Video Jukebox: Ex-Girl To Next Girl

A brilliant rap from a simpler time, when a guy could rap about his girl troubles without resorting to flagrant misogyny.

Witty, funny, and musical . . . light-years ahead of so much crap that has come down the pike since.

Video Jukebox: You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)

Brother and sister. Guitar and drums. Not even a bass player. That's the White Stripes. It sounds like it can't possibly work, but it does. Amazingly well, in fact.

Video Jukebox: Birds Of Fire

Jazz isn't my thing. Nor is jazz-rock fusion, or electric jazz, or whatever you want to call it.

There is however one major exception -- The Mahavishnu Orchestra, a group that defined that fusion genre like no other. While every member displayed great musicianship, the driving force was guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin.

McLauhglin's guitar playing is . . . spiritual, is the only word that fits. And the only other guitarist I'd use that adjective in praise of is Hendrix. Technically, he does things that I've heard few others do, and none other with the fluidity and seamlessness that McLaughlin does.

In a 2003 survery, McLauhglin was ranked #49 among the 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time. #49 is about . . . 47 places too low, to My way of thinking.

This accompanying video is a series of beautiful kaleidoscopic "birds" by a very talented person known as mxurbanski. Watch and listen . . . and don't worry, you might feel like you've taken peyote, but this trip is 100% legal.

Video Jukebox: Polk Salad Annie

Tonight's selection -- Tony Joe White doing a better version of the song Elvis had a hit with. TJW's version is less mannered, more down, more . . . unnnnh!!

Totally infectious tune.

When Life Imitates The Comics

Most people have read a Dilbert strip at some point. But you can tell people who have never worked in a company of any size -- when they read Dilbert, they might chuckle, or smile, or generally have a minor reaction. To these people -- Dilbert is funny, but they think it's highly exaggerated . . . not real enough to be truly hilarious.

Those who have worked in any medium-large sized company for any length of time know better. As My girl lissa said the other night, "Dilbert is dead-fucking-on."

In many ways Dilbert is not only a reflection of the office workplace but a predictor. Catbert, the evil HR Director, who at one time seemed like a parody of a villain, is now shown to be pretty much standard issue. The willfully stupid things the company and the boss do in Dilbert can be read right off the headlines now.

And I've noticed over the past few years, especially, that employees now are much more likely to show their Dilbert-like awareness of the reality than they ever were before. We office drones who used to toil in silent acceptance of the essential stupidity and meaningless of the office experience now are much more likely to act like we know what we know -- and why not? The worst that can happen -- losing one's job -- is more than likely to happen anyway. If we are not laid off or moved to Topeka or outsourced to Bangladesh or downsized or right-sized, we might hang on for a while . . . or not. After a while the knowledge that there are lots of younger/cheaper/stupider/more naive people they can get for My job loses its power.

So Dilbert is not just a diversion, not just a refreshing bit of humor from a guy who gets it. If you think of it the right way, it's a very subtle reaffirmation of the human spirit. And while our employers have managed to mostly eradicate that spirit from the workplace (and get very big bonuses for doing so, apparently), it's not totally gone.

It's important to remember that. And to laugh. And to adopt the tag line from the strip above as My personal motto:

"I'm tempted to stop acting randomly."

Tempted, mind you.

Video Jukebox: Existential Baby

A great song by Die So Fluid.

That's Georgina "Grog" Lisee singing and being generally cool (and hot).

No One Shines In The Dark

subs (girls, mostly) talk to Me. I'm a good listener . . . I don't judge, I don't sugarcoat the truth, but I'm sympathetic.

There is a girl I'll call phoebe I talk to a couple of times a month, on average. phoebe is an intelligent girl in her 30s, an experienced submissive with a good sense of humor and a lot to give.

phoebe has been on again off again on again off again with a Domme in Her 20s, Who I'll refer to as Miranda. Miranda and phoebe, from what phoebe tells Me, have a great sexual chemistry, and are highly compatible in many aspects of D/s.

