Consider This

Dispatches From the Fringe

Not A Prayer

I’ve been thinking a lot. I know that probably comes as a shock to everyone, hence why I decided to be as up-front as possible about it. Thinking about me, my social spheres, my culture, my planet, the universe, and of course life and death themselves. Brian Greene (The Hidden Reality) is saying into one ear that it is very possible that everything — every choice, event, formula, pattern — has already happened and will happen infinite times over. Very difficult to shelve that bit of information; not so different from attempting to store a liquid in your cupboard without the use of a container.

In the other ear Michael Azzerad (Our Band Could Be Your Life) has given me pause about the experience of being in a band, and what it means to be making music in the present age.

I’ve been slowly reading through David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus Infinite Jest for some time now, spawning many thoughts about the artist, the writer, the madman that he was, his relationship with Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections; Freedom) and others. Exploring Wallace’s “Hal Incandenza” has been an unsettling experience, and an energy consuming one at that.

My headphones have been pumping Kurt Vile’s experimentally drugged-out melancholy (Smoke Ring For My Halo), a slew of favorites, and some locals (The We Shared Milk, Radiation City), among others.

Even as I write this I grow tired of blogging. I was tired of it a long time ago. I don’t often have it in me to explain what’s going on in my head, since I can’t put a finger on what my motivations for educating myself are exactly. On a base level (and Maslow would probably approve of this perspective), I am ever-so-painfully aware of the limitations on my influence that are imposed by my current social status, and that the way out is by knowing more and better how to do something, so as to rise. Perhaps it will be cooking (that would be amusing) which finally settles me. Enough of this blather. I’ll write more soon (within the year at least: HA).


Written by Ryan Corvidae

March 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Blind Art Collector

I’m pretty excited. Everything that has happened since returning home has been dense; I’ve explored many limits, met people, shared my mind, established preliminary roots, and Reed Lakes is preparing to release a studio E.P. I suppose I can say this isn’t our first release, but in a way it represents the band as something evolved from our home-recorded six-month reflective. We studied up and built upon our strengths; we addressed our weaknesses and, in the midst of weekend touring, approached a kind of fluency with each other in musical language.

It was harmonious, making this record, and an achievement in many ways, for each of us in unique ways. I didn’t join the band until we moved to Alaska, but the other Reed Lakes have been playing together for years — as perad and Gayda and as nameless noise before that. And from all that came this: Blind Art Collector. We had six weeks, and conjured up five songs. A couple had been jangling around in our heads for months before being finished in Heather’s Garage or, in some cases, at Twisted Penguin. Out of necessity more than artistic intention we entered the studio with the album not-quite-realized and this left each song accessible for spontaneous inspiration and important input from Evan and James.

With some subtle, essential, suggestions to each track and experienced mixing, we eventually wove together some harmonious, sweet tones to interesting beats and out popped our long-gestating E.P.

I’m excited. This album was, and is, a goal of mine since the Yurt, since back when we played Maxine’s Open Mic, since A Three Way E.P. Can’t wait to share it. Stay tuned.

Written by Ryan Corvidae

December 11, 2011 at 12:37 am

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It’s all been corrupted again; perhaps it always was

an orchestral piece of broken instruments,

brass in half, rusty slides on wooden floors,

snapped strings and shredded bows hung as laurels

earnest proclaiming relevant competencies;

cracked and corroded the timpanis,

someone removed all the glockenspiel keys,

laid out and stomped the cymbals,

stripped the snare, punctured the tense heads,

beaten bare and lonely;

dented the mellow sousaphone, chucked at the walls

bleating wet smacking barbaric throat noises,

harmonic bassoons with splintered reeds

dissonant and dying their somber buzz.

Crescendoes at fortissimo tax the wary band;

they wonder when the song will end.

Written by Ryan Corvidae

November 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm

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Air Into Gold

I wonder sometimes where I lost my nerve. I’ve had this blog since the end of my freshman year of college, and for over a year after its founding I managed to be relatively prolific, opining on this or that current event or pet interest, and churning out words if not perspective. In those days, it wasn’t about figuring everything out, or even convincing anyone of anything; it was simply about figuring. It was a venue for dialogue. And I was challenging my surroundings, seeking a higher ideal, pushing the boundaries of my sphere of influence.

