Archive for September, 2012

some Interludiary Insperation

Posted in Bits of inspiration with tags , , , on September 18, 2012 by benhogan2

I am currently working on an actual direction for this blog, so this post will just be a excerpt that inspires me to no end from a book that means a lot to me “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche.
translated by R.J. Hollingdale.

“In truth, man is a polluted river. One must be a sea, to receive a polluted river and not be defiled.
Behold, I teach you the Superman: he is this sea, in him your great contempt can go under.
What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of the great contempt. The hour in which even your happiness grows loathsome to you, and your reason and your virtue also.
The hour when you say: ‘What good is my happiness? It is poverty and dirt and a miserable ease. but my happiness should justify existence itself!’
the hour when you say: ‘What good is my reason? Does it hunger for knowledge as the lion for its food? It is poverty and dirt and a miserable ease!’
The hour when you say: ‘What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How tired I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and dirt and a miserable ease
The hour when you say: ‘What good is my justice? I do not see that I am fire and hot coals. but the just man is fire and hot coals!’
The hour when you say: ‘What good is my pity? Is not pity the cross upon which he who loves man is nailed? But my pity is no crucifixion!’
Have you ever spoken thus? Have you ever cried thus?
Ah, that I had heard you crying thus!
It is not your sin, but your moderation that cries to heaven, your very meanness in sinning that cries to Heaven!
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue? Where is the madness with which you should be cleansed?
Behold, I teach you the Superman: he is this lightning, he is this madness!”

This is something that I try to follow everyday, mostly failing, but the hour of the great contempt tends to hit me when I get lazy and complacent and knocks me back on path. if you feel you are too lazy and satisfied in your life, read this a few times, really let it’s meaning and it’s power envelop you and bring you into your hour of the great contempt.

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Nirvana: thoughts on my experiences in bands: Part 1

Posted in Music with tags , , on September 13, 2012 by benhogan2

I began listening to rock and metal music when I was about fourteen, it was a revelation, like finding the dead sea scrolls ya know? it changed my life, especially bands like Metallica and Nirvana and going to bed every night looking up at their posters just made me wish I could be on stage at the Fillmore or CBGB’s rockin’ out.

At fifteen I got my very first electric guitar and it was never out of my hands, every day I practised and everyday I got better and still every night I would stare at the posters and dream and it would motivate me to keep going with it.

There is a youth club in our town that used to let us bring our instruments and just sit for a few hours and jam and that’s where a friend of mine heard me play “Welcome home(Sanitarium)” by Metallica, I’m pretty sure that was the moment that really solidified my place in a little death metal band called “Cronos” that he and a couple of other guy’s had decided to start, I had never been more excited for anything in my whole…I think seventeen years at that stage…I’m a bit hazy on the chronology, but what I was sure about was that we were going to be an awesome band and we were going to be famous and stuff and be revered and venerated for our efforts, oh the naivete of youth.

We actually did pretty good for a group of teenagers in a death metal band in Wexford at that time though, we gained somewhat of a following and even got through to the main competition of the “coca-cola blast beat” battle of the bands, and though we were a lone death metal band among a sea of Indy, Alternative and Pop Punk bands, we gave it our best shot; as you can probably infer from that last sentence we were knocked out in the first round but honestly, there was no bias, the other bands were just better…I’m not bitter I swear.

Cronos, as a reward for making it as far as we did in the competition, were allowed to record a song in a professional studio and the song we chose was “Black Harvest” the only song the band did that I had any creative input on, which I was and still am pretty happy about, it was a pretty ok experience, one of the guy’s dad’s drove us to some far end of Dublin where we discovered this Professional studio session was in some dude’s shed, dodgy enough, but during the recording of our singer the guy sent the rest of us to get him and ourselves McDonalds and when we came back he was fast asleep! (in his defence he couldn’t be blamed for being tired, he actually was running a professional studio and had been up the entire night before mixing songs), in the end the song turned out really good and I am very proud of the contribution I made.

Not long after this the band and I parted ways, A friend of mine had killed himself before the Blast Beat contest and it hit me pretty hard though I tried my best not show it, I held everything in but eventually it just began materialising in my personality, the guy’s could see this and were understandably worried and I imagine probably a bit fed up of the way I was acting, they made the right choice and I’m glad they did it when they did, I needed to sort myself out and they needed someone who could be a productive member of the band, I loved being in that band and sharing those experiences with those guys at that time and don’t regret anything, I’m the person I am now because of My past and to be honest I’m quite happy with who I am. Anyway, to finish up, the guys went on for awhile after and kept gathering followers but eventually split, the guy’s went their separate way’s but a couple of them stayed involved with music, Joey Ryan is now becoming a prominent acoustic act around the country and I believe Daniel Henderson became a DJ, though I’m not sure whether or not he still is…as for Kevin Freeny…I really don’t know, I must try and get back in touch with him…and me, I joined other bands and had other adventures but those stories are for another day, for now, bye bye and be excellent to each other!

To wait patiently for what’s true, or to go searching for it?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 by benhogan2

“A recent struggle with my idea of spirituality has, as well as certain existential conundrums, left me wondering “where am I?”, there are also other crises of self awareness that are troubling me, but I wont go into those in this letter.

So where was I?…oh yes! where am I?

Well I’m on my bed, in my room, in my parents house in the small town of Enniscorthy, in the ocean side County of Wexford, in the Province of Leinster, in the magical land of Erin; but that’s not what I mean, I mean where am I in my life, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.

Well I know one thing, at the tender age of twenty three I don’t know if I have the spiritual, mental or emotional maturity to figure any of this out, but damn it, I’m going to try.

So spirituality…well I grew up Catholic as did most Irish children of my generation, at least the ones I grew up with. I was even an alter-boy at one stage, but despite all the stigma around it recently, I was never given any “difficulty” by any of the priests, it was a fairly pleasant experience, as pleasant as church can get I suppose. But I wouldn’t say that was significant in my being Catholic, it’s just a pithy tale that came out in the moment. I would say the biggest influence on my being Catholic was my parents and my primary school. Every morning in school we gathered in the main hall for assembly and found every way we could to misbehave before the principal got up on the stage to read announcements (most of which had to do with our parish church) after that he would start the morning prayer and hymns, when we all had to stand in lines organized by what class we were in and face the stage, standing perfectly still until the entire ordeal was over, and then would begin the systematic wearing down and remodelling of young minds that was the primary school education.

I am making it sound a whole lot worse than it was, but then, I’m a very dramatic person when I find a situation that warrants it.

My exposure to Catholicism didn’t stop there, my parents made sure that every week we spent Sunday morning in church doing our weekly aerobics workout, standing up, kneeling down, then standing up again, then sitting, then kneeling again and finally sitting down before we were aloud to leave and go about our Sunday playing video games or watching television or whatever we could find to try and forget that first hour of the day. Not to mention all the really good things being Catholic did for us like, Christmas and Easter for example, and although I have subsequently learned that they are not originally Christian holidays, that didn’t seem to stop going to church on those days as well.

I wouldn’t have described myself as a devout Catholic, I don’t know what that is, I definitely believed in God and Satan, Heaven and Hell and these were ideas that were very deeply embedded in my mind, I did believe that I was a sinner and that at some point I would have to repent for all of those sins or when I died I would be plunged straight into the depths of hell,I believed whole heartedly that when I got to heaven I would be greeted by all my family members and I lived my life under those beliefs for thirteen or maybe fourteen years, then I had an awakening, an epiphany moment in the middle of church and realised “holy shit!!’ everyone is chanting and bowing to someone we’ve only ever heard about from some fruit in a dress…what the fuck am I doing in this circus” and within the space of about five minutes after a serious inner debate I decided these people are all mental and I need to find some way of getting out of coming to this every week, so I discovered Heavy Metal music, which only threw fuel on the fire, I then proceeded to grow my hair long and wear black clothing with satanic, sometimes just eldritch but always cool images on them. Now I don’t know if this had anything to do with the fact that we started going to church less and less but it certainly seem like it may have been a factor, my life was mine now, even though I still had to go to school and be in bed by twelve, but at  least I wasn’t afraid of going to hell if i disobeyed my parents and stayed up for an extra four or five hours.

I was off the millenarian band wagon and living it up on the existentialist express train, on my way to self awareness, truth was all I cared about now, I didn’t want to know about religion or spirituality or heaven or anyone or anything trying to run my life, I was taking matters into my own hands, I was learning an instrument, I was meeting new people and I was neglecting school, the latter being something I would definitely end up regretting later. Anyway I was now an Atheist, trying to discover truth, a mission that would lead me to another Atheist, Friedrich Neitzsche.

His life interested me more than his writings, though “Thus spoke Zarathustra” has meant a lot to me, to me he was modern day prophet, living in the mountains cut off from the world with naught but the wisdom of nature to learn from, I felt like one of Jack Keruak’s “Dharma Bums” everytime i read TSZ, like I was reading from ancient knowledge and I wanted to be like him. 

I then discovered John N Gray and his book “Straw Dogs” and he talked about Neitzsche’s work being based on the same principals as Christianity and it made sense and I was crushed, this truth that I had put so much value to, was based on a lie.”

This was a letter I wrote to myself earlier this year, a rather overly dramatic ending wouldn’t you say?

I have since discovered through long deliberation that being a humanist and being spiritual do not have to be separate things, the search for the truth is, at least in my opinion a search of the self, and that is a very spiritual journey as I’m discovering every day.

for all those truth seekers and faith dealers may the force be with you.

Hello world…

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2012 by benhogan2

Haigh ,Benjiman Anthony Hogan is ainm dom, cen Choai a bhuil tu?

Enough of that, this is my first post on my very first blog and I’m interested to see where things will go from here.

The topic of discussion will be me.

As I head into my mid-twenties I’ve found myself thinking a lot more about where I am now and where I’m going, where I want to go etc.

A journey of sorts, kind of like a John Hughes movie, and like one of his movies i hope that you, either man, woman, child or indeed F.B.I. analyst, whoever will see these rantings, will grow with me and at least take some solace in the knowledge that there is another out there who feels just like them, and maybe, just maybe, everything will be ok…

Well that’s it for now, I will be back soon with more, but untill then, slan libh!