A Poetry Book Review: Adultolescence

A Poetry Book Review: Adultolescence

A beautiful emotional roller coaster wrapped up in 256 pages.
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Recently I finished reading a poetry book "Adultolescence" by Gabbie Hanna. If you don't know who Gabbie Hanna is, then stop right now and go watch her on YouTube. Here, I'll even give you the links: Gabbie Hanna (formally known as The Gabbie Show) and The Gabbie Vlogs. Why, you ask, must you know her before you read her book? Well simply put it's because this book is her wrapped up in 256 pages. She poured her heart and soul into this book and while you'll still enjoy it even if you don't know her you'll miss some of the beauty that is "Adultolescence."

She is such an amazing person who breaks the mold of celebrities and allows you to see her insecurities and her weakness. She keeps it real.

It isn't your typical poetry book. Many have said they don't understand it or didn't think it was really poetry but isn't that some of the beauty of poetry, that there aren't any defined rules as to what is and is not poetry? I've seen reviews calling it childish so if you don't like childish things then don't pick up this book. I happen to like some childish things but what I really thought was beautiful about this book is that inside the childish are realities that we can feel. It’s wonderfully written and beautifully illustrated, every poem is different. Some will make you cry, whether from laughter or from the gut punch to the feels, you’ll cry. It’s quirky and unique. It is, Gabbie Hanna.

If you need any more inspiration as to why you should read this book then give her song a listen. If you love, or even just like it, then you should read the book as the song is inspired by the book.

Cover Image Credit: Lucas Kozeniesky

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Some Thoughts On Johnny Mandel's Song, "Suicide Is Painless"

What was Johnny Mandel thinking when he wrote this song?
Danny G
Danny G
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Back in the 1970's, there was a television program titled M.A.S.H. - It was a show based on the Army, with future movie and TV star Alan Alda, and Jamie Farr, who played the part of Max Klinger - He who wore dresses in the Army, and he who wanted desperately to get a Section 8 and go home. Gary Burghdoff, who played Corporal Radar O'Reilly was the only original to be in the show from start to finish. And what a finish it was. The "Going Home" episode of M.A.S.H. is still the most widely viewed television program in history. In history. As in the most watched ever in the world. Even to this day.

The title song was "Suicide is Painless" by an artist named Johnny Mandel. That song is still popular today. Anyone that is over the age of 30 will recognize the song. They will recognize the music. And they will recognize where it comes from. But what they don't realize is that the title of the song is the farthest from the truth you could ever imagine. Suicide is anything but painless.

We all know someone that has lost someone to suicide. Whether it is due to depression, due to anger, due to hating their life, due to frustration, alcohol, drugs or anything else that might be remotely connected to it, we have dealt with, are familiar with, or know someone that has dealt with suicide. I have lost four friends to it in my lifetime. And if you were to ask me? Suicide is anything but painless.

We've heard the comments that someone took the easy way out. We've heard the insults that they didn't think of someone else before they took their own life. We've heard the statements that they didn't care about anyone because if they did, they wouldn't have done what they did. But what we don't realize, whether it's me, you or the man in the moon, is that suicide is anything but painless.

We don't know what the person is going through. We don't know what a person is experiencing the minute, hour or second before they decide that their life isn't worth living anymore. And when they finally decide to take that final step across to the other side, we don't know what they are feeling, we don't know what they experience, and we don't know what they are thinking just before the lights go out. And the tunnel goes black.

Suicide is anything but painless.

When Johnny Mandel wrote the song in 1970, I'm not sure if he was thinking about what it might do to people. I don't know if he was thinking about suicide when he wrote the song. We don't know what he was thinking long-term. Did he hate his life, hate who he was, and think about turning the lights off? Or did he just put the song together not thinking about the impact it would have nearly 50 years later?

Did he know what it would make people think about, how they would be remembered, or how that song would impact the lives of those listening to the song or watching the video on M.A.S.H. as it played night after night on television? The show itself became one of the most popular shows of an era, and one of the most popularly syndicated shows ever played on network television. It spawned a half a dozen major stars. And it also created a theme song that has lasted many lifetimes.

When Johnny Mandel wrote "Suicide Is Painless" was he thinking about how the person felt on the receiving end of death or was he thinking about what it would mean when someone finally put an end to it all? Because he could not have been thinking what it would do to others who were left behind after someone took their own life. He couldn't have been thinking about how it would impact the lives of thousands or more when someone died. Someone that was close to a friend, a neighbor, a relative, a cousin, an uncle, an aunt, a brother, a sister, a mom or a dad.

Is suicide painless?

And if so? For who?

Cover Image Credit: GoranH
Danny G
Danny G

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DAMN, Kendrick Won The Pulitzer!

I firmly believe that with this historic win, and especially by someone so young, that this will cement rap music’s important and vital storytelling ability.
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I will be the first to say that I am a bit high maintenance. I can usually be seen with my five rings, and I generally look well put together 90% of the time.

(The other 10% is when I am attending classes.)

So, due to my bougie and prim and proper attitude, it surprises many people that I love rap music. It is also unfathomable to most how I could be such a hardcore feminist, and yet I still bump rap in my car.

When I am in my car, my passengers can fully expect a full concert from anyone to A Tribe Called Quest to Eminem to LL Cool J to the love of my life, Kendrick Lamar.

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is a young rapper from Compton, California, one of the most volatile locations in the United States. At only 30, he was recently awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, the only recipient to do so associated with rap music.

I can still remember the first time I heard a Kendrick Lamar song. I was a young freshman in high school, and my longtime boyfriend had a song from Section.80, “Rigamortus”, as his ringtone.

This was back when you could still easily download ringtones to your phone. 2011 already feels a million years ago.

I was listening to these lyrics: “And this is rigor mortis, and it’s gorgeous when you die.”

I’m with my boyfriend, and we’re cruising around our suburb of Dallas, so far removed from real strife and trauma and the powerful prose that Lamar is known for, and I’m completely taken aback.

Most of this early album’s subject matter concerns the drug epidemic of cocaine in Black communities during Reagan’s presidency, and Kendrick explains that even if you were just born in the 1980s, you are implicitly also defined by this important time in our nation’s history.

In this particular song, he is explaining that now your favorite rapper is dead. Kendrick has killed all of them. He’s young, hungry, and he is not here for your weak rap.

I firmly believe that with this historic win, and especially by someone so young, that this will cement rap music’s important and vital storytelling ability in our current political climate. From the beginning, rap music has been both a blend of a call to the future and connection to the past.

Cover Image Credit: Kendrick Lamar

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