Pardon the belch

I recently had a tiny falling out with a group of co-workers at the place where I work. I noticed what in my line of thinking was a terrible flaw in their work, and in no uncertain terms – via analog intranet (written journal) – did I tell them just what I thought of that flaw. They took it to heart – not the message though, only my tone while journaling – and it resulted in me being verbally chastised by my boss. When he mentioned what I saw, he reassured me in vague terms that matters were not only being handled as of now, but in fact the handling of the situation had already taken place, so what I saw didn’t even exist. The flaw did not exist.

The hole I saw in the resident’s hand, where the pink had faded into a small, puffy, white cloud saturated with moisture but devoid of air did not exist.

The fixed thumb which dug into into the palm of his hand did not exist.

While lifting his thumb away from his palm the scent of rotting flesh did not emerge.

While accidentally squeezing his thumb, blood did not trickle out from underneath every corner of the nail of the finger.

My boss is wise. He knows that what I saw did indeed not take place, so therefore no reason exist to correct improper work behavior… except my tone of writing. You have to be kind to the people you work with. You cannot go around telling off other people. Other people do not make mistakes. Only my tone of writing is wrong.

In a flash of a daydream I saw my colleagues standing on the rim of a volcano, arms outstretched, index finger at point, shouting towards the maw of magma, in a harsh tone telling the volcano to stop being so pissy! Im a volcano, so I don’t fucking care at that point. I cannot avoid the belch of lava, so I scorch the motherfuckers.

As tall as a woman

In the ever-present, never-ending debate on female politics, I wanna add my two cents. I think women possess one of the most potent human inventions ever… the heel! They can at will, if the budget allows, increase their height by a sizable amount of inches. Fashion apart, what women achieve by becoming a taller version of themselves must be a boost of self-confidence of a high caliber. Men would kill for this tool! There are so many men pained with height-issues which are based on an outer perception of what a man must look like to call himself a man, just as there are similar appearance-issues amongst women. But men cannot wear heels because women wears heels, and a man is only a man if he is not a woman… and we all know that it is women who wears heels. You have this tool all to your self, so please use it with wisdom and grace.

Love

A man.

Viewed from afar – The curious case of Justin Bieber

I’d like to start out with a disclaimer. I have never actively listened to Justin Bieber. I listen to a selection of singers, musicians and genres that have followed me since the mid-eighties when I discovered what the hell music was. A lot of oldies still rotate, and a small part falls under the RIWO model – Random In, Worst Out. As a songwriter this might seem a perverse model to follow, as it does very little to actually support other artists unless they present me with something that surprises and pleases me, but honestly… why should I waste my time on music that doesn’t move me?

Back to Justin! I know of two tracks of his – Baby Baby Ooh – not sure if this is the right title, but he sings it in the chorus, and I’m sure you know which one I’m talking about. It’s pleasant and well written, but nothing I haven’t heard before. The other one is Mariah Carey’s re-recording of All I Want For Christmas – or as I like to call it: The Four Minute Macy’s Commercial. The new Macy’s version is bubblegum perfection… a sugarcoated product which in the end I just wanted to spit out. Biebers’s voice – stuck in mid-puberty – is every bit as damaged as Carey’s, and there is not enough AutoTune in the world to hide those facts. Big props to the engineers who are able to filter and emancipate Mimi’s whispering pipes, and even bigger props to the arranger who were able to insert Bieber’s restricted, pubescent five-note vocal range into an otherwise uninspired copy of the original arrangement, a song I still consider one of the finest seasonal feel-good songs ever written.
Back to Justin! Again! There is a lot of hate on the internet directed towards the young Canadian. Does he honestly deserve it? Does any child deserve such an immense back-lash of bile and rejection?… and please don’t think I’m being flippant about his age. He didn’t start out as the tattooed, angry, rebel-wannabe twenty-year-old. The world has watched his transformation from YouTube-sensation to full-fledged pop superstar, which has taken as many years as it takes a boy to transform into a man, at least in the physical sense. Why isn’t anyone talking about the insanity of taking a grown boy and dumping him into the a world of calculated management and constant scrutiny? What is Justin Bieber other than a child that has survived a long period of abuse? Did Usher do a good job of mentoring the child? He’s made a lot of money for his family and his management, but what about the boy? Has it been worth it? When does the conversation start which defines the wisdom of taking a child and turning him into a star?
Music aside… has anyone been through more bullying than Justin Bieber? Did you participate? Does it make you proud to think about what the western world – especially Hollywood and the music biz – does to it’s children?

