Hi everyone! I haven’t done a blog in a while of just me being personal and talking about my life, and this blog should be personal! Some day, someone’s going to enjoy reading it, I’m sure… So! I’m feeling very calm tonight, which is a good thing, because my life has been somewhat hectic over the last couple of weeks, due to what I shall only refer to as “family issues” in the interest of being vague enough not to name names. But for the moment, things seem to be pretty calm. I didn’t have to work today, which actually isn’t a good thing, but because I am lazy, I enjoy having off days; even though most of my days are off days since my job isn’t an official one. I did make a decent amount of money, or at least decent in comparison to what I usually make working for my mother.
I’ve bought two new CDs, and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on here yet but I pretty much put a stop to my CD horading habit (or at least cut down the current hoard), and I did it in stages. First, I took my entire collection, which consisted of CDs I’d bought bought in store, online, and secondhand, and seperated what I felt was essential to keep from what wasn’t. The fact is, I had (I technically still have them, but I’d like to find some way to get rid of a lot of them, preferably at some profit) at least 50 CDs, and I only really enjoyed about 10. I mentioned that I did this in stages, and not because I decided to do it that way, but because this was an unhealthy collecting habit that wasn’t really doing me much good and I was slowly breaking away from it without really realizing it. First, I took from the collection nearly all the CDs I’d bought “secondhand,” i.e. from the thrift store/”yard sale” place. Then I removed from the collection the CD singles, which consisted of 4 Lady Gaga singles and remix EPs, Paramore’s CD single for Ignorance, and Glee’s CD single for Don’t Stop Beleivin’. Then I laid out all of the remaining albums and decided which ones I really liked, and which ones I didn’t. That eventually became me deciding on CDs from four or five bands that I wanted to keep, and pretty much no others. Ultimately, the My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Imogen Heap, and Evanescnence albums stayed, the Fall Out Boy albums stayed (with the possible exception of their Greatest Hits collection, which I don’t particularly like), my new Tori Amos Collection, Tales of a Librarian stayed, and there are a few that are on shakey ground and may or may not remain: albums from Frou Frou, The Hush Sound, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Madonna, The Used, Relient K, and the Nightmare Revisited compilation. I also decided to put Lady Gaga’s The Fame away as a keepsake rather than display it: the “Lady Gaga” period of 2009 lasted from about May to December, and during this time I spent much of my life obsessing over Lady Gaga, being numb and uncreative, confused, and without much faith or hope. I didn’t realize how bad off I was then, but I know now how bad it was. However, because I do enjoy the memories attached to the time at which I first bought the album (near my birthday), I decided to keep it as a keepsake, but upon writing this, I think getting rid of it might still be a good idea. I kept The Fame Monster, it’s a nice album and it conveniently contains the contents of The Fame on disc 2, so I get to have my cake (no more The Fame on the shelf), and eat it too (the music is still there, but packaged in such a way that it doesn’t illicit bad memories).
I will only touch on this briefly, mostly because this area of life scares me: it seems that a lot of musicians have been coming under scrutiny lately for including perceived symbolism in their music, music videos, dances, etc. These people are talked about as being “Illuminati puppets.” I don’t really want to know much about this, because religion scares me, and the symbolism associated with this topic has to do with religion. I did read an article describing Gaga’s perceived symbolism, and though I found some of it to be legitimate observation and some of it a bit farfetched, I think it’s possible that the “symbolism” used in Lady Gaga’s music and music videos is just her own form of art; i.e. it’s symbolic of things that pertain only to her, or the themes and contents of her music videos are things that have special meaning to her personally or represent whatever she wants to represent. For instance, if you wanted to pick out all of the things in one of her music videos that seemed “random” or “unusual,” you could probably attach any kind of symbolism to it, after all, just about everything has been used as a religious or ritualistic symbol at some point. The only thing about the article that really stood out to me, and is the reason why I include it now, is that it said that the central theme of her music seems to be mind control. Her name, themes, images, lyrics, videos and music being things that represent numbness, hypnosis, empty-headedness, and mind control.
I just mentioned the “Lady Gaga phase” of last year, and honeslty, those were the things that I felt. I felt that there was something drawing me to her, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I felt that there was something unique about her, but I had no idea what it was. Everything about her was vague and shapeless, and I felt numb, hypnotised, and possessed by her. I didn’t just invent those feelings after reading that article, it’s almost an exact description of the way I handled her music. I still don’t know what it is about Gaga that seems to sometimes draw me to her: are her performances based on shock value? Do they have some deeper meaning? If they art artistic, then they probably only have meaning to her, and while that is still definitely art, there’s something about her that is inaccessible. She’s a conundrum. For about 7 months, I listened to one album constantly, an album in which I only really enjoyed one, maybe two songs. But all that I could do was watch Lady Gaga performances, play Lady Gaga songs, and through it all I felt completely devoid of inspiration and creativity. She seems to do her best to be creative, but the effect it had on me wasn’t that it made me more creative, it sucked every bit of creativity right out of me. I think 2009 would have been a much better year if I hadn’t been so hooked on The Fame.
Of course, I would not go so far as to say that The Fame actually is actually mind controlling, or Lady Gaga, nor would I say that I could blame my own personal shortcomings on a pop star I don’t know, or say that my life was so profoundly affected in a bad way by an album I chose to listen to, when no one was forcing me to. I like to keep an open mind, and consider things. If you think you hear me make judgement on someone, I’m most likely expressing something I feel could be a possibility. While conspiracy theories are silly, this conspiracy theory just happened to mention mind-controlled hypnotic numbness and lack of feeling, which is exactly the way I felt for 7 months, and about which I’d never felt because of any other musician in my life.
Of course, I do have a tendency to be obsessive. It’s in my nature, and it’s a part of who I am. I move from musician to musician, video game to video game, television show to television show, obsessing over them as I go along, allowing them to become a cornerstone in my life and direct my attention. Perhaps each of those obsessions to some degree gives the obsessor a level of detached numbness, as I’ve experienced plenty of times before, but perhaps with Lady Gaga, the sheer lunacy of it all, or some key ingredient in the formula of her music and performance sucked the emotion right out of me. I don’t know, and all of this sounds very strange and abstract, I don’t want to act as though I could blame a bad period in my life on something I chose to do, but I know that Gaga-obsessed part of my life was a really bad one.
And that’s that. Moving on.
I did finally break down and download some Tori Amos albums: Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink in their entirety (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I’ve been kicking myself for not buying Under the Pink when I found not one, but two perfect condition copies of the album in the thrift store, along with a copy of the Crucify EP). Tales of a Librarian was actually a really bad place for me to start, for me personally the album is random and puts the songs together in a way that I think makes all of them less appealing. Great songs like Way Down and Mr. Zebra are completely out of place here, and honestly, all of the songs are out of place. They belong on their respective albums, and I don’t think they blend together well here at all. Furthermore, though the songs are remastered on the album, they seem to be very badly remastered. For instance, Cornflake Girl sounds a lot better on Under the Pink. The general quality and volume of the song may be lower than the remastered version, but in the remastered Tales of a Librarian version, the layers all seem to be out of place: the lyrics of the bridge are almost impossible to understand because the background vocals are overpowering the main bridge vocals; from the very beginning of the song, the music doesn’t seem to flow nearly as well as the original version, something about the way the layers were all perfectly where they needed to be is ruined in the remastered version. The weird random tracklisting combined with the bad remastering just ruins this album, which on the surface is beautifully formatted and wonderfully packaged. Cornflake Girl is the best example of bad remastering, or at least remastering that isn’t completely true to the original; I’m not sure if the other songs are that bad, but this leads me to believe that listening to originals rather than remastered versions of songs is probably a better way to go. It seems like the songs that are presented on the iTunes digital albums are remastered versions as well, even on the older albums, for instance I downlaoded the Crucify EP, and the version of Smells Like Teen Spirit I have sounds like lower quality than the one on iTunes. This could be that I downloaded a lower quality version, often with downlaoded songs the quality is greatly diminished or destroyed, but nontheless iTunes could be changing the songs when they’re added to a musicians catalogue.
I wonder if I sound to you as cryptic and confusing as I do in my head right now, writing this.
That Illuminati Lady Gaga explenation really makes all of her randomness make sense, doesn’t it? At least it gives it all some meaning, something tangible you can put your finger on. Then at least it presents a clear message, something you can grasp, rather than a vague, blurry, formless shape. And even if she was using all of this supposed symbolism, so what? It’s not like it would make her music suddenly “evil” or anything. As an open-minded person, and especially as a person who’s so dissapointed with the actions and opinions of the Christian church as a whole, I shouldn’t be approaching this from a standpoint of fear, or judgement; and honestly, I don’t want much to do with any other religions either. I want to have my own personal relationship with God, and leave it at that. I don’t want to preach any gospels or try and convert people, I don’t want to join a church or really even go to a church, because other people can’t tell me what my own personal relationship with anyone, much less my supreme omniscient God is going to be like. Really, the whole idea of church is ridiculous. What is “fellowship”? What can a preacher really “teach” you? They’re just giving you their own interpretation of the Bible, or someone elses interpretation. And the Bible itself is just an interpretation, it was written by people, people who are capable of human error.
Besides, the modern Bible is apparently just a selection of books put together by the Catholic church a long time ago, consisting of the books they felt were the best to show people, and we’ve seen how manipulative they can be, so why would modern day Christians put their trust in something handed down from the Catholics? Especially since from what I understand, the people who came to America seeking freedom of religion were attempting to escape from the Church of England, which was just a copy of the Catholic church without the pope. I realize that a lot of my facts could be wrong here, but if they’re correct, I think my questions still stand.
The mind-control thing just stuck with me because feeling the way I felt back during my “Lady Gaga phase” is something I’m kind of afraid of and wouldn’t want to repeat. But now I know that if I just stay focused on who and what is really important my life, I’ll be fine.
So, there you have it, some of my thoughts. I’m getting tired, and when I get tired things start to become a lot less coherent, so I think I should be going now. Goodnight everyone, have a blessed etc. etc.