The Darkener's Lair

You are in a small clearing in a well marked forest path that extends to the east and west.

I don’t remember writing this, but I know I did —

I have faith in the world music community because
I’ve learned what makes one thrive.

People that care about each other – a fellowship of
sorts, with a strong passion for the music – the art,
the movement, the microcosms that form within the
whole. Virgin sounds are created and repeated for
consumption by people, in an effort to extract an
emotion or feeling.

This core communal motivation to make and experience
music together as a group is undeniable for many people.
It’s not a choice but a necessity – an underlying, never ending
call.

I feel that it’s time to build a new global music ecosystem.
One that’s based on freely sharing originally created works
and allowing the covering, remixing of them too. We cannot
rely on the current industry to allow the art of music creation
and consumption to happen organically – we need new music
under a new premise that sidesteps the deadlocks that
money brings to it.


On the Subject of Auto-correct and Curse Words —

Can we get a muthafuckin’ moment of silence…. for this small chronic break?

Yeah…smartphones be leavin’ out these words, like they don’t exist. I treat these dictionaries that don’t accept these words like I do 7-up; I never have, and I never will!

Let me express myself without direct and deliberate influence on the words I use. Is that too much to ask?


A Planet of Ideas —

With the advent of the Internet, we are no longer a planet of nations. We are a planet of ideas. A planet of people who congregate based on personal interest. The lines have been blurred in our minds, and that’s important to acknowledge when it comes to realizing how collective, global change happens.

The world has gotten a lot smaller in the past 30 years. We’re all feeling the growing pains of having ideas, not necessarily only from huge multinational media conglomerates, but from anybody, being presented to us. It’s confusing. We’re weren’t ready for it and I don’t think we’re used to it yet. There has been a vast widening of the perceivable spectrum of personal ideals. We’re not used to viewpoints so much different than ours or at least our country’s. That all used to be filtered.

And now, as we all get to know each other, we will hopefully all learn how to get along even if our personal ideals differ.. as long as we have something to unify us. Religion used to take care of that, but that landscape is changing rapidly as well.

We have a long ways to go to reach ‘unity’ with this. I have hope for current and future generations, however :) We’re making good progress.


U.S. Gun Obsession —

Actually, I believe America’s gun obsession is rooted in the Constitution.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

There’s historical reasoning behind America’s tight grip on the right to bear arms, but it’s not rooted in slavery. Do you know what that history is?

Our “obsession” with guns isn’t about race, it’s about the right to defend oneself. This goes for men and women, white people, black people, gay people, straight people, nonbinary people, and all other people.

You know, Americans.

Cure the reasons why people want to kill in the first place, and you won’t have to worry about outlawing every tool they use to kill with.


“…And What Have We Learned?” —

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought sickness, death and fear to the human species.

The scientists of the world have created a vaccine, specifically designed to inoculate humans against the virus. Less the anti-vaxers, humans everywhere have spotted a bright shining light in the distance – one of hope for the future. One that broadcasts that we might be ok.

But what about next time? What about the time after next? What about all of the previous times? How do humans contract these deadly viruses? Regardless of the claims of lab-grown mishaps, nobody knows for sure – but we *do* know where previous and related viruses have come from. It is largely attributed to animal-to-human contact due to deforestation and the general destruction of natural habitats, forcing these animals to migrate closer to human habitats.

In April last year I wrote a poem that theorized about this and the responses nature may give when it is abused. I believe that like any other living organism, Earth is capable of defending itself when threatened.

And who’s to say that humans aren’t abusing Earth? The connection between humans and nature itself is all but being held by a single thread, grasped by those who care enough to trade greed for future life on this planet. Held nervously by those who understand the delicate balance that must be kept, while peering angrily at those who dismiss the possibility that we can do something about the blatantly obvious and much too rapid shift in climate to protect ourselves and the ecosystems we are 100% dependent on to sustain life.

(NASA: “Climate Change: How Do We Know?”)

 

So what have we learned? Have we learned? Or are we destined to leech black soot from the ground and spew it into the air we breathe until we can’t anymore? Is the human species really still so arrogantly ignorant that we can’t join together in the name of methodically proven scientific fact, historical records and educated predictions of the future to save our species? Or are we still too short-sighted and distracted to join together for our collective survival?

I have hope that we can evolve and learn to balance our ways of life with the planet that hosts us. What else can I have, other than hope? It’s my survival instinct. Funny thing about instinct when it comes to survival – it can get ugly when things get bad enough and the ones who choose life and action get fed up with those who choose laziness, selfishness and inaction.

