A little after 7:30pm a seagull shat on my head. I was walking by the old K Records building on Legion, talking on the phone with a potential Radio8Ball collaborator; a talented director from the neighborhood named Zach Weintraub. Here’s a film he made with my protégé, Julia McAlee.
At precisely 8pm Keith Coogan called to wish me a happy Synchroniciday. A week ago we hadn’t spoken in a decade but, thanks to the Twittering of an angel from Wisconsin, we shared an hour of podcast sync last weekend that seems to have set my old friend KC on fire, inspiring him to call me at this auspicious hour; the only sync-surfer (including myself) to consciously honor this year’s moment of 8 in this way.
Earlier that same day my longtime collaborator, Willie Wisely, called to say he was worried about me. This honorable and loving communication came, at first, in the form of a trifling criticism, to which I took offense, leading us to yelling at and hanging up on each other several times before we got to the heart of the matter.
Willie read my last post and it made him feel bad. As he said, “Why does it always need to be a fight?”
I don’t know, Willie. It’s the same question I keep asking that Lenny Bruce handbill on my wall.
I could have imagined none of this a week ago when my friend Rebeca asked me what I was doing to celebrate 8/8.
For the record, I told her I didn’t know what I was doing but I was looking forward to finding out.
Running The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia on 8/9, just as I entered the park surrounding the Capitol Lake vortex, my mind turned to the concept of “day residue”. That’s the term my father used to describe the daytime activities that are recycled in dreams, as in; For the first time in months I picked up one of my father’s books and that night I dreamed about him. The waking experience is the day residue in the dream.
Somehow this line of thought opened up a channel in me and, all of a sudden, Olympia was dictating a letter. Not to me, but through me, to a new and later version of myself who I suspect is being initiated into existence with the unveiling of Will Morgan’s Psycho Cinematic Analysis and the Perseid meteor showers of this auspicious year.
You are new today. Happy 44th.
Things might be a little confusing as you awake so let me fill you in, and if my words are not sufficient, you can always read your own. You wrote a book. You fooled yourself into doing so with the conceit that it was “an infinite suicide note” or a letter to a future lover, or a gift to my children, but it was all for you.
The book’s OK but you are a much finer creation of the process that generated it than the book itself. Together, you and the book form the foundation of what is to become of me. Who am I? I’m your inner cunt. You write about me in the book. You call me Olympia, which is cute.
So this is where you are…
You have cultivated a variety of practices and habits. These have served you well and ill. It’s up to you which of these you choose to continue. Treat the residual urges as impulses from phantom limbs; no longer yours, but still you own them.
Whereas, previously you were concerned with what you had accomplished, you presently concern yourself with what you are doing.
Where previously you bemoaned the many who betrayed and abandoned you, you presently marvel at how many are still standing by you.
And although previously you felt your loneliness as a punishment, presently you cherish every free moment of solitude as much as your moments of impassioned activity in humanity’s throng.
Sometimes you will feel pain. This is because you’ve lost people and things you don’t even remember, as well as many you haven’t yet met. Luckily your body knows how to cry and sweat and shake and laugh and yawn. Take advantage of these abilities.
You will soon find that you have infinite patience for most things but no time for toxic nonsense. What is “toxic nonsense”? You will know it when you feel it, and when you do you will know how to respond. Plus, I’ll be there to help.
Here’s what happened…
You got stuck in a loop. It had to do with your ancestors and a film you did called “The Attic Expeditions” and the shifting of the age around the millennium turn. Your imprisonment was perfect and necessary. You chose to spend it in Olympia, a city that views any overt act of male sexuality as akin to rape, and on some level so do you. In the face of this, your former self sublimated your sexuality into battles for justice, particularly in regard to dismantling sexism. Like I said, you got stuck in a loop. Luckily, you won’t remember the worst of it. Unluckily, many others will. Like the phantom grief and desire, you will experience unreasonable fears and projections for years. These will stem from the ways you’ve been generously tortured toward the small enlightenment of this day, as well as the gentle tortures you’ve inflicted on others in the process. Whatever you remember; be grateful for your previous sufferings and enjoy your present liberation.
Your liberty comes at the hand of a Robin Hood resonating knight/nerd from Colorado named William Morgan. He unlocked this trap of your own accidental devising with a synchro-celluloid trick called “Psycho Cinematic Analysis”. This act of cyber shamanism should have returned to you whatever powers you misplaced in your imprisonment, with interest.
Now, when I say “powers” don’t get too excited. You can’t fly or weave webs or breathe underwater. You aren’t made of steel or titanium or toxic sludge. What you are is good with words and music and synchronicity, with a love for the spotlight and a nose for the sacred moment. In other words, you are an actor. Your former self earned a seat at many a table with these talents but never could quite convince himself to sit down and dig in. Now it’s your turn. My advice is to enjoy all that your former self eschewed for, what turned out to be, trifling vanities stemming from his own imperfect programming.
However you choose to proceed, I will be at your side, urging you on. Raging and loving with you. Now go see what kind of world you’ve inherited from yourself. Like you, it’s doomed and new. Love it up.
It’s July 20th and non-locality is happening all over.
The Sync-Heads are meeting at this year’s Sync Cabin in northern Idaho, a region known for its raging rivers and its white supremacists. I’m in Olympia, mustering my resources for Radio8Ball’s next big campaign but I wish I was there with them; swaddled in an enclave of enlightenment, riffing on synchronicity in those primordial woods, with eco-psychology on our side.
Last year’s Sync Cabin, held in Central Washington on the weekend of August 8th, on a mountain Gary Snyder and other nature-loving Beat Poets invaded and documented decades earlier, was the beginning of my collaboration with Sync Book Press. That gathering, which felt like a meeting of high functioning neurotics who shared my particular brand of insanity, was an awakening of sync, for me at least, the ripples of which are still being felt today. (Can you feel ’em?) No topic was off limits. Everything was funny in those woods. Everything was a sync, or an archetype, or a wink from the universe. Then things got “real”.
That’s where Alan Abbadessa-Green asked me to finish my book so he could publish it. All of a sudden I wasn’t just losing my mind in Olympia and writing about my expeditions in The Tree, I was writing a book for Sync Book Press, which didn’t exactly exist but who cares, right? Fake it ‘til you make it. That’s what W. Morgan Sheppard always said in his unwittingly shamanic acting classes. And it’s been working. In under a year Sync Book Press has become a reality, publishing four books: The Sync Book, Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia, Winter’s Labrynth & The Sync Book – Volume Two (due in December 2012).
Considering today’s Dark Knight-inspired movie theater massacre, not too far south of the northern Idaho Sync Cabin, I’m sure the syncs are running thick as blood in the direction of Heath Ledger, Terry Gilliam, Dr. Parnassus, Christopher Nolan, Columbine, South Park, Michael Moore, Obama as Batman, Bain Capital and Mitt Romney, and all the associated archetypes like The Death Card, The Hanged Man…and down the rabbit whole we’d go. As an out-of-the closet narcissist, I’d be very surprised (and disappointed?) if my name isn’t a part of their cabin conversation. I know my absence is a drag to Alan, probably even more than it is to me, and I’m pretty damn bummed not to be there. Plus, there’s all this controversy surrounding me and my book, and the numerous synchronicities gathering around my media self this week.
Will Morgan just delivered his first cut of Psycho Cinematic Analysis (due in August 2012); the long-awaited second installment to his synchromystic exploration of the entrainments between my films and the exploration of the psyche through media.
In the mean time, I’m in a fight with one of the Sync Cabin attendees. Seems I’m always in a fight with someone. Just like Batman. (Or that guy from Aurora?) If I was at The Sync Cabin now I’m curious how it would play out between me and this once funny, now seemingly humorless fellow Sync-Head who finds me “offensive” and “just fucking lame” for writing about my syncs in a way that hooked him (or her). Non-locality being what it is, on the very day I would have liked to have been resolving, or engaging, my conflict with this person in the woods, it was an encouraging synchronicity that Daniel Pinchbeck got back to me.
A previous conflict between me, and Pinchbeck, and my fellow sync writer, Jennifer Palmer, is what ignited the ire of the man in the cabin with whom I am currently at odds. In short, Daniel and Jen deemed my use of the word “cunt” in the “Cunt Punch” chapter of Accidental Initiations too offensive to be published in Reality Sandwich. The piece in question is similar to other essays I have posted on the site – the only significant difference being my use of the word “cunt”; a word Daniel himself has employed several times on the very same site. As I asked him at the time, “Do you imagine yourself the only good man who is allowed to use that word without being a sexist?”
This aesthetic disagreement between two men and one woman, over a slang word referring to the source of feminine sexual power, led to RS refusing to publish the excerpt from AI. They insist my words are too dangerous and “inelegant” for the readers of Reality Sandwich to handle. They say my “behavior” necessitates RS having nothing further to do with me. It’s all very sad and common and unrealistic (the idea that we can claim to all be one and then act as if we can segregate ourselves from each others’ ideas) and yet the whole episode was so rich with syncs directly relating to ideas expressed in the offending chapter in my book, that it simply demanded to be honored…
…and, in continued attempts at spirited communication with the participants.
For the most part Jen and Daniel have been unwilling to engage with me about this, and I’m not ready to let them off the hook, leaving us locked in a small public non-alogue until dialogue is possible. For some reason, I feel justified, almost honor-bound, to hold Daniel and Jen to the principals they espouse in their Reality Sandwich and Sync Book rhetoric. Either we are a community of transforming visionaries, and/or we are just posers. And/Or, perhaps, we are on our way from posing as enlightened operatives to actually becoming what we pretend to be, and affecting this transformation through conflicts like these. Fake it ‘til you make it, right?
So, this week when I heard that Daniel had been excluded from speaking at a panel at Burning Man, and that he was taking to Facebook; calling for justice and a fair hearing – I wrote to him, pointing out the sync between what was happening to him, and his refusal to run my piece in Reality Sandwich. I drew his attention to, what I believe are, deep seated territorial issues, for both of us, arising from our having been lovers with the same person (the sacred whore from my book), and suggested that working these out might be a good idea. To Daniel’s credit, this led to a day-long e-mail back and forth.
In between Skype interviews with movie stars, Kabbalists and rock stars; and with the Sync Cabineers doing whatever it was they were doing in those northern Idaho woods; I engaged in what felt like an epic archetypal Sync-summit with this man who claims to be the re-incarnation of Quetzalcoatl AND this generation’s Timothy Leary, yet accuses me of being on an “ego-trip”. Together we performed a “time wave zero” replay of Freud and Jung’s debate over synchronicity (and psychic territory); with me insisting we are all a part of the same field, and therefore – by censoring me they are censoring themselves; and with Daniel insisting that I am being immature, while telling me he is far too busy to be bothered by this. Yet he keeps writing me and I keep responding to him. Or the other way around. Either way, it was satisfying to let loose and dig in with a good mind at odds with my own, on this auspicious day, even if we still have yet to reach a resolution.
In light (or in dark) of all this, the question which is present for me is; how are my chat summit with Pinchbeck, the non-local Radio8Ball shoot in LA, the Batman shoot(ings) in Aurora, and the synchromystic doings at The Sync Cabin aligned? Are we not all catalytic exteriorizations of the same psychic phenomena? I suspect, and like to act as if, we are, and yet the events related above are but a small window on creation.
I mean, it’s summer. Somewhere kids, and kids at heart, are playing in gardens with puppies, heedless of tragedy or enlightenment. Just being awesome. That’s a part of the phenomenon as much as the shooters and the synchromystics, or me and my self-fulfilling self-righteousness. I know this is true. I can taste it particularly well right now because, the next day, I had a delicious synchronicity I’d like to share with you.
I was having brunch with my friend Rebeca. We were eating in (and from) her garden, with bees buzzing and chickens clucking, and I was telling her about my intention to write this piece. I was explaining my relationship with Pinchbeck in the context of Will Morgan’s latest film, and its references to Freud and Jung, when my phone rang.
It was Will Morgan calling from Fort Collins, Colorado. I picked up saying…
“Will fucking Morgan! I was just talking about you and, like the crack in Freud’s book case, you called!”
“That’s fucking weird man”, Will said, “because I was just talking about Freud and Jung, and that exact same scene, when I just felt like I had to call you.”
When the owner of the cowboy bar I was bartending out of this winter sat me down for firing he called me into his office and said,
“Y’know, when we hired you we thought you were this good looking cool guy, but you’re really a nerd.”
“Duh!” is what I wanted to say. All my life people who don’t really know me but think they do have been making this mistake about me.
About 5 months later at Kitzel’s, during my first public reading and discussion of Accidental Initiations, with my old friend Chris Sand aka Sandman: The Rappin’ Cowboy, one of the many girl’s who have made this mistake about me showed up. She bought a book and came on my first Treewalk for people who have read AI. The walk was intense and funny and profound, and well-attended. I’m looking forward to doing more of these.
A young hippie couple showed up. The boy knew Sandman from years ago at a show in Minnesota, and only attended the event at Kitzel’s because it was free, because the Food Not Bombs cart was parked outside, and because when he saw Sandman all those years ago, something moved him. Similarly, when he heard what my book was about, he got inspired to explore it. They didn’t have or buy a copy but they were so respectful I said they could come anyway. The whole time, the adorable little hippie chick with him just kept giggling at all the mystic winks inside The Tree.
A very shy and sheltered woman from Wisconsin flew in just to attend the talk, the walk and my performances at The Oly Music Awards. She stayed at Fertile Grounds Guesthouse and was so moved by the experience that afterwards she flew home and promptly began making plans to relocate to Olympia.
Rebeca from Kitzel’s, who organized my event, came along and was a great participant; asked good questions, made insightful comments, generally got the book, and by extension, me. We’re working on putting together more events at Kitzel’s and she and I have graduated from acquaintances to friends.
There was a woman on the walk; someone who I’d known at KAOS, a fellow former DJ. As we descended from The Kether Seat to The Chokmah Mound, she told me how, at the station, in the months following my dismissal, she felt intimidated and bullied by station management not to say anything in support of me or Radio8Ball. As she put it, “It felt like anyone who had anything nice to say about you might lose THEIR show.”
Then there was the redhead; the girl who mistook me for a “good looking cool guy” instead of a nerd. She had quite a story to tell…
When our group got to The Circle Of Hod, she told how her wedding had taken place in The Tiphareth Gazebo, and when the marriage dissolved, their last BIG TALK was in the park, in the area between The Tiphareth Gazebo and The Circle of Netzach, or the path of “Death”. During this “big talk” I passed them on one of my runs. I think it was raining. She remembered this, as did I, but for different reasons. We have a past.
She used to live in The Martin with a guy whose apartment was the social hub of the building. I really liked this guy. He and his girlfriend seemed like a happy couple; welcoming the nerdy tenants of our strangely dorm-like hall-life, into their home for laughs and hangs. For me, those were the years of mending from the crushing disappointment of my divorce, and I cherished the social time with funny, smart people who were into the same nonsense I was.
