Friday, January 29, 2010


Strangely enough, one of my favorite zones. There's something soothing about events at the nexus of awkward and weird - it's like the two forces of awkwardness and weirdness cancel out, and in the eye of this hurricane lies something new and forceful, temporarily revealed and at rest.

Gone Fishin' to the Bay Area

Visiting my good friends Brian and Julianne in Santa Cruz, while I explore relocating myself to the Bay Area.

And you know, it really is better here. Even if it's just the same sort of hassles and tasks, it just feels so much better. I went to a DMV this morning, of all places, and compared to a Los Angeles DMV it was somehow a pleasant easy experience. It's not even like the workers were any technically better - it just didn't suck somehow.

Perhaps it's just that the DMV's in Santa Cruz and Los Angeles, are located around views like this:

Santa Cruz.

From Starred Photos

Los Angeles.

From Starred Photos

This Way to the E Trance

I'd like to thank the California DMV for the graphic to my next Psychedelic Trance album. I haven't made one yet, but it's great to have the cover already out of the way.

When I took this picture, some people inside the DMV actually came out and made me stop. I took pictures with my iPhone also, which I deleted in front of them. Somehow taking pictures of signs on the exterior of a building aids possible terrorist activity, apparently.

Which has some others living in such fear, that the terrorists have already defeated them. Thankfully, not me - I'm still using my free mind to sort reasonable concerns from irrational fear-based BS.

From Starred Photos

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ideadhesion: the Stickiness of Ideas

My diet is extremely simple. I'm avoiding one thing - wheat. Now, wheat is in an incredible amount of things. Not just breads, pizza, all cakes, all pastries, and pasta - but in gravies, sauces, sometimes French Fries and even frickin' soy sauce. But it's still a simple diet - avoid all of those things.

I do this because I have a wheat "allergy". It's in what Jon Stewart calls "dick quotes" because eating wheat won't land me in the emergency room with an unexpected bill that costs more than a round trip to Paris with a two-week stay in a 5-star hotel. My wheat "allergy" will give me zits.

But if I eat wheat often over a period of time, my skin gradually gets worse and worse until I'm covered with zits. Which is a problem. At the same time, I love breads for the carbohydrate sirens that they are. This leads me to play with fire and eat bread on special occasions, the key word being "occasionally".

Explaining this to my friends and family can be strangely difficult. I find myself constantly having to restate the reasons for my diet for people who've known of this for years. And to be fair, I'm not being consistent. But they've seen the way my skin was, for years before I eliminated wheat. They see how clear my skin is now.

Further, they know cigarettes are bad, and alcohol, and junk food, and reruns of Robocop II for that matter; yet indulges in those directions don't cause them to question whether those items might actually be healthy. But when I break with what's good for me and succumb to sweet, sweet starchness, they seem to wonder whether they're remembering my diet correctly at all.

I think this lack of memory occurs because avoiding wheat doesn't fit with their worldview. Wheat is good and healthy for everyone, according to all forms of mainstream public opinion and American culture. Thus the default network of other ideas that give context to new ones, just doesn't have a place for my contrary information to fit - and so the idea just doesn't stick.

Where I'm going with this, besides just bitching about my friends, is the larger world this illustrates. As humans we don't tend to think about new ideas on their own merits. We see how the new ideas fit in with our current ideas on similar subjects, and accept or reject the new idea accordingly. So to get people used to a particular idea, sometimes you have to either find a good set of accepted ideas that it will adhere to, create a whole new set of ideas that's so enticing they'll take the bunch - or utterly destroy the current network of ideas with a blunt and shocking reality. *

Perhaps somewhere there's a black magic book of marketing which describes this process in far more exacting and diabolical detail. A way to measure the stickiness of concepts, word-shapes and comfortability-matrices. Methods that other warlocks of language use intuitively when they create names for pharmaceutical industry, companies, or the latest Warner Disney Virgin-slut master-jailbait chickiepoo. (It's war out there, people!)

