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It's an extremely proud, nationalistic country. There's strong traditionally masculine elements here.

That means a culture that can be kind of xenophobic, violent, and aggressive.

Despite that, I actually like it. I like traditionally masculine, proud, nationalistic countries. I know that isn't fashionable to say in this day and age, but after having been around a lot of the world, I just feel really bad for the citizens of countries that are totally pacified and unproud. The men move through life in a sort of drudgery and haze, and the women don't seem to enjoy those state of affairs either.

That said, pride/nationalism/hyper-masculine mixed with transitioning out of poverty can lead to bad places. It's not so much nationalism that is bad, as much as it's a catalyst for whatever else is happening in the society. In a country in a renaissance or golden age, with an emphasis on expansion, science, commerce, innovation, hard work, and building wealth, nationalism and pride becomes a force for progress. In a country that's on the down and out, nationalism amplifies that to bad result.

Mongolia is interesting. Their national holiday, Naadam, is a festival in July featuring wrestling, horseback riding, and archery.

Early On a Sunday Morning

On Where Pianos Roam

I had a little epiphany a couple of days ago while getting ready for my Cafe Coco show on Friday night. The question "Why do I do this?" popped up in my head.  By "this", I mean why am I in the music business--dealing with all the work promoting shows, scheduling practices, booking, website upkeep, practice time, lugging all of my heavy equipment everywhere, and all the little things in between.  It's a mountain of work particularly for a solo artist such as myself. Well, the answer, as it turns out, is the simple fact that I love performing music.  Especially now, after years of overcoming stage fright and figuring out who I am as an artist, I've reached this place where I LOVE LOVE LOVE performing on stage.  Something comes over me, and I'm not the same person that I am off the stage and the rest of the time. It almost feels magical.  I walk on stage.  I sit at my keyboard and this feeling of strength washes over me.  Inevitably, I still get a little nervous, but to me, this is perfectly natural now. Maybe this is what it means to be fully alive.  All of your senses are elevated to a sensitivity rarely achieved.  Your heart is on  your sleeve, and you're giving 200% of  your emotions and yourself. I've often felt that my music is more emotionally driven than anything else.  Whether a song is compelled by a feeling of longing, anger, sadness, loneliness, and even happiness (heaven forbid), I try my best to convey the emotion first before anything.  I guess this is why I get so exhausted after a show.  Not only am I playing like crazy, I'm putting all of my emotion into it as well. So, yes, I love this.  I love all of this.  My objective is not to be rich and famous (though I wouldn't resist it if it ever came along).    I want to create music that I am proud of and to  perform it passionately. I was glad to have this epiphany for my show on Friday night.  It made the experience more joyous and meaningful. Appropriately enough, I started off the set with a song of mine called "This Is Love".  It was fitting and proper for the occasion. This is love indeed. -g0rdon

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