So it is autumn and that means one thing—it is time for me to slip into a melancholia that will not abate. I love autumn, but every time the season shifts from summer to autumn, I just sink into a deep depression. I believe the technical term is SAD—seasonal affective disorder. Which sounds like someone first thought of the acronym and then tried to figure out what it meant. Regardless, autumn hits, I get SAD, listen to a lot of down tempo Scandinavian rock music, and retreat into my shell.
But just the other day, as I was listening to some melancholic song by Kent, just generally wallowing in a malaise, I thought to myself, “This is pretty shitty just feeling SAD for no real reason, life really isn’t all that bad.” And the reason I thought that was because this realization hit me:
Andrew W.K. exists.
Now, for those of you who don’t know who Andrew W.K. is, he is a musician known for constantly using the word “party” and having an album called “I Get Wet,” which has a photo of him with blood covering his chin and mouth. His music isn’t especially deep, insightful, or technical. To be honest, I’m not even that big a fan of his music, only listening to it on occasion.
But here is the thing about Andrew W.K.—he is such a relentlessly positive person that you can’t help but love him.
I was browsing Reddit the other day and saw that he was doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything—basically an internet Q&A where celebrities answer questions from average people), and all of his answers seemed super genuine and positive. In addition to the standard questions about how the new album is coming along, people asked questions like, “Andrew, I love your music and I wish that I could go out and party and meet people, but I am painfully shy, what should I do?” and “The only time I’ve ever felt at peace and free of pain is when I’ve been on Oxycontin. I am thinking about taking heroin to just escape from everything, should I?”
Andrew W.K. responded to all the questions with thoughtfulness and tact. While a lot of celebrities who do AMAs give maybe a sentence long answer, all of Andrew’s were at least a paragraph long and full of honesty and reflection. To the person who was painfully shy, his answer amounted to, “It is fine to be shy and have a few friends. It is fine to be in your comfort zone, but try to challenge yourself now and again to get out of your comfort zone—you might be surprised at what happens.” To the person considering using heroin, he gave a page long answer that was free of judgment and condemnation. He made it clear that using heroin probably wasn’t a good habit to take up, but he did it in such a way that facilitated dialogue, rather than just an answer that would leave the questioner feeling rejected and angry for even asking the question.
Andrew W.K. seems like the type of person who values openness and genuineness. He seems like the type of person who sincerely cares for others and wants to make the world a better place. So the next time you are SAD, just remember this—
Andrew W.K. exists, and he believes in you. And he wants you to party hard.
So stop feeling SAD and start the party, whatever is a party to you.
Paul (’10) lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Emma (’10), and cat, HandsomeMarcoCat. He loves board games, Babylon 5, and honey-curry chicken. Everything else is negotiable.