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Thread started 10/19/18 4:19am

databank

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Mathieu Bitton and the Gods (or how depressed people can feel sometimes)

OK, I know that's gonna sound crazy and many poeple will condemn my line of thoughts but I'd like to hear y'all feedback, see if I'm the only person in the world to feel that way.

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Some months ago, on a day where depression was hitting hard (I suffer from chronic depression), I listened to that French fans podcast interviewing Mathieu Bitton about Prince. And the dude went talking about meeting Prince and what happened the other day with his friend Lenny Kravitz and when his friend Jean-Baptiste Mondino tells him this, and how his dad who was pals with the boss at Bain Douches in Paris gets him in as a teenager, and how he was flaying from NY to LA to have this creative appointment with such label about such cover art and so on, and suddenly it hit me: he's living among the Gods!

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And I'm not.

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And it made me wanna die. I mean I know you're gonna tell me Madonna and Lenny pee and shit just as each of us, and they get cancer and die miserable deaths as well, but yet I believe in this day and age famous artists (if not all celebrities, but artists have talent, which equals magic powers to me, the other celebrities are just Gods without magic powers) are GODS. Not people, Gods with a capital G, walking the earth among us mere mortals.

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And being an artist myself, but one with too many personal issues to have managed to make a proper career out of it, I wish I was a God. I do have the magic powers because I can create shit, and good one at that, but I did nothing with it and I walk among mere mortals as a mere mortal myself. And if I can't be a God myself, I wish I could live among them like this Mathieu Bitton fellow. Eat at their table, drink their wine, feel their women, share a bit of their shining light...

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I used to be a professional artist back when I was younger, a very broke one and only a tiny bit locally famous in my home city, but at least I was only hanging out with, and dating, other creative people and I guess it allowed me to feel like my life had meaning. I was, you could say, a low level deity, not a proper God but at least some sort of intermediate supernatural creature. Artists feel that way I guess, there's a notion of "us vs. them", them being non-artists. But 8 years ago I've moved abroad and become a language teacher and even though I keep doing arts when I have time and I maintain a vague social existence as an artist online (entirely separated fom my Org-identity), I only meet non-artists in my daily life here abroad, and they see me as a teacher which I find quite humiliating, and now I'm just a mere mortal hanging out with mere mortals and I just feel, as the Hulk says, a "puny human". I'm making more money than I ever did but it doesn't mean shit to me. And my GF is a wonderful person who sees me as an artist first, but it's just her here.

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And I feel really bad about it all. And when I see the Gods in the media, or when I hear people who hang out with them like Bitton, and when I think of my past as a minor deity or hear about my friends back home who kept being full time artists even if they have a hard time making ends meet, I feel like really, really bad, and I'd be better off dead than to go on living a puny human's life among other puny humans. But at this stage I'm not sure how to go back, it's quite complicated. And now it's Friday evening and I'm gonna go to a party where I've been invited, being a mere mortal among mere mortals...

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Those are the sort of thoughts people suffering from depression have. And it's really hard to live with such thoughts. I don't wanna bother anyone, I just needed to talk about it.

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Anyone else here feel me? Or am I the only one staring at the Gods and feeling miserable?

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #1 posted 10/19/18 5:47am

DaveT

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I think the term 'God' in this context is too extreme, though I do understand what you're saying.

I'm an artistic person myself, primarily writing (I'm lucky enough to have been published), though I've dabbled with art and music over the years. The people I admire the most are those artistic icons that have positively affected my life ... Prince, Madonna, John Carpenter, Stephen King, Sprinsteen, Pink Floyd, MC Escher etc.

To me they are from another artisitc plane, removed from us 'mere mortals' definitely. I wouldn't say Gods though, that's too far. Do I lament not being able to live around people like that? I guess it comes down to what value you think they would bring to your life. I don't think it would be as life changing as you think it would be. It might actually be worse in some cases. Prince, for example, was said to be quite an arsehole at times; as much as I love the guy and his work, I doubt we'd be friends if we ever met ... I just can't condone some of the choices he made.

Having said that, I do despair sometimes with some of the people I'm forced to interact with during the course of life. Their sense of what is acceptable behaviour, their beliefs, lack of manners, lack of intelligence, lack of integrity ... the list goes on. It weighs on me having to put up with these people, I suppose what you refer to as 'puny humans'. It tires and stresses me, even though I get the whole 'don't judge a person until you've walked in their shoes' schtick ... that provides no solace.

