Archive for the Random Observations Category

Labels can be Dangerous, but…

Posted in Appreciation, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Random Observations on March 28, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

No woman

should ever be made to think

she is too old to be called a Girl,

or too young

to be treated like a Lady.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

03/27/2017

Time Zoned Out

Posted in Humor, Just For Fun, Random Observations, Sapience, Synchronicity on March 18, 2017 by dreamlanddancing

 

Last Sunday after I poured myself a cup of coffee, I sat down to wait for the drugs to take effect.

I remembered we were supposed to set the clocks ahead one hour last night to adjust for daylight savings time, which officially changed at three AM.

For no real reason other than synchronicity, I suddenly imagined a test question not unlike many we have struggled with over the years, except that it tests a different sort of knowledge than SAT’s or ASVAB’s.

Although the math is elementary, it is a very tricky question (unless you have ever lived in Terre Haute, for instance).

For what it is worth, here is the conundrum:

A man who lives in Terre Haute, Indiana decides to travel to Chicago for the weekend.

He leaves at five PM Eastern Standard time.

The trip from door to door takes approximately four hours. His watch reads Friday, nine PM when he arrives.

Because the “Illiana’” border is the dividing line between the Eastern and Central time zones, he notices that local time is an hour earlier than his watch indicates.

Because he will be there all weekend, he decides to set his watch to Central Standard time.

On Saturday, at eleven o’clock PM Central Standard time, he departs Chicago to go back to Terre Haute.

After the crosses the border, he remembers to re-set his watch ahead one hour to adjust back to Eastern Standard time.

On the way home he listens to WGN, Chicago.

At three AM Central Standard time, the announcer reminds his listeners to set their clocks ahead one hour, as this is the official  time for changes from Standard to Daylight savings.

When he left Terre Haute on Friday, he was on Eastern Standard time.

When he arrived in Chicago, he adjusted his watch back one hour to adjust for Central Standard time.

On the way home, at approximately one AM Central Standard time, he remembered to set his watch ahead one hour to adjust back to Eastern Standard time, but two hours later, he was reminded to adjust his time ahead one hour to adjust for Daylight Savings time, which he does.

(This is were it starts to get tricky.)

When he arrives back in Terre Haute, his watch now reads five AM.

He stops to get breakfast at a truck stop just off Highway 41, and discovers that the clock above the grill reads four AM.

He assumes that the establishment has just neglected to set the clock to adjust for Daylight Savings time, but he is wrong; the official time in Terre Haute is in fact four AM.

The announcer in Chicago correctly announced at three AM Central time to adjust for Daylight Savings.

Granted, at three AM Central Standard time, it was in fact two AM Eastern Standard time, but that factor would not affect the eventual outcome of the time in either zone.

(After all, most people set their clocks ahead  an hour before they go to bed, but even if you waited until you got up, the worst thing that would happen might be that you missed church, which may be why they do it on Sunday.)

This is what we know:

The return trip took four hours, just like it did on Friday.

He had correctly remembered to re-set his watch ahead one hour shortly after he re-entered the Eastern time zone, and later followed the radio announcer’s correct instructions to move the time ahead an hour to adjust for Daylight Savings time.

Why was he wrong?

What was his error?

What is that awful smell?

Now I realize that it is highly unlikely that even one hundred people might read this post, but if you just did, and can figure out this problem, please respond.

Thanks.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

03/17/2017

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

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.

Merely a Series of Unfortunate Coincidences? The Illusion of Synchronicity…Sorry for the Inconvenience…and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Posted in adversity, Bardot Thordol, Bereavement, coincidences, Keep Coming Back, longreads, Random Observations, Sentience, Synchronicity, The Liberation Through Hearing, Thorn Tree in the Garden with tags , , , , on August 16, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

At approximately ten PM on July the 16th, my brother was pronounced dead in an Emergency Room approximately one thousand miles from my current home. He was two years younger than I.

In less than six years he managed to turn a five-bedroom French Colonial mansion into a landfill, starting with the second floor, which he occupied while my parents were still alive.

