Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't Give Others Your Power

"You felt terror at the prospect of failure, of mistakes, of the criticism of others. So you became dependent on others and lost your freedom. Others now have the power to make you happy or miserable. And much as you now hate the suffering this involves, you find yourself completely helpless."

- Anthony De Mello. The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of. Image Books,1991. pg 139

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ongoing Life Program

"Reading can be part of an ongoing life program, empowering the reader to rethink present coping strategies, to try out new behaviours, new moves."

- Joseph Gold. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. Fitzhenry and Whiteside: Markham, 1990. pg 99

Reading empowers all of us. We can see how characters have dealt with situations and what consequences sprang forth from their decisions. Thus, in the future, if we come across a similar situation or predicament, we have already had a little bit of a rehearsal in how to deal with it. That is only one way that reading can help us.

Gold thinks that we should read to also help us cope with things that have already happened. We can identify with characters and thus be removed from our own situation slightly.

As you can see from the label cloud on the sidebar, I have extensively quoted Joseph Gold here. His ideas about story and literature really speak to human experience and I am glad that I can share them with you here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Worst Comes to Worst

(DJ Babu)

"Worst come to worst my peoples come first worst
worst come to worst my peoples come first
worst come to worst my peoples come first"


"Yo, some people got good friends,
at night I live my life right
Intense, on the edge
On the wild, I'm from the group where friction leads to fire
Stack your bricks, the time is take your pick
Do or don't, the track - Alchemist
My life is good, I got my peeps in the mix, so..."

"worst come to worst my people come first"


"I got worldwide family all over the earth
And I worry about 'em all for whatever it's worth
From the birth to the hearse, the streets, the guns burst
Words I disperse are here to free minds
And if mine are needy I need to feed mine"

"when worst come to worst..."


"Set up shop and write a verse
Actually 'what?', that's best come to best
My lyrics take care of me, they therapy
Get sh*t off my chest
Extra stress, three-four over the score
Different patterns of rhyming prepare me for war
So next time you see us we'll be deadly on tour"

"worst come to worst my peoples come first"


"Word up, if worst comes to worst, I make whole crews disperse
You know it's family first
Gifted Unlimited with Dilated Peoples
Babu, Evidence, Iriscience
And a shout out to my man Alchemist on the trizzack"

"worst come to worst my peoples come first"


"I'm a glutton for the truth, even though truth hurts
I've studied with my peoples on streets and in church
We make it hard when we go on first
Long road, honor of the Samurai Code
These California streets ain't paved with gold"

"worst come to worst my people come first"


"Uh, I got them back, at the end of the day
We could go our seperate ways but the songs remains, it won't change
Got my target locked at range
I might switch gears but first I switch lanes
Without my people I got nothing to gain
That's why"

"worst come to worst my people come first"


Special victims unit, catalyst for movement
Creates to devastate, since '84 show improvement
Definitely dilated peoples comes first
Cross-training spar, we raise the bar
And we put it in your ear no matter who you are

(DJ Babu)
"worst come to worst my peoples come first"
"worst....come...worst my peoples come first"
"worst...worst....worst....come to worst my peoples come first"
" peoples come first
"oh, when you need me"

- Dilated Peoples "Worst Comes to Worst" from the album Expansion Team

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Idea Will Jump Up

"Think about it deeply. Then forget and an idea will jump up in your head."

- Donald Draper, character on series Mad Men.

This quote really speaks to the creative process. It fits right in with my TLCW recipe for writing.

It basically works like this.

T - think of an idea.
L - leave it alone for a while.
C - your brain will keep thinking about how to make it work on a subconscious level.
The idea will then jump into your head and you can W - write.

It works every time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Never Think Old

"My difficulty is that, as I get older, I refuse to feel older, or at times even act my age."

- Lester B. Pearson from the Liberal Leadership Convention held on April 4, 1968

Friday, January 22, 2010

Four Things Great Teachers Do

"Superstar teachers had four other tendencies in common: they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Characters Come to Life

"And if you do your job, your characters will come to life and start doing stuff on their own."

- Stephen King. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Scribiner: New York, 2000. pg 195

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All My Life

Today's What!?! Wednesday features Ivan Ives.

He launched his First of the Month project earlier this month with a video and single for "All My Life." He will be releasing a new song again on February 1st, and continuing this pattern for the rest of 2010.

By the end of the year, he will have released 12 songs that will be sitting in an album in my iTunes.

I've decided to support this project because I really enjoy his music. I have yet to purchase any of his albums though. I have enjoyed them for free and I feel a little guilty about that.

I think any Ivan Ives fan should support this project since it will only cost us 99 cents a month. It makes it manageable to support an artist for an entire year and actually purchase the music that we love.

I see this as being the future of the recording industry. The old me would lament that this is the death of the album. But I don't think this necessarily needs to sound that death knell.

I really enjoy his Iconoclast and NewSpeak albums and I'm sure by the end of the year, I will also enjoy his First of the Month album.

So here is the video for you to check out. It uses some pretty cool stop motion animation and apparently took him two months to complete. If you enjoy this video, please go buy the song from iTunes.

You can find out more about Ivan Ives on MySpace


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love is Something You Do

"Love isn't something you feel, it's something you do. And if the person you're with doesn't want it, ya know, do yourself a favour and save it for someone who does."

- Nate Fisher. Six Feet Under. Season 5: Episode 6.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Real Strength is Not Fighting

"Fighting doesn't prove anything. Real strength comes from the heart."

- Sam, age 8

from Deb Austin Brown's Growing Character.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Be a Better Audience

"Walt Whitman once proclaimed that 'great poets need great audiences.' For over thirty years, rap has produced more than its share of great poets. Now it is our turn to become a great audience, repaying their efforts with the kind of close attention to language that rap's poetry deserves."

