September 20, 2016

The Shocking Reason Millennials Are Binging On Songs About Binging On Drugs

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Tove Lo - Habits
Tove Lo – Habits

If you, like me, enjoy listening to other white women sing songs about how depressing it is to be a white woman, then you’ve probably noticed how many right now are about a female protagonist doing a ton of drugs. Not for fun, per se, but because her life sucks so much and drugs are the only way she can cope.

Let me tune you into this very depressing mixtape:

Lana Del Rey — ”High on the Beach

In “High by the Beach” Lana Del Rey wants to get high by the beach because she can’t stand being sober around a boyfriend she knows doesn’t love her while dealing with the nihilistic dread of existence:

Loving you is hard, being here is harder
You take the wheel
I don’t wanna do this anymore, it’s so surreal
I can’t survive if this is all that’s real
All I wanna do is get high by the beach
Get high by the beach, get high
All I wanna do is get by by the beach
Get by baby, baby, bye bye
The truth is I never bought into your bullshit
When you would pay tribute to me cause I know that
All I wanted to do was get high by the beach
Get high baby, baby, bye bye

Sia — Chandelier

Sia’s “Chandelier” admits openly that she’s binge-drinking because she can’t handle how much it hurts being conscious:

Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

Phantogram — You Don’t Get Me High Anymore

In “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore,” the singer is complaining that her repeated efforts to obliterate her feelings with drugs have left her with such a high tolerance, she can’t get high anymore.

Cut it up, cut it up, yeah
Everybody’s on something here
My godsend chemical best friend
Skeleton whispering in my ear
Walk with me to the end
Stare with me into the abyss
Do you feel like letting go?
I wonder how far down it is
Nothing is fun
Not like before
You don’t get me high anymore
Used to take one
Now it’s takes four
You don’t get me high anymore

Tove Lo — Habits

And, oh my, in “Habits,” Tove Lo describes not just one addiction, but an apparent check list:

I get home, I got the munchies
Binge on all my Twinkies
Throw up in the tub, then I go to sleep
And I drank up all my money
Days kind of lonely
You’re gone and I got to stay high
All the time to keep you off my mind, ooh ooh
High all the time to keep you off my mind, ooh ooh
Spend my days locked in a haze
Trying to forget you babe, I fall back down
Gotta stay high all my life to forget I’m missing you
Pick up daddies at the playground
How I spend my day time
Loosen up the frown, make them feel alive
I make it fast and greasy
I know my way too easy

Staying in my play pretend
Where the fun ain’t got no end
Oh, can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain
Oh, staying in my play pretend
Where the fun ain’t got no end
Oh oh can’t go home alone again
Need someone to numb the pain

And of course, Lily Allen just comes out and say it in “Everyone’s At It:”

I’m not trying to say that I’m smelling of roses
But when will we tire of putting shit up our noses
I don’t like staying up, staying up past the sunlight
It’s meant to be fun and this just doesn’t feel right
Why can’t we all, all just be honest
Admit to ourselves that everyone’s on it
From grown politicians to young adolescents
Prescribing themselves anti-depressants
Now how can we start to tackle the problem
If you don’t put your hands up and admit that you’re on them
The kids are in danger, they’re all getting habits
From what I can see everyone’s at it

So where are we to take this? While I’m sure depressed people have been abusing drugs since time immemorial, what I think is interesting about this trend is what women are saying openly about their drug use. There is no literary allusion to Alice in Wonderland. There’s no fun symbolism wrapped around this pain.

These lyrics demonstrate extreme self-awareness. They say quite articulately that women are using drugs as a coping mechanism so that they might numb or blot out completely the pain of everyday life.

That’s some take for pop music.

I’m not passing moral judgment on addicts here. I generally reject personal accountability explanations for the pandemic of addiction since I think, ironically enough, the sobering personal accountability narrative is why so many middle-class women are turning to drugs.

Why?

Well, here’s my thinking. Little girls of my generation were born post-liberation. That means that girls my age were told that they would enjoy sexual freedom and get to make their own choices with their bodies. Once offered this choice, society up and absolved itself of accountability. Women, we’re now fully accountable for everything that ever happens to us and whatever messes we find ourselves in.

While there may be no one around to help, there will always be someone available after bad shit happens to audit our biographies and ask:

“Well, why didn’t you say ‘no’ then?”

“Why didn’t you know the bad shit would happen?”

“You should have known better that bad shit always happens.”

It’s enough to — hey! — drive someone to drugs.

“[M]ost Substance-addicted people,” wrote DFW in Infinite Jest, “are also addicted to thinking, meaning they have a compulsive and unhealthy relationship with their own thinking.”

I know he’s right. I hate myself most of the time. And as one of those people with hyperfast brains, oh, I can come up with about twenty reasons to hate myself per minute. And I’ll admit it: the quickest way to end that noise is to go on a drug vacation.

But why do women like me hate themselves so much?

I’ve thought about this hard. I have come to the conclusion that the reason so many women are this unhappy at this scale is because they’ve been raised to police their own thoughts for the thoughtcrime of victimhood and blame themselves for systemic fuckery. Nevermind that the fuckery is real, women’s adolescent curriculum is to learn how to hate yourself for everything you are and everything you’ll never be.

Because women are hated.

There’s no escaping how much society hates women.

And instead of being told this, you’re told you have to be hyper-responsible, hyper-vigilent, hyper-sensitive all the fucking time. No one actually gives a shit about your best interest. No one gives a shit about you at all. Men won’t take responsibility for themselves, so now that’s your job, too.

Deal with it.

And meanwhile, hey, you have to pretend like none of this patriarchy bothers you because, hey, now we can fuck on the first date, yay!

We get to fuck without even knowing the guy’s last name!

Freedom!

No one ever asks women what they want. They feed us bullshit like Sex and the City and tell us it’s feminist. Instead, we get books like Hanna Rosin’s End of Men where she takes a single study based on a few dozen college students and snowballs from it a ridiculous theory that actually women don’t want love anyway because — get this — it gets in the way of their careers.

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.

Right, so presently we’ve got a sexual culture where women’s desires for love and intimacy are continually shat on by a society that hates women, that renounces anything feminine, including love and intimacy, and instead promises us hermetic sexual encounters from the comfort of our own phone as if that’s anywhere close to how we as little girls really hoped sex would work when we grew up.

And just how men’s perpetual boyhood turns out to be absurdly profitable, women’s consequent depression is also hugely profitable!

I don’t think women’s depression is all attributable to the rise of manbabies and jobs being so ridiculously demanding that no one has time to love. But I do think they’re pretty significant in the grand scheme of things.

A lot of these songs are hitting on one theme: women are ostensibly offered tons of choices but none they desire. Most of these songs are about women having given up on getting what they want and trying to cope with what they get by binge-drinking and blacking out.

Tove Lo in “Habits” is so besides herself with so much daily pain that she’s taken up fucking sad men in the park because it takes her mind off of what she actually wants. When she’s done with that, she binges on junk food and throws it up because nothing is filling how empty she feels.

People spent a lot of time exploding the moral panic of middle-class housewives taking to stims so that they could cope with the isolation of their existence. But no one really cared about how they felt, then, either.

People wrote songs about that, too:

“Mother’s Little Helper” – Rolling Stones

Turns out, now? Society is so fucking cracked, millennials dance to literal cries for help.

This adds a whole new layer of weirdness to this guano cake.

Putting this level of self-awareness into a pop song is to say to the world, “Look how much searing agony I face just living in this fucked up mess I’m being offered but haha no one gives a shit about me because I’m white, college-educated and 25.”

Because no one ever gives a shit about young women’s pain.

The drugs help her manage what no one else gives a shit about.

And it’s so apparent to us that no one will give a shit, we’ve decided we’re just going to dance to it.

No one gives a shit about women’s pain until it lands her in rehab where millionaires can mine her insurance for $30,000 worth of “compassionate care.”

If she’s lucky enough to have any.

Then, I guess, then people care about young women’s problems.

At that point, someone gives a shit.

Until then, I guess we’ll just keep churning out dance hits about finding a vein that still takes. TC mark

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