Thursday, August 15, 2019

Some funky indie music videos for your weekend viewing (repost)...

That Effing Show Crew (Malaysia)

Swami Baracus (UK)

Ze! (Malaysia)

Bettina D'Mello (Germany)

Airport Radio (Indonesia)

Up Dharma Down (The Philippines)

Thanks to digital tech and YouTube, indie bands the world over (including Malaysia) can now create funky music videos on hardly any budget and still reach a global audience. I found these well crafted music videos produced by the MTV generation invigorating and very watchable. You're doing a great job of claiming your planet, all of you!

[Cheers, Free Malaysia Today, for alerting me to these cool vids! First posted 8 June 2012, reposted 17 April 2015]

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Why I often pick "Mr Lee Bee Doh" or "Hum Sup Loh" when I require a fake ID...

When I was 19 I went through an intense and highly compressed ascetic phase. For about two weeks I lost interest in food, sex and sleep. My mind went into overdrive and kept me in a constant state of excitement. I was absolutely determined to figure out what the hell I was doing on this planet in a human body - and what I had been, if anything at all, before taking birth.

My days and nights were spent reading, writing, thinking, observing everything around me, and discussing my ideas and insights with a couple of close friends. I didn't require much solid food, sometimes drinking only a bowl of soup and nibbling on a Marmite sandwich. Meat didn't appeal to me; often I chewed on some vegetables just to get their essence; and I couldn't be bothered or didn't need to sleep, though I would sit in lotus position and recharge my cells from time to time.

Soon I found my testicles retracting and my penis shrinking to a ridiculous size. All I did was burst out laughing because I suddenly understood why Indian yogis have traditionally subjected themselves to long periods of fasting and abstinence.

It was to focus their minds like a laser in order to cut through the crap of mundane existence and begin to stepdown and receive data from an extended range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

I've written extensively about my early initiatory experiences elsewhere so I'll fast-forward to the moment when, unexpectedly, I experienced a resurgence of my libido. I was absorbing the Sun's energy one morning and suddenly found myself with the most incredible hard-on ever. The word virile  came alive for me as I felt the solar force course through my throbbing veins. I gazed in awe at my rampant manhood, luxuriating in electric ripples of unmitigated concupiscence.

Priapus, Greek God of Fertility
It was as though my libido had died and resurrected itself as a hitherto unknown species of sacred sexuality wherein my own innate divinity was being expressed as a manifestation of the Primordial Progenitor. The Father archetype and I literally became one.

Omphalos stone
From that moment hence, I was liberated from a hundred thousand generations of hand-me-down sexual taboos. In a flash I understood the serpent symbolism underlying all pre-Abrahamic belief systems. The esoteric word kundalini  was unknown to me at the time, but when I later read about the phenomenon I knew it was what had spontaneously happened to me.

The electromagnetic basis of all existence in a bi-polar universe is grounded in the sacred union of shakta and shakti, male and female principles. This simply means that the ultimate goal of yoga - which means "union" in Sanskrit - is conscious fusion between polarities on all levels - from the biological (as in sexual conjugation) to the metaphysical (as in the alchemical marriage between our divine and human aspects).

Tantra teaches us that the ego-transcending act of sexual union is among the most powerful and direct methods of realizing our own inherent divinity - at least when performed as an act of worship by those who have cleansed themselves of negative emotions like guilt, fear and hypocrisy.

However, the erotophobic male priesthoods that sprouted in the wake of Abraham approximately 4,000 years ago have systematically perverted human sexuality with their erroneous doctrines of shame and false purity, wherein celibacy became promoted as a virtue unto itself.

Activation of the chakras above the navel was encouraged as a means to "get closer to God" - whereas activating the chakras below the navel was considered dangerous - even wrong - as it reinforced our animality and focused our senses on carnal pleasures.

Thus was sexual taboo entrenched in the Book Religions which gave rise to what I call the fig leaf syndrome. Humans became schizoid and a great divide separated their inner and outer personalities into private and public selves - with a hardwired conditioned reflex to cover up whatever was considered "private" and exaggerate or magnify everything regarded as "public."

