Why The World Is Flat . . .

Not sure what’s happening to my ears, but all samples sound flat to me these days. Even good ones. I’m just feelin’ live instruments.

I just need to hear some shit that moves the air and molecules in a room. Even when you sample records where cats played live, it loses dimension. Even good Hiphop records are sounding flat to me lately. Ain’t nothing like hearing hands or sticks on skins, a cat pluckin’ a bass, a hammer to strings or tines, or blowing horns.

Unless it’s a handclap, a tambourine or some synth pads, I’m really not feeling samples of any sort right now. Maybe it’s just a phase. I dunno.

Compression is definitely a factor. Especially with drums. Drums to tape had a natural compression to it. When they try to recreate that by adding compression to digital, it just flattens everything out. To add to that when it’s a heavily compressed sampled sound to begin with, the shit ends up having no life.

You can get a lot of sounds from one of these streamlined keyboards today, but they had more character when there was only one or two sounds you could get out of them. And it’s easier to carry around a Nook than a lot of books, but there’s only so much you can get from a screen.

Even if you’re listening to some really good Hiphop, then you A/B it with a classic Stevie Wonder or EWF record, there’s no comparison. That’s what was really great about D’Angelo’s Voodoo. The live tracks really make it. The programmed tracks aren’t nearly as funky.

I understand that sampling is a part of the Hiphop culture, but I’d rather listen to the original records than a sample at this point. For all the convenience the virtual world offers, it’s the tactile experiences that make us human.

Touch: There’s no replacement for that.

- Nicholas Payton

Virtual sex may be alright in a pinch, but ain’t nothin’ like The Real Thing…

All the Kindles Fires are cool—they’re tools—but I want to finger the pages. I like to see ink on paper. The virtual shit lacks dimension, and the more we interface with virtual things, the less dimension we have as people.

“Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” -Job 38:5

“The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.” -Ecclesiastes 1:5

The ancients foretold the future. The world is flat and the sun revolves around the earth.

#BAM

- Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

On Peace in a Mentally Ill Society . . .

Folks wanna act like having guns and mental illness is a new phenomenon. People been armed and crazy for years. The real issue is the hypocrisy of American violence.

It is not irrational to think—that given America’s history—every now and then we will bite the bitter fruit brought forth from the seeds of violence we’ve planted. I’m not talking about some spooky, hocus-pocus type of spell we might be under. Nor am I talking about the vengeance from a patriarch up above who is punishing America for its sinful ways. I’m talking about basic science. The Law of Cause and Effect.

I hear so much talk of gun control. Gun control is not the issue. It’s self-control that’s the problem.

- Nicholas Payton

The same government people are hoping will instill heavier gun control laws is the same government that is responsible for its citizens having the access to guns in the first place. You mean to tell me we need the government to keep us from having weapons so we don’t destroy each other? “No, not us sane people. The mentally ill folks behind these mass murders.”

What is mental illness? If mental illness is being callous enough to mass murder innocent children, then politicians, the police and military forces qualify.

- Nicholas Payton

So because someone goes into a school or a movie theater and opens fire, that makes someone mentally ill? Maybe it’s not mentally ill at all. Perhaps it’s just someone violent enough to kill another in effort to assert their superiority over others. The average American blindly supports a government who mass murders children daily. That would most certainly qualify as mental illness. Some of you may believe drone killing is not the same as going into a school and targeting children. Explain that to the parents whose children are no longer here because of those strikes. Tell them how their child’s life was a loss for the greater good of democracy—but when it’s your privileged American child who dies—it’s the forces of illness and evil.

There are innocent babies who die every day on the streets of Chicago, but what happens once-in-a-lifetime in Connecticut has our President and the rest of America in mourning. The children of Chicago get no national vigils or presidential crocodile tears. Suburban children get sent off in glory while Urban children die invisibly.

You see, we don’t worry when our government kills children in Palestine or Yemen, but our hearts are heavy when terror hits home. It’s all energy, and if we ignore the cries of innocent babies elsewhere, then God will ignore our pleas for peace in America. And when I say God, I’m not talkin’ ’bout some daddy in the sky. I’m talkin’ ’bout The Force of Universal Energy. The energy that is within every living and non-living being.

Look at it this way: The same applies to our planet. Lately, we haven’t been taking good care of Mother Nature, so in return, Mother Nature hasn’t been taking very good care of us. The effects of natural disasters are becoming far worse, but the cause is often the unnatural way we treat the Earth.

“Our research implies that far from being natural, these changes could have been largely driven by dirty pollution and volcanoes. If so, this means a number of natural disasters linked to these ocean fluctuations, such as persistent African drought during the 1970’s and 80’s, may not be so natural after all.” – Dr. Ben Booth

We humans work the same way. The irony is: We want peace, but how much of our lives is spent creating a peaceful environment? We can’t be blind to terrorism in one moment and want to get all preachy about it in the next. Energy doesn’t work that way. You get back what you put out—and even if you didn’t put it out—you may get it back anyway.

You can want your pet dog to fly. You can believe with all of your heart and soul that it can and will fly, but the reality of the situation is: It’s a dog and you will be frustrated until you accept the truth that dogs don’t fly. And in the same manner, violence can’t create peace—no matter if Obama or yo’ Mama tells you so.

So, we have to accept the truth about some things before we can have peace. The first thing is that our President and current administration celebrates violence. This is nothing new. It’s been a part of American history since its inception. A majority of Obama supporters believes that he supports peace. News flash: You can’t bring about peace through violent means. Self-defense is one thing; violence is another.

Botched and Furious . . .

In 2007, Barack Obama criticized the Bush administration for hiding behind executive privilege every time something “shaky” went down. But just a couple of years later he invoked executive privilege to keep documents away from Congress about Operation Fast and Furious.

In the above video, Obama endorses Holder and Operation Fast and Furious as well as saying that America and Mexico have been working together on this. But in the following video, ATF Agent Rene Jaquez says Mexico knew nothing about the operation.

“It all began with an ATF program called ‘Fast and Furious’ in which the United States government allowed guns to be smuggled to Mexican drug runners in order to find out where Mexican drug runners were getting their guns. It turned out to be from our government… Circle of life.”

“Anywho, we lost track of about, uh… 2,000 guns. Although–on the bright side—we did end up finding one of them when it was used to kill a U.S. Border Patrol agent.”

- Jon Stewart

Another truth we must face is that we have a murderer for a president. It’s an ugly thing to say, but the truth ain’t always pretty. The truth is: There’s a lot of ugliness in this world and it starts from the top down. Though a Nobel Peace Prize winner, he has admitted several times to killing Osama bin Laden. He’s also ordered 6 times the amount of drone strikes than our last administration. When our Commander-in-chief (President Barack Obama: The Supreme Commander of the U.S. Armed Forces) takes the moral position of superiority which allows him to justify the killing of innocent children as collateral damage, we can expect our young men in the streets to do the same. If you want to see an end to senseless violence, Mr. Obama, you can make a huge difference by not ordering your troops to kill others.

I didn’t ever believe Obama could do half the things he said he could while campaigning for office. It was unrealistic, but he’s big enough to know that. He sold people a lie and the American people bought it. You can’t advance if you live a lie. I blame him and the American people who support the lie for “the greater good,” whatever that means.

It’s quite simple, we won’t get better until the politicians and the American people are willing to be honest.

There should be social outrage, but there isn’t. That ain’t changed. It’s more of the same. Most American citizens are dead behind the eyes. Their mourning is cliché and consumerized. Until we deal with the ugly things about our country that hardly anyone wants to address, they’ll be no progress. It ain’t ultimately Obama’s fault, the House’s fault or the fault of any branch of the government. It’s our fault. It all comes down to the way we treat each other every day.

When something horrible happens, people are reaching out for the government or God to stop the madness, but you are the governor of your heart and God is within.

- Nicholas Payton

We’re all family. What affects one of us, affects us all. There will be no peace until we stop the violence.

BAM!

- Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

Why There’s Still Hope For The World

When are we going to wake up? How many more catastrophes are we going to have to endure before we realize that it’s not the big things holding us back from realizing our full potential? It’s the simple things. Saying good morning. Giving thanks for a kind gesture, or doing something nice for someone who may not deserve it.

People have predicted the end of the world since the beginning of time. We’ve developed superstitions and religions as a way of explaining that which we fear or don’t understand. When we see what goes on in the world and how insensitive some people can be, we perhaps develop a wall of protection. The thing about a wall is: whereas it may offer an illusory shield from undesirable occurrences, you also isolate yourself from the basic tenets of what makes us human.

The art of vulnerability is the essence of what it is to be alive.