Maybe I just decided at some point that nobody would benefit greatly from having another voice added to the fray of online bickering, and bickering is absolutely an appropriate word to describe the general level of discourse one finds in most online outlets. If you search hard enough, the voices become less strident and more interpretive, but it isn’t common. And I suppose I look into many of my past opinions and tirades and feel them to be juvenile, or overconfident, and can’t help but grimace. Another nail in the coffin of what I thought to be my budding writing career.

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Written by Ryan Corvidae

November 16, 2011 at 2:55 am


Self-Portrait — 6/7/11


The slight flab:

a gray paunch, finally

to call his own

sitting launch-pad.


Holding back, restive,

ever more reservedly;

a death, of sorts

the red kind he couldn’t read about —

it hadn’t happened yet.


Beginning again,

again, and then again,

unruly, surly,

tumbling rapidly into the ever

lightning next…

One might call this a self-portrait.

Written by Ryan Corvidae

November 16, 2011 at 1:32 am

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The Earth Is Round

The Earth Is Round — 11/13/11


The Earth is round.

The sky,

matte black and endless,

interrupted by chaotic masses

of gravity and gas

permanence; eruptions

and emergence in the cosmos.


The Earth is round.

The scale,

its orbit a flywheel invisible,

emanating an everglow;

auburn sunbeams engulfing

moon’s pale eyeline

apropos the dance of satellites.


The Earth is round.

The sight,

a bloody revolution

vouchsafed in souls; the

mossy center of the universe

belongs to the ant,

his heart a mold.


The Earth is ground.

The sand,

founder of things,

a shifting sea;

mind, its own —

a looking-glass

into vast spaces.

Written by Ryan Corvidae

November 14, 2011 at 3:17 am

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In Pursuit Of Ethics

The Occupy Wall Street movement, like the Greek protests, the Spanish Indignados, and the Arab Spring, though all precipitated by different specific events, are all springing from a common well. The source of this well is a modern disregard for certain fundamental aspects of how human life is defined and what follows as society manifests from these definitions.

These movements are, if nothing else, a basic protest against an ethic which devalues society’s building blocks – its people – and manifests systems of organization which are inefficient, loathe to adapt, and which leads to an entropic inability to correct flaws that would lead to the whole system’s failure. Primary human production, the basic unit of all human labor, has been funneled by the current system into subsystems of self-perpetuation which totally devalue human creativity and imagination, where following its internal logic means feeding the system a half-capable person, only able to fulfill a largely arbitrary task rather than contemplate the entirety of the apparatus. Taking to the streets and occupying parks and public spaces is an expression of outrage at the contempt of the system for what we all know human experience can be; for what we have seen mostly in spite of that system.

This system of alienation from humans being-for-themselves is the inevitable product of a economic-philosophy known as Capitalism. This philosophy, followed to its logical ends, dissects communities as needed for the directing of wealth to the already-wealthy, without regard for human dignity or what we would consider morally acceptable. Within the confines of this ethic, all is justifiable in the pursuit of more efficient gains, be the consequences war, outrageous inequity between persons (manifesting as “classes”), environmental degradation, or in all reality a combination of these factors. This system, so far removed from the commonly shared human experience – with its pesky emotions and natural communities lending to the healthy development of empathy and compassion – alienates people from their own personal experience; it effectively praises and rewards those who would act against their own expanded interests, creating monsters who would do monstrous things to those who would otherwise be allies or companions, for the sake of “gains.”

But what is gained by perpetuating a system in such clear opposition to normal human interests? Certainly, the wealthiest among us could argue that their comfort is worth the cost to others’ well being, that, for example, when employees are laid off to raise shareholder earnings, the end goal as stated by Capitalism (gains) have been accomplished, and therefore justify any and all means for achieving that goal, particularly when the gains are spectacularly impressive. Given enough time for this philosophy to explore its possible manifestations, it will, and has to, consume any resource for the sake of the perception of gain.

The human beings we find in parks and streets and having conversations in their homes, schools, and workplaces, are not satisfied by this way of being. They understand that a system which is more effective at exploiting its participants – at every level, even the top – than providing for them is utterly broken. They may not see the full scope of the problem, or see it manifested in every aspect of their lives, but they must feel it, as a sense of alienation from their truer nature which emerges in the company of a loved one, one’s friends, or in the rare moments of clarity when all else falls away and the deepest self emerges, nakedly and in full sunlight.

Written by Ryan Corvidae

November 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm