Before we get into everything, let me start by saying that obviously, this is not required reading to watch my videos. I am doing this for 2 reasons: 1) for those who are interested in “playing along” and possibly learning more about the so-called universe I’ve created and who may be new to my channel, and 2) to set some things straight (as possible) and make some things official.
Intro: music as therapy
Leftovers: My smartphone screen time, Wikipedia, Bob not Ben
Appetizers: Ningen Isu, Nirvana, Black Sabbath, Primus, Daft Punk, Basshunter, Sonata Artica, Linkin Park, Ghost, Green Day, Apes of the State, Thank you Scientist, Rammstein, Oomph!, Megaherz, Eisbrecher, The Neighbourhood, Queen, Blackbriar, Portgual. The Man, Foster the People, The Shins, I Prevail, A Day To Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, Our Last Night, Falling In Reverse, Death Grips, Slayer, MF DOOM, Bach, Kaveret, Grandson, 80’s, Bossa Nova, Naked Eyes, The Alan Parsons Project, Michael Jackson, System of a Down, The Beatles, The Ink Spots, Eddie Meduza, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Vehemence, Dimmu Borgir, Mac Miller, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Oasis, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Boston, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Hellyeah, Finntroll, In Flames, Igorrr, Gojira, Ott, Guns N Roses, Korpiklaani, Nick Shoulders, Shellac, Burial, Daughters, Akira Yamaoka, Swans, Devo, Pink Floyd, Black Flagg, The Police, Metallica, Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton, Slipknot, Wavves, Mgmt, Rise Against, Tool, Liquid Drum N Bass genre, Technical Death Metal, Progressive Metal, Goth Rock, Death Rock, Cold wave, Melodic Death Metal, David Bowie, Gorillaz, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Bartok Bela, Car Bomb, Humanity’s Last Breath, Bring Me The Horizon, Annisokay, Three Days Grace, Shinedown, Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, White Zombie, Unleash the Archers, Flatbush Zombies, Freddie Dredd, Ice Nine Kills, Motionless In White, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, While She Sleeps, Home Free, The Great Divide, Younger Hunger, Fever the Ghost, 90’s Alternative, Soundgarden, Skillet, Stigmata, Avril Lavigne, Blink 182, Pantera, Muse, Avenged Sevenfold, Ayreon, Genesis, Dream Theater, 100 gecs, Cage the Elephant, Arctic Monkeys, Dschingis Khan, Lord of the Lost, Ensiferum, Hell Boulevard, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, Beach House, Jefferson Airplane, Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Korn, Witch House genre, Everything But the Girl, Blanco White, Inabakumori, Logic, Bon Iver, Christine and The Queens, Blur, Pulp, My Chemical Romance, Twenty One Pilots, Math Rock genre, Funk genre, Jazz genre, Enter Shikari, Psychedelic Rock genre, Alternative genre, Country genre, Sturgil Simpson, Death, The Notorious B.I.G., Explosions in the Sky, System of a Down, Etta James, The Taxpayers, Folk Punk genre, War Drums genre, Sticky Fingers, The Smashing Pumpkins, Incubus, Thrice, Seether, Mike Shinoda, Elvis Costello, Rush, Sting, Bob Dylan, Madeon, Snail’s House, Emil Rottmayer, Van Halen, Crosby Stills and Nash, Imagine Dragons, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Helloween, D12, Kamelot, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nightwish, Agalloch
Main Course: An introduction to Music and all of its styles
No Dessert this week! :(
Podcast Links: iTunes ► https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ephemeral-rift-podcast/id1559306449 Spotify ► https://open.spotify.com/show/0mRcmWpk4bwXG8786mUrPx Amazon ► https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/9dd88d03-5d74-41a7-8f34-68080e0400ef/Ephemeral-Rift-Podcast Google ► https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9lcGhtZXJhbHJpZnRwb2RjYXN0LmxpYnN5bi5jb20vcnNz Libsyn ► https://ephmeralriftpodcast.libsyn.com/ RSS ► https://ephmeralriftpodcast.libsyn.com/rss
Leftovers: attraction and the Netflix documentary My Love
Appetizers: music games anime religion paradoxes and other Main Course topics for future podcast episodes, why no discord channel, dreams and the brain relieving itself, vegan vegetarian and climate change, mars and alien experiments, shame guilt and living unapologetically, Palestine and Israel, psychedelics and ego death, internet phones local vs global and mental health
Main Course: Food and cuisines across the world
Dessert: independent sci-fi horror film Come True
I was a guest on the 8PL8S podcast here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1540201/8394416
Leftovers: pay-per-view group battle even
Appetizers: high school and beyond, superficial society, Bill Hicks, Pink Floyd
Main Course: free thought & freethinking
Dessert: United Nations World Happiness Report 2021
Have a topic for the podcast? Submit it for consideration here: https://ephemeralrift.com/contact/
Once again we walk through the forest of the mind during this exercise in unfiltered freethinking:
Intro: anger as motivation Leftovers: individual histories and relationships; do personality opposites attract (i.e. the introvert & extrovert); meaning in a meaningless universe
Appetizers (viewner/listener topics): pros & cons of growing up today vs the past; the problems with political correctness, censorship, groups and groupthink; Math Rock
Main Course: anxiety & nightmares, dreams, sleepwalking, etc.; is everything cyclical
Dessert: The Walking Dead; The Midnight Diner
Have a topic for the podcast? Submit it for consideration here: https://ephemeralrift.com/contact/
Leftovers: Interconnected society and if we are “Guilty by Association” which will get a deep dive and analysis in a future episode.
Appetizers (viewer/listener topics): Why I left Christianity, How I got into ASMR (having an interest in sound), and Political Punk music.
Main Course: In-depth discussion and insight into various aspects of a long term relationship (the “best friend”, differences, arguments, compromise, etc.) and parenting / fatherhood (responsibility, guidance, affection, being supportive, etc.).
Dessert: Songs from Gojira’s new album, a song by Streetlight Manifesto, and the Amazon series ZeroZeroZero.
In this episode I primarily address listener/viewer questions & topics and didn’t get a chance to discuss others that I will in the next episode. In this episode: livestreams, guests/interviews, audio post-production, nihilism & philosophy, advice & life lessons for young people, genetics and mental health, anger, patience, getting burned, Arkham Sanitarium and “The Men”, Japanese society, religion-free world, psychedelics and laws, tangential and circumstantial speech, H. P. Lovecraft, guilty by association, problems with interconnected society, society soup, the two books that impacted my life, the coronavirus vaccine, the SCP foundation, alcohol-free and dreams, aligning the physical & mental, why I left social media, Akira manga, Days n Daze, Celtic Frost, judging people, senseless acts of nonsense, justified violence.
The official Ephemeral Rift podcast is back (formally known as EphemRadio)! This is where I get to relax and unload whatever is on my mind and YOU get to hear the real me without a filter. In this episode I touch on the topics of the Coronavirus, its impact on society and technology, trying to obtain a PS5 or Nvidia graphics card, alcohol and being alcohol free, patience and anger, cannabis and laws in the United States, losing interest in things once passionate about, and an idea if you are trying to gain confidence in yourself.
Most of the videos I make for my YouTube channel don’t often have any kind of interesting story behind the reason that they were made. Most. That is not the case for the video called “Relax with a Union Soldier | ASMR” for which this piece of writing is about. But this isn’t really so much about the video and how & why it came to be, than it is about how I came to have a newfound interest in the topic of the video at hand: the American Civil War, more specifically Ulysses S. Grant.
When I was a kid, I hated school for the most part. First off, I went to Roman Catholic school, so there was that. When it came to history though, I could have cared less about anything that was not relevant or important to my survival and growing up. Of course, that’s not how I thought of it back then when I was a kid, but today that pretty much sums up my lack of interest in history and social studies. Ugh. Social Studies…
Fast forward to the date of this writing, and for the most part I still have zero interest in history. I like being a simple bipedal hominid: I like family, food, art, nature, games, tech and science (to a degree… i love/hate tech, and dislike almost everything about space exploration for certain reasons, but that’s another article). I do like certain aspects of history such as things revolving around aboriginal tribes, nature, and war. But beyond that.. I could really care less as to who was president, why the roman aqueducts were built, what the state capitals are, who invented whatever, etc. etc.
A few years ago someone commented on my YouTube channel that I should do a Civil War ASMR role-play. I thought that was a good idea, but at that time I wasn’t sure how to go about it, as is the case with most suggestions or even my own ideas. For whatever reason, some ideas just take time to develop and it has nothing to do with needing to be elaborate, well thought out, or spending money on a ton of props. I would continue to think about the Civil War idea off an on over the next few years until March of this year (2020) when all of a sudden my brain decided it was the right time to do the video (who am I to question my brain? It commands, I obey). So I did some research, purchased a variety of props (including civil war reproduction uniform and tent), and made the video.
But about a month prior to making the video, and the whole point of this piece of writing, is that sometime in April, the History Channel previewed a trailer for an upcoming mini-series about the civil war called “Grant”. My wife and I couldn’t help but chuckle at the coincidence: here I am preparing to do a video based on the Civil War, and the History channel is releasing a documentary about it. How apropos. Or is it synchronicity? It was as if the universe was telling me that I needed to watch the series before I could make my video on it (which even more coincidentally wasn’t ready to be filmed until after the series). Too funny.
So we watched the Grant mini series and it was spectacular! Very well produced and acted, sucked me in, and most importantly it had lots of tasty non-biased history morsels about Grant and the Civil War. Nothing appeared to be sugar-coated. And for the first time in my life I had an actual interest in both Ulysses S. Grant and the American Civil War. So much so that after the series was over I was pouring over Grant’s wikipedia entry and even looking for books about him. I have to give kudos to the History Channel. Event though they still produce a lot of dramatized, reality TV crap and are no longer purely history like they once were, I must congratulate them on this.
