I've started looking for a regular job again...there are things I want in this world that require money, so I figured it's time to start earning some again. I started this last Monday. The results have been surprising: only a handful of resumes sent out, but two interviews set already and a third strongly possible.
I wasn't ALWAYS a weirdo living as a semi-hermit in the woods...I do have a resume...an extensive one with lots of grown up stuff on it (though it's a bit job-hoppy...I've not always made the best choices)...but I'm surprised at the positive response. Now I just have to figure if I want my life to massively change or if I want to keep doing what I'm doing. My life is pretty easy right now and given both the curves my body has been sending me and the state of the world economically, politically and environmentally, should I spend what could be the last few years of my life working my ass off to fund a future I may not have or just keep fucking around as I have been? A larger city would give me greater opportunities on all levels: socially, musically, maybe even (gasp) romantically...but it'll cost me and take me away from my beautiful woods. Otherwise, I can live as I am by working a couple shifts a week doing something menial...and that may be the way to go...I can smell more flowers that way...and I like flowers.
Anyway...those are my own private musings and my own problem to solve...the thing that keeps occurring to me is a conversation with one of my best friends last week. He works as the HR guy at a company in Chicago. I asked him "hey...how many people out of 10 that you hear from for positions there would you say are in the barely-able-to-function-as-a-regular-adult range?"
I figured he'd say 1 or 2...maybe 3.
I've also heard that the REAL unemployment numbers are a LOT higher than reported (redefining who is unemployed can do that...neat little government accounting trick)...but one of the quandaries for employers is that there are VERY few competent adults with a developed skill set to fill many of the open positions out there.
I've been out of the loop for a bit in terms of the white-collar world...has it really gotten THAT bad out there? Is it THAT hard to find people who function at a professional level? Most other aspects of our culture seem to have tanked, so it wouldn't surprise me if this is so...so is it?
I've decided to just give away my
current albums as digital downloads for free. The reasons for this
are listed below:
1- No one buys physical albums anymore...not
really...maybe at a gig or such, but for the most part people stream
it or steal it. Recorded output is now almost just promo for live
shows...so I'm going to stop swimming upstream on this one. It's FAR more
important to me to have people actually listen to the stuff than to
make a tiny pittance off of it. For the most part, if you press a CD
now you can count on selling MAYBE a few hundred of them unless
you're on a tour and there is a buzz about you...otherwise your
friends and family will be the ones that buy them and the rest end up
in boxes or on spindles. It's all downloading or streaming now...and
usually people don't pay much for that either.
2- I am more
focused on other ways of making a living.
3- “IT” is
here. All the things I tried to warn people about via my songs over
the past almost-four decades are happening now and there is nothing
that can be done about it and there is no “getting though” it: if
the eventual economic collapse and/or potential global war does not
get you, the collapsing climate and death of the biosphere will.
Game over, man. So the sociopolitical/environmental elements of my
work are now a moot point and now it's just a question of whether or
not you enjoy listening to it. My music isn't for everyone, so only
small percentage do.
4- I'm old and irrelevant and my time has
passed and, while I'm still going to make music because I enjoy
making music, I am (as ever) not going to be jumping on any stylistic
bandwagon or be part of any fleeting hipster trend. I am what I am
and I do what I do...so I am fated to obscurity. Fine...I will live
until I die no matter WHAT happens in life. I've done what I could
with what I've had. I think the work is worthy, even if it is out of
step with whatever the current fashions are, were, or will be.
I have always felt that those things we create (including our art),
exist and have meaning well beyond the realm of the physical...so for
me it's important to share my work as I think it makes a difference
on a “spiritual” level. Songs meant to raise awareness and get
one to think also raise consciousness/vibrations...and I believe that
So I'm now going to use NOISETRADEto host my
now-free albums. Download away. “Tip” me on there or contribute
to my GOFUNDME if you like the stuff and have a conscience about such
things (most people do not anymore).
(In order to download them, you will be asked to provide your e-mail address and prove that you are not a bot. I assure you that I will not sell your information to any phishers or spammers...unless I get a REALLY good price for it. A boy's gotta make a living...)
Will I be making any more albums? Mmmmm...maybe. I may just do one-off songs from here on out, as it seems that the era of the album has passed and it's a LOT of work, frankly. We'll see.
Imagine being the head of a foreign
power right now. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and imagine
this. Good. Imagine that you have a set of long standing trade and
defense agreements with a country that has a political structure that
can change course every four...and sometimes even two...years.
Imagine that that country has shown an ability to veer from one
sociopolitical extreme to another, depending on the whims of a
largely uneducated and misinformed electorate who votes not for who
is the most qualified and the most learned, but the most publicized
and the most colorful.
How do you feel about this? Secure?
Settled? Confident about your future?
Do you feel, perhaps,
that your incredibly powerful strategic partner is one who is
mercurial at best and is not to be depended on when push comes to
shove? Does their recent propensity to elect brain dead demagogues
leave you feeling like you should maybe find ways of distancing
yourself from this wobbly partner in favor of partners who are more
to be relied upon? Like China? Or Russia? Whatever your feelings
about who they are and what they do, they are, at the very least,
more consistent than your current partner...especially the
newly-elected figurehead of your current partner (who seems to change
his trajectory more than some people change their socks).
to do...what to do...
In case you haven't noticed,
presidential politics (and well...MOST politics on any level anymore)
is not based upon a notion of Meritocracy...a notion that the most
qualified, competent, and able are the ones who should direct the
ship of state...it's basically a popularity contest...and a contest,
increasingly, where the most obnoxiously noisy tend to be the ones
that get center stage...and in some cases they even get to have their
tiny fingers in reach of that special shiny red button that could
vaporize half the planet in less time than it takes to bake a frozen
pot pie in the oven.
It occurred to me a little while after
the election that there HAS to be a better mode of
governance...though I couldn't think of one offhand...until I started
looking backwards instead of forwards.
So I thought of an
idealized tribal model...one where you actually had people who
displayed core competencies and experience and had many years and
miles behind them at the helm. Call me crazy, but it seem like more
a model of stability than anything we have now.
that if you had, say, twelve people who...regardless of
race/sex/creed/color/economic background/gender preference...were the
acknowledged leaders in their various fields...who had displayed an
unambiguous track record of actual success (not Trump's fake and/or
subsidized success), a willingness to lead selflessly, and the
ability to work in a wholeheartedly collaborative way for the good of
the whole, and appoint them for life, giving them a reasonable
monthly stipend and all the basics (to keep them focused on their
mission and not on having to clean leaves out of their gutters or
whatever), but NOT giving them the ability to use their position to
unduly influence various individuals and events in their favor, that
you MIGHT have the rude beginnings of a form of government that would
actually SERVE the people...unlike what we have now.
member would be routinely evaluated on their performance by both
their fellow elders, the aforementioned experts in their fields, and
the populace in general to ascertain if the job they were doing was
serving the greatest good. They would also be “screened” for any
sort of past or current improprieties that would compromise said
performance...and obviously screening for cronyism and nepotism as
well. If they were found to be wanting, they would be deposed and
replaced by the next in line...and if they were not found wanting,
they could potentially be in their position until they fell over dead
of old age. If it were done right, the things about our system that
seem to attract nothing but various grades of sociopath could be
eliminated and people like Donald Trump could go back to hosting
insipid reality shows...or, more appropriately, fishing for used
syringes at the bottom of a dumpster behind a poorly-run free clinic
in a bad neighborhood.
And this would not just be the model to
replace our current national travesty, but one that could be used all
the way down to the town level (which is kind of the way it is in
many parts...except for the screening for competence and nepotism and
cronyism bit...those things could use some work...on all
I'm grasping at straws and ignoring
vast swathes of human nature by playing with this idea and it's
completely futile and I don't even know why I'm bothering to write
this...but the national debacle has been dancing around in my mind a
lot lately and I feel the need to muse on my way down the huge
existential toilet that has become our immediate future.