Archive for the Confessions of a Mad Philosopher Category

The “Blah-Blah-Blah’s” of Blogging

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Humor, Just For Fun, Random Observations on September 7, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

 

I am neither a snob nor an elitist when it comes to Art in any form, including the written word.
Years ago for instance,”serious writers” did not consider either journalism or eroticism to be literature.
Even Graffiti (as evidenced by, for instance the works of Banksy, or Jean-Michel Basquiat) presents us with an opportunity to experience insight, truth, or beauty.
Blogging is perhaps the newest form of literary verbal expression.
I admit that I am not much of a blogger.
Blogging requires a commitment to regular maintenance including reading and responding to the blog’s of others in order to build up a following.
I however lack even the discipline or commitment to pursue electronic publishing, in spite of the fact that it is undoubtedly my only hope for widespread dispersal of my work.
Blogging for me is like committing myself to a hundred pen-pals with the very best of intentions, and we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions and charted by unrealistic ideals, so if you are reading this, please consider it as a formal public apology for being so selfish.
My primary interest in blogging came initially as a vehicle to present my first novel, Dancing in Dreamland to more than the few people that I could coerce into reading a dog-eared home computer generated copy in the hope of getting some constructive criticism from the few friends I had that understood the concept of reading for pleasure.
Although Blogging involves Writing, Writing is not necessarily Blogging.
Aside from a few semi-erotic fantasies of being discovered or even developing a cottage industry from the sale of my work, I have never considered or pursued a job or career as a writer.
Years ago, trying to make a commercial success in Music only resulted in turning it into a job, prompting me to ask “I wonder what a call-girl does on her night off…just for fun?”
(Incidentally, I already knew…even then it was an entirely a rhetorical question…but that is another story for another time.)
It takes a very special kind of person with talents beyond my ken to turn something they love to do into money.
As I have said many times before “I write for the same reason an alcoholic drinks.”
That being said, I wish to publicly apologize to the numerous persons whom I follow for being so lax in acknowledging or commenting upon their work.
I know that there are many out there that “like” a post without ever reading it, just to churn up their numbers and generate the traffic I call “the blah-blah-blah’s of blogging”.
By not being more selective, I now have hundreds of people whom I “follow” whom I fully intended to read until it has reached the point where it has become very difficult to even locate the people who really get me jazzed within my reader, let alone comment to them.
Comments get my attention; they provoke dialogue and imply a commitment to the material presented and an exchange of ideas, and I have been notoriously reticent in writing things like thank-you letters or responding to correspondence in general for most of my life.
A very few readers contacted me during my convalescence, finding my lack of activity here to be conspicuous in its absence and I love you for that; it has nothing to do with blogging, but you know who you are, and thank-you.
It is as if I have been living in the eye of a hurricane; even when it is calm in the center, I seem to be surrounded by a whirlwind of turmoil and controversy…“the same as it ever was…”
I write because I am compelled to do so; although it is a choice, I am driven by my nature to follow it (although my judgement as far as the choices I have made in my life is so notoriously shitty that it borders on the tragi-comic).
I just don’t know any better, and probably wouldn’t do it any differently, except by the benefit of hindsight and compassion for those I have hurt..
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei….

 

 

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
09/06/2016

Has Rock Become a Geriatric Art Form?

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Crazy Zen Wisdom on August 29, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

I am not referring to Rock and Roll…that’s an even larger and older venue.

Curiously enough, about the same time that Sears dropped Roebuck, Rock suddenly dropped the Roll.
Think about it…everyone who was at Woodstock either has or will soon be qualified to collect Social Security. (Except for the babies that were born there who may be grandparents by now.)
And everyone from Mick Jagger (and all the Stones), to Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower, the remaining living members of the original Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, the Who, or Fleetwood Mac is over seventy years of age.
Drugs culled the herd early on in Rock, but now a depressing number of Rock legends are dying of natural causes….
It’s sobering to realize how that was the generation that coined the phrase “Never trust anyone over thirty”, or Roger Daltry’s lyric in “My Generation”…“I hope I die before I get old.” (…btw: I hate to bring it up Roger, but that ship sailed a long time ago. Although two of his mates already beat him to it.)
While I was recuperating from my own ordeal, I watched the Eric Clapton World Tour…it made me think a bit. He addressed the issues of aging in the film, but then finished by saying that he suddenly realized that as long as he can get back up on the stage, it would be a shame not to share his talents and the benefits of his amazing life with the people who put him there.
There were of course, and lot of “old geezers” in the audience, but also no end to the members of the next three generations that followed him.
Thoreau once said that “In dealing with Truth we are immortal.”
Likewise for Art and Music (and possibly True Love), but Time, Gravity, and rust are relentless….
No matter what your age…“Be Here Now”
“…Until the end….”
Baraka Bashad,
Blessed be,
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei!
Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
08/29/2016

I’m back

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Crossing the Abyss, Escape Velocity, gratitutde, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Zen on July 13, 2016 by dreamlanddancing

This is only the second time I have posted spontaneously since I started this blog.

Due to a back injury, I was incapacitated for nearly two months now, and am preparing to go back to work and resume normal activities of daily living.

Trust me, if I am in too much pain to post…all I could do was meditate, medicate, and try to leave my body; sometimes putting pen to paper to scratch out an idea that I did not want to forget.

