How Fall Out Boy’s “Young and Menace” is polarizing fans

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Oops, I did it again – I forgot what I was losing my mind about. I only wrote this down so you would press rewind and send a message that I was young and a menace.”

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For Fall Out Boy fans everywhere, Patrick Stump’s voice undoubtedly crooned these lyrics from their speakers on April 27 when the band released their new song and music video “Young and Menace” from their seventh album Mania. The song picks up at these words – right before the beat drops. And that drop is causing fans some majorly mixed emotions.

As a devoted FOB fan for over 10 years, I have watched the band evolve and with it have witnessed the reactions from new and old supporters. I joined the bandwagon as a 12-year-old girl who listened to From Under the Cork Tree on my brand new Walkman and geeked out over seeing the music video for “Sugar We’re Going Down” on Much Music back when video jockeys still existed.

I recall scouring message boards on the FOB website and reading the comments from snobs who proclaimed, “You’re only a real fan if you’ve been with the band since Evening Out With Your Girlfriend and Take This to Your Grave!” and “They should go back to their pop punk music and quit writing this shitty emo garbage for whiny teen girls.” As a whiny teen girl myself at the time, I remember questioning why they were so upset about a band gaining fans and changing their style of music.

Apparently, even in 2017 things haven’t changed much with FOB fans – although the comments are no longer on the message boards of a fan site. Now, it’s on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But the sentiment is still the same.

Old photo of a Fall Out Boy concert

Some fans miss FOB concerts like this. But… with less people. In venues that would make people sweaty and claustrophobic. You know, the good ol’ days.

After listening to the song for the first time, I scrolled down to find that people either loved the new sound, or they absolutely hated it. One (former) fan wrote, “I miss the days when FOB would play their punk music in a venue more intimate than a Victoria Secret changing room.” A picture of FOB followed it from those small venue days, to prove to the world that he was, in fact, an original fan. There was also a particularly scathing comment that said, “The chorus sounds like a chipmunk choking on a dick.

The comment underneath that? It was something along the lines of, “This is amazing!! Stunning song and groundbreaking production!! Can’t wait for the album guys!! Love every single one of them!!” Two hearts and a praising hand emoji, naturally, followed this comment.

Although I admit, at first I was taken aback by the dubsteppy/EDM style of “Young and Menace” I can’t say this shocks me very much coming from the band. With each new album, they continuously seek to explore new styles. And yes, not every one of those style choices has been a hit with fans (or music critics). I mean, remember the Folie a Deux days when “Tiffany Blews” featured Lil Wayne singing? Because I do.

Although “Young and Menace” may not be a fan favourite, I can’t seem to stop playing it. I also hope that those naysayers stick around long enough to give Mania a listen when it does finally come out because just as the title of the album suggests, I feel we are in for some seriously vibrant, exciting and dynamic music. And I think that just like the track “American Beauty/American Psycho” was a turn off for many fans like myself, the AB/AP album actually had some pretty memorable songs – so it may be too early to judge Mania as a whole.

And now I’m here to send a message to those detractors – don’t go off the deep end. This album could just be the best yet.

 

What Losing a Pet Taught me About Life

On the day my sweet cat Holly passed away, we sat together in my room with sun shining through the window listening to Death Cab for Cutie croon the phrase, “Every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time.”

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I will forever miss our beautiful Holly.

That statement had never been so true as it was in that moment. In all honesty, I never thought the day would come that I would have to put my best feline friend down. With pets, it sometimes feels as though they’ll always be there waiting for you to come home. But at 16 years old, our cat was suffering and we knew it was our time to say goodbye.

Although at first I felt a bit overdramatic with the amount of crying I did the few days before and after her passing, I was surprised to find that I was not alone in mourning the loss of a pet. I looked it up and found that just like any death, I was experiencing the stages of grief.

Of those stages of grief, I find myself vacillating between “Depression” and “Resolution”. Somewhere between sobbing because I missed my Holly and wishing she could be with me again, I found myself learning a valuable lesson about life.

That lesson is that the time we do have with our pets, our family, our friends and even passing strangers is the most precious commodity we’ve been given. And with that time, we should do our best to be grateful for those who show us love and never take them for granted.

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Part of me knew this before my cat passed away. It’s why every day before I left my house I made sure to kiss her on the head and call out a parting, “Goodbye kitten!” It’s why even when I knew I had to be out the door in 10 minutes, I’d spend five of those minutes petting her. It’s why in the middle of the night when I went to the washroom and she’d wake up with a “mrrp” (a legitimate sound she would make) I would sit down and pet her back to sleep. I knew those moments with my aging cat were precious, and yet I did not apply this same philosophy to the rest of the people in my life.

As someone whose life is filled with spectacular people, I’ve realized it’s important to treat everyone with as much love as you can give. And sure, sometimes I falter in that love and appreciation. Sometimes I get mad or petty or cruel. But it’s important to forgive and empathize and love each other.

So if there’s one word of advice I can give to those of you reading this it’s to hold your pet a little tighter, kiss your loved ones a little longer, and cherish each moment a little more. You may regret wasting time, but time spent loving others will never be wasted.

 

How to Own Being Alone

With February 14 approaching, you may start hearing those Valentine’s Day naysayers lamenting about being single. For some, Valentine’s is a reminder of being alone. For me? It’s an opportunity to own being alone. Here’s three ways you can too!

1. Take Yourself on a Date

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Why not take yourself on a date to the Paintlounge in Toronto?

Picture your ideal date scenario. Perhaps your perfect date is like mine and consists of visiting the Paintlounge and capping off the evening with a nice excursion to a sushi restaurant.  Whatever the circumstance may be, that date you’ve always wanted can be achieved – and all you need is you (unless your dream date consists of tandem bicycling, in which case I wish you the best of luck).

It may feel unusual at first to take yourself out, but I encourage owning the experience by dressing up and finding the perfect spot to simply enjoy the food, the atmosphere, the music or activity all by yourself. It can do wonders for your personal wellbeing.

2. Develop a Passion Project 

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Alone? Why not craft?

Is there something that you have a particular interest in but have never had the time for? Why not use your alone time to develop a skill, learn a new hobby, or find a volunteering opportunity?

If you’re looking for ideas for what to learn next, I highly recommend creating a Pinterest page and scrolling through the many pins. It’s how I personally learned how to embroider, crochet, knit and cross stitch.

I always find that taking part in something you love can be a satisfying way to spend your time alone and feel accomplished in what you’ve done.

3. Practice Self Care

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Bubble baths are good for the soul!

One of the best things you can do on your own is to really take the opportunity to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically. Being alone really gives you the time to spend looking after numero uno – that’s you.

Focus on yourself and spend time doing the things that make you feel good. Whether that’s journaling, doing yoga, taking a bath, meditating, organizing, exercising, napping, shopping – whatever the activity, try to clear your mind and body of any exterior stressors and treat yourself to the best care you can possibly provide.

Being alone does not have to be a negative thing. It can be a time where you get to learn more about yourself and the world without another person’s thoughts and opinions cluttering your perspective.

So this Valentine’s Day, don’t get down about being alone – own it.