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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Machiavelli in Hell

"For a long time I have not said what I believed, nor do I ever believe what I say, and if indeed sometimes I do happen to tell the truth, I hide it among so many lies that it is hard to find." Niccolo Machiavelli, in a letter to Francesco Guicciardini, May 17, 1521.

sunnyjimmy: Sometimes I do think we all live in Machiavelli's Hell. Or as Bob Dylan once put it: "you must be honest, to live outside the law."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lust for Life

I'm not sure if many thought that Iggy Pop would make it to sixty. I mean, back in Detroit, when he'd be up onstage with the Stooges, crawling around on broken glass, it would not have been bizzare for many in the audience to think that Iggy was not long for this world. Well, he's never really gone away. He's rocked all these years, he's been on stage and screen - see Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man," or "Coffee & Cigarettes," or John Waters' "Cry Baby," to appreciate Mr. Pop's on- screen charisma. Iggy's back with a re-constituted Stooges (the great Mike Watt from the Minutemen is now on bass) and reports are Iggy's really lost none of the original, raw power, rock and roll fire that he first unleashed all those many years ago. He practices Tai Chi and sips fine wine nowadays, and he is still dedicated to finding the inner "stupidity" of the 3 minute rock and roll song. Long live Iggy Pop!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Devil in My Tube

After sitting down and watching a television extravaganza, one is left with the realization, that the important things, I mean, the really important, life-changing, life-affirming stuff that dreams are made of, are not to be found on television! Television is a lie. It's a lie our culture has embraced. We have fallen for the delusion that if it's on TV it must be important, and just the opposite is true. In fact, if it's on TV, it is by definition not important, it is trivial, it is a sham, it is shallow, it is bad for your health. It will suck the the soul out of everything it touches, and it touches us all over the world. Even if the underlying reality (it's out there somewhere, I know it!) is important, or grave, or horrible, or beautiful, or true, the medium of television destroys, distorts, deconstructs it. It's a strange and marvelous drug. It has found a place in our cultural blood-stream, but it is a parasite, a bug, that sucks the life out of everything it touches. Television detroys what it shows us, and what it shows us destroys us too. I kid you not!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Never Fuck with the Lepers!

Once I get on a kick, look out, kind of like James Brown, I will take one idea and keep pounding it until it's lifeless on the ground. I've been on a John Carpenter kick, and I've discovered another film that I just love. It's from 1980, it's called "The Fog." It's not really a scary movie, more like a very effective mood piece, it's so well-made, so to the point, beautifully filmed, and again, I started seeing "levels" that meant so much to me in my near vegetative state (the sickness had it's hold on me, and I was helpless before the malignant power!).

No sense in giving a plot summary or analysis. It's a cool movie, it left me with the idea that yes, the sins of the fathers will be wreaked upon later generations of sons and daughters, it's inevitable, it's the way of the world. We will be held responsible for things out of our control.

Also, if our little paradise world is built on lies, suffering, murders, buried bodies, stolen treasure, bad deeds, (see American History 101, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, or the latest headlines), they will come back to haunt. There is some kind of karmic law, it's like gravity (and Jamie Lee Curtiss fits in there somewhere too). Maybe this only is true in movies? No, me thinks it's in our legends, our myths, it's encoded in our cell structure, because it is the law of the land. And we know it eventhough we don't want to know it! Beware the Fog!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Sanity Klaus

Now isn't that interesting? There's a condition called apophenia, "the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data."

Holy Mackeral Bat Man! Don't tell me that my creative method is a type of psychosis! Did Klaus Conrad cook up this condition to make me think I'm mad?

Friday, February 23, 2007

"Another RoadSide Attraction" - T. Robbins

Hey, if this story is on the mark, if indeed, archeologists really have found the tomb of Jesus, and well, the dude is in the casket...some peoples gots lots of 'splaining to do.

