I’ve decided (subject to change) that we spend the majority of our lives trying to protect ourselves — not the piqued, visceral caution of a lioness sensing immediate danger; rather, chess-like premeditation, total obsession with keeping those false kings and queens that reside in our heads from sliding off of the board into irrelevance, where they’re incapable of being recovered. The world may be round. I still believe the brain to be pancake-flat.
The world is our opponent. We are our own opponents. So much opposition. Some may call this tension. The tension exists between our actions and our plans for action.
We protect our queeny kings because these little statues are all we’ve got. Despite vehemency of religious submission to higher powers, we are all pagan idol worshippers. We invert our eyes, watch carefully our minds, polish pigeon shit and pollen off the statues, glue back penises that have been chipped away by hoodlums.
These statues, the images we create, will be what is left of us. Erected at the first moment of self-consciousness, we’ve decided that we should spend our lifetimes protecting them and encouraging others to make proper inscriptions on our plaques, so that our legends are forever legible postmortem. Weaker qualities are ensconced. Enviable qualities are boasted. Many are created so that they may be boasted. Because we refuse to allow others to see weakness on the chance it will be paraded. And we parade positive traits, even though through repetition they grow to become something we despise about ourselves. And anything we’re unsure of — rather than voicing the ambivalence — we hide in either irony or silence, which are pretty much synonymous.
I switch on an old-fashioned, plug-in radio in my bathroom closet whenever I take showers or plan on spending lengthy amounts of time in the bathroom grooming myself. The action has become so habitual, that I might even switch it on when I walk through the threshold to take a quick piss. The station is static. Mix 102.9. Best mix of the 90’s and today. They play a repetitive variety, and I enjoy a few of the repetitions. This station is my only exposure to popular music of temporal relevance. I tend to seek out music that doesn’t belong to the airwaves: elitest, purest, hipster, bohemian(?), however you want to brand me. I’ll still be part of some cattle herd. Mix 102.9 plays accessible rock tunes. The type of music at which William Williams nods his head in identification while the academic scoffs in self-promoting contempt (not arguing that there isn’t a musical hierarchy, just that people are drawn to different strata of art due to variations in personality). High art. Low art. They often both attempt to voice the same human emotions. Some are just capable of doing it in a more endearing way. The majority of these accessible rock tunes voice ideas that bleed into one another, my nostalgic nineties favorites being no exception. I’ve recently noticed the hook from a frequent (modern) song on the station, though, in which the singer expresses his need to “give all my (his) secrets away.” Divulging secrets and avoiding canned lines is not only the hook, but the entire premise of the song. I would act like I don’t know the name of the artist or track, but I’m not that lazy. A google search says the song is “Secrets” by One Republic. “Secrets” isn’t a brilliant song by any measure, but interesting that this idea has been injected into the mainstream by a band who knows their audience. I may not care for most radio rock, but I do care for statements.
I am not advocating glass houses, killing your idols, signed third party witnesses to all conversations, documentation of those conversations to be held in public archives, veneration of strangers, a united colony of nudists. I am advocating glass houses, killing your idols, signed third party witnesses to all conversations, documentation of those conversations to be held in public archives, veneration of strangers, a united colony of nudists.
I won’t color in this purgatorial white Web space with my darkest secrets. I’m guessing they’re not that interesting and you’re not that interested. The importance lies only within my reverence for them, and in learning how to revere things outside of self-preservation. But here’s a revelation, if for no other reason than personal therapy. Consider it solipsism rehab.
Secret: I played high school soccer for three years and never scored a goal. The number of games I started could be counted on one hand. In practice I would run to the opposite side of the field to avoid touching the ball or the possibility of anyone even passing it to me. I had a perennial fear of choking. Because of this, I choked. Not sure if I ever breathed. If I did take a deep breath, it would have likely filled my diaphragm and provided some posture and confidence. I didn’t attain confidence until college. Though it might be postured.
It’s not tabloid food, but it’s a start.