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Sunday Soul – The Very Idea of a Woman
Year 11 – Playlist 8/52 – For the week of June 8th 2014
Somewhere around 1825 German Idealist Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling attempted to rescue the concept of theism from the celebrated Atheism of Imanuel Kant’s idea that the existence of God simply can not be proven. Both of these men pre dated concepts of Humanism, and thus missed the boat on the calling of faith which made room for alternative concepts of “God” or even spirituality. The 17th and 18th century arguments about theology were largely rational approaches to a world which was at last begining to budge. All of civilization for all recorded history prior to this significant stumble had been slammed shut spiritually into the power, wealth, and dominion of the church. Thus the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and the spiritual revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries were in part about shattering long bound chains, and creating space not just for mechanical wonders, but more importantly for personal wealth, power, and freedom. In effect this is where the idea that money buys freedom was born. It didn’t stop with the philosophers, but it lead the path to the revolutionary changes for people of all culture, color, gender, class and creed. We aren’t all the way there yet, but it’s only been a couple hundred years so these are early days.
Jump ahead more than a hundred years and noted British scientist and godfather of modern dance Sir James Jeans writes “Today there is a wide measure of agreement, which on the physical side of science approaches almost to unanimity, that the stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as a creator and governor of the realm of matter…” While Jeans was unable to work out the electric slide, he did express that the endless wonder of our universe most resembles a thought. He was not challenged. He wasn’t challenged because by the mid century the world was in agreement. Liberated from the political dominion of the church, we were able to gaze toward the heavens and again feel some seblance of connection. According to Emmet Fox, the great dance hall selector of the late 1930’s, the moment we begin to imagine something other than ourselves we have instantly become spiritual. And so to be spiritual is to imagine a greater thought than our own.
It is traditionally “male” to imagine the most romantic and distant idea, call upon the muse for guidance and then attempt to posses it. Television dance instructor Calvin Klein said “I think there’s something incredibly sexy about a woman wearing her boyfriend’s T-shirt and underwear.” And while he may have been saying something else about himself here, it is a handy quote to back up what I just wrote about the traditional male. But that’s not being altogether fair. The “century of self” has done some pretty wonderful things. We learned from marketing that not only do women want to be the woman that men want, so they’ll buy those little skirts, and sad little boots, but also men want to be what women want and so they will learn to run fast, and lift heavy things, and drop the price of a car on a wrist watch in order to become the object of desire. The ideas we cultivate, believe and absorb into our souls, our homes, and our societies are in many ways quite horrible. But they’re horrible because they can also be true.
I just read this “top six things a woman should know about what men want,” and I couldn’t tell if I should laugh or cry. First I’ll say that I don’t want any of the things that website said I want, so they’re wrong (at least about me personally.) But also it’s scary because I think they might actually be right for the average punter (see how they’ve already pitted us against each other?)
I’ll put it to you: Are your top six desires – (1) ownership, (2) security, (3) light conversation, (4) enviable beauty, (5) jealousy, and (6) a chill personality? And even if you can rationalize these into six solid “yes” answers we’ve left out (7) the body of a 10 year old boy (7a) with massive tits, but (7b) small nipples, (8) absolutely no pubic hair, and if we’re lucky (9) no complaining, and (10) a family with absurly huge piles of money.
We are like dogs hot on the trail of a dogfood truck that’s left the county. Yet down the road we haul because we can still smell it in the air. Based on this nonsense, women are in some trouble. If you hope to contend with this rampage of lust for puppy chow you’re going to need to lose all your womanly curves without complaining, somehow manage to depilitate your gentials, and inflate or maintain your chest whilst remaining as “chill” as possible the entire time. I don’t envy your horrible role in this embarassing world of marketing and lies. Personaly I invite you to never listen to another word of it, cast all that you can from your mind, and start figuring out what actually makes you happy, and what you genuinely want. If your answer turns out to be “whatever handsome men want,” then so be it.
Considering we are talking about heterosexual males here (and we aren’t always talking about them, as you know) I know a lot of romantics. I know a lot of men who have broken hearts, dashed hopes, furious desires, and analytical minds. As men we attempt in our more or less butt-sniffing way to solve problems, fix things, and to get back to work. We aren’t worried about time, or reserves, or nests. We will just go to the store and get more crackers when we have eaten all the crackers (if we actually want any more crackers.) We imagine there is a women (yes, a very pretty woman) out there in the mists. A woman who will look into our eyes with a genuine degree of interest in us and our feelings and ideas. A woman who will immediately know us as an equal, and reach for us when something needs to be lifted, repaired, or worked through. Some of us need drama, and some of us need to be spanked, but mostly we just want to be seen, heard, and received. We imagine this woman to be calm, quiet inside, and to have the warmth and reassuring touch that comes with wisdom, empathy, and a poorly obfuscated sex drive which might even surpass our own. In short, we don’t actually know women at all. And the modern world isn’t helping either.
As we shift entirely from a male dominated economy to a deeply female dominated economy, the roles have shifted. The boy of 17 who once could use his strong body to provide for a family is sorely out of luck today, but his girl friend can easily get a call center, or customer service job and bring home the bacon. We’ve stupidly shipped all of our manual labor overseas where our would be “man of the house” can’t have any of it anymore. Gone are the roles which met our traditional instincts, and lost are the stereotypes of antiquity.
It’s time to imagine a man who can share the load, and express himself clearly, and neither has to apologize for his vulnerability, nor prove his strength to the boys in the warehouse. This isn’t just true because that’s an unproductive waste of time, but also because many of the “boys” back at the warehouse are girls, and some of them identify as “boys” and need you to call them Kevin. What I’m saying is that this image in your heart of “a woman” is an idea. It is a hole in your soul. Without the vice grip of some funny little man in a pointy little hat controlling your government’s ability to transact itself, we are left to our own humanist devices and sense of right and wrong, good and evil, true and false. It’s time for us to begin to address this hole within ourselves. It’s time to learn to love ourselves. It’s time to be free.
Thank you for listening. See you next Sunday.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul: The Very Idea of a Woman
1. The Experience of Swimming – Japan
2. All That You Give – The Cinematic Orchestra
3. Night Falls – Larry Gold’s Night Falls Over Philly String Version – Booka Shade
4. Sun Collapse – The Chemichal Brothers
5. Maid Of Orleans – OMD
6. We Gotta Hit It Off – Millie Jackson
7. I’m Your Boogie Man – KC And The Sunshine Band
8. Pacific Break – Reverso 68 Remix – The Beat Broker
9. Night Ride – Hot Chocolate
10. Read My Mind – 6th Borough Project
11. Tabula Rasa – Remote Persona
12. Girl Talk – Justin Faust
13. Thinking About You – Extended Version – Bobby McFerrin
14. Sex Object – Kraftwerk
15. The Awakening of a Woman – The Cinematic Orchestra
16. Hide And Seek – Imogene Heap
17. Sunday Soul – Program ID
18. Wichita Lineman – Dennis Brown
19. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Year 11 – Playlist 8|52
8 June 2014
Total Running Time: 01 Hour 27 Minutes
May the stars above you shimmer and shine, guiding your heart always, all of the time. May they guide you sweetly, all the way home. And may all your sundays have soul.