Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Save The Clowns! This endangered species will soon die out unless we all pitch in to help! Their numbers are dwindling because, for aesthetic reasons, they can't reproduce! To compound this problem, city ordinances across the nation are banning all facades from public view. How can this happen in America? Please help!


This song was inspired by a tiny stream of smoke from a burning incense stick. I watched it drift upward. Every once in a while it got tugged by a tiny air current, and a smoke tangent would curl away into nothing. That got me thinking about all the chaotic forces in our atmosphere. Every wonder why thunderstorms happen? What if this is indicative of something happening on a larger scale, say, water, or the sun? What if these same forces which make a cloud of smoke dance also shape the very galaxies we live in? Doesn't everything we "know" boil down to energy at the most common/basic level? Finally, what does this mean? To me, it means that life is amazing.

Why I Rattle the Cage

In thinking about this, I realized that this would provide a good opportunity to establish my artist's statement, or manifesto. If nothing else, this post is an explanation for why I do and say the things I do.

I like to stir ideological trouble. I don't do it all the time. Actually, relative to everything else I involve with my life, this is a minor occurence. I do this because I want people to think a little bit deeper about life, especially in a time of war. My "strategy of engagement" is to drop little ideological bombs. This is, after all, better than any kind of violence that our society latently supports. If I don't speak my mind, than my only other purpose on this blog would be to ramble on about the "finer" points of my life. That would be nice. I would probably line the edge of my blog with flowers, and every post would end with a smiley, but I digress. Ultimately, I believe in love... and I'm being serious here. I believe in tolerance, and peace. At some point, after embracing this, I realized that I often stood out from the crowd. Now, it is clear to me that I am a minority in a society where a president who claims that Jesus is his favorite philosopher also sends the whole country to two wars. On top of that most of the people around me supported it, despite their religious or American faith. I don't believe in violence, but I believe that a blind ideological faith promotes violence, hence, the "war on terrorism". The point is I say what I say because I feel it needs to be said. I take my own personal faith seriously, I don't wear it as a facade only to take it off when it becomes a burden. If this appears to be offensive to anyone, I aplogize. If it puts you on the defensive, don't let it. Think of a way to continue the dialogue with me, as opposed to ignoring my existence.

I'm sorry that people feel defensive. I never express it as much as I should, but I feel a lot of love for the people in my life. The thing about ideological differences is that they are purely conceptual. They shape our interpretation of reality. People tend to like other people who agree with them. Birds of a feather flock together. It just makes life easier. But often, ideologically separated communities bump in the night, and conflict arises. If it escalates without an agreed upon resolution, violence eventually erupts. People die... all because people see the world differently and fail to communicate sincerely. To make matters worse, we continue this process. Am I being insincere by putting people on the defensive? You can come up with your own answer, but I say if you're offended, chill out. They're just imaginary words. I say them,you apply the meaning. The point is, we're still alive, and that is a beautiful thing... one worth preserving for all humans... even our "enemies".

So, I am somewhat of an ideological "terrorist". But don't be defensive, ultimately I mean no harm. I tend to like everyone I meet, regardless of ideological differences. But, occasionally, those ideological differences get in the way for some people. It shouldn't. We all have so much in common. I'm happy with life, and I want to make the world a better place for my children (when I have them). But, there are ugly things in the world which threaten this existence, and most (if not all) of it stem from ideological short-sightedness. I believe in communication, and sometimes that means we need to see through our ideological walls to resolve conflict. Yes, I may get carried away with "rattling people's cages", but I say what I say because it means something to me, shapes me, and I want to know if anyone else feels this way. If someone gets offended, they should question this process. It is only a "virtual" offense, and it really doesn't require a defense... just a little thought.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Music- Reflectivity

These are just some thoughts pertaining to one of my songs.

I named it Reflectivity after I finished it. Perhaps this decision was influenced by something in my personal life. I don't know. I'm naturally a very introspective person, more so than you're average joe... I think. I don't know, I'm not you, so I have no way to measure my degree of introspection... who does? Anyhow, this song has something to do with mirrors, although I'm not quite sure what that means. Maybe it's the thick reverb, but I'm reminded of a profound philosophical experience I had with a friend of mine.

