i love op because there are chapter titles that sound rlly deep and poetic like “things that can’t be faked”, “meeting a broken moon through the clouds”, “he who must live to see a new age” and “being dead isn’t an apology”
and then there are chapter titles that are pop culture references, like “for whom the bell tolls” and “the times they are a-changin”
but then we also have shit like “usopp’s great manly adventure”, “wow, that’s nice”, “naked but great”, “not the afro”, “so disgusting it makes me fly” and chapter 667, which is just titled in all caps and in english “COOL FIGHT”
i also have to give a shout out to chapter 574: “portgas d. ace dies”. because, i mean, at least he was up front about it.
We never need popular music to let us know when the times are a-changin’, but we can always at least hope that the biggest songs of a period will help to reflect the national mood – and provide comfort, if not outright guidance, to help us get through the tougher parts. That’s the landscape that any new pop song invariably enters when debuting into the post-Brexit, post-Trump, pre-we-can’t-even-imagine world of 2017, and increasingly, it’s starting to sound like it.
The previously bubblegum-smacking Katy Perry set the tone for the year’s heavier, more topical fare in February with the incredulous “Chained to the Rhythm,” which Perry dubbed as the beginning of the “purposeful pop” era. The new epoch has gained steam in April thanks to comeback efforts from One Direction breakout star Harry Styles and pop-punk hitmakers Paramore – two of the most-anticipated singles of 2017, both of which go to great lengths to soundtrack the “Times” at hand.
Harry Styles’ anthemic power ballad “Sign of the Times” takes an optimistic, if largely fatalistic, approach to the state of the universe. Like the Prince title track of the same name from 30 years earlier – which asked “If a night falls and a bomb falls/ Will anybody see the dawn?” – Styles’ “Times” involve a likely imminent apocalypse, with the singer quipping, “Welcome to the final show/ Hope you’re wearing your best clothes” and “They told me that the end is near/ We got to get away from here” over swaying guitars and soaring strings. But Harry prescribes strength in solidarity and a gallows humor in order to push through, assuring “Just stop your crying, it’s the sign of the times.” Dark days, no doubt, but as Styles points out with a falsetto’d mix of frustration and serenity, “We never learn – we’ve been here before.”
Paramore, on other hand, seem to lack the resolve to face what looms on the horizon with such an unwavering gaze, dealing with their own Dusty Rhodes-like travails by yearning for “a hole in the ground/ You can tell me when it’s all right for me to come out.” The “Hard Times” that Paramore acknowledge aren’t the kind you can laugh off with a wry joke about impending doom, or even the kind that rouse you to action and inspire you to protest, but the kind that make you want to check out of 2017 altogether. There’s no guarantee that singer Hayley Williams’ rough patch as described in the song is due to national malaise rather than personal drama, but sentiments like “Hard times/ Gonna make you wonder why you even try” will certainly be familiar to anyone who’s spent an hour on their Twitter timeline this year and felt so overcome by current events that they needed to spend the rest of the day hiding under their bedsheets.
Styles’ and Paramore’s approaches to defining these “Times” may differ greatly, but they serve the same core importance of acknowledging that they’re happening at all. It’s a feeling you might not necessarily get while flipping between Chainsmokers and Migos smashes on your FM dial or Spotify chart. When front-page headlines become so loud and frightening that they invariably trickle down into the other sections of the newspaper as well, it’s important that top 40 not sound completely ignorant of this, and while neither “Sign of the Times” or “Hard Times” is directly topical, both assume a kind of baked-in world-weariness for their listening publics that make them feel inherently timely. In doing so, they might not actively spur anyone to join the movement, exactly, but they’ll let them know – as Styles’ hero David Bowie did in his day – that they’re not alone, in feeling frightened or anxious or simply overwhelmed. And for pop music, that’s the most important role of all.
It’s probably fitting that both Harry Styles’ and Paramore’s upcoming albums will drop on the same day, May 12. The rest of their respective albums may not feel so enormously weighted by their real-world backdrops – though considering Styles told Rolling Stone he wanted to call his LP Sign of the Times, and considering that Paramore actually did title theirs After Laughter, it’s hard to imagine either is marked by rampant frivolity. If the singles are any indications, it may be a valuable cultural marker to have two albums released concurrently that listeners can point to, decades later, to tell future generations, “This is what these times felt like.” - Billboard
watches across the junkyard as Gabriel bandages up Rick’s hand, trying to get
the wound as clean as possible before he wraps the old torn t-shirt strip
around it. Rick seems antsy, shifting his weight from one foot to another, and
when Gabriel’s almost done with the makeshift bandage Rick yanks his hand away
and points toward Michonne. “Holy shit, Gabriel, do you see that? Do you see
just looks confused. “What, what is it?”
says again. “It’s the most beautiful woman in the world.”
looks confused, Michonne delightfully exasperated. She rolls her eyes. “You’re
dying of blood loss, you idiot.”
come over here and kiss it better?”
shoots Tara and Rosita an amused and bemused Can you believe this guy look and then turns her gaze back to Rick,
who’s grinning for what must be the sixth time that day (and the seventh time
in probably three years, Tara’s pretty sure.) “I think you’re a few minutes
away from bein’ a walker, and I’m not dealing with that.”
“Oh no,” he
calls to her, sticking his arms out theatrically. “Michonne! I’m changin’!
