A Manly Pose is Just A Pose

By “Bob”

Mike Posner tells the truth.

Mike Posner tells the truth.

I’m living out in LA
I drive a sports car just to prove
I’m a real big baller’
Cause I made a million dollars
And I spend it on girls and shoes

But you don’t wanna be high like me
Never really knowing why like me
You don’t ever wanna step off that roller coaster
And be all alone

Those lyrics are from “I took a pill in Ibiza” by Mike Posner.

“I seem to have it all,” he says. 

Girls. Partying. Living the highlife. Fame and fortune.

But is it all a facade?

The words seem to reflect the artist’s thoughts on his successful, yet empty, career. And leads us to wonder whether money, sex and fame equal a happy, successful life.

It’s all something that people latch onto because it’s part of what being a man is supposed to be about.

It is something that I have latched onto. We think this will be “awesome” or make us happy.

But look beneath the surface and it’s shallow. So says someone who’s been there and knows.

Just to prove… but never knowing why

The words “just to prove” stand out to me: Pursuing a path that holds no intrinsic worth; it’s all show.

The words, “Never really knowing why like me,” stand out, too. We want the money, the fame, the girls.

But why? Are we happy? In the end:

“You don’t ever wanna step off that roller coaster — And be all alone”

Mike PosnerAnd I can’t keep a girl, no
‘Cause as soon as the sun comes up
I cut ’em all loose
And work’s my excuse
But the truth is
I can’t open up

Our hierarchal culture glamorizes success as a manly aim, but the artist bluntly reveals the tainted ideals of masculinity and the quest to be “top dog.”

The artist has “won.” But he is still broken.

The manly pose is just a pose.

“Bob” made this comment on one of my blog posts, and I asked if I could edit and turn it into a blog post instead. Thank you Bob!

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on June 13, 2016, in men, psychology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. That’s a really interesting video. The giant, heavy mask that men feel like they have to wear. And that doesn’t make them happy. I’m thinking about people like Anthony Bourdain, Kurt Cobain, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up on the post sometime.

    By the way I am planning to write about the video you sent me but then the whole Supreme Court thing got in the way. Plus before you sent it I had already planned to post something by catfish. But I will get it eventually 🙂”

    You talking about my videos about the What would you do clips? And one’s where they played it with women threatening men or sexuall harassing a man and how people reacted differently?

    And after watching the clip for mike posner that I posted, I noticed something else too. Like you see him in the mask and around so many people. But to me, he was amonst all these people, the party the night life, pretty women, Like to me, I got a sense that was captured from the mask which froze his expression. Gave the impression of him numb to it all. Like lonely. He’s among all those people in the video, yet he’s alone. Notice how people are reacting to him as a star but not a person? Like the selfies and dancing around him. But it’s like he’s an object to them. A prop, his fame, he’s “Mike Posner” the musciian to them, but they don’t give a damn about the man outside the musician. The real Mike Posner. The women flirting with him in the video, the woman having sex with him, the d bag dudes puking or getting in fights. The nightlife. The “fakeness” materialism I see. I portrays this person as “faking” to be happy. The person in the mask is entertaining and pointing out people and acting like he’s happy and life of the party out of obligation because people are around him and he feels he has to do that. It makes me think of the movie “Wolf of Wallstreet” With leonardo Decaprio. Ever see that? The guy was a mess himself, but he had these drug filled parties and all these girls and “friends” around him.

    But they were just “party friends” all enchanted by the material, meaningless joy. Fair weather friends. He thought fame and all this was the life or going to fix things or be so much more. But as you see in the video is so much lack of genuiness and so much fake people and people using each other around him and who only seemingy like his company because of his talent and fame and not the real person. the real Mike Posner. You had great names, but it also made me think of Robin Williams, rip Robin. A man battling depression, but you never would have guessed. Becasse he always felt necessary to “be Robin Williams the comedian or actor’ whenever in public or on tv. So he always felt he had to be funny or entertain I feel, to please people around him even though he was hurting inside. I think part is he wanted to hide it and I think he felt the pressure or expectation that he couldn’t let up from the public expectation and perhaps felt he was letting people down if he wasn’t funny. So Robin always “in character” instead of showing the true Robin deep down inside. That has to be tough to feel you can’t take that break from “your character” or persona or musical talent and the real you, the down to earth you. The flawed, normal human being. To always have to present oneself as the bigger than life alter ego, that has to be exhausting.

    • Hopefully you can read that, but then read this. Maybe you can share the music video of the song like I had there and bring up the people’s names you listed, including Robin Williams. But it’s cool when your interpretation of a song was right and like the singer wasn’t making things up and you feel he really felt that way from the song. And it looks like I was right as this clip is Mike Posner talking about the song and his life since then, his break from it all and him trying to get back with the more substantial things in life.

    • I like all of your discussion about the superficial façade that we are expected to wear. We have a society that tells us that something will be fulfilling and it turns out that it’s not — and can actually be a burden. Yet people who don’t have it and don’t see the emptiness feel resentful that they don’t have those things that aren’t really nourishing. I once read a saying that has stayed with me, maybe you have heard it: “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.” If you pursue things that you think will be nursing but aren’t, the pursuit can go on and on and on and you’re never fulfilled. Instead, you have to ask what the human soul actually needs. So many of us go around with this huge burden and we don’t stop to realize it is something that we don’t really have to bear. I really appreciate your insights.

      I’m sorry that it takes me a while to respond to comments. Especially long ones. I’m still working on healing my eyes, which got very strained between writing three blog posts a week, responding to comments, and trying to write a book, and other computer work. So I have vastly cut down the amount of time I spend on the computer. And I’m doing physical therapy for my eyes, which mostly consists of stretching them. They are getting better! But I will probably be responding only about once a week for a while, at least to long comments.

  2. Maybe you should rent it. You have some interesting things to say on the topic. I’ll have to think about this more.”

    I should. Have you seen the movie or read the book? This is not a new book. It’s an old one and there was a movie before I guess in the 1970s, but another one made three years ago and I guess “modernized”.

    • Yeah, I have read the book and seen the 2013 movie. But it’s been a while so I don’t remember all the details. But they both are very good. And when it comes to reading I don’t really like fiction very well.

  3. I meant to add how many commented how they came to this song or think of it after the orlando shooting :(. A song 13 years old and still unfortunately resonates even more so than even before….

  4. One of my favorite things to do is discuss lyrics and what they mean to people. And then the music adds to the whole experience. Thanks for your thoughtful post!”

    Speaking of songs. I like one’s you think about and deep. But just meaningful songs even if seemingly obvious about what it’s about. Those songs can be great too, because of the fact of them being important and perhaps reflect. And I bring it up, because like mike posner’s genre, this is a pop song which many pop songs are after about shallow stuff and materialistic. Whereas, this is about society. It’s weird because some songs even about society can be outdated, because what they are about is in relation to what’s going on during that time period. But the weird thing is though the song’s message is general, it seems even more relevant today than in 2003 when the song came out in relation I believe to the 9/11 attacks and stuff surrounding 2001 period. I like songs that can get some emotion out of you and reflect. I was never really a fan of black eyed peas, but I always liked their debut song and still I think their best song and the most meaningful song.

    Yep the where is the love song by black eyed peas. Yep an old school song. Somethings really stood out to me though about the the burden of the world where the rapper says that and it makes me think of this here and the need to be on top and men face. And in the video of one of the rappers rapping who is black while running away from a white cop and harassed and arrested and makes me think of the black lives matter thing and this going on. The respecting each other and such and the divide which is happening too with blm, conservatives and democrats, trump supporters, hillary supporters. More divide it seems while terrorism still going on and more so. And it’s true I looked at the comments and people commenting on the youtube channel and saying how this song is even more relevant to today.

    • That’s a really good video. Shows how dominance culture harms, whereas partnerships culture brings the love.

      • They lyrics are quite clever. I like that, not with meaning, but how it’s tied together. I like songs that show intellect and intelligence instead of “twerking, booty bouncing” or stupid stuff like that for other pop/club songs. Another song, and a rap song of all things which is known many times for mysognistic lyrics, homophobic lyrics, violence, etc. But yet rapper macklemore brought intellect and deep though to the genre with his song “same love”. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. I think it’s a few years old, maybe 2013 when it came out. But it shows the man has depth and intellect with his lyrics. It’s not just about respecting gay people, but the hypocrisies of things and how he ties it together.

        Look how he touches the stereotypes
        “Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
        I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
        She’s like “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-k, trippin’.”
        Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she?
        Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.”

        I remember doing the math like, “Yeah, I’m good at little league.”
        A preconceived idea of what it all meant
        For those that liked the same sex
        Had the characteristics”

        “America the brave still fears what we don’t know
        And “God loves all his children” is somehow forgotten
        But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago”

        “If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
        Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
        “Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
        We become so numb to what we’re saying
        A culture founded from oppression
        Yet we don’t have acceptance for ’em
        Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
        A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
        Gay is synonymous with the lesser
        It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
        Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
        The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
        It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
        Live on and be yourself”

        All of it stood out to me, but look at him saying how if he was gay he’d think hip hop hates me. Which i wrote how lyrics, and genres which often have a “macho facade” often can be homophobic and mysognist probably because of rooted from insecurity. But it’s unfortunatley true. You look at youtube or internet comments, gay slurs are thrown around a lot and people are numb to it. It touches on what you bring up how we internalize it and become numb to such things that it doesn’t affect people like it should maybe. And he said a culture founded from oppression but don’t except “others”. And gay is synonomous with the “lesser” and how you brought up how it ties to a male dominated world since gay being tied or looked as feminine and masculine above feminine so it relates to women too and feminity is rated therefore affects gay men. This same hate causing wars from religion and what’s going on now with terrorism and such, the same hate that’s been used against human, civil rights. He touches upon all the stuff you’ve talked about or related to and seems quite aware of our hierarchal culture too and it’s negative effect on civil rights of others.

