Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

Oregon Killer’s Mother Wrote of Troubled Son and Gun Rights (The New York Times)

From what little detail is given in this article concerning the recent mass shooting, it seems clear that the shooter in Oregon had an extensive history of mental illness. Once again, everybody is “up in arms” (pun absolutely intended) on either side of the gun rights debate, as is what always happens after one of these now all-too-familiar tragedies. Nobody ever seems to have much to say about the mental illness aspect that is present in nearly each one of these cases.

My personal experience has confirmed what I already believed, that the way mental illness is perceived, addressed, and handled by today’s society is in need of drastic change. The way mental illness and those seeking help are treated by social programs and government bureaucracy is in need of drastic fucking change. And, while I absolutely support the 2nd Amendment and believe Americans are entitled to the right to legally obtain and possess firearms, I also believe their need to be measures in place to prevent these firearms from ending up in the “wrong” hands, whatever that is defined to be.

People with certain severe mental illnesses, myself probably included, should be regulated in some manner in relation to handling and possessing potentially deadly machines. Cars, guns, rocket launchers, forklifts, armored tanks, Mexican firecrackers, whatever…REGULATED. I made the personal choice not long ago to sell or give away all of my firearms, for my own safety and for yours. Too many nights spent in a fucked up head-space with the barrel of a .45 in my mouth, or days spent in a misanthropic murder fantasy. Not everyone with similar problems has the capacity for such a personal decision, and these are the times when a governing body is meant to step in for the safety of the people.

Nothing is so black and white as we make it.

Here is a link to an article with more information about the nine deceased victims of this tragedy.

© 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.

Ten Stupid Things That Sound Intelligent and Profound (Or Do They?)

Or. Do. They? O.o

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1.))) Every experience in this life is a lesson. The most difficult moments hide the lessons we most resist learning.

2.))) The things that make us angry show us when we need to practice letting go. Typing that sentence is a million times easier than figuring out how to actually do it.

3.))) Expectations are the surest way to bring oneself meaningless suffering.

4.))) Everyone is wrong, all the time. Nobody knows what the fuck is going on. The more we resist our own basic ignorance, the further we are from true knowing.

5.))) Any statement can seem wise and profound, with the right measure of language and conviction.

6.))) A great way to relieve some of the pressures of the burden of existence is to remember you are just a mostly hairless monkey with delusions of grandeur and too much capacity for complex thought.

7.))) With all the complexities of the human mind, even the most intelligent and capable of us are still pretty fucking stupid and clueless most of the time.

8.))) For all the grandly evolved capabilities, ideals, achievements, responsibilities, and sense of self importance displayed by humankind, we are all at our core simply grasping blindly to find our place and our path in the accident of existence. You are not nearly as important as you think you are. Neither am I. Neither is anybody. There’s a sense of calm in that.

9.))) Talking has fuck all to do with getting shit done. Real motherfuckers get shit done.

10.))) Using profanity to illustrate a point is called “perfervidic expletivication” and releases the same chemicals in the brain as sex and heroin. I read it on the internet, so I know it’s true.

11.))) Fuck self-imposed limitations, in lists and in life!

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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.

Misplaced Indignation

All day, the internet has been up in arms over a depiction of rape that occurred on a fictional television show last night. A show that is no stranger to intense and disturbing content, mind you. Still, fans and critics alike have been passionately and vocally outraged over the incident.

Meanwhile, in the United States a sexual assault happens about every minute or so, depending on the source for statistics. About 80% of those sexual assaults are at the hands of someone the victim knows. About one in four women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. And only about 20% of sexual assaults are actually reported. Exactly ZERO of these rapes happen to fictional characters.

Hey, Public. Hey Internets. How about you people express some moral and emotional outrage over something that actually fucking matters?

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673

Rape and Incest National Network (Including Online Hotline)

Click here for other national hotlines, helpful links, and information for victims of crime.

Hip Cynical Transcendence: A Rant on Sentiment, Fueled by The Talk

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STOP. TALKING.

I’ve got The Talk on in the background while the Dish Network guy fixes all the shit his comrade fucked up during our install a few days ago. One of the vitally important topics I overheard them discussing was the recent breakup between Ariana Grande and Big Sean, and specifically their topic had to do with length of recovery time from a break up.

I don’t specifically personally give a shit about any of that as it relates to two pop celebrities I know nothing about. But, when did it become so admirable to act like life events such as a relationship ending don’t affect us? One of the vapid talking heads on the show made a remark about how it takes her 30 minutes or less to get over a break up, because that’s how long it takes her pizza to get ready. Seriously? Maybe the reasons your bullshit relationships don’t work out is because you’re so fucking full of yourself and your obsession with projecting an attitude of “stoic indifference” that nobody wants to put up with your narcissistic ass!

