Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Music as socio-sexual rank

Yesterday I talked about Alpha music. Now let's look at another very popular form of music, which is Gamma music. My impression, and it is little more than that, is that Gamma music is particularly popular with women because the Gamma mindset is most similar to the female one.

What is Gamma music? Well, I was driving in the car with a teenage boy the other day, thereby introducing him to some music that was hitherto unknown to him, and one band he rather liked nevertheless struck him as unappealing in one way. "Why is this guy always whining?" he asked.

One guess as to what band it was? Anyhow, my nominee for the most Gamma band of all time are responsible for this song:

I would say I'm sorry
If I thought that it would change your mind
But I know that this time
I've said too much
Been too unkind

Talks too much. Thinks too much. Calculated actions.

I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try and
Laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
'cause boys don't cry

Fake laughing, dishonest public postures, lies and more fake laughing, and reduced to tears by a breakup. Any doubts about what we're dealing with here? On a more subtle note, mark the reference to "boys" versus the Maroon 5 lyrics in the fake Gamma song yesterday.

I gotta be a man
There ain't no other way

Gammas are very uncomfortable with referring to themselves as men. It's a reliable tell. In fact, they can hardly say the words "manly" or "masculine" without sarcasm.

I would break down at your feet
And beg forgiveness
Plead with you
But I know that
It's too late
And now there's nothing I can do

And they wonder why women aren't attracted to them. And notice that the Gamma is helpless. Agency belongs to the woman, not to him. This is directly contra the Alpha perspective, where the mere act of meeting his eyes is sufficient to confer ownership of the woman.

I would tell you
That I loved you
If I thought that you would stay
But I know that it's no use
That you've already
Gone away

Gammas are manipulative. This is the second time he says his actions are guided by her expected responses. He can't act in his own right, but only in terms of her anticipated actions.

Misjudged your limits
Pushed you too far
Took you for granted
I thought that you needed me more
Now I would do most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just
Keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes

This is just groveling, or rather, applied pedestalization. She walked away, most likely in disgust, so he's assuming it was something he did, rather than something he wasn't. The last bridge is the most appalling; despite being willing to do almost anything to get her back, the one thing he won't do is be honest about his feelings because he's not guaranteed to get her back.

This song, by The Cure, of course, is a brilliant demonstration of the Gamma mind, demonstrating Gamma fear, Gamma pride, and above all, the core Gamma trait, Gamma dishonesty.

38 comments:

Earl Thomas said...

Speaking of the uncomfort as far as referring boys as men....quite a few times I see women posting photos of their male children and husbands together referring to them as 'her boys'. As far as her kids this is true but to me it sends a bad perception of her husband to do that...unless he actually is that way.

Flip side...I've also seen women refer the same type of picture as 'her men'. So it's certainly a NAWALT scenerio from what I've seen.

Scott Pierce said...

I was anticipating who it was and was a little disappointed. I cut my teeth on The Cure and I still have Perfect Girl (how telling a title) on my playlist. They were effeminate and so were we at the time, shunning anything overtly masculine as a form of protest against the norm. Now, I still like the beat and whatnot, but yes, it is Gamma and it took me over 40 years to grow out of it.

SarahsDaughter said...

it sends a bad perception of her husband to do that

Agree. Opposite when a man comments on pictures of his wife and daughters and calls them "his girls" - says all the right things.

Athor Pel said...

The Cure, gah. The lead singer was a furry in one of their videos, with a painted on brown nose. Let me repeat that, a brown nose.

Now, if you want whining turned to 11 you want The Smiths.

Any man I find listening to The Smiths gets a whack on the back of the head. I don't even need to know what the lyrics are, Morrisey's voice is the very sound of suicidal thoughts.

Jason Roberts said...

Ha! As soon as you wrote "whining," I thought of Robert Smith.

Where would you rank Depeche Mode?

Noah B said...

"Any man I find listening to The Smiths gets a whack on the back of the head. I don't even need to know what the lyrics are, Morrisey's voice is the very sound of suicidal thoughts."

Morrisey desperately needs to kill something and eat its flesh.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Holy shit, Vox, yesterday in the context of your post on Alpha music The Cure and this very song popped into my mind as a perfect example of non-Alpha music.

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Ghost said...

Say Anything has a song called Every Man Has A Molly, and it's definitely not alpha, but very far from gamma. It doesn't seem to fit the rules, so maybe sigma? I don't know, here's the first verse:
Here I am, laid bare, at the end of my rope
I've lost all hope, so long
Molly Connelly just broke up with me over the revealing nature of these songs
You goddam kids had best be gracious with the much money you spend
Because for you, I won't ever have rough sex with Molly Connelly again.

RM said...

Makes me think of other bands' rank.
The attitude present in "Breathe" by Puscifer would be the furthest thing from a gamma's mind:

Don't be afraid
Don't be ashamed
The body has a need
The body has a need

Surrender to the hunger
Got to let the body feed
Don't forget to breathe

Nothing about love, or dominance, just raw sexual desire. The band's sound is eclectic, and the subject matter rarely strays to relationships, but when it does it is all about sex.
Some songs are downright disturbing. The lead singer shows zero desire to write songs like, or to sound like anyone else. It strikes me as a good example of a sigma mind-set.

dzpara1 said...

^^ Puscifer is Maynard James Keenan's side gig, if that shines any light on your observation. He's a pancake short of a Grand Slam as it is.

Sean Carnegie said...

@Athor Pel
How Soon Is Now is one of the greatest feedback guitar riffs in rock music. Slap me on the head whilst listening to that? (Although I guess one could substitute with Quicksand's Maybe-better-than-original cover)

Where might one put Next Contestant by Nickleback? Alpha preening but Beta mate guarding?

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Spinal Tap: totes Alpha. Their Alphatude goes to 11.

Corvinus said...

This is directly contra the Alpha perspective, where the mere act of meeting his eyes is sufficient to confer ownership of the woman.

A powerful bit of Game advice right there.

Along with the mere fact that the word for "to hate" in most Slavic languages literally means "to not look at".

alphaisassumed said...

@ Laguna Beach: Sorry, but I have to disagree. The only relationship we've been able to observe for a Spinal Tap member is David's relationship with Janine. He was nothing short of utterly whipped.

However, lyrically St. Hubbins does in fact express frequent Alpha sentiments, from "little girl it's a great big world, but there's only one of me" in "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" to the entirety of "Bitch School," the latter epitomizing masculine dominance in a relationship.

Thus, I believe Spinal Tap to be the converse of the Alphas adopting gamma personas, instead being gammas in real life who successfully adopt an Alpha persona for the masses.

Then again, Nigel refused to take any of Janine's crap, so there may be more to this than I recognize.


~Martel

introvertsuccess said...

A lot of people that first unplug themselves go through a period of revulsion for a lot of popular and mainstream media because it expresses mindsets that they no longer agree with.

But after a while you realise that you can enjoy it without having it affect how you feel about yourself. Especially if you're no longer a teenager.

Noah B said...

@Sean

I like the song's instrumentals too, but the lyrics are way beyond whiny. It's one of the most negative and defeatist songs I can remember. I believe it qualifies as an omega song. When I heard the guy was a militant "meat is murder" vegan it all made sense.

mindstar3000 said...

Or Steel Panther for completely Alpha song lyrics

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Rammstein [minus the keyboard player] are also quite Alpha, naturally, given that they're German, particularly the lead singer Till Lindemann.

Matt said...

Its not a coincidence that Robert Smiths wife is a total cow.

Matt said...

Earl Thomas, I usually see them refer to their sons and significant others as their men, or juat their sons as 'my little men'
I have seen a drop in refereing to their daughters as "little ladies". Subconsciously eluding to the belief that any standards set on a female ia jusging and therefor wrong.

Matt said...

As much as I love the smiths and the cure, not many will drop your t level as much as listening to them.

Johnny Caustic said...

But after a while you realise that you can enjoy it without having it affect how you feel about yourself. Especially if you're no longer a teenager.

Agreed. One of the reasons I love The Cure's over-the-top melodramatic whirl of histrionic heartbreak is because I totally can't identify with any of it. It's like reading Alice in Wonderland: I enter a world so utterly alien that I'm charmed by the novel, surreal, intense emotions, though I don't really experience them at all.

