Your sex is on fire

Unfortunately I had to hear this song again today. The last one I could stand before leaving the bar this early evening, having stopped up for a few drinks after my gym appointment. Decided to upload it since it’s left its mark plainly enough on my psyche.

Reflections during a sleepless Thursday morning

Felt compelled to upload that song from The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album.

“I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man…”

Probably not what most would expect coming from The Beatles.

That picture was by faile35 and his collection is available on DeviantArt. Just struck me as fitting.

I get it. Been a jealous woman myself. But I do actively work on that. Or at least try to. Primarily applicable when it comes to my romantic partners. Is it possessiveness? Sure. Which is natural. Can’t even comprehend the minds of people who are completely non-jealous. They must have been with their partners an awfully long time and be old enough to where they’re just not too concerned anymore. Otherwise I’d wonder if the person had a problem forming deep and close attachments and commitments. Because feeling possessive, to an extent, over the one you love is indeed a reflection of desire to maintain the bond and not have it disrupted.

Obviously there are other forms of jealousy, but tonight I’m thinking about couples.

That one was “Master and Servant” by Depeche Mode.

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Mid-week tunes (blasts from the not-so-distant past)

Cooked spaghetti and we watched a couple shows tonight. Went clothing shopping after work, which I do very infrequently, so that was a treat. Came across a great sale. And visited a chiropractor finally to learn what he thinks is wrong with my hip. I’ll chalk that up to being a fairly productive day.

Feels like a nice evening to unwind with some tunes…

Starting off with the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”:

Love that song. It’s been on my mind a lot in recent months for whatever reason.

Swerving on over to Rage Against the Machine’s “Renegades of Funk”:

Been into RATM since my teen years. I remember back during our freshman year (1999-2000) at college when my fiancee-at-the-time and I were enrolled in an Intro to Sociology course and our professor came in one day wearing an RATM t-shirt. Kind of blew our minds at the time because this particular professor was a disgruntled conservative-of-sorts who acted like he despised most of us students and our youth culture. Turned out that guy was a mixed bag all the way around. Not a happy dude though. But he was challenging and expected us to give a damn about soc or just leave. My future ex-husband and I both stayed and earned two of the few As he handed out that semester. He actually managed to run off nearly a third, maybe more, of the class before it was all said and done. An odd guy, difficult to describe. He could be highly critical, humorous, impassioned, down-to-earth, aggressive, contrarian. Apparently he was an alcoholic. He also was a married man and father who seemed perfectly willing to sleep with female students (or so he hinted to me in the checkout line one night while he was on a beer run — actually gave me his number). Kind of a disappointment in that regard, but at least I’d completed his course by then. So anyway, RATM is now forever linked up in my mind with that guy.  lol

It was then when I knew for certain that a Finance major wasn’t for me.  Sociology had always been my love, I just hadn’t known it by name yet. That surly professor demonstrated in my eyes that it’s not a field restricted to hippies and liberal elitists, nor should it be.  I consider myself lucky to have experienced a quality intro course on the subject.  yang

Anyway, back to tunes…

Probably my favorite song from RATM, “Killing in the Name”:

Speaking of the ’90s…here’s a blast from the not-so-distant past:

That was Tupac’s “Hail Mary” — a.k.a. worthwhile rap.

One I haven’t heard in a while, Tupac’s “So Much Pain”:

Another I like by him, “Thugz Mansion”:

Kinda funny how appealing these songs were for us in our youth and how they got ingrained to where they’re now a permanent fixture in my psyche. I know that song by heart. But like most Americans who got into listening to rap, I hadn’t grown up in an inner-city ghetto and know nothing of being shot at or arrested. And yet this song and others like it groove me.  *shrugs*

Westside Connection’s “Gangsta Nation”:

Probably the tribalism alluded to that’s most alluring. Like the attraction occurs on a sub-conscious, primal level. Hence why most folks, when asked, say it’s the beats that drew them in.

Just unfortunate that nearly all rappers alive today turned out to be ruled by money first and foremost. Sold out to Hollywood and corporate sponsors.

Here’s The Roots’ “Livin’ in a New World”:

If I had to make a list I’d rank that song in my top 10 examples of quality hip-hop.

Then there’s stuff like this:

That was Ludacris (feat. Mystikal and I-20) with “Move Bitch,” another I enjoy. It’s shallow and goofy and well-done — a good driving tune.

