March 8, 2012
Am I a genius because I can admit, understand, and know certain levels of insanity I possess? Or am I insane because I’d even suggest that I have my own brand of genius? On a side note, I despise puzzle and logic games because I get stumped and realize that someone was smart enough to create these brainteasers and that means someone is smart enough to solve it, and thus, my limitations become glaring. We cannot be perfect, which is a bummer. But perfection was never intended, whether you think of it metaphysically or in the evolutionary sense.
There is a curse aspect to genius. Genius often comes with shades of insanity which makes having a gift incredibly REAL? Reality check kind of real. I love the ridiculous honesty of Aubrey Drake Graham when he raps “what am i doin?…what am I doin?” when explaining the price of his genius and the confusion his prodigious capabilities can and will create. He quickly responds in the same song and the same hook, with surety, but as though he had to be reminded, “oh that’s right…I’m doin ME!” If you want to be aware of the gifts you possess, the things that make you a genius, you have to be willing to live with and give voice to that small or large narcissist, exploiter, depressive realist, or all out monster that is inside of you. How about a rock reference courtesy of Portugal The Man “there’s a madness in us all.” If you wish for a non-music reference…one from an “intellectual”, then, Albert Camus: ”Forever I shall be a stranger to myself”.
Art is the way a genius creates and expresses what they feel. Art takes a different route than what some system would prefer. At its purest the effort gives no mind to the monetary gain that comes from the creative process. Genius may be aware that money is a potential byproduct, but that matters less and less when tasting the satisfaction of seeing a vision enacted. Oddly enough, as art and genius become less and less motivated by greed, success and happiness follow. This is not to say that profit does not result or that such is immoral. What is more important is the message an artist wishes to convey or the experience and emotion they wish to evoke. Artistic genius creates something more than a product for consumers. Art communicates a raw human experience and a fulfills a more fundamental need.
At times a guitarist on stage closes his eyes and is aware of nothing but the strings at his fingertips and the sweat on his brow from the stage lights. I stand in the crowd and have no quarrel with the fact that I am gone to him. I hear the music he creates and can sense what it means to him. I participate in the process as his music has new meaning for me. Entertainment is cheap…art, musicianship, a pure form of his genius channeled through a performance is what I want to experience.
“Art is the supreme task and the truly metaphysical activity in this life.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
(Let art not be constrained to painting, drawing, sculpture, and the like…it goes much further)
Genius is not all about the art that is possible as a result of it. Life’s complicated cognitions, never ending connections, and infinite ways in which neurons fire, become exhausting and for some lead to loneliness. Genius has a lonely vision. Genius sees the world for the sham that it can be and wonders how they have become participants. The collective mind, while capable of ridiculous complexity and innovation, also demonstrates sheer stupidity, ignorance, and atrocity. It is only on the backs of the greatest minds that humanities fragile systems are perpetuated, whether good or evil. Genius refuses to be swept away but wonders how bring to enact change. A form of paradox is evident here. The system and the many lies created by it…the system and the many insults towards true freedom instituted by it…the system and the unacknowledged ill effects proliferated by it, are often obvious to the genius. However, it is because of unchecked, delusional, irrational, selfish, ignorantly and consciously evil genius that the lies and constraints continue and the system goes on.
While the actual neurological components of genius are often coupled with flights of insanity, there are external forces to consider. The aforementioned paradox is one of them. The constructs of society and their interplay with the freedom of the individual have become so complex that the genius has been driven to further corners of insanity when trying to consider the solutions and possibilities for fundamental change (whether for good or for ill). Complacence and loneliness plague those who possess exceptional gifts. There is a special level of resilience and acceptance that is required of those who persevere amidst the uncertainty. Often existential angst and despair along with mental health struggles occur.
-”What is the ideal for mental health, then? A lived, compelling illusion that does not lie about, death, and reality…” – Ernest Becker
Genius can become evil and exploitative. A deeper, darker curse becomes evident. Brilliance notices the fundamental flaws within the order of things and cannot help but see pregnant opportunities. Loopholes abound and personal gain entices. Bernie Madoff was a genius. Adolf Hitler was a genius. The evil genius sees the moral obedience of the blind and uninformed as weakness. Deeper and more satisfying, more artistic reasoning for an ethical life should then be explored. But instead a genius can rationalize a transformation into villainy. One can easily be fooled by ones own intelligence into feeling conviction and purpose from even the most heinous of actions.
