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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Care for the Soul

Been a while! Part of the reason for that is what leads sort of into this morning’s blog post idea.

The idea you don’t have to take it all on.

There’s this thing going around that those who don’t jump on the comment section bandwagon have their head in the sand or some other failing. Ironically this rant on Twitter, that one on YouTube and the third on that new social media thing that was just introduced yesterday is probably not going to change your life.

There’s connections to be made out there certainly, and there’s things I’m doing now that come from those connections but there is without question a toxic element at play. Ever had a difficult meeting? Do you have to now live one?

If you want to get involved in a cause, you may be able to get stuck into it physically and it will definitely feel more effective. There are people struggling not far from you and of everyone looks after the less fortunate near them, well the potential here is self explanatory. I’m not saying let’s not care about those abroad. You can certainly do that too (many join things like the http://peacecorps.gov which very much still exist)

Look into local soup kitchens, outreach centers or other volunteer opportunities to make life better for those struggling just down the road from you now. If you want to make the world better you can a) try to affect how you listen to others, empathize and make time for them in your own life or b) go to where the problem is and try to help in physical terms. Neither are easy but both are very much needed.

Problem with comment sections is essentially trolls and negativity. You might enter a situation because you care or feel compelled but then that stuff kicks in, and you walk away just feeling frustrated. The people in need are barely effected. Remember the ice bucket challenge? Barely, huh? It was about spinal cord research which is a lie, it was about Als but you might have gone on with that for a second as it’s been so long that like me as I was writing this could barely remember. Now how effective was that and that, for social media, was a major event.

My plan is to cut my social media activity down by dropping the primary ones of my phone, and leaving them on my tablet which stays home. I genuinely like the creativity of some of it so if I see something I want to do it can still happen, but I’d rather live my life in the right now than this thing which is blowing “TV Generation” right out of the building.

Am I saying ignore the world? No, but bear in mind that too much of this is designed to crank up your emotions in the first place. They did it with the newspapers, the nightly news, commercials and now right here in your hand on something that makes you feel guilty for turning away.

There is beauty, love and joy in the world. It is there. It’s not all ____________ <- fill in what political or otherwise bugaboo that first springs to your mind.

I’ve actually started, and this is a grear part of Care for the Soul, listening to this that make me happy, or make me laugh. Part of my work work is very dull, repetitive and alone (which I appreciate is quasi-unique) so instead of NPR political shows all the time I’ve started finding audio of things like British comedies. Now they really shouldn’t be on media platforms (my official statement, it’s fine, grab what you can before it’s taken down) but see what you can legally get on your device that reminds you of gentler times, makes you so happy it is physical. You need this. We all need this. You can’t treat others with life-affirming compassion at the same level as you can when you don’t feel it.

John on the use of the word “Snowflake”

We need to feel connected to the others around us, not like we have to battle them every step of the way.

Life can be great fun.

Much like…..

Today’s album choice which is Kings of Convenience. I’ve chosen Quiet is the new Loud (which isn’t one file, my apologies) as it includes some of my absolute favorites including “Summer on the Westhill” which…well, it was once said that describing something beautiful like a sunset or art is a place where you shouldn’t so I won’t.

Enjoy this adventure for the soul by clicking here! 😊

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

Have your cake on Live.Me!

Have you been on Live.me yet? Now I can’t claim that the app will provide the cake pictured (now that would be an app I’d like! 🎂😋)…but it’s still lots of fun and you can actually profit from it too.

I use android so I got it on playstore, but with some help from a regular named “Irish Bear Fan” both Cece and I have gotten started and it’s great. I am up there as 🎩TheRambles🎸 playing music (so check that out if you’re on) but instead of actually broadcasting I was watching an amazing guitarist and singer called NessaDove who you can find on Instagram playing right now and it was cool! Broadcasting from New York city, she jammed and talked to everyone, inspiring people and talking to other musicians…including what’s called “beaming” (sounds like a SpaceBalls reference) where you can have people guest from there device on your broadcast. So she had someone else jam as well and talked. Its cool that way because then you don’t have to communicate just through the medium of a texted response and of course its makes it more interesting for the viewers.

And if you like you can like, share, follow and even send coin gifts which build up and can literally turn into money in your paypal account. But there’s so much fun to be had and games and things that it’s worth it even if you dont rake it in, and for musicians like me you can perform from your home and that ia such a great way to up your game.

