Monday, February 11, 2008

i am reading an imperfect but interesting book called the 'black swan'. i stick with it because it is based on something i believe is true about our world: that we like to tell ourselves stories about random events in our lives so that we can feel that we have the ability to control or predict those events in the future. see the stock market or long lines of people being forced to take their shoes off before getting on a plane. some of these stories do no harm and do seem to bring us some comfort. but we have to be careful of others that are more dangerous. and all of them are easy which is the most insidious part of the trap. i heard an example on 'meet the press' yesterday, i think it was there, though im not sure. somebody mentioned that there was still more sexism than racism in america. now that is a debatable point. i dont know if i believe that either way but i do know that the context in which it was said, talking about clinton vs. obama, implied something that does not seem true. obamas growing popularity does not mean that we are less racist than we are sexist. this is a good example of how easy these stories are to tell ourselves and often how neatly they immediately fit the data whilst how utterly simplistic and wrong they usually are. the black guy is more popular than the white woman therefore americans prefer blacks over women? amongst the many flaws in this thinking is the fact that in this primary election, white guys have consistently voted for hillary over obama. whenever i come up with a clever take on something that fits easily i become suspicious. the 'ease' of the fit is a good indicator that there is something wrong; something too lightly examined. ironically, it is these infectious oversimplifications that create our bigotry and sexism in the first place. life is rich and complex and almost always defies easy answers. at least that is my simple story for today and it seems to easily fit the data.

55 comments:

Josh said...

Mr. Avery,

It's great to see you back on the blog, for a while there I assumed you had forgotten us starved fans.

Now, to be off-topic, any news/further progress on 'Help Wanted'?

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts on the supposed sociological bias relating to the election. People seem to always use the easiest explanations and the most exploitable scapegoat. Lame.

I hope all is well with you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Avery I have done more research on Obama. I actually kind of sort of really like his words/speeches. In fact one speech actually brought tears to my eyes. It is almost scary how intelligent and concise this man is.

It is clear that any candidate that brings up prosecution of current Bush criminals would invite a huge election cycle blow back, which may not be favorable.

The 9/11 truth will be solved through channels other than a presidential campaign.

One can only hope that when Barrack becomes president, he will form a Truth and Reconciliation Committee to investigate and prosecute the crimes of Bush Inc. (formerly known as the United States of America).

Here is a great music vid made for Obama.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHEO_fG3mm4

Now contrast this against the vid made for McCain
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gwqEneBKUs

Also about half way through the Ross Bible. I will be buying this book for certain. Not the kind of book you read once and forget. The music that I constantly hear inside my head seems to have grown taller, more peripheral and also using voices/ instruments not usually included in my audio vision. Feels like a snowball begininning to roll own the mountain.

With respect and kindness,
Mike

Anonymous said...

suspicious, quite suspicious the timing of your blog and the non-coincidental reading of your latest interest. Hmmm perhaps an act of cerebral terrorism, it's not unlike your musical efforts as they assault the unconcious mind. Carry forth and satisfy the hapless cravings of a reader who longs to connect but tread lightly..the enemy is within

George D said...

I hope obama will win, for some reason to me and other people i know he seems very real? hes just so fresh he hasnt been in washington too long to become a robot just yet. Would be cool how good of a president he will be.

A main reason i hope he wins is he said he WOULD talk to chavez, and castro and that iranian dude. Thats how it should be.


Help Wanted is allllmost here!

JM said...

Hello, Eric

A friend told me today that you were going to record for a Chilean named "Kudai", along with some other "Alanis Morissette musicians", said the newspaper (according to this guy).

I did a quick search and didn't found a thing, so I said to myself... "why don't ask him directly?". And that's what I'm doing... is it true? Any details on that?

I hope you're having a great week.

Regards,
JM
(Larry B.)

Anonymous said...

wow... you ignored all of the political questions raised in the previous thread. hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Been listening to your Deconstruction CD, it is awesome, thanks for the great music

sam said...

eric,

you nailed it, people want to simplify everything into something that is easily digested. the scariest part is people, a lot of people, vote based on these over simplifications. "i am voting for clinton cause hse is a woman and its time for a woman pres" and "i am voting for obama cause he is black."

we need to stop this train of simplistic thought and make american's realize that part of the voting process includes doing your homework and getting past the headlines and soundbytes. its hard work making informed decisions.

in my opinion, the majority of the people voting aren't willing to do the work required to make an informed decision and rely on the media to spoonfeed them their candidate. very dangerous, very fountainhead!!!