The most primal of instincts is the need to feel protected. What protection most often looks like in this world is being violent towards others. Violence isn’t only the killing and murdering of others. Violence is also making unwarranted and unnecessarily rude or harsh comments towards others. Violence is not responding when someone says hello and shooting them a dirty look. Violence is treating a customer like you’re doing them a favor by answering a question about a product they’re about to purchase. Violence is being nasty to your server at a restaurant because you feel superior to them. Violence is belittling someone because you don’t understand them. Violence is making disrespectful or snarky comments on someone’s social networking profile because you don’t agree with their viewpoint. These are all subtle, albeit important, ways violence takes a seat in our daily lives.

It is my feeling that we’re far more influenced by the small ways violence and hate play out day-to-day than in large scale ways like natural disasters and mass murders. In fact, I firmly believe that natural disasters and mass murders are the direct result of how little things build up over time and explode after so much pressure has been accumulated. That type of energy can only be contained for so long and is highly combustible.

It amazes me that people can only grieve at the world on large scale issues, but the world dies every day and most could care less. But we can’t mourn every day, right? We have to pick and choose what issues will be important enough and ignore the others. If you’re having trouble selecting which ones to prioritize—don’t worry—the media will help you. There’s a hierarchy to human suffering. The media categorically politicizes people’s personal struggles to serve their story; much in the way that politicians exploit people’s fear to get your blind support.

If people can just get beyond the idea that they need others to do for them what they should do for themselves, we would really witness a balance in the power structure. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with needing or wanting help, but when it comes at the high expense of your individuality, it creates more problems than it solves. As it stands now—religion, politics, corporations and the media—take too much precedence in people’s lives. They have far more influence than they should. Quality is devalued and mediocrity is celebrated. Vulnerability is perceived as weakness and violence is regarded as strength. Everything is in reverse. Whereas those institutions should really serve the people, most people are in servitude to them.

We value our beliefs and public displays of sympathy more than we do people. We’re quick to talk about how there should be more love in the world, but blatantly disregard folks on a daily basis. But aren’t people what life is all about? Like skyscrapers of the ego, we erect these institutions as a way of showing how magnanimous we are when all they really do is give us something to hide behind so we can shirk responsibility for our own actions. This creates a class of people who, for the most part, are spiritually vacant.

Mental illness is as common as a cold. It’s so easy to subscribe to groupthink or to blame the big ticket items like the NRA, the Muslims, the Communists, the Liberals, the Conservatives, the Devil, etc., but who wants to deal with self? How many institutions foster critical thinking and encourage those who challenge the false constructs that divide the spirit from the body and the body from the mind? Those who have fought to dismantle the political and religious norms that formulate the basic structure upon which society is built have been historically dismissed as crazy while the real crazy people run amok free to reek havoc wherever, whenever possible.

Groups of insanity is the real mental illness. There is nothing more pervasive than that. That’s the cause of the world’s greatest atrocities. Hardly anyone wants to address that though. It’s much easier to say video games, mental illness, gun control, etc., is responsible for mass murder when the biggest mass murders are sanctioned by the same governments and religions that people put their faith in to save them from the bad guy.

The Middle East—one of the most violent places in the world—is land which is widely considered to be holy. Americans love to talk about freedom and democracy, but will kill and condone oppression to get it. Fanatics blow up buildings full of people and themselves “in the name of God” and believe they’ll be rewarded in heaven for doing so. Fathers and mothers abuse their babies because they regret the responsibility of parenthood. Our educators don’t impart the love of learning in class because either they don’t understand the lessons or are resentful of their salaries. But for every teacher who’s phoning it in, there’s that one who makes an impression on a young mind from time-to-time.

It is in these small ways that an atomic shift can happen which reverberates and resonates throughout the whole of society. This is where true revolution begins. We are confronted with these shockwaves of brilliance quite often, but the world’s attention span for beauty is becoming shorter and shorter. We are quite numb and jaded in that regard. If it ain’t big government, BBC or CNN, we don’t believe that’s It. But It is always around us and we have to power to end it when we choose. It‘s right at our feet, just as plainly as Dorothy’s ruby slippers. While we’re waiting for The Wizard, we miss the minute ways in which we can bring closure to destruction.

There will never be a grand solution to all of our problems. There is no one doctrine that could possibly take into account all of the contingencies. People have searched thousands of years for that and have always come up empty handed. In the interim, they’ve sold you a dream to believe in to make life a bit more palatable. That dream is a lie and, in the end, is more akin to a nightmare.

There is no secret. Nothing is the answer. We are here to live. We are here to be ourselves. When people feel they can’t be who they are, they revolt and take down as many as they can with them. Another’s belief is no threat to your faith. Because your parents didn’t ask you how was your day at school is not the flight attendant’s fault. No matter how much you’ve given—nor how hard you’ve suffered—nobody owes you anything.

Change your life; change the world. The power is not without, but rather, within.

#BAM!

This piece is dedicated with love to my brother, Jimmy Greene, and his family and everyone else who has had to suffer in these trying times.

- Nicholas Payton aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

On Why There’s Nothing New About Newtown . . .

How many innocent kids are murdered abroad daily by our government? We’re not going to implement gun control laws as long as killing is still a part of the American way. America condones violence and violence begets violence.

I don’t care what Obama thinks. How many children’s lives have been lost on his watch?

“Obama has already authorized 283 strikes in Pakistan, six times more than the number during President George W. Bush’s eight years in office, Bergen wrote earlier this month. As a result, the number of estimated deaths from the Obama administration’s drone strikes is more than four times what it was during the Bush administration — somewhere between 1,494 and 2,618.” – CNN

Obama is as guilty as any vicious murderer we’ve seen lately in the news. In fact, he’s worse because, as an individual, he has far more power to kill a lot more people and he’s done exactly that. I’m not moved by his feigned sympathy for the victims and their families.

With all the violence America causes daily around the world, we are fortunate that this country is as relatively peaceful as it is.

Thoughts and prayers ain’t getting us no fucking where. We need people to speak up, out and against the bullshit. We need action. This ain’t just about gun laws or crimes against children. It’s about the general status of the world. The NRA is just a byproduct of a much larger issue. “Faith without works is dead.” I see thoughts and prayers over the Internet daily. Without action, it don’t mean shit.

Mental illness isn’t only a guy who walks into a school and kills a bunch of kids. It’s also the leaders of our country who sleep easy at night knowing they’ve murdered innocent people.  Spirit is mind. So is body. They are 3, yet one.

Everyone is jumping on this mental illness/gun control bandwagon and that ain’t the root of the problem. If we look critically at how most people in the world think, or their lack of the ability to think, a majority of folks would qualify as being mentally ill. Who’s going to deal with the mentally ill politicians and police who kill innocent people daily under the banner of national defense?

People don’t think for themselves. They repeat useless clichés while—ultimately—they remain dead behind the eyes. Fuck love, hugging your kids, praying and all the other mantras it feels good to say today, but tomorrow you’ll be right back to denial and bullshitting yourself.

What’s the answer? Do the work necessary within to contribute to making the world a better place. If everyone cleaned up their own mess, you wouldn’t have to trouble with anyone else’s.  It’s easy to look at these big external issues like they’re the problem, but the real problem is few are willing to do the internal work needed to make the world a better place.

There are no short term or long term goals. The only goal should be to quit lying to yourself and be better.

If we keep trying to put Band-Aids to the skin, the deep wounds underneath the surface won’t heal.

Don’t only grieve or mourn when the media tells you to. This kind of shit happens daily, but the media focuses on it more heavily when mass violence occurs in suburban areas where people live to move away from such craziness. Nobody wants to deal with the things that are hard to hear, but that’s what’s going to have to be dealt with if true progress is to occur.

I grieve for the victims of such violence, but sadly the shit only hits home when this happens in places where it shouldn’t. Obama has the nerve to get on TV and shed faux tears, but does he shed any tears for the innocent kids he kills in his drone attacks? He’s a hypocrite and those of you who believe and support him feed the mental illness.

I didn’t see Obama get on TV and cry about Trayvon Martin or Jordan Davis. He did at least address Trayvon, but I don’t recall him saying anything about Jordan Davis. Guess we can’t mourn the loss of more than one little Black boy per year.

Fuck a tear and a talk. We need action. Y’all can sit back, watch TV and let Obama tug on your heartstrings if you want. He is sick and you are sick for believing the lie. Obama is a cold-blooded murderer and is guilty of killing more innocent kids than who died in Newtown.

From a scientific standpoint of energy, if you go around the world killing innocent kids in other countries, expect innocent kids in your country to suffer the same death. Obama just gave $70 billion to Israel to aid them in killing innocent Palestinian children. Do you think that has no bearing on what happened to those babies yesterday?

I’m not just calling out Obama, but all politicians as well as the citizenry of the American republic at large. If we don’t call our representatives out, they will just serve their own interests.

There won’t be world peace until there is collective inner peace. It is the only way out of these cultural Dark Ages in which we live.

You can’t be a light nor know truth unless you are willing to walk alone and think for yourself.

BAM!

- Nicholas Payton aka The Apostle of The Nitty Gritty