Then one night the redhead came a knockin’ at my door. She asked if she could come in. I was always inviting myself over to their place so, to be polite, I said yes. She sat on the edge of my bed (my only couch) and told me she was having dreams about me. These “prophetic dreams” were bringing up big feelings for her. This is the condensed version as I heard it, sitting in my chair, at my desk, across from her. It actually took a very uncomfortable forty five minutes or more for her to say she was “falling for me”. I told her I was flattered but her boyfriend was my friend and I wasn’t interested. I also told her how much I enjoyed hanging out with them, and asked her not to make it uncomfortable for me. So, of course, she went home and told her boyfriend. After this I wasn’t invited back into their place for over a year.
Several years later, I was in Boston for my grandfather’s funeral, hanging out with a woman I was very interested in, someone who had, for a brief time, lived in The Martin in Olympia, just down the hall from me. It felt good and comfortable, sitting on her floor listening to records and smoking pot. We wondered why we never became friends in the building. I remembered her as being slightly uncomfortable around me, but kind of interested. Maybe? It turns out; when she moved in, a prominent local prison doula who lived in the building at the time warned her to be wary of me. The reason? The story the doula heard from the jealous boyfriend of the redhead who knocked on my door. In this version of the story, I was the dangerous seducer. The sexy, cool guy. Not the broken hearted nerd doing time in the suicide room who gets ostracized because of the misplaced affections of an imbalanced woman.
This is how Olympia treats my heart. The Tammy & Merwyn story isn’t much different. They thought I was this “good looking cool guy”, and I’m sure their intense feelings about me brought all kinds of heat to their relationship, but I’m really just a nerd, and they dog-piled me good. Because I’m in movies they watched as kids, or sing songs that moved them in their youth, or because I look like someone who does those jobs; they feel justified projecting their lust and disappointment, their shadows, onto me. It might be worth it to me if I got more of the perks of those professions but I enjoy none of the protections buttressing the celebrities these people are comparing me to in their minds. I’m a nerdy bartender in love with a magickal Tree in Olympia. A hermit jerking off on his own words and synchronicity. A prisoner in the free-est town on the west coast. Why? Because every month I get to hear a new version of the same old story about me, told by someone who never met me and already has the wrong idea about me based on something someone else said to someone else about things that never happened in the first place.
Which brings me back to the weekend of The Oly Music Awards. Despite, or perhaps because of, all the brutal social dynamics I have documented about this town, from time to time it elevates me. Usually at The Capitol Theater, and when it does it feels like heaven; The Transfused, The Spearhead Sound Hours Benefit, all those shows I played and recorded there, and now this…
I had no idea I was going to win or was even really up for an award, so when John Ford, who I believe was one of the architects of my persecution at KAOS, and who has certainly been vocal in trashing Radio8Ball to people around town as “not very good” and “not very popular”, had to stand there, amidst cheering fans, and give Radio8Ball an award for being both good and popular, well, it was my Bill Murray moment and I didn’t even know it was happening. I was in pre-show mode; hyper-focused on presenting The Pop Oracle but, in retrospect, this was my full moon miracle, my gift from Olympia, and the culmination of my book (or at least the movie of my book).
With my old traveling buddy, Sandman, at my side, and “Star-Burns” Dino Stamatopoulos (Community, Moral Oral, Mr. Show) Skype-ing in from Hollywood to remind us all how connected we are; with the accidental benediction of the moment of my re-awarding on that hallowed stage, and the energetic hum of my Treewalk still reverberating in the halls of my consciousness…the cameras rolled, and captured it Zapruder-style for dissection in the future, like now.
Time, as we experience it, does move on and, in the weeks following The Oly Music Awards, the world didn’t end or significantly shift, but mine did in all kinds of subtle ways; both shift and end, and shift again. Mostly more of the same boring hater-y bullshit and gloriously transcendental mischief making which I have proven to myself in this document is probably my trademark
“Today’s breakthrough is tomorrow’s ego trip”. – Something someone said at a Landmark Education event
My breakthrough/ego trip, at least the one encapsulated in the quote I chose to begin this post with, crescendo-ed when the redhead who knocked on my door asked me to meet up with her for a walk. I was, of course, wary. Whether she knew it or not, this woman was one of a series of ladies who have set me up to be attacked by their lovers, ostracized by my neighbors, and labeled as dangerous to potential friends and lovers. But she had been there at the talk and the walk, and even came up with a wicked inspiration to steal a bunch of Co-Op pencils for The Radio8Ball Show, which she did. The least I could do was meet her and hear what she had to say. I wasn’t going to tell her how much her sloppiness had hurt me but then she told me this story…
“I have dreams that are more than dreams. Sometimes they come true. Days later. Months. Years. But I always know the difference between these dreams and the normal dream-dreams. And you are in a lot of these dreams of mine. That’s what I was trying to tell you that time in your apartment.”
When she said this I tensed but tried not to show it.
“I was having these dreams with you in them that you were unaware of but I knew they were real. It was really disorienting, and obviously not great for my relationship. His idea of an open relationship was him having sex with me and another woman. Anyway, I tried to understand my dreams by studying dream psychology and picked up some books from The Evergreen library. One of these really spoke to me and on the second or third chapter the author starts talking about this little kid named Andras, which kind of freaked me out so I looked at the author’s name and bio and…it was you father.”
She’s talking about “The Dream Poet”; my father, Richard Matthew Jones’, book about the dream seminars he led at Evergreen in the 1970’s.
“Do you remember how G (her boyfriend from The Martin) and me went to India for six months? Well, when we were there we were in the middle of this marathon argument, and you were a part of it. You know how when you’re arguing like that sometimes you just need to take a break? So we decided to just chill out and watch a movie. So we’re watching this weird horror film, the only thing that’s on, and it’s you!”
She’s talking about “The Attic Expeditions” from 2000; a film whose plot has grown more and more to resemble my life in the last few years. It’s about a man who writes a magickal book and then loses his mind, with the help of a nefarious cabal of mind-fuckers.
I couldn’t argue with her, these were some serious syncs. Add to this, Will Morgan’s theory, based upon his dissection of the films in which I have acted; that I synchromystically resonate with the archetype of the redhead, or as he calls her, The Scarlet Woman, and I was almost ready to believe.
“I know from your book that you know something about dreams and magick and I was wondering if you could suggest anyone that I could work with to better understand what is happening with me and these dreams. Not just about you, but the whole phenomenon that I’ve been trying to deny since I was a kid.”
I suggested someone who I know from my time in the Seattle psychic community, and I hope she followed up on it, but I had to get away from this woman as fast as possible. Her hunger for me or whatever I symbolized to her was too great for me to take on. She asked me if I knew anything about “psychic vampirism” and its connection to Olympia as I was leaving. I said I didn’t and she invited herself back to my place. If I were a “good looking cool guy” I’d know what to do with this kind of attention; either shut it down, or invite it, or manipulate it to my ends, but as I keep saying, I’m a nerd, and interactions like these just leave me feeling abused.
Now it’s June 15th, one year from the walk that initiated Accidental Initiations and Radio8Ball is gearing up to go into a new phase of production. As the intended host and, therefore, star of this show, I’d better start getting OK with this good looking cool guy mask. I hope you know, I’m only doing it for your benefit. I’d much rather geek out on synchronicity with the nerdy kids down the hall.
This feels like the beginning of the end of the movie.
First, I was voted into The Oly Music Awards as a solo artist. I was the only actual solo artist on the bill at The Northern that night. All the other “solo” artists were duos or people playing with bands or recorded tracks.
I was doing all this to promote my book, but performing music in front of an audience again…it felt good and alive, and a lot deeper than when I put it down after my divorce in 2003. I also realized while playing these songs that Accidental Initiations is a key to understanding a lot of my music in a way that wasn’t possible before for anyone but me.