-ea. said...

josh- forgive my absence, my personal life has been interesting lately.

on the help wanted tip, i shot a vid for the first single, 'all remote....', with a director named andrew huang. i havent seen a rough cut yet but i am really excited. we shot my stuff mostly green screen and he is building it cgi later. he made a little quicktime of his treatment that looks really good. i have high hopes.

-ea. said...

mike- understand the feelings but i think we need to move forward. as king george II has often said, history will be the judge of his term in office and i think it will judge him harshly. washington is a morass, i think anymore partisan bickering over bush's fiasco would be more sand for the sinkhole.

yes. ross's book. i keep referring to it. it is currently open on the piano like sheet music.

-ea. said...

anonymous- huh? me no understandy.

-ea. said...

jm- no idea about any of that. havent even heard about it.

-ea. said...

sam- have you read fountainhead? i have not. it is one of those books that is on my 'i will read this when i grow up' list. i even own it (gift) but havent ever gotten to it.

JM said...

lmao

It doesn't surprise me you haven't heard about it... I just read a news clip from a Chilean paper stating the album is already recorded, with YOUR input included!

Band: Kudai - Album: Nadha

Just in case you want to check: (it's in Spanish) http://www.wow.cl/prontus_wow/site/artic/20080130/pags/20080130114358.html

I hope you're having good days and the video turns out fine... I'm melting here, 36ÂșC outside.

JM
AKA Larry B.

sam said...

yes, i read it. took me a long time to finish it, but i have ADD, haha!

great book though, not many positive feelings come from readng it though...

Anonymous said...

Fountainhead is a kick ass book.

Completely challenges the conventional definition of selfishness. Highlights the virtues of selfishness. Sheds light on the darker side of altruism. I am a huge fan of altruism, and I still love this book.

The Fountainhead is bashed severely by people of all stripes. It is also praised by people of all stripes.

This book is about a man who sets his own standards. The story of a man who refuses to sell out at all costs and how it affects those around him.

One of the best books ever written.

Eric, be real interesting to hear your reflections on this classic.

Respect and kindness,
Mike

P.S. Off the top of your head, what are your favorite 5 books? You ever get into Steinbeck? Tortilla Flats is a home run that can be read in just a couple trips to the toilet. Have you read it?

George D said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=AmgPoki58Q8


wowzahs!

epic, you rocked that shit

C. Brian said...

Where is the Life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? -T.S. Eliot

andy said...

hey eric, did you get to see control?i never really listened to that music but i thought the movie was unbelievable. i was thinking about it several days after..

i played an open mic the other night and tried out suns gone, i sing it a little different than you did when you played it on daves radio, but it was well received :D

C. Brian said...

EA,

Looks as if you have a valentine; someone's selling your shirt!

Anonymous said...

Vote for the person that promises least; they will dissappoint the least

Matea said...

wait a second? this is E.Avery who toured with Garbage in 2005? no way.... =)

if you are that E.Avery, please contact me at soadmala@gmail.com , I must ask you sth...

JM said...

Hey Anonymous, what if I promise you that I won't promise anything? Would you vote for me?

JM

.kelly said...

We should all write in the most crazy person we can for voting. Get a million votes for Dr. Suess or Snoopy? Groucho Marx? Stephen Colbert? Anyone. I think it'd be a riot to see the big news corperations being boggled by such unity in a fake candidate.

-ea. said...

mike- i have done a steinbeck phase. thankfully i wasnt taught to hate him in high school. havent read tortilla though.

top 5 off the top...we wish to inform you that we will all be killed with our families, among the thugs, dispatches, bag of bones, the man who mistook his wife for a hat

-ea. said...

george d- cool link. dont remember having seen that footage before.

-ea. said...

andy- did see control. it was beautiful. i really liked hearing joy division in high fidelity. that has never happend for me before. except possibly hearing flea, frusciante and josh klinghoffer doiing a set of joy division covers a few years ago. that was a show.

i cant believe you did 'suns gone" at an open mic night. very cool. will have to tell the wife.

-ea. said...

c. brian.- one of amazons biggest sellers. i actually designed those shirts. do you like my font choice? i am always trying to create things that are as cheerful as possible.

great link. had a laugh. thanks.

marco said...

hello eric

I have two music related questions. I hope they're not too out of context in this particular blog.

1) I have read that one of the first times you and perry played together, you played the same bass line for 45 minutes straight while he sang over it. is that true? did that bass line ever become part of a particular song?

