Sunday, November 30, 2003

I gotta do a quick data dump here. Thanksgiving night, it was late, the four of us sitting around the house. Cozy, intimate. I shared with Red and Mohdie and Madelyn what has been happening with Cleopatra for the last two years. just laid it out on the line. for the first time really. Combination shock sadness horror confusion.

This morning I have this deep realization while I was making an espresso. subtle. I spend the last 24 hours reflecting on the shock and horror that I saw in Maddie and Mohdie when I told them what was going on. Trying to figure out how I can let that happen. what have I been doing>? What was I thinking? this morning I started realizing that it is simple. It’s a love thing. for a lot of us. it is just a measure of how much we are willing to put up with for love. To have that feeling of love in our lives. Or any of the things that go with it. or even anything that approximates it. so for me I was willing to be lied to and deceived a lot and even kept it a secret from everyone else to protect Cleo and my own rep just so I could have her in my life. because somehow I was still equating her with love. But I hadn't gotten anything even close to real love, not even friendship love, from her in years. man that hurts. But its true. so I was just kind of letting all this stuff happen that shouldn’t be happening. Lies all over the place. half truths. Just totally not my scene and whenever I say anything about it, she always just says I am being self-righteous. To try to get me to just let her do whatever. and man the whole time I'm walking one walk but I'm allowing this whole other walk to be going on in my world just because of love. Man I think that has something to do when people are raised with a kind of dysfunctional or codependent love thing when they are kids. I think a normal person would have just walked away, done whatever they had to to get out years ago. now I know. in the tub I felt this really wonderful and powerful sense of peace and happiness. I have been floating in it ever since thanksgiving when I made this decision to let all this go.

I'm walking around the house screaming my lungs out just to let out steam about sleep with you not shooting right up to number one. I'm on the phone with the promo people everyday. What the fuck is up with this album? the head promoter tells me that it is their most controversial CD they promoted all year. they love when albums launch such polar extreme responses from people. he compares it to Eminem. He says that they have 125 stations playing it now who just love it. and then there are the ones who are just really turned off by it. by the artwork, by the crass lyrics. By the loud guitars. You name it. man I didn't expect this at all. I told the commercial rock radio promoter, listen Lisa, we weren't trying to be controversial. I look at that cover and I just think its beautiful. I don't even notice that she is naked. I was just trying to make a statement about love and sex and relationships basically. That was it. And what's so controversial about that? She thinks we should change the cover.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

I think sometimes that you can reach a point in your life when you have grown beyond where you are. you look around you and it appears that everything and everyone is still the same. But somehow you feel beyond it. as if you are looking at it from afar. I think I have reached that point.

Last screening: the new matrix movie. There are times when the acting is so cheesy that you laugh. And the writing is at best purposefully incoherent. But what a ride. it was spellbinding and breathtaking at times. What an awesome movie. i loved it. I really cannot wait to see it again.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Talked to the Ferret today. we are always joking that he is clueless, even though he is a well respected county attorney (o.k. so maybe that means that he definitely is clueless... ) anyway he’s telling me to stop spending money on the band and on music. Talking about my current financial situation. He is passionate about nothing. Every now and then he will strike a passionate pose for a brownie Sunday, but even that only lasts a few seconds. And seventies music. But not enough to actually purchase it, only to steal a song or two from the Internet. So I know I cannot take it too seriously because I am extremely passionate about many things. and he is not. and this is a big difference between us, but it still affected me very deeply because he is a close friend. Reminded me of my grandparents always telling me to be a lawyer or a politician and not an artist, but I just always ignored them. Ferret was preaching to me about how I should finish school and become a lawyer or go get my MBA or something because I could be very successful but that presently I am “squandering my potential.” He is judging my present situation based on how much money I have, compared to how much money I used to have. I tried to explain to him that life is more than the sum of the dollars in your bank account but more about I think most importantly, how you feel inside—how happy and fulfilled you are, and two, your accomplishments. The things you accomplish day to day that get you juiced. I live for that juice. A lot more than I do for the money. He lives for a day to day grind at a job he doesn’t like so he can retire after thirty years in it.

Every weekend I watch him go out and get drunk every night so he can forget the day to day grind and then start all over again on Monday morning. I could not do this. And I cannot live my life judging success by the money you have. I tried to remind him of my experiences last week joining up with the rebel activists to defend humanity against the dark forces, and that my name and face are all over the news and papers this week for this accomplishment, or my summer living in Italy researching my heritage, or the homes or cars or guitars I have been able to collect, or the fun I have had when I have had money giving it to all my friends helping them make their own dreams come true; I explained to him that I have five albums out now that I love and that are loved all over the world, and that I am very happy, unlike a lot of other artists I know---whether musicians, painters, poets, writers, film makers, etc---who have never put anything out and don't seem very happy and are always complaining about how hard ‘the industry’ is and all that. but he would hear none of it. the only thing on his mind was money in the bank.

And he is right. The fact is that I have no money in the bank. I am flat fucking broke yet again. He is obsessed with it. But for me as an artist I am really happy, so no I'm not squandering my potential by pursuing a career in music and sacrificing a few good years that I could be a driven capitalist. [I didn't even bother to tell him that I am seriously considering selling everything I own, and going to join the revolution full time. living no where but just traveling from movement to movement.] But he pointed to how rich and successful I would be if I hadn't been pursuing this career in music for the last ten years. and asked when will it end? when are you going to stop? At which my answer was, I don't know yet. I'm happy with what I am creating now. I am not necessarily happy with the extreme lack of success I have achieved in my music career—for that surely there must be some kind of an award I have won by this time—perhaps lowest sales of all time or something like that---or perhaps most prolific and unsuccessful artist of all time---but I am very happy with the music I have made so far. it makes me smile when I think of it. like now I am smiling.

I am also very happy and proud of the fact that I still make music or create my art in general because a lot of people just kind of peter out after a while if they don't get success as if that is the measure of it, and also every album I put out sells more than the previous so as an artist most of the time I walk around feeling very fulfilled and proud, and truly I would say a lot of time a combo between confident and humbled by it all—it’s a weird mix, so all that's a good thing. Kind of like on a cloud. And seriously, in the studio the other day I told Zeke and Trophy Wife, this (the Nothing is Cohesive album) is the first great album I have ever made. After all these years I think I finally made a decent album. of course they laughed. Zeke just gave me a look like ‘dude you truly make no sense when you talk like that...’ but that kind of sums up how I feel about it---I like it that much, when I listen to it, it makes me feel like “wow, I cannot believe I finally am making a good album. After trying so hard for so many years.”

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Thanksgiving morning. Woke up to Justin’s new one, justified. KICK ASS! Brown Bear is getting married today. I am responsible for playing the different CDs during the ceremony. Which means I am supposed to be there by 10 am. I tell Brown Bear over the phone dude how the hell am I supposed to be there at 10AM? You know how fucking early that is? Are you crazy? anyway I scheduled three different wake up calls to make sure I woke up in time. I made it. Justin's new CD is slamming and deserved the attention it got. It’s a white guy making black music so its got that touch of both; sounds really groovy. Watched a little football to wake up. And got ready.

I was one of the few friends of brown bears invited to this his second wedding. So I decided not to go fly home to be with the fam this year so I could do his wedding. I felt very honored to be a part of a very intimate family affair. Man we go back a long time. the Wolf wasn't here. I don't know why. the cat either. Can’t get a hold of the cat. Miss her a lot. They are going through such changes now. divorce and selling the house and all that. who would have known? life really does kind of ebb and flow in a way that is unpredictable at times. And we keep flowing. We don't have a choice.

The wedding was very beautiful. in the back porch, under the cool sun. there was a moment when Brown Bear was saying his vows to his new bride, shall we call her little bear, and she had this look in her eye, staring up at him and you could just see this love and appreciation and joy in her eyes. it was something that I hope to see in my own bride’s eyes one day. it was heart-warming. A truly joyous affair. After the ceremony, a few people made a toast. So I said one myself, “on behalf of all of your friends that I am sure wish they could be here on this special day, I want to make this toast which has very profound connotations among men: a very long and high pitched “ddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuudddddddddddddde.” All the older people looked at me like ‘what did he just say?” it was very funny. But his mom gave me this look of ‘thank you’ with a glean in her eye. We all clinked glasses.

Ali Bear is here of course. I am sitting here typing and watching her out of the corner of my eye. She is holding a baby. She looks so beautiful and motherly in the cool sunlight. We used to date back in college. Spent a few months together. We had a nice time. I stare at her and wonder. She's going to make a wonderful wife. Happy to still be here. part of their family for so long. the kind of friends where you take each other for granted almost. You can be in the same house for a few hours and just hang out. I have that here with them. I like that. we’re lucky when we have that in our lives. not being with my own fam this holiday and yet so appreciative that I have two very special places to go, two kind of surrogate families. After this we’ll all meet up at Madelyn O'Ryan’s house for another dinner and desert.