I’ve been syncing with Kendl Winter and her band The Blackberry Bushes all spring so it was great to have her sitting in with me on this old Beer Pressure song. Beer Pressure was a short-lived project I did with Sandman and Dan Kauffman.
These next two are my favorite new songs. If I was still doing this professionally I’d call them my singles.
This is an old song written with Chad Fischer.
I’m a huge Jon Brion fan. Not sure if I did this song from I Heart Huckabees justice but it was a blast doing it with Kendl.
If I was a smarter guy I’d sing this song every day.
The next day I took a group for a walk in The Tree…More on this in the next post.
This was one of the questions submitted to The Pop Oracle at The Radio8Ball Show on May 5th, 2012 at The Capitol Theater in Olympia, Washington. It wasn’t chosen during the event but, seeing as it was a response to the question I asked to open the festivities, I figured I’d answer it here.
My question went as follows (from my notes)…
“Revolutions eat their children and I was born on the front line of the sexual revolution. My family pulled up to Olympia 1969. My father a founding faculty member at The Evergreen State College, my mother one of the first wave of Evergreen feminists who would be re-born two and a half decades later as the riot grrrls, who didn’t like me much. You can’t blame them but I did, and I made a lot of art about it, and a lot of noise about it, and then about two and a half years ago, in an alchemical ritual which I document in my book “Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree Of Olympia”, I married myself and all of a sudden all those qualities which I had previously thought of as my nasty masculine traits were shot through with what can only be described as a divine cuntish essence that made me realize that I was a male riot grrl. Now, if you are a riot grrl I’m not trying to co-opt your thing or join your club. I’m just coming out as what I am, which brings me to my question. It’s not whether a man can be a riot grrl. I know that one can, because I am. As that divine cuntish essence likes to say, “You don’t need a pussy to be a riot grrl anymore than you need a dick to do, well, anything.” So my question isn’t, can a man be a riot grrl but can you, my fellow Olympians handle a man who’s a riot grrl?”
The answer was “Sugar Bank Hank” from Sandman: The Rappin’ Cowboy.
Sugar Bank Hank
Sugar Bank Hank she’s a real good gal
I’m her boo and she’s my pal
Leave a message on my phone
As you can tell I’m not at home
I’m with the Sugar Bank Hank
She’s my honey bee
We’re down at the swamp with the Spanish Moss
Wrapped around our knees
Oh, let the barefoot trees come runnin’
Let the barefoot trees come runnin’
Let the barefoot trees come runnin’ back to me
Sugar Bank Hank she’s a real good friend
She’s gonna love me ’til the end
Have one baby, maybe ten
Go to heaven, start again
Oh, Sugar Bank Hank
She’s my honey bee
We’re down at the swamp with the Spanish Moss
Wrapped around our knees
Oh, Sugar Bank Hank
Sweet as a honey bee
We’re down at the swamp with the Spanish Moss
Wrapped around our knees
Let the barefoot trees come runnin’
Let the barefoot trees come runnin’
Let the barefoot trees come runnin’ back to me
I took this love song from Sandman to his wife to mean that; as long as the love my inner marriage generates in me is true, it doesn’t really matter what the neighbors think. It’s a bank of sweetness that I can draw on whenever I wish. I also liked the stuff about swamp and the Spanish moss. It made me think of the lotus flower; a symbol of enlightenment.
So, what does “cuntish” mean?
You know when a guy does something that betrays his sensitivity and a woman or another guy calls him a “pussy”? Well, it’s the opposite of that. Like if the guy who had been denigrated as a pussy rose up and cut the accuser to the quick with the withering authority of your grandmother taking you down a peg? That’s cuntish and strong, like that muscle membrane that catapults life into being. A pussy gets fucked. A cunt has been fucked and is ready for dinner. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a pussy. We all get fucked some time, but when you grow up and “own your lips, girl” it’s a cunt, full of power and blood. I suppose it’s similar to the difference between a dick and a cock, but the mystery is always so much more profound in the genital consciousness of others. Perhaps this is why focusing on the sacred other unlocks something in our own holy of holies. For me, at least today, it feels like I draw more vital energy from my inner (and possibly imagined) cunt than from my outer (and thoroughly real) cock. I wouldn’t trade either for a girlfriend or a million dollars.
So, when I speak of a divine cuntish essence I guess I’m talking about grandma energy, if grandma was an unbridled hellion wearing a man suit named Andras Jones.
(Check back for a full report on R8B at the Oly Music Awards soon. In short. It was awesome, magickal and Radio8Ball won an award.)
That’s my producer, Linda Balaban, asking me about the corps of energetic sensitives who I envision surrounding Radio8Ball like a cloak full of space. In a show chock full of easy-to- grasp and difficult-to-explain concepts, The Sacred Ushers are probably the most inscrutable element. On the surface they seem like Jedi-fashioned Vanna, and Manna, Whites (It’s a co-ed project) but what they actually do is hold the energetic space for Radio8Ball’s participants.
We do some pretty sloppy magick on Radio8Ball. It’s a rock and roll variety show after all. The bands are out of their element; interacting with naked synchronicity and all these people onstage with them. The celebrities are generally a bit confused; Skypeing onto our stage from their own celestial orbit. The audience are often dubious and/or stoned, and I’m usually so distracted (pulling it all together before and after) and focused (during the show) that I often come across like some kind of drowning monk, “impassioned and detached “(as Pete Townshend would say). Amidst all this jagged energy, we endeavor to engage The Pop Oracle. Though the venue be profane, our intent is sacred. This is where The Sacred Ushers come in.
I see these energy artists as mystic camp counselors who keep the vibe high while the rest of us crazies run around exploring sync. I mean, we do kind of psychically sucker-punch our audience and our guests. They come out for a show, often as fans of the musician or celebrity, or friends of mine, totally unprepared for the confronting rewards of engaging The Pop Oracle, and we just uncork that shit and see what happens. If someone has an intense reaction, it’s nice to have some healer-types around.
It’s not just a concept either. We’ve experimented with utilizing the esoteric talents of witches, reiki workers, mystics, magicians, somatic healers, self-proclaimed shaman and whores. The results have been mixed. When it works, the energy at the shows is off the charts. Yet, without the solid structure of financial stability or a long tradition to hold things together, organizing sensitive people who are attuned to higher vibrations can be as frustrating as herding the proverbial cats. And like cats, if you’re a cat person, the rewards of their presence justify the necessary concessions.
Name, location and number changes are de rigueur for Sacred Usher types, as are bouts of extended non-communication from artist types like myself. While we’ve been developing Radio8Ball for TV, the live and radio shows have been on hiatus, and I’ve been hermitting with my book, so I’ve lost touch with most of The Sacred Ushers from previous seasons. Now I’ve got, what feels like the most important Radio8Ball show in our 14 year history on Saturday, May 5th at The Oly Music Awards at The Capitol Theater with Sandman: The Rappin’ Cowboy, and I’ve got no Sacred Ushers. In a town like Olympia, I know the talent is out there but I have yet to find anyone for the upcoming ritual…er…I mean show. I trust that, either the beings I desire will emerge or I won’t require them this time.
If you or someone you know feels the tug of inspiration when I say the words, “Holding space for The Pop Oracle”, then maybe you’re a Sacred Usher. And if you live in Olympia, I’m easy to find.
This collection of posts is intended to document my experience of Accidental Initiations. Mostly, it’s about The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia but it’s also about what happens to me when I reveal it. I’ve called this the third act of the film; the part that brings everything together, and it can only do so after everything falls apart; the hero’s best friend is killed, the couple we’re rooting for breaks up, the rag-tag band of rebels appear to be overwhelmed by whatever evil force they are confronting. Faced with impossible odds, our protagonists must find an inner reserve of strength and inspiration to overcome whatever stands between them and their goal.
