Is Paranoia Good for You?


Hello Good People who read this blog….

I’m not really sure what I am going to write in this blog, and that’s because I am paranoid that perhaps you aren’t going to like it, actually I am writing this blog rant because I have to go to a thing tomorrow that is making me totally paranoid but I am too paranoid to tell you what it is…perhaps with more wine and time, I will…..maybe you should be paranoid because in reading this blog you are associating yourself with a deeply subversive person and therefore your ip address or your phone will become linked to me and they will track you down and watch you from now on. Am I being paranoid? Yes! But paranoia is a good thing.

The problem with positive thinking is that it is essentially for the easily brainwashed oppressively dull people of this world.  Let me give you the example of a dog I used to know, to protect his identity I will call him ‘Rufus’.

Rufus used to like to bark at postmen, at tall males in general, he barked at rustling sounds during the night that were outside near the front porch and laughed himself into a frenzy if you tried to do yoga in the living room, silly humans!

Rufus also liked to steal tuna sandwiches and  a sausage or two. He happily lived in a house with nice subversive and cultured people who loved books, music and art… and when the family were sitting down eating dinner and having heated discussions about the arts, he liked to quietly steal the odd morsel off their plates and so he thought he was a very clever dog and that his human family were rather silly not to notice his little tricks.

However this nice family had a next door neighbour called Dave who was not so cultured or nice. Dave would come round with little sausages and the odd tuna sandwich to give to Rufus and they became best friends. Rufus couldn’t wait for Dave to come round and to pat him and give him tasty treats. The dog didn’t question Dave’s motives or politics, he just thought he smelt rather nice. However it turned out Dave was a policeman who used to like arresting people just because it was fun and that they weren’t English, and Dave was also a chauvinistic womanizer with no morals who framed people he didn’t like the look of and indulged in a bit of violence whenever he could get away with it.  Dave never really read a book and was annoying all the nice people living in that house who were also quite scared of him. But all Rufus saw, tasted and smelt were the nice sausages and tuna sandwiches and he liked being patted by his new best friend.

Rufus the dog exemplifies people who say that the glass is half full instead of half empty. Rufus should have barked at the nasty man but he wasn’t paranoid enough.

I say: Who gave you the glass? Why did they give it to you? What do they want? If it’s half full what is it half full of? Is it mineral water or is it more likely to be bleach? That’s how my mind works, I know it’s meant be bad to be paranoid, but it’s taken me years to get this way. I have worked on becoming paranoid without (too much) insanity,  and I think paranoia shows your brain is switched on. This was meant to be a fun post but perhaps has become a serious one, perhaps it is both..because I think that accepting and validating some level of paranoia is a good way to operate most of the time, not only that, but the longer you live in a city like London and use the internet or a smart phone or even a travel card, or a debit card and are a little bit subversive, the more you should value some forms of paranoia. Before I continue I am going to put some music on. Listen to it while indulging in your favourite vice, but don’t tell anyone what your vice is, they could turn it against you ( see how I cultivate a healthy degree of paranoia?)

Here is my first music video, it isn’t Black Sabbath’s Paranoid but it’s Riders on the Storm (The Doors) as interpreted by Infected Mushroom (2007). Many of the world’s best songs, stories, and thoughts are generated by paranoia, not through waiting for the nice man to turn up with a tuna sandwich. See the rather amazing video animation below! I just realised this was released in Israel and made by Israelis which is probably why it is been ‘unliked’ so many times on YouTube. Just want to point out that I am not pro-Israeli government policy, but that doesn’t mean all people who happen to be Israeli are evil! I am not pro-British government policy, but I am British so anyway… I don’t want to get into this debate even with myself!

As some of you may know this brilliant animation was made by Anthony Francisco Scheppherd (https://vimeo.com/anthonyschepperd) for a song called The Music Scene by Blockhead. I have to say that I think this superb video goes better with this cover of the Doors classic hit. I think I have become addicted to both this video and this new version after I got over the initial shock of hearing such a familiar song being tampered with. Both the music and the video seem to get better, and I notice new details in both sound and the visuals each time I watch it.

