Turning and turning in the widening gyre

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

This struck me as I have been looking over all the posts about the growing #Occupy movement. Where there was once simple protest, though intense and with its roughness, the tone seems to be replaced now with something more akin to a battlefield. As much as some demagogues are spinning the protesters as leftist and fringe from the radical left when soldiers are now seen at the front lines, being severely injured no less, this simple branding upon the movement does not hold.
I cannot hope more that the Occupiers continue to be non-violent. Non-Violence, examples can be gleaned from Gandhi’s movement in India against the tyranny of British occupation and Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s,has proven the only cognizant route to make a movement truly work. What becomes troublesome is that they have injured those who have stood on far-flung battlefields, multiple times, and offered up their lives for our country only to return to that same country to see it being torn apart and they themselves attacked.
Scott Olsen served 2 tours in Iraq thankfully unscathed physically to now be laying in a hospital bed from injuries sustained at the hands of one of his own fellow Americans. Irony does not even begin to point at the ludicrous state of things on America’s streets.
Mike Ruppert is not Fringe
He served the LA police force for many years and now succinctly points out the atmosphere of danger police officers are creating when they attack peaceful protesters, especially those who have valiantly served their country in war.
Mike Lofgren is not a NUT He served as a GOP insider for 30 years and now disavow the direction it is leading our country.
Granted and obviously most police officers across our country are doing the job they have pledged to do, which is to protect and serve its citizenry. But the bad apples need to be outed and answer for their actions. The officer who injured Scott Olsen, not sure exactly how it happened but in the video he is standing there in peaceful protest and in the course of roughly 30 seconds he is laying on the ground, mortally injured from what appears to be a flying projectile. Others rush to his aid and a police officer, standing within feet of him throws at least 2 flash bang grenades at those trying to assist him.
This is not acceptable and not the America I want to live in.
In the light of this I have seen reports, not sure if they are confirmed or accurate that some #Occupy protests have been joined by people, some say former troops, armed with AR-15 assault rifles. This is not good and needs to stop right now. This is only creating a situation that the media spinners can look at and immediately brand the movement militant and a threat to national security. Not the direction it needs to go. I abhor violence. Though it is difficult to tell people to stand there and get beaten and not retaliate or at least defend themselves, but this plays right into the hands of those that would like this to escalate so they can send in the storm troopers and stomp people.
Please let the calmer heads prevail. Take the money you have raised and retain a fleet of lawyers to begin prosecuting the bad apples who are being fascists. Do not take the law into your own hands. Protest and change the system from within. The road map is there, the road on it is long, but not insurmountable.

Beethoven did it so what’s your excuse

There has been an interesting thread(s) lately about this generation and its ability to work hard. I first noticed it of course as usual reading Lefsetz but then came across a prime toilet Tome I refer to often called “The War of Art”, and no I did not have a bout with dyslexia or dementia, it is about the internal War within the real Artist.
Basically the thread I have noticed over the internet is that we have a ton of bands out there who assume that just because they make something passable enough to be called music they should immediately be given the proverbial keys to the kingdom, have their meals brought to them on silver platters, and basically have their arses waxed upon demand. This expectation is in light of the hard work that bands of the pass put solely into their art, before there was even PONG to play in an arcade don’t mind mentioning the internet and all the social media that comes with it. Acts used to practice all day, put up flyers, and do whatever they thought it took to get shows and pack them out.
Now the paradigm has shifted to more emphasis being placed on the other and not the actual becoming great artists.
Ok not to toot my own horn but I used to spends days in a row with my guitar strapped to me for like 9-10 hours a day playing and trying to get somewhere. I can remember having rehearsals in the the dead of summer, TN summer mind you, in July in a warehouse with no air conditioner for hours on end.
Do I think kids are any lazier than others. Heck yes and Heck No. They just do not have the artistic examples, whether this is the medias fault for not exposing them, they are lost in the constant bombardment of internet overload, or if they are just not there at the rate they used to be, but we had guitar gods to look up to and emulate. The Occupy Movement alone has shown me that kids are willing to put the time in on something they believe in so I do not doubt for a minute that there are not bands practicing right now and putting in the time.
The idea that flash can overcome substance is not new either. In the 80’s there was a segment of time where if you did not look a certain way you had no chance. Reference Tom Petty’s adventures in Los Angeles for proof.
At the end there is no excuse for not working. I hear many great bands these days and wonder if they are great due to them actually being worth their muster and bluster or if it is because great has now become code word for good in light of the crap floating about.
I do not know and frankly I have to get back to my Twitter account and update a new show we are doing!

Skywalker joins the Darkside!

It happened much by accident. I had called some clubs, as a favor, for some friends in a band and referred to myself as their booking agent for lack of a better word and to give them a frame of reference. They needed a gig in and fast and it was in a tough time table, 3 weeks, which is difficult to pull off when most places book 2-3 months in advance at a minimum. So there it was I was being “the man” a role I have often been asked to play and loath but am very good at. Needless to say I got them booked in a couple of days.
Well then someone else called me simply because of a message I left with one of the clubs. So now I am officially in the game. After passing up countless offers, many realistic, in favor of being an artist I am actually going to start using all the smarts I have gained promoting myself over the last 10 years.
My first goal is to define what I am which is not a publicist, promoter, booking agent, web designer, web promoter, radio promoter, producer, engineer, musician, songwriter, etc. etc. etc. I am all of those and need a name that is better than consultant. I think comprehensive artist development.
I do Comprehensive Artist Development.
I like that

The Past and a Dream

What is the difference in a past memory and a dream? This struck me because I could no more re experience my past than I can a dream. Some might say that because you can video/audio capture reality that it proves it is in fact real. But now scientists are being able to recreate people’s dreams as video, are they any more or less real?
Just some weird stuff floating in my brain this morning

Someone please step up!

The Occupy movement is growing to other cities. I encourage the people who attend these rallies to have coherent talking points in case a microphone is stuck in your face. There are obviously going to be the naysayers but the only way they win with their talk about this being a “communist” movement is if people doing the talking are saying things like “duh I am not really sure why I am here.” Know why you are protesting and be able to plainly state that. Here are some good places to start:
1) Banks are lobbying state’s to gain immunity from prosecution. Attorney Generals in at least 2 states (KY and CA) have begun action to prevent this.
2) Banks received trillions of dollars in relief which were our tax dollars and then went back to business as usual and continued awarding outrageous bonuses to their executives. That was our D&$% money they did that with.
3) The middle class is quickly shrinking in this country. Founding Father’s like James Madison warned against the very thing, concentrated wealth within a small populace, that is happening now and said it would destroy our union.
4) Tell them you want to know where the jobs are. That you don’t want a handout you just want a job!
5) That capitalism is not the problem thievery is and if you steal you have to be held accountable for that. A “FAIR” capitalistic system helps not just the exclusively rich but benefits all people. What we have now is not doing that.

There are a multitude and plethora of other talking points and they are easily discovered if you do your independent research, takes about 30 minutes. What this movement needs is people to coherently step up to the plate and speak truth. Truth is not taxed, bailed out, or stolen, it is what it will always be, truth.

#OccupyWallStreet is no joke

When Bob Bogdal and I came up with the concept of our album Zombie Nation we were reacting to some things that we saw tearing our country and world apart. Now some of the best and brightest of our country are taking their message to the streets! I posted on Twitter the title song to the album which is a commentary of all of this in honor of the brothers and sisters on the street. The response has been phenomenal, which tells me people are interested in this thing. Demand that the mainstream media get off their rear ends and get on this story!
This is a serious matter and those that are drawing attention to the wholesale robbery of our country and how the elite class has bought and sold people’s lives like chattel! They are gaining traction daily and I will keep writing about them and making sure the word keeps getting out. Non violent protest is a major force in our country’s history and now its future. Keep strong all you out there on the street. Keep it positive like you have because the world is watching. Your voices are being heard LOUD AND CLEAR!

Revolutions v. 2.0

V is for Vendetta Baby!
I did not believe that this generation had it in them. (Lord knows mine didn’t, we were the first slackers circa mid 1990’s). I guess when you spend 4-7 years in college, graduate with a pile of debt, and no job you are kind of pushed into a position of protest.
I have watched with rapt attention, read articles, blogs, OP-EDs, looked at cartoons, and caught what tiny bit of coverage the #Occupywallstreet movement is getting on major television news.
Considering that the streets of downtown Manhattan were swollen with people yesterday and that 500 or more were arrested on the Brooklyn bridge I think this is very important news. Why so little coverage? We celebrated and cheered the Arab Spring but what about the American Fall? I am very proud of this generation of young people. I think the powers that be, the real ones, have picked a bad enemy in this generation. They are smart, probably smarter than those they oppose, and obviously dedicated and determined and like what else have they got to do there are no jobs for them. (Note to Corporate Bank villains. If you do not want anarcho youth protesting at your doorway give them a job to go to so they are too busy working to care. hint hint) These are our brightest and best who are willing to exercise the American right to organize and protest and do so with zeal and vigor. I am following the heck out of some of them on Twitter because we need more of this kind of action. Besides I had rather see a bunch of anarchic young folks rally in the streets as opposed to the cast of Golden Girls any day. They are just more fun and edgier.
Keep it non-violent and stay strong there are a lot of us with you.
Shame on you CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and all the others. A woman ran away from her wedding a few years back and it was on the news every hour on the hour. Youth are marching in our streets in numbers not seen since the Civil Rights and Vietnam War marches of the 1960’s.
Either the news directors of these organizations are blind and/or have their head placed somewhere else or they are being “directed” by some other directors, those who hold the purse strings, to not spin this one and let it die.
But the interesting thing, with this as opposed to the movement of the 1960’s, is that it does not require a grasp for the Walker Cronkite nightly news Brass Ring. I have gotten all my updates and reports by people who are on the streets via their blogs and video posts. In the older times you wanted it bleed and for people watching TV to see it. The Civil Rights movement would have never gained traction if people had not seen what some people are capable to do, and will continue to do, to other people if not stopped.
This could be very interesting.