2) are you a fan of the southern death cult/death cult and early cult (dreamtime + love)? I always found the bass playing somewhat similar to yours.

thank you for your answers.
good luck to you.
marco
rome, italy

sam said...

of those 5 listed, bag of bones is the only one i have read, and couldn't agree more.

we all want to save that beautiful helpless young woman with the kid.

add salinger's nine short stories, and within that book, "a perfect day for banana fish." for some reason we read this in high school(1988). and when i read this book today, i still here your bass lines.

Anonymous said...

i was against the war so im anti american and dont support the troops

Anonymous said...

"we wish to inform you that we will all be killed with our families, among the thugs, dispatches, bag of bones, the man who mistook his wife for a hat"

Haven't read any of them. THANKS for listing. Will take a look. Stoked.

r&k
mike

Anonymous said...

JM -
Ploitician are the same all over, they promise to build a bridge even when there is no river...so your not promising something is good - and perhaps your could offer more than the pro-middle east position of Obama Bi Laden, or the " give medical attention to the nuclear whales in underpriviledged schools rhetoric of Mrs. Bill (you can trust me, but I cant trust my husband) Clinton. Only Nader suggests real change...or as JFK put it - Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable -
SMAC

Anonymous said...

Third Party is a great idea. However, we learned our lesson from Nader’s ’00 run. Thanks but no thanks. Nader begat the Bush years.

The nightmare result of Nader’s ’00 run will remain hanging over our grandchildren’s generation.

And as we come to learn, Nader is no Al Gore.

r&k
Mike

sufferwords said...

Jeez,

You find a new friend in the writing world every day. Awesome writing but more output please.

pweiss

Anonymous said...

!NADER!

.kelly said...

Seeing Nader kind of scares me. I like his policies and think he would be great, but he has no chance and the only thing he may end up doing is taking votes away from whoever wins the nomination (Obama). Well, I'm a broken record, but I think that it is a universal fear for most people voting blue, but I'm staying optimistic and hoping he has minimal impact.

By the way, Eric, I take it this is you playing bass at Lolla 91 with NIN?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-eM7H4NHKo

Were you the only bassist on stage most of those times playing the little bass groove? And by the way, fucking awesome bass smash technique at 6:21 and 6:36

lhr said...

When I no longer see Ralph Nader running that's when I'll be scared.

I've supported Nader ever since the 2000 campaign. After attending one of his sold-out rally's in 2000 at the Fleet center in Boston I found myself becoming an unintentional loyal supporter of Ralph Nader = the consumer advocate...not the corporate advocate. Ralph Nader has validated for me my belief that there are still selfless people out in the world who fight the good fight not just because they need to win...or not fight so that someone else will lose, but because they find their wealth in protecting people and helping to empower the little people and raising them up against their masters. Ralph Nader is not another typical groomed lifelong politician with trained rhetoric, speech tones and practiced hand motion shit. He actually already has changed our world in many ways for the better. There is no speculation.. Ralph Nader fights to protect the consumer.
And still..BOTH party's did everything in their power to keep Ralph out of 2000's national debates.
First they said he was insignificant...then after Florida....all of the sudden Ralph Nader was really, really, really significant. In fact...then Bush became his fault entirely.
“Spoiler”
.. bullshit. If the Democrats couldn't landslide King George...that's clearly their own fault. I was there…aware..and following politics at the time…and I remember how bad Gore / Lieberman blew. “Bush and Gore…really were corporate whores”.
-Shit. Using this spoiler logic couldn't we say that for every race there will be a loser? And really.. that every loser is just a spoiler against the winner. Why should any possible loser even run?! They’re just stalling the winner from what every frontrunner ((and the media)) knows is inevitable.
And again this year if the centrist Democrats can't pull off a landslide against another perpetual war-monger maybe THEY should call it quits.
Just a few reasons why I cannot vote for Obama or Clinton:

1. I want a single payer health care like western Europe/Canada. I’ll support nothing less. Oh yeah just a reminder, I don’t care if Nader looses…at least he really fights. So don’t try and sell me (duh) “more better” health insurance.

2. I want REAL charges to be brought against the criminals who lied to put us in Iraq. And the only two running(( & I’m talking about Hillary and Obama, because lets face it, this is the only serious race in 08 being that the Republicans obviously want to loose this time around)) are either with me…or against me. They had a choice…but they have decided to be against me…That's not Ralph Naders fault.

