Saturday, May 30, 2015

Back To Burnout And Disgust

I spent a month up in Lake Tahoe, being a working person.  I worked at a State Park there, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed most of the workers, well, all except for the one workplace bully who didn’t want to be responsible for what she did, who wasn’t going to stand her ground with her co-workers who went to bat for me, who chose to punish and bully the one person who couldn’t fight back.  I enjoyed the quiet, I even enjoyed living in the little shack that had no plumbing (bathrooms and other facilities were right across the parking lot).  I enjoyed the fact that I was earning a paycheck, and that it was only a matter of a short time before I would have my own life back.  It was a full time job, but even with that, I managed to break out my guitar or banjo and play some.  I was enjoying doing that more than I had in years.  I was in complete burnout and disgust mode before I moved to the Lake.

I’m now back in Reno, where all the angry people are, where all the noise is, where the grossly inept working people are.  I’m about ¾ of the way back to total burnout and disgust – and this is after being back here two weeks.  I could be a pretentious ass and claim that it doesn’t get to me, that I’m able to “let it go”, that I’m stronger than any this or that – and other such horseshit.  I could pretend that I’m ok.  Yes, I get it that all the angries out there must live with their own self inflicted stuff, yes, of course I get that, but it doesn’t change the fact that I continue to be on the receiving end of their hostility, their vindictiveness, their envy, their slander, and their simmering anger.  In what world should I be, by law, demanded to take crap from lowlifes in the street, or lowlifes in the workplace, lowlifes in any and all public places?  The result of all of this is that the thing I loved most, the thing I knew best, the thing I chose to do for a living, the thing I knew was a good thing to offer to the universe, is now all but gone.  After getting tossed out of what appeared to be a vacant parking lot yesterday, and after seeing the double padlocked gate and the “No trespassing or else” sign where I was going a couple times a week to play music, after having lost the job that would have paid for the replacing of things that have been lost, stolen, sold, or given away over the past few years – things that I need so that I can do decent recordings, and make decent videos, here I am.  At this particular moment, I couldn’t bring myself to take any of my guitars or my banjo out of the case, much less play them.  I’m not arrogant enough to claim that only I have control over what I do.  This external crap has been taking its toll on my all my life.

As I’ve said many times, I really don’t know where to go from here.  I’ve spend the past couple of years trying to contact record labels, artist management companies, booking agents, and other music business related people, and I continue to be blatantly ignored.  I’m pretty sure my music and my abilities are decent.  I play ten instruments, and yes, I can actually play them.  My delivery is something that people have enjoyed – ever since I first started in this business way back in the day.  I hit the notes when I sing, and my voice is listenable.  I’m on the stage to give, not to take – always – in other words, I’m not up there for people to tell my how wonderful I am, I’m up there to give the only thing I know.  Add to all of that, it’s been decades of people doing their damedest to stifle me in every way, and if you think that doesn’t get fucking old, think again.  So, now I’m burned out again, not sure when I’ll feel like playing again.

This is where I am today.  People have been telling me to “Be patient” all my life, so how much longer do I wait before I stumble across anything resembling fair or just, how long before I be compensated for my hard work and abilities – as opposed to either being stifled, or for some parasite to profit from what I do?  As always, I have no answers.

All for now.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Kid With The Goofy Grin And The Rifle Arm