This is why in patriarchal societies like Malaysia, issues of morality tend to revolve around sex. Corrupt and dishonest politicians are tolerated to the extent that they often get re-elected, but they must resign the moment they're caught with their pants down.

In effect, we're being given the message that it's okay to do just about anything - including abduct, extort, intimidate, torture, imprison and murder - so long as we keep our trousers on at all times.

By the same token, anything sexual is subject to strict censorship - no kissing, no nudity, no glimpses of genitalia. However, the worst forms of violence are acceptable: punching, stabbing, shooting, karate-chopping, beheading, crucifying, dropping bombs on crowded cities are all "okay."

Is it any wonder that our police force - and a volunteer reserve force like RELA - has attracted such a large number of sexual perverts and psychopaths? These are men who have been brought up to believe that their sexual nature is demonic  and must be suppressed or controlled through harsh laws. Burdened with chronic guilt feelings, these men harbor a subconscious fear of being assigned to hell after they die. And if you're going to hell for masturbating too often, you might as well go the whole hog and commit rape, murder, brutal torture, the works.

Have you ever wondered why on earth in the 21st century we still have statutes against oral and anal sex? Not only are these activities ominously classified as "acts against the order of nature" - they are also punishable with caning and imprisonment of up to 20 years! Each day that such nonsensical laws continue to exist in our legal statutes, they make a complete mockery of reason and sanity.

Only a perverted male priesthood could visualize a deity dressed like a stern-faced judge who can routinely sentence anyone to jail for up to 20 years simply for enjoying a bit of mildly kinky sex. How can you argue with such a twisted mindset? The keenest legal mind in the world cannot get you off the hook except by proving your innocence beyond doubt or providing a watertight alibi.

The ISA may be an extremely cruel and unjust law - but what about the laws against anal and oral sex? They are utterly insane and totally insufferable. If this Victorian era legislation were to be enthusiastically enforced, I'd venture that more than one-third of Malaysia's adult population would right now be serving time (free at last to enjoy as much anal and oral sex as they can handle, just as drug addicts can always find a regular supply if they befriend the right prison warders).

Infamous arsehole Saiful Bukhari Azlan with Khairil Anus Yusof,
special aide to Najib Razak
But do you think any Barisan Nasional lawmaker would even consider revoking these archaic laws so long as Anwar Ibrahim remains poised to take over as prime minister?

The issue of sexual repression I have raised with this blogpost has a multitude of ramifications. Nature has designed our bodies in such a way that when we attain puberty, a psychedelic slew of hormones are secreted into our bloodstream which accelerate and enhance mental and spiritual growth. But if our early encounters with our own sexuality are fraught with guilt and shame and subterfuge, we shall find it much harder to attain mental and spiritual maturity.

This is precisely why patriarchies are invariably dead against sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - which may be considered evolutionary triggers in the context of modern living. Sexual freedom causes the young to mature more quickly. Drugs (specifically entheogenic substances like LSD, psilocybin and ketamine) - notwithstanding their potential negative side-effects - can facilitate neurological and sensory breakthroughs that provide otherwise unavailable glimpses of ordinarily inaccessible realities. And rock'n'roll  is essentially a code name for any innovative genre of music that serves to initiate young people into neo-tribal states of consciousness, often catalyzing new artistic and cultural forms into manifestation.

Going by the orc-like behavior of our policemen and security personnel, one can easily conclude that what we have in Malaysia is a sex-obsessed society of mental and spiritual retards. The more we attempt to suppress our sexual nature, the more obsessed we become with it. Four thousand years of religious erotophobia have produced only one significant result: the burgeoning of a multi-billion-dollar porn industry.

No sexually repressed society can ever produce great works of art. As long as our collective kundalini  is blocked or forced to express itself through "underground" routes, Malaysia will remain a mediocracy - where mediocrity rules unchallenged.

Think long and hard on this, people... and make sure your children do not grow up sexually repressed!