This whole phenomenon of idea adhesion, as observed in my friends and extrapolated to other less strange humans, makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. It's far more beneficial for us to think in larger patterns and look for wholes, than to deal with individual distinct events or items. It's also how the software of our language-based consciousness works: we create concepts which deal with sets of ideas, because it enables us to organize and assimilate large amounts of information.

It's just freakin' annoying when I'd rather reach for that bagel of a flavor I haven't had in years, and I'd rather not catch an earful. But, maybe that's not a bad thing either. It's not automatically terrible to be consistent.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Internet Gods, I have sinned: I hate facebook.

I've tried to like it, just as with MySpace, and Friendster, and Tribes before that.

I just don't want random people randomly in my face. Even if I like them. Maybe especially if I like them. Then I feel extra guilty and stupid for not interacting, when at the same time I just don't feel like spending the time and energy it takes. At it's core, I just don't want to respond to a bunch of other people's stuff at a pace that's not my own. I just want to go online, do what I have to do, and go elsewhere. I don't want to have to keep up with a bunch of social crap I don't give a crap about.

Is that wrong of me? Or, more pragmatically, is that the most useful way for me to live? Maybe what I resent is being kicked out of my ADD trance and being forced to focus on someone else. Maybe I should open up more. But isn't anonymity - aka anyone-imity - one of the greatest things about the Internet? It takes out so many dance steps that are required in the meat world. We can get and give as much information as we want, without having to deal with boundaries of identity, swamps of personality, obstacles of social chores and blockades of people in groups.

Has there been a Christian version yet, a Faithbook? If not, it would probably be a winner to start one. For someone else. I can't even stand the secular version, so clearly it's not for me.

But, I'll be on Facebook again, never fear. Probably even tonight. Dealing with friends and such. Social networking is efficient, is good, and is even usually good for the soul. It just gets on my nerves. There's a way to approach it that's better, that doesn't push my real button: my awareness of my need to stay on track.

Nevertheless. Right now, I hate Facebook.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So I had a crazy past 6 months. At the end of a 5-day hospital stay caused by an undiagnosed allergy to presciption antiobotics that nearly made my skin fall off, I went home for Christmas and had a great time.

Then I came back to work early to finish out the last days of 2009 - and was laid off on December 31st.

At which point I attempted to file for unemployment, and entered into Kafkafornia. Kind of like the Twilight Zone, but sunnier and more vapid.

I wanted to talk with someone before I filed, so I could make sure I filed at the right time, and do everything properly. There's a phone help line - that tells you to go the website and then hangs up on you. There was no office I could find that had a single human being available to talk with you.

So I filed online, and then looked around some more. There had to be someone somewhere, I figured. Finally I found a strange sort of satellite office located in the upstairs floor of a train station. I called and asked if I'd be able to speak with someone if I came there. They said yes.

So I showed up, waited in line at the desk, and finally got to the desk. I told the clerk I wanted to talk with someone about unemployment. He said I should just file and see. I told him again I wanted to talk with someone. He then handed me a slip of paper with a 3-digit number on it.

To paraphrase, he then said "There's a phone behind you with a direct connection to the unemployment office."

"The same number as on the website?" I said in disbelief.

"Yes. But this time, when you hear 'Welcome', enter this number. If you don't get through, try again. You should reach someone in 4 or 5 tries."

I looked over at the phone. There were 10 guys ahead of me, waiting. Figuring at least 5 minutes to get someone on the line, and at least another 5 minutes for their question, that's 100 minutes.

So I went home, filed, and watched some TV.

The worst thing about this is, on the surface this looks like bureaucracy grown out of control. But in fact it's exactly the opposite: it's cost-cutting gone wild. Rather than hiring people to help the populace, California has cut corners in every way possible to still barely serve the public.

And so it goes.

