The Lowlife: One Reason Racist Tropes Exist (ANTIREALISM)

The glamorized white lowlifes, to use the old word that i think works best as a generalization here, illustrate a kind of individualism many white people see in themselves and not in others

When we examine class and race together, we can realize how destructive the tropes are for everybody and can recognize a hierarchy of oppressive production where white people are most free from oppression and black people are most oppressed. The tropes teach a determinism for blackness and an individualism for whiteness. I’m using the traditional binary black-white here for a reason. A consistent spectrum of white to black in white supremacy exists, from white to less white.

Can you imagine a breaking bad with black characters being produced in the US? It’d be too real, too obscene, and it’d break all the rules organizing how we discuss white people passively cultivating a society in which white people are the shining beacons of enlightenment for all not white people. 

These white characters, by the way, are often based on real people white people loathe. Whiteness likes to imagine itself as a transgressive order that cultivates a rugged individualist spirit struggling to survive in the midst of insurmountable odds. Especially in the US, we have tucked away the old engine of social production ”the wilderness” into our shirts and keep it close to our hearts.

The antiblackness in whiteness composes black characters as debased individuals who suffer their state of affairs, make poor choices, and end up responsible for their state of affairs. We aren’t supposed to ask what caused their state of affairs. That’s just ordinary. On the other hand, Walter White has cancer and Jesse Pinkman needs a father and both have big hearts and so, you know, give them a break.

Whiteness sees in white lowlifes a grotesque upward mobility full of seething excess worth dwelling upon for a while. If a character were other than white, a narrative would be too realistic. This anti-realism is very problematic.

Watch on


Lately, the world has been an uncompromising, polarizing, relentlessly unforgiving place. Not to say it hasn’t been that way since the beginning of recorded history. However, now, I can’t help but be more aware of it. I can’t help but be aware that I can’t avoid it, I can’t drown it out, I can’t ignore it. No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I get berated by people who berate me with the idea that “You’re not paying attention to the issues.” and “WAKE UP”. You can’t ignore the disgusting parts of the world you wish people didn’t have to suffer as much as people suggest. However, Im not suggesting that people aren’t ignorant to how truly fucked up it’s become. How devalued the price of human life is, and the fact that it actually now has an affordable price tag. That being said, these are the ideas that we’re firmly pressed into this song conceptually. What does it mean to ‘kill time’ on an individual basis. What do we all think individually about ‘killing time’?

What is our idea that we subscribe to with that notion. It’s something that fascinated me beyond measure that I can’t help but actually be distracted by that thought alone. Because essentially, we are all inevitably killing time, until we die. How might we achieve the finite death of time itself? Is it achievable through channeling ourselves into the things we love? Material wealth? Memories? 

These questions, whether or not pertinent to others, keep me awake most nights. Compounded with the infernal ringing from the tinnitus that I’ve inevitably suffered through the use of such condensed loud volumes for so long.

What I can’t understand is the necessity to kill time. While I understand it’s almost common place, and an inane ritual to an extent. Why is it integrated into our thought process? Why is it a common thing to talk about with others but not question why we actually feel the need to kill time. What do we actually achieve by doing so? I’m not chastising people that do so, I obviously do. These are all just themes within this song and why this song means so much to me. Even condensed within the idea of creating art, no matter how mundane or profound, inevitably, IM JUST FUCKING KILLING TIME. No matter what, I can’t escape it. So within the inception of this song it was important to me to capture, both my frustration, and my apathetic attitude towards it. Recognizing that killing time can have a negative affect, or a positive one. Even death, is just another measure of killing time. So how do I escape that thought? How do I stop killing time, and start using it? Is time even measurable for use? Within that I find what I can measure, I can measure in music. 

Obvi, this song has some weird existential/philosophical crisis for me. You don’t have to agree with anything Im saying, and I could probably never say enough about what this song is and where it came from. However these are the things I feel within it. While performing it, while I recorded it, when I show it to people. It’s just, what do we do when we actually kill time literally, and is our weird raucous, disturbing, disparaging, desperate and downright disgusting behavior just another form of some pathetic way of killing their time, or not using it wisely.

Often times, I don’t know what it means to be good. The world shapes and shifts so much. That we lose sight within a journey of what is actually ‘good’ and what isn’t. We fight ourselves with this weird narcissistic battle of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’. As someone so wonderfully put it about our material, equating the phrase ‘good’ vs ‘evil’ to ‘freedom’ vs ‘responsibility’. Can they walk hand in hand? I mean really? Can they? The ideas within the song is that, I don’t know what it means to be good to you, but if I subject myself to that notion, I have a better chance of discovering what that might mean to myself than subjecting it to an outside opinion.

Here is the Low Life//High $ociety version. Of which I am working on a live version of as well and I will be posting that soon. 

Killing Time Early mix.

However, what I loved about piecing this together, is the juxtaposition between the two versions of these recordings.

One, is gut-wrenchingly slow. Dragging you through the ideas and the horror of ‘killing time’ through the lens of a feeling that is very sinister.

The latter, is invariably fast, and runs almost the same length, yet feels as if it’s brief. Almost as if while waiting for something to come you chose to do something else that you know will pass the time, and before you know it, you’re already late.

check out the song here

Check out the whole EP in one fell swoop and kill some fucking time, or use it as something to soundtrack your fight to use your time wisely(you could even pick up a cassette tape that we hand made right up there in that link.)

And help us press a 7” vinyl for our tour this fall here;