Friday, June 26, 2015

We, The Internet

"A marketplace has emerged where shame is a commodity and public humiliation an industry" - Monica Lewinsky
As those who know me (and that one person who reads me here) will attest, I started this blog two years ago, in an effort to reclaim and restore the health of my name ...

Today, if you search me by name online -- Google or otherwise, the name "Jeff Glovsky" -- you may be confused, a little bit ...

Photo(s) by Jglo - "All of Me"

but you won't be alarmed.

You won't be "advised" or "warned" about me.  It won't be opined that I'm a "fraud" or running a "scam" ... egregiously reported I've 'changed my name' or "disappeared" (?, ?! and ??).

Instead, you'll see what I do, where I am and who ... What I think about you, if you try to exploit the professional, then needlessly public, resultingly personal failure in my life five years ago;

if you try to cash in on that, as some have, without even knowing me, let alone knowing the full and accurate picture back in 2010, or the context of public accusations and their actual circumstances ... Instead, just piling on hysterically, flailing in response to the damaging, (thus far) permanent online "yelps" which remain -- those few that I haven't (yet) been able to remove from the internet -- you'll end up frustrated.  And/or legally thwarted.

As some have.

There is nothing that's worse than the fears, paranoias, mistrusts and mistakes that the internet, in its ease-of-use ubiquitousness and far-flung global reach, can breed.  The righteousness, the indignations, Schadenfreude and misplaced anger it creates ... the fanning of flames, the men and women it blames ...

The damages that YOU -- "the internet" -- can too easily cause.

In some cases (too many!), your harshing and judging and chiding and "owning" ... Your relentless attacking, name-calling, abusing if you feel aggrieved or inconvenienced, or because things can't be "instant" and you're impatient ... or just.because. ... can end in tragedy.

In my case, after several years of shell-shock subsided and I was finally able to rise from the dead and fight back -- in part, by calling out new aggressors while unequivocally identifying crimes of theft of reputation -- I find, in my favor, I'm not alone.

Online shaming by kangaroo court is increasingly recognized as the bullying and intimidation that it is ... and every website that provides a one-sided, unbalanced, often unmoderated public forum for such ranting and venting:  opinions, "reviews" or accusations without verification -- guilt before innocence -- should be taken down.

Just as we -- "the internet" -- are for some reason required to "opt out" of things, as opposed to being asked to opt in ...

We, The Internet, have got everything else wrong also.  Nobody should be required to "sign up" to view a website. Nobody should need to use Facebook for "verification".  Nobody should ever accept being charged -- sorry, "authorized" -- on a credit card before making a purchase ...

And nobody should ever be blindsided online ... harassed and insulted, and forced to "fight back".

The public displays can be embarrassing.
Photo(s) by Jglo - "Well Hung"
“Well Hung”, ©Jeff Glovsky

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Rages" ... Quoi?

I have NO IDEA why such a sensationalistic, nonsense headline?  Seriously, CNN ...

(of course she "rages" ... She's just batshit cray cray, ain't she??)

Anyway, my own protest against the unneeded, unlicensed, untrained and unwanted is far more sedate.
Photo(s) by Jglo - "Uber Aus"
“Uber Aus”, ©Jeff Glovsky

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sad Father Land

I give up.

I've been fairly vocal about race in America:  trying desperately to keep perspective while all about me were losing theirs.

I've acknowledged my shortcomings, on par with yours ... yet endeavored to point out that "racism" is not, nor should it be, the automatic knee-jerk, go-to response to every frustration that comes down the pike.

It isn't always cut and dried ... It's certainly not always black and white;

I've empathized with Donald Sterling ... not because he was "right", but because he's old.  I was inclined, and still am, to step back and recognize an old man's f(l)ailings ... as I might recognize the increasingly churlish, not wholly appropriate remarks of my own 'old man' - born not of hatred, but of longing:  for another era, another body, another lifetime to be able to choose more wisely ...

I 'got' Donald Sterling.  And I get you, Dad.  Happy Father's Day.

Though at times, the things you say are not right, I can't police your thoughts ... and your actions have always spoken louder than any petulant, unfunny words you might utter.

You and Mom taught me well ... but I will also get old ... and toward that end, I get you.

Just like I 'got' Donald Sterling ...

I'm on record on a social network arguing, in terms of race relations, that "in the United States, there has been VAST progress. Yes, there are still pockets of ignorance (and unwarranted 'fear') ... but they are shallower pockets, at this juncture in history, than in many other countries" and,

"To refute this, or keep trying to suggest otherwise, is as irresponsible as it is inaccurate"
(December 2014).

Now, six months later, in the wake, and midst still, of Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and Baltimore ... New York City cop killings, Texas chainsaw pool parties ...

This Stooge of the South, showering pure racial hatred ... my revised verdict is in:

The U.S. seems no further along than the early/mid-20th century, if not the 19th, in its white and black dynamic:  its overall preference for segregation, its deep-rooted fear and mistrust of 'the other'; the tangible efforts that have been made, too often couched in a language of equality ... "affirmative action" and fulfilling of quotas, if not demands ... instead of, and at the expense of, inclusion or actual integration.

Americans don't seem to want to be integrated.  U.S. institutions, societal fabrics, don't -- in fact, won't, and refuse to -- support it.

Awareness -- thoughts, recognition -- are one thing.  Action, and actual change, are another.  As with Old Man Sterling (or Stormin' Norm Glovsky), these must go hand in hand before premature judgments get handed down.  I don't believe Donald Sterling is "racist".

