My favorite lyrics from my top ten Spotify artists!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog, it feels like it has been forever since I have written one of these bad boys. As the title says, I will be picking a line of lyrics from ONE song per artist on my Spotify’s current top ten artists and talking about them a little bit. 

10. The Smashing Pumpkins

“and I stumbled onto you as you stumbled over me, and you say the fates were cruel for throwing us together. I always loved you so, especially when you’d go ‘all the world must know. all the world must know That I loved you so” – Pennies

The Smashing Pumpkins always seem to know the greatest way to say what they want to say. Pennies is one of my favorite songs by them. 

9. Third Eye Blind

“And I’m hanging on your words like I always used to do, the words they use so lightly, I only feel for you, I only know this because I carry you around,In the background.” – The Background 

This is probably my favorite Third Eye Blind song. The way that it is performed just makes the listener feel like they’re the ones in the background. I find the lyrics so sweet and sad, almost like sweet-sad. 

8. The Smiths

“There were times when I could have murdered her. But you know, I would hatefor anything to happen to her”

Okay, these lyrics are a little more silly than the others seen on this list, but that’s why they are my favorite. Girlfriend in a coma is my favorite song by the Smiths, so it’s only fair that these lyrics also happen to be my favorite. 

7. The Beatles

“Why she had to go, I don’t know. She wouldn’t say, I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.”

The Beatles will always be classic, but somehow whenever I listen to this song I just seem to feel something new every time. It’s even more special considering the fact that the Beatles have so many different songs with such powerful lyrics. 

6. Red Hot Chili Peppers

“I liked your whiskers, and I liked the dimple in your chin, your pale blue eyes. You painted pictures ‘Cause the one who hurts can give so much you gave me such.” – Tearjerker

Although this isn’t my favorite Chili Peppers song, I always loved these lyrics because of how unconditional they seem. I definitely don’t have pale blue eyes, but the dimple in my chin feels very appreciated. 

5. Alice in Chains

“Am I wrong? Have I run too far to get home? Have I gone and left you here alone?” – Would?

Again, this isn’t my favorite Alice in Chains song, but it is one whose lyrics really show out to me. An honorable mention is Nutshell (my favorite) because of how those lyrics apply to Layne Staley. These are both so good.

4. Jeff Buckley

“Her love is a rose, pale and dying. Dropping her petals in land unknown, all full of wine, the world before her was sober with no place to go.” – Forget Her

I bet you guys didn’t think I would pick this song because of another super popular song of his. Jeff Buckley is probably one of my favorite lyricists of all time. It was so hard to just pick one line and this isn’t even the best one, it is simply my favorite. 

3. Pink Floyd

“We’re just two lost souls, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here” – Wish You Were Here

This one’s pretty basic as far as Pink Floyd songs go, but there is something about it that simply just scratches my brain. The poetry complemented by  David Gilmore’s passionate vocals and killer 12-string guitar just creates a perfect image in my head and a memorable experience.

2. Ghost

“She said, ‘if you had life eternal… Can you hear me say your name forever?Can you see me longing for you forever? Would you let me touch your soul forever? Can you feel me longing for you forever, forever?” – Life Eternal

Everyone should know by now that Ghost is one of my favorite bands. This is one of their more ballad-like songs, and gosh it just makes me curl my toes. I feel like I’m ascending when I listen to this song. It is so passionate and corresponds to the band’s lore so well. 

1. Slipknot

“So, break yourself against my stones, and spit your pity in my soul” – Snuff

Snuff is, in my opinion, the best Slipknot song on the scale of lyricism. Corey Taylor wrote this song about how the protagonist’s soul is too dark to let love in and is telling somebody that they care about to get away from them for their own well-being. I found the concept easily understandable but also profound in a way that I never get tired of. 

Thank you for reading this month! I will see you all next time. <3

Undoing an Injustice in Elden Ring

 

(Trigger warning for death, mass killing, and visceral descriptions.)

I know this is the first time I’ve broken my chain of world-building blogs in a while, but I don’t care. This topic has been boring a hole in my brain and I need to say something about it or else my appendix is gonna combust by the end of the month.

Now, if you don’t know much about Elden Ring or its lore, then this post probably isnt for you. 

 

Anyway, more specifically the topic I wanted to talk about is one of the six possible endings in Elden Ring: the Frenzied Flame Ending.

To sum it up, the ending essentially brings the destruction of the world. Your character inherits the Frenzied Flame, burns down the Erd Tree, and kills almost everyone and everything. It’s implied that nothing will ever exist again, and the world is made eternally sterile. 

Obviously, this ending is considered among the worst of the six, and it’s no wonder. Not only due to the blatantly evil outcome, but also its build-up. In order to achieve the ending you need to steal people’s eyes, feed them to an innocent blind girl (who eventually dies as a result), take orders from an insane ghost named Shabriri who is obsessed with destroying the world- who has also possessed the dead body of your friend, and you then need to strip naked and have a giant 3 fingered hand that’s also on fire hug you. If that sounded absolutely nonsensical, then that’s a good sign you’re a sane person.

However, it’s my personal favorite ending. With further context, it becomes the most thought-provoking question a game has ever asked me, and I think it’s criminal that people only see it at its surface level. 

This all leads back to the in-game origin of the Frenzied Flame, which is a haunting story both due to its subject matter and how realistic it is. 

A religious minority (the Merchants) was wrongfully accused of committing heresy by the standards of the people in power. As a result, they were all rounded up and systematically killed in a mass holocaust. When the people in power realized their mistake, they quietly swept their sins under the rug and sealed whatever was left of the Merchant people in the Catacombs, where the Merchants starved, fell into despair, and eventually went mad. Only a few individuals were able to avoid the wretched fate that befell their kin, and they were thrown to the wind— grasping at the few fragments of their lost culture and eventually piecing together the story I’m telling you now. 

What does this have to do with the Frenzied Flame? Well, while the Merchants were locked away in the Catacombs they pleaded for something— anything to save them. They screamed for their suffering to end. And when their brothers and sisters began to die around them, and their vocal cords became too shot to scream they did the only thing left they could, they played their violins. With emaciated fingers, they orchestrated a melancholic tune that told of better days when their race wasn’t doomed to extinction. Their voices of anguish and miserable melodies congealed together and formed something new to end it all. Something to burn away all the suffering and pain of the world so it could never spring forth again, the Frenzied Flame. 

The people that follow the Frenzied Flame for little more than chaos and evil like Shabrirri are missing the point. The Frenzied Flame isnt a malevolent force hellbent on killing for the sake of killing, it is a merciful hand turning the final page of a harrowing story that has run its course. It lulls the sick and demented world of Elden Ring into a silent peaceful slumber in the same way we put down an ill dog so as to not extend its suffering. 

The question it poses, at least to me is “Does this world where so much untold suffering is able to form justify its own existence? Does the good of it all outway the bad, or is that just what the few comfortable people think so we can sleep at night? What about the children bleeding out in the ditches of a war-torn country? What about the leprose whose wounds are rotting as we speak? what about all the people to have ever died a slow and painful death throughout all of history? Would it not have been better for them to have never lived than to have lived and suffered?”

To conclude this little rant, I want to say I’ve always considered myself an optimist. And while I don’t agree with the Frenzied Flame, I still find it valuable to answer these questions it poses in a way that doesn’t paint the world in black-and-white ink. Because by all means, I  don’t think the Frenzied Flame is “evil” just a misconstrued view of morality that is concrete enough to warrant further inspection.

I’ll also leave two links to both the in-game violin song and a rendition of it, as I think it adds to the heightened emotion of this subject.

 

five horror villains i think m3gan could defeat

hello, blog, and hello, 2023! this month’s blog is something kind of silly, but inspiration struck me for it, and i knew it’d be fun to write! i’m going to be discussing the latest horror sensation, m3gan, and what other villains i think she could defeat. 

yesterday, i watched m3gan for the first time in a theatre, and it was one of the best movie experiences i’ve had in a while. i won’t spoil anything here, but i’ll say that even though it was undeniably unsettling and creepy, i haven’t laughed as hard as i did watching that in a long, long time. i mean, you know a movie is good if your friend has to get up and leave the room because they’re laughing so hard.

despite the comedic moments, at the end of the day, m3gan is no doubt a stone-cold killer. she’s extremely durable and strong and is equipped with limitless intelligence. this led me to think about what makes a horror villain truly effective like she is. eventually, the formula for this blog came together–i thought of my favorite horror villains and chose to decide if i think they could defeat her in a hypothetical fight! of course, this is in no particular order.

michael myers from halloween

one of my favorite horror movies is halloween, and there’s no denying that michael myers is one of the coolest, most dangerous villains ever. he’s very large and incredibly strong. once you’re in his grasp, there’s really no chance of survival. he’s essentially a killing machine with no compassion. so, why do i think that a 4 foot robot doll could take him down?

one word–intelligence. admittedly, if michael surprise-attacked m3gan, he could likely give her a run for her money, but the likelihood of that happening is really slim. because of her artificial intelligence, nothing really gets past her. she could even use her short stature to her own advantage and knock michael down. once she does that, it’s over for him. those robotic hands can move like lightning–and if she has a weapon, michael stands no chance at all.

turns out, what haddonfield police really needed to take down michael myers was a children’s toy.

m3gan’s chance of success: 8/10

pennywise from it

this classic horror clown has terrified readers and audiences for years with his creepy looks and affinity for violence. he mainly targets the kids of derry, which makes it easy for him to overpower his victims. in this case, however, that’s exactly what would lead to his demise.

m3gan dolls are designed to be a friend and protector for whatever child they belong to, and they have been known to take out anyone who harms that child. so, if pennywise ever decided to set his sights on a kid with a m3gan doll…his career and life would be swiftly ended, i believe.

in this case, i think the main weapon m3gan would be able to use wouldn’t necessarily be her physical strength or intelligence. i think she’d rely more on her ability to communicate and her lack of fear.

as the losers club learns later in life, pennywise’s most primal need is fear, and his most vulnerable weakness is ridicule. the less you fear him, and the more you mock him, the less power he has, until he eventually crumbles. m3gan is gifted with the ability to absolutely verbally drag people that she doesn’t like. give her five minutes alone with pennywise, and he’ll be nothing more than a puddle of watery clown makeup.

m3gan’s chance of success: 9/10

annie wilkes from misery

my favorite stephen king novel, and one of my favorite movies of his! i think that annie is a brilliantly written villain, and she’s horrifying in her own special way. however, much of her evil doings do depend on the vulnerability of her victims. as a nurse, she had access to sick and injured patients, and with paul sheldon, he was bedridden. if she had an active…lively opponent like m3gan, i think she’d be easily defeated.

honestly, i could see annie having a m3gan doll purely for her own entertainment. she’s a lonely person, and i think having someone to always listen and obey her orders would be right up her alley. if anything ever went sideways, though, getting rid of annie would be child’s play for m3gan. (yes, i did that on purpose.)

she could pretty much just use her physical strength and durability to fight annie. i doubt annie would be able to do much damage to m3gan or defend herself well.

m3gan’s chance of success: 10/10

norman bates from psycho

there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever in my mind that miss m3gan could obliterate norman bates in any context. now, norman is definitely creepy, and i’d never want to meet him in a dark alley; but i definitely don’t consider him to be a particularly brilliant or effective villain in the practical sense. he did some horrible things, but he is just so very vulnerable and weak. his ego hangs by a string on the verge of tearing, and his track record with women is so dismal that it causes him to resent them to the point of dreadful awkwardness.

m3gan could do no more than make one of her passive aggressive comments, and he’d probably perish on the spot. however, all the rest of her attributes would also guarantee her victory. she’s capable of overpowering him intellectually, physically, emotionally, and probably even spiritually if it came to that. he does not have a singular chance, in this life or the next, of escaping or surviving m3gan’s wrath.

m3gan’s chance of success: 10/10

esther from orphan

i just recently saw orphan and its sequel for the first time, and i’m obsessed. esther is one of the most interesting villains to me, and upon seeing m3gan for the first time, i couldn’t help but wonder who would win in a brawl. this presents an interesting scenario because the chances of esther and m3gan being paired together are actually pretty high. i can definitely see a situation where a family gets a m3gan doll for esther. i think that they’d be onto each other’s bad behavior, and it would lead to an epic showdown.

though, esther is extremely intelligent, m3gan’s intelligence is literally unlimited. she can outsmart her easily. they’re about the same size, but m3gan’s machinery would do a number on esther. once again, m3gan’s got it in the bag.

m3gan’s chance of success: 8.5/10

M3GAN (2022) - IMDb

thanks for reading this silly blog, and have a good new year!

 

World Building Project pt. 15

…Following the Night of Red Petals massacre, rumors began to spread of mysterious peoples stalking the narrow alleyways of Mirrelm. Reports described stout creatures vailed in robes that are reminiscent of stereotypical wizard garb. however, underneath said garb appears to be technologically advanced suits. The latter claim points to these alegged peoples being somewhat associated with the postatons, perhaps even their creators. 

Though the purpose for their arrival and even their existence is little more than conjecture, that is until an incident at the postaton capital building confirmed a handful of these theories. 

Two of these people were spotted convening with an elderly postaton. The public, who was still reeling from the Night of Red Petals massacre became enraged, as it seemed to them that the postatons were entertaining foreigners while neglecting their own citizen’s concerns about the recent tragedy. What was said between the three is unknown due to one of the creature’s warning of flashing their “wand” to the growing crowd (Illustrated above) 

Though, before violence was able to break out, the creatures were taken deeper into the bowls of the capital building. After that, reports of the mysterious peoples ceased, and their existence was left as a small footnote in the incidents leading up to the fall of the postatons.

ocd is not an adjective–take it from someone who lives with it.

hello, blog! this month, i’ll be talking about something extremely important to me–ocd awareness. for those who don’t know, i’ve suffered from severe obsessive compulsive disorder my entire life. it’s not something that i talk about very much–not because i’m embarrassed or ashamed, simply because i don’t always feel the need to share that part of me with everyone. if and when i do share with someone that i have ocd, it’s typically because i think they deserve an explanation for certain behaviors or because i trust them a great deal. with this post, though, i’m breaking that habit, that subconscious secrecy, because i need to address something that’s been weighing very heavily on my heart and mind–the use of ocd as a punchline or buzzword.

 

we’ve all heard it at least once. can you straighten those books? i’m ocd about that. sorry, i’m so ocd. i love to clean, i must be ocd. typically, these words are harmless. there’s no ill intent behind them, no malice or offence to be taken. for people with the disorder, however, (or at least me, personally) these words can feel like a gut-punch. i cannot accurately describe how hurtful it is to me to hear someone talk about this disorder like it’s a trivial thing or a personality trait. ocd is not all about tidiness and cleaning. it’s not all about tapping and light switches and numbers. yes, those can be and often are parts of it, but that’s all they are–parts. a person wouldn’t say i lost my keys, i’m so alzheimer’s. in fact, just reading that sentence probably made you angry, or, at the very least, cringe. i know i felt that way writing it. that is akin to the feeling of hearing someone use ocd incorrectly. ocd is not and adjective. your words matter. they have the power to empower and to invalidate. it’s your choice.

 

now that we’ve established what ocd isn’t, let’s talk a bit about what it is. in my own words, obsessive compulsive disorder is a crippling, life-threatening mental disorder. it is a stealer of joy, peace, and wellness. it’s a daily battle. a horrific disease that takes your sense of security, your trust in others and yourself, your faith in humanity and, sometimes, even God. it’s your worst fears playing on an eternal, repetitive loop in your head. by no means is it a cute personality trait or quirk. 

 

 Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. on helpguide.com gave this description, which i find super accurate and helpful:

 

“It’s normal, on occasion, to go back and double-check that the iron is unplugged or worry that you might be contaminated by germs, or even have an occasional unpleasant, violent thought. But if you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so consuming they interfere with your daily life.

