Tuesday, November 28, 2006

today i am reminded of the fact that i have always had an escapist relationship to reality. i remember riding in the back of my parents car hoping that aliens would come take me to their planet. after reading the chronicles of narnia i remember pushing through the hanging clothes of my grandmothers armoire looking for a portal. i wondered when i wandered any forest if i would be able to find bag end. could it be somewhere under the ground of this world? then age twelve and thirteen i discovered lsd and mushrooms and began searching around in the inner world of the expanded mind. there was a line of connected electricity to all these explorations that were a lusty search for a reality that was more interesting to me than the one i dealt with everyday. add to this that i was a shy and uncomfortable kid who was always ill at ease around other folks. this same spirit has changed its superficial look but remains with me to this day. i find the usual life unsatisfying. i get restless with the usual choice between lifes little contests (money, tv size, freeway traffic battles) and the boredom of routine. i am still looking for the portals into more interesting worlds. but after being continually disappointed by the 'magical' ones, i now look to this world for escapes into wonder. there is plenty that is true that gives me this adventurous feeling. there is plenty that we dont know that is a rich source for wonder. the more i learn, the richer is my experience of our ignorance. i am glad to see that it seems that science is beginning to assert itself more vociferously into the public sphere. not just passively being used, when convenient, to 'support' some religious claim when it fits and then summarily dismissed as 'just another kind of religion' when it disputes a silly claim. i read a fascinating book some years ago about a conference held at m.i.t. on alien abductions. now i dont believe that little jawas are traveling millions of miles to earth because they are interested in getting a look up our asses. nor do i believe that they could navigate all that space only to blow it in the final mile and crash into new mexico. but people are really motivated about these ideas. that in itself is interesting to me, for example. i understand all too well the impulse to make this world more interesting. a world filled with ghosts, mind reading, gods who smite bad people, alien abduction and government conspiracies is more exciting than one without. but this world is infused with all sorts of more reliable wonders. and pursuit of the reliable ones doesnt have the darker side effect of increasing our gullibility, easy belief, and addiction to simple answers. these things that make a population easy to control.
oh yeah, by the way, in addition to caffiene this was all started by hearing about this guy.


Chris (C. Brian) said...

Eric A,

Your post got me thinking about the movie Signs by M. Night Shyamalan. If you have seen his work, what do you think of it? For me, a bad M. Night movie is better than a lot of films out there. He takes risks, makes mistakes, makes you think. I'm a sucker for his Hitchcock move of inserting himself into the plot . . . even if it's self-indulgent.

I, too, suffer from "existential boredom". Likewise, I have - - when I was a teenager - - consumed psilocybin tea. That and Robitussin DM at boarding school! I have since given up these excursions and now rely on a few pints of Guinness now and then. It's like Campbell's soup; you can eat it with a fork, but it has much more fiber.

Picking up on one of your remarks . . . it is interesting to see how science is used by cosmologists, theologians, philosohers, religious believers, etc. On the one hand, you have the likes of scientists Sagan saying that "The universe is all there ever was, is, and ever will be" (or something like that) . . . and perhaps certain models such as the Steady State or Oscillating give credence to the eternality of our universe. Then, on the other hand, you have religious folks claiming that the Big Bang model fits with creation ex nihilo teachings of sacred, theistic texts. Anyways, you are probably familiar with Why People Believe Weird Things: http://tinyurl.com/ylgxw2

¡Benjaminista! said...

About the propensity of people towards conspiracy theories, I'd recommend "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco, if you haven't read it. Basic premise: everything really is connected, but it is us who do the connecting.

Anonymous said...

EA--I was always fascinated by depth, both in the sky and the water.

When you look up at the sky are you really looking down?

Had some weird fascination with the Marianas trench and sudden drop-offs in the ocean floor.

I always thought your thoughts could expand and fill the space.

Sorry for the grimble krumble type ramblings.

Hello from NYC,

chris said...

Hey Eric, have you ever heard of cseti? (http://www.cseti.org) i heard this guy (Dr. Steven Greer) speak at a friend of mine's concert. (Vic Thrill: www.victhrill.com) pretty interesting stuff. not sure i believe all of it. but the Ce-5 initiative sounded interesting to me.

Definition: CE-5 is a term describing a fifth category of close encounters with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI), characterized by mutual, bilateral communication rather than unilateral contact. The CE-5 Initiative has as its central focus bilateral ETI-human communication based on mutual respect and universal principles of exchange and contact....

andy said...

Heh, you totally got spammed! Interesting post btw.

matt volpe said...

Hi Eric,

Hope you had wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine went real well. My wife and I have a 6 month old and he had a microscopic bit of sweet potatoes. That made my day.

