Heavy Logix.

Lateral Thoughts on Life.

Bob is Just Musician.

Bob is Just Musician

 

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You want see the light,
yuh call di electrician
You want “people-ticks”,
yuh call Politician
Some people think
Bob is just Musician,
Turning Trench Towns into Hope
Like some kinda Magician
But I and I
See Bob
As a profit
Not Just for Blackwell
But a Real Prophet
The Healing of the Nations,
For all the youths,
Of all generations.
All creeds and colours,
Of all dispensations
The answers for all occasions,
For each and every Questions
Is there
If yuh play the Right Bob
& Listen to the Natural Mystic
Blowing through the ears.

Written by Mark J.B. Bowen.
© Mark J. B. Bowen 2014

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April 26, 2014 Posted by | blog, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, song lyrics, Uncategorized, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Meeting with Morpheus.

It is by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.
Joseph Campbell

Struggle and Strength are often related. Stumbling is a part of life. Too
often we focus on the pain of falling and forget to learn the right lessons.
We become traumatized instead of gaining wisdom.

Pain is more bearable when you realize that others have endured even more
than you and come through better because of it. The Chrysalis seems
unbearable but it’s a crucial part to the future flight. Keep fighting, keep
kicking, a breakthrough is coming.

We’ve all seen movies like Limitless, Inception and Total Recall but what
if these weren’t just movies. What if it was really true? What if you could
actually reprogram your mind and change your reality? What if you could meet Morpheus in real life?

Blue Pill or Red Pill ?

I did meet him and this is what happened to me when we spoke on the phone.

“Would your conscious mind be willing to learn from your unconscious mind
what the cause of the problem is ?” Dr. Wesley Morris asked.

“Yes.” I answered.

With that simple word I began a journey into my own mind.

I was guided on the journey by Dr. Wesley Morris and reached a moment in
the very distant past, felt like a previous lifetime, when I felt as though
I was being held down under water and drowning.

The strange thing is I was very calm even while drowning and did not feel
scared or fight back in any way. Another strange thing is that I could not
see anything. It was all an emotional feeling not a visual one. I think it
was the way my Subconscious mind saw the problem affecting me.

Lack of confidence was holding me down, I was drowning and not even
fighting back.

The process, which I later learned is called Timeline therapy,continued by
going even further back in time to a point before this traumatic experience.
It felt like it was way, way back ,in my case, maybe three lifetimes back.

We began to come back to the present but along the way I suddenly began to
get vivid images of an event that happened to me, in this lifetime. Some
years ago I was robbed while on a visit to Boston. I suddenly realized that
I could have fought back (I was doing Martial Arts at the time but I saw
myself not fighting but just shouting at my attacker while being willing to
fight and thereby dissuading him from attacking). My mind had reframed the
situation and was seeing new options.

Then we came back into the present. My subconscious and conscious mind both
agreed that I needed to be more assertive and fight back when necessary
rather than be passive. I then progressed on the Timeline in my mind to the
future and saw myself handling situations in a more assertive and confident
manner. Dr. Morris then brought me back into the present with a newfound
perspective on Life.

I felt great and we spoke for awhile. At one point Dr. Morris pointed out
to me that I was speaking more confidently already and I laughed. It was
true, I was already speaking clearly and fluently instead of my low-key tone
that had become customary. I told him some of the reasons why I’d always
been interested in psychology and NLP in particular. I discussed some of the
other challenges I was experiencing in my life.

Dr. Wesley Morris demonstrated the technique to me again.

This time he asked ” What problem are you facing in life now, you don’t
even have to tell me what it is write it on a paper near you. ”

I scribbled “Money” on a paper, meaning that lack of money seemed to be a
recurring decimal that was holding me back.

He then asked “Would your conscious mind be willing to learn from your
unconscious mind what the cause for the problem is?”

” Yes”

Again he guided me back in time, in a journey in my mind to a traumatic
event related to my concern, my lack of money.

To my surprise, maybe because I was getting the hang of it, or maybe
because my feelings related to money had a more recent cause, the results
were even clearer and more immediate than before.

I remembered a time, years ago, when I had substantial savings in a bank
and unfortunately that bank collapsed and I now realised that in doing so it
has shaped my attitude towards accumulation of wealth. For the last several
years I had considered it futile to strive after material wealth and had
little interest in financial planning. It sounds simple but it was a major
insight for me I had not even thought of this event for years.

Again Dr. Morris guided me to a time before the event when I was untouched
by trauma and then we reframed what happened and learnt lessons that could
help me in the future. I saw myself losing all my money again in the future
but this time reacting differently. I’d be able to calmly build back my
financial holdings. He brought me back to the present with new insight into
my problem and more importantly how to solve it. I had replaced a sense of
Futility with one of Enterprise. I could now Think Positively and Grow Rich.

Money comes and money goes but we can always build and get it back.

Dr. Wesley Morris used NLP to reprogram my brain. He did this over the
phone. His office is in Kingston Jamaica. You can find more information
about him and the innovative techniques he uses at his website
http://sinderesistransformation.weebly.com/

Now I’m a magnet for the ladies, I attract Success, I’m more confident,
more energetic, happier, smarter and winning more at chess. I’ve replaced a
passive and pessimistic mindset, that’s been holding me back, drowning me,
one which felt the accumulation of Money was Futile, with a sense of
Enterprise. My fears still exist but they are now spurs to action and
improvement, motivators as I Build.

Dream my friends, Dream big for they do come true !

February 26, 2012 Posted by | blog, Lateral Thinking, Marketing, movies, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, sports, Strategy, success, think and grow rich, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Your Sweetest Mango.

One day, quite unexpectedly, an acquaintance of yours gives you a

Mango.

You love Mango and as you bite into it you realize how sweet it is

and your hunger is satisfied. More fulfilling than the mango is the

fact that someone cared about you, cared enough to share. Friendship is

sweet and your hunger dies. The pain of loneliness becomes a distant

memory.

The friendship blossoms and you visit this kind friend’s house.

Surprisingly you discover they live in a house surrounded by huge Mango

trees. The mangoes are every where even more than you could ever eat.

You suddenly realize that what you thought was an act of extreme

kindness involved no sacrifice at all.

The sweetness becomes sour. You’ve eaten a worm. It gnaws at your

stomach, it sickens you. Not immediately, slowly. Slowly but surely,

the Worm of loneliness grows. It grows till it fills you up.

But as the worm grows the friendship dies and you realise there was

never any friend there was never any friendship. There was really never

any Mango and there was surely never any worm.

All there ever was, and all there is now,is you.

Generosity comes not from the Gift, nor from the Giver, but from the

attitude of those who receive.

April 24, 2011 Posted by | fiction, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, Strategy, success, writing | Leave a comment

Joachim Low’s Art of War.

One of my favourite books, The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, might be inspiring Joachim “Jogi” Low, the German coach, for it is clear that he has  been following the ancient strategist’s principles in creating his victories on the Football Field at the 2010 FIFA World Cup .

First, before the tournament even started, there was much talk about how Germany would be hampered and weakened by the absence, due to injury, of their star mid-fielder Michael Ballack.
Sun Tzu says “Military operation involves deception, even though you are competent, appear incompetent, even though Effective, appear ineffective.”
Secondly, The prevailing view before the tournament was that Germany was fielding a young team and merely undergoing a rebuilding phase perhaps
aimed at reaching the quarterfinals this time around but certainly not in contention to win. They were simply giving their young players experience in hopes of winning a future world Cup.
Sun Tzu says, “When you are going to attack nearby, make it look as if you are going a long way, when you are going to attack far away then make it appear as if you are just going a short distance.”

Then before they played England the coach of Germany went to great pains not to insult the opponents despite the extremely competitive rivalry traditionally shared by the two nations. He heaped praise on England saying they had learnt alot about football by studying the English.



Sun Tzu says “Use humility to make them haughty.” He also says, “A wise general strives to feed off the enemy.”
Finally it must be noted that the game against England featured one of the most effecient attacks I have ever seen in football. The German goalkeeper actually provided the assist for one of Klose’s goals. The goalie simply booted the ball up into the English penalty box like an American football style punt and Klose got on the end of it and slotted it home.
The simplicity, speed and surprising effeciency of this would surely have gained Sun Tzu’s approval for he says, “Conquer others without siege, destroy others’ nations without taking a long time.”

