Alive Inside: The Power of Music

Alive Inside (2014) is the stirring account of Dan Cohen, founder of the non-profit organization Music & Memory, struggling against a broken healthcare system. Along with independent documentary film-maker Michael Rossato-Bennett, they demonstrate music’s ability to reverse memory loss– restoring dignity & sense of self. [all pics google]

Dan Cohen

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) is characterized by cognitive impairment. Agitation is a symptom in 70%-90% of those afflicted with advanced stage ADRDs.  This interferes with care delivery and social interaction, ultimately destroying their quality of life.  It is a huge problem facing human society, and like most other issues facing humanity, it’s growing worse daily– as illustrated by the graph below:

Growing Elderly Population

It should come as no surprise that geriatric healthcare providers suffer some of the highest rates of career burnout.  Burnout is a multi-factorial phenomenon, involving environmental, personality, and profession-related factors. Research shows risk for burnout in geriatric healthcare to be between 25-75%, depending on the study– with a likely overall average near 50%.  [1]

The problem of elderly care is fundamentally capitalist.  As explained in the film, “A doctor can write a prescription for a $1000/month anti-psychotic drug, and it’s no problem. But a patient getting reimbursed for a $40 iPod, as medical therapy, is next-to-impossible…nursing homes have become a shotgun marriage of poorhouses & hospitals.”

This is an accurate description and explains their motivation to over-medicate.  It pays-off the big pharmaceuticals, while turning those afflicted with ADRDs into vegetated zombies. These sedated ‘living dead’ are easier for staff to manage, and easier for corporations to milk for insurance profits.  Half the patients in U.S. nursing homes receive no visitors.

The WebMD tagline is “Better information. Better health.”   Their recommended therapies for ADRDs are:  anti-psychotics (major tranquilizers), benzodiazepines (psychoactive hypnotics) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (anti-depressants); all of which are highly toxic, with serious side-effects. These drugs were never meant for use on geriatric patients, and yet today they are the standard-of-care for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

WebMD covers its ass with this blurb (& qualifier) at the end of its ringing pharmaceutical endorsement, “The FDA has placed a ‘black box’ warning on these drugs describing these problems. They can be helpful for many people, though.”

Such is the cruel logic of healthcare under capitalism.


Individualized music as an alternative therapy for agitation in ADRD, involves carefully selected music, based on the person’s lifetime preferences. The easiest way to do this with anyone is to determine their years in high-school. The popular music from that era will usually be their favorite, or at least an excellent starting point.

Watch what familiar music does to 94-year old “Henry” in this clip from Alive Inside:

For this therapy to be effective, it needs to be individualized music.  Research shows “a significant reduction in agitation during and following individualized music, compared to classical music. This study expands science by testing and supporting a theoretically based intervention for agitation in persons with ADRD.” [2]

Why does individualized music work?  Because music evokes emotions that bring back memories. Any time we remember something, we are actually recalling where we were when we learned it.  When we hear a favorite song from the past, we are instantly transported back to that time & place in our minds.  No other medium has that power, and PET scans prove it scientifically.

PET scans: Brain on Music

The musicality within all of us is innately human, as chimpanzees don’t have this primal need to connect with other chimps through music.  Our musicality remains one of the last areas of the brain affected by ADRDs.  Music is a portal to reach people who have slipped into vegetative states, who are otherwise unreachable.

Artists & songwriters understand this better than anyone.  They create music for people to enjoy, because it connects them with others.  Their music IS the culture, and it’s power to communicate & heal will remain as long as human society exists.

      1. Money Bug - Ric Size



Johns & Baller Bitches

Warning: this piece contains obscenity, along with explicit sexual discussion. 

The Urban Dictionary defines a baller bitch as a vixen, not to be messed with.  Included in this definition are rapper girlfriends, athlete’s wives, and other forms of gold-diggers who insist that women should always use sex as a weapon. This ultra-modern form of something that has always existed in human society can be roughly correlated with the rise in salaries for movie, television, music & sports celebrities in the 1990’s.  Everyone follows the money.

I’ve slightly edited for concision, clips from the Female Baller’s Handbook (2008), an online advice piece by Ronnell Coombs– a self-acclaimed expert in the field [pictured below].  Inserted in italics are my responses, as needed.

Ronnell Coombs

I consider his ‘guidebook’ to be a valuable first-hand account on the subject, much more raw and to-the-point than 99+% of the feminist drivel whose purpose is to deflect, apologize and mislead its readers– by never identifying the class roots of the problem.  Women are encouraged to holdout on sex, in exchange for financial security.  This is meant to favor powerful men who can afford it, but in fact, it degrades the value of ALL women & men.

