How To Do Self-Help Right….

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”            Alice in Wonderland

Do you guys love Disney’s Alice in Wonderland? I love the creativity of the Disney cartoon version, the strange characters, the bizarre story line, etc;

The quote taken from the movie is very suitable for this blog for several different reasons.

What do you do when certain topics trend on your site?

“Oh, you just create more content along those lines” would probably be the obvious answer. Yet when it comes to self-help I’m slightly torn.

I’ve realised that the best self-help that I’ve come across is: prayer, reading The Bible and going to church.

I now look forward to my Sundays when I turn off my gadgets and spend time with my youngest brother building our awesome fortress in Minecraft or attempting to re-create our awesomeness in the real-world via Lego. Just to mention one example.

Yet reviews that I’ve written about self-help books keeps on trending on my site and I’m wondering how to best feed that demand.

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Mental training really helped me when it came to dealing with stage-fright specifically. I found it difficult to deal with expectations and denial coming from others when it came to my own talents.

Even though I’m way beyond the technical level of my heavy metal recordings these days thanks to my classical work, I had to deal with people who did not think that I was the one playing the guitar on my own heavy metal recordings when I first started out.

Dealing with this doubt from industry people and knowing that there were those who showed up at my concerts only to see and check whether or not I actually knew how to hold a guitar was very difficult.

As my fingers became faster and faster turning me into a guitar virtuoso the expectations just kept on increasing.

Due to this it was a Godsend that my manager had heard about mental training due to her own interest in sports.

We started applying this to my practise routine and it improved my own experience of playing live dramatically.

The self-help industry though isn’t necessarily geared towards that.

It promises to enhance all aspects of your life, but if you’ve ever read a Bible you’ll probably recognise that a lot of what it is trying to address are issues that religion already has.

You’re not really praying to something outside of yourself though, it is all very much internalised, and this can quite easily evoke a feeling of emptiness.

An alternative doctor who is a good friend of the family revealed to me that it is possible to meditate oneself into a “psychosis” and that excessive meditation might lead to “depression.“

Nobody had ever told me that, nor had I read about this.

I don’t think it will ever harm you to direct your love outwards towards other people or God, but I can in part understand why meditation might lead you down dark alleyways.

Another reason as to why I now feel a bit odd about self-help is that there is no “one-size-fits-all!” So the best way to deal with self-empowerment would be to customise it! 

Just like we zoomed in and used mental training for a specific purpose customising this training according to my individual needs, well so do you have to do!

What are you looking to improve and why?

Likewise there are a gazillion different churches with their own worship style and also individuals who considers themselves non-denominational.

The way that I deal with my Bible reading and my prayers will probably differ from how you or anyone else would go about it and apply it to daily life. 🙂

All I can do is to share my own story in the hope that maybe some of it can be applicable, but a great deal of it probably won’t which is why I find books like this: “Seeing What Others Don’t” by Gary Klein – My reaction to Chapter One & a bit of Chapter Two., very suspect.

I’m working my way through the book and still haven’t seen examples being used that can be applied to non-creatives! The majority of the people featured are still scientists with a curious and investigative disposition!

So keep that in mind when the self-help industry promises to dramatically alter not only you but also the outcome of your life. ❤

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“How To Resist – Turn Protest To Power” by Matthew Bolton.

“… if you want change, you need power.” (p.50)

It is not how right you are but how much power you have that will determine whether or not you can achieve it.” (p.26)

Politics is indeed too important to be left to the politicians. So vote, always vote, but that’s the bare minimum. Your democracy needs you. Yes, you.” (pp.11-12)

This is a well-written, easy-to-read handbook, authored by a white-male-community-organiser-activist, championing and (partially) fighting for the rights of those who are not part of his own in-group; which can be a risky thing to do, regardless of who you are.

…the government did adopt the 20.000 target for Syrian refugees …” (p.130)

He works hard to establish unsustainable political alliances in order to obtain temporary political gain, forcing the establishment through people-power and the media to get specific results, while artificially keeping something together that cannot possibly last…

In other words: He is successful in reaching his objectives while simultaneously working against them, by supporting issues that can potentially undermine some of his efforts in the long run…

…the government announced the ‘National Living Wage’, which, although less than the real Living Wage, has brought significant pay rises to over 2 million people, including nearly 700.000 care workers, with some who were stuck on the minimum wage getting a 10 per cent increase.” (p.93)

The following month we won the first test case and four Syrian boys stuck in the Calais “jungle” travelled legally and safely to be reunited with their families in Britain.” (p.146)

I do believe that he has his heart in the right place however and that he is a true believer in his own values and whatever cause he sees as his core-concern.

The stories of damp and mould were shocking. Parents with eczema, kids missing school with respiratory problems and toad-stools growing in the bedrooms.” (p.153)

He operates within the set frames of our Nation States and the official rules of engagement offered to its citizens, which is probably why the political establishment has publicly and officially praised him … or maybe they just couldn’t avoid him…

Rather than cast blame on out-of-touch elites, the onus is on us to work out what we want, to get organised and to build the power in order to get it.” (p.50)

There is no greater heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”                Lord Acton

We are faced with a market culture that is spending hundreds of millions of pounds on advertising, telling us that our primary role in life is to be a consumer, and with a dominant political culture telling us that we are spectators in a game played out in Westminster and in TV studios.” (p.155)

It is an informative read that conservatives have to check out, even though those who are more traditionalist in nature will probably find the idea of Bolton’s activities un-appealing:

“Community organising was pioneered by the American Saul Alinsky and then further established through the work of Citizens UK’s sister organisation in the US, the Industrial Areas Foundation.”

