rock, 1960's Pop and Cutting Edge Music."  I know he loves the Hollies!

Terry is my favorite kind of "critic." He usually writes about music and bands he loves, and he'd like you to know and love them too. Or at least give them a listen.  Music is such an expansive landscape, I check out Terry's list of best music of 2011  and realize I don't know any of these bands.  But really all that means is that Terry has listened to lots more music than I.  I'm sure I'll check some of these discs out! Dum Dum Girls!

I'm one of those Critics that believe pop culture transcends time and space. Past, present and future co-exist.  So my "best of 2011" is really lame.  My favorites discs of the year were "old discs" I discovered in 2011:  Moby's "Play" ( 1999), Radiohead's "In Rainbows" (2008), The National's "The Boxer" (2007),  Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" (2006), Big Star's "Sister Lovers" (1978), The Flaming Lips "Embryonic" (2009) and Robert Plant & Jimmy Pages "No Quarter" (1994) - yes really! UnLedded!


Oh yeah I did really enjoy these 2011 releases too: Ryan Adams "Ashes and Fire," Tom Waits "Bad As Me," Wye Oak's, "Civilian," Wilco's "The Whole Love," and Deer Tick's "Divine Providence."  Were they the best of the year?  Beats me.  Check back later in the decade!  Maybe I'll discover something "old!"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Alternative Lit

I love to read books about music and musicians.  And contrary to Frank Zappa's take ("Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read.") there is some great writing about music and musicians out there.  


There are a few books that actually come across as great literature like:  Nick Tosches' "Hellfire," Peter Guralnick's "Last Train to Memphis," and "Careless Love," and Stanley Booth's "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones."  Great writers, great subjects.  Amazing reads.  


Also if you are in an alternative frame of mind there are two books by Michael Azerrad that are worth checking out.  Both are excellent reads about fascinating subjects.  

One is "Come As You Are" about Nirvana, written when Cobain was still alive.  It captures the total maddening chaos surrounding the band, and details their amazing rise to stardom and how it ripped them up.  Cobain comes across as a funny, confused, confusing and very heartfelt human being.  He is an unhappy, tortured soul who was also a smart guy, an electrifying performer, a great vocalist, and a great songwriter.  Azerrad interviews Cobain and you get a very intimate portrait.  

The other book by Azerrad that is just amazing is "Our Band Could be your Life."  I blogged about it here, when I first read it.  I just recently re-read it.  Yes, it's that good.  Azerrad tells the stories of a bunch of bands who flew under the radar in in 80's - 90's.  Lots of these bands were bands I didn't really know or follow.  But their stories are so compelling and interesting and inspiring and unlikely.  Azerrad opens your eyes to an American alternative underground scene.  Superb!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time-Tripping to Grunge

Awhile back I saw Cameron Crowe's documentary on Pearl Jam.  It was pretty inspiring.  I was kind of blown away by the way Eddie Vedder would sacrifice his body during a show in Pearl Jam's early years.  Vedder would climb up the scaffolding and then hurtle his body into the crowd.  A crazy, death-defying stunt that certainly upped the stakes on their live shows.


The Seattle "grunge" bands combined a little bit of punk and heavy rock, but most of the bands were led by sensitive, "wounded children" like Vedder, Chris Cornell and Kurt Cobain.   The Seattle bands were very supportive of each other.   


Pearl Jam somehow rode the waves of the initial craziness of the scene, and settled into a long and fruitful career.  And they are still doing it.  I have always thought Vedder had a great voice, and he is certainly a sincere and charismatic front man.  

Still, this all made me circle back to Cobain and his band Nirvana.  I've lately been time-tripping,  listening to early nineties "grunge" stuff - Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana.  Of course, as we all know, Nirvana flamed out pretty quickly.  Cobain for various reasons was not built to endure.  I still think his voice was one of the great rock and roll voices of all time.


And Kurt was not a poser.  He opened his veins in his music and let it all out.  Cobain lived with chronic pain, a mysterious stomach ailment.  Supposedly the pain would disappear during a show.  Here's Nirvana in peak form at the Paramount in Seattle...


This is a cover - Love Buzz!  Thrilling!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Circus-Like

I woke up with this phrase circulating through my head...

"The circus-like nature of my existence..."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Something Special

We might be swimming against the tide, but swim we must.  Working on the packaging for our new CD, still on target for a Spring 2012 release.  We spent lots of time making sure the music was as "fully realized" as possible, now we are taking great care in how it's all presented.


It will be a little "album," kind of like the old record albums, no plastic in the packaging, with a booklet that will include photos, lyrics to the songs, and detailed production notes.

We are working with this amazing photographer.  He is shooting in black and white, works in the "old way," using "old world" camera technology, an artist of light and shadow.  It is an amazingly creative process.  Another inspiring collaborator we have engaged for the project.

Once we go to press, our little musical "art project" will then become a little "commodity."  So odd; we are hurtling towards the intersection where art and commerce collide. We feel optimistic about the whole process, but the commerce side of the equation is the great unknown.


We are counting on people to shell out cash for a CD.  That's the way they used to do it kids!  It's all so retro, so old world.  But this will be a limited edition CD, a very cool package, every detail thought about and labored over, and well, that's something special for sure!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Big Daddy Show!

I'm not big on going to church.  They don't build churches to the "all-encompassing, non-judgmental, universal vibration" that I subscribe to.


If I was going to build a church, I think the motto above the door would read something like: "Yeah, it's all connected you bleeping Idiot!" 


Anyway, we did spend some time in church yesterday.  One of many of those sacred spaces you can find just about anywhere: a grove of trees, a little black box theater, a rehearsal room, your living room, the space inside your head.


We marveled at the structure, the aesthetics of the place; the stained glass windows, the vaulting arches, the massive stone, the hovering angels and yes, that poor, long-suffering sap hanging up on a tree.


We kind of tuned out the words floating around the chamber, the words offered up to the Great Big Daddy in the Sky.  So old world, so unappealing.  But the show was good.  

There was a guy playing the pipe organ, the pipes massive, all powerful, and the sound filled the space and reverberated in our hearts and heads.  The show was good, yes it was, very good!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And We Do

Milan Kundera famously wrote about the "Unbearable Lightness of Being."  And his novel does an admirable job of showing just how light and ephemeral our lives can be.


There's also the "unbearable heaviness of being" too.  There is a real gravity that keeps our feet on the ground, and there's a heaviness to certain events in our lives that ground us, or put us under the ground.


So yes, we must bear the lightness and heaviness of being; both of these "states" dance around us like light and dark moths to our little flames.  And even if it's all "unbearable," we really can bear both the lightness and heaviness.  We can, and we do.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Heart of Onion

"Grappling with meanings."  Yeah, that's kind of a life-time quest.  And it's probably a fool's quest.  Kind of like peeling an onion looking for the heart of onion.

We have our lives, and we live them.  The desire for meaning is kind of meaningless.  There's a Zen quality to that conundrum that is satisfying and unsatisfying simultaneously. A hand claps.  Or not.  What else do you need?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Three Pillars

I've lived in America my entire life.  Ventured out of the country a couple of times.  

I still grapple with the "meaning" of this place, what it "stands for," always trying to decipher the code, the soul of the thing.

Guns, bibles and a deep, finely-honed, class resentment seem to be fundamentals to the whole shebang...

And those who deny there are "classes" of people in America are just playing a game.

Violence, fundamentalism and a deeply-embedded, smoldering class envy/camouflaged war... that's the America I know!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Militant, Kenyan, Socialist, Rabble-Rouser

I don't care if things are going good, or going bad, or whatever.  I hear all these Republicans blathering on about this and that, it's kind of like they are talking about another country and another time, and it's seems pretty clear they aren't proposing any "solutions" with any real substance, and they don't have any real ideas to "make things better."  

And really it's obvious they don't want to make things better at all.  They are just blowing smoke up their own asses and trying to get a cushy job where they can lord it over other people.

It's like there's this pack of people unleashed on the land running from state to state, and there's a bunch of reporters following them around, and they really are mad, and small-minded, and there's no reason to really listen to anything they say.  And the guy they are talking about, the guy they want to "replace" is a total straw-man, a badly-drawn figment of their imaginations.  They are running against a fabricated mirage.


Which is the main thing that bucks me up.  It will be a close election, it's almost always a close election.  But things are starting to look good for that Militant, Kenyan, Socialist, Rabble-Rouser. 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sausage Looters! Really?!

Dreams.  Yeah, if you're like me, someone starts telling you about a dream they had, and I start yawning and tune out.  So, if you tune this one out, that's OK by me.


Many of my dreams seem like a random, fractured series of images.  No clear Director, no great plot, no deeper meaning.  I mean, I know there may be deeper, darker meanings, (see Freud & Jung) sometimes a cigar in a tunnel isn't really a cigar or a tunnel, but, finally you are always left with the fact that it was all just a freaking dream.


I used to have dreams that were like bad episodes of Miami Vice.  And I've had those dreams of falling, and of not studying for a big test, and can't find the classroom, and don't know the combination to my locker, and, running around like a chicken with it's head lopped off.


Last night, two words, in big neon letters, were revealed to me. They were presented to me like some major, significant insight. Like some kind of esoteric revelation.  Two words I've never really seen strung together before.


Do they describe a social phenomenon I just haven't heard about yet?  Or is it a new band name?  Or... what...? 


And just what were those two words?


SAUSAGE LOOTERS!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Enthusiastic and Profoundly Confused

I'm the type of person who doesn't just decide to give up drinking lattes and switching to green tea, no, I'm the type of person who decides to give up the Latte Religion and take up the Green Tea Religion!


Which means lots and lots of green tea.  And thoughts running through my head telling myself how good green tea is, and how it's gonna change my life, and how healthy I'm gonna be.  And I don't just make myself a cup of green tea, no I make two cups and drink them down with gusto!


But I am also the type of person who hedges his bets.  I still have my pot of coffee in the morning.  Before I kneel down to the great Tea Goddess, I partake of my home-brewed coffee as usual.  It's just the rest of the day I give myself over to the tea leaves.

Yes, I'm that type of person.  Enthusiastic and profoundly confused!


Monday, January 09, 2012

Something is Happening

It's funny.  It happened with our Theater group, and now it seems to be happening with our band, whitewolfsonicprincess.  People are beginning to really pay attention.  They are listening, and hearing, and remembering who we are, and coming out specifically to see us.

It's a subtle shift.  And it's been gradual.  But it's happening.  I mean we are still playing for tiny groups of people (I hesitate to use the word crowds), but the energy of the shows has shifted.  It's like suddenly people really are seeing us, and discovering the music. 

And they are enthusiastic in their support!

Maybe we're a better band?  Maybe we're more confident in the songs?  Maybe we've played better venues?  Maybe people just are kind of waking up to us?  Not sure what is happening, but something is happening.  And it's good.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

In His Bones and Flesh

I knew this movie would be powerful and sad, and it really, really does powerful and sad very, very well.  It's also inspiring, and beautiful, and so of the moment.

Watch it.  Be prepared to sink into a great film with your whole being.  Why is it that the sad songs, the sad films can evoke such a powerful affirmation of our lives?  How is it that if we let ourselves go deep into our own beings, the place of loss and grieving deep inside us, that we can find the power and the spirit to live?

Javier Bardem is one of our great actors.  His voice, his face, his body; he just carries the weight of the world in his bones and flesh.  And there is also a poetry, a beauty, a transcendence in his being that permeates every frame of film.

Surely a great, great movie.  It works on all levels.  Masterfully.  Be reminded of the beauty and sadness of our lives.  And there is magic and spirit and love too.  

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Linger On!

We did our first whitewolfsonicprincess show of 2012 last night at the Red Line Tap.  It was a pretty good outing, even though we hadn't rehearsed with our drummer for awhile, and there were a few surprises along the way.  We were a little rough around the edges, but we were all committed 100%, and the audience was with us.  Even when we did some quieter numbers the bar crowd actually seemed to be listening, and the after-set response was all positive.


When you get high compliments from the sound guy, you know it you did all right.  Plus there was this little bonus tidbit: a guy came up to me and said I have a great "character voice," in the mode of  Lou Reed.  I guess that could be interpreted in a number of ways, but I will choose to take it as a great compliment! Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground @ Max's Kansas City in 1970!

Friday, January 06, 2012

What would that mean?

Walking in the park in the dark last night with a furry companion.  The sky enormous, and clear, with all kinds of bright blinking lights up there: planets, satellites, stars and god knows what else.


The trees throwing shadows across the grass, the grass like a foreign land, the shadows like large snakes stretched out looking to swallow up the light.


A strange chill edges up my back.  The furry companion is spooked.  For a brief moment it's like we don't know each other.  Something is not right.  


Then, a moment of befuddlement: there is a person, hiding behind a tree.  Really, can that be true? I see a person with their back against a tree out of the corner of my eye.  This person is trying hard not to be seen, they have been watching the water, watching the lights blinking up there in the sky.


I pretend not to see.  My companion too pretends.  We walk on.  There is a strange unreality that has kind of infected us.  I decide not to look back, what if there really was no person?  What would that mean?


I just don't want to know.  We quicken our pace and head home to warmth and light.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Zombies, Just Don't Know It!

Another comment still resonating from the meditation session we participated in last Sunday; it was said in an off-hand way, and sums up so much about the still percolating financial crisis, and our Empire and all the other Empires floating over there across the pond...

"The Banks are done!"

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sinning is Essential!

One amazing thing that came up during our New Year's Day meditation was a discussion of the word "sin."  Did you know that the word was originally derived from the Greek word hamartia (ἁμαρτία), which means "to miss the mark" or "to miss the target."  It was originally a term used in archery!

Now this just blows the doors off lots of little prisons of the mind and soul for a non-practicing little Catholic Dude, who derives lots of inspiration and humor from old battles in Catholic Grade School.

Missing the target might actually be a great description of the creative process.  An "artist" is one who purposely misses a target, or just shoots in the dark, or invents new targets, which they shoot at, or don't shoot at, in the process of doing the "good work."

Sinning is essential to the process.  It is a fine art itself.   And in this game failures can be victories.  The main thing is to SIN!  Missing targets is essential and fun too!  It ultimately leads to the best, most mind-opening work.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Not Be Useless

A friend of ours is traveling in Spain, and they came across this quote in a museum from the artist Miro.  They said that the quote reminded them of my Lovely Partner and I.  How cool, humbling and inspiring!

"I understand the artist to be someone who, amidst the silence of others, uses his voice to say something and who has the obligation that this thing not be useless but something that offers a service to man." - Joan Miro

Monday, January 02, 2012

1st Day of 2012

We spent the 1st day of 2012 at Invision, the school for Psychics, submerged in an afternoon-long  meditation session.  It's been a year-end/year-beginning ritual for around 10 years or so.

It's a way of clearing your head, clearing "the energy" of the year just past, and opening a new door to the year to come.  I always find it necessary, inspiring and enlightening.

Deep in meditation the words "FORMIDABLE JOY" popped into my head, and I was sort overwhelmed with emotion.  

Formidable is an interesting word...

for·mi·da·ble  (fôrm-d-bl, fôr-md-)
adj.
1. Arousing fear, dread, or alarm: the formidable prospect of major surgery.
2. Inspiring awe, admiration, or wonder: "Though a true hero, he was also a thoroughgoing bureaucrat and politician, a formidable combination" (Mario Puzo).
3. Difficult to undertake, surmount, or defeat: a formidable challenge; a formidable opponent.
Seems the world is awash in fear, confusion, dread, uncertainty.  Things are moving.  Fast.  It is a formidable time - arousing dread or alarm and inspiring awe and wonder.  

Love the dichotomy!  And despite it all, or maybe because of it, there is this deep and profound well of unbounded JOY.  I plan to ride that wave for as long as I can!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Half-Awake in a Fake Empire

The young Bono in U2 sings... "I am wide awake and not sleeping."  And he has spent much of his career wide awake, singing to stadiums full of the sleepers.


The not so young Matt Berninger in the National sings... "We are half asleep in a Fake Empire."  Matt heads up an amazing band.  He's probably more awake than asleep.  We've been listening to the National's disc "The Boxer."  Inspiring!


We watched the Times Square celebration last night.  It all seemed so desperate and fake.  Everyone trying so hard to have a good time.  I think we are all suspended between a tenuous waking and sleeping state.  Is it all a dream?


We closed out 2011 with a showing of "Boogie Nights," one of my favorite all-time films. If you want to know a little about the crazy-ass experiment of America, and little about living in the 70's and 80's, and want to know what a great American film looks like, delve into P.T. Anderson's rambling epic.  Every scene is filmed with style and love, some of the best performances from a stellar cast you will ever witness.  Plus the soundtrack is absolutely superb!


I knocked back a contingent of Guinness as we watched the film.  Something about that golden harp that makes my head spin and my body sing!  Might be that Irish heritage.  Something in the old genetic entity lights up with that dark brew.


So I entered the new year half-awake, but foggy too.  And the Empire looked quite Fake in my blazing eyes.  Still, it was a genial haze of good cheer.  Happy 2012! 

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