Wow, another eye-catching story this morning: Beaver in NY!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Got a smoke?" - Napoleon Wilson

The last two days, I basically fell off the face of the earth, I mean, I'm not trying to be overly dramatic or anything, although, drama is in my blood, it's all just theater don't cha know?! I mean, I came down with a really bad bug that totally flummoxed me. I could barely walk, talk, or see straight. This really cuts down on social interaction. The primary actitivty? Sleep. In my few lucid moments I watched a couple of DVDs.

I discovered a classic film, John Carpenter's "Assault on Precinct 13," (not to be confused with the re-make of the same title released in 2005). Carpenter is a true auteur (Wikipedia: In film criticism, the 1950s-era auteur theory holds that a director's films reflects that director's personal creative vision, as if he or she were the primary "auteur" (the French word for 'author'). In some cases, film producers are considered to have a similar "auteur" role for films that they have produced.)

Carpenter's contributions to the film include: writer, director, music composer, editor. That about covers it. It's a really great movie, in a small, unassuming way. It's low budget, low tech, no-name actors, no flab, no flash, basically one set, with a few exteriors. It's an existential piece, something that Satre or Camus could recognize and endorse. No wonder there's a cult for this movie in Europe. I guess it's Carpenter's homage to Howard Hawks "Rio Bravo." (Another classic: any movie with John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan in the cast has to be considered a classic in my book.)

So in Carpenter's movie our existential heroes are a cop, a killer, and a girl. They all do what they have to do, when they have to do it. They are "out of time." They are drawn together because they want to live. There is no judgement. There are no status games, or maybe well, it's all one big status game, but the players are on their own, they can't blame anyone else for where they are, who they (mom, dad, god, devil -- they are blameless) have become, what they do. There is the moment and the action, and each man or woman is responsible to each and every moment and action. They are free actors in a world of crushing responsiblities, free to make a million choices, some sublime, many brutal or absurd.

The film is pure, clean, exhilarating. It's a "genre" movie. It's not claiming to be profound, but then, isn't that when a piece can really sneak up on you? So, I don't mean to praise it too much. I went in with low expectations, I could barely move, I was laid up, wrapped like a mummy, I wanted to see action on the screen, but of course, by the time the credits rolled, I had seen so much more.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Two Discs

Isn't it inevitable? You have a great trip, you get back into town, and you get blind-sided by a germ? Last night was all fever dreams and chills. Today, my head feels like a watermelon.

Anyway, I bought two cds on the trip. And I've been listening to them today. I highly recommend both:

Wilco's "A Ghost is Born"

And Beck's "Guero"

Great music. Highly recommended.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Impossible Place

Back home from a whirlwind trip to NY. What a fantastic, impossible place. It is a shining example of the great American experiment. It's a wild, multi-cultural stew. Hard not to love it.

The Lovely Carla and I dipped our toes in the pool of artistic inspiration, taking in Richard Foreman's new play, Wallace Shawn's one-man show, a retrospective of Saul Steinberg's drawings, and a photo exhibition featuring Henri-Cartier Bresson's amazing, in-the-moment photos.

Somehow, everything seemed connected, or somehow everything kind of leached into each other. In Foreman's play, you are lost in a sub-conscious world where everything seems to be something else. It is striking, unique theater, beyond criticism, it just is, like a dream, a cloud, a mountain, or your favorite aunt or grandfather. Wallace Shawn (we got to share a glass of champagne with the man himself) examines the connectedness of us all. We live in a world of rich and poor. We are responsible, and accountable to each other.

Steinberg fled Romania, escaped the Facist hordes and brought his wildly inventive eye to the shores of America. He became a great commentator of New York and America. He brought a light touch, a great sense of humour to the absurdity of the modern world. Bresson was captured twice by the Nazis, he buried his camera,(he retrieved it after his second escape), and then dedicated his life to capturing the fantastical and strange world we have made for ourselves. He documents a world long gone, Piccasso and Giocometti, the slums of Mexico, of Spain, the boulevards of Paris, the streetwalkers, the food vendors. It's all there in gorgeous black and white. Bresson had a eye like no other.

