Social Media Activism is Dead.

Paul’s dead man, miss him

No matter what the issue the reality is the same. The first has to be that like the guy in Network said “you’re the reality, we’re the illusion.”

Hold my beer, buddy, cause you ain’t seen 2018.

Well here we are in 2019 and still preaching to our choirs so hard their ears are bleeding. Truth is you have met people who don’t share your views and you do actually like them.

As a musician I learned early how people get very tribal very fast in all kinds of things. When I got into Depeche Mode I was a traitor because it was us Classic Rock maintenance guys versus the grunge and generally new music crew at McDonald’s. No seriously, that was a thing. I crossed a line by liking People are People.

I find myself seeing the point on both sides. Truth is 2016 was such a bound to happen political hellscape for everyone that no matter if you were for him or her, the other one really (as they say in the UK) wound you up (got you going, got you ranting).

I have screamed at the walls about issues for utterly no reason. My girlfriend, the poor thing who doesn’t like political discourse at all is just like “calm down”.

Truth is absolutely no clever wording, campaign or meme will make up for her what is done. What do I mean. Ok, here I moronically probably go… Ughh…

My loved one is a First Nations coast Salish person who was of course effected by residential schools, the horrible reservation system, and everything else designed to exterminate her culture. She has endured from that more than she’ll ever say. She’s tough and quiet. But it’s things people say to her that make her sad. If someone stereotypes her, or makes fun of her that’s what counts.

That’s the thing, we can argue the details but not communicating is not who we are. Put a person and a wolf in a cage and guess who wins? We are not fighters, we are organizers. We work best as a group. And ripping each other a new one isnt working. I know you’re right about that thing but we need to show how we can work together.

Don’t even get me started on how communication in this way isn’t effective. We’re not all Hemingways running around spouting The Sun Also Rises. I’m still of the generation that goes “f it” and calls the person. Nuances of interaction are gone in this frenzied type of top of the head creative nonfiction.

And in terms of communication an attack always leads to an equal defense. Considering some societies lob missiles at each other for decades I’d say there is no “ultimate argument” that really takes them down a peg or two. Learning doesn’t happen when someone gets aggressive with the intended student. They just change the channel and your back to your choir again. If we can create the want for learning, actual conversation where we start again and just talk we can do it. It’s social capital. Noone wants to be left out.

I’m a leftie most of the time but there are some who are so far left they come around to the right saying “we’ll always be enemies.”. If you’re on the hard left and the hard right has agreed with you, it’s not working. Or if it is, just launch the big missiles and be done with it. But you don’t want that. You want something else. Besides we are better than this. Watch any video on YouTube about people helping people. We can do anything.

Same with the vote. You can’t type in a way that will convert someone. Just try to create a community in which the right person moves forward. It’s up to you, not politicians.

Here’s a hint. It’s not on this phone.

Put the phone in your pocket. Take off the white ear things. Go outside.

There’s a world of people out there. Talk. Now.

Leave the screens out if it. They are, at best, aggressively pointless.

SJWs RIP.

✌️

A trying to let it go SJW 😛

Tom

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Alpha, Beta, Gamma…what to do?

Speak low when you speak love…

Kurt Weill

Do you put more faith in a clear abundance of ego or someone who convinces with facts?

Kurt may have been more introverted or what is called a Beta male. There’s Omega too, as well as an army of others but let’s keep to the two main ones here.

Alpha male. Dominant.

Beta male. Submissive.

Off the top of my head I can add the names Nick Drake, Vincent Van Gogh, and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins as strongly potential Beta males.

Alpha males are far easier to spot as they naturally feel perfectly ok under the intensity of white hot light. Most actors, politicians, employers, sports figures fit here but… ok…Frank Sinatra, Stephen Colbert and…yes, you guessed it…Donald Trump.

There’s things I’ve heard, read and experienced where the reality of Beta males comes into question. Like shouldn’t they not be like that and step up as it were. I see the point because it is really what it is about Alphas that we naturally like.

An Alpha will look you in the eye and shake your hand (typically) and will sell you something with actual confidence. You feel confident with them. It puts your mind at ease. They are the company breadwinner, the pointman and the guy at the front.

Betas get flustered. They might be extremely intelligent but when asked to produce on the spot it throws the whole game. Betas can’t sell it smoothly and have to work like crazy to play the same game. They are usually at the back and prefer that.  Sometimes men are dominant or submissive depending on the situation as well but when someone is not the supremely outgoing/extroverted/Alpha-type as I’m not for the most part, that does tend to be the default setting.

Anyways, here’s the thing…we need both guys.

It’s the ying and yang of how it works. It is ludicrous to try to impose Alpha rules on Betas like Vincent Van Gogh should have really left his ear alone and took up, say, tackle football. The kind of man he was gave us the beauty of his work.

Same with Nick Drake who had a very difficult time due to shyness and depression to perform live. And yet Nick’s beautiful sound still resonates today. Sometimes you want to muscular sound of Van Halen’s Jump and sometimes you want the soft, close sound of Nick Drake’s Riverman

To wrap up this one… here’s Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake (Full Album)

Have a wonderfully exciting, or chill, long weekend.

Your choice.

Cheers!

Tom

Kindness is Magic

It has been now (just 2 days over in fact) five years since this little video was published on YouTube, as a mix of a song of the same name and people all over the world saying Kindness is Magic in different languages.

Click here to see Kindness is Magic

Kindness maybe little things but they make such a difference. When you feel for a moment that you aren’t alone, that we look out for each other, or that things won’t go too far wrong…well, it is magic.

Click the link today. I just want to let it speak for itself. I think we need it.

Cheers,

Tom

I’ll admit it

I had definitely a time back in my twenties when I was much more angry. I don’t know if it was a mix of disillusion with some other stuff going on. I know I wasn’t happy and was perfectly prepared to burn any bridge, do anything.

I wasn’t happy. I was Mr. Confrontation.

I’m not now, and this is what I will admit. Is it bad? Oh, possibly. I don’t come on here or anywhere saying that I have the best answer to all things, I just know what has worked for me.

There is a lot of everything out there to confront and a large portion of that will be not only unavoidable but part of how you make your money. Why seek that out in daily life? It’s rhetorical by the way. Not actually asking.

You should protect what is yours and so on, but I have no interest in creating wackiness where it didn’t need to be. I guess that’s my thing with so much I see going on. Life can be fun and pleasant and a paradise for everyone so why do we have to fight, squabbling over who gets what…where the borders are marked…how unfair it all is.

I know people who were born with so many ticks against them that it’s crazy. In lots of cases it certainly is unfair. But we can be there for people and be empathetic in those cases.

I guess I’ve just seen too much of the no end in sight, escalating side of confrontation to want to be part of it, especially intentionally. In every one of those situations I’ve only ever had the same thought…I’d right now rather be far away, be someone else, be where it’s quiet and this is not.

I mean, so much of the most growth and most beauty in life comes quietly and simply. When studying music, or geography, or history or doing most things of value, you don’t aggressive. If you started an argument in the middle of making love you would ruin it. It’s like putting a hole in her dress at a party. It’s just a path to upset.

It also reminds me of what happened, or where I was after my turbulent twenties. I’ve always called it by the slightly lame title of the Back of Bay Street because, well, it was on Bay Street, in the bottom back of the same house I had first moved to when I first left home. This location was so quiet that I responded to that and that became a great time of study, writing, and even the earliest days of Cookeilidh for me. Only challenge has ever since because it’s so tempting to go back there, which is impossible as you are only 30 once.

But it was perfect. You could sit in stillness and watch the movement of the sun through the room. I had a night light at one end, in the kitchen, and two different colored blankets covering the windows, so from the chair in the bedroom the effect was a magical pink and blue with a white star at the end.

Happiest places I’ve been have always been like that.

You can never run out of things that can upset you for some reason if you really dig far enough. You can be the wealthiest person alive with a flawless everything and still be a miserable person because something will always disappoint. You have to pick your battles but also enjoy just leaving the warfare alone.

“It’s no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.”

————————————————————————————–

Thanks for reading! Today’s ambient music for reading is mum – Finally We Are No One (full album) which is the 2017 release (Couldn’t get the symbol over the u) and is just one of many of their great lush works!

Enjoy

Cheers 😊

Tom

Let’s Talk

Just got paid this morning and I’m actually avoiding looking. I wonder how many other people do that.

There’s something wierd about when you just got paid. Bills and things haven’t gone through yet, like an animal released or a bunch of pacmans sent shooting across a field of marbles. It’s like you really could go any direction, like you’re at the crossroads.

I miss that kind of conversation, don’t you? Now some divides have been around for ages, to be fair. I’ve always, always thought of those as stupid. Little kids, with their wide open wisdom, never see that. They go straight in. They play with that other kid, no matter who they are. They don’t decide that they and theirs are from Heaven (or wherever) and anyone from the other side, or who doesn’t agree with every thing they believe, is from somewhere below.

I am really considering getting rid of two social media platforms, which I know won’t help me, but I get frustrated too. This one and Instagram are fun places to connect and be creative. It’s those other two, Twitter and Facebook, where you go on only to wish you hadn’t.

It isn’t sticking your face in the sand. I don’t know how you could because news comes at you from all over, and most of these are not news (and what is gets questioned) so what do you believe?

I made a point of trying to keep both “sides” visible, but this just leads to waking up to anger.

There is too much anger and too little listening. I can only hope that this burns out as it can only keep going for so long. Neither side is discussing anything from what I see. He and her are certainly the most polarizing force we have seen and it has fueled it seems every division we have ever had. It made all the cracks glow. Now the question is can we turn our situation into an actual positive force?

I wish I had an actual answer or the thing that finally brought everyone together like some big party in Zion from Matrix.

Apparently one day we will all rave and be in amazing shape..

Or even to make things calm down, but the thing is, I think it could actually get better if we hold the rigging through the storm. This could break us with the pent up anger that has been there all along. I just saw today that they found writings by Einstein that were not racially good, and I’m not surprised. The most forward thinking explorer of First Nations people here on the west coast was Franz Boas, back hundreds of years ago. He wrote books that are actually in the Friendship Center and they refer to Coast Salish people as “savages”. Let make this clear, he was considered one of the “good guys”.

I always have problems with that phrase straight away. I haven’t always been a good person. I can’t be alone in this. Good and bad guys are for cartoons. I remember a woman talking about living in a mob family, where 90% of the time she was respected and saw nothing but a loving Catholic-Italian family. But, every now and again “business” would be conducted and, as she put it, it was like seeing these iron masks come down.

Another powerful scene involves the most evil man in history, and the one who gets too often used to compare people, Hitler. Where am I going? Well, there is an interesting movie called Downfall and we have all seen that clip of him ripping into his Generals in the bunker office, but there was that other scene with his dogs and his family where he is lucid and acting like any other German older man. And I mean, that’s him. I am of course by no means condoning what he and his did and I am not a denier, but it is interesting to see humanization of that most iconic evil.

My point is that we should not apply Occam’s Razor to how we interact with each other.

Don’t judge me, you could be me in another life, in another set of circumstances” from “Tommorow We’ll See” by Sting.

Going back to before, what’s great is that we are going through all these things that have been buried. It’s crazy because these days at work I listen to comedy shows of the early 2000s and you really would think by how they talk that discrimination was eradicated.

But it wasn’t, was it? And there are so many forms that it has taken.

Ways to divide people into groups.

Maybe one day we’ll stop.

One day.

We’ll learn we can stop and listen.

Reach out.

Talk.

—–

Today’s music was me finally listening to the soundscapes of Sigur Ros, an Icelandic avant-rock band from Reykjavík.

Here is their album Sigur Ros – Valtari

Cheers,

Tom

😊

Elvis and the Elephants

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb

Full disclosure, I heard about this last night on a recent Ted Talk on NPR on the subject of becoming wise and you couldn’t not love the story of Elvis, the Elephant.

Sorry, the man himself wasn’t there but couldn’t resist that picture. Anyways..

The great thing about this story of this animal who got it’s name due to a disability that caused her to walk with Elvis’s leg motion, was how the other elephants would help it along and walk at this animals speed to not leave her behind.

The metaphor can’t be missed. It’s not that a single person can’t have joy or fun alone but, just like the herd, we are social animals too. Imagine if we walked at the speed of our slowest member.

