Kurt Cobain Is A "Friend In My Head"

Kurt Cobain Is A "Friend In My Head"

Kurt Cobain once exclaimed, “I'm so happy 'cause today I've found my friends... They're in my head." He's one of mine.

“They laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at them because they're all the same.” - Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain's feelings and thoughts translate similarly to mine. His words comfort me. I know that yes, I am different, but I wouldn't want life to be any other way. I hope my complex self causes confusion and self-evaluation to those that encounter me. I hope I express my passion well enough that others are encouraged to do the same, or maybe even take the first step to finding what they themselves are passionate about.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

I spent far too much time during my earlier years of high school wishing I was someone that I viewed as prettier than I was, or received better grades than I had. All in all, I wasted so much time doing so, when in reality these were wishes that would never come true. I should have spent more time falling in love with my quirks, accepting my faults, and embracing my good qualities. No one else can live my life better than me.

"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

I used to be in a very close relationship with God. I believed that throughout all my trials, with Him by my side, I could do all things. I allowed the Bible to feed into my daily mindset. I was in love with a God; I was not in love with a religion. I began to realize this when I vocally supported equality, specifically LGBTQ equality. A member of the church went as far as to ask me, "You support gays... So, are you gay?" As if by having a good heart and requesting peace and love for all, I was assumed to be of the group experiencing hate. It was assumed by some that since I supported and encouraged equality and happiness, that I was personally struggling for LGBTQ equal rights. Fewer people spoke to me at church. I wasn't going because I wanted to. I didn't feel as if I had to prove anything to God by going to church. So I stopped going to church; I stopped going through the motions. I established that I would simply live a life that I genuinely feel that "God" would approve of. I wasn't going to lose my voice simply because others disagreed. I wasn't going to stop being who I was just to lessen the confusion of narrow-minded people. I wasn't going to stop being who I was, period.

The duty of youth is to challenge corruption." - Kurt Cobain

At the age of merely 17, surrounded by global corruption, it is easy to feel as if I am a waste of space. It is easy to feel as if any effort toward peace wouldn't go further than being recognized by myself alone. I've learned that most fights toward peace will go unrecognized, and that is OKAY. Sometimes you do something small for the good of the world, and it receives more attention than ever expected. So yes, most attempts by one person go unnoticed in the big world that we live in. But if we stop trying, the sum of attempts to better this world will grow smaller... We cannot afford to stop trying. So take every extra second you have to find opportunities to better this world--despite the size of action or the amount of years you've experienced this world.

"The sun is gone, but I have a light." - Kurt Cobain

Each night I lay in bed surrounded by darkness. Some nights I fall asleep easily, and others I am at the shore of depression's waves. There may be no physical light within the darkness, but there are almost endless metaphorical lights within the darkness or within the invisible. We read poetry, but do we see it? We listen to music, but do we see it? We feel the sun on our skin, but do we see it? We are thought of by those we love, but do we see it? We feel the butterflies and tremble when our line of vision meets someone we love, but do we see the butterflies? Do we actually see most of the things that bring us comfort?

“Thank you for the tragedy. I need it for my art.” - Kurt Cobain

The first time I shared my writing capabilities was at my best friend's funeral. I wrote a eulogy for my best friend at the age of 15. I always dreamed of partaking in a dramatic slam poetry contest and everyone being blown away by my unpredicted talent. Yet there I was, not so joyfully sharing a eulogy for my best friend... That day I broke down so many barriers at once. I took note that writing was and always has been the only thing that'll always be here for me. I had to devote my entire self to get across the inexplicable experiences I had lived through. Words don't do justice to many things I write about, especially not my best friend. Although, it was the closest I could allow the audience to get to personally experiencing the times my friend and I had shared ourselves. That day I realized how much power my writing truly had. With tears in the audience's eyes and gasps in their breaths. I was numb enough due to the grief to make it through the entire read through. From that day on, I have never stopped writing. I was even inspired to begin publishing my writings. So here I am, publishing my thoughts through writing, that I never thought I'd open up to the public.

“There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad.” - Kurt Cobain

My mother always tells me that "Somebody New" by Hozier seems to have been written for me, which I simply nod my head in response to. She's entirely accurate. I see the good in everyone. If I could get paid to meet strangers every day, hearing their life stories, learning what they've gone through, what they've accomplished, what makes them happy, what they struggle to talk to, etc., I would never "work" a day in my life again. I fall in love with quirks and abnormalities. I see potential in even the most strayed or broken individuals. So when I witness others fail themselves, I feel their painful self-disappointment as well. When I witness someone not receive a well-deserved award/position, I feel their defeat. I feel for others. Empathy (when possible) is my middle name, and when I cannot empathize, Sympathy is my middle name. Tatum Empathy/Sympathy Oxford... Sure does have a ring to it.

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.” - Kurt Cobain

I have struggled to cope with my past trauma of being stalked and followed. Yes, it is normal to check your surroundings when in an unfamiliar location or are alone at night; however, I do this in my own home. I jump at any sound. I continuously peer over my shoulder. While listening to music, I often pause the music, thinking I've heard someone nearby. The destruction my trauma has caused me is utterly disturbing. With the help of my treatment, I am learning to feel safer. I am learning that while stalking is a true problem and it has made me a victim once before, that doesn't mean I'm always on display. I can live my life as if no one is watching. Such a simple concept, a human right, was stripped of me for too long.

“I started to be really proud of the fact I was gay even though I wasn't.” - Kurt Cobain

When the Supreme Court of the United States ruled same-sex marriage a right nationwide, I celebrated. ME. Even though I wasn't in line on that exact day awaiting my marriage, I felt the excitement. I felt the warmth. I felt accepted. I saw people I knew, expectedly or not, open up and proclaim their sexuality. I had an internal conversation with myself that when I find the person I love and want to spend the rest of my life with, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT IS IN THEIR PANTS. I felt a new me open up. I knew that we were beginning to live in a more accepting world. I couldn't help but want to be cliche and wave a rainbow-striped flag. I was full of pride.

“If my eyes could show my soul, everyone would cry when they saw me smile.” - Kurt Cobain

My short time on this earth has been filled with experiences that most people haven't even witnessed by the age of 60. I am blessed and cursed for having such experience and knowledge. I know the importance and burdening factor to empathy. I know that I must express my love for those around me while I can because they can be taken in an instant... Sometimes you cannot even say goodbye. I've battled anxiety, chronic pain, depression, grief, migraines, trauma, and much more. I am not my difficulties. I am nothing but the bold person that is still somehow breathing today. So when you look me in the eyes, and if in that instant my smile reaches my eyes, I would cry if I was you; I cry when I see a genuine smile on the face of someone who has endured their unfair deck of cards. So if you cry, I understand. I'd cry too.

Cover Image Credit: Mark Seliger

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80 Nicki Minaj Lyrics Perfect For Instagram Captions

"Yo, you seen my last pic, go double-tap that for me."

Nicki Minaj lets the world know about her amazing Instagram skills in Beyonce's "Flawless," when she raps "Instagram another flawless pic." Do you have a #Flawless Instagram picture but need a clever caption to go with it? The Queen of Rap has plenty of Insta-worthy song lyrics.

*(Some lyrics have been edited to keep this article "PG". Feel free to look up the real Nicki Minaj lyrics if you hate the radio edit.)

When you want to diss a hater:

    1. "You couldn't get a fan if it was hangin' from the ceilin."
    2. "I'm throwing shade like it's sunny."
    3. "I'm in my own lane, you ain't in my category."
    4. "These (girls) couldn’t test me even if their name was Pop Quiz."
    5. "Yo, people will love you and support you when it's beneficial. I'ma forgive, I won't forget, but I'ma dead the issue."
    6. "Not that I don't got good vision, but I don't see competition."
    7. "I’m Angelina, you Jennifer. Come on (girl), you see where Brad at."
    8. "I look like "yes" and you look like "no"."
    9. "But if you're ugly it's a no text zone."
    10. "If you are my rival, then that means you're suicidal."
    11. "Shout out to my haters, Sorry that you couldn't faze me."
    12. "Trash talk to 'em then I put 'em in a Hefty."
    13. "Like I mean I don't even know why you girls bother at this point. Like give up, it's me, I win, you lose."
    14. "All these haters mad because I'm so established."
    15. "Competition? why yes I would love some."