 

OCD is characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and ritualized, repetitive behaviors you feel compelled to perform. If you have OCD, you probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational—but even so, you feel unable to resist them and break free.

 

Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, OCD causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge. For example, you may check the stove 20 times to make sure it’s really turned off because you’re terrified of burning down your house, or wash your hands until they’re scrubbed raw for fear of germs. While you don’t derive any sense of pleasure from performing these repetitive behaviors, they may offer some passing relief for the anxiety generated by the obsessive thoughts.”

 

to sum all this up, i’ll leave you with this–no one is perfect, and we all say the wrong thing from time to time; but the next time you catch yourself wanting to say something that could potentially harm or invalidate others, please, please, think twice.

 

 

 

 

if you made it this far, thanks so much for reading! here are some helpful resources and links for those who want to further educate themselves (which i highly encourage):

 

@obsessivelyeverafter on instagram

 

@the_ocdproject on instagram

 

@ocd_strong on tiktok

 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

 

anthony padilla video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsjHaC1q4OA

 

beyondocd.org

 

NOCD

 

Character Analysis: (500) Days of Summer.

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blogs. On a recent flight, I decided to watch (500) Days of Summer due to its popularity online and some influence from a few friends. I hate to say this because I love the music in the film, but the characters were so insufferable. 

Tom

Tom, while at first, I sympathized with him, by the end, I realized just how entitled, pretentious, and self-sabotaging he really was. At the beginning of the film, the first time Tom hears something about Summer, it is negative, and he takes that and pushes that narrative onto her until the elevator scene. He only changes his mind after she mentions that she liked The Smiths, his favorite band, and his entire personality. After that, it was all downhill. From the first mention of relationships, Summer had made it clear that she was not wanting to commit to something serious. In fact, she had stated that out-right to Tom multiple times throughout the film, but he, in his swayed perception of her, decided to keep going with it until she finally gets to the point she told him she would get to, and then blames her for the heartache he caused himself.

Summer

While my analysis of Tom was pretty harsh, I can’t make myself enjoy Summer anymore so. She reminds me of the widely-known concept of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Her only role in the movie is to be the dysfunctional indie character that is chased after, only to be lost at the end and painted to be a terrible person for marrying someone and, in turn, ruining the main character’s life. I hate the way the writers treated her character. It was as if she really didn’t have any true purpose in the film other than to drive the plot forward with no life of her own behind her. The tiny peaks we do get into her life all revolve around the main character’s interests that he has in common with her. I watched this movie maybe two weeks ago and there is nothing about her that is significant enough for me to remember, and I think that is really sad because her character had so much potential. 

 

Thank you all for reading this month’s blog. I will see you all after Christmas break!

 

 

the beauty of covers.

Imitation is the best form of flattery, especially when it comes to reinterpreting art in unique and fresh ways. There is this argument though, that it kills originality and the genuity of the original themes and messages an artist was trying to initially convey. This thought is especially seen within the music industry, with sampling and covers. Personally, the notion that these renditions kill individuality in the imagination simply does not make sense. I think it just takes on a new form and the connections through music or feeling/messages of a song can not be measured in a way.

BASS BASS BASS

There is an artist that really embodies the explanation I’m trying to convey. Her youtube handle is Nikki Chin (above) and she’s a part of a  called Tash’s Safe Space. Her personal account is mostly made up of bass covers from what I’ve seen so far. Noticing the attention to detail that she pays tribute to in her covers really made her stand out to me.

She covers my favorite song by my favorite band called “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” by Deftones. She really utilizes the accents of the song within her piece, her bass really adding definition and texture to a song I’ve heard more than a million times. I don’t know but it really felt alive to me. Like Deftones did a really good job with it and of course, no one can outdo the doer, but her cover really brought the bass to another level within the song. She does this with another song that I covered myself, “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac. She definitely has some techniques that beautifully stray away from the song and even the tabs she used. I think the way she personalized that song is such a huge example of why covers are so important to the music industry.

tyler, question mark space, the creator question mark

I think it goes without saying that Tyler the Creator is an extremely talented artist. One of my favorite things about him is his usage of samples. How he can rebrand a song and make it something completely new. For example, in his album Igor, the track I THINK was sampled from Special Lady by Bibi Mascel and Get Down by Nkono Teles. Two songs were released decades before Igor’s time, and two songs of completely different genres. His artistry helped bring a fresh and new outlook to these with a strong rap forefront and funk/disco undertones. By far it is one of the most talented things Tyler has been able to do.

