The benefit of creating these playlists is that they help me process and cope. The trouble with them is that I’m a perfectionist. Without the absolute perfect song or emotional progression, the feature isn’t ready. With everything that’s going on in the pandemic, I wanted to create a playlist of calming and happy songs. Maybe it’s a list of impressive dance performances. I’ve got a pool of dozens, but the connective tissue isn’t there because I’m not processing feeling calm or happy. I am in places, but that’s not what I need to turn over right now.
I have half lists titled ‘Exorcisms’, ‘Losing People’, ‘break break please don’t break’, and a bunch of others that feel too dark for the moment. I have lists of animated music videos, horror music videos, protest performances – I have maybe two dozen lists of a handful of music videos each that only exist to be plucked from for other lists. None of them is perfect because none of them speak to what I’m coping with this moment.
What am I processing right now? Anger at how badly mismanaged the coronavirus response has been, at the corruption and profiteering that kills patients and healthcare workers alike. Melancholy at the strange middle ground of staying inside and feeling our daily anchors go numb – a placelessness that’s dangerous and the knowledge that it needs to be resisted.
I made something that feels like an emotional progression to me. Melancholy into resolve into anger, and then? It might not come out the way I want it, in that it returns to darkness, that amorphous sinking feeling, but it also gives me a place to put those feelings. I need a place to put them now.
It’s a strange thing that simply choosing pieces of art and putting them into order acts like a kind of canvass for me…but we all need whatever canvasses we have, however personal, however weird they might feel. We have no other places to put the paths we fear, the emotional progressions we worry we might take. Put them to some sort of canvass so that you don’t hold on to them, share them so you can speak about them, and maybe someone else might be willing to do the same.
Let’s Eat Grandma
Bat for Lashes
“Doing the Right Thing”
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete