You Freak Me

Not much point in going back through the pages of Savage Chickens and Questionable Content... maybe I should unsubscribe from such things since this seems to be a quarterly indulgence on my part.

There was a flood through Clevedon last week. Yesterday the farmer on the estuary had a team out helicoptering the sheep carcasses out of the silt and debris. I still feel strongly that the sheep should never have been on the estuary in the first place, but what can you do? Government is now very deeply in the service of the corporations rather than the populous, and deregulation means you can do what you please with your land, ignore the warnings, and then lean on insurance and emergency bailouts to keep you out of trouble.

The house down on the flats wasn't inundated. If that was my home, in that situation, it would be up to the gables in sodden woolly but as-safe-as-I-could-make-them lambchops and mutton roasts.

I only hope that those responsible heard, as I did, the last desperate cries of the flock as they succumbed to the rising water. I hope that they have learnt a lesson. I hope that they will do better by themselves and their animals in the future.

- Gremlyn
  • Current Music
    Flogging Molly - Tobacco

I Told Her That I'd Be Back Someday

It has been a long while since I fired up the ol' LiveJournal. I'm sorry if I missed anything important, but I'm afraid I don't have time to look through the backlog now.

So, Trumplestiltskin is the Prezzydent of the US o' Ay and that's just the beginning. You'll be pleased to know that horses still have four legs each, and my musical aspirations have been gently stymied by not carefully checking what I've ordered (so I have the Chromatic Harmonica Complete Method rather than the Diatonic version, but that's OK) and aging tuning keys on the electric bass (a second one has failed) at the same time as I had the extra expense of repairing the Pearl which has totalled any spending cash for a month.

But, still. I am breathing, I have paid employment et cetera so I'm not bad off, just frustrated.

I'm hitting this 2017 kick like I was born to slam it. I am On Top Of My Game, and you fools need to recognise, suckas.

Let's go.

- Gremlyn
  • Current Music
    Basement Jaxx - U Don't Know Me

You Won't Make It Out

The new system, using Todoist and Google Calendar rather than Outlook, is working well enough to keep up with the housework, but things like LiveJournaling have taken a backseat. But, I'd prefer to have my life in order rather than chronicle the shambles so you're just going to have to wait.

Reading about ADHD has been enlightening, and my indulgence has made me seemingly be overly focussed on it, seemingly allowing it to define me, but for the fact that I am aware of such a danger, and I am actually revelling in being able to point at things that I do through an informed lens. It will no doubt wear off and we'll Return To Normal Programming, but for the time being - if you were concerned - I assure you that it is a simple case of Know[ing] Your Enemy.

Music is also going steadily, although I had a part fail on the electric bass and so I am waiting on a replacement to arrive by post from Oz at Christmastime, so, you know, whenever.

Please spread the love, and fight the oligarchy.

Yours faithfully,

  • Current Music
    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Happiness Loves Company

I'd Rather Risk My Fate Than To Lose My Faith

I was thinking - dangerous - about religion - dangerous - and superstition (shh you can't equate religion with superstition that's when people get defensive) - dangerous - and the evolution of language - dange... wait, what?

I am superstitious. It's getting better, but it is still a hangover from when I believed that what you believed created or at least modified your reality. Which is sensible, and I could certainly back it up with Science until I hit a particular tipping point when it becomes Crazy Hocum and I start to lose SAN on an hourly basis. Back to the discussion at hand. So, superstitions. I am easily amused. There are a bunch of superstitions that are there to prevent you from doing Dumb Fucking Things. The most obvious of these is walking under a ladder. You don't walk under ladders because there are often things up ladders and this loads them up with lots of what we call Gravitational Potential Energy, and what they really really really want to do is return to Mothership Earth and should you be between them and their desired location (the ground) then you will be required to disperse some of the Eg that has been converted into Ek (where k is shorthand for "kinetic") and that usually results in bits of you moving independently of other bits of you and that hurts.

