Eternity Vs. Moment by Moment

I think a lot now about how different people live, compared to how I do, in this modern life. To me it’s less about watching a person go at a snail’s pace or watching another person run as fast as a cheetah to get their destination. To me it’s more about the perception of time itself, the road if you will, that is laid out before and behind everyone of us.

To some, this might just be an example of “Time Dilation.”


I’ve only been able to focus on the moments that seem so important but go missing, the older I get. For instance, It’s hard for me to remember the feelings I used to feel when listening to  one of my favorite songs back when I was 16.

Roller Coaster

There are times, like when a child first discovers something so great, like where the said moment seems to stretch thru time and last just a little longer. These moments might cause awe or inspiration or sometimes even wonder. I really miss out on these moments now that I’ve grown up and have since become a part of what we all call the “rat race”. Waking, eating, working, cleaning, sleeping, just to get up and drive to work to do it all over again… Really gives meaning to the idea of  “tha grind.”

There have been times however, sometimes more than others, where I have been inspired!

These moments serve to help me inasmuch so that the rush to eat, sleep, work, clean, repeat doesn’t seem to get to me as much. When I’m recording music, I seem to be isolated, in this sacred space as it were – where I am not affected.

It’s here, during these small moments, in which I find my shelter, my peace… in music.

I imagine it’s the same as what an artist may find on their canvass when painting… these moments that seem to stretch into a fever of inspiration that might last for days.

Some people live for the moment like I do, where almost nothing else matters – just let me get back to that moment, that special moment, that holy moment, where I can breathe again. These moments can be like a drug. Something you think about long after they’re over and something you look forward to when you’re doing almost anything else.

Lately however, I’ve been noticing other people and how they live in their day to day lives. Regardless of their attitude or their sunny or sour disposition, I can see how their perception of time affects them. People who don’t have the same sense of time… they don’t live for today like it’s their last – which is how I always thought was the best way to live. They live for a moment ‘outside’ of time… For a moment that exists long after it’s all over for the rest of us.

They don’t believe in time as just a sequential number of random events that are counting down until it’s game over. (i.e. Death) They live for a moment AFTER this life. They live for what some would call eternity.


It’s always interesting to me to watch people like this and to try and understand or to try to grasp or try to achieve some comprehension about how different of a life someone could lead if they lived like this.

When you live for eternity, one that will come after the life that you see before you now, it changes your outlook. It changes your perspective on what you pursue ‘now’. It changes your decisions as to how you go about doing everything you do, now.

To me, I can hardly imagine living that way but I am seeing more and more that it is quite possible… It might even be preferable.

When you live for moments, time is constantly stretching and contracting with or without you. The moment you share with a friend, the moment you share with your child… The moment you share with that special, someone you love… Those can all be taken from you. Those can all be spent like money until they are gone… just like the memories they leave behind.

Time passes. We get older. Eventually, we die. Our legacy is only worth the seeds of kindness and love that we have left behind us. For someone who is living for “Eternity” however…. there is no loss. They don’t particularly care if anyone sees them living the way they do. They are not necessarily concerned with moments that are lost or are given to them. Their entire perspective is captivated by the idea that everything they are living for NOW is building up to something greater in the end.

Something AFTER… something bigger than themselves. Something that is for a specific purpose and a reason. Something that ECLIPSES the here and now.

Let’s follow off on a rabbit trail for just a moment…

In today’s social media climate we are incessantly adapting our lives to fit into a new narrative. We patiently and consistently submit our lives and upload it into “the cloud.” We constantly interject ‘a whole lot’ of the pictures of special moments in our lives out there, “online” for others to see. We filter and we format, we edit and we curate a better picture of ourselves, so that the world can see us the way we ‘desire’ to be seen.

For some more than others, this form of immediate expression and consumption can be addicting.

As wonderful as it is, I wonder if it can be dangerous. I wonder if we can lose the power, the wonder of the moments we’ve had with each other…  (and also, possibly lost the motivation we would’ve had to participate in them more?)  …because we had to instead feed the impetus to “record” them.

In essence what I’m saying is this:

You’re at a concert and you’re so busy trying to Instagram what you’re seeing, so you can share it with your friends, that you are missing the moment that is taking place right now, right in front of you.

No one walks down the street without their phone in their hand anymore. I see people all the time walking from their car in the parking lot to the store while they can’t seem to do it without having their phones right in front of their face.

I honestly believe that personal, computing devices, like our Smart phones will Eventually disappear. With the new improvements in hardware, the “record everything” blitzkrieg will become a more imperceptible and less noticeable revolution.