And herein lies a difficult question. Genius being a mind made so complex that it could create such beauty and such atrocity: has it really done us good? We have highways and the internet, blow dryers and microwaves. But we also have North Korea’s brand of oppression, tunnels underneath the USA’s southern border, a drug market resulting in what is essentially warfare without flags, the fast good generation, Wal-Mart SuperCenters driving down prices and fooling the public into thinking they are buying cheap when the long term impact on the economy is devastation. Examples of unchecked genius abound and continue increasing in scope and heinousness. Deeper scrutiny reveals that we live with the dark side of genius even as we prosper from it.
So where does my post go from here. I think a more important question is: where does the world go from here? Where does “society” go? I know I’m crazy to a degree but I also have the spark for innovation and insight. Recognition by the individual is crucial. We see the madness that goes on around us, the scary implications of humanity’s genius in a global society. More than ever before humanity has the power of said recognition. Yet we seem more intent on proliferating and profiting from our handiwork. The question of where to go from here is greater than simply saying “I’m an American and trust in those values” or “I have Jesus in my heart and know there is a plan” or “I’m vegan and I volunteer so I’m doing my part” etc etc. The answer could be one of earlier said existential angst and despair: that it doesn’t matter. Another can be one of skepticism: that we cannot know. Or we can have thoughts of hope: that it is all part of a grand plan for our benefit or that the democratic governmental process is the pinnacle of decision making and will lead us to the ideal human experience. Hope and resolve seem fundamental to a desire to exist but are any of these answers to the “where do we go question” actually correct? Not even the greatest genius among us alone could inform, decide, or choose.
Let’s take some time to write (create) for the unseen witnesses; amidst the swirling questions do art for art’s sake. It’s not the only useful pursuit of genius but often the only one that seems to make sense. We humans walk a fine line and in spite of a stiff wind the balance seems to be kept. I wonder to myself what it would take for me to pass completely into my madness and similarly wonder the same concerning our global community. I sweat the problems and the issues and then I put my fingers to the keyboard and create something satisfying, no thought for gain I put forward what artistic qualities I claim to possess. Does it give any profound answers? There is a message, an emotion I wish to evoke, but I write this mostly for my mind to escape rumination upon the unanswerable questions, those things that genius could not even grasp.
“Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science”
October 11, 2011
We all have to live with ourselves. We will only ever be one self, that is if the self truly exists. My ‘self’ will never be any other collection of memories or cognitive processes and will be some other individuals objective experience. That is, never will I be any of those things separate from the developing brain/mind/body biological machine that I am housed in. But it could be debated whether my self is ever the same or is something different from moment to moment, as I experience outer reality, my brain/body is in constantly shifting states that are never chemically and biologically identical to the ones previous. It is not that I go from one self to another self to another self from second to second. It is more like an ice cube or a candle. When they melt into a differing state are they the same object as they were before? While I do not melt or re-solidify, the analogy can be crudely applied. You could say that I change even more than a candle or ice cube as they do not have a continuous intake of nutrients that is changing the very constitution of my physical properties day to day. Muscles, fats, bones, cells, etc. Even while this occurs, however, it cannot be denied that there is some constant perception of one self. That I am still the same “person” (being a loose and abstract concept) from day to day.
Whether I like this idea or not, some days yes and other days no, the fact is inescapable. I am responsible for this self aware gathering of organic materials and its accompanying actions. I answer for it as it is my power that manages this entities properties. There is endless philosophical debate as to the level of responsibility we truly have. Or are we just subject to whims, moods, and mind states that come like the tides, weather, and the shifting earth. This illustration does not suffice for the intricate nature of conscious beings. A planet is subject to gravity, solar winds, and tectonic processes, but has no thought of these things actually happening. We, as well as other organic lifeforms, have organs which regulate, compute, and subconsciously operate the whole of our body. And while this happens, we have the capacity to stop and recognize the process. The sensations inherent with it. Consciousness is nothing but the interruption of life’s automatic processes, an awareness of this happening in an actual time and place. For many other creatures, the instincts of a regulating body is so automatic that they merely survive and multiply, little else defining their existence. For us there comes the complication of knowing and being aware of the instant that these biological processes are taking place.
Consciousness and the subsequent contemplation of our existence likely develops slowly and therefore does not have a definitive moment where we go “here is me”. A moment of self identification. But, maybe there was a time, when after consciousness developed and at first was such an automatic phenomenon that no thought was given to the act of thinking, that we stopped and realized the power we possessed. Was this when I was an infant, a toddler. When I asked myself what I am and why I was here? When I had the thought of me being something that could choose my actions and behaviors. And paradoxically could choose not to act, that the forward motion of regulating my bodily components and surviving could be interrupted by merely thinking, and furthermore by action or inaction this existence could be ended. Likely, I was too crude a thinking animal to really understand that my life could be ended by me. I was probably only aware of the fascinating fact that I could, as a choice, stick my hands in my mouth, blink my eyes, turn my head, moan and pout, grab a toy.
Early on in our development we are told certain things that alleviate the anxiety of existential angst that inevitably we all end up facing. But we put it off. Families, cultures, and societies raise their children with ideas of purpose and answers to why we do all the things we do. Why we continue surviving. Should we be shielded from such questions in our early years? This would be something interesting to discuss, indeed. Philosophy, self reflection, skepticism, these are things we do not teach before reading, and math. Even in our science classes, we learn more of the physical elements of the universe and their interactions. The scientific method is taught in more depth with time, but only later do we develop a framework of questioning and gaining objective knowledge. Most times our belief system and general ideas about reality have been firmly entrenched in our psyche and then spill over into the various areas of our lives. The big questions creep up at times, the why’s and the how’s, but we often have stock responses and easy explanations that quell any dissonance.
But inevitably we will see our very naked selves, having stripped away the elements of our personality that are merely functions of social interaction and maintaining appearances. Eventually a self is recognized free of words and physical appearances. This being the very core of consciousness, a chemical and electric soup that has achieved a certain constancy that this neurological process recognizes itself as me. We wonder who we are and why we move on, why we care. For some this process is slow, for some it happens all at once. No question it is necessary to reevaluate these questions often following the inception of their paramount importance in our lives. Unfortunately for many these questions are never asked, the layers of false selves and portrayals of their personality never peeled away. Often these types develop into very mentally unstable or very self absorbed shallow individuals. Narcissists, borderline personalities, the low in self esteem, and many other examples. We can feel sorrow, we can feel a measure of sadness for those who deny that naked core of being who is free of accepting any other drive to exist other than its own. As we explore this center, these fundamental parts of who we are, we come to know what our desires truly are. What we value, what our emotions are really telling us, and we cast away the false and irrational thoughts and beliefs that were our reasons for being so long. This is not something discovered like buried artifacts, but rather something that is developed with time.
If someone chooses to be a father, they now do so because they wish to share new life coming into the world with someone they respect as equally as themselves and they wish to help develop a new being into someone who will be afforded the freedom of self that said father never had. If someone chooses to be a writer or teacher, they do so because they feel serenity in the expression and sharing of words and wish to have their words be a source of inspiration, knowledge, and artistic creativity as well as be a catalyst for and component of the common good.
No matter the place we are at in exploring our selves and our motivations, we cannot deny that we are here. The die has been cast, the cards dealt, and I exist in a day and age where the roots and very physical properties of my consciousness may some day be explored. Technology and modern lifestyle contradicts so much of what I seemingly was wired for in the evolutionary sense. No choice was given me in this matter, but I am here, have questioned why, and continue interacting through behavior and thought with the outside world for the time being. I have very little say in how the world operates and how societies direct their course. I am an observer.
And I have to live with myself. Back to the original statement that I can only be this one self. I was given and developed other elements of personality that to a large degree were beyond my control. Nothing can change most of my predispositions, I wrestle with the natural tendency for selfishness, laziness, and distraction. The world has largely made up its mind on what we as humans should be, we unknowingly raise our young to be consumers and workers. Moral conscious weighs on our mind and through guilt, fear, and expectation we half-heartedly and out of obligation pay our taxes, go to college, get the job, pay the bills. After which, very little time is left for leisure. Sure we have yachts, four-wheelers, convertibles, swimming pools. All physical representations of what we hope and assume are our hobbies and the things we enjoy. Are we completely fooled? Are we all on this one-track existence and have set the controls to a steady auto pilot pace through until death? Have we lived with a self that never was given the chance to do the things it desired, or even develop desires, likes, dislikes, and appetites that came of freedom and not coercion? Is this the plight of the average individual? To live the life expected of us while repeating mantra’s that reinforce in us a want to achieve some unknown entities ends and dreams, achieving such for the social validation it provides which soothes and quiets any dissonance, subdues and dissent. I can see nods of approval while I can also hear groans of disagreement and disgust that I could even suggest that most of us have the wool pulled over our eyes.