“Fantastic Magic” by TK from 凛として時雨: The Desperate Battle for An Identity

Fantastic Magic isn’t an album that necessarily tells a specific story the way Flowering did. However, all of the songs are connected by one specific theme: “Who Am I?”. Each of the songs in the album deal with the struggle for an identity, both as a person and as an artist. 

Here is a link to the full album on YouTube: 

The album begins with the title track “Fantastic Magic”

 

This song intertwines the struggle for identity as a person and artist. This song, like many, could be seen as a silent confession of the artists emotions towards an unknown individual. It takes a reminiscent perspective, appearing to look back on the good times the artist and the individual shared. It conveys a feeling that the artist is looking back on the past to discover who he is. Specifically in the lyrics (roughly translated):

The delusion and imagination directed at us
The delusion and imagination that we were robbed of
When I become parched, I know all the colors
My heart is pounding, you and me, and memories

The heart of those days is slow mo slow motion
My heart is empty these days Slow mo Slow motion
Fantastic Magic

This song isn’t necessarily my personal favorite out of the songs in the album, but I never skip it when it comes on.

Up next, we have what is likely Kitajima’s claim to fame: “Unravel”:

 

This song was the opening for the first season of the anime Tokyo Ghoul, an adaptation of the manga written by Sui Ishida. This song is all about the identity of the individual. It is a declaration of the artists lack of individual identity. A realization that he no longer knows who he is and is afraid of what he has become. It is both a cry for help and a warning to his loved ones to stay away from him. It is also a wish that others will remember him the way he used to be, the person that he sees as a “pure” version of himself. I believe the lyrics that best convey this are:

In the distorted world, I gradually become transparent and invisible
Don’t find me, don’t stare at me
In a world that someone drew I don’t want to hurt you
Remember me and keep me vivid

Overall, this song is a certified banger. If you watch anime, you’ve most likely heard this song more than once. Even then, the best is yet to come.

Following the chaotic cry for help of “Unravel” is “Kalei de scope”:

 

This song leans into the more existential side of the album. It is also, like “Fantastic Magic”, a fusion between the two different identity crises. One of the most significant parts of the song are the lyrics:

“Why does only the unreachable miracle move my heart?

Why is it that only memories that cannot be seen move my heart?

ordinary emotion”

These lyrics talk about how oftentimes the things we struggle the most to remember are what have the most impact on who we are as people.

 

After that, the song “an artist” begins:

 

As evident from the title, this song deals much more with the singers struggle with an identity as an artist. This is clearest in the following lyrics:

For the sake of being reflected in you, even though I can’t change

Even if I gave you everything that I captured on the remaining film

Nausea wells up, a mass of phrases I don’t even want to see

Break that key, you’re crazy crazy”

This song is about the artists desire to create art that is inherently meaningful, while also struggling with their feelings that everything they make is essentially pointless. 

 

This is followed by the song “tokio”:

 

This song is a deep dive into the identity of the person behind the artist. It is the individual. He is observing the world around him, the world of the “artist” from the perspective of the “individual”. It is a fear of change, mixed with the understanding that one must change eventually. This is shown with the lyrics

“no matter how much I overtake myself
When the morning comes, everything will rewind
If I reach out my hand, the answers overflow
Suddenly I’m broken and lost
Chasing after unfamiliar places
Forcing myself to find my place
I feel like I’ll be hated for who I am
I tried to swallow myself inside someone
It’s time to change
I still can’t say anything to the unchangeable me”

 

This, the bridge of the song (I think), carries the most power within this song. It is an acceptance and a denial. It is the emotions of the song summarized.

