November 21, 2011 in Defying Expectations with
November 1, 2011 in Uncategorized with
You have to SMiLE at the thought that 43 years after the Beach Boys’ album SMiLE was supposed to be released, an official version in more than one form finally came to be … on Halloween, and in the UK no less. In the United States, the release came 1 day later, on November 1st, the end of the hurricane season in the ‘Atlantic basin’.
Just yesterday I ordered the 2 CD version from the Beach Boys site. I paid extra for the version with a SMiLE T-Shirt. I don’t want to just ‘look, listen, vibrate’ and SMiLE’ I want to wear it, too!
Personal Music: Some Notes & Chords:
There was a time in my life when I would sit at a piano all day and play various chord combinations, without really knowing what chords I was actually playing. Later, I did the same on guitar. I wasn’t looking for a particular mathematical permutation of notes, but rather I was looking for a feeling, a sensation, perhaps even a ‘movement’. In musical terms, this would refer to a “self-contained part of a musical composition or musical form”. For example, on a guitar, pluck the chord Asus2 and let it resonate. To me, such forms don’t necessary come in a string of notes played across a few bars…. but rather in a single blast … a Big Bang, if you will. Listen to the seminal chord progression struck by the Beach Boys vocals in the album’s opening track, Prayer, and you’ll understand.
A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
- Ernest Hemingway
It would be nice to be able to sit down and write a sentence, then the next, perhaps even a third, and then to follow suit in a linear fashion eventually culminating with the completion of a cohesive and coherent text. Is it really asking too much for my mind to play nice? My often mind flits and flutters like the proverbial wing flapping butterfly in Chaos Theory. With all this wrestling with my thoughts, it’s difficult for me to bear in mind that I’m writing for others. So that basically means, my readers often have to hold on for dear life as they read my words, both those on and between the lines. Somewhere of course there is a message. I know what it is, but it’s the readers’ task to find it. And, like with any trip, getting there is half the fun.
Writing for me needs to be fun. It must have a shade of the abstract and a touch of randomness because that’s just the way my mind works. Can I write in 50 or words or less? No. Can I be less of myself? Definitely not. Why? Because that’s just how my mind works. So why should I fight it. If my writing defies convention so be it; my mind certainly does … and most likely do a fair number of yours.
Yet, for many writers and bloggers, writing is a chore. Ideas don’t come easily and finding their ‘voice’ is like looking for a needle in the verbal haystack. If you fancy yourself a writer or blogger, you most likely desire to establish your identity through your words, and to distinguish yourself from your peers, whomever they may be … especially those monkeys which are banging away in earnest to bang out the entire works of Shakespeare on a typewriter as a matter of happenstance.
October 9, 2011 in Defying Expectations with
Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining
– John Lennon (Tomorrow Never Knows)
I used to believe that each day I knew all there ever was to know. The next day, I would learn a few more things and marvel at how stupid I was the day before. That’s the way it is with life. Each day brings new possibilities, new hopes, new dreams and, of course, fresh concerns. Balancing the ‘yings’ and ‘yangs’ of our existence can leave us dumbfounded as we existentially grope around in our subconscious for our minds to hang our ‘sense of being’ and self-worth on.
For many, juggling the psychic apparatus of their various cognitive and psychological states is serious business, and good business for many institutions come circus barkers. It’s really something to meditate on. Nevertheless, I’ve never been much of a meditator.
In fact, I’m much too full of myself for the practice and balk at any idealistic isms that preach self-nullification. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism, but for many years, I felt as if I was my own best friend. Alone with my thoughts which I could never really share, I’d entertain myself and find ways to make myself smile. I never heard voices in my head, though I would occasionally talk to myself.
September 27, 2011 in Defying Expectations with
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
– Dr. Seuss
Hang on for a second …
An easy question to ask concerns how often you find yourself having to justify yourself to others. A harder question, and one I might suggest may be much more important, is how often you find ‘others’ having to justify themselves to you?
I just want to say …
Do everyday conversations you have with others feel like losing battles ‘you must’ win? Does social banter take on the sensation that it’s taking place with a fast-taking salesman on a used car lot? When speaking with others, are you simultaneously carrying on a conversation with that ‘inner voice’ talking in your head? Indeed, it often feels like there are so many questions and so little time. And, by the time you are ready to make your point, the conversation has already ended.
