Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thoughts on Morph by Twenty-One Pilots

I love Twenty-One Pilots but sometimes I feel like to get the full effect of their songs, you have to read the lyrics along-side listening to them. But I love poetry and song lyrics so let's talk about the most lyrically deep song off of Trench!

When I first heard this song, I didn't think much of it. It's not as musically catchy like the others. In my first listen, I couldn't make out everything Tyler was saying. But after reading the lyrics - this song has climbed it's way up top in my favorites.
Can't stop thinking about if and when I die
For now I see that "if" and "when" are truly different cries
For "if" is purely panic and "when" is solemn sorrow
And one invades today while the other spies tomorrow
"If I die," is different from, "when I die." This is an interesting thought. This has never occurred to me before. For example, let's say I am driving somewhere scary and think to myself, "if I die," I am just truly panicking at that moment. I probably won't die - I am just scared of the unknown. By letting the panic into my life, I am ruining the experience of today - and the experience of whatever I was doing, in my example, driving.

"When I die," is different because everyone dies! Using my example above, when I am panicking and thinking "if I die," I am forgetting that everyone dies eventually. I want to stop death so bad in that moment. It may behoove me to think "hey, everyone is going to die, so I shouldn't stop myself from doing things that are scary. I should let that panic go." Maybe this is how Tyler climbs scary ledges at concerts. He really has a grasp on fear and death.

I like the words, "solemn sorrow," because it's the perfect way to describe the concept of death. We need to accept the solemn sorrow that is death.
We're surrounded and we're hounded
There's no above, or under, or around it
For "above" is blind belief and "under" is sword to sleeve
And "around" is scientific miracle, let's pick "above" and see
I love this so much. "Let's pick above and see." He is saying we should trust God (or if you are an atheist - trust the universe). It's beautiful really. When we are faced with tough times, we can either a) give up (sword to sleeve) or b) have hope. Going "around" death, or cheating death, is not possible unless there is a scientific miracle. So while we live on Earth, we have to keep on having hope. Even though death is always lurking in the corner, you have to have hope in the future and hope that your situation can improve.
I like the words, "blind belief." When we have hope, when we are trusting in God or the universe, it seems like we are going in blind. We don't really know if things will get better. But we still gotta pick above...we still have to have hope.

This reminds me of lyrics from Car Radio. "And there's faith and there's sleep, we/Need to pick one please because Faith is to be awake/And to be awake is for us to think/And for us to think is to be alive." The choice between above or under parallels faith and sleep.
For if and when we go above, the question still remains
Are we still in love and is it possible we feel the same?
And that's when goin' under starts to take my wonder
But until that time, I'll try to sing this
I am not too familiar with Christianity but I believe "Are we still in love" refers to loving Jesus or God? I think he is saying as you try to trust God, you may start having doubts, and when that happens you think of giving up again.

If I keep moving, they won't know
I'll morph to someone else
What they throw at me's too slow
I'll morph to someone else
I'm just a ghost
I'll morph to someone else
A defense mechanism mode
My personal opinion is that his "keep moving" is similar to the "moving" that depressed people are advised to do. When you are depressed, your body doesn't want you to do anything. It just wants you to lay in bed. Instead, it is advised that you should just start doing things even if you don't feel like it. Eventually, you may feel better after doing activities. Here, Tyler may have doubts, he may feel hopeless at times, but he is going to keep on going through life, i.e moving. Eventually, maybe he'll become someone who is not scared or doubtful.

Describing it as a defense mechanism gives a negative connotation. I think that's just in Tyler's mind. He has all these scary thoughts but he is just supposed to ignore them in order to live life? It feels like he is giving up a part of himself. It feels like a defense mechanism to him. Tyler's true self is battling these tough questions - by ignoring them he feels like he isn't being his true self and instead morphing into someone else. However, I believe that defense mechanism is important for his to be alive and keep on moving and actively doing good work with his life.

He'll always try to stop me, that Nicolas Bourbaki
He's got no friends close but those who know him most know
He goes by Nico, he told me I'm a copy

The rapping flow of this song is amazing! I just think it's cute how Tyler says "I'm close to him so I call him Nico." So would I. I would also definitely be addressing him as Nico.

There's no above or a secret door
What are we here for
If not to run straight through all our tormentors?
There is no deus ex machina. There is no easy solution to our questions. "What are we here for?" translates to "Why are we here on Earth - alive?" It's to face our problems head on. It's to battle with these tough questions and find our own answers. Similar to Kitchen Sink's lyrics "No one else is dealing with your demons, meaning. Maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning, friend."

Lights, they blink to me, transmitting things to me
Ones and zeroes, ergo this symphony
Anybody listening? Ones and zeroes
Count to infinity, ones and zeroes
These lyrics don't really mean anything to me. These lyrics don't touch my soul like the rest of the ones I analyzed. Mostly, because I don't understand what Tyler is trying to say. My wild guess is that the "lights" and "ones and zeroes" represent how the world is obsessed with the internet, smart phones, television. Tyler is asking: are you listening to him despite these silly distractions? Are you asking the same, tough questions as him? "Anyone listening?"
Not done, not done
Not done, Josh Dun
JOSH DUN. I love how Tyler can still infuse these songs with a sense of humor.

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I See You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E6 Episode Review

As I've said earlier - Crazy Ex Girlfriend feels like it's lost its drama - which is a good thing for me but a bad thing for new viewers. This season doesn't seem like it has a dramatic plot. These episodes may look like filler episodes if the series was looked at like a typical television show. A bunch of kooky characters teaming up to go on road trips - definitely sounds like a filler episode in some regular tv shows.

But I like it! I like that the show is showing character development instead of plot, plot plot which is a mistake a lot of typical tv shows make. I have watched these characters tackle plot and drama so I'm down to watch them grow and evolve. However, I'm not sure someone tuning into The CW at 9 on a Sunday for the first time would.

Rebecca & Darryl: Rebecca and Darryl are very similar! They both FEEL a lot. It was funny how Rebecca kept on calling Darryl extra, because Rebecca is the most extra character I know! I like that the lesson Rebecca learned in this episode is that she can be attracted to someone who is nice. The Rebecca & Darryl almost-kiss made me scared for a second! But thank God this isn't regular TV and we know this almost-kiss doesn't mean a start of romance for them.

Paula & Josh: It was funny how mad Paula was at Josh. But it's nice seeing Josh learn so much from therapy! I hope Paula doesn't let her fears get in the way of her lawyer dream!!

Heather & Nathaniel: I love how Heather calls Nathaniel out the entire time. She actually stands up to him which was great!! When the almost-kiss thing happened between Rebecca/Darryl and Paula/Josh, I was worried they were gonna do it for these two but I'm glad they didn't!! Instead, those 3 seconds of Nathaniel leaning into Bert was so HILARIOUS!!! I was on the edge of my seat and then he kissed his forehead. It was so funny!!!! Nathaniel really can't do adult male friendships - can he? WHERE IS WHITE JOSH? 

Trapped In A Car With Someone You Don't Want To Be Trapped In A Car With: It was an amusing song that I'm sure many people can relate to. Also, narration of the progression of the group's musical career was also amusing. Is it just me - but I haven't been too excited about this season's songs. They have just been amusing. A light chuckle - if you will.

Farewell, Fair Mustache: Also amusing. "Catching my tears and occasionally corn."

Sunday, November 11, 2018

I'm So Happy for You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E5 Episode Review

I'm So Happy for You: Crazy Ex Girlfriend S4E5 Episode Review

I know, I know - this is late. I am sorry. I have been very lazy. I always knew when Season 4 came back up, I would want to start my reviews again. But I just never got the momentum to do it. So, here I am, trying my best to start it up again with the episode that I just finished watching.

My general thoughts on Season 4 of Crazy Ex Girlfriend is that it has been pleasant. It is nice to see Rebecca Bunch face a new issue each episode and address it. It is nice seeing her take a second to be self-aware after every mistake that she makes...which is different from the other seasons. It is also all very relatable. It was so adorable when she started mumbling and whispering to Dr. Akopian that she sees life as a competition and that she feels behind. What young adult doesn't!!  And then when Dr. Akopian said that Rebecca WAS behind on life - I was just as offended as Rebecca that she would confirm her worst fears. But here's the thing - Rebecca isn't behind. Everyone has their own story, their own timeline. Heather found a career and a husband in one year! Rebecca will also solve her problems in time. 

As a business major, I was worried about that pretzel store. Rebecca did confirm in today's episode that it was unprofitable. 

Valencia and Heather are moving! This is a huge turn for the show. Usually, television shows do this during the series finale. But I can see that the show is slowly wrapping things up for all our characters. With Valencia and Heather being on the show less - I wonder which characters will come to the forefront!

Paula's story line with her song was great! Now that's a huge turn-around - her son has matured and is no longer troubled. It's good that it happened but Paula isn't the one who brought about this change. I guess he just turned his life around by himself which is impressive.

I've Always Never Believed In You: This song was exactly what a Broadway musical song parody should be. There are so many Broadway songs that are inspiring and say something along the lines of "I believe in you" or "I always knew you'd succeed". This song has that humorous twist that Paula didn't actually believe in him - but he is still succeeding. Also, let's never forget to mention that Donna Lynne Champlin is incredible. Her voice and singing on this song are AMAZING!

The Group Mind Has Decided You're In Love: This song is just so much fun. I love the costumes and the set design. I like that it is a country song singing about two gay men being in love. This song was just silly in saying what all the fans are saying - Darryl and White Josh should get back together!! They love spending time with each other as seen in their binge watching of tv shows and movies. This episode introduced a new character as a love interest for White Josh. We all hope it won't last and he'll get back together with Darryl. We, as a fan collective, are this song.

It was decent episode of my favorite show so I enjoyed it. Nothing shocking or drama-filled happening - which is okay! I like all these characters and I want to see them taking it slow and having good character development. (I do wonder if newcomers would find this episode boring?)

Monday, October 15, 2018

Thoughts on Neon Gravestones by Twenty-One Pilots

Found this picture on Reddit - thanks user mikronaut

Twenty-One Pilots' new album Trench just came out! I won't be reviewing EVERY song but I do want to review the songs that stuck out to me. Let's first talk the song that was the most jarring to me - "Neon Gravestones."

The line that was most jarring to me was, "Promise me this/If I lose to myself/You won't mourn a day/And you'll move onto someone else." DANG. The words, "if I lose to myself" really got me as a person who also struggles with depression. It just is a constant fight with yourself!

When I first heard the song overall, I did see it a little negatively. Tyler is criticizing all these celebrities for taking their own life just to get more fame - which will lead more people/celebrities to do the same. I see where he is coming from but when a celebrity does take their own life, I do try NOT to think those thoughts. When I see everyone talking about Avicii and how great his music was posthumorously, sometimes a little voice in my head asks, "did he do this for fame?" But "No!!!" I tell myself. He was facing a tough disease...no one would take their own life for fame. They would only do it if they are suffering.

But I do see where Tyler is coming from. Tyler is being hard on these celebrities who committed suicide. "It's with the people we praise who may have assisted." Every time a celebrity commits suicide, there is a spike in suicides for the general public - that's just basic facts. Tyler is being very hard on them - but it is true to an extent. Being a public figure means you will be talked about if you commit suicide so you have even more of a responsibility to fight the mental illness.

"We don't get enough love?/Well, they get a fraction/They say, "How could he go if he's got everything?/I'll mourn for a kid, but won't cry for a king."

Tyler saying he won't cry for a king is another sharp way of criticizing these celebrities. He is saying these celebrities (he uses the pronoun "we" because he is one) get a lot of love because they have many fans. The "they" he speaks of is the general public. Tyler says he will mourn for a non-celebrity suicide more than he would for a celebrity suicide. Regular kids who are suffering with mental illness and may not have anyone to help them. These kids might not have had enough money for treatment. They might not have had a support system. Celebrities, usually. do have more resources to get mental help than the general public.

I do see the song in a more positive light now because I know what the thesis statement of the song is.

"I'm not disrespecting what was left behind/Just pleading that it does not get glorified."

Tyler's main message is that the media needs to do more to not glorify suicide. This means not promoting, "13 Reasons Why," which glorifies and uses suicide for drama.

However, when a celebrity dies by suicide - are we not supposed to mourn for them? I say we have to! Especially those who value the art that they created. The collective public does need to talk about the life and art of the celebrity to come to terms with their death.

I am not sure what the solution is. How are we supposed to prevent the spike in suicides after a celebrity death? I can't answer that...

I also like the ending of the song. "Find your grandparents or someone of age/Pay some respects for the path that they paved/To life, they were dedicated/Now, that should be celebrated." I like the idea of celebrating old people for living. They suffered, they probably had mental health problems, but they fought and they lived for such a long time and that's beautiful.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Why I Am Not A Hufflepuff Anymore

I was looking at my old website on wayback machine. By "old," I mean the website I created when I WAS IN THE FIFTH GRADE. Wild. I had more of a passion for coding then than I do now. Here's a small snapshot.

Yes, in the fifth grade, I was a proud and out Hufflepuff. And I continued to be a Hufflepuff for many years after that. Let me do the math: I was 10 in the fifth grade, and I was 24 when I stopped being a Hufflepuff. So that is FOURTEEN years of identifying as something I am now rejecting. I even wrote an article called, "Why I Am A Hufflepuff" on my old website in 7th grade, but I can't find it on Way Back Machine. So as an ode to that lost article, here is "Why I am Not A Hufflepuff Anymore."

First, let me talk about why I identified so strongly with Hufflepuff. One of the main values of this house is fairness. As I've mentioned before, I have always been a feminist. My mom likes to joke around and say that it is just in our genes to always call out the sexist things around us. I try my hardest to make things fair for everyone around me - especially when I am acting as a leader or part of a team.

Helga Hufflepuff once said, "I’ll teach the lot, and treat them just the same." I have always felt this way. I have never wanted to exclude anyone, because as a child, I was excluded by my peers plenty of times for being to shy or weird. I liked that Helga Hufflepuff loved and accepted everyone. I don't believe in excluding others. As a child, when I saw bulling I never wanted to be a part of it. I remember a bunch of girls in 6th grade who were bullying this one girl and saying they didn't want to hang out with her.. I asked, "Why?" and they said "because we just don't like her," and that is when I was like "pass." I can't get behind excluding someone...especially without a reason. And even if there is a valid reason, I believe in making that judgement for myself. 

Another reason I was drawn to Hufflepuff is that I like to support the underdog. I like to think kindess can win the day.

But as I talked about in my blog post, Why Don't I Connect With Nice, Warm People Who Want To Spend Time With Me?, I was recently betrayed by my friends. And in that betrayal, it wasn't loyalty or fairness that saved me - it was bravery. My friends were not loyal to me; they didn't have my back like true friends should. They actually put me in harms way. I might have had loyalty towards them. I would never have done what they did to me because I believe in doing the right thing.

I guess I don't believe loyalty is the best trait anymore. It's too external, it's too needy to expect it from other people. And when you give loyalty - it comes with great risks. Instead, I want to embrace being brave. You know, where I am going with this ~

I am now a self-identified Gryffindor! 

Except...that I'm not. I just took a quiz on Time.com that told me I am still a Hufflepuff. It's true, I'm a softie at heart. I can't help it. But listen, I really value Gryffindor values. In life, you have to be brave. You have to be brave to go through trials and tribulations and face them dead on. If you aren't brave, you could die from all the hardships life throws at you. As a person with mild social anxiety, I had to force myself to do things that were scary since Kindergarten. I am not naturally a brave person, but I want to cultivate that value.

And when my "friends," hurt me the way that they did, I was brave. I pulled myself up. I found safety for myself. I found power and independence. I was brave enough to try to love again with new friends. Every day I have to summon bravery to let people in and that's why I am now a proud Gryffindor.

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