What makes Art

IMG_5238

Recently, I became an artist. And it was because I finally created a real piece of art. That begs the question, Nolan what is a “real piece of art?” To which I reply.

A real piece of art is a story.

To understand this, think about Modern Art. I know for some, and at least for myself included, for a long while I thought Modern Art was a bunch of bullshit.

And this was because I did not understand the story.

Jackson Pollock was the greatest example of this to me. I used to simply view his works as paint being thrown upon a canvas. To me this was no art. But this was because I  was ignorant of the story behind Pollock. The struggles in his life, the reasons that he did what he did, who he was.

When I learned about his past it all began to make sense to me. His works were not just random splotches of paint thrown upon a canvas. They were the manifestations of his emotions, his thoughts, himself being thrown upon the canvas.

That was what made it real art.

And this realization is what also made me realize that I too am an artist. I lack the technical brush strokes and the ability to masterfully replicate an image with a pen or pencil, but I do have my mind and my ability to put things together in order to reveal a deeper meaning.

I can make a story.

And I will continue to do so. My art will be just for me, my friends, those close to me, and to those whom I wish to say thank you.

Maybe my works will be worth money some day. But that’s not what it is about. My art is about the story.

And that is what will make it worth it to those that I give it to.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

The Virtue of Temperance

automobile-beautiful-car-1226458

Today’s post is a solid one. It’s about a virtue that I personally really need to work on, and it’s a virtue that anyone who ever comes into any of sort of wealth needs to have unless they want to risk loving everything.

I am talking about the virtue of temperance.

This is the ability of one to abstain from an action or event; to restrain oneself if you will. Sure, it would be great to have another drink, but maybe that would be too much and then you wouldn’t be able to drive home. Sure it would be great to watch another Netflix episode, but maybe then you would stay up too late and wouldn’t be rested for work tomorrow. Sure it would be great to buy another car, but maybe that would be too much money you are spending every month and now you start to pile up debt and you risk losing both or all of your cars.

You can see where I am going with this.

Temperance is very important. It always has been and it always will be, but in today’s advanced society where so many material goods are available to so many people like never before in human history, I think it is more important than ever.

Today there is always the next phone, next computer, next fashion season, next car, next fad, next this, next that, next etc. etc. It literally never ends. There is always something to buy. And you need to ask yourself,

Does it make sense?

Now, as some of you readers already know, I am fiercely anti-socialist. I am very averse to the ideas that some people have too much and that necessarily merely because they have more than others they don’t deserve to have what they have and that it needs to be taken from them. Re-distribution of wealth is something that I find very alarming, but that is a whole other post; which will be written someday, maybe sooner than later.

In short, my stuff is my stuff and your stuff is your stuff.

Regardless of how excessive or how foolish it is. Just because I have a lot of computers does not mean that that is reason enough for someone else to have my computers. They are mine. I paid for them. If I don’t want to use them then that is my choice. They are still mine. Now it may be foolish of me to have them if I am not using them, and that is something that I cannot argue against.

This is why the virtue of temperance is so important. I firmly believe that it is totally fine for people to accrue whatever goods they want. They can do it. But that does not mean that it is smart. I would look at someone how has an excessive collection of something as impractical and not a good use of money; i.e. intemperate. That money that was spent on those items could have been better put to use in some other way: maybe in savings or in investments, or charity etc. And I am not necessarily the one to judge in that situation, but I think we can all attest to some moment where we or someone we know made unwise purchases.

It’s not that these purchases were evil and unfair, the people, in question spent their own monies on the products, but we know that they were unwise to do so.

Maybe they already had plenty of the product such that what benefit could getting another really add? Maybe a cheap high from the purchase, but after that not much. We need to guard against these feelings. Our wants literally never have an end. Human beings will never be satisfied. We are always hungry. Literally and figuratively. Just as we cannot eat one meal that will satisfy our body for the rest of our lives, so too will one purchase not satisfy us either.

There will always be something else that we desire.

And this is where we must be temperate. We need to realize this and be able to control ourselves. Our else we risk losing everything. We could lose our money if we can’t stop buying cars (which is such an easy to blow tremendous amounts of money, take it from me I used to sell BMWs and I have owned 2) or even worse we could lose our most trusted relationships, especially with our partners, if we can’t stop from desiring from other people.

Life is all about choices.

Don’t look at just your desires, look at the things that make your life work well, and that are smart for you. Sure, your desires must be part of your life. I am not advocating for buying a car that you don’t like, or for dating someone that you are not attracted to, but you need to realize that these are situations where you must choose.

You cannot change what you want, that often happens against your will. Every time I see a nice car, I think damn I want that. But, I know that getting it really wouldn’t keep me satisfied, therefore I need to be happy with something that is good enough.

Now this is much easier said than done, and that honestly is how I would sum up the virtue of temperance.

Easier said than done.

