One of my greatest pleasures in life is listening to music.
All kinds of music.
I collect CD’s, LP’s and cassette-tapes. I even have a few of those old reel-to-reel tapes. Those are so damned expensive, however, that I can not justify collecting them. Still – they are wicked cool!
As a natural consequence of this, I have poured more time, money, energy and love into my hi-fi setup than I am willing to admit. Unless there is torture involved, I suppose. In 2019 I spent more money on a tape-deck than any reasonable person ought to spend on a tape-deck in the current year. There is something special, something remarkably precious about cassette-tapes that I struggle to put it into words.
Of course, it is antiquated and old-fashioned and not in the least bit practical when compared to streaming. And that is where the charm lies. Listening to music becomes something more when one has to deal with the physical medium as opposed to merely clicking on something on a screen. It adds something extra, as it becomes a ritual in itself.
However small and insignificant that ritual may be.
The fact that I am fascinated by and thoroughly enjoy mechanical contraptions and analogue gizmos also factor into it, of course.
In a time, place and culture in which rituals are eroding and disappearing beneath our very feet, I find this small ritual – removing the disc or tape from the packaging, placing it in the tray, pressing play and all that stuff – to be remarkably important. It adds a certain layer of authenticity to the enjoyment of music that is not replicated in any way by streaming. Streaming feels very synthetic, very cookie-cutter, very lifeless in comparison. I hardly ever listen to only one song on an album. When I listen to music, I go for the whole damned thing, from beginning to end. As such, I don’t often remember the titles of individual compositions. I enjoy and remember the album as a whole; as the sum of its parts, not its individual parts. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but generally that’s how it goes.
The convenience of streaming brought us a whole slew of one-hit wonders… of daft one-click pieces of music which does not work together as a whole… created and composed to be the one and only the one and then onwards to the next.
I think there is a tyranny of immediacy in our cultures; everything has to happen instantaneously, to be hastily forgotten when it is done as we move over to the next instantaneous piece of entertainment, whichever entertainment that may be. Hastily picked up and then tossed aside and forgotten because we need to hastily pick up something new. There is very little lingering enjoyment, very little patience, very little ability to concentrate and focus left. It is all dwindling, eroding, disappearing. There won’t be many classics made in our age, be that in the form of music or movies or whatever piece of art. Because everything has to be so quick, so instantaneous, so immediate that very little thought and love and passion goes into it. For lack of time and patience and concentration.
Ours is not a very patient culture, not a very focused culture. This is seen in everything, from the 24-hour news-cycle to the demands that change – any change – need to happen instantaneously. It can not be pondered and considered, it has to happen at the instant the thought crosses ones mind. Otherwise, the thought, the proposition, the whatever, may be forgotten. Or at least the immediate outrage will evaporate as a new outrage takes its place. Making us wonder if it really was that important to begin with. But, ah, well, gotta fight something and get our knickers in a twist about something, ya know. If one can not get up in arms over something so that other people can bask in the glow of ones moral superiority, so that other people can fawn and sweat and fall to their knees and praise one for being so damned righteous and virtuous, there is not much left to live for. At least it appears like that. No values, except the immediate outrage.
“That is not fair – it has to change”.
How so and why and where and when?
“Dunno. Gotta change though. I feel temporarily upset and so very literally triggered.”
If one is not careful and thoughtful about this tyranny of immediacy, of the stopwatch, of the constantly churning wheels and cogs of the immediate and immaculate outrage, the one-click wonder-hits, the endorphine-fuelled righteous anger over this and that and all the other, one becomes caught in it. Like flies in the spiders web. It is very easy to fall into these traps without being aware of it.
As one would expect, putting time aside to listen to music is incredibly important to me. It is remarkable how much of an effect it has on my psychological health, on my emotional well-being. Turn on, tune in, drop out. Until the album is done. And the world rears its stinking head again.
In some way, I suppose, it could very well be considered a form of meditation. Which, I would dare say, goes for most hobbies or past-time activities.
We often hear professional athletes, for example, talking about “getting into the zone”. This “zone” is a mental place – maybe even a spiritual place – where nothing exist but oneself and whatever one is doing at the moment. The Tao is not to be trifled with, the zone is not a gift to be tossed aside, the flow is phenomenal, the present moment is the only moment.
It is an incredible place to be. When one manages to reach it… it is indescribable. When I get a good flow in my writings, ramblings, rants and ravings for example, or in my drawings, that is where I am. Nothing else matters, and nothing else exists. Until my dogs want cuddles, that is.
This happens whenever I have the opportunity to be alone and listen to music; I find myself in this sort of strange dreamlike, trance-like state… as though I am teetering between being asleep and being awake. It is an incredible experience; a wonderful meditative moment in time that lasts as long as the album lasts. No interruptions, none of my regular muscle-tension… a peculiar sensation where my chronic pains become dull and distant. The pain is still there, of course, as it always is. Yet, it is remarkably subdued. Especially when compared to their regular levels. It is, in fact, the only thing that distracts me enough from the pain so that I am not devoured by it.
Now that I spent 700-something words rambling in order to set the scene; explaining why and how music matters to me as much as it does, I hope the ramble following the pre-ramble will be easier understood. I have written about this topic before. It is an important topic, and so some repetition is in order.
In another life, back in my simpering blue-pilled and blue-balled days, I was in a live-in relationship with a woman who would not allow me my simple pleasure of listening to music. Her reasoning for this was that it was not a social activity. Whatever the fuck that means. And so she disapproved.
The more I think about it now, all these years after that relationship ended, the more I come to realise that my role – my only role – in that relationship was to entertain her. To cater to her wishes for this or for that, with no considerations for me, be that me as a human being or as a human doing my hobbies and past-time activities. There were no activities for me to do alone and on my own. Everything had to include her in some way or other – even my writings. And my reading. I remember her insisting that we read a book simultaneously… with our own bookmarks. Reading the same book when both parties read in bed before sleep was not an easy task, as one would expect, given that only one of us held the book and we read at different rates. As absurd as this sounds, it is truth.
The older I get, the more I come to realize that truth is stranger than fiction. I remember telling her once about this idea for a book I had, which I was planning on writing. Her response to this was to ask why I hadn’t included her in these plans for writing a book. This is a remarkably strange response. “Well, dear, it was – and is – my idea and my craft…”
Her behaviour ought to have her labelled “clingy” at best and “possessive” at worst. “Controlling” would probably be the best descriptor.
Since she had no particular interest in music, she could not easily include herself in it and so it should not be. If she didn’t get it, I shouldn’t either. How dared I have any interests and loves and joys that did not include her? And so it got shut down, under the aforementioned preposterous pretence that it was not “a social activity”. I told this story to my friend Tom Golden, and he stated that it was evil, denying someone something which gives them so much pleasure. To which I tend to agree.
One of her passions was cinema. Proper, good ol-fashioned filmbuff. There is nothing wrong with this, of course – I quite enjoy movies myself. However: she would have a movie running in the background whilst she was drawing. Or reading. Or whatever, really. Apparently, this activity was a social activity and one that she could approve of.
This quirk of hers; using movies as background noise, would not bother me in the slightest, were it not for the fact that I could not listen to music. It is remarkable, in its way. I don’t believe it is much of an exaggeration to state that, were the sexes reversed in this, it would be dubbed an abusive relationship. At the very least a controlling one. When one part dictates how the other part should spend their time, insisting on hovering around no matter what the other part does, alarm bells ought to be ringing and red flags ought to be flashing and waving in front of ones eyes.
Here, I think, it is important to state that I harbour no ill will towards her. Not as such. I should have put an end to this behaviour myself, or at the very least attempted to do so instead of being such a pussy-whipped simp that I catered to her every wish and demand.
Alas: such is the blue-pilled existence.
Growing up in a culture such as I grew up in, where the message delivered from the moment of birth was one in which men were presented as being evil oppressors and women their innocent victims, anything I said or any demand I could have made would be presented in my mind as well as hers as an act of oppression, close to being an act of violence and abuse. It would, without a doubt, have me dubbed controlling, dominating, a chauvinist pig. She was just as much a product of this culture as I was. The same message that got delivered to me got delivered to her; the same indoctrination, the same ideological brainwashing.
Men bad, women good.
Therefore, women can do whatever and men shall have no say. Women are entitled to have their wishes granted, no matter how moronic, how unfair and unjustifiable these wishes are. She can, and shall, and must, have it all. And he shall just shut up, as he apparently already has it all by virtue of his cock and balls. Thus, she is entitled to control and decide the doings and happenings and all the other -ings of the relationship.
This is the entitled princess-complex, to borrow a page from the book of Elam. In this instance, I was as much at fault as she was for not speaking up, for not putting my foot down and metaphorically kicking her to the curb. This is not behaviour one should accept, no matter ones sex. Yet it is expected that men shall accept it.
The assumption is that men must be “civilized” by the women they are in a relationship with.
“Boys and their Toys”, they will say, whilst shaking their heads disapprovingly, removing the toys from the boys and demanding their complete, undivided attention at all times.
Men can not be expected to behave appropriately if not under the surveillance of a woman; can not be allowed their own time and their own activities for some strange and peculiar reason.
The hobbies, the past-time activities of men are considered, by and large, as immature and selfish activities. A man not devoting all his attention to the woman he is in a relationship with; exchanging solitary activities for activities done as a couple is a selfish brute, an arsehole.
Missing from this line of thought – a line of thought that is frighteningly commonplace – is the understanding that there is, was and must always be room for both in a relationship. Generally, men are more solitary creatures than women are and women are more social creatures than men are. With this knowledge, there is nothing strange with the woman in a relationship placing much stock in doing things together – spending time together. And there is nothing wrong with this, as such.
At the same time, there is nothing strange in men seeking their solitary activities. And there is nothing wrong with this, as such. It gets wrong when one should dominate to such an extent that the other is snuffed out. Why this is accepted, when it is a woman doing the snuffing out, is beyond reason, as well as being far removed from being just and fair and equal. It just reeks and stinks of entitlement. And is, apparently, quite alright. When the controlling and dominating presence is that of the woman.
Now, this is of course not to say that people should not do things together and spend time together when they are in a relationship. That would be an absolutely nonsensical thing to say.
No, dear frantic flag-waving feminist hive-mind – it is to say that it is important to understand that a couple does not become one singular feminine entity by some strangely applied feminine magic. They are still two individuals, with each of their own wants, needs and desires which must be respected and understood. There must be balance in a relationship in order for it to function. Cooperation and communication, understanding and patience. From each and towards each. Balance does not mean one-sided. Nor does cooperation and communication, understanding and patience. Yet this is, unfortunately, the reality in many relationships. She demands, and he submits. She decides, and he tags along.
This experience of mine is not only my experience. It is one which many men share. Be it music or hi-fi or video-games or computers, engines or mechanics or cars or whatever – there is an expectation that he shall drop most of his hobbies and passions if that is her wish. In order to focus on the relationship (which translates into focusing all his attention on her), at the expense of himself.
Expectations of male sacrifice, yet again, as it is written in the laws of the land and laid down by the whips and chains of gynocentrism and the biological drive to fornicate and procreate.
I’ll say it again: us guys are way too thirsty for our own good. We put up with way more than we should as a result of this. For access to sex, we accept things which would never be accepted were it the other way around. Sexual desire is a powerful force. No wonder Lust is a major sin.
And, of course, to appease those who do not understand, those who are trigger-happy and permanently sneering, I must add the inevitable #NotAllWomen. Even if that ought to be obvious by my choice of words.
Not that it matters, of course – the trigger-happy will not rest nor find solace when once they have smelled blood.
We all know that the hive-mind never listens to what is actually being said. They chose to hear what they want to hear instead, using that remarkable feminine ability of “my word, but my word is law”; things can only mean what she made them mean in her head. Subjective interpretation goes before the objectivity of the thing, goes before the actual meaning.
Sorry to say, ladies, but men are very direct in our speech. There is little hint in our speech. It is what it is, as a general rule. No need to search for hidden meanings. For the hidden meanings simply ain’t there. And this is all fine and dandy-diddled.
No, it is not all women that behave like this, and that is for damned sure. But it is a trend; an ongoing thing in our cultures that she shall have full control over most aspects of the relationship and the shared home, and that he shall protect, provide and otherwise submit to her expectations and her demands.