Just as with Google Glass we will be able to record more effortlessly and efficiently without having IT take away our immediate attention. The world will become a giant microscope under which everyone, sometimes all at once, will be able examine each other.

I’m not scared of this. I don’t necessarily welcome it either. I just see it as completely different from anything I’ve ever experienced growing up. I wonder how our children will adapt and change according to this new body politic.

I wonder if living for something bigger than ourselves, Something more real, something more real than what we see now, will be harder to achieve. I wonder if people will do things, just because they are going to be seen and recorded doing them.

What I’m getting at is this. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to witness it does it really fall?

IMO? …Of course it does.

Now exchange the forest, for our lives and then exchange the tree falling, for a moment in time that happens when it’s NOT recorded.
As a people, as the human race in today’s modern age, do we stop seeing things as being important if they are not published? Do we fail to see them just as significantly if we do not take pictures of them, to post them, to share.

I digress. I’m from an older generation where people didn’t always have cell phones on their person every day. First, you started to seeing these big, ridiculous looking, boombox sized phones that people would carry around because they thought it gave them status. These phones definitely did not fit in your pocket!

Next, over the course of just a few years, you began to see these much smaller, “flip” phones which were cool but the best games they had were like “Snake” … or other, old Atari type games that weren’t that great in the graphics department.

Now… fast forward to the future, we have “Smart” phones which are basically little computers. You can hold an entire life’s worth of data on them. Of which, the more they develop, will eventually with access to a cloud server, give one possibly, many, many terabytes of storage. Right now, my phone holds at least two years worth of pictures and video that could fit on almost any average device you can pick up at any corner store in the U.S.

What used to be new and interesting has now become commonplace. Try explaining that to someone younger than 12…  How everyone used to develop photos from something called film. Try explaining that there were “one hour photo” stores you could go to, where they could take your film and develop it for you almost instantly.

I’ve done this and I’ve always gotten scowls and scoffs about how that must have been SO ridiculous. Seeing the instant gratification one can now get, taking instantaneous pictures with your cell phone, editing them and then adding unique and wonderful filters… I don’t really blame them… Not in the least.

This may be just another example of a by product of this instant age we live in..  By this I mean the uploading and curation of personal media, the trending down of the music industry’s profits and the vast, informational resource that Facebook has provided every government in the world – which has, depending on who you ask, paved the way for the unintentional, digital “embalming” of anyone who takes part in the self publishing process. Many businesses for years have made profits from immortalizing artists, authors, movie celebrities and sports stars… This is nothing new. What’s new to me is how now, the average person, seems to have an online, digital footprint that is left behind for all to see. Our thoughts and pictures, our likes and our prejudices, all of them, preserved for our grandchildren to consume years from now.

So please forgive me because I’m about to get real.

For any of you who has lost someone recently, since the Information Age anyway, you know what I am talking about. It’s sometimes a little absurd, sometimes comforting in the best of ways, to find or to revisit a Facebook page of someone who has passed away. It’s absurd because it’s still there. Maybe a family member didn’t have the password to remove the page or they kept it as a reminder of what once was. It’s comforting because if you try not to think too hard about it, it’s almost like they never left.

My friend John David was a very prolific artist in the making…

He was most assuredly on his way to creating the most interesting and beautiful art through music. We used to talk about the concept albums he would make one day when he had all of his ducks in a row.

Ever since he was lost to us, taken away too soon by a horrible accident, I find myself listening to his music, imagining he’s still here, still making it… still creating and posting it, like nothing ever happened.

I awoke from a dream the other night where we were hanging out, waiting for someone to get back from the gas station, making plans, laughing… Too real.

When I woke up, I realized it was all just a dream. He was gone.

It’s too much I know. This happens to all of us who have lost someone close to us.

There’s no substitute. There’s no band aid that fits. It just sucks and that’s the way it is..

I try not to be selfish. I try to realize that I, in no way own the trademark on pain and suffering. Death is a part of life. We were all given this fact as a disturbingly flat kind of punctuation to our education as youngsters. Why?

That’s just the way it is.. It’s not fair. It doesn’t seem right… But that’s just the way it is. Everybody dies. Everyone gets old.

It’s a different kind of pain I feel now when discussing such matters with my own kids. Namely my young son, who recently told me, “dad, I don’t want you to ever die.”

This brings me back around to what I was pondering earlier. What is the difference between those of us who view life eternally and those who do not?

