Archive for popular

The Problem of Popular Culture

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, History, Politics, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2020 by Drogo

The Line Between Revolution and Conformity in Popular Culture

Artistic Commentary & Independent Value vs Commercial Success & Selling Out

When something becomes popular, it will have counter-cultural opposition which will challenge its status in culture. This ‘problem’ is a dichotomy inherent in culture as part of social dynamics. This paradox is how we can form authoritative conventions based on resisting authority, and base governments on violent revolution against government.

I made a musical remix of a pop song by a very progressive band, as a fan-fiction open-letter response to the singer basically. My version is worth nothing financially, but enough people were in on the jokes inherent in the theme that it got 5,000 plays within a year. The design was intentional on my part to evoke levels of post-modern humor, to play with fans and the band rather than try to compete for popularity or money. Some of the issues in the music include 1. selling-out means growing up, yet it feels soulless. and 2. placing all our value in money is a problem, rather than using memory to embrace positive aspects of nurturing compassion over individual profit at the expense of others. Without listing more, i mean there is alot going on there that is subconsciously infused in the music and lyrics; only accessible through the lullaby meditation of the chorus, which is hard to explain.

Green Day did that weave between pop culture and rebellion too… Pink Floyd (Mr Waters) is still doing that i hear. We want to walk the line, or at least be able to cross it. Most of us weave on one side and then the other, of all kinds of mixed issues regarding cultural conformity. I remember when i first heard green day it was live in person at a DC club. The Green Day sound i heard was the epitome of british punk, clearly made to sell as pop. I was disgusted when i compared it to bad religion, who they opened for, because to me Bad Religion had deeper content and a more unique sound (west-coast punk harmonies); but obviously Green Day was designed to sell out and it did. From the enthusiasm in the crowd, it was clear that they would soon be more popular than Bad Religion, and so it came to be with aggressive commercial marketing.

Again the irony is that our best examples of success walk the line between rebellion and conformity, or new originality and original oldies, or anarchy and establishment. When we are on one side of obvious rebellion, and then it becomes popular we soon find ourselves on the side of ultimate conformity. Metaphorically maybe that would be better described as massive swerves across the line, but our cultural perceptions are really interesting. It is not just music either, we see this dichotomy played out in political campaigns, and in literature, and in every field of study or practice. America is built on revolution. Revolution is part of our establishment.

Progressive Change Pattern

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, History, Legal / Laws, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2020 by Drogo

If I were to visit all the world leaders in one room, and be able to talk to them I have some idea of what I would say. I would say “Hey your honors, share more with the poor, and give less money towards war!!” I imagine they might snicker before moving on to their next big-wig business of the day, even if they didn’t have security remove me. Would saying a few of the best chosen words affect them enough to accomplish more peace and less pollution?? Even if the press made a big deal about what I said to them, the Trumpian politicians would certainly not change because of my liberal pressure. Peace and Security do not need to be liberal causes, but sadly our system does not let either of our two parties make peaceful security progress that poor people and the middle class (the majority of the population) would benefit from. The reason our representatives want to make more war and keep workers insecure seems to be because they represent their donors the plutocrats, not us. Both parties usually work together on issues that oppress us, and call stalemate on issues that would benefit us, meanwhile one side does not really fight for those issues anyway because they are paid not to, just like the other side.

 

Electing a populist leader that represents us better may be better than corporate candidates who are fake or blatantly serve the plutocrat donors; but they will face resistance from the majority of plutocratic leaders. It is only after enough grassroots democratic leaders have been elected to offices, in a future world where money does not buy power as easily due to a more informed population, that significant changes would happen. There has to be a critical mass of enough people consistently behaving in a way, before the actions sustain a new normal convention. Then that convention will have rebels who unsuccessfully resist it, but things will be better for most, until the next time change is needed badly enough to get enough popular investment to resist substantially. The pattern of civil rights progress in history seems to always be in reaction to a system which has gone too far with oppression of people and destruction of environment. Whether that oppression and destruction is called ‘conservative’ it is based on a tradition of legal violence which creates backlash against authoritarian domination.

