Self Defense for Sexual Assault

Since there’s more and more news about sexual assault and sexual harassment these days, here’s some basic information on self defense.

I know not everyone is going to take a self–defense course or register to carry mace so here’s some things you can do to defend yourself that don’t require any specialized skill. Of course it would be nice to whip out a Lightsaber and slice the arm of an attacker like Obi–Wan did to that schmuck at Mos Eisley Spaceport.

Not everyone has the luxury of being a Mafia daughter. Ever notice how this stuff never happens to them? Because if you’re dumb enough do that, you’ll at the very least need help brushing your teeth the rest of your life.

One of the things about a lot of men in their teens and 20’s nowadays is they’ve never been in a fist fight with anyone. So they don’t know if they can take a punch. They don’t know what a punch feels like and it’s definitely not pleasant. This can be used as an advantage—the shock of being hit for the first time.

1. Hammerfists

This is done by clenching your fists tightly and raining blows down on an attackers face/head from above like you are slinging hammers. Two hammers coming down on someone’s face who shouldn’t have been in your face to begin with; Like you are a drummer playing drums with your fists. Think Chris Hemsworth in Thor. Hammerfists are your Thor’s hammers.

This type of punch is not allowed in professional boxing. It is a way to generate a lot of force and is useful when an attacker has grabbed you and/or when you are close or standing still—you don’t need to back up to hit someone.

Jumping up and down can add to the impact, and you can switch to this after you’ve already stung an attacker. Hammer them like a nail to the ground and run away to somewhere safe then get to a Police station.

Try a Hammerfist compared to a horizontal punch and see how much harder you can hit from above than throwing a punch like in boxing.

Skilled Martial Artists can knock someone down flat with one Hammerfist—not a slow backwards fall, a “Spagetti Legs” collapse. I experienced this playing Nerf football (so much for safer) taking a blow to the side of the head.

The other thing is when you are shorter than the attacker, you have to punch up at them which can limit the impact. Hammerfist is a more natural motion of the entire arm—this is how we’re hardwired to run. Watch Olympic sprinters and see the arms pumping up and down like pistons for speed and power in Hammerfist motion.

I had a few fist fights in my life I never went looking for but sometimes it’s the only way to get someone to leave you alone. From those, I learned I could take horizontal punches in the face, stay standing and keep punching—and those were against guys who are stronger than women. And I’m no Rocky Balboa. So don’t think normal punching is the best way to ward off an attacker especially if you don’t practice this kind of thing regularly.




2. Go for the neck

Land any kind of blow to the front (preferably) or side of the neck: punch, forearm, side arm Hammerfist, Spear Hand (when you tightly hold your hand in the shape of a spear).

Spear Hand is a Martial Arts move and will impact the throat with the 3 longest fingers. Because of it’s small profile as opposed to a fist, it can sneak in where a fist may be blocked. If you don’t think 3 fingers will hurt, hit yourself in the neck lightly with them. That part of the body isn’t exactly a turtle shell.

Land some blows and run away to somewhere safe, call someone you trust if you’re not able to drive safely & get to a Police station immediately. Don’t hang out to see if they need medical attention. They weren’t going to give you any measure of sympathy.

Don’t hang out to see if they need medical attention. They weren’t going to give you any measure of sympathy.

Spear Hand is thrown in normal punch motion. Palms can be facing down, upward or slanted facing left or right if you are left or right handed, whatever gives you an “in” to land a blow. Think of it like a cobra striking the neck.

If an attacker has grabbed you from the front facing you and there’s little to no space to hit the neck from the front, you can curve the Spear Hand and hit the sides of the neck—you don’t need a large range of motion for any kind of blow to the neck to hurt.

Playing sports growing up I’ve experienced all kinds of accidents and injuries—broken bones, dislocation, cuts, gashes, pain and bruises, concussion.

I’ve gotten accidentally hit in the kidney (illegal punch in boxing), and taken groin shots. In both cases, as well as broken bones, a little Sgt. Barnes from Platoon could have appeared on my shoulder telling me “Take the pain”, and I did. It hurt but I was able to function and keep going. I also wouldn’t panic or worry if I was bleeding—”I ain’t got time to bleed.”

The scariest thing that happened to me though was accidentally taking a blow to the neck. I paid the price for that layup (basketball). This is one of the reasons boxers fight chin down to not expose the neck*. If a boxer gets hit in the neck, it’s pretty much the end of the fight. They’re back in after groin shots and often kidney shots though.

