Saturday, July 6, 2013

On the Virtues of Self-Sufficiency...

 Take a look at this picture, what does it evoke in you? When I study it, I get the impression of a dynamic mind looking to expand its horizons. Everything here is a component of something, having a purpose either overt or yet to be consummated. You don't see a bunch of shopping mall detritus or the typical hallmarks of pointless consumerist rope-a-dope existence, you see the application of thought towards an ongoing goal. A goal driven by the mind itself, as opposed to being 'helpfully suggested' through the use of B.F. Skinner operant conditioning built into media marketing, for example. No, this display is NOT that of a couch potato who vegetates in front of the digital behavioral programming and surveillance screen interface called television. THIS is a manifestation of self-sufficiency. You know, the spirit that put our country on the map in the first place, at least on an intellectual level.

As a musician and composer for roughly 3 decades I have over the years carefully and conscientiously gathered what I deemed to be the essential tools of my trade: quality instruments, each customized for optimal utility and convenience, analog and digital modulation of all types, amplification to cover from bedroom rehearsal to stadium show venues, and multiple, redundant means of recording that which I create. I have backups of backups, but each piece of gear has a purpose, and eventually it all gets used. I don't have to rent my means of production, and the only services I need to outsource are professional services like mixing and mastering of audio production which allows me the freedom to concentrate on my content and execution. In other words, other than for putting the finishing touches on a new product that I'm bringing to market, I have pretty much everything I need to get the job done. It's taken me a couple of decades and a couple of independent releases to get to this point, but the journey has been well worth the effort.

 When I'm in 'mad scientist mode' during the recording process, I can't help but feel a kinship with trailblazers like Tesla, Edison and the like, who took their expertise and creativity and brought new creations to the world. Not that I presume my contributions are at all on par with their achievements, mind you, it's the spirit of 'Boldly going where no man has gone before' that gets me every time. I don't make music to compensate for my perceived penile deficiencies or to rustle up some extra notches on my bedpost, I make music because creating is what I do. Nothing more, nothing less. And thanks to Providence I have learned over the course of my journey what I need to continue and nurture my hobby and what I don't. Better still, I have learned that the more I keep my internal operations separate from the modern Babylon media Shoggoth, the purer my creations remain and the saner my disposition remains. I don't create for the adulation of others, I create for the virtue of personal achievement. If I'm not happy with the result, I could care less who considers it to be 'art.' You don't get quality creations without a whole lot of honesty. Period. End of fucking story. Bitchez.

Unfortunately from a practical standpoint I started on this road towards self-sufficiency from the top of Maslow's pyramid down, instead of from the ground up. Hence in most other areas of everyday life I am woefully deficient in many areas of sufficiency:  I don't grow my own food, I rely upon city water to survive, my electricity is beholden to the whims of state granted monopolies, and my transportation relies upon fuel derived from a number of questionable sources - questionable as to whether there was foul play involved in its extraction. Okay, that's a LOT of negatives. Fortunately, knowing is half the battle, and I have made modest provisions towards rectifying those absences; I've set aside seeds for the day when I have access to arable land, and I've acquired water filtration that will allow me to survive even if the city water spigot is shut off. The not-too-distant future may see me cashing in my rainy day pennies for some fine solar and other exotic power generation gear. Long term the goal is to align my transportation needs more with that which I can provide for myself. So the next vehicle purchase could be diesel powered if I'm able to grow my own fuel, or electric if I have sufficient abundance in home power generation. The less have to I rely on the capricious whims of others, the better...

No comments:

Post a Comment