Charlie's Blog: Communication Breakdown


Communication Breakdown

Let me explain something about guitar playing. Everyone's got their own character, and that's the thing that's amazed me about guitar playing since the day I first picked it up. Everyone's approach to what can come out of six strings is different from another person, but it's all valid.

I don't know where Jimmy Page rates in the pantheon of guitar gods. He is below Hendrix and Clapton but above Townshend. Of course, the Page quote above shows the absurdity of such rankings. Page was unique and highly musical. He blended blues, rock, country, folk, and eastern music into a stew that is uniquely his own. Then, there is that bow string he put to the guitar creating sounds unheard. What is the point? You don't have to be the best to make something valid. This is not to champion mediocrity but to show that everyone has something important to contribute. Status and talent take a backseat to the music which is what matters.

I take heart in this attitude of Page. I do not play guitar, but I do write. I am no Shakespeare, but I do write what I like. I am a big believer in the DIY ethic, and I think the reason more people don't do more things is because they fear rejection and failure. But it is OK to fail so long as you fail uniquely. Comparison is the enemy of courage, and people think they have to beat someone to be someone. I don't see it that way. You don't have to beat anyone. You just have to be yourself.

Antonin Scalia died, and I know that all the liberals and progressives are gloating because it happened under Obama who will certainly nominate a Marxist babykilling feminazi living Constitution type to the court. The GOP Senate will roll over on the nomination because Republicans are pretty much worthless today. If they weren't, Donald Trump wouldn't be riding so high in the polls. And it won't matter if they did block it because I am coming around to the conclusion that Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States. Yes, I am practicing defensive pessimism here. Why? Because one of the worst things has already happened which is the most conservative and best justice on the SCOTUS dying under the administration of the worst president in my living memory.

Abortion will be legal for at least 40 more years in this country. Gay polygamous marriage is the next frontier in the assault on holy matrimony. The Fed will go to negative interest rates and pay you to borrow money from them. Islamophobia will become a crime in this country punishable by hefty fines and prison. Meanwhile, Muslims will have free rein to rape our women and kill us. Say, it can't happen? They already fine the hell out of people for being "transphobic" and "homophobic." This country will find new levels of depravity and lunacy.

I weep for this country. It is in the toilet, and now, it needs someone to push the handle and flush us out of our misery. Meanwhile, we have a Pope who goes around the world lecturing governments and societies about fighting corruption while the Roman Catholic Church struggles to pay for the damage from the sex abuse crisis and tolerates a Vatican Bank that launders drug money. The Church is prepping to apologize to Lutherans and admit them to communion on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Revolution. Somehow, what really matters is that we drive smaller cars like the Fiat, so at least the planet will survive our species. I weep for the Church of Rome.

A lot of things bother me these days. Maybe they shouldn't, but they do. A wise person said, "What you cannot cure, you must endure." I cannot cure the world, so I endure it. I think it also helps to have multiple projects, so you can get a morale boost from small victories. You may not be able to change the world, but you can build that bookshelf for the study.

This small victory thing is part of what I call "blue collar bliss." It is when you experience flow and satisfaction from the most practical of projects. It usually happens in some project or trade where you get your hands dirty. You don't have to be blue collar to experience it. The woodworker in his shop derives every bit of the same satisfaction that Jony Ive derives from designing the new iPhone. In fact, the woodworker probably experiences more because it might be a year before Ive sees the finished product of his labor.

My brain is tapped out. I am only one cup of coffee into my day. Ten more to go! Actually, I am kidding on that. I try to keep it to seven. When your hand jitters so much that the coffee doesn't stay in the cup, that is a good time to tap the brakes on your caffeine consumption.