Capital STEEZ – Free The Robots (2012)

Outstanding hip hop. The artist, Capital STEEZ (Jamal Dewar), died of suicide in 2012.

Another artist’s response to his death:

Someday in the future, if mankind doesn’t wipe itself out, render the planet uninhabitable, or otherwise go extinct, perhaps we’ll understand the human brain enough to figure out why suicide happens. Perhaps we’ll be able to understand how thoughts and choices are formed, how the brain can malfunction and lead to self-termination, and maybe even perhaps we’ll understand enough to feel compassion for each other instead of judgment.

Modest Mouse – Doin’ the Cockroach (1997)

Let’s all have another Orange Julius and listen to this song. (The previous sentence was a reference / quote of another Modest Mouse song, I can’t remember which one but I’m pretty sure it’s off “The Moon and Antarctica,” another Moddy Mouse reccy.) There’s this concept that “happy is s/he who detaches from the ego,” which I lifted from a book called The Philosophy Book, which itself is just a collection of 2 – 3 page long brief rundowns of various ideas and people throughout the history of philosophy. (My attention span is so short that I appreciate tiny nuggets of data that I can quickly parse and return to my life of seeking / sorting / browsing / ignoring information / doing not much.) The concept of “happiness = ego detachment” is attributed to Siddhartha Guatama, c. 563 – 483 BCE, eventually later known as simply the Buddha though I can’t determine when/where/why this change occurred. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

[Buddha] argues that nothing in the universe is self-caused, for everything is the result of some previous action, and each of us is only a transitory part of this eternal process — ultimately impermanent and without substance. So, in reality, there is no “self” that is not part of the greater whole–or the “not self”–and suffering results from our failure to recognize this. This does not mean that we should deny our existence or personal identity, rather that we should understand them for what they are: transient and insubstantial.

What a dollup of wisdom. Here’s what some guy named Dr. Kim on the internet has to say along these lines:

The more we detach from our egos, the greater potential we have to experience peace.

Don’t take it from me. I can only speak about my own experiences. But truly, the less time I spend in my own head comparing myself with others, and the less time I worry about my place in the world or how much wealth or success I have, and the more time I spend with my awareness in the present moment (i.e. what’s going on around me, what sounds do I hear, what sights do I see, how does my body feel), then the happier I am overall. It’s a beautiful and surprisingly peaceful and enjoyable way to live. Anyways, fuck you. This song is rad.

The Roosters – One of These Days (1966)

This 2:52 worth of intentional sound fits within the general framework of 60s guitar pop, but man, it’s getting me right now. That’s one of the zanier aspects of music, and also one of the most frustrating and mysterious: sometimes you just can’t fully explain why a piece of music affects you how it does, but it does, so you can either (a) disregard the logical brain’s attempts to break down and explain its power and simply enjoy it, (b) attempt to dismantle the music and determine why specifically it affects your connectome as it does, or (c) third option.

DJ SNEAK – Marijuana (2008)

Hey, while I’m on the subject of marijuana withdrawal symptoms, here’s a dank nug of a house jam from the early 2000s. A sequence of noises produced at a certain BPM, etched onto a wax circle, then converted into a discreet string of ones and zeroes, then further compressed into a file capable of being streamed across nearly all modern reliable internet connections. If you’re capable of feeling joy right now, enjoy! If you’re not capable of feeling joy right now, something’s gotta change, I’m pretty sure humans should be able to feel joy. But don’t quote me on that.

Rush – Working Man (1974)

Death approaches. First it will take your parents. It will reduce the strong, proud, capable people who watched over you, sheltered you, fed you, clothed you, and comforted you tirelessly for years to tired, physically weak shells of their former selves. Maybe dementia will destroy their minds, so you can watch your formerly bright and responsible parents struggle like infants with the basics of adult life. After years of observing your loving parents disintegrate slowly, finally there will be a release, and death will claim them. This leaves you alone on the planet, completely severed from the people who were your home. I suppose you’re expected to pass on your genes, consisting of depression and alcoholism, to kids of your own, so you can observe them grapple creating some synthetic purpose out of the apparent pointlessness of life, so they can watch you disintegrate as you watched your parents disintegrate. Alternately, you can end your life at any point you “choose.” (I put “choose” in quotes because when given enough suffering, suicide is the only known reliable option to the malfunctioning psychotic mind, the only escape for a brain-machine that has lost its ability to care for itself.) You can end your life at any point you choose. But death approaches regardless. So what’s the ‘Rush’?