Superman Doesn’t Do Drugs: Theory of a Deadman’s song, “Rx” (Medicate)

The best thing about art is that it should make you think about things and music certainly falls into that category.  That is clearly the case of the new song by Theory of a Deadman called “Rx” (Medicate).  I like the mood of the song, it’s sort of spaghetti westernish—however the lyrics absolutely disgust me.  I find almost every line of the song repulsive—yet fascinating.  If I had to apply a song to the age of Millennials which defines their era I think this song would be it.  As I looked into this song a bit I wasn’t surprised to learn that there was a message behind it as lead singer Tyler Connelly stated to Billboard.

“I really wanted to discuss how messed up America is with this prescription drug thing. When I got divorced, I went and saw a therapist and the first thing she said was, ‘I want to put you on some Beta blockers or some sort of anti-depressant stuff’ and I’m like, ‘No! No Way! What? How is that the first thing you want to do?’ I just feel like something’s wrong and I felt like the song needed to be written and people needed to hear it. It seems like every week something terrible is happening. I mean, Chris Cornell…and when we shot the video for it all these directors we talked to were like, ‘Oh yeah, I had a huge prescription drug problem, so this hits home’ and all that stuff. So it’s a really important song and I’m so happy we get to release it first.”

[Verse 1]
Wake up to a cloudy day
Dark rolls in, and it starts to rain
Staring out to the cage-like walls
Time goes by and the shadows crawl
Crushing candy, crushing pills
Got no job, mom pays my bills
Texting exes, get my fill
Sweating bullets, Netflix chills
World’s out there singing the blues
Twenty more dead on the evening news
Think to myself: “Really, what’s the use?”
I’m just like you, I was born to lose

[Pre-Chorus 1]
Why, oh, why can’t you just fix me?
When all I want’s to feel numb
But the medication’s all gone
Why, oh, why does God hate me?
When all I want’s to get high
And forget this so-called life

I am so frickin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)
I am so frickin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)

[Verse 2]
Can’t wait to feel better than I ever will
Attack that shit like a kid on Benadryl
Chase it down with a hopeful smile
Hate myself, I can go for miles
They say family’s all you need
Someone to trust who can help you breathe
Inhale that drug, but you start to choke
You fall on the outs of an inside joke

[Pre-Chorus 2]
Why, oh, why can’t you just fix me?
When all I want’s to feel numb
But the medication’s all gone
Why, oh, why does God hate me?
Cause I’ve seen enough of it, heard enough of it, felt enough of it
Had enough of it!

I am so frickin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)
I am so frickin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)

Superman is a hero
But only when his mind is clear, though
He needs that fix like the rest of us
So he’s got no fear when he saves that bus
All the stars in the Hollywood Hills
Snapchat live while they pop them pills
All those flavors of the rainbow
Too bad that shit don’t work though

Your friends are high right now
Your parents are high right now
That hot chick’s high right now
That cop is high right now
The president’s high right now
Your priest is high right now
Everyone’s high as fuck right now
And no one’s ever coming down!

I am so frickin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)
I am so frickin’ bored
Nothing to do today
I guess I’ll sit around and medicate (medicate)

I medicate

The part that really bothered me in the lyrics was the section about Superman and in that the protagonist thinks that God hates him—that they were born to lose like everyone else.  What a terrible way to wake up and see the world.  That is about as far from my reality as there ever was, but then again I don’t do drugs of any kind.  I don’t do the doctor thing these days exclusively because all any of them ever want to do is put you on medication for every ailment.  Modern medicine has clearly become just a legalized industry of drug pushers—and I don’t do it.  I don’t even take aspirin if I can help it.  But I am also in the extreme minority.  Most people do take some form of a drug and it comes from their doctors as if that makes it all OK.  Superman would never take drugs, his mind is always clear—he doesn’t need false courage to save a bus.  But, from the perspective of a Millennial that has been raised in a society of three progressive presidents, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama—where broken families are the norm, drug addiction is justified by prescriptions, economic mobility has been tightly regulated by an overzealous government—this song really is their experience. And that is terribly sad.

Just because I don’t want something to be true doesn’t mean it isn’t and unfortunately this song is the reality of way too many people.  I’d love to tell people to live more the way I do, but then that’s not their experience.  I’d say to them that the sum of your total life is precisely what you put into it by way of thoughts, and if when you wake up in the morning, you are depressed about something—you are headed toward loserville by natural inclination.  For anybody to be “so frickin’ bored” that they “need” to medicate is just a modern tragedy considering all the options an intellect has these days.  When I get up each day my biggest stress is accommodating all my interests.  I am never board, about anything.  There are just too many interesting things to do and think about—I like my mind sharp so I can do everything.  I can’t afford to have a period of “high” just to take away the pain of living.  Pain is part of living, and you have to be tough and willing to fight through that pain to get to the good stuff.  However, that isn’t the mode of living for most people in this modern age.

I would add that my support of Donald Trump from the beginning to now is largely due to this terrible swing of temperament we have moved to as a country.  For years everything has become so negative I think largely because so many people are on drugs—legal and illegal.  Just going to get a drink after work is a bad trend in my mind.  Trump doesn’t drink or do drugs.  If he has an addiction it has been to be productive—he has many interests like I do so I understand the guy.  He has brought great energy and awareness back to the public through sentiment—and I think that’s the only way out of this mess—is to have someone say from the top that drug use and addiction is a bad thing to do.  People really do need to hear it, and they need examples to live by.  That is also why I write these articles every day.  I want to help people and if something I write can do that—it is my hope that it does.

So good job to Theory of a Deadman for writing such a provocative song—I wish that reality which they are presenting in it wasn’t the case, but unfortunately it is.  We have several generations of this stuff to get through before we see a new generation that has some hope of living normal productive lives under a new day in America where unemployment is at or under 4%.  Where families might return to staying together and bank accounts will be filled with opportunities for dreams.  I really do think that the age of the Trump administrations may reverse some of these trends because the conditions of this song just isn’t acceptable.  I wouldn’t want this to be the reality for a single person anywhere in the world.  But it is however the trend—and the household standard for which everyone lives.  I can say this as an answer to the song.  I’m not “high” right now, and I never will be.  And Superman never takes drugs and that’s what I wake up expecting out of myself every single day—is to be superman.  Everyone should.

Rich Hoffman
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