Anyway, it was a total feast. We also ate quite well, I highly recommend Pure Food and Wine, it's gourmet, raw cuisine (you cannot make this stuff at home, I promise), a nice, clean, comfy place where the animals are not on your plate, only on the walls around you -- ducks, cows and sheep smile down at you in appreciation. You won't want to eat them. And you will still enjoy the meal and get your fill and well, yes, you will feel good about it too. It was a great trip. Now if only we could make each day a vacation day - now that's something to shoot for!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Too Much Coffee to Be Sleepy!

The Lovely Carla and I are heading to New York City later today. There are many compelling reasons one might go for a visit, but for us, Richard Foreman's Ontological Theater takes the cake. He's been putting on shows at St. Mark's Church for something like 30 years. He's a true inspiration, I've only seen one of his pieces, (Carla has seen a couple), but I've read quite a few plays, essays and interviews with the great man over the years, and I must say, he has opened doors and helped free my mind to pursue my own wacky brand of theater. You must find inspiration where you can, so anyway for us St. Mark's beckons.

I've been posting some videos from the Black Forest archive at YouTube. You can now watch videos at the jimmydumps/sunnyjimmy video ranch. I will continue to update with videos from our illustrious history, as well as new works as they emerge. It's kind of cool to set up your own YouTube Channel. It's easy too!

Plus, we now have a MySpace site for Black Forest Theater. I will post photos and videos there too. Also, as our Rock Opera unfolds, I will post songs on the site for your listening pleasure.

Finally, I also wanted to reveal another one of my valences, (a well-rounded individual should have many) jimmymthehermit. You might say he's an empty suit, but at least it's golden. Here is where I will post some of my very own quirky music. Right now, I highly recommend you check out "The Spook," my ironic ode to the CIA torture atrocity. As Dick Clark would say, it's got a good beat, and you can probably dance to it. Maybe the Funky Chicken?

So, I no longer own a laptop, so blogging on the road the next few days might be sporadic. But still, I've got that blog monkey on my back, so who knows?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Sun King

The age of Kings is over, but hopefully not the age of the Sun. It's another gloomy day here in the heartland. I came across this from Louis XIV, the Sun King, and I wanted to bring a little sunshine into my blog today. You have to admire the chutzpah of a King taking on the glory of the sun, but well, it was a reflected glory.

"Because of the light it shines on the other stars which make up a kind of court around it, because of the just and equal distribution of its rays to all alike, because of the good it brings to all places, producing life, joy and action, because of its constancy from which it never varies, I chose the sun as the most magnificent image to represent a great leader." - The Sun King.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Small Bright Thing

This is from the Emerald Tablet: "That which is above is like that which is below and that which is below is like that which is above, to achieve the wonders of the one thing."

I've been thinking of the concept of enlightenment lately, maybe because I have spent a lot time in darkness. Darkness in my head, darkness in my world. So, I'm drawn to the light, kind of like a moth knocking itself against an illuminated orb.

I've spent much of my life thinking that enlightenment is a big thing. That the sky will open, that lightening will strike me in the head, I will fall to my knees and presto chango, all will be illuminated.

Lately, I'm thinking I've been missing the boat on this completely, that instead, enlightenment, is a little thing, it's a small feeling of bliss, or calm, and actually, I experience it almost every time I meditate.

Maybe I'm dense, or slow, or well, blind, but it has finally dawned on me, that enlightenment isn't an idea, not really, it's a feeling, it's an experience, a knowledge that cannot be put into words. Because I value words so highly, I have devalued or discounted the little, fleeting feeling of calmness, of oneness, of well, bliss, that comes over me naturally when I sink into a deep meditation.

