Right Thought, Right Action, in the Wrong Places

It’s hard to get into the practice of posting. I looked at the calendar today and realized I hadn’t posted here in a month. That is absolutely no way to run a blog, let alone shill for your writing skills. I could labor the point that in the thirty odd days since the last post, I’ve been home less than half of them, between trips camping and back home up north. But we both know that’s not really why I haven’t posted.

I haven’t posted because frankly, I couldn’t write without nothing but bile spewing out. Negativity, thy name is August. I have written two posts this month, but trashed them both due to incessant whining. I could edit down the posts, but really, the only solution for depression and life crapping on you is action. Which is precisely what I have not been doing. Apparently my Walk needs to catch up to my Talk. Les Brown, my favorite self-help guru, says that “If you fall down, try to fall on your back. That way, you’re looking up. And if you look up, you can get up!”

I’m always trying to find the positive these days. Some days it’s impossible. Those are the days when life hits you like a hammer between the eyes, and all you can do is get back up and dust yourself up, despite your brain telling you to stay down.. And my brain is really good at telling me that. So in response to my sucky brain, I’m going to share some light I’ve found in some unexpected places.

The new Ministry book: If you’ve ever listened to Ministry or any of Al Jourgensen’s six billion side projects, positivity is not the word one usually associates with him. Nor would you expect that from his autobiography, The Lost Gospels. It’s a harrowing  and funny account of drugs, death, addiction, and Fred Durst naked. But positive? Not cranky old Uncle Al. And yet, there’s some wisdom and light in there. His best one: Figure out how to be paid for being yourself.  

How do you do that? If you’re an entertainer, the question seems pretty straight forward. It’s in other places where it becomes trickier. I think we all have a real purpose in life, and sometimes our work is not it. Sometimes the most important things we do will be the children we raise, the people we help, and the happiness we share with others.So how do you get paid for that? I don’t know yet, but I think we’re at a real tipping point for it in today’s society. But even if you never figure it out, don’t stop looking. Quitting is the worst feeling. Believe me, I’m an expert.

The new CDs from Watain and Five Finger Death Punch: I expect lots of crap about this one. You’re  thinking I’m joking. A mook rock band from Vegas? And a bunch of Satanists from Scandanavia? Yes, I do. First off, I’ve become a 5FDP fan ever since meeting them briefly a few years ago, and acquiring a few discs from yard sales. The new one,”Wrong Side of Heaven, Right Side of Hell,Part 1″, blows the others out of the water. Great hooks, some light soloing, and some serious ,if angry positivity in the lyrics.. Frankly, any band that insists on treating opening acts right should get your dollars on that rarity alone. But the musicianship and heart these guys express shines through. Lead single “Lift Me Up” kicks off a disc that veers from thrash to ballads, and never really loses steam.

Now, onto Watain. Let’s be perfectly clear:they’re assholes. They’re not nice people, and clearly, they have a couple dozen screws loose. Anyone who travels on tour covering themselves in rotting animal blood certainly qualifies. But damn it, if they haven’t written the best underground metal CD of the year.

But does that justify their being provocative assholes, who have some whacked out personal beliefs  that I won’t even begin to explain? I’m not here to justify them. I think they’re appalling in some aspects. But then I heard their new CD. And watched the DVD they put out last year. And what becomes clear, is they believe in it. All the fire and blood in their show and music? It’s not a show to them. It’s ritual.

People will say I’m jumping on a bandwagon. Fine, so consider me jumping. But then go watch the performances up on YouTube,especially the DVD rip. Erik , their main force and singer, is totally convinced of the work he’s doing. It’s a level of immersion into one’s art that I’ve seen in very few. Manson during Antichrist Superstar. Ministry during Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste. There’s something really dark and hypnotic about Watain right now, They’re guaranteed to offend, and they don’t care. They’re going to put everything they have into what they’re doing, and that’s where the positive comes in. If I could do something with even half of that band’s conviction,(besides loving my wife and child) I’d be much better off.

So here’s my direction for you, dear reader: Find that  something, or that someone that makes you burn. Or that feels like the most natural thing in the world. And once you do, go after it like there’s no tomorrow, because what if there isn’t?