Thanks to recent events in my professional life, I seem to be made of pure hate these days.

I breathe distilled anger and shoot rage out of my glaring, black eye sockets. I’m on the verge of a panic attack roughly 95% of the time and feel my muscles vibrate as the resentment, frustration and pure, unadulterated fury course through my body thanks to that unmistakable sensation of getting royally fucked, knowing it’s not your fault, and seething when you think of the motherfucker whose hand is on the knife.

It’s been a lovely few days, and while I recognize this too shall pass, it doesn’t make the process any less totally draining and miserable. I can’t sit still, but I don’t want to do anything either. I scowl at people without realizing it. I snap at strangers. And no matter what I do, I can’t shut off the nagging voice inside my head reminding me just how unfair it all is. It’s a pity party of the highest order, and I recognize that too. Of course, that just kicks in my self-loathing impulse, and we tumble further down the rabbit hole of psychosis.

The one thing that salves my raging psychotic neuroses (at least temporarily) is punk rock. I can’t defeat the noise in my head with logic, and I can’t get over it, not yet anyway. I can’t distract it. The snapshots of rage I play over and over in my head trump anything else that gets in there. So what can you do? Drown the fucking sounds out.

I spent about four hours in my car last week on a work obligation, and that’s a shitload of time to be alone with your anger. Knowing myself well enough to know that whatever I played on the radio had to be loud or else I’d just grind my fucking molars down to nubs over the course of a day, I said hello to some old friends I hadn’t listened to in awhile.

Welcome back, No Use for a Name.  Good to see you again, Pennywise. It’s been too long, Suicide Machines.

This is the only music I’ve ever known that can shut my brain the hell up. And for that, I’ll never stop listening to it. It’s just so cacophonous with distorted, driving guitars, crashing, thunderous drums, and a lead singer that relentlessly grabs you by the lapels and won’t let go until not only are you right there with him, you ARE him.

One of my favorite photos ever of Jason Cruz, lead singer of Strung Out.

Punk speeds me up so fast I can’t think. And it’s only when I stop thinking that true insight occurs. It’s a Zen feeling, and seems counterintuitive, but only when I can get some mental elbow room can I start to figure shit out. The unstoppable force of a great Pennywise track gives you the cover you need to get a second to take a deep, cleansing breath and be alone without the crushing weight of your rage upon you. This music is a fucking miracle.

I’ll be fine. Until that happens, if you need me, I can’t hear you because this music is too loud. But if you’re looking to rock out and drown your neuroses, feel free to join me in my own private concert hall. It’s loud. But it’s the only place I can get some peace and quiet.

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