However, amongst all of that there is a long list of 'everyday' people that I would place on an equal par with those artisitc Gods we've both mentioned. The doctor who did an 18 hour shift performing life changing surgery ... the soldier living away from their family for months to fight for our freedom ... the elderly person volunteering in a charity shop, giving up their autumn years to help a good cause ... the scientist giving their time to find a cure to a disease. As much as I value art as possibly the greatest human endeavour since we've been on this planet, these people deserve equal if not greater stature than the Princes and the Madonnas of the world.

So that party you're going to with all the mere mortals ... take a look around as there's probably a doctor, soldier, or scientist there having a beer at the end of another long and thankless week (certainly more thankless than the praise we heap on successful artists). There may even be another 'Databank' at the party feeling the same way and looking across the room at you assuming that you're just another mere mortal.

I should qualify all of this with the fact my father has had anxiety and depression for years, and has made a whole host of questionable life choices as a result. I suspect, though I haven't been brave enough to get 'officially' diagnosed, there I suffer from it to.

www.filmsfilmsfilms.co.uk - The internet's best movie site!
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Reply #2 posted 10/19/18 7:14am

EmmaMcG

I have suffered from depression but I have never looked to anyone, famous or otherwise as a God. And I have met several famous people, singers, actors, directors, TV personalities. I have even worked with many of them. Not one of them ever struck me as a God or anything close to it. So I think that if you were to ever get your wish to live among the ones you call "Gods", I think you'd only be disappointed. Because these "Gods" are not as glamorous as you might think. It's all a front. An act. The only 2 people I have ever met who acted the same behind the scenes as their public personas do when in the spotlight are Prince and Richard O'Brien. And in Prince's case, I was only around him for about a minute. So he may have let his guard down if I had gotten to spend longer with him. But the fact is that these so called Gods are no different than you or me. And believe it or not, many of them would change places with us in a heartbeat if they could. Being famous is more of a hindrance than a benefit. Believe me. The only upside to it is the money. And you said you're doing well in that regard. You've also got a girlfriend who values you. So I think you're doing fine. God or not.
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Reply #3 posted 10/19/18 7:34am

purplethunder3
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Even gods have feet of clay...

"If you're living, you've got nothing left to prove..."
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Reply #4 posted 10/19/18 8:20am

peggyon

I don't quite see it your way though I can understsand. Many stars come from a profound need to be stars; deprivation of some sort. The maniacal drive it takes to be a star often comes from significant pain. Madonna lost her mother to cancer when she was very young (6-7?), Prince came from family estrangement, Michael Jackson had a traumatic childhood, (just reading about Trent Reznor yesterday, he had significant demons), Bruce Springsteen felt he father hated him, John Lennon's mother left him, etc. etc.

Perhaps there are some who came from happy, healthy environments but not the majority IMO.

We would not have had Prince as we knew him if he had been nurtured properly; he would not have needed fame to that extent. I think of Jimmy Jam in this regard; someone successful but able to have a good marriage and kids.

If Prince had been really happy and fulfilled by this life, he would be alive. I feel he was strangled in that web of image/persona. Some have managed fame gracefully, like David Bowie, George Harrison (able to see fame for what it was), but many are really tangled up.

I think moderate success doing something you love is the way to go.

You are one of the most articulate orgers. I have admired your knowledge and certainly writing ability.

I thought you were a writer.

I often think of the tragedy of someone like Prince who could have aged gracefully and given so much to "lesser beings" when finished with performing full-time. I wish he could have been OK with the simple pleasures of life. I have said before, he could have opened a wonderful music school at Paisley like Berklee or he could have taught music at U of Minn etc.

I think the highest level of confidence and class would have been to give up the fame and generously and happily give back.

[Edited 10/19/18 9:08am]

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Reply #5 posted 10/19/18 9:41am

peggyon

I agree with Dave T. It is about truly touching people, generosity etc. I worked with an MD who, when he saw that I was ready for a C-section after many hours of labor, stayed (after his 24 hour shift) to assist the other doctor just because I had worked with him. I am an RN (lesser being...JK!).

I see heroics everyday in the hospital setting; people doing "the right thing", the difficut thing, with no applause.

Many doctors and nurses work way beyond normal capacities everyday. Firefighters, paramedics, do the impossible everyday...nobody else knows.

The true heroes are usually not celebrities.

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Reply #6 posted 10/19/18 10:55am

purplethunder3
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peggyon said:

I agree with Dave T. It is about truly touching people, generosity etc. I worked with an MD who, when he saw that I was ready for a C-section after many hours of labor, stayed (after his 24 hour shift) to assist the other doctor just because I had worked with him. I am an RN (lesser being...JK!).

I see heroics everyday in the hospital setting; people doing "the right thing", the difficut thing, with no applause.

Many doctors and nurses work way beyond normal capacities everyday. Firefighters, paramedics, do the impossible everyday...nobody else knows.

