TAP # 11 – Glib, Glam, and Guano (Vlog)


In this installment of TAP (The Audity Podcast), I discuss pitfalls in reasoning that come from the way that information is popularly presented.

Presented in gloriously anachronistic black and white because I am a shameless hep-cat hypocrite!


Example One: http://psychologyofeating.com/mind-over-food/

Example Two: http://reason.com/archives/2002/09/25/i-dont-care-where-my-food-come


Further reading:

Antonio Damasio’s – Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AFY2XVK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Jamie Whyte’s – Crime’s Against Logic

https://www.amazon.com/Crimes-Against-Logic-Politicians-Journalists/dp/0071446435

The Regular Irregular – (Poem with Essay) Jeder Rilke ist schrecklich

 

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The Regular – Irregular
‘Jeder Rilke ist schrecklich’
Poem with Essay


 

Hardly are there any hours

Scarcely do they ever stay

Called as if by unseen powers

This strange gift loves to stray

First, it was giddy

Tearing at tinsel

Then it was less greedy

A casual spell

Finally, I learned to see

That unwrapping is entirely unnecessary

Here all my watches blossomed

Every clock was a trade-wind

My steps were more assured

To those who’d say

That’s the mechanical way

Machines with their precision

Are no way to make decision….

Yet, I’ve turned my broken gardens into woods

Our park of long-rusted mistake into understoods

Yes

I am a regular
Irregular

Good-Day

2:16 PM on a Tuesday


Schrecklich

I do recall it. I recall often. Or at least so often as it recalls itself. At times reconstituted from the way that summer rain brings that moisture peculiar to doors left open at twilight.

Rainer Maria Rilke

I’d have never known the name save for a friend. She was a working musician that I’d met at a party half a decade ago.

She had a small room with what I think was a red couch. On one wall there was a picture of Christ with ashen eyes and a crown of thorns. There to watch me sin. On the other a picture of Virginia Woolf to scoff at our lack of gravity. Then some jaunty looking flapper with a black sunhat in hand striking a tom boy’s ‘Jack the Lad.’

It was in that room with the smell of rain that I pulled from her shelf of books a paperback of Rilke’s. At such times that we’d separate ourselves, I’d read. So I read.

It was the introduction rather than the poems that interested me. As far as I recall they tell of a young or perhaps not so young Rilke’s struggles. The point is I at the time imagined Rilke to be about twenty-two years of age like myself.

The struggles seem to have been primarily regarding a lack of productivity. One recounted episode (if my memory serves me well) was about how Rilke would endeavor to sit every day with punctuality to write something. He’d end up doing nothing. Or so was the effect of the tale on my imagination.

The feeling it produced in me was fear. They say that the most fearsome things are unknown. But it was the familiar that struck fear deep within me.

Was my tongue forever to be stilted? Was I merely going to pass my days in such a fashion, caught between worlds, dizzy with the urgency of that which must be said, and fornicating instead? Metaphorically of course.

It did or didn’t help that Whitman was there as contrast.

Yet, I had my gravity. The thing that would pull toward creation, toward a pulse.

Though it has taken some years. I believe that I have begun to manifest the strange momentum of a chance discovery.

Entsagung

This is the meaning in whole, or part, of the regular irregular.

Thank you for reading.

The Watering Hole (Vlog)


I’m coming at this from a ‘psychological’ angle. This differs from most people’s usual take on our tendency to not look beyond grocery store shelves because I’m not promoting or contesting ‘organic’ claims. This is just a bit of informal speculation on unseen effects of our ‘abstracted lifestyle.’

– Abstracted lifestyle as I use it here is just a reference to the depth and intricacy of our division of labor. We do not take actions or very often come in contact with those that take actions to ensure health and survival on a ‘primordial level’ (food, water, shelter, heat) and thus are ‘abstracted.’ i.e. Accounting and Computer Programming are abstract professions.  


I do not support or deny any of the claims in the following links. They’re presented to help you form your own opinions.

‘Neutral’ (*sic) Info  – https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2016/05/25/know-where-your-food-comes-usda-foods

‘Pro Organic’ – https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/reasons-why-you-should-eat-organic-foods.html/?a=viewall

‘Critical of Organic’ – http://reason.com/archives/2002/09/25/i-dont-care-where-my-food-come#comment

*sic is here used in a somewhat unconventional way as a reminder that there is no neutral party of information since it’s all framed by human beings. USDA is by no means impartial or neutral whatever its attempts may be. Not due to any shortcoming on the USDA’s part necessarily but simply the nature of organizations and people. That being said I believe the information contained in the link is about as ‘impartial’ and rigorous as it probably gets.


