Manic Street Preachers – A Design For Life (CD One)

File under #whatiswrongwithme: I’ve been unemployed for almost two months now, partly because I suck at finding work and partly because four years of experience doesn’t cut it in the busy field of stupid office work for B.A.s in Toronto. Economy! A design! Fo-or life!

What have I been spending my time on? I spent a legit week subletting my apartment and submitting my unpublishable book to Mordecai Richler’s son. Obviously I spend a lot of time looking for work and wallowing in my unemployed, useless misery. I spend a lot of time staring out the window thinking I should be practicing some skill, like my nascent shitty guitar playing.

Also, a lot of my time has been taken up by pornography. Mostly just watching it, curating it sort of, not necessarily masturbating to it, though over the last week it seems like the only thing keeping me aroused while I’m busy waking up feeling useless and therefore sexless. A quick note: girlfriend is very attractive, but when you’re miserable for weeks on end a significant other can be another thing to constantly let down, even (or especially) sexually. So what have I been watching for my easy dopamine release that I’d better wean myself off of before the echo chamber gets even harsher? I could venture a theory that’s mean to myself, but best as I can tell what’s turning me on is complete sexual efficacy. That or misogyny, but I hope it isn’t that. It might be related to what I’ve always thought as the horrifying truth of male sexuality. Anyway, in the last week or so I’ve been following a few porn tumblrs, and I’ve kept something like 85 short videos. Well, anyway, let us see what’s been arousing me lately:

– Either actual amateur clips or clips from websites made to look like amateurs (Reality Kings, Exploited College Girls, Girls Do Porn). Occasionally I like it when girls look experiences, but only if they’re showing off their skills. And almost never ever classic porn with music and all that nonsense. I guess you could say it’s “a design for life”! No, but really, that’s just some good ol-fashioned socialist outrage – “A Design For Life” is a great song – classic English working-class outrage with a helpful dose of pessimism, even if he sounds happy while he’s screaming “We don’t talk about love! We only wanna get drunk!” – those aren’t happy words! It’s catchy and great and says a lot in few words.

– Facials. Lots of facials. What is it about this? It’s fun in real life, but in porn it’s an obsession to find the best. The bigger the better. The more amateur the better. Most of my pornographing is the search for the perfect facial on sites dedicated to them. Most horrifying is that I’m terribly turned on by girls who in some way hate it. Girls loving it doesn’t do much as much for me. And really obvious hatred isn’t even the best, my favourite is subtle dislike, like when they don’t like it but make it through. Counter to that, I have a thing for girls who giggle during or after getting cummed on. Feeling this way does make me feel a bit like a “Mr. Carbohydrate” but I think only in terms of feeling head-sick. “Mr. Carbohydrate” is an alt-rock song like most of the album, but without the hooks that made the album solid. There’s a nice drum fill that gets overused, and otherwise I’m mostly impressed by the working of “Carbohydrate” into a song without it sounding awkward.

– I also have things for: Asians, multi-coloured hair, young-looking girls (clear skin is a turn-on). In general, though it may go without saying, hotness is another plus.

– Sometimes I like watching girls being actively mistreated – there’s a clip of a guy grabbing a girl by the hair so hard you can tell it hurts her, shooting on her face, and trying to make her swallow it even though she’s obviously uncomfortable. At the end of the clip she starts to cry a little and why oh why but it turns me on. Or a guy having doggy style sex with a girl and at the end throwing her off of him like he hates her. I guess you could say they’re “Dead Passive”? Nah, but that’s an acoustic song that doesn’t do a whole lot. I get that it’s meant to express some ennui, but what ennui? after five listens I should feel more than this.

– For sex in general – I’ve been watching sex that seems like it borders on hate-fucking. Never anal, as usual, but plus points for positions where the guy is more in control. I’m aroused by moaning, but only if it seems real. Um, “Dead Trees and Traffic Islands”….? A bassy flute-lead stomper that’s the best B-side on here. But that debatable flute line (I like it) is the only real hook here, and again the lyrics fail to grab, and the “sha-na-na-na” backup vocals get tiresome by the time the song is ending. Still, respectable production to make all the elements stand out.

I’m really sick of these B-sides after typing all that above. The B-sides suffer from lack of memorability – back in the day bands really had to write a whole extra album worth of extra songs! But it’s easy to see why these aren’t on the album – they’re the same idea, but lacking. I’d give “Dead Trees and Traffic Islands” a few goes.

I hope that didn’t make you too uncomfortable, because we’re going to do more later. Here’s another horrifying part – I think internet available patterns would show that my preferences are extremely common. I’m just being open about it. So what is this? I am probably facilitating bad personhood (though way less than I do when I drink milk) and I don’t see how I can control what I like. Maybe this is just the disgusting nature of male sexuality. Or maybe, since I watch this stuff noticeably more when I’m unemployed or in a bad mood, maybe there are legions of useless men feeling better about themselves by imagining themselves as such sexual gods that women can’t handle them. Or it’s not. And that’s today’s editions of #whatiswrongwithme!


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