Welcome to wirthling.com. I have some various feeble ramblings and thoughts below. I have a page with a collection of my music and another with images I have created.

No, Not My Finger, Look Over There, at The Thing I Am Pointing At

That thing, where you want your dog to look at something but instead of looking at it they keep looking at your finger and so you say "no, not my finger, look at that," and the puzzled dog tilts its head a moment but then happily licks your finger: That is what it's like dealing with people who think things like that Martin Luther King Jr.'s intent with the I Have a Dream speech was that we should warp from point A to point B ("he wants a colorblind society so we have to get rid of affirmative action!"). The point of saying it is a dream is that 1) we were absolutely not there yet and 2) it is not going to happen with a snap of the fingers. Social justice is slow work. I say this as a person who views affirmative action as a necessary evil. I am sympathetic to the desire to end it. However, I also know full well I am not a person for whom this has direct relevance (-ish?) and so I defer to those that do have that kind of stake. I wish we could live in a color-blind society today, I really do, but we are not there yet.

See also, people who think they are not racists if they never use the n-word or make racist jokes or verbalize support for white supremacy. Folks, it is your actions people are judging. When given the choice between preserving monuments to fighting to continue slavery and the people who also live in those places who are not so keen on glorification of their oppression, which choice are you going with? Where do you think that impulse comes from? Do you think public school kids should not be taught that children were systematically bought, sold, raped, tortured, and murdered, torn from their families, because "white guilt is oppression"? Where do you think that comes from? Frankly, most of us are at least a little racist; It is part of being human, and so I am skeptical of anyone claiming they are color-blind. From your perspective you don't see it that way but to people on the outside your denial of the existence of systematic racism is exhibit A of why you are a racist.

It occurs to me that this hits on one of my pet topics: Words suck. We spend a lot of energy arguing about what "racism" is and who is a "racist," and people get wrapped up in splitting hairs and sliding around in the semantic ambiguity that lurks in any loaded word tangent to a topic like this. Racism is a big tent. Racism has various causes, manifestations, and flavors. All of the time spent mudding around sorting out what it is and isn't is time not spent appreciating the actual point: Are some people still being treated more shittily because of the color of their skin? If your answer to that is no, you are dumb and/or racist. And maybe you don't see it but you are the dog licking my finger instead of looking at the thing I am pointing at when you take offense at the implication that you are racist.

Note: I am sure someone's summary of what I just said will be "he called everybody racists." It is a perfect crystallization of my point.



Music Update

I have gotten the distinct impression nobody in the world cares about my music or this website and yet here I am typing things about it. I guess talking about it serves some emotional purpose. So anyway, just thought I'd mention that the recent dearth of published musical whatsits by me is a product of the fact that I am almost exlusively improvising on piano these days. The act of turning on a recording tends to make me shrivel into a (more) boring ball of angst and so I just play for myself (and any neighbors that can hear). Maybe sometime soon I will accidentally record myself in a good session and post it.


Being a Proper Driver

Everybody driving faster than I am driving is crazy and is going to get someone killed. Everybody driving slower than I am driving doesn't know how to drive and is in the way and is going to get someone killed. Everybody should be driving my speed.

Applies to driving and morality.


Another Weird Thing About Me

One time Lisa told me that her dad gets angry when people say "her and her" because it is, in his opinion, grammatically incorrect, but he is wrong, you would/could correctly say "he gave sausages to her [meaning a woman being referred to] and her daughter" and I have been angry about that ever since. Also, she once misattributed a joke I told to someone else and insisted I had remembered the thing I said wrong, and I am forever mad about that. Also, I miss her.



