“i’ve got a mood disorder, okay?”

Before I begin this, I want to establish a disclaimer:  all of this information is private, yet also is necessary to be told.  This is my decision to self-disclose all of this, and I trust that the people who read it will find it somewhere in their hearts to sympathize with my crisis, my situation, which has been a battle with mental illness for years.  No way will I tolerate anyone judging or exploiting anything that I write here.  Yes, I am sharing it, and I do not really care what anyone thinks.  But at the same time, I would like to maintain a level of privacy in some way — knowing that the “audience” — if that even exists — of this post will be adults about this.  Please, please, please be an adult and respect me.  Respect my situation.  Do not gossip about it and do not hound me about it.  Do not tell misconstrue anything so that it’s held against me or it winds me up into trouble with my job or my personal life.  This is my personal life — and I may be stupid or foolish to publicize it here — but it’s not my style to exist restlessly in silence.  I own my rights to my very own catharsis.

The image above is not me, but it’s someone I strangely feel close to.  To include some Carrie Mathison into the equation of this post, here in my blog, felt very appropriate & relevant — because watching this television show “Homeland” is like looking into a mirror at times, so yeah, the character on the show is both beloved and upsetting for me to watch at times.  I don’t claim to like “live vicariously” through her — it’s just that her “episodes” displayed on the show came SO close to home that it was uncomfortable.  I remember episodes from season one that freaked me out so badly that I had to pause them and recollect myself before I continued watching them — the depiction of Carrie’s bipolar disorder was so identical to some of my idiosyncratic episodic behaviors that I was like “really?  really??”  But, I digress, “Homeland” as a complex show itself, is progressing toward its second season finale that is very much explosively exciting.

I, on the other hand, have not been too well.  I’ll just spit it out — since there’s no one out there except the crickets: the truth is, is that I struggle, alone, in the dark, with bipolar (I) disorder.  Previously it was misdiagnosed as general (clinical) depression or maybe ADD — blah blah blah I dunno — the psychobabble begins to get very frustrating sometimes.  I do not walk around with “bipolar boy” stamped on my forehead because then it becomes a label, and then it becomes something I don’t understand in regard to others perceptions.  To me, it’s an intense mental illness that I have to live with for the rest of my life.  Something like that is too fucking heavy for the simplicity of a diagnostic label, title, whatever.  But, it is what it is.  And according to many professionals, friends, family, and myself — I certainly struggle with this specific conflict of bipolar disorder.

I’ve been officially diagnosed with it for a year now by several different doctors.  But, then again, I didn’t even need an official clinical diagnosis to determine what was going on.  My impulsiveness began to spin out of control in May 2012 — for example, when I impulsively bought the very first loft/apartment that I looked at.  I didn’t look anywhere else but here.  Budget didn’t concern me, important factors such as neighborhood/reputation etc didn’t concern me, I just signed the papers on the spot after taking a fucking GLANCE at this property.  It was one of the most insane things I had ever done because I couldn’t believe… I had done that.  Thankfully — I am pleased and happy with my residence — but what a fucking gamble to take.  I never forgot that, really.  That factor was kind of “tucked away” to my own acknowledgement — no one else knew how impulsive and manic I was being for pretty much the entire month.  Then came a huge crash, of course.

At the time it made sense, but looking back I can easily construe a pattern that began to unfold throughout the following months: 2 weeks of highly functional behavior, 2 weeks of self-medicated, hazy, aggressive, unpleasant behavior that left me restless, agitated, and my mind was an unforgivable territory of racing thoughts that I cannot even begin to articulate.  Just madness.

My mood does not switch “on and off” like a light-switch, necessarily.  That’s kind of a cliche of bipolar disorder.  I consider mine to be much more hardcore.  Essentially, this mood disorder began to effect my life so negatively that I was pretty certain that I was going to lose my job, lose my apartment, lose my financial stability, lose my friends, lose my respect from others, etc.  Episodes became nightly and increased in severity, more specially “mixed-episodes” that are terrifying periods where I cannot distinguish my mood or mental processes at all — whatsoever.  I haven’t had these occur in about two years.

