Getting By: The Mix Tape

Side A

1. “House Rent Boogie”—John Lee Hooker

2. “Fast Car”—Tracy Chapman

3. “Marie”—Townes Van Zandt

4. “Another Day in Paradise”—Phil Collins

5. “Sittin’ on a Poor Man’s Throne”—Bobby “Blue” Bland

“Couple at Jukebox”

Side B

6. “King of the Road”—Roger Miller

7. “Broken Down”—Eric Clapton

8. “Times Gettin’ Tougher Than Tough”—Them

9. “Hard Time Losin’ Man”—Jim Croce

10. “Hard Time”—Gillian Welch

-K-

Four Line Blues Poems

“12”

Friday night gambled on being gone.
Monday morning pay the aching empty.
Where have I put my lost tomorrows?
Highway gone-stole my yesterdays.

-K-

Some Thoughts on Getting By

How to Measure Success?

All too often we feel the need to measure, evaluate, and/or judge our current position in life. We wonder if we are falling behind, coming out ahead, or maybe we’re just getting by. Wherever we find ourselves in life it is almost always compared to some other place or position we think (or others have convinced to think) we should be or wish to be in order to be succesful. With all this in mind I decided the next topic of conversation will be getting by.

“Road Block”

Getting by can and does refer to many different things varying from one’s mental state to job/economic status and a whole bunch more. It’s usually just used to reference that general place and time in life where we are but not necessarily where we wish to be. For some getting by is a layover of sorts, a temporary state of being. For others getting by is the final stop, a way of life.

Getting by has become a way to measure where we feel we are in life. It is also a way to measure ourselves against some sort of definition of success (a definition that is often not of our making). Let’s take a closer look at getting by, what it means, and how it reflects our views of self and others.

-K-

A Few Final Thoughts on Selling Out

What’s Relevant?

We’re on the tale end of a couple rainy days over here in the Midwest, and rain always puts me in a contemplative mood. Figure now is as good a time as any to tap out a few thoughts to wrap up the conversation about selling out. I’ve come to think that there are a three points to consider when it comes to the idea of selling out, and only one point is relevant.

The first irrelevant point is the accusation of selling out. It’s naïve to think peer pressure ends with high school or that accusations (or opinions) are incapable of ruining lives, but we can’t allow ourselves to be judged as sell outs by others. Shakespeare has that line about being true to yourself. As long as you stay true to yourself the accusations of others shouldn’t effect how you view yourself. Subscribing to some generic definition of selling out is the second irrelevant point. We shouldn’t worry ourselves with the accusations of others or try to live by their definitions either. It is all too easy to criticize ourselves or to think less of ourselves when we apply some generic definition of selling out to our lives. The third and only relevant point is whether or not we believe we sold out. If you can look in the mirror and live with what you choose to do then the accusations of others and their definitions don’t matter.

“After a Rain”

The only judge of whether or not you’ve sold out is you. The accusations and definitions of others are irrelevant. I’ve dedicated the past month to the topic of selling out and now it’s time to move along to a new topic. I hope you found something interesting (or at least entertaining) among these posts.

-K-

Stereotypes and Selling Out

Don Lee and Labels

What connections can be made between stereotypes and selling out? I read Don Lee’s short story “Reenactments” yesterday, and it has me thinking about the ramifications of being labeled a stereotype and how that label can lead to accusations and/or feelings of selling out.

The protagonist of Lee’s story is Alan Kwan, an aging Hollywood actor known for primarily for his action roles. He has landed the largest role of his career in a standard action shoot ‘em up movie that has sequel potential which would secure a recurring role and guaranteed work. Unfortunately the script plays to several stereotypes including Alan’s role as an Asian hit man. This is not he first time Alan has dealt with stereotypes during his career. He changed his name to Alan Kwan from Alain Kweon years ago to improve job prospects.

“Reenactments” by Don Lee

What distinguishes Alan’s current situation from previous experiences with stereotypes is that now fellow actors and crew expect Alan to respond to the stereotypes. Alan’s dilemma is whether to call out the stereotypes he and others have been labeled at the risk of losing future work or to remain quiet. Lee’s protagonist must grapple with not only how others will view him but also how he will view himself.

If you are looking for a short piece of fiction that addresses stereotypes and the personal ramifications that may accompany selling out then Don Lee’s “Reenactments” is worth a read.

-K-

“Reenactments” by Don Lee. One Story Issue #275

Dose of Dr. Gonzo

“I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look into the hearts and minds of others for your happiness”

-Hunter S. Thompson-

100 Little Compromises

The Tipping Point to Selling Out

Selling out isn’t confined or limited to a single event or decision. We tend to view selling out as some life changing moment, a decision that will or won’t label us as a sell out. These moments exist and are tests of our character, but there is also the sell out through compromise. There is the multitude of little compromises we make throughout our lives and then we wake up one morning wondering when and how we sold out.

Compromises are part of life. To believe that we would never compromise is unrealistic and will eventually lead to frustration. It would be better to review each compromise we are asked to make and evaluate what it is we are giving up and more importantly if we will ever get it back. Every time punch at a job we hate is a compromise. Every day spent in a relationship we know won’t last is a compromise. Every time we say yes, every favor we do, every task we complete for people who don’t care and/or are just using us is a compromise. These little compromises, when added up, will eventually reach a tipping point to selling out.

“Time Clock #1”

In most instances those who sell out at least get something for their decision (even Faust got something for selling out). But selling out through compromises usually offers no reward, at best there is a illusion of gratitude or friendship. We wake up one morning to the realization the we’ve sold out for less than cheap. Beware of compromises asked of you and whether or not you may be selling out on some sort of sad installment plan of 100 easy compromises.

-K-

Musicians on Selling Out

Four Bits of Wisdom

  • “Selling out is doing something you don’t really want to do for money. That’s what selling out is.” -Bono-
  • “Most of the people who call me a sell out were 7 when I was face-down in the punk trenches.” -Henry Rollins-
“Accordion Music”
  • “It’s not selling out, it is called making lots of money.” -Mick Jagger-
  • “There are two kinds of artists left: those who endorse Pepsi and those who simply won’t.” -Annie Lennox-

-K-

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