Friday, December 23, 2011

Drugs. Creativity.


Many of us are familiar with the legendary comic Bill Hicks and his skit about drugs and musical creativity. Here's an excerpt below:

"See I think drugs have done some good things for us. If you don't think drugs have done good things for us then do me a favor. Go home tonight and take all of your records,tapes and all your CD's and burn them. Because, you know all those musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fucking high on drugs, man."

R.I.P Bill...

But are we as familiar with the fact that the writers/creators of popular children's programs also rely on drug use for their creativity?? Well, I may be speculating here, just a bit perhaps, but it's difficult to argue my theory if you read the following summary for an episode of the popular children's show "Dora The Explorer". Shit, even the name of the show sounds like it came from some creative-type person at some drug-den-type party. Anyway, read on and be enlightened.

"Dora tells the Super Babies a story about how the Dream Fairy's golden rooster got locked out of the Dream Castle and couldn't wake her up to deliver dreams at naptime! This sounds like a job for the Super babies!"

No hard drug influence in that huh?

The episode is named "Happy B-Day Babies" and it flows something like this:

Dora meets up with two flying babies. Apparently their capes make them fly....the flying babies and Dora break into a Happy Birthday the woods they encounter a giant baby --literally a giant's baby.....they proceed onward and encounter the giant who is searching for his missing baby....they approach a mountain in the distance that is shaped like a they fly down the hill toward the dragon-shaped mountain, the crew breaks into a "Super Babies" song (pretty catchy tune I might add)....more flying baby stunts ensue (I discover that those aren't capes they're wearing but are actually their blankies)....suddenly and without warning or lead-in, the dialogue breaks into Spanish for an extended period of time....then, they take off in a high-powered, turbo baby cart made for twins (which the Super Babies are)....they encounter a gaggle of small dragons on the dragon-shaped mountain who are singing "eat it it it..." over and over.....some counting in the Spanish language occurs....apparently they achieved something upon completion of the Spanish- language counting because a frog, a cricket and a snail, all playing band instruments, fly by the crew on the back of a small dragon (WTF???)....Dora and the Super Babies arrive at the Dream Castle only to find the golden rooster locked out because the Dream Fairy is fast asleep on the inside....they break into the Dream Castle and manage to wake the Dream Fairy....then the whole crew flies off....on their flying journey, they encounter the gaggle of small dragons again and the Dream Fairy fires a number of chili peppers down upon the dragons, causing them to fall asleep....they eventually pass the giant --who has retrieved his previously lost giant baby-- and she (the Dream Fairy) rifles a cloud containing a bunny rabbit towards the duo.....this causes the giant baby to revel in the mere sight of the bunny (apparently this made something "better" although the show does not explain what that may be).....Dora and her crew continue their flight and it takes them into the woods where there are three baby raccoons --not sleeping....she hurls a cloud full of colored stars at them, causing them to fall asleep at last....the journey comes to a conclusion and the whole group of Dora, the Super Babies, a small monkey (haven't even mentioned the monkey yet, it didn't play a huge role either way) and the Dream Fairy sing a compelling version of a song that I think is called "We Did It" (it must be called that because the lyrics repeat "we did it...we did it...we did it..."), complete with MC Hammer-esq dancing....over and over....the snail, the frog and the cricket, still playing the band instruments, now ride small unicycles by the crew(???) as the song is in full swing.

The end.

No drugs involved in that shit???



Thursday, December 22, 2011

You mess with the bull, you get the horn

Happy Holidays to you my uber-intelligent readers!!

Northampton really comes alive during the holiday season. It's really a beautiful city where people like to come to buy things, eat, be entertained, and even live. Not that we who live here can easily retain our sanity while navigating through severely congested streets during the holidays or anything. The streets tend to be chock full of pedestrians in a shopping frenzy and vehicles driven by soon-to-be-pedestrians, looking to park somewhere in order to get themselves into a shopping frenzy.

That said, it is a wonderful time of year in a wonderful city!

But why do people have to lean on their horns when they can't move in bumper-to-bumper traffic??