If this is the third act of Accidental Initiations, then the initiating incident was the release of the book, the unveiling of the magickal item which is The Kabbalistic Tree Of Olympia, and my “naming names” at KAOS, The Olympia Film Society, The Olympia Food Co-Op & Works In Progress.
So, what has happened? For once, let’s start with the positive, shall we?
As we often find in traditional third acts, unlikely allies arise. Characters who were barely visible on the periphery of the story suddenly join the fray and shift the fortunes of the seemingly doomed protagonist. In my case, one Jabi Shriki, chief organizer of the first annual Oly Music Awards. I became marginally aware of Jabi this winter when I was accompanying Scott Taylor and my old friend Shmushkin to open mikes around Olympia (It Can’t get No Worse). When Scott and Elizabeth broke up, he moved his heartbroken ass in with Jabi. While I appreciated this man for coming to my friend’s aid, I was too wrapped up in finishing my book to pay much attention to new acquaintances.
China Starr (who has already made several unnamed appearances in this sequel blog) initially told me about The Oly Music Awards when she was asked to host. She said I should submit my stuff but I was skeptical. This town is notoriously cliquey and bitchy when it comes to its music scenes, and I had no reason to trust that this event would be produced with significantly more integrity than any of the other manipulated popularity contests this town likes to pretend are participatory community projects. More often than not the people who succeed in our music scene are cultivated amateurs who dress like rock stars and turn their noses up at the nerds who actually care about their instruments. They remind me of high school jocks making fun of the kids who read for fun. This is what came up for me when China initially mentioned it but, as she explained the lengths to which the organizers were going to ensure that the Oly Music Awards would be inclusive and respectful, I began to get intrigued, first about the event, but also… who were these organizers?
The Oly Music Awards were scheduled for May 5th, 2012 at The Capitol Theater. That’s 5-5-5 for all you numerologists out there. I’d been experiencing some interesting syncs with the number 5 (Eat My Shorts) and, inspired by this, I thought it might be cool to submit The Radio8Ball Show as an experimental singer-songwriter showcase. I saw the coincidence of my book’s release and the voting for inclusion in the event as an opportunity worth pursuing. I talked the voting link up on a couple of podcasts on which I was interviewed about AI (Thanks 42 Minutes & Type 1 Radio!) and posted about it here. This inspired people from all over the world; fans of my music, or my movies, or Radio8Ball, to take time and vote for us online. (Thanks fans!)
A few of my music fans encouraged me to submit myself as a solo performer as well and, as an afterthought I did. I liked the way Jabi was conducting the review process. Yes, there were fan votes (in other words, a popularity contest) but they were also doing blind reviews with judges from all over the region. Judges would receive a demo with no name attached to it and review from there. I also like that judges only voted on categories they felt fluent in. I was curious if my music would make the cut if no one knew who I was, so I submitted two songs, “Mystery Behind” and “Politics Will Get You Gigs”. Both from before my divorce in 2003, when making and performing music was the all and everything of my existence. Between 1989 and 2003, I put out five CD’s with my band, The Previous, four solo, and wrote hundreds of songs, the demos of which currently fill up a hard drive in my apartment. When my marriage ended, it felt like the part of me that cared about getting up on stage and singing my muse for those rare and enthusiastic followers who dared brave the shitty establishments I mostly played in, just gave out. I kept writing and playing in my room but I was happier not sharing this part of myself with the fans who I kind of doubted existed anyway.
When the voting results came out I turned out to be a big winner. Radio8Ball was a top vote-getter and we were scheduled to appear at the awards show at The Capitol Theater on May 5th. I also ended up winning as a solo performer, and was invited to appear at the solo showcase at The Northern on May 4th (the same night as my Q & A about AI at Kitzel’s Deli). When I spoke with Jabi I told him I didn’t want to overwhelm the event and didn’t need to perform at the solo showcase, but he was having none of it.
“Your song, Mystery Behind was one of the best submissions and the judges really liked it… I really want you to do this as a solo performer AND as the host of Radio8Ball.”
He explained that I wasn’t the only performer appearing on both nights, pointing to Kendl Winter, who will be performing solo, and as part of The Blackberry Bushes. Interestingly, I’ve been having some crazy syncs with Kendl the last few months; running into each other in the strangest places, and of course, my being asked to join The Blackberry Bushes onstage at The Olympia Ballroom to release my book. This, and Jabi’s enthusiasm for me as an artist convinced me to say, “fuck it, let’s put on a show” and not worry that some people are going to be mad at me for being there at all, let alone all over the fucking bill. Yee-haw!
I’ve been working out a set of mostly new material for May 4th at The Northern, and gathering some great musicians, celebrities, visionaries and sacred ushers for The Radio8Ball Show at The Capitol Theater on May 5th. I’m glad to have something creative to focus on that’s positive, because every day since the book came out I seem to be engaged in some controversial wrangling or another with people who don’t like Accidental Initiations because of things I say, and in some cases don’t say, about them in it. The most interesting (to me at least) controversies are recounted in my last couple of posts. And as much as I’m trying to have fun with it, these encounters are a drain on me and on those with whom I am deeply connected. The sacred whore and I had our first argument in a while, the day after I posted “A Narcissistic Misogynist With A Persecution Complex”, because she couldn’t support my “dharma” (her word). My conflicts, and the energies they evoke, have never set well with her. Much as I love this woman, she is with another man now, and I have my own poetic battles to meet with gusto and verve. I can’t curb my enthusiasm to meet her energetic needs, any more than she can always be there for me the way I’d like. If all I’ve learned from this whole process is that, it’s probably worth it.
That was three long weeks ago. (I have no sense of time anymore.) The sacred whore came up again this week, though not in the flesh or on the phone, just in written memory; as part of the background of my recent conflict with the editors at Reality Sandwich who agreed, and then declined, to run an excerpt from Accidental Initiations on their site. Posting my piece about this conflict (Own Your Lips Girl) felt like the energetic nadir of this whole affair. I stick by what I wrote but it didn’t feel good to put it out there, knowing that if it had any effect it would be negative at first, before turning potentially positive in the future. As I told my editor, Alan Abbadessa-Green, “I think this medicine is good but it tastes like medicine.”
Last night I got a call from Jabi. It seems that, as I intuited, some people don’t like my inclusion in the Oly Music Awards as a performer, or as the host of Radio8Ball, and he’s been having to deal with flack about me. I was afraid he was going to say, as have the representatives of plenty of other Olympian organizations, that they can’t work with me because of the difficulties I create for those vocal individuals who simply don’t like me. Luckily, Jabi isn’t a coward or a wanna-be insider, and I think he just genuinely digs my music. I can relate to this. Many’s the time I brought musicians to town who raised the ire of Olympia’s prudish snobs. The intense reactions these artists evoked only made me support them that much more enthusiastically. I used to be surprised when other promoters didn’t feel the same sense of duty to the artists they presented, but I learned to accept that those who care as I do about the music and the musicians are not the norm but the outliers. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself the beneficiary of Jabi’s artistic fortitude and integrity in supporting me. I’m sure he’s getting it from all sides in this town, populated as it is by a loudly whispering minority of boring haters. And not just on my account, but because he is trying to do something awesome. Intolerable!