Where M and p have fallen apart is as a result of M's method of administering discipline.

p described that one of M's typical punishments is for p to sit in a totally dark room for hours at a time, presumably contemplating the error of her ways. This would be for something relatively minor on the scale of infractions. Over time, p got to resent this form of punishment . . . her attempts to talk to M about her frustrations fell on deaf ears, and eventually p left (for the second time), in order to preserve her sanity.

While there might be benefits to sitting in the dark (that's another post), M's method of punishment showed Her insecurity and immaturity.

The idea of punishment is for the submissive to learn the error of her ways, in a way that presumably is unpleasant enough in some regard or other to make the submissive not want to repeat her mistake. Punishment by . . . sensory deprivation over the course of hours is by definition non-productive -- aside from being deprived of the company of the Other, what is the lesson being imparted? Especially when that Other is unapproachable on the subject?

The lesson that p learned, and it's not surprising . . . was that M's authority was not constructive. And as such, there was nothing to be learned gained from following her/belonging to her.

I've written on this before . . . but it bears re-stating.

An effective punishment is:

1. Close in time to the infraction.
2. Controlled in its application.
3. Proportionate to the offense.
4. Never administered in anger.
5. Limited to the offense, not used to make any other point.

The good Dominant knows S/He is in control; S/He punishes only to correct behaviors S/He wishes to change, not to prove One's Dominance. The difference is subtle, but it is the difference between a real Dominant and a wannabe Dom/me control freak.

Belonging And Not Belonging

"I wanna glide down over Mulholland
I wanna write her name in the sky
Gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for a while"

From "Free Fallin'" Tom Petty

Sometimes a thing just . . . hits you a certain way. You're not expecting it, and an insight, or a lesson, or just a new way of appreciating something just falls into your lap.

I've heard "Free Fallin" plenty of times. Tonight, driving home form work I heard it again and it was . . . different, somehow. I listened to that last verse, quoted, above, and I felt, much more deeply than ever before, Petty's alienation. And my own.

I've long had the thought . . . that the world is very broadly made up of just two groups of people: Those who belong and those who don't. By that I mean: those who are able to just go along and get along, adn those who don't. The former group never seem particularly unhappy, or stressed; the latter group never seem to be fully happy, totally relaxed, 100% at ease.

When I heard those lyrics tonight, it really crystallized it for Me. It was one of those rare and wonderful times when a song in a moment transports one to some other place, a place of immediately heightened understanding. An understanding that can only be described as bodily.

And from "Free Fallin" I went right to "You Don't Know How It Feels":

"But let me get to the point, let's roll another joint
And turn the radio loud, I'm too alone to be proud
You don't know how it feels
You don't know how it feels to be me"

One powerful thing about the belong/don't belong division is how obviously and strongly it cuts across all of the other divisions in life. Sex, race, religion, economic standing, gay or straight, kinky or vanilla . . . no accident of birth or life circumstance insulates us from belonging or not belonging.

Another powerful thing about this divide is how easy it is to recognize in people. We can meet someone for the first time, and within minutes, if we are looking for it -- and sometimes when we're not -- we know which side of the divide they fall on.

And, as far as I can tell, it's more or less impossible to "switch sides" in this divide.

That this divide is so universal, so easily recognized, and very hard to cross leads Me to logically conclude (or at least expect) that it must have some utility.

But . . . what utility, exactly? And what does any of this have to do with any aspect of D/s?

Well, for Me at least, knowing about it, thinking about it, swimming in it . . . revelatory musical discoveries about it -- don't help. To "not belong" feels just as bad when it feels bad . . . and retains its sour goodness when it feels good.

I wonder if D/s couples from opposite sides of the divide are a good match? For that matter, perhaps people from opposite sides of the divide make good (or no good) vanilla couples?

The way it feels to Me -- I couldn't imagine being intimately involved with someone who was happy-go-lucky, totally at ease with life. What would we talk about? But for others, that difference, extreme as it is, could be just the thing . . . I can see two people complementing each other like that.

For right now I don't have any overwhelming insight. For today, to have been reminded so powerfully, so totally, of who I am and where I stand on the side of this massive existential divide, was enough.