I would never, even if I was an atheist, be presumptuous enough to be down on someone who chose to believe in a life in the great hereafter. It would appear quite rude and uncaring, calloused and hateful to put someone down for that. You can’t possibly know everything about everyone, so to some, you could in your own self righteousness, appear like a total (bleeping) jerk.

I hold the same for myself. If I DO believe in something like eternity and the afterlife, I refuse to force my opinions on others. I’ve read enough history to see the results of dogmatic isolationism that I wouldn’t want to do that myself. I respect some folks you might call atheists. I also look up to a those whom could be known as conservative Christians. All I know is that the Bible says that there is no one who is truly good. Not even one of us. We are all guilty. We are all in need of a Savior.

Whether it is a belief system for some, or a intellectual pursuit for another, I don’t care where you are coming from. I just know that I am searching for a way out myself. If I spread anything in this life, if I give anything without being asked by anyone, I want it to be of love. Kindness. Peace.

Back to my point though.. Regardless of what you believe, it’s interesting where we are in history. Tupac has performed concerts live posthumously!

It’s possible that Hollywood can still make movies years from now with Marlon Brando. It’s an exciting and weird time to be alive.

I listen to my friend, Johns’ music all the time now and I imagine that he’s still here, pushing forward… on his way to becoming the next, breakout music artist. I still see his comments on my page about something or other… And it makes me smile.

I can now say that I choose to look at things in an eternal way. Life is just a curtain that we are all going to pull back one day and find the sequel to our own story on the next page.

It will be full of color and vibrancy compared to the life that we once lived in black and white. Eternity will be the LIVE sound you hear at a concert with the bass thumping loudly in your chest compared to the fuzzy, am radio signal only this life can offer.

Bring on the technicolor. Bring on the surround sound. Bring on the high definition. Bring on the 4K Retina display resolution. I’m ready.

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Biggest Fish Wins!

The world is just?

Why does talking about privilege cause some people to become defensive or upset? Does it still do that? Well, I think sometimes when people have worked really hard to get where they are, the idea of privilege might seem to reduce all the work they’ve done. But the term privilege is not meant to diminish anything anyone has done or what they’ve gone through. Privilege does not suggest that the privileged do not work hard for what they have, but what it does is acknowledge that some of us have advantages that others do not have – for reasons we cannot control. The idea of privilege is an acknowledgment that this is the world we live in. Many things in life are not fair, including privilege.

As such, I don’t think there’s a need to become defensive or upset when privilege is discussed. There is no reason to become defensive or upset when disease is discussed or when third world hunger is discussed. These are things in life that we have to navigate, with no fault on any one person. It is the system that we live in. However, I think we should acknowledge that it exists. Not acknowledging this can make a person seem pretty much like a dolt, to put it a nice way, as in this example: “On A Plate

There’s plenty of proof surrounding the problems of privilege. For instance, education. Here we find how economic status can set a child up for future success based on brain development through vocabulary and interactions: The New Brain Science of Learning.

Here’s a short info graphic that helps explain the taxing effects of poverty on the brain (Although, privilege can extend to many layers. I mean, there’s gender, race, economic status, you insert the next social norm here…): How Poverty Taxes the Brain.

Okay, so there’s lots of evidence of the effects of privilege. Educational foundation is affected. Confidence is affected. Expectations, challenges and goals are affected. Continued learning is affected. And so on.

Let’s just paint a picture… well, an extremely quick and simplified picture.

Imagine starting out as the slowest person in math class who has not learned to count. The class is doing addition and continues on to subtraction and multiplication and so on. Without the basic understanding and foundation of basic numbers and counting set, the gap continues to widen for you. On top of the fact that resources and opportunities are also disparately different for you than for the more privileged. Maybe you have no teachers or educators to devote any amount of individual time to you. You get very discouraged and come to believe that math or school is something you will never overcome. You’re lost. You’re distracted. Maybe you give up. Maybe you find something else that you can do well in, outside of school. On the streets. Maybe it’s illegal, dangerous and unethical by all “normal” standards. But there, you “thrive”.

Would it be right to hold you to the same standard? To shake a finger at you and yell, “shame!” For others in society to hold their heads high, and in disgust of your actions or life. And then to applaud the unique few among you who rise above these sets of adversities only to join the norm. Like it should have been you too. Implying that it’s acceptable to require you to work harder and overcome all odds, in order to get any sort of “acceptance”.