Here’s more food related reading: 

Post.Grunge.Punks. (Webcomic) – Tim Pool is a Nut (Pt. 3) – Putin it Together

PGP - Tim Pool is a Nut Part three


Part One: Post.Grunge.Punks. (Webcomic) – Tim Pool is a Nut

Part Two: Post.Grunge.Punks. (Webcomic) – Tim Pool is a Nut (pt.2) – The Timatree

The Tim Pool Beanie origin saga is now complete. Be sure to check out the links in the first two posts to get a feel for the humor here. That is if you feel so inclined. There’s more substantive content afoot so long as all goes well this week. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers.

Transmission (Poem)

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It turns you

Into city visions

Your eyes become

Kaleidoscopes

Of other peoples

Dreams

Daze-ed is the walk of those

Among the walls that talk

They cannot separate

The lead out from the chorus

Thus feeding on frustrate

That ether

They are static things

Electric buzzing

In the maelstrom

Of soft white lies

And forgotten histories

What use have we for arcane

Magic

Or for symmetry

Such things are daft and tragic

Leave us be

There is no need of learning

Save to secure

The turning of a gear

That will assure

Tomorrow

They don’t know why

And do not sorrow

That tomorrow

Is today

Transmission

The transmission

It’s a mission to deliver

Deaf, Blind, and Dumb

Transmission, Transmission

This banquet is just a crumb


Image Source

Wheat (Poem)


Laying plastered in the sunshine

Like stucco the memories

A bit wheat colored like

Wheat colored grass

By a train station

Where the wind

Rusticating in the sunshine

And prostrating

The illusion of procession

Laying down an iron line

Clock wound nerves

Meld into the space

Of action

Keeping catatonic

Any actor from arising

Something chronic

Oh… ouh… Oh

On the Parapet

Oh… ouh… Oh

On the Parapet

Some have accused

Of regret

The dreamers

They would

rather have them

As confidants and schemers

Ah to build is sweet

But is there nothing to repair

And I dare say the tracks that greet

Me on a Moscow morning

With dewy tears of bright tomorrow’s wishful air

More like despair

All the little sparrows

Drink the dew

And in the narrows

Of every avenue

The indie yard brigade

Will make bread yet

From seeds of wheat

That dreams have set

In minds of those who meet

The stucco memories

And lay rusticating by the tracks to outpace

The useless hurries

To build in time to finish race

Is best done at wheat’s sweet golden time

Growing of its own accord

Doesn’t trouble overmuch with plot and word

No accounting no how shall I afford

Sucrease isn’t business but life’s way

Recognizing…

Thus clothes the earth in grain

Again…. Again….Again…

Is Twenty-Seven the Perfect Time to Start a Band?

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The popular conception is a hard thing to qualify. It is difficult to define a common view because there are so many common views. Yet it can be done. At least insofar as setting the stage for social, psychological, historical, and philosophical analysis.

There do seem to be pervasive opinions that though rarely vocalized may as well be set in stone.

For instance, everyone always expects artists and musicians to be young. At least no older than thirty. This is strange.

It might be because most bands that society is currently familiar with made their mark in their twenties.

There may be some biological reasons for youths blessing of artistic endeavors.

Neurology and the endocrine system come to mind. Then there are the social and psychological variables.

First there is the naivete that’s fertile ground for creative exploration, then there is abundant energy to till that ground, and finally, there is a drive to define and prove oneself. Society also fosters and encourages young creators* whereas there is a greater onus on the mature to be ‘responsible’ and ‘settled in.’

All these factors seem to wane as people age into their thirties. So is it meant to be? Should everyone north of thirty settle into the proverbial accountant’s office and repair their gutters on the weekends?

No.

First, there are many examples of artists who didn’t ‘make it’ until ‘later’ in life. Andreas Bocelli and Leonard Cohen to name a couple.

Second, there are many examples of artists who continued creating masterpieces throughout their lives. Bach springs to mind. As do Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, and Stevie Wonder.

