Where Camille Paglia and Socially Extinct intercepted.

It’s quite revealing and indicative of our instant cyber age that an article that is just a little over 24 hours old can so readily be cast aside as “old news,” but that is certainly the sense that I get in linking to Camille Paglia’s Time Magazine treatise in which she opines on the American (and the West’s) Darwinian reversal march. According to Paglia, complacence and pampered home lives and an over-civilized familial culture interspersed with First World entitlement-fed apathy and ignorance has resulted in a breed of college student that is incapable of self-protection or the calling upon of sharp, primal instincts which should automatically trigger when survival beckons.

Simply put, modern technological culture is breeding a domesticated, innocuously coated species of Millennial “beast” that is, at best, helpless in the foreign role of recognizing and contending with danger.

Paglia wrote:

Too many young middleclass women, raised far from the urban streets, seem to expect adult life to be an extension of their comfortable, overprotected homes. But the world remains a wilderness. The price of women’s modern freedoms is personal responsibility for vigilance and self-defense.

I agreed heartily as I read her piece. I concur strongly with Paglias’ sentiments. Technology and modernity have made men less warrior-like and women less prudent.

In a world where your primal instincts are lathered over by our culture of electronic nannyism and effusive watchdoggedness, the result can only be a caliber of human that is but a skinny stack of delicate bones and tremulous sensibilities. So shielded are today’s youth from savagery, cruelty, unfairness, brutality, that their entire chain of maturity is molded around the acceptance and expectation of a scripted world approved by censors and protectors. Paglia’s article struck a note, for I recall having written a post which vaguely touched on this point.

I found it. Titled Why do White people keep falling to their death? and posted August of last year, I wrote (I used “White” as the archetype, the analog, for all modern, First World inhabitants):

Modern, urban, young White people have no sense of danger because they don’t know danger. This is typified by extending the safety harness of ledges and rickety rusted metal cages to their everyday pampered lives. It’s natural selection on a very small scale. If we do not learn danger, we become weak, ignorant, and worst of all, incautious.

White people have become horribly incautious and this is why they’ve lost control of the United States.

Perhaps it’s a stretch to correlate the deaths of falling White people with American decline, but it’s very appropriate if one truly pays attention.

White people lean too far because no one has taught them that it’s time to stop, and everything falls to shit.

Fast walkers, die!

This video makes my blood boil. Some sorry-ass guy in Japan walks around and rings a bell when people are walking “too slow” for him.

This shit makes me so angry.

I have a strange, visceral, instinctive reaction when I’m rushed. I hate to be rushed and I will lash out. I would happily kill all automobile tailgaters and pedestrian tailgaters.

If this guy came up behind me with his little bell dinging away, I would turn around, rip it from his hands, and shove it right up his ass. Never rush me, bastard. If you are truly in a hurry, go around. Surely you can manage that in your feeble little overclocked mind?

Besides, how do you define “slow” or “fast” anyhow? It’s so relative. The old “anyone walking slower than me is walking too slow” bullshit does fly with me. Go to hell you rushers. Get a life. Here in L.A., it seems White people are the rushers. They are the people who have that delusion of self-importance that proclaims their destination needs them so desperately that they’ll trample all in their path.

The Needy, Non-Ironic, Ego archetype.

So there is this rather fat chick I have the misfortune of crossing regular paths with. She’s of the Dunhamian landwhale-XX variety. Hence, I have no problem calling her “fat,” as opposed to “obese,” which is much too forgiving a term due to its neutral and clinical description. This chick is fat, she’s loud, but rather than letting this devolve into an anti-fat dirge, I want to mention she is also something else that I detest in people: she is one of those people with needy, non-ironic, egos.

I suppose this ego type is most commonly seen in bloated female specimens, but it has been noted across the span of all humanity.

I detest this ego type.

The needy, non-ironic, ego type is characterized by sly, weakly subtle, expressions of boastfulness.

These people appear to be involved in an incessant, never-ending competition and battle with the world that takes place entirely in their heads. They are constantly immersed in a vigilant stance of appraisal of their environment, a quality which appears as nosiness and intrusiveness. These people live entirely outside their mind for they are always on the look out for the next opportunity by which to engorge their gluttonous egos. These people are typified by a self-directed blindness which is so severe that they do not seem to realize how transparent their neediness is to the outside observer. Their “slyness” is laughable for it is nothing of the sort. It is blatant and embarrassingly obvious, this egotistical yearning. Any battle, however trivial, they believe they have “won” in their heads becomes the stuff of legend as they recount it in subdued allusions of happenstance that really is their way of saying “look how fucking awesome I am” without owning this awesomeness. It may be because there is an implicit guilt they actually feel but, unable to recognize it, a trait further exacerbated by this maddening neediness, is photoshopped out of their putative extravagant personality and is manifested as a privatized grandstanding that others generally do not observe (except for hyper-observant dolts like me). Ultimately, it’s the “non-ironic” aspect of this clingy egotism that is their trademark, for their neediness is born of insecurity and laziness of spirit. Their needy, non-ironic ego is unable to refer to itself, for if allowed to do so, would result in such people having to glare clearly and honestly into their fragmented soul.

