By Hans Ebert

“The more one travels, the less one knows”. George Harrison sang that line on “The Inner Light” about how life flows within you and without you. It was one of those token Harrison songs that had to be included somewhere and ended up as the throwaway B Side to the Beatles’ hit single “Lady Madonna”.

Here was this meditative raga based track with George singing about something very spiritual. I didn’t get it and, probably like most, just ignored it. But as one grows older, the song has taken on a new relevance.

Many of us are on overload and looking for inspiration. We want to be selective and not inhale everything because it’s all out there. And for free. We’re hoping to discover something new and exciting. We’re hoping like hell that not everything has already been seen and done. Perhaps it’s why on the one hand so many have taken to social media while we’re also seeing others suddenly shifting towards a new lifestyle, and despite it being a struggle, trying to get away from the excesses of everything holding us back, and determined to break away from the shackles that often keep us from moving forward- everything that has made us highly dependent to toxicity- drugs, sex, alcohol, bad relationships, bad marriages, false fame etc. It’s about finding what works for us and is real as opposed to allowing in more clutter. It’s about being selective. And if you can’t be selective, think of Being John Malkovich.

Often this search leads to dead ends, but we need to persevere if we’re ever going to find this inspiration to take us to another level. We can’t plateau out and resign ourselves to a tsunami of mediocrity which the ills of social media have opened the doors and muddied the waters with so many learning from the school of Wikipedia and thinking they’ve graduated and grown as individuals.

Last week two friends left for a retreat. Interesting word: Retreat.They had reached such a point of quiet desperation that they needed to start again from a new jumping off point. And so they left to Sri Lanka for 2-3 weeks of fasting and detoxification and getting in touch and finding their own Inner Light. No phones. No computers. Just weeks of re-learning and re-adjusting and tuning into what might have somehow gone missing during the bull rush and replaced by the irrelevant. This includes makeshift companionships that take us nowhere because they don’t give us that inspirational kick and high. There’s something but it’s nothing. The love you make these days is more often not equal to the love you take.

Have we even forgotten what real love is and feels like? When in love, everything was possible. It was all the inspiration needed. It wasn’t found on some psychobabble on Instagram and meant to be “liked” and “shared”. Certain things needs to be kept personal.

We used to get this dose of reality from music. Nowadays, I can’t sleep without a Spotify playlist playing because it all sounds like one similar sounding snoozefest song that plays for hours on end until one wakes up and thinks, “And now what? Workout for an hour? Okay. And then what? Instagram everyone the new, improved me? Okay. But why? And who’s everyone?”

Our days are growing longer because of being bored with everything in the real world as so much of it is so damn fake. This is when anger enters our psyche and play mind games with everything and everyone around us. It weakens us. It’s our kryptonite.

With le mots de jour being “reboot”, we’re seeing plenty of especially old television series being “rebooted”, probably because no one’s capable of creating new content.

After its farewell season, “American Idol” is back. It’s tough to believe that the show’s creator and my old friend Simon Fuller believes this “reboot” is not a pathetic waste of time. Watching it adds to the anger. If in music, one should see what the hell it is because it does have a bearing on the career path you’ve chosen for yourself.

With Ryan Seacrest back for another ride on the gravy train and confront his #MeToo accusers as host, travelling with him are three decidedly dull, dull, dull and cornball celebrity judges- this time around, Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry, and the ubiquitous Country music judge in someone named Luke Bryan. He’s the doofus of The Three Amigos. It’s vacuous cringeworthy stuff. And you thought Paula Abdul was an airhead?

There’s then the assortment of contestants, who, and this being 2018, are either giving hope to the millions of unknowns making more and more music with no direction of home, or else watching the tepid talent on this show including the one planted there for the Big Makeover and go from goofy ugly duckling to beautiful swan, and thinking, “Why? How?” Up there is an appalling lack of talent and one really has to wonder how this goofy train wreck was ever allowed to happen. Simon? Seriously now.

If having sat through all the feigned surprise back in the day not that long ago from Simon Cowell et al at staged “unknowns” being “discovered”, this Season’s all-too-obvious plant screams out at viewers, “You’re all being played for fools!” It’s more fake, fake, fake, fake. Even the show’s Twitter account reeks of phoniness and fake comments.

John Lennon sang “Gimme Some Truth”. Where is it? Oldsters are working with newbies and feeding them false hope. They’re as lost as everyone else including the well known American music blogger who desperately wants to be seen as being relevant when he’s just another brick in a very old wall who vacillates between being the cheerleader to embrace new technology and then longs for the Deadheads and Bill Graham- a time that’s been and gone and will never ever return again.

There’ll be no “reboot” to any of the above because music as simplistic, as in the link below, is made out to be the work of geniuses. And because of the machinery behind all this doodling is accepted without questioning by an entire generation who doesn’t know better and with oldsters hovering around them clueless about individual and independent thinking. Everything just goes around in circles and with being dumbed down being the new New.

Time to check out and check into that retreat in Sri Lanka and undergo some much needed life changing options. The world right here and now has no Inner Light. In fact, the lights are off.

#socialmedia #reality #music #AmericanIdol #living #theinnerlight

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