What, gone without a word? Ay, so true blog should do; it cannot speak, For truth hath better deeds than words to grace it.

WIN_20170913_15_05_41_Pro

Hello, good morning, and good Thursday to all my friends, comrades, fellow travelers, and anyone who doesn’t consider themselves adequately described by any of the preceding terms.  It’s time for my weekly blog post, something without which I know many people’s Thursdays would not be the same.

I’ve been fiddling around with some things related to Iterations of Zero on and off lately.  I posted another “audio blog”, this one about the need for people to justify their statements, particularly if they’re saying something derogatory.  If they can’t, then you should just ignore them or tell them to take a number, get in line, and kiss your ass.  I don’t recall precisely what set me off at the time, but such things do get on my nerves, especially in the era of rampant social media-based epithet hurling.  In that bit of grumbling, I also deal with the difference between words and the proverbial “sticks and stones”, and mention, obviously, the Cheese Shop Sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

I’m still not sure whether these audible meanderings are beneficial, as compared to writing articles out.  I don’t know which form of thinking in public people prefer to consume, at least from me, and I haven’t received much specific feedback on the question, or if I have, I haven’t noticed it yet (and I apologize for that, if so).

I’ve already recorded a short subsequent audio burst, or whatever one would call it—they don’t really merit the term “podcast”—but haven’t edited it much, because I’m frankly not sure people like these things from me*.  They are, I must rather guiltily admit, much easier to produce than written posts, at least in first draft.  They’re just me thinking out loud into either my laptop or my smartphone.  Since I’ve been known to think aloud even when I’m not recording, this engenders a big advantage in the low activation energy needed to initiate a posting.  Still, the writer in me feels guilty.  He also feels cramped.

I had a peculiar burst of “creativity” the other night and morning that I rather quickly acted on, which is unusual enough.  I took the recent audio of my “karaoke” version of No Surprises, by Radiohead, and I decided to make a simple video—but not as simple as my usual “videos”, which generally contain just one fixed image.  Instead, I got a bunch of old drawings of mine that I’d scanned into the computer, sometimes decades ago, and picked out several that fit the mood I was in when I sang the song**.  I tried to make the video with the simple Microsoft video editor, but I didn’t think much of the outcome, so I did a trial installation of the latest version of CyberLink PowerDirector, a program I’d used in the past, so I could do crossfading between pictures and whatnot.  I also used a graphic manipulation program (GIMP) to distort a picture of me from the one true video post I have on YouTube (it’s not pretty) so that it vaguely resembled Thom Yorke’s face in the video version of the song (see above).

This all happened with surprising speed; when I get into something, I often become somewhat monomaniacal.  I skipped editing Unanimity yesterday, and even skipped practicing guitar (which anyone who’s heard me knows I cannot readily afford to do), and I produced a satisfactory video.  It was nothing special, but I thought it evocative.  I uploaded the final product onto YouTube, shared it through Facebook and Twitter…

…and within minutes got the notification that the video had been blocked for copyright reasons.

You might think this would irritate me, but you would be mistaken.  I was mildly surprised—ironically, I suppose—but within seconds I thought, “Well, fair enough.”  It’s their song, the copyright belongs to them or to whomever they assigned it, and the enforcement of that copyright is entirely their decision.  I certainly never meant to try to make any money off the video—I’ve never monetized YouTube in any way—but again, it’s their decision.  Thom, Jonny, Colin, Ed, and Phil wrote the song, it belongs to them…or to whomever they’ve given the rights to it.  As an arguably creative artist myself, I certainly don’t want anyone using my stuff without permission.  I want people to pay for my books (though you can listen to some of my stories and the first nine chapters of The Chasm and the Collision for free on YouTube ad libitum, read by the author).

I may upload my video onto IoZ in place of the simple audio of the song, but I’m not sure.  I’d like to have some of you see it, but I don’t want to go against any literal desires of Radiohead.  Of course, the block was clearly an automated response, without any specific human consideration; it happened too fast.  I don’t think the fellows from Radiohead are following my work closely enough to have responded so quickly.

