Read the World

What is really happening around you? The truth is that there are numerous things that we don’t know about and couldn’t know, because we all have our own personal stories.

Consider how many stories that is, around the world, every single day.

Now I am not a voracious reader, no way as much as I’d like to be, so I tend towards piling on the audiobooks. These days, one of the benefits to smartphones is the ability to get audiobooks and books on demand. Between Hoopla (free library) and Audible (Not free but expanded) you can easy learn about every corner of the world.

Here is a direct screenshot from my device, no b.s. of the book that got me fascinated about the subject of North Korea back in December of 2016…

Later on I actually took out the following hardcover book from the Greater Victoria Public Library which may be available in your area as well.

On the same subject this book is amazing, written by an author still residing in North Korea who goes under the pen name “Bandi” which means firefly in Korean. Suffice to say he had the book smuggled out miraculously and cannot dare reveal his name.

When it came to my study of the broad subject of First Nations, well the first thing I learned straight away that can’t be one subject as it’s a bit like “ok, learn everything there is to know about the history of Europe”, so I narrowed my focus to then Coast Salish (and even that is far too vast, so I tried to focus on this area).

Of the many I read, this one stood out with it’s honest accounts of local history.

There is also an amazing dissertation by Allis Pakki Chipps-Sawyer called “Standing on the Edge of Yesterday” which you can pull down from Google as a PDF that explains so much about what is misunderstood about Coast Salish culture.

My mom got me reading a book ages ago from a middle eastern writer, who’s name sadly escapes me (gotta ask her on Monday) but here’s one that is totally worth getting however you can..

Set around the period of the Iraq war the protagonist is an American Iraqi woman who is trying to help her family and community, falling into questions of loyalty when things are seen from their perspective.

Now it is no coincidence that I picked three groups of people who have been seen as “other”. From my own experience with studying Native culture (and more) for writing, and just learning in life, when you are brought into a conversation things suddenly become clear.

The idea for this was me and a friend on Facebook talking about violence, both agreeing that noone should hit anyone. From my love of true to life things like the BBC’s The Office or NBC’s Parks and Recreation the idea of violence is uncool, pathetic and even just embarrassing.

As a human species is was not our ability to physically fight that kept us alive, it was our ability to plan and create cooperation.

A lot of violence, and the worst tends to come from faith reasons, which is how it becomes so deep set. As someone raised Catholic but a woman who would have been a nun if it wasn’t for his Dad (no kidding, mom was head of the British Columbia Secular Franciscans for years) I utterly disagree with the idea that God or any deity needs our help in enforcement.

100000000 Arnold Schwarzeneggers would be nothing compared to your supreme beings ability to snap his/her feelings and instantly fell your foe, so why does he need your help for that?

He does need your help to spread his love.

Ooh and in researching this I can a blog by a lady who has read way more than me (not hard to find)

Here’s the cover for it with the link below…

World Tale-Away challenge

Oh yeah and the music for reading, blogging and totally chilling comes from this favorite. Now I have listened to Tycho – Dive before but here’s their album from two years later called awake. Sort of reminds me of Groove Armada and Air so if you want great working ambient sound you’re good to go.

Tycho – Awake




P.S. checked with Mom and it was called Bread of Angels by Stephanie Saldana

Can You Relate?

“You make yourself happy by making the other person happy” Alec Calendar

When it comes to quotes, I certainly know there are more famous ones, but I like that for it’s ramifications when you spin it out.

This works in any relationship from the macro of a couple to as large as between sides. I don’t believe you get away with letting waves of anger out. It troubles you and even if you’re in the right it’s a mess. I’ve been on both sides of the counter when someone starts blasting some employee for not being flawless. What’s interesting about this is that it only ever has the opposite desired effect. You more horrible energy you inject into the situation, the more impossible it gets to the point that you know the employee could not spell their own name, or the word “the”.

I have two self created quotes, which means that I believe them, made them and am pretty sure that I am right about it.

1) Nothing is simple

2) For every attack is a defense.

I don’t know how amazing these are or even if they are completely mine (don’t actually care about that bit, I more want to get the old man point across)

With the first, things are more complex that we may may realize. I firmly do not believe that there is bad people over there and good people over in some other direction. That is cartoon world thinking. Everything is far more complex than that. It reminds me of a lady talking about working with the mob. The men where the most soft spoken, polite and friendly she ever met with lines like “hey, don’t use bad language in front of the ladies.”. But as soon as “business” was on the table, then it was like they switched into that role, like an iron mask came down. You cannot see inside someone’s soul, no matter if you believe in Judeo-Christian beliefs or what have you.

“Even the very wise can not see all ends” Gandalf the Grey

My Mom would love this, because I’ve been more recently learning about St. Francis of Assisi who saw everyone from a worm to a king as both equal and a brother or sister, with no judgement. To him (and of course being of his religion) there was only one judge.

Now of course this thinking is way easier said than done. Here in Victoria we have struggles with poverty, homelessness and addiction. It’s very easy to sound like something between Dickens and a 60s song until you have to work in range of an outreach center where the unpredictability of some folks can be unnerving. I grew up in a quiet Canadian suburb in the 80s. I like where I live to be just boring as hell. I think most people would sleep better if their surroundings looked as quiet as Hobbiton on a Sunday evening. But we aren’t mean, nasty or evil for feeling that. That’s because the mess of humanity is not simplistic.

For every attack is a defense. I came up with this about Ollie and Emma, the TV show I cowrote back in the day.

Click here to see the show

It was sort of an idea about bringing people into another culture or an idea, by making them feel welcome and not blaming them for what’s been before.

I genuinely don’t believe anyone has ever been abusive, aggressive or confrontational with another that caused the other to think “oh, I wonder if they are right?”

I genuinely believe that you could have an enemy down under you about to slip into eternity and they won’t think that either. Their last words will simply be damning you.

And I’d say that last one is pretty much the most assertive argument.

I’m not saying you can’t argue. Debate and working things out is a human gift. One of my favorite scenes is between Robin Williams and another professor in Dead Poets Society

where they don’t agree and have a debate on the true value of poetry in academic setting. They finish their debate and are both smiling as they eat next to each other. It’s about the debate, not personal. It’s about being able to discuss something, even passionately without thinking your opponent is somehow evil or suspect. You have more ability to argue effectively if you know why the other person’s view is occurring, not just that it is.

I remember when someone tried to explain to me that my choice of music was “bad” and they made a mix cassette of what I “should” listen to.

On the way home I was so annoyed I threw the tape and broke it.

Years later another friend put a CD in front of me at work and went “You might like that”

That CD became an instant favorite.

One is an attack, the other let me discover truth for myself.

When it came to understanding my girlfriend’s First Nations culture, (not that I now see myself as some expert because I certainly do not, but…) it wasn’t because someone “put it on me”. It was because I was welcomed in by families and it just naturally led me to want to know, to ask the questions and make those distinctions for myself. It’s like when I learn music. If I read it or it’s told to me I might eventually memorize it, but If I learned it by ear and made physical notes, it will be down for months to come.

Have an awesome day.




PS Title comes from this awesome song by Richard Fahl. I mentioned him in my old Westsound Magazine project and this tune is a smooth acoustic favorite. Click and chill 😉

Can You Really Relate?

One World Playlist


This is something I’ve just started playing with, along with my more localized Westsound Magazine project.  It came from listening to some Coast Salish drumming on YouTube which lead me to this really interesting Coast Salish Suite produced by Bravo Fact.  In the video you hear a mix of First Nations music with a full orchestra, resolving with the work of the conductor.

From being a fan of music and watching those giant crowds of people to my own experiences playing before crowds, I can tell you that there is definitely something going on under the surface of our songs.

From the simple power of an drum song to gatherings of music across the world something connects straight into us.  Its like synchronicity.  Or that could be me just being a Police fan.

Anyways, I already had a SoundCloud channel, so I started putting together a playlist of music from around the world.

It isn’t finished (in fact I don’t think it logically could ever truly be) but it’s got eleven already, mixing some traditional music with some more contemporary.

Have a listen!