Songs That Define Me: Chris Cornell

Devastated. Heartbroken. But not surprised. Amazing songwriter. Amazing artist. All of these five songs, that I posted a year and a half ago, are amazing. But each and every one of them echoes the angst of a man not enamored with staying alive. I love you Chris. I will always love you.

Mel Rook & The 7 Deadly Sins

Chris Cornell is probably my favorite songwriter. He writes from a place where I spend a great deal of my time. Former addict. Former asshole. Talented fucker.

As part of my Songs That Define Me series, here are five of my favorite Chris Cornell songs. Two solo. Three from Soundgarden.

I love his Temple of the Dog stuff too. Reach Down is one of my favorite songs of all time and the song I want played at my funeral. But that song doesn’t really define me. It’s more of an aspiration.

And I like his stuff with Audioslave… musically. But he phones it in lyrically on every thing they do. Still great songwriting. Great poetry. Just light on substance.

chris cornell

But anyway these are songs that mean a lot to me. They make me feel good. They make me feel like I’m not alone in my experiences and they get me pumped. All…

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5 reasons I dislike The Oscars (and one reason I don’t)

This is a great list.

emmakwall (explains it all)


george9

The 88th Academy Awards is taking place this weekend. And I enjoy stirring up trouble so thought it would be fun to tell you why I’m not into it.

Though I must add – I genuinely love all of your Academy Awards posts and Oscar love (and George Clooney) – so this is by no means meant to be taken seriously (though I am being serious and don’t call me Shirley).

Without further ado.

1.They’re unnecessary and smug. Most of the people nominated are presumably on some level doing their ‘dream job’ and earning fantastic money and if you’re Leonardo DiCaprio – shagging A LOT of Victoria’s Secret models. So, without sounding moody – why do they deserve extra praise? Aren’t they living the dream already?

No other industry does it. I certainly don’t remember the last time I was invited to the Annual Awards for Services to Auditing and Administration. Do you…

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What’s Good? Fall TV Mega Post 2015

Okay guys. I’ve watched so much TV lately this is gonna be a big one. There is so much good TV now, I’m a little overwhelmed. TV is so good now and getting better all the time. Netflix, Amazon. I had to sample everything. All the comedies. All the dramas. Well not everything but everything that looked like it was aimed at my demographic. You know… the cool people like you and me… and maybe this guy.

limitless meditation

you are a blogger “I am a blogger.” you will complete what you start “I am a blogger.”

I got seriously overwhelmed and stopped working on this post because the list just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. A while back I did a TV Mega Post in ten parts with more than 100 shows. I could seriously do another series and it would look completely different after just two years. So I just gave up for a while and let the bad guys win.

The-Man-in-The-High-Castle

Not those bad guys. I’m talking about laziness, frustration and doubt. Not Nazis.

But I’m back now. So a few times on the list I mention seasons and episode numbers but that was back when I started this list. I made some cursory updates but even that was overwhelming. THERE’S JUST SO MUCH GOOD NEW TELEVISION.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones

“Cheer up, Luke. I think he’s talking about us.” “You wanna have sex?” “Again?”

And then of course there were all of my returning favorites, my court case and my Mets, not only making the playoffs but going all the way to the World Series. Woo hoo.

LET’S GO METS!!! (oh yeah, they lost long before I posted this)

Supergirl-pilot

“So you won’t be needing a cheerleader then. How embarrassing… Back to fighting crime.”

But first…

Before we get this epic party started, my girl, Nicki Minaj has a question for Miley Cyrus.

Go ‘head Nicki.

Miley What's Good

“What’s good?”

No fighting on my blog, ladies. At least not before we’ve poured the jello into the kiddie pool and listed all the great new shows. But if you were to ask me what’s good, Nicki. Now that I’ve finally compiled this list of new shows, I could tell you.

So go ahead.

Ask me.

No really. Ask me…

WHAT’S GOOD?

I’m glad you asked.

New Fall Shows are very very good. And there are so many of them.

THE INCREDIBLE NEW FALL SHOWS

There are a lot of new shows that have quickly become must see TV. It’s difficult to list them all. But I gave it a try. Starting with the enjoyable…

Limitless

Limitless (CBS) Limitless is a very funny show. I watched the movie to prepare for the series but you really don’t have to. Bradley Cooper has a cameo and the main character is sort of doing a Bradley Cooper impression but he’s extremely likable and funny. I also like that the pills don’t give him super powers but just better memory and concentration and yet I still think Sherlock Holmes would beat him in a mental powers of deduction battle.

Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces (CBS) This is a new turn on the sitcom. It’s more like a family sketch comedy with four short stories each episode from four families within the same extended family. Don’t look for the stories to connect much. They rarely do. There is more connection between episodes than within one. The cast is superb and the characters are fleshed out and three-dimensional. You know these people well within the first half hour. The acting and the writing of the sketches make this one of my favorite new shows.

Quantico

Quantico (ABC) I have to admit that part of my enjoyment of this show is how hot the cast is. It sports a collection of very hot FBI trainees. (The FBI wishes it were this hot) But the story is interesting and the characters, although cliché at times, are designed to throw us off the scent of who is the real villain, as our lovely hero searches for the traitor who blew up Grand Central Terminal. The traitor from her graduating class at Quantico.

quantico-abc

It’s a flashback show where we jump back and forth from her time as a trainee and her life on the run, after being framed for the bombing. But really it’s just eye candy. They’re all so pretty. The main girl is gorgeous. Even their instructors are hot. Also they make good music choices on the show. But my favorite is all the jumping in and out of bed with each other. Quantico could have easily been called Young FBI Agents in Love.

Minority Report-FOX

Minority Report (FOX) I’m still enjoying this show. (It just ended) I liked the leaked pilot a lot. But the official pilot changed the ending completely and included more interaction between the other two pre-cogs (Good changes). Sometimes Meagan Good’s body is a little distracting because she’s just pow pow pow (damn) and every time Wilmer Valderama is on-screen I have to question myself because he’s actually pretty good in this and that’s confusing. But I like Minority Report because I like the world and the original story (by Philip K Dick. More from him later) and the original movie is one of my favorite films. And I hope FOX gives it a fair chance. I’d love to see a season two. (Probably won’t)

The Muppets

The Muppets (ABC) The Muppets is good. The Muppets would be a good show if it starred live actors. But these are puppets. Puppets we know. Puppets we love. Puppets with attitude. I love this show because it isn’t silly. It could have so easily been silly. It plays real with authentic emotions and relationships and I fucking love it. The whole thing with Kermit and Piggy being exes is sensational. And I get why it makes people uncomfortable. Muppets in adult situations. But I love this show.

Muppets with Cell Phones

I was not the biggest fan of the original Muppet Show (but I remember it, I watched it) This is something else entirely. Truly I can’t explain how genius this show is. I even teared up during an episode. I care about these characters. And not because I know them from the movies or Sesame Street but because of the show’s emotional honesty and realism. They’re not just puppets they’re *sniff* they’re family.

The-Grinder

The Grinder (FOX) Jake Kasdan is making good TV. He knocked New Girl out of the park and now he has another hit on his hands. Grinder is sensational. First and foremost the cast is amazing. Rob Lowe plays an actor who is famous for playing a lawyer on TV, the wonder years guy plays his brother; an actual lawyer, the waitress from It’s Always Sunny is the lawyer’s wife, The best friend from Eastbound and Down is his partner. What a great collection of TV actors (Of course I don’t know any of their names). The writing is good. It’s a family workplace hybrid. Very very funny. But it’s the cast that does it for me. Just perfect casting. Jake Kasdan does it again.

The Last Kingdom (BBCA) This is a decent show. Reminds me a lot of Vikings from The History Channel. Except that this one’s in England before it was one thing. A lot of great violence and drama. The Last Kingdom season one was fantastic. And now I can’t stop yelling “Arse-ling!” at everybody.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones (Netflix) Probably one of the best things you’ll see this year. Netflix’s new Marvel hero for hire is bloody fucking awesome. I knew I would like it. I just didn’t know how much. Here is a show that was made for me. With one of the most frightening villains on TV. David Tennant and Krysten Ritter do amazing jobs. I’ve watched the entire series twice and plan to watch it again. Fantastic in every way. Jessica Jones is a superhero show for adults. Even more than Daredevil. It certainly gets sexier than Daredevil.

Jessica Getting Busy

And much more brutal than Daredevil. And scary as fuck. I love Daredevil, don’t get me wrong. But after watching both series twice, I’m thinking Jessica Jones is a little better. (Jessica is definitely better the second time around because I spent the entire first viewing in sheer terror. It is some scary shit, people).

Jessica Jones and Kilgrave

I can’t wait for Power Man and Iron Fist. And I don’t expect any crossover episodes on any of the Netflix Marvel shows because Netflix is planning a separate crossover series called The Defenders. Which just going by how well it’s going so far, is going to be freaking fantastic. Netflix is re-writing the rules and doing a really great job.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW) One of my favorite new musical comedy shows. I am slowly falling in love with the crazy ex-girlfriend. She is amazingly wacky and relate able. Like a cross between Lucille Ball and Lilith from Frazier with a lot of musical theater thrown in. And the songs are outstanding. They are so funny.

