Making Changes: Not Just For New Year

Making Changes: Not Just For New Year

 

I have been neglecting music reviewing some-what; for a number of different reasons: the energy and commitment (it demands) is one of the most pressing.  Working irregular and demanding hours, I am finding it (reviewing) a strain and tiring prospect- it is why I have put it firmly on the back burner.  In a way it is a shame, as music reviewing has been a part of my life for several years- it is the reason this blog exists.

This last week has been a rather trying and bizzare one- a silver lining has developed.  I find myself putting (myself first) and sacrificing my own happiness- too concerned with what other people are feeling.  Very recently, a rather upsetting and heartbreaking event has occurred- something that has caused me sleeplessness and upset.  Having hurt a valuable friend and caused some upset (for them), I have decided to change my ways.  I am too keen to get involved with people; ask if they are okay- pay compliments.  Not dragging the details into the light, an harmless and good-natured gesture (on my part) has back-fired- and will continue to do so.  In the wake of it, I have probably lost a valuable and close friend- possibly forever.  Not just that, but have hurt them hugely- this angers me enormously.

In addition to having upset and hurt a wonderful person, I am fearful that I will never hear (from them again)- it has caused me to reassess me way of thinking; the way I prioritise myself.  I am always too keen to be seen as ‘the good guy’; the person that goes out of their way- do something kind or thoughtful.  When it backfires- and innocent people get hurt- it gets to me (more than they will ever know); and I am tired of being a burden- things need to change.

Being close to my 300th (blog post), I am keen to get back on track: reorganise my mind and start putting dreams first.  For too many years I have neglected recording; put a relationship in the shadows- made sure most of my money went to other people.  It is not the case I am going to completely change- become a harsh and selfish human.  The fact is, I am getting too upset and affected (when things go bad).  Thoughtfulness and consideration will always be high on the agenda- I just need to limit my ‘kindness’; stay out of other people’s lives.  Be like everyone else, essentially.

New Year is the time for resolutions; it is stupid to dedicate an arbitrary (time of the year) to resolutions you will not keep.  When things go bad; when life starts to crumble- THAT is action needs to be taken; things need to change….

I have decided to make sure I record some music- before this time next year- and find a relationship- think about personal fulfillment and happiness.  It is important to keep friends; be faithful to your better nature- it is even more important to not lose focus of your own well-being.  When it comes to recent events, I doubt they will resolve themselves- I think too much damage has been done (and that cause me more pain than anything else).  Baffled, angry and deeply upset, I have to make changes and start putting myself first- take myself out of other people’s lives.  In addition to recording music, I hope to write a comedy (pilot); find love; move closer to London- as well as dozens of others things.

Not so much a Bucket List: it is a list of things I (should have done years ago) and have neglected- at the top of the list is ‘Be Happy’- how many of us aim for that (and fail)?  I should be back to reviewing music- in limited capacity- next year; making plans to get a band together- becoming a different person.  Too many of us make bad decisions and make mistakes- and do nothing about it.  Having chatted with a  treasured and loyal friend, she has opened my eyes- urged me to start thinking about me; putting myself first.  She is right, and I am glad she (said it)- it is something we all need to do.

I am not suggesting we all need to abandon our finer nature, but you definitely need to balance priorities- stop being so involved with (making other people happy); getting involved in other people’s lives- and making things (for yourself) worse.  As horrible as I feel- for having made someone I care about hate me- it has made me realise what I need to do: make myself happier.  Only then will I be able to live a better and more fulfilled life.  I have charity ambitions; music plans and things to sort out- distraction from recent embarrassments.  If you are in a similar position (and feel too burdened) it is okay to let things go- and think about yourself.  When it is all said and done…

THAT’s not a bad thing at all.