This self I have been given has many flaws. He is incompatible with many of the norms and expectations surrounding him. He does not like many of the tendencies which road block his path to “success” and “security”. I live with someone I intensely dislike as well as passionately care for. I am my biggest critic, I cringe at my past mistakes while realistically no one else has taken a second thought. No matter how deeply flawed I am or unlikely my hopes seem to be at times, I can never escape into some other consciousness, one more s0und of character, ambition, and motivation. This is the brain/body I have and the only one I will ever have. To take part in frustration, despair, and disappointment over the abilities and drive I seemingly do not possess is fruitless. Ruminating over the missed opportunities is equally unproductive. Though it often seems that this is all I am capable of doing. This mind which never ceases to think. So obsessed with this concept of the self, endlessly preoccupied with authentic living that I am prone to inaction so that I do not act contrary to my core desires.
Herein lies a paradox. Are my wants fundamental to my makeup, or do they develop while interacting with the outside world? To know my authentic self must I first take a leap, make a guess as to what will fulfill me? The blank slate of the mind has been debated, and the concept has seemingly dissolved and reappeared as a much more intricate nature-nurture paradigm. There is no divide between nature and nurture, they are continually intertwined processes, or even the same process all together. It seems to be that my authentic self is not static, that it is not something to be discovered, but rather cultivated and developed. I cannot act contrary to my core wants and desires because there are infinite ways in which they can be satisfied. The self does not have wants it simply wants. We must recognize, however, that this wanting can be hijacked and misused by others. We can be trained to think that our wanting is fulfilled by the achievement of some other individual or entities ends. Often we know nothing else but the approval and validation of a mother and father, and furthermore our peers and society. This becomes a drug and an addiction. Do we turn to a the pill to alleviate our symptoms (the whispers of our wanting) or do we turn our thoughts inward, feel our naked self, and choose to develop our own path and method of satisfying the ever wanting of our self, the vibrations of instinct (what we inherently know and feel lying beneath conscious thought), appetite (what the physical body craves), lust (what the body/mind wants but does not require), hope (what the self sees as attainable) understanding (what the self accepts as realistic) and temperament (how the self chooses to portray itself to the world ). When these vibrations harmoniously hum, they are self sustaining and require little effort to satisfy. The experience of being becomes like the object in continuous motion. There is no force required to continue such motion, and life decisions and course corrections become elements of the object itself rather than exterior influences disruptive of its course. The course having no destination, the course being the object of action in and of itself.
I am eternally the same self, while ever changing in my physical constitution and shifting in my psychological temperament. What remains constant is the object by which all these things are identified. This object is very much abstract, like an emotion, having no other physical properties than that of the body it is housed in. So if one thing were to be the object of self, it would be the human body that I am. However, how can I remain constant if this body changes with time. That is why the self must remain an abstraction. An idea. Corporeal like love. We can say it and contemplate on it, but self cannot be tangible just as love could not be packaged in a box. There is a bioneurological process that creates the sense of self, but that implies that self begins and ends. Indeed it likely does, and self is merely a message being broadcast throughout bone, blood and sinew. And here we find the only adequate, albeit contrary, crude and insufficient analogy. Just as you cannot bottle up a message, you know the message still exists. The matter that makes it up is mere data, entirely useless when the value of its physical components are considered. A song has its audible representation, but Stairway to Heaven is not on display in some walk through museum. It remains an idea, and so similarly does the self.
The sound that is heard and interpreted to be a particular song can be replicated. This sound is a vibration, an excitation of particles which oscillate through matter in various ways. Could the same explanation for the occurrence of sound be comparable to how the idea of self is transmitted through my physical body? If the code that is disseminated through the neurons, synapses, and receptors could be isolated, could it be replicated? When we eventually make synthetic biological components, could my self be retransmitted throughout? Every copy of a song experiences some measure of deterioration. Thus, the replication would not be me. Only a copy. And still yet, the idea, the abstraction that was the original self remains free of time and space in the soup of my thoughts.
I live with myself, I experience reality in a completely subjective matter. One which no one else will ever experience the same as I do. This is the only self I will ever feel so I learn to be content with the sensation. I am wanting, and so I seek out that which will cull this unrest. But I become fulfilled in the process, calming the unrest because I learn to realize this unrest is fundamental to existing. This is the motion of the object. The journey becomes the destination. And any other number of cliche’s which apply.
End philosophical mumbo jumbo. I am an idea!