 Middle Row, Far Right

Again today, I had the misfortune of being in the line of fire of still another bullying lowlife.  This one was in the form of a (kinda) female security guard.  I was in an empty parking lot, there’s a building there that I’d never seen any car near, or any person in or near it.  I was trying to film (with my phone) a couple of music videos – playing guitar and singing.  When I first got there, a different security person came up and asked, “Can I help you?”, I replied, “No, I don’t think so, I’m just going to make a couple of videos”.  The guy said, “Ok, no problem”.  So, I kept doing what I was doing.  About an hour later, here comes this miniature security person, puffs her chest, sneering, glares at me and spits up, “You need to move on”.  I can’t recite the whole exchange, but basically I told her what a pathetic little ass she was, that if you have no life, and you hate yourself so much, I guess this is what you do – go screw with other people.  After some amount of smartass from her, I managed to tell her to go fuck herself.  It has never mattered if I walked away, told the person to screw off, or if I ended up belting somebody (I’ve had to do all three, and I don’t say any of this proudly or ashamedly, just matter of fact), I always felt equally as bad afterward, for two reasons.  First, how is it that so many people hate themselves so much (Psych 101), and have so much envy for other people – especially ones who are going after something, or doing something worthwhile, that they first find a weapon to hide behind, then look for people to beat over the head with their bullshit.  Second, and the worse of the two, how do I continue to be such a magnet for these kinds of people.  It goes back (as far back as I can remember) to when I was eight years old, when step mom was so angry that I was doing something (ever how small it was), that she went outside and pulled up my corn plants.  I was eight, I planted the corn, I ran home from school every day to weed and water – did it for months, my corn was getting big (it looked big to me – but I was a little kid).  I would sit there with my plants, sometimes for over an hour, trying to see if the plants would grow while I was watching.   So, one day I ran home from school, to find my corn plants gone – having been dug up by the vindictive step mom.  She gave me some cockamamie reason why she just HAD to do it, but well…    From that, the contempt I seemed to incite came from the little league baseball coaches, more teachers than not, the guys I hung around with at Kaimuki Park from the time I was 12 up until 17, to the high school basketball coaches, to the second batch of guys I hung around with just out of high school, to bosses at the two transmission shops I worked at for the five years of my early adult life, to people in the music business – including musicians, booking agents, club managers, and even radio people – this has been going on for 35+ years – right up until this very minute.  There were a couple of periods where I worked “regular” jobs – same – the bullying bosses.  FTR, in school, in jobs, and in music, I was always on time, never missed a day of school or work, and I was proud to do the best job possible.  The current “significant other” – same B.S., using money as the weapon to hide behind.  I wasn’t bullied as a kid – by other kids, the only bullying I remember as a kid was parents, teachers, little league coaches, etc., in other words, full grown adults.
I seem to get this much more often than most people.  I don’t know if it’s that I’m more sensitive to it, or more aware, or if my energy field moves in the opposite direction of most people’s, or some other reason, all I know is, I’ve always said that I would be more than ok if I got what the general population got.  I’m perfectly aware of what many people think of a person who thinks this way, but well, being that I’m not here to get other people’s permission to think what I think, I really don’t care.
I’m not sure I could even describe the degree of contempt, hostility, and aggression I experience just about every day of my life, you probably wouldn’t believe me even if I were to describe the half of it.  I never felt welcome in the world, I guess I just learned to live with it.  And same, I say this in the most matter of fact way.
So, just in the past two weeks, I managed to be on the receiving end of four of them. The bullying boss – having lost my job after a month because she did not want to be responsible for what she did – and felt the need to punish the guy who couldn’t fight back.  Shortly before that, it was the old man who operated the backhoe, who took one look at me, and proceeded to tell me how tough he was, how brave he was, how “successful” he was, how he liked to drink all the time, and other such macho crap.  I handled him the same way I always do with guys like that – I proceed to tell them what a screwup and a dimwit I am.  A week ago, I found the gates to the railroad track area where I was taking my guitar to play a couple times a week – the gates closed, double padlocked, and the “NO TRESPASSING OR ELSE” sign in full view.  Before this, the place looked like it hadn’t been used or tended to in years, maybe decades.  Apparently, somebody was offended by me being there – even though I never did anything disrespectful, never left anything for anybody to clean up, left it just as I found it – always.  I also never saw another soul anywhere near the place.  So, four pathetic little humans just in the past two weeks – that’s not to mention the same throughout my whole life.
For the record, there has never been a time when I stood up for mice elf, where I didn’t pay big – as a result of something cowardly that some bullying lowlife did.  Even worse, more and more laws get put into place, in order to protect lowlifes, to protect smartasses, to protect bullies.  The Powers That Be pretend otherwise, but look around you.  Oregon has Measure 11.  The Righteous Right would have you believe that “It’s only for repeat offenders” – well, bullshit, you punch out some punk in the street, and you can easily end up in prison for SIXTY MONTHS, that’s FIVE YEARS.  Do the reasoning – punk in the street, five years in prison…  and it’s only getting worse.
I have a picture of me with my first little league team, I was ten (this one actually had a decent coach).  I’m there, with my goofy grin and my rifle arm.  I’m still that kid, will be till I’m not here anymore.  I like that kid, I like that he still instinctively trusts, instinctively loves, instinctively gives.  On an intellectual level, different story, I've learned to mistrust and dislike most humans, but instinctively, well...     My instinctive trust and all the rest, has rarely been a two way street, but I guess somewhere in here, it doesn’t matter all that much.
I don’t know where I go from here, and I guess that’s all I have to say for now.