I recently rewatched the cult classic movie They Live, and I was reminded how poignant this movie from 1988 remains to this day. Starring former professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, the movie is about a global conspiracy of intergalactic beings who have infiltrated Earth to use humans as their slaves, all while giving them the illusion of happiness under the guise of consumption. After Piper's character begins to "see" what's really going on, he tries in earnest to wake up other humans, but so many times in the movie, the humans try their hardest to stay asleep, culminating in an overly drawn-out wrestling throwdown in a back alley with one of the other main characters. When interviewed once by a radio host, Piper said that the movie was actually a documentary, not fiction.
Through human history, our perception of reality has undergone drastic changes, but only after accepted paradigms were shattered. Unfortunately, it's not easy to shatter patterns that have served us in the past.
I originally published this article with Austin Daze back in 2013, but I've been seeing the images disappear on my original article, so I wanted to reprint the article here for eternity! Rumor has it, Jamiroquai is about to release a new album in 2016. This month marks the 3-year anniversary of their Latin America tour. Back in February of 2013, Jamiroquai played a show in Monterrey, Mexico. Local Austinites took a trip to give you this report:
Usually, when I travel, the first thing that people say when I tell them where I’m going is, “Wow, that’s going to be awesome!” When I said we were going to Mexico to see Jamiroquai, the response was, “Be careful.”
Knowing that attitude is everything, my buddy JB and I figured embracing every moment with positive intentions and no fear would result in a great trip, and we’d be totally safe the entire time. With that, we drove to Laredo and ditched JB's car at Wal-Mart so we could take a cab to the bus station. By the border in downtown Laredo, bus companies abound, and each bus leaves at a different time. We meandered for 15 minutes, missing each by 5 minutes until we found one. We boarded it 3-hours direct to Monterrey. Though we saw a beater of a bus at the border that was worse, Greyhound was definitely not the nicest bus option. Ours was a luxury coach with only 2 other passengers, and the trip was only $25 each.
I once posted a review of two of my saxophones on Facebook before realizing that i could additionally share this analysis with the world. So, here are some screenshots of this post, which is an analysis of two saxophones made by the same company about a decade apart and the technological advances in saxophone making during that time in the 1930s and 1940s. The King Zephyrs of the late model are the precursor to the famous King Super 20 saxophones and can be found at about a fifth the price with an arguably similar sound.
Here is my analysis of the findings...
The zephyr and voll true II sound similar, like they are obviously in the same family, but, the Zephyr is...
1. Less stuffy
2. more easy blowing
3. more edge
4. more ergonomic
5. the high register really sings and the low register really booms.
6. Newer horn does not hiss
7. Not as pretty, but it's all about the sound
People get uncomfortable when called out on their stuff. I know I do, anyway. Sometimes, an individual gets called out, and sometimes it’s a group or culture. For example, I often post intense political or scientific ideas on Facebook, such as alternative views on reality that are not currently accepted by the mainstream. Most “Facebook debates” are framed into a dichotomy. Someone is either on the popular side of the argument or the unpopular side. Nevertheless, as much as we might try, it can be nearly impossible to find truth between only two choices. To take the evolution versus creation debate, I believe there is evolution, but there is also an unseen creative consciousness beyond entropy that shapes it. Since this theory doesn’t fit into the black/white dichotomy between Darwinian evolution and biblical creation, people get uncomfortable.
I'm working on a new album for Guided Meditation Treks that has nature sounds looped infinitely. Here are some nature videos I shot in Alaska this past summer, mostly of waterfalls, my great friends in nature.
In 2015, I attended a publicity conference to learn how to land radio interviews, and since then, I've been going on the radio to talk about my projects and causes! Specifically, how to save money on cheap flights around the world, how to use social networks like Couchsurfing to meet locals and live with them for free, and how to travel mindfully. I've also done a couple of interviews about my Guided Meditation Treks project, and one about my silent disco project.
I love to do radio interviews because they help me verbally express ideas in a concise manner. The added pressure of a 'performance' situation has always helped me be at my best. Knowing that I have a limited timeframe and that potentially many people are listening, combined with the fact that I try to tape most of my interviews for eternity means that these narrow windows of communication have the potential to spread information and knowledge far and wide. Tuning into the brainwaves of a good radio host is also a great practice as well. Their penchant for brevity and packing lots of info in a short space to people with a limited attention span helps me to get my points across in the most efficient way possible. Here is a collection of radio interviews I've done to date:
I love a good radio interview as part of a wider approach to getting the word out.
In my previous blog, I discussed how modern day yoga has a focus on Asana -- the yoga of postures. Many modern Hatha yoga postures are less than 100 years old, and many others were invented by the 19th century British YMCA. The Yogasutras of Patanjali dates back to 400AD, and it outlines the 'eight limbs of yoga.' In my last blog, I pointed out that meditation comprises 3 of the 8 limbs! I also covered 3 more limbs: Pranayama, Pratyahara, and Asana. In this blog, I will cover the other two limbs, Yama and Niyama. I consider these two limbs to be the limbs of religion (Niyama) and ethics (Yama), which, between the two of them, comprise 25% of yoga.
After traveling the world for a year, living the life of a movie character, averaging under $100 for each of my flights, and living for free in the homes of locals through 24 countries, I wrote a "How To" book to teach everyone how they too can see the world on a shoestring budget while having rich experiences at the same time. This small book is an easy read, and it is loaded full of all the latest and greatest web sites, social networks, and travel apps to make your smartphone a personal travel agent. It also goes in depth about mindfulness strategies to help you go deeper on your next trip. Check out the press release from Spin the World Around. Or, just go straight to Amazon.com and get yourself a copy. Guaranteed you will save more money in a single transaction during your travels than you spend on this book.
The stage is set for some terrific jazz festivals in the next few months! Which will have you grabbing your saxophone and dancing in the streets? I know this article gets me to want to start jamming on mine! Holiday Lettings picks some of the best from New Orleans to Nice.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, USA
24 April – 3 May
Every day is a jazz festival in New Orleans, but it’s not often that you get to catch Tony Bennett and Cassandra Wilson, two of the highlights scheduled for 2015’s event. This is also a great opportunity to discover the local culture, whether you dig into alligator pie or watch Cajun musicians crafting accordions.
There’s music everywhere in the city 365 days a year, and drifting around Frenchmen Street to spot street performers is great fun. While you're at it, join a ghost and vampire tour to see another side of this city’s unique spirit. Of course, if you’re into New Orleans’ elaborate parades, you’ll appreciate the extravaganza at Mardi Gras World.
Copyright (c) 2015 Russell Eric Dobda