Homespun or Hollywood programs?

“Hollywood is not suited for me, and I am not suited for it”

Dr. Seuss


If this blog were to have a popular music theme song it might be this, this or perhaps this.

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. If you don’t take charge and program your mind your mind will be programmed. It is an inevitable consequence of the mass media bombardment of our senses.

In years past it was virtually impossible to give maintsteam media, music and movie culture a miss. But, now we don’t need to watch the news. I mean it’s even called a TV program and a fear based one at that!

Music is the same. Popular music is increasingly a negative program. Normalising over sexualised, aggressive, violent and greed behaviours. If you know anything about music you’ll know about the 440 hz v 432 hz debate. For those that don’t for some reason in very recent history all corporate music shifted from 432 hz to 440 hz. The cited reasons for this is very thin. So thin in fact that it is hard to believe at face value.

Strap on your tinfoil hat for a second. We know that different sound frequencies affect behaviour and that exposure to very high frequencies is unpleasant to the point that it can trigger mania. Now there isn’t anything to say that 440 hz has any sort of delerious affect on humans, but lets say it was discovered that prolonged exposure to 440 hz sound threw people a little off balance. Let’s say it made people a bit fearful and a little stressed, but at a level almost too subtle to be perceived by the individual. Now do you think the people that own the music industry are the kind of people that would want to make that kind of a change? Would a 440 hz program (assuming it was throwing you off) work to their interests or against it?

Okay you can take the tinfoil hat off now. What I am really saying here is that that way mass media signals influence us is hard to fully comprehend. What is more we definitely should not assume that the owners of these international cartels have our best interests at heart.

But there is some great news. Thanks to a new medium – the internet, we can bypass these influences entirely. There are fantastic content creators across the globe making positive content like this guy that translates music back to a 432 hz base. Listen and see if you notice a difference in terms of calmness, tranquility, happiness or harmony.

There are other content creators with inspiring positive messages springing up all over the internet. The great part of this story is that you now have the means to fill your head with the types of things that you choose and you don’t have to listen, see or ever be exposed to the Rupert Murdoch agenda.

We can design our own programs.

And, if truth be told if this blog were to have a theme song it would most likely be a barely recognizable piece of music played on a guitar or a ukulele by a very unskilled right local artist. We’ve come to think of music as something that is a mass produced, professionally developed and passively consumed, but much of the fun in music is to be had in gathering a group of untalented amateurs and producing a little fun for an intimate audience. There are few experiences better than a small fire, some good ale (compost for the soul) and home spun music.

Finding better stories than the ones we’re being told

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world”


Instead of letting myself be programmed by the mass media I like to search out and pay attention to more promising narratives. Stories like Cormac McCarthy. Here’s a guy considered America’s greatest living writer and his story is inspirational for the singularity of purpose with which he lived. Cormac didn’t do interviews. He didn’t take jobs to make money. He didn’t sell out when times were tough. He just wrote because he wanted to be an author and that is what writers do. There are stories about him being so poor that he was evicted from a $40 a month motel. Other stories tell of times where he had absolutely no money. Not just broke. Not a single dollar to his name. In these times he had nothing to eat, but he continued to write. He survived and he wrote and now he is acclaimed, but he doesn’t care. He still just writes, avoids book promotions and hasn’t seen many of the movies made from his books. There is a lot to be learned from a man like this.

In a similar perhaps more anarchistic vain is the story of Aaron Swartz. A child genius that coded an online start-up. He eventually sold the rights to a French corporation for millions, but as president he was required to turn up to work in a bland corporate office everyday. “Grey wall, grey people, grey noise” he wrote of the experience before getting himself fired spectacularly. He lived modestly, spent little, and cared not for money like his idol Tim Berners-Lee who gave us the free internet instead of cashing in for mega bucks. Aaron then turned his programming skills towards social problems like ensuring the public domain becomes publicly accessible. Something you would expect wouldn’t be required in the land of the free, but the truth is a different story. His pursuit of freedom and fairness ultimately led him to a 30-50 year prison term which he avoided by getting suicided in mysterious circumstances. A pattern all too common for those that oppose the system. Maybe it was a suicide given his circumstances, but I fear there are those who seek to contain and control the internet. These Swiss Zionist bank boys would be seriously scared of a kid with a world view like Aaron and coding skills to make some real change or at least be one hell of a nuisance.