May 23, 2011
The battle versus style and substance is no real battle at all. However, we can be easily fooled and often we are. Two things have my mind on this very thought. The release of the wholly unnecessary 4th installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series and the greatly anticipated 3rd album from her holiness Lady Gaga ‘Born This Way’.
First and foremost, we have been utterly duped by Disney who got extremely lucky that Johnny Depp had a moment of artistic genius when he conjured up Captain Jack Sparrow in his, I’m sure partially insane (have you seen Fear and Loathing?), mind. His character has lured us right into what is a far less substantive experience. Jack Sparrow has mesmerized movie goers and pop culture so significantly that we have made preposterously plotted movies into one of the highest grossing movie franchises of all-time. Other comparable franchises by numbers: Harry Potter, Star Wars, and the Lord of the Rings. I don’t think there is much debate that Pirates is nowhere near on par with these other 3 franchises….not including the prequels to Star Wars, but the box office numbers wouldn’t suggest this. We can be mad at the industry all we want, but what does it say about us as humans who are continually shown to be complete suckers.
I believe there is a similar effect with Lady Gaga. I’ll go more into her music later, but if it weren’t for her iconic fashion and pop culture status, I do not believe the music would stand on its own. This is also the case with the latest album, which I heard from front to back this afternoon. But this does not change the fact that if I saw her outside of a concert hall I wouldn’t know whether I should drop to one knee and kiss her hand, ask for an autograph, or start laughing at the device that protruded 3 feet in all directions off of her head. I would likely do all 3. Now I’m not saying Lady Gaga is the equivalent to POC for the music industry, so let me set Gaga lovers minds at ease. She’s more like the super hero movie of the music industry. Occasional head scratchers, wearing meat and Madonna rip-offs (Fantastic Four, Elektra, Daredevil) but than a healthy # of home runs, Bad Romance and her human rights influence (Robert Downey as Iron Man, Toby as Spidey).
Now as far as my actual review of ‘Born This Way’, here is my 2 cents. The album is dense, as in, loud and a lot going on. The 80′s influences are beaten to death here, and perhaps this was her intent. A tribute of some kind. What I did enjoy was how the album closes out. Some darker tracks with sick guitar riffs and solo’s mixed into the synth pop layerings. But essentially what we have here is one dance floor and self esteem anthem after another. Mantra’s like “I was born this way” and “I will be strong”. There isn’t anything wrong with this in essence, but it does grow tired over 14-17 tracks, depending on which version of the album you get. There are a lot of religious allusions and foreign flavors (German, Spanish, etc.) that give a facade of sophistication, but I really thought these were forced. If I’m not mistaken there were at least 3 or 4 references to Jesus somewhere on this album which is fine, but I can just here the controversy coming already, as there has been with her single ‘Judas’. Overall, I can say I’d give the album a solid 7/10 with the highlight being ‘Highway Unicorn’ for its rock/metal touches.
May 11, 2011
I have an inspiration playlist. Mostly stuff that sparks pondering, nothing too heavy but generally not overly light. If I get too amped up writing I tend to get kind of aggressive with my prose and think my ideas are more urgent to express then necessary….or rather more urgent a tone than most people are willing to digest (and I don’t blame them, I can get intense). Heavy music can do that to me, and no doubt it’s a therapeutic mode and there ain’t nothing wrong with that mindset, but it’s best utilized in some stream of consciousness super intense journal entries. If the music is too light, it becomes relaxation mode, I don’t ponder so much to say Explosions in the Sky. I more so just straight listen to that kind of music, or it can be very good background noise for studying. Now, on the other hand, you get some Kid Cudi with a ponderous beat and introspective lyrics, some intellection wants to become words. Or perhaps Russian Circles, ponderous, heavy at times, progressive, and instrumental. The kind of stuff that makes you feel like your flying over landscapes, observing the world, and pondering how to solve it’s problems or exactly what your place on this space rock really is.
Some artists on my ponderous playlist
Radiohead (no brainer)
select Mastodon and Tool tracks
You like how I sneak in some choice artists and bands without outright suggesting, it’s all in the flow. But now I just outed my covert strategy. Whatever. And by the way, the new Explosions in the Sky: Take Care Take Care Take Care, is a most excellent piece of listening.
