Saturday, October 3, 2009

Art in the Schools

I rather wonder what would happen, Gregory, if all of the "artists" in our community volunteered two hours of their "art" into area schools every quarter.

It seems that so many of your self-proclaimed artists lament the loss of "art in the schools", then get stuck pointing fingers and trying to affix blame for the problem, and responsibility for the solution. Yet another manifestation of your Other-based perspective.

If every artist in this area gave two or three hours of art instruction every three months of the year, there's a good chance your schools would be overwhelmed. In a good way of course, but they would initially be overwhelmed if such an outpouring materialized as quickly as it could.

Imagine - musicians, sculptors, crafters, painters, those who draw, computer artists, and on and on. Just two hours every three months.

Look Again, Gregory. There is only Opportunity.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wow... the day in court

This morning we went to traffic court as a witness for the State Trooper in the matter of the gentleman that ran a red light in Ruckersville and almost creamed Alice and I.

I caught the whole thing on video, and brought the DVD with me. It clearly shows the gentleman at speed - the rough math yields 41 miles an hour. The guy continued across the intersection, applied brakes, skidded a good distance and then CREAMED a cable box and came to rest against a telephone pole. He flattened one or two of his tires and his airbags deployed.

He clearly had not been stopped at the light before he ran it. He was traveling near highway speed, which is 45 in that zone.

Two gents in a car behind me saw the whole thing, and stopped the day of accident. They came and testified that the gentleman clearly had not stopped before entering the intersection.

Then the gentleman - not sure why I keep calling him that - lied to the judge and said he had been stopped before entering the intersection. He admitted that he did not look at the light to see if it was green. He lied and said he checked both ways and saw a clear intersection.

The judge proceeded to reduce the charge, based on the chap's outright lie.

In total disregard of all of the evidence and testimony we presented.

God, I love the American idea of "justice".

I hope this lying fellow does not kill someone with any future inattentive driving.

Nice way to accept responsibility for your actions, dude.



Monday, August 3, 2009

Professor Gates

I just cannot get away from the idea that if Professor Gates is so hell-bent on living in a world of racial tolerance he would begin with himself.

Why could he not tolerate the human act of a police officer doing his job?

Why did he have to see white, and why did he choose to be intolerant of the actions of a policeman he first chose to label "white"?

Just a thought Professor.

Just a thought Mr. Obama.

Look again.

And remember, when you point your finger you have three pointing back at you...

Best of Now, always,

Greg and Alice

Being Positive

It seems that many humans perceive their world as generally negative, and are thus seeking practical ways to respond positively to it, or positively influence it.

Alice points out that the only way to "be positive in a negative world" is to do negative things. It follows the mathematical idea that when faced with a negative you must multiply it by a negative if you wish to obtain a positive result.

Practically speaking this plays out in the human tendency to oppose things they see as negative. For example we have the war on cancer, the war on drugs, the war on terrorism, and so forth. I know some folks waging war on Sarah Palin through their active opposition to her very existence it seems.


There is of course the option of acceptance and tolerance, which yields a positive world immediately - precisely because it sets the stage with a positive world. It sets the stage wherein one begins by practiving the very tolerance they like to scream about and fight for...

The need for any steps to "be positive in a positive world" would seem a bit silly, eh?

Best of Now, always,

Greg and Alice the Canine Messiah

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lt. Dan Choi

"I am not asking anymore. I am telling."

Those are Lt. Dan Choi's words. He's trying to get President Obama's attention on the subject of Don't Ask Don't Tell and gays in the U.S. armed forces.

His words inspire me, for I have been asking and asking and asking for folks to embrace the idea of Audience Inclusion. But lately I have felt like telling people, not asking.

I've lately grown tired of asking, because lately I recalled the definition of insanity - to continue doing the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. How naive of me...

I realize of course that there is a balance to be struck here - a balanced way of shifting from asking to telling. And I also realize the risk I run.