We had two large mirrors. We could angle them at various angles to create multi-sided geometric shapes within the reflections of the mirror frames. If this doesn't makes sense to you, just try it sometime. We found that if we angled the mirrors a certain way, the geometric reflections would form a circle. For fun, we placed the mirrors face to face. The reflections formed a tunnel of infinite regress. We took turns sitting between them, thus immersing ourselves within this tunnel, watching our image fall away in stepped planes untill it disappeared deep into the back of the mirror. I wondered out loud whether or not I could grab a pair of binoculars or a telescope and peer deep into the reflections to see my image "up close". My friend thought that was rediculous, but I thought about it for a second, and noticed a paradox.

The light traveling between the mirrors was in fact traveling through space AS IF the mirrors weren't even there. Of course, the actuality of what the light was doing is more complicated than that, but more specifically, the "data" of my image as it is transmitted through light was moving through space AS IF the mirrors weren't there. This produced the "Reflected Images Of Infinite Regress" (RIOIR)effect. However, the RIOIR experience as I consciously saw it was much simpler than that. My image wasn't traveling infinitely through space... "Infinite Space" was confined between two large mirrors placed face to face each other. It was an optical illusion... but it was so much more...

I told this story to another philosophy buddy of mine. I thought it was a paradox, or a riddle, but I didn't know why it was significant. He couldn't help, but told me to remember it, and I did.

I finally figured it out. The paradox, if there is one, is that paradoxes only exist in the mind of an observer. When one pops up within a theory, just take away the observer, and the paradox resolves. I think this is true for every paradox one might encounter in life. Basically, we should reflect more on how our own minds shape our understanding of the world. Maybe that's the heart of Reflectivity. But then again, I'm just speculating...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

on Consciousness

This is Abby. I use to not think very highly of cats... but then I got to know Abby. My relationship with Abby is both personal AND professional. She is my pet, but she is also my lab rat in the Sourmonkey Research Facility of Consciousness. I have no doubt that within her feline brain rests a unique seat of consciousness.

An aspect of her consciousness includes a limited ability to reason. When she was younger, she was terrified of the outside world. Now, after spending countless hours gazing outside through our front door screen, she begs us to let her outside. We have conversations... (Abby says:"meow" and I respond "what, Abby?", Abby-"merow", me-"what?", Abby-"merrooow", me- "what?"). Surely, she must think I'm a moron. Abby likes to sit in my lap. She makes her way over to me when I sit down, looks up at me, and meows. I watch her calculate the angles of the jump into my lap, glancing at the top of my legs, measuring the length and width of my lap, taking note of any obstacles. When she feels confident, she leaps up and lands softly in my lap. She greets me by licking (kissing) the surface of my skin, and begins to purr. At night, when I go to bed, she is soon to join me, and curls up along my side, and enters her own dreamland. In the mornings, she wakes up my wife if we oversleep... she's hungry and wants to be fed consistently.

I've seen Abby get scared. She rolls back her ears and lips, and hisses, making an almost demonic face. I've heard her whimper when she gets uncomfortable, and I've heard her scream when we take her to the vet. She has a very profound emotional state of mind.

If, on the simplest level, the mind's core task is to differentiate the outside world from the inside world of the body, then could we say that all life contains some form of consciouness? Observe nature. Analyze the behavior of the living organisms around you. It might teach you something about your own mind...

Consciousness is a mystery. I think we humans take our consciousness for granted. Now, one might argue that I'm anthropomorphizing the character traits of my cat. That might be true... but I doubt it's relevance to the issue of consciousness. My cat IS a unique individual containing subjective preferences and fears. We have much in common...

Saturday, June 19, 2004

we are all in this boat together...

there is only one, and our lives depend on it. there are MANY ways that we can destroy our lives, but we can't destroy the Earth... we can only make it uninhabitable.

beyond Earth, there is nothing else capable of supporting life... at least none that we know of.

we are all one family. we shouldn't let our ideological perceptions convince us that we are "different" or "enemies". these perceptions will only lead to our destruction.

we are ALL in this boat together, and it is in our mutual best interest to work together to protect our boat and all life within it...

Defending Liberalism

I am a "liberal". I am NOT necessarily a democrat; I would love to see Ralph Nader in office... in my dreams. I am NOT "anti-America". For those who think liberals are anti-American, you should apply a mirror to your words, i.e. YOU might have a latent subconscious fear of TRUE freedom.