… Saul Alinsky famously planned the first ever ‘shit-in’, where busloads of campaigners would take over all the toilets in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport for a day to bring the whole place to a standstill…” (p.119)

Bolton’s background is one of socio-economic movement, which has made him alert (through experience) of parallel realities, much like I described in this entry of mine: Europe & America’s Transformation Due To Migration – My Observations as A European Globetrotter.

He however, obviously perceives economics or the global capitalist system, as the number one culprit or catalyst for injustice, whereas I’ve previously stated that mass migration and street-level diversity, resulting in gangs and neighbourhoods divided over racial or ethnic lines are much to blame for instability. I also acknowledge that human nature in and of itself is a massive obstacle to peace. There are probably many who would argue that a good solid economy would sort out the problems as laid out by me, whereas I would highlight the importance of identity, culture, natural “clustering” and a sense of belonging…

On that note it is worth mentioning what Bolton writes concerning the Salvation Army and its start in England. I find this most interesting due to the current scandals involving “grooming gangs” in the UK; meaning packs of Arab and/or Muslim men, or individuals hailing from those territories, targeting ethnic English girls for sexual exploitation.

The founders of the Salvation Army were husband and wife William and Catherine Booth and one of the social injustices that angered them was the sexual exploitation of children, which was rife in the East End of London, where they were based.”

This audacious tactic caused huge public outcry and the Criminal Law Amendment Act raising the age of female sexual consent to sixteen was hurried through Parliament in 1885.

Once again; it is dangerous to champion those who are not from ones own “in-group,” (I’m guessing that there are many who aren’t quite sure what their in-group is in the Western world of today) in addition it is also worth to note that all Nations have internal problems, which is an argument that is both used to advocate for or against replacement/mass migration.

I do find the recent scandals surrounding pedophilia in our Western entertainment industry alarming but also informative as it brings to mind accusations of hypocrisy from other population groups who feel unfairly targeted when it comes to the frequency of child abuse. Maybe the only difference is how well certain groups can cover it up…

I’m guessing that the sexual exploitation mentioned and fought against by the Salvation Army was a case of poor children being exploited by those who were wealthier; so once again the example of one class targeting a “perceived” lower class. In the other example you see non-Muslims or Whites being targeted, probably under the excuse that we are “lesser” or worth less. This is sadly a common theme when observing and hearing of human behaviour regardless of the time or location…

Funny enough an in-group can be based on: faith, occupation, financial status, race, ethnicity, sports, brands, music style and the accompanying life-style, political ideology, the county or State you live in, etc; You can form a tribe or an in-group around anything, another example are biker gangs.

With that in mind it might be of interest to add that recently I’ve pondering (among a million other things), whether many of our modern problems can be blamed on the insistence of maintaining Nation States…

Religious liberty as advocated by the U.S.A., just to pick one example, can in theory work perfectly in a “tribal-reality,” but can potentially be disastrous within the frame-work of a Nation State since it automatically undermines whatever identity pillars that are needed in order to maintain such a structure and union.

If you are going to unify a territory, you obviously need certain unifying factors.

If tribalism is promoted however, it changes everything.

No more Nation States, just competing tribes and clans, all with their own perimeters, beliefs, and values.

Rather than having “global segregation” through the much worshipped (or vilified) Nation State and its borders, you would get more localised, tribal segregation, which is what can be observed anyway, when experiencing and witnessing the voluntary tribal division internally in the major cities of the U.S.A.

This phenomenon is also becoming increasingly visible in the so-called “New-Europe.”

It might be an idea to realise when one’s territory is shifting from being “civic-minded” and becoming increasingly “tribal,” since it will leave “civic-minded” characters extremely vulnerable if they do not adapt.

To use an easy example: when I was little people did not lock their front doors if they lived out in the country, you went to bed with your front door unlocked. In the English country you have relationships that are trust-based. If societies like that are introduced to raiding parties who take advantage of their naiveté then needless to say it will be a scenario of loss for your own trust-fixated-tribe.

It is also an idea to be aware when “the guillotines” are being brought out so that it doesn’t come as a surprise when they are lined up and ready, sadly it seems that those who are active politically are largely ignorant of the rage that they see from certain demographics and simply do not comprehend why people are so angry and upset. This level of detachment and genuine surprise says it all when it comes to the present state of affairs in the Western World…..

There are numerous people out there who simply do not know what they are doing or recognise the beast they are staring straight at.

Someone like Matthew Bolton understands rage and work to harness it for his own political purpose.

It is an interesting thing to note that socio-economic mobility has placed Matthew Bolton and myself on two opposite spectrums politically, even though we are united in a common awareness of issues and problems and would probably agree on many things.

