WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Injustice...

What drives me bonkers? Injustice...

Injustice: "a quality relating to unfairness or undeserved outcomes. The term may be applied in reference to a particular event or situation, or to a larger status quo. In Western philosophy and jurisprudence, injustice is very commonly—but not always—defined as either the absence or the opposite of justice.

The sense of injustice is a universal human feature, though the exact circumstances considered unjust can vary from culture to culture. While even acts of nature can sometimes arouse the sense of injustice, the sense is usually felt in relation to human action such as misuse, abuse, neglect, or malfeasance that is uncorrected or else sanctioned by a legal system or fellow human beings.

The sense of injustice can be a powerful motivational condition, causing people to take action not just to defend themselves but also others who they perceive to be unfairly treated."

Saturday, September 29, 2018

These Voices...

Let's put a name and a face on these two brave women who confronted a Senator. The powerless, appealing to the powerful.

Anna Maria Achila & Maria Gallagher.

If you haven't watched this video of two women confronting Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator, you probably should, I mean, I strongly recommend you do so. Two very brave women speaking their truth. And they did have an impact, later Flake stipulated there should be a one week delay in the confirmation vote of a Supreme Court nominee, so the FBI can do an additional investigation.

“You have power when so many women are powerless...

This is one of those moments, I think of the black woman who refused to give her seat up on a bus in the south, or a young MLK dodging bricks in Bridgeport, events seared into our consciousness. Hearing from women who have been afraid to speak up, who have been told to keep quiet, who have been ignored. Let's hope and vow to ourselves that they will never be ignored again...

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Tsunami of Clusterfucks!

I don't have a lot to add to the thunder, the hurly-burly of the Supreme Court clusterfuck. Add it to the list of clusterfucks that are accumulating all around us. A tsunami of clusterfucks.

I guess, I would really be surprised and disgusted if this man makes it to the Supreme Court. It could only happen if the GOP decides to play dumb in a display of raw political power. Oh yeah, that is pretty much the theme of this era.

How low will these folks sink? We shall see.

Ugly shit. I think putting this man on the court pretty much discredits the Supreme Court as an entity. Another result of having Little Baby Man, King Idiot in charge. We all get slimed. Each and every one of us. Each and every day.

I do hate this shit. "Dude, what happened to my country?"

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Finding Connections and Meaning Between Unrelated Things! Is that Bad?!

I found a new word, a new concept today. I was researching (Wonder why? Check the headlines this A.M.)  the phrase "confirmation bias" - the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. Confirmation bias is a variation of the more general tendency of  apophenia."

What the heck is "apophenia?" - "The tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things. The term (German: Apophänie) was coined by psychiatrist Klaus Conrad in his 1958 publication on the beginning stages of schizophrenia. He defined it as "unmotivated seeing of connections [accompanied by] a specific feeling of abnormal meaningfulness" He described the early stages of delusional thought as self-referential, over-interpretations of actual sensory perceptions, as opposed to hallucinations.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

"Fun is Not What It's Cracked Up to Be!"

"Wisdom, sapience, or sagacious, is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as compassion, experiential self-knowledge, non-attachment and virtues such as ethics and benevolence."

As an aspiring Wise Guy myself, I say, "Fun is not what it's cracked up to be." That is a big idea right there. That is a bit of my own hard-earned wisdom. Once you realize that what most people think of as fun, is actually a lie, a waste of time, a soul-killer, it frees you up to choose a completely different code, and way to to live. 

Sitting in a room, drinking to excess, killing brain cells one by one is not fun.
Going to a party, making small-talk is not fun.
Driving down the highway at high speed is not fun.
Riding an amusement park ride until you want to puke is not fun.
Doing what everyone else is doing is not fun.
Pretending to have fun just like everyone else is not fun.

Basically: Fun isn't fun. It's pretty much pointless, useless and not what it's cracked up to be. You should not be trying to have fun. Instead, throw yourself into a task, use all of yourself, do something hard, challenging, difficult, totally lose yourself in the doing. 

Yes. Do something hard.  Do something pointedly not advertised as fun. Do it first, do it before you do anything else. Clean the oven. Wash the floor. Take out the garbage.  (Hah. Earlier in my life if someone told me I would be counseling others to do something hard, and to do it first, I'd think they were nuts.)

Remember when you misbehaved in school, and the Nun made you sit in the corner all by yourself? That was a hint, a key to a different door.

Forget fun. Instead, sit in a chair, in the corner, silently; eyes closed, take deep breaths, one breath at a time. Sink into the silence, the quiet, the calm center, sink deep below the surface. Let the thoughts wash over you, let the visions come. Do this often, do this every day.