 

Socrates, Jesus, & MLK

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, History, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Military, Philosophy, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2020 by Drogo

Social Martyrs of History – Socrates, Jesus, & MLK 

Remembering Leaders Who Risked Their Lives for Civil Rights

 

For all the famous leaders there are countless common martyrs who sacrificed their health and well being for the sake of others and the pursuit of virtuous truth. In remembering the lives of great figures we know about, we can also reflect on their human flaws or imperfect traits.

The main three figures I want to talk about are Socrates Jesus and Martin Luther King Junior. The stories of Socrates, Jesus, and MLK (Martin Luther King Jr.) will always be relevant so long as there is an ambitious and hungry military, supported by plutocrats and a population that mocks peace and philosophy. Their stories are very similar, except that MLK wanted to actually have political change. They were despised by those in power for raising too many questions, and they were put to death for their influence. I will also mention Simon Bolivar and Martin Luther of the Protestant Reformation in reference to the topics, although they were not put to death by authorities. These are figures which were influential obviously in the annals of history, but more importantly they were people who questioned civilization. They bothered society as social gadflies. Simon Bolivar was more of a political-military leader and I don’t really know his biography so I’m not going to talk much about him; but he is largely unknown in North America although a local town is named for him.

Socrates (circa 400 BC) was a veteran and a retired stone-mason, who taught young men of Athens philosophy for free (unlike the Sophists who charged to teach legal rhetoric). Socrates was such a public nuisance about asking questions, that he was written into theater comedy plays as a ‘clownish fool’. Religion, plays, and politics were all wrapped up in each other as democracy allows; although with the growth of population these extensions became more specialized fields over time. Cultural systems were blended as they are now actually; but we tend to want to try to keep social functions separate. We might say “I don’t want to talk about politics”, but meanwhile our money is spent to kill people; and issues in politics, religion, and entertainment cross-over. However even back in ancient Athens people would say “Why are you asking me these stupid questions? I’ve got business to do, excuse me, but get away.” Socrates would insist on asking people what they knew about their business, life in general, and whether that applied to politics.

Socrates was getting people thinking, and the plutocratic military establishment did not appreciate it. Their industrial complex may not have been like factories with our modern mechanized technology; but there were workshops making weapons and leaders of armies who wanted to boss soldiers around, conquer other people, and get rich as an official leader. Athens had been at war with its neighbors, and had seen massive defeats. Ironically during a period that had despotism and imperialism, it was their democracy that put Socrates to death (see Plato’s writings).

One of the perennial problems of democracy is that it gets tricked by the oligarchy into voting against worker interests, to favor conservative benefits for the few. There will always be some people that want to hurt and bully others to extract resources and wealth from them, and selfishly take it as their personal property. War culture is part of male patriarchy for sure, and the ethics of that ‘might is right’ domination is now being questioned more than ever before by progressives. It took a long time for women to have civil rights in civilization. It took thousands of years for large countries to grant women the same power and influence that men were legally allowed. I am not sure why it took so long to recognize women as adults officially in public, they say it has to do with babies, muscles, and testosterone but this is not an essay on gender issues. My point is that many of us hope that democratic society is slowly becoming more compassionate every century, with a few massive steps back in some ways, some decades.

The problems of society were addressed by Socrates, Jesus, and MLK; and they were punished as enemies of the state. Socrates, Jesus, and MLK may have been peaceful, but they also threatened the establishment by wanting individuals to ask questions within the society. Philosophical questions threaten authoritarian control. Socrates bothering people in the market was stirring up the pot and getting people wondering “What is best? What do I know? What can I know?” We want to usually have will-power and self-esteem and confidence. We want to know that we have answers to problems. It was frightening for Greeks to think that they might not actually know how best to vote. They did not want to be blamed when they invaded somebody else; even when they got their asses handed to them and their soldiers maimed, crippled, and killed. Their most important leaders had told them that war was justified, so it must have been right; right? Who was this old foolish man to harass them with questions? So they put him on trial and sentenced him to death. 

Later Jesus came along from Galilee, Israel. So Jesus was Jewish, but he was questioning the laws defended by conservative Pharisees, Sadducees, King Herod, and of course the Imperial Roman overlords. These popular stories of Jesus are perhaps the most common myths in society today, although no remaining period records noticed him while he was alive. We certainly have Jesus around us almost every day, with churches on every road. We are constantly reminded of Jesus probably more than the other figures, but yet if we go into a church and ask Christians what it means to be Christian, it is really hard for them to answer.

Most Christians do not give up their wealth and follow the holy spirit. Jesus never said we should go to Church and worship him, instead his example was to live communally with friends and practice religious compassion. Modern Christians want their property and their capitalist profit; that’s how most of us live our lives. Most Christians would not ‘turn over tables’ even in metaphoric churches, because Fox News and other corporate media conditions them in their homes as consumers. Commercial propaganda keeps people silent about politicians who keep spending our money on weapons and taking us to war. What would Jesus do? Would Jesus spend more on the military than all other countries? I don’t think conservatives have asked that question enough; if they want to spend so liberally on authoritarian budgets, they are not progressive on social issues like Jesus was. My New Testament understanding of Jesus is that he was profoundly anti-establishment in mostly passive ways. Now yes he did proclaim (according to the Bible) that he was the ‘son of God’, but he also said that we are all the ‘children of God’. Jesus also didn’t put much stock into earthly class systems or elite nobility. Our ability to love each-other was most important to him, which meant loving our enemies as well as our neighbors, as well as our family, as well as ourselves.

The Emperor of Rome (coincidentally also son of a god) would have considered accounts of early christians much like how Nixon reacted to hippies, but with less interest or subtlety. The Kent State shooting and the MK-Ultra project were sensitive compared to the more formal crucifixions and arena events; although I expect there were many undocumented tactics used unofficially in the streets by Roman soldiers too. Sharing wealth of property and goods was crucial for Jesus and gang, in between healing the poor and not chasing profit. Authorities mocked that hippy rebel and his proclamations of peace and love as the king of the Jews, with the crown of thorns on his head and the procession of pain carrying the cross.

His lessons were about helping those less fortunate, rather than giving wealth to the rich who ‘earned it’. Ask the Jesus in your heart “who deserves help the most; those greedy hoarding wealth already, or those who could use some and will spend it?” Collective compassion flies in the face of corporate assholes like Trump and those who want to be selfishly ignorant because “god damn it we don’t give a f@ck.” Everyone knows that making martyrs who people later worship defeats the purpose of killing them; but cultural ignorance is perennial even among elites. Reflecting on past mistakes is weird while still doing them. We might feel it was stupid and cruel that those people in the past killed Socrates, Jesus, and MLK; and we’ve come such a long way like when the FBI says MLK was such a great guy historically, although we know their boss wrote that death threat to MLK and probably had him assassinated (if it wasn’t some other covert militant agency that most don’t hear about because they redact most of their official public documents when they actually do release information).

  • to be continued…

 

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Snobs Cry “Don’t Punish Success”

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Matras Quotes Tips, Music Reviews, news, Politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2019 by Drogo

I have heard the cries of the successfully wealthy and powerful, “Do not punish success.”; from the brilliant actor that satirizes Trump (Alec Baldwin), to the angry metal band that cut off their long hair in the name of maturity (Metallica). As a fan of both Baldwin and Metallica, I appreciate their artistic mastery of craft, and believe that if any one earned the right to be rich by working hard I am sure that they did; however to not understand that the very art that they did was often anti-authoritarian is mystifying to me. Perhaps fame blinds many to hypocrisy, as their same angry fighting spirit that got them there, wants to cling on to “what is rightfully, not wrongfully, theirs”? 

