Friday, March 16, 2007

It's punk-fifteen in the morning...

Music is a huge part of my life. Everywhere I go, anything I do, I always have an internal soundtrack playing. A soundtrack that appears to have a library of every single song I've ever heard. Sometimes it's shit I don't even like or stopped listening to years ago, but for whatever reason, the soundtrack to my life feels like it's an appropriate time for it:

  • Meeting someone you immediately know you just can't fucking stand? Ugly Kid Joe has, and they Hate Everything About You.
  • Going out with a girl you don't even like and The Offspring is telling you about Self Esteem. Or God forbid you do like her, Puddle of Mudd starts whining about how much She Hates Me again.
  • Maybe you're breaking up for the third time this week, so Limp Bizkit chimes in with a George Michael cover, saying you've gotta have Faith or maybe just this time you gotta Break Stuff.
  • On those rare occasions when all seems to be right in the world, your old buddy Axl's got his arm around your shoulder agreeing how It's So Easy.

Over the past few weeks, as you know, I've been working on my Nicholl Fellowship submission - and the music that has been the most comfort and defining of this era in my life is punk. Which is ironic, because I wasn't listening to punk at the time.

Bad Religion, NOFX, Pennywise, Social Distortion, The Misfits, The Vandals, and Circle Jerks (to name a few) have been like old friends I've been reconnecting with these past few weeks as I struggle with this whole "writing thing."

Old friends that I have missed dearly.

There's something funny about punk. It's miserable, it's hateful, it's wild... yet, it's so honest and upbeat at the same time. It's like - Sure, I hate the world, I hate you, I want to kill you - but let's jump up and down and scream about it.

At the end of the day, my screenplay, the music, and all these experiences I've had have taught me one lesson that I guess I've always known deep down - misery motivates.

As Lester Bangs said:

"That's because we're uncool. And while women will always be a problem for us, most of the great art in the world is about that very same problem. Good-looking people don't have any spine. Their art never lasts.

Great art is about conflict and pain and guilt and longing and love disguised as sex, and sex disguised as love..."

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