Third, if one decides to view life as having many stages, then each stage of life has its own music its own landscapes to offer.

To begin the analysis of creative stages of life let’s examine the art of the young.

The case can be made that the young are too histrionic to produce anything of lasting value. As evidence, one can cite the similarity of subject matter and delivery of bands in the last century.

First, there is the sex, drugs, and joyously cacophonous ROCK starting somewhere around the time of ‘The Doors’ and lasting well through the eighties hair-metal scene. Libidinous excess and boundary flaunting tests of one’s limits through psychedelics and alcohol aren’t the only tritely recurring sins of the young.

There is also the angst and neurotic introspection of Grunge, Alternative, and Progressive genres that cropped up in the late eighties and still hold sway into the era of whistling ironic ukulele hipsterdom. Are maudlin sentiment and bitter emotion really the best subjects to set to music? The young musicians of the last three decades seem to think so.

Given its subject matter and focus, the art of the young has unsurprisingly taken a morbid turn. The 27 Club is ‘a notional roll of remembrance’ that pays homage to the fact that many of the 20th centuries musical luminaries died young. Numbers can be mystic things and the fact that Jim Morrisson, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse all died at 27 lends an air of tragic magic to that arbitrary figure. Hence the ‘colloquialization’ of ‘27 Club.’

Death has a certain finality that often lends weight and perceived substance to the art of those who passed. ‘The good die young.’

The audience ‘knew’ these folks as an explosion, as a passionate flame that burned too bright and quick, and suddenly there is the mystery of eternal silence. What more would they have made would they have said? What secret pain, what uniquely anguished insight not accessible to average joe, did these brilliant people harbor? What was it that made people who wrote such tuneful and evocative things so self-destructive?

It would be wrong to characterize these artists as immature. It is a silly business indeed to hover over history like a daft-shrink-bog-wraith psychoanalyzing the minutiae of the lives of its actors. Yet there does seem to be an air of self-fulfilling prophecy to the art of the young.

The deification of such art, the raising of it to some sort of deep expression of the human condition, while at times valid, can also be foolish and dangerous. It is the former because foolish and dangerous things are indeed a part of the human condition. It is the latter because despite the melodic and lyrical finesse of such works they were tainted by hormones and substance abuse. A tainting that leads to a sort of ‘Opera Buffa‘ where those who gained much admiration and success, freshly minted aristocrats in a sense, weren’t sated by such things and chose to become a tragedy for a convoluted sense of authenticity or psychic chaos magnified by chemicals and overcharged emotions.

The creative stages seem to fit pretty neatly into the categories of the prodigy, the rockstar, the craftsman, and the master.

  • The Rockstar has already been discussed, the rockstar is the art of the young, it is somebody that might very well be talented or not so talented but they have something to say and by God, they will say it.
  • The preceding ‘Prodigy’ is a precocious child with uncanny technical skills and well-directed enthusiasm.
  • The Craftsman is a stage that comes after prodigy and rockstar and is a person dedicated to the disciplined acquisition of skills and diligent creative output who has a broader repertoire of life experience to draw from and can do so effectively and judiciously.
  • The Master is the craftsman after many years of practice. One can look to Bach responding to the challenge of Friderich the II, improvising a three and then six-part fugue on a theme presented by that monarch.

The space of this essay will only allow the exploration of two out of four of the stages of creative life. So in light of all the information considered which would be best to unpack?

Since the ‘rockstar’ has been addressed it seems fitting to move next in line to ‘the craftsman.’

As the world approaches the cusp of a new decade, is it not fitting to promote a new sort of ‘27 Club’? Why not popularly consider 27 to mark the beginning of careers rather than looking with perverse expectation towards the demise of heroically dysfunctional musicians?

Twenty-seven may, in fact, be the perfect time to start a band. One still has abundant energy which can be used in conjunction with greater mastery over one’s emotions to select which insights and life experiences to magnify through art. Further, it is a time when hormonal needs and spastic bursts of energy will be less of a barrier to serious practice. Your bandmates are more likely to show up on time.

Why disparage the rockstar and highlight the craftsman?

