THIS IS NOT A TEST

mjp

Founding member
Supporting our troops would be supporting Ron Kovic as much as you support Chris Kyle.
I always wanted to make a bumper sticker that said:

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
By bringing them home​

Patriotism, racism and xenophobia aren't going anywhere (and they are all intertwined). But it is interesting to watch those things disappear when people get to know each other personally.

We could all get along. Most of us anyway.

every human has the capacity to be great...
No they don't. That idea is flawed because it discounts or ignores the fact that some people have natural abilities that others don't have. Everything isn't learned. You can't teach someone to be Mozart. Natural abilities aside, most "great" people have had to rise above their particular circumstances, and everyone can't do that.

Especially in a system or a country that oppresses people based on color or gender or some other arbitrary way that you happen to be different from a white man. And those types of systems are all over the place, not just here in America or Europe. Just replace "white man" with whoever is in power wherever you are at the moment.

Everyone has the right to be great, but few have the opportunity. Not for nothing, but people who maintain that "everyone can be great" are usually people of social or economic privilege, and they are usually the same ones saying, "It's their fault they are poor," or in jail or dead on the street in Baltimore or Los Angeles. Whoever "they" happen to be.

On the flip side of that coin, some people are also born "bad," they aren't bad because of upbringing or circumstances, they are just naturally bad. Whatever it is in your brain that makes you bad, they have it. I didn't always believe that, but it seems to be true. Someone with that kind of brain will never be "great." A great dictator or murderer maybe. But not great in the way that you're getting at.
 
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Skygazer

And in the end...
I always wanted to make a bumper sticker that said:
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
By bringing them home​
Patriotism, racism and xenophobia aren't going anywhere (and they are all intertwined). But it is interesting to watch those things disappear when people get to know each other personally.

"and that's how you're hard core commie works Mandrake" :wb:
Yes they do disappear; but not for long, there is a quote attributed to Gandhi (who else) about tyrants and murderers that they will always eventually fail and it's true, humanity does overcome them, but it repeats again and again.
We need to get better at keeping them out of positions of influence/decision making. Or else we are stuck with Dr Strangelove and General Jack D Ripper types constantly, it's just the "enemy" that changes:

 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
Didn't Buk say that the death of conversation began when they started putting TVs in bars?

For my money, conversation is hard to come by these days because those holding the extreme positions on any issue insist on starting the conversation (say, while waiting to check out at a grovcery store or the post office). Usually they're really subtle...like:

"Jesus, can you believe this goddamned line! I blame Obama!"
"What do you mean my coupon is expired?! You, and your corporate-fascist regime are as fake as the moon landing!"

At my office the other day I about came uncorked when I overheard a sherriff say: "Only one race riots."
I wanted to say; "You mean the human race? Or do you mean "riots" as in riots and not, for instance, like burning their city to the ground when their team wins the Stanley Cup?"

But the thought of starting a conversation with that guy exhausts and terrifies me. It seems that the curious, reasonable, fair-minded, and genuinely engaged people don't pipe up with their horseshit notions (not that they don't have them too).

So we're left, instead, to wade through a world of loud-mouthed cranks trying to sell ads and the echo-chamber-drones who spout their talking points.
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
I'm talking about on a personal level, which is all that matters. Politics and politicians and generals don't change people, it's the other way around.

Yes, it is all that matters, but the understanding that we are much the same, often conflicts with our tribalism (local, national) which politicians exploit. We are constantly manipulated by politicians and generals with their own agendas - to sell a war or conflict and it's done covertly and overtly.

: “Did you ever stop to wonder,” Rendon asked, “how the people of Kuwait City, after being held hostage for seven long and painful months, were able to get hand-held American, and for that matter, the flags of other coalition countries?” He paused for effect. “Well, you now know the answer. That was one of my jobs then.”

... Public relations firms often do their work behind the scenes....But his description of himself as a “perception manager” echoes the language of Pentagon planners, who define “perception management” as “actions to convey and (or) deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning. ... In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover, and deception, and psyops [psychological operations].”


— Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, How To Sell a War, In These Times, 4

Truth projection- sounds like it came straight out of Orwell's Politics and The English Language.It's this kind of age old, cunning manipulation that's more worrying than bumper stickers, but all part of the same package.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hosh,

The Sheriff was was wrong (and if you recorded him, he would be an ex-sheriff). Only one rage riots for a decent reason. I don't like violence, BUT, when you have no way to get justice withing the rigged system, emotions bubble over. As they say "No Justice, No Peace." It is the only way that the powers in charge seem to listen to those without a political voice (and the money behind it.)

