Eyeballs the camera

Decides it’s nothing a little oatmeal can’t fix

I came here by day,
but I left here in darkness
and found you along the way.
Now, it is silver and silent.
It is silver and cold.
You, in somber resplendence, I hold

AFI, Silver and Cold- Sing the Sorrow

March 13. Thursday.

Since my writing is still seemingly hard to produce, I find myself with other outlets for my words, and sometimes they do a decent job of reflecting on small windows into my past. Such an item is a post I put on the AFI message board this morning. It was early, my eyes were a little foggy but I could clearly see myself deep in my past, during times that were a celebration of freedoms of expression and rejections of the oppressions that youths so often feel regardless of their actual existence. It was that time in life when you just need to find something to push against, something to test your mettle, something to prove yourself worthy of. Tatters of that time remain, one being my taste for the kind of music AFI have created and I am relieved, even ignited by the remembrance of those days gone by.

Maybe it is age…
I am sure I am one of the oldest ones around here and I am sure I will be around for a long time to come but a large part of my passion for AFI and their music is their personality. Not the personalities of the individuals who play and sing so beautifully, but rather the band as a whole whose presence captures you and pulls you toward them smiling and secretly jumping and bumping almost enough to burst you right out of your skin. It is the magnetic draw of the atmosphere of being close enough to touch them but wanting instead to be a part of them, to share not only who they are and what they do but also to become a piece of the experience totally losing yourself as the music envelops you. It started for me growing up as a teenager in a small town in the North of England back in the early days of Antmusic also, but slowly progressed through the Damned, the Sex Pistols and settling with the wild and crazy antics of originals like New Model Army, Stiff Little Fingers and The Clash (whose story and rise to fame is something I believe AFI will enjoy). It lay dormant within me for years as my tastes revolved through The Pogues and Big Audio Dynamite grasping at the few remaining straws of originality but still my soul cried out for the days of The Young Ones on TV, 12 hole Docs, music that made you scream and the desire to make something different of yourself. Not to shock or to fit in to some awkward ideals, but simply to show that you weren’t afraid to be who you were and were capable of staying the same inside regardless of how you dressed or looked.
Then it bit me again and as I stood in a small bar in London Ontario in my twenties listening to Minor Threat their raw appeal threw me back into the enjoyment of that adrenaline charged need to be possessed by the sheer violence of the music and the beautiful simplicity of the lyrics. But since then, since the fading of the Dead Milkmen and what I believed was the loss of the art of putting humour and fun into punk and hardcore (which I believe is where it started, not through violence as the skins would have you believe) I have rarely seen that spark of brilliance again.

Until AFI.

I don’t need to tell you what AFI does to me, because you know since it does it to you, it makes you cry, it makes you pray, it fills you with love and hate and acid fire, it makes you crazy like an animal, it speaks directly to your soul. And that, quite simply, is how it should be.

Thank you AFI for rekindling the fire inside us all.

Of course it is overstated and overly dramatic, but that in itself is a simplistic reflection of the kinds of feelings I was trying to recall. I am afraid that sometime I will lose touch with that, with the ability or desire to express myself excessively, to paint pictures that are too big to hang, write poems that are too long to read and feel emotions that are too much to express. I think that is why so much of this site and so much of what I write is dramatically overstated. I accuse others of their excess in this area, but it speaks to the truth of our dislike in others that which reflects ourselves.

It seems childlike, it is often treated as simplification or as the inability to express in any ‘civil’ manner those things that we create but it is so much more than that. It is designed to be so, it is deliberate in it’s base appeal, it is the expression of raw emotion using raw language, simply a reflection by the medium of the message.

..and so it goes.