Thirtieth Year Anniversary

On this day 30 years ago I discovered the courage within myself to reject and step away from your society ruled by cheats, thieves, scoundrels and profiteers to make an honest living (by this, I mean a living based on service and the giving of healthy, life affirming, loving things rather than profiting from injurious, predatory, and life damaging things, which most people do) – creating and playing music. At the time, I didn’t know that something truly miraculous and magical was going to begin.

I couldn’t get a restaurant job in San Francisco because I had started growing dreadlocks and all your restaurants refused to hire me ( although I had more than 10 years of experience in fine restaurant service), calling me dirty to my face. Waiters now wear dreadlocks while working in all kinds of restaurants, including posh romantic places.

The only job I could get was a dangerous scooter messenger job with a reprographics firm. I delivered architectural blueprints between architects and their clients. Speed was rewarded. Every day I seemed to be skittering away from speeding cars, weaving trucks, or hulking buses with at least one hair raising, heart racing, close call per day. I hated it!

During one of those deliveries, I had taken a short cut on foot through a BART subway station and saw a violinist named Nick (who died of AIDS many years ago) performing. He had just won a civil suit against BART in order to play. Dressed in concert attire, he was playing the first movement of “Spring” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

“I can do that,” I thought.

That night after work and for several successive nights, I dug out my violin and started memorizing the 1st movement of the Bach A minor concerto. A couple of days later, after work, I went to BART’s Powell Street station to try it out. Positive feedback abounded.

The next day after a night’s thought and consultation with my best friend, I gave 1 month’s notice at the reprographics firm, making the advent of spring my first day of supporting myself solely through busking. During that month, I memorized a repertoire of pieces that included: the Bach a minor concerto, the Bach E major concerto, Mozart’s Concerto #4, the “Meditation” from the opera Thais by Massenet, and a few isolated movements from Bach’s unaccompanied preludes and sonatas. Funny thing is that I never memorized any of the Four Season’s or any of the hackneyed “popular” classical music that one hears most violinists play in public. I guess I thought that was Nick’s domain.

On the 21st of March 1987, I began playing the Bach a minor in the corridor of San Francisco’s Civic Center train station. Most particulars of the day are lost, however I remember it to be thrilling. I wore jeans which I stopped wearing within several months, preferring skirts and creative fantasy clothing that I assembled instead. And I made . . . Nope, in keeping with a personal vow of silence about money-making, I will not tell you. I’ll leave it by saying that it was much more than what I earned by putting my life at risk for the sake of architectural blueprints.

For most of you who have not seen me play recently, here is a solo performed on Sunday, March 19th during a San Diego prayformance with my wife, Lila’Angelique:

Expressive Thoth by Dan Rubin, NYC

Mocking

I passed you the other day, and you sang at me (notice how I say “at” rather than “to” – romantic, or “for” – humble) . . . you sang at me in an out-of-tune falsetto. Were you auditioning for me? If yes, it was horrible. So what were you doing? Mocking? Mocking me? Of course you were. You think that if you expel air from your larynx in that inefficient and horribly unpleasant way, you can humiliate me into stopping my “weird” countertenor singing? Sorry! Never! Better people than you have tried (including my own mother), and none have succeeded.

Let me ask you a question: How could you – a loser, a scummy drug dealer who spends most of his time standing in the square hounding tourists to sell them cocaine or second grade weed – ever have the hubris to mock a person like me – a person devoted to service rather than parasitical greed, whose merchandise uplifts rather than addicts, whose talent has been practiced for twice if not three times your lifespan, whose . . .

A few people would contend that you are envious. However, I don’t believe that you are intelligent enough to be envious. You lack the acumen even to recognize how much skill and imagination it requires to do what I do. No you’re not envious, you’re just a bully, trying to control me because my mode of expression makes you uncomfortable.

You may be surprised to learn how unoriginal your mocking is. So many people have behaved towards me like you did. So many! Additionally, I would say that in general the most talentless imbeciles, lazy idiots, and inconsequential losers choose to mock people. My nature has always been too complex for this dual world. I have been mocked throughout my life, almost from the moment I was born – by everyone.