*Chin fully to chest is also what friends and I do for turbulence on flights

 

Think of it this way: The thing everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Screech on Saved By The Bell have in common is we’re all 10–15 minutes of oxygen away from leaving this dimension at any given time. A blow to the neck is a kink in the fuel line. You kink the fuel line, you shut down the machine.

A blow to the neck is a kink in the fuel line. You kink the fuel line, you shut down the machine.

What happens with a blow to the neck is fear, panic and self–preservation taking over. The neck swells and there’s a reduction of oxygen, you want to curl up and protect yourself, it’s tough even to stand up, and it takes much longer to recuperate because it’s a scary experience to a very vulnerable part of the body.

Lions, cheetahs & leopards kill by suffocation. Even the lower animal kingdom knows it’s own weak spots.

If someone has you pinned down, their face and neck will be exposed but it’s more difficult to thwart. If you can still do these 2 mentioned above, they’ll still hurt even really close without full range of motion.

Fingernails jabbed or pressed into the neck can be done if you cannot punch, bite fingers, go Mike Tyson (bite) on the dirtbag’s ear if you have to. But ideally you want to shut it down before it ever gets this far—in other words, land as many blows while you are still standing.

Knees and elbows are among the strongest parts of the body and can take a lot of force. If you are being grabbed from behind, elbows into the chest/face can stun an attacker enough to escape and run. Keep them close to your body and go straight up/back for maximum impact (a motion like you are on an elliptical machine at the gym or power walking).

A blow to the breastbone or diaphragm area can knock the wind out of someone. It’s happened to me a few times in sports. In professional football, you’ll even see 250 pound men in full gear need a few minutes to stare at the sky to recoup after getting hit in the center of the chest.

If you see a lot of blood from Hammerfists, it’s probably a broken nose. The end part of it breaks easily and when they’re bleeding that much, they’ll have problems breathing and leave so much DNA everywhere for Forensics that they’ll get a nice orange jumpsuit and feel what it’s like to be raped themselves in prison. You reap what you sow.




Being followed/stalked:

It’s happened to me in a foreign country. I’ve also been targeted by thieves in popular tourist areas. See it before it happens and shut their window to act down. Be aware of your surroundings, who’s around you and stop looking at your cellphone every 5 minutes. Attackers prey on distracted, drunk/stoned/under the influence of drugs people and thrive on the element of surprise.

When I’m doing photography/video outside, I’m either not listening to my iPod or I only have one earbud in my ear. I need to hear what’s going on around me for my safety. Jogging with 2 earbuds in isn’t safe for even street traffic in the daytime never mind hearing if someone is approaching you or hiding nearby.

These are what I would do if I was attacked: Land a few blows then get out of there ASAP.

Land a few blows then get out of there ASAP

There’s too many unknowns to hang around even if I had gained the upper hand—You don’t know if the attacker has any kind or weapon or if there’s other people in on this and the attacker is just the first one to lure you in. Many people including trained Martial Artists have paid the price because they stuck around too long—the assailant had a weapon and used it out of spite, humiliation and frustration.

Learn to avoid risky situations before they happen. Hopefully you won’t have to use this information but practice doing these. This will help commit them to muscle memory if needed in situations where shock and panic can overtake you and freeze you from acting. In those situations you will not have time to think. Just knowing this intellectually may not be enough in a real world scenario.

As musicians, dancers, Martial Artists, athletes, etc., we practice the same moves hundreds and thousands of times so we can do things automatically, quickly and effortlessly.

Remember The Karate Kid? “Wax on, wax off?” Mr. Miyagi had Daniel do the Karate moves hundreds of times so he committed them to muscle memory (which is faster than having to think about what you should do). And when Daniel needed to, he was able to pull out a tool box of moves that was quick and automatic to attack and defend himself.

Be prepared that with any emotional or physical trauma that you will not be thinking clearly and have weird/inappropriate thoughts afterwards. When I broke my arm as a boy, my first reaction was laughing that I’d be missing school. The “Dude your arms in pieces” reality of the situation didn’t set in until later even though I looked right at it and knew that’s not how an arm should look.

