I have an anxiety disorder; one that sometimes feels like an elephant sitting on my ribs and sometimes like a needle in one lung slowly but surely letting out all the air. Music has always been my saving grace – whether through a dance routine I’d poured my soul into or driving through the rain with the correct, most fitting genre playing as loud as possible in the background (sorry mom & dad.) It’s usually under control, flare up here, or there, I struggle going into social situations, or doing things for the first time. Interactions with people I don’t know make my blood burn but for the most part, it’s under control.
It was under control, until 1 artist who I watched grow and engage with fans all over the globe was gunned down by a fan; until 49 people who just wanted to let loose and have good time in a club, Pulse Night Club – one of many- that could be cited as the ground upon which modern pop was born, were killed. Suddenly my saving grace, the entity I thought was going to save the world was wrapped into something that terrified me, that triggered something for me that left me too anxious to get on a subway or to leave my apartment. Suddenly the thing I loved more than most was tied to something horrific- if the music had sounded different in Pulse maybe the patrons would have been able to identify gun shots earlier. If the internet hadn’t created the idea that we’re entitled to the acts we love maybe Christina Grimmie would still be making music.
It took me the entirety of last week to sort out where music ended and tragedy began… that’s why Unhinged is your song of the week this week. Because, I still haven’t fully sorted it out yet, because to take Jonas’ lyrics literally ‘right now my head isn’t screwed on right.’ Because, politically I’m confused by the American people’s ability to take this in stride, by the ability of certain people to try to gain something from this senseless act of violence, on of many – too many in this country. I’m confused that we’re not rioting in the streets and demanding a change. The fact that the statistics about gun violence in the country continue to grow higher and higher and no one has acted. I’m confused, my heart hurts for the families and communities in pain, and for the loss of belief that music will save us. But it can heal us – that much I know from experience.