R.I.P. Keith Flint

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Keith Flint/Photo Credit Getty Images

I’m not going to say too much.

There are people who truly knew Keith Flint who could offer more in the way of a proper respectable eulogy. And though I’m especially saddened that his death was a suicide, I can’t even begin to fathom how painful it is to those who really knew and loved him.

I can only speak from a fan’s perspective.

The Prodigy are easily one of my favorite groups of all time.

I had the privilege of growing up along with their music. They were perhaps one of the last authentic shots of audio and visual adrenaline on a 90’s alternative scene that had managed to climb the hill in its flannel shirts and doc martens but was eventually going to slide downhill drenched in black and pants that could probably parachute the fall.

At the summit had to be Firestarter, with Flint looking like the Big Beat Second Coming of the Sex Pistols. Sure Liam Howlett is the mastermind and well, musical prodigy of the group. But Flint and his co-member Maxim were that essential edge that helped the group gain its punk vibes.

They made the prospect of EDM seem so dangerous and original. And Flint was the raving heart, beating apologetically to a thunderous synth and thumping bass, holding out his hand and inviting all the rockers, punkers, metalheads, hip-hoppers, and ravers into the Prodigy’s brand of arena ready dance fun, whether that be in their iconic music videos or electric live performances.

It’s impossible to think of the group without him.

It will be impossible to think of the group without him.

Rest In Peace.

The Prodigy-Firestarter

Loudwire-10 Unforgettable Keith Flint Prodigy Moments

The Prodigy-Run With The Wolves Live Rock Am Ring

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Thanks, I Hate It: Scary Silence In A Public Restroom

 

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Silence can be scary.

Situational of course.

Like the silence of a soon to be Ex after you’ve asked “…But honey don’t you still love me?”

The air, pregnant with the sound of absolutely nothing, will soon give birth to a potential answer you already know you’re not going to like.

That’s inevitable.

But it’s that silence that increases the tension.

Slows time down to a hellish crawl.

Gives the brain a chance to wander around in the darkest space of your deepest fears for what seems like forever before coming back to the conversation at hand that will ultimately impact your life at its most vulnerable.

Still there’s another type of silence that’s scarier to me than that and that’s the sound of a silent sink in a public bathroom.

I state that because it’s usually followed by the sound of an unwashed hand opening the door and going back to whatever restaurant, store, or park they chose to momentarily escape from for bodily relief.

I can’t count on my hands how many times I’ve been at the urinal and stall at my job only to hear some gross despicable shell of a human exit the bathroom without washing their hands.

I also can’t count how many times I’ve washed my hands before exiting the bathroom, but I’m willing to range somewhere between “all the time” and “are you kidding, it’s freaking all the time!”

I thought it was common courtesy to yourself, and especially others that if you use the bathroom you should wash your hands before you leave.

Apparently I was wrong.

People arean’t washing their hands, and with the world in the midst of a flu and cold season that may linger thanks to our damaged climate, you would think they’d be rushing to the sinks.

This isn’t just some rant.

I mean it is, but it’s not just fueled by my paranoia or judgement of people. The CDC did a study last year, stating that only 31 percent of men wash their hands and 65 percent of women wash their hands after leaving a public restroom.

THAT”S WAY TOO LOW!

So I have to wonder, why is it too much trouble to wash your hands?

Is it a matter of convenience?

Do you feel the precious seconds you’re saving from skipping the sink to go back and infest the public sphere is making a difference? Do you hate making your hands wet for any reason?

Or is it a matter of pride?

Do you think you’re already clean enough? Did your one shower or bath that morning equal your quota for washing yourself for the entire day? Or is this like the no deodorant stance (another post we need to have) that seems to be a thing with folks?

In any case whatever the reason, I’d like you to reconsider your stance and please wash your hands. Otherwise if you fail to do so and touch me for any reason, I will chop your hannds off, take them to the sink, wash them in front of you, then football punt them into a fire.

Then, I’ll go back and vigorously wash my hands because unlike you, I’ve got some damn sense.

https://giphy.com/embed/UiuOMYkRxG836via GIPHY

Suicide Is A Ticking Monster

I have people in my corner that love me.

