Monday, June 25, 2012
Three years ago I was working in an AMC movie theater when I got the news that our King of Pop, Michael Jackson had passed. It was one of the most odd and bittersweet days of my life. I remember thinking that it was a joke, given how Twitter had, then, loved to kill celebrities every other week, I found it almost impossible to believe that such an iconic figure in American pop-culture be dead, especially at such a young age. That day also left me with the small yet complex idea as to where music industry will wind up, or who could even begin to fill such a man’s shoes? The answer to the second question was evident; NOBODY could ever replace MJ's shoes, especially not the ones he had done so many perfect spins and moonwalks in. But, the answer to the first question is evident as well; music had gotten significantly worse over the past years since Michael Jackson has passed. I'm not referring to the deaths of other music legends such as Whitney Houston, Etta James, Donna Summer, Heavy D, Chuck Brown or Amy Winehouse, but the overall standard of what quality music is had been long deceased and killed over a few hundreds of times. I will not get into any specifics about who is responsible for the lack of quality in this noise that they call music today, but I will start with saying that part of the reason such trash is being so heavily supported and endorsed is because of fans lack of knowledge on what quality music is. I can thoroughly understand that we are all different people with very different tastes in very different types of music. I can clearly hear for myself and understand that some of this music is catchy, but it all lacks one KEY thing, and that is substance. What in the living hell are people talking about these days in their songs?! The songs have lovey-dovey titles, but are in no way, shape, or form a love song; all you hear is a guy trying to buy a woman a drink, some red-bottom heels, or drugs to convince her that she should be with this creep. In my world and according to the law, that's called prostitution...and when you have to get someone drunk to compromise them into having sex, well...that's called rape technically. Of course I don't want anybody to go to jail over saying something in a song that they would never do in real life, or haven't done in real life, (which is the case for most of these suckas society chooses to idolize.)but most of these terrible, terrible artists should be put on trial for lack of substance. It's quite funny how in a society where people strive to be different, shit that sounds just like the last record of another artist always manages to churn out. If you turn on your local radio station today, you will hear no more than 10 songs at a time that will be on repeat throughout the day that all have this upbeat, Americano-dubstep, techno, pop sound. That's all good and fine to hear when you're out at a party or club, but to have artists who were once legendary, like Usher, in my opinion on this type of music CONFORMING instead of creating is an absolute shame and insult to the very rare and few innovators that we have remaining in the industry today, and even they don't get recognition because they have wisely and truthfully opted out of taking the easy way out. I wonder what Michael Jackson would think of today's noise...I mean music. He, Whitney, Amy, Etta, Heavy, and Chuck Brown are probably up above wondering where it all went wrong instead of reminiscing... the music is THAT BAD! On this day, we take the time to acknowledge the tragic loss of arguably the greatest artist of all -time, but we should also take time to take a look around and wonder how we ever let music underneath the standard of MJ become "good enough" or acceptable. I love oldies, I love new shit too, but I really wish that music could get back to the point where it was about creating and not conforming to what is popular or hot at the time. Catchy is momentary enjoyment, but quality lasts a lifetime when it comes to music. I wish some of our legends were still here, but today we remember an extraordinary artist; Rest in Peace Michael Jackson.
