Before we start: shit's about to get real goddam serious. If you want to skip my stupid words that you hate and go straight to the show listings, click this link right now.
Fucking narcissists, AMIRITE you guys?
I know, like, so many of them. I was raised by one, a real nasty one too, and so I complement narcissists very well, they are attracted to me and I am attracted to them, as I have been conditioned to give them attention and affection while expecting nothing in return. This brainwashing of sorts has destroyed almost every relationship I’ve ever had. With narcissists, I can only bear so much of being pushed to give energy away until I become resentful, ashamed, angry and self-destructive; and with non-narcissists, something just doesn’t “feel right.” How can this be love if it doesn’t feel like what I was taught love was supposed to be? How can I trust you if you’re not constantly trying to steal my power for your own gain?
Most narcissists are harmless and lack self-awareness. A lot of them have sort of a vague, non-violent cycle of abuse going on; they drain you, you start to resist, they feel bad and then apologize and offer up some warped version of what they think being compassionate and giving is. Fine, you get used to it. And hey, sometimes you even get a gift! That’s why it’s so hard to walk away from a narcissist - because you know they’re actually good people and that the damage they do is incidental, not intentional. They can’t help it any more than I can in being drawn to them.
But every once in a great while, you stumble upon a toxic narcissist. A person who has the same needs as your garden-variety narcissist, but takes the sense of grandiosity a step further - she needs to elicit your envy (or what looks like envy to her - she doesn’t see things clearly, remember), she needs the admiration of others, and it doesn’t matter from whom it comes. It’s a deep, fundamental hunger that must be fed on the regular. She uses a sense of superiority and contempt to make others feel like losers so that she can feel better about herself, and she’s destructive about it - it does not matter to her what damage she leaves in her wake; she is careless with her words and casually offends, hurts, attacks and destroys without awareness. While a run of the mill narcissist will feel regret for any reckless acts, the toxic narcissist has no room for self-reflection. She must constantly convince herself she acts in righteousness at all times. She must never be wrong. Being wrong is a state of vulnerability. And the toxic narcissist is afraid to be vulnerable. It scares her more than anything because deep down, she knows she is weak, and she knows that people will then find the emptiness inside that she tries to fill every hour of every day with self-aggrandizing behavior.
She will never stop herself and say, “wait a second… is what I just said racist? Is it sexist? Is it classist?” because it doesn’t matter to her. She broadcasts, and the only feedback that will get through her filter is the stuff that fortifies her illusion of grandeur. She loves the Internet, because she can turn the faucet on and off at will - a thirsty selfie with a low cut top here, a reference to sex there and she’s got creepers from far and wide filling the coffers for hours.
These toxic narcissists destroy communities. Donald Trump is one. Paris Hilton was one. Ted Bundy was one. They take and take and contribute nothing, and leave those who give them energy feeling depleted, and judged, and inferior. Those of us that do have the capacity for self-reflection see the narcissist’s posts and turn inward, harshly holding ourselves up to the impossible (and fake) standards that the narcissist insists she embodies. And social media gives these people a giant virtual megaphone through which to shout their poison. There’s nowhere to hide from it, and it brings us all down.
But, listen - I get it. I’m done comparing myself to people on the internet who image craft so they can feel better than me. I create my own sense of self-worth that is not constantly in a comparative state (hahaha I mean RIGHT? THAT'S A THING). And I feel protective of my community. When there is a cancer among us, I want to shield us from it. So come here, and give me your hand. Oh, it’s like that, you’re a hugger? Sure, I’ll take one, lemme smoosh my b cups into whatever you’ve got going on up there, bring it in. Hold on to me and I’ll hold on to you. It is okay that we are all in pain and that the pain is pretty dark and private and like nobody else’s pain. I know I can’t fully know your pain and you can’t fully know mine. But we can listen to each other. We can deep dive on it together. You are safe. The laissez-faire racism, aggression and anti-feminism of toxic narcissists can only be fought by us standing up for ourselves. Nothing that anyone says on Facebook or Twitter or whatever has anything to do with you. It’s a reflection on who THEY are, on their insecurities. Not on any fault or insufficiency you have. You are perfect just as you are, at any moment, whether you are at your “worst” or your “best.” That doesn’t mean we don’t make mistakes or sometimes hurt one another, but we can engage with compassion rather than narcissism to heal any wounds we create.
