Mixed Mondays w/ Aries presents: “The Playground” [Loco LDN Radio Show]

Hey everyone! Busy day for me I nearly missed writing a post for this weeks Mixed Mondays w/ Aries ;)!This week’s mix is just me holding it down since Corey was partying in the Dominic Republic celebrating the birthday of a dear friend of ours. Corey and I kept in touch and he was telling me about this crazy sick underground rave cave (pun intended) he stumbled upon that was rinsing some killer house & techno.

While Corey was off doing all that, I was recording a mix for a UK radio show called “The Playground” hosted by my friend Carlos Montalvo. The mix I made was probably one of the best mixes I’ve made so far and I’m pretty proud of it despite some technical flaws.

Without further ado, I’m super pumped to premiere my newest installment of my The Essence of House series.

Check it out!

 

Enjoy! I hope you all have a great week too.

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Featured Artist: Ocean Roulette

Happy Friday everyone! It looks like it’s going to be a jam-packed weekend especially with Outside Lands happening. I’ll be laying low, but I will be going out tonight to see the homie Michael Bricker open for Eli Brown & Dateless at Halcyon tonight! Speaking of Outside Lands, Louis Garcia aka Ocean Roulette is in town for the annual San Francisco festival and he was nice enough to do little interview with me!

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Alright, so I love asking people this question as it really allows for artists to talk about music in a spiritual and philosophical way. Can you describe what music means to you?

Music can trigger memories like the first time I went to a rave, the first time I heard house music, etc. I love its ability to activate nostalgia. 

Where are you from anyway? 

I’m from Northridge California.

 How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

I decided to begin this project once I decided to quit a rock band I had previously been involved with. My basic reasoning was that although I love indie rock music, the genre of rock had already been around for decades with an insane amount of saturation in the market. Electronic music was really cutting edge and always changing, I figured if I wanted to make a living off of music this would be the appropriate route.

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What sort of style do you like to produce? 

Tech house.

Ocean Roulette is a really cool and interesting name. How’d you come up with it?

The name Ocean Roulette came from my love of the ocean and of casinos. The ocean represents mystery, depth, and overall just a world that most people are unfamiliar with. Casinos however represent risk, addiction, and all of the bad things in life disguised as something good and fun. Something about both of these themes felt like they could be explored through my music.

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This is another one of my favorite questions to ask people that do interviews with me. I find that it really gives the readers and myself an inside look into the music world from the artist perspective. What do you think is one of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene? 

The most difficult thing is matching sounds together (beat matching). Even though two ideas can sound good on their own, they might not always fit well over each other and it is tough having to let something go for this reason. The majority of my music is made by creating a ton of ideas looping over each other then picking out which I like and deleting the rest.

In my opinion, not a lot of people realize that once you make the shift from a listener to an artist there is a fundamental change in how you experience music. You end up being a lot more critical and in a way you end up being way more technical about everything. Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener? 

 Enjoying music can be even better as a DJ because you are often listening with the intention of finding new material for performances. The experience of finding music and testing it out live is an even greater way to appreciate something. On the other hand listening to dozens of tracks with the intention of finding music for a set feels more like a job sometimes than a leisure activity. 

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Favorite Artist or Favorite Track at the moment?

Favorite artist right now might have to be Gorillaz, their new album The Now Now is insane. Favorite track would have to be Lake Zurich. I’m a sucker for tracks that sound instrumental with vocals that come in later on.

 Any artists you think all of us should be aware of?

Upcoming artists on my radar: Sly Turner, Morelia, Sirkea, and Zendlo.

Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out? 

Checkout my latest EP on Psycho Disco!

Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future?

Performing at Kosmic Gardenz as well as Jackson Tree in the Fall. Both are desert renegade campouts which is my favorite type of party.

Anything more to add?

Last bit – Someone once told me that the music we create does not come from ourselves but rather from the universe. In order to create great art you must be willing to listen and allow ideas to enter and pass through you.

Keep yourself up-to-date with Ocean Roulette by following him on Instagram and Twitter!

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Featured Artist: Middath [Exclusive Interview]

Hey again! So it’s the middle of the week, which for some can be pretty rough. To put some pep into your step today, I would like to present to you one of my all-time favorite artists, Middath.

