Arts, culture, ideas & expression of a few wild art monkeys living in an arts loft in Jersey City.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


To the Ancient Forces connected to my success; Please clear the path of malevolence that aims to obstruct my view, Inspire me with well timed messages, and guide me with signs that I will understand. In return; I shall be open, emboldened and steadfast on my path. JF

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

660 studios celebrates 10yr anniversary. Coming Soon!

Next month 660 Grand st will reach 10yrs under the guidance of the arts. Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and work a broad range of strange and talented folks looking for a creative space to work out of. Some time between Nov Jan we will be hosting an anniversary event. Stay tuned for details. 660's EARLY HISTORY Ol Helga as I like refer to her is over 206 yrs old and used to be known as MAX Lumber Mill. It was here that the unspoiled logs were turned into useable lumber for construction. Much of the land around 660 was bare back then. The Neighborhood- Across the street sat Whitlock Cordage. The Whitlock Cordage Company was among Jersey City's nationally recognized industrial businesses during the early twentieth century. It once manufactured what many considered to be the world’s finest and strongest rope. Today the company's former complex is part of the Morris Canal Redevelopment Area in the historic Lafayette neighborhood surrounded by cobblestone courtyards and the Rev. Dr. Ercel F. Webb Park. Down the block near The Junction is what we now refer to as Library Lofts. Before that and when I first got here 10 yrs back it was a carpet store,but after serious restoration and renovation it feels like it may have gotten some of the splendor back from its days as Library Hall. Library Hall was built in 1866 to provide a meeting place and town hall for the municipality of Bergen, an area founded by Peter Styuvessant in the 1600’s when the Dutch first settled around Manhattan Island and New York Harbor. I've been told that President Lincoln gave a speech there and that it served as this areas City Jail for a short time as well. Across the street/behind Whitlock Cordage was the (now defunct) Morris Canal, which was the path of the underground railroad. Some escaped slaves went into New York City, some stayed on the west side of the Hudson and went into Nyack after passing through this area which was also home to the Lenape Tribe. At the time of European settlement in the 17th century Communipaw was the site of the summer encampament and counsel fire of the Hackensack Indians. They, along with the Raritan, Tappan, Wecquaesgeek, Canarsee and other groups who circulated in the region were collectively known as the River Indians by the immigrating population. Communipaw is the site of one the earliest European settlements in North America. From what I heard 660 had been built as a wood mill and served as one under different names over the years before becoming abandoned. If this is true that would mean 660 Grand stood when President Abraham Lincoln was here giving his speech and being he was a man always affiliated with an axe and logging... I will reach far out enough to speculate Mr Lincoln maybe even toured the old mill on Grand street. Whose to say for sure? But until I hear otherwise I will imagine the late great Prez drawn to the smell of freshly sawn lumber and taking a stroll on by. Nyugen Smith interviewing J.Fathom before "Super-Ego Idiot Man"

Monday, July 16, 2012

The computer isn't really your friend

The internet gave you; Two girls eatin shit outta a cup, a living monkey gettin its skull cracked open so someone can eat it's brain FRESH! You've seen a lion pride maul a man on African safari while his family sat in the jeep forced to watch the whole ordeal. You saw a protester die by grabbing an electric fence, a girl gettin fucked by a horse, a soldier gettin his head sawed off and seals being clubbed to death. The list goes on & on.

Not to mention it helped sell your identity, track your interests and sell your profile to the highest bidder.

You can't un-see what you saw here. You can't undo it either. There is no forgiveness.

The computer isn't really your friend.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

America has become a giant Junior High School

that awkward moment when...
I hate that fucking statement; "That awkward moment when_______________..."
I wanna slap them in the face with a cheese sandwich and show em an awkward moment. Its so corny even I cant handle it, and I like corny people. When did we all become teenagers all of a sudden?
It gets worse; As if celebrity/entertainment shows werent bad enough now they ask you to tweet your comments or "like" them on facebook. Everybody needs followers and friends these days and then those guys need favstar ratings for their cheesy quotes they steal from other corny website bloggers.
I've had enough. Theres no authenticity in news or social media anymore. Were all in Junior high school with our eye rolling WTF's and OMG's. It's gross. Cut it out. Im sick of it. I'm all for living a youthful life, but theres got to be a cut off point where everyone quits going to Vampire movie premiers and spending the night on a line waiting for the debut of a new video game.
It's time to graduate.


Monday, June 4, 2012

What the fuck am I doing here? I don't belong in this dimension

Very often in life I feel like the Ghost of Nicole Kidman's husband in The Others- walking around like "WTF am I doing here? I don't belong in this dimension." For those of you whom havent seen the movie The Others, Christopher Eccleston plays Kidman's husband whom went off to war years earlier and apparently died in the war. She has also passed away but is unaware of it. For some reason his character returns to his home but seems distant and detached with a look of confusion on his face. It was the only time I ever saw such an expression and the actor does such a great job pulling it off that anytime I feel this sense of being an untethered foreigner I think of his part in this film.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happens all the time... really does. I stay home, keep to myself, hang with the 660 fam, tell myself being good is the way to go. Stay focused, stay hydrated, stay the course, but then something happens. That something is I convince myself it's a good idea to GO OUT.

In and of itself going out is fine, we all need to spread our social wings every now and again, but the need isn't the same here in JC. Seeing people is more attuned to being part of something. 13th grade, a scene, a cliche'. Going out is keeping up appearances, saying your 'how do ya do?'s and showing support. There's an art show, event or happening every weekend in JC so you have to pick your day. I used to be partial to Tuesday nights but even that got stale. Not that there isn't a good time to be had but I've found that I've run out of interesting and interested. Even the conversations I start with good intentions end up drunken drivel. My flashback memories of the conversations I start end with me wondering just whom I think I am or a 'what the hell did i say that for' connotation.

