Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dying Bears and National Parks, Music, Iraq, Boris Badenov and Malcolm X

News capsule:

From James I got this witty gem, Everything Popular is Wrong: Making it in Electronic Music, Despite Democratization, a great analysis of trends that happened to music the past decade, which are all really key to understanding why I live in a cab over camper at the edge of the desert instead of still playing shows and selling records and having drinks with girls in black latex.

His grasp of what has happened is fantastic. However, for those looking for a happy ending to the story, I'll go ahead and ruin it for you.

"...Therefore there is a need to have sources of income that are independent from your own music’s direct returns. That is, any income that can be obtained with spending very little time on it — no day jobs allowed unless you are a grossly overpaid consultant for a few hours a month, like I am occasionally... Separating income and music in your head can be deeply rewarding. The freedom experienced in creating music to your own criteria first and even “against the market” if necessary is way more elegant than trying to squeeze as much as possible out of music that has to produce your paycheck. That is another factor contributing to an artist’s longevity in the market — having guts and principles. Get your head around it, do your homework and you’ll quickly see solutions that work for you."

Yes, indeed, that elegant freedom of my guts and principles, my laborious homework, the freedom experienced in creating music to my own criteria first. Mr. Goldmann's "solutions" for "separating income and music in your head" seem to retreat back to the author's own original thesis, that "Being a 'musician' is increasingly becoming a profession for those coming from inherited wealth or being mercantily exceptionally clever."


Then! Yellowstone National Park is experiancing a major ecosystem disruption but fourtunately the friendly Park Rangers are there to kill the starving bears when they break into your trash. Check out The Ghost Park

Those who've been trying desperately for years (and often, succeding?) to pretend the Iraq war doesn't exist or effect them and won't probably continue for longer should double check the recent march where A Million Marchers Tell the US To Get Out of Iraq by the End of 2011 or Else.

And finally, in your own philosophical grasping for a framework to put all these pieces together, let us first understand, and then dismiss, the fallout from that day When Alan Met Ayn... And Tanked Our Economy, before (hip) hopping on over to Roots Grow Deep's latest posting, On Masculinity and Homophobia Pt 1: A Reflection on Hip Hop, Malcolm, and More.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brother Malcolm

Do you know what my favorite Malcolm X quote is?

It's what he said in 1964 when he was attacking the Democratic Party, which in the south was made up of aggressive segregationists who were sending the police and the dogs and the fire hoses on the protesters. He called out the Democratic Party, which President Lydon Johnson, shall we say, was rather annoyed by, because at the time he was trying to establish a relationship with the civil rights movement (and channel it into less systemically threatening directions, such as voter registration).

Anyways, Malcolm makes this speech, and right in the middle of it, he stops to say:

"I know you don't like me saying that. I'm not the kind of person who come here to say what you like. I'm going to tell you the truth whether you like it or not."

You know what the crowd in Detroit did where he was speaking after he said that?

They clapped.

The full speech.

A lot of it was very specific to that time period, to what was going on politically then and what the forces and attitudes were at the time. That beign said, there's some mighty fine grains of universal truth in there.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Drinking Tequila and Talking to a Stick

River notes... from the small notebook in the first aid kit

Deer flies and Hawaiian shirts
Commuting with nature, DEET
Peeling small cuts to catch
And impale upon hooks with, fish

Wish upon Iridium
Backpacks vs river trips
Dabblers and Divers
In love

Taking my chances with the bugs
I really love this river
Wish this trip was at high water
And would just keep going by

WTF is Stateline Rapid?
Stopping to eat my second lunch
Wondering where yesterday's campsite is

Ants in the cookies
Antibiotics and cowboy ruins
Declining reclusive impoverished
Expectations for future deaths

Lying on my pad sleeping bag
In the back of the van
With an attractive young
18 year old geology student
Who can only text message

Over it and not so fresh
Able to let it fade forget it
What it meant

Hostel healthcare
Washing out an eye and
Patching up drunk Bob
Hyponatremia and Benadryl
In Ester's back yard

Hard winter of slightly
Mentally retarded white people
With money
Chili Cheese Fries and
Filet Mignon
Car crash suicide
Social life...

Nice restaurants give me anxiety

In a canyon
1,000 feet below the earth's crust
Drinking tequila
And talking to a stick
A stick I have been traveling with for days

Free in my own way

An informative
And beautiful
Place to loose yourself for a while