A Line Will Lead You Nowhere -by Nicholas Payton


I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but I am continually shocked by the lack of intelligence displayed by people in this world. People whose only reference for understanding something in the present is the past. I am as hopeful for change as I am resigned to the fact that most folks will continue to live their lives in the dark.

It is sad to me that human beings gravitate more toward reacting than creating. They live in fear of the new. I will admit there is a continuous sense of unease one experiences when you reside in the current moment, but to me, there is no other option. Living a life linearly is death. It isn’t living at all.

Kind Of Blue

In a linear world, more deference is paid to paint-by-numbers than a Picasso. Of course, people universally accept and appreciate Picasso, but only because it’s something they believe they understand, but do they really? Do they really understand the creative space Picasso dwelled in?

I’m more inclined to believe that they don’t really get Picasso anymore than they get Miles Davis. The lives they lead are more in step with the paint-by-numbers person. Real artists think laterally across a wide range of ideas simultaneously, not by an “if A then B” type of process.

Free Play

There is no mold for real living. The true improviser has to be daring enough to dismantle previous modes of thought in order to survive. To accept your current status as the only one is to insure that you will never grow beyond where you are. To believe what happens next will be based on what happened before will diminish your ability to transcend your current position.

People have forgotten what real art and real artists are supposed to do. Art has become a mode of comfort and entertainment for the average consumer. We value medicines that treat the surface and leave with it a bevy of side effects over true holistic healing.

Why does the worldview grow continually more myopic? Who does this serve? True thinkers are supposed to be a threat to the status quo. We live in a society that promotes blending in, shutting up and just doing your job. What message does that send to our young ones?

The New Dark Ages

We live in a cultural Dark Ages. The current trend of watching women fight on Basketball Wives is the new Roman Coliseum. If these “reality” shows aren’t bad enough, they’re peppered with commercials that give us complexes about our beauty, weight and our intelligence. Everything is about a skin care product, how to lose pounds overnight or how to get the education we didn’t receive in our youth. So, basically, we’re all fat, ugly and dumb.

Scaling Mount Everest

Perhaps these are all valid concerns, but how many are really interested in breaking through the BS? We have male legislators making decisions that have an impact on what goes on in the female uterus. Those who are vehemently anti-abortion are typically for capital punishment. More of a fuss is made about animal rights than human rights.

Getting A Leg-Up Over Duality

Life is a series of contradictions: night and day, good and bad, light and dark, etcetera. In a linear world, people lack the overall ability to see life as a contiguous gradient scale. There is nothing wrong with fear. Fear is a basic protective measure. Instinctual fear is healthy, motive based fear is when things get hairy.

We live in a world that celebrates mediocrity and shuns greatness.  We are taught to dim our light to make those around us comfortable.






Don’t lower your leg to put the other dancers around you at ease. Lift that leg as high as possible and make them step up to your level.

Open Your Eyes

If you are honest, you are bound to contradict yourself from time to time. There is a time and circumstance for everything. It’s all about context. When you take something out of its context and distort it that idea dies.

The Empty Glass

Thinking is for the weak minded. Thoughts are like handrails to creativity for those who are afraid to stand alone. The mind is like a glass, it is most useful when it is empty. True knowledge is not something that’s acquired like a possession. In the age of information, data has become one of our greatest liabilities.

Very few want to spend time with things that challenge them, and I don’t mean challenge in an antagonistic way, but rather challenge them to be better. No one wants to spend time with anything anymore. Life is to be savored, not microwaved.

The only way to solve conventional problems is by acting unconventionally.  The truth is offensive in this world. The artist has become archaic. We no longer produce artists, we produce advocates of escapism.

A Slice Of Life

We can’t accept a man who can at once be ignorant and intelligent. We have no capacity for understanding the genteel gangster. Things are either this was or that way, no room for individual expression. A low tolerance for free creative thought has become commonplace and the desire of acceptance is unhealthily high.

Sure, we all want to be loved, but being loved for not being who you really are isn’t love at all. Pandering to the lowest common denominator creates little value. We’d rather create a false system of beliefs than to have faith in the unknown and we attack anything and anyone who seeks to destroy the illusion.

Concentric Circles

Quantity has usurped quality.  Static views are pervasive in this society. It is unimaginable to some that strength and sensitivity can inhabit the same space and the same rate of intensity.

Life is not linear, it’s concentric. Life builds upon itself layer after layer like rings in a tree. Our life doesn’t move away from us as we age, the core essence remains the same. The potential of who we are to become always exists. Our 5-year-old self has the ability to commune with our 50-year-old being, and our 50-year-old being can still access the inner 5-year-old.

Change Makes You Want To Hustle

The thinking non-thinker is able to travel laterally along the lines of his or her life. They are not bound by previous modes of thought. They see information as a means, not an end. The Word and The Truth are living principles that are constantly in a state of change.  To be bound by The Word is to not be of The Word.

Mishools Are Cakes

There is no such thing as a mistake. Mistakes are cool. A mistake is just the truth trying to come out. I say, be open enough to accept what your intuition tells you despite what you think. All great innovation is born of a “mistake,” nothing new has been discovered by trying past modes of thought. Unless you are willing to step outside of the norm, you will never discover who you are as an individual.

Toeing The Line

Lines have always been and will always be limited. Everything in life naturally strives to be circular, thus making linear thinking resistant to the natural patterns in life.

Only when we let go of this current linear mode of thinking that has kept up from realizing our full potential, will we truly begin to live.


– Nicholas Payton aka The Creator of BAM aka The Savior of Archaic Pop

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