So it's a little thing, this big thing that I have been seeking. It's like a little golden shadow that kind of hovers over me, or it's a warmness that completely floods my body, or it's a silence that fills my head, or well, here's the thing, and it's key, it's the thing that I can't really spell out in words, it's something that overtakes me, but just barely, almost imperceptively, but completely. It's a small thing, but it's really, really big. But here's another thing, it's not something you can hold onto or cling to, it's like a little butterfly, if you hold it too hard, you kill it, so it's there, floating around you, it can land on you, you can admire it, but it flies away too, in a blink of the eye. And well, really, you can't really explain it, even to yourself. And maybe talking about it, or writing about it, is just another fool's errand, and if you're compelled to write it or verbalize it, of course, you turn off the light just like a switch!

Monday, February 12, 2007

"When it gets bad, all us freaks have is each other." - HellBoy

How the hell did I miss HellBoy? I guess the movie debuted in 2004, it came and went, and well, I had no clue. I finally caught up with it, and man, do I have a new hero or what? Hell Boy is the man, or no, I mean he's part man and part devil (who isn't?), and he's working with the good guys to fight the bad guys and bad girls. In the HellBoy universe, God seems to be on vacation, or out to lunch, or well, just maybe completely bored with the shit going down on planet earth. So, instead we've got Nazis and, Rasputin, and a host of strange and creepy creatures that want to devour us and bring on the new apocalypse.

HellBoy eats Baby Ruths, he smokes cigars, he drinks Budweiser, he's in love with a girl who, when she gets upset, is a fire-starter. I see HellBoy as a combination of Tom Waits, Charles Bukowski, and the Incredible Hulk. He's big, he's red, he's strong, and he likes to work alone. He's not too happy with his looks, he files down his horns, he thinks he wants to fit in, but, well, it just ain't gonna happen.

Anyway, the movie (based on a comic) is directed by Guillermo Del Toro who made the exquisite "Pan's Labryinth." HellBoy is a kick of a movie. Lots of battles with monsters, cool bad guys, it's pretty funny too. HellBoy wants to be good, although, he is a child of hell, and well, when it comes down to it, aye, there's the rub.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Organ Grinder

Well, the poet, John Keats once said something about how the world we live in is basically a school for souls. And well, since we really live in a world of hard knocks, you end up with a lot of lumps and bumps and bruises along the way. So this school, really, is a school of hard knocks. Maybe that's what makes us supremely soulful?

Then again, back in the day, there was a "pseudo-science," called Phrenology, which tried to predict personality traits by the lumps and bumps on a person's skull. So, a Phrenologist, might measure your skull and conclude that your "organ of wonder" was very big, and your "organ of veneration," was noticeably small.

So, I'm sitting here this morning, sipping some coffee, running my hands over my skull, trying to decipher just what's going on in that big mushy brain of mine. I've been in the process of re-thinking my little world. I've taken a few lumps to the noggin lately, and well, what does that say about the dumps/sunny dichotomy?

Is there something to be gleaned from a discredited, pseudo-science? I'm not really a scientist myself, so in some ways, everything is pseudo to me. I've always been baffled by this brain thinking about a brain conundrum. I mean, we've got this organ, and it's kind of a grinder, and there's a monkey somewhere in the picture, and well, like Chico Marx once asked, "how can I find out, what I got to find out, if I can't find out, what I got to find out?"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Questions & Coffee

Questions for this morning: is consciousness a "primitive," like space and mass? Does consciousness reside in everything in the universe, from the smallest atom to the largest star? Is human consciousness just one little pebble in the universal consciousness continuum?