Forget the word fun. Forget it exists. Banish it from your lexicon. I assure you, it's not what it's cracked up to be!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Alcohol and the Lizard Brain in All of Us!

I have a friend who has been in "recovery" for a long time. Many years. She talks about how she almost died from "substance abuse." Especially alcohol.  She wrecked her life and ended up in a hospital room, nearly dead. She miraculously "recovered," pulled herself back together and has lived a life of sobriety for many years. She is an amazing and inspiring singer-songwriter now.

She recently pointed out that when Anthony Bourdain killed himself, no one was talking about his abuse of alcohol. It was one of of the missing pieces of the puzzle. If you watch some of the past episodes of his show, you realize that alcohol makes an appearance in almost every episode. Drinking to excess is not a bug, but a feature in almost every show.

It's sort of painful to watch. Once you are aware, and look for it, you can't miss it, and you begin to think that the abuse of alcohol could have been a major factor, if not the major factor in Bourdain's demise.

The cameras were rarely on the morning after, but sometimes they were, yes, and Bourdain would often refer to feeling lousy, down, and yes, even suicidal. That isn't unusual for some one who abuses alcohol. What's amazing is that almost no-one even noticed. Alcohol abuse is so pervasive, so accepted, folks can watch his show and not even notice.  All that drinking was just someone living "the good life."

The great writer David Simon writes eloquently about his good friend Anthony Bourdain in this amazing post simply titled "Tony." It is a beautiful portrait of an amazing human being:

"A lot of people will tell you that on meeting Tony – despite how extraordinary a being he was – they somehow felt as if they’d known him for years. In part, this was the natural result of having so much of his wit and intellect bleed across our television screens. But just as elemental, I believe, was the man’s almost unlimited capacity for empathy, for feeling the lives and loves and hopes of others. He listened as few listen. And when he spoke, it was often to deliver some precise personal recollection that was an echo or simile on what was still in his ear. He abhorred a non sequitur; for him, human communication — much like his core ideas about food and travel and being – was about finding the sacred middle between people."

But even Simon's post ends with a night of prodigious, nearly black-out drinking. And afterwards Bourdain, deeply hung-over is on an airplane winging to another destination. Sounds exhausting, and debilitating, and problematic.

Why am I thinking about Bourdain and excessive drinking, and suicide and recovery this morning? You know, it's that Judge in the news now, hoping to be named to the Supreme Court. Alcohol figures in his story too. A young, repressed, Catholic, "virgin" drinking in high school, drinking in college, he joins a fraternity and undergoes and an extreme program of alcohol abuse.

Demon alcohol again rears it's ugly head, and it's almost not even a back story to the story, but probably should be. Here's one of the Judge's roommates from Yale:


Does the Judge's excessive drinking then, disqualify from this prestigious job now? I'm not sure. Maybe. But certainly it seems like the Judge isn't being fully honest with us or with himself. And no one seems to be trying to get to the nub of the issue: the abuse of alcohol and the lizard brain in all of us. Sexual repression, sexual aggression, alcohol, and a macho, frat-boy environment. A potently bad concoction. For sure. And really, the Judge is giving us a "holier than thou" schtick, which seems like the worst hypocritical kind of lie. This moralizing conservative is not being honest. Does he really deserve to judge anyone?

I keep flashing on Animal House, one of the great comedies of our time. It pretty much exposes and celebrates the life of crazy inebriation. Unfortunately probably most folks see the celebration, not the life of dysfunction. Another brick in the wall of the mythology of Demon Alcohol. And the wildest, craziest, character in the saga? John Butarsky played brilliantly by John Belushi. At the end credits, the film reveals that Butarsky goes on to be a United States Senator.  Funny. Right?! Maybe he could have been a Supreme Court Judge too?! Of course, the real-life Belushi, didn't get to live a life like his fictional character, instead, he went over the cliff of extreme substance abuse. Ended up as another casualty of the "good life." Another divergence from the myth. The Demons + our Lizard Brains = Death & Destruction, one Brain Cell at a time.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Frat Boys Gonna Frat...

White, privileged, Catholic Frat boys in the 1980's are gonna Frat, right?!  Drinking to excess and acting like a schmuck, isn't that what being in a fraternity is all about? Maybe, today in 2018, we don't need this Frat Boy on the Supreme Court? A lifetime appointment? How badly do the Republicans want to ram through this nomination? I guess we shall see. I think the times they are a changing. But not fast enough for some of us.

I knew lots of white, privileged and not so privileged Catholic boys in grade school and high school. I hated my years in Catholic schools. Not exactly the holiest of the holy, for sure. Lot's of sexual repression, lots of aggression. I remember mean-spirited cliques. Kids lording over other kids. Something about the Catholic experience in America, you see those stories that the Catholic Church was basically a criminal enterprise. Not surprising. Except maybe the depths of the corruption and the coverups.

