Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Fool

so as I am deep in the throughs of promoting my album I am sitting here reflecting about my journey, where I've come from and where I'm going..this last year has been so magical for me. taking the leap from fashion to music was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. and the way everything unfolded from there just brings me to hear how my music makes a difference in peoples lives ad to see the dedication of my just so profound. I've thought about destiny alot in my life..wondering why I was put on this earth..wanting so desperately to contribute something great to this world and seeing a vision of what this world could be, yet having no real vehicle for that desire. I see a society that thrives. a society that works with the earth itself to support all of our wonderful creations. the wonderous magical creations of humanity deserve to be experienced without jeopardizing our very lives ( yes I'm speaking of sustainability) and our beautiful children deserve to grow in a society that supports vitality, equality, creativity and love (yes I'm speaking of human rights and creative empowerment). these are the things that concern me. and this is the mission that fuels all of my pursuits. my struggle to become a leader and a hero have always been about fulfilling this burning vision of what our world could be. this album is a very personal one. its my journey of self discovery and transcendence of the things that hold me back. but the point of it is what I can do when I finally reach that goal of being a realized man. the power to change the course of our society is necessary. we cannot maintain our ways. something has to give. all of my personal work is to prepare for the global work that is needed to steer the course of life towards survival and find a way to THRIVE. so why am I sharing all this? I guess it's because I want you to know this is not about me. as vain and attention seeking as I can be, when I think about why matters it's about the potential of humanity. imagine what we could do..with the tools we a society, as race of beings living on this planet..the potential is limitless..but it starts with the self. and so this, my debut album, is the self. but the future...what's the world. I'm 100% committed to getting it right. life I mean. the tools are right in front of us. solar power advances everyday, our knowledge and technology advance everyday. and I believe humanity is good. we want to survive. we want to thrive in harmony with each other. we want to get along. we want to explore all the pleasures this life has to offer..and I won't stop until I have done everything in my power to move life in that direction.
I like to have fun and I like to indulge in hedonistic debauchery just as much as the next..but my work here on this earth is to transform our society. I know that your support is about so much more than me as an artist. the act of defiance, against an industry gone awry, of supporting an artist flourishing in a new paradigm (not dictated by conventional wisdom) is about so much more than handing out flyers. it's about a shift in consciousness across all industries and powers that be which will lead to our ultimate survival. so I just want you to know here I'm coming from with this. I appreciate your support and I also acknowledge that this isn't about me. we've come together to make a statement to the industry that we will not be corralled into the entrenched pop machine pumping out soulless money makers..a statement the the world belongs to the people. WE dictate what a "viable" artist is..not them. music shapes emotions and emotions shape actions and actions are the only thing that make any real difference. so if I can inspire one person to be themselves or stand up for what they believe in then I know I've made a difference. and if I can enjoy the ride along the way then all the better!
so thank you. thank you for sharing this journey with me. thank you for your unwavering support and for the belief in me that I can actually succeed in this impossible mission of global independent success completely driven by the the fans..and I promise you that if I get there with your help I will be a champion of the things I care about. a utopian vision of what this world and it's people could be.
your humble leader,
Cassidy Haley

- Cassidy Haley

Sunday, June 27, 2010

airplane philosophy #1

as I return from my show for st. Petersburg florida pride festival, I am reflecting on the current state of pop music. pop music is basically an escape..a frivolous and enjoyable forgetting of all the worries we have.. this escape is not bad, in fact it is sometimes essential..
but an escape can become an avoidance of real world things..that which you ignore, persists. in order to change what's not working you have to look at what's not working. and pop music in its current state really doesn't allow for the equally necessary introspection that we must face in order to grow. so what if pop music could further this introspection? what if pop music could provoke thought in the same way that folk and (some) hip-hop provoke thought? would that by it's very nature make it no longer pop music? or is there a place for real and candid thought process in this absurdly decadent and frivolous medium..I'd like to think there is..and if not, then I might just have to force it in..because for all my emo-folk background..I am a pop artist at heart. I want the glitz and I want the glamour..but I want it on MY terms..full of thoughtful introspection and candid revealing of deep and uncomfortable topics..
I think the world might be ready. if this oil spill has taught us anything it is that we cannot ignore the worlds problems...they will find us, and throw themselves into our culture until we deal with what's not working.. sustainability, cultural equality, global cooperation..these are necessary steps in humanities evolution..and as we drift in the fantasy of pop music..these problems are only getting stronger.