Then there is a guy like Tom Shadyac a highly successful movie director that makes all the money in the world only to have a clarifying realization that he’s become everything that is wrong in the world. In his film “I am”. He asks what is wrong with the world and what can we do about it? For the next phase of his journey he rejects the trappings of success and embraces simple living, community, love and compassion of his fellow man. In doing so he encourages us all to shrug off our apathy and live harmoniously no matter how optimistic or idealistic that may seem. Until we change ourselves we cannot expect others to live any differently than they do today.

Be kind and rewind

“Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage”

Billy Corrigan

Rewind. It’s like 2004.

We’re both young professionals. Degree qualified. Five or so years into a career. Both with vision, aptitude and energy to become top 10% in our respective fields. We work, we study, we take extra assignments. We work weekends. We never sleep.

We’re closing in on a combined quarter million dollars in salary.

We hate our lives, but we put these thoughts of dissatisfaction from our minds. We are the privileged few.

We are success personified. Our mothers are proud.

We buy a house. The GFC (Global Financial Crisis) hits.

We have a kid. Then another.

We wake from our slumber in the matrix.

Neither of us can stand work. We both want to resign, or kill ourselves or kill ourselves to resign.

What is this life that could break two capable people so totally in one decade?

Not totally. We still have a fearless determination and a spirit of adventure.

In an act of madness we both quit to an uncertain future.

The Universe it seems is ready to offer us a synchronicity.We are forced to discover simple living and we realize we don’t need much more money to carry us through the rest of our life.

We play with our kids. Play as our work and run our bank account to ground zero, but once again fate smiles on us in a series of miraculous windfalls until we find our feet on the other side of corporate containment.

We can never be caged again. We become sufficient and independent. We outgrow hopelessness. We regret our  time as, helpless prisoners of a heartless machine.

Now we are free.

Join us.

Live simply.

Breaking the Pirate family curse

“One day you wake up behind on your dreams and behind on your bills”

Les Brown

In the past I’ve written about how much I like free stuff. I’ve written about minimizing and eliminating bills and I’ve also written about my letterbox turnaround. My letterbox thing was like a turning point in this life lived on simpler terms. See back in my old slave life every time I opened that portal of darkness my hand would return with a bill and I’d be owing some robber baron more of my hard earned money. Bills on bills on bills. Some junk mail advertisements and then even more bills and I hated it.

Then I started saving and I invested like $1500 in the sharemarket in a really crumby company. A few months later amongst the masses of bills was a cheque for $13.86. It was a 2% return, but I distinctly remember it because I nearly threw it away. An epically pathetic return, but a life changer for sure. Over time many of our bills have disappeared. Other bills are now a small fraction of the original outgoing. More and more my box is stacked with cheques for tens, hundreds and occasionally thousands in dividends and share reinvestment issues. Just the other day my small son and I did a wee dance over a cheque for $6 bucks. To him finding money in the mail is normal. Just part of life.

Yet think about this. My great great Grandfather (the guys whose nose is on my face) never received any money without working until he was in the twilight of his life. The same goes for my Grandfather, my Father and almost every other relative I’ve ever had back to pirate times. Not being sexist here commenting only on patriarchal lines because as you go back women didn’t have to work. One working adult could feed a family. Not the story today. Two working parents committing 60 hours a week each at mcjobs can still be back peddling.

So you see me and my little fella might well dance over a $3.40 dividend. He normally shouts “we’re rich” or “I’m a genius” as I open the envelope. I have no idea why he says the second thing, but it’s pretty funny. And well we should celebrate. For him life as an idle investor is the norm. It’s likely how he’ll live his life and what he’ll teach his children. Hopefully when he’s older I’ll be providing him the gearing for his first rental property.

Overriding faulty software

“There are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in”

Bill Hicks

We are a very clever species, but we are not very wise. The wisdom we have built up over millennium now resides in pockets of traditional cultures and in the wisdom keepers of the old ways. In evidence of the first sentence you only need to look at how modern thinking derides the traditional cultural narratives.

But, instead of being derisive consider how we would react if we believed the spirits of our ancestors lived in the trees? Would we mass pollute rivers for shitty textiles if we still believed the rivers were the blood of the god Gaia?

Traditional societies are still founded on mutual aid and mutual support.  In these contexts competition isn’t common because it isn’t enhancing harmony and harmony is critical if the group is to survive the whims of each season.