One great example of impact is the 38 Degrees campaign in 2011 to stop the privatisation of UK woodlands, which involved 500.000 people signing their petition, 100.000 people emailing their MPs, and a crowdfunded poll that demonstrated wider public opposition. This rapid mobilisation of such large numbers scared the government off and plans to sell the forests were scrapped.” (p.127)

The issue is serious: an estimated 40.000 early deaths in the UK per year are linked to dangerously high NO2 levels.” (pp.121-122)

This quote in particular is without a doubt a favourite of mine, since it describes the scenario of socio-economic diversity, and the absolute ignorance of it, perfectly:

… but the gap between that bubble of privilege and the reality of south London started to grate on me. As a teenager, I was mugged in my neighbourhood twice, at knifepoint; I was punched in the face several times, and I was violently carjacked. I don’t want to make it sound worse than it was, but those things did happen and my brother and I were always aware in the back of our minds that kids in our area did get stabbed. But my school just seemed so pleased with itself, and it had nothing to say about any of those issues happening outside. One morning, the head actually started an assembly with: ‘As I sit back in my chair and hear the crack of willow on leather [cricket], I think how wonderful it is to live in Dulwich…” (pp.20-21)

Yet there is much to learn, just take a look at this:

“… Rosa Parks and Abdul Durrant were both trained in campaigning. Both were leaders in social change organisations. Their acts were not spontaneous acts of individual courage.” (p.14)

That quote is of utmost importance.

In our societies we constantly highlight the power of the “individual,” especially highlighting successful so-called lone-wolf activists such as Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr.

The face of a movement however, isn’t necessarily the brain of said movement….

The Montgomery NAACP had been  planning a bus boycott for at least a year and had been looking for the right person to be a test case to take to the courts. There had already been at least three other black passengers that year who had refused to give up their seats, but in those cases there weren’t the right ingredients for the strategy to catch light. With Rosa, however, it did.”

After reading these lines though, I’m guessing that this false image of political individualism is promoted in order for peoples’ agitation to fail! You need a plan and you need people. In other words: you need to get organised. 

By selling a false narrative of successful political individualist agitation in conjunction with “free-speech,” especially in light of today’s “surveillance-state,” I assume that you can catch and uproot potential grassroots movements in their infancy, before people realise that organisation is key.

The organising culture aims to turn that individual despair and frustration into collective anger and power for change.” (p.153)

Finding common self-interest can move people over the barriers of prejudice into coalition.” (p.44)

…it is politicians and celebrities who are portrayed as the significant political actors. Ordinary people tend to be left to the role of spectators – maybe tweeting a view or featuring in a five-second vox pop, but mainly just faces in a crowd.” (p.86)

It should not be the goal of any Nation or movement to be a loose Nation or movement of atomised individuals, if they wish to succeed.

You need strong units of people; something that can be accomplished by individuals living on top of one another, just to pick one example.

If a number of individuals are forced to live in a small living space, especially if the resources are limited, it will either make or break the unit. 

This once again flies in the face of the more modern theories of “individual atomisation.”

Just because collectivism fails on a Federal, Nation-State level, doesn’t mean that it will be disastrous on a “unit-level” or “family-level.” In fact in this scenario it might flourish substantially, getting out the best in people, creating an environment of: all for one, one for all!

The fact that people on the right spectrum of politics are so averse towards the idea of “collectivism” puts right-wing individuals in a position where they are doomed to lose against those who are well-organised across multiple socio-economic plateaus, unless this trend changes of course.

…disempowerment feeds feelings of distrust, apathy and blame, the conditions needed for a divisive populism to spread. The Iron Rule, by contrast, requires us to make people the authors of the change they want, which then breeds confidence, agency and collaboration between people.” (p.140)

A very revealing section in Bolton’s book can be found on page 147, where he writes this:

… the reason cited by people coming to food banks are:

  1. Benefit delays or benefit changes (40 per cent)
  2. Low income (23 per cent)
  3. Debt (7 per cent)
  4. Unemployment (5 percent)

Why is this of particular interest?

Because there is this prevailing myth out there that as long as you work hard you will be rewarded accordingly…

If you depend on the charity of others or depend on benefit programs then this must undoubtedly be evidence of your own laziness, according to this narrative.

In a number of cases this couldn’t be further from the truth and it might be easier to get stuck “in the system” than a lot of people imagine.

Yet it is a problem that has to be acknowledged that the expenses of a Government are many. Its income is based on taxes and if one area is to be prioritised then something else will have to be sacrificed….

… our campaign for a Living Wage moved a Conservative government to make the biggest increase to the legal minimum wage since it was introduced in 1997.” (p.118)

It would be much better if family values could be re-introduced in the Western world, (especially in Northern Europe) as it would make more sense if family-members looked after their own, rather than lumping troublesome relatives unto the State! It would also be beneficial to re-focus people on the Christian value system, so that individuals and families could open up their hearts to charitable participation, rather than falling into apathy, since “the system” will handle whatever injustice that is out there….

By promoting a value-system that emphasises “good works” a Nation or Nation State stand to gain massively!

If we think of some of the great institutions we benefit from today – hospitals, schools, housing associations, trade unions and charities – these were often developed in, or sponsored by, local churches.” (p.10)

I think an unnecessary burden and load is placed on a system that must surely collapse in the end, when looking at various European Nation States today.

An initiative such as the NHS for example, should in theory work if individuals take more personal responsibility; danger looms when people do not and costs are added due to bad lifestyle choices, who’s long-term effects could have been avoided altogether or at least minimised!

Likewise when looking at “projects” and their seemingly random placement over in the asphalt-jungles of the U.S.A. there is no doubt in my mind that those buildings have been spread around in an effort to avoid “no-go-zones.” I also assume that the theory behind allowing kids from these projects into “magnet schools,” etc; is to enable upward mobility. Sadly the results are much less glamorous, but I can certainly see and understand how people can support and propose something like this since it works in theory and probably looks quite good on paper.

But there are many things that work exceptionally well … in theory…..

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” ARCHBISHOP CAMARA

Bolton’s initiatives do seem genuinely well-intended though and might temporarily positively affect natives in Europe … simply by chance.

Every night he cleaned the offices of Sir John Bond, who earned £2 million a year … ‘Sir John, we work in the same office but we live in different worlds. Let me tell you what it’s like to work on £4.50 per hour and bring up six children.” (p.13)

But those individuals who advocate for better wages, have a tendency to advocate for more immigrants and cultural enrichment as well … not to forget that companies tend to outsmart efforts intended to increase wages so that their own bottom line isn’t affected negatively. Which is something I came across years (or months ago), when a petition was being passed around (which I shared here on my Blog) describing how workers had simply lost out on holidays, benefits and sick-days, due to an enforced wage-increase in the UK….

I also saw an online post not that long ago about a company in the U.S.A simply opting for “robots” when their human workers wanted better payment…

Yet another example is the outsourcing of labour to Asia and economists arguing that workers in the West either have to let go of their privileges or see their jobs lost to cheaper labour elsewhere….

In other words; there are many excuses and reasons that are cited when hordes of people find themselves out of work or find themselves forced to accept terms that are downright horrible.

I don’t intend to sound pessimistic, but it is an annoying and interesting trend to observe, especially if exposed to individuals who are worried that their town might turn into a Ghost-town due to China and the ever looming dark cloud of “outsourcing.”

Even though the media doesn’t seem too keen on reporting on it; there might be a reason as to why American workers cry of joy when their jobs are brought back due to the trade-policies of the current U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

One can only hope that the threat of Globalisation will be diminished over here in Europe as well.

Please justify to me why so many Norwegian and English goods are made in Asia?

Please explain to me why our heritage is outsourced, when our traditional dresses are manufactured by Chinese hands?

Likewise when you look at the Global network of food-trade, it is ridiculous to depend on these intricate systems, as it doesn’t take much thinking to realise that it is all unsustainable in the end!

If a change is not brought to us through politics, then climate change will surely rock our boats; we all need to re-learn how to hunt and grow our own crops, in addition to making our own clothes, etc;

We have to sever our global dependency in order to re-gain our National independence.

We have probably never been this vulnerable ever before.

Learn to hunt if you have the funds and/or learn how to grow your own food! 

Back to Mr. Bolton…

….his book is both a worrying and an inspiring read. I guess I and those who agree with my values, ought to be happy that this guy decided to release a book available to us all, so that those who disagree with him can learn from him!

It could be an idea to team up with individuals like him and learn from his organisation if worried and concerned about MicroPlastics in our drinking water, just to pick one example. Learning organisational skills and how to mobilise people must surely be a plus, regardless of where one can acquire this skill!

… ‘the action is in the reaction’ encourages the weaker side to provoke some kind of overreaction that can be used to strengthen their campaign or undermine the authority.” (p.79)

In fact, regardless of how vilified “community organising” might be on the right-side of politics, you might find yourself in a situation one day where a guy like Bolton will be the one who’ll help you out of your unfortunate predicament!

It is always important to remember that the capitalist system is an “organic” one where you can easily be a King one day and a pauper the next! This is such an uncomfortable thought that I guess that many would prefer to look another way; rather than reflecting on their own vulnerability!

…when it’s the less powerful side trying to influence and hold accountable the more powerful side, picking the right time for the action is key. For publicly listed companies the AGM is a good time, … For politicians, the weeks before elections are the time when they are most actively looking for votes and keen to make public appearances.” (p.82)

When writing about the art of organising; Bolton acknowledges in his book that members of the LGBTQP movement were reluctant to team up with Muslims to push for “hate-crime-enforcement” since LGBTQP advocates had been harassed by Anti-Gay Muslims in the past; yet Bolton through his own community organising was capable of bringing these two groups together, in order to push the authorities on broadening “hate-crime-initiatives.”

Bolton describes how he manages the art of getting people who hate one another to come together in order to push politicians through coordinated efforts; also involving the press.

The way to do this is to find an emotional, personal, grievance that can unite these groups.

Let’s say that you are an African who has experienced “cultural enrichment” and I also happen to have experienced something of the sort. Then we will have that one thing in common that we’ve both been violated and that we’ve both experienced fear at the hand of the exact same group. Then that becomes what unites us, until the enemy or the issue has been sorted out. Which is a tiny detail that Bolton forgets to mention, selling the impression that these alliances become permanent, like a step towards an ever improving reality for humanity that can only grow and become better….

Bolton then goes on to describe how the issue with Western people is that we are indoctrinated into discussing and analysing broad problems, without ever really bothering to break things into tangible issues that can be purposefully worked towards….

We are therefore distracted and kept away from productive action, since we think, talk and analyse ourselves into intellectual oblivion.

Yet he writes that it can be wise to use vague and lofty words to attract those who want to “save the world,” and once you get them and have their attention, divide problems into smaller goals that are clearly expressed and defined.

So in other words…

….lure people in with “fog-talk,” then once you have them, introduce them to the real operation that they can be used for….

Building power through relationships and turning problems into issues together helps people develop political skills and gets us ready for effective action.” (p.76)

What is the grand-strategy I wonder? It seems to me that Bolton is acting on one impulse: a desire to help people, regardless of who they are. It doesn’t matter if he helps and aids the mass-importation of “New-Europeans,” if he gets citizenship for illegals, or if he helps the natural world through environmental policies.

He must obviously think in a very non-ethnocentric global fashion.

Bolton funny enough acknowledges that him and his activist group had to emotionally manipulate their very own members and people, in order to gain support for a citizen led initiative, where the goal was to secure full citizenship for illegal, undocumented immigrants in the UK.

Since the members of his own progressive group were instinctively opposed to the idea, they had to get hold of real illegals to come and share their own personal stories, in order to persuade progressive activists that this was a good thing to support. This undoubtedly displays how thin this solidarity and advocacy truly is … 

After reading that particular section there is no doubt in my mind that a lot of Bolton’s efforts will be unravelled as cultural and demographic tensions escalate all over Europe.

In fact, it very well might be the most important passage in Bolton’s book…

There is no doubt in my mind though that his empathy is sincere, it rather seems like he is directing these feelings in all sorts of directions, due to maybe some sort of survivors guilt on his part…

He laments in his book that he is a white-male as if though this makes him automatically “guilty” due to alleged white-male-priviledge …

…His anger radiates from the pages that he has authored, which is kind of funny. Who knows how the Western world would have looked like today, if men like him directed this rage in a patriotic, protective fashion.

In February 2016, a refugee family arrived with an eleven-month-old baby who needed urgent medical attention, which would never have been possible in the camps where the family had been stuck.” (p.130)

There are lots of English babies who die due to the incompetence of doctors and medical staff, I’ve signed and shared some of these horrifying petitions that have been passed around the internet. In addition you also have those who never see the light of day due to abortion. Of course I don’t mean to be insensitive in any kind of way; but if you don’t even prioritise your own babies, then it is quite obvious that your population group is destined for failure.

If Bolton is a patriot he will surely be a champion for the children of England?

If he had to choose: whose children would he rather save?

And most importantly: what would you do?

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How To Help Out!

I’ve never been a huge fan of artists using charity as a marketing tool or as a way to make themselves look nice; yet it is a positive thing if you can inspire your followers to get more active with their own local communities! 

Tomorrow I’ll be helping out again by doing a fundraiser for a local village hall! This is the best way that I can help as an artist so I hope that the event will be well attended!

This is the poster for the concert:

poster village hall

Now follows an entry that I wrote a while back about getting involved if you want to help out but isn’t quite sure how to go about it! 

A major difference between living in a major city vs. country living is that “life” is more “valuable” in a territory where humans are scarce! An interesting and spooky detail to note! Whenever you run into someone in a village you establish eye-contact and greet one another; in addition you have interactions that are based on trust.

If you then go into town and see some of those characters that live in the same desolate territory as yourself you’ll notice that they just blend into the town landscape together with all the other people, creating the impression of a big, unidentifiable, mass. It is even worse in big cities where you walk down a crowded street without ever establishing eye-contact with anyone and where everyone is consumed with their own things.

Last time I was staying at a hotel due to work I thought of it as comical when I passed a young woman in the corridor who just walked past me all glassy-eyed without even looking at me; “how rude” I thought to myself, “she didn’t even say hi.”

Yet it has become the standard that there are thousands of parallel paths that never cross one another as everyone goes about their business.

I’ve been guilty of this myself, because this has become the default setting of human beings in our part of the world.

You can get out of this habit if you move into an area where human capital is a rarity. 

To give you an example of how detached humans have become I offer this tiny story that I’ve never shared with anyone before: 

Some years back when I was travelling with Craig Ogden (my classical-guitarist-partner-in-crime)  I saw a young, female, drug addict, who was stumbling around in the main pedestrian street of Oslo. 

Out of all of the people who were walking down this street, nobody noticed this woman who was clearly in distress. 

She nearly got hit by a car and was clearly a danger to herself.

She was in need of urgent care.

So what do you do in a situation like that? 

First we walked behind her like two baby-sitters watching over a self-destructive toddler…. 

This was obviously not something that could go on indefinitely since we had a plane to catch, nevertheless we “stalked” this young lady to ensure that she didn’t succeed in her suicide mission. 

Second we had to find someone else who could take over since we weren’t going to be there forever, so we started inquiring around asking various security personnel outside some of the shops if they could call an ambulance or some sort of authority figure. 

Some of the people working inside the shops were less enthusiastic; they displayed no empathy at all, and brushed it aside, since “there is a lot of that around here.” Among the other pedestrians there were a couple of people who walked up to the woman and asked her how she was doing, which was very superficial. She was not doing ok at all. Yet once she feigned that she was alright, clearly drugged and/or intoxicated, the individual who had asked if she was ok just walked on. This was just a polite, little hick up in their autopilot, the concern did not seem genuine nor heartfelt. Just superficial politeness.  There was one furious man who came thundering over to the security personnel we were dealing with demanding that they do something to save the life of the woman wandering about. 

One man and us.

In the end I have no idea what happened to her since we had to leave, but it was an interesting experience to observe the general indifference, and the helplessness of the security people who seemed confused and clueless about how to deal with our concern. It was obvious that they struggled to think outside of their own personal pattern and mission statement. They were there to look for shoplifters, not to call an ambulance or the police to take charge of a drug-abuser. They didn’t know how to handle something that was outside of their own perimeter and framework. 

As far as “the people” was concerned they simply did not see her. 

This can explain how little kids can drown in overcrowded pools. People are locked into their own activities to such an extent that a child can drown behind them or a young woman die of an overdose right next to them. 

If more people had valued “life” that day they would have noticed the self-destructive woman stumbling amongst them; several people would have taken action and she would have received medical attention.

So what do you do if you notice an issue and you want to contribute?

Here are a few examples:

  1. A while back I wrote about the “crumbling state of affairs” regarding England’s places of worship. I pasted in links to some churches that were in desperate need of repair work and wrote about the importance of England’s irreplaceable heritage. First I shared my knowledge of the problem since I did not have the ability to sort out the issue myself. I wrote about it several times actually. Then I decided that the best thing that I could do was to do a fundraiser concert in order to raise funds for my local church. Not knowing whether or not it would be a success I did it anyway and was very happy to see the turnout! We raised the money that we wanted and I could say that my initiative had been a success since the goal had been fulfilled!
  2. During the crisis of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose I was asked by a follower if I could shred a riff for my American followers. This gave me the idea that I could help out by writing a song specifically for the victims of the extreme weather, while posting links in the description area of my video to organisations looking for donors to facilitate their volunteer work in disaster areas. I don’t know how successful this venture was, but I thought it was a good idea and helped in the way that artists can help, by using their talents and gifts for a purpose.
  3. After attending a shocking lecture about persecuted Christians around the world I shared the information that I was handed out on my blog. I urged my followers to check out the organisation working to help Christians who are imprisoned, maimed, alienated or impoverished due to their Christian faith. This organisation obviously look for donors and money like all other charitable organisations, so I was wondering how I could be of any use. That’s when I realised that there was one thing that I could do which was to write cards to persecuted individuals. It broke my heart when I wrote individual letters to an entire family over in Asia and then saw that their names had been taken off the website of the charity since I assumed that maybe they had been killed off or imprisoned as well, which was what had happened to the father in the family. I have no idea what happened to my letters, but I hope that it brought some light to the recipients. A little ray of hope in a dark and cold world. Once again I resorted to using my artistic skills in making custom-made, hand-made cards.
  4. I decided to get involved with my local “Village Show” since I know that they are always looking for people. I took it upon myself to do online PR which was a challenge since you need people to spread the word in order to get the social-media snowball rolling. There simply weren’t enough people who signed up for the Facebook page and out of those who did there were only a few who ever interacted with the content that I put out there. I did however write a little promotional text for the event which was printed in the local news-letter, I made a hand-made drawing for one of the promo leaflets as well and volunteered on the day of the show by working in the children’s tent. I also helped with putting up the various marquees before the event. Even though I contributed a little it was obvious that it was appreciated since every helping hand counts when arranging a “Village Fair,” when thinking about all of the people who turned up it is quite astonishing what a small group of volunteers can accomplish. The various stalls and the show looked great.
  5. MicroPlastics is something that I’ve been writing about here on my blog and something that I’ve singed petitions about as well. I sent some emails to local representatives asking about our water but received no reply which is the standard when it comes to these type of things. I championed using biodegradable cutlery, cups and plates at the local “Village Show,” and was happy to see that biodegradable straws were present in the bar at the show, at least. Yet it can be difficult to know how to go about an “eco-issue” as you don’t want to come across as an annoying eco-warrior, in addition you also need manpower if you are to exert any political influence. The good news is that petitions have been flying left-right-and-centre to such an extent online that it has resulted in  governments across Europe taking the issue seriously due to citizen pressure. The quality of our environment is such a pressing and serious concern regardless of race, ideology or location, yet it is one where organisation is needed, with the exception of minding one’s own garbage and/ or picking up the trash after others.

These are just some examples of small things that can be done! It is possible to volunteer one’s time and/or create specific objects/things in the name of charity! When I was going to throw away some old clothes I put them all in a “clothes bank” so that others could get them. If more people engage with their local communities we will gradually create a much better and friendlier world, and I much rather experience that than the coldness that has become so prevalent, in a detached, atomised, modernised, reality!

 

“An Angel Saved Me” by Theresa Cheung.

This is an eye-opening and potentially unsettling/spooky book, I really enjoyed Cheung’s work as it featured countless stories from people describing supernatural experiences. A common thread can be seen when reading these type of stories. The book stand out though due to its many witness accounts; I really enjoyed its style, I would also recommend: The Map of Heaven – by Dr. Eben Alexander & Ptolemy Tompkins.

I’m guessing that spiritual skeptics wouldn’t have much interest in a book such as “An Angel Saved Me,” but if you’ve heard of or experienced anything that resembles what’s within these pages you’ll certainly find it fascinating, like a confirmation of sorts.

I really had no idea that there were people out there communicating with Angels, until I heard that the Norwegian royal princess engages in this sort of activity; I thought it sounded a bit spaced-out at the time, but now I’m not so sure.

I do find it interesting however that all of the Angel encounters described in this work are so positive in nature, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are some vicious celestial beings at work as well; if you believe in the “otherworldly” it could explain the battle between good and evil in our world.

Cheung’s work brings up some points that I’ve certainly come to see as self-evident, something that many alternative doctors also believe in, namely: that we are all connected to a super force and that there is meaning hiding in everything. Some refer to this as “synchronicity.”

Cheung points out the importance of the word and how we can all be angels/helpers to others. I thought a bit about this after reading and my own thoughts about the matter is that: Being the helper of some might make you the enemy of others, but being the helper of some is probably better than being the helper of none.