Last night I went to Zeke’s to record trophy wife’s background vocals to our new album. we are finished at Vancouver's house. Just trying to finish some backgrounds on nothing is cohesive. Zeke volunteered to finish producing it and mix it. I found myself so happy working with trophy wife again. she has this amazing voice and it gets me very giddy singing with her. She glows.  Like an angel. Similar to Madelyn O'Ryan. There's pix of her on the rise and shine album. She is a special person, kind of child-like, innocent, sweet natured, so it adds this touch of sweetness and joy to our projects. She is our secret weapon. It really felt good, working out the back ground vocals to a few songs, tomorrow and bored. I thought to myself, this is what Transcendence is all about. This is transcendence. This interaction between the three of us working on this great music.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Last screening: The John Denver story. This Christmas I will go to Colorado to spend some time in the snow and board. Remember that astrologer telling me that astro-cartography indicates that Colorado is the place in the continental United States where I will feel the most comfortable and happy and inspired. There was a lot of footage of Colorado in the film. Vermont and new Hampshire are still my winter home, but after seeing this film Colorado could be it. and I need that because when I think of Vermont I think of Cleopatra and when I think of Cleo I feel sad. And I don't want to feel sad anymore. [note—in the building found all of our photo albums of our whole relationship. She had stored them all there in various boxes. The boxes weren't even sealed anymore. I looked through them with some friends. You could see this slow transition from the beginning of the albums when we were so young and happy and innocent and in love and then though the middle years and then towards the end neither of us look happy. [I want to write about this later—what precipitated that—and what can make you stay in something like that? I guess for me – I can’t speak for her --- but I just felt so in love all the time even though I was unhappy I just kept telling myself that it would get better. I felt like if I left it then I wouldn’t be a real man. I'm sure some of that came from me and Beaver’s father leaving us when we were young. I didn't want to do that or be that. So I just kind of hunkered down and said I'm going to stick this out no matter how hard it gets and plus I never really fell out of love with Cleo.

Even though I was unhappy with a lot of what was going on, I think I just was always in love with her. My eyes wandered sure, but she was still the number one to me. I'm sure she told herself the same thing. But boy did we look unhappy in the last few pages of pictures though.] so yes Colorado this year. and yes you can be declined by every major record label in the world for years and be John fucking Denver. And so that helped me seeing that. Having to constantly remind myself who I am at this point in my career. Cause when you're not making huge bank its easy to forget who you are and what you’re all about. Its easy to lose sight of your own belief in yourself. It takes a lot of strength and courage and will. Will man. Fucking will. And what I am doing and what I am about. Hey have I got my fill of being an underground/indie/cult hero/icon yet? [God who am I kidding. I have like three fucking fans. What is that? That’s not even an underground indie cult hero. More like an under-underground unhero.] Am I ready to move on to the next level? Hey if it comes with a little more money and security then hell yeah, and I know the other guys in the band feel the same way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I am back in the real world now, for the first time in over a week. Plugged back into the matrix. Going to the usual places to get my veggie juice and cappuccino. Pick up the mail and packages from the last week. Going back to the office. Talking to the average people on the street. Asking them how we did over the last six days. This is more of an anecdotal analysis. Which I think is important. Although in a few days we will all be briefed by Pyle with a very detailed media analysis which will tell us how we faired in the eyes of the people on a global scale. But from what I have gathered so far here in Miami from your average person is this: we succeeded in so far as we got the message across that “free trade or the FTAA” was a bad thing to some people and that people were protesting it. people also seemed to understand why it could be bad, danger to the environment, taking advantage of workers in poorer countries, and a potential of losing jobs in America. but people also walked away with the following perceptions that “it is a good thing that the protestors did not cause a lot of violence and disrupt the talks” [this is amazing when you break it down and think about it---aprox 35 to 50 men get together in a private, no-public-access meeting to discuss the future of over 800 million people and the average person on the street feels like it’s a good thing that “the protestors” weren't successful in shutting down the city and breaking the meeting up. this goes to show how easy it is to control people to feel exactly how you want them to feel but how they don't want to feel but they just don't know it—keep them uninformed and they won't know that they aren't on your side. And also continue to control the media to focus on the ideas of “protestors” and “demonstrations” rather than “the people” and also ideas like “violence” and “riots” and “anarchists” rather than “our rights” or “human rights” or “civil liberties” or “keeping our jobs” or “protecting our environment.”

Here is an example: a recent email I received from a friend on holiday:
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 xx:xx PM
Subject: Ola!

“>My dearest Fishy,
From Ixtapa ... relaxing and really enjoying being lazy and laid back ... hope all is well with you and that the riots have calmed down. I fly out to Orlando on Friday........”

And my response:

HI Love,

I am glad you are having fun in Ixtapa! Good times indeed. They were not riots. They were "the people" taking to the streets to try to defend all of our rights against the evil empire that is destroying the planet. Just so you know:) Same thing that happened in your beautiful city of Seattle back in '99.

Have fun in Mexico (where all the American jobs are going faster than you can say margarita!)
Love Me

Back in the office people are like “hey what happened to you? I saw you on the news? Are you o.k.?” I asked an associate in my office building “so Luis tell me honestly, did you get the perception from the last week that “the American people” were out there fighting for all of our rights against the evil empire? Or did you get an impression that there were just anarchists in the streets trying to cause riots and being trouble makers?” his answer? “Both. I think that it appears that there are some people that were there who cared about poor people and the environment. But the general perception is that they are freaks or hippies or anarchists and there isn't anything we can do anyway to stop what is inevitably happening.”

Monday, November 24, 2003

Who Runs The World

I'm at brunch for hours today. Sitting under the sun at my usual haunt. Eating an amazing omelet, ham, spinach, feta, and tomato. Sipped through three large iced cappuccinos. I've spent hours reading and studying the whole free trade issue this morning and into the afternoon. Mainly studying NAFTA and its devastating effects on humanity. How it has caused millions of people to lose their jobs here in America. How it has caused millions of people to lose their jobs in Mexico, thousands of farms and factories have had to close down. How there are now over 3000 large American companies who own factories in Mexico with some 1.4 million Mexicans working for them, mostly very young women earning 50 cents an hour with no benefits and no workers rights. This is what free trade means to Mexico and to Americans. Good thing? Doesn’t sound like it. I don't know. I always try to give the benefit of the doubt. I'm searching and searching to try to find the good in this. I want to believe in America still. I want to be a believer. I want to be a good American. just then the artisan calls me. asks how the show went last night. We talk. I tell her what I'm studying. That I'm putting up about 8 or so protesters at my house, kids with backpacks who are coming down here from all over the country for a few days at my house. I tell her what I am discovering about free trade. What I'm reading about.

She shares with me one month she spent with a man she almost married; she calls Mr. Constantinople. She cannot tell me his real name. she is sworn to secrecy. she met him at the Phoenician resort in Scottsdale. She was a massage therapist. He is an oil barren billionaire who works for one of the princes of Saudi Arabia and travels with him and by his side night and day. he is the man who takes the orders for oil and places orders for oil. He is the number one negotiator They had rented out the entire resort for a month to live there. they brought with them an entourage of hundreds of people. many princes and princesses and all their many numerous wives. They were all all multi-billionaires---ten times over. They control all the oil in the Middle East. At least from the country of Saudi Arabia. She shared with me how she had never seen wealth like that before or such a blatant display of wealth. She spent a month with him. and all of them. she explained to me that it is nothing like we imagine or see in movies or TV. It is way beyond anything we could even imagine. She said that the princes do not even get up to get food or something to drink. It is all done for them. they do not dress themselves. They have up to ten servants who wait on them hand and foot every second of every day. if they want to read the paper that is three feet from them, they snap their fingers, someone gets the paper for them and then reads it to them. then they are told to shut up when the prince wants to stop listening. The wives and princesses have up to three people doing their nails at a time, doing their hair everyday, getting them dressed, walking them to the bathroom, anything you can imagine. The artisan said she found it horrible and sad and found these people were so completely twisted, narcissistic and helpless, and unconnected that it did not seem that they were humans. More like robots or creatures from a strange b movie. She said she felt no love, no soul, no sense of family, and no sense of honor or truth or honesty or realness in them. Their lives revolved around oil, their own royalty and self importance, making earning and spending money, self gratification, pleasure, and just this kind of droll boredom that dominated their day to day lives.
Babe so what are you telling me? What does this have to do with free trade and all that? I ordered my fourth cappuccino.

She kept going. the point is that I got very close to Mr. Constantinople. Suitcases of cocaine were always with them. Suitcases! she told me exasperated. Twenty men would get out of ten limos all carrying suitcases of cocaine and other drugs. You have to understand Fishy. they have so much money and have such power that they are above and beyond any laws the rest of us abide by. They own Saudi Arabia. They make the laws there and in all of the other Middle Eastern countries, but I then discovered that the same applied here in America, they are completely immune to all American laws as well. I kept thinking how can we all be here at one of the poshest swankiest most well known hotels and resorts in America right? and we’re all laying around outside by the pool all day and all night snorting cocaine off of everything in sight, everyone is doing every drug you can imagine. There are hundreds of women everywhere who are basically just sex slaves just laying around there to do whatever any of the princes ask them to do. and nothing is kept in secret. It is just this huge sex and drug party that goes on all day and all night for a month and every now and then Mr. Constantinople would have to do some business which entailed talking on the phone, then talking to the princes and then talking on the phone again to sell some oil. And its all illegal here in America but here we were doing it for a month in front of hundreds of the resort staff and everyone just acted like it was business as usual. I kept thinking to myself how is this going on in my own backyard?> how is this happening in Scottsdale Arizona/ what about the police or the mayor or the neighbors?