A couple weeks ago I played at nursing home in Orange, Virginia, where I have been entertaining the residents monthly for about 8 months or so. We've run the gamut of inconsiderate staff behavior - from loud personal conversation to being displaced from the performance room so they could clean the floors. I've been very nice, and very patient. I even went for months without saying anything.

One day I spoke up about the incessant chatter and interruptions - the total disregard for the fact that a musical performance for the residents is taking place. I was promised that the staff had been reminded about courtesy.

Then came the "floor buffing incident" - the first one. Midway through a show staff members walk in and start moving the audience out of the room. Right in the middle of a song. They're chattering away, and then one of them noisily wheels in the floor machine. Someone announces that the show will now move into the hallway - THE HALLWAY!! They line the residents up there, where the closest is two feet away and the furthest about 45. Then they leave the doors open, turn on the machine, and increase the volume of their personal chatter so they can talk over the machine noise.

Perfect for an acoustic performance, eh?

Well, I brought it up with the lady I work with, and she brought it up with the nursing home representative, and again I was promised it would not happen EVER again. And it didn't. For a whole two or three months...

The other day they were lining them up in the hallway when I arrived. "Gotta do the floors" they smiled.

I smiled too, and said "Okay."

Again they left the doors open, negating any Opportunity for an enjoyable listening experience. After a few songs I asked the staff "monitor" could she please at least shut the doors.

"Can't do it. Fire code. We're expecting the Fire Marshal today." Great - we operate out of fear.

So I smiled, and again said "Okay."

Then another staff member came to apologize. "Wednesdays are really hard," she said. "So much to do," she said.

"What day is it not hard?" I asked.

"Wednesdays are really hard," she repeated.

"What days are not really hard?" I repeated.

"Wednesdays are really...", and I smiled, and lost it, with composure.

I lowered my voice, pasted a big smile on, and proceeded to tell her that my observation has been for the last fifteen years that staff members forget who pays their salary. I told her thatI found it interesting that Dolly Parton, Billy Joel and REM understand end encourage performances for seniors, but that local musicians, facility staff and administration, and local media do not.

I was being nice. I never swore. And I was being honest.

Within minutes the doors were shut. According to them in clear violation of fire code.

But the honesty, the speaking up on behalf of the residents, promptly earned me the label of "ugly". She went to the Activities Director and said I was "very ugly" to her.

So be it, I reckon. So much for asking.

It's Time.

To quote Lt. Choi again...

It's time to Tell.
It's time to Stand.
It's time to Fight.
It's time to March.
It's time to Love.

Thanks Lt. Choi. If you need some music for a rally, let me know...

Arts in the Schools? Yes, we could...

Lately I'm amused when I hear the same old tired traditional call for more arts in the schools coming from artists.

A musician friend recently posted something on Fakebook to this effect, and of course lots of musician friends rallied round the tired old flag of apathy and blame.

I commented that the artists could just quit bitching and show up in the schools, and the thread died a sudden, chilling death...

For over a decade I have been asking musicians in my community to share an hour of their Time and Talent with folks in Community Venues - places like senior and nursing homes, and facilities for our disabled Fellow Beings. I've spent some time in the schools, when asked, but this has not been my focus.

And, for over a decade, most musicians in our community (claim they) have not had time. These are the same folks that are always up to play a free show for the victims of a natural disaster thousands of miles - or half a world - away. They always have time to open a friend's CD release show for no charge at the local acoustic club for the designer beer crowd. They always have time to busk on the downtown mall for a few bucks, if that.

But they never have time to share their music with folks that... well, with folks that do not have any money for them, I guess. Money, and ego currency, maybe...

I've been watching it for eleven years, this blatant audience discrimination coupled with blatant apathy and indifference. I can understand the lack of desire in the Community Venue arena, because there has never been a societal cry to "get more arts into senior homes, nursing homes, or in front of disabled folks". Those perceived "Poor Others" are problems, and obligations maybe, but they are not Opportunity.

But I've been hearing cries for more arts in the schools since I can remember.

