Origami horses don’t have real saddles:

The city is a pretty great place, if you want to do coke on the shelf of a bathroom stall that is, or talk to the homeless tell you a deeply troubling story about the time he was molested when he was twelve. Like… I didn’t really try hard for insane things to happen in my life they just sort of did.

I hate saying this but I get a little anxious at the thought of seeing old faces from a life I don’t recognize anymore. I was at a train station and ran into an old roommate, I didn’t even recognise him, even though just months earlier his pet snake had gotten out and had been living under my bed for several weeks without my knowledge. Yeah that was a pretty scary discovery. I didn’t know what to say to him, I asked after the snake, George and got a smile and some throwaway reply. Despite the fact we boarded the same train we didn’t continue to talk, we even sat two seats apart but we just let that awkward silence settled on the both of us. I guess we had both silently agreed that the end of our relationship in any form was the best for the both of us. I think in that moment, that moment when we knew we would never speak again, by choice or accident, that I understood him more than I ever had before.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot, the power of leaving. A website I used to frequent recently closed its doors for good and it felt like a nice closing chapter for me. I don’t like being depended on much, relationships, especially romantic ones make me uncomfortable. I’m not sure if I can sustain anyone I have, it’s something that sits and rattles in my head like ”is this actually healthy for me?”.  I think I might have another one of those moments soon, those mutual glances when we acknowledge this is the bridge and it’s burning and we’re not fighting to save it. Maybe in that moment, stripped down of all artifice, all assumptions and ideas of grandeur or perceived good, when you really see a person tear out your heart, then and only then will you really know them, every inch. You’ll wonder too in that moment if you convinced yourself that they were never this person before, but in truth you know, you both were just going through the motions. The fancy dress facade you use when you want someone to love you. When you want someone to be something and make you something to.

I had a bad moment in my life when I treated a series of women really badly, I was working through some fucked up shit and this resulted in a really aggressive series of bad entanglements. In a way though I was kind of okay with being the bastard at the time, because being the bastard is easy right? It makes you unaccountable. If you’re the asshole, you don’t have to live up to any standards cause obviously you’re the asshole and you’ve always been the asshole. I’ve had people tell me I’m the best person they know, or stupid shit like, I’m the most important thing in their life… In truth I cringe a little when I hear those things, I feel so disconnected from those words. From those feelings. Maybe I do have a dissociative disorder or something. Sometimes I see things and I think things, I get overwhelmed by the idea that I’m different. That I’m just not the same I can’t function like others. I know it’s arrogant to assume these feelings of, well… Not belonging are unique to me, I know they’re not. It’s just hard to have that perspective in the moment though.

I guess it comes down to fear right? That’s what it has to be? I have this special nervousness attached to questions pertaining to how I am or what I’ve done. I’m turning 22 soon. Just a couple of days now. Maybe I’ll feel something then, but right now I just can’t sleep. I’m staring at the ceiling thinking of people I haven’t seen in years, reliving moments so strongly my chest tightens. I can’t help but wonder in the darkness then, if they too, wherever they are share those same memories, those same thoughts. I don’t know if it’s comforting, or even…. Uncomforting to know either way. Maybe I’m the crazy one who just can’t grow up, leave my mistakes behind.

I have no answers if I’m doing the right thing, if I’m being the best person I can or if I’m just floundering in the darkness, trying to grasp onto something that explains my unraveled mess of a psyche. I don’t really know how to end this, I don’t really how to move on, change my mind set and come back to being… Happy…

Maybe this year, the oldest and the youngest I’ll ever, ever be will be the turning point. The moment when it makes sense. I think I need that hope to hold onto right now.

If you’re out there, thinking, feeling something for someone, maybe you too have your own little person thinking back about you, writing some dribble on a blog post because they can’t sleep.

-PB

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Feeling Something Right?

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Time is wasting, youth is fleeting, you’re dying. No really. You. Are. Dying. Every second you waste reading this sentence is another you will never get back. You may laugh now, scoff, make humorous gestures, but the truth is you know, and you fear it just as much as me. You’re going to die very soon, your youth, which once seemed an endless consistency in a world that spilt out of a firmly smiling mouth has begun to crumble and will soon be gone forever. Spent, wasted, dead.