I no longer believe the United States has made substantive progress in terms of race.

Friday, June 12, 2015

(Blue) Noted Passing

"I don't care much about music.  What I like is sounds." - Dizzy Gillespie
"Clouds float in the same pattern only once." - Wayne Shorter

"When people believe in boundaries, they become part of them." - Don Cherry

"Play what you want and let the public pick up on what you are doing, even if it takes them fifteen or twenty years." - Thelonious Monk

"Don't play the saxophone.  Let it play you." - Charlie Parker

"I'll play it and tell you what it is later." - Miles Davis

"You can have tone and technique and a lot of other things but without originality, you ain't really nowhere."
Lester Young pic
Lester Young
Without being hip to the fact at the time, each of the cats quoted above, in his own way, blew a eulogy for Ornette Coleman.

Ornette was "out".  He was different.  He 'couldn't play', yet "rewrote the language of jazz" (no small feat in a musical landscape of perpetual innovation (once), and the ethereal dissipation of improvised note bursts nightly, on a 'moment's notice').  Maynard Ferguson thought O.C. had "bad intonation, bad technique".  Miles Davis, judging by the sounds Ornette's axe made, concluded that "talking psychologically", he must be "all screwed up inside."  Another trumpeter (oddly), Roy Eldridge, thought Ornette Coleman was "jiving, baby."  And even kindred free musical spirit, Thelonious Monk, likewise known for "playing wrong right", was heard to exclaim, "Man, that cat is nuts!".

One of the few who seemed to 'get' Ornette was Charlie Mingus, who, another kindred musical spirit, was able to recognize the "organized disorganization" of Coleman's (non)playing ... yet at some point complained, "he can't play it straight."

Now as everyone acknowledges, and some admit (vehemently), there is a lot of jazz garbage out there.  There are the Spoogers, just gacking out notes for no reason ... the Noodlers, annoyingly poking, inserting ... the Vocalists (most of them), entirely disrespecting the "songbooks" they pillage (not to mention audiences' time, patience, money) ... There are literally people "performing" who shouldn't be.

"Hell is full of musical amateurs."  - George Bernard Shaw

I myself am no musician.  I don't capably play any instruments (yet?  One of my biggest regrets in life, so far), and I'm no authority.  But I do know well and appreciate jazz:  its humor, its sense of chaos, its combustible spontaneity ... and above all, its take it or leave it, 'is what it is' ethos, too often exploited because, Hey! It's Jazz!
"Jazz is the type of music that can absorb so many things & still be Jazz."- Sonny Rollins

... For better or worse.

Unlike many (rabid) fans of the genre, I am not hagiographic.

But I don't get the sense that Ornette Coleman was spooging (or noodling, or ever "jiving").  I think he was onto something bigger than jazz ... Not only taking the invisible music -- silences and "mistakes" -- received and famously transmitted by Monk, to inevitable next levels (albeit on every tune!) ... but also culturally prescient, in foreshadowing our present day aversion to "labels" - to being labelled, (mis)categorized, (mis)identified ... this rejection of easy, or 'normal', classifications, indeed a 'shape of jazz to come';

and in being cool with imperfections -- perhaps, limitations -- yet rightfully expecting to be accepted, at least heard.
"It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something."

"I think that every person, whether they play music or don't play music, has a sound - their own sound, that thing that you're talking about." - Ornette Coleman
1930 - 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Are You Hearing Me?

For many years, I have had the good fortune to be a live sound engineer - mixing bands that can play actual musical instruments ... so that I, as any actual live "sound engineer" should be able to do, can discern between the varied sounds and tones of each instrument (the human "vox" included) ... as opposed to, say, sitting behind a computer (a digital sound console) and lazily babysitting "presets" (watching the faders zoom up and down together).
writes Mr. Nice Legz
As any self-respecting musician (or opinionated windbag in the business) will tell you, there is nothing worse than a lazy sound guy.

That said, there are clearly advantages to going digital in a live sound environment.  Because digital processing is self-contained -- that is, all of the effects, equalization, compression, etc., can be accessed from within the sound console itself -- there is no longer any need for racks, and stacks of "outboard" gear cluttering the tech. table or mixing area ... so when babysitting digital presets myself, I can at least put my feet up.

Once I was doing this hotel gig, and we started discussing the lunch that was going to be served that day.  As we were finishing breakfast, waiting for the morning's first presentation ... the in-house sound guy I was working with blurted, "Salmon!  Never been much of a salmon guy.  Just give me a nice piece of friggin' swordfish!"

And then he fell mountainously asleep at the sound board.

See, that's what I'm talking about!

That's the main difference between analog and digital audio mixing.  It's apples and oranges ... salmon and swordfish!

Monday, June 1, 2015

... Its Ugly Head

This unhappy fella
began whistling this

when he found himself riding the bus

with ... "THESE PEOPLE".
... comes in many colors.

It isn't always black and white.

To be honest, I question whether some of this, as reported, actually happened ("No Diet Coke for you"? Really?? Someone said that?  Was Pepsi okay? :).

Things are often embellished, blown out of proportion, (conveniently) misremembered or misheard ... and "The Internet", where the Tahera Ahmad / United Airlines discrimination story is the virus du jour, is simply not the barometer of truth that ... well, "The Internet" ... tries WAY.TOO.HARD to make us believe.

But the sad, New York asshole, above and below, whistling "America" from West Side Story as a Mexican (not Puerto Rican, mind you) family sat down on the bus beside him, IS truth.  You do exist, dude ... Saw and heard you behave that way!
You should be ashamed of yourself.