I first heard of Middath when the Celebrations album came out on This Ain’t Bristol. The album was chock-full of some incredible tracks and one of them happened to be Middath’s “Choppin n’ Cuttin“. I was completely mesmerized and it became one of my favorite tracks to date. I’m honestly never going to get sick of that track (I’m literally listening to it right now as I write this haha).

Middath, what does music represent to you? 

Music is and has always been an escape for me.  It’s been the only constant thing I’ve had in my life since I was 12 years old.  And to this day, nothing compares to the feeling I get when I create something new in the studio.

Where are you originally from? What were you doing prior to music? 

I am originally from Cape May County, NJ.  Prior to music, I’ve done lots of things and held lots of different jobs from flipping pizza’s to outside sales, worked at a county jail, opened up a commercial recording studio and managed a blockbuster lol.  

What do you do when you aren’t producing?

I’m currently a Warehouse Manager and have been working 9-5 for the same company for 7 years now.   

How’d you decide on pursuing music? 

My fiance actually got me into house music at a time where I almost gave up on music all together.  I definitely needed a change. I was originally a rapper and hip hop producer for almost 10 years at that time and got tired of it.  Creatively I felt “boxed in” as a hip hop artist. The scene was so predominantly focused on image and social media presence in comparison to the house scene which is truly focused on the music, not the DJ, which is how it should be.

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

I’ve been making music for about 18 years now but have been DJing/Producing dance music since 2013.

How’d you come up with the name “Middath” as your artist name?

Middath was a nickname given to me by two of my best friends back in the day.  Kind of an inside joke. To explain the story in detail as to how I got my name would require a 5 page essay from me so I’ll make it short as possible and break it down for everybody lol.  
1) My middle name is Michael

2) When I was a rapper, my stage name was Mike Middle

3) Joe Namath is a retired NFL quarterback who used to play for the New York Jets

4) Middle + Namath = Middath

LogoFINAL2Black(1)What’s the music scene like out in Florida?

The scene is very prevalent in Florida.  Most people assume Miami is the reigning capital for dance music here but the truth of the matter is that the underground scene has grown exponentially the past few years.  So many of us got sucked into the “Big Room Boom” 5-6 years ago and as we’ve all grown a bit older our taste in music has matured and evolved as well. From there, so many up and coming scenes have sprouted throughout the state.  Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville specifically. But even outside those cities you’ve got areas literally in the middle of nowhere hosting festivals like Distant Dimension and Dirtybird Campout. There’s also Okeechobee Music Festival and you can’t forget about Miami Music Week either.  Music is everywhere down here.

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It must be so surreal traveling around and playing shows. Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played so far that really stuck out to you? 

Last year, I opened for Claude Vonstroke at the Cuban Club in Tampa, FL.  The reason this show was particularly awesome was not only because of how packed it was but because the venue is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the world.  After I finished my set and Claude took the stage the sound goes out 30 seconds later. Then it came back on but the bass was off for like 20 minutes. Then the lights began to flicker.  This coincidental concoction of spirit meddling ensued for the remainder of his set.

If you could play anywhere in the world where it would be?

Elrow in Barcelona, Spain.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Any time I get to travel, attend a festival or throw down a killer set almost always leads to me making a bunch of new tunes afterwards.  A change of scenery works wonders for me.

What do you feel is one of the most frustrating aspects about being in this scene? 

For me the most frustrating thing is submitting music to labels and having to wait weeks sometimes months for a reply that usually never comes lol.  Some labels will at least send you an automated “we’re not interested” email. But most won’t respond to you at all unless they want to sign your tracks.  This, in itself, is quite the mind fuck.

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listening to it?

Yes, this is a constant struggle of mine since my brain has been conditioned to always analyze music.  It’s hard for me to let loose as a listener in the audience at a show or festival when my initial instinct is to figure out how and why something sounds the way it does.             

One of my favorite tracks of yours is called “The Treble”. What exactly were you thinking about when you created that track?

