The ABC of Getting Older
When we start out on the path and into our adult creative life we can generally think of ourselves as wanting to get from A – our starting point via our personal and creative skills and attitudes and aptitudes and investments in time and tools, skills development and product and distribution, to the B of our monied outcomes and returns.
Indeed one of our local van-hire companies that took our Folk-Rock band to its dates with destiny and Status Quo on tour in Europe was called A to B van hire.
In those times we could often only imagine what incredible cutting-edge tools and processing we as musicians could invest our hopes in.
Surely if we bought super-human tools – for super-human money we would be able to easily do the super-human gigs that put us into the ballpark of super-human earnings.
Thus went the rhetoric from glossy trade magazines and glib music shop innuendo and so I was able to allocate some money to buy an electric fiddle played by superhumans and though it has to be said not personally a leading virtuoso in the art of Scottish violin I have made a name for myself with my own style of traditional and contemporary electric fiddle playing.
That said, whether sharing the stage with internationally famous stars or doing my own wild folk thing none of my music earnings have been much better than OK.
When I left the British Civil Service to set up as a music agent many years ago – in the days when affording a hard copy yellow pages advert was the way to go – I set up my business as “Chieftain Live Music Agency” and with its cute logo and easy Edinburgh phone number – sounded the place you would go to if you were getting married in the Edinburgh area.
The Ad sat in the phone book adjacent to an agent who I then knew that operated “Ceilidh Bands” and I know that in 1 year of trading – where I got about six spontaneous phone calls – the gentleman from the other agency – apart from his regular custom – got hundreds.
It had to be the name of the agency ??
So next year I re-launched my agency as “North Star Music Agency” again with a nice-sized advert and this time at the other end of the yellow pages weddings section it sat adjacent to a piper agency in Kirkcaldy called “Scotia Pipers” – a very specialised sounding name and total goto if you needed a piper for your wedding ! (and I did) The thing was – literally hundreds of people marrying in the Edinburgh district were bypassing my “North Star Agency” advert with its ceilidh bands and indeed Star-studded performers (that included a band produced by the late and very famous Martin Bennett) and Edinburgh phone number – to phone a music agent in a totally different small Scottish town and dialling code, only advertising pipers to enquire about booking a ceilidh band.
Again that next year as a music agent – “North Star Music Agency” only got about six enquiries from the yellow pages.
I am not trying to recite a hard-luck story here – just pointing out the abnormal functioning of chance.
With great administration skills many of them transferable into arts administration – somehow it seemed impossible at the time not to get from A to B. Where B was “made it”
Although over the years that follow I would invest (tens of thousands) all that I had – which often wasn’t that much, in computer after computer – operating system and software suites after upgraded operating system and upgraded software suites – despite expensive lessons like – even when you are hard up Never let weirdos mess with your computer – it was never-the-less possible for me to produce – amongst all the dross and clay of my output – some truly liberated and refined and dare I say – Superhuman product !
Even with a Superhuman product output rate of about 5-10% of my output – over 40 years, that could end up being a good-sized and excellent back catalogue today.
We all know though that a product, however excellent it is, cannot make any returns for the producer if it cannot goto market and sell and generate some returns for the producer.
This getting from A to B thing started to look less possible with time so off I went to enterprising places that could advise me on how to find and utilise the distribution and marketing mechanisms used and built by others.
My brand name ‘Scottish Andrew’ according to a specially entitled Scottish business expert on marketing and social media – because of its diverse sweep of product from music to paranormal tours etc was, he smirked, like having a man in a green suit playing a ceilidh at your wedding.
The connotations in the mind of the consumer were bizarre and not really responsible – he laughed as he dismissed my stuff.
Right, like Richard Branson’s Virgin banking and Virgin jet airlines and Virgin space travel etc etc I mean who would think the Virgin Brand would evoke such commercial trust amongst millions of worldly investors and commuters etc
Just in passing to point out that a traditional Scottish ceilidh was all about Bards in costume playing music and telling faerie stories and the sharing of culturally made things.
It was hard at that time for me to realise that that business development was really something I had to do on my own .. but then that’s the life of trying to get from A to B.
The rhetoric for getting to B is that we are supposed to invest in Superhuman tools to make superhuman product that attracts excited mortals to generate quick and abundant superhuman and extra ordinary sales.
My own experience of this though is having merely OK tools hasn’t been that much of a handicap on my way to having a fair bit of super product to show for it. (Given that I wasn’t in any great hurry to get to B in the 20th Century.)
The rhetoric goes that “a bad workman always blames his tools” but lets be honest about this and say that even a bad workman in the 21st Century ‘West’ can buy Media Industry Standard tools fairly cheaply and by default manufacture (at least greater than 80% of their product output) augmented and competitive industry standard Media product.
With the high-end of multimedia computation and creativity and image and sound processing now an artificially level playing field it became obvious about a decade ago that generally the paying public expected superhuman cultural media stuff as standard.
I remember playing electric fiddle at some posh event in Scotland and one of the hired stars – presumably on superhuman money – was playing some nice high position semi-classical Scottish violin but generally unable to play that fast.
My turn came along with my compatriots – and we were on OK money and the agent decided to make a thing out of us playing faster and faster, After each faster and faster tune he would shout out “faster” as if it was totally normal for any human being to produce a discernible and marked increase in speed on a bowing, inertia and friction-based musical instrument already close to its own physical tolerances somewhere around 300bpm !!
Three times he shouted “faster !!” and three times got about 30% over and above the level of my ordinary fast that the lady violinist on superhuman money that evening would have thought impossible.
This was a clear example of OK money for a Superhuman Gig.
I have never in my life been paid superhuman money for superhuman playing.
My main issue therefore in getting myself from A to B at that time was to obtain at least regular recognition and rebooking for such superhuman deeds.
There were plenty of musicians touring the globe in style alas often producing OK gigs but cleaning up on superhuman money.
Obviously being confident, gregarious and likeable, discrete and articulate, with wonderful social skills helps a bundle too.
Generally therefore although often starting out with OK tools and having a low conversion rate to superhuman multimedia product my quest to obtain even OK returns on a considerable catalogue of superhuman multimedia product is fraught with difficulty.
Having reviewed the aesthetic of the packaging and content – on its own this product is comparable with others in similar niches and markets.
It isn’t as if having a lifetime of mainly mediocre tools to use could be blamed in any way.
Perhaps therefore just more bad luck ?
Well – it’s the 21st Century now – the era of social media, and internet marketing and knowledge representation.
With billions of Facebook users though even one of the biggest superstates on the planet couldn’t get heard financing thousands of false accounts and teams of dedicated internet marketing professionals.
There is something about all that unlucky digital clamour and chaos that sounds familiar.
Having just mentioned knowledge representation – I did that on purpose to introduce the ultimate go to B card – go straight to B etc
I actually developed a knowledge representation system that arranges knowledge into very deep structures that goes all the way down to the energies and bits and pieces of physics and simultaneously all the way up to natural language and thought.
I know it sounds like the terminator and skynet etc but with this process I called tripartite essentialism – I ended up being able to demonstrate a fix for the insoluble ‘halting problem’ where truly independent executive decision-making totally versatile do anything, anytime, anywhere, adaptable artificially intelligent machines cannot happen – because they end up stopping to consult an infinity of labels.
Yes this made the google thing running through the woods look like a mechanical muppet.
I ended up Skypeing with some complacent clown in Silicon Valley who thought that a knowledge representation system with two parts and a context was actually tripartite and they’ve already ‘got one’.
It was getting like the Monty Python and the Holy Grail sketch where King Arthur turns up at a French held castle and asks if the Knights within will join him on his quest for the Holy Grail – the French sentries laugh .. tee hee I told him we already got one .. etc
When he went into the supercilious ‘why not contact Richard Branson’ routine I had a total revelation.
It was simple actually – whoever they were that had put this agency man into my path – they were very happy with what they now have.