The prodigy, the rockstar, and the master need no encouragement. They will do what they do as a matter of compulsion. The craftsman is the most suspicious of compulsion. As a person moving further into adulthood and feeling the weight of experience, the craftsman becomes wary and guarded, sensing a profounder need to be ‘serious and secure.’
Sometimes this need to be ‘serious and secure,’ to be a steady sort, manifests itself as studied avoidance of creative endeavors. Partly because one is keenly determined to avoid wasting time which has greater weight than ever before. Partly because one wants to avoid seeming gauche.

The truth is that music and art are never a waste of time. They sharpen all the skills and faculties necessary to succeed in work and relationships. Communication and synthesis are two skills most readily and deeply refined through creative endeavor. Atop this boon, there is another in that the magnification of life through art makes you very appreciative of even the most mundane and prosaic aspects of living.

There is nothing gauche about loving life or succeeding in relationships and the workplace.

These stages are of course guides rather than rules. Some may find themselves at a place of overlapping stages. Whatever stage you’re at…what are you waiting for?

Go forth and create.

*There will soon be another essay on the unique challenges of creative youths in the present college and structure obsessed society that purports itself to be a bastion of free-thinking creativity.

Related Links and Reading

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2015/08/03/18-musicians-who-made-it-later-in-life/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OtouQnfnZU

Keeping the Flame

The Cajun Prayer

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This book is dedicated to Terrence McKenna, who possessed a poets heart, and though I disagree on many points of sophistry…all perhaps…. save his sense of Wonder and dedicated service to that sacred art. May he dream strange dreams forever and adventure where he may! …For truth be told there is no such thing as never or decay.


This is chapter one for the book whose introduction you can read here: The Sketch of Sam Monroe

It’s an adventure story that eventually ends up in the jungle, inspired by Doyle, Crichton, Lovecraft, McKenna, and the true story of Percy Fawcett.

Disclaimer: Contains strong language and adult themes. It is not my intention to promote drug use. If you wish to partake in countries and states where it is legal and you are past the age of twenty-five that is your business. I choose twenty-five because that’s about the time your brain stops being all soft and squishy and before that happens you don’t need drugs. 

Cajun Prayer

“What the hell was in that?”

“Dude, it was just weed, plain old Mary Jane, Mary never hurt a fly.”

“He was foaming at the mouth….”

“Who knows what he took beforehand, either way, let’s not…”

At this point, a tall precise-looking man seeming to be about sixty years of age strode into the room.

It was a very odd hospital. One of those cramped country places. The little squarish chairs in the waiting room had that burnt orange look which reeked of the seventies. The metal bars beneath the armrests were cold on this Kentucky evening.

“I really can’t find anything wrong with your friend. Nothing biological anyway. I lack a lot of the instruments I’d need to do a proper battery of tests. Would you boys like it if I sent him off to Louisville? I have a driver on hand just for that purpose…”

‘No…’ a few of us chimed in. We couldn’t risk it.

“Well, right now he’s catatonic and I really can’t do much except run an IV and monitor his vitals.”

“He’ll come around I’m sure,” Lucas said with barely disguised guilt.

“What’s going on? I never really got a good grip on where you boys are from… I’ve never seen you in town. You don’t look like hunters, so are you campers, hikers what…?”

“We’re local,” I said.

“Mmm…I know everybody in this town, even old Ira Basset….”

“Well, we keep to ourselves mostly….we’re…artists….”

“Oh, so you’re private sorts, prematurely retired from the wild world into the rustic Kentucky hills…”

“Yeah…that’s one way of putting it….”

“Or could this be it.” The doctor threw a small plastic baggy into my lap. The contents of which I instantly recognized.

Shit…’

I heard footsteps outside.

“Well, Officer Fabre looks like you arrived at the perfect moment. Have you ever seen guiltier men?”

‘Shit…’

“Heh, o they’re guilty all right…mostly of being the most stereotypical heads to ever walk the earth, and what’s that he’s got…” The barrel-chested officer’s eyes narrowed as he took in the contents I was awkwardly grasping between shaky fingers.

“Toss, it here, actually don’t….that’s cocaine…which isn’t very legal….” He had a slight accent that I couldn’t quite place. And his tone of voice suggested perpetual amusement. He began to jauntily swing a set of handcuffs.

“So whose is it..?” he asked, looking from one of us to the other, “who am I taking to meet Bubba?”

“I found it on the patient.” The doctor said.

“So you did, Doc, but I gotta take somebody in, I’ve only got two cells, one of which holds Bubba, and he don’t find no sport in a body that don’t holler….”

