Welcome Ian Morris to Inspiring Ink.
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Ian is one of my oldest friends. I have known him since I was fifteen and am honestly blessed to have him as one of my best friends for so many years. Through his quirky world you will find a huge heart with a sense to always do the right thing — even when he sometimes doesn’t. There is an honesty in Ian that I admire. Some may think Ian is an acquired taste, but I think they haven’t tasted enough to really appreciate the wonders of Ian. For that — they are missing out.
You HAVE GOT to read his post. It is touching to say the least. It really speaks to the type of person Ian is and I was more than taken aback by his words. I love this, and I know you will too.
Visit Ian at his Blog
Are You Experienced?
Ian J. Morris
I’m the guy you laugh at.
Don’t believe me? Make a mental note of your immediate reaction the next time you see an unattractive, out of shape, married, 40-year-old man playing air guitar in line at Safeway, as he narrowly avoids knocking over your box of Frosted Flakes with his feigned pitch-bend.
That laugh you’ll be hiding behind your hand-held shopping list will be the direct result of my somewhat creepy antics.
And I’m not just that guy. I’m many other guys that have elicited a chuckle, muffled or otherwise, from your lips over the years.
I’m the guy headbanging at the stop light, windows open as a riotous cacophony that is somehow described as “music” bull-rushes its way out of his Ford F150, whose actions allow you to direct the attention of your fighting tweens away from their argument and toward a new object of derision whereupon you all share a hearty guffaw as the light turns green.
I’m the guy on Facebook adding the twenty exclamation points after the most recent post about “Cripple Bastards are playing MDF – FUKK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.
I’m the guy you silently unfriend.
(However, I most certainly am NOT the guy yelling “SLAYER!!” at every Metal or Rock show. As much as those types will annoy or confound you, actual Metalheads are far more ennervated by them. There is a special Hell reserved for those guys.)
I’m the guy you laugh about with your girlfriends at the new “scene” bar while trying to get someone, ANYONE, to notice you and your new hairstyle.
But why are you laughing?
It seems a simple enough question, and I feel I’m entitled to ask it. It is me that you are laughing at, you know.
Truth be told, that was really a rhetorical question. Only about 10.357% of me (up from 10.25% in last year’s census) actually cares that I am being laughed at. The rest of me knows there is nothing wrong with how I choose to comport myself, or not, in front of the public’s ever-critical gaze. There is also a small sliver of me, working its way into my flesh more every day, that really wishes that you could derive the enjoyment that I do from music. It saddens me in a very small way that you can’t, won’t and don’t.
I’ve often tried to explain for myself the whys and wherefores of music and how it inspires and affects me. Is it some general level of mental illness that causes me to eschew social norms? Probably not. More likely, and for unexplainable reasons, I seem to have a more profound capacity to take in and process the energy and emotions of music. Where you might hear only noise, I hear Jacob Bannon pouring his soul out in heart-rending fashion. That energy infuses me, and I understand. Not on a superficial level, mind you, but on a much more visceral level. His pain, his anger – they become mine. It’s beautiful yet terrible. It’s ineffable yet tangible. I don’t feel that most people understand music to this transcendental of a level. And fewer still are the musicians that can instill their art with this kind of energy. I cherish those artists and those moments. I go back to them in times of need, and they fill those needs. There’s a reason that I move the furniture out of the way when I put YOB on the turntable: If I don’t, I’ll hurt myself.
Many people I talk music with aren’t moved by it in the same manner that I am. Many, if not all, are what I call “melody-driven”, as opposed to energy-driven like I am. They enjoy singers and lyrics. They will know the words to songs on the radio, and they will sing them. But in all my experience watching these folks and their level of engagement with the music they are singing, I don’t get the sense they are “feeling” it. I don’t get the sense that they will be moved to tears by Adele, although I can say, shamelessly, that I was.
For me, music is so much more than simply notes played on instruments and words being sung. Music, in its sometimes escapist way, lets me know that I’m not simply living in order to die. People, jobs, joys – they come and they go. Some stick around for the long haul, and those are to be cherished. Music will always be there for me. Always.
Is this something that can be learned or taught? I suspect not. I wish it could be taught. I would be the first in line to profess.
A friend of mine once told me he saw some dude rocking out in his car. He said he was stoked for that guy because that guy was loving the music so much.
I am that guy.
Ian J. Morris is NOT the Stanford professor, nor is he the Olympic athlete from Trinidad & Tobago. This incarnation happens to be an unashamed Metalhead from West Sonoma County, California who spends his free time hanging with his friends and family, drinking some fine ales, watching ice hockey and American football, and occasionally reading a book or two in between listening to his extensive music collection. You can often find him sharing beers at Russian River Brewing where he will no doubt be explaining, at great length, why Americans enjoy remaining blissfully ignorant of almost everything, lamenting how neither the Sabres nor the Bengals will ever win championships, and espousing the perfection of the naked female form…to people that are likely not very interested in what he has to say.
Ian graduated from UC Berkeley in 2000 after leaving school to play guitar in Cleopatra Recording artists Voice of Destruction (not to be confused with the South African extreme Metal band of the same name). The only writings Ian has ever had in published form have been random CD reviews and band interviews for a couple small, now out-of-print Metal magazines.
Ian can be reached via Facebook as Ianissimo MadDonaldissimo, where he posts various pages of his beer, music and other “projects” under his alter-ego, Solomon Grundy (aka “The SG”).
Ian wishes that Americans could and would simplify their lives and reduce their reliance on “conveniences” and “luxuries”, and bemoans what he perceives as the current American economic paradigms of “building wealth solely to build wealth” and “working harder and longer instead of smarter”. He’s long been a fan of, and inspired by, Eric “Sleeping With” Bieniemy, Dennis Rodman, Henry Rollins, Joe Satriani and Robert E. Howard. If there were two words that you could use to describe him, “Intense” and “Abrasive” would fit the bill perfectly.
Ian’s plans for the future involve recording some music, drinking some beer, paying off his house, becoming the first of his group of friends to read Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” series in its entirety, and perhaps someday relocating to his hometown of Sebastopol, CA…but not necessarily in that order…