Sun Tzu  also says “When you do battle even if you are winning, if you continue for a long time, it will dull your forces and blunt your edge, if you besiege a citadel your strength will be exhausted. If you keep your armies out in the field for a long time your supplies will be insufficient.”
Overconfidence and Arrogance can easily creep in when a team smashes others easily like “hammers smashing eggshells”.
To hoist the World Cup the German team must now be wary of one final hurdle, one team that can beat them. The Germans must beware of, Netherlands and Spain yes, but more so beware of, themselves.

July 4, 2010 Posted by | blog, current news, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, sports, Strategy, success, writing | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My fears.

Recently I was forced to face one of my greatest fears.

I drove home and my little daughter was sitting in the back seat. I was about to turn into my gate which was closed when I noticed two well dressed young men walking up the road.

Suddenly I felt fearful. Although I really had no rational reason to feel scared I suddenly realized that if these two men were up to no good and if I turned in to open my gate then as I opened the gate the two men would have the perfect opportunity to ambush me.

Always being one to trust my intuition, I drove past my house, and past the two men, and turned my car around at the top of the road. By the time I turned the car around the men had continued walking straight past past my house and were now around the corner and out of sight. I figured I must be just getting old,paranoid and crazy, or something, but hey, better safe than sorry, right ?

I drove quickly to my gate… got out the car and opened it and then drove in fast. As I got out the car I could hear the sounds of a tv inside and remembered that my wife had a day off today and was inside already.

My daughter, who normally goes with me to close back the gate, was actually sleeping, in her car seat, so I closed the gate by myself and I was busy taking her out of the car when I sensed a presence.

I looked up and sure enough at the gate peering over at me were the two men. They had doubled back and looked menacing.

I was now facing one of my worst nightmares. My life and that of my wife and daughter were in danger if these men chose to attack us. I called out my wife’s name and heard a click as she opened the latch on the front door.

The men realized I was suspicious of them and they hesitated a bit. I suddenly heard my fear talking to me. “They aren’t sure if you have a gun or not”. It was my only chance I had to appear fearless and confident. I stretched to my full height as I took my daughter, still sleeping out of the car only using my left hand and kept my right hand at akimbo, like a gunslinger, ready to draw.

I turned and looked straight at the men and in my mind,silently, I shouted,

“Step across that gate and you’ll both die !”.

My silent telepathic shout seemed to make the men jumpy, amazingly they actually started to step back and they actually ended up on the far side of the road, still watching me like scavengers on the hunt.

I went inside quickly with my daughter lying on my left shoulder. I then put my daughter in a bed, she was still sleeping, as I frantically tried to explain to my wife what was happening. I looked out the window with sweat washing the side of my face.

I could not tell if they went up the road or down. No sign of the men they had disappeared quickly.

Fears usually do when you stand up to them.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | blog, current news, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, Strategy, success, writing | , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Become a Tribal Leader !

Jamaican politics is said to be  “a struggle for scarce benefits carried on between hostile tribes perpetually at war”. Tribes are not always political though. They can be religions and those they disagree with may even call them cults. Tribes can also be a powerful economic and social force.

“Since the dawn of civilization people have formed tribes, and research demonstrates that humans are genetically programmed to form into groups. Within every company there are tribes, often several, consisting of 20 to 150 people who know each other and work together. But while everyone tribes, the culture of each tribe is different, as is its effectiveness. Improving a tribe’s culture—and its chances for greater success—requires a tribal leader who not only understands the tribe but can leverage its collective assets to build a greater team.”

That quote is taken from a website promoting a book called “Tribal Leadership”.

Some believe buying such a book is a waste of time since they feel that a Tribal Leader cannot be trained or created but is a natural, a charismatic personality,someone great that spontaneously arises when the right conditions present themselves.

Obama used a “grass-roots” strategy,  with the simple “snowball effect”  idea of building ever-enlarging tribes, to reach the White House. His strategy was flawless but his Personal Charisma is also undeniable.