As I look around I’m noticing more friends and allies coming into focus. Among the nasty shouting and name-calling a few honorable men and women who are inspired by the potential of our shared awesomeness despite, but not apart from, the boring haters, have emerged into view. Will Morgan, who created “Dream Sequence” at the top of this post? I didn’t know him in 2011 and he’s probably put in at least fifty, maybe a hundred hours watching and then editing the films and TV shows I’ve been in, to create what he claims is only the first of series of sync films exploring my work. Alan Abbadessa-Green seems like a friend from high school and I’ve only known him since August. And what about those almost too sexy for bluegrass Blackberry Bushes, who seem to have synchronistically swept me up into their good energy whenever I’ve been relaxed enough to let them? Oh, and I’m not just talking about Jes and Kendl. That whole band looks like they were cast for TV. Pretty, pretty people, who can also play the shit out of their own, and each other’s, instruments. As I begin these appreciations, the list just grows and grows. That fierce mama cat Erin Riordan from Sweet Lily Salon in Seattle, who tends my mane and keeps believing in me to the tune of free $50 haircuts every six weeks for years now. I’m not even talking about my Hollywood allies who are trying to help me make good on the possibility of Radio8Ball for the whole wide world; Balaban. Wisely. Blau. And the fans. Shit, I actually have fans. I am a fan, so I can relate to that. I want to be awesome for all ya’ll.
On the phone last night Jabi seemed to be keeping his spirits high and his intentions true. He inspires me to rise to the occasion. I intend to honor this man as he has honored me. Get ready for some BIG magick the first weekend in May! I’d say, “don’t miss it” but if the magick is as big as I intend, missing it won’t be an option.
Before I was born my grandparents, who were young then (younger than me now) were called names like “Jew” and “Communist”. It was true. They were, but what people meant when they spat these monikers in my youthful elders’ direction, was not accurate. My grandparents were “Jews”, in that they were Jewish, but they didn’t control Hollywood or the banking business or kill babies or Jesus, or even keep kosher, which is what the people who railed against them railed against. As “Communists” they were basically good American liberals. They believed that everyone should have health care and a minimum wage and access to education and legal representation. They had no interest in enslaving humanity or incinerating American families in nuclear clouds, as their McCarthy-ite accusers imagined. They were, as far as I was concerned, grandparents. Grandpa rode his bicycle and worked with lasers and computers at MIT. Grandma tended her garden and kept an endless stream of food on the table. They shared a fondness for nerds from India, who were always hanging around talking physics and politics, but mostly food. Pretty sweet, right? But by some people’s standards; the people who painted a swastika on their door in the 80’s, for example, my grands were some brand of devils.
I guess I’m a devil too. Nobody that I know calls me a “Jew” or “Communist”. They call me “a sexist”, “a misogynist”, “a domestic abuser”. My beloved Mirah once compared my version of Liz Phair’s “HWC” to “rape” onstage during a Radio8Ball show. Even my best friend, Shmushkin, has been labeled a “pedophile” by my accusers. Some of this is “true”. I am a sexist, born and raised in a sexist society, by and around women who had no patience for it. I’m trying to make the most of this poison in me to dismantle sexism in my world and in my time; not for women, or even for my fellow men, just for myself, and for future generations who I deign to think will be more like me than those who today accuse me of sexism.
The boring haters who are currently accusing me of “domestic abuse” have never been in a domestic situation with me so they are basically full of shit, but they are synchronistically onto something. My experience with domestic violence is that the women in my life wish I was more “abusive”, in bed, and less abusive in my being. My own abuse of self sometimes spills over to my lovers and leads to something that looks a lot like domestic abuse; intense lovers’ quarrels where the energy borders on, and sometimes spills over to, physicality from both parties. When this happens only one party is always wrong; the man. I agree with this. Karma’s a bitch. We may not deserve it but sensitive men of this time must accept that there are certain lines we will never be able to cross, which is what the “Cunt Punch” chapter in my book is about. If there is one reason I choose to live alone and uninvolved with a physical sexual partner at this time, it’s that I have yet to find a passionate loving relationship that doesn’t bring with it a dangerous and potentially violent shadow side. And anything without that hungry tug isn’t really worth engaging, is it? Whether it’s me bringing this darkness into my bedroom, or the hyper-literate sexual revolutionaries I am attracted to; I feel it’s my responsibility to unravel it for myself before engaging another human women; for her sake, for my own, and for my neighbors. So, my accusers are correct, but they have it all wrong.
This is the psychic brew I was steeping in when I found myself embroiled in yet another controversy or, as I am calling them “accidental initiations” connected with my book. A selection from Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree Of Olympia was going to run in Reality Sandwich; an online magazine overseen by Daniel Pinchbeck, and devoted to the transformation of consciousness “bite by bite”. I’ve written for them before and given them lots of free advertising on Radio8Ball. Daniel is one of the many guru lovers of the sacred whore from my book. According to my philosophy of Honor Among Men this makes us tribe. Sadly, instead of engaging this bond we’ve been acting like the worst kind of masculine cunts. Having shared the same snatch for a spell, we clearly have each other’s stink in our snouts, and we are bound to fight or fuck or flee or…be friends?
Jen Palmer, my fellow Sync Book author, recently found herself at the center of this archetypal conundrum which, I am almost sure, is someplace she has no desire to be. And yet, here she is; another woman suffering the egos of two limp gorillas. Not that she isn’t an active participant in the drama. During the Sync in The City event in NYC in February Jen delivered a long talk on the syncs she was experiencing around The Rolling Stones “lips logo” and images of Kali; the Hindu goddess of birth and destruction. A video of this talk exists somewhere on the east coast of the U.S. and will eventually find its way to the internet. My memory of the presentation is vague and potent. I’m looking forward to re-watching it on video now that so many syncs around it have been revealed. (Hey Alan Green & Kevin Halcott! Get on that shit will ya?)
When I returned home from the NYC event I found myself increasingly obsessed with The Stones music. In general I’m more or a Who, Beatles guy, but the last few months it’s been all Stones. I listened to the book on tape of Keith Richards’ autobiography. (I didn’t know he dated Ronnie Spector.) I watched all the film footage of The Stones I could get my hands on. Mostly I danced and sang in front of my altar to songs like “Bitch”, “Street Fighting Man”, “Gimme Shelter”, “Happy” and that most “evil” of all songs “Brown Sugar”. Kali-esque! I unleashed my inner cunt in this music the way girls have for decades. I didn’t connect the resurgence of my interest in The Stones with Jen Palmer’s talk until the events of the past week. Now, as with all after-the-fact syncs, the connection seems so obvious and I seem stoopidly slow in recognizing it, even though I also appear to be the first to point it out (much to the chagrin of those who would prefer I didn’t.)
RS= Rolling Stone; beginning with the Muddy Waters song from the 50’s,
then the band that Brian Jones founded in England in the early 60’s,
then the Bob Zimmerman song from ’66,
then Jan Wenner’s magazine featuring Hunter S. Thompson ,
and then Reality Sandwich founded by Daniel Pinchbeck.
Although my work has appeared in Reality Sandwich before, and Daniel had already gracefully acquiesced to running an excerpt from Accidental Initiations in RS, I was letting Jen shepherd my piece through the editorial process. I liked the idea of supporting the connection between Sync Book Press and Reality Sandwich, and I saw Jen’s relationship to both as being perfect for everyone. Also, I am cagey about dealing too much with Daniel. Other than a couple of conversations we had when he was courting my sacred whore girlfriend, he has a way of being that makes everything he says seem like a putdown. At least that’s the way I experience it. I think this actually works for him as a writer and invests his voice with an audacity and impatience I appreciate, but with our history, sometimes it seems easier not to engage him directly. Now I wish I had.
