Trying this immediately!
whatsupdoc: when you click the note it takes you to this scene
netflix is gettin real adorable with their arrested development easter eggs
Hyenas melting away any negative preconceptions.
I love Canada. ;)
I suddenly feel very giddy!
I find myself relating to her more and more in my everyday thoughts.
Music is a very different kind of salvation. MCR inspired me to be bold and proud, a rebel to hipocrisy. “Oh, how wrong we were to think that immortality meant never dying.” - Our Lady of Sorrows
After 12 years, MCR is calling it quits. I’m not really even sure what to say, but I’m going to subject you to it anyway. If you hate the band, just skip, it’s not for everyone. I don’t care how dumb I sound or cliche or whatever. I loved them since I was 17, and I always will. This will be a longread, and I will come off as an emo bitch, because I was, and sometimes I still am.
When I was 17 years old, I was living with my Christian parents and smuggling my music. I was home-schooled. Yeah. My favorite band at that point was probably like Relient K or some other pseudo-Christian bullshit band that was trying to find success by infiltrating the secular music scene. I remember seeing the cover art to Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge in a Circuit City before I had any idea what it was, and thinking that it looked dark and distressing. I lead hymns at the church, and I was just, just then beginning to suspect that the earth was not 6,000 years old.This is all just to let you know what kind of kid I was at the time.
Anyway, I got a job at Chik-Fil-A in Panama City, Florida. I was driving to work when Welcome to the Black Parade came on the radio. It sounds cliche to say that it changed my life, just like you always hear “This band literally SAVED MY LIFE”. They didn’t save my life, but they changed it entirely. I had never heard anything like that brash, militant, darkly upbeat song about death and refusing to give up. I paid so little attention to the road that I should have crashed, and I was late for work. It sparked parts of my brain that had never been touched before. It made my face tingle and my whole body got chills. The next day I bought The Black Parade in Target, and spent the next month blissfully ignoring the rest of my life as I played that album over and over. I measured time by Welcome to the Black Parade played on a loop. 5 minutes and 11 seconds. That was how I measured my waking life, in 5 minute, 11 second chunks. My interest in them led me discover the Used, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and more. These bands cemented my discovery that music wasn’t a gateway drug that would send me to Hell, but My Chemical Romance was the catalyst. My best friend Sara set me up with Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and I Brought You My Bullets, You Gave Me Your Love, and I only fell more in love.
To me, this was something entirely new. Now of course, I can recognize the influences that made MCR. For the Black Parade in particular, we’re talking Queen, the Beatles during Sgt.Pepper phase, and David Bowie. Back then, I only vaguely knew who those people were. I discovered them for myself through MCR, just like I discovered everything else. It all started there. To me, this was pure, jagged honesty in the form of music. It all spoke to me. The aggression and chaos of their first and second albums, the polished, fist pumping defiance and theatrics of their third, and the cinematic lyrics of every song. It tore my teenage head off.
After a few months, as I grew more and more discontented with my religion, my mom decided to check my iPod and see if that would explain my heretical behavior. The first song that played was Mama, by MCR. If you don’t know it, Here’s the first line: “Mama, we all go to hell…”
Things went to shit with my parents at that point, as you can imagine. All of the CD’s I had bought went into the trash while I was out of the house. A few hundred of my Chik-Fil-A dollars sent to a landfill. The waste of my money was the objection I raised to my parents, because it was useless to try and explain how much that music had meant to me.
From there, my fall from grace in my church turned into a nosedive. I attacked my Bible with a notebook and Google and science books, and I took my questions to my preacher, who had nothing of worth to counter with. I began to realize that all was not as it seems in this world. I bought the most important of my lost CD’s again and hid them in my car. I got a girlfriend who was not good for me in the least, but she felt cheated by the world, and so did I. Yes, there was a war on, and yes people are starving in the world, but teenagers don’t give a shit about that. They care about the universe that is currently revolving around their issues, which seem insurmountable at the time. So we were both angry kids. We both had different reasons for it. I was unraveling a tapestry of lies that had shaped my whole life and dictated my every action as a pious kid. Her reasons aren’t for me to tell here, but she was broken. I hope she got better, but eventually she was too destructive even for my own hellbent self, and I called a stop to it.