- Cassidy Haley


Saturday, April 3, 2010

the usefulness of friends

I've never had a problem making friends. well... thats not true. when i was 10 i only had one friend. Tiana the buck-toothed girl with the big glasses and odd braids..of course i was the little weird whimpy boy that everyone called a girl. we were pretty much alienated by everyone. but that changed over time. i learned how to be charming and draw people in and by the time my childhood came to a close i had a pretty good system of making connections with people. But the problem is that once ive made a friend what do i do with them? how close do i let them get? how often do i call? how much do i rely on them for emotional support? how many favors do i ask? how much time do i make to be there for them and help them if needed? with a sea of friendships these questions exponentially increase.

An old friend died a few days ago. at least id like to think she was a friend. i knew her for many years. worked with her on various project, shared many, many mutual friends...greeted her with enthusiasm if we happen to be in the same place...but other than that i have no idea what she was going through. what her life was like day to day...what her hopes and fears were...this was an amazing human being that ive shared such wonderful times and cultural experiences..and yet i made no effort to maintain or expand our friendship over all those years. her passing has shaken me out of a long slumber of complacency regarding my friendships. i have strong friendships. and i work with friends on many levels. but im afraid that what my friendships have become pales in comparison to what is possible. "but you are so busy" i tell myself.."how can you possibly make time for the people in your life right now"...and that is true.

I am at a critical time in my life. preparing to unveil the culmination of my lifes work in just a few short months and making plans to take down the music industry at the same time is no small feat. every ounce of my being is focused on that goal. But then someone dies. and i think about all these wonderful people in my my life. and how infrequently i actually see them. And how much I ask of them on my mission. My friends are amazing. They perform in my music videos for free, they put up with my forever-lateness, they put up with me calling them only when i need something, or not calling them at all.....and somehow i dont drive them away. When i think about them i feel love. When i think about them i want them to succeed. I want to be there for them. I want them to feel like they can rely on me...and yet, these thoughts are fleeting and more often than not unspoken. I feel like i dont have the time to properly cultivate my friendships..and yet without them i am alone. I am suddenly saddened by how out of touch i have become with my friends. and there it is again..the definition of friendship.

So this is my brainstorm. the usefulness of friendship. whats the use? to stave off loneliness? to have a companion when you walk into a party? a shoulder to cry on? a hand to help when you need to move heavy things? someone to walk through life with under shared experience? maybe all of these things. i feel like a fucking hallmark card.."friendship is.." with disgustingly cute little kittens snuggling up to one another... but i digress. Thinking about my friend who died and how much she was many many friends..and yet in the end she called no one. reached out to no one. took the ultimate solitary act of claiming one's own life. In some ways i can relate: as my mind whirls through friendship after friendship until it almost implodes on itself and rather than choose who to share myself with and how much to give and take..i end up alone. how does one keep track of all these people floating through? its enough to make me want to retreat into an web of digital anonymity where i can organize people in easy to comprehend rows and "favorite" or "delete" with the push of a button and sit and watch a feed of what everyone ive ever known is doing at that moment and never have to actually pick up my phone because i already know it all.

What it comes down to is that I am ready to redefine my friendships. I dont want to wake up one day and realize that ive lost the people who are closest to me. figuratively or literally. So to all my friends: to all my friends i never all my friends i only call to help me with something, to all my friends i only call to work on something with me, to all my friends i only call to "not show up to a club alone"; my apologies. i love you. i want to be closer with you. but i dont seem to know how. I'ts like I mastered the first stage of friendship and never moved beyond that. but i want to learn. There is nothing like death to alter a habit and im ready to reinvent my relationship to friendship. a friend. such an amorphous might be easier if friendships were declared like marriage...with vows and a list of expectations...that would make it so much easier....but we humans are left to our own devices...a sea of bodies clamoring to find a place. clamoring to define stand apart..but be connected..if only for a moment, and ideally on our own terms...and more than anything running from loneliness.

Monday, March 15, 2010

dear mr. prez dont fuck this up.

Dear Obama,
I voted for you. i was among the millions who were thrilled that finally there would be change in our government. i like you. i was engaged in politics in a POSITIVE way for the first time in ten years. that enthusiasm is waning. I am beginning to see you may not be as gutsy as i hoped. you may not have the brawn to muscle through the challenges of a ruthless and destructive republican sabotage. I know its not easy and i feel for you, but we chose you to be our leader because we thought you had what it took to stand up to them. this week a decision will be made on your unprecedented health care reform bill. i know more than anything you want it to be passed as a way to boost your ratings and show what you have accomplished so far, but the fact that you would be willing to move forward without a public option has thrown my support of you into question.
The pubic option is the ONLY thing that will keep the insurance companies at bay and foster the REAL competition that will keep their service high and the cost low. Without it, making health Insurance mandatory is one of the biggest mistakes you will make in your career. How can you force us to take a crappy product from corrupt companies who have shown time and time again that they arent at ALL in the business of keeping and making people healthy? By not including a public option in this bill you are actually enslaving your country to this backwards and corrupt healthcare system.
If you fought for a public option, i would stand behind you. My love and hope for what you could bring to our country would soar and i would give you everything i had to make it happen. The people are not dumb. We know what you are doing. you need to get this bill passed regardless of its end quality because politically it will kill you for it to die. but please, myself and the thousands upon thousands of uninsured Americans are begging you with our very lives to take this risk, to shoot for the moon.
One day our country will get it right and when our children look back at your presidency, do you want them to say; He fought for REAL change and, though it wasn't easy and he didnt always win, he always stood for what was right. Or do you want them to say; he did whatever he could to stay in power, including standing behind a weakened bill that wont do much for our country. At this juncture it is seeming like the latter, and it is disheartening. i want you so much to be the change i can believe in...and you CAN be that RIGHT NOW. this week. please. take a stand for the public option, Obama, and watch the world celebrate behind you...

your humble constituent,
Cassidy Haley

Thursday, March 11, 2010

fame, icons, fantasy and truth

This is a question. This is not an answer. It is a question.
As i come to the midway point of my six month plan i am taking this opportunity to look back on where i have come from, what i have achieved and where i am now. I had an ideal of being an artist like none other, who shared freely of the deepest parts of himself. I made a commitment to being completely open and honest with my fans. It was about doing things in a new way. A new paradigm for life where people can handle the complexities of a whole human being without the polarized politicalization of CHARACTER. today these high dreams for society and the world (and the implementation of those dreams in the petri dish of my career) are at the forefront of my mind. Ive been filming myself for months now. letting all the trials and tribulations unfold on camera and unabashedly sharing them with the world..but is this really the way? are people ready for the flawed hero? for the truth behind the facade? we build up our heroes to be champions. Their stories speak to us of what humanity can achieve. When Beyonce is phenomenal onstage we all get to be phenomenal and we WANT to worship her as a Hero in our midst. These icons give us hope for humanity but in the end they are human. But do we want them to be human? i mean deep down? One would probably say yes. but i mean, do you REALLY?
Would you want to know if Beyonce had a yeast infection or was constipated or any of the other mundane or uncomfortable elements that make up this experience of being human? would you want to see her at her lowest point? Lashing out, or mean or rude or scared? All of these things that are an integral part of being human? I'm not so sure anymore. Maybe we want her to be more than that. to pretend that none of those things exist for her. I'm realizing there is a line. My ideal of full disclosure is an impossibility as one could never communicate the entirety of what it is to be them through words and pictures and videos and even a personal encounter. therefore whatever people are left with is an impression. A caricature of the self. And with limited "airtime" (that is to say there is a limited amount of computing power that can go into judging and evaluating someone) what will i choose to show? will i show you the fears and the doubts..the struggles and the frustrations? the moments i am at my worst? or do i filter this character to be a HERO? an idealized version of myself that gives hope and strength to the world. The politician smile is something I've resented for a long time but would you really want to hear obama give his every opinion? would you want to hear how he REALLY feels about the republicans? Or FOX news? i dont know.
As i sit here wondering what it will take to "break" as an artist, these are the things that are on my mind. I don't know if my experiment is working. I have a picture of myself. He's costumed, he is made up perfectly and he stands powerfully to face the night. This character has been with me for a long time. I've seen him in my dreams and I've lived him on stage but i wipe him off at the end of the day. Is the world ready to watch me take the make-up off and be awkward and forget my keys and make mistakes. Would they STILL respect the strong, powerful performer who appears on stage? it is an act but it is no less a part of is as much of an act as the calm, collected fellow i become in the grocery store, or the fun drunk friend i become in a nightclub. they are all acts. So the QUESTION is HOW MUCH do i reveal? when is it too much? When my album come out in a few months i am setting it up to be exposed to ALOT of new people. They will like it or they wont but if they like it, and they look deeper into who i am, what will they see? Will showing them as much of ME as possible take away from the fantasy or allow even more of an affinity to grow? I dont know anymore. I'm starting to think id rather Beyonce show me all her Wonder Woman and leave Diana Prince behind closed doors but, again, this is a question. Not an answer. A question. what are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

slutsville USA

its amazing that people cannot comprehend how someone in our oppressive and puritanical society could Actually just be comfortable in their skin and like to show off without it being some cry for attention or some deep down issue. Ive been getting letters and emails from fans telling me that i dont "have" to strip down, as if the only reason one could possibly have for being free in their body was because they thought that was the only way to get attention or that they had nothing else to offer. I guess i dont realize how unusual it is for someone, especially a man, to be so open and flirtatious in public. well guess what folks, i like taking my clothes off! its liberating! i like flirting with people! im a very free spirit and also work very hard to keep a sexy body and why shouldnt i show it off? it doesn't make my art any less valid, it doesn't mean i don't value myself as an artist or a person, its just another side of me....Madonna is as much an inspiration to me as Ani Difranco, and i want to express all of me! to be honest, the reason i started my career so unclothed was simply because i was so sick of the fashion industry...when any musician can just buy clothes that make them look as cool as can be it becomes contrived, or at least thats where my thought process was...i wanted to express myself in a way that no one could replicate, that was exclusively my own..and so the half-naked body painted character emerged.
I come from a VERY liberal background of northern california where i spent years running around naked in hotsprings and rivers with the wild abandon of freedom. nudity was, is nor will be a big deal! i have nothing to hide! Personally i think if people wore less clothes more often the world would be a better place. its reality. underneath the high powered business suits, and the elaborate dresses and whatever other costumes we wear (and they are all costumes by the way) we are naked, fleshy animals with beating hearts and digestive tracks. There is very little difference between wearing a bodice in a romeo and juliet play and putting on the suit you wear to work, or the jeans you wear to the movies...we clothe ourselves to play a role in this game of life and THATS all! it doesn't mean anything...the studded leather jacket wont make you cooler, the ballgown wont make you a queen, the suit wont make you successful...everything we are and everything we can become comes from within. then why not play a little dress up? i love to play make believe...but i think its important to realize that ITS JUST A COSTUME. and no matter what we wear through out the day we will be confronted with our bodies when we strip it down. and why are we so afraid of our bodies? it reminds me of the scene in one of my favorite movies The DARK CRYSTAL where the outcast skeksi is stripped down in humiliation...all his elaborate robes are gone and he is just a small pitiful creature. But its not real! its some obscure social construct! why not run naked through the streets! let the sun shine on our god-given bodies and proclaim ourselves the children of this wonderful world! my point is that if all you see when someone reveals their body is sin or emotional trauma, perhaps you should look why you cling so desperately to these preconceived notions of what is "acceptable". because it IS possible to have people in this world who are comfortable with thier bodies and with their sexuality and have no problem freely sharing both with the world and have it be a healthy positive act. so instead, why dont you join me? i will be dancing naked in the sun! or mooning my fans late at night on a ustream. or twitpic-ing myself in my underwear when im happy about results of a very drastic lifestyle change towards health and vitality.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

reconciling the past..