Boy, California and America in general better get it together. I can't honestly blame Schwarzenegger, at least not alone; the budget's been a mess since Enron days, and it's only continued it's slide. But it's not going to last much longer.

As for America, I think Obama has misread the public, and is delivering a Bill Clinton-style administration when what the country needs is FDR. In defense of Obama, FDR inherited a far worse crisis which enabled him to have far more leeway. But the change Obama promised is unlikely to be delivered with compromise.

I don't think they realize how close the seemingly sleepy public is to pitchforks and torches. One day, it's going to be one corporate bonus or cozy bank deal too much. I'm shocked it hasn't been already. But I guess we're all hope fiends right now.

The Emperor's Psyche's Wack

I wrote this in an email chain a few days ago. May I ever meet George Lucas, I hope he understands. Or, if he's going to hire me, this page may just go on sabbatical a while.

But, dammit Lucas! It's been years now, and I still can't get over it. Why did you do this to me? Why did you release 3 *terrible* movies that utterly cannibalized my childhood?

The why seems clear: he's de-evolved. He's willingly allowed himself to walk down the past of lazy storytelling for dollars. I came to this conclusion when seeing him interviewed on The Daily Show, pushing his own book on making blockbusters. He actually defended the newest-created Star Wars films, by saying they "appeal to different generations". Because pre-schoolers apparently like the newer ones, you see, they're really just as good.

The problem: the old films appealed to young and old. The new ones appeal only to the very youngest.

Jon Stewart, ever the agreeable host, said his preschoolers love the newer Star Wars, including the Clone Wars cartoon series. Of course, all the pretty stuff that explodes looks awesome, and the plot may work all right for pre-schoolers. Hey, maybe Clone Wars is even good. I just can't bring myself to even try to watch them. I've been burned too bad. But also, George Lucas isn't writing the Clone Wars. Seems like he's the background Gene Roddenberry of that scene, if even that...

Which is the crux of the problem. Lucas is not a 3d artist, or a set designer, or a costumer, so he has to hire experts. And they have to impress him. But when he comes up with an idea for a script, who does he have to impress? Emperor Jack of squat. (Or perhaps Simple Jack, which would explain any screentime for the loathsome and borderline racist Jar-Jar). So he can just roll with the lamest idea off the top of his head.

It's just being creatively out-of-shape, developing into the condition of being a middle-aged 600-pound man.

This de-evolution is painfully obvious when looking at Lucas' work. It has steadily gotten less and less mature. He starts with the genuine, raw unsettling genius of THX-1138, then the adult, insightful nostalgia of American Graffiti, then the teen fun of Star Wars ending in a pre-adolescent marketing-emasculated Return of the Jedi (Ewoks!1!! He could have had a planet of ass-kicking wookies and he went with freaking Ewoks????), to the abortive half-heartedness of Willow, to....this bunch of preschool shit with maybe 3 good fight scenes.

What's next, Boba Fetal??

Maybe Lucas really didn't know what he was doing in the beginning, but had to do something. And was supported by people with good instincts. And now that the story is all him, and he isn't facing bankruptcy, he's completely divorced from common (story) sense on the outside and his own unconscious from within.

I can hope one day he'll get it back, because it will be great. In the meantime, it's not a tragedy in the grand scheme. But metaphysically, it's a freakin' shame.

The "mancession"

I heard on NPR yesterday a phrase that grated across my ears like barbed-wire on a baby seal's back. Okay, perhaps not that bad. But bad enough for my tender post-allergic skin. "Mancession".

It's supposed to refer to how many men are out of work in this current recession. And it's so LAZY. "Mancession"? Is that the best you can do?

How about "He-cession?" NPR, want to give me a job lazily coining or co-opting half-cute phrases so I can masquerade as being insightful by simply describing a situation and generalizing, rather than actually providing thoughts as to how to solve the problem?

