Tripping in the ICU

Resultado de imagem para At the Robert Ballanger hospital's Intensive

At the Robert Ballanger hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, France. Photo by Amelie Benoiste/SPL

For those suffering the trauma of intensive care, the soothing swoosh of otherworldly ambient music can be a welcome gift

by Charles Fernyhough is a British writer and psychologist, and his latest book is The Voices Within (2016). He is a part-time professor of psychology at Durham University, with interests in child development, memory and hallucinations. Listen here to an excerpt of Darkroom’s concert for intensive care.

It’s an odd gig, even for musicians who are used to some odd venues. For one thing, we can’t see our audience. It’s not that we haven’t attracted many people, so much as that our listeners are in another building. They are lying in hospital beds next door, and they are connected up to machines. Some of them are quite close to death. They are listening – those who have chosen to – on iPads linked to the ward’s WiFi, which is transmitting our live audio stream. Although the music is being broadcast on the internet, it is intended only for one group of people: the patients, carers and staff of the Critical Care Unit at University College Hospital, London (UCH).

The invitations promise ‘a performance of ambient and electronic music’. We had them printed up on good-quality card, and spent half an hour tucking them into cheerful lime-green envelopes. My colleague Nina and I went round the ward earlier, asking those patients who were awake if they wanted to listen, and handing out brand-new headphones and carefully sterilised iPads. The concert has been trailed for several months, but some of the staff need reminders of what is going on. There are emergencies unfolding everywhere. An intensive care unit (ICU), I am learning, is a lively mix of high-tech medicine and the shouty dynamics of a trading floor. We know that the success of our art project is way down the list of priorities.

Darkroom, with Peter Chilvers and Charles Fernyhough, performing for patients and staff of the Critical Care Unit at University College London Hospital, May 2016.

The concert is slated to start at 1pm. At 12:59 some of us are still stuck in the basement of the Wellcome Trust, across the road from the hospital, trying to find a lift big enough to shift a cart of music gear up to the fifth floor. It’s all a bit Spinal Tap. Thankfully, Peter is already plugged in upstairs, and he starts the show with some airy pan drums conjured from his iPad. The rest of us are drilled in setting up quickly, and we are soon wrapping other sounds around his reflective beats. There are guitars, a sax, a flute, a bass clarinet and Os’s modular synth, with cables and switchboard like an old-fashioned telephone exchange. We’re making enough noise to be heard on the adjoining floors, and yet, if we move towards each other, we can still talk while we’re playing. Our audience can’t hear that. Despite stringent tests of the technology, we don’t actually know if anyone can hear anything. All that matters, really, is that we’re doing it. For a couple of hours on a wet Tuesday afternoon, we are putting something out there that is not just about keeping some very sick people alive. It is trivial, ephemeral, vanished into air, but for the moment it feels like the most important thing we could be doing.

Intensive care is no place for the faint-hearted. Improvements in medical technology, particularly the development of the modern positive pressure ventilator, have transformed our efforts at the boundary between life and death. A few decades ago, many of the people in that ward next door would already be dead.

But progress comes at a cost. The noise of life-support machines and vital-sign monitors is a constant background. Phones ring, bin lids bang, staff call for help and doctors are constantly being paged to the next emergency. The racket frequently exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for safe noise levels. In The Guardian in 2016, Helen Taylor, an intensive care survivor, described a ‘constant, frightening’ noise from which there was little respite at night. It’s one reason why a recent article likened the modern ICU to ‘a branch of hell’.

The chaotic atmosphere was less of a problem 10 years ago. If I had stepped next door then, there would have been few patients awake to disturb. The standard approach, while life-saving procedures were being administered, was heavy sedation. While the machine was being fixed, the patient was put into a coma.

That changed with the recognition that, inside those ravaged, intubated bodies, minds were still working. And those minds were not at ease. The British journalist David Aaronovitch had a stint in intensive care after routine keyhole surgery went disastrously wrong. He heard people behind a curtain railing violently against him. As his disorientation deepened, he started to believe that the sinister officers of the night shift were preparing his body for human consumption. They were feeding him oxygen in order to make his flesh sweeter. He was going to be eaten…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/how-ambient-music-can-help-ease-the-trauma-of-the-icu

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Mozart’s Daily Routine

How a day is composed in the hours between sleep o’clock and symphony o’clock.

