Every one of us is a story teller. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like to read or write or don’t consider yourself a creative person. The decisions we make, the actions we take, our triumphs and mistakes – they are all just plot points of our own stories. Our choices to take risks or to hold back are what can make our stories not only memorable, but also significant within the scope of the world. Anyone can weave a powerful story – it doesn’t matter how it starts, that is not up to us, but what we can control is how it ends. A story’s greatness isn’t determined by how widely read it is, but by how deeply read. If someone, somewhere is impacted by you, then you know you have done something at least somewhat significant amidst all that has occurred within time and space. Ultimately, it is ourselves who choose how we will remembered, and it is those who do the most to touch those around them that will be remembered most affectionately. Continue reading
Sometimes life is heavy. It presses down on your back, compresses your chess, constricts your throat, and pushes down on your temples, like a large, calloused, relentless fist. Maybe life has added something to the weight, thrown something at you that was unexpected or unwanted. But it seems to me that the weight is heaviest when it takes something away from you, something that you didn’t realize was actually keeping you up on your feet. Sorrow does not crush you instantaneously like rage, or dangle above your head guilt. It is a load that drags behind you, making sure that you are always looking back and never ahead. Eventually, this load may become a part of you, some extra piece of luggage that you must take with you everywhere you go. Is there any way to rid ourselves of this weight? The struggle to stay afloat in a world that seems to be trying to drag you down is beautifully detailed in the Beatles’ medley “Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight/the End”, an eloquent and insightful conclusion to Abbey Road, the final album that they would record together. Continue reading
Everybody is susceptible to following a charismatic leader. A few times every century, time and time again, a major issue of some sort will occur — whether a revolution in Russia, a thirst for the end of British imperialism in India, civil rights movements, or the Cold War — heating up until conflict is just about ready to boil over. No matter what the situation, the story is always the same. Someone, whether a humanitarian or an opportunist, will take charge of the situation and direct the needs and desires of the people towards a cause. And because the people believe that this person can give them what they desire, whole nations will follow a charismatic leader to the ends of the earth, even if it turns out that their interests were never truly with the people. It is those that see a need and fulfill it (or at least claim to) that bring about change in the world, for better or for worse, and are written down in history textbooks as benevolent champions and liberators or as megalomaniacal tyrants and oppressors.
Exactly a week before his premature death, Jimi Hendrix gave his final interview in London, September 11, 1970. Now, visuals have been put to his words by the PBS series “blank on blank”. If you haven’t seen “Jimi Hendrix on the Experience” yet, then definitely check it out. His perceptions on people, society, creativity, and change still ring true today, 45 years later.
“The way I write things, I just write them with a clash between reality and fantasy mostly. You have to use fantasy to show different sides of reality; it’s how it can bend. As a word reality is nothing, but each individual’s own way of thinking.”
– Jimi Hendrix
He was the original Rolling Stone, the genius, the madman, the tortured artist, and one of rock’s first great tragedies. The story of Brian Jones is like a puzzle in which the shapes just don’t quite seem to fit and the colors don’t match. He was the Van Gogh of the early rock scene. His life is eerily reminiscent of the story told in “Like a Rolling Stone”, by Bob Dylan which, although about a woman’s fall from the grace of high-society life, ironically contains the name of Jones’ band and themes that coincide with his life. Apart from his complex character and untimely death, the fact that he is so often overlooked makes him one of the music industry’s most unfortunate figures.