Ambient Sunday: 4

Here’s a relatively new release for your listening enjoyment. This is Ian Hawgood’s Mysterious Shapes and Remembered Rivers, which makes one think of China Crisis’s Difficult Shapes and Passive Rhythms. It came out in 2022. He does a song with Stijn Huwels, with whom he’s done a lot of great music, and Friends We Found, who I know nothing about, but will. It’s just great ambient music. That’s all.

Ambient Sunday: Thursday or Friday edition, depending on where you are right now

Being that we’ve veered a bit from Sunday, let’s veer a bit from traditional Ambient. Susumu Yokota‘s “sakura“. It’s an amazing record by a young man that I came across in 2014 and started following him and he died suddenly in 2015. It was a really strange feeling. I had the same experience with Mitch Hedberg. But this record is just a stellar example of what this man created. Check him out! If you’re into that sort of thing.

The same 327 people

“It was reported that nearly a third of all shoplifters arrested in New York City were the same 327 people”

This fascinates me. But it also makes great sense. We tend to think that we’re surrounded by bad people, but bad people will always make up a tiny fraction of people in general. There are people I know who won’t come to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, because they’re certain they’ll be shot. This just due to listening to the news, which, of course, reports murders in the Twin Cities – as they would anywhere. But it never seems to occur to them, if they actually read the articles in any detail, that most of those murders are just people who know people and are mad at those people and so, for whatever reason, kill them. Being randomly killed anywhere in the world, and even here in the land of school shootings, is exceedingly rare. Yes, you should fear coming to the Twin Cities, if you’re meeting that guy, to whom you owe a lot of money, to purchase some more drugs, and tell him you made love to his girlfriend. If not, go for it. You’ll be fine.


“There is no better place to hide than hyperbole.”

I don’t remember where I saw that written but wrote it down because I love it. How true is that! Exaggerate! Oversell! Just keep talking and you’ll never have to reveal a thing. It’s really the perfect hiding place.

Everything that’s been written about Donald Trump and we really have no idea what he thinks. We know he lies constantly and makes shit up and screams it at his base and they love it and eat it up, but none of them has any idea what Trump actually thinks either. When he talks – or shouts – he hides, he reveals nothing. Can you even imagine a mellow Charlie Rose-type interview with Donald Trump, talking about things, slowly, quietly, focused? Nope. You can’t.

Ancient truths and modern life

He abused me, attacked me,
Defeated me, robbed me!”
For those carrying on like this,
Hatred does not end…

Hatred never ends through hatred.
By non-hate alone does it end.
This is an ancient truth.

Many do not realize that
We here must die.
For those who realize this,
Quarrels end.

That’s from The Dhammapada. Everyone is so angry right now. It seems like it’s off the charts. But then again, never before have there been so many phones with cameras. These “stories” would never make the rounds if no one had the video. Some irate, whacko customer going off on the employees, would be eventually bum-rushed out the door and everyone would go back to what they were doing.

But as they say above, “Hatred never ends through hatred.” A truer sentence has never been uttered. If you make me mad, then I’m mad at you, and so on… And all those videos also make us mad, entertainment makes us mad, politicians make us mad. All three also gain money and power on the backs of us being mad. The first two also make money if they make us happy. The latter not so much. So politicians are on a race to the deepest depths of anger, meanness and hatred, because they know that we’ll follow them.

How many Americans really have a problem with Trans people, for the love of god? One might not understand it or them, you might even be offended due to what you’ve been taught in church, synagogue, temple, etc. But where’s the actual skin off your back? How can that “issue” even resonate in your psyche. I’m assuming you possibly have friends, a family, a job, a home or rental, bills, healthcare issues, dealing maybe with unemployment, drug abuse, divorce, family issues; or a wedding, a new child or grandchild, or a coming vacation someplace warm. With all that we have, how is it that some of us are so concerned about Trans people. There have always been Trans people. The world has continued on just fine.

It really is much due to our immersion in entertainment, news, politics and all the rest – brought to us in full-color picture with stereo sound right there in our wallet sized phone that we all carry around, like Linus’s blanket in the 21st century. It’s an emotion machine, or maybe a drug, or a drip. And if not there, then on the 50-inch color screen in our homes, or the 75 screens at the mall sports bar. They all make us angry, sometimes, happy, others, fearful, revenge-filled, ecstatic, silly, murderous and all the rest. But it’s the anger, we need to be worried about; and much less so from entertainment and much more so from politics.

Bottom line, we out here in TV land need to force politicians to stop being mean, angry, spiteful and proud for all the wrong reasons. We need to demand that they simply be nice. It’s not that hard, and would be amazing for the nation and its people. We’ve got enough to be angry about, real things – way overpriced healthcare, the climate crisis, the massive wealth and wage gaps – that need to be addressed rather than, say, the Trans “issue”? Please. None of us are very long for this world, so why spend so much of our time here enraged, angry and in conflict. Here again,

Many do not realize that
We here must die.
For those who realize this,
Quarrels end.

The power of positive thinking

“Becca Levy, psychology and epidemiology professor at Yale University, points to another important, controllable influence on healthy longevity: Our beliefs about aging…

…Levy has found that people with the brightest beliefs about aging live an average of seven and a half years longer than those with the gloomiest.”*


I love aging!

*Fran Smith “Living Longer” National Geographic

We think we know

Sentient beings need a brain, right? A nervous system to tell the body what to do in the world. It’s what we know. It’s all we know. But there’s a single-cell slime mold, sans any nervous system, that learns, passes knowledge to other molds, and repairs itself within minutes. No one knows even how to categorize this organism.

It’s been around for millions of years, but we have no idea what it is. Is it an animal? Is it a fungus? It’s capable of memory and adapts its behavior. It solves problems of moving around a labyrinth.

“The blob can navigate without eyes, limbs or wings. When researchers sliced up the organism and sprinkled them in a maze, the blob consolidated into its original form.” And get this: “After introducing the experiment to a new blob and allowing it to merge with another, the new super blob show incredible smarts. ‘Somehow during the merging process, the naive cells learned a behavior for a situation that they themselves had never experienced.'”

Crows taught to fear a particular human will give birth to baby crows that have never seen that human or know anything about it, but know to fear it. What do we know?