The Hang Drum

Whilst on a recent visit to the amazing and enlightening town of Glastonbury, I was lucky enough to hear a hang drum player busking outside the town’s annual Goddess conference on Saturday evening.  Entrancing many of the women from the conference who were dancing and swaying to the mesmorising sound of this strange ufo shaped instrument, I couldn’t help but sit on the nearest wall and listen.  ‘Hang Massive’ who recorded this video, look like prolific musicians with this instrument and well worth Googling to see what else they’ve recorded.

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Life: It’s Just A Ride.

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while…

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“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

Bill Hicks

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Russell Brand Gets What’s Due!

I didn’t attend the ‘End Austerity’ march on Saturday, but in a funny way, I’m glad Russell Brand did, as he got to hear what many thought of him. What did he expect? He tells his fans and followers (of which I WAS one) to start a revolution, then makes the stupid move of telling people to vote for a political party that’s just as corrupt as the rest!

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on him – it’s not his fault that he was so naive to believe what his ‘mates’ in the unions advised him. It’s not his fault that his naivety was exploited by the Labour Party; in particular, Ed Miliba(n)d – but Russell definately needed to hear what I, and many others, think of what he did.

Russell, politics is a brutal and nasty ‘game’ and people will exploit you at every turn for their own means. Trust no one, go back and re-read the book you wrote. Go and hang out with people like Noam Chomsky, withdraw from public life for a while, lose the union ‘friends’ (they’re not your mates) and maybe, just maybe, you might be able to regain the trust of the people who were mistaken in thinking you might be the figurehead we need to start a peaceful revolution.

YouTube video by Urban Pictures UK

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Ulay, Oh – A moving video!

This video was recently shared with me on Facebook and I found the whole thing quite moving – So much so, I’m sharing it with you.

Artist’s, Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love affair in the 1970’s, performing out of a van they called home.  When they ended their relationship, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last embrace in the middle. That was the last time they saw one another.

In 2010, as part of her MoMA retrospective, ‘The Artist is Present’,  Marina shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her.

On opening night, Ulay arrived without Marina knowing…

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Russell Brand – Nothing but a letdown.



So, Russell Brand is endorsing Labour, except in Brighton, because he liked Caroline Lucas. A man I once respected, not only as a recovering addict (like myself), but even more so for his interview with Paxman, his book “Revolution” and everything he’d been up to (with the exception of becoming a union lacky) has sold his soul to the politicians he so apparently despised. Shame on you Russell, you can shove your style of revolution where the sun doesn’t shine.

Read about it his endorsments here…

UPDATE: It’s a sad state of affairs that Russell has shown his political naivete and gullible nature by coming out with this tripe! WTF is he talking about? VOTE to start a revolution? You damn fool, Russell. Trust me you’re going to have egg on your face (metaphorically speaking) when you realise that you’ve been taken for a ride. If you need some decent advice, go and spend some time with an educated and well respected man who can tell you EXACTLY what’s happening. Noam Chomsky.

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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Bipolar: A breakdown’ by Max J Freeman.

Bipolar: A breakdown
Bipolar: A breakdown by Max J Freeman

Admittedly, this is the first book review I remember writing since my high school days and don’t think I’ll be able to give what has been an inspirational read for myself, the justice I feel it so readily deserves.

‘Bipolar: A breakdown’,  is a stark 12,000 word account of the author’s seven day stay in an acute ward of a psychiatric unit due to, ” …a couple of failed suicide attempts”. It is published without any edits and according to the author in his prologue, was never intended to be published. I’m glad Max Freeman changed his mind.

The author, who describes himself as a ‘manic depressive’ doesn’t fail to deliver an enthralling read  which combines  not only the observations of the going’s on in a 21st century NHS psychiatric unit and the author’s fellow ‘inmates’;  but is also a written journey of the author’s state of mind, as his consciousness is slowly relieved of the powerful anti-psychotic drugs that Freeman observes had got him admitted into hospital in the first place: sadly having been prescribed them to help lessen the impact of his ‘condition’.

As a footnote, it is a sad indictment to NHS mental health services  that the author felt that he had to ‘beg’ to be admitted to hospital, especially in light of the fact the author had reached the harrowing conclusion that his future no longer lay on planet Earth; which is recalled in complete honesty and the, dare I say, selfish thoughts that dominate the thinking of a suicidal soul. I could relate to it, and I suspect many others who’ve walked this dangerous path could too.

I challenge anyone who reads this book who have themselves spent time in a psychiatric unit, not to relate to many aspects of Freeman’s observations of 7 days spent in a  21st century NHS psychiatric unit, and the value of tobacco as a currency! Anyone who works in the sector, or has experiences of a psychiatric unit can also see some common characteristics of Freeman’s colleagues in units up and down the country.  Max’s experiences with the “delusion of psychiatrists”  is spot on along with his own theories on mental health and the restrictions many people place on themselves by clinging onto the label they may have been given by professionals in this most underfunded subjective medical science: where the effective treatment of an individual more often than not results in months, if not years, of prescribed experiments in finding a suitable medication  or therapy – if at all to become more ‘normal’.

This is an essential read for politicians of all levels; practitioners of all aspects in psychatric care and those interested in the mindset of a typical ‘manic depressive’; if one can exist? Written intelligently, portraying a roller coaster ride of emotions, it is far from easy reading if you are offended by the frequent use of expletives and sometimes upsetting content; but this is more than made up for with much wit and humour even in the face of adversity. If you’ve ever been given the ‘bipolar’ or ‘schizophrenic’ label, this ebook will give you solace in knowing you are not alone and Max may inspire you – as his ebook has me – to think about yourself in a different and more positive way.


“Bipolar: A breakdown” by Max J Freeman (Kindle edition) is published as an ebook and is available for download from Amazon – HERE.

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