I tried to live alone
But lonely is so lonely, alone
So human as I am
I had to give up my defenses

So I smiled and tried to mean it
To let myself let go


In Mika’s “Any Other World”, a delicate (though pessimistic) realism paints for the hearer a world that, save for one flaw, is fundamentally correct. The flaw in Mika’s lyrics come in the line showing the causation for the status quo, saying: “cuz its all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man”.

Mika concludes that it is because of the apparent hegemony under this bitter man, that things are as they are. Here we cannot “tell the difference”, and indeed are left to”play the part of a lonely, lonely heart”. And, as seen in the above quotation, Mika–and in fact all those who have come to this realization–must “give up [their] defenses” while smiling and trying to mean it. The eventual result is, in fact, giving up the world one thinks they live in.

I would like to venture that, altering the personage of the “bitter, bitter man” into that of a “jealous and gracious lover”, one is left with a beautiful song and an interesting image to view the world by.

Clouded by our judgment we, as the song indicates, cannot tell the ‘difference’. As is expressed in the Timaeus, the rings of the same and the difference used to structure the universe (and in mimicry, us) have been bent in a series of unfortunate events. We are, then, lost, and in need of some companionship to re-orient. We are also alone, and lonely is so lonely all alone.

What then is to be done? First we must give up our defenses. We the protectors, the guardians, the caretakers must allow ourselves to be the sheltered, the guarded, the nursed. And, I think as practice, me must ‘smile like we mean it’.

Some of the ancients spoke of habituation as a means to virtue. One acts virtuous until one actually becomes virtuous, and by pretending to mean it, slowly one is actually able to truly mean it.

In order to smile like one means it, however, one must be willing to give up the world that is thought to be lived in. This can be rather frightening. It is giving up the known in an attempt (given sans guaranty) to attain that which, at best, has been described in the limited way made capable by words.

Though, if Pan’s Labyrinth is any indication, such non-guaranteed smiling works.

~ by jeorgesmith on 26 July 2007.

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