New song: You can’t change my mind!

It’s still in it’s primitive stages but I wanted to get this early version out there anyways, expect a reupload with another verse and chorus iteration, and as always don’t forget to like, subscribe and praise the lord, Love you guys!

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A Sorta New Direction

The Greatest Never Artist Collective

Realistically not much has or ever will change in terms of our goals. Our path remains the same. What has changed; is the detail of our perspective and the depths of our understanding on where that path is leading us.

The Greatest Never as an association, has ascribed itself to the long term goal of transforming into and establishing it’s presence and functionality as a non-specific Artist Collective.

You may be familiar with the term collectivism, though i’m assuming most of you probably aren’t. If by chance you are, than it’s likely you may have heard it tossed around with other big name economic and political ideas like communism, socialism, and anarchism.

 In relation to these, collectivism is one of  socialism’s many ideological offspring. Simultaneously collectivism itself also has many different sub-types and interpretations.

Broadly speaking one could generalize it as economically resembling a form of libertarian-communism while being both anarchistic in nature and functioning like a direct-democracy in terms of it’s administration.

What is a Collective?

To answer more specifically we must define collectivism. 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides the following definitions for collectivism both of which are applicable:

1. A political and economic theory advocating collective control over production and distribution. Also a system marked by such control (collective). 

2. Emphasis on the Collective rather than individual action or identity.

So a collective is essentially a system; in our case a small autonomous, mixed-motive organization; in which the means of production, and distribution are collectively shared.  So an artist crollective would simply be a collective that shared their means to create works of art, as well as market, promote, showcase and distribute such works.

On a very basic level we already have this established. Any member of the team is able to promote just about any creative work they want on TGN or any of it’s related platforms. Reguardless of whether it’s for profit or not, TGN is our collective hub and utility for reaching an audience and showcasing things that we’ve done,  made, want to say. etc.

For the sake of building upon and entertaining my fantastical visions, what if we somehow managed to step up our size in one way or another. That way could be anything from finding a patron, releasing a high selling album, or book, or even just organizing ourselves better and being more consistent, efficient, and proactive with our content creation and output.

I suppose if that were to happen the next step would be to acquire a warehouse. Therei Set up an office, a couple DIY recording studio, practice and jam area, acquire a variety of instruments, art supplies, areas for painting, sculpting, modeling, crafting etc, bookshelves full of resources and areas to write, think, and work. Create and maintain our own promotional platforms like newsletters, magazines, etc.

Even more fantastical what would the step after that be? Operating our own venues? museums? libraries?laboratories? studios? radio station? etc? I should stop myself, this is getting too good. Though such talk sounds ambitious and crazy, I know it is, but I’ve always found it better to dream big, and I believe I speak for most of the crew here at TGN when I say that.

Just to clarify this is not collective profit system. Obviously if money was made using the collective equipment, we would expect a very minuscule return to help pay for supplied equipment, and a minuscule cut to contribute to charity.

The idea is not to make money off it’s members, but if the capital is for the benefit of each, than everyone who’s receiving a monetary benefit ought to be doing their part to keep it afloat. Not that we wouldn’t love to see our members contributing as much excess to the growth of the collective as possible, but we understand that won’t be in everyone’s best interest, but perhaps a few of us will be inclined to do so.

If non-for profit, or if for profit but none was made, than obviously we would not expect any form of  monetary contribution. However their are many ways each of us could contribute that wouldn’t cost anything but our time and effort; the more we can manage to accomplish through DIY tactics the better.

10 Ways Anyone can help and contribute that won’t cost a cent.

  1. Turn off Adblock!!!!!

  2. Spread our name through word of mouth, spam our link in random corners of the internet. 

  3. Take some time to read our articles, and check out our various content. 

  4. Share and talk about us through social media, text, email or even just press the like button!

  5. Comment with your thoughts, criticisms and feedback to help us improve on any of our works or aspects of our organization.

  6. Follow us on Social Media: Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn

  7. Submit something you’d like us to promote or showcase for you. 

  8. Give us a shout-out on you own blog, website, social media, youtube channel etc. 

  9. Become a member! (contact us through email or our facebook page)

  10. Come back and visit soon! Spend some time in our corner of the internet! browse our other sites and content! Leave us a message in the forums!

10 Ways to help and contribute that won’t cost you a cent (Members Specific)

  1. Writing, Creating, thinking up, conjuring, coding, crafting, fashioning, Recording new content to be published, shared, linked to, advertised etc. 

  2. Assisting with the cleaning and maintenance of our as of yet imaginary warehouse/collective safe house and the half imaginary equipment that would be found therein. 

  3. Creation and Distribution of homemade promotional materials. 

  4. Interacting with  readers, followers and fans through comments sections and our social media pages. 

  5. Motivating, assisting, educating, learning from and collaborating with other members. 

  6. Acquire a new skill, form of knowledge, or connection that could be in some way shape or form useful to the collective. 

  7. Turn a skill or form of knowledge you have into a How to, Guide, and or Tutorial. 

  8. Generate, discuss, share and explore ideas for ways to expand and grow the reach, production power, and overall economic value of our organization. 

  9. Sift through old content for mistakes in grammar, spelling and formatting, as well as ways to simplify and or add value. 

  10. Improve yourself in any way shape or form in return making you more useful and valuable to the team. 

‘smooth blue chaos’

>Artist = Rebecca Eynon

>Visual Description = Cool color themed plant-like collage of psychedelic nature

>Name = (as of yet unnamed)

About The Painting

So a very talented and great friend painted this for me recently!

Normally her works are paid commissions. However because we studied together at SUNY Plattsburgh, we know each other quite well.

Rather than pay a commission rate, I was merely required to cover the basic materials.

This saved me over $100!!!

>>>Fast forward to when the paintings done

When I first saw it I was filled with awe. Staring at even just the picture of it makes me feel calm

I believe I’ve read somewhere (source needed) that cool colors are supposed to naturally help anxiety and improve creativity and memory retention.

So besides looking beautifully psychedelic in nature, it serves actual utilities too! many don’t consider things like this when they think about art, but this is just one of the many examples of artwork which serves practical purposes beyond aesthetics and decor.

Most Importantly: I am immensely grateful for both the time and effort she spent bringing this cool colored psychedelic collage to life , as well as for the discount that allowed me to afford the painting in the first place.

-Alexander Webber

10 ways to fight depression

The phenomena that many of us are familiar with known as depression is experienced among the afflicted for a variety of reasons and in a plethora of forms and levels of intensity. Sometimes healthy individuals will become depressed. This does not inherently make you mentally ill, depression is something most people will be faced with to varying extents at various points in their life. Often arising after particularly stressful, traumatic and or upsetting experience. This can be anything ranging from the death of a loved one, ended relationships, losing a job, etc.

On the other hand some people become depressed perpetually, spontaneously, and or  cyclically due to one or more of many potentially correlating illnesses. Speaking from experience as someone who was diagnosed with manic depressive (bipolar) disorder, as well as Attention Hyperactivity disorder, depression became something I found myself having to deal with on a regular basis from a strikingly young age.

This however had the benefit of having a lot of extra time to learn how to deal with and cope with it. I am not a certified counselor. Nor do I have any formally recognized measure of educational notoriety regarding psychology. I want to explicitly state before going any further I want to state that

A. this article should not serve as any form of diagnostic or authoritative source.

B. If you are experiencing depressive symptoms and you are not already seeking medical such as counseling and psychiatric care, you certainly should (provided you can afford to do so.) 

C. These methods are not intended to replace any sort of formal treatment, and one should not assume that they can top taking or refuse medication in an attempt to mange their own symptoms with these tactics.

 

These are 10 methods I have found personal success in both mitigating depressive symptoms as well as helping me to come out of the depressive phase faster.

     1. Get up and Get moving!

Easily the most hackneyed depression related advice one could get besides changing their diet, though I can’t argue its incredible effectiveness. Exercise and movement of any form tends to improve the state of ones mindset and overall cognitive performance. This could be an actual structured work-out routine, but it can be far simpler and less committed as well. It could be Going for a walk jog or run around your neighborhood or local park, taking a hike through the woods. I’m a pretty big fan of using project/chore/hobby that requires physical activity as a supplement for exercise.

It can get even easier, though obviously the less effort your willing to put in the less benefits your going to reap, but sometimes some of us really just don’t have the time or can’t be bothered to get out and go for a walk, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit in a chair or lay in bed all day (something that tends to become really easy to fall into in the midst of depression). Especially in the winter, for me it may often be something as simple as just getting up and pacing around whilst thinking in great detail, having long productive phone calls, or even while reading rather than sitting in a computer chair for hours doing these things. It might sound trivial but little things add up throughout the week; physical activity is no exception.

     2. Introduce something new into your consciousness!

Often times I find long extended period of depression to be strongly associated with an overall psychological boredom, not literally bored, but bored of existing. Something I’ve found particularly helpful whenever I feel this way is too introduce some new idea into my consciousness. This could be a plethora of things, It could be visiting a place you’ve never been, making friends, opening a unfamiliar book, searching for new music, watching a movie you’ve never seen, making a recipe you’ve never tried, trying to take up a new hobby, exploring a new website, reading through a blog (hint hint ours.)

Mental stagnancy tends to make life feel much more mundane, repetitive and dull. It’s very easy for me to get caught up spending my free time hanging out with the same people every day, doing the same thing at the same pace, listening to the same music, and going to the same few local restaurants, and studying the same few books at night when I go home.

This really starts to get to me after awhile. However as soon as i’m able manage to break my comfort zone and force myself to try new things, my disposition almost immediately becomes more exciting, pleasant, and optimistic, after awhile, taking in large quantities of new information every day just became something I had to do to feel satisfied. I’ve recently come to truly understand what all my high school teachers meant when they said they had life long commitments toward learning to say the least, and this in hindsight has been one my most valuable defenses against depression.

     3. Call someone!

Call a trusted friend, even if just to have a casual conversation. This can help in multiple ways. Though it usually helps to have a close trusted friend that one can vent their pains and frustrations too, sometimes the real value in this is positive distractions. I can’t count the amount of times Id been very depressed, angry and or anxious, and decided to phone a friend, only to be laughing at something completely irrelevant within a matter of moments.

     4. Write about your troubles!

Obviously talking helps too, but I often find myself unable to fully articulate my thoughts in conversation with even my closest of friends and associates, mostly out of a combination of fear of how I may be looked upon, and or not wanting to pass my negativity onto them. These are situations when pen and paper really come in handy.

If your anything like me, when your upset you tend to think large volumes of quite negative thoughts at a strikingly rapid pace. When this happens I often find writing it out on paper makes it much easier to understand the source of my negative thinking, extrapolate information, attempt to draw connections and conclusions, and  make a plan of application for whatever solutions I can conjure up. It allows me to logically and analytically break down my thoughts rather than being tormented and tortured by them. This can often times be quite time consuming and relief is never instant when it gets this bad, but rather this is more of like a slow walk up a long hill on a hot day.

     5. Do something artistic &or creative!

I’ve known many people who found various forms of creative expression to be indescribably helpful in battling not only depression but a whole slew of mental ailments. Everyone has their own flavors, I personally like music and writing the most but any craft or art form will do. It especially helps to create something you can keep at the end, which is why I keep everything I draw, write, and record nearly all of my instrumental and vocal practices, when you have a lot of negative thoughts being able to sift through and derive personal happiness from something you made yourself can really help curve your self perception and thought process. In my experience it tends to become a habitual coping mechanism, the more you truly enjoy what your doing the better!

     6. Meditate (or pray if your into that sort of thing)!

There any many forms of meditation, though I tend to veer toward the basic forms. This generally consists of sitting legs crossed in the lotus pose, or whatever is most comfortable for you. This is generally followed by either closing ones eyes, and doing ones best to quiet their minds whilst taking care not to outright reject or suppress any arising thoughts. The goal in mind is achieving a completely silent mind, one which resembles a calm body of water undisturbed by any ripple or splash.

I generally do this by focusing on the patterns of my breath, the sound of my heartbeat, and whatever colors, patterns or fractals might arise in my field of vision. This isn’t something that will generally arise earlier in learning meditations, but when it begins to manifest, it immediately makes the act of meditating much more enjoyable, to the point where I would almost call it addictive after a certain point, but in a good way, so maybe habitual would be a better description.

 It might be hard to get the hang of at first, but with practice, you’ll find it much easier to quiet the mind quicker and achieve deeper states of meditation more easily. Not only does it get more enjoyable and in depth as you get better and better, but the benefits it can provide for your psyche become increasingly beneficial and easier to access.

     7. Switch up (a part of) your schedule!

I’ve often found making small changes to ones schedule can often mix things up, and if there’s one thing that’s universal about combating depression: it’s change. It could be a significant change, like adding something new to your daily/weekly routine.

A series of small changes may be quite beneficial as well. Examples may include taking a different route to work, going somewhere different for lunch, listening to a different radio station. One I’ve heard has helped many is going to bed and waking up a little earlier (or later) or changing up what time you do certain things like leisure activities, hobbies, housework etc. Changing things up helps things feel fresher and less monotonous.

     8. Look for reasons to get out of the house!

This one may not apply for everyone, but its not common for depression to cause people to become increasingly introverted, antisocial and even reclusive. When this happens, no matter how hard it may be, focusing on overcoming this problem should be a priority. If this is part of your depression, conquering this aspect is incredibly crucial. In my experience it makes most other parts significantly easier.

It can be anything; Visit a friend, Go to the movies, go out to eat, go for a hike, a walk in the park, go to the beach, window shopping, get your hair done, get groceries, go to the library, the zoo, walk around with a boombox on your shoulder bumping the most obnoxious music in your library, ANYTHING! Just make it a point to leave your house every day. if your in a position where your depression or anxiety have driven you to introversion no matter how hard it may be, if you can manage to do this you WILL notice change!

     9. Release your grudges!

Whoever your brooding against, try your best to get over it(if possible.) Obviously this wont work for every situation. Over small things; it’s worth it, your psyche and your stress levels will thank you, trust me.
Bonus points if you call, visit, or write that person a letter. 

     10. Go for a drive!

This one is extremely therapeutic. Something about moving so quickly, seeing the scenery pass by, and the freedom to just go wherever you’d like.

I currently do not have a vehicle, though I find myself frequently asking and or paying friends to take me out for cruises. Especially if you live in an area without much traffic and good scenery, this can almost instantly turn a long day of self loathing and hopelessness into a moment of relief and relaxation!C

That’s all for now, I hope you found value in our post, thank you all very much for reading and lending us your time and brainpower!

This is it.

Take careful notice of the fifth diamond.

Ignore the rampant bustle which beats like a drum.

Should you leave, forget where you came from.

Rise, proceed.

Where thence were we off to?

To supply an answer would only serve to dull the fun.

Still they’d tread ever so slightly behind.

Our ironically innocent anti-hero. Whom many would fail to mark as evil in the public eye.

Was indeed anti-heroic. Their acts of heroism and selflessness were not uncommon.

Yet perpetually plagued by flaws of character. The type Only a misfit or a nihilist would idealize. For now.

His thought process, especially in terms of ethical evaluations was quite unique.

He had an almost backwards ability of self justification. He always had for every positive moral decision he made, a selfish backup reason.

Almost as if lacking desire to admit he was doing the right thing just too do it.

If everyone believes their own effort to do the right thing, who really is?

How is the right thing any better than the left thing?

Pause.

I felt that.

Felt what?

That.

How?

No clue. Semi-clue. Artifact.

Noises continually find their way to my perception.

The vision of one is anothers radar.

Pause.

Don’t auto pilot your poisons.

Perhaps I ought not dictate after being so hostile toward the bottle.

Adfectantibus Romanis Cantor

Adfectantibus Romanis Cantor

Adfectantibus Romanis Cantor
— Read on chaotickblisse.com/2019/03/27/adfectantibus-romanis-cantor/

another poem from our episodic verse project chaotick bliss!

When Drugs Stole my World (And How I Got it Back)

Quick disclaimer that this isn’t the main writer on TGN; I hope to share more insights in the future.

It’s been a long time, almost a year and a half. I forget a lot of things that happened, a lot about how I felt at the time, a lot of the wisdom I was giving to others at the outpatient. But I still have a story to tell. To show that what I did is possible; to show that with enough struggle, hard work, and trial and error, sobriety is achievable.

Without going into too much detail about how I got there, like most I started with pills and never thought I’d end up using heroin. They’re safer, right? You know what’s in them and how much, and doctors give them to people on prescription. (At least back then, this was somewhat true; I’ve heard most “oxys” going around nowadays have random amounts of fentanyl.)

This is not to mention that at the same time, I had serious problems with cocaine, and to a lesser extent Xanax. The combination produced a level of sheer pleasure that’s impossible to describe. But all of these habits needed to be tended to and paid for, consistently and without delay. That’s always the biggest problem isn’t it?

Unlike many others, I fully understood what kind of fire I was playing with — I had prior experience with all sorts of drugs, and had known both addicts and recovered addicts who told me their stories, but it never got quite so out of control. This time was different. I had just tried to kill myself and figured that going off into the “land of nod” might be an easier, more fruitful alternative.

But of course, pills are expensive, and they’re meant to be taken in small amounts for pain management. Me, I would do a month’s prescription in as little as two days. And, obviously, the dependency set in soon enough, and I needed bigger and bigger doses, more and more frequently. So once I had bought every last pill the dealers in my neighborhood could find, and all the other sources had me waiting for the next month’s prescription, it was a no-brainer what would come next: heroin. I needed something, anything.

Once you try heroin, in my opinion at least, there’s no going back to pills. Why would you spend ten times as much money for basically the same thing? Heroin is cheap and it’s available everywhere. I’d be scrambling all around the city looking for oxys, but dope was just a five minute walk. And if that dope man wasn’t around, the next one was only five minutes from there.

I never got as bad into it as some others. I was limited by what I could afford, so a decent bundle would have to last two days. And, as I mentioned before, every two days I was also going through an 8-ball of coke and 16-32mg of Xanax. I never really got into stealing to support the habit, with the exception of ripping people off on drug deals and disappearing with the cash. I did spend every dime I could find on it, though, and went deep into debt.

By the time I overdosed, I was sure I would put an end to it. I weened myself off a bit, going down to a bag or two a day, then got a ton of Xanax and hunkered down for the withdrawal. It was awful, but I hadn’t been in the game for too long, so it wasn’t as bad as it was when I quit for real. But this wasn’t lasting.

Instead of seeing the risk and avoiding opiates, I was emboldened by this whole situation: I felt as if I’d demonstrated that I can handle opiates, that I was able to cut it out when I decided it was time. So when I was offered oxys, I’d buy them. I had no intention of staying sober. I just wasn’t actively seeking dope.

Then one day, I got offered dope. It was pretty funny, actually. I ran into my man walking down the block, he said “yo, I got that food,” and that was that. Quickly I went back to the same old habit — bundle and 8-ball every two days or so, though with less Xanax involved. The debt I had paid up started to rack up again, and at this point all my bridges started to burn.

Eventually, it got to the point where the drugs weren’t working anymore. The whole point was to stop me from killing myself, but I had fucked up so bad that I realized I now actually wanted to kill myself more as a result of what the drugs did to me. On top of that, I was isolated, and felt everyone looked down on me. I was doing poorly at work and constantly in debt, doing crackhead shit and asking people for money to pay for the necessities that came after dope on my list of priorities.

Most people at this point just treated me like shit. People were always trying to mess with me, trick me, rip me off. Always being subtlety disrespectful and condescending. My family was constantly upset and treated me with great suspicion. A couple close friends begged me, crying, telling me to stop, talking about how much they worried about me, including one of the authors from TGN (before TGN existed). This had an effect, but it also made me sad, and sadness led to suicidal thoughts, and suicidal thoughts lead to escapism, and escapism lead to more dope.

Eventually, though, I realized I had to cut it out. I couldn’t afford my habits anymore and my family had learned all about them. I struggled for a couple weeks, arguing with myself and trying to use less without plunging into the hell of dope sickness. But at this point, it didn’t feel like much of a choice — I had to change. I was thousands of dollars in debt and on the verge of suicide again.

So, I started by cutting out the coke. After doing coke every waking hour of the day for weeks, if not months without a break, the crash can be pretty fucking brutal. In the past I had even experienced very serious signs of cardiovascular issues during these crashes. But I still had my dope, so it was actually manageable.

Then the dope came next. The promise of the sickness was terrifying. After a day, it was obvious that I couldn’t handle it. So I borrowed some money and got some kratom, knowing it would help. I started taking absolutely massive doses, but they took the withdrawal away about 90%. It was a lifesaver. But it also became another habit, albeit not a destructive or fiendish one, which I’m still ever-so-slowly tapering myself off of. In some ways, I attribute my being alive today to kratom. At the same time, part of me wishes I had been able to stop using it right after I was over the withdrawal, instead of using it as a long-term maintenance therapy. But that seemed like it would lead to me killing myself, and it might have, so I’ll take whatever works. I got clean, and I’m not dependent on conventional maintenance treatments like Suboxone or methadone (actual opioids which are far stronger and harder to quit than kratom).

That’s not to say there weren’t setbacks. A day or two after I stopped using dope, I lost my job as a result of the poor work I had been doing the last few months I was on it. I still had to pay my living expenses and pay off the colossal debt, so on top of that I had to turn to my parents for financial assistance. At this point I was completely destroyed and felt like I couldn’t get any lower. All pride, ego, narcissism, even basic dignity to an extent, destroyed and gone with the wind, never to recover.

A week later I finally got off the Xanax. That was more of an intermittent thing, though, and I hadn’t done too bad with the last round of it, so a quick self-taper was all I needed. I had been through far worse Xanax withdrawal before, so this wasn’t a big deal. I don’t even remember what it felt like coming off of them that time (well, in fact, I don’t remember much about my Xanax usage at all) but it was nothing compared to the dope sickness. Nothing could ever compare to that. (That’s not to say Xanax isn’t fucking nasty!)

Almost a month into sobriety, I was still experiencing physical withdrawal symptoms. Lethargy, low appetite, muscle pain. I couldn’t walk even 10 minutes down the street without simultaneously feeling like my leg muscles were tearing and like I was going to faint. The cravings for both coke and dope were absurd, causing muscle spasms and making me writhe in pain and scream at the top of my lungs for no apparent reason. On top of that, mentally, I hadn’t really gotten anywhere. The addict mind state is hard to break out of. This all combined with encouragement from friends and family led me into an outpatient.

Outpatient was a useful experience. Find a good place where you’re not going to find many junkies who are just in there because of a court order, and where the counselors are decent and actually care to understand you. Pay attention to what they teach and engage the others there who have some sober time and can give you good insight. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share. It’s my belief that this is what truly leads to recovery — you can stop doing drugs without it, but a good support program will get you out of the mental state of addiction, and that’s the most important thing. That’s what will prevent you from relapsing and enable you to move on with your life.

It took about a year of sobriety for my life to actually get better. And frankly, if you’d ask me most days, it still fucking sucks. But if I think about how much it sucked two years ago, I shudder. It feels like it’s behind me now, and I no longer have the same frame of reference. At this point, I couldn’t see myself ever relapsing, so long as I stay vigilant. Staying vigilant is key; you just have to keep yourself far removed from drugs and drug users and be aware of the fact that addiction is a lifelong disease that, in the wrong circumstances, you can fall back into again.

I used to use all those drugs to stop thinking about suicide. Now I’d rather just think about suicide than go through all the bullshit the drugs put me through. Most of the time, honestly, I would rather just kill myself if I was going to relapse, ironic since it used to be the other way around.

So, what’s the point at the end of this long-winded, rambling story? That if you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction, sobriety is absolutely within reach. All it takes is a radical shift in perspective. An understanding of the reasons why you use drugs, which then leads to the understanding that drugs actually make all of these problems worse. Most (some would say all) of us have to learn this the hard way. But if this story can be of any sort of assistance to even one person, that’s enough of God’s blessing for today.