So did you ask him about it at all or did you just play dumb the whole time? you didn't want to ask how the hell they thought they could get away with all of that,’ I asked her.
Well I didn't play dumb Fishy.
You know what I mean.
Yeah, well I just you know was hypnotized by it all. I mean we were high the whole time. and drunk. and just total animal consciousness type stuff. just all sex and drugs and drinking and pleasure. So I would talk to him sometimes. He explained to me how there were very few people who controlled the entire world. Less than seven or eight men. And they ran basically the entire world. Every few days he would tell me more. he would explain to me that the Saudi princes the entire family were above and beyond any laws in any country in the world; almost entirely. They, along with a few other men---some from America and some from England---control the rest of the world. There are only like seven to ten of them I think he said.

She went on, but I stopped listening for a minute and reflected. This wasn't the first time I had heard this. I had heard this theory many many many times before from many other sources. We all have. it seems to be less a theory and more of a fact that just hasn’t ever bubbled to the surface of the mainstream yet. Most people write if off as conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo. But she was inside it. here she was recounting it from a whole other angle, not from the angle of some whacked out leftist liberal conspiracy theorist point of view, but from one of the men who was actually in the group. From the inside rather than from the outside. This is what was so fascinating to me. she had never studied this stuff before. the artisan is your typical hot sexy blond who has makeup parties at her house. She is just a sweet American girl. She probably thinks conspiracy theory is a movie with Mel Gibson. So she just kind of fell into this by accident. It wasn't like she was prone to this kind of thinking...

Well artisan what did you do? how did you react when you would hear this stuff?
Well at one point there was a night that I kind of had this emotional breakdown. Because I did love him. I thought I was in love with him. and I was almost like hypnotized by this lifestyle. But I felt my soul leaving me because it was just such a soulless scene but so tempting to a young girl. She laughs at herself for a moment. and the more I observed and thought about it all I just had this night by the pool maybe two weeks into it or three weeks I don't remember and I was very drunk, and all of a sudden I realized that they probably killed a lot of people all the time, did whatever they wanted to. so I asked him about that. and he started to laugh. Very loudly and he said that I was like an innocent flower, like a little girl who didn't know anything. And he thought it was precious. But I didn't think it was precious. I thought it was very scary and I started to panic. He was telling me how they make the decisions about everything all over the world. Who lives, who dies. Not just in the Middle East but in America too. What prices were set for everything we buy, what the nations’ economies are like, not just these princes but in general this small group of men, and that even what wars get fought all around the world. And who wins them. he said that everything we think about America is a lie. And that it is a myth. A safer myth than most other countries but our freedom as a people is just a total myth. And that our presidents and our politicians don't really do anything. That they think they do and that is what is so brilliant about it, but that if anyone stopped for a moment and starting researching it they would quickly see that it is this small group of the world’s richest men who control everything. And that is the way it has always been and always will be. And that that is just the way it is because money is what actually controls us, not people. or democracies, or laws, or rules, or voting, or politicians, or even God. And that yes that they kill people all the time.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

We are in the last days of the media arm of this movement. People working around the clock. The week has been so profound for me on so many levels. I have met one or more people from just about every social or environmental or political cause or charity or NGO (non-governmental organization) that anyone has ever heard of or not heard of. Oftentimes the situation is just so tense or fast paced (think Matrix but the cast not all dressed in black but instead dressed like Deadheads and you get the vibe of what the movement looks and feels like, it’s the Matrix movies super-fast-paced-working-for-the-cause-against-the-evil-empire-type-non-stop-action around here---other thoughts: obviously some people don't even realize that the matrix movies were actually (or are being used by some as) metaphors for what is going on right now in the people’s fight against corporate global totalitarianism in the real world now, but today I realized that it wasn't so much a metaphor as much as that is what the movies are about—its like a real world Matrix thing is happening now in the world—maybe it always has been---often referred to in social activism) Often times the days are so fast paced and insane that you may be working next to someone for a few days and not even know who they are, barely their first name, and then a few days later they give you their card and you're like ‘oh, you're from Public Citizen? Or United for Peace? Or the Steel Workers Union?” etc etc. so yeah that's cool. Because you get to connect all these organizations to faces and vice versa. You feel at once this grand sense of purpose and honor to be among this elite group of activists. One word to sum it all up? and this is the part that is so revolutionary about the revolution: humility. Everyone very respectful and humble and just tries to focus on the jobs at hand.

You got people filming interviews with people, Indymedia people editing protesting footage, groups talking food irradiation, members of the American Indian Movement pow wowing in another room, non-GMO food people eating organic carrots talking about communes, protestors against environmental degradation sitting on the floor writing press releases, demonstrators against slave labor in Mexico and Columbia designing postcards in another office, it just goes on and on....sometimes its hard for me cause I haven't been in the hippie scene in so long (not that activism equals hippies cause it doesn’t); I left it years ago; so I could make some fucking money, but now I understand why. you have to be in the world that suits you best so you're in top shape in order to do your best to help. I see the role that each of us plays. And you don't have to be a hippie to be an activist and vice versa. Lots of ‘causes.’

Its interesting in matrix terms because if you think about it you start to realize that if the world wasn't being controlled by people that didn't care about these issues, then the issues wouldn’t exist. There wouldn’t be any ‘causes.’ And of course then there wouldn’t be such a struggle, and this need for all these charities and protests and demonstrations. The people in control would just make sure that the basics, like human rights, and labor laws, and environmental protection, etc were all taken care of before they concerned themselves with money making. But right now its in total reverse to that. so it takes all these other people to pay attention to all these causes for us. this idea that these people are somehow subversive couldn’t be further from the truth. These are just the really plugged in and smart people from all the different demographics from our society. And for some reason they are selfless enough and caring enough to actually do something about it. 

Thoreau and the Camel and I have been talking for the last two hours. I am very moved by this experience of talking so openly and intelligently with people. there is no real boundaries in our conversation because we are all so knowledgeable on all the different subjects that we choose. It is refreshing not to have to fake dumb or fake interest in matters that are entirely irrelevant or mundane in order to have communication with another being.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

It is or was rather 4am on Friday night. at my house now. We have been beaten, lied to, pepper sprayed, arrested, chased, and interviewed to near exhaustion for the last two days. All just because we were peacefully protesting the FTAA. We are sitting around my dining room table. In the wee hours of the morning Too tired to open our eyes all they way but too wired to go to bed yet. so we are talking three of us from three different cities in America. Obsessed with activism and obsessed with social change. We all share in between yawns. Red from XXXXXXX is some kind of mad genius who goes to all these different events and enables and coordinates all the different people coming together from all over the country and working the media to tell the people’s side of the story, rather than the corporate bought mainstream medias’ side that we normally hear about. I tell him in exchange for what I have provided in the last four days all I ask is that I am able to video an interview of he and I and Thoreau (from Connecticut) discussing this  revolution that is brewing in America. We agree that in the morning when we are all awake and semi-refreshed we will make a video to share with my fans and friends on Transcendent Television. More people in our generation need to know that this is happening. He quietly and passionately tells us that he got involved in activism because he could just feel many years ago that there was going to be a massive shift, some kind of revolution in our generation. What the activists in the sixties were not able to accomplish we will in the coming years. Thoreau and I both agree. All three of us could feel the same thing in our own private corners of America over the last few years and here we were sitting in the dark of my dining room never having met before three days ago. but united in this one quest: to break all the world’s citizens free from the brainwashing of the Matrix and the clutches of corporate run governments all over the world.

Later today. It’s the afternoon now. Saturday. We are all meeting. All the different leaders from all the different groups to fill everyone in on what's going on. Sharing all the different things we have heard. And what needs to happen. Evidently some of the 394 people who are now in jail from protesting are being tortured. Mainly the ones who refuse to give their names, nationalities, or cities they came from. there are hundreds of injuries. Many in the hospital. People being denied access to food. Some of the people who are in jail now are attorneys from the ACLU, or from legal observers, or retirees who were protesting, or union labor leaders, people from all walks of life.

one of the people with us is a Cannes film festival award winning director. he is documenting this whole week for an political activism film. He is not just a documenter, but one of us. just like at this point I am not just a singer, but one of us. [I continue to silently question this within myself: how much am I just a singer and wish to be outside of all of this, and how much am I actually completely a part of it now?] We are all starving and no one has any money for food. There are about thirty of us, from every city in America. This is amazing how no one knows each other, just from different orgs and events around the country over the last ten years. when you read about acres of rainforests getting saved or oil rigs getting blocked, or the WTO meetings in Seattle getting stopped, or innocent human rights activists getting freed from jail, it is because of many of the people who are gathered in this room here today, and many others. I am honored to be a witness to this. I am not arrogant enough to consider myself part of it. but more of an admiring observer. all just activists from different cities who have two major goals to accomplish in the next two days before everyone leaves town for their respective homes: one, to try to free the people who are in jail now and make sure they have adequate legal counsel; and two, to try to control the media spin here in Miami and with the national and international media to make sure that the people are made aware of the issues: The importance of stopping the FTAA from going through and its dangers, and how what we have evidenced in Miami in the last two days is a sign of the police state that America is turning into.

