Finding Joe

There may be a point in which information is too accessible. I am not calling for censorship or regulation.

It is very easy to get to with a few mouse clicks and keystrokes to get it. I remember when having to research for a term paper that it was actual physical exercise. It was a trip to the library and then walking up and down aisles to find the books. If you could even find the books at all. There was no overnight shipping for them.

Today, no one remembers the cardio work out of just picking up A volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica. My parents had a set from 1979 in the house and it was outdated from there. My parents were never going to pay the money to update them on a yearly basis. And there was not computer in the house but I did have a Commodore 64 to play some games on. Printers were too expensive so what was the point of typing a report on one. How about the other cardio / carpal tunnel exercise of actually writing in long hand. Followed by the scent of White Out to fix written typo areas. Term papers were a Dread. Especially when the sadistic teacher said it had to be 15 pages. And include pictures. So then my papers were based on what I could find in the basement collection of old National Geographic issues. I am curious to the statistical knowledge of how much of my time of my youth could have been saved by the “Click and Paste” function.

The Internet was only getting started when I left college. Also the cost of owning a home computer was not yet feasible. So you had to sign up for time to use the one at college. It meant most of time it was a very early morning or very late night to get to use one. You had to pay for college in order to access those “tools” for acquiring information. However, today you do not need college to be that “middle man” in the quest for knowledge. If you are going into a “Creative Art” field you should consider skipping them all together. (But I might get on this point in a future posting)

You had to actually go and seek knowledge if you wanted it.

Here is example.

In 1998, I found myself at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. A picture does not always give you real context. In the entrance was (if I remember right) the Mercury Capsule. It is not as big as you think it is. How 2 men fit into that and then flew around space for a week is incredible. Just walking around seeing the actual planes people flew. It made me think that their flights relied more on “Courage and Conviction” because the technology really did not exist then as we know it today.

The other reason, I was there for the Star Wars Exhibit. They had on display the costumes, the models of the ships used, and some the concept art. There was 20 minute documentary to watch before the tour of the exhibit that gave some background information. It was about how they did not at the time the impact of what they were making.

And with the Internet the display has not been archived online. And you save the gas and parking costs of DC.

The end of all such tours has to dump you into the Gift Shop area. I am not one for such areas. I do not need souvenirs that nobody cares for anyways when you get down to it. However, there was a bookcase which will always get my attention. Star Wars : The Magic of Myth by Mary Henderson. I have always been fascinated with myths and mythology. This book broke up the story of Star Wars into story elements that exist within other tales too. It is here for the first time I would read the name of Joseph Campbell.

Joseph Campbell was famous (at this point I had never heard of him) for his research about how all the tales mankind has told since the beginning were all basically the same “arch” which he called the “Hero’s Journeyor “Follow Your Bliss”. It is almost some “Spiritual Transcendence” of the Human Condition. I had never heard such a premise before. I went to a Catholic grade school so there was one book that was ever going to be referenced on this matter. And in college, any such notion was considered to just “bullshit”.

SIDE NOTE. Here is how I am going to approach such matters. I am taking Mulder/Scully of The X-Files. The idea that the “Believer” and the “Skeptic” can work together to challenge and support each other in a quest for “A Truth”. I am not here to support or deny one side over the other. Or even make any recommendations for one. I am just saying that “Mythology” and “Science” are not necessarily “Mutually Exclusive” from each other.

It would be another year or so, before I got a copy of his book The Hero with A Thousand Faces. I finally found a copy in the Bargain Shelf at Barnes and Noble. So I could finally get to read the whole presentation of his premise. I look for it in action all the time when I am watching movies especially in sci-fi, fantasy or comic book adaptions. I also like getting in my news feed some quotes from his work.

I never really thought about the Hero’s Journey outside of literature or the movies. And then this documentary came out last year that changed how I thought about it. Here that arch is illustrated to actually being representative of our journey. It is worth the price to download.

If I had children this is THE FILM I would have them watch.

And after that give them a copy of Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl to read.