Let’s say that I pass a homeless person as I’m on my way home. I give this individual whatever change I have and a smile might spread across the person’s face, followed by a “Bless You” or a “Thank You.” It is even better if I then look at the rough sleeper, acknowledging his/her presence, rather than avoiding eye-contact, which is the most comfortable thing to do, as homeless people both remind us of the fragility of existence while maybe giving us a slight sense of “survivors guilt.”

Yet after I’ve done this small act of charity, I walk past another rough-sleeper, and this time I have no change to give. To this individual I represent nothing but another walker-by. Just another one blending into the city-landscape, almost highlighting the beggar’s loneliness and social isolation. Everybody just walk on by lost in their own thoughts about what they need to do, where they ought to be, where they are heading, etc; while ignoring those that they encounter on their way, not even saying “hello,” an act that can only really be seen in villages/hamlets where any human you encounter is automatically special.

This type of scenario or dilemma can be transposed to all political issues as well; I’ll help group A, but then I cannot really help group B, I’ll stand with these people over here, but that will automatically put me in opposition to those guys over there, these people will benefit and a positive change will happen in their lives, but just as this act of good spreads like a ripple effect, there will be a negative one spreading elsewhere within the group that has been ignored or wilfully sidelined.

The power of the word is truly overwhelming if people awaken to it and think about it. This might illustrate why it is complicated:  “I just had a negative encounter/experience and will now share this with another person.”

  1. I will create a negative atmosphere, because something of a negative nature is being discussed, and since human nature is the way it is; then I’ll probably spend an awful lot of time talking about that which annoys me with my friend/relative.
  2. I will potentially create some sort of conflict, if action is to be taken in order to “get justice” and settle the issue with the other individual who has offended me.
  3. A lot of people let bad individuals get away with their misdeeds, for the simple reason that they don’t want to deal with the negative emotions stemming from a potential argument or conflict, hence the bad guy has a tendency of getting away with whatever.
  4. If you ever try to fix a proper issue, there will be a lot of pain generated in the process, which then makes me wonder if it is best to not address issues; there will of course be no solution to whatever problem, in fact matters might get worse, but at least you’ll post-pone confrontations with troublemakers, or hand the issue at hand over to someone else….It is in fact very common to see this.
  5. If you are to walk in Love and deal with all problems like some guru, then what on earth do you do when encountering real evil and individuals who are rude and mean to everyone around them, without ever improving or showing any signs of genuine remorse? Is a loving nature more likely to get you killed, injured, devastated and/or emotionally drained, or can you actually improve the world by spreading kindness? And how far can this ripple effect potentially go, if you think about the dilemma described above?

These are interesting matters to contemplate indeed, since it deals with our own spiritual footprint here on earth. It is also an interesting thing to note how hate can be born out of absolutely nothing, which is something that can really be experienced by artists receiving hate-mail for no obvious reason or bully victims chosen and picked on by other children, without anyone really knowing why.

There doesn’t have to be any reason for hate to take its hold, and regardless of how well-intended and strong the love that meets it might be, it can’t be denied that a gun might be love’s greatest protector when dealing with deep-seated, blind rage, caused by infernal, putrid, hatred. Why some fall victims to such strong negative emotions, is peculiar indeed, as others can live through inhuman challenges and still find love and a light within, helping them to forgive while ascending to new spiritual heights.

Ours is a strange world.

Quotes from Cheung’s “An Angel Saved Me.”

“But every morning when we wake up we have no idea whether we have years, days or hours left to live. In the midst of life we are in death, whether we like it or not, and we may never know when our time is up.”

“… but when you think about the idea that we are all connected and nothing we do or say is trivial,…”

“Perhaps the genius of artists, musicians and writers, or the joy experienced by lovers or first-time parents, or the explorer soaring to new heights, come close to the inspiration of feeling ‘not of this world.’

“So the next time you experience a ‘coincidence’, rather than dismissing it, ask yourself what it means.”

“…remember that coincidence is the language that angels speak.”

“Remember, if you don’t think you have encountered angels, many of the people here didn’t actually see angels. Something as simple as a feather, a song, a book, a flash of intuition or a remarkable coincidence was the catalyst for their spiritual transformation. If you look at the world with ‘angel eyes’, every moment is a chance for you to glimpse the mystery and to marvel at the sheer magic of it all.”

“…everything we say and do, however tiny or insignificant it may feel at the time, really has the potential to make others feel as if they have been touched by an angel.”

Some books recommended by Theresa Cheung:

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

The Road Less Travelled by M.Scott Peck.

A couple of books about roughly the same topic:

Britain’s X-Traordinary Files by David Clarke.

Haunted! Scariest Stories from the UK’s no.1 Psychic by Derek Acorah

Getting Active! :)

Written on the 12th of September.

Yesterday I released a new song on YouTube dedicated to the victims of Hurricanes Irma & Harvey + the earthquake in Mexico. A few days prior a follower on Instagram asked me if I could shred some metal for my fans in the affected areas in the U.S.A. but I decided to write something on the acoustic instead since I’m currently in “shoulder rehab.” I’ve just started doing strengthening exercises as I’m recovering from my shoulder injury. I thought it was really exciting to publish this video in particular as it is my first “charity-video,” it feels really good to help out by trying to raise money for those affected! 🙂 It’s cool to help!

The same can be said of voting! As I wrote about in my “Voting For The First Time!” entry I decided to partake in our parliamentary democracy this year and it felt really cool to get down to London and cast my vote! I read quite a lot of material to prepare so that I would know what to align myself with and how Norway is really doing. For example, how many Norwegians in their 20’s have read our constitution? It is also impressive to figure out what political parties have to know as every single aspect of your nation’s economy for example has to be addressed in the programs of your various political parties. The conclusions I reached when reading through everything from taxation, to health-care, education, infrastructure, immigration and industry can be read here: An Insight Into The State of A European Nation – Election in Norway/Valg i Norge 2017.

It was exciting to follow the democratic process yesterday night and to see how well documented our voting patterns are from counties to towns and even city parts. The breakdown was really fascinating. It was also good to see that not even the wife of the president of the Worker’s Party was allowed to vote without an I.D. The election results were also in favour of the conservatives so as a patriot this made me happy to see of course 😉 May Norway Inc. prosper and benefit the Norwegian people!

I now intend to go through a long list of petitions to sign, there are those of course who would roll their eyes at this, as cynics might see this activity as pointless. It isn’t always. If a petition catches fire it might receive national attention and end up on the table of those with executive power. As I’ve said before: we can vote, sign petitions, raise awareness and then there is protesting or marching in the streets. The latter is trickier in our society, because if you want to walk in an Anti-Terrorism march you might get assaulted by far-left ideologues who apparently seem to think that an Anti-Islamist march is a cover-up for white-supremacist activity. There are people who have been badly damaged out there for simply protesting the removal of statues, so even though it would be the right thing – to get away from the keyboard – and march against Islamic terrorism, it would not be a risk-free activity I’m afraid.

These are the things we can do as civilian citizens in a western society. We can elect our representatives and keep an eye on whether those in power are acting in our interests or not and we can voice our dissent and share information with others if we feel that our people are wronged. We can donate money and goods to those that are in need or roll up our sleeves and get active locally.

A horror story about allergies – sign this petition to ban nuts on flights. A must read.

Please sign this petition to Stop the glorification of animal abuse.

Ban All Export of Lead in Petrol.

Denmark Street in London is being fundamentally changed regardless of its history to give way for gentrification.

Trying to fight plastics in our oceans…

Trying to save the Sumatran Elephants…

Ensure fire safety in London apartment tower blocks.

If a parent loses his/her child do you think that they should receive 2 weeks off, paid by their employer?

The infamous Tampon Tax in England that I’ve mentioned before. This is a fabulous example of over-taxation and as it is mentioned below – a tax that cannot be buried until after Brexit – which I’ve also written about before. Mad. Please sign the petitions as only supermarkets have the authority to re-organise their prices to combat the tax.

“For the last three years the team here at Change.org has watched Laura build a powerful movement that has battled tirelessly against the tampon tax.

To begin with, people said that it couldn’t happen. But last year we saw the Chancellor George Osborne announce that the Government would finally produce a plan to axe the tax- – thanks to Laura’s 360,000 strong petition.

Brexit negotiations mean the Government can’t enact their plans until 2019, which is why Laura thinks it is so important supermarkets step in to bridge the gap.

People power is working to make the tampon tax a thing of the past. Will you join Laura in the latest stage of her campaign by calling on supermarkets, Sainsbury’s and Asda, to support the fight against the Tampon Tax?”
Wow. This is exactly the kind of junk you can easily get caught up with in showbiz. I’ve even experienced people in the past keeping my video footage or gear “hostage” in order to get more money. In fact there is no end to how much weird I’ve run into as a musician:

Those are just some examples, I even published a long entry I later deleted when I was under a lot of stress back in 2015: https://thecommanderinchief.blog/2015/06/15/i-have-a-tiny-problem-dont-we-all-read-my-confession/ So what these guys over at Rebel Media experienced is basically everyday occurrences in the awkward business that is show biz: The Rebel Media Blackmailed by previous co-workers. This might prove an interesting read to those pursuing the life of an artist: https://thecommanderinchief.blog/2016/12/22/show-biz-literature/

This is a petition I signed a while back about mental heath in UK schools, it seems pretty innocent enough – until you get to the very bottom – where the author is writing about how the government has to flood the NHS with spending. I don’t think that caught my attention previously, because it does seem quite strange that you would demand something like that as something else will have to lose priority if the “NHS should be flooded.” The idea of including education about mental health in our schools seem ok – as long as people don’t start believing that they are ill when they are actually not – I still support this petition, but not the idealist idea preached in the bottom half as I don’t think it is likely to happen, it would have been nice as well if the author of the initiative could have addressed what ought to be marginalised in order to further enrich our public healthcare. (Our public healthcare that I actually ditched by the way, since I couldn’t bother to stand in a queue anymore waiting for help….)

I’ve signed some Greenpeace petitions both in the past and also now as I’ve put together this entry. Yet I have to admit that their behaviour can certainly be “interesting” at times when you look at this email I received. This gives people an insight into how  “public outrage” can easily be “manufactured” and organised. The link took me straight to a specific FB post on BP’s page and this was full of dissenting comments – the other entries I’ve seen on their page have little interaction. So if you or your company ever experience the “angry mob” then keep in mind that it can on certain occasions be “bots” or it can be an organised effort initiated by an organisation with a vast online network, rather than the conscious reactions of individuals acting impulsively on their own.