My social ineptitude increases every year like a rocket gaining speed. I used to have things to talk about, things on my mind worth sharing, but now its always the same banal thunder spunk ricocheting off the ears of anyone willing or drunk enough to listen. I quit Facebook and Twitter, so now what do I do with my clever cache' of one liners and seemingly insightful observations? I spew em out in a sloppy slew of smarmy opinions and open faced psycho-babble.
I don't know, some of it feels funny, alot of it feels relevant and all of it seems to pass the time by faster. I'm not shy or anti-social, I'm just in a state of self enforced foreign incapatability. I feel like a stranger in my own body on autopilot thru the masses. The reasonable thing to do is stay home, get work done, make art, but there's a pressure valve waiting to be released and what used to be a pressure that facilitated a culture of learning now just cultivates my own self consciousness over how ridiculous I am.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


It is said that when one consumes Ayahuasca, peote or DMT that they enter the spirit world. A place only attainable naturally at birth or death when high levels of DMT flood the brain. I have a friend who has smoked so much DMT that I began imagining the Gods came to expect her arrrival each week and thus came the image of a ragtag group of Gods sitting around a table playing their version of a poker game and shouting with glee when my friend walks in the room and takes a seat next to them like a good young neighbor visiting some old folks and listening to their stories.

From that point the imagination runs rampant...what sort of stories would they tell her in this imagined interaction? What do these Gods look like, behave like? Do they cheat at the game or play fair? Being they are Gods could they be gambling our souls, entire universes, what? So before the metaphor that became a story got out of hand I switched it back to a metaphor again. Thinking about the title: "Playing Poker with the Gods." How could that analogy help me in my own understanding of the nature of God, the Universe, Myself? The first few things that came to mind were the secrets that could be revealed by being that close to them, the reasoning for their decisions, or the prospect of them letting down their guard to reveal their true nature.

I doubt any of us will literally ever play poker with the God's(even though now I'm determined to write a script where somebody does),but for me this simple imagery catapulted my imagination into mysterious realms that left me examining what sort of useful tricks and guides I've picked up along the way that haven't failed me and seem to be shared by others.

Here are some of the rules I imagined the Gods would expect me to know in order to play a game of poker with them.

1.There are rules. They just aren't clear and aren't meant to be. Take some time to figure them out and the reward is greater then simply doing what you are told.
2.Chaos and order exist together and appear separate, in that there is always elements of chaos within order and vice versa.
3. Where chaos thrives other forms of chaos will aim to take root. If your experiencing topsy turvy dramatics in your life it is likely that you've allowed for a hospitable environment for chaos to thrive.
4.Where order thrives more order will follow, but when levels of order become to high the system will collapse.(entropy) Allow for some chaos, it will invigorate the creative potential within the system.
5. We are one, but are also meant to be many independent ONES. Honor your personal identity but remain humble for the greatest outcome.
6. Holistic health(mind, body, soul) is key. We are a conduit that energy moves through, don't let it clog up or the system will degrade.
7.Stillness is for the mind, not the body.Do not let yourself become to comfortable or the body will begin breaking down.
8.Whatever isn't processed will grow and whatever grows will eventually consume. Your emotions are meant to have motion. Process them, understand them and then let them go or you will watch them grow and that isn't always a good thing.
9. What you do doesnt matter, but it's absolutely important that you do it.-nuff said.
10.There is a superior version of you out there in the ether. The you at your best that waits for the time you invite it into existence. Why not let that time be right now?
11. Time keeps us separate from the Gods, but allows us to reflect on our growth. Use introspection & perspective to cultivate your growth into that superior version of self.
12."WHY" is for you. "WHAT" is for us. Why you do what you do is for you, but what you do is shared with the world. The Gods exist above this separation, but we do not. Justifying your actions with reasoning will not change the results. Focus on making the results better because only you understand the WHY.
13.Follow your own path for the best results and let others follow theirs. You can inspire and lead better by example rather then by resistance & force. Choose a path and embrace its virtues, but do not assert force over others based on the virtues/character of their path. Perhaps the differences between your paths are meant to embolden your own. There is no knowledge of light without dark.
14.Observe the principles that govern nature and you will feel connected to the source.
15.Desire is a tool, as is anger or jealousy. A hammer is a destructive weapon when used on a pane of glass, but creative solution when driving a nail. So are your emotions and they should guide you rather then harm others.
16. The answer is often found not where you look, but rather within the process of searching. Use nature & the people around you as a mirror when you are in need of a solution.
17. Make decisions! and know why your making them. Decisions force out the chaos, and being honest about why your making them will help even more. It's ok to make self serving or indulgent decisions every now and then, as long as you know you are making them. Eventually the superior self will guide you away from them anyhow.
18. Gratitude knows no regret.
19. Know your muses before it's too late to control them- We all have our muses; the things that invigorate & inspire us. If you don't recognize what/whom they are you may find yourself tangled in their power and not all muses are created equal. Some are acutely destructive.
20. Observe patterns, but do not indulge in expectations or belief systems. Holding too firmly to any belief system will bias your perspective.
21.All men should die humble.(No matter the level of their success) At any stage of your life you should be your most humble. Pride is learned and is also a tool and the process towards shedding it as we grow & age is part of our test. The sooner you realize that you are special because you are different, but so is everyone else..the better off you will be.

Remember only some of this is real and none of it matters, but all of it is a blessing-

Sunday, April 29, 2012

DESIGN CHRONICLES- "Reclaiming" History

*Kitchen Counter Island
-made from an old heavy duty push cart, church pew and drafting table.

My favorite design aesthetic these days has been anything with RECLAIMED WOOD and recovered materials. The "Upcycled", "reclaimed", "recovered" design philosophy has gone from low-brow to trendy in the passed few years. Hell, even "steam-punk" owes some of it's aesthetic to the concept of reclaiming our materials and thus reclaiming our history.
We're living in the disposable-age and although it's great that our products are now created with their degradability in mind, what has transpired as a result is the perceived obsolescence of the products we buy and the disposable character that is inherent in those materials. What we are left with are products that don't age well, leave a mark or illicit reminiscent memories. We don't have mason jars, we have plastic bottles. Most of our literature is in magazine form or completely virtual. Our table is made out of MDF, our dresser is a pressboard composite, our bookshelf is pine and even our floors are a fake wood laminate on top of 1/2" plywood. What would you pass down to your kids or even your little brother for that matter?!
Like many, I got into the reclaimed design world out of necessity. I didn't stumble on a design blog site and think to myself, "I can do that!" I literally just found myself unable to afford furniture and having moved around a few times realized that none of my contemporary furniture survived more then one move, so... I started building. I was not by any stretch of the word considered "handy". In fact I could barely build a box and absolutely hated having to build things. I was however passionately interested in the designing part, and found a partner in design with my best bud, who was quite adept at constructing things.After years of working here at 660, through necessity I developed the skills to work with found materials. We are in a post-industrial area which was much like a wasteland when I 1st arrived 10yrs ago, so it was great for garbage picking. I recovered old doors and hardware, scrap wood & metal as well as hand me down paints and materials. I went to work on some assemblage styled doors and furniture, teaching myself how to distress and age new wood as well as recover the beauty in old discarded wood and this made me go from hating the act of building to truly loving and finding purpose in it. The wood is grateful when it is restored and so am I.
We live and experience memories just like our father and his father did, yet why can't the remenants of our existence age with character like theirs have? If I live 80 years why can't the objects I live among show the signs of that age and take on the character of a well used, well lived lifetime? Working with reclaimed woods gives me the opportunity to live amongst furniture that will be there,age along with me, and share in my experiences the way furniture has done for generations and should for generations to come.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Secret Tip of the day {Philosophy Break}

If a solution can't be found by dealing with the issue directly, then cultivate change in the environment that it's flourishing in. If you change the environment that it's in, it's likely to change as well. The trick is learning HOW to guide it.

oh it's a 'secret' because your probably the only one reading this, therefore your the only person I'm talking to.


Decisions Decisions- The awesome power of choice. {Philosophy Break}

Decisions. The bottom line is when you make a clear decision, you set the path. When you ignore the opportunity to make a decision, you allow chaos to flourish. In some cases that's actually a good thing, allowing the chaos to flourish for a while can invigorate the event and create more creative opportunities, however sitting in indecision too long can lead to emotional turmoil and then yer stuck making rash decisions or ill guided choices. Choosing a direction literally forces the chaos out of the area in question and propels you in the direction of that decision. You've felt it before. All of a sudden your seeing opportunities pop up before you as if some divine guide is working on your behalf. It cuts through the bullshit, the chaos and the distractions.
This is the awesome power of decision.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Good cop/ Bad cop... or is it Good dog/Bad dog? {Philosophy Break}

"When the motivation to be good runs dry the temptation to be bad shows up in the mirror staring at you with its vacuous eyes pleading with you to give yourself the attention you deserve."
*portion of a painting/sculpture that no longer exists

Like anybody else I started out in this life a really good kid, but by the time I was a teenager I realized bad behavior got you further in life and I've been bouncing back & forth from each side of the tracks ever since. One day I'm the good cop fighting for truth justice and fairness and the next I'm the bar hopping misogynist shouting expletives and declaring territory. There's a battle brewing within all of us like two shareholders arguing over the future of our souls, or atleast it can feel that way at times. I've come to appreciate both the devil & the angel on my shoulder and try to put each of them to good use, but there are times when one has more of my ear then the other. Its at these times that I have to remember that neither of them know how to drive and just sit in the backseat doling out their biased opinions. You could give either of them the wheel and you'd find yourself broken down on the side of the road. The only difference is you'll either end up at a truck-stop bar or a good samaritan's couch. Frankly neither option works for me. Pure good is too boring and pure bad is wayyyy too rotten. I think the trick has been to ride the line through youth and then evolve towards being mostly good with your intentions and adding a few dashes of bad to spice up the pot and keep things interesting. But what about when you feel like you've gone from Good Cop to Good Dog or your Bad Cop devolves to just a BAD DOG?! My perspective may be distinctly masculine when I use these examples, so if you're a dude you may know what I'm saying and if you're a woman; hang tight because this may be a peak into the other side.

The very notion of bad & good has been argued philosophically/sociologically ever since we've been gathering around a fire and if either exist, then all we can say for sure is that both of them are here to stay in some form or another and religeon can only act as a guide. For me, the fight has always been with "why". Why do I care, Why should I, Why can't I, Why bother? These questions are louder when you're young, but as you age you have more control over your brain vehicle. You can't yell at the voices over giving you bad directions anymore. It's up to you to use your common sense. The real problem is you miss the old days when you were ignorant don't you? Making mistakes, giving out half hearted apologies and gettin on with it. Those days have passed and blissful ignorance can only be replaced by willful ignorance and that's just plain irresponsible. Your too old to be drunk on emotion, too old to pretend you don't know how things are gonna play out and too old to use the same tired excuses. You need to understand why and what your doing, or atleast you should. The problem is can you be a good cop without feeling like your just a good dog trying to appease others and earn your right to a piece of juicy steak instead of the same ol dry crunchy crap?