“The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us,” Mary Oliver wrote in contemplating how our routines give shape to our inner lives. This, perhaps, is why we’re so transfixed by the daily routines of great artists, writers, and scientists — a sort of magical thinking under the spell of which we come to believe that if we were to replicate the routines of geniuses, we would also replicate some dimension of their inner lives and, in turn, their outer greatness.

Still, magical thinking aside, without insight into the routines of those who lead creatively fruitful lives, we would have never been able to study the psychology of the ideal daily routine. And few lives have been more creatively fruitful than that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756–December 5, 1791). In a letter to his father from December of 1777, found in Letters of Mozart (free ebook | public library), 21-year-old Mozart describes his daily routine at Mannheim, where he had traveled in search of employment. Unable to find work, he moved in with the musical Weber family he had befriended and fell in love with Aloysia, one of the family’s four daughters, who rejected his suit.

He describes his days at the Weber house:

I am writing this at eleven at night, because I have no other leisure time. We cannot very well rise before eight o’clock, for in our rooms (on the ground-floor) it is not light till half-past eight. I then dress quickly; at ten o’clock I sit down to compose till twelve or half-past twelve, when I go to Wendling’s, where I generally write till half-past one; we then dine. At three o’clock I go to the Mainzer Hof (an hotel) to a Dutch officer, to give him lessons in galanterie playing and thorough bass, for which, if I mistake not, he gives me four ducats for twelve lessons. At four o’clock I go home to teach the daughter of the house. We never begin till half past four, as we wait for lights. At six o’clock I go to Cannabich’s to instruct Madlle. Rose. I stay to supper there, when we converse and sometimes play; I then invariably take a book out of my pocket and read…

But as he struggled to reconcile the growing demands of his evolving career and with those of his romance with Constanze, the third Weber daughter, his daily routine changed considerably. In a letter to his sister penned in 1782, a few months before he married his beloved, Mozart outlines a routine so intense that it left him a mere five hours of night’s sleep:

At six o’clock in the morning I have my hair dressed, and have finished my toilet by seven o’clock. I write till nine. From nine to one I give lessons. I then dine, unless I am invited out, when dinner is usually at two o’clock, sometimes at three, as it was to-day, and will be to-morrow at Countess Zichi’s and Countess Thun’s. I cannot begin to work before five or six o’clock in the evening, and I am often prevented doing so by some concert; otherwise I write till nine o’clock. I then go to my dear Constanze, though our pleasure in meeting is frequently embittered by the unkind speeches of her mother, which I will explain to my father in my next letter. Thence comes my wish to liberate and rescue her as soon as possible. At half-past ten or eleven I go home, but this depends on the mother’s humor, or on my patience in bearing it. Owing to the number of concerts, and also the uncertainty whether I may not be summoned to one place or another, I cannot rely on my evening writing, so it is my custom (especially when I come home early) to write for a time before going to bed. I often sit up writing till one, and rise again at six.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/01/27/mozart-daily-routine/

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Beethoven’s Lifestyle Regimen and the Secret to His Superhuman Vitality

Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler

In praise of “vigorous ablutions with cold water, a scrupulous regard for personal cleanliness, and daily walks immediately after the midday meal.”

Our popular imagination tends to cast creative work as the product of the mind and the disembodied spirit. But any writer who has ever felt neuronally severed from her own cognitive faculties by sleeplessness, any artist whose paintbrush has trembled with the pangs of ravenous hunger, any musician whose strings have thundered with the oxytocin of a kiss, knows how intimately entwined our creaturely conditions are with our creative vitality. Rilke captured this symbiosis beautifully: “I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.”

But perhaps no artist embodies this interdependence of the creaturely and the creative better than Ludwig van Beethoven (December 16, 1770–March 26, 1827), whose outsiderly exceptionalism was the source of both his tragedy and his genius.

In his 1927 masterwork Beethoven the Creator (public library) — that uncommon and impassioned ode to “the joy of suffering overcome” — the French dramatist, novelist, essayist, and art historian Romain Rolland describes Beethoven’s superhuman strength and vigor, as extolled by the composer’s contemporaries:

He is built of solid stuff well cemented; the mind of Beethoven has strength for its base. The musculature is powerful, the body athletic; we see the short stocky body with its great shoulders, the swarthy red face, tanned by sun and wind, the stiff black mane, the bushy eyebrows, the beard running up to the eyes, the broad and lofty forehead and cranium, “like the vault of a temple,” powerful jaws “that can grind nuts,” the muzzle and the voice of a lion. Everyone of his acquaintance was astonished at his physical vigour. “He was strength personified,” said the poet Castelli. “A picture of energy,” wrote Seyfried. And so he remained to the last years, — until that pistol shot of the nephew that struck him to the heart. Reichardt and Benedict describe him as “cyciopean”; others invoke Hercules. He is one of the hard, knotty, pitted fruits of the age that produced a Mirabeau, a Danton, a Napoleon.

Rolland outlines the lifestyle regimen which held the secret to Beethoven’s extraordinary vitality:

He sustains this strength of his by means of vigorous ablutions with cold water, a scrupulous regard for personal cleanliness, and daily walks immediately after the midday meal, walks that lasted the entire afternoon and often extended into the night; then a sleep so sound and long that he thanklessly complained against it! His way of living is substantial but simple. Nothing to excess; he is no glutton, no drinker (in the evil sense of the word) as some have wrongfully described him. Like a good Rhinelander he loved wine, but he never abused it — except for a short period (1825–1826) … when he was badly shaken. He was fonder of fish than of meat; fish was his great treat. But his fare was rough and countrified: delicate stomachs could not endure it.

Rolland bridges these physical habits with the psychological constitution of this visionary artist, whose work ushered in nothing less than a creative revolution:

He who has freed himself from the bonds and the gags of an old rotting world, freed himself from its masters, its gods, must show himself to be worthy of his new liberty, capable of bearing it; otherwise, let him remain in chains! The prime condition for the free man is strength. Beethoven exalts it… There is something in him of Nietzsche’s superman, long before Nietzsche.

Complement the fascinating and beautifully written Beethoven the Creator with the young composer’s stirring letters to his brother about the loneliness of deafness and his passionate love letters, then revisit Mozart’s daily routine and the habits of great writers.

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: The Science of Sound in Health & Well-Being

Lance Schuttler, Guest, Waking Times

While the term psycho-acoustic medicine may be relatively new in our world, the practices of using sound and frequencies to impact the physical and emotional health of the body has been used since the beginning of time. From Gregorian chants in churches, to the chanting of Tibetan monks, to Native American drumming, song and sound have been a catalyst in stimulating health and healing for the body and mind in all cultures. The definition of psycho-acoustic medicine is the science of how music and sound impact the nervous system, psychologically and physiologically. Simply, how it is how sound impacts the mind and the body.

One particular area of this science of sound is that of “binaural beats.” Binaural beats were first theorized in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove but was first scientifically tested and proven in 1973 by Dr. Gerald Oster, a medical doctor and biophysicist, when he published his finding in a research paper called Auditory Beats in the Brain. The study opened up a whole new area of science as it showed how sound affects the way and how quickly the brain learns new information, mood control, sleep patterns and healing responses within the body, among many other items.

How Binaural Beats Influence The Brain and Body

To begin, let’s first look at what binaural beats exactly are. Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., who is a speech-language pathologist, states:

“Research shows that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz (The difference in 210 Hz and 200 Hz is 10 Hz). Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres of the brain (left and right hemisphere).”

The difference of a 200 Hz and 190 Hz frequency results in a 10 Hz binaural beat.

The result of this is called “brainwave entrainment,” which in the examples above, entrain at 10 Hz. Any electrochemical activity of the brain results in the production of electromagnetic wave forms that can be objectively measured with sensitive equipment. Since brain waves change frequencies based on neural activity within the brain, and because neural activity is electrochemical, brain function can be modified by using sound and frequencies. Thus, certain frequencies/sound/music stimulate the brain to produce certain neurotransmitters like serotonin, the “feel good” chemical messenger that helps to reduce pain and increases the feelings of pleasure. More on that and other benefits a bit further down.

