I Just Can’t


No, I just can’t. I am not a therapist. I can’t listen and reassure any longer. Anxiety and OCD may be real things, but I can’t live with someone whose life is completely driven by both. It’s exhausting, it’s repetitive, it’s just too much. Add to the mix that crippling anxiety and OCD drive a sufferer to blind alcoholism. And whether gripped by anxiety or drunkenness, there is a part of either OCD extreme that feels to the observer like an outrageous offshoot of narcissism.

The anxious, sober OCD is fueled by the fear that X-thought (a relatively innocent thought or action) is somehow going to land you in trouble, send you to jail, destroy your life… so you better drink those fears away even though it’s when you’re drunk that you commit more of these questionable/putting-yourself-in-peril actions. The impression feels narcissistic because it’s hard to watch as you contort these meaningless non-events into things that might ruin your life – as if anyone gives a shit or has time to give a second thought to the non-events you’ve hyperinflated in your mind.

The drunk OCD is fueled by a hypersexuality that cannot be quelled, and the bravado brought on by more and more drink makes you more reckless. You turn hateful, critical and cruel – when you are the perfect picture of a mess, you think this is the perfect time to call everyone else out for their supposed imperfections. The impression here is one of a narcissist because you are the only one who matters in this self-hating equation.

Sobriety returns – always at a terrible and painful cost – to you and everyone around you. And the cycle begins again. And again.

I just can’t.

Lunchtable TV Talk: Roadies


I had no real intention of watching Roadies, and then I saw that Robyn Hitchcock would appear in an episode sooner or later. Naturally I had to watch. But how painful these hours have been. There is nothing- absolutely nothing – redeeming about this show. It drags along slowly. There is no story. It is supposed to evoke some reverence for music and life on the road and its gritty romance (it’s actually rough but, you know, you’re supposed to die and live in filth and give up your life to devote yourself to the band you love. It’s all about the music).

Somewhere along the line, while torturing myself with this dud, I saw a review someone had written; it hit the nail on the head:

All three episodes of Roadies feel, astonishingly, like they were written by someone who has never been connected to music or real people. No matter how many hip band shirts you toss on these characters or how many references there are to The Replacements or Pearl Jam, it feels inauthentic — like actual roadies would never live this life. “How is this a Cameron Crowe series?” is a question that kept popping up with alarming frequency.

I’d extend the “written by someone who has never been connected to music or real people” to the entire series (we’re still only at episode six at the time of writing). There is a real element of pretension trying too hard not to be pretentious here. There are some truly obnoxious characters here. And sadly it’s because of the writing and the meandering “story” that tries to make everything seem life-or-death important. But nothing about this is important.

Other recent shows that try to capture the ineffable magnetism of music and the people who make it happen (e.g., Vinyl, also a colossal failure, already canceled, despite a great cast and a few good moments) and that try to (comedically) look at the middle-aged has-been/comeback hopefuls who try to regain relevance (e.g., Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll, which degenerates into a lot of cliches but also is redeemed by Denis Leary’s humor).

Now I just wish I had the presence of mind and willpower to stop watching Roadies … because there is nothing for me here, and as John Mellencamp reminds us in episode 6, life is short, even in its longest days. It’s pathetic because it is not horrendous enough to be a passionate hate-watch; it’s sad because it’s just so fucking boring.