Unlike OTHER races who riot to celebrate AND protest losses of sport teams and other meaningless bullshit.
 
Community policing, at least in urban centers where "they" live, seems to be a thing of the past. The rise of the police as a paramilitary organization is to me one of the saddest facts of the last decade or so. They function now as a defacto National Guard, and cause the very tension they're tasked with diffusing.
I lived near the corner of San Vicente and La Brea in the early 90's and remember well the APC's and National Guard troops in Hollywood and South Central after the riots. Now, cops have military vehicles and gear and very little oversight.Very fucked up in my view.
 
That idea is flawed because it discounts or ignores the fact that some people have natural abilities that others don't have. Everything isn't learned. You can't teach someone to be Mozart. Natural abilities aside, most "great" people have had to rise above their particular circumstances, and everyone can't do that.

Especially in a system or a country that oppresses people based on color or gender or some other arbitrary way that you happen to be different from a white man. And those types of systems are all over the place, not just here in America or Europe. Just replace "white man" with whoever is in power wherever you are at the moment.

Everyone has the right to be great, but few have the opportunity. Not for nothing, but people who maintain that "everyone can be great" are usually people of social or economic privilege, and they are usually the same ones saying, "It's their fault they are poor," or in jail or dead on the street in Baltimore or Los Angeles. Whoever "they" happen to be.

On the flip side of that coin, some people are also born "bad," they aren't bad because of upbringing or circumstances, they are just naturally bad. Whatever it is in your brain that makes you bad, they have it. I didn't always believe that, but it seems to be true. Someone with that kind of brain will never be "great." A great dictator or murderer maybe. But not great in the way that you're getting at.
I think you're right actually....having thought about this some more I don't think 'greatness' is natural talent either though. The pattern I see emerging with many great people is a kind of psychotic drive which develops an almost inhuman talent though it's also a bi-product of insecurity/self-hatred/isolation.

That for me works for the more intense 'disturbed' artists as well as the clean cut ones.

Then again you can't really train to rap like Eminem for example. There is, thankfully, some magic involved - some human magic, which is good. Because otherwise life would be pretty dull.

I've not really thought of people born 'bad'....I tend to think most people want to think of themselves as good and create frameworks to support that.
 

mjp

Founding member
The pattern I see emerging with many great people is a kind of psychotic drive which develops an almost inhuman talent...
Drive and ambition can create success, but they can't create talent.

I've seen people use The Beatles as an example of Malcolm Gladwell's "10,000 hours of practice" theory from Outliers. "See there, it's proof! All of those hours and weeks and months spent playing in Hamburg made them great!" But for every one of those hours and weeks and months that The Beatles spent in Hamburg honing their chops, Pete Best was their drummer. All that time didn't really help him, did it.

Talent is either there or it isn't. You can nurture it and develop it and exercise it, but you can't create it or instill it in someone who doesn't have it.
 

mjp

Founding member
A Passport and a Clean Pair of Socks – THIS IS NOT A TEST #20

You really deserve a gripping, original podcast every week. One where I'm rhapsodizing about something I love but that you just don't understand, or me frothing at the mouth over (a perceived) grievous social injustice. That's what you deserve, but this week I'm going to read you a bit of a book I'm working on instead.

The book is called A Passport and a Clean Pair of Socks, and it's about being in a band. Sort of. It's a lot like this podcast: a central theme that I can't stick to. But variety is the spice of life, amigos. Never forget that.

http://thisisnotatest.com/a-passport-and-a-clean-pair-of-socks-this-is-not-a-test-20

Subscribe, yo!

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(It occurred to me after this was finished that I didn't exactly pick the most compelling part of the book to read, but that's the way it goes. It's too late to do anything about it now.)
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
Just the one? Well, as long as you don't skip a week because we are kind of getting used to our weekly dose. See what you've done?
 

mjp

Founding member
The weekly schedule has turned out to be more...demanding than I anticipated, but If I didn't have a schedule and a deadline it would probably come out every 12 or 14 (or 20) weeks.

And you see what consistency has done? It's made you dependent on my tawdry dog and pony entertainment! You're now putty in my hands. Putty I say!
 

mjp

Founding member
See, maybe weekly is too much. Carol is further behind than that, and she's practically obligated to listen to them. ;)
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
the book excerpt was really good!

hang in there finishing it, it's worth it.
 
