Nothing you could conceive will be new! So what?

Something that stops thoughts about creativity dead in its tracks is the fear that you’ll be doing something that has been done before!

Everything might have been “done” already.
But it doesn’t mean you’ve invested your blood,
sweat and tears to create something yet!
You might as well do it because you feel driven to produce!
These days everyone is a musician.
But you know what, there’s still enough ways in which to
rearrange compelling notes.
With some imagination freed from fear you can still
paint something that will make people look twice.
We have enough digital space for your words as well.
Just write them down.
Don’t subscribe to the illusion that people expect you
to invent the next new genre.
Rather focus on doing something you can feel proud of.
But even before you judge the merit of your work, ask yourself if you enjoy it!

Write whatever you want to write.
You don’t need someone’s permission.
And your ideas can be worth writing about!
But you won’t know what you’re capable of unless you do it!

Make this day the day in which you create something with only one audience in mind…
Yourself!

The Dictator and the DJ. Thoughts about power!

My childhood synonym for “power” was “Superman.”
The red tights and cape didn’t really inspire me as much as the ability to lift a mountain with
one hand while holding Lois Lane with the other.
At least Superman wasn’t only a muscle-bound knucklehead.
Many of the stories pertinently emphasized his superior alien logic.

I often think that society teaches us that power lies within the ability to generate explosive force.
Movies and stories about powerful beings feature lots of action and pyrotechnics.
That is definitely one interpretation of “power.”
Power can be subtle.
Occasionally we tend to forget that power only becomes apparent after centuries.
The river can carve up a mountain although it takes centuries for a valley to form.
Continue reading

The Toxic Side Of Nonsensical Expressions Such As “Toxic Masculinity!”

What inane drivel that society has taught you would you like to unlearn today?
You might as well consider unlearning a few expressions that have become popular without carrying any meaning.
“Toxic Masculinity” is one such expression.
Masculinity simply refers to “qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men.”
The interpretation of the attributes can be arbitrary of course.
So don’t fight me on that, I’m just quoting a dictionary definition.
But at this junction the attributes that do, or do not constitute manliness, are still fairly neutral and open for discussion… That is the whole point.
Debate things. That’s a basic prerequisite for logical discourse.
Some may argue that “being driven” is not only a masculine trait, but also prevalent in many women.
And… Do you notice…We are still busy with a positive discussion of positive traits.

The big problem with a slam-dunk generalization and fabrication such as “Toxic Masculinity” is that it immediately defeats attributes that should be positive when viewed in a logical manner.
Deconstruct this a bit…
let’s propose someone is “handsome, muscled, and driven”—As per the dictionary of course.
These are considered to be “masculine” by some.
Again, interpret these however you wish, but be careful not to slap a negative connotation onto a word for no reason.
Now take each “attribute” and give it the toxicity label.
“Toxic Handsomeness.” Isn’t this just vanity in a sense?
“Toxically muscled.” This sounds like a medical condition?
“Toxically driven,” I might’ve though that person could’ve been narcissistic?

So that’s how society teaches you to take concepts, words with inherently positive connotations and twist them to suit a narrative that has become popular.

One other gripe I have with “toxic masculinity” is the reductionist manner in which it treats issues symptomatically instead of addressing a root cause.
Let’s just chuck in the “ad Populum” logical fallacy and group many problems under a broad blanket-term.
We’ve become lazy!
A man who pushes people around is a bully.
One who is aggressive and demeaning towards women could very well be a misogynist!
We’re missing out on proper descriptions because we’re lazy and decided to lump it all together in a bundle that looks impressive as a hashtag. #toxicmasculinity.

I’ve never been impressed by misogynists but I can’t comment about men who display “toxic masculinity.”
I simply have no idea what it means.

Which other expressions would you propose we “unlearn” in order to make communication a more comprehensible activity?

The 15 Minute Illusion!

If time is an illusion then our own perceptions can become the malevolent conjurer of falsehood.
So you walked to work and it took you all of 15 minutes.
Did you convince yourself that you were wasting time?
Did you convince yourself that you could, or should’ve been doing something different, something better…Within the demarcated confines of reality that you created for yourself?
What was the illusion that the wizard concocted to convince you that “it,” that section of “time” was merely something you needed to place behind you in order to reach a goal, a destination?

If time doesn’t exist then I wasn’t caught up within the stranglehold of a perception that the moments needed to be anything.
For me, it was an experience within which I didn’t need to explain to anyone why I required to be alone.
On other days the experience becomes a conversation with a friend.
Others could’ve experienced the moment as music or thought.
And right there your own magic happens.
That’s where the evil wizard loses power over you.
Because the illusion he tried to pull off would’ve failed.
When someone else’s illusion doesn’t matter, it holds no power.

Life simply happens between sections of time we choose to classify as events.
I choose to see the interstices as meaningful, even if it’s only an illusion as well.
At the very least it was my own illusion.

Voice notes for your time capsule!

For quite some time I’ve been recording thoughts and ideas on my mobile.
On-the-fly preservation of thoughts and mostly random ideas about life in general.
When I wrote this article I decided to transcribe one of my older recordings.
A recording I made about “recordings.”
Afterwards I “re-recorded” the content.
This is definitely not the “raw material” from which the article originated, but I do believe its slightly more palatable than the messy original.

Voice notes for your time capsule!

During my quest for Actively Seeking Life’s Lemons I discovered voice notes to be a valuable tool for preserving thoughts and ideas.
Why not simply write down these thoughts?
Naturally I could do that.
But I do believe that voice recordings bring a different dimension to the creative process.
Consider the commonplace practice of taking photographs in order to retain a visual confirmation of something you lived through.
Instead of simply retelling the story via text or spoken language you can substantiate many elements of your story with visual confirmation.
That amazing sunset you captured comes to life whenever you revisit your old photos or video clips.
Photographs that you took yourself transcend the boundaries of “simply being a picture.”
Without always consciously being aware of it you’re also attempting to retain a memory of how you felt when you took that picture.
The physical document serves to anchor the emotion you felt and helps you to attach it to a tangible reminder.
The recording of certain content is therefore as important to me as recording the “why” and the “how.”
When you gazed across the waves at a breathtakingly beautiful sunset you’re not just committing a pretty picture to storage.
You’re also creating a time-capsule in which your memories of that moment enjoy a context in which to exist.
Perhaps this is an attempt to attain some level of immortality as much as anything else.

I keep my raw recordings for the sake of posterity.
A “summary ” of events are captured in any photograph but nowadays I realize that I often capture a mood rather than content.
That’s why I prefer not to edit photos or recordings.
When I revisit some of the recordings I do pick up on how tired or excited I sounded.
That in itself also provides powerful clues as to why I thought the way I did at that moment.
Sure, we can always revisit the same topic or concepts for later discussion.
But you can’t ever recreate the exact same thought patterns even when rehashing an idea that you felt you’ve all but exhausted.

If the desire to create is a driving force within your life then it could very well benefit you to record your thoughts.
In the future, they might be used as pointers from previous creative patterns that can take you through rough patches whenever you feel the muse has deserted you.
These thought-snapshots, not unlike photos, remind you of things you can easily forget when the pressure of life takes you on unplanned routes!
They are anchors.

If listening to your recordings make you cringe a bit, that’s fine.
You do get used to it.
Like looking at old photos!
Some are just too embarrassing to ever release into the wild.
But, you don’t always pick the professional high-definition specimens as being representative of your life.
Often the out of focus, oddly angled or grainy ones bring back the best indication of who you were when you took that photo.
And pretty much the same applies to the recordings that weren’t intended to be masterpieces of oratory skill, but simply bookmarks for thoughts.
Taking photos has become an instinctive process for many.
Writing down thoughts seems much less commonplace than the manner in which we can visually record our lives.
But to each his own.
I can’t subscribe to the idea that one method is better than another.
However…
Next time you’re stuck in traffic, talk to yourself, and record your ideas!
It’s easy and convenient!
Perhaps the voices in your head won’t ever talk back, but when you press “play” you’ll at least get something fairly close to that!

 

 

TLR

Twitter killed The Wisdom Tsar

Before the prophets of the world poured their wisdom into a text-box with limited character-capacity the words that hit you squarely in the gut were often found in dodgy spaces.
Every local bar, tavern or bake sale gathering had their own herald of infinite knowledge.

In a dodgy dive not far from where I grew up The Wisdom Tsar reigned supreme as the keeper of the key.
The guardian of life’s most profound truths.
The Tsar was a god, he was more than a king, and way too bloody damn cool not to be called “The Tsar.”

Speaking in a voice shredded by a 100 000 cigarettes and low quality alcohol strengthened the power of his messages.
You could ask him about aliens and conspiracies against war veterans.
He new it all.
Almost!
The facts he eschewed were hardly noteworthy anyway.
His steed of choice was a dark red Ford V6.
Even his car dripped, no… oozed masculinity and life experience was etched in the patterns made by cracked leather seats.

Everyone listened when he spoke, because there was no mistaking his crusty voice of authority.
But everyone knew he really cared for all his disciples and hardcore fans.
He knew all by name.
He knew everyone’s most intimate secrets and worst fears.
And he never spilled any beans.

When you dared to disagree, a “Well Fuck lad, let’s hear it then” signalled your turn to speak.
Woe be to your mortal soul if you challenged The Tsar simply to get attention.
His rabid protectors were a phalanx of Stoic musclebound goons not to be trifled with.
But if you had lost the light in your eyes, or the song in your heart … The Tsar was there for you.
More often than not he helped you sort your shit without even giving it a thought.
Because he knew your name.
And he knew your Mother and your younger sister.
And throughout your ordeal you felt a tight grip where he was holding you, lest you fall into the pits of hell.
Legend has it he could bring you back from the depths of hell if he had to.
Because he’s been there so many times.

Ok, so Twitter didn’t really kill this man.
The Tsar is still alive, and still preaching, but wherever he hides these days the room is surely filled with dull eyes transfixed on little screens.
Words of wisdom pour forth from their devices.
Everyone is now a King!
Watch them, because they won’t notice you.
Observe them…
Dripping with exaggerated intellect, and faux wokeness.
Even those who did hear the words of the true prophets disappear in the huge cracks left by vast sludge dams of constantly regurgitated drivel.
The true voices of our generation venture into this ocean at their own detriment.
Because nobody cares to teach a new generation of disciples how to set the ego aside for a while.
And the new disciples only bow to the god created by their own number of followers.
Yes…
There they sit…
Typing, deleting and creating even more derivative soulless content each time they have a go at someone.
Their audience doesn’t look them in the eye, nor does it care.
Their enemies care even less.

For somewhere down the line we traded the raw and gritty sweat of true conversation for comments on homogenized daily outrage and faceless opinions.