Saturday, January 30, 2010

Embracing the Power & Complexity of Words

Like so many others, I write poetry as a way to connect to the realm of emotion & to express a certain side of myself that isn't immediately visible or obvious, that is, without further examination or communication. Often, but not always, this results in a sort of "purging" of the things I keep tucked away in the basement of my mind. This doesn't mean that I can't be happy or joyful, but rather that it's important to release thoughts so that I no longer feel bound to them. Poetry, like much of writing in general, is not just an escape or flight from what haunts us or from the vagaries of our current obsessions; it's a way to free the mind.

J.R.R. Tolkien did this; he gave us a fantasy world that illuminated our deeper realities more fully. It wasn't a flight so much as a statement of what & whom we need to pay attention to & how we come to some very difficult, very real decisions. He didn't dodge the issues; he hit them head on with searing accuracy. He was communicating essential truths & things he felt very deeply inside. That is one of the reasons his works speak to so many of us. If you haven't read his works, I urge you to do so. They will leave you transformed. You can't read him & remain unchanged or unmoved. Even if you aren't a sci-fi/fantasy fan, you might enjoy his writing.

The power of words is undeniable. They carry what I like to call "the energy of our innards" & speak volumes about who we are as people. That is why we have to choose them very carefully.

We send messages through our thoughts, words, & actions all the time, even if we aren't fully conscious of it in the moment. This is why I make an effort to think a great deal before speaking or writing; I want to be certain that I am sending the messages & energies I truly intend others to see.

Do you use words to create more beauty or to be more ever-present in the world? What kind of energy do you want to put out there in the world?

I challenge you to think about the ways in which you use words on a day-to-basis.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Who I Want To Know & Be Known By

I recently discovered & joined the Blip NING, thanks to a fellow Blipper who put the link in their Twitter profile.

I thought I'd copy what I'd written there & put it here, so you can get a better sense of my personal boundary lines & what I'm all about:

Subject: My Privacy Policy - Thank You For Respecting It. :-D

Please note: My twitter ID is NOT @musicalmind. If you follow that person, you won't be following me. :-D Please don't ask me to reveal the ID (or my real name) to you; if I'd like you to know what it is, you'll be the first to know. This is done not to be unfriendly, but as a screening precaution. I am a very private person & only want to be truly known by people I can relate to on a deeper level.

Also, since this NING forced me to list a location, I listed Cambridge, MA, because I am fond of that area. I won't confirm or deny whether or not I actually live there, because I don't want to talk about basic, superficial details like "where I'm from, my favorite color, or my real name." Those things don't truly tell you about what's in a person's mind, heart, or soul.

Here's what I will tell you: All I will say is that I am from the United States, but consider myself a citizen of the world & have been fortunate enough to see a great deal of it. I also speak several languages, am well read, & have seen a heck of a lot of movies. I am a creative & sensitive soul, but also love the science & technology. I am a well-rounded individual and have many interests.

When I do chose to share specific personal details with others, it's because I feel highly connected to them. These are the individuals who have shown themselves to be kind, open-minded, honest, perceptive, and trustworthy. They are the ones who are highly attuned to the nuances & subtleties of life, versus those who stomp through life without taking notice or appreciating the small gifts that life gives us. There is much wonder & beauty in this life, but it takes a truly aware & responsive person to be able to observe & know this, & to both connect with & build upon it. These are the people I want to know further.

Also, life is more than just mundane facts & figures. It is rife with struggles & complexities, but also filled with beauty, humor, & the wonder of discovery, & these should not be glazed over lightly like a blob of whipped cream from a can, casually aerated onto a sundae, with a cherry hastily dropped on top. :) I have an impatience with those who dwell in the petty minutiae & never venture beyond concrete details of one's life. To dwell in ideas & to act from them is a higher state of mind.

To quote Eleanor Roosevelt: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Chew on that for a while & reconsider where your own thought processes may lead you. Do you want to be small-minded or think beyond yourself & your immediate environs? Which type of person do you want to be? The choice is always up to you.

Peace out,
MM

Monday, January 25, 2010

Honesty is Not Just the Best Policy, It's the Only Policy That Matters

“You can bend it and twist it... You can misuse and abuse it... But even God cannot change the Truth.” ~Michael Levy

“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”


There are a lot of bullshitters in this world. That's for sure. I'm not one of them. Even in the real world, my non-anonymous state, I am probably one of the most honest people you will ever meet.

People say it's unwise to be so honest. I say that they are wrong. If anything, my life has been richer because of the honesty I give to others. And you know what? When I'm honest, that gesture usually gets reciprocated by others.

Friends have told me how much they appreciate me telling them the truth when no one else had the cohones to do so. Now granted, I'm not talking about being completely tactless or cruel in the delivery of the truth, or giving it when it's unsolicited. (I tend not to butt my nose into situations, but am there for my friends should they ask me for advice or simply need a shoulder to cry on or a supportive ear.) There is a way to be honest without being tactless or hurtful. I prefer that route.

Several people have told me how "refreshingly honest" I am. I hear that a lot from people in general. While I was sincerely touched by these expressions, I also find it troubling that this is considered to be such a novelty in the first place. Frankly, it's a sad commentary on how a lot of people choose to live their lives -- i.e., in a state of perpetual dishonesty. I don't know how they do it. Maybe these people don't realize how important it is -- to their own & others' well-being -- to be honest with themselves & the people who matter to them. Dishonesty is like acid; it corrodes everything it touches, & eventually will sap the life from people & crush their souls & psyches. Lying to oneself & others has a very high cost; it takes a mental & physical toll, as the concealment of truth requires way more way effort & energy than simply being forthright & honest.

Conversely, when a person is honest, they exude a certain fearlessness, & as cheesy as this probably sounds, "an inner glow." Of course, this is often not without hardship or struggle. The truth isn't often accepted by others. Justice, doing what's right. It's not always meant to be easy, but it can be felt so deeply. It can power us through the darkest days & nights. If we shine with passion & purpose, no one can stop us. Even if takes a while to get there. (As Confucius wisely wrote: "It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop." Currently a favorite quote of mine.)

Honesty takes courage & conviction, & is character-building. It makes the statement, "I have the balls not to care what others think because what I've got to say is more important than other people's approval; this is what's right, so I've got to declare it."

[Please note that the above statement is NOT the same thing as what I like to call "TMI disease." :) No holds-barred personal self-disclosure about minor details of one's life is not the same thing as declaring the essential truths that matter.]

I believe so strongly in the principles of honesty, that I would rather be quiet than be dishonest.

We have much to learn from little children: Children are born into this natural state of telling the truth; it's time we all return to that state. "The truth will set you free."

Invitation to Join Me on BLIP.fm

If you haven't already done so, I'd like to invite you to join me on BLIP.fm. Come & see what all the fuss is about! It's really fun, & a great way to discover new music, & to become part of a musical community.

To join, just click on the below invitation from me, which will take you directly to the sign up page on Blip.fm:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nevermind the Mainstream.....

Just thought I'd share some interesting (read non-mainstream ;) ) musical resources with you:

Rock's Backpages
The Quietus
Orkus Magazine

And for what's happening on the alternative scene, check out Stereogum. This is probably nothing new to most people who pay attention to the alt.rock scene.

An old favorite of my mine is NME. During my junior or senior year of college (it was too long ago to remember those sorts of details!), someone in my dorm room who had subscribed to NME used to put their read magazines in stacks out in the hallway, which happened to be right outside my door. Oh how lucky that was for me. I wasn't one to spend money on loads of magazine subscriptions, but was quite happily the willing (if obviously unintended) beneficiary of those free, discarded stacks on their way to recycling. In the loose sense of the word, I was recycling them twice, first by reading them after someone else had already read them, & secondly, by taking them to recycling after I'd read them. LOL.

As they say, one's (wo)man's junk is another's treasure. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Some Cool Quotes

Sometimes I include quotes in my Blips. Here are some that I like & wanted to use, but were more than the alloted 140 chars. ;)

“No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, & love of power.” ~P. J. O'Rourke

“To live for results would be to sentence myself to continuous frustration. My only sure reward is in my actions and not from them.” ~Hugh Prather

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." ~Friedrich Nietzsche

"What's encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we're closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance." ~Pema Chodron

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." ~Samuel Adams

"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." ~Jeff Cooper [NOTE: I would argue against the latter point: The evil in some (wo)men's hearts isn't necessarily a permanent state of being; I believe that people can be persuaded to a better path through other means. While the rifle might be the most immediate, short-term solution, it is not always the wisest.]

"The Prohibitionist must always be a person of no moral character; for he cannot even conceive of the possibility of a man capable of resisting temptation." ~Aleister Crowley

"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew." ~Abraham Lincoln

"Indian cinema has been delivering a certain aesthetic to its audience very successfully for years and I can say without any shame that I love song and dance. I'd hate to see that disappear and as an artist I am happiest to put my all into an art form, as you do with song and dance." ~Aishwarya Rai

"Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state & remain in it. This is a kind of death." ~Anais Nin

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Here are some quotes that I either have used in Blips, or plan to use in the future:

"Democracy means that when there's a knock in the door at 3 am, it's probably the milkman." ~Winston Churchill

"The best jockey hinders the horse the least." ~Eddie Arcaro

"When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." -Thomas Jefferson

"The first affirmation I need is really my own. I don't look beyond that. I don't read what's written about it. For me the fun is making the film." ~Woody Allen

"It was only when I realized how actors have the power to move people that I decided to
pursue acting as a career." ~Cate Blanchett

"I didn’t know how to manufacture an opportunity, but I was determined that when a chance came my way I would be ready." ~Sheila Chandra

"Thank you for the tragedy. I need it for my art." ~Kurt Cobain

"Celebrity is death.. celebrity. That's the worst thing that can happen to an actor." ~John Cusack

"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do." ~Bob Dylan

"Food is life, life is food. If you don't like my approach you are welcome to go down to MacDonalds." ~Keith Floyd

"Picasso had his pink period and his blue period. I am in my blonde period right now." ~Hugh Hefner

"Listening to music, someone’s gone ahead making a wind pattern and you’re following in the shadow of that pattern and moving through it. When you’re in the front singing, you’re the beginning." ~Antony Hegarty

"All those rich lists in the Sunday Times are so far off the mark. I don't know about anyone else's, but mine definitely is. It used to go up millions even though I'd just been sitting around doing nothing." ~Mick Jagger

"Record companies, believe me, no matter what record company you're with, they're going to try to hype you, because, really, all record companies are interested in is making money." ~Elton John

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it." ~John Lennon

"My music will go on forever. Maybe it's a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever." ~Bob Marley

"Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you." ~Marilyn Monroe

"O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives." ~Jim Morrison

"I really, really do generally, first and foremost, make creative decisions based on what feels right, and anything monetary follows if it’s good, I believe." ~Jamie Oliver

"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away." ~Elvis Presley

"That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!" ~Homer Simpson

"Dancing and singing were always like games to me. I sang constantly." ~Tarkan

"One thing I don't feel is separation from the crowd. I don't feel like we're speaking from a platform, I feel like we are communicating on the same level." ~Eddie Vedder

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some Blip DJs I Recommend

Here's a not-so-brief list of some of the Blip DJs I recommend listening to/following. (This list is by no means all-inclusive of all of the fab Blip DJs I follow.) Most of the below people have gotten several props & RBs from me, which is always a good sign. It means we are a fairly good match for high musical affinity. :)

For the record, the people on this list can have 5 or 50,000 followers, it doesn't alter my opinions of them as DJs in the least. I'm doing my bit to increase other people's awareness of them, because I think that a large majority of what they blip is creative &/or diverse, & of course, in excellent taste:

abarbosa
Agotthelf
Air_rapupo
akiraboy2000
albertsdad
AleBourg
allang
Aluciel
amphore
angiece
anotorias
Ashakur
ashenmorpheus
Atomik
audiodidakt
avivamagnolia
axefield
AzA
bacigalupe
Bahk
BBlanca
bduubz
Bebcho1603
Benavides5
bendrix
bestblips
Betoques
BinaryAudio
BlackAlpha
blueguitar84
boamorte
briangreene
bthecat
bunq
by_starla
calamari
CargoCulte
Casanova
CelsoBessa
chibodanukie
Chickenwing
chiron08
chris_is_cool
ClaudeDeluxe
coloured
CooperHarris
Corts
cosita
craigz
crispast
curatEar
damnexplosion
danielemarques
DANIELLA1
daretoeatapeach
das_z3d
dickadcock
DJKeuterFM
DJstromer19
djwttw
dojodub
donkeyrapist
DownLow
dronnoisseur
droolius
ducks2007
duo
elefant
eliott_is_dead
esotericism
evablue
EvDJ
eveningmuse
evetheone
farkus
FernandaW
ferrar
ffluxx
FOGGIELOANER
formalhaut
Fox_br
fragileangel
Franimal
frankenstrat
froh
futurebiblehero
fuzzygroove
gabeoliveira
GabeSen
gear
GlennWalker
glueandglitter
gobcarlqvist
GorgoMcGuirk
GothTinkerbell
GR8FL
Grace_K
Greengoblin
grindx
Haaz
Hachimon
hajoni
HaloNReverse
Heike
hiabowman
holyshitaki
honeygirl
humbert15
Iasnara
intinet
invisigoth
ishibutsu
ivan_filios
iwasalreadyfuckingcrying
i_sleep1023
iela
i812
japanoise
jasonryan
jaxtheripper
Jazzhole
jeff
jellyboy
jennifervides
jennyleepenny
Jenocidal
Jexxx
JezebelTheGreat
joe61
jojofm
Juoliveira
kareliz
katost
katesnowbird
klitoria
Kuchlein
KushiQ
kylecameron
labrujis
ladypn
LadyViolet
La_Tua_Cantante
lalai
larissapalmieri
lcorinto
leaferi
leemarie123
LeMat_
lemoche
leerobson
leifericksooon
leighcayce
LiesbethCamille
lelira
lelliesandremains
Lemon
Lichtmalerin
Lilicamadi
lilithiz
lisie
listeningsky
LNV
longtide
Lotay
lpowars
Lucas_Lima
luciana
lunarboy
LYRIC
macado
MaddyTheSongWhore
magdalenasqualor
Magic_fox
maltezefalkon
makinitrite
mammara
mancho
marcussilva
marigarcia
marilovisky
Marigold
maujabur
mauxonfire
masterninja
McTinyShoes
MCVicar
medusawithglass
mediaspawn
MeeJong
mellomatic
melodyofyourlife
melpimenta
menschenfleisch
Metapratsch
Mikado_Desu
MickHD
midnightwalker
mikeneumann
milkfish
MissMarian
Modster
moloko_sp
MonicaOnline
MONIKKA
monovolume
moonshower
MrSerious
MsBojangles
MsEinstein
mteric
MysteryMix
MysticB
MysticTris
na_takenobu
naapstermaan
natalynha
Nata
natasjadb
neonblake
neozeitgeist
Nettys
newwaveclassics
nicavieira
nightie82
nightpoetess
Nightshade
nihilify
NiLFiX
Ninette
NobbyUK
NonsenseFX
Noorie
NotAsPunkAsYou
nuria29
nvaquero
Nymph
NyQuilDriver
octopusprime
OldSchoolBill
Olga
olumi_day
OmeRoon
OneA
onesanz
organicsue
Oriane
Oxy
pacuma2
paeix
paisley
pao
osemgraca
outdone
patduarte
patita
PaulFrankRizzo
pedrorios0
penguin
photogurrl
PHyX8
picknick
Pirahboy
PlasticRobot
Poopenstein
ppd
pratinsky
Psychodelic
Punched
puka
purplesime
pussreboots
quorum
radiofabfm
raeioul
Rajmar_GarciaRondo
raiopositronico
RandyElliott
randymatheson
rapozzu
razorfire
realtyman
redfiasco
redoctopus
RedRhia
redroulettes
redskyy
renaton
retrocket
Rfilm
Ricardo_SSA
ricricardo
rkmonkey
rntk
robsonsanchez
rodrigo
RodrigoNosferatu
rollovellocet
ropefiend
rtsnance
rumblina
rumore
RunDMT
sadalit
samodiva
saint
santamistura
sarah__o
saturnina
schizophonic
scorpionkiss
SEM
Seriouslysus
serks
SevenTenths
shadowcastFM
sfs
SgLight
Shade37777
she_onlythis
SheDo
sheshnag
Sherryness
shmalison
Shrip
ShuKitty
shibari
ShortiezRevenge
simozzer
skwm
skyroots
SlinkySpectator
slipperydog
slipperydude
smartard
sml
snapper
SofiaFada
somnambulist
sophie_o
soundmangroupie
sourgrapes
sovie
soylent_green
space_cadet
Spacemen3
spacespencer
Sparklepony
spicystu
Spiritus_ex_machina
squidbrain
star45
starlingpoet
Staticfactory
stay_loose
steno
Steste
stevetuf
stewbagz
Stolen
StopDanceGo
storylet
str8jgirl
stuart1266
stustevens
SubversiveElement
sudaca70
sufferin_jukebox
sujal
sunnysunnysunny
Superfly
superstarfighter
Surreality
sushimonster
SylentSyd
SylvioMicelli
Takesu2heaven
tatahelena
tctroxell
tedguyver
tecnicocacolor
teenageohriot
TenNochi
teobaldo
tesselove
The_Ghost
The_Kraken
TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsTPJK
thecx
TheMind
thepetshopboy
TheSun
TheUnwelcomeGuest
titoliveira
thoth
threebears
THX3
TidyCat
tigeladakawaii
tikkamadsen
Time2Burn
Tinselworm
tintinabulation
toobad
tonioloneto
toreo
Torinyc
TOSOL
tragikons
TrainWreckRadio
Tranquil
treadmillKitten
trevorts
TrixieTreats
TruEssence
Trulydoolally
truered74
TryphOrGekko
TSSVeloso
tubilino
Twelvevolts
tylenolmonkey
Ubqtous
unclarity
unintendedgirl
urone
verkoren
Veronique
versatilevampire
veva27
Vikingole
vinicius_robles
VinTriste
vjack
vjfdm
vluiz
vontheessa
wahwahwah
warhorus
wessteve
WIGSTA
Wolfgirl_Leah
www
xtcdukes
Xray
xtranguy
xVivicax
yamamiya
YoniBeat
yorkhugo
zbomb
zeoffline
Zegh
zegim
zengy
Zentaurus
zenzizi
zmx80
zombiegoats
ZOEBOE
zx10r07

A First Post

Hello there & welcome, whoever you are. :) Chances are, you've probably landed here after checking out my Blip.fm profile & are now wondering what this space is all about.

So first, a little background information on this blog: I created this blog in conjunction with my Blip.fm account. First came the Twitter account (which I'm keeping a secret for now -- that's a not-so-subtle hint that it's not @musicalmind ;) ), then the Blip.fm account, & then the blog. In truth, I only created the Twitter account so that I could interact with my favorite Blipsters. And I'm keeping my Twitter account locked down & private, because I don't wish to be followed by the world there.

My attitude towards tweeting & blipping is highly reflective of my attitude towards a lot of subjects: I honestly don't care to have 5 zillion followers. Frankly, I'm simply amazed that I even have as many Blip followers as I currently do -- 1718 followers at last count. Wow. While I do sincerely appreciate the follows, I don't play music for others' approval. I play it for my own enjoyment & the enjoyment of other like-minded souls there. People who are on the same wavelength as me, & don't necessarily need a translation. Everyone else, especially those stuck in their own self-imposed musical boxes, can take a flying leap. ;)

I'm extraordinarily open-minded as far as music is concerned. In other words, I'm not going to play classic rock or alternative all day long, so you can just kiss that expectation goodbye right now. :-P I like almost every genre of music with the exception of country western, and then even there, I can make some minor exceptions.

I'm also frankly annoyed with people who are stuck in "racially & culturally delineated" boxes as well. Of course, this problem has started to fade to a large extent, but, as an example, there are still a hell of a lot of white kids that only stick to indie, rock, metal, pop, punk, &/or alternative, (or some combination thereof), & don't seem to give a rat's ass about anything else out there. (And that's just one example of the "frozen mind" syndrome that I'm talking about. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own taste & their own opinions. I just think that a whole lot of people are losing out on what they haven't yet been able to wrap their minds around.)

I'm gonna play hip-hop, rap, salsa, jazz, classical, du-wop, zydeco, rai, electronica, as well as musical genres from people, places, & eras that are as vast as this wonderful planet of ours. It's time to get over your cultural biases right now. I'll have none of that. Time to expand your minds, people. Step outside of your comfort zone. Take a big flying leap (into the unknown), pun intended. ;)

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Of course, the reason I created this blog (as well as my Blip & Twitter accounts) under the "musicalmind" identity was so that I could remain anonymous & speak my mind in an uncompromising & undiluted fashion (or at least as much as humanly possible without revealing anything tremendously revealing on a personal level). In these online spaces, I frankly want to be known solely for my thoughts & musical taste, & don't care to divulge too many concrete personal details like (real) name, rank, & serial number. That way, I can express what I truly think & feel without feeling hemmed in by other people's opinions, judgments, & expectations.

The personal details aren't really important & just get in the way of minds connecting on a deeper level. You can still know a person without knowing these sorts of minutiae.

If you want to get know me, you can. By knowing the larger thoughts & ideas that I present here.

So if you want to learn something new about music, just stick with me, kiddo.

Over and out.

Peace,
MM (Or M&M, as some Blipsters like to call me ;) )