Tuesday, 30 September 2014


For a long time I was convinced that other people knew things I didn't know, understood things I didn't understand. For years I observed other people, learned all the things they knew, gained an understanding of how they comprehended the world around them. I held all the complexities of the modern human in my hand, felt like one of the grown ups, no longer a naive child. 

Over time this feeling turned into bitterness. The knowledge and the understanding didn't lead to satisfaction, rather it depressed me. What appeared so brilliant and complex was valueless and pointless. I turned my observation in on myself, tried to explain why what satisfied others did not satisfy me? 

I'd ended up where I'd begun, feeling that I wasn't getting what others were getting. I then realised that the knowledge and the understanding were not the problem. The problem was how others defined those things. For most people knowledge and understanding are a means to fitting in, to being one of the tribe. By knowing the same things to be true, by understanding the world in the same way people identify themselves. What I'd missed was that I had no desire to be part of a tribe, so my knowledge and understanding were always going to be out of step with those who did. 

Not being of the tribe is as good a definition of naïveté as any other. 


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Wish You Were Here

When I'm here, and I think of you, I remember that I'd never heard of this place when you were alive, but I remember all the things you liked, the sort of people, the sort of food, old houses, dogs, coffee, all the things you liked, and I know you'd have loved it here, so when I'm here I think of you, all the time, and wish you were here.


Friday, 19 September 2014

Dues Paid

I've lived in a few cheap hotels. One of them became infested with bed bugs. I had nowhere to go, and no money to get there, so I had to sleep with the bed bugs for three nights. 

The only way to survive was to turn the ancient air conditioner in the window on as cold as it could go, bed bugs remain dormant at very low temperatures. In the morning the air conditioner would be covered in ice, my lungs full of fluid, my body only bitten and sucked of blood in a handful of places.

I come across as a well mannered middle class fellow. People often feel compelled to give me advice, tell me I have to pay my dues if I want to get ahead in the music business. I can only laugh.


Non Fiction Now

Yesterday is fiction. Tomorrow is fiction. Living in the non fiction today doesn't sound like much fun.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Baseball And Religion And Me

Being raised in Australia I've never had much interest in the game of baseball. I appreciate some of the mythology, the great Yogi Berra, When Casey Came To Bat, and I enjoy the Hammond organ tunes, but if someone hits a ball out of the park to win some game I don't really care. Baseball isn't part of my culture. 

I was also raised without religion. I appreciate some of the mythology, the great Buddha, when Jesus came to forgive, and I enjoy the pipe organ tunes, but if a man in Rome wearing a dress and a funny hat says something about morality I don't really care. Religion isn't part of my culture.

American friends who grew up playing and watching baseball love the game, who wins matters to them, it is part of their culture. These friends don't expect me to share their enthusiasm. 

Friends who grew up with religion care what their book says about stuff, what their leaders say. They expect me to share their enthusiasm, to respect what they respect. I wonder why they expect that? 

People like me, with no belief in any god, have been murdered by religious people since the beginning of religion. Today some of them are more civilized, they just control governments instead of trying to control me individually. Others are still beheading folks in the name of their god. 

I don't have a problem with baseball, I don't have a problem with religion. Both are cultural phenomena, people like what they grew up liking, believe what they grew up believing. I just wish religious people could enjoy their cultural pastime without expecting me to join in.


Monday, 15 September 2014

George Orwell On The Price Of Civilization

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

This quotation is attributed to George Orwell, but it was originally from a columnist named Richard Grenier. He was summarising some of Orwell's words, the spirit of it is sound. 

Let us not forget this. George Orwell was anything but an apologist for the state, yet he recognised that some realities exist. Our culture looks down on the rough men who stand ready to protect us. One day those men will decide to go fishing instead.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Bow Tie, A Lloyd Atlantic Story

More Lloyd Atlantic here:

Bow Tie

Lloyd Atlantic receives a call from a friend, a police inspector, a man he has worked with in the past.

"Listen Lloyd, I've got a problem here, hoping you can help?"

"Go ahead."

"Well, I'm at the ballroom dancing championships here, downtown, hundreds of fruits in suits, you know?"

"Uh huh, and . . . ?"

"Well, it seems some joker has used the situation to his advantage, dressed up in the full ballroom dancing regalia, held up the jewelry store in the hotel lobby, then blended in with the crowd. I've got them all corralled in the ballroom, can't hold them here too long before we start getting into toilet breaks and all the rest, short of asking them all to dance I can't think of a quick way to flush the guy out."

"Hmmm, ask them all to remove their bow ties, look for the clip on. If you don't encounter one ask them to tie them back up again. That should do it."

"Too easy, thanks Lloyd."

"You're welcome."