theme-post

Jun. 6th, 2014 08:09 am
intertribal: (peace)
"Blindfold" - Curve

Now I remember two days that mean a lot to me
I remember the two days when every hour was a minute
And every minute was a lifetime and the ocean was a sea
And you dragged me into the mountains with a flimsy guarantee
The stronger the man, the stronger the woman
If it ended now, would you be willing?
See how it feels for me - do you believe in me?

"Blinding" - Florence + the Machine

No more dreaming of the dead as if death itself was undone
No more calling like a crow for a boy, for a body in the garden
No more dreaming like a girl so in love, so in love
No more dreaming like a girl so in love with the wrong world

"Blindfold" - Morcheeba

Spring has gone
And summer keeps on coming on
I'm so glad to have you
And it's getting worse
I'm so mad to love you
And your evil curse

"Blind" - Michael Gira

Please don't ask me a question
It'd just be misunderstood
And if you could step inside me you'd feel what hatred brings
And if you saw with my eyes you'd see what self-deception means
I was younger once and I created a lie
And though my body was strong
I was self-deluded, confident and blind

"Blindsided" - Bon Iver

I'm not really like this
I'm probably plightless
Would you really rush out?
Would you really rush out for me now?

"Blindness" - Metric


What it is and where it stops nobody knows
You gave me a battle I never chose
I was the one with the world at my feet
Got us a battle, leave it up to me

-- side note: Can I just be Emily Haines?  Check out her fucking sunglasses in this "Help, I'm Alive" video.  
intertribal: (fuck)


All I can do is fight, even if I know you're right.
Pretty fingers holding fast - maybe it's your violent past?
All you can do is hide - God bless the darkness of the night.
intertribal: (punk pop)


Katy Perry's Grammy's performance of "Dark Horse" was visually fucking great, but the song didn't come across so well.  Which is not to say I think Katy Perry is any great vocal talent... but I really love this song, it deserves something steadier.  I've been listening to it on repeat today.  So here you go, enjoy this super kitschy lyrics video.  Aside from the central question, "So you wanna play with magic?" the best lines belong to Juicy J: "She's a beast / She'll eat your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer / be careful, try not to lead her on / shorty's heart is on steroids cuz her love is so strong / she's sweet as pie but if you break her heart, she turn cold as a freezer."  Which of course, goes back to my favorite nursery rhyme: "And when she was good, she was very, very good / and when she was bad, she was horrid."

There's a lot of hate for Katy Perry -- do you ever feel like a plastic bag? -- but she's one of my favorite Top-40 pop stars.  I think I just really enjoy her imagery.  I really like "Roar." The video is quite great.  Any video that has a tiger eating an asshole earns points from me.  I love "E.T." for being as creepy as a Top-40 can be without being, you know, (too) rapey.  Then there's the songs I don't like that much, like "The One That Got Away" and "Part Of Me," but I'm still like, okay, that's an acceptable pop song that's a little different, has a little bit of an attitude.  Still have fun videos.  I like the girl, what can I say.  And I was not expecting to, considering she started off as a Christian artist.  It's okay, she's evil now (title is from a disappointed Christian, but I mean it sincerely!).  She's with the Illuminati.

And then there's "Hot N Cold."  Oh, how I love "Hot N Cold."  The veil, the raccoon eyes, the hair in her hip-hop scene.  In my alternate reality I wear pink matte lipstick, see.  I feel like Katy Perry would wear my fictional make-up line, Frantic.  And then the lyrics, of course. Yeah, you PMS like a bitch.  I would know.



On a related note:

Are you ready for a perfect storm?

Well, are ya, punk?  
intertribal: (everything i do i do it big)
... and still living like a 4 dollar vic.



It's been a day of near-misses, travel-wise (almost missed my train back from Bandung to Jakarta, because I left my phone at my "Tante Marjie"'s house... then, thought that I was leaving Jakarta for Bangkok/L.A. Tuesday afternoon, when really I am leaving tomorrow afternoon).  Natnari "Whan" Sihawong is officially my patron saint of travel, for forcing me to realize the correct date. Also, I can now pack a suitcase at record speed.

But: I have come to realize, just in time, that things could be a lot worse, in all aspects of my life.  So, that's a pretty good thing to realize for one's birthday, right?  And I declare that this coming year of my life will be tahun vivere pericoloso.  The year of living dangerously, as Sukarno says.  ~Ambiguities Galore~  And in the meantime...

intertribal: (maybe you're right)
Internship aside, I have truly learned a lot this summer, by virtue of sheer lived experience: about family, relationships, parenting, leadership, development, happiness, and just what it means to have sifat baik - a good nature, treating others well.  Most of this has truly had nothing to do with my internship or even my academic program in Malaysia and Vietnam.  I hope that I will be able to internalize at least some of what I've learned.  I'll be lucky if I can.

