Archive for Teenage Angst

The Regression Begins

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 16/07/2011 by arabrhizome

My mom has been around for a little over 24 hours and I’ve already regressed into a hormonal teenager full of angst. I actually almost slammed my bedroom door. I know I’m a thirty one year old rational man. Yet parents have that gift they can turn the most rational person into an angsty teenager who wants to paint their bedroom black and listen to loud music just to spite them. I knew this was going to happen, I just expected it to take two or three days. Anyway, I need to relax a bit before I sleep so I’m going to watch a little television and then go to bed. Hopefully I won’t be as worked up tomorrow. Stay safe. Love you bye.

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On Music

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 22/05/2011 by arabrhizome

I thought that today I would write a post filled with nostalgia about music. I realise that this makes me an old fart who is complaining about the kids today and the music they listen to, and I’m fine with that. I just feel that there is something missing in today’s music. I miss epic power ballads like Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” or “One” or “Fade to Black” or countless others. I know that solos are frowned upon in today’s metal scene, but I really miss them. I also feel that the metal scene is a little poor today. There are some great bands but they are very few.

I know that it’s probably because I’m in my thirties now and Metal is more of a teenager’s genre of music. But I’m rarely moved to the emotional extremes that the metal of the early 190s and late 1980s can bring one to today. I remember listening to “Nothing Else Matters” while madly in love with a girl that didn’t like me in my room with the lights off. The lyrics and music would speak to me in so many ways. I still get echoes of those feelings of inadequacy and angst that populated my teenage years whenever I listen to those records. The raw alienation of “One” and the way it spoke to the feelings of inadequacy in one’s own body still touch me profoundly.

I know it sounds silly but I don’t see an equivalent to the rock scene of the 1990s today. There are no bands I can think of that really speak to the inadequacies that all teenagers feel. The angst and alienation one feels is completely underrepresented in today’s pop music. The corporatised hip hop scene with it’s bragging and hyper sexualisation of women is completely at odds with how I remember feeling as a teenager. I don’t remember being able to talk to girls I liked without feeling very self conscious and inadequate. I just miss listening to music that has emotional depth. Not just good lyrics but music that speaks just as much as words.

It’s impossible to talk about teenage angst without making references to the Grunge era. Indeed, while bands like Metallica were able to achieve great emotional music with complex harmonies, unusual time signatures, and very inventive chord progressions, Grunge bands were able to tap at those emotions with simple 3 or 4 chord progressions and raw writing. Both of them spoke to teenage alienation, but both did it differently. I still listen to that music, in fact I almost exclusively listen to music from the 1990s. I see very few bands that are able to do this today even in the “alternative” and “indi” scenes.

Anyway, that’s me moaning about the state of modern music and claiming that it was better in my day. My 15 year old self would probably be horrified to think that I would one day utter those words. At the same time I think that he would recognise that today’s music is a little lacking. I think that if I was 15 today, I wouldn’t have grown up to like music as much as I do today. I’m only speculating obviously, but I do think that I was lucky enough to grow up at a time when some of the best popular music was written, at least in terms of emotive force. Well that’s it for me moaning about the kids today with their trousers that show their underwear and their haircuts. I’m going to listen to some good power ballads and think of my impossible crushes.

Food Poisoning, Kurt Cobain, and Layne Staley

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 05/04/2011 by arabrhizome

So I woke up with a bad case of food poisoning. I’m still suffering and if I’m not feeling better tomorrow I will go to the hospital. I’m hoping to feel better tomorrow, but I’m still feeling very uncomfortable. I’m going to spare you the details, but it’s enough to say that I’m feeling completely empty. I won’t be writing a long post because I’m still internetless and I’m not completely here. My head is hurting and I’m just very uncomfortable.

Anyway, I just wanted to mention that 17 years ago we lost a legend of music. Kurt Cobain killed himself 17 years ago. The news was terrible because he was one of the heroes of our generation. We all wanted to be Kurt Cobain. He was handsome, talented, and tortured. He was able to capture the alienation and angst felt by us teenagers in a way that I don’t see today. We all miss him.

But that’s not all there is to it. Another giant of the grunge era of music died 9 years ago. Layne Staley, the front man of Alice in Chains one of the best bands to come out of Seattle in the early and mid 1990s, was found dead in his flat. The most terrible thing was that he was found 2 weeks after he died. He died of an overdose. It’s incredibly sad to think that such a hero of a whole generation was so alienated that no one checked on him for 2 weeks. His tortured vocals were a distinctive soundtrack of our teenage years. We miss him as well.