The episodes proceeded to occur for about 12 days in a row, non-stop, relentless, unforgiving, horrific at times.  One of the worst mixed-episodes occurred when I was at work.  This made me panic like I had never panicked in my life — ugh, it was just incredibly unpleasant.  My job is very cerebral, task-driven, fast-paced, focused-oriented — it’s all gauged strictly by performance.  Performance at my job kind of grinded to a halt and I didn’t have a clue what to fucking do.  I would just shake, sweat, and do everything I could to not burst out in tears.  My mind felt like it was driving 140 miles per hour on the Autobahn or something.  Even worse, actually.  My thoughts becomes so unclear that they just… disappear, fade away.  And then I forget what I’m doing or what I’m supposed to be doing.  There’s aspects of the episodes I cannot even possibly articulate.  It’s horrific to undergo such internal madness while trying to maintain an outside composure — and also try to gain some control over the episode.  What’s scary though — is that I don’t have control.  The evilness of this disease takes over and I lose the ability to function in a work setting, social setting, anything.  That’s what fucks everything up and I have to be honest and say “I need help, this is unbearable, this is insufferable.”

Man oh man, did I get help!  I sure got some fucking help.  At a goddamn mental institution, a psychiatric facility located in the suburbs of Kansas City.  There I felt “quarantined” in a unit that left me little to no privileges whatsoever.  I spent days with no shoes, no belongings, not even chapstick.   All I had were my eyeglasses that I didn’t even fucking need  because there wasn’t anything to READ!  The other patients were the dregs of society — and not comforting to say the least.  My first night there, which was a Tuesday evening, my day off that I decided to admit myself to this facility — was the worst that had ever occurred.  I had to be sedated by a very potent medication that knocked me out, which was terrifying, not pleasant.

Several days occurred there with medication, group therapy, and meetings with incompetent psychiatrists that I developed a lot of animosity with.  They were awful doctors.  They were actually quite judgmental and inappropriate!  And if I called them out on it — well who’s to say that my word has any meaning?  They, after all, are the fucking doctors.  I am the crazy one.  I’m the crazy bipolar boy with “borderline characteristics” and so on.  The worst part was though was that the doctors called the shots with everything.  Everything.  My discharge date, my medical records, everything.  I was supposed to stay much longer than anticipated — for some reason they released me early.  Maybe I should’ve stayed the whole time, I dunno.

When I left, I stayed with my parents.  Oddly, this wasn’t as “tranquil” as I had expected it to be.  There was a lot of tension with my parents because I felt like I was supposed to be behaving in a certain specific way because I had gone to inpatient treatment.  Their perception was I was evaluated by doctors, heavily medicated, and then appropriately discharged into the world.  Except the world has been more daunting than anyone can understand, especially my parents.

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It was a part of my discharge agreement that I stayed with my parents under their surveillance; loving and encouraging as it was, it’s pretty difficult for them to understand this on an emotional level.  They  don’t really comprehend “terminology” like “mixed-episode” or “mania” or “manic-depressive” etc because it’s probably really sad and emotionally taxing for them to confront.

It’s a very confrontational disorder, I’ll give it that.  Mood is everything, really.  I’ve learned that.  You can be in a ready-to-go productive mood, a lounge lizard couch potato mood where you’re just passive and whatever, or you can be in an aggressive mood where everything is irritating you and your behavior manifests in bad ways — like if you “snap” at someone at work or whatever.  I deal with that every day at my job and it’s so difficult.  It’s very out of character — that’s a good way to put it.  I’m not a mean, aggressive guy whatsoever — I’m quite mild-mannered and nonpartisan for the most part.  I don’t seek animosity nor do I find myself to be the aggressor in arguments and stuff.

