Mother’s Crazy But She Runs the Family

“Mother’s crazy but she runs the family.” This is the first line from Toy Matinee’s song, There Was A Little Boy, which discusses everything wrong with growing up in a single mother family. My parents divorced around the time I was 12, and it was then that I became intimately familiar with my mother’s unique brand of tough love (some might say, psychosis). As I was growing into a young adult, I remember being shamed and ridiculed into silence everytime I made a bad remark about my mother. Perhaps this was a symptom of the area I grew up in – lovely old Bellingham, Washington, one of the most liberal (and feminist!) towns I’m aware of – but mother worship is just another fact of growing up in the West. Even bad men love their mamas – so why didn’t I? After all, she went through the pain of birthing me and so on and so forth. I quickly learned to just keep my mouth shut about my awful mother. In private, I’ve known several men who have admitted to having an antagonistic relationship with their mothers, but it’s something you rarely see proclaimed loudly.

You may have noticed that I’m something of the “music man” around The Spearhead – several of my posts are analyses of songs. I’ve found that music captures and expresses emotional sentiment far better than I could ever manage to. Thus, songs serve as a sort of crutch for me when I’m discussing emotions, that most unmanly of conversational topics. Toy Matinee only ever released one album, in 1990, and the frontman/singer for it was Kevin Gilbert. Kevin Gilbert was involved in producing some of Madonna’s tripe, if memory serves, but much more importantly he released a few albums of his own. He passed away in 1996, but you could say he went out with a bang – having died of autoerotic asphyxiation. I suggest you check out There Was A Little Boy for yourself before you read the rest of this piece, but if you don’t, I’ll be copying the relevant lyrics as we go along. For example, here’s the first verse:

Mother’s crazy, but she runs the family
Two older sisters, and the boy who’s nine years old
He’s old enough to see the way it’s going
Somewhere the birds are singing
But Mother’s all alone

This isn’t a perfect mirror of the way I grew up, but it’s fairly close. I had an older brother and a younger sister in place of “two older sisters,” and as I mentioned, my parents were still together when I was 9. Nevertheless, even when my parents were together, my mom definitely “ran the family.” My father was in charge of finances, but that was about it. If ever we needed a parent’s permission, we knew to get our mother’s, because our father had no authority in our home. The third line is interesting because I think – perhaps due to my own personal experience – that people begin to form their first very clear memories around the time they are 8 or 9. (Sure, some people claim to remember even their infant years, but that’s considered exceptional.) I take the “birds are singing” line as a metaphor for the mother being crazy, and “but Mother’s all alone” seems to imply that even though the mother might be physically present, she is emotionally distant. (Obviously the line implies she’s single, too, but I like to take my analyses deeper than that.) Second verse:

He needs a father, but she takes a lover
This man is not a friend, shows no friendship
This man just waits around to play with Sister
But he plays too serious, he plays too rough

Again, this isn’t a perfect mirror to my circumstances, but it’s fairly close. Much has been written about how children need fathers, so I won’t go too much into that subject. The first two lines of this song are a succinct reference to the preference for alpha male jerks controversially observed in, for example, the Roissysphere. The man my mother tried to settle down with after a few years wasn’t much of a father either – and had already been divorced, with kids of his own – but thankfully he wasn’t a sexual predator like the step-father in this song. I’m certain I’ve read an article recently about how step-fathers are more likely to be sexual abusers, but for the life of me I can’t find it. Anyway, I don’t think the assertion needs too much proving around here, though obviously there are exceptions and some step-fathers are great men. The chorus:

How can you expect a child to understand the sickness of a world whose eyes are blind?
The dying man inside this boy is questioning his once upon a time
(There was a little boy)

There’s not much intelligent or cogent that I can say about this chorus. It comes up later with some additional lines, but the first two are powerful. It took me 21 or 22 years to “understand the sickness of the world,” and I’m still coping with the fact its “eyes are blind.” The dying man inside me started questioning my once upon a time right around the time I hit puberty. I am not an isolated case. Next verse:

He leaves home early for a loveless world
And he finds what he needs with an older boy
He’s got a couple things to hide from Mother
He hopes she’ll understand, she hopes he’ll change

I’ve read some articles that talk about how a child learns intimacy and how to love from their parents, and that if a child fails to learn this from his (or her) parents, then he (or she) goes into adulthood with a crippled ability to relate to and trust other people. (I wish I had some links to these articles, but I didn’t bookmark them.) Such a world is certainly loveless. I can also relate to finding what I needed with an older boy – although, this implies the boy gets involved with a gang or something similar, which I never quite did. I idolized my older brother for a time, and then befriended many older male friends through the internet. (By older, I mean 4-8 years my senior.) I sometimes felt as though I had things to hide from my mother – though, that was more just childhood tomfoolery than the sort of gang trouble implied in this song. Even still, as the years have worn on, I always hoped my mother would understand me better, and I am sure she hopes that I would change and include her more in my life. The chorus returns at this point, its potency alliteration-enhanced:

How can you expect a child to understand the sickness of a world whose eyes are blind?
A world he cannot hope to conquer, insecurities that fester in his mind
No choice, no fault, and no way out, no blame, no guilt, no friends, no cure, no crime
The dying man inside this boy is questioning his once upon a time
(There was a little boy)

As before, there’s little of merit I can add to these powerful lines. My mother made me feel disastrously insecure as I was growing up. I remember one particularly bad argument with her. One of my best friends and his family had agreed to take me into their home, because the situation in my own was getting out of hand. I approached her about this and she flipped out, as was her modus operandi. The conversation veered towards (as it usually did) how much of a failure I was, and I remember how she asserted that I could never make it on my own because of how hopelessly pathetic I was. The sad part was that for a few days, I internalized this and believed her. Thankfully, I had some decent (great, really) friends who helped reassure me, and shortly thereafter I resolved to prove her wrong. I effectively ran away at the age of 17 and relocated to Utah to start over.