And lately I am struck by the reality that most artists do indeeed have a great deal of free time, and I find myuself wondering when they might quit bitching about What Is and simply go live their dream. You know, if you dream of arts in the schools, then bring arts into the schools. An hour a week, or a month, is better than your repeated hollow cries from a distance.

If every artist in our town donated one hour a month, there would be several thousand hours of arts available to our schools every month. THOUSAND. Several thousand hours.

Liekwise, if every musician in our town would share an hour every three months in Community Venues, there would be well over 1,000 hours of music available each quarter. That's well over 4,000 hours a year.

We would not be able to place them all, without overwhelming the facilities, and the schools.

It would be perfect.

All it requires of course is action. Personal action, Nike style - Just Do It.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dear Folk Star Manager


Thanks for bugging me for the last seventeen weeks over and over ad infinitum, trying to secure a booking for your self-proclaimed folk star artist. Sorry I have not gotten back to you sooner, but frankly I was hoping you'd leave me alone awhile, since I am engaged with a project at this time.

I do understand that since I did not communicate this, that you have been persistent, and I am fine with this.

However, when I did finally respond, I asked a question of your self-proclaimed folk-star, a question that is rather important to me with respect to the audiences I represent.

It's an easy question, and of course there is no "right" answer. I don't expect anyone to invest a ton of time in it. Seems to me it adds a spark of fun, a refreshing spark.

You wrote back to say how silly it was for me to ask a question of your super-busy-important folk-star, and what a waste of your time it would be to play this "guessing game". The funny thing is though, you took a stab at answering it for her. The even funnier thing is, when she wrote to call me a liar, she gave the same answer you gave. Weird, huh? She said, basically, this is a stupid game, here is my answer, I don't want to play at your venue, go away.

Now frankly, I cannot imagine why it is silly or inappropriate for me to aska question of someone who would like to be hired for a gig. I understand it is not a traditional question, but I am not sure why that makes it a waste of time. Both of you found time to answer it while you were chastising me for not simply booking or dismissing an unknown performer.

Anyway, the reason I asked the question is that frankly I do not want to hire a performer that puts the money before the spirit of music. Our audiences deserve better. All audiences deserve better, for every audience is the best.

Anyway, I liked your answer - that the "best" audiences, in your opinion, are attentive. Had you been able to answer in some sort of positive spirit, the next question would have been about your minimum fee - that is, how much do we need to pay you to book you? You see, we run on a non-profit basis, and our work and our approach to Making Music More Accessible(tm) has been supported by the likes of REM/Athens, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton and the Dave Matthews Band. To name a few. David Wilcox, Andrew McKnight, Dave Crossland and many others have played our venues.

And we do not charge the audience for a ticket. We raise the funds, and pay musicians to help us Make Music More Accessible(tm). We encourage Audience Inclusion(tm), and we help make it economically feasible for artists like your folk-star, that make their living with their music.

In her message, your folk-star said to me that she was not sure why I had gone to such trouble to "make up" a story, or something like that. Well, Miss Manager, dialogue is how humans clarify, when they are interested in the spirit of communication. Either of you could have asked. Of course this means you would have to possess a certain level of respect for someone like me, and for an unknown. You would have to possess a certain curiosity; a certain understanding that things are not always what they seem, and things are always always changing, evolving, growing, becoming... You would have to understand that This is precisely what Time is for.

I would guess that if those big stars whose names you like to drop had asked the question you would not have come back so negatively.

But maybe you would have. Maybe, in the end, it is like you said in your message to me: "I do not do this for altruistic purposes..."

Thanks for sharing.

I love that part. It's like saying "I write and sing altruistic songs, but I do not do this for altruistic purposes."

This folk star thing, I don't get...

Best of Now, always,


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Do the Math...

Every day many members of the popular art audience move into facilities that conveniently, for artists engaged in Audience Inclusion, double as Community Venues.

At the same time the popular art audience takes another hit.