Bottom line, if you’re spending so much of your effort and psychic energy on pretending you don’t give a shit and aren’t affected by the people in your life, you will NEVER be open to any kind of love or affection from another person. So FUCK YOU.  Not only are you wasting the time and energy of anyone you try and fuck with, but you are leaving a trail of psychological and emotional damage in your wake.  Yet another factor behind the ever-increasing personal and emotional distance that seems to be perpetually growing between all people.  But you probably don’t even give a shit.

“What passes for hip cynical transcendence of sentiment is really some kind of fear of being really human, since to be really human […] is probably to be unavoidably sentimental and naïve and goo-prone and generally pathetic.” — David Foster Wallace

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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.

We survived, but our vinyl and our souls may be worse for the wear…

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Photos from an abandoned record warehouse

In thirty seconds, the blight on the face of underground music known as Record Store Day shall be officially over! Sure, there’s bound to be traces of this horrible, bloody rape-orgy for weeks, even months, to come. And the memories may haunt some forever. But, it’s important to believe that the worst is behind us, at least for another 365 days…

Also, this means that your local record store should be mostly free of douchebags tomorrow! You know…other than the clerks. 😄

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Patchouli stink, anyone?

© 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.

A Catastrophic Purge of Torment Into Oblivion: The Body & Thou Lay Burden Upon Existence

The Body Thou Hatred Collab CD Cover

I awoke this morning with a powerful craving for fresh vinyl. I knew not why; I knew not for which specific piece of pressed wax I was searching. I knew only that there was The Calling, and that I needed to, once again, comb through my personal back-catalogue of music and film, identify some long-suffering hangers-on with which I could be convinced to part, and run that shit on down to the local Zia Records. STAT. This was a mission from the gods, that much was certain — but WHICH ONES?!

As it would turn out, the answer to that question had been heralded by the semi-apocalyptic swath of late winter/early spring storm weather to blanket the landscape of our scattered and scarred homelands. For our purposes here in SoAz, that storm manifested itself in a weighted, churning torrent of DOOM clouds, oppressive blankets of humidity, and the merciless, cleansing deluge brought down in tears from the heavens. So. Much. GLOOM. The relatively sunny disposition of the morning which greeted me this day would belie the terrible discovery I was soon to make.

Though guided by the hand of Beelzebub himself, no sooner had I dropped of my trade items to be reviewed and processed than I found myself standing before the looming magnificence of Zia Oracle’s “New Vinyl” stand. There she was, the Virgin Mother of our Megalomaniacal Saviour Herself, Mary “Joe’s Girl” Christ, in stunning portraiture. In one of those innumerable moments of chance and destiny, I nearly turned away disinterested to go peruse some dusty, forgotten corner of the used albums section, when a loathsome, sickly feeling in the very cockles of my loins urged me to halt.

The Body Thou Hatred Collab Front Cover

I had missed something.

There, in the upper left-hand corner of the LP I had glazed over cursorily, just above the Blessed Mother’s somber profile, an unassuming annular adornment.

The Body Thou Hatred Collab Sticker

The Body
Thou
You, Who I Have Always Hated
Thrill Jockey

MOTHER OF GOD.


TheBody-Band

Since their accursed formation in 1999, Portland by-way-of Boston experimental DOOM-sludge titans The Body have been steady straight dropping split LPs, collaborations, EPs, and full-lengths at a frighteningly manic pace, with no less than four massively dense albums released since the dawn of 2014 alone. It was late Summer 2014 that I first became aware of the terrifying, savagely introspective, soul-scarring music that heavily-armed duo Chip King and Lee Buford create. I was researching several bands unknown to me in preparation for an upcoming weekend of riffage and torment at Tucson’s own premier extreme metal festival, Southwest Terror Fest. My expectations were appropriately heightened by the information I had gleaned from online articles concerning the corrosive brand of punishment offered by the impossibly weighty pair, and I have no problem admitting that I was physically and psychologically terrified as I pressed play on that first track.

My expectations were NOT disappointed.

The Body’s primary goal as evidenced by the music they create would appear to be complete psychological catharsis and cleansing through anguish. Vocalist/guitarist Chip King does not “sing” or “scream” in any of the traditional metal, or otherwise musical, senses. Instead, he emits desperate, agonizing wails like those of a feral, tortured beast in the final, bloody throes of a savage death. After looping his guitar through an intricately arranged network of sample machines, processors, and vintage Sunn amps, the final product emitted from his monolithic stack of speakers is the biting, burdensome wall of tone and distortion of metal fragmented, deconstructed, pounded unrecognizable, and then reassembled as something wholly new and terrible. Drummer Lee Buford rises to the task of not only matching but accentuating this indescribably dense patchwork of misery and toil by pounding his percussives with the calculated ferocity of an ironworker forging weaponry from the very molten core of existence. Every seismic beat serves to propel the already catastrophic purge of metallic fury into utter oblivion.

Thou band performing live

I am, admittedly and unfortunately, quite a bit less versed in the history and lore of Southern-Fried, NOLA-bred warlords of DOOM, Thou. This is an oversight that will most assuredly be remedied post-haste. However, hailing from the birthplace of such legendary names in the world of miserable, loathsome, down-tuned riff-laden DOOM-sludge as EYEHATEGOD, Crowbar, Soilent Green, and Goatwhore, the scornful bastards that make up this modern-day harbinger of destruction have clearly paid attention in class, and have most assuredly benefited from rolling up and smoking their homework. Similar to their comrades in Hatred, Thou is likewise prone to a dizzying pace of sonic proliferation, having put out an impressive assortment of DOOM-product since their 2005 inception to rival that of The Body.

Illustration by Megan Acosta, unceremoniously ripped from Meat Mead Metal!

Illustration by Megan Acosta, unceremoniously ripped from Meat Mead Metal!

The Body and Thou first came together in collaboration early last year on the deceptively titled Released from Love EP. This four track work was discreetly birthed into the world as a vinyl-only limited edition album, and is now being included with the digital and compact disc releases of You, Who I Have Always Hated for the first time in those formats. While not a necessary requirement for anyone approaching these two bands with fresh ears, Released does serve as an outstanding introductory work or companion piece to this new full-length. The remaining six hereto unreleased tracks that make up Hated stand fine enough on their own, but the immensely cathartic if exhausting experience will certainly leave any proper extreme metal aficionado parched for more, and Released will do well as a small but welcome offering to that void.

As for Hated itself. There is NONE heavier. Nearly as soon as my turntable stylus touched down between the freshly-pressed grooves of side one, I was overcome with the crushing, monolithic wall of leaden sound that is “Her Strongholds Unvanquishable.” FUCK SAKES. My chest hurts, and I can’t BREATHE… While the four tracks on Released certainly provided worthy evidence of the terrible power at hand through the unity of these two savage forces, it is clear that their horrifying tools of battery were honed to maximum barbaric supremacy for this record.

The Body Thou Hatred Full Artwork

From the very beginning, it is evident that the collaborative energy conjured by the unity of these two forces of subjugation serves to push both entities together into wholly new, more extreme, and ultimately more savage and unrestrained territory. The demon hordes called forth by Thou, in their sluggish, plodding might, at first may seem to overpower and bury the more atmospheric, expansive framework for which The Body is known. To assume this would be a mistake. More attuned ears will have no trouble hearing The Body’s maelstrom of nihilistic desperation weaving serpentine throughout the massively thunderous plodding surge set forth by Thou.

Throughout most of the album’s six gargantuan tracks, it is clear that the whole is by far greater than the sum of its parts. Even an initially stumbling foray into “covers” territory results in a transformative, revitalized section of creativity that does well to turn the original — NIN set-list mainstay “Terrible Lie” — into a new and largely unrecognizable permutation. While the re-imagining does not quite hit with the same sparse weight of “Coward” (the final track on Released) — itself a complex, forlorn retelling of an emotional bit of songwriting by the late Vic Chestnutt — it nevertheless gives the record a welcome draw-spring for the industrial metal undercurrent that The Body bring to their creations, smoothing the stitches between the two entities welded in hatred on Hatred.

Elsewhere, the two bands make effective use of dissonance and forced coalescence to accentuate their brand of torment on the thunderously severe “He Returns to the Place of His Iniquity,” and make up for the perhaps intentionally pretentious title of “Beyond the Realms of Dream, That Fleeting Shade Under the Corpus of Vanity” by imbuing that track with the ruinous, cataclysmic rage of a vengeful scourge unloosed. By the time we reach the apocalyptic final refrain of “Lurking Fear,” we are so thoroughly pummeled, worn and threadbare, that whatever lurking beast to come next can only be greeted with welcoming arms — if only they had not already been torn from our torso and used to mercilessly beat us into submission.

The Body Thou Hatred Collab Back Cover


© 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.