Whenever my brain isn’t occupied with creating something, it’s usually busy consuming someone else’s creation. I read and listen to stuff constantly because it spurs my brain into new creations of my own.
Often a theme will develop in my reading and listening that I didn’t expect. I was out on tour recently and here’s how things developed over the week.
I started off with the book Inside Scientology by Jane Reitmann. It’s a fairly balanced look at the history and upper echelons of the Scientology organization. Balanced as it is, Hubbard and his successors still come off looking like money grubbing megalomaniacal egotists.
In that book she talks about Hubbard’s affinity for, and acquaintance with, Aleister Crowley. I realized that all I know about Crowley comes from Ozzy Osbourne’s famous hit “Mr. Crowley”.
So to get some background on him I did some reading on Wikipedia which led me into the world of Thelema and Ordo Templi Orientis. Hefty esoteric stuff. It turned into one of those Wiki sessions where you keep clicking links until your head hurts. And THEN I had to go on stage on tell jokes.
By the way, Aleister Crowley wrote his first book on his honeymoon in Egypt after being approached by a phantom of some sort. My girlfriend doesn’t even like it if I do a guest set at a club on vacation. His wife put up with him writing a whole lunatic book!
The next day I thought, “Well enough of that. I’ll listen to some podcasts while I’m driving.” And of course the first one to turn up in my playlist was The Unbelievable Podcast and their two part episode talking to a guy that thinks he’s an alien and is going to teach all the secrets of life and how the world will end (this year, of course…). He referenced weird ideas from a variety of fringe groups and didn’t really sound like he’d invented anything of his own at all. Or at least the hosts thought so. I had no idea that Republicans are actually reptiles and the true indigenous beings of this planet live in the core of the Earth.
Made it through that and next up was the Adam Carolla podcast. No way there was going to be anything brainy and esoteric discussed on that show, right? Except they started talking about the doomsday groups taking over Bugarach Peak in France and their thoughts that the mountain harbors aliens and will be the only place to survive the apocalypse. I guess we can be thankful that the only surviving place will be a beautiful rural part of France and not…. like Texas or something.
I don’t know why this esoteric CosmiCon got started, but it was eating up a lot of brain power while I wasn’t on stage. Thought I made it through and then on the drive home Marc Maron’s WTF episode with Bob Zmuda telling extremely entertaining stories about Andy Kaufmann. As well as being very mysterious about who is actually doing Tony Clifton now (apparently it’s Tony Clifton). And he even strongly implies that Andy may have faked his death.
By the time I got home I felt like I just needed to watch an episode of Friends or something. Take the edge off.
A couple of reactions pop to mind after ingesting all this strange and mysterious thinking:
In order of appearance in my head…
– These people are all crackpots who need some sort of medication.
– Man, there’s really a lot of them. Maybe they actually know something I don’t?
– Wow, these people are living with a mental illness they don’t even realize they have.
– Aww, screw it. Who cares…
I often relate things back to musical concepts because that’s something I can understand. And let me reveal one of the big secrets of music…. It doesn’t matter what note you play as long as you like the sound of it. You can play any note at any time over any chord and there is a theoretical explanation for it. Here’s proof in an article I wrote for one of my old guitar education sites.
And I got to thinking maybe it doesn’t matter what you think in the long run. Somebody else will always think you’re nuts. But if it makes sense to you, so be it. Your reality is yours and my reality is mine. There’s a psychological term for that, but I can’t remember what it is. As long as you’re not causing harm to others, then you can think about aliens in the center of the earth or reptilian Republicans or that you’re made of Thetans or that Andy Kaufmann is still alive.
If you do hurt people (talking to you David Miscavige) then I have a problem with it. Otherwise, I’ll just listen and try to expand my own worldview and leave you to your psychosis.
And now… Friends must be playing on one of these TV stations…..