I’ve also been close to Vets in my family who had PTSD their entire lives—though marriage, kids, church, careers, etc. So expect that as well (flashbacks and things triggering unpleasant memories) and go to a therapist or counselor to diffuse it as much as you can as soon afterwards as you can.

Don’t think being in love or falling in love by itself will heal it. Pop songs and movies aren’t reality. Don’t wait years for it to ferment and build up momentum. It’s bad enough it had to happen in the first place but the emotional aftereffects can continue to be crippling years later if untreated. Don’t let it continue to assault you the rest of your life. It takes courage to fight back. Continue being a survivor and get professional help.

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Edge Of A Broken Heart: The Runaway Bon Jovi Song

As if Slippery When Wet could have gotten any bigger. Well it COULD have.

 

When we think of 80’s mega albums, Slippery When Wet rubs elbows with Thriller, Purple Rain, Make It BigMadonnaHysteria, Can’t Slow Down, Toto IV, Sports, Born In The U.S.A., and Back In Black.

 

The Bon Jovi Holy Grail spent 8 weeks at #1 (Billboard), 38 weeks within the top 5 albums, became the best selling album in 1987, is among the 100 best selling albums (currently #48) in the United States, and has sold over 12 million copies worldwide.

Richie Sambora’s white Fender Stratocaster

 

Those of us who lived through the New Jersey invasion of the airwaves from Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen, remember the 4 singles from Slippery When Wet:

 

You Give Love A Bad Name” (#1)
“Livin’ On A Prayer” (#1)
“Wanted Dead Or Alive” (#7)

 

The above trifecta here gave Slippery When Wet the notable distinction of being the first Glam Metal/Hard Rock album to have 3 top 10 hits. The Hair Metal floodgates opened from there. It was indeed a great time to own stock in Aqua Net.

 

The power ballad, “Never Say Goodbye” was released as the 4th single but not domestically so it wasn’t able the chart on Billboard’s Hot 100.  However it did reach #28 on another chart, the Hot 100 Airplay which measures how often a song is being played on radio stations and more recently streamed online as well.

 

That was the first missed opportunity for another official Bon Jovi single off of Slippery When Wet. The demand was certainly there. The second was “Raise Your Hands”, which was on the soundtrack of the classic 1987 Mel Brooks Star Wars spoof Spaceballsstarring John Candy as Barf, Rick Moranis as Lord Dark Helmet, and a pre Independence Day Bill Pullman as Captain Lone Starr.

 

The movie literally opens up with Bon Jovi. Can anyone picture flying a Winnebago in space without rocking out to “Raise Your Hands?” I mean what the hell did Han and Chewy do on the Millennium Falcon, listen to NPR and knit sweaters? Leave it to a comedy to portray something more accurate,

 

 

But the most egregious lapse in Bon Judgement was not including the amazing track “Edge Of A Broken Heart.” For whatever reason, it missed the tour bus for Slippery When Wet and has been thumbing for a ride in Bon Jovi limbo ever since. It’s a stronger song than many that were included on the album.

 

Slippery When Wet (1986) was the 3rd studio album from Bon Jovi, sandwiched between 7800° Fahrenheit (1985) and New Jersey (1988). It was also the first album they brought in songwriter Desmond Child who co-wrote the album’s 2 biggest tracks “You Give Love A Bad Name” (#1)
“Livin’ On A Prayer” (#1) with Jon and Richie as well as a few others. “Edge Of A Broken Heart” should have been on that list and on the charts.

 

For the longtime Bon Jovi fan or people who just know their songs from the radio, in either case the reaction is the same: WTF?! Why wasn’t this track [“Edge Of A Broken Heart”] released as a single?

 

Slippery When Wet (1986) had 10 songs on it of which 4 were released as singles. For comparison, other albums in this pre-CD era released more songs as singles from their respective albums as shown below:

 

Thriller (Michael Jackson, 1982) 9 tracks 7 singles all becoming top 10 hits, 8 Grammys, best selling album of all time
Can’t Slow Down (Lionel Ritchie, 1983) 8 tracks 5 singles.
Lionel should have released the title track “Can’t Slow Down” as well. It could have been his 6th single.