Sad and sick, and twisted.

Maybe it's something about the religion? People thinking they are different, better than others? Lots of Catholics I knew had that thing going on in their heads. Maybe that spirit/body duality thing. Leads to fractured, broken, repressed psyches?  Paging Dr. Freud!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Consolations of Art.

Consolations of Art.

That phrase kept ringing in my head all day yesterday. Brain-addled? Maybe. Maybe not. Funny. It is music, art, literature, poetry, theater that I turn to when things look dire.

Things often look dire. So I bury my head in books. I'm always spinning music. Seeking out poetry and theater. Last night we went to a party. That phrase was still swimming in my head.

We entered a classic Chicago apartment building. Old brick, classic floor plan. One uncommon feature: a long, an impossibly long, fantastically long, improbably long, hallway that ran thru the apartment from the front door to the back door.

How long? I'm not sure. My sense of space is not reliable. 40 feet? 50 feet? 75 feet? 150 feet? Let's just say it seemed like a never-ending hallway and every inch of it was filled with art. Paintings, sketches, prints. Big names like Chagal, Picasso, Dali, Renoir. Many other names too, names that I didn't know.

Beautiful, improbable, thrilling, amazing, funny, inspiring work. A lifetime of collecting art, displayed in this strange, fantastic, hallway. A hallway of art.

Incredible. It was stunning. Thrilling. Overwhelming. I never saw so much art in someone's home, in a place where someone actually lived. An embarrassment of riches. Art. Overstuffed with art. Consoling. Yes. Healing too. So much energy radiating from the walls. A magic hallway. Unexpected.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Surfers of the Vibe!

Lux et Veritas - "Light and Truth." Or is it "Clarity and Truth." Can we handle the Light? Can we handle the Truth? We didn't make the world, but we must do our best to make it in the world. Can we fix the world, or does the world fix us? Can we heal the world, or only ourselves? Is healing even imaginable or possible? Sometimes it feels like it is our task, our mission, to just endure. To carry on against all odds.

All odds against us.

So many questions. So many competing visions. So many contradictory narratives. We pick and choose. What works best for us? How best to live? How best to live with ourselves?

I hate the Politics of our world at the moment. So corrosive. I hate that we are destroying our Planet and all the living things on it. It's seems so ignorant and arrogant. I hate that ignorance and arrogance rule the world. I hate that there is injustice. And that people lie all the time. I hate that we lie to ourselves and to each other.

It is hard to admire my Species. 

We seem so determined to destroy ourselves and everything else too. So contradictory. We know life is good. We want to live. But we destroy, and kill, and treat each other terribly. And some of us act like we are better than others. We act as if we hold some secret knowledge, and we use it like a weapon to beat others down.

It's a sad story. The Human Comedy. Tragic too. We spend lots of time talking things thru, lots of time trying to solve the unsolvable. Finally we just unplug. Sit in silent meditation. Is it the best way forward? Is it a retreat? A necessary strategy? An attempt at a better life? 

Try not to judge. Try not to be a judge or jury. Maybe we are just like surfers, surfers of the vibe. The surfer can't choose the wave, the wave chooses him/her, but the surfer rides that wave for all it's worth.

"Chaos surrounds us, baby... please pass the condiments." - Sunny Jimmy

Friday, September 21, 2018

"All White Boys Look the Same!"

We are watching the Republican Party destroy themselves. It's funny. They are doing it while they hold the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. They are doing their best to ram thru another Supreme Court Justice. Damn the torpedoes. A very unpopular figure.

My biggest beef with the Republican Party? They don't believe in Democracy. They are doing their best to work against the majority of the people. They they have actually developed, honed, perfected ways to prevent folks from voting. They use every trick in the book, to lie, deceive, and scratch and claw to keep power.

The latest Republican message: "All white boys look the same." They are actually floating the absurd claim that Brett Kavanaugh is being confused with his Doppleganger.  Our white boy is being confused with another white boy. Maybe we should all just move on. Lunacy. Hah. What a joke. So funny. So ridiculous.

We are watching the Republicans desperately cling to power at all costs. The tighter they grip, the more ridiculous they look. I do think it's a fatal embrace. They are holding so tight they are killing their own movement, their own relevance, they are blocking oxygen to their own power-gorged brains. There is no sense. No decency. It is a brain-dead, Zombie Party. Beyond saving.

I do think there will be a reckoning. I mean, I think and hope that the rest of us will vote these lame-brain, power-whores out of Washington D.C.!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

"Why Having a Conscience Can Be More Evil Than Being Beyond Good and Evil."

