Some Of My Favourite Albums. (And Why)
Nancy Sinatra - Album: How Does That Grab You?
Why? Because of Kill Bill, Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) ~ but the whole album is definitely worth a listen:
Song: The Shadow Of Your Smile (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AupzcEuLwME)
David Bowie - Album: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Why? It’s the first album I ever got drunk to.
Song: Starman (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbLsy9-RUi4)
Warren Zevon - Album: Excitable Boy
Why? My sister said (paraphrased) “Hey you know Werewolf of London guy wrote some other songs too?”
Song: Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRWCK9zGynA)
The Pogues - Album: Rum Sodomy & The Lash
Why? “Waltzing Matilda” stoked some long-buried Aussie war-shame, then Brown Eyes stole the show.
Song: A Pair of Brown Eyes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlfr1rCByM8)
Pink Floyd - Album: Animals
Why? Pink Floyd never wrote any songs, they wrote albums in entirety. Thus it would be sacrilege to omit them. I could’ve easily put in The Wall or The Dark Side Of The Moon, but Animals gets me in the gut every time.
Song: Pigs (Three Different Ones) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOqblSqx_VI)
The Pixies- Album: Doolittle
Why? A teenage flight of fancy that never died.
Song: Hey (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVCUAXOBF7w)
DEVO - Album: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
Why? Devo is often stereotyped with iconically electro-rock music; I think this album tops their others in terms of musical quality, while also showcasing their typical lyrical brilliance.
Song: Gut Feeling (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwx_Qq56YTA)
Judas Priest - Album: Screaming For Vengeance
Why? More than the others on this list, I think my attachment to this album might be somewhat irrevocably linked to memory; I used to spend hours listening to Judas Priest while drawing pictures of mythological creatures in adolescence.
Song: Prisoner Of Your Eyes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaOPV9EE0cQ)
Cream - Album: Disraeli Gears
Why? Ultimate 60′s juxtaposition betwixt ancient knowledge and a druggie’s paradise.
Song: Tales Of Brave Ulysses (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjp-owdFfq8&list=PLzEG2f9QAl8Mwj8gHT7Chn1ZcCDjZGYve&index=6)
Queen - Album: A Night At The Opera
Why? The question is not why I included this album, but why I chose the song I did over Bohemian Rhapsody; for which I can offer no real apology, other than that Bohemian Rhapsody is an over-exposed genius.
Song: Death On Two Legs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws-VsiFX54g)
Let Us Flatter Ourselves, That Perhaps It’s A Little Of Both.
The scourge of wise humanity
Plagues Earth from pole to pole.
It needn’t take a sage to see
What want can swallow whole:
The mind; a starving carnivore,
Philosophy; a foal.
We kill for sport and hearty gore
What first we try extol.
Then hark! We go lamenting all the innocence we stole:
O’ why can’t nature let us be?
What sin her vicious goal?
Why can’t we calm, or leastways flee,
Those beasts we can’t control?
No ’mount of will can set us free!
Man can’t befriend his soul!
But still we fret,
And still we fright,
And still we always hope...
That bitterness will fade to light
For every misanthrope.
There can be no fool for me. Only a heartless wit will do.
By the dubious age of fifteen I’d already decided that “Ever Afters” were infantile pipe-dreams, “Happily” ones especially so.
After all, only a blind idiot could entertain the thought that a living soul might be happy in one paradise forever. And though I was quite clearly a sentimental idiot, I wasn’t blind.
The following quotes capture my applicable feelings of the time. The first sums up the more sober part of my own attitude, the second grasps the essence of the only passion I could have seriously respected in a man:
“If I could love a man who would love me enough to take me for a mere 50 pounds a year, I should be very well pleased. But such a man could hardly be sensible, and you know I could never love a man who was out of his wits.” ~Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen.
“Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.” ~Hamlet, William Shakespeare.
So, when I did meet a man who fluttered my precariously prudent heart, and who my pugnacious mind confirmed worthy of such vivacious esteem, it was a lost cause from the start, obviously.
I, feeble rationality fettered with excessive romance, but only towards the kind of man who could not (by the very nature I love in him) love me back in the same way.
He, requisite freedom placated by my importunate adoration, chained (against his better judgement) into a hapless monogamy.
Both of us have endured our predictable agonies with (barely) adequate dignity over the years.
Nevertheless, I’m still living my ever after. In happiness and despair, in boredom and desperation, in persiflage and diligence, in love and hatred, in sickness and health, and in everything between them: In every mundane pause for affection and in every faulty contrivance which dares to prowl restlessly in the bowels of a marriage.
...It is a multifaceted and whimsically sorrowful delight, to see my fickle and apocryphal fantasies drop into an ocean of lachrymal yearning which breaks, in pathetically apologetic waves, upon his more logical solidarity.
But oh, what the boundlessly foolish youth in me wouldn’t give, for an occasional clash of tides...
An Addiction To Confession
I was an open book - without the faintest glimmer of hope that someone could still be interested enough to pick me up, blow the cobwebs from my spine, and read my dusty pages.
Now I am a dog who’s been told to sit, squirming betwixt the two desires; to please my master with obedience, or a lick to that warm callused hand.
Gah! ...Get me to a nunnery, that I may flirt with my god in chaste innocence!
Difficult To Get A Straight Answer, Isn’t It?
“And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.”
~Fyodor Dostoevsky - Notes From Underground
First allow me to impart my belief that no human can fully understand another, so the preliminary answer to your question is that being trans is probably an experience unique to each person.
It is widely accepted that gender-dysphoria exists. I consider it to be a human condition with many different manifestations, resulting in a range of unpleasant emotions, from mildly uncomfortable to intolerably distressing. I call it a human condition because I have not percieved it to any severe levels in other animals, and because it plagues a great number of people who have suffered by it to various extents at some time or another in our lives.
But, to be as coldly and condemningly rational as I am capable of; Dysphoria of any kind appears to have certain preconditions, one of which is relative safety and security within an over-prosperous society. It is akin to that streak of utopia-rebellion in humanity which causes us to be upset by nothing terrible occuring; the subconscious conviction that in the absence of suffering we must make ourselves suffer.
In a survival scenario for example, where every bead of sweat must be utilized toward the aim of preserving what small freedoms are afforded one by the merciless recriminations of the natural world, I think it likely that only the most extreme cases would endure, as there wouldn’t be enough downtime to indulge all the masochistic tortures with which the human brain so often occupies itself when idle.
That aside, seeing as we are idle, and various dysphorias do torment us, it is a passably reasonable opinion that we might attempt to formulate some kind of remedy to one of them which seems to have an obvious solution.
However (while I have no qualms whatsoever with crossdressing) being of an impractically old-fashioned disposition myself, I regard the surgical mutilation of genitalia with abject horror. More particularly knowing that even with a skilled surgeon it could all go very wrong, that most require further surgeries to correct abnormalities, and that infertility is usually part and parcel, even if it all goes smoothly. I know not how much my terror of body-mutilation and my joy in parenthood have combined to cloud the openness of my mind on the topic, for perhaps there is no way to scientifically measure the extent of human bias. Nevertheless I for one definitely find it worth the attempt to encourage all other avenues of comfort within oneself before resorting to surgical alteration.
I can anecdotally disclose that I was highly displeased with being female in my youth, wallowing in visceral despair and self-disgust at my appearance (which is a vanity I still partake in from time to time.) And, as I was (and still am, to be honest) possessed with an intense admiration for all things masculine, I might have easily gotten seriously obsessed with the idea of being male had I not then found and fallen in love with a male of comparible age and interest, thus rendering any inclination for being something other than a female obsolete.
This is not to say that I consider myself as having escaped some horrible fate; I cannot know what my life would or would not have been like in alternate dimensions. I know only that it was possible in my case for my opinion of myself to change drastically in a short period of time, and that I do not regret the direction my life has taken. I might go so far as to call the want of transformation ‘childish’ within myself, though I know that to others it is a far more overwhelming desire which endures long beyond the inelegant disturbances which plague every adolescence.
Yet there are those who succumb to the unavoidable throes of puberty with irreversible effects, and come later to regret that no one cared enough to discouraged them in their teenaged flights of fancy.
It is this which leads me to think, perhaps naively, that many cases of dysphoric transgenderism (especially in young people) will cease to take over the life of the avid self-questioner, given enough time and empathy of surroundings, without resorting to surgical interference or rampent enabling, which in itself is a cruelty none should be put to bear. To place a person’s whims above their well-being is a degradation which no soul professed of compassion should be able to inflict upon a loved one.
This should not be taken as any particular insult to the persons afflicted with wanting a different body. It is a universal, not particular, folly; to be confused, or to be sure of oneself for that matter. Both are detestable qualities in some respects. After all, no sane person should be expected to know without a shred of decent doubt what exactly one’s own mind thinks about the fact of it’s querulous existence, less still to make imperiously sensible decisions as to it's bodily condition.
But of course the audacious pomposity of that last statement is at once apparent to all who place any sort of passing importance on the notion of free will; for we must choose our own way, regardless.
Call Me Old Fashioned.
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” ~ Oscar Wilde
On an ordinary day, I am defined by the comfortingly homely term “Mama.”
Well, it answers all the questions in one word doesn’t it? I could’ve said “writer” but that wouldn’t tell you that I’m a female with children who places importance upon silly old-fashioned things like family. Actually, considering that this is a writing site, “writer” would’ve told you absolutely nothing at all. In any case, “Mama” is the normal everyday me; a cheerfully bromidic housewife with four children who enjoys playing around with words in spare time. Nothing dire about it...
Yet, if I were feeling dramatic (as I often am while writing) I might further disclose another meager truth:
I am a projector.
One of those big clunky things which two teacher’s pets must begrudgingly carry into the spare classroom for an elderly guest speaker. Turn me on, and I project ideals; fuzzy, poorly-exposed, beautiful. Usually these fantasies hit blank screens. Then you come along. Wandering, unbeknownst to reality, into the path of my frenzied projections.
You, who are more than a screen.
In the age-yellowed glow of my flickering bulb,
You are a king.
A devine and powerful thinker.
But more importantly,
You are a man.
No longer an obsolete piece of junk,
But a woman.
A woman to hear your tales,
To laugh with you in folly,
To comfort you in woe,
To kiss your trembling lips in lust;
Feel your soul meld to my very core in moments wrought with ardor...
Worlds of possibilities are born to us.
You are gone.
You, who were more than a screen.
The warmth of electricity slowly ebbs away and I am carried off
-by arms who loathe my impracticality-
Carried off and closeted.
Perhaps for the final time.
T’Were Many Years Ago Now...
Afta the biggest drought we ever had. The rain come in that night like mother’s milk to a parched babe. A precious gift thrown to the ungrateful red earth, which supped it mercilessly and begged for more. We set out buckets to collect it, Janey and me, so’s we had a little cleaner drinkin’ water than what was spluttered out by the rusty rain-tank.
- I take it yur’v heard of the burrowin’ toads that live here ’bouts, and pop up afta a rain? There was some talk they was pois’nous after old Tombo got sick from a stew he made outa one of ‘em, he was hallucinatin som'n fierce, tellin’ ever’n he come ’cross how the “Frogmen” were comin to rule over us. How they’d bilt an entire civilisation unda-ground, and one day theyd dig 'emselves up afta the rains come, to eats up all tha children and livestock.
Well that’s Tombo for you, all they all thort was he must’ve ate sumthin mighty ’musing.
Anyway that was years before, so we didn’t pay’t no mind. We was still kids then, Janey was nine and I was about 'leven or so, and we couldn’t think of nothin better than to go frolicin' in the rainy dark, seein' if we’s could find one'a them burrowin’ toads to keep for a day-pet.
So there we was, digging 'round in the little puddles which was formin’ on the dried up ol' river bed. B’n dry as a bone for years... Anyway, that's when I noticed a few bubbles comin’ up in the mud under a rock. So I turned 't over, and somethin was squirmin' underneath. I called to Janey to bring a bucket ’coz I’d found one I thort, a big one too. Big as a football almost. I couldn’t see too well though ’coz my flashlight started flickerin', so I just went by feel. I tried to pick him up - it was definitely a toad I thort, judging from the slimy bumpy skin - but it was stuck in the mud somehow and wouldn't come up for nuthin'. I carefully tried to dig ’round it, loosen it up, but I couldn’t get my hands underneath it's belly.
That’s when it opened it’s eyes.
Two big orbs the size of golf-balls, glowing reddish yellah in the pitch black.
I screamed like an iddy biddy girl and I ain’t ’shamed to admit it. The thing I’d been touching that I thort was a whole toad was only it’s head. I backed up, fallin over Janey in the mud, and we froze thar shiv’rin in terror as it dug itsulf out.
Our eyes made out what they could in the little bit of flickering light. It was tall as I was, and twice as fat. Stood up on it’s hind legs, with a sickeningly 'telligent smile on it’s huge flat face. All at once it was free of the mud and it came t'wards us with a startling leap. Sunk it’s teeth down into my leg right here. Surprizin'y sharp teeth, like a shark almost. Still have the scar, see? Ripped right through my jeans and tore out a big chuck a' flesh. I’ve b’n limping ever since.
But I guess it didn’t like the taste a me too much because it sort of choked and spat 't out and then all t'once tha blaggard was gone, bounded off to go et Lord-knows-what for puddin'.
They all think I’m gone loopy whenever I tell 'em that, but Janey saw it too. Only she can’t corroborate to nobody coz the sight of the thing scared her voice right outta her and she han’t spoke a word since.
When I’m too much myself you see
I shrink into garrulity,
Producing pitifully pompous slop
Sandwiched in a frilly flop.
In this foul swill of paltry tricks
I try to hide my faults and sicks.
I know the only way to sate
My mind’s indenture to berate
Is slap myself, step up to plate,
And utter truer words to hate.
When She Breaks
Ever there, she slips through cracks,
Carousing twixt the squawks and quacks,
Begging for a single note
Of songs undone before they’re wrote.
She’s vicious to the weighted mind;
Taunting like an eagle’s blind.
But absence draws the heart aloft;
She’s kinder than you first had scoffed,
For storms accost the lapping lakes
When trust is lost and silence breaks.
I started writing this for someone’s recent challenge “personify silence” but must have missed the deadline. Apologies to the challenge creator for still utilizing your prompt.
I had chance once to know you well.
Sometimes, although it’s hard to tell,
I think, back then, you might’ve gazed...
And yet I know I must be crazed;
Such frenzied thoughts of bliss compel
My mind before the waking knell
To scorn all doubt and leave truth hazed.
I had chance once to know you...
Sometimes I think that if I fell
And landed in your soul amazed,
I’d linger fully, somewhat dazed.
But realness rips me from your spell.
I had chance once to know you...