- Adam Bradley. Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop. BasicCivitas, 2009. pg xxiii

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reading Isn't Complicated, it just seems that way.

"When universities made literature part of their curriculum, they had to turn it into something very serious and professional in order to justify its inclusion.

In other words, they created an “expertise” of reading; they cornered the market in “understanding” literature, and they made reading seem very complicated."

- Joseph Gold. Read For Your Life: Literature as a Life Support System. Fitzhenry and Whiteside: Markham, 1990. pg 313

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Phuncky Feel One

A buddy of mine introduced me to this group when I was in high school. At first I didn't get it. I thought B-Real sounded like Mickey Mouse. I almost dismissed them because of his high-pitched flow. I'm glad I didn't. This tape really rocks.

This is one of my favourite songs by Cypress Hill "The Phuncky Feel One" and it dates back to 1991.



"Well I'm the Real one, yes the Phuncky Feel One
Cypress Hill has come, any quest/just ask them
Cause we are answering, any brothers that've been
On the dick swinging, and straight gathering
Enter the info, cause yo what you're in for
Is a crazy day, strapped in a pimp mode
Trapped like a prophet, but I still profit
Even when you're off it, bank's in my pocket
Cause of my music, what you call me chumpy?
In my trade, the Tribe is known to get funky
Hif is here to hack you down, Son is here to buck you down
Joke's on you, if you're the biggest duck in town
You got to relax, we got to kick back
Brothers just sit back, enjoy me like a six pack
As I let the rhyme flow, into the hook
Yo where you getting took, but that's another story black

Cause I'm the Real one, yes the Phuncky Feel One
I'm the Real one, yes the Phuncky Feel One
I'm the Real one, yes the Phuncky Feel One
You know I'm the Real one, yes the Phuncky Feel One"

Sen Dog

"Night in a stiff block, hanging up the pimp's jock
Used to call me Pimp Poppa, cause I likes to hip-hop
Cause I'm down with Cypress, illing well I might
Begin to take your girl, your girl she's the flyest
Flyer than the other broad, working off the pitched rod
Isn't that odd, instead of saying my dick's hard
It's not about knocking you, do you feel like clocking loot?
Forget it act stupid little sucker I'll be clocking you."


"With the right or left hand, duck they was still stand
Troopers on the side step, bucks him down to death man
With the greater lyric, if you can spare it
Just an ass kicking, is what you inherit
So don't try to snake off, you know I can't be shook off
Why the suckers took off? Well that's another story black."


B-Real and Sen Dog trade off lines here,

"Standing on the corner, close to the real estate
Clones they really pull sticking brothers try to imitate
Meaning when they simulate, but they can't stimulate
Like a faded joint, stiff from the breath I take
Make me act loco, they switching up my vocal
Out to catch you so-called, MC's with a roll call
Then you gotta close your eyes, you can't stand the sunlight
There is just one light, the Tribe's bucking heads tonight
Buck buck buck ya head! Sorry that red is dead
Deader than a doornail, someone cold made his bed
Didn't just break out, the sucker got cracked out
Hit the pipe and blacked out, with the shit from back down
So much more integrity, just another hooker
Was a funky looker
But that's another story black."


- Cypress Hill "The Phuncky Feel One" off their self-titled debut album.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Let the Pain Go

Nathaniel: "You're not even grateful, are you?"

David: "Grateful? For the worst f*cking experience of my life."

Nathaniel: "You hang onto your pain like it means something, like it's worth something. Well, let me tell you, it's not worth sh*t. Let it go...(looks up to the sky) Infinite possibilities and all he can do is whine."

David: "Well what am I supposed to do?"

Nathaniel: "What do you think? You can do anything you lucky bastard, you're alive! What's a little pain compared to that?"

David: "It can't be that simple."

Nathaniel: "What if it is?"

- Six Feet Under. HBO television series Season 4 finale.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Courage to Stay

"Have the courage to stay with your own opinion."

- David Caruso (collected by Deb Austin Brown in Growing Character)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Live for Being Creative

"Finally, we should live for being creative. What do I mean by creative? I mean trying to change this universe in which we find ourselves placed—trying to add good things to it, if possible. The universe, in the state in which we find it when we wake up to consciousness, is obviously imperfect and unsatisfactory."

- Arnold Toynbee. Seek Love, Creation, and Understanding in Constructing a Life Philosophy: Opposing Viewpoints, 2002. Excerpted from Surviving the Future, 1971.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Writing Falls Short

"The word is only a representation of the meaning; even at its best, writing almost always falls short of full meaning."

- Stephen King. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. Scribiner: New York, 2000. pg 118

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 Rap Up

This first What!?! Wednesday needs to be Skillz take on the year that just wrapped up. Hence the 2009 rap up.


"We mourn this year
I got to say
every other day
someone passed away

It was a very sad year
to say the least
so to everybody we lost
rest in peace

Ya boy Skillz
and I did it again
Welcoming y'all to 2010!"

- Skillz "2010 Rap Up"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Comics, Eyesight, and Life Philosophies

I found this video by way of Twitter and I really wanted to share it here with you on Tube Tuesday. Here is a description of this amazing video, In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch. Scott McCloud also shares with us a life philosophy that follows these four tenets, 1) Learn From Everyone 2) Follow No One 3) Watch for Patterns 4) Work like Hell Anyway, I hope you take the time to watch this video. I highly recommend reading his amazing book Understanding Comics as well. Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Keep Pecking Away

"How many times does a woodpecker peck at the bark of a tree while he is looking for food?

1 time?

10 times?

100 times?

The answer is: Until he gets the job done!

- from Deb Austin Brown's great book Growing Character.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Let's Start off this New Year and New Decade with a positive attitude. Let's work hard to accomplish everything that we want this year.