This flicking on the radio first thing in the morning might be a mistake. Murder. Mayhem. Bad blood. Climate change. Mass ignorance. Power plays. Injustice. Corruption. Ridiculous shit. Uncontrollable, Tourette's-like swearing is now a daily occurrence.

I think I have lost that good feeling for my species. Or let me put it another way, I am greatly disappointed in my species. I just don't think human beings are up to the job.

Something is deeply, seriously, wrong with my species. I have spent much of my life in an optimistic frame of mind. And really, there is still some optimism to be found in my desiccating corpus, but I begin to wonder if I am heading down that terribly disappointing road: The Disillusioned Idealist.

"Usually the disillusioned idealist is a woobie, destroyer of worlds, a knights templar and a person who is the complete monster just because of his conscience, he still has it. This is a rationale why good creates evil and why having a conscience can be more evil than being beyond good and evil."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A Pure Power Play, By the Powerful, For the Powerful.

The people with money and power are pushing the rest of us around. This seems to be a theme all across the globe. Maybe it's always been so? Maybe there is an ebb and flow? A small group of moneyed people lord over everyone else. The money sticks with the money.

"The rest of us," greatly out-number the people with money and power. So many of us are tuned out,  struggling day to day, in pure survival mode. We are used to being pushed around, shuttled, hustled, lied to, manipulated, drugged and stupefied.

There have been times when this game has been played brutally, and times when it's been played subtlety.  Right now it seems like everything is out in the open. A pure power play, by the powerful, for the powerful.

Blatant. Up front. And they lie to us. Every single day. We watch this power play going down, and we listen to the lies. Daily. It's infuriating, disappointing, disillusioning.  You watch people give up, tune out, become cynical. It's understandable.

Those being pushed around lose hope. That's the worst of it. The great mass of us, have power too, if we can just open our eyes and see it, if we can decide to work together with others like us. We can stand up, stand up with dignity, and demand to be counted, demand to be heard. We have a say in how our lives are to be lived. We can't lose hope. We must push back. Call out the lies. Demand justice. Stand up for our rights as human beings. We must.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Scene Study Class.

Once took a scene study class. Acting. It was one of the most significant things I ever did. I look back and think, "That changed my life." It really did. I do recommend it. Getting up in front of other people. Learning a scene. Playing another character. It is empowering, liberating, eye and head opening. You make a fool of yourself, in a small room, where other folks make fools of themselves too. You grow. As a person.

I remember doing a scene from The Rainmaker. I do believe that I was doing the Burt Lancaster part. Funny. This still resonates with me all these years later...

"Where ARE you going Big Man?"

"I don't rightly know."

Monday, September 17, 2018

Actually A Coprolalia Kind of Morning...

I flick on the radio, early Monday morning; all the stories I hear make me want to swear. It's a Tourette's Syndrome kind of morning: "once considered a rare and bizarre syndrome, most often associated with coprolalia (the utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks)."

Yes.

"Coprolalia is involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks. Coprolalia comes from the Greek κόπρος (kopros) meaning "feces" and λαλιά (lalia) from lalein, "to talk"."

Talking shit. Trash talk. Swearing. Unbidden stream of bad words.

Inappropriate. Derogatory. Obscene. Just check out the headlines. Do a quick review yourself. Go on. I dare you. Try it yourself. Maybe do this alone. Away from the pets and children.

Expletive Deleted... Expletive Deleted... Expletive Deleted...

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Alternate Boot - A Beautiful Dream.



Maybe you read this blog religiously (I don't recommend it), or casually, or accidentally; you know, you come across it looking for other things. Don't worry that's how I find stuff too.

Anyway, I can't assume that you are a friend or a fan of my band, whitewolfsonicprincess, but I am using today's post to promote my band.

We are a truly independent band. We do everything ourselves. DIY. Creatively, we are free. We  collaborate with an amazing community of musicians.  We answer only to the work. This has some great advantages. We do only what we think is excellent and fun, and important.We do what we want, when we want to do it. Our audience has to meet us halfway.

This also means that we juggle all the things we have to juggle every day. We are a "happening" band, creatively, but we survive pretty much on grit and sweat equity. The creating comes our of pure inspiration, but the carrying forward into the real world takes pluck and luck. We rely on the support and generosity of our friends and fans to help make this little entity fly. It's has been a very cool journey, and it's safe to say our band is a "fully-realized" entity. We just kicked off a "crowd-funding" campaign to help us bring forth our next music release. We are taking donations now on Indiegogo.

We have learned it's ok to ask for support. Often people are really glad to help. So anyway, here's our promo. Be sure to check it out!