On a more intimate level Mystery, a world famous Pick-Up Artist (PUA), a master of seduction, actually encourages his students to become “Tribal Leaders” because he says all women are biologically hardwired to respond most strongly to these “Alpha Male” types.

Mystery believes that the Charisma comes from having the leadership position. This is contrary to the commonly held view that Leadership is attained by the one who exudes charisma.

Mystery says that, in the “Game of Seduction” at least, once you display qualities of Leadership, once you display “Social Proof”, you automatically become attractive.

This might also help explain people, such as Hitler, who possessed incredible public speaking Charisma yet were awkward in a personal setting. With a carefully crafted stage presence, with many symbols of  Power, they can create a type of Charisma.

Obama said, at the largest gathering of Native American Tribal Leaders, last year, “Treaties were violated,Promises were broken. You were told your lands, your religion, your cultures, your languages were not yours to keep.”

Civilization has not always been kind to Tribes. Ask Chief Seattle. Ask Africa.

Given the past, Obama said he wouldn’t have been surprised if the leaders hadn’t come, saying it showed “an extraordinary leap of faith.”  Sitting at a table on stage in the Interior auditorium last year, Obama signed a memorandum directing all federal agencies to develop within 90 days a plan to improve tribal consultation. “These are challenges we can only face by working together,” he said.

Obama is clearly not just Charismatic but also an extraordinary leader in his strategic ability to create consensus, be authentic, visionary and inclusive.

Daniel Quinn believes the future will once again belong to tribes. In his books he argues that Modern Civilization is not working and to survive it must revert to what works…Tribes.

You may not have Obama’s leadership abilities but you can still shape the future by deciding which tribes you belong to.

According to marketing guru Seth Godin, modern technology has made it even easier for us to form into tribes and these tribes can now easily become Global, because of the Internet.

Seth Godin outlines the following principles for aspiring Tribal Leaders;

Firstly, Create a change, a meaningful Tribe will in some way challenge the status quo. It will seek to improve conditions.

Secondly, Tribes develop their unique culture: “A secret language, a 7-second handshake, a way of knowing whether you are in or you are out.”

Thirdly, tribes have curiosity: “about the people in the tribe, and about outsiders.”

Fourthly, the Tribe fosters Connection to each other. They allow people to achieve what they want more than anything else….to be missed ! If someone isn’t there other tribe members should notice and miss them.

Seth Godin agrees with Mystery in the end because he says “All tribal leaders have charisma. BUT, you do not need charisma to be a tribal leader. Leading a tribe gives you charisma. If you look and study the leaders throughout history, you will see where the charisma comes from. It comes from the leading.”

Finally Great tribes Commit: They commit to the cause, they commit to the tribe, they commit to the people.

Become a Tribal Leader !

January 19, 2010 Posted by | blog, Book Reviews, current news, Lateral Thinking, Marketing, non fiction, philosophy, preview, Psychology, Strategy, success, think and grow rich, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Happy !!

Someone recently asked me how I got my amazing sense of humor. I’d actually been asked the question several times before, because my sense of humor is legendary, matched only by my extreme humility. I thought about it carefully, for a whole second, and then told them that it’s really just a self-defense mechanism.

My sense of humor has saved my Life.

It’s just a way of looking at things. I developed it over time from a variety of experiences, most of them quite bitter.  Instead of being angry and sad, I choose to Be Happy and laugh. This laughter is usually internal though, I try to keep a deadpan, clown-like, look on my face. It’s useful when playing Poker too. I see the absurd in situations even when it’s happening to me. The issues underlying my best jokes are usually very serious.

Shakespeare himself realized how closely tragedy and comedy were related that’s why he was able to master both forms. His play Comedy of Errors, for example, tells of a man’s tragic life experiences.

The most serious or tragic experiences can be uplifting if we choose to remain positive. If we continue to search for the Silver Lining in every Dark Cloud. Even heavy topics like Racism and World Wars have been made into the backdrops for comedy. The Jerk, starring Steve Martin, was about a white man who thought he was black and “Allo, Allo” remains a cult favorite worldwide.

I was watching the Jeffersons one night and suddenly realized that maybe 98% of the comedy on TV is just about insulting someone. Seeing someone in a terrible situation or being insulted (and realizing that it’s not us) automatically makes us laugh or feel better.

Even religious leaders and Spiritual Gurus have noticed this aspect of the human condition. In the Book “The Art of Happiness”, the Dalai Lama suggests that comparing yourself to others, worse off than you, will make you feel better. My mom would always notice when I was having a rough time and say “It could be Worse”.

You just fell off your bicycle and broke your arm ? Well smile because it could have been worse.

strength

Some of the greatest comedians in the world are really just magnets for the worst that can happen in any given situation. Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Allen, Chevy Chase …they all live by Murphy’s Law.

Rowan Atkinson, best known in Jamaica as Mr. Bean, is that rare type of comedic genius who doesn’t even need words to elicit a laugh. Like Charlie Chaplin he gets into ridiculous situations and then his physical exploits and his facial expressions while he tries to get out of the sticky jam invariably leaves us crying with laughter or rolling on the ground.

Peter Sellers, in shows like The Party, adds the aspect of imitation to his Mr. Bean type roles. After Sellers played the role of an Indian man accidentally invited to the Party, his Indian friend Satyajit Ray took offence and never spoke to him again.

That’s the danger of  this type of comedy, those who feel the joke is “on them” won’t find it funny at all. They may even plot some form of revenge, remembering the adage, “he who laughs last laughs best”.

A higher form of comedy is that of Larry David. His show “Curb your Enthusiasm” and his work with the Seinfeld series is classic. It is a brand of humour not based solely on insults or feelings of superiority over others. He uses a shrewd insight into human nature and the absurdity of common place experiences that we can all relate to.

In an episode of “Curb your Enthusiasm”  Larry David dealt with the most serious eternal problem all couples face. No, not problems in communication, finances or sex, he dealt with the real tough one. Men leave the toilet seat up and Women want it down. David’s character actually is a man so lazy that he sits even when he pees and his wife is a drunkard who lifts the seat up because she throws up in the toilet after over drinking. This type of reversal of roles is a key to most great comedy. Of course, the couple now argue because the wife left the seat up.

Jamaica is blessed with great comedians too. Ity and Fancy Cat, Glen Campbell, Oliver Samuels and Simon Crosskill, to name a few.

Simon Crosskill how did he get on that list ? Yes, he may not be slapstick or crude, but he has the insight of a Larry David, the genius of a Dr. Bill Cosby. I think he should do his own Late Night show like David Letterman or Jay Leno. Although Simon’s uncanny chemistry with Neville Bell makes them a great team to watch sadly I usually miss the morning show because of work. He’d do well in his own show. He’s versatile enough to intelligently argue with political guests and sports heroes too.

team

Simon Crosskill can be very serious at times, during the celebrations of our athletic victories he said;

” As we celebrate the performances of our athletes it would serve us well to remember from whence they came. Remember that next time you are tempted to think you are better than someone, because of how they look, or speak, or which ghetto they come from. Remember that every Jamaican, no matter rich or poor, black brown or white, has the ability to be a world beater, if given a chance to develop his or her talent. Why do so many Jamaicans exist without social and economic benefits ? Some would say most of our people are lazy. It’s a lie perpetuated by those who are unwilling to create policies that would help spread the enormous wealth of this country. Who would dare label Shelly from Waterhouse and Melanie from Maxfield, lazy.But how many of us who have the wherewithal to make a difference even know where Waterhouse is ?”

Serious if and when required, but usually though, Simon Crosskill delivers his insights in a humorous way, sometimes even just  as a question. Like on his Facebook page he once asked, (not in these exact words), “Why is it that you can get everything and anything at a gas station convenience store yet you cannot get air for your tires there ?”. He was highlighting a strange paradox that occurs frequently in Jamaica because our crime rate is so high that people even steal the air hoses from the gas stations.

In Jamaica we realize sense of humor is a means of self preservation that’s why we “tek serious ting mek joke “. Seeing the problems and still being able to laugh while solving them is a very serious business.  The Court Jester must force the King to realize his nakedness. The Motley Fool, comedian, political satirist or clown has the serious task of making us ask why things are the way they are and urge us to seek better. They carry truth into closed minds and enter freely into power circles others would fear to tread.