I must admit I am still in shock by all of it. I have spent the last three years voraciously studying American history. And so I have learned that our country was founded on this kind of activism. The very foundation of our constitution was created because of this kind of peaceful and sometimes forceful opposition to the status quo by the people in order to defend and protect our rights as people. so it is true, that I am in shock by seeing peaceful protestors and demonstrators attacked so brutally, and also by the kind of bias slant in the media that I have seen in the last three days. I really had no idea that there was going to be such a flagrant cover up of the truth. Is real American patriotism possible anymore in America? or is America really a secret dictatorship like many Europeans say it is? I wonder now.

We now have video footage interviewing locals around Miami who were paid by the police before the meetings began to rob anyone they saw in the streets in their neighborhoods who had cameras or video equipment. There are five video cameras in total missing now from the independent media team. Stolen by locals. [does one believe this? out of a movie right? I'm watching the footage myself. Some of the cameras have been returned now because the locals feel bad after seeing the police beating people up on TV last night.]

Friday, November 21, 2003

It is 7:11 PM on Friday. I am in shock at what I saw. I am back in the media center space that is now officially known as Transcendence. every room is filled with people. on laptops and computers and telephones, editing videos of police brutality, or sending press releases via email to the international press, and talking with press. I cannot believe this is the same building that just three months ago before I left for Italy I used to come to everyday and call my office and second home. it has quickly transformed into a full blown political activist media and working center. 24 hours a day people selflessly working to spread the word of human rights. [based on this experience, I have decided to start an organization called the angels network, that does exactly this: provides office and working space and housing to activist groups all over the country when ever and where ever they go to gather or demonstrate in order to defend social or political causes.] I will write fast and furious as I have not written in two days and have seen more in these two days than I can even believe let alone process. So this may or may not make sense. Went to the county jail here in Miami to work the press that was there to remember to spin the story about what this is really about: the people of the America’s against the FTAA, and the growing militarization of America, city by city. my mind is whizzing. I am not thinking clearly. I have not slept in days. No food all day. no one has eaten or slept in days. It is just about the movement. And this particular movement is just one of many movements that are part of the revolution that is happening now. little did we know. but more on that later.

We went to the jail to protest the 150 people who have been arrested so far. their only crime is that they peacefully protested the FTAA meeting yesterday. We show up at the jail. I am with the same group, the mobilization to stop the FTAA media group. We go to the jail and there are about 75 people protesting already. Our group starts holding various press conferences showing plastic bags containing all the tear gas containers and giant beanbag bullets the size of coke cans that the police fired at the protestors during the peaceful permitted demonstrations. The media seems to be on our side throughout this. and yet when you watch the TV, they portray things sometimes as if the protestors are vandals or violent in some way and the police are just there to stop them. of course this couldn’t be further from the truth. The media’s presence is definitely helping to keep the peace though so we are happy to see them following us around wherever we go. It is mid-day. more and more protestors show up. soon the parking lot is full of protestors. the chanting is just “let our people go, let out people go.” or “free the prisoners, not free trade. Free out prisoners not free trade.” and various other political rallying cries. they hadn't done anything. I was there. I have been embedded with the various groups for four days. And just watched police shoot at us for no reason.

We are scared. But we are strong. No better put, as a sign I saw a girl holding yesterday read, ‘I am sad, but I am not scared.’ Better. Pretty soon we see the streets fill up with about a hundred storm trooper looking guys that are called riot police. But there is no riot going on. Just a lot pf protestors peacefully demonstrating. All of a sudden I find myself as one of three people directly negotiating with the police sergeant of the riot squad on behalf of all of us who are protesting. I don't look anything like a protestor so I think the police find it easy to talk to me. I am with the Archer from the media team I am working directly with (she is a transgender—more on that later—but I think this means that she used to be a he, but is now a she---but regardless of that, she is very brave and calm) and there is another girl with us we will call Sinead who is an attorney from Oregon and who is part of a group of people known as ‘legal observers’---their job is to go to these social activist events and to just observe from a legal standpoint, watching for violations of civil liberties, and then later to work on teams to get people out of jail and to defend them. so now we are acting as a liaison between the people and the police. Pretty soon we are surrounded by these one hundred men dressed in black riot gear. Shin and knee pads, helmets and facemasks, big plastic shields, bullet proof vests, guns, and batons, etc. it is a scary site. but I am not scared. But I keep telling myself that I should be scared.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

“”From our friends at Nightline:
November 20, 2003

TONIGHT'S FOCUS: Thousands of demonstrators are in the streets of London, as President Bush meets with Prime Minister Tony Blair. But the cost of supporting the U.S. has been brought home to England today as the British consulate in Istanbul and a London-based bank were bombed, with more than two dozen killed and hundreds wounded.””

And while this was going on in England and in Istanbul, tens of thousands of protestors marched in the streets of Miami Florida to protest the FTAA meeting going on in the Intercontinental Hotel. I am in the media center now. A lot of action. A lot of dedicated people who haven't slept or showered in days just working around the clock to spread the word. They are making no money from any of this, but doing it simply because they believe. It is an amazing thing.
Jail solidarity, convergence space, workers rights, globalization, totalitarianism, the consensus process, a very democratic, not republican procedure, affinity groups, posting memes --- a self-replicating idea, violations of civil rights, lexicons, press releases, spin, riot police, spokes council. This is the lingo of the movements. The nomenclature. I am learning fast. There is a revolution happening in America now. I will relay it all by reviewing the events of last night. the day of the actual march.

It was 2am. We were meeting at Transcendence to brief each other on the day’s events and to plan the next days events. It is almost completely dark in the room and we are all lying around very exhausted. Many people cry. many people just let out big sobs and sighs at what they have seen. So many of us gassed or shot at for no reason. Running running running from these monsters in riot gear who probably don't even know what the FTAA is or why we are protesting. The police who are here just are doing their jobs.

[Little do they know that we are here to fight for their rights as much as anyone’s else's. But this is an irony of being human. We are not just fighting for the plugged in and aware people of the earth, we are fighting for the ignorant people too. we are demonstrating and protesting for HUMAN RIGHTS. All humans, even the rights of the ones who are chasing and shooting at us. they just don't know it yet. maybe they never will. They have no idea that the reason why they have overtime pay, minimum wages, salary increases every few years, retirement packages, etc etc is because at some time and some where in the last century people went to the streets to demonstrate and protest and earned us all these rights. This is an irony that is not lost on me. I am amazed that the police, who so often complain about low wages and poor benefits, are not on the protestors side, but rather fighting against the protestors. How many of them have friends here in Miami or in other cities around America who have lost their jobs because “the job went South” to some other country. a lot of these cops have no idea that that is precisely why all these unions and labor groups are protesting the FTAA [for many other reasons as well obviously.]] 

We are the lucky ones to have made it out without getting beaten up or arrested. Each one of us goes round the room and shares for a minute just to be able to process. For a moment I feel like breaking down. So I let out a few sobs. I cannot believe that I saw all these innocent people getting shot and gassed for no reason. But on a deeper level than that I share with these people that for three years now, ever since demonstrators stopped the WTO meeting in Seattle I started to veer more and more away from personal and philosophical matters and I started to madly study and research social and political issues. These were things I pretty much ignored for the most of my life, focusing more on matters of the spirit and heart. But for the last few years I could tell that there was something happening in America that was very very big. This is when I wrote the song the journey from rise and shine. There was a revolution happening in America and it was happening not just in my generation. But in younger and older ones too. my whole life changed and I wrote and created the album Rise and Shine inspired somewhat by this revolution that I felt coming. I shared with everyone how moved I was that I have met them all. that I wasn't crazy after all. that this is really happening. And that there were tons of people between the ages of twenty to forty who were actually here doing all th is work for social and political change. I really couldn’t believe it. but felt very relieved and excited.

[It is a strange dichotomy that is at work. I have bonded with these people. We have become one. group. One coalition. But I am still a capitalist. And because of that I am separate from them. And sometimes I get the feeling that some of them are kind of anti-capitalist.] Many of the girls that work with us have hair under the arms. And many have hair on their legs. This is very strange I think to myself. I wonder what that is all about.]

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Just got home from the convergence center for direct action and the media center, which they have appropriately named Transcendence. the whole building. It is quite a brilliant thing that is going on there. too tired to type in what I learned and saw tonight. Big protests and demonstrations tomorrow. all day long. it has the potential to be quite an interesting day.

I walked away from the so-called transcendence media center feeling alive and inspired like I had not in many years. talking to one of the main guys from the orgs and we kind of marveled at the coming together of their hardcore grassroots activism and my more capitalist revolutionary ideas. It could be a good team. A good combination. And it has been so far.

They gave me $200 for the phone lines. That is all they had. after all their other expenses. it will probably cost me about five or six hundred dollars in total, not counting electric and cleanup etc.. I know that, but I don't say anything. They have no idea that I am about to go bankrupt. But I don't mind donating. What they have given to me is so much more profound and meaningful than money. the dots connected tonight. I mean besides the basics which is just that two weeks I could barely walk into that building because of such negative energy because of Cleo and everything. and now the energy in the building is shifting. The building is filled with beautiful shiny happy smart hippie activists. Eating their health food and making their banners and writing spin for the press and media and on their laptops all hooked up wirelessly communicating with media all over the world all night and day. It is a brilliant thing. beautiful.