      • More good, thought-provoking stuff, Bob. Thanks. I’ll have to spend some more time on this later. I put it on my “to do” list.

  5. I think that this post is so relevant and I am glad someone posted about this. I think a lot of the times our society only listens to the songs but never takes the time to read and understand what these songs even mean. The music industry creates songs that are so catchy that us people never take the time to understand what we are even singing. This song clearly shows that yes this singer may be successful but really deep down inside he is unhappy. So what if he has all the fame and fortune that most people might want in our world today, he is not happy. I am happy that someone posted the lyrics because it really allowed me to take some time to understand what this means and what I am singing all the time. It makes me rethink that yes I may have a job and a nice life but that will never ever satisfy my needs. I need to be able to find the thing in life that can satisfy my desires and make me happy and not go out searching for “worldly” pleasures that can only last for a short time period.

    • thanks. Georgia was nice enough to make a blogpost of this. To add on to what you have said. You bring up the music industry and how it creates catchy songs that we listen and sing to, but also don’t take the time to understand what we are singing. There are two parts, as far as the reason to that in my opinion and why this song is refreshing. It obviously is not the first song to have interesting lyrics, and won’t be the last. However, the thing is, we aren’t listening or try to understand other catchy songs the music industry creates, because often, the music and lyrics are vacuous and kind of junk. I mean I like songs with a good beat so I can enjoy a song that lacks meaning if it sounds good, so it doesn’t have to. But I will also enjoy a good song with deeper lyrics too. The difference is that I can appreciate the bonus that is such deep lyrics. The reason why we don’t listen and dissect lyrics often I think, is because there isn’t much to dissect. A lot of songs nowadays since we do live in a hook up culture and “looking cool culture” is songs that are so basic, because the music industry creates so many “party, club” music, so with that, the music is obviously going to be low on lyrical meaning and basic, but high on all the extra bass and beats for that house music beat.

      It’s especially true based on the genre. I think it’s because such music is made to listen to at clubs and parties, etc, that lyrical depth is not important at all and more so the beat, which I understand. But it’s pretty cool when a song can have both. Pop, hip hop/rap/r&b, techno, dance music and house music are all music genres particulary which are on most radio stations, well other than country. Though country is more hybrid now and has merged with rock and nowadays is merging sound wise to pop, so country pop nowadays. But anway those genres are for music at parties or clubs and such stuff, as it’s music usually for a younger genre too. But that’s why it’s refreshign is because Mike posner’s music is that, pop/house music stuff which such genres usually have songs that talk about deep stuff such as getting drunk, laid, high, owning the streets, shooting, guns, banging bitches, etc lol. So it’s cool that despite his music being that in the genra that typically is low on lyrical depth, he made a song that has a good beat and people can dance to, listen to clubs, but surprisingly unlike other similar songs, has deep lyrics which many or most other songs in such genre don’t have. His song with ibiza if you listen to it, makes you think. Many don’t and are just about shallow stuff like I already said and ironically what posner is living or was living and has said in his song “Ibiza” that this “highlife” is not what it’s all cracked up to be.

  6. “Our hierarchal culture glamorizes success as a manly aim, but the artist bluntly reveals the tainted ideals of masculinity and the quest to be “top dog.”

    I heard various stories from successful people whose fame and money did not satisfy them at the end. As a society, we are so caught up with artificial values, that we easily undermine our “true” desires and adapt a life that is nothing but a hollow. Especially for men, the pressure to having to chase an idea that is unrealistic is damaging for themselves and women (for anyone around them.) Yes, money, fame, etc. are great momentary substitutes, but for what cost? Interestingly, so many of us pursue this lifestyle for no good reason — it is simply a wrong interpretation of what “men are supposed to do.”

    • Yes I’ve heard those stories too. And I’m so glad that these people share them to help understanding of what actually creates happiness and what doesn’t.

  7. Tuyet Jasmine

    I really like this post. I’ve been listening to Mike Posner for 6 to 7 years now. His music is usually about girls and sex and now that he came out with this song, it shows how having money fame and girls isn’t going to fulfill your life. But isn’t having all those makes you “The Man”? I know people dream of being in Mike’s spot but he tells you how it really is. It’s a very catchy song because nowadays we listen to EDM.

    • Maybe those songs kind of were like a journal of Mike Posner. A young naive Mike who just got famous and had the ideals like many do of $, fame and hot girls. This status quo or pinnacle of people but particulary valued as far as ads and media go about the highlife of a high status man. Masculine virtue pretty much. Those songs could have been that, but this song could have been Mike’s maturity or this novelty wearing off and him seeing these things he thought would make him happy or maybe his own realization that he had the wrong values or too caught up on such masculine conquests.