Next up is “Shinkiro”:

 

This song is an expression of the desires of the artist. This is shown through the lyrics

“I can’t see the important things, so listen to my music listen to my music
Don’t even doubt what you have in your hand, listen to my music listen to my music
i was having the same dream”

This song is softer, and one of the only songs with a second singer joining TK. This song is almost begging for the listener to listen to the music and messages the artist has made. It is a desire to be known as an artist.

 

After that comes “Dramatic Slow Motion”:

 

This song is complex in its own right. It is, in some ways, the realization that the individual and the artist are the same. This is best shown with the lyrics

“I want to give you a slow motion name and show it to you
In the world, my dream rock star has already entered me”

Though I believe the most powerful lyrics in the song are

“Consciousness is blown away by the delay
The volume envelops you
Harsh voices and scenery, hand in hand
This time I’m the fake star of my dreams
Can I touch your eardrums?”

These lyrics are like a repeat of the message of “Shinkiro”. The artist is asking if he is allowed to have his music heard.

 

The next song in the album is “Spiral Parade”:

 

This song is about the journey from being just an individual to also becoming an artist. This is best shown with the lyrics

“Forgetting how to blink, I chose the endless road
I’m searching with my ears open, it’s an endless Self Spiral
At some point, I touched the guitar, and there was nothing to fear
It begins when I meet myself reflected in six mirrors”

However, it is also a realization of losing yourself to your art. A fusion between the artist and the individual.

After this is “Fragile”:

 

This song is about the futility of the artist. It is an expression of the difference between what the artist wants to create and what they are actually capable of creating. The following lyrics support this:

I’m not here to seek pain, but
The words that come out are sad
I’m not here in search of light, but
If you can see something, that’s fine

play hide and seek
The words I want to convey are floating in the air
The only thing I can spit out is the darkness, you know?
I wish I could see everything in her transparently”

This song is a beautiful song and is one of the softest songs in the album.

To end the album, we have the song “contrast”:

 

This song is an acceptance and a transformation. The individual and the artist accept each other and become one. It is the most “conversational” of the songs within the album. The lyrics that best represent the song are 

you know all my favorite things
I guess I even remember my favorite chords
Why? Even though the present is overflowing
Remembering a phantom promise
If you close your eyelids, time will stop

you remember all the things i said
Because you can solve all the incomprehensible codes
Why? I don’t know who I am
I guess I was looking through a phantom telescope
I can’t close my eyes because eternity will run away”

It is a realization that there is no such thing as a permanent identity, neither for artist nor individual. 

 

This, while not my favorite album by TK, has some of my favorite songs by him. 

 

A Colorless Class

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8wMKQsJczC/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=467dfa13-f877-46d8-979e-4e0b1e929d8a

The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop – How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom” by Felicia Rose Chavez. 

White Fragility – Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by DiAngelo Robin.

Eloquent Rage – A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” by Cooper, Brittney C.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race” by Beverly Tatum.

Any book by Rick Riordan.

And thousands more. 

starting a conversation.

There are a million things I can talk about literature-wise that are important to this conversation. The ‘conversation’ in question is about how classrooms/schools/anything predominantly made up of white people mistreat and mishandle situations concerning any other race. I write about characters of color, and I’ll tell you why. It’s because it needs to be talked about. It’s because I see beauty in other cultures. That’s it. It’s because I want a little kid to read about a character in my stories, and I want them to relate. I want them to be able to see themselves in this piece instead of a “Y/N with blue eyes and blond hair.” I want to stop reading about people like that because it was all I read. I want people to challenge themselves.

one of your favorite authors, even…

A prime example of a white AND published author doing this correctly is the author of the Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan. Annabeth Chase (the main love interest) has light-tanned skin, blond curly hair, and stormy grey eyes. Now, you would start to think, “Is that not just a Y/N trope that you previously described?” It is. Guess what, though? In the entirety of the series, he also includes BIPOC. Bianca Di Angelo, Nico Di Angelo, Charles Beckendorf, Ethan Nakamura, Grover Underwood, Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano, Carter Kane, Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, AND MORE. So yes, while the main love interest for that may be a Y/N sort of fantasy, BIPOC characters also get just as much love and appreciation from this author. Later in the Magnus Chase series, Rick introduces a love interest named Alex Fierro. Alex is a Mexican, genderfluid, and formerly homeless teenager. Rick is none of those things, and yet many fans relate to and love Alex dearly.

fear is no excuse

If someone is afraid of misrepresenting a culture or group of people, all they have to do is do their own research and reach out for help. There are BIPOC editors who will help with that EXACT thing. Nobody will walk through every sentence with someone while editing,  hoping it will help with the representation of BIPOC because they shouldn’t have to. It isn’t their job to do that.

final message

When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be like Rick Riordan. I wanted to create worlds full of color for all people to enjoy. Even if only five people read my work, I hope they feel represented. Even better, if one hundred people read my work and feel represented well!

BIPOC deserve the recognition they have never been given.

A Late “Lost Girl” Analysis :)

So, anyone who knows me knows that the MSA production of “Lost Girl” by Kimberly Belflower threw me for several loops. Reactions including but not limited to: An entire poetry collection, including a 100+ line self portrait, an entire identity crisis (Short lived and easily resolved but still), and a little too close relation to the character of Wendy. That play made me take a good, long look at several core aspects of myself and my emotions, and put me through an emotional spectrum I haven’t felt in a very long time; the hallmark of truly great art. Naturally, it earns this month’s analysis. 

DISCLAIMER: I am not giving a summary and reading further could spoil the play. Read at your own discretion. : )

The first fantastic aspect of this play is the way that it utilizes Peter Pan himself. Peter is built up as this great big concept, while so rarely being portrayed on stage. Such tactics are not uncommon in storytelling, particularly playwriting, but it’s done explicitly well here. Peter, conflated with the concept of himself Wendy has formed in her own memory and attached herself to, grows to represent and play the part of things much bigger than he could ever be. He’s the memory of Wendy’s last moments of joy, the now past concept of who she was, the personification of the only love she’s ever felt. He’s freedom, hope, love itself, happiness personified. But, when he finally comes back on stage, he’s simply Peter. He can’t, wasn’t, and won’t ever be any of those things, and the inevitable and wordless disappointment that comes with realizing this is the key catalyst to Wendy’s eventual recovery, which just happens to be one of the best utilizations of the concept I’ve seen in quite a while. 

Another absolutely stunning aspect of this play is Belflower’s use of visual/conceptual metaphor. For example, the most obvious is the window in Wendy’s room. Throughout the whole play, in a show of persistence and pointless hope, Wendy keeps the window open, even when the cold air makes her sick. She does this from the day she returns as a child to the day she sees Peter again and begins to let go. When she realizes Peter can never be what she needs him to be, she asks him to leave and closes the window. She lets go of her hope. It’s the single most fitting ending I’ve ever seen. Other examples of masterful metaphor in the production is Wendy’s kiss, symbolizing anything from purity to happiness, as well as the bedroom itself, which is symbolic of Wendy’s past and her unwillingness to leave it. The play is packed full of masterful metaphors. 

Finally, the best thing about this play, as with many, is the monologues, specifically Wendy’s. There are many instances I can, and will if prompted, go on and on about, but for the sake of word count I’m going to focus on one. That monologue is the one that is repeated/modified throughout the play. The infamous “I give myself eight minutes a day to think about him.” Throughout the production, Wendy delivers a version of this same monologue to the audience to benchmark where she is in her progress of letting go. It’s also her final monologue before she sees Peter again. The entire thing is always a wonderfully crafted literary masterpiece, but the mere concept of someone spending so much time in a certain thought process that they have a defined way to think about their own thoughts speaks for itself. The monologue is beautiful, truly. 

Honorable mention to the use of the chorus/other girls. It’s truly one of the best writing tactics I’ve seen in a long time, and Belflower uses it masterfully. 

Now, with all of that being said, I’ll close out now. Thank you for listening to my “Lost Girl” tangents, and I’ll see you next month!  

-Elliot <3