I have listened to Father Jon Misty’s album I Love You, Honeybear exclusively since it came out almost a month ago. I can’t get enough. The overall tone - sincerity mixed with a complete disregard of that sincerity is reminiscent of this idea that I see in so many things that I (and our whole generation?) seem to be drawn to. The vulnerable yet tragic nature that encompasses almost every Girls episode. Mira Gonzalez and the distinctly flat affect in her poems. They deliberately avoid the risk of powerful feeling but end up generating intense empathy and resonance because of that avoidance.
Josh Tillman of Father John Misty said in an interview, “sentimentality brutalizes emotion.” Arguably the most “romantic” line in his songs is when he expresses happiness that he has found someone who hates all the same things that he does. Leslie Jamison talks about the characters of Girls and the idea of the “post-wounded” woman in her book The Empathy Exams writing “They’re over it. I am not a melodramatic person. God help the woman who is. What I’ll call ‘post-wounded’ isn’t a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift from wounded affect - these women are aware that ‘woundedness’ is overdone. They are wary of melodrama so they stay numb or clever instead. Post-wounded women fuck men who don’t love them and they they feel mildly sad about it. More than anything they refuse to care about it, refuse to hurt about it.” Mira ends a poem so unexpectedly poignant, “I am trying to parallel park my car, I am trying to make you love me.”
There is an obvious discrepancy in all of these characters/people between what they are actually feeling, what they say they are feelings and what they would prefer to feel. Too many emotions is not ok but through being clever/witty/numb we end up exposing the true depth of our hurt, anyway.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense, I just am thinking about it.