Alcoholism and poor judgment based on bad legal advice has rendered the entire estate uninhabitable and facing a sea of legal encumbrances that would prevent me from even taking my parents’ wedding album or my own high school yearbooks from the premises.

In less than seven months’ time since my mother passed away, the kitchen, dining room and front parlor will now require a hazmat team to clean up the mess he left, which in some places was knee-deep.

Power and water services have been disconnected. There is two feet of standing water in the basement.

We were forced to stay at a local motel.

After waiting nearly a week, I was still unable to make arrangements to have his ashes scattered over the graves of my parents, and was forced to leave to return to work.

My parents’ Lutheran minister seems to (correctly) suspect that my wife and I are Pagans, and insisted on being present to say a few words and prayers over my brother’s remains, although he was busy at a conference in St. Louis at the time.

It is my understanding that he still is in possession of his ashes.

My father died two years ago, and my mother passed away on December 30th of 2013. While we were there, I installed two solar powered carriage lamps to light their gravesite at night.

On the way home, I was struck by the question “Who will see the lights?”

It takes somewhere between twenty-four and twenty-nine hours to drive to my parents’ home…and the same amount of time to return.

The only resting or sleeping done in either direction consisted of short naps at designated rest areas or while Suki was driving and one meal not eaten in the vehicle enroute.

Several hours after my first day back at work, I was diagnosed at a local ER with a DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis in my left leg. It is potentially life-threatening.

A new miracle oral drug called Xarelto has allowed me to convalesce at home without the customary four-day hospital admittance with intravenous drug therapy and frequent blood tests.

My healthcare insurance provider does not cover this medication, which can cost as much as four hundred dollars per month on average. My employer is a prescription drug plan administrator.

The irony of the fact that many of the plans my employer administers for other providers are much more generous in terms of the coverage, or cost of co-payments and premiums than the policy provided to company employees is not lost in moments like these.

Fortunately, the manufacturer is providing it for free for the first month, and only five dollars per month for the next two months I will need to take it. It would also appear that my annual salary is low enough to qualify me for hardship benefits…really? Really?!?! …Yeah, really.

After a week of bed rest under the skillful care of both my wife Suki and the lovely and talented Anastasia, I am slowly returning to full health.

If you absolutely have to get sick, plan on doing it under the care of a nurse, or better still, two of them…(especially if they are close friends with each other)…the right nurses can make almost anything better, and these two could turn a disaster into a block party.

“Sic hoc ergo propter hoc” means literally “after this, therefore because of this”. It represents what is regarded in the scientific community as one of the commonest flaws of logic, which is to assume that mere juxtaposition somehow implies a relationship between two or more possibly unrelated events.

Synchronicity is a term coined by Carl Jung, who initially identified an “acausal relationship” between the simultaneous occurrence of two or more unrelated psycho-physic phenomena.

Jung and his associates later noted, however that our ability to perceive meaning, portent or omen in the simultaneity of the events allows us to assimilate unconscious materials”, thereby encouraging us to experience a renewal and vitalization of our unilateral personality. In this way, our sentience enables us to construct order out of chaos.

This is a process well-known to both the Chinese (I Ching, Consulting the Oracle of Changes) and the aboriginal peoples of what is now called North America, whose shamanistic traditions divined meaning and direction from occurrences within the natural world.

As unfortunate and sad as the recent series of events are, they are hopefully merely a series of unfortunate coincidences. They were replete with enough foreshadowing and ominous portents to fill up any novel by Nathanial Hawthorne or Theodore Dreiser.

Were I so inclined, I could spend the rest of my life waiting for “the other shoe to drop” and in the process miss whatever joyous opportunities await, barring superstition and fear.

On the other hand, those of us who are inclined to believe in the in the interconnection between the finite physical world and the more elusive and occult ethereal worlds do have the opportunity to reflect, if you will, on the interconnection of all things, even in the midst of random chaos.

I have missed you all these past four weeks…although it would appear that nobody noticed I was gone….

As my heath returns, I will be doing my best to make up for lost time, despite the fact that the expression is in itself an oxymoron.

