Let Down

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Why is depression killing some of the boldest, most influential voices of my generation?

We lost Chester Bennington yesterday. It’s been just barely over two months since we lost Chris Cornell.

They were rock stars. They moved in the same circles. They performed together. They had “rock star issues.”

But the “rock star issues” seem to be pounding the life out of my generation, most visibly in the musical community.

What fucked us all up so bad? We seem to opt out in our forties and early fifties. Could it have anything to do with looking at the future and not seeing one as our parents did?

I don’t fucking know.

And the tears fall like rain
Down my face again
Oh the words you wouldn’t say
And the games you played
With my unfoolish heart
Oh I should have known this from the start

Oh the winter and spring
Going in hand in hand
Just like my love and pain
How the thought of you cuts deep within the vein
Oh this brand new skin stretched across scared terrain

I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my life again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
So I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my lies again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road

All those years down the drain
Love was not enough when you want everything
What I gave to you and now the end must start
Oh I should have listened to my heart

‘Cause I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my life again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
So I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my lies again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road

Oh

I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my life again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want too be let down)
So I don’t want to be let down
I don’t want to live my lies again
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want to be let down)
Don’t want to be lead down the same old road
(I don’t want too be let down)
Be lead down the same old road

Dead By Sunrise – Let Down

I listened to this song over and over after I gave my ex-husband the second chance and he blew it. It is so hard to accept that this person who expressed my emotions better than I could myself suffered from the same mental illness that still tries to pull me down every single day.

The future is bleak.

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Tired

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I am so dreadfully tired, and I’m afraid to go to sleep because I’m afraid I’ll wake up to another family crisis, death, or celebrity death.

Carrie Fish is part of my earliest memories. She was the only “girl” in Star Wars. I had a Princess Leia doll. God, I wish it I still had it, it would be such a comfort.

I have to work. We all have to work. We all have to live and move towards 2017, and I dread it. I’d like to believe that an arbitrary date conceived by a human mind could Make Things Better, but that would mean any other arbitrarily conceived human bookmark in time could Make Things Worse.

I read something today about losing our best and brightest stars, that it means that they are going to come back to us when we most need them, but isn’t that moment right now?

Or did we have to lose them to truly understand their wisdom and influence on our lives?

I don’t know, I don’t know.

Losing Everything

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Is like the sun going down on me.

I was writing a post about dealing with a Trumpkin relative on Christmas Day, but I suddenly realized that person doesn’t matter and isn’t worth the time it would take me to write about their ignorance and prejudice.

I give you instead George Michael.

Fascination.

Human nature.

Let’s go outside.

I know you want to, but you can’t say yes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwZAYdHcDtU

And with Sir Elton John:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwZAYdHcDtU

I took a chance and changed your way of life

But you misread my meaning when I met you

Closed the door

And left me blind by the light

Don’t let the sun go down on me.

“You should just stay off the Internet”

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Please read as much of Leslie Jones’s timeline as you can stomach before you read my post.

https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg

This is the second actress (the other was Ginnifer Goodwin) I’ve watched being harassed off Twitter. Leslie’s situation is much different than Ginnifer’s, although both are horrific and both SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH BY TWITTER. Leslie is a black actor who revamped a man’s role in the Ghostbusters remake. I had no idea that so many males had so heavily invested their identities in what was–WAS–a fun 80s movie. I had no idea that so many males would take a woman playing the role of a character that was originally male so seriously that they would viciously, violently, and relentlessly verbally and visually assault her until she had to walk away from Twitter.

There’s more than “just” sexual harassment involved in this disgusting episode. There’s also racism. I have not read about any similar abuse directed towards Ms. Jones’s white female co-stars. I even saw another woman taking Ms. Jones to task for not handling the nonstop harassment with “poise.”

Poise? Are you fucking shitting me?

It’s my understanding that Twitter took some action on Ms. Jones’s behalf, but I can’t help but think that Twitter’s previous do-nothing response to other cases of sexual and racial harassment gave the criminals–not trolls, not cyberbullies, threatening, sexually predatory criminals–harassing Ms. Jones the fuel for their “we are untouchable” mindset and the result was Ms. Jones stating she was leaving Twitter.

Because Twitter’s past non-action in countless cases of harassment and abuse has established a pattern, and now the criminals on Twitter have no real reason to stop their behavior. Locking accounts means nothing to them. Has Twitter ever initiated or aided in the prosecution of one of these criminals? I’ve reported so many clear incidents of violations of Twitter’s TOS and been told there was no violation.

Twitter reps lie. Every day. And the people in charge know it.

You may feel moved to speak to people IRL about online harassment and the grinding psychological stress resulting from it. I did, once, to my doctor. I told him that my ex-husband was still cyberstalking me years after our divorce. His response?

“You should just stay off the Internet.”

Because it was my fault for being there, where my ex-husband could watch me. If I had gone offline or gone anonymous, if I had altered MY life, why then that mentally ill spying stalking hacking pervert wouldn’t have been able to upset me.

How are “regular” women supposed to deal with online harassment when even movie stars like Leslie Jones are verbally and visually battered by males online until they feel they have no choice but to give up their online presence?

What the fuck is wrong with Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and all the other sites who want us there, but are apparently incapable of taking measures to make us safe on their sites?

And what the fuck is wrong with people like my doctor and the woman who shot off her stupid mouth about Leslie Jones’s poise in the face of horrifying sexual and racist harassment? We have every right to be online. NO ONE has the right to torture us because they’re upset by the fact that we are living our fucking lives without consulting them first.

Edit: I was so angry when I wrote this that I forgot to include the incident earlier this year where a couple of lunatics targeted me because they didn’t like the fact that I complained on Facebook about a business’s poor service. They set up a Twitter account devoted solely to posting hundreds of libelous tweets about me, and they followed my closest Twitter friends from that account, apparently believing that my friends would take their lies seriously. That didn’t happen. My friends alerted me to the account. I reported it to Twitter with screenshots and other evidence proving their motivation.

Twitter found no violation of their precious TOS. Only me stalking my stalkers, discovering that one was using a work email address and engaging in the behavior during work hours, and calling her employer stopped the stalking.

Witholding Judgment

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Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness and a vegan at some point in his life. At the beginning of his career, he reportedly made a decision not to drink or do drugs. I don’t believe he kept to that 100%. He was a pop star. Rock star. Icon. Whatever, that’s a lot of pressure. I was told–and I’m trying to track down the source of the info–that he may have developed anxiety severe enough to cause him to self-medicate. I have severe anxiety, and it messes up your mind. If you can afford doctors, you may not trust them, or you may just be ashamed to ask for help. If you don’t have money, self-medication for anxiety is a way of life.

As far as we know now, Prince was single and living and recording at Paisley Park and had lived that way for years. Not healthy for someone with anxiety, but when you have anxiety you don’t know that it’s not healthy. IF he accidentally overdosed trying to deal with his anxiety alone, it doesn’t make him a druggie. He also needed hip replacement surgery from years of dancing onstage in high-heeled boots, but refused to have the surgery because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in blood transfusions and any surgery carries the possibility of the need for a blood transfusion. This all makes him a person who needed help.

I’ve lived with a druggie. They hurt other people. He–as far as we know–didn’t harm anyone but possibly himself. He had turned to religion and essentially renounced the oversexed performances most of us remember. He was living much like John Lennon was before he was murdered. He was very private, but at the same time he was a fixture in his neighborhood. He was at an age where a lot of people re-evaluate their lives and lifestyles.

I think we need to wait before we start using labels like “druggie.” This post expounds upon a Facebook post that I just left in response to someone who said that he might have been a druggie. I know people will disagree with my definitions of “druggie” and self-medicating, but I don’t really care. I’ve seen both up close and personal. I know there’s a mindset that makes a difference. People will disagree with that. Again, that’s fine, but I had to throw a thieving, abusing, violent drug addict with a long criminal history out of my house, so I think I have a little experience with the subject.

How could you just leave us standing

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It seems like the people who got us through the worst times, even though they never knew us, even though we never knew them, are leaving us all at once, just when we need them again. These dreadful, dreadful past few years. This horrid year. The U.S.’s steady descent into defiant bigotry. Presidential candidates who are suitable for nothing but fodder for late-night TV show hosts’ opening monologues. We grew up but we still needed Lemmy. Bowie. Natalie Cole. Glenn Frey. Alan Rickman. And now, Prince.

Prince Rogers Nelson seemed to have a joyful and seductive spirit. He made us dance. He made us stare in frank lust. It annoys me when talking heads mention that he was physically small. I never saw him as small. I saw a man with absolutely no self-consciousness who would do anything to make sure that the audience had a good time with him. Yeah, I know exactly how that sounds. But he appeared on our radar as this guy dressed like he had just walked out of one of those paperback pirate romances that hit the height of their popularity in the mid-80s, at about the same time that Prince became one of the “pop stars” who dominated MTV.

References to Prince as a pop star also irk me. He was a guitar god. The Eric Clapton quote has been going around the Internet all day. “What does it feel like to be the world’s greatest guitar player?” Clapton: “I don’t know, ask Prince.”

Prince was 14 years older than I am. He was one of the artists whose music filled my teen years. I followed his career, sometimes actively, sometimes casually, until his death yesterday. Less than a week ago I read that he had the flu. I expected him to recover and be with us for a long time. As of the time I write this, the cause of his death has not been announced.

Prince, like David Bowie, had the ability to evolve musically and keep creating and keep engaging fans for decades. Like Bowie, Prince went through personal stylistic changes, some dramatic, some just weird, but he never lost us. He went from 80s pop star to 2000s rock star. He took total command of the stage. I remember people making fun of him, his style, his overtly sexual music in the 80s. By the time he died, he was a respected artist and a superstar. He was respected for his songwriting, his talent with the guitar, and as a person who did not let down his fans. You can see all that in the partial video of his Superbowl halftime performance.

There isn’t going to be another artist of Prince’s calibre, or David Bowie’s, or Freddie Mercury’s, although we lost him so long ago. It seems that there is no new ground to break and it’s all style of some sort, not appealing in any way to me, over substance. At least we still have their music. I hope that Prince and David Bowie and Freddie Mercury and all of the ones we’ve lost know somehow what they meant to each and every one of us.

Prince’s Superbowl Halftime Show