I am happy that they are happy – but have to point out alas that any real threeness e.g. in language comes from a combination in any context of nouns, verbs and adjectives – or in every physical setting and context of object, process and outcome.
It might be that it’s my good luck that in this part of the 21st Century I am not obligated to spend any more time trying to get to B, realising that not only did I arrive at B, I have now superseded it and am now moving to my final destination of C in my own tripartite way.
Today’s final path of B to C is different
One of the most important things to realise is that there is no fixed earthly B for mankind… for we collectively over seven billion of us stay on the planet’s surface and for the overwhelming MAJORITY of those Billions of people – is life in states of Bronze Age deprivation; slavery to financiers, governments, militaries and industries comparable to the slaves of Sumeria and Egypt many thousands of years BC.
When we see the facts that its likely the slaves of ancient Egypt had better living conditions, and little toxins in their food and drink, and were less numerous – they in many ways had it better then than the MAJORITY of the worlds population in the 21st Century.
In the ‘west’ – some people – a tiny percentage of IT literate population – may wave their iphones and go on about advanced medicine – but today’s medicine isn’t always designed to cure things, more to treat symptoms and our tablets download information that is increasingly corrupted by controlling political interests. The information contained in today’s tablets is not immutably etched in time like that in the tablets Moses brought down from Mount Sinai.
Beyond the relative hi-tek comforts within our tiny pockets of semi-technological half-working OK stuff is the extensive reality faced by billions of others.
“If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.”
“If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy, and if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.”
“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness.. You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.”
“If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation… You are ahead of 700 million people in the world.”
“If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.”
“If your parents are still alive and still married…. you are very rare.”
“If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair…….”
“If you can read this you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.”
Beyond the world of B therefore is C
To get to the world of many mansions and palaces in the heavens of C we may need to reach out beyond a whole bunch of superhuman beings that operate at every level within the infrastructure of our society.
Their main reason I think for enforcing this desolate primitivism on the planets surface whilst enjoying the comforts of the interstellar civilisations underground is for reasons that are not loving and good.
Instead of mud huts and smelly Knights in Shining armour – for millennia we could have wanted for no comforts, free and enabled to be a loving interstellar and interdimensional society.
If the Anunnaki fell here for gold – it wouldn’t be the gold they could easily fuse and fabricate from more base atoms with their technology. Rather it would be to make desolate the golden souls of the Race of Adam.
What better way can evil try to taunt the Father they willingly disconnected from in the Fall – but by making desolate this world and the people on it.
In this context therefore getting to the C of Christ in our lives means we have the love within to arrive at and to sustainably live far and beyond these places.
When I first climbed into the A to B van to go on tour many years ago – little then did I realise that Christ, C, would come to me.
The most important and meaningful product we can produce in this world is a happy family and happy neighbour, and we can make our Father happy too by respecting and caring for all the other lives and life on this world that has evolved and emerged here with us – often used and abused as food – but very often seen in the era of youtube to be loving and caring and considerate too.
Once you have seen superhumans do things only superbeings can do – like “Bach on dustbin lids” you come to the realisation that next years stock of evolved and superduper specially much better supertools is just a scam to distract the awakening slaves back into their latest blockchain calculations.
There were plenty blocks and chains in the times of ancient Egypt – and maybe the Pharaoh ants are still mining bits of those coins today.
There are islands of garbage floating on the Pacific ocean larger than small countries, whilst clumsy conspiring clowns attempt to turn everything beautiful created in the last few millennia since the time of Pharaoh into rubble and toxic dust with the rhetoric that the global population is unsustainable. They say this whilst simultaneously withholding the very technology and energy processes that could purify and detoxify and resupply our world as a garden capable of sustaining and evolving human population many times its current level.
This is really only done, quite deliberately, to offend God.
Thank goodness therefore that time is only an illusion, and though it may seem a real sickener to go back over our time here in this deliberately engineered toxic cul-de-sac – let’s keep our hearts and minds, spirits and souls heading upwards, sympathetically resonating with and drawing life and sustenance from our source and pattern of our inspiration, C, Christ.