English Thoughts


Nottingham Contemporary

I am currently in England and I had the privilege of participating in a deep discussion at a pub with some friends and some strangers. This is a summary of my reflections on the discussion. I would like to know your answer to the question at the end of this post, which is also the question I asked the group at the end of our discussion. Here goes.

A lot of people with access to the Internet seem to be a little upset with some aspect of how the world works. Many say that “the government,” whoever that may be, has its roots in corruption and that is why we have to deal with the pseudo-political preachings of comedians like Donald Trump.

People of different generations express some kind of dissatisfaction with the state of the education system because we are not moving forward fast enough as a collective. Many kids are still uneducated and about 80% of those who are educated are unhappy with their jobs.

Some consumers of mainstream media are at odds with the information, or lack thereof, mainstream media is releasing. The stars of Keeping Up with America’s Next Bachelor appear on magazine covers and tell us that we should have a positive body image no matter our size but the next page lists the top five best ways to lose too much weight in just one week! Just one week you guys!

What I’m saying is that many people are understandably upset about various subjects. Some have thought about solutions or alternatives. A few of these people have actually created practical systems and structures for these alternatives. An even smaller amount have managed to sustain and grow these alternative structures. And perhaps a handful have grown these structures into entities that are challenging or even taking over the existing structures that have caused this widespread dissatisfaction in the first place.

So that is good. Props to the inventors, pioneers, and entrepreneurs who have heard and responded the people’s pleas for change in the areas of politics, education, and media to name three.

But revolutionizing politics is just the surface of the ocean. Creating a completely different kind of education is just a slice of the pie. Reinventing media is not the entire story. The problems we face in these different areas just seem to be symptoms of an underlying matter that infects every aspect of life; a common denominator with characteristics that can be observed in every structure of power. Everyone wants to change the world. But without addressing the core of the problem, our efforts of attempting to change the world are futile.

So my question to you is:

What is the core of the problem?

What It’s Like Living In A Village With 300 People (And Why It’s The Perfect Hideout During A Zombie Apocalypse)

One of the many beautiful paths through the Black Forest

One of the many beautiful paths through the Black Forest

The quaint little village I reside in lies in a valley surrounded by beautiful vineyards in the Black Forest. It is a beautiful, quiet, calm farmer’s settlement. Along with the sporadic appearance of a muddy tractor driving by, you’ll see the occasional herd of sheep or cows casually strolling down the main street. There is no restaurant, shop, seat of government, or gym here, which is why it’s a village, not a town. A town usually has all of those things. Also, a town has a more diverse population than a village, and given that the average age of this village is about 60 years and 95% of the residents are straight up white Germans, there isn’t much room for diversity.

The nearest larger town lies in another valley about 3 kilometers away (that’s about 2 miles for all of you imperialists), so unless you love hiking up and down a hill for half an hour to buy your groceries like some kind of peasant, having a car is a necessity.

As you can probably imagine, the nightlife in this village is off the hook. As in, someone removed it from the hook so it’s not there. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. The night life is just a little different here. It’s more nature oriented than let’s-get-drunk-and-yolo-hard oriented. It’s already pretty quiet during the day, but at night you can literally hear the silence. In fact, it gets pretty eerie because the fog rolls down the hills and just sits in this valley all night. You’ll also hear the occasional hoot of an owl and the comforting snarl of the local werewolf at full moon.

Baby Insanity Wolf

The thing that gets me about living here, though, is that there is absolutely nothing to do other than planting and harvesting fruits and veggies. You can’t even just go and eat something when you’re bored. For example, if you live in a big city and you’re craving Italian food at 2 AM, you can just walk down to Mario’s 24/7 Pizza Pasta Place and there-a you go. If I’m craving Italian food at 2 AM, I have to walk downstairs to the kitchen and make my own pasta sauce with fresh, organic, locally grown tomatoes with no pesticides or chemical additives, which, in retrospect, isn’t actually too bad at all.

But seriously, if I didn’t have an Internet connection, I might as well become Amish. I can literally count sheep in order to go to sleep. And there are cats everywhere. They like to climb on top of my car with their muddy paws and go into my garden to take a shit. Chasing cats off my property consumes most of my time.

PoorlyDrawnLines Stuff

So what about the village people? Well, everybody knows everybody, but nobody talks to or even likes each other because they’re all afraid of having their reputation ruined.

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

– Proverbs 17:28

Nevertheless there’s a lot of village gossip that goes around. For example, there is this unspoken rule here that you shouldn’t work or make loud noises between 12 and 2 PM because the old folks want to have their afternoon nap. However, I once mowed my lawn at 1:50 PM, and because Germans are strictly punctual beings, I am now known as “that Indian dude who can’t keep track of time.”

Almost everyone in this village has lived here for multiple generations. My family moved here when I was born back in 1992. So even though I was born here and lived here for the majority of my life, we’re still “the new guys.” But that’s alright because I can always get away with the excuse, “sorry, I didn’t know that I’m not allowed to bathe in the village fountain; I’m new here.”

So even though this village is extremely boring, it would make for the perfect place to hide out during a zombie apocalypse. It’s very secluded and hard to reach by foot, we grow our own organic food and make excellent wine, we get fresh, clean water from the source up the mountain, our houses are basically renovated and refurbished barn fortresses built by German engineers, every resident has a pitchfork, and we even have an army of cows to protect us just in case. I’m actually getting pretty pumped about the apocalypse now.

Instagram: @jansimson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/inspirationave

Born In Concert – A Special Show In Homburg

We’ve got a seriously awesome “hometown” show coming up in Homburg on April 30th for the Born in Concert Tour. It’ll take place in the concert hall of Christian von Mannlich Gymnasium, Dustin and Manu’s old school. It’ll be our biggest show yet. Tickets are available for purchase at the venue. The cost is 5 Euros per ticket. If you want to reserve a seat, you can send an email to gaby@dooleyrecords.com, and book the tickets through us. There will only be enough space for about 300 people, so act quickly if you want a seat! Tickets are already on sale at the school now.

Special guest, Manu Meyer, will perform some of his own songs as well, and as usual, I’ll have a book stand, where I’ll be standing next to my books, so you can get yourself a signed copy.

Looking forward and I hope to see you there!

The Born In Concert Tour Is About To Kick Off!

Born In Concert

I first started playing drums when I was 4 years old, and when I was about 8 or so, my mom told me, “you know, someday you might be recording drums in studios. You might even be playing concerts.” Of course, as a kid, I was like, “Whaaaa! That’s crazy! You crazy!”

Well, mom, you weren’t crazy. Actually, you were pretty spot on with those statements. In fact, I don’t think you’ve been more correct about anything else ever before.

Because that’s exactly what’s happening right now. I just finished recording some drum tracks for Dustin Dooley’s second album, and I’m about to go on tour in Germany. The Born in Concert Tour 2015! I’m super excited about it. Probably, no, definitely more than you are. The concept of Born in Concert is simple: we, a trio of three people (Dustin Dooley, Manu Meyer, and yours truly) play music for you and hang out with you after the show to talk about stuff you don’t learn about in school.

Speaking of school, I actually wrote a book about alternative education. And you know how some authors do book tours where they talk about what they wrote, and then they read a few paragraphs of what they wrote, and then they ask the audience to buy a copy and finish reading the whole thing later? Well, I won’t be doing that because that whole scenario sounds too much like I’m giving you homework.

However, I will be selling books at each venue, so you can come say hi and complain about school to me. I’ll sign your book, and if you give me lipstick, I’ll even leave a kiss mark on the page. Just kidding about the lipstick. I’ll bring my own.

So here’s the deal: our first show will be in Ansbach on April 23rd, where we’ll be joined by Beatliebe. On April 24th we’re playing a show at the Jugendhaus in Rot am See, and on April 25th we’re playing a show in Sinsheim. If you want to attend any one of these shows, or just two, or all three if you’re feelin’ good, just send an email to gaby@dooleyrecords.com and we’ll tell you the exact time, location, and any other information you need. But don’t procrastinate too much, because there’s only a limited amount of space!

Also, if you’d like us to play at your place, your school, or your favorite bar, don’t be shy and write an email to gaby@dooleyrecords.com. 

I hope to see you at the live shows! It’s gonna be way cool, you guys.

This Man Accidentally Broke Two Bottles Of Wine In A Store… What He Does Next Won’t Blow Your Mind!!!

17th March, 2015.

6:54 PM, St. Ingbert, Germany.


The Inspiration Avenue Press managed to get a shot of the incident shortly after it happened.

A clearly distressed 23-year-old man made his way to the local grocery store to purchase some essentials for his subsequent Saint Patrick’s Day party at 7 PM. Repeatedly glancing at his shopping list, which consisted of milk, two bottles of wine, and canned tuna, he quickly snaked his way through the aisles in a routinely fashion.

