Thoughts on the state of Symphonies and their place in classical music

I have a love/hate relationship with classical music. Or perhaps love/sleep with it. There are pieces of classical music that soar and take me in and hold me up to heights unrealized and other pieces that feel uninspired and tired.

And I wonder, is this just how the notes impact me or is it that these are pieces that were written without need beyond the need for a meal or a drink?

Are these the pieces written for patrons, for commission? For some Duke or Queen, to garner attention in the hopes that it will lead to a steady gig?

And, while I don’t begrudge an artist the means of making a living, should these pieces now be venerated merely because of provinance and age? Or should they be viewed with an eye which turns first inwards then with a heart looking for that precipice from which to leap and grow wings?

Playing it safe pleases donors. Pleases the modern patrons, but should this be the criteria?

Should we not be able to embrace the classical composer without also embracing the mediocre or culturally uninspired efforts that allowed them to put bread on the table?

Maybe that’s hard to do. Hard to see what is emotionally resonant when the pieces themselves are tied to names that echo with greatness. Hard to justify risk when the continued success of the players is dependent on donations.

Perhaps, instead of begging for donations the price of a ticket should reflect the cost of the performance. It’s an oft quoted figure that each performance is only half paid by ticket sales. Making up the rest with donations…makes art hostage to future generosity.

It’s probable that I don’t fully grasp the economics of it. But I’d rather hear a schedule that takes risks and plays with fire than one that is merely safe. Speaking as a lover of classical music, why must I choose to support staid selections to receive the hope of one or two truly moving pieces in a season.

Perhaps it’s too much to hope for. I’m not sure. But I do know that if you play music that makes my heart sing…when I am enraptured… Then you will have a patron for life.

We must all serve the beauty in our hearts.

Or maybe I just hate falling asleep at the Symphony.

Waking up angry

I should not be lauded on my attitudes of consent. I should not think of my stances as militant even though I do so.

My thoughts and actions concerning consent should be so normal that to think anything else is to act outside the norm. It should be fringe and backwater, uninformed and brutish to engage in nonconsent.

I read accounts of women and men put through horror just because they were there. Just because they wanted a job. Just because they wanted a chance to do good work. Just because they wanted to see if there was a connection. And it fills me with rage.

How is this allowed?
How is this our culture, not just in the west but in the world?

Should people in power lose their positions because of their actions?

Yes. That is the least that should occur. They should pay with their lives and livelihoods, just as their actions forced others to make the same choices. They should be stripped of every good thing they ever acquired after their actions. No profit from the pain of others.

Informed enthusiastic consent needs to be taught from a young age. It needs to be a part of the curriculum. It needs to be enforced at home. If your child does not want to hug someone they should not be forced to. Do not normalize gritting your teeth and doing the things that make you feel aick. That make you feel bad. That make you feel used. Or as an object.

“No means no” is not enough. People freeze. People become nonverbal.

No is no is placing the onus of consent on the victim rather than the aggressor.

Only informed(non impaired judgment) enthusiastic(interested, nonforced) positive(yes, yes, yes) and ongoing(given throughout the encounter) consent is real true consent. If any of those criteria is not met then nothing should happen.

And I cannot stress ongoing enough.
Yes to kiss is not yes to fuck. Yes to a drink is not yes to a kiss. Yes to a hug is not yes to a grope.
Ongoing, every step or it all stops. And the initiator needs to be watching for any sign of nonconsent. It may “kill the mood”, (yes that’s been said to me), but better that than to physically hurt or emotionally damage someone.

And you the initiator…you have consent too. You can say no, stop, no more, break off contact, all of the same rules apply. Just because you started something doesn’t mean you must continue(yes it does happen that we kissed but I didn’t want to fuck)

We are leaving so much emotional, physical, and mental wreckage in our wake. This needs to stop. We need to stop it. Culturally we need to call out every action that does this. And we need to teach our youth not only what is Not ok, but what is. They must know what their responsibility is before they can be responsible.

Let who you are free into the light

I hate keeping secrets. Even lies by omission hurt.

I spent a portion of my youth on secrets. On lies. It almost killed me. It came close. At the end, all I had was money, scars, and grey hair. The money is gone. The scars are mostly faded. The grey hair stayed. And a deep abiding pain that accompanies lies.

I spent years clawing out of various closets. Sexuality, society, BDSM. And at the end of it, I found peace.

But still people want me to hide. To be discreet. To say it’s no one’s business but ours.

But let me tell you. It may be no one’s business but ours, but it’s on them to turn their heads. Hiding is lying. Discretion is fine, but it should not stop a kiss or a hug or holding hands. If it does then that’s fear.

Just because I can hide or lie; Because I practiced for years, doesn’t mean I enjoy it. I loathe it.

I understand why hiding may be necessary. If life or liberty is on the line. But if not? It’s not worth the cost.

And sometimes, even life and liberty are not enough. We should be who we are. Shout it from the rooftops. And to those that would silence us, let them reap the consequences. Let them fear.

I said I didn’t like lying. I didn’t say I’d forgotten my past.

Reiteration, repetition, and real

I am trying for the opportunity
The opportunity to stand by you. To work with you and help elevate you. The opportunity to hold you and keep the demons who would harm you at bay and the opportunity to scold your demons who lie and sow confusion. The opportunity to throw open and embrace all of the parts of you and show you the way back out of the darkness of those desires.
I want to give you the best and worst parts of me because I aim to give you truth and I can’t do that by hiding my faults. I want to watch your smile flower and never leave you. I want to show you how wrong those who’ve hurt you were. Even though I know you know that they were wrong I want to help you heal those deep parts that still don’t believe it. I want to walk in the sunlight without fear. Your hand in mine, eyes held high, daring the world to say something. I want you to meet my friends and see them roll their eyes at how cute we are together. I want you to meet my family and cringe as they say the stupid shit I know they’ll say. I want you to never have to guess what I’m feeling. I want you to never have to endure silence. I want to hear your voice every day. I want to hear you laugh all the time. I want all of the private things you think and want in your mind and heart to be the the words in my ear that gets you those things. Pain, orders, stability, sex. The sure and absolute place in my heart and world that never waivers. I aim to be yours. Forever. I’m working towards that. Things are weird, things are hard. There is confusion. But never waiver, never doubt that by your side, on your side, I will always be. Whatever happens.

Things in this world are complicated

You have to give yourself over to love. I know thats crazy. I know that invites pain and death and the dissolution of the self. But you must. Not in some religious sense unless we mean as a philosophy of hope for each other. Only through love can humanity save itself. And I don’t mean love as some cold thing but let respect, hope, desire, and the elevation of others inform your choices. And if you find yourself with someone you love, who loves you, and if all parties enthusiastically consents, express that love physically. Even if that’s just being in the same room. Or holding hands. Or kissing. Or the whole panoply. Love is no cold thing. It is of heat, of flame.
Help and dictate not how that help is used. If you give money to someone, accept that they know their own needs and let go any notion that you have the right to dictate. Give freely and without expectation of reciprocity. Let love be your guide.

This is not to say that you should endanger yourself, just that we all hide a bit more than may be needful.

And I’m definitely not saying that a person who takes in the belief that they act in love are to be forgiven. In my belief system, if you take without consent, then you must suffer the dire and vicious consequences.

I say only that love should be closer to a guiding principle than we generally let it be.

A response to an ill mannered jest

If someone ever harmed the person I pledged myself to they would burn. I would tear down the world and reap a hurricane of death and pain. I would call armies and madmen to my banner. I would bath the world in blood until they were returned to me. No impedement, not even death would stop me. No creature, man, or god would dare stand against me. Everything I am or ever will be, I would sacrifice for their safety.

I would tear down reality. Nothing would bar my way. Not for long.

Freedom of speech

Freedom of Speech protects you from the government or the law of the land. It means that your speech cannot be restricted by the government. The government cannot imprison, silence, or kill you for speaking.

It does not mean that speaking is without consequences. An employer, especially in a right to work state, can fire you for saying things. This is especially prevalent when your speech runs counter to what they think or if the opinion has a impact on their ability to do business.

Further, while you are exercising your free speech you should expect that others will be exercising theirs as well. Often in counterpoint to your own. Further, if your speech incites strong emotions in your heart, you can expect people to react in the same manner to you.

Freedom of speech does not protect you from your fellow citizens. It only means that if you say that the king or president or ceo or whatever is a fucking idiot, you cannot be subject to imprisonment or worse by the mechanistic cogs of the justice system. You will still be met with resistance from your fellow citizens.

You cannot hide behind freedom of speech and hope that people won’t Judge you or move against you. Speak all you want to but you will be opposed. And if any side chooses to escalate to violence then all involved parties are subject to the justice system. Just because you got clocked while you were exercising your right to speak does not mean that you get to retaliate. All are equally subject to the law. (in theory, in practice we see something else but that doesn’t make it right.)

That is all the logical and legalistic parts of me trying to reason with people.

The other parts are saying, if you stand with, condone, take the side of, or otherwise sympathize,  for any reason,  with fucking Nazis then you should be fucking clocked. You should lose business. You should be put on the horns of public scrutiny and your whole life turned upside down. You cast your lot in with them and you are accepting the consequences of your choice.

Welcome to what Freedom of speech really means.

Sense8

So I don’t normally do this but this show is very important to me.  Not only does it show LGBTQ+ in a positive light it also shows that their sexuality is just a part of who they are. It is the most inclusive I have ever seen a show that was not specifically about their sexuality. Like Queer As Folk or the L Word. This shows people being people, sexuality included.

When I watch the show I feel proud to be on the journey with these people.  I feel good about them. Their world is fraught with danger but they never stop loving. Indeed their world is one of inclusive love and that is always something I will endorse.

If you have not watched it, it is on Netflix and I can’t recommend it enough.  It stands at 2 seasons and a teaser episode.

Unfortunately, as of yesterday, it seems Netflix has canceled it. And I feel like they are ripping away something vital and real.  Something that truly shows what an accepting loving society could be.

I’ve signed this petition: Save Sense8

I hope you will too.  Or at least watch the show.

Another bullshit breakdown

All I have right now is this violent dark soul sucking need to connect

To be seen, to be known
And I could go out and spread my bleak nihilism
Drown in physical desires
Give in
And wake empty

Each night more empty than the last
Each touch just a step away from oblivion
But it’s not what I want
Is it

I want that lasting connection
These touch memories linger with me forever
Burning my mind and fill me with yearning
They seem to be so vital
But the night ends
And what is left but the annihilation of self
In the persuit of nothing

I’m tired of fighting for substance and coming up short
I’m tired of finding people who are vital and pushing them away with the raw need that pours out

Don’t try so hard, be yourself. Which fucking one? I’m only comfortable when I know chapter and verse, when I know specifically where we stand and how likely something more, always more, is. Do I just accept that it’s zero?

As fear and anxiety eat away at my calm, as the reality of being alone sets fucking in. Don’t be desperate. I’m fucking drowning, how the fuck else am I supposed to to feel?

Be yourself? My self is a fucking high strung artist who fucked up his past, and doesn’t see a clear way to a viable future. That’s fucking sexy that is.

And truth, just be honest. What percent honest can you fucking handle? Cause no one wants a hundred percent.

Fuck, fuck! FUCK!

I’m just screaming into the void and hoping it matters

My call to arms

I’ve heard it said that the benchmark for love is whether or not you would die for someone.

It’s not. Death is Easy. We all do it. It’s going to happen.

No, the benchmark for love is whether or not you will live for someone.
Will you wake each day with the intention that today you will be as good to them as when you were courting. As when you were dating. As when you first saw them blush with their body. As when you first touched and your heart sped up a little.

Love is a emotion, yes. But in a relationship, it’s also a choice. The choice to love completely. To not allow all of the noise and fury of this chaotic, beautiful, mad world we live in, to not allow it to take over and intrude where it is not welcome.

But, people call me crazy for opening my heart so wide. And I won’t pretend that I have not been hurt. But, if I allow that pain to make my choices for me then I am not living. I am hiding.

I choose to not hide. To not be ruled by pain. By fear. I may not always know the way. But I know that love is my guide