      But it made him empty and superficial glory couldn’t fix his broken void and actually made him more sad and depressed. I’m not going to be naive and thing he isn’t quite happy still with the $ he’s made with his success. But I think it’s him saying, it’s not necessarily all what it’s made to be as far as sex with a ton of women or wome throwing themselves at you, the $, he’s discovered it’s a shallow pleasure. and having people around who love you and care about you as well as perhaps a simply relationship with a great woman is all a man needs. Not all this other ego stroking stuff, that actually is just empty satisfaction. The drugs, the wrong crowd, etc. He’s talking about drugs too which could have been him using from being around the wrong people too and perhaps how celebrity wears on people. Look at Demi Lovato whose had past issues and relapsed.

      The music video exemplifies though it’s weird. Him all high, but also perhaps his “mask” of pretending to like the fame and people around him and happy with the party life. And perhaos this pressure to entertain and be the life of the party for everybody, so actually never being himself but “musician Mike Posner”. Like an Actor feeling the pressure of a famous character of presenting themselves always that way as bigger than life and grandiose. and not able to be just regulard, normal, low key Mike.

      I didn’t show the music video at first because I was like this is messed up, but after seeing it I get it. I explained what I feel is portrayed in the video, thought I thought the similulated sex scene was weird though kind of funny with how ridiculous it was. But it pointed out I think, the party life of his fame, but like the mask, he was numb to it or high to numb this lifestyle.What do you think with this later input Georgia?

      • That’s a really interesting video. The giant, heavy mask that men feel like they have to wear. And that doesn’t make them happy. I’m thinking about people like Anthony Bourdain, Kurt Cobain, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up on the post sometime.

        By the way I am planning to write about the video you sent me but then the whole Supreme Court thing got in the way. Plus before you sent it I had already planned to post something by catfish. But I will get it eventually 🙂

  8. Araceli Toscano-Hernandez

    Where does this idea come from, that the only way to reach happiness in life is through money, fame, and girls? This false idea creates barriers for many young men and women that listen to music that talks about “getting bitches” and “riding lambos.” Mike Posner’s song however, is an unraveling turn of events. It is in fact a “sad song” as he mentions throughout the song. If you actually listen to his song “I took a pill in Ibiza,” it is a song with an upbeat rhythm. Makes me wonder if infact, that is how he truly feels. The need to hide behind a happy go lucky tone when in reality it is a sad reality for him since the promise of happiness did not come with fame, money, or girls. Boys grow up thinking that, this is the road to success, but is one setting them up for failure for them to reach popularity for it all to diminish in the end because being a man is not just that. This is just a coping mechanism to hide their true feelings within. At the surface there is a collective guy with no feelings or ability to feel since men are taught at an early age to not “cry like a little girl.” A man crying or opening up about himself, is looked down upon by other men and women alike because one associates that with weakness. Since being fragile is for women as strong is for men. Hence in movies where if someone breaks in, the man goes downstairs while the women stays upstairs crying hysterically. Meanwhile the man heroically shows no emotion while carrying the bat downstairs, where one would think it would be something terrifying.

  9. To add to what I just wrote. I know I already wrote something a while ago about some songs. But actually this song, is not the same, but to me it has relation to The Ibiza song in the sense of this “yearning for success or more’ rooted from pride and ego and that human fear of not being as good or great as you thought or think you are or were. But then ibiza is like the sequel to the Bravery song which I will post in that someone like Mike Posner gets to that peak of the mountain, thinking he’s arrived and was right about being as good as he thought he could be or was, but yet after all that. It’s not until he reached the top, that he realizes that it didn’t mean as much as he thought or hoped and a vacuous feeling and meaningless. I already talked but you probably don’t remembered since it’s been a while and respond to like thousands of people probably for the year or so not to mention all the difference posts. But I still love the lyrics to this song. It was such a popular song like back in 2006 and used for so many tv commercials and for ads for tv show series. But I never though the cinematography was right for such deep lyrics. The music is set where different shots and visuals can work, especially if drama or action based. But here’s the song and some lyrics.

    “The faces all around me they don’t smile they just crack
    Waiting for our ship to come but our ships not coming back
    We do our time like pennies in a jar
    What are we saving for [x2]”

    chorus: So give me something to believe
    Cause I am living just to breathe
    And I need something more
    To keep on breathing for
    So give me something to believe

    [[I am hiding from some beast
    But the beast was always here
    Watching without eyes
    Because the beast is just my fear
    That I am just nothing
    Now its just what I’ve become]]
    What am I waiting for
    Its already done

    All the lyrics are great, but I didn’t want to stretch the post too far, so used the ones that I wanted to point out most. That’s just…poetry, the part I double bracketed, quite deep, and very insightful. I love the lyrics that I double bracketed especially.

    • “It’s not until he reached the top, that he realizes that it didn’t mean as much as he thought or hoped”

      That’s really important point that so many people think something will make them happy that doesn’t really. And then looking out what makes the distinction between what is really fulfilling and what isn’t. And what makes you “something” and what doesn’t?

      I saw a couple of actors talking about how they thought fame and fortune would make your dreams come true. They got it and still felt empty. What actually did fulfill them was doing work to try to help others.

      • I think that’s why some actors and singers are so involved with charities or humanitarian efforts. For some it might be for patting themselves on the back or good PR, But for others, I think is their self realization that though their acting, singing or sports maybe be “impressive” and fame worthy and praise worthy from fans. The fact is that their talent, is meaningless in the fact that it’s entertainment and Tom Brady is great at his sport as a qb, but it’s still just a game. None of these celebrities are, you knowing finding cures for cancer or doing something like that. And I think some realize that, so they while they still focus on their love and passion and profession whether singing, acting or sports.

        They also try to spend as much time helping other people and using their platform and using the beneficial part of their celebrity which is the outreach and platform and use it to help others in dire positions. That’s why like you said actors, Angelina Jolie I think has traveled the world and I think tried helping poor countries and such. You see Taylor Swift reaching out to her fans, and has helped some with financial issues and with pediatric cancer hospitals. Even though there is some commercialization from Taylor, I do think she has a caring heart and wants to help people out. I get that, even though she’s quite eccentric, I get that from Lady Gaga, where there’s a genuine part to her, unlike some singers and celebrities who are too interested in their own brand and self absorbed.

      • It can help your brand but I’m sure that actual fulfillment is a lot of the reason they get involved, like you say.

  10. I listen and sing this song all the time. It was very interesting experience to actually see the lyrics and actually listen to the song for the first time. It kind of made me think of what I like to call the modern American dream, which is where everyone is striving for fame. I feel like we are living in a world where everyone is trying to become famous. Men and women especially young men and women are now striving for a very glamourous persona because of the media. We can see this with Instagram people are striving to be Instagram famous. Being Instagram famous is not really a big deal, I do not think that people actually get benefits from having a ton of followers, but there is this illusion that if you have a ton of followers you are a somehow important or more important that you once were. I think that like the song people are putting on a facade on their social media accounts. I think that there is this constant image in the media that inorder to be someone you have to have money and be invited to exclusive events etc. But, I do not think that just correlates with just this particular artist or men; I think that this affects all people men and women.

    • I love songs like this that get people to question what they think they know and think more deeply. And I agree that this sort of thing affects women too. After all, we were all raised in a hierarchal culture. But because of socialization and the emphasis we put on male competition — look at the kinds of toys girls and boys play with — and the fact that many women feel “successful” by being mothers and nothing else.

      • As you see from the response. I like that. I knew there’d be some people posting, maybe students or young people who have heard the song, like it and have listened too it many times. But you posting something I wrote about, made them think of the song’s meaning and pay more attention to the lyrics after seeing and reading the lyrics from this blog post and reading your post. It’s weird as I get older, I’m more likely to not just enjoy music I listen to, if it’s a good song. But listening to the lyrics if it has interesting, deep or possibly complex, maybe metaphorical meanings to lyrics. And either try to think of what they mean or look them up on the internet to see the artists interpretation behind it or maybe the story rooted from their life behind the lyrics or the lyrics from their life having a connection and relation to something deeper.

      • One of my favorite things to do is discuss lyrics and what they mean to people. And then the music adds to the whole experience. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

  11. I agree that society glorifies the destination. It seems that there is not a lot in the media about what to do after we have gained what we were after. I think this fuels greed because we are not taught what to do with our success only trained to get to a certain goal. And, of course, when we do obtain that goal we feel that we have to go after something else because that is the state we are programmed to be in. We are told to win but after that there is no guidance as to how to carry out our lives. Stories end with the “happily ever after” instead of showing us how to have a lasting gratification for what we have earned and how to keep our successes. A similar story is told with lottery winners who feel the rush of winning but tend to not know how to handle the stroke of luck. Maybe we are always concerned with preparing for the worst that we forget that the best has to be prepared for as well.

  12. Jose Antonio Buenrostro

    I agree that in Mike Posner’s track, “I took a pill in Ibiza,” the artist reveals some of the downfalls of being in the lime light that your average person might not be aware of. I believe that is true, but at the same time I believe that most people have an idea already that the being in the spot light and having fame, girls and money is not always as spectacular as portrayed in songs. What Mike Posner highlights in this track that is not often chanted in others is that, yes the money is there, the girls are there, but the value of having meaningful relationships with people purely out of interest in a persons personality and way of being is much harder to find when the spot light is on you. There are plenty of people out there who are attracted to those with fame so it becomes difficult for famous artists to identify which people are truly there for them and which are simply there for the party, money and fame as it lasts. It is interesting how he takes this approach in identifying the bad in being in his position, when the reason he has such a following is because of the tracks that have otherwise glamourized that life style. I don’t blame him for past tracks where getting girls and making money where the subject matter, and I wouldn’t blame him if he writes new tracks that revert back to that. The public often demands those types of songs and lyrics as they are far from real life to them, but get the chance to live vicariously through artists even if its only for the length of a three and a half minute track.

  13. I enjoyed this post because it relates to how I feel about my life right now. One can work hard and strive to make something of themselves, but if they were unhappy during the journey, or missed out on opportunities because of it, then was it worth it? During the last three years of college I have worked extremely hard to get good grades so that I could get into graduate school for engineering. I found myself quantifying my “worth” based on how I was doing in school and I came to a conclusion this quarter that I was reminded of when I read this post. No matter how hard you work in life to achieve greatness or “masculinity”, you must take into account quality of living. Putting too much pressure on myself on my quest for greatness resulted in dissatisfaction when I achieved my goals. I have learned that if you cant learn to be happy without being “successful”, then you wont be happy when you achieve your definition of success.

  14. How very Buddha of you. The primary question that Buddha addressed was suffering. He said there were two types of suffering 1) the type you can’t avoid (You get cancer) And 2) the type you can avoid (you get angry and depressed about getting cancer). Of course, it’s human to get angry and depressed after getting a death sentence of cancer, and it’s probably good to experience that. But long term he will suffer less if you can let it go.”

    Unfortunately, I can be type 2 with the suffering, being an stewer and analytical. It can make it hard for me to cope with bad things happening, because my mind has to keep on stewing over and over with it and then get impatient and want to fix it as soon as possible. It’s uncomfortable to not be able to “fix” a problem and just have to “deal” with it. I’m a future thinker, so something that means I can’t do something in the future like a cancer, would always bee on my mind and like piece of mind is so important to me, which I couldn’t have, because there’d be so many things I’d want to do and not be able to do, etc. And that’s what it’s about “knowing” something is ending vs something could. The argument is “well you can die the next day in a car accident”.

    True, but I’d rather that than cancer. The reason is it prevents my mind to stew and suffer. I can enjoy and have fun and it doesn’t stop that, because “I don’t know I’m about to die from a car accident, the next day”. Unless I’m some psychic, which I’m not. Whereas, cancer, you have 6 months to live or a year or whatever. There’s that countdown lingering on in your head, like a bomb that has that clock ticking down. True you could die in the same time lenght from something random. But dying from a car accident. Usually it’s sudden, and by surprise and you don’t have much time to think of dying and it justs happens. I’d rather something “just happen”, than torture for my mind. Piece of mind for me I need that. I can’t have that if I know something bad is to come, compared to something bad could happen but might not and don’t know. Big difference for me. Unfortunately it’s a reason I can let the external outcomes upset me so much, frustrate me and even get my depressed depending on what it is.

    • I have tendencies toward number two as well. But it does help to remember the advice. The serenity prayer picks it up:

      God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

  15. I agree with the majority of the posts on this article about how “this high life” is not for everybody. Realistically, I believe it is physically, mentally and psychologically exhausting to be perpetually living the high life. Wallet pains to cover the extravagant expense, entertaining people you don’t have a personal or working relationship with (bandwagon groupies), and other parts of the parcel that comes packaged with “the high life”.
    I mean once you have achieved success or the equivalent according to your own goals, then yes, you deserve to be partying with your colleagues and those who struggled with you.

    I believe Mike Posner, felt empty when he was partying because those people who partied with him are groupies or people who wants to hitch a train ride to “instafame” or having their versions of 15 minutes of fame.

    In conclusion, I feel partying and that sort of debauchery lifestyle is fine, as with all good things in life, everything in moderation.

    Just make sure your life does not plateau, continue wanting to grow and progress, I have also been there, just not as high.

    • I appreciate thoughts like this that help us to think through what it really is satisfying and creates happiness.

      • You see the story in ways shown in various ways through movies, music, or novels as well as art. But I like how these songs brought out the personal feeling literally from the singer. A popular movie in 2013 that I actually haven’t seen, and it sucks I missed it as it was on tv and have just seen parts and naturally I turned and caught the ending. But the part that I have seen, though not exactly new like I said. But the movie The Great Gatsby makes me think of some relation to the posner song and the other songs and poem I shared. It’s interesting because I’ve been one having been through adversities, I have empathy for people who are poor or grew up a hard knock life or lost their parents as well as terminal illness, etc. I still do, but it’s easy like others, to just scoff and be like “well he’s rich or she’s this and that”.