The manic episodes make so much sense to me now.  Once, when I was a junior in college, I enrolled in a creative writing class.  It was September, early in the semester, and the fall — for whatever reason — triggers extreme manic episodes.  I had an assignment to write a “short fiction story” that was meant to be about 3-5 pages long — concise, to the point — what a typical short story is for a general writing class.  Well, I misconstrued that direction.  I did not ask my professor if it was okay for me to “branch out” on the project or to expand my ideas, or whatever.  I ended up staying awake for 48 hours and wrote a “novella” that was about 48 pages in length — with only 1/2 inch double spaced.  The story wasn’t too bad or badly written — it was a bit strange I think… it was about a woman living in New York dealing with a sex addiction or something, but essentially it ended up being very, very, very lengthy.  The detail was good, but it was also extremely scattered in some parts and incoherent.  To say that I would “digress” is an understatement.  Along with this, I took on the load of 18 credit hours including a Religion class I would write 12-page papers for that would be endless, insensible rambling that somehow made sense to me at the time.  During this period I would enjoy it so much that I didn’t notice I would become extremely agitated, irritable, downright mean.  I wouldn’t brush my teeth (which is very unlike me) shower our even eat.  I would drink water, that’s about it.  But the way I’d be come so fucking wired was beyond my understanding. I was not on any kind of drug at the time — that’s important to establish.  I was just so fucking manic that nothing else was important to me except these assignments.  Energy seemed to flow into me and I was constantly restless; unforgivably restless.  Obviously when you begin to get sleep deprived and stuff you begin to get really strung out.  My professors thought it was strange of course, and my writing teacher said it was “overwrought” and she couldn’t even get through reading it.  She credited me for my enthusiastic participation — but looking back — why didn’t she notice something was really odd about that?  I turned in a fucking short novel to her?  How did I find the time to do that?  This sort of thing went on, and on, and on.

Then, I’d have a second term in the semester after all of this manic behavior and suddenly I felt totally dead.  Seriously, just to be flippant, I would feel my wrist for my pulse just to make sure that I was alive.  At least 45-60% of my college experience was me — lying flat on my bed — just staring blankly at the ceiling, totally motionless.  I had to drag my ass to class where I would nod off or just lay my head down the entire lecture — not taking any notes or anything.  Then, I would fuck up the exams, I would fuck up the homework, and I would wallow in excuses — but really I couldn’t explain it.  The depression was relentless.  I was so upset with myself because I’d be so, so incredibly productive and totally on top of my game — and then I would kind of… collapse.  Cycles, I guess… cycles that I didn’t understand.  I thought I was just a typical depressed college student dealing with moodiness in the winter weather — waking up early — going to bed too late — my mind racing, racing, racing!  God, my mind would race constantly that I couldn’t even focus on what to eat for lunch.  I would have to like switch to that “channel” in my brain to make a very simple decision.

The mixed episodes began roughly in early 2010.  I remember it was an arctic, frigid February morning and I had moved back into my parents’ house.  My parents had left for work and the house was empty.  I had to be at a M/W/F class at 10:00am — but I couldn’t do it, there was not a chance in hell that I was capable of making it to the class.  I remember just writhing in bed — repulsively churning in my own skin — my body felt like it was being clenched together by hot-iron metal slabs on each side.  My mind felt disturbed and completely chaotic.