Without these brave geniuses around we’d probably all just curl up and die after freezing with fear.

Instead, with a sense of humor, we can see the tragic and the painful, perhaps even more acutely than others. We are sensitive to the problems but we are also aware of the power of “reversal”. We know things can change completely and in a flash, one banana peel, one misstep and Goliath will fall. One pie, thrown in the face, of a haughty business man or politician, will show them who is really the don, and even as we seem to lose, or when we’re even forced to cry, we know that we will get the last laugh.

We live by a simple credo, a simple code, one that is difficult to explain, or even understand, at times, given the enormous challenges of life.

Be Happy !!

October 18, 2009 Posted by | blog, humor, movies, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, sports, Strategy, success, suicide, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stuck in Customs.

I am gonna be celebrating my birthday in a few minutes. To be more precise, in a few minutes it’ll be my birthday.

Then again people have already been wishing me a Happy Birthday on Facebook from all around the globe and I just realized that where they are it’s already been my birthday for awhile now.

From their perspective it’s already October 12. Columbus day, my Birthday. Truth is most of what we think is reality is just a perception, a way of seeing, or even worse, just a dumb habit.

A perspective. What time of day or even what day is it anyhow ? It depends on your perspective.

Columbus thought he had discovered something when really he was just lost. A perspective shift makes you a loser or a Hero in your own mind.

The older I get the only thing I know for sure is that I don’t know squat.

Some people avoid all this Birthday hoopla and hype by living in a way where it’s like their Birthday every day of the year. Life is one big continuous party for them.

Some people want a surprise party thrown for them every year and they go through extreme histrionics pretending they were all surprised and squat.

( As I get older I realize it’s best to say squat rather than er..well…er… squat. )

Yeah, so anyway, they act all surprised and stuff, yet you and I know this happens every year and they could not possibly be surprised by it anymore.

Some people don’t celebrate Birthdays at all. Jehovah’s Witnesses say it’s a pagan practice which should not be followed. Others just see it as a waste of money or prefer to be anti-social. Like Scrooge at Xmas. Some just hate being reminded that they’re now a year older.

In my own mind I see myself as one year wiser. Survival is granted to the fittest and smartest and by surviving one more year I am proving myself wiser than many. I only hope that in the coming year I live more instead of merely surviving though.

I feel alive when I am creating. That’s why blogging first thing on my birthday was important to me. Even if no one else reads this crap… I mean this squat… at least I feel creative and thats something.

In my long life I’ve learnt that your own trivial and fleeting happiness isn’t trivial at all and  if you can find Flow experiences and enjoyment grab it with both hands.

That’s Life.

Surviving is like getting lost. Living is like Discovering the New World. Anything in-between is like being Stuck in Customs.

I am gonna be Habitually Creative. Then again Creativity is said to occur when you break habits so by being Habitually creative I’m actually not creative at all. I am so dull I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than by blogging ?

It’s sad. I need to change how I see things. I’m like a frustrated photographer who suddenly realizes his photos are not cutting it. They don’t snap, crackle and pop. The boring minutiae of Life is not sharp and memorable enough.

The photos of the great Trey Ratcliff, or the awesome works of Courtney Chen, are more like how I want my Life to look. Not like some cheap cell phone snapshots.

First though I’m gonna get some sleep.

Oh yeah almost forgot to tell myself.

Self , Happy Birthday !

Sorry Self there will be no surprise parties this time but we will break some old habits and celebrate all year.

Let the Champagne Flow.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | blog, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Photography, Psychology, success, suicide, writing | 7 Comments

Splenderously Crumby World

This strange, hump-backed, looking fellow is Harvey Pekar and he’s actually one of my heroes.

Harvey Pekar
Harvey Pekar really loved collecting stuff. At one point he collected comic books and then later on he began to collect rare Jazz records.

This somewhat obscure hobby led him to meet Robert Crumb. Crumb had a love of rare Jazz music also. Crumb was also beginning to become well known as an underground comic book artist. Crumb’s adult-themed art work impressed the normally cynical Pekar.

robert_crumb
Through reading his friend’s material Pekar began to realize the immense untapped potential of the whole comic book medium. Sure the medium had it’s full range of masked superheroes but Pekar felt there was a huge range of stories still waiting to be told.

