humans vs. space aliens

I’ve been thinking how it might be nice to be able to give some human, relatable quality to the band/music project.

There are two motivations that come to mind right now:
1) People are generally more comforted when they can see the human side of another person. The existence of a family, or intimate friendships, or other hints that the creature they are looking at is somehow like them, in a warm, fuzzy, mammalian way, is quite nice. We may say we don’t bring moral judgments into our aesthetic assessments of art, but it’s arguably unavoidable. In the absence of perceived “human”, relatable qualities, moral assessment may veer toward the kind reserved for space aliens. While I’m totally fine with you secretly pretending I’m a space alien for entertainment purposes, I don’t know that I want to encourage you truly believing I’m a space alien. Especially if it means you fall prey to genuine trepidation about my moral/amoral character.

2) A lot of the songs from Psyche Corp. are about a world run by a dystopian corporate entity that does insidiously evil things. This is fiction, and I adamantly do not endorse doing evil things. But I suppose if you never had an inkling of the human behind these songs, you might not know what I do and do not endorse.

The problem with being more revealing about who I am, as a person, is that there are some very good reasons why my life outside of this music project needs to be off the Internet right now. Someday, that may change, and I’ll be able to “come out”, but right now it is not really very safe for me to do that.

I guess what I can say about myself, the person behind Psyche Corp., is that at the age of seven, my dream was to grow up, go to college, and then live by myself in the woods for the rest of my life, without seeing another human being except on trips to the nearest town to visit libraries. I guess I didn’t think I was very good at social interactions.

I remember being maybe 13, waiting for my mom to pick me up after school. She was over an hour late, as usual, which didn’t bother me. I had two school library books to keep me company. But as I sat on the front steps of the school, I could see a little boy (about 7 or 8 years old?) sitting at the bottom step, with tears rolling down his face, and I knew that somebody should comfort him, but no one else was in sight. I didn’t know what words to say. I was not good at these things. I sat there for a few seconds thinking how I was absolutely the worst person for this job, but finally I said something to him about letting him borrow one of my two library books to read while he was waiting for his parent to pick him up. I gave him the sci fi one about space. He calmed down and cheered up after that, miraculously, and read quietly while we waited for our respective parents. This was a relief, because “making conversation” back then was something I didn’t really know how to do. His parent showed up eventually, and I got my book back.

I think this story matters because I don’t know if I would ever have gotten much better than that at comforting strangers if I hadn’t started performing as part of Psyche Corp. This project forced me to deal with social situations I never would have had the guts to deal with otherwise. I talked to so many incredibly diverse people I never would have met in my sheltered non-music life, and made myself go through with the kind of social interactions that I would normally vehemently avoid (but which wouldn’t faze normal people), because social stuff is hard for me.

I grew up so much because of this music project, and I’m still growing from it. I don’t know of any other force in my life that would have transformed me, from what I was back then, to someone who can now do so much more than lend a library book to people who are vulnerable and in need of support.* I am able to offer more to the high stress situations that arise in my non-music life, because of how I have been forced to grow into a more capable and socially-competent person. And my life dream is no longer to go live in the woods, away from all other humans. I didn’t have a community, back then, where I felt I belonged, and wanted to belong. Now I do.

*That’s about as much of a hint as to what I do outside of the music project as I am willing to give right now.

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