Here's some free ones: let's call that "men-eralizing". Or "Rat-ionalizing". Or "gener-rat-bastard-ionalizing".


What we all have at our fingertips, every day, by sheer miracle of being alive.

What, in its most active form, looks nearly crazy on others. It is kind of crazy. It's a mania. We rarely feel comfortable displaying it except in concerts or perhaps religious events.

What, when people experience it in a calm form - perhaps without the fear that can give us a hard manic shell - looks even saintly but without the pomposity. Serenity in an active sense.

Simply, joy. It's weird how it's weird to have it. We can as kids. As we get older, it can seem stranger to have it. Even perhaps socially disapproved. This is sometimes considered to be because "life is harder" as we get older. Certainly we feel less protected, especially in my American society where we have much less community and a sense of common caring and purpose. But awful things happen to children too; yet there is still room for delightenment in their lives. A kind of childhood satori. There's no logical or even biological reason why we can't be just as happy at least, as we get older.

I think it's the accumulated weight of stories we get invested in, and habits we become comfortable with even when they suck for us. Get rid of them now, and create a space for delightenment to alight and light us.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Apocalypse WoW Redux

I just now finally cancelled my World of Warcraft account, and deleted it from my hard drive. Those smart, smart pushers at Blizzard have informed me they'll keep my characters on file and will never, ever delete them. So any time I want to come back, they'll be waiting for me - just for an hour or two! That's all!

The first 10 days are free!

Good Lord what an addictive game. I thought I could handle it. I guess I can to some extent, because I'm quitting. And, to be fair, I started it when I was unemployed. I could have spent that time not sending out resumes to write scripts instead - but I didn't. I had to know.

And the worst, craziest thing about World of Warcraft is the seriously intensely addictive nature of it - because it's social. People you've never met are waiting for you to log on, be part of their guild, go slay some digital monster somewhere, go engage in some quest which is far more interesting than this mundane real-world stuff like write, read, go outside, eat, work out, or shower. Now those other things can lead to the grand adventure of, say, having a girlfriend one day - but what if she doesn't play WoW?

I'm frightened to think of what may happen to our civilization if politicians get ahold of the game-designing genius that exists at these video game companies. But then...they already do have them. The games are different, and played for different stakes. But certainly people make them very real. They invest in them. Sometimes all someone has to do is hold out the barest outlines and everything else just plugs in. Witness the teabaggers. Or, to annoy some of my friends on the Left, the campaign of Ralph Nader. Who says all the right things but has yet to produce one political or legislative victory as a candidate. Who doesn't even have a party behind him!

But there I am, getting all invested in it myself.

The thing with games like WoW, or politics, is that they are clearer than real life in one important way: the outcome. We all know the things we can and should do to improve our lives; we just aren't sure that they will work. But we can be sure, in games. In video games, we know that if we kill the boss we'll get to the next level. In political games, we "know" because we believe it that if we get this next election to go our way, we'll be on the path away from destruction and into glory.

Politics are games that we must pay attention to, because everyone else is, and they have power over us. Both the masses of our peers and those we choose (from a list almost always chosen for us).

But life is the game that is our own to play, now and effectively always because we won't know when it ends. And that is the game worthiest of our attention - because it's rewards are of course the most real.

Even realer than, say, some post in a blog.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


noun. Anyone who gets so far into the movie "Avatar", that s/he starts learning Na'vi as if it was Klingon.

Actually, that would be kind of cool. I could respect the level of nerd scotch-taped-glasses-to-the-grindstone that would take.

I guess a more proper meaning of "Avatard" would apply to those who think the movie has any more meaning than "Pocahontas" meets "Robotech". But that may apply to some of my friends. So, needless to say, to my friends this does not apply.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wonderings about the future, part infinity plus one (me)

Standing here just over the threshold of a new decade into this new millennium, what does the future hold?