I’m honestly not much of a “Crier” which sounds totally weird for me being such a neurotic person.  But these episodes take me to such a heightened emotional state that tears just flow from my eyes like little rivulets riveting down my cheeks — the kind of deep, guttural crying that makes you almost hyperventilate because it’s so, so physical.  Physical crying — a really “weird” kind of crying that I hadn’t experienced before.  I remember trying to breathe deeply, slowly, calmly, and it would just burst out into deep exhalations that were not relieving at all.  Since I felt no relief, it spun the episode into this terrifying descent where my mind is saying “Calm down, get a grip, you’re fine, you’re not in danger” and then there’s an undercurrent of this harrowing, dark depression that makes me feel dead on the inside — yet I’m expressing this intense, complex emotional state — it’s both worlds simultaneously colliding and exploding.  Mixed episodes are extremely physical.  I tremble really badly as if I’m having a “panic attack’ yet it’s not really a full-blown panic attack, but my heart races and I feel an urgency to release this built-up, pent-up, indescribable manic energy that makes me feel like ripping my hair out — but I always end up crawling around on the floor like a pathetic dog or something.  I try to focus my mind on getting dressed — so I’ll go into my closet and just FRANTICALLY flip through all of my clothes and try to find my shoes.  My mind works overtime to just coordinate the outfit or whatever — even though I know I can’t drive a car or go anywhere.

The restless energy is not a good kind of energy.  It’s a state that drives me crazy because it’s energy that’s just — there — and causes immense psychic pain.  It manifests physically with the trembling, sweating, crying, etc.  Basically I just melt down into a puddle of myself.  A pathetic, frantic, frenetic puddle of myself.

These episodes are definitely what sent me to the psychiatric unit.  These episodes are why I’m cautious of returning to a difficult, mentally-driven job.  These episodes are “activated” throughout various times in the day.

Along with other medications, I am now taking Geodon — which is supposedly like the “Cadillac” of anti-psychotic/mood stabilizing medications.  It’s been really helpful so far with the episodes, but there is still shit that “creeps up” on me and makes me feel really uncomfortable.  The medication is very potent and makes me sleep hardcore.

I don’t know if sharing all of this is going to be a downer for someone, but I really hope it won’t be.  It’s just helpful for me to express what I can here.  There’s a history to all of this — and at the age of 23 I think this mood disorder has come to a peak — a really frightening peak of course.  I have the support of people who love me — and people who TRY to understand, and that’s all that matters to me.

my belispeak

cute cute cute.  these two are something else.  i love that the majority of these artists are incredibly successful and always 23 years old, leaving me underachieved in every way possible haha.  ohhh if only i grew up in edmonton, alberta where the electronic music hub seems to take place

television in 2012 — where have we moved to? where have we remained stuck?

Okay, so I never thought I’d ever want to thoroughly discuss my love for a television show.  I must declare that “Homeland” is a pretty big fuckin’ deal to me.  Yes, I know Obama watches it, which is awesome, but there are a thousand qualities about it you’ll see for yourself — I like it for reasons that are different from friends who watch it.  Carrie Mathison, Claire’s character, is one of the best FEMALE television heroes written in ages!  It makes me want to say “Fuck yes, the good stuff is still out there — more than ever.”  “Homeland’s” writers wrote this character based on Claire Danes herself — thus, these collaborative television writers (who were under the pressure to impress Showtime with something original and new) drew inspiration from her because, well, we can all pretty much always trust in Claire.  She’s “trusty” Claire Danes, in my opinion.  Yes, the show first appealed to me because of Claire — and I didn’t care what the subject matter was — I was going to get involved in the fuss.

Well, Thank GOD for Claire Danes.  If it weren’t for her — there wouldn’t be that one, singular successful woman working in television and delivering to us top-notch stuff.  She’s an incomprehensibly good actor — if you really watch her you will see her abilities.  In “Homeland” though, she really comes alive as a grown woman who has developed now in the peak of herself as an actress, and her career.  It’s awesome watching her face be so young and familiar — but she inhabits a gravitas that is a grown-up woman, and you effortlessly respect her for this.

