A great article about masochism and the roots of it in America.

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Alice in Chains, a head cold, and time to spare.

I realize how cool it is that Jerry Cantrell signed my red fender stratocaster.  I bought the guitar used and I think I might have used my high school graduation party money to pay for it? I think most people think of sports memorabilia whenever autographs are involved, but “rock stars” or musicians that sign stuff is often less talked about. I mean fans generally get pictures with their favorites. In a small imaginative way it feels that by virtue of him signing my guitar, he was confirming to me that I should always pursue music in some form? Like if someone of his stature would spend time signing it, or if I would put myself in this position to get it signed, then playing music should be viewed as a strong priority in my life. And I believe it is. Although I don’t want to get too heavy into the fate of this that or the other thing.

This whole post came about while listening to a new song by Alice in Chains called “black gives way to blue”. It’s a song written about Layne Staley and his bleak ending. It makes me think about how we often elevate people that had or have horrible drug addictions, but created very powerful art, by way of having a drug problem. Not that anyone would set out to have a drug problem in order to write redemptive songs about their abuse; But I think Staley was so honest about his addiction, as you can hear on the album “Dirt”. It’s this honesty that originally got me into the band.

It’s likes an on-going documentary with a band when you’re aware of certain members struggling with addiction. This was true with Elliott Smith, although I got into him after he died. I believe the rawness of the message, in contrast with the beauty of the music is what hooks so many people. Then I consider how much effort each of us spends on a day to day basis, confirming that we’re alright to others, all in an attempt not to be viewed as vulnerable or weak willed. It’s as if the fandom or appreciation of these suffering or honest musicians, allows us to thank those that say what we are too afraid or timid to say to others.

It’s funny how people can quote on quote relate to a band or singer, but be a very square member of society. (college, job, or family) I don’t necessarily think it’s relating, as it is embracing another human being that would be so frank and willing to bare themselves nude to the world…or to do this as a career. We take so much from their art, yet in the back of our heads, we know that the pace their living is unsustainable, but we cheer them on to keep performing and making us feel triumphant in a way.

In the end addiction comes in varying forms. In a way too many people are addicted to keeping a facade that bares nothing of who they are privately and only what they imagine themselves to be in the eyes of others. I don’t believe myself to be some struggling, soul searching musician. I’m more so interested in why someone like Kurt Cobain or Michael Jackson becomes so adored and appreciated before and after their death. Why don’t people adore and appreciate the ones that constantly improve their own lives and those around them? The community orgaziners, the mothers against drunk drivers, teachers,  etc. Why do we just accept these people and move on from them so soon?

I suppose that as humans we are constantly trying to raise people up, it’s our soul’s purpose for the most part. For any situation you are in, if there is another hurting or in stress, you feel a pull to ease their pain. And I think that maybe these tortured or troubled musicians need all of this world’s energy sometimes, because their psychic pain is so unreal to them, or their too sensitive to it.

Or we’re just all here from different planets and thus are always at war with each other because of vast misunderstandings?

Or I have the flu and I’m doped up on Nyquil, so I’m feeling sentimental and too speculative?

“black gives way to blue.” by A.I.C.  You should check it out. Sir Elton John even makes an appearance on piano.

A good take on pets and their supposed purpose.

ZetaTalk: Pets
Note: written on Oct 15, 1996


Humans keep pets for multiple reasons, but primarily as substitutes for human contact. Pets are more predictable, more easily controlled, and beyond any natural bond of affection that develops between pet owner and pet, they can be trained to react in what can be interpreted to be a warm and friendly response. They invariably prove to be good listeners. Humans have kept pets for as long as they have been able to sustain an imaginative thought, as pet owners are certainly imaginative in what they ascribe to their pets. It has been said that pet owners take on the appearance of their pets as time passes. In fact, the opposite is the case – the pet owner chooses the pet as its persona matches the would be pet owner. Humans identify with their pets, so as to have a companion that they presume will relate to them. Ah, there’s another me, they say, someone who will understand. Along those lines:

  • Dog owners desire more assertive activity in their life, want to be able to assert themselves in human society more than they do, and vicariously enjoy it when their pets snatch food off the table, pee where and upon whatever they wish, and openly defy orders from strangers with a dumb look on their face. Owners of aggressive attack dogs are making the statement – don’t mess with me. Owners of pampered poodles or tiny Chihuahuas are making the statement – I wish to be taken care of and can’t be expected to go out into the rough and tumble world.
  • Cat owners are essentially aloof and tightly control their lives. They may be outgoing in appearance, but close examination reveals that they do so as a well orchestrated act. In fact, they distrust life and what it presents, and don’t want other humans to presume that they can simply march into the cat owner’s life. Owners of single cats are less secure in human society than owners of cat herds, as although they maintain tight control over their private world, they want some other warm blooded creature to be forced to share this with them, the cat owner being the only social interaction available to the cat. Owners of cat herds have ambitions to manage other humans, but are practicing with their cats.
  • Keeping a horse for recreation indicates a desire to be in charge, and in a big way. Women frequently outnumber men in this outlet, and for good reason. In most of human society, women are not allowed to manage, to startup and run companies, or to direct, regardless of their qualifications. At least on horseback they can soar over obstacles and fly across great distances, all the while acting as a director of these accomplishments. They are in charge, of something big and powerful, and the world is their audience.
  • Owners of passive pets or those pets that don’t interact with humans, such as fish or lizards or snakes or insects, are escaping into a world where there is relative peace and quiet, vicariously, through their pets. At the end of a hectic day, fighting with traffic and unreasonable customers and a demanding boss, they can come home and put themselves, at least mentally, into the placid world of the fish tank, or bask in the sunlamp with the pet lizard, or sleep endlessly in one place without a care in the world with their pet snake. They are making the statement that they wish that were their world.
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