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the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
Yes, don't give up on that. That's a rich mine for picking. Picking? touche!

Writing often seems to work on different levels, commenting on or communicating the process while telling a story. It seems an inadvertant outcome and mysterious.
 
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mjp

Founding member
The begging culture of the Internet – THIS IS NOT A TEST #21

Kickstarter, Patreon, tip jars, donate buttons - some days when I'm bouncing around the web it feels like I'm idling at a freeway entrance ramp and the entire web is a cardboard WILL WORK FOR FOOD sign.

I may also mention things like B. B. King, Charles Lindbergh, PayPal, fan sites, scanner bulbs, lyric sites, bots, forums, crime, gauze, three dollar bottles of wine, podcast networks and content creators, among other things.

http://thisisnotatest.com/the-begging-culture-of-the-internet-this-is-not-a-test-21

Subscribe, yo!

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zobraks

Moderator
For the time being I'm just downloading & collecting your podcasts.
I'll listen to them as soon as you become rich & famous & in (vogue).

Like the guy in the picture. :p
 
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I liked this one....agreed with everything pretty much, especially on music and skill vs feeling.

Then there's also skill vs creativity. I often think of the example of The Vaselines - Molly's Lips - just two chords, pretty bad singing...great song. IDEAS are important, good ones.

though I still think people can call themselves writers if they write or musicians if they make music, I'm not sure how you could really argue that if someone makes music they are not a musician. Arguing that is giving credence to the significance of validation, and when we live in a world where a lot of terrible stuff IS validated well...uh it gets tricky.

most people who talk about wanting to get paid for something don't spend that much time doing the thing anyway

most people want the respect and fame...and also being 'creative' is somewhat of a cool thing to be it seems to me.

Like when people put on facebook '5 problems really creative people have' well, I can read the subtext of what they want to say about themselves through that.

Most people love to talk the talk and tell girls on dates about this stuff they're doing

people do NOT want to sit around writing novels for no reason or making music alone or writing blog posts into the ether

People want to be VALIDATED

but without working for it

It's weird....but makes total sense
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
another 'edu-taining' episode.

so "scuse me while i kiss this guy" is not the correct lyric?
 

mjp

Founding member
Sorry, no. I know, I know - sometimes it's better not to know the truth, but what can I say.
 

mjp

Founding member
Hey politicians, enough with the Jesus talk already – THIS IS NOT A TEST #22

If you listen very carefully you may also hear me say something about ripping CDs, Google Play Music, The Philadelphia train wreck, the World Trade Center, Hiroshima, Jesus H. Christ, Antonio Villaraigosa, death, The American Journal of Psychiatry, communism, chicken pot pies (oh wait, I didn't talk about that, I'm just really hungry right now), religion, watermelons, the 1%, Vinnie Barbarino and some other things that don't have anything to do with anything.

http://thisisnotatest.com/hey-politicians-enough-with-the-jesus-talk-already-this-is-not-a-test-22

Subscribe, yo!

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zobraks

Moderator
Guess what? This week I actually listened to some of your early shows.
I'd say you're good if I weren't (wasn't?*) envious. :acb:
*stupid English
 
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the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
I have to admit, reading through this week's content, I was going to give the podcast a miss. Then I saw watermelon. I wondered when you would get around to those.
 
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bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Another great one, yo.

I am so tired of the jingoistic rah-rah "America-is-the-greatest-country-that-ever-was" bullshit. I know people from other countries love their country but they are not so "delusional". They understand that their countries have done some great things and some not so great. Even some awful things. In America, a significant portion of the population finds it beyond belief that any American could say or thnk that America has ever done anything even slightly wrong, let alone repugnant. Dropping nukes and killing a quarter million CIVILIANS would certainly be something that we should be very ashamed of. Instead it seems to be of no concern.

We Americans are an odd bunch. Once we have fallen like the Romans/Greeks/etc, we will be the last to know it. We will be in denial long past when it should be obvious to everyone.

Bill
 

mjp

Founding member
I don't want to drop the blame for that on Reagan's doorstep, since I've done that before, but that's where it belongs. Eliminating the "equal time" requirement from the FCC rules directly lead to the polarized media we enjoy today. And I think without that polarized media there would be much less ignorance of facts and history.

There have always been, and will always be, jingoistic and xenophobic types, but now rather than them being the fringe that they historically have been, they are celebrated and held out as examples of great Americans. That genie is out of the bottle.
 
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