Researchers believe that different brain wave patterns are linked to the production in the brain of various neurochemicals associated with relaxation and stress release, increased learning and creativity, memory, and other desirable benefits. These neurochemicals include beta-endorphins, growth factors, gut peptides, acetylcholine, vasopressin, and serotonin.

Neuro-electric therapy engineer Dr. Margaret Patterson and Dr. Ifor Capel, showed in there experiments how a 10 Hz brainwave frequency (alpha brainwaves), increased the production of serotonin, to help ease pain and increase relaxation. They also showed how a 4 Hz brainwave frequency (theta brainwaves), increases production of catecholamines, which are important for memory and learning.

Dr. Capel explains this mechanism a bit further:

“As far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.”

This is also exactly what Dr. Candice Pert has proved, who was a neuroscientist, biophysicist and pharmacologist, who researched at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and taught at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Pert was the first to prove that thoughts and emotions create a direct physiological effect on the body, thus demonstrating the long held beliefs of Mind-Body medicine. In other words, she proved that positive or negative thoughts and emotions are always either improving or declining our health, based on the chemicals that are released and transported to every cell. Dr. Pert had this to say about the effects of frequency in affecting the cells of body:

“Energy and vibration go all the way to the molecular level. We have 70 different receptors on the molecules and when vibration and frequency reaches that far they begin to vibrate [thus allowing the cells to be directly affected by vibration].

Basically, receptors function as scanners. They cluster in cellular membranes, waiting for the right ligand (much smaller molecules than receptors), to come dancing along (diffusing) through the fluid surrounding each cell, and mount them – binding with them and (vibrating) them to turn them on and get them motivated to vibrate a message into the cell. Binding of the ligand to the receptor is likened to two voices, striking the same note and producing a vibration that rings a doorbell to open the doorway to the cell.”

In other words, for any message (vibrating ligand) to be received by a cell, the cell must vibrate at the same frequency as the ligand. Thus, when brainwaves are in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, that vibration or frequency is on par for more serotonin to be created, for example.

Everyday Applications of This Medicine

There are several different applications that this form of medicine can be used to beneficially impact our lives, which might include stress relief, pain relief, headaches relief, reversing and preventing cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, reversing and preventing different cancers, increased memory, learning and recall, as well as better sleep cycles, addiction recovery, enhanced cognitive abilities due to synchronization of the left and right brain hemispheres, and enhanced overall well-being.

It’s known and proven that by exercising our brain, we have better mental and emotional health and increased intellectual functioning. Dr. Robert Cosgrove, Jr., Ph.D., M.D., says:

“[Binaural beats] have been observed by us to be an excellent neuro-pathway exerciser. As such we believe it has great potential for use in promoting optimal cerebral performance. Maintaining and improving cerebral performance throughout life delays for decades the deterioration of the brain traditionally associated with aging…”

As stated above, if one wants to relax and de-stress, listening to a binaural beat that produces alpha brainwaves (between 8 and 14 Hz), more serotonin will be produced as well as more endorphins. This would help to reduce physical and emotional pain, as well as increasing the feelings of relaxation and happiness. Listening to an alpha binaural beat can also help to increase learning abilities. Dr. Georgi Lozanov showed that students in the alpha state can learn as much as five times the amount of information in less time per day, and with greater long-term retention…

more…

About the Author
Lance Schuttler graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Health Science-Health Coaching and offers health coaching services through his website Orgonlight Health. You can follow the Orgonlight Health Facebook page or visit the website for more information on how to receive health coaching for yourself, your friend or family member as well as view other inspiring articles.
Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter.
This article (Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: The Science of Sound in Health & Well-Being) was originally created and published by The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/01/17/psycho-acoustic-medicine-science-sound-health-well/

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Science Discovers A Song that Reduces Anxiety by 65 Percent – Listen

by Anna Hunt, Staff, Waking Times

Scientists discover that listening to the song “Weightless” by Marconi Union can results in a striking 65 percent reduction in a person’s overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.

The Anxiety Pandemic

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”Arthur Somers Roche

Anxiety is a growing pandemic in our society. The mainstream solution is a trip to the psychiatrist and an indefinite prescription for pharmaceuticals. As a result, many anxiety sufferers find themselves dependent on psychotropic drugs but still searching for relief.