"Fix You Up" - Tegan & Sara
And what do I need to do to see myself in a better mood?
And what do you need to do to get yourself in a better mood?
Well, there's not a lot for you to give if you're giving in.
There's not a lot for you to feel if you're not feeling it.
What I wanted most was to get myself all figured out.
And what I figured out was I needed more time to figure you out.
Cuz this love is all I have to give.

"All I Really Want" - Alanis Morissette
And all I really want is some patience, a way to calm the angry voice
And what I wouldn't give to find a soulmate?  Someone else to catch this drift?
And what I wouldn't give to meet a kindred?
Enough about me, let's talk about you for a minute.
Enough about you, let's talk about life for a while.
Why are you so petrified of silence?  Here, can you handle this?
Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines?  When you think you're gonna die? 
Or did you long for the next distraction?

"Your Legs Grow" - Nada Surf
If you were here, baby, we'd increase the dosage.
Call me anytime you've got a ghost. 
And you're the only person in the world I feel that way about.
If you move off to the side, I'll get swept back out.
And there's a light that rises up from the bottom of the lake.
And its beam has hit me hard; now I'm wide awake.

"Save Me" - Aimee Mann  <-- this has always been my song, btw
You look like a perfect fit for a girl in need of a tourniquet
But can you save me from the ranks of the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone?
(Except the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone)
Cuz I can tell you know what it's like: the long farewell of the hunger strike.
intertribal: (Default)
Last year I read this sweet little article on Jezebel, "How Tragic Kingdom Saved My Life," about the writer's therapeutic "relationship" with the No Doubt album, and I remember thinking, hmm, I'm so obsessed with carving albums up into patchwork playlists (and leave the dregs behind!) that I don't really have any especially meaningful albums.  I think that's started to change a little - I can't imagine carving up The XX (The XX) or Loveless (My Bloody Valentine) because they're like 40-minute songs - and now I have discovered The Birthday Massacre's fourth album, Pins and Needles

The Birthday Massacre is one of my guilty pleasure bands - they're so ridiculously Hot Topic with their Goth!-Alice-in-Wonderland aesthetic that they seem kind of embarrassing for a 24-year-old pre-professional - and I can't say they're musical geniuses by any stretch.  I would not have discovered them had it not been for Pandora, which suggested to me "Lovers' End" and "Happy Birthday" off Violet.  Today Pandora suggested "Two Hearts" off Pins and Needles and I was instantly in love:



Obviously I was particularly drawn to the lyrics: "Two hearts beating, one beats the other while the other just looks away."  Yesterday I admitted in therapy that I'm attracted to people that seem damaged - instead of wholesome, normal, well-adjusted, generally sane, like they could go live in a little box made of ticky-tacky and be satisfied - because I see myself as damaged and dangerous, and at least if they're already messed up, I won't feel so guilty about the inevitable damage I will do.  This is what I was thinking about while dancing (painfully sober) at a bar/club in Farragut North on St. Patrick's Day (the song I declared to be "my song": a techno remix of "Somebody That You Used To Know.").  My friend Alicia was ecstatic as we left because she hadn't gone clubbing in a while - whereas I went to Pure and The Bank in Vegas this past weekend, and besides which I feel no great difference between a silver-glitzy club and a bar with a dance floor, so there is zero novelty for me - and I just ended up feeling claustrophobic and anxious to get home, which is I guess what happens when I go clubbing sober. 

So anyway, Pins and Needles.  Is very listenable, to start with, and has TBM's trademark sound, which I cannot describe as anything other than like, deathpop, although wikipedia calls it synthrock (they say that about almost everything I like, though).  They are named after Clive Barker's Imajica, which tells you something.  They go with Jack Off Jill/Scarling and Kidneythieves in  my head-catalog.  And this album in particular sort of perfectly describes the contrasting elements in my life - the high-pitched pop of everyday tasks and my "upwardly mobile" trajectory and my happenin' friends and contacts, vs. my melancholy, downward-sloping heartbreak.  And the words.  Even the title Pins and Needles pretty much accurately describes my existence. 

From "In The Dark": "I'm in the dark, I'm alone around you.  I've never been here before, nobody here to get me through."

From "Always": "Repeating words until they're true: it slows the breathing.  Pretend they never came from you: it kills the feeling.  I'm not what you want:  you said what I never could."

From "Pale": "I'm looking at a face, a pointed chin towards the sky in arrogance./  Imitation, a fabrication, a pretty fake, but counterfeit, an empty carcass behind the artist, is there a trait of innocence?/ And much to our dismay, they're ignorant.  The more that we make up, the more it fits./  This doesn't feel right, feels like everything's further away.  Dead as the nightlife.  Hindsight, watching another mistake.  We never feel right."