Crazy ExGirlfriend

My favorite joke on the show has a rap star finding out what women go through everyday and saying to himself, “I gotta apologize to some bitches.” And it’s just a throwaway line but it’s so fucking funny. I love this show.

Scream Queens

Scream Queens (FOX) Emma Roberts is sensational in Scream Queens. The show is very funny. Extremely silly. It’s like that Agatha Christie comedy Murder By Death except updated for the 21st century. I love that somebody dies in every episode and the fact that it seems unsustainable because there’s hardly anyone left anymore. I wonder, if there is a season two, if they’ll pull an American Horror Story (same guys) and bring back the same actors in a different location, playing different parts. I hope so. The cast is the best part. And the writing. Cast and writing. The dialogue has me on the floor every episode.

Supergirl

Supergirl (CBS) Fantastic superhero drama. Just as good if not better than The Flash and Arrow. Love the cast. Love the emotional themes of each episode. Loving the superhero learning curve and the way that everyone in her life knows her secret. There’s no, barely believable and convenient, thing where her best friends don’t recognize her without glasses on. I mean there’s still a little of that but at least it’s not the people closes to her. Just her boss who never really looks at her anyway. A very good show.

Speaking of really good shows…

The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Prime) This fucking show is gonna win sooooo many Emmys. I’m not kidding. Just for costume and production design alone. But also for writing and acting and directing. High Castle is truly an epic TV show. Based on the story by Philip K Dick, The Man in the High Castle is the tale of a world where the Nazis and the Japanese won the second world war…

Aikido Class

…or did they? Maybe it just looks that way. Maybe some other kinds of shenanigans are going on. What a fantastic concept. And what a great execution of a fantastic concept. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This is some serious drama (with hints of science fiction… little hints). Watch this fucking show. That is an order.

The Man in the High Castle US Map

And now to the old favorites that are still going strong.

THE STRONG RETURNING SHOWS

Homeland

Homeland (SHO) I still love the show. Mostly because Clare Danes is still amazeballs as Carey Matheson, CIA agent extraordinaire. Though when I learned about the graffiti artists writing anti-Homeland graffiti in Arabic on the walls in the background of scenes and the show not having anyone on staff that could read it. I have to agree with the artists. Homeland is racist. If just for the fact that it’s set in and has characters speaking the language but had no one on staff that could tell them that the words on the walls were insulting the show to the Arabic speaking world. Sorry. That alone means you’re racist. Either no one on staff told you or no one on staff could read it. Both are bad.

Homeland Poster

Homeland is still a great show though. Does that make me a horrible hypocrite?

Gotham-season-2

Gotham (FOX) This show gets a lot of shit for being crazy and whacky but it’s just trying to be all things to all Batman fans at once. 60’s Batman (TV show). 80’s Batman (Burton, Schumaker), ’00s Christopher Nolan Batman. And the millions of comics and cartoons. It is the prequel to all the Batmans. All of them at once.

Gotham Season Two

And I love the look of it so much. The 50s clothing. The 70s cars. The 90s tech. I love the cast. I love this show like crazy even as it gets crazier and crazier. It is the prequel to all the Batmans. All of them. ALL of them.

Prequel All The Batmans Meme

Prequel All The Batmans!!!

Green Arrow

Arrow (CW) Loving this season though it might just be that I didn’t like the last season very much. However, I am aware that all they’ve done so far this season is setting up the new Legends of Tomorrow series. It’s still good though. And Felicity and Oliver together is pretty cool. They’re handling the relationship beautifully.

The Walking Dead (AMC) Yes you can tell that the show has a different person in charge and I, for one, think this is the best the show has ever been after just three episode. Three amazing episodes. (ah five weeks ago. How my views have changed) TWD had a flat Fall finale. But I remember how excited I was at the beginning of the season. It just didn’t maintain that level and I was disappointed. (What a difference five weeks make) Hope they get that magic back in the second half of the season. I was so disappointed.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers (HBO) Wow what a nice shift. This show is awesome now. It was okay last season but now it’s one of the best things on TV. I’m blown away after four episodes. Each one completely different than the next. Just wow. (Ah five weeks ago…

the-leftovers-season-2-texas

but since then it has only gotten better) Maybe the best thing on TV right now. Still good. Still very good. Still fucking good. Still fantastic actually.

iZombie cast

iZombie (CW) Also still good and fun and nerdy and my girl is doing great work with all the new personalities each week. My favorite line of the series was earlier this season when Liv is trying to explain her former roommate to her current roommate and she says “A long time ago we used to be friends.” I actually squealed in delight. It was embarrassing. The show is still fun and funny and cool. iZombie is cool as all hell. I love it.