my godmother was a woman whom my mother was partnered with at the time of my birth. had they not split up when i was two i probably would be calling her my mother right now, but alas they did..and so she stayed in my life through an occasional visit to her wonderful little world of a home...she taught me about the unseen. the potential of the human mind..inspired me about making a difference in the world...told me i could do anything...she was my soul mama all around and gave me so much. she suffered from multiple sclerosis and so was bedridden and my whole life was in and out of hospitals..therefore when i got a call 2 months before my 21st birthday that she needed to go back to the hospital this didnt phase me as much as it should have, or would have to someone else with a different experience. i was young...i was experiencing a life that i had always in an amazing house in berkeley with amazing friends...we performed together in a circus and i was living the dream...being 20 i was also extremely distracted and oblivious to a few things..especially famiy related. anyways, needless to say i got off the phone with my godmother and went on about my life. two months later, days before my 21st birthday, i got another call. my godmothers roommate. "where have you been???Diane is so sick...she needs you.." i was suddenly brought back to earth...she had said she would be out in a few weeks...but time have slipped by...i rushed down there...walked into her hospital room and beheld a site that i will never forget. she was so far close to the end...i could barely recognize her. she looked up at me and said "Where have you been?" her eyes were so betrayed..i was filled with the most shame and guilt i have ever experienced. IT WAS MY FAULT. she said so. i left crying like never before and while i was able to go back and make peace with her before she died, her words haunted me for years...after she passed i took up and left the city..i hitchhiked to rainbow gatherings, i joined the hare krishnas...and went to burning was the summer of 2001. trying to hide from this deep shame and pain of killing my godmother i hid behind a facade of fantasy and drugs...we were bad ass...the style was impeccable..the dream complete..the music was sexy..the intention was pure...i knew that what we had should be shared with the world and i knew that my voice, and my songs could take us there...on the morning of the last day i dropped an innocent hit of acid..the party was just getting started afterall..i went on about my morning until about an hour later i suddenly broke down...i was screaming and crying and even the love of the goddess temple couldnt appease most amazing of friends tried to calm me down...tried to give me peace..but i was in agony..i was experiencing the death of my godmother and all the torment i had been suppressing...i started fading in and out of consciousness..and suddenly i could feel two paths path was the path of love...i would live a happy life where i cared for the people around me and was loved in return...or i could lead a path of success..where i would achieve all of my wildest dreams of being a superstar and sharing my music with the world..but the sacrifice would be love. what it would take to get there would mean leaving all of my love behind..i would end up alone and miserable..loved by the world but loving no one. these were the two paths ahead of me. i could go between them with my consciousness...but i had to choose..the trip finally ended but that feeling of pain, that i could never have everything i wanted...that i would have to choose between an open heart or a dream fullfilled has stuck with me since then. ive processed it many times and even made amends with her on a beach in Bali the first time i went out there...i spoke with her through the fullest of moons and she forgave me..and i forgave was resolved on one level that night..but now, years later from even then, sitting in the arclight movie was resolved on an even deeper level. i have been confronted with the purest of loves recently..and in facing this path of finding love i have been afraid..afraid that by giving into it i would loose something else..this fear of love has effected my relationships with all of my friends..i hold back. i dont give them the love i know i have because im so afraid of losing myself to it.. i want so much to share my music with the world and achieve the level of success and artistic quality that i see in my mind..and i have been holding onto this idea that i dont deserve it..that on some level i am broken and evil and can never achieve everything i desire..but last night...i got it. i saw the scared little boy who was just distracted and missed the last days of his godmothers life...the little boy who loved so much that the pain in his godmothers eyes was too much to bear..who took on the guilt and the shame and resolved never to love again because he let her die...In the arms of a new love, i was able to see this and let it go on such a deep level. i feel more free today than ever before. i feel liberated and empowered and i am so ready to love the world and share my music with the world without fear and the biggest gift is that having taken this on i can bring her into my life again..she can once again be my guide and my muse and my mentor..and i can let her in... ive always wondered why i keep killing all my plants..and now i know that i have been unwilling to love them for fear of destroying them and myself. today i buy a fern. which is my favorite plant that always dies. i am ready to love it and the world and my family and my lover.... love...i am yours.