Belated Happy New Year

My resolution is to be me again.

Of course, as a sum of all the decisions I have made to this point, I am me now. However, as so many of those decisions have lead me away from what I want, I am also, somehow, not me as well. For example, most of the drunken posts of the last few months have been written after too much cheap beer and whiskey in dive bars catering to metal kids. These places are the places the people I drink with like to go. And they can be fun. But there is a problem. These places are not my places. These people are not my people. I don't know enough about their passions to truly engage them. They are in the same situation when it comes to me. Asking questions can help, but that becomes a tedious form of conversation. It is positive to meet people of different backgrounds who have different values and tastes and who have different opinions. But when one's social life constitutes only those people, it becomes tiring. And I become boring. If you don't like Leftist politics or electronic music, why read this blog? Likewise in real life. I can't be at my most compelling, and neither can my companion. Fake is a context.

1. I'll get back to more reading and writing.
2. I'll work on music again.
3. While I will continue to avoid, and be proud to avoid, seeing all social interactions in purely instrumental terms, I will seek to minimize the ones that are actually deleterious.
4. I will rebuild my love life.
5. I'm going to get back to a big city again. I fucking miss real public transportation and, at the risk of being misinterpreted, black people (see below). 

Number one is already being taken care of. You see me here more already, and I promise to be back. I will hopefully be finishing up the Drummage posts soon, boozeed-up or not. I also have some ideas about bohemia, retro, and capitalism that might be good and worthy of our time. I have been re-reading this and have almost finished this for the first time and my mind seems to be working again. I still don't quite feel up to taking another stab at this but, can you really blame me? It's sort of a, forgive the term, bitch to read at times. All of the aforementioned books are, of course, highly recommended.

Number two is going to be interesting. I am about to take a major step towards working on music again by getting my own place here in Providence. For numerous reasons, I am sure this will remove some legitimate obstacles (my landlord moving in a few months after me with his stay-at-home wife and their  babies) and self-destructive excuses (I get so self-concious working on music when I think others are listening) that have prevented me from pursuing what was actually my primary motivation for moving to a city that, while beautiful, socially liberal, educated, and CHEAP, is simply too small to provide the feeling of vibrancy and connectedness that I find so vital. I'd rather go to come "cutting-edge" event and despair over the future of music and culture for months afterwards than sit at home and wonder.

It sucks being 32 and still "aspiring", but I still think it better than not trying for the next 50 years. At least I can tell myself, and you, quite truthfully, that I haven't succeeded because I haven't tried that hard. But that also means that I don't even know what I am capable of, and therefore can't really make any sort of informed decision as to whether continue or not (this is actually true of virtually everything in my life). I owe it to myself to find out.

Number three is fairly self-explanatory given what I have stated above. But it takes on extra resonance when I take into account number four.

Ah number four. How much to admit? Well, I could just say I've read a lot of books and leave it at that. More accurately, I spent a lot of time alone as a teenager, grew up a lot after becoming part of the restaurant industry, and then travelled a bit backwards in the years outside of it. Those years mostly corresponded with the "I have no fucking money and am embarrassed about virtually every aspect of my life and it'll take me 90 minutes each way and costs me $20 just to get to MOMA and stare at the back of people's heads so fuck it" phase known as making 30k in NYC. Given how status-concious virtually everyone I met in New York was, with social capital substituted for actual money in "bohemia" (even though the two are actually pretty consonant - after all, who has the time to develop interesting opinions about everything and go out to all of the coolest places at night without worrying about waking up early? rich kidz!), I didn't really try and put myself out there in any way.

In dating, there can be quite a lot to keep track of, and I am neither proud nor embarrassed to say that I have gone to Google to look for advice. There are just some pieces of information there were never provided to me... But wait... If you were hoping that I was going to write something salacious, I'm sorry to dissapoint. I need a bit of help understanding sub-verbal communication, and a bit of inspiration as to what to do in this town besides taking a date to stare at a movie screen in silence for a few hours.

But if there is a lot to keep track of when it comes to meeting and dating women, there is even more to keep track of in the world of dating advice and gender relations. Fuck, there are a lot of books and websites out there! Some of them are pretty disgusting, too. For those familiar with Houllebecq, and his writing on the incursion of consumerist value systems into personal relationships (the basic idea being that the sexual revolution of the 1960s actually produced a "free" system more akin to the free market, where "wealth" is distributed highly unevenly), well, let's just say that there are programs out there that seek to provide ways for men to redress that imbalance in the most cynical ways imaginable.

Keeping, as I do, to my little corner of the intellectual (foreign and economic policy, and mostly gender-neutral social theory) and musical world, I was really surprised at all of the discourse on the Internet surrounding the purported decline of men. On some level, I guess I am exemplary of that trend. But I'm not sure how much I care. What I have found interesting in reading the few handfuls of pop-sociology articles that I have about gender relations and the decline of men, is how little structural criticism is part of that discourse. Really, as we all know, there is radical Feminism and not, and proponents of the two make vastly different assumptions about the value of certain changes in society. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when the purported superiority of women in the workplace is described (positively, and by supposedly Liberal/Feminist women) as their capacity to be more easily disciplined to a lifetime of exploited labor and consumerism. I also appreciate the subtler hypocrisies. Apparently, being anti-corporate and believing that having more women CEOs would make the world a better place is not contradictory.

I'm glad more women are going to college. I'm glad more women will have the opportunity to make better choices for themselves. It just: Sisters - fluorescent lights destroy souls. The Man can be a Woman, too! If you think your life and your career are the same thing, you will be crushed by the wheels of (post-)industry, too, just like your Brothers before you. So drop out. Join your Brothers down here in the trenches. There are some Sisters here too, but they are outnumbered, and a bit lonely, and drink too much, and make mistakes. Some of the Brothers do that too, but, hey, double standards, you know? Sadly, I am sure you do.

Lastly, number five. I like doing things. Doing things sometimes requires going places. These places may not all be near to one another. I don't own a car. I don't want to own one. So, subway, again, please! As for "black people" all I mean is that since electronic music culture is more important to me than rock and roll, my history, my "classic rock", is R&B, disco, and post-punk, and I really, really miss hearing those records out. Here, there is virtually no demand for it as far as I can tell. De facto (and of course, de jure) segregation not only disadvantages people of color tremendously (cf. History), it also produces white people with shitty taste in music. See, I'm already standing up for techno and house again! 

So, with that, Happy New Year. Looking forward to seeing you all, some in person, even!


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