Happy Independence Day, or Happy 4th of July!

As stated earlier, holidays make for easy titles, I hadn’t planned on being away for so long, but I’ve been busy! After a computer crash I’ve had to start recording the songs destined for this site over again, I think I mentioned that a post or 2 back? Now I’ve all together quit using a certain recording program and having to learn another, that’s thrown a monkey wrench into the rate of progress! I’ve also opened a YouTube channel titled “Lines and Tales” a name which came from this site. Here in the near future a woman from California will be reading some of my writings on that channel, remember those are songs which are in the books on the gallery page. I’m fortunate to have her doing this for me, she looks better than I and she sounds better than I(I have a southern accent). So, hopefully in the very near future there will be some songs posted here as well as some spoken word on YouTube, the songs will go there as well, and all will be connected!

With all of that being stated let’s get back to Independence Day shall we? Before we do I would like to touch base on last months rant. It has occurred to me that if the NFL players keep acting like spoiled punks, remember these guys have managed to lose almost 20% of the spectators, most of whom were older folks, baby boomers. They could’ve gotten their message across in a more graceful way without offending their viewers. The protest that offended their viewers wasn’t considered by the players as offensive, because they didn’t stop to think. They were protesting for the sake of protesting, monkey see monkey do mentality. Those spectators they lost had parents or grand parents who fought in most American wars since WWI, but that didn’t matter, so long as they’re seen in the public eye. That ladies and gentleman is my big beef with what’s become of the NFL and it’s players. There was no consideration of the toes stepped on so they could make their forgotten point.

My prediction is the NFL will soon have competition with another league that probably doesn’t pay as high, and you may not get the prima donas that the NFL has catered to. I’ve also noticed that the younger generation in America seems to gravitate toward that other football known as such across the world, what we call Soccer. These punks that are ruining our American Football might could consider that they can be replaced league wise or game wise, but when one is full of self importance it’s hard to see outside one’s own concerns. Lest I get distracted back to the American holiday at hand.

Independence Day it’s supposed to commemorate our declared independence from Britain. The paper was actually drafted on July 2nd and revised as well as stated on the 4th, hence the day we celebrate. That Independence that we declared on this date back in 1776 would later give birth to the rights that are afforded to those asses mocking our nation. Likewise a simple high paying game that often times changes lives for the better due to it’s wages. Things of that nature is what flourished from a nations declaration of Independence. I’m an American, and for the most part I like my country, it isn’t perfect, but it works. My thoughts on that are on the gallery page found in “My America” linked to Amazon.

So I’m going to spare the rant, what I would like to shed some light on is Independence itself. I recently read where older people’s(that generation I just alluded to above) biggest regrets in life were the things they didn’t do while they had the health to. They retired well(some of them), but they didn’t fill the hole within them by playing it safe. They took the safe way out instead of taking a chance on something not guaranteed. How many actors, poets, and music stars slaved away in factories or behind the desk of some unfulfilling job to retire with a pension that they are out living? That’s a hell of a note isn’t it? outlive your retirement that you sacrificed your life for, a new American way!

We declared Independence years ago, but are we really free? That Independence we declared years ago gave birth to many wonderful things, but it did not free us from the tyranny of money! We’re all dependent on money! This entire world revolves around money, I could probably write another book on this topic alone, perhaps I will some day, but for now, I just wanted to illustrate that no one is really free from the rule of money. The band Silver Chair may have put it best when they sang “You think that money isn’t everything, well I would like to see you live without it” does anyone remember those lines? how true they were.

Everything we do as a nation is about money, our own founding was for the want of money, what white people did to the natives here was about money. The football rant above is about money, our struggles in an upside down music business is about earning enough money to live comfortably. It all comes down to the buck. Those football players make enough, where money should no longer be of concern to them. The working class folks don’t have that luxury, so go ahead and shit in your nest football players and you can join the working class masses here at the bottom of the pile worrying about if we have enough to retire on? It seems like I have a problem letting that football thing go don’t I? It’s just something that irks me because the very freedom that flag they protest represents is what allows them the luxury of being set for life should they play their cards right!

Enough of my rant on football, but you see how it can so easily be pulled right back into the discussion of independence, or lack of. This site, the books, the songs, all the little things being attempted, it revolves around money. The only thing on my side with it, is I’m doing something I enjoy doing. I’ve been fortunate twice in life in that respect, I spent 26 years in construction. I had my own business which enabled me the freedom to exercise my creative side, and that to me is when things become enjoyable. I read somewhere years ago where the purpose of man is to create, I can’t recall where I read that? but I took it to heart.

Where am I going with this? we can’t readily free ourselves from the need of money can we? No! but we can make the acquisition of it perhaps more enjoyable. Maybe don’t wind up like those coming to in their 70s and realize you wish you would’ve done this or that, instead of the safe route to retirement when nothing is guaranteed.

Think about how we learn in America. We start school at the age of 4 to 6 and go to the 12th grade which is generally 17 to 19, what is emphasized the entire time? We’re being educated to get a better job so we earn more money! We graduate high school and go on to college who we pay, so we can get a job making more money! Some will go on to more schooling so they get a job making more money! Is anyone seeing the pattern? Our childhood was spent in the quest of money which is how we will spend our lives. No one is free from the buck, nor are they independent from seeking it.

If one has to be a slave to the dollar, wouldn’t it be nice doing so in a manner that’s enjoyable? This leads me right up to the musical phenom that caught my attention while I was away. I ran across this woman on Facebook, I seldom use Facebook, but now I go there more often because of folks like her using it. Larkin Poe and Janet Devlin are there as well, they were in past post. Today’s music celebrity is Ali Handal, I will attempt to insert links here in a minute, and I may do so in an awkward manner. First of all let me spill the beans on Ms. Handal.

This girl did exactly what I referred to above according to one of her blogs. She was sitting in one of the better Pac 12 schools it might’ve been UCLA, as a senior on the cusp of graduating. I’m guessing for her it was like being early 20 something and experiencing mid life crisis, “is this what I want to do with my life”? Become a slave to this system of earning? Long story short, it appears as if Ali followed her heart, she’s making a living off of her own art, which for her is music. That is the cool thing about our American Independence, the opportunity exist to create one’s own means of earning a living. Hat’s off to Ali for realizing her potential and pursuing it.Chances are Ali may not be worried about her retirement, how do you retire from something you love? John Fogerty(Credence Clear Water fame) still practices guitar to this day, he’s in his 70s. When you love what you’re doing you don’t retire from it, you continually embrace it! Much can be learned from our musical entertainers out there. Sammy Hagar is 70 and recently started a rock show of sorts. 

These are folks who found a way to make money work for them while they pursued what they loved. Someone like Ali or John Fogerty can write a song about getting their chosen message across in a stronger more meaningful way than kneeling during an anthem, yet they have that choice as well. If you’re missing it I’m attempting to sell you on Ali as a person first, check her and her music out here at http://alihandal.com/music/ check her blog out here http://alihandal.com/blog/. Her blog contains her story about UCLA and the decision made aptly titled “What We Settle For”.

As I’ve stated before if I put someone in my blog then they have impressed the hell out of me as a musician and a person. So, do yourself a favor and go check out Ali Handal, and take note of that title again “You Get What You Settle For”.

Folks there are around 200 songs in those books on the gallery page of this site, they mostly carry a central theme of getting the most out of this life while we’re here! From addicts overcoming addiction to immigrants making a life for themselves in a new land. We do have a choice in many things we do, and we are all independent if we don’t allow ourselves to succumb to mass or mob thinking. For me discovering Ali reconfirmed my own thinking, it let me know I wasn’t crazy! Thank You Ali Handal!

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGiJ08nX2us     

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th37HjDs_KM .

Sorry folks I seem to be struggling with the links. Just google Ali Handal her latest 2 YouTube releases will pop up in the videos. Her version of “My Sharona” kicks some pretty serious ass. For the not so familiar, that’s not an easy song to pull off, especially on guitar. If you want to hear a plea from her soul then try “Pin Me Down”. There are 4 albums to choose from for the moment, Enjoy! R.A                      

Well this won’t be complete lest I throw some relevant lyrics here for someone to play with, just leave them in the comments below should you wish to partake.

I was a free man yesterday

as I toiled my life away,

took a look around me discovered I was a slave.

What was I slaving for?

a slave from being poor,

I will lose my life this way guarantees no more.

If I have to be a slave let it be what I love,

if I need some kind of guts, someone give me a shove.

and if I need some inspiration send it from above!

Yeah, yeah, I could go with this but someone gets the message, I’m just rehashing what several paragraphs more or less alluded to, someone run with this Thanks! R.A

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