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The Borovkoff Blog

Neo-Pagan Modern Thoughts On Society

Category Archives: Art

Image of Ryu from Street Fighter video games.Sometimes songs can mirror life. You hear the song and the lyrics make sense to you and you can relate. Really relate. And finally that song that you kind of liked in the past really becomes that much more important to you. We all have those songs, they may even be favorite or they may have become our “Ally McBealtheme songs (for those who get that!)

I am going to randomly post some lyrics from some important songs in my life, songs that have meaning and inspiration and sound good too! Hope you all enjoy and leave comments if the song has a story to tell for you!

My first is Christina Aguilera’sFighter“:

(After all you put me through
You’d think I’d despise you
But in the end, I wanna thank you
‘Cause you made me that much stronger)

Well I thought I knew you,
Thinking that you were true
Guess I, I couldn’t trust,
Called your bluff, time is up
‘Cause I’ve had enough
You were there, by my side,
Always down for the ride
But your joy ride just came down in flames
‘Cause your greed sold me out in shame, mhm

After all of the stealing and cheating
You probably think that I hold resentment for you
But uh uh, oh no, you’re wrong
‘Cause if it wasn’t for all that you tried to do
I wouldn’t know, just how capable
I am to pull through
So I wanna say thank you
‘Cause it

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Oh, oh, oh, oh
Ooh, yeah, oh

Never saw it coming,
All of your backstabbing
Just so you could cash in
On a good thing before I’d realized your game
I heard you’re going ’round
Playin’ the victim now
But don’t even begin
Feeling I’m the one to blame
‘Cause you dug your own grave, mm

After all of the fights and the lies
Guess you’re wanting to haunt me
But that won’t work anymore
No more, uh uh, it’s over
‘Cause if it wasn’t for all of your torture
I wouldn’t know how to be this way now
And never back down
So I wanna say thank you
‘Cause it

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

How could this man I thought I knew
Turn out to be unjust, so cruel?
Could only see the good in you
Pretended not to see the truth
You tried to hide your lies,
Disguise yourself
Through living in denial
But in the end you’ll see
You won’t stop me

I am a fighter and I
(I’m a fighter)
I ain’t gonna stop
(I ain’t gonna stop)
There is no turning back
I’ve had enough

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Thought I would forget, but I
I remember
Yes, I remember
I remember

Thought I would forget
I remember
Yes, I remember
I’ll remember

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

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The Bucket List movies posterSome movies can move you. Many movies can make you think. And a few movies can make you feel human. Very few movies can do all three and then some. But one of those movies is an oldie but a goodie, called “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

The movie pairs these two wonderful actors as two wonderful elderly men, stuck in terminal mode as they are both diagnosed with various life threatening cancers. One is incredibly wealthy and the other is incredibly wise. Both would never have met each other but for the fact that they are both stuck in a hospital room together and both given the prognosis of a death.

Sounds kind of boring huh? But it isn’t. The movie explores the idea that if you could know the exact moment of your demise, what would you want to do? That list of things to do before your last breath is known as “The Bucket List”.

The movie exposes the sad fact that so many of us go through life without really living. We don’t do the things we want to do. We put up with the things we should not. We stay angry at those people whom we should forgive. We carry those old scars, hurts and all of our old baggage from the past with us, no matter how heavy that baggage weighs on our shoulders.

If you have not seen this movie, I encourage you to partake. At the least it will make you think and realize that one day you will not be around any longer. So what’s on your Bucket List?

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Image depicting depressionMy family history has a long record of severe depression. Two of my father’s sisters lived out the last 30 years of their lives in a deep depression. Never leaving the house. Crying through the day for no apparent reason. Reckless spending of money, though they were wealthy. Finding no joy in anything around them, including their spouse and children.

My father suffered through two severe depressions in my life. The last one almost cost him his life, as he routinely tried to take his own life. He was never successful luckily. His last attempt at hanging himself in our garage left the beam to the roof of the garage cracked, and a chair broken. But my family kept going and accepted that this is the “way” dad is for right now. And then one morning, he got up bright and early, made breakfast for everyone, hugged us all as we woke up that morning and his depression was over. It came and went for no reason.

So my siblings and I have always accepted that something genetic is looming deep inside of us, and most likely will force one of us or all of us into that dark place.

When my mother died in 2000, I fell into the first depression of my life. It last for a short 3 years. It helped to end my relationship at the time. Aided my separation from friends at the time. Helped me to lose a wonderful career in fine arts. And I found other ramifications in that three year time too. Some seem like vague and shadowy memories. And then it just evaporated and went away and I was “normal” once again.

Now, I find myself once again falling into a more serious depression. For those who don’t know what this is like, let me explain it to you:

– I get up to go to work in the morning, but I don’t really want to. I would rather lay in bed and sleep, because there is a feeling that nothing really matters anyway.

– I get no joy from the things that used to bring me joy. Reading, art, movies, tennis. All have 0 impact on my mood. They just seem like chores for me to finish and get back to sleeping.

– I cry at odd times in the day. No reason. Tears just come down my face. I escape to the bathroom and sit there until the tears stop. No thoughts trigger the tears. No reason. They just come.

– A feeling of always being tired is so strong in my physical self that I cannot get enough rest. And I always have the feeling that I am not getting enough rest ever. No matter how long I rest in a day.

– People point out all the good things in life, and the things that I should be grateful for, but I don’t feel anything. I just feel…blank. Like its not really real at all. Those things are not THAT good. They are just things. Little rocks to weigh fill my pockets and weigh me down as I walk out into the river and drown, like Virginia Woolf.

Those are just examples of some of the feelings both physical and emotional that sweep through me routinely. Weird huh? Depression is a serious illness. Some people take drugs to help sway the balance in the favor of a brighter feeling. I have never been a big proponent of medications and try to avoid them at all costs. Frankly I try to avoid doctors period. Kind of like Andy Warhol, who avoided hospitals for fear of his own demise. I have that same feeling. Nothing good can come from going to the hospital. You just seem to get sicker.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, in my regular searches on Youtube for the wise information that could change me for the rest of my life, I came across a video from a young man who was suffering depression too. His solution was to play the piano. The piano helped him. He found himself transported away. He found himself almost feeling happy again. I wish I could find the link to his video again, but it came and went so swiftly and now I can’t seem to find him on there anymore. He spoke about the freedom from depression that he sought. He shared his feeling and theory that playing the piano seemed to help him.

For Christmas this year, I bought a piano too. And great joy at learning to play this instrument has started inside me. But watching this Youtube video, I began to realize that maybe there REALLY is something to this strange depressed brother’s theory. Maybe he is on to something. Just maybe.

When I play, and usually when I am improvising especially, I feel that sense of being transported away. I feel a heaviness leave me. I hear the notes and something deep inside me, something forgotten, that happy, smiley side of Adam stirs just a little. A relief comes over me. The notes surround me and hug me and tell me that everything will be all right. Nothing lasts forever. Is it the sound of the keys or is the feeling of the keys? Is it the creation of sound that did not exist at all until you sit down at that wonderful instrument and play? Hmmm?

The piano promises that one morning, bright and early, with the earliest of morning sunshine streaming in my window, I will wake up and want to live again. I will find joy in life again and be able to recognize beauty and be thankful and full of happiness again. One day tears will only come when something bad happens or I step on a piece of glass. One day I will discover all of the things that I used to love about life. One day I will do the happy dance. If only. One day.

I know I am not alone in these place. I know that there are other souls down here in this darkest of pits surrounded by shadow. I know you are out there too. And I know you understand what I am saying. You don’t know where it came from or when exactly it started. But you know that you are here now. Maybe the piano is key. Maybe we all need our own piano to soothe our depression beast.

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Image of a cover from an old comic book.The age of electronic books is upon us now. There is no going back, there is only three categories to fit into: early adopters, later adopters and oppositional non-adopters. The latter are the people who refuse anything new.

Rather than focus on the people who either adopt or fight against this new type of technology, I would rather focus on a clear benefit to this technology.

Comic books have been around for a very long time. Some of my earliest memories include Sunday morning drives from the sleepy town of Orinda, CA to the equally sleepy town of Rheem, CA, with my dad. My dad made this a normal part of our Sunday morning activity so that he could by particularly hard to find business gazettes and newspapers at a small store in Rheem. I loved those Sunday morning rides with my dad. One of the reasons that I loved them so much was that it meant I would get to buy some comic books. My dad usually allotted me $1.00 to spend on comics, because he thought it was a silly thing to buy, and back in those days $1.00 was a helluva lot of money. And I was the type of kid that figure out a way to stretch out that dollar and make sure I got the maximum amount of comics for its value. I always walked away with a bag full in the end.

So comic books hold a special memory for me. They speak of the time in my life where I was innocent, and life was innocent. And they bring foggy memories of drives with my dad back to me, almost to the point of tears sometimes.

I kept most of those comic books. They have traveled with me through life, through lovers and friends, through jobs and homes. They have been a constant. Probably the only constant that I was guaranteed in my life. Everything else seemed to fall away with time. But my comic books stayed by my side wherever I was living and whatever I was doing. They may have been stashed away in a box in a dark closet, but I always knew that they were there. And every now and then, I would add a new one or two to my collection, needless to say that the price increased substantially so that a dollar would not buy me even a single book.

We all have memories of our childhood. Some good and some bad. But we all want to preserve parts of it for our later years and perhaps our descendants life times.  Digital comics and digital comic readers help us do that, and they are quite good.

Comic books are now scanned into zipped archives with the extensions .cbr or .cbz. You can look up the process on the web and get hundreds of instructional web pages that will take you step by step through the process. In these highly compressed files, our entire comic book collections are preserved. Each page as an individual, vividly colorful image. Then we can download multiple free Apps for our PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or even the rare sought after iPad 2, that will enable us to read those files in sequential order, just like we are reading the actual book. We can even include those goofy Sea Monkey ads if we want! You get to choose!