I have been told that some of my more charming attributes are my irreverence, glib facetiousness, and affectionate preoccupation with anarchy and the self-determinism of lawless disregard for other people’s rules, and this trip was no exception. It was in part a journey into the heartland of America (or the Heart of Darkness), as well as an opportunity to skylark in the midst of loss and sorrow.

Somewhere between the extremes, illumination awaits us.

You be the judge.

As soon as I consult my advisors as to how to tell the story without subjecting myself to incarceration for any number of possible felonies that might be construed as to having been committed, I will be sure to share it with you.

…and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

 

 

 

 

Your Body’s Energy Fields

Posted in First Amendment Rights, Random Observations, Uncategorized on June 15, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

When I first read this piece, it so disturbed me that I wrote a quick reply, which as of yet, has failed to be moderated or posted. In fact, so far there are zero comments on this piece, but over twenty “likes”(mine was not one of them…).
Please feel free to read and comment as you feel fitting; I will be posting the second of the two comments I made. I wish I had saved a copy of the first comment, because I doubt that it will ever see the light of day.
Also, note the banner: “Liberty with responsibility”…really? Who was responsible for this unfocused, mean-spirited diatribe?
Or is that just me?

Paper to Use

Years after Skeptoid’s original episode #1 on New-( Age )Energy, talk of energy fields — particular the human body’s energy fields — continues to permeate pop culture. A quick Google search for “human energy field” yields an avalanche of New Agey sciencey-sounding results: biofields, noetic balancing, auras, chakras, cleansing and activating your fields, bioenergetics, science unlocking the secrets, luminosity, sensing, negative energy, positive energy, and the human bioelectromagnetic field. Does the human body indeed have any characteristic that can be reasonably described as an energy field?Although most of the usage you’ll hear of the term sounds like something from Deepak Chopra which is clearly without any factual meaning, the idea that a living body has some measurable effect on its immediate environment is not necessarily an unsound concept. Our bodies generate heat, we have mass, fluids move within us and millions of electric signals are constantly being transmitted through our…

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We are All here for a Reason

Posted in Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Dirty, Explicit Sexual Language, Mature Theme, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Much To Good For Children, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Poetry, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Random Observations with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

Of course.

In the universal sense

this is always true,

but herein I refer to my

Cabin in the Woods,

a trailer park of Lost Souls

far enough off the beaten path

to render solitude,

anonymity,

or perhaps even forgiveness

to all who enter here.

***

Commercial fishermen

who drink a little too much

for their former spouse’s liking,

with restraining orders

and children they can no longer visit.

Here,

everyone is somebody else’s

ex-something-or-other.

Recycled hopes and dreams

and

households financed

by disability checks

and structured settlements,

where rainbow children

of every shade and hue

play in the yard

with pit-bull dogs

beside a car on blocks

that Mama’s boyfriend

is gonna fix someday

after he gets up

from his nap.

***

Disabled Viet Nam veterans

with hidden wounds that

will never heal,

tattoos and scars

or maybe a limp,

nightmares

that never end,

and that

thousand-yard stare

that betrays the pain

they never willingly show.

***

Widows and spinsters

who live for their flower gardens

and cats

to replace the children

who never call or visit,

the husband who died

or ran away,

or the gentleman caller

that never showed up.

***

Divorcee’s

whose husbands

fucked

their best friend,

their sister,

or even

their daughter

or who couldn’t

stand to be left alone

when their husbands

went to work too long

while the cable was off.

***

Rock stars who fell to earth.

Fallen Angels

with burnt wings.

Porn actresses

from the

Nineties

who knew Ron Jeremy

on more than a first-name basis,

and have the videos to prove it.

…and so much love to give…

(if you can pierce their armor)

their hearts

melt like butter in the sun

if you simply befriend them

without agenda

or guile,

because they’ve heard it all before,

and they’ve done it all before

in the name of fame and fortune,

but just for once,

if they could do it all over again

for Love,

they’d

do it all over you.

***

Enough Ink on skin

between them all

to write

War and Peace

in longhand.

There’s a story

for every tattoo

and all the time in the world

to tell each one of them,

with nothing better to do.

