the book

Music? Review? You decide, then play.

You know, I never get asked, “Shepherd Siegel, the world knows you as an intergalactically recognized artist…but what are you REALLY like?” Nope, never been asked that. Well, I just live life by three simple rules. Yours may look a little different, but I think you’ll get the idea. In fact, I’d love to hear …

Happy Birthday, Erik Satie!

One of the very greatest exponents of tricksterism in music. Wikipedia sez: Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (French: [eʁik sati];[1] 17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925), who signed his name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and pianist. Satie was an influential artist in the late 19th- and early 20th-century Parisian avant-garde. His work was …

Time Travel, the Pogo Stick of Philosophy [Part 1]

In 1895, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine captured the popular imagination and set the tone for our infinite fascination with time travel. Its attendant gadgetry kept the nerdier fans busy, while others were distracted by the possible and impossible science of it.   But the idea of time travelers is more significant. The time traveler, like a …

Time Travel, The Pogo Stick of Philosophy [Part 2]

In King Lear, theGodfather of its time, Shakespeare exposes the folly of power through his narrative of it slipping away. Lear’s Fool matches elusive power with a taunting dance of his own. He represents Lear’s conscience, but Lear ignores him. The Fool makes Lear’s madness worse, driving him crazy. He dances on the play’s mushrooming …

Time Travel, The Pogo Stick of Philosophy [Part 3]

Take this example for contrast. A woman testifies: I am glad that I own a gun because when that man tried to break into my house, it was that gun that protected me and my baby. It’s hard to dispute this mother’s position and essential role. She is bound in time to this critical, difficult, …

Lost in the Supermarket (a poem with footnotes)

I’m all lost in the supermarket, I can no longer shop happily, I came in here for that special offer Guaranteed Personality.*         I encountered this army of oversized shopping carts, War tanks Armored fighting vehicles The more that you add to them The more they subtract from your soul.   While …

Ain’t That Good News???

Sam Cooke sings (Ain’t That) Good News! Well it sure as shootin’ is. Disruptive Play: The Trickster in Politics and Culture has been named a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist         <Book Award>           Just click “Continue Reading”… …or get the full story here!

Tricking Power into Performing Acts of Love (Part 3)

So how do power, playfulness, war, and the amoral stance of the Trickster intersect? Western civilization, in its drive to build empire, needed a morality of absolutes. If I want my army to kill the soldiers in your army, I must make a convincing argument that my army represents good, and yours, evil. So my …

Tricking Power into Performing Acts of Love (Part 2)

Let us adopt the childlike belief in the antidotal properties of original play. That to be playful means not taking power seriously. When such disruptive play reaches critical mass, power collapses and leaves us swimming about in the amoral waters of the Trickster. Those who have successfully retained their childlike playfulness, who have resisted power—personally, spiritually, …

Tricking Power into Performing Acts of Love (Part 1)

Power is a game. A game with predetermined losers. While survival and sustenance require some exercise of it, in the wake of overextended power are the injuries of dominance, invasive commerce, control, manipulation and violence. Such wanton, chaotic conflicts and struggles obscure, impede and thwart access to that state of being that precedes power: the …