Empire (FOX) It occurred to me that after five or six seasons they won’t have to write any more new songs and they can just have the characters play the hits for the remaining seasons. The music is great. The music is the best part. Timbaland is doing work.

Agents of SHIELD

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC) The best I’ve seen this show so far. I knew all we had to do was to trust Joss and company and it would get better and better. The characters are all fully formed and I care about them and the stories are interesting. SHIELD is a great television show. Maybe one of the best.

Previously on Fitz and Simmons

But the Fitz and Simmons love story is heartbreaking. (We shipped them. They heard us. And now they are crushing our hearts) This is good stuff people. If you gave up on the series you’re missing out. It’s gotten seriously good.

Fitz Simmons Feeeeeels

Oh dear god, the feeeeeels.

Fitzsimmonsgif

Reign (CW) Reign is just as sexy as ever and with a few new hotties in the mix. The costumes are still gorgeous and I still love it. Reign is still a good show.

Speaking of good shows.

Star Wars Rebels

Star Wars: Rebels (Disney) Another great season of Star Wars Rebels. I love this show and I love that it’s canon. It fills the space between the prequels and the original series. The Clones Wars series covered from Attack of the Clones through Revenge of the Sith. This one picks up a few years after that with many of the same characters. It’s good.

The Blacklist (NBC) The Blacklist gets better every episode and it’s as good now as it has ever been. James Spader is awesome. That is all.

once-upon-a-time-season-5

Once Upon a Time (ABC) I’ve always loved this show and the way it reinvents fairy tales and Disney princesses and movies. But most of all, I love the way it reinvents itself. There are two themes per season, one in the first half and one in the second. The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Frozen, Robin Hood, Brave. They put our heroes and those well-known characters through their paces and explore them and dissect them and flip them on their heads. But this season has been my favorite. Dark Swan in Camelot is the best.

American Horror Story Lady Gaga

American Horror Story: Hotel (FX) In my opinion this is the best season of American Horror Story so far. I thought I’d miss Jessica Lange but Lady Gaga has more than made up for her absence. I’m loving the music choices as well (Bela Lugosi’s Dead). And Mare Winningham is sensational. She makes me laugh so hard with that voice she uses. It’s so fucking funny. (“Sheed do anything forah dollah.”) This season is a nice change from Freak Show. I didn’t like Freak Show very much. Hotel is so sexy and so bloody and so funny. But you might as well just call it American Horror Story: Lady Gaga. The woman is riveting. Her screen presence is immense.

Fargo TV Poster

Fargo (FX) This season of Fargo is fast becoming my new favorite current show. Anthology series rock. This one is hysterical. And the performances are incredibly good. Kirsten Dunst is amazing. I smell an Emmy in her future.

kirsten-dunst-fargo

“Oh stop it, you.”

And Jeffrey Donovan and the whole cast, everyone is fantastic. I loved the first season of Fargo but the second season makes the first one look like public access cable.

Fargo

Extremely well done. The direction. The little Coen Brothers touches. How every song is from another Coens movie. Or the fantastic way that it feels like some of the scenes are lifted directly from their films.

Fargo Cabin Fever

I love love love Fargo. So much fun and so funny. But also very brutal and very violent. And very cool. Some of the coolest dialogue on TV.

Fargo-season-2-Waffle-Hut

Okay. There are even more shows. I just can’t list them all. So I’ve got to stop somewhere or this could go on forever. I need to move on.

The Knick (Cinemax), Nashville (ABC), Scandal (ABC) I need to move on.

Elementary (CBS)… Stop it!!!

Let’s move on.

To the real world…

Mets Winning

The Mets Win The Pennant!!! I was excited for my Mets but they weren’t ready for the big dance. They’re much too young. Too many rookies. First time in the playoffs. But I can still be happy that, in their first years, we made it all the way to the World Series.

Mets Celebrate

And with the pitching staff being as good as it is, my Mets will be in the race for years to come (at least five). But if you think about that World Series, (and I hate to think about that series) we were ahead in the ninth inning with at least one out in four of the five games. Our manager and our closer and then our hitters weren’t ready for the pressures of a late game comeback. Much like the Royals experienced last year.

The Mets Pitching Staff

We’ll be back next year. Mark my words. These pitchers are too good. It’s almost unfair.