I am most grateful for the experience. I frequently write on or around the subject of emotional pain, and I am no stranger to physical trauma, but I had lost touch with how pain can eventually create a sort of “slingshot effect” some call the “sub zone”. It was enlightening.

For me, it sent me to escape velocity spiritually.

Today I suddenly picked up a beautiful Fender Stratocaster that was given to me out of the gratitude a very dear friend felt for a favor that Suki and I had done out of love in her moment of need.

I sketched out the bare bones of a song I suddenly heard in my head that I slowly replicated on my instrument. It has been a very long time since that muse has whispered in my ear. I wrote some notations to make sure I don’t loose that moment, or those voicings and harmonies.

Suffice it to say, I am back; all around me, energies are flowing and Kaizen is in the air. All around me, what I had lost is slowly returning.

Some of it is material, and was badly needed, but the really important ethereal and occult and emotional/spiritual/transcendental blessings seemingly came out of the universe itself.

I became a paramedic to try to do penance for some of my previous actions; one day, I realized that just not being a bad person doesn’t necessarily make you a very good person. I had a lot of Karmic debts to pay. What followed nearly killed me and cost me my relative sanity more than once. I am not complaining; again I say I am NOW filled with gratitude for all of it.

I’m back.

Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent

07/12/2016

 

 

How do I Feel? (revisited)

Posted in Buddhism, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Escape Velocity, Post-Neo Dharma Bum, The Liberation Through Hearing, this thing we do with words, Zen, Zen on October 14, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

How do I Feel about my World Today?

Who is Asking the Question?

Today’s Mantra.

Before I get in touch with My Gratitude, I feel the need to assess my current condition in terms that better lend themselves to self awareness as a way of exercising the Ever Questioning Mind.

Something to gnaw on while doing T’ai-Chi Ch’uan perhaps.

Once you see the illusion of life as well as its impermanence as we experience the Folly of it all, it is easier to choose which path to take at any given moment, as one might a hat or a pair of shoes.

This is not to rule out emotional considerations. They are a part of the equation, just not all of it.

I just ran across an old quote by Kurt Vonnegut. He was giving advice on how to write and called the semi-colon(s) “Transexual Hermaphrodites”. …as if that was something bad…at least that’s the way most of the critics of the day viewed it; however, only one source I found noted that his next statement was that in case no one knew if he was kidding, “…from now on, I’ll tell you when I am kidding.”

There is excitement in illusion, in intrigue and in the commission of The Act (whatever it is).

Kurt would not like my works, I think. Most of his advice goes completely against the way I write. OK, I get that.

I think I like the semi-colon more than ever, viewing it in the light Vonnegut suggests; and I also disagree that one cannot fragment and creatively use words in the fashion that John Coltrane or Pablo Picasso might with notes or paint. James Joyce already did that in Finnegan’s Wake, after all.

I want the reader to feel like they fell down the rabbit hole. (That’s where all the good [fun] stuff is).

By the time they reach the bottom they will have everything they need to know to figure it out for themselves…of course, they already do… even if they don’t know they know it yet.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/14/2015

 

 

 

TTWDWW: Shock the Monkey

Posted in A Dirty Mind is A Terrible Thing To Waste, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, criticism, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Dirty, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Explicit Sexual Language, First Amendment Rights, inspiration, Mature Theme, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Philosophical Sexuality, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Post-Neo, Sex, The Power of the forbidden Word, The Talking Monkeys, This Thing we do with Words with tags , , , on April 24, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

This Thing We Do with Words, a slight return.

Part Ten

Shock the Monkey

I can think of two descriptive phrases I have used that were almost too off-putting to have considered using, and yet…the image that came to my mind as I envisioned particular feelings or situations left me compelled to use them.

One is clearly not erotic, and the other one is more of a sensual prelude to develop the erotic aspect of a particular character.

“…that sudden realization came upon him like hungry wolves running down lost children in the snow.” (There is nothing sexy about the phrase of course, but that was not my intention.)

Or (In describing one woman seducing another):

“She found herself transfixed and powerless to resist, like a child being lured into a van by some familiar stranger with candy, or a puppy…”

These may still be too bizarre a juxtaposition of images to be accessable to most readers as erotica, but I firmly believe that it is through the eyes of artists and writers that we learn to expand our visions of the world…it’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

It would be safe to say that both are forbidden images. I am neither a pedophile, nor do I take pleasure in the misfortune of children… EVER…but it is in the very nature of the forbiden word or image that empowers it.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

04/23/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Know Thyself

Posted in Acknowledgement, adversity, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Crossing the Abyss, Ctical Incident Stress Disorder, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Depersonalization Disorder, Depersonalization Syndrome, DPD, Emergency Medical Services, EMS War Stories, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Explicit Sexual Language, Knowledge, Mature Theme, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sentience, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Theater of the Mind, Zen on March 15, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Know Thyself

While conducting research for the final editing of my latest novel, I literally stumbled upon a concept that has radically improved my coping mechanisms…something of which I have admittedly been in dire need for a very long time.

I recognize that self-diagnosis is a slippery slope, but after a great deal of inquiry and assessment, I realized that I simply felt better knowing that not only was I not alone, but also that the simple recognition of my condition is in itself instrumental in my own recovery.

Just as it has been said that those who would try to act as their own attorney have a fool for a client, so also it is that those who would attempt to act as their own psychiatrist may by definition have a crazy person as a patient, but it all depends on how much they want to get better because in this case, the physician has to “heal thyself”.