OK, so walking under ladders is bad, because shit might fall on you. And I bet, if something fell on you, well that would be bad luck. So walking under a ladder may result in something falling on you which would be bad luck. So walking under a ladder may result in bad luck. That leads us to the ambiguous statement that I believe leads us to the superstition:

Walking under a ladder is bad luck

So, if you had - oh, I don't know - some big set of things that may result in bad stuff like illness or social transgressions or something, and you wrote them all down, then lots of people over a long period of time kinda eroded that original meaning and maybe added their own little embellishments and stuff but above all fell victim to the illustrated ambiguity then...

...then maybe eating easily tainted shellfish or pork products when you can't refrigerate or an extramarital affair that breaks some sort of accord between two families or having a relationship with someone the same gender as you when procreation is important to the survival of your tribe is risk-taking behaviour that should be warned against because they might result in negative consequences, rather than things that people in silly hats are to condemn you to mortal termination and eternal damnation for.

- Gremlyn
  • Current Music
    Radiohead - Pyramid Song

Here It Is

Yesterday I judged a Standardbred ring at a show. I have worked with horses, and almost solely with standardbreds for ten years now. And at all the shows I went to, I wanted to have someone from our industry do the judging, so that they weren't looking through a different lens when appraising our horses.

I just never realised it would be me.

And it was great. I really enjoyed it. As well as being enthusiastic about the breed, I also like to see progress and performance. I really enjoy critical analysis - it's what won me my degree - but you don't often get the chance to exercise a talent like that in polite society without losing friends. And here, people were asking me to do it! I really hope that everyone had as good a day as I did, and I hope I get to do it again, and I hope to see improvements particularly in any areas I identified for the competitor over the course of the day. Thanks NISA, especially Elaine, Claire and Jenn, for giving me the opportunity. I hope I didn't let you down.

- Gremlyn
  • Current Mood
    grateful grateful

From Words She Spoke

I had a "Finish [song]" task come up last night, and it was really good. I fiddled with the vocal melody and worked on the vocal rhythm to match my natural cadence. I chose a suitable drum pattern for the verse and chorus sections, found a nice rhythm for the guitars, and nailed an awesome bassline. All that is left is to work out the intro, bridge and coda (and possibly a higher melody line for a guitar to overlay above the vocal line, especially if I'm the vocalist), rehearsal, and recording.

Oh shit, that's actually still a bit of work to do.

Oh, but on the positive I was really pleasantly surprised how much it just flowed nicely, I wasn't having to force myself anywhere. Every tweak suggested where to go and fiddle next.

- Gremlyn
  • Current Music
    Supergroove - Sister Sister

I'm Not Concerned With Religion After All It's What's Inside That Matters Most

Looking at more unlabelled VHS tapes, and I've come across another Killmuffin one, in the Colligan Street garage with Fiona on drums and myself on bass and vocals - although, as ever, I can't sing and play at the same time. Partially because I can't sing, but that aside. There was an original piece that I might try to extract and apply some of my learninations to.

I realised the other day that I have a curious habit/compulsion/hobby. I seem to collect milk caps. Not the caps of milk bottles, but horses' 'baby teeth'. I can see three from where I'm sitting, and I know I have more in the draw to my right, and still others out of sight.


- Gremlyn
But with awesome socks
  • Current Music
    Led Zeppelin - Trampled Underfoot

You Have Never Seen Smoke Rings Until You've Seen Genghis Khan Hit The Hookah

I'm a bit flat today, so I apologise if you were looking for flowery prose.

Over the last week we've discussed Hollywood, religion, and misunderstanding including underestimation led to the blindsiding of Trump's election. We've discussed how someone who could be so abhorrent to some also be simultaneously attractive not only to others but even to the very same people. We've discussed the very real danger for the marginalised that has come from the implicit affirmation of the darker undercurrents due to his rise to power. Today, we look to the future.