The “no choice, no fault” line sums up how I felt growing up and what I think a lot of boys are feeling in this age. For example, all of the forces that are arrayed against them are not their fault, there’s rarely a way out of it (we men can talk of expatriating, but what is a 12 year old boy with a single mother and abusive step father to do?), it’s hard to find blame with any one person or thing (and even if you can, what good is assigning the blame?), and friends can seem hard to find if you’re being shamed about your “mommy issues.” Final verse:

This boy was once a strong man, but getting weaker
He carries more than just the shame inside
His mother stays away and faces nothing
She blindly wishes for a happy ending

This verse stands out to me, as well. As the years wore on with my mother, I got wore down. Where once I dreamed big – becoming a famous novelist, becoming President, having a big happy family and so on – I later actually devised ways in which I could fail and disappoint. At the apex of this mindset, I enlisted (for convoluted reasons not worth examining here), which I did in part to spite my family. All the while, my mother could never own up to what she did to us children, waxing sentimental about how we could all get back together some day and be “a real family again.” Excuse me while I vomit.

On that note, I hope your holidays went well and that you have a good New Year.


J. Durden aka Dr. Deezee is the chief architect of the Internet Hate Machine and has hated the holidays since at least 2004. Bah humbug.

The Fullness of Time (Part 4) – Transcendence

[Standard Disclaimer: This analysis represents only my personal interpretation of the lyrical content of Redemption’s suite, The Fullness of Time, and is not representative of the opinions of either the band or any affiliated persons involved in the production of Redemption’s music; past, present or future.]

This is absolutely my favorite song of all time. I wanted to share this song with the readers of The Spearhead because I believe it contains a very powerful message that many could benefit from, but in order to fully understand why I believe it is so powerful, it was necessary to walk you through the three songs that feed into this one. Recall that Man has been betrayed and has been slowly coping with his responses – initially he was filled with Rage, which melted into Despair, until he was able to Release himself from the entropic nature of his initial responses. Here, he will Transcend and understand why he was made to suffer.

Without further ado, the first verse:

Now
The smoke has finally cleared
And I can see the wreckage of my past that lies about me

The song opens with a (relatively) slow, reflective piano interlude, followed up with some acoustic guitar work before the vocals slowly work their way in. It is a big change of pace from Release’s heavy and fast guitars. The lyrics are likewise reflective, with Man looking back over everything that has happened to him and trying to understand what to make of it all. The sound of the wind gives you a sense that Man is taking a reflective journey through the “ruins” of his past, so to speak.

Now
It’s all become so clear to me
And I have learned the
Truth behind the lies and the lies behind the truth

Man has realized that absolute truth is a powerful lie that can lead him to make poor decisions. As Voltaire once famously observed, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can convince you to commit atrocities.” Man has woken up to the nature of language ideologies and learned of the “truth behind the lies” as well as the “lies behind the truth,” or, in other words, how feminism had caused him to believe absurdities which caused him to commit atrocities. Understanding that truth is, ultimately, relative (not to dismiss the power of independently verifiable observations, ala scientific studies), he arrives at a conception of truth not unlike Kierkegaard’s – “The idea is to find a truth that is true for me; an idea for which I can live and die.” That idea is most certainly NOT feminism.

Everything in context finally makes sense
I see the paths I walked
Some I paved myself
Some where I went gladly
Some against my will

Context is extremely important in making truth evaluations – it is hard to understand what has happened or what really took place if we do not understand the context of events that have happened in our life. All too often, we go through life without understanding the context of the larger social forces of our culture (or cultures – we may be part of one culture, say a branch of the military, which is subservient to a still larger culture, such as the Department of Defense, which is subservient to the bureaucratic culture of government, which itself is still subservient to American culture…that’s just one example), let alone the forces that other cultures may have on ours as well. Perhaps here Man is saying he finally understands why feminism came about and how it has impacted his life in various ways. He sees the paths he had chosen for himself and how they were influenced by feminism, but he also understands his own culpability in what has happened to him. Some paths he paved himself and some he even went down gladly – I’d imagine that, in keeping with our analysis earlier, marriage was one such path. However, some paths were taken against his will – perhaps if he had understood better the differences between men and women and hadn’t been led to believe social lies like how gender differences are negligible, he might not ever have chosen to be so supplicating and placating in general. This is in line with discourse that understands that men are the ultimate enforcers of feminism or any other social force.

In any event, the next verse (the music kicks into high gear here):

I
Can leave behind the fear and doubt
And cast aside the shackles and the chains
Of flawed assumptions I learned as a child
I can’t let them distract me
So I’m putting aside the memories
Of the things I never had but thought I always wanted

Here, Man is fully rejecting the prevailing language ideologies that he “learned as a child,” likely in public education. Recall that the main enforcers of language ideologies are public education, the news media, the entertainment industry, corporate culture and the legal system – and none of these systems is immune to bias or misuse. These institutions taught Man flawed assumptions (one such assumption being that genders were equal in quantitative measures rather than qualitative ones – for example, that the genders are more or less “equally intelligent” rather than teaching that all people have equal worth as humans and leaving it at that). He can’t let these flawed assumptions distract him as he continues forward in life, on a more productive foot. Furthermore, he needs to set aside his longing for things he “never had but thought he wanted,” such as the perfect romance and domestic tranquility many Men assume will come with marriage. The last two lines are powerful in that they reference a word – memory – which implies events happened that man can recall, when really, there is a double meaning at work. Kierkegaard once remarked that “the most painful state of being is remembering the future – particularly one you can never have.” Man is remembering only illusions and the passed-down stories of a bygone era, and desiring things he never truly experienced himself – this is especially true of men my age (I am 21) who grew up in a completely feminized society, where romances of yore really are just myths and legends.

Next verse:

Now
My notions of what makes relationships have a new light
I have gained an understanding
No more false facades
Covering my feelings
Preventing a connection

This is an important verse as well. Feminism changed the score for both men and women, and did away with traditional male values. Therefore, traditional male strategies may not necessarily apply anymore. One of the old rules of being a man was to keep constant vigil over our emotions and to never speak of them with other men, who we viewed as competitors for female affection. This thinking may not necessarily apply in contemporary times, where we as men need to work together in order to overcome the challenges that lay ahead for us. Man has realized here that the true purpose of communication is connection and understanding (this does not necessitate agreement!), and because Man now knows firmly where he stands and what he believes, he is not afraid to be “wrong.” In fact, he can’t be wrong – others may disagree with him but this will not shake his conviction or effect his contentment. The best relationships (regardless of gender) are always built on a bedrock of mutual trust, honesty and respect – and none of these things necessitates agreement though almost all of them necessitate understanding.

Because Man has realized that no one controls his emotions except for him, there is no reason to maintain a “false facade” and convince others that he is something he is not; there are few reasons to mask and deny his emotions. This is not encouragement to allow our emotions to control us, obviously, but really an embrace of true Stoicism. Too many men misunderstand Stoicism and think it is a philosophy of denial – just ignore emotions and they won’t bother you. This is not the case at all – true mastery of Stoicism is a true mastery of our responses to emotional stimulus. There is no reason to pretend that we are not sad when we are in fact sad; that being said, we need not make grandiose emotional displays of our sadness, either.

My favorite verse in the entire song is next:

I’ve been spending my whole life pursuing those who built this cell
Lamenting all the hateful things that happened to me
Never thought to look at how I might have played a part in what I am
Or what it means to lose the game before it starts

How many of us here can relate to this verse? I know I certainly can. I spent a large portion of my life looking to blame others for my misfortunes, trying to understand who built the cell I felt trapped in, complaining about all the injustices I was forced to endure. Like Man in the song, I never thought to look at how I might’ve been to blame for some of the things that happened to me, or even look at how the “game” was rigged to have me lose before I’d even begun playing. What I mean here is that feminism was in full swing well before I was born, and there was little I could ever hope to achieve or succeed at in light of that situation. Rather than look at the big-picture, however, and understand that the odds were stacked against me because our entire social system had been corrupted, I focused on my own life and trying to find individuals to blame (like my mother). I never thought that my complicity and happy agreement to buy into the party line – go to school, get good grades, go to college, get good grades, work hard, get a good job – was another factor contributing to building that “cell” around my life. As we at The Spearhead now know, much of feminism is funded on the taxes of single working men, and those who do their best to “succeed” (ie, make a lot of money) are contributing to the system, not necessarily making a better life for themselves.

This verse doesn’t just apply to big-picture items, however. I’m sure the readers can relate it to private events and transpirings in their lives. I know I can.

Next verse:

Now I know that I cannot turn back and change the past
And that the only choice to save myself
Is changing what I carry from it
Everything I did to myself
Everything that’s been done to me
I’ll turn my back on that and walk away

This is another poignant verse. All too often in the men’s community, I see men who are too happy to relegate themselves to a constant cycle of complaints and lament about the system. Man in the song, however, realizes that the past is the past and nothing can be done to change it. What can be done is change the things that we carry from it (rather than focus on all of the negatives of the past, we can choose to learn from the mistakes that have been made – by ourselves, by our friends, by our society – and carry these lessons into the future). The last three lines are Man’s resolve to forget about all the negative things that have happened to him – it’s more or less water under the bridge. He’s going to turn his back on those things and walk away. He’s going to “go his own way” and find a more productive and satisfying life – whether that be through a mastery of Game, through a successful expatriation to a foreign country, by marrying and settling down with a foreign wife, starting a brotherhood of his own, devoting himself to the deconstruction of feminism, or some other as yet undiscussed productive solution, Man has learned it is not productive to be locked into a constant cycle of Rage and Despair. Having Released himself from those negative and entropic mindsets, he can achieve Transcendence and actually get on with doing something fulfilling in life.

Next is a fairly straightforward verse:

And left with only me
At last I see the answer
And what I need to be
Letting go
I destroy my shell
Embrace my heart
And free myself

Again, Man has realized that ultimately, he has only himself to worry about – he can choose to worry about others if he wishes, but he is the master of his own destiny and he is the only one who can ensure his own happiness. He sees his answer (his strategy for carrying forward in life, see the above paragraph) and he lets go of the shell that was created for him in a feminist society (the old script of going to school, landing a good job, paying taxes, etc). He embraces his heart (that is to say, his true self) and, most importantly, frees himself of the system designed to trap him (one could even argue, enslave him). He is, perhaps for the first time, truly free in his thinking, speaking and doing. He can choose whatever it is that makes him happy – he can go his own way. He has discovered the truth that is true for him – the idea for which he can live and die. (Props to Kierkegaard for figuring this out way before I did.)

The next verse has several different lines being sung simultaneously, so they’ve been split up and we’ll take a look at each in turn:

(A)
The point of the search, may not be the answer
The value of a want, is not always a need
Still I stand, I’m not going to crawl
Now I know, I’ve got to believe

(B)
Once I was a person without malice
Once my heart bled red instead of black
Openness and introspection now show me the way
To reclaim all I’ve lost and take it back

(C)
You may have taken everything I ever had
But you cannot take my future

(D)
Just release yourself (x4)

In (A), Man repeats a platitude we’ve heard before but which has taken on a new significance in light of his recent epiphanies – sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination, if not more so. The lessons you learn in your travels can be more important than the perceived value of getting to your goal. The third line references the previous song’s conviction to stand and not crawl (to stand tall, as a man should, and believe in himself and his own convictions) and the final line reinforces the idea that it is all-important to discover that truth which is true for you, the idea for which you can live and die.

