My Stories, Stupidity

COVID-19

There’s an evil virus that’s threatening mankind
From Virus by Iron Maiden

Yeah, I know, the Maiden song is using virus as an analogy of the ills that the two faced elites and backstabbers do to society. Regardless, the song highlights a troubled society and we are living in troubled times.

COVID-19 is spreading around the world and people are scared.

I’m due to go to London, Mallorca and Munich at the start of April with two of my boys for a football tournament. And there is no travel insurance for a pandemic. Although the virus hasn’t been classed as one yet, it’s getting close.

There also isn’t any insurance for travelling when a virus is circulating. Yeah there is some grey wording around it, like, “if you took out the insurance policy before it became a known event, you might be covered”, but I’ve worked in insurance and policy of the insurance companies is to deny all claims from the outset. Then if people persist with appeals, they will revisit the claim, and try to wear down the people, hoping that they give up.

Viruses are contagious based on their R-nought rating, and the R0 rating of COVID-19 is 2, which means that for each person who has it, another two more people will get infected. And looking at people who are coughing in a strange way doesn’t help the situation, as people who are not coughing are as contagious.

And no one cannot escape this or buy their way out of this. It’s something we will need to face and a mask will not do the trick nor will the riches of a person.

The public is scared, panicked and fearful. And Governments like fear, because fear is control,

On the way to paranoia
From “Hardwired To Self-Destruct” by Metallica

We live in a world where facts don’t matter.

So social media spreads the paranoia even more with disinformation mixed in with facts to suit the narrative. People start panic buying, because its every person for themselves. And the ones who need it most, the sick, have no supplies, because all of the hospital gear comes from China and all imports are stopped or delayed for 14 days.

Yet, millions of people would die from smoke related illnesses, a motor vehicle accident, a cancer or heart related complications then they would die from this virus.

China was first, then Japan, then a cruise ship, then Korea, then Italy, then Iran and the rest of the world is slowly getting cases. And how the hell did the patients of a hospital that caters for the elderly in Washington State get it. In Australia, the virus entered via the returning citizens from Italy, Iran and China.

Dean Koontz even wrote about a biological virus called “Wuhan-400”, manufactured by the Chinese to kill humans. It appeared in a book he released in 1981, called “The Eyes Of Darkness”. It’s another event of fiction mirroring real life, sort of like that Simpson episode that had Trump as President in the future.

So, once again, we are on our own.
I don’t want to live forever but I don’t want to die

From “Live Forever” by Black Sabbath

To a pandemic.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity

What’s A Person To Do?

Some people are just bad people. Some people get away with their crap. Some people think they’re getting away with their crap but aren’t. Some are takers and some are givers.

And it all doesn’t balance out, no way.

The Governments still don’t care about global warming or gun violence and Corporations still have their fingerprints all over legislation and trade agreements.

You can complain all day, but it makes no difference, you have to decide who you want to be, grow up and make your own choices.

It’s like Sammy Hagar said in “Mine All Mine”, “you’ve got Allah in the East, you’ve got Jesus in the West, Christ, what’s a man to do?”.

And once upon a time it was about supremacy of race and religion. Now it’s about status supremacy and likes supremacy. And people are fighting over about what side they want to be on. To paraphrase a line from the excellent Netflix show “Ozarks”, would you rather be the one holding the gun or running away from the gun.

And it’s probably a bad phrase to use with all the talk about gun violence and gun control in America but life boils down to control.

As long as we have to answer to somebody, then we have no freedom. And that somebody can be an employer, a partner, a lending company, a credit card company or the taxation department or utilities company.

Regardless of your place in society, be grateful. Because humans are made by nature to survive and produce, so if you are living you have done okay.

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Music, My Stories

Music And Life

I couldn’t imagine life before the TV much like my kids today can’t imagine life without the internet and everything being available.

Anyone who was around at the beginning of the MTV revolution, would have purchased a guitar or some other instrument. That’s what I did.