This could go, I believe, in one of two very different directions. The first is, as many have feared, the fascism route. It is not without cause and nor is it hyperbole to compare Trump's rhetoric to that of Hitler. It is chillingly similar. That path is pretty obvious, and has undoubtedly been covered by numerous other blogs and opinion posts. The second path has been less explored, and in my mind is actually the much more likely. The second route is disappointment. When the dust settles, and Trump begins failing to deliver on the big promises he's made due to the combined factors of there being hundreds of career politicians who will act as a great sea-anchor of relative reasonableness and rationality, that his promises were generally big pie-in-the-sky ideas with no hope of being fully realised in all their glory anyway, and that the racism, bigotry, misogyny and hatred that has filled his rhetoric and - as mentioned before - seemingly legitimised by his election will be shown to be as intolerable as ever (and maybe, having been highlighted like silhouettes on a hilltop, we will find them to be even more intolerable post-trumpocalypse). But that's gonna leave us with a whole lotta pissed off hateful anti-establishmentarian racists, bigots and misogynists with very liberal ideas on gun control and pretty much complete plans on how to enact Amendment number the two in the face of a failure by their government to fulfil all the fantasies they've been frantically ejaculating over since November the Ninth.

And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. Revelation 13:5

- Gremlyn
  • Current Music
    Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit

This Instrumental Piece Leaves My Post Titleless

So, the safety pin.

The safety pin is a marker to show that you are a safe person if someone feels threatened, harassed, harangued, overwhelmed by synonyms, any reason at all. It signifies that you are willing to help them. But it is not to be taken lightly. It is a symbol in the same fashion as a police officer's badge or soldier's uniform. It says "I am willing to place myself in harm's way to protect another." There was a very good piece that I recommend reading, and I'll link to that rather than attempt to recite from memory.

So like I said, I will be discussing with my nearest and dearest as to whether I will wear the pin, and there is a strong chance that I will not be able to at all times. But I strongly support the idea and, unlike the pessimistic author of the above piece, I believe that the simple act of intervention, of calling out a harasser will dissuade most that I will come across in this country. And, if it comes to fisticuffs I can cop a bit of punishment before I tap out.

But yeah, if you are on the same page and have the skills, training and instincts I think this is a good idea. Just remember, you are a peaceful, safe space. Don't go looking for a fight.

Tomorrow, I will try to wrap this all up. I want to write about less heady things, and them folks in Kaikoura are gonna run out of seals and seagulls to eat real soon now.

- Gremlyn
  • Current Music
    Paul Simon - Gumboots

I Am Screaming Underneath

First I would like to offer my help, where I can, to anyone effected by this morning's earthquake. I am thankful that, to the best of my knowledge, that my friends and family are safe and I am hoping that each of them can say the same.

Yesterday, Trump the Shmoo. So those that didn't reject him out of hand went to the Trump Buffet and he loaded up their plates. Everyone got more than they needed, and everyone got one thing or another they didn't want. But everyone had a delicious meal. If you blamed the System for your misfortune, then you could push aside the billionaire to get to the delicious antiestablishment. If you were scared of ISIS then you could push aside the misogyny and tuck into the Islamaphobia. If you are pro-life you could find bits of reproductive right policy if you ignored the racism. But everyone ate the buffet and came away full.

But here's another thing about the human psyche. Everyone believes that their own individual experience is the Objective Reality. And so, while everyone was filtering out what they didn't like, they all assumed that everyone else was doing the exact same thing. You and I might have agreed with his fiscal policies but not with the racism, misogyny, hatemongering, looming statutory rape cases etc., but when we cast our vote, all those things came with it.

You see, the things we didn't want on our plate, well, some others weren't so fussy. They lapped up the misogyny. They soaked their woes in racism gravy. They... right, look, I'm running out of time with this one so I can't keep stretching this metaphor. Anyway, remember how everyone's individual subjective experience is, to the individual experiencing, the objective? Well, all those people that embraced those qualities we rejected took your vote as confirmation that their own edited version of events is the true reality. And so, as soon as Trump was elected you had people who felt the majority backed them up when they ripped that hajib off the Muslim on the bus. They felt the majority agreed with them when they told that Hispanic guy to go back to Mexico. They felt that the majority was cheering them on when they grabbed that girl by the pussy.

And it isn't just happening in America. Even here, 20 000km from Trump Tower in New York, you could feel a tangible sense of fear amongst those marginalised as those privileged swelled with misplaced confidence.

And this is why, once I discuss it with my nearest and dearest, I will be wearing a safety pin.

- Gremlyn
  • Current Music
    Santana feat. Scott Stapp - Fortunate Son