Claire reinvented people’s perceptions of female actresses with the classy and irreplaceable “My So-Called Life” which still stands strong with remarkable respect from its audience.  That stuff makes me smile.  She’s just captivating to watch — her performances are always just done in a “right” way that is graceful, quirky, elegant, and extremely sophisticated.  “Homeland” is yet another Showtime channel series that has changed my life.  Other shows include: “Weeds,” “United States of Tara”, and even “Queer as Folk!”  Pretty much, pay-cable channel shows are the best in their efforts to breathe life into television-watching.  HBO series were religious for me, specifically “Six Feet Under” — a show that truly shape-shifted what TV is capable of doing.  Thank God all of this stuff is pretty mainstream — especially “True Blood” — which has one of the most die-hard audiences of any show in history.  That makes me happy because the show has many redeeming qualities — entertainment being only ONE of them.

It’s weird because I grew up during time when, culturally, we all turned inward and began obsessed with reality television: reality TV claims to “redefine” TV, but really its cruel, simpleton vices and uncreative nature of “churn this out until the cash runs out, twist it around, churn out some more, and so on–” only really created an empty, greedy, pointless void in the TV industry.  I suppose that’s why I found it less respectable and I didn’t feel ashamed to admit that I’m not a TV-watcher, I guess because my excuse at times was that I had a brain.  Watching some of the shit can seriously make you feel brain-dead sometimes.

“Laguina Beach” in high school was so subliminally addictive that I would get lost inside of it and other stuff in my own teenage world it didn’t matter — and I naturally got very into it.  Today, I can’t understand why.  I suppose then it was trendy, and I was just one of many trendy teenagers “identifying” with Lauren Conrad?  No, I don’t think so…  but don’t get me wrong, I like her; she’s a pretty and sweet girl, but  nothing more than a TV personality… her talent is extremely finite.  And that was fine because it was how we started to observe females on TV: just there being pithy, self-involved, dramatic, causing drama, seeking attention, being neurotic, being “bitches” so, so needy for men, no sense of self, no sense of individuality — basically handcuffing themselves to gender roles to the point where it makes you go “COME ON.”  I had never even seen the beach yet I would perceive their interactions as “normal” and “common” even though I am not affluent, I live in Missouri, and I am not popular, I do not look like these people.  Yet, I’d still feel an interest that I couldn’t define.  And I was just one of the viewers contributing to its ongoing success.

I do not understand how “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” has enough money to keep being filmed, produced, and broadcast on a cable network.  I know I’m not the only one to ponder this, but really, where does the money come from?  Independent films struggle to complete their 30-day filming schedules with 18-hour days and shoestring budgets, where the actors don’t get paid shit but work harder than ever — and then, we have this reality TV show that is invincible and will never get canceled.  But why?  Where the fuck is its audience?  It’s the same shit with “Girls Next Door” and “Kendra” — a girl I love in the way that I love Lauren Conrad, she’s a great girl and very (conventionally) attractive — and her predecessors are endless.  Similar with Kim and Khloe, of course.  I was never a TV watcher because it was so obvious to me how silly it was!  It’s just obnoxious… what is there to watch or like?  I remember my parents making the show “Survivor” a religious experience: missing that show, along with its Friday night line-up, was just impossible and unheard of.  Maybe viewers saw a raw, outdoors-y show that explored the endurance of these people on the hunt for a big prize of money — that may or may not even exist.  Reality TV distorts reality in a strange paradox.  Reality television is an illusion — it gives off the idea that it has the power to be raw, unscripted, and the voyeurism is almost dangerous — but it’s still highly protected by scripted elements, there are still directors behind the concepts, etc.  Even if you’re bored and want to watch trashy television, at least find something on A&E that attempts to contrive humane themes… but our observation of the affluent is a huge element of this cultural craving for entertainment.  To me, it’s a craving for connection and escapism into a world you identify with & find yourself fully engaged with.  Truthfully, the concept of “entertainment” is bullshit.  It’s like a cheap, trashy motel with a quick fix of junk food waiting inside for you.  After you’re done consuming everything it is — you’re emptier than ever, and you are not left rewarded.  You’re just used.