From "Control":  "Two-faced, too poised to shed a tear/ A new trend: indifference."

From "Shallow Grave": "She was always good for nothing when the good broke bad.  All she's got to lose is everything she never has.  Every back turned to her./  She never fooled us because she could never fool herself."

From "Sideways": "How can you criticize when you're not here to compromise?  Words fade as time goes by without you."

From "Midnight": "I can't decide which one of us will leave here alive.  Your fingers breaking as I place them over mine.  The only thing I need is time to change your mind, I said./ I can't decide which one of us is dreaming tonight.  I'm just a shadow in the light you leave behind.  The only thing I need is time to change your mind, I said./  It's always darker at the end of every answer, like a finger down the back of your throat."

From "Pins and Needles": "It's been so long, feels like pins and needles in my heart.  So long, I can feel it tearing me apart./ It's always a nightmare, it's never a dream."

From "Sleepwalking": "Wait, dear, the time is getting late here.  I'm all washed up and graced with feigned applause, dressed in a cheap facade.  I'm looking for a place I'll never see again.  A night turns to a day, a street I've never walked on.  I was never here, just a faint reflection.  A day turns to a month, a second of affection./  Faking, there's nothing here worth taking.  Just my reflection fading on the wall, not the fairest one of all."

From "Secret": "I woke up as I waited.  Bleeding slow, there was no way to make all this blow over, so I started writing the ending.  I said too much.  And you just kept on pretending for both of us.  I could never speak anyway.  What you wanted to hear, I couldn't convey./  All the days that I've counted, you'll never know."

I don't know if Pins and Needles will save my life, but it certainly gives my inner turmoil some voice.  It's alienation in a busy city, it's walking back to the metro at 2 a.m. alone, it's being "pre-professional" at all in this city of berserker networking, it's the pure sadness of unrequited love, it's the chase.
intertribal: (can we forget about the things i said)
My experiment with Mad Men is now over - it just got too depressing for me.  I have started devoting my couple hours of free time between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. (seriously) to Nip/Tuck, which so far I'm enjoying a lot more.  It's interesting, because they're ostensibly very similar shows - main characters are male professionals, there's a lot of emphasis on objectifying the female form and shallow facades (advertising, plastic surgery) - but whereas my reaction to Mad Men was "oh my God, I hate you all," my reaction to Nip/Tuck is "yeah, that's pretty much the way it is," and even though neither Troy and McNamara are anyone I want to know, I give them more leeway than I do anybody in Sterling Cooper.  I think it's a generational thing, though.  Like, which set of men and women are we taught to consider normal, or something like that.  Once again, I don't really like anyone (but ugh to McNamara's teenage son in particular), although I do have a strange fondness for Kimber and Julia.

I must say that I also enjoy the insanity and grotesqueness of Nip/Tuck.  And the music.  This is the full-length version of the opening theme - unsurprisingly, there's a ton of thinspo videos set to this song, but there's also a bunch of thinspo shit set to Radiohead's "Creep" and Fiona Apple's "Paper Bag," so whatever.  It makes me think of... well, grad school, but life in general if you're living in Go Getter World.  And I realize now that I am back in that world, and deeper in than I was as an undergrad because the emphasis now really is on becoming a full-grown yuppie, not just getting hot drunken pictures of yourself on Facebook (which is, I think, what it was in undergrad).  I kind of consider myself lucky that I fell into this job, even though I hate it and am fairly bad at it, because it hooks me up to the two professors who can connect me to anything/anyone in the very narrow field that I want to enter.  Hilariously I apparently decided to wed myself to this field in a matter of, oh, a month.  But I've sworn off government work as an option, so there you go.  I am left with think tanks.  I think I'm just kind of like, "okay, fuck it, Southeast Asia politics it is, fuckin' good enough."  My point is I don't necessarily feel like I have to struggle as hard as other people I know who are just starting to feel out a direction.  Of course, there is more to life in Go Getter World than having a well-connected job, as we all know, and I still feel pressure - "perfect soul, perfect mind, perfect face" - like whoa. 

Added: I think this pressure is also there for men in the grad program - obviously.  But it is different for women.  It's like we have to impress fucking everyone, all the time.

