Ah, that’s beautiful… We got a lot of little teenage blue eyed groupies who do anything we say…

Title from Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show“The Cover of ‘Rolling Stone'”

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I want to start a one man “band” making loud, angry, destructive heavy music. This is going to be quite a process:

1.))) Dust off my guitar and start jamming.
2.))) Dust off Stacy’s old keyboard, and our Grandpa’s fucking bad-ass electric organ, and relearn how to rock out on keys.
3.))) Procure a drum set and start banging on shit, freaking out like Animal and generally annoying everybody into submission.
4.))) Soundproof the basement (just kidding, sister…)
5.))) Record a shitty demo, transfer it to tape, and hang out in front of record stores in a crust punk jacket begging for donations.
6.))) Talk to anyone who will listen about all my plans when we get our big break, man. We’ll be on tour overseas with Sleep and you’ll still be stuck here baking your fuckin’ homemade gluten free scones, bro…

All this seems very involved, so I better start slow and just focus on settling on a band name for now. Uterine Betrayal and Death Stench Creeps are both already taken…

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The Pills You Take To Mend Will Be the Architects of Your Destruction: A Musing on Paxil and the Struggle With Madness

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Illustration by Joel Benjamin

Someone dear to me shared this outstanding post from Vice News on the subject of psychiatric medication withdrawal. You can find the original post by following this link.

Below is one of my own rantings on the subject from recent months.

Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan

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I have been on and off various psychiatric medications for my entire adult life, mostly concurrent with a good fifteen plus years of self-medication with “illicit” drugs and alcohol. Surprise of all surprises, I am also the kind of “adult” who can never seem to get his fucking life together.  This instability accounts for my inconsistency with staying on the legal drugs — I lose a job, I lose insurance coverage, I lose my doctor, I lose my mind.  In the midst of this, I destroy everything. 

Beyond that, I have ever increasing doubts about the efficacy of psych meds at all, coupled with growing anecdotal evidence and research suggesting I’ve never been accurately diagnosed in the first place. But that is a topic for another time…

I mentioned here that, for various reasons and circumstances, I would be going off the current “wonder drug” that I’ve been pumping through…

View original post 824 more words

Alan Moore, Rorschach, and the body

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“Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night.

Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else.

Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world.

Was Rorschach.

From Wallpaperup.com

From Wallpaperup.com

Does that answer your Questions, Doctor?”

— Alan MooreWatchmen

Rantings on Madness with a Dose of Damn the Man

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After months of dealing with paperwork, questionnaires, waiting in lines, hours on hold on the phone, ridiculous inquiries, bullshit red tape, and other fucking ridiculousness, I still am no closer to obtaining health insurance. I have no idea what is going on with my mental health disability claim, and am at a loss of who else to try and contact. All avenues explored for low-income or no-income access to medical and/or mental health treatment services have been a fucking flaccid cock suck. I am too broke to afford food for my dogs. And I can’t even get hired at goddamn shithouse Target or fucking Wal Mart.

THIS. THIS is why motherfuckers snap and lash out in horrific, destructive violence. Fuck my life.

I’m throwing a self-pity party, and you all are invited. Bring cake you fuckers.

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Then, later….

So.

Around the same time that I started trying to get that good government-funded insurance coverage at the beginning of February, I also filed a claim with the Social Security Administration for mental health disability. Anything to get a little assistance while I try and un-fuck my mind.

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Just as we were about to move to Cheyenne at the beginning of April, I finally saw some movement on this when I got a call from a representative at the Tucson SSDI office. They needed to schedule an evaluation with a head shrinker to determine if my Crazy is legitimate. However, this appointment wouldn’t be happening until the start of May, by which time I planned to be nestled snuggly in the springtime snow drifts of Wyoming.

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Of course, this creates a problem. And the government minions in Tucson have no powers of influence outside of their own little Sonoran desert bubble, so the entire case would have to be put on hold and transferred to the Cheyenne SSDI office for further processing. Sure, whatever, just get it done. “Someone should be calling you in a couple of weeks,” I was assured.

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Here we are, six or seven weeks later. Fuck all. So I call the local Social Security office to check in, find out what’s what, see if I can do anything to move this along. Lo and behold, it turns out the fucking case was never even transferred from Tucson. It has just been sitting in limbo this entire time that I have had a thumb jammed up my ass to try and keep the Crazy from leaking out too much.