Back In Black (AC/DC, 1980) 10 tracks 5 singles
Sports (Huey Lewis & The News, 1983) 9 tracks 5 singles
Make It Big (Wham!, 1983) 8 tracks, 4 singles
Purple Rain (Prince, 1984) 9 tracks, 5 singles

Hysteria (Def Leppard, 1987) 12 tracks, 7 singles
Toto IV (Toto, 1982) 10 tracks 4 singles
Born In The U.S.A. (Bruce Springsteen, 1984) 12 tracks, 7 singles all becoming top 10 hits
Madonna (Madonna, 1983) 8 tracks 5 singles
Like A Virgin (Madonna, 1984/85) The 1985 reissue included “Into The Groove”, a track from the 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan making the album 10 tracks with 6 singles

 




 

“Edge Of A Broken Heart” is chock full of classic Bon Jovi ingredients in their proprietary Jersey Shore stew: David Bryan’s keyboards, Sambora’s crisp crunchy power guitar parts, Jon singing a few long notes during the verses (the words “I’m” and “Now” in both verses of the song) teasing us for the bigger payoff we know he’ll deliver come chorus time.

 

The same kind of vocal hook was used in the verses of “You Give Love A Bad Name”:

Oh, oh, you’re a loaded gun
Oh, oh, there’s nowhere to run

 

This singing device is so Bon Jovi and we drink it up like like bacon flavored Kool-Aid, ready to become drooling rock zombies wearing overpriced tour T-shirts. The nutrition label on this track indeed gives us more than a full days RDA of RAWK—and you’ll still find yourself wanting second helpings of this lost hit.

 

There’s also the “Bon Jovi build” which starts up the song with Tico Torres drums, Sambora’s guitar riff and Bryan’s keyboard work until the band enters in for a full tidal wave of fun smiley 80’s rock before it recedes and gets calm again to let Jon sing about the latest fictionalized Femme fatale that crossed paths with a peaceful tour bus just trying to spread the Gospel of Rock & Roll. The lyrics even mention “Private Dancer” another classic 80’s hit/album from Tina Turner.

 

Then there’s the deluxe call and response vocal parts during the chorus between Jon and the band’s backing vocals giving us a double shot of satisfying volleyball of energy for the ears:

 

Bon Jovi Tickets

 

 

Rock chemists the world over have devised strategic formulas over the years and “Edge Of A Broken Heart” uses a tried and true mixture: The Root, Four, Five chord progression (AKA I IV V)—A classic example  being “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen.

 

Another well known chord progression is Root, Five, Four (I V VI) like Baba O’ Riley by The Who better known by as “Teenage Wasteland.”

Chords in Baba O’ Riley:  F  C  Bb  (1 5 4  or I V IV)

Chords in Edge Of A Broken Heart:  E  B  A     E  B  B  C#  A  (1 5 4   1 5 5 6 4  or  I V VI    I V V VI IV)

 

You can see and hear the first part of the chord progression is the same as Baba O’ Riley but just one note lower.

“Edge Of A Broken Heart” is also in the key of E Major like a few other classic rock tunes:

“Limelight” by Rush

“Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey

 

So Slippery When Wet COULD have had a total of 6 singles released by our count here.




Savvy Glam/Hair Metal fans will know the band Vixen also had a song in 1988 of the same name off their debut album Vixen which peaked at #26 .  This “Edge Of A Broken Heart” was actually written by two other 80’s vocalists/songwriters: Richard Marx and Fee Waybill of The Tubes. Richard Marx actually co–produced the album.

 

As you can see, the #MeToo movement back in the 80’s involved sharing each other’s hair care products as well as song titles:

 

 

But you can’t copyright a title. And Bon Jovi also has song called “Runaway” which Del Shannon had a hit with back in 1961. “Runaway” is one of the “Carpal Tunnel Classics” where there’s Eternal triplet notes for keyboard players like Toto’s “Hold The Line” where a bucket of warm epsom salt is a welcome spa treatment after a gig for your wrist.

 

A fun trivia tidbit here is Steve Vai is married to former Vixen bassist Pia Maiocco (playing the red guitar in the above video). They met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Richard Marx makes a cameo as well at the 2:41 mark.

 

The Bon Jovi “Edge Of A Broken Heart” was included on the 1987 film Disorderlies starring The Fat Boys who are best known for the single “Wipe Out” (1987) with The Beach Boys doing back up vocals. It was a rap using The Surfaris 1963 hit instrumental of the same name.

 

And speaking of films, there’s an interesting connection with drummer Tico Torres. He was also a studio player for fellow New Jersey band Franke and the Knockouts who are best known for their 1981 hit “Sweetheart” which reached #10.