[First published 20 April 2009 as part of a 9-part series & reposted 26 July 2013 & 12 November 2014]

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Another case of much ado about nothing (reprise)

Many years ago I met a Sufi master whose profound understanding of Islam truly impressed me.

But before I continue with this story, let me state that almost all the Muslims with whom I have had close friendships have either been Sufis - or were gravitating towards a mystical interpretation of Islam. The mystical approach is experiential and private; whereas ritualistic religion is regulated by public behavior and therefore tends to be tribalistic in nature.

I find it impossible to have an intelligent conversation with fundamentalists of any persuasion - whether Muslim, Christian or whatever. This is because fundamentalism is antagonistic to intelligence. Wherever violence erupts over religious differences, fundamentalism is invariably the root cause. Brawn and brute force override brain and heart when independent thinking is suppressed.

Looking up the word "fundamentalism" in my trusty digital dictionary, I found this concise summary:

"Islamic fundamentalism appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries as a reaction to the disintegration of Islamic political and economic power, asserting that Islam is central to both state and society and advocating strict adherence to the Koran (Qur'an) and to Islamic law (sharia), supported if need be by jihad or holy war."

There you have it. Fundamentalism is basically an outward manifestation of ego insecurity. An entire tribe or nation can suffer from ego insecurity and seek refuge in hardline dogmatism and fanaticism. You could say it's a pathological condition and, as such, can be quite easily cured - once the hidden hand behind the reactionary forces is revealed and surgically amputated.

In every case you will find that the chief puppetmaster isn't even a believer. He cynically exploits the gullibility of the mindless mob and manipulates its collective pain-body through control of the mass media and law enforcement.

Coming back to my Sufi friend who enlightened me about the essence of Islam. He pointed out the significance of a triconsonantal syllable in Arabic and Hebrew which expresses peace, harmony and wholeness: the Arabic SaLaM and Hebraic ShaLoM are the commonest embodiments of this key to being truly muSLiM.
Sin-Lam-Mim (Arabic: س ل م‎ S-L-M; Hebrew: שלם‎ Š-L-M) is the triconsonantal root of many Semitic words, and many of those words are used as names. The root itself translates as "whole, safe, intact."
Note that this triconsonantal syllable forms the root of the words "Islam" and "Muslim." This places the frequency of peace, harmony and wholeness at the very core of Islam and any sentient being that consciously aspires towards attunement and harmonization with the Whole of Existence is intrinsically Muslim.

When one has embraced the essence of Islam, no other rules apply. All observances, injunctions and rituals (specific to a historical and sociocultural context) immediately become irrelevant and meaningless and fall away of their own accord. As such, Islam in its pure, essential form can be said to be the ultimate guide to attaining cosmic equilibrium and liberation from illusion. This is precisely the teaching of wu-wei  found in the Tao Te Ching and it corresponds perfectly with the highest aspirations of Zen Buddhism. It also resonates effortlessly with the concept of yoga or sacred union with the Godhead or Source.

What about the name "Allah"? Does it have a special meaning? My learned friend explained that the word, written as Al-Lah means The Great Void - or The Nothingness from which Everything was born. In other words, Source.

Every Tibetan Buddhist aspires to return to and consciously merge with The Great Void. The Nothingness is a key element in Chaos Theory which postulates that Order (structured existence or an actualized state of being) emerges either randomly - or as a focused expression of desire and will from the Primordial Chaos (Infinite Potentiality). It all makes perfect sense to me.

The mystical understanding of Allah and Islam frees us from a narrow and limited distortion that can only lead to divisiveness and discord. Indeed, the way my Sufi friend explained Islam made me instantly receptive and I realized that this was truly a sophisticated philosophy with universal appeal and cosmic wisdom. No compulsion, no harsh and punitive rules, no exclusivity.

Alas, the crafty hoodlums who rule over unthinking mobs must of necessity opt for the most demented, inane and constricted interpretation of any belief system in order to have any control over the untutored passions of their flock. They will set up formal councils and academies to determine the parameters of belief and behavior and vigorously persecute (and even execute) anyone who preaches any form of "deviancy" from the orthodox doctrine.

