Musings

Art for Art’s Sake?

For a while, I have been thinking that the walls of my rented place look a bit bare. I had a poke around IKEA and places like that but I’m not going to pay $50 for mass produced ‘art’. Then, my friend Walter Novak gave me a couple of his photographs – a beautiful shot of David Bowie, a ‘fan’ photo or two and a picture of my daughter he shot one evening recently. I framed them and hung them. But still – lot’s of white space. What to do? Over the Xmas holidays, my girlfriend and I were visiting Telc – a beautiful town here in the Czech Republic and we visited an art store. Suddenly, I realized you can actually buy real art for less than that mass-produced stuff

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Happy New Year

It is a funny thing, but I hate New Year’s Eve. Always have done. I could never quite understand the need to celebrate what is essentially just another day by getting drunk and letting off fireworks? Now, starting a New Year hung over. However, Happy New Year to you all! I spent New Year’s Eve at home watching Netflix – it was perfect. At midnight, we stood on my back balcony and watched and listened to what seemed to be the break out of a war that went on pretty much all night. It reminded me of visiting the main square in Prague several years back on New Year’s Eve. Hundreds of people – many drunk – letting off rockets and bangers everywhere. Through the clouds of acrid smoke, it

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Other Eyes

Sometimes I see things. Its been that way all of my life. Now, when I say ‘see’, I’m not sure this is an accurate description yet it is the only word I can use. I see and feel all at the same time and the two ‘senses’ are somehow merged as if one. As an example, a few months ago, as two friends and I stood within a stone circle close by the Scottish border, I ‘saw’ a lady step out from behind one of the stones and smile. Her hair was loose and flowing in the wind and she wore a flowing gown of sheer simplicity. As I mentioned to my friends “Oh, we have a visitor!” They both looked down the approach path expecting someone, well, physical. Then,

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An Immigrant and His Life – Walter Novak

Last week, I met my friend Walter Novak for a beer and a chat. Walter is a Czech-American that found fame in the US as a photographer and rightly so – he has a unique ability to find the photo. The topic of the conversation drifted to his life story and what he told me I think is very apt given the times that we live in. He left the former Czechoslovakia two-years after the velvet revolution. When he arrived in the USA, he could barely speak a word of English and he had to gain a green card of course. For a couple of years, he had two jobs mopping floors and he got up and demonstrated the movement that he perfected so well as he mopped for maximum efficiency.

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Someone is Listening

I got a report from Spotify this week. Apparently, my songs were listened to for a total of 14,000 minutes in 2018. OK – it’s only 9.72 days but, for an unknown guy in his late 50’s, I’m quite pleased. Spotify is only one place to hear my music – it’s available to and hopefully listened to on many other platforms like Deezer, iTunes, Amazon, Soundcloud, and Reverbnation to name a few. Someone is listening. In the run-up to Christmas, I treated myself to a couple of things to try to get my sound quality even better in 2019. I bought a pre-amp for the microphone to try to beef up vocal quality and a synth keyboard for better keyboard dexterity – I was using the QWERTY keyboard! Some of the

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My Personal Ecdysis

So strange That moment When you realize You never lived at all It was a life for sure But what was it all about? Strutting on life’s stage All sound and fury Yet signifying ‘not nothing’ Rather lived as expectation Being what you thought You should be But what do I want to be? Who am I really? I’ve masks upon masks So deep, I forget Which might be the real me I begin to peel Layer after sticky layer I peel so deep It really hurts And even now I’m unsure If I’ve reached the core Or, am confused myself As to where my skin Ends and really begins Have I reached my true insides? Is that why I’m feeling sore? I shed each skin And then begin To

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So You Think You Know Me?

One idea that constantly occupies some aspect of my thoughts is how transparent people really are. I can think of a couple of examples immediately and in each case, I confess I am often troubled and upset by it. It seems to me that these people believe they know me. They plainly have a picture of me in their mind. A sort of working model. The problem is is that while that picture may have my outer appearance, it is almost certainly a facet of themselves that occupies that outer form in their mind and yet, they do not know this. It makes for an endless source of irritation in our communications. It means that everything I ever say or do is seen against their expectations of how I will

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The Age of the Mantra

Those who know me will know that I’m a skeptic on CO2 being the primary driver around climate change. I’m called a ‘climate change denier’ despite the fact that I embrace the fact the climate changes. My ‘sin’ is to have some other opinions about why climate changes and despite, the mantras, there is a lot (and increasing) of scientists that share this view. However, this blog isn’t about climate change, it’s about mantras. You see, as soon as my position on climate change is known then I’m seen as a right winger. Again, those that know me will know that this isn’t at all true either. I’m a critical thinker and I have the confidence to hold my own options on almost every topic around which I have some

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Humanity Has Cataracts

A couple of years ago, I was rather shocked when my eye doctor told me I was developing cataracts. She wanted to schedule for for lens replacement and I said no…. I can see quite well and I am in no rush to have my eye lenses replaced via an operation thank you! Having said that, I am thinking of prescribing lens surgery for humanity at the moment. We all see the world in our own way. We are sort of programmed by our parents, the broader community we live in, our teachers, friends, peer groups, the news and so much more. We see the world through these layers of our own belief and operate this way unless perhaps we become aware of it. Once aware of this, some of

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Did We Not Learn?

I feel we may be on the verge of night As the darkness is slowly setting in Lying like a heavy, claustrophobic, blanket And that darkness conceals the sin Of the many who through despair, Or perhaps stupidity, have been drawn in It’s a bloody twilight, threatening us all It’s like a sickness or a plague Anger, resentment and hatred Perhaps, its simply frustration A lack of understanding and an ability to cope People losing their way, expressing lost hope Besieged daily with untruths Corrupt leaders striking popular poses They stink, but still smell like roses To their frightened adoring masses As they ratchet up the untruths Fingers on the hatred button Empty promises from a power glutton And as darkness slowly falls We despair for what had been The

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