I bugged my Dad to buy me a guitar so he got me a classical guitar with the hope I could learn to play classical songs. He paid $15 for a 30 minute lesson with a man called Niccolini, who instead taught me how to play metal and rock songs because I asked him to.

And Niccolini, man he could play. He had the longest fingernails on his right hand and I was in awe at his classical playing. But I was a metal head.

I used to tell Niccolini which songs I would want to learn, he would then go away and learn those songs and then at the next lesson he would show me. But I also took lessons, to get the techniques right. I’m big on foundations. If the foundations are not right, everything else that comes after is not right either.

And I would fool my Dad by playing metal and hard rock songs in a classical way. Like anything from Randy Rhoads or Yngwie Malmsteen.

And music was my everything, something the generation of today doesn’t get. I talked about artists the same way people talk about tech devices today and their social media status.

And my record collection was a source of pride. I played them through and through. They are part of my DNA.

I used to have the collection under lock and key, in an alarmed room because once upon a time, if someone broke in, they would steal part of the collection. I couldn’t have that happen. Today, they’ll walk straight past it and go for the tech.

Music is part of my life. It will always be.

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Music, My Stories, Stupidity

Ripped Off

Cause it’s a rip-off
We’re stepped on and cheated
We’re flat stone cold lied to
The Dream Is Over from Van Halen

Pretty soon I will be begging for people’s change.  I swear getting medical treatments is like getting robbed. In the last two days, I have given $540 for medical services.

A Throat Specialist cost me $200 for a 8 minute appointment. A Dentist appointment for some fillings costs $160 from my Private Health Fund (which I also pay $160 a fortnight for) and $240 from my pocket. X Rays and Ultrasounds on my shoulders cost another $100 out of pocket expenses, while the place also billed the government via Medicare.

And to top it all off, the Dr goes, “I don’t believe it’s a problem but we will follow up in 12 months time with another ultrasound.” It’s all about treatments. It’s where the money is. If you are cured, then the pharma’s are challenged with their business models.

And all because of a Dr’s fear of being negligent, so they monitor. It’s all about prestige, brand damage and insurance. No one wants a tarnished name. Especially in our social media world where everyone wants to be liked.

If you feel so angry
So ripped off, so stepped on
You’re not the only one
Riot from Three Days Grace

No wonder drug dealers have a nickname that involves Doctor. There is no difference in the money outlay. Pay $540 to a drug dealer and he’ll be called Dr Feelgood and on the watch list of every law enforcement. Our Doctors take from the government and from us, they double dip, it’s thievery at its best and it’s allowed, celebrated in fact.

Our banking system bills dead customers for advice fees they received in the grave and their CEO’s get paid multi million salaries while the companies they oversee cheat, lie, thieve and break the law at every turn. All in the name of making money, reaching a target, a figure that someone put out there as a sign of growth. Lower and Middle class people do time for theft, while banking CEO’s take home millions in pay for theft.

Society is a mess and it’s not going to get any better. It’s all because of the value and status people attach to money. It’s borderline suicidal. Everyone wants more of it, and no one wants to lose it or spend it.

Everyone wanted to be a rock star, but being a rock star once upon a time meant pushing boundaries, going against the grain, sticking it to the boss man and living a free spirited lifestyle. Then came MTV and the bossman started sticking it to the rock star. Then came Silicon Valley and the techies sticked it to everyone.

Wall Street wouldn’t have it and for a brief period, bankers made more dough than the techies, but the GFC told us why the bankers made so much. And how many CEO’s went to jail after the GFC. None. Zero. They went on speaking tours to the colleges and are now in government.

Financial Loss Story

Private Health Insurance Increases

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A to Z of Making It, Music, My Stories

Results

Someone said to me “Nothing matters except the result”. And it got me thinking. For a result to be earned, what needs to happen before hand?

