An A-to-Z Conversation with the Blogger

ARE you kidding me with this nonsense? 

No. But, this is not about you at all. This is about me, having a lot of free time, and trying to cope with depression and crushing loneliness through my love of music. Thanks for the attitude, though!

BUT how is this supposed to help? 

I have no idea.

COULD you maybe just go out and make friends or exercise or something?

I’ve tried that. I exercise. I have friends.

DOES your therapist know about this?

Depending on various factors, I may or may not have a therapist. Who may or may not know about this.

EVERYONE who sees this is going to worry, right? 

Probably not. There are worse ways to cope with mental illness. This seems benign, even if falls short of constructive.

FOUR-letter words abound in your entries, to the degree that suggests that using profanity might even be a crutch for you, no? 

As far as I am concerned, any profanity in this blog is a feature, not a bug.

GOING back a bit, what are your ground rules for this project?

I am reviewing all the albums I own, working from each end of the alphabet (though that may change). I am not reviewing discrete singles, EPs, bootlegs, box sets, or anything that I “own” in digital format only, or anything owned just on vinyl (which is almost nothing).

HOW long do you think this is going to take you?

Assuming I ever finish, it will take probably three years at the earliest.

IS there anything else you like to do?

Yes, but doing most of those things alone, as I find I often have to, makes me sad. Writing is solitary already, and therefore I don’t feel as depressed when I am writing.

JESUS fucking Christ.

I know.

KNOWING people might read your entries must impact how or what you write?

Maybe. I try to provide context and I do some research, which I would not necessarily do for my own purposes, but my reaction to and description of the albums is authentic.

LOTS of the blog entries do seem celebratory.

Well, if I own an album, it’s because I like it. I might even love it. Taking the time to carefully relisten to the albums and put down in print what I like about them, and why, helps to remind me what I find appealing about them, perhaps in ways I had not consciously considered before.

MOST likely, people will be largely unfamiliar with a percentage of this music, wouldn’t you say?

Probably. If people don’t want to read about Evans the Death, that’s fine with me. If someone reads about Garageland and checks them out and ends up a fan, then that’s cool, too. But I am not here to either offer popular content or convince anyone of anything.

NOT a lot of new music on here, though.

My music collection is what it is. Most albums I bought after high school and before having children; as I have aged, I have less time and desire to find new music.

ONE could argue that instead of retreating into the past, you should open yourself up to the future and spend the considerable energy this project is taking on discovering and enjoying new music, and in fact, that this blog is emblematic of both the perverse comfort you take in being trapped in your damaging thought-patterns and your overwhelming fear of breaking free of them.

Aren’t you insightful? Look, I am doing the best I can. It’s a miracle I can even get out of bed and go to work in the morning. I say with no arrogance that I am actually extremely high-functioning, professionally and arguably as a parent (to say nothing of as a blogger and self-interviewer, obviously), despite everything. I submit that I actually have no control over my life, and all I can do is react and endure. If good things happened to me, then I wouldn’t be depressed. If I could make good things happen, then I would. But I can’t, and they don’t.

PERHAPS you should reconsider therapy or medication?

Neither therapy nor medication will alter the reality of my life. The facts are the facts. Unless and until those realities change – again, realities that I have zero control over – then I see no hope, and therapy and pills end up being a waste of money (which I don’t have to spare – reality) and effort (which I can barely muster), to say nothing of the horrible and not fully known side effects of medication.

QUERY that you might lack the proper perspective to be making these assessments?

I might be wrong. And in humble recognition of that possibility, I have attempted therapy and medication, and at best they did not help and at worst they made things worse.

REALLY, you need to talk to someone about this.

Disagree.

SO, what is your plan?

White-knuckle it until I die. 

THIS is a difficult interview.

There’s a simple solution to that problem . . .

UNUSUAL doesn’t begin to describe it.

That’s not a question.

VEXING, in fact.

*Yawn*

WE’RE getting to the tough part of the alphabet.

The “W” was the easiest of this last string of letters – who?, what?, when?, where?, why? – and you blew it.

XYLOPHONES featured at all in this blog?

Maybe on a Violent Femmes albums, or Vampire Weekend, but I would need to verify that (update: Yes! See Violent Femmes), because it could be a vibraphone instead.

YOU are a perplexing man.

*No response*

ZEALOUS commitment to your own sense of damage is not a great principle to design your life around.

“Design your life” – LOL. As if I would have chosen this horror show. But for the sake of completeness, I agree.

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