Friday, February 09, 2007

My Cocoon

It's been the deep freeze here in the heartland. If there is a heart here, be assured dear Pilgrim, it is frozen. So, how to toast the soul? Rub some sticks together and dream of fire? I guess, I'm all for hunkering, hiding deep inside my cocoon and waiting for the right time to emerge fully-formed. I have been going through major gyrations lately. I have been in open war on the work front. This has not been pleasant, and well, I'm on the losing end of this bargain. So, then again, I have learned the lesson, if you are in business with sharks, you will get bitten! So, I retreat to my little redoubt and start to strategize. I know there's another world out there somewhere, and I must have a place in it. Or well, that's my story today, and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Crossroads

I kind of feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life. Not sure where I'm going. This happens from time to time. I mean, I can look back and see where I've come from, and by looking back, I might get a clue where I'm going, but today, from where I stand, I'm looking at two roads (maybe more) and well, I'm at a loss on which road to take, which way to turn. Usually, I'm thinking we come up to these decisions all the time, and we just take a left or a right without really thinking, like of course this is the only way to go. You can spend a lot of your time just going, without thinking. It might be the best way.

Then again, sometimes, you're dumbfounded. You find yourself at an intersection, and you wonder how you got there, and well, you haven't any good idea of where you're going. That's how I'm feeling today. I'm thinking of Robert Johnson selling his soul at the crossroads so he could play guitar and sing the blues like no other man alive. Maybe not such a bad deal. I think of Little Bobby Zimmerman taking the road out of Hibbing, Minnesota and making his way to Greenwich Village. Or Jasper Johns waking up from a dream and painting a big American flag. These were choices, in the moment, that then set a tone for a life. I'm sure I've made of million of them myself. And how did I get here, how did I become the person that I have become?

I think of Robert Frost and the "road not taken." So, that's the thing, each decision means that another one is not acted upon, I take a left here, I can never take that right again. And who could I have been, and what could I have done? Then again, maybe we all have only one destiny. I mean, the road we take is the road we take, and there really was never a chance that we'd take the other. Can it be so? I know there's a physical highway, a genetic freeway; once you're born you can't get off the merry go round, your body will do this and not that, you will have blue eyes and not green, etc.

I mean I'm not gonna sprout wings, but yes, I can fly. I can imagine another me. I can imagine another life. I can put myself there, I can make my choice at the crossroads. That is a cross we have to bear, and I guess if we are crucified by the choices we make, at least let them be our choices, not those handed to us by someone else. So, I'm standing at the crossroads waiting for a sign, or a man, or a demon, or a bird, or well, something that will give me a clue, an inkling on which way to turn. I wait. As Tom Petty reminds us: "the waiting is the hardest part."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

50 Cent vs. Ghandi -- Who'd Win?

I've been reading this book called the 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene. I mean, if it's good enough for 50 Cent, it's good enough for me. I have always had a strange relationship to power and men & women of power. I usually recoil from the Strong Arm Types. I have a deep resistance to authority. And I guess this may have meant that I've had a somewhat estranged relationship to my own power. Often-times, I have felt completely powerless in the world. Most of my efforts have been in the creative realm, and it's there that I feel I have some mojo, but when it comes to the world of men and women (boys and girls), and actualizing myself in the world, I sometimes "have no hand." I'm no Machiavelli. The book tells us that the world really is a Zero Sum Game, and in order to get ahead you must always be looking for advantage, everyone is on the make, and ultimately, everyone (I mean everyone) is your enemy.

It's not exactly the philosophy I've grown up with and applied to my own life, but, well, if you look around you, there might be a little truth in the Machiavellian world view. Of the 48 laws, I've basically broken each and every one of them. In some ways, I think the book is ridiculous (could this be my own powerlessness talking?), but it's also beautifully written and laid out. There are many great stories from world history; from the great Chinese dynasties, through various kings and queens, to Emperors and Presidents and Prime Ministers and warriors and diplomats to a wide-ranging cast of charlatans and hustlers. Quite the human thing, don't cha know?

Anyway, I've been living in my own little world of power games and relentless back-stabbing, and most of the wounds that have been meted out have been meted out to me. Some of course, have been self-inflicted. I have transgressed the laws of power and well, if you break each and every one, don't come to the door, hat in hand, looking for any sympathy from the wolf pack. So, as I lick my wounds, I wade through the book, I note how I have overstepped here, talked too much there, exposed myself unnecessarily here, etc. It's all kind of humbling and well, maybe I will learn something and take my first tentative steps back into the big boxing ring of life with a new set of gloves.