But even more than that, cause that's my own selfish little thing I get out of having their energy in their shift a major aspect of my life. and that's nice. but deeper than that. tonight I realized that we are there now. we are knee deep in the revolution. This isn't grassroots anymore. This isn't the sixties when the people were just going to be shut down and shut up. this is just me saying this, but I think that the major turning point was in 2000 when at the same time that we were all starting to realize that Bush and the oil companies stole the white house by rigging Florida and through other nefarious acts of deceit, we also saw the WTO protests in Seattle. We saw what we could do, the people. and a lot of us for the first time in our generation saw that there were all these other people out there from our generation who not only knew all this stuff that we didn't but they were brave and smart enough to do something about it. for a bigger cause.

For me that's when things changed. I noticed a measurable shift in my studies and thoughts from matters more personal and more social, less of the heart and spirit and more political. And for the last three years I have just been soaking socio-political thought as much as I possibly can and still stay a productive singer songwriter musician. For me I believe that is where my real strengths are. But the movement for real change has captured me now. and I think it has captured a lot of people. that Seattle event, that violent spectacle was the catalyst I think for a lot of people. we talked about it tonight. for a lot of people just seeing it made them all of a sudden take notice to the word WTO. How many people didn't even know what that meant before those Seattle protests. And then what percentage went and looked it up and checked out what all the fuss was about. It was major awareness raising. And then from there thousands of organizations popped up all the world. It was like overnight. Somehow it became cool and acceptable to be honest about wanting to make the world a better place and not just try to act like you don't care or be all cynical because you think there's nothing you can do about it anyway.

my keyboard on the laptop was fucked. Many letters don't wor all of a sudden... Try to follow along. No I, no K, and no ,. 
Talking about sleep with you and some people might say when   listen to the album don’t now how to feel because t goes up and down and back and forth le a roller coaster. On some songs t sounds le the singer s just some shallow mindless dot and then all of a sudden the next song s really deep and profound and beautiful an romantic so ts confusing. You don't now how to feel. 

Yeah but... can’t type le ths.... 

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Me and Bas went to the convergence center today to see what's up with housing etc. I met this Greek girl. Glasses librarian type. Social activist from New York. I was taken in a heartbeat for some reason. Met with a guy from smartmeme who is handling all the media from all over the world to connect the world media to all the different orgs that are there. There are hundreds of activist groups there. Direct action committees etc. public citizen, CTC, AFICIO, ANSWER, independent media. All very organized and yet completely unorganized, and a mess at the same time. it is something to see. Something out of the sixties documentaries we grew up watching. But with technology the way it is today, its so much more advanced. All these little groups of thousands of kids mobilizing in this warehouse space to do different things. I went there to confirm housing and to meet with one of the main coordinators of the media communication team. They got a leak from the police that the building might be raided and everyone thrown in jail—of course this would be illegal because they aren't doing anything against the law, but they are just totally doing whatever they can to try to stop or hamper the protestors—which when you think about it is really weird and lame because not only is it the rights of the citizens of the United States, its what the great country was founded on---protest, demonstrations, civil disobedience and a little bit of both violent and non-violent resistance to oppressive powers (namely the King of England, and then later in strikes against labor, big corporate powers, fighting for human rights, civil rights, women's rights, most recently gay rights. Why anyone would try to stop others from protesting or demonstrating in America is beyond me since our entire country is founded on it. Strange. So we are secretly planning on moving the whole media organization over to our building, the TMG Records headquarters in an entirely different neighborhood.

Also the governor of the state of Florida Jeb bush has secretly shut down all the homeless shelters in the entire county so people cannot crash there. Also issued some sort of declaration that the churches cannot house people either. So now there are thousands of people who have come and have no place to stay. Crazy. again, why he would do this when it is only going to cause complete pandemonium is a mystery. When does that happen? when does a civil servant just totally lose sight of the America that we all grew up learning about and loving and decide to sell out to business? and more than that, in the end is it worth it to them? I wonder. When is enough money enough money?

Monday, November 17, 2003

Crazy day. one or two more days and counting. Miami is going to be a zoo. And so is my house and yard. I went to the convergence center today. Thousands of mostly college age kids, gloriously long scraggly hair and very smelly standing around and talking and making signs and banners. Had a meeting to discuss the how many people we could have crash at our house. We prob house about 11 of them inside and about twelve outside in the yard in tents. Yes I know, insane. But I am learning a lot about the whole free trade issue. It is like the sixties now in America. When there were all the protests happening all the time... its just that now we are a lot more connected through technology. To be honest I think the protestors and demonstrating orgs are more organized and more well equipped than the police. I don think they have any idea what is converging on our town right now. it is not like the old days....

Then went to the studio to record vocals all night with trophy wife. She also sang all the back ups on the rise and shine album. she is amazing. beautiful, sweet, funny, smart, and a great voice. Didn't need girl vox on the sleep with you album for some reason. But this new one definitely.

Just got home and received this in the inbox from James twyman. He is like one of these spiritual sort of traveling salesman of the soul so to speak. I copied and pasted this for a specific reason. There is a very big spiritual community that has been building in the world the last twenty to thirty years. maybe since the late eighteen hundreds with Madame blavatsky and theosophy and  Rudolph Steiner and anthroposophy and Krishnamurti and on and on. And I've been studying it, God more like obsessed with it for years. God and money. what else is there? o.k. sex and music. And love and family. Right? I mean that pretty much covers it. so check it. but no matter how much you study it or be it or do it and all that, I still have this doubt you know, but this very devout belief. I'm kind of stuck somewhere between Thomas Merton and Carl Sagan. Between Kierkegaard and woody Allen. Its crazy. so o.k. here is jimmy twyman saying that Jesus came and spoke to him and dictated to him. and you just wonder about things like this. I mean lets say it were true, well this would be quite something wouldn’t it? and if it were true and the church heard about it, I mean the various Christian churches around the world, that James was now speaking with Jesus and getting messages from him, well, one would think that that would be quite the miracle and people would be swarming around him, the media and such.

So it just sort of puzzles the mind when you receive these things or read about them. and we do a lot. Every few months right? some statue is bleeding or drinking milk from a straw or some apparition is seen floating in someone's back yard. Its crazy. and now James is taking dictation from Jesus. But you know, people say this all the time now and no one pays attention. It’s the nature of our times. People say oh yeah I'm talking to Jesus now and everyone’s like oh o.k. cool but did you hear about the new show with the Hilton sisters? So I just want to copy it here and just I don't know let it sink in. It would be nice to think this is really happening wouldn’t it? I mean, truly, it would be nice to even believe for a moment that Jesus or something like that even exists, you know? the older I get the less I believe in God, and yet at the same time the older I get the more I just accept that I just do believe in God. Call that what you will. The mind of a madman. But that's how it feels.
Here is his message:

“Where did the "Art of Spiritual Peacemaking" course
come from?

“Earlier this year, over 60,000 people participated in
the "Spoonbenders Course" and joined us in a
worldwide prayer vigil while I was in Jerusalem with
a group of about 65 Peacemakers. After most of the
group left I revisited the Dead Sea with about five
friends. (The spot we chose was very near where the
Dead Sea Scrolls were found.) There is a hot spring
there and I was floating there alone relaxing and

“Suddenly I had an experience that I could never
describe perceptually, but it was as real as anything
I had ever experienced before. I suddenly felt the
presence of Jeshua, or Jesus, with me and all around
me. I felt a strange communication taking place, not
unlike the communication I have often felt with the
Psychic Children. Jeshua asked me if I was willing to
form a kind of partnership, and share the deepest
level of peacemaking that has ever been offered
before. I didn't know how to respond at first, but I
agreed. He said that there would be 33 "Art of
Spiritual Peacemaking" lessons, and that each one
would be exactly 999 words long. (Amazingly enough,
as I wrote the lessons, there was always a point
where the information would suddenly stop, and as I
looked down I was surprised to see that I had typed
999 words. The surprise began to wear off as it
happened time after time.)

“Jeshua said that the lessons would be the Secret
Teachings of Peace that he had offered to the
disciples when he was alive, but which were not
offered to t he general public. He feels that this is
the time for all these secrets to be revealed, and
that is why the experience began.

“I have personally never written anything that has had
so much impact on my own life. As I wrote each
lesson, I felt it was specifically for me. Whenever
anyone would come up to me and tell me how the
lessons were changing their lives, I assured them
that I was getting just as much out of them as they

Trippy stuff right? I mean where do you draw the line with your suspension of disbelief when it comes to matters of spirituality? And also, do you believe James when he says he is talking to Jesus, or not? A lot of people believe the men in the bible—the Matthew mark Luke and John guys who said they talked to God, or were dictated to by God? Again, where do you draw the line? Being human is just total madness. At least until we get this whole God thing sorted out. So many unanswered questions still.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The new Hofner 1968 guitar sounds very special. Old style boxy sound to it. I'm playing it almost exclusively now, that and the Sheraton. Both tuned to the open G tuning. Working on a new song on it, which is just amazingly subtle and beautiful and sexy. back and forth between typing and playing and singing, a little typing, a little singing and playing and writing. It is a good way to spend the day. Sent out lots of Christmas cards this year. Finally finished. 

