psychonalyzing mannequins: adam levine’s fragments

Maroon 5-95

And fake it
Fake it
I’ll take what I can get
Knocking so loud
Can you hear me yet
Try to stay awake but you can’t forget
– Maroon 5, Album: Hands All Over

in our society we have this [sometimes unspoken] philosophy that secretly burrows its way in and through our psyche: fake it till you make it.

in other words: the simulation, the proxy, the stand-in, the thing that takes the place of the real thing – is now, the real thing.

theorist slavoj zizek said the following [following after another contemporary voice, Jean Baudrillard, they shared the following claim: the image is reality. the false is now the true. the fake is now the real. the mannequins are really humans masquerading as mannequins.

is this not, in one sense the perverse inability to say ‘no’ to something? meaning that we feel the pressure to maintain the mirage of reality rather than giving it up? that we must somehow give in to the desire to never lose anything. and the only way to do so is to maintain the facade. is this also not what is implied in the vulgar swansong of the capitalistic ‘american ‘nightmare’ [some know this as: the american dream] of consume more and maybe after obtaining a wife/husband/partner, car, children, dream job and so on happiness then will ensue? that due to the dangling carrots that are not there [i.e., the mirage that has yet to materialize in reality] that we must somehow keep trying to obtain them? that the striving is the actual doing. so in essence nothing is ever accomplished accept the feeling of accomplishment.

this is akin to someone going to bathroom and never actualizing in any faeces. the strain, the effort is there, but nothing happens. the only thing that remains is the frustration of constipation. the hope for something to arrive when it does not. this is not hope, it has nothing to do with the waiting, but rather the kinetic movement of materialization or quite simply: if you have to take a shit, then take a shit, stop talking/hoping about/for it.

one major thread in maroon 5’s album is the notion of a love that is not perfect, but rather something quite broken/fragile/needy. now, today under the gaze of idealistic love [thanks to the over-saturation] of the hollywood image,
more and more seek out what isnt there. it is the attempt to find some sort of ‘true love’, a love that when experienced will make feel complete and the birds are singing and poems are written. dont get me wrong, i like a sonnet or two and write poems for my wife, but in reality, love is in fragments. love only occurs in moments, not one perfect moment. is this also not selfish? to enter into relationship expecting/demanding a perfect kind of love and imposing it on the person we are with? is that then not about the outcome more [i.e., getting the picture-perfect love at the risk of consuming/losing the person]?

Maroon 5-60

this is not some depressing, cynical view on love, but rather one that resists the temptation to consume someone at the expense of them or one’s the lyrics we find an all too important honest, not found in today’s cinema – one that demands fragility, one that anticipates it and loves not despite it, but rather in embrace of it. is this not love? the kind that will let someone hurt your feelings and you still return? the kind where the death of intention draws us closer not to our perfect image of the other, but rather violently pushes us away from it?

this is a great album. if anything, its a good reminder that love is not perfect, and if anyone is selling that juice that are making money off of the most unromantic ideology to hit the market – romance is the ability to fight against our temptations to consume the other, and to love them in the midst of their flaws, scrapes, bruises and still remain [and vice-verse]…


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