While watching the series I couldn’t help myself but to feel an overall sense of camaraderie or affinity with Grant as a person for various reasons:
- His sense of humility / humble nature
- He made mistakes (especially during the war and presidency) yet wasn’t too proud nor too stubborn to learn from them and try his best to fix them
- He was a peaceful man (ironically)
- He was sensitive and quiet as a child
- He freed a slave that he somehow owned (I don’t want to be naive to think it he was purely out of sympathy / empathy as it could have been, but who really knows. He freed a slave, and that’s all that matters. If I learn anything about this in his memoirs, I will update this post)
- He appointed Jewish people to federal office
- He was sympathetic to women’s rights and female suffrage
- He proposed a constitutional amendment that tried to ban religion in school (including atheism and paganism) and prohibit religious funding, but it was eventually defeated by the Senate.
- He tried to destroy the KKK (was somewhat successful)
- He had a Native American on his staff (Ely S. Parker, who also served in the war with Grant)
- Tried his best to help the Native Americans with his Native American policy
- And of course, he helped the Union win the Civil War (if you ask me, he was the sole reason the Union won. No Grant = No W in the Win Loss column)
- He had a big heart
I never knew these things about Ulysses S. Grant and it was eye-opening to say the least. I knew I liked him for a reason. Well a dozen reasons, actually.
So there you have it. What started out to be just a simple, fun role-play of my portraying a union soldier during the civil war, turned out to be quite the unexpected educational experience.
Thanks to those who suggested the video idea, thanks to the History Channel’s mini series, and most importantly, thanks to everyone involved in the Civil War, because if the North had never won, would any of us, even YouTube itself, even be here?? How often do we take our freedom for… wait for it… Granted.
Now, if you’ll excuse me… I just received the paperback version of “The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant” which is something I never thought I would own, let alone have the desire to read. I am very excited to soak up everything Ulysses S. Grant wrote. And who knows… maybe one day, or in a few years, I will make my own video about him…
Thanks for reading and/or watching.
Back around March 13 2020, when the Governor of Pennsylvania first declared shutting down schools for 2 weeks when COVID-19 cases first began to show up in our home state in low numbers, I told my wife that 2 weeks is a joke and that they might as well keep schools closed, and that this thing isn’t going away until it is totally eradicated from the face of the earth.
So here we are, late May 2020, with schools permanently closed, along with non-essential businesses, just as I called it.
And even when everything opens back up and schools and businesses are back to normal, COVID-19 will once again rear its ugly head and we will be right back where we started with more cases.
So what do you do? You can’t keep everything shut down forever. Can you vaccinate the entire human race? No. But that’s what you’ll need to do for life to really go back to normal.
I don’t have an answer. I don’t see anything changing anytime soon. For as long as there is at least 1 person with it, it will never go away and will continue to circulate. Vaccinations will limit exposure. Well, perhaps. We don’t even know if they will work, so that’s more “wait and see”.
It will be interesting to see how this all pans out over the next few years..
Stay safe and stay well my friends.
ASMR is an acronym for the non-scientific term “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” which was coined by a layperson to describe a unique sensation experienced by certain people in response to certain stimuli. It’s like goosebumps, but instead of a very brief and uncomfortable moment of the shivers or chills, ASMR is a pleasant feeling that usually lasts a little bit longer, and is somewhat like the shivers but more of an electric feeling often described as a tingling sensation or the “tingles”.
There are many stimuli or triggers that can cause a person to experience ASMR. It could be receiving personal attention or being in a one-on-one situation, such as a getting a haircut, on the phone with customer service, or with a receptionist at the doctor’s office, just to name a few examples. Watching someone perform a detailed task, such as painting or sorting, is also a trigger. And of course hearing certain sounds, such as someone typing on a keyboard, crinkling plastic, and whispering are also ASMR triggers. The list goes on and on..
That is why I whisper in the majority of my ASMR videos: to try and trigger ASMR in the viewer and to create a relaxing experience for them as well, and in many cases help them sleep, which is another benefit of ASMR even if people don’t experience it. ASMR, relaxation and sleep pretty much go hand in hand. Of course, being the creative type that I am, my ASMR videos tend to be on the artistic side of things.
I have experienced ASMR all throughout my life up until my late 40’s. It slowly started to fade away along with my becoming less of an emotional person. As the date of this writing, I no longer experience ASMR and it’s been that way for a few years now. I have also become ever more stoic, calm, less-anxious and less emotional, which I believe is directly related to why I no longer experience ASMR.
I still plan on creating ASMR videos for as long as I physically and mentally can, because it is my passion and my artistic calling so to speak (in addition to my humanist passions of being a husband and father).
Make no mistake: I did not show up on the ASMR scene like a parasite looking to profit.
I started my YouTube channel in September 2011 as a means for a creative outlet. I have always wanted to be a self-made, independent artist in some way, I just never knew what I wanted to do with my life in that regard. I dabbled in music, photography, digital art, writing, t-shirts, but none of it ever panned out, nor was I any good at any of it to say the least.
But then I stumbled upon ASMR in the early Spring of 2012. I found out about the videos, realized that ASMR was “the thing” I’ve experienced all my life and thought I would give it (making ASMR videos) a try, and the rest is history…