I cleaned my room today, put a bookshelf in there as my book and blu ray selection is getting rather robust. I take careful consideration as to what will be the top shelf books and what will get ostracized to the foot level resting place. I clean my room but once a month, I swear. I’m a perfectionist and so I usually end up not doing things because I don’t want to half-ass it. It’s not the best way to live life, and I recall my brother explaining to me how many things cleared up for him personally and professionally when he tackled that beast of perfectionism. I’ll need to look into some material. Perhaps I’ve beaten the mental health, philosophy, and brain health topics to a bloody pulp and moving to some new non-fic topics would be good.
So much focus on the self, being in the mind all the time. And it doesn’t help that so much of my reading involves Psychology. I was already a heavy thinker all through life, now that I’ve learned the curious nature of mood and motivation, I almost wonder if ignorance was a better option. Too late now, but truth and knowledge I feel win out eventually and is the best medicine for any wounds: physical, spiritual, emotional, and whatever else you can think of. 2 WOOTS! for truth.
I leave you with this small window into the mind of Mike. Thanks all who read and comment and subscribe please…PEACE!
May 6, 2011
I think I’m terrible at giving gifts in the traditional sense. I always want to buy people something I would want and just hope that they will like it as well. Every now and again I’m really in touch with what the person enjoys or wants or needs and I get satisfaction out of making em happy that way. But in the past when I’ve gotten to know people I’ve always had this tendency to burn them CD’s. There are the rare grip of people who actually appreciate this. But the general tendency of humans, I’ve noticed, is to not care that much for something unless it was their idea. I’ve learned over time that to dodge disappointment required me not suggesting movies, music, and books very often. 3 of the things that I am voracious for. I know this sounds like accepting defeat or being pessimistic, but I’ve begun to value my opinion about these things and feel similarly that giving it out is only worth it if I know the individual will equally value the suggestion.
It was a Christmas (2008 I believe) and I gave my girlfriend some 10,000 songs on her Ipod…this is an estimate. She deleted them after we broke up, along with all the great pictures we took…bummer. I feel I can say this because I’m more than positive she doesn’t read this blog. And it’s not vindictive in anyway. It’s just to say that I’ve used music as love my whole life. When I love someone, I often want to give them music, watch great movies, or suggest fabulous books that I’ve read.
So let me put it this way. If I ever suggest artists or better yet want to make you a burned CD…it means love.
April 30, 2011
I was noticing the scar that runs in a crescent shape along my right shin bone. The skin has a slightly shinier, more pink, and delicate look to it..like the skin could tear at any second. But it doesn’t, fist pump for the resilience of the human body despite how obviously fragile we are at any moment. But that’s not really the reason I decided to ruminate with these words. I was thinking how I probably should have gotten stitches when this scar was inflicted upon me, or which I inflicted upon myself. I had setup a ladder at far to shallow a pitch, especially since the ground was still wet and snowy. Surprisingly I made it up basically to the roof, probably 15 feet off the ground, before the ladder slid out from beneath me. Luckily it crashed against the siding of the house and then bounced off of the power box on the side of the home. The power went out in the customer’s entire home. After bouncing off the power box the ladder then proceeded the additional 8 or so feet to the ground. Somewhere in there my shin slid against a rung of the ladder, or was pinned between the ground and the ladder, I’m not sure which, but it was bleeding something fierce. I probably had some natural pain killers that shot to my leg immediately, and slight shock, so I played it off no big deal. I finished the job, and the fellow was nice enough and had the power company come down and fix the power box right quick. I hurried home, cleaned it up in the tub, if I recall correctly I’m pretty sure I saw some kind of white tissuey stuff, maybe bone, IDK. Like I said, shoulda got stitches. I slapped on some gauze and bandages and threw on a high sock and doctored the wound a couple times a day and it seemed to heal up well enough.
And now I got this scar. The thing used to seem a lot meaner and add significant character say…. if I was wearing shorts. Now she’s barely visible, but nevertheless, character is added. Part of me wonders if stitches would have resulted in a similar scar or not. But I think it’s cool that I have this physical reminder (well yes for being stupid) for something kinda crazy happening to me that I suppose could have been a lot worse.
It’s kind of like tattoos. Which I haven’t gotten one, it has crossed my mind. But the nice thing about a scar is it is random and is not determined by you but by the complete randomness of the event. With a tattoo I would just rack my brain as to what I felt was significant enough to have permanently on my body. I’d probably like the mark just fine, but I’d always question if I should have gotten a different picture or a different quote. What would naturally happen if I opened those floodgates is I would just justify getting another one for what I missed. But there are endless images and words that could define me or look sweet enough to have. I think I’d just end up obsessing and stressing over it, whereas the scar I didn’t have much choice in the matter.
