life

The Beauty of The Desert

I went out to Joshua Tree several days ago. I've been there many times in the past few years but, surprisingly, while it was never too far away from where I have been mostly living in my adult life, it took me many years to actually make plans and follow through. From that point on, I try to make it out into the desert whenever feasible. Both an escape, and more importantly, a meditation. 

Joshua Tree is a famous place. U2 named an album that went multi-platinum after the tree that gives a name to the location (The Joshua Tree). I just learned that Brian Eno produced the album. Feels like something I "should of" known. "Should of" of course is one of the most insidious utterances in the English language so beware. It feels appropriate here though. 

I went with some old friends who I rarely see. We hiked under the full moon. It's probably not advisable to go hiking into the Southern US desert at night (especially when you don't know what the hell you're doing), but, the once ever so often Blue Moon lit up the landscape in a way that was, to say the least, surreal. 

I'm sure I saw a Desert Bobcat running swiftly across the landscape, but the rest of the party won't corroborate the story. Finding truth is similar. You see it, but you're not 100% because you're alone in finding it. A quality of faith reassembles the partial vision into totality. 

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Running an experiment.....

I'm on day 13 of my single channel video work, DROPS IN THE STREAM. My web-host Squarespace is helping to trouble shoot a minor glitch in the page that I'm hosting my project on. It seems that the videos sometimes skip ahead or move around at odd times. The easiest fix so far is to go back to the previous video that skipped ahead, and play it again. However, it should be resolved shortly.

But, aside from this little UI blip, and the fact that a Youtube Channel and Playlist exist for it without any glitches(along with Tumblr), I am excited about its strange development. We got a long way towards our Dec 31st completion, so please subscribe here, or bookmark here

The original post with the only hint of info can be found here:


musings of youth and hip hop....

This last few days I've been on one of my periodic pop culture rendezvous, where I survey a specific landscape that I feel my touch slipping away from.

This round happened to be hip-hop, it's new culture and the first wave of OG's reflecting on where the form has gone. Just a footnote before I get labeled; my youth was spent listening to rap and hip-hop and my roots are that of B-Boy. My crew, OSB used to battle at malls, schools, clubs and anywhere else little dudes could roam the streets and engage in rhythmic warfare. Violence hardly ever broke out, but occasionally a dance battle would turn into an actual battle.

This was during the second wave of breakdancing. I experienced the first wave as well, but I was too little to understand the culture. From spreading out cardboards to keeping PLEDGE in my backpack for lubricating linoleum, this was one of my true teenage passion. I'll provide visual evidence at the end. But alas, i grew out of favor with hip-hop, mostly as a result of new hobby's and experiences. Still however, I am a fan to this day.

One particular note of interest in my recent cultural prowling was promo videos featuring the new kids on the block in hip hop. This being the social media age, the youngsters are all savvy of the technology of promotion.  You don't need to fork over big bucks of your advance to do elaborate music videos or smart campaigns, because in essence, you are doing it all the time. Always on twitter, always on instagram, and tumblr, the homies have some form of capture device on them at all times.

It's not hard to come by a 5d, or a Red Scarlett, or a slew of semi-professional camera's these days (and hell, what is professional anyways anymore). Everybody, including your momma has them. And shit, on a 1080 screen, an iphone is good to go. So, everybody is shooting something all the time. Now you just package that extra footage into "promo's" that end up going on youtube as a way to diversify.

The flow of content is a stream. And to not participate is death to an up and comer. In fact, it's death to everybody except a very select few who've managed to keep those giant, top down, middle of America careers of yesteryear. 

One thing that struck me odd about these promos is that the subject of the piece often, if not incessantly, would be looking down at their phones. This was a very common thread. It's jarring watching videos of somebody who spends an inordinate amount of time looking down at their phones. They're not even fully present through the prism of something that is trying to capture them in the present. And this becomes self reflexive. You ask, "do I do that, because, it looks really dumb". In fact, you might. I know I'm guilty at times.

Further, the subjects would often use their phones to capture another fleeting moment through a picture (instagram) or video. Always looking at a screen, or through a screen. Contextualizing everything through pixel.s

Now, granted I was looking mostly at Hip Hop promos because that's where pop culture is now. I don't think there are 17 year old rock and roll kids getting 6 million dollar 360 deals. And they too probably spend time staring into the abyss of electronics. It's an age thing. It's a culture thing. But, my guess is that there is more to this story.

Which brings me to my theory that our phones, through technology serve some strange psychological need to stare at moving things through light, while desperately trying to hoard moments, and store them away; basically trying to capture a life that's always slipping away, ungraspable. 

There is no doubt that our second life in digitalism will be our preferable choice in a very near future. It's an extremely effective opioid, creating the distance from the dirt and grime of reality. You can break up a relationship without direct conflict. You can insult someone without consequence; you can be a sexist, a misogynistic creep, all without even a cold stare from the other end.  However, it comes with many consequences. Chief among them, loneliness and detachment. That might not sound so bad, but when added up, the results are terrifying.

And with all that talk; here is some breakdancing in a living room, featuring your's truly and some ol school homies.

Peace.


ical meets virus....

Sometimes we plan the week, in precise, efficient detail, and then, a cold comes knocking on the door changing everything.  Life is not linear.  

And if you force it as such, the joy and spontaneity of the game, the game of life vanishes.  Life is just one giant improvisational game, ephemeral and hardly meant for seriousness.  The mood of the moment or time might feel grave, but mortality is our constant reminder; this is fleeting, don't be a jerk about it.   

wanderlust

"way to go", was the last thing I heard from her.

it was over, like the proverbial blink of the eye.  no closure, nothing.  the pain, it was excruciating for a bit, but you know what, it was bound to happen anyway.  and I've always wanted to travel.

i was a Sagittarius and she was some other shit.  i forget which it was, maybe the crab or the bull, or whatever, but i know now, that we weren't compatible.

how come i didn't know that at first, like right of the bat. what a shame, a real life shame?  
she was real pretty though.  that part hurts the most, because, well, her personality wasn't as pretty.

park.

he looked straight ahead, as far as his eyes could see in the middle of the warm summer night.  this was where he spent his childhood.  a park, in the middle of the quietest suburb on planet earth.  the grass felt nice.

it was here that he tasted alcohol, and it was here that he first tried marijuana.  It was here that he saw his best friend Arthur body slam Robbie the bully.  it was here, that he and Arthur would discuss what they would do to girls, had they had the chance.  and this certainly changed from year to year.  drastically in fact.

it was at this location that he lay, sprawled out on the grass, looking up at the sky for countless hours, wondering if life would ever change.  It was here that the legion of emotional experiences tickled his bored soul.

and now, if only he could crawl back into that tiny space, and feel those feelings once more, everything would be ok.

fear is....

that voice.  you’ve heard it.  no.  really?  it says things very quietly at first.

you might be riding a high, so, it’s hard to tell.  maybe it works too quick?

sit down, it might say.  sip on this water, you’re thirsty.  but, you think to yourself, “no, I’m absolutely not thirsty”.

the feeling starts deep.  in a cavity somewhere inside, a hole, straight down, all the way down, to China maybe.

you can almost reach down and touch it.  it loves amplification.  the echo last’s for hours, days and sometimes years.

and as it works itself up from the abyss, it reigns it's control.  spitting fire, turning the flesh and bone into the lizard it loves.

you’ve become primordial, etched in scales.

tongue and teeth, tail and eyes.  earth is lost, and so is sight.  

lizard brain = yolo

lizard brain = yolo

clap on, clap off.

Disconnecting from the constant noise of popular existence is quite an undertaking these days.  When we unplug, the first reaction is an unnerving sort of anxiety.  Online is safe now, the status quo.

When you disconnect, you deal with the world, as real and mortal as it is.  People die in the real world.  People lose homes, and children and food, and rights.  But, our history was never virtual, and we got pretty good at it.

We are constantly watching TV now.  But, the platform has changed.  It’s no longer called TV.  And granted, we are in control of this new TV.  We pick the channels.   

However, most do not realize what this new freedom means.  And why their children are glued to phones, like the last generation was to television.  

More is not better.  Better is better. Better information, better entertainment, better knowledge and better systems.  As the saying goes, "Garbage in, garbage out."  

Often, when left to our own devices, we make the wrong choices.  Evolution is a son of a bitch.  And so is ignorance.

curiosity.

What drives us forward?  In our younger development, we were propelled towards things in large part, because of a little thing called curiosity.  The shapes, the sounds, the textures, the possibilities of the world elicited a feeling of amazement, and a need to find out.  It was a world of endless wonder.  Limitless in scope and full of options.  A simple turn of the head informed of new opportunities.  

Then we grew up.  John Cassavetes has an interesting quote about MAN when he turns of age, and in his time, it was around 23.  I can't recall it of the top of my head, and instead of accuracy, I will paraphrase for affect instead.  Basically, he says that people lose interest in discovery around their early twenties.  All that music that got you moving, or art, or literature, or movies that challenged you, or where worthy of further investigation, all gone.  You grew up.  You put on your 3 piece, and got on with life.  The pattern, set in stone.

But what happened to life?  Curiosity was exchanged for order.  It was sold to dogma.  In our time, this process happens a little later.  Maybe in your late twenties, but possibly into you're early thirties.  We give up our search, usually by blaming the lack of time.  

Now, of course priorities change.  You have a baby, we get married, we have a multitude of responsibilities.  Shit, you have to provide for yourself.  Something that our 16 year old, first world self’s usually didn’t bother with, nor fathom its complexity.  But, what happened to the search for wonder, amazement?  Where does it go?

Do we just crawl to our evolutionary predisposition?  Does biology dictate that curiosity is not of value anymore.  “I AM WHAT I AM”, we love to say, as if, cemented from the beginning of time.

Isn't that a counterintuitive remnant of our past human life?  And here, I inject blatant commercialism that might resinate, since millions of dollars where spent to get you to buy something, by first associating two very different things.  "Stay thirsty my friends."

a light glistens.

a light glistens.

Work and Money

I will come back and revisit this when I'm not on the run.

And full disclosure, this is the second time I'm using my phone to update.

In any case, this is a tricky subject when it comes to the creative fields. And what I mean is, not the second job kind of thing. Or the weekend warrior kind of thing.

No, the, "I'm not sure I want to put my name on that kind of thing".

I have a simple answer. Don't.