Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
This goes back a bit. In grade 11 my parents were really worried about where I would go after high-school and what I was going to do with my life. While deciding on a university to attend in grade 12, there was stigma around those who chose to pursue a general arts program, like myself. Since I went to a private school many people either went into health sciences or business programs, which would lead to high-paying jobs when completed. When I chose to drop economics in grade 12 my guidance counsellor asked me “you realize that you won’t be able to take business programs in university, right?”
I guess what I’m trying to get at is why is everyone so concerned with setting up a life that might provide them with enough income but will most likely make them feel like shit?
Right now I’m in a 4 year Bachelor of Arts program with a major in art history. Unless I pursue this further in a master’s or doctorate program, people won’t exactly be jumping over each other to give me jobs. But honestly, I took a lot of different courses while I was still undeclared in my major. I had never liked a subject in school until I took a first year art history survey course. So when I finally found a subject that I liked, I decided to pursue it. Shouldn’t that be the point of education?
It took somebody else to make me realize this. One day I was talking to my friend TJ, who I honestly barely know. I mentioned that I was going to major in history, but I was really enjoying the art history course I was taking and was thinking about minoring in it. He replied “Well, why don’t you major in it?” I realized, why the fuck not? I liked it, that’s reason enough.
This might just be me trying to be too punk for my own good, but I would take being poor and doing something that I’m passionate about over some stupid office job that would probably make me depressed. Both my parents are prime cases for this. My mom knew she wanted to be a history in grade 4. My dad graduated with a degree in English but now has a landscape architecture company.
Granted I know I’m not taking into account supporting a spouse and family, but I can’t look that far down the road yet. Plus how am I going to get married when I suck with women the most of anyone I know? Sorry.
But back to the point. People need to stop focusing on what they don’t have and focus on what they do have. Sorry to break it to you, but chances are you aren’t going to get everything you want in life. Especially with the type of TV shows on now, people dream big. Most likely you aren’t like them and are a better person. I mean yea, I would love to have a big house and a million comic books, and a $5000 bass guitar. But who cares?
I know there’s the big idea that “oh yea, I’m a man. I need to make a fat paycheck and keep the wife at home.” Honestly, it isn’t the 50’s anymore. You’ll probably get fired from a factory job and hate your boss in an office. Do what you like and say what you feel because those who care don’t matter and those who matter don’t care.
"I don't give a damn about no greenback dollar, spend it as fast as I can. For a wailing song and a good guitar, are the only things that I understand"
Monday, April 27, 2009
A big part of who I am is because of my high-school. Not that they were the best years of my life, and I made friends I’ll never forget and it prepared me for life, the exact opposite. I didn’t fit in whatsoever. Everyone was a jock or a gino. Everyone had skin tight Hollister shirts and played hockey and chewed skoal and said “unreal” all the time. I was a scrawny kid in a suicide machine shirt.
I had listened to ska music for awhile, no doubt about that. But I hadn’t seen a ska band live. At The first warped tour I went to there was a band playing beside us while we were getting food. Everyone there looked like they were having the most fun of their lives. Instead of trying to kick the shit out of each other the audience was just dancing around in a circle and having a lot of fun. He band threw a giant inflatable microphone onto the crowd and made the audience do this thing where they crouch down and then jump up on the count of ten and go crazy. I was amazed by the aura around the stage when the planet smashers played.
It was later on that year when I got a random call from my guitar teacher telling about a show that was going on that day. I called up a few friends and went to my first ska show ever. It was the planet smashers, the toasters, the pietasters and the pylons. The pylons were just ending as we got their and the show wasn’t that full yet. As soon as the pietasters started everyone went crazy. My friend had been to a show before and dragged me into to “skank” with him. I was having a blast. For the entire show everyone just went crazy. We were up on stage dancing with the bands, singing back-up vocals and everyone loved every second of it.
I left that show feeling incredible and that was all it took. From there I became entirely immersed in the scene and the music. I’d go to at the very least one show a month and during the summer I would be at shows almost every weekend. Bands like the Makeshift Heroes, Keepin’ 6, One Size Fits Most and The Flatliners had shows around the city almost whenever I wanted. This was a place that was free of the judgement of high-school.
I’m not the ska dork I used to be (well I’m still a dork). Most people start off liking one genre of music in particular and then expand to many different ones later in life, I’m no different. I mean when you see me now I’ll have on a Bane shirt and camo shorts, but don’t even think for a second that I don’t still bust out my Bosstones records every now and again. I’ve thought it many times, that when you feel down there’s only so far that a lyricist like Cuomo or Raneri can take you. Sometimes you just need a good, fun and upbeat ska record to make you realize that life ain’t so bad.
I’ve loved ska for the better part of my life, from hearing “Superman” and “New Girl” on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater to seeing Less Than Jake for the first time. I’m sure I’ll love it for years to come as well.