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."


Friday, 12 September 2014

A Meaning . . . Really?

I'm standing on a planet that is spinning at a velocity I can't comprehend. I'm a creature evolved from sludge. All the other creatures of my species have their own reality, different to mine, impossible to understand. My time here is unknown, and time itself isn't what I think it is. What happens to my mind after this reality expires is also unknown. 

People talk to me about searching for a meaning in this life. I wonder why they do? What does meaning even mean? 

I live within some cultural rules that make no sense. I must wear certain clothes to attend certain events, proper shoes to a wedding, I must say certain words to ensure that other humans feel I am respecting them, even though the words are just rituals, nice to meet you, how are you? When others break the cultural rules I must condemn then forgive them, he vowed life long fidelity to his wife, then broke the rules of that fidelity as defined by the cultural rules, but I stand by him as a friend. 

I don't understand any of it.

When I make music it must be within certain cultural boundaries, or played to no audience. We are all trained to like and dislike certain ideas, behaviors, expressions of personality. We all subscribe to this training as if it matters, as if we aren't evolved from sludge, spinning in space, going to die soon. 

And here I am, sitting in a coffeehouse, drinking strong coffee and wondering what to do with my time, and bothering you with my thoughts, and you want me to search for a meaning?


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

An Idaho State Of Mind

He's eager to tell me why he left Idaho, why he came to Portland, where he can be free to be himself. I ask him if my pronunciation of Boise is remotely close to accurate? He assures me it isn't too bad, how annoying it is when people over emphasise the e sound at the end.

He's drinking alone in a dive bar, still in Idaho in his mind, he'll never be free to be himself.