writing

The Mourning Song

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This is a fictional essay inspired by current events. If you are concerned about my mental state, I promise I am doing well. Inspiration strikes in weird ways, and I felt I needed to write this.

TRIGGER WARNING: This essay mentions depression and suicide. If these things have negative impacts on your mental state, please do not continue reading.

The Mourning Song 

© Joana F. Simoes 2017

In Honor and in memory of all those that gave us something to hold onto in our darkest moments, but could no longer fight for themselves. We miss you.

 

 It is not poetic this morning that the rain is coming down harder than it has all year. It is not romantic or cozy today that even with all the windows wide open, the clouds and the pouring rain aren’t allowing much light to shine through. I imagine this is what my head looks like right now. I want to let all the light and brightness to come in, but something just does not allow it. I would turn to my favorite singer’s voice and lyrics, but it’s too hard.

Last night as I scrolled through my phone, as one does to pass the time these days, I started to see little trickles of news that were less than appealing to me. Also not exactly a shocker at the moment, but it was something harder to believe. This had to be some kind of hoax. He could not be dead. As time passed it was harder to ignore. News agencies all around the world were reporting it now. He died. My heart turned to stone and instantly dropped out of my body.

People take a lot away from teens, and their emotions. They chalk it up to hormones, and body changes, but for some it’s deeper than that and their feelings still go ignored. This is why as a teen I turned to his music. His voice, his melodies, and his powerful words were the stable ground I had to walk on when everything else seemed to be crumbling underneath my feet. As an adult it was still a coping mechanism and the most powerful tool I had in my arsenal.

He died, because he lost his fight with depression. I don’t like to say he committed suicide. The only thing he committed was a life of putting forth strong and powerful music that somehow saved so many lives without him realizing it. The battle with depression is a hard and treacherous one. It deceives even the most pure souls into believing they have nothing left to give to this world. It will make a great day turn to dust in a split second, and you cannot reason with it, you cannot negotiate with it.

I am having a hard time this morning. I am ignoring my medication, which I should never do. I am ignoring all the things I have learned from my therapist about what I should be doing to get myself out of bed and into the day. He has left this big black hole in my soul, and I don’t know how to fill it. Am I worthy to be here if he was not? How many people in the world are feeling the exact same way?

People have been writing online that mourning a rockstar’s death when there are other important things happening in the world is a waste of time. I don’t accept that at all. If people knew or felt a quarter of what some of us feel when we hear a certain song or watch a movie that makes us laugh deeper than we have laughed in ages, they would get it. They would understand that not only do these people deserve to be mourned; they deserve respect, our love, and attention.

That was the moment that it hit me. Maybe he would no longer create music that could bring meaning to my dark days, but all the music he’s already created will always be a part of me. I am doing myself and his memory a disservice by ignoring all the steps forward I have taken, that his music had helped me make in the past.

I get up take my medicine. Give my depression the care and love that any other illness requires and demands.

I put on one of his records and let the words and music roll over me, blanket me in comfort. This is a song like no other, but today it is the mourning song.

 

 

Metal, Metal Monday

Metal Monday -Not All Press, is Good Press

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Mic check…One, Two…

Are you all paying attention now? Good!

I don’t post as much as I would like on Metal Mondays, and this particular topic I debated whether or not I wanted to post it at all. I already said a quick word on it on my personal Facebook, but there’s just something about this that rubs me the wrong way. For most of you who know me, you know I am heavily opinionated and quite unapologetic, when I get a thought and an emotion attached to it, I am a freight train, and you either hop on, or fuck off right out of the way. So here’s what I want to write. Call it an open letter if you’d like.

Yesterday there was a post from Blabbermouth that kept popping up on my newsfeed. I tried to ignore it, but then felt this weird feeling in the back of my mind, call it my spidey sense, and I needed to speak out. The post in question was an interview done with Rob Hakemo who is the bassist of The Resistance. Never heard of him? No worries, that’s okay. In the interview he blasted Jesper Strömblad’s addiction problems out into the public, and not only that but went as far as saying that Jesper saved the band by quitting.

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This in itself is pretty funny, not that he said those things–I will get to that in a minute–but essentially he makes this loud and proud statement that the band was saved by Jesper quitting, meanwhile he just crapped all over his chances of being respected and by association his band’s chances.

I met Jesper back in 2008 when he was still in In Flames. He was quiet but kind. I do not know him on a super personal level, so I am not writing this in honor of an old friendship, but indeed as a matter of respect. It is somewhat common knowledge that Jesper indeed has had his battles with alcoholism, BUT my problem with Mr.Hakemo going on record about these things is that, it is not his story to tell. Not only that but how believable of a source is he when he just goes on and on about it like a gossiping 16 year old girl? The line that honestly made me want to punch him in the face was:

“So he’s an alcoholic or drug addict. I think he doesn’t want to go sober.”