Let’s do the right thing for ourselves, the multitude of amazing and dependent species we live alongside, and the health of our planet itself. Earth has done damn well adapting to human life, it’s time we give back and adapt to it – because evidence proves that Earth is sick…so sick, it’s making us sick. (I’m looking at you, climate change deniers, flat-Earthers, all of you arrogant and uneducated fucks who keep pressing your inaccurate view of reality onto others with absolutely no factual basis or real evidence. And for what selfish purpose? Money? Power? The false sense of being right so you can go to sleep at night without having panic attacks? Fuck you.)


Leenode —

With so much drama in the IRC, it’s kinda hard managing a community. But I, somehow, someway, keep logging into irssi like every single day

May I kick a little channels for the Lees, And make a few ends as I apologeeze through, Two in the hashtags and the channel’s not jumpin’, cause they left the freenode

I got users in the chat rooms gettin’ it on, And they ain’t leavin’ till the year 2091

So, what you wanna do? /quit? I got a client full of channels and my homeboys do too

Forget ’bout the fight and close window, it’s all done, we don’t love them ho’s, yeah

so, we got IRC bounce for this. Vs up, ops down, while you channelopers kick for this

Bumpin’ IRC, smokin’ Andrew, connecting Libera too…laid back.. with my mind on community and community on my mind

 

(A little back-and-forth I did with another user in my local LUG channel, haha)


Insurrection vs. BLM Protests —

God I love reading the news. /s


“The federal government was unprepared for this insurrection, even though it was planned in plain sight on social media for the world to see,” Maloney said. “And despite all the military and law enforcement resources our government can call upon in a crisis, security collapsed in the face of the mob, and reinforcements were delayed for hours as the Capitol was overrun.”

Republicans sought immediately to change the focus to the civil unrest that arose from racial justice protests, suggesting that Democrats outraged over the Capitol riot failed to strongly condemn violence last June in the days following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.


Oh the racial justice protests? You mean the ones where people were protesting the unjust and intentional murder of a black man for no good reason? The ones where 90% were peacefully protesting and police still brutalized them? The ones where police were absolutely prepared with masses of cops, militarized police weaponry, using tear gas like breathing air?

There’s a BIG DIFFERENCE between condemning a categorically minority percentage of bad actors in a nation-wide protest against a police man intentionally murdering a minority (again…I was 11 years old when Rodney King was brutally beaten by the LAPD and the phrase, “Can’t we all just get along?” was imprinted in my young mind forever), and condemning an attempted coup against our nation’s capitol by domestic terrorists that were fooled by a lifelong con-artist who wanted to remain in power so he could complete his dismantling of what little democracy we have left…and for what? His own personal gain? All along the way, dismissing COVID-19 with no plan? And do we want to even contemplate revisiting the hundreds of other completely insane choices he made as POTUS? Do we? Can you even fucking imagine where the U.S. would be if he were still POTUS today, in May 2021?)

Trump *absolutely* allowed what was happening at the capitol. He was excited, glued to his television while it unfolded. He ignored pleas from his government, his people. There was no action to stop what thankfully turned out to be a literal shit show. Trump. Caused. The. Capitol. Insurrection. And everybody needs to understand this. It is undeniable.

Listen– I don’t mean to upset or criticize anyone for their opinion. But we have to remember that what happened on Jan. 6 2021 is not comparable to the BLM protests. They were each spawned into our collective reality under much different premises. We have to examine each of them for what they were, why they were so we can understand that nobody wants violence to be the outcome of civil unrest. We’ve got to see that the gaslighting and psychological mind games being played by Trump and Republicans in Congress to the public, most notably for the past 13 years (starting with the Obama ‘birther movement’ conspiracy theory) need to stop. We all know what’s happening right here, right now. We understand the history and the motive behind it. I have faith that the American people, by and by, will ultimately remember that liberty and justice for all isn’t dead. We just have to stop playing these childish games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bitch Mustard —

The other night I came across this post on Reddit and instantly lyrics started pouring into my head. This morning while riding my motorcycle I filled it out a bit. I have a beat and basic vocal melody too, just not recorded yet. Who wants to collab? =D

“Bitch Mustard”

I don’t really want none of yo’

BITCH MUSTARD

I just wanna give you all my

CREAM CUSTARD

Don’t love you but I wanna be yo’

BIG LOVER

Bologna sandwich, tuna fish
Crazy bitch why don’t you
Come and take me on

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOME


Quarter ’til New —


My desktops, both virtual and physical, have been a mess. As has my mind. The pattern is still somewhat of a mystery but the symptoms are showing exceptionally bright this time around. I feel as if it’s all at a climax, I’m glad I took that motorcycle ride this morning (mitigation can be fun, even if you’re doing “work”).

I must return to balance. If I do, this shall not only pass but become another learning experience. Otherwise, it will become seeds of negativity, to sprout later. I have seen this all too much in my lifetime and I feel I’ve become pretty keen at spotting it early on and extinguishing it in myself. I’d like to think that I’m past that (muhahaha).

Though this spiral causes reunions of sorts, I need to remember that I’m viewing them as passive events. I am not, or no longer, involved in them, so I need not be affected by them. I must remember that these words can mean many different things.


Anti-vax —

I think I get it now
I think I figured it out

It’s all pretty simple
Pitiful

You don’t care about anyone else
You only care about yourself

Yeah, I caught you, now I
Know all your why’s and how’s

You don’t care about anyone else
You only care about yourself

You don’t think about anyone else
You only think about yourself

No need for hate or humor
I’ll see you at your funeral


30 Years Ago Today —

Over the years I’ve written a few posts about what this band meant to me. It’s funny that even as I was writing about ToTD back then, that the band was putting a second, completely separate and just as powerful impression on me through my learning about Andrew Wood and the core of how things happened in that little microcosm of a scene. Chris Cornell dying just a couple of years after my second discovery brought the tragedy that motivated this record, back into the forefront for me and so many others I’m sure.


I know —

I know

I know

I know
Nothing

And that’s o.k.
With me
I learn more every day

I’ve wondered why my dreams
Never became reality
But now I wonder how this negativity
Ever had a hold on me
Ever had a hold on me

Funny how
Long time ago
I knew it all…

But the older I get
The more I realize

(repeat)


Spam / Junk Mail —

I’ve felt for a while now that scanning my spam/junk mail folder for legitimate mail has an inherent negative affect on my mood.

I use SpamAssassin on my mailserver which takes care of the bulk of my junk mail. Even with this protection, as most know, a good amount still comes through – and introduce my 2nd line of defense, Thunderbird junk mail control. It does a fantastic job at picking up the pieces SpamAssassin dropped while devouring the constant influx of wasted bits.

I sort junk by subject so as to group like spam together and make it easier to scan quickly. So a few times a day, I click on that folder and scan with my eyes. I get all sorts of random crap, like most do. What’s concerning to me is that even scanning subject lines is giving an “impression” (ad/marketing speak) on me.

Next time you’re scanning your junk mail, take note of the keywords that are used. They’re more common than you think and some of them are concerning to me.

‘War’. ‘Money’. ‘President’. ‘Stress’. ‘Finances’. ‘STDs’. ‘Poverty’. ‘Health problems’. ‘Diabetes’. ‘Erectile dysfunction’. ‘Cancer’.

Speaking from a subconscious perspective, it’s not unlike the famed one-frame “BUY COCA COLA” insertion at drive-in movies of the 1950’s. I believe that looking at words consistently over a period of time, even with the intention of deleting them, can have a subtle influence on the mind and therefore body.

Sometimes I wish I had time to start a ‘junk-mail’ campaign that spread positive words to people. It would be like a war on junk mail.


COVID-19 Daily Deaths as of 2021/04/07 —

I find it interesting how the death rate was literally the highest at 2021/01/20, then started to fall drastically.

Hmm, what happened on 2021/01/20?

P.S. Annual death rate of influenza (the flu) in the U.S. is ~36,500. That’s an average taken from between 2010-2020. COVID-19 death rate is currently 560,000 for around 15 months.

That’s 15 TIMES more than the flu.


Rooting Out the Negative —

This article on affirmations is one that I will be revisiting and working on to incorporate into my life. It really struck a chord and I’m confident that it will generate successful results. What a great read. It made me exit myself and allowed me to analyze myself not unlike in a more meditative or dreamlike state. I love articles and other things like this that allow me to ‘see’ from this perspective because I know that working on the way one thinks, at the core, allows real change. It allows one to reprogram the mind and ultimately root out what is undesirable; the negativity itself that camps and festers and trolls, the thoughts themselves that cause me to believe in myself less and hold me back from what I strive to achieve.

Here’s to more personal growth! *Cheers*


Reddit —

Reddit seems to be a ‘multiplexer’ of topic-based message boards.

Back in the day it would be BBSes (of course, right? You’re on my site after all). After that came multi-BBS echoes, then the rise of the Internet with newsgroups, then www-based messaging forum software, then implementation of group forums with social networks such as Myspace and Facebook..

Then came Reddit.

Reddit is a multiplexer of group message boards. It is the facility in which topics are discussed amongst members of the groups who subscribe to these topics (or ‘subreddits’, deliniated by the ‘r/SubredditName’ syntax). Pretty fucking ingenious if you ask me.

Think about it – Reddit has created a topic-based discussion machine. Users are users, topics are subreddits in which anyone can create and moderate, and that’s pretty much the premise. IMHO the mobile app is minimalistic but incredibly elegant – it feels like how I browse. Even on Android its aesthetics are world-class and the way the UX works is just incredibly well done all around. I couldn’t dream up a better working app for this use case.

Sometimes you need to sacrifice a bit of your own creative soul…sometimes you have to take one for the team and build a platform that incubates, that harvests what you want to create (but it’s not you creating it). No matter what, the platform stands above any single ideology or stance or disposition – it is a machine. A constructor, a creator in and of itself. It’s a beautiful machine.


Emoticon Evolution —

For many years I’ve used the =) as my “emoticon” (though I hate that term – it’s a smilie, damn it). Before that I generally used :> as a snarky, 14-year-old would to show how unique and cool I was compared to the lamers who always used the standard :-) of the time (~1994).

In recent years I’ve felt like the more universal/generic emoticon, :) is better received. It’s a standard, known dialect. I guess I held out a bit too long, trying to stay different. Thanks a lot, Arby’s.

Same with “Hehe”.. in “the olden bbs days” that was very common, along with <G> (grin). These all predate emojis and other graphical representations of reactions and emotions (and poops). But one time a friend told me that “Hehe” seemed mischievous. I felt like I’d been miscommunicating myself for all these years.

But, like language, I guess emotions depicted by computer/mobile screens will continue to evolve. I’m just proud that I got to be a part of the beginnings of it all. Signing off, The Greybeardener.


Audio —

The past 10+ years have really focused on the visual senses regarding culture. The age of smartphones seem to have steered our senses toward a visually dominant experience and interaction with others. Texting, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter, memes, blogs, all of these focus on what you can see, read and understand using your eyes.

To me, there were some parts of the 1980’s-1990’s teenager culture in the U.S. that screamed audio dominance. Noisy arcades, MTV music, concerts and radio for instance.

Of course “video” games were anything but audio centric, though what I remember walking through arcades when I was young were machines surrounding me with loud music and sound effects. Pinball machines in one area clicking, dinging, flipper-ing.. On top of that, people talking loudly, laughing, screaming, cheering. A true gathering, a community even if most people didn’t know each other. Many times these arcade games were in pizza parlors (another 80’s-90’s staple) which also had jukeboxes.

Don’t even get me started on jukeboxes.

MTV’s shtick was video but its heart was music. It dominated televisions day and night with music videos of a once-in-a-generational declaration. It got us to spend every last dollar on tapes and CDs for our walkmans and discmans with their characteristic on-ear headphones that still rock today.

I unfortunately didn’t get to experience many local (or otherwise) concerts until I was around 21. I guess I just never had a friend that played in a band that asked me to see them play somewhere random where I’d be inundated into the “local scene”. Even then I wish I did know someone.

Radio was still dominant then when it came to discovering new music. MTV was big but local radio had a much different character. And more importantly, it had a /local/ character. You would tap into the local culture through truly local radio stations. Not the piped-in syndicated blubber that we all still know (and love?) today, but the stations that took listener calls, held contests for tickets and had funny morning hosts to help jumpstart your day.

Video may be enticing and intoxicating, and I definitely do not dismiss it as a dominant human sense. I feel that audio presents a very interesting avenue for influence and even a deeper cultural anchor based in rhythm and repetition.


Split-brain —

What is split-brain?

  • Difference in interpretation of laws, morals and ethics across a nation
  • Cannot identify which political party is fighting for what is “right and just”, even when both parties claim to be doing just that
  • Both parties accuse each other of being delusional, hypocritical fucks
  • The liberty, freedom and security of the people are each severely eroded as neither side can admit even partial fault in prolonging the pain, fear and suffering of whom they are supposedly serving

(Content inspired from here)