We have seen what the Spanish Inquisition (which lasted from 1478 till 1834) was really about - the brutal and violent suppression of religious dissent and heresy for the benefit of a corrupt and greedy ruling elite. In this day and age we need a Malay Inquisition like we need a hole in the pocket.

Allahu Akbar! The Nothingness is All! So why so much ado about NOTHING?

[First published February 2010, reposted  5 August 2013 & 5 June 2016]

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

From Dragon Slayer to Dragon Rider ~ The Spiral of Conscious Evolution

Midgard Serpent by Alicia Smith

Mystics (and more often these days scientists too) speak of the planet as a living, breathing organism - a macro form of ourselves, actually. Gaia-Sophia, Pachamama, Lady Melina, Mother Earth are some of the names we call her. Just like us her body is a complex nexus of electrical circuitry and magnetic fields. Mountainous areas have long been regarded as sacred, with many serving as geodetic chakras where leylines or dragon paths converge.

Mount Meru as the electromagnetic axis of the world
During the last evolutionary cycle, Mount Meru (located in the Transhimalayan mountain range formed when tectonic plates collided) marked the spiritual axis of the planet. It was said to be where the head of the World Snake (or the Midgard Serpent of Nordic mythology) was located.

Then some 60 years ago (shortly before China invaded Tibet) the World Snake began to migrate, making its way slowly towards the Andes where its head now rests. The World Snake symbolizes the planetary kundalini or activated energy field; and all along its body you will find power spots and sacred sites. Often the serpent's body also marks the meeting of tectonic plates.

Earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and flashfloods are signs of the World Snake moving. When it moves volcanoes erupt, the ground shakes, and our daily routines are enormously disrupted (and, yes, death may be considered an abrupt termination of our everyday reality). Sometimes entire cities and continents are destroyed. And we are reminded to take heed of the fact that our physical existence is precarious and never totally predictable. Indeed, we build our towns and cities on the back of a sleeping giant whose slumber can last decades, centuries, millennia... lulling us into the complacency of busyness-as-usual.

In the past humans have sought to slay the dragon in a quest to obtain fame and fortune (for where dragons sleep it is believed great treasure can be found). The dragon or World Snake represents the elemental, primordial reality from which all life as we know it emerged. We cannot kill it without ultimately killing ourselves.

When we awaken to the cellular knowing that the planet (and ultimately the galaxy and the whole universe) is an extension of our physical and metaphysical selves, and that life itself is fractal and holographic in nature, we will spontaneously become empathetic and compassionate and begin to resonate and consciously navigate with elegance and gracefulness, with masterful restraint and gentle wisdom.

Lord Vishnu relishing his own Dream of the Universe

We will opt to learn how to ride the dragon, rather than foolishly attempt to kill it. We will get good at surfing the electromagnetic waves. And we can begin to do so by becoming conscious, individually and as a species, of the cosmic context of our being; by paying constant attention to the bigger picture and looking up every now and then from our rice bowl (or plate of quinoa) and remembering we are indeed unique parts of a magnificent Wholeness, born from the active imagination of Vishnu, the Dreaming God.

Many of us will revel in the Cosmic Dream, losing ourselves time and again in the illusion of separation, entranced by the shadow-play of Maya. And some of us will identify with the Dreamer instead of the Dream, the Eternal rather than the Ephemeral. So that when the Dream is over, we can yawn and rub our eyes and put the kettle on and enjoy a hearty breakfast before imagining another universe.