Do the math...

Look again.

There's a fine line between Compassionate Consideration of One's Fellow Beings and Condescending Consideration of Poor Other.

They're all your band of angels.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Community Supported - but not so supportive - Radio

The Problem with Community Supported Radio

Balance. What we need is balance.

After years of listening mostly to Community Supported radio stations I rarely listen to the radio at all anymore. I have difficulty supporting these stations, for it seems to me that the problem with Community Supported radio is precisely the lack of community support by the radio stations themselves. These stations exhibit little interest in their home Communities, and thus provide little support via programming. It seems a questionable business model for the times.

There is an oddly persistent idea that what is outside of the Supporting Community is of far greater interest than what is inside the Community; that which comprises the very Community. This is not really a surprise I guess; our culture has the odd idea that This Here Now is always of far less interest than That There Then. Other and Them, They and Theirs are always far more interesting than we and ours. We aspire to be like Them, Later, and thus are pretty hopelessly unattractive Here Now as we Be.

This is perhaps most apparent in the realm of music that is aired by these Community Supported radio stations. Our local station, for example, has a two-hour local music feature each week. Two hours!! A mere 1.190% of total airtime. I live in Charlottesville, VA., the self-proclaimed center of the Musical Universe. Incubator of the next big thing, to hear the locals tell it. And local music gets 1.19% of airtime. Of course the argument will be made that a small handful of local media dolls also get their music played in rotation with the big guns. Okay. 1.2013%. Or something.

I don’t know how much music the average listener hears each week. Let say 25 hours, which seems a lot, and 2 hours of that is at a live show featuring local music. In this case the listener spends 8% of their listening time locally - more than 6 times the airplay allocated. I’d venture to say that in C’ville it’s more than 8%.

But it’s not just music. It’s apparent in the news as well, and special programming. The last time I heard an NPR station spend significant time in their community of listener-supporters is when 30-some people were shot dead at Virginia Tech. Hey, thanks; or something. Frankly I don’t recall the last time C’ville’s resident “Community Radio Station” spent significant time in the community. Admittedly though, I don’t listen much.

I have a hard time justifying financial support for entities that point to everything but our friends, our neighbors, and our community as being “the really good thing”. I am not convinced that some heartwarming story of bravery or overcoming the odds does not exist a hundred-fold, a thousand-fold, right Here, at home.

I personally am over the delusion that a singer-songwriter from Dubuque or Toronto brings more to my Community than the thousands of artists that live and practice here. I have also outgrown the childish idea that bringing them or their music into our community via the airwaves or a show at a local club for an exclusive audience somehow enriches our entire Community. In my experience this silly idea fosters continued practice of Audience Discrimination by these stations and the artists they promote.

Color me as you will, but I do not want to “be like them”, nor do I want my community to “be like theirs”. I want to be like me, and I want our community to be like us. If I wanted to live in New York or Philly, I would. I don’t. I am impressed with central Virginia. I am positively overwhelmed by the music here, and the arts. I am grateful for them. I understand what DC and Philly and the like have to offer that we do not have here, and I know how to travel to those towns.

Frankly what is being forgotten by these stations as well as by NPR is the simple fact of E Pluribus Unum. Without Communities there is no national news, music, arts, or anything of special interest. Our Nation is not only defined by certain communities like Philly or Boston or Lake Wobegon, which we are asked to support with our Community Radio dollars. Our Nation is not only defined by certain individuals.

As a community organizer with a 14 year history of direct community impact through music I can only say “thanks for precious little”, and I can no longer send money. As a local promoter who has tried endlessly to present a handful of talented, aspiring local musicians that have been thanklessly serving the Community that your stations turn to for support, again, “thanks for precious little”. I understand that your business model does not support the idea that your Community is of value beyond financing what you do, and I can not support this business model. It is not “the right thing to do”, as I have heard you say.