Sadly, Jen wasn’t really on her game as an editor that week and she waited to read the excerpt they were going to run until the night before it was due to hit the site. This, despite giving me her personal assurances that there would be no problem running it. When she finally read it she had problems with the excerpt from the “Cunt Punch” chapter, in which I get hit in the face by a woman who I made the blessed mistake of calling a “cunt”. Despite my frustration with her lack of professionalism and the way it messed with our promotional schedule, I was immediately intrigued with the sync between Jen’s reaction to my book and her talk at the Sync In The City event. So I wrote her an e-mail, one sync-head to another, pointing out the humor and, perhaps, the hypocrisy of invoking the cuntiest goddess of all time (Kali) and the biggest musical misogynists of their era (The Stones), and then clamping her mind like a chastity belt around the language in my book. In this late night e-mail (which probably should never have been sent) I urged her to “Own your lips girl!”
The next morning she wrote back; accusing that phrase of constituting “harassment”. Within a couple of hours my e-mail made the rounds at Reality Sandwich, with Jen repeating her “harassment” accusation against me. By 10am, a tersely worded e-mail from Daniel Pinchbeck himself informed us that Reality Sandwich would have nothing further to do with someone as “aggressive” and “insulting” as me.
Of all the things I’ve been called of late, these two are the most accurate. I am aggressive. These are desperate times, if not for the world; then for me personally. I’m at that age where you’ve got to wonder how much more juice you’ve got in you artistically, especially when you’re someone who works mostly in obscurity, on the far periphery of pop culture where poverty is a way of life. I’ve unleashed an aggressive part of myself with Accidental Initiations, and she is on a creative roll. Insulting? Toward a synchromystic poseur like Jen Palmer? Absolutely! A big sisterly, “own your lips girl” to her and anyone else who insults those who have genuinely been harassed; invoking that word just to get the upper hand on a colleague. My inner cunt loves to insult censorious prudes like Pinchbeck and his worshipful counter-culture cronies, always wondering why they won’t simply dance with us.
I have to work very hard to mitigate this bitch inside of me. Dancing to the Stones seems to help. Got to remember I have a man’s face and a man’s desires, and these are even scarier to my sisters than they are to me. I’m still a monkey man who, on some level, desires nothing more than power. I could have it if I let my inner She run the show, but at what cost? Kali knows. I’m not sure I want to. Now I guess I have to.
So, here I am again, accused of being some kind of dangerous man, specifically to women, when no women have been hurt by my actions. There is simply an editor in NYC who made a professional mistake, and got a sync-y late night e-mail with some intense Stonesian language in it. Rather than cop to her mistake like a professional and move on, she decided to get right by making me wrong, and bad. A bad, bad man. In the mean time, her boss; a man who enjoyed the affections of my sacred whore girlfriend, and has himself been erroneously accused of sexism in the past, is sending me pissy e-mails from the Global Love School in the hinterlands of Portugal as if I actually am the villain Jen claims. If I weren’t used to this kind of thing, it could really freak me out. How’d you like to be called a “harasser” and blacklisted by a well-known writer who fucked your girlfriend, while your first book is fending for its life in the counter-cultural marketplace? Luckily, I’ve been through this kind of thing before. Olympia has trained me well.
It is tempting to see these two manifestations of my shadow (Jen & Daniel) as villains. They are definitely being dickish or cuntish, depending on what second chakra word you choose to use to demean people who lack integrity and blame others for their inadequacies. You know? What I’m doing here (until I figure out how to do something else).
When people who I respect and feel connected to get this kind of weird with me, it has a strange effect. I get inspired, and the flip side of inspiration is obsession. So, here I find myself obsessed and inspired by this interaction. I may not be a harasser but I am definitely stalking the sync beyond what is generally considered polite. I am determined to unlock the energy in it.
Byte by byte?
At first, I was thinking Sync Book Press should organize some kind of debate. It would be hilarious! If Daniel or Jen debated me on the use of the word “cunt” in Accidental Initiations? Two men debating the word “cunt”?!? Or even worse/better, me debating a woman on the use of the word? It’s Andy Kauffman-esque. From his wrestling women days.
I think my mind went in that direction because I desired some kind of human interaction with my accusers. Everything that has gone down between me and my old allies at Reality Sandwich happened by e-mail. It’s easy to write someone off this way, like dropping a bomb from above the clouds. Not so easy, for either of us, when we have to look at our target and feel their humanity in the same room with us.
At the urging of my friend and editor, Alan Green (in the form of an anecdote about The Who at The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus in ’68 – you know the one?) I turned my inspiration away from direct engagement with the fragile folks at RS and toward my art. Within a day, I had a new song. It’s a Stonesian droning blues, with a snakey riff I’ve been noodling with for months. Once I knew what it was about, the lyrics came fast and deep. Jagger-style falsetto oo’s and big-mouth’d English twang make it a blast to sing, and the title is something I think Keith Richards, maybe even Brian Jones, would be proud of; “Reality Muffin (Own Your Lips Girl)”.
For the first time in years I wish I had a band.
The song is already embedded in Will Morgan’s first synchromystic exploration of my acting oeuvre.
I sent a copy of the acoustic demo to Daniel and Jen in an effort to raise our quarrel to a more creative level. Daniel called it more “harassment”. Jen didn’t respond. I’m not giving up on these folks, but I am also a little less obsessed with them and this issue, and more intrigued with the syncs, and the resulting art and alchemy they generated. I love playing this fresh new song, its arrival coinciding with my inclusion as a musician AND as the host of Radio8Ball in the upcoming Oly Music Awards at The Capitol Theater in Olympia, Washington on May 5th, 2012.
This is going to be a weekend of firsts and returns.
Friday, May 4th at 7pm I’ll be at Kitzel’s Crazy Delicious Delicatessen to discuss Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia and take questions from my supporters and detractors. This will be the first opportunity for an in-person discussion of my book, and even the boring haters are invited.
Friday, May 4th at midnight I’ll be appearing at The Northern in Olympia as part of the Oly Music Awards. This will be my first live appearance performing my own music in Olympia since my divorce in 2003.
Saturday, May 5th at Noon I will lead the first group walk of The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia. Anyone who has a copy of my book is welcome to join me. (Please get in touch at the e-mail at the bottom of this post to confirm your participation.)
Saturday, May 5th at The Oly Music Awards at the Capitol Theater at 9pm Radio8Ball returns to Olympia for the first time since my troubles at KAOS where I was actually harassed. This will be only my second appearance on the hallowed boards of The Capitol Theater since my rude dismissal from OFS back in ’04. (The first, being; accompanying Sandman: The Rappin’ Cowboy, when he performed at the Obama inaugural event in 2008.) I’m talking with some super cool guests for this show and am determined to make it as positive and transformational as the situation allows. Check back next week for more details on this event.
Things are shifting and I know it’s making some people, including myself, a little uncomfortable, but mostly I like it. Yeah, it’s only rock and roll but I like it. Yes I do.
Reality Muffin (Own Your Lips Girl)
You called on Kali and Kali called you back
but you wouldn’t pick up the phone
You called on Kali and Kali called you back
but you pretended that you weren’t home
Ooooo – You got to own your lips girl
Ooooo – What you say
Now you’re the victim and I’m the bad man
and you got control
but I ain’t no victim and you’re no bad man
Just fillin’ yo hole
Ooooo – You got town your lips girl
Ooooo – What you say (Reality)
Ooooo – You got town your lips girl
Ooooo – What you say (Reality)
You called on Kali and Kali called you back
but you pretended that you weren’t home
You called on Kali and Kali called you back
but you wouldn’t pick up the phone
Ooooo – You got town your lips girl
Ooooo – What you say (Reality)
Ooooo – You got town your lips girl
Ooooo – What you say (Reality)
Try some reality.
That’s my reality…muffin.