26 April 2015


[Originally posted 10 January 2017]

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Kevin Ayers, Meet The Whole World! (reposting a special tribute originally published 20 June 2007)

May I? - KEVIN AYERS & THE WHOLE WORLD (featuring Mike Oldfield on bass and Lol Coxhill on soprano sax)

Way back in 1971 or thereabouts I found an LP called Shooting at the Moon by Kevin Ayers and the Whole World. It was in the cheap bin (I remember paying something like 5 bucks for it!). When I put the record on back home, I was immediately hooked on Ayers' totally laid-back, basso profundo singing style, especially on a song called "May I?" A couple of hours ago I stumbled on this video clip on YouTube, featuring the original Kevin Ayers and the Whole World line-up, including the legendary Mike Oldfield on bass, and Lol Coxhill on soprano sax. Treasure to share!

I figure not too many are familiar with this great singer-songwriter who was truly a pioneer in his day, forming mythical bands like Soft Machine and hanging out with the likes of Daevid Allen of Gong. So here's an interview with Kevin Ayers I unearthed, slightly dated but it gives a pretty good overview of the man's work.

by Jimmy James (May 1998)

As bassist, frequent songwriter, and occasional vocalist in the original Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers was a key force in early British psychedelia and progressive rock. In just two years the group had evolved from the goofy, effervescent psychedelic pop of their 1967 debut single "Love Makes Sweet Music"/"Feelin' Reelin' Squealin'" to the dada jazz-rock minimalism of Ayers' infamous "We Did It Again." After the Soft Machine opened for the Jimi Hendrix Experience across the States in 1968 and recorded their first studio album, Ayers left the group to establish a long-running solo career with more pop-oriented material, delivered in a witty, near-bass profundo voice.

On most of his albums he explored the little-trod midpoint between weird pop and the most accessible, humorous face of prog-rock, crafting bouncy songs of indolence and whimsy that often tapped island rhythms. Leading British experimental musicians like Lol Coxhill, David Bedford, and a pre-Tubular Bells Mike Oldfield passed through his band while he veered between sunnier variations of Syd Barrett and dissonant experimental jams. He never did land a hit album or single in Britain, despite issuing numerous LPs on Harvest, and in the US he was a definitive '70s cult artist. He's only recorded sporadically in the 1980s and 1990s, with his more recent efforts even harder to locate in the import bins than his early solo material.

Now 63, Ayers made a rare visit to the States to play a few gigs in California in May 1998. Backed by the SF band Mushroom at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, he was in merry form as he went through a set of some of his more well-known vintage tunes, such as "Lady Rachel," "Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes," as well as the Soft Machine cuts "Why Are We Sleeping?" and "Save Yourself." Before soundcheck he found a few minutes to talk about the Canterbury scene with a few local fans and writers.

Q: What was unique about the Canterbury scene?

KA: Mike Ratledge from the Soft Machine had a degree in Oxford University in philosophy at 22. I mean, he won a scholarship and then said, fuck that, I'm going to play the organ. This was unique in pop. You don't find many people with honor degrees playing pop, even from that kind of literary background. Normally it was sort of art school. England is so defined, the class system, your education. I think what was unique about the Canterbury scene...these were all middle-class kids from literary backgrounds, joining this sort of train going by, this pop train, jumping on. Whereas the rest of the rock scene, you'll find that there's mostly working-class people.

Q: Did you have a similar kind of literary upbringing to Robert Wyatt?

KA: Not from my parents, no. Robert had his from his parents, 'cause his parents were middle-class intellectuals. I was brought up in Malaya. But that is the difference, that this was the first time that anybody from the middle class, well-educated, joined the pop scene. This was comfortable kids who went to university.

Q: I'm surprised you call it pop.

KA: Well, I don't know, what else would you call it? Plop? (laughs) The whole thing about Soft Machine was that it had all these people from, as I said, middle-class literary educated backgrounds, suddenly going "fuck it, I'm not going to join med school, I'm not going to become a lawyer or a doctor. I'm not going to be a professional." And this hadn't happened anywhere else in pop. That's why the Canterbury scene was unique, because that is what happened there.

Q: You started off in the Wilde Flowers, then you showed up in Majorca to find Daevid Allen to put the band together. What made you go find him?