I called into a talk show the other day to present this idea to the NPR ombudsman – this idea that the Nation is built of Communities, and that I would like to see NPR place more focus on these communities that their supporting stations exist in and draw support from. She missed the point, and said this was a station question, not an NPR question. The host missed it as well, cut me off and took me to task for what he thought I was saying.

During his response he said that NPR listeners are “discriminating”, and want these “high-quality” programs. I guess this means they do not want to hear about their neighbors, except when 30 of them get killed. But then he let the cat out of the bag, for he said that fewer than 1/3 of these discriminating listeners that listen to NPR stations donate money to support them. I don’t know where he gets this or if he means locally or beyond, but it certainly lends a fresh meaning to the idea of “discriminating listener”, and the business benefit of catering to them.

I’m leaning more and more in the direction that the discriminating entity may well be the radio station, not the listener. Perhaps if they would quit discriminating against the Communities in which they hope to thrive they would experience improved Community Support.

Ultimately the news is available everywhere, anytime. NPR programs can be streamed & podcasted. There are a handful of NPR affiliates, and a couple more Community Supported stations that offer similar news. It's tough to justify supporting them all, for sure. And the music they broadcast is as well readily available from countless sources, so it's tough to say they provide some breakthrough insight into today's music.

Balance. What we need is balance.

E Pluribus Unum, and United We Stand...

* *

Best of Now, always,

Greg & Alice the Canine Messiah

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Life. Always Getting in the Way of Sleep....

Alice said it this way the other day, observing my grumpiness when something interrupted an afternoon nap.

Life is like this Gregory. Always interfering with somebody's desire to sleep right thru their Dream of a LifeTime.
She pointed out that, according to the stories our culture tells about Life, it is a Gift, and an Opportunity to come to know OneSelf. An Opportunity to Awaken into the Expression and Experience of our Dreams.
And for some silly reason, Gregory, you often get quite irritated when Life comes to play, and calls for you, Here Now.
She mentioned someone that had called into Oprah the other day, singing the blues about their situation, and how the recession was getting to them. She said Oprah had asked something like "Can you breathe without the aid of a machine?"
The point being Gratitude of course.
Alice suggested when I wake up - whether on my own or by virtue of perceived interruption - that I Express my Gratitude for something.
Some things. Every Time I wake up: Express Thanks. Sincere Gratitude. Feel it.
This is the easiest task I've ever had...
Best of Now, always,
Greg and Alice the Canine Messiah

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Was or Is?

When Neale Donald Walsch posted Candy Chand's "Christ Was Love" story at beliefnet this past month we were right away struck by the fact that he was promoting a story in which the supposed-to-be-heartwarming-message is that Christ WAS Love.

Was. Used to be. Not any more, man.

And this of course makes sense, for so many Christians have the idea that the term Christ refers to one historical figure. This is the basic idea to which they cling and fall back upon when the going gets tough.

Christ WAS love, and in the future, when we finally get away from This wretched Here Now, Christ WILL BE Love.

But Not Now. Not Here Now. Come on...


We wonder what ever happened to the idea of the Christ within each of us? The idea of Christ as a basic "spirit", accessible to us all in any and every Given moment of a LifeTime.

Given moment. Notice this. Gift. The Time of One's Life is a Gift. You knew this.

So, what ever happened to the idea that Christ Is Love, Here Now, in the Opportunity of an apparent Problem?


Yes, we noticed when Mr. Walsch got all warm and fuzzy about a story saying Christ WAS Love.

Y'know, Mr. Walsch and Ms. Chand, the Spirit of Christ IS Love.

The Spirit of Christ available to you and each of us Here Now is Understanding as well. Compassion, a Peaceful Approach.

(This Peace is based in a Peace that passes all understanding mind you, so don't look for human explanations that will allow the Golden Rule to, um, rule. This is where Faith comes in. Faith that is not underscored by doubt and fear, this is. Absoulute Faith.)

And the Spirit of Christ is Kindness, dear fellow writers.

The Spirit of Christ Listens, Smiles, and Blesses God's Fellow Children. The Spirit of Christ does not judge and insist upon righteous punishment.

