Category: Music

Lyrics of the Month: September 2016

Stumbling drunk off a bus downtown
You’ve got it bad for the system
‘Cause you know it let you down
You see the marks on the whores
And the dimes they lent you
And your paranoia soars
On the wings of your dementia

Without a system that compels
The growth of human compassion
Its a face that will never change
Nobody’s well when even one soul suffers
We’re bound by circumstances
We can’t dissarrange
Does shame prevent you
From engaging in the indigents struggle

Just filling up a vacancy
With nothing new to live for
When I was young and naive
I believed I could be so much more
Out of touch with a world
That never cared or knew me
More dead than alive
when you stare right through me

Its a face that will never, never change
never change
You could be the one
With your hand held out

Good Riddance, Bound By Ties of Blood and Affection, Shame, Rights & Privilege

Ten Years

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It is ten years to the day that I started writing Balls of Rice.

If you read from the painfully embarassing first post, to the lost and meandering most recent post, you’d see how I went from proud flag-loving Canadian to dissident anarchist-in-training. You can see a public journal of mental health. Ten years later I still don’t know why I write, still don’t know what I’m doing with my life, still eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches for supper. All I know is that Balls of Rice has both saved my life and ruined it.

Naturally, the only posts worth reading were written in the last four years. The six years before that was trial and error, with more error than anything. These days there is less trial and about the same amount of error. The list below is not a list of the best writings, because reading over every single post could only end in crushing depression. But these ones are alright, I think.

Thanks to whoever has read this in the past decade for the encouragement. If it weren’t for you, I’d probably be a successful engineer by now. Instead I’m a squatter in the back of a pizzeria.

Thanks for still reading, mom and dad. Oh you stopped reading it in 2012?

Yeah. Me too.

 

Notable Posts:

Realistic Ideas – August 30, 2012

Losing Faith – December 2, 2012

Cheap Attempts at Warping History – April 2, 2013

Dear Mouse, – September 17, 2014

I wasn’t shot dead in the CN Railyard – December 29, 2015

Still don’t know – July 26, 2016

Still don’t know.

Di Fara Pizza

A man walks down a dark Brooklyn side street with his pants at his ankles, genitals flailing. I am looking for pizza. Legitimate conerns are raised about that man getting shot by police but we push on to get some garlic knots at Ganni’s at midnight.

The Republican convention wraps up and everyone I know, including myself, fears the next four years, but knows full well they’ll survive it. The man walking down the Brooklyn side street, the newly arrived Syrian refugees, the Central American blamed with stealing American jobs, don’t have the privilege of knowing the same thing. In Hedges’ 2010 book Death of the Liberal Class, Chomsky prophesies of a population that seeks out fascism because of a series of politicians beforehand who have sold the rights of the population to corporate power. All they need, he says, is a charismatic leader who tells it like it is. And now he warns this.


“How much is this one?” I ask.

“Which one?” the shopkeep asks.

“The all black one with gold numbers.”

“$10.” He pulls it out, puts it on my wrist, it fits and feels as though I haven’t wore a watch in fifteen years, which I haven’t.

“Great.” I place $10 on the table.

“This one is $15,” he says. I place five more dollar bills on the table and leave, feeling as though I have paid the 50% tourist tax necessary to create a balance in the inequality of wealth that I have benefited from my entire life. The tourist tax necessary to quell my own personal guilt for existing in a marketplace and quitting my community job to travel the world for free. The watch looks great and hasn’t died yet. It fits oddly on my bulging ulna bone.

I finish my $9 juice and sit on a bench, calling my credit union and credit card company to tell them that I am in fact in the US and that no, my cards have not been compromised, and that yes, I’d like to withdraw money from my accounts so I can spend more money on American juice.

I loosen the watch strap one notch to relieve the sweat that accumulates under it in the New York humidity in what will likely be the 15th consecutive hottest month on record. I bought a watch so I could avoid pulling my phone out of my pocket so I could avoid wrecking my pants pockets so I could avoid buying new pants so I could avoid buying pants from a hellish factory in south east asia. And so I could avoid using my phone at all. My vain attempts at personal change are conscience clearing but not effective. I still don’t know how to live a life that affects change or isn’t dripping in privilege. You think by 27.667 years of life you’d know everything there is to know in the world.

 

 

Lyrics of the Month: June 2016 – Neko Case

Everything’s so easy for Pauline
Everything’s so easy for Pauline
Ancient strings set feet a light to speed to her such mild grace
No monument of tacky gold
They smoothed her hair with cinnamon waves
And they placed an ingot in her breast to burn cool and collected
Fate holds her firm in its cradle and then rolls her for a tender pause to savor
Everything’s so easy for Pauline

Girl with the parking lot eyes
Margaret is the fragments of a name
Her bravery is mistaken for the thrashing in the lake
Of the make-believe monster whose picture was faked
Margaret is the fragments of a name
Her love pours like a fountain
Her love steams like rage
Her jaw aches from wanting and she’s sick from chlorine
But she’ll never be as clean
As the cool side of satin, Pauline

Two girls ride the blue line
Two girls walk down the same street
One left her sweater sittin’ on the train
The other lost three fingers at the cannery
Everything’s so easy for Pauline

-Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, Margaret Vs. Pauline

Lyrics of the Month: May 2016 – Rilo Kiley

Sometimes in the morning I am petrified and can’t move
Awake but cannot open my eyes
And the weight is crushing down on my lungs I know I can’t breathe
And hope someone will save me this time

And your mother’s still calling you insane and high
Swearing it’s different this time
And you tell her to give in to the demons that possess her
And that God never blessed her insides

Then you hang up the phone and feel badly for upsetting things
And crawl back into bed to dream of a time
When your heart was open wide and you loved things just because
Like the sick and the dying

And sometimes when you’re on, you’re really fucking on
And your friends they sing along and they love you
But the lows are so extreme that the good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks in it’s absence
But you’ll fight and you’ll make it through
You’ll fake it if you have to
And you’ll show up for work with a smile
You’ll be better you’ll be smarter
And more grown up and a better daughter
Or son and a real good friend
You’ll be awake and you’ll be alert
You’ll be positive though it hurts
And you’ll laugh and embrace all your friends
You’ll be a real good listener
You’ll be honest, you’ll be brave
You’ll be handsome, you’ll be beautiful
You’ll be happy

Your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
To the cries and the wails of the valley below
Your ship may be coming in
You’re weak but not giving in
And you’ll fight it you’ll go out fighting all of them…

-Rilo Kiley, A Better Son / Daughter, The Execution of All Things

Lyrics of the Month: April 2016 – The Weakerthans

Had one of those days when you want to try heroin,
drunk driving, some form of soft suicide.
Sitting in silence and staring at ceilings
or peeling the paint off of things to confide.

Maybe someday the lies we’ve led around
will crawl under our beds
and sleep off the years.

Teach me to wiggle my ears like that,
show me the scar that you got when you fell off your bike.
Ask me the questions you never want answers to.
We can re-write them however we like.

Maybe someday the lies we’ve led around
will crawl under our beds
and sleep off the years.

Stop the hardwood floor’s lopsided grin.
Leave the dirt and dead flowers in a brown coffee tin.
Let your hand melt a hole in the frost.
Peer out under a sky that looks just like a shirt I lost.

Someday the lies we’ve led around
will crawl under our beds
and sleep off the years.

-The Weakerthans, Fallow, Leash

Lyrics of the Month: March 2016 – Bikini Kill

I can’t say everything about it
In just one single song
I can’t put how I feel in a package
And sell it back to everyone

But wait
There’s another boy genius who’s fucking gone
I hope the food tastes better in heaven
I know there’s lots of rad queer boys up there
I hope every time they talk to you
They know they’re lucky to be yr friend

Cuz look
There’s another boy genius who’s fucking gone
And I wouldn’t be so fucking mad so fucking
Pissed off if it wasn’t so fucking wrong
It’s all fucking wrong
It’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fair

But no one said life was easy
Yeah, but no one said, no one said
Nothing’s supposed to happen right?
No, no one told me anything
To prepare me for fucking this

There’s another boy genius who’s fucking gone
Don’t tell me it don’t matter
Don’t tell me I’ve had three days to get over it
It won’t go away
It just won’t go away

-Bikini Kill, Reject All American, R.I.P.

Lyrics of the Month: February 2016 – Kristofferson

Mister Marvin Middle Class is really in a stew
Wond’rin’ what the younger generation’s coming to
And the taste of his martini doesn’t please his bitter tongue
Blame it on the Rolling Stones.
Blame it on the Stones; blame it on the Stones
You’ll feel so much better, knowing you don’t stand alone
Join the accusation; save the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones

Mother tells the ladies at the bridge club every day
Of the rising price of tranquilizers she must pay
And she wonders why the children never seem to stay at home
Blame it on the Rolling Stones.

Blame it on the Stones; Blame it on the Stones
You’ll feel so much better, knowing you don’t stand alone
Join the accusation; save the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones

Father’s at the office, nightly working all the time
Trying to make the secretary change her little mind
And it bothers him to read about so many broken homes
Blame it on those Rolling Stones.

Blame it on the Stones; Blame it on the Stones
You’ll feel so much better knowing you don’t stand alone
Join the accusation; same the bleeding nation
Get it off your shoulders; blame it on the Stones

Blame it on the stones, blame it on the stones.

-Kris Kristofferson, Kristofferson, Blame it on the Stones

Albums of the Year: 2015

Northcote – Hope Is Made Of Steel

Rah Rah – Vessels

Jenny Lewis – The Voyager

Lucinda Williams – West

Low – Ones and Sixes

Code Orange – I Am King

Geoff Berner – We Are Going To Bremen To Be Musicians

Kris Kristofferson – Kristofferson

Lyrics of the Month: December 2015

The Funeral Procession

The funeral procession passed by here today. Confusion and questions left strewn in its wake. But I feel like I knew his pain-a mechanical failure while enduring the norm. Some of us fracture, others simply deform and lose their elasticity, never to return to the shape they were. I wonder which is worse? I try to keep my composure amidst the insanity, resigned to the truth that I will not live to see the dawn of a better day that might wash away the sadness of this age. I try to keep the voices calling me at bay, desperately clinging to any futile act of human decency. The voices love to remind me of my futility. Sitting on my hands hoping anyone else than me will do what should be done, it’s hard to not succumb as they call my name. You gotta keep on truckin’ anyways.

-Propangandhi, Supporting Caste, The Funeral Procession