Leave Out All The Rest….

I just found out that Chester Bennington from Linkin Park has died and I am legitimately sad. In the world today it’s so easy to get desensitized to celebrity deaths especially if you weren’t that attached to the person but for me….. This one actually hurts a little bit.

A little background on me. I am a young, black man who grew up in the hood. Being young and black meant that you needed to act/portray yourself the same way that the others are acting unless you want to get made fun of, here is where I come in.

  • I was wasn’t like the other black kids in my school. I always showed up early and didn’t operate on “CP time”.
  • I dressed in regular clothing because my parents couldn’t afford that expensive gaudy shit that other kids were wearing.
  • I didn’t have a “hood” demeanor, I was genuinely nice to people and tried to smile a lot.
  •  But most importantly, I didn’t listen to a lot of rap music.

There were some other reasons but those were the ones that stood out for me. And this is how a lot of kids felt. (A lot of black kids can relate to this and I believe a lot of non-white non black kids can relate to this also.)

The music aspect is probably the most important one because I felt that music kind of defined me. I listened to more Rock than Rap. My parents didn’t believe in confining me to a certain role and allowed me to explore my musical tastes. I didn’t live according to other’s expectations of how I should behave. This, of course, made me an outcast in all my school years.

You can’t be Black and weird… you just can’t unless you want to be labeled an “Oreo”.  It also didn’t help that I was kind of chubby so…. Double Stuffed Oreo? This was my life. I was “White” because I didn’t act all ghetto and shit. Because I didn’t act like how society and the media expected a young, Black man to act. I got bullied and took a lot of shit just for being different. I felt so alone like no one could ever understand me. Why did I have to be so different? Why did I have to stand out so much? I didn’t value myself, that’s when I started starving myself. I wanted to give people fewer reasons to pick on me. It was a pretty bad time for me, I was probably heading towards something worse. Fortunately, this is also where I got introduced to Linkin Park.

Their first single was “One Step Closer” and that was a good angry type of song, but I didn’t really resonate with it. It wasn’t until “In The End” came out that people really started paying them attention, it was a Rock song that had dudes rapping on it. It was a song that was okay for everyone to listen to. I LOVED that song when it came out, loved it so much in fact that I bought one of their albums to hear what their other music was like. My very first LP album was in fact NOT Hybrid Theory, but Reanimation which was heavy on the remixing and rapping. I loved that album even though it felt like I was the only one besides my best friends that like it. It wasn’t “Metal” enough for Rock fans so they mostly ignored it. I appreciated them being creative with their music.

I believe it wasn’t until their second album “Meteora” that I felt a deep connection to the band and especially the members Chester B. and Mike Shinoda. The whole album deals with Depression, remorse, and mental illness. I think this is what connected me to them. It was around this time that I also read up on the band members especially frontman Chester. I read about his history of being sexually abused as a child and the drugs and the alcohol, he just had a really chaotic life. And all of this blit through into his music because you felt every word that came out of his mouth. You can tell that this man had pain and that he was sharing his pain with all of us but we couldn’t do anything to help him. Everything that he was talking about I felt it. This album got me through so much in life. When I would have a really shitty day at school, when people just wouldn’t stop fucking with me and my great slept and I just felt bad about existing, I would just put on this album and Hybrid Theory and suddenly not feel so alone anymore. It didn’t help that I did not know how to properly communicate what I was feeling and I felt like no one would really listen. Your mother can only be there for you so much, eventually you need to have friends who understands your struggles. 

The last album of theirs that I really got into was Minutes to Midnight. I remember when I first got that out of them I listen to it so much that I convinced myself that this was just the best. Now don’t get me wrong it is a good album but this was the album that was more socially conscious than the ones before it. But that doesn’t mean that it did not have its own emotional singles. The song “Leave Out All the Rest” is probably my favorite on that album because it focused on a familiar feeling that I often ignored, embracing death. You can interpret this song A few different ways but I just now listen to it again after a while and I honestly believe that this was about suicide. The song basically says “there is going to come a time where I am not going to be here anymore, when that happens please do me a favor and remember all the good things about me. I know I fucked up and I messed up and I can never take back all the hurt that I’ve caused but keep the best version of me alive in your memory and Leave Out All the Rest”. As I’m writing this I’m starting to get choked up because it’s probably the closest to a suicide letter that we have from him at this exact moment. Anything can change and the next couple of days when they could discover something a last note or will but right now I think that this song was his suicide note that he wrote years before he actually took his life. 

I hate to say it but I have not been keeping up with Lincoln Park for the past few years. I know they release I believe to more albums sense minutes to midnight but I’ve kind of lost interest in it. I’m not the same person as I was 15 years ago because that person needed this music to make it through the day but who I am right now does not. I’ve changed from a small, week, emotionally unstable teenager to a strong, confident, emotionally unstable adult. I will always keep their first few albums with me and who knows I might just go back and listen to their previous albums. I know that leak in Park was planning a tour and Chester was supposed to be a part of that to her so I would like to think that he did not plan this to happen, he probably just had a bad experience or one really fucked up that day that finally passed him over the edge. I’m glad that we’re in the age where we can talk about depression and Men to illness because I don’t think a lot of people understand how badly that shit effects people. I am myself still suffer from it from time to time even though I’m not as bad as I was I’m still fighting it everyday. Some days are the worst where I just want to not exist, it gets that bad. Now because of this I have to keep living and I have to keep going forward.

I’m sad because now I’ll never get the chance to meet him or see him in person or at the very least see him and a concert. I can never tell him how much is music has helped me in the my life and that hurts. I don’t get choked up over celebrity death because I am so detached from so many things because I have too much going on in life but this is something that does affect me because without this music I don’t know if I would even be here.

I don’t want to dwell on this too much longer because overall I’m happy that he existed and that he found success in his life and that he made art that affected so many different people in a positive way. 

People will remember him, people will mourn him. It will be people from all over the globe and that is more than what most of us will get. 

I am happy that he was alive, I’m happy that he existed, I am happy that I listen two Hybrid Theory and Meteora and fought my way through depression. 

He will never know how he changed my life or how he saved it. 

He will never know how his words and his voice made a young scared weird black kid who got bullied a lot feel like he was somebody, like he was worth something.

My thoughts are with his family and especially his kids.

Rest in Paradise Chester Bennington, 

I hope you found the peace you were seeking because you will be dearly missed.

Old man Swag!

When I was younger, I never felt attractive. I was either too fat, too hairy, not tall enough or more simply not good enough. This lasted through both my teens and most of my twenties. This was in part due to my own insecurities, I was trying to model myself against my more attractive friends. All my friends are over six foot, have beautiful smiles, and have confidence for days. And I wouldn’t change any of it, that would make ME a shitty person to be around. Yep, my insecurities should not be pushed on them (even though I might’ve in the past). As I get older (Next year I will be 30), I’m starting to give fewer fucks about being attractive to random strangers. I mean, it would be nice to have that kind of broader appeal, but I need to face the fact that that might never happen. It’s no one’s fault, that just the random qualities that I got in this life. I’ve been feeling great lately; I’ve been going to the gym more, eating better(well fasting better), and I’ve been getting a handle on what I want to do professionally. I feel like I’m getting my old man swag!I’m still a work in progress and has a long way to go in terms of meeting my goals, but it’s nice to feel like I’m on the right street at least. One of the things that helped me and that I’m still getting used to is giving myself a break. I can’t compare myself to others and younger who have achieved some success. I am on my own path, I have my own struggles and challenges and maybe in some instances, some advantages.

I’m still a work in progress and has a long way to go in terms of meeting my goals, but it’s nice to feel like I’m on the right street at least. One of the things that helped me and that I’m still getting used to is giving myself a break. I can’t compare myself to others and younger who have achieved some success. I am on my own path, I have my own struggles and challenges and maybe in some instances, some advantages.

In writing this I guess I am making a commitment to myself that I will always keep improving. I will eventually become the best version of myself and I encourage everyone to do that.

Dumbest thing that made me quit Tumblr.

Indulge my Tumblr rant for a moment:

I remember back when I had a Tumblr page, there was this one Tumblr circle-jerk sympathy post (that site was full of them) that went around detailing things that girls do to compromise (I guess that is the right word) with guys. Or let’s just say that girls feel pressured. Now I an not unsympathetic for all the fucked up things that guys do to girls, and I am DEFINITELY against rape. But I read something on there that really made me think that so many people on there might not be the brightest bulbs in the box.
There was this one girl who I followed(she was fine as hell, I will not lie) added the following:
“One time I was hanging out with this guy who was smoking some weed and I asked for some. He said that if I wanted to smoke with him then I would have to give him some booty. I really wanted to smoke some that day but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have sex. I ended up smoking with him and that is how I lost my virginity and this is why I don’t trust men.”
I didn’t say anything at the time because I didn’t want the entire Collective of feminist Tumblr jumping down my throat but that was probably one of the dumbest things that I’ve read in a while. If no one force you to do anything then you can’t blame them for any of your actions. If you make the conscious decision to have sex with somebody but then later on regrets having sex with them that’s not their fault you just regret an action that you chose to do. Again, I am against rape and I am against putting pressure on females in order to take advantage of them. 

With that said you need to take responsibility for yourself and realize when some things are and aren’t your fault. I guess this is me really hating those circle jerk sympathy shit that goes on in that website because no one’s ever going to admit when things just MIGHT be their fault.  

I don’t want this to come off as anti Tumblr because I legitimately do think that the website is needed because it does bring up certain problems in our society and it does shed light on certain issues. But on the flip side, Tumblr is full of annoying people complaining and crying wolf at everything and always needing a scapegoat for their problems. That’s part of the reason why I quit that site, aside from the pussy-pandering white knights on there. 

Anyways, thanks for listening to my ranting. 😊

I’m not okay….

Do you know how tiring it is to constantly tell yourself that you’re going to be okay? It’s quite mentally exhausting. You spend a lot of energy trying to move past your anxiety and/or climb out of your depression but almost anything can be a setback. Not making enough money, bills running late, stressing over kids, stressing over people, or maybe you just had a really bad day. We end up convincing ourselves that were not good enough, that we can’t handle it. I get tired of trying to convince myself that I’m worth it. I’m just tired……I’m tired of always being broke, I’m tired of being alone, I’m tired of feeling like I won’t get anywhere in life. I could be a great person, by all accounts I should be by now. I should have money and be able to take care of my mom, I shouldn’t feel like a loser. I might have sleep apnea but I don’t get it treated. I guess there are worse ways to die. Maybe that’s the easy way out. I am gambling with my life every time I go to sleep. I wake up because I have to. This will pass but I fear one day it won’t. 

Is anyone else bummed that Suicide Squad didn’t do that well?

I know I am. Matter of fact, I was looking forward to this movie more that BVS. It had a pretty unique concept and the cast all seemed to like each other. Unfortunately, the final result of the movie left me wanting a better product. I actually dug the hell out of Will Smith’s portrayal of Deadshot. Yes I know he basically played himself but with a slight edge but I was feeling it. I have made a post last year elaborating on my opinions of the movie but I made this post to see who else share in my disappointment. This is not a DC bashing post but I want to see how others would have improved on what we saw.

So…… discuss.

The worst part about being someone who tends to overthink things a lot is knowing the inevitably of one’s death. I guess that’s why most people tend to stay busy most of the time. Having an occupied mind without any deep thinking can make for a pretty happy life. Look, I could be more wrong than Mel Gibson leading a bar mitzvah but this is how I feel.

OITNB is getting on my bad side

OITNB is getting on my bad side

Like most people, I am a fan of the Netflix show “Orange Is The New Black”. I started watching OITNB when it started its second season and I had to play catch up with the first. There was quite a bit of hype behind this show and I was feeling it. Plus, any show that has Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) is worth considering a look at. Piper was a good starting point to introduce the audience to the prison system and the not-so-known problems that plague the for-profit prison system.  The cast was a wonderful blend of characters from different cultures, sexualities, and financial background; each showing how sometimes bad choices or even simple mistakes can change your life. You don’t have to be a bad person to go to jail\prison, just unfortunate. 

With all of that said, there are a few moments in later seasons that have rubbed me the wrong way. Matter of fact, I can tell you which characters cause me to re-evaluate this whole series. The characters: Joe Caputo, Lorna Morello, and Piper Chapman. I’m going to explain why each of these character’s storylines irks me.

Joe Caputo: As a character, Mr. Caputo always seemed like someone trying to make the best of his situation. In the first 2 seasons; he had to deal with working up under a shady boss while being stonewalled everytime he tries to make an improvement for the inmates. Then when he actually becomes the warden at the start of season 3, he realizes that he would not have the power for good that he wished for. Every character in this show is humanized, but I personally felt like he was probably the most relatable. In his backstory, he always wanted to be the “Good Guy”. Injuring himself just to put over a special needs kid, taking care of a woman and her kid only to be told that he wasn’t needed. I know I might be upsetting some feminist readers with this but it ducking sucks to dedicate your life to someone and their kid only to be told that you should “stop waiting for people to say thank you, and no one asked you for help”. I know this comes at a time in our society when women’s rights and the whole entitlement conversations are happening, but you can’t say that that event wasn’t fucked up. This is more of a personal rant in this case because I don’t want him to be deserving of all the bad treatment, guess I’ll have to wait till next season to see. Now I know he has an entitlement complex but I can’t help but comment on his potential.

Now time for my second most hated character: Lorna Morello. She was a mysterious character for the first season but you could tell that she was a little “off”. It wasn’t until they delved into her backstory that it was revealed that she was\is a stalker, and what’s worse if that she is a violent stalker who uses manipulation to get what she wants. I know she is portrayed in a way that makes it easier for people to feel sympathy for her but I cannot.

Here’s a setup: A man has an unrelenting crush on a woman, he gets rejected by her, he starts stalking her, he finds out that she is moving on so he plants a bomb trying to kill her new flame and potentially her, he briefly escapes prison to break into her home and rummages through her things, when confronted he ends up gaining the sympathy of a lonely loser of a woman who then assaults the original victim as “payback” for breaking the man’s heart, the man gets rewarded with a wife and has no consequences befall him for terrorizing the victim. 

Did reading that upset you? Well, this is everything that the character Morello has done but because she is a woman, she is looked upon as a damaged soul\a victim. I would not even be upset if they fixed that in the next season but they just went ahead and kept making her out to be a sympathetic character. And TO BE FAIR, I know that technically she is mentally ill, but that does not make her exempt from her actions. If she knows how to manipulate people, she can be help accountable. I might not be reading the right blogs but I rarely see people criticize her. Quite the opposite, I see people gravitating towards her and identifying with her. I can’t excuse the way sexism allowed men to do this in the past and I will call that out if a popular show did that (but that won’t be necessary with all the Tumblr blogs looking for that kind of shit), but it’s crazy how no one likes to point out that abusive behavior. I sincerely hope they change that in the upcoming season because right now I hate her character….. almost as much as my next one.

The series “protagonist”, Miss Piper Chapman. As a starting point, Piper was a great way to introduce viewers to Litchfield prison. She offered a fresh set of eyes from the perspective an “everyman”, at least till the third season. At the current pace of the story, Piper is quickly becoming spoiled, entitled, privileged asshat who whines, cries, and acts surprised when she faces the consequences of her actions. The biggest and most recent example that comes to mind is when Piper snitched on Maria Ruiz because the latter opened up a rival contraband business. This causes Ruiz to have her sentence extended meaning that it would be a long time before she saw her daughter again. As retaliation, Ruiz and her gang abducted Piper and branded her with a swastika (I totally forgot to mention that Piper also started a White-Power gang in the prison). There are other examples in the recent seasons but that one really stood out to highlight Piper’s victim complex. Simply put, they need a new main character. Someone who is likable but knows how to handle themselves. I would have suggested Poussey but……… ya know.

I hope I adequately explained myself about why I feel the way I do about these characters. I do like the show and most of the cast and I am interested in seeing where this all goes. Wouldn’t it be a little messed up if the upcoming season feces all my criticisms and makes this whole post null and void. Hell, is that happens, I will happily go back and Broken Matt Hardy this thing. Guess we shall see….