My answer is no. Okay, I know it’s not cool to agree or be okay with actions that cause hurt or pain or destruction. At the same time, it’s also not cool to lack empathy in the matter and blame the issue on those who are living in the results of societal injustices. Sure, everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves. Really, that’s the only way to improve oneself. But what I’m saying is that it’s not right to blame and condemn a person because that does NOTHING to help. Perhaps guidance, encouragement and support would be a better option than blame. But I’m no expert. My point is, there’s a bigger problem here than just with the individual… like so many issues. Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix.

Although I understand there’s no easy fix to societal injustice, I do now understand (or believe) that change can happen. It starts with us as people and our attitudes. We have to understand the problem and not fear it, and eventually we need to address it. And hopefully, one day, it will not be.

Okay, now on to the fun stuff!





Liberation Redux


Dreamscapes and Illusions

Some of my favorite dreams come from borrowed fragments of somebody else's imagination. I for one, am one of those individuals who gets way too invested into movies. I enjoy them entirely too much. Much like books were in the last century before the advent of radio, I feel movies have become more than just entertainment, for this generation.

Games will, in my mind anyways, eventually surpass movies as the contemporary medium of modern times. Fully interactive experiences (games of the future) will help influencers more easily coax the general public into common ways of accepted groupthink. These same games, will become havens of safety and security for those escapists who wish to avoid the harsh realities of a very real world.

Hence my opening statement. My dreams are borrowed.. Almost all of my favorite ones come from someone else. Guilty as charged. When I speak of dreams it usually involves some kind of intense struggle followed with epic swells of emotion. I'm involved in some kind of great effort, some kind of overwhelming task that's being undertaken to create a desired result…

Talking with one of my closest friends, I find the opposite is true. She dreams of quite visceral observations and experiences. Sometimes she's falling, sometimes running in pursuit of… Sometimes running in fear from… All the while perceiving minute undercurrents of emotion or awareness… of something not quite right, nagging her from somewhere in the background.. In my dreams I know the names and faces of characters. In her dreams I've come to note that she feels the flow of the quicksand swallowing her up or the waves of water as they rush past her in the sea. Always running from phantoms… Always laughing or interacting with faceless friends.

When I'm desperately fighting off zombies in my dreams or fighting for my life in some obviously ridiculous circumstance, I reflect now that I'm awake, how odd it is that I never question it in the moment. I fight, I run, I drive, all without a second thought as to how I actually got there or what took place to make all of this insanity possible. I am fully aware of the moment… Completely submersed inside of the dream.

It's awkward and frightening for me to imagine a future where society at large will live mostly to participate in such virtual realities… waking dreams if you will… Borrowed dreams. Does it matter that they originated in a boardroom or on a piece of paper in the hands of some struggling storyteller?

Maybe not.

It doesn't escape me that many folks would actually prefer to live within a fantasy instead of actually live life. In an article I recently read, it is mentioned that modern day men have taken to dating “virtual” girlfriends. What is significant to me is that the marketplace has actually responded to this “need” by supplying certain physical locations which house sensors that allow said guy to take a picture with his virtual love interest. “Watching men form relationships with two dimensional characters in a video game is both fascinating, sad, and suggestive. Where might we be with this phenomenon in 10 years?

In the future, when man lives on the moon and earth is no more than a living mausoleum… perhaps then people will laugh at how we constantly fought wars and almost destroyed our own planet by misusing and abusing our resources. Perhaps then, they will dine on genetically modified, extinct animals and take 3D videos of their virtual grandkids and fly space vehicles to the nearest, planetary, getaway hotspot.

Perhaps then, someone will learn the meaning of what it all means to truly and intentionally, live life to the fullest… Without selling it and formulating it into another, #1 bestseller ebook… that will sell millions of copies to millions of people who will never, ever finish reading it.

Perhaps not.

I believe that the art of communication isn't lost. There is always a chance to influence others for good no matter what type of world springs up around us. God isn't the author of confusion even though the devil wishes he could convince us otherwise. Whether we prosper or falter, there is always hope. I try to remind myself never to forget that. Art, in many people's eyes has a responsibility to help facilitate change. In others opinions, it is merely meant to communicate whatever “honest” thought is happening to be felt in that particular moment. I think that both of these ideas are true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all, right?

My questions becomes more than questions when I consider the order in which history is playing out before our very eyes. To some beauty is a garden, a building designed for a purpose, an institution chartered to inspire the gifted… To others, however, beauty is destruction, a picture of a dead body, a book written to glorify serial killers. As Shakespear once wrote, “For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come”…

In 2011, an Illinois man used a GPS tracking device to kill his ex-girlfriend.