My Court Case is Over My court case is over and I don’t have to pay the launder a dime. He lied in his deposition. Perjured himself for absolutely no reason. He had me dead to rights but he wanted more. He wanted revenge. He more than doubled his repair costs. I broke two window panels. He wanted me to buy him new doors. And he told the police he saw me do it personally. That he was an eye witness. When he didn’t. He wasn’t. He lied. He’s an idiot. He loses. I win. Game over.

And finally… What’s Good?

This song right here.

I love this song. I know it’s been out for a while but I’m really loving the Munster’s theme song sample. One of my favorite TV theme songs and they use it so well.

Fall Out Boy – Uma Thurman

“I slept in last night’s clothes and tomorrow’s dream but they’re not quite what they seem.”

And now for everything there is a dark side…

WHAT’S NOT so GOOD?

…or some shit that sucked.

THE BAD NEW SHOWS

I don’t have time for these shows. I tried them out. They were bad. Especially Heroes Reborn. Heroes Reborn is the worst big budget broadcast drama in television history.

Rosewood (FOX) Rosewood is a boring procedural. If I don’t like the characters, I can’t get into the show. He’s a pathologist with an incurable disease and she’s a hard-nosed cop with anger and trust issues. Will they make it work? I don’t really care.

Moonbeam City

Moonbeam City (Comedy) Bad animation art (Duran Duran?) and a twisted sense of humor. Some people will like this. I did not. I couldn’t watch more than one episode.

Heroes-Reborn

Heroes Reborn (NBC) I could dissect this show for all the things wrong with it. Logic, Writing, Continuity, Oh my god the Acting is so bad. Story, Music, The Special Effects are awful. Everything about Heroes Reborn is bad. It is so annoyingly bad.

Okay. No more TV shows. I can’t talk about TV any more. So on the lighter side…

The Eiffel Tower

The Paris Attacks First of all Daesh can kiss the crack of my shiny metal ass. I’ve never been to Paris. Though many of my friends have and I dream about going (I probably won’t. Just being honest). My good thoughts and well wishes go out to the city and to the people and to anyone who is living less of a life because of these attacks. To anyone who’s more afraid because of it, and anyone who feels like they have to keep their compassion in check to keep from being hurt again, know I love you. I hope you can find a way through the pain and the fear and into the sun and into the joy and into the light again. Because that’s what hurts the terrorists the most. That’s what hurts ISIS or Al Quiada or Christian Radicals or Misogynist Assholes. More than bombs and guns and angry words and fiery speeches and sanctions and no-fly zones, It’s Love… and Life and Liberty and Laughter… and Light. Vive la France. Vive la Paris.

Christmas Tree for One

The Holiday Season (or The Christmas Tree for One) Long time readers of my blog may know that this is my least favorite time of year. I’m sorry to all the Christmas lovers out there. But being alone for the holidays is the worst. Not because you’re alone mind you, but because the season constantly reminds you that you’re alone. I don’t mind being alone. Truly I don’t. But this season relentlessly hammers against the skulls of the solitary that they are the only lonely people in the world. That something must be wrong with them to be alone at Christmas. It’s annoying. And it gets to the point where you have to convince others (and even yourself) that you’re okay with it. That you’re okay alone. I’m okay alone. But people don’t believe it. You can see it in their pitiful eyes and their pained smiles. And it’s because every ad, every show, every song, every post, every little reminder of Christmas cheer screams at every reveler and every little Christmas elf to pity the lonely, to pity them to the point where you start to pity yourself. Merry Christmas.

Oh shit… Don’t look now. There are more TV shows coming up.

TOO SOON TO TELL FALL SHOWS

These are the shows on my personal bubble.

Blindspot

Blindspot (NBC) I was ready to hate this show after a few episodes but I love Ashley Johnson so much and I love her character. And they came with a couple of Ashley-centric episodes and I was hooked. So I’m still watching. Waiting for more Ashley.

Blindspot Ashley Johnson

The tattoo premise is played-out. The fact that they solve a tattoo minutes before an attack is too convenient to happen so often. But I’m going to keep watching. There are two new shows that feature the former kick-ass stars of the great Cinemax show, Strike Back (Now done). They’re both on the bubble. There’s Blindspot and also…

The Player NBC

The Player (NBC) The Player is getting better with each episode. I’m a big Wesley Snipes fan and I’m glad he gets to kick much ass in this. There’s a techie here too. You may notice that I have a thing for the techie character in shows (especially when it’s a hot girl). Here we have a hot British computer genius and she keeps me coming back. Also the fight choreography is very good and there’s an interesting premise.

The Player - Season Pilot

Just like the tattoo thing from Blindspot, it’s a played-out premise as well; a secret society of wealthy international crime bosses. But here they enjoy betting on crimes and that’s pretty cool. Plus, like I said, the fight choreography is great. And Snipes is a badass.