Productive Unproductive Day

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 03/04/2011 by arabrhizome

So I’m writing this from my iPhone again, because my home broadband is playing up. I don’t want to lose any text because it fails to save. I’m going to actually try to write a full post though. my thumbs will be soar afterwards but still, I have been missing posts so I thought I owed you my readers a full post. So as the title says I had a very productive unproductive day. I will explain exactly how. I have been very productive doing things that aren’t work. They are interesting and fun things but not exactly on the top of my list.

So I started by writing. I’ve had an idea bouncing around in my head for a while now and today I had the first proper specific inspiration on how to start it all. So I opened a new word document labelled it prologue and started typing. An hour later, and 3000 words later, I had a good start. I am getting something interesting there. I’m still unclear about the whole thing, and I don’t want to jinx it, even though I don’t believe in jinxes, but it’s a start. As far as I’m concerned though, this will remain a weekend and holiday project for now, until I get my proper work done. It’s very exciting and also quite daunting but I’m happy with what I’m writing. I think the style needs a bit of work but it’s just a first rough draft. I will talk more about it when I have something more voluminous.

After that I had the immense pleasure of chatting with a friend that I haven’t seen in a couple of years. We’ve been in touch via Facebook, particularly around the revolutions, but we haven’t actually spoken in a while. It was really nice to talk. She had some exciting news and it was great to just talk about everything and nothing. I then skyped with my mother for the first time. It was nice, I’m hoping we do it more often as well. I then went back to writing and was able to add a few words. I haven’t been this excited about a new project in a very long time. In fact, I think that the last time I was this excited was when I started this blog almost a year ago.

Anyway, that’s not all I did. I then picked up my guitar and learned around 10 songs. Many of them are songs that I knew a long time ago, but since I haven’t played in such a long time I had to relearn them from scratch. Other songs were brand new, in the sense that I had never learned them. They are all from the greatest era in rock music, the 1990s. I will not accept any argument that says otherwise. The 1990s produced some of the best rock music of all times, maybe not the most complicated, but some of the most heartfelt and emotive. It’s not because I was a teenager then. Shut up! I’m going to my room! I hate you! You don’t understand me!

It was great reconnecting with some songs that I haven’t listened to in over 10 years, sometimes over 15 years, I’m that old. My highlight was learning Machinehead by Bush. I actually never learned it back when I was a teenager. I don’t know why I loved the song back then. It could be because I wasn’t good with my strumming hand, I’m still not very good but a lot better than back then. The thing is that this song brings back many many memories, not all of them good, but all welcome. It’s great to remember falling in love and having your heartbroken when you’re 14-15. It felt like the world ended and yet it kept going. I’m still a bit too emoey I think, but that’s because I have the heart of a poet. Shut up I do! It’s not because I’m still a teenager! You don’t understand me! I hate you!

Anyway, that’s pretty much it from me. I’ve had a great Sunday. A Sunday that involved me being very productive in very unproductive ways. I’m hoping to keep doing all these things, and hopefully when I’m a little less late with my work to move on to do other stuff. I have a whole bunch of things on my mind. I will get to them, but my priority is my thesis and that’s where all my energy will go during the week. I’m done feeling sorry for myself for not working, or other things. I’m going to get it done and be happy. In the mean time, I’ll see you all tomorrow for a new blog post. Love you bye.

Quick Note Again

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 31/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Right, this one will be a short post as well, but for two reasons. Reason number A is that yesterday was a very dull day. I was very ill all day. Nothing much happened, I just sat there fighting the boredom and trying not to feel too sorry for myself because I’m this ill. I spent most of the day watching the Wire and listening to some good music. I even tweeted a hash tag #teenageangstrevival, in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. I was basically tweeting lyrics of some of the most angsty songs of my teenage years. This, as you can imagine, involved a lot of 1990s grunge. Anyway, that’s reason number A.

Reason number 2.0 is that I am getting ready to go out for new year’s eve tonight. I’m still ill, but I thought fuck it you only live once, and there’ll be time to sleep when I’m dead, and all that jazz. This will also be the first time I hang out with people in a long while. I will need to get my conversation boots on and try to charm and entertain all who are present. Shut up I am a charming and entertaining guy. Shut up I said, I’m not boring. I’m very intelligent, and funny, and fuck who am I kidding? I’ll probably spend my evening standing in a corner looking surly and talking to no one. Haha, of course not, you’ll see I will have fun. Anyway, enough of this nonsense I’ll see you all tomorrow for a full review and assessment of my performance tonight. Oh and happy new year you weirdos, I love you though.