We have an incredible capacity for good or evil as finite, human beings that only live once on this planet. It says in the bible that God himself, once walked with Adam in the garden, in the cool of the day. That statement implies that they spent time together, continually. Fast forward to today where people wonder and argue whether God even exists.

I believe that God and his existence are more than apparent. Just ask Albert Einstein.. “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Those whose dreams would have others perish, to me, resemble nightmares. My dreams, albeit the ones where I survive, are usually ones with a happy ending. If heaven once touched earth, to the point where man was free to walk and talk with God on a daily basis, what has changed? What calamity befell us all that now we have people inspired to kill, steal and destroy and call it a good thing? History would prove that this has always been so but I would argue only that it has increased in frequency and intensity.

I believe that just like a radio dial, some of us are tuned into God… While others are tuned into the devil. I think this is best illustrated by C.S. Lewis when he once wrote,

” …at a given point in its history, you always find that there was a time before that point when there was more elbow room and contrasts weren’t quite so sharp; and that there’s going to be a time after that point when there is even less room for indecision and choices are even more momentous. Good is always getting better and bad is always getting worse: the possibilities of even apparent neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder.”

Should we strive to be better people? Yes.

Should we desire to dream better dreams. Sure.

Should we fight against the night and live for the day. Definitely.

Is it purely speculative and generally wrong to expect that we should all respect each other and live peaceably, if at all possible??? Never.

I don't curse in my songs because I am a perfect human being. I never use curse words in my art because I don't want that to resonate and to reflect and reverberate throughout all of history, long after I'm gone… Years from now… Miles from here. I want to change the world even if its as imperceptibly as planting a flower or showing kindness to a stranger. I want to shine bright in a world full of shadows. I want to as they say, “be the change that you want to see in the world.”

We all have dreams. It's only some of us who dream big enough to outshine the clouds when the storms come. Selah.



Liberation Redux


The Beginning of Chaotic Order Pt. 1


Learning about learning has me thinking of the probability that there’s so much more we have yet to learn or know.  And as such, it has me questioning how what we learn or know can come to be untrue.  Every individuals knowledge can come to differ or contradict with one other’s.  The world as we know it is subjective to each of our perspectives and experiences… Yet where is the absolute?

As we take in new information and are connecting it to what we already know – we are finding relationships.  What we already know is not always the same as someone else’s version of “the truth”.  We have different experiences causing different perspectives or memories causing those relationships to relate to new information in a different way.  What I’m saying is what we experience as we grow,  what we come to know, sets the stage for all neural connections/pathways in our brain.  What we are grounded in can effect the order in which we learn (Your Neural Network).

The subject of the film “Roshamon” has very interesting reasoning behind it. The subjective recollections behind the character’s all differ after witnessing one crucial event earlier in the movie.  The film ends with an outside witness, dictating an absolute version of events that countered each individuals subjective version of what took place.

Much like the movie, as we attempt to recall a memory, it travels the neural pathways we create as we associate it to what we already know – in our long-term memory. This can cause the memory to alter as we make those relationships. Although everything seems subjective, to each subjective thought there is an order – a relationship of parts – stemming from the original order before it.


It’s interesting that even the mind, as the rest of the world, works in a way of relationships – a sort of ecosystem of parts.  We live in an ecosystem of many different & smaller ecosystems that make up the whole of one.  Although, seemingly chaotic, a closer look illuminates the order in which it is made.

And so I have to wonder, where is the end to the environments and systems we are in? Is there a beginning to our space; an onset of time and matter; the beginning to the order of things as we know it; so to say, an absolute beyond time and space?


Liberation Redux

Because We Choose


So we’re exploring some darker themes in our next record. This is something that has to be seen to be understood, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, we have yet to properly release our first effort. Liberation Redux released “Spectators” to friends and family of the band in 2012 and have continually given it to close ties to the band as a soft release… A proof of concept, if you will. Of course this is another way of saying that we haven’t struck it rich with any million dollar, recording contract as of yet so take that as you will. (Insert emoticon with a smiley face here.)

Our new record has no title yet but as with life, things may just have to develop organically… real and natural like and not in any other way. I’m excited for it though because Allyson and I have grown in our songwriting partnership since last year.

To break it up here, I have to mention that I am really loving this band called “The XX” right now.
Check them out. They are the same idea but almost diametrically opposed dynamics-wise, (is that a word?) from us as a band.