Entertainment is purposeful, and I expressed that a lot in my previous post — but it should not be the sole, primary reason why a person watches something — not for every single time they arrange to watch it.  Video games make more sense to me in that case because at least you’re interacting your brain and your own interest.  Yet, aspects behind a show like the Kardashians deeply confuses me because I do not… know anyone… who would watch that show in a serious respect — to where they enjoy it beyond its entertaining qualities (which are pretty grim and nonexistent.)

So, it’s almost like this celebration of mindlessness: television, a form of film and cinema, suffers this the most.  Television does negative shit that not even films attempt to do!  Television’s history is a linear pattern of its marketable objectives: TV thrives to exploit, ridicule, intrude, over-dramatize, misconstrue, and even often essentially USING its audience!

TV shows thrive from their audience — ratings — the calculated number of people staring into their TVs, tuning in.  This collective action generates cash like we wouldn’t ever fucking believe.  The audience for most reality television shows are people who tune in to I guess… escape?  I could never escape into an argument/fight scene on “Jersey Shore” because I equate that show to “Jerry Springer” — it has no redeeming qualities in regard to changing anything about mainstream television.  It shockingly presents itself with NO artistic merit at all — it becomes fully about what it can sell and exploit.  MTV pushes the boundaries, and so does E! and even Lifetime has lost its way a long time ago.  It shocks me people have to be cable subscribers to see such mindlessness, too!  Because the big networks like ABC have “Grey’s Anatomy” which I’d much rather defend over “Teen Mom” because well… I respect the efforts of everyone in an ensemble cast like that show, which carries on the powerful reign of “E.R.” and “Chicago Hope” — and has thematic meanings and captures an audience emotionally — rather than through a production of appealing images — all derivative — inviting us to come inside and consume, consume.

Alright, anyway.  There’s my digression/analysis of my ongoing perception of TV and its short-leash with pop culture, or just North American culture altogether, really.

One thing that may be surprising about me is that I despise politics, political science — any film or show about these matters just leave me feeling… confused, disinterested — it’s just an extremely cerebral experience for me.  I get confused with productions that have a lot going on.  I don’t want to watch something that makes me feel dumb (for example “Eastern Promises” left a confused expression on my face for 30 minutes, as I was begging to love it like I had hoped for) and I think these politically-themed shows sort of fade together and their audiences become more obscured.  “Homeland” does not have a dummy-narrative where you have to be some sort of misinformed nomad to grasp its essentials: it’s just written a way that appeals to a large audience but still appropriately balances complexity that isn’t overdone.  That is how you should sell something to an audience: capture both their heart and head.  “Homeland” is a sophisticated show because it functions well with great character development and makes you feel thrilled, with its elements of being a “TV thriller” — but it’s best achievement is its drama and dramatic themes — it’s an extremely moving show.  Very, very moving.  Before watching the show, I was pretty ignorant to a lot of CIA/Middle Eastern conflict stuff.  Experienced the brunt of that in my liberal arts education, and it was brutal.  But that’s because that stuff is presently so dryly, I suppose.  I misconstrue my interpretation once I think I’ve obtained one — and then I get even more confused when someone tries to explain it to me.  “Homeland” thrives in beautiful multiplicity: you have this addictive storyline, plausible plot that’s creatively engineered so that it can keep consistency for several seasons, thus survive.  “Homeland” also survives because of Claire’s ownage-performance of Carrie, who is a brave yet unreliable narrative.  Carrie, surprisingly, playing a CIA-agent woman, is her own species — and dramatically original for something that has been developed in the past.  It’s taken to a new level, it’s developed into a real person through amazing character writing.  Structure is vital for this show’s production — and it’s so strongly built that it’s going to be a sturdily-standing show for many seasons to come.

