Election 2020

Election 2020
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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Creative Dynamos!

I finished reading Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance by Johnny Rogan a week or so ago. 501 pages plus footnotes. It was a good read. I learned a lot about Morrissey and Marr and the Smiths and Manchester, and the British music scene in the 60's, 70's and 80's, a lot more, than I knew before. Maybe more than I needed to know, but what the hell, I got into the story. Two very charismatic, interesting, intelligent creative dynamos are the focus of this unlikely saga.

One day Johnny Marr, a local Manchester guitar hot-shot, and aspiring songwriter, knocks on Steven Morrissey's door, and the creative spark is lit.

An amazing musical collaboration. Why did it work? Why did it disintegrate? Still sort of a mystery. Opposites attract, combine & meld to create a musical chemistry, a strange and beautiful alchemy. And then those opposite qualities sort of get in the way as the years and records roll out. 

I think Morrissey/Marr and the Smiths are one of those love them or hate them artists/bands. No middle ground. If you love them, you totally fall for them. You need to hear everything they ever recorded. You need to close-listen, obsessively.

Rogan's book helps bring the music alive again. And deepens the understanding of certain songs. I find the Smiths music alive & vital today. Their music doesn't age. Beautifully realized pop masterpieces. Everything in the world, encapsulated in shimmering  pop songs - intelligence, grace, beauty, humor, infinitely subtle and thrilling.

Friday, September 29, 2017

"If you can't treat everyone with dignity and respect, get out!"

This is essential viewing. USAFA Superintendent speaking to Cadets about racial slurs on campus. This is leadership. This is the America I know. This is the way forward. Treat everyone with "dignity and respect." Powerful. Well-spoken. We need more people to stand up and lay down the truth like this guy. Superb. Thrilling. Essential.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

We are the Past in the Present.

Sometimes the past seems so far away. What happened yesterday is a million miles from the present moment. Sometimes the past seems right by us, side by side, never left us, it is actually embedded in us. In some ways we are the past in the present. Right?

And what is progress? Do we move forward? Or are we just spinning in circles? We have shiny new toys, but we are the same beings, carrying the same genetic heritage, the same genetic entities. We convince ourselves we've made "great progress" but are we kidding ourselves?

You see today's culture wars, they seem like yesterday's culture wars. You think wow, the American Civil War happened in 1861 - 1865. That is so long ago. Or maybe you think, wow, that's just a blink of an eye ago. It happened, is still happening. A long, never-ending war fought by other means.

That's a bit of a mind-melt. What was William Faulkner's famous quote? "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Least and the Dimmest!

You do begin to worry... 

Maybe the people who are "running things," really are dumber, and more corrupt than you are? That's a bit frightening, because you know you aren't the smartest person in the world, and  you aren't pure, you are willing to cut some corners, I mean, you try your best to live with eyes wide open, and you do all the things you think a responsible citizen of the world should do, but, hell, no one is perfect, and you are fully aware of all your own imperfections and foibles.

It used to be we'd look for the "best and the brightest." Now our culture seems infested with the "least and the dimmest."

You try, as the Dalai Lama counsels, to show maximum compassion and empathy for your fellow human beings, but sometimes the humans are just so damn disappointing. There is a daily display of bad blood, stupidity, hubris, arrogance, jealousy, envy, greed, small-mindedness, corruption.

And the humans who are sure they have all the answers, those who talk the loudest, and suck all the oxygen out of room, yeah, those are the ones who seem to be the densest, the most brain-dead of the lot. And those are the folks who seem to be dominating the conversation. 

Makes you want to unplug. Sit with a good book. Take time to think. Search for other minds and spirits not caught up in the vast pool of stupidity. There is another world out there. Another type of human being. There is a community of thinkers. There is another way. A different branch of the human vine. You want to seek those folks out. 

We all need a bit more intelligence, patience, grace and humility. A quieter, more honest, & smarter humanity.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Are You Feeling Idiot Fatigue Yet?!

You can't argue with a Loud, Determined Idiot. Just no way to win. Logic will not work. Data or facts will not sway. There is no bottom, no end point to the vast pool of Idiocy. Are you feeling Idiot Fatigue yet? The land has been awash in Idiocy. It's all the latest rage. 

