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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