Monday, February 10, 2020

That Time My Best Friend Said "This Video is You"

Hey, pals!

This is apropos of nothing, but it's a piece I've wanted to write for a bit. I hesitated because I didn't think anyone else would get the joke, but then I realized that that has never stopped me from posting or saying words.

So allow me to take you on a journey to explain why my best friend - who is also a Pat - saw the music video for Rise Against's Swing Life Away and proclaimed that it is a day in the life of me, circa 2005.

I want to warn you that there will be a bunch of pictures (read: low-quality screenshots), just in case your data plan stinks. Here we go!

Before we begin: this song is so wonderful and I will of course post the full video at the end. But first we have places to go. That's a weird sentence, but I am [obviously] still bad at transitioning between topics.

Our first stop is the attire that Tim McIlrath is wearing:

I dressed like this so often at that time. The black hoodie was a staple of my wardrobe and if I wasn't so pudgy now, the same one probably still would be - but maybe I should upgrade and get a zip-up. Anyway, this was an easy one: walking by myself with unkempt hair wearing all black, after getting off public transit. This is actually not far off from my daily look now. The only major difference is that my hair is shorter.

The next one is another layup:

I didn't share a room with anyone at this time, but I was totally "that guy" who sat on his bed and recorded songs to cassette, writing lyrics with pen and paper. The recordings weren't perfect of course, but they had a nice raw feel to them. And while I record more often to my phone these days, I always prefer physically writing down my ideas. That has left me with at least four notebooks half-filled with unfinished songs, but that's a tangent for another time. If I had shared a room with someone from 2004-2010, we could have done a shot-for-shot remake of this scene.

This next frame could be shot today and be as true now as it was then:

The first part of this is easier: getting a ride from someone else. I did not have my driver's license (still don't) at this time, so me being the passenger was a regular thing. The second part is a bit tougher. I would occasionally have Bump listen to songs I'd been working on while we were going somewhere, but I definitely did not volunteer them as Tim did here. I hate being around when people listen to my stuff because I don't like how I sound, but it is a thing that happened so I felt I should include it.

I have to take a creative liberty here, but I think I made this one fit nicely:

We weren't old enough to hit the bar in 2005, but anytime we went somewhere this would be the scene: everyone having a good time, me off by myself breaking the fourth wall. But really I am a big wallflower whenever I go anywhere, so this is one of the most accurate depictions of me that exists in this life.

I will admit that this part never actually happened, but what Tim does here is exactly what I would have done in the same situation:

As much as I like to yell about things on the show, I do not like confrontations. My fuse is too short and I will go out on a limb to say that I am too uncoordinated to properly defend myself. So if guys like that bumped me and destroyed my work, the aftermath would look very similar to this. (Although when I get hot I don't always think before I speak, so I probably would have said some words and my face would have looked like the tape.)

If the bar scene up there is my most accurate depiction, this one has to be 1-A (if it doesn't in fact take the top spot):

Knowing the previous scene is important here, but I couldn't make the split-screen photo work. While everyone else is hanging together outside, where is ol' Pat? Inside by himself working on music. This is exactly how I write most of my songs: with paper and pen under as little light as possible while avoiding all human contact. Is it the best process? I don't know, but it is my favorite to this day. (Now that I do share a room with someone, do you think it's time to re-enact scene two up there?)


And with that, we've reached the end of our adventure - thanks for joining me! This was much more fun than I thought it would be. I know that this post won't be for everyone, but at least you can now listen to this great tune and watch the lead singer of Rise Against depict a day in my life from 15(!) years ago. Enjoy!

Crap open a cold one!

(This post was brought to you by Broad Street Bound.)

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