**NOTE** This was originally posted as a note over on my Facebook wall. If it looks familiar, that's why.-ATS
First of, let me get this out of the way. I'm gonna talk about God in this note. If that's not your thing, cool. You probably want to click back over to Bejeweled or Collapse or Farmafiavilleyotown.
There is a recent status message on my wall talking about the Phase 1 and the Great Purging. And that's pretty much what this is.
ME coming clean.
Please hear me on this (and take this the way it's meant)...I don't care what you do-it's not my business. This note is not about you or your habits. It's about me and mine.
If you think that sounds harsh, read on-it's gonna make sense in a minute.
I worked for a computer store for 3 years...in another IT position after that, and I've been in my current job for 11 years (which is help desk at a software company).
So, lets cut to the chase. I'm a geek.
If you needed an MP3, a Movie, a piece of software...chances are I could get it. If I didn't already have it, I knew where to get it, or from whom to get it.
Which, if you're in a pinch, is a good thing.
But...when you're trying to get your isht right with God (as I am here lately), it's a hindrance.
See-this is where the "I don't care about you" part comes in. This isn't a judgement or condemnation or soapbox of anything you currently do. I know some of you get files, etc. I know this because we've exchanged files. You taught me, I taught you. We fed the fire. I don't care about that. I'm not putting this out there for you, it's going out the for me...to solidify my thoughts for the road I'm finding myself on.
It's funny. I always thought I was 'sticking it to the Man' when I circumvented the system.
*I'm a writer, but when I downloaded eBooks, I had it in my head that I was sticking it to the publishers...not fellow authors.
*I'm a movie-maker, but when I got movies,I swore I was sticking it to the studio/Hollywood machine...not other first time directors or fellow Indie filmmakers.
*I'm a musician...but when I got tracks,I was adamant that I was sticking it to the RIAA...not other bands looking for their big break.
*I work for a software company...but when I got the warez or cracks or keygens, I was for sure sticking it to the giants (Microsoft, Adobe, Sony)...not the guys coding shareware in their basement.
But I came the conclusion recently that I wasn't really screwing over ANY of the people I thought I was.
In the end I was screwing myself over. Well, me and God.
It's like this (if you can stay with my twists and turns, then bravo, but here goes)....
OK...file sharing, warez, cracks, torrents, mp3 sites (even going back to napster days)...that's 'normal' now...right? I mean teens know how to find any song they want (and some of them even pay for them on iTunes, Amazon, etc)...or videos.
It's become accepted. Kind of a spoils of plunder thing. If you can do it...and get away with it it's not really theft, right? The world doesn't see it as 'wrong' anymore.
No, really, I'm right there with you,dude...this was kind of a huge shift for me. I could rationalize 100 ways to Sunday why it was ok...hell, even RIGHTEOUS that I got all this isht without paying for it.
But it's still theft. I see that now. Quite clearly.
I started seeing the cracks in my logic when I started editing things at home for ICC. It was like..'ok...I'm editing this video that's supposed to show people the glory of God, but I'm doing it on illegal software.'
That's kind of jacked up yo.
And then the other day, in the shower (where all great ideas hit me), it hit me.
It would be like Moses wearing stolen sandals.Picture this...Moses comes down from the mountain...and he's got the tablets...and they're glowing with the glory of God...and he's completely jazzed to start sharing that,right? And then some dude's like...'um...yo, Moses....what up with the kicks?'
And Moses would be like..."well...you know Reebokodemas is a huge behemoth in the sandal game but yo, their business model is so whack...I figured if a pair came off the wagon, they'd never miss them. And it's not really hurting anyone. They're just shoes. So anyway, let me tell you about these commandments...'Thou shalt not steal....''
Kinda jacked up, right?
I know, know, know KNOW that I've got some great things afoot in my life. And I know that they are directly related to my relationship with God. And I can ask him time and time again to forgive me of my sins-and He will-and that's AMAZING to me.
That only works if I ask for forgiveness. If I don't think I'm doing something wrong...I'm never going to ask and I'm just going to keep carrying that thing around with me....and what if that thing that I don't think is wrong is sitting there infesting a place that needs to be clean and clear for whatever God has in store for me?
Lately I feel like all those 'little things' that I know are wrong, but are 'OK' according to popular opinion have just covered me like a film.
Thousands of songs....hundreds of movies...thousands of eBook...hundreds of software apps...that's a lot of gunk. Easily 200, 300 GB of harddrive space.
I know it's apt to sound preachy or soapboxy. But I really don't care about your stuff. I'm just telling you why I'm cleaning stuff up on my side. And if you ask me if I want that new joint that just dropped, I'm gonna tell you 'no thanks.' If I didn't pay for it, or rip it from a CD or vinyl LP (or DVD or VHS) that I OWN, then I don't need it right now.
And don't get all weird...I really don't think of you any more or less because you still play that game.
I mean, that's really what it is. It's a game. How long can you get away with it? Truthfully? A pretty long time....I'm probably going on 20+ years now...longer if you think back to computer club in 8th grade when we'd all gather around the apple IIGS and play PooYan that someone had cracked.
I'm not going through the purge because I care about what the 'authorities' say. This isn't about the RIAA, courts, Hollywood, SPAA...it's not about any of them. It's about me being able to talk to God. And this stuff....that has seemed so harmless for all these years ...s blocking me from hearing what I need to hear and doing what I need to do on my path to unwrapping the Gift God sent me to be.
So...that's really what it's about. One more acknowledgment that I'm IN the world, but not OF it...and I have to start doing some things differently for me...because I've gone on too long without fully hearing God. And that's hurt all areas of my life.
So, Moses, drop the sandals. We got enough gold between us. We can BUY you some kicks. And now, hit us with those commandments again, mmkay?
Heavy man, heavy.
Age (and time) soften most things. I have to admit I was kind of a dick during parts of my Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp experience. Most of it was simple misunderstandings and mis-managed expectations. I'll take part of the blame. And I'll pass on the rest.
And then there's the taxes. Yeah. That cheesed me off. $4000 grand in taxes on my 'prize' was a blow to the nards. Not gonna lie there. I'll probably grumble about that until it's paid off (which I think is like in 2013).
But ... in all honesty, folks, it was an AMAZING experience! And it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing for a cat like me. And I say 'for a cat like me' because, apparently the RRFC folks have a massive re-up rate on people who repeat the camps. At the one I went to, I met 4 or 5 people for which it was their 3rd, 4th, 7th, camp. Crazy. At least for me. $10K a pop just isn't something that's in my budget.
Which is why I always think it's funny when I get emails from David Fishof and crew telling me about up coming events and camps and blah blah. I mean, it's neat and all, because it makes me feel like I'm a part of it all, but by the same token it puts a bold emphasis on the fact that I am NOT of that world...it really was the pauper in the palace.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this...it's on my mind because of the recent email I got from him about February's camp (and some of the extra-curriculars going on with it).
I replied to the (very well written) form letter with a polite "David, that sounds awesome, but unless you have a scholarship program, or want to sponsor me as your resident 'blogger/photographer,'-I'm gonna have to pass until I win the lottery (or another GuitarCenter Contest)" Not sure if he'll answer me back or not. After 2 years I'm not even sure he remembers me. And that's cool.
I still remember the camp. And the jamming...and the State Theater in Phoenix...and the Hard Rock in Vegas...and the Filmore East in San Fran...and the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd in L mother effin A.
It really was a blessing...all bullshit and bitching aside.
That's really the key with memories, isn't it? Peeling away the BS and remembering the good stuff.
I'm off next week (shouts out to I and D if you wanna try to hook up)...so hopefully there will be more posts.
Peace out for now.
**UPDATE** Got an update from the man, DF, himself. It was cool. Told him I'd save my pennies but if he wanted to sponsor a blogger with mad photo skillz, look me up (ok...I didn't word it quite like that and he did let me know that did 'feel so bad that guitar center made you pay the taxes but... look at the bright side.' Don't worry David, I've come to grips with the bright side of it (and the rest). It was amazing. And there'll be a whole chapter in my memoirs on 'Things I Learned From Rock And Roll Fantasy Camp' :-) And Happy Holidays to you, Mr. Fishof.
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