Dead to the World

Dead to the world: Sound asleep or unconscious

“In the world you have tribulation.”

It is a statement attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, but it easily could become a populist favorite.

It’s an elongated version of “life sucks.”

Of course, if you understand the mindset of Jesus of Nazareth, he looked at the world and its philosophical approach as a comedy of errors performed by a calamity of fools.

Is there such a thing as the world outside the world?

Or is this world inside the world we live in?

I think the world is best defined as human beings trying to complicate matters in an attempt to look smarter.

Every time I hear someone say they’re going to organize their affairs, I realize what they’re trying to do is actually complicate them. Organizing should make you end up with less difficulty and smaller problems.

But that’s not the way the world thinks.

So if we’re going to hold a Presidential election, we require sufficient strife, controversy, scandal and brattiness to hold the attention of a public which has been taught that if there isn’t a struggle, then it really isn’t accomplishing anything.

I remind myself daily to be “dead to this world.”

  • Not sleepy, even though that’s nice.
  • Not checking out.
  • But being careful not to check in too frequently.

If you stay on the fringe, you can see the scenery.

That’s what I believe.

The deeper you move into the center of the circle, the more encircled you will become.

The world can be defined as life inhabited by grownups who remember that their parents looked miserable—and they are honoring the tradition.

Feel free to die to that kind of thinking and be resurrected to the joys of individuality, which may make you less famous, but will also prevent you from becoming infamous.

Blazer

Blazer: (n) a lightweight jacket, typically solid-colored

Dictionary B

In my high school days I was in a music group, a quartet of fellows who were very intrigued with the idea of being famous and not quite so intent on musicality.

We spent most of our rehearsals discussing the clothes we would wear on stage, and also whether we could get a good deal on Beatle Boots. It was very important.

Of these four young men, I was the chubbiest.

So whenever we went clothes shopping and they found something they really liked–something they thought was hot and cute, which would get the girls’ attention–they would discover that it didn’t come in “Porky.”

They pretended not to be disappointed–but I knew I was holding them back from being debonaire.

One day we came across some golden blazers.

They were so cool. Everyone tried one on, and each person looked stunning in his own adolescent, awkward way.

There was one extra-large in the blazer. I tried it on, and it covered most of the terrain of my belly but pinched me at the shoulders and looked a bit ridiculous when I stood in front of the mirror.

But the guys were so intent on purchasing the garment that they convinced me I was passable.

Back home, I tried it on again and again and again. Each time it looked worse and worse and worse–especially when I wore it with the accompanying black turtleneck.

I looked like a bumblebee with a glandular problem.

So I set out to address the situation by soaking my blazer in water and then going out to my mother’s clothesline in the back yard, hanging it up with pairs of boots dangling from the inseams, so as to stretch it.

Do you get the picture?

After it dried out, I discovered that it still failed to cover my midriff–but nearly reached to my knees.

For the next year and a half, whenever it was “golden blazer time,” the other guys looked nifty and keen–and I resembled a monk who had recently acquired a beer gut.

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Been

Been: past participle of be.Dictionary B

  • There is no become without be.
  • And there is no be without been.

Recently, for a very brief moment, I started feeling sorry for myself. I looked at the accumulation of events in my life and realized that I was more famous when I was younger than I am now.

The dreaded term “has been” slipped into my brain and began to stomp around, trying to damage my hopes.

I think it is what troubles many people as they age and reflect back on youthful whim. For after all, opportunity is often granted only to the young. Bluntly, I had more chances come my way when I was a punk kid and didn’t know what to do than I do now, as a more mature, useful vessel.

It’s just the illogical way that our society tries to worship verility and vitality instead of honoring viability.

But the truth of the matter is, the “be” I have become was nurtured in the “been.”

I learned three very important lessons:

1. Doing it once is not enough if you can’t do it again.

For instance, I got signed to record music but didn’t have enough songs to back it up.

2. Integrity is better than money.

Money, without integrity, skips down the road very quickly. Integrity has the potential of keeping money and also welcoming more loot.

3. Nothing is terminal until you’re dead.

I let too many relationships, friendships, covenants, promises and disappointments steer my career instead of keeping my eye on the prize.

The “been” has made me a better “be.”

And even as an older “be,” I still might yet tap some “honey.”

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Album

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Album: (n) 1. a blank book for the insertion of photographs, stamps or pictures 2. a collection of recordings on a long-playing record, cassette or compact disc, which then is issued as a single item.

God, I wanted to make an album.

I was twenty years old and obsessed with the idea.

There was something about the final front cover, backliner notes and the whole idea of being in a recording studio that just rang my bells and clanged my cymbals.

There were a few problems:

  • First and foremost, I suppose, was that I was broke.
  • Second was the absence presently of the major talent to warrant such a maneuver.
  • Third and most pronounced was that I didn’t have a group.

Being extremely immature, I opted to address the third problem while ignoring the other two.

I started a band with members who were just as possessed as I was with the notion of “going vinyl.” We rehearsed for twenty minutes and for forty minutes talked about how much fun it was going to be to be famous. We finally put together the magic number of ten songs, and begged and pleaded with relatives for donations for our project.

We finally pieced together enough money to pay for the first ten hours in a studio, with no idea how we would pay for the rest.

It seemed like a good plan–mainly because we were crazy.

There was a studio in our town that not only recorded records, but had a plant which pressed the final product right on site. We acquired a very reasonable photographer (free) who shot our cover and back cover, and we spent all of our time writing the liner notes instead of rehearsing for the session.

So when we got in the studio and they played back what we sounded like, we were convinced that the tape they had used was warped–causing our voices to go flat.

We got better. Of course, it cost studio time. So at the end of the session, we had a pretty decent record, but owed $723 to get our magical mission released into our greedy paws.

Now, $723 to us was either going to be achieved by killing off all of our parents and inheriting the money, or breaking into the recording studio and stealing our record. After about two weeks of nasty phone calls from the studio, they finally negotiated a deal so that we could pay off our album in installments.

We finally had it in our hands. It was magical. It was the Holy Grail.

It didn’t sell.

So not only did we never pay back the studio, but we eventually had to give away all of our albums to people who kept insisting they already had one.

My fortunes in the recording industry have improved over the years, but I will never forget stalking my first album. It was like the night of your honeymoon, mingled with your first trip … to Baskin Robbins.