Hello Friends & Fans -We are so excited to announce whitewolfsonicprincess’ new album – “The Alternate Boot: Vols. 1&2” to be be released a bit later in 2018. We are reaching out for your help to finish up the project and to secure funds to promote to radio stations near and far.

Please consider joining our Indiegogo Campaign today! We will be running the campaign from September 15 to November 2. We have a number of cool “perks” as “Thank You’s” for your kind and generous donations. To learn more about our project, to donate, and to claim a perk, go to: https://igg.me/at/alternateboot We are grateful for your support!

Thank You…

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Caught Dead to Rights...

My friend tells me I am the "Boy who cried Wolf:" - "For a few seconds Peter was speechless. Then he started shouting: “Woolf! Woolof! Woohoohooloof!” In the village an old man heard the shouting. “Oh no, not that Peter again”, he said, shaking his head. “What’s going on?” enquired another villager. “It’s that Peter again, he just can’t help himself."

I don't know. Yesterday morning I posted: "You get the sense something big is about to happen..."
And something really, really big did happen. But you had to be paying attention. It was in a Washington D.C. court room. A big fucking deal. The unraveling of a conspiracy. A big show of force for Robert Mueller's investigative team yesterday:

"More than 20 members of the special counsel’s investigation team appeared in the second-floor courtroom Friday morning, where lead prosecutors Andrew Weissmann, Greg Andres and Brandon Van Grack were joined by a phalanx of FBI and IRS agents who did significant grunt work preparing for Manafort’s trial on charges of failing to register as a lobbyist for the government of Ukraine several years ago, before he joined Trump’s 2016 campaign."

AND... 

“The track record of convictions demonstrates that Mueller is systematically building his cases and charging only persons who have been caught dead to rights,” he added. “Manafort’s belated capitulation should signal anyone else charged by Mueller that there is little chance to escape.”

Yes. Well. Wolf!

Friday, September 14, 2018

You Get the Sense...


You get the sense something big is about to happen. All hell breaking loose? A cataclysm? I don't know. I sense a seismic event, could be spiritual, environmental, political, metaphysical. Just something in the air, right? You can almost smell it.

It's sort of like we've been heading towards the iceberg, we see the little tip of it, and we think, nothing to worry about, just a bit of ice.

There is the seen. And the unseen. We are blundering our way forward. Wonder what's next? Whatever it is, I say, "Let It Come Down." The Optimist in me thinks we can handle it... then again, what do I know?!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Medicine for the Crash!


I wouldn't say "bi-polar." I'd say manic and not. I'm not the depressive type, but sometimes, after I stoke the engine, get fired up, expend my energy on some task, or event, or performance, or just in the day to day concentrating my time on the average normalcies, during a "normal" day, I can crash.

When I crash, I like to park myself on our couch, put music on our big, old-time, stereo system, put my dark glasses on, and let the sound waves wash over me. Yesterday I pulled out a classic record from 2001, the Drive-By Truckers' "Southern Rock Opera." It was recorded in September 2000. I just randomly put it on yesterday, but it was recorded almost exactly 18 years ago to the day. A September album. A go-to record.

It's sort of a loosely-based, concept album. The concept? Life in the American South. The Truckers are led by two of our greatest singer-songwriters (great guitar-players too), Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. I love both of them. Two amazing, strong, and very distinctive American voices. Yes, for sure, listen to the whole album, 2 cds. It's fabulous. One of the great records, no doubt.

Here are the lyrics to Cooley's "Zip City." I know it's probably an overstatement, but I dare say, if Wm. Faulkner had been a rock & roller, he'd be envious of these uncommonly beautiful & superbly evocative lyrics.

“Cooley wrote this one and should be the one explaining it. I do know that it is at least 90% true and is my personal favorite song on the album.”Patterson Hood

ZIP CITY
"Your daddy was mad as hell he is mad at me and you
When he tied that chain to the front of my car
Pulled me out of that ditch that we slid into
Don't know what his problem is why he keeps sending me away
Don't know why I put up with this shit
When you don't put out and Zip City's so far away

Your daddy is a deacon down at the Salem Church of Christ 
And he makes good money 
As long as Reynolds wrap keeps everything wrapped up tight 
Your mama's as good a wife and mama as she can be 

And your sister's puttin' that sweet stuff on everybody in town but me 
Your brother was the first-born, got ten fingers and ten toes 
And it's a damn good thing 
'Cause he needs all twenty to keep the closet door closed 

Maybe it's the twenty-six mile drive 
From Zip City to Colbert Heights keeps my mind clean 
Gets me through the night maybe you're just a destination 
A place for me to go a way to keep from having to deal 
With my seventeen-year-old mind all alone 