The Treble was one of those rare tracks where everything just fell into place for me very quickly.  Sometimes in the studio I’ll search and search and search for sounds that compliment each other and then I’ll switch things out as the track evolves.  This time around though each sound and instrument I chose happened to work well with everything else the first time around. I think the track took me maybe a day from start to finish.  All I was missing was some type of vocal and I knew I wanted it to be some type of old school hip hop thing. And sure enough, the first acapella I played was “1nce Again” from A Tribe Called Quest and “The Treble” was born 🙂       

https://soundcloud.com/audiophilexxl/sets/middath-treble-ep

How did you get involved with This Ain’t Bristol?

I sent my first demo submission to TAB back at the end of 2015 and ended up getting a response from Billy Kenny saying my track wasn’t right for the label at that time but he was keen to hear more from me.  My next demo submission I sent them a week later caught their ear and Seb from Maximono reached out to me about signing “Freaky Lookin Trick” to his Maximono Selections Compilation.

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? 

Dateless has been on fire lately! Really loving his stuff at the moment.  

Tweet Middath to let him know what your favorite track is!

Can we hope to see you play in San Francisco sometime soon?

I sure hope so!  I’ll be playing at Vanguard in Sacramento, CA August 24th though.

Last question, why haven’t we seen you on a Dirtybird Campout lineup yet?!

I was originally supposed to play Dirtybird Campout East Coast this past year but couldn’t make it happen due to radius clauses and all 😦 Hopefully next year though!

Be sure to follow Middath on Facebook and Instagram! You can take a sneak peek at what he’s been cooking up lately in the studio ;).

Thanks everyone and stay tuned to see what other artists I’ll interview!

Subscribe to Christian ReciKnows’ Newsletter below to learn more about music, fashion, art, photography, my life and more!

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Featured Artist: Chef Boyarbeatz 

Today on Featured Artists with Christian ReciKnows we have artist “Chef Boyarbeatz” doing an AMA.

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Joey Koppenheffer aka “Chef Boyarbeatz” and I met at I believe the very first Wobbeland in 2016. Hucci, Nghtmre, Ghastly, Dr. Fresch were amongst the top headliners that weekend. We were both a part of this online Facebook group called “OWSLA IV” that was created as a sort of community for people that had been subscribing to OWSLA via the Drip system that allowed you to get their newest music.

He came with some of his homies John and Matt all the way down from LA to San Jose just for this event. I forget which exact set we met up for, but I remember we hit it off almost immediately. We all just geeked out on music and the rest is history.

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There was a point where I was traveling down to LA nearly every month to visit him and go see some dope shows. I’m super glad I was able to meet him because it’s crazy watching him going from just this random guy I met at an event to seeing him pursuing music and playing all these shows.3

In general, what does music do for you?

Music does a lot of things for me…before I started producing I felt like I was constantly searching for something that really gave my life a focus/purpose. Music gives me hope, inspiration, happiness. It makes me sad and melancholic at times. It brings about all the emotions that really help me feel totally human. I’ve tried my hand at many things throughout my life and music feels like the only thing that truly made me happy.

Where are you from? What do you do?

I’m from Anaheim, CA literally right next to Disneyland!!  I attended Cal State Fullerton and graduated with a History Major while taking music classes. I am currently attending Icon Collective in Burbank, CA. I have dabbled in a lot of different genres since I started. I originally was making a lot of progressive house/trance for the first year or two. From there I started to get more into bass music and beats in general. My main style right now though can really only be described as experimental bass music, but I try to incorporate various styles of dubstep, drum and bass, classic hip hop and more.

What’s it like being at Icon Collective? What’s the homework like?

