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Believe it or not!
There are lots of people out there that can make impressive web pages showing anything imaginable…
You can save the world if you just listen to them…. or maybe not… but what does it matter if you CARE.

   Just caring is worth so much…. and it’s popular too!

 

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The Storyteller’s Art

  What is it about humanity that causes us to reach for the imagined?  The images conjured from nightmares and daydreams, from lucid dreams, trances and drugs?  We assimilate these images into our subconscious, and sometimes bring them fully into the conscious with mixed results.  Whether it be old fairy tales, sagas, passages or film… we reach with our mind, and try to bring our senses along for the ride. 

 

   The film ‘Merlin’ has been teamed with a song in Romanian and Latin by the German band Corvus Corax…. I find myself returning to this song… the haunting and exotic lyrics, the beautiful harmonies, and the stunning visuals created by the film meld so fully into an’otherworld’ it almost seems possible to step into….. such is the magic of the storyteller… if done well, it should appear so.

A little of what it means to be human

   As humans we are prey to the same physical frailties and infirmities of any animal. But as modern humans we have a social network, technology and learning to enable us to live far beyond the usual lifespan of a wild person living alone would.  We also have the mind that enables us to see our own suffering and that of others, and to have the awareness that this will not cease in our lifetime, and is only relieved on our last day.

   The old song Mr. Bojangles kept coming to me today as I was picking cactus on the terraces this morning…the song tells the age-old enigma of mankind… how to live through loss, and to come to terms with the suspician that things will likely not get better.

   We all have our favorite people and animals taken from us…. and we’ve all witnessed our own friends, family and critters go through hard and tough times, and knowing we really cannot do anything but lend support and a hand to hold is some times the hardest thing to go through.

   Whether it be substance abuse, war memories, physical/mental abuse, physical trauma/disease or just plain old loss of love or loved ones…. what can you tell a person?  We know that in time most wounds heal, although they leave scars…. but scars are the knitted-together and tougher filaments of material, designed to keep that area less susceptible to further injury.  And a broken bone, if well-set and healed, will be stronger than original.  When we cry and experience loss… might it be that then we can more fully appreciate the good times and happiness? Indeed, happiness is a lofty goal to reach for, and I wish all well in attaining a  good amount of it, and the realization when they experience it, to hold onto the memory of it. But there are some who seem to have all, and are mightily unhappy…. perhaps a certain amount of loss will open one to remembering the good times… and any wistful memories of the beloved departed will hopefully include a great many instances of joy… the joy that brings us to the realization that this life is for learning, that there is a great many good things awaiting us beyond this life, and we will be able to more fully appreciate them when we have lived through our travails here.   Blessings of the Creator upon all who wander lost in this life, may they bring their troubled soul to a loving and caring Father. 

~Nitty Gritty Dirt Band~
“Mr. Bojangles’

 

 

 

~Kahlil Gibran~
‘On Joy and Sorrow’

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises,
was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,
the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine
the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit,
the very wood that was hollowed with knives?When you are joyous,
look deep into your heart
and you shall find it is only that which has given
you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping
for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,”
and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits,
alone with you at your board,
remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales
between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty
are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you
to weigh His gold and His silver,
  must needs your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

 

 

Screen-writer’s site or (I’m from Hollywood, you can trust me)

   I got a letter from a producer friend in Los Angeles…
   He’s built a website that allows unknown and unrepresented screenwriters to display their scripts to prospective buyers.
   He has also addressed many of the concerns with letting people see your work…he’s a good honest fellow, I trust him.

 read on.

Johnny-Boy,

Whatsup Dicus!!! So I’ve been working on a new website for a really 
long time, and now that it’s finally done…I need your help! First, 
let me explain what the site does…it’s a networking site for 
unsolicited screenwriters (basically, unknown writers without 
representation), called Guerilla Script. Both of us are no strangers 
to the hardships writers have to deal with in order to break into 
this town (not to say that it gets any better once we’re in…but 
it’s a starting point), so I’ve created a platform for unknown 
writers to get their scripts seen by industry professionals. I’m not 
reinventing the wheel by any means, there are already a few sites who 
have this model…mainly InkTip.com (ever heard of it?). But, my site 
will differ from InkTip in two major ways:
1.The writer will have complete control over who reads their scripts.
2. My site is free ; )

Now, what I need from you:
The site is brand new, and I need your help to test the site. I want 
your feedback on what is good, what is bad, and what needs 
adjustments, any bugs, etc. So I need as many of my friends to create 
accounts and upload their scripts.
Hopefully once the word is out, it will spread on its own and become 
a machine…but I have to start somewhere.

I found an investor that said if I can reach 500 scripts uploaded to 
the site, he will take out a FULL PAGE ad in one of the industry 
trades (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, etc…) for Guerilla Script! 
Which will then target the other end users and get a bunch of people 
looking at your scripts. Ya dig?

One of the biggest concerns people had when I was researching the 
concept of my project, was protection. Well, I figured out a way to 
make this site safer than if you were to give your script to somebody 
hand to hand. Here’s how it works. You create an account and upload 
your script…somebody looking for a project searches via criteria 
and yours shows up. All they see is the Title and the Tagline. If 
they are interested they click on the Tagline and it takes them to 
your Synopsis. If they like the Synopsis and want to read your 
script, they send you an Inquiry. You get this inquiry with all of 
their info, and you then have the option to:
A. Deny the request.
B. Reply to the request and establish a rapport with them.
C. Accept their request.
If you Accept their request it sends them a link to your script. When 
they click on the link it takes them to a Flash Reader where they can 
ONLY read your script online. They can’t download, print or copy 
it…just read it. Of course they could possibly take screenshots of 
every page…but if anybody goes through that much trouble to steal 
your script…you probably have a pretty dope script ; ) AND…even 
IF they do try to take it…all the rapport is recorded in a threaded 
email system that you have as proof. So the safety issue is as good 
as it can get online.

Well, what do you think? Actually, don’t answer that…just go to the 
site, create an account, upload a few scripts…and SPREAD THE WORD 
for me, would ya ; )

www.GuerillaScript.com

 

Sayat Nova, Juno Reactor and Hakim and Olga

   There’s some foods that stand well on their own… but almost anything is better when paired with a  complementary ingredient.

   Plenty of things in life are like that… “greater than the sum of the parts” they say.

   Sometimes it takes two wildly dissimilar ingredients to really hit the mark. Often, these dissimilar ingredients might come from two entirely different places and peoples.  Just as agriculture speaks of ‘hybrid vigor’, so to can sociological ingredients ‘jump’ when placed in together conjunction.

 

   Sayat Nova is Armenian for ‘King of Song’.  It is a 1968 film made in Armenia and directed by Sergei Parajanov

 

   Juno Reactor is a band that got together with the noted Belgium singer Natacha Atlas and they made a great tune called ‘God is God’… it was a bit unique…. dreamlike…. what better video to use than that from Sayat Nova?  So the marriage of these two is a strange mixture, like a weird dream when you’re in another country and the air, sounds and foods  are different and all these images pass through your mind while you toss on a thin mattress in a dinghy hotel near the train station.

   But dang, I just love leaving the usual and predictable now and then, and wander the side paths.

 
 

 

Chapter 53
Tao teh Ching

 

If I possess even the smallest bits of wisdom,
I would walk the great way,
and my only fear would be in straying from this great road.
The great way is wide and the going is easy,
but how people seem to prefer the side paths.
When the offices of government,
the palaces and temples are richly adorned, and lavishly outfitted…
when the ministers are concerned chiefly with pomp and display;
the fields will be dusty and overgrown with rank weeds,
and the granaries of the land will be bare.
The gentry wear elaborate richly embroidered clothes,
eat and drink in excess with their sharp swords at their sides,
these are surely the robber barons.
This is not in keeping with the Way

 

   Perhaps a more extreme example of trans-cultural musical collaboration
is the Egyptian singer Hakim and the Puerto Rican  singer Olga Tañón….
and it’s certainly much more lively.

A friend of mine from Barcelona who is a bit sad at the state of spoken Spanish
in California by even native Spanish speakers says that Olga sings in a ‘good and proper Spanish.’

Yeah, she sure does know how to turn a phrase :-)

 

 

And then you have Afro-Celtic Sound System….
they take influence from distinct African rhythms and instruments 
and fuse it into Celtic styles and instruments…. 
the result is a composite that makes you want to move and dance,
and yet sit and trance.


 

From the beginning of mankind the outsider has been a person of suspicion…
there is some self-preservation in this xenophobia
long ago an isolated settlement generally all got sick anytime a new person entered the population.
Enough die-offs and you get only populations that tended to repel any visitors,
perhaps a gene of xenophobia was a survival tool long ago.

Now in this ‘Information Age’ we have the opportunity to examine our prejudices
with unjaundiced eyes… let go of the unrighteous, and hold to what is right.
‘Cause in the end, only what is right will be your salvation.

 

Tao teh Ching
Chapter 27

The sage follows the natural way.
Like an experienced tracker…he himself leaves no tracks.
Like a good speaker…his language lacks flaws and rebuke.
Like an experienced counter he needs no calculator.
He is like a well-made door, which needs no lock.
He is the perfect knot, leaving no end to be unraveled.
He attends to every detail.

It is in this way that the sage is skilful at saving men,
and so he does not cast away any man.
This is called embodying the light.
It is in this way that the skillful master is the teacher of the one without skill.
And the one without skill is the charge and responsibility of the master.

From the teachings of the master, all might learn who wish to listen.
Not respecting the teacher, nor valuing the student,
you will see confusion, no matter how intelligent you are.
This is called the Essential Subtlety.

 

 

Little Birds Can’t Fly, but The Fighter Still Remains

    Some say life is a game, and you have to play it hard.  

   It seems to me that life is much like a fight…. you never really know exactly what you’re up against, and when you’re tired and distracted, you get hit up alongside the head and don’t really know where you are or what’s going on…. yet you keep slugging away because that seems the only logical thing to do. A delirium of red and grey across your sight, pain racking the body, you continue on… until the big blow comes and you fall never to rise again.

   We go through life, and we get some pretty hard punches… and all through our life there are those who fortell the end. We all know it is coming, but while very young, it is easy to disregard wise counsel. Later those blows we took as a youngster might come back to us at the time we wish to relax in our ‘easy chair’.

 

‘The Boxer’
~Simon and Garfunkel~

I am just a poor boy and my story’s seldom told
I’ve squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises
All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest, hmmmm

When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station, runnin’ scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know

Asking only workman’s wages, I come lookin’ for a job, but I get no offers
Just a come-on from the whores on 7th avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin’ even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than I’ll be, that’s not unusual
No it isn’t strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same

And I’m laying out my winter clothes, wishing I was gone
Where the new york city winters aren’t bleedin’ me, leadin’ me to go home

In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him
till he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains
Yes he still remains
 


 
 

 

  

   Love, hope and gratitude are very important aspects of life to carry with you through your life.
   Still, we live in the land of Man… that cunning conniving creature… a predator. It is important to remember that everyone is in this for their own gain. Even those who serve know that their own growth depends on their service…. so really, they are in some ways acting for their own good even while they help others.

   Some predators are so slick… terrible and vicious. They cause untold damage to others…. often for meager gain. How many thousands of dollars damage are done to cars to gain a hundred dollar radio?  How much psychic damage is done to the innocent for the thrill of a moment?  Guard always your front, keep your fists at the ready, and your back to the wall….

 

‘Dogs’
~Pink Floyd~

You’ve got to be crazy, you gotta have a real need
You gotta sleep on your toes when you’re on the street
You’ve got to be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed
Then moving in silently, down-wind and out of sight
You’ve got to strike when the moment is right without thinking

 

After a while you can work on points for style
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake
A sudden look in the eye, and an easy smile
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in

 

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder
You know it’s gonna get harder, harder and harder as you get older
Yeah and in the end you’ll pack up, fly down south
Hide your head in the sand
Just another sad old man, all alone and dying of cancer

 
And when you lose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone
And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around
So have a good drown as you go down all alone, dragged down by the stone

Gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise
If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this place

 

Deaf, dumb, and blind–you just keep on pretending
That everyone’s expendable, and no one has a real friend
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner

 

Everything’s done under the sun
And you believe at heart everyone’s a killer

 

Who was born in a house full of pain
Who was trained not to spit in the fan
Who was told what to do by the man
Who was broken by trained personnel
Who was fitted with collar and chain
Who was given a pat on the back
Who was breaking away from the pack
Who was only a stranger at home
Who was ground down in the end
Who was found dead on the phone

Who was dragged down by the stone

 

 

 

Better it is to live your life with faith and honor and integrity
When you live properly every yesterday is a day not to be regretted
and every tomorrow is a hopeful day because your past has not sullied it
and you will not need to worry much about today,
because your habits are such to make it good.

The old folks who told us these things, knew…
there really is nothing new under the sun

but there is always forgiveness and hope and faith

and we all have our duties

as you go through your life, know where the dogs live

 

~Luke~ 

1Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3So watch yourselves.

“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

7“Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

 

~Jethro Tull~
‘No Lullaby’

Keep your eyes open and prick up your ears
rehearse your loudest cry.
There’s folk out there who would do you harm
so I’ll sing you no lullaby.
There’s a lock on the window; there’s a chain on the door:
a big dog in the hall.
But there’s dragons and beasties out there in the night
to snatch you if you fall.

So come out fighting with your rattle in hand.
Thrust and parry.
Light a match to catch the devil’s eye.
Bring a cross of fire to the fight.

And let no sleep bring false relief
from the tension of the fray.
Come wake the dead with the scream of life.
Do battle with ghosts at play.

Gather your toys at the call-to-arms
and swing your big bear down.
Upon our necks when we come to set
you sleeping safe and sound.

It’s as well we tell no lie
to chase the face that cries.
And little birds can’t fly
so keep an open eye.
It’s as well we tell no lie
so I’ll sing you no lullaby.

 

A dose of Nina, as the Autumn winds enter

Nina Hagen… the Mother of Punk

  I used to listen to Nina Hagen in Germany in the seventies.  No one here heard of her, and I drew blank stares when I asked about her in record stores.  Then a few years ago I came upon her on YouTube…. so every few months I have to have a dose of Nina….

 

   She’s got an absolutely amazing voice…. and her vocalizations are supreme.  She can so very well carry a tune in an operatic voice… but she seems most happy doing her own thing… which is some wildly ‘over the top’ antics, wardrobe and mannerisms….. but when a person has such superior talent… it’s all part of the show.   The depth of her voice shows well in ‘Over the Rainbow’

 

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   Here she does a remake of David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’……
she makes me smile

 

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   So Bad…..

I can be so strong,
like a lion on a mission
I can do no wrong
I can fight day and night
That’s my decision

Cause the world is so bad
Like diet soda
I’m counting 37 wars
user friendly
 

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Here Nina teams with the band Apocalyptica….
in Europe the youth really never got that far from classical music….
even if they like rock and roll, they still know the classic composers.

 

Komm in mein Boot
Ein Sturm kommt auf
Und es wird Nacht
Wo willst du hin
So ganz allein
Treibst du davon
Wer hält deine Hand
Wenn es dich
Nach unten zieht
Jetzt stehst du da an der Laterne
Mit Tränen im Gesicht
Das Tageslicht fällt auf die Seite
Der Herbstwind fegt die Straße leer

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This video is a compilation of snippets and photos of Nina,
many of them arte taken from her stage shows
but some show her childhood, and even some with her children 

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Nina interviews herself in 1985

It’s a bit of insight into this person,
we are all shaped by our past… our experiences
Nina is from a Jewish family that somehow lived through WWII….
but they were on the Eastern side of Germany….
so they were behind the wall… in the DDR.
She made it out in the seventies…..
and when she splashed down in the West…. she made a big impact
and it was heard all through the BRD





   Yeah, Nina’s a phenomenal talent…..
  She should also be in a Rob Zombie film.

 

 

Dante’s Prayer

 

“The further you enter into it….
the deeper it becomes” 
~Dante~

 

 

~Loreena McKennitt~
‘ Dante’s prayer’

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

 

blogpyramid2_06

 

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

 

sunset022709

 

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

 

blogventuraagavespikes06

 

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire

 

Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica Mountains

 

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

 

country road

country road

 

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We’ll rise above these earthly cares

 

 

 

   Life can be full of give and take, and feast and famine.

   Yesterday was a nearly 23 hour day…. working some film work… I didn’t get home until 3AM. 

   A few hours sleep, and I am in a pensive mood…. nothing fits this like the incomparable Loreena McKennitt

   Some days can be challenging….

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”
Attributed to several thinkers

 

 

 

From the Elms; a look down a travelled path

   This is a pretty big world. Until the last decade most people were unable to really find out a whole lot about other cultures and peoples. Sure there was TV and other media, but those avenues tend to show the masses what marketers have determined will attract the viewership of  ’the masses’. Now we can sit on YouTube and watch videos from other places, seeing what life is like inside the living room of someone across the world. We can watch music videos of ‘strange’ musical styles that would have little or no market appeal in the States. MTV would not play the haunting ethereal ballads of QNTAL of Germany, with their German, and  ’Old French’ lyrics that even modern Frenchmen cannot understand.

 

   I miss Europe, I’d like to travel back there again, but time and finances argue against it. So instead, I spend the time before morning light watching videos to heal some of the pain of separation.

 

  I can watch the video below, and think about the Eberbach burg in Baden Germany  we used to explore as children…. the ancient stone walls overgrown with ivy, and roofless for hundreds of years. And the old stone watch tower built by the Romans.  And from my years in Spain… the ancient cliffs with their hundreds of holes, homes to Gypsies, and the long aqueduct, again built by the Romans, and still carrying water.

 

   It is in looking back that we can see some of the direction we are going.  When walking an unfamiliar trail… stop and look back often, memorize the topography you have travelled, because when you come back later, the trail will look different than  initially travelled due to the different direction you saw it from.

 

  To see and know the past, will reduce dismay in the future.

 

   QNTAL is  a German band that utilizes ancient instruments and lyrics to foster a sense of Renaissance in their songs.  They saw themselves as tackling a new subject, and they wanted no ‘pre-conceived ideas’ about their band and its focus, therefore they chose the name QNTAL, which has no meaning in any language.

QNTAL, Entre Moi Et Mon Amin

   The music is soothing, yet there is an edge to it….

   The scenic backdrop of the ruins is great.  In Europe, almost every town has some ancient ruins…..

   It’s quite a thing to see.

   We have a tendancy to impart a certain amount of ‘good, and learning’ to the ancients. We are amazed at the works they did without modern machinery…. but they were just people, no different than now. People who woke in the morning, and went to turn the wheels of their industry, perhaps literally inside a giant wheel giving the power to move giant stones up a fortress wall to nest onto the stones below it.  Then as now they were compelled to work to build their society…. to be cast beyond the walls of ancient Europe put one at the mercy of lawlessness, and in their minds, more prone to the mercies of witchcraft.  While I appreciate the stone work of the ancients, and find intrigue in how they were able to manipulate their environment, invent tools, and engage in learning to be passed on…. I’m much more content in this modern time with eyes that can travel the world, and see so much. I lived in a castle for years in Germany….. I think in the old days, with the xenophobia of the walled cities, it must have given a ‘siege mentality’ to the people.  I’m sure there were times that things were good, and people were happy. But I think we tend to impart too much of a romantic attachment to the old days. We’re much better off now.

 

QNTAL, Von Den Elben

Lizard Boy Film Trailer

Lizard Boy Film Trailer

   A local film that I played a role in has released the trailer.

   The film was directed by Paul Della Pelle,
and the special effects were great and very well done.

  I’m the guy who’s getting strangled…..

   I’m not releasing any ‘spoilers’,
but I can say that I’ll probably not be in Part 2…
cause I’m dead.