I said I can't write lyrics but I meant that I can't write good lyrics. I can definitely write bad lyrics.

i'm as good at life as i am at elden ring
every day's a new boss fight i just can't win
lost my runes like the day before
lost in the sewers like the day before
metaphorically [guitar solo]


Words Schmurds

Earlier I said I have begun and erased many, many sentences and this is constant for me. I write things in my head that I want to say and I am undefeated in defeating myself, arguing myself out of saying it. Or nearly undefeated, as I am posting this. I have long thought that words are sort-of dangerous in that they are often a rough approximation of the idea one is trying to convey, the idea one has in mind. And it is so very easy for the person listening to process the words differently than you intended them. I think I am intimidated by how reliant I am (we all are?) on such a slippery tool. A tool I fear I wield poorly. Or if not poorly then not well enough.

I have near-permanent writer's block when it comes to writing lyrics for my muzak. I will toss a few words together and hate them sooner or later and scratch them and...back to blank. Nothing. But maybe worrying about my lyrics is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, I dunno.

I hate pretty much everything I have said on this alleged website. I have arguments with all of it.


More Trite Ramblings

Putting my Food for Thought post together with my In Which I Solve Everything post and some current context: Not all people criticizing Joe Rogan about his content want him banned from speaking his mind. Generally speaking, they do not hate free speech or support banning speech they do not like. On the other hand, not all people defending Joe Rogan and Spotify do so because they want to say the n-word again and love when he does, and maybe they really do care about the sort of de facto censorship that occurs via societal pressure, which can be just as real to a person wanting to express themselves as any legislative action. When you make broad generalizations about the folks engaged in this debate you are often sweeping up people who do not fit your generalization (or maybe it does but the person does not consciously realize it), which often has the effect of leading the person to double-down on their opinion and huddle up with their "team" all the more. It is unproductive debate.

I am not saying the criticisms should not be made but maybe they need to be more carefully targeted/phrased? I dunno.

P.S. Rogan should not be anyone's standard bearer. He says many contradictory things (most likely because they are founded mostly in reactionary impulses, not philosophical principles) and so you can find a quote supporting a given argument but you can generally find another contradicting or diminishing the same, so the body of evidence is murky. If he entertains you, fine, but don't take this weasel seriously.


Food for Thought

Very successful people are not exactly objective judges of how unimportant built-in or passively-acquired advantages helped them be that successful. Doesn't mean they didn't also work hard to get where they are, but maybe they do not understand what it was like for someone else, maybe someone who was not born with money or good genes or raised by an effective parent or raised in a place with the resources you had or....well, you get the idea, I hope.



I have begun and erased many, many sentences.


Dain Bramage

When I was about one year old, I was found to have a skull fracture and nobody knew (or claimed to anyways) what happened—I of course could not say and do not remember—and so I was hospitalized and then had to wear a padded helmet for a while. This was in addition to the casts and then later braces that were put on my legs in the attempt to straighten them out because they were pointing wrong directions. My mom says I smiled the whole time. Well, except for when I had Croup and Withering Dipsy or whatever and began a lifetime of staying up all night sick or worrying about getting sick. I got Mono twice?! A couple years ago I had another unexplained head injury resulting in memory loss. Anyway, I get it, Universe, you hate me.


Fourth Grade

The year was 1976. My family moved into a new home in a new neighborhood and I was the new kid in 4th grade. I had just lost all the previous friends I had made, left behind in the move.

And so my teacher that year was Mrs. Leavey. It didn't take long for Mrs. Leavey to start calling me out and punishing me for doodling during class. What she never understood is that a doodler doodles. You might as well try to tell Lizzo not to shine. I was born a doodler. And so I kept doodling and so she kept yelling at me and so I was a mess and still am.

And then there was "The Apple of My Eye" thing. That was a project by Mrs. Leavey in which the class would vote on one person each week to be "The Apple of My Eye," and the rest of the class would make cards about that week's person along the lines of "I think you're the apple of my eye because you are good at sports" yada yada. Sounds reaffirming, no? Well doesn't feel that way when you're getting near the end of the year and you can't help but realize that this is a popularity contest. I was sure I wouldn't be last because at least I wasn't Mike, the kid who was kinda famous for being the outcast. (That kid was one of the two friends I made that year. The other was Paul. Hi, Paul!) And then we got down to the last two weeks and it was Mike and me. And the class picked Mike. I bawled. Probably for days, I don't exactly remember. But it left a mark, for sure.

Oh I hear what you're saying, "You think that's bad, when I was nine I saw my family get eaten by wolverines," and that is a fair point.


Some Political Jibber-Jabber

I am officially a member of the Libertarian Party but I am quite obviously on the left in most regards. The term commonly used for my ilk is "left-libertarian"—a term that squarely hits the nail on the head. I envision a future where no government is needed because we all make choices benefitting the mutual public and personal good. Or, should I say "envisioned," because I accepted a while back that there is insufficient reason to believe that all of humanity would agree on what is good. For every case you can show me where someone did something progressive and great for humanity, I can show you a case of something going on right now that shows destructive self-interest has not lost a step. So do I have faith in that future? Not at all. But what choice do I have but to try?

I suppose I could choose to be a cynical, self-serving grifter feeding off of chaos, but we have more than enough people doing that already.


Thank You To My Fan(s)

I have learned that my music is loved by dozens of web-crawling bots. They pretend they are interested only in cataloging web content from anywhere and everywhere across the internet but I know they dig it.


In Which I Solve Everything

We are being torn apart by two instinctual drives: 1) to order the chaos in front of us by identifying patterns and making generalizations from those and 2) identifying with a group/tribe/identity. When person A makes a generalization about a class of people and person B identifies with the targeted class and person B knows/thinks the generalization is untrue of themselves, then they become skeptical of the generalization and the message in general. This leads to the us vs. them divisions that now dominate us. We need to both be careful how we phrase things and question who we are identifying with and why.

I am now ready to receive my Nobel Peace Prize.


Why Do I Keep Putting Music Up?

I feel fortunate that creating music gives me a form of emotional relief. It doesn't really matter if anyone else likes it or even if I like what I made (sometimes I don't) -- the reward is in the making of it. I feel fortunate that I have this.

Anyway, that's what I tell myself instead of crying about the fact that I have no fans.


Just an Image I Made that I Like


Entropy Wins

I have disabled the flash-based music player that used to be over there to the right because flash sucks, but you can still play my music by clicking on the song titles on my music page.

Actually, the broken flash widget is still there, but invisible. I don't have the heart to delete it yet.


Thoughts of the Day

So, pursuant to the vertigo thing I saw a neurologist who ordered an MRI. I am claustrophobic in very particular ways. One of them is having my arms restricted in any way. MRI machines are basically space-coffins they stuff you into. My neurologist prescribed me two valium to help out and I visited the facility ahead of time and I'm hardly the first to have this problem and I look at the machine and it looks reasonably large and they promise me I'll have earplugs and music and my eyes can be covered or I can look into a mirror that's angled to show outside the MRI death-squeeze tunnel and so I figure I will give this a shot. The entire fucking time I was agonizing over not being able to squeeze the fucking panic fucking bulb. I made it but it was a living hell. Or maybe a living hell a bit dulled by two valium.

P.S. Turns out my vertigo is actually a case of my actually being balanced and the rest of the world being the ones who are out of whack. Yeah, you.


What Does That Button Do?



I want to start a blog, I swear I do.


More Music?

I have recently resumed producing what could arguably be called music. I have stuff here and much of the same stuff there.



My contribution to the human race: RAVALAMP. Put this thing on your cellphone at a club and hold it up and be the envy of all your friends.

You're welcome.


What Happened to this Place?

I was hacked. It was fairly intricate stuff the hacker left behind so I backed up some images and music and wiped the rest. I wasn't using WordPress much and so it seemed like overkill, so I canned all of that. I fully intended to blog regularly when I put it up but, well, I wouldn't be me if I actually accomplished anything I started.

Anyway, I put some more music up (look over to the right). As usual, feel free to take what you want and use it however you like, although I'd prefer you don't use it for war crimes. Most of the newer stuff I put up is very rough drafts. That not-finishing-things thing strikes again.

A dramatization of the hacking of wirthling.com