KA: Daevid Allen was the first hippie that I'd met. He was straight out of the beat scene, and he was very convincing (laughs). He read a lot. He was articulate. He turned us on, Robert and me and Mike, to all this - especially American - beat literature. And we suddenly thought, have to imagine, just out of an English private school, and suddenly you get this sort of exotic person coming through, who says, "fuck this, fuck that. Smoke pot, read this." He actually had something to say, he actually had a viewpoint. I suppose everybody else had no idea. All these people just came out of school, sort of wandering around in the job market, "what do I do now"- suddenly Daevid Allen's going, "Smoke pot now, peace love and fuck your neighbor." That was something. As opposed to nothing.

Q: Is that hippie ethic something that still motivates you?

KA: I think that the basic philosophy was very good. It was just be nice to each other, and don't step on other people's toes and infringe on their freedom. I think that's still valid. It just made sense, especially when... I keep talking to you about English schools. Unless you've been to one, you have no idea how bad they are. I mean, you just would not believe them. You only start learning when you leave school.

Q: The Soft Machine had a whimsical feel. Was that influenced by your literary background?

KA: We just had different references. We had literary references, so we knew what we were talking about. We could quote things, talk about books we'd read; you can say something, you don't have to explain it. If you have the same background, it doesn't matter which school you've been to, if you've read the books, have the knowledge, and you have the intellectual curiosity, you can talk to anybody who has the same thing, and you know what you're talking about. So you relate that way.

The music we made then was so amateurish, compared to the rest of mainstream pop or rock and roll. But what differentiated us from what everybody else was doing in the business was the fact that you could tell that these people came from different reference areas. They'd read different books. So we actually got away with making a lot of crap. I don't mean crap - I mean that it wasn't professionally as good as what other people were doing. Other people had much better sound, and they had good producers. We worked alongside the Pink Floyd, we played gigs together, and we suddenly saw them go, whooosh!! with huge sales. But we were just dancing in the dark. There were groundbreaking ideas, musically and intellectually. Post-war generation asking serious questions.

Q: When you made your first solo record, you were obviously still on good terms with the Soft Machine, since they play on a lot of it.

KA: It was family for me - the only family I knew. We all lived together in one house.

Q: When you went solo, was it because you wanted to play and write different material than what the Soft Machine were doing on their first album?

KA: Soft Machine were going more in the direction of fusion jazz and I didn't like that. They were going more in the direction of jazz, which didn't interest me. I was strictly pop. They were into what I consider really to be incredibly self-indulgent music. It's stuff you play for yourself, and "fuck the audience."

Q: What about playing "We Did It Again" for half an hour for Brigitte Bardot?

KA: That's a serious statement. I think she said to get those wankers off or something.

Q: In an interview you said all your songs, except for a few romantic ones, were pataphysical. Where did you come across pataphysics?

KA: I think that was just a literary thing. The fact that you actually string a few sentences together was important in those days. Soft Machine became famous in France before anything else happened. They adopted us. The French like arty things, they like something a little bit different. In fact, what made Soft Machine was an article in Nouvelle Observateur, which at that time was a very... in those days, things like Melody Maker and NME, it mattered then. If someone wrote something about you, it could make or break you. Now it doesn't matter at all. We got written up, I think, 'cause Mike was fucking the journalist, actually. So we got a good review, and that was it. Suddenly France just opened up. We were the darlings of the literary scene there.

Q: Who were your main literary or formative influences?

KA: Philosophically, the only person that influenced me was Gurdjieff. What he said made sense to me. What I really liked about him was, he was a total charlatan. He didn't make any bones about it. His thing was that you cannot present the truth to people in simple form. You have to elaborate. Otherwise they're not interested. Did you ever read his book? It's just bullshit, absolute bullshit. But he says, you have to write 100 pages to say one sentence, to make it interesting for people. Otherwise they won't accept it as real. You have to say a lot in order to get a little across.

Q: Are you still inspired by things like that when you write?

KA: It's still there. I mean, I still think he was absolutely right. His two premises were, you have to say a lot to get a little across. you have to excite people. The other thing was, we're only working at five percent of our potential, which made total sense. What I loved about him... he came to America, you know, and he was very good at raising money. One of the things he did here was, he was in New York, he invited a bunch of people, saying, "this is the time of your life." And he made them have sex, and charged them a lot of money for it. And they were saying, "Wow, thank you, this is the best night of our lives." He just talked dirty to them, so they all had sex with each other and [said] "wow, this is so good," and they gave him thousands of dollars. What he did was say, "Look, this is what you really want to do. I'll organize it. Just give me the money."

Q: When do you think you most fully realized your own potential with your music?

KA: I don't think I can answer that. It's hypothetical, one will never know. I mean, some days you wake up and you think, Jesus, I could be a really good comedian. Then half an hour later, you forget the idea. People who really want to make money in this world make it. You have to have tunnel vision. You have to say, this is what I want to do. I believe that. If you wanted to make money, you would make it.

Don't you ever wake up in the morning and think, geez, I could really do with a lot of money? You think, I have a brain, I could use it, I could actually do this, I could play the stock market, I could be a televangelist or something. You could actually do it if you really wanted to do it. But you would have to really want to it. So basically you wake up in the morning and say, "oh, I don't really want to do anything."

Q: Is commercial success something you still aspire towards?

KA: No no no. It's all been a total fluke. I would have liked to have made more money, 'cause I think everybody has a creative period, normally between about 19 and 30. That is the time when you have to establish yourself in life. If you haven't made it by the time you're thirty, you never will, basically. Okay, forty (laughs). If you wind up forty and you don't have a house and a car and life insurance and health insurance, you know, you're fucked.

Q: Was it frustrating for you not to have much success in the States?

KA: I didn't really have that much exposure here. It would have been good. Basically the idea is to make a bunch of money with the creative talents you have before you're forty. I'm not answering your question, am I? This is the underlying thing, this is what is behind it. Whatever it takes, whether it's America or Holland, I don't know, it doesn't matter. You have a certain window in your life where you're intellectually curious, you have energy, and you're not blase, and you're not tired of life. That's when you have to do it. That still doesn't answer your question. It does, actually, really.

Q: You're talking about hitting thirty - were you conscious of the British underground that had started around '67 losing momentum around that time?

KA: You only become conscious of things that you have things to compare them to. You can't make assessments if you don't have something to compare them to. I think that what happened with post-war society - suddenly young people were going, we don't like what our parents are doing. We don't like war. The war was over, people had money, and they had time. It was like a one-off. My youngest daughter says to me, geez dad, I wish I'd lived in the sixties. I know what she means, because there was a whole bunch of stuff happening. People were pre-video and people read books in those days, and talked to each other. It was a unique time. In fact, if you check the history of human beings, you'll find it's the only time that young people ever got up and had any effect at all. What happened was that the establishment moved in and discredited them - "they're hippies, they don't wash, they smoke pot." But there were huge advances in human rights and basic freedoms. It never happened in the history of man, never.

Q: Are you going to do more stuff with the people you worked with in the Canterbury scene?

KA: No.

Q: Do you communicate with them?

KA: No, I don't know where they are these days. It's very sad, 'cause we were very close to start with. That's okay, it happens to the best of lovers.

[Reposted 21 February 2013 & 6 October 2014]

Kevin Ayers, founder of Soft Machine, has died aged 68
By Alice Vincent

Kevin Ayers, an influential musician in the Sixties psychedelic scene, has died aged 68. The English singer-songwriter was found dead at his home, where he lived alone, in the South of France around lunchtime on Tuesday by a neighbor. It is thought he died on February 18, 2013.

Bernard MacMahon, from Ayers's record label Lo-Max Records, told the Telegraph that the musician had not been ill, but had "lived a rock'n'roll lifestyle." A note was found by his bed which said, “You can’t shine if you don’t burn.”

MacMahon said that Ayers was “the ultimate product of the Sixties generation,” and that he was a “proper artist,” not motivated by the prospect of fame, but by a “turmoil to create something he was happy with”.