The guy was fucking with us.

“I’ve got money, you know,” Lucas burst in.

“Aha, yea…I mean I don’t have to be Sherlock fuckin’ Holmes to know that if you have coke in Foley…you’re a walking trust fund…”

“Are you just gonna accept a bribe like that!” The doctor exploded.

“Well, doc, did you like identifying Mrs. Belmont’s corpse very much, or that endless stream of rotted gums?”

The doctor looked glum.

“Yeah…one thing about Foley…The State of Kentucky…Uncle Sam…and even Jesus Christ himself do not give one solemn shit much less a penny to keep meth heads from shooting little old ladies. I need ammo, I need vests, I need to feed my dam squad, hell Patrick doesn’t even have proper boots anymore…so….does 15k sound reasonable?”

“More than reasonable,” Lucas replied.

“WHERE do you boys have this kind of cash….” The doctor was incredulous. “Shit…you’re runners aren’t you!” There was something odd in the way that the word shit sat in the mouth of such a gentlemanly looking man. He was truly flustered by his suspicion to react that way.

“Nah….doc…they ain’t runners…they’re faggy little college boys…and I guess that there must be a god after all because they’re the fucking solution to my problem….”

It was at this point that Graham burst into the room with a wild look in his eyes. The IV hanging in an awkward grotesque sort of way from his left arm. He gazed directly at the cop with the most unnaturally sardonic expression I’ve ever seen. It made my blood run cold.

Graham stood there swaying from side to side just gazing directly at the officer. Then he spoke some other language. I guess it was French or something.

For a moment Officer Fabre was stock still. Then shrieking wildly he ran from the room screaming something like…

Jay vous saley,
Marie,

they grasss

Le Signor

ist avec vous.

Le signor is avec vous!

“Get back here you cowardly frog!” Doctor Pierce exclaimed at the retreating man.

Then regaining some of his composure he said,

“What the hell am I going to do with you fucking kids!”

Bach and ‘Mental Hygiene’ (Vlog)


I made a vlog about how you can use Bach to tidy up your brain and prepare you for practice. There’s also some brief discussion of the value of classical imagery versus ‘meme-ish’ caricatures. Don’t get me wrong I do love my memes. But there’s a world of difference between meat and potatoes vs. cheesecake and Scotch.

This vlog is very similar message-wise to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ogZ4vBgHd0

And this essay: https://fractaljournal.com/2018/01/02/classics-and-the-true-way/

Counterpoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O6lc_ym12U

Keys and moods: https://www.artofcomposing.com/key-signatures-make-the-music

Subscribe, comment, and like. Or don’t. Thanks for stopping by.

Forever Fluid – The Strange Case of Renewable Limits (Chapter One – Intro)

Chapter One – State of the Universe? 


Image result for thales

Has Thales been vindicated?

Perhaps this thought is owed merely to my own meager apprehension of physics but perhaps not. In recent times scientists have attempted to resolve two major models of the universe by proposing that it may, in fact, be fluid.

The cosmos has a flow. Groovy. This appeals to the hippie in me. Alan Watts being a patron saint of the moneyed unwashed once said that there are two sorts of folks. Those who believe that the universe is prickles and those who believe that it is goo. This, of course, refers to the famous dichotomy between artists and scientists (and everything else).

E.O. Wilson also touched on this in Consilience, painting the picture of the striving between those who see order and wish to make chaos, and those who see chaos and wish to make order.

Watts in his languid laughing way pointed to the obvious need for both sorts of people and for each person to strive to contain (retain) an admixture of both.

“The universe is gooey prickles and prickly goo!”

The interplay of order and chaos is of course fluid in nature. It is the eternal binary motion, the tick, and tock, that the east has colloquialized as yin and yang.

So yes, in the same way, that water reflects the faces that gaze upon it, it may reflect the core nature of the universe itself.


These are the introductory paragraphs to Chapter one of my book: Forever Fluid – The Strange Case of Renewable Limits

This first chapter should be completed in the next two weeks now that I’ve found some time.

The book itself will likely be published via Amazon or a similar service by the end of this year (or 2019 depending on circumstances). It will likely be an ebook but that’s subject to change.

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your time and hope that I’m able to bring some value to your lives.

Best wishes,

Alex V. Weir