Waiting for pop music to die

Pop music today is beige! It’s harmless and unoriginal and I’m sick of it! Now before you go into some stupid rant of how I’m just an old guy complaining about kids of today, let me just say this… This is not some old-man-bitching about the state of affairs. I’m hit with WTF when they play Dub Step in the narrow streets of central Copenhagen, with a feeling of dread that any minute now either my eardrums or the windows are gonna burst, but I’m never shocked by neither pop nor rock. It’s simply too dull!
Pop music today is full of an underage fuck-me attitude, like a grown child who just had it’s first erection and is swinging it around proudly for everyone to see. It’s beyond Lolita. It has entered into a realm of polluted, smarmy self-righteousness, rubbing it’s greedy palms, with a look on it’s face like the creepy uncle who’ve just fucked the neighbor’s twelve-year-old and gotten away with it.
Who believes Miley Cyrus when she sings about love? It seems easier for other, older women (and men) to reverberate with my range of emotions, but with Cyrus I hear nothing except computerized soullessness. I simply don’t buy her version of love. I don’t think it is the same as mine. In fact, what is love when you’re the daughter of a prostitute?.. and I’m not talking about her mom!
It sounds phony when she sings of love. It sounds the same when she sings of partying. I’d believe her if she sang about what it is like to wake up in a pool of your own vomit, with disgrace etched on your face, eyes hot with tears, nose burning from snorting coke, unable to erase the memory of the degrading routines your manager has put your through, but I don’t for even for the length of a split pubic hair believe her lyrics of love and affection.
Pop music today is a plane waiting to crash. Talent shows and Disney is at the wheel. Once in a while you hear the engine stutter and come back to life but only for the briefest of moments before it shuts itself off again. It will probably be over when the last of the four giant music labels have cannibalized the others, but for now it’s still alive and it’s a fucking disgrace.
Oh yeah, I just got another letter of rejection. This time it was some guy at GLmusic in Copenhagen who complimented my songwriting skills and then said he had no use for them. Either he is a fucking liar or he is just unsuited for the job. He is one of many gatekeepers who is entrusted with the privilege to help facilitate the flow of talent from outside the music industry to the network of talent within. He didn’t test me. He didn’t challenge me. He didn’t guide me. He didn’t connect me. He didn’t make suggestions. He just rejected me. What a fucking waste of time!

Digging in the dirt

I want to write about the place I went to school.

I once read a story about how the Inuits – when out of season – sailed their sled-dogs to a island sufficiently remote for the dogs to be unable to swim back to land. Dogs can swim of course, but water in the polar region is not suitable for long aquatic treks. The inuits come back after a given period to retrieve the surviving dogs which of course in fits of hunger and insanity has turned on one another. It is the inuits who decide which dogs are allowed to breed and pass on their genes – those that fight through and survive imprisonment and torture. It is a cruel practice, but I understand why it was necessary to ensure the survival of the Inuits… they simply had no time for weak dogs.

I learned many things in school. I learned how to stay out of sight of Lars, the kid with the alcoholic deadbeat dad and the alcoholic mom who committed suicide, because his frustrations, rage and lack of empathy had no patience for me – the sensitive kid in class. I learned how to read and I discovered that the school library almost never saw the popular kids – books always expanded my horizon while people continually offered restrictions. I discovered the wonderful patterns of math, how they always made sense, and how my classmates would go from regally allowing me to help them with their homework so they could pass, and an hour later mocking me for having the audacity to believe myself smarter than them.

I walked along intricate routes on my way home from school. I call them intricate… really it was just a route that took me the furthest away from other kids homes. Looking back, I don’t really think it was needed, but it had happened too many times that I had been surrounded by five or seven or ten boys who ridiculed me, pushed me, taunted me, spat at me, hit me, ect. My dad told me to man up! He would shame me for being weak, but he was never there to protect me. Every time I got surrounded there was no one there to starch my backbone and I would crumble because I was just one kid… and they were too many.
I ran home from school crying more times than I care to think about. My mom would wipe my tears and tell me to go back, because it wasn’t proper to skip school. Once in a while she would call my head-teacher and yell at him for not looking after me, but they never did. Once I got into a fight at the soccer field, and I actually pushed the other kid back. My teacher said afterwards that he was glad to see that I finally stood up for myself. I wanted to kill them both right then and there. I was so angry because he just stood there watching the scene unfold. He did nothing to intervene. The kid got away with shouts of encouragement from his team. I felt nothing but shame.
The girls caused me trouble too. I can’t remember who started it, but for a period of a few weeks – maybe it was less – they tortured me. Every time anyone of the girls in my class touched me, they would go to the nearest sink and wash their hands. They would make a big display of it and loudly proclaim that they needed to wash because they had touched me.
I understand the concept of school. Children are sent there to learn all the necessary skills which they need in order to make it as a successful adult in the modern world. In spite of pretending to educate our young, there were many fields of education which were completely left out of the curriculum. I have never learned anything in school about neither taxes, banking and insurance, nor about growing food, recycling waste and taking care of our planet. I wonder why it is so.
I struggle today harnessing my anger. I have never found an effective outlet for it. Even though I live in a world filled with art – being a singer and a songwriter – I have never let go of my restraints to let it all out. I’m thankful that I never grew up in America. If guns had been available when I were a kid, you would all know the name of the school I attended.