Allyson and I have had the pleasure of recently playing an event celebrating women and the arts. We got a chance to collaborate on some new material because, before now, I have been the main vocal contributor to our output as Liberation Redux. Years ago, we worked together on Gomroki, which we will resurrect when the time is right. That music project is something that we are still moving towards but until we get there we can use LibRedux as a vehicle to explore Allyson’s songwriting in the meantime. Just in case you’re curious you can hear Gomroki here.


Electronic music and analog sounding instruments, paired with visceral, traditional instrumentation is a real, creative turn on for me as an artist. I have always loved music like Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead and recently The XX these past few years. Finding a way to successfully create something beautiful that’s organic and mysteriously futuristic and robotic can be quite chaotic at times but ever so rewarding.

Right now, as I said, I’m discovering certain ideas that lend themselves well to where I’m coming from during this period in my life. One of them, is actually one of my favorite titles to date that I’ve ever decided to use for a song. The Bystander effect is, according to Kendra Cherry on About.com, the phenomenon in which the greater the number of people present, the less likely people are to help a person in distress. When an emergency situation occurs, observers are more likely to take action if there are few or no other witnesses.

Playing lots of late night, live shows have recently inspired me to go to gun shows and as of this Saturday, take up shooting as a means to learn self-defense. We live close to St. Louis, Missouri which has been given the distinction as ranking second on the most dangerous cities list. According to this CNN Money article
While it is safer than it used to be… “Still, at about 35 murders per 100,000 residents in 2011, St. Louis claims the third highest homicide rate of any major city.” So I’ve begun to, without even meaning to, take my friends up on offers to go “shooting” and hopefully learning how to safely utilize these deadly, hand cannons.

Also, I have begun writing about the social and moral decay of society as a whole. While the “Spectators” record was hopeful and full of light, this new record turns the page and while still offering hope, lights up the downward trajectory things can sometimes inevitably take. Life is a machination made up of cycles, as most of us have come to discover, sometimes it seems that you cannot have one without the other. Peace and war are not just paradigms made up for television shows and songs on the radio. They are very real states that some are born into and others still are thrust into with or without their permission.

I don’t mean to idolize or trivialize violence in any way. That said, I have a very real and true responsibility to those that I love and care for while pursuing something so trivial, if only by comparison, as my art. Last weekend in St. Louis, a man was brutally stabbed in the neck and later died when confronted by an evil person who wanted to rob him of his cell phone. Just saying…

God is God, even still, ever still, in all of this. That is my voice’s true aim and highest aspiration. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be but I can see the truth when it’s staring me in the face. There is a God who loves us and wants the best for us regardless of what anyone else says. I love that I’ve been given a talent and if possible, I would like to share this without pretense, in the most enjoyable and entertaining way as possible. First up, for now in any case, is music. One day, God-willing, I would like to make movies. I would like to tell an amazingly well thought out and wonderful crafted story much like the short lived but very prolific writer, Flannery O’ Connor.


The funny thing about life is, no one is guaranteed anything. You take it as it comes and you hope for the best, but no one great ever did anything lying down. So here I sit, with my laptop in hand, writing a much overdo blog about what have you and here I am, virtually, mentally naked, for lack of a better term, for all to see.

If there was anything I could give in theme or in substance it would be this:
Life is but a vapor. Time isn’t anyone’s companion for very long. Do what you were made to do and do it well.
You never know who might need it or when the curtain may come calling.

I’ll leave you with the second song that we will be releasing here shortly.
“Slough of Despond” which if you are not familiar, refers to a passage found in Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

Liberation Redux

Slough of Despond
Song & Lyrics Copyright © 2013 Liberation Redux All rights reserved.

Everyone should have something to live for. It’s not so easy to stay alive out here.
Got my gun, I got my ammunition. No wars are won with indecision.
There’s not enough to go around. They take your past and then they nail you to the ground…
“Better you than me”, is what the people sing.

“We Have nothing left to live for. We have nothing better to fight for…”

Don’t get wrong, don’t get me wrong, I get it.
The man who sold the world said he did to save it.
Couldn’t make a right from the wrong inside.
Couldn’t take flight when buried alive.

“if you want to survive,
Give us all of your money buy a place in line.
Do what you want, do what you need, Do what you got to do
because we tell you to.”