Folks and friends that expressed this love to me whether it was with their uproarious laughter attached to our conversation like a festive ribbon , or that rare but essential confession of “I’m glad I’m here with you to experience this.”

I still want to drown myself in a lake.

I’m given an opportunity or chance after days, months, years of fighting for one. It’s a mark of hard work finally producing ripe fruit.

I want to shoot myself in the head with a shotgun.

I have a day of difficulties, a litany of inconveniences that could range from a flat tire, ripped pants at work, to a headache from not eating all day due to the business of work.

I want to take a hot shower, eat a quart of Homemade Vanilla, and lie in bed.

I also want to raid the medicine cabinet, consume everything it has and never wake up again.

Depression and Suicidal Thoughts have traveled with me since I was 12. Naturally, I thought of them extra appendages of puberty much like voice cracks and growth spurts that would shed as adulthood took over.

My voice and height stabilized. My mental health, not so much.

To this day, well into my early 30’s depression and suicide are still a major part of me that I’m convinced will never quite go away. Maybe it’s not supposed to for some people. Maybe it’s just something we “chosen” are meant to deal with either figuring out a way always keep those thoughts sealed or at bay like some inner demon we can control.

Or we become like Anthony Bourdain.

Or Kate Spade.

Or Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell.

Your Father.

Your Sister.

Your Best Friend.

Or any other pained soul who could not beat the living monster whose heart beat inside of us wishes to stop the beat of our own.

Obviously, I never knew the celebrities we lost to suicide.

But every time, my Google News Feed shared a story on them, or some analysis, the same scenario would happen.

I’d wonder how long had they suffered? Did they ever try to reach for help? Was it even possible for them?

And then, like Mike Tyson punching me in the gut with a boxing glove adorned with razor blades, pointed stones and broken glass, the final thought would hit:

If these people had success, and people that loved them and still couldn’t beat their demons, what hope do I have?

Why should I believe that I’m any more capable than them?

It’s not logical.

Thinking that way. And comparing ones own pain to another seems almost narcissistic which makes you feel even worse about yourself. But then suicide doesn’t make for logical thinking.

Everyone of those scenarios I listed at the beginning, a normal person would look at that and not think about how much they wished they were dead to ease their pain.

They wouldn’t sit down and look at all the positives yet also manage to justify killing themselves like taking cough syrup to cure a cold.

A recent article I read, says it’s a thing. They drive in suicide is ramped up with mentioning of a celebrity one. They call it a Contagion.

Sounds more like the plot for another Zombie Shooter game, right?

And I suppose knowing that should in a way make me feel better that I’m not alone.

Instead, it makes me feel about the same as when I confessed my depression and suicide thought to my Significant Other, and she in turn confessed hers to me.

There is a sight of relief, from understanding, but that’s brief because of the following thought:

“My God, why do you have to experience this hell, too?”

Banging My Head On The Ceiling

For a while I wasn’t sure why I keep playing Street Fighter V.

Enjoyment isn’t a word I would use to describe my feeling with this game.

Frustration seems fitting as I spend more time yelling at my TV while playing online instead of enjoying.

I often utter “Good Game” after losing repeatedly. And this is stupid simply for the fact that the person who won and is miles away from me, can’t hear me say it because I’m not chatting with them as they pummel my feeble attempts at playing.

“Good Game” is said for the same reason a Preacher might say “God Forgive Me!” after someone cuts him off and takes the parking spot he was eyeing in a Christmas Season mall parking lot.

It’s the ending to a personal verbal tirade and a reset to lost human sensibility while swaying on tilt.

You can’t just tell someone to eat a bag of dicks after saying “Good Game,” because then, no matter how much your gritted teeth poison the saying of “GG’s”, any ill intentions to immediately follow will have lost much of their venom.

I know this only because I’ve lost enough times at this damn game to basically have a PH.D in Salt Intake.

Clearly I don’t love this game.

I like it.

But I hate it too.

And it’s at this point I find myself wondering why the hell do I keep playing this game.

Why not move on  and try to play more of Mortal Kombat, or Tekken, or just say to hell with Fighting Games and go back into the wacky world of JRPG’s or QTE-laden Action Titles.

