ah, sickness

I’m amazed at how asymmetrical illness is. People say that beauty is in symmetry, and that beautiful people are, for the most part, extremely symmetrical. It’s interesting that the opposite of beauty — malaise, illness, sickness — is depicted in asymmetrical specificity rather than all over your body. Right now I have a cold and a sore throat, and I noticed that my right nostril was plugged up while my left was not. The reasons for this are simple; if both of my nostrils were plugged up, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. But it still says something about the ugliness of disease.

Cancer starts in a specific spot. Headaches attack certain parts of the head. I suppose migraines feel like they’re all over but probably emanate from one spot. It seems like all illnesses start from specifics. On the other hand, beauty emerges as a whole, equal on both sides. The egg is symmetrical. The sperm is too. When they combine the cells divide equally into mirroring sides. Things that are one always split into two. Symmetry.

What, then, is symmetry in love? It’s a little more difficult to pinpoint the concept of symmetry in intangible things like that. A lot of people, myself included, have been deluded to believe that having similar things in common equals symmetry in love, when in practice that doesn’t seem to work out at all. In fact, the opposite idiom, “Opposites attract,” usually works out better than having the same things in common. Why is that? Why do higher concepts have a yin-yang approach to them, rather than a symmetrical approach?

Balance, in nature, is in symmetry. Physically, it would be harder for a man to walk if one of his legs were shorter than another. And most beautiful things in the world are symmetrical things. It’s a form of natural balance. But ideas like love and good and evil are dictated by a different kind of balance, where having one concept become greater than another becomes “bad,” like evil becoming greater than good. These things are to be balanced, usually by social constructs but ultimately by nature. Is this the same with love? And what balances love?

I’ve noticed that if a woman loves me too much, it turns me off. And alternately, if a woman doesn’t love me enough, it frustrates me. It follows, then, from my own personal experience, that finding a balance of love is fundamental to a good relationship. But how does that work? How does one achieve a balance of love?

The only real answers to that question come from the Beatles (“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make”), which is a warmer way of explaining Christ’s fundamental belief: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Karma, essentially, though Christ didn’t exactly flesh out the karma part of it. He set out the first principle, but didn’t tack on the “if you do bad things to others, bad things will happen to you” part. It looks easy but I’ll be damned if it isn’t.

Well, my throat hurts so singing sucks right now. I wanted to record a cover of “Thinking About You” but I can’t reach the high parts without going into a really girly falsetto, and even then it still sounds shitty. So maybe I’ll just strum my guitar for a while.

behold, the power of pablo honey

A lot of people throw away Radiohead’s first album as, to use a British term, rubbish. Especially compared to their later works, Pablo Honey appears primitive and unclean, the shaping of a mold that will eventually create the masterpiece trilogy of The Bends, OK Computer, and Kid A.

I myself don’t listen to a lot of Pablo Honey, but after a particularly entertaining weekend full of craziness and eventual let down in multiple stages, I found myself playing “Thinking About You” on guitar, over and over again. It’s a very cathartic song, very easy to play and very straightforward about it’s message. And it made me realize how much I enjoy Radiohead’s debut album. It’s grungy, sure, the imprint of the era in which they developed, but in a way that solidifies their status as the Beatles of the 90s — they took a style of music so popular that it was being copied by almost every new band out there, and they made it their own, just as the Beatles did with the blues and rock. If you listen to an early Beatles album, the comparisons to Buddy Holly and Bill Haley and the Comets and even Elvis Presley come easily, but just as easily comes the realization that the Beatles took that archtype of sound and improved upon it. Radiohead did the exact same thing in the early 90s with the one-two punch of Pablo Honey and The Bends. They took a sound and experimented with it, and made it ten times as better.

And now it’s on Winamp again. Okay, maybe it’s perfect because it is the perfect song for the situation I’m in right now, but it is resonating, and that’s a good feeling, that feeling that your fellow human beings are in the same plight you are in and they had the same problems that you have right now.