Went to a party tonight. Before I comment I just want to say that I just played the new song in open G when I got home. no lyrics yet. And I am so in love with it. There is just nothing like this feeling. Of when you are in that first stage of capturing a new song and it hasn’t been worked out all the way yet, and you're still playing with it, listening to it, bending and shaping it. its just a wonderful sensation you get. it’s a feeling of excitement and wonder. And it stays with you all day and night. and you hear the song non stop in your mind 24 hours a day. I wanted to write about it, not like I haven't a million times before, because I just wish that it would stay with you. but it doesn’t. that feeling doesn’t stay around for a long time. After a few weeks after the song has been totally worked out the songs lose their ability to impact me on a deep level. The novelty of the song being new and mysterious wears off. Veronica or beautiful one are perfect examples. When I wrote those songs I was so in love with them I couldn’t stop playing them. Shira and Little Tree were the same way. just totally in love with them. God I love that. it makes me feel reconciled. Makes me feel content and happy being me for a brief moment. When I am in the depth of passion for a new song. Makes me feel alive. Kind of justified. But it is interesting how that novelty passes soon after. And then you wait for a new song to pop its head into your consciousness. Luckily I get them a lot. A few a week. Its an endless flow. But not all of them make you feel as good as the really special ones do. this new one...

So yeah, the word for the night has been meaning. Shit, the word of the month, of the year. but again, God fucking forbid if meaning turns out to be just love or romance. God help me if it is. like I said, I know that's there, and I know it’s a wonderful trip, but there has to be something more than just romantic love between two people, more than family, more than religions, something really meaningful that is pure and singular and doesn’t involve pro-creation or humanity in any way. or maybe even life as we know it. something that transcends life. [see? That's where you catch everybody, right there. even the science people, because at that point everyone is like ‘well he really is just a fucking madman then. Because what else is there besides life? I mean life is what its all about. that is the meaning of life. Its life itself.’ And so help me God if that's all there is to it then this is a real waste of fucking life. for all of us. life for the sake of more life? and that's it? I know it sounds crazy, but there has to be more to it. I think that would just suck if that was it.]

Show last night. played really well. had the crowd really going. it was a sea of love coming to us and from us. played a serious rock show. Debuted the song Junkie live. Crowds favorite. Drummer’s first show. He rocked. No piano man though which sucked. I like having the keyboards there. separates us out from the pack. We are starting to explore on stage, going off, getting creative. So diluted and boring the American music scene is now. such boring predictable rock band crap. us included. We all get up on stage and play song after song, boring repetitive rock or pop songs—. The electronica bands or dance bands or hip hop acts are even worse. I can’t stand to hear the same style of music for more than a few minutes at a time, any style. My friends hate that about me. I never go to concerts of other bands cause they're just too fucking boring. Although if I can write or something on my handheld its alright or if I can just leave early and meet up with them afterwards. They think that's weird.

My mind is just too hyper active for that. I feel the same way about us. just putting on these fucking one hour shows filled with the same style of song one after the other. We won't for long. Some of the reviews I read about our new album talks about how different it is from rise and shine. they said the same thing about rise and shine as if there was something wrong with us for making an album with more than one style on it. but to me, I mean to me as a music fan, that's a great thing. Or else I'd be bored to death. There are very few albums that I can listen to all the way through. Isn't everyone the same way? you would think they would be. but who cares. That's the way that I am. So from now were going to start mixing it up more and more at our shows. Mixing all the different styles that I have done over the years. on all my different albums. Some acoustic stuff here, some rock stuff, some world music stuff, whatever. just throw the whole style thing out the window. Its what I've always done. A ravenous explorer and exploiter. Nothing sacred. What is it with this fucking rule that a singer songwriter is supposed to be the progenitor of one particular style of music anyway? where is this written? So that is where the idea for the nothing is cohesive album came from. G2 telling me that. everyone telling me that. and me sitting in front of my computer screen smiling a Cheshire cat grin because I know it. they think they are telling me something I don't know. but I know. I know that I change my mind all the time. I know that my lack of cohesiveness drives the people that work with us mad. I'm sorry for that. But that's the way I like it. so I don’t get bored. in life nothing is really cohesive. Its all just pretend cohesiveness. Its just the perfectionist thing in me that wants to keep getting it better and better, deeper and deeper, less and less cohesive so to speak, more like a movie, an indie. Something rich and thick—that stretches time and space. this is what I am trying to do. So maybe I'll change my mind a lot and then yeah by the end its this mass of confusion that it isn't cohesive. and the designer is screaming and the guys in the band are screaming---not really though because both father Bloopy and Vancouver and I think the new drummer cooper haze understand this and they feel the same way about music----so the producer is screaming and threatening to quit the project. And the engineer.

On sleep with you the mix engineer spent all day with the song Junkie trying to mix it. All fucking day. and we had like ten different guitars on there by both me and Vancouver. And so many other things in there too. a lot of just noise. He just threw his hands up and said fuck this, I can’t get it, this sucks. I'm going to get some beers. And so me and Fred the producer finished it ourselves. I just told him ‘just turn all the faders all the way up to where they are maxed out but no distorting. O.k. and now turn up my vocals to where you can hear them above all that noise. O.k. now that's a mix.’ He just looked at me and laughed and said I was crazy. but now fans are saying its their favorite song on the album. so that just shows how crazy I am.

But I will say this to close because my friends are standing around waiting for me while I'm writing this and I'm stupid enough to think its important that I'm writing it. I saw this commercial on TV the other day about ADD and it showed this visual and audio kind of hallucination piece to try to show what it is like if someone has ADD and it was this woman and she was so confused all the time and always hearing all this stuff and seeing all this stuff and going backwards and forwards in time and never hearing what anyone was saying in the present moment to her. I thought wow that's what its like all the time inside my mind. That's me. and then at the end it said “you can get help. call your doctor for more information.” And I thought, wow. They’re onto me. they figured out this thing I call my mind. Other people have that?! unfuckingbeleivable. But what was really wild about that moment was realizing that I wasn't going to call the doctor for more information. and I wasn't going to accept the diagnosis either. Why would I want to do that? I like it. I think it helps me create. Its who I am. O.k. so I can’t fucking sit through a whole concert or listen to a whole album or attend a sporting event or get through a full day of school or work a regular day to day job like normal people can without getting so bored I feel like going out of my mind or doing something insane, maybe I really do have this disease, but maybe that's just me and its alright and maybe just maybe its part of what gives me my music and my writing and my life’s work, the whole Fishy thing, the whole Transcendence thing, whatever you want to call it, the whole ‘nothing is cohesive’ thing, is maybe nothing more than the byproduct of a guy with really bad ADD.

So no I'm not going to tell. Thinking more and more about the whole national thing I was thinking about so much last night. I'm right. Local is a waste. It is a miserable trap that leads to nowhere. Had a wonderful talk with Little Tree yesterday. Caught up. She helps me stay sane and grounded.
This is insane, but true. It was just announced that Miami just got permission from the Florida governor to suspend its citizen’s rights to a speedy trial. Isn’t the right to fair and speedy trial our right in the constitution? What this means is that if someone gets arrested for protesting or demonstrating here for the FTAA meetings, and surely thousands will, they will not necessarily have the normal constitutional right to see a judge a few hours afterwards in order to get bail set so they can get out of jail. So people could conceivably be put in jail and spend weeks there without even seeing a judge. Its twisted, immoral, extremely reprehensible, unconstitutional. It could be devastating to many people during these holidays. And they're doing it who knows why? maybe to be cruel> or to try to dissuade other people from our sovereign right to peacefully protest and demonstrate and speak up... check it:

“Dear Colleagues, Friends and fellow Americans,
Since 1997 I have been to more protests, held at more American cities than any other American.  Not only have I been there, but also I wrote the book to prove it.  No where, I repeat, no where, has there been such extreme and inflammatory rhetoric and actions initiated by government, civic leaders and by the police in advance of a major protest in any American city that I visited.

The level of fear and alarm within this community is astounding.  Government offices and schools miles from downtown are being closed with references to demonstrations and riots being cited for these closures.  Radio stations are broadcasting calls for people to salute and support the police because "bad people" are coming to Miami.  Government leaders are saying one thing to the Latin community, and another thing to the Anglo community.  Public pronouncements of not harassing protesters have been circumvented by actual actions by police. 

The latest and most alarming indication that public officials in Miami-Dade County, and now the State of Florida have either completely lost all references to reality, or that perhaps all of this is being used by individuals intent on seeing how far American civil liberties can be eroded through manipulation and orchestrated fear mongering is the decision to suspend the right to speedy trials and court hearing in Miami-Dade County. 

This decision does not only suspend these basic constitutional rights for the week of the expected protests, but suspends these rights for the last half of the month of November, since the 26th is the day before Thanksgiving, and the courts will not open again until December 1st.

Below is the AP story announcing this suspension of this decision.  For those of you who live in other cities, do not think that because this is Miami, that this could not happen in your city.  If it succeeds here, it can happen in your city too.

I have no action plans or ready solution to offer you, but I feel compelled to at least speak out about these issues and abuses.  This is both a sad and scary time for Miami, and even though I am a photo journalist who will be out in the streets next week, I have great concern about what next week will bring.
While I believe the claims that the overwhelming majority of individuals who will be protesting will do so in a peaceful manner - as evidenced by the history of these kinds of protests within this country (outside of this country far different social and political forces have driven the violence in place like Genoa, Italy.) there are individuals who will, as they have before, seek opportunities to engage in confrontations.  At the same time, this is a police force which has in the past demonstrated a lack of control under far less provocation.

