The Oddball Show

The Oddball Show Episode 3.5: Jason talks about his new book, Train of Thought and Speaking Out with NAMI

May 23, 2019 Oddball Magazine and JP Lime, Prof, Jason Wright Season 3 Episode 5
The Oddball Show
The Oddball Show Episode 3.5: Jason talks about his new book, Train of Thought and Speaking Out with NAMI
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The Oddball Show
The Oddball Show Episode 3.5: Jason talks about his new book, Train of Thought and Speaking Out with NAMI
May 23, 2019 Season 3 Episode 5
Oddball Magazine and JP Lime, Prof, Jason Wright

This week Prof and Jason talk about Jason's recent speech at the NAMI Walk in Boston and Jason's new book "Train of Thought, Poems from the Red Line".  

Show Notes Transcript

This week Prof and Jason talk about Jason's recent speech at the NAMI Walk in Boston and Jason's new book "Train of Thought, Poems from the Red Line".  

Jason:

It is jarring to read. Um, yeah, and I think that might be the best part about this book is that it takes you from, from the the first stop to the last stop and you're like, Holy Shit, I need to get off this train. And um, and that's "Train of Thought".

Jason:

...but it's really cool to advocate and tell that story just to know that like you can, but I also feel like you're short selling yourself. You can live a good life even if you have a mental illness, like fuck that. You know what I mean? Like why can't you just live a good life?

Jason:

You are not alone. You can be whoever you want to be. You got this, I got your back and everyone here does too. Now let's enjoy this walk. And go out and support NAMI. Thank you. Thank you.

News Reporter:

Jason. Outstanding.

Prof:

This is the Oddball Show. A podcasting collaboration from JP Lime Productions and Oddball Magazine.

Prof:

Good evening. All you poets and pachaderms. This is indeed the Oddball Show. My Name is Prof and I'll play the lion tamer here in this three ring three ball circus. Here beside me for each and every odd ball show in a metaphoric slash, cyber sense. He's our own Charlie on the Train of Thought, the conductor, founder and editor in chief of the steam engine known as Oddball Magazine, please say hello to Mr. Jason Wright.

Jason:

Hey Prof, uh, how's it going?

Prof:

What's up buddy?

Jason:

Oh, nothing much. Just, uh, just, uh, uh, live on a Monday night, uh, ready to, uh, talk with our guests. Who's our guests this evening?

Prof:

We actually, I want, I want to tell you two things about what you just said. One. We have no guests tonight. It's just you and me. We're, we're going to talk about, uh, some very interesting topics, including your new book Train of Thought that's a available, which was, I just referenced very cleverly in our intro, which we'll explain that clever reference in a minute. And also talking about your recent talk at the NAMI walk here in Massachusetts, which is pretty interesting and we're going to talk about, um, I'm part of a hip hop duo called Blind Rhino and we'll talk about our recent release, both, uh, uh, album and video. So we've got plenty to talk about just between the two of us. We have no guests tonight and the other thing to tell you is that it is not Monday.

Prof:

It's Tuesday. Yeah. So I just want to be sure that you didn't mess anything up during your day. I wanted to make sure you went to work, went to the proper like shift or whatever it is you do on a Tuesday. Today is, today is actually Tuesday. So thank you to our viewers. Actually to our viewers, it doesn't really matter because they're going to tune in when ever the hell they tune and it certainly won't be tonight because this is not live. So to our viewers it really doesn't matter to them. To you though, I just wanna make sure that your, your day didn't get messed up because yeah.

Jason:

Well I will also tell you that viewers, we have no viewers. We have readers. Wait, nope, sorry.

Prof:

That was an awesome correction.

Jason:

Listen Prof.

Prof:

Our viewers use their eyes to listen to the Oddball Show they read the Oddball Show.

Prof:

No Jason, No they don't.

Prof:

Thank you to all our viewers, our listeners here on the Oddball show. Um, you can get the Oddball Show on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, all the great places you get fine podcasts. Um, and you can also tune in through our various social media networks. Uh, uh, the Oddball Show on Facebook, um, Oddball Magazine on Twitter and JP lime on Twitter. Um, we'll talk about the coordination between those two avenues in a moment, but, um, that's how you can hook up with us and find out more about us and talk to us directly. So thank you for tuning in and please leave us a review on iTunes if you have a spare 20 seconds or so.

Jason:

Yeah, absolutely. Uh, also if you want to have fun with Alexa, which everyone wants to have fun with Alexa on a Monday night like we're doing right now. Um, you can say Alexa, uh, play Oddball Show on Tune In and it will come up and, uh, after a few frustrated tries, it'll play the Oddball Show on Tune In radio.

Prof:

See that's interesting. What I wanted to mention about that is you're showing your, uh, your Mac bias. You can also do that on any smart speaker and not just on Alexa. It knows, it's not , no frustration. So just go say, "Okay, Google play the Oddball Show" and it's like, Oh yes, I know exactly what you're talking about.

Jason:

Yeah, it's pretty cool actually. I, we, uh,

Prof:

I like it,.

Jason:

You know? Yeah, it's really cool.

Prof:

Smart speakers, are a little creepy, but it's, it's pretty awesome for us as content creators. So, you know,

Jason:

it's actually, yeah, no,

Jason:

I mean, hey, like look, we can like talk to a robot, but also they can see inside our house when we're changing our clothes,

Prof:

So you know, you give a little, you get a little bit, you enter a dystopian society but you can listen to music in your kitchen. So I know, right.

Jason:

So you have apps that are tailor made for you. Yeah.

Prof:

But also the robots are gonna take over the world. So you see, it's really, you know, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, you know, there's no right answer.

Jason:

I mean, whenever you're thinking can actually be broadcast it onto the ads that year that you would like. But, uh, that's,

Prof:

That's the super creepiest thing. Like, and, and I know at some point I linked to my, um, my Google searching between my laptop and my phone. But like now it just does it automatically. And that's kind of creepy.

Jason:

Yeah.

Prof:

I dunno. I like I, I'm one who uses that shit all the, like, uh, every technology available to me and I try to be conscientious about my security and shit, but I'm open to all that, but it's a little bit creepy and I can totally see how a little bit creepy turns into, you know, it takes over our world and now we're slaves to the machine and it's the matrix and terminator at the same time.

Jason:

Yeah. Skynet I. Would actually say, yeah, I'm, I'm techno-fluid, um, about, uh, all of the different, uh,

Prof:

Techno-fluid, that's a good word.

Jason:

Yeah. Thanks Prof just came up with that. So, so, you know, hey, we're, we're no spring chickens anymore. At least I'm not. Um, and I'm lucky that I know how to use a computer, but I'll tell you what, um, you know, like millennials, right? I'm just like a step away from not from, from um, out of a millennial. Think about the people who are like 10 years, five years older than me. Um, they are screwed. Like, you know what I mean? Imagine people who are 10, 20 years old and you like, they are screwed. Like trying to learn and keep up with the Internet, like screwed.

Jason:

You know what I mean?

Prof:

Are they? My parents kind of have the internet down. Like they know how it works. My grandparents, it's fucking confusing as fuck. But my, my parents they, they got it. You know.

Jason:

You know what my mom uses AOL and a, she once had her,

Prof:

That's crazy, I did not know AOL still existed. I did not know AOL was still in business.

Jason:

She once had her laptop hijacked and she had to pay, true story. She had her laptop hijacked, meaning like it was locked, by some scammers, she had to like, she had to, I don't know how she ended up getting her laptop freed from her so she could use it. But um, yeah, so I'm just saying like some people don't really get technology.