Like every song I’ve ever written, it’s going to end up being all about me. It’s the devil’s bargain of rock and roll. Whatever insult Pinchbeck and Palmer suffer at the hand of my muse will be nothing compared to what it costs me. Even as I write this, my phone is ringing, The Stones are doing “Fingerprint File” from 1974’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll” album, and my heart is filled with fear, as I just let it ring.
They’re Heeee-re! The books, the first pilgrims, and the boring haters.
The books arrived this morning. Fifty of them. Ready to be delivered into the hungry little hands and curious minds of my fellow Olympians. They smell delicious. This weekend (March 30th) I’ll be making “Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree Of Olympia” available for the first time locally when I host The Blackberry Bushes and Dead Winter Carpenters at The Olympia Ballroom; a haunted venue featured in the book. We’re expecting some paranormal researchers from Bremerton to document the event, and I’ll even be slinging a couple of Radio8Ball divinations. I can’t imagine a better coming out party for my magickally-intended little tome.
This week has seen several visitors to Olympia. They came to ooh and ah over my galley copy of the book and walk The Tree. Dan Bern came through on his way to play a gig in Seattle. Brinke Stevens; my old cast-mate from Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama, and our mutual friend/fan; Rhonda Baughman, came for a visit, stayed at Fertile Ground and enjoyed their sojourn in The Tree. They all seemed moved by the experience and full of optimism that many more intrepid seekers will be drawn to this artifact in the coming months and years. Dan envisioned Olympia turning into a northwestern Sedona, complete with a floating vortex casino, Kabballah ballrooms, and lots of nick-nack shops selling maps of The Tree and, of course, copies of my book. It sounds a bit nightmare-ish to me, but also kind of awesome. That’s the way Dan’s poetic mind has always worked.
The boring haters showed up in between the pilgrims and the books. A couple of days ago, one of the characters from AI; Merwyn Haskett, walked out of its pages and took center stage on the Amazon review boards. He was the first to leave a testimonial. You can read it, and the corresponding kerfuffle, on my Amazon book page (while purchasing a copy or two in solidarity?). I just want to talk about the title of his review here. I have co-opted it as the title of this post.
“A Narcissistic Misogynist with a Persecution Complex”
While this kind of dramatic labeling of those we disagree with is nothing new in Olympia, in fact, it’s one of the negative patterns I take aim at in my book; I think we can have some fun dissecting the particular branding being directed at me and my book by Mr. Haskett.
It is true. Accidental Initiations is a deeply narcissistic book. It’s basically just me writing about myself and the things that have happened to me in and around The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia. When I’m not talking about myself I’m sharing my thoughts about the world. There is almost no listening in my book whatsoever. Just pages and pages of me writing. Perhaps if I had left some pages blank it would have created more room for others to express themselves. Now my oppressed readers have to write in the margins, or post on Amazon, if they want to get a word in edgewise. How do other writers solve this conundrum?
As for being a misogynist; it’s hard to prove a negative. I know I don’t consciously hate women. I suppose that, just like I could be a deeply closeted gay man, even though I’ve never had sex with a man and don’t plan to; I could be a very repressed misogynist who only thinks he loves and admires women as mentors, allies, friends, collaborators, sisters, and potential lovers. Misogyny is a pretty intense label. The hatred of women? I mean, sometimes I hate everyone. We all have our bad days. Sometimes I get annoyed at certain women, and even at some general patterns of behavior that some women fall into, such as, I don’t know, expecting men to pay for stuff, or having to pee all the time, but it certainly doesn’t rise to the level of hatred. There is an interesting question here. Will misogynists find comfort in my book? I would be surprised if they did. If I am a misogynist it’s a particularly femme-y goddess-loving brand of misogyny. Not exactly something Rush Limbaugh’s going to go for.
Now, when Merwyn says I have a persecution complex he is right. I got it from being persecuted. I was raised by people who were persecuted in Europe and America; as Jews and as Communists. This kind of thing shapes the way a person views the world, leading to a potentially more complex understanding of persecution than those who have been raised without the fear of genocides and blacklists informing the parenting they receive. Some of the things that have happened to me personally, first as a child in the Olympia school system, and then as an adult living in Olympia – things I write about in AI, have felt oppressive. Radio8Ball being taken off the air and lied about by KAOS administrators is a ready example, or the way Merwyn and his wife, Tammy, led a campaign of harassment against me that she confesses to in my book. There is even something persecutorial about Merwyn’s name-calling review, clearly posted with the intent of scaring people, particularly women, away from my book.
When Tammy T initially got in touch with me to try and make things right, eventually leading to the confession that lives at the center of AI, she told me she was doing so behind Merwyn’s back; I assume because he is the one who has a hard-on for me. And not in the good way. He has a long history of lashing out and posting negative things about me online; just like he’s doing with his review. I seriously doubt Tammy would have gotten into any of the mischief she confesses to in my book if he hadn’t goaded her into it, which is why she couldn’t tell him she was racked with guilt and needed, for her own sake, to make peace with me. For this reason, I’m kind of glad he outed himself this week. I really downplayed his role in AI because I didn’t want to invest any more energy in his direction than I had to. The truth is; he is a huge part of my accidental initiation, in that during the entirety of my practice with The Tree he has worked in the office directly across the street from The Capitol Lake dam, right before the Chokmah Mound. His offices used to be an old-school Kentucky Fried Chicken I loved to go to with my father when I was chicken-eating child. Now it’s some kind of administrative building and Merwyn is the receptionist, with a clear view of the lake from his desk. Every time I descend the stairs, after “emptying my cup” into the vortex/abyss, he is waiting there for me. I am very aware of him. I assume he sees me, has seen me over the years. Perhaps he has even wondered what I am up to (What’s he building in there?). Part of my meditation is to forgive him. It has to be. Otherwise I’d be consumed with hatred, and all my good work would be for naught. I’ve come to appreciate the influence his presence has had in deepening my practice with The Tree, and in developing my own reserves of wisdom and mercy. Don’t get me wrong. I would still like to punch him in the face. I just don’t allow myself to gnaw on that particular brain bone for very long before breathing it out.
I’ve been telling people that, if “Accidental Initiations” were a movie, the end of the book would only be the end of the second act. The third act begins now, and with it, a star is born! Originally cast in a minor role, Merwyn Haskett, has distinguished himself as a major player; the epitome of the boring hater. Who do you think should play him in the movie?
Note: I know it’s a tad hypocritical for me to take Merwyn to task for labeling me, and then cast him as a “boring hater”. I hope this is mitigated by the fact that, rather than inaccurately branding him as an anti-semite or an abusive boyfriend, labels which carry the sting of history. The label of “boring hater” is fresh and made up especially by me for him and his ilk. Also, it’s accurate. He is clearly a hater and I am unaware of him ever creating anything beautiful, just shitting on those who do. He’s already less boring to me now than he was before I wrote this.
I never intended to write this or any other book but the words started to flow and then a publisher found me, and they LOVE IT. It’s probably too intimate and (I am told) quite funny. What I know is that it is very present. So much so, you might even be in it, and if you aren’t you still might feel like you are.
Writing this thing has broken me in several ways, mostly good, but my bank account is basically empty and I could sure use your support. If you ever loved me or my music or my movies or Radio8Ball, please give this book a shot and tell your friends to do likewise. I need to sell about a thousand of ‘em to get out from under my current situation.
You can purchase the book from Createspace.com after 10:14pm (pst) tonight, when winter turns to spring by clicking on the book cover or this link.
In the mean time, if you’re feeling particularly flush and patronly, I invite you to send any amount over $20 to my paypal account (firstname.lastname@example.org – remove the dashes I put in the address to fool the spybots) and I’ll personally send the book to you (autographed) with some extras from The Previous vaults.