I also see no restraint from any quarter which would act as a brake to the possibility that the police, like in Los Angeles during the 2000 Democratic Convention, engaging in one defining act of violence against the protesters if they felt that by doing so they could pacify the protesters for the remainder of the week,

I do not hope that that happens, but at this point I can not rule out that speculation.

In any event, I believe that everyone should be aware of this decision by the Florida State Supreme Court and consider the implications of what this decision means, not only to us in Miami, but to folks all over America.

Al Crespo


TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Supreme Court's chief justice ordered Thursday that guarantees for speedy trials and court hearings will be suspended temporarily in Miami-Dade County because of next week's free trade meetings.
The decision applies to criminal and juvenile proceedings from Monday to Nov. 26, Chief Justice Harry Anstead said in an administrative order. It also affects domestic violence cases for the same period, and foreclosure and Baker Act hearings from Monday to Nov. 21.
"The speedy trial rule requires that criminal defendants be brought before courts in a specific period of time," Supreme Court spokesman Craig Waters said.
Anstead approved the request from Miami-Dade Chief Circuit Judge Joseph Farina, who asked for the precautionary move because of the estimated 20,000 or more protesters expected to fill downtown Miami for the Free Trade Area of the Americas meetings. The meetings run from Sunday to Nov. 21.
Waters said suspensions have "happened in the past, typically with natural disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires."
Many state courts had already decided to curtail operations during the meetings because of the threat of violent protests. (AP)

Saturday, November 15, 2003

I just received this. Cool. We can house some protestors at our place for sure. I don't understand this whole thing fully. Nor do I fully understand why “we” should be against the WTO or the World Bank or the IMF or any of the other things that really cool people in the know are supposed to be against. I don't mind admitting it. try as I might, and I spend hours a day researching and studying things in general, its hard to get to know all the issues that are affecting us. the war on Iraq was an easy one. [Or was it?] this FTAA meeting coming right into our own backyard has made it very hard to ignore. All the better. Everyday I think about it. what the bigger picture is, what are we really here for. Besides just the fun and the money and the glamour and the friends and the art and of course our own survival—even say just family--- what are we really here for? (think of people like Gandhi or mother Theresa or ram Dass and then I start to get a better understanding of what resonates with me in answer to this question---I think people like bono and sting and peter Gabriel and Neil young are also onto it—kind of a combination of non-apologetic self service and gratification and service to others (the people that are running stars edge, the admin arm of Avatar, really took it in a direction that I didn't agree with or couldn’t relate to fully in the last few years with the introduction of the whole ‘selfless service to others’ concept. For me, I believe that it has to be a healthy combination of both. YOU have to be happy first, like just totally fucking selfishly happy, and I swear to God what starts happening is that you just automatically start reaching out all around you helping people.) Most recently....

Subject: urgent needs - housing/floors, young (and old) FTAA protestors
>Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2003 18:46:28 EST
>HELLO! Can you please forward this to your email lists -- very important and
>Hello. The FTAA meeting is coming to town -- and so are the "protestors" --
>who are here to protect worker's rights, the environment, our water (which is
>up for sale), and helping make sure people have a say in their own destiny.
>(They are not ALL here to "break windows!!" ). They envision a world of "fair
>trade" not just unaccountable-for "free trade." The city has done a great job
>of making it difficult for CHURCHES who normally open their doors to these
>mostly young folks to have a place to sleep. As such, there is a MAJOR housing
>crisis. If you can help with a floor, a backyard - anything, seriously
>anything.... one night will even do... please call citizens trade at
>ALSO, so you are comfortable, you can choose what kind of activist you want--
>there are kids coming down from college in Vermont, Texas, Portland - and
>even older activists, union workers, farmers.... You can even specify
>boy/girl/yoga-life/vegetarian/peaceful/gay/lesbian/etc! .... PLEASE help if you can.
>This is a SERIOUS, urgent need. (And could be fun for you too! - plus a way to
>take part, take action.) I have met many of these young activists and have been
>completely moved and inspired.
>(You can see some of the postings on but
>PLEASE also call citizens trade (I am not sure how updated that site it). But you
>can see the range of folks looking for places, and speaking from their
>If you are not already informed about the FTAA (which you may be!), please do
>like I am and learn more about these vital issues - at

Receiving more and more emails and calls for free stuff from radio stations. Sleep with you is starting to bubble. They want posters, cds for on air giveaways, T-shirts, stickers. And they're playing the hell out of the new CD. some of them. Its awesome. I am starting to understand something about it. I think that a lot of people in the indie side of the music biz don't understand how it works so there are a lot of myths that are perpetuated about the ‘local’ or ‘indie’ level. And they are perpetuated by a lot of the major players too. Its not just the indies that think all this. there is this idea that a band needs to break out of their town or ‘create a big buzz’ in their hometown and then branch out regionally and then eventually will get national attention or better yet attract the interest of a major who will then be able to give them national attention. So there is this whole creed and then methodology to how to do this. this is what we can call the Dave Matthews or the Marylyn Manson or even good charlotte approach. And this approach does work.

Late night talks last night with Little Tree. In the dark of the night. When the deepest and most secret thoughts are easily revealed. I tell her how it is almost as if I know that if I were in a relationship I would feel more fulfilled, because I am aware, deeply aware, of how much more meaning I could derive out of being in a relationship, rather than being single. It’s a great feeling to be in a relationship. Easy to get your attention sucked into it---the whole me, her, us, and then when you have kids, them thing. 

Easy to create something that seems bigger than just yourself. But when you break up you realize that a lot of it was just illusion. The whole us thing, the home, the family, and all that. I think older married couples realize that too. once the kids move out, then all of a sudden they realize that it really is just them on their own after all. not all the time. just sometimes. But it is amazing once a couple breaks up how this whole image of ‘the home’ ‘the couple’ ‘the family’ and all the other institutions that are created when two or more people come together seem entirely meaningless and non-existent because now its just back down to two homes of one persons. So you're still back to just being you. When you're a couple you take all this pride and give all this attention to a lot of things you wouldn’t when you are single. Furniture or photos or your pets---many items you bought together or that you tell yourself have some special meaning. 

But when you're single you have the opportunity to be more of a nomad. Those things aren't as important to you because you aren't using them as bonding items with another person I guess. When you are single the meaning that you derive out of life has got to come from somewhere else. It cannot come from your relationship or your marriage or your children because you don't have any of that. So that s where the challenge is, but that is also where there is much joy. 

Friday, November 14, 2003

Date with the Venezuelan girl today. brunch. Nice. smart. Not much English. So communication was minimal, which is always a great thing. lol. I just need to say that I am so in love with this hofner acoustic guitar. It is a 1968. built in Germany. Smells so old and musty. I breathe it in and I start playing and pretty soon I feel as if I am in another world. Last night and then this morning I bought two more very old acoustic guitars. I am falling in love with this. the older the better. But they still have to be in great shape and very playable. One was a 72 Alverez, very fancy, lots of mother of pearl. Bought it from the original owner, an 85 year old man. The other is a 1965 Kay blues arch top. Cannot wait for them to arrive. I get a lot of music out of old guitars. Something comes into me when I am playing one. Something of the vibration of the guitar itself and the era it was made. And of course the sound and feel and smell of them. I have slept with this new Hofner guitar now for a week straight and almost completely forgotten about all the others. 

The American military found saddam Hussein today in Iraq. In the morning. The spokesman for the dark side of the force that that took over America in the year 2000 claimed today that “a dark and painful era is over.” He didn’t actually write this but someone wrote it for him and told him to say it. We are not really sure yet who is running America, although we know that the men doing a lot of the dirty work are just as sinister and ill-intentioned as the ones who are secretly in control. We are sure that whoever wrote this understood the irony as much as many Americans and other people from all over the world do today. It is not that a dark and painful era is over so much as today was a very painful reminder of what a dark painful era we are in the middle of. The dark side will use all of its power in the media to control the feelings of the majority of the American people [known as the Innocents], to try to convince them that today is a day of celebration. Even though saddam Hussein didn't actually do anything to us here in America, even though he didn't actually possess weapons of mass destruction and pose a threat to us here in America, even though according to evidence he didn't have anything to with the attack on 9/11, and even though it has been announced over and over again all over the world that this invasion of Iraq was something planned out back in 1997 by the very same men who are in power now in the now infamous essay describing how it would be a very good idea for America to control the oil reserves in Iraq, the list goes on and on---but the Innocents have already been led very far astray, the smiling puppet faces on their TVs are doing their best to keep straight faces and tell them that this is a good thing that the dark forces that hold America captive have now captured this man of disrepute known as saddam Hussein. 