When you want to tell people how awesome you are:

    16. "If I'm fake I ain't notice, cause my money ain't."
    17. "You can hate me, but why knock my hustle? I'ma be the queen, no matter how they shuffle."
    18. "Let me make this clear, I’m not difficult, I’m just ’bout my business."
    19. "I'm feelin' myself."
    20. "Excuse me honey, but nobody's in my lane."
    21. "Put me on a dollar cause I'm who they trust in."
    22. "I don’t say “Hi”, I say “Keys to the Benz.”"
    23. "I've been hot since flip phones" "Running this game for 5 years. Guess that's why my feet hurt."
    24. "Hotter than a middle eastern climate."
    25. "My money’s so tall that my Barbies gotta climb it."
    26. "No, I'm not lucky, I'm blessed, yes."
    27."I ain't gotta compete with a single soul."
    28. "'X' in the box, cause ain't nobody checking me."
    29."Excuse me, I'm sorry, I'm really such a lady."
    30. "Honestly I gotta stay as fly as I can be."

When you're hanging with your clique:

    31. "Cherish these nights, cherish these people. Life is a movie, but there will never be a sequel."
    32. "I’m with some hood girls lookin’ back at it."
    33. "We dope girls, we flawless. We the poster girls for all this."
    34. "Pretty gang, always keep them (boys) on geek."
    35. "The night is still young, and so are we!"
    36. "If you ain’t on the team, you playin’ for team D, ’Cause we A-listers, we paid sisters."
    37. "Pretty (girls) only could get in my posse."
    38. "Cause we the mean girls, y-yes we so fetch."
    39. "We fresh to death, down to the shoes."
    40. "Ain't at no wedding but all my girls cake tops."
    41. "Got a whole bunch of pretty gang in my clique."
    42. "Clap for the heavyweight champ, me, But I couldn't do it all alone, WE."
    43. "Put your drinks up, It's a celebration every time we link up."
    44. "I'm with some flawless (girls) because they be mobbin' pretty."

When you're hanging with your significant other:

    45. "He tryna kick it like a ninja."
    46. "He could tell that I was wifey material."
    47. "Ayo, I just wanna be your first go to."
    48. "You got spark, you, you got spunk. You, you got something all the girls want."
    49. Find me in the dark, I'll be in the stars, Find me in your heart, I'm in need of your love."
    50. "They holler at me, but it's you, you."
    51. "I'm not living right, I’m not living if you’re not by my side."
    52. "I just wanna be somebody that can add to, your wife, be a friend, be a teacher and a fan, too."
    53. "I just wanna be your favorite."
    54. "He was the realest, I was the baddest, we was the illest."
    55. "I know you can save me and make me feel alive."
    56. "Yes I'll be your girl, forever your lady, You ain't ever gotta worry, I'm down for you baby."
    57. "Baby you my everything, You all I ever wanted."

When you're single and loving it:

    58. "You could be the king, but watch the queen conquer!"
    59. "Thats why I'm crowned queen, and I ain't looking for the prom king."
    60. "I like independent, like July 4th."
    61. "I ain't never need a man, to take care of me."
    62. "He be like, "Yo, you so legendary", But he can tell just by my face he ain't getting any."
    63. "I am not Jasmine, I am Aladdin."
    64. "I don't even brake when I'm backing up, I'll swerve on a (boy) if he acting up."
    65. "So many boys in here where do I begin?"

When you're just living life:

    66. "I never worry, life is a journey. I just wanna enjoy the ride."
    67. "Tonight is the night that I'ma get twisted."
    68. "I’mma keep it movin', be classy and graceful."
    69. "So make sure the stars is what you aim for, make mistakes though."
    70. "And we gon' hangover the next day. But we will remember this day."
    71. "My only motto in my life is don't lose."
    72. "Take me, or leave me, I'll never be perfect. Believe me, I'm worth it."
    73. "I believe that life is a prize, but to live doesn't mean you're alive."
    74. "I wish that I could have this moment for life."
    75. "If I scream, if I cry, It's only 'cause I feel alive."
    76. "I can't believe it, it's so amazing. This club is heating, this party's blazing.""
    77. "It's so amazing, I figured out this world is ours for the taking."
    78. "I am not a girl that can ever be defined."
    79. "I got next, I'm gonna shine."
    80. "This is my moment I just feel so alive."