And it hit me recently in the midst of losing yet again to Cross-Ups, Throws, Frame Traps, and the occasional Raging Demon–F*ck you Akuma player #345…Good Games my dude–that the reason I keep playing Street Fighter V is because I’ve clearly hit my own ceiling.

And I want to bust through it so badly because it’s the only ceiling I feel I can break.

Look, I don’t have any rose-colored dreams about becoming a major success with unconditional love, support, and a bitchn’ Credit Score.

Those notions of owning a home or having the body of a Apollo Crews, or having an actual career instead of a low-paying slave working gig in retail flew out the window several years ago as my expectations out of life dwindled more and more.

I’m now in my early 30’s, seemly forever stuck in a hometown I swore in my teens to leave and never come back to again. I’ve bounced between living with roommates to back among my parents’ dwelling like some bottom feeding parasite. I’m burning bridges and crumbling friendships and relationships with people, I conned into giving a damn about me, because I still haven’t figured out how not to be such an introverted piece of shit bastard to them in one form of another. I’m unable to help them cope with their own demons because my man-child ass can’t seem to really help myself.

And my self-loathing increases exponentially every time  I refuse to drive myself off a bridge and into a lake on my way to work because I literally had a shortcut available but had to be a coward and take the long way.

I don’t say any of this to ferret some sympathy.

And advice could be given to someone more deserving.

I’ve accepted my place, and know that the only real best case scenario I have in all of this, is putting the student loan debt collectors on speaker phone while I hang myself, and becoming some New York Times think-piece that gets dissected, misread, and bashed to shreds on Facebook and Tumblr.

The ceiling on life is so low and impenetrable that I wake up everyday with a crick in my neck.

And deep down, it’s because of that ceiling I have this obsession with breaking the ceiling for some dumb fighting game.

I can’t quit SFV.

Besides, I just picked up Nash and his school outfit.

I mean…Swag.

 

Short Stories To Nowhere: What Money Can’t Buy…

At first, we thought the black liquid was oil, that we’d struck it rich and that we’d be able to retire and live in leisure. We actually started writing down all the ways we’d spend the money.

Our first choice was a jet-ski which was silly in retrospect as neither of us knew how to swim. It was more of a personal status symbol between our two-person minimum wage club. It was the tattered banner for the never-hads but always wants, eyes always hungry for what we needed and starving for what we desired.

For those that say money can’t buy you happiness, they’ve obviously never witnessed the child-like glee of a grown-ass adult on a jet-ski. Or if they have, then maybe they’ve just seen it too many times for it to mean anything anymore.

Anyway, as for our third choice when it came to spending that Texas Tea money: swimming and riding lessons, obviously.

Yet, life has a funny way of transforming your precocious wishes you knew you wanted into a twisted necessity you didn’t know about before.

The black liquid that Jerry poked at with his teal titanium metal hiking stick wasn’t oil.

Oil doesn’t grab and pull when you poke and prod it.

Oil drips and wets and stains.

It doesn’t sway and  undulate on your skin as if its creating its own sea upon your best friend.

And it doesn’t twist and snap bones.

It doesn’t cause your best friend whom you’ve known since 2nd Grade to scream enough for every critter hiding and surrounding to scatter in fear. Nor stare through you with iris-less eyes and stumble and move towards you with a rhymthm to haphazard to mimic.

This wasn’t oil.

This is was evil.

This was both unholy death and re-birth of my best friend.

And this was going to be either the end of him or me.

Survival is true but harsh.

Jerry beat me in a number of bike races around Eagle Point as a kid. He cheered me on when I made it on the College Wrestling Team. And he spent many bar trips with me as I replayed how my marriage crumbled into absolute failure.

Now, Jerry shuffled towards me, snarling and roaring at me like a violent mongrel. His arms clawed at me, gripping more air and murderous intent.

I stood frozen into a hitter’s stance with my “hiking stick” a worn down Louiville Slugger given to me by a brother who now only wanted me dead.

If I had the money to spend, I’d buy a way to fix Jerry.

I’d buy a way for me not to kill him, so he won’t kill me.