Archives for posts with tag: truth

came across a quote the other day about ego traps, that if you think yerself ‘better’ than others because you think the music they listen to isn’t as ‘spiritual’ or “good” as what you listen to, that’s an ego trap… i feel shame to say that i have fallen into that some times in my life.

it sucks when people try to make someone feel bad or somehow inferior for liking a certain song or style of music. people with their sweeping generalizations and their judgements of ” i don’t like rap/country/rock/jazz/pop/classical music”. or people who declare that one genre of music is better than another, adamantly. critics with their expert opinions on what album/song/musician is best… acting like they’re being objective. like, this one guy had zero poker face and gave me an incredible look of confusion, disgust and disdain while asking why i was talking about Tupac… … it was funny to me tho, cuz, uh… music is one of the most subjective things. ever. and each genre has its own forms, its own instruments, its own rhythms and beats, its own language and its own message, that all reflect the realities from which they come.

music brings people together, it makes ‘em feel good and smile and talk and dance and sing and feel inspired by it all… as Kendrick Lamar said two years ago at Osheaga – “it’s pure energy and nothin’ else”. and it’s good energy. it incites good times and good vibes. it doesn’t necessarily incite illicit behaviour, music issa conduit to help release all the pent up energy like sadness and anger and joy and love over the honest truths and brutal realities and sense of community and collaboration and hope and inspiration and beauty that the artists share… and then all the energies combine to create what can only be described as looking and feeling like peace and love.

music is ultimately about community, where the skilled artists can get us up in the air to see and feel all the beauty in the crazy patterns of this world. it’s not a distraction so that we forget about what can feel at times like a “bug’s eye view”*, but rather helps find the beauty in it, or at least make some sense of it. sometimes it can only be found in music and the movie screen in your head and the way it makes you feel. sometimes it’s the soundtrack to what’s going on in real life, but feels like a movie… or a sit com…

in what more pithily sums up the many words i wrote about music and truth in my Religion honours thesis, (… 30-40pages dissecting how so-called “sacred” or “absolute” truths about the world can be understood as being determined through value systèmes that are created by our own individual understandings and feelings of the words and images that are used to describe these truths and therefore ‘truths’ are not simply found in so called sacred texts, they can be found in every kind of text and every kind of music and every kind of art) … if music don’t contain some sort of truth and it don’t create some sort of sacred place of congregation, then i dunno what does. and it’s not just one type of music. truth can be found in all genres of music. from polka to post-rap… just like truth can be found in all religions. and all texts… even a cookbook.

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*Bug’s Eye View reference from the spoken word sample in the song Harmonic by Hex, off the album Cold Krush Cuts, Ninja Tunes, 1997, is originally from the album Four Dreams of Man by Dr John Furbay, Columbia, 195?.

“Now those people who fly have a different point of view of the world from those who spend their whole lives on the ground. Don Blanding wrote a poem once, when he was flying, and he called his poem “The God’s Eye View” and he said it was so different from the view he always had on the ground, which he called the Bug’s Eye View…

Now I thought about that bug’s eye view when I over in Teheran in Persia. They told me an old Persian legend about a bug, who spent his entire life in the worlds’ most beautifully designed Persian Rug… All the bug ever saw in his lifetime were his problems; they stood up all around him, he couldn’t see over the top of the them, and he had to fight his way through these tufts of wool in the rug to find some crumbs that somebody had spilled on the rug… And the tragedy, of the story, of the bug in the rug, was this: that he lived and he died in the worlds’ most beautifully designed rug, but he never once knew that he spent his life in something which had a pattern.

That’s why I want to get you up in the air tonight… to see something the old bug couldn’t see in the rug. Because even he, this bug… if he had once got above the rug so that he could have seen all of it, he would have discovered something, that the very things he called his ‘problems’ were a part of the pattern.

Have you ever felt like that bug? That you are so surrounded by your problems that you can’t see any pattern to the world in which you live? Have you heard anybody lately say that the world is a total mess? ….. That’s the bugs’ eye view… …. seeing only a little of it, we might think that….”

~
Next Week: music – part deux…

When Donald Trump first aired in my orbit in the 90’s, there was no connection so I distanced myself from all things Trump. Then he got into politics and was everywhere on my radar, I couldn’t escape him. Every. Day. In the news, it was something even more wild and absurd and crazy that Trump was purported to have said, and every day it got my eyes bulging and my fighters’ cap on. And as everyday it’s the same thing and it’s creating a world of chaos, and there is no way to escape it, what does one do? How does one like myself, like yourself, like anyone, live in the same world as Trump, in a world where everything that we are, believe and represent is the epitome of everything that he fears, simply because we are not like him?
At first I was leaning more toward the haters’ bandwagon. But I had a moment like Pacha, with the llama in Emperor’s New Groove, I said to myself that no one could be as heartless and disrespectful and horrible as he was being made out to be. So I suggested, as Trumps’ daily tweets made it seem that he was becoming so absurd as to be bordering humour, he had to be PUNKED-ing us, punking the world. It’s like, The biggest punk or practical joke. Ever. Because no one could be as bad as the media makes him out to be, and that’s all I have to go on, as I have never met him before and only heard of him and his locker room talk. Buuuuut, if you can’t believe half of what you hear and less of what you see, then the news could possibly be biased. There are fake tweets purportedly from Trump that made him out to be showing disrespect to veterans, but they weren’t actually made by him. And even if a lot of the bad stuff is true as reported, his behaviour is all for show, he’s hiding something. That is the purpose of the red-herring. And he is the king of red-herrings. He didn’t invent fake news but it seems to follow him like stink on a skunk.

Let’s be honest, the press has not been nice to him. Whenever there is the opportunity to put a photo of him, it is never a flattering one, it usually makes Trump look uncomfortable, or is otherwise unflattering, and not like the angelic photos they would post when Obama was in office. I reason that it just cannot be as painful as it looks, that he is not as bad and horrible as he is made out to be. Like, all the books, comics, stories and otherwise sacred texts I’ve ever read, whenever something looks that bad, it’s a ruse.
So I reason that Trump, and his new verb, being Trumponian, in not reading what yer commenting about but insulting it after admitting to have not researched it, I think that what he’s done, and continues to do, is throw out so many red-herrings that it’s forced people to examine what is the Truth and look into the foundations of what is being said.  What this activity could be doing is keeping people busy on so many fronts that we don’t have the resources to look into what his true goals will be or where it will be or what it is. It could all a part of his plan to get people to come together and realize how we all want the same things and how it’s better if we work together and how we can work together. But, like how sometimes people use negative reinforcement to teach,  he’s using absurdity.

IF that’s his plan, it’s inGENious. Like THE best play from Barney’s Playbook. Because what Trump has done and continues to do with every tweet, is uniting the world. Plus, when the ruse hits the fan, he’s ultimately going to come off as some sort of Willy Wonka kind of character.  Peruse Instagram for half an hour and you’ll see people from all over the world talking about and supporting each other in their truths and the struggles they have had to endure simply for being. It may appear to be only a bunch of photos and emojis, but they are challenging the truths we have been spoon-fed since birth, and sharing it with the world. They are dialoguing on politics, religion, sex and music and books and ideas. Trumponian politics has opened a lot of people’s eyes to what truth is and what it means. He’s made people actively question what is best for us and the answers are causing revolutionary activity in people coming together, in person, in large groups, for good.
There’s a character in some First Nations stories called Coyote, he’s known as the Trickster. He’s a shape-shifter and likes to laugh and have fun. He can be cool but you can’t win against the Trickster; you don’t end up getting what you want when you think he’ll give you what you want, you get something worse. I think Trump is like the Coyote. The Coyote’s nature is to trick, to have fun, to make one believe something that isn’t based on truth. He pretends to be someone he’s not. And the others watching either do or do not know he’s the trickster. His purpose is to reveal cracks in one’s character to help better that person. The Trickster is ultimately not evil or bad, just bored, who doesn’t take into consideration the results of his actions, doesn’t care about them. So, I reason that if Trump is the Coyote, he isn’t a bad guy. He’s trying to trick us into thinking he’s this sexist, racist, narcissistic tyrant by what he’s doing, but he’s ultimately not that, and so those who support him are being tricked into believing he’s being honest and speaking the truth. It’s going to be difficult for those who really believe what he has been tweeting and refuse to see the humour in the punk… there are always those who can’t handle the meme… If he’s punking us, at some point, something’s going to happen like in the Wizard Of Oz, a screen will be pulled back and he’ll be like “Oooooh. Hi!”. And then all the craziness will stop. There will no doubt be an awakening/adjustment period, because it’s going to be the punk of the lifetime. On the world.
Slowly, he’ll start pulling back in each one of the red-herrings he flung out and we will no longer be adrift in this harbour of fog caused by real or fake news.

Short digression – Trump reminds me of the guy from the movie Robots, of the big ol’round CEO robot, the old guy who had started the company then got lost and then lost hope on making a difference and was found playing with dominos to pass the time when the younger Robot came along and woke him up.
All this to say that while Trump seems to be a head scratcher or face-palmer, and the only plausible explanation to be able to live in the same world is to think of him as the Trickster, it could be a warning, like the ‘end-is-nigh’ à la Whoville in Horton Hears A Who.  One of the good side-effects of Trumponian politics though, is that it’s also causing a lot of self-examination. People are being forced to look at their own biases and shortcomings, and are seeing how we are each imperfectly perfect. Which, is creating a whole new world order of sorts, based on reality and respect and equality. People are standing up for what they believe in, and the joy ride while surfing Instagram that he’s caused is bringing people together.

And if it turns out that he’s not the Trickster, maybe some of his freinds could chill and watch The Meaning of Life with him by Monty Python. I’ll keep watching it play out on social media. And twitter…. And will hafta come up with another way to make sense of it all. Cuz it’s Trumponian.

Next Week: Religion

Knowing the danger of choosing words that could inadvertently cause disrespect, where does one start writing when one doesn’t know which words will cause pain, because when using descriptive words, many of those words used have become stereotypes, and often times these stereotypes create images that are not flattering or nice, and thus the word creates an image and the image does not reflect the actual person or thing.

Recently I’ve become hyper-aware of disparaging words being used synonymously with stereotypes, or meant as insults, and how prevalent these words are. Like all women are bi*ches: on tv and in songs, rather than refer to women or lady, all women are referred to as bi*ch or ho. Ya know, swearing is fine in context and even saying nig*er if yer black, or even bi*ch if yer a woman is owning it. Yet it’s gotten past the point where Kanye commented on it years ago, “Stevie Wonder never had to use the word bi*ch to get his point across”.

The origins of using the word as an insult comes from referring to women as female dogs, and comparing women to dogs and in the use of this word, stating that all women are dogs. Unless one is actually referring to a female dog it shouldnt be used. It’s disparaging and insulting, like the use of nig*er and redsk*n. The words were historical insults, when people they were referring to were thought of as the everyday farm animal because of the colour of their skin or where they came from or what they had between their legs.

In any case, it came to the point that I had to start deleting songs from my playlist, because every time I heard the word it felt like the people who were saying it were physically slapping me across the face. And while I don’t think they mean for it to feel that way, it hurt enough to have to delete it. I’ve had to delete 9 of my top 50 fav songs, I miss Death Around The Corner by Tupac the most. It was like saying goodbye to a friend. I feel like if I didn’t delete it though, would be like saying that it was ok for any man to ever refer to any woman as a bi*ch, and I don’t believe it is. If someone is being referred to specifically, that doesn’t need to be aired publicly.

One area where men and women are questioning and defying the stereotypes and, challenging them, is on Social Media. Gil Scott-Heron was right, the revolution isn’t being televised, it’s being social-media-eyezed. All over the world, people are posting what words and truth mean to them with their emojis, images, songs, books and people, and their words. The way they use words, it’s as if the word was  a sqaure peg that is now being made round by showing us a different perspective.  They’re changing the face of the world, creating a universal language, forcing us to look at the good, bad and ugly of ourselves, and i like to think we’re changing for the better because of it.

Words are powerful things and need to be handled with care and respect. Because like stones dropped in a lake, they create ripples that cause waves to hit beaches on the other side – who knows what damage will be done. Words are sounds that are ultimately felt and sensed with the whole body, not just the ears or the eyes. Thus, all this to say, that in choosing my words, I hope you dig le shit meme si tu get pas tous les lyrics. And I mean no disrespect and apologize in advance if I choose a word that inadvertently causes pain.

 

Future posts include racism and feminism.