In (B), the first two lines reference Rage. The last two lines represent a strategy for overcoming Rage – Men must be open and honest about what it is that has troubled them, and they must abandon the old paradigms which view other men as competitors and enemies. The game has changed and feminism requires that men work together, at least for a time, in order to overcome it. It may be possible to reclaim what we have lost (our society) but it will not be easy and it will certainly require a lot of soul searching and commonality among men who may otherwise never have been allies.

In (C), a simple but powerful statement is asserted. Someone may be able to rob you of all your worldly possessions, but so long as they do not rob you of your life, you still have a future to forge. You can take this attitude to extremes – noted Stoic philosopher and slave, Epictetus, was a master of not letting things get to him and taking true control of his own life. He very clearly realized what was within his total control to do and what was not, and managed to retain contentment and dignity in situations ordinary men would despair and give up hope.

(D) is very simple – it is absolutely necessary as Men to release ourselves of the baggage of Rage and Despair first before we can proceed forward with anything productive. As tempting and alluring as it is to be caught in the vicious cycle of Rage and Despair – especially in light of some of the most horrible crimes that feminism has wrought on some men – we can never move forward if we do not Release ourselves from those forces. Transcendence is impossible otherwise.

Last verse:

All I was and
All I’ll ever be
Finally are integrated
And I am whole again
Now I know the reason for this suffering
I’m a better person for having known the pain

A better person having overcome the pain

The song/suite ends with an important revelation. Transcendence allows us to put our own lives into context – all we were and all we’ll ever be can become integrated, we can make ourselves whole. We don’t need to lament the “hateful things that happened to us,” we can instead choose to merely accept and understand them. I cannot tell you, the reader, what your personal reason to suffer was, but I have a good grip on why it was that I suffered, on my own personal reasons. Once again, openness and introspection are the keys – you can’t figure out this reason merely through one or the other (introspection without openness and discussion often leads to stagnation, openness without introspection rarely leads to self-revelation). We can be better people for having known our pain, and, more importantly, stronger people for having overcome our pain (Rage and Despair).

That’s all he wrote, folks. I hope my analysis made sense and I hope you learned something useful along the way, or saw things in a new light. I highly recommend checking the songs out for yourself if you get a chance, and moreover, I encourage you to do some introspection now on what you’ve read. Once you’ve done that, be open about it here on The Spearhead, and engage your fellow brothers (and some enlightened sisters who have likewise rejected feminism) in honest and frank discussion, lest you stagnate in your introspective endeavors. Being a man, a lot of my writing here was focused on the male perspective, but I want to make a caveat here. We should not be so quick to dismiss all women in our discussions and analyses – ultimately, if our species is to continue forward, some sort of gender reconciliation – whether it be one fueled by Rage or one fueled by Transcendence – is inevitable. Ladies, if you found anything to relate to in these songs, please do share. That being said, remain mindful and respectful of male perspectives. Civil discussion, folks.

I wish you the best of luck.

The Fullness of Time (Part 3) – Release

[Standard Disclaimer: This analysis represents only my personal interpretation of the lyrical content of Redemption’s suite, The Fullness of Time, and is not representative of the opinions of either the band or any affiliated persons involved in the production of Redemption’s music; past, present or future.]

This is the third in a series of four posts analyzing the lyrical content of Redemption’s musical suite, the Fullness of Time. So far, Man has dealt with Rage and Despair, and in this track, he will be contemplating Release (and unburdening himself of these two negative and entropic emotions/dispositions). As a side note, this track is really fun to listen to if you like metal / progressive music.

First verse:

Lying here surrounded
By the pieces of my life
Would it all be easier
If I lay be down to die

A piano interlude introduces the song and these lines are sung slowly. Man is picking himself up from his Despair, taking a survey of what’s happened. He’s surrounded by the fragments of his life, after everything’s seemingly fallen apart on him due to the betrayal of women; he wonders if it would be easier just to give up and die. (While suicide can be honorable in certain contexts, it is rarely honorable as a response to extreme depression. Following through on these thoughts and feelings would be a bad idea.)

The drums kick in and the verse continues:

Dreams piled high
On the back of this broken man
Is this all? Born to fall?
Or to rise again?

A poignant statement. Men tend to bear the burdens of all of society’s hopes and dreams. It is, generally, men who build society’s infrastructure, staff society’s enforcing positions (government, military, and so on) and men who take the fall when society begins to crumble (despite the fact that feminism is often a common element of that patterned collapse). In reference to that patterned collapse, the lyrics pose an interesting question – are all civilizations born to fall, or is it possible to see them rise again? While every civilization believes itself to be invincible during its collapse, isn’t it possible that our society could still be salvaged? It would be a long, hard road, to be sure, but to write it off as impossible…I think it’s a bit too early for that. But that’s another issue for another post.

Guitars kick in and we get another verse:

So much pain and disillusionment
Everything I once felt sure about
We’re all lost if we don’t know
It’s a game that we are all playing
The motions of all our counterparts
A piece of sinsiter scheme

More allusions to Despair but this time, rather than focusing on the pain, Man has begun to try to put the pieces together and analyze what has happened. He once felt sure about the way society was organized – sure that if he worked hard and was a good provider, he would have a good life like patriarchy guaranteed him. Now, he realizes that “we’re all lost” (we being men) if we don’t realize that there’s a game being played. You can take this to mean what you want – that Men literally need to learn Game to adapt and overcome. I take it more generally, in that feminists (in particular) have executed some grand strategies at very important power centers, enforcing a language ideology we’ve come to term feminism, which has influenced/distorted the very way people in Western nations think and perceive the world.