Did no one else feel a problem with this statement?  His entire statement stands on two assumptions. “I think” isn’t a credible line to be printing. Especially following such a line of thought. Someone also mentioned to me that maybe he was being lead to answer with these statements. I say that someone who has even the slightest bit of common sense would know that saying NOTHING is also an option.

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To get a bit more personal about it, and why this infuriated me, I know what alcoholism does to a person. I’ve seen it firsthand on more than one occasion, with people who I love dearly. Had anyone tried to talk shit about their struggles, I would probably rip them apart. Whether or not Jesper is sober and clean at the moment, I can’t say because I truly don’t know. Mainly because it is none of my business. The truth is that addiction is a long battle. It is up and down all the time. Addiction coupled with depression, is virtually one of the hardest mountains a person can try to climb. But these struggles, these demons are VERY VERY personal ones. To go on record, and talk straight out of your ass about someone and have it posted on the internet is the lowest of the low. YOU JUST DON’T FUCKING DO THAT. Honestly I can’t believe we even need to have this conversation.

Here’s the real message I have though. If for some reason you thought throwing Jesper under the bus would have people talking about The Resistance, then well you’re correct on that point, BUT if you thought this was going to be a good thing for the band, and people would be running around trying to listen to the music, just gotta tell ya…”You shot that horse in the face” Personally if I didn’t really bother to listen to the band before, I am certainly not going to bother with it now. You made yourself and the entire band look like a bunch of tools.This isn’t the hall of a school where people will point and whisper about others. You put your livelihood on the line by opening your mouth.

I honestly think Jesper deserves an official apology. There are lines and boundaries you don’t cross. Telling someone’s problems, or in this case Supposed problems out into a public forum, is a big NO NO. I am guessing you don’t really have anyone guiding you through the ins and outs of press. Well let me guide you then, STOP TALKING.

Like I said before, you probably don’t know who Rob Hakemo is, and at this point, no one is going to want to know him. Good luck digging yourself out of this shit storm sir.

 

Coffee & Rant

Coffee & Rant – Stop Being a Snob

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On this installment of my coffee & rant posts, I talk about snobs. You know who I am talking about. The people who think their choices in what they eat, drink, read, and listen to, are better than your choices. You know one. You possibly know a bunch of them. Well I am here to say: STOP BEING A SNOB!

NOTE: This indeed is a rant. I drop F bombs a few times, if you’re pure like a unicorn and can’t take it, Walk away now.

Here’s why I get irritated by the snobbery from people. What someone chooses to do with their free time, and frankly their god damn digestive system, has ZERO effect on your life. Honestly I know you can come back and say well “the mass consumption of this, that and the other is ruining…” Shut the fuck up. I will reiterate this for you, it has ZERO effect on your life. Take coffee drinking for instance, yes I have found many other places I enjoy more than Starbucks here, but once in a while if I want to walk into Starbucks and drink a frothy drink with 1000 calories, how is that any of your business? I am not chaining you down and making YOU drink it am I? But NOOOOO, the coffee snob is going to come in and rant “How can you drink that? I only drink coffee beans that have been partially digested by an Asian Palm Civet.”

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I have dealt with snobs a lot, because the Metal community tends to have a lot of them. Only their underground bands that no one listens to are real metal, and your love for (Insert Moderately Popular Band Name Here) makes you a poser. I already did an entire post about people whining about a band not being metal enough, so I won’t bitch about it right now, but again, What I listen to, isn’t going to make your world stop turning. Your heart isn’t going to stop, you won’t hear it if you don’t want to, so let me listen to whatever the hell I want, and you listen to your underground bands, but stop judging me for this shit. Stop judging people in general.

Which brings me to the book community. I actually really love this community because they are way less judgmental about what people choose to read, but the readers who are outside of this online book community tend to piss me off. Especially the adults. So the fuck what if I read Young Adult Books, Kids books, or anything else that you seem to deem unworthy? When people complain about popular novels…I’m sorry, did we have a freaky friday moment, and suddenly everything I read is being absorbed by your brain? NO? Then, silence! I will admit that I turned into a slight snob about people reading 50 Shades of Grey, but at the end of the day read whatever the hell you want. I read comic books too, and I am sure there are plenty of people who find that juvenile and stupid. Well good for you that you don’t know how to have fun, but I enjoy it immensely. I get it, you’re a pseudo intellectual who only reads classic novels written by dead white guys, but I don’t care what you read, just don’t try to pin point me as an idiot because I like to read many different things. Don’t think because I have a mass amount of Harry Potter books and collectibles that I am somehow less intelligent than you. I can tie my shoes and count to three, go fuck yourself. I work hard, so if I want I will play hard. That has no lasting effect on your life, other than those five minutes that you get worked up over what I am doing, but that’s on you. I will continue to do whatever I want.