One of the challenges I think is right now before you, and is the reason that you can read this right now. You see hundreds of years ago you were either royalty or you weren’t. If you weren’t you worked for the kings, in the fields or what have you. You didn’t know a better life and didn’t need to. It was like living vicariously through the King. If everything was good at the castle we were doing great! Way to go us!

But now we all want to be king. From Tony Robbins to Top Gun we got hammered with you could be number one, live like a rock star, blah blah, and well, how can that work for everyone?

Sorry for those who were expecting my usual creativity blog thing, I will go back to that too and it’s still me, but this is one of my strongest beliefs, held when I’ve done well and not.

You can’t have joy over here while they are not allowed it over there and they know about it to it’s finest detail and expect nothing to go wrong. From across the planet between governments to between family members, making life the heaven that Freddie Mercury sang about isn’t just “nice” or “cute” or “utopian” it’s better business.

I genuinely believe that you do not get away with anything. It’s like starting your work week at the office by cursing your coworkers up and down in the first hour.

What’s that week gonna be like then? Not a great plan, huh?

Same in the rest of world. You can treat someone horribly and be a dick, but from that you set waves in motion that have an effect. As a member of the world, this effect effects you. It can’t not. Maybe in a small way.

Reminds me of working at coffee shops. I’d see some…er…”individual” get harsh with an employee while that employee was trying to finish their order.

What would happen every single time? The employee would be thrown off there game more than ever, drop coffees, screw up horribly and things would slow right down for that same individual. It’s like yelling at a down hill skier. *Smack!* *🌲*. If the person treated the other with respect, both people would have had a better transaction.

Then add this problem of disparity to the present social media obsession that makes tv-generation of the 80s look like nothing, and…well, I think it’s the reason some older guy like me wants to bring it up.

I don’t, for my meager part, want to eventually leave this world like this without at minimum saying something. It isn’t just ideal, cute or nice if we work together for everyone’s benefit.

It’s how we stay together. We can’t be divided like this.

And now with everyone saying there side is from above and there side is from below, it reminds me too much of a holy war. Those never end good.

Is all lost?

No. But it comes down to you and I, members of the herd. We don’t need a political figure in a suit to tell us to let Elvis catch up. We can just stop.

———

Todays musical special is an absolute classic favorite of mine

Lazy Calm by the Cocteau Twins

Kind of works with my idea of everyone chilling out lol. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Aww, should have picked that. My bad. 😉

Cheers,

Tom

Embrace your bored face

Two things, couldn’t resist. And two, how olds that PC because…to say it in a contemporary sense… 😍 But the real point of this actually stems from some audio I was listening at work to yesterday, and I’ll post a link to that.

We have an entire generation coming up with no or little concept of being bored, special thanks to the thing I’m typing on and you may be reading from.

The irony of this piece is not lost on me.

But it is really worth considering how much of your time is spent, device in hand. Back in the 80s we were concerned about the “tv generation” but this clearly blows that out of the water. This TV comes with you, rewards you with activity and suggests you get more interactive for more rewards.

The apps are designed by companies that vie for your attention, so of course you are being manipulated from the moment you turn one of the main apps on.

I know only too well how hard it is to go the full Network, though it is tempting…

Not from the movie Network, but totally worth it…

One great challenge just to step up is try the first and last hour of your day being offline. I mean, I do this amongst a host of other sm so there is definitely a mix of thoughts which is funny and at the same kind, a little reminiscent for anyone who either smoked or quit. It makes you feel like you “Always had that then, and you can of course quit when you want.”. As if I wasn’t a writer or musician before all this. But it makes you feel as if you will be missing out.

Anyways have a listen to this Ted Radio Hour from NPR. Yes, again, I’m suggesting an online source through probably an app.

Anyway, think of how you can go wandering without bringing your precious with you.

Oh yeah…I said it. Anyways, here’s Guy Ross…

Listen to : Attention Please on NPR

Cheers,

Tom

The time to explore

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I’ve mentioned before about my love of mornings which I know makes me weird straight away.  I actually woke up far too early on this one even for myself but I had set myself this rule of getting out each morning to do some kind of exercise.  I have been struggling with a digestion issues since last October so this is one of the many ways I’ve have found myself fighting back.   I honestly don’t know if it works or not, but I’m just not willing to find out what would happened if I stopped!