“The motions of all our counterparts,” that is to say, women, are a “piece of some sinister scheme.” This represents the way all women are culpable, to a degree, of allowing feminism to propagate. Their silence was a form of compliance; by not providing opposition to the movement they were complicit in its aims. (So too, mind you, were the men who were silent, and let’s not forget men who actively supported and enforced the movement.) This reminds me of people who try to dodge responsibility for their government’s ineptitude; anyone who pays taxes to the government is, to a degree, culpable for that government’s actions. Whether or not you vote matters little to the government – they’ll be spending your money either way. (By the way, your taxes are currently funding this post, which has been composed on my lunch break on a military base library’s computer.)

The puppet that’s broken has reason to smile
They can no longer force him to dance on their strings
Why shrug off the chains? If you wrap them about
You’ll be sunk to the bottom and drowning
The clockwork behind their smiles
Wound by hands that were made to harm

Here, Man has woken up to the fact that he has been little more than a dancing puppet for women as a group. However, the puppet who has been broken and betrayed – he who has lost all hope in the system ever satisfying him – actually has “reason to smile.” He is no longer compelled to dance when the puppet masters pull the strings. This is a powerful revelation – the revelation that we, as men, do not have to buy into womens’ construction of society nor do we have to play by their rules. They don’t hold the power – we do. The more men who wake up to this and live it, the better off we will all be as a result. After all, it has been well demonstrated here and elsewhere that patriarchy benefits both men and women, while feminism harms both men and women. Our Rage might compel us to seek vengeance against the opposite sex, but if we Release ourselves from that Rage, we come to understand that ultimately we must reconcile with women if there is ever to be any hope of a future for mankind. Granted, some may not be motivated to see humans prosper, but I’m not going to argue the merits of continuing the species here.

Still, Man is struggling, and he thinks about allowing the chains to wrap about him and drown him. Despair is still present as Release hasn’t been fully completed. He makes an observation that the “clockwork smiles” women and the rest of feminized society offer – the platitudes and meaningless trinkets and half-hearted concessions – add up to less than nothing. Furthermore, as a puppet, he was wound by “hands that were made to harm;” the system of misandry that society now fosters was designed only to harm men (with a side effect of harming women as well).

The first part of the chorus:

Just release yourself
Cause they can’t rape the willing
Or take what you have if there’s nothing else
Tired of life and filled with despair
And covered with blood from the crosses I bear
But I’m still standing
Should I make myself crawl?

It’s a difficult process but Man realizes he must free himself of the entropic synergy of Rage and Despair if he is to move on and make things right again. “They can’t rape the willing” means Man can’t be violated by a system he doesn’t buy into or believe in – he can’t be shamed by terms like “misogynist” if he doesn’t care about being slandered, for example. He’s not afraid to speak the truth and he knows in his own heart whether or not he hates women. Society can’t take anything else from him if he has nothing to lose – and he can reduce the amount of things to lose by reducing the amount of investment he makes in a feminized society. Even though Despair and Rage still weigh on his mind, and even though he is bloodied from the burdens he has borne, he is still standing.

It is not unreasonable to imagine that one of the crosses Man bears is the cross of feminism – a crushing weight and a cumbersome load that digs into him and wounds him on his journey.

The next verse:

Seems so counter to our nature
Accepting with grace the things we can’t change
But when all’s said and done and you’re wronged and deceived
Then it matters the most what you choose to believe
Should I fight against fate
Or should I just lay down and die?

Here, Man laments the passive nature he has been shackled with. It is against his nature to “accept with grace” the evils of feminism – the “things we can’t change.” What matters, however, is that after he has been “wronged and deceived” (as he was in Rage), then personal conviction becomes the most important thing to seriously consider. Where should Man’s beliefs lie? Should they continue to support conventional wisdom and the language ideology that fueled women’s betrayal of him? Or should he take a step back and examine things as if for the first time, without the crippling framework of lies and deceit that society has spun to poison his thinking? Should he fight against fate (another metaphor, here, for feminism) or should he just give up and die (either literally, or allow his spirit to remain crushed)?

I prefer to fight, but I suppose that choice is up to you, dear readers.

Guitar solo, followed by next verse:

The puppet that’s broken has reason to smile
But the strings can’t control you if you walk away
No more tears of disillusionment
I’l be a puppet no longer
The hands that I thought had held me
The clockwork behind their smiles
They’ll not have control over me
I’ll stand up and leave them behind

Here, we see Man has a lot more resolve than previously; he realizes the strings from the puppet master can’t control him if he walks away from the system of control (MGTOW). This can be achieved in a variety of ways – Game, expatriation, CoAlpha brotherhoods, marrying a foreign wife…

The regular chorus repeats once more before bleeding into a revised chorus, the finale of this track:

Just release yourself
From the scars you inflict on yourself
When you’re wounded by no one else
Rise above pain, move past my despair
And put down the cross that I’ve made myself bear
Now I’m still standing
And I’m not gonna crawl

This is an important verse. Here Man realizes his own culpability in the perceived evils that have been wrought upon him. He needs to release himself from self-inflicted scars (self-obsessed wallowing is one example, being unable to move on from the betrayal he’s suffered – scars inflicted when he is “wounded by no one else”). He realizes he needs to unburden himself completely of the cross he has made himself bear (feminism) in order to move on, and he has found new resolve (“I’m still standing, and I’m not gonna crawl”).

