Monthly Archives: June 2008

Wallowing again…

Scrapin' the Bottom of Yesterday's Bucket Again

Scrapin’ the Bottom of Yesterday’s Bucket Again

Well I’m scraping the bottom
of yesterday’s bucket again
I wore out my memories
and then I just played them to shreds
I’ll spend my tomorrows
my head bent in sorrow
my heart torn with pain and regret
And all the same
it’s my same old refrain:
I swear I won’t
begin again

and everyone says
just put it to bed
it all worked out for the best
but how could they know
that I love you so
and I won’t stop til I’m dead

I gave up forever
I gave up tomorrow for good
I gave up thinkin’ I could
pull it together
I never could
I gave up on new love
I gave up on hope
I gave up on faith
but never on ghosts
And I gave up thinkin’
I could ever begin again
I won’t begin again

(C)2000, 2008, TK Major

previous versions
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

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Not Enough of Nothin’

Not Enough of Nothin'

New song alert!

Paradigms shift.

Just as Californians get used to walking on constantly shifting tectonic plates, scientists — the savvy ones, anyhow — become accustomed to revising not only the fine points of their understanding but, from time to time, throwing out the old way of looking at things and adopting an entirely new perspective.

It doesn’t happen overnight, mind you. The gatekeepers of scientific knowledge are cautious and the Scientific Method — the practices and precepts which have evolved over centuries that attempt to keep the accepted understanding grounded in verifiable observation, with conclusions that are derived from and verified by repeatable, carefully measured testing and experimentation — the Scientific Method is designed to err on the side of caution.
It’s a discipline and a dynamic which helps assure that science will tend to give us the best answers available at any given time, balancing untethered imagination and unfettered thinking with careful observation bounded by logic and an adherence to accepted procedure and principle.

Unfortunately, just as there are those who confuse scientific caution with rigidity or even fear of the unknown, there are those whose tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty is so diminished that they must continually attempt to shoehorn their experience into the rigid confines of binary classification.

These are the people for whom there is no gray area… no in-between… no nuance or gradation –little tolerance for complexity or ambiguity. Something either is one way or it is the other.

These are, of course, the people who are drawn to the extremes, clustering like so many iron filings around the poles of a magnet, slaves to their attraction to the absolute and the unambiguous.

This approach is, of course, a highly unscientific one, seemingly destined to keep true believers and absolutists at the fringes of knowledge and reasoned thought — yet the adherents to this type of intellectual monomania often claim that their beliefs are obvious and inescapable and that only those who are either crazy or willfully, perversely disingenuous could argue against them. Ask them to justify a position and, after some sputtering, they often stammer or blurt out, “Well, it should be obvious to any intelligent person…”

These folks enshrine personal predilection — even superstition — as principle. They attempt to institutionalize idiosyncratic belief as universal a priori.

If you’re one of ’em — this song’s for you…


lyrics

Not Enough of Nothin’

[Yes… I really did mis-sing the very first line of the song. The correct lyrics are below.]

Not enough of nothing
and nothing more to say
my heads filled up with everything
that we didn’t do today

Not really nowhere
not that it feels that way
not really never
but certainly not today

Everything that must be will be
and everything that won’t be won’t
If you think you want to tell me the ending
do me a favor — don’t

not enough of maybe
too much yes and no
not enough of in between
not enough I don’t know

Too much is certain
too much is bound to be wrong
too many times you’ve bought your own lies
you’d think you’d realize by now

(C)2008, TK Major

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Superstition is where you find it…

Bold & Rational Men

The search for cause and effect has not always been carried out with a rigorous methodology carefully crafted to return reliable results.

Sometimes, folks make cognitive leaps that are breathtaking in their intuitive scope but are still just plain wack.

Many supposedly scientific westerners have elaborate personal systems of superstition which they keep separate from both their secular science and whatever formal religion they may choose to practice.

The supposedly hard-headed Chinese Communist ruling oligarchy picked the suposedly supremely lucky western calendar date of August 8, 2008 (8-8-8) to kick off the olympics. (8 is a lucky number in Chinese culture for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the it sounds like the word for prosper — not to mention that the characters for a double 8 resemble the popular shuang xi “double joy” design.)

Now, today’s date really had little or nothing to do with my picking this song for today’s post; I’ll admit it. If anything, I was thinking about an ongoing dialog I’ve been tentatively participating in regarding unfair prejudice against the religious.

Sometimes how one comes in on a contentious dialog depends on who has already staked out what position — and in what fashion — even if one’s own beliefs are all but immutable.

Normally I find myself lining up with those who profess to exalt rationalism and a scientific approach.

But all too often in some sectors these days, one finds those who claim adherence to scientific principles making irrational or unsupportable, often absolutist claims, flying far from the surly bonds of logic and fact.

Maybe, like beat dogs, some of us who’ve been subjected to one too many proselytic haranguement simply go nuts at the mention of religion; folks whose abreaction to repeated attempts to convert them to some religion or another have metastasized into a generalized scorn for anyone who dares entertain the idea that there might be something beyond this universe or something which transcends or perhaps informs our physical reality.

Even as science peels back layer after layer of how this universe works — revealing increasingly that the more we know, the more profound and strange the next questions become — some of these individuals cling to the notion that they know with absolute certainty that there is nothing beyond what we now see and think we know.

previous versions
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Friday, August 10, 2007

lyrics
Bold & Rational Men
Bold and Rational Men

Come now y’ bold and rational men
and march y’ straight ahead
y’ fear not the fire of the dragon
nor the carrious teeth of death

And come now, lad
fear not the gods
you’ve often said we’re all alone
d’n’cha see your where your path must lie
straight into the unknowable
good speed now
you’re on your own

But wait now put your hand on the earth
and see where your life flows from
this good dark earth
is the mother of us all
y’know you are her son

and come and gaze into the sky
see how dark and deep
you are the prodigal lost in time
lost in a dream kept sleep

(C)1973, TK Major
(C)2008, TK Major

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Doll-eyed again…

She’s Got Eyes Just Like a China Doll

“Never trust a junkie.” She’d told him that a million times… when she wasn’t using or jonesing. Just about every junkie he’d ever known more than 15 minutes had said it at one point or another.

But he wasn’t good at tough love, only the stupid, hopeless kind.

And that’s how he loved her. And that’s how it was. Hopeless. Stupid.

And that was how he felt one day — one day after she’d been so good for so long — when he came home and found his computer and his only good guitar gone, along with a couple of small suitcases and some of her clothes. Most of her stuff was still there. The box of stuff she’d dragged around since high school — somehow — was still there. Her favorite winter clothes were there — and why not, it was the first hot spell of the summer.

But the only two things of his in the entire world that could bring over $20 in a pawn shop — or net anything at the local trade-and-barter heroin and crack dealer, for that matter — were gone.

But her prized possessions, for the most part, were still there.

It was like she thought she could come home again.

And the sad thing was, he thought as he sat on the couch looking at the corner of the living room where his computer had been and his guitar had leaned up against the desk in its case, the sad thing was… she probably could,

previous [acoustic] versions
Just Like a China Doll
She’s got eyes
just like a china doll
They look painted on
and yet they’ve seen it allAll around Long Beach
and all the way to LA
the shattered lives are scattered
the hearts are spiked up on staves
— From the ocean to the mountains
from the birthplace to the grave
Once you behold her
nothing will ever be the sameShe’s got eyes
just like a china doll
They look painted on
and yet they’ve seen it allEverywhere you go
everythings about the same
they wander around dazed
just barely whispering her name
— They walk in front of buses
they throw themselves under trains
but the sick smile on their faces
show those sorry saps are still glad she came

[bridge]
well I looked into her eyes
and I saw my life flash by
Now I wake up screaming
every time I see a doll’s eyes

I looked into the void
and I saw myself fall in
i see it every time
i see it in her eyes
t’s always been

Here I stand the last man to fall
under her spell
a moment close to heaven
an ice age on the cold side of hell
and how can I face  
the other lost souls I find
When I laughed at all of them and then now
here am I the last in line

She’s got eyes
just like a china doll
They look painted on
and yet they’ve seen it all

(C)1997, TK Major

 

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