Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Heaven Tonight

Everything seems to be falling apart nowadays and I can't seem to think of a way out of it. I've always had opinions, ideas, reasons, or at least I never thought it was this far gone.

It might be because I read the news now more than ever, but at any given point in the day there are murders, rapes, mass killings, political agendas, and poverty. Why is it? How have we been able to get so far past normal and happiness as a society?

Is this about winning? Are we so determined to get ahead over everyone, to prove that we're right, to prove that we have a reason to live that we're willing to give up our humanity?

Then there's the problems on more of a personal level. The broken souls of the world try to beat themselves into submissions. They morph into these scared lonely shadows of who they really are. Don't let the world beat your ass down. Don't give into those bastards that want to hurt you. How can you make people see their true potential or greatness when you know the world around them will try to knock them down tomorrow?

I try to combat this coldness of a world not worthy of a name with a smile every now and then. I listen to other people. I offer advice and help with even the most seemingly minute situation.

I went for an extended run tonight and had a nice mix of 90s depression music and I noticed something that seem to slip by before.

The Toadies, Hole, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, and Pearl Jam all wrote songs about being stuck in hell. They were addicts, forgotten, poor, and misunderstood, but no matter how far in hell they felt they were, their lyrics almost always reflected on heaven.

To them though, heaven was always this almost attainable plain of existence held up by the thin and fragile sky. The stars poked through as if mocking Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, "Ha, we already made it here." No matter how horrible things might have seemed for them though, they didn't talk about heaven like it wasn't within reach, they talked about it as if their dream was right on their finger tips and they were scared that if they let it out of sight, even for a moment, they might not ever be that close again.

This is enough to drive a person mad. To have a dream right there, but not quite have it in their palms. If they walked away and recuperated, they might be able to come at it from another angle, but there's always that thought of, "what if this is it?"

I think I always found comfort in the musician's struggle. Something about knowing that they still thought there was hope helped me. If I thought I was on the bottom, I'd throw on "Celebrity Skin" or "Hell Below/Stars Above," and the container I was at the "bottom" of all of a sudden seemed a lot deeper. Somehow just knowing that things could be worse, gave me comfort.

Here's a suggestion for a 90s playlist when you're feeling down. Set this up on your MP3 player and by the end of it, you'll not only feel empowered, but you'll feel like you're not alone.

1. Hole- Hit So Hard
2. Hole- Reasons to be Beautiful
3. Nirvana- Something in the Way
4. Nirvana- Pennyroyal Tea
5. Nirvana- Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (The live in New York version)
6. Toadies- Dollskin
7. Toadies- Hell Below/Stars Above (This one is for Nick)
8. Smashing Pumpkins- Try, Try, Try
9. Smashing Pumpkins- Perfect
10. Pearl Jam- Better Man
11. Pearl Jam- Black
12. Bush- Swallowed
13. Silverchair- Miss You Love
14. K's Choice- Not an Addict
15. Weezer- Butterfly
16. Nada Surf- Popular