On Slim Shady and My Emotional Impotence

I used to be an angry person.

I railed and ranted and rebelled. I was angry at my parents for being too demanding (they are not; I blame teenage hormones). I was angry at politicians for being stupid, corrupt scumbags. I was angry at people, in general, because they suck.

And they still do.

I still hate politicians, and stupid people, and global warming, and EDSA, and the world at large. Except I seem to have run out of steam.

You know I used to be able to rant and froth at the mouth on command? I’m not a debater for nothing. I was so passionate, and for some reason I think that anger was a necessary part of who I am. Because anger kept me emotionally attached, and somehow I thought being angry meant I was still idealistic, still fighting.

Now I’ve been swallowed whole by this thing called “adulthood”, and I barely give a fuck about anything these days.

The most I can muster now is “miffed”.

It’s a very nice word, really. Sort of onomatopoeic, I guess. It’s like the sound my face would make every time I sneered. Miffed. I like it.

The thing about this present calm (or pseudo-catatonia, if you will) is that it’s sort of disturbing. I have this niggling feeling that I should be a little more emotional, because that’s what normal is, right?

Enter Mr. Shady.

I wasn’t a fan of Eminem; he became famous right around my senior year in high school. Back then I bought into the hip-hop versus rock thing; you were either a punk or rapper, and I had discovered Nirvana too early to even consider switching sides. So I ignored the rappers, and I thought that was that. Besides, rappers were constantly talking about all the bitches they’ve done, the people they’ve shot, and the massive amount of drugs they shoot up their asses daily. I wanted none of that.

So consider me surprised when I realized, a few weeks ago, that I like Eminem.

And I won’t even consider rebutting his critics, who claim that his misogyny is so palpable you could murder his mother with it. I’m not even going to touch his penchant for controversy with a ten-foot pole.

I will argue that Eminem is a poet and motherfucking genius; see “Stan” for proof.

But it’s sort of surprising why I like him. See, one of his songs that I actually liked (secretly, in college) was Without Me, so I thought maybe I’d download that album. So I was listening to The Eminem Show, and I was liking it, but then this song Superman comes on and I’m just flat out sold.

Superman is Eminem haranguing bitches who just want to sleep with him because he’s money now. He may or may not have threatened to kill women again in this song. But that’s not the point.

The point is that this song is raw, unadulterated, and undisguised hatred. The guy is so fucking angry it cuts through time and space.

And for a second there, I realized one thing. I listen to music because I need songs to feel for me. What I can’t feel on my own, I can get songs to do for me. This is why I’ve listened to The Smiths for years. Because they articulate that empty, bullshit feeling inside that I can’t seem to explain as well as they can on my behalf.

Because Eminem is angry, and I am angry, but I seem to have forgotten how to actually feel and radiate this anger. We’re not even angry about the same thing, but this pure anger that floods out of my earphones is more than enough to make me feel human and alive again.

He’s angry enough for the both of us, and that’s good enough for me.

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