The Spirit of Christ has little concern for the effect another can have on one's "credibility" among mortals.

Oh, ye of relative Faith... ;^)

Best of Now, always,

Greg and Alice the Canine Messiah

The Thing About the "Spiritual" Thing

I've taken a little - not much - flack for my stance on the Neale Donald Walsch situation, with some folks pointing out how "serious" this all is.

Apparently Ms. Chand - whom the NY Times labels "a Christian writer" - feels some very important principle has been violated. She feels that even though Mr. Walsch did not gain in any direct financial sense, he has cast a pall on writers everywhere, and somehow jeopardized the trust a reader might place in a writer.
As though Ms. Chand's credibility is somehow dependent upon Neale Walsch, she said "How many people have heard him telling people that it’s his own?” she said. “There goes my credibility again." (We won't even ask why she threw in the word "again"...)

We won't argue for or against the probability of Mr. Walsch having this sort of power over Ms. Chand - who does not even seem to have her own website, based on a Google search.
But we'll observe... that always, always, always, the religious and spiritual people have a tendency to identify and evoke principles that are higher than, and thus must supercede, The Golden Rule.

This is only possible of course when One holds a basic view of the world of Humans as being separate from the "world of God", or "spiritual world".

It's only possible for people that begin by seeing Division. You know, Divided We Fall. That sort of thing.
I got a chuckle yesterday when I had the sense that people are busy spanking and scolding their fellow beings because they are afraid that Later, when they are all dead, their fellow beings will not "be there for them" - they will not have qualified for entry into "the Good Thing".
The fact that they are Here, Now, in Time, Here to Celebrate Life, to Express and Experience what we know of this "Higher Love" can rather go hang, to these people.
For Life you see, is about Later. And That. Over There.

Again we offer Alice's evolution of the Golden Rule, a clearly tired Other-Dependent Rule based in and dependent upon Other and the challenges they bring to our sense of right and wrong.

From Digging the Whole: the Canine Book of Play* Alice offers
An Absoulute Attitude: I Am with My Fellow Beings As I Am with MySelf.
It's clearly Self-Reliant. We like this aspect very much.
For Here Is Only The Self. Here Is No Other.
Best of Now, always,
Greg and Alice the Canine Messiah
*Digging the Whole, & An Absoulute Attitude are copyright Greg Allen 2008/2009
All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 9, 2009

Neale Donald Walsch and Opportunity

We sent this to Neale via the "contact form" on his CWG website a little while ago, in support. The so-called "spiritual community" never ceases to amaze us...



So very sorry to hear of the turmoil, and particularly sorry if this is causing you any personal suffering.

It's odd to us, though, in a "This Here Now" sort of sense that there is so little room for forgiveness of one's "humanity at the human level" by a Christian author and a website called "beliefnet". Of course we understand the "earthly" gravity of what has occurred, and how it can be construed, but it seems that such a perfect "heavenly" Opportunity has been missed. By the "heaven" people...

The Opportunity to walk the talk. To Forgive in Real-Time, at the Speed of Life. The "What Would Jesus Do" sort of Opportunity.

Life is actually sort of like one had been sitting round chatting with God and God asked "What would Heaven be like, in your version of it?" And One began to respond with all the things that Others would and would not do in Heaven, and of course we all have scads to say if asked about this one...

But God raised a finger and smiled, and said "No. Show me."

And suddenly you find YourSelf Here Now, and we are all waking up in Time with our Fellow Beings...

For sure Neale, we hope that you have utilized the CWG principles your books showed us to forgive yourself quickly and proceed from Self-forgiveness as you move through this Experience.
We appreciate all you have brought to the world Neale, and we hope you will see nothing but Opportunity, as one door closes...

Best of Now, always,

Alice the Canine Messiah and Greg Allen

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Funny Thing About Psychics

In the wake of the local radio show fiasco we mentioned over the weekend Alice and I went to the local psychic who was on the show Sunday, for an Animal Communication Consultation. $50.