After picking up an entire liter of whole milk in the dairy aisle, he darted to the alcohol section and immediately found the wine he was looking for. Anxious to make it out of the store before 7 PM, he grabbed two bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and was just about to make his way to the canned food section when he accidentally bumped his leg against one of the stacked beer crates. The two bottles slipped out of his hand and shattered on the tiled floor, leaving a puddle of alcohol mixed with glass shards.

The man, obviously annoyed at the current situation, paused for a second to contemplate his options. He could call for the janitor, clean it up himself, or grab two new bottles and ditch the scene. Realizing he only had a few more minutes to finish his grocery shopping and make it back home before having to host a party with guests who have no Irish blood whatsoever, the man decided to grab two new bottles and ditched the scene.

On his way to the counter, he rushed by the canned food section and snatched a single can of tuna and proceeded to check out. Luckily, nobody was standing in line. Due to the guilt of breaking two wine bottles, the man tried his best to avoid direct eye contact with the cashier, and without saying a word, he hurried out of the store with his party essentials and rushed back home just in time to host his Saint Patrick’s Day party.

Disclaimer: Fiction.

How To Spend Your Saturday Well


Happy 14th of February. Today is a special day because it is a Saturday. In many cases, it is the one day of the week where you can sleep in hella late as well as go to bed at an unreasonable hour and not have to work the next day. Speaking of work, Monday is many, many hours away. So you needn’t worry about that right now. Just enjoy this finite time of seemingly infinite freedom.

Even though today is Saturday and you have all of the reasons not to get out of bed and instead just watch Netflix and eat pancakes all day, I should at least encourage you to make an effort of getting out of bed and preferably getting dressed, too. That way, you can eventually step outside of your home and greet the world with dignity. Going outside to get some fresh air is always a wise thing to do, even on a Saturday.

Furthermore and more importantly, I should encourage you to do at least one nice thing for at least one person today. Pay for someone’s lunch, leave a good tip, or do something nice that isn’t related to money, like spending some quality time with something that isn’t a screen, like your parents or your friends or, for those who are up for a challenge, your notoriously loud neighbor. Unless you have to call them on Skype or something, which, I mean, fine.

Doing good things to other people is mutually beneficial, because they’ll be happy, and you’ll be happy, too, because your conscience will tell you, “Hey buddy, that was super nice of you,” and you’ll think to yourself, “Hey thanks, conscience!” Apparently, that’s kind of the science of happiness: if you want to be happy, do nice things to others.

But you know what, you should consider doing something nice for someone on every Saturday. Perhaps not every day, though, because if everyone did that, people would probably be too happy, and that’s not good, because then we wouldn’t have societal progression that originates out of dissatisfaction, like the Occupy Wall Street movement, or this new thing called #nogreynoway where people are standing up to that new porn movie that’s playing in cinemas all over the world.

With all of that said, do the world the curtesy of being nice to others and thus having a great Saturday.

I’m Going on Tour in Germany!

You know what would be cool? If there was some kind of event where young people could come together, listen to good live music, hang out, and talk about life. Perhaps during this event, someone interesting could give a short talk about something innovative or inspiring, like how to revolutionize internships, how to run a car on nothing but water, or how to turn on your friend’s shower.

Furthermore, during this event you could meet other young people who have all kinds of ideas and talents, ranging from music to design to finances to sports. You could do collaborations (even just on Instagram or whatever), start projects (like this one I did with my high school friends), or create events like that yourself. Because, really, all you need is a crazy idea and a few good friends in order to turn the world upside down.

Such an event would be totally versatile because all you need are people, live music, and inspiring ideas, so it could be done virtually anywhere; in schools, living rooms, bars or coffee shops, churches, concert halls, whatever.

Starting April 2015

Starting April 2015

So guess what. Since this sounds like something I would attend, I’ve teamed up with two excellent, professional musicians, Dustin Dooley and Manuel Meyer, and we’re gonna make it happen. This new project is called Born in Concert and we’ll be going on tour doing what I just described (playing music and hanging out with you), and I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be the party. Right now we’re planning a Germany tour, which will kick off in April. We’ll be posting tour dates soon, so stay tuned for that.

Now here’s the thing: we don’t really want to make new fans; we’d rather make new friends. So if this sounds like an event you’d like to host in your living room, your school, your church, or your favorite bar, don’t be shy and contact me at jansimson10(at)gmail(dot)com or hit up Dustin at www.dustindooley.com.

Perhaps we’ll see each other soon. Until then, keep browsing the Internet or whatever it is you kids do these days.