Fuck you, Government. Your shit is ABSURD.

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Oh, and I forgot to mention. It’s not that I don’t want to work. I have had several interviews over the last several months, in both Tucson and Cheyenne, for jobs I would have been proud to work. The interviews start off great. By the end of them, I have devolved into a bumbling, anxious, sweaty mess that can barely utter a comprehensible sentence. Call me crazy, but I suspect that might have been a factor in me not getting hired…

BitchFest over. For now. 🙂

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But first, for good measure….

In my madness, I am actively trying to alienate most or all human meat popsicles from my life. I’ve managed to purge several high profile carcasses so far this year, and there have been a few unplanned casualties. But all that means is we clearly need to step it up a notch!

Still chock full of irreverent sarcasm, however. We’ll need plenty of that to be in this thing for the long haul…

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Released from Hell in Ecstatic Frenetic Suffering: An Evening with the body and Full of Hell

Original Image by Keith Coombes

Original Image by Keith Coombes


The dreary, morose mood hanging in dense, foreboding clouds over Cheyenne yesterday was ideal to set the day’s tone and prepare this sleepy town for the deceptively inconspicuous arrival of two of heavy music’s most devastating forces.  For a few frenetic hours, downtown Cheyenne’s Ernie November store was home to the cataclysmic DOOM of Portland’s the body and the schizophrenic grind of Maryland’s Full of Hell, a rare and intimate record store appearance on the two bands’ current swath of decimation across the States.  While the style and tempo of extremity offered by the two groups paints a jagged brush stroke across several of heavy music’s varying subgenres, both groups are equally mired in themes of misery, rage, internal conflict, cathartic suffering, and exploration of the darkest recesses of human consciousness.  As such, their disparate sets provide a glimpse of both sides of the same desolate, leaden coin, and hint at what we might expect from their planned upcoming split album, anticipated for release later this year.

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Watching the body set up their deceptively simple-looking gear, those not prerequisitely attuned to the sonic terror and devastation offered by the duo of Chip King and Lee Buford might be tempted to underestimate the suffocating aural intensity that is about to be unleashed.  All assumptions are quickly compressed and obliterated by the first impossibly heavy notes to fill Ernie November’s space, as King’s thundering guitar rig and Buford’s gargantuan drum kit unleash psychosis-inflected hell upon the unsuspecting hordes.  King and Buford are merely tuning in their instruments, tweaking sound levels, but this is enough to draw the loitering masses in from the street.  As corpses begin to crowd into the record store’s tight back room, there remains a conspicuous barrier of space between the masses and the body, as though some shared unspoken dread is coursing through the crowd, urging us to keep a safe distance from this feral beast.  By the time the duo have waded midway through the sludgy, panicked insanity of their first song, however — with King’s trademark shrill wail cutting through the murky depths of sonic hell like obsidian — the sheer weight emanating from their very cores has consumed us and drawn us all close, mutually aggrieved lost souls marinating wearily in the aural intensity of our suffering made corporeal.

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Throughout their roughly half hour set, the pained severity and combative, introspective vehemence of the body never lets up.  Individual songs bleed into one another in walls of chaos and noise.  Split seconds of apparent reprieve are quickly subversed and subjugated, the air at once purged from the room just as one gasps for a desperate breath.  While the brand of extremity offered by the body is not designed nor intended to get the psychopaths in the pit churning, the sheer gargantuan and suppressive ambiance and tone of internalized fury created is enough to leave the languidly headbanging crowd prostrate once that last piercing bit of feedback and grinding distortion fades out.

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In ironic comparison to the initially timid gathering before the body’s set, the throng congregates dangerously close as Full of Hell complete the set-up on their equipment of destruction — ironic because the experience offered by Full of Hell is the one more likely to result in potentially inimical confrontation.  Indeed, the entire place erupts into a teeming mass of flailing limbs and furious headbanging at the first lunatic sound emitted from the instruments of this demonic four-piece.

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Full of Hell ringleader Dylan Walker meticulously builds a monolithic wall of chaos and noise before his cohorts rip brazenly into their opening track, a method he will repeat at points throughout the set, providing the band and the crowd both with fleeting moments of schizoid sublimity in which to catch their breath before charging headlong into the next phase of exorcistic fury.  Walker flings himself around the room in erratic frenetic purgation, blurring the line between performer and participant as his feral shrieks and grating, raspy explications blend with the manic insanity of sound created by his bandmates.  Dragging around a broken leg in a cast, bassist and co-vocalist Brandon Brown weaves the low end of his instrument through the jagged, chugging riffage and feedback-laden madness emanating from guitarist Spencer Hazard’s wall of Orange, alternately bent over in rhythmic deliberation between bouts of guttural vocal scorn.

Original Image by Keith Coombes

Original Image by Keith Coombes


The true psychopath of the bunch, however, proves to be drummer Dave Bland, whose enraged, loathsome punishment of his kit leaves one keen to avoid becoming the object of his wrath.  I’m not sure how much money that drum kit owes him, but Bland is intent on collecting the balance in blood and suffering — whether plodding headlong in thunderous, leaden exultation, or charging furiously with frenetic, manic rapidity, there is no question of where the tortured, pulsating heartbeat of this group lives.  Dude is a goddamn madman, and yet by the time the final caustic note fades on Full of Hell’s set, he is likely the least exhausted carcass in the room.

Original Image by Keith Coombes

Original Image by Keith Coombes


Having moved to Cheyenne only a month ago, this show served as my personal welcoming party to the great Wyoming outback, and I couldn’t ask for a more potent, affecting, or purgative greeting.  Perhaps single-handedly injecting life into what might otherwise be a non-existent live music scene in this area is local Ernie November proprietor and savage beard tamer extraordinaire — not to mention recently annointed “Janky Promoter” — Keith Coombes.  As is the case with most other acts hosted at Cheyenne’s musical mecca, the show tonight was funded through donations from those in attendance, a refreshingly DIY approach in today’s live music world, where music fans are more accustomed to dealing with price-gouging promoters and ticketing agencies.  It seemed everyone was only too happy to kick in whatever they could, be it a few loose bills or the product of several hours skilled labor.  After all, touring ain’t free, yeh fuckers!

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To further fund their trek across the Mother Land, the body and Full of Hell brought plenty of choice merch to the party, as well.  Particularly impressive was the vinyl selection offered by the body, which nearly covered their entire prodigious discography (saved for a wealth of rare 7″ and EPs that one must in turn scour the earth for).  Full of Hell also had their studio discography on display for purchase in vinyl or compact disc format, along with a band logo patch, ball cap, and several fashionably filthy t-shirts.  Before the show, I was able to snag a copy of Full of Hell’s recent collaborative LP with Japanese noise god Merzbow (aka Masami Akita) from Dylan himself, along with a much coveted copy of the body’s 2014 collaborative EP with Louisiana’s Thou, entitled Released from Love.  (Read my review of their 2015 collaborative full length, You, Whom I Have Always Hated, by clicking here.)  

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I nearly nut in my pants upon seeing that this album was available for purchase, as I had thought the initial limited pressing was out of print and now unavailable for purchase outside of collector trade circles — needless to say, I snatched that burdensome bitch up quick!  Not content with my haul, however, that good post-show glow found me sacrificing the rest of this week’s sustenance fund to also snag a pressing of the body’s Master, We Perish, one of the remaining few outliers to their discography I lacked in possession, along with a patch from each group.  My only regret is that I didn’t try to trade a kidney, or bring more money, though a parting fist-bump and bit of fan-boy adulation with Chip King helped dull my suffering.

However, seeing as how Keith is still holding the latest release from psychedelic voyagers White Hills for me, which he was kind enough to special order, perhaps this extra kidney will still come in handy…

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The best experiences in life are often those which find one left wanting, and such was certainly the case by the end of this night’s celebratory rage party.  For the ride home, always a somber affair post-concert, I plugged in the body’s recent self-released CD-R rarity, an EP entitled The Tears of Job, which was issued to backers of the group’s recent “Help the body get a van” Indiegogo campaign.  A striking shift in style from their customarily overpowering compositions, the tracks that make up this EP are much more sparse and spacious, a fitting denouement to the evening as I drove through the ethereal fog and gloomy, rain-drenched streets of languid Cheyenne, a lonesome drifter reluctantly returning to the “real world.”