Baller Bitches

Ronnell Combs:  The baller-bitch priority system is simple. You need a good job and a side hustle, which must have potential; for real cash. You need cash for freedom of movement, allowing a greater pick of men, opportunities, work schedule, and recreation. [p.3]

Ric Size:  This is the living definition of high-maintenance working girl.

RC: You must understand the superficial nature of people. Be extra careful to control what other people see when they look at you. [p.15]

RS:  This is the definition of a viper; and of course, they are trained to be suspicious of anyone else maintaining aspects of their own privacy.

RC:  You have to grind your way out of the hood. The formula is clear-cut. You either need a dead-end job, and a super side-hustle, or a career in which you can climb the corporate ladder. The last option, of course is to ‘get in the mix’ and seduce a rich man. The last option is the hardest. [p.23]

RS: …but the most worthwhile.

RC:  You will have male fans at the corporation. If they are of equal rank, be nice to them; but avoid fucking them. They are of equal rank; thus they can’t take you to the next level. When you surpass him in rank, you can afford to shit on him, but not now. [p.26]

RS:  It’s like that with everybody in corporate.

RC:  When a man of higher rank wants to get with you, you are in a tricky situation. You’ll be some form of ‘office groupie’ if you play it wrong, and a high-powered vixen if you play it right. You need to play it right. Size the guy up. Peep to see if he has real power, or just a fancy title. Find out if he’s married. Peep his movement. Smart women will mislead you in order to get ahead. Women are rotten & cut-throat when it comes to powerful men. Never forget that. Disguise this conversation as business talk. [p.26]

RS:  Successful straight men are always targets for a well-laid pussy trap.  It’s a refined operation on all fronts. 

RC:  The guy’s primary interest is getting into your panties.

RS:  What’s wrong with a fling, as long as it’s safe & between consenting adults?

RC:  However you are going to make him psychologically think you are his dream wife. You are thinking business first, all along. He’ll usually invite you on a bullshit date. The stage is usually set for him at this point. You have to play this shit out with a smile on your face. Be charming, pick his brain, figure out his interests, and get into his routine. Figure out where his wife and baby mama went wrong. You should be a bag of excitement one day, but let him see you are knee-deep in a business project the next day.

RS:  Which is why so many men don’t date anymore– they are tired of being jerked around with this shit.

RC:  When you help him with his projects, make sure he gets ALL the credit. This is something 98% of bitches won’t do. Play the game!  Little does this guy know that he is going to help you get that promotion! [p.27]

RS:  Men need to be pandered to, because they are weak-minded.  Women don’t need any credit at work, because their primary value is fucking.  Every time RC writes: “he/him/his” or “guy/man”, he really means “wallet.”  This pimp knows his business.

RC:  When you do have sex with this guy, you have to turn him out. You have to lick the balls, lick his ass, kiss toes, take it up the ass, drink cum, and be a fucking acrobat. This guy has to be convinced that this is the best sex he’s had in his life. When you are a great businesswoman and a perfectionist in bed, you will cloud a guy’s judgment.  Get business handled.  A pussy-whipped guy will do anything to control you. You have to allow him to see that power impresses you.  Don’t let love or romances cloud your judgment. [p.28]

RS:  I must admit the sex sounds intriguing, but that attitude is about as cold-blooded as it gets.  Boys, is it really worth it?   You’re looking for a good time and perhaps romance if it vibes right, while she’s a professional– playing for keeps.   Note: if you don’t have money, you’re not considered to be in her league, so forget it.

RC:  Baller-bitches believes that men are dogs, but they are master dog trainers. [p.32]

RS:  Men believe that baller bitches are glorified prostitutes, with a stable of rich johns wrapped around their pussies. It’s impossible to believe they are actually happy, fucking these really gross guys in exchange for gobs of money.

RC:  There are times when you have to smile in the faces of people you don’t like… stroke an over-inflated ego… and pressure people into helping you. Stay focused on the future. Baller-bitches made it to the top because they made business sacrifices that hood-chicks weren’t willing to make. They live in penthouses, have fleets of luxury cars, and travel the world because they are sleeping with richer, smarter, more useful men. [p.34-5]

RS:  After years of living among the jet-setters, how many of these girls become burnt-out junkies?  How can this be considered a good model for young women to follow?

