Lazy update (6/17)

I’m not going to post anything too crazy this week. I’m very tired, so I don’t really have anything to talk about. Instead, I’m just going to do a small update.

Things are about to get a little crazy for me. Between taking multiple freelance jobs (which I’m so glad to be doing!) and some games coming out, I don’t have much free time. I’ve also been having sleeping trouble, so I’m dragging just to keep up.

Hopefully, I can think of some new topics for next week, but don’t be surprised if I miss a week in the upcoming months. That’s really all I have to say. Here’s to hoping that next week I have a real post. Thanks for reading and I’ll maybe see you then. 🙂

An artist’s therapy

Have you ever heard an artist refer to their muse? What does the term muse mean? Well, it’s simply their inspiration. This can be any form of art including writing. However, there are several different types of muses. Often–especially with troubled artists–we turn the negativity in our lives into art. Sometimes this can be the brush strokes of a painter, that one lyric during a song, or a message portrayed through a slam poet. These topics can be dark. The worse the tragedy, the darker the content can be. I want to talk about how an artist uses their own work as a personal form of therapy. A warning that I’ll talk about something uncomfortable to some, but it’s a unique perspective into the way an artist thinks.

First, I’ll start with where this inspiration came from. The song is titled, “Therapy Session,” by the rapper NF. I’m not a big fan of the genre and know nothing about the artist, but a couple of his songs hit hard for me. I’ll link the song below, just know it is covering dark content, so viewer discretion is advised! Please only listen if you’re okay with this.

Therapy Session by NF

I added a link to his channel if you’d like to listen to more of his music. There is a hyperlink in the caption, so just click on his name.

“This is something that personally helps me as well. I’m not confused about who gave me the gift. God gave me the gift and he gave me the ability to do this. And he also gave me this as an outlet. And that’s what music is for me.” -NF

I left out the music video because there was content in there to match his song that could be disturbing to some people. I just want to think about the message NF is trying to deliver in this song. He talks about how, for him, rapping is his own personal therapy session. The thought of that intrigued me and I wanted to talk about it. He talks about people complaining that his music is too dark. Which, after listening to it, I understand. There are messages that artists try to convey and not every single person can handle hearing it. There is one thing that has been bugging me about this mindset. It is hard to listen to but, shouldn’t we listen to it? Our world is dominated by people who have severe mental problems. We’re so fast to turn our backs to it because it’s hard to see. I just can’t get over how big of an issue this is.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other night and it was about another form of art that gets disregarded because of the message. the book that is now the Netflix Original, “Thirteen Reasons Why”. It’s a very graphic book–or series–that talks about suicide. A girl who commits suicide and tells her reasons why she did it. Now I’ll start by saying I get it. That show screwed up my mental state during the first viewing of it. I don’t think it’s meant for everyone and there are blatant issues with the other seasons that don’t deliver as strong as a message. I want to focus mainly on the show’s first season or just the book in general. A story about a troubled girl who thought she had nothing else to turn to except suicide. The entire show you’re forced to watch as her fate inevitably comes true. As a viewer or reader, you know that’s what’s going to happen.

The show covers some heavy topics including suicide and rape which you see both of. These can be severe triggers if you’ve been through similar situations or simply hard to watch. A topic came up where we discussed how as a kid, I didn’t know any better. I had a very similar situation to Clay as he struggled with the fact that his friend killed herself.

I’m going to include one last clip. In this clip, Clay talks to his friend Tony as he finally gets to his tape which acts as a way to declare who was responsible for her death. This is a major spoiler to the entire series and the moment it was leading up to. There is heavy language and talks of suicide and rape in this season. If that bothers you, yet again, viewer discretion is advised.

I’m still going to talk about the scene, so there is still a spoiler warning in effect. As someone who has lost a best friend to suicide, I related to Clay. I remember feeling exactly the way he felt in this scene. The show has definitely not been perfect, but this scene, to me, is. I remember being angry like he was. I remember having a friend who wanted to help me. I remember blaming myself wholly for her death. In my head, I recalled that same question of, “What could I have done?”.

Does that question sound familiar to you? Have you ever asked yourself that? I did. I asked it a lot. My point is that I wish I knew what I was getting myself into by being so involved in my friend’s life. I’m not saying we shouldn’t help our friends, but I have no idea what mental health issues were. I didn’t realize that I was in an unhealthy relationship with this girl. I should have told someone in her family rather than taking it all on myself.

So what should we do to spread awareness? Well, using the theme of this blog post, as artists we should express ourselves through our creations. Tell the world how we feel through our art. It doesn’t just fuel our inspiration but helps express ourselves. At times, it may also be the therapy we need to get to the next day.

However, that’s not everything we can do. I think parents should start sitting their kids down and having talks with them. I never got a talk about depression or mental health. I don’t think we should turn our eyes away from it, but we should use it to show how bad it can be. Show our kids that this is real and they will most definitely experience it. I’m not saying to have a family night and go sit down and load up Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix. I’m suggesting we sit them down, show them how horrific this world can be, but then reassure them that it’ll be okay. Express how important it is to get help when you need it or to get other people help even at the risk of destroying your friendship.

Leave the real therapy to the professionals and allow artists to express themselves however they need to. Even if you’re not comfortable doing the things I suggested, try your best to stop closing your eyes to what’s going on around you. It doesn’t have to be mental health, it can be anything. People are suffering. The sooner we open our eyes, the sooner that we can help them.

That’s all I got for today. Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you next week! 🙂

let’s talk about #blm

The past weak has been, for lack of a better term, insane. If you are inside of the US right now, I don’t think I’ll need to explain, but for those who don’t know, I will.

George Floyd

On the 25th of March, something shocking came to light. The death of a man named George Floyd swept the nation and the citizens of our country were disgusted by what they saw. Evidence surfaced of how a cop knelt on the neck of George Floyd after in an attempt to detain him. This resulted in his death because of a lack of asphyxiation. He even told the officer that he couldn’t breathe and his please were ignored. Floyd was a 46-year-old African-American male and this was a perfect example of how African-Americans have been victims of cop brutality. This isn’t anything new to the world, but after this event, the response escalated to the point where it could no longer be ignored. To people that tried their best to turn their backs on the situation, the protests that started because of this made it impossible to look away. This exploded and became a movement telling the rest of the world that black lives matter. I’m here to talk about my thoughts, personal experience with this, and ways you can help even after the protests die down. It’ll be a long-winded one, but I will put my heart and soul into this. I will say everything that I’ve felt over this past week and, for once in my life, will voice this opinion as loudly as I can. If this bothers you, then I advise that you don’t look away. This should bother you and it should bother anyone who reads it because the way things are now, we should not accept it, and we never should.

My Personal Experience

I’m going to talk about my personal experiences first. I am a 25-year-old half white and half Hispanic male. I take after my mom so I look like your average white male. If I took after my dad, I could’ve seen my life being different. Growing up in Oklahoma, I lived next to another Hispanic family and became childhood friends with my neighbor. As a kid, I never questioned the color of anyone’s skin. I even went to a school where white kids were the minority. Thinking back on it, my first experience with racism was with a cop. My dad got pulled over and my mom was in the car with him. I distinctly remember how that cop treated my mom differently than he treated my dad. Back then I didn’t realize it, but now I see that he saw my dad’s skin color and assumed the worst. Upon seeing my mom, his attitude changed and we were let go without a ticket. Over time, I moved away from our city (Oklahoma City) and moved to another one that was less diverse. Racism became clear to me and slowly I started to understand. I had friends who feared cops just because they weren’t white. I didn’t understand it at the time and even to this day, I can’t understand it. Not that I don’t see what’s going on, but because I look white, I have never had to experience that fear. I can stand behind people who have and support them, but I can never know what that’s like.

My Thoughts on George Floyd

So what do I take from recent events? I am absolutely revolted by not only how our government has treated this situation, but also how the world has. I have seen videos of cops throwing tear gas at innocent peaceful protestors and stories of them macing a 10-year-old kid! Who does that? A cop is supposed to serve and protect us and they are willingly harming us to quiet our voices. Over this past week, I’ve seen countless atrocities highlighting how prevalent our corrupt system has become. We’ve elected a president who is obviously racist and has allowed it to seem okay to be racist yourself. We allowed a horrible person like Trump to be in office and lead our nation destruction. The world has literally been on fire and he was hiding away in a bunker or tear-gassing people so he could get a photo op in front of a church!

Another big problem people seem to have is the rioting and looting. What is my take on this? Well, I am never going to be someone who advocates for violence. I am a pacifist at heart, but even then I can’t fully stand against them for that. People have responded with anger and violence because they feel that they have nowhere else to turn. I am aware that not everyone standing against how George Floyd’s death was handled is a rioter. There are people who are using this as an opportunity to loot and cause destruction. I cannot approve of those who would want to cause chaos just because they can and not because they are hurting. Everyone will remember this moment in the future and the rioting just puts the world on red alert which is what, I believe, makes this something that can no longer be ignored. I don’t want the voices of those revolted by George Floyd’s death to be snuffed out in six months. This needs to be a wake-up call that is screams we will no longer allow this to go on. Even if that cop is fully prosecuted (along with the others involved) we need to make sure that the rest of the crooked cops are off our streets. When someone wears that badge and takes an oath to protect us, we need to make sure that they are there to protect, not harm. We need a president who doesn’t threaten a military presence because he’s afraid of the power that the people have. To everyone who walks the streets in protest, please stay safe, and continue allowing your voices to be heard. The world cannot know peace until there is justice for what has happened.

What Can You Do?

My last point will be one I’m sure you’ve heard before. How can you help? If you want to protest, then pick up your signs, and allow your voice to be your weapon. They may use rubber bullets and tear gas, but our words are just as powerful. With a pandemic still on our hands or fear for your own safety, I understand those who stay inside. Just because you do stay inside, doesn’t mean you can’t help. Use whatever influence you have to spread awareness and voice your own opinion. Whether you’re someone of color or if you’re white, your voice can be heard. If you are of Caucasian origin, just make sure that you are supporting those who have been hurt, and not making this about yourself. Stand behind and not in front. Add your voice, don’t drown other people’s out. Show the world how it should be and don’t give in to how it is.

Finally, there is one last thing you can do. You can sign petitions, donate, and reach out the best you can in other ways. I’ll provide a link below filled with resources. Financially, I haven’t been able to contribute, but I implore that you do if you can. Petitions are always a solid way to contribute as well. You’ll find plenty of them to support those who are victims. Regardless of your situation, there are always ways to help. Now is not the time to close your eyes and stay quiet. We need to do everything in our power to fix these injustices. Stay strong and keep pushing as hard as you can. Don’t stop until the world has changed.

Ways To Help