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Tuesday, July 22, 2008
A Case of Self-Delusion, Analytical Creativity
Near death experiences provide a rich appreciation of the powers of superstition. "There are no atheists in foxholes".
Well lately hasn't had too poingient near-death experiences, but there's been a bit of adversity and dealing with a lot of stuff breaking and work being slow. This has got me to think more about superstition, and how people get a need to look for a deeper meaning, such as the will of a divine entity, to give meaning to their personal lives.
For example, when the music computer, which has everything I've ever written musically on it decided not to power on anymore, that really bothered me. Especially because not everything on there is backed up- particularly the newer (and best) material. The last song written on there is probably one of my favorite songs I've ever written and it doesn't exist anywhere else except for that one hard drive.
It's at the shop now and I hope it can be salvaged. Maybe just a fuse burnt out... or maybe not!
Anyways, instead of blaming myself for not having a better paying job which would make it easier to pay to get things fixed, or instead of blaming myself for not having a better computer which never would have broken, I've decided to invent a sort of conscious musical zietgiest watching over and interacting with me. I've decided that I am being punished for hitting 'record' too many times and just improving, rather than writing parts out before hand and better planning songs initially. Now I am provided (though some would say, 'forced') an opportunity to take those bits of song ideas and actually tab them out, all the way, and practice them in their entirety, not just in their little half-formulated snippets. This will make recording a far richer experiance once it starts happening again.
It feels better, not to be alone in your music struggle, but when you have some conscious "fate" (what some would call, a god) watching over you. This gives you hope that maybe everything- including life and death- isn't just random, tragic, chance. Maybe it means, "Well, if only I do X, Y, and Z right, things will work out for me. Success or failure really is something I can control- it isn't just all random!"
Some would call this delusional, or self-deceit. But sometimes you need a little deceit. After all, we'd probably all be blown to kingdom come by the terrorists by now if George Bush didn't have the foresight to use deceit to get us into a war that we never would have supported had we been in full possession of the facts!
To use a more positive example, Ed Wood probably would never have finished directing all those movies he directed- which are now cult classics- if he had been really honest with himself about how things were going. Instead of conciously recognizing his lack of ability or resources, he kept trudging on, lying to himself, his wife, and his crews, that his "big break" was "just around the corner".
Unfortunately for Ed his subconscious got the better of him, and it slid him into a terminal decline of alcoholism. But that doesn't mean we can't appreciate his highly entertaining work no!
Well, I'm today advocating we not be afraid of a little self-delusion, or inflated hope, at times. If we only stuck to what's possible, and never really undertook big challenges that may or may not come through, we'd never get anywhere.
This isn't a veiled endorsement of Barak Obama, incidentally. For more on the self-delusion of voting for that guy, read this, or this, or this.