One of the great things about getting out there is the exploring side.  This morning I finally, and this is nuts I am, but after going for about a half hour walk I finally took a route 1 bus out to its furthest end.  Some more walking and a different route home and I am completely reading to get out there and start my regular work.  If I hadn’t become so enthused by all this desire to be outside each morning I never would have done such a nonsensical thing.  I admit I felt a bit too self conscious to get on the 1 route home, because I was fully expecting the driver would have looked at me funny. 

I’ll work on that one.

Once home though I started planning out some really nice ideas for some other walks involving quieter bus routes I could do.  A simple one (no pun meant) would be to take the same route to the café at the end, walk the beach to Gonzales Park and then hop a quiet #3 home again.  You can’t beat breakfast with a million dollar view can you?  As someone who already has one of those bus passes the only thing that cost you was some time and maybe whatever you picked up at Delish.  Not a bad deal!

In the theme of exploring, and this is weird too because not only was I thinking about this subject this morning but my friend Kevin Lintern wrote about the same thing so I hope I’m not borrowing that too much, but people should not be afraid to explore possibilities within their own worlds.  This could be anything from boating to model making but naturally my focus is creativity. 

There is a mentality out there which states that only really talented people should even think of walking into a music store…and art supply store……ok, writer’s don’t have the same thing (a pen store?!) but…setting up a blog, and I am here to tell you it’s just not true.  Creativity is a place you can simply explore with whatever fascinates you.  You don’t have to be serious and think you have to play guitar or paint at a certain level with so many hours a day in order to try it.  

I just recently started doing more visual arts thanks to the spurring of a book called “The Trickster’s Hat” by writer Nick Bantock, which I definitely recommend.  One of the ideas he comes up with is the idea of just setting out without big goals or expectations in mind and just freeing yourself to try and make mistakes.  As far as I’m concerned, in creativity, there is no mistakes.  Ready for this…?

There is no bad art.

Whoa huh?  Now you might say I’ve crossed a line there as you can probably quote me a list of names of people who you think have no talent and should stop.  I’ve been on some people’s list with that one!  But I stay stand firm on this.  The very doing of creating is wonderful in itself…the simple act of stepping out of the things you have to do to explore what could be and creating from nothing.  The Artist’s Way series is also great for breaking through this.  I still try (and fail sometimes but what the heck?) to do my morning pages first thing every morning along with my other routines.  I’m at the point now where I actually can’t imagine my life without that or the morning exercise.  Also started doing meditation with a great app for the meditationally challenged like myself called “Calm”.  There’s other things I like doing first thing like practice and drinking lots of water but that’s more specific to me.  The process does take a while.  Mornings work for me but whatever you find best for you, that’s the best time.

Thanks for reading!

Happy exploring J

Tom

What do you want to see happen?

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The universe awaits...

     
     What do you want?  You don’t have to tell me or anything but what’s out there off in the fine distant horizon?  What world do you see in your mind’s eye or in you wildest dream?  Don’t discount that. It’s something we do as adults.  We’ve learned to play down our importance and the importance of those thoughts.

     No, it’s not all about you, or me, but can’t you give more to the world from a place of strength?  That strength can come from anything too.  Some of the greatest lives were not lived in opulence.

     I still set goals pretty much yearly.  Some goals have made it and some are still, shall we say, in rotation.  The reason I like them so much is the sense of direction they give.  They don’t have to be big since little reachable targets can build slowly towards the big ones but big glorious ones are lovely to have.  They give you that sense of extra drive, like how amazing it would be to get there.

     Every massive thing started small.  There is the “journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” cliche, which is true but maybe overheard.  I like the story behind Lord of the Rings.  How did that colossus of books and films start?

     It began with a young soldier in the trenches of World War I and a notebook.  That’s it.  One young Englishman jotting down the next idea, maybe playing off of what he last thought.

      That’s the idea right there.  You get an idea of what you want to see, even from the impossibly of your trench, and each day make those steps towards it.  Anything you do counts for something here.  There’s no real pressure here either because any focus on the goal is better than nothing.  Any screw up just tells you “what isn’t the sculpture” in the rock.  Your focus sharpens.  You start getting the picture clearer.  Even if it’s going out for a catalog at the Ferrari dealership.  You have to know what your buying. 

If you want that, naturally.  What do you see?

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