Or eat cake. Both are good. 🎂

😋

Cheers!

Tom

Right here and now

Bit of a different situation this morning has me here actually doing morning writing which hasn’t happened in a year or so.

It was the same thing that spurred on the first filmed script I ever did. It’s basically how I am. I don’t really relax that much when I know there’s still things I could do or I want to do.

After things happened a year ago I moved heavily towards music. In truth both things are always and have always been there. I just swung the creative pendulum hard. It is sort of fair as my band is literally the longest running job I’ve ever had and there has been other musical successes along the way (which helps me end the long running question of “I don’t know, am I meant to do this” amongst other reasons. Trust me this has been heavily considered, both from without and from within.)

Presently, along with trying to push my work with Cookeilidh to a new level I have the goal of compiling a cd of my own recordings. I have been writing and trying these newer songs out on Soundcloud/Instagram. My principle inspiration came from the story behind the music of Low Roar, who reputedly wrote a song a day for ages. With everything else that’s pretty out of my range but I have held to at least one new one per week since last year, some of which still haven’t been on social media for different reasons. Others aren’t born yet, and are still in note form.

I’d like to get back to writing again, perhaps in a new partnership process but this is exactly the thing. My way of working was very specific back then and now it’s finding a new way. Velios was part of that exploration process, despite it’s flaws. I dont have the glacial patience for writing novels like I used to. I wrote a book back in my late 20s (not published) and it was such an albatross its just put away. It’s the time it takes, and when I say that, I mean the loss of time if you’ve spent months or years only to find it’s a dud. In film or music you can sniff out a dud in under a day. Films start with the pitch process, music with the first take. Let it sit and look again. Very easy in fiction to make it more complex that a show which has to be a simple episodic product. Or maybe I’m wrote. Just can’t imagine pitching to myself.

We have company over which is why I’m not in our living room, in bed having coffee, which brings me to my rambles as the city of Victoria undoubtably wakes up outside the curtains.

Was thinking I could get back into those blog a day things you find as they were fun. I mean, i dont exactly wake up and immediately snap my headphones on every day so it’s not impossible. That and morning pages which this post virtually is now. Not in the purest sense of course as morning pages are much less filtered and…ok…one thing I find annoying is that I was told morning pages have to absolutely the first thing you do. That first thing tyranny drives me crazy. What doesn’t vie for that morning pole position anyways?

Seems like a good spot to finish.

Can’t drink my coffee when I want to also stretch my legs into the cooler parts of the blanket.

😀

Tom

Get visable!

Friendly group of people waving to you

 

Can people find you?  Imagine getting an online readership of over 25k!

One of the things I have been working on this morning, due to the fact that I am now full time self employed, is the whole world of self promotion.  This of course takes a myriad of forms, but what’s interesting is how there are bloggers out there that make over 25k in just WordPress followers.  That number is amazing and from what I’ve seen it isn’t entirely impossible to do.

Here’s one link to kind of wet your appetite, or maybe even give you some immediate insights with identifying your target audience…

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fonecoolsite.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F09%2F01%2Fhow-to-identify-your-blogs-target-audience%2F&h=OAQEr84G-

That said, I have been working with a number of newer companies and artists over the past few years and one thing that I find myself saying all too often is…

“Ahh!  What are they doing!?  I’m really looking for them and I can’t find them!  If I can’t find them, how can there be an audience!?”

This is not a place I think you want to be.

The Social Media creator pitch

(I don’t know about you but I hate those posts out there that lead you down a garden path and then after hours of your time hit you with “I can tell you for only 49.95!”  Ugh.  So here we go…)

I am absolutely happy to help anyone set up there social media platforms for a competitive cost.  I am not a massive Html and Java slinging pro designer who worked for Apple or Google any time recently so my costs for this would be relatively low.

However I have had success in my work, and I can easily assist someone outside of the Greater Victoria Area as well, but it will take some emailing back and forth to set up things such as a Twitter platform which typically requires a text message conformation from a unique phone number (your cell).  This is because, well, I can’t afford to buy dozens of cellphones.

The nice thing about me doing it for you is that you can get on with what you do and leave the social media setup to me.  As an example, I set up the entire http://www.westsoundmag.com campaign of website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and email all in about three hours with images and content.  Some of it was from the back of a friend’s car.

My background with all this came slowly, starting with my earliest music projects and just running around with posters.  Posters are still in my world, but we have other people who do that sort of thing these days.  Still, the basic advertising theory is essentially the same.

A show, an event or whatever that’s going on in real time isn’t about the show in itself.  Any event is a reason to put the name out!  With something coming you have suddenly a great reason to advertise the name and then it becomes about repetition.  They say it takes about five years to really lock down a brand in people’s minds.  You don’t expect anyone is going to see your poster, or whatever and suddenly take out a notepad and start jotting things down.  It’s all about seeing that name one more time so that they later on say “Oh yeah!  I’ve heard of them!”  We move towards what is familiar.  Familiar seems way more reliable and enticing then “Never heard of those guys.”

Hiring me or not is totally up to you and your project, but the main thing is to make yourself visible.  Everything is converting to online activity.  Despite all this tech I’m older than I look, and I have had younger folks ask if I dyed my hair this way (It’s grey).  I remember when if you wanted to seem like someone who puts in initiative for work, you would show up with a resume in a shirt and tie.  I have been informed more recently that no one wants you to do that.  They prefer emails.

Emails!?  What a different world this is!  I can distinctly remember a friend in the nineties saying how if a resume and cover letter were faxed they would throw them to the, let’ just call it, “less interested” pile as fax=lazy!

But that’s the thing, and it covers everything these days.  If you want to find the next bus do you use the bus schedule book?  No.  You google the location and it tells all.  Order pizza?  I don’t even know where my classic phone book is right now.  I use the Yelp or Zomato App.

The point of this side trip in the direction of memory lane is that if your product can’t be found online, your product has a problem.  You don’t want to spam people as that has a reverse effect of course, but you do need to at least get visible.

You know what the last thing most people will use their smartphone’s for these days?

As phones.

Telling someone to just give you a call might just have you sitting there listening to your Hootie and The Blowfish album, and that’s about it.

Cheers,

Tom

The world of waiting

image

I like the quote that Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode used to talk about the years he had already worked in the music business.   He got the quote from Keith Richards originally but I don’t think it’s only true for rock stars…

“It’s five years of work and the rest is waiting.”

We wait so much of our lives and you just know for a fact that there is…oh lots more to go.  As I write this (originally) I’m early for work and so I’m simply waiting as well.  Some folks naturally don’t like to wait.  I probably don’t much of the time as well as there is lots of things to do with creative work where it’s not one event after another.  So much of what I do is scheduling (as my many employers can understandably talk about) and that naturally leads to those in between times when you are simply waiting on the green light to get going.  But since we know that the waiting is going to happen I think that it’s almost empowering.
I mean, we now have these sometimes leash like mobile devices and if you “do social media” that is certainly one way to use up that time when we line up for a ticket, a coffee, purchasing a new shirt but there also just that opportunity to be more present in the moment.

This is one thing that is great about kids.  They are utterly self aware and in the moment.  They notice everything, and as we know, they are only too ready to tell you about it.  Ok, this shouldn’t be confused with patience as spending any time at a religious (or otherwise) service can tell you but that’s just because they have been told to quell their natural exuberance.  But as a busker, kids are awesome because they will often halt their parents who are cannoning from one very important thing to the next very important thing to pull at mom’s coat and exclaim…

“Mommy!  Look!  Guitar!”

I owe their union a lot of money for this.  It’s about being relaxed that things will work out and just setting off early so you’re not late.  Don’t line up if you can’t.   Don’t take on more than you can.  You don’t need to be perfect.  You’ll have plenty of time to wait tomorrow too.

But then I’m probably just an early bird.  Victoria is wonderful first thing in the early morning.  Give yourself the time to enjoy those little details of her city because there is lots of them.  That’s actually one thing I’ve really enjoyed about working on my own twitter and my project accounts…when reaching out to the city to tell everybody that we are here I’ve learned how much is really going on that you can get involved in.  This city was founded on a Gold Rush and a sudden influx of people from all over the globe.  With a background like that set on the Pacific Coast there is always another thing to see.  So step out of your own blinders when you have no option but to wait.  You could be surprised to find out where your really standing.

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