Another I can’t help but love is Old Dirty Bastard’s “Got Your Money”:

I’m the O D B as you can see
FBI, don’t you be watchin’ me

I don’t want no problem, cause I’ll put you down
In the ground where you cannot be found
I’m just Dirt Dog trying’ to make some money
So give me my streaks and gimme my honey

Radios play this all day every day
Recognize I’m a fool and you lovin’ me
None of you, nuh, better look at me funny
Nuh, you know my name now gimme my money

Looking out for love… tunes for the melancholic

Rough day. Woke this morning to a voice message from my best guyfriend saying he’d been taken by ambulance to the hospital earlier. Drove his mom home midday, then went back up and visited him a little later. Doctor’s thinking it’s severe food poisoning. Total bummer. He was super sick and is now staying overnight at the hospital. It’s worrying, though I’m sure he’s going to be okay now. Thankfully he has good medical coverage (that he’s forced to pay out the nose for, so it better be good). Poor guy. Hoping he feels better tomorrow.

My companion’s feeling under the weather as well and went right to bed after getting off work. And I got sick with what might have been a flu beginning on Jan. 2nd. Had the chills and was sweating — ugh, miserable for about 3 days. But been feeling better each day since. The word is something’s going around, with lots of locals claiming to have come down with something or other recently. At least it’s warmed up a bit outside over the last few days — screw negative temperatures, but 32 or above and I’m peachy. Still some ice in shadowy patches…

Nevermind. We’re not going to get bogged down on talk of the weather, dammit. Heh

Today I was thinking about one of Professor Anton’s recent videos where he talked about music’s power to make us cry. Seems he spoke of that back before, but it’s so true. He asked us to share examples of songs that get us to cry, and I posted this one:

That was Jeff Buckley’s heart-rending “Hallelujah.” Such a beautiful song with a bittersweet message. Always gets to me — it’s an expression of memories, stories of pained beauty. Bittersweet…sweet melody to a tune that leaves me cold afterward. Reminds me of the man who first introduced me to Jeff Buckley, not for the lyrics in that case, just that he had been 32 as well (my age now) and pretty depressed, drank way too much. But a hard worker and a skilled man. Pretty sure he hates me these days — haven’t talked to him in years, hasn’t replied to the couple of emails I sent. We met at a very weird time in my life…just a very awkward situation all the way around. But that’s rather melancholy to think back on. I’d kinda like to say to him that I’m sorry for having been a brat. Weird times. Growing up. Different life stages. But I gotta say, 32 on me today doesn’t feel nearly as old as he seemed to me back then. Whereas then I went expecting maturity, now I know better. ha

I kinda followed in his footsteps. Never wanted to, but kinda unintentionally did. Especially when it comes to living in a book-cluttered, smoky apartment. Trying to pull up out of some of what’s been going on and reasonably succeeding at present. Shortly before we cut off contact he’d gotten his third DUI, which got him jailed (but let out during the day on work release) and took his license, but it actually seemed to turn things around positively for that guy. His walking to work got him in shape, and he seemed in better spirits. Probably was best we cut off where we did, seeing as how I was about to head into a tailspin soon thereafter, due to my own bullshit, work and whatnot.

But one of the last things I remember him sneering at me was: “What would you know about depression?” And I just remember laughing at how ludicrous a statement that was. Sometimes it felt as if we never really knew one another, like we saw what we wanted to see at any given time, and not much else. Relative strangers who went bump in the night in our own way. We both held back quite a bit, almost as if we didn’t really want to know one another too deeply. A weird, on-and-off “relationship” (if one can really call it that) that began with my Lolita-esque pursuit of him, winding out into adult disconnectedness years on. Turned out to be just another experience along the way. He was an interesting character, to me anyway. Both good and bad.

He did introduce me to the music of Jeff Buckley and The Blind Boys of Alabama. Also brought author David Foster Wallace to my attention. Might’ve even first played Nina Simone for me. He played a lot of cool tunes I’d never heard before.

But anyway, Jeff Buckley also covered the song “Lilac Wine,” which is heart-breakingly mournful, though I still find myself gravitating more toward Nina Simone’s version:

Fucking pulls at chords in me every time I hear it. Came on in the car today and made me hum it all afternoon. That one’s a real doozy for me. So sad to think about your lover or loved one passing away and missing them. Tears me up just pondering that topic — my biggest fear is to be left behind by my loved ones all passing away before me.

Beautiful song though.

And now that I’m thoroughly distraught, I’ll post another song playing in my car today:

I wake up alone with it all
I wake up but only to fall

Just adore that song, “Big Love” by Lindsey Buckingham.

Another playing in my car currently that I’ve loved for a long time, David Bowie’s “As the World Falls Down” from the movie The Labyrinth:

My ex-husband and his friends used to be such big fans of that movie as teenagers, so he re-introduced me to it enough that I came to appreciate it also.