No one can figure it out for you; once you are given the map and the compass, you only have to find yourself.

Recognition provides opportunities for alternate behaviors that target the isolation, and initiate theraputic responses.

For that reason, I am sharing this with my readers. Some of you may benefit from it yourselves; some of you may know someone who will.

Wikipedia describes Depersonalization Disorder (or Syndrome) as:

The core symptom of depersonalization disorder is the subjective experience of “unreality in one’s sense of self”, and as such there are no clinical signs.

(This is probably because DPD victims are taught to cope, to move on and to ignore, mask, or overcome the symptoms. Divorcing oneself from one’s feelings enables a pattern of denial that allows the sufferer to continue to function despite overwhelming toxic stimulae.)

(Please note that I have added emphasis and comments throughout this text. This is typical of one of them. Also, the first time I saw the initialization of the syndrome, it sounded like a term of art from the Kink/Fet community…but that could just be me, I suppose.)

Depersonalization Disorder is frequently described as feeling disconnected from one’s physicality; feeling like one is not completely occupying the body; not feeling in control of one’s speech or physical movements; and feeling detached from one’s own thoughts or emotions; experiencing one’s self and life from a distance; a sense of just going through the motions; feeling as though one is in a dream or movie; and even out-of-body experiences.

People who are diagnosed with depersonalization also experience an almost uncontrollable urge to question and think about the nature of reality and existence as well as other deeply philosophical questions.

(Or is it more a matter of course that people are more prone to experience epiphanies and profound realizations that are triggered by the emotional, physical and sensory overload experienced as a result of Critical Incident Stress?)

(Those who choose to put themselves in harms way as a career often try to divine and attach meaning or purpose on a grand scale as part of the troubleshooting and diagnostic processes of our respective careers and life-long ambitions. This would appear to be an effort to prevent or resolve DPD by Rationalization.)

Individuals who experience depersonalization can feel divorced from their own personal physicality by sensing their body sensations, feelings, emotions and behaviors as not being theirs. This in effect, is the exact opposite of Sentience (as self-awareness).

Also, a recognition of Self breaks down (hence the name). Depersonalization can result in very high anxiety levels, which can intensify these perceptions even further.

A diagnosis is made when the disassociation is persistent and interferes with the social and/or occupational functions necessary for everyday living.

(Oh really? Just how fucked up do you have to be for this to be recognized? …Wouldn’t these people benefit from recognition and help long before it gets to that point? Even when I was that severely disordered, I never even knew that such a diagnosis existed, and the subject certainly never came up during numerous therapy sessions with many different mental healthcare professionals.)

Depersonalization disorder is thought to be caused largely by severe traumatic lifetime events, (such as the death of a spouse, or child, divorce, or other emotional losses involving a loved one), childhood abuse (verbal, emotional and sexual), accidents, natural disasters, war, torture, “…justifiable self-defense with extreme prejudice”, panic attacks and bad drug experiences.

(For many of us, “bad drug experiences” were regarded as failures to assimilate a positive outcome from an extremely challenging situation…after all, no matter what you experience, it all came from within you. You cannot fear the Poison Thought. Embrace it, and you will find meaning.)

Although the disorder is an alteration in the subjective experience of reality, it is not related to psychosis, as sufferers maintain the ability to distinguish between their own internal experiences and the objective reality of the outside world.

During either episodic or continuous depersonalization, sufferers are able to distinguish between reality and fantasy, and their grasp on reality remains stable at all times. (…or at least as much as it ever was…you could be completely delusional, for instance, and be quite stable.)

(For some, Zen meditation can lead to a paradoxical state of mind wherein the connection between the individual and all life, energy and matter is only recognized by detaching oneself from all personal biases and attachments including words themselves. Without a strong sense of Self, this strongly resembles DPD.)

Factors that tend to diminish symptoms are comforting interpersonal interactions (How about Romance?), intense physical or emotional stimulation, (especially sex) and relaxation (afterwards). Distracting oneself (by engaging in conversation, sexual escapades, meditation, or watching a movie for example) may also provide temporary symptomatic relief.

(Which does nothing to cure the condition, whereas “comforting interpersonal interactions” practically is the cure, or at the very least a good indicator of progress.)

Some other factors that are identified as relieving symptom severity are diet and/or exercise as well as psycho-pharmacological agents; while alcohol and fatigue are listed by others as to cause worsening of symptoms.

The exact cause of depersonalization is unknown, although bio-psycho-social correlations and triggers have been identified. Childhood interpersonal trauma – emotional abuse in particular – is a significant predictor of a diagnosis.

The most common immediate precipitators of the disorder are severe stress (either chronic or acute), major depressive disorder and panic; as well as hallucinogen ingestion.

(Personally, I never met a hallucinogen I didn’t like.)

Patients demonstrate abnormal cortisol levels and basal activity. (Frequently, the diurnal circadian rhythms are also disrupted.)

Studies found that patients with DPD could be distinguished from patients with clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, (although the conditions may also exist concommitantly).

It has been thought that depersonalization has been caused by a biological response to dangerous, life-threatening or profoundly tragic situations which causes heightened senses and emotional neutrality.

Depersonalization disorder may be associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary disorder, the area of the brain involved in the “fight-(fuck)-or-flight” response.

(I honestly think that is a dangerous combination…it may keep you alive, but it also facilitates detachment from our actions in order to enable us to survive the unthinkable consequences.)

