Down in the cockpit


One of my favourite groups at the end of the 1970’s and through the 1980’s was XTC. Andy Partridge wrote some great songs and the rest of the band were also great. ‘White Music’, ‘Drums and Wires’, ‘Black Sea’ and ‘English Settlement’ were all great albums, as was the later ‘Nonsuch’. I really liked a song from the English Settlement album called Down in the Cockpit which you can listen to here at 57.52. The lyrics are at the bottom of this page.

The song is about men needing women to drag them out of their barbaric ways. Women have been the civilising factor throughout history and are a signpost to where humans are heading, if only men could leave their sexism, tribalism and aggression behind. In those days I also subscribed to the same idea.

I still love XTC, especially those older songs, but because of various things that have happened since 1982 when the song was written, as well as the existence of the internet exposing me to non-liberal ideas, I no longer agree with the main assumption of the song i.e. that women’s ways are superior to men’s. I now think there is no point in having a refined, feminised society if you can’t defend it and it seems to me that is where men, with their aggression and tribalism, come into their own.

I once believed that humans were infinitely malleable and all you needed to do was take African and Middle Eastern men, expose them to our 20th century western culture for long enough, and soon they would all be behaving like Stephen Fry and Benedict Cumberbatch. Brains were becoming more important than brawn. Machines could now do the heavy lifting. The future seemed to belong to women and men were beginning to look like dinosaurs.

Then we invited the misogynistic culture of Islam into our feminised culture of sensitive New Men, house husbands and ideas of inclusiveness and tolerance. The incoming Muslims didn’t think much of our feminised ways and decided they would rather stick to their own culture. To them 20th century western men looked weak, unnatural and pathetic. I think the only way we will save ourselves from these men with Bronze Age religious beliefs is if we too revert to a more manly culture.

It reminds me of the film Deliverance. At first three of the party laugh at Burt Reynolds’ character, with his bow and arrow and his macho posturing. But later he is the only one among them who knows how to save them from being raped and killed by barbaric red necks.

I now believe that Andy Partridge was premature in depicting men as an evolutionary relic who have outlived their usefulness. Feminists have shown us that neither they, nor the kind of men they want us to be, can save our continent from real misogynists. Feminists were insulted by having a door held open for them or a seat offered, and they felt hard done by for having to stay at home and raise their own children while their husbands went out to work. Strangely though they hardly have a word to say against a few million wife-beaters coming to live among us.

I don’t know if Andy Partridge still agrees with the sentiments expressed in Down in the Cockpit but for me it is clear that women’s ways are useful in some situations and useless in others. In times of peace and in civilised societies then women’s ways can predominate but when push comes to shove, tackling a horde of barbarians is a job for manly men to whom aggression comes naturally.

Yet while I no longer think the lyrics of Down in the Cockpit are true for the sexes, I do think they describe a completely different situation, namely the relationship between societies run by whites and societies run by blacks and mestizos. It appears the only way Africa, Mexico or Detroit will ever get out of their respective cockpits is if they are pulled out by whites. Africa needs white charity and know-how, Mexicans and Central Americans flee to America to escape the societies they have built for themselves and Detroit needs a white mayor and white politicians to put right decades of corruption and mismanagement by blacks. The only reason Saudi Arabians aren’t flocking to our shores is because they are sitting atop a huge reserve of oil which western men showed them how to get out of the ground with machinery made by western companies. If they hadn’t done so, Arabs would still be riding round on camels instead of in an air-conditioned Mercedes Benz.

Down in the Cockpit

Man acting like a farmer and
He’s treated the woman like a poor cow
We got to treat you better from now

But man is just a baby and
He’s needing your milk of kindness I vow
To drink as much as you will allow

All the way through history
Man, machine, no mystery
All the way through history
Girl, have the brain to act as like the weaker sex

Down in the cockpit
Man need the woman to pull him right out of it
Down in the cockpit
Man need the woman to pull him right out of it

Queen wants the castle
Back from the rascal
Queen wants the castle

The girl tribe are growing up
And filling the world full with a new soul
To get so far they payed a high toll

Try not to make the same mistakes
As man has made or you’ll fall in that hole
And you will see us changing our role

All the way through history etc.


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