Our lives in the modern world are not about living righteously or living to some spiritual accord or even about fulfilling our  truest desires. From birth we are carefully programmed for work. This monetizes our labour so that our greatest resources, our physical skills, our ideas, and our creativity can be turned into wealth that can then be transferred to an international cabal of Swiss banking families. These families use these international fiat currencies to accumulate real wealth. Property, gold, minerals, diamonds and other commodities that have actual value. Meanwhile we fight and claw at each other to accumulate currency that has continually eroding face value.

In my opinion its relatively easy to make a case that the upper echelon or the cream of society has gone sour. The evidence of antisocial behaviours and endeavors is staggering amongst this group. A cabal of sociopaths and psychopaths if ever there was.

I grew tired of working hard to have no money left once my bills were paid. Knowing that I was supporting this corrupt system for little more than tradition caused me to reconsider my lot in life. Even living simply we still thithe a portion of our wealth, but we are also able to live outside the monetary system and I’m noticing more and more people taking similar measures. Perhaps one day we’ll live together in a self governing system, trading in our own local currencies. One thing I know for certain is that if enough people awake from the trance of the work day trudge “it’s possible”.

Ridiculous ways of living

“Families are struggling against a tide of junk information on junk food”

Diane Abbott

Some of the things that we eat are kind of ridiculous. I guess we don’t really think about it because it is ‘normal’. A strongly reinforced part of our shared cultural narrative aggressively pushed on us by massive agricultural conglomerates. They marketed our parents hard. Right in their blind spot. Healthy kids need calcium, protein and vitamins and boy oh boy can we tell you where to get those

Milk. Full grown cows don’t drink cow’s milk. It is an infant formula for a creature that grows to be 2000 lbs. The thought of sucking on the udder of a cow isn’t appealing. We think we need the calcium (that cow’s got from eating grass) because it’s better than the calcium we get from eating an array of other more nutritious plants.

Take honey. Honey is insect vomit.

Eggs. The period of a chicken. Ewwh!

Meat. The carcass of a dead animal is good for you. Seriously? Give a child a lamb and a banana and you’d be horrified to see that kid tear into the gut of the lamb with her teeth and tear flesh out blood dripping down the front of her pretty white dress. No she’ll play with the lamb and eat the fruit. Why not eat your dog or a cat? What is the difference. But meat tastes good. That’s why most meat is smothered (disguised) by fruit. Tomato sauce, apple puree, orange rind think about it. If you were meant to eat meat your jaw and teeth would look different. You’d have a host of different enzymes in your gut. Why do we call it veal, bacon, steak or pork instead of deer, pig and cow.

When you were 5 years old you most likely loved animals. They fascinated you and they were your friends. What changed?

Chemicals. What is food additive 144 or flavor enhance 621 or thickener 1422? If it isn’t in your pantry or you’d need a triple PhD in food science to pronounce it, then you can probably give it a miss from adding it to your shopping basket.

How to unblock a toilet with your bare hands and other bare knuckle sports

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right”

Napoleon Hill

Sometimes things go wrong and the fact that things go wrong seems to be the reason why we cling to things we can generally do without. We cling to money in case of emergency. We fill our shed with tools we don’t know how to use just in case we might find time to remodel our kitchen. We cling to acquaintances that drain us of time, money and the will to live.

Things will go wrong. Period.

Simple living requires a subtle shift to view problems as an opportunity to build intellectual muscles in the same way that lifting weights would strengthen your thighs. As you push against and overcome each problem you become a fitter, smarter and a more skilled Bricoleur.

You don’t need stuff to fix problems.

This morning our toilet was blocked and I’m here to tell you that you can unblock a choked toilet with your bare hands although I wouldn’t recommend eating a sandwich immediately afterwards. Of course could always wear gloves.

You can unblock a toilet with a coat hanger.

You can unblock a toilet with the toilet brush (but my experience tells me it’s better to wrap the brush head in a plastic bag first).

You can unblock a toilet with a tree branch.

You can unblock a toilet with a garden hose.

And, you can unblock a toilet in any number of ways without the proper tools.

Obviously you can unblock that shitter with a store bought plunger, but for less cost you can easily make your own state of the art toilet plunger.

The rub is that many of us unblock our toilet with an iPhone. It’s a bit icky so we call a plumber who does a wee pantomime and then charges us a bomb and the kitchen sink!

My point here is that everything is on a continuum starting from ignore it or pitch in with bare hands.

How low on that continuum you choose to reside is up to you, but how low you are living will have a very direct relationship to how much money you have available to invest each month.

Sometimes living simply means having your arm up to the elbow in crap, but in my opinion having to do this infrequently beats having to go to work everyday. Dirty hands down.