If life were fair, we’d all be using Twitter instead of Facebook. But life is only fair in our imagination and the stories we tell ourselves through our movies and religions. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse in the ethically challenged world of Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg just returned from a speaking tour to promote Facebook’s official policy to allow political advertising on FB that blatantly lies or promotes untruths, a fact the Trump re-election campaign had already been taking advantage of, which is what prompted the formal public announcement. Zuckerberg also reiterated they will not be fact-checking political ads, claiming that lying in political ads “is an issue of freedom of speech”. (Since lying and spreading fallacious statements is a constitutional right.) But no one is buying it. Facebook employees reacted by sending the CEO a petition of protest stating they don’t agree with the policy. A few well known money managers liquidated Facebook’s stock from their portfolios stating they couldn’t own the company in good conscience because “Facebook’s blatant lack of integrity and constant assault on truth is disgusting”. Even longtime FB haters have been shocked by this latest policy decision. Analysts on yesterday’s earnings call threw Zuck plenty of life preservers hoping he would adjust or clarify the decision. But before he could say anything, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey beat him to the punch by Tweeting and issuing a press release (at the exact start time of FB’s earnings call) to announce it would no longer allow any political advertising on its platform globally due to the proliferation of fallacious and misleading statements, stating “political message influence should be earned, not bought.” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff went on record saying that “Facebook is the most dangerous company in the world today” (though he may have temporarily forgotten about Lockheed Martin et al.) calling them “the Big Tobacco of our time”. (Mark is a good guy but has always been prone to hyperbole.)
So… all around bad news right? Wrong. For us, yes. For the world, sure. But not for Facebook. Facebook reported yet another stellar earnings report last night. Advertising revenue has not decelerated, but continues to grow. Monthly and daily average user numbers are still growing. Facebook is one of the largest countries on planet earth, for perspective, with DAUs of 1.6 billion. Compared to only 150 million for TWTR. The companies aren’t comparable on any metric. Some on Main Street have voiced their concern by stopping using FB and switching to Instagram. The joke is obviously on them since Insta is FB.
For some, yesterday was an existential line in the sand, the ethical battle lines clearly drawn between the good and the bad, the heroic and villainous, the helpful versus harmful. Dorsey didn’t just abstain from making a judgment call that harms the world community for a profit, he took a bold step for conscious capitalism knowing it would negatively affect profits. Likewise Zuckerberg didn’t just not take an action that could have helped the world, he made a decision to generate more profits knowing it would be harmful.
But does anyone care? That’s the real question. In a world where evils like nuclear weapons, royalty, the Catholic Church, big tobacco, big oil, big Pharma, political lobbying, live organ harvesting in China, etc. have been traditionally routinely ignored and allowed to exist, it is hard to imagine that humanity’s good conscience is what’s going to stop Facebook from doing whatever it wants to despite how harmful it might be. But that may be the cynical viewpoint. Or the realistic one. One thing is certain though: Facebook exists for one reason only, to generate money. If it’s user base started to decline and it started losing money because people didn’t agree with its policies, it would change said policies overnight. I personally don’t enjoy Twitter but find it useful if not essential for certain things. Though I wholeheartedly respect and admire the company and it’s executive team. On the other hand i thoroughly enjoy Facebook and Insta as a user. Though I loathe the company and it’s executives. It’s tricky for all of us I’m sure. I would love to see us as a community collectively take FB down or force them to grow a conscience. Just thinking out loud.
The original title of this post was “Christianity Is Making Progress Towards Enlightenment… But Needs to Do it Faster”. But after the final read-thru edit, that didn’t quite seem to sumup its core message. It’s important to note however that the reason for the original title is because despite the ideas expressed below, especially regarding the apparent backwards direction many christian churches around the world are moving in, along with seemingly every other major world religion, there are plenty of others, just not in the majority, that are making great strides toward becoming more progressively minded institutions that embody the highest ideals of enlightenment, or what we might call an enlightened humanism for the modern world we live in.Refuges for both the spiritually hungry and compassionate AND the liberally minded intellectual. It’snot all bad news out there. There just happens to be a lot less of them than there are the more rigidly close minded so called fundamentalist types.