With all that happening, I’ve gotten a little less editing done on Unanimity this week, but at least it’s shorter than half a million words now.  I’ll try to trim the fat enough so that it’s not just a heart attack waiting to happen…though I do hope it will be the kind of meal that makes you have nightmares.

In all other things, though, I wish you well.  I always enjoy any comments you might care to make, either here or on IoZ or anywhere else I lurk online.  But do remember, if you have a beef with me, you’ll need to back it up with evidence or argument, or I’ll just tell you to f*ck off.

I will, however, joyfully accept unjustified compliments.

TTFN


*Though, to be fair and honest, I did get actual, thoughtful feedback on my discussion of the wavefunction and many words.

**Not a happy one, but at least not apathetic.

Come Back Again (a new song)

Words and Music by Robert Elessar

(c) copyright 2019.  All rights reserved.

Performed by Robert Elessar

Produced by Robert Elessar


Sky blue
Sky gray
Dark and stormy night
Sunny day
Only meeting strangers
Always losing friends
Every new beginning
Always ends.

And if your travels bring you to a place
Where you’re afraid to show your face
remember
All you’ll be is all you’ve been,
So turn around, come back again.

Walking down the street
I saw a car go by with no one driving
I watched it pass and wondered what the hell was going on.
There’s something not quite right, I thought
and hopped a bus that was just arriving
I got it and I sat down fine, but suddenly
I was gone.

Sky blue
Sky black
Creeping slowly forward
Falling back
Nothing ever stops
But nothing really goes
Is there any reason?
No one knows.

But I’d stay by you until the end
In times of darkness I’m your friend
So maybe
If you need
A helping hand
Just turn around
Come back again.

Come back again.

Come back again.

Come back again.

Breaking Me Down (rebuilt)

 

(c) 2019 by Robert Elessar

Words and Music by Robert Elessar

Produced and performed by Robert Elessar

I sit alone at home sometimes and want to go berserk
But doing that just never seems to work
The shelves are stacked with books but I don’t feel that I could read
While all around a thousand phantoms lurk

I drink a little wine; I eat a little meat
I wonder why I’m shivering in such infernal heat
I feel a little tired; my head’s a little light
I wish that I could close my eyes and block my inner sight.

If you could see me now, you’d probably wonder where I’ve been
But I stand and I fall
And I listen for your call
While hiding out inside the dragon’s den.

I wander ‘round through my internal night
I travel back and forth throughout the town
But if you ask, I’ll tell you I’m all right
My nervousness is just breaking me down.

I listen to the sounds of everybody having fun
I can’t join in ‘cause I don’t have a gun,
They’re scattering their ashes all along the motorway
Then scampering like rabbits on the run

I bounce off all the walls; I turn out all the lights
I always want to hit someone, but I never get in fights
I feel a bit confused; my thoughts are incomplete
There’s tingling in my fingers and there’s swelling in my feet

If you could hear what I hear you would deafen both your ears
But I can’t, and I know
That no matter where I go
I’m followed by the grinding of my gears.

I stare around in paranoiac fright
While grinning at my heartbreak like a clown
So don’t come in, and don’t turn on the light
It’s just my past mistakes breaking me down

I look at all the colors of the pictures in my mind
They’re all so dark, I might as well be blind
The path laid out ahead of me is so filled up with smoke
I think that I’d prefer to just rewind

I roam around the house; I drive around the town
I don’t know if I’m back and forth or if I’m up and down
I dive into the sea; I look into the sky
I try to understand them, but we can’t see eye to eye

If you could see inside my head, your own head would explode
But I nod, and I grin
At the end where I begin
And I smile, and I wave
When I pass an open grave
And I slump, and I sigh
When we have to say goodbye
I’ll see you at the ending of the road

I wander through the wasteland struck with blight
I make my Hell to wear an earthly crown
I smash all mirrors, I can’t stand the sight
Of everything that is breaking me down.