3. I can only support the shrinking of our military. Currently half of our federal budget goes to the military. That is just plain old school retarded. All of this while we run out of oil. …if they are not seriously against military spending …then they are still way too for it.

4. I will not even consider supporting the construction of more Nuclear power plants. Anywhere. Even if it means that I can’t watch as much bullshit cable television and I might have to use mass transportation and talk to my neighbors. Democrats… Fuck em.

Believe me they weren’t going to get my vote whether or not Ralph ran again. Shit I voted for Edwards in the NY primary, after he withdrew, just to flip them off.


In 2000 Gore wasn't running on a platform that promoted loosing the oil addiction and supporting alternative energy, or universal health care, but Ralph Nader was. Gore ((and by the way all of this can include Kerry as well)) Oh if only Lieberman was vice president right?!…you never hear anybody say that! Gore wasn't promising to fight corporate criminals...but Nader was and still is!

Well yes they might be “elect-able”

And who knows maybe just like many democratic voters hope, the democratic candidates will correct all of the faults I have listed once in office, and they just can't say it now because they need to seem "elect-able". Well that’s just a desperate hope. And some democrats think the evangelicals are delusional?! Expecting things that aren’t even being promised.
A lot of the democrats I’ve talked to have become psychic. They know that their candidate is going to do things they won’t even talk about now ..once elected.
Even though I won’t vote for them, sadly I admit that I also do maintain hope that one of the two will see their opportunity in history to make real changes. And I remember feeling the same way about King George after you know what happened...he failed with flying colors.
But so far based on what plans they have outlined….it’s just more of the same but with prettier global p.c. packaging.
I truly believe history will view Ralph Naders campaigns as the most significant of our lifetime.
In fact…
((kind of related….
I can still vividly remember first hearing “Nothings Shocking” when I was in 8th grade in 1988…at the time I was big into early Sabbath as it was considered fairly acceptable…and also at the time I really wanted to be cool and that was all going well and fine until I first heard “up the beach” when my buddy played it before school in our A/V club storage closet… --thus began a new phase-- its one of those feelings, I can still get it when I hear “up the beach”….it was imperial unashamed beauty…. I remember having hairs stand on end, smiling and repeating to my friend…”unbelievable”. I was hooked. Back then I had to copy my friends cassette tape because it was really very hard to find janes anywhere outside of a big city I assumed, eventually “record town” I think picked it up…anyway…All of the metal heads and jocks let me and my few friends know every chance they got that we were queer as hell just like janes addiction. They loved to abuse us. Yet regardless, I lived and breathed jane’s for years. Other things came and went but I always kept jane’s closest. And to some degree I still do…reminds me of my sweetest girlfriends... But what I think is important is remembering when jane’s addiction was the underdog. People easily disregarded janes addiction. Janes addiction was a bunch of drug addicted queers basically according to the idiots I was surrounded by. They were never # 1, never would be! So they were no good?! Why because they didn’t look like or sound like grammy winners?! Please. I didn’t think so… The historic appreciation of janes took time. It wasn’t until years after 91 that it would become undeniably clear and safe enough for the larger masses to admit; janes addiction was one of a small group of under appreciated groups that in fact greatly altered and beautified music for the last decade of the 20th century. I’ve found that time does seem to fertilize all good things. And Nader’s presidential legacy my friends…will be the political equivalent to “three days”. And whether or not he wins the grammy for that…it really doesn’t matter. I don’t vote based on fear. I will always vote for my hero’s….not my fair-weather friends. I left all that other shit in grade school.

Believe me I know my vote counts...it's not a wasted vote. In fact I (like Bill Murray did in 2000) would like to challenge any of the front running candidates to tell me to my face that my vote is a wasted vote. If they can say that to my face, or if someone says it to your face…they shouldn’t be in charge.

Voting based on "elect-ability" is in my opinion terribly shortsighted and manipulated by fear.
Just because someone can run and make it thru that vicious gauntlet people assume that they will be a good leader who can keep the peoples best interests in mind? Scum still rises to the top, and you do have to cut a lot of throats to be considered "elect-able". Yeah ok…elect-able, but then what after?
I challenge anyone to watch in its entirety, the clips from nader’s 2000, sold-out NYC, Madison Square Garden rally, and then you tell me how I’m wasting my vote? And remember this is from 2000. Afterwards, someone can direct me to a comparable Gore speech from 2000 or a Kerry speech from 2004. BOTH parties worked to suppress this real American hero and demonize him and what he does. Shame on the corporate whores. Challenge yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbuIAZtXfgo

lhr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Bravo!! Bravicimo!!

men use thought only to justify their wrongdoings, and speech to conceal theri thoughts - voltaire

belief is harder to shake than knowledge - hitler
(i apologise for quoting him, but the statement is more impactful)

A politician - one who would circuvent God - Shakespeare

From error to error one discovers the entire truth - Freud

beware the wolf in sheeps clothing - Old mother hubbard, hansel adn gretel? oh..little red riding hood -

muerto grato

Joey said...

Well, talking about great writers. I just discovered Phil Roth, and he is something else. Check him out!

Best regards from Iceland.

-ea. said...

pweiss- would this be one pweiss i consider a friend in the analog world?

-ea. said...

marco- 1) yes it is true. the very first time we got together we played what would later become mountain song.

2) the cult were always around in those days so i heard alot. friends always liked them. i never really did.

-ea. said...

lhr - wow. lots to say. dont know if i see the nader/janes situations as being in any way analagous.

when it comes to wasting or not wasting a vote on someone unelectable, i think the argument for voting with your conscience is a valid one. it is not that i dont understand the dilemma. i just choose to try and help the world in practical ways now rather than in a more theoretical ways. no fear involved. thats just how im making that call. both eyes open.

-ea. said...

.kelly - thanks for the link. showed the wife. i would actually play a guitar with nails on that tour. a guitar they supplied and let me destroy after each show. good fun.

-ea. said...

joey - philip roth. yes. i would have to include 'american pastoral' in my top 5. brilliant. i only just read it two years ago.

-ea. said...

sam - almost forgot you. i am still amazed at how often i refer to the glass family stories; in addition to the 9 stories. when my nephew gets old enough i will force feed him seymour an intro..., rise high..., franny and zooey, et al.

my friend malerie named her kid after 'for esme with love and squalor'. pj harvey has 'pretty mouth and green my eyes' in her lyrics. the list goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

Roth is a hidden gem in plain site.

The Human Stain was also excellent exploring the fascism of the mind when it abandons itself to CW.

Don't let the film infect yr opinion of the book.

Best.

George D said...

Belly of an insect is a cool song! its very indie rockish, it has a g=cool vibe to it this album is gonna bring enjoyment to my ears!

thanks!

Did u do the interview for the box set yet?

JM said...

I just listened "Belly of an Insect". Fucking nice job.

I have a show today, with my band. Having to play with them everyday during this week has been a pain in the ass, I hate those guys now.

Take care, thanks for the music.
JM

.kelly said...

Wow. Great song with Belly. It's different than what I would have expected, but it's better than a lot of the stuff in that sort of style. Can't wait for the album. I need to get off the Jane's and Deconstruction kick, and this should be the perfect way.

matt volpe said...

Eric,

Hope all is well. Belly of an Insect is beautifully sung by you. I'm salivating for Help Wanted. Awesome job my man. I've been listening to the Mars Volta, have you heard it? it's amazing. I've alos been listening to Maynard from Tool's Puscifer, also amazing. Had you ever got in to TAD? I've been going through that phase as well. On a lighter side I've been grooving to Eddie Vedder's Into the Wild soundtrack, awesome.And Joe Lally's new record, Nothing is Overrated. And lastly of course, to a bunch kid's music which, when you break some of it down, it's ain't so bad. Can't wait to hear Help Wanted! All best, Matt

Anonymous said...

eric... i know you must know something about garbage or shirley manson, huge fan here, been going around websites looking for some update, couldn't find anything! are they dunzo for good? do you know anything? I know this has nothing to do with your blog but I figured you might be able to help me
hope all is well with you, take care
carolina

Anonymous said...

To put myself in check regarding Nader’s ’00 run. What if Hillary won the primary and Obama ran as a third party independent? I would vote Obama despite what was posted earlier. Not sure. Probably so. Trippy to think about.

R&K
Mike

Jason said...

Eric,

I am listening to your album as I write this, having been directed to it from your Skeptic's Guide to the Universe interview. I am a Canadian paleontology grad. student working on the Ordovician mass extinction in the northern Yukon. I am also a bit of an indie music geek (I host a campus radio show). Jane's Addiction played a fairly large role in my highschool days. I was really excited to hear about your interest in science and skepticism, and having now heard it, equally excited to hear your new stuff! I hope to see you at TAM 6!!!

Cheers!

Jason