A song about frustration with unmanliness. Maybe due to the shortcomings of the person I was dating, or maybe from having spent too much time in big cities, where people can have different ideas of gender roles.
When it comes down to it, though, I don’t necessarily think there is one set of traits and virtues that all men have to have- I suppose it okay for some men to be afraid of mice, and some to stay home and watch television all day. But I do think every man should have SOME virtue, even if it is a feminine one. What I dislike is when men want to have feminine advantages without developing feminine virtues. For example, they don’t want to pay for dinner AND they don’t want to be a good listener. That is too much to bear.
Really, I think people can either care about their reputation, or their character, but not both. People who only care about their reputation will be a drain on those around them, and people who care about their character will be upbuilding to those around them, whether their character is a big, masculine hero, or a sensitive, feminine empath.
I wrote this song while living in Santa Fe, a city run by women, including a few mean ones, such as the one who inspired this song.
By the way, when I mention a black man in the song, I don’t mean an African-American, but a being whose skin is pitch black, similar to a human, but with legs that are 5 feet long and as thick as an elephant’s.
Recently, I watched the movie Mulholland Drive, and felt it perfectly captured the two sides of Los Angeles. On the one hand, you have people full of dreams, hopes, and ideals, who are open-minded and open-hearted. But, on the other hand, the naive, trusting, and generous nature of these people leaves them open to exploitation by the cunning and unscrupulous, leading to perversity and debasement.
Goodness is good, but no substitute for wisdom and power. You can have the best intentions in the world, but without intelligence and discrimination, somehow you still end up working for the Devil.
When I wrote this song, I thought everything would be better if we could all be savage beasts living in the wild. I liked to imagine the olden days when humans lived in tightly-knit communities, close to nature and richly steeped in tradition and ritual. By contrast, modern life felt sanitized and disconnected from nature, meaning, and other people.
A few years later, my dreams of living in a mud hut have died, but I still have savage fantasies of another sort. I wish that our minds could be restored to a more natural state, where our dreams, feelings, and perceptions would not be reigned in so much by artifice and conformity.
Humans seem (to me) to take on the traits of their environment, and I wonder if the prevalence of metals and machines causes us to strive to be more and more machine like- hard, glossy, competent, predictable and flawless, while cutting down the more soft, subjective, and chaotic aspects of our nature. Almost as though we are absorbing and internalizing the dreams of our computers.
On the other hand, considering that computers are made from the beautiful mineral silicon, maybe the dreams we absorb will not be all bad. Maybe going through a phase of learning to be more mineral-like is a natural part of human development.
Coldness- my mortal enemy. The only good thing about cold places and cold people is that they give you some relief after being burned by hot people. Sometimes I cannot even bear the presence of my second favorite color-sky blue- because of the sad and empty feelings that can go along with it. Some cold feelings are alright, because they can easily be washed away with a hug or a shopping spree. But there is a second type of coldness that doesn’t disappear in the presence of warm things.
I had to record this song again today, because yesterday I don’t feel like I was really myself. In fact, I was under the influence of someone else, a large man who I don’t know very well, but he was talking in my ear as I was singing, criticizing me, causing me to sing lower than I wanted to…
I guess art means different things to different people… to some it is about skill and refinement, to some it is about creativity and self-expression… For me, I think art is about self-knowledge- learning who you are by discovering which sounds and notes and color and words and shapes and sizes feel good to you and really resonate with your soul. I think the only way to measure beauty is to know what resonates with your soul and truly makes you happy.
Somethings, when we train ourselves to appreciate art and other “fine things,” I think we can train ourselves into idolizing things that our soul doesn’t even like.
A song I wrote in Nashville, about those horrible moments when you realize someone you love and depend on is a mass murderer. I was just reading an article about the wives of serial killers, and the author was saying “How could they not have known?” especially as the evidence started to pile up around them. But, as George Orwell said, “To see what is in front of one’s nose is a constant struggle.” For some reason, it is very hard to believe that someone you know well could be dangerous, or even that they could be deceiving you. Especially, when you feel powerless to change or escape the situation.
What I remember about this song is that right after I wrote it I found out my grandfather had just hung himself.
In terms of the song’s meaning, I do think we have a certain number of “chairs” in our life that are meant to be filled by certain people, and if these chairs are filled by “imposters”- people who have nothing to offer us, but just a desire to take- then we won’t have the open spaces to attract the people we really need.
I wrote this song while living in L.A, soon after I started playing guitar and singing. While writing it, I was visualizing a pink triangle riding a green rectangle into outer space. Maybe it is a song about feeling intimidated moving through a sphere (the music scene) where everyone else had far more skill and experience than me, but where I still felt I had something to offer.
After performing this, a male friend of mine was driving me home and took off his shirt so I could “feel his arms. ” Gross. In real life, I have no urge to touch miscellaneous arms. In dreams though, nakedness symbolizes vulnerability and the exposure of one’s true self.
Sometimes skill is a form of clothing- with enough skill a person can seem very intelligent saying nothing.