What the fuck should we do then? Fuck if I know, seriously. I expect people to feel the same way I do, hold the same beliefs I do, yet I do nothing to advocate or support either of them. I arrogantly assume that simply believing in them is enough. That old adage, we all know, if you don’t film it, it didn’t happen, has a sort of profound relevance here. If you didn’t preach it, you didn’t feel it. So yeah, no matter how many hammer and sickle pins I stick on my designer jacket I’ll never crush the mighty bourgeois.

The last year’s been pretty drastic for me and I think it’s made me a far more confident but ultimately fragile person. Despite a few successful and unsuccessful forays into the dating scene I still found intimacy a deeply difficult challenge. I think I took The Cars song, Just What I Needed, a little too literally. Because I really do sometimes feel like I need someone to love to validate myself. I think that one made me very awkward in a lot of cases, that and the confused mix of booze and oxycontin led to many bumbling nights of exploring shaking hands and LED lights flickering like we were running the sesh life.

One particularly attractive Austrian girl appeared in my Kitchen one evening and after consuming an entire bottle of fireball to myself, yes every last drop. I began mocking her home then proceeded to black out. I woke up and she was in my bed with me, although we didn’t have sex she just stayed over. Apparently, though I had been performing the Nazi salute while telling her to shut up and help her Führer undress. Which she did but only because I had vomited on myself. Yeah, it was a good evening…

I think I quite immaturely I let my insecurities dictate my understanding most of the time and instead of maybe being a bit more confident and seeing it through I chicken out. I mean… It feels like I chickened out…

I think it’s been quite dangerous for me because I’ve been in physically abusive relationships just to feel it. In those moments you don’t want to not believe the person doesn’t love you.

I don’t know I don’t really know what to do with this blog anymore. It was a tool that filtered my life at a very different time. It was something for me to focus on when I had nothing and no one else too. I’ve spent a long time trying to find the right thing to post, I’m not sure this is it, but either way I’m writing it so I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s right or not. I guess my point is that the words I write on this blog don’t help me anymore. They are someone else’s now. Maybe they’ll help or do something for the person that might happen, by some awful mistake stumble upon them. All I can ask from this place is that it keeps its promise, and my life is never like it was before. I don’t need you anymore, and I never want to again.

 

Thanks for the bruises.

-PB

Music Musings: Fergie: M.I.L.F $ or SHILL? 

(Suggestion: Stay away)

Fergie isn’t just flying free from the shackles of oppression that the Black Eyed Peas held her back with. She’s also smashing the societal expectations of Motherhood. Her new Trap single M.I.L.F $ is changing a word that’s stigmatised a lot of people, turning the rather lewd acronym into an equally lame one… ‘Moms I’d Like to Follow’. I admire the place this is coming from and I think music is a powerful medium to express such sentiments as controversial imagery has been fuelling popular music for too long. Though I’m convinced that Fergie’s goals here weren’t met in the way people are saying they are. Because what Fergie is saying the song is about and what it really feels about doesn’t line up.

Got MILF is a pretty smart way to reboot a solo career after lingering in a group for the better part of ten years. I don’t think I could ask anyone I know to describe ‘Fergie’s sound’. That’s the sort loss of identity you have when you work in a group for as long as she has. I suppose too there are parallels that suggest it’s the same sort of loss of identity that can happen when you become a mother. Something she recently became herself. Fergie said ‘that Society tries to tell moms what they should and shouldn’t be’. Though, I think what her music video suggests is that as long as you’re conventionally attractive and are willing to wear nothing but lingerie, pour milk over yourself in leathery outfits, have a super skinny waist, flawless skin, no fat left over from pregnancy, no stretch marks and no scars from a possible C-section or… Well the list just kind of goes on. The point is that she’s drawing pretty strict lines here about what a mum that should feel empowered and sexy should look like.

Do you see how her message seems kind of incongruous with the rest of the song? How she wants to laud and celebrate Mum’s and their chance to get theirs and feel good by reserving that right to those who society already deems attractive and deserving? It feels kind of like having your cake and eating it. Decrying the sexualisation of women and then reviling in the imagery for the sake of your music video.
Now I’m not one to suggest Fergie’s cause isn’t legitimate and I’m certainly not the first to criticise her… But, you have to think about the fact she’s an artist who hasn’t performed solo for a long time and needs something to grab a bit of attention. Because let’s be honest here, M.I.L.F $, with its flat generic sound and boring explicit ‘can you believe it‘ lyrics isn’t exactly the reason anyone came.

