The fact that a cartoon can cause such fury and outpouring of frustration is no surprise to me. In fact it makes a great deal of sense. The sheer magnitude of stupidity in the world, and its rise to heights of power in political strata globally is unequaled in the memory of the living. Ofcourse, no sane person can become outraged at a simple cartoon, drawn by an obviously second rate cartoonist (at best) and published in a previously unknown newspaper from a small country most in the world have never visited or even noticed before. The sane person who much to my personal dismay might be offended by such a cartoon might have perhaps 30 seconds to feel emotions such as anger, betrayal, etc. and then go back to productive things with his/her own life. So, what we are seeing now is a vast quantity of the earths population teetering beyond the edge of sanity. This is sheer madness. It is shocking, and it makes me sad. Perhaps the UN should seek to pass a resolution that no member country may continue to be governed by a leader or group of leaders who are not capable of passing a basic psychiatric test to prove their sanity. I certainly would like to see the results of such a test on the majority of leaders of countries. I recently had the misfortune of working with a Danish guy whose music received thunderous if mystifying applause. It was the closest thing to un-music that I have ever played. There were many factors working against me on this performace. Things which came up to bite me in the ass - so to speak. But, the general feeling and emotional temperature of the room was so foreign to me, and caught me so off guard that I was nearly unable to play a part that was literally designed to be playable by a trained monkey. I was (together with a group of string players) playing along with a "soundtrack" being played back through pro-tools, and although the same thing could have been bounced down to 2 track and played from a cd player, it would not have looked nearly as cool. The highlight of the evening (for me) was the loss of power to the computer. Perhaps it revolted and just shut down. Whatever it was, I took it as a small victory. I was also fortunate enough to be buffered on either side by extremely sympathetic people who made the whole experience much more bearable. I have yet to be paid the meager sum which was promised and it is only for this reason that I withhold the names of those involved, since I still perhaps unreasonable hold out hope that by some miracle the contract will be fulfilled and remuneration will be forthcoming. I mention these 2 seemingly disparate bits of news beside each other and look for the links between them. There is something dower brewing in middle earth. A shadow is falling over all the lands, and the possibility of laughter, light heartedness, silliness, these are all things which are so delicate, and seem to be slipping away from peoples consciousness. I felt a heavy cloud over me for the past 24 hours, as I am sure millions of others have felt over themselves, and feel over themselves at times, for inconsequential reasons. All reasons, all events are potentially meaningless. It is up to us what meaning and value we assign to the events of our lives. Passing through nastiness only reinforces in me my strong will, which I cannot allow to be broken, that I will not be joining the growing tide of insanity. I also need to ask many more questions if I do "gigs" with people whom I have not worked with before.