The Only People Angry Enough to Unironically Like Nu Metal

The doubtless blurry picture above is the only photo of myself in my favorite outfit from when I was thirteen that survived the redactions I made to my online presence to make sure no one knows I existed between the ages of ten to fourteen. As you can see I‰’m rocking a great tan, my hair was still blonde, and I‰’m wearing a shirt that has an illustration of two guys in gas masks making out with each other on it. (By the way, if anyone thinks I should grow my hair our again, please say so!) That was a Rise Against tee shirt that I bought at my first concert about a month before this photo was taken.

Two, maybe three years later, I found myself scrolling through my ipod touch and seeing what was once my favorite band just waiting for a nostalgic listen. I couldn‰’t even get through the first minute of the song before I had to turn it off. Silence was preferable. This isn‰’t to say that I found the music really bad. I held pretty much the same objective opinion as before. The music sounded good. Good for a hardcore band that is, and the lyrics were thoughtful and sounded good in the contexts of the songs but it just elicited a negative emotion in me, and it was definitely not nostalgia.

When I thought about it later that day I had concluded that I simply was not angry enough to listen to Rise Against and enjoy it anymore. I look back now at the time in my life that Tim Mcllrath unwittingly wrote the soundtrack to and I don‰’t see an angry girl. I see a girl who was afraid to get on the bus every morning. I see a girl who didn‰’t like to take down her hood so her face could be seen. I see a girl who was scared to come home and who barely left her bedroom when not at school.

Middle school is a hard time for lots of people, and that‰’s proven by looking at the fanbase of Linkin Park, Devil Wears Prada, and Rise Against, but that doesn‰’t apply to a lot of people. There were also lots of middle schoolers who I went to school with who stanned Taylor Swift, the Black Eyed Peas, and Ke$ha. Don‰’t get me wrong, I‰’m not trashing any of these musicians (but if you want to hear my trash Taylor Swift, do NOT be afraid to ask) but I‰’m wondering if any of these kids could have had the same experiences that I did. Did they simply not find music a therapeutic as I did, and therefore didn‰’t develop weird tastes to deal with the stressful situation that my life was at that time? The more paranoid part of me is jealous that they get to look back at that time in their life as being a time of self discovery and social blossoming. I can‰’t imagine what it would be like to look back on your grade school life like that and not immediately feel awful.