The next song is the most powerful in the quartet, and the reason I even started writing up any of the other ones. However, some of its power is reduced without understanding the full context of its lyrical content, and so these other analyses were necessary. See you next time.

The Fullness of Time (Part 2) – Despair

[Standard Disclaimer: This analysis represents only my personal interpretation of the lyrical content of Redemption’s suite, The Fullness of Time, and is not representative of the opinions of either the band or any affiliated persons involved in the production of Redemption’s music; past, present or future.]

This is the second of four posts on Redemption’s musical suite, The Fullness of Time. It is a lyrical dissection of the second track, Despair, which is the most straightforward of the four tracks. There is a smooth musical transition between all tracks in this suite, which represents part of the overarching concept – that this is a journey through Man’s emotional response to women’s betrayal of him.

I know, talking about emotions breaks man law, but stay with me.

The first verse:

Left now
Alone with your betrayal
There’s no way to feel secure
Anymore
Broken
Crushed in soul and spirit
With no way to set things right again

This represents, to me, an honest and private response to what has happened to Man. In public, he may show his Rage, and perhaps even initially he will feel that Rage in private. Eventually, however, it seems inevitable that Despair will set in as the true nature of the betrayal settles upon his mind. After all, he is “left alone” with “no way to feel secure; crushed in soul and spirit with no way to set things right again.” I have never been taken over the coals in the divorce court but I know some of our readers have (and my sympathies go out to you) – I imagine these lyrics might resonate with your situation? I’ve felt hopeless and despaired after suffering betrayals at the hands of women, and I wasn’t even invested significantly (like a marriage) or standing to lose anything substantial (as in a divorce) when I was betrayed!

Rage comes first, but it melts away into Despair.

The chorus:

Gone
You have stolen everything I ever had
And I’m left with nothing more than pain
And I know I’ll never trust the way that I once did
You have taken all my dreams
And turned them to ashes in my mouth

This seems to speak almost directly to those men who’ve gone through a bitter divorce or custody battle. Doesn’t it feel as though that woman you’ve trusted – the one who seemed friendly but put that kinfe in your back – has made off with everything of value you ever had (sometimes to include, most bitterly, your own children) and all you have left is pain? It also seems common for men to resolve to never “trust the way that [they] once did,” after women kill their dreams of domestic tranquility.

Final verse:

Starving
Searching for some comfort
Left to choke on my despair
Blinded
My faith and friendship shattered
And my life beyond repair

I think we men have all been seeking commiseration and unity from like-minded men. That’s why sites like The Spearhead have been cropping up. Without sites like these, we may have all been stuck in a perpetual cycle of Rage and Despair. The betrayals we’ve gone through, individually (I’m almost certain every male reader here has gone through some sort of betrayal – some only minor, some only major, and the rest somewhere in between) may have even shattered our faith and friendship. After all, the effects of feminism seemed to have led to a decline of religion (faith) and fraternity/men’s only groups (friendship). Furthermore, it seems to have had the poisonous effect of causing men to distrust one another, viewing each other as competitors (for women) during the best of times and villains (towards women) at the worst of times.

Privately, I think we have all felt that our lives were beyond repair. When we come together collectively and apply our reason, we can see that we have all suffered similar blows, that there are systemic problems and our failures are not isolated or individual in nature. This may not help ease the pain, but it does remind us that there may be any number of solutions to our grief.

Like I said, this is the most straight forward track. Stay tuned for the final two!

The Fullness of Time (Part 1) – Rage

[Standard Disclaimer: This analysis represents only my personal interpretation of the lyrical content of Redemption’s suite, The Fullness of Time, and is not representative of the opinions of either the band or any affiliated persons involved in the production of Redemption’s music; past, present or future.]

Unlike my previous two posts, the next few songs I plan on deconstructing are actually from a band I enjoy listening to. In fact, if I had to pick a favorite band, it would probably be Redemption. They’re often described as a “prog metal” or “power metal” band, but I’m no expert at music genre types. I would certainly agree that their music is powerful, and often times, the lyrics seem to resonate very much with my own life.

In particular, their second album, The Fullness of Time, has been particularly instructive to me throughout the years. It has a total of eight songs, and while the first four are strong in their own right, they don’t have the staying power of the last four. The last four are part of a suite, and, depending on who you ask, may even be considered one whole song in and of themselves (the song name being “The Fullness of Time”). However, the songs are broken up on the CD as separate tracks, so I don’t buy that gimmick. Furthermore, each track has a separate name and theme, which help untangle some of the messages (or so I’ve come to believe) the songs are trying to convey.

These four songs are sort of like a mini-concept album, for those who are familiar with that terminology. Note also that since Redemption isn’t nearly as “mainstream” as the last two bands/performers analyzed, YouTube links may not be available for some of the songs. (Rage is not the strongest, musically speaking, of the four tracks being analyzed, but it has an important lyrical part to play in the total “story” if you will.)

Near as I can tell, the concept for this suite is that a person (hereafter, Man) suffered some sort of devastating betrayal, and the songs explore the various stages of Man’s journey towards recovery – starting with Rage, moving into Despair, finding Release, and finally achieving Transcendence. (In case you couldn’t tell, those are the four song titles as well.) I think there’s a lesson out there for some of the MRA crowd as well, so I encourage you to stick to it and read through these posts. If you get to the end and feel I’ve wasted your time, by all means, call me a raving lunatic/idiot and demand for a refund.

The first song, Rage, opens with the following spliced in movie quote:

I believe in death. I believe in disease. I believe in injustice and inhumanity, torture and anger and hate…I believe in pain. I believe in cruelty and… in… every crawling, putrid thing… every possible ugliness and corruption, you son of a bitch!

This, in case you couldn’t tell, more or less establishes the fact that we are dealing with an unhappy person.

Moving along, then, to the first verse:

Struck down by the persons that I trusted
Robbed of dignity and left for dead
I can feel unmeasurable anger building in me
Emptiness and rage begin to burn inside my head

Here we can debate whether or not Man was literally “struck down” and “left for dead,” or if these are merely impassioned metaphors. I suggest the more likely case that they are metaphors, and in my interpretation, they are metaphors of the betrayal Man has, generally, been dealt at the hands of women. Who among us can’t relate to that feeling of betrayal? Aside from the extremely rare statistical anomaly who was born with amazing gifts of Game, I think most of the male readers of this site have all suffered some sort of betrayal (perhaps multiple ones) at the hands of women, and I think we can all relate to feeling “unmeasurable anger” and even “emptiness and rage.” I have certainly felt this way, and it seems to be the case that others have too. (Props to Jabherwochie for the best analysis of daily psycho-sexual torture women conduct upon men I’ve yet read.)

Furthermore, most of us recognize that we have all been robbed of dignity – particularly our traditional male dignity – and this has left us worse off as a group. Traditional male values, as we all know, have been demonized in society at large, and positive/heroic/”flawless” male role models have all but disappered from mass media. Men aren’t remembered for their great achievements, anymore, but only for their great failings – and half the failings we’re remembered for seemed to have been purely invented by feminist machinations. It’s enough to get a man’s blood boiling.

Once I was a person without malice
Once my heart bled red instead of black
Friends with one hand held behind their backs carried knives
Didn’t see the blades ’till they were buried in my back

More musings and metaphors on the nature of the betrayal Man has felt. Specifically, this seems to relate to “nice guys.” I know it’s trendy to beat up on betas and nice guys in the current blogosphere climate, but I’m here to suggest that maybe we, as men, should try to establish some commonality with other men regardless of their perceived status on some vague hierachy that’s still being defined and debated. We all recognize that women have presented a united front, and why would we want anything less than a united front of our own to meet the challenge feminism has presented to our favored Western ideals? (If you are so inclined to try and preserve them, that is – but I don’t find most men talking about expatriating or forming new countries, so…)

I think at one point or another, most of us browsing these sites have identified with the “nice guy” label and bought into the party line that told us so long as we were well behaved and good providers we would receive many social rewards. I know that I bought into this idea and I’m a relative pup compared to some of the folks in the community. Those of us who have felt this way can probably relate to the lines of this verse – “once my heart bled red instead of black” and “friends [women] with one hand held behind their backs carried knives.” How many times have we described women as “stabbing us in the back?”

After this verse, we get the first does of the chorus:

Sleep with one eye open
Knowing that I’m watching you
Listen for my footsteps on every darkened street
Like a call for help unanswered
You can scream but no one hears your voice
No one there to save you
As I take my just revenge

I think this represents the sort of path unchecked male anger can take, especially towards women. There is a lot of anger out there – some of it evenrationally justified – and this is not something that should be trifled with. I understand this anger even if I do not endorse it. There is historical precedent for male anger exploding with consequences for a society – just see this quote by Nancy Levant “Why don’t you ask the women of Afghanistan what happened to their liberation, which existed prior to the national radicalization of angry men with weapons?” A common observation in the movement seems to be that if you kick a friendly dog enough times, you wind up with a mean dog.

As Man observes here in the song, women are not safe unless there are men present to protect them. Without Man, there is “no one there to save [women].” Furthermore, under certain understandings, an argument could be posited that physical violence as revenge could be just. (Again, I don’t endorse this, but I can certainly understand why people would.) If you feel this way, perhaps this musical suite will speak to you and resonate with you. I encourage you to read on and discover/consider alternatives.

Next verse:

I can hear your laughter
I can see you think you’ve won
But I don’t know how you live
With no remorse for what you have done

Pretty straightforward here – the laughter and having women think they’ve won stand in as metaphors for shaming language and common feminist debate tactics. Not knowing how women live without remorse seems to be a lament for misunderstanding either hypergamy or misunderstanding natural female amorality. Women play by a different set of rules, and Man has had to learn that the hard way, especially in the absence of systems (patriarchy) designed to curtail natural human failings.

Then the refrain:

You claimed you were my friend
All the while you planned to murder me
You claimed that I imagined all the things you’d done to me
You’ll pay for being so destructive
You’ll beg for compassion
But I’ve nothing left to give

This is a powerful verse. Once again, Man is lamenting the false friendship that women have offered him – especially in a more feminist society. “You claimed you were my friend, all the while you planned to murder me” could just be a metaphor for how women generally deceive and mislead to get what they want – think of cuckolding, adultery, all of those things. This is one of my favorite examples of attempted cuckolding. Remove the system that instills and enforces morality (patriarchy) and all of the sudden, all bets are off!

The third line is an important one – how many times has the male perspective been denied, especially by the supposedly more empathetic gender? How many times has Man tried to air his grievances only to be told it was all in his head, or worse, all his own fault? It is only natural he wants women to pay for what has been done, pay for being so destructive – after all, the sting of betrayal is still fresh, the pain still raw and tangible. “You’ll beg for compassion, but I’ve nothing left to give.” I see a lot of that sort of attitude here and elsewhere, and it is not illogical. But it doesn’t need to be the only way.

See what anger will eventually melt into, given enough time, with my next post!

Inspiring Men: My Grandfather

(Below is a mostly unedited letter I sent to someone a few months ago. The only changes I have made were grammatical and removing my grandfather’s name for operational security purposes. Even though, at time of writing, I hadn’t had some of the epiphanies I have had recently, I still think my story may be of some use to some of the readers of the Spearhead.)