Last night I talked with anne pageant. She called out of the blue. I had found this ring that she had given me years ago. I knew she was with this guy now. so I thought I might send it back. she was my first girlfriend. Well, you know, she was one of them, from way back when, the first looooong one. Back in high school and college, before I met Madelyn of course. She moved down when she finally got out of high school so we could be together. We had waited four years for that to happen, no more, maybe five years or six even. But by the time she moved down here, me and Maddie were in over our heads in our first summer of love. So that was that. Anne moved back to Connecticut after her first semester down here. But we have always stayed in touch over the years. Through all of our different girlfriends and boyfriends. Year after year. On my birthday, I can always count on a call from her. Since I was about fifteen years old. It’s a nice feeling. We talked a long time last night. she is getting married soon. to some new guy. She loves him a lot. He's a cop. We laughed at the irony of it. There was a time in her life many many lifetimes ago when she was with me, the young long haired drugged up and drunken rock and roll rebel who would sneak through her window in the middle of the night, our parents and the cops were the bad guys. And we were the good guys playing out our own little love story. Talked about how we both still have boxes of all the letters we wrote each other during those years. how cool it would be to compile them all, both hers and mine, man it must be about five years worth of letters thousands of them, two teenagers in love dealing with the usual woe-is-me teenager stuff, us against the world and all that. it would make a cool book. We had a laugh.

So Fishy, I'm the last one I guess huh?
Whaddaya mean?
When I get married, I'll be the last of them. You’re going to have to collect a new set of ex’s. We’re all married now.
Nah, I'm done collecting ex-girlfriends anne. I want to find one I can really hang on to for a while.
What? No more five year installment plans? She laughs. You’re still waiting for your super hero girl, huh huh, she laughs. What a wonderful laugh she has always had. very Connecticut.
Well you know actually, Queenie is still single. God poor Queenie. I hope she is alright.
Was she the one after Madelyn?
What's wrong with her?
I don't know exactly. Always something. now she thinks she has eating disorders. Its always something. I don't get it. she's so beautiful. smart. Witty. Hot. Good family. I just don't get it with her. Sad.
You're always trying to fix all your ex-girlfriends, as if you are still going out with them. That’s sweet of you Fishy. have you seen her recently?
Well we hadn't in a long time. like six years.
you went six years without seeing her?! That must be a record for you!
Yea. I had to. she went crazy. I couldn’t deal with it. I was scared of her.
Why? Because she wouldn’t go along with the Fishy installment plan... o.k. we’re going to break up now and this is how we’re going to do it and then we’re going to be good friends forever plan? Remember Fishy I was there once too.
Well, I just you know... Follow my heart.
I know you do love.
So you saw her? How was it?
it was good. really nice. we made love of course.
You had sex with her after six years of not seeing her after everything she put you through? You weren't worried that she would freak out again?
I don't know. I was just into it. she's very beautiful. and we get along o.k. for sometimes up to five minutes at a time. I laugh.
you are too funny Fishy.
No that's not really what’s funny actually.
This I gotta hear.
What's funny is when I was making love to her I looked down at her and she looked so beautiful, so I told her that, and then I said I love you. and she looked up at me like i was crazy and just simply said, ‘shut up.’ and we burst into laughter. It was so funny.
Hold on! You told her you loved her?!
Well yea. Of course. I mean you don't stop loving a girl just because you break up with her.
No Fishy, YOU don't stop loving a girl after you break up with them. most people do.
yeah. I don't know. I have heard that. but part of me doesn’t believe it. don't you always love someone once you love them?
I think that's just you love. That's what makes us all so crazy for you years after you break our hearts. We can’t resist it. we know you still love us but you’re just fucked up, haha, she barely laughs.
Uh thanks. That's nice. you’re nice. Remind me talk to you more often. Anyway, maybe you’re right.
So she told you to shut up? God that's funny.
Yeah. I guess that is really funny huh? So we had a laugh. And that was that. it was very healing for both of us.
No matter what happens out there, just know I really care for you. you mean the world to me. You know that don't you?
Yeah sure I do. and you mean the world to me. what are you trying to tell me?
Would you be terribly hurt if you didn't go to the wedding? I mean I can send you an invitation if you want one.
You're going to send me an invitation but I'm not supposed to go?
It would be hard on [insert generic male cop’s name here]. he knows about us. how close we were and all that. you won't be hurt will you love?
I guess not. But shit anne, that was in college. That was a long time ago. I mean, you're going to get married and you’re going to be sending an invitation to one of your oldest dearest best friends in the world but he isn't supposed to show up?
Sweetie, you are my oldest best friend actually.
But I'm not supposed to go to your wedding? What, you're afraid I'm going to tell lots of crazy sex stories about you to all of his relatives right? haha. Seat me with his grandparents and I could give them an earful!
Fishy you're cruel. Please stop!
O.k. fine. 
You understand though don't you? It hits too close to home for [cop’s name goes here]. He’s catholic for God sakes.
Catholic?! What are you crazy?!
God don't get me started.
You and me both. I will be surprised if the church doesn’t burn down when you walk in.
I will be surprised if I don't burn it down myself before the wedding, ha ha. She roars with laughter. pauses. You mean the world to me Fishy. pauses.
O.k. Fine. Shut up. I'm not going. but I wish you the best. a cop. I can’t fucking believe it. who would’ve figured that.
Hey! eyHeyWe heard you on the radio in the car the other day. over the weekend. It was so exciting.
Cool. In Connecticut? What station?
I don't know things like that Fishy. you know that. just a station up here.
Well cool. I hope we go to number one in your town the week of your wedding! That would be a laugh, huh?
Yea. that would be the one time when I wouldn’t be praying you had a number one hit in my whole life, she laughs and laughs. That's too funny!
Well lets hope I do. cause we’re working our butts off.
Story of your life. I hope you do sweetie.
Yeah me too.
Well lets talk soon o.k.?
O.k. I'll call you for Christmas.
O.k. deal. Bye love.
See ya.

Last screening: breakfast at Tiffanys. Hhhmmmm. Maybe you just had to be there.
The only male strokes fan in America speaks. That's me. all my guy friends give me a hard time for it. I love them anyway. went out with the guys tonight. I am so drunk. waiting for my Minnie driver. Some smart witty and charming girl to come prancing into my life with a mind bright and sunny, deep and rich and sparkly and never ending.

My friends always high fiving when they see some hot girl on the street or in a bar. They don't know. man we’re we wasted. that's not where its at. Smart girls rule. Funny and smart girls even better. Watching royal tennenbaums drunk. Funny. Hanging out with my friends tonight at the bar. Listening to all the old music they play from the eighties. The eighties are so in now. Remember when the eighties were so out? they were. Think of grunge. O.k. I don't mean think how popular grunge music copy cat bands are still today in the MAINSTREAM; what I mean is think of how really really really cool people think of grunge... o.k. now you get it. Exactly. Like please turn that off NOW! that's the way we used to think of eighties music, once it hit the nineties, even though eighties music was still being shoved down our throats everyday in the mainstream. It used to be so hated and made fun of. Don't worry, in ten years, by approximately 2013, maybe 2017 grunge will start coming back big-time [I think it has already—God will it just go away for a few years at least???] It will be HUGE!!!! And bands like green day, blink 182, sum41, 311, good charlotte, and creed, and staind and disturbed, and all the other one-name nirvana wannabe bands [forgive me for knowing all these names; I had no idea I did really] will be on those sort of reunion or nostalgia tours together. Wait and see. And it will be worse than that. There will be Seattle and grunge shows on VH1, showing all the same shit we've already lived through. Yakking it up for the younger generations. It will happen the same way all these metal hair bands are just about to start doing it today, or even all the fifties doo-wop groups are doing it, or all the older country singers are doing it. the nostalgia tours. it aint a pretty picture, but it’s a living. Simple.

We humans are so predictable. It all comes in twenty year cycles. Sometimes twenty five. Like what is actually happening now with eighties music. Seriously. Bon jovi is actually starting to become cool again. with the kids. Its nostalgic for us man. Last night we were wasted and what were we doing when bon jovi came on? We were guzzling booze and shooting our hands up into the air singing “I'm a cowboy on a steel horse I ride!!!” and high fiving each other. Cheesy or not. yea baby. Duracell commercials or not. crazy. if I ever start doing Duracell commercials I pray that any of my friends please kill me. as a favor. Thanks. I will appreciate it. got me thinking about it. I miss my friends from high school. I think about them all the time. remember that? man getting drunk or getting laid was all that mattered. When did it all turn into being about making money? I don't know. but that's pretty much it now. everyone’s always talking and thinking about success and money. but tonight was different. All singing and dancing and high fiving and drinking. It was fun. Me and Bas talking on the way home about the friends we had in high school that we don't hang out with anymore. We decided that its important to really be careful or at least to have some care or concern when we’re hanging out with people. not just to hang out with anyone anytime. You take the risk of ending up spending all this time of your life hanging out with people who aren't even going to be true blue or close to you later. You know, its that whole thing of not giving yourself away to people who don't deserve it. sometimes you have to be strong to master that way of being. [remember that one time when Anthony Robbins told everyone ‘you are only as successful and as happy as the people you choose to have around you. look at your friends. Take a good hard look at them...’ and he went on and on and it really had an impact at that time on us. you do an inventory. I look back at the six or so best friends I had in high school and only two of them am I still tight with today. the other ones we just grew apart. It happens. its not a bad thing. It happens. sometimes I think I gotta look so and so up and see what they're doing. Sometimes you hear stuff about them like oh did you hear that such and such has aides, or got hit by a car or won the lottery. Its fucking crazy. cause as obvious as everything seems around us, it never hits home really till it hits home.

Current Spin:. Non-stop strokes new one. not as good as first one for me yet. but still like it.