Will the freedom of the 20th century - which really was only achieved in the 1990's, if one considers the relative effects of Jim Crow and de facto exclusion of women from the economic prosperity of the workforce in enabling economic freedom - be subsumed under a 1984-and-beyond future?

I hope and expect not.

Things are a little scary though.

Or are they only scary because I'm getting older, and I'm away from the battlefield? It does seem like more and more that propaganda is used to control people by distracting them from thinking. A kinder, gentler 1984. A kinder, gentler subjugation of the human race by the elites, who themselves are also subjugated by the outlook of the same system - they must believe their control of the world is for the world's own good, or they wouldn't be able to participate. They must make themselves believe it...

And so the whole world continues under this spell of our civilization - leaders and workers. A strange thing. Built upon the firmware of primate psychology, to be sure - pack leaders and followers - but all in a non-human pack share in the work.

The silver lining: new spells can be created from anywhere. And leaders aren't necessarily smarter than workers - smart people and more importantly effective people can and do come from anywhere. It's not a genetic thing, and it's not even an education thing since the information is there now for anyone to educate themselves, if they have exceptional will - it's a software thing. It's how people choose and shape their worldview and their plan according to their own choices and their own free will.

And there is a kernel of free will in everyone, and always will be in every functioning human - any system depends on it, even as it clouds and distracts us from this ultimate internal reality of free choice with bread and circuses, or the current equivalent of hamburgers, war games and bimbos.

So my money is on the seeming randomness resulting from the spark of life, free will, and simple orneriness existing in everyone, to continue to be just one step out of the grasp of mankind's wish for total control.

My bet: as long as there are systems, there will be hackers. And information will always want to be free. With that desire for information, comes our freedom as well.

Now to get a job.

Apocalypse WoW

The destruction of one's life by playing too much of the online game World of Warcraft (WoW).

Picture a doughy, Red Bull-swigging Kurtz in a dorm room, illuminated only by a shaft of light penetrating the musty darkness from his monitor. "The horror...the horror..."


A dreams of many Christian fundamentalists, in which all who believe differently than they are quietly and cleanly evicted to Hell so they can meekly inherit the entire earth, and not even have to clean up their own messes.

In other words, Jesus as a combination of Himmler and Mini-maids.

To be fair, this only the Christian variation. A secular version involves the just come-uppance of a wasteful humanity via the destruction of the environment; a New Age version involves the 2012 Apocalypse, in which we Westerners who did not heed the ancient wisdom of the (brutally warlike and human sacrificing) beautiful Mayan people will be doomed, doomed I say! And only those who heed the wisdom and head for the freakin' hills might be saved.

The operative traits of this groupthink syndrome seem to be:
1. only believers have a chance
2. all others are doomed to their fair comeuppance for not believing the believers
3. the earth is violently cleansed and left to the use of the believers - if it's left at all.


The social faux paus of discovering a co-worker is actually an orc, when you've just been going on at lunch about how awesome it was to see all those orcs massacred in "Lord of the Rings".


Standing within that rare zen instance where things get done around you by you doing very little, in just such a way that the more active parts of the universe move through that empty space to slide into completion.

The eye of a tornado.

Passive progressive

Doing things to help others, behind their back.

Multi Slacking

Avoiding doing what you really should be doing, by doing a bunch of other things at the same time.

Blogging doesn't count.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Squanderrific Fabulust

The condition of needing to buy, as a silent emotional definition of one's purpose: conquering whichever store one's in by acquiring it's most desirable things.

Part of this also involves the emotional territory of having something, so someone else will *not* get it. It's actually use or utility or superiority to other objects is actually a side issue - a rationale rather than a reason.

There is within this also a touch of the gambler's high; the expression of the deathwish, the brush with chaos, the hanging-toes-over-the-edge-of-Hell feeling of spending one's wad on something cool.

Anyway, that new Mac touchscreen sure looks sweet.

Steve Martin - "That's all I need!"


