TONYA

The song “TONYA” by BROCKHAMPTON, is about regret, self-worth and letting down those closest to you. The American hip hop collective was going through a falling-out with Ameer Vaan, a main member of the group and the face of their three SATURATION albums. Ameer was accused of sexual assault by multiple women in 2018, something that he denied, but eventually admitted to doing. After kicking Vaan out of the band, morale was severely impacted and the trajectory of their fifth album, “iridescence” changed entirely. The 14th song on the album “TONYA” marks a turning point for the band as they take an honest route to stay true to themselves and the emotion pouring out of this performance from every single member hits hard for long time fans including myself. Every BROCKHAMPTON song and album has different themes and experiences. The diversity of the group helps to portray these different backgrounds with personalized lyrics and heavy subject matter.

Verse 3: Dom McLennon

I fantasize about a time when everything was simple
My shelter sheltered me from things I needed to commit to
The way it stands to me
A victim of Stockholm in my friendships and family

Dom as a lyricist has made me look deeper into his verses which always have deeper meanings tied to them. Each member shows how they feel about the trajectory of the group as well as past struggles throughout their lives. When he references being “A victim of Stockholm” with the various relationships he has in his life, he’s not saying they actually kidnapped him, but his emotions feel kidnapped in a way. He develops an emotional bond with his family and friends which results in him being emotionally damaged by these relationships when things go wrong. He incorporates a line break in the third line above to create a more impacting line delivery for the final line in the verse. There is also of course rhythm throughout the song including the chorus and outside of it. The use of repetition in the chorus helps to convey the questioning of self worth and helps the listener with summarizing how the difficulties that the group goes through makes them all feel worthless.

Chorus:

Hey, and I’ve been feelin’ like I don’t matter how I used to
Hey, and I’ve been feelin’ like I don’t matter how I used to

The group members all have personal struggles and aren’t afraid of being emotional on their newer albums, which is unlike their previous projects being more lighthearted and fun. That’s not to say their were exceptions to this in both eras of BROCKHAMPTON, but again, at the time of the creation of iridescence, the group was in a rough spot on the inside rather than the performance on the outside.

The group came out with their final studio album last month resulting from some of the inside problems they were experiencing throughout their careers in BROCKHAMPTON. I have always been a fan and will continue to listen to their music as they redefined the definition of what a boyband can be and accomplish. I thank BROCKHAMPTON for helping me through some rough spots of my own and wish the members the best of luck in their futures. They stayed a family till the end.

Existentialism is Scary

In Albert Camus’ novel “The Stranger”, The main story we follow is of Meursault’s life. A man who sees the world differently through a perspective that is tragic yet enlightening. Through this enlightenment however, comes dreadful existence. Is life truly meaningless if you find happiness? I believe life is what you make it.

Someone with disdain for existence is going to have a hard time facing the reality of their own philosophy. In the case of Meursault, he is never truly fulfilled in his life and has no problem with throwing it away for the expense of his sanity. Would you rather know so much that it is unbearable to your mind or live a life of blissful ignorance making you at peace with the world. The universe that we live in is shown to give only partial answers.

Meursault may find pleasure to be the end all be all but life is more than that. That doesn’t have to mean the infinite pursuit of knowledge, but some things are worth studying and practicing because as far as we know we don’t know what happens beyond the grave. I may not be religious but I understand the use of religion, the existence of faith has created order in the human population. That order may be good or bad but if society was told all the answers, and we never could theorize, the walls of civilization would come tumbling down depending on what we hear.

The Importance of Being Odd in “The Elephant Vanishes”

As I was beginning to read “The Elephant Vanishes” I started to feel melancholy. The story paints a mundane picture about the small town. Everything is boring and scheduled in their lives. As I was reading, I started to imagine that everything was black and white. There was no vibrancy to the narrator’s life until the elephant situation went down. Everything the narrator knew was challenged by the uncertainty of what others claimed to have happened to the keeper and the elephant. I see it as him acknowledging the fact that he is separating himself from the town and it’s overwhelmingly controlling atmosphere of influencing people. He was different then everyone in the town which had never happened to him. He stuck by the book, but had experienced something that no one would ever experience which shook his world. The strangeness of the elephant vanishing reflects how he is perceived by others. This is shown with the woman he meets with at the bar. She seemed to be into him but when he started to talk about the elephant and his connection to it and the keeper, she began questioning his sanity.

Benjamin’s Gender and Power Theory

Jessica Benjamin argues that subjectivity and power come from individuality separated from the mother and father traits. Benjamin puts to light recent shifts in psychoanalytic theory and their relevance relating to individuality. As Freud’s theory on individuality suggests, boys growing up will recognize their anatomical differences from their mothers and identify with the father, while girls will never understand their own subjectivity in terms of difference from the mother.

As Jessica suggests, individuality is a balance of separation and connectedness rather than solely being decided by class, gender, etc. The primary focus of Benjamin’s writing is not about love but about power; she focuses on love to an extent as its perversion leads to domination and submission. She mainly argues that women seek ideal love more than men, in turn, making them more vulnerable to deception. The male is the subject, and the female is the object at the root of domination.