“Homeland’s” Carrie Mathison suffers from bipolar disorder — and at first I thought this was a cheap tactic to create dramatic tension in the show — and I was expecting them to exploit the hell out of what has become a very mainstream mood disorder.  But… no.  It’s not that at all.  It’s masterful, accurate in subtlety, moving in its authenticity.  She’s not symptomatic in the way that it’s shoved in our face all that time.  I worried this woman was going to constantly exhibit non-stop bipolar characteristics, but most of them are so subtle that it takes a pretty smart audience to grasp the complexity of her performance capturing this mental illness.  She writhes around in bed, eyes teary, breathing heavy, listens to chaotic jazz music with her iPod — and eventually ends up doing odd, frantic stuff in her closet as she tries to get dressed.  Is she manic?  Is she the opposite?  You don’t need that to be answered if you just keep watching her.  I’m impressed with a show that is unafraid of showing bipolar disorder in a way that doesn’t make it an anchor.  They could have thrown a cheap shot and made her a lesbian or an ex-convict, or they could’ve picked a different mental disorder and afflict her with that.  Non-exploitative, just brilliant.  There are scenes in season 2 that are very dark, and Claire nuances every scene fearlessly — guiding us with a laser-searing focus, an internal, deep concentration where she exists in a space and provides a fearless delivery of bleakness that isn’t pithy.

Of course, it’s not a perfect television show.  Now, its audience is record-breaking, so the writers and the network have a whole new spectrum of expectations to fulfill.  I don’t care about that.  I don’t care if the show drags on a bit like “Weeds” did — I don’t think it’s long-haul result will check a box “YES” or “NO” whether or not it’s good television show.  No matter what, it’s redeemed itself just with a few episodes in the first season.  I’m just along for the ride uncondionally because I do not believe in picking it apart like everyone else.  I will go wherever they want to take me, I am a dedicated audience because I am not being used.  I am being entertained in a way that does not leave me void and blank.  I am not watching scripted arguments.  I am not watching girls text-fight with their boyfriends trapped in their I’m-a-man-you’re-a-bitch complex where the girls adhere to gender roles. All while endlessly showing co-dependency that is so unforgiving: depicting women as pathetic without the company of their overwrought personal lives.  We can watch career-women in the CIA who have it all AND the drama.  Then, it’s worth watching.  It’s got qualities to balance itself out and still attract a diverse audience.

So, I just ride… I ride, I just ride, I just ride.

I loved Lana Del Rey from the moment I realized she was going to become one of the most important female vocalists of my generation.  The new songs from her “Paradise Edition” album are so fucking pitch perfect.  The video for “Ride” was one of the most heartbreaking, gut-wrenching beautiful music videos I’ve ever seen.  I play the song and it becomes an experience — a phenomenon.  Visceral music is achieved when the artist truly creates music and art from their true, authentic vision.  Lana totally does this so wholeheartedly and I’m glad I recognize that about her.

I believe she’s doing something important with her music because she’s so unafraid.  In the video her voice-over narrative ending with “because I am fucking crazy” is one of the most liberating creative things that I’ve seen from a female artist in ages.  She surpasses my previous fascination with Lady Gaga because she honestly does so much more with her music thematically, emotionally, artistically — all of these things Gaga puts way too much effort toward in order to achieve.  Gaga is so theatrical that it becomes extreme to the point where all I fucking see anymore is a bitch using the hell out of the planetary-proportion world stage she gets to perform on.  She wants to achieve so many important things but I feel she’s ultimately unsuccessful because she doesn’t understand subtlety any longer. Not that it was ever her forte — but jesus, man.  How much longer is she going to keep up this act with the world?  I find her to be much darker and even like weird/sinister now whereas before I felt so sucked up inside of the image of Lady Gaga and everything she represents.  I don’t really like it anymore, which is strange for me to say.  I feel like I’ve just outgrown her just like I outgrew like pop-punk music in high school.  I began to realize there wasn’t anything really very redeeming about sucky ass music that exists for a trendy marketable sound — I learned to draw the line and truly respect my fascination with Bjork and other electronic artists, and, of course, Fiona Apple.  But that’s for an entirely different super-length post.  Fiona’s pretty untouchable when it comes to any of my critiques & passion for female artists — and that’s mostly because I know she’s truly in a league of her own.  She’s her own strain, her own kind — she lacks the ability to be shuffled into a plausible compare and contrast game with other women vocalists.