Hd Hammer said...

"Keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes"
Schalzi...is that you?

Michael Maier said...

Steel Panther is so much fun. They managed to make parody songs badass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK_8IinE0WM

retrophoebia said...

VD, I'm surprised you didn't mention the uber-... delta? ... of contemporary pop music lyrics, Bruno Mars. I can't speak to his personal situation, but his lyrics are revolting when you read things like, say, Alpha Game.

To wit:
"Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
'Cause

What you don't understand is
I'd catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I'd jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya
oh oh oh oh oh

I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight right through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won't do the same"

And:
"And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
'Cause girl, you're amazing
Just the way you are

Her lips, her lips, I could kiss them all day if she'd let me
Her laugh her laugh, she hates but I think it's so sexy
She's so beautiful
And I tell her everyday

Oh, you know, you know, you know I'd never ask you to change
If perfect's what you're searching for, then just stay the same
So don't even bother asking if you look okay
You know I'll say"

retrophoebia said...

Or uber gamma, rather. The pedestalization is very strong.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Where would you rank Depeche Mode?

I've always thought of Depeche Mode as Sigma. At least the lead singer, Dave Gahan, appears to be one. Incidentally, I saw DP at the Staples Center in October, 2013. I was surprised by how fit and ripped (with a six-pack!) Gahan is [no homo]. Very impressive for a man in his 50s. Incidentally, the guys in Rammstein are all in their late 40s-50s and also pretty ripped. Age is no excuse, it seems, for men to get flabby and out of shape.

Noah B said...

Saw Depeche Mode come through Dallas in 2009 and 2013. I can't think of a live band that I've enjoyed seeing more.

LP 999/Eliza said...

69 Eyes, Him and Disturbed never ever screw up on stage, off stage they are all gentlemany or on decompress mode. The same can be said a few members of what was velvet revolver and 311.

Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn manson (who did get one thing right in the 90's, get your gun) was kinda sad, blue october is a mood killer. They are talented but so emo, creepy and gamma.

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JAY WILL said...

It doesn't get any better than Radiohead for gamma music. You can lose yourself in there. Creep is a goodstarting place lyrically but Paranoid Android takes the biscuit. Years ago Id listen to that with a cheap flagon of cider, tears rolling down my face. Those tears don't even feel bad, they feel good. Utterly self-obsessed.

You can't let young people isolate themselves. Gamma music facilitates isolation. Radiohead-fckd-in-the-head.

Just add that "In Between Days" and "Close to Me" by The Cure are musically quite poppy and jaunty. If you care more about sound than lyrics like me these songs are too happy to help you drift off somewhere else.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Just add that "In Between Days" and "Close to Me" by The Cure

Some of their songs are quite good. I knew some French skinhead Nationalists from Nice in the mid-1980s who loved the song 'Killing an Arab' from the first album, which they found very inspiring.

I have to admit, I loved 'Just Like Heaven' when I was a romantic, lovesick 17-year old.

CarpeOro said...

I used to kid my younger sister, who liked both groups, that the one's name was really "Depressed Mode" and the Cure was getting a someone to replace the lead singer. Couldn't stand either of them. The lyrics all impressed me a juvenile wallowing in self-pity. If I wanted to wallow in self-pity back then, I'd pull out Blues music. At least that had the positives of having some awesome guitar work and lyrics that sounded like an adult in pain and not a child looking for pity/attention.

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Franz Lionheart said...

Couldn't guess the band name at first. Big "du'h, of freaking course" moment after reading the article to the end. God I hated the Cure, back in school in the 1980ies, hated how the girls liked that band, couldn't fathom why they would; and worse, how a certain type of boys (those interested in "fashion" and "clothing brand labels") liked it with them. Thanks Vox, hilarious post!

Franz Lionheart said...

Couldn't guess the band name at first. Big "du'h, of freaking course" moment after reading the article to the end. God I hated the Cure, back in school in the 1980ies, hated how the girls liked that band, couldn't fathom why they would; and worse, how a certain type of boys (those interested in "fashion" and "clothing brand labels") liked it with them. Thanks Vox, hilarious post!

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