Keep your drawers on, girl, it ain't worth the fight 
By the time you drop them I'll be gone 
You'll be right where they fall the rest of your life 
You say you're tired of me taking you for granted 

Waiting' up till the last minute to call you up and see what you want to do 
But you're only fifteen, girl, you ain't got no secretary 
And 'For granted' is a mighty big word for a country girl like you 

I know it's just your daddy talking, 'cause he knows 
That blood red carpet at the Salem Church of Christ 
Ain't gonna ever see no wedding between me and you 

Zip City, it's a good thing that they built a wall around you 
Zip up to Tennessee zip right down to Alabama 
I got 350 heads on a 305 engine, I get ten miles to the gallon 
I ain't got no good intentions" - M. Cooley

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Always Be Pedaling...

Yes, as I wrote previously, "People They Steal..."

So I was on the hunt for a new bike. I actually settled on an old, 1970's Japanese made bike: A Zebrakenko that I found on Craigslist. Mine is blue. An amazing sort of blue. Here's a picture of a black Zebrakenko. Maybe I will post a picture of my blue bike sometime.


Zebrakenko - a pretty amazing bike, for sure. Sleek, fast, light, but very sturdy. Well-built. Back in the 70's people in the USA made fun of Japanese made products, it turns out, of course, that was just pure racism, ignorance & prejudice. Japanese made, even back then; excellent, top-notch.

Turns out this bike is a "fixed gear" bike. When I bought it, I had no clue. I was thinking that meant it was just a "single speed" bike. Nope. A completely different animal.

"What is the difference between a single speed bike vs. a fixed gear bike?" - "A single speed bike has a single speed freewheel threaded onto the rear hub. The freewheel allows the rider to coast. A fixed gear has a single cog threaded on the rear hub, along with a reverse threaded lockring, to prevent the cog from getting loose. The cog has no freewheeling action, so any time the wheel is moving, the pedals are moving too."

No coasting. Always pedaling. A completely different riding experience. At first it was a bit weird, disorienting, but after riding it a bit, I totally acclimated. Now, I love it, I am totally indoctrinated to a new way of being. I can say this bike has changed my life. For sure. No coasting. Always pedaling. Sometimes slower, sometimes faster, but pedals always, always moving forward.

Not a bad way to make it around in this world. Never coast. Always pedal. Zebrakenko!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How to Know When You Know?

Follow your intuition... "an ability to understand or know something without needing to think about it or use reason to discover it, or a feeling that shows this ability."

Sounds simple. Do we "just know things?" Sometimes it does seem to be so. When you are in tune, and clicking along with the day, your intuition seems to be the compass; there is a sublime certainty leading you to making all the right moves.

When you are out of tune, not clicking, there is the second-guessing, and the third-guessing. The unknowing. You end up over-thinking, or out-thinking yourself.

How to know when you know? Meditation helps. Solitude. A certain distance from the raging cauldron of emotions inside, or your own overheated frenzy of thought. Finding the calm center and staying there for a time, intuitive.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Totally In Tune With The Day!


We performed at the Milwaukee Art Museum yesterday afternoon. What an incredibly beautiful and extraordinary building, created by Santiago Calatrava. Breathtaking. A perfect day. It all came off perfectly; the ride up, the setting up, the performance, the post-show takedown, the post-show meal, and the ride back. We were totally in tune with day. What an amazing, inspiring building, what a incredible experience. The event was all light and sunshine and the improbable expansion of human consciousness and creation. We filled this extraordinary space with our uncommon sound. Vibrations. Yes. It was validating. A good one for sure.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

All These Years Later, Still Trying...

If you knew me then. Hell, if I knew me then...

I have a long-distance friend. He lives in Poland. I haven't seen him in the flesh in about 20 years. He lived in Chicago for a few years in the late 1990's, and in those years we developed an uncommonly deep bond. It happened almost instantly. Can't really explain it.

We came from different worlds. Our experiences, the places, the dates, the history, the social milieu, everything was completely different. We did connect on Art. We both were pursuing some kind of artistic Eldorado. He was primarily a painter, a sculptor, I was primarily a writer, performer.

We worked together on a couple of theater pieces. He built the set, actually he found a dead tree, he painted it, and it became the centerpiece of one of my ill-fated productions. And we worked together on a little pop-up gallery "skit."  I got him to perform in front of an audience for the first time. It was fun, exciting, memorable.

Anyway, lately we have re-connected over the phone. We have had regular contact, long rambling conversations. Just carrying on from all those years ago. Of course, in some ways we are the same, and in some ways we are now so different; older for sure. How else have we changed? Hard to pin down or explain.