If you begin watching every movie or listen to a song by every artist with your brain immediately trying to develop nothing but comparisons — then you’re missing the point, I think.  You may as well not even listen to them at all — nor even bother to distinguish the facts of whether you really enjoy it or not.  All of it is art — all of it claims a place of respect and the execution of one’s personal vision — and it’s all a huge display of passionate hard work.  The fact that most of it gets lost in the “marketable mainstream” is just truly fucked up.  I don’t know, I guess I’m harping on this with some resentment — living my whole life begging for a person to come along in my life and acknowledge what I see in the music, film, and art that I ever-so-fucking-much love.  Truly, I love all of it.  It’s a part of who I am.  I manifest my identity and project my own spirit with art as my foundation.  Art is my religion, I seek comfort in aesthetics, depth, importance, authenticity, innovation.  I don’t care what anyone says — there’s not enough artists out there trying to destroy factory-churned mainstream media and it’s malicious, dishonest representation of art and individual artists.  I’m so sick of everyone going about their lives — blindly — not seeing what I see in the beauty of a song, a striking performance from an actress in a $3 million budget film — the masterful abilities expressed in a creative, original music video that incorporates both strong writing and influences of visual art.  I love pop music and pop culture, don’t ever get me wrong on that.  I just sort of live “around” it in a way — it’s ambivalently embraced with one part of me seeing the truth of sold souls and the other part of me seeing fun, mindless stuff that is meant to just be entertaining.  I don’t think art can be generalized and ground down to its core so that it can be “entertaining” to a “specific marketable audience.”  This is how this shit works, I see this.  I just really feel good articulating it, getting it out of my head.  Catharsis comes in large doses when you really let it happen.  No one reads my WordPress, and that’s totally okay with me.  I have this here, alive in its own way, for myself, with glimmering hope that one day someone may read it and connect with it.

Crystal Castles released their new album (III) this month, as well.  I wish I could have seen them when they came to Kansas, but the show didn’t happen.  Again, my experience with that album is beyond words for me — I really, really fucking love it.  I do not love or like their first album, and the II album was progressive but still undefined and undeveloped — in terms of the concept of what Crystal Castles aspires to be, I guess.

I don’t think Crystal Castles is a band that wants to necessarily “be” anything specific in the mainstream because that’s not a part of their nature, respectively.

It’s just… I don’t know… the darkness of that album is fucking visceral, creepy… it’s totally affecting in every way possible.  “Goth” I suppose is their territory on the album, but that’s music generalization/categorization that I’m not interested in.  Seriously, the album resonates in my brain and makes me feel this strange sense of immense anxiety — but I can’t define what it is exactly that makes me feel that way.  The album just truly fucking establishes an atmosphere like none other.  I can’t compare them to other electronic artists, because I know there are predecessors and pioneers that Crystal Castles may be pretty derivative from — maybe not — but the point to me is that they took control of their vision and became fearless with it.  Oppression is an obvious theme in the album — but it’s sonic composition is so fucking apocalyptic — and not in the science fiction sort of way — but in the reality/turn on the fucking TV kind of way.  It’s a brave album because it’s made by artists who don’t look away from the bad shit — they examine it.  The album reveals human nature in a really dark way — and I believe that’s successful in the context of their music being artistic.  I know they are a major hipster band, but it almost feels like the production of (III) is beyond anything a hipster would claim to like — it’s lacking any pop-structure that will grab an audience with hooks and linearity — instead it defaults in discordant chaos and a certain resentment toward oppressive structure in electronic music.  Mind-bending, original, good.  It’s not like top-of-the-list good, but I will be listening to it for some time to come.