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Time Out of Mind: My Second Entry

The Equality State

 

Pilot episode

(29 minutes):

“Wyoming, London

(Why I’m In London)

Notes and ideas:

Because there have been so few- good or successful- U.K. animated comedies, it is high time there was an attempt.  At the moment, there are few comedies- from Britain- I watch- there is a bit of a dip at present.  I want to write something with a U.S. sensibility; inspired by the likes of The Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park, it will a very modern look to it- the same style of animation as The Simpsons (without the yellow people), and feature a great and varied cast.  I have an idea for the main cast- two boys, two girls- and hopefully they will be in.  The pilot will hopefully wet appetites for a full series.  With cliffhangers and plot twists, the idea is to leave people wanting more- both A-story arcs have huge longevity and potential for growth.  The series will see the girls with the power- transposing gender roles and making them the dominant duo.  Parodying and (with) affection referencing Breaking Bad, the girls go all across London- and the U.K.- and get in all sort of adventures and scrapes.  The boys go all across the world and bond; experiencing and achieving huge things.  The reality of home life and reality never is far from the door; each couple comes together and keeps their other lives separate.

In time, I hope to employ celebrity voices for episodes, but want to make sure the pilot gets made and received.  If there is not an animation company in the U.K., it may be a case of going to the U.S. – or raising a Kickstarter campaign and getting it made privately.

Desired Soundtrack:

Figure It Out- Royal Blood

The National Anthem- Radiohead

Metal & Dust- London Grammar

Synopsis:

The pilot focuses on two different couples in their 20s, who come together; during Hallowe’en of 2014.  Their coming together will have a huge effect on each other; that will change their lives and cause huge waves.

Alice Yorke is a Jehovah’s Witness; she is down on her luck and a mother-to-be.  She has just learned she is pregnant and tries to balance her daily life, coping with it.  She goes door-to-door in east London; trying to spread ‘the good word’.  The local citizens are not so accepting, and as she meets some weird and wonderful people, she starts to doubt herself.  As the sun rises over east London, Alice and her ‘colleagues’ try to change people’s minds; before a huge song-and-dance number- mixing Thriller and Billie Jean together with classic musical elements- breaks out: D.E.N.I.A.L.  As a hard morning drags on, Alice returns to her Canary Wharf apartment she shares with her boyfriend.

The boyfriend in question is a one Stefan Buckley.  He has recently been fired as a teacher, and spends his days obsessed with Radiohead; smoking, drinking and preparing for an upcoming court case: a harassment charge made by Thom Yorke.  The two sit down and discuss the future possibility of becoming parents; both knowing that they do not have the money or security- or stability- to be able to handle it.  They weight up their lives, and recollect how and why Stefan got fired: both aware that they need to change their lives.

Over in Camden, P.C. Natalie Mercury is on the beat- and on a crime scene.  She is a controversial and ‘bent’ police officer, and has been in trouble constantly.  From drag racing The Red Cross; wrongful arrests, parking in disabled spaces and tampering with murder scenes, her boss is fuming.  Natalie arrests some ‘freedom-hating terrorists’; lays down the law and not strictly playing by the rules- not realising they are Hasidic Jews.  When they complain, she tells them to ‘tell someone who cares’; as there is a smash cut to her Chief Inspector’s office; as a stack of complaints and written warnings are piled on the desk.  She is given one last chance, and told she is on very thin ice.  In her spare time, she models for Crimson Electric: a London model agency that is filled with the most disreputable opportunists and odd assignments you could imagine.

In a local hospital, her high-flying and dashing boyfriend Dan Bush is experiencing a typical day.  In the clinic he is dealing with some strange and depraved patients, whilst dealing with the advances of a gorgeous co-worker; as well as fending off a tyrannical boss- who is rather violent and angry.  In his spare time, he manages a successful band (Famous Atheists)- as well as looking after his sick and cantankerous parents (two 80 year olds).  After a rough month, he catches a quick break at his flat; located opposite a kebab shop in Camden- Madonna’s Kebabs (run by Madonna herself; although she tells everyone she is a look-alike).  He meets Natalie there, as the two discuss a recent event: Dan proposing the previous night.  With Natalie’s job at risk and pressures in Dan’s life; Dan starts to feel the strain; as Natalie makes lavish- and very unusual plans!  As they prepare for the evening’s Hallowe’en party, the day ticks on…

Alice deals with the effects of morning sickness; choosing inconvenient and embarrassing places to fall ill.  The day continues, and the four prepare for the evening.  As the guests arrive in various costumes, Alice’s niece is round as they have to babysit her.  She is a very ‘mature’ and strange 4-year-old and causes all ends of issues; not helped by Stefan teaching her how to smoke.  The party swings on, as each of the couples confide in each other; and their various doubts.

As the morning arrives, the four go separate ways.  Alice is left to clear up the mess and carnage of the night before; before having to go onto the streets, in a desperate attempt to bring the word of Jehovah to Elephant and Castle and Hackney.  Dan has a nightmare morning as his colleague makes a pass, and his fellow doctors tease him about settling down.  Natalie is fired for letting a drunk meth-head drive her home after the party- in a police car.  Natalie has her badge, car and clothes stolen, and is now out of a job, being pursued by angry criminals, with the Met. Police angrily demanding the return of the stolen assets.  Stefan spends his morning trying to invent the perfect hangover cure; looking for a new job, as well as being embroiled in a battle with a neighbour- with disastrous consequences.

The two boys meet up at a local bar- Homme’s; they discuss their situations and both feel trapped.  They are making plans for the future when Stefan gets a phone call with terrible news- he may only have 8 months to live.  The two girls meet at an Australian bar in Soho.  With Natalie fired and Alice dislocated and lost, they both feel a change is needed.  After both drinking a well-known cocktail; Natalie still has drugs- taken from a local gang.  After dropping them in the cocktail; she accidentally takes a sip.  The effects start to take a hold; leaving her sedate and ecstatic- a bizzare and brilliant animated sequence takes place (mixing Fantasia, stop motion, The Beatles and live action).  As the girls make their way home on the tube, they see the depression of London life; the inequality as well as the beauty and fascination.  As Alice finishes her day, arriving at the door of a chavy couple, Natalie calls.  Suddenly a master plan is struck, and the girls strike upon a way out of their problems.

Stefan and Dan have a heart-to-heart and asses the news.  Stefan decides that he has been a disappointment to Alice, and decides to make a list; a sort of Bucket List, where he will do as much as possible- as well as achieve as many goals as possible.  The girls realise that Natalie has stumbled upon an addictive and potent invention.  The two set up premises in the empty basement of the kebab shop (opposite Natalie and Dan’s flat), and come up with a name: The Equality State.  They recruit a group of followers who are all socially different.  It refers to the effect the cocktail has where everyone- rich or poor- is levelled and equaled: everyone feels the same.  It also refers to Wyoming, a U.S. state which is mountainous and sparsely-populated- the first state of America to give women the vote.  It seems like a metaphor for their business, and how they customers will blend into London life.

As the police close in on Natalie and Dan’s flat and the walls close in, Natalie still uses her pull and power as a police officer to round up customers and make money and connections.  Stefan and Dan begin a list of 30 ‘to-dos’ or tasks; starting with number 1- with the help of Dan’s band, Famous Atheists.  The two forget about work and life.  Dan does not mention that his colleague made a pass, as well as his doubts about the wedding; Stefan does not let Alice know about his illness.  Meanwhile neither girls mention their business venture, as well as Natalie’s firing, and Alice’s doubts about motherhood.

In the closing scenes, Alice and Stefan talk about the future, and possible abortion.  Outside an inappropriately-named abortion clinic, as the rain lashes; the two realises that they want to stay together and need a future to hold onto.  Knowing that each of their lives will be very different and turbulent, they continue as they are: making sure neither knows of each other’s fate.  Natalie and Dan spend the night together; neither revealing truths, but promising to stick together.  When the following night comes around, Natalie and Alice are in the basement, surrounded by acolytes.  In a homage to Fight Club, Alice gives a speech; the mantra of the club and society:

