Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ten Years After - A Tower Records Story

A short while ago I was reminded that this winter marked the tenth anniversary of the start of Tower Record's liquidation. This period culminated in the closure of its four-and-a-half decades of profitable operation. During the liquidation I authored a few articles about the chains downfall, and was interviewed several times over the course of the crash as well, but I have not directly written about the period since. In light of this funerary anniversary, I suspect that it's as good a time as any to reflect. 

For most of us who worked in the field, and specifically at Tower at the time, the signs were there much earlier. Even in the major markets, where the much higher volume of sales could lead one into a delusion that the situation was not as dire as it was. Still, it was like a cat creeping up on a mouse for quite some time. For years leading up to '06, slowly but surely, corporate policy was being changed from the top down within Tower, and reflected the head office's desire to create a uniformity in presentation and selection in-store that were stemming from a desire to satisfy bond holders and not what we as professionals knew was best for sales. It just didn't feel right.

Other chains had contracted somewhat, and I guess that everyone was hopeful that Tower could do the same. Trim the fat, sell off some real estate, and first and foremost ditch the money-draining outposts, thus keeping the chain in existence. But, contrarily, this decrease in size would make the chain less attractive to a prospective new owner, and the head office was convinced that selling the chain to a new owner was the best solution. However, the debt that the chain was experiencing was, no pun intended, towering, and, in retrospect, there were forces who could benefit from liquidation. One must remember that this period coincided with the start of an overall economic downturn, and the US government was already bailing out home mortgage banks. They would eventually bail out many institutions, including some of the auto manufacturers, but rest assured, they had no intention of bailing out Tower Records.

But it wasn't going to be only Tower employees who got the sack. If one knew anything about the industry it was clear that this implosion would cause numerous distributors and labels to go under, and if they stayed afloat they would lay off the lions share of their marketing and sales staff. The artists would clearly not benefit from this either. All in all, it would be disastrous.

Someone had to stop this insanity, after all, the sales numbers in NYC were only down five percent, but that was a surmountable gambit to tackle with some out-of-the-box strategy and a shift in tactics. Needless to say, when I spoke with a few of the higher ups at some of the biggest distributors, they told me that they were "highly committed" to the digitization of the industry. They explicitly mapped out their vision of the future for me. They were going to cut out all of the middle men, the manufacturers, the retailers, and replace traditional sales with on-line services, so that they could maximize their net on a much smaller price point. The industry gross would die, but they would make a killing without hardly spending a penny to promote their product. Paradise for them, a nightmare for purists.

They told me this, but at the time I couldn't hear it, it just didn't make any sense. In 2005, music retail grossed 12.5 Billion USD. Digital sales were minuscule, and only accounted for about 6% of those sales. Another 8% of sales were on-line, but they were people buying CD's. How could the industry flip so quickly? Downloads had been around a few years already, and they didn't seem like a revolution. Napster had come and gone. There was no shortage of piracy lawsuits. What the hell were they talking about? Sure sales were down, but, as I said, this could remedied. Or could it?

The truth was that the perception was out there that the future was a lock, and the distributors reasoned quite correctly that any reduction in price would allow them to drive customers to shift format. It had been done before, when vinyl was replaced by the CD. Hell, they even got Democrat stooge Chuck Schumer to make public indictments regarding "the unconscionably exorbitant prices of CDs". Who cared about the fact that the money had to be split between the artist, the label, the distributor, and the retailer, not to mention manufacturing, shipping, and sales and marketing costs. In the end they were right, the public didn't care either, and bought the story hook, line and sinker.

For me, 2006 was a horrible year. My mother had been in the hospital for the entirety of the year, culminating in her death shortly before the liquidation commenced. My wife and I had received our second child at the end of '05, a blessing for sure, but the four of us were unable to upgrade to a larger living space from the small studio apartment we had on the Upper West Side of New York City. I had a second part-time job aside from Tower, and at night I was working on my second novel, which along with the first one are both still unpublished, thank you very much.

I had tried to open my own independent record store and club in the early nineties, but at the time shops and clubs were proliferating in NYC like rabbits with too much food. There were so many outlets that it was not an uneasy task to find a Tower employee in New York who had also worked for J & R Music World, Sam Goody, Disc-O-Rama, Virgin Records, HMV, Barnes & Noble, or any of the independent shops that dotted the city. I can only assume this was the same case in other major cities as well. By the mid-nineties it seemed an uphill battle, and by 1999 music industry sales had hit an all-time high in gross revenue, over 15 billion.

