I'm bipolar. I blog about it. I also blog about sex, theology and atheology, funny shit and sad shit, books, music, feminism, and love. Mostly love.

Friday, April 6, 2012

just a thought

Everyone else gets a collective "you." Why don't we? Why do we judge people who say "ya'll?" It's correct! It's a contraction of "you all." Germans get "ihr." Shut up everyone hating on the ya'lls of the world. It's a very useful invention. There's no such thing as standard English. So the pretentious English nerds need to get off their soap boxes.

Let your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.

Here comes some *word vomit:

fun. is back. And everyone else knows who they are. Cool. Not like I knew them years before you all did. Nice of you all to make fun of my music until everyone else started to like it. Just saying. Happens all the time. Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Lily Allen, Sia, Ray Lamontagne, Kate Nash, and I liked RATM WAAAAAY before their comeback with the cool (douche) boys in my high school senior class. My music is "weird" until a song ends up on the radio, then it's "Such a good song!" What does that say about our culture? This is actually kind of interesting to me--annoying, yeah, but still interesting.

I'm pretty sure Emma said, "Don't feel stupid if you don't like what everyone else pretends to love." She's a stinking genius, really, and not just because she's Hermione.

I want to know why it is that people are afraid to like what is a little different. I mean, obviously because people will give them the shit I always got about it. But I always knew my music was good. I always knew that while what I heard on the radio was fun and sometimes even good, what I found through music enthusiasts, good magazines, and interesting people was better. If I can write a paper on a piece of music, then it's worth listening to. If it reflects nothing beyond the lyrics--a shallow message--then I'm just not interested. That's good dancing music, good driving music. That's all. And there's nothing wrong with that. Bubblegum Pop is an art all its own, but I wouldn't call it good music.

And here's the rub: I have really cool friends, who aren't shallow (and I don't always use that negatively--only to mean a lack of depth). They have a lot to them. But they are still trapped in this endless, blinded view of what's "cool." I've never really cared. When it came to music, anyway. I guess I fall short of individuality in other areas. But music is one thing I hold dear to me. I'm a musician. I'm a singer. And I'm not going to sing some shit (sorry!) that doesn't make me work, that uses no range, that does nothing interesting with meter or key or rhythm. Jeez. Those people are famous because they're pretty and can carry a tune. Again. An art all its own. But not good music.

And rapping. Smh. There are good rappers. They're poets. They can communicate feelings, ideas, and beliefs through their words. Every word contributes to the message. There will be metaphors (duh, it's poetry) but they're carefully considered. They're not just kind of witty to reel the oblivious audience back in. *Cough, cough Eminem. Holla if you hear me, poets*
Rapping is a really, really cool form of expression that's made its way to kids who have no other way to express themselves. But the little white girls from rural Illinois and Indiana nodding their heads to gangster rap should perhaps take a look at why.

Why is something only cool when everyone else thinks it's cool? Who decides this? Why isn't something cool by its own right? But I guess I do the same thing. I just like the music that people I think are cool like. And if you're the kind of person that finds people that listen to that music cool, then that's what you'll listen to. Whatever. But seriously, from a cultural perspective, I want to know why we have this phenomenon. Why is it that Sperry's which have been around forever are just now catching on? Or why big glasses, which have been a big joke for years, are cool now? Why do we have to wait for other people to think things are cool to think it ourselves????????

I've always been kind of a weirdo. I know that. But in a different group of people, I'm not all that weird at all. In people from more diverse areas, with more liberal values, with an interest in philosophy, and a respect for theology, and who like poetry and canon literature. Those people don't think I'm weird at all. But people who read romance novels, watch reality TV, have more conservative values, and those who are uncomfortable learning about different theologies or interacting with different cultures... those people have always found me a little weird. "Quirky," in Drew's words. That was a nicer way to put it. I have a respect for those people. That is their culture. But I was kind of living in a counter-culture to that in which I was raised. Marshall's culture was contrary to mine, which is kind of an interesting concept.

Culture isn't geographical.

Not anymore. Not with worldwide communication and with long-distance travel. Cars. Planes. So I managed to live in one culture: Marshall, but I represented a different culture: 1111 ____ Street. It's kind of cool from a theoretical standpoint, but in practice it was really hard on me. I was sometimes mean about that culture just because I was fighting so hard to preserve mine. Now I know there's nothing wrong with their way of life. It's just different than mine. It took some space for me to come to that conclusion, though. I needed to leave a while. But now I appreciate it for what it is. I don't want to live here again. But I don't hate it; I just don't fit in.