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I get it, you snobs love to feel special, smart, and unique. You love to think so highly of yourselves that you can’t take the time to just let people simply enjoy the things they love. Well continue on your pretentious little lonely path, I will be over here, having fun.

My coffee is cold, see ya later!!

 

Books, life

Music Monday – Book Soundtrack

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Well well well, look what we have here…it’s another Book Soundtrack! I missed last weeks Music Monday, but here I am again. This time with a different book and three different songs that remind me of the book, or that I find the lyrics quite fitting to the story. Let’s jump into this week’s book!

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

We don’t need to talk about my love for this book or this entire series right? I believe it is quite clear what my feelings are by now. Here are three songs that I can connect to this lovely story and series.

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The Mundane and the Magic by Dark Tranquillity 

Oh another one of my favorite bands, and yes they’re Swedish. The title of this song is really why I picked it for this Book Soundtrack, but it is also a song that I listen to quite often while reading. Each time it comes on, no matter what I am reading, my thoughts always crawl back to Harry Potter. You know magic and muggles and what keeps them separate. 

Apply layers to reality
Things only you can see
Add a beat to normality
To tap the core of insanity

I let my dreams cross over
To days of endless grey
If I could merge the mundane and the magic
We’d forge the new unknown

The Future is Dark by Moonspell

I could probably use Moonspell every week. I not only love their music, but I LOVE their lyrics. They tell a story on their own, but I chose this particular song because it has a dark theme, and Harry Potter also has quite the dark underlying themes. I don’t really know how the band would feel about me connecting their song to Harry Potter, but it’s just how my mind works. No apologies here.

Gotta breathe in, gotta breathe out
Up on your feet, gotta think twice
The future is dark, the future is vile
Without you there’s no tomorrow

In Loving Memory by Alter Bridge

This song, well this song usually makes me cry. It’s a very sweet and emotional song about missing someone who has passed away. The opening words definitely make me feel all kinds of emotions, and it feels like the perfect song for Harry. He has never known his parents, but he misses them daily. He misses and he wonders what his life would be like. There’s an emptiness there for him, that is hard to fill. This song makes me think of that aspect of Harry’s life.

Thanks for all you’ve done
I’ve missed you for so long
I can’t believe you’re gone
You still live in me
I feel you in the wind
You guide me constantly

So there you are, my second book soundtrack and three more songs that I definitely recommend you check out!!

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Books, Uncategorized

Music Monday-Book Soundtrack

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I am making this my new theme, I thought about using the “Metal Monday” slogan as the theme, but quickly realized that I wouldn’t always have a metal song to go with a book. While I love metal music, and it is indeed my favorite, I also listen to plenty of other stuff. So this is the first in a series of posts where I will write about a book I have read, and then write down 3 songs that I think people should check out, as it reminds me of the characters or the book itself. Let’s check out our first three!!

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Bard’s Song by Blind Guardian

I only recently realized at a live show for Blind Guardian,that when they play The Bard’s Song that I instantly think of this book and of course it’s follow up The Wise Man’s Fear. I love Blind Guardian and their music is heavily influenced by some of the most wonderful fantasy books out there. This very song was influenced by something else, but my head automatically clicks on this series. I enjoy listening to Blind Guardian when I am trying to imagine my own fantasy worlds for my stories. This may not be your cup of tea, but I think anyone who loves the idea of a Bard, and loves fantasy stories of epic adventures and dragons, should give their music a shot. I sometimes feel transported to a whole new world while listening to their music.

“There’s only one song
Left in my mind
Tales of a brave man
Who lived far from here
Now the bard songs are over
And it’s time to leave
No one should ask you for the name
Of the one
Who tells the story”

Everything’s Gone by In Flames

This probably has more to do with the fact that In Flames is my favorite band, and I could probably connect a song to everything I read, but If you know the main character Kvothe and his story, I think you will find that the lyrics of this particular song can also connect quite well to his story. It instantly popped into my mind when I listened to it. Just another band for you to check out.

“Where I have nothing
There’s no hate
Room to breathe
No envy and nothing to lose

I’m the one
Who brought the mountain down
Tore it piece by piece… Down
Everything’s gone”

The Mason by Wovenwar

I chose this song because the chorus is another part that just instantly makes me think of Kvothe telling his story. Of all the things he’s been through, and how exactly he managed to deal with everything. Granted the third book in this series is still not released so who knows the fate of our red headed hero, but I think this song’s chorus just makes me think of him.

“And I, I have caved in, again
But I, I’m building from the wreckage

We bend, we break, we’re forced to heal
The toll it takes in time revealed”

So there you have it, my very first book soundtrack post. Make sure to come back every Monday for another book, and three more songs you can check out!!

MATG

Metal Monday

Metal Monday – In Amerika Rammstein DVD

In Amerika Dvd

METAL MONDAY!!!

I need to do these more often, but I am pretty deeply consumed by books haha

But on this glorious Metal Monday, I have decided to write about Rammstein’s DVD In Amerika. Rammstein is still the greatest live show I have ever seen. It is loud, there’s fire everywhere, there’s all kinds of theatrics, and you want to know the very best part about this band and their shows? They don’t give a SHIT what you think of them. They are in your face and completely unabashed.

I already watched the documentary portion of this DVD, and even though it seems a bit long, it is also really well done and quite interesting. The way this band has climbed to popularity in the USA is quite amazing. The DVD shows their story of making it in Amerika, and the live show is from their performance in Madison Square Garden in 2010, about a decade after their previous show on American soil.

I think anyone with any remote interest in this band should seriously check this dvd out, and do NOT skip over the documentary portion of it. You get to know a lot about their experiences in the USA and exactly how they became so popular.

I am yet to see the live show portion of the DVD but I already know how awesome it will be. Go pick this up now!!

Metal, Metal Monday

You’re Not Metal Enough – Metal Monday

I spent a lot of time since I was about 12 being introduced to different bands in the Metal genre. It slowly crawled into my life, and suddenly it took over. It has been the kind of music that I most listen to. I love the metal community. I think they’re some of the most passionate people on this planet. Some of the best people who are a part of my life in one way or another came through because of bands I love.

Take the band In Flames for instance, if I never listened to them, and became such a big fan, there are so many people that wouldn’t be a part of my world at the moment, that just the thought kind of makes my heart hurt.

Taken by Neil Lim Sang
Taken by Neil Lim Sang

But I have a problem with the metal community as well, and that problem is the idea or the inclination that someone or a band is not “metal enough” for this reason or the other. I can describe in detail the number of times I have had these discussions. I can also talk about the times that local bands felt the need to talk shit about known bands on public forums. Even if you are the ULTIMATE local act, you are still at the bottom of the barrel in the grand scheme of things, and should just be respectful of other bands. You don’t have to love everything that is released but you don’t have to be a dick about it either. Especially if you are on the hunt to get a record deal or jump on a tour. It is common sense, and common courtesy.

As an In Flames fan, I have heard all the little fanboys get their panties in a knot about the direction of their sound. Again, you don’t have to like it. The band likes the music they are making, plenty of fans who have been around for more than a decade (raises hand) like the new music as much as the old, but if you don’t like it, stop wasting your time and your breath being a disrespectful prick about it. At the end of the day, NO ONE CARES. You are whining and speaking into the void.I will forever remember when A Sense of Purpose was released, actually even before release when the artwork was revealed and some people had a downright conniption over how colorful the artwork was, and how it wasn’t “metal” at all.

All the colors of the rainbow!!!
All the colors of the rainbow!!!

This is starting to happen with other bands as well that I enjoy. Moonspell’s new album had a lot of fans up in arms saying that the sound isn’t metal, or that it’s too soft. More recently Trivium released new songs that have some of their “fans” ticked off. Here’s where I can’t really understand these people nor will I ever understand:

You do not have to like everything a band releases. You should on the other hand want to be a decent human being. Something that seems to be quite rare these days. You can say “nice job, not really my thing, but congrats!” or say nothing at all. (that is your best option really) There are plenty of bands I never listen to, bands I don’t particularly like, but I don’t go out of my way to voice those opinions. What’s the use? The only person that would look like an absolute tool, is me. I know most guys in these metal bands DO NOT just listen to Metal. They listen to so much different shit. Keep an open mind, it will get you further in life.

I mean I get this thrown at me at times too. I listen to a lot of different music. Basically it looks like a record store puked into my iPod, but I prefer heavy riffs and metal songs. I have been called a poser. I have been told I am not Metal enough. To those I say, I have stepped onto the stage of Wacken Open Air and looked out into the crowd. I have met some bands, and been to shows all over different countries. I don’t give a shit, if you think I am Metal enough or not. I have experienced things you will never even see, and normally I am humble, but you want to know why these things will never come your way?

Wacken can you hear them?!
Wacken can you hear them?!

NO ONE likes someone with a crap attitude. NO ONE will take your band seriously if you spend most of your time talking shit about bands that have done 100 times more than you. You know what’s not metal at all? Whining like a fourth grader.

That’s not metal.

Enough.

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