Friday, 25 May 2012

REVOLVING OBSESSIONS

Every few years I seem to go through a phase in which I become completely obsessed with one particular band. A couple of years ago it was Death Cab for Cutie. I have every album, EP and B-side they have ever released. I have a playlist of all my favourite tracks that I would listen to, at least once a day, every day. If a day went by that I didn't listen to it, I would be signing their songs in my head all day anyway.

When I was a teenager I had a similar obsession with Eminem, after Eminem it was Jehst, now the band that I am currently obsessed with is Against Me! Same story: Every album, EP and B-side. Playlist. Songs constantly in my head.

After my love affair with Against Me! winds down and becomes less obsessive, I wonder which band I will move onto next?!?

Does this happen to anybody else or am I just a bit weird?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

THERE IS AN OCEAN IN MY SOUL

Earlier this week, I forget which day, I begrudgingly got up in the morning as usual, made a cup of tea and turned my computer on. First stop: Facebook. Sad I know, but true none the less. A friend had posted a link to an article about Against Me! lead singer Tom Gabel. Being my joint favourite band of all time (tied with Death Cab for Cutie) I naturally clicked the link to have a read. What I read in that article was not something I was expecting, and made for mind blowing reading at 8am...

Tom has been dealing with gender dysphoria all of his life and is now going to begin living as a woman. She will go by the name Laura Jane Grace and begin taking hormones and undergoing electrolysis treatments. After a year living as a woman she will decide whether or not to undergo sexual-reassignment surgery.

Holy shit!

My first thoughts were of a selfish nature, "What about Against Me!? Will this change his voice?!? or her voice?!? Will the band stay together? etc etc". I didn't need to worry. The band are staying together. Apparently her voice won't change all that much either, not yet anyway. Even if it does, it doesn't matter. In her own words "However fierce our band was in the past, imagine me, six-foot-two, in heels, fucking screaming into someone's face." - She can scream into my face any day.

I loved Tom Gabel before I read this news. Singers of punk bands are usually dicks, but Tom is not only an amazing songwriter but a genuinely nice person. And that voice. Fuck, that voice gets my blood pumping. I love Laura even more than I loved Tom. I can't begin to imagine how tough it must have been to tell your wife that you want to become a woman, let alone how she must have felt. The fucking brilliant thing is that they are staying together. She isn't attracted to men, it isn't about that, and she supports her decision fully. That's fucking love right there. To stand by someone no matter what, even a sex change. If only we could all be so lucky.

I can't get my head around the courage it must have taken to come out like this. I have nothing but admiration and respect for you, Laura. I tend to hero worship people for ridiculous reasons, but I feel justified in saying that you are my hero, you are an inspiration, and if I had even an ounce of the courage and strength that you possess I would be a happy man. You may not want them anymore but you've got bigger balls than any person I have known!


"There is an ocean in my soul,
where the waters do not curve."
- Laura Jane Grace, The Ocean

Sunday, 6 May 2012

CLAIRTY

This past week has been one of the most bizarre weeks of my life. Rewarding, yes, but very bizarre. I finally feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me. It is amazing how things can change so quickly; from an impending sense of doom in the pit of my stomach and feeling like I was stumbling through life with blindfolds on, to a sense of clarity. A clarity that I have seldom experienced before.

I have always been afraid of the future. I have always tried to hide from it, telling people I am 19 when I am really 25. Shying away from responsibility of any kind. I always thought that 'growing up' meant making big changes and big sacrifices but I now realise that those changes happen whether you like it or not. I have changed. For the better. I know this now. I can finally see it. I can feel it.

Yes, I still watch cartoons and wrestling and tell immature jokes and drink far too much alcohol, but that doesn't matter. I realise now that growing up isn't about changing the things on the outside. It isn't about throwing away those old dirty converse that you bought when you were 17 and can't bare to lose. It isn't about ditching cartoons and wrestling for news and politics. It isn't about deciding not to go to the pub and saving the money instead. It is about change on the inside. The things you love will never change, they may evolve and grow with you, but they will never leave you.

The change inside of me didn't happen over night. I became aware of it a month ago when I was forced to face life on my own and it took an accidental phone call and a conversation over a large cup of tea for me to realise that it had happened.

My ex-girlfriend gave me a lot of strength that I didn't know she had given me. I admire her courage and I am thankful that she left a little peice of it for me. When we were together I resented her because I felt that she was trying to force me to grow up and be somebody that I wasn't ready to be. Ironically now that she has left and forced me to look at myself, I have found that I am now ready to be that person.

The funny thing is that it took a chance encounter with my ex-ex-girlfriend, the one I have actively avoided for over two years, to make me see those changes. I have no reason to fear her anymore. There is nothing she can do now to hurt me now. I am finally free. Weight = Lifted.

This new found clarity leads me on to thinking about the city I currently live in. I love Brighton. I have always wanted to live there, and it has been a great home to me for almost a year now. But I am beginning to question if it is the right place for me to be at my current station in life. Why am I really there? What am I getting out of it? It is so expensive to live there that I don't get to do any of the fun things that the city has to offer. I don't go to gigs, or explore new pubs and cafes, I don't get to enjoy the shops because I never have any spare money. I just exist. I work, I eat, I go to the same pub every Friday night, and then the cycle repeats. I could do that in my home town, except the living costs would be significantly lower and I'd also have all of my friends close by. Brighton will still be there, close by, waiting for me to return.

I need to start being responsible, and realistic, about my financial situation. That doesn't mean not going to the pub every Friday night, but it might mean leaving the city I love and moving back to the town that I no longer have any need to avoid. I don't know what the future holds, but I know that I am ready for it.

Plus, I was out in Hastings on Friday night with a group of old friends that I haven't laid eyes on in far too long, and I noticed something... there are some hot chicks here. Hot chicks that wear Converse. This town can't be all that bad!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

I'LL BE THERE 'TILL THE DEATH OF MY CHUCK TAYLORS

I don't know what it is exactly, but there is something about girls wearing Converse that I find irresistibly sexy. Always have, always will. I know I am not the only guy who feels that way, as there are several facebook groups and tumblr pages dedicated to just that. For your viewing pleasure, here are a selection of fine looking ladies in fine looking Chuck Taylors. Enjoy...