Or how about my Xbox Live gamertag. I’ve been thinking recently of changing it, and similar to the tattoo dilemma, I obsess. What is a cool enough name? Don’t do a fight club reference, you’ve beaten that to death. Maybe a name from Game of Thrones…but who would know what that meant and is it too nerdy? Inception reference….too recent. So that’s why my original is a noise more than it is a name. It’s total and utter nonsense “Shteeef”. But the problem is people mispronounce it constantly. When I get a wicked kill people are yelling out “what the hell, shaa teeef just got me”. If it was Shaaa teeef I would have spelled it Shaateeef. It’s one consonant, one smooth sound “Shhhteeeef”. I’m still baffled why that’s difficult. So regardless of having been relatively satisfied with the ridiculousness of my gamertag for 3 or 4 years, the mispronunciation and the want for something new has me debating what will be my new gamertag. We shall see if it changes. Suggestions are welcome.
April 20, 2011
If a blind man had learned to distinguish a globe and a cube from one another through touch and then he gained sight later in life, would he be able to tell the two a part by sight without first feeling the objects? My point in bringing this up is not to tell you what the answer is. What this problem demonstrates to me is perspective and subjective experience and how it actually does dictate our reality in powerful ways, down to the neurological level. How does this apply to life generally and how to live? Put simply, try to put yourself in the other persons shoes, do not be quick to judge, and understand that we can never truly understand or feel what another person understands or feels. Conversely, we should not take offense where someone seems to be unable to relate to an opinion or perspective we have, if anything the lack of understanding is not so important compared to if they try to relate and we all must show forgiving for what will inevitably remain in the gray areas.
Describing well the ambiguity that exists in communication between individuals is the chill man himself, Jack Johnson:
“But it’s all relative
Even if you don’t understand
Well it’s all understood
Especially when you don’t understand
Then it’s all just because
Even if we don’t understand
Then lets all just believe”
-It’s All Understood
March 23, 2011
“I don’t do too much blogging
I just run the town, I don’t do too much jogging”
I had some inspiration to blog it up. I had a very impactful ‘bringing of heads together’ today, and while the details probably would verge on TMI (too much information), it suffices that I say that the juices have started flowing in the brain space. This is not in light of some confidence boost or any achievement on my part but rather having to take a hard look at some things about myself. I’ve always said that the people who can disagree with me and express non-aggressively the nature of their contrariness to me, we can build a true friendship. Well, my bluff was called, there is a little insidious part of myself that needs to be checked, and today I am much more aware of it and this realization has me with the writing itch.
This blog is for the wordsmiths. Poetry, yeah it still exists, but we used to appreciate our poets. Maybe we still do, rap artists are the poets we give the notoriety nowadays. I don’t believe this to be a misled notion, while no doubt there are probably plenty of good poets out there writing profound stuff, there just isn’t a medium for the material to become very well known or have impact. Or rather, we as consumers don’t flock to the forums poets are using. Maybe we just aren’t as literarily sophisticated. But I’m here to say, the dying art of a poems impact is overstated, in our modern time it lives on lyrically.
I used to swear off hip-hop and rap. Remember the joke, what do u get with country and rap…CRAP! Well, it’s not true. Then came forth the rap witch doctors of the underground and my mind opened, my rigidness was made more flexible. This group was called Swollen Members, the album was their pinnacle achievement “Bad Dreams” . The clever wit in wordplay began to pop out to me, and the moody beats conjured up the novel emotions you look for when finding new music.
“We always stand guard over the late shift
The cause and effect of the light and the mist
In the world of mixtapes and other sick breaks,
I spit like my life depends on what I make”
There is a lot of false bravado in hip hop, but there is this urgency and a raw honesty, like you get down to your survival instincts, your confidence intertwined with your insecurity and you throw it down on a piece of paper. Testosterone flies but dudes also get REAL with the audience. Need go no further then Eminems rehab anthem ‘Recovery’, which for anyone struggling or having conquered addiction, this should be a standard of inspiration and triumph.
this excerpt isn’t from ‘Recovery’, but just an example of Em’s individual genius
“I told the world, one day I would pay it back.
Say it on tape and lay it, record it, so that one day I could play it back.
But I don’t even know if I believe it when I’m saying that.
Doubt startin’ to creep in, everyday it’s just so grey and black.