 

Namesake and lead singer Franke Previte also went on to have a few of his tunes appear in movies like his Bon Jovi brother. Previte is co–writer (along with John DeNicola and Donald Markowitz) of “Hungry Eyes” and “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” which were the anchor tunes on the classic 80’s film Dirty Dancing (1987) with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

 

The original versions were recorded by Franke and the Knockouts but went onto greater acclaim as covers by Eric Carmen (#4 in 1987) and Bill Medley (of The Righteous Brothers) & Jennifer Warnes (#1 in 1987) respectively. The later won an Academy Award, Golden Globe and a Grammy.

 

Looking back, 1986 and 1987 were great years for both New Jersey bands. And here we are some 30 years later coming full circle from when Bon Jovi seemingly took over the world on a steel horse. The funny irony of Slippery When Wet was that it had massive international success with one of the cheapest album covers EVER. Just a step up from Metallica’s The Black Album, where Jon write “Slippery When Wet” on a wet trash bag.

 

So with that, we extend an esteemed “Shock to the Hearty” congratulations to Bon Jovi for making it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2018. A photographer I know worked on the New Jersey tour and had nothing but positive things to say about them. It’s always a bonus when people who aren’t a bunch of arrogant egomanics get a deserved honor. Jon is an authentic humanitarian who has his own charity feeding homeless/low income people as well as homeless veterans:

JBJ Soul Kitchen (www.jbjsoulkitchen.org)

Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (www.jonbonjovisoulfoundation.org)

 

Oh and Jon has stated this lost Bon Jovi tune should have been included on Slippery When Wet and actually apologized believe it or not. So they’ll have to answer for the “Edge Of A Broken Heart” transgression on Bon Judgement Day, but in the meantime, we can forgive them because we’ve found their missing runaway.

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When Compliments Aren’t Compliments

We’ve all been there as artists and creative people. Someone notices you have talent and thinks they’re complimenting you with something like…

“Wow you’re really talented, you should work for [whatever company]” or  “You should work in [name of profession where you’d wind up working for another company].”

 

You thank them on the surface for the half compliment but know deep down know they still don’t get it—or you. You want them to see your talent and creativity as an end in itself and valuable in it’s own right not simply a tool to be used by someone else.

 

They still don’t get that being an artist/creative person for many including you is about personal freedom to do what you want, do it your own way and on your own time—and get the maximum benefits from owning your own intellectual property to generate income now and in the future via royalties and/or licensing fee income.

 

The problem is most people including those giving “compliments” to you just want any kind of job they can stand and don’t absolutely loathe to get needed income so they’re not focused on being independent and self–sufficient. Art and creativity is not their lifestyle and overriding driving force.

 

The act of creation is air and energy to those of us who know the joys of creation.

 

 

Getting to do what you like to do for a living is a step up for most people. It’s a foreign concept from most people’s family environment since most of us observe people around us working to make money because we have to and the need is brutally immediate. But it’s not looking at life long term. Think about it, if you’re going to spend 4-5 decades doing something, why not choose something you really enjoy doing?

 

And why retire when you’re really living your ideal authentic self and life’s work? Think John Williams is going to retire and stop writing music? Think Oprah’s going to retire and crack open Coronas with Stedman on a tropical island she could buy for the rest of their lives? These people don’t need another dollar. They still “work” because they’re living their authentic selves, and IT’S NOT WORK—it’s fun, it’s play, it’s deeply meaningful and fulfilling.

 

So what is your authentic life’s work? We can define it as “What you would still do even if you weren’t paid to do it.” I know musicians that would still practice and perform, actors who would still act, writers who would still write and dancers who would still dance—paid or not. And day jobs are an interruption to what we’d rather do with our time and lives.

 

But some may ask (let’s call them the Consensus Chorus), “So why not just work for someone else and get paid for your creativity that way?” Fair question. Well, here’s the legal reason why that’s NOT the best way to gain the benefits of your talents and creative efforts over a lifetime…

 

Slavery 2.0

Laws favor the company over the individual employee. So WHEN YOU WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE, YOUR CREATIONS ARE NOT YOUR OWN ANYMORE. THEY ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF THE COMPANY YOU WORK FOR.

 

In other words, everything you create working for a company becomes property of the company, not you the originator of the art, invention or idea. So working for Big Successful Company ain’t really no compliment now is it? You just continue to get paid hourly or get a salary and won’t make any royalties even if what you thought up goes on to make millions of dollars for the company. And you may not even get a big corner office and promotion out of it either. But the CEO, top management and shareholders will all get dividends and higher pay thanks to your ideas. Sound like the deal of the century?

 

No one would expect Tom Brady to work for $40,000 a year. He makes millions for the New England Patriots. Yet, the All Stars of the Creative Sector, (writers, animators, etc.) working for large TV, film & entertainment companies get paid slave wages compared to the company’s owners, upper management and top stockholders while making them millions of dollars from their work and ideas.

 

The copyrights aren’t yours, the patents aren’t yours, they’re the company’s. You become a non–entity in some Twilight Zone of creativity and inventions without what SHOULD be your legal rights and benefits as the creator/inventor.

 

Intellectual Property 101

Sucks eh?
I can hear Isaac Hayes in the “Theme from Shaft” say “”Damn right!!” from beyond the grave.

 

Say for example you create a new character for an animated movie that Disney will release. You and the other writer–animators came up with all these characters kids will absolutely love. There’s going to be ticket sales, soundtrack sales, DVD sales, and a global merchandising juggernaut up the wazoo: backpacks, sippy cups, stuffed animals, T-shirts, figurines, pillows, pajamas, blankets & bedspreads, gummi multivitamins, toys, toothbrushes, you name it.

 

The wake up call: You’re likely not going to see a penny above your normal pay from any of those sales because since you’re an employee, your ideas are owned by the company now and you’re in no position to negotiate from Cubicleland. You might get a small year end bonus for your hard work though which is more of an insult that what you and your ideas are really worth.

 

You may not even get bragging rights that you’re the creator of Marvelous Margay and Fantastic Ferret. If there’s a clause in your employment contract stating so about non–disclosure, you can’t even make your fame at conventions singing autographs and doing interviews on talk radio/TV shows or in print unless the company books it for you. Nope that’s for upper management to be drooled over as business wizards in newspapers, trade magazines and on esteemed panel discussions where everyone worships their “genius” over yours. The Stan Lee’s of tomorrow are anonymous.

 

And such animated characters really do go around the world. I’ve seen SpongeBob and Hello Kitty in several different countries that don’t speak English.




 

A Better Strategy that Compliments YOU

Better to work on such ideas OUTSIDE of your day job so you can sell the idea to a studio and make some real money—possible even the one you work for. More than that, you can earn your freedom to lead the life that’s more you as a creative person instead of punching a time clock for someone else. Most companies will only pay you enough to keep you showing up for work the next day.

 

It’s not fair to artists, inventors, innovators and creative people being used as “Financial Camels” to further carry and support top heavy management salaries and shareholders.

 

 

Most management type people aren’t the creative types the company is riding on the backs of but they’re making craploads more money than you. Why should they get paid more money than you? Do they really work a couple hundred thousand to a couple million dollars harder than you? Are their brains really a couple hundred thousand to a couple million dollars better than yours?

 

There is no real justification for the lopsidedness of pay scales. It’s a symptom of a sick society that doesn’t honor and award creativity and instead oppresses and corrals it so others benefit more than the originators. It’s like cattle being milked and sold for money, the privileges of wealth and freedom the cattle will never see.

 

Why is the pay scale so mediocre for most creative people who work for other companies? That’s how it’s been and will continue to be. I’m not betting Congress will grow a set to stand up against big corporate lobbyist money. Since laws will not change in your favor as long as you’re working for someone else,  work in a manner where Copyright/Intellectual Property (IP) laws work in your favor. For that, you have to make it on your own outside of putting your best efforts and ideas for someone else. You could be chewing saffron truffle quinoa Matsutake mushroom salad instead of hay.

 

Don’t set the bar too low for yourself just because of other people’s fears of making a living and lower standards for living a life more authentically you. That’s no compliment to yourself or your talents. And for that, you need freedom from 9 to 5 to do it. Your ideas and creations are your most valuable asset so don’t be so willing to give them away for pennies when they’re worth much more.

 

Look at The Blair Witch Project. I thought the movie was poorly made with a sparse script and plot. They only spent around $60K, which is low budget even for low budget independent films. Who’s laughing now though? To date, that first film has raked in over $250 million dollars worldwide. Not bad for only 8 days of filming.

 

Would you spend $60k for your freedom like that? They did and now they can do whatever they want for the rest of their lives. Good for them. Like the tattoo on John Wick’s back “FORTIS FORTUNA ADIUVAT” (Fortune Favors the Bold), working in Cubiceland isn’t being bold—it’s just playing it safe, and playing it safe only keeps you safe for so long. And our friend Mr. Wick being an A–list well paid designer tailored suit wearing hitman isn’t living his authentic self and life either. Even he wants to be free from working for someone else.

 

You can lose at playing it safe just as easily—perhaps even more easily since there’s more people in that boat versus the person who invents their own boat and becomes their own Captain.

 

 




Who’s George Lucas?

That’s right. See what we mean? You’d be asking that too if George started his career working for Disney. No one would know him by first name. At this point, there’s probably extraterrestrial civilizations that know who he is too.

 

Instead of working in a rookie pen for pennies on his imagination, he became a billionaire from his own creations and ideas and sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney decades later for a lot more than they would have paid him in wages/salary as an employee.

 

Who’s Bill Gates?

Bill too. If he tried to get the backing for his ideas on a new operating system with his superiors at IBM he may have gotten a grand old promotion and expanded his heirloom sweater collection with a slight bump in pay. But he wouldn’t have founded his own company, Microsoft, which IBM now buys products from. You can’t buy a megaphone like that to get your superiors to notice you when you’re working for someone else.

 

The best thing to do with success like George, Bill’s or Oprah’s is to nurture other artists/inventors/creative people with no strings attached financial support so they too can give their gifts to the planet. Venture capitalists are too attached to return on investment (ROI) within a timeline more aggressive than standard bank business loans. They often step on flowers they initially attempt and intend to water. I’ve seen companies go under once Venture Capitalists get involved. So it’s recommend to stay away from such money marionettes for your art, inventions or ideas, because guess who’s going to be the puppet in this relationship?

 

Real Compliments

I’ve gotten real compliments and they’re gold. They last and age like fine wine, increasing in both richness and potency. So when people see you and your art as valuable in itself, that’s a real compliment. When they don’t tell you you should to work for this company or that, that’s a real compliment. When they’re interested in your next project and tell people about you, that’s a real compliment. When they want to help you however they can to help your grow and promote your endeavors, that’s a real compliment. When they’re a legitimate fan of what you do, that’s a real compliment. When they’re happy to know you, that’s a real compliment.

 

Artists of the world need real compliments, not career advice from armchair HR directors.

 

 

Anything less is feeding you and your creative heart & soul to the sharks of the marionette marketplace. They’re forever swimming around Cubicleland, following the scent of money and new ideas from naive creative people to exploit for their own gain over yours.

And who wants to swim with sharks? You could be sipping an organic margarita with Oprah and Stedman on a financial island of your own creation.

 

© Composer Yoga

Resources for Artists/Inventors

US Copyright Office Website

https://www.copyright.gov/

 

Registration Fees—these are less expensive if done electronically online versus mailing your work(s) in:

https://www.copyright.gov/docs/fees.html

 

There’s various kinds of copyright forms: Form TX, Form VA, Form PA, Form SE, and Form SR. The form instructions describe the purpose of each in more detail but here’s a brief explanation of what each is for:

 

Form PA (Performing Arts):

Screenplays, plays, musicals, dance,choreography, comedy, motion pictures, audiovisual works

https://www.copyright.gov/forms/formpa.pdf

 

Form TX (Text):

Books, poetry, etc.

https://www.copyright.gov/forms/formtx.pdf

 

Form VA (Visual Arts):

Photography, prints, sculptures, models, paintings, etc.

https://www.copyright.gov/forms/formva.pdf

 

Form SR (Sound Recording):

Music, audio masters for CDs/albums, music spoken or other sounds by themselves not part of a larger audiovisual work

https://www.copyright.gov/forms/formsr.pdf

 

Form SE (Serial):

Periodicals & serials, newspapers, etc.

https://www.copyright.gov/forms/formse.pdf

 

 

 

Patents are done through the US Patent and Trademark Office. This is a more expensive and time consuming process. There are different kinds of patents as well.

https://www.uspto.gov/

 

Application Fee Info:

https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/fees-and-payment/uspto-fee-schedule

https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/fees-and-payment/uspto-fee-schedule#Trademark%20Fees

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