He is now a successful businessman, with a beautiful wife and child. He doesn't pursue his artistic dream anymore, but he does talk, think and possess the soul of an artist. Me? I'm still plugging away. Not married, no children, one very close relationship with my long-time soul mate. Still chasing that artistic dream. Still performing, only now with more of a musical bent.

I told my good friend that we will be performing at a museum today. He paused and said: "Jimmy you are so strong." Funny. That comment kind of hung over me.  Strong. I don't think anyone has ever described me as strong. But I know what my friend meant. I have not stopped chasing that artistic Eldorado dream. Still creating. Still performing. Maybe I'm stubborn. Determined. Or stupid. Stupefied.

Still plugging away, still trying to do something creative, something extraordinary, something beautiful, still trying...

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Finally the Big Idiot in Chief Unites Us!

The Idiot in the White House, the Chief Executive Imbecile is so mad, he's sputtering, flecks of spittle on his collar, he needs action, something must be done, he directs his Attorney General to find the person in his administration who thinks he's a complete Fucking Idiot.

"Eventually the name of this sick person will come out,' he said, adding: 'Maybe it's nobody... Look, the Times uses phony sources all the time."  Ha. Ha. Ha. The laughs keep coming!

Sick Person? Or Nobody? No one in the administration has the heart to tell the Big Stupid Guy what he probably couldn't understand anyway....

The AG must be secretly laughing his ass off. 

Of course, the answer, the answer the AG can't verbalize to the Idiot in Chief: "Well, Sir, we ALL think you are an fucking Idiot." Certainly anyone who has seen the Idiot in Chief on TV, or in person, anyone who has heard him give a speech, or an off the cuff remark, anyone who has been in a room with the man, breathing the same air, anyone with a lick of sense, knows that this Idiot is in an Idiot Class all by himself.

We are all laughing at this Big Idiot. Finally. He is uniting America. At least a major portion of the country. Maybe not the dedicated Idiot Brigade, but even some of those Imbeciles must be starting to worry their over-taxed brains even just a teensy bit... "Idiot? Or Not an Idiot? Hunh?!"

Friday, September 07, 2018

The Imbecile Is So Imbecilic He Thinks He's Smart.

The Imbecile. You almost, almost feel sorry for him. 

Not really. You thought it was the racism that would sink him. Or the conspiracy with Russia to defraud the USA. Or the rampant misogyny. Or the sexual predation. Or the xenophobia. Or the mocking of Bronze Star families, POWs, and the disabled. Or the attacks on Judges, the Courts, the Rule of Law, and the U.S. Constitution. Or the constant, incessant, blatant lying; one lie after another. Or the shamelessness, the mendacity, the pure amorality. Or the criminality, the years of fraud and money-laundering. You would think that the man's lack of empathy and compassion for anyone else would sink him.

Think: Dunning-Kruger Effect -  "The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability; without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence."

The Imbecile is so Imbecilic he thinks he's smart.

Listen to Trump's former lawyer John Dowd: Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ”

Thursday, September 06, 2018

"The Hilarity Phase of our National Nightmare!"

First thing this morning I hear words floating in the air from my radio...

"The President is at war with forces from within." 

Yes. No doubt. Ha. Ha. Ha. We have entered the "hilarity phase" of our national nightmare. I remember the later years of the W. Bush Clusterfuck. It was a decidedly different kind of Clusterfuck, a different flavor from our present Clusterfuck, but Clusterfuck it was, for sure. During those years, as soon as I heard W.'s voice on the radio I was swearing, wanting to throw things, break dishes, etc; his voice was worse than nails on a chalkboard. This Clusterfuck? The anger has subsided, the fear has waned, the outrage has sputtered, the horror is still there, but it's like a little black cloud I can put in my back pocket for future reference; no, with this particular Clusterfuck, the primary reaction to hearing Little Baby Man's voice shaking with hurt, anger & betrayal is LAUGHTER! DEEP, SOLAR-PLEXUS, BELLY LAUGHS. What a poor, little, twisted clown. He is a lost little Baby Man, floundering around, wondering why everyone hates him, and why everyone thinks he's a total fucking, Idiot. His dogged supporters think he is smart, that he is decisive and competent, they remember how smart he seemed on that TV show... ha, ha, ha... the Idiot Brigade following the Big Idiot over the idiotic cliff. Funny. Very. Very. Funny.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Woodward has Tapes! Ha. Ha. Ha.


The hilarity continues... now, this time around, it's Bob Woodward who has the tapes. The Burning Question: Idiot or Not An Idiot. This one is easy...

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The French and Not So French Iggy!

Yes. I mess with my chemistry (see previous post), daily. A friend of mine once read years of my posts (I don't recommend it), and said to me: "You write about coffee a lot." It's true. If I have one major, go-to ingredient, I guess it would have to be caffeine. Not sure if it's good or bad for me, but it definitely, moves me. When I first awake, especially after a crazy, long, weekend, (On Sunday, I performed at an event - I was the sound-tech, the MC, and in the opening band, plus I did set-up and take-down, pre and post show - totally exhausting!), I'm sort of in that Dawn of Dead, Zombie-State: Pure JimmyDumps. Then after a few sips of my magic elixir, I am slowly, but surely, animated once again: SunnyJimmy comes to life.

I remember reading a collection of Jack Kerouac letters, and there's one where he discovered coffee for the first time. It set him afire, and led to a mad flurry of writing. I wish Kerouac would have stuck to coffee, instead, he moved onto harder stuff, ended up in a long alcoholic-haze for his last decade or so.

The sun is shining this morning, and my eyes are sparkling. There is optimism in the air, even if that optimism is just my own private, crazy, invention, and only emanates from my own swirling, over-caffeinated consciousness. I am listening to Iggy Pop's French album; Iggy said his record label rejected it because his fans didn't want to hear him croon, they wanted him to rock, but, you know, on a quiet Tuesday morning, sun streaming through curtains, Iggy crooning in French feels just right. It's a short album, so I move onto Iggy & the Stooges "Fun House," just to goose the energy a bit. It's an all-Iggy kind of morning. The French and the Not So French Iggy. Both go well with coffee and sunshine.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Experimental-Minded Chemists!

I do think we are all just chemistry labs. Most of us, we come with the necessary, basic, equipment, we inherit most of the tools, the major organs we need to survive, and are all set and ready to go.

The process of Nature and Nurture begins.

We are all chemistry experiments. We all decide how we want to nourish ourselves, what fuel we put in our bodies. Of course, all of this is handed down through the ages, this is the job of culture, of the society of humans, of our friends and families, to decide how best to nourish and flourish.

There are good habits, bad habits, healthy foods & beverages, unhealthy foods and beverages. Of course what we consider healthy or unhealthy changes over time, and sometimes it's a bit confusing to know what's what. And then there are all those organic substances, and lab-concocted substances we ingest. We all basically get to choose from a vast range of substances some USDA approved, some black market, some illicit, some decidedly toxic.

Sometimes we take the toxic shit into our bodies for fun, for kicks, we cloud our minds, we goose up our systems just for entertainment. We are wacky, experimental-minded chemists. We become what we eat, what we drink. Look around. See all the experimenting going on.

Of course, we are all basically"failed experiments." We all age, breakdown, fall apart. There is a "sell date," encoded in our DNA. "This product expires on... "  That's part of the fun. In the meantime, we do our thing. Stoke the fire, goose the machine, keep ourselves full, lubricated, always trying to keep that energy flow, flowing.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

The Answer and the Question.

Living with Truth. It is inevitable. We can pretend. We can evade. We can think of other things. We can conjure and put off. Conjure and put off. That's pretty much our lives.

There are some things you can't wish away. Some things you can't reverse, can't put back together. There is a Land of the Lost. Lost possessions. Lost People. Lost Feelings. Lost Time.

The Lost-ness builds, accumulates, it opens big holes in the fabric of our time. There's no holding on. There's no holding together. We need to expand, to explode, to encompass more than we can encompass.

How does this all go? How does it really unfold? We are the answer. And the question. Both.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

People. They Steal!

"Thou shalt not steal."

That supposedly made it onto Moses' stone tablets. People don't listen. They steal. Often. All the time. I just got my bike stolen, everyone I talk to has told me, "Yeah, I've had my bike stolen too." One friend told me he has had 3 bikes stolen in his lifetime, he finally stopped riding bikes.

I felt like a Cowboy, you know, devastated, someone stole my horse. My bike is vital. My main source of transportation, and I am always on the move. I left it outside, locked to a street sign. It's been locked there for years, standing there in snow, sleet, rain, blistering heat. But, you know, I have been slowly rebuilding that bike, new chain, new saddle, new pedals. I guess, finally that beat-up old bike started looking kind of attractive. And if you are in the need of cash, and who isn't, well, that bike was tempting, right?

Fuck. Talk about hitting someone where it hurts. The dirty, nasty secret in the bike world: No lock is steal-proof! Any lock can be picked, snapped, clipped, etc. It's all luck, right? If you have to park somewhere on the street, for any length of time, (and who doesn't?), you are risking your bike to the bike-thieves.

Yesterday, I had to walk everywhere. Every step seemed a little bit extra heavy. My wings were clipped. One step, one step, one step.

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