Noize Addicted
I hate this,
every waking moment,
every aching second
Wearing the Mask

Variations of this phrase are cropping up a lot in the lyrics I’m writing at the moment. I guess it’s because I find it interesting, I see it regularly and perhaps because from time to time I do it myself. I could argue that everyone does. In different situations we become different people to suit the environment but rarely, if ever, acknowledge it. It can be positive, negative, life-affirming or soul destroying.

My mask is Renoized, my artistic alter-ego. I view him as a completely separate part of my consciousness and always refer to him in the third person. I think of it as an under control level of multiple personality disorder. There is often a dialogue in my head between us, sometimes others.

I find it difficult to wear my mask quite as often as I’d like now. Starting a full time job with approximately an hour and a half commute each way eats into my free time somewhat! I was speaking to my flatmate not long ago about how people with full time jobs drop into and devote their lives to MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, simply because there, you can be someone else. It takes up most of your free time, your life; it almost becomes a full time job! You don’t mind that though, because it becomes what you want. The life you play out on screen in this fantasy world becomes reality, and the drudgery of the office is only a stepping stone to pay for the second life that you lead.

Last night even, I was talking to one of my friends about Dungeons and Dragons. She plays it because she loves playing the part of someone else and it just feels so much bigger than real life. That’s one thing I find, when wearing my mask I feel a hundred feet tall! I find it harder, though, because it takes preparation and planning, I need to write music, get a band together and organise gigs. I won’t snub Dungeons and Dragons fans, as it takes time to find a group, join and sort it all out, but I can’t imagine it being as difficult as a band to manage!

I did say it could be negative, too. I know people who have been wearing their masks for so long that they forget how to take them off. They, like the avid World of Warcraft players have let their second life to replace their real life. It’s all-consuming; you have to know when you should stop being this other person and let your own life take priority.

It’s just as bad to try and wear someone else’s mask. It’ll never fit. I don’t really understand why people do it, if you try and wear someone’s mask you’re only going to be a cheap imitation of the person they can be without effort. Why do you think people would be drawn to that? They see right through it and those less concerned with massaging your ego will call you out on it. I’ve been on the unfortunate receiving end of this stick and it’s not great fun. You can become someone else; just don’t try to be the person someone else is trying to be.

Rounding the edge off this blog/rant/ego trip, I want to try and introduce some of the people who aren’t quite aware of doing this to wearing a mask. Do it right, become someone else when you want to be, and do it properly and it can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Just don’t lose sight of the person you are behind it. Your friends like you for a reason, don’t take that away!

Why are you wearing my mask?
Why are you using my name?
Bitch, I’ll hatefuck you.
What are these ‘gender roles’ you speak of?

I get called a girl a lot. More often than not it’s not meant as an insult, and the times when it is I take it in my stride.

The fact is, I do a lot of things girls ‘do’. I wear eyeliner, I paint my nails, I straighten my hair, etc. etc. What I don’t get is why people equate these with ‘being a girl’. They are things that many more women do than men do, but what makes these actions intrinsically feminine?

A lot of men act in a certain way, because “that’s the way men act” (there will be far fewer on my friends list). They have short hair, they wear loose clothes, they don’t do a lot of preening. But why is this manly?

It may shock some of you to know that I shave off a lot of my body hair. I hate it. Nothing is worse when cuddling up to someone than an earful of sweaty armpit hair. What shocks me in all of this is that there are women who actively like hairy men. Admittedly, they aren’t the kind of woman who would be interested in me because they are going for men who are ‘manly’.

This brings me neatly onto relationships. In a relationship, why is it almost, if not always the man who asks the woman out, who has to propose? In a society where women have fought long and hard for equality, isn’t this a little chauvinistic?

This wreaks havoc on my relationships, as I lean towards being a passive partner. This doesn’t mean that I won’t go for something I want, but it can make things difficult. I’m sure if I was a much more active person then I could have, probably would have, slept with twice as many people as I have.

I might even have missed out on an awesome relationship I could have once had because of it, but I wouldn’t want to be in it, because forcing myself to hit on other passive boys/girls makes me unhappy.

I try to do things that make me happy and I try not to do things that make me unhappy. We all do, to an extent, don’t we?

I prefer being chased, I hate feeling like I constantly have to be the one making the move, and in my ideal world I guess that women would be more likely to hit on men. And those who know me a bit more are probably screaming at the screen, “But wait! You’re into boys too! Why not just go for them?” I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. One comes across many more straight/bi girls than bi/gay boys. My girl to boy ratio is 9:1.

Criticism towards me in the past has been along the lines of “You’re not a real man, a real man wears combats” “doesn’t spend time preening himself” etc. and I’ve been very quick to shoot them down with my go to retaliation: “Listen to yourself, you’re not a real man, you’re just coerced into doing what people tell you. A real man does what the fuck he wants and doesn’t give a shit about what people like you think.”

Lately though, I’ve come to dislike this statement too, as even I’m saying what a real man does and doesn’t do. I wish people would just get over it, without worrying what’s manly, what’s girly, and acting in a certain way just because of the bits they were born with.

Why do we do it?

I hate gender roles.

Beauty is agony.

Well, packing is truly underway for the moving house. Everything I own is packed into box after box after box, and I’m genuinely surprised at how much stuff I have! Where did it all come from?

It’s a strange feeling, and I think I hate it. I keep finding things I’d forgotten about, like my birthday present from the late Rich Garner, a mix CD of black metal, and stuff that I thought I’d lost, like my musician’s earplugs, which I’ve recently replaced. More fool me.

It feels like we’re being asked to quantify ourselves by packing everything we own, like these objects are the sum total of our self-worth. Of course, that’s bullshit, but if it were true, I’d be worth a hell of a lot. I have so much stuff it’s unreal.

Moving day is Wednesday, three days from now, and until then I have to keep everything in these boxes so we can have a smooth, quick and easy move. No guitars, no airsoft gear, no anything. I’ve allowed myself my computer, or I’d go crazy, but that’s pretty much it. I cannot wait to get into the new house and unpack.

I guess my life is on standby until then.