As I read the above description, I realized that it was a condensed synopsis of my life thus far, which for me, meant that I now had an identifiable, recognized series of causative agents to explain a condition that I had not yet discretely identified despite the fact that even my earliest childhood memories are filled with elements of those descriptions.

Until very recently, I believed that my adult experiences, including a twenty-two year career in Emergency Medical Services, five failed marriages, the death of a spouse, and a lifetime of bad choices and dangerous living were all that factored into my condition.

It has only been after careful re-consideration of my childhood and early adult life that I began to recognize how the pre-disposing anticedents of my childhood set the stage for what was to follow; not because I did not have any choice, but because I did not know that I had one.

I now realize that it is long past time to make peace with myself, to forgive myself, and acknowledge the horrors I have either survived or created, congratulate myself for my achievements, and to embrace my life and loves like there is no tomorrow.

Unfortunately, Depersonalization Disorder patients do not process emotionally salient material in the same way as do healthy individuals.

As a result, I have been in denial for so long, that every time I open the door even the tiniest bit, so as to allow my emotions to touch me, to allow even the happiest or subtle moments of joy to be experienced long enough to be felt and savored I am overwhelmed by feelings so strong that they feel as if they will tear me apart as I am swept away…and heroes are not allowed to cry.

This is not a test.

This is not a drill.

This is not a movie.

This is not a dream.

This is real.

Every day is a miracle.

Every day is judgment day.

Be here now.

This is the only life you will ever recognize as yours.

I share these observations and information not to call attention to myself. It is not something most people would be inclined to admit. My own recovery is a work in progress.

If you know an armed services veteran, or a cop, paramedic, or firefighter, doctor or nurse, chances are that some aspect of Depersonalization Disorder/Syndrome either has or will affect them or someone they know or love eventually, depending on whether of not they were pre-disposed to it by early primal life experiences.

Perhaps aspiring heroes are born out of the emotional needs created by dysfunctional or abusive childhoods, further predisposing them to harm from critical incident stress and isolation as adults.

The very same tools that we were taught to use to prevent us from becoming emotionally attached to the critical stress incidents that hurt and damage us as we are thrust into them have the potential to distance us from the rest of the world as well, long after the turmoil is over.

Awareness and recognition are the first steps toward healing.

Namasté

नमस्ते

You Already Know….

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Sentience, The Liberation Through Hearing, Theater of the Mind, Vision Quest, Zen with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

You Already Know….

I woke up thinking about how each of us are in fact the biggest stumbling blocks to our own success, which prompted me to share these ideas as they came to me.

Make a list of your dreams. A dream with a plan is a goal.

Rate them according to both their costs as well as their rewards.

Now write down all the things you can ever think of having used as excuses for why you did not achieve those dreams of goals.

Do not try to be kind or spare your feelings, but do not be afraid to see the humor in your folly. Defensiveness will block your objectivity. Regard everything in your life with enough detached compassion to accept your own best advice. You have nothing to hide from yourself.

Ask yourself if you are willing to give up those excuses in order to achieve what you desire.

And once you make up your mind, stick to it until proven otherwise…preferably more than once.

All is folly, so don’t be afraid of making the wrong decisions. What you need to do is to ask yourself “What do I really want?”

“If it all stopped tomorrow, and I had just one moment to reflect, what would I regret not having done?”

“Have I lived authentically and fearlessly? What have I sacrificed of myself to conform to the desires of others?”

“Who is dragging this corpse around?”

You can dance like a meat-puppet while someone else chooses the songs and pulls the strings, or you can figure it out for yourself, accept responsibility for your actions and pick and choose from the vast reservoir of humanity’s collective consciousness for inspiration, counter-point and companionship…and love yourself.

Namaste.

नमस्ते

Eclecticism vs. Plagiarism

Posted in A Dirty Mind is A Terrible Thing To Waste, Acknowledgement, Advisors, Appreciation, Blogging, Catalog Juxtaposition, Celebration, coincidences, Collaboration, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Conjured Up Next, Dancing in Dreamland, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Escape Velocity, Explicit Sexual Language, First Amendment Rights, gratitutde, Liason Between Parties, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Random Observations, Sentience, Share The Love, The Church of Reason, Theater of the Mind on January 2, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

I am currently in the midst of a period of tragedy, loss and re-assessment in a life earmarked by great Beauty, Ecstacy, Love, Danger, Violence, Joy, Excess and Horror. To quote Carlos Castaneda quoting the brujo Don Juan in “A Yaqui Way of Knowledge”, I am reminded on a daily basis that “Death walks in your shadow.”

Of course when Carlos Castaneda quoted Don Juan, even the sorcerer himself was quoting a truism or “Old Saw” well-known to the Yaqui people. This raises the question of how far does one need to go in correctly crediting one’s sources without completely losing the train of thought and presentation in something that masquerades under the banner of original or creative writing?

I did some research and found that Charles Caleb Colton was the author of the term: “…Imitation is the sincerest (form) of flattery….”, I admit that I do not recall ever hearing of him or his works before, but everyone is familiar with the quotation; this is as good as any example that I know of a very small portion of that to which I speak, write, or refer.

I had to look it up to quote the author, now a relative unknown, and discovered that the original quote was: “Imitation is the sincerest of flattery…”. Although he was something of an erratic luminary of his day, with a propensity for self-indulgence and given to excess; he died broke and took his own life and is relatively unknown today except to scholars a great deal more erudite than myself.