Ayers founded Soft Machine and played early gigs with Syd Barrett's band Pink Floyd in the Sixties, paving the way for a wave of psychedelic pop music. Soft Machine's self-titled debut album is considered a psychedelic classic, and music critic Nick Kent said that Ayers and Barrett "were the two most important people in British Pop music. Everything that came after came from them."

When Jimi Hendrix moved to London in 1968 he became good friends with Ayers. Hendrix encouraged Ayers to write music, giving him a Gibson guitar to do so, and the two musicians toured America together that year.

In 1970, Soft Machine made history by being the first band invited to play at the Proms. Ayers’s first solo album, Joy of the Toy, was very influential for future rock bands Sonic Youth and Teenage Fanclub. He went on to write music with Brian Eno and Elton John, before retiring for 15 years in the 1990s, when he moved to the South of France. In 2007, Ayers released critically acclaimed album The Unfairground, but was reluctant to perform.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A dirty movie every man, woman & child on earth MUST watch! (repost)

Published on 28 September 2012

Excursion into the realms of soil, the # 1 lifegiver on Earth... its fundamentally important ecological functions, our poor understanding of it, as well as our destructive relationship with it. Soil is so essential to life, and thus to us, that our survival is directly dependent on our understanding of soil and how to protect it.

[First posted 25 September 2014]

Sharing Water with Robert Heinlein (repost)

A few hours ago I finished re-reading - perhaps for the fourth or fifth time since I first stumbled upon it in 1970 - Robert A. Heinlein's cult classic of reasonably epic proportions, Stranger in a Strange Land. [Click on the link for a synopsis and if you're keen to read the book, I suggest you look for the uncensored 1991 edition.]

As often happens with vast intelligences that have played a significant role in my mental upbringing, I just discovered that July 7th happens to be Heinlein's birthday. If he hadn't died in his sleep on 8 May 1988, Robert Anson Heinlein would be celebrating his 103rd birthday today.

I don't really know where to begin when it comes to defining the ways I have been influenced and inspired by a consummate storyteller like Heinlein. I'm tempted to describe him as a speculative anthropologist; an ardent observer of humanity who couldn't resist imagining all the different ways being human could be a much more joyous and fulfilling condition - shorn of all the idiocy and hypocrisy implied by the words "polite society."

Among Heinlein's various prescriptions, as dispensed through his prolific output of long and short works - loosely categorized as "science fiction and fantasy" - his obvious delight in satirizing organized religions was matched only by another scintillating intelligence named Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.

In honor of a great soul, a free spirit and a boundless imagination that has impacted on at least three generations of readers, here's a selection of wry quotes from Robert Heinlein collected from various novels (Stranger in a Strange Land, Time Enough For Love, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) by a fellow admirer...

One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

History does not record anywhere a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help.

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

One man’s 'magic' is another man’s engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word.

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

I’ve never understood how God could expect His creatures to pick the one true religion by faith - it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe.

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.

A monarch’s neck should always have a noose around it. It keeps him upright.

Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.

The supreme irony of life is that no one gets out of it alive.

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

Learning isn’t a means to an end; it’s an end in and of itself.

Specialization is for insects.

Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. (He is also a fool.)

“Love” is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

Does history record any case in which the majority was right?

[First posted 7 July 2010, reposted 20 April 2016 & 4 June 2017]

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Mike Rayburn ~ a totally inspiring local universe problem solver!

Published on 22 Apr 2012
For more videos go to

Hall of Fame Speaker, Virtuoso Guitarist and Comedian, Mike Rayburn performs his hilarious, motivational "What If?" keynote. Setting big goals, peak performance; opening or closing events, churches, theaters -

[Brought to my delighted attention by Hock Soh. First posted 15 August 2014]

Friday, July 26, 2019

David Icke on the Archons ~ 1:40 interview with Jo Conrad (repost)

Published on 19 June 2012

Jo Conrad interviews David Icke about the manipulation of humankind, reptilian influence and the awakening of human consciousness....

[Brought to my attention by Julia Reuter. First posted 2 August 2014]