Rusty Cage by Johnny Cash

Song of the Week recommended by Staff Editor Miranda Spencer: “Capturing both rage and determination, this song describes that point where we say “F*ck this!” and push our way out of a bad situation, not quite sure where or how we’re going but knowing we’ll do whatever is necessary to survive. A great anthem for a frustrated teenager, a domestic violence survivor, or someone in forced treatment.”

-Miranda Spencer

Click here for past songs.


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  1. Cash has that Midas touch.

    Lots of very interesting songs these days, around the places. Eli’s Worthless is an interesting reflection of the times:

    I’m always so alone
    Even when surrounded
    By people that I know
    I’m always so astounded
    By my ability to ruin everything
    Losing friends and starting fires
    Everyone thinks I’m a liar
    I always stay at home
    ‘Cause I’m not good in public
    I sit here on my phone
    I’m always disappointed
    I watch them live their lives
    I wish that I were happy
    Victim of my generation
    Time machines cannot erase it
    Who am I supposed to be?
    When will I be complete?
    When will they be proud of me?
    It’s getting harder to see

    Slit my wrists, bloody fists
    Questioning why I exist
    Pain persists, evil gifts
    Fucking up my life to shit
    I’m worthless, I’m worthless
    I’m worthless, slit my wrists until I bleed out

    [Verse 2]
    I try to stay strong
    No matter what I do
    I’m always in the wrong
    It never gets easier
    But maybe that’s the point
    It’s part of growing up
    Messing up and learning from it
    That’s just life, it’s necessary
    Clinging to hope
    What else is there to live for?
    Got nowhere to go
    What else is pain good for?
    I am confident that your life has a purpose
    It’s okay, you will get through it
    Don’t give up cause someone needs you

    Not enough life left to consider these words but they would have been impossible, implausible 20 years ago. So too the sustained whine of the singy man, Eli. Quite dreadful, unbearable even, to listen to. Obviously the last verse was spat on to compensate, but oh my, what dirge…

    I suppose this is an illustration of the current dysjunct, between the old and the young. This whiney seems miles apart from the whiney I am familiar with. Yet both likely express the same deep-down horror at existence. Only it’s stripped of anger, of youthful energy, of zany creativity. A bland, supra-breakfast cereal of whine. An SSRI’d banality.

    Imagine being a kid engulfed by the headphones tuning in to this twee shite. Good grief.

    Things weren’t so bad in the 70s/80s/90s after all.

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