Anyways, read your most recent post and I found it very interesting. I can relate to how one looks for other portals in our universe to find a new, fresh perspectives or just for escape from the norm. This makes me think of this new TV mini series I've been writing and producing for called The Lost Room. It deals with alternate realities and dimensions via a vacant motel room frozen in time. It's a great concept and a lot of fun to work on.

When I play my bass, that to me is the great escape though--as it is for a lot of musicians (perhaps even yourself?)

Anyway...speaking of music, I wanted to share with you a little tune I wrote for my son Avery. His first name is yes, influenced by one my favorite musicians, yourself. Also because it's a really cool name too. You can hear the song if you like at the following link:


I hope you enjoy it. I also hope you're not freaked out by me naming my kid after you, it's purely out of complete respect and admiration of a great musician as yourself and also so my wife can pick our next kid's name by herself! (hee hee, just joking on the latter part).
Hope all is well and write soon,

Matt Volpe

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-ea. said...

chris (c.brian)- i have a very predictable relationship to shyamalans work. after sixth sense, i have eagerly awaited ech of his subsequent films. his filmaking and the topics/themes are always interesting to me. but with this excitement comes wildly lofty expectations and i am inevitably disappointed. i then see his films again on hbo or something and i think they are brilliant. this happens so predictably now that i knew before the last one, cant remember the name(?), the mermaidish one, that this was going to happen and was therefore able to lower my initial expectations which in turn mitigated my disappointment. that being said i dont think it was his best outing.

-ea. said...

benjiminista- my wife recommends that one as well. it is on my someday list.

kv - did a report on marianas trench and batyspheres in grammar school. fascinated as well ever since. wanted to be a marine biologist when i was still a wee lad. i am in the ocean all the time as a surfer too. have you seen the attenborough doc called blue planet? if you havent, get your hands on the open ocean/ deep ocean episode. astonishing how creative and ugly/beautiful life gets at depth. amazing stuff.

-ea. said...

matt- i am of course flattered by the name influence. my sister just had one a month ago and avery was one of the finalists as well. she went with henry. im a very proud uncle.

your bass playing is great. i do hear a bit of me in there but i also really hear mike watt. are you a fan of his? he has always been a favorite of mine. its very cool playing it for your boy before he arrived and all that. thanks for the listen.

matt volpe said...

Hi Eric,

Congrats on your Sister's baby Henry and on becoming an Uncle, that's great news. I'm sure you'll be an awesome Uncle to the little guy. I'm relieved to hear you're flattered that I named little guy after you. I can't wait to share with him your music.

Thanks very much for the kind words, appreciate it! I had great time making that song for my son Avery. Yes, most definitely there is your influence in there (there's a line you played on IRIS on the Deconstruction CD that has always stayed with me) and I am a huge Mike Watt fan for sure! I've gone to see him play everytime he hits the NYC clubs with his van-- he's a beautiful player. My other big influences (and you can hear it in that song) is Flea, James Jamerson, Peter Hook and Joe Lally from Fugazi. Pretty much all those guys and yourself, the movie JAWS and lots of coffee have shaped my bass playing. I am obsessed with JAWS, it has helped make me the artist I am today. I've got JAWS tattoos and i'm hoping to get a little cameo in the upcoming The Shark Is Still Working documentary on JAWS. You can go here to check that out if interested:

By the way you mention in one of your latest blogs that you love the ocean and you wanted to be a marine biologist when you were young, that's so funny, so did I! I was into sharks and the ocean even before JAWS...which is weird for someone like myself who grew up in Queens, NY...but I guess I must seen a picture or a drawing of a shark, probably a great white, and suddenly a switch must have went off, and boom, I was a ocean/shark maniac. I know this sounds crazy but I've often said when I come back after this life, I want to be a great white shark. heh, heh. Anyways, look forward to talking agaiin soon. All the best Eric, Matt

-ea. said...

chris- i have no idea what dr. greer is talking about. i listened to the clip at his site. where do people come by all this knowledge. i knew a singer for a prominent band who, i wont name names, believed e.t.'s spoke to him through a psychic. i asked him if his psychic new the name of the e.t. and if it was mork from ork. he paid an hourly rate for this nonsense.

Nate said...

check out steven greer md on youtube.com or his website: disclosureproject.org. he has some good books as well.

sam l said...

i used to have dreams where there were holes in the ground that i would climb into and down underground, there were all my friends having a great time. this was during the ages of 13-17.

as i got older, the hole got smaller, harder to find and continued this pattern till i was about 20 when , in one of my dreams, the hole was too small to fit into and i became stuck and clausterphobia kicked in. i never went into the hole ever again. i still remember it,

for some reason i though of this while i read your entry.


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