Vampire Weekend

During a trip to the movie theater last May, I noticed that with their respective post-apocalyptic sci-fi epics Oblivion and After Earth, Hollywood buddies Tom Cruise and Will Smith seemed to be releasing the same film at the same time. Movie studios are vacuous trend whores, same as any other industry that feeds on buzz, so this happens frequently in Hollywood — think of 1997′s exploding mountain movies Volcano and Dante’s Peak or 2006′s 9/11 dramas World Trade Center and United 93 or 2013′s dual White House destruction movies White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen. (The pinnacle of this phenomenon was 1998, which boasted two sets of twins, the asteroid flicks Armaggedon and Deep Impact and the insect cartoons Antz and A Bug’s Life.) But as the rest of the trailers rolled, I began to realize that it wasn’t just the world’s most famous Scientologist and the erstwhile Fresh Prince pushing post-apocalyptic vehicles. Every single film seemed to be about our imminent demise. They kept piling up all year, ranging from the stone age to the space age, portraying humanity’s peril at the hands of zombies, sea monsters, the Antichrist, and global warming. The trend extended around the world, with filmmakers from Spain and South Korea jumping on the post-apocalyptic pile. Some of the titles even sounded the same, be they farcical comedies (This Is The End and The World’s End) or adapted dystopian youth novels (Enders Game and The Hunger Games).

The reasons for this overwhelming outpouring of apocalypse seem obvious enough. Climate change, nuclear threats, a looming overpopulation crisis, deepening ideological fissures, chilling revelations about our online privacy (or lack thereof), a brewing discontent about the gap between the haves and the have-nots — it all adds up to a lingering sense of dread about the future of humanity. In tumultuous times, of course people are envisioning the end. But they’re also envisioning the other side of the end. These movies are exercises in fear and proclamations of hope. When we picture a future beyond some cataclysmic event, we are picturing ourselves in that future. We are imagining our own survival, not just the perseverance of our species. In the end, we project, everything will be OK.

Here’s the thing, though: Apocalypse or not, someday you will die. So will everyone you know and love. It’s going to happen. For that reason, death has always loomed large in any creative field. If you believe Damien Hirst, all art is about death. Still, as with film, the music I encountered this year seemed inordinately preoccupied with our eventual demise. With visceral frustration, Superchunk grappled with the permanent absence of beloved friends. Majical Cloudz cowered as the Grim Reaper closed in. Arcade Fire pondered the afterlife, and not just on “Afterlife.” Trent Reznor named his album after the process of weighing whether to kill yourself; Chance The Rapper rasped evocatively about weighing whether to go outside and risk someone else killing you. Beyoncé suggested we’d better love each other while we still have time, while M.I.A. countered that you always live again. Maybe all that amounts to a trend, or maybe it indicates a typical year for our culture’s creative output. It’s possible the reason I felt inundated by death on the musical front is because the two albums I returned to the most, the two that captivated me endlessly in 2013, were variations on coping with our inescapable human finiteness. Those albums were Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires Of The City and Kanye West’s Yeezus.

Vampire Weekend’s record was, for all intents and purposes, a young man’s reckoning with his youth slipping away. Sonically, it sparkles, but you can hear the light dimming in Ezra Koenig’s eyes. He realizes that, now that the gloves are off and the wisdom teeth are out, the precociousness he’s been trading on for years is fleeting and that our proverbs about the wisdom of years feel like empty platitudes when there’s a headstone right in front of you. He longs for some warmth in this cold, cold world. He loves the past because he hates not knowing how everything’s going to play out. He realizes this could all be over at any moment, freezes in fear, and tries to make sense of the great unknown. Jewish by heritage, he considers putting his trust in the god of his ancestors. But as much as he longs for the embrace of everlasting arms, Koenig can’t be made to serve a master when he’s never gonna understand. He’s calling for the misery to always be explained, and he can’t bring himself to find peace in a deity who won’t even say His name. Still, Koenig is well aware that he can’t do it alone, so he looks (or his characters look, at least) for salvation where so many have before: romance. He’ll die an unbeliever, but with someone he loves by his side. With those stakes, the lovers’ spat in “Hannah Hunt” is exceptionally weighty; the narrator’s security and meaning are in the balance. “If I can’t trust you then damn it, Hannah/ There’s no future, there’s no answer.” Yet there’s an abiding confidence underneath it all, an assumption that OK, maybe there is no answer, but everything will turn out alright if you just keep going. As Mike Powell put it at Spin, “the album’s most triumphant songs are its least conclusive… Yes, they’re skeptics. But they’re also optimists. And the feeling that comes through clearest on Vampires is one of perseverance.”

On most days I’d tell you Modern Vampires Of The City is the most beautiful, timely, resonant record I heard this year, but I completely disagree with its conclusions. Koenig’s response to his own mortality is a response of privilege. It is the sound of facing all of life’s deepest questions, shrugging, and carrying on under the assumption that everything will work out because it always has. He can’t help but feel that he made some mistake, but he lets it go because in his world, you bounce back from mistakes. I’m not saying Koenig has never experienced real suffering, but as a fellow college-educated, straight, upper middle class white American male, I know I’ve personally been shielded from most of the world’s hardships. The scope of Vampire Weekend’s record is intensely personal. It is the sound of pondering big ideas while shuffling comfortably through life, of snapping a selfie with an exceptionally thoughtful expression. Death hangs heavy in Koenig’s mind, but war, poverty, and disease are someone else’s problem.

Yeezus is a highly individualistic record too, but it operates with a more universal scope. Racism, classicism, violence, hatred, and injustice run rampant — we know this because Kanye West has experienced these things, and he’s going to make damn sure you notice him raging against them. While Vampire Weekend gave us the sound of passively opting out, Yeezus took the wheel. Kanye looks at his people and sees them enslaved metaphorically by drugs and materialism and literally by a corrupt prison system. He sees no solution on the horizon, so like Sun Ra and Afrika Bambaataa before him (but with a hearty dash of Black Panther militance), Kanye styles himself as a supernatural being. God-sized problems demand god-sized solutions. His sizable body of color commentary this year has expanded on this concept: He wants to be more than just a rapper; he wants to overhaul everything; he is capable of transcending on every level, including water bottle design! Kanye’s theology is very confusing — after hours of self-exaltation, his shows on the Yeezus tour ended with he and his creepy sex druids bowing to White Jesus as he ascended from the Aggro Crag — but at the bottom of everything, his message seemed to be that if we all get out of the way and let each other live out their inherent divinity, we shall overcome. You can’t live forever, but your contribution can. Together, we can build heaven on earth with a bright, shiny “Bound 2″ fairytale ending for every man, woman, and child. Follow him up ’cause this shit ’bout to go down.