If one is not specifically a Christian, or better put, an actively participating Christian, then it would be easy to not notice what has been happening in the various denominations of the larger world of Christendom over the last few years. That’s a given. And one would have a valid excuse for not being up to date on the latest and greatest hits of the Christian world. After all, a healthy majority of people – especially in the united states and in The West in general have moved to a more non-religious secularism in the modern world we live in, due in part to the fact that for thousands of years we as humans have witnessed religion in all its various shapes and forms do almost nothing but cause great pain in the world. So this mass shift towards what is known as secular humanism or the now popular “spiritual but not religious” makes sense.
But there are massive shifts that are taking place in the Christian world (and in the Muslim and Buddhist communities) presently that are important to take note of due to the transcendent nature of the very real threat they pose of infringing on the basic rights and freedoms of our fellow man. Regardless of whether one is religious or not. Some of these radical movements further right unfortunately align with similar shifts within other world religions and the more fervent nationalist fervor that is taking place politically around the world. Various Christian protestant denominations are beginning to swing further toward what they consider a more “conservative” fundamentalist or evangelical agenda. And these moves have the potential to have larger reverberations socially that extend beyond the confines of their local church community.
It shouldn’t matter where a person is being hurt or neglected; only that when it becomes known, that there are those who are willing to reach out and come to their aid.
Three states in the US have already made moves this year that come very close to banning abortion, Georgia, Alabama and then Missouri. Which would be shocking to learn, except for the fact that we are now being bombarded by such an onslaught of so much shocking news on a daily and even hourly basis that much of it seems to go over our heads.
Revered Disney Chief Officer Bob Iger made a simple statement this afternoon about his decision to cancel the new Roseanne series reboot on ABC based on her posting a rather racist comment on Twitter about former Obama White House advisor Valerie Jarret (weird, right?), saying “It took us about 2 hours to discuss the details. No time at all. Obviously a lot of people are going to lose their jobs because of Roseanne’s behavior and that’s never a good thing. But no, there’s no debate when it comes to doing what is morally right, at least not for us.”
It’s bold to stay committed to respect, basic human decency and the pursuit of noble goals in a society gone mad. So kudos to Mr. Iger. Was it fair? Well, that’s a debate that will probably rage on for years to come. But as long as the United States is still a capitalist democracy, hell yes it’s fair. Roseanne worked for Disney. Disney works for their shareholders, and they clearly know what said shareholders expect from them. Racism is not one of those things. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find anyone who delights in racism except for fringe elements of society. And though yes even their rights to free speech are protected, it doesn’t mean we have to hire them or even associate with them. Thank God for free market capitalism and democracy. If your check says Disney or ABC (one of its many subsidiaries) on it, then they have a right to fire you just as much as they do to hire you. Govern yourself accordingly.
What occurred to me at first was a little bit of shock — Roseanne just recently returned to mainstream relevance after two decades of being largely ignored. I’m personally not a fan. But couldn’t help but be happy for her. But now this…? Always controversial, her comment today wasn’t a funny joke as much as just a dumb jab. Albeit a peculiar and random one (Valerie Jarret? Really?) with an overtly racist tone. But then again modern American comedy is filled with offensive and shocking vulgarity and racism. Its rampant. And literally unwatchable if you have more refined tastes. So what’s the difference here? The platform? Twitter versus Comedy Central? more “Disney Pulls the Plug on Roseanne for Racist Tweet — Fair?”
A new survey released today seems to imply that a majority of Americans are completely unaware of the criminal activities uncovered thus far by the Robert Mueller investigation of their 2016 presidential election. See the full story here.
Regardless of which side of the partisan fence one might reside in (even if one identifies as being firmly in the middle), these recent poll results regarding the Mueller investigation are compelling. One might conclude preliminarily that the “reality star” effect of the Trump presidency may be more powerful than anything fundamentally true, real or factual.
And that could be a trend we would surely not prefer when it comes to our government or governmental employees like Mr. Trump.
This would seemingly, and hopefully, apply despite how much one approves or disapproves of the president, his policies or his performance over the last year and a half. Pomp, bluster, controversy and noise should never outweigh a people’s ability to see and measure reality. In a perfect world at least. Though that’s certainly never seemed to sway us in the past in regards to political figures.