In 1984, Los Lobos wondered how the wolf would survive; that wolf is Man, all alone in a world that’s changed.

Nineteen eighty-four was a wonderful year (musically) for me. Never one to confine myself to any single genre of music, my broad tastes were free to flourish during this time as my world was swelled with musical forms speared at me from all directions. Bruce Springsteen’s and Van Halen’s “pop” offerings gave way to lilting electro-streams of New Wave music that straddled a delicate zone from charming bouncy to despondent maudlin, and of course, the violent upheaval of heavy metal and all its descriptive incarnations that would result in a Motorhead fan like me to loathe Cinderella faggot fans or Dokken-listening religious freaks. Then there were Suicidal Tendencies, early Sonic Youth, The Cure, and other temperamental alternative cutting edge offerings which sealed that musical era for me, an era replete with an overabundance of choices in vinyl, cassette and compact disc offerings, cascading simultaneously as technologies advanced. Little did the technological worshipers of compact discs dream that in just a decade, digitized bits of data would render their prized discs obsolete.

And in the midst of this lyrical madness, a little Mexican-American band from East Los Angeles, Los Lobos, dropped an album in 1984.

los lobos

The album, “How Will The Wolf Survive,” represented the band’s first major label album release, and it was greeted with rousing reviews. The band’s music, which alternated between folksy Mexican rambunctiousness, rockabilly, rock, country, all the while was infused with meandering threads of traditional Latin music styles.

The state of musical technology in that day was such that I listened to the album repeatedly on my car’s cassette deck. There was not a song on the album I did not like, but one stood out more than any other, and remains a favorite to this day.

When “Will The Wolf Survive” was released, it symbolized only its literal existence to me. It was about the wolf. In my 20’s, such symbolism was lost on me. I was concerned only with the wolf and its gradual extermination at the hands of modern humans. I idolized the wolf’s solitary but ruthless nature. I fancied myself a wolf among men, lurking, surviving, self-sufficient to the extreme measure of isolation and utter independence from any man. Over the years, I came to see that the wolf, as articulated by Los Lobos, represented the soul of the Mexican man: torn by his vast, wild cowboy Mexican spirit, something which was quickly becoming archaic in the latter reaches of the 20th Century, and the beacon of modern, civilized, mannerly culture that sublimated his ferocity and machismo. This interpretation, in fact, is probably what the band insinuated in the song’s lyrics.

“Will The Wolf Survive?”
(David Hidalgo/Louie Perez)
Through the chill of winter
Running across the frozen lake
Hunters are out on his trail
All odds are against him
With a family to provide for
The one thing he must keep alive
Will the wolf survive?
Drifting by the roadside
Climbs each storm and aging face
Wants to make some morning’s fate
Losing to the range war
He’s got two strong legs to guide him
Two strong arms keep him alive
Will the wolf survive?
Standing in the pouring rain
All alone in a world that’s changed
Running scared, now forced to hide
In a land where he once stood with pride
But he’ll find his way by the morning light
Sounds across the nation
Coming from your hearts and minds
Battered drums and old guitars
Singing songs of passion
It’s the truth that they all look for
The one thing they must keep alive
Will the wolf survive?
Will the wolf survive?

But now.

I’ve come to see this song symbolizing something Los Lobos never envisioned, but which I can’t help but to paint for my own benefit and philosophy. The wolf that they sang of was not the animal or the Mexican.

It was Man.

The wolf was our extinct primal masculinity, embodied in the nature, the myth, of the lone wolf struggling to survive so that others might enjoy comfortable existences. The wolf was Manliness, it was a legacy, a historical character which once dominated society, a male beast who didn’t fancy complicated thoughts of equality or fairness for those were alien luxuries that did not cross one’s mind when his only purpose was to be a strong man for the sake of those whose survival depended on him. It was a world of complementary existence. The wolf was the beast, the cowboy, who barreled cautiously but stridently through a dangerous world while wearing the shield of courage and nobility. The wolf who was slowly, through modernization and technology, torn down, decimated, castrated, by the niceties and flood of overwhelming weakness which befell a lazy mankind that traded its fierceness in for job titles and benefits packages and mortgages.

Who was the wolf, but Man?

This is what Los Lobos sang about, this is the archetype they praised and lamented. How Will The Wolf Survive? Indeed. How did the wolf die?

iTOY and the perils of Appleopia.

Today I jokingly called someone’s iPad an iTOY.

All Apple products are that. They are just iTOYs that today’s adult children hoard in excessive spurts of voracious conformity and consumerism.

iTOY…a much more suitable name for these expensive gadgets that cement your entrance into the world of Appleopia.

iTOY! iTOY’s span the entire range of that smart, urban trendy perpetually advertised and lusted after over-priced and under-life-spanned Jobsian product line.

iTOY6…did you get yours yet?