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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

To Hear (and Communicate) Or Not To Hear...

      You know The Drill. "Could everybody please take the time to turn off ALL of your Portable Devices..." and of course almost inevitably, one of those 'portable devices' goes off, whether it be in the Movie Theater or Church. In Church, my Minister usually makes a joke of it. In a recent showing of an art film about an 18th Century Painter, the interruption came to blows and mace sprayed. And both of the offending Parties being dragged out of the theater by the Police.
Our love affair with or 'portable devices,' whether they be phones, tablets or laptops,  most of Society forgets was not there but for a short while ago. Prior to this Century, the practicality of the mobile device (except the laptop and modern web-enabled cell) was still in the realm of science fiction (thank You Gene Roddenberry, who envisioned the tablet back in 1963 -- what became the "DataPad" in Star Trek). For that matter, the idea of the Internet and its various modern applications was only science fiction until late in the last century.
God forbid I get one of my friends back East any where near the topic of "kids these days." Many of us who use that phrase now, used to groan when hearing it used with us. But now, it centers around the ever present and habitual (need I say, addicted?) use of the cell phone. The issue of texting however, is not quite the same as the issue of having long hair (unless you work in a factory). She rails against the over usage by teens and twenty-somethings (occasionally extending to the 'below 40 set in it's entirety) and their pre-occupation with texting.
This is kind of the be-all/end all of issues for her. She can't stand going into a store and finding the service employees busier with their phones than with her, the Customer. I have even witnessed two girls having a conversation via text, one of them laughing at what she reads and the other one smiling and texting the comeback. This seems a bit obsessive even to me, but Im guessing that allows them the 'privacy' (they think, although some computer is parsing their 'lol's' and other 'deep conversation' somewhere) to say whatever they think (OMG lol!)
On the negative side, 'Real Communication is dead,' the belief goes, and unfortunately, that's probably true for many. Gossip is the 'deep conversation' of the day, not any real in-depth discussion. This is indeed the 'bad side' of it.
On the good side, there are leaps in technology being done that can move us forward, despite all the other stuff (entertainment, the true opiate of the masses) and truncated thought (OMG). The Vision of Roddenberry and other Science Fiction authors and visionaries is taking us to new heights as far as what we can do with technology. This should lead to innovation (and not just in the entertainment area of life) and breakthroughs that all but the most visionary can see. 
Warp Drive, Teleportation and other previous staples of Science 'Fiction' that were once laughed at, may soon be on our tablet of knowledge, no longer tabula rasa or fantasy. What we do with it as a Race (the Human Race here, since in the end there are no individual 'races' as was once believed), is still a question up for grab. Will we use it to grow? Or to continue to sink into the mire of time- and potential-wasting activities? ONly the true Visionaries know for sure.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quantum Flux and the Nature of “Reality”

Like the old Robin Williams quote, “Reality… What a Concept!”

In our society, there is this concept called REALITY. Except the more science learns about this World, the concept of this thing called “reality” keeps getting called into smaller and smaller bits (quanta is the term if you will). According to the most cutting edge science, “reality” is more and more the Illusion/Maya of the Ancients (who of course knew a lot more on more subtle levels than Modern Man thought they did).

In “reality” there isn’t One Reality to Rule them all, but some Seven Billion Realities happening every second (or even more frequent) every second of every day.  If many of those who are fiercely fighting tooth and nail against any kind of ‘change’ much less “CHANGE” were to realize this, the quanta would hit the fan.

In my ‘reality,’ there is this thing popularly called ADD, and it’s partner/sister diagnosis ADHD. It’s a condition that more and more of our society are becoming subject to (and those mentioned above are railing at the concept of). It’s (depending on the persons and their politics involved) ‘the Government,’ or ‘The Psychiatric Establishment/Drug companies (/conspiracy),’ or, the really popular opinion, ‘just plain bunk.’

In other words… No One Knows. In my knowing, it is a very real set of conditions. But back to that concept of “reality.”

In each of our lives, in every second of every day, we are being bombarded by sensory input or stimuli. It comes in the form (for most) of the Five Senses. We are bombarded by touch, feel (heat, pressure, etc), sight, sound and to a lesser extent (for most of us – the real Foodies excepted here), taste.

In My Reality, ADD is not a ‘can’t pay attention to anything’ condition, but a ‘pays attention to EVERYTHING’ one. I (and all of you Others like me), did not receive the neural chemistry to block out external stimuli to a sufficient extent that we can focus on ‘only one thing.’ This is most often what leads to that other associated condition (to a greater or lesser extent) called Creativity. The Creative takes in external stimuli and outputs Art (or Dance, or…). Paying Attention to Everything is the central core of the Creative. The Creative takes All of the stimuli and coalesces it into their interpretation of ‘reality.’ In ‘reality’ Van Gogh probably did see the “Starry Night” as he painted it. Which brings me to…

In the Greater Reality, there is not just the physical Illusion of ‘reality’ but also the Energy that Created it. That takes ADD to a whole ‘nother level of complication in the already complicated mess of stimuli. For those of us who are even less able to block out External (and internal) stimuli, the constant flow of Energy on the Meta-Physical level ADD’s to what we’re already receiving.

In my head, I hear all of the objections from those of you who think this is careened into Extreme Woo Woo territory, but a number of those probably stopped reading after the Robin Williams quote (if they even decided to come and read this in the first place. And further into the Woo Woo is that I ‘feel’ many of those thoughts in the day to day moving through and amongst the Rest of Humanity.

In conclusion, (everyone giving a ‘lecture’ always says that)… I experience what most people experience, but manage to block out – through daily rituals like going to work and eating at usually highly specific time, watching TV/films and listening to music. You block the Madness out because you can. I can’t. For me, it comes out in Creativity and the constant influx of Ideas BIG and small. It’s always been like this. I work on one Idea and then another one comes crashing/barging into my consciousness in the next instant. This is why the Daily Rituals and I don’t really work. And it makes it hard for me to find someone else who is both similar to/but different enough to make a relationship work with.

In the end, it’s not that I ‘can’t pay attention to anything,’ I’m always paying attention to, and developing/creating Art, from that Everything. It’s not that I ‘can’t focus on one thing and do that well’ as I have Creations in just about every creative form that I can. Some call that “Genius,” others call it “Madness,” and still others call it ‘just an excuse.’ You should be so unlucky.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Vanity- vs. Self-Publishing

Two points: Vanity Publishing is just that -- Vanity. Self-Publishing is for those of us who need to publish crafted, polished work that is out of the Publishing Mill (not mass market material).

I am currently adapting a 'novel' into a script. It was 'published' because he could, through one of the legitimate 'vanity' options, Creataspace (self pub arm of Amazon). That said, it is a rough piece of work. He didn't pay to have it edited, and so it is largely unreadable. I am trudging through it because he is the son of a (now gone) friend who helped me in the past.

On the other side is Self-Publishing. That is what I am currently undertaking to do. For that/ towards that end, I have created my own literary imprint (taking the steps to insure that it is as professional as I can make it). I have designed my own Cover (because I am also a fine artist). I laid the interior out being a former graphic artist. I am needing editing because a professional friend says it needs it. My Friends' son did not pay to have it either professionally laid out or edited, therefore it is not going to be 'sell-able' for the near term future.

This is the pit of Vanity Publishing. You can pay to have your 'book' made into a very nice looking book. But as the old saying "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" comes to mind. Vanity P goes to the 'my story is fantastic, and it's gonna sell a whole lotta copies' person. Everybody has a story to tell, but does it reach beyond their personal world to universal themes? And can they write? This last one is a big one. The Writers Guild of America Registration office is full of 'scripts' better used as doorstops. Poorly written, conceived and executed. The Vanity Presses attract the same 'quality.'

I've been writing for thirty (well, if I consider my first 'short story' **much** longer than that) and have written several thousand pages, and not a couple of hundred, and my work still needs editing. Most Vanity Publishers are not going to go to that extent because... They're not professional writers. They're just a Schmo with a Sto(rey). Interesting to friends and family (my friend's book has sold all of four copies -- one of those to me for adapting purposes), but to very few others. Most people can't discern if their writing is good. There but for Vanity go they...

That said, "Chicken Soup" and "Conversations with God" were both self-published. We all know how that went. Hard work and extra-ordinary material from professionals found their respective markets and were then picked up by traditional publishing houses -- the Dream for all Writers in Self Publishing (when our books are professionally done and contain striking, and not overly familiar, content. I present to you... Self-Publishing.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s… Chemtrails!

It was once again a characteristically Cali Blue Sky for a few days after rain and clouds, and… oops! No more blue skies! It's ChemTrail Time! It's Time once again to muck with The Environment that is already on the verge of catastrophic change to make it even worse!

Lately there hasn’t been more than a single day or two that seems to go by where what appears to be one of those crisp, clear, preternaturally blue skies of the proverbial sunny Southern California days of yore that isn’t any more. ‘All of a sudden’ those storied skies are again marred by ‘clouds’ appearing once more, like white-smokey gouges that begin expanding almost as soon as they are plowed there. These aren’t your average clouds though, but the criss-crossed markings of the so-called “condensation trails” of ‘passing planes’ (which just happen to begin making serious, giant X’s in the sky and not the parallel trails indicating East West vectored flight paths). These are seriously man-made attempts at weather manipulation, which have been denied and dis-informed as to their nature.
No, this isn’t a situation of random ‘passing planes.’ And these days they don’t even bother making cursory attempts to hide the obviously man-made quality of the patterning of these soon to be Mid-Western States thunderheads. These are no longer ‘conspiracy theories,’ but scientific facts.

Once upon a time, the Film Industry began here in Los Angeles because of those Blue Skies being clear about 320 days out of the 365 day year. This allowed this burgeoning new Industry to take advantage of the clear and dry conditions of the desert that is LA, and enabled them to make those sprawling epics from the last century (from the ever popular ‘Sword and Sandal’ Biblical ones to the Big Sky Westerns) without the use of lighting. Along with the huge cameras of the time, the high, cloudless skies made them quick and cheap so that the Studios could afford those Casts of Thousands.
That window of clear blue skies is now down to about 260 days a year and falling in number. It is, yes in part, attributable to the changing weather patterns arising out of both Global Warming and the melting of the Polar Ice Caps. That combination of drastically unpredictable pressure systems and the icy melt flowing further and further down the West Coast into the warmer Cross Pacific currents has created the phenomena of the (so called) “Marine Layer” which used to be a feature of the weather change of May into June previously known as the “June Gloom.”
What was once a fairly clear Rainy Season (along with the tinder dry Fire Season) is now getting mixed into the remainder of the year. The worst-case scenario of this happened a couple of years ago when the Coastal areas of Santa Monica and Venice were largely under clouds for several months straight.

Have you ever wondered why, with the full spectrum of modern technological instruments that Meteorologists have at their disposal, that they still can’t accurately predict the weather? A friend of mine from DC used to say “Gee, I wish I could get paid to do a job where I’m wrong 80% of the time.”
‘Complex Variables’ become complex (and often contradictory) consequences, which even the (‘Accutrack Weather‘ to the contrary) radar systems can’t detect. Weather mapping is still an art however. Air patterns and systems of High and Low pressure are still largely unpredictable things, and they can change in an instant. This is why the predictability factor is rather low. If you add other unstable elements (like, say, condensation trails with various other chemical components to create cloud formations), that predictability drops even further.
The concept of Cloud Seeding (the sprinkling of higher elevation clouds with Sodium Hydrochloride to promote condensation and precipitation) has been around since the 1950’s. It was largely discredited due to the (yes) unpredictable nature of the results.
With Hurricane Sandy a not too distantly past memory, even the most hardened skeptics of the idea of Global Climate Change are beginning to change their opinion. It’s as if the practice of Chemtrails (again under the most benign reading of this practice) is happening to try and redress the coming crisis.
With clear Contrails (the name for what they say is the cause of ‘condensation trails’ – ice crystals forming from the exhaust of aircraft engines at high altitudes), it was finally admitted several years ago that this was the cause of the striated clouds known as Stratus Clouds, that then expand into the larger cloud formations eventually forming Cumulo Nimbus (or Thunderheads). At last! A Scientific Breakthrough!
So this practice may be a way to cool down the atmosphere and prevent Global Warming (which once that process started in full force cause the Ice Caps to melt and throw that condensation into the atmosphere creating the opposite seeming major storms of recent years, etc., etc.), but is having the opposite effect of creating the Superstorm  (or ‘Frankenstorm’) like Sandy.
Even attributing this to a best-case scenario practice still represents a threat, however beneficent their motives might be deemed to be. All of this is pointing in my mind (Conspiracy Theory!) to the idea that Scientific Experiments are being done to influence the weather; and experiments of this sort tend to have nasty unintended consequences.

Under the worst case scenario however (the most evil of conspiracy theories)…
There have been ‘Scientific experiments’ done in secret by our Government for the supposed intent of furthering ‘understanding and scientific advancement’ for the ‘Good of All Mankind.’ That these ‘experiments’ have largely been done on ‘unacceptable peoples’ (read: Minorities) has long been an (up until recently) set of Government Secrets that lay in the realm of unconfirmed Conspiracy Theories.
From The Tuskegee Experiments of inflicting syphilis on African American Men, to the use of radioactive isotopes on Black and Native American populations (and I won’t even get into the eugenics experimentation on these peoples) especially pregnant Women, these ‘experiments’ rival those of the Nazi’s who ‘experimented’ on the Jews, Gypsies ‘Homosexuals’ and other ‘sub-human specimens’ during World War II. The US Government (which using the protocol known as “Project Paper Clip” to ‘import’ these very same German scientists into the US secretly after WWII ended) hasn’t stop there though.
Back in the 1960’s, the Department of Defense (then known as “The Department of War”) was regularly conducting experiments on the general population at large, with such ‘experiments’ as gassing the San Francisco Bay area with various Influenza strains, just to see how a broad spectrum of Americans would react to the various virus.’ This in addition to the Atomic Bomb tests in New Mexico where the Government ‘failed to evacuate’ Civilians downwind of the Alamagordo Test Site where the various above ground weapons tests took place.

So to say that Chemtrails is just the fevered imagination of ‘nut case Conspiracy Theorists’ is beyond reason. ‘Our Government’ has exercised similar options in the past, so it’s not without reason that they somehow didn’t magically stop this practice because of past experiments on the US Population. There is an extensive history (garnered through the Freedom of Information Act filings) of such ‘governmental experiments’ of mild to heinous nature being done ‘on our behalf.’
While I was still living in the suburbs of Washington, DC about ten year ago, I caught a glimpse of what I thought was skywriting in the air above me. I stopped and took out my camera and watched it slowly unfold. At first a circle was formed and I thought that was gong to be it and almost turned away. Then I saw the white returning -- from another direction -- and make a stroke through that circle. Quickly snapping a picture, I watched in amazement as a Null Sign was finished there. No random marks in the sky to be discounted under any circumstance this. I waited for more to be written on the sky, but nothing more happened.
What could possibly be the explanation for such a 'random occurance' like this? I'll never know. But I still have that slide.
The question I would pose is, how many more Sandy’s will there need to be before the question of whether Chemtrails are real and factual is accepted and this practice is put to a stop? Do we really need to see weather conditions similar to those shown in the modern epic “The Day After Tomorrow” before we acknowledge that it’s time for massive change on the ground here, and not in the skies?
We have no way to stop it.

Finding “The One”

I still hear people (ok, women mainly) talking about finding “The One” in a relationship sense, and that somehow they will ‘know’ “The One” (or he will them) by instinct. Perhaps when you really are standing in front of “The One” you will know, I want to tell them, but it hasn’t happened to me. Yet.
Now I’ve thought that I had found The One before, several times. Yes. Well, no, I didn’t. Obviously, I’m still single (or rather, single after I thought I’d… Well, you know).
The ‘magical thinking’ is, Once I’ve found The One, all will be well, for the rest of our lives together. It’ll be perfect bliss, and we’ll never look at another person (other than The One) ever again. Perfection, and then ‘happily ever after.’ That’s what we’ve been programmed for. Right?
And then, a few years ago I was introduced to another version of The One. I would go through a lot of other The Ones’ to find out I didn’t know who The One was supposed to be. In other words, all the ‘small stuff’ would have been taken care of and it was time for the ‘Large Stuff’ to hit the fan. You would know you had met The One because… Well, because The Stuff was hitting The Fan.
When I met The Woman who was to become Wife Number One, I had heard about her from the woman I was living with at the time (an Ex who was ‘just’ a friend at that time). I knew a lot about This Woman, and then I heard her drive up in her van and went out to meet her. She had turned off the Van and was sitting there listening to Our Favorite Song. Yes, it couldn’t get much more The One-ish than that, right? (“Song to the Last Whale” by CSN)
I ‘knew’ that she was The One (at least for then). We tumbled into a relationship, and then into the ‘deeper commitment,’ and then (a year and a half later) The Divorce. This was The One, Part One.
More than a few years later (and several The One’s later), I met The One, Part Two. I knew she was not the most stable One I had known, (and I had known a few Unstable One’s in between Part One and her, to become Part Two). I knew from the start that there would be more Stuff hitting The Fan, but I fell in love anyway; the whole “Love Conquers All” thing (except that it didn’t).
So when I hear Women talking about The One, I One-der. What do they think The One is going to look like? “Hey Mr. Fantasy/play us a tune…” (once again revealing my age). How many The Ones’ have They been through, I wonder?

Now, please understand, I would love for The One to walk into my life. But based on the model of The One as precursor to The Stuff Hitting The Fan (with the other The One’s I’ve met and fell in love with), I kind of wonder if I should be looking that intently for her. A few years ago, disillusioned in life and love, I began to think in terms of the un-magical thinking of “I’m not looking for Ms. Right, I’m looking for a good fantasy.”
Oh, I still have my fantasies of finding The One, but until she presents herself, I’m working along the lines of looking for The One in the transpersonal sense, and not worrying about the relational sense. Working on working, and finding on the career level allowing me to afford The One on the personal level when I can afford to afford The Luxuries that most Modern Women seem to deem The Requirements of The Relationship of Their Dreams.
Until then, it’s a good thing I have many things on my various to-do lists besides “I Do.” I’ve already been in the Stuff Hitting The Fan phase too many other times. I look around me and see many possibilities for The One, but no One has stepped in front of me with the accompanying Song denoting This Is Her. There are many wonderful Possibilities around me but not, (as of yet), The One. As far as I can see, there is The Work (for now) until given/proven otherwise.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Creativity and Grant Theft Intellectual

I was discussing the shifting paradigm taking place in the computing and Music and Arts Industries with a colleague a couple of weeks ago, and he said that Artists (Musical or otherwise) should have no expectations of receiving compensation for their work these days. We go to a church where “Circulation of Energy” (i.e. money and time) is the order of the day, and that I shouldn’t have this expectation in the coming shift.

This reflects the general opinion of much of the population these days, that anything that can be ripped or downloaded should be free to have, and this idea is especially coming from the minds of teens and twenty-something’s. None of these folks goes into work at a job they have (if they have a job) and on payday tells their Boss, “You know, I love my job so much, you don’t have to pay me. I just love doing it so much!”

Creatives often spend years, or even decades, learning and then crafting their vision to produce the work that other non-Creative minds take for granted. It doesn’t just spring out of the head and onto the page or CD without great effort and sacrifice. For someone to say, ‘Well, it’s there, and it’s there for me to take’ only disrespects the Artist whose work you value enough to take.

In an age where jobs are being outsourced and Corporations are crying poverty -- ‘We Can’t Afford to have Americans make our products. They expect too much in pay and benefits…’ (this from Corporations who also want to sell those very same products to those same un- and under-employed Americans) – those same Corporations are screaming ‘Theft!’ by this population that has incorporated their tactics.

Creative Work of Art, Music and Dance should be compensated for. The greater the Work, the greater we should expect a return for our investment of time and effort to give you any pleasure you get from our work – not just taken for the ability and the technology to do it.

I have been a Visual Artist for decades. I have done close to a thousand images in drawing, painting, multi-media or sculpture. I’ve also shot close to 5000 images with my cameras over that time, creating images and showing life in ways that most people (even Creatives) have not seen it. This took tens of thousands of hours of my time over those decades. If I charge a thousand dollars for a drawing that seem small in comparison to billboards, it reflects that time spent perfecting my craft. And yes, I consider myself a Master in both Drawing and Photography. I expect to be paid for my work and what it reflects of my life and time spent.

A very well dressed Man walked up to me at a gallery opening of mine in the past, and asked me how much time it took to draw an image he was looking at. I made the mistake of telling him how much. When I did, he told me I was asking “too much” for it. He then (apparently calculating that hour to do this image at Mickie D’s wages) told me what he thought it was worth. I was too stunned to tell him what I thought his opinion was worth.

To those who think that because it is on the Web or in Digital format that the work should be free, I say, go back home and let Mommie and Daddy take care of you then. Don’t waste my time/steal my work. If you have nothing to offer anyone else, why should you expect to take what someone else has to offer – for nothing?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Obama and the "Grand Bargain"

I was telling people that, whether you voted for Obama for a second term or not, it was not going to do anything. Well, I was wrong.

With a clear Victory just a few weeks in the past, you'd think that President Obama would finally move forward with all those promises once elected. He has followed in the weeks hence that, with the power of the National Defense Authorization Act which he passed earlier this year, he can "...kill anyone in the world, without even probably cause."

And now, he is set to make what is being called the Grand Bargain with the Republican't's (who, btw, lost in large numbers to Democrats [or as the Un-loyal Opposition calls them I'm sure 'Demon-crats']) is about to strike a bargain (for them, not the rest of us) that will cut the very social services that he swore to protect, and, oh yeah, maintain the Rich's insane tax advantages, rendering the Rest of Us [throwing animal 'left overs' from slaughter houses is called "Rendering' of animals] officially high and dry.

Now, with the NDAA at his disposal, he can 'take out' me for criticizing his administration because of the above statement.

I'll say my adieus now...