Music on the Mind

Every mind holds a different set of information. This is the beauty of diversity. If we all thought the same, retained the same factoids, collected homogeneous knowledge, or “danced to the same drum”, would life be worth living?

The question is required because we’re not there. We don’t live in such a society. I can only imagine a hive-mind existence being dull, tuneless, worthless.

Recently, I took a break from music. Not that I was there in the collective brain. . .but it was an odd way to live, for sure. Actively trying to avoid music is like denying yourself flights of the imagination.

On the third day I had visions of Spiritus Mundi. No, not really. What really happened was more like the image above: music was flying out of my mind. It was great. There were songs in there, which I hadn’t heard in a long time, that popped up in the middle of common conversations or during the slower moments of a normal day. I experienced an outward flow of remembered songs, and even started to daydream new songs.

It’s possible this is how musicians’ brains work. If you write or perform music, do you find yourself being more creative when the music is playing, or when the music’s over?

By the way, if you read that last line and heard The Doors, then you have an idea how songs might jump out during conversations.

It only takes one word. . .

and an individual mind.

This is the beauty of diversity: to have music on the mind—your music, your mind. If it was someone else’s choice of music, would life be worth anything? Would life be the same? Would your mind be the same?

State of Mind Control

All you see and hear…

One great aspect of life is opportunity to learn.

We learn from our mistakes. We learn from others’ mistakes. We learn from books and movies and teachers and parents. We learn from successes and victories.

Not much can get in the way of us learning, unless we allow it. In fact, the greatest obstacle we face is often ourselves.

Case in point: Florida schools recently ranked third in American national comparisons, according to USNews. This is superb! So why are there so many stories of Florida men doing weird and bizarre things?

“Florida man arrested for handing out marijuana to strangers for Christmas.”

“Florida man climbs into 30-foot well, gets stuck.”

“Florida man claims the wind blew cocaine residue into his car.”

“Florida man, naked, carrying a crossbow, claims aliens are out to get him.”

“Florida man arrested for smuggling Australian cockatoo eggs into the U.S.”

Not all men in Florida are loosely organized. The majority just get a bad reputation because of the few who get themselves in the news because of odd behavior. Still, if the education system is doing so well, why aren’t the residents? Could it be that these few oddballs are ignoring the opportunity to learn?

If the above headlines had your state name in place of Florida, how would it rate?

How long is too long?

Peter Cushing played the original Grand Moff Tarkin. He had a presence in the first Star Wars films powerful enough to warrant his return in more films. The actor’s death in ‘94 prevented his return. You might think that last phrase goes without saying—it is so obvious, it doesn’t need to be written, spoken, or even given a moment’s thought.

And yet…

Grand Moff Tarkin did return in subsequent films—in Peter Cushing’s image.

So, this begs the question: How long can an actor’s image be used in films, even after they’ve passed on, before it’s too much?

Peter Cushing isn’t the only actor to have his image digitally preserved. He isn’t even the only one in the Star Wars film empire. Carrie Fisher had her image used as well, so Princess Leia could continue for a time.

Another example is of Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn in Tron: Legacy. Although Jeff was alive and well, and reprised his role as an older Flynn, the movie required a younger Flynn to react with his son, Sam. Jeff Bridges allowed his face to be “digitally remastered”, so to speak. Though it was easy to see the younger face was computer generated, the human element was captured well. In a movie about a world inside a computer, the digitally enhanced images didn’t need to be too well hidden. The question remains, if future Tron movies are made, will the digital Kevin Flynn make an appearance?

In the Ant Man and the Wasp movie, a digitally rendered younger Michael Douglas as Hank Pym is used to show scenes of an “earlier” time.

Also in Marvel, in the Captain Marvel movie, a younger Nick Fury, played by Samuel Jackson, steals the show in more than a few scenes.

How long will Hank Pym and Nick Fury live on in the Marvel Universe? Does it matter? Is it entirely up to the individual actors? Can the movie-makers own someone’s image? Is it a real ego-boost for the actor’s to know they could live on digitally forever? And lastly: will the fans ever get tired of seeing them?

How long is too long?

You Too Can Be Offended

For those feeling like an outsider because they have nothing to be offended about, here’s a convenient list:

  1. Whether you’re a fan of country or a fan of rap music, or if you don’t care for either of them, you can be offended that someone out there is still trying to succeed at mixing the two. That so-called artist is only succeeding at ruining both, and music in general.
  2. Venmo, PayPal, Tesla, Spacex: all owned by Elon Musk. So offensive. (Or maybe I’m only jealous.)
  3. Be offended at your neighbor’s lawn full of dandelions. Don’t they care about their lawn the way you do?
  4. Contrariwise, your other neighbor’s super green, chemically-enhanced lawn puts chemicals in the ground water.
  5. You could be offended that drones can fly but cars cannot.
  6. You could be offended that Kanye West still isn’t president of anything.
  7. You could be offended at coffee drinkers who treat their coffee cups like India’s sacred cow.
  8. Be offended at the gender-swapper who is her own brother.
  9. And yes, you can be offended at the eighth suggestion. Do it! Now, be offended that I’m bossing you around.
  10. Be offended at the royal family, just because.
  11. Moments of meditation. All those moments do is drive you to be more calm and less offended, when all you want is to be offended. Who needs inner peace?
  12. Be offended that your phone is taking pictures of everything around you to focus the advertising you see and hear.
  13. Companies replacing human jobs with robots. Truly offensive. No joke there.
  14. Be offended by any movie or television show with sloppy-cam (ahem, Falcon and the Winter Soldier). That pedantic filming style died long ago.
  15. Be offended that most chewing gum is laced with the same chemicals your neighbor puts on their lawn.
  16. Be offended that your teacher gives you homework but your school is online. It’s ALL “homework,” isn’t it?
  17. Be offended that people want you to “believe in science” like it’s some kind of new-age religion.
  18. Be offended that the song by Ke$ha got made into a really bad video app, or vise versa.
  19. Be offended that there are slow learners among the human population.
  20. Be offended that you are among the human population.
  21. Be offended at the division of society in which you fit.
  22. Be offended at anyone who stereotypes the division of society in which you fit.
  23. You could even be offended that you didn’t think up the category. Aim your offense at the one who did.
  24. The English don’t know their own language as well as Americans. You could be offended at that.
  25. You could be offended that fidget spinners aren’t enjoying another year of popularity.
  26. Cow flatulence. How dare those cows live their lives as sentient beings with simple needs? So offensive.
  27. You could be offended whenever someone mistakes suggestions for demands.
  28. Be offended that whiskey-powered cars aren’t more common.
  29. Raccoons eat chickens. ‘Nuff said.
  30. There’s a pan in your kitchen right this moment without any brownies/cookies/cake in it. Now that’s the most offensive thing of all.