If I should use some phrase, to what lengths should I go to quote the source; or should I even perhaps footnote it like a term paper on English Composition? I have read and listened to speakers whose most notable feature is the way in which they weave in and around endless quotations and references, making a kind of pedantic bibliography of the synthesis of whatever ideas they are trying to present.

Some of them are quite fascinating, if you can ever grasp the actual gist or meat of whatever it is they may eventually try to present as an original idea, although the synthesis of the literary Gumbo that they serve up becomes a casualty of the litigious, greedy nature of the modern culture before which we are all forced to bow.

I am a weaver of dreams and teller of tall tales,  mostly true, thinly disguised to protect the guilty (mostly myself) and the innocent alike for fear of implying an unsavory association with otherwise good people who do not deserve such shame for having known, loved, or befriended me.

It is my desire to resurrect the American storytelling tradition by incorporating it into a literary genre I like to call “enhanced and fortified non-fiction”. I was relatively well-educated, but must admit I have forgotten more than most people would even care to ever learn. My point is that in the attempt to not plagiarized, the homage of quotation can become cumbersome.

On the other hand, this pitiful self-indulgent,  self-destructive fiend named Colton has passed into relative anonymity although the mis quotation of his most famous line that is so commonly used that it has become a cliché for people who know nothing of his existence.

If you Google the phrase, you have to only see how many unrelated references there are through which I had to wade to find the source. And of course, there are times when we discover after the fact that what we thought was original was not, leaving us to feel as if as the song by Mark–Almond says: “…It’s all been done before…”

I know there are rules…I was raised on them…chastised if I did not strictly follow them, or warned of dire consequences if I did not adhere to them, courtesy of fear of the scholarly “Hickory Stick” of seventeen-century values, customs and protocols as they dragged their half-dead carcasses across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, leaving a trail of blood, venom, shit and bile like a dog hit by a car that refuses to die before it reaches its Final Destination.

Henry David Thoreau wrote in “Civil Disobedience” that “All machines have their friction…but when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression…organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer.”

This is not to say that I condone plagiarism. To outright steal the complete works and ideas of another author and preset them as one’s own is unjustifiable, but to pick from the marketplace of ideas like a chef choosing which ingredients he or she will use to prepare a meal, perhaps without so much as a defined recipe, instead simply doing a little of this and using a little of that in the style of something you may or may not entirely recognize, although seemingly vaguely familiar (which I have come to embrace as what I call Jazz Cooking) represents a synthesis of originality applied against the clichés and shop-worn ideas and techniques that threaten to strangle us all for fear of accusations of being excessively derivative.

There is a danger in being too well-read and educated. I was raised hearing that there have been no new thoughts or ideas since the Greeks, or biblical times or some other such horse-shit guaranteed to leave a right-minded person afraid to speak, think, or write. The more you know, the greater the risk…so why even bother?

Sometime early in my youth while studying Art and Cinematography. I was introduced to the technique of Collage and Photomontage. In its own way, it perhaps paved the groundwork of the modern Hip-Hop technique referred to as Sampling, which took legal action to be defined and separated from litigation for copy write violation.

Many years before, when George Harrison was sued for plagiarism attributed to his song My Sweet Lord, because of its remarkable similarity to “He’s so Fine” I heard Dolly Parton remark how in the same way, the same sequence of notes in I Saw Her Standing There was exactly the same sequence as Nine to Five.

Her point seemed to center around the fact that context, treatment, style and presentation are in fact the basis of originality, since after all, there are really only twelve notes in the modern Western musical scale.

In the last twenty years, we have seen an irrational preoccupation in the lengths to which attorneys have taken the concept of Intellectual Property on behalf of either Michael Eisner’s New-World Order of Disney, going so far as to attempt to sue a day-care center in Hollywood, Florida for using hand-painted images of Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Snow White on the walls of the center. (BTW: When the threats got national media attention, Hanna-Barbara Studios flew their own artists to the day-care center to paint their copyrighted images instead…for free.)

Or consider the story of George Lucas suing a porn producer for making a movie entitled Star Whores and attempting to prevent use of the THX signature of envelope and timbre of the well-known glissando of their logo as the intro for a Hip-Hop song.

Perhaps the real question is to ask “what is the harm?” to determine if any creative artist has been wronged. Where is the line drawn between Homage and Plagiarism? We often either knowingly or unknowingly quote the Bible, Shakespeare, or any number of thousands of previously published works by the choice of a particular turn of a phrase or word.

Sometimes a cliché is all you need to set up a rhythm, an easy shorthand to quickly conjure up an image, or make the hairs on your neck stand on end…(or anything else for that matter) like jumping from second to fourth gear, saving your own (well as their) best energies for the real verities.

The movie Zeitgeist would suggest that even the fundamentals of Christianity are in fact the result of a form of religious plagiarism, but even unique applications of clichés or shop-worn phrases to effect an original presentation of ideas and images that lend a recognizable universality to any artistic work may still be subject to scrutiny.

As to where one point ends and another begins…well, to paraphrase: “The proof is in the (eating of) the pudding.” BTW: Just to illustrate, it was George Carlin (in Brain Droppings) that added the parenthetical, although he was referring to an entirely different set of circumstances.