Also: It reminds me of whenever I'm asked "where else did you apply?" and I say that I chose AU over George Washington.  Even AU people don't get why I would, sometimes - why wouldn't you go for the better name, regardless of anything else?  And when I explain that GW didn't click with me, and AU did, I tend to get blank stares.  I usually have to add "well, AU is giving me way more money than GW would have..." before I get the "oh" of understanding.

intertribal: (cuz every now and then)
Also, I'm totally going to write a story based on Germany's so-called "recognition" of the Principality of Sealand. Google that shit. Micronations. And I think I will call it "The Democratic Peace."

intertribal: (a girl is a girl)
I think the first lyrics I knew - before even the Spice Girls - were to Les Miserables and Evita.  I think both were my dad's purchases.  He was strangely into political musicals.  We went to see Madonna's Evita movie as a family when I was about ten, and my mother and I cried during "You Must Love Me" - we asked my dad why he didn't cry, and he said that he had already cried by himself years ago when he saw it on Broadway in London.  And of course, there was his obsession with The Return of Martin Guerre.  Oddly I think my mother is more an expert on things like the Mahabharata (her summary: "everyone dies"), as she's danced that. 

He was strange.  It's the most random things I remember.  Most of it my mother's second-hand memories, stories she's told me, like him getting lost on one of those loopy highways in his VW Beetle. 

The first CD I asked my father to buy for me was the soundtrack to The Lion King. 

Sometimes listening to these soundtracks soothes me.  Les Miserables reminds me of what I believe in.  When my mother first met my father and learned he was a political scientist, she was skeptical, and asked about his views.  He said, "saya demokrat sejati," which means, roughly, "I am a sincere, honest-to-God believer in democracy."  Sejati means something incomparable in English - it implies a noble loyalty to an idea or a cause.  It's comparable to semper fi. 

"The answer to that question [how the Vietnam War transpired] begins with a basic intellectual approach which views foreign policy as a lifeless, bloodless set of abstractions.  "Nations," "interests," "influence," "prestige" - all are disembodied and dehumanized terms which encourage easy inattention to the real people whose lives our decisions affect or even end."
- Anthony Lake (someone I really look up to) and Roger Morris; "The Human Reality of Realpolitik"

I got it from this article: "Bystanders to Genocide", by Samantha Power.  You should really read it.



intertribal: (Default)
It's winter and I nearly died at the hands of a semi but didn't thanks to anti-lock brakes.  In driving class many years ago they told us just to press down real hard when the anti-lock brakes kick in, even though you're rumbling forward, and effectively have faith that they will work.  Seventy-one accidents were reported within city limits today.

Sarah McLachlan really isn't my thing but I feel this line from "Building A Mystery" really describes how I feel about spirituality:
you live in a church where you sleep with voodoo dolls and you won't give up the search for the ghosts in the halls
I watched Sunshine again tonight, with my mother.  It confirmed its place in my best all-time.  Obviously it isn't for everyone.  It's bleak and grim and at the same time strangely uplifting for people who believe in something greater than themselves, no matter what that something is - it doesn't even have to be God.

So, another X-Files montage, again thanks to these guys, with scenes from Bad Blood, Signs and Wonders, Die Hand Die Verletzt, Kaddish, Beyond the Sea, Grotesque, Ascension, One Breath, Milagro, Red Museum, Miracle Man, and Revelations.  Warning: desecration, slight gore.

intertribal: (it's an arms race)
The other night I tried to explain my love for "screaming girls" in music to my mother.  I concluded it was something about valkyries and battle cries - how my favorite mood is "battle-mode", heavy adrenaline and blood rush.  She said, "But you don't actually want war, right?"  And I said, "No, no, I'm belligerent about peace.  Love and peace or else."  And then I realize that I like my username after all. 
oh, I'm a good person, don't wanna fight with no one
but you piss me off.
I really like Bleed Like Me
intertribal: (carrie)
Your Musical Tastes Match: Nicole Kidman


My mother always wants to listen to my iPod when we're driving in the car at home.  Granted, so do I.  It beats the radio.  But my current obsessions near home-time are always songs that I just know will scare her.  Last time it was Scarling songs and "Fuck the Pain Away".  Those didn't go over so well.  This time it's Hole songs and "Noir Desir" (Vive La Fete), which actually turns into hard-core screaming at the end.  But I like them for their intensity, their scariness.  Because I feel like screaming so often, even when I'm happy.  Just listening to Els Pynoo makes me want to buckle over and scream, with ecstatic rage.  Of course I'm sure my neighbors think that I'm being murdered.  (Or they would, if they weren't always hammering nails into the wall they share with me.  They're constantly renovating, those two.)

