Happy Birthday Mark Twain!

Mark Twain would be 179 years old today if he had lived. I am sure he is up in heaven right now wondering what, literally, on the earth is going on with us.
Twain was alive to participate, slightly, in the Civil War but was spared the atrocities of WWI by death, WWII as well, and it is a very good thing he did not live long enough to see our many other international entanglements with strangers considering him saying this:
Before I had chance in another war, the desire to kill people to whom I had not been introduced had passed away.
– Autobiography of Mark Twain

It makes me wonder what he would think were he to sit through an hour of You Tube or a news retrospective of the last 10 or 20 years. I’d imagine he would cringe or he might not be surprised at all at man’s ability to kill one another in such efficient ways.

Sometime this is attributed to Twain:

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

Considering this humorous insight what would he think of the Big Bank’s bailouts?

The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.
– Mark Twain in Eruption

Indeed he would have found days and days of laughable feast in the mess we languish in now. Perhaps in the rough economic times we live in now Twain would simply explain some behaviors with this:

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.
– Following the Equator

Twain was our Shakespeare. He could reach past things and into them at the same time giving his reader an insight but also a very broad view of matters. I miss you Mark Twain but thanks for words!

Miley Cyrus Does #OWS

I tweeted last night:
Miley Cyrus does an #OWS video. Not sure if this is entirely a bad thing

Ok I have had time to think about it and I am not sure if it matters one way or the other. From one perspective Miley Cyrus would be instant cancer to the movement, one might say, because she will sap its legitimacy because, well, she is Miley Cyrus, SNL Whipping Girl on occasion (and very humorously I might add) and also because she is part of the 1%, maybe even the top 50 % of the 1%. Face it she’s elite!
Another might argue that the #OWS might become energized because kids who would never have become aware of #OWS will now do so because of this video. Ok I can buy that because I am going to go way out on a limb here and just assume that the average MC listener is not the most politically conscious and/or active individual. Just a hunch. But then again that spins the issue right to the above conundrum. Does #OWS benefit by an influx of many, many (face it the chick has lots of fans) new feet on the ground or do the individuals inspired by Miley Cyrus really have an ability to understand things and not think this is just some transitional Rave that Miley is going through while she smokes copious amounts of Weed?
Or will the core members, the hipsters, feel so put out by this induction of new blood that it will not be fringe or hip enough for them to carry on the movement for fear of being too mainstream? And then all the ones left will turn the whole thing into the biggest dance party you have ever seen?

Now that is me spoofing now here is me, really.

Opening minds up to new alternatives or ideas, no matter who the messenger, is the right thing to do. Another blogger insisted we not “mock Miley Cyrus but Thank Her” but I retort “I have not come to mock Miley Cyrus but to BLAME her!”
Where ya been? Did you too just wake up from a saccharin slumber to realize that the over consumption of useless products, many similar to the ones that you pumped into American Retail, are part of the problem. Did you hit the bong a little too hard and realize that this whole time you have been a mere vehicle for the plunder of the middle class?
Well thanks for waking up now bring your friends and start making some serious videos where you don’t sound like Britanny Spears being interviewed about her views on the president but where you directly speak out against the de-regulation of banks and how we can return to more regional ideas that spread the wealth of our country back out into communities and not have it centralized where only a small minority have access to it.
Ever wonder where all the jobs went? DO a WIRE on it: FOLLOW THE MONEY. They went to the same place. The money was centralized by Multi-National banks and corporations and then redistributed into countries where people will work for nothing.
Miley, Rail on them about letting the money seep back into local regions and how mom and pops businesses could form buying groups where they can compete in retail with the big boys, then let’s see whose customer service wins out.
Tell your fans to start putting their money in the local credit union or locally held banks where it can be redistributed to people on a local level and not carted off to some IVY LEAGUE IDIOT to punch into some derivative scheme that will eventually topple over and crush everyone but the bastards who created it.
I am with you sister but you are going to have to do more than some glorified DANCE VIDEO to prove it to me.
So there Miley (like you are listening) if you want to help the movement MERGE WITH THE MOVEMENT, truly! We got your back!

Tea Party and #Occupy not that different at core

Contention and prejudice cause many great conflicts in this country, Pakcers versus Vikings, Yankees versus Red Sox, and Left versus Right. Putting sports aside I want everyone to examine the basis with which you chose a side and then run that through a checklist of agree or disagree with the following:

Do you agree or disagree with bank bailouts and then many returning to business as usual?

Do you agree or disagree that US Congress can exploit insider trading, make a bundle, and the whole time be in charge of the very legislation that controls the profitability of their stock options?

Do you agree or disagree that corporations should have a unlimited check book with which to pay any amount of money they want to manipulate elections?

Do you agree or disagree that there needs to be a separation of big business and the legislators whose sole purpose is to serve the best interest of the people?

Do you agree or disagree that the middle class should be the main focus of our government right now considering the plight it is experiencing?

Mull over your answers. I think that most people will come to the same conclusions on these and probably many other issues. But let’s just start there.

Some people have already begun the discussion. This is from the AP

At what point do we look past divisive view points, find common ground, and truly take our country back?

Currently there are two major camps within America who have the power, in numbers and will, to make a real “CHANGE” from the current business as usual that has our country in ruins.
It is time that #Occupy and Tea Party members start talking openly and frankly to one another. Not screaming and shouting but putting the true issues on the table and making the necessary moves to deal with them. The time for pettiness is over. The time of us being led around by our noses is over. The time to join together for the future of our children and grand children is now. What better time than now?

I am just naive enough to still believe that Americans have the ability,when faced with a problem, no matter how bad or seemingly hopeless, to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and make the United States of America a better place.

I am going to be a 100% artist : NEW MOVE

I have realized something in my last few years
I am the bomb at two things
Making music (live but even more so in the studio which retains as much of me live as possible) and promoting it
Those are my two aces in the hole.
I am not good at selling Stuff! I just feel in-authentic doing it. I guess that is why I give so much music away. I just want people to hear it and enjoy it. That is the bulk of it.
So the decision has to be made and I am making it now. I am done making music for any other reason
than to just make it. That was always the reason I made it but after there was all this ramping it up to make it a realized product. No more.
I am going to place a Pay Pal link as a pay what you want… OR NOT
and enter your email for the proverbial keys to the kingdom. I spend too much time doing the other stuff and not enough time doing what I love which is (in this order): being with my family and making music.
Those are about all that I care about doing the majority of the time. So it is time to cut to the chase and just focus on these things. I will probably go with about 4 t-shirt designs if someone wants to rep some Merch and that be the thrust of it. I am sure there will be configuration after configuration of this new model of release but at the end of the day my goal will be to brand bigblackhand.com and Elam McKnight as a place you can always go to get one thing, FOR SURE.
Great Music!
If that is my only goal then I surely cannot go wrong cause trust me on this one ya’ll

** I of course will still promote and help anyone that wants it but also this comes with an entry level qualifier. I have to be into what you are doing. Simple. I will also consider and or seek people to partner with and work with but it will be with the one understanding that the only goal is to make music that is great. That is it. If they want to monetize that in some form of exchange fine but it has to be one that is fair and worthwhile. No more shilling in the model of the OLD GUARD who ruined the industry or made it ruin itself, whichever came first.

Hear comes the Head Chopper off THingy

I titled this what I did for a reason. I could not immediately decide if I knew the correct spelling of the 17th-18th century execution device used to separate ones head from its body.
Guillotine? Not sure
Anyhow with the announcement of the Major labels ceasing the production of CD’s, not a surprise, then it is pretty much officially, if you have not realized that by now, everyone for themselves.
It has been for years but the Majors were able to pump just enough gusto back into the game to make the erudite s believe for a minute or two, or at least until they could parade another silicon inflated sparkler in front up them to get another minute or two out of the mass of them.
Without the production of CDs, ending in 2012 for all major labels, there goes pretty much any need for a record store. Sure Vinyl is cool and neat but I do not see it generating enough muster to do little else but hang on in really, and I mean really, super hip markets. See hipsters and all the regalia that goes along with that phenomenon.
As an artist you better embrace this and make a strategy or pack up and go home. I was planning on giving my next album away anyway so this is super good to me because there is no better vehicle to do that with than the internet.
I wrote a while back about singularity and the death of the CD is what will litter the road to it. Next the death of paper books and then the Golden Cow of Golden Cows, the Movie and TV industries.
What do you think they will hold on? Not a chance.
The only reason the music industry was the first to go was because it was the last to try to do anything to combat the issue of, not piracy, but customer expectation in a new millennium. Oh that and they had been hurting people’s keister’s for years with ridiculously overpriced product that was marked up way out of range with cost.
So there you have it.
Good by CD and hello, fully, brave new world!