Remember in math tests, you would get marks for showing your workings even though the result could be wrong. For some reason the math marking system doesn’t translate into the adult world. Maybe it does in some utopian workplace. Who knows, the world is vast and I am just one.

If it’s a football team, what do they need to do to get a result?

A team cannot exist without a sense of co-operation and community. They need to trust in each other to do their individual tasks and each player needs to contribute the relevant part needed to get the result. They need to be confident, have enjoyment in the process and hopefully by performing at their imperfect best each week, the output is quality. On top of that, you have the coaches preparing the team and the families supporting their loved ones.

So in order to achieve something that matters, to achieve a result, we need to do it with people we care about and a lot of things need to line up.

So the saying “nothing matters except the result” is not really correct because in order to achieve a “result”, suddenly all of these other things matter more than the results because if they are not carried out with a certain degree of quality, no result would be achieved.

So imagine a music business executive saying to an artist, nothing matters except the sales or listens.

The connection a fan makes with the music and the artist doesn’t matter. The community built around the artist and their songs doesn’t matter. The community built around a scene doesn’t matter. The quality output that happens daily doesn’t matter. The time spent away from loved ones doesn’t matter. The support of other artists, songwriters and families doesn’t matter. All the hours the artist spent in the dark to get to the light doesn’t matter. Rather than treating the artist as an asset that companies should invest in, artists are seen as costs that should be minimised. The trust in the record label to promote the artist and make decisions in the best interests of the artist is also not important.

Hell, its 99% like that in the corporate world. A $20 pay increase a fortnight for the workers while the workers slave away building someone else’s dream. All because we lack confidence and are fearful of failure. It’s even more so when we have children who rely on us. Only the self-centred focused individual can throw away their family to build their own dream or the family throws them away to let them work on their dream. Some find a balance, but not a lot.

Whatever is the case, I know I am surrounded by people who focus on the result. And it’s a shame. When you explain all the things that need to be done to get the “result” you are labelled as an excuse maker, someone not showing enough leadership. Seriously people have a flawed definition of what leadership is or they have a strict dictionary view of leadership. But leadership is a word that needs to be unpacked and explored.

Then again, if showing leadership is doing the same thing and expecting a different result then I would rather not be part of that group. People have made millions from selling books on 10,000 hours or repetition to be a master. Its common sense that if you practice something for a lot of hours you will get good at it. But it doesn’t mean it will bring in the funds you desire. Being an expert doesn’t correlate to success. But for people who focus on the results, it does.

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My Stories, Stupidity

Money, Money, Money

I have been listening to Machine Head’s “Bloodstone and Diamond” and “Unto The Locusts” albums a fair bit lately along with Serj Tankian’s solo albums “Elect The Dead” and “Harakiri”.

To me, Robb Flynn and Serj Tankian are great writers that take a stance on an issue and put their viewpoints out there. The music business is lacking heroes like these. A lot of musicians just seem to be sitting on the fence. Jon Bon Jovi is singing about moving mountains while Serj Tankian is singing about drum fish and blackbirds committing hara-kiri.

Serj Tankian’s “Elect The Dead” album came out in 2007 before the GFC. It has the same themes on that album that “The Circle” and “Wrecking Ball” from Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen that came after the GFC.

What a great inequality divide we live in. The mega wealthy artists need to hear and read about financial corruption after the fact to write about it. It just goes to show how much they are wrapped up in their own bubble to see how the real battler is really doing. While the wealthy got bailed out by the government and went on speaking tours, the working class lost their houses and their livelihoods.

Even though Serj Tankian is known and recognisable  his lifestyle is nowhere near that of the blockbuster duo from Jersey. But his reach and impact might not be far off.

Artists have the power to spread the truth in world where misinformation rules, however a lot of them choose to not do so. They conform so that they don’t upset the powerful ones just in case they are excluded from the social circle.

“Money isn’t everything” is a common catch-cry but the truth is we live in a money economy.