I'm contemplating separating out the songs that will potentially scare my mother, or make her cringe, from my frequently used playlists and putting them into their own category: Danger, Danger, High Voltage.  But is it really being honest if I let her listen to the playlist that describes "me" and I censor some of the songs?  (do I think too much?)  I used to never let my mother listen to my music at all.  We diverged after we moved to the States, because I got more into pop than I was in elementary school, when all I had was Asia Hit List for two hours on Saturdays (I rooted for the Spice Girls, and secretly, for Madonna and Jewel).  Before we listened to Broadway as a family - Les Miserables, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera.  And some Disney: The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Pop came and screwed that all up.  I think she criticized, or ridiculed, something I listened to once in middle school, and I never let her hear anything I liked again.  I suppose that's somewhat a good thing.  It spared her "Closer" (Nine Inch Nails) and Meteora (Linkin Park) - both of which I still listen to on occasion, but they're hardly a staple of my audio diet.  Then my music collection exploded in college and I got an iPod and suddenly my mom's praising Coldplay and demanding to hear more new music, and it's cool when she likes it, but terrifying when she doesn't.  Terrifying, hurtful, the works.  I consider my mother's taste sophisticated and learned, maybe that's why.  Or maybe because I think: if she likes it and I like it, it's crossed generations, and it must be truly good.  I don't want to know that my mother thinks my taste is trash.  I want her to love what I love.  And when she says nothing in response to songs that are soul-resounding to me, like "Running Up That Hill" (Placebo), I feel like there's this void between us, or the song's not as good as I think it is.  Sometimes I just accept that my mother has taste-problems.  For instance, she's allergic to country, the same way she's repulsed by lima beans.  She can't handle "Walk the Line" - not even sung by Johnny Cash but by Joaquin Phoenix.  But when she says she appreciates songs for their complex rhythms, like "Ways and Means" (Snow Patrol), doesn't that mean the ones she doesn't appreciate are simplistic?  And then I feel the need to explain myself, why I have such a ridiculous attachment to that song, and I just get frantic and use abstract hyperbole, usually, and I end up sounding as moronic as my song. 

For some reason I'm more paranoid and protective with my screaming girls than my screaming boys.  I don't take the boys as seriously, perhaps.  Rammstein and Korn are both pretty funny, if you think about it.  But the girls - I can relate to them and their complaints (even when I don't speak their language).  They dig in my stomach - Courtney and Shirley and Els and Jessicka (and Tori, too).  And for some reason they're the ones that my mother is more likely to not be able to stand, over the boys.  A generation gap?  Is it more painful to hear girls being musically "ugly" (so to speak) if you're a woman?  A disappointment?  A disillusionment?  And I guess it is more typical for boys to be screaming in rage than girls (in music).  You could probably do a whole big analysis comparing this to the use of the disembodied female voice in cinema - the female scream (in terror as she is about to be killed, or in witnessing a murder) is frequently used, but the disembodied female voice is never in control, never authoritative unless she is a villainess.  When she screams it's in fear, never rage.  But that's part of the reason I really like it when female artists cover male songs, especially songs that are stereotypically male - grunge and metal and pissed. 

"this is a song that kurt wrote... we can't do it very well, but we'll try... maybe he can hear it, and he'll go, you know you really fucked up my song, courtney, don't even try it... but if it works..."
intertribal: (jeepers)
I just turned away from a beggar when somebody grabbed my shoulder outside the bowling lane bar that stands between the grocery store and my apartment, and I was thinking, shit, they're getting more aggressive.  I tried to keep walking but the "excuse me!"s got louder and I thought, what, does this guy actually need help with directions?  I turned around.  He was slightly brown, with slightly off-color black hair, the kind of half-Mediterranean, pseudo-Arabic look that anyone who knows me should know is one of my types.  Holding a bottle of beer and a cigarette. 

"Do you speak English?"  Earnest, smiling. 

"Yeah..."  I pulled one earbud from my ear and became suddenly conscious that I was listening to "Hotel".  It's on my "boys will be boys" playlist.  It's a cynical playlist, but on my way to the post shop I was going through Hole, so it's not as bad as it could have been. 

"Oh, good, listen, can you sign my t-shirt?"  He thrust a red pen at me.   It would stand out against all the messages in black on turquoise. 

"Uh, why?"

"Cuz we're having this contest, to see who can get the most signatures."  It was loud inside the bar, even though it's 4:45 in the afternoon. 

"Sure..." I took the pen and stabbed myself with it while trying to open it and carry my box of oatmeal that the check-out nerd had not even asked if I wanted a bag for, instead insisting that I show him the contents of my purse and not even bothering to help pick up the change i dropped in my efforts to show him the bag while holding my wallet, the receipt, and the box of oatmeal - he bothered me.  He looked like Napoleon Dynamite.  The point is, now there's a red blur on my index finger.  It almost looks intentional. 

"So what's your name?"

"Nadia."

"Ah, and where're you from?"

"The U.S."

"Whereabouts?"

"New York."  I hesitated, because I'm not really from New York. 

"Can't place it - oh, in the northeast, right, in the northeast?"  I'm glad I said New York.  He would have had trouble placing Nebraska. 

"Yeah, in the northeast.  Where should I sign?"

"Oh, anywhere, anywhere you want.  Just sign your name and a message, or whatever you want, doesn't matter." 

I signed his shoulder, in red ink, and I didn't remember until later that you're not supposed to sign your name in red ink - it means bad luck or death or some kind of doom.  I thought about a message.  I asked him where he was from, and he said "Here".  Melbourne?  Melbourne. Damn and I was hoping for something more exotic.  I didn't write a message.  What the hell would I have written?  I gave the pen back to him. 

"Well, good luck with the competition."  I walked away.

"Say, Nadia, what are you up to?"

I looked back over my shoulder and shook the box of oatmeal - packets or sachets, pick your English.  There were people coming up behind him, Asian couples in sunglasses and straight hair, the kind of trendy folk who fit the cars that are always parked along Little Lonsdale - black clean cars with novelty leather.  I thought about it.  There's a slew of things I could have said.  I could have walked back toward him.  I've had "Reasons to be Beautiful" on repeat, on my own playlist, called in my trademark sarcasm, "stronger, faster, better".  He was smiling at me, but now that I think about it, I can't remember what he looks like.  I keep mixing him up with the other one, you know, the one I'm in love with.  "Grocery shopping." 

"Ah, need some uh, need some fiber?  Are you okay?"

"Oh yeah, I just need breakfast."

He looked at his watch and laughed.  "This time of day?"  Oh what, I thought, you're drinking beer before sundown. 

"Yup."

"You're doin' alright, you're doin' alright." 

I replaced the earbud and resumed listening to "Hotel", and I went home, and nobody stopped me again.  I saw sad people on the tram heading for places with names the Australian government stole from the Aboriginal people.  On my way to the grocery store, a couple excitedly walked between two paused taxi cabs and into a stream of traffic, and nearly died.  The girl covered her face and ran back onto the curb with the taxi drivers laughing at her and the car that almost ran her over, a father with his little girls with their palms against the glass, speeding past, the father probably cursing like my father would have been.  I don't know where the couple went, because they hurried back the other way down Swanston Street, the boy chasing the girl.  I guess they didn't need to go to QV after all. 
intertribal: (Default)


I am currently rediscovering Sigur Ros, whom I've neglected for the past year or more.

I think Von is my favorite album of theirs, which is strange because it has the lowest rating on iTunes (early, undeveloped sound). But the song "Victory Rose" is so scary I can't listen to it. My favorites are "Mother Earth", "Dawn", "Darkness", and "Hope" (my name - Von). I like their other albums too, of course, but Von really is the most hopeful, at the same time that some of the sounds are absolutely frightening. It reminds me of that place I used to imagine when I was little, that I think I saw in an in-flight magazine - the cold, purple fields of grain under an undying sunset. Of watching the sun rise while crossing the Pacific Ocean. It makes me remember my life in totality, instead of just the latest advancements or the past ten years, which is what I usually define as my life - with a huge void missing. Von is the kind of music that makes me remember emotions, not from when I was younger, but emotions that last forever, emotions of being in tune with the planet. Life emotions. No, I know what it is:

the sublime.

Felicity has been trying to make us think of what the sublime is for us all semester. Apparently it's very important for a great deal of film theory. Jacques Ranciere and the like. It's not bliss, it's something better.
intertribal: (Default)
Tori Amos did a cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, and some people rail against her for it - in particular, that she removes the contrast of quiet and loud that the original version had.  And while I admit that's true, I think her version still has the significant addition of merely being sung by a female.  I have to admit that I feel much more like I can relate to the song - like it's my song - when I hear her version (although Nirvana's version, and especially the video, will always live in my heart too.  Every time I went to a pep rally in high school I thought of this song).  It's sort of like Tori Amos allows all the girls in high school an angsty voice too. 
I'm worse at what I do best
and for this gift, I feel blessed
I really like it when she sings that part.  I remember that in high school*.  Although I wish she included this verse from the original, because that's really what high school was for me:
and I forget just what it takes
and yet I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard, it's hard to find,
oh well, whatever, nevermind
It's my favorite verse.  Girls are angsty in high school too - sometimes I think teachers, parents, musicians, YA writers, forget that.  They think that if girls are angsty it's about eating disorders or dropout boyfriends or pregnancy or fallouts with cliques.  None of these things happened to me.  But usually, for a girl to be angsty in high school, she needs to have something serious go wrong, something really to cry about.  She can't mope about the very fact and essence of high school, which is exactly what "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and other grunge rock allows boys to do.  Boys get to be cynical, hate high school's feedlot-like attributes, hate teachers not because of the assignments they give but because of their subliminal messages, hate the authority high that administrators and teachers get, hate the draconian rules not because they want to break them but because they exist at all, hate the cliques not because they've been bullied but because cliques represent an ugly, idiotic hatred ("the blind idiot god", as Lovecraft calls Azathoth) that must be stood against on principle alone.  All of that.  Girls don't really get to do it.  I think it's because many people think high school girls are superficial and materialistic, as well as simple, creatures, too busy trying to find a boyfriend or get perfect As to think about what's really going on deeper down.  And to be fair this is true of many teenage girls, but not all of them. 

