I wish we could keep score. A running total of miscellaneous data to analyze, reflect on and ponder. Imagine:
Most pain felt (physical)
Most pain felt (emotional)
Would you be able to find patterns? Would you want to?
Number of scars
Times you heard AC/DC come on the radio, said”Awe, fuck AC/DC,” and then changed the station
Nothing sucks like when one of your favorite artists releases a new album days after your four year relationship ends and it’s chalked-full of tracks that describe your exact state of mind, each song creating a unique cocktail of emotions including but not limited to: overwhelming sadness, equally unjustified yet defiant hope, trepidation, lament, melancholy, headaches, nausea, diarrhea and night terrors, regret, mild to moderate crying, punchable confidence, and the strong resentment to scientists in general because time travel has yet to be invented.
When the airplane’s nose finally aligned west, the engines roared before a sudden burst of speed sent the vessel down the runway but then quickly upwards, mocking man’s limitations as we engaged in glorious flight. I left quickly, bags packed and emotionally shattered ass on an airplane within four days of the decision to go home. After the hours stuck in traffic on the highway, the goodbye, the four hours and 742 cigarettes outside of the Pearson terminal waiting for my delayed flight, the realization of the length of time left to endure stuck in a turbulent metal cylinder between two dudes seemed daunting. An intrusive thought struck, and I silently hoped that if the plane was going to crash that it happen earlier in the flight.
I haven’t read a newspaper or website in three weeks. I have no idea what’s going on in the world. It’s kinda nice.
The issue of Rolling Stone that I just threw out because it had been sitting on my toilet for 3 months has a feature listing songs that famous musicians’ felt most influenced them and their work. Since I can’t sing* and will never be famous enough to be saddled between a five star review of the most recent U2 album and advertisement for sex-cushions and thus have little to no chance of gracing the pages of a mediocre publication in a dying media format, I decided to do what any young** scribe should do in the year of our Lord 2015: take to the internet and announce my opinions to an unsolicited audience that’s barely paying attention.
Outside of food and oxygen, I’ve long since felt that music has kept me alive. Sometimes I wonder slash kick my past self in the face for not seriously pursing an instrument when I was younger. Film school made sense at the time, and while I always enjoy a good flick or series, I find myself less inclined in recent years to deconstruct what I like about a particular show or analyze WHY it works; music has never lost that appeal, partly because it’s so easy to consume a four minute song compared to a two hour film. Why didn’t I get a guitar when I was 13? I was in choir in elementary school, singing all sorts of bullshit at recitals and practicing harmonies and pitches and other such musical terms I’ve long since forgotten the definitions of. I don’t remember why I quit, or why I never became one of those kids*** who brought an acoustic guitar to every social gathering. Maybe I could have been the next Jason Mraz. Think of the money! Think of the hats!
Anyway, below are five songs by five artists I deeply admire and I guess in some way shaped who I am- if you discount all my experiences, friends, family, morals, values and education. There’s also some words I put together. Share yours in the comments, all six people who will read this post.
A lot of white people are embracing this small business owner’s terrible idea to host a “white appreciation day”. While neither the race of the business owner nor the scope of the celebration matters (10% off brisket WOW), the concept has galvanized racists to ask the question, “Why shouldn’t there be a day celebrating being white?!”
The notion itself, that white people require- NAY deserve!- a day akin to Black History Month, is disgustingly racist. The simplest answer to that question that your grandma asked on her Facebook feed is that every motherfucking day you walk outside and live your life without fear of persecution, whether it be walking down the street without cops taking a second glance at you or an old lady suddenly clutching her purse tighter, is a day you just celebrated being white. And if you’re a white GUY, in North America, well you hit all three of the sociological lottery numbers so just shut your mouth, live your life, and be nice to people.
Look, I’m an uneducated white boy so I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on race or class struggle. A few years ago, after the Trayvon Martin verdict, Questlove wrote a wonderful op-ed piece that’s stuck with me. If you’re one of those people who think we need some kind of bullshit day to celebrate being fair-skinned, please read the article in full, It will change your mind:
I’ve had this story kicking around in my mindchamber for about two years now. And it’s the best kind of story to be constantly thinking about because it’s all plot; there’s nary a theme or character arc within fifteen miles of the logline and poster that’s been burned inside my goddamn head since that one fateful afternoon I smoked too much pot and got a little too confident with the pen, crafting the outline for an intricately layered genre film while unabashedly borrowing pieces of works that I greatly admired* and others that presented interesting yet ultimately under-cooked ideas**. I threw it all into my usual mirepoix of dialogue-heavy black comedy and inactive protagonists, hoping for a ragged commentary on reality television and our fame-seeking culture. But hello darkness, my old friend: doubt surfaced and I began to fear and still fear I am not clever enough to write this shepherd’s pie of social commentary. It’s maddening because it’s like I have a bunch of nails and nothing to slam them into the wall with.
Plot without theme and you’re just running around looking for the fucking Wizard because you want to hang out. The Lion doesn’t get his courage and Dorthy doesn’t go home.