Category Archives: Politics

the other view

Was in a traffic jam on Parkside Blvd adjacent to Toronto’s largest park, High Park, maybe similar in size to New York’s Central Park. And there at 10:30 am standing on the grass was a 70 something older woman in orange blouse, blue pants, white leather purse and a sign shaped like a ping pong racket but 3 times larger. Slowly made out the text she was bobbing up and down showing motorists. “Don’t Give Up”
What a mysterious radical woman. Seemed like there was no other purpose then stating “Don’t give up”. She looked more reminiscent of someone getting picked up at the airport but I concluded she just wanted to share something philosophical. How cool is she I thought. And which thing specifically was she targeting with “Dont give up”? Maybe the soul crushing reality that Trump became America’s president or maybe the environmental degradation severely threatening life or did she mean Human Rights? So many worthy things so little time. Don’t give up!
Then the the other side of the sign became visible – JW.ORG
Took me a second to see more clearly.
Now I get it – this wasn’t about radical consciousness, she’s trying to secure her eligibility for eternal real estate after she is dead, felt like a stranger sneezed on me.
Reminds me of Amanda Palmer’s Kickstarter raising over a million dollars (radical) but thinking it cool to expect local musicians to join her on tour for free or actually free merch and beer (not so radical).

lie in print

Some people get upset about critics and call them unintelligent or immature. Some even write letters complaining. Good luck whoever expects that will lead to new enlightened or insightful critics reflecting your opinion – which is probably the real story because the distance between our opinion and theirs is the same as the amount of hostility we feel when we don’t like them.
I think making up stuff is the best way to enjoy the situation and keep a little dignity because often they will misquote you or a later editor will rearrange things for their purposes and taken out of context your responses will look foolish. My favourite thing in interviews, lying. In fact regularly things are printed in a way that comes out as lies so why not alter the machine and intentionally insert some, might come out a little more truthful. Just a few lies and maybe one or two doozies (yes I’m working with Francis Ford Copolla next month) and then enjoy the final result and probably everything will be right with the world.
Because the real story isn’t the talk about your favourite movie or what you ate of breakfast when you wrote that song. It’s the music itself which stands on it’s own or not.
John S. Hall summed it up more perfectly when he fronted King Missile.
Take stuff from work.
It’s the best way to feel better about your job.
Never buy pens or pencils or paper.
Take ’em from work.
Rubber bands, paper clips, memo pads, folders-take ’em from work.
It’s the best way to feel better about your low pay and appalling working conditions.
Take an ashtray-they got plenty.
Take coat hangers.
Take a, take a trash can.
Why buy a file cabinet?
Why buy a phone?
Why buy a personal computer or word processor?
Take ’em from work.
I took a whole desk from the last place I worked.
They never noticed and it looks great in my apartment.
Take an electric pencil sharpener.
Take a case of white-out; you might need it one day.
Take some from work
It’s your duty as an oppressed worker to steal from your exploiters.
It’s gonna be an outstanding day.
Take stuff from work.
And goof off on the company time.
I wrote this at work.
They’re paying me to write about stuff I steal from them.
Life is good.

one less bridge

Got a call from a Canadian music magazine some years ago asking me to review a product – a Leslie amplifier simulator. They didn’t pay musicians for these requests.
They subscribed to a line of thought that people who add to a corporation’s profit by providing creative content should feel good getting free publicity. The fact that the owner gets free publicity plus earns revenue from selling that creative content isn’t part of their explanation for why contributors should be satisfied only with publicity.
I had plans for promoting my record production work so I asked him how about I run a classified ad for some weeks in exchange for my review? He said they don’t usually do that. I said ok see you later. He called back and said they would make an exception. I checked out the Leslie simulator. I didn’t like it. I wrote a review about how inadequate it was.
You would think I stabbed someone from behind if you heard his voice after he read my review.
“Don’t you understand the inventor of this pedal is an advertiser?” He said as though I was hard of hearing.
“Didn’t you want me to write a review of my experience?”
“Yes I did but wasn’t there anything positive?”
“If you think something something sounding like a chorus pedal is a Leslie than that’s positive I guess but if someone hoped it would sound like a Leslie then I have to say it doesn’t.”
“Well we can’t use this”. He said as though I should feel bad about this situation. I didn’t.