I frequently use song titles or movie titles to describe something in a certain way that may or may not be recognizable to the reader. I usually Capitalize and italicize the title, so as to draw attention to how it was woven into the fabric of the text, as a sort of “Nod and a Wink” (to the readers who probably also like puns), but with the exception of the use of the first few lines line of Volunteers (of America) by the Jefferson Airplane as the title of a chapter I once wrote, I do not generally quote or footnote.

If anything, I try to avoid using enough of their words in sequence to be considered liable, and whenever possible, it is usually used in such a different context that only the veneer of resemblance is exposed.

Interestingly enough, The Jefferson Airplane was forced to drop the “of America” from the title of both the song and the Album because of copyright infringement, thereby markedly increasing the value of any first-edition releases that were not pulled from the racks.

There is no end to the irony of the fact that the opening proclaims: “We are all outlaws in the eyes of America…in order to survive we steal, lie, cheat , forge, fuck, hide and deal…we are obscene, lawless, dangerous, dirty, violent…and young.”

It was an anthem of the awakening of myself and an entire generation of outlaws, brigands, and perverts. Although I quoted and recognized them at the beginning of the title of the chapter, I should only be so fortunate as to have that work become popular enough that I should be allowed the privilege to pay them tribute in money, if deemed appropriate, regardless of the irony.

For instance, I know very well that it was Hemingway who first used the term “Moveable Feast” when he described Paris. It is my sincerest hope that most of the literate (reading) public does as well. I used the phrase in a completely different context at some point in the past. I remember doing it, but for the life of me I don’t recall when or how, or in what frame of reference.

At nearly the same point in time, both Jackson Pollock and Charlie Parker began doing the same thing in different media by allowing a sort of “stream of consciousness” in music and a “reflex arc” or “muscle memory” in Art to produce their most memorable works in a new style largely invented by each of them, according to their respective disciplines.

Red Skelton, in the midst of controversy of his use of a few sly innuendoes that were deemed “dirty” by some television viewers simply remarked that if you already knew the context, then he was only reminding you of something that you had already heard or thought that was already in your own brain.

In Senate hearings over obscenity in rock music, Paula Hawkins accused Frank Zappa of causing people to “…think dirty…” whereupon he replied that he would be flattered if he was accused of having caused people to think at all.

About a year ago, however, when a reader remarked about how much he liked a particular idea that I had presented, I did mention that it was partially inspired by one of my all-time favorite writers, and in the process turned the reader on to an author of a unique genre of literature in which he stands head and shoulders above almost all others, with few equals anywhere, and that has given me pause to reconsider….

In this spirit of full disclosure, I would like to list some of the artists, musicians, philosophers, comedians, perverts, poets, writers, teachers, lovers, free spirits and bon vivants who have in many subtle and unsubtle ways influenced or inspired many entries I have written in one way or another, and at the very  least given me hope and strength to carry on. I have frequently quoted (and just as likely mis-quoted), and in one way or another at the very least leaned heavily upon each of you in my many hours of need. (These are neither alphabetical nor in order of importance; they are simply presented as they randomly occurred to me. Some are famous, some deserve to be…):

Tom Robbins

Dr. Hunter Stockton Thompson

Artur Rimbaud

Walt Whitman

Allen Ginsburg

Charles Bukowski

Frank Zappa

Jeff Beck

Eric Clapton

Mark-Almond

Douglas Adams

Lawrence M. Krauss, Ph. D.

Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Graham Keith Gouldman and

Laurence Neil “Lol” Creme (of 10cc)

Spirit

The Jefferson Airplane

The Grateful Dead

Randy Bays and Francis (aka: Francois Hermes) “Frenchy” Massinon

Eddie Bischoff

Abraham Maslow

Robert Hilton

Claude Debussy

Eric Satie

Ernest Hemingway

John Cage

Ingmar Bergman

George Orwell

Aldus Huxley

B.F. Skinner

Timothy Leary

Richard Alpert (aka: Baba Ram Dass)

Lenny Bruce

Linda Goodman

Alfred E. Newman

Louie C. K.

Henry David Thoreau

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Amy Rogers-Edgin-Onasis-Bono-Allman-???

Karan Barnes

Joseph F. Pulitzotto

George Carlin

Robin Williams

Suki Vincent

Anastasia, the eternal “Astral Travler”; aka “the Ex-Stacy”

John Steinbeck

Jack Nietzsche

Andrew L. Oldham

Friedrich Nietzsche

Carlos Castaneda

Ron Jeremy

Robert M. Pirsig

The Rolling Stones

Eric Burdon

Van Morrison

Steven Trask

Hedwig

William S. Burroughs

Charlie Kaufman

Oliver Stone

Quentin Tarantino

LeeAnn Macguire Reyes Cauble

“Captain Mike” Schrader

Jessie (the other outlaw) James

SIG Sauer

Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov

Gene Vincent

George Brown, his brother Cliff, and legendary Vincent (Black Shadow) designer, Phil Irving

Michael (“Eschew obfuscation”) Barnes

Pink Floyd

 Lana and Andrew Wachowski

Tom Tykwer

 David Mitchell

John Cameron Mitchell

E.E. Cummings

Dylan Thomas

Bob Dylan

Ralph Waldo Emerson

James Marshall Hendrix

Eddy Van Halen

Stanley Jordan

Buzzy Feiten

The Whore of Armageddon

Each of these people, and many, many more have struck resonances within me, sometimes after the fact of my own realization or self-discovery, thereby validating and reinforcing something that was already there.