“Stop,” she laughs, ducking behind Tara
as Rick comes after her. “Can you please be serious?”
can’t help herself; she laughs at that. Rick gets close enough to snag her by
the wrist and she jumps away, running around to Tara’s other side. They’re
playing like children, chasing each
other around Tara.
getting blood on my shirt.”
take it off.”
to lunge out of range of the two of them without tripping over Rick. “Aaron,
help, the heteros are attacking me.”
laughs, one hand over his mouth. Gabriel and Rosita watch on, confused,
annoyed, but Rick’s going to worry about that later. Clearly, he has more
important business right now, like catching Michonne around the waist and
leaning forward to pepper her cheek with little kisses. “Gabriel, you’re never
gonna believe this. She’s even more beautiful
gonna lie, Michonne’s smile is
gorgeous, wide and gleaming and sincere. And so rare, too. Anyone smiling these
days is a little miracle, but to see both Rick and Michonne smiling, laughing? It’s a goddamn reason to
you’re probably ruining the deal we just made,” Michonne points out,
halfheartedly trying to push Rick off of her.
“No, you are.”
“You shut up.”
to shut them both up,” Tara says to Aaron.
Aaron says, “break it up, you two. We’ve already got Carl and Enid to look out
for. We don’t need another teenage couple running around.”
prompts Rick to fucking dip Michonne
like they’re ballroom dancers and start singing, “Each night I ask the stars up above/Why must I be a teenager in love.”
“Cut it out,”
Michonne says, but she’s laughing, and she honest-to-God giggles when Rick twirls her around. For just a second, they’re not
in a junkyard at the end of the world. They could be in Paris, or old
Hollywood, dancing beneath a sky full of stars, wine sweet on their lips and
the air full of magic. No walkers, no Saviors, no problems.
course, Rick’s leg is injured and so’s his hand. They’re surrounded by debris
and strangers, and Michonne’s more than a little tired. They do have problems,
mountains of them. But they also have each other, and for just a few little
moments, that’s enough to make them feel like silly teenagers again.
We rely on yo ass to be our rock and foundation and you’ve gotten used to that role. This week, it’s gonna be difficult for you to maintain a strong facade as you deal with shit from your past. Listen, queen. We are thankful for you for being our stalwart protector, but we are doing fine this week. Feel free to lean on us for a change! =====
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)
So, your old ways of doing things ain’t gonna cut it anymore. It’s time for you – and I’ll probably regret saying this – to try on a different persona! Time’s a changin’, queen, and there were things in your life that didn’t seem crucial before, but now they iz. And don’t worry if this new identity seems shaky at first. Once you’re comfortable in your new skin, you’ll be sure to kick ass. =====
CANCER (June 22 – July 22)
As you set out into your new adventure this week, you’re in the mood to try something new by breaking free from the chains of your past a la Carnie, Chynna and Wendy (or Arianna Grande, for you fucking millenials out there). This is quite a bold move for you and something you’ve been needing to do for a while. But here’s the thing. The lessons of your past will always be a part of yo ass. In the end, that’s what matters. =====
LEO (July 23 – August 22)
You are in social butterfly mode this week… it must be something you ate. Regardless, just because you’re in the mood to get to know as many people as you can doesn’t mean it’s gonna happen the way you want it to. Your brain will only be able to hold so much personal information about the bitches you’ll meet. You bettah pick your best three hos to get to know. The rest will just be your fans. =====
VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)
The future seems hella appealing to you right now and gurl, I don’t blame you, ‘coz you’ve been through some deep, psychological shit, whether it’s been broughten upon you by your life, your career, or even your pets. But gurl, the future you’re perceiving right now may not be the future you’ll get. You must figure out a way to make the present work for you so whatever the future brings, it won’t fucking matter. =====
LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)
This is the week where all your shit, all the things you’ve been worrying about, will snap into focus. It’s like all of a sudden, errbody’s moving slow and you can see and hear errvything. This is the time to be taking advantage of this power. Get your shit done – no dilly-dally, queen! – before the world goes back into its normal state. =====
SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)
Being pulled in two different directions is only fun when two hotties are the ones doing the pulling. This week, a part of you wants to be in the center of the spotlight, while another part just wants to get away from it all. Is it possible to find a compromise between the two? Well, gurl. If you surround yourself with the right people (be as picky as you want), you can be alone and loved at the same ass time. =====
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)
Now that you’ve conquered a major obstacle, you will need to prepare yourself even more, as the shitshows and clusterfucks will get harder and harder from here on out. As you keep going, there will be a part of you who will want to give up. When this happens, you must ask yourself why you were on this path in the first place. Reminding yourself of the prize can only strengthen your resolve to keep going. =====
CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)
There are things you know, things you don’t know and things you DO NOT NEED to know. The third one is most important as it speaks about timing. Timing can be learned. It’s all about not forcing the script that the universe has given yo ass. The more you allow the powers that be to use your body as a vessel for your true self, the more organic your learning capabilities will be. =====
AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)
You are the future queen of America. And as future queen, you get to call all the shots in regards to how the other queens will behave. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility. The giggles you’ll get from being appointed Governor will be short-lived once you’ve figured out the actual duties that come with your power. So be careful, mama. =====
PISCES (February 19 – March 20)
Current personal frictions in your life may be caused by you being a quirky ass bitch. Hey, gurr, that is not something you can help. As long as your intentions are pure and you’re not hurting nobody, then you can be as fucking freaky as you want. And here’s the thing. Certain bitches in your life may not like your methods, but gurl, they can’t take their eyes offa you! =====
ARIES (March 21 – April 19)
When a shitshow slaps you in the face, all that positive, evolved demeanor you’ve been working on during the past few weeks will fall to the wayside. And you know what, gurl? That’s okay. Those attributes are boring anyway. What we like about you is your tenacity and speediness in getting things done. And if the duty of the day is to tell another queen off, then by all means, read her to filth! =====
(DISCLAIMER for all entries: This is all a shitshow!)
For more Horoscopes By Gil Hizon, click here, gurl!