Yeah, that's what the populars in my high school (or preps, as I call them) were like: "the blind idiot god Azathoth, Lord of All Things, encircled by his flopping horde of mindless and amorphous dancers, and lulled by the thin monotonous piping of a demoniac flute held in nameless paws" (Lovecraft; The Haunter of the Dark).  The smart nerds destined for Math Day and Princeton were more like the Great Old Ones and Cthulhu: "When the stars were right, they could plunge from world to world through the sky; but when the stars were wrong, they could not live. But although they no longer lived, they would never really die. They all lay in stone houses in their great city of R'lyeh, preserved by the spells of mighty Cthulhu for a glorious resurrection when the stars and the earth might once more be ready for them" (Old Castro).  I, by the way, was neither, but these are the two categories many think highschool students fall into - the popular preps who are only temporarily admired before they become mediocre adults, or the less popular but exceedingly intelligent nerds who are destined to become CEOs of IBM, of Google, of Lehman Bros., even.  The preps live happily ever after because they don't know any better, and so do the nerds, who accomplish "real success".  There are a lot of kids that fall between the two extremes, but I don't know a lot of fiction that realizes this. 

There are the Hounds of Tindalos, "lean and athirst", always searching madly for a taste of humanity and life. 
There are the Dholes and Bholes, long and goo-covered worms who "cannot be seen because they creep only in the dark".
There's Fthaggua and the fire vampires, who gain "energy and knowledge from the intelligent creatures they slay".
There's the Hunting Horrors, whose "forms are said to continually shift and change, twitching and writhing, so that it is hard to view them."
Then there's the dying Great Race of Yith, "setting up exchanges with the minds of other planets, and of exploring their pasts and futures."
The Yuggs, who "sometimes bestow great wealth to humans in exchange for their cooperation and for regular sacrifices."
The Many-Angled Ones "have a dastardly plan to impose rigid geometric order on the whole universe, essentially reducing it to clockwork."
And the Nightgaunts, who while having "a vaguely human shape, but are thin", "are unintelligent (having no language or culture)." 

My point is... high school's a diverse experience.  It's rather monstrous, but it's diverse.

* I refer to my own high school experience in an old-rich suburb of the Great Plains.  It is by no means assumed to be universal.
intertribal: (ok computer)
above, a song by a band called Peaches.

I've been listening to the band Deftones while writing section three of my research paper - the history of Thailand and Indonesia, their democratization, their backsliding, and especially... God... adaptation and ASEAN values.  I hit on something really good, I think.  I won't quote it now for fear that it's wrong, but I concluded that the people only have these so-called ASEAN values when authoritarian dictatorships are governing them.  It has nothing to do with a cultural norm.  Anyhow.  Deftones has helped me.  They have "furiously intelligent" lyrics and they're so angry, angsty, and metallic. 

Poli sci lyrics: (and yes, I know I interpret strange things as having poli sci meanings, but poli sci is life, as my boss would say)

Xerces - "history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce" - Marx
return to see everything looks the same
I don't know if the change made was great
'cause the craving was made the same

Knife Party - about uprisings, civil unrest, revolutionary change, coups, ethnic violence...
my knife - it's sharp and chrome
come see inside my bones
all of the fiends are on the block
I'm the new king, I'll take the queen
'cause in here we're all anemic, anemic and sweet
go get your knife, go get your knife, and come in

Beware the Water - similar to Radiohead's 2+2=5 (it is too late now because you have not been paying attention), about a complacent populace and their doubletalking leader
you should know by now, really
that this could end, really
you should know I'd never make it work
wake up, let's pretend, really
really,
babe
do you like the way the water tastes?
like god's fire
you knew but it was never safe
you should know,
babe,
at least pretend you did know why
it's not like you watch so go on, take a drink

Writing lyrics:

Back to School - this song really speaks to my high school experience, and especially the way I write about my high school experience - in Pep Rallies for Anomalies, which really could be turned into an actual story if I changed the names, and in my journals, and to my friends, and the way it's affected me...
Look back I sift through all the cliques
Roaming' the halls all year, making me sick
While everyone's out tryin to make the cut
And when you think you know me right I switch it up
Behind the walls smokin' cigarettes and sippin' vodka
Act like it's everything you got
Push back the square
Now that you need her but you don't
So there you go
Cause back in school
We are the leaders of it all
Stop that, quit! - All that, quit!
Who ruined it? You did! Now grab a notebook and a pen
Start taking notes, I'm being everyone who's on the top
You think we're on the same page - but, oh we're not!
So why don't you run back to school