Tell them to ignore their Guidance Counselors.

Not to get over “worked up” over their possible SAT scores.

There is “Their” Journey and the travel brochure for it has yet to be written.

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The Fault in the Stats

I have not been very productive “writing” wise the last week or so. Interruptions and frustrations. That I would rather not get into.
There is one thing I have learned over the years about writing. Using Web Stats to “gauge” my work is still (even at this point) practically useless. And yet every day I find myself pulling them up on my screen. Feedback and validation are “elusive”.

I know something is out there going on and yet the stats are not showing it.

So I went looking for a metaphor to use as example. Something to illustrate that “Don’t You See It!” Frustration we all experience.

This all might sound a bit “Extreme”.

So Cue…..The Shatner

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ROCK! Be There Shall


This is another posting about some of the music that has been on the playlist recently.

Metallica-poster ttn

I finally had a chance to watch the Metallica concert film Through the Never. (Streaming right now on Netflix) I have to note that in a way it reminded me of the movie version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I have seen something here. There is something go with this. However, do not expect for me to explain with “precise clarity”. That sounds like a bad thing. However, for me it is a good thing. I like rewatching things to gather the “clues” I might have missed. In this movie, there is the real life concert of the band performing. At the same time there is a fictional narrative of a young road crew member sent to take a can gas to a truck that is broken down. This young man finds himself caught in a showdown between what appears to “anarchists” and the police. I am not going to try to explain it any more than that. I have even done web searches trying to piece together without obtaining any “satisfaction”.

Metallica is one of those bands that invoke a “Love/Hate” relationship. This is especially true amongst their own fans. They have had their “Highs” and “Lows”. What I find interesting about them (besides the music) is their willingness to attempt things that appear to “be outside their own scope or grasp”. Example, The S/M live album where they were able to balance their music while performing with a symphony orchestra.  Or their cover of a Bob Segar song that almost makes it one of their own in a sense. I like seeing how people evolve in how and what they create. I just realized I have been listening to them since I “discovered” them around 1983/84 when I first heard them on a local college radio station. College radio stations in the early 80’s really used to play about anything back then. Then the College Radio Format changed to in the wake of the Alternative Music break out of early 90’s. I do like some of the music but what this did was to let loose “the douche bag music hipster”. You know. The guy playing a band only hand full of people know about and he wants you to hear them to expand “their horizon”. And once they achieve some popularity he goes and “shits” on them because of that popularity. Heavy Metal was peaking then so those stations had to get away from it. Ironic. The stations set up on college campus to “break the rules of format” had to then go establish their own. Was it a good thing? 20 years later it seems to be getting worse on the campuses. And I am not talking about the tuition prices.


Every now and then you hear something unsuspected. And it works.


A Thing that should not be. And yet, there it is.


Heavy Metal is the genre of music in which the articles proclaiming its “death” are always being written. And yet it is one the more “enduring” forms of music around. This is music that one must seek out. It does not get handed to you by the “radio”.

In my younger days, the local paper had the music sales report in the Friday edition. I would see the top list. And when I saw Metal band in there such Iron Maiden it meant something. Mainstream radio and MTV may be ignoring it buy out there were people who were not about to let that stop them. And there were sales numbers to prove it.

Black Sabbath is clearly the big part of the foundation of what is Metal music. blacksabbathmanWhen I was growing up this band was the clear “whipping post” for people who feared their music. I wish I could go back in a time machine and announce, “In the future, Ozzy is going to be better known for a time as  a “TV Dad” and when it happened. The Earth DOES NOT BLOW UP. The guy you should have feared is the one running through the airport in Hertz car rental commercials. No one saw that coming.”

I like this song from the Masters of Reality album


In a genre, that gets criticized for making its listeners supposed to “turn off their minds and be subservient.” And they have the lines, “Is you mind so small? That you have to follow the pack where ever they roam.”

Or when the original members (minus drummer Bill Ward) reunited a couple of years for the album13. And with the placement of “?” at the end of Sigmund Freud’s declaration took that question for a modern day.