We don’t have to crack open the actual hard copy book, risking hurting the pages, or smearing fragile ink. We can have our digital comic books available to us always, with our other wonderful digital reading materials. We can tote our entire collections around with us and read at our own pleasure. And reading pleasure it is! I am starting to re-read many of my older comics, and I find myself drifting away while I am reading. Drifting away to the body of a little boy, peering out of a fast moving vehicle zig zagging its way through windy suburban streets to a destination filled with comic book racks that spin around on wire frames, while my dad peruses through the business section of the magazine rack and chides me to “Hurry up, Adam. We don’t have all our life.”

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Image of movie poster for The WIld Parrots of Telegraph HillJudy Irving created an artistic gem of a film when she created the documentary, “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.”

Judy’s film centers on one of the flocks of parrots that currently roam free in San Francisco. Any resident of the city by the bay has seen them flying from palm tree to sycamore, squawking happily on their way. Rarely does anyone think about how they got to be free in the city, or how they survive though.This wonderful film, from 2005, maintains its focus on one flock of parrots and the man who tends to them like a shepherd tends to his flock.

But the movie is more than a film about wild parrots, how they got there, and how they are surviving. Its about life. Life and how it is impactive to everyone around. The shepherd of the parrots is a wild eco-friendly, semi-hippie, with no job, living in a cottage by himself and hoping for love while seeking the meaning of his own life.

This film will make you smile, make you angry, make you thoughtful, show you things and places you wish you had seen everyday, and then sadden you to the point of truly emotional and compassionate tears.

Its available on Netflix in disc and instant streaming view. I cannot recommend a movie higher.

 

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Image of American Idol logo with microphone.American Idol this season is like eating a stack of waffles smothered in syrup and dowsed with chocolate drizzles. There is so much sugar coating piled into this season of AI that after watching one of the hideous long episodes you must get tested for diabetes the next day. They need to post a warning prior to the start of the programming that watching this show can seriously elevate your blood sugar.

No Simon seems to equal no integrity. Not that the show ever really had serious integrity. But at least there were opposing views from the judges and some interesting moments of contention. Randy is the lone remainder of the original contentious team. Sadly to report, I used to actually like Jennifer Lopez until this show. After last nights horrible rendition of, “we can’t make a decision, so how about while we are having a judge’s private conversation we play J Lo’s new music video for you?” OMG! OMG! OMG! Can I vomit now or should I wait until the eagerly awaited decision is announced?

The new season has taken any integrity that the show had (a small thimble full for sure) and flushed it down the big white circular waste can that makes a watery “SWOOSH” sound! We are left with a season of dullsville, teenage girl votes, and really awkward neo-adults dancing and singing in uncomfortable looking shoes. Plus three judges that pretend to bounce to the beat and then give words of encouragement that can only be deemed, pre-determined words that could be spoken by the performers own parents: “You are truly amazing. You are remarkable. You are wonderful. You will be become president one day. You are going to save our planet and free all oppressed societies over night. You can walk on water!”

BLEH!

How can a show that claims to be able to create American idols and fantastic artists have any serious integrity in the art world? It can’t. Serious musical artists each year cringe in agony as the AI season takes off. They hide their eyes and hope that when the smoke clears there is not too much damage to the music industry. Sometimes even mediocre talent evolves from all the PRing, commercials, prostituting, and philandering. Some times. But rarely. And usually not very long lasted.

The best we can hope for is a solid karaoke act to glamorize an already glitzy Las Vegas night life. I am sure the casinos see some serious monetary gain.

 

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Image of the Grammys Award.Its fairly common knowledge that the Grammys has become one of those corrupt entities that American deal with each and every year. Its kind of like the Oscars, only there is slightly more crack (literally) involved and a far larger population of badly dressed stars. But BORING, it has rarely been. And then came 2011. Time to take a nap.

There were three highlights to the night, probably worth the price of the ticket: Lady Gaga’s new song performance and arriving in a palanquin egg, Mick Jagger able to perform (at all) and move like a youngerster (even with the amount of chemicals in HIS blood), and finally Barbara Streisand performing live and looking fabulous to all.

The awards themselves were a giant joke. Obviously you have to know WHO to sleep with to get a Grammy, because they no longer represent talent. Lady Antebellum winning several awards for a “one hit wonder”- out of date year old song (I thought we were over the one hit wonder thing in the 70s?) was representational of how bad this event came off.

And the performances: oh, my god, pass my iPad so I can read a book while watching. You couldn’t have come up with worse acoustics, costumes and complete performances if you were putting together a giant spoof of the Grammys. It made fun of itself. Nearly every performer’s voice was drowned out by the horrible acoustics.

Will someone please pass the word that baggy pants showing rear cleavage and rap is SOOOO OVER! Its day has come awhile back and has departed an even longer while back. More talents has been exhibited in the pre-auditions of this season’s American Idol sadly.

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