You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘media’ category.

images
5/27/09 by Nick Oliva ©2009 All Rights Reserved (Donner Party of 22)
 
As we the people of this great nation of Estados Unidos have toiled and scuffled with the politics of dancing for so many years, and endured the hopeless expectations that something or someone can show us the way to save our collective asses, I now propose with the help of my invisible friend, Babs, a proper solution.
 
The political parties of today are outmoded and archaic and I for one wish to propose a new party based on simple principles: The Far-Out Party
 
Now, membership in this party is free and expectations few. One does not have to be left, nor right and not centrist; but just Far-Out. Far-Out is beyond the boundaries of the selective few, a people’s movement of back to basics, because if you are Far-Out, then you’re not only on your way to being cool, but you’re already there, and really, would you rather be anywhere else? And who could ask for anymore then to be that Far-Out? What else could be better than to be completely Far-Out, because not only is that totally where it’s at if you’re really looking for it, but Far-Out is as Far-Out as one can get!
 
No need to be alienated by those Looney Lefties anymore, because you are just sooo Far-Out they can’t get to you.  No more Right Ring-a-Round the Collar Ridiculousness with those who watch Frost/Nixon over and over because they actually think he was totally innocent and an outstanding and great President. …And those nasty clinging Clintonian Centrists? Consider them carbuncles of constitutional constipation because you are now just Far-Out, in a great space with your own groove on and when you really get that Far-Out, can anyone really hurt you?  I’m mean; if you’re Far-Off you could fall off the end of the earth or even worse – be ex-communicated if you didn’t think you could fall off the side at the end of the ocean at least at one time. Those were the Dark ‘Far-Off’ Days of Yore, when Monks toiled to preserve remnants and wall-to-wall scrolls of the ancient past, and did so with great fervor and poetic license.
 
If you’re Far-In then you don’t have the room for a view, so you can’t order anything expressly but a Starbucks latte.
 
With the new Far-Out party, you don’t even have to bring the Iced tea to Boston Harbor; you don’t have to whistle Dixie or Trixie; Fort Henry, Sumter, or Dodge-Dix for that matter. You’re a Far-Out member for life, after all – you can’t get back to where you started when you’re really that Far-Out, and you certainly don’t need to get any higher in food chain of life, you’re already Out There – Far-Out There.
 
And now the two rules of the Far-Out Party:
Do unto me as you would to yourself (please!).
Don’t squeeze the Charmin.
 
Other than that, it’s all totally Far-Out from here on in. No frontier riding, pioneer arrow-laden, pissant urine-smelling ground crawlers with golden spurs can tell you what to do, where to do it, who to do it with, or why you’re doing it, because you are very much in the here and now….You are indeed now Far-Out …and have left the building. Thank you…thank you very much and I’ll be signing autographs in the lobby for twenty bucks a pop (and that’s Far-Out).
Advertisements

richard-stockton-state-college

This was originally a letter to my college mentor, Dr. Leonard Klein, an incredible pianist, composer, and teacher who studied with the finest people ever known.  He paid homage to Darius Milhaud, a great composer by naming his son after him.  He taught at Mills College outside San Francisco that boasts alumni such as Dave Brubeck, Phil Lesh, Frankie Mann, Miya Masaoka, Rebeca Mauléon, Steve Reich, and many others.  At the time I had the absurd notion that somehow some lower middle-class cocky teenager with no previous musical experience (I was a drummer at least), that couldn’t read music, was not in “Band” in high school and was merely a beginning, self-taught guitarist that knew how to play along with the records of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and Dave Mason; who’s inert passion made me have the cajones to think I could actually walk into a Seminar II class in the winter (they had a trimester system), after not attending the Seminar I class………Such audacious behavior changed my life forever and taught me that anyone can do anything, if they commit themselves passionately to doing it.  I reprint this as I think it contains a very positive message for the young, the confused, and those who do not know who I am, and perhaps would like to know from whence I came.  At the least it makes me teary-eyed reading it. Just for that reason alone I think it has some value.

Years later in 1994 when I first wrote what ended up being just a fair draft for my novel “Only Moments” (published in 2007) he was one of the first to read it, and the high praise he gave me, was as though he was my father, and it inspired me even more to move forward – as did his teaching twenty years earlier.

Stockton State College in New Jersey was founded in 1971 and I attended the very first classes in a hotel at the somewhat sleazy Mayflower Hotel (since torn  down for a casino) on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. We were known as the Mayflower Pilgrims. A construction strike had delayed the actual campus opening in the middle of the Pine Barrens that I knew as my mother’s sisters lived close by.  The lake and backroads where it was built were the same areas I had rode a bicycle years earlier when my mother was giving birth to my two younger brothers and I stood at my aunt’s houses, being too young to be at home alone with a father working two jobs.