 

When I listen to Metallica’s music, and then i hear them speak about how they do not understand ‘this new desire to rebel against authority’, i wonder how out of touch they have to be to not have learned more wisdom from their own lyrics…. “Master of Puppets is pulling your strings”. To be fair to Metallica, I first heard the cries for mercy from the lead singer of Kiss in his auto-biography; as though it were so much easier to become rich back then, and luck has nothing to do with opportunities or hard work. Talent speaks for itself, and being successful at your craft means being able to sustain yourself enough to do it. Any wealth, power, and fame that comes with successful talent is just layers of responsibility that they can accept, but must let go of eventually, even if it has to be pried from their cold skeleton hands in the grave by robbers. If an archeologist preserves their remains clinging to their assets, ok fine.

 

Money and popularity makes people into gods, so if their worshipers are jealous there is really not much law abiding citizens can do. The gods can proclaim that jealousy should be punished, but not greed; and have their will carried out in the halls of justice, in favor of divine corporations over individuals. ‘Might is right, and weakness is wrong’; did this problem of human existence eat away at Nietzsche’s mind as his body gave way to illness? Ethics may be for the weak, but Jesus did promise that the meek shall inherit the earth. Promises, promises. I see no evidence that the rich are being punished more than average people. In reality evil seems to win by brutalizing those who cannot control them, even while their corruption pollutes the planet.

 

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Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

Beards and Naturalism

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Green Fashions, Nature Studies, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2014 by Drogo

To me there has always been a clear connection between facial hair and Naturalism. My theory is that throughout recorded history, men grow beards to defy the fact that they could shave it off with a razor and look more feminine; usually to rebel against the social norms of shaving and assert their manhood and / or be more in tune with Nature.

There is a reason that barbarians that lived wild with nature had facial hair and industrious Romans did not; and there is a reason that when ancient Rome became more intertwined with barbarian cultures, that it became popular in Rome to wear beards! The more industrial a society or culture, the more they will want uniformity for the wearing of helmets (chin straps and gas-masks), stream-lined mechanical safety, and uniform equality for those that cannot grow facial hair thickly or completely (like boys, women, and some men).

Facial hair, like other hair, is considered by many of us Pagans to be a spiritual connection with Nature and the Gods and Goddesses of Nature and Nurturing. Consider that after many terrible industrial wars it has been popular for veterans to grow beards. Famous Naturalists like John Muir, H.D. Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and even Emerson (in old age) all had beards for obvious anti-industrial reasons.

Even those that grow a beard because they are ‘too lazy to shave’ are more harmonious with Nature by allowing their beard to grow, and not artificially shaving it off. Also there are many religious, spiritual, philosophical, and personal reasons for having beards. So before you judge people based on ‘un-fashionable trends’ that you perceive, consider that it may be more or less significant to the person with more hair.

jesus hippy

SCOD Youtube Stats 2007-2013

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Film Reviews, POB Video with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2013 by Drogo

Youtube SCOD Greenhouse Channel Stats 2007-2013

Total Views: 2,362,558

Minutes watched: 90,000

Subscribers: 1,500 (500 in flux)

Videos: 325

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2007-2013  SCOD Channel most popular videos

Robin Hood Theme (Robin of Sherwood Intro) = 576,300 views

Dreams by Kurosawa = 168,600 views

Brazil Torture Scene = 83,100 views

Holy Crusades Terry Jones = 63,300 views

Blackwater Interview (removed) = 50,000 views

Rosencratz & Guildenstern = 48,300 views

Native American Portraits = 45,000 views

SEX Commercial SELLS!!! Buy now!!! = 44,000

American Coal Miner War = 30,000

many others = 20,000s

Bomb Iran Song (McCain) = high in shares

 

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