All entries in the society category

Subway Dreams

I’ve been reading quite a bit on the subway. I’m reading a third book in as many weeks. This is definitely one of the great advantages to taking public transit. What else does one have to do when sitting patiently for half an hour? I sometimes pine for my geeky self to be connected to the ‘net with an interface of some sort — it would be a little more proactive for me. But that choice will come, eventually. See how wireless interaction is already at our fingertips in major cities with cell phones. Too bad the subways aren’t wired. Although I do have reservations about wireless data streams radiating all over the place. Did you know that you can pass out if you stand right in front of a cell phone tower? Cell phones work on the same principles as microwave ovens.
But a book is still amazing. My favourite genres are sci-fi and sci-fact, so I’m often engrossed in the future history of some universe or another. But I’ll leave the “Teach Yourself to Speak Vulcan” to the real die-hards.

Amazing Book

So damn busy. Such a short life! That’s the way I’m feeling now. I’m trying to do as much as I can as efficiently as I can. But somehow, it’s still not enough. Isn’t that how many of us feel in our crazy world?
However, I am reading an absolutely amazing book right now, called Our Posthuman Future. I have time to read it on the subway every day. Francis Fukuyama is the author. This book talks about a lot of the heavy societal and political stuff I worry about, but it focuses on biotechnology and how it has and will affect us. The book is so well written, that I am having clear and definite glimpses of the future that are beyond things I could have come up with on my own. And I think about our society’s future a lot! The book made me realize that in any case, disasters or not, the future is both frightening and enlightening.
So how’s that for a must-read?

A Meeker Christmas Comes

In the last week, I had a little unplugged show here in Toronto, recorded and programmed drums for my buddy in Victoria, and went to a few Christmas parties. All fun. It seems that the general mood of Toronto is pretty good at the moment. People are buying things, which lifts the retailers’ spirits, and there aren’t any critical world news items upsetting the minds and moods of Joe and Jane Average.
It’s kind of nice, actually. No major stresses. But it looks like I will be hosting my entire family in my apartment for Christmas, which does introduce certain cleaning and decorating stresses.
Thankfully, this year my family members are only giving one nice gift to one single other family member, which was chosen randomly out of a hat. Let me tell you what a relief this was for me and for all other parties. I’ve heard more and more on the streets that people are really cutting back on the gift giving this year, too. A sign of where things are at economically, perhaps? The spirituality prevails, however. Nobody’s cancelling Christmas because they can’t afford gifts.

The World’s a Stage

Somebody told me I shouldn’t write in this blog about having a regular job while I’m an artist in the music business — it looks “less rock star like”.
Oh God.
Yeah, I’ve been told stuff like that before, or stuff like not to include any info about me as an audio engineer, or about anything that means I’m actually a human being with a life or with bills to pay. Well, whatever. I mean, there’s already so much bullshit floating around. Like calling my friend’s work (4 employees) and hearing the automated attendant say that the company is one of the WORLD LEADERS in internet service. Oh yeah? Can I shove some rocks in my brain while I listen to more?
On the other side of the coin (I’m so darn fair), it is true that some people simply do not want to know the truth about certain things. (See the first The Matrix movie for a cool conceptual story surrounding this issue.)
For example, I used to do a lot of audio mastering. You should have seen sometimes how my clients reacted when they found out I was only renting the mastering studio I was mastering their music in — that it wasn’t mine. They would suddenly lose respect for me: “Why would this guy be mastering our music out of somebody else’s studio? The owner must be the mastering guru, not this chump!” They wanted to believe that they were with the guru, not second-rate cheese ball (even though I had much more experience and ability than the owner at the time). So, should a person fake it for the sake of preserving pre-conceptions? Proponents of the strategy would say you’re simply omitting full information.
The world’s a stage…

A new friend and job-hunt comments

I met with Hamilton musician / man-about-town Bobby Hebert here a few days ago. I got to know him when I did this talent hunt thing some months ago. What a positive fellow! We hung out for a few hours, played each other our recordings, and ate vegetarian food from he and his wife’s Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. Deee-licious, it was. Bobby will probably be playing some bass on one of the new songs I’m working on before I leave for Toronto.
Tomorrow I go visit a temp agency I used to work for in order to try and land some work. Apparently they want to re-test me after my 3 year hiatus — as if I’ve forgotten how to type or something. That should take a half-day in itself.
What an ego-drain this whole work search thing has been these past months. It really does make you question who the hell you are, and what the hell you’re doing with your life. I suppose that’s what you get after selling your soul to rock ‘n roll. I have been under-qualified or over-qualified for everything out there. All of my similarly-aged friends have done the responsible thing and found responsible jobs for responsible futures. But so many of them also complain of not making enough money, and endlessly compare themselves to their big-buck-earning comrades like they’re in a competition. I have my fingers crossed for a superb opportunity I applied for at U of T coordinating volunteers for all the things I’m into: social justice, environment, and other minority movements. THAT would be something — a day job with a real purpose!

Extreme Makeover

OK, I saw “Extreme Makeover” for the first time on T.V. As do many other people, I was sort of shocked but couldn’t stop watching. I told my girlfriend, “You know, I used to read a lot of sci-fi. Some of those writers predicted this a long time ago”. I added that there’s still a lot of room for growth. There are many more predictions beyond “Extreme Makeover”. My favourite prediction is regarding personalized genetic mods. Imagine having cheetah or zebra skin instead of regular skin. Or imagine going to the local sex-change guru for an overnight gender overhaul just because you’re bored with being a guy. Sound outrageous? People would have thought that “Extreme Makeover” was impossible only 30 years ago.