The Idiot in Chief decides to give us a lecture on Patriotism. This is a man who took 5 draft deferments: Four for College, One for Bad Feet. The Idiot figured he would leave it to others to fight for his Country.

The Idiot in Chief attacked a Bronze Star Family, a Vietnam Vet & POW.  The Idiot in Chief has no honor, no shame. He doesn't understand what makes America Great, for instance: Free Speech, A Free Press, The Rule of Law.

Are you tired yet? Have you been totally exhausted by the vast pool of Idiocy? The Idiot in Chief has one major super-power: he doesn't know he's an Idiot, he thinks he's a smart guy. He draws upon the powerful, malevolent Will to be Stupid. A vast pool of stupidity that has no bound or limit. This is the source of his strength. He can easily convince other very, very stupid people that they aren't stupid.

Yikes. Holy Cow. Shite.

We can only hope the forces of intelligence, reason, logic, rationality, progressive politics, and compassionate and empathetic people of all stripes rise up. Maybe the Idiot in Chief's greatest gift to us all will be galvanizing the forces of opposition against his Idiocy? As long as we don't all die of Idiot Fatigue.

We see it every day. From all walks of life. People standing up. Gives me hope. Let's all take it easy. Sleep well. Pace ourselves. The Idiot in Chief is empty-handed, empty-headed, loud talk, hot air, signifying nothing.

This will pass, we can pick up the pieces and start again...

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Beautiful Thing to See!

There is this idea: Consent of the Governed"In political philosophy, the phrase consent of the governed refers to the idea that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power is only justified and legal when consented to by the people or society over which that political power is exercised."


And maybe the people don't have to put up with No-class, Malevolent, Idiocy. Seems that the Orange-Headed Idiot said some really stupid things about the NFL and it's players last week, which led to more protests than ever yesterday at games across the country.

It was beautiful thing to see. I recently wrote about young Colin Kaepernick and his "elegant protest" here. Colin is out of the league at the moment, but many, many players took a knee in protest yesterday. And many players stood, but bowed their heads or linked arms in solidarity. Some teams didn't even take the field for the anthem.

Like I said. A beautiful thing to see. The flag is just a flag. The anthem just a song. It's what they represent that is important. Freedom. Freedom to protest. Freedom to speak. Freedom to kneel when everyone else stands. Or to stand when everyone else kneels. Freedom to not listen to the Fat, Raging Idiot in the White House.

Is it all just sideshow? Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes it's cultural events like these that open people's eyes and have major impact. The political bleeds into other aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, or not, politics permeates every aspect of our lives. Everyone has to make a choice. Not making a choice is a choice.

It is the time to #Resist! Peacefully, gracefully, with heart and soul.

Sunday, September 24, 2017


I wasn't close enough to be sure. It was dark, one lone streetlight on the corner. A small art gallery. A gathering of people. Music playing, Guns N Roses' "Paradise City," blasting out at maximum volume, laughter ringing out in the night. The crowd out in front of the gallery, standing in a circle beneath a large tree.

A man armed with a large stick was beating an effigy of our current President. The effigy was hanging from a branch of the tree. A large, over-stuffed, clownish figure; orangey, hideous. The crowd was cheering on the man doing the beating. Laughing, delighted at every whack of the stick. It was an echo of a much more grave and horrible scene.

This was a charade, a spectacle, an entertainment. Cathartic, joyful. A medieval performance art.

I must say, I understood the idea behind the spectacle. The man in the White House is an obscenity, an abomination, a plague, a cancer, a horrible joke. Effigies, voodoo dolls; yes, ritualistic, symbolic acting out. I get it.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

How Does It Feel?

The Universe. How we feel about it seems decisive. Wonder? Horror? Ambivalence? Indifference? It just is, right? It just rolls out. And we are in it.

There is a calamity around every corner. We must always be awake to the next calamity. Ride it out as best we can. As above, so below. Ancient, mystic formulation.

Friday, September 22, 2017

One Day He Was There, The Next Day Gone...

It's fair to say I've always been "death-haunted." Who isn't? Death looms over us. Always. Death never takes a holiday. Death is relentless. 

