Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Things I Do Astound Me

In September of 1996 a terribly unhappy 21-year-old man named Ricardo Lopez mailed Björk an acid-spraying bomb and killed himself shortly thereafter. Because he recorded his suicide, authorities were able to intercept the bomb before it reached Björk (or whoever opened her mail in 1996), but you can still absolutely see the video of Ricardo Lopez killing himself, and needless to say, that shit is BLEAK. Literally, it's the worst thing I've ever seen on the internet.

Most terrible internet shit is just physiologically disgusting, but the worst part of Ricardo Lopez's suicide is the visible despair before he puts the gun in his mouth. For the duration of the recording, before he actually commits the act, it feels as if he's actually dead, but just searching for the courage to physically parallel what he already knows is true.

He also chooses one of the loveliest Björk songs as the soundtrack for his death: "Like Someone in Love" is an Ella Fitzgerald cover, and while I can't speak for Björk's performance relative to Ella's, I can say with confidence that Björk's version is corrosively beautiful; it feels so good that it makes you feel bad because of course, of fucking course you don't feel this goddamn good. There's not some fucking harpist soundtracking your wistful ass infatuation unless you live in Rivendell or some shit.

Björk's version is so good that it allows me to forget that I once watched several minutes of a dead man preparing to kill himself, set to the same song. Her performance comes across as so earnest and sonically tangible that it wipes the worst shit I've ever seen on the internet from my head for about four and a half minutes. That is really the best any of us can hope for.

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