Prof:

That's a good point.

Jason:

So I love you mom, you know, but yeah, man, I mean for us, I mean, Hey Prof how good are you at snapchat right now, let me tell you how is your snapchat game?

Prof:

I want you to know that I have sworn off snapchat. We're not going to get too deep into this because it's kind of a sensitive topic for me. But

Jason:

Is this an activation? Am I activating you right now?

Prof:

No, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not necessarily triggered by Snapchat. I'm just, yeah, I'm an old person.el old when we, when we say the word Snapchat, but here's why. Here's why specifically. So we're going to talk about in the second segment about, um, my, uh, my group Blind Rhino, we just launched on social media and everything. We had a different name. We relaunched under the new name. We actually released our album, and just released a video. So we'll talk about that in segment two. But, uh, you know, we, I led all our social media stuff and I specifically chose not to do Snapchat and it was a point that I really wanted to, but it's just, I can't, I can't, I've been trying to, and, and here's the other thing about Snapchat is most of the stuff that they like started doing that was really unique at the beginning. Now Instagram kind of co-opted. So the stuff that I could attached to like all the face filters and all that, others, you know, other shit and doing like live videos and your stories and all that, that's now all wrapped in Instagram. So that's all stuff I can get behind. And you can really see it as a marketer and then somebody's trying to push anything. Like, I can really see the value in Instagram now where I was pretty bad in Instagram, you know, five years ago, I can, uh, I can get it now. And they've added so many tools that make them different and this, and that's all it is different and useful.

Prof:

But I, I, um, I feel like I'm faking it. Every time I ever try to post a snapfact..

Jason:

Snapchat

Jason:

snap fact , Prof doesn't know how to use Snapchat. That's a snap fact.

Prof:

I just couldn't do it. So we are sworn that off. So I just read a book from Gary Vaynerchuk, um, uh, and it's called Crushing It, um, uh, uh, a sequel to his book, Crush it. And I just finished it. And uh, yeah, I need to step my Snapchat game up. Uh, my Instagram game up my Facebook game up my Musically, game up, my Whats Up app, up my Facebook live up, and my Wordpress up, so I need a lot of, uh, help. Reading that book made me realize I was clueless about social media. Um, so I'm working on it.

Prof:

Well, it's easy to be behind. It's easy to like, to like be savvy, but still be behind. You know, you gotta stay up on all the time and it's like, it's constantly evolving monster, which is amazing to me. I love the Internet. I love it. I love social media. I love everything about it, even though it's invasive and scary and you know, it is the leader in Skynet. Uh, I love everything about it cause it just, it, it unleashes a capability, a human capability that we never had before. Like when you can establish a new line of communication between humans that did not previously exist. It's like evolution, which it blows my mind, the communication era. So, uh, I love everything about the Internet and social media, but yeah, it's a constantly evolving thing and you gotta you gotta stay up on it if you're a content creator slash promoter of any kind.

Jason:

Yeah. Yeah. And as me and you both are, you do Blind Rhino. and JPLime productions and I do Oddball Magazine. Yeah. We, we really try and stay up with the, um, the current technologies. But I mean, if I was like, well yeah, my mom gets her, her aol.com locked out, um, and she has to pay a hijacker money. So I don't know. I'm trying to stay current, so that doesn't happen to me. Um, but I have to agree with you, man. Um, it is a fun time to be alive. Um, and I will tell you why. I mean, yeah, so what the political landscape and the environment and everything is all shambles.

Prof:

Well, so what the world's burning. Who cares? Yeah. I mean I can talk to someone in China right now,

Jason:

...I can see cat videos any time I want.

Jason:

It used to be expensive when I was a kid. Calling to Indiana was, was, would of cost like a couple hundred bucks. But...

Jason:

Why did you call Indiana?

Jason:

Not Indiana. I, you know, actually I didn't call Indiana. I called Michigan. I had friends in Michigan. This is a, you know, a little fact about me. I had friends in Michigan in high school.

Jason:

Snapfact.

Prof:

Shout out to them, snapfact. Hashtag. Pound sign How do you do that? Hashtag what do you do?

Jason:

Pound sign Friends from Michigan.

Prof:

So I had, I had friends from Michigan pound sign friends from Michigan and I was also kind of like a lonely romantic kid. So I would run up please. Long distance bills. We won't, we won't really dig into this right now, but it's actually a great part of my past, uh, about my work with youth groups and why I knew these people from Michigan. Anyway, I racked up these long distance bills and, uh, it was like several hundred dollars where as now I could facetime with any of them. Is that what the kids say face time? Uh, I can facetime any of them in a minute and like, and it would cost nothing. So that's pretty amazing. That's interesting thing about technology that like literally it would have cost a significant amount of money. Even like, even without inflation, like a significant amount of money in my life right now for me to make the same phone call connection of I, if I call it for like two hours to somebody on, you know, in Michigan, which I don't, you know, I don't talk to them anymore, you know, shows. Yeah.

Jason:

Oh, a pound sign. Um, I miss you friends from Michigan. Hey Prof, I just think it's, it's quite, uh, I was just thinking like, you know, my growing up and, uh, thinking like, Hey, I play video games. I'm like, that's never going to make me money. And now.

Prof:

Right, Right? Now you can be a professional video gamer and be a millionaire and a celebrity. That to me is like the craziest step in our evolution of the YouTube culture. This is like a whole tangent, but I think that's the craziest thing. Like you could overnight become a millionaire, which you know, good. Good for you. It's like, the pinnacle, the alternative entrepreneurial spirit also dystopian. And it's like how is it possible that you got intelligent playing a video game? But whatever, man, I'm not going to hate. But it's also scary that somehow that's how are we are scaled as a society.

Jason:

Uh, yeah. And that's why I think Prof that we both have shots and a lot of people who um, I mean everybody has a shot now. If you start playing Super Mario Brothers and get really good at it and film yourself and you have funny content, you could be a millionaire.

Prof:

That is certainly a very, um, what is it? A cynical or, and, or pessimistic view of our talent. Because people, anybody can make it. So you and I who think that we have something that we've created that's worthwhile. It does not matter because anybody can make it. But at least we could possibly make it.

Jason:

I mean, who ever thought that like a fidget spinners would be like a billion dollar industry. You can make money doing anything.

Jason:

Was it was it? Was it a billion industry? I think you're overstating that fact. We're going to have to get our fact checker. Can we get um, Louis in the booth? Louis, can you look over here? Thank You Louis. Can you write this down? We're doing our fact check later on. Uh, Lewis is going to fact check.

Jason:

Yes I am Louis.

Prof:

No You're not Louis, you're Jason.

Jason:

Yeah I know, I was jus, I was holding my nose.

Jason:

Is fidget spinners a billion dollar industry. Louis, write that down. We'll check that later. All right, we're going to get back to him later on. So

Prof and Jason:

Pound sign, Fidget spinners. Yep.

Jason:

Yeah, that's a Snapfact right there.

