Lately, I’ve found myself getting ripped off. I’ll find myself quoted somewhere on the internet without the use of, well, a quotation; certain melodic lines I’ve written and posted on youtube used for other things by other people; ambient pads I’ve made available for free for churches used for things that make money; song titles used in other songs and albums…etc. And I started to become a little annoyed by this. And then I remembered this line from Arcade Fire:

“You never trust a millionaire
Quoting the sermon on the mount
I used to think I was not like them
But I’m beginning to have my doubts”

And I realized that I am just like them. Probably worse, as most of the afore-mentioned stuff was probably unintentional. So I decided to…well…remember that scene in Airheads (yes, Airheads…greatest band movie ever…’I don’t want to play it on cassette because it cuts out all the lows’) where they find out that Chazz’s real name is Chester and then they have the impromptu confessional? Well, this is my version…and I’m a little frightened…

  • My style of writing…you know, the one I spend hours on and then pretend like it’s just a flow of consciousness…is ripped off from Conrad Tolosa at Decapolis. I don’t think he writes like that anymore, but he used to, and it was amazing. I read it about ten years ago and decided that one day, I would have a blog like that.
  • Sometimes I like to pretend that I was the first one to start looping ambient guitar lines live…even though this is obviously false. In reality? I watched Phil Keaggy do it and then heard Moby’s ‘God Moving Over the Face of the Waters’ at the end of Heat. That’s pretty much every song I ever write.
  • I check my blog stats.
  • Listen to the closing melodic idea in my song ‘Surface’, and then skip to the last scene in Hook. You know, the one where Robin Williams flys into the sky and the voice-over whispers, ‘Thank you for believing.’ I didn’t mean to rip off John Williams; but I knew as soon as I listened back to the song why the melody had popped into my head so easily. And then I thought, ‘Eh, no one will notice.’
  • I re-wrote the ‘Donate’ page 15 times, trying to get a wording that encouraged people to donate while still sounding cool, aloof, and humble all at the same time.
  • I like to think I succeeded.
  • I make fun of Twitter and Facebook for promoting narcissism, and then post every conscious thought I have on my own personal website.
  • I like to pass off ‘splendid’ as something I just came up with off-hand. It took me a week to come up with a sign-off that I felt was the right blend of retro, unused, feminine but not too feminine, and so uncool it might be cool.
  • Sometimes, when you guys ask me tone questions, I have to google the pedal or amp name because I’ve never heard of it.
  • Then I shorten the name in my response so it looks like I’m intimately familiar with it: ‘Oh ya, the Devi’s are decent pedals.’
  • I hope this site gets huge and makes lots of money.
  • I get annoyed when people post too many links to their own site on my site. I then still respond as if I’m smiling. :)
  • I can’t stand Lincoln Brewster’s playing and still wish I could play like him.
  • I’ve refreshed my own youtube videos.
  • Sometimes I try to keep an internet persona of being, ‘That guy who’s authentic and honest.’ Which, by definition means…yep. There’s a part of me that secretly hopes this post will help that image.
  • I’ve gone to other people’s blogs and posted comments, hoping they will notice my obvious wit and charm, and click my name to come visit my site.
  • I’ve also wanted to visit other people’s sites, but come to mine first so that I can click their name from my Blogroll, so that they will see traffic from my blog and hopefully post here to get more traffic. That one hurts.
  • Some of my youtube videos are the 20th take.
  • The other day I was thinking about my future and a way to solidify my wife and I financially. I wanted to do something I was passionate about and that would help people, but that would also allow me to buy food and not worry about money. And I came up with the idea of writing and selling a book about how the church sometimes functions like a business and sells God for its own profit. And if that’s not sinking in, just read that last sentence again. ;)
  • If I really had something to say that I thought would benefit either the church or the world, wouldn’t I just say it and distribute it for free, and then earn my bread by painting houses like everyone else? But secretly, I hope to one day live off of royalties and do nothing. Giving 90% to churches and charities, of course. It’s just that I hope to be grossing around 20 million at least. You make that one work mathematically. (Sorry, I was trying really hard not to re-introduce ‘you do the math’ to the internet recycling machine.) ;)
  • I have entered writing contests and lost.
  • My bad tone, need to be The Edge, and inability to admit my musical shortcomings is what caused this band to fail:
  • And I wish my name was Chazz. And that I had Brendan Fraser’s body. His old one.
  • I really, really want to end this with something spiritual about how God loves me anyway. But I would be doing it just to appease comments I know I’ll get about how it’s a good thing God loves us anyway. And as a good friend of mine recently pointed out, that may be closer to the original meaning of ‘taking the Lord’s name in vain’ than a slip of the tongue after hitting a wrong chord. By the way, his blog is here: The Quillen. He’s a really cool guy I met a couple months ago, and one that I believe to be very intelligent. But I’m not sure if he’s actually intelligent, or if I just like to think so because we keep agreeing on things. hehe
  • I want my ambient songs and future albums to get really popular. I try to market them on this site with the reverse technique of pretending I’m ashamed of them and don’t want anyone to know about them. Which is of course why I hit ‘Upload.’ ;)
  • Probably the first post I’ve ever written where I’m literally a little frightened to push ‘Publish.’

But it’s looks into yourself like this that remind me that I truly am just like everyone else, and possibly a little bit worse than everyone else. And more importantly, how when the book of Isaiah talks about our righteousness being like used toilet rags, that’s kind of true. And I know it’s not the most fun or popular thing to end posts with that part of the Bible without throwing in the ‘you’re worth a lot’ passage at the end of Romans 8, but I’m not sure a proper view of God is possible without first getting to a proper view of ourselves. In fact, I think that as our view of God grows, our view of ourselves becomes more and more like the dirty rags. And the beauty is, we won’t care.