I was attempting to turn left on to a side street of Main St. (bad move) and, of course, could not budge due to congested/frenzied traffic. I tried to make the left a couple times but would have lost the front of my car if I followed through with the turn. A person behind me in a big tough truck simply did not need my ineptitude. He (I looked) leaned on that fucking horn as if his life depended on it. As if that would make the traffic preventing me from turning left "get motivated" and move??? As if it would allow him to proceed to his destination faster by the strength of that horn noise??? Well, it got me to thinking about the psychology of leaning on your horn rudely when you can't move in traffic.

Why do it? Why not just wait your turn?

You're only voicing your lack of patience, self control and discipline while displaying your frustration to the immediate world. Your horn cannot magically make cars disappear or force other drivers to maneuver their vehicles through physical obstacles such as cars, trucks and humans. Your horn does not "send a wake up call" to all of us supposedly slow-witted drivers who are impeding your journey. No my dear horn-leaners of the world, all it serves to do is to make you look like a childish, red-faced, selfish, rude, and frustrated, idiot.

So, how about just being patient? If you're a chronic horn-leaner, how about just not doing it during the holidays? Just a thought...

Ok...that's it for now. Remember to breathe, relax and enjoy the holidays. You'll get your shopping done in due time. And remember, we all have a right to the roadways of the world.

And stop leaning on your fucking horns!!!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Hi reader.

Just gonna drop a good ole' fashioned rant/rave on you today. You're welcome!


Holiday shoppers @ The Holyoke Mall. Wow. Just "wow".....I'm traversing my way through droves of frazzled, rushed and obnoxious last-minute shoppers --like myself-- and I was just amazed at their "focus". I'm maneuvering around with a VERY heavy item in my hands, trying to get to my vehicle when a man who seems to be looking right at me as he nervously walks in bee-line fashion towards whatever-the-fuck destination he's going to in the mall, almost walks straight into me. He seemed to have no soul. I glanced at his hollow eyes, burnt out from holiday shopping pressure and a subconscious focus compelling him to arrive --quickly-- at his destination. Well, despite me lugging this very heavy item around, I was forced to side-step him as he plowed ahead on his course, even though I would surely have knocked him over had I not dodged him. He just had to get to the next store....the next purchase....and nothing --including a guy with a very heavy item in hand--was to stop him on this day. There were about fifteen more, similar episodes I dealt with en route to my car in the parking was really fucking "fun". I won't even mention the environment in the parking lot. It reminded me of what true, uncivilized nature once was. And currently is during the holiday season, at The Holyoke Mall.



Now, good ole ZFJ needed to go purchase a particular supplement that cleanses the system for a short period of time and I knew just where to go. Never mind what the supplement is dammitt!...Anyway, I had remarked to some friends the other night that I was going to get down to Supplement Zone in Springfield because they're the best, and will have what I need. I joked half-heartedly that the owner, who is famous for remembering every customer's name and basic needs, would probably remember my name even though I hadn't been there in three years. I also commented on how he runs such a personalized, attentive, smart and successful business due in large part to his uncanny memory, personable nature and sincerity. But there's no way he could remember my name since it has been so long, right? Today, I walk in the store and Bob (the owner) says "Hi John! It's been are you doing??" After picking my jaw up from the ground, I mentioned the conversation I had with friends about him and how he remembers names etc. He replied with "wait, wait...last". Blew my mind, once again.

That folks, is how you do it!!

Oh yes, one more shameless plug before I go:
(Venue I'm booking...get familar with this new blog, thanks)



Monday, December 19, 2011

The Psychology of Dolphins


Oh, it's been a while my friendly readers...been rather busy as of late. Handling booking for a sweet-ass Northampton live music and arts hot-spot, among other things. Check it out:


Yesterday, on a Sunday that brought the grim awareness of what now is known to me as "my most hated commercial of all time" -the one where the family hums Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" while driving in their SUV ... On a Sunday that I witnessed the Packers losing their first game of the season and the Colts winning their first of the season..A Sunday that saw me turn two Pick 4 sheets into drink coasters before the 4:00 games even started...a day when I watched in horror as Drew Brees ended my relevancy in Fantasy Football 2011, showing me the door with his 54 point display-at-my-expense. Yes dear reader, on a Sunday that brought me another Miami Dolphins victory in a lost season and another AFC East title from the New England Patriots, unfortunately...I realized something. Why, even a new Iron Chef was crowned yesterday! Congrats to Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian (aka Bad Mother Fucker) --no that's not what I realized...t'was a good day indeed.

