‘A Little Food for Thought’ by The Reverend

Would you rather eat a McDonald’s Value Meal, or enjoy a 5 Star meal in a renowned restaurant?
I think for most of you the answer is pretty simple. I’ll just have to rephrase my question!

Why are you absorbing your music in such an impersonal and industrial fashion?

Musical culture is an integral part of our lives. Our memories are triggered by it. Our mood is
affected by it. We move to that basic instinct that is rhythm. A catchy melody is hard to get out of
our heads. I always chuckle when people say they don’t enjoy music. Not true. They haven’t found
the music that they enjoy yet.

Think about it. Your morning commute would be much more frustrating/boring if all we had was
talk radio. Would Pulp Fiction’s opening scene pack as much a punch without Dick Dale’s
“Misirlou”?

Yet we have cheapened the experience over the years, shifting our focus from rewarding hard
work with an attentive ear to the race for the ultimate single (more on that in a later article).
Vinyl is making resurgence, and it’s not without reason. In a world where a song, a movie, a book
is just a click away, where a hit is calculated by its image and length rather than its quality and
production, it’s reassuring that people want to take the time to enjoy their music again (also an
article for a later date).

I’ll admit I’m guilty of being part of the piracy culture. We live in a world where anything we want
out of our vast history of culture can be accessible in a matter of minutes, and that’s great. But I
have the sneaking suspicion that people aren’t using it to its full potential.
If I listen to a song I enjoy, I will seek out that album. If I enjoy that album, I will seek out that
artist’s back catalogue. If I enjoy that, I’ll seek out their influences. But not everyone does that.

Why?

Think back to the last time you were passively listening to music (in a movie, on the radio, TV etc.)
and a song caught your ear. There’s a certain euphoria associated to discovering something that
grabs you that way. You’re happy (“this is awesome!”). Ask yourself now why you wouldn’t want
to extend that feeling by discovering the rest of that artist’s universe.

So go see a band. Rent an old movie without knowing what it is. Download someone’s album. If
you enjoy it, buy it. It’s like voting. If you aren’t heard, other people decide. Talk to other people
about tunes, movies, whatever. Go out and discover.

Or just buy the soundtrack to a Tarantino film, or a “Now! Music” compilation. Sure, Tarantino’s
got taste, I’ll give him that. But buying one or the other is just letting someone ELSE decide for
YOU what’s worth listening to.

Here’s a few albums I think are great. Give em a listen, let me know what you think. Or don’t. It’s
up to you. Leave a comment with something you like.

I’m up for discovering anything.

_________________________

Oblivious in Dubai: Part 12

Sitting at the gate; evening sun shining through the glass window overlooking the tarmac; awaiting my final flight home.

Overpriced shops abound. I noticed some pashmina scarves hanging on a display rack; $18 a piece. Just a few short days ago I bought ten of these very same scarves from an Afghan man at the Bazaar for twenty American dollars; a few hundred miles from the goats that the fibre was sourced from. I chuckle and shake my head at international commerce.

Sitting in my seat; awaiting the call to board; I meet two white American couples. One couple with two adopted Chinese daughters around three years old.

The two wives and one of the husbands amuse the children. I ask the second man if he wants to see some pictures.

I start off with photos that I’d taken of my life on the base; my tent, my room, my friends.

Then I show him a video, filmed from a Humvee, of an IED exploding between two vehicles in a convoy.

He gasps; visibly shaken.

That’s what we ask our guys to walk into.” I say.

I show him another video; filmed by terrorists. This video is of a masked man firing a mortar while shouting the takbir. He drops a dud into the mortar tube and blows himself up by accident.

I laugh and tell the man, “It’s funny to watch those bastards fuck up.”
_______________________

We board; take off; and make our way home in the middle of the night.

A kind friend; whom I’ve known for many years; picks me up at the airport and takes me back to her house so that I can surprise my family the next day.

We smoke some grass and I start going through my bags. I give her and her room mate first grab at the pashminas.

They retire to bed; I crash on the couch without much hesitation.
_______________________

I wake up the next morning and it’s a beautiful day. Both my friends are at work; so I take a long shower then step outside for a cigarette. Barefoot I sit on the stoop; passionately puffing my Marlboro and letting the fresh grass work it’s way between my toes and under my feet.

I never knew one could miss grass so much.

I’m amazed at the cars racing past. They’re not going all that fast; but I was used to a 15 km/h speed limit. Speed is relative.

Later that day, my friend picks me up and we head into the community to pick up her room mate from the eye doctors office she worked at. As I wait in the car; I get a hankering for caffeine, so I head to the Tim Hortons on the other side of the parking lot.

Much to my synergistic amazement, surprise and joy; a friend I’d grown up with worked at the coffee shop. A friend that I had no idea lived in the area (two hours from where we grew up) and whom I had no idea worked at any coffee shop, let alone this one.

We were both visibly startled but it was the good kind of startled. The kind of startled that one experiences when one of the first people they encounter upon return from a war is an old childhood friend.

I order my sandwich, bagel and coffee; and she takes her break so we can sit out back of the coffee shop and talk.

Very full circle.

Meanwhile; my two other friends were searching the parking lot for me. The plan was to drive me two hours to our home town to surprise my family. I happened upon another old friend and got caught up in old times.

