From Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, “The Interior,” p. 216:
Nineteenth-century domestic interior. The space disguises itself—puts on, like an alluring creature, the costumes of moods. The self-satisfied burgher should know something of the feeling that the next room might have witnessed the coronation of Charlemagne as well as the assassination of Henri IV, the signing of the Treaty of Verdun as well as the wedding of Otto and Theophano. In the end, things are merely mannequins, and even the great moments of world history are only costumes beneath which they exchange glances of complicity with nothingness, with the petty and the banal. Such nihilism is the innermost core of bourgeois coziness—a mood than in hashish intoxication concentrates to satanic contentment, satanic knowing, satanic calm, indicating precisely to what extent the nineteenth-century interior is itself a stimulus to intoxication and dream. This mood involves, furthermore, an aversion to the open air, the (so to speak) Uranian atmosphere, which throws a new light on the extravagant interior design of the period. To live in these interiors was to have woven a dense fabric about oneself, to have secluded onself within a spider’s web, in whose toils world events hang loosely suspended like so many insect bodies sucked dry. From this cavern, one does not like to stir.
I read this and thought, wow, I once wrote something very similar, about cold war loungin’:
Lounge is music for a state of heightened sensual receptiveness, or heightened desire. Except desire impels movement towards the thing desired; when you lounge, everything you want is right there, surrounding you. The lounge is where you array your pleasures just so, everything in easy reach, all contingencies handled in advance. It is where pleasures are contained—and pleasure is refracted back through its containment. Civilization, depending on your point of view, is either a prison or the lounge writ large. Or it is both: the velvet prison. Either way, loungin’ is the proper mode for civilized existence. Lounge music offers the consolation of small vices and taboo indulgence.