The true heroes are usually not celebrities.

"If you're living, you've got nothing left to prove..."
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Reply #7 posted 10/19/18 11:11am

RodeoSchro

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Because you have the ability tp create, you have all you need. You will be happy, as long as you give it your all.

Prince is a perfect example. I know we've both seen him play 60,000-seat stadiums and 500-seat clubs. We've seen him play to sell-out crowds, and we've seen him play to half-filled arenas.

But that never mattered to Prince. He gave 100% of everything he had to give, and it didn't matter how many people were or were not there.

I believe that was what made him happy. Most artists are the same way. I know when I play somewhere, my thought is "If I can make one person happy, I've done what 99.99995% of the people in the world cannot or will not do. That makes me proud to perform. If I make more than one person happy, that's a happy bonus".

Keep practicing your art. Give it your all. If you make one person happy, you've done what very few can.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's paladin
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Reply #8 posted 10/19/18 11:57am

peggyon

Databank-Your post touched me as it is so brave to open up like you did. I am trying to get a sense of what is most important to you. Could it be that you want more communion with artists in daily life? And, the ability to be fully immersed in your art as well as being paid well for it?

Or, are you called to be in the midst of celebrity artists? Do they somehow represent the pinnacle of artistry?

My 2 cents...Prince was a great artist; Madonna and Lenny Kravitz, no.

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Reply #9 posted 10/27/18 12:05pm

databank

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Sorry for the late reply. It's been a busy week.

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First thanks y'all for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it hug

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Rationally everything you all say makes sense, unfortunately depression often evades rationality: you see the world through a grey filter and everything seems shitty, it really has little to do with reality. Being aware one suffers from depression is already something: you know you're not making sense, you can't help it but at least you know it. And therefore you also know the way you see things can and will change when you get better.

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And things are always complex. One of the smartest thing ever said about me by a friend was "You want what you don't want". She told me that 17 years ago, it hit me and it's still true to this day. I also don't want what I want...

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I am well aware of the lack of morality and shitty behavior people may have in the show business and arts world, including music and publishing. It was, in fact, one of the reasons that made me turn my back on it and move on with my life at some point. Regardless, there are assholes and nice people everywhere, and now I realize I miss that "minor deity" lifestyle. Rationally, I know celebrities or artists aren't better people than others and it's all an act. Hell, Prince himself taught me that when I was 15 ("I've seen the top and it's just a dream / Big cars and women and fancy clothes / Will save your face but it won't save your soul"), and the recent #metoo movement was a good reminder... It's really not about that, it's more symbolic, wanting to be somewhere even if you know some things suck.

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Another reason I turned my back on my own career at some point was that I'd enjoyed a certain level of local fame in my early 20's and it almost led me to a mental breakdown: I couldn't cope with all the rumors and gossip and people coming to me who knew me (or thought they did) but I had no bloody clue who they were and what they wanted with me. I was too young and I not ready for it at all. Had I become famous, I probably would have gone nuts and ended-up a drug addict or in a mental institution. I'm pretty sure I still couldn't cope with it in a balanced manner. Yet, now I miss the "minor deity" lifestyle.

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I think in the end Peggyon is spot on: "Could it be that you want more communion with artists in daily life? And, the ability to be fully immersed in your art as well as being paid well for it?". Yeah, pretty much so. That used to be enough. That would be enough. But now I'm in a situation where resuming this state of things is quite complicated. I can't go back: I have to move forwards and somehow make certain things happen again. But right now I'm so damn tired that just getting on with my daily work and sleeping represent a struggle that gets in the way of doing anything else... I'm willing to do the work, but I'm quite unable to at the moment...

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When I'm myself again, when I'm happy with my life and work again, I will be able to listen to a Mathieu Bitton interview and not want to die. Right now, everytime I see professional artists on TV or podcasts or mags and hear about their stories, it's killing me sad I'm not jealous, I'm super happy for them: I just feel miserable for myself. And I know it's ridiculous but depression makes it so, and makes it feel very real.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #10 posted 10/29/18 2:00pm

LadyLayla

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dB,

Yes depression is a full-on bitch. So being aware of depression is part of it. I don't know if you believe in medication for depression--but I do. And to me, one doesn't just snap out of depression. There are okay days and then there are beyond crappy days. I go with the standard cognitive behavioral therapy and medication route. I don't know if your location at this time would be able to offer that kind of regimen expecially since the culture might not recognize it as a viable condition.

If nothing like that is available, I might suggest looking at a couple of people

  1. Mel Robbins--I get her weekly emails. I use her for motivation
  2. Lisa Romano--I look at her you tube videos about toxic relationships

There are others out there but these are the two I usually check in to see. No I don't buy anything from them (don't get tricked into that).