There were over 1000 professors that applied for a mere 90 teaching jobs.  Unemployment was much higher than now, the stagflation had started and money was tight. Stockton hired the cream of the crop. the best minds from the most forward-thinking colleges in the nation (Antioch, Berkeley, UCLA, etc.) and I was lucky enough to be there and be taught by some of them.

You can imagine a 17 year-old first out-of-the-house experience at a hotel-converted state college with a hard core red light district on one side, and the transgender/transvestite/gay district on the other with “Feeleys Bar” in the middle (Now the Irish Pub).  Stockton State College was voted the #1 party school in the nation for that and a few years after.  I dropped out after the first semester and came back in the winter of 1974 after I realized that Child Psychology was not going to work for me, and partying like a fool didn’t require one to pay college tuition. I graduated in the Spring of 1977 with a degree in Musical Composition.

Passion……..the miracles it can perform when one mixes it with a little discipline.

Here it is and forgive me Leonard if you have any objection.

Dearest Leonard,

Last night I went to see the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra because I had to….
Here’s the program:
Masterworks III
All-Tchaikovsky Concert

Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique”
Roccoco Variations
Nocturne for Cello and Orchestra
Romeo and Juliet
Overture to Fantasy
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Guest Artist: Zuill Bailey, cello

It was magnificent and I thought of you, and how much you really taught me. I thought of Trudy Weaver and how she helped me learn how put notes to paper. The music flowed and I listened to the permutations, the note for note genius, the pianissimo and triple forte –  the 5/4 time signature of the waltz-like second movement of ‘Pathetique’ – all of those things that I learned – but could not do in 1974, as I begged you on my knees to allow me to be taught and then fought with valor to learn, with every drop of my own human passion, intellect, determination, and ability would allow. 
I knew that I could never have been a concert instrumentalist, a great musician-as when I met you I knew nothing about music other knowing I had a good ear.  I don’t know if you remember but I graduated in 2.5 years with a 4 year degree with honors in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and had 50% more Music Program credits than I needed to graduate AND worked full time the last year with the Atlantic City Press as a dispatch driver while managing triple overloads……..not to mention that I had no money, no parental financial support and had to pay my own way – all to be honored by being taught by the pedigree of your lineage from Nadia to Darius – that few understand and know, but for those who are classically trained.  I know that I may have not made you proud for my musical endeavors, but know that you enlightened a young man, now in middle age and allowed me the enrichment of life itself and provided much happiness, regardless of the genre of music I’ve been associated with during my life. 
I truly wish I could have been your Tchaikovsky, but if not for you and my fight to conquer ignorance I would have never studied the masters of photography, the anthropological and religious aspect of human existence by the genius of Joel Rubenstein, the connections of Stan Leavitt and the Navaho tribe, the poetry of Steven Dunn, electronic and Balinese music, and most importantly –  the ability to interact with the finest minds of the world in a Pine Barrens dream that I rowed my boat through so quickly, that I wish I had stayed longer. 
And lastly while I listened to Pyotr Ilyich , I was astounded at how much I’ve not forgotten through all these years, and as I sat there dissecting every note and nuance, the tears fell uncontrollably from my eyes in happiness for what I was allowed to be given…the long length of time gone by forever, but lessons not forgotten…and now many years later I am reminded once again of being honored and humbled by a man now in his 80’s who shall never know how much he has done for a once young, stubborn but passionate kid, who was cocky enough to “dare” to tackle the seemingly impossible and improbable and change the course of his life…………a life that would be filled with dreams but thankfully given the knowledge to make some of those dreams a reality.  For that I can never repay you.  Thank you is not enough, the world is not enough to show my gratitude to you and to a young student named Trudy who’s unselfishness helped me tremendously so I could prove to you I could do it and try to make you proud of how far I had come.  I have lived my life by so many of your words and disciplines.  It is hard not to do the right things and expect it of others………those who are hard workers and true disciples of knowledge are so far and few between that life does become frustrating and at times mentally unbearable………hence the art that flows from the soul to take that sorrow and build bridges to understanding through the humanities.  I am so grateful for all of this and for you.
love to you,
nick

 

THE OBAMA/MCCAIN BLUES
© Nick Oliva October 14, 2008

(Sung to The Hootchie Cootchie Man)
 
I get up in the morning
Put on my shoes
Turn on TV to hear
to hear more crap on Fox News
 
I tell ya pretty mama
They tell me to choose
between one or the other
I got them Obama/McCain Blues
 
I go to the drug store
The radio blares DOOM
If I vote for Obama
The world positively ends at Noon
 
He the Anti-Christ
The Demon of Doom
If I vote for that black man
I can never leave my room!
 
I tell ya pretty mama
They tell me to choose
between one or the other
I got them Obama/McCain Blues
 
I see all the street signs
they all say the same
Give me your vote boy
Give it to John McCain
 
He’ll reform the reformers
He’s a maverick for sure
If you don’t vote for him
There will be a war
 
I’m so tired of hearing drama
And so many untruths
They tell me if I vote for one or the other
The United States is screwed
 
I tell ya pretty baby
What’s a man to do?
I got Red on the one side
and the other side’s all Blues
 
I tell ya pretty mama
They tell me to choose
between one or the other
I got them Obama/McCain Blues
Original idea from Phil Proctor and the Firesign Theater’s 1969 album “How Can You Be Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All.”

 
I did some research and re-read the following from over 35 years ago, as I remembered being told at that time, I would be considered a subversive for doing so, and that just egged me on to want to read it more so.  It’s another prediction by not only the following author, but the boys of Firesign Theater as well.  Their 1969 title aptly describes the placement of our government between Socialism/Communism and Capitalism/Democracy (How can you be in two places at once?  Well we are.)
Here it is……
 
WRITTEN 160 YEARS AGO IN 1848
 
LOOKS LIKE IT HAS ALL COME TO PASS………………………NOT SO ABSURD NOW READING THIS FORBIDDEN BOOK EXCERPT (my bolding of phrases):

………We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organization of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.

Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class.

A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past, the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeois and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that, by their periodical return, put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. And why? Because there is too much civilization, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand, by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.

But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons — the modern working class — the proletarians.

In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed — a class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.

Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labor, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labor, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. What is more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labor increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by the increase of the work exacted in a given time, or by increased speed of machinery, etc…………………

…………………The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labor, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labor of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labor, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex.

No sooner is the exploitation of the laborer by the manufacturer, so far at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portion of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.

The lower strata of the middle class — the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants — all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus, the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.

 

-EXCERPT FROM    THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

 BY KARL MARX (NOT GROUCHO)

HIS PREDICTIONS ARE SPOT ON AND WE ARE RIGHT NOW WHERE HE DESCRIBES PURE CAPITALISM TO BE AT IT’S ULTIMATE PROCESS, SO WE NOW WE VENTURE INTO GOVERNMENT OWNING THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION (COMMUNISM) AND BUSINESS SOCIALISM

YOU, THE READER, WILL DECIDE WHAT WILL BE THE OUTCOME.  I AM ONLY THE CHIRPING CANARY IN THE COAL MINE.  THE FUTURE’S UNCERTAIN AND ALWAYS WILL BE.

 

WAR BETWEEN THE STATES

Let me begin by saying that this will not go over well with most people but it’s not like I’m going to stop writing this article. Be forewarned and leave the premises now if you don’t want to get your blood pressure up.

Canada and Mexico are governed by Socialism in principle and in fact.  We share huge natural borders with them and there has never been a declared war with either.  We, the United States (USA) have something in common with the former United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR).  We are – as they were – a union of individual states that came together as a united republic.  Canada and Mexico have much more in common with the old USSR than we do in the Socialistic governing, but yet we bear no ill will or chastise and berate them for it as we did, and do still to the original land of Mother Russia.  What does this mean?  Well, to begin with we have demonized the word socialism as evil and Un-American, yet we collect Social Security, receive social Medicare, have social services, and churches practice socialism every time they feed or clothe the homeless.  Now we practice business socialism in buying toxic mortgage-backed bonds from banks. I’m pretty much sick of people screaming about free markets and unfettered capitalism as the cure for all ill, as it pretty much brought us to the bankruptcy of today. 

Now, I’m not going to go where you think I am with this article.   The ideology of right and left has so polarized this nation that we are at a point where less than 8 to 10 percent of the citizens decide who is President, and there never is a clear mandate.  There will never be a rectification of these extreme views and I am sick to death of hearing the Fox News vs CNN; O’Reilly vs CBS; right vs left; good vs evil; McCain vs Obama; black vs white; Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice. You name it, I’m sick of hearing about this divisiveness and vociferous vocalizing from friends, family, and media.  Here’s what I propose we eventually do.

We do what the USSR did but in a more palatable way.  Let’s divide the states by 2 or some equitable arrangement and those who would want liberal government and would move to those states to achieve their ends and those who would want a right-wing government have the same option.  Let’s go back to some sort of Pre-Civil war borders (A Mason-Dixon line of politics) but include the newer states to even the two republics and create a sandwich of sanity and reality between two Socialist countries, Canada and Mexico.  Separate Presidents, Congresses, and laws would be created along with a new capital, but we would share Military, Social Security, Medicare and other Federal services for ten years after which we can hopefully completely separate and leave each other to our collective political wants and desires.

Now the right can rant and the liberal can liberate and all of you can shut the hell up and we get on with enjoying our short lives. 

Damn, I’m sorry for having to write this but enough is enough and we are no longer a United States are we?  Let’s break up and find ourselves where we want to be instead of destroying ourselves from the inside out.

I’m ready for being happy and living a great life without all this crap, are you?   I say let those who would be right, be right and those who would be left, be left-figuratively, literally, and locationally.

 Anybody got a better idea?

 MONEY, IT’S A HIT…………………

NOTE: I was originally going to sequel last week’s political blog with a solution.  This week’s financial meltdown has put that on hold.

This week an icon of rock music died of cancer.  Richard Wright the keyboardist, singer and songwriter from the sixties group Pink Floyd, a musical group that created the incredible album “Dark Side of the Moon” that stood at #1 for over 15 years on the pop charts; an album that probably ranks as one the all-time works of that era that still today stays as relevant and politically strong as when it was released in 1974.

I bring this up not as a eulogy, but as an introduction to the nation’s and world’s financial near-collapse and the things we take for granted that someday we lose without the ability to “fix” or avoid.

The illusion of control is control for most and they are secure with it.  We look to our governments to become mommy and daddy, to make the big bad boogie men go away.  We do not have a clue as to how fragile economies are, much like our lives on this planet.  We hand over control and trust politicians to guide us through life, even though politicians are the most untrustable creatures on the face of the earth.  The divisiveness of modern politics is so emotional and cruel that their campaigns focus on fear to drive you-the cattle-to herd to where they want you to go.  A cattle prod of fear and emotion is the best weapon ever devised as logic always takes a back seat to that ignorance and wrong-headed decisions made under the influence of fear.

We have allowed this “republic” to become far beyond the “military-industrial complex” of the Eisenhower age.  We are now a quasi-Fascist/industry-socialist/forcibly religious prisoners of our own fear.  The meltdown of the financial systems stems from the repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the loosening and eliminating of regulation at a time when computer trading and incredible computer speed allowed derivatives and exotic financial instruments to seek and plunder pennies on dollars for millions per day. 

It gets worse. The current fiasco is not just Freddie and Fannie; it is the massive amount of CDO’s or mortgage-backed securities that were a derivative invented by Goldman Saks whose CEO at the time was Hank Paulson.  This is squarely what is causing the meltdown. It is the lack of being able to price these CDO’s that has caused the run on the investment banks that bought billions of dollars of them.  It is the deregulation (again Greenspan) that allowed these financial instruments that were based on ‘home values never going down’ that is the root cause.  Paul Volcker, the previous Fed Chairman warned of this deregulation at that time but no one listened.  Those CDO’s are now illiquid and the ‘shorts’ have gone after those investment banks that hold these securities to make massive amounts of money while they bring these institutions down.  I warned of this many months ago. This is not just about donkeys and elephants.

 (See- https://onlymoments.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/slaves-to-the-free-market/ )

CDO’s should have never been allowed to be created.  Remember Greenspan’s 1% interest rate meant investment banks needed more return on their money.  Goldman’s CDO’s allowed the high returns that made them millions until the builders jacked up prices (my wife worked for one and they raised a house that cost 275,000 to 500,000 and then to 750,000 as the rates went lower) and then when FUBAR Greenspan made a speech to Congress (I heard it at with my own ears at the time) telling everyone to buy into a 3-Year ARM, then 6 months later began to raise rates, the obvious happened.  People had bought too much house at too little interest. Speculative investors bought in to the ‘home values never going down’ myth and expected big dollars in flipping…….but I will tell you this much; I know of many families out in the street right now because they have lost jobs the same time as their mortgage rates doubled.  It is a crisis, and it’s not about minorities, these are middle class heart of America people that are homeless, broke, or moving into apartments because they lost their house.  You may not have sympathy for them, but for the grace of God there walks us all.

Mommy and Daddy are gone and we are left with who to blame.  Look in the mirror.  We let it happen, we allowed these greedy imaginative thieves to plunder us on the high seas of finance.  Bailout?  For who?  For the banks, not you. That would be socialism.  We are a nation of suffering a terminal emotional dysfunctional illusion.  Rallying around a flag proclaiming to be the best at everything, to be God’s chosen country is the last gasp of holding on by our fingernails.  This is far from over for the American Public.  The ramifications will be long-lasting and damaging for ‘Main Street.’

There is hope, but we will probably be much too afraid to take the chances.  If I could ‘short’ American attention span, I’d be a trillioniare…….Now you see how easy it can be done, if there was a market for it.

The sun will rise tomorrow, but the world will change with or without you. Control is an illusion we hold close …but as the storm hits…….

“I got mine Jack keep your hands off my stack……………………………but if you ask them for a rise it’s no surprise they’re giving none away, away, away, away”

 

   In my recollection, there has never been such a slew of misinformation (more than likely due to the ease of accessibility to misinform by the internet) in a Presidential election than this one.  I’ve must have sent out over 150 Snopes.com corrections of the same 2 items in less than 2 months.  Smearing is at an all time high, now.  And why is that?  We have a black candidate, we have a religious female on the other side and really the other two don’t matter.   Does that make sense?  Yes it does, if you look at what America really is and not what “it could be.”  Republicans have dominated the political halls for the majority of the last 200 years in both Congress and the Chief Executive posts.  I have heard hysterics from people with ethnicities of Russian, European, Irish, English, and that are now, whether rightfully or not as I don’t agree with it, classified as Caucasian, in regards to a black president.  (I love one particular man who in anger claims he’s Ukrainian not Russian and on top of that he is the biggest bigot and emailer of bogus information, and gets personal and nasty when he’s painted in a corner.  The irony is he and his family may end up in a Manzanar-like prison if we get into a war with Russia.) I am trying to keep this blog non-partisan for a reason, but for the subject that it explores, it is difficult as there is only one black candidate and those who hate him will accuse me of one-way opinion and those who are for him will accuse me of not backing him.  I can’t win so I don’t care.  Here’s the issue- Issues are not the issue-fear of Democrats, fear of the world ending, fear of a black uprising is all I hear.  I heard the same crap with Kerry, Gore, Clinton, Johnson, Kennedy, and every Democratic nominee there ever was.  I’m tired of it but it is to be expected when you understand the roots of the good old US of A.

The Mayflower Pilgrims were religious outcasts from England.  They were considered overzealous and “too religious” for England’s Protestant rulers. Imagine that-too zealous! Predominantly white settlers followed and formed present day New England, New York and adjacent areas.

The Dutch traders made slavery a lucrative business for the English, Spanish, and French pioneer settlers particularly of the South by purchasing prisoners of warring African tribes and selling them free labor for the cotton and tobacco fields.  (The beginning of outsourcing for Europe)  We fought a revolutionary war with England first helped by the French, and then 100 years later, the more devastating Civil War (or War Between the States) that to this day brands an imprint of discrimination that remains to this day in our Southern states, but not exclusively.   That war’s main impetus was to end slavery and merge the states into a Union.  Those roots run deep and as one knows, a paper being signed isn’t going to eradicate hate and disdain.

We are a country with a heritage of misfits, religious fanatics, psychotics, murderers, and our real founding of this country is based on mass genocide of the Native American.  So what else would one expect with a heritage like that?  Make no mistake; the majority of the emotion of this election is a black man becoming a leader of one of the most racist countries in the world.  Now, there are those who say, “No I’m a Republican, I vote for conservative Republicans.”   So then, why are you voting for a “Maverick” that wants to change the last eight years of conservatism at its finest?  If the Republican candidate was black, do you really think they would win?  I don’t.  I think it would be a Democratic landslide if the ticket was lily white. 

Obama anticipated this as he is a very smart human being, and registered over 11 million new voters, mostly young and unprejudiced.  It may or may not be enough.  Regardless, the “Great Divide” in this country is no longer the Rocky Mountains; it is the philosophical and racial differences that show the Civil War was never over.  It goes on in the minds of those who have, and those who have not, and those who have forgotten where they’ve come from and point fingers and talk about “free markets” and induce fear veiled by attacks on those “Democrats” but really mean, “The Sheriff is a Nig…” to quote the movie “Blazing Saddles.”  I’m tired of the shit flinging.  Stick to the issues and leave the fantasy for MILF’s for Desperate Housewives.  VP’s do practically nothing, so it’s supposed to be McCain vs Obama, the top of the ticket and if you have to precede everything you say with “I’ve always been honest” or “I am true patriot” then you’re lying according to the latest research on human nature so let’s get on with it and discuss issues.

Next Blog-I have a solution for all of this.