Cover Image Credit: Nicki Minaj

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'Treme': Defying Hurricane Katrina's Disaster Narrative

As an outsider to New Orleans, it was a privilege to step into the world of these New Orleans residents after Katrina


"Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, outsiders will have two versions of the Katrina experience. One version will be the images they recall from news coverage of the aftermath. The other will be the intimate portrayal of the determination of New Orleans residents to rebuild and recover their lives." - the blurb of "HBO's Treme and Post-Katrina Catharsis: The Mediated Rebirth of New Orleans"

I remember late in 2005, turning the channel to CNN and seeing image after image of Hurricane Katrina's devastation on New Orleans. I remember seeing the levees break, the houses flood, the crowding of the Superdome, and I remember the first thing 8-year-old me thought at the time was "thank God I'm not there. Thank God it's not me." All I knew was the disaster and the devastation, and when news channels like CNN stopped covering New Orleans after the storm, that's all I knew

"The Wire," "Treme's" predecessor, was the best show of all time because it taught me empathy and compassion. "Treme" is a great show, too, because it defied that disaster narrative and showed me the grit of some New Orleans residents. "Treme" is still the slowest show I have ever watched. To stick with it through the end could sometimes feel like watching a Ken Burns history documentary, but that is the nature of the show: it required a whole lot of patience.

Newsday's Verne Gay's review of the show titled it "'Treme' final season premiere review: Still good, still not for everyone," and that headline rings true as an umbrella for the show. No one I have talked to has heard of the show, not one person has referenced it in conversation - in fact, I only started watching it because David Simon, the creator of "The Wire," was its writer.

Nevertheless, I finished "Treme" with mixed feelings. I think I will need to watch it again, when I'm older and more fully able to appreciate the show, and maybe after I actually visit New Orleans. According to Akiva Gottlieb of The Nation, "David Simon [in "The Wire"]...has unforgettably cataloged all the reasons to quit; now he wants to know why the struggle could be worthwhile." While it is a great review that is worth reading, to keep "Treme" in the shadow of its predecessor to stop from reducing the show. It's difficult when the likes of Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters, prominent main characters in "The Wire," were also main characters in "Treme," but for its own sake, "Treme" should be interpreted as its own show with its own unique structure.

One thing that struck out to me about "Treme," that will most likely always strike out to me, is the resilience of its characters. We follow the same group of people throughout four seasons, people from all walks of life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Initially, I thought Simon was going to depict LaDonna Williams, the owner of a local bar, or Antoine Batiste, a local trombonist, as victims of the disaster, and use the show as a just that: a disaster narrative, with an indictment on the institutions that failed the victims of Katrina (much like "The Wire").

But it wasn't. These characters had a tremendous amount of grit, will, and a refusal to give up despite the circumstances of Katrina's aftermath. Look no further than Albert Lambreaux, leader of a Mardi Gras Indian tribe named Guardians of the Flame, whose motto, "won't bow, don't know how," defines his character throughout the series. In one instance, "Big Chief" Lambreaux flat out denies chemotherapy for lymphoma to suit up for the next Mardi Gras. The types of people on the show range from DJs, developers, civil rights attorneys, police lieutenants, and violinists, but all of the mare united by this grit. Above all, all of them are united by their loyalty to New Orleans, not despite its dysfunction after Katrina, but perhaps because of it. Their names are Davis McAlary, Nelson Hidalgo, Toni Bernette, Terry Colson, and Annie Talarico, respectively.

Near the end of the series, Terry, the police lieutenant is visiting his estranged ex-wife and sons, and has a conversation at the dinner table where he asks why do people have to be defined by their profession. He isn't Terry the cop: he is just a guy named Terry. And each character is not defined by their profession or their circumstances after the storm. They are defined by their names, personas, and how they reacted in the face of adversity, and each character had unique ways of doing that.

In fact, one character even resembles perceptions of David Simon himself: Davis McAlary. Pardon the language, but McAlary, for a good portion of the series, is an annoying piece of shit: a rich, privileged white man who attempts to publicize and use New Orleans's suffering to promote his own career as a musician and DJ. But despite his vanity, McAlary is redeeming in the way he treats the people around him and the people he works with respect - and he is no longer DJ Davis, but instead just Davis, a person I feel is a friend.

And what struck out to me was how much I liked not only Davis, LaDonna, and Terry by the end, but how much I liked every character and how they carried on. For me, it was a privilege to share the journeys of Antoine and Sonny as they changed their lives over the course of several years. It was a privilege to step into Janette's various kitchens and see the life of a woman striving to build her own restaurant. It was a privilege to step into Toni's attempt to bring justice to the NOPD. It was a privilege to step into the world of Delmond as he tried to balance the terminal cancer of his father and his career as a prominent trumpeter.

As an outsider to New Orleans, it was a privilege to step into the world of these New Orleans residents after Katrina, and experience this first hand:

"Treme offers outsiders an inside look into why New Orleanians refused to abandon a place that many questioned should not be rebuilt after the levees failed."

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