***

Their combined tears

could drown the

Lake of Fire,

and yet they still prefer to laugh,

and gladly share

their Nothingness,

their time,

their weed

or booze

or dope

or bodies

like philanthropic millionaires.

***

Misery doesn’t just

love company,

it thrives on it

and makes them stronger

than

most of the privileged

crybabies

I knew

in better times

and more prosperous days.

***

This place

where I have landed

is more like

a campground

for refugees

driven from their

homelands

by

“the slings and arrows

of outrageous fortune…”

who refuse to die

and can’t really seem to win,

but continue to try.

(That’s what the Lotto is for.)

***

The walls are so thin

on these foil-covered

cardboard boxes we call

home;

there can be no secrets

between us,

but no shortage

of excuses,

denials

or lies

told mostly for our own benefit

as we wander

on the tar-clad paths

between

these aluminum tents

like spaced-out

space-age Indians

with permanent

reservations

in temporary domiciles.

***

Home is where

the Art is.

Life is what

you make

of what you get.

And Love

is everywhere,

running like a river

of blood

in the streets

flowing

from all the broken hearts

that have ever lived

or ever will.

Adversity

Posted in adversity, Appreciation, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Random Observations, Share The Love with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

Adversity

I sit here in an aluminum shack with no electricity. I charge my computer each day on borrowed power long enough to be able to write. Ironically, I still have telephone service, but up until today I had to go to a café near my work to use their internet to make my postings.

I have learned to be grateful for a job that I despise working for an Evil Empire that is a big part of the machinery that is enslaving America.

So I sit here in the dark. My only light is the screen of my computer, which I turn down to extend the battery time left. I cook my meals over a fire in my barbeque. I keep my food in a cooler and add new ice each morning.

It is only a temporary setback. (That is what I keep telling myself.) I enjoyed a fair share of privilege and culture, a good education and lovingly misguided parents who did their best to provide me a good home. Much of my life has been a balance of comfort, culture, music, means, and adventure. I have loved freely with a reckless abandon that has been reciprocated far beyond my dreams. I wish I had been more appreciative of it at the time.

However, several convergent financial catastrophes and personal losses beyond my control have aligned themselves like planets in some astrological perfect storm that threatens to reduce me to my lowest common denominator.

Most of it was due to factors beyond my control, but some of it could have been avoided by better judgment. (And before you ask…no, I am not a drug addict.) Such is the nature of hindsight…although we wish so much that it could make us wiser, or provide us with foresight, in truth if adversity really does build character, I would be the Buddha by now, and I am not….

I know. I met the Buddha once, while traveling along the road, and I killed him and fed his body to a hungry dog. I will probably meet him again.

In my Cabin in the Woods I live amongst other Fallen Angels and Lost Souls, most of whom are united by bad luck, bad judgment, unfortunate circumstances or bad timing. Most of them would rather be anywhere else but here, but there is no escaping that we are all here for good reason.

I have a couple of neighbors who are here by choice. This is not their real home, but they enjoy the same quiet and serenity that I love about the place.

We have become fast friends already, and their generosity and kindness has helped me to not just endure my present hardships, but to be able to survive them in a way that gives me hope and inspires me on a daily basis. I am slowly learning to flourish within my adversity. Each day I surprise myself with my ingenuity and determination.

I thought that I was looking forward to being able to return the favor when my circumstances improved until today….

Today, just now, I realized that I do not have to wait for anything to improve to simply extend kindness and compassion to whomever I meet that needs it, and that simple realization has given me something I did not possess before just now, and that understanding will give me what I need to prevail.

It is also the only way I will ever be able to pay it back…by paying it forward.

My new friends are people of means. They do not need my repayment or my charity. They suffered their own setbacks and losses long before I met them, but managed to prevail, and even prosper.

They drive vehicles much nicer than anyone else does here, including the owners of the park, and I have seen pictures of their other home…they are here by choice, and they are here for good reason…and so am I.

They already know how much compassion enhances their existence, and I was sent here to learn it from them…not later, after my circumstances improve…but here and now, in the ever-present, never present, present moment.