Nothing – absolutely nothing – in life is permanent. If you spend your entire life dreading the loss of something, you might not ever get to fully enjoy that thing. This is a lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way, and I think it might help you to hear a story from me, maybe so you can learn the same lesson I did.

Part of the reason I enlisted in the Marine Corps was because my grandfather retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Marines. Growing up, he had always been something of a hero to me – even if I didn’t really understand much about the Marine Corps, or felt like I knew him much. In fact, he once made it very clear to me that I was the son of the black sheep of his family – he still loved me, I felt, but my exposure to him was limited. I take my middle name after him.

After I enlisted – and saw what the Marine Corps was really like – my love and admiration for him sky rocketed. It’s something people could never understand unless they go through it. I can’t even try to put words to it, I know it’s futile – others have tried and failed. I heard that my graduation photos from boot camp had circulated back to him, and that for the first time in a long time, his family saw him cry, he was so proud.

Training in the Marine Corps is lengthy and intense. I wanted very much to, when I was first able, take leave and meet with him, to talk about the Marine Corps and give him a chance to talk to someone who could understand. As I continued to work on my own memoirs, I realized that my grandfather had stories – amazing stories – that he had probably never told anyone. He had fought – and survived – on Iwo Jima! He never talked about it much with anyone, and after being in the Marine Corps, I can understand why… people on the outside just don’t get it.

As my training was nearing completion, I received bad news. My grandfather was coming down with Alzheimer’s. By the time I graduated, members of my extended family, who were with him, made it clear that his memory was pretty much gone – he couldn’t remember his own children anymore. I had missed my chance – forever – to really talk to him and understand his life.

I grieved, candidly, in my own fashion. I grieve now, as I recall. Grieving is natural. You just can’t get stuck on it. What I realized, as I became stuck on it, was that I couldn’t control the situation – I had no ability to influence his disease or his memory. Furthermore, I was sure that I would do his spirit no honor by remaining paralyzed in grief. Instead of grieving, I took the time to drudge up a deep introspective dialogue – sifting through my own memories for my memories of my grandfather.

And as I did this tough work, rather than remember with grief and regret and longing, I focused instead on cherishing each memory, remembering it to the fullest and enjoying it as though I were there again. Some memories I enjoyed for the “first” time, having, as a child, not enjoyed that particular experience, but as a man with new understanding, cherishing it in a new way.

Part of my healing process involved investigating my family history. I tried to learn as much about him as I could – being that I hadn’t known him very well, and what I did know came from youth. He was a beautiful man. (I’m crying a bit right now, but it’s not painful. I am proud to be his grandson.) The trials and tribulations he went through – being one of MANY children from a very poor family, suffering through abuse, disowning his own family much like I have had to do, paying his own way through college, entering the Marine Corps as an officer in lieu of what he could have done with his education, and serving in World War 2 and the Korean War (he proposed to his wife and got married shortly before reporting in for The Basic School, right after receiving his commission – he would not see his wife again for two years…they stayed married until she died of old age), retiring in order to become a public servant in another way – by being a teacher and then principal at his local high school.

Did he do everything right? No, perhaps not. My father claims the way he was raised by my grandfather was not fair or healthy – but my grandfather’s other children seemed to have turned out better than my father, so who is to say who is right? But the struggles he went through, the pain and adversity he must have felt, resonated with my own life, and I felt very close to him. There was nothing that I could do for him in his final days, but that was okay, because I could live the rest of my life in his honor. I used to want to change my name in order to disown my family, which I had come to hate. But learning about my grandfather this way, after he was already effectively taken from me, restored my faith and pride in my family name.

Now, when times are dark and when I wish I wasn’t in the Marine Corps or doing other things, I turn my thoughts back towards Bill, and it gives me strength and resolve.

This turned out longer than I intended. A lot of my coping with Bill’s situation was done on a more subconscious, nonverbal level, also. This is the first time I’ve told ANYONE – even my few close friends – about this. The lesson I learned was to not be consumed by grief over loss; to instead channel that grief into something more positive. Everything must eventually come to an end, so it does not make sense to dread that time and to waste your energy being full of regret and sadness. Let the passing of something you’ve cherished be a cause for remembrance and cherishing. Let it be a new beginning – something to live the rest of your life for, rather than spend the rest of your life mourning.

These philosophies dovetail also with the revelation of thought I had while in the more intense training phases of my Marine Corps career, where I literally trained for every waking moment to kill and be killed. Life is so fragile and transient. We are all so very fragile and vulnerable. It makes no sense, none whatsoever, to dedicate your life to seeking achievement or seeking material gain over emotional depth and well-being. There will always be more work to be done tomorrow, and there will always be another achievement to seek or another record to break. Eventually, we will all pass our peak, and in all likelihood, have things left we still want to achieve or accomplish that we cannot. However, we may not always have a second chance to tell someone that we care about that we love them, or another chance to get to know that someone interesting just a bit better. Take risks in the name of enriching your relational life – strip everything else away and the measure of your life, I think, is the impact you had on other people and on the bonds you forged with them – on the families and communities you forged or were a part of.

What’s in a name?

Been thinking about changing my name again. This would coincide with my desire to go MSG and somewhat reinvent myself, at least within the USMC. My past can stay buried and I can become someone new, like I always wanted. I think I have the tools to do it properly this time.
The only thing is, what would I change my name to? JJ Durden works but it was meant as more of a joke. I think I like the idea of changing it to S. Vidar, but that could cause problems later. Certainly S. works for its dual meanings, but I am not so sure I am a fan of Vidar. I need to find a proper surname.
Then again, J. is a fine first name too, and I’m not sure I want to change it. 
I am absolutely in love with the idea of having a pseudonym that most people use to refer to me and a true name which only a privileged few know.