Dreadful uncertainty about my future with music pervades many things i do these days. Well, i suppose it’s not dreadful- yet. but, damn. what does it mean to be the biggest band around? what can i learn by looking at those who have become what i suppose my band could become? either way, we’ll be playing shows for people in places around the world. that does seem to positively affect people, but i feel like the dream is a big stupid balloon full of hot air sometimes. as if to rake bits of flesh off myself and light them on fire just to let people see the light is supposed to be the best thing anyone could ever hope to do, or whatever. it’s dissatisfying thinking that all i will be doing is trying to make money by doing this ‘thing that i love.’ I love playing music- i love playing bass, etc. but the idea of being a professional in that capacity sickens me, for some reason. to think that the only thing i’ll have done was ‘entertain’ people for a while- to be the television to their inebriated varying minds makes me feel like a stone to be picked up and thrown places, just like the air i push. I’m truly unsure of how to proceed. thoughts of practice attendance make me feel like i left some important biochemical at home, which keeps me from digesting like i need to (i suppose this is kind of the definition of stress- rest n digest get turned off, fight n flight turned on, etc). like i’m doing the wrong thing. But then, there it is! the fallacious logic. there is no ‘right’ thing for me to do. just like michael jordan leaving basketball to play minor league baseball and eventually just being a spokesperson for hanes, i’m worried that the rest of the world is pacifying itself with the plugs i create (artistically, musically) while ignoring their own imminent stagnation and decay. Not that it’s ever been my problem what they do with their own time- i am just painfully aware of the ideas people develop about things before understanding them as completely as they can. they let their tools dull until they can be used no longer- and even worse, they let themselves feel satisfied with something to the point that they engross themselves in it. I don’t want to put a slab of meat in the center of a circle of lazy remote killers who will throw their tongues at it before i can escape the crossfire. i don’t want them. i want an audience i can respect, i guess, if i’m going to create or perform anything.
start out with a beautiful, pure dream, and see it acquire some holes over time, and slowly fill up with shit. end up like Lars Ulrich selling terrible paintings for multiple millions of dollars. OR, retain your artistic ‘purity’ and dwell in an idealistic mental commune forever, pretending that the previous sentence isn’t the way people will treat it at some point, and that not having money is just fine with you. What is an Andrew Lloyd Weber sitting in a gilded mansion with his piano? What is a Richard Karpen, creating whatever he’d like, teaching whoever he’d like whatever he likes however he wants to? What, then, am i? There is no single definition that seems satisfactory when i try to find a different space than here where i feel totally resonant and matched. i mean, i don’t need anything else. i need food, water, etc. but i do not need to work as hard as i possibly can to prove nothing to no one- even less so to prove that i can play bass guitar with a few other individuals playing other instruments. I see little difference between that and being any other kind of professional, now. the only difference is money. I feel no connection to the songs we create other than using them as a vehicle to make more people look at us and say positive things that will make them more likely to spend their money on our ‘product.’ “Hey! i, too, feel that work is overrated! those lyrics really resonate with me! maybe i can go to one of their concerts and accidentally meet someone of a similar mind who inspires me to do whatever, too!” no. not for me.
imagine, if you will, a pool full of jello. above the pool is an orb that spins randomly and throws projectiles in some direction into the pool. the objects coming out of the orb affect how far they travel into the substrate
(jello) with their own little object brains and object excitement, passed down to them from parent objects who were looking for something similar, but made a new object instead and sacrificed their potentially-having-gone further into the pool for the comfort of having more objects around you to be an object with. the objects, before entering the sphere and being shot out, have no idea what the pool is like on the inside, and have ascribed judgement to various portions of it, thinking them better than the others. once shot out, they travel quickly and determinedly to wherever that strange sphere shot them, based on the energy in their brains and their thoughts about the future. Lo and behold, what happens? simple mechanics (though probably more advanced with all the jiggle physics), man. the objects tear into the jello, going as far as their momentum could have taken them. once they come to rest, they get a grip of their surroundings and try to move. they realize they can’t, so they perish and dissolve, making the jello easier to travel through because of more holes already created by previous objects, as well as the addition of their dissolved corpses making the jello runnier. generation after generation are shot out of the sphere, slowly wearing away the jello, which appears differently as time goes on (Though none comment on it, since the parent objects focus on helping their little objects understand what they must do ‘to succeed’ in the jello, not necessarilly what it is). finally, the first object hits the bottom of this pool full of runny moldy jello and object solutes and thinks it has done something amazing, since it doesn’t understand the limitations of this pool, and doesn’t know what a pool really is- only that there is jello and that they must be shot into it. word travels to parent objects, and baby objects get excited about something new happening. “Maybe now we can all be comfortable objects together! now that we’ve charted this strange jello-filled hole!” So they fervently throw themselves in increasing numbers at the rest of the jello, since all the old work was done by previous generations. it was easy enough, and the pool is finally empty, except for the black resin that molten object and jello slurry leaves behind when desiccated. parent objects peer in, and don’t know what else to do. they have this sphere mechanism that will continue to shoot them into the pool- but what’s the point? there is no more jello to soften ones landing- and apparently, there was no real magic to any of it, except for the time it took to complete, and the way they felt about the things they didn’t understand. What comes next? all we ever knew was this situation- this jello filled pool was all we had, and now it is empty. i excitedly sent my children forth toward some horizon that i had never crossed, thinking that they, somehow, would do something i hadn’t. as if they would be the cornerstone between the leaning piles of information about all that exists- the thing that unites every single thing. How do we cope with infinity?
i feel just like the children of those dots sometimes. Heading towards something none of us understand- hell, BEING something none of us understand. To live seems to be to take one’s own body for granted- or perhaps one’s mind. I’m certainly doing my best to do neither of those, and to maximize my time on this sphere, occupying this form. that’s why the issue of “what should i do in the future?” is such a profound one for me. it starts right now, and right now is all we ever truly have when it comes to affecting our paths. i have many choices, and many constraints. the most important constraint to consider is time. i may be capable of being the president of the USA. i may be capable of being the next victor wooten, Flea, whoever. i may be capable of all things simultaneously, but i will not be able to do everything. i always think about how at the end of the day we’ll do the same things. satisfaction with oneself will vary depending on how everyone else judges themselves, but we’ll all do something for us. so if i’m going to do something, what should i do, and far more importantly- WHY? WHY do i need to make the most money? why do i need to be a lawyer, spending all day writing, reading, for the sake of some organization or individual? why do i need to play bass for people, and see the light in their eyes as i slap a particular tone? what will they do once i’ve left, and they have too? they will drive home, and go to sleep. they will repeat this process (lawyering, bassing, fishing) until they die. the difference that is made seems so trivial, since i didn’t really teach anyone anything or help anyone with my experience- i simply played on stage for people to see. maybe that’s magic enough for some, but i KNOW i have VASTLY more capabilities than that. if i were teaching students, i could prune their banzai trees for them as they grow, helping them see through the confusing mists- to keep some kind of bigger picture in mind: all we have is all we are, and what we choose to do. if we choose to be staunchly individual, never helping anyone who appears to need it, we will perpetuate the same bullshit as the previous generations, and become even more at odds with our own existences.