THE SHOWS WE LOST (GONE TOO SOON)

Continuum-The-Final-Season

Dominion (Syfy) 2 seasons

Defiance (Syfy) 3 seasons

Continuum (Syfy) 4 seasons

Lost Girl (Syfy) 5 seasons

May they rest in peace in rerun heaven.

All of the good science fiction shows are dying early deaths because they never have a big enough audience to justify their special effects budgets. Continuum ended well. Very satisfying. It was good to the last moment. In the end Lost Girl was a shadow of its former self but at least my girl Kensi came back. And she came back strong.

Defiance Syfy

Defiance was good until the end and I’m going to miss those characters a lot. But Dominion was just too biblical for its own good. However, the cast was very hot. All four shows are gone but not forgotten. And at least we still have Dark Matter. We do still have Dark Matter don’t we? Don’t cancel Dark Matter.

But so as not to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Here’s more Fall Out Boy. This song is from 2005. Didn’t know I was a Fall Out Boy fan did you. Well I am.

This here is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance

“I’m two quarters of a heart down. And I don’t want to forget how your voice sounds. These words are all I have so I write them. So you need them just to get by.”

“This is the way they’d love if they knew how misery loved me.”

Coming Soon to What’s Good: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Agent Carter, 2016: AKA My Fucking Best Year Ever, The first chapter of my book online (coming soon I swear), a long snowy winter (fingers crossed), Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Getting Back to My New York Museum Tour and The Expanse on Syfy.

Coming Soon to What’s Not so Good: A short brutally cold winter (because of global warming [more deadly than all the terrorists in the world combined]), Christmas, New Year’s and all the stuff that they bring. In particular, Heavy Drinking.

Told ya it was going to be a long one. (That’s what he said) Now here’s a little more Ashley for you guys. My girl is gorgeous.

Ashley Johnson

Until next time,

– Mel

Songs That Defines Me: Drug Life (An 11 Song Bio-Playlist)

What follows is about 45 minutes of music that serves as an audio autobiography. Up until now, my Songs That Define Me series has been very general but these represent certain times in my life. So it takes all eleven to make a complete picture. Not that they were recorded at those times but that they represent them. It is in essence the soundtrack to the musical of my life as it relates to drugs. I only post the audio versions with lyrics when I can find them. But if I can’t then I post the lyrics underneath.

So without any further ado. I give you…

DRUG LIFE (An 11 Song Bio-Playlist)

Three Seeds by Silversun Pickups
The movie opens on a boy with a chip on his shoulder. He’s angry at the world but doesn’t really know why. He’s brilliant, if I do say so myself, but he’s in constant pain and in constant fear and still he doesn’t know why. He never learned how to make friends or trust people after years of physical, mental and sexual abuse. And the only advice his mother gives him when sending him off to school is to pretend to be normal. (Yeah that didn’t work). He turns to alcohol. And it makes it possible for him to talk to other people and to make friends. This is the story of his three inner selves: His fearful self, His angry self, and his better self. This is Drug Life.

Remove the bullet from my head
Extracting over confidence
Hidden so easy to pretend
Too bad the rush was found again

I can see the pictures on the floor
Sketches of what was there before
Three came from one little seed
The last one is all I need

I can see the bottle on the ground
We turned the corner safe and sound
No thought of him as it was done
A clean execution
A clean execution

Cool like the ocean
Burned like a summer home
Fooled by the notion
That the sums don’t add up at all

There’s the line that is leading clearly feeding
All the things I don’t believe in
But I’ll step in once again
Cut in line to get closer to the
Source of all the things I’ll never belong to
Step it up and sign right in again

Cool like the ocean
Burned like a summer home
Fooled by the notion
That the sums don’t add up at all

Cool like the ocean
Burned like a summer home
Fooled by the notion
That the sums don’t add up at all
That the sums never add up at all
That the sums don’t add up at all…

Swimming Pools (Drank) by Kendrick Lamar

Our hero begins drinking in High School. He carries a little bottle of Jack Daniels around in his jacket pocket from the age of 15. In those days liquor stores didn’t card. They just looked you up and down. All you needed was strength of purpose. By that time he had been through some abuse and it showed on his face. They weren’t gonna deny him anything. Most people looked in his eyes, full of pain, worry and grief, and simply came to the obvious conclusion, “This man needs a drink.”

Washing of the Water by Peter Gabriel
But when High School ends he withdraws from the world. Riding around on the subway all night. Going to night-school in the afternoons. Working in the day as a messenger. Always drinking. drinking. drinking. Riding a river of fear to a sea of pain. His life becomes a river of darkness flowing into a sea of loneliness. A river of alcohol to a sea of… alcohol.

River, river, carry me on
Living river, carry me on
River, river, carry me on
To the place where I come from

So deep, so wide, will you take me on your back for a ride
If I should fall, would you swallow me deep inside
River, show me how to float, I feel like I’m sinking down
Thought that I could get along

But here in this water, my feet won’t touch the ground
I need something to turn myself around

Going away, away toward the sea
River deep, can you lift up and carry me
Oh roll on through the heartland
‘Til the sun has left the sky
River, river, carry me high

‘Til the washing of the water, make it all alright
Let your waters reach me, like she reached me tonight

Letting go, it’s so hard, the way it’s hurting now
To get this love untied
So tough to stay with this thing, because if I follow through
I face what I denied
I’ll get those hooks out of me
And I’ll take out the hooks that I sunk deep in your side
Kill that fear of emptiness, that loneliness I hide

River, oh river, river running deep
Bring me something that will let me get to sleep

In the washing of the water will you take it all away
Bring me something to take this pain away

Everything’s Just Wonderful by Lily Allen
Then he discovers cocaine. It solves so many of his problems. Depression, shyness, lack of energy. Cocaine. All of sudden he can talk to women. Walk into a job full of people. Cocaine. “He’s got so much energy. What a go-getter. Give that man a pay raise.” So our hero gets a job and a girlfriend and an apartment and he starts taking college courses. And it’s all thanks to cocaine. It was almost like Real Life.

Droogs by Anderson .Paak

The story takes a sexy turn here. Because for him, drugs and sex become closely related. The urge for sex is mixed with the desire for drugs. And so what follows is a string of destructive relationships and meaningless hook-ups and more drugs.

She don’t give a fuck
She don’t ever stress me
We don’t even talk
All we do is sex and leave
No there’s no love
She don’t even like me
But if we have drugs
She can be my wifey
When we have drugs

I got lost up in it, got lost up in it, got high for a minute
Said my lust for life and these lights are bright and I love these women
Said we bopping slow and we do the dance like we more than winning
Said she off the beat but she’s fine as fuck so I find the rhythm
No love is greater, in this whole world we made up
This love is made-up, it’s made-up
It’s made-up, it’s made-up, it’s made-up (say, aye)
I don’t know this bitch but I love this shit and we both are splendid
And she loud as fuck so I grab and touch and she don’t get offended
They goin call the law if we don’t get lost in Wynn parking lot
She don’t like me dog, she just like the drugs my nigga, don’t get it twisted

How many more can you give to me?
How many more can you give to me? I know you’re feelin me
Grinding and biting and kissing me
Who gives a fuck bout your history? nobody mentioned it
I coulda taken them all, I coulda taken them all, look at me dog
Look at me dead in the eyes, tell me you ain’t in love

She don’t give a fuck
She don’t ever stress me
We don’t even talk
All we do is sex and leave
No there’s no love
She don’t even like me
But if we have drugs
She can be my wifey
When we have drugs

You my one and only, my one and only, I’m on one homie
I don’t know your name I just love that ass, and I’ll pull that pony
Said I hate the club, but I make the club when I walk into it
Said you hate the drink, but you take the drink when I offer fluid
No love is greater, in this whole world we made up
This love is made-up, it’s made-up, it’s made-up, it’s made-up, it’s made-up

I can say right now that I’ll lay you down, I got lots of rubbers
I don’t give a fuck, you don’t give a fuck, we was made for each other
Your friend ain’t cute but my nigga’s a trooper, he’ll take the L
I’m high as fuck and you high as fuck so we parasailing

How many more can you give to me? How many more can you give to me?

I know you’re feelin me
Grinding and biting and kissing me, who gives a fuck bout your history,

Nobody mentioned it
I coulda taken them all, I coulda taken them all, look at me dog
Look at me dead in the eyes, tell me you ain’t in love

She don’t give a fuck
She don’t ever stress me
We don’t even talk
All we do is sex and leave
No there’s no love
She don’t even like me
But if we have drugs
She can be my wifey
When we have drugs

Hash Pipe by Weezer

Eventually this leads to a life of chaos. Moving to crystal meth and then crack. He does more and more. In and out of hospitals. In and out of rehab. Emotions flying off the hook. In and out of jail. Alienating everyone around him. Until finally he’s alone. Just him, his crack pipe and his self-destructive behavior. Paranoid, angry and alone, he’s pushed everyone else away. He settles in with crack as a substitute for human contact. His life is reduced to a constant struggle to get more crack. To do whatever to get more crack.