OK so now that’s made me a little paranoid but not too much. Everyone who doesn’t like Infected Mushroom or Israelis might now dislike my blog. The thing is I really don’t care whether you like or dislike what I write, due to something we used to call ‘free speech’ which has been replaced in 2018 with ‘be careful with what you say because other people might get upset’. That is another kind of paranoia.

I think there is positive paranoia, but just saying stuff that goes with the crowd to be approved of is not the kind of paranoia I want to indulge in, unless it is essential. I don’t really know what is going on at the moment with the British Labour party. Is taking an anti-Israeli government stance related to antisemitism? Let’s just say that all the Jewish people I know are : 1. atheists 2. very subversive 3. find Israeli politics very embarrassing and upsetting 4. find the British Conservative party and Donald Trump equally offensive 5. are not really interested in that kind of ‘organised nationalistic politics’ anyway. I was going to write more but need to go to bed… I shall have to write more about  paranoia another time…so goodnight British blog readers, good morning American blog readers, hello to everyone else. All nationalities and religions or none are welcome to my blogspace. I will leave you with more music but it’s still not Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, instead it’s War Pigs and a Whole Lotta Love splendidly blended together by Wax Audio. Love and Peace and end Nationalism! We are all sharing this planet and we need to work together to stop climate change, focus on that!

 

 

 

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Chasing Fame or Cheating Fame?


Hello Good People who read this blog...

I am writing because I am about to work on some music projects and I do so reluctantly, due to the amount of work involved, but also because on a subconscious level I am troubled by concepts of “fame” and my relationship with it.

As a creative person, working on “creative projects” involves dealing with other people’s reaction to what I do,and if I ever needed to be successful enough to earn a living from music, a certain amount of compromise and chasing exposure would be required.

It seems that many young people I know are getting into acting, modelling, music, with “fame” as the eventual desired outcome and goal.  As a young person, I also daydreamed that from my music I might be accomplished enough to be famous and in my fantasy to have the respect,  power, and recognition that came with fame.

So I am writing this maybe to try to understand my relationship with fame. I don’t chase fame, I avoid it.

There have been many incidents in my life where it seemed like I was “cheating fame” in the same way people “cheat death”. Maybe I sound crazy but I think that the whole issue of fame and recognition by large numbers of people , is a worthy concept to examine, however clumsily I do this.

In our largely secular society, many seem to aspire to be famous when previously they might have wanted to go to heaven , or  might have wanted a good career and a respectable role within their social group, a happy marriage , a solid home.

It seems to me that chasing fame is a very ” conformist” thing to do, wanting to be accepted by the masses surely means having to “play the game” on some level, follow a passing fashion, please your media patrons. I feel deeply sorry for young people now who chase fame. I think this is a result of the media environment and social codes they grow up with, largely a modern phenomenon from the ever-growing forms of mass media, including my blog!

If you want to get to the truth it’s best to rely on real life experience  than theory, so sorry to bore you again with my life!

As a child I was lucky enough to grow up in Chelsea in the 1960s and 1970s surrounded by famous people. For instance,I remember seeing a Rolls Royce every day with the number plate “BOW 1”  with David or Angela Bowie and sometimes their son, being driven around.  A close relative of mine worked for Bowie and told me a few stories. What struck me the most, was that I was not allowed to know the address of where Bowie lived, he had to change his phone number at least once every six months and this number was also kept strictly secret. On the one hand you have this superstar parading around Chelsea in a Rolls Royce, and on the other you have someone desperately trying to get away from people,not the paparazzi but his fanatical fans.

I grew up in the age of Beatlemania, it was a new religion, there seemed to be a lot less famous people than now, their fame seemed greater and more enduring  because almost everything  in the sixties was groundbreaking.

An  exception to this sense of cultural revolution was the soap opera about a Midlands Motel called “Crossroads”. I think it was mostly acted and broadcast “live” which explains a lot.

I saw actors from Crossroads, my mother’s favourite TV programme, wandering about the King’s Road. I later found out that one of the scriptwriters  was staying in our guest house incognito, he would come and write there,  even his own family did not know where he was disappearing to.

In the supermarket I remember seeing my absolute heroine, Emma Peel, except of course it was the actress Diana Rigg an altogether different person. I so wanted to be “Emma Peel” when I grew up, witty and intelligent, free, and able to karate chop herself out of dangerous situations. As a child I assumed the actress was indeed that person, shopping in Sainsbury’s.

My concept of fame was pretty warped by these and many other events.As a young child, I found the idea of becoming famous exciting, like somehow my innate shyness and all my defects of character, all problems in life, would disappear just by being famous.It seemed entirely possible to become famous in London if you were in the right place, at the right time, doing something creative.

My parents hated the whole thing. My mother would complain that racing police cars had kept her up all night because the Rolling Stones had  another debauched party. My parents respected God, the upper classes,all authority figures, classical music and literature and aspired to be educated and posh. These new TV and music celebrities and the whole new culture with its shocking fashions seemed outrageous to them.

As an adult,I have had famous people around me , including my ex-partner who will read this, who like it or not, had a certain amount of fame, which was never intended.

As a musician “fame” is difficult for me, it is a barrier, it is not something to be aspired to. I aspire to use my creativity to heal my frame of mind, do the best I can, to be innovative, because I love being experimental at times, to express myself honestly, to create things from some compelling intuitive idea, derived from processing everything I hear or think about . I struggle to do anything creative which will eventually be exposed to others and must match certain technical standards, I am not naturally talented. I essentially create stuff for myself first and secondly to reach out to a few others and see if anyone is on my wavelength. However the idea of great success and fame is still there lurking in the background like a bad smell.

What would my life be like if  suddenly my phone was constantly ringing with people wanting to be my friend? What if I wanted to walk around London and be left alone?

This is a mainstream pop tune , but my intuition says it’s the right one for this post, plus I love the production on this track: Maybe Tomorrow by The Stereophonics (2003)

What if I were so successful that other people’s salaries depended on my producing  something that would sell to the greatest amount of people? What if  I got ill from the work schedule and stress? How much would I have to conform and compromise? What if I got bad publicity for something and people started to hate me? I don’t even like going on stage, I like to do a good gig but I don’t like to face a crowd of people.

So fame may be a result of hard work in the arts, of  being a perfectionist and successfully communicating something that needs to be expressed and that will contribute to the evolution of culture. But fame in itself is terrifying to me, even if you do enjoy it, once you are up there and dealing with the stresses, you either have to maintain it all, hopefully without resorting to overwhelming addictions, or choose to go back to obscurity ( if the media will allow it!).

The environment young people are growing up with now is so much crazier than mine.

Anyone can be famous,without even working at it too much, there are more opportunities to be famous than ever before and yet fame seems more transient than ever. What kind of warped morality are young people growing up with?

I don’t think it’s so bad to want to grow up and be a Beatle or Emma Peel, but what if you want to be one of the women on “4 Music” dancing round a pole?

I don’t like the mass media and I hate the music business, but in a recession even I may have to learn to deal with it, in the hope of  getting some kind of exposure to my music and getting paid for it. For me the whole process of writing, composing, lyric writing, recording and sound editing  is a very private and solitary occupation, occasionally involving others if they are on the same wavelength, but the land of mass media and fame is as alien to me as Planet Zog.

I have written so much about myself and my ego, but this was done with the purpose of opening  a dialogue about how fame personally affects us, how it affects those closest to those who  become famous, and how much it can control our choices in life, and the lives of generations to come.

Now I have thought a bit more about fame and my relationship with it , I realise that my true reason for doing music or anything creative has been for my own healing, and sometimes to bond with others, not for money or fame.

Love & Peace

Born2rant

The Police harasses some terribly nice middle-class white English people in possession of terrorist crayons.


Hello Good People who read this blog ( this is a revised version of earlier entries. I do this sometimes when I think of extra things…sorry if it is irritating)

To begin some more meditative music to generate peace in the world

I forgot how completely amazing this piece of music was until  I just listened to it again:

Yes it’s got to be Steve Hillage “the Glorious Om Riff” from the “Green” album ( 1978) , quite appropriate for this post. (If you listen to this wearing headphones you get the full ping-pong  synth effect .)

Om!

My son sent me this film ( below this little rant) showing the police trying to disrupt an environmental climate camp which is organised totally legally.

I don’t think the police should meddle in politics. I think they should just be there if the public needs them in an emergency, when they are being violated, robbed, burgled etc..

Who is instructing the police to violate, rob, burgle and occasionally kill the public?

Once the police start to harrass people for their politics isn’t that what a police state is?

This is how Wikipedia defines a police state:

“The term police state describes a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.

The inhabitants of a police state experience restrictions on their mobility, and on their freedom to express or communicate political or other views, which are subject to police monitoring or enforcement. Political control may be exerted by means of a secret police force which operates outside the boundaries normally imposed by a constitutional state.[1]”

Here is the little film my son sent me :  “Investigating the Police” from the Kingsnorth Climate Camp last August. Crayons, felt-tip pens and chalk sticks are confiscated as dangerous weapons that could be used for writing political messages on banners.You may find some of the images of police violence in the second half of this film disturbing.

In many way it is reminiscent of the Battle of the Beanfield and other incidents of police violence. I heard many accounts of police violence over the years from friends being taken in the back of the van and given a “good kicking” for being alternative .

All the private “kickings” were illegal but now there is legalised harassment and violence against the public evident in this film. (if you can’t see this film and you have “No Script” on your computer, enable “blip.tv”)

They have given the police way too much power and surprise, surprise,  they are abusing it. In this film the police can legally force someone to be searched who is not wearing anything suspicious or behaving in a suspicious or agressive way.

If you refuse to be physically searched then they can legally, make you lie on the ground and set seven police officers on top of you and legally press your pressure points to inflict pain.

Some of the scenes in this film are of innocent people being violated legally by the police. Can you honestly say that the nice protesters in this film were a threat to anyone?

If the actions of the police were illegal then at least we could put a stop to it.

Compare and Contrast the wikipedia definition and the film clip!

What do you think?..Do you think? or do you just party?

A musical interlude:

Here & Now another band from the Gong rock family tree. I saw this band 10 trillion times in the late seventies and throughout the eighties. The first time I saw them was at Meanwhile Gardens with “Blank Space”and possibly  “The Androids of Mü”, Grant Showbiz was doing the desk.

Here is Here & Now with “Floating Anarchy Radio”

Here’s Here & Now playing in 2005. In the foreground on synth, Joie Hinton ( ex-Eat Static/Ozrics/O’Roonies etc…I was once told that he played for Steve Hillage as a teenager..not sure about this).

Today I am also a bit concerned about the police deciding about whether or not MPs should be arrested for fiddling their expenses.

Of course I think the MPs should pay back the money they fiddled and made to live on a council estate for a year with only income support and housing benefit to live on.

However I don’t agree with the principle that the police can arrest the democratically elected government. That really would make us  a police state.

It would be better for democracy if the government itself forced every single dodgy MP to resign and pay back the money and be fined.

I don’t see that happening because the ones at the top are the dodgy ones!

Some more excellent music. I love Egg.

Weird difficult and complex music is never boring or pretentious as long  as you can either tap your foot to it or sing a bit of the tune in the bath.

This track is one of my favourites and  has some of those appetizing complex bits!

According to Wikipedia ( my font of all knowledge for today) Steve Hillage plays on this track:

“Wring out the Ground” from “Civil Surface” by Egg (1974) …yep a couple of minutes in, that’s got to be Steve Hillage!

Love and Peace

Born2rant ( voting Green in European Elections ..will stop editing and revising this post now promise! 16/5/09)