Three Vipers

RC:  I must admit since I wrote this book, I’m not surprised with myself every time someone who read it expresses to me the impact that it had on her life. I wrote this guide to help Black/Latina women improve their wealth status. The ones who have read it are doing exactly that. I’m grateful that I was able to help all these women be better equip to navigate [sic] through the waters of life. [author note on goodreads]

RS:  Helping anyone in need is noble, but if the ‘helping’ spirit is misanthropic, it becomes destructive to everyone. What RC has outlined is nothing new, except for the modernized ghetto vernacular and fresh pseudo-science, all to justify this pimping. In the end, it adds up to no love (or even orgasms) for women, who must whore themselves– always. For men, it means a lifetime of vacillating being tricked as johns, and being lonely.

RC:  Female ballers have a clear understanding of the money game, and are guilty of acting as if they are better than the average woman, BECAUSE THEY ARE!  A female baller is good-looking, financially secure, cunning, energetic, passionate, ruthless, well-read, well-versed, extremely manipulative, consistent, well-organized, ambitious, and will fuck a man’s head off. They are the ultimate vixens, who have mastered the art of “bitchiness.” [p.2]

RS:  They are actually the ghetto feminist version of a whore. Their ’empowerment’ is that they get to be their own pimp.  Ronnell Coombs, and the rest of his ilk need to be pushed into the light with his colleagues & supporters, so the rest of us can get a better look at their inhumanity, which is debasing society.

There are those of us (men & women) who refuse to play this game anymore, but we are still in the minority. The rest are caught up in this social pathology, with no avenue towards real happiness. Today in the U.S., most marriages have failed, or are failing. The dating industry/scene (, etc…) is a multi-billion dollar wasteland of phoniness & hustling.

Men resist commitment because they fear being trapped. This fear is real. I speak for myself (and other real men), who firmly reject these efforts to dehumanize us. Real men are in control and recognize this hustle before it gets through the door. We are assertive & charming in business & social settings, perfectly content to take care of our own business, until the time a real woman appropriately presents herself.

The issues here are not about men/women, black/white, or gay/straight; but of social class.  It is social inequality that is encouraging women from desperate upbringings into this form of prostitution.  The elite class of men who can pay for these women end up feeling just as miserable, lonely and rejected as those who could never afford these luxury items.

Despite what the ‘experts’ may say, we owe it to ourselves as human beings to treat each other better than this, but that will only happen after social inequality under capitalism is abolished by a worker’s revolution.  A free & equal society, that no longer tolerates misery & prostitution, can only exist under socialism.


Fully Covered 2

Graham Parker 1

07  Storm Inside My House– Minutemen
08  Fake Friends– Joan Jett
09  Planet of Sound– Pixies
10  What Goes On– Velvet Underground
11  Good Ol’ Boys– Waylon Jennings
12  Wipe Out– Surfaris
13  It’s So Easy– Guns N’ Roses
14  12XU– Wire
15  Well– Captain Beefheart
16  Clear Head– Graham Parker

Joan Jett 2

Waylon Jennings 2

Ric Size: guitar, vocals, & photos

Captain Beefheart 2

Recorded December 03, 2015 @ the Last Minute

Last Minute Recording

Produced by Tomp

Velvet Underground 4

These covers were learned (mostly) from pre-Internet music magazines, guitar tablature songbooks & online tabs.

Surfaris tab 1

Guns 'n' Roses 1

Other songs were transcribed using a revolutionary method called the Think System.

Pixies 1

If you think the Pixies in A– then you can play the Pixies in A.

Wire 1

Minutemen 2

This completes a project, whose purpose was to define influences for fans while highlighting (mostly) under-represented artists.  It is obviously also an attempt to tap into their fan bases.  This is approximately 20% of my cover-list.

Fully Covered 2: Playlist

Both of us at Infinitelink & Last Minute Records wish everyone a Happy Holidays!!


Fully Covered

These are acoustic solo covers, which you never hear in coffee houses.  Infinitelink Records doesn’t own the rights to any of these songs, so they are distributed as videos on our ILR YouTube Channel, for your personal enjoyment.


01 Bootleg– CCR
02 New Radio– Bikini Kill
03 Radio Friendly Unit Shifter– Nirvana
04 Silver Rocket– Sonic Youth
05 Green Eyes– Husker Du
06 Down Payment Blues– AC/DC

Bikini Kill 1

Nirvana 1

Recorded 11-16-15 @ the Last Minute
Ric Size on guitar & vocal
Produced by TomP

Sonic Youth 3

Husker Du 1


Last Minute Recording