There are some people that think that writing is easy and effortless until they attempt to link thoughts, ideas, language, prose, and a pulse that is identifiable as “rhythm.” All of these things make up the “voice” of the writing as the words are merely abstracts that can mean different things if the writer is not precise in all aspects of the above. Even when those parameters are followed, creativity is required to make it interesting enough to read, but not too complex to be understood. It all sounds so easy doesn’t it?  Staring at a blank piece of paper and allowing the mind to congeal and spill forth contiguous and conjunctive thoughts that add up to some conclusion and/or moral of the story, if that is the writer’s intent and end result. I have some difficulties with a few people, and some young people in general that think when I present problems I am being negative and they don’t understand or comprehend what I am saying. One young site called Bright Future that I was posting my blogs on -without notice other than a matter-of-fact letter- pulled off over 8 blogs that you can read right here for yourself for supposed “negative attacks and general negative tone.”  The one they left “They Should Have Built It On the F…… Sun” was the most negative one I wrote, calling the last three generations at fault for allowing government to abandon alternative energy sources-that one they left…..go figure…..I cancelled that one myself because that was the best example of a negative tone of any I could see.  Here’s the list of censored blogs, if you can find those negative attacks, let me know:

The Road Taken (The Balance of Life Through Centuries)
A Life or Death Issue (Stem Cell Research book)
Mirror, Mirror, The Spirit is Nearer (The Science of Spirituality)
The Future Use of Digitization-Part I
The Future Use of Digitization-Part II Copyright and Issues
The Future Use of Digitization-Part III, Immortality
What is Really Hip? (Ecology)

“Please, Pay it Forward” was about doing things for people to help those in need. “What is Really Hip” was about the hippie generation initiating the groundswell of the environmental movement that I was a part of.  What was I, negatively attacking myself?  Absurd, and I had to really think this out as to how anyone could be that off-base.

 Another wanted a more “rounded” approach, that translates to “make it pretty for the reader.”  I got pretty depressed about for a day until someone whose opinion I greatly value said some very nice things and encouraged me to write for me and the hell with who wants what. This is what I wrote to her:  

I have become very discouraged and about to give up writing blogs completely, as all the efforts made seem to count up to nothing and I am so tired of fools that just don’t get it, much less those who just don’t care. …….  I was never looking for fame or fortune, just a small group of people that enjoyed what I’ve written to make it worthwhile.  I have tried to connect with a younger audience, but I have found that they think the world is just going to be a beautiful place with no pitfalls or reason to think about anything negative happening.  They haven’t experienced half their ass being chewed off as “life experience” yet, so without me writing it up as a “pretty” piece with truth and justice for all, including dessert-I get cast as writing negatively.  When I try to explain the Ying and Yang are what life is, that all decisions one makes can be cast either good or bad and can also be both “good” or “bad” at the same time if one can even classify what is good or bad- it just is, period.  Inevitably any decision anyone makes will have it’s drawbacks and successes, and they just don’t get it

And my friend commented:  “I don’t think you’re negative. Like I said, I think you are brilliant and I respect you.”  Of course, I could never take a compliment well, not that it didn’t make me feel better, so I wrote her back this short poem that came forth quickly and right from my heart:

Of what use is a song that isn’t heard
the sweet melody of a bird
The joy of painted scenes
where no one has ever been

Of course the artist’s art
comes from their inner heart
but no more grace does one know
when just one sees their show

for in the end, the artist…for all….it is indeed the ego.

Today is a new day, I feel better and who reads this, reads it; and who doesn’t-that is their loss.  My perspective is that of what is and to deny the bad things of this world is  pretending they don’t exist and the “Bright Future” website acts as if the world will all be wonderful with no suffering or struggling. Posing problems and solutions without including touchy- feely “happy” articles is not their forte.  Without questioning from whence the problems came deprives any reader of what is really behind the problem to begin with and is not in my opinion negative but is seeking the truth.  In situations where there are already obvious answers, posing questions is a moot point.  Why bother?  The detriment of denial is that the “solutions” become shallow and without deep reflection as to “why” the situation is what it is from the beginning to the problem’s present position.  A problem is there because decisions were made and the past adds up to what is now.  A solution requires the examination of the past to truthfully and definitively answer those questions without bias.  Good or bad is irrelevant, action and reaction are.

It is the questions that are not answered or not easily answered that pose the complexity of reality and allow stimulation of the human mind.  I am disappointed there are younger people whose intent is good but their focus is so narrow as to not allow the freedom of expression other than “happy” news with simple and/or obvious solutions.  The real mature thought process of science and the arts doesn’t just solve problems, it theorizes and postulates while stimulating others to question as well.  The Ying and Yang, the process of BOTH SIDES of life remain regardless of one’s personal wants and accompanying censorship to force their “un-negative” idea of what really is.  If there is any problem to be solved, someone or something has to be causing that problem.  To deny that, is to deny reality. To call history and events “negative” is childish.  On top of that every deed done, every action taken has both good and bad effects relatively for the human race, -always has, always will.

 While we look at the touchy-feely, the warm and fuzzy, there could be negative and/or evil standing right behind you and your touchy-feely, warm and fuzzy may be the damn cause of it.  You refuse to want to see for the sake of wanting the world the way you want it, sterilized of “bad” things.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  This theorem just doesn’t apply in physics, but to all in the physical world.  Ignore it at your peril.

