Monday, June 4, 2018

"Don't Miss It" by James Blake

Apropos of my recent posting about how I use music (spoiler alert: like a drug), here is an intense, penetrating song called "Don't Miss It" by James Blake. As I said in the previous post about music, I like distortion since it seems to bring me closer to truth...

There are two narrative voices going on in this song. One is the voice of someone crushed under the heavy weight of loneliness, solitude, disconnection...depression. And the other is the voice of gentle encouragement, reason...a glimmer of hope...perhaps speaking from experience. Read along with the poignant, tender, devastating lyrics as they are typed out on an iPhone.

After having his music labeled "sad boy music" for some time now, Blake just wrote a wonderfully refreshing, frank, and powerful note to the public on Twitter:

“I'm overwhelmed by the lovely response to Don't Miss It today.

But I can't help but notice, as I do whenever I talk about my feelings in a song, that the words 'sad boy' are used to describe it.

I’ve always found that expression unhealthy and problematic when used to describe men just openly talking about their feelings. To label it at all, when we don’t ever question women discussion the things they are struggling with, contributes to the ever disastrous historical stigmatisation of men expressing themselves emotionally.

We are already in an epidemic of male depression and suicide. We don’t need any further proof that we have hurt men with our questioning of their need to be vulnerable and open.

It is only a good thing to talk about what is on your mind.

Please don’t allow people who fear their own feelings to ever subliminally shame you out of getting anything off your chest or identifying with music that helps you. There is no great victory in machismo and bravado in the end. The road to mental health and happiness, which I feel so passionately about, is paved with honesty.

Sorry for the ‘sad boy’ letter but I’ve seen enough friends drown in this, and almost drowned in it myself because I bottled everything up, afraid of being seen as weak or soft. I now see the great strength, and benefit for those around you in actually opening up. Best, James x.”

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