When Tower Records began to sink I revived the idea, and I spoke to Russ Solomon, with whom I had an amicable familiarity. I asked him if there was any way to re-organize, or separate, one or two of the stores from the liquidation process. Needless to say, this was a far too last minute ploy to be effective, but in light of the end of the business, companies that were once interested in purchasing Tower were now meeting with me and my partners. I remember with warm fondness when the late great George, from the Broadway department, came up to me with tears in his eyes, grabbed my arm, and repeatedly said, "I know you're trying." It was tough all around, if one was invested, that is.

Anyway, after the store closed its door in finality, I knew that I had to give it shot. We quickly incorporated, got a website up, conceived of a new, sleeker business model, cranked out a series of business and marketing plans, and found a space we could rent. Labels were behind us, and issued letters of endorsement, and we pitched the plan to several venture capitalists. We had no fewer than 10 advisors, an architect, and the pick of the litter for prospective employees. As for myself, I had given the project 12 months to the day to either get the doors open, or I was to move on.

But, the industry was running scarred. The press had joined with the distributor bigwigs and it looked more like rats on a sinking ship than anything else. When I showed people the numbers, they said I must have been mistaken, even though just a month or two earlier downloads only accounted for 1 billion out the 12 billion in the sales the industry was still accruing. In fact, in the year after Tower Lincoln Center closed, Barnes & Noble's flagship store right across the street grossed 95 million. The two remain Virgin locations did likewise. But, if you told anyone of the level of cash being made they would tell you that you were wrong. It was a dead or dying industry. It was like buying a horse after the car had gone into mass production.

To this day people say to me, "Wow, that would have been a great store, you would have done really well". Sure, but for it to be open now and still thriving, we would have needed to have gotten it opened at that crucial juncture, monetized all the product beforehand, and allowed our product lines to diversify. As it was, our model was a six-ring circus, with so much going on, in a much smaller space, that it would have seemed like a non-stop party. Like how Tower was at the beginning, but with a lean, direct spirit. One by one the Nile Rogers of the world, very nicely, balked at the idea until, by November it was down to us and Russ. The goal was now to convince Russ to support the change in the model. I had come to realize that the new entity couldn't simply be a sequel to Tower if it wanted to survive, it needed to be a "next step".

At the time Russ wasn't quite ready for retirement, but the scale of what we proposed was more than he wanted to be involved with. So, in the end he opted to open one small store in his hometown of Sacramento, California. I thought it was a bad move, and that it might not survive, and I told him so. But this is what he wanted to do, and he bowed out, literally just days before my 12 month moratorium was to expire. We, my family that is, had already transplanted to Michigan, and I was traveling back and forth until the day came that I had promised to throw in the towel.

After just two years Russ's R5 Records closed its doors as well, and he and I spoke again. By this time the industry had actually changed, drastically, and the reality was now much closer to the imaginary state people believed it was in just 36 months earlier. Russ admitted that the model that I had proposed to him was the right move, at least for New York, but now it was too late - a feeling that I shared with him. I thanked him for his endorsement of my theoretical correctness and stated in my usual smart-assed facetiousness that "that and $3.55 will get me a latte at Starbucks".

Around the same time I had shifted my own artistic direction from writing novels to screenwriting, of which my current company is a multi-award winner on the global script competition and film festival circuit. In the course of developing several series with my partner I found myself learning to do computer animation, doing graphic design, and most appropriate to this tale, creating music for score. So, for me, that was my evolution of how I could incorporate my love of music into my daily life and employment.

I like to imagine that Millennial's will look back with some retroactive fondness of the scale at which Tower, and the rest of the music retail business, propelled artists careers in the days before the powers that be allowed the music industry to die. Today gross sales do not exceed 7 Billion in the US, about 60% of what it was when Tower closed its doors. In fact, digital downloads still only make up less than half of all sales, not that anyone will believe that data. But, music will always be here, and somehow musicians will still make recordings and play live, so maybe only time will tell how it will evolve and morph in the future.

No Music = No Life

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away

Since the end of the year is nigh, here's a double shot in the Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away initiative. "Little Baby" is a fairly Industrial Music heavy composition, but, silly me, I just couldn't decide how deconstructed I wanted the guitar solo to be. Most of it is post-performance processing in Ableton 9 Suite DAW, but this track also marks my first use of the Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer. So, here's two versions of the track, embedded from the 391 & the Army of Astraea BandCamp page.

