set to music
how right she was
in that sweet sway
breast to breast and
leg to leg
sin comes into its own
if you have never
you cannot imagine
the sheer voluptuousness
the light touch
palm to palm
wool and silk
mixed below the waist
your partner’s warm breath
on your neck
the strength of the man
the yielding of the woman
so unspeakably sweet
he moves toward you
you back away
he pursues you
and with the faintest
you encourage him
and watch the blood
rush to his face
not a word is spoken
no one sees this
although it’s done in public
in full sight of everyone
and touch again
in time to the music
without thinking of your body
in that gentle
one two three
in the western
-Mary Mackey “My Methodist Grandmother Said“
Here’s a funny thing I’ve noticed about music with vocals — most songs were written after dancing to an instrumental. Break ups, heartache, affairs, unrequited love, pain, that’s the foundation of much art. Not all of it, there are outliers, but even they are often on the arc back up after a suffering.
For example, here’s some dubstep *shields face as objects begin to magically fly through comments section*, music ostensibly played for purposes related to dancing, that isn’t happy at all. That could be the fault of Skrillex whose primary function seems to be dialing fun down a notch.
This song rocks, but is lyrically despondent.
Pendulum – Crush
Slow, pulsating rhythms suggesting the delectable; words suggesting the dance may almost be over.
Alpines – Drive
In other words, nothing good ever comes from music and dancing, so turn it up to eleven and put on your dancing shoes. It is the weekend.
What do you do if you’re beyond peak fertility, you drop ten large on science, and your wife ends up with two pre-humans instead of one?
A. Flip a coin on their behalf. Kill the loser
B. Give one away
C. Be happy
D. Feel despondent and write a sandy-vagina paean to solipsism on Huffington Post
To say we’re excited would be an exaggeration. More truthfully, we’re pissed. And terrified, and angry, and guilty, and regretful. Why regretful? Because we brought this on ourselves. This is what we wanted, so to speak. . .
Two blessings, two bundles of joy. How could you not be happy, you ask? Of course I’m sympathetic to people who can’t get pregnant, or who spend a couple of years trying IVF after IVF. But having kids is a selfish endeavor, and in these cases it’s all very relative and highly personal. In our case, my wife and I know better than to think that life with three children is going to be perfect. . .
With four months left to go, I’m not sure what stage we’re in at the moment — but it’s not acceptance. My wife and I even both privately admitted that we don’t like the new children, which is of course insane. Excited? We’re not there yet. Terrified? Yes, when we’re not practicing denial.
They say the most important thing is the kids’ health — but what about ours?
With every pregnancy, I asked the techs, nurses, and doctors numerous times to confirm there was only one heartbeat. When I received visual confirmation, I gave high fives all around. I’ve been around multiples; I’m not jelly.
But damn, man.
Kids are not just a bullet point on your life script. You cannot really plan them, even when you drop $10,000 for the opportunity to get the vapors. They’re people. But they’re really small and malleable. They’re generally not frightening. You don’t even have to like them. They may turn out better if you don’t.
But what about the parents’ mental health? We have to assume the author is referring to mental health because other than the increased frequency of blows to the balls, kids aren’t detrimental to physical health. Well, kids aren’t for everyone, but if you’re going to shell out much cash and devote that much effort to having one, then you should probably not be the baby in the equation. Rub some dirt on it and stop whining.
All that is immaterial though. Kids aren’t frightening, but I wasn’t wholly truthful when I wrote that. The prospect of children is frightening as hell. What separates us as humans is that some of us keep that shit to ourselves. We definitely don’t whine about how angry we are or how junior is the wrong sex or how the little demon spawn is derailing our carefully laid plans.
In an age where the self is supreme, babies are about us. They’re only people in the sense that Soylent Green was people. They exist to amuse us, to complement us. They’re little signals of what good people we are.
So tell me how this isn’t going to suck.
Stop being a solipsistic prick who thinks he can control everything and start learning to enjoy the unpredictable, that’s how. Otherwise, it is going to suck and it will be your fault.
Time to close some tabs.
This guy is a horrible father.
Little One, your only task is to know deeply in your soul — in that unshakeable place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego — that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)
If you can trust your worth in this way, you will be attractive in the most important sense of the word: you will attract a boy who is both capable of interest and who wants to spend his one life investing all of his interest in you.
George Costanza – Sexual Camel
Mr. Mower tracked their sex life in a notebook he kept in his nightstand. He drew a chart and filled in different-shaped dots to represent various scenarios: He initiated sex but was declined. They planned on sex but didn’t follow through. They actually had sex. Mr. Mower says he was rebuffed 95% of the time; his wife says his memory is highly subjective. He became grumpy, gained weight and stopped wanting to come home at night. “For me to feel good about myself, I needed her to have sex with me,” he says. “Otherwise I thought she didn’t love me.”
There was a miscarriage, so the initial decline wasn’t malicious, but I personally would never make it over a year. There’s also an interesting reversal of the script in that the article highlights that sex is emotionally important to men.
Marriage affects policy preferences and how one wants society to function? Unpossible.
Similarly, a problem with conservative models in an age where we are not bound by religion or tradition is that they view life solely as a series of transactions. Humans are more complex, they crave transformation.
Finally, is tradition a prescription or an ethos?
George Jones has departed this earthly stage.
