High Lights

HOW YOU FIT INTO EVERYTHING:

You are a puzzle piece. Puzzle pieces are similar yet they are all different. Puzzle pieces fit where they fit and not where they don’t. If you attempt to move your puzzle piece to a spot that is occupied by another, it will not fit and you would have to remove one from the spot where it fits. That would leave two empty spots and two pieces unable to fulfill their true function. In our lives as we evolve, we occupy a certain place in everything. You can be whatever you want but maybe what you want is not as important as what you are. I, for example, am a musician. If I’m feeling reactions to various injustices in the world, the worst thing I could do is quit music, post angry rants on facebook all day, and walk around with a sign yelling and shaking my fist. All of that needs to be done and is completely necessary to get the information to everyone but NOT at the expense of peoples valuable identity as individuals. Every person has something completely unique and even specialized to offer existence. NOTHING should compromise what you have to offer the world. You change the world by giving it who you truly are. When things are bad, people need to concentrate on turning up what they’ve already been contributing to the world. Don’t throw away who you are to make a difference. Unless you are who you are, you are denying the world of what it deserves, your truest gifts. Instead of posting a bunch, give some advice in your field that could possibly contribute to the advancement of these issues. When you put all of that together you have a complete puzzle that can paint the picture we all want. Offer business solutions, express yourself through art and music, speak out through politics, and march and protest, but only and ONLY if you are offering your best self in the process. That brings us to another point which I think is the biggest issue. Everybody has so many problems and most don’t want to face them and become hypocrites that blame all of their problems on other people. This leads to attempting to escape yourself out of insecurity and fill the void with something that you are not in the hopes that it will take you to a better place. Other people certainly have a hand in the course of your life but most people’s problems are fundamentally because of their own choices. Ask yourself if you are doing ANYTHING to take away from your identity and your precious talents. If you are you’re selling yourself short and you are denying the public of the best thing that you have to offer a hurting society, then you are not helping anyone and you have not fulfilled your destiny.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE:

Drinking minimally or responsibly or abstaining completely is difficult. Some of you can handle alcohol well. Good for you (don’t drink and drive). I cannot claim any sort of accomplishment on my part seeing as more than ten 4-14 day hospitalizations, 2 psychotic breaks and hospitalizations, years of therapy, and dedicated psychiatric care made quitting alcohol the second easiest thing I’ve ever done other than marrying my Wife. I haven’t had a drink in 7 years. Haven’t even given it a thought. Sure, I felt strange playing gigs at night at first etc….for like a week and then I had 10 times more fun without it not to mention not playing like a drunkard. I hold strong to my opinion that if you have any of these types of issues and especially if you don’t have insurance and the means to get that kind of help (they sure aren’t making it easy), you have to take care of step one. If I had kept drinking I might be dead or I might have lost my mind. For me it was easy to quit because the universe chose to just punish me and force me to. In a way I feel fortunate for that and I am completely aware of the fact that I will never understand what it means to be addicted to something like alcohol without having any incentive other than your own willpower to stop. I don’t think I could do it. Still I strongly attest to the value of my experience and what I believe to be an essential outlook: that alcohol is step one. I’m not necessarily recommending stopping drinking altogether. It is the best and quickest way to get to the goal if you work toward complete abstinence from alcohol though. I just want to express to everyone how stopping drinking gave me the life I’ve dreamed of. In my experience exercise is the best way to achieve similar feelings to what one may get from substance abuse. The difference is that you don’t earn substance abuse you just do it. The results of the exercise of the mind and body are something where you have to do the work first and then those activities pay YOU later. One should work now to feel good later and abstain from substance-abuse in order not to feel bad later. You should live life for the end result not the immediate result and substance abuse is the epitome of man’s desire for the immediate result whereas hard work, mental and physical exercise are the epitome of true willpower and working towards a positive long term goal. I try not to tell people what to do in these departments because they are very sensitive things but I must express that it has changed my life to quit alcohol in the kind of way that I cannot help but wish for everyone to experience.

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS:

Contact the proper legislators about issues that you care about and send those messages as often as possible. My life is music and that is how I feel that my time should be spent to best contribute to society. If I were interested in politics though you might catch me at a protest here or there with a nice sign to hold up and some line to chant but the real focus of my efforts would be to contact my legislators with mature and convincing points. I would make all attempts to keep the tone in this communication from going to a place that inspires a legislator and to become defensive. No matter how much you hate these people you can’t convince them to do something by insulting them. Sure voting is important but have we relinquished ourselves to thinking that after the vote is cast we have literally no ability to influence a legislators evolution overtime to perhaps compromise towards a greater good for everyone? How can a person change if you have no faith in them? I think that we need to make the entire vote happen, believe in who we vote for, believe that the person that is elected, regardless of who they are, will be realistically pliable and honestly study communication from all people, and finally we must consider our legislators to be representative of all the people from which they came regardless of where they stand. If we assume that people are set in their ways we are just promoting stagnancy. If you display hope and faith that people will understand your point of view and that they are not inherently bad or different from you then they are much more likely to open themselves up to you and your ideas and take them seriously. I challenge everyone to meet the requirement of having one occurrence in your lifetime of an individual communication with a representative of opposing views concerning a subject that you care about and applies directly to your life. I believe that if you take a crowd of loud angry protesters and add to that protest an individual Communication that was objective and mature from every member of the protest, the effectiveness and influence of the protest would increase significantly. In many ways the increasingly immature rhetoric of our legislative bodies just resembles our public behavior. Of course we must yell and scream and march and post and post and post. But we will never get anything done as efficiently as we could unless we also write and write and write and write.

MENTAL HEALTH:

Anybody out there that doesn’t acknowledge the mental health landscape and thinks they have some sort of conclusory perspective on it needs to doubt and question themselves more. All people are mentally ill, behave selfishly, manipulate each other, react to subconscious insecurities, and do not admit that mental health is one giant spectrum that applies to various degrees and not a single human being alive possesses definitive “mental health”.

RACISM:

Racism is a real tough problem. I have no idea what to do about it. I’ll tell you what though, the universe has a solution and didn’t even have to think about it that hard. In fact, for the universe, the solution to racism is a no-brainer. The thing is this: It IS what’s happening and in the end this will be looked at as the most significant part of how racism changed in the world without a doubt. Here’s a question, are the races going to become more pure? Are we going to have less mixed people and go back to having more pure races? The answer is obviously no. Nature is mixing the races and it’s not going to stop. White people are going to disappear. Black people are going to disappear. No one will be able to claim that they are from any sort of group anymore. And the thing about it is that mixing the races improves human health. So all the mixed race people will be smarter, happier, stronger and more adapted to the world. This one race will be complete diversity. Everybody will look completely different from each other with a complete collage of various shapes, sizes, and colors. Obama.

JAZZ EDUCATION (TRUMPET):

The first tool you have to give is one that can be used when there’s no one to help. What do you actually need? An instrument, a brain, and a body? What came first? the method book or the guy it’s about? All the “stuff” matters because it’s part of what exists and what everything becomes. An improviser has to make quick decisions on the spot and the more that is solely based on regurgitation, the less of an exciting decision. That’s the thrill of decisions in novels and television dramas, how much suspense and uncertainty there is. Even if Clifford Brown practiced absolutely methodically, he was known because he was just as creative as everybody else. He had all the tell tale signs of someone truly improvising. Mistakes and trumpet issues left and right. If he misses a passage he will go back and play it over again sometimes 3 or 4 times even though the changes are still moving and he’s falling behind. To learn technical aspects it takes repetition, finesse, persistence, good pacing, and the true effort to make things musical. That’s the one thing I will always agree with Marsalis on. Even all the technical jargon must be performed with “musicality” all the time. With one idea you’ve covered sound, tuning, rhythm, style, phrasing, emotion. You don’t want the student piecing together a 10 armed monster that he’s trying tame into something musical. The student has to have a strong concept of what is musical. If you were on a desert island, the first thing would be to sing and beat rhythms. Maybe try and draw some further understanding of pitch, rhythm, and timbre from the birds, trees, water, animals in general. So now we’ve approached music as if there is no one. I could say everything I just did or you could just drop the student on the island and walk away. The point is that the student must understand that, first and foremost, he is entirely in control of his development and that he doesn’t “need” anything. If that can be developed, unnecessary stress is avoided. With a more light hearted attitude about the importance of all the literature that is out there, the student isn’t overwhelmed with all these “options” and avoids developing any attachment to preconceived practice directives. If you can have zero investment from the standpoint of your contentment, then methods, books, and routines can be performed with the correct focus and not the potential for emotional distress based on the outcome. The books, the routines are all out there for todays students consumption. Let them explore. Tell them the ones you’ve loved over the years and make them understand that they will be performing practice routines tailored to themselves in the end. That can only happen if everything is based on being able to do everything on your own if need be. For an example: transcription should not just be written down using something other than your instrument. You should learn by ear until you can emulate the material exactly by ear on your instrument and play it from memory. Only write it down for cataloging purposes after you can do so from memory without listening to it or playing it. Keep a transcription book of a material that you have completely internalized. Make up some exercises of your own based on the basic functions of your instrument. Learn some music by ear. Then go buy the books, take the lessons, do what they say, but only after you can stand on your own two feet without any help.

WHOLE FOODS:

Nobody thinks it’s abnormal in their consumer base because most of the people that go there are extremely elitist. It’s too easy for Whole Foods because their consumer base assumes that their food should cost more since it’s better food for better people. They also drive up the price on exotic local foods in foreign countries causing a local population to have to start eating crap. And that’s on the opposite end of the spectrum in the sense that it is something bad and cheap that they are using to make money with by exploiting people with little resources. Businesses of all kinds seem to have this trend. Everything is either cheap and low-quality or high-quality and way overpriced. Grow your food, find your food.

THE “REAL STORY”:

I love how everybody has the “real story” all the time. If we could smash all of our brains together and live the entire existence of mankind then we might barely begin to have a tiny smidgen of the entire real story. Just as a person standing next to a tree in the middle of the forest can’t know what the forest looks like from above when you can see everything, a human being stuck inside their own head cannot see beyond what’s “in front of their own eyes”. I just can’t believe that people are so ignorant and get so excited about themselves posting completely insignificant perspectives on one of the infinite issues constantly being debated. It is true, however, that an animal inside the forest can often tell what is going to happen to the entire forest before it happens. I think one thing you can achieve other than being right about an issue is that you can predict with a fair degree of certainty where issues will go. Will abortions stop completely? Will gay marriage end and the whole country accepts that a man and a woman is the only thing that’s okay by us? Will guns be made illegal in America anytime in the near future or ever for that matter? In the past did people think slavery was going to continue? Were segregated bathrooms going to last? Were women never going to be allowed to vote? Were we going to “win” the Vietnam war?

I don’t want to waste my time thinking about what I think, I like to think about what I observe. And I personally think that every single question I just asked has or had an obvious forecast that people could or can be nearly 100% confident about coming true. Is your relative the person that actually thought slavery could be continued and was willing to kill his fellow countrymen for it? Are you the most oppressed minority in the country and you agree with the people that oppressed you about oppressing other people? And on one of their most ignorant hate filled issues? Does Jesus have a problem with anybody? Jesus doesn’t even hate haters. That’s what makes him divine. Quit worshiping that stupid book. For all we know, if he was around today he’d rather read fifty shades of grey. I know I’m going off on a separate tangent here but my recommendation to all Christians is that if you want to stay Christian, try paying a little more attention to Jesus and a little bit less to that book.