The above listing is only my “short list”, and I apologize for so many not listed there that may have momentarily escaped my deteriorating memory banks.

I believe all inspiration, and epiphanies come from the heavens, trapped in the ionosphere, bouncing, skipping, and returning like radio waves. How we interpret or assimilate those energies is what makes each of us unique.

Without sounding presumptuous, and to misquote and badly paraphrase Emerson…we all stand hand in hand, the whole world round…. They too, have their own set of influences, mentors, and even unconscious influences. I don’t know how much any of them struggled with deciding to quote or footnote all their sources….

I consider myself a casualty of my generation and our culture, as well as my own predisposition for excess, self-indulgence, self-abuse. and wanton disregard for laws or most conventions of polite society.

If my remarks, thoughts, ideas or choices of words should offend you, consider me like one would a madman, running naked through the streets, babbling an echolalia of rants inspired by ionic discharges of the atmosphere while my brain writhes in a series of capacitance as if it were attached to a lightning rod…and to quote Douglas Adams: “…mostly harmless….”. …And that’s on my good days, when I feel inspired enough to assert my will to live. It would appear that I am in little danger of sufficient notoriety to provoke much criticism on any global scale…so what’s the harm? I am but a messenger, a conduit through which I try to present that which inspires and flows through me as I attempt to Divine the Divine.

Namaste.

And that is when I Know that I am Glad I am Alive

Posted in Acknowledgement, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Escape Velocity, longreads, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, The Liberation Through Hearing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

And that is when I Know that I am Glad I am Alive

 

It started this evening as I listened to some old familiar songs from way off the beaten path of my life.

The last two months I have been preoccupied with ugly but inescapable truths, like Death, Loss, Illness, and my own mortality. I was suffocating in sorrow, desperate, restless and exhausted.

Suki played a collection of songs that I had not heard in much too long. Not the kind of music you are likely to hear on the radio unless you listen to one of the satellite radio services that I cannot afford.

The irony of the fact that the best music now comes from outer space is not lost on me, but there was a time when music, especially original music from local, nearly unknown artists consumed the lion’s share of my time and interest in the only home I cared to know.

I was constantly broke and nearly homeless, given the fact that I lived in a storage room in the back of my studio, yet I managed to remain oblivious to my poverty or hunger surrounded by my guitars, a piano, all sorts of drums and percussion instruments, a wall of amplifiers and speakers, numerous synthesizers and keyboards, and enough electronics to summons up the music of the spheres.

And then it was all gone so fast that it took my breath away and kidnapped my soul.

As I lay in the darkness the music undressed me of my preoccupations, fears, remorse, or regrets as I lay stateless, feeling lighter than air, seduced by her siren’s song, this time leading me away from the rocks, as well as the slings and arrows and mind-numbing distractions of a life chosen by default.

Music is my muse, my mistress and my ultimate drug. It is the source of most of my inspiration, even my words.

The juxtaposition of chords, melodies, harmonies, intervallic relationships, atonal,  modal, polyphonic,  polytonal and polyrhythmic alike can produce this pull from within my chest that lifts me out of the doldrums; those massive troughs in the highs and lows so deep you have to look straight up to know if it’s day or night as I feel so swallowed up by the impending doom that it does not even affect me any longer, yet out of nowhere I hear a melody in the cacophony of the broadband noise of two jet engines at altitude harmonizing with each other, although no one hears it but me as I breathe in what feels like new air for the first time in my life.

Zing! My brain is exhilarated and accelerated to Escape Velocity and suddenly there is hope, and love and enthusiasm coursing through my chakras like electrons jumping orbitals to each higher layer as renewed life and energy fills my body once again.

There is a grace in my fearlessness as I embrace the music I hear everywhere coming from nowhere in particular, and yet nothing can surpass the awe and wonder of old songs long forgotten.

And then I realize that I have already heard enough great music to fill my every waking moment for years non-stop with no repeats, devoid of even mediocre run-of-schedule radio crap or advertising jingles…music so wonderful it brings me to tears of joy and gratitude for having heard it.

I have been gathering that music for years…now it is time to put it to good use on my computer, my phone and my I-Pod like an arsenal of weapons wielded by an army of friends.

Enough music to drown out anything I don’t want to hear…like inane drivel from soulless half-witted supervisors with room-temperature IQ’s and no imagination who fear everything they don’t understand…or gossip, or the re-telling of some episode from a television series I didn’t want to watch in the first place.

As I recall the elation I experienced the first time I heard music by King Crimson, Hendrix, Jeff Beck, or Debussy, Todd Rundgren, Eric Satie, Dream Theater, Stephen Trask, Charles Mingus, Frank Zappa, or Joe Zawinul (and so many others whose names escape me in this moment of bliss) I also realize how much new music is just out there, waiting to be discovered like new lands or distant planets as yet unvisited.

Then I recognize how I have unknowingly cultivated this fear, this idea that bliss is allowed only so often in one’s life, but after realizing the low dark place from whence those fears come, I realize I am ashamed for not insisting on more and better music all along as I find the resolve to put my highest intentions to paper, so to speak, even if the thoughts and ideas that spring from my brain’s fingers are now more like a flash of light. No typewriter or paper…a figure of speech replaced by binary code and digital laser impulses.

No need to make Good or Bad or Evil or Beautiful or Ugly…just look with the eyes of detached compassion, non-judgmental admiration and fearless affection and you will see all exactly as it is.

,,,and it all started with just a song….