I admit, I initially signed us up with a bit of an attitude, and in hindsight am glad I did. It seems fair to try to get some sort of gauge of what is going on with the radio thing. I figured a visit to the psychic that is of such high "community interest" that he has on on the show 3 or so times a year would help me get some perspective. It's long been a bit perplexing to me that the Audience Inclusion effort born in C'ville is of no interest to the community radio station. So...

By the time we got there I was well past my sense of frustration, and was truly looking forward to hearing what a psychic would say, firsthand, about a canine messiah. $50 seems fair, to me. I hoped the show host had not tipped her off to the canine messiah thing after I called in...

Also by the time we got there we had been laughed at and called crazy by some friends. Oh well. Expected.

And then not long afterward I told a "spiritual" sort of friend about it. It didn't go over well, although the friend was gracious.

The concensus among all of the detractors is basically that (a) I already knew what the psychic "revealed" to me about Alice and, (b) she simply told me things I "needed to hear" and, (c)they could have told me the same things.

I've been pondering this, and I realized that indeed, she did tell me things I already felt pretty confident of. And yes indeed, in a sense I did need to hear them.

I needed to hear them because I don't, often enough. Perhaps my friends could have told me these things. But they haven't. They don't.

I gotta work on that, from the Giving end. I realize it is a reflection...

Yup, it was worth it.

Every penny!


Best of Now, always,

Greg and Alice the Canine Messiah

101 Spiritualists in Support of The Now Exspirientuality


The other night we had some new folks show up at The Now Exspirientuality gathering at Not the Same Old Grind in Orange. One of them mentioned Mike Dooley and his website. Mike was in The Secret. Impressive guy. I looked around his site, and it's impressive.

I signed up for his Notes from the Universe. Oh my...

The first one came this morning. Apparently The Universe is very concerned with other people, what will come later, and - get this - gloating! Here's what Mike's Universe sent me:

It's the exact same for me, Greg. My love goes unreturned, I feel completely unappreciated, or some clown starts telling me what's wrong with the world (my world!). And so, I have to remind myself that I am the Universe, that this is an adventure, and that one day they will come to know the errors in their thinking. And, not that it matters at all, but I secretly hope that on that day I just happen to be carried past them, sitting in my processional throne, followed by throngs of admirers, with all the Angels singing, "We are the champions, my friends..."


Now honestly I had never said that I felt my love goes unreturned, and I did not say that I felt completely unappreciated, so I am not sure where the "exact same for me" thing comes from as an opener.

And honestly I don't find myself needing to remind myself of all of "Their" flaws in thinking.

And for sure I had no idea the Universe - or Mike, or Mike's Universe... - is poised, ready to gloat when the appointed day comes and all of "Them" experience Their "error" by virtue of My Rightness, as I am paraded around on a processional throne (did he really say that??) with throngs of followers.

Um, that's pretty ill Mike. You can hang on to your Universe's ideas.

I know I am not the only one struck by the resemblance to certain popular religious ideas.

Uh, Mike. Huh? Do you know what is being sent out here?

Mike Dooley hosts a website that is underscored by the message that "thoughts become things". What a sad consideration - that the sort of thoughts he sent me this morning might actually become realities in my Life.

I have no need nor desire to fashion my sense of who I Am and how my Life shall proceed based on an attitude of complaining about my Now and longing to gloat in my Later.

I just don't get these spiritual gurus.

Except when I recall what Alan Watts said - that a guru simply picks your pocket and sells you back your own watch.


These are the sort of spiritual messages that affirm my decision to immerse myself fully in Joyful recognition of The Now Exspirientuality.

Like Time Overthrown, it is not really a movement, it is a stillness. Or, as Alice says, It's a stillness-movement.

This morning we had to rewind a few times and listen to Michael Stipe sing to this idea in the song Low, from the Out of Time CD, "Moving through the still frame. How, we do not know."