Are you pumping your fist on an issue that you really are trying to do good things for but instead of going for reality and making improvements that actually exist you just screamed and yelled so much that things actually got worse? For me I kind of had to just give up investing any real energy in any of this. I keep up the house for my wife, get into recording and mixing, work on my record label, and try to eat right, exercise, and stay healthy and vote under lightly educated pretenses. I don’t have time for ignorant hate. I don’t have time for identity lacking lemmings that won’t shut up about conspiracy theories while they sit around doing nothing. It gives me this impression like I shouldn’t be working on my life and my immediate family but should instead be spending all this time hanging out with these people talking about something that can be true or not be true for all I care because I’m still going to do the things that I do every day. And when I get taken away because one of these conspiracy theories comes true conspiracy man will get taken away too and all that will have happened is that you sat around complaining and calling yourself a yoga master after reading half a book when I spent my short life working on music, inspiring young people, and taking care of my family.

HIGHER POWER:

There is a higher power. I know this because we are obviously a lower power.

ENVIRONMENT:

If humans really want to take care of their environment they should stop eating and drinking, just sit there, shrivel up and die. That would technically be appreciated by the environment the most. It’s not about the environment. The environment is like an underpaid worker that we’re barely nice to in order to get them to do their job and intern benefit us for cheap. We don’t care about them we just care about what they do for us. Lot’s of high horses out there (the horse would like you to get down). Trust me…theirs blood all over all of your hands…your not special…just another self absorbing consumer. This is not supposed to be depressing. People should be inspirational about all of their causes because they all have merit but we have to quit behaving like we’re the only thing in existence. We are all selfishly and unselfishly involved in the whole. Everyone’s responsible for everyone else, no one get’s off the hook, no one’s right while the other is wrong. Existence is a giant river. You can’t stop it’s flow…you can try to contain it until it floods (which may be a significant amount of time from certain relative perspectives but a split second to existence)…but in the end you’re stuck. Humans just stand on their raft chanting and yelling about whatever groundbreaking change they have that the universe most certainly should adopt. You can do whatever dance and sing whatever song you want…you’re still just floating down a river that’s going to dump you back into the ocean when it’s done with your little individual self.

LESS TALK, MORE ACTION:

Having less and less time for coddling people. I don’t have time to reciprocate your fantasies of what you’ve accomplished or the delusional optimism that you have about what you’re going to accomplish. You’ve done what you’ve done and we’ll see about what you’re going to do. Until then…less talk more action.

GREAT THINGS, SMALL MEN:

A great man stands on a stage and preaches that 2+2=4 (a profound spiritual truth applicable to the political reality of our everyday existence). It is uncovered that he is actually a depraved drug addict, thief, and vindictive murderer. Does 2+2 now not equal 4? I think not. Infinite truth is unchangeable and undeniable regardless of the messenger. Infinity speaks in infinite ways. Truth is unchangeable yet infinitely diverse in the variation of it’s relative perception. People often point out to me that my heroes may be devils. That is fine. No man is my hero. Only the truth that is perceived to be expressed through them. Changing your convictions upon finding useful information for judging someone shows that there was never any confidence or self realization in one’s perception of the truth. It is not surprising though. Although the world should be united by the strength of strongly autonomous people understanding the world system that they must experience, it seems to be mostly about fragile ego’s starving in the desert of envy and thirst for acceptance. (side note: The word Man was never intended to refer to the male gender. It has always been an androgynous term.) Shame, shame, shame…so many problems solved so easily with correct interpretation.

PERMISSION:

I am thankful that the Universe has given me permission to exist. I am also thankful for the inevitable process of evolution constantly creating and destroying the physical world as well as dissipating the delusional sphere that the human race chooses to exist within.

