Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger Has Died at Age 94

Pete Seeger: the intellectual folksinger and preserver of songs of dissent, who had much to say about music and society, died yesterday at age 94.

From his "The Incompleat Folksinger":

"Attention songwriters. We need new songs so funny that even people who disagree will find themselves doubled up with laughter. Songs so strong that even cowards will stop fleeing and turn with a breath of courage." (p. 232)

"I used to make the mistake of trying to give long introductions to songs, hoping to help everyone understand all the facets of meaning. But more often than not it killed the song. Nowadays I'm more likely just to shoot out a batch of tunes." (p. 216)

"When will American TV networks allow the singing of the dozens of songs floating around which tell how Americans really feel about the war in Vietnam?" (p. 149)

"The editors of Sing Out are always trying to goad the readers into action. Or at least into alarm. Walter [Lowenfels], would you advise 'Give me Shakespeare or give me a blank sheet of paper?'" (p. 215)

"For great songs to be written we must have an outpouring of topical songs [songs about issues or news items]. What does it matter that most will be sung once and forgotten?" (p. 215)

"The people I learned banjo from were mostly old farmers, miners, or working people of one trade or another, who had played the instrument during their courting days, and later kept it hanging on the wall to pass away the time of an evening." (p. 374)

"The guitar has proven itself the most adaptable of accompanying instruments. Every nation has developed its own style of playing. It's ancestor is the Persion tar; one of its illustrious cousins is the Indian sitar. The guitar itself, it is believed, was brought to Europe in the 12th century by gypsies." (p. 367)


Amazon reviewer Theta states re: The Incompleat Folksinger:

This is an amiable gloss, much of it compiled from articles the author contributed to his "Sing Out" "folk music" magazine, but its self-conscious folksiness and superficiality become cloying and smarmy eventually.

The author refers to himself as "a professional performer of amateur music" with a certain irony, but none of the contradictions inherent in his conception of the form are really addressed.

The author makes it clear he wants the form and a doctrinaire politics intimately and inextricably associated but offers no substantial defense for this posture.

In an early eighties interview in Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan relates how he attended a performance of someone billed as a folk singer and complained to his companion, "That's not a folk singer, a folk singer sings folk songs, not songs he made up himself."

His companion answered, "Well, you started that, didn't you?"

"Yes, I suppose," Dylan said, "but I would never have done it if I hadn't sung the folk songs first."

Pete Seeger in the introduction to an early nineties edition of this book voices a similar complaint, that nowadays by "folk singer" we often mean someone who sings pop songs and accompanies himself on an acoustic guitar.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

You Are Not the Target

Laura Archera Huxley tells us that much of the personal unhappiness and victimization you experience is wrongly thought to be caused by a hostile person, system, or institution that is deliberately directing animosity at you specifically.

Last night I listened to Aldous Huxley "Visionary Experience" lecture which I have on CD. It's charming, but boring. His book "Brave New World" is good and appropriate for today's tech-tyrannical world.

Here's a book that is among Books I Always Have With Me, the ones that I replace as soon as possible if I loan them out permanently or lose them somehow: including Proust, Kafka, Derrida, Freud, Orwell, Mallarme, Maurice Blanchot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Allen Ginsberg, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Mark Twain, James Thurber, Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury, etc.

Aldous Huxley's wife, Laura Archera Huxley "You Are Not the Target." A book that I have had in my collection since my teens. It's probably one of the first new age type self-help books, with "recipes" for higher consciousness and enhanced awareness.

She takes concepts from psychology and mysticism and turns them into simple exercises and procedures to make them real in your life, on your own, just you and the instructions.

It's sort of an anti-group therapy book, empowering the individual with a book that acts like a seminar run by some self-help guru that you'd pay $15,000 to attend for a 3 day weekend behavioral training program.

Attending your own funeral, repeating emotionally charged words to trigger mental scenes, TLA (Talking Listening Acting), dismantling self-rejection, hydrotherapist tips on going to bed wet from a shower, "going with it" for things beyond our control, guided visualizations of many different imagined realms and events, with self-surveillance of morphing psychological states.

An Amazon customer review states:

It contains "recipes for living" by Laura Huxley, a force in humanistic psychology (and the widow of Aldous Huxley). The recipes work. My two favorites are "Dance Naked to Music" which taught me that wisdom is distributed throughout the body and "Questions and How to Ask Them" which convinced me that logic often doesn't lead to wisdom. These were radical ideas in 1963. She was an astonishingly wonderful woman who personally answered my letter, thanking her for writing the book.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How To Write Ads for Imaginary Products: EXAMPLE 7

Hold still, she said. 

This won't hurt, she said. 

Then why do I feel like my hair is being sliced and diced as main ingredient of a salad right now?

Consult your current Harriet Carter catalog that came in the mail last week for more gift ideas.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To Write Ads for Imaginary Products: EXAMPLE 6

Third Eye Forehead Light for seekers and Seers.

Save tons of money on your electricity bill AND see into people's hidden natures and into the future. This one product will illuminate you in several realms simultaneously. 

Keep all the lights off all the time and only illuminate the precise thing you're doing at any given moment. Then let it turn in on your mind as you spotlight certain aspects of your personality that you might want to grapple with, defeat, and exile from your heart.

You'll be amazed at how many things you can do "in the dark" when you simply light up the tiny spot you're currently reading, fixing, cleaning, or looking at. When you speak face to face with another person, the am'azing Third Eye Forehead Light will make that person's secret interior shine like the sun at mid-day, enabling you to see deeper motives and third level fallacies.

Sell your lamps and chandeliers at a garage sale or flea market. 

You won't be needing them ever again.

Find more gift ideas in your current Harriet Carter catalog. It was mailed to your home or office last week.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

How To Write Ads for Imaginary Products: EXAMPLE 5

Scalding Bacon Wart Removal System rids your otherwise lovely skin of those horrid, embarrassing warts, nodules, and growths. 

Press the Wart Removal tool on the crisply frying bacon (not included), then press the burning grease smeared on the business end of the tool against any skin lump you no longer want. 

It should get rid of it after enough applications. Results can vary.

More gift ideas coming your way from your current Harriet Carter catalog that arrived in your mailbox, the physical, real one, last week.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

How To Write Ads for Imaginary Products: EXAMPLE 4

Scram Patrol Dog Zapper Raygun shoots a thin stream of high pitched screeching sounds with pinpoint accuracy at any vicious, rabid, or distempered canine that may be trying to gnaw on your leg at any given moment.

Simply point this amazing new Scam Patrol Dog Zapper Raygun at the nearest pit bull, chow, rotweiller, doberman, or dalmation, and watch the red sonic ray strike and irritate the dog, making it rapidly arrive at the end of its endurance and leniency. Guaranteed to annoy the dog and that ought to show 'em that you mean business and don't want any growling or biting going on today.

DISCLAIMER: Whether or not you escape a dog attack, aggravated by any actions on your part, up to and including shooting this raygun at them, depends on how fast you can vanish into thin air with our Instant Invisibility Cape.

Get more zany gift ideas from that water soaked or half frozen Harriet Carter paper catalog that arrived in your physical mailbox, but you left there because it was so soggy and mushy, it seemed unfit to allow to enter your lovely and well apportioned home.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

How To Write Ads for Imaginary Products: EXAMPLE 3

If you're like the next guy, you know what a pain it is to misplace your hallucinogens right when the party is kicking into high gear. You feel like an idiot, crawling around with a flashlight, searching the nooks and crannies, trying to find some toadstool fry.

Scramble and rummage no more. Here's the perfect Amanita muscaria inspired mushroom jar to store your trippy fungi. A secret false bottom conceals a special compartment for your more potent shrooms, while you to cover the lid with assorted puffballs, stinkhorns, morels, and agarics.
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Friday, January 17, 2014

How To Write Ads for Imaginary Products: EXAMPLE 2

Now when you tell people "I'm gelling," you can mean a lot more than just spring in your step from a therapeutic shoe implant.

This gel is so uncomfortable, your visit to the toilet bowl will be over in less time than ever, as it bounces your butt up into the air and you're back, you're slacked, and you're jacked to move onto the next challenge. Why waste valuable time sitting there, reading a magazine or mustard jar? 

Hop aboard -- then hop right off again, whether you're entirely done or not. You'll be thrilled with all the extra time you save each day. Time you can spend on more important and interesting activities, or just loafing around and enjoying your new abundance of spare time.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

How To Write Ads for Imaginary Products: EXAMPLE 1

Husbands, make sure your wife wears her inflatable neck elongator at all times -- shopping, cleaning, child rearing, cooking, gardening, snow shoveling, car repairing, hardwood floor restoring, or just lounging around the house. It's important that she keep it inflated so it can do its work to achieve the results you dream of.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Judgmentalism as a Social Crime

A parable entitled "Judge Not, Said the Bad Guy":

"Being judgmental" is a pop psychology, self-help book phrase that means you elevate yourself morally above the other person and decree a verdict on that person, based on what "should be" according to your benchmark. 

The phrase originally meant "don't point out the speck in someone's eye when you've got a board in your own" and get your own act together to lead by example, not by scolding.

While assessing dangers and threats was natural, when applied to human beings, it became forbidden due to the abuses that direct, personal criticism had in the hands of some bullies, trolls, and know-it-alls.

Thus, "to judge others" became a social crime, it wasn't "nice" to set yourself up as a judge and bang your gavel at somebody else, after all -- who gave you the judge's job?

In time, it began to mean more sinister things, like "don't evaluate the behavior or cynically speculate on the motives of another person" and "see only the good in others" and "never confront anybody, just accept them the way they are".

Some retained the prerogative to make inquiry into another person, but their conclusions, unless glowingly positive and uplifting, were to be held in solemn muteness.

The most grievous social error had now become not inflicting harm, but accusing someone else of something: you must avoid any appearance of being ready to offer critique.

You cannot run the risk of offending the sensitivities of somebody who, after all, was only doing his best, given the conditions he was in and how he was raised and how much education he had and what disadvantages he probably was burdened with, through no fault of his own.

Con artists, charmers, and charismatic scammers loved the new trend. Soon, they were chirping and chiming in with newly resurrected phrases like "Walk a mile in my shoes before you condemn my path" and "If you can't say something nice about someone, say nothing at all" and other semi-mystical office motivation poster barbs.

People seemed limply happy now.

Nobody was allowed to eye them askance or engage in the rudeness of scrutiny. No "judgments" were permitted. People just did what they did, responded to by others with only a complimentary remark or silence, and nobody had to fear public humiliation or interpersonal shaming anymore.


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Sunday, January 12, 2014

STR8 SOUNDS Bad Physician video EP

NEW. Str8 Sounds "Bad Physician / Art Rebellion / Dandy Night Shirt" techno-pop music video EP for January 2014.. 

Rebel-tronic parodies of parasols in perfection twists, as chariots of Mind, reined in by ascetic restraint, cross over the switches of para-abnormal preformations, sliding thickly down the astro-slide.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Richie Hawtin techno minimalism pioneer LECTURE

Richie Hawtin, aka Plastikman, pioneer of techno minimalism, "lecture", interview, with songs.

"I didn't play that full thing to be annoying or anything, or to be tedious. That was a live take. What was the process?" - interviewer.

It's strange to watch the composer and an interview sit in silence, without dancing or visual projections (as in Richie's shows), listening to "Spastik".

YouTube comments:

(1) Oh gawd.. awkward. Learn how to conduct an interview. Even stuffy, intellectual, pretentious NPR could do a better job.

(2) how uncomfortable is it to sit there and listen to techno in an unclub environment though. Just look at that first minute..

(3) Comedy gold, the presenter with no trace of irony "ok so your songs are really long, and we're going to listen to one now, here is Spastik......." and let's sit here, occasionally look at the laptop... I hope this was done for radio primarily! It would have been better if the presenter had got up and started dancing like a loon/really badly.

(4) I always loved his music and sets, but my general impression the past couple of years was that he's a self-satisfied arse who has had a bit too much fame. As it appears, I was wrong. He seems very down to earth and humble, funny and smart.

(5) I grew up listening to his earlier stuff, and have not really taken a liking to his newer dj sets. However after the amount of techno he's played/made and listened to, I think he can do whatever he likes now if it makes him happy/keeps him interested in the music.


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