15 August 2020

Paradigms Notes: Leaving social media, and how are artists surviving?

I hope this finds you well in these trying times!

This week I decided to remove the Twitter and Facebook links from the Paradigms website.  It's been coming.  I had already closed my accounts on both sites, but I hadn't gotten around to removing the links.  I finally did and it feels good to sever those connections. I removed the Google ads last year and stopped advertising on Google.  Right now Paradigms exists with no advertising at all.

Twitter and Facebook (and their subsidiaries and affiliates) have shown such disregard and lack of responsibility in administering and monitoring themselves, and this for money, that anything I would do that puts money in their coffers at all, I wanted to stop.  From selling users' private information to making secret deals to effect elections, it's clear that there are no ethics involved, just greed.

The other thing I did is I signed up for an ASCAP license.  Paradigms has had a BMI license for years, which means that music on the show is licensed and the artist gets something, probably not much, per play of their music.  Not every artist has a BMI account, some have ASCAP, so by signing up for an ASCAP license it means more musicians will get paid through Paradigms.

The Paradigms revenue stream comes through the Patreon page, which, right now, brings in $65 a month.  That $780 a year is about a third of the cost of putting on the show, maintaining the website, etc. The rest comes out of my pocket, and I earn my money doing therapy and make between $30k and $40k a year before taxes.

Why be transparent about this?  Because while Paradigms is my creation, the support of listeners is part of what sustains it.  Even though the monthly revenue is small it not only helps pay the bills, it helps remind me that people value Paradigms, which is the mission, to add value to people's lives.  The cost of producing the show will go up with the ASCAP license, and as I said, that is money that will go to artists, so worth supporting.

Since Covid the number of radio stations downloading Paradigms from the Pacifica Audio Port has gone from 6 to 50 (some weeks) which means more people are hearing the show.  That is very exciting!

Thanks for reading, and thank you for listening to Paradigms!

02 August 2020

People are the problem, People have the power!

August is the month of a lot of really painful anniversaries for me; murder, death, divorce, hard stuff.  Here we are.

The US is enduring genocide at the hands of the man in the White House.  It's been exposed as intentional genocide and no one has done anything.  He hasn't been arrested.  Not a word from Congress.  Nothing.  Genocide!

What is wrong with people??  We know what's wrong with people.  We know about the dumbing down, the poison food air and water, the toxic electronica, the toxic "entertainment", the political maneuvering to trick people, voter suppression, etc.

Did you know that watching murder is the biggest entertainment in the US?  TV shows and movies all exalt violence, especially violence against women, especially at the hands of men of color. What does it do to people to see that stuff? Over and over...

This is a very sick society, and the problem is people! Smart people, stupid people, nice people, mean people, people are the problem.  Without people this planet would be paradise for all the other life forms here.

I'm not saying we should get rid of all the people.  I'm saying that we the people need to learn to behave decently.  Greed and selfishness seem to be the guiding forces for much of humanity in modern times.  The uber wealthy/greedy are more concerned with their hoards than with the well being of their planet and their species.  That is mental illness.  That's what it all boils down to.  Whether it's a religious war (greed for the souls of people) or oil war (greed for money) or the oppression of women (greed for control) or the genocide of political opponents (greed for power) or any of the other ways we manifest greed, that is the big problem.

I don't have the answer.  I don't know what "the fix" would be.  I do know that the greedy few in power must be brought down, and no one allowed to achieve that kind of despotic power again.  Putin, Xi, Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson, Orban, Duda, Zelensky, Sanchez, and more, should all be deposed and imprisoned for crimes against humanity.  They all oppress and repress the people of their countries.  They practice racism, sexism, ecocide, and wealth hoarding. How can this be acceptable?  How can it be OK that these men, notice they are all men, are allowed to lie, cheat, steal, murder, rape, and destroy, and nothing is done?  They are not held accountable?  It's appalling.

I don't believe in "hope" anymore.  Obama destroyed that word for me by using it to lie to us.  I do believe in possibilities, however, and I know it is possible to create a world that is just and fair and peaceful.  It's got to be!

For anyone out there waiting on divine intervention, YOU are the divine intervention!  You want a miracle?  Look around you at Life.  There are your miracles.  Now, be divine!  Act with the common good in mind.  Help alleviate suffering.  Be your best self!

05 July 2020

Here is why racism is not a mental illness

I’ve been thinking a lot about this question, is racism a form of mental illness? I work in psych so this is something I am thinking about lately, especially.
On the one hand we cannot excuse racist attitudes and actions, even if they are the result of mental illness, and at the same time we want to address mental illness AND racism as societal problems.
I have seen people in a psychotic episode say horrible hateful things including racist things. We have obviously seen people NOT in a psychotic episode saying hateful racist things. So where’s the overlap? And why do some people say those things when they are psychotic but not when that are NOT psychotic, and why do some people say these things when they are NOT psychotic?
I think hating someone because of the color of their skin is the sign of an unhealthy mind. I can’t imagine anything else. It is learned, it is part of unhealthy power/over indoctrination, and it’s based in fear and lies.
The term “mental illness” is so broad, it covers a lot of territory. But back to the question, are racists inherently mentally ill in some way? Is racism a manifestation of some kind of mental illness?
What I am arriving at is that racism can exist in people who both are and are not mentally ill. A mentally ill person who has learned racism might express their racism through their mentally ill behaviors, but the mental illness does not cause the racism. Likewise a person with no discernible mental illness can learn racism and be a racist covertly or overtly not as part of any psychological syndrome.
What are your thoughts?

19 May 2020

Death is personal

Last night I watched on my computer screen as my oldest brother died.  He was in the hospital with Covid, experiencing organ failure.  Our other two brothers and their families were there too, on Zoom.  Adam was unconscious but we talked to him and played some of his favorite Jazz in the background for a couple of hours, then the nurse extubated him, and then he died after a few minutes.

I've been through the deaths of my parents, closest friend, other close friends, lovers, clients, colleagues, and animal friends.  Grief has always been present in my life.

When someone has always been part of your life and then they die it's world changing.

When someone you love is murdered it's a special kind of trauma.  When someone you love is murdered in a genocide perpetrated by the President of one's own country, well I don't have words for that yet.