Phil Collins – Part Two of Two

A revelation about that Adele chick’s music came to me recently.  It couldn’t have if I wasn’t in the frame of mind I am now.  See, without providing any specific examples to support the argument, Collins’ music to my mind taps in and relates to people’s emotions.  Adele’s, on the other hand, manipulates and exploits them.  Again, I’m not going to provide evidence.  It’s just the way it is, or at least the way I see and hear it.  And I’m seeing (and hearing/tasting/smelling/feeling) things pretty bloody clearly these days, finally.  It seems to me that an artist of any persuasion should be very careful to relate to instead of exploit people and their emotions.  I can’t blame Adele for doing so.  She does have a wonderful voice.  And she’s also at once the product of a relentlessly capitalistic culture and commercial music machine.  Collins, too, is a part of and a product of that culture and machine.  Yet he I’m sure chose long ago to stick to the path of creative purity and it paid off for him through not creatively bankrupting himself or emotionally cheating his fans or his connection with them.  I, and we all whether we’re creative (in the ironically strict sense of the word) or not are capable of that choice, too.  My choice is to be true to myself, to the people around me, and to the things that I do, creative or otherwise.  And now it’s a deliberate, instead of just instinctive, decision.

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Me, camped by the Squamish River, British Colombia, Canada, late 2012

I did end up reading a Wikipedia article about Collins.  (Still not sure if he has a book or books.)  And, incredibly, it contains information which fits almost eerily perfectly with my comparison of him and Adele.  Apparently, in 2014 “Collins announced in an interview with Inside South Florida that he was writing new compositions with the English musician Adele.  Collins said he had no idea who Adele was when he learned she wanted to collaborate with him.  He said ‘I wasn’t actually too aware [of her].  I live in a cave.’  Collins agreed to join her in the studio after hearing her voice.  He said, ‘[She] achieved an incredible (indeed) amount.  I really love her voice (doesn’t everyone).  I love some of the stuff she’s done, too (funny how derivation expertly masquerading as originality can, at first, avoid appearing to even the most savvy sensibilities).’  However, in September 2014, Collins revealed that the collaboration had ended and he said it had been ‘a bit of a non-starter.’” (http://bit.ly/1FMxC7h).  I was surprised to find this, but I was not surprised by what I read.  The link to my situation is obvious: not only had I come to finally realise the truth about myself, I had also come to realise (perceivable, based on my limited sensory experiences) truths about the world around me to the point in which I had inadvertently made a coincidentally-timed observation about one musical artist and his dawning distaste for another.  To wit: my interpretation of the above Wikipedia excerpt is that eventually Collins discovered he had creative conflicts with and differences from Adele.  Of course, those who are fans of the latter, but not the former, might infer differently.

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Sunset, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California, New Year’s Eve 2012

The future is bright.  I’m now capable of more consciously effectively operating in reality.  I understand the world better than I ever have, even if I still have many, many problems with it.  And I understand my place in that world better; indeed all but completely accurately.  Though that’s not to say I think I have some special place in the world beyond that which I might make, with others’ help.  Why is the future bright?  Firstly because it always has been, or had the potential to be.  And secondly because I’m now better able to realise why it is, or certainly can be if I play my proverbial cards right.  I’m free.  Not free in the sense that I can do whatever I want.  Not free in the sense that I’m capable of anything.  Free in the sense that I’m capable of what I want to do, as long as I’m conscious of those things – some of which might also be things I want to do, albeit with lesser priority – I must sacrifice in order to do what I want to do.  I certainly want to write, as evidenced by the fact that I am right now and have many times previously.  I certainly want to love, as evidenced by the fact that I am truly in love with the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met (again, besides my mother).  And I want to live.  And I will live not haunted.  Not scared.  Missing nothing.  I am, alive.

Building 12 2_22.

poeTRY@noodlehaus

No cheesburger – or fries – or chocolate thickshake, 

could possibly describe her as they would obviously mistake.

Her infectious smile for a cheeky smirk, 

and her fantastic nature as a faulty quirk. 

Her eyes shine bright and big and bold,

her hair hangs long – it’s brown not gold. 

I knocked – she answered – it was a match made in heaven,

and now I see her twenty-four seven!

Her confidence and presence is hard to miss, 

and I bet that all the boys be steal’n a kiss.

From this very special girl I know,

who’s taught me how I need to show.

The world – myself and all mankind,

Exactly how we need to find.

The joy – the love and all the noodles.  

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Phil Collins – Part One of Two

All my life, I’ve been haunted.  Or scared.  Or missing something I could never quite comprehend, much less expect to discover.  With the sometimes benevolent and other times malevolent benefit/detriment of hindsight, I’ve wondered if it’s been because I was born 10 weeks premature.  Or because I was never truly born, but instead surgically removed from my mother (via caesarean section).  Or because as a result of my prematurity, my first few days and weeks were spent in a humidity crib, when they otherwise would have been spent bonding with the most important woman, at least by virtue of creation, I’d share my (but not all of her) life with. Maybe.  But I’ve since realised it almost certainly (albeit not actually certainly) had nothing to do with missing something I’d had trouble finding.  Or holding on to a never productive pain I probably just imagined from an immediately but progressively (but not always quickly enough) less painful childhood.  It really was about imagination.  Or more particularly paranoia.  But that’s all.  I’d imagined certain horrifying realities about my life and ignored or repressed actual, more pleasant ones.  I could never be as free as I deserved until I accepted that some pains are normal; and others are the product of fantasy and fear and paranoia and, simply, poor influence or advice or treatment.  No more.  No more.  No more.

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Me, Melbourne to Adelaide and across the Eyre Peninsula to Cactus, south of Penong, and back to Adelaide surf trip, 2011 – photo Ross Dudgeon

Phil Collins has always been an artist I’ve admired and enjoyed, albeit not known a lot about or patronised to any serious degree (I’ve never bought any of his music.  I plan on doing (or downloading) so.  And at least reading a Wikipedia article about him.  I wonder if he has a biography/autobiography?).  An ex-girlfriend of mine used to listen to his music in order to get pumped up for our first few dates.  It worked (arguably to ill-effect, eventually).  I for one, like I said, have always enjoyed his music but, and this relates to the point of this piece, whenever I’ve heard it I’ve had frustrating difficulty figuring out what his name was.  It was always on the tip of my tongue or brain.  And even with time it would never pop into my head.  (Apparently when we experience such “tip of the tongue” moments, our conscious mind might give up but our subconscious usually continues working on the problem and offers the revelation later on.)  I’d just hear his music again at some point later, and experience the same frustration at not being able to figure out who it was by.  Over and over again, kind of like how life feels when you’re not enjoying it.  Or avoiding enjoying it.

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Sunrise over San Francisco Bay Bridge

Again, no more.  It fits perfectly with the enormous corner my life has turned, and the not so horrifying or debilitating truth about who I am and my current and potential place in the world.  I used to struggle to bring Collins’ name to my mind and/or lips (perhaps it’s no coincidence that my first name is “Colin”), just as I used to struggle to be honest with myself and avoid engaging in paranoid fear about the almost completely self-invented lies I for some reason perceived as terrifyingly true.  Not long ago, after I turned the corner (unashamedly aided by psychoanalysis and depression/anxiety medication) in my life I was listening to the radio and one of Collins’ songs came on, and I was able to summon his name.  Pretty well straight away.  Finally!  It felt so good.  So symbolic of what I’d been struggling for.  Struggling to be honest with myself.  To love myself, non-narcissistically.  To be unafraid.  And my reward, or one of many, was the ability to put a name to some wonderful music which, it’s now obvious, so tellingly and symbolically happened to be by someone who shared my name (albeit switched with his surname, and an extra L added.  It’s always annoyed me when people add an extra L to my first name).  Fear is useful, sometimes.  But even if I still had rational fear, I had forever, I hope, lost the fear to rationally realise.  I was free, of that.

A Hiatus, Somewhat

Haven’t blogged much lately.  Been too busy working a menial full-time job, playing video games, watching movies, drinking, and being in love.  The big kind of love.  Not love of a good meal.  Or love of a song, new or old.  Instead, love for and with a young woman.  I thought, when I fell in love with her, that she’d become my muse – which so many unrequited loves of mine have in the past.  But I guess that’s the difference, with muses: that the unrequited always foster more inspiration because of the longing, the dissatisfaction, the deliriously unreasonable romantic fantasies they conjure.  That’s not to say though that requited love has been disappointing from the point-of-view of expectations.  It’s just that falling in mutual love with someone inevitably results in less time for other passions, such as writing.

It’s an energy thing, too.  I’ve poured energy I didn’t think I had into my relationship with her, and its worth has been akin to yielding an entire field of crops from planting one seed.  

In that way spending time with her, caring for her and loving her is similar to writing in that only a half hour spent at both pursuits can result in monumental feelings of accomplishment.

Some of the moments I share with her feel like does production of the most poignant poetry, the most resonant narration, the most decisive editorial.

But, ironically, I write just this sentence and a little bit of the former a good few months after I first started this post. Between which time I did end up writing other posts of arguable credibility. So I hadn’t blogged much lately, then, but then again have more recently, now. And I’m at a loss to access the word (if such exists) to describe such a situation. I guess I just wrote too soon, but had the sense to not finish a piece that would prove false unless I waited to complete it when the timing was right and it was truly finished. When its publication heralded the hopefully permanent end to any pause from my writing (or any other passion).

It certainly was a hiatus, (but only and unexpectedly and gladly) somewhat.

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My Soul is Awake

I’m so tired. But my soul is awake. I don’t believe in the soul. I’m writing figuratively. But you can believe in it literally if you like. Like I said, I’m so tired. But my soul is awake. Why? Uh, a simple disconnect between my physical and mental states? Perhaps too obvious. A conviction (because it kills creativity, one of fortunately very few) that I’ve been partially asleep my entire life and only recently completely woke up? Maybe too abstractly vague. Still, that is the explanation and to get at the heart (if not soul) of matters further would require more space than I plan on using for this piece.

Being Right-Wing for Dummies

It’s easy.  It’s so, so easy.  I guarantee you that being right-wing is easier than spilling water from a chicken-wire cup.  You see, it takes effort to create things, like a socialist (not (an especially Soviet) Communist, which has never really been a thing), or destroy things (mostly philosophically, and from the argument that destruction is a form of creation), like an anarchist.  But to be right-wing, all you need to do is keep things just the way they are.  Or try your hardest to, which not even ironically isn’t really very hard.  (Because calculated laziness masquerading as conscientiousness is both contagious and addictive, hence its popularity in the form of conservative votes on polling day in most liberal democracies, most of the time.)  Unfortunately, the way things are is the way things always have been, to varying degrees: sexist, racist, violent, bigoted, desolate, exploitative and massively disparate in terms of every form of wealth and happiness.  So it’s reasonable to suggest that if you prefer things the way they are, you must be obscenely rich, evil, dumb, or all three.  Which would also make you (quite literally) comfortably (because it’s like sitting in an armchair and making everyone else sit on the cold hard ground) right-wing.

Changed, yes; improved, no (from my former Instagram account)

Changed, yes; improved, no (from my former Instagram account)

“But surely,” you interject, “it can’t be that simple to be that at once greedy, bigoted and self-righteous?” you foolishly query.  Well, I respond, it is.  Though there are some guidelines to follow, or dispositions, if you will, to adopt for you to out-dummy all those already blissfully happy right-wing dummies:

  1. Hatred

You’ve got to hate everyone and everything.  Immigrants, natives, the poor, the (more) rich, different sexualities, different religions, different politics – basically anyone and anything who or that is in any way different to you.  And then hate them/it to the degree in which they/it are/is different to you.  Difference, as a right-winger, scares you.  Your natural instinct might now still be that understanding difference reduces or eliminates fear of it.  But over time, you will twist that instinct on its head to rightly, pun intended, boast a muscularly white hot reactionary fear of any and all difference.  Things that are different to you, my proud beginning conservative, are the reason why your life isn’t better (or so you must believe).  So if you hate them, and vote for a representative who shares your hatred, such hated might either go away or become more like you.  The hated don’t have rights, because you’re right, because you’re gosh darned right-wing.  Good on you.

  1. Wilful Ignorance

Like hatred, but useful otherwise and only in that it should be avoided at all costs, the enemy of the conservative is enlightenment.  Enlightenment makes gays appear human.  Enlightenment makes a (justified, but you will learn to wholly reject that or at least defend and strike out against it) mockery of religion.  Enlightenment dares to reveal that guns, while not the sole cause of mass shootings, are almost certainly the major contributing factor.  Enlightenment scares you.  And what do we do with fear?  Particularly fear of worldly knowledge?  Avoid it, through wilful ignorance.  The GLBTIQ Mardi Gras Festival just came on TV?  Change it to Sky/Fox News, where it will at least be covered more accurately if at all.  You just read that society’s better off with equal participation and remuneration of women in the workforce?  Go buy a Zoo Magazine.  Global Warming wetting your collar?  Crank up the air-conditioner, buy some fossil-fuel company shares, and/or buy a faster/louder car.  You don’t need pesky facts and reality compromising your principles. So bury your head in the sand or up your arse or up another right-winger’s arse. You will be safe there, you will be welcome, and, and because, you will be so deliciously deliberately ignorant.

  1. Wealth

Now, you don’t actually have to be wealthy.  But you do have to not only want to be wealthy, but expect against even the worst odds or logic that you will be.  These are the two wealth-related conditions you must satisfy before you can become right-wing.  And there are no – I repeat no – allowances for contradictions on this point (though hypocrisy is fine, and there’s more on that).  For example, let’s say you’re a successful, at least upper middle-class artist, but you support immigration and multiculturalism.  You’re not a conservative.  You own a chain of popular restaurants, but you’re a fan of hospitality industry penalty rates.  You are not a conservative.  You’re the CEO/director of a Fortune 500 (or national equivalent outside the US) company, but your employees like you and feel equally valued regardless of gender, race, religion, sexuality or disability.  My friend, if you’re a conservative, you’re doing much too damn good a job of pretending not to be.  You have to be – or one day expect to be – unashamedly, un-empathetically and never satisfactorily wealthy. While also denying it so much as you have the power to from all but the most un-deserving and already so materialistically disposed.

Trust #Americans to mix #money with #religion

  1. Hypocrisy

Told you it would come up again.  Being right-wing, though inherently simple, requires certain conscious and maybe complex but conveniently and strictly managed contradictions.  You don’t have to be a good person to be conservative, but you do have to infallibly appear to be so.  This is a vague but still prominent rule.  Religion?  It helps, but is not absolutely necessary.  The important thing is that if you are a religious conservative you, again infallibly, appear to be so.  You can’t, for example, be against infidelity and promiscuity on an especially religious basis yet be found to have committed adultery on numerous occasions.  The economy?  This one’s definitively simple.  You must convincingly profess to intend vast and ever-rising wealth upon all, but so much as is in your power actually direct the most wealth upon those already most wealthy.  It is the most simple of the rules: say one (or many if you like) universally pleasing thing(s) in public, and do other, elitist pleasing things in (concretely) private.  Your right-wing stocks should dramatically rise or fall on how well you adhere to this rule.

  1. Repression, Repetition and Regression

That’s right: the right-wing three Rs.  To become and stay conservative you will enlist these words in your every introspective and extroverted thought or action.  Order of their use is not as important as the flexibility of their use in response to need.  You just found a member of the same sex vaguely attractive?  Simply repress it.  You wish to convince your electorate and/or teenage son that marijuana possession should remain illegal (despite the actual fact that its personal use is far less harmful to anyone’s long term future than is a criminal record)?  Repeat such spurious reason, indefinitely.  You find the opportunity as a member of the public, at least, to declare that workers have too many rights?  Or as a politician, at most, to actually strip workers of rights?  Do it.  To regress and to force regression on others is if not at, then very close to the cold, barely beating heart of the conservative.  The right-wing three Rs are your sword, shield, and steed, whenever needed. Unflinchingly weild them in your war for stagnation, apathy and homogeneity – always.

  1. Excess

All of anything, as long as it’s the right (again, pun intended) thing, is never enough for a conservative.  Even if it’s the wrong thing, in excess, by being right-wing you can actually legitimise it.  Alcohol is a prime example.  Traditionally anathema to conservatives, both in practice and as preached, a drink or even many can be acceptable if it’s your sole departure or at worst one of very few departures from moral prudishness.  Wealth, also, depending on fashion might be seen as an objectively undesirable excess.  There is one not necessarily terribly costly word you can use to maintain appearances, if so: philanthropy.  Hypocrisy is also a useful practice to again engage in, in the management of excess.  To return to alcohol: you can be at once an alcoholic and proponent of prohibition.  But, in such case, you must keep your alcoholism private.  And if your hypocrisy was to be discovered, the simple yet painful solution: give up, unreservedly, one of the contrary practices.  In the case of right excesses – go nuts.  You’ll be the envy (another important conservative trait) of your contemporaries, and a useful focus of hysterical derision from those poor goody two-shoes on the left.  Pity them.  They are deserving of nothing else from you.

  1. Evil

The purest and simplest to follow of the conservative dispositions.  The source of all your energy, and the manifestation of all your beliefs and actions.  “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interrèd with their bones.” – Mark Antony, from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.  Evil gives you strength, and strengthens conservatism itself long after you’re gone.  The evil that Adolf Hitler and the (about as far right-wing as you can get) Nazi Third Reich inherited lives on, now, in such phenomena (and so, so deliciously ironically (yet in all seriousness, which this post is only barely and satirically engaging in, tragically)) as apartheid Israel.  You are the bearer of the flame of evil, and your purpose is to spread it among the ever tinder dry grasses of humanity.  That said, you needn’t fear good.  As Shakespeare observed, it will die with you – and serves during life merely to sustain you, your family and your fellow right-wingers.  You may use and impart good on others only in order that it might serve as a suitably obscene foundation for the proliferation of evil.  Evil is your purpose, the very essence of your being.  And, God (who the best among you will come to usefully know does not exist) willing, it will not be defeated nor diminished by those opposing it with the loftiest good.

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Hate, ignorance, wealth, hypocrisy, the three right-wing Rs, excess, and evil.  These are the seven main weapons at your disposal in the war of the right-wing against what is perfectly ironically (objectively) right.  Because wrong is the best word you can take away on your continued journey of conservatism.  You are wrong.  Seek it.  Accept it.  Enjoy it.  Perfect its use.  Let it direct your every thought and action.  Know that what is wrong for the world is right for you.  That what is right for you is wrong for the world.  Ingrained and projected selfishness is what you should practice and strive for with your every breath.  I’m sure you’re at least beginning to see that it really is so very simple.  Like slipping into a hot bath, being right-wing requires fleeting moments of initial pain and weakness, then acclimatised pleasure and strength lasting as long as you are willing to turn and keep turning the faucet of wrong.  But remember your core aim: to prevent change.  Like all things bad, it really is so, so easy. And like all things wrong, it should feel, and motivate you to be so, so very, very right.

Convenient Contradictions

If you’re too serious people will say you take life too seriously. If you’re too laid-back they’ll say you don’t take it seriously enough. Those who claim power over you will always seek to put you in a negative light. It gives them an excuse to exercise more power over you. And they will always want more.

People

All around me. Other people. Doing things. I must avoid them all. I live in a capitalist society. If I avoid them, they cannot profit from me. If I avoid them, they can’t realise they have nothing to gain from me, and that they must ensure my death. They’re doing things right now. Profiting from others. Taking from them. Giving little if anything in return. I answered the phone to a telescammer yesterday. Listened to the opening spiel. Then sighed, and said “You think we’re stupid don’t you.” He asked why would he think we’re stupid. I hung up. Shouldn’t have picked up in the first place. Because he was a person. I should have avoided him.

I’m seeing a psychologist soon. But I don’t want to. Because she’s a person. I’m taking my partner. But I don’t want to. Because she’s a person. I don’t want the psychologist’s help because she merely seeks to profit from me. I don’t want my partner’s help because I don’t want to burdern her. I don’t want anyone’s help because it leaves me open to be profited from. Or it makes me a burden. I want to be valuable to people, without losing that which makes me valuable in the giving. I just want to be. It’s a cliché. And not a realistic one. Because we can’t just be. Because we have to do things. We have to be people. And we have to profit from other people. And hope that when we die it’s because our body is simply finished. Not that we’ve had everything taken from us. By people. I must avoid them. So I am. But they’ll be back.

All The Insults

Running around in my head. I wish great ill of all those whom have done it to me. All those who in smug defiance of my fellow humanity have sought to bring me low. But I cannot do it them myself. Instead I must never truly sleep, but fear them rightly their black hearts; their hatred minds. Suffer their abuse gracefully and will with all my self-respect their suffering equally that which they’ve inflicted on me. For vengeance is a vice. Yet patience, well we all know what patience is. If only we have some.