A Little Context:
What follows is my first-ever attempt at a “tweet-storm.” I teach English Comp and Creative Writing classes as an adjunct instructor at the college level, & in the past year this has become considered a legitimate form of writing & communication. Well, “tweeting” has – and the tweet-storm is an extension of that. Twitter is discussed in our university’s ENG 111 textbook, and many of my Creative Writing Students are very active on social media.
I’ll disclose that I took all the social media sites – save for Instagram – off my phone after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. I only returned them to my phone a little over a month ago, in order to hit all the social-media- & campaign-bases during my Kickstarter’s run, as I’ve tried to secure funds that will afford me to record my next album.
Oddly enough, shortly after launching my Kickstarter, twitter (& the news/media outlets, of course) exploded with information re: the White House scandal concerning the suspected collusion of Trump White House officials with Russia. The firing of FBI Director James Comey only loaned more fuel to the already-torrential/-gushing stream of information concerning these matters on twitter, & so much so that I’ve assumed attempting to leave any impression re: my meager fundraising- & album-production-effort is a fairly guaranteed lost cause.
Nevertheless, after the past week – and becoming tangled or sucked into one or another tweet-storm – I tried. And that’s what’s below. In my own search for information the past couple weeks, I’ve occasionally found myself deep into a variety of tweet-storms – some by knowledgable, intelligent, astute critical thinkers, journalists, and more (and some gut-busting comedians, too). Then some, it goes without saying, fall under the banner of delusional, really-far-out-there/-gone conspiracy theorists.
So, what follows is/was my slip into that form for a few minutes today, in an effort to weave/tell a little bit about the story of the album I’m trying to fund at Kickstarter, the working title of which is “Brave.”
Aside from an experiment/draft in the form, I would only add that – if I’ve come away from twitter with anything – or if, after my Kickstarter wraps & I again delete the social media apps from my phone – I think it’s important to add, to say that if there’s one lone takeaway here (in addition to hoping to fund my next record) I think we should all be reading Sarah Kendzior’s work, along with a number of others (mentioned below) right now. pax, JJB
00.) My 1st *Tweet Storm* : A Story re: Brave album/Kickstarter. w/ props 2 @sarahkendzior &etc. Read on below – http://kck.st/2phvIgA
1.) I’m house-/cat-sitting this wkend for friends. Realized the last time I did this for them was right after the ’16 Presidential election.
2.) A couple months before that, I was house-/cat-sitting for another friend. My gf & I had just split up, & moved out of the apt we shared.
3.) 1 day, while packing up that apt, I was boxing some files from an old filing cabinet & unearthed a lyric sheet for a song I wrote in ’96.
4.) The song was called “Brave.” At 1st I felt sheepish – it was a young song – was glad it never amounted 2 anything. 2nd song I ever wrote.
5.) But then I also really loved a few lines in the song. I appreciated the intent – the thing that kid-wannabe-songwriter was trying to do.
6.) I took the melody & lines that still seemed pliable & went to work on a new revised version of the song. A cat-/house-sitting project.
7.) Tooled away on it during the summer of house-/cat-sitting. Then #BillCunningham died & then a dead whale washed up on the shore in Anc.
8.) These events led 2 stories for local papers. I shelved the song. A few mos passed. Somehow @realDonaldTrump becomes Prez. Me=Shellshock.
9.) So, fast-fwd: Late Nov 2016, I’m house sitting then for same friends who r away this wkend now. I remembered that this evening.
10.) Am still reeling from election. Still can’t swallow it. Very little makes sense. & L. Cohen is dead. I wrote about him 4 paper in Oct.
11.) While out 1 evening that house-/cat-sitting wkend – where I am now – a friend tells me 2 read @sarahkendzior’s “We’re Heading into Dark Times. This is How to Be Your Own Light in the Age of Trump”
12.) When I get home, I search for it. I read it. He’s right. It’s just the thing. I’m particularly blown to pieces by those last sentences:
13.) Those = Good Sentences. The real deal. Like, we’re alive b/c sentences like those exist. Our job here’s to live into words like these.
14.) I ripped out a piece of paper from my notebook & wrote those sentences down. & then read them aloud to no1. & then wrote them again.
15.) (When I returned to my apt at the end of the weekend, I posted them onto my fridge. Where they’ve remained since that weekend.)
16.) For all @sarahkendzior’s talk about being “brave” it reminded me of the song I’d been working on the last time I cat-/house-sat 4mos ago.
17.) I had my guitar at the house where I was cat-/house-sitting & so I pulled out the lyrics for “Brave” & began playing thru the song.
18.) (It’s wild to walk around a big, empty house w/ big wide-open rooms playing guitar & singing w/o worrying about disturbing anyone.)
19.) 1/2way thru the song – “Brave” – I broke down. Total overwhelm out of nowhere. 40something yo w/ guitar crying in big empty house.
20.) Something about the dark the overwhelm the light in @sarahkendzior’s piece & the times & a song about somehow trying to b that: ‘brave’
21.) Idk if I thought I had an album then but I knew I had to follow the song & the work further & go the/a distance w/ it. Wherever it went
22.) It’s a few mos later. This KS is *underperforming*. Yikes. But I’m keeping a level head about it. “It’s only art after all,” BrianEno.
23.) The album will be made. The songs r in mid-production. Brave hearts & minds like @sarahkendzior are doing incredible work right now.
24.) Work that feels like the necessary and right toil and struggle now: truth-seeking justice and speaking truth to power & corruption.
25.) Art & Music can pale in comparison to these tasks. Tho they can def bear witness. & can soothe & ease us during & after the struggle.
26.) I don’t care – no, I CARE &/but I don’t, too – if you donate to my KS or buy my music or support indie music. I do care, however, that
27.) All find a way to honor & dignify this bewildering period & historical moment in the ways that we’re best gifted & suited 2 do the way
28.) The way that @sarahkendzior & @eji_org & @ACLU & @ShaunKing & @brainpicker (&etc) are doing in their own unique & remarkable ways.
29.) Music&Songwriting are 2 small ways I try to problem-solve, seek out beauty & nod to wonder & mystery in the midst of horror&struggle.
30.) There r 3 days left on my @kickstarter. My album won’t change the world. We’ll do that together. In tandem. By being & staying engaged,
31.) By keeping awake, alert, aware, alive. By paying attention. & “standing up for others” (@sarahkendzior) “We’re Heading Into Dark Times…”
32.) & not accepting “brutality and cruelty even if it is sanctioned.” @sarahkendzior & – oh hell, all of this (again):
33.) (“Be wide-eyed/slow moving/Be a friend to the lonely in all of your restless wandering –
34.)(…Are you waking up alive?/Baby be waking up alive/In this new morning…” -Song for BillCunningham, track 2, “Brave” (working title))
35.) In the meantime, my next 3 days will be spent working to fund this record, to do everything I can to find a way for it to come to life.
36.) &, oh yeah, feeding a couple cats & chasing the/a muse w/ my guitar in this big empty house. I’m glad for those sudden tears in Nov.’16
37.) They were a way in, somehow. In2 what exactly idk. can’t say. But it all led, in part, down this path/this way: http://kck.st/2phvIgA
38.) Thx 4 reading/listening. Onward. Be awake alert aware alive. Pay attention. Be brave. pax, JJB
(& 3 days left: http://kck.st/2phvIgA)