An Elder in the neighborhood has died. One day he was there, the next day gone.

He was a fixture on the local scene. Always propped up at the coffeehouse, a stack of books at his table. Aquinas, Dostoyevski, Homer. Always a weighty tome. Always reading three or four books simultaneously. 

It was almost ridiculous. So much serious reading. A rabid reader. Reading voraciously, as if he was looking for something. And he needed to find it, soon!

Rumor has it that he was a defrocked priest or wayward monk. His speech was filled with phrases from the Bible. Lonely. A loner. A loner that everyone knew. For the longest time we would nod to each other, but never talk. I used to joke that he was my Nemesis.

Why my Nemesis? I can't explain. Something about the way he looked at me. I imagined I saw contempt in his hollow, far-seeing gaze. I imagined he could see through me, he could see that I didn't believe the things he believed.

After the longest time, many years of silent witness, we finally did speak to each other. And found that we had lots we could talk about. We found we were both obsessed with the big questions. Always. 

I remarked, that I was a former Catholic, and I quipped "I no longer practice, I already know how." He laughed at the line, but his reply to me was weighty, full of contempt and hard-earned judgement: "Arrogance."

That was a good conversation.

Death. Every death counts. Another death, and counting...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Life Out of Context!

Life out of context. Social good. Social harm. Unintended consequences. I do think the Internet & Facebook are altering our lives in ways we do not even realize. Certainly not all for the good. Aye there's the rub.

We live in the age of snark, we live in the age of "surfing." We are all one-click away from everything. Maybe that isn't really a new kind of paradise, but some snarky, surfing over everything kind of hell? Clicking our way to meaninglessness? This new culture of life out of context has been devastating for the old music business model. And for those who consume music. Now, everything is a click away, and just worth one click.

And from the evidence, our last election was basically swamped by Russian influence and disinformation. Information flooding our consciousness out of context. Couldn't have happened in the old world model.

This is pretty interesting, and seems oh so true...

"Listening to music, or for that matter making social connections, is a lot easier and more seamless than ever before. But what we’ve done is strip away a lot of the social context and broader meaning surrounding those connections, in part because we no longer need music to signal our aspirations and our social standing. Musical forms such as punk, heavy metal, indie rock and folk music run the risk of being turned into historical artifacts, mostly disconnected from their original roles in bringing people together and marking the formation of common cultural bonds. As with the Russian propaganda, that too is a problem of missing social context."

There is something to be said for going out and buying a vinyl record, or a CD. Committing to the music. Bringing it home. Listening intently. Making a firm choice. Investing something with our attention. Gives it all more meaning. Choosing wisely. Sort of defines us by the choices and commitments we make. There is something about being selective of the news of the world. There is something about context. Integrating things in our own real world. 

This new social media heaven is also a sort of hell. We have gained something and lost something. Wonder if the somethings add up, cancel each other out or subtract much more than we gain? Who knows?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


No human being is invulnerable or unbreakable.  Inconsolable? Yes. "Very sad and cannot be comforted." For sure, no doubt. That can (and most likely will, unfortunately), be all of us. Each and every one of us. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Zen Rather Than Rabid Fan!

All NFL teams are owned by White folks. Ownership = 100% White. At the same time, 70% of the players who play football in the NFL are Black. Seems relevant.

Playing football is a brutal thing. Not for the faint-hearted. Every play is a car-crash. Every player risks serious, life-changing injury on every play.

I still watch the NFL. Being a Chicago Bears fan seems like it's embedded in my DNA. Handed down from Grandfather to Father to Me. I am not a Rabid Fan. More like a Zen rather than Rabid Fan. I keep up on what's going on with the Bears, but I don't live or die on game day. I don't always watch the game.

I do think Colin Kaepernick is getting a raw deal. A talented young Quarterback who seems to be shunned by the League because he "took a knee" when they played the Star-Spangled Banner before NFL games. 

Young Colin was protesting racism in the USA. Taking a stand in the days of Black Lives Matter. Seems like a fine thing to do. I have no problem with it. And taking a knee seemed like an elegant way to protest. A quiet protest. Powerful, symbolic, elegant.

