Monday, January 23, 2017

I Refuse to Run and Will Die Before I Kneel in This Life

Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States this past Friday has proved to be one of the more significant political moments that I have been alive for.

More significant are the protest marches by women that took place all over the world the next day in response. There was a huge version of the march in Toronto which started at Queen's Park and moved towards City Hall. I thought about attending the march to show solidarity, but ultimately decided not to, though I did turn the issue over a few times in my head. The following are a few of the points that I went over.

The march is not for me. Even though I support the sentiment behind it 100%, I am a man and as a result am partly what they are marching against. Though I consider myself an ally of the cause, I think it also important to acknowledge when it is your time to step back and allow others to speak. I think that this was one of those times.

The inverse of that also seemed logical though, as if there was ever a time to stand and show support, it has to be now. It was hard to reconcile these two points of view, but ultimately I decided on the former.

The march was also very white. The Toronto one was nowhere near as whitewashed as others (the problems explained excellently here), but it did still weird me out a little. Me being a white male, I didn't think the march needed my presence there for extra support!

Though there may be problems in the composition of the crowd, I think that a left momentarily putting aside its differences would do a lot more harm than good in the face a fucking white nationalist running a superpower. Let's not stop here. Don't forget how mad you are and don't let that stop inspiring you. Don't stop punching fucking nazis.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Everybody Wants Some!!

A recent trend on Facebook has been users posting statuses which list "10 Albums I Loved During My High School Years", with the focus appearing to be that the albums listed were no only enjoyed at the time, but also instrumental in leading you to find later music that you loved. This isn't the first time a trend like this has popped up on the website, as I remember a version called "10 Albums That Have Stuck with Me Through the Years" being pretty popular maybe two or three years ago, but this is the most recent and I think that the high school stipulation has made this one the most popular, as more or less everyone I know is posting their own version, as opposed to just my punk friends, which is the crowd that the old ones appealed to. So popular that even Pitchfork posted a version!

My first reaction to trends like this on social media is to reject them and think that I am above them and that posting them is lame and that's exactly what I thought when this one started to catch fire. But then I caught myself reading ever single version posted and, to be honest, I found that I enjoyed reading the versions by the, for lack of a better term, normies than those by my punk friends, as the latter were mostly the same (blink album, Taking Back Sunday album, Lawrence Arms album, bad hardcore album).

Once I realized this, I came to the conclusion that me hating this trend, or even devoting any energy towards thinking of reasons why I hate it or think it's lame, is dumb and a waste of my brain. It's fine! Why should I care what benign things people do on social media? People are just talking about music they enjoy. I do that almost constantly on here, so why judge people for doing it on a different website.

It's silly, but I caught myself before I ranted about it to anybody. I've tried to be less jaded and less of a hater lately and I guess this is a small sign that I've been succeeding to a small degree.

Anyways, here's my ten.

Operation Ivy- Energy
The Arrogant Sons of Bitches- Three Cheers for Disappointment
The Suicide Machines- Destruction by Definition
Bomb the Music Industry!- To Leave or Die in Long Island
Big D and the Kids Table- How It Goes
Less Than Jake- Losing Streak
The Flatliners- Destroy to Create
Catch 22- Keasbey Nights
NoFX- Punk in Drublic
blink-182- Dude Ranch

You could also make a case for albums by The Specials and, more embarrassingly, Sublime and Reel Big Fish. Probably also a greatest hits collection by Mötley Crüe and Iron Maiden.

A thought I've had all morning, while learning early Van Halen songs, is that I wish I could say that Van Halen II was listened to enough for it to qualify for the above list, but it wasn't. My hot take for the day is either of the two following songs are the best songs in Van Halen's oeuvre:

You would think that David Lee Roth being maybe the world's worst live singer would lower my opinion of the band, but it actually does the opposite. Van Halen is so good.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Best Pieces of Fiction

Actually my fucking national anthem.