I don’t believe, I can’t believe, I won’t believe a lie.
Can’t seem to make a myself, make myself wanna lay down and die.
I saw the light, I’ve seen the light, saw the lightning in those eyes. 
Won’t turn away, Can’t look away,
Not even if I wanted to…

Don’t Ignore the warning signs
Rise or end up eaten alive
Wars are fought and lost inside
Gotta keep hope
gotta keep hope alive

Traverse the Great Divide
Or wash away with changing tides
I want something better to live for
I need something better to fight for

When all the world’s become a trap to kill you
You need to open up your eyes.
No one else can do it for you!
No. No! No!

Don’t Ignore the warning signs
Rise or end up eaten alive
Wars are fought and won inside
Gotta keep hope
gotta keep hope alive
Traverse the Great Divide
Or wash away with changing tides
I want something better to live for

Come away
Come away
The dark cant stop the light of day
Rip away
Tear away
The lie is that “there is no escape”

If we could ever hope to break through
It will only be because we choose.

The revolution is here. Now what?


The open access & networking capability of the web is amazing. I realize this sometimes when I actually think about it. Like all other great advances in technology it has major implications. We’re more open and free than ever before to share and solicit ideas, and at the same time being under the greatest amount of surveillance and data mining than ever before. Considering the technology itself, how we use it, and how organizations or governments determine it to be used make the possibilities endless! I, for one, have enjoyed the awesome mobility for information sharing & new ways to work on more creative output. After all, it’s what allowed Liberation Redux to begin.

There was a dry patch, but I’ve recently revisited indulging my “free” time in mobile apps. This has especially become advantageous for me as I continue to consider the vast world of an open source society, coupled with my endeavors in instructional design. Basically I have a sincere intrigue in how we think and learn. The other day I was reading an article by Marc Prensky, a reading from the first MOOC (massive open online course) I’m trying out. A Basic idea he presented was that the changing landscape and tools available to us allows the way we think and learn to change. The implications of this idea are interesting to me – not only because theories or practices derived from it would apply to my work as a designer of instruction, but also because I see how it is related to effects of my activities in mobile music, along with the fact that implications on my children & generations to come could be important to consider (that goes without saying that I, like everyone else, believe the education & learning of people is a critical concern to our society in general – & our institutionalized educational systems I’ll, in a nice way say, has opportunity for MEGA improvement). Of course, there’s many arguments to this idea of restructured thinking, as there hasn’t been much “sound” research to base it on.

I walked away with an ‘anything can happen’ degree in Mass Communication having been convinced (not by my professors, but my own judgements from research presented) that we are indeed affected by what we watch & see. Yes, this includes media. I think it has the critical power (not all power) in forming perspectives & ideas, individually & socially – in the ecology of us, as it surrounds our daily lives. Not necessarily that watching violence literally makes us violent – but, on a level I think it can effect the way we see the world, ourselves and each other. It’s proven that kids learn and form opinions not only from “doing” but also from watching us & the world. The tools or delivery systems (to avoid using the word “technology” the taboo my first professor ingrained in me, as technology is simply processes not media/delivery tools) we use are very different from the ideas & stories we watch (.. Or are they?); but even more so by them being more visceral, I would think, in the manipulation & consumption of information. So, can it effect us on another level? This “processing of information” level… & does that even matter? Well, for me as I want to help individuals learn in the most effective ways by designing & presenting the most engaging learning materials for them possible, it does.

As Prensky put it, “These operating systems are affecting our ‘operating system’… Today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors.” Although this statement is not based on sound research it does hint towards Dr. Bruce D. Perry’s (of Baylor College of Medicine) statement that “Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures.” So maybe not only are different generations receiving different or new information & ideas in media, they also are processing that information differently as the media tools/delivery systems & the ways in which they engage with info is changing.

I’m thinking this may lead to Prensky’s coining of today’s youth as ‘digital natives’. I’ve read arguments to this idea by a few from older generations who are indeed very tech savvy, and may have taken offense to such ideas. However, I wasn’t interpreting it to infer that younger generations are smarter or better within technology – but that those who spend more time with such tools or have considerable more comfort with them would apply to this idea of digital natives. It doesn’t have to be an age thing (but in most cases may be a commonality). I feel like I’ve experienced this on a small level: The first year of my Master’s program I started researching & consolidating information online and writing out research papers & my own reflections… and I noticed there was a shift in the way I sought & processed information. In my efforts I learned to do it faster & I began to break out segments of information in “chunks” like I had not done before. If in this the way I processed information changed after taking in information differently, I think I can begin to consider the implications this might have on generations as the way we consume information (on a wide level) continues to change with the given tools.


So, maybe I can understand how the way we connect, communicate, and exchange information could be pulling us towards a more of a term you may have heard by now, ‘networked individualism’; which I understand to be (correct me if I’m wrong) a more person focused & less family/unit/social group focused mentality or dependency – self-directed engagement in more loosely structured temporary networks – a person being at the center of their own “universe”. So these delivery methods could actually be affecting the way we organize and structure information internally, & ultimately the way we communicate to those around us.

So, I wonder about the idea that we are becoming more segmented among numerous groups; more reliant on ourselves than dependent on our ‘group’.


The possibilities this leads to are vast – more creative information sharing and collaboration across the world via a multitude of networks. Yet still lingering in the back of my mind, beyond the technology & tools and how they will be used, I struggle with another part of the ecosystem. If there is more of a networked individualism and less identification with social control of groups/family/etc. where does the social control lie? Now, maybe that’s just a matter of social determination factors…. Who will this technology serve the most?

– Allyson
Liberation Redux


… To boldly go…

In an effort to add more of a productive aspect to what I perceive is a more pedestrian, civilian kind of lifestyle, I have decided to begin writing in this here blog. My wife kindly helped me to figure out how to log in, sort of like when I help her to figure out how to use the computer to watch some far fetched, hard to find, foreign cinema… Yes.

Now that I'm here I'll try my best not to look too awkward like the freshman at the dance with no one to dance with…

I'll try to act perfectly natural like I belong here and not at all like I have to visit the restroom because I've already ingested too much tropical punch.

I think that for our next issue we are going to explore dreams. I have had quite a lot of confusing dreams as of late… I don't mind telling you either because I don't believe in ESP or any of that nonsense. I don't know how much I believe in the telling of dreams to become reality except from what I've read in the good book and that had quite a few stories in it where some odd person would change the course of a nation with a dream… Or the interpretation of a dream brought about something here or there or what have you… I think the reason I am so distrustful of the whole “let me tell you what your dreams mean” dynamic is because it has to be accepted wholly on blind faith. There is no way one can substantiate it one way or the other. I prefer my faith to be wide eyed and incredulous, sure, but never blind.

Some say love is blind and perhaps they are right but I… I am one of those who prefers to believe that I am walking into my beliefs with my eyes wide open. I believe, in God for instance, although I find it hard to believe in what his people say from time to time… I'd chalk it up to ignorance but then again somehow I feel 'safer' in my own ignorance at times it seems.

These days I can be found consorting with all manner of folks but my favorites are the honest ones. They do exist, irregardless of how skeptical and how glorious some of my friends might believe they are in there own “mature” cynicism. I like the believers and the non-believers alike but I have to say my favorites are the honest ones. The ones who really know why they think they know something.

There, I said it.

Having said all that, I realize I have so far to go to truly understand ANY of this. Why do dreams effect you so? Why do you wake up mad when you've been tossing and turning all night, when the offensive party you are so angry with, had NOTHING to do with you and your dream? I've had it happen more recently than ever before it seems. Maybe it's because I'm working too hard, possibly because it's spiritual and I have a lot of sorting out to do with the big man upstairs… Whatever you believe, I'm cool with it, just don't tell me!

Some part of me wants to figure things out on my own… Another wants desperately for this all to have been over and done with so I can move on to the next, bigger, better, thing. Whatever that is. I like the act of creating and the process of educating oneself to go further, farther, faster… Even though after years of playing and writing music, I feel old in spirit. My head is better than ever but my heart is sad more often than not. The funny thing is, in my dreams I can't remember any of my present circumstances or disappointments and so I fight! I run! I clamor to defend or in some cases to attack because I know in my heart, in the truest place, deep down inside my soul, that If I try hard enough, I can win!

When I wake up is when the gravity begins to set in again… I was just dreaming… For better or worse, now I am awake again.

What day is it? Oh yeah, this thing is late, that other thing is due and God help me, I've gotta tear outta bed. The day is already upon me!

Thank God for dreams though. Even the ones where I wake up tired because I've been struggling and fighting all night.

Thank God for his imagination to imbue such creatures as ourselves with such a separate existence from ourselves as is found in dreams.

Life isn't so hard and mine especially is nothing to frown upon as I am BLESSED… Coming in and going out. I need to keep my head about me. Not everyone can see… Not everyone can, some say, dream.

Not everyone can sing! …I need to sing. I need to dream. I need to see…

Lord God, I pray, help me to see. …Help me to see.

“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” – C.S. Lewis

“I refuse to lay down the goodness of God on the alter of my own understanding.” – Greg Morisson


– Philip
Liberation Redux