In the past year, not too much has been happening with this blog, and I was not too pleased with my writer’s block. I couldn’t churn out any stories or talk about anything happening in society, the media, in my life because during those long months of writer’s block I essentially did not care. I was in a very dark place in my life because of a few things, and then I realized that writing, aside from other things is therapy for me. I may not create the same vibe that I was able to create once before, but you gotta start somewhere, and mine is right here, back to the blog and more stories to tell! We never which direction we will go in life. Choosing a path has never been more difficult to choose than while in college nearing graduation. In the years you spend in college, a lot of things happen, not only to you, but to your social circle as well. As times change, people change and it can become very confusing and frustrating when you reach that critical point in your life where you have to cutback on how often you socialize and party, or who you social and party with in general. About two months or so ago, I had a nervous breakdown right in the middle of the floor in my dorm. My roommate wasn’t there to see me at my worst; I was literally a mess from head to toe. Ironically, this happened after one of the most fun weekends of my life thus far, the weekend of stoner’s 4/20. I woke up that morning very frustrated and rushed. I was up on was up on time, but still I felt as if I had only gotten a few minutes of sleep to make it through what was definitely going to be a very busy Monday. It was gray outside, all I remember hearing was tiny drops of rain hitting the plants that were outside of my window. Waking up in this fashion was already a buzz kill for the day, but it got a million times worse when I looked at my phone and saw that I had twenty-something unread and new texts, and about 50 emails sitting in my inbox waiting to affect my day. I went through each email and text message, and saw that they ALL were demanding me of something…but wouldn’t you like to know…not one of them read anything along the lines of “Good Morning Foster” or a simple “Hey, Foster how are you?” They all began with a demand that had a more than unreasonable time frame to get taken care of. So me, not yet even having brushed my teeth or showered, sat in my room staring at my phone and computer screen trying to figure out how I was possibly going to meet these demands, or some at least. These demands had come from people whom I had foolishly given my contact info to whenever they may need to be updated on the goings-on of what was happening on campus after hours. I know all sorts of people: party and club promoters, DJ’s, bartenders, etc. You name them, and more times than not I know them, or I will soon get to know them. I don’t know why but I always, always, ALWAYS tend to look out for people to have a good time no matter where they are. But to have such a selfless wish fulfilled, one may bring great injury to self. This I found out in no time. A majority of the text messages and emails that were eagerly sitting in my inboxes were from people around campus or that I had drunkenly met at a recent event during the 4/20 weekend, and all they really cared about was when and where the next big event or social gathering was going to be. In the midst of trying to figure out how I can get these people what they need to know, I saw that I only had 10 minutes before my next class, and checking my planner…I found out that I had a homework assignment due on top of all this morning madness. I began to sweat, shake, and then I felt my head begin to feel light. The next thing I know, I’m in the middle of my dorm room floor, shaking, sweating, and crying. For a minute, I blacked out, and when I came to, I decided that it was time for me to leave Towson before I literally drove myself crazy. I got my homework for the week done for all of my classes, and sent each professor an email letting them know about my current condition. I packed my bags, packed my car, and left campus without saying a word to anybody, not even my roommate or my family back home. As soon as I got home, my mother looked at me and knew immediately what was wrong and the first words out of her mouth were, “you need a break.” I had bags under my eyes, I might have been a little pale, but that’s hard to determine with skin so dark, but I digress. I went up to my room, and just laid down for a bit. The first thing I did, was turn off all sorts of communication. I didn’t check my phone unless absolutely necessary, I didn’t bother to tweet for a few days, and Facebook became foreign. I came to the conclusion, after a few days, that my biggest problem (aside from my terrible anxiety) was that I feel the need to be constantly tuned in or to cater to peoples needs, even if they aren’t a priority. I hate sleep because I feel as if I’m missing out on the world, which is something I’m still working on. And I hate having to stop or take a break…from anything. It’s a damn shame that it took a breakdown to appreciate what rest and relaxation is all about. For the entire week I was home, I had not a worry in the world, and Towson was a place I had momentarily forgot about. I missed two huge events that week too due to my breakdown. The first event was one I had long planned for and set myself up to go see, which was Tigerfest. (Which I have still yet to experience in my two years at Towson) Tigerfest is our annual spring celebration that features a lot of drinking and partying and usually a very dope concert. This year’s headliner was one of my favorite artists, Kid Cudi, who I had seen in the summer already, but I was too excited he was coming to our school! I also missed my friend’s show for a radio music festival, but luckily and thoughtful enough he and my friends showed me much love and support as they shouted me out before their set; at least I could stream the show online which was really cool. But towards the end of all this madness and bittersweet fulfillment I came to figure out that maybe those who only need me for their usage aren’t really needed by me, so I went through my phone and deleted a fuck ton of people from, old and new people. If you weren’t in any way, shape, or form contributing to my well-being but taking everything you could from it and from myself then I don’t need you around, even in the form of a thought. Not even on a rude note saying “fuck those people” or anything close to that, but I refuse for my sanity and mental well-being to be compromised for someone get what they want from me or my resources.