IN THE END:

When you die, in the moment before the raw material that is your body no longer encases the consciousness that is your unique self, time extends seemingly to infinity and during that infinite time you are stuck alone with your true conscience or God if you wish not to face the fact that it might as well be you facing you. Either way you will be forced to witness everything that you ever did that YOU deplore. In life you suppressed your true self and adopted the opinions of others to supplement your complete lack of self-esteem. In death you will experience a guilt that makes you wail and cry in torturous agony for eternity.

GOD:

Atoms have positive and negative charge. Is God a proton? electron? Etc.? Do you prefer to worship the whole or do you prefer to divide it into good and bad parts? No matter how amazing a positive God is or how evil a Satan could be, there will always be something greater that is the sum of all things whether you want to refer to it with the word God or with the word universe or with the word cosmos or with the word infinity, it is greater than simply the good part of existence. To me the devil is blind faith in resistance or blind faith in acceptance. In both cases the person judged before investigation. The theme here is that both God and the Devil have nothing to do with anything but us. They are not over there or in here. They’re everywhere and since you are yourself the part that is inside of you, then that is the first thing you should deal with. Most of the time when we occupy our minds with other people, what they’re doing bad for us, and how they have made mistakes, it is because we are too weak to face our own self and the fact that we are just as much of a Devil as they are. And don’t pay so much importance to books filled with paper, words and ink. Think about it, why would God write some book and say that everything you need to know is contained in that book? That just diminishes the concept of God into something less inclusive than what it really is. God doesn’t even need audiobooks. God just downloads everything you need to know straight to your head. It’s up to you to interpret it properly. Your Bible, your church, your fake flesh and fake blood that come in the form of two unhealthy selections. Carbs and alcohol kids! All that stuff isn’t necessary and can be good or harmful depending on whether or not you’re a blind resister or a blind acceptor and not an intelligent investigator. I have no choice about whether or not I believe in the concept that God often refers to. If I truly didn’t believe than I would cease to exist instantly. If I truly did not have faith, my heart would stop beating. If you think that you believe and that you have faith when others don’t, you have neither. Belief and faith in the existence of the ultimate are not choices. God is like the sun. We know that without it we would have a hard time continuing our existence. We don’t hold massive contentious debates and murder countless numbers of people over arguing about who’s it is and what it is. Obviously the sun is everybody’s because everybody lives off of it. God is infinity and to say that it is at war with some kind of negative counterpart in the ring of existence insults God. God cannot help the movements of God’s bowels anymore than God can help the involuntary function of his breath as universes oscillate between creation and dissolution. And if you really need some guidance let me make it real simple for you. Don’t hurt other people or yourself and share. There you go, can you handle two commandments that you learned when you were three? We’d rather read, talk, and debate about what we’re supposed to do than actually do it. If you’re talking about how people are supposed to live and how things should be then you need to quit talking and actually make it so.

GUNS, RIGHTS, AND STANDING UP TO “THE MAN”:

Tired of hearing about other countries like Cuba and Germany that confiscated civilian firearms. Yes they did. And so would our government. Your guns are weak! You couldn’t hurt a fly with you’re pathetic pistols, shotguns, grenades, and wimpy little wanna be machine guns. I’d love to see a bunch of idiots trying to defend themselves against the U.S. military. They would march in and pluck the gun right out of your hand like it’s a lollipop and you’re the child that you are. If you have to do a background check for a job than you have to do one for a gun, period. You have to pass driver instruction to use a car on the road and before long we will be forced to drive automatic cars. See, you babies couldn’t figure out how to drive. You got drunk and murdered innocent people and have proven yourselves to be incompetent drivers. Well obviously we aren’t the most responsible gun owners. We gave you alcohol, a worthless poison that turns people into monkey’s and murderers. Now give us the peaceful, harmless things we want or you don’t get to have murderous weapons like Cars, Alcohol, and Guns. Drugs don’t kill people, people kill people-drugs are illegal, Cars don’t kill people, drunk drivers do-drunk driving is illegal, guns don’t kill people, people kill people-You should have to do a f#%&ing background check to get something that I could take over to your house and blow your kids face off with. What are you afraid of? Got problems in your background? I’m bat-shit crazy and I could probably get any kind of gun I want legally…does that make you feel safe? You want me around your kids? Is a “broken” mental health system a reason not to start background checks? Maybe that would actually get the damn database properly set up. But In the end it would be my pleasure to watch some pathetic attempt at defending ourselves from our gov’t end in ten minutes when they drive tanks over your faces and shoot your grandmother with a drone while she takes a nap. I don’t have a gun, I don’t want a gun, and I don’t want my kids playing around a house that is under the delusion that they are batman because they own a gun. If you really wanted to defend yourselves you would investigate chemical or biological weapons. Other whole countries are no match for our military so how on earth do you and your pip-squeek guns think you can match up. Middle eastern countries can barely hold an uprising with their guns that they wouldn’t have if we or someone else didn’t give them to them. You all think you’re so special and that you have all these “RIGHTS”. You have one right…THE RIGHT TO DIE! That’s it.