 The Greek God Narcissus who fell to his death by falling into the water to become closer to what he perceived was his essence. 

I read two different articles this week that are at first glance not linked, but in my own warped thought process are integral to each other.  The first was sent to me by a old friend and was about how we perceive ourselves in a mirror. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/science/22angi.html?_r=2&th&emc=th&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Essentially what it says is that what we “see” in the reflective image inside that mirror, the brain percieves as reality and that reality is shaped by our own perception of who we are.  Therefore “what” a person “sees” when they look into a mirror is not what is real, it is the perception of what the person that is seeing believes is real. To quote a pertinent paragraph:

How can we be so self-delusional when the truth stares back at us? “Although we do indeed see ourselves in the mirror every day, we don’t look exactly the same every time,” explained Dr. Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. There is the scruffy-morning you, the assembled-for-work you, the dressed-for-an-elegant-dinner you. “Which image is you?” he said. “Our research shows that people, on average, resolve that ambiguity in their favor, forming a representation of their image that is more attractive than they actually are.”

The second article was in Psychology Today and centered on the physical effect of seratonin on areas of the brain that emit “spirituality” which is not of the organized religion aspect, but the hope and connection to a metaphysical entity that exists in the mind, with no discrimination of that mind being atheist, religious, aboriginal, or ignorant of any organized faith.  http://psychologytoday.com/articles/index.php?term=pto-3252.html&fromMod=emailed

Here’s a quote:

Well, the researchers believe that it provides evidence that religiosity and spirituality are not defined necessarily or entirely by environmental or cultural factors, such as upbringing. Basically, those with a higher concentration of serotonin receptors will therefore most likely show a stronger inclination towards spiritual acceptance.

Now here’s where I get in trouble.  Since my own Near Death Experience, that had provided great credence to what I have always believed most of my adult life (this after being raised in a Catholic School, wanting to become a priest and then studying enough to know none of it added up by the age of 12) that the mind perceives what it wants and if we exist and therefore perceive what we want in the form that we want, then the perception is relative and has to be by the laws of nature uniquely our own and ultimately when we do not exist that perception is gone.  Believers of a common religion do not have the same perception of God, of Christ, of Allah, etc.  It must be of the mind and unique, there is no other way to perceive in the human species.  So where am I taking you to in this diatribe?  What is the answer to the age’s old question?  Do you really want to know?  Are you sure?

In the end, you have the choice to believe in the self and your ability to draw on the energy inside and that is the essence of the metaphysical and hence religion’s essence as well, it just that we externalize those wants and feelings to solidify our security factor in numbers and the manipulative power mongers and opportunists take advantage of it as they have throughout history.  Is there a God?  I think so, therefore there is.  Atheists may cringe at that thought but again, there is no absolute proof either way and to reduce the debate to the usual Spaghetti Monster tactic doesn’t prove or probe what is deep seated in our human psyche. God? In what form? The answer is the form I choose as I can only think for me.  Only I can live my life and die when the time comes. No matter what your choice, your brain decides what imagery you choose, it is the only thing you have, you are the only person that can be in your reality of life on earth to think. I have no use for man-made ditherings of belief so I believe in the energy of life (God) and myself as the two are inseparable. 

It takes conviction and the path is only for those who are strong, as it is the road not taken and it is the one path that gets the most abuse from both devout believers and atheists (believe me).  I don’t really care, my life is full and my worries few.  I’ve died and gone over and as beautiful as the experience was, it is much better to be alive than absorbed by eternity. 

Some of my favorite quotes:

The sole meaning, purpose, intention, and secret of Christ, my dears, is not to understand life, or mold it, or change it, or even to love it, but to drink of it’s undying essence.–Henry V. Miller

Dreams are the substance of reality–Henry V. Miller

“Causing the right amount of trouble is an art form.”  Judith Coche

One last question.  Does the lack of seratonin uptake biologically cause a human to gravitate to an organized religion in the place of natural spirituality?  Does depression and sadness lead to a hope outside the self? That’s an issue for another day and much more research than time allows today.

This article may be reproduced in all or part with permission as long the author credits are maintained.

I was recently asked to be a featured blogger by The Pakistani Spectator (“I hope you are fine and carrying on the great work you have been doing for the Internet surfers. I am Ghazala Khan from The Pakistani Spectator (TPS), We at TPS throw a candid look on everything happening in and for Pakistan in the world. We are trying to contribute our humble share in the webosphere. Our aim is to foster peace, progress and harmony with passion. We at TPS are carrying out a new series of interviews with the notable passionate bloggers, writers, and webmasters. In that regard, we would like to interview you, if you
don’t mind.”)
     -and the following is a post of that interview.  The person behind this blog on the other side of the world is:

Ghazala Khan-She has been roaming the corridors of Blogistan for the last two years, and herself started blogging from March, 2007 because she wanted to let the world know her passionate views about the judiciary who started struggling to gain freedom. The movement of lawyers for judiciary carried on and so is the blogging streak of her. You can reach her at ghazala.khi@gmail.com.

The original published interview with translation errors in punctuation and grammar (hey, it’s tough tranlating languages) is at: http://www.pakspectator.com/interview-with-blogger-nick-oliva/

I am honored to be allowed access to another culture and the interest in my opinions and I thank Ghazala Khan and all others at the Pakistani Spectator for publishing them.

Here is the interview with the corrections:

Interview with Blogger Nick Oliva

By The Pakistani Spectator • Jul 18th, 2008

Nick Oliva (O-lee-va) has been a musician, composer, photographer, an audio engineer, an Entertainment Director and Technical Director for over twenty-five years and is a successful self-made money manager.  He lives in the mountains outside of Las Vegas.

Would you please tell us something about you and your site?

The site is about my book “Only Moments” that was published recently.  On the site you can look at my autobiography, the backstory to the book, and the link to my ongoing blog also called “Only Moments.”  www.onlymomentsbook.com and the blog www.onlymoments.wordpress.com

Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?

The evolution of any being is continuing to do things either better or differently than in the past and as the saying goes “practice makes (near)perfect”..perfection is rare.  Self-satisfaction is a wonderful thing.

 

I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?

I have met many wonderful people all over the world that think and don’t just accept the quantified norm of a outlook that “the powers that are” impose to protect their collective asses.

 

What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?

I have personal letters that I send to keep in touch along with the blogs.

What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?

YouTube without a doubt is very innovative, but it is also a lazy way to skip the art of writing and reading.  I’m afraid that the instant gratification of today’s youth will allow them to grow up illiterate as part of a new online “boob tube” generation.

Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?

They are timely, they are effective, they are fast, but beware they may be bullshit planted for whatever motivations a commercial company or political body wants you to believe.   Look at all the internet lies about Barack Obama that people truly believe because they read it on the internet. There is much disinformation daily and it is purposely put out there to slander people without having to be tracked and found out.  Evil makes it way to every form of communication and technology cannot take the place of the human heart.  That’s one of the themes of my book “Only Moments.”

What do you think sets Your site apart from others?

Most bloggers have not written a book that ties directly into the gestalt of the blog and vice versa.  I have no commercial ads or google adsense boxes and keep the blog commercial-free so I do not have to answer to anyone, or be beholden to a sponsor.

If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?

Passion, passion, passion

What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?

When my book was published and the gloomiest when my mother died.

If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?

Greece, Nepal, and The Temples of Ankgor Wat in Cambodia

 

What is your favorite book and why?

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
It is a timeless story of humankind searching for the answer why and the generational suffering of the coming of age between a father and son.

 What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?

Their aura of being.  The eyes are the windows to the soul.

 Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?

No, but I never thought this would be what I would be doing when I was very young. I’m 54 and still wondering what I will be doing when I grow up.

How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?

I’m not the person to answer that one.

Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?

No, the successful blog or blogger has passion and the writing skills to create universes that implant the ideas that they wish to trigger emotional responses in other human beings whether to ponder, motivate, emote sympathy, excitement, or sadness.

What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?

One can only affect those with whom they have touched, and that is why writing is so important.  The Guttenberg press changed the world and brought enlightenment and the Romantic Age into being. Unfortunately we may be living in the dark ages if our youth does not carry on and take the baton to keep this important human tool alive despite technology that makes video so accessible.

What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?

People in general are not like the government that they are subject to follow.  I see the youth of the world coming together electronically to overcome the tyranny of censorship and that’s the first step to freedom, as there are degrees to freedom, it does come slowly as those in power die out. The outlander tribes must be educated, and not supplied with weapons to stop the age-old fighting amongst themselves.

Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?

I really admire Charles Eisenstein and this one blog in particular as I have studied worldwide religions.  http://www.realitysandwich.com/original_religion

What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?

Education, awareness of the diversity of people, the realization of not just different ethnic but moral and ethical standards as well, and the acceptance and appreciation of those that provide not just diversity but controversy.

What is the future of blogging?

I don’t have a clue, but I’ll still keep doing it.

You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?

It keeps me sharp and on point in my verbal skills.

What are your future plans?

I will be writing another book on my near death experience along with stories of celebrities that I have dealt with in my life as an Entertainment professional

Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?
Keep positive and true to yourself.  Follow your bliss and if you are young and looking for direction, any road will take you there, so just do something instead of looking for the perfect path.  All roads lead to self-enlightenment if you let them.