This is something indestructible, which cannot be taken from me no matter how far I have yet to fall or fail.

This is something that no amount of financial or social privilege or good fortune can give you. I have known people who were born into wealth, as well as people who worked hard and smart(ly) to acquire considerable means, only to lose it, who never recovered from the loss, because material wealth was all they had.

They were so focused on what they acquired, and what they needed to do to acquire it, or what they possessed that when they lost it, they lost everything, as well as themselves…in so doing, they became possessed by their possessions.

We all so much want to have fun that most of us have no clue as to what to do when the fun stops, and one way or another, it WILL…for ALL of us….

I already know now how to keep dancing after the music stops…after the band goes home…after the flames consume the roof, and it is only you and I, dancing the Apocalypso.

If there is a divine order to the universe it would seem to be that within an infinite existence, everything will happen eventually, and some things will succeed and prevail, and other things will not.

There is order even in chaos. Our impatience makes us prisoners of desperation so consumed by fear of our own mortality that we fail to see the beauty of our Dharma as it surrounds us every day.

I will no longer be a prisoner of my own adversity once I learn to embrace it. I am filled with gratitude for all things, and it is my wish to share that with all of you in your own times of need.

Baraka Bashad.

A Cabin in the Woods

Posted in Bereavement, Blogging, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Enhanced and Fortified non-fiction, Humor, Keep Coming Back, Liason, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Metaphysical Action/Adventure, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Random Observations, Works for any Major Corporation with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

A Cabin in the Woods

Perhaps some of you may have noticed that I have not posted any new material in almost three weeks…then again, maybe not, but to me it has been an eternity.

December 29th, the day before my mother died, I was served an eviction notice giving me fifteen days to vacate. The eviction was not much of a surprise.

For the last seven years the owner has refused to pay for any upkeep on the premises (which were greatly overpriced) and my payments for rent have admittedly been sporadic and short. I am not good with money.

Any normal person would not have stayed so long, but then again, I did not consider my current occupation to be anything more than the likes of a summer job, and I have been at it for almost nine years. It’s as if I fell down the rabbit hole and can’t find my way back out. If you can’t find something at least as good as what you were doing, what’s the difference?

At least I’m still in Florida. I came here in 1972, and left it for three long, cold, terrible years and couldn’t return fast enough once I had the chance.

Although the housing market tanked here just like everywhere else, and empty, foreclosed homes are on every block, none of them are for rent because the banks who now own them would rather keep them empty to artificially elevate the prices of rental property (presumably in collusion with realtors’ associations) leaving us with neighborhood after neighborhood of blocks filled with empty houses, which should have resulted in a renter’s paradise, if in fact supply and demand had anything to do with market prices.

Two months ago, my Nissan 300ZX had to be parked due to having two injectors fail and I have been unable to repair it immediately, leaving me to rely on my 1987 Toyota 4WD pickup truck exclusively, including my anticipated move.

Last Friday night, my truck spun a cam bearing, leaving me stranded until I could borrow a car to get home long enough to hire two men with a truck and a trailer to help me complete my move, including putting many items into a 10X10 storage room.

This includes my automotive tools, enough power tools to run a machine shop, a compressor and air tools, including paint sprayers, a ten kilowatt electric generator, a TIG welder, an eight-foot work bench, a world-class amateur radio station, a forty-foot antenna tower, a six-element tri-band horizontal antenna, and a half-wave vertical antenna.

My books, the stereos, a television, my last electric guitar, two amplifiers, and more firearms than I can fit into the safe that houses most of them are already safely tucked away in my new home, which is so small that I had to leave or give away most of the furniture.

I do not plan on keeping anything in storage for more than two months if I cannot find a way to make space for it in my new abode, a double-wide trailer. There is no garage or car port.

My first thought was “I sure hope this is bottom….”

But wait! There’s more….

I had my telephone service scheduled to be transferred last Monday. The telephone company installer could not find the address, which is not even listed on Google Earth.

Although they claimed to have the service turned on, the inside outlets had no signal, leaving me to trace the wiring from the pedestal myself, or wait until January 29th for repair service to locate the problem.  Today, Friday, I finally connected my telephone.

Everywhere I have ever lived seems to have a north county line full of radio and television antenna towers and desolate residences such as mine…I just never bothered to consider living there.

There seem to be two paradigms for trailer parks. One is for fifty-something plus only residents. Many of them are very respectable, upscale retirement-age communities that want nothing to do with the likes of either my pit-bull dog or me.

The other ones are teeming with life, no matter how sordid, where a single stray gunshot may pass through four residences in nanoseconds unless it lodges itself in something more substantial, presumably including a body or two. They are hotbeds of adultery, alcoholism, violence, drugs, perversion, and tall tales of dangerous lives lived without regard to consequences.

Legend has it that Original Sin was spawned in such a place many eons ago in Azerbaijan on the outskirts of Tabriz, long before aluminum was discovered.

But there is a downside…although I love intrigue and liaisons of mind and body far outside the norms of nominally civilized, domesticated minds, I need solace to write, and the sort of trailer parks that would welcome me are not likely to provide it.

I don’t need any more ideas for stories of craziness and depravity…living them in real time has already been responsible for too many years’ delay in writing what I already know.

This tiny grotto is unlike either of these types of places. It was formerly as lawless and dangerous as any Wild West gold rush town, but while the new owners ran out the really dangerous degenerates there is no danger of it ever becoming too respectable for the likes of me. It is run-down and squalid, but quiet.

And as it turns out, I really already love the place. For the first time in more years than I can recall, there is almost no ambient noise…at least nothing chronic or continuous. I rarely hear the noise of the closest highway, even though it is a major thoroughfare.

Ever since my arrival, I have felt more as if I was in a campground, rather than a trailer park, and this is my cabin in the woods.

For the last three weeks, every day started early with endless lists of required activities that demanded my attention until later than I cared to be awake leaving me even less time to sleep to prepare for my next ten-hour day at work from Monday through Thursday as a telemarketer.

Despite loss, distraction and dislocation, my sales figures continue to exceed not only my quotas, but also my own expectations. I dread and despise the prospect of going in, but once I am there, within the hour I find myself fully engaged, consumed and challenged.

Somehow it all just happens, almost as if it is something beyond my control once I set it in motion. I have learned to repeat entire paragraphs of dialogue without conscious effort, inputting data into several semi-independent programs on separate screens as I type notes related to the call that have no direct bearing to the words I am speaking as I type.

When I am in my zone, I am part radio talk show host, part snake oil salesman, and part chameleon, ingratiating myself to them with charm and witty repartee so as to practice home invasion by way of the telephone.

Although drugs are involved, I do not sell drugs; I simply sell home delivery of the drugs they already take. As such, I am an agent of the Evil Empire that is ruining prescription drug insurance in America, but at least it beats a gun and a ski mask, although sometimes not by much, and it is a far cry from raising the dead and transporting the sick and injured.

For the time being, it is my deep cover for the inside research necessary to write The Home for Wayward Souls and The Talking Monkeys.

Tonight I resume a love affair with my word processor, the internet, and this brain that is wired to my soul in a ménage a trois of abduction, seduction, and provocation.

I started blogging in an attempt to promote my books and other writings, only to discover the delicious nakedness of exposing my true nature and intellectual flights of fantasy to other writers who have become my muses and co-conspirators full of enthusiasm and encouragement.

I have missed you more than you probably know, although I hope you already know who you are.

This forced hiatus has taught me how much I need the push and pull and ebb and flow of ideas, energies and images we share like sex between lovers.

We are lovers of words using our craft to become lovers through words, even when there is no specific reference to sex at all…although those times are probably fewer than I might be inclined to acknowledge.

This is what separates blogging from writing. Posts like this are part of the running dialogue I maintain with my fellow writers, and the posts that are becoming the body of my current novel make up the rest of what I send out, but in either case, it is you, my fellow writers who provide the feedback that is immediate and conversational in a way that solitary writing lacks.

Just as the moon draws the tides as we draw down the moon, this life that flows between us connects us as we connect with the One.

If all things return to the One, to where does the One return?