Good luck with that. The trouble with Kanye’s philosophy is that people’s big ideas have a tendency to clash. One man’s perceived rights tend to trample on another’s. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We all saw how Kanye-as-god would use his divine authority: a ceaseless spree of consequence-free self-aggrandizement, violent sex and pastry on demand. Under those circumstances, somebody is bound 2 get hurt, and there’s still the lingering specter of death to contend with. We’re all circling the toilet bowl, no matter how pristinely designed that toilet bowl may be.

There’s no getting around it; we have to face up to it. We have to stake our hopes on something or give up hope altogether. The god-fearing man finds hope in something bigger than humanity. The nihilist says there is no hope to be found and life is a cruel joke. The humanist — and both Ezra Koenig and Kanye West are humanists of a sort — says mankind will figure it out, that if we put our heads together we can conquer any obstacle, maybe even death itself. Personally, I can’t abide that; humanity’s track record doesn’t suggest we’ll all be getting along so well any time soon. Still, even though I don’t see eye to eye with Koenig and Kanye’s approaches to the ticking clock, I was continually inspired by them throughout 2013. They demanded my attention in part because they were so musically sterling. But there was also this: In an age when Y.O.L.O. means living without thinking, I found great solace in the fact that they considered such matters at all.

Comments (66)
  1. My favorite Hollywood pairing was Da Vinci Code and National Treasure. Natty Treas owns. So does Natty Treas 2: Book of Secrets.

  2. “…but as a fellow college-educated, straight, upper middle class white American male, I know I’ve personally been shielded from most of the world’s hardships.”

    Eff that. Three or four years ago, I was unhappy, worried and frustrated about how much of a turn for absolutely worse my life had taken due to things beyond my control occurring, and everyone told me everything would fix itself and “things happen for a reason,” and all of those optimist-goading clichés you hear that reassure the “college-educated, straight” — wouldn’t say I’m upper middle class, but I’m middle class — “white American” life will be okay in the end. Three years later, I am still stuck, lonely and frustrated, and probably more miserable because it’s a very emotionally taxing kind of suffering that no person should have to endure for too long. Suffering is relative, but no one is safe from it because life will do to you what it will do you regardless of economic stature, race, education or health.

    Last year, on my birthday, I made a pact with myself that if nothing changed for the better, became more fulfilling or offered any glimpse of hope, I would end it all. You tell yourself those things to scare yourself sometimes, not thinking it will ever get that bad to even test that deadline. I was naive enough to think last year (just as I was the two years previous) that I would not reach the end of 2013 sitting miserably exactly where I was and I’d have at least a good chunk of my frustrations exorcised from my life if I put the effort into changing things, but here I am on December 31, 2013, still stick. I’m closing in on my next birthday as well. I don’t know what happens after winter, but I’ve done enough reading these past few months months to know that I have an optional way out of all of this if life isn’t willing to work with me. There’s no sense in living a life that feels empty all of the time and one that you play the role of a ghost, a supporting supporting supporting actor, a passerby in people’s daily routines and after working your entire life to make something better of yours, finding yourself struggling more than those who simply lucked out doing far less.

    So yes, we all die be it in time or by decision and as for what purpose anything in life has, I don’t know, Ezra, but I’m very tired of waiting it out and trying to find out as my supposed best years slip by to very little worth to anyone, really.

    • Hope you feel better, man. Sending a Natty Treas gif your way.

    • Yeah, there’s this idea in the zeitgeist that being white, middle class, male and straight is automatically so awesome that you can’t ever have a real problem. It’s reductive and stupid, and I hate having to even point that out, but like I said, this idea is repeated a million times a day (mostly online, I think). Suffering is a subjective experience. People far less privileged than us (as defined above) are living incredible, fulfilling lives, and people far more privileged than us have been driven to kill themselves.

      Anyway, I hope 2014 is a better year for you.

      • Michael_,

        I felt the need to comment here because when I hear someone talk about harming themselves, I take it seriously. I am not a health expert, so I can only extend you words, like a friend or brother, of concern, of empathy, and share some perspective based of my life experience.

        I do not know the specifics of your circumstance, but I hear you saying that you are suffering, that you feel stuck, lonely and frustrated, as well as that you have been contemplating suicide over the last year. That is not a fun place to be, so my heart goes out to you.

        I can empathize because I have been through many difficult periods of my own life, and there were times of deep suffering, where I could not even visualize or imagine what would happen to change those circumstances and lift that suffering. But I also want you to know, that I can now look back at those periods and see them in the past, and that I have changed and my circumstances have changed, and I no longer feel the way that I did at difficult times in the past. I am different as a person, and my ability to enjoy my life, be inspired and productive, and to have a supportive environment of friends and community around me is totally different than it was when I was younger.

        I don’t know how old you are, but II find it interesting that you mention, “my supposed best years” slipping by, because I can remember being told both when I was a teenager, and when I was in my 20′s that those were supposed to be “the best years of my life” or my “peak”. Not only did that turn out to be not true, but it is absurd to me in retrospect how seriously I took it that I had to accomplish great things in my early 20s, when in retrospect, everyone I knew and myself were relatively ignorant and immature at that age. (Just like a baby that knows nothing when it’s born, how could I expect to know everything when I was just out of high school or college, basically a few steps away from living with my parents)

        Now I don’t want to just straight up give you advice, but I want to share some of the things that, for me, really changed in my own mind that helped guide my actions and let me escape the circumstances that I found myself in, if I say “you”, I mean in general “possibly anyone” or specifically “me in the past”:

        - In the immediate term, “This too shall pass” means nothing is permanent, whether you feel yourself going up or down, or if it is a long low or a dip, you have to admit that you don’t know the future and that nature shows us that change is the only constant. Drawing close to natural settings is often helpful, to observe the change of the seasons, or the movement of a river or the ocean. Finding even a moment of mental silence and inner peace is valuable and beyond that being able to sense a connection to the natural world is a powerful feeling if we let it in.

        - When it comes down to it, you have to love yourself, unconditionally. There can be a tendency to internalize harsh things that other people say or do to you, even if that is the malignant neglect of being ignored. So that low self-esteem follows from being treated by others as if you have no value. The worst moments for me, were those in which I was turned against myself inside. I learned to recognized when this was happening and let go of it, even if I felt like I needed to be hard on myself. You have to be your own best friend, you are your own companion for your whole life, so you might as well be the kind of person to yourself that you would enjoy your own company. You have to be patient with yourself, forgiving of yourself, compassionate with yourself, you have to love yourself, then you can have a relationship with yourself that is helpful.

        - All suffering that I have experienced has only made me more compassionate for other people. There were times when I was low, where I made the effort to get out there and do work that directly helped people who needed it. Not only did that connect me to other people who were motivated to help others, but I also saw that I could help out people who were in circumstances more difficult than the ones that I found myself in. I saw how much I was capable of and I saw the impact I could make directly on other people’s lives.

        - Take space from unsupportive circumstances and relationships and take the risk to enter new settings, around new people. I find a lot of depression has to do with not feeling connected to the people around you, feeling alone or in troubled relations. It can be a risk to reach out to new people, or to assert the energy to seek out settings to meet new people and interact over common interests, or even to go traveling and have to figure out each day where you will sleep or eat and meet strangers who might have a different background or way of life. Whether it is temporary or the groundwork for a new routine, changing your setting and who you are around it very powerful, even as it can be scary and feel like a risk. Think of it this way, if you are in a place where you don’t feel you have anything to lose but your life, you can take the risk of finding a new place to be around new people.

        - Here’s another thing, heartbreak is an earth shattering experience for people to go through. So is long periods of crippling loneliness. In either circumstance, there is the idea that if there was the desired romantic partner everything would be better. That is not necessarily true. I would say having even friendships that are emotionally close is good for depression. But I mean you won’t find fulfillment in just acquiring a romantic partner, even though we are constantly being given that message by movies and pop songs, there is a lot of difficult things to negotiate in any relationship.

        Beyond that in a similar sense of being programmed with ideas from the outside, someone could face a lot of hardship or rejection based on what they look like, but at the same time, they might not be attracted to people who also don’t fit the parameters of desirable that we are indoctrinated with. This is part of the malicious aspect of “lookism” that pervades our culture, even as we barely ever truly examine it. In the USA, in 2013, we are pervaded by a shallow culture that is part of the conditions we are all coping with. So we can’t take it as a personal reflection if we face it, it doesn’t have to do with us.

        What I would say, it that it is vital that people form friendships or romantic relationships that are based on respect. There can be no love without respect. People have so many layers to who they are beyond the shallow level of their looks, their persona and status markers. We are given a lot of images that not only equate looks with value, but actually transform our bodies into commodities to be bought, sold and consumed. Finding depth in another person is very rewarding, even if it is not equated to the physical gratification of sex. I would never want to pass up that experience.

        A relationship with another person will not fill an emptiness inside of us, there will always be a mysterious incompleteness associated with the mystery of being a human being, but it is possible to begin to explore the mystery of another person, and this is made possible by respect, but also by a love that is not the desire to attain or consume, but that is almost like a universal affirmation that overflows your own cup so much that you can begin tp offer it to someone else.

        - Here’s another thing: anxiety. I find the internal experience is different with that of depression (disconnectedness, lack of ability to take enjoyment in things). Anxiety is an over-abundance of mental and physically tension that results in discomfort and repetitive unresolved thoughts. I would say that there is a mind-body connection where releasing physical energy can be a release valve for mental energy. That means if you are wound up mentally, try doing whatever exercise lets off your physical energy, ride a bike, take a walk, run, hike, practice yoga, do something until you sweat, whether that is weights, push ups, sit ups, playing the drums. Afterward, you might feel a little tired, but you also might be relaxed enough to sleep without being worried about your whole life. I would say a very, very, very common trap for people is that they use a physically easier release for their anxiety by drinking, smoking or taking some sort of drug. This is a quick fix, but it makes things worse in the long run.

        - Find a mode of art that you are able to create something that you find beauty in or that you find transcendence in. That could be visual, drawing, painting, photography, it could be writing, or dance, or designing things and building them, or it could be singing or playing a musical instrument. I didn’t even start playing guitar until I was 22 and now I play multiple instruments, and write and arrange songs, and when shit is bad, it feels really good to transform that into something that is beautiful and transcendent to me, and when I am joyful, I can celebrate in song.

        I wrote way more than I though I would, but these are bits of life wisdom that I had to learn the hard way. Above all, I want to send you a perspective of someone who had it hard, and had to come by wisdom and grace the hard way. Now I am 32 and so much happier than I was when I was 22, that I can not even put it into words. Yes, the world at large can be a very bad place, but we can still experience freedom, joy, love and peace in some measure of balance within all of that.

        From the heart,

        • Thank you for reaching out, Miles. I read every word you wrote and it all makes a lot of sense. Much of what you say I do practice already, especially in having to release anxiety, physical activity and writing, but I admit that I am probably my own biggest critic and worst enemy, and those here who I interact with regularly can probably attest that it’s very telling when I’m having one of those days or weeks when I’m not giving myself enough credit.

          I’m 30 now, so not too much younger than you. My 20s went by way too fast and relatively painlessly but also non-eventful, so it very much sucks that these life setbacks are happening now at an age where people like yourself have gotten past that stage and figured out where they are. I’m fearful I’ll be alone forever or like, lose an arm in a freak accident or I’ll end up homeless or something crazy in 10 years if shit luck keeps happening to me.

          Worst out of everything, I’m so lonely and I don’t know what to do about it anymore because I do things to force myself into situations as awkward as they may be to get to know new people. Yet, my friends are too busy to be good friends, everyone else who I don’t know is all set making friends in their lives to want to know anyone new and I just feel like an alien out in space.

          I’m lost and wandering around. Never thought I would be that person who would turn into that because me not being social or having at least a small handful of close people I could count on to live life with day by day as people normally do, but I guess life designated me as that lost lamb out there in the world.

          • Hey Michael_,

            Not sure about the particulars of your situation–where you live, for instance (though it sounds like you probably are not in a city)–but I thought it was worth mentioning that I had my own long spell of loneliness that has since passed. It wasn’t friends for me, it was a lack of love or intimacy. From age 18 to 24, the supposed peak of life, I was completely without any date or any partner. I felt like I was letting off a funny odor or something, and that women were avoiding me. That wasn’t true, but it sure felt true at the time. Looking back, there were some girls who were flirting with me, but those moments had been after a few years of loneliness, and I was far too self-conscious and depressed to really notice, or to have the nerve to do anything about it. I felt so defeated by life that my sex drive plummeted…which made the dry spell last even longer.