The vile men that take the head of the world,

Break the mind and kill our kind

The women who break the mould will never ask

For an even mind

In spite of light the sun goes down

The world’s true nature is revealed

The poor are blinder, the rich control

The average are crushed under foot

The right to vote, the equality state

Every human on a level plain

In the openness of the midnight hour

We are all the same

Whilst mere mortals tell us they see some

And only remember a few

We feel everything

When eyes of the fools are closed and their idle dreams dance

We will rule- and they will hear us call

As the conclusion plays out, the girls find that they are being pursued.  Alice has her colleagues, as well as some of her ‘faithful’ chasing her; angry at her betrayal and revaluation; as Natalie finds that her flat is taken over by the police; keen to find her, as some disgruntled criminals also close in.  Stefan has a court case; illness and fatherhood to think about, as Dan’s colleague announces her intentions- leaving each pair with much to ponder.  The screen splits as each of the couples go separate ways.  Stefan and Dan head to the U.S. to fulfill the next ‘task’- both trying to escape from life; unaware what ramifications could be in store.  They are involved in an epic fight and car chase; escaping with cuts, the duo pledge friendship and the promise of making things better.  Natalie and Alice have a huge queue of customers, as word spreads.  As the siren’s flash across the street and the flat is turned over, the girls both join hands and smile; realising that London will be changed, and that their lives will never be the same again.  Mirroring the first scene- in tribute of Memento- Stefan pulls his car outside a local tattoo parlour (just before heading to America).  There is mystery to why he is there; what is going to happen- setting up another cliffhanger, there is narration (from Stefan), as he delivers the line: “Now… where were we?” as there is an instant cut to the closing credits.

Time Out of Mind- Press Release

Time Out of Mind

 

Over the coming weeks and months, I want to raise awareness, money and attention for Mind– a charity that helps those affected by mental illness.  Being someone who is afflicted (by the illness), I am keen to raise focus and prominence- ensure depression and mental illness is not stigmatised and margalised.  Most of the people I know, know someone (who suffers mental illness)- a majority of the public do, too.  My proposal looks at changing attitudes and getting people involved- much in the same way the Ice Bucket Challenge (did for A.L.S.).  Unlike the Ice Bucket Challenge, there is a creative edge and proposal- the individual is encouraged to think of something unique and special- so no two people offer the same thing.  All I ask is (for each participant/nominee) to spend 15 minutes of out their day- and post it on social media.  It can be a video message or a poem; a recorded song or photo  (a good deed for someone; a walk in the park for instance)- I wrote a song from scratch!  Having launched the idea, I have had people contribute and get ‘the ball rolling’.  Below are videos from three of my Facebook friends- Diane Sherwood, Jen Armstong and Georgia Jakubiak:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=960946843930864&set=vb.100000466725465&type=2&theater

http://www.patreon.com/creation?hid=1040669&rf=115256

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154611985545207&set=vb.561780206&type=2&theater

This is what I am looking for: something fresh and fun; something personal and creative- all it takes is 15 minutes (or less).  Once this ‘entry’ has been posted, the person must nominate three people; they in turn have 48 hours to respond/complete the challenge- they in turn nominate three others etc.   I hope to take the idea globally (and turn it viral)- get it talked about and promoted.  The most important thing is to donate to Mind– everyone must ensure they do this.  This can be done in a number of ways:

Just Giving:

https://www.justgiving.com/Sam-Liddicott3

By text

There are two ways to donate to Mind via text

  • Text SUPPORT to 70660 to give £3
  • Text GIVE to 82772 to give £5

By post

For one off gifts, please send a cheque, rather than cash, payable to Mind Fundraising, 15-19 Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ. Please download and complete the Mind donation form to send in with your donation.

If you’d like to set up a regular gift by post, please download and complete the direct debit form (PDF format) and post it to us.

By phone

Call us on 0300 999 1946 and make a donation with your debit or credit card. Calls charged at your normal rate. Mobile and other providers’ charges may vary.

 

Time Out of Mind is a fun and creative way to raise awareness for Mind and the issues of mental illness- something that can be done by everyone.  It only takes 15 minutes- and you!  Let us all work together and do everything we can- so many suffer the effects of mental illness; many do so alone.  I myself often feel lost, lonely and disconnected- in need of a helping hand and friendly voice.  With community togetherness; a common goal and focus- we can make a difference.  Thank you.

For further details please see The Problem: An Invisible Illness; A Way Through: Time Out of Mind:

https://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/the-problem-an-invisible-illness-a-way-through-time-out-of-mind/