And the other...

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Winter Blossoms

It's always refreshing to see a bit of spring-like color when the weather gets increasingly gray and white.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away

Here's a recent piece that attempts to combine Third Stream Film Music with Film Noir Motifs in an electronic context. "Third Stream Noir" is the seventh piece of 391 & the Army of Astraea Bandcamp hosted Gauntlet of Balthazar give-aways.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry wha...On Jews, Judaism, and Zionism

As the holiday season washes over us again this year, and we are all forced to endure the same forty Christmas songs being piped in over every in-store sound system, it can bring someone like myself to reflect on the nature of culture and how religious holidays are expressed by religious majorities versus minorities in our fine nation.

I had no Christmas when I was a child. It was something foreign, which I peripherally knew was fun for other children, but it was also something I had very little understanding of. Like everyone, I saw television shows like "Rudolph" and "Frosty", and even as a little guy, I thought, "These are stories about how everyone should include the misfits of the world. After all, to not do so is just not, nice". This theme of inclusion was usually paired with a metamorphosis within the character arc, and was perhaps even more demonstrative in the programs that did not hold back their overt medieval "conversion play" origin, such as the pence-pinching "Scrooge" and my all-time favorite, the semi-human "Grinch". I saw that the protagonists of these latter two outings were mean, vindictive, and actively attempted to "ruin" the Christmas holiday for the poor, innocent people who just wanted to celebrate it in peace. All good feelings. Mr. Grinch and Mr. Scrooge were clearly the bad guys, but it was okay, because in the end, they were infected, or scarred into, celebrating the holiday with their once and former "victims", and all was right in the end. To this day, I have friends, all of them Christian, who contest that I am being unreasonable in my derision for this propaganda, simply because, in their eyes, the Grinch and Scrooge become "better" people than they were at the start of the tale. To this I must say, "Of course you do", because in the aftermath of the coercion having it's desired effect, those characters are transmuted to playing for the "right" team, clearly the dominant one in our society. And that what it's all about isn't it - "For goodness sake's, what team are you playing for anyway?"

So what team am I on? I'm certainly on the American team, and I'm an artist, so there's that. But there is also some cultural baggage that boarded this train as well, and this is as good a forum as any to delve into it.

I was raised in a Jewish household. Now I know that when I say that, many people might have a number of ideas of what that means, some of which include picturing me dressed in Hasidic garb with side-locks. But to illuminate, we were a modern American family who, though I had a Bar-Mitzvah, placed high in Torah competitions, and we kept a kosher table, the catch was that we lived in a Jewish neighborhood, or as they are known more recently as, "an ethnic enclave", where the context was, even when secular, a Jewish one. When I was very small, because I had so seldom encountered non-Jews, I assumed that there must have been very few of them out there. I made the false assumption that characters I saw portrayed on television must have been Jewish, were played by Jewish actors, and if they looked extremely different, this clearly meant that they must have come from some distant foreign land. To clarify, I did not mean that I thought these people were following religious customs at all, I merely thought that they were part of the majority. A world of Grinches and Scrooges, if you will.

By the time I started High School, I realized that my picture of global demographics were way off the reservation, and I understood that Jews were scattered in small numbers around the world, but they had good numbers in Israel, which was established sometime before I was born. To be honest I didn't think about it much, and to this day I have never visited Israel. After all, the American and artist part kind of leads.

In High School I also began delving into the great philosophers. I had it in my mind that I wanted to understand what all of the competing trains of thought were about. I was quickly influenced by the existentialist and nihilist schools, and in particularly by Jean-Paul Sartre and Friedrich Nietzsche. I was after all a young artist, listening to de-constructed music, and painting, drawing or sculpting every day. Perhaps it was the upbringing of my younger years, but I thought, "these philosophers all seem to be German, French or English...where are all the Jewish ones?" Aside from scholars who focused on religious doctrine, that is.

I remember quite well visiting my local library and asking that exact question. Luckily, I was found by a very helpful staffer who pointed out the seminal work that answered my query. It was Theodor Herzl's "Der Judenstaat", or "The Jewish State", published in 1896. I absorbed the tiny book, and it is indeed slight, simply because the idea was so self-evident. The tract postulated a society in which Jews would be free to be Jews, religious or not, and would not be subject to coercion, scorn, or worse. The book also happened to picture all of this freedom and comfort happening in a politically sovereign nation. The ideal choice for Herzl of where this new state was to be established was an area commonly referred to (by non-Arabs) as Palestine (after the Roman name for the province, itself taken from the tribe which occupied Gaza in about 1100 B.C.E), at the time a province of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. In Herzl's era, the population of the area was still minuscule compared to nations around it (excluding what is now Jordan). A tad over 500,000 with about 400,000 being Muslim Arabs and the others a mix of Jews, Christian Arabs, Armenians, etc. As Jews, we identified this area as the tribal origin point, where a grand swath of often bloody history, littered with impressive architectural structures now in ruins that were once watched over by kings and their armies, regardless of the intervening happenstances. Indeed, the longing for national sovereignty, this core "Zionism", (literally the love of the spirit of Zion, which is manifested in the people of Israel) was also actually a part of Judaism, the religion, in that, religious lore also depicted the Jews returning to this place in the future. So, secular, cultural, and religious Jews could all embrace Zionism.The few who didn't for whatever reason, or even attempted to make the distinction, were clearly at odds with a core belief due to their faith in a conflicting system, such as Socialism, or had embraced an internalized Antisemitism, or they were mentally disabled. Either way, traitors.

By the time I attended college, I was an ardent proponent of Israel's cause, and by that time Israel's population was already about 4.5 million, 20% of whom were non-Jews. But, there were also about 2 million Palestinian Muslim Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza, who my leftist  activist friends informed me suffered under "Zionist Occupation". They attempted to persuade me that there was some distinction between Jews, Judaism and Zionism, one that I failed, and still fail to grasp. How can supporting the idea that Jews should possess a sovereign state be distinct from them as ethnic group, and if the religion also supported the concept as well, then why not? Should the British feel that they do not "deserve" to have a country, because in the past they conquered Ireland, and well, most of the rest of the world? I imagined, "what if the Jews hadn't established Israel, would everything be just dandy for the Jews?" Really? Well, it wasn't going very well in Herzl's time (and after), with pogroms and what we now call "hate crimes" running rampant, so the idea made so much sense that it was self-evident.

Today Israel's population numbers over 8 million, and it now comprises the lion's share of the world's Jewish population, leaving paltry number elsewhere, excluding perhaps in the US. Many opportunities have been extended to the Palestinians to establish their own state, or to make peace with Israel, and they have been "disinclined" to embrace any of these solutions. Why accept a portion of a country you perceive as completely your own? I get it. But this is not the reality. So, the Palestinians continue to live in a fantasy wherein they imagine that they will one day recapture the entirety of the land, and slaughter the Jewish population, or in the most liberal stance, engage mass deportation. On the other hand, for a people who chant the litany that they are "experiencing genocide" on a daily basis, the fact that their population continues to double every few years means that the United Nations, rather than ratifying yet another condemnation of Israel (85% of their actions are anti-Israel, even though Iran hangs people in the street and Saudi Arabia, well, you know all this...) should award the State of Israel with the "Worst Genociders in History" medal. Because clearly, they are quite incompetent in this area. Did the Israeli's not see the films about the Serbs, Rwandans, Cambodians, and Nazis? It's like they weren't even paying attention in class.

If this did indeed ever come to pass, the leftists would undoubtedly tell us that this is the chickens coming home to roost. But this is the worst sort convenient victim narrative reshuffling based on the fact that Jews are in political power in Israel, and like Scrooge, they are perceived as a money-making people, which is the very worst thing for Socialists and Communists. Revisionists will unfailingly always choose so-called "indigenous" (and ideally, impoverished) people to champion, regardless if their ancestors were immigrants as well, and they spend their time on iphones, driving around in Hondas, not engaging in pastoral occupations. The left has made it very clear that they possess an imagined pecking order of privilege list, and heaven help those who they perceive as working counter to their over-arching goal of installing financial dependence and globalization. It probably doesn't help matters that these Euro-Socialists probably don't have to look very far back in their own family trees to find a legitimate Anti-Semite.

Ironically, in Herzl's time, a great number of Jews were indeed impoverished oppressed refugees, and immigrants, migrating from nation to nation, boasting foreign folkways, etc. To me, even now, Jews, or being Jewish psychologically represents being part of a group that stands as the ultimate outsider, the ultimate naysayer. After all, for those of you who are unaware, Jews are a people for whom debate and argument are almost art forms. In relation to the larger culturally dominant monotheistic systems, Jews are the people who said, "no thanks", first to the Christian message, and later, to the Islamic one. I'm sure that this is quite a vexing paradigm to people whose ancestors buckled under and complied with the majority, allowing others the right to inform them of what to think and believe.

For Jews, it's often hard to be Jewish, to be the one who calls B.S., but on another level they, we, feel that we have something that is culturally, sociologically, and religiously for us and only us. We neither need, nor want, everyone to sign up. Quite the contrary, we're not looking to aggrandize, which is why I personally live my life by Groucho Marx's wonderful maxim; "I would never want to part of club that would have me as a member". There is a strength in that. 

Alas, it would be a wonderful world (and I'm not talking about Messianic completion here), if those in the majority did not require or desire compliance, either overt or psychologically couched, since, the compulsion to control is generally caused by one's own lack of confidence in the soundness of one's position. After all, life is not a popularity contest. The Beatles were not great because they were popular, they were popular because they were great. Had they made the same ground-breaking music to a much smaller audience, the fact would remain that their artistry was pivotal. Perhaps people would have been less aware of their contribution, or the effect they had would have been slighter, but the effect and critical acclaim would have still been there.

So, unlike Dennis Prager, I do not respond in kind when wished a "Merry Christmas", simply because I am not required to do so, and do not feel the desire or need to do so. Likewise, I do not, nor have I ever, offered Jewish holiday wishes to pretty much anyone, unless I possess a prior understanding that they do indeed celebrate that specific holiday. So, I guess the bottom line is, feel free to leave me and the Grinch alone. We're doing just fine without the roping in, and hey, maybe if I watch it again the end will turn out different, and he'll have the strength to stick to his guns! Oh, well, maybe not.

Friday, December 16, 2016

My Dictionary; Word of the Day


(ˈkȯrn-bouiss) noun from the Middle English > Anglo-Norman French > from Latin "cornu", meaning horn or tip, and the Middle High German "buoche" - a topographic name referring to someone who resided near beech trees. 

Of or relating to a player position in the recently created game of Tiddly-Ping-Ball. In this sport, the "pitcher" attempts to toss a ping-pong ball at a group of five evenly spaced paper cups, which are progressively filled with cotton "snowballs" as the rounds continue. The object of the game is for the pitcher is to either sink the balls into the any of the cups (1 point), or preferably, to knock over the cups with the ball (4 points), prior to the cornbuce achieving a greater number of "hits" deflecting the ping ball with his wand, otherwise known as the "halberd de cornbuce" (3 points). Rounds of the game conclude when either the pitcher or the cornbuce reach a point count of twenty-one, or earlier if all five cups have been knocked over by the pitcher, signifying an "automatic win". Whichever side cumulatively wins three rounds wins the game.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away

"Anaapotheosis" is the sixth piece of Bandcamp hosted music on the Gauntlet's Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away. It features a synthetically created voice which simulates a melismatic chant constructed in no particular tradition.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Dictionary; Word of the Day


(ˈliɡ-ə-mən-tCHo͝or) anatomical noun / adj. from Middle English via the Latin ligare, "to bind".  Of or relating to an overall area of ligaments within an individual organisms body.

As in, "Though injured, the beast lunged forward with mouth agape, moving far in excess of the physical limitations of its ligamenture".

Monday, December 5, 2016

An Open Letter to George Soros

Dear Mr. Soros, I have watched your remote involvement in global, and particularly American, politics for many years, and I thought at this juncture I would jot down a few thoughts I have for and about you. I expect that it is unlikely you will ever read  this commentary, but as the possibility does mathematically exist that one of your cohorts might bring it to your attention, I shall persist.

George, if I may call you that, I understand that you believe that what you are doing is right, and that you feel you are helping to forge a better world, free of discrimination, where all of us live in equal squalor or mediocre comfort under the reins of bureaucratic administrators, who I'm sure in your opinion, know what is best for the rest of us. It will be like Star Trek, and I can only assume that you are a big fan of Gene Roddenberry's positive-futurist vision of our society's rise to some sort of simulated Athenian Technocracy.

But, as most of us know, in the Star Trek mythos, the people of the world are only able to achieve the lofty goal of one-world government, global peace, and an economy "free of greed" after the two devastating global wars and an alien intervention. Sadly, or rather, fortunately, we have not yet experienced those effects, so even as a fan, I find the notion of a world-wide, all-powerful government frankly terrifying.