 

An Interesting Coincidence?

Posted in coincidences, Random Observations, recycling vs. plagerism, Satire, Second Amendment Rights with tags on January 6, 2014 by dreamlanddancing

An Interesting Coincidence?

You may remember a post I wrote on December 29th entitled: “This Theater of the Mind”. I wrote it the day before my mother died.

It is a very volatile screed for mature audiences only (what else would you expect from the likes of me?) It deals in a very roundabout way how we make choices of dress and associations that shape the character of our actions, demeanor, and thoughts.

It also questions how limited or pre-determined our behaviors and thinking become, based on those choices. The examples I used revolved around the Kink/Fet, BD/SM, and GLBT communities (One should write about what one knows…), and a warm-up paragraph about our choices of religions, Sin, and Punishments, as a satire.

Imagine my surprise to find a post entitled “The Theater of the Mind” dated December 4th by another author in my reader. I must admit I have no idea why his work is in my reader, (other than the fact that I chose to follow him for reasons totally unknown to me now) because we could not possibly be farther afield from each other, and true to form, the body of his post bears absolutely no resemblance to my work in either style or content.

He did, however quote Shakespeare’s “All the world (or Life) is a stage…” in his opening, as I did, albeit with a different twist.

I was not offended. Although I Googled and Wikkied “Theater of the Mind”, I did not find any cross-references to it, but nonetheless do not consider it to be especially original, because it probably isn’t.

I often have been known to include references to song lyrics or titles and catchphrases of some particular era, or even what one reader called a “shout-out” to Dr. Who when I made a metaphor about the Targus (referencing something that it larger on the inside than on the outside).

The reader responded to it very positively, and in the course of our discourse, I explained how there were also two other references to both a very beloved author, and one of his works, for which he thanked me profusely, once he looked those up. What one may call a “shout-out” I consider to be an “homage”.

Some days, it seems like all existence is one giant allegorical reference.

If I was writing a research paper or treatise of some kind, I would be obligated to quote my source, etc. or risk charges of plagiarism.

Thankfully, so-called “original” or “creative” writing is not so encumbered, at least in the most modern genre, especially considering recent court rulings on practices like “sampling” (in the Music Industry), for instance.

“Re-blogging” a piece, does not even require the permission of the author. Indeed, the rules have changed drastically, probably for the better.

As many of you know, I am very fond of sharing all manner of things….

I made a comment to his post, calling attention to the “coincidence”, which he briefly approved, then removed. He has not, as of yet, seen fit to reply.

I sent him this comment:

“Theater of the Mind?”…What an interesting co-incidence…Please feel free to read my post of December 29th entitled “This Theater of the Mind”. Although we start with the same title, and interestingly enough, the same reference to Shakespeare’s “All the world (or life) is a stage”, that is indeed where the similarity ends.

Curious…just to see how far afield we could be with the same start. We must come from similar backgrounds somewhere long ago, because you make frequent references to similar metaphors I heard as a child. (Like the Bottle/Lobotomy thing).

Your reference to “the living sacrifice” of Romans 12:1/2 would lead me to believe you to be a pious man, so you may NOT want to read my post, on second thought… (It is always my intention to avoid giving offense, and there is none intended.)

Then again, I have also been known to say that “great minds surf the same gutters”…

Please allow me to introduce myself…Mr. D.

“There are no co-incidences, there are no accidents” (The Celestine Prophecy)

My point is this: Based on my (very limited and biased) understanding of quantum mechanics, we are in a time loop (infinity) that is constantly recycling and converting the same matter and energy. There is nothing new anywhere.

When we die, our energy is released back into the Universe. In this sense, we are immortal. Every encoded engram of thought is energy that can neither be created nor destroyed, and (I am told) every sperm contains thirty-seven point five megabytes of information. (…maybe that is why I am so very fond of sharing information, btw…).

I was also a licensed amateur radio operator and an improvisational musician. I think our brains work like receivers for those bits of energy, and how we assimilate and assemble those bits of energy and information is what gives us our (semi) unique character as an assemblage of ideas.

It’s all recycled immortality.

 

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