I was sitting in front of my computer listening to Deja Entendu by Brand New, thinking about how confusing and messy I have made parts of my life. I was thinking about the brash decisions I have made in the past, the things I have not taken hold of when I had the chance, how certain things were ignored for a perceived idealistic situation that never actually existed. I was lost in my head for almost an hour. I started to wonder if I was alone in doing so: I felt like voicing my depression would be a shallow cry for help. I started to dwell on the fact that my morose feelings on my life were nothing shy of a manifestation of regret, and I could not relieve myself from the idea that expressing my emotions honestly would be regarded as selfish. After all: I make the fact that I am here for people common knowledge. Why would I hazard someone coming to me with an actual issue because they worry that I have my own stuff to work through.
For the first time, in a very long time at least, I actually analyzed the words in the album that I held in such regard. They are an expression of pain, self-sabotage, regret, and belittlement. I then noticed how a large part of the music I enjoyed, the movies I watch, and the TV I entertain myself with are just perpetrating the same narrative: that everything is wrong and it is all ‘my’ fault. Of course, my used in this context is more the idea of the narrator. I see parts of myself in all of the media I enjoy. I place myself in the shoes of the protagonist. Since I have not finished my own redemption arc, I get stuck in the part where everything is horrible and I did it to myself.
I am under no illusion that I am alone in doing so. As a millenial, and being friends with mostly millenial’s, we are constantly bombarded with the idea that we are tasked with fixing all of the worlds issues that we have adopted. Even though we are not the only ones here, it has been (whether intentionally or not) placed on our shoulders to fix the climate, social issues, hunger, slavery in other parts of the world, and many other things. The most egregious part of that fact, is that the generation that has truly tasked us with this is the generation that caused all of the issues.
I am well aware that hindsight is clearer. I know that advancements in science have shown things that we have had no way of even considering not twenty years ago. So, technological advancement can explain away PARTS of things, like climate change. It does NOT explain away things like social inequality or the inherent flaws in capitalism. The worst part is that, in saying that, I know of many people who have already stopped reading. I can hear people chanting for the silence of me because I am a “socialist” and a whiner. To those people I ask: what’s actually so bad about socialism? Why is talking about social well-being or mental health a sign of weakness? Why are you angry with me, when the system has failed you over and over again?
Do I have answers? No. Will we have answers soon? Probably not.
Hey, remember how I started the rant with an analisys of the emo movement from the early 2000’s and hinted about how alternative rock coupled with that probably assisted me in getting lost in a cave of disillusionment and neglect? I wonder how I am going to tie all of this together?
The answer is only kind of. The lyrics latch onto aesthetically simple premisses (relationships, work, school), then express the emotions attached to those situations in a rather exaggerated fashion.
No, the girl or boy rejecting me does not end my world. The constant barrage of how everything is either my fault or my parents fault is literally destroying me and my sense of being. Yes, attaching all of my definition to one person is silly and juvenile, but it distracts me from noticing how quickly I am destroying everything.