More To Life?

Life

By Joshua Blake

Life. Let’s talk about it. It’s interesting, ain’t it? People always say things like “there’s so much more to life,” or “live life to the fullest.” When I was a kid I fought for acceptance from others – myself included. I’ve lost that ability in my early adulthood.

Maybe it’s because I got sick with Ulcerative Colitis two-and-a-half years ago. Maybe it’s because I’m waiting to get sick again – even though I’m not. Maybe it’s because of my mental illness. I’m starting to think it’s everything.combined into a cocktail of chaos inside of my mind.

I’m far from ordinary – complex beyond my own comprehension – and I feel as though I’m getting my old mojo back. Things are looking up for me as of now, which is great. I’ve finally come to a point in my life where I can say that – with determination, of course – that I know who I am and who I wanna be. I wanna pursue a career related to music – either becoming a music journalist for Rolling Stone or a working musician. Music flows through my veins like heroine does a junkie – without all of the side-effects. Although it is addictive, and that’s why I love it so. Music distracts me from my persistent anxiety and heart-stopping depression.

It also helps me deal with my Cerebral Palsy. I hate it so much and I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter – maybe I should write it out one-thousand times until I forget how to pronounce the condition. I should look at the brighter things life has to offer – like life itself. Being alive is pretty mind-blowing and the only destination in life, is death. The journey to that destination is what truly matters and it’s what gives each and everyone of us a purpose.

‘Inside Out’ Is More Than Just A Movie

Inside Out

By Joshua Blake

I can’t recall the last time I watched an animated movie in theaters, but Inside Out struck a chord with me that shall resonate for as long as I live.

Although that can probably go for anyone who watches this film. It’s an interesting concept, as Riley Anderson is born, and she has her first emotion at the site of her parents – Joy. However, Joy isn’t alone forever, as four other emotions join in.

Inside Out Characters

Riley Anderson

Disgust, Fear, Sadness, and Anger accompany Joy in controlling how Riley feels and acts via a control panel inside of her brain. Anytime an important event occurs in Riley’s life, a sphere emerges and is stored away in her memory – these important events are called “Core Memories,” and are part of what gives Riley her personality.

Certain memory spheres have certain colors depending on what the memory was. Red spheres represent angry memories, blue are sad, and so-on-and-so-forth. The interesting thing about this is that Sadness can affect the joyous memories permanently if she touches them.

The message of this film is clear: We have different emotions for different reasons, and they all work together to create the person you are and will become. You can’t always be happy – as Joy tried tirelessly to accomplish for Riley. You need Sadness to show people how you really feel, and to comfort others if they’re upset, too. You can’t always be afraid because you’ll never progress in life – or angry as you’ll make rash decisions.

I’d watch this movie again in a heartbeat. It really makes you wonder about how your emotions work, and how life isn’t always that complicated.

Why Song Lyric Sites Completely Suck

Lyric

By Joshua Blake

If you’re a fan of music like myself, you can’t help but have those agonizing moments where you occasionally miss what lyric was just sung. Your next course of action? Type in the song of your choice into Google with “lyrics” next to it, and become even more lost than you were before.

I was listening to “Hyperventilate” by Sixx:A.M. just a few minutes ago, and had that “What’d he just say?” moment, only to be consumed by confusion and anger.

How do song lyric websites continue to get hits if they’re consistently wrong? Listen to “Hyperventilate” and you be the judge.

Okay, now what did you hear?

This? Or what’s below it?

Hyperventilate lyrics #1

Hyperventilate lyrics

But wait, there’s more!

Hyperventilate lyrics #2

Hyperventilate Lyrics 2

The lyric site I went to – azlyrics.com – forgot to type out the last chorus, too. Metro Lyrics, Lyrics Box, and Lyrics Mania all got the lyrics wrong – even Google Play got it wrong.

Now, a possible explanation could be that the band made lyrical changes after the lyrics were printed on the CD and vinyl sleeves, however, the differences in those scenarios are minimal at best. Even so, all – if not most – song lyric sites have a “submit corrections” option. And it should really be up to the admins of those sites to make sure that everything’s correct the first time, but I digress.

Song lyric sites completely suck, and I feel obliged to correct their wrongdoings. Who’s with me?

Music Really Is My Story

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By Joshua Blake

It’s just about 3:00 a.m. here while I’m on vacation down in Florida, and I can’t help but think of the title to my blog – more importantly, what it means.

Music has played an integral role in shaping the person I’ve become even at this very moment in time. I believe it’s always given me piece from my mind’s consistent woes. Although I didn’t become the music addict that I am today until I was 14 or 15 years old, and everyone has their favorite bands for their reasons.

That’s when I discovered Guns N’ Roses for the first time, and they subsequently became my favorite band. I’ve watched their MTV concert from The Ritz in 1988 possibly a thousand times, and it still brings me back to the moment when I was 15 – I thank my father for that. “You’ve never heard ‘Nightrain’ or ‘Rocket Queen?'” he asked me.

Guns N’ Roses are the reason why I like Rock music. They inhibited free-will and freedom of expression – to the likes of which I’ve never seen until that day on YouTube watching that concert. I branched out to other artists, too, like Ozzy, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Mötley Crüe.

Mötley’s stuck with me, too, however. They are an extremely close second to Guns. Mötley Crüe is the anthithesis of what rock stars are – and what a rock band is. And I love their songs, and some of their lyrics are great. It’s why bassist Nikki Sixx is my idol – his lyrics can penetrate the depths of one’s mind. This especially comes out with his other band, Sixx:A.M. – where the lyrics are heartfelt and amazing.

Once my adolescent days were long gone and I was in college, I took a history of rock n roll class. That was so eye-opening to me – more over was the fact that rock was always being scrutinized by the general public. Elvis was too flashy – as was Little Richard – because of their performance abilities. Many artists back in the 50’s and 60’s were gay, and rock music was their escape from a judgemental society – especially back then.

You don’t see that judgement in music so much anymore, but different still scares others. Lorde is amazingly talented, and some people don’t understand her. It’s because she speaks her mind and doesn’t care about what society says – that’s about as rock n roll as you can get.

Lady Gaga’s like that, too. She’s always been talented – and different – while pushing boundaries. I have great admiration and respect for her. I wouldn’t of said that five or six years ago, but as a musician and a writer myself, I respect so many other artists now. I love words and the way they can sink into your skin. But I always seem to find that untapped, uncanny ability to make people second guess themselves in rock music.

PVRIS is my go-to band at the moment. Lyndsey Gunnulfsen is a thought-provoking writer. This girl is 21-years-old, and she just fucking hits you like a ton-of-bricks. “You give me something to think about that’s not the shit in my head. You’re a miracle.” She sings in the chorus of “St. Patrick.” It’s a song about love and the impact someone can have on us and our thoughts – and how people give us comfort.

“I’m watching, I’m waiting, I’m aching, suffocating. I’m breathing, I’m speaking. Can you hear me? I’m screaming for you,” she sings in “White Noise.”  The level of emotion  in her voice as soothing as it is heartbreaking.

There’s just something about music that is so relatable to how you feel, and each of us have our own taste in music that tells our story. What type of music speaks to you?

Thinking Of You

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By Joshua Blake

Thinking Of You:

The thought of you is runnin’ through my veins.
Give me a sign and quit playin’ these damn games.
I want you here right in front of my eyes.
Please help my break my boundless ties.

It seems I’ll have to wait just a little bit longer.
Love, can you heal my soul and make it even stronger?
If so, tell me now – tell me please!
Tell me as I pray on my shattered knees.

I wanna hold your hand for as long as I can.
Maybe then, I’ll finally become what’s called a man.
Just hold me close for as long as you wish.
Love, please don’t hit me with your kindred fist.

Vince Vaughn: He’s Crazy

Screenshot 2015-06-02 at 12.52.53 PM

Screenshot 2015-06-02 at 2.41.45 PM

By Joshua Blake

Cue the Facebook statuses, shares, and likes – the tweets, news reports, and useless blogs posts – Vince Vaughn is fucking crazy.

Jonathan Heaf of GQ Magazine wrote a Q&A with the notorious actor – which is currently shown as a preview online – showcasing just how crazy Vince Vaughn really is.

“Edward Snowden is a hero,” says Vaughn. Since Snowden “gave information to the American people,” he’s not a traitor. Vaughn’s version of treason entails selling secrets to the enemy – which is why Snowden fled to Hong Kong, China, to tell the South China Morning Post that there were more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, with hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Vaughn then delves into the right of gun-ownership in America. “I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home,” says Vaughn. Although when a child or teen is killed by a firearm, the gun that killed them comes from their own home fully 72 percent of the time.

Homicide is the second-leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds. Michelle Castillo of CBS News wrote an amazing piece about U.S. life expectancy is the lowest among wealthy nations due to disease and violence. Americans suffer more violent deaths compared to other countries because of large firearm possession. We have the highest rate of gun-ownership in the world. On top of this, we are below-average in infant mortality, low birth weight, homicide, teen pregnacy, STI’s, HIV, and AIDS. But we’re still number one, right?

Vaughn says “In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these fucking schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds.”  He also says that shootings happen where guns aren’t allowed. There are 89 civilian-owned firearms for every 100 Americans and Vince Vaughn believes guns should be allowed in schools – even though there’s about 300 shootings a day, 89 deaths and children are 100 times more likely to be murdered outside of school than at school,

Mental illness is an excuse that just dances around the actual issue, too. “Some mass shooters have mental illness,” says Dewey G. Cornell – a forensic clinical psychologist at the University of Virginia – who wrote a column for  The Washington Post. “Most do not. Mental illness is a term reserved for the most severe mental disorders where the person has severe symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations.”

“Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat,” says Vaughn. No, no it’s not. And to be clear, nobody has once mentioned banning guns. We’ve tried it with prohibition, and people lost their shit. Tell me I’m wrong, but has President Obama ever addressed the nation saying “Good evening my fellow Americans. I am talking to you all tonight, to inform you that I will be enacting a ban on all firearms. My decision in this matter was clear: people are no longer fat since I’ve banned forks and there will be no more gun-related deaths, because they will be banned. America is – from this moment forth – a Monarchy, and I am King Obama. God bless you, and God bless the United States.”