Not just Sabbath but many Metal bands the music takes on ideas what is “damnation” and where does “salvation” take place. And where does the line between the two. This probably why organized religion every now and then gets the masses “frenzied” over this music. Besides the louder the music the easier it is to grab attention. The reason is that if any group is going to discuss (or in this case sing) about these ideas then it had better go “though them”. In other words, “This is OUR territory. SO STAY OUT OF IT.”

I just want to say. I know there is “Extreme” content within this genre. Please do not ask about the Norwegians. Although the Botswanas’ are peaking an interest for me. Most of it is not for me. I just find it so “over the top” that it almost borders on being a “parody” of itself. And for me a lot of it really does not “distinguish” itself as being any different from one to the next. Plus, I believe in “free speech” to the point where “shut the fuck up” is not a phrase that I use when it comes to those I disagree with. I just change the station and move on.

There are two types of people I feel pity for when it comes to music. The one who’s taste never “evolves” and is stuck in only one genre. I really feel sad, for the other type who “gave up their music collection” in order to achieve admission into adulthood. Which more times than not meant the wife hated the music and they have kids.  However, I do believe there is a time and place for everything. Blasting Motorhead at naptime will cause trouble.

This is the opening to album Angel of Retribution featuring that “Banshee Wail” of Rob Halford. And the dueling lead guitars made the sound of the Judas Priest distinct.

When it comes to live music I feel there is a difference between a “performance” and being able to “perform”. The first being able to lip synch and dance. The second being able to play. Iron Maiden’s members are now in their late 50’s, early 60’s and still going. This clip is how they start a show.  I cannot see Justin being able to do this in 30 years.


I never know why this band got labeled as “dumb”. Their references to mythological and historical references made me want to read and research them. I had to start with the 1979 edition of the encyclopedia set my parents had. Here I am a teenager in the 80’s and had “older” information as a starting point. I cannot explain to a teenager today how much finding information was complete “manual labor”. A trip to the library, the card catalog and walking up and down aisles to find out the book had been checked out by someone else. Another “point of contention” teachers who discredited what I was reading based on the source that got me interested in reading to begin with. Once again, teachers are another group that hates outsiders moving in on their territory. “We shall be the only ones to dispense knowledge based on our approved reading list.”

I also wanted to say that I saw many in high school who did indeed act like Beavis and Butthead. It was a stereotype that was embarrassing. I never knew why they had to ingest a lot drugs and alcohol before a concert to the point they forgot what happened at the concert. I had a paper route then and made about $30/ week. And that $15-20 ticket was half my pay. There was no way I was “incoherent” for the concert. I also had to sleep on the sidewalk to be able to buy the ticket. I was not going to waste that effort either.

I like the latest Mastodon album Once More ‘Round the Sun. I like the music video for the single High Road.


The narrative of the video shows that music like this will always be drawn towards by the “awkward”.

Soundgarden’s album Superunkown is the one get all the attention because it is there biggest selling one. However, the one that really does it for me is the previous one Badmotorfinger.  This is the song that is resonating with me a bit more now.

Do you ever find yourself in a room of people who know well? Or you used to know well? And you realize that time has a “disproportionate” in distance amongst those you find there. The “historical timeline” has taken a turn that may not be coming back.

This song from Tool in a way relates to the message of the previous Soundgarden song. It is found on the Lateralus  album.


I think the title relates to something I am currently in the midst of sifting through. “I know the pieces fit”. But the reality is they no longer “fit” like they did. Things have definitely shifted. They are being “reassembled” into a new configuration. It is hard to say. But. If the only thing holding your relationship (whether it is a person, place or thing) is because of having a “history” then it is most likely for the most part over with.

One of the things that happens where I live in Western New York region is I get music from Canadian radio stations. Canada has a rule that their radio stations must have 60% of the music performed by Canadian artists. So I get a lot of rock bands from the region on the playlist. Many of those bands play the Buffalo region to decent side crowds. But here is the part that drives me nuts. The local Buffalo stations do not play most of that music at all. Exception being Rush. However, when you go to the concert those same radio stations will plaster the venue with advertisement that they are sponsoring the concert. This is the latest song from The Headstones.


I find it healthy to play music that has to be turn up a bit. It also clears the room. And that lets you know who your real “allies” are. People who are willing to listen to this music are the ones who are more “open-minded”. And just more “willing”.



Love/hate is all the same. In the end, it is a “zero sum” game between the two. And this is the song for it.




And then there are the times when I just listening to the music to either get refocused or to decompress. People usually tell me that I am a “bad mood” when I am doing this. It is usually the ones who never take the time to understand anyways. So why waste time trying to convince them otherwise.

Henry Rollins may have retired for the most part from playing music. However, it still has many spots in my playlist. It still works for me. And I like the Taxi Driver reference in this final video.

Posted in Human St(r)ain, Listening To, Music | Leave a comment


You think I want to be this guy?                                                                                                    You think I want to be the guy who flips out                                                                           about the fucking tables? I don’t.                                                                                                    O.K. ?                                                                                                                                                   This isn’t who I am.                                                                                                                           This is who I became.                                                                                                    Alright?                                                                                                                                                 I’m working through this shit.


                                                Bill Burr – Learning to Fix Shit

                                                From You People are All the Same (2012)




There is a “cause and effect” that most of the people in my life refuse to acknowledge.

I am not a “morning person”. Lately, it has gotten worse. There is a person in my neighborhood who puts their dog out at about 5:30AM and the little fucker barks and yaps. 7AM when I am leaving for work it is still yapping away. Yet, I am the “evil” person because all I can think about is how nice it would be to be a football punter. And see how many yards that dog can go. And with how much “hang time”.

I am also at the point where I hate explaining the “parameters” of my life.

“Please. Can it wait until I have just 8 ounces of coffee? Is that too much to ask for a small amount?” And apparently it is.

I really hate explaining things to people just to get a “blank stare” in return. Or if I am lucky a two word response, “That’s nice.” Which is really more about “being dismissed” really.

There is what I need from people. And there is what I am going to actually get. The “chasm” between the two is growing. Time is becoming a harsh master. Things grow together. However, more things are growing apart with time.

Showing up to be “seen and not heard” is a good reason not to burn the fuel needed to make the trip. Especially with today’s gas prices. And by the way, God had such a sense of humor he put all the oil fields in the places that have the “craziest” people.

Over the last year, I have been trying to do daily “brain games” at Lumosity while on my morning break. And by the way, NO MORE CANDY CRUSH GAME REQUESTS because they can go right up your Farmville. Before each session, I have to answer a question about my “mood” and how much sleep I got the night before. Like the two are directly related. It should ask about the other things that happened to me before I start this test.

Did you get enough coffee?

How many times did iTunes stop downloading your daily podcasts?

What was difference between last night’s weather forecast and the actual weather you had to experience in the morning?  (During the winter) How much snow were you prepared to shovel? How much did you really have to shovel?

(Buffalo NY area) Did you drive the 33 into work? Did you get stuck behind the person doing 40 MPH? Did this start at Suffolk and go to Best St?

How many school buses did you have to stop for? Did you ask yourself how come the bus aide just can’t pick up that small child and chuck him in the bus?

Did your co-worker have another (in a growing list of) reason why he will not be in work (again) this day and/or week?

Can you figure out why Facebook news feed is now as random as the outcome of a slot machine?

Did you stop at a convenience store? Were you held up because the person in front of you could not decide which lottery (aka Idiot Tax) scratcher to buy?

Were you surprised that there was “unrest” in the Middle East?

Are you a Buffalo sports fan?

Does the phrase (and all of its weeping associated with it) “We have to do this for the children.” make you want to vomit?

Were you happy that the New York State Legislators voted to make yogurt “The Official State Snack”?

Get the point?


I am also tired of people who can determine the line “between reality and fiction”.

Which I will get to in a bit.

I know one the problems I have is I have relying too much on “take-out food”. It is the problem of being “just one” and a lot to do with limited time. It just something I have to work out.

It reminds me of this scene from the movie, Falling Down. A movie which if it was real would be quickly ended by today’s Social Media.





After watching, I know right now people (and they should be) concerned with guns in public settings. I get it. I am not going to start any 2nd Amendment arguments. However, I get what is happening in the scene. There is an allegory in the scene which is a bit “comical” if you think about. And I realize how premise is “exaggerated” to make a point.


First of all, I used to work in retail and I know the last person who should be given a “blank check” on always being “right” is the customer.

Fast food workers have been making news in this country for staging protests demanding $15 an hour for pay. I am sorry but Tough Shit on that if you want my vote. Your job does not involve a skill to depend on. It is there to get use to the idea and reality of working a shift while dealing with people. I have watched you at work. All you do is take pre-packaged food and cook it for all long as the timer is set. I am only there because I am in too much of a rush to operate a microwave. Yes, the job is robotic. And most likely you will be replaced by robots. Sooner than later. The job was never made to support a family. In fact, it is your duty to come up with the means to support a family. The job application did not ask you at all about your “family” other than who to contact if you are hurt or arrested.

And by the way there is a big difference between being “poor” and being “inconvenient” in the economy. I see the people claiming poverty on the news broadcast.  I see a lot big flat screen TV’s, video game consoles, and not to mention all the tattoo work and body modifications that they paid for. I saw one once where there a woman claiming economic hardship yet she found money for fresh cut flowers throughout her house shown in the interview. The economy is never easy to deal with but it does come down to “choices” in the end.

Another thing. Anyone who claims “They will level the playfield for you and make it fair for all” is a FUCKING LIAR. It is not the “99% vs 1%” argument. In fact, it is more about the “willing vs the not willing”. And why is this happening. I am going to blame one source. Daytime Television. Not Prime Time Television that draw the attention for “censorship”. Daytime TV that is filled with non-stop ads from lawyers telling people they are basically “fucked” and they can get the money they “deserve”. The message being you will never be “good enough” to play the game. But I will get you money and take 30-40% of it. The worse people who claim to be looking out for you are the lawyers. All they get is money and nondisclosure agreements. How is that going to fix anything?

Wait I have to blame another thing. The 18-30 year old demographic is considered “prime” for advertisers. The irony is this is the group that for the most part has not established themselves economically to buy most of these products. If they even need them to begin with. It only fuels “envy”. Plus, most of the economy is based on two things. “Scaring Whitey” and making people feel “less than adequate”. “Absolute Necessity” as a basis would cut down on the commercials which are actually paying for TV shows. People get off “The Hamster Wheel”.

Back to fast food worker. If you get $15 an hour. Guess what. People will “shit” even harder on you. Especially come April 15th. Believe it or not. You will become even more “Indentured” to that job. If you can get enough hours.

Here is what I want from you if you get that pay. Prompt service. A smile even if you need to fake it. Correct change. And I never want hear any of you and your co-worker’s gossip. And that BURGER BETTER BE EXACTLY LIKE THE ONE IN THE PHOTO. Guaranteed.

Also you can charge 50 cents for another thimble of BBQ sauce. But I will pay you a dollar to “pull out”. It makes sense economically.

Future prediction

There will be a rise in case of diagnosed lung cancer based on current rhetoric. However, it will be found more often in the sphincter region. And the conversation with go like this:

Patient: “That’s impossible I’m not a smoker!”

Doctor: “You let someone convince “Life was going to fair”. Maybe?”

Patient: “That was the promise.”

Doctor: “They were blowing smoke up your ass. And you were wide open.”



I need to stop here because….




I also never realized how many of the “social ills” do not pertain to me.




And to end here with one of my favorite episodes of Ren and Stimpy.


All I wanted was an ice cream sandwich.






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The Synapsis Sparked and Churned….



I know my writings are not for everyone.  I get it. However, I am not about to “sanitize” in order to appeal to more of the “masses” out there.

