The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

In a Face-to-Face World

There used to be this paper that would come out every Thursday, here in L.A., called the Recycler. It was a paper designed for people to sell and/or to buy pretty much everything. Every Thursday morning I would get up early to get it at this one liquor store where I knew it was delivered early to seek out guitars, synthesizer, and amplifiers. I wasn’t the only one doing it; a lot of people were looking for a lot of things.

I purchased a ’64 Fender Jaguar from John Sebastian, a ’58 Gibson Les Paul from Moon Martin, a Gibson L5-S from Sumner Mering; all well known musicians of the era. Did I know who I was calling up on the telephone? No, I would just call them up, set up a meet time, go to where they lived, check out the guitar, and buy it. All face-to-face.

I also sold things. I bough and sold a lot of guitars and amps via the Recycler back in the day. The guitar player for Slayer showed up at my Hermosa Beach apartment this one time to buy this three rack Anvil case I had designed to hold my three Marshall amp heads back when I was playing live. And, the list goes on and on and on. Tom Petty came over and purchased a Rickenbacker from one of my friends. It was a very face-to-face era. You would go to people’s houses or they would come to yours and things were bought and sold.

The nightclubs in L.A. used to be very intimate. I think to this one very popular nightclub, Madam Wong’s West. All the great bands of the ‘80s played there. The thing is/was, it was a very small nightclub. The stage was just set about one foot above the dance floor. So, you would be anywhere from a few inches to several feet away from the performers. Bands such as X, The Plimsouls, 20/20, The Motels, Wall of Voodoo, and Oingo Boingo (who’s singer was, of course, Danny Elfman, who went on to be a highly sought after film composer), played there. And, this wasn’t the only club in the city like this. There were many. I once saw the Sister’s of Mercy at a nightclub in Long Beach that was about the size of my living room. Everyone was face-to-face.

As is always the case, life and times change. Certainly, the internet changed everything. As the internet rolled to power, first things were bought and sold on eBay, which many sites have emulated. I have bought and sold so many guitars and amps, and books, and records, and… on eBay that I cannot even guess at how many. No longer is it a face-to-face transaction. Now, it is some abstract person out there in some far off place that you will never have any personal contact with. There is no personalization.

In fact, pretty much all of the world has become far off and foreign. This has given birth to all kinds of things, many of them negative. Certainly, Troll Culture was born in this realm. The place where people write and speak negatively (or positively) about someone they never met and never will meet. But, how can you truly know anything about anyone if you have actually never met them? Yet, people talk and talk and talk and talk.

Like I have long said, “You know you’re famous when people you’ve never met say things about you that aren’t true.”

The thing is, face-to-face is real. It is a
true experience. That experience may be good, bad, positive, or negative but it is real. It did happen. You know what you know because you have lived it. Everything else that is lived in the realm of abstraction, all of this cyberspace mumbo jumbo, is just bullshit. Yet, most people are not personally aware enough to realize this fact. They believe the lie.

In Hinduism, there is the understanding of, “Maya.” That all of life is an illusion. For the zealot to reach God-Consciousness they must rebuke this illusion and find a pathway to True Knowledge. The fact is, life is only truly known; life is only truly experienced face-to-face. Think about it, when have you truly known what you have known? The answer: When have you truly experienced what you have experienced? When have you actually understood that other person? When? When you were face-to-face.

Now, I could tell everyone to forget all this cyberspace nonsense. But, that is the reality of our time. Some day, this too will change. But, not today. So, what are we left with? We are left with the reality of the reality that we must be strong minded enough to set our own stage for our own reality. We must take control of our lives and our minds and not be forced into mindlessness dominated by all that is not real in the Out There. Or, as in the case of the internet, In Here. We must set the stage for our life to be live in the Real to its fullest. Because nothing is nothing is nothing unless it is something. How does something become Some Thing? When it is lived face-to-face.