Icon is really incredible. I feel like it gets a bad rap from people who don’t attend or have this negative idea of “art school” being all formulaic and stuff. The teachers there are honestly super invested in you, and let you do your thing. You just got to soak up as much information and opinion and make do with that, all while still following your gut intuition. Another thing about Icon is its really all about how much work you put in. You get out of it what you put in essentially. They have office hours everyday with all the instructors where you can ask any questions, get feedback, go through their project files, etc. One of my favorite office hours was Petey Clicks on Night Bass. Dude just has a very unique way of approaching music production where he’s just like, let’s just fuck around and have fun turning knobs to the highest degree and generally doing stuff that should necessarily be “wrong”

The homework varies for all the classes. One of the more challenging/rewarding homework’s that I’ve done have been in songwriting. We had multiple weeks where we had to write a song with just piano, and only have a chord progression and a melody. Then, we had to sing our melody topline over it. Most of the guys in our class are guys so…listening to dry vocals sung by a bunch of dudes straining to hit notes was pretty hilarious hahahaha. Some other examples of homework would be from my music business class. Last quarter we had to search out events/promoters we wanted to play at and collect contact info in a big list. We had to find labels we would like to release on and collect promo emails and such. Currently I’m working on looking at one music and non-music social media campaign. We have to look at the social media tools they used, themes, when it started and ended, audience reaction etc. A lot of the homework we do has a lot of applicability we can relate to the real world and our own productions.

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How’d you decide on DJ and/or Producing? Why?

I had always dreamt of playing in a band growing up, so once I started DJ’ing and producing it felt like a one man band sort of. The moment where it really hit me though was attending Nocturnal Wonderland in 2012. Above & Beyond hosted a stage the entire day with people such as Mat Zo, Super8 & Tab and more, and back then Anjunabeats was my shittttt. That Above & Beyond set though was and still is one of the best sets I’ve seen to date. The crowd and vibe was just too perfect. I have ventured away from that style of trance but I still respect A&B for everything they’ve done. I picked up virtual DJ to start around 2013, and shortly after torrented FL studio and began making mashups to figure out the program.

How’d you come up with your DJ name?

Honestly I don’t remember the EXACT moment I chose the name, I just remember cooking every morning and just thinking about random shit, and I think I saw the Chef Boyardee logo or something and thought the name Chef Boyarbeatz was a funny/catchy name that had a lot of branding potential. 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most difficult aspects about doing this scene? 

Hahaha.. there’s honestly a lot of things I dislike…I hate promoting on social media. It makes me feel weird to be completely honest, like “hey, here’s my content. let me shove it in your face until you are a fan.” Another thing I dislike heavily is the pay to play a lot of promoters push. When I first started DJ’ing at clubs, they would push soooo hard and get soooo mad when you didn’t bring 15-20+ people for a 9PM slot. Like dude, first of all no one wants to come THAT early. Then they would get mad when my friends would dip after my set…like maybe thats a testament to your artist bookings my guy. There’s a bunch of other things but I don’t want to be that guy that complains about minimal things lol

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

Oh definitely. Listening as a producer is a completely different game than the average listener. I feel like it has definitely made me more jaded too, like big room house is the most generic thing to me, but people fuck with it so who am I to say what they listen to is bad? But yeah, whenever I’m listening to things I’m always imagining how they made certain sounds or drum grooves. Especially since I’m pretty deep into production now and my sound design chops are pretty decent, I’ve gotten pretty good at recreating those sounds.

 It must be so surreal playing shows and getting booked everywhere. Any clubs or venues you have played so far that really stuck out to you? 

I mean… I’m not getting booked everywhere!! I haven’t really tried pushing for tons of gigs currently just because I’m focusing more on school, at the moment. Honestly one of my favorite sets that stood out to me was at La Cave opening as direct support for Lo’99. I actually got a booking for another show with White Rabbit opening direct support at Envy Lounge in Newport Beach because the promoter loved my set. Speaking of that Envy Lounge set, that was definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played for…I remember looking up after being lost in the music for the first 15 mins or so and was like “holy shit there’s a lot of people here!!” Like I said, I haven’t played too many places, mostly stuff in Orange County.

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How do you know Bryan Orozco? And how did you first get connected with La Cave?