Alice and I have no desire to pick anyone's pocket and sell them back their watch. We are however more than happy to share Now ideas about how Time really works, and what Time is really for...


Best of Now, always,

Greg and Alice the Canine Messiah

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Importance of What I Do


It's been an eye-opening morning! I love these...

I've been emailing with the host of a local community radio show for the last few days, and I am reminded that not everyone thinks that what I advocate is important in a community sense. The Audience Inclusion thing I mean.

Most of you know that Audience Inclusion means that I encourage acoustic musicians to go beyond traditional public venues and perform at what I call Community Venues. These are senior homes, nursing homes, hospitals and facilities for developmentally disabled children and adults.

The radio show host does not know this, although the program has existed in his community for many years - informally since 1995, formally since 1998. The radio show host thinks the program is about Greg Allen and his music. The radio show host thinks that I want to pledge $100 to his station so that I can get on air and promote my latest CD.

Of course the CD will be promoted. I understand this, and even find it desirable. It's rather how media works in our society. I was born yesterday, in the dark, but it was 51 years ago, give or take...

The CD stands for some very important things that I stand for, and have dedicated my Life and my art to. The songs on the CD, and the overall concept, speak directly to some very important ideas for our Times.

Ultimately though the CD itself has little to do with why I offered to sponsor a show about Life's Community topics on a "community" radio station (note: they call themselves "community", I don't... I rather think it alludes more to the fact that twice a year the community donates money to keep them on air.)

I originally offered to sponsor the show because the community radio station has steadfastly ignored any truth about the SongSharing effort since it's inception. They have steadfastly ignored every opportunity to look into what wedo, and every invitation to attend a performance or special event. They waited nearly a year to preview our organization's first CD, which features many local musicians, and was a direct fundraiser for our non-profit. They ignored and refused to support our 2007 RadioSharing effort, designed to help sell the SongSharing CD by donating profits to them. They never acknowledged the monetary gift that we raised for them in this effort.


And so I am reminded that perhaps I should wonder about the value of what I do.

Or... perhaps I should wonder why I get tricked into thinking that I want to support efforts such as theirs, while distracting myself from my vision.


Yes, Gregory, you should wonder about how you value what you do.
You should value it more highly than to think that you need to pay these people to take interest in this very Now musical idea. The need to pay them, and to be required to spell out for them precisely what might be interesting about it, says something about their idea of "community", not yours... It speaks to their values, not yours.
Let's get back on the road.


We wish you peace, and the Best of Now, always,

Greg and Alice the Canine Messiah
UPDATE: That Was Funny
So I have been typing this blog and missing this week's edition of the particular "community interest" show. About 45 minutes into it I began paying attention. The guest is a local spiritual growth psychic who is on the show several times a year! The topic seemed to be sort of personal, as callers were asking for personal advice and the guest was giving it to them - like on-air readings maybe. ?? I don't know, as I said.
But the jist of the show was growth for 2009, and so I called in. By coincidence I was the final question of the show.
I asked: I am curious what you might say about sharing one’s Time and Talent and the role this sort of might play in spirits evolving – even the community spirit perhaps?
Well of course she loved the question and jumped all over the importance of sharing one's self and one's Time and Talents, and the community strengthening connection. She has no idea who I am, or what I do - but I am pretty sure the host knew who I was. I meant to make up a name, but the truth came blurting out... ;^)
She even went so far as to put forth the idea of a sense of duty - that we really "should" get involved beyond ourselves and our little self-ish world.
She said all of the things that SongSharing, and Audience Inclusion, and Time Overthrown stand for - and have stood for over a decade. And Greg Allen, and Alice.
It was kind of funny too, that Alice barked when I was asking the question, and so I had to repeat it. The host mentioned the dog bark when he asked me to repeat it...
It's funny because he had been asking in emails about Alice's "studio manners" when we were considering a show. I had warned him that she likes to speak every now and again. Today she was saying "Hi!"...
Peace y'all...