Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

You want me to act like we've never kissed

I appreciate the sentiments behind this article, I really do. But really, it's just time that we gave up the ghost. Indie rock is not really a good avenue for the feelings of heartbreak and emo is a bunch of crap.

I live for and by music. There's hardly a feeling I have that I can't just blast a song about, though I still struggle to express myself through writing. I think it's healthy to express yourself through music fandom--the smartest, coolest people I know would rather just blast some punk rock rather than yell at someone or just internalize frustrations until they turn into neurotics. And god knows there are few times more appropriate for musical healing than when you are suffering from heartbreak. And no matter how we'd like to deny it, it's true. When your heart is broken, every song you hear speaks to your pain.

But I cannot abide by taking solace in Spoon or any depressive emo albums or Fiona Apple albums. First of all, I've seen Spoon a bunch of times, and they are ok and nothing more. But more importantly, emo pissants and Fiona Apple speak to a pain far too shallow to wallow in. It's lame and it's timely and not worth bothering with.

If you are suffering from heartbreak, you would do better with the classics. Don't let anyone shame you out of this indulgence--by listening to classic heartbreak music you are not only indulging your pain but you asserting yourself as a member of the human race where such things as heartbreak are eternal and the salve to apply to them is never-changing. You are never lonely when listening to the classics, but instead one of millions of heartbroken people who go through this pain and come out on the other side. Emo, on the other hand, encourages you to feel lonely and extend your pain beyond all necessity.

Motown has some good heartbreak music, but for my money you can't beat old-school country. And in old school country, you can't beat Patsy Cline. As a pre-emptive strike against heartache, I would recommend picking up a greatest hits collection. Patsy managed to forsee your general heartache situations of future hip type people with amazing foresight, and therefore she is the one and only cure for every ache and pain of your standard issue break-up.

For instance, it's customary now for couples to go through a "break" that precedes the actual break-up. These breaks are generally accompanied by melancholy remorse and longing. The perfect song when you're on a break is "Walking After Midnight", which perfectly captures the way that couples on break long for and finally arrange clandestine encounters after telling all their friends that they are on a break.

After the break-up is final, there's the period of self-flagellation, where you beat on yourself without mercy about fucking up yet again. This is pointless. You know you fucked up--you have the rest of your life to deal with this. Now is the time to examine how your ex fucked up with you, if only for self-esteem reasons. Being painfully post-modern, this period of self-esteem building and reflection goes down better with a dose of irony. The song for you is "Crazy", a song that gives lie to the very notion that it's crazy to love too much. Join Patsy in mocking those who are too cool to give themselves over love for fear of being called "crazy".

After this is the period where you are feeling okay, dating other people, but still stuck on your ex a little bit. And in the hipper circles, this is fatal, because it's just a matter of time before you run into your ex again. Running into your ex before you're completely over him/her is a nightmare because it dredges up all these uncool feelings of longing. Give into those feelings in your private time and listen to Patsy articulate them perfectly with "I Fall to Pieces". Once again, the loneliness is dashed--Patsy knows what it's like to fall apart upon seeing your ex. And once you get over the loneliness, it's a lot easier to get on with your life.

So screw that emo shit. I remember once on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" where Xander, in his heartbreak, decided to go home and listen to country music, "the music of pain". He threw on Patsy Cline and was absolutely right to do so. Cline articulates the pain the best and gives you the tools to get over it and on with your life.

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