Bryan Orozco (Rozco) and I go wayyyyyy back. We actually met in high school around 7-8 years ago playing World of Warcraft hahahahahaha. One of my homies I was doing PvP and raids with at my high school knew Bryan from his hometown in Irvine, and we just connected from there. Fast forward to college, I had to just gotten into DJ’ing around my sophomore/junior year and saw Bryan post an Instagram photo of him DJ’ing as well. We reconnected from there. He started getting gigs at a club in Newport called Sutra, that’s no longer around (they moved into what is now Time Nightclub). We played a bunch of gigs there from time to time. Once Sutra closed and Time opened up, Bryan transitioned there to MDA which runs a house weekly on Wednesday nights at La Cave. He hooked me up with them and I opened the first slot for Stranger one night, they loved my set and eventually got booked for direct support for Lo’99 and Maximono! We also started a Bass show on Thursdays called Bass Cave at La Cave that we’re transitioning into a monthly! We have our first grand reopening of that on August 4th with the Big Booty Bass crew from LA!!

You and Joe ( J Woogie ) went to high school together too, right?

Yeah I forget exactly when we met, but it was sometime sophomore year in high school. We played a bunch of Call of Duty together super late into the night, good times!

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Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? (Or one of your favorite artists? Serves as a way to connect the artist w/audience by showing what they are into)

Tbh, I’m always listening to a bunch of people, my favorite track right now though would be this indie record called “She Can’t Leave Me Here Alone Tonight” by HOMESHAKE. Notable artists I’m really fuckin’ with right now though would be Shades (Eprom x Alix Perez), G Jones, Chee, Joker, Toro Y Moi, Badbadnotgood, Thundercat, Jack Garrett, The Internet, Kursa, Anti_Negative, and Abelation.

Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know of?

Yeah man, Abelation and Anti_Negative are two really fuckin’ sick up and comers. Both are putting out some really dope, next level shit that’s completely their own style. I know Abelation’s got an album on the way and Anti_Negative just released an EP so check those out if you like weird, experimental bass.

Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out? (Showcase artists’ discography – could also put this mix or track at the very beginning of the Q&A or somehow incorporate this question better so featured artists gets more web traffic for their SC, Spotify, Page, etc.,)

My recent bass set I played at Bass Cave was probably one of my favorite sets to date honestly. There’s two unreleased tunes in there from me as well. As far as tracks, I’m in the process of going through about 20+ demos and cleaning them all up to release sometime throughout next year once I relaunch my brand.

What exactly is the Vibe Tribe and how did it come together?

At its core, Vibe Tribe is just a group of friends sharing similar interests, mainly electronic music though but yeah! It started in college, the story is kinda funny hahaha. I was at a LED events show in San Diego on acid watching Milo & Otis, just thinking thoughts and the general future/vision of where I wanted to take my music and stuff. Around this time I was super in Selection and other music collectives, so the word Vibe Tribe just came into my head and it really stuck. The whole vision kinda came into my head too. I threw a few events here and there, but felt like I wasn’t really getting a ton of support and it was hard trying to do it all on my own, so I put it on the back burner for a bit and just made a Facebook group where we could share music, shows etc etc. From there it kinda grew more organically and now we have like a solid group of 60+ people we all fuck with. This past Lightning in a Bottle we had a huge camp site with like 40 people strong. It was super sick. I definitely want to pursue the collective more but want to approach it with a more refined vision/plan to push events and the general vibe (pun intended lol).

When you and I as well the rest of the Vibe Tribe camped last year at Dirtybird West Coast Campout, the ____ took a video of us. What was it like watching yourself be shown on such a huge Instagram follower? 

It was honestly super surprising hahahaha I don’t remember him coming up to our campsite, I guess I was just too into the music!! It was pretty sick though, I think one of our guys tried sending him a video of us from Lightning in a Bottle but he never responded.

So, are we doing it bigger & better this coming year for the 2018 West Coast Campout?

Hell yeah bro! In all seriousness though, definitely trying to organize our renegade more in depth and bring in some outside artists, make set times and what not. We have a really dope light setup, speakers, and CDJ’s we can borrow so we just need to organize and spread the word this year.

(Well there you go folks, you heard it here first! Come find us at West Coast campout!!)

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What’s your favorite tv show?

It’s for sure a tie between Arrested Development and Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve binged those shows hahahahaha.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Hit me up on my twitter! Always down to connect with like minded peeps 🙂

Check out Chef Boyarbeatz’s SoundCloud 

Follow Chef Boyarbeatz’s Instagram to see what he’s up to!