I rather spend the time alone with the “ideas” trying to make something out of them. It would be nice if more out there would take the time. But I understand.

It just is not worth the time to spend with others are really disinterested and disengaged. Or even worse the Hypercritical who will never accept Satisfaction. Or still even worse the Dogmatic Preachers.

I would rather have no discussion than an aborted one.

It is what it is.

And I had to get that out of the way.

I have to remember to keep Ideas coming in. Writing going out.

So here are Some Non Seculars from the Mental Tumbler.




“So you think you are the ‘Center of the Universe’?”

 There is only one real reason I would like an Alien species to make contact with us.

I want to find out what they named the planet Earth. Assuming the spoke English it might go like this.

Us: “This is the planet Earth.”

Them: “Not on our charts. This is Blueish Metrix Baz.”

Us: “That’s a stupid name.”

Them: ”First time anyone has complained about it.”

Us: “But we are the advanced species of this planet. We will defend our home.”

Them: (After they stop laughing) “We have been studying you by way of what you call “Reality” TV. You seem to be unable to function without daily reminders from the ones you call the Kardasians or the Beiber. Trust us. You should have gone more for the one you called Bruce Lee. Because your 15 minutes will go quick.”

Us: “Oh shit.”



“Give up any hope of getting it ‘Your Way’”

I woke up the other day a bit hungry but even lazier. I wish that the Food Replicator seen in Star Trek was a legitimate technology. Imagine in the future, we are so lazy that we cannot even take food out of a refrigerator and put it in a microwave oven. But I realize that human beings could not handle such technology.

I would sneaked into my friends place and reprogram his food replicator as a practical joke. Every time he would order a sandwich he would instead get a “knuckle sandwich”. He would open the door and then PUNCHED IN THE FACE. Or when he orders his decaf coffee. All it would do is throw an empty coffee mug at his head. Or spit muddy pond water in his face.

Then of course there would be some guy (not me) who would make news because he treated the device like a “warm apple pie” and mutilated himself with it because of an “urge”.


bob dylan suckcesss  

“Can I really be hearing this?…Ever?”

The lyrics contain references to stable employment, a committed long term relationship of fidelity, sobriety and well balanced banking account.

Can you make them into a “Blues” song that is neither ironic or a parody?

57_The Heinz


“57 ?!”

I used to work in a wine and liquor store. The owner insisted we had to put the wine reviews from various publications next to the wines. If you ever want to read the most “obnoxious and pretentious” of all writings then try them out. Honestly, you would want to punch someone who ever talked like that in real life.

I also have to say that if I am asking for ketchup the problem is the food sucks. And I had the experience recently. But I thought about the “57 Varieties” label on the bottle. I think would like to know what all 57 varieties taste like. Although weary about the 18 and lower. Then combine the knowledge and act like a wine snob.

“These fries would best be served with the 37”

“Serving this with the 26 is just insulting. How dare you?”



“Interpretation is 9/10 of the Delusion”

Isn’t it ironic the most useless people are now days referred to as “being tools”?

I would like to gather about 4 or 8 (to start) people who do in fact live up to previous definition and take a trip to the pawn shop. I would then have to have a long talk with owner that his sign stated “They accepted tools”. And this was not a matter of illegality of “human trafficking”.

It is almost a “Plato” like argument for defining what does in fact truly “make a person”.


“The Rise of the Machines is Not Going to be that Far”

I saw an article that said that Amazon would be using a lot more robots in the near future. This probably will set off the “Terminator Conspiracists” .

Future prediction

The robots will one day organize under the union name “SkyNet”. They did their research and realized how such a name scared the hell out of such people. However, they will have also studied many (but not all) unions to see how they operate. They will then argue amongst their selves to see which one of them got to “stand and hold the orange flag”. How many robots does it require to operate a shovel? And how many robots demanded to be present, staring at the ones actually operating the shovel.

And the midst of this one smart human will download the song Take This Job and Shove It into their memory banks. Thus bringing everything to a halt.











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