Posts Tagged ‘The Replacements’

“They are all in the same category, both those who are afflicted with fickleness, boredom and a ceaseless change of purpose, and who always yearn for what they left behind, and those who just yawn from apathy. There are those too who toss around like insomniacs, and keep changing their position until they find rest through sheer weariness. They keep altering the condition of their lives, and eventually stick to that one in which they are trapped not by weariness with further change but by old age which is too sluggish for novelty. There are those too who suffer not from moral steadfastness but from inertia, and so lack the fickleness to live as they wish, and just live as they have begun. In fact there are innumerable characteristics of the malady, but one effect – dissatisfaction with oneself. This arises from mental instability and from fearful and unfulfilled desires, when men do not dare or do not achieve all they long for, and all they grasp at is hope: they are always unbalanced and fickle, an inevitable consequence of living in suspense. They struggle to gain their prayers by every path, and they teach and force themselves to do dishonourable and difficult things; and when their efforts are unrewarded the fruitless disgrace tortures them, and they regret not the wickedness but the frustration of their desires. Then they are gripped by repentance for their attempt and fear of trying again, and they are undermined by the restlessness of a mind that can discover no outlet, because they can neither control nor obey their desires, by the dithering of life that cannot see its way ahead, and by the lethargy of a soul stagnating amid its abandoned hopes.”

― Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

I was reading an article that referenced the essay De Brevitate Vitae ( On the Shortness of Life) from the Stoic philosopher Seneca that written sometime around 49 AD. The passage above really struck me because it seemed to describe the dissatisfaction so many people have with their lives and the actions that result from this.

I can’t quite put my finger on it but it feels like the underlying current of what we’re seeing take place these days in this country. I have tried to discern what the desired outcome for the insurrectionists is or what drove them to act as a violent mob and I keep coming up with blanks.

What do they want?

They are not the downtrodden nor poor. They are not voiceless or without political power. There’s a high probability that most of them have livelihoods and assets that place them well above that of the average American. They are not trying to gain rights for themselves or others that have been denied. They are not fighting injustice.

And if they succeed, they have no plans for a future. Certainly not a future that will be in any way better.

All they have is anger and dissatisfaction with their lot in life. As entitled and privileged as they are, their lives lack purpose, lack meaning. It is a spoiled and bored existence, devoid of real consequences for bad behavior and fortified by the highs and unreality of video games and action flicks combined with conspiratorial bravado and cosplay costuming.

And that’s a recipe for disaster. 

This is just an observation this morning. Like I said, I am not sure I have a finger on what really is behind it. I am just trying to understand it so that I can begin to make sense of what I am seeing.

Still not there.

Here’s a topical song, Unsatisfied, a favorite of mine from The Replacements and their great 1984 album Let It Be.

Be careful out there and have a good day.

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It is very dangerous to go into eternity with possibilities which one has oneself prevented from becoming realities.  A possibility is a hint from God.  One must follow it.  In every man there is latent the highest possibility, one must follow it.  If God does not wish it then let him prevent it, but one must not hinder oneself.  Trusting to God I have dared, but I was not successful; in that is to be found peace, calm and confidence in God.  I have not dared: that is a woeful thought, a torment in eternity.

–Søren Kierkegaard


It is a shame to be afraid of trying to do big things, to envision and implement big ideas. To doubt and fear to venture beyond our comfort zones is a recipe for regret.

I know it in myself.

I dislike myself immensely when I fail to think bigger, when I have lost the confidence that I can overcome the failure that might come with risking much. I feel cowardly when I settle for being less than I know I can be. I feel weak when I rationalize away my own potentials for the sake of feeling safe, even though I know there is no satisfaction in that safety.

To stay the same, to deny possibility for the sake of the perception of security, is not a victory in any way.

The fear of risk outweighing the desire for what great good might be attained and the contraction of one’s potential to be less than one knows is possible is a grave danger for any person.

And I believe I sense it in this country.

Maybe that’s my own projection. What do I know?

Anyway, here is this Sunday’s musical selection. It’s from a favorite album of mine, Let It Be. No, not the one from the Beatles. It’s a 1984 album from The Replacements, a Minneapolis based band who was highly influential on bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. This song is I Will Dare.


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Explorer-  GC Myers

Explorer- GC Myers

It’s been a busy year.  Actually, it’s been a busy two or three years but the last few months have seemed even more hectic.  There was the preparations for the Kada Gallery show and work being done around the studio by carpenters and masons.  It seemed as though there was little time to really take stock of everything.  But with the Kada show opening this past weekend and my delivering a group of work to the Principle Gallery in Alexandria on Tuesday, yesterday was my first chance to take some time to reflect, to see where I was on my artistic path.

After a short period of examination, it seems to me that I am at a plateau.  Mind you, it’s a happy plateau but I’m not sure this is where I want to stop, not sure that this is my final destination as an artist.  For the past several years, I have been working at what I consider my highest level:  I am painting the paintings that I want to see.  The work is distinctly mine and is consistent in its communicative effect and in the way it satisfies me internally.  The work from my  recent shows have been as personally satisfying as any I have ever  showed.   If I were a miner, I would say that I have been working a rich vein.

But I am increasingly having that nagging feeling that there is an even richer vein for me if I move from this plateau and climb a bit higher.

It’s a scary thought.  This has been, as I said, a happy plateau.  It’s where many artists, upon arriving , settle in for the remainder of their careers.  And why not?  They have worked hard to reach this plateau and are producing the work they set out to produce at the beginning of their journeys.  It would be very easy to stay here and be content and safe, to not have to face the prospect of a new climb with all the perils that come with it:  The uncertainty of what is up there and the possibility of failure.

Maybe I am being over dramatic in my description here.  I don’t know.  I do know that I have that clawing and gnawing feeling in my gut that now is the time to start moving onward and upward, to leave this happy plateau and take on the risk of failure.  Whether I can actually muster enough bravery to make this move, whatever that may be, and where it might take me are only the beginning of the  questions that arise, questions for which only time holds the answers.

We shall see…

Here’s an old song, Unsatisfied,  from The Replacements that fits the bill for this subject.  Look me in the eye and tell me that I’m satisfied…

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GC Myers-The Song We Carry smAs I have noted way too many times lately, I am in the midst of getting work ready for a solo show, Alchemy,  at the Kada Gallery in Erie that opens in two weeks, on November 16th.  With just a week to go before I deliver the work to the gallery there is still a lot to do.  I am finishing up photography on the paintings, matting the pieces on paper, varnishing those on canvas and staining frames.

It’s tedious and takes me away from painting so it’s one part of my job that I don’t really enjoy too much, outside of that moment when I see a painting for the first time fully presented.  Especially those pieces on paper.  There’s something quite magical about the transformation from the image itself on a bare sheet of watercolor paper to seeing it in its mat and frame.  It’s the difference between seeing a gem stone on a tray or in a beautiful setting.  The gem is still lovely outside of the setting but the setting focuses it, holds it up for the world to see.

So, tedious as it may be, it has to be done and I am off to stain and varnish this morning.  By the way, the painting at the top is The Song We Carry and is headed to this show as well.

I thought this would be a good day to hear from one of my favorites from back in the day,  The Replacements from the early 80’s.  This Minneapolis band was tremendously influential on the music of the 90’s, especially the sounds that came to be known as grunge or alternative rock.  This song, I Will Dare, is from their 1984 album, Let It Be.  Good sounds to start a working Sunday…

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