These old, tired eyes and ears see and hear Beauty everywhere once again when I realize I don’t have to make Ugly…it’s all a choice.

Even without an instrument, I will always be a musician, just as without canvass, brushes, pens, cameras, or other implements I will always be an artist so long as I have ears with which to hear, eyes with which to see, and a heart with which to love.

And that is so much more than just feeling alive…it is the empowerment to know how to accomplish my own resuscitation.

…and to think it all started with a song….

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger’s Tour

Posted in A Dirty Mind is A Terrible Thing To Waste, Acknowledgement, Appreciation, Bardot Thordol, Blogging, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Just For Fun, Liason Between Parties, Mature Theme, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Metaphysical Action/Adventure, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Share The Love, Zen with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

I have been invited by Jayne of Diary Incarnate http://jayneayres.wordpress.com to participate in a Blog Tour. The purpose is to see more blogs and learn about the other writers.
I have been requested to answer four questions and then I shall invite other bloggers to do the same.
I wanted to address these questions right away so I wrote this immediately, because I felt that I needed to take stock of the answers.
I will be announcing my invitations shortly.

1. What am I working on at the moment?

My works of late are divided into three groups:
• Erotic Poetry
• Essays and poems regarding Polyamory, Love, Zen, Mysticism, Romance, Kink/Fet, and Anarchy and Rebelliousness against “The Tyranny of Evil Men and The Inequities of the Selfish… ”
• My real love, a novel entitled: The Home for Wayward Souls and The Talking Monkeys; is a tale of Corporate Greed, and Excess, attempting to subvert The Pursuit of Happiness specifically, and the Bill of Rights in general. There is Primate Romance, Inter-Species Erotica, Philosophical Sexuality, Metaphysical Action-Adventure, and Religious High-Jinx set within a framework of Enhanced and Fortified Non-Fiction involving Intrigue, Subversion, Euphoria, and General Rebelliousness conducted in the name of preserving and protecting The Indomitability of the Human Spirit.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A Genre is a label which is usually coined by an outside observer after the fact. Most of my writings are so compulsive that I have never stopped to think about how they fit into a particular category, but then again, perhaps I should….
A dear friend from my past named Amy Rogers used to say: “In labeling me, you ‘thing’ me out of existence (by objectification).”

If anything, my works are perhaps a synthesis of what I once read Elene Sallinger refer to as “Literotica” (i.e. I would aspire to write Literature, but can’t seem to avoid the erotic aspects of what I write, and it is not my nature to spare the details), “Everyday Zen”, and an on-going process of deconstructionism of everything I see and experience.

Soooooo…If I were to try to identify a genre, it may well be best summarized as “Enhanced and Fortified Non-Fiction”, as most of it is either biographical or becomes biographical sometime after I write it.

My works center around Bardo Thodol, The Tao, and Zen Buddhism; the road of excess leading to higher consciousness (or the palace of wisdom, whichever comes first); Mysticism, the Occult, Shamanism, and the cunning knowledge of Wiccan/Pagan practices and the waxing and waning of the Moon; “the willing suspension of disbelief”; a layman’s armchair view of quantum mechanics and relativity as it pertains to the “ever-present/never-present present moment”; primate sexuality; the Ascent of Man; Learning, Perception and Behavior Modification; and “the movable feast” of Sex, and Drugs, and All Music (especially Rock and Roll), as well as the influences of Violence and Tragedy, having been an Emergency Medical Services Paramedic for over twenty years.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I write for the same reasons that an alcoholic drinks.

4. How does my writing process work?

As a male, I think it would be presumptuous of me to compare it to gestation, as that is a process I know only by my empathic experiences, but it was what first came to my mind…(considering I have delivered about two dozen babies in the back of an ambulance).

Perhaps it is more like the way a pearl is formed. Some of my best sources of inspiration come from irritation, or discomfort, which I try to make more palatable with layers of introspection, analysis, pleasure, excursions by way of out-of-body experiences and altered states of consciousness, alternating layers of sensory deprivation and sensory overload, meditation, and copious quantities of the universal lubricant of the Soul…Sex.

I frequently try to make sense of the world by identifying the nonsense of it all, and then I try to imagine what it would be like “In my Perfect World”…the adage “Be careful what you wish for” has special meaning to me…the process of “Conjuring” comes to mind…I have seen flights of fantasy come to roost in less than a week, and I was not always comfortable with the initial results, but I do not shirk from facing the truth as it is revealed to me, layer by layer.

But I would be seriously remiss if I did not take into account the role that simple gratitude plays in my life. Some days I wake up and notice wildflowers growing amongst the squalor and I am reminded how grateful I am to have eyes to see them.

Other days when Suki and I fight I suddenly realize that I am either sad or angry or disappointed that my marriage is not perfect, only to realize how fortunate I am in my provocation…after all, if you take away the ups, the downs and the twists and turns, you reduce the thrill and romance of a roller-coaster to a mere commuter train on a straight track bound for oblivion.

And on just the right nights, the distant sound of the highway, or the airport, the wind blowing through the trees, and maybe the sound of my refrigerator resonate in just the right way so as to create a symphony of broadband noise that somehow harmonizes itself with all the noise in my head and a wandering angel or two is inspired to pass by and sing or even harmonize to it thereby reminding me how blessed I am in my madness to possess the sentience to appreciate it.

Thank you, Jayne.
XO,
Chazz Vincent

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