        They have it so good, fuck them and not have any empathy for someone rich or well off, because of that or famous. I still feel more empathy for the child with cancer of course. But sometimes, depending on the person (some are just bad people who have bad things happen to them). But one’s not really bad, maybe seem like they have it all, maybe carry their way like that and it turns people off. But empathy in looking from the outside, but seeing they are a lost soul with inner demons and a void. A void perhaps from their upbringing and personal life, but then compounded by our culture that influences people that living the high life is everything. And you know effects men even more. So while The great Gatsby not a real man, but interesting how this american dream story was never something new and one could say it’s continued through the centuries as it’s patriarchal cultures have existed for such a long time and majority of countries.

        Therefore, ideals of dominance and egos, corruption but this path men would go through to seek this happiness and constant pursuit of this happiness, that never really exists or never existed but trying to fill a void that can never be filled or don’t know how to or looking in the wrong way and direction to fill it. American Dream is, to me the modern version of “The greek tragedy”. The man full of hubris, who had it all, though he had it all, pursued it and got it from conquests and maniacal effort. But never satisfied. Always needing more, hoping for more. Some are lost and forever corrupt. Others not evil, but lost in their pursuit and as they shut down their weak emotions they suppress the tender side, it;s always there, but only people they really care about or love (a woman) they show that vulnerable side. And men whom in this glamorous showing let in people to have lavish events, to satisfy these men’s egos, these people wanting the same thing using such men for their power and wealth. And so a man who could have just done so trying to fill this void and maybe in the end wanting love that he didn’t have himself, gets used and so the downfall of him. Ah the irony’s of life. I kind of got vague because it made me think of literal things and then stories by literature. I love life’s storytelling through literature. If only humans weren’t stubborn and learned from the mistakes of our past…

      • Maybe you should rent it. You have some interesting things to say on the topic. I’ll have to think about this more.

  16. I find this to be true not just for men but women alike. You have this thought in your head growing up that you need to have a lucrative career and make a lot of money to be happy. Which is not the case. I mean it can certainly help, but not make you truly happy though. True happiness comes from living your true self, which most of us will never have the chance to realize what that is. Unfortunately, in this society nowadays we pride ourselves on so many material things that it is hard to see what is real and what is fake. We are constantly trying to “keep up with the Jones’s” that we miss out on what is truly important. Living, loving and keeping positive on a daily basis is the key. It is doable you just have to put in the time and effort to get there.

    • Yes, women are increasingly feeling this same way.

      Years ago women were just expected to be wives and mothers and would probably feel this more in terms of who they married. Now they’ve got the competition, themselves. Although women can have a bit of an out that it’s more socially acceptable. Because of our history women can marry into it, So to speak.

      Either way it comes from a culture that looks at things in terms of hierarchy and dominance and valuing those were on top more. It kind of screws up our values and distracts us from what actually creates happiness

      • Yeah there are enough struggles in life, yet people want to add to it and put self inflicted burdens upon themselves.

      • How very Buddha of you. The primary question that Buddha addressed was suffering. He said there were two types of suffering 1) the type you can’t avoid (You get cancer) And 2) the type you can avoid (you get angry and depressed about getting cancer). Of course, it’s human to get angry and depressed after getting a death sentence of cancer, and it’s probably good to experience that. But long term he will suffer less if you can let it go.

      • I still think this relates to men more overall. Sure women can have dreams of fortune and fame, but it seems from a different, vanity perspective if it’s ego based. Like to be a diva. Whereas, I think this ties to men more so, because society perhaps and maybe part biology. But men’s egos are more tied to like being alpha males, status, getting girls, like this athletic, music, whatever performance, talent based that’s better than other men. Where they stand out compared to other men and women admire them and want them above other men.

        This “king of the mountain, ego stroking thing. Like women’s egos don’t often seem as interested in say “I’m the top basketball player, I’m better than other women. Or I’m this rock star and this pride in their music being better than others but the male adoration they get. A lot of that is due to society and slut shaming. A male rock star loves the ego stroke of women fawning over him, especially compared to other men. It seems like women’s egos don’t usually venture as much in the “performance, status, based competiton to other women, whereas it is for me. Despite more equality, women’s egos still seem more geared to a more sex appeal, fashion, looks, attention they can get from men or compared to other women. It’s not like men, whereas, men can have more of a macho, I can lift more, I’m tougher, I’m more talented, I have more money, girls,etc than most men-ego.

        This is why this song made me think of people but there’s more the male side to this, not just because the singer is a guy. But it’s coming from his male perspective and I think him understanding his own ego and like I said drive to have this pride stroking and be happy for that life. But he found out that this male ideal that he thought he’d be living, isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. As he’s missing out on the meaningful. I say from lyric meanings how, that lyrics of him working his excuse because he can’t open up. That refers to his hookups, but how his fame and work has caused him to not have meaningful relations with women, which I think it sounds he wants. It’s because he’s always moving from state to state being a mainstream or aspiring mainstream musician, so it’s hard for him to have a relationship, even though it sounds like he laments on not having a relationship or something more meaningful. I think he’e learned the double edged sword fame can be.

      • Because of our culture I agree that it’s more commonly a problem for men. Women can raise children without having to feel like they are “the best” and that’s considered perfectly acceptable.

  17. Hi Georgia,

    This is a good time for this post because I’m going through a very introspective period in my life. I have a few friends you would consider the stereotypical “cool kids”. Nice cars, focused on making lots of money, meeting many girls .. and what’s more is I notice that people passing by don’t pay attention until they learn these things about them — then all of a sudden they want to get to know these people. It’s not just in the individuals .. it’s how we perceive this idea too — it speaks to people.

    I must admit, personally, I do want to meet different types of girls — but for a different reason .. I want to learn what I like and what I dislike — I want to learn what kind of people are out there in the world so that in the future I know exactly who to look for .. all in favor of setting up a happy life with a person who fits me well.

    This topic reminds me of a story called “Hunger Artist” by Franz Kafka. It is the tale of a man who’s show was starving himself in front of people. The first time he did it, he got a good response and he liked the attention .. so he kept on doing it more and more — going on longer bouts of hunger — making larger spectacles — and more people would flock to see. It became a pretty lucrative thing for him .. so much so that he forgot what normal life was. The story goes on to his old age .. there he is an old, broken man, who’s done nothing but starve himself for the attention of other people. But people got tired of it. And came a day where a kid walking with his mom points at him and says “what is that guy doing?” and she replies “don’t pay attention to him he’s crazy”. The moral of the story being .. you can get lost in your thirst for attention so much so that you lose touch with who you really are and go on to live an empty, unsatisfying life…

    Anyway.. kind of disconnected thoughts and ideas but each point I thought was interesting! Thank you for the read!

    • This story about the starving guy is quite a metaphor. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for adding your thoughts to all of this. It’s so great to be able to learn from one another’s journeys.

  18. I think we all, men and women alike, can be climbing a ladder to success just because life feels like it needs to constantly be moving in that direction, eve when up isn’t always what it seems.

  19. The appearances tell little about our true self, and many spend millions (not literally) keeping up that facade!

    • Yes, these façades seem to take a lot of time and effort.

      • Some people put-in a lot of effort to keep up with them!

      • Sure do. It’s hard to keep up our masks.

      • And the unnecessary stress, anxiety, depression, etc it can cause in that quest for people, especially for some men. A huge burden to carry when trying to reach tough quests that aren’t meaningful and more shallow. It’s amazing how stuck this stuff can be on you. I know this and while I don’t care for fame, despite this, I know it’s not the way to think, but in some ways I do get caught up in being the best. So it’s one of those things of knowing what’s right and trying to improve oneself, but still having that personality getting you into that problem in the first place and having that flaw, because it’s so ingrained in you.

        Or your personality matches really well with a hierarchal culture just like a naturally born competitive, egotistic person naturally matches with a dog eat dog society. I wrote this too, from self reflection of my own burdens, but knowing it’s not good to be that way or better to be more humble and less competitive. That’s where it comes from, because self realization of knowing so much of my own anger, stress and anxiety and frustation can be self inflicted because of the quest of being more talented or top of the totem pole. And as a result it’s a burden, because if you have high expectations of yourself, but simply don’t just fail at meeting them, but greatly underachieve them. It can be a great source of frustration and anger, because now your pride and ego is involved and, it’s just unacceptable.

      • I think it can be very good and productive thanks for making this contribution. to think through these issues, and to share your thoughts with others who are also struggling with them. Thanks for making this contribution.

  20. Thanks you for posting. I hope my answer about prove was good when you asked and I commented on that other post. I think you said, you had different angles, which is why you wrote two versions. A shorter one like this one and an extended one that goes a broader path and mixes in the Baker street song and the poem with it. It’s funny, because this is a new and popular song, and it’s a club song. Many club songs don’t have much depth or meaning and just supposed to be simply catchy. There aren’t many words to this song, but like I said, I brought it up, because I pay attention to lyric meanings to a song I like it it’s worth paying attention to. Some people it seems if it goes with music like house music and if it’s just a few lyrics, they just hear, but don’t actually listen to the lyrics or think about it. So I like bringing this up, because there are most likely many students who have or are listening to the song, but don’t pay attention or never registered or thought about what they are listening too until brought to their attention.

    So I like how this could open eyes or bring attention to some students or such who have listened to the song and see this post and are like “wow, I didn’t even think about that”. That’s the funny thing, because you said you show your posts to your students and because this is a new song and a song, like house music, that a younger group of people generally listen to. It’s a song your students or one’s you will have for the fall semester will most likely have heard or have on their Itunes and like a lot. I really like the song, it’s a good song. I do like various music, but it’s a catchy song to me, but I like how he, despite playing a song that’s like a clubbish song, it takes about something deeper than simply “sex, booty, drugs, dancing, etc’ stuff. But yeah I’m pretty sure if you showed this to your students, they probably have heard this song, liked it or definitely know the song ha.

  21. interesting, and great theology

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