Which is more responsible for determining a person’s feeling of attraction toward another: nature or nurture?
I often ponder this question, gazing out into crowds of sexy singles mingling in the bar rooms I play. As with all things pertaining to the nature vs. nurture debate, the cause of attraction is undoubtedly a blend of both influences. But I believe at times what we desire can be more the result of our marketing-oriented culture’s influence (nurture), rather than of that which we instinctively know will complete our souls (nature).
I’m not pretending to be an expert on the matter, I only know this to be true purely from personal experience. Looking back on the misadventures of my early to mid-twenties (we’ll call them ’relationships’ for the purposes of this writing), I can see that a lot of the difficulties I experienced were due to conditioned thinking; that what motivated some of my pursuits came not from within, but from without.
It’s frightening to admit how much we’re groomed as consumers from the moment we first become aware. Having been imbued by a lifetime of marketing calls-to-action designed to play on our innate fears, sexual triggers, and the need to feel belongingness, my foray into the adult dating world was much akin to a lab animal repeatedly heading for the feeder bar. It was only natural (pun intended) that I was drawn to the familiar jolts of stimulation I’d been exposed to in movies, television and advertising.
And so, like many a young man with testosterone surging in his veins, I entered the bar scene with my sights set on superficial qualities in women. Combine nature’s rocket fuel with the aforementioned dose of bad programming and you’ve got a fellow with his wires crossed.
As a result there was a certain variety of female that would (to use a relevant term) call me to action. My feeling of attraction toward these types of young women was as much fascination as it was fear. But the pull was beyond my control.
You know the kind - she’s basically unavoidable in social situations because she steals the attention of the room. She comes off hypersexual, injecting suggestive behavior at every opportunity. Dresses provocatively. She laughs the loudest in a crowded room with her mouth noticeably agape. She’s calculating, working every moment to her advantage. A beautiful disaster, a catalyst for drama, creation and destruction surround her… I could be ridiculous and go on and on, but you get the point.
Why are these qualities worthy of our attention at all? We see this type of behavior in all mediums of entertainment. Apparently, it stokes a fire within us and we have to watch, just like when we pass an accident on the interstate. But is this kind person really deserving of our time and adulation? Or, is the reflex-like response we experience trying to tell us something else, and we’re just confused on how to interpret what it is we’re seeing?
In reality, red flags should go up upon seeing such a desperate need for constant affirmation. Yet many young fools are drawn like a moth to a flame. It takes getting burned at time or twelve before coming to understand there’s little depth to this personality type; just an insatiable need to fill her emptiness with the pleasure she experiences swaying people with her sexuality.
Finally, to my song..
Lovely Trainwreck is written from the perspective of a man who has grown beyond being attracted to the character described above. I wanted the song’s verses to resemble those hard rock songs from the 2006-2010 era which depicted women as being most praiseworthy when they were a “Crazy Bitch,” or looked so much cuter with “something in [their] mouth.” Some of these songs were bad-assed as far as the musical composition is concern, but their messages were horrible. And young dudes, myself included, thought, “That’s the kind of experience I gotta get!” So the idea was to invoke this sound to poke fun at the style and set it up to make a point with the chorus.
The chorus enters with: “Please. Save the pageantry, just save your breath…”. It’s is a rejection of misguided and programmed ideas. It’s an explosion into a clearing, representing the singer’s evolved perspective. Musically, I switched to a classic pop/rock tonic to submediant descending run to signify the shift in the lyrical landscape. I chose the term “lovely trainwreck” because, while the singer has attained an enlightened view, her character type is still fascinating to observe.
The second verse returns to the knuckle-dragging rock sound, but this time around the listener is in on the joke as well. The singer and the listener are now together observing common vignettes from the life of this girl. The tone becomes a touch more cynical. We get the impression that everything in her life is chaos. And we see another young romantic about to be ensnared as we an imagine the singer once was.
Continuing on, the song reaches a break-down stating an obvious message: “I want the girl that loves with all her soul / not some child that bats her eyes at you only when she wants control.” But there’s a subtle variation to the last chorus with “Hey, yeah, yeah NOT a Lovely Trainwreck,” to further punctuate the singer’s resolve and his evolution past his old self.
If you haven’t listened to the song already, you can click the play button on the player posted at the top of this blog. Maybe what I’ve written here will enhance your listening experience. Maybe not. There’s a lot more I could discuss on the topic, but I’m not going to keep you reading forever. Ask me about it in person sometime, though. I’ll be glad to share more thoughts.
Beware of those lovely trainwrecks out there.