Because of this, it begs the question if a pharmaceutical solution even works. Many believe that treating anxiety with a holistic approach may be more effective than expensive, addictive and sometimes even dangerous psychotropic drugs. Holistic alternatives range from treating anxiety with foods that fight inflammation, to exercise, yoga, and meditation. People also like to use age-old tricks for calming nerves, such as breath exercises.

Music is Effective at Reducing Anxiety

Music therapy is already an accepted alternative therapy for stress and pain management. It has also been shown to help improve immune support system function. Historically, indigenous cultures have used sound to enhance physical and mental well-being, as well as enrich spiritual experiences.

Now, neuroimaging has proven that playing music can substantially reduce anxiety. Scientists in the UK have identified what can be called the most relaxing song on earth song. By playing the song “Weightless” by Manchester trio Marconi Union, these researchers reduced anxiety by 65 percent in individuals who participated in their clinical study. Have a listen:

Science Discovers the Most Relaxing Song on Earth

Researchers at Mindlab International, led by clinical psychologist Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, were commissioned to find out which song is the most effective at helping someone to relax. They played songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay, among many others, to 40 participating women.

The researchers discovered that the song “Weightless” resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates. Dr. Lewis-Hodgson stated:

“The results clearly show that the track induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested.

“Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.”

Sound therapist Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, explains the process of how the song affects the body:

“[The song] contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50.

“While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat.

“It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur.”

The study was conducted on participants who were asked to solve difficult puzzles, as quickly as possible, while connected to sensors. Participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and the rate of breathing.

Anxiety and Overall Health

Lowering anxiety can be one of the most important steps a person can take towards improving overall health and well-being. Stress can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease, depression, gastrointestinal ailments, asthma, and even obesity. It can also exacerbate these problems if they are preexisting.

Furthermore, researchers continue to discover that anxiety and stress can be fatal. Here are the findings published in a 2015 working paper out of Harvard and Stanford Business Schools:

The paper found that health problems stemming from job stress, like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and decreased mental health, can lead to fatal conditions that wind up killing about 120,000 people each year—making work-related stressors and the maladies they cause, more deadly than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.

Top 10 Songs for Helping Reduce Anxiety

Here’s the full list of the top 10 relaxing songs discovered by Mindlab International during their research.

  1. We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
  2. Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
  3. Someone Like You,” by Adele
  4. Pure Shores,” by All Saints
  5. Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona
  6. Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay
  7. Watermark,” by Enya
  8. Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah
  9. Electra,” by Airstream
  10. Weightless,” by Marconi Union
About the Author
Anna Hunt is co-owner of OffgridOutpost.com, an online store offering GMO-free healthy storable food and emergency kits. She is also the staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Anna is a certified Hatha yoga instructor and founder of Atenas Yoga Center. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Visit her essential oils store here. Visit Offgrid Outpost on Facebook.
Sources:
http://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/neuroscience-says-listening-to-this-one-song-reduces-anxiety-by-up-to-65-percent.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8830066/Band-creates-the-most-relaxing-tune-ever.html
This article (Science Discovers A Song that Reduces Anxiety by 65 Percent – Listen) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.
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There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In: Leonard Cohen on Democracy and Its Redemptions

Art by Leonard Cohen from Fifteen PoemsSelf-portrait by Leonard Cohen from Fifteen Poems

A generous reminder that we must aim for “a revelation in the heart rather than a confrontation or a call-to-arms or a defense.”

Trained as a poet and ordained as a Buddhist monk,Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934–November 10, 2016) is our patron saint of sorrow and redemption. He wrote songs partway between philosophy and prayer — songs radiating the kind of prayerfulness which Simone Weil celebrated as “the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

One of his most beloved lyric lines, from the song “Anthem” — a song that took Cohen a decade to write — remains what is perhaps the most meaningful message for our troubled and troubling times: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” It springs from a central concern of Cohen’s life and work, one which he revisited in various guises across various songs — including in “Suzanne”, where he writes “look among the garbage and the flowers / there are heroes in the seaweed,” and in the iconic “Hallelujah”: “There’s a blaze of light / In every word / It doesn’t matter which you heard / The holy or the broken Hallelujah”.

Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen

Nowhere is this interplay of darkness and light more nuanced, nor more prescient, than in Cohen’s song “Democracy.”

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Western world was ablaze with the euphoria of a blind faith that democracy was coming to the East. I was there — that’s not what happened. Cohen, too, saw things differently. Ever the enchanter of nuance, he foresaw the complexity and darkness that this reach for light would unravel, and he captured it in this iconic and astonishingly timely song. It begins:

It’s coming through a hole in the air
From those nights in Tiananmen Square
It’s coming from the feel
That this ain’t exactly real
Or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there
From the wars against disorder
From the sirens night and day
From the fires of the homeless
From the ashes of the gay
Democracy is coming to the USA
It’s coming through a crack in the wall

In his 1991 conversation with journalist Paul Zollo, found in Songwriters on Songwriting (public library) — the source of Cohen’s wisdom on inspiration and work ethic, and his most illuminating interview — Cohen pulls back the curtain on his creative process and discusses the nature of democracy, how he wrote the song, and why he chose to leave out certain verses, even though he considered them lyrically good.

Today, as the world’s greatest superpower elects a bigoted bully with fascist tendencies for president, many of the lines Cohen left out pierce with their pertinence — lines like “Concentration camp behind a smile” and “Who really gets to profit and who really gets to pay? / Who really rides the slavery ship right into Charleston Bay?”

A quarter century ago, Cohen speaks to our time with astonishing prescience — for any great artist is at bottom a seer in dialogue with eternal human problems — and tells Zollo:

I think the irony of America is transcendent in the song. It’s not an ironic song. It’s a song of deep intimacy and affirmation of the experiment of democracy in this country. That this is really where the experiment is unfolding. This is really where the races confront one another, where the classes, where the genders, where even the sexual orientations confront one another. This is the real laboratory of democracy. So I wanted to have that feeling in the song, too.

Using songwriting itself as a laboratory for democratic discourse, Cohen wrote several verses he chose to leave out of the final song. He gives as an example a verse in which he explored the relationship between black and Jewish people:…

more…

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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Who and What Killed Prince and Michael Jackson? Will the Role of Benzos Ever Be Revealed?

Resultado de imagem para images of prince michael jackson

image edited by Web Investigator

I can almost hear a few loud responses to my provocative title questions echoing across the internet and blasting out my computer speakers: “Mr. Lewis are you some kind of conspiracy nut job? Didn’t you read the most recent news report which stated very clearly that Prince died of a “self-inflicted” overdose of the synthetic opioid drug, fentanyl. Didn’t you hear that fentanyl is a deadly drug that is 50 times more powerful than heroin. Mr. Lewis, Prince’s death has now been verified as just another sad statistic in the opioid overdose crisis raging throughout the country. What else could you possibly want to know other than some gossipy details? Leave the poor man alone and get on with your life.”

For all those interested in searching for the truth behind Prince’s death, (along with several other famous celebrities) and the thousands upon thousands of similar drug related deaths of ordinary citizens, pay close attention to the continuation of this vitally important and necessary dialogue:

“No,” I firmly reply. “I am not a conspiracy theorist, and what I heard on the news was exactly what you heard. Apparently some medical examiner from Minnesota decided that because the powerful drug fentanyl was in Prince’s bloodstream at the time of his death that it must have been “self-administered” and the specific cause of a drug overdose which led to his ultimate demise. End of story – right!?”

“Not so fast,” I continue, “and no, I just can’t get on with my life when important truths about the criminal negligence of the FDA, Big Pharma, and Psychiatry in our society are being hidden behind a deceptive vail of mystery and misdirection.”

“For if you just happened to pay close attention to this past week’s most recent news story regarding Prince’s death you might have also picked up on the “minor” detail posted at the end of a brief AP news article which revealed that the benzodiazepine drug, diazepam, (also known as valium) was one of several additional drugs found in Prince’s bloodstream at the time of his death.”

As an aside, it is interesting that this seemingly inconsequential information has now seeped out in to public news despite the fact that Minnesota state authorities are not legally required to release the entire results of the toxic drug screen taken from a deceased body. Supposedly, this is meant to protect the medical “confidentiality” of the deceased person including any specific records of possible “mental health” treatment.

Of course we all know that “patient confidentiality” as of late (with all the mass shootings) seems to *trump* any issues of general public safety. In those cases they almost never reveal the psychiatric drugs taken by the perpetrators or the possible role that these drugs might have played in the ensuing violence. So unfortunately we may never know the full details of all the drugs in Prince’s body that could have caused his death, and the information that has been revealed so far has a very familiar pattern of misleading sensationalism. It is also true that we may never know what type of doctor is implicated in helping him access the specific drugs that killed him, and for what purpose these drugs may have been prescribed. And if a doctor is singled out as somehow negligent in his death, he or she will most certainly become a convenient scapegoat obscuring larger institutional malfeasance.

So now you ask: “what exactly is the important information that we could potentially discover by analyzing the specific combination of drugs in Prince’s body and the type of doctors involved in his care at the time of his death?”

I eagerly respond, “Before I attempt to answer that specific question let me ask you a second, and possibly easier question regarding the fully published details of another famous autopsy. “Who and what killed Michael Jackson? You hesitate and then tell me “it was ah…, let me think now, maybe I’ll check google on my cellphone. Ah ha, I know, it was a Dr. Conrad Murray who was found to be negligent in his death, and the medical examiner declared that Jackson died from an overdose of that funny sounding anesthetic drug that begins with “P.” Yeah, propofol, that’s it. It’s that drug which in high amounts can stop your breathing and is rarely ever used outside of a hospital setting.  “See, I got this,” you now declare with great confidence.

I then ask: “What other drugs were also found in Michael Jackson’s blood stream?”

Once again, looking it up on your cellphone you respond: “it says here that diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), midazolam (Versed), Ephedrine, and Lidocaine in addition to the propofol were all in his system.”

“Sooo….!” I say with a baffling sense of amazement, “there were three benzodiazepines drugs (Valium, Ativan, and Versed) in his bloodstream, yet the medical examiner somehow determined that Michael Jackson died from acute Propofol intoxication.” Isn’t that interesting?” I say, adding a very sarcastic tone, and then I proceed to pose the most obvious next question:

“Ok, so let me get this straight, putting together all these known drug facts, any person of sound mind should readily accept the official medical conclusion that in Jackson’s death the presence of three benzodiazepine drugs is of little consequence compared to the significance of that weird sounding drug that begins with “P” called, propofol.???”

Here I will also insert the interesting and very much related information that Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Whitney Houston, and Philip Seymour Hoffman all had benzodiazepine drugs in their system at the time of their death. The famous Batman actor, Heath Ledger (like Michael Jackson) actually had three benzodiazepine drugs – lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and temazepam (Restoril) discovered in his bloodstream, in addition to the opiate, Oxycodone, found in the toxic drug screen performed during his autopsy. By themselves benzodiazepines are rarely fatal, but in combination with alcohol or other sedative hypnotic drugs and especially anesthetic/pain (opiate) drugs they are especially lethal due to their ability to magnify effects and shut down heart and lung function.

As an interesting aside, it is a very sad fact that Ledger’s father just recently released a published statement publicly blaming his son for his own death with no mention of the doctors who prescribed him all those so called “safe” and “medically necessary” drugs that have become such a deadly combination in so many people’s deaths. The Medical Establishment can now breathe another sigh of relief since many victims of criminal negligence are frequently blamed by their own families (and the public) for these tragic overdose deaths that have medical malpractice written all over them.

I say to everyone following this conversation: “does this now all make perfect sense to you? Are you satisfied enough to get on with your life and not ask any more probing questions or seek out a deeper understanding of the hidden truths behind the drug overdose crisis in this country; a crisis that is killing many of our beloved artists, as well as such a high numbers of our friends and loved ones – to a tune of 30 thousand a year?”

“NOT!!!” I shout back, defiantly answering my own question. And I hope you will all become equally as defiant and angry as I am, and further seek some type of truth and justice related to this entirely avoidable epidemic of drug overdose deaths. Deaths that will only continue to spiral out of control if we fail to identify important drug clues and the institutions and individuals responsible for this massive betrayal of public trust and the resulting crimes of medically negligent homicide…

 more…

http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/08/what-killed-prince-and-michael-jackson-will-the-role-of-benzos-ever-be-revealed/

WIKK WEB GURU
WIKK WEB GURU