We saw in the last few month's those concerns expressed in popular opinion on the global stage, regardless of what the complacent press told us we should believe. Surely, you, and many like you, will continue to frame Brexit, (and Iceland) leaving the European Union as "racist" in the same way that the DNC's puppets attempt to cast President Trump's victory as a "triumph of bigotry". You may try to convince yourself, and the saddened "progressives" who don't understand what you are all about, that this is the case, but deep down you know that the numbers don't lie - the same "enlightened and egalitarian" Americans who voted your man Obama into office, are the very same people who jumped the fence and pushed Trump over the top.

Saying all this, I probably should address the defining item that encouraged me to pen this open letter to you. That issue is the three state election re-count which Jill Stein has been able to negotiate, with your financing, designed I guess, to disqualify enough electoral votes to keep the like-minded hanging onto a hair of hope that indeed, this "horrible nightmare will end". When I first heard that Stein was contesting the outcome in states with the closet margin between Trump and Clinton, it was obvious that this could only benefit Mrs. Clinton, as clearly, Stein was not going to jump from one percent of the vote to winner, and once I heard that she had raised the amount of money to file the injunctions (which was more than she raised during her entire campaign) I knew that you had deposited a nice, fat check into her account.

As I said, I think you believe you are serving justice, but let's look at the facts. You are a billionaire who is working for wealth re-distribution (I assume this means for everyone else, and not your money hidden in the Cayman Islands), you are a Jew who is rabidly anti-Israel (and we can assume on some level self-hating as you yourself describe your childhood home as "Anti-Semitic"), you are an "anti-racist" leftist who finances right-wing racist movements in foreign nations (i.e. the Ukraine) in order to destabilize the central government of countries that you feel betrayed by (no wonder Vladimir Putin wants you in jail, not that I'm saying he is a prince by any means). In concord you manipulate global media and the U.S. government to tell us that Russia is now more of a military threat to the United States than radical Islam. Really? We somehow avoided direct war with the Soviet Union, and then Russia, for literally a hundred years, and you want to orchestrate conflict between us over Syria? I'm sure you and your cronies are working overtime to have incidents occur the day Trump is sworn in so the mess lands in his lap. Is that fair? Just because you think a no-fly zone will "spread peace", it will not. Putin and Assad will not heed it and it will lead to expanding the conflict. Do I like Assad or Putin, No, I do not. But in this case the right side to take is to back up Putin, Assad and Hezbollah, and though I literally hate the latter two in particular, the alternative is the Free Syrian Jihadists, Al-Qaida, and ISIS taking over that nation. Do we really need another country in the region thrown into anarchy only to emerge as an Islamic theocracy?

Look, George, I get it, you have an end game where it all turns out alright. In my younger days I was a type of leftist too (certainly leaning towards anarchy), and I too thought that I knew better than "Joe Six-Pack". We could lead them to enlightenment, whether they wanted it or not, they could be "re-educated". As I grew older, my anarchistic tendencies led me to the notion that true liberty is best served by less government, less controls, and a greater free-flow of information. While I may have been wrong about the last part, with information overload only contributing to the Huxley-esque trivialization of our culture, I am implacable in my belief that globalism of the sort you envision will end up with us all slaves to a cultural / power elite who are your philosophic descendants, and who design to control the world through psychological media warfare in an endless de-enfranchisement / victim narrative.

So, George if you will, please try to take your head out of your convictions for a minute and look around. Your "help" is not wanted. Your illusion of power may make you feel more important than you actually are in reality. You are just a man, who puts his pants on one leg at a time like all others. Your most ardent followers don't even understand half the issues I mentioned earlier, and I expect that you like it that way...a complacent populace who analyzes politics with raw emotions manipulated by you and CNN. I fully expect to see President Trump surrounded by a cabinet comprised of African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Women, etc., and I fully also expect that you, your followers, and the media, will continue to call him racist for the duration, just because it does not compute in your collective heads that you have alienated the "average deplorable voters" out there, and opted instead to elevate your status as a social / cultural elite of "victim identities" who, as I said, know better than everyone else.

Let the "setback" be what is, George. Suck it up and focus on your own life. Maybe a nice meal or two, a massage, you know - actually living, instead of financing unrest and working the conversion machine. Thanks.   

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away

December, December, and it's time for another Bandcamp hosted 391 & the Army of Astraea Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away. Today's track was inspired by a serial re-watching of the X-Men film series, though I think it may have taken on a less specific and more oblique sensibility, after the fact.