It’s chance encounters like this that make me believe in some sort of divine invisible hand directing some of what we experience. How was it that this old friend happened to work in the same shopping plaza as a completely unrelated old friend; in a city lying two hours from our home town? How was it that she happened to have the morning shift that day? How was it that I chose to go to that coffee shop instead of the many we’d passed on the way to where we were; or the many we’d pass on our journey home? Too many coincidences to be anything but divinely inspired.

If it was coincidence; how many times do we casually enter the radius of someone we once knew and have no idea? 

Part Thirteen

Epic Songs You May Not Have Heard Before

Title: Pepper
Artist: Butthole Surfers
Album: Electriclarryland

__________________________

Title: Hell
Artist: Squirrel Nut Zippers
Album: Hot

__________________________

Title: Slow Motion
Artist: Third Eye Blind
Album: Blue

__________________________

Title: Kryptonite
Artist: 3 Doors Down
Album: Single

__________________________

Title: Every Morning
Artist: Sugar Ray
Album: 14:59

__________________________

Title: Angel
Artist: Shaggy ft. Rayvon
Album: Single

__________________________

Title: Party Hard
Artist: Andrew W.K.
Album: I Get Wet

__________________________

Title: Black Hole Sun
Artist: Sound Garden
Album: Superunknown

__________________________

Title: Californication
Artist: Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Album: Californication

__________________________

Title: I Hear You Calling
Artist: Gob
Album: The World According to Gob

__________________________

Title: Do The Evolution
Artist: Pearl Jam
Album: Yield

__________________________

Title: Creep
Artist: Radiohead
Album: Pablo Honey

__________________________

Title: In Bloom
Artist: Nirvana
Album: Nevermind

__________________________

Welcome to my mind.

There are writings on here from several writers who enjoy the freedom of publishing their work under a pen name. Feel free to send your own sample (if you feel it compares to the content on this page) to info@nukesofknowledge.com. Please limit initial submissions to <500 words.

Make sure to like us on Facebook as well.

If this is your first time here, I would recommend starting with Oblivious in Dubai. That story is true and will give new readers an idea of the type of person you’re dealing with. This person may appear a bumbling idiot; wandering around the world drunk and alone; but he wasn’t alone. He drank and smoked, went on adventures with or otherwise chilled with a lot of random people from cultures all over the world.

People are just people; anywhere you go. The differences between us are very small and trivial; generally we all seem to struggle with the same type of shit on a social level. Humans are resilient and they adapt. Humans adapt to their environment.

Generally speaking; the differences between people break down to language, diet and mythology. Whether economic ideology or religious rhetoric; it’s all hypothetical brain-storm type stuff that I’m going to classify as “mythology”. Diet is largely based on ones local environment. Finally – we have language; which is also pre-determined based on where one happens to be born.

All of these things are just interesting ideas that one or a few of us came up with at some point during our 200,000 year evolution. One-at-a-time nuggets of societal evolution.

Each of those things are cultural; and cultures should be shared. We shouldn’t kill each other over silly cultural and tribal differences. There’s no need for violence in 2014. The level of globalized interconnection and shared media present in our world should be enough for us to see how human everyone else is.

The point I’m trying to make is that if you take the extremism out of a fifteen year old bible thumper from the belt; and the extremism out of a fifteen year old mujahid; you’ve got two average, male, teenage brains thinking about tonight’s game or about the girl they like.

Take ten people from each of the habitable continents and put them on the same roller coaster. They’re going to have a great time together.

We’re all riding on the same cosmic roller coaster through the universe. Our species has spilled a lot of blood over this marble we all live on. From far enough away, we’re indistinguishable from ants. If you’ve ever watched a video of an ant colony; you most certainly will have noticed how well ants get along.

There are exceptions to this of course; there have been wars between ant colonies; intercontinental invasions; and competing factions fighting for control of limited resources.

I guess ants get along when they have to; but completely destroy a competing tribe for control of property and resources when they deem it in their best interests.

Perhaps ants are a lot like us.

Sincerely,

JG Oblivious
NoK Contributing Editor

P.S. Enjoy the page.

Fear and Loathing at Stephen’s House – Part 1: Prologue

Originally Written in 2013

Puppeteering your cabinet-cronies and back-bench pawns into canned and practised sound-bytes from the sidelines of a war is effortless. Organizing a cookie cutter reel of propaganda and manufactured situations; not a problem. A few hours of film and then we can all fly home in time for the game.

If only inspiring your countrymen were so imperative to you, Mr. Prime Minister. To inspire those who will grow to replace you; instead of focusing on the theatrics and temporary impact of your performance, insofar as it ensures job security for you and your friends; requires much more tact, precision and craft of mind.

According to your “Government’s” commitment; we’ve pledged a little over forty-two million in aid to the Syrian crisis in October of 2013.

Source: Canada Outlines Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Syrian Crisis

That’s a little more than a dollar per Canadian citizen. One dollar came off of each of our pay-cheques last week; and a little bit more next week; to pay for that.

One extra coffee; doesn’t sound like much does it?

If America contributed that amount of money; it would be closer to thirteen and a half cents per person.

If China contributed that amount of money; it would be closer to three cents per person.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be helping people; I’m saying maybe there are people in Canada that could use that 42 million dollars before we hand it over to someone in Syria. It’s our money after all.

A dollar from each of us for the better of us all.

________________________________________________________________________

________________________

PART 2

______________________
________________________________