The Marvin: A Proposed Unit for Measuring Depression


This was first published on my old Literate Perversions blog in 2013. I’m reprinting it here because it’s one of the best ways that I’ve come up with to articulate my feelings about depression. There’s a whole fuckload of talk not only about depression here, but suicidal fantasies, so proceed with caution. Also, in case publishing this reads as a cry for help, I’m doing just fine right now.

I spend a lot of my time feeling depressed. Not just sad, but paralyzingly, screamingly depressed. On my bad days, I’m the kind of person who thinks that Kurt Cobain was just too fucking perky.

This is not a new thing. The last few years may kicked it into overdrive due to the turbulence of my personal life, but I’ve been here before and I’ll no doubt be here again. This has been my life since my early adolescence. It’s really hard to know how to talk about depression, partly because it’s really fucking taboo to be depressed. Show it too much, and you get the label of being self-pitying or full of “drama,” and people do a quick 180 the minute you enter the room.

Continue reading “The Marvin: A Proposed Unit for Measuring Depression”

The Marvin: A Proposed Unit for Measuring Depression

Music That Matters: “Dance Music” by The Mountain Goats

The following goes into pretty heavy detail about my own decades-long issues with depression and a song that’s about violent domestic abuse.

One of the things that I want to do with this new blog is to start talking about music, and its place in my life. I’m not particularly interested in music reviews: One way or another, the intent of music reviews is to tell you whether an album or song is “good,” according to critical standards. Implicit is the idea that there’s some mysterious, objective standard to separate the crap from the good stuff.

It’s true that I can’t resist the occasional mean-spirited potshot at Nickelback or the entire genre of Christian rock, but for the most part, I long since gave up on the idea that there’s an easy, bright-line distinction between the good music and the bad music. That’s an idea better suited to 20-year-old hipsters who use bands to define their social cliques. I’ve long since left behind my 20-year-old hipster phase, and I’m glad of it.

What I’m more interested in is writing about music and its role in my life. These pieces are less about telling readers which music they should load onto their phone or Spotify playlist, and more about writing a personal biography of how certain songs have affected me over the years.

Continue reading “Music That Matters: “Dance Music” by The Mountain Goats”

Music That Matters: “Dance Music” by The Mountain Goats