But look where it has gotten you, all you mockers. Nowhere! You continue to sell drugs in the square or die of overdose or murder or work in a dead-end job, or worse. And while I continue being creative, doing what I do, growing and becoming more and more expressive, you – steeped in anger, hatred, and envy – waste your life away doing nothing at all except trying to injure more creative and intelligent people than you.

But you know the difference between you and me: I have compassion for you. I really want you to do better. I am rooting for you to do better. You can begin by recognizing how terrible your dead-end life is and seeking a path to your creative self.

Making Money

Thoth speaks of the difference between “making money” and “money coming to you.”

You love money. Everyone does. I love money too, but not like you. Money comes to me through doing something I adore – my bliss. Whereas you make money doing work you hate or dislike. In fact, if you could make the same amount of money a different way, you would stop doing what you are doing instantly. I will never stop. I don’t want to stop, even at death. No retirement. Retirement is for moneymakers. I am not a moneymaker.

I would also say that we speak of money differently. You say: “I make money.” I say: “Money comes to me.” Your way is much more invasive, violent, coercive whereas mine is gentle, peaceful, graceful, full of magic. In addition I would say that by making money, you injure others –  animals,  the environment, even the very people to whom you sell your merchandise, since subliminally knitted into the structure of your moneymaking scheme is a greedy malicious intent. Many of you even try to undermine the efforts of others – who may be creating a better product and with a kinder intent than you – to get money; you mislead us about your merchandise through pushing pompous advertisement and lies on us. I do none of that. I just give of myself from my deepest heart. And without asking or demanding anything of you, your heart, moved, plucks out a pound or euro or dollar to recompense me for that evanescent chord of emotion between us that honors our telepathic connection.

You ask, “How can I be more blissful?” I say, “Stop profiting from the misery of others. Be humble. Be honest. Devotionally seek out who you truly are. And by seeking, you will perforce find your bliss.”

A New Beginning

Thoth explains his new attitude towards his blog.

I feel like I’ve finally solved the conundrum of what to use this blog “Thoth’s Thohts” for. Being slow, unlike you with your speed-writing, speed-reading, speed-learning . . . I take a long time to figure things out.

It’s the voice, Stupid.

I wish I knew as a teenager that taking a long time did not mean I was less intelligent, just thorough. But I didn’t because of our high-speed school system, which teaches and tests according to speed rather than depth. So instead, I was saddled with a lot of insecurities about my learning process.

To continue: previously I was writing a faux private journal to which I offered you a view – as a kind of voyeur – to my thoughts. However, now I will speak directly to you, all of you, whether you care or not. Being way past my youth and having lived as an outlaw for most of my life, I feel that my observations about you and this world of false laws you support, either submissively or actively, have density and truth. I believe this because I am not invested as you are in this system.

In conclusion, let me say it again: before, I wrote about me for you, now I write about you for me. Somewhat of an ironic twist, isn’t it?

Failures

We are failures. This is difficult and painful for me to admit, but it is true. Yet, in spite of this, we continue. We are stubborn. In our place, most of you would stop and do something else – perform Beyoncé or Rhianna or Kanyé covers or be a DJ or get a job in some computer firm or something like that.
Instead, we continue to perform our music in spite of its inability to interest you.
Many of our friends and fans are no longer friends and fans, some are even enemies. They’re tired of us, of our art, of our failure.
Every day we have to watch a woman who used to embrace us with comments like: “You two are angels!”; “I love your music! It is so beautiful!”; avoid us by walking on the other side of the street, without even saying hello. What happened? This kind of behavior doesn’t happen only here in Portugal. It happens everywhere – Amsterdam, NYC, San Diego, San Francisco . . . What did we do to you that has caused you who once loved us to hate us, to be so angry, so disrespectful, so dismissive of us? I think it is because we are failures. Nobody wants to be associated with failures.