Friday, March 30, 2012

I'm always right...aren't you?

As a general proposition, my sense is that most of us tend to think that we're right about stuff.
I'm driving at the correct speed, I say the right things, I do what I'm supposed to do.

You'll have two people that experience the same event, each sees it from their own
perspective, and both believe that their view is right.

Obviously some things are more clear cut than others.  But even, if you have an obligation that's due
on a date certain and you don't take care of that obligation in a timely fashion; you probably
still think that you're right (especially if no one calls you on it).

There's usually some justification in the back of your mind that excuses you from NOT doing what you were supposed to do.  Of course, whomever is on the other end of this equation, isn't interested
in your justification, and will probably tend to think of you as a "deadbeat".

But we still tend to think that we're right.

We make commitments that we don't keep, and somehow we're the injured party, instead of the party
on the other side that's wondering why you didn't show up for the weekly book club or whatever.

It's one thing to have a difference of opinion on something.  But I always marvel at how we can
look at objective facts which don't leave much room for varying interpretations, and we'll come
away with different conclusions and be convinced of our rightness.

And of course, I am RIGHT about all of this.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shameless Plug


I've just posted a couple of new videos on my website.  I'm hoping you all will take a little time to check them out.

"Tactical Espionage" or "TE" is the pilot epsiode of a web series, and I make my on camera acting debut.  It was a lot of fun working on this and I'm hoping you all will like it.

The other video is a preview of one of the new songs which will appear on my upcoming album titled "There's No More Poor".  You get to hear a bit of the new song, and listen to a bit of my take on poverty.

So, please give this a peep and tell all your friends and family.  See, I told you this was a shameless plug.

Here's the link:!videos

Stay Peaceful & Positive

Follow The Money

Do any of you remember the movie All The President's Men?  That was the dramatization of the
Watergate scandal. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman portraying Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Do you remember the advice given to them by Deep Throat..."Follow The Money".
The truth for almost any situation always tends to be at the end of the money trail. 

If you're wondering why politicians take certain positions, change their positions, speak one way and vote another...follow the money.

A lot of people use the saying "Money is the Root of all Evil".  However, in the Bible, it's actually
"The LOVE of Money is the Root of all Evil".

When you ask yourself, why we don't have single payer health care in the USA and couldn't even get
the much weaker "public option", what answer do you come up with?  Was it the mean ole Republicans?
Was the public insufficiently excited about single payer and/or the public option?  Was it that the
Administration wasn't skilled enough in their messaging to convince a Democratic Congress at the
time to do its bidding?

Or does it all ultimately come back to Money?  Campaign contributions are protected under law as
free speech.  But what happens when my wallet is bigger than your wallet?  Is my free speech
accorded more weight than yours?  Do I possess more influence than you?  Do policies get shaped
to additionally benefit me, further enhancing my position?

Let's say that you have a friend, and that friend is in need of cash.  And you generously provide
that friend with the needed sum.  And at a later date, you make some request of that friend.
Do you expect that friend with which you were so very generous to ignore or dismiss your request?
Or do you expect that friend to be very compliant with your wishes in light of your previous generosity?

Now you may say that politics is very different from what I just described, but is it really?
In particular, when the very generous friend is able to form a Political Action Committee and
bundle millions of dollars in contributions and make them available for the cause of the friend's election.  Is the recipient of this generosity really going to be uninfluenced by it?

Or is it more likely that the recipient finds themselves more willing to consider positions favorable
to the source of the contributions?  Convincing themselves that once they are elected they will
be able to serve some greater good, after of course providing the appropriate considerations to
those generous friends who made their election possible.

It seems that the only way to eliminate this dynamic is to have all campaigns publicly financed.
I don't know what the details of this would be, but I do believe that money completely corrupts
the process and shuts out the voices of those without means to participate.

It's been demonstrated that it's very easy to ignore the individual donor who perhaps contributed
$5 to a campaign.  I submit that it's probably equally easy to ignore the individual donor who
made the max contribution of $2,500 (although that might get you an autographed picture or something).

But the big moneyed interests don't get ignored.  It's the rules of the game and everyone plays by them.
Maybe instead of monitoring other country's elections and providing critiques, we need to get our
own act cleaned up.

Is it Democracy, when 1% makes the rules?

Please visit

Friday, March 16, 2012

Profanity In Songs, Keeping It Real or Over The Top

How many of you enjoy hearing profanity in your music?

Call me old school, but it doesn't really work for me.  That's not to say that there aren't songs where it has some context and is used to make a point.  But even in those songs, often it just doesn't seem to sing well in my opinion.

The first song that I recall hearing a swear word in it was the Isley Brothers "Fight The Power".  I was a little kid when it was released, and when it came on the radio there was a beep to get rid of the offending word.  When one of my older brothers purchased the album, I was able to hear the un-edited version.
Now, I was and am a big fan of the Isley Brothers.  And "Fight The Power" actually had some context and what I thought was a purpose to their using the expletive in the refrain:
I try to play my music, you say my music's too loud,
I try talking about it, I got the big run around,

and when I roll with the punches,

I get knocked on the ground, by all this bullsh#$ going down

So, the use of the expletive there to me, was in context and made sense.  But a lot of songs today appear to be gratuitous.  In fact they don't appear to even have any shock value, since a lot of it is almost every other word.  Now before any of you accuse me of being part of the morality police, I understand that a lot of people's normal speech patterns are filled with what I recall amusingly from a Star Trek movie as "colorful metaphors".  And maybe artists and writers believe that they are just "keeping it real".  OK, I get that, as far as it goes.
But I have a hard time hearing the word motherf&^%er sang with a melody, and can respond to it with, "yeah, that really flowed well".  Now, I'm sure that it "flows" better in rap/hip-hop, because that's more about cadence with speaking, and lots of attitude.
But really, are you able to listen to that in a ballad without cringing?  I can't.

I have occasionally found myself making use of "colorful metaphors" at times, but I just can't bring myself to include that in a lyric.  My best friend asked me to make a song I had written about the end of his marriage a little more raw.  When I asked him what he meant, he said he wanted me to include some "colorful metaphors" to drive the point home.  I told him that I understood his pain, but that just wasn't my vibe.  In fact, I would probably break out laughing during the recording if I was trying to sing profanity.

So, what are your thoughts on profanity in music?  Does it work for you?

Get 3 free downloads of my songs at!free-offers

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stay The Course!

I am over weight, have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but this in no way will change my strategy to consume a diet consisting mainly of fried fatty foods.

Do any of you question the wisdom of the words above?  Does it sound like perhaps a slight moment of pause should be taken to consider whether the results of such a strategy are at all problematic?

Does it somehow seem noble, that against all odds and practical wisdom that we will "stay the course"?

Now, take that idea above and substitute the words of our public officials.  On almost anything.  When something awful happens as a direct result of policies that have been implemented, how often do you hear them say that "this event while tragic, in no way changes our strategy, commitment, blah, blah, blah".

Do you ever wonder, well...WHY NOT?  I mean, that's like going outside in the midst of a Hurricane and insisting that despite the conditions you are not only NOT going to carry an umbrella, use a rain coat, or wear any protective gear, but that you are also going to pull up anchor and set sail for a nice sunny destination.

Who needs objective reality?  Reality is whatever "the Power Elite" say it is, and whatever "they" can convince a majority of people to believe.

I need to eat a pizza.

By the way, check me out at

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do It Afraid

I have a confession to make.
I've lived most of my life afraid.

Afraid to succeed, afraid to fail.  Afraid to be laughed at, afraid of rejection.  Afraid the bills
won't get paid.  Afraid I'll lose my job.

Now, you might say "that's no big deal", we're all afraid of something.  And that's probably true.

But the real issue is how you deal with the fear.  Sometimes if we're afraid to fail and afraid to
succeed we live our lives unfulfilled, or maybe just become critics of others efforts.

I'm pretty sure that I've been there.  It's very easy to critique someone else's effort while never stepping to the forefront with your own.  But it's not really about the critiquing.  It's about not living your life to its fullest because of fear.  And maybe that critique comes from the envy of others actually doing what we only dare dream to do.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not suggesting that you fly out to Vegas and put the Rent money down on 23 Red.  But don't let fear hold you back from something that you think is important to you.  Don't be afraid to make positive changes because you're not sure how they will turn out. 

There's very little that we might actually do, if we're always afraid of worst case scenarios.
So get out there and stake your claim, pursue your dreams, and do your thang!

And while you're at it, give me a visit at

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Reflections In The Dark

There's nothing quite like a power outage to remind you of our dependence on our infrastructure and all things electrical.
We just had a snowstorm, and while it wasn't particularly awful, it was wet and heavy.  I don't know what caused the outage, but it was pretty inconvenient.

My furnace and range top are both electrical ignition.  The cable was out, so no phones or Internet.
I'm glad we had candles and flashlights.  I'm also glad we didn't have sub-zero temperatures to contend with.

But, I started thinking about life without power, and I must say I found it be an unpleasant exercise.

I occasionally hear talk about our electrical grid and how it needs to be upgraded or rebuilt.  The power outage made me think more about that.  It also made me think a bit more about how electricity is produced.  We still use a lot of coal fired plants to produce electricity.

We need to find a balance between our power consumption needs and environmental concerns.  A wise man once told me "don't crap where you live".  Now that can apply to a lot of things, but in this instance we're talking about the planet.  I love me some "sci-fi", but I don't think there's a nearby planet for us to colonize if we trash this one.

As much as we might try, the environment can't be bent to our will.