            It did take a change of environment to shake things up. I was studying abroad, and suddenly the spell ended. Now I’m 32 and married, and so much happier than I was back then. Sure, I’ve got things to fret about—looking for an academic job when positions are scarce, my best friends married with kids in far away cities, mostly superficial relationships with those around me currently, and some random dances with mortality among loved ones—but at least I feel human again. As bad as things can feel now, change is totally possible, if not inevitable. Hang in there, and things will better for you.

          • Hi Michael,

            I am glad that you read that really long post. It’s good for me to remind myself of these things too. I, for sure, don’t have all the answers, but I do feel for anyone and everyone who is going through it right now.

            It sounds like you are recognizing that you already do have a lot of positive practices in your life and that perhaps what you are struggling with right now is being your own “biggest critic”, or “worst enemy” or as I put it “being turned against yourself”. For me, awareness that that happening is the first step in letting it go and not letting that shape my self-identity.

            Changing our story of who we are is one of the most difficult and powerful things we can do. But as I said, everything is changing all the time, our moods, the weather, everything, so change in our “self-identity” and the story that follows about our lives is not out of the question by any means.

            What you said about your friends is a tough thing that we deal with, because people can grow apart with time or be distracted by other things that crowd our lives. There is a sense of loss and grieving that can happen from broken friendships as well as the depressive effect of “not feeling connected.” Beyond just maintaining a small group of friends, I find it has been useful to cultivate community.

            What I mean by community is circumstances where you can be around and even play a role in a group of people on a regular basis without needing to call or plan each time you are going to be in a social environment. Community can be found in a group that meets on a regular basis over a shared interest or it can coalesce around a certain place where people frequent. At this point, I tend to know enough people that I can walk down the street and bump into people I know. Not every person is my best friend, but we can share a smile and some friendly small talk that at times turns into an invitation to something else going on, and various conversations that deepen my understanding of that person. When I begin to run into the same people in a community setting, new friendships take shape in relaxed ways as old friendships who I don’t see become more about keeping in touch and honoring the shared history. It’s like the weaving together of a social fabric and it really takes place where people can be face to face.

            I am glad that you have a passion for writing, because that can easily translate to a passion for life. People write from a place of inspiration and creativity. I’ve written quite a bit for different projects and purposes, and there are definitely ways of engaging in community around writing, whether that’s reading poetry or short stories, writers groups who read, edit and give feedback on each others work, writing plays or performances for children or adults. Most writers are passionate about other writing too, so that always an opportunity to connect and share something with others.

            This is an interesting time of the year because we are just past the Solstice, which is the longest night and shortest day or the year. That means it’s winter, it’s cold, more of our waking hours are spent in the dark. It’s totally normal to be experiencing effects of this right now.

            So, again, I am not a health professional just someone on the internet who felt the call to respond today. I hope you have some people in your life, even family members who you can also talk these things over with.

            I want to say that while my perspective and identity has shifted totally from the time when I had perspective closer to the one you are expressing, that doesn’t mean life all of a sudden is easy. I still face the challenges of life, but I feel like what has changed is my ability to meet those challenges or at least cope more gracefully with those challenges. I trust myself more and I don’t freak out. I take care of myself and care for others. I have had some serious injuries that happened in the past few years, but setting the intention to heal had a component where I just had to be calm and at peace and let the process of healing happen. In fact, I have found that even situations that are active where I have to respond quickly, like a volatile or dangerous situation, I am most able and effective in my response when I can respond from a place that is centered and calm.

            I am going to sign off the internet and go celebrate the New Year’s Eve, so blessings in the New Year, Michael, may you use your gifts to change your story to one in which you can experience a calm center of well- being from which your creativity can continue to flow. Happy 2014!


        • damn, not only could miles blow a horn like no other. he’s a hell of therapist too.

          keep it real, MD.

          <3 RJ

  3. Great read. Thanks Chris.

    I’m glad the 4th paragraph didn’t dwell on the, “the light dimming in Ezra Koenig’s eyes” and shifted to the “perseverance” theme the album portrays. I think the thesis of Modern Vampires can be found in the duality of Don’t Lie’s hooks.

    At once there is both a “lifetime” and a “headstone” right in front of us all, indicating neither optimism or pessimism. It simply is. We simply are, and that’s fine with me.

    • I concur. Don’t Lie may not have been my favorite song off MVOTC, but it was the most played due to it’s plain philosophy. “Don’t Lie” to me was a double entendre as a reminder to not rest we have both headstones and lifetimes right in front of us.

      • I seriously appreciate the kind words, and I think your read on Modern Vampires is accurate, though I definitely disagree with you and Erza that “We simply are.” But I’d be curious to hear about how you came to that conclusion! One of my hopes with this was to generate some thoughtful discussion and to encourage people to think through what they believe and why.

        • Hmmm, well I guess saying, “we simply are” is a massive over simplification of life and humans. There are obviously endless complications and intricacies for everyone in their day to day experiences. But in relation to Modern Vampires and Don’t Lie, I thought the lifetime/headstone dichotomy was Koenig’s somewhat passive meditation on existence. Some other lyrics that I think contribute to this, Step “Everyone’s dying but girl you’re not old yet” (YOUTH! LIFE! ENJOY IT). Diane Young “I love the past because I hate suspense” (Holy fuck I’m scared of the future whats going to happen?!?!). As you said in the piece, “maybe there is no answer, but everything will turn out alright if you just keep going.”

          I just think Koenig was conscious to not come off as either some sort of doomsday, “what’s the point of life?”, nihilist or an “it will be okay!”, peace and lover. In reality, I think it’s somewhere in the middle. That says nothing about his thoughts on religion which is where I think he does make some very concrete judgments, but when it comes to the passing of time? He’s more of an existentialist. It’s up to you how you see it.

  4. I wanna fuck you hard on the sink/ After that give you something to drink
    ~Kanye West, staring into the abyss of death

    • You don’t understand; Jerome-y-rome-y-rome represents God in this example…

    • eating asian pussy all i need is sweet and sour sauce
      -Kanye West, theorizing on the nature of mankind’s inherent spiritual aptitude with regards to its eventual transcendence after the destruction of the physical body through materialism, overindulgence, amorality and decadence, ultimately cleansing the indifferent nature of a contingent rock floating in the middle of endless darkness and space

      • Yes, sorry, my advice was unsolicited, so feel free to ignore if you wish.

        I do feel I should address your point about quackery though, if not for you, then for anyone else who could benefit from the info.

        It’s true that some approaches to therapy (particularly within the psychoanalytic tradition) are not evidence-based, and therefore can encourage quacks to make a profit off of other people’s pain. It’s also true that the pharmaceudical industry is a racket, and therapists can sometimes be trigger happy with regard to prescriptions.

        However, cognitive therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapies are based on empirical research on human cognition and behavior, and have a demonstrated efficacy. For instance, here are some peer-reviewed meta-analyses assessing efficacy:

        Improvement is not guaranteed of course, but there is a demonstrated statistical effect of cognitive treatment on depression. Informed decisions require good information, so I just wanted to put that out there.

        As for you michael_, do what you feel is best to hang on to your lust for life. Whether it’s focusing on the joy of music, or strengthening family connections, anything to emphasize connectedness and meaning.
        I’ll say once again that I’ve been down that road, and I know that you can pull through. Be well.

  5. I also don’t understand why we should care about reading into what two of arguably the most successful artists in their respective spheres over the last half decade have to say about the meaning of life, considering these are words coming from people whose views on life are exceptionally better than 99% of their listeners. It’s all romanticized bohemian fiction to me. The lives that Ezra Koenig and Kanye West have been incredibly fortunate to live in five years is enough to satisfy one million lifetimes of your average person. I’ll get more out of a conversation with some late 20something who went to grad school as a solution to finding themselves unemployed back in 2008, is now drowning in student loan debt because nobody is fixing the economy, is living back home, can’t go out anymore because they can’t afford it and therefore can’t feasibly see themselves getting married or starting a family before the age of 40 because we live in a money country where you need to have some in order to be a person.

    First world rich people problems at its finest and a fitting epitaph for 2013 by Stereogum’s resident over-thinkpiece writer.

    • We should care because they are humans, just as we are. While economics play a part in our relative amounts/types of sufferings, the questions of meaning, significance, and the temporality of life are to be answered by everyone, regardless of social status. While we may not agree with Ezra or Kanye’s worldview (as Chris admitted) or empathize with their life situations, we can empathize with their attempts to find answers to these questions.

      • The only time anyone finds meaning behind life is when it said by someone standing on a larger soap box than you. If Ezra Koenig were to drop dead tomorrow, the world would cry and say, “He lived a grand life in his short time here and he will be missed. He was gone too soon.” When I drop dead in a month, the world will say nothing and my time here will have amounted to nothing and soon forgotten, which I think says a lot about how we as a whole assign value around assessing life and its length based on who exactly is talking about it. At the end of the day, Yeezus isn’t going to save me.

        • It’s all relative, I work with inner city kids who have a lot of issues with things most of us take for granted, so I’m really conscious of that but no matter how successful you are or how great your life is it doesn’t mean that you are never allowed to bitch or have opinions on anything. Everyone’s got problems. Some are financial, some are emotional, some are political, etc… and we can argue over which are more valid but the bottom line is nobody’s life is perfect.

          Michael_, getting to you… Do you have anyone that you can talk to about what’s going on? I mean like a parent or a best friend or something. I’m almost tempted to give you my e-mail in case you ever want to vent.

          I’m not sure if you are interested in any advice or wisdom from me, but I’ll say this. You are probably never going to do what you absolutely love for a living at this point and very few people do. I would say you need to find a job you can stand so you can get some experience doing something that you don’t hate and go from there. If you can accomplish that then you are better off than most. Then you still have your free time to write, which you are very good at. Maybe if you can take away the pressure to make a career out of it you can enjoy it more. Just know that everything you are describing like having tons of student debt, living at home as an adult, being broke, not being able to afford having kids(I don’t know how anyone does it these days), being unsatisfied with your career, etc… are extremely common issues for people our age. I don’t have the same issues with depression that you might have, but I’ve been there. Trust me, I’ve been through some shit. You’re not alone and I hope you are just having some seasonal depression and despite some of the problems you have your life isn’t as joyless as you are making it out to be.

        • Hi Michael. If there is anybody on the ‘gum who posts regularly that has the right to gauge insight into Chris’s piece about mortaliy it’s you I think. You certainly are extremely transparent and honest. I appreciate that. I don’t know what to say to you other then many of us, at times have thought of wanting to be dead. Some people seem to be blessed (or cursed) with a tighter grasp of ignorance where they don’t feel as much, but I think your fears, hopes, frustrations are very very universal. This isn’t to belittle your pain, but your’e not the misfit you might feel you are. Jesus Christ was/is salvation for me. Personal relationship with God. I’m Jewish too, but it works out well. I also got clean years ago (which helped get my bearings back) and turned my pain into song (which also worked out well). For what its worth, even this anonymous internet fellow gum stranger reads your comments, sees your pain and cares enough to say that 2014 isn’t fatalism for you. You’re not destined for perpetual torment. You have a great gift in writing and you’re a hard worker. Don’t cave in no matter how dark the moment gets. I wish Stereogum would start like a message board for the regulars on the ‘gum to connect. Anyway, just wanted to say that. Best to you Michael.

          • P.S. GREAT essay Chris. More blogs should follow suit and have inspired writers and think pieces.

          • plb102 and Mr. Worle,

            I often feel guilty for being consumed by my frustrations and worries to the point where I think I’d rather die. What makes it all a million times worse for me than someone experiencing similar strife is that I am very lonely, and when you are lonely, it is exactly that and more. While I live with my parents who are in no rush to shove me out the door, I spend much of my days in my own world and head at the office with little conversation with — how can I say this — the “right” type of people? Meaning people my own age, people with similar interests on a consistent basis outside of the few and far between e-mails with close friends living a distance away. It’s not like I haven’t tried improving all of tat, but it’s never clicking for me. Comment section discussions and music writing are my surrogate social life. Sometimes they give me the fix I need, but ultimately they don’t because at the end of the day, you realize everyone logs off and carries on with their real fulfilling lives and you don’t really have one.

          • It sounds like I pretty much had the same job as you until recently. I used to dread when people would ask me what I did just because my office job was so lame and such a waste of time. I had to go to grad school to get out of it, but it sounds like you already tried that…

            Have you dated anyone recently? Even if you had to go online, swallowing your pride might be better than being so lonely. And before you say that no body would want a dude in his 30s living at home remember a lot of people have similar issues these days. Are you a decent looking guy? You’re smart and you have a job so you can’t be a total disaster.

          • I’ve poked around online dating sites but I think because I live in suburbia, the options aren’t that great haha (single moms, train wreck psycho girls, girls with bad habits. Basically any girl who is worth your time around where I live has either moved out of the area or gotten married.)
            I’m too humble to say I’m attractive but most people say that I am. Plus, I take care of my body by working out religiously and living a healthy dietary lifestyle. And I guess that frustrates me, because — again, being humble here — but when you take care of yourself and aren’t really noticed in life, it’s like, what’s the point.

          • My (unsolicited) advice…

            1. Keep hitting the dating sites. I can imagine it’s tougher to find someone good in the burbs but don’t give up. Also, you can go out with some chicks who maybe don’t have long term potential but can keep you from being too bored for a few weeks. Do you have a car or can you take public trans to the city? Maybe find a city girl, even if the distance would kill the chance of anything serious you could go downtown and try to have a good night? And I know you said you don’t have a ton of money for going out, but I bet you could make it work every once in a while. When was the last time you got laid? Basically I’m telling you to try to get laid.

            2. If that job of yours makes you so miserable maybe keep trying to find something else. I know you said that you have ruled out some things that you need to consider? Would you be willing to take a pay cut to find something you enjoy more or something with more coworkers your age?

            IDK, #2 might be easier said than done, maybe stick to #1. Just find SOMETHING that makes you happy and do it as much as you can. Best of luck this year. It’s going to be more of the same shit for sure, but I hope it’s at least a little better and you can find some happiness.

          • It’s been far too long, I’ll say that much.

            Money isn’t what’s stopping me from going out and I have a good set of wheels to do so. I actually save a ton of money because I am really good financially and all of that adult responsibility business. No debt of any kind and I am pretty good with where I spend it. That’s the irony: My friends who live in the city are living week to week, and here I am just stashing my cash away because I don’t have anything to do with it.

            Of course I’m looking for something else and that is also what is frustrating, since I’ve been keeping an eye out all of the time since the downward spiral began. I wouldn’t take a pay cut because everyone where I work is already disgustingly underpaid as it is, so that’s just not possible. I just need a better fit in terms of environment and doing what I do at a more respectable value.

          • TMI but my dick is pretty big, too, so it’s just like, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME, LIFE?” with not being able to find love out there in that cold world.

            So guys, the next time you hear stereotypes about your male counterparts who aren’t broke, are hung, in shape and all of that shallow stuff people think gets them laid, I’m living proof that sometimes life is the one fucking you.

          • Before the above comment appeared, the ads at the end of the article were about how to get out of a car underwater and advice from a really old guy that runs marathons. Now they’re about testosterone boosters and male enhancement.

          • Let me get this straight, you are 30 years old, fit, good looking, rich, AND have a massive shlong? What are you bitching about?????

            Seriously tho, reading Miles Davis’ advice made my advice seem kind of awful. I don’t know you well enough to know if you are just having a hard time or if you have serious issues with depression, but if it’s the second one definitely go with Miles.

            You and I are actually kind of similar. I’m a 30 year old introvert who has no interest in getting to know 99% of the people out there. I do really value those connections I have been able to make however. I noticed you mentioned that your friends are too busy. I’m married now and one thing that is really different from when I was in my mid 20s is that before plans with my friends would materialize moments before we did whatever we did. These days if you want to see me you need to schedule that shit. I need at least 1-2 weeks notice if you are going to make plans with me. Make plans to see your friends, even if it seems like you are the one making all the effort. Maybe interacting with someone you actually like will help.

          • I don’t even know anymore, man. No offense and I appreciate all of the helpful words of support (this goes to everyone reading), but I’ve also heard and known all of this advice for awhile now, which is why I can only concede that if life isn’t willing to work with you, then you simply just can’t do anything about it. The thought that this is what my life will be and this series of bad fate might never pass, however, is terrifying. If this is the best my life is going to get, then I’m just not sure I would like to be part of it.

            Some people in this world are born to be tragic. I don’t think people like to hear that because we all like happy endings. You’re good people to help out a complete stranger on the Internet, but understand there is so much beyond our control.

          • So don’t write two paragraphs about why life isn’t fair?

          • No need to patronize me, man. It’s enough of a shit feeling that I’m sitting home at 11:57pm on NYE wasting my life on a Stereogum comments section wondering whether I should kill myself in the next 30 days or maybe I shouldn’t, but whatever, start the clock, start the car, close the garage door. I’ll just get it done with.

          • Michael_, I’ll suggest something that hasn’t been mentioned here yet: cognitive therapy in combination with medication. I’m not one of those “a pill for every problem” type of people, but we humans often forget that our feelings and thoughts result from electrochemical processes, and so an appropriate chemical intervention can be very helpful in some circumstances. From what you describe, you are in the throes of depression, and it can be hard to shake without some external guidance.

            I will say that anyone taking antidepressants should also work on their thought and belief patterns with a therapist. Friends and family are great to have, but many times in these cases, everyday folks (including us here) can’t say much beyond “It gets better” or “I’m here for support.” That’s great to have, but it’s also important to have a trained professional offer real guidance through dark times. Things will get better, and you can get through this, but don’t feel guilty about feeling powerless, overwhelmed, or tragic. That’s how severe depression works, but you can fight this with the help of a professional.

          • Medication and quacks don’t solve problems. Loneliness and bad luck is not something a pill can fix. Those just mask the actual issue and cause you to live a false life where you are not actually feeling the reality of the pain or seeing the problem — You’re just manipulated through chemicals or some person with a degree who doesn’t know a thing about you to not deal with them.

            No more advice, everyone. I really didn’t ask for it. Thank you, though.

          • Wasn’t trying to patronize. I was sitting on my ass doing nothing last night too. Just thought chit chatting might be a good distraction for you. Oh well, no promises but I’ll do my best to not get too into it with you in the future. I’ll be falling off again for a while soon anyways.

            Peace and Love

          • We could set up a Twitter list if any of you guys are on it

          • All of your hearts were in the right place.

          • Er… that Twitter suggestion was in reply to Luke but I hadn’t refreshed this page in a day and a half so now it looks really weird and like I am being insensitive to michael_! Maybe we should still do it anyway (Twitter list). I’ve got this dream that one day I go to America and all the people from the Stereogum comment section are there, and we all get a latte and a corndog or whatever you do in America. Oh well, Happy New Year!!!

        • Yes, sorry, my advice was unsolicited, so feel free to ignore if you wish.

          I do feel I should address your point about quackery though, if not for you, then for anyone else who could benefit from the info.

          It’s true that some approaches to therapy (particularly within the psychoanalytic tradition) are not evidence-based, and therefore can encourage quacks to make a profit off of other people’s pain. It’s also true that the pharmaceudical industry is a racket, and therapists can sometimes be trigger happy with regard to prescriptions.

          However, cognitive therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapies are based on empirical research on human cognition and behavior, and have a demonstrated efficacy. For instance, here are some peer-reviewed meta-analyses assessing efficacy:

          Improvement is not guaranteed of course, but there is a demonstrated statistical effect of cognitive treatment on depression. Informed decisions require good information, so I just wanted to put that out there.

          As for you michael_, do what you feel is best to hang on to your lust for life. Whether it’s focusing on the joy of music, or strengthening family connections, anything to emphasize connectedness and meaning.
          I’ll say once again that I’ve been down that road, and I know that you can pull through. Be well.

          • Michael I don’t have any particular advice for you, being 17 I haven’t had the chance to experience real emotional crises outside of typical teen angst. That said, I want to tell you that I enjoy your writing, both in your blog and on these boards. I enjoy reading someone who is as articulate and opinionated as yourself. Hope you pull through.

  6. Thanks for the read, Chris. I think if the average listener could understand the lyrics on Sunbather (not that I can), we’d be having a similar discussion about Deafheaven. It’s definitely worth listening to while reading all of the lyrics. Dreamhouse took a bit of a different meaning once realizing the final lyrics are a conversation:

    “I’m dying”
    - “Is it blissful?”
    “It’s like a dream”
    - “I want to dream”

  7. I loved Yeezus and love that we both look at it very differently. For me, Yeezus was an exercise in amplifying his inner thoughts and deciding if his essence alone can be masterful art. The arrangements were sparse, the lyrics jumbled but that was the point. It wasn’t thought out. He put his money that his totality alone is captivating enough to carry an album. Even his collaboration with Justin Vernon, a sort of nihilistic minimalist himself, shared that same mentality. I don’t know if I’d call Yeezus an album about death or mortality. His posturing is more than just self-loathing bluster. He left the choirs and soul samples and other qualities that make him accessible behind and bet big that his totality was enough to carry a record. He was right. That’s not fear that’s maniacal confidence.

  8. I feel extremely fortunate to have had that all immersive, non-being experience where the recognizable self dissolves and merges with the infinite and the peace that passeth all understanding and ecstasy beyond belief is felt. It was achieved (multiple times) through a combination of extreme focus, and complete loving surrender (to god? to the void? to infinity? pure human-created semantics). To me, that is the essence of what death/god/the answer is (loving surrender/ego death), and I spend a lot of my time trying to get back into that space. I have the very eastern belief that all suffering is attributed to the ego and to fulfilling the never-ending needs of the ego (which takes an infinite number of forms, and which I am completely enslaved and subject to like everyone else). The paraodixcal problem is that the ego is fully necessary for survival from the outset, and except for a very few dedicated individuals (or for those who get an easy, very brief taste via some chemical assistance), the only time you can expect to experience true bliss and peace is when the ego dies along with the body, because when the ego is there, there will never be any true peace. As for what happens after the body dies, I sure as heck don’t know, but reincarnation makes by far the most sense to me (though not necessarily confined to this planet/galaxy/universe, but possibly). Meditate. Screw your petty wants and needs. Life is such a shallow and worthless thing when you really get down to it, and memories and desires are nothing but sentimental illusion. The moment is all that’s real, so live in it if/when you can.

    Reading my beliefs I sound like such a douche, but when you get down to the true essence of any belief, it’s a very extreme thing, because all beliefs tie back to death and the nature of existence, which are not to be taken lightly (or are to be taken very lightly depending). #PARADOX

    • I also hold the ancient eastern belief that to not exist is to not suffer. But unfortunately I also hold the (western?) belief that life is not shallow or worthless.

      • Well in your opinon what’s the deeper (non-shallow) meaning, and how is life worthwhile? Just asking.

        I try to make use of it as much as I can and experience it as much as I can in its purest form (which is amazing), but really thinking about anything I can do externally that is of any real benefit in the long term just seems pointless and trivial as the whole ‘and you’re really only very small and life flows on within you and without you’ seems to loom pretty large in my life. Not that I don’t engage in pointless and trivial things all the time, I just really don’t see them as anything more than a waste of time and truly believe that meditation and complete spiritual awareness are the only aims really worth pursuing with the time we have while the mortal coil is infused with the small piece of light that keeps it going for the blink of an eye that is our existence. I do a good deal more (meditation) than most (4 hours a day, seriously, which coupled with full-time work leaves time for virtually nothing else during the week), but the fact that I’m here saying all this crap and engaging in a discussion on it via my ego proves my hypocrisy. Oh well. Luckily I’m really only very small and life flows on…

        • connections and relationships with other people don’t make like worthwhile to you?

          • I won’t lie and say they aren’t part of what keeps me sane and moderately fulfilled at this juncture, but I wouldn’t say that they make life worthwhile in and of themselves. Non-attachment is important, and putting your happiness in the hands of others is a dangerous game, because no one is perfect, and you set yourself up for lots of disappointment when you rely on things outside of your control to keep you fulfilled. It’s easy to find flaws with anything I say (especially what I say as it all borders on extremism) and with anything you say and I in no way in my callowness and immaturity profess to have all the answers, especially as I’m a slave to capitalism like every other North American and am getting while the getting’s good. I just feel like my life is on a good path toward awareness, understanding, and a semblance of peace, and as I cut away all the unneeded excess (which has proven to be a whole lot), the simpler things get, the easier it is to enjoy what little I have to the fullest extent possible. To me, knowing that I am heading toward a consciousness and awareness beyond what I have now and closer to the ‘ultimate’ makes it worthwhile at the moment.

          • You say you’re looking forward to a “consciousness and awareness,” but also that you’re looking forward to the moment your “ego dies.” I don’t mean to split hairs over semantics, but I would have thought that your ego was your consciousness and awareness. Isn’t Buddhism all about annihilation of the self, meaning annihilation of ego, consciousness and awareness (and also desire, suffering and a lot of other things)?

          • It kind of is semantics to me (words are never perfect and everyone has their own interpretation of them), but I’ll take the bait once again. I believe the ego and the veil of maya that obscures what’s really, truly there (e.g., what’s beyond the gross physical senses) are one and the same, and I think only by letting go of it (the ego) and moving beyond it to your true soul/essence that animates you and existed before your ego was formed by your experiences in life (and to some theorists, existed billions of years ago at the source of creation from whence all things came) can you attain anything approaching supreme awareness/consciousness (e.g., pure being/interbeing). I agree with Huxley’s ‘Doors of Perception’ interpretation that we can normally only experience a small fraction of what’s really there because, for survival purposes, everything we experience has been honed down to what’s absolutely necessary for survival, and everything else is extraneous nonsense from an envolutionary perspective.
            Any system/religion, eastern or western, teaches that deliverance/enlightenment/salvation/samadhi/moksha/ecstasy, etc. are found through giving up the ego/self and immersing yourself in either the care of a benevolent and omnipotent god, or in simply immersing yourself in something that is not you and your problems, desires and memories and fully surrendering and entrusting yourself to whatever that abstract concept is. I feel fortunate to have had what I believe to be direct experience of what ‘isness’ really is, and do not base my beliefs fully on blind faith/theory as I think direct experience is pretty invaluable and is certainly what motivates me to dedicate so much of my time/life to pursuing something greater than what society/culture promises us if we’re good boys and girls. However, I’m a puny human with a past I’m not proud and am forever atoning for/attempting to purge myself of, and a mind clouded by contradictions and with my spiritual aims at constant war with the grosser aims that nature reminds me of at every turn. I just feel that transcending this life and all its crappiness is possible, but it’s certainly at a cost, and certainly not encouraged by western society (and increasingly eastern society as well).

        • “Any system/religion, eastern or western, teaches that deliverance/enlightenment/salvation/samadhi/moksha/ecstasy, etc. are found through giving up the ego/self and immersing yourself in either the care of a benevolent and omnipotent god, or in simply immersing yourself in something that is not you and your problems, desires and memories and fully surrendering and entrusting yourself to whatever that abstract concept is.”

          That’s quite a sentence. So I gather from this that you see all spiritual and religious systems as eastern and more materialistic and anti-religious systems as western. You’re not equating the east with Buddhism and the west with the religions of the dessert, as is sometimes done. So the Buddhist message of transcendence through self-annihilation is analogous to the Christian message of transcendence through selfless love of God and one’s neighbor.

          While I agree that all religions are concerned with deliverance from the suffering that is caused by desire to an extent, I think one key difference between Christianity and Buddhism is that Buddhism offers deliverance from all desire, including (explicitly) the desire to be free from desire, whereas Christianity only offers deliverance from what Christianity calls sinful desires and the suffering that results from sinful desires. God given desires and the suffering that results from God given desires are good, and through that suffering and those desires we supposedly become more ourselves, or more the people that God intended us to be before the intervention of sin. In that sense, I believe Christianity intends to be ego strengthening, whereas Buddhism intends to be ego destroying. Again, ego can mean a lot of different things, so maybe my definition in this paragraph (ego as an awareness of authentic self) is not what you’re talking about at all.

          • I more or less agree with your analysis and your analysis of my analysis and the way you treat Buddhism and Christianity. I do stand by the belief that ego-strengthening, no matter how well-intentioned, will be of no help at the time of death as it increases attachment as it reinforces YOU, whereas ego destroying is pure, undistilled preparation for the end of ‘you’ which is impermanent and fleeting no matter how you look at it. I do think reincarnation is a fairly logical concept, and while it may be the same essence we carry from body to body, the ego is completely different and completely based on the computer program of our DNA being affected by random experience (physical and mental) and shaping us into what we are at this moment in time. Happy New Year, I’m out.

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  9. Touche Amore’s excellent 2013 record Is Survived By deals heavily with mortality. The realization with that record is that our own self-worth comes from who we are — and accepting who we are — instead of outside recognition. Great, great record.

  10. In regards to your words on Ezra, I’m sorry but this is a superimposed assumption rooted in stereotype. A well written article, but I completely disagree with its conclusions. Though he [Ezra] holds a certain detachment to the subject matters at times it doesn’t dilute the power of these songs. He’s approach and thesis statement on faith, God, is one rooted in a vast view of the world around him and all the confounding problems included within. Fingerback addresses middle-eastern conflicts. And both Obvious Bicycle and Hudson deal with joblessness and a faltering economic state. It may not be his, but I fail to see how that devalues the narrative. He’s been in the world long enough to know a few tales that reach beyond his so-called personal privilege and see a broader scope reaches outside the limited box writers like you continue to contain him in.

    • I never said the songs’ power was diluted or the narrative was devalued. I called it “the most beautiful, timely, resonant record I heard this year.” Ezra obviously offers a seasoned perspective; his songs wouldn’t be so rich and clever otherwise. My point about privilege is not that it disqualifies you to reflect on the nature of existence. I called myself a privileged person, so to write something like this would be hypocritical. The point is that when things have largely turned out OK for you in this life, it’s easier to conclude that whatever happens after death (if there’s anything) will turn out OK too. It’s easier to go hands-off and say “Let’s see what happens.” We all have to come down somewhere on the matter, and we need to realize that no decision is a decision in itself.

      • I value your ideas, and understand that I may have come off harsh and slightly misguided. I still feel it’s unnecessary to assert with absolution that Ezra’s imposed privilege delusions his perspective of the afterlife or the general outcome of life in general. As a plausibility perhaps – but there is little to suggest the small fragments of hopefulness, mostly contained in the closing, Young Lion, equate to, or are a result of, some false-utopia of upper middle-class cushiness, moderate strife and first-world problems.

        Conclusively hinging this on class negates the complexities of life for all who walk this earth and diminishes personal experiences, ideologies and theologies that reach beyond the scope of our parent’s bank-accounts and always having a roof over our heads.

        P.S. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  11. please quit it with the fking yeezus worship. it’s not that deep. it’s just payola and brainwashing.

  12. This comment section is too fucking deep for somebody who spent all of last night and a good proportion of this morning drinking brandy in the rain

  13. The paragraph on Modern Vampires reminded me of that episode of MTV’s True Life where the nerdy kid’s dad tries to console him over a rejected prom proposal by quoting a bunch of Billy Joel song titles.

  14. dooooo yoouu reaaalliiiizeeee

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