Digging in the dirt

I’m waking up after something that feels like a very long nap. I tossed in my sleep for the first time eighteen months ago. I call it tossing in my sleep… really it was just waking up one day and realizing that I hated everything. It dawned on me that the route I had taken in life was leading me straight towards loneliness and bitterness – not liking anything, not caring about anyone, not being cared about. It seemed that I was built perfectly for this. I was intelligent, but biased. I was opinionated, but I didn’t listen to anyone besides myself. I was strong, but I wasn’t careful. I was charming, but manipulative. I was supportive, but also a bully. I was engaging in conversations, but hated when the subject changed away from me. I worked hard, but only when it suited my needs. I made love, but not always to the one I loved.

For some reason I absolutely loathed that I wasn’t getting the attention I felt I deserved. The place I was at didn’t do me right. This didn’t make me proud at all, and I could see that the pattern of not feeling satisfied was something that I’d carried with me all the way from childhood. I decided to go back and explore my past, to see what kind of treasures I could unearth. I won’t skip straight to the end, but I will tell you this… when you go digging through the dirt, your primary findings will be shit!

It all became a mining expedition where I dug for anything of interest. I was a stone-age guy with some new found tools, and I discovered all these amazing artifacts, that I didn’t know what was, but I reckoned they might be useful, so I kept them around until I could figure out what to do with them.

I didn’t find the good stuff at first. Some artifacts I had been carrying around for a long time, but I couldn’t connect them to anything. Mostly I would just stick my face into the before mentioned piles of shit, sniff around, and be very unhappy with the sensation. I would then share my displeasure with the people who happened to be around at the time. I don’t think anyone enjoyed these moments of sharing. I would become so focused on shit, to the point where it was all I could see… and sometimes it was. It would spread out before me like an uninterrupted vein of light-reflecting feces. Everywhere I looked, memories of pain would unveil themselves, but I couldn’t leave. It had begun, and I was covered in shit. Who the hell would want me, looking like that?

I like the parallel to Bastian from The Never-ending Story who in a later chapter goes digging through Fantasias underground, looking for a piece of glass bearing the image of one powerful forgotten memory – which is the artifact that will send him home. Like Bastian I found many memories underground. Like Bastian, most of the important ones bears the same reference – our parents.

I have an older sister who for some reason have always had a difficult life. She’s overweight. She hasn’t taken care of herself, so her teeth is kinda funky. She’s been unemployed for a number of years. Her adult life contains not a single friend that she grew up with – same for me actually. Both me and my sister live almost totally cut off from our family, only seeing them once or twice a year… a difficult task in a country as small as Denmark. The attitude towards my sister has been as follows: “When are you gonna pull yourself together and get a fucking life?” This question, and more like it, has been directed to my sister in what must have seemed like an unending invasion of her pride, her independence, her skills, her intellect and her personality. We didn’t talk about the invasion. We only talked about her teeth and about how disappointed my father was with her lifestyle choices.

My mother is the daughter of a drug-user, whom I’ve never met. She apparently died of an overdose of pills when my mother was fourteen. My grandfather remarried a woman with three children of her own, and when he did, my mother and her pregnant older sister was evicted from their home. My sister and me used to think our grandmother died from cancer. I was thirty years old before my mom told me the truth. My grandfather is dead now. I don’t know when that happened. I can’t even remember his voice.

My father is the son of an abusive alcoholic, whom I’ve also never met. He died three months before I was born. Apparently he beat the crap out of my father, my three aunts and my grandmother whenever he was drunk. I can’t remember ever hearing anyone saying they miss him, or that they wished that he was still alive… not even my grandmother. The first time I felt honesty in a family member’s declaration of love was at age twenty-six, when my grandmother, at her deathbed, greets me with the words: “My beloved Thomas, you came to see me!” When I was a kid, my grandmother was a beacon of peace. She never questioned me when I played with the dresses in her closet, and she let me watch morning TV cartoons until my head hurt.

At age thirty-six I realize that I don’t know my family. The idea I have about family has nothing to do with the one I grew up in. I view them through tinted glasses, and when I take them off, I see people shaped by alcohol, violence, bullying, lies, fear of reprisal, fear of rejection, self-loathing, ignorance and pain…. and it appears that I am just like them. Fuck!