by j-a

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November 2010

The Central Scrutinizer

Hello, boys (and girls). I'm ba-a-a-ack.

Remember Randy Quaid in Independence Day? That's me. And you, dear readers, are the aliens, whom I am about to blow out of Earth-space existence with my nuclear wit.

Okay. Enough of that lame metaphor. It doesn't really work anyway. And forget about that Zappa title too. It's not relevant to anything of substance herein.

I haven't published to this site in many, many months, because I've been diverting all of my journal entries into a novel and six novellas, soon to be published.

But I miss posting to this site, so I think I might start up again; but more piecemeal this time, no more of those time-consuming pastiches for a while.

I've been missing the simple blog entries and short essays I used to write. But that's the story of my life: Whatever I do, something else I want to do doesn't get done.

It's one of my hidden agendas. Problem is, most of the time I hide it from myself; and then in a sudden fit of insight, I discover what I haven't been up to and try to catch up.

Now, as I look over and ponder the website traffic, I'm feeling that I owe it to the world to go back to posting here, even though I'd rather write the stories.

I mean, hey, why would people want to read this crap? Why does the traffic continue to increase despite my having ignored the site for so long? It kind of defies logic.

But just because I might "owe" it doesn't mean I'll pay. I'd like to publish more to this site, and straighten it all out as well, get rid of all the crap, but I can only do so much, ya know?

hidden knowledge

Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."
The Gospel of Thomas
I know everything. Now if only I could remember it all. Early on in life I learned how to find things out, pretty much without knowing how I did it, or even most of the time that I did it. If a subject came up in conversation, without being aware of this process at all, I'd gather together all of everything I'd ever read or heard about the subject and combine it with what I was hearing in the moment and talk about it as if I was well educated on the subject; because in a sense I was. All of the facts gathered, most of which were not encountered in any kind of formal educational process, were a natural form of education for me. [So far, this is all probably more or less true of everyone; but, as usual, I've always got to be taking things a few steps beyond the normal limits.]

I slowly began to realize that I did this, that I had a great capacity for gathering and collating information on the spot in conversation, of coordinating facts and developing "theories" that made sense of those facts, always when I was "up" on huge amounts of caffeine. The information just seemed to flow my way; my brain became a conduit of knowledge, filtering and "making sense" out of it. What I have always done, I now realize, is explained by the quote above.

I see and understand what is there in the moment to see, put it together with a bit of intuition, and arrive at a specific body of knowledge appropriate to the situation. People inevitably arrive at the conclusion that I "know everything". I don't, of course; nobody does. And what people mean when they say this of me (usually behind my back) is determined by their own particular psychology; i.e., they bring their own agendas with them when they make value judgments as to my body of knowledge: some people are impressed with what I seem to know; some people believe that I am in agreement with them (when I am not necessarily; i.e., I'm merely presenting the gathered and collated knowledge, much of which comes from them, mostly via conversational bits, some from between the lines and/or intuited, and perhaps a bit from a true psychic, i.e., unconscious, mutual psi, ability that is over and above and beyond intuition); and some people resent it that I am able to access information in a way they know nothing of and so instead assume that I am a "know-it-all".

In other words, others bring their agenda to "my" information and assume the best, the worst, or indifference; and via of perception of their state of mind I can discern further knowledge, about them: if they genuinely think of me as an intelligent, knowledgeable person, then they are good-hearted and caring; if they see me as a know-it-all, then they are some degree of crass, vindictive, crude, ignorant, low-class, whatever, typical kind of idiot; if they act indifferently toward me, well, that could mean a lot of different things--too hard to interpret. In short, how people see me is a projection of themselves (in any case, not just on this particular issue of "information"). When someone makes value judgments about others, it's usually a disguised and probably repressed judgment about themselves.

In a dream last night, my old boss fired me, yet again, this time from a job in a department store/advertising firm that I did not actually have; i.e., I was more of a customer than an employee, which means I was not really under his "jurisdiction", which can be interpreted that this is a remnant memory/anxiety from my past. (Of course.) So his negative opinion of me (or of my work; but in real life, it was definitely of me) was his own value judgment about himself: He was the one who was incompetent; but isn't that always the way it goes? If they work for you and you deem them to be unable to do their job, which one of you really isn't doing the job? He hired you, was responsible for training you, and retained you as an employee. The longer you work for him, the more likely it is his problem. If your work behavior changed, he had the responsibility to inform you of it and deal with it in evaluations. I always got excellent evaluations, and yet I was fired, with the written explanation including a statement that my unacceptable behavior had existed for a very long time. Well, if so, how come I never heard about it before? (That should all be in the past by now; but why am I still dreaming about it?)

When we are interacting, you cannot be anything that I am not, and vice versa. What we acknowledge and repress represents the totality of our existence together; and most of it is unconscious. It's a zero-sum game as we exchange psychic information, back and forth. People never exist in isolation. Stop blaming people for what you really are, unrecognized. C'mon people. Can't we all just get along? We can if you'll all stop pretending you're something you're not and admit that other people's faults that you criticize are really your own, repressed. And when you do, you'll make the connection that enables you to access information from a vast reservoir, the conduit will be opened and knowledge will flow, you'll know what is in front of your face, everything you need in the present moment to properly interact with whomever you're interacting with, "For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."

And you call yourself a revolutionary.

Hey, all you would-be professional percussionists out there. Do you have wet dreams about buying a set of drums just like [fill in the name of your favorite rock drummer here]? You know what you want: a big honkin' 24" bass, a 16" floor tom, two smaller bass-mounted toms, a 14 or 15" snare, a ride, a crash, and a hi-hat. Yah, bra!

Well, if that's what you want, then you're an idiot. Conformity is a creeping disease and you got it, baby. I always thought that rock n' roll was about being different; but I guess not. Believe me, I know the ignominy you'll suffer if you show up at a gig with an oddball kit. So don that sharp gray suit and pretend you're Max Weinberg, dude dud.

Them music manufacturers would have you by the balls if you had any. The equipment they sell is so overpriced. They're sorta like fifties' optometrists before the Japanese started mass-producing eye glasses. Wake up! All you gotta is do is pound the beat. Hollow tree trunks and buckets work every bit as well as that artificial crap they sell.

My current kit: Two free 16" kid's-version basses with scavenged kick-pedals. A well-battered 16" ride mounted on a music stand. A beautiful 15" chrome snare kit that I bought for $20. Three 8" toms and an actual cowbell over my right bass. A beat-up hi-hat kit, cost $23. And a 10" and an 8" snare mounted to the left of the big one.

Yeah, everybody laughs at me. Fuck them ignorant holes. Looking back, if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't buy anything. I'd assemble a collection of pots and pans and lids and carve out a few woodblocks and turn some tin cans into cowbells. An old log for a djembe and I wouldn't sound all that much different than Ginger Baker.

Rock on! Oh, yeah. I forgot the best. An 8" splash mounted on a music stand above an inverted stainless steel circular gravy boat. My pride and joy. I love the tinkly twinkle I get out of that combination as I sit on my low bar stool with heavy plastic backrest while other skinners strain to remain erect on their thrones during their hours-long ordeals.

Roll, baby, roll. All night long.