Please by U2

One night, while crawling around on his knees searching for something that wasn’t there, he breaks down. He realizes he’s hit the bottom. For him there was no lower he could go. Determined and alone, he begins the fight to try to get off drugs. In a montage of failed attempts. And valiant second and third attempts. We see him crying with every failure. Throwing out pipes only to buy new ones. Vowing to never use again then breaking his vow, sometimes in the very same day. At this point he only has himself to blame. And he only has himself for strength. Just he and the better self that he knows he can be. His life flashes before his eyes in a series of emotional motivational scenes. After months of trying, he finally gets clean.

Manhole by Ani DiFranco

He gets off the drugs and rebuilds his life. He remembers the hollow advice of his mother. So he pretends to be normal. He moves to a new city. He lies about his past. He lies to himself. He gets really good at lying. His past becomes something that happened to someone else. But not to him.

I’m holding here a book, notable, but not the greatest
Stolen for me by the latest in a long line of thieves
And I’m just about to drop it down that manhole of memories
When I realize it doesn’t bother me like love’s mementos usually do
And I look up to see who’s different here, the latest me or the latest you

‘Course, you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t lie, he just doctors everything
Chooses some unassuming finger and quietly moves his wedding ring
Who rewrites his autobiography for any pretty girl who’ll sing
But you can’t fool the queen, baby ‘cuz I married the king

And maybe it was I who betrayed his majesty
With no opposite reality, like a puddle with no reflection
Of the sky or the trees, but after my dreaded beheading
I tied that sucker back on with a string
And I guess I’m pretty different now, considering

I kissed you on the street that night on the far side of fourth
But I didn’t like the taste in my mouth or yours
And ignoring the persona you wore for my benefit
For once I had the balls to call it, just call it
But a lesson must be lived in order to be learned
And the clarity to see and stop this now that is what I’ve earned

And maybe it was I who betrayed his majesty
With no opposite reality, like a puddle with no reflection
Of the sky or the trees but after my dreaded beheading
I tied that sucker back on with a string
And I guess I’m pretty different now, considering

I’m holding here a book, notable, but not the greatest
Stolen for me by the latest in a long line of thieves
And I’m just about to drop it down that manhole of memories
When I realize it doesn’t bother me and heartache not so dire
‘Cuz I looked up to see integrity finally won over desire

Climbing Up The Walls by Radiohead

Sadly once he kicks the drugs all of his psychiatric problems resurface. He had forgotten why he started drinking in the first place. And after several run-ins with the police they eventually throw him in a psychiatric hospital. There’s not a lot of words in this section. It’s mostly just images of horror and isolation. And the voice of a sadistic orderly taunting him in his pharmaceutical haze, “You didn’t think it would be that easy now did you?”

I am the key to the lock in your house
That keeps your toys in the basement
And if you get too far inside
You’ll only see your reflection

It’s always best when the choir is out
I am the pick in the ice
Do not cry out or hit the alarm
You know we’re friends till we die

Either way you turn, I’ll be there
Open up your skull, I’ll be there
Climbing up the walls

It’s always best when the light is off
It’s always better on the outside
Fifteen blows to the back of your head
Fifteen blows to your mind

So lock the kids up safe tonight
Shut the eyes in the cupboard
I got the smell of a local man
Who’s got the loneliest feeling

And either way you turn, I’ll be there
Open up your skull, I’ll be there
Climbing up the walls

Dig by Incubus

While in the hospital he sees such horrors in the way the mentally ill are treated. And once he gets out, he vows to use his experiences to help others. And so the angry young man from the beginning let’s go of his anger. He leaves the hospital a new man. With a new lease on life. But with an absolute disdain for how the homeless and mentally ill are treated in his country. The sun is shining for the first time in his life without drugs. Fade out.

Roll Credits

Let Go by Frou Frou

End Credits Song. As the song plays, the credits roll and we see pictures of the man on whose life this movie is based. People in the theater who didn’t know it was based on a true story gain a new respect for the film. Others are amazed by how much more handsome the real guy is compared to the actor who plays him. There’s not a dry eye in the house. And once the credits are done all that’s left on screen is a dash and a name. Some in the audience smile knowingly before the house lights come up.

Thank you for listening.

– Mel

Playing God

arwenaragornstar

image

Sometimes a writer decides
To reach inside your chest
And try to pull out your heart
Stop it, dammit! It ain’t a spare part

Emotions stirred, shaken, blasted
I think of everything I invested
In the writer’s tale and characters
Letting
One play God with mere letters

The sole act of writing
Such an obscenely powerful thing
Writers simply handed blank cheques
Readers reduced to quivering wrecks

Image credit: Mashable.com

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