Prof:

All right, so this has been a lengthy opening. We just wanted you to, to get our listeners, our viewers slash listeners to get comfortable here with the Oddball Show readers and our, and our readers, which in fact we don't have any readers here on the Oddball Show, but we have several, several, we've one or two readers on the Oddball Magazine, which is the dopest poetry magazine on the East Coast. Yes, you should definitely check in with them and we'll talk a little bit more about what they got going on in our, What's Going On segments. But um, if you're, if you are a poet, especially in the Boston area, uh, there are well connected with the Boston area of poetry scene, which is lively. Uh, if you are a poet in the Boston area, you should be published on a Oddball Magazine. And if you are not, it's the Internet man touch. It doesn't matter where you live, but a submissions that OddballMagazines.com and um, uh, please go and read. They are active changing all the time and that's not easy to find in any kind of a medium, especially poetry.

Jason:

So, and if you're a listener on the Oddball Show, please let us know that you're listening by leaving us a review. Um, pound sign. Um, it's Jason. Yeah. Yeah. Jason rocks and Prof is cool pound sign. Um, yeah, that, that would be a really cool idea. Um, but also what I was getting at was if you are a listener of the Oddball Show and you are a poet or an artist, send your work over to Oddball Magazine. We would love to see it and, and in it, uh, put in the subject, you know, heard you on the Oddball Show or something like that. That lets us know that you're listening, that you like our content and um, you know, we'll check out your poetry or your art or your music or whatever. We're very open at Oddballl Magazine and very nutty at the Oddball Show apparently. Um, so yeah. Uh, check us out. Um, and back to the show.

Prof:

All right, well let's, let's, uh, let's dig in real quick with our um, and topics here on the show today. We wanted to talk, about many topics here on the show today we wanted to talk about, uh, the NAMI walk that Jason did this past week and his book, and then we want and talk about, um, my music release. So here in the first segment, let's talk a little bit to Jason About, um, what he's got going on. So..

Jason:

Definitely.

Prof:

Uh, the NAMI Walk here in Massachusetts. Um, NAMI is an organization that we support heavily here on the Oddball Show that we've talked to several guests who are involved with. And, um, we have a lengthy history with. Could you give us a little intro into what NAMI is, uh, and how you got involved with this a walk? Was it this past Sunday?

Jason:

Yeah, it was a, it was actually this Saturday. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so a little bit about NAMI. NAMI stands for the National Alliance on Mental illness. Um, I think it's a great organization. Um, it's the first organization that I got involved with them, made me feel that I wasn't totally alone in the world, which I think is a remarkable, that I was able to be a part of NAMI and continue to be a part of NAMI. Um, they are an advocacy, um, awareness and, um, uh, organization that really tries to support people with mental health concerns. Um, before NAMI, I did not know anything about, um, uh, know that there was people out there who are like minded who also, uh, were once given a diagnosis, which, which is obvious. I mean like there's one in four people, you know, have some sort of sort of, or had been given a diagnosis of mental health at one point in their life. So, um, but I started off with NAMI with in our own voice, which is a great pro program to speak to hospital's like I, uh, and um, uh, hospitals and schools and prisons and police officers and churches, uh, and, um, colleges.

Prof:

Well, let me just jump in real quick and ask you about that because we've actually had, um, uh, I guess on here whose name, I can't recall, a young lady who was also a part of in our own voice is her name. Amanda?

Jason:

Amanda Shea. Yeah. Voices of anxiety. Yeah.

Prof:

Okay. And here is an interesting point, interesting tangent. I'm pretty sure there are two. Amanda Shea's, there was one who's very active in the Boston hip hop Community. And for a while after we did the show, I was very confused, uh, after I started running into like, you know, online circles that, that mentioned Amanda Shea, uh, who I think is awesome and who I would like to talk to at some point. But, uh, uh, she is a different person than I am pretty sure that the Amanda Shea who was also involved with NAMI and In your Own Voices in our, In Our Own Voices. So anyway, that's a tangent, but my question really is, um, so you said that you got involved with NAMI through In Our Own Voices, what is In Our Own Voices specifically. And, um, how did this all start for you? That's really my question. That's one I've not asked you before. As our, uh, as we've talked about it here on the show is how did this happen? Did this whole thing started for you, which is apparently a very big part of what you do now.

Jason:

Yeah. Uh, well, to be honest with you, Prof. I was not an advocate for a long time. I was very much ashamed of having a diagnosis I was very much in a big pit of pain. Um, I had a lot of difficulties. I was not taking care of myself. Um, I was struggling trying to find solid work, trying to hide my mental health concerns from people, um, at work and everything. And I always, you know, I was always the person wearing the headphones. If you look at almost every picture of me ever, I have headphones around my neck or on, um, on me at some point because that was, that's how I escaped.

Prof:

Well, I'm a big music listener to and, and who knows what my mental health like diagnosis would be as somebody who dove into my brain. But do you feel that your, um, your attraction towards music and attraction towards specifically, uh, like solo music headphones sitting on a train is a part of, is a part of link to cause of, link to your, um, your mental health diagnosis?

Jason:

Yeah. I think, um, I think if anything is soothed it. Um, there was so many times, and I'm speaking mainly about being on the, okay, so being on the train, right. Um, and that's when I wrote Train of Thought. Um, being on the train in a crowded train from in, in the middle of Boston during rush hour is really difficult for many people. Um, not having headphones for that, uh, is nearly impossible, was nearly impossible for me at the time. The, the most difficult time for me was whenever I had to, uh, be on a train or or like some kind of public transportation or somewhere, and my headphones died, or my iPod died.

Prof:

And why was that so difficult?

Jason:

Because I had to listen to my, my thoughts, I had a, uh, I couldn't distract myself with music.

Prof:

So it's not really a social anxiety, it's all of a something because suddenly all you saw was people around you. It was because you were then, it was yourself. It was your thoughts.

Jason:

Yes. Yeah. And then all of a sudden the music, the music had a good, good way of just kind of silencing everything. You listened to the lyrics instead of your thoughts, um, and all that kind of stuff. And, um, I along the time I would listen to instrumentals when I was writing. Um, uh, actually now I, whenever I listen to an instrumental, I will write to it. Um, but then again, my, my mental health is vastly improved over the last few years when I was, um, in 2012, 2013, 2014, my mental health was pretty bad. Um, so fast forward to 2016. Um, I have, I'm in a hospital and I find out about NAMI. Um, I don't remember how I actually found out about them, but, um, I must've done some research or something or asked the person, the social worker who was discharging me to, um, to look up NAMI for me. So he looked, looked it up and gave me a piece of paper, um, that had like some of the stuff on it. Um, and then I ended up finding NAMI In Our Own Voice. And I, uh, interview, I reached out to Eliza Williamson who, um, is one of my saving, saving graces, one of the best people I've ever met. Um, and she spoke with me for a little bit. Um, and then sooner or later then later I was invited to go to a workshop, which I had never been to a workshop before. I don't think, I mean I've, you know, been to college classes and all that kind of stuff, but I never been to a workshop to learn how to be able to tell my story. Um, and being a poet and a writer and an English Major was actually incredibly easy for me to get it out on paper.

Prof:

Well, so that's pretty interesting too because was, so you had been a writer for a long time before this point. Right. You know, so that's pretty interesting because the, the, one of the main themes we keep coming back to, especially when we talk about NAMI and, or In Our Own Voices, is the power behind telling your story for folks with a mental health condition that both what you're saying, like you're not the only one going through this. And, uh, there is, I mean, we've talked about, uh, um, peer support both with, um, in the medical field and we've talked about in many different fields, but like the peer support angle that when you share your story that there is, there are numerous people who could be connecting with that for the first time and having a moment of realization. So, uh, not just for you as a speaker, but for every listener you talked to that, that's a powerful moment. So, uh, you as a writer and as somebody who was, you know, attuned to that already, that must've been pretty, uh, pretty interesting moment.

Jason:

Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you think about it, right. Um, when you're a writer or a musician, what are you doing with communicating your story or your message to people? Um, so as a writer, um, you don't necessarily talk about, um, well, what I'm getting at is, not every, I mean, I know that like a lot of this stuff I talk about is my mental health, but at one, at some point you just have to say, when does mental health not become such a of for like a, a prominent part of someone's identity that, um, you know, like when you read a book from someone, you're not, you're not thinking that that person's okay cause they have like, you know, they're, they're okay for having a mental illness. You know what I mean?

Prof:

See that's interesting to hear you say, because like, I guess it's like a half empty, half full kind of way of looking at it. Or kind of, but like your, everything you do, your work, your daily work and your artistic work to me seems to touch on your evolution through that both personally and then like how you advocate for other people. Uh, so it's interesting to hear you say that like it's not necessarily about, uh, or some this, that part of it is about separation from it. Or maybe I am hearing it wrong.

Jason:

Yeah. No, you're not. I think I'm just, as a writer with a mental health thing. I don't want to be just considered a writer with a mental health thing. Um, I'm just a writer. Or I'm just a poet or an artist or I'm just a musician. Um, and you don't necessarily, um, it's nice to be able to be with a, with a community of people who have been given a diagnosis at some point, but, um, you know, to rely on the idea that, um, you know, you, you just have a mental illness. Um, I feel like that's, that's just not like conducive to an empowering philosophy of yourself. You know what I mean?

Prof:

I think it's interesting. It's certainly an interesting, like a fine line between like the empowering nature of advocacy and like talking about it as much as possible in order to, you know, reach out to others and the other and it not becoming who the only thing you are. So I think

Jason:

Bingo, Bingo Prof...

Prof:

It's certainly very interesting.

Jason:

Yeah, no, you're exactly 100%. Right. Um, as an advocate and someone who does identify with having a mental health diagnosis at some point in my life, um, I find that it's good to know yourself very well. I know myself I think very well. Um, but I, I feel like, um, it's also good to be able to look outside the diagnosis and, and, and not just think that that's all you are, just cause a doctor called you by diagnosed you bipolar or whatever thing was given to you at one point. Um, but it's really cool to advocate and tell that story just to know that like, hey, you can, but I also feel like you're short selling yourself. You can live a good life even if you have mental illness. Like fuck that. You know what I mean? Like why can't you just live a good life?

Prof:

Well you can, the thing to me is, is that it's a, it's a more informed view. Like every time we do a show with a guest who like, uh, I don't want to start rattling off names, but every guest that we've done on a mental health issue comes from a different perspective. And every time that they talk about it, I've learned something new. Like as far as it being a spectrum and it being a thing of like, it doesn't have to be the only thing you are but informs everything you do. So why is it a bad thing for that to be part of the conversation, you know, of course. And removing stigma and removing language that makes it such a, this is where people with mental things go is over here in this corner and maybe we can fix that. Maybe we can give them medicine and they'll like stuff that we can get them out of that corner. But it's not really how the whole shit works, you know? And the more I, the more the, the, every single guest that we have on this topic, uh, I get a wider view of it that like we are, it really is a spectrum and we're all on it. And it really is a matter of like, all right, assessing and understanding. But, uh, there's nobody that, that there's no stigma is the biggest obstacle, I suppose. Yeah. And like, Eh, yeah, peer support is the biggest thing. And having people who have been through it is the single biggest tool, I think, from what I've seen, peer support seems to be the biggest tool. And every advocate goes, yes. peer support. Yes, yes, yes. More peer support because it's gotta be a thing. It's gotta to be the most powerful thing for somebody with a mental health diagnosis to say, okay, you're not just a doctor like telling me what I'm supposed to be. You're somebody who's been through something similar and can actually give me tools of help when I'm supposed to do what, what is useful to me to do, not what I am supposed to do.

Jason:

Yeah, 100% right on the dot there. Um, you know, uh, I, I feel like if I was, um, if I was given a peer support specialist 15 years ago, um, maybe I'd be different. But I think that having to go through it alone for so long, one, um, it took my weakness and made it a strength, which is cool. Um, and made me much harder, um, you know, to, not harder but like, you know, like stronger, uh, as things got, um, as I became more like a knowledgeable about, uh, myself and, uh, what, what were my, uh, what activated me, what caused me to uh, get, yeah, uh, you know, get riled up, what caused me to be anxious and all that kind of stuff. Um, and once I became an advocate, um, talking about mental health, um, I felt like that was a catalyst for change for me. Um, and I think one of my goals is to keep on breaking down the stigma and that's why I put out books like this. Um, but at the same point, I don't want to be just like, uh, uh, put in a category of someone who is like, you know, a poet with mental illness or an an advocate for people who have mental illness. You know what I'm saying?

Jason:

Like, yeah, I can totally understand that. I think is a very fine line between having it be something that you're advocating for and having it be the only thing that people know you for

Jason:

Hundred Percent.

Prof:

I don't, I don't, I don't know how, you know, you navigate that line properly or like what the right thing, like maybe the right thing is to say fuck it and like people can think what they want or maybe the right thing is to navigate it. I don't, I have no idea.

Jason:

But you know what is really very interesting, beautiful thing, a prompt about this and going back to the, the walk that happened on Saturday was there was 7,000 people at that walk who were all either friends, uh, family members, clubhouse members, um, you know, advocates, news personalities, whatever, who, uh, media who are there, um, companies all who are supporting this breaking down the stigma, which I think is the most beautiful thing of, of all of them. For them to let me be on the stage and speak and, and try and empower the people who, yeah, they, they have a diagnosis, but they think that that's all they are. That's what, that's what I was trying to do, that, that's kind of like my bread and butter right there.

Prof:

So let's see. Let's actually get into some of the details of that. Cause uh, uh, so you said 7,000 people on Saturday, and what was the theme center? Whatever of the walk. And part two of that question is why was it a walk?

Jason:

Oh good, good, good.

Prof:

Was it, was it all pledged walk or was it, who? Was there a different reason for it to be a walk?

Jason:

So I think one of the reasons why it was a walk was because it was so, it was such a community oriented thing that it wasn't like a, it wasn't like a five k, it wasn't a running thing, it wasn't anything. It was a solidarity walk to raise awareness, for mental health and, and you know, um, uh, mental wellness and, and just kind of living well with..

Prof:

Did people pledge or no?

Jason:

Yeah. You, you, each person could raise as much money as they possibly could. And they, and there's teams, like I was part of the, the, the agency that I worked for, I was part of their team. Um, and, and it's thought that was, you know, that was really cool.

Prof:

So how far do you guys walk where did the walk go from and to?

Jason:

So it was at Artesami Park, which if your listeners, if our listeners don't know, it's, um, it's in Boston. Um, and in a really nice part of the, the where the Charles, uh, Charles River. Um, I don't know you, there's like a bridge that you go over the Charles and then you, um, go down this main road and I think it's Soldier's Field or whatever. And then you go and basically it's a three mile circle that goes around Artesami Park, and the Charles River. It is really nice. I got some nice pictures of, uh, of, uh, you know, people rowing and things like that. And uh, it was really cool. It was a really cool, and so that would be the reason why I think it was a walk was for everyone to be able to do it. Not necessarily like just runners or whatever.

Prof:

Right? On. Um, uh, I think, uh, well I met my question was even more than why was it not a run was why was it a a motion thing? Which, uh, you know, was there a oh money, money element behind it, but it's also pretty cool because you guys apparently had great weather is that,

Jason:

Ah, Beautiful weather! And, and, and Prof. I think the really cool thing, and I just thought about it, it's a very healthy thing to do, one for your, for your mind to walk with all these people who are in solidarity and two for your, for your body.

Prof:

So that was the thing that actually struck me as I was saying that I, as I started to say that last thing was, uh, you know, something about what you just said triggered it. That like it's just a healthy thing to get up and move and it's a solidarity thing. So like, even if there was no pledge behind it, rather than just gathering in a single place, there's, there's a power behind that action of just moving in mass and moving together.

Jason:

Hundred percent, and it's a really beautiful event. Um, I was able to speak on stage.

Prof:

So what did you talk about?

Jason:

Oh Man. Um, so I spoke up about, um, you know what, I would read it or no, I read it. I read something that I read on stage. Maybe I will close off the, uh, the show with that as my Jagged Thought cause...

Prof:

Awesome. That's perfect.

Jason:

It's kind of a, it's kind of a long thing. But, um, it was a beautiful moment from, from me and I'm like, I just felt so grateful to be up on the stage, to be able to, you know, be supported by NAMI, to be supportive by my agency, to be supported by my, my wife and, and my friends. It's really, it's very cool. Like tha the, the tides are changing on mental health. People care now. And that's a beautiful thing.

Prof:

I mean, I think that's certainly something as somebody who I still consider myself an outsider, even though like I said,

Jason:

I feel like you're an ally, an ally. I wouldn't say tha...

Prof:

I'm certainly an ally and uh, probably not. I'm probably more than that. Like if somebody was to drive into my brain, you would find some, a couple of diagnoses, but uh, I can certainly see that. Like, like I said, with every guest that we bring on the show, every, every conversation we have, the tide certainly seems to be changing and some of the biggest things that that are changing or like language and the way we think about it, which is very important, like any kind of, anytime you have real change, those are the things that really need to change, you really need to see people go, we're thinking about this differently. We talk about this too.

Jason:

Yeah, 100% what I'm talking, I'm trying to not edit it myself, but I'm evolving my language.

Prof:

Its not editing, its not fucking PC shit. It's like, yeah, this is how it really is. So let's reflect. this in our language and the way that we treat it in the way that we, you know, not because we're trying to respect people because we're worried about hurting people's feelings. It's not that kind of thing. It's about a productive change, you know, which also comes with respect. But like really it's about like this, this is actually how mental health works. You know, more we learned about this is how it actually works and not, you know, stigmatizing putting in the corner. It's only some people and you know, any kind of negativity towards it. It's, it's, it's silly and it's counterproductive. So whatever, uh, that's what I am learning, learning more,

Jason:

I think, um, you know, how we were talking about social media. Um, I feel like social media has been really good for movements. Um, and the mental health movement of breaking down stigma, uh, helping out the language and, and, um, you know, demystifying mental health, um, has been a kind of a beautiful thing with, that's what I've noticed with social media. Um, I, uh, do you, am I, am I off base and then, or do you, do you feel that way too?

Prof:

I think the biggest thing about, um, what, what I've been able to notice about, I was talking about mental health is communication. So it's all about language and how people talk about how do think about other people and how we think about the way that we work as people. So then social media is all about that shit. It's all about how we connect with other people. So yeah, it can only know what, I mean I was going to say it can only be empowering, but I suppose it could be not that it could be alienating and um, bullying in some places, which it is I guess. But for the most part, the biggest thing is connecting with other people so that you know that you're not the only one suffering with this thing.

Jason:

Yeah. Yeah. Is this kind of, it is kind of a beautiful thing. It is a little bit of a double edged sword, but it is kind of the beautiful thing knowing that, I mean, you're not alone, but two that, hey, you are advocating for something that you've been living with for a long time. So that kind of sucks but...

Prof:

Yeah, but the tide definitely seems to be changing, man.

Jason:

Definitely the tide is definitely changing. Um, and, uh, the NAMI Walk was, uh, like a beautiful event. I spoke, um, Fox 25 was there, um, and I was introduced. Um, and then afterwards the Mark Ockerbloom from Fox 25 said that I did a great job. And I, it also people in the crowd, uh, some people from Nami and people from my agency and friends and family and people who I didn't know came up to me and said, hey, great speech and thank you so much. That's exactly what we needed. And I loved it. So it was awesome. So, um, yeah, that was great.

Prof:

So here's the other, one of the thing before we get into our break, cause we, yeah, you know, as we, as we do on the Oddball Show, happens with a guest happens without a guest, doesn't matter where you were sitting, doing the Oddball Show without microphones, it would happen. We cruise through our hour, we're having a good time and we're having what we're talking about, something interesting to us, which is really the best part. So, uh, we're cruising through our, our first part of the show here, but I did want to ask about, your book is now out. It's called Train of Thought for our listeners. Um, uh, that don't, that, don't listen to my intro that just skip past that part cause they find me boring. Uh, Jason is the founder and editor in chief of Oddball Magazine, which is a great poetry magazine, a very active, lots of different voices, lots of different, interesting columns. Um, and any listeners that aren't tuned that is not tuned in. Please go and check it out. But uh, you also are one of the most active voices on that site with the Jagged Thought. which you read at the end of every show. But you are now, uh, you've been working on this for awhile. Uh, Train of Thought. You are now a published author. Question number one, are you self publishing Train of Thought and what uh, okay ask that question first.

Jason:

Well, um, so as, as I have been doing for the last couple of years, I have been putting books together cause I really enjoy it. I love the art. I've always loved the art of publishing. Um, and I feel there's nothing more gratifying than putting out a book of someone's poetry. In this case. I had been working on Train of Thought for awhile, so I said, you know what, I'm gonna, I'm gonna take this and I'm gonna, I'm gonna put it out myself. That way I don't have to deal with, um, you know, shopping it around to publishers. I can really use it as, um, something that, um, you know, I have full control over, you know, cause I think that's the best part. I designed it with the help of my friend TJ. Um, uh, and he did such a great job and thank you TJ for doing that.

Prof:

Um, you know, I, I designed the cover art. Yeah. Tj did the cover art. Yeah. Um, Tj has done a lot of this stuff for a, the Oddball Magazine. He's been my friend for like it feels like forever. Um, and Jake Tringali was, someone who, you know, we've had him on the show before. He, uh, he, uh, wrote me a killer quote for the back of the book and that was when I gave him an, an, uh, the first edition of the book. And since then I've edited, the edited down and took all the stuff out that needed to be taken out of it. I'm very proud of this book. I, um, I was able to really read it with an editor's eye, um, and take out all of the fluff, take out, um, all the stuff that I didn't like. And this book really tells a lot, I mean the second page of the book says Truth Be Told. And that was the name that I put on, um, the book that I was writing it in. on the train. And the best part about it is that this is a raw, rugged, maybe not rugged, that might not be the right word. It's raw. it's unscripted. It is difficult. It is, it is. Um, it is jarring to read. Um, and I think that might be the best part about this book is that it takes you from, from the, the first stop to the last stop and you're like, Holy Shit, I need to get off this train. And, um, and that's Train of Thought.

Prof:

That's well said. So that leads into my question is what, so, especially for somebody who is a poet who publishes regularly, who has his own magazine where he regularly publishes. So your poems are just, you know, weekly out, what is it that makes you A. want to publish a book as opposed to do that, you know, in a magazine form. What's the difference for you and B, how do you decide what goes into that book? What's the the, like, what's the test?

Jason:

What's the editing process? Right.

Prof:

What doesn't, what doesn't get in? What makes it work? How do you, you know, and it's kind of a wide question for anybody who publishes a poetry compendium or any kind of like collection, they don't really understand that process. I think it's very interesting because it's different than doing like a narrative. Like you're, you're, you're writing a novel, there's a story, you know, a certain amount of like, this is Harry. This is how you know, when you are done. How do you know when you're done with the poetry collection?

Speaker 6:

Well, Prof, um, the, the what, what I've noticed about, um, this book, the reason why it's not on the magazine is cause I wrote it down. I wrote it into, it was. This literally came from my notebook. If you were to look at my notebook that I wrote in 20, 2012 or whenever these books were written, I didn't change a thing. Um, every poem that was written in that book, no matter how bad it was, um, I wanted to show what it's really like for someone who is, uh, you know what it was like for me on the train. I wanted to show what that was like. Um, so all the poems that are on Oddball Magazine, on Jagged Thoughts, those come at different times. Um, but every poem I wrote in this book was written one after another from a notebook where I said it'd be a cool idea if the last line of the poem was the first line, was the title of the next poem. And I did that throughout the whole book.

Prof:

That's super interesting.

Jason:

...as much as possible. I did, you know, there was some I didn't. Um, yeah. And, and there's a lot of stuff that I, I mean I put myself out there. This is a raw look at, at my poetry. Um, I'm not really pulling a lot of punches in this book.

Prof:

Would you say that that's like the theme of the through line is like a, I know the train theme and I yes. Someone who used to ride the train a lot and uh, I like I used to write a lot on the train. It used to be and I don't know what it is about it. It was like solitude or the quiet or like the, I dunno, the concise amount of time. If you're riding from in Boston to anywhere out of Boston, like almost an hour, so like you have that amount of time to sit down and do some shit where nobody else is in your space. Uh, I don't know what it is about it, but I used to write a lot on the train too. But, um, uh, t

Jason:

There were times Prof when I love the train. There was times when I loved the train, when I had my headphones, when I had my headphones on and notebook and my my, my phone was fully charged and there was not many people on the train. I fucking loved going on the train. It was when my headphones broke. It was when my batteries died. That's when and, and, and like before I took my meds, you know, whatever, that's when it was difficult, you know, but when, when everything was running smoothly, you know, it was really a really great, great experience. For, you know, some, some parts of it, but also, you know, I was working at a job where I wasn't treated correctly. Um, they didn't, um, really support the fact that I had a diagnosis. Once I told my boss that I had a diagnosis, he totally treated me weirdly. Um, and, uh, I really had to hide that. So when I would get back from work, from, from, um, from, uh, the break, you know, like the lunch break, I'd put my headphones on. And that wasn't necessarily because I want to listen to music that was necessarily cause I couldn't stop. Um, you know, I was too affected. So, you know, so I mean, yeah, there was times when the train was good, but you know, for them, for them, you know, most of these poems, they were written. I mean, uh, I, this is a disclaimer at the very beginning of the book that says like, Hey, like these phones were written. Um, it, you know, they were written, uh, in, in the throes of anxiety you know, strap in. Um, so, you know, uh, and it's really, um, you know, uh, it was really a great, uh, experience to be able to, um, to be able to write it. So, um, yeah, so I think Prof, I, it'd be a good time right now, um, for me to break and do a, what's going on with Oddball Magazine. So, uh, I'm gonna try and do that right now. So, um, this is what's going on with Oddball Magazine for this week. Um, first off, uh, we, today we released the Train of Thought, um, a book that's available on Oddball Magazine, um, as well as the column, um, Jagged thoughts. The poem from train of thought was, um, called Same Damn Train Poem. Uh, and that was really great. Um, the, uh, and something that I wrote, the other poem, um, poems that were on the oddball magazine. Uh, it was a poem by Harry Ricardi with photography by, uh, Chad Parenteau released, uh, last Wednesday. Um, and we had the Secrets of Skinny People on Monday. We had Lizi Von Teig with with her, uh, uh, Feedback with Little Steven. Um, and we had, um, Flemmings Beaubrun. Uh, with his, uh, Epic Autism Review. Um, and yeah, that's basically what we had going on at Oddball Magazine. Um, and yeah. Um, I think it'd be a good time to, uh, to uh, take a break, uh, and um, go and we'll come back with the second segment. Um, so thank you all for listening to the Oddball Show. Uh, we are a uh, cool, um, podcasT that you can find on iTunes, TuneIn Radio, Stitcher Radio, um, and uh, all of your podcasting platforms. So, um, sit tight. We'll be back with segment two.

Prof:

Hey there all you mammals and martians. This is Prof from the Oddball show. If you've been tuning into our preposterous podcast and like what you've been hearing, why not pop over to iTunes and leave us a review? Itunes not your thing. Well then come on over and follow us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play music and Buzzsprout. Learn more about who we are @oddballmagazine.com and JPLimeproductions.com. Link up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. So this a tasteful yet inspiring postcard or just give us a Holler on your nearest CB radio, Good Buddy. On behalf of Jason Wright and myself, thanks for listening to the Oddball Show. And stay tuned.

Prof:

So that's what's going on with Oddball Magazine the dopest poetry magazine, this side of the Mississippi. Please go and check them out at oddballmagazine.com and keep up with them @OddballMagazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, anywhere else that people actually follow social media. Probably Snapchat, You guys on Snapchat, I dunno,

Jason:

Um, uh, that's a snapfact hashtag,. pound sign snapfact. We are not on Snapchat pound sign, snapfact..

Prof:

So that's a lot going on at Oddball Magazine. Uh, as happens here at the Oddball Show. Um, when we're, we're having a good time, we're having a good conversation. We ended up running right through the hour, so we're going to come back on a separate show, a separate guest lists show and talk a little bit about Blind Rhino, my music um project going on with D+, uh, the alt rock hip hop duo. You can find us at Blind Rhino on music, on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, uh, as well as YouTube and Soundcloud. Cause we just released our video for Circular Logic. Um, so you'd find that on youtube

Jason:

Circular Logic.

Prof:

Circular Logic. It's a pretty interesting video put together. I won't, you know, no, no, no spoilers, no spoilers,but, uh, we'll, we'll, I'll, I'll, it's a pretty interesting video, uh, unique, odd whatever you want to say. Um, but go check that out and we'll talk more in a later show about, about that project as a whole and what's coming next from us as a duo. We're trying to add to our particular brand of hip hop, but uh, no problem being pushed out by some good conversation about, um, about mental health here on both, on the Oddball Show at large and uh, in conjunction with the, with the NAMI walk as well as your, um, it's important to let our viewers know about your new book Train of Thought. So, uh, go. Definitely go check that out, buy that. Order it, download it, print it, give it to your friends, uh, Train of Thought. You will find it at oddballmagazine.com, one of the, uh, independent publishing productions from, from Oddball Magazine. I, hopefully there'll be a more of those because as a kind of press keep publishing aliive

Jason:

Yeah. I keep on, I keep on thinking that I'm just going to keep on going with this. I think, uh, I think Yep. Oddball Publishing, I think I'm going to, uh, put out, um, Stone Soups anthology next, um, Stone Soup as Chad Parenteau's baby that he's been nursing for so long and keeping going, um..

Prof:

A important part of the Boston poetry scene for sure.

Jason:

100%. And one of the best things about, uh, pro, uh, Chad is his dedication to the Boston poetry scene. And I would think it'd be cool idea, um, down the road if we put a little poetry anthology together of all the Stone Soup poets. Yeah. So, uh, that's the next, that's the next publishing venture for, for me. But yeah, right now we're, I'm going to be running with the Train of Thought for a little while. Um, and yeah, I don't know. I'm really excited about this one.

Prof:

Well, We will push it at JPLime and then then we'll share it over on our various social media networks. So uh Train of Thought, uh, uh, what's it called, uh, Poems From the Red Line, which are the red line. Anyone who's ever sat in the red line and is a writer knows that that is certainly the time to write. So Poems From the Red Line, it'll connect with you.

Jason:

Yeah, I think if anything, it'll connect with Boston T goers. Yeah. Also, there's a lot of, there's a lot of, uh, I don't know a lot of music references in the book, which I think a always lends, um, uh, some style to, uh, what I'm doing. And the cool thing about it is like, you can tell that I was listening to this when I wrote this and listen to this when I wrote that. So, um, there's a lot of references. So very proud of this book Prof. Um, I worked hard on it. I'm going to push it as much as I can. Um, and that being said, you'll probably be seeing more of me. I'm in the Boston poetry scene. Um, adds some more book events.

Prof:

Push it Push it, we will be there to support.

Jason:

Dude, you're the best.

Prof:

We'll do, I'll do a live podcast. You can perform and I'll just do it a live solo podcast that comments on it quietly like a golf tournament from the side. (whispering) And now Jason Wright approaches the mic. Oh Man. I think he's picking the three pager, the three page, the three pager, we'll do it and it'll be great. It'll be at the Starbucks. It'll be awesome. We'll charge tickets. Anyway. Um, so that's Train of Thought. Uh, Poems From the Red Line. Please go and check it out by it. Support local artists. always a, that is in addition to our, um, strong advocacy for mental health, mental health awareness, mental health, removing the stigma, change the language, all of that. Our other strong advocacy is for local artists. So please go and support the local artists. They need it. They, they deserve it. God dammit.

Jason:

Uh, local artists, local, a hip hop artist, local poets, local musicians.

Prof:

They're going out and they are entertaining and providing art and culture and real life stuff for you in front of you. So go and support them please. And buy this book anyway.

Jason:

And you know what Prof since it's, since the Internet is the internet is local. So we, so like basically, you know, you're a poet and artist and musician, a hip hop artist, we support you, you know, uh, you know...

Prof:

It's easier, they can be right in their community at home, in your, in your den. You can be part of this community is. Does anyone have a den, is that a 90's thing? Anybody have a den in their house?

Jason:

Ladeline?

Prof:

Yes. I feel like a den would be something that you'd have leather bound books smell of rich mahogany.

Jason:

What, is a den? Is that where you kick off your shoes when you first enter the house?

Prof:

It's like a library but for people who don't have a full mansion, It's where you go and read, but you don't, you wear a smoking jacket, but you don't,

Jason:

it's the nook.

Prof:

You drink scotch. I guess that's what you do in a den. Those who haven't tuned into the Ron Burgundy podcast, we're not, we're not actually the sponsors or anything, but like, you really should. It's really great. Yeah. Uh, and, and, and run Burgundy is one of the best, uh, journalists of his time.

Jason:

I did about a thousand of them.

Prof:

I don't know if you heard me counting, but I did about a thousand its boring, but it's my life.

Jason:

Thanks for tuning in. This has been the Oddball Show. This is what we do. Uh, this has been a guest list cast as we call them. Will we do them periodically just to check in with the very active artistic enterprises that are both Oddball magazine and JPLime Productions under JPLime Productions falls, this new music duo called Blind Rhino. So we will be telling you more about them in upcoming casts. Um, and there are all other kinds of RTC enterprises that were connected to that we like to support and push and that's how things happen. So, um, we are very glad to, to push anybody who wants to come on the show, come and talk about what, what you're doing, what you're working on. Um, we are the Oddball Show, we are a collaboration between Oddball Magazine and JPLime Productions. Please come on, follow us at our various social media networks @JPLime, @DrProfEsquire, uh@oddballmagazine, @Manthestorm, uh, @BlindRhinoMusic, now officially. Yup. On everything. On Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Man. I kept the shit so that it would stream across everything because there was, there was @BlindRhino on Twitter and Instagram. And the thing about trying to get one from like a dead account is it's impossible. You're not allowed to actually try to, to buy them from people. And the process of going about it is ridiculous. Not Ridiculous. It's difficult, but for lie a good reason. Like you don't want people to just buying accounts from people and then become, then social media becomes for sale and all that kind of shit. But uh, it is difficult to get an account from some, like BlindRhino on both Instagram and Twitter are not very widely used, but it was better for us to pick one that went across all and @BlindRhinoMusic is the one that fits so come find us on all on, also youtube and Soundcloud and Soundcloud. Right now is where is where you can find Mongrel. Our later additions as the uh, we'll be pushing them as we'll be selling through Bandcamp and shit, um, for the opening EP I just want everybody to have it. So come find us on Soundcloud.

Jason:

Nice. Everybody check out Blind Rhino on Spotify and a checkout a them on youtube and all of their..

Prof:

Correction. Not on, not on Spotify.

Jason:

You did say Spotify.

Prof:

Nope I said Soundcloud. Spotify is, we are not on Spotify.

Jason:

Oh, I thought you said Spotify.

Prof:

Nope I just wanted to all of our listeners to be well informed or you will not find us on Spotify. You may search anybody. That's probably a good band called Blind Rhino. Maybe, I don't know from the eighties or something. You might find somebody keep looking. You might find that like a playlist on Spotify called Blind Rhino, which is cool because it means somebody that has some good taste. I support the individual, but you won't find out yet soon you will find this on Spotify. Right? Right. Now you can find us on Soundcloud and Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Jason:

Nice Prof. Now, let me tell you, let me, let me ask you, what kind of music is Blind Rhino?

Prof:

Well, we like to call it a combination between hip hop and alt rock. So my buddy D+ plus plays bass guitar that is like his mainstay. Um, but he has diverse influences. So he like, uh, when he plays some of his solo stuff, it kind of errs towards like a, uh, uh, Beck kind of sound like very deeply produced and lots of layers and like a unique viewpoint. Um, and some of that bleeds into what he does as production. So that's him on beats and then some of the background vocals he's been doing now and then me on, on lyrics. So, so it's a duo and uh, it's, it's a, it's a lot of fun for me as an artist and very different from I've done before, but we'd like to call it some kind of combination between hip hop and rock. And he likes to think more alt rock. So nineties rock. Uh, I dunno,

Jason:

You know I would tell, I will tell anybody who, who is a fan of a, of Prof to check out his, his, his music is pretty awesome. And your style Prof is definitely unique and really, really well done. So, yeah.

Prof:

Cool. Thank you very much sir. I appreciate that.

Jason:

Absolutely. No, I mean, so I'm not bullshitting my friend. He is talented. Check them out.

Prof:

So that's Blind Rhino. We'll be talking about more about them in upcoming shows, but this has been the Oddball Show. Uh, thank you very much for tuning in. Please give us a review on iTunes, whether you like us or don't like us, whether you hate us or love us, whether you are kind of ambivalent and just like, Hey, I listened to them. I don't have an opinion. I'm going to write that down. That's still an opinion. So we'll take it, uh, please come follow us. Please come be part of what we do. Uh, art is all about community. So, um, thanks very much for supporting and we're going to close out the show with Jason's talk from the NAMI walk this past Saturday. Um, uh, thanks for tuning in, and I'm Prof this has been the Oddball Show.

Jason:

and I'm Jason and uh, if you, uh, stay tuned, you're going to hear, um, let me just set up for you. We will, uh, a live recording of the NAMI Walk from, um, 2019's NAMI Walk Massachusetts at Artesami Park in west, uh, in, in, uh, Boston Massachusetts. So check that out. We will be back in a few weeks. Uh, don't miss us too much. Find this on iTunes and stitcher radio and um, find this all on Facebook and everything. So we'll, we'll, uh, we'll see you soon. And I enjoy the, uh, live a speech that is gonna happen now.

News Reporter:

He is a certified peer specialist. He's also the editor and the founder of Oddball Magazine where his poetry column, Jagged Thoughts can be found every Tuesday. He also hosts the Oddball Show. It's a podcast and an active mental health advocate. He's also a great public speaker and a proud member of NAMI Mass. He also speaks as an In Our Own Voice presenter as well so, please give a big, warm welcome to Jason Wright.

Jason:

Thank you so much. how's everybody doing? Okay guys. This poem is called "A poem to Remember While Walking."

Jason:

Every time I get on stage I think of how lucky I am to be able to do this. Not this speaking thing. No, I wouldn't give up speaking out for the world, but no I am grateful that I am still breathing grateful that I made it through. For those of you who identify with having a diagnosis and for your friends and family, how did you make it through? Have you made it through? Do you have the support you need to put your best foot forward? Moving towards something that makes your life means something? If not, how do you get there? Let me tell you how I got where I am from the psych ward to the podium where I was before and where I am and where I would like to go. Believe me, it's not easy. Never has been. Never will. Life is a rocky road but you, you are resilient. Impart that word into your dialect, resilience, perseverance, steadfastness, stoic. Put those words into your conversations when you're talking with yourself. I don't need to know your disorder, your diagnosis, your illness, your condition. Maybe someone does. And yes you should know your disorder, your diagnosis, everything about you that makes you, you. Let me tell you one thing that diagnosis, of depression or ADHD, schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, BPD or schizoaffective, you're whatever, whatever it is that a doctor told you you were... behind, that there is a fighter behind that is courage behind that is strength. Those three words can get you far. Courage, strength, inspiration, aspiration for more, tenacity to make your goals, reality, empathy, whatever it is that makes your mood. So dazzlingly low or super high, empathy, how you identify. I say hold on to who you are. Don't let someone discount your experience if you heard voices and that is your reality. And I believe you cause I heard voices to the last time was the night of my nephew's funeral. Trauma will find its way to you. And when it comes stared in the eye and face it cause you got this.

Jason:

So a little about me besides being a poet and a podcast or I am a certified peer specialist for Riverside Community Care an absolutely wonderful agency. If you don't know what a certified peer specialist is, what that means is that you and I have lived experience as a peer specialist. I try to empower people to think beyond the diagnosis, but not every day is puppies and roses. I saw people that sometimes mental illness is just that an illness. Sometimes it's strong, sometimes it's my weakness. One of the best things about being a peer is being able to be a change agent. Being a change agent is amazing. Being able to literally change the landscape when the landscape needs pavement, but with every building you need a good foundation and I think it's when you decide to be more than just the patient,

Jason:

But I have support. I Have Lisa, I have my family, I have my friends, I have a clubhouse and I have peers, I have advocates, I have people like Eliza who believed in me. I have Chad who is a poet and my associate editor. I have Prof who I podcast with. I have the people I've talked to and you who are listening. This one thing I know in life is that I can't do it alone, but for many years I did until I found this community until I became a poet. But before that there was poetry and Oddball Magazine, which I still carry with me proudly. And thank you Chad for what we have done. Thank you Rob for Nevertown. The fourth issue and sorry, my friend that we had issues, but I'm so grateful for you, but as I got strong, as I found my community, as I started writing those poems, as I started writing songs, I suffered for a long time, but I don't suffer anymore or at least right now I don't.

Jason:

I rise above the pain. I try to, I know half the things in my brain are real and to the other thoughts, I despise you. You try to kill me on a daily basis, so many different two faced faces. You try to get inside my head and say I am worthless rhat the bottom is going to fall out from under me. My thoughts tell me that my purpose is clouded, making a mess of me, a little Imp of the Mind. getting by Bear Lee. Sometimes I have to look what I've done. Look at the music I've made, manthestorm. Look at the poetry community created and to that. I've done a lot and there's still so much to do and to that I say no, there's still a lot We the mental health, community have to do and continue to keep doing? I'm not being fake. This is not lip service. Empowered each other. Treat each other like sisters and brothers.

Jason:

Mental illness is too difficult to go through this alone, but because of my illness, my condition, my disorder, my whatever, I learned a few things and let me part the parties and let you in on them. One in four people live with this. The same thing that I got and then I might say, you got this. Give it all. You got. Take a shot. If you fail, get up. Try it again. I'm in your corner. I got your back. You can do this. What I'm getting at you. You are not alone. You have something that you can hold on to. It's called hope, a four letter word that makes the world beautiful. Yeah. My mind is F'd up I took all my jabs and uppercuts, people call me every word you can think of. Think of it. Half of them still do my mind is still does.

Jason:

If I hadn't walked 36 miles in mania, I wouldn't be up on this stage. And that's to say a few things about mental illness. Let's say top 10 best things about living with this

Jason:

one. Empathy. We all have empathy

Jason:

Two music. Music was made in mania.

Jason:

Three. Poetry, poetry saved my life

Jason:

Four. Solidarity to all the people who go through this.

Jason:

Five the community. Look around. We are doing it.

Jason:

Six peer support. That's my purpose.

Jason:

Seven Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Jimi Hendrix and other creators who are poets and artists.

Jason:

Eight Van Gogh, Monet's Water Lillies. Some of the most beautiful things were created in depression.

Jason:

Nine. Princess Leia who was a writer an advocate and a frigging princess.

Jason:

And 10 you, cause you got this.

Jason:

So everyone out there look to the person next to you. To the left and the right of you. They're probably your family. The ones who say good nights you. Maybe it's your club house friend or recovery partner or maybe you are alone, but you're not because this is a community. We are your friends and family. You are not alone. You can be whoever you want to be. You got this, I got your back and everyone here does too. Now let's enjoy this walk and go out and support NAMI.

Jason:

Thank you.

Jason:

Thank you

News Reporter:

Jason. Outstanding.

Prof:

Hey there all you mammals and martians. This is Prof from the Oddball Show. If you've been tuning into our preposterous podcast and like what you've been hearing, why not pop over to iTunes and leave us a review? I-tunes not your thing? Well then come on over and follow us on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play music and Buzzsprout. Learn more about who we are at oddballmagazine.com and JPLimeproductions.com. Link up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Send us a tasteful yet inspiring postcard or just give us a holler on your nearest CB radio good Buddy. On behalf of Jason Wright and myself. Thanks for listening to the Oddball show and stay tuned

Prof:

This is the Oddball Show, a podcasting collaboration from JPLime productions and Oddball Magazine.