For April, our Tunesday theme takes its cues from the opening lines of T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” The songs we pick will evoke melancholy or sadness but are also tinged with hope. In life, it is good to remember that while it may be raining on your dull roots, those droplets are stirring up blooms.
Here’s something that I can say comfortably now as a 33-year-old: High school wasn’t the worst thing. I had several good friends, played lots of 500 with some of those friends during class, and typically excelled at playing the grade game. But when I was actually in high school? High school sucked. And when I was in high school, high school was all I knew of life. Therefore, life sucked.
On each Tunesday this month, Amanda suggests that we conjure T.S. Eliot:
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull root with spring rain.
Osker’s 87-second opus “Life Sucks” is spring rain on the dead land for me. This punk song helped me get through my angsty, please-get-me-out-of-here high school years with just-hang-in-there lyrics like “I don’t want your pity; I’m happy with what I am” or “if I could just grow up then everything would be just fine” — yet incredibly it was written by fellow teenager Devon Williams, whose prescience and precociousness percolates throughout Treatment 5.
When I hear this song now, it stirs those dead memories when I believed life sucks, when I was lonely, when I felt trapped in high school and my own uncomfortable skin. But it is also spring rain — I did grow up, and everything is just fine. I tried hard, I studied, I worked, I took risks, I found love. Today, these 87 seconds of early-aughts punk snot remind me all at once that I was at one time lonely and miserable, that those feelings were temporary and mostly foolishness, and that life is amazing. I’m happy with what I am.
That is, someone who still thinks the staccato-bounce bass riff by Dave Benitez at 0:57 is bliss.