Election 2020

Election 2020
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Thrasher Takes Spock!

Spock dies. And you realize, if you are one of those who have come of age in the shadow of the birth of  1960's Pop Culture, this kind of thing will happen again and again. The Thrasher spares no one. And there really is a generational thing that happens. 

So all those 60's people you looked up to, their due dates are coming up. It's happening now. It's inevitable. Not "death by misadventure," that was sort of the romantic r&r thing. Too much sex, drugs, r&r.  Many were cut down early, and entered the pantheon.

The Trasher is different. Time catches up to everyone.  No one gets out alive. And the icons, the personalities, the talent, those artists and actors and writers and directors that helped make the 60's and 70's seem different, more exciting, more creative, more edgy, are falling, will fall. You can see it happen day by day.

The Thrasher… Neil Young wrote about it… 

When the Thrasher comes
I'll be stuck in the sun
like the dinosaurs in shrines
But I'll know the time has come
To give what's mine.

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Intelligent, Renegade Ears!"

Yes, our band, whitewolfsonicprincess is still trying to be heard in the middle of the noise machine. Not an easy thing at all. There are some "intelligent, renegade ears," out there, folks looking for new music, not bowled over by PR, or $, or the thing that everyone else is chasing.

A DJ/Musician called Lord Litter discovered our CD, 10+1 and he has added some tracks to upcoming radio shows. Lord Litter is based in Berlin, Germany, he specializes in under the radar, "underground," music, he says he likes to find and play the undiscovered gems.  We are so honored and lucky to be featured on "Lord Litter's Magic Music Box," KWTF out of Bodega Bay, CA. Our track "Black Black Wings" will be played tonight (Friday, Feb. 27) on the show 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. PST

And the Lord promises he will feature additional songs from our CD on additional playlists in the future too. He has called our music "timeless!" This is quite the thing, yes, it is...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Best to Find a Healer!

So you have a bad back. You don't go to a "regular" doctor. You have no faith in that profession. Instead, you submit yourself to your local acupuncturist. She is a healer.

She treats your body like it's a pincushion. But no needles actually go into your back, instead, there are needles in your feet, your hands, behind your ears, in your belly. You lay back and meditate for an hour and a half - stuck up with little needles like a fatted pig.

After the session, you get a tin of black goop, and a package of herbs which you are to brew into a tea - two teaspoons stirred into a cup of hot water, which you drink three times a day. The goop stinks, and you are to cake it on your back. The herbal tea tastes just like dirt. Remember when you were a kid and used to be made to eat dirt? Yes, it's just like that.

You are desperate to get rid of the pain in your back, so you do it all, just as instructed. Religiously. More religiously than you have ever done anything in your life. And the back is better. Lots better, much better, almost healed.

You don't know why or how. It just is. What is the moral of the story? I suppose when you need healing, best to find a healer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"I got a weak back... about a week back..."

And well, then, how did you hurt your back?

There was the standing, sitting, bending, twisting, carrying, picking up, putting down, pulling, pushing, slipping, sliding, falling, catching, schlepping, hauling, walking, trudging, upping the stairs, downing the stairs, sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, worrying, thinking, speaking, yelling, whispering, practicing, playing, working, rehearsing, watching, stirring, cooking, laundering, sleeping, dreaming, nightmaring... you know... living.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Pain. If you are human, you will feel pain. It's inevitable. Physical. Emotional. Spiritual. And pain trumps just about everything. You will do or try anything to avoid or alleviate pain. You will take heavy narcotics, you will drink major quantities of alcohol, you will go to doctors, you will submit yourself to examinations, and operations, and therapies. Anything.

Witch Doctors, Faith Healers, Physical Therapists, Social Workers, Drug Dealers, Psychiatrists, Spirit Guides, Charlatans and Kooks of all types - yes, you will consult with any and all of them. Pain changes the human equation. It becomes a annoying friend who just will not take the hint to leave. It becomes a job, and a occupation.

Long-term, debilitating pain.  It's a character. It's like heavy weather. You can endure. Until you can't.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Note by Note!

We were talking music. You can go all the way back to Pythagoras.  A note, one note, no matter what it is A, B-flat, D# - play one note, and it is perfect. It is the next note that determines what you're doing, where you're going. It is about relationships. Do the notes sound good together? Is there an ease, or a tension? We teach our ears. We decide whether the sound of those two notes plucked together, or one after the other, sounds like music or like noise.

And we have learned to like or at least tolerate "noise," in our music. Maybe it's because we live in a technological, machine age. We have learned to live with the sound of machines, and have incorporated that sound into our music. So dissonance can sound good to us. Sometimes harmony can be too sweet.

But then again, coming out of dissonance, harmony can sweep us off our feet. So yes, relationships. 

It turns out that's what makes a group or band fly or fall too. Do the musicians listen to each other? Do they have a sympathy, empathy for the work? Can they be in the moment and respond to the demands of the song? It happens note by note, sound by sound.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lord Litter's Magic Music Box International!

This is cross-posted at whitewolfsonicprincess' r&r diary!

You've got to love the r&r renegades. Those who are on the lookout for the unique, the unexpected, those working on the margins. Lord Litter is a musician and DJ based in Berlin, Germany. He has been exploring independent, home-made music for years. Somehow he came across our CD, 10+1 and he really seemed to connect with our sound. Lord Litter hosts a couple of radio shows. He will be featuring our song "Black Black Wings," on Lord Litter's Magic Music Box International on  KWTF broadcasting from Bodega Bay, California, USA at 88.1 FM and streaming on the Internet at KWTF.net. Listen for us on Feb. 27 starting at 6:00 p.m. So happy to "make the playlist!" It's gratifying to find sympathetic, renegade ears! - Jammer

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Ultimate Chicago Guy!

Tony Fitzpatrick is a Chicago Guy. He's in the mold of Terkel, Royko, Nelson Algren. A tough guy, close to the street, close to the heartbeat of the city. He's also an accomplished artist and writer. He writes a column called "Dime Stories," for New City, a free newspaper about the Chicago arts and culture.

His column is a must-read. Always shines a light; it always glows with his wit, intelligence and unique perspective. Fitzpatrick's voice comes through in perfectly realized sentences. You can't wait to see what's on his mind.

Anyway, as he writes about here, recently, he had a heart attack. We almost lost the man. We learn lots of things in this little column. Two St. Joseph's aspirin probably saved his life. It's a good idea to have your own bottle in the cupboard, just in case. Also, Obamacare really is life-changing legislation. If it wasn't for Obama's health reform, Fitzpatrick would not have had insurance and well, maybe he wouldn't have gotten the care that brought him back from the brink of death.

No longer can you be refused because of "preexisting conditions." Fitzpatrick's story is a tale of recovery, and hope.  Godspeed Mr. Fitzpatrick. So glad you made it! And thank you too Barack Obama!

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Be Like Water." - It's Complicated!

"Be like water." (See previous post). But even that simple advice gets complicated. If you are water in sub-zero temperatures you become ice. And you freeze in place. And you can be broken into little icy shards, disintegrate into a million tiny pieces, like little shining stars.

And if you are water, and it's super-hot, sizzling hot, you boil, and evaporate. You disappear into a mist in the air, you become a cloud of water, you melt into the sky.

Bob Dylan once sang a song "Watching the River Flow." But really you want to be that river, a sweetly flowing river. Or you want to be a sweetly babbling brook, or a waterfall, or a beautiful blue ocean.

But if you are like water you have to be up for all of these things. So yes, it gets complicated.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Strength in Being Soft!

I do think that life sort of hardens us. We get creaky and brittle. Our bones. Our muscles. Maybe our thoughts too.

The trick is to try to stay pliable, flexible.  Relax and flow.  So much of our time is built upon resistance. Resistance to the pain, to the onslaught of other people, and to traumatic events.

The Tao Te Ching counsels us to "be like water…" - yes, translucent, resilient, easy. There is a strength in being soft. There is power, in moving, giving way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Nasty, Un-intended Consequences!

You know, I am willing to wonder whether politics makes us all dumber (see previous post). We want to solve problems, and we want simple solutions that can be easily implemented, but the problems aren't simple, and can't be easily solved. We are human beings - flawed, imperfect vessels. I think it's best to expect the worst, hope for the best. I do think we can blunder into doing the right thing. I guess that makes me a "liberal." I do believe in a better tomorrow, and social justice, and I do believe we can use  government to promote the things we think we should promote.

Government isn't always the solution, but sometimes it can be an effective tool. But also I realize there are limits to what we can do, and of course, there are some problems that will always be problems.

Politics is a game, a contest. You have two sides, each pretending they know more than they know, and they think the other guy is a fool.

I am not starry-eyed. I do think sometimes our motives are clean, and sometimes not. And we can do some really dumb counterproductive things… for instance…here's Kevin Drum's headline: "Since 9/11 We've had 4 Wars in the Middle East. They've All Been Disasters."

We have been busy. And it has been pretty counter-productive. Some people think killing other people is definitive, decisive. But there are all those nasty un-intended consequences...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

David Mamet - Political Imbecile!

I came across David Mamet's "political" book, "The Secret Knowledge," on a friend's coffee table. I picked it up and read the first 50 pages, then I skipped around a bit, kind of skimmed the highlights. What a load of rubbish. I really hate this book. I consider Mamet to be one of America's great playwrights, primarily based on two brilliantly realized plays - "Glengary Glen Ross," and "American Buffalo," but as a political mind, he really comes across as an imbecile.

I mean, he parrots Glen Beck and other talk radio nut jobs. Mamet is afraid of environmentalists, feminists, multiculturalists. He believes that Obama really is a great stealth "socialist." I hate the book because it is lazy, badly-reasoned, dumbed-down. Kind of disappointing coming from someone I used to admire. I went to Google and asked, "what happened to David Mamet?"

I came across the late great Christopher Hitchens "take down" of the book in the NY Times Book Review. "This is a straw book." - C. Hitchens.

Yes. A terribly dumb and boring book.  Mamet tells us that reading Friedrick Von Hayek's "On the Road to Serfdom," opened his eyes. You wonder if someone threw the book at Mamet's head, you know, it knocked him out, and when he woke up, he realized that Glen Beck wasn't a perniciously crazy right-wing clown, but a enlightened genius! Hah! Total rubbish!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Billions and Billions and Billions

When you start thinking in Billions of Years, well, the mind just sort of locks up. It's all just too overwhelming. We have a brief time on the planet, in the guise that we happen to be in at the moment, and every day gets more and more precious as time unrolls. 

We are told we must "be patient," and to "learn how to wait," but the waiting really is the hardest part. Especially when you become aware of that incessant ticking... tick, tick, tick...

Yes, that's the sound of a life dribbling away.

But then, back to those Billions of Years. We are talking about Billions and Billions and Billions. And many of these Billions occurred well before you were even a glimmer in the eye of your forbears. And it's a good bet that there will be Billions and Billions and Billions more well after you are not even a wisp of a trace of a gnat's eyelash.

So you came in late to the show, and you will leave early, well before the Fat Lady Sings. And still, you must wait, take your time, take your turn, stand in line, and well, see what happens.  That is a hard row to hoe, Baby!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Where You are To Go!

I actually take comfort in the thought that we don't really know what's going on. I mean, I live with eyes open wide, I take in all that I can take in, and try to process it all the best I can. But we are surrounded and engulfed by big unfathomable mysteries, and all the big questions seem to be unanswerable.

And maybe questions are irrelevant.  The key is to take it all in. Always. To be open and flexible. Pliable. We can think and ruminate and philosophize, and rationalize. But these are just ways to pass the time. You just don't want the time to just pass you by. You want to plunge into the stream of life. Truly, madly, deeply. And let the stream carry you... to where you are to go.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Really Good Writer!

A really good writer can totally engage you and enchant you. Using words strung together in sentences, a really good writer can convey their intelligence, their wit; they can share their sensibility, their consciousness. 

If you read them often, you realize you are entering another world, even if they are writing about the world as you know it. You are looking through new, other eyes. You feel you "know" them, you look forward to seeing their sentences and paragraphs.

A really good writer is among the best people you "know," people who have enriched your life, opened your eyes, made you laugh, or cry, or scratch your head. You feel you've learned something; you may have been enlightened, or amused. Sometimes it's just little things, one line, one word, one image that leaves you feeling differently.

It doesn't matter what they are writing about, if they are really good, you find you are interested in what they are interested. What's amazing about a really good writer, they can tackle subjects you absolutely aren't interested in, and well, you read them, and find that maybe you were wrong, there is something worthwhile to think about, contemplate, learn.

David Carr, who wrote about the media for the the New York Times was that kind of really good writer. He died this week, suddenly, in the news room. Shocking, sad. I will really, really miss him - a really good writer. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Inadequate Sideshows!

Human Beings. We are creative. And inventive. We have come up with some good tools to deal with the Universe. For instance, Logic and Reason. We can appear, (at least to ourselves) as pretty intelligent, and discerning.

But you know, the Universe isn't logical or reasonable. We may impose these things on the Universe - but it really is an imposition. And we aren't even completely logical or reasonable ourselves. A complete human being is also illogical, and irrational. Sometimes we bounce from one state to another, moment by moment.

And think of a Hurricane, or a black hole, or a galaxy, or evolution, or a pheasant.  Logic and reason don't seem to encompass these phenomena at all. And think of life and death. And well. Our little games of logic, our little mask of reason, seem like paltry, very inadequate sideshows...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mainlining the Pop Culture Zeitgeist!

Best Album of 2014? I would hazard a good guess that the four albums that were nominated by the Grammy committee were not it. I bought lots of new music in 2014 and none of the records I absolutely loved, and listened to obsessively, were nominated, and probably weren't even heard of by most people.

You know there is music, and then there is the music biz and in some ways they don't have anything to do with one another. And to compare albums and artists and to rank them and reward them with little trophies is just so ridiculous.

This isn't synchronized swimming. Hard to judge totally different things. And when it comes down to it, the music you love or don't love is all a matter of personal taste.

Of course, the Grammy's and other awards shows are all much more about money, power, and attention, and some grand status game. It's a spectacle, and a kind of debacle. This Beyonce vs. Beck thing is pretty funny. And Kayne West really is treading on thin ice. I mean he is "mainlining the pop culture zeitgeist" and you can only do that for so long before you blow out your credibility as a viable pop culture entity.

Kanye is taking it all way too seriously, or maybe not seriously enough. He is really risking becoming the "Chocolate Vanilla Ice." And he risks joining the ranks of other pop culture car crashes: Charlie Sheen, Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent, Geraldo Rivera, Milli Vanilli... etc.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Voices of the Dead...

You hear and read about people and their stories, and then, well, everything you think you know sort of melts into the ether...

Phan Thi Bich Hang is the "official psychic" of Vietnam.  When she was 5 years old she was bitten by a rabid dog, and when she came out of her coma, she could hear the voices of the dead. The government uses her to locate the bodies of those who went missing during the Vietnam war.

Sounds like fiction. But isn't. It was the inspiration for a novel by a poet named Quan Barry. What can you say...?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Body Work!

I'm not the only one who has discovered the secret of alternative medicine (see previous post). I mean, how about all those people in China? There's a billion or so people right there.

And how about that 37 years old, super-competitive, and immensely successful NFL QB, you know the guy who's won a bunch of Superbowls, threw 4 TD's in the last one, and was named MVP? You know, he's handsome, married to a Super-Model? That guy?

In the past, Tom Brady had a serious groin injury. Team doctors recommend surgery, you know, they'd just clip the muscle and...  Brady didn't think that sounded so cool, so he looked for alternatives. He found a guy who is now his "body coach," Alex Guerrero. He's got a masters in Chinese Medicine, and he has developed a unique "massage technique." Brady is convinced that Guerrero has kept Brady's body pliable and flexible and healthy, without surgery, without drugs.

It seems to have worked beautifully for Brady. Yes, it's alternative, but it's hard to argue with the results...

“We work on staying physically fit, emotionally stable and spiritually sound,” he says. He can sound somewhat Stuart Smalley-like in his mantras. Guerrero shares with me a saying that he and Brady invoke a lot: “Where your concentration goes, your energy flows and that’s what grows.” - Alex Guerrero

Monday, February 09, 2015

Where Does the Pain Go? Ancient Chinese Secret!

How does Acupunture work? I don't really know. I just know that it has worked for me. Sticking little needles in your body, how can that be good for you? Not exactly sure. 

Is it all just the placebo effect in action? I don't really know. I do know that one day I had excruciating pain, and that after a 1 1/2 hour session of acupuncture, the pain was already dissipating.

And when I say "excruciating pain," that doesn't really convey the feeling coursing through my body. Somehow I totally wrecked my knee just trudging through the snow. The pain was intense and overwhelming, actually brought tears to my eyes. I was not imagining the pain.

I was sure that I would need go to the Doctor, acquire some major painkillers and probably have to go under the knife. At least this was my thought-train during one agonizing night. And I began to imagine my active life sort of slipping away. But now, after one acupuncture session,  I am on the mend. My knee seems to be making a remarkable, totally miraculous recovery. I am a believer. I was also given some Chinese herbs (a black goop, with the look and consistency of dark chocolate) that I apply to the sore area. 

Science, Western Medicine - they look dimly on this whole approach, but all I can say is that the pain has subsided and the knee (still a bit stiff) is much, much better. I am ready to take on the day! One careful step at a time!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

A Strangeness Realized!

Stranger in a Strange Land. It's a famous Sci-Fi novel written by Robert Heinlein. I've never read it, but I understand that it tells the story of a boy born on Mars, raised by Martians, now living on planet Earth.

And why does this title resonate so deeply. Doesn't this predicament ring so true? Don't we all feel like aliens? Born into a world that is not our own? Alienated from society, family, country, planet? A being separated and lost. Adrift in a foreign environment.

Yesterday it dawned on me that this "strange land," is also our bodies. We are beings trapped in muscle and bone. "Are these really my hands? Is this really my face? What is this odd vehicle in which I find myself encased?"

And this "me" or "I" - it is some kind of alien too. We are a strangeness doubly realized.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Trudging Has it's Consequences

Trudging through the snow. It has it's consequences. A sore knee. Now every step is just that much more difficult. Must be some kind of lesson there. Every step counts. And one false step can change the game. And then there is pain. And you have to live with that too. And try to work it out. Just another thing...

Friday, February 06, 2015

Worst Sort of Nonsense!

This is obvious, maybe it isn't even worth pointing out, but then you look at the world, the headlines, and you realize yes, maybe it is worth pointing out...

People who "speak for God," people who think they "know what God wants," are just deluded, and arrogant, and create lots of unnecessary mischief. And major heartache and pain.

Whether there is a God is kind of an open question, and then to pretend to know "his plan," or "his rules," or "his preferences," is just the worst sort of nonsense. 

Human beings should try to be a little bit more humble when it comes to the grand questions...

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Deep White Snow

Snow. Piles of snow. Drifts of snow.
Trudging past the grave yard.
Can't ride a bike in deep white snow.
Headstones buried in white.
Trudging, just trudging.
Can't help thinking this is all 
just a metaphor
but turns out it's a life.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Eating Dirt!

Turns out too much hygiene, being too clean, and germ-phobic might not be good for us. And those drugs that decimate bacteria inside us, might actually be working against us.

This makes me think that I should probably thank that "neighborhood bully," who used to beat me up, who used sit on my chest, and make me eat dirt all those years ago. Who knows? Maybe all that "dirt-eating" was actually good for me?

I mean, I didn't like it, dirt has a very extreme, kind of over-powering taste, but maybe my biome actually benefitted?

That's the kind of world we live in. The things we think are good for us might not be, and the things we think are bad for us, might not be... who knew?

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

"Do the Work. They Will Find You!"

"Do the work. They will find you." 

I guess I live by that credo. The key part of that is the first part. Do the work. Have faith in the work. Do work that has heart and meaning to you.  The other part is out of your control. They will find it, or they will not. The work and the "finding" are different things, different processes.

You can't chase the others. 

You want to create work that touches people and communicates, but the key is to create with a stubborn integrity. It's the only thing you can count on. And maybe they don't find you. That's the leap of faith, that's the risk you have to take.

And look at the history of humankind. People come and go. Sometimes the work does too. But then again, sometimes the work stands. But that really isn't your concern. It's not in your power. Don't worry about it.

Work. Do the work. Oh yeah. And play too! Take the leap. And risk. Whatever you think is valuable and important. And hard too.

Monday, February 02, 2015

The Humiliation Game!

I don't want to name any names, to protect the innocent and the guilty, but it seems to be that much of the game of "celebrity" is actually a grand act of public humiliation.

We "elevate" a group of people so we can then watch them lower themselves for our entertainment. And it seems there is no limit to how low people will go.

And then we applaud, and laugh, and laud these people, and give them our attention, and large sums of money, because they have completely humiliated themselves for us. We reward people for giving up their privacy, their dignity, their grace, their intelligence.

And we grade them, and give kudos to those who endure their complete and total humiliation willingly. It's really a very ugly game. That's entertainment!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Wide Open!

Understanding and admitting your own profound vulnerability? Yeah, no problem. Knowing that you are temporary, marginal, not so important to the Universe? Got it.

Hoping that maybe there is a certain strength in admitting that you are vulnerable to the whims of a large, teeming Universe? Okay yes, maybe that's the way to morph the reality. 

Maybe those who can admit their profound vulnerability can find a certain strength where they can see, admit and live with that vulnerability? Wounded and hurt? Yes, that's a human thing. Profoundly human. 

Let it open us. Keep us wide open.

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