The Manic of John Maus

Second only to this Post-Modern Analysis of Waluigi being the logical end-game of capitalism, the manic ramblings of musician John Maus are perhaps the strangest reads I’ve found online. Claims of the homoeroticism of Nintendo’s anti-hero are enough to tweak even the most disillusioned collegiate drone. And these sorts of things are nice—a trivial escape from reality.

The appeal of Maus, though, is not in gaffing at sheer nonsense. It’s rather in his admitted faults. In his baroque attempts at understanding. In his confusion one can find comfort. In his admission of regret in compulsively messaging an unrequited love with a combination of childish appropriations of beauty and philosophical doctrines. In his leaking of every one of those messages online. In writing on a lackadaisical description of nearby birds alongside an inspection of certain truth. In these honesties and idiosyncrasies Maus is utterly human.

So Maus’s correspondence begins with a confession of loneliness. When a baboon is isolated, Maus states, a “deactivation of regions associated with reward and empathy” occurs, and stress hormones catalyze. He feels similarly. The stance on certain truth is next: “that whatever certain ways may be, they are also through the process of their being claimed as such” is but a clip of the logical entanglement. Next up is a real bummer of a theory that time seems to accelerate as we age because we have fewer novel experiences. It’s clear the man has had plenty of time to sit and think, or as he puts it, staring at atoms.

Next comes a truly epic series of rants, concerning ‘pre-tonal triadic harmony’ and ‘sonic reality’ and pretty much everything ever. I will spare the general public from these inane circlings, bar this small clip to set the mood:

The ‘I wrote this the night before it was due without reading the text’

The ‘I wrote this the night before it was due without reading the text’

Then the love letters. There are so many. They start honest enough, with this-is-how-my-day-wents like “I stayed in a Holiday Inn with that perfect hotel-smell…bedtime…”, and personal admissions like “It has been a little bit since I sat across from somebody and really talked with them and was seen by them.”

The [no reply] following the messages then begins to become regular. The messages become more scarce, more manic. Some contain commonalities of unrequited love—“why don’t you talk with me anymore” makes an appearance, as do ponderings on where he went wrong. Others are more harrowing. Fruitless plights of hopelessness and loneliness, of eventual acceptance.


The girl was not wrong in ending correspondence. She and Maus met at a concert, spoke for hours afterward, and traveled onward. For one, the attraction persisted, and for one, it faded. It hurts and it happens.

Loneliness is a staple of John Maus’s music. His most popular song, Hey Moon, is a ballad to the moon, which makes him feel at home wherever, a constant friend when he is alone at night. It is also the only song I have found where he sings with another person. Maybe Maus was right about the whole baboon thing.

Some of us have tried to escape this loneliness in living cosmically, in plight between chemical and psychedelic bliss. It often seems easier to exist in this alternate reality than to deal with who we truly are. Others of us, like Maus, have hidden from our friends, family, and feelings in the abstraction of academia. In either instance, we are hiding from reality.

The song comes off Maus’s album We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves—the title is a quote from French Philosopher Alain Badiou on how we mercilessly censor our thoughts and feelings from others. We are constantly speaking and sharing and showing, but this content is a caricature of our true self. In finding people to share this caricature with we find sanity and psychological grounding. In finding someone to show our true self with we find close friends and lovers, bliss and comfort. In this honestly, we truly emerge.

Today's Lineup

12-5am Indie
5am-12pm Rock
12-1pm Local
1-4pm Folk
4-7pm Pop
7-8pm R&B
8-11pm Rap