So now he is out of a job. I don't think it's right. Reflects badly on the NFL. Reflects badly on NFL fans. I stand with Colin taking a knee. I do not stand in my living room when they play the Star Spangled Banner before a game. I sit. Or head to the kitchen for a snack. Or sometimes I just turn the sound down and watch the colors on my TV screen. Should I be shunned too? Shun away!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Nick Cave, Mercy!

I recently wrote about our visit to Quimby's bookstore. Not only did we have a great time listening to writers reading their work, but we also perused lots of cool books on tables and shelves. My friend purchased a book called "Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales." We are both bird people, don't you know?

I didn't buy anything, but I did make mental notes for future purchases: Peter Hook's book about New Order, a biography of David Bowie, John Doe's book on the L.A. punk scene in the 80's.

I also paged thru a graphic novel called Nick Cave: Mercy On Me. This one is haunting me. I woke up thinking about it. Guess that means I will be purchasing it in the near future. I suppose I'm just happy that such a book even exists...

"Musician, novelist, poet, actor: Nick Cave (b. 1957) is a Renaissance man. His wide-ranging artistic output—always uncompromising, hypnotic, and intense—is defined by an extraordinary gift for storytelling. In Nick Cave: Mercy on Me, Reinhard Kleist employs a cast of characters drawn from Cave’s music and writing to tell the story of a formidable artist and influencer. Kleist paints an expressive and enthralling portrait of Cave’s childhood in Australia; his early years fronting The Birthday Party; the sublime highs of his success with The Bad Seeds; and the crippling lows of his battle with heroin. Capturing everything from Cave’s frenzied performances in Berlin to the tender moments he spent with love and muse Anita Lane, Kleist’s graphic biography, like Cave’s songs, is by turns electrifying, sentimental, morbid, and comic—but always engrossing."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Slipping Away in the Dying Light.

Elegiac: as in "wistfully mournful." Can you spend a life "wistfully mournful?" Probably so. If you are awake to the moment, you are constantly reminded of the fleeting nature of your existence. Even as you live a life, you can feel it leaving you, stretching out away from you.

Yesterday was elegiac. Here in the Midwest it felt like the end of Summer. The death of the Sun King. The light. It's all about the light. A dying light. I spent most of the day out in the elements. It was hot, humid, but the light, it was different. It felt like the end stages of something profound.

My fellow human beings were out in full force. Late in the afternoon, I walked on the beach (the beach is now officially closed, which means you can now fully enjoy it without any official documents),  with a faithful, four-legged companion. We were aliens on the margin, watching human beings soaking in the last rays of summer: swimming, wind-sailing, dining, building sand-castles, burying themselves in sand, playing frisbee, picnicking, drinking, laughing, snoozing, tanning, dry-roasting.

I took it all in, thinking about how I was taking it all in. I was in it, but not of it. I, like so many other people, live much of my time in my head, I am heady, it's my nature, I have always thought that's the writer in me. Not just walking on the beach, but watching myself walking on the beach, and deciding what's important to remember, what's important to write about later.

This scene seemed important. Something to remember. Something to hold onto, but of course, there is no holding onto, just another fleeting memory, a scene, an image, a feeling, slipping away in the dying light. It was elegiac. Wistfully mournful. Another day.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Happy to be Here!

Sun up. Reassuring. Sun down too. What happens in between? Lots of breathing, sweating, running from one place to another. Energy is eternal delight. Animated. Alive. Awake. Days bleed into each other. Time ticks away. The narrative grows longer. The past rolls out like an ever-expanding river, the future continues to shrink. The future ain't what it used to be. Things aren't so bad, maybe not so great either. Maybe it's kind of a push. Happy to here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Community of the Odd Balls!

Quimby's Bookstore - a  Chicago  treasure. A gem. A real-deal, no kidding about it, independent bookstore. Fiercely independent. And cool. As they say on their website: Unusual Publications, Aberrant Periodicals, Saucy Comic Booklets, Assorted Fancies, Independent Zines.
Last night, a friend and I went to listen to three "Zine Writers" read pieces inspired by songs from P.J. Harvey, Guided by Voices and Sleater Kinney. There was also a rollicking, over-stuffed, slightly alcohol-stoked, multi-cultural, glee club singing songs between readings.