So, I read, and try fit some of this info into my noggin. And the stories well, they are circular, they go round and round, it's the human game, it just keeps going and repeating, and well, do we ever learn anything? We spin around just like the little planet we are riding, and well, there's really only one Ghandi, one 50 Cent, and maybe I can take a little from both and just kind of skate without getting hurt too badly?!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Boss Meets Buddy Holly

Peter V. the drummer for the Telepaths is a walking encyclopedia of music and music trivia. He's more than a decade younger than me, and still our musical tastes often converge. Peter turned me onto a band called The Hold Steady. I've been playing their disc ("Boys and Girls in America") almost non-stop for days now. The ghost of the Boss (I know he's not dead), circa Asbury Park is all over the disc.

I mean, this album (do we still call them albums?), is like the lost disc somewhere after "Greetings from Asbury Park," and "The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle," and before "Born to Run." There are Telecasters, and keyboards, and ringing major chords, and the lead singer, well, he's got the Boss's range and timbre. But, then again, this band brings something new to the mix too. Not sure what, I mean, these songs stick in your head, they will hook you, or at least they hooked me, a big fat juicy rock and roll worm - I've gone for it hook, line and sinker! The Hold Steady; they are a caffiene rush of rock and roll adrenaline.

This morning I went to their site and watched a few YouTubes, and the real funny part of this, and the clincher, these guys look like accountants and telemarking reps; hard-working guys who have found salvation in the rock and roll trenches. No Hollywood, no bandannas and scarfs, just bad suits and stringy ties, nerdy glasses, (The Boss meets Buddy Holly?), I mean, I guess their nerdiness could be their brand of "off brand," but man, they look too weirdly normal to be poseurs.

When does inspiration become a ripoff? When does a formula transcend it's elements? How does it all work? Well, I guess that's up to the ear of the beholder.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Purple Rain

Well, that game last night was basically a real bummer. I mean, it was great to have the Bears in the SuperBowl, but no one dreams of going to the SuperBowl and losing. My team was basically kicked up and down the field. Being a fan is a strange phenomenon, I mean, I didn't throw one pass, make one tackle the whole season, but well, I watched, I cheered, I rooted, I expended energy on those dudes. Somehow, some way, a part of me is invested in the Bear tradition.

What would my father and his father (plus Halas, Lombardi) have made of Prince during the halftime show?

Actually, for me, Prince's perfomance was the best part of the night (except for Devin Hester's opening kickoff return for a touchdown). He opened up the great American songbook and gave us snatches of "Proud Mary," "All Along the Watchtower," and of course, "Purple Rain." He's a strange, ambi-sexual looking dude, he was up there prancing on a massive version of his own "symbol," playing killer guitar licks in a driving rain (how did they ground him to make sure we didn't witness some kind of royally purple electrocution?).

My favorite part was when Prince pulled out a custom made purple guitar, cranked up like some shred guitarist's royally twisted wet dream, and then a large billowing white sheet engulfed him and projected his image, larger than life in the center of the field. The way he held his guitar between his legs made him look like some strange little demon with a strangely twisted sexual accoutremont. How bizzare. How decadent, how gloriously PAGAN!

I guess that made it all worthwhile. The game was a soggy grind. But hell, the Purple Rained!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Inland Empire

The Lovely Carla and I went the Music Box Theater (what a great movie house!) yesterday to catch David Lynch's "Inland Empire." I've been on a Lynch kick lately, reading and really enjoying his book on meditation (see preivous posts) and the movie business. Anyway, his latest movie is a stunning masterpiece. I mean, it's maddening, baffling, hallucinatory, abstract, spooky, creepy, beautiful, haunting, non-linear, rambling, extraordinary, inspiring, spiritual, mind-bending.