I moved out of my parents house at 18. My mom packed for me and we didn’t really talk for a year or more. I spent every minute of time that I could with my new girlfriend, who is now my wife and the best person I have ever met. I spent my nights with Sara and Jon, my best friends then and now. They’re both Christians, a group of people with whom I decidedly did not get along. They were different. They believe, but they feel no need to push that belief onto anyone, which is such a simple and beautiful way to carry out what the New Testament actually calls for (Old Testament God is still a dick though). To me they embody what Christians should be.
I would sit up until dawn with them, smoking and talking and walking and driving and trespassing in harmless “rebellion”. More often than not, My Chemical Romance was the soundtrack to these nights. We felt immortal, which is getting harder and harder to feel these days, as my income increases at roughly the same pace as my bills, and I am married and I have a military clearance that I could lose if I so much as get a speeding ticket. Back then we had barely any money to match our almost non-existent responsibilities, but it was enough for a 20x10 studio apartment and gasoline and cigarettes and energy drinks, and that was all that was necessary. I’m not entirely sure what I ate, because I don’t remember every shopping for groceries, but I’m still alive.
A friend of ours died. It was complicated and I’m not going to explain it. Jonathan made a tribute video set to My Chemical Romance’s Disenchanted. It was haunting. We sat at his grave alot of nights and smoked and talked, kind of including him in it all. Sometimes I would leave my car running with the doors open to play music while we sat there. It was usually MCR.
I got engaged. I realized that Chik-Fil-A was not going to cut it. Sara and Jon moved away, the bastards. I got a job processing student loans. I wanted to die. I got laid off and felt better. I still needed money. I joined the Air Force. My Chemical Romance’s last full album, Danger Days, came out one week before I left for Basic Training. I listened to it obsessively. I recognized that it wasn’t as magical this time around, but I still loved it. I took one last drive around my hometown and fell asleep on the beach listening to it. I figured that this might be my last night of living here, since the Air Force would probably send me to Montana or somewhere else terrifyingly landlocked.
I went through Basic. It sucked but I got used to it. When we ran around the track, I ran to the pace of MCR’s Bulletproof Heart. For some reason, it’s the perfect pace for a 10 minute mile and a half, which is plenty fast enough for me.
I went through technical training in Texas. I got sent back to Florida, lucky me. I love it here. After I got back, my grandfather died of cancer. The service was in the same graveyard where our friend was buried. My Chemical Romance helped then, too. The Black Parade is actually about a guy dying of cancer anyway, so it helped. I’m fully reconciled with my parents, who aren’t really Christians anymore. Now they’re more along the lines of live and let live New Age hippies, which is definitely preferable to their prior state. I talk to them weekly.
Meg and I got married after Basic Training. Best thing I’ve ever done with my life, or ever will do.
We’re talking about getting a matching tattoo. It’s gonna be a line from a B-Side to The Black Parade called Kill All Your Friends. The line is: “You’ll never take me alive”. We’re changing the “me” to “us”. A small change, but significant. She agrees that it fits us, which just goes to show that I made the right choice of life partner.
That’s basically what MCR gave me. The realization that music can be for YOU, and not just a vehicle of puerile praise for a deity. The drive and encouragement to push through problems, like facing up to your fundamentalist creationist parents as an atheist, or losing people, or getting through Basic Training. The philosophy that as long as I have my will and my friends and my love, I will never be taken down. We will carry on and we will survive and we will thrive.
My Chemical Romance is dead. Long live My Chemical Romance.
“You’ll never take me alive.” -Kill All Your Friends
“If you say goodbye today, I’d ask you to be true, cuz the hardest part of this is leaving you.” -Cancer
“Well mother what the war did to my legs and to my tongue, you should’ve raised a baby girl, I should have been a better son.” -Mama
“I won’t go down by myself, but I’ll go down with my friends.” -You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison
“You don’t know a thing about my sins.” -Heaven Help Us
“I got a bulletproof heart, you got a hollowpoint smile.” -Bulletproof Heart
“They’re never gonna get me, I’m like a bullet through a flock of doves.” You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison
“I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone.” -Famous Last Words
“If life ain’t just a joke, then why are we laughing?” -Dead!
“Defiant to the end, we hear the call. We’ll carry on.” -Welcome to the Black Parade
Lisbeth holds my heart.