Every week, New York City’s own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.
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I’m writing today because you’re such a positive person and I need help dealing with negativity. I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years, but recently I’ve been having a harder and harder time hanging out with him at his house. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have a problem with him personally, I just have a problem with his music. He’s always been into metal and pretty aggressive stuff, but now his musical taste seems to be getting truly evil. I can’t even describe how some of this music sounds — it’s just really negative vibes. The album artwork and posters and books he has in his room all confirm this. Lots of blood and guts and devils and just evil-looking stuff. I’m not a Goody Two-shoes or anything, but I was raised in a very loving family who taught me that stuff like this really can be bad for your karma, and I really don’t feel comfortable around it. And even more than that, I really don’t want this stuff corrupting my boyfriend and making him change from the loving, positive person he is. I tried removing some of the albums from his room and he freaked out. I tried telling him I wouldn’t come over with that stuff in his house, but that didn’t work either. I don’t want to make him mad, but I do want this negative stuff out of our lives. So, since you’re so focused on positivity, I’m hoping you can give me some advice. How do I rescue my boyfriend and our relationship from these negative influences?
Sick of Negative Vibes
Dear Sick of Negative Vibes,
You know what the biggest negative vibe is in this situation? You. Trying to make your boyfriend give up the music he enjoys — that is true negativity. I understand how you’re feeling, but rather than censoring someone’s experience, I suggest you strive to develop your own spirit and make it large and strong enough to appreciate and interact with all types of emotional concepts, all types of feelings, all types of people, and all types of beliefs — including those that deal with the ideas of darkness, cruelty, death, destruction, anger, hatred, and evil. Desperately trying to hide — or make other people hide — from certain types of feelings is a losing battle. And it’s likely that we’ll experience more hurt and damage in our efforts to avoid that part of the world than we will by developing a heart and mind capable of engaging with the full spectrum of reality, from light to dark, and beyond.
It’s interesting how often people confuse “evil sounding” music with true evil. By its very nature, music is benevolent. Music means well. It’s virtually impossible to bend the will of music toward a truly negative intention. Music can be used to achieve all sorts of things, depending on who wants to use it and for what purpose, but the music itself is pure goodness. Music doesn’t waste its time in dealing with human concepts like “good and evil.” Thankfully, music exists in a realm above and beyond the need for logical ideas and theories. Music is where we can find relief from reason and truly experience “pure feeling.” Music is what feelings sound like — feelings before we analyze and deconstruct them into digestible abstractions like “happy feeling” or “sad feeling.” Music is just pure feeling.
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