A song I’m surprised I haven’t shared on here before now, Everlast and Carlos Santana’s “Put Your Lights On”:

‘Cause there’s a monster
Living under my bed, whispering in my ear
And there’s an angel with her hand on my head
She say I got nothing to fear

Everlast came to me by way of my ex-husband also, back when we were dating and he was still in high school and the “Whitey Ford Sings the Blues” album had just come out. I remember us sitting out in his mother’s car listening to music for hours.

And now I’m in the mood to listen to ‘negro spirituals’, which I’ll start another post for.

Hurts me soul too

That was “Hurt Me Soul” by Lupe Fiasco, this being a song I stumbled across a little over a year back on Pandora Radio. Tonight it was chosen specifically due to its title.

Hurts me soul.

I hurt a bit lately. Changes. A couple current family-related concerns drudge up old memories and the blues. Drudges up some anger too. But whatcha gonna do? Can’t change the past. Just trying to keep managing the present as I go. Like my guy reminded me tonight, I do have most of what I ever wanted now, today. That being the love and company of my partner and support of close friends and Grandma, a non-corporate means of earning a living, keeping a roof over my head and food (and beer) in my belly, all the books I’ll ever have time to read, a reasonably well-behaved feline, a decent car, entertainment, freedom from participating in past lifestyle choices, etc. So why let the past poison the present? Well, that’s the tricky thing about our pasts…

It lives on in our minds, replaying bits and pieces triggered by whatever’s going on throughout each day. Smells, sights, similar circumstances, etc. The past doesn’t just fade away because we may will it to do so. And it never stops being a part of us. It’s what shaped and molded us, for better or worse — everything that occurred in the past and all the people we came into contact with interacted with the cores of our being and together helped chisel the art that is oneself.

Free will enters in to whatever extent, but is it not also influenced by the expectations of others? We certainly weren’t free to choose our families or the people we were tossed in with by them in our early years. And if you come up with any discipline you know you certainly weren’t free to interact in that environment and with those people as a free, autonomous agent. Resentments form and can simmer for years.

And then we hit adulthood and people expect you to flip a switch and turn off concern for all of that. Mine it for its good points and let the rest go. Spent much of my 20s trying to do just that. It was a worthwhile endeavor that taught me a lot about myself and others. Broadened my empathy for people I’d previously over-simplistically caricatured.

But I continue to struggle with the notion of forgiveness. It’s an Oprah-ballyhooed trendy idea. Forgive whoever who has wronged you so that you can feel better within yourself. You can release the anger and resentment and pain all on your own with no effort or apologies needed from the other parties. You can choose to not be controlled by your pain. You are responsible for your own feelings — no one else can make you feel anything. Those are the claims. Yeah, well, in case it needs to be said: it’s nearly all bullshit. It’s a guilt-inducing lie that tells the individual that they and their emotions can and do exist in a vacuum where they hold the reins and wield all of the power, independent of what others may do to us.

And it’s shit like that that makes me skeptical of the extremes people are willing to go to, in this case in the name of individualism. The notion of individualism taken so far as to expect us to behave as if completely atomized and capable of behaving with robot-like control over our minds and bodies is the talk of psychopaths, not ordinary people. Such cultural expectations would prove unsustainable due to the widespread psychological harm it would do. This damage arguably is going on already.

What a terrific performance by the Avett Brothers.

The tragedy of all that stated above is that more and more seem to be accepting Oprah and Co.’s logic, ignoring the reality that there remains a tension between each individual and all others they interact with, extending out to wider society and then to all of humanity. It’s a web, and it also stretches back in each one of our pasts to all interactions with others and our environments experienced before. Sounds abstract, but we intuitively understand this or at least behave as if we do.

People may want to argue that bringing in our connections with others is some sort of scapegoat in our attempt to deflect personal responsibility outside of ourselves, holding to the belief that we each possess ultimate power over our emotions and our lives and that those who can’t toe the line are just lazy and lacking in will power and therefore deserve to be miserable. But who do you figure they’re referring to in that last bit? Why, most of us, that’s who. Nearly anybody possessing a conscience and sentimentalities of the heart.

Some people want to talk nowadays as if everything ought to boil down to “logic” and “reason” and “rationality” and “proof” and “empirical evidence” and mathematics, but that’s only one half of life. If that’s the yin, where’s the yang? It’s in our heart-felt emotional lives, our connections with others, our families and clans of belonging, our impulses and creativity — so much of what makes life feel worth living. We are social beings first and foremost, which is to say that if logic gets in the way of that, we tend to stray from being too logical (always while convincing ourselves that we’re indeed very logical — when don’t we?).

I’d argue sticking with the “yin” described above and neglecting the “yang”-side of life will prove a serious detriment to humankind eventually, making it illogical in the end. It’s pandering to a life out of balance, and when scales are tipped too far one way they tend to ‘knee-jerk’ back in the opposite direction before settling out. It’s anyone’s guess how long it could take, this being a process that plays out on and on and on.

Individualism vs. collectivism is the great social paradox. It’s a tension that cannot be naturally resolved. Not that I see it as a problem necessarily needing some sort of permanent resolution. It’s just the way life is, and we experience it on many levels, from the political sphere on down to our interpersonal dynamics and the memories that spin off from that and follow us throughout our lives. We like to think we individually are so mighty as to not need help from others, but it is an illusion disproven from the moment of conception. No human is capable of being an island, not fully and completely. Adults who attempt it frequently wind up going mad with depression. We are social beings, first and foremost.

Our lives are woven in the fabric of this tension. We are products of paradoxes that we have little choice but to learn to live with. Because they belong to the designs of the natural world, the framework we are bound to exist within.

Brings to mind another funny paradox about living as slaves. Humans have enslaved one another for at least as far back as civilizations have existed and perhaps even before then. Slavery is probably what allowed civilizations to come into existence in the first place. Cheap expendable labor, freeing non-slaves up to tend to other matters, like sitting around theorizing. Slavery allowed the West to rapidly ascend, and it arguably formed the foundation for capitalism (though we don’t call it slavery anymore, preferring economic jargon that sounds more sophisticated and somehow less barbaric). Capitalism was special, though, in that it freed masters from responsibility for their slaves. No more needing to house or feed them, while still not being required to pay employees a living wage. It’s clearly evident this, at bottom, is a cost-cutting scheme dreamed up by masters-of-old.

But anyway, what’s funny is that slavery is what we humans are fighting to try to stay out of with one another, now taking the battle to the political arena, and yet without slavery ever having existed the world would look very different today. Most people would likely still be either farmers or hunters out of necessity, because people would have to pull their own weight as best as able. This means big, centralized civilizations would serve no function, and therefore wouldn’t have come into being. Rather than be slaves to other groups of people, all humans are left to contend with their dependence on nature, the ultimate slave master. People wishing to escape that reality wound up in no better position unless they belonged to the master class(es), oftentimes determined by technological advantage achieved off the backs of those previously conquered. And which is worse? In the end will we not wind up being forced to contend with nature as ultimate master anyhow?

Ah well. Strayed far off the original topic of guilt, resentment, family, and individual power to forgive and move on. How much power does one individual possess, and does that amount of power fluctuate throughout our adulthood? Can we always help weak or tormenting spells, and should we always try to stomp them out? Do they not potentially provide value as well in allowing us time to think and ponder and rehash and soul-search?

Which brings me to the thought that initially inspired me to blog this evening: I am a soul; I have a body. This came to me after reading the titles of a couple of videos by atheists disputing the idea of people possessing souls. They say there is no evidence that souls exist, and I can’t help but chuckle. None of us really understand what a soul is, and how can we? It’s understood intuitively as representing our essence, of which our body is the vehicle. How might someone convince a skeptic of this truth? Probably can’t, because it’s not of the realm of science, at least not at this juncture. I suppose it doesn’t matter much what others happen to think on this topic — at least not to me. It’s not even a subject we can wrap our feeble languages around, let alone hope to prove or disprove.

So I continue on in speaking and thinking as I do on that. And today I am aware of suffering within my spirit. It began with a memory popping in mind first thing this morning, and more reflections followed as the day wore on. It happens. Even if I could fully forgive everything, I can’t forget. Beyond that, I’m not convinced everyone deserves forgiveness, particularly those who never ask for it. Maybe on some level it becomes the right thing to do, just to release the situation and let it rest as what has already come before. But a desire to stay the hell away from certain people seems unavoidable as well as healthy in plenty of cases. And then there’s grief over what’s been lost or broken, that being a tough pill to swallow and simply accept. To say that we can and should simply exercise our power to repress and move on strikes me as shallow and non-introspective, and in people who aim to do this I’ve witnessed the pain popping up later in life and dismantling their present. So it seems to me something we can’t simply walk away from and ignore but rather must go through and out the other side of, however long that may take.

But what does one do if stuck? I guess that’s where will power must come into play. If I will not direct myself, others may try to use me to serve their own ends, or I may be abandoned by those who lose faith in the health of our connection, and I wind up a slave to circumstances then.

Harshly put, Firefall. Noted.

… All is easier said than done.

… Is it really coming down to picking our preferred form of slavery?

Just thinking out loud again.