A sort of vapor-lock of the soul, in which the space of having nothing to do is so delicious that one extends it well past the point in time in which there is actually something to do.

So one is actually actively pursuing the avoidance of actively pursuing anything else.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Unclosed Dislocation

What Dick Cheney is apparently feeling on his eviction from the White House - an emotional dislocation which can't be resolved, and thus leaves him wounded and lost. By needing to be emotionally close to the power, he thus persuades him to think he has **any** credibility to criticize **any** other administration's national security policies.

See also: "National Insecurity".

Once again, this is what it's like to be addicted to ideas.

I have a lot to do today.

So I figured I'd just sit down and work on another little piece of music.

3 hours ago.

Strange Times

I love it. It's all off-time, with a groove. Maybe it's in 5/4 time? You know, standard 4/4 with an extra beat before it repeats? I still have to layer it and arrange it - it's a little confusing, all coming in at once. It would probably be much better served as a piece if the drums and bass came in first, and then the layering pads.

Also the drums are constantly changing in small ways, which I like. This is due to a "Random" setting within Ableton. There's more for me to learn there, as well. What I'd ideally like is to pair similar randomness with forcing it to play within a scale; and then have those scale notes trigger similar randomly-generated motifs. *Not* noise; within a scale, and within a direction even.

Then output the whole thing as midi and shape it into a fully composed piece.

Or, finish my scripts, or finish my novels, or finish the several movies I have unedited...and pursue my lifelong goal of creating a spiritual framework for understanding and being in line with the truth of pure information itself.

Or, do my errands. Which I'm about to, now that I feel recharged.

Friday, January 1, 2010

More music

The first distracting tunes of the New Year.

God, I love Ableton Live. At this rate I'll have the raw materials for a full album in about a week. During which time I'll also learn my next belt in Kung Fu, learn Flash, and solve the Unfied Field Theory (hint: the Strong Force is Love).

Annual Crazy Day

Buh-bye 2009, and the decade you rode in on.

Don't get me wrong (I'll get myself wrong on my own), a lot of good things happened in 2000-2009. Both for me personally and for a lot of people. Most importantly, all of us here are still alive and reasonably healthy. Far more than in any other time in human history.

But it sure seems that this decade had more than it's share of total freaking chaos. And lot of chaos-inducing crap that didn't need to happen if people were just paying attention. Yes I'm looking at you, Bush administration...and the just-over 50% of American voters who somehow re-elected you.

And what can you say about a decade that began with not even knowing who our President would be - for months?? A decade that is now bracketed on both sides with recessions bordering on depressions, a two-front war, and Britney Spears to boot?

In my own personal life, where my focus is probably more worthily spent, it's been a similarly crazy decade. Realistically, every decade of my life has been pretty crazy. But this decade, and in particular these past 6 months, have been especially ridiculous.

Reviewing the past is an infinitely-edged sword. One arbitrarily selects a number of years and examines them as if they are a cohesive unit. Rather than just a period in which a bunch of stuff happened. We still need to go through this process, in order to understand the present and then plan for the future - but we need to be aware that such a review can only be subjective. And very incomplete.

In other words, no matter what we guess about the causes, shit happens and it's done. In a real sense, the past doesn't even exist any more. Nor the future. All there is is the knife-edge of the present, expanding and contracting according to the scope of our focus. Just as all that really matters in the entire physical universe is the range we're focused on outside ourselves. We can focus on something as small as the fly on our hand, or as large as the jet plane we're flying in. Our focus can even expand to abstract concepts of impossible size such as nations, globe and species.

But no matter what bits of space and time we're focusing on, it's still just a bunch of stuff that is, and events that happen, that we move our way through and try to plan how to best come out the other side.

So, whew. With all of that in mind, I wish everyone (including me!) the best of all possible fortunes in this coming year, and coming decade, and all that moves forward after that.

Because life is beautiful and even existing is such a blessing that everything afterwards is parsley on the full and lovely plate.