The question is, have we crossed over a new threshold this time? Has our national obsession with celebrity (over substance?) eclipsed our more adult senses of reason and rational judgment? And to be clear (and fair) one recognizes that Trump is not America’s first experimental “celebrity as president” or “president turned celebrity”. Think Obama or Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan or even JFK.
At some point in 2006, the author of the Transcendence Diaries — sometimes known as Fishy or Tobias Guess — disappeared, or better put, stopped posting here in the Diaries. It wasn’t immediately clear why. In the meantime, singer-songwriter Ed Hale, being caught up in the filming of the new TV show Transcendent Television, began to get obsessed with YouTube, specifically using it as a new vehicle for blogging on his Transcendent Television YouTube channel. In 2011, the proverbial cat escaped from the bag and it was formally revealed that Ed Hale was indeed the author of the Transcendence Diaries. And hence the strange extended absence of newly written Diaries posts in the years 2006 to 2007 herein was explained. Hale went on YouTube as Ed Hale the recording artist and was excited about the new medium. But he did not want to reveal that he was the author of the Transcendence Diaries. So the two were completely separate entities and not connected in any way. Until now. Ed Hale recorded and uploaded nearly 100 video blogs to YouTube during that one year period. Along with an additional 100 new songs he was writing. So We’ve created a playlist that features all of the video uploads that could logically be said to be “blogs”, because in reality they really do belong here, and always did.
Caution might be noted here: though Ed Hale never held back from saying whatever he thought or felt when he was writing in the Diaries, and still doesn’t, which for some may be one of the more appealing aspects of the project, that same ideology and approach has a different tone and vibration when it is translated to video and the audible spoken word. It may be prudent to advise that some of the material could for some be easily offensive. Or not. But it’s been said at least. Bare in mind two things, number one, some of these entries go back a good fifteen years, before the world had become so politically correct, and two, The Ambassador is often joking around, except when he’s not (that distinction should be obvious), experimenting with a new medium and its potentialities, 99% of the time he’s riffing in real time with no script, just as he does in the Transcendence Diaries. If something seems offensive or politically incorrect or just too damn long, skip it.
Transcendent Television starring Ed Hale
5, 10 and 15 minute trailers for the TV show Transcendent Television starring Ed Hale, lead singer of the rock band Transcendence. A look at the world through the eyes and perspective of generation X exploring current events, modern culture, religion, spirituality, politics, science, environmentalism, activism, and much more.
Produced by Polar Productions in association with Transcendent Media Group LLC.
Edited by Charlotte Rademakers of Spinning Films Inc
Well we finally finished filming for the time being, and the initial editing stage. Definitely a lot more work than I realized going into it. I’m not sure what I expected going into this thing. As with most art for art’s sake I don’t know if I was doing too much thinking at all per se. There was just a lot to capture lately it seems — times are crazy; a lot to study and explore, and it seemed a good idea at the time to film it all. After that documentary that they filmed of the Nothing is Cohesive album and tour — that being the recently televised Everything is Cohesive (which can be seen here), I started to get used to the idea of filming everything. And if I was already constantly studying and researching various topics and travelling around to explore everything I found interesting or intriguing, why not film it all and turn it into some kind of film…. It makes sense.
Eventually the idea for Transcendent Television arose. From there it seemed easy. Just film everything. I honestly thought that doing something in TV or in documentary film would be easier than the music business, as difficult as the music business is. It sounds naïve now. The truth is that people who work in film and TV have just as much of a challenge, just as many obstacles and hurdles to jump over as we do in the music business. More really. And it’s a lot more expensive. (Okay that’s a maybe actually… making a new album from start to finish, and launching a tour, are both very expensive endeavors.) But there are definitely a lot more people needed in order to create visual art, or video content. Originally I was just live-filming everywhere I went and everything I did if it was cool or interesting, engaging or educational. Hell, sometimes even when it wasn’t cool or interesting to be fair. But that real time documentation of even the mundane seemed at the very least to be an intriguing concept for an art-film project.
Reality TV is in full bloom now and is taking over everywhere. It’s only a matter of time before technology catches up with us and enables us to be able to upload and host video content to the internet as well as TV. Hell, YouTube already enables it to a certain extent. It’ll take time for the tech to get there of course. Speed and bandwidth is slow and clunky now. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see live streaming of video content online at some point in the future, where everyone in the world has their own personal TV channel and is constantly broadcasting the day to day goings on of their life. It’ll happen. It’s the future.
I’m working on a book now, maybe a book, maybe a white paper, not sure yet, to express this thesis that we are entering this new age I just described above. I call it The Personal Expression Age. There’s a lot to it. I’ve observed collected and catalogued over 20 different Signatures that signal this new era and make it completely unique compared to any other time in human history. Just getting started on that though.
But that’s a different story. That’s where I started. Film everything. Break through the fourth wall a lot. Don’t worry about quality as much as content. Go for what’s real and genuine. But once the formal meetings with Peter and Kevin and the production staff started in New York, and they informed me just how complex and intricate the whole process was, it suddenly occurred to me that this wasn’t as easy and simple as I originally assumed. In reality you need 2 to 3 cameramen, a director, a boom mic operator, and sound team, production staff, logistics team… and that’s just to film content. Little did I know that once you were finished filming that you’d still need a whole team of editors to digitize all the footage and scroll through it and then piece it together in order to try creating something even semi-cohesive. From the moment we formally stopped filming (I never stopped myself… I’m still grabbing cameramen from Craigs List all the time and running out to shoot something no matter where I happen to be in the world…) and started the editing process, It took almost a full year for them to create episodes using the footage we had collected. Not a fast or easy process. But worth it.
The Adventures of Fishy is a voluminous collection of diaries and journal entries—almost five thousand pages in various form, from typed manuscripts to many little hardbound journals — that were found in a box in the back of the once famous but now defunct South Beach rock club called Washington Square in Miami, Florida.
The box was found by a local concert promoter named Nasti a few days before a New Years Eve party in 2043. The box is believed to contain the original writings of the infamous singer, songwriter, and general raconteur known as Fishy, also known as the Ambassador, and several other names throughout his short lived but exciting life and career. He disappeared in the late two-thousands and has not been heard from since. He had lived in Miami during the late nineties and early two thousands before his disappearance. He had then moved to New York City. This was a fact. The question of the box of manuscripts found that fateful night is not so easily answered though.
No one who worked at the club knew where the box of writings came from, nor who put them there, nor how long they had rested there before being found. Along with his music, Fishy was also the subject of countless headlines for his own brand of very original and quite radical social and political activism.
Besides being an admired and beloved singer and songwriter in both the rock bands Shattered and Transcendence for a period that spanned more than twenty years, Fishy was also known as the prolific writer of two popular novels, his first The Cosmos is Great and Large, Darnright, which is where we first are introduced to the character Tobias Guess, and the second being the highly controversial The Blue Mask.
During his final years he had also posted his own brand of lunatic rantings and ravings online in what came to be known as the Transcendence Diaries. Sometimes social or political commentary, sometimes disturbingly personal and gut wrenchingly honest. Many believe it was the Transcendence Diaries that led to his eventual and mysterious disappearance.
But the Transcendence Diaries were only one small part of the manuscripts that were found. They soon were revealed to be just chapters of a much larger work called Adventures of Fishy that the artist was working on.
Although occasionally Adventures of Fishy text sometimes does read like a novel, and indeed many of the entries refer to a novel entitled Adventures of Fishy, it is not a novel in the traditional sense. There is no form to the work and very little order. Ideas begin and end in the middle of a thought with no conclusion, never to be mentioned again. The dates of the writings seem random; in fact Fishy had a peculiar habit of dating all of his journal entries according to how old he was at the time rather than what the actual date was. Matching famous historical events referred to in the texts to certain entries has helped the process to a certain extent, but firmly dating each and every individual entry has been next to impossible. [note: the entries are being re-dated now as they are posted in-as-much as they can be.] Because Fishy was believed to be in his early thirties at the time of his disappearance, the work itself is thought to have been written from the late eighties into the late two-thousands. It is difficult to determine when the actual events took place, if at all. Many of the events Fishy wrote about have been corroborated by his family, friends, and band mates. While many more appear to be fictitious.
Adventures of Fishy and the Transcendence Diaries are a confusing work when taken as a whole. On the one hand it is a series of philosophical ramblings in someone’s private diaries. Very personal, and near trivial at times. To call the author neurotic or obsessive-compulsive would be stating the obvious and an understatement to say the least. Borderline insane would be a closer match. At this time, there are many university courses all over the world being devoted to studying the work and many who claim it a work of staggering genius. Others are equally adamant that it is entirely irrelevant in that it isn’t anything but the incoherent ramblings of a self-absorbed madman who happened to get lucky turning out a few hit songs.