Okay. I'm going to try to end Word Vomit posts with a little bit of a wrap-up so you or I can make sense of this mess:

Wrap-Up in 3:

1) I'm a music snob because I'm a musician, and my tastes don't usually reflect popular music, although I like it for shallow entertainment. (Again, I don't use shallow like ya'll do. I use it to mean simply lack of depth.) Sometimes I get bitter when people make fun of my music. I know in time other people will start to like it, and then I'll get bitter all over again. I'm a pretty bitter person.

2) I am fascinated by herd mentality. I want to know what popular tastes show us about our society. How does something catch on? Should artists stay true to their style of music? Or should they meet popular demand? It's interesting stuff--fear of straying from the norm.

3) Culture is not geographical. I was my own culture within a culture to which I didn't belong. No culture is wrong or right. They're socially constructed; not innate, which people assume, which makes accepting different ways of life so hard for some.

*Word Vomit: train of thought writing, restricted to line-editing, and sometimes hard to follow. Sorry bout that. But not that much. Because I still post it.

Serendipitous that I should find this little treasure.

"Alles, was du liebst, wird dir genommen."

I appreciated that little relative clause, now that I understand it. But more than that I appreciated what it said. But I disagree. "All that you love will be carried away," was the translation given, but more accurately it says, "All that you love will be taken." Carried away sounds nicer, and it also sounds like a very American interpretation of the phrase. Germans don't do that so much, I don't think. They just say it. But never is everything one loves taken away. Ever. If you love a sunrise, no one can take that from you. If you love to sing, that is yours also. I know this phrase came from a darker time, but it's no longer applicable, and I don't like its implications.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fuck the Police.

But not for the reasons you think. My next heartfelt statement: Law enforcement in our country is not valued enough. So here's the deal:

A few days ago a cop followed me home to say that I'd been reported for speeding by an off-duty cop and I should slow down. The message delivered was a valid one. I probably was driving too fast, and should indeed slow down. I can accept that message. He was just doing his job, he is protecting the people... whatever. But it got me thinking about the way our culture perceives policemen and -women and the way this influences them.

A culture communicates the way in which they value different professions by how much money those positions earn. In our country social service, teachers, and the police are highly undervalued--in my opinion, of course, as no culture is wrong, just different. (Frau Weir-ism <--) I believe that education is undervalued. In order to be a fiscally competitive nation, we need an educated society. Public schools lack the funding needed to give kids opportunities they would benefit from or recognize the importance of teachers. Social services need more money, because the condition of poverty, due to our severely unbalanced distribution of wealth leave families unable to obtain birth control (not to mention, the Republican war against its use, completely), inability to provide for their children, as well as their inability to obtain mental health care that would help them cope with their feelings of inadequacy, physiological and mental disorders, and the feeling of hopelessness in their environment. Our society makes sure that those who are less fortunate believe it's their fault. Growing up around the children's home, I know how undervalued those employees are and how little they make. It's a hard job and it requires very valuable and dedicated workers to keep the place running. Yet funding cuts always manage to hit social work. Where do we put our money?

We have holidays recognizing the importance of teachers and of their contribution to society, but really? We pay them next to nothing. Clearly they are not valued as much as wealthy doctors, lawyers, and CEOs. Those people in less-valued positions put their defenses up. They assert their belief in their position through slogans. No farms, no food. If you can read this, thank a teacher. And I've noticed that among more feminine people, the reaction is one of verbalized concern. Among more masculine people, there is a different reaction. Men, in our culture, are clearly labelled as breadwinners, "head of the family," and are expected to earn their respect through strength and perseverance. When more feminine speakers are in a position in which they feel insecure or unimportant, they tend to speak less. When a more masculine speaker feels insecure or unimportant, they tend to speak more and use bigger words. (Notice I say feminine and not female. I'm a female, but I tend to posses some more masculine speaking traits because of the role women in my life have played. I've been surrounded and encouraged by very powerful and even dominant women.)

That policeman used phrases such as "high rate of speed," instead of "too fast." He said "This is something I do understand," instead of "I get that." Sometimes they even misuse these words because they don't use them in their regular vocabulary. I was young and pretty clearly receiving a college education with my backpack coming from Terre Haute. I was driving a nice car (although it's not mine). I pulled up to a pretty nice house. And I was dressed up because I'd just come from an awards ceremony. I looked like I was coming from somewhere important, (even though it was Greek Awards). It's possible he didn't expect me to be the person I was. I may have intimidated him a little. He doesn't know me well enough of course to realize that I'm not all that intimidating. I'm kind of quirky, I'm a little insecure, and I do recognize the value of his position. I knew what he was doing with those big words, so the tactic didn't really work on me. I'm a student of language and linguistics. I listen for these things.

Another interesting point I'll make is that I've noticed this in educated African Americans. Because our culture devalued and continues to senselessly devalue African Americans, they've developed a very specific and separated culture--which I still blame on history and some modern ignorance. African Americans tend to put Miss or Mister in front of first names, as a sign of respect, or perhaps more accurately as a sign of their knowledge of polite behavior. They tend to use very beautiful, poetic, and eloquent speech. If you read a novel written by an African American, it's going to use words I need to look up and long, flowing sentences. However, this culture of educated (or just plain intelligent) African Americans tend to use those words correctly. They are nearly constantly placed in a position in which they have to prove themselves and overcome prejudice. Therefore, this language is part of their everyday speech, which I genuinely believe has made these people more interesting and intelligent speakers than your average white Americans.

As a student of language, I take the sentence, "I was informed that you were very driving at a high rate of speed," and write a whole freaking blog post about it. It makes me mad that they use that silly tactic to assert their power over me and to try to intimidate me. But it makes me more angry that they feel the need to do so in the first place because our culture doesn't value the role they play in society.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nostalgia and Little Sisters

A dear blogging friend of mine, who will be referred to on here as Cypress, whom I've lately considered somewhat of a little sister, needs herself a blog post. She is thinking of not going to her senior prom. Her reasons are NOT acceptable. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful at their senior prom, and no one should be hindered from going because they are worried about dates or the way they'll look. I'm posting this idea for her. I'd appreciate comments of encouragement that I'll forward to her blog. Or just click on the link to her blog and do it yourself.

I'm a big fan of chiffon. I think it's whimsical and classy. That one strap will make you feel more secure and held together. Strapless dresses can be scary with big boobs. And then there's just a little sparkle that you can coordinate jewelry with for some more glam. Also... if you're daring... red lipstick and a smokey eye. Also. Don't wear your hair down. Up does stay in longer and you'll get hot and sweaty dancing. There is PLENTY more I could tell you, girlie. But you have my number. If you WANT to know anything I know you'll ask. BUT YOU ARE GOING TO PROM!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Forgiveness Collection

I've noticed that a lot of my pieces lately have been centered around forgiveness. Forgiveness is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Primarily forgiving myself, but also others. I'm working on myself first, though. Since these pieces have a common thread, I've decided to group them together in a Forgiveness Collection which will be defined as:

Short, short stories about people who forgive and people who will not.

To the teenage girls of the world:

Twisting stomach, fuzzy image, floating head, cold hands. Guilt. The trials, both great and small, that we endure, are made worse only by guilt. You put your face in your hands, didn't you? And you had to sit down, because breathing was really starting to be difficult. You tried frantically to think of ways to fix it, and when nothing was without consequence, your stomach sunk further downward. You called someone to give you advice, and they may have helped you some, but really, they were judging you--at least in your mind, blinded by regret. Vertigo. So you told all your friends. You looked for ways to twist the story to favor yourself. It's so easy to make yourself a victim when you're already feeling horrible, yeah? And your friends took your side, because they liked bitching with you. That's what ties your relationship together: people to hate. But things always come back around. She found out what you were saying, she was hurt further, and you didn't care enough this time. You'd already suffered enough. Your defenses were up. You convinced yourself you were the victim too. So easy to do.
But then, when you're much older, she'll come up to you. She'll say "I forgive you." At first you'll have to think about it, but it'll come back to you--guilt always does. "I-I'm sorry." The order reversed loses some of its strength. It's a weak response. But it was all you had. She smiled at you and walked away. Only she was at peace.
You may never forgive yourself. You may have forgiven yourself shortly after she did; it was a long time ago or if she's over it, I am. Give it time, lady. Forgiveness heals. Hurting another hurts yourself. But do not blame yourself for hurting someone; not even for doing it twice. You have only benefited them. They will grow stronger. They will grow a thicker layer of self. They're deeper. You've made them more of a person, and you've hurt only yourself. Work on fixing that, okay? Fix you first. