Wednesday, 23 March 2011

colour my life with the chaos of trouble

I had never thought about it fully before. Maybe I just had accepted it as fact and subconsciously ignored it due to foreseen obviousness.

Your music tastes change so dramatically throughout life.

SHOCK! I know. And sorry for such a boring post after being gone for so long, but working with people who are over ten years my junior on a daily basis has really opened my eyes to this. As much as it is common place that you journey through many ‘rites of passages’ throughout early life, a more haughty cliché is that music changes and is never as good as it once was (when you enjoyed it).

Admittedly, the former is a fact; music tastes change, people change. We have waves of style – these waves ultimately resurface. But as for the latter; I am losing patience with contemporary music, waiting for it to move me. The fashion seems to be to release a song which has the shortest of shelf lives, the proverbial ‘flash in the pan’ if you will, of little style and less substance. Yes, it makes money, and yes, we are all humming it for the afternoon after we hear it. It gets downloaded, stuck on an iPod and then lost into the ocean of mediocrity, only to resurface when boredom brings us to ‘shuffle’, but then ultimately skipped and then sunk again with its brothers.

I have started listening to Belle & Sebastian today. I had done so sporadically before this - I have heard their songs, but have never really listened. I have been missing out.

Such beautiful lyrics allow visualisation of real emotive moments. You feel the unsteady sentiment of being a teenage boy, lost in summer days of love and longing in many of their songs.

Final thought: isn’t it wonderful when you connect with someone from another world, another walk of life, through a corresponding taste in music. It doesn’t happen often, but when you are able to share an appreciation of a song and how it effects you it is often a high point of a day.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Sorry, it has been a while...

...I promise I'll be better, I have been extremely busy though. Having survived my first couple of months teaching, I am finally begining to relax into the role and ultimately enjoy it. For the longest time I thought it impossible to have a vocation that I would look forward going to each morning, but I am happy I found it. It feels like I have started a wonderful new chapter, one that sets the basis for a large proportion of the story.

I found this quote earlier today. One day I would like to put it up in my classroom.

“Education is a practise of humble forbearance and of considered action. It is a practice of humbly seeking counsel – from others, from texts, from objects and practises – all of which help us imagine a life that could be better than the one we know and have come – too meekly – to accept as it exists.

By first listening and reading, we pass on to talking, writing, acting and, finally, to changing the world, while also attempting to preserve both the world – what is best in it – what we know of it, and the texts and artefacts that have made this knowledge possible”.

John David Rhodes.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Conscious Reality

Why do some people seem to assume they have all the answers, and so stop asking questions out of fear that their bubble may burst? is it true happiness or all a front? people are so afraid of their own insecurities that they ready to settle for a shallow existence.

Can you find happiness in a settled routine? In predetermined endings, on fixed results. Granted they're reassuring but when do you start craving that new challenge? That little twist that keeps you on your toes, endless self competition and repetitive over-analysis; how can I improve that? What am I doing wrong here? Seeking improvement, searching for perfection.

Where do you draw the line between routine and rut, and where is the healthy balance. Who's to say? One man's dream scenario can be another's waking nightmare. But that argument its based solely on personal judgement so there is never a balanced, two sided perspective. We have no measurement, no yard-stick for fulfilment.

Its human nature to strive for more. To want what your neighbour has, and to always believe that the grass is just that little bit greener. But it is also human nature to be modest about this, to give the illusion that all is well and to show no signs of envy. is this healthy? I guess so - it seems to work for many. But when you're alone with your thoughts, there are no more masks to wear, and it is ultimately you who has the final say. Can you honestly say that you have it right?

Thursday, 25 March 2010

If ever a headline enticed me to read the article, this is it...

Man tries to karate chop train, fails

A 33-YEAR-OLD man has come off second best after trying to karate chop a moving train at Eagle Junction station in Brisbane last night.

Police said the man tried to use the martial arts move as the train sped past and his leg fell between the train and the platform, the Courier-Mail reported.

He was transported to hospital in a stable condition with a laceration to his leg.

A Queensland Rail spokesperson said the man had actually been trying to jump onto the moving train - and hurt his head when falling back onto the platform.

Police are investigating the incident.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Bieber AND Ludacris? That’s simply ludicrous.

There is a certain phrase that is most likely to be the bane of any musician’s career. The two words that most recording artists know will eventually become the inevitable. Its that moment where that overflowing pool of once ingenious talent is now beginning to dry up, and all that is left is the final drops of creativity that the artist will have to spread so thinly for as long as possible in order to maintain their earning potential.
The point I am of course talking about is when an artist finally ‘Sells Out’.

Maybe it’s the added cynicism that comes with getting gradually older; arguing that music in ‘my day’ was both better and more varied. I see no competition within the music industry anymore. No one is trying to out-do one another. The bar, which was once set fairly high, is no longer a target to be bettered. Instead, there is a lot of back slapping and smiles as everyone gets rich by making and regurgitating the same garbage over and over again. After a while, you just lose faith. I’m looking at you, Timbaland.

My point in case for this post comes from the recent single from a certain sixteen year old kid, and more precisely the record that he has just released. The issue I have is not with the song or artist itself, it is with the once ‘highly regarded’ collaborator. One of my childhood icons, and a heavyweight of the hip-hop world. A certain Mr. Christopher ‘Ludacris’ Bridges.

Growing up, I was very into his music. I enjoyed (American especially) hip-hop, and after so many years of looking at it, it’s quite easy to distinguish really talent from the pointless pap that is thrown out there just to make a quick dollar or two. Ludacris isn’t (wasn’t?) like this. He has talent, he has ability. ‘Southern Hospitality’ and ‘What’s your Fantasy?’ were great first album tracks, and even the later ‘Chicken N Beer’ album had some really huge songs on it. He is one of a handful of Southern rappers who I admire, along with Missy Elliott, TI, Bubba Sparxx, and producers such as The Neptunes. All talented, and all having released big, big records.
So I beg the question, ‘why risk artistic integrity, the holy grail of any artist in any field, and sell out for more money to pad out the bank account?’. Can you imagine Jay-Z releasing a song with Miley Cyrus? Nas collaborating with the Jonas Brothers?? No.

Now, I have tried to look at this sceptically. I mean the kid Bieber obviously has talent, which of course will be milked for every penny that they are able to drain out of it. But I cannot, for one second, believe that Ludacris has admired his music from afar and thought one day ‘hey, you know what – I should work with that boy’. No, much more likely is that his agent would have received a cheque with more Zeros on it than at a Star Trek convention and in true cartoon style, he would have momentarily seen dollar signs in his eyes. The plan seems to have worked, his new album has shot to number one in the charts. I’m sure all the revenue is dulling his anticipated self-hatred.

Now the song was always going to sell, money was clearly to be made by marketing the kid as a ‘sex symbol’ to young girls. Who can argue with such profound lyrics such as ‘Baby, baby baby, ooooooooh’, and more importantly how far are his management willing to push him? I’m sure it won’t be too long before we see the Justin Bieber drug swoop, the Justin Bieber sex tape, the Justin Bieber stint in rehab and finally the Justin Bieber relapse. By then, most would have lost interest. His army of adoring fans would have grown up and concentrated on more important matters. All that would be left is a dwindling pile of money and that old twinkle in his eye. Good luck to him I say, he’s gonna need it.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Murphy's Law vs. Karmic Balance

Murphy’s Law. I stumbled across the term a few years back, and yet it is only over the past few months that the adage seems to have rendered itself permanently to my being. Not really as a cynical slogan, more a tagline to what has become my life in the latter 2009/early 2010 story of ‘me’.

To elaborate, the chilling notion reads ‘anything that could go wrong, will go wrong’, modestly revealing that if there’s the slightest chance for turmoil - low and behold, you WILL get turmoil. Now, I don’t view myself as a natural pessimist; I try to see the best in others, I seek out the positives in character, and I will actively avoid playing Devil’s Advocate. Granted, I can be extremely cynical; but being a cynic isn’t synonymous with an pessimistic outlook in that I can distrust a situation without believing that will blow up in my face. However, recently I feel that the concept of living by Murphy’s Law seems to be more an educated choice rather than cautionary forewarning.

I question too whether my growing notion that karma plays an principal role in the governing of one’s life is a sound theology. I think I originally used it as an excuse for bad luck; internally arguing that some times matters go wrong for a reason and that if they do it is likely that you will be equally rewarded sometime in the near future. I wouldn’t want to say that ‘bad things happen to bad people’ because we all know that isn’t the case. If everyone got their comeuppance there would be no need for law enforcement and uncomplicated morals would govern. But the idea of the Universe being driven by this great, untouchable karmic balance is an attractive one, no? Treat others as you yourself wish to be treated and reap the rewards for doing so. Either way, I may have unwittingly done something terrible recently, or I am due a substantial amount of positivity in the near future.

Nevertheless, when each victory seems pale in comparison to the defeat does that make you pessimistic or a perfectionist? I assume that it is just one answer that I will ascertain with time.