When we take a moment to step back and look for our commonalities, the things that we have in common with one another, we can develop love within our community. Narcissists destroy this. They seek to separate themselves; they are the pigs of Animal Farm: “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
We stand up for each other against toxic cancers in our community, and that’s what makes us strong. So watch out, out there on the internet, friends. There lurk among us some tumors worth cutting out. Practice self care and remember that you don’t have to tolerate anyone trying to bring you down.
OK SHITHEADS LET’S GO SEE SOME FUCKING BULLSHIT LOCAL MUSIC, YEAH I GET DEEP SOMETIMES FUCK RIGHT OFF:
Friday September 23
What’s happening here, why is Friday so dismally devoid of shows? Some weekends it’s like it’s raining penises right into your mouth, and then some weekends it’s like all the penises have dried up into little penis raisins and turned to dust before your very eyes. Well anyway, Hella Good Tacos has Wedding Camp, The Record Play, Adulting and Frankie Moon. Wedding Camp is a brand new band that has arisen from the fallout of Cool Tara breaking up like a phoenix from the hot swirling ashes of a million copies of The Phoenix that should all be burned to save us from all becoming dumber and worse. HA that was supposed to be a thing where I’m like “go to this show” but instead it was a dig against the stupid Phoenix because they’re the worst and I am so clever you can’t even handle it or see me coming. Oh but for reals, this is all ages, which I think is fucking cool so drop your teens off and let them get the fuck away from mom and dad for nine goddam seconds, IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Well, well, well, what have we here? PHOME is celebrating 25 years of rockabilly supahstahs King Memphis. They have The Outsiders and Pete Witham and the Kozmik Zombies (LOVE) there too, so this should be a neat time. Ten bucks, no big.
Plague has a B-movie costume contest tonight, but it’s STILL at the goddam sports bar at the Asylum. That’s like being like, here, enjoy this slice of delicious chocolate cake, but oh I forgot you have to eat it wrapped in tripe and dipped in fish sauce lolol sorry.
SPACE is closed tonight but hosting a fundraiser at which you can gamble and to which you have to take the ferry. Adventure, and stuff, for ART!
There’s other stuff, I was pretty thorough this week. Check the calendar, you rotting slabs of jean meat.
Saturday September 24
Well before we proceed with anything else, it should be said that Lee Scratch Perry is at Port City Music Hall. He’s a legend. If you haven’t seen him, go, you big fucking dummy dum dum head.
What is Moosetones? I feel like moose in general wouldn't necessarily There’s apparently a band member who plays bass but also plays “hollerin’ and encouraging.” Sure. This oddly named band is at Dogfish.
If you like to dance or drum, you could take a lesson from dance instructor Youssouf Koumbassa, who is here from Guinea, West Africa with master drummer Namory Keita. There are two classes at Maine Ballroom dance to learn from Koumbassa or Keita. Neat opportunity in our little corner of the world to learn something about Guinea dance and culture.
Portland Americana trio The Truth About Daisies is releasing an album at OLS. I don’t know anything about them but it’s goddam about fucking time I wrote about something outside of my wheelhouse, wouldn’t you agree? This is the type of band where I’d go to see them and instantly regret not “learning how to be more feminine.” One of them is definitely going to be wearing a precious sundress with cowboy boots and look totally cute and instantly turn all the pupils of eyes attached to bodies that have hetero dicks to stars and I will be like WHY NOT ME? And then Satan will be like WE HAVE OTHER PLANS FOR YOU, RELAX, MINION.
Black Hatch is at the taco store with some out of towners. The Flipsides are at Bayside Bowl with three Boston bands. Flask is hosting a fundraiser for WMPG. Rhum is hosting a little pre-party before the PSO does all your favorite classic rock songs, but you know, classier.
Nuclear Bootz, The Bumbling Woohas, Buddusky and Captain Martini and the Key Stoners are at Geno’s.
Sunday September 25
The Week Ahead:
Keep an eye out for Stranger Things Night at Arcadia, Drip Sweat at Flask and Ice Cold Zima’s last standing gig of the season at PHOME.