Time Doesn’t Exist.

Naturally enough, I’ve made the old mistake of thinking there’s time. The deadline is ages away. I can work on this in a leisurely fashion. No rush. That’s true in the beginning.

There’s never time. Not just in the esoteric, “time-doesn’t-exist” way either. The deadline is always now. That’s also true in the beginning.

This is not to say you have to hurry. I can be relaxed and prodigious at the same time. I work better that way. Know in the back of your mind that you have time; no sense doing rush work while you don’t have to.

But if the front of your mind also knows that, you’ll end up pulling 3 all-nighters in a row to finish on schedule. Even if you can do that without getting sloppy (spoiler: you can’t), it’s still kind of masochistic. If you’re in this position because you wanted to take it easy, I’m guessing you aren’t a masochist. But then what do I know?

I know I have 30 days to prep an album for replication, and then send it to 6000 blogs and radio stations. And I have 15 days to get it into the hands of 15 people who made the project possible. I can do that in 20 days and 5 respectively, but who wants to wait around and then be in a rush?

So that’ll be me going back to work.

S’posed-ta

I don’t usually rant about this stuff. There are other people who are better at it. But you can hear something a million times, and it won’t stick until you break the rules & see for yourself.

So after seeing a handful of friends break some stupid rules and determine the parameters of their own happiness, I’ve decided to give it a shot. The other thing wasn’t working out anyway.

Happiness – by conventional standards – is a bad joke. From very early on, we get taught how to perpetually get-what-you-need to get-what-you-need to get-what-you-need. If you aren’t lucky enough to enjoy that, you can end up trapped in that maze for the remainder of the only life you are going to get.

And the joke will be on you. Whatever meaning you attached to that frantic life, it really was nothing more than a rat’s maze. So you found the cheese. Great. Cheese is good. On to the next maze.

Or you can do what you want. This may include such things as:

1. Manipulate reality to the whims of your imagination.
2. Impose your will on unsuspecting air molecules.
3. Fight the Power.
4. Sling coffee for minimum wage (Hey. Some people are into into that).

Believe it or not, these are all viable options. We can see the proof of it.

But none of it defines you, whatever Rachel Dawes or Batman say. Whatever happens, you’ll “be” what you are, and nothing can change that. Not even you. Not even the rat maze. Cuz you’re not a rat. Right?

What matters is that what-you-are is compatible with what-you-do. Figuring that out can be really fucking hard, especially when everyone else around you has a different idea of what you are and what you should do. Lately, I’ve just been telling them to fuck off & mind their own business, and the quiet has been sublime.

When it comes to your future, there is no s’posed-ta.

There’s wanna.

There’s gonna.

There’s doing.

There’s did.

That’s the choice. That’s where change can happen.

S’posed-ta was invented by repressed control-freaks to kill people slowly. I’m not even joking. They can’t kill you quickly anymore. Things have had to get a little more subtle. Might not even be their fault; maybe they’re s’posed-ta do that.

For the rest of us…

It’s never too late to say “Fuck the rules.” At least I sure hope it’s never too late. I’m just getting started.

Say it with me.

Fuck the rules.

Teach or Preach

If you’re about to make a statement, you gotta decide.

Preaching is a proclamation of what you believe to be true.

Teaching means giving someone the tools to figure out what they believe.

These are distinct. In any given instant, they’re mutually exclusive.

So I’m done preaching for now.

Medicine, part 1

When victory is within reach but just beyond grasp, that is how the full might of God tickles.

So it is with the limits of reason and awareness, even when aided by strange chemicals from secret laboratories. With all its vast, cosmic powers of imagination, the human mind is confined to the skull like a genie in a bottle.

My Brain Don’t Always Work Too Good

I was initially told that God made the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Actual days. Conveniently, He made the sun early on, and separated light from darkness so we could keep count.

Also believed in Santa Claus much longer than did kids who were otherwise pretty average. This and other beliefs were a sort of cage for the potential to be naughty. If Santa Claus ain’t watching, who’s to say anybody will be nice?

I now realize there’s no God, that intelligent design is a lie, and the universe is random and chaotic, letting its tiniest components make all the rules without even knowing it. I get that. It’s just that I was raised from such an early age to believe – and believed so earnestly for so long – that even though some of that stuff might be true, something else was more true; even now my subconscious persists in believing in Noah’s Ark, no matter how reasonable I get. It’s as if my imagination got a fresh paint job when I was 25, but the old lead undercoat is still poisoning the house.

Naturally, that makes it confusing when I realize (for the hundred zillionth time) that my brain doesn’t function properly without help (Intelligent Design? Why not design a proper intelligence then?). I’ve been adding chemicals to my brain pretty much nonstop since I was a toddler, so you’d think I would have put that together by now. Yet I persist in believing my mind can be trusted.

Don’t laugh. You’re doing the same fucking thing right now.

“Food is a Hell of a Drug”

Eat the wrong thing for breakfast, and your brain is fucked for the day. Eat the wrong thing for dinner, and tomorrow will be a continuation of the nightmare you’re about to have. I used to eat at A&W, and for nearly a year I thought there was a future for me in selling shoes and washing dishes. Food is a hell of a drug.

I eat a lot of dead animals, and have noticed something. The animals that run around eating bugs and grass while they’re alive, tend to taste better than the ones that have lived their whole lives with their noses smashed up each other’s diarrhetic asses, eating their freeze-dried & reconstituted ancestors.

Correlation is not causation. It may be just a big coincidence that happy animals taste better, that fair trade coffee & chocolate are less depressing, or that Benedict XVI looked so much like Emperor Palpatine. Or none of those things are coincidences. Even without a God, things still seem to relate to each other in this world.

Things appear simpler when you remember your medicine. I don’t just mean drugs, but that is a piece of the puzzle. No, medicine is a much bigger word than most white people I know are prepared to understand. For that matter, so is “healthy.”

My medicine involves drugs (like THC, Cipralex, psilocybin, caffeine, etc.), but also includes nutritional balance, sleeping properly, reading Edgar Allan Poe or Allan Watts (depending on the season), feeling loud music, enjoying perpetual childlessness, and dealing with occasional fits of contemplative silence on the toilet.

Yours is probably similar. Deviate from your medicine at your peril. It isn’t exactly the meaning of life, but maybe it’s the sea that will eventually dump you, gasping, onto the shore of life’s meaning. Eventually. Maybe.

If you don’t like life, you might have eaten something you weren’t supposed to. Bad medicine. Can’t speak for everyone, but when I eat eggs, I feel fantastic; a coffee in the sun, and I’m elated. Good medicine. Basmati rice – once a joy –  now makes me an irritable threat to the people I love.

Poverty As Medicine

A degree of poverty has been helpful to me in this. Like any other medicine, you can overdo poverty. You can be healthy and penniless, but to do that you need either land and the strength to work it, or sufficient skill and hunting grounds for sustenance.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. It’s how gorillas live, and all they do is eat and fuck. What kind of life is that? Actually, that sounds pretty decent. But you know… ambition and stuff.

Just like poverty, you can overdo wealth. With too much wealth I would lose touch with the transience of being, and run an extreme risk of believing life is under control. That belief would be the death of reason in me. Hell, I once lost sight of the transience of being with no more than $800 a month and a bug-infested room in Parkdale. Imagine how much Reality I could ignore if I had Mitt Romney money.

If done right, poverty keeps me mindfully afloat in the river of the universe, instead of trying to stand still against the current like some stupid, drowning rich man. If done wrong, it makes me curse all the reasons I can’t build a dam.

Emperors have cut their wrists in despair, but Sixto Rodriguez is somehow happy. He knows the value of things, and the limits of their worth. If you’re one of the 6 or 7 people who still don’t know who Sixto Rodriguez is, stop what you’re doing now and find out immediately. You will be glad you did. The guy lives and breathes what is sometimes called the “virtue of poverty.”

Of course he isn’t technically poor anymore, but he still lives that shit hardcore.

Money Makes Me Mad. Moreover…

It makes sense that money makes people crazy. It might be our craziest invention. It has no intrinsic value, except that it serves as a conduit of value. We have nothing else remotely like it, because everything else in the world has intrinsic value.

The potential value of money depends on everything else in the world, yet I would give up so much of real value for more of it. I’ve sacrificed years of my life for it, and now I’m left without enough to buy the time back.

Money is quite a dazzling fucking thing in that light.

Kingdoms run out of money sometimes. Whatever else they might have, they crumble for lack of money. A house can’t fall apart for lack of inches, but a kingdom can fall apart because it doesn’t have a measuring stick for all the stuff it does have.

That happened once in France. I read about it in a book that came out shortly after the Bible. They went from kingdom to republic, to dictatorship, to empire, and back to republic again. They did in less than 30 years what Rome couldn’t in 10 centuries. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the Republic of France came damn close.

I read somewhere else that Marie Antoinette never said a word about cake. Apparently that was a rumour, no doubt the work of labour unions.

Maybe “Let them eat cake,” was some kind of euphemism for “Kiss my sweet, powdered, royal ass.” Maybe she did actually mean “The peasants can kiss my ass.” We’ll never know, cuz we weren’t there. All we have is a heavily edited historical account.

And absinthe, thanks in no small part to France. There’s a genie in a bottle for ya. Better medicine than cake too.

Frinstance

This happens a lot.

I started this thing on my phone about six months ago, just jotting shit down in the “Notes” app. It got out of control quickly. Should have seen it coming.

The first time most kids hear a new kind of music, the typical reaction is to laugh, jump up and down, get hungry or bored, and move on.

There are some who fixate, repeating the song until their parent/guardian/god smites them, physically or otherwise.

Still fewer are the ones who decide to do the thing upon which they have fixated, often to the exclusion of food, sleep, and fresh air. They often grow up to be addicts, and turn everything up to 11. Thems would be the kinda kid I was.

So notes in a phone can quickly become something akin to a book, although categorizing that book could be challenging. Philosophy? Too serious. Autobiography? There are elements of it, but also fiction and literary meanderings I don’t know the names for. Self-help? Gods, no. If your Self needs help from someone like that, you’ve got bigger problems than confidence-building.

Someone suggested I return to blogging, but do it right time (whatever that means). Maybe one day these words will grace the pages of something near enough the toilet to alleviate the anxiety of wondering what pain and consistency will follow your decision to be there. Until then, you’ll just have to read it in pieces.

Pretty sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.