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Bro, Do You Even Gloom? (Gallery)

The following are a selection of images from my series of shithouse amateur cell phone photographs entitled “Bro, Do You Even Gloom?”

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He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ideation on Oblivion

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Image by Kurore García

This could be the brain cloud talking, but oblivion sounds so goddamn appealing in this moment…

Suicidal ideation is often a symptom of mental illness. In a small portion of the population, suicidal ideation is a side-effect of psychiatric medications used to treat mental illness. When stopping the use of psychiatric medications, often drastically increased suicidal ideation is a symptom of medication withdrawal, even when quitting medication under physician supervision.

Makes a whole lot of fucking sense, doesn’t it?

“Oblivion” by Mastodon

“I flew beyond the sun before it was time
Burning all the gold that held me inside my shell
Waiting for you to pull me back in
I almost had the world in my sight

Lost love
Bright eyes fading
Faster than stars falling
How can I tell you that I’ve failed?
Tell you I failed…

Falling from grace cause I’ve been away too long
Leaving you behind with me lonesome song
Now I’m lost in oblivion

I tried to burrow a hole into the ground
Breaking all the fingers and the nails from my hands
The eyes of a child see no wrong
Ignorant bliss, impending doom

Lost love
Bright eyes fading
Faster than stars falling
How can I tell you that I’ve failed?
Tell you I failed…

Falling from grace cause I’ve been away too long
Leaving you behind with me lonesome song
Now I’m lost in oblivion

Falling from grace cause I’ve been away too long
Leaving you behind with me lonesome song
Now I’m lost in oblivion

Falling from grace cause I’ve been away too long
Leaving you behind with me lonesome song
Now I’m lost in oblivion

Falling from grace cause I’ve been away too long
Leaving you behind with me lonesome song
Now I’m lost in oblivion, in oblivion, in oblivion……”

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Image by mumudeckerr

Of all the DOOM in all the World…

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“…and you had to spin this one…”

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Nothing but fucking nothing helps soothe the gaping, largely self-inflicted wounds of loathing and scornful suffering like this split LP, from two of underground metal’s most leaden and caustic purveyors of DOOM.

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Denver’s PRIMITIVE MAN serve up three blistering, misanthropic tracks of seething, tumultuous rage, while St. Louis’ Fister fill in the flip-side with two suffocating, polar quakes of acidic, cynical torment.

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PRIMITIVE MAN on Bandcamp

This is the essential soundtrack to my descent into madness, and often it is the only thing that brings me back to the surface. I do not say this lightly — this album has kept me from slitting my own fucking throat on more than one occasion.

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GET IT NOW from A389 Records!

Some of us need to be immersed in the darkness to remember why we should bother to seek the light.

Fister on Bandcamp

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Need more hype?? Read on here!

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Pills You Take To Mend Will Be the Architects of Your Destruction: A Musing on Paxil and the Struggle With Madness

I have been on and off various psychiatric medications for my entire adult life, mostly concurrent with a good fifteen plus years of self-medication with “illicit” drugs and alcohol. Surprise of all surprises, I am also the kind of “adult” who can never seem to get his fucking life together.  This instability accounts for my inconsistency with staying on the legal drugs — I lose a job, I lose insurance coverage, I lose my doctor, I lose my mind.  In the midst of this, I destroy everything. 

Beyond that, I have ever increasing doubts about the efficacy of psych meds at all, coupled with growing anecdotal evidence and research suggesting I’ve never been accurately diagnosed in the first place. But that is a topic for another time…

I mentioned here that, for various reasons and circumstances, I would be going off the current “wonder drug” that I’ve been pumping through my system as of late, Paxil (paroxetine).  Here are a few things nobody ever told me about taking Paxil (until it was already too late):*

— Once the medication has built up in your system, it might work great for a while!

— Soon, though — within a matter of months, even weeks — as your body adjusts to the medication, your state of mind will steadily devolve and retreat to the same depths in which it began, and worse.

— Increasing your dose will work for a while.  Until it doesn’t, and suddenly you find yourself more unhinged than ever.