It was heady, funny, inspiring, entertaining. Lots of quirky, nerdy, intelligence in the room. It is so life-affirming to see and to meet and to listen to folks totally engaged with the world. Proudly, determinedly, onto something. Folks not shy about proclaiming their nerdiness, their geek-hood  They are folks who are finding connections, culling insights from the odd, the weird, off the track stuff outside the mainstream culture. Subteranean, marginal, a sub-group of a sub-group.

It was also cool to see that these folks have found each other. They have embraced each other, lifted each other up. A Community of the Odd Balls! We blended right in.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"Everyone has Something"

The people are crazy. Have they always been crazy? The world is on fire. Has it always been on fire? No one seems to know what they are doing. Have they ever known what they are doing?

I (for one), am decidedly swimming against the stream. Have I always been swimming against the stream? Yesterday, in conversation with a Wise Old Soul, she says to me: "Everyone has something."

Yes. Indeed. No one skates. No one gets out without getting their hair mussed. No one gets through without scars, broken bones, heart-breaks, deep loss, disease and death. Right. 

We have to try our best to keep it together. Don't get too high or too low. That's the Cooler Head idea in action. Yes. It's your life. It means everything to you. Don't take it all so personally. You will get through, until you don't. That is the way it goes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Never Fit In Anywheres!

My long time friend, lover, collaborator turned to me yesterday and said: "We don't belong anywhere!"

So true. We are both mongrels. Cultural refugees. Always on the margins. We have never really fit in, anywhere.

It has always been like that, for both of us. Family. School. Work. Childhood. Adulthood. Always Strangers in a Strange Land.

Luckily, somehow, we did find each other. So we have kind of made our own small, 2 person tribe - "The Never Fit In Anywheres."

It's hard. The way we've been wired. Probably not worth it trying to figure it out how or why it turned out that way. Probably no "why" about it. That's just the way the Universe rolls.

We do have some "Spirit Guides" that we look up to for inspiration and guidance. These would be the "creative ones," people in the "arts" who have inspired us. We do feel connected to them. But most of those folks are "one-offs." Strangers. Kooks.  Still, knowing that they are out there, somewhere, doing the good work, does make us feel less alone.

It's ok. We don't really identify with the things other folks identify with. That's the kind of tribe the Never Fit In Anywheres is...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Movement of Cooler Heads?

A movement of Cooler Heads? (See previous post).  Not likely. Everyone is sitting on the couch, TV turned off, or at least with the sound muted, watching all the pretty colors, biding their time. How the hell are you gonna organize the Cooler Heads? 

Try to rally them and you'll get - "It's OK." "No worries." "It will all work out." "Sit down, take a load off, put your feet up, can't be as bad as all that..."

No stirring up these knuckleheads. Call them "knuckleheads," and they just don't care. No flinch, no blink of an eye, no increase of pulse rate. Chill. Damn chill.

Try to rile them up. It's futile. Cooler Heads. All they seem to care about is being Cool. Staying cool. Cool is the highest compliment in their lexicon. "He was a cool guy." Or. "She is so cool." Better than a Nobel Prize. Better than a Grammy. Better than hitting the lottery. 

Cooler Heads. A movement? Make me laugh. Might as well try to herd cats. Which just ain't cool...

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cooler Heads Prevail...

Cooler heads.  Cooler heads prevail. Yes. We need cooler heads. There are so many hot-heads among us. So many extremists of all kinds. Kicking up storms. Pissing off people. It is the hot-heads in the herd who like to stir shit up.

We need a movement of cooler heads. Take a deep breath. Count to 10. Or sit quietly. In silence. Breathe. Deeply. Cool off. Chill out. It's sort of like in The Big Lebowski... you know, "The Dude Abides."  

Cooler heads prevail.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Brilliant Clear-Seeing!

My favorite photographer, past collaborator, and the all-around noble gentleman Michael Doubrava recently ventured to the Holy Land. He came back with some wondrous, stunning, haunting images which he posted on his blog, Beyond the Limits of Reason.

I highly recommend you check out his work. There are some among us who not only know their way around a camera, but who also possess an eye, an aesthetic sense, an artistic sixth sense,  that transcends the normal, humdrum, day to day, and leads us to new doors, and new vistas. Maybe takes us beyond the limits of normality, and enters a territory of brilliant clear-seeing.