Lucky You - that horror story, The Nymph of 116th Street
and if you're feeling lucky... come and take me home
if you feel lucky, if you feel loved
you've crossed the walls - excelled
further along through their hell
all for my heart!
I watch you kill
you always have, always will
now spread your wings and sail out to me

Minerva - this applies to Dabbat-al-Ard, the apocalypse monster, of Ilium
you're the same numb
when you sing, it's over
such a strange numb
it could bring peace back to the earth
so God bless you all, for the song you sang, saved us, oh...
for the hearts you break, everytime you moan...
I get all numb
we're the same numb
and it brings our knees to the earth

Digital Bath - Passalus and Andromeda
you make the water warm
you taste foreign
and I know you can see the cord break away
'cause tonight I feel like more

Simple Man - a cover of a Lynyrd Skynyrd song, but it's probably better than the original.  Acmon, entirely, after he's been brought back to life.  I guess instead of a mother telling him this it's his father.
be a simple kind of man
be something you love and understand
be a simple kind of man
won't you do this for me if you can?
boy, don't you worry, you'll find yourself
follow your heart and nothing else
and you can do this if you try
all I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied

Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) - this is just for me.
this town don't feel mine
I'm fast to get away far
I dressed you in her clothes
now drive me far away
it feels good to know you're all mine
now drive me far away
I don't care where, just far away
intertribal: (no one driving)
this song is dedicated to my parents.

"Fortunate Son" - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Some folks are born made to wave the flag,
ooh, they're red white and blue
and when the band plays "hail to the chief"
ooh, they point the cannon at you, lord

Well, it ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no senator's son
it ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one

Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
lord don't they help themselves
but when the taxman comes to the door
lord the house looks like a rummage sale

Well it ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son
it ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one

Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes
ooh they send you down to war
and when you ask them, how much should we give?
ooh they only answer "more, more, more"

well it ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no military son
it ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one
it ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate son
intertribal: (ok computer)
sometimes it's never quite enough
if you're flawless than you'll earn my love
don't forget to win first place
don't forget to keep that smile on your face
be a good boy, try a little harder
you've got to measure up, make me prouder

how long before you screw it up?
and how many times do I have to tell you to hurry up?
with everything I do for you, the least you can do
is keep quiet
be a good girl, you gotta try a little harder
that simply wasn't good enough to make us proud

I live through you, I'll make you what I never was
if you're the best, then maybe so am I
compared to him, compared to her
I'm doing this for your own damn good
you'll make up for what I blew
what's the problem?  why are you crying?

be a good boy, push a little farther now
that wasn't fast enough to make us happy
we'll love you just the way you are if you're perfect
- Alanis Morissette: Perfect


well I went to school in Olympia
everyone's the same
well what do you do with a revolution?
well I went to school in Olympia
everyone's the same, we looked the same, we talked the same

don't you please make me real, fuck you
make me sick, fuck you
make me real, fuck you

well I went to school in Olympia
and so are you, in Olympia
everyone's the same, we looked the same, we talked the same
we even fucked the same
well I went to school in Olympia

don't you please make me real, come on
make me sick, come on
make me real, yeah, yeah, yeah

do it for the kids
do it for the kids...
- Hole: Rock Star


oh round desire
oh red delight
the river is blood
the time is spent

(love likes me, love takes its shoes off and sits on the couch, love has an answer for everything, love smiles gently and crosses its legs)
well here we are, well here we are, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep
being in air, turning to speak, losing our way, pour it all on
(we are old friends, I offer love a beer, love watches television, love needs a bath, love could use a shave, love rolls out of the chair and wiggles on the floor, jumps up, I'm laughing at love, I'm laughing at love)
drink me, drink me, drink me, drink me, drive, breath, drive, sleep

why do you ask?  still is the night
it is much further than we thought

in liquid days
land travel's hard
fly home, daughter,
cover your ears
- Philip Glass: Liquid Days


blue is me, the stimulus.  red is world, the response. 
I was angry when I met you, I think I'm angry still
we can try to talk it over, if you say you'll help me out

don't worry, baby, no need to fight
don't worry, baby, we'll be alright

this is the noise, keeps me awake, my head explodes and my body aches
PUSH IT
make the beats go harder
PUSH IT
make the beats go harder

I'm sorry that I hurt you, please don't listen why
I want to see you happy, I want to see you shine

don't worry, baby, don't be uptight
don't worry, baby, we'll stay up all night

this is the noise keeps me awake, my head explodes and my body aches
PUSH IT
make the beats go harder
PUSH IT
make the beats go harder
push it, you can do it, come on prove it, nothing to it, use it, let's get through it, come on push it, you can do it
don't worry, baby, don't be uptight
don't worry, baby, we'll stay up all night

this is the noise that keeps me awake, my head explodes and my body aches
- Garbage: Push It

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