It’s the number one aspiration. My sons third class play from last year was about what they would like to be when they grow up. Some wanted to be famous at a sport they liked and some just wanted to play video games. But, the majority of the kids, especially the girls, all wanted to be rich. It looks like that’s the new norm now.

The belief is that if you’ve got money, you’ve won and no one can say a bad thing about you. The dirty little secret is that it actually costs money to save/make money. If you don’t have any money, how can you save money. The simple math is $0 in money equals $0 saved.

Now if you earn a wage and have $10 a week lying around, you  might put that into a savings account. By the end of the year you would have saved $520. Over the course of 20 years, you would have saved $10,400, Sounds great. However, I am pretty sure that something will come up that will need you to dip into these savings. Dental care for your children, costs around vehicles maintenance or some other urgent event. You could get sick, take extended leave without pay and then there goes that $10 a week saving plan.

Seriously if you work for a company with a lot of employees with different ethnicities, how many conversations do you overhear or are involved in when people just say the words “we can’t afford to do [something]”. And it confuses the fuck out of me when they say that they have created a budget, crunched the numbers and made a decision that something they want to do is not affordable.

So what’s the point of the budget?

Isn’t a budget put in place so that you can AFFORD to do something that you like?

To me it looks like we are all putting budgets in place to live within our means. That is why the rich get richer and the working class remain poor.

Isn’t that sad that we have come to this situation in life. Crunching numbers over our quality of life and then purchasing a lottery ticket when the jackpot is astronomical, hoping that the rays of luck will shine down on us.

I for one am terrible with managing money and saving money. I am sure I am not the only one in the world, but we all hide it and pretend that we are better off than what we really are.

While we see losing in sport as acceptable, we don’t have that same viewpoint when it comes to money. In the money game we see winning as the only acceptable outcome.

But money alone doesn’t give you a reach that art/music can provide and that is where I will leave you today, with some words from Robb Flynn, heard in the song “Darkness Within”.

Fill your heart with every note, Cherish it and cast afloat, ‘Cause god is in these clef and tone, Salvation is found alone, Haunted by its melody

Music it will set you free
Let it set you free

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Copyright, Music, My Stories, Stupidity

I Wanna Be Sedated

“Nothin’ to do and nowhere to go I wanna be sedated”

My youngest son had a big spew last Wednesday night. Then from Thursday to Monday he was running a temperature as a chronic barking cough was developing. Children’s Panadol was ineffective and on Sunday we reverted to children’s version of Nurofen. Finally by Monday afternoon we had his temperature under control.

By Sunday my middle son had also developed a cough that was nasty and by yesterday afternoon I too had an uncomfortable cough.

Now add to that mix the fact that my wife has been ill in some form or another for the last eight weeks. Furthermore I also have my wife’s parents living with us while they build their house and they have been ill much in the same way my wife has and it was no wonder that my eldest son said that our house is like a hospital ward.

So at the moment I have antibiotics for my youngest son, my middle son and for myself. My wife called and said that she will be going to the Doctors as well.

“They call us kings, then watch us fall down broken”

I can’t deal with illnesses that go on for this long. It stresses me to death. I already take three lots of tablets for hypertension. I feel broken and depressed. I just laid my youngest one to bed after a twenty minute cough attack. I feel exhausted. What kind of superhero king am I?

“Wine is fine, but whiskey’s quicker”

It’s easy to do but what about the morning after. I have to be there for my children. Actually the “Suicide Solution” lyric is from Bob Daisley but no one will remember that in the future as history is always written by the ones who have power. Sort of like how the current Bon Scott biopic was threatened with copyright infringement as AC/DC and the Bon Scott estate didn’t like the fact that they didn’t have control over it. Much in the same way as the Jimi Hendrix biopic. There is a saying that the ones that control the narrative are the ones that control people’s minds. And that is so true and evident in the times of today.

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