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Controversial music videos have become very popular. I don’t think the fact that YouTube views count towards the billboard’s chart is pressed hard enough into our collective consciousness. We saw the outcome of this in Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines in 2013. It was so edgy it made over 11,000,000 hits and I’d argue a lot of that was to do with its racy music video. Though fortunately that song got a lot of backlash, and I’d like to think MILF is a step forward, for the marketers at least. They learned that they can spin the video that glorifies the imagery it’s criticizing by claiming it’s some sort of progressive move by the artist against it. Then, groups will defend it as doing just that when in reality, well… They got played by a marketing bit. You went away and talked about it and generated traffic for her video, her name, and her Fergalicious brand.
That’s why Fergie filled the video with powerful female role models like Kim Kardashian. A woman made famous for a sex-tape and successfully cultivating an entire career out of her buttocks. Props to Kim regardless I mean if only I could do the same I wouldn’t be spending my time writing about Fergie videos.
I guess the real crying shame here is that Fergie bet on the wrong horse. I’m not here talking about an amazing song with a hell of a beat and catchy chorus. No I’m here ranting to you about some crusade. She sold out her chance to really explore something creative and great for some weird 2edgy4u ploy and I just don’t think it’s worked out for anybody. I want to be here talking about a great song, but Fergie either isn’t capable of writing one or she doesn’t have enough faith that her song alone would be worthwhile.
I think I’d much rather M.I.L.F stood for Music I’d Like to Forget.

Music Musings: Elvis Depressedly: California Dreamin’

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Elvis Depressedly: California Dreamin’                                                                                                                                 (Favourite Track: Angle Come Clean)

Is not exactly a name you can drop in a casual conversation about bands. You can’t nod and agree with that stranger you’re stranded with at this party that ‘yeah that Blink 182’s new album wasn’t ‘’that’’ bad’… Then talk about the kind of music that would typically characterise that of a depressed angst riddled teen. At least not without garnering a few strange glances, but hey that was going to happen anyway. Though in many ways Mat Cothran and Delaney Mills’ sound has always sort of embodied that awkward sideways look.  Despite the impenetrable appearance albums by lo-fi, hipsters that use random apostrophes have, the music in Dreamin’ is pretty casual easy listening. It’s an appropriate sequel to that stage in your life where you were just cutting your teeth on cynicism and introspection. Maybe you grew your hair out or became a communist or even tore down your Sonic the Hedgehog posters to show two fingers to the man. Despite however old I get, actually maybe because of it I feel a growing insatiable need to not forget that stage in my life.  California Dreamin’ is at its core a good excuse to remember.

The album is a bit of an anomaly in their repertoire. Most of it salvaged material from previously unreleased songs recorded inside seedy hotel room’s way back in 2013. The sound’s considerable stripped down compared to their recent releases and the production values are terribly low. It takes away a bit of the punch Cothran’s delivery typically has though that’s par for the course in this indie lo-fi genre. The distortion and thin vocals give the album that comfortably twee campus radio twang that you might hear drifting from a dorm window or screeching from some junk car owned by a hippy slacker. The vocals, are dreamy and a little poppy and though the lyrics are Elvis Depressedly ‘sad’ ™ it retains that raw intimacy that makes their sound so compelling.

The sound of Elvis Depressedly much like my angst is not unique as it once was. Teen Suicide, who have just been resurrected by Depressedly’s own record label Running for Cover had a much stronger release with ‘It’s the Big Joyous Celebration’ just two months before. Teen Suicide also wins in the edgy band name category. Though maybe Depressedly can claw back some cred with a few more random apostrophes and even an umlaut thrown in for good measure.