“Comics could do anything that film could do,” Pekar realized. “And I wanted in on it.” he said. However it took Pekar some time to decide just what he wanted to do. “I theorized for maybe ten years about doing comics,” he says.

Pekar laid out some stories with crude stick figures and showed them to Crumb. Crumb became the first artist to illustrate American Splendor.

American Splendor was a groundbreaking series of Comic Books. The comic documents daily life in the aging neighborhoods of Pekar’s native Cleveland, where Pekar worked throughout his life (even after gaining fame) as a file clerk in a large Veterans Administration hospital.

American Splendor basically chronicles all the everyday events of Harvey who is a kind of everyman character. Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff seems to be the basic theme.

It’s laced with a realism and subtle humor that reminds me of Woody Allen or Seinfeld at their best.

Pekar gets material from anything at all. For this reason I think bloggers (especially those that write about anything like my Blogfather Madbull) will really enjoy learning more about him and his work.

For example Pekar would write about things like “How do you pick the best line to join while waiting at the Supermarket ?” or he might ponder his own name and write about what happened when he looks up his own name in the directory (and who hasn’t done that ?).

He also wrote interesting pieces about movies, books, politicians or music
he liked.
For samples click here or visit

http://www.sparehed.com/2007/05/22/40-part-37-harvey-pekar/

More poignantly though he wrote about his personal battles with Cancer. Later on as he got famous and appeared extensively on popular shows like Letterman’s Late Night Show he wrote about that new found fame also.

A recent movie about his life presents an easy way to learn about him. In the movie entitled “American Splendor”, Pekar finds love, family and a creative voice through the underground comic books he creates. Along the bumpy journey, he meets, marries and falls for Joyce, an admiring comic book seller.

american_splendor

The movie also shows the real life Harvey and his friends in some revealing snippets that enrich the heart-warming film. Be warned this film may even make you cry at a few points and will certainly make you laugh at many points.

It gets my highest recommendation, when you see the story of my hero Harvey you will be inspired too and you’ll realize it’s really a Splenderously Crumby World, full of Unexpected Possibilities.

September 21, 2009 Posted by | blog, Book Reviews, comics, fiction, humor, Lateral Thinking, Marketing, movies, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, success, super power, writing | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More Wood for the Fire.

Recently I saw that Michael Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Basketball. Unfortunately I read Yahoo Sports Writer Adrian Wojnarowski
and he said Jordan had turned the momentous and historic occasion into a vicious and vapid attack, like a bully tripping the nerds of his past.

Fortunately I saw the video of Michael Jordan’s Induction speech for myself on Youtube and while it’s true that he recounted  many bad experiences of his past, I think that the speech overall was great and hugely inspiring.

In my opinion Michael Wilbon wrote a more accurate view than that of Adrian Wojnarowski, but opinions will differ.

For me it was an incredibly frank speech and definitely straight from the heart. The tears were flowing copiously before he even began.

cry
Michael Jordan has been criticized in the past for having an image that was too commercial and over managed. “Not politically savvy” and “not real enough” said some critics formerly. Now when they get Michael talking straight from the heart he’s again criticized for not being graceful or not sanitized enough.

I like the “Unplugged” Jordan a lot, the passion and the intensity and the competitive spirit are what made him a great player, possibly the greatest ever. That’s what Michael Jordan demonstrated in his speech.

He recounted a whole slew of obstacles but the purpose was to show that he used these things as motivation to get better. He said the competitive Fire forged in him by his family was the key to his success and then he described each of these obstacles he overcame as more wood to the fire. Without this wood he would not have become great.

Seeing the speech for myself I didn’t get a sense of bitterness or arrogance at all, he was actually just explaining the key to his success and for that this fan is very grateful.

His closing line “Limits, like fears are often an Illusion” was very powerful.

As for his critics, well folks they’re just going to be more wood for the Fire. MJ , “his Airness” will probably be playing somewhere at age 50 and I wouldn’t bet against him.

September 15, 2009 Posted by | blog, current news, Marketing, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, sports, Strategy, success, writing | , , , , , | 2 Comments