— Rather than treat and prevent thoughts and feelings of suicide, depression, anxiety, paranoia, loathing, and rage (as it is supposedly intended to), the medication will cultivate and nurture those demons to unfathomable strength, then magnify and perpetuate their terrible power until they all but consume you.

— If you have the misfortune of being a slave to this medication, but find yourself jobless, without insurance, and destitute, your physician will not give a shit.  Nevermind that you are in the grips of a powerfully malfunctioning drug; it’s all about that motherfucking bottom line.  I mean, what is this, Socialist French Canada?!

— Should you choose, through calculated decision coupled with necessity of circumstance, to wean yourself off the medication before your final prescription runs out, be prepared.  As in life, love, and most of Hollywood’s output, things will get much worse before they get better.

— Paxil has the proud distinction of being, according to studies and patient testimony, the absolute worst SSRI to stop using, due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Common withdrawal symptoms for paroxetine include nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness and vertigo; insomnia, nightmares and vivid dreams; feelings of electricity in the body, as well as crying and anxiety. (Read more)

— The withdrawal symptoms are not dissimilar to the paradoxic effects the medication itself had, leading you to quit the shit in the first place; they are simply more severe, unpredictable, and debilitating.

— While dealing with the seemingly endless and hopeless period of withdrawal, you may experience moments of clarity and serenity wherein you may be tempted to believe you have come out the other side.  These periods may last mere hours, or they may last days, but they are not to be trusted.  Your demons lie in wait, festering, waiting for their moment to come raging back in ecstatic fury.

— The madness of your withdrawal will cause you to lose yourself in frequent brain clouds, wherein confusion, disquiet, unease, desperate paranoia, and bitter, manic neurosis will consume your being.

— You will react poorly and with little semblance of self-control to even the most seemingly insignificant of stressors, because the battlefield of your mind is not capable of reacting appropriately; in short, due to blockages of bullshit and ridiculousness bred of the betrayal of this thing which was to be your salvation, the sewers are not flowing properly.

— Your broken, damaged, imperfectly deluded rote response to all of this will alternate between abysmal, hopeless surrender in listless abandon and scornful, violent explosions and fits of uncontrollable rage.

— The only ones who suffer through this perhaps worse than you are the ones you love, and the ones you use.

It has been close to a month since I took my last quartered dose of Paxil.  I’ve been hopeful that my recent relocation and the accompanying change of scenery would offer chance at a change of perspective that might breed fertile ground to nurture myself out of this frozen void of hatred and despair.

While that may yet remain a possibility, thus far I have only steadily gotten worse.  What might have been a simple and resolvable conflict this morning was instead filtered through the rotten screen of my madness, and resulted in a bit of a meltdown.  Within half an hour of being conscious, I found myself so enraged and upset to be violently quaking in my skin, followed by an invigorating episode of vomiting and near loss of consciousness.

Science claims it takes about a month for this poison to fully purge from your system.  I am hopeful that I may see some sunlight on the other side of this soon.  I have to be.

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* It should be noted that the experiences detailed here are purely anecdotal and specific to my own experience. Do not start or stop any psychiatric medication without consulting your physician.

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

the body bleeds immaculate despondency

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Having already laid claims of savage brutality over a swath of lands from Providence to Portland, experimental DOOM sufferers the body are steadily asserting themselves as perhaps the most devastating and uncompromising band in all of music.  The duo recently self-released a hand-crafted five-song EP entitled The Tears of Job to supporters of their “help the body get a van” Indiegogo campaign.

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The EP includes an outstanding cover of Jane’s Addiction‘s “I Would For You” with haunting vocal contributions from frequent collaborator Chrissy Wolpert. It may be the most immaculately despondent thing I have ever heard in my life. If you can find it, go listen to it in a warm, candle-lit bath with a suitcase full of razor blades.

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“You say my eyes are crazy eyes
Well, sometimes they are and so are you
And if you wonder what I would do
I would do anything if I could”

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Out Fucking Standing. Bonus points, the EP’s second track, “Pillar of Lightening” includes a vocal appearance from Full Of Hell psychopath Dylan Walker, what is hopefully a mere glimpse into the fury we can expect from a forthcoming rumored collaboration between the two savage collectives, who also just happen to be forging a trail of desperate scathing across the country together as we speak.

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.