But if you can accomplish it, your life will be much better off. Much less stress from desiring anything and everything that comes your way but instead being able to be happy with moderated desires.

Well, good luck to everyone, especially to myself.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

What changed

A few days ago I wrote a blog post about rapping and lyrics, and I mentioned that when I was younger lyrics never mattered much to me. I would just listen to a song if the instruments or the beat sounded cool, the lyrics didn’t really mean much to me.

In college I had a friend named Luke who was a pretty decent rapper, I honestly should reach out to him and encourage him to write because he was legitimately really good at rapping. His words and messages were also stellar.

But the one thing I always remembered was how he hated jack Johnson. Yes he hates jack Johnson. And he told me why. It was because jack Johnson makes the chords and the song and then finds the words that fit.

Luke worked the other way.

He found the words first, and then made the beat to the message.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong way, but I do understand the difference in the method of writing. And I think it is worthy noting.

I find that I work the jack johnson way. If I hear music then it will stimulate my mind and soul and I will feel an emotion and then I will find words to express how it makes me feel or the memories that it makes me draw on.

And I like it that way.

Sorry Luke, if you are reading this please don’t hate me lol. But I will say that I have made a change since the olden says. The words are extremely important to me now. I can’t do songs that I have messages I find repulsive. And my definition of repulsive is very unique to me lol.

I know it when I see it.

Or hear it. You get the idea. But the song or beat is equally important to me. It all has to come together. I can’t have great lyrics but a crappy beat or the other way around.

I guess that makes me picky.

But again, I am totally fine with that. I just have a higher standard for making a song, and I think that is good. Aim for the stars, because you are going to miss anyways but if you aim high then you get a decent result in the end.

So cheers to everyone out there that writes their own music, it’s certainly a fun experience at the least, whether the sound turns out good or not. But aim for the stars everyone, and make a great song, regardless of which method you use.

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

H1Z1 on Playstation 4

h1z1_fb_share

Recently I heard that H1Z1 was free to play on Playstation 4 so I decided why not? I mean if it’s free then I have nothing to lose, except my time, which is somewhat valuable?

Now a bit about me, I am what I would like to call an H1Z1 veteran. I remember playing this game when it came out on PC years ago. Back then it was revolutionary as it was one of the very first Battle Royale games, and arguably the first mainstream one. This was the problem. Because the game was so popular and the developed Daybreak was making so much money off of it, they got lazy.

H1Z1 had tons of bugs. The way the players moved, getting stuck in doors, hackers, and just all-around sloppiness. But the game was labeled “early access” so no one cared. Personally, when I see a game called “early access” I just think “piece of shit lazy developers that use this title to excuse themselves from having to accept criticism.” I mean how many years does a game have to be in “early access” before it’s actually released as the fucking game.

Anyways, Daybreak messed up. They owned the battle Royale market. But eventually a competitor arrived on the scene, namely Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. This titan of a game was so much better than H1Z1 and thus it absorbed their player base almost overnight. Now there were still some players left in H1Z1, but not many. Unfortunately Fortnite (another Battle Royale) came along as well and took a few more of their small pool of remaining players.

I remember how easy it was to get into an H1Z1 game. The lobby would fill up instantly, but now I would wait sometimes 10 minutes or longer to get in a game. And what was worse was that only the die hard players remained in the servers. I would wait 10 minutes to get in only to get wasted in moments by a basically pro player. The barrier to entry was now massive. There was no room for new players.

Now I am a particularly determined person, so I held out and kept practicing and I eventually hit the Masters Rank. This is was the second best rank bracket, and I am proud of it. Now it wasn’t Royalty, but hitting that is another level of skill.

Anyways I got tired of H1. I just moved on and played Fortnite. But the building mechanics of fortnite never really were my favorite and I always longed to play another battle royale where it was just a shooter without anything else.

Then I saw on Playstation 4 that H1 was free. So I said why not. And I am very glad I decided to give it another ago. It is honestly another game entirely. The map may be the same, but the way it plays is totally new. Lots of new loot crates that you can easily access in the game due to beacons allow for easier access to getting the better weapons. And they are better. Going to the crates makes H1 that fast paced battle royale that it is. Further, they changed how the helmets work. You can now only wear one at a time, versus storing infinite amounts in your backpack and allowing PC players to macro fast and constantly keep their armor on. That was extremely frustrating.

The new H1Z1 for playstation is much more casual friendly, and I argue this is a very good thing. The fact that H1 on PC was basically a pros only game was the reason that no one played it. Not everyone is going to be a God at a game. You need pros and noobs too. And speaking frankly, you need more pros than noobs for a game to be successful. This new version of Playstation is much better. It is easy to pick it up and play a few games, and grab some actual kills. The total opposite experience from trying hopelessly to battle pros on the PC version.

And it’s free too. You can’t beat that. Give it a shot everyone. You got nothing to lose! (Except for your time, which may or may not be valuable.)

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan