||Mors Principium Est
||Embers of a Dying World
||In a snowbound hotel, last week, a friend who doesn't listen to metal asked whether I listen to metal because it matches an existing inner state, or because it produces one.|
||It's a reasonable question, at least in the sense that I must have inner states.|
||But it's like a person who doesn't eat raw fish asking whether you eat raw fish because you feel hungry, or in order to not feel hungry?|
||"Battle in the Sky"
||If you're struggling to understand an alien belief, it's natural to wonder how people can believe it,|
||"When Humanity Is Gone"
||Into The Void
||and appealing to imagine that it's just a functional adaptation for which you have your own alternatives.|
||But the unenlightening answer is usually this: beliefs vary a lot more than methods of believing.|
||"Endure and Survive"
||I love the things I love for all the same reasons you love the things you love.|
||This is the core of all empathy and emotional intelligence:|
||accepting that people who disagree with you are not necessarily or merely being dishonest.|
||Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
||"Dead Man's Dollar"
||Zombies On Broadway
||We are currently experiencing a dramatic public political demonstration of the abject absence of this, of course.|
||"Heart Starts Beating"
||But in this, as with most things, Trump is not really that special.|
||"I Was Born"
||You do it when you try to imagine how anybody voted for him.|
||You do it when you wonder how people can kill in the name of gods,|
||or when you kill in the name of gods,|
||"Nothing Can Change You"
||HERE, I MADE THIS FOR YOU (Beach Slang Mixtape Vol. 2)
||or when you choose victims to defend,|
||Sunrise Skater Kids
||"How Far I'll Go"
||or identities to inhabit or distrust,|
||or when you fall into or out of love.|
||Existence is mostly projection.|
||"Away With The Night"
||Mostly, when we open our eyes, it is to fire ultralight beams.|
||Mostly, when we open our eyes, ultralight beams fire out of them no matter what we intended,|
||"110 Ways to Make Things Better"
||110 Ways to Make Things Better +2
||and if we're lucky, a few of them get reflected back to us through the relentless glare.|
||"Fractures (feat. Nevve)"
||Well, we're not all lucky.|
||And if you're not lucky, you're blind, and all you can see is your own light.|
||We elected a profoundly unlucky man whose blindness has been exceeded only barely by his privilege.|
||Tungevaag & Raaban
||"Wake Up Alone"
||I hate him as much as anybody, but this accomplishes nothing.|
||Victorians - Aristocrats' Symphony
||We might as well wave our clever picket signs at cats,|
||"Crown Ov the Dead"
||or at mediocre paintings of cats,|
||or at catalogs of generic art supplies repackaged as if they are only usable for mediocre paintings of particular cats.|
||You're not going to change Trump's mind.|
||It doesn't work that way.|
||"The Escape of the Blvck Rxbbit (feat. Avril Stormy Unger)"
||It doesn't argue, it doesn't adjust or amend.|
||It forms conclusions, and then they're formed.|
||You can only get him to believe new things about which he didn't previously have beliefs, and he's old enough to have beliefs about most simple things, and limited enough that non-simple things mostly don't register.|
||"Final Fantasy VII"
||Bannon and the other diligent racists have absorbed this and realized that Trump's structure contains a Death-Star-grade flaw:|
||Makeup And Vanity Set
||if you introduce a crazy idea he hasn't thought about yet at all, you can get him to form a new idiotic belief about it.|
||"La Danse Macabre"
||In other circumstances, this would be a harmless party trick.|
||"Oh No Mario!"
||Oh No Mario! +1
||As a characteristic of the federal government of a nuclear state it's destabilizing,|
||and embarrassing enough to be intolerable even if it were only embarrassing,|
||"Made in USA"
||and incurs an exponentially increasing risk of human extinction the longer it goes on.|
||"Es ist nie still"
||Es ist nie still +1
||Thus "the media" has, indeed, become politicized, because it's pointless publishing newspapers and broadcasting talk shows if everybody is dead.|
||"Clean the Beast"
||Thus, yes, "the left" has taken to protesting every action he takes, because his ability to take actions constitutes an existential threat to almost anything worth fighting for.|
||"Ora esisti solo tu"
||Individual acts of nihilism will be blocked or not.|
||The whole ordeal will end before the damage is irreversible, or it won't.|
||Le canzoni fanno male
||We elected a tornado that promised to make our trailer homes great again,|
||Jesse & Joy
||and now we're standing outside, as it descends, arguing about which color trailers it will refurbish most lavishly.|
||But here's the thing.|
||Imagine we survive this.|
||"Don't Let Up"
||It's useful to imagine this, in the sense that "useful" is inherently unnihilistic.|
||House Of Lords
||Imagine that this ambitious experiment in know-nothing autocracy will eventually end with us neither great again nor obliterated.|
||Trump will be returned to his tower and his taco bowls and his insatiable gnawing emptiness,|
||"On vain odotus"
||and we will once again have to figure out how to live without his face to guide our actions.|
||"Cuando nadie me escriba"
||And as we resume our regularly scheduled conflicts, we can repeat his folly of small-minded denial,|
||"Hemos Ganado Tiempo"
||or we can say aloud the essential dilemmas that we actually have to somehow resolve.|
||A Pink Sunset For No One
||- Is this country just another faction of arbitrary loyalism, or is this a portion of the planet where we actually act according to the belief that all humans are equal?|
||"A Tu Infinito"
||- Do you believe that "religious" beliefs entitle you to not treat other human beings as full equals?|
||"Canción para un Amigo"
||- Where does an individual human's rights begin, both in space and in time?|
||"Lost In My Mind"
||- Are we, as a species, measured by maximum prosperity we can consolidate, or the least suffering we condone?|
||Zincirimi Kırdı Aşk
||- Do we stand together, friends and strangers alike, or do we scatter in flight?|
||"Hall of tragedy"
||These are not rhetorical or easy questions.|
||"Nichts ist leicht"
||Globalists must acknowledge the gravity of homogenization, isolationists must grant humanity to aliens.|
||"I Have Seen My Soul"
||Theists must countenance a post-mythological social consensus, and every religion, even yours, must somehow reconcile itself to the status of cultural practice, not cosmology.|
||We are going to have to pick a single way to say when we believe that life starts, and it may have to be more complicated than conception-or-delivery.|
||Economy cannot be disentangled from morality or justice, in either direction.|
||The Doomsday Kingdom
||"A Spoonful of Darkness"
||And, most of all and probably before any of the other things can happen, we have to rediscover (or maybe discover for the first time) how to durably separate government from politics.|
||In this, at least, I agree wholeheartedly with whichever opportunistic nihilist wrote Trump's inauguration speech: we do have to stop merely transferring power from one administration to another.|
||"Forever and Away"
||The Spirit of Unchainable
||We have to stop taking turns petulantly countermanding each other's orders.|
||Our establishments have become dangerously close to self-sustaining in their standing-wave stasis, and maybe this is where the wave finally breaks.|
||And thus there is a hope in this chaos. It may not seem that way now, but if we survive, it'll be cheerfully clear in retrospect, and if we don't there won't be any retrospect.|
||Calling All Captains
||The hope is that whatever dysfunctional debacle we come up next, at least we won't do this exact mistake more than once.|
||The tiny hope is only that our inner states and the choices we make are not, in the end, inextricably connected by unquestionable forces we cannot understand or control.|