Another Lazy Day

Posted in Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 18/12/2010 by arabrhizome

Well Friday was quite a lazy day. I did do some work but not enough for me to justify all the procrastination I was able to achieve. I did achieve a high level of procrastination though. I am almost proud of my ability to do completely unproductive stuff. I started watching the second season of Sanctuary. I think I’ve already talked about it in the past. The first season was quite interesting but was a little childish. The acting wasn’t great, although Amanda Tapping (from SG1) was very good. The second season starts with a very dark couple of episodes. Clearly the series is taking a darker slant, with a major character dying and a few minor ones as well.

The acting is still not great, especially by the new character and one of the main ones. The main guy is really not very good, plus his eye brows don’t really match his hair, and they’re incredibly bushy. I don’t trust people with eye brows that are too bushy and do not match their hair. Anyway, the series is interesting though, and the stories are quite fun to watch. It’s an interesting premiss and is executed quite well. Also, it’s great to watch Amanda Tapping, I have a bit of a crush on her. Plus she’s a brunette in this series and looks quite good like that.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep until about 7:00 in the morning or something like that. I did however buy myself an early christmas present, 2 Live albums. I really like Live, they were a good band. As I was listening to them I remembered what it was like being an angsty teenager. I started listening to some albums I haven’t listened to in years. All of the albums I used to listen to when I was a kid in the 1990s. I realised how many excellent albums were produced in that decade. In fact, I believe that some of the best music was produced around that time. Music that really expresses and speaks to a teenager’s experience. Nirvana’s Nevermind or their Unplugged for example, or Pearl Jam’s Ten, or Alice In Chains’ Unplugged and Dirt, Metallica’s Black album, Load, and Reload, are only a few.

I was thinking about that and was wondering if today’s music is really tugging at the same emotional strings. I mean to me it seems that most modern hiphop for example doesn’t have the emotional resonance that grunge had. I mean think of the lyrics to Black and how they speak to teenage love lost, or the way in which Down in a Hole’s lyrics speak of the Alienation that we feel as teenagers. I can’t see misogynistic lyrics about bitches and hoes can achieve the same emotional resonance. I don’t know maybe I’m too old to understand. I remember the hiphop of the 1980s and 1990s, and I feel like that was a lot more interesting. But again it might just be a function of my age rather than anything else. I do think that the music is shit though.

Anyway, that’s pretty much my Friday. I really need to get some work done this weekend and this coming week. If I am to get a full chapter draft by the end of the break, I need to get a lot done this coming week. Well, I’m pretty much alone here during the break, so I should probably use this oportunity to get as much as possible done. Well that’s all folks, see you tomorrow.

Cleaning and Dinner

Posted in about the blog, Food, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 11/10/2010 by arabrhizome

So I woke up quite late today and was a little bit lazy in the morning. I spent the first few hours just hanging out listening to radio and browsing the net. I had a difficult night and didn’t sleep until 4 or 5. I managed to wake up around 10:30, which is late but not too late considering. I had a few cups of tea to wake me up properly. I then started cleaning my flat. The job is gargantuan, as I need to rethink my filing and organisational system.

I wasn’t able to finish today, and will probably need to use most of tomorrow to finish it off. I was able to do a lot, even though I stopped earlier then I would have liked in order to do some unrelated stuff. I am happy with the amount of cleaning I was able to do though. I keep telling myself that I would not let it get this bad and that I should do it more regularly. The thing is it’s not like my flat is dirty, it’s just very cluttered. When I work, I tend to leave things out of their place and then it keeps adding up. Now that I am trying to do most of my work in uni I’m hoping it won’t be the case so much.

I also made an appointment with the doctor. It’s going to be on Wednesday. I hope he’ll be able to diagnose me and give me a treatment straight away. I don’t want to drag this along for two weeks. The main issue is that I want to start doing sports regularly again, and as long as this is not resolved or at least on it’s way to be resolved I won’t be able to. I also cancelled my veg box deliveries because I’m not sure if it is some how responsible. Maybe my problem is with eating certain vegetables. I’m hoping the doctor tells me.

Anyway, the day was topped by an evening with a bunch of friends where we ate some great food. It was a lot of fun and we ate like pigs. I really enjoy dinner parties. I know, I am literally becoming a 30 something middle class caricature, with my tennis and dinner parties. I probably should go to a punk concert or something, although that probably only cements this image. I guess there’s nothing I can do about it. I should just accept that this is who I am. I still like to think of myself as a rebel and a bit of an angsty teenager, but I’m not really.

I have some things to say about Palestine as well but I am a little bit drunk. So I think I will keep these things for tomorrow’s post. I don’t want to write something too half arsed. My current state of mind will ensure that. So I am now going to watch a bit of tv and get ready to sleep. Good night dear readers who I love a lot (that’s the alcohol speaking, I really despise you all for reading this self centred drivel).