And I finally was able to express in words, my Psychology of the Miami Dolphins. That IS what I realized.

I think that watching the Dolphins crush the Bills yesterday, earning their fifth victory in their last seven games, combined with all the buzz about them searching for a head coach who could be "The Next Don Shula", forced a clarity into my soul pertaining to the plight of The Miami Dolphins. This new-found clarity made me believe that I could now express this to someone dear to me.

It started in 83'. Th Dolphins had a hot-shot rookie Quarterback named Dan Marino who stepped into the starting role after six games and never looked back. They made the playoffs that year but got beat by the Seattle Seahawks (now in the NFC). In 84' Marino went on to break six NFL Passing records including twirling 48 Touchdown passes and passing for 5,084 yards (as of this writing, that record still stands). Marino is named NFL MVP and the Dolphins make it to the Super Bowl only to lose to Joe Montana and the San Fransisco 49ers. In 85' Marino led the Dolphins to the AFC Championship game. En route to this achievement they defeated the Chicago Bears. This is notable because the Chicago Bear only lost that game all season. Miami remained as the only team to go undefeated through an entire season (includes Super bowl). Unfortunately, Miami was defeated in the AFC Championship game by the upstart New England Patriots (before they were a dynasty team) and their season was over. They surely could have handled the now-legendary Chicago Bears team of 85' than the Patriots did in the Super Bowl, and I can't help but wonder how things would have gone if they ever gave Marino a premier Running Back and a stout defense? If they faced the Bears that year rather than the fucking Patriots?? If Dan Marino won that Super Bowl, how many more could he have won now that he would have tasted that sweet Super Bowl victory???

More about Marino, from Wikipedia:

Either way, Dan Marino never did win his Super Bowl and when Hall of Fame Head Coach Don Shula retired, he was replaced by the legendary head coach Jimmy Johnson. Johnson had led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl victories in the early 90's and was a system-building disciplinarian. Things were looking good! With a quarterback like Marino and a proven winner and system-builder for a coach we couldn't lose. But while Jimmy inherited a powerful offense, albeit with no real running game, he also inherited a very lackluster defense. Eventually through high-level drafting and vision, he was able to establish the effective running game and strong defense that would compliment Marino, and could also win Super Bowls.

But this was "Marino's" team. Not Johnson's team, as it should have been.

Team philosophies were designed for Marino. The playbook had to cater to his lore and skill set before anything could a visionary like Jimmy Johnson create his winning team when he was pressured to cater to Marino's vision for the offense??? Inevitably through years of mediocrity that would follow, and the pressure of a deteriorating relationship between Johnson and Marino, Johnson retired and Marino did also retire shortly afterwards.

Here's more about Jimmy Johnson, from Wikipedia:

Then, Dave Wannnstedt took the reigns of the Dolphins and here's basically how it's gone since:

softie coach
weak attempt at getting a good QB
lame QB's
more dull coaches...
guess what, more bad QB's and head coaches
shit poopie crap
some good players on board..
shit QB
bad defense
shit RB's..
dullard QB
shit sHIt
poopie shit crap....$#%$@^@#$#@!!!

But now, things are buzzing again and they're looking for a leader. Not just anyone...they already found a leader for the playing field. One who just needed an opportunity to shine and did so. Mr. Matt Moore. I hope they let him continue with it. Yes lovely reader I feel that now, they want to be great again.

At least I'm still hoping...and things are buzzing all around.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Pavlovian Response

Hi there.

An excerpt from Wikipedia:

"The original and most famous example of classical conditioning involved the salivary conditioning of Pavlov's dogs. During his research on the physiology of digestion in dogs, Pavlov noticed that, rather than simply salivating in the presence of meat powder (an innate response to food that he called the unconditional response), the dogs began to salivate in the presence of the lab technician who normally fed them. Pavlov called these psychic secretions. From this observation he predicted that, if a particular stimulus in the dog's surroundings were present when the dog was presented with meat powder, then this stimulus would become associated with food and cause salivation on its own. In his initial experiment, Pavlov used a bell to call the dogs to their food and, after a few repetitions, the dogs started to salivate in response to the bell."

(It's fun to learn about conditioning

It's also important that we all learn about conditioning in our environments and surroundings. We should try to identify things we may have been conditioned to, and may even be unaware of. You know? Ever react a certain way when someone said a certain thing in a certain type of manner? It happens at home, at work, with family or even with no other person involved. Whether intentional or happenstance, when the stimulus is issued it sparks an automatic reaction of some form in us. For example, in my life it happens when my roommate makes his way to the bathroom for a shower and sings Rick Astleys's, "Never Gonna Give You Up".

See, Matt's been singing this for almost a year when this event of heading to the shower occurs. (See for some background info). No big deal there right? It's just a good-humored song. A song that makes me cringe now because it is delivered by a short, hairy-backed lunatic with a towel wrapped around his midsection...go ahead, picture that shit. Many people in my life know of this terrible thing he does. Some of them even laugh at this attempt on my sanity. Well people, it's changed a bit.

The other day I realized that Matt is now singing the tune differently. He is now singing the melody to the song IN A LANGUAGE THAT I BELIEVE DOES NOT EVEN EXIST. Correct reader, you did read that right. I had already become so conditioned to this that I developed a terrible nervous reaction in the form of cringing/"aaargh!"/feeling of isolation from the world, when it happens. Discovering this high-level conditioning attempt in a fake language was a shocking discovery for me. But even more shocking was the fact that I had not noticed the made-up language for almost a month.

Apparently I had become so conditioned to the Rick Astley stimulus that my conscious mind repressed the fact that it was now being sung in a language never heard before. My conscious mind simply issued the same reaction as if it was being sung in English (the reaction of cringing/"AAAARGH"/feeling of isolation from the world). Regardless, am I "ok" with people attempting to evoke that terrible nervous reaction by singing that song? No, I am not. Am I "ok" with it being sung in a pretend language?? NO. No way.

But when I mention to Matt, attempting to make light banter out of it in hopes it may stop someday, I'll say something like "hey man, that's really funny...making up a new language and all when singing Never Gonna Give You Up..." etc. He responds with "I don't know what you're talking about...". So, he is either pretending that he's not really using a faux-language to continue his mental torment campaign against me, or he actually isn't singing it in a silly, made-up language but I'm hearing it that way. Due to the high-level conditioning attack he's employed to date, my mind is so fucked up that, at this juncture, I can't really tell.'s working....


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The road to glory ain't paved in gold

Here's a little thought train for your Thursday reading pleasure.

Last night, I drove Robert back to his home-base feeling very accomplished after a fantastic writing session for our upcoming new album. Of course, we had a scheduled stop at Taco Bell. Readers, I want to tell you about the Taco Bell "Steak Stack" now. Because It is bliss. Pure, raw, greasy bliss.....layers of "steak-material" lovingly embraced by layers of "cheese-material" all in an easy-to-eat-and-chew type of "pita bread-material"....simply delicious, simply decadent. On the way back to my base camp/recording facility, I had 102.1 FM on in the vehicle because my ipod, after waking up the other day and letting me listen to music, went back to sleep for a bit...I guess. Anyway, I enjoyed a couple jingles for local businesses on the short trek home. One was for O'Reilly's auto parts, and was pretty darn good. It had a nice cheesy melody to it and a catchy hook. Kudos to O'Reillys auto parts for that decent jingle!!! Then, I heard the jingle for "Sleepy's" (Mattresses) and it almost brought me to tears. "Sleeep-ieeees....for the rest of your liiiiiiife"! It hit me passionate! So romantic! ....just absolutely soul melting....I will surely consider them for my next mattress purchase considering the power of their jingle and the way it hit me this night.

Anyway, I arrive at my home-base facility and proceed to "tee-off" on the Taco Bell while enjoying another episode of "Restaurant Impossible" --which doesn't seem too impossible because musclebound Chef, Robert Irvine, seems to be able to turn every restaurant around to profitability, while also turning the restaurant owners very lives around for the better, every time. I flip a few channels and inevitably come across yet another news story about college football coaches molesting and/or having inappropriate relations with young athletes they are coaching. It caused me to reflect on a point that my administrative team and I had been debating/jesting on earlier in the evening.

Why do so many college coaches/coordinators insist on molesting/hooking-up-with/fondling/going-to-the-movies-with and/or generally diddling college athletes who they coach?!?

Hey College Football coaches and coordinators! Will you please just coach football?!? Please?!? Can you please lay off the young-leathery-stud-athletes in your charge?!? Please?????

We wondered, considering how difficult it is to work your way up to one of these positions --which requires hard work, sacrifice, "vision", determination, experience and more--, are they working their way up in order to be in positions of authority to young athletes so they can molest and diddle these young men? Like, is it their "vision" to hold a coordinator/coach position so they can consistently be around these young men when they're showering, dressing and, of course football-ing? Or is it something that evolves over time with the given influence and power they have over these young athletes?

We decided it must be the latter.

We imagine that the evolution goes something like this: At the late-afternoon practice session, a defensive back misses a tackle compelling the coach to bark a command of, "Hey number thirty five!! You miss that tackle again and you've got 20 laps around the practice field my friend!!!"....or perhaps, "Number sixty two!!! You better learn how to block that defensive end or you get no gravy for your mashed potatoes at the team dinner tonight!!!"......"Eighty three!!! Hey! Hey you! Listen to me, you drop one more pass and it's cold water in that shower for a week!!! C'mon!...Catch that fucking ball number eighty three!!"...on and on.....but over time, as they grow accustomed to their power, you may start to hear this shit at practice: "Hey you! Number Thirty five!! You miss that tackle again and I'm gonna shove your face in that hot gravy at the team dinner"......or, "hey seventy seven!! Either you hit that block or I'm gonna slap your ass with a hot towel in that shower!!!", for example. As their comfort level with this power and influence continues to evolve, we may begin to hear commands and discipline such as: "Goddammit number twenty two! You either learn to block or I'm gonna get the Papa Smurf costume, and you're gonna get the Smurfette wig!! Comprende amigo???".....or maybe something like, "Hey quarter back!! You'd best hit that open receiver down field next time or I'm gonna smear hot gravy on your lame ass in the shower after practice!!".....and as they grow even more comfortable with their power and influence, commands may evolve into: "Hey! Number thirty five! Yeah you! Git over here!!! You missed that tackle again and now I'm gonna caress your balls and dick in that shower after practice for 45 minutes!!!".....or, "You!! Yeah you number forty four!!! Dammit. I'm tired of you biting on the play action pass....I'm gonna strip yer sorry ass naked and slap that pink, furry dog leash around your neck! Then I'm gonna parade you around the shower room while wearing a Tinkerbell outfit, with the ass cut out of it, while singing "Hurts So Good" from John Cougar Mellencamp!! Then, I'm gonna spank yer ass, smear hot gravy all over yer lower back and butt-bang you til' them cows come home!!! How do ya like that?!? That'll teach ya how to defend play action ya punk...yipeeeeee!!!"

You get it?

We think this is the most logical explanation for why college coaches and coordinators keep messin' round with their young, leathery, studly football athletes. I mean, we get it, what do you want them to do over there?!? They're only flesh and blood and they have such influence and power in their positions. You expect them to control that shit?!? Once again, flesh and blood people....they consistently have to see these athletes all lathered up in the shower and they just can't control that shit anymore. They just can't take that shit over time. And we all can't control their desire for young-college-athlete-ass, so it all adds up to be a real problem, apparently. Just please stop it. Really. Please stop.