Thanks for reading everyone! Cheers, I appreciate all the feedback I’ve been getting lately.

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The Quarter Life Crisis: Technology, Society & Openness

We always hear about the mid-life crisis, but never the quarter-life crisis… I mean you can’t reallyyyy compare the two, but that’s not the point. The point is here we are all suffering and there is an incredibly large disconnect with ourselves + our generation.

Let’s be honest, life’s complicated.

..it’s like…. rEaL c O m P l I c A t E d

 

 

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How are we supposed to figure out which path to take in life? What kind of person you want to be and/or should be? (edit: my personal thoughts to these questions I asked can be found at the end of this piece)

We can blame technology, society (*will speak on society later in this blog*), nature, nurture, others,.. yet at the end of the day, it’s really up to us to make changes, be more proactive and imbue our lives with some sort of meaning and/or purpose so that we can “keep pushing it” as they say. Like I mentioned in Change & Awareness piece, humans are social creatures and as such, we require connection! Sure technology gives us an entity, if you will, to hide behind, but what it also does is give you this seemingly never-ending platform for connecting with people from… *drum rolls*

…yep, that just happened I’m sorry haha I felt like I had to lighten the mood before I continued to dive deeper into this topic. I’ve noticed comedy can always help bring me out of a bad mood.

Anyway okay so.. technology should be bringing us closer together not further apart. (Also btw, I am in no way saying I am this all-knowing guru… these are just trends I’ve noticed that I am also a part of). We need to be more open & honest with each other and also just bounce ideas off each other… and take it from there! I mean who knows what you’ll come up with. It’s kind of like when you had sleepovers when you were younger and you’d stay up all night and just talk about “life” and just other random, but cool stuff.

But let’s face it, each and every one of us (including myself) would rather save face and pretend our lives are “la-di-da” and “ooh-la-la” than admit we feel lost, disconnected and alone. Sometimes we post on social media, text our friends or use SnapChat to send these moments of our lives that are supposedly the best days of our lives… but are we truly allowing ourselves to soak in those moments and enjoy it to its fullest?

 

 

More than half of the time I snapped, posted a picture online, texted someone about something super fun I was doing I wasn’t allowing myself to be immersed in the experience. What I didn’t understand during that time was my intention behind these messages I was sending out. What I wanted was connection and to feel like I was doing okay. Instead, what I did was present myself in such a way that made it seem like I was having an awesome time (well okay, I was to an extent) and knew what I was doing. Honestly, it was just a cry for attention and I was in essence, lying to myself (BIG smh @ myself)

Now here’s the thing with society, it’s not that society is inherently corrupt or bad, but it is flawed. When people say things like “Oh, it’s society’s fault” or something along those lines.. what is the message they are sending? Let’s unpack this.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

  • Society functions like a living organism, it’s not a particular person, or secret group of people (I expect illuminati discussions to come)
  • So who makes up society? All of us
  • As such, the “problem” therein lies in the fact that the so-called “rules” that govern society during any given moment in time were established by a different society (basically the generation or generations before us)
  • Like any living organism, society absolutely needs to adapt because the people that make up society change and there’s always a new generation

Society HAS to change  otherwise, you create such a disconnect and ultimately cause confusion to individuals because the people that are in the society / alive are different than those who established the society before them.

And no, I’m not saying f**k the system let’s raise hell and embrace anarchy. Everyone needs structure, that’s where we thrive most. All I’m saying is society can be viewed as a living organism that has different constituents that serve a purpose and you need it.
Maybe if we take a step wayyy back and look at it through a different lens and connect with one another more we can come up with a way to make our lives that much easier.

 

 

We all need to improve, it’s been so damn hot lately and that’s literally humanity’s fault!
So how are we supposed to figure out which path to take in life? What kind of person you want to be and/or should be?
Honestly, you won’t know ’till you give it run. Simply put, it’s through trial & error. Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn from your experiences, understand that hardships will come, but ultimately pain leads to growth. 
Most importantly, embrace your individuality because you are perfect the way you are so use that negative energy as a catalyst for self-love and change to become a better you.
If you ever need to talk, just reach out to someone. Take care of yourself
Your friend,
Christian

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