THE SOLUTION:

It’s not them it’s you.

Those words will fix all your problems

MATRIX:

The undefinable matrix of infinite possibility

JAZZ SCHOOL:

The constant comparing, contrasting and subscription to the misconception that students must fulfill certain social/performance/attitude standards that have been arbitrarily set by fragile egos that have banded together to create “strength in numbers” when they themselves are weak as individuals.

LEARNING:

Anything can be a point of departure for learning even if it’s wrong so when you see people disagreeing about these details and how to go about learning, just quietly observe knowing that you can learn more from both sides at once while they waste their time getting entangled in arguments.

ENERGY:

Seems like people are stealing your energy? Well think about it like this…stealing people’s energy takes a lot of energy.

REGULAR JAZZ TRUMPET STUDENT RANT:

I just decided to finally check out some modern jazz/modern trumpet players since I haven’t been paying any attention in 10 years and I keep hearing all these “names”. I’d rather listen to someone playing the music of never recorded trumpet pioneer Francis Johnson (1792-1844). Or perhaps some muted King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke, Louie Armstrong, “sweets”, Harry James, the first trumpet playing Roy, Diz, Miles, Fats, Brownie, Red Rodney, Booker Little, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Woody Shaw. That’s where I stop with a few omitted favorites left out of my list. Oh and trumpet players…Quit playing those stupid looking gold trumpets. You’re tone sounds like you’re playing a piece of wood. Miles never played a dumb trumpet like that. Oh I forgot…Everbody loves our jazz savior Wynton Marsalis.

ACCEPTANCE:

There’s no need for forgiveness. Forgiveness implies acknowledgment of fault. Acceptance is much higher than forgiveness.

MUSIC:

The music’s already there.

CUTE:

You’re so cute human race. Look at your cute little cheeky face and the vomit spilling down your mouth all over the floor. Oh, looks like you soiled you’re diaper. We’ll just let that build up for a while and take care of it later. It’s so cute how you fight with the neighbor’s son over your simple little toys. Awwww! You said your first word! “Mine”. Mommy and Daddy have been punishing you a lot lately. Have you been bad? Well don’t do anything too bad or Mommy and Daddy won’t be able to help you.

SOUL:

The only thing that I am is soul.
My body is a surfboard attached by a string with no girth.
All I do is dance with balance and her distracting ways on the waves of infinity.
I am a soul surfing several seas in the ocean of the cosmos.

PEOPLE:

When people die, people cry.
When people fly, they’re in the sky.
When I see you, you’re in my eye.

FAIR:

What do we deserve? Perhaps the only thing we deserve is the final release of death. It is the only guarantee within the context of life. This self-entitled world thinks that “rights” exist. They don’t…we created them. You deserve what you EARN…period. Change for the world. Don’t expect the world to change for you. Life is 100% fair.

MORE:

The louder the voice, the softer the words, the bigger you think you are, the smaller you really are.

 

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