You have to do it for you. Having a muse is great at the start but in the end you will levy your behavior on whether they deserve you at your best and all that does is guarantee you will be a variant version of your better self. I'll pretend I know what you're thinking; "but what about my heroes, the icons...those that didn't give a shit and kicked ass all the way to the top?!" I can't answer that. You're right. They had a ton of fun, were probably forgiven for all their wrongs and some even cleaned up their act right before the final curtain. If you can manage that; do you. It's alot harder then it looks and not many come out in one piece.

So yer waiting for me to tell you why being good is the answer aren't you? Sorry, but I can't do that either. There is already way too much bad out there, so all I can suggest is for you to do yourself the favor of being cognizant of your decisions/ actions/behaviors and if in doing so you make some selfish choices or refuse to be patient and accepting, so be it, atleast you don't feel like yer a well behaved lap dog living in fear of punishment. You're the driver, so no matter how bad the angel wants you to stop and help that person with a flat tire or how loudly the lil devil shouts about the GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS sign you just drove past, you have to remember that neither of them know where you're going, and nor does anyone outside of you- so just treat them like the helpful travel buddies they are and enjoy your story, good and bad.
Tom Waits-

Guest Writer Adam Grow tells us exactly what he thinks about Republican candidate; Mitt Romney

Here at 660soup we have an extended family. Folks who have spent alot of time with us and have contributed to our growth. That's the case with Adam. He was family before I even got to know him and his passion for politics, food and farming has kept us educated on the current administration and scared to death that zombie robots can attack us at any minute.
Below you will find the un-edited rant by our friend to fruits and vegetables. Dig in.


Mitt Romney is an Actor, Businessman and Politician that will only perpetuate the dangerous
and unprecedented Conflict of Interests between Corporate power and Politics. This ideology is not
one that empowers the Citizens of the United States but one that will first consider how much is being
traded and ultimately how much profit is generated for a small class of people. He is not a visionary
for human rights, scientific development or human capabilities, but a modern day Profit for a myopic
worldview, drunk on the exclusive abundances produced by the concentration of a technologically
enhanced society. Instead of the abundant energies of People and Communities being multiplied and
invested back into the community for the benefit of that community, all the energy is being harnessed
and funneled into the pockets of centralized power hungry institutions. We are being mechanically
milked, leaving only enough to barely keep us alive, for a little while. This ideology does not first value
the Rights, Needs or Wants of the People. Since money and the movement of large amounts of it from
one place to another has become the most important function and form of “free speech,” the Needs of
the People have been marginalized and have even become problematic.
His endless flip-flopping on every issue is evidence of his polished pandering baiting the
American Public into a businessman's paradise. Romney will not say exactly what he will do in office
or which programs and departments he will cut but you can be sure that he will promote the
centralizing 'trickling down' agenda of the Corporate/Political worldview, not feeding the communities
from the bottom up. He looks at America like a businessman. It is a large corporation ready to be
gutted, sold off and privatized. Nature is abundant and provides enough for everyone. When man
privatizes ownership over our natural resources and pockets the 'excess', it creates artificial scarcity
which drives the market even further into a vicious and competitive cycle. That excess is meant to be
shared. Why are our only suggested leaders those of extreme wealth and investment? These people are
not in touch with the everyday reality of the majority of People.In fact their view is skewed by the
limitless profits and the relative flexibility of Nature. Mitt Romney will praise the tree heights in
Michigan, or drag Foxworthy around the South while eating cheesy grits, but feels most himself
behind the closed doors of powerful foundations, groups and institutions that we never voted for.
This Romney supported ideology is a health and environmental disaster. It aims at privatizing
profits generated from the power industry while it mitigates the severity and socializes the cost of these
institutions. It marginalizes and corrupts the function of EPA standards and every other 'Consumer'
watch group. The Academy of Science estimated that People already pay an estimated $120 Billion a
year in Health Care costs directly related to the gas and oil industry. The value of the environment is
too valuable for estimation. This ideology will not protect us from Bp oil spills, or from the
contaminated water and soil from the hundreds of undisclosed carcinogenic ingredients in Hydraulic
Fracking, or the many threats from Nuclear wastes or accidents such as Fukushima. It will not protect
us from the billions of gallons of glyphosate pesticides, hormones, pharmaceuticals, mercury,
neonicotinoid herbicides, greenhouse emissions, genetic pollution, plastics, oil, radiation and other such
poisons accumulating in our bodies and in our environment. How much are we willing to pay for
unmitigated centralized privatization of our energy needs? What kind of disaster will it take to unite us
in a more humble and altruistic worldview? How much pollution can we and the environment take
before critical mass? Our health is being sacrificed for the efficiency of the machine.
Romney will guarantee that everyone who promotes this Corporate/Political ideology, who
created the corrupted Financial Infrastructure will continue to influence it's development and control.
These Institutions such as 'Too Big Too Fail' Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and the Federal
Reserve that have caused our financial collapse are still in place and have been hired to “fix” them.
Reading the official Senate Subcommittee Report on Financial Collapse is enlightening. Imagine if our
community banks had the same power of money creation as these companies, such as Fractional
Reserving, but reinvested the monies back into local economies. Money is not real. It is only a tool. It
is a piece of paper we assign value because we believe in it. Romney will surely continue our
dependence on these complex gambling schemes that produce no product of actual value. These are
unsafe gambling bets on the future of OUR public works, credit, energies, homes, pension plans,
retirement plans, trusts and children.
This businessman worldview will not protect our access to information or our internet freedoms.
The internet could be the most influential industry to ever be created by Man, with millions of users
shaping it's function and capability everyday. It could mean free and unlimited access to the entire
world both physically and abstractly. It is more than just a tool, but more like an entire industry, like
steel. It can create tools to whatever function we need or desire. It could be used not just to facilitate
basic physical needs such as food, water and technology, but information access and educational
development. The new found capabilities from information processing about the world through 'data
mining' using complex algorithms to predict and create models are endless. We can create universes
inside universes. Limiting usage, overprotecting Intellectual property and privatizing not just content
but functions of this universe will be most profitable. To have an open and free internet tool is not in
the interest of the status quo. By breaking it up into pay levels with the quickest most abundant network
of information access will only be afforded to those wealthy enough to pay for such 'valuable'
capabilities.We can create and facilitate endless free abundance for everyone or the most advanced
form of panoptical tyranny ever seen. It could level or flatten the world down as an even playing field,
or it could concentrate that energy into dominating institutions that produce ultra refined heavily
financed products as leverage for the wealthy class. The internet is a powerful tool of the People and
will surely be limited by CISPA and other bills designed for the Military /Industrial/Corporate Complex
to spy, analyze and shut off access. Our future will depend on how the Internet will be shaped.
Romney's World View is a social nightmare. Besides all of the implication on how the Military
Financial, Business, Corporate, and Environmental issues impact our social lives, this ideology
promotes Privatized Prison which under contract the State would be required to keep them 90% Full!
The state would be subject to a Corporate entity! There will be a quota on how many prisoners a state
must have. This is backwards and resembles fascism. The implications of this are staggering. What
lengths will the state and corporations go to keep them full? A state that doesn't work to keep people
out of prison, but one that tries to keep them in! We already have the highest incarceration rate in the
world. Romney has also divulged to rich investors in a private meeting, overheard by NBC News, that
he will cut housing and urban development departments in government. He will surely condone the
illegal foreclosures of Bank of America and put education and health for the majority on the back
burner. He will pander just enough to give the illusion of progress. Let's not confuse technological
progress with Moral Progress. Romney will gut the Constitution and sell off the parts to the highest
bidder, leaving some hollow shell of redefined terms for the rest of us to squabble over.
Please, do not vote or support Romney. In essence, let's not vote for any of these wealthy
candidates force fed to us to believe that we have some semblance of choice. The Liberal vs
Conservative battle is just an illusion. It is a contrived farce to give the illusion of real discussion, but
both sides live within the same paradigm of the Military/ Corporate/ Industrial/ Technological/
Political/ Monetary Complex. There is only People, their needs and the technologies to satisfy them.
Let us concentrate on that which unites us rather than that what differentiates us. We all want the same
things. Clean food, Water, Air, a Safe Family, Homes, Education, Energy and Opportunity. Whether
you live in China, Burma, Afghanistan or The United States...Whether you live in the Ghetto or in
Beverly Hills...We want Freedom, Justice and Happiness for All. Deep inside the Human Heart is Good
and wants to see and create Good. It is only when there is scarcity both real and contrived that we fear.
We fear, struggle and lose sight of the big picture. We lose sight of the abundance of this world. We
forget the miracle of life, and the power we have as Human Beings in the United States of America to
unite, choose and create how we want to live. Let us have a national dialogue and discuss how we
envision our futures and build toward that goal. We must have faith in the goodness of creation and the
human heart. We can choose a candidate that fully represents our ideals such as FDR's 2nd Bill of Rights
through a Direct Democracy.

-Adam Grow

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Art of Being {Philosophy Break}

When I started writing the title for this post I intended it to be about the art of being happy despite others attempts at foiling your happiness and ruining your day. I had just completed a post about Perspective & Understanding but felt I had more to say on a related subject and that was; the presence of being, contentment, authentic self & personal integrity. I quickly chopped out all the B.S and went with the current title; The Art of Being.
I went with this title because the others were far too limiting. I didn't want to talk about happiness in and of itself or personal integrity solely either. I wanted to talk about BEING-ness and the Art of existing in that state of being despite the obstacles. I won't pretend to be a zen master to any extent, but my goal is to be in a content state of mind that ensures I am doing my best to understand my situations and to make the best of them as they unfold before me. If I fail at understanding something or give in to emotional impurities then I try and rectify the situation by grabbing hold of the steering wheel and driving myself out of the muck and into a positive field of opportunity.
Opportunity is a good word. It comes with all these mysterious implications and that's the point isn't it? When we find ourselves down a road where the opportunities for a peaceful state of mind are limited its up to us to provide a more positive environment for our mind. You don't have to hate yourself for failing to regulate your emotions or getting yourself in a sticky situation if you acknowledge that you played a part in getting yourself there and commit yourself to getting out of it in a timely manner. The Art of Being isn't about BEING great, or BEING perfect, it's about being present and being willing to accept the path put before us, then making the adjustments necessary to get yourself on the track towards a peaceful state of mind.
A peaceful state of mind doesn't wallow, regret or react- It responds and in order for your responses to be in line with the peace you desire they have to be in line with peace in general, which means you've got alot of work to do (lol), because if your like me...everyday is a struggle to not shout out your frustrations and hope the world rushes to change for you. The fact is that rarely happens, but the trick is that every time you take a moment to be in the moment and align your actions with your goal towards peace, you find yourself there a little bit longer every time.

*closeup from my painting "TRUTH"


Understanding & perspective. {Philosophy Break}

* closeup of one of my paintings titled "Make room for change" currently in private collection.

I talk an awful lot about perspective. If anything my fascination borders on obsession because as long as there are obstacles to overcome I am reminded that perspective changes everything. Wayne Dyer has a book, which I believe is called Change your mind, Change your life and a friend recently stated; "If you can't change your circumstances, change your perspective". I agree with both sentiments and 'understanding' is the key to getting anywhere with broadening your perspective.
Perspective and opinion are not exactly the same thing although they are closely related. We come to an opinion based on our perspective on any given situation or subject and those opinions determine the course of our life. Personally I find that having a regular self check is crucial in maintaining and evolving a healthy perspective. You have to ask yourself; Am I being fair, Am I listening, Am I understanding, and do so often enough to be sure your opinions are even relevant The way to do that is to invite a few healthy standards into your perspective. Some of mine are; gratitude, foresight and acceptance. My self check usually starts with these because forgetting to be open minded and accepting can be why we're frustrated and forgetting to be grateful could be why we're feeling victimized. Acceptance is more about being in the present. "This is what is happening or has happened and I will deal with it from that point of acceptance and presence",. I know I'm starting to sound like a self help guru or life coach, or maybe that was 20 blog posts ago, but nevertheless one of the facets of my self check is to relay what I've experienced to others and see if it sticks. So if you're reading this, hopefully I don't have to ask you to bare with me while I explain further. ;)

All to often we find ourselves wasting time wallowing in self pity or aggrivation and discontent. This is something that often leads us down the bumpy roads we hate being down but cant seem to prevent..but we CAN prevent it with perspective and understanding. Its the key to a healthy mind and a healthy mind is key to a healthy body, healthy relationships etc; so rather then bitch about what makes us unhappy why not change from within? We are the only person we have the right to demand change from. If you aren't happy its gonna take more then a dash of assertiveness to generate a lasting solution, so don't justify why your in the situation your in with the ol "I tried, but" excuse. You don't do a few things out of character and if it doesn't work go back to feeling sorry for yourself and bitching bout your life or hating others. If your arguement is that there is nothing you can do, or that you've tried everything, then quite frankly I don't think you understand the situation you are in. You literally have to MAINTAIN a healthy system of perspective that reminds you when you could be upping your game and then commit yourself to doing so. In short, by taking this approach you not only make yourself a more responsible and enjoyable person to be around but you will be happier for it because you know that your the one responsible for your own happiness-noone else, not your lover, brother or mother..YOU.

Thas all for now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Anger & the krinkled aura {Philosophy Break}

Anger- ever since I was a boy I was uncomfortable with it. As a kid I'd get very angry at my parents who I thought were confused as to which of us deserved strict punishments and which of us didnt. I was the first boy/2nd of 4. My sister was a terror. She was loud and indignant, domineering and brutal at times. She'd slap, hit, scream, slam doors and be downright mean even when she was playing teacher or with her Barbies. My first younger brother was also a handful. He was way too smart & confident at a young age and excelled at most things, but simultaneously had a rebellious edge that made him constantly challenge my parents. Both of my siblings went on to lead calmer more respectful lives while my younger brother & I became artists. The youngest attending film school.

Growing up was particularly challenging because I saw that misbehavior was rewarded in my home. Not on purpose per se' but inadvertantly my folks would choose the path of least resistance when they needed something done or werent in the mood to argue; Namely me. This in and of itself wasn't a huge deal, but I was always an active observer and I became keenly aware that the two of us that were demanding, aggressive and disrespectful often got what they wanted while those that were respectful, agreeable and passive were disrespected or taken advantage of. It was due to this that I harbored ALOT of anger for my parents. On far too many occassions I'd lay on my bed after pounding it mercilessly & stare up at the ceiling seething in anger over their lack of insight and appreciation for a child whom chose a more passive path. I was always had a sharp tongue and my anger manifested itself with quick witted comments and sly remarks. I'd get slapped or punished for 'my mouth' but it was worth it for a kid who felt he was being punished anyhow, might as well earn it, I thought. A characteristic I still exhibit in my day to day life.

As I got older I became more aware of the subtle telltale signs that I was seething. There'd be a feeling in my chest that was hot and burning, and a feeling in my head like I was intoxicated(this is before I even knew what alcohol tasted like) and it was all connected by this thing I couldn't quite "see" but saw anyway; like a krinkling of the air around me. It was colorless and without real form and anytime I tried to focus on it it would disappear, but it was there nonethless and I hated the way it felt, so as compelling as it was I worked at dispelling it as soon as possible. It wasnt just something you felt emotionally, I felt the krinkling and the crunching and I became fascinated by it from the moment I observed it. It would'nt be till I was in my mid twenties that I identified it possibly as the result of me seeing (from the inside) my own aura krinkle from the anger.
Dealing with anger changed over the years. Ignorance & anger work hand in hand and understanding what it must be like to raise 4 kids, to deal with 4 personalities and put them ahead of you is a challenge I'm not looking forward to. Even my understanding of punishment & rewarding behavior became a topic of interest for me and by the time I was halfway thru highschool started shedding the passive nice guy persona and decided that nice guys finish last. I began my own experiments in punishment & reward, but I'll leave that story for another time. Needless to say this helped with the anger because I wasn't being taken advantage of or disrespected anymore, but it's more of a distraction then a cure for anger. Even though I figured out a way to 'play the game' so to speak I'd still have bouts with anger which would rear its head from time to time, always coupled by the krinkling.

These days there arent so many krinkles happening in the aura, but when they come up its a challenge to reign them in. Anger & passion are intoxicating and men with anger issues are a dime a dozen in this world, so I do what i can to curb my own, but it isnt always easy and I'm far from a success story, believe me,. In the meantime, if you have your own interest in how anger effects you check out this article. It's the first time I've seen anything on what anger looks like covered in the news. I hope you'll read it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rock Soup Radio Episode 3: Junestar Mr. Blackman

Better late than never. Today we have for you a low-tech installment in the nascent saga of Rock Soup Radio, dating back to Feb. 17, 2012. Our illustrious guest? The one, the only: Junestar Mr. Blackman. Kick back, light up the incent, and join us for some thoughts and tunes with Rock Soup and June.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dream Journal- The battle with the Devil for my soul

Last nites dream may have been due to the cold I'm getting, but either thru headcold hallucination or the internal battle for high ground my dream state was preoccupied with thoughts of Heaven and Hell.

The dream began with an ancient relic hanging on the wall of my childhood home in Queens. It was in two fractured parts and I think it was missing a piece. The relic began to heat up eventually falling to the ground and burning a hole right into the floor of the foyer. The hole grew to take up the entire area of the foyer and was covered in a white smoky mist. At first you couldn't see into the mist but we were wise enough to know it was hell down there. My dog jumped right in and I knew immediately he would be a hellhound from now on. Suiting for such a wild dog I suppose. The rest of us tried to to go out the back entrance being the front was no longer accessible but the back end of the house fractured and was looking like it was gonna be another entrance to hell, so we kicked out the window in my kitchen and jumped into my backyard.

I don't recall why we hung around at all, maybe you can't ignore such things but a few of my friends were with me and each day the mist became easier to see through. There was a stairwell leading down to another level, but that's all we could see. A lil at a time my friends began sneaking down there without telling me, they came and went as they pleased and although we all agreed it was indeed Hell, noone was afraid and infact they must have convinced eachother it was worth it, because it wasn't long before most of them had gone while I was out researching what to do about this.

Alicia had already gone down while I was away and the Devil temped Adam (Cris's brother)by saluting his hard work studying esoterism by giving him a missing word that would solve his quandry. The word was either Aquav, Aquiav, Aquais or something to that effect. Adam happily walked right on down the stairs and then the devil looked at me smiling as if to say 'I know I have something you want as well".
I rushed off to a neighborhood church and after asking for directions to the nearest one a stranger made sure to give me 2$ to put in the collection box, which I dropped but thanked him and hurried over. When I arrived I entered a room with a copper framed wall unit of marble shelves with glass doors. Behind the glass were green marble boxes of some sort of religeous relics. The priest knew why I was there and pulled out one of the boxes and presented me with a sword which looked to be made of porcelain but could have been ivory. He quickly drew his own sword and we began to duel. Very quickly I was able to chip the top few inches off his blade but my sword bounced off my shin leaving a slight wound for which the Priest was not worried about. I had the impression this porcelain sword would do more harm to the Devil then to a man. The priest said he never saw anyone fracture another sword so quickly and reminded me not to fear the sword or look directly at it, instead focus on the devil and imagine myself making contact with him with every strike of my sword.

I headed back home and upon entering the area with the hell hole the Devil was there waiting. He tried to put his arm around me and I struck him immediately with the sword, gashing him across the chest from the right side of his neck to the left side of his waist. He retreated immediately in agony and I stood there questioning the others about who had gone down into the hole. Pretty much everyone except Cris had ventured down. Cris was practicing refraining from desire so had lil interest or intrigue about the hole. I instinctively knew that with every visit into the underworlds depths that each person was accruing a debt on their soul. If one was able to visit and then not yearn to go again perhaps their soul could be salvaged but with every visit the person would shed their shame a lil more and it started to show. The 'symptoms' of hell became apparent and the candor, bravado and shamelessness of those who visited became unignorable. Little did they know that the Hell they were indulging in was merely a way for their debt to reach a peak of indulgence and then from that point on their souls would be owned and the real hell would begin.

The metaphor of being thirsty in a desert but being able to quench your thirst came to mind. The insatiable hunger, lust and desire for all of eternity. I had the option to slay them each as they entered into their final visit into Hell, but chose to let them pass seeing as they were about to offer their souls away for eternity anyhow. I don't know what the moral here is; Evil can be defeated by fine porcelain or ivory, perhaps it's that sin is always a choice and when you indulge too long you give away your soul..or maybe it's that forgoing desire will make you oblivious to the evils around you.
But what I really think it says about the end of days is that the rapture won't come like explained; where God comes and takes all the good and leaves the sinners to suffer the apocalypse. I think pockets and holes would open up all over to tempt mankind into those holes, sating their desires and indulgences more and more each time. They'd be aloud to come and go freely and just when the last person willing to be tempted enters into the hole God would come down and save those that are left- because Heaven may have a gate, but Hells doors are always open.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rock Soup Radio Episode 2- John Ruddy

Rock Soup Radio's second installment is now available on the World Wide Interwebs for your consideration. In this episode, enjoy the cerebral musings of native Jersey City artist, Rock Soup Studio's own John Ruddy.

Is Donald Trump conspiring with the Obama campaign? Will the world end in 2012? Where is the best place for Korean BBQ? Why do we exist? Find the answers to these questions, and delve into the philosophy behind John Ruddy's perspective on art, life, the universe, and a bizarre faith in humanity-- that he may or may not have.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

RockSoup Radio is HERE! I hope.

Check us out here for our introductory show.
More to come!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Theres got to be a better way to reach people then facebook. {Philosophy Break}

Seems like everyone I know is suffering in some way these days. Maybe it's just me, maybe people have been suffering in mass since the dawn of time and nothings changed. Maybe it isn't suffering but the awareness that something is missing. Even those whom I consider fairly upbeat people seem to have a weight on their shoulders that they are looking to let go of. I first noticed it after taking a lil break from hanging out downtown in the scene, going to openings, bars etc; I noticed that the way people were greeting me was different then the years before. In the past, things were very much on the surface, nothing too deep, nothing too personal. We'd have some drinx, shoot the shit, laugh and keep moving, but now people seemed as if they genuinely were looking for conversation and connection. I began to feel like I was being a shitty friend to a bunch of friends I didn't even know I had. I have to admit at first it felt like I was everyone's favorite dinner guest- but eventually I speculated that the truth may have more to do with how our shit economy/politics has awaken many of us to what is truly important and we want more then just the bullshit chit chat these days. I wasn't necessarily ignoring these kinds of interactions, I just didn't think they were all that feasible in the environments where we would typically see each other. BUT I can't deny that I've shut myself off from some good folks that I'd like to get to know better. Real artists, cool people and interesting characters with interesting stories and perspectives that I unfortunately only ever see out at an event.