George Jones, the definitive country singer of the last half-century, whose songs about heartbreak and hard drinking echoed his own life, died on Friday in Nashville. He was 81.
His publicists, Webster & Associates, said he died at a hospital after being admitted there on April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.
Mr. Jones – nicknamed Possum for his close-set eyes and pointed nose and later No-Show Jones for the concerts he missed during drinking and drug binges – was universally respected and just as widely imitated. With a baritone voice that was as elastic as a steel-guitar string, he found vulnerability and doubt behind the cheerful drive of honky-tonk and brought suspense to every syllable, merging bluesy slides with the tight, quivering ornaments of Appalachian singing.
Before the days of pop music with fiddles, country musicians were maniacs. Sure, Led Zeppelin trashed some hotel rooms and there was the fish incident, but Jones could tell stories of getting coked up and shooting from the window of his tour bus. That’s next level. I’ve snorted plenty of coke, fired plenty of weapons, and ridden in plenty of cars, but l never thought to combine them into a Darwin Award-defying reckless trifecta.
Such days are gone, for both me and the country music scene. Now it’s socially conscious hipsters worried about organic food, bigotry, or whatever the squirrel of the day is.
There is still Newton’s third law and the law of conservation of energy. That is, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change forms.
The glass isn’t half-empty, it’s half-full and what it’s half-full of is bourbon. The bar is fully stocked. Pull up a stool.
Yesterday’s post on role model/poet/future motivational speaker Rebecca Martinson reminded me of my own early college years. I was never in a fraternity, but had many friends who were. My primary crew, though, was a group of stereotypical nonconformists. There was some overlap, but generally the nonconformists detested the Greeks. It wasn’t a targeted dislike focused on individuals; the system and its corrupting power was the problem. And soccer is cooler than football, plus the patriarchy or something.
The mid-’90s in my small southern college town were mostly aesthetically heterogeneous. Sure, there were outliers, but whole body tattoos and copious amounts of shit inserted into the face weren’t very common. The internet was barely a newborn and thus unable to foster asynchronous bonds for fringe types. Also, everyone was smoking weed; on occasion I’d buy sugar cubes from a friend in the fraternity house and then sell them to hippies. Talk about inversion, but I digress.
On the whole, though, the nonconformists appeared more diverse. Hippies hung out with punk rock kids; minimalist fledgling hackers with rave kids and their ridiculously wide pants legs. Beneath the veneer — rigid groupthink, which explains why corporate diversity tutorials are so silly.
The Greeks had their norms, but were less concerned with lockstep agreement and thoughtcrime. Visually, they looked similar, as tribes are wont to do. Philosophically they were all over the place. In fact, they were quite tolerant and accepting.
Both of these observations come into play in Rachel Haywire’s The Counterculture is Better in the Suburbs. (She also touches on why nonconformists norms are so rigid — a created culture apart from the dominant requires rigid governance — but that’s not the purpose of today’s rambling.)
In San Francisco, there were crazy people everywhere and it was the utopian dream. For several years I was born again. The freaks were everywhere and I united with my people at last.
So what happened? I gradually started to notice that people in the mass counterculture were as blind as “the sheep” only they were conforming to a different set of social norms.
This blindness wouldn’t be problematic were it not often coupled with personality types that crave power and influence. Then things get Orwellian and dogmatic belief in recycling and redistribution are classified as open-minded while those who challenge the official narrative are branded as closed-minded rubes. This is made doubleplus ungood when the open-minded types convince themselves that the object of power isn’t power and that they are genuinely dispassionate weighers of facts instead of anarcho-fascists.
Language is a clumsy weapon, but in the hands of an expert wielder it can be made slightly less so. Instead of ingroups and outgroups—certainly instead of tribes, which do not allow us so much as a descriptor for the foreign—we can speak of thedes and elthedes. . .
Thedes are defined by their thede identity, their thedishness, and in opposition to elthedishness; but these are not two separate phenomena, but one with multiple facets. Brahmins are intellectual—but intellectual unlike Vaisyas and Dalits. Vaisyas are hard-working—but hard-working unlike Brahmins and Dalits. Dalits are fun-loving—but fun-loving unlike Brahmins and Vaisyas.
Without culture, there is no counterculture. Without norms, no nonconformists. Without anarcho-fascists, no renaissance?
Occasionally, a light will shine forth from the darkness and brighten the corners. As the illumination moves beneath rarified vulgarity, truths break free and contrast with destructive nonconfrontation.
Of course, this is about Becca.
She’s so insane. So deranged. So in need of a severe beating at the hands of the sensitivity trainers.
She had the audacity to expect that her sorority sisters be active participants in an organization they voluntarily joined. She demanded girls be gregarious at social outings with their social club.
Oh the horror, the humanity, the faux outrage. Becca confirms every horrible suspicion that the kids not at the cool table had about the cool table. The cool table is about rigid conformity. The not cool table is about inclus—oh my God is that a pair of Topsiders instead of black boots?!?
It’s almost as if Becca was lashing out against solipsistic entitlement itself. And in the process, feelings were hurt. Surely we can agree that no emotional owies is a unifying group ethos, one that transcends our various cliques and provides the uber conformity to which we all yield.
But we all know that isn’t the truth. So Becca, you magnificent creature, as you stare down the marauding sensitivity brigades and their collective calls to apply salve to the owies, stand firm and offer the only reply appropriate to this teapot tempest.
Tell them to rub some dirt on it.