I am NOT pro-abortion. I DO believe in a woman's right to choose what she does with all circumstances within her body... anything else ISN'T freedom. Regarding abortion, I think we as a society need to do more in ALL areas of sexual education. We should provide better pre-natal counseling, and encourage adoption to a greater social extent, even to homosexuals (gasp!). I've found that those who aggressively oppose abortion rights SIMULTANEOUSLY support the death penalty. WHAT A BLATANT, IGNORANT CONTRADICTION! I think we ALL should think a little deeper about these issues.

I am a pacifist. Violence is only the FINAL means of conflict resolution, and the point is, it is NEVER necessary. I believe in mind over matter. There are a thousand different ways to accomplish ANY specific task, including political conflict. The act of violence to resolve political and social conflict is an act of humanitarion failure. Regarding our "war on terrorism", we in America would do much to resolve this conflict by introspectively examining OUR responsibility in perpetuating an ideology of fear and violence, both at home and overseas... this includes our capitalistic endeavors which APPEAR imperialistic to the fundamentally minded cultures of "terrorism".

I think we should spend MORE money to support our weakening education infrastructure, and that money should be taken AWAY from the military industrial complex. As long as we make the tools of war, we will find wars to fight. The point here is that we should be making tools (i.e. MINDS) that see diplomatic alternatives to war. The future of human civilization depends on this...

I believe in freedom and democracy... so to speak, but I think America still needs MUCH improvement regarding these topics. We are not "there" yet...

More than anything, change is inevitable. There is NO WAY to avoid it. RIGHT NOW, things aren't perfect in America... far from it. As a nation, we have a lot more "maturing" ahead of us. There are two types of change... progressive, and entropic. The latter is a fundamental law of our universe... DECAY. This is what happens when we forget about the former... PROGRESS. We all must continue our progressive move forward, exercising open and tolerant communication. If we fail, our resulting reality will only lead us down the path of ontological decay...

Monday, June 14, 2004



My new web site... May it inform and entertain you. I have one song posted for easy download, although I will change songs every month. You can find a brief bio of me complete with links to all of my favorite distractions. I also have some wallpaper posted... just for fun.

Sunday, June 13, 2004


This thread contains some thoughts surrounding a song I just recorded... you can find it at the above link.

GAMES is a song about human reality. I wanted it to capture an inspirational vibe... something victorious. Growing up, I loved to play street football and basket ball. Then, I got distracted by girls... except that the games remained the same... only the playing field changed. Through all of my life, I've played many games... video games, card games, sports games... and social games. Although each gaming arena looked different, psychologically, nothing was different. If I "won", I felt good. If I loss, I felt "bad". That was true for everything... the girl I was dating, the test I was taking, the job I was working at, and the social relationships I had. It hit me... life IS a game. If you win, you win. If you loose, you loose... but ultimately, success is determined by what decisions you make. It depends on strategy, confidence, wisedom, and passion. The choice is yours to make.* How far will you go to make your dreams come true?

* Having said this, I must say that "free will" might be a myth, but, paradoxically, the choice is still yours to make. I'll talk more about this later...

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Judges Against The Drug War

Just to show that I haven't completely fallen off my rocker, read this...

Freedom of Thought

Related to the War on Drugs, this is an organization investigating the reality of drug use in society (legal and illegal). The idea here is that at the core of our Constitutional rights lies the freedom of thought. Read on for more info...

Fans of Brian McLaren, read this...

His thoughts on war prompted by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal...

Christians, listen up...

This is an important message from Tony Campolo.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Understanding Politics

A great forum for heated political discussion.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

News You Should At Least Consider

Yes, it's liberal news. Some of it is certainly worth while, though.

the War on Drugs

I will delve a little deeper into this issue on another blog- synthetic realities.

I think our war on drugs is rediculous. It represents a humanitarian crisis as thousands of non-violent offenders (victimless in a fundamental way) are placed in prison.

In light of the prescription drug rampage in the commercial media which promotes the use of drugs for purely recreational purposes (i.e. Botox, Viagra, etc.) I think we should de-criminalize "controlled" substances like marijuana. This is FAR less harmful than alcohol and tobacco (and less addictive), and actually enhances the quality of life for those who use them.