Hope, I just need a ray of that
‘Cause no one sees my vision
When I play it for ‘em, they just say it’s whack.
But they don’t know what dope is.
And I don’t know if I was awake or asleep when I wrote this.”
eminem from “I need a Doctor”
Anyone who goes through that process of creating art, you know that feeling of the disconnect between you and the receiver of the message. But it’s important we shut that inner critic up and try, because great things have come out from those who did.
March 16, 2011
Now and again, I tune into the classical music station. I actually really like classical. There is nothing like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. My classical listening moments are almost always in my car since I don’t own and haven’t actually purchased any classical compilations. I’ve had several times I tuned to the proper station during rush hour or on the way home on the main drag here in the Anchorage, AK area (Glenn Highway) and have this coming together of thoughts. Let me further explain. Suddenly traffic wasn’t annoying, the string arrangements suddenly bring an aesthetic, art-like flow to mundane life events. Classical music brought me to an understanding of the beauty in traffic patterns. You start thinking about how we humans drive hulking metal carriages that careen across rock hard paved streets at speeds in excess of 60 or 70 miles per hour…that’s freaking fast. The moment is brought to an increased natural artistry with the backdrop of snowy Alaskan mountain peaks. And if you catch the right time of day coming into Anchorage, you see the sun setting over the Cook Inlet. This spectacle can be experienced in a variety of degrees as we run a long rock hard pavement in metal carriages (the most unnatural of things it would seem); we can still see the beauty in its synthesis with the raw nature that still exists around us. Comment on times the same effect has happened for you if you’d like. PEACE!
March 10, 2011
I’ve been writing more lately, which is a good thing, it means mood is improving. Maybe it’s spring coming on, maybe it’s a host of other things just kind of coming together and giving me clarity in my life. Regardless, I’m just happy the ENERGY is there creatively and the MOOD is leveling out and I’m reaching a point of inspiration. I’ve always considered myself a writer despite the fact that I’ve taken huge break from the art at various points throughout my life. But ever since I was a child I wanted to write a book. I had this little mead journal in 6th grade and inspired by the sci fi styles of Michael Crichton and the awe of seeing Jurassic Park for the first time I wrote “Mammoth”. It was about a scientific expedition to the Antartic to thaw out a perfectly preserved Mammoth (forego geographical, biological, and scientific inaccuracies) the book was full of action, deception and filled up almost an entire mead journal with my chicken scratchings. My 6th Grade homeroom teacher would read the material and always seemed genuinely enthrawled, I haven’t even looked back on it to see how truly amature it is. But that’s not what mattered, at that age something allowed me to be in flow…I wrote in this volume all the time and saw the plot progress and saw characters develop.
The only other thing I’ve seen reach that level of ambition in my creative outlets was a short story for creative writing in high school that later reached 50 pages in the hopes to become some mystery/supernatural/thriller. It was about a writer named Lawrence Wirthlin who had written some of the most revered fiction of his time and yet was left uninspired for some time. He eventually has a run in with a women who steals his heart for a day, a quite random interaction. But it turns out the feeling cannot last, as she is married and informs Lawrence she must return to her normal life, but that she can never thank him enough for one day of seeing things from a new perspective. Lawrence is crushed (being himself a shy and solitary man) and he begins a new piece of work. Dark, dense, the story of a man (Teague) so evil and a people who can’t seem to comprehend, nor stop the insidious nature of his powers and avarice. Only one man is unnaturally linked to the deeds which Teague influences. He knows where they will be and begins to try and interrupt this assault on his community. Teague, unknown to anyone but a select number of Priests, is racked with guilt and hatred for his ability to control and influence others to commit acts of evil. Lawrence, in his fit of intense emotion and flurry of writing unknowingly brings these two characters into his own world. And the 3 become intertwined in making sense of how these things have happened, what is the nature of their abilities, and how to go forward making purpose of their lives; whether it be good or evil.
Amazing how much I can remember of these works where it has been 8-10 years since I’ve done anything with them. If anything, I’ll let them be a testament to how much I used to, and still do love writing. But also a harsh reminder that I don’t write like I should despite where a gift for the art has been granted me. So I’ve been writing in many a forum lately. I’m doing this blog, I’ve done journaling, writing lyrics, and rough drafting some portions of a memoir. All worthy outlets. Maybe I’ll soon enough come back to the realm of fiction, but real life is equally fascinating. But not a day goes by still that I don’t contemplate that desire to write a book and have it make a difference for some people, have them be inspired in their own creativity.