Categories
Music Writing

It Isn’t Always About The Music

I was visiting one of my best friends in Isla Vista, California on May 23, 2014. His film was accepted into a UC Santa Barbara festival, and I drove up from LA, with a bunch of buddies, to support him. We were looking forward to a fun, wild night (if you’ve ever been to UCSB, you know what I’m talking about).

Almost a week later, I still haven’t processed it fully. I ate pizza next door to IV Deli, the scene of Christopher Martinez’s murder, that afternoon. The BMW crashed to a final halt just a few doors down from where I was staying. Six strangers lost their lives and an idyll was shattered.

Every day, across the world, people are murdered. This time, by random chance, it happened to happen in my geographic vicinity. That’s how I rationalized the night of and morning after. I awoke to my car within the police cordon zone, and was told I couldn’t leave. That occupied my thoughts more than anything else.

I was only able to cry and truly feel a few days later, when the victims’ identities were revealed.

They were all us. They were neighbors, sisters, nephews, best friends, sons, daughters. They were artists, students, lovers, humans. Who knows how many of us passed them in the night, sometime long in the past, or just a week ago, skipping in the sun.

When the police told me I couldn’t leave IV, they said it was because they needed to gather all evidence to make sure they could determine what had happened. This idea seemed insane to me. We know what happened.

The obsession with detail and the transformation of tragedy into some sort of political tool has always made me extremely uncomfortable. Yes, I am a supporter of strict legislative regulation of weapons: You can’t buy a grenade, why can you buy an automatic assault rifle? They aren’t that different. And yes, misogyny, xenophobia and other types of bigotry exist and should be continually fought against in public and private discourse. But these are everyday facts of life, and we should not, as individuals or a nation, need any sort of prompting to face them and fight the perverse special interests that exist to propagate fear in the name of private financial profit.

There is no silver lining. Tragedies will continue, regardless of legislation. Human nature leads some to commit evil – always has, always will. That these instances still make news is heartening; in many parts of the world, murder is so commonplace that, though communities and generations are shattered and left behind, the greater population barely blinks.

As we grasp for meaning and rally behind hashtagged slogans, remember one thing: care. Care for your fellow humans, no matter their relationship to you. Hug your friends, forgive your enemies, grieve for those who have suffered such terrible loss. In a world of antipathy and a news cycle that forgets far too soon, only love and caring on a personal level can bring us together and open the door to a better tomorrow.

Today’s song – “Blackbelt,” by John Grant – holds no relevance to this post, other than that I believe music can be a healing salve in desperate moments. I like it, and I hope you do too.

John Grant – Blackbelt

 

Categories
Writing

Space Age Thoughts

We’re not going into the space age, we’re in the space age.

Why memorize things when you look up it in book?” – Einstein

Almost every job in existence can already be done by a robot, better than a human. We are in this point in civilization that many things we were used to doing with our minds and body are completely useless in comparison when a computer does it. Why not utilize that? Extend your abilities to be part of that computer. Make it do what you need it to do, not use it, become it.

The name of the game now is to become the architect, be one with the tool. A small percentage of us have evolved into demigods by learning how to create through machines. The age of man laboring is far behind us, don’t let the present fool you. Our time is better spent learning more to do less so we can use our valuable time on earth seeking higher truths. Learn how to code as soon as possible.

Categories
Music Writing

Raffertie – Build Me Up

Fall is an incredible time for nostalgia. The profound amount of change that happens around us despite the general dislike of change is somewhat harmonious. Things happen at a constant pace, while simultaneously in a way that makes me realize that the universe has it’s eye out for those who put good energy out into the world. This song is Fall’s nostalgia. For me, someone who has only listened to Raffertie for the first time today, there’s certainly something unique and new about the music, but at the same time, it feels like every kind of music I was listening to last Fall. Cue, nostalgia.

It’s really fun to think about our transmission through space in time, especially when you look at how cyclical life is. We live in years that have four seasons, we have a birthday every year whether we want to or not, we tend to surround ourselves with people that either mirror our own personalities, or completely counteract said personalities, and baby versions of us = ancient versions of us when we’re old and senile. Everything is the same.

Last year at this time I was slowly discovering that I was in love with one of my best friends, I began dating said best friend, and I was in utter bliss. You rarely find me discussing dating matters on EMPT because I like to keep it vague, but I swear it makes sense right now. I guess I woke up feeling intense nostalgia for this time last year, realizing that my happiness today is almost equal to how happy I was back then, the only difference being that my happiness today is self-inflicted, and not imposed by another human. These are things I always consider when entering a relationship. I believe there’s a certain type of happiness we experience alone, and a different one that we experience with another human. It’s that difference in happiness, though both important and substantial, that has me currently feeling so nostalgic. In this feeling of nostalgia, I’ve been pretty introspective, particularly because of how different the circumstances are today. Realizing that my happiness was momentary and that my love was only temporary, that I am not in love anymore, is a weird feeling. I guess I feel the need to share it because we’ve all been through break ups and transitions, and it’s really important to acknowledge the before and after. Before my relationship even ended, I thought to myself, “I know I’m going to look back on this time at some point in my life and be really pleased.”

I guess today is about indulging in Raffertie’s one of a kind sound. It’s about remembering our past and cherishing our present.

Raffertie – Build Me Up

Categories
Writing

Destiny