I think it was in kindergarten when I remember being told the story of little George “I cannot tell a lie” Washington and the cherry tree he confessed to his father he had chopped down. Through this vignette, my classmates and I were admonished to always tell the truth. The only problem was that often told tale … is a lie, a fabricated fable of fibbing fiction. It was actually created by biographer, Mason Locke Weems, as an anecdote laudable to Washington’s character and as an “exemplary to his countrymen”. Nevertheless, this fractured fairy tale is almost as hallowed as the national anthem.
When I was 2 years old, the US Congress passed the ‘Gulf of Tonkin Resolution’ granting President Johnson the wanton power to take military action as he saw fit in Southeast Asia, ostensibly to combat the spread of communist aggression. The passage of the resolution, enabling Johnson to launch America full-tilt into the Vietnam war, was predicated on a fabricated set of events suggesting that American naval vessels had come under unprovoked attack by the North Vietnamese.
When I first heard the above tale, I remember being skeptical. I’m not sure why my ‘bullshit detector’ went off that day. Perhaps it was the result of a burgeoning character flaw or a latent psychic ability to perceive the teacher’s own insincerity in her own overly dramatic rendition of the fable. Some might say that my lack of gullibility at that tender age speaks volumes of my character or my perception of ethics. And, indeed early on I began to question my moral constitution. In retrospect, I was ‘loony’ to do so.
August 21, 2011 in Defying Expectations with
- Cartman (South Park)
In this crazy mixed up galaxy, it’s hard to know who’s who, what’s what and what THEY want. Of course, THEY can say the same, but the universal consensus apparently suggests that we are not the same. To be honest, we’re not really sure who THEY are or if they even exist, but many folks are real nervous just the same.
There’s been some discussion concerning a recent study that reviewed a number scenarios depicting the nature of contact with alien life forms, in other words, extra-terrestrials. The study basically assesses a variety of science fiction themes to reach some conclusion over what contact with extra-terrestrials might reap, and whether or not this is something we might actively want to be pursuing. Word making the rounds is that our ultimate fate may be decided by our galactic neighbors, possibly in the name of ‘keeping the neighborhood safe’.
Ok, so everyone wants to know who or what might be lurking out there in the great galactic void, and of course, what their intentions are. According to the study, a review of science fiction themes reveals the following scenarios:
August 14, 2011 in Defying Expectations with
Hang on, but I know that you’re gonna lose the fight
- Brain Wilson
The following is not a conversation. It is an introspective monologue with accompanying commentary, perhaps spoken by a chorus, a collective I’ll call ‘Rael’. If you can figure out who the ‘Id’ is, you’ll understand at least half the story.
They say that discretion is the better part of valor. They also say that “the discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression (Proverbs 19:11). Actually, they say a lot of things, but these days, I try hard not to listen anymore, and in the end, I’m glad that I have forgotten probably more than I ever knew.
Once upon a time there was me. Some years later I was taken away from whom I was in order to live a life I did not choose, or want.
Choice is an illusion. Your path was chosen for you long before you were even born. In fact, it’s in your blood to be who you are supposed to be. As far as ‘wants’ are concerned, you need not want for anything, for wants will be your downfall.
In fact, it was less a life, and more an existence. I say ‘existence’ in that I was existing, but it really wasn’t a life, at least not the one I had previously imagined for myself.
July 24, 2011 in Defying Expectations with
Like I knew I would,
I told you I was trouble,
You know that I’m no good,
- Amy Winehouse, ‘I’m No Good’
The sun goes down,
He takes the day but I’m grown,
And there’s no way, in this blue shape,
My tears dry on their own.
What the hell’s the matter with you?” is a question that’s often been fired at me point blank in varying contexts, by an even more varied collection of people. Parents, sibling, employers, and colleagues have all hurled this inquisitive barb in my direction. My answer? Well, in general, I’d suggest that the question is moot.
To be honest, I think it’s a strange question, because more often than not, it’s a question that’s asked through a veil of perception that gnaws away at the inquisitors’ sensitivities… or expectations. In fact, I’d argue that it’s not really even a question, but more of a statement of exasperation, spoken by a chafed few who have yet to fathom that there are just some things, situations or people that they can’t control in life.