Style is the second cousin to class
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Reply #11 posted 11/02/18 9:59am

Bishop31

I'm a bit late on this thread, but wanted to say how much I appreciate your honesty on this subject. As a musician myself, I too deal with depression at times when I see musicians "making a living" with their music. I also am guilty of looking at my favorite musicians as "Gods". The main thing I always envied about people like Prince and Lenny Kravitz is that they are able to tour the world playing their music to a stadium full of people pumped to hear their songs. That's the dream of any musician, and it's extremely difficult to attain. Most musicians have to settle for a "day job" to pay the rent, and find spare time for their music. It can be very sad at times. I'm with you.

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Reply #12 posted 11/02/18 7:36pm

databank

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LadyLayla said:

dB,

Yes depression is a full-on bitch. So being aware of depression is part of it. I don't know if you believe in medication for depression--but I do. And to me, one doesn't just snap out of depression. There are okay days and then there are beyond crappy days. I go with the standard cognitive behavioral therapy and medication route. I don't know if your location at this time would be able to offer that kind of regimen expecially since the culture might not recognize it as a viable condition.

If nothing like that is available, I might suggest looking at a couple of people

  1. Mel Robbins--I get her weekly emails. I use her for motivation
  2. Lisa Romano--I look at her you tube videos about toxic relationships

There are others out there but these are the two I usually check in to see. No I don't buy anything from them (don't get tricked into that).

I'll check those out, thx.

IDK if I believe in meds, I'm sure they're helpful for some people, but most of the ppl around me who've tried told me it didn't do them much good, and the only time a doc insisted on me trying one, it made it much, much worse and I quit after a few days.

Good news is I've snapped out of depression before. Sometimes for months or even years, with of course down episodes here and there but nothing like constant depression, and even, as a compensation of sorts, a passionate love for life and myself in those periods. Most often the "snap" was targeted by a radical change of environment and/or lifestyle, or a specific event, though sometimes I couldn't really figure out why I'd suddenly feel better. What I've observed is that the environment and what I do with my life at any given moment are extremely important. Circumstances won't necessarily solve it all and I'll need to be careful about myself for the rest of my life, but clearly not being at the right place doing the right things is almost guaranteed to make me plunge back sooner or later.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #13 posted 11/02/18 7:38pm

databank

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Bishop31 said:

I'm a bit late on this thread, but wanted to say how much I appreciate your honesty on this subject. As a musician myself, I too deal with depression at times when I see musicians "making a living" with their music. I also am guilty of looking at my favorite musicians as "Gods". The main thing I always envied about people like Prince and Lenny Kravitz is that they are able to tour the world playing their music to a stadium full of people pumped to hear their songs. That's the dream of any musician, and it's extremely difficult to attain. Most musicians have to settle for a "day job" to pay the rent, and find spare time for their music. It can be very sad at times. I'm with you.

Thx for sharing. Yeah, freedom to do just what you do is the key. Great success and stadiums is even better but just being in a situation where you are recognized by others as a professional and where you manage to live while not doing anything else than your craft would be more than enough for me. I'd love a Nobel prize in literature, but I'd be happy just dropping the "pay-the-rent" job.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #14 posted 11/04/18 10:18am

onlyforaminute

You know I'm kind of like this about scientists. I even attend a church that has quite a few who attend. I missed my calling and it disturbs me quite a bit.
"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #15 posted 11/14/18 9:14am

databank

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onlyforaminute said:

You know I'm kind of like this about scientists. I even attend a church that has quite a few who attend. I missed my calling and it disturbs me quite a bit.

You mean you could have pursued a career in science and didn't?

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #16 posted 11/15/18 10:57am

onlyforaminute

databank said:

onlyforaminute said:

You know I'm kind of like this about scientists. I even attend a church that has quite a few who attend. I missed my calling and it disturbs me quite a bit.

You mean you could have pursued a career in science and didn't?



Yep.

"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #17 posted 11/15/18 11:02am

databank

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onlyforaminute said:

databank said:

You mean you could have pursued a career in science and didn't?



Yep.

No way you can get back to studying and start over?

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #18 posted 11/15/18 11:12am

onlyforaminute

databank said:

onlyforaminute said:



Yep.

No way you can get back to studying and start over?



Not to the extent I want to be immersed.

"You want to know your biggest fault? You don’t keep true accounts: you put a high value on what you’ve given, a low value on what you’ve received."

- Seneca, On Anger 3.31.3
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Reply #19 posted 11/15/18 11:16am

databank

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onlyforaminute said:

databank said:

No way you can get back to studying and start over?



Not to the extent I want to be immersed.

Sorry to hear that sad

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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