The truth is that our society is becoming increasingly more synthetic. Future prescription drugs will allow users to retain more in memory, think quicker, focus (as in Adderall). These types of drugs are already under some form of research, and it's only a matter of time before they hit the market. We use drugs to keep us alive longer, to keep us healthy, to keep cholesteral low, to maintain weight, to avoid pregnancy, to supress heart burn... the list goes on and on. I find it a tragic contradiction that while we encourage the use of mind altering drugs to help kids "focus" in school, we simultaneously imprison others who buy, sell, or use drugs outside of the accepted capitalist paradigm. This must change for the sake of all that is right, just, and good (thanks Army for the propaganda!).

I will continue this later.

Friday, June 04, 2004

on Capitalism

I'm not totally against capitalism. I think it's probably the best economic system humanity has known so far. However, the fact is, it still has it's flaws. It is an economic system that will evolve over time to become healthier to society at large. As of now, it's becoming maladaptive to American society (obesity, poverty, drug abuse, consumerism, white collar crime, oil, etc,).

Capitalism requires a broad lower economic class. Anyone in America can work hard, save money and climb the ranks of social class. But, Imagine if our schools taught this at an early age. People would stop spending money on frivolous things. Businesses would close down. People would loose thier jobs. It would end our economy as we know it. This is the problem with capitalism, it promotes virtual economic enslavement.

On top of that, an economic system (like capitalism) requires the psychological projection of value on something which has no physical significance. The Dollars value is relative to perception. It provides a certain sense of social survival, but non the less, the belief in money is a religion requiring faith. If you are a religious person, you should question you're own motive for economic wealth.

Christianity in America

I'm about to make some bold theological statements. If you read this, and become offended, then please respond. I just want to rattle your box a bit, maybe make you think a little deeper about faith.


1- you support violence as a means of self (national) defense.
2- you worship money and material wealth (i.e. capitalism)
3- you promote social stigmatization (homosexuality, drug use)
4- spreading the "gospel" means placing more significance on what you do or don't do, as opposed to realizing Christ's vision for human social relationships.
5- you think Paul is more important to modern Christianity than Christ.
6- you think the church is a building
7- you think Baptists are better than Lutherans.
8- you'd rather be inside you house, alone, reading the "word", instead of outside, walking with and caring for those around you.

this is tongue in cheek. it's supposed to make you think about your faith, if you have one. I'm also not trying to be "holier than thou". I myself struggle with my faith. At times, I'd rather call myself an agnostic, or even an atheist if it weren't for the fact that faith is still required at some level.

I'm just tired of defending Christ's example against the arguments of most modern christians.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A Letter to Americans

Dear Reader,
If you are a human being (and I have every reason to believe you are), then you have concerns about today's world. I am no different than you, and we are not alone. This simple fact unites all of human history. The world has always troubled its observers. The problem stems from the relative nature of human perspective. Our position within any given social class shapes our perspective of the world around us. There are countless human perspectives on the world we see. We can assume that the number of human observers on Earth will climb to twelve billion by the tear 2030. Right now, we stand at six billion plus, and this number increases every few seconds. In America, we haven't even begun to truly address the risks of overpopulation, environmental degradation, and excessive consumerism in a world with finite material resources. America isn't the wealthiest country in the world per capita, but we do maintain control of the majority of world resources. Our President proclaims the ideals of Christianity and democracy through a media loudspeaker that can now reach the eyes and ears of the poorest child in Africa. How do we, when we claim to be a sovereign nation of good, appear to that child? Should we even be concerned?

I am a Christian, and an American. If you were to ask me, I would tell you openly about my faith. If you were to ask me, I would tell you about my love for the ideal that rests in the promise of America. I am also a human being, but to be more specific, I am a human animal. The ideals of my existence are constantly compromised by the forces of my human behavior. I want security, and I'll do what it takes to maintain it. I want food, and I'll do what it takes to eat. I want a family, and I'll take the necessary steps to build one. But, as a Christian, I feel something inside me yearning to understand more about the human condition. That is why God sent Christ, isn't it? Of course, I'm presupposing that you, the reader, are a Christian. If you're not, then please forgive me for my bias. I merely want to suggest to you that all of us, regardless of our religious or political perspective, have missed the point.

All empires collapse with time. They usually end with the fatigue of war. Any analysis of history reveals patterns in the birth, growth, and death of any society. You should understand this, because it has everything to do with our future as Americans, as Christians, and as human beings. Everything in this physical world will come to an end at some point in time. Where does that leave us concerning the ideals of our time?

There is beauty in our world. Beauty is measured broadly on a scale that has, not ugliness, but ambiguity as a counter balance. The world we live in is a hostile one.. Threats of insecurity and danger lie along all of life's paths. As a reaction, we form communities, establish economies, and outline law in order to maintain environmental stability. But human culture also produces art, the creative experience. To simplify the term, we learn to communicate the higher themes of life: order, symmetry, asymmetry, form, and motion. Minds commune in ways that can only be explained through the experience of observing art. We are all, as human beings, looking for more meaning to life. We faithfully hope for greater things against the ferocity of a careless world.

As a Christian, I believe that all things are a fragmented reflection of God's creation. I believe that we, as glimmers of God, are lost in a turbulent sea of ambiguity. I believe that God gave us Christ, a perfect example of how to bring hope to a troubled world. But what does hope mean? Is it the hope for worldly security, or is it something greater than that? As a human being, looking for truth and witnessing the beauty and horrors of God's creation, I choose to walk the ontological path of Christianity. Through the lens of Christ, I see beauty worth praising, and love worth giving. I understand hope through the experience of knowing that all of this is good. All things can be forgiven. I'm faced with the fact that the world needs healing, and that people need hope. When the mirror is placed in front of my face, do I like what I see? Truth is, I don't know... I'm afraid to look.

Maybe I'm not really a Christian after all. The aspects of my life that reflect the life of Christ are few. Yes, I do think that I might end up in heaven at some point in time, but I can't really imagine what that means. The only thing I can be assured of is that I am alive right now. The art and music in my home remind me that there are others who feel the same way. We all desire to experience more than what our surroundings have to offer. This truth rests in the hearts of all human beings. This truth frees us from our animal nature. This truth is a catalyst for the emergence of art, religion, science, communication, and economics in society. But human behavior ensures that we maintain environmental stability. Our ideals are compromised by a hostile climate. We choose to use violence to defend against violence. We've invented the strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction. Whole nations in Africa are on the verge of collapse due to the AIDS epidemic. But this is nothing new to our world. We've always had war, and disease. Cultures blossom into empires and painfully collapse into the equilibrium of a cold and dangerous existence. We, right now, as Americans, as Christians, as human beings, are subject to the same laws of entropy. We will soon be gone. Ask yourself this. Have we missed the point? Imagine a mirror to your face. What do you believe in?

I have been ashamed of American politics. The path of peace is one devoted to peace at all costs, no matter the insecurities or dangers of the political process. Peace is an act of faith, like love. It is not realized until it is fervently pursued. The war on terrorism is a euphemism for a war between cultural classes where both sides are blind. Both sides struggle in a fight that is both right and wrong. As we walk this path, we will further compromise our American and Christian ideals. The cycle of violence will perpetuate itself. September 11 is proof of this. None of our past wars, fought in the name of peace, actually established peace. There are those who say that violence is the only way, but they are ignorant. The achievements of modern technology prove that when the human mind tackles a problem, anything can be possible.

We live in virtual times. We build emotional relationships with our favorite celebrities, athletes, and politicians through a device that allows us to selectively receive information encoded upon modulated light. I have a television relationship with the Simpsons. I've also been glued to the news lately. I've composed my perception of reality with information received through a commercialized media. Fact is vague, and propaganda is the truest definition for what most of our beliefs are built upon. This is why we have all failed to see the point. You see, the point, of ALL things in human ideology, is that we are always reaching for greater truths. This is the function of religion. This is the function of art and science. This is the function of politics, and economics, and international diplomacy.

We live on a fragile planet where human suffering out weighs human success. We convince ourselves that we know the correct path, but right now, we act out of animal instinct. We are wrong. If we fail to see new perspectives, we will die, not as humans, not as Christians, not as Americans, but as animals... and that is the point.

What is the purpose of your life?

Gabe Chance April 9, 2003