Mathew Sydney

Mr. Mainstream vs. Mr. Conscious

I haven’t posted in my blog for a while.  On one hand, I’ve been thinking I should keep it about music; I’ve been meaning to write a review of the Ghost to Falco cd I’ve been listening to (‘Exotic Believers’ ROCKS!).  On the other hand, I feel compelled to use my voice in the service of freedom; I’ve been following Pussy Riot, Julian Assange and (right here in my fair state of Florida) the matter of “voter fraud.”

Sometimes I wish I could just turn on ‘Jersey Shore,’ crack open a beer and forget all about the Republican National Convention, the drug addicts in the apartment buildings behind my house (I can never tell if they are “recovering,” “relapsing” or both) or how I’m going to make enough money to fix the leak in the roof.

My working-class, debt-ridden, Christian relatives are constantly pressuring me to pledge my support for a presidential candidate who has more money than God.  Obama sends me email almost every day asking me for money (I assume the presidential election is an auction and the process of voting is a mere formality) and I’m bending over backwards to get my “fans” to download a free track so that they’ll actually listen to the music into which I’ve poured my heart and soul.

Sometimes I feel like putting a gun to my head.

I struggle to be positive and healthy.  I’m drinking less; I’m starting a new business (so I can afford that new roof); I’m spending more time with my family and I’m studying facts and figures so that I can make an intelligent choice when I vote this November.  Meanwhile, I’m continuing to book guests for my radio show;  I’m trying to book gigs so people get to hear my music live and I’m composing songs for the rock opera I’ve been wanting to create since 2009... and I’ve decided to volunteer as a mentor for kids in foster care.

I must be crazy.

Mr. Mainstream says, “Quit music, you don’t have an army of screaming girls chasing you, you’re an amateur and you have to make a living.”

But Mr. Conscious says, “Music is your lifebreath.  God gave you a gift and a message.  It’s a sin to set that aside.  Besides, the only difference between a successful artist and a failure is that the successful artist never gives up!”

Mr. Mainstream says, “Go back to school and get a real career.”

But Mr. Conscious says, “Kids getting out of college right now can’t even get jobs.  Can I really afford the burden of another $20,000 in debt so I can do what I’m doing now: odd jobs, odd gigs and food stamps?”

Mr. Mainstream says, “Don’t even think about the election.  Both Republican and Democrat parties are corrupt.  Both of them owe money to the same corporations.  Fly under the radar, hoard as much money as you can and go retire in Costa Rica or Burma.”

But Mr. Conscious says, “You’re an American.  Your forefathers entrusted you with the belief that freedom, justice and equality are the virtues of an enlightened society.  The world will never be perfect, but it is our duty to strive for excellence.  Shame on the good man who does nothing while evil prospers!  Think of your descendants; what kind of world do you want them to inherit?  It’s your responsibility to do what’s right for them!”

Mr. Mainstream says, “You can’t even take care of yourself.  You’re in serious debt, you’re underemployed, you have no assets, no equity, no retirement plan, no savings, no insurance and your ‘job’ is a joke.”

But Mr. Conscious says, “You’re the richest man in the world! You have more food than you can eat, a (leaky) roof over your head, a comfortable place to sleep, good friends, good family and you’re a rock singer; the one thing you’ve always wanted to be your entire life!  There are people who love your music AND you have the freedom to go wherever you want without assholes with cameras chasing you. You live in paradise; there are people all over the world who love The United States and who love Florida.  The weather is always beautiful, every evening is a Maxfield Parrish, you walk to the beach whenever you feel like it.  You have peace, privacy and opportunity.

I am free.

I am free to think and to say whatever I want. 

Not only did our forefathers confirm that we, as citizens of the United States, are the sovereigns of our nation but they asserted that our rights are established by NATURE and by GOD and NOT by the leaders of any particular religion, government or party.  It is a sin against the memory of our ancestors and it is a sin against our descendants for us to just submit to ANY government, movement, corporation, PAC, religion, cult.  Clint Eastwood said, “...you, me, WE own this country... politicians are just employees of ours...”  He's right.  I don't know about you but I'm going to start acting like the boss.

I will persevere. 

I will continue to exercise my freedom of speech: through my music, through my radio show and through my blog.  I will continue to learn and to share what I’ve learned with you.  I will continue to fight for the values our ancestors fought for and I will continue to urge you, my brothers and sisters, to do the same.  I am going to publish a series of letters and articles in this blog.  Sometimes you will agree with me and sometimes you won’t and I’m cool with that... as long as we keep thinking and as long as we keep saying what we think and as long as we keep learning we will remain free!