Expensive high quality hi-fi equipment gets replaced with crummy soundbars because “it looks better in the room”; collections of various items get tossed out for taking up too much room, nights out with the guys get severely limited or completely cut out because she is all that he needs, god-dammit. And the bathroom will be filled with seven thousand different types of soap, only for her to later complain that the patriarchy forces women to pay more for their toiletries than do men… and no wonder, when men are content with the one soap…
I have known guys who have lost their entire record collections, who have had to sell their gaming consoles because “real men don’t play video-games” and so forth and so on. The fun part is that this woman collected animated Disney movies. Video-gaming is, apparently, a childish activity and it must be ended because she says so. Animated Disney movies are not. And I get that. I thoroughly enjoy animation myself. But animated Disney movies are not meant to be enjoyed solely by mature adults, now are they?
It boils down to this, I believe: she has no interest in it, and so he must be ridiculed and shamed for having an interest in it. Talk about egotism and entitlement. Only her interests are allowed. His is childish and immature. Because she said so. And that is really what it all boils down to.
Because she said so.
No other reason is given, or needed.
This is remarkably controlling behaviours that are remarkably accepted by the culture at large.
What I would recommend people to do when encountering things such as these is to switch the genders. Reverse them. And then see what kind of reaction people have to it. Tried and true. Simple, yet effective. I once got chewed out by a feminist on Facebook for jokingly – and I stress Jokingly – complaining about my wife’s expansive collection of shoes. And this was obviously a joke. So obvious, in fact, that one must be ideologically blindfolded and permanently looking for something to be offended by in order to not comprehend that it was a joke.
If it is wrong, controlling and abusive if a man does it to a woman, it is wrong, controlling and abusive if a woman does it to a man. Of course; any well-trained and experienced feminist will find some manner of mental gymnastics as to why it is accepted when a woman does it. Usually, it has something to do with men being oppressors and women just biting back, or something to that effect.
Much the same reasoning that is used to defend the “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them” shirts and posters. It is alright, you understand, women are allowed to hit back, why are you so scared of equality, what kind of misogynist are you, and so forth and so on with all their peddled gish-gallop bullshit.
We don’t have to put up with this shit, gentlemen.
I get that it is very difficult to say no to a woman. Particularly given the current culture surrounding us, in which merely disagreeing with a woman on something is enough to get you labelled a foul misogynist, and so shunned and shamed and ridiculed.
Hell; songs and stories have been written since the beginning of time about men’s inability to say no to women… And the powerful grip sex has on men. Aristophanes Lysistrata comes to mind; an ancient Greek comedy in which the women go on a sex-strike in order to get their men to stop warring.
The women won, by the way.
Sex-strike: the same kind of thing that in recent years was proposed by Alyssa Milano.
You can’t make this shit up.
Nothing ever changes, gentlemen.
The relationship between the sexes seem to be the same, in one way or other, throughout all of history.
It is said that the great Mongol conqueror Djenghis Khan was terrified of his mother, never daring to go against her wishes.
And he ruled the god-damned world.
Want to get a man ready to fight you to the death, for blood and honour? Insult his mother, his sister or his significant other. That’ll do it.
Men need to get better at putting our foot down. Stop sacrificing everything. Stop giving and giving. It is important to get the rules of a relationship in place, important that the wishes and desires of both parties are met. If the demands are unreasonable, it is our job to get the point across that the demands are unreasonable. The dynamics between the sexes will never change as long as men are willing to sacrifice and give up hobbies and passions and, in the process, their selves in order to please their partners.
These women can not be blamed for their entitlement in relationships as long as men allow it to happen, as long as men enable it.
When the culture that surrounds us not only accept this but encourage it, it is difficult to go against it. It took me years and years and blood and sweat and tears to go against it myself. Going against the grain, against the flow, against the ebb and tide is a difficult thing for sure. And at times one wonders if one is insane, if what is so obvious and clear to one self is a delusion… for no-one seems to see it or experience it, even when they live and breathe the same air, the same culture, the same zeitgeist.
It is the red pill isolation setting in… gnawing at ones spine and trampling one underfoot. Talking about things such as these is enough to make one lose ones friends and family. It is not an easy path to take. But it must be taken, must be trod and must be walked and made wider so that more people can tread the same path, so that more people can find the path.
The social sacrifices we make today will pay out in the future.
And it will be worthwhile.
We will make it worthwhile.
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- Moiret Allegiere, 28.03.2020
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