January 2017: Shock, rage and roll
To all the folks who are feeling winter blues, I am with you ...
I can be a courageous person. But I'm also overly sensitive to and aware of critics (INFP). So being a musician and public figure (so I'm told) -- I am often a walking ball of anxiety. Winter gloom and political rage/unsettlement are only making it worse.
For example, I was very anxious when I emceed the Martin Luther King Jr celebration at the Fargo Theatre. I got lost in my opening statement. Apparently I overused the word "values" and was hard to follow. Fortunately, the anxiety decreased as the program went on and I was able communicate clearly and effectively. Best yet, I had the honor of helping further the message of peace, service and common good in our community.
I did another Rage Against The Machine tribute show. I thrashed so hard I tore my neck out. I also got shocked by the microphone. This happened after paying true tribute to the band by loudly raging against our local "machine" during the second to last song, "Wake Up." I did so by vocally shaming the ND government for treating LGBTs and Natives as second class citizens and by cursing our new president. As soon as our final song came on, "Killing In the Name," I was getting shocked so badly that I could hardly hold the microphone or put my lips on the mic. I carried on with one encore, "Bull On Parade," but couldn't go to do "Freedom." Electricity was going up my arms.
I think I literally got shocked by our new president. He heard me ... That or too many people spilled beer on the stage.
The show's turn out was great; the overall reception was fine though it certainly wasn't as over-the-top wild as some other tributes I've done, which got to me a bit. I later caught someone making fun of me on the Internet (with direct reference to Rage) and it made me feel bad so blocked the guy who made the post. And now I feel bad about that. Can't I take a joke or was he really being that mean? Just another reminder of my goddamn sensitivity.
I performed a couple gigs at Junkyard Brewing. One was good; The other I felt nervous for the entire time (Are people into this? Is it because it's Tuesday and I just performed here?). The delicious vanilla porter I drank after my set helped.
I repeat: if you're suffering from winter blues or have depression and anxiety (SAD) -- I FEEL YOU!!!! Someone! Give me some more sun so I can go for long jog, DAMMIT!!!!
Shows at The Aquarium have been decent despite some recent brutal temps. I'm starting to get a better sense of what I am doing and feeling optimistic that it will only get better. Are people comfortable with me as promoter yet? I don't know ... some are, some aren't. But I know people are giving me a chance, which feels pretty great. Cause my desire to see this venue flourish is very real.
MY POV ON TRUMP: Truly effective leadership requires humility, empathy, and grace. It's clear Mr. Trump has yet to effectively display these qualities -- otherwise the public wouldn't be so crazily hell bent. I've never witnessed such extreme resistance from Americans in all my life. I'm seeing a lot of contempt and anger from folks who believe the major progresses we've made as a society are now taking a turn thanks to a tyrannic president with a very strong agenda. I can't help but empathize and identify with these people. Especially as someone who's queer, colored and secular. It's beyond reasonable to fear negative consequences.
Great leadership requires the right kind of experience. Trump has multi-billion dollar business experience. He does not have experience leading common people, being an average American citizen or creating polices regarding the wealth of a country or a even a state.
On the other hand, he does have experience with power, money and fame. He also seems to be signing executive orders by the minute. Sounds like a common case of a man with an enormous ego flexing his muscles and doing everything he can to stay famous and talked about ... this is our president (!!%$^@!!). And this isn't even half of what's wrong with his leadership. I support the resistance.