Ran Prieur http://ranprieur.com/#9a417fe513f58988c3b5b1e84cfc57397194a79b 2019-04-05T17:30:49Z Ran Prieur http://ranprieur.com/ ranprieur@gmail.com April 5. http://ranprieur.com/#f845753932370b341b52cabc1554fcab75993d3c 2019-04-05T17:30:49Z April 5. A couple weeks ago, in my first post about Kevin Kelly's piece on inevitable technology, I mentioned music, and now I want to say a little more. The broad outlines of popular music do seem inevitable. Given classical music, there was going to be something like prog rock. Given blues, there was going to be heavy blues. Once you have electronic music, electronic dance music will not be far behind. Any kind of creative work can pile on unsatisfying complexity, and then something fresh and raw comes along, like punk, and strips it down, and then it gets more complex in new directions.

I don't think the sounds of particular artists are at all inevitable. But sometimes there's musical synchronicity, where the same ideas pop up independently. I have three examples, and I can't prove that the second artist wasn't influenced by the first, but in all three cases it seems unlikely.

A little-known song from 1991, Screaming Trees - Bed Of Roses. And from last year, strangely similar in vocals, melody, and title: El Radio Fantastique - Chain of Roses.

Two acoustic guitar instrumentals from 1973, which might have both been recorded before either was released: Bob Dylan's Main Title Theme from Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, and from Lula Cortes & Lailson, better known as Satwa, Valsa Dos Cogumelos.

Finally, two songs that are musically very different, post-punk from 1981, and dreamy folk from 2004. But they have the same uncommon theme, the conflict between the world of spirit and the money economy; they use the same meaning of the word "flesh" for how your body chains you to an unpleasant material world; and they use basically the same riff! In Joanna Newsom's En Gallop it starts at 21 seconds, and in Wall of Voodoo's Back In Flesh it comes in, much faster, at 2:09.

April 3. http://ranprieur.com/#7486cd85154e43ee608875876ddad75a1fbf276c 2019-04-03T15:10:28Z April 3. Continuing on personal stuff, years ago a friend told me he was having trouble dealing constructively with his emotions. I said, I don't know what that means. To me, emotions were not something you could deal with. They were like clouds in the sky. If they're good, appreciate them; if they're bad, ignore them. Also, do what feels good, and don't do what feels bad. It was that simple.

Somewhere in this decade, that strategy stopped working for me. Now, more of the things that feel good make me feel bad later, and more of the things that feel bad are impossible to avoid. And it turns out that ignored bad feelings don't actually go away.

The thing I'm getting better at, that I didn't want to get better at, is absorbing emotional pain. I understand now that pain is a muscle: to completely feel the pain, as it happens, is like lifting weights, and the more you practice, the more you can lift. But it still feels bad. And I'm paranoid, that the better I get at absorbing pain, the more pain the world will give me.

April 2. http://ranprieur.com/#2751a00b9ca20a32a01cabba0a46b0016a3b88aa 2019-04-02T14:00:10Z April 2. I was in bed with the flu on Saturday, and my brain still hasn't recovered enough to do a good post. Here's a pretty good article, The Disease of More. It has some interesting details, but the main message, to stop trying to improve yourself for the sake of improvement, is not something I need to hear. I have the opposite problem. I fight and fight to make my life easy and boring, and I keep losing. All I want to do is play games and get high and do creative work, but things keep going wrong and forcing me to get better at stuff I don't want to get better at.

I wonder if this is a class thing. Young urban elites are highly driven, and they can pay other people to do the grind work of modern life, so they have excess energy to put into dumb stuff like mountain climbing and clean eating. The rest of us just want to chill, but we have to keep solving the problems that appear as the system slowly collapses.