Elliott Smith is a Liar.

first the mic then a half cigarette
singing cathy's clown
that's the man that she's married to now
that's the girl that he takes around town

I listened to this song many times. It is part of a series of memories that seem to have been acquired in a life that was not mine.

she appears composed, so she is, i suppose
who can really tell?
she shows no emotion at all
stares into space like a dead china doll

Let's be clear. Elliott Smith is lying. He wrote this song to summarize something that isn't real.

It's a figment of a man's imagination created by his inability to process the end of a relationship.

When we (men) become accustomed to a certain level of intimacy with a woman, we draw our understanding of her state from that intimacy. We still misread it often, and sometimes we're simply left (or kept) out of the loop, but overall we begin to see the woman as a three dimensional creature, where the additional closeness informs us more about her as a person.

As such, when these relationships end. . . we feel that the woman has become flat. Dull. She seems lifeless rather than reserved because we make the mistake of assuming that because we don't have access to that intimate inner person, she must no longer exist.

I'm never gonna know you now, but I'm gonna love you anyhow

This statement is the mark of an idiot. I am an idiot. We establish love as a choice, as well as a feeling and an action, and when the day is over and someone has walked away from us (or even if we've walked away from them) we cannot simply choose to stop loving someone. It's a commitment, and a big one.

So unable to reconcile our foolish decision with the state of our live's affairs, we begin these dramatic downward spirals into lovelorn days of longing or bitter memories savoured even as we enfold ourselves in the arms of the newest girl that we choose to love.

now she's done and they're calling someone
such a familiar name
I'm so glad that my memory's remote
'cos I'm doing just fine hour to hour, note to note

We store up memories of our lovers like prizes or trophies. The day we made her laugh at the lake. The day she surprised us with a picnic in the park. The time we held her when she first heard the news that her grandfather was in the hospital. These special patterns of neurons create deep connections in our minds that we cannot shake, and so we pretend that we're suffering through the loss of the originator of those memories, even as we roll each one around in the mind's mouth like a man at a wine tasting.

It's a flailing, emotional, "PAY ATTENTION TO ME" gesture, and is fails to convey that we are men. In the process, we lie to ourselves about what our woman has turned into, now that she's in the arms of a new man she must be an automaton or. . .

here it is, the revenge to the tune,
"you're no good,
you're no good you're no good you're no good"
can't you tell that it's well understood?

I'm never gonna know you now, but I'm gonna love you anyhow

We blame her, imagining that she's a vile temptress who has moved on to a new victim, and somehow claiming that her depression is not our fault, her detachment when she sees us isn't our responsibility. Ironically we simultaneously imagine that our own depression is a noble thing--that we're shouldering a heavy load in an honourable way. We wish so fervently that we didn't create the pain behind her eyes that we pretend it isn't pain but some sort of aloofness, or apathy. That somehow we're still a real person but she has become a ghoul--a ghastly shadow of her former self.

All because we're too self-centered to imagine her better off with someone else.

I'm here today and expected to stay on and on and on
I'm tired
I'm tired

Meanwhile we let our own depression serve as a constant statement of our humanity. As if when we trumped about how exhausted and frustrated we are they'll see it as signs of how real we've become.

looking out on the substitute scene
still going strong
XO, mom
it's OK, it's alright, nothing's wrong
tell Mr. man with impossible plans to just leave me alone
in the place where i make no mistakes
in the place where i have what it takes

And now we see the turn. The moment in which he's honest about the fact that he's creating a fictional world where he didn't fail her.

But he did, and his previous statements about her really are misconceptions. Perhaps he's not a liar after all?

I'm never gonna know you now, but I'm gonna love you anyhow

I'm not sure there is much more to say on the topic. Men lie. That's habitual. But more often and more terrible than the lies we tell to the women in our lives are the lies we tell to ourselves.

I'm never gonna know you now, but I'm gonna love you anyhow

I think this about sums it up.

I'm never gonna know you now, but I'm gonna love you anyhow

lyrics: Elliott Smith - Waltz #2

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Moments like These (Beauty Distilled)

Sometimes people question








It is for moments like these.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dammit Jacques! Stop giving me ideas!

I couldn't resist.

Want your own? Have a go.

There's a real post (inspired by the new TMNT movie, of all things) coming along. Plus one based on Elliot Smith lyrics. Check back soon.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The really wretched thing about apathy. . .

is that you can't quite bring yourself to hate it.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I have a friend. . .

Well, believe it or not, I have a couple.

But this one particular (relatively new) friend has this great rule:

"Don't talk bad about my people to me."

It doesn't matter if I disagree with the way they live, or the choices they make, they are my people, and criticizing them to me will just get you on my shit list.

Turns out that lots of people like to talk about this rule being a good thing, but get rather. . .testy when you actually apply it to them and their statements about your other friends.

Funny how that works.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I was pleased and impressed by her choice. . .

but then why am I so blue?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I'd say I'm at 2.5 out of 5.

I found this short list by following a jump from TinyNibbles. (Yes, I read Violet Blue, and yes, that probably makes more than a few of you squirm.)

I thought the list was worth spreading around. And I'm opening up comments in case anyone thinks the list needs the be expanded.

Saturday, March 10, 2007