It's this reason that I've decided to venture off into radio podcast interviews with some of the folks here in the JC scene. Maybe a lil at a time, one by one I can connect and get to know some of the personalities that I've crossed paths with over the years at parties and openings,but haven't had the chance to really sit down with and have a chat.

The interviews will be coming soon and a friend and fellow 660'er Ryan Iozia will be our host. Ryan is even more of a recluse then I, so he doesn't have all the years of interactions to taint his perspective on a potential guest. His questions will likely be right to the point in trying to get to know whomever we have in the Studio. Taylor Allred will be our engineer keeping things clean & funky for us. I hope you guys listen, because there are some great minds out there in this weird fucking city and if we can pick their brain for an hour and connect maybe we'll all feel a lil more connected to that creative source that fuels us, so we dont have to depend on the parties for our social fix.
BUT above all we are artists! There's got to be a better fuckin way to reach people then facebook!!

Below you will find the link to our introductory podcast with Ryan interviewing me.

Why you should take the time to fill out 'THE REAL SURVEY'

When I wrote the real survey I did so in a late nite creative frenzy. The kind where your audacious enough to think whatever it is your doing is gonna change the world, when in retrospect all it really ever does is change you. It started because of the Facebook phenomenon that's taking over most of our lives. I don't have to recite the stats, you know them already; facebook owns yer pictures, they monitor your internet navigation,they save everything you ever do and they sell it all to the highest bidder. It's also impossible to close your account, one can only ever shut the door while it waits patiently for you to return.

We have staulkers and trolls, fans, friends and now subscribers too. We judge people quietly, we hide or block people we want to forget and we pretend that were always at our best, sure to untag our bad pics and copy clever quotes that we hope makes us seem interesting. That's just the tip of the iceberg, facebook has us by the balls by providing us a service we are desperate to have; an outlet for our vanity, our perversions and our banal interests that help waste the day away. So what does my survey have to do with facebook? Well it's a result really, a result of hearing a facebook related conversation atleast 3x a day or meeting someone out whom I do not know in person but am friends with on Facebook.

We don't give much thought to just how 'out there' we put ourselves when we engage in this sharing of information. Both willingly and unwillingly our everydays are cataloged and available for examination and not just by Big Brother, also by our alleged Facebook friends. So who are these people? Who are our 'friends' ? I know they really aren't my friends, but that's not really the point is it? The point is we have hundreds, if not thousands of people reading our posts, flipping through our lives and making judgments about us. When I post an update or share a link I see roughly the same 50 or so people 'liking' or commenting each day, so in my mind, these are my FB friends. These are the people I am talking to. The reality is hundreds of people are seeing it and for all you know you can be offending them or turning them on. It's a weird world out there and I didn't want to guess or suppose that most people who friend me think the same way I do. What does that artist in GA think of Obama? How does that banker in Baltimore feel about gay rights? Do I have any Republican friends? If I do, do they hate me? So I drafted up a list of basic questions that I felt were conversation starters, but also fundamental questions that could happen at any dinner party among friends whom are comfortable around eachother. We've given strangers so much freedom with our personal information, whats the harm in sharing a bit more and stating where we stand on subjects like Aliens, Government cover ups, bank bail outs and the end of the world.?

So I guess what I'm saying is you should take The Real Survey not just to satisfy my curiosity about who you are, but also to practice admitting where you stand on some interesting topics that you might keep talking about afterwards, either here on FB or among friends & strangers. Print it out if you want, email it to a friend. The results aren't just for me, they are for anyone interested in getting some reality outta this surreality we've endured since the dawn of the internet chatroom.

You can find the survey here on my blog. Copy paste it, respond in the comment section or make up yer own, I think its a better way to waste yer time, because there's only so many cute kitten videos you can watch before wondering if you've got a kitten fetish.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Zen Message #1

Zen message #1- If we stopped and used focused perspective before responding to our environment, it would reduce the amount of ill gotten dramatics perpetuated by the minds need to preclude & protect by conjuring up instances of historically inaccurate emotionally charged justifications that are otherwise just there to reduce the levels of incoming forced insights and maintain the status quo of our fragile egos.
- Be open, Listen and be Ready.


Friday, January 6, 2012

The opposite of life is not death, it's dreaming. {Philosophy Break}

The opposite of dreaming is to be awake
To be awake is to be alive
To not be able to wake
is to be asleep
To do neither wake, nor sleep is to not exist
which is worse then death
because death is merely a measure of lifefulness
and existence is the fullNESS of life.


"Brains, they'll eat anything", so watch what you feed em.

(This is written backwards...but i like it for some reason backwards, perhaps it suits it to be?)

-The two battle and dance and whilst they do- so do we and whence they don't,none shall be.

When there is nothing to exist, existance is summoned once again to balance the void.

Time forces things into position, force meets resistance everytime until it doesnt and when it doesnt, it ceases to exist.

Every second you grow you also decay.

Most of the beings that have EVER lived are now dead & will be dead muchhh longer then they EVER were alive.

if you were to pay attn to how much obvious decay was going on around you, if you'd have a better intuition as to when your time was up.

Being life & death are in essence; growth & decay, I wonder;

John Fathom