Whoever actually wrote the majority of the manuscripts had a near obsession with taking notes on everything. From character traits and habits of his associates, family members, and friends, to countless ideas for future songs or films or books he wanted to make, to listing every movie he ever saw, every book he ever read, and everything that he ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday for months at a time, only to suddenly stop for no apparent reason. No rhyme or reason. Many of the pages just contain lists of food that he ate that day, or excerpts of conversations he may or may not have had with people living or perhaps not.
Indeed it appears that regardless of the final outcome, the various entries do read as though a novel is precisely what Fishy had in mind; the question of course is whether the journal entries are the novel itself, or just notes on a novel the author would eventually write, or was writing somewhere else. The text refers to the novel being published and released, although there is no record of it ever being published, and up to this point there has not been anyone who has come forward to announce that they have ever read the novel.
When reading the book one observes the singer struggle page after page to ‘write’ his manuscript and then abandon it in favor of just making notes about it instead. Or just notes about his day. It cannot be entirely ruled out that what was found was the author’s personal diaries and notes on the novel and nothing else and that somewhere out there is the actual manuscript for the novel itself. And it very well could be called The Adventures of Fishy. This chance cannot be ruled out. Although it is highly unlikely that it was ever published. At the time of his disappearance Fishy was too well known for a secret such as this to be so well kept for so many years.
The collection of over five-thousand pages does make for interesting reading nonetheless. It is a deep and penetrating look at not just the life of the artist himself, but over twenty years of the modern world’s history. It is a record of our time; a time that has now long since past. It is also a fascinating, if not somewhat exhaustive, account of one man’s inner vision and inner-most thoughts, weaving together at least some fact with some fiction; desires, repulsions, philosophies, and obsessions.
Today, almost fifty years later, there are just as many people who claim to have known Fishy personally as there are who attest that he never even existed at all, although his existence at least is a fact that can be corroborated by almost anyone who was alive at the turn of the century. Ironically the work as a whole, regardless of how sporadic and out of order it reads, is now being referred to as Adventures of Fishy anyway. We are all left to draw our own conclusions.
Currently there are several projects underway to edit, categorize, and index the approximately fifteen-hundred different chapters and/or journal entries that comprise the collection of writings that was found. Coming in at just over five thousand pages, it is not an easy task. Here at Transcendent Television we are honored to be a part of this project. What is currently posted on various places on the internet and on this website is about one-fifth of the total, with new chapters and installments being added almost daily as they are sorted and edited. You can start reading from the beginning or skip around. The most recently uploaded chapters are added under a link titled NEWEST INSTALLMENTS. They are dated according to the date they are posted, and not related to the dates of the actual writings themselves.
Recently Updated Information. More on the origin of the Transcendence Diaries: The Transcendence Diaries were written at some point between the transformation of Fishy into Tobias Guess—-it appears that this metamorphosis does indeed occur, although it is still argued by some whether it was literal or simply metaphorical. Tobias Guess disappears entirely from the story for a period of six or seven years just before the transformation—-not even existing in Fishy’s imagination, and Fishy for a brief time at least starts calling himself The Ambassador, which under normal circumstances would be cause for some alarm except for the fact that he had done this on several occasions before throughout his life. As many readers will know, he used to refer to himself as Guess or Eddie Darling at various times a decade earlier, for a brief time the Duke, the Blue Mask, and several other aliases. He begins the Transcendence Diaries one assumes due to the fact that during this time period he was singing in the infamous rock band Transcendence.The Transcendence Diaries, like the Acid Diaries and the Delivery Diaries before them were simply a collection of journal entries spanning a few years in the artist’s life at that time. In the case of the Transcendence Diaries, it was his late twenties to early thirties. This is the time that is considered the singer’s most creatively fertile and artistically inspired period, the time just before his disappearance. Or transformation. Depending on what you believe. The eccentric time-traveling business tycoon, inventor, and philanthropist Tobias Guess himself has not been heard from now in many years and so is not available for questioning concerning Fishy or his whereabouts. As more information becomes available we will certainly post it here.