 

Still a special place remains in my heart for Elvis Depressedly. When I first heard the album it was like I had heard it before, like I knew it. Not literally of course but it reawakened that teen edge in me. That nostalgic list of songs I’d listen to on repeat and soaked in. It’s an album that couldn’t be further from a solitary experience. It’s so mired in the past work of its creators and their influences. To consider California Dreamin’ as that alone would be a discredit to what the band has transformed into. Their last album boldly claimed that ‘the sad songs were over’, which in a shameful way was disheartening. Because I had the misconception that sad is kind of all Elvis Depressedly ever is.  I think California Dreamin’ proves me wrong.  The album is the fleeting feeling of hesitant hope that can follow in the wake of devastating depression. Elvis Depressedly was never ‘just sad’, they were always just themselves.

Listen to the full Album here: (Cost: name your price)

Cracked:

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Life sucks. Yeah, take that universe I’m defying you. Fuck you and your imagined omnipotence.

I don’t like writing about what I do because I’m afraid I’ll turn this blog or even just this post into some sort of new media CV, where people invest ideas in me that are so detached from reality they might imagine me as some artistic Tibetan farmer who trains warrior owls with a masters in social sciences.

Also there’s that fear that if you advertise your skills you open yourself up to the judgement of the masses, where standards have no meaning, and you’ll never be quite as ”good” as the next guy. All that said I have some skills, they serve the video industry.  I’m a fast and fairly talented editor, I’m a writer and can’t stop pointing my camera at things. Do I make sketches as 99.99% of the internet does? Not often, although I have dabbled. I mostly make music video… Things…

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I enjoy it a hell of a lot. I like to soak into a song imagine the image, create the image, and boom, cut it. This order swaps and gets switched around sometimes. It’s not always song to image but image to song. Why do I do this? I don’t know, maybe it’s to create my own slice of self-preservation. I don’t particularly want kids, so maybe this is something I could be remembered for. Although that sentiment doesn’t normally reach me when I’m in the middle of it. I’m to busy just being there, being creative. Doing something and making something that I can own. That no one else, not another soul of the 7 billion odd people on earth can stake a claim to.

It’s mine…

So where do I find myself with this rather unpractical, everyday bread on the table skill set? At a crossroads. University is in-front of me. I got into a place situated inside Manchester’s media city. It’s pretty prestigious and I was recognized on the merit of my work alone, which to be honest felt amazing.

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Although It’s the biggest commitment I’ve ever made. Three years. Three years toiling at something huge. is it what I want? As I maybe stagnate in a classroom will the world move on? God I hope not. There’s a woman I love and it is hard to imagine not being able to see her. I’ll have to move. It will be lonely and everyday I will miss her more than the last.

Without her I feel incomplete. The touch, the body filled with hot blood, waving curves of sinew, and skin. I can feel all that blood. Is it even your blood? How can you be sure? We share it. Then there’s the dizzy rotating feeling of hands. Hands on mine, hands across surfaces. Hands holding the little unspoken promises that mean more than any material ever could. Words in frozen time that only breaks when the touch is gone, but we long remember the stench burned into our nostrils, our bodies…

Now I wonder, where your hands are?

When will they next touch me and unravel that mystery inside. The one that haunts me every moment I’m out of your view.

I want to believe that this course will fling me into a well-paying career doing what I simply love and from there I’ll save and buy a small holding. Escape the bile of society and the obsession with the material. Become one with the land and feel connected to something more than me, responsible.  After that… All I want to do is invite her there, all I can offer her is myself. Yet I’m afraid. Afraid that at one point in that plan, at one step I’ll lose track. I’ll find myself working on something I loath, or find myself outclassed by others with more refined skills. More importantly I’m afraid that in three years, maybe longer, the woman I love will be somewhere else. That I’ll appear boring or distant.

Though I’m comforted when she expresses the same fears as me, the banal worry that we might become… ”Boring”. Because that’s when I know, that she never could be to me. I can’t worry about forever.

I know we all feel cracks, we all slowly crumbling away from our perfect forms, but there’s so much time between those moments; and when we finally do fall apart, that’s when we can really see each other. Because we look out of our cracks, through ourselves and past theirs, right to the core. It wasn’t until she saw me crack that I knew, that I wouldn’t have to worry about forever. Before that we were just enjoying the idea of each other, watching the surf at the surface, but once we cracked, the light got in, and we could see it all, each other from the inside out.

We’ll never be the same.

-PB