Just because you own a camera or smart-phone doesn't make you a photographer. Not. Even. Close.

Anyway, extraordinary... here are two of Doubrava's latest photos from the land where that Jesus-guy walked and talked...

Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Desert Plant from Galilee

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The "White One" Intended to Erase the "Black One!"

The First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Read it. Brilliant. Nuanced. Powerful. Essential. I don't want to try to sum it up. I would just say, "read it." And weep?

We are all implicated. It's the Black and the White thing. Totally bound together. Slavery and Genocide. They are the building blocks of our Country. We have never fully reckoned with our History. We are crucified on the cross of those "original sins."

“Race is an idea, not a fact,”- Historian Nell Irvin Painter

I have always been baffled by racism. I subscribe to Dalai Lama's famous dictum: "We are all Human Beings first." We are all unique and at the same time, we are the same. The same substance. The same value. The same flesh, blood & bone. Cosmetic differences are just cosmetic.

For many in my country, the "White President" is an "erasure" of our last "Black President." A tragedy. Racism writ large across the land.

"And so the most powerful country in the world has handed over all its affairs—the prosperity of its entire economy; the security of its 300 million citizens; the purity of its water, the viability of its air, the safety of its food; the future of its vast system of education; the soundness of its national highways, airways, and railways; the apocalyptic potential of its nuclear arsenal—to a carnival barker who introduced the phrase grab ’em by the pussy into the national lexicon. It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, “If a black man can be president, then any white man—no matter how fallen—can be president.” And in that perverse way, the democratic dreams of Jefferson and Jackson were fulfilled." - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Friday, September 08, 2017

Biblical Times without Bibles...

Earthquakes. Floods. Hurricanes. Tsunamis. Plagues. Droughts. Fires. Never-ending Wars. Existential Conflicts across the Globe.

Rain of Frogs. 

Ok, that's an exaggeration. No reports of bloody frogs plopping down from on high. Still, is it possible the Natural World is at War with us?  Have we entered Biblical Times? 

Biblical Times without Bibles! Every day seems like another glimpse of the End Days. 

A world in Crisis? Or just another day in Paradise?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Yes. Clearly. A Mutant!

Vanity Fair is extraordinary. Again. Great writing. I check in on Vanity Fair's The Hive often. Their Editor Graydon Carter gives us National Lampoon's Presidential Vacation.  Good stuff.

"The man is clearly unfit for any kind of public office, let alone the highest office in the land."


"His time in office, like so much of his life, will be deemed a corrupt, messy shambles. The only lingering question is the extent of the damage he will have done by the time he is forced out of office."

Yes. A corrupt, messy shambles! Is that great for America or what?!

"You come to the realization that our 45th president resembles none of the others—there is no true parallel. He is a mutant."

Yes. Clearly. A Mutant!

"He may be as psychologically disfigured as Nixon, but he lacks Nixon’s intelligence and stamina."

Yes. Clearly. A Mutant that makes Nixon look good! Yikes!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

"Chaos Rules Baby, Please Pass the Condiments!" - JDSJ

Chaos - complete disorder and confusion.

synonyms: disorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, uproar, maelstrom.

antonyms: order


behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions. the formless matter supposed to have existed before the creation of the universe.

the first created being, from which came the primeval deities Gaia, Tartarus, Erebus, and Nyx.
noun: Chaos

A friend of mine, quoting someone else, remarked to me: "Chaos is a ladder." I think Chaos is also a door. We can climb that ladder, or enter/exit that door at any time. Ladders and Doors are embedded in our every cell.

Then there is the mathematical theory - Chaos Theory: 'Chaos' is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming at the initial point known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. The butterfly effect describes how a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state, e.g. a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.[1]

I love it when the Scientists and the Math Wiz Folks sound like Esoteric Yogis: Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.

Anyway, Chaos was on my mind when I woke up this morning. It is a thorny subject. Does it bind or rule us?

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Maybe We are Time?!

Time: "The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. The continued progress of existence as affecting people and things."

Is time the conundrum of conundrums? I don't know. Add it to the list.

"Empathy is a clock that ticks in the consciousness of another..." Hmmm. When we connect with other folks, do we synchronize our clocks?

Borges: “Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

Yes. Maybe we are time. Time is what we are made of. We are time-keepers and time-makers. We embody time. We can speed it up and slow it down. And in some rare cases make it stop.

Alan Burdick: "Time is a social phenomenon. This property is not incidental to time; it is its essence. Time, equally in single cells as in their human conglomerates, is the engine of interaction. A single clock works only as long as it refers, sooner or later, obviously or not, to the other clocks around it. One can rage about it, and we do. But without a clock and the dais of time, we each rage in silence, alone."

Monday, September 04, 2017

A Breath on the Wind!

Collaboration: the situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing.

One of my obsessions. 

Creative collaboration. A melding of ideas, talents, desires. The real kick is when you get a small group of creative souls all working towards the same goal. Creates an energy that transcends the individual parts.

An energy, a vibration, that hovers above and beyond the physical, mechanical world. It's a strange alchemy. A sort of magic, conjured up from simple things.

The performance, the play, the song, the album, that is only a memento, a sign, the "leave behind." The real achievement floats above and beyond. A vibration that is released into the Universe. It enters another realm. Has unforeseen, unknown consequences.

That is what is really the phenomenon that "is created." It's the "lasting" essence. Everything else is just a trace, a shadow, a footprint in the sand. A breath on the wind.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

"Everything else seems broken..." - S. Shepard

Vinyl is making a comeback. There is something about our analog world that refuses to fade away.

I wonder if letter-writing can make a comeback? It's been awhile since I have written anything in longhand. I can't remember ever really writing and sending a memorable heartfelt letter. 

I have read some amazing collections of letters. Both Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson did some of their best writing in letter form. Seems Sam Shepard had a "pen pal" for over 40 years.

Shepard on the art of letter-writing:

Dear John,

One thing I realize I love about the ‘letter’ as a form is that it’s conversation; — always available. You can just sit down any old morning & have a conversation whether the person’s there or not. You can talk about anything & you don’t have to wait politely for the other person to finish the train of thought. You can have long gaps between passages — days can go by & you might return & pick it up again. And the great difference in all other forms of writing is that it is dependent to a large extent on the other person. It’s not just a solo act. You’re writing in response to or in relationship to someone else — over time. I think that’s the key — over time. We’re very lucky, I figure, to have continued the desire to talk to each other by mail for something like 40 years. But then again, what else were we going to do? It is probably the strongest through-line I’ve maintained in this life.

Everything else seems to be broken — except, of course, my other writing which has been with me constantly since about 1963. I’ll never forget the elation of finishing my first one-act play. I felt I’d really made something for the first time. Like the way you make a chair or a tale. Something was in the world now that hadn’t been there before.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Just Carry On!

People. Beings of the Human Kind. Inspiring. Disappointing. Baffling. Confounding. Disturbing. Mysterious. Simple. Twisted. Dark. Light. Funny. Sad. Predictable. Unreliable. 

Sometimes I think: Imperfect Beings in a Perfect World. Or: Imperfect Beings in an Imperfect World. How do we make it? How do we carry on? 

Knowing what we know. And not knowing what we don't know. How do we do it?

We will die. Everyone we know will die. And what of it? Maybe we reincarnate every moment? Maybe we are in constant flux, and maybe we aren't what we think we are? Gosh. Who knows, right?

Just carry on...

Friday, September 01, 2017

"The Missing Link Between the Shangri-Las & the Rolling Stones..."

Lately I've been diverting my mind with Johnny Rogan's "Morrissey & Marr: Severed Alliance." It is a weighty tome. Thick as the King James Bible. Johnny Marr and Steven Morrissey meet, (finally) around 200 pages into the book. I do love books about Pop Culture that treat Pop Culture like High Culture.

It almost seems like a miracle when Marr & Morrissey meet. We know what they don't know. We can marvel that these two Manchester youths will join forces and become a dynamic songwriting team of great distinction. 

I love Rogan's description of The Smiths and their music... "the missing link between the Shangri-Las and The Rolling Stones..."

Thrilling. Cool. 

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