I'm thinking it's a movie you will either really, really love, or really, really hate. If you like to figure movies out, or if they must be "plausible," plot-driven, and make some kind of rational sense, you will probably be dissappointed, or pissed off, or just plain bored. On the other hand, if you can just kind of let yourself go, you will find a wildly rich treasure-trove of a movie.

I love the audacity of an artist at the height of his powers fully realizing his quirky and strange vision and damn the torpedoes. It is absolutely sublime. I came out of the experience alive, on fire; my imagination spinning like a circus wheel.

I mean, I've seen many movies in my life, this ranks up there with the best of the best. I mean, it seems to match something in me perfectly; the way I see the world, the way I create, the way things seem to connect and reflect. It's a complete mind-blower. What a strange world we live in... you know something, something strange and unnameable is beckoning just beyond the next door and you can't wait to open it, although there's some dread there too, because really you don't know, until, well, it's too late, and then what you thought you knew, you don't, and what you do, well you just can't really explain.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Playing the Flatiron!

I was out late last night, playing with my rock and roll outfit the Telepaths. It was a loud and raucous set at the Flatiron building (the one in Chicago), which my brother (he has a studio there) tells me is like Paris in the 20's. Not sure about that, but it is a funky place populated with artists and other roustabouts. The wine and conversation always flows like a roaring river. The whole building resonates when you play. I mean, you're not just playing your instrument, not just that particular song, you're playing the hallways, the stairs, the three floors of artist studios. You're playing all the people that pass through too. We plugged in and did an expansive set, some numbers we know well, and some not so well. I got lost on the fretboard a few times, but there's something about jumping in and trying to catch the tail of the beast. There were moments of pure joy, Peter V. banging on the drums, TPM singing about Susan Sontag, me flailing away on the guitar like a one-armed paper hanger. It was not elegant, but it was exuberant. I've always been a believer in the "group dynamic." Although, I'm basically a "loner," (the Lovely Carla tells me as we lay wrapped like mummies in bed this morning- "you want to be like the other boys, but you just aren't."), I've found that in theater or in music, it's the combination of different energies that takes it all to another level. Yes, well, I'm a little older, a little more fragile, a little more something (fucked up? twisted? naive?), than some of the others, but I'm well past the point of trying to fit in. Finally either you plug and play, or you don't...I like to plug in!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Fantastic Game

Well who would of thunk that David Lynch would be such a great advocate for meditation? I mean, if you've ever considered taking up the practice, and it's all seemed a little intimidating, or boring, or well, just not a Western-type thing to do, let good, old David kind of take you through the paces.

I mean, this guy's up there with the Dalis and Yogis, the holy men, the madmen, the fools. All those crazy, edgy folks who make it all worthwhile. I've read many a book on meditation, from Alan Watts to Herman Hesse to Peter Mathiessen, (the Snow Leopard is one of the great books on Zen), to Eugen Herrigel (Zen and the Art of Archery - a classic) to Krishnamurti to Thomas Merton to Jack Kerouac to Ginsberg to Gary Snyder to well, a cornucopia of Japanese, Indian, Chinese and Tibetan sages. But how many of those guys manuevered in the land of agents and femme fatales and movie moguls? How many of those guys made movies as bad as "Dune," and as disturbing and sublime as "The Elephant Man," "Blue Velvet," "Eraserhead," and "Mulholland Drive"?

Here's the Dali Lynch on Transcendental Meditation: "it's a simple, easy, effortless technique that allows any human being to dive within, to experience subtler levels of mind and intellect, and to enter this ocean of pure consciousness, the Unified Field - the self. It's not the intellectual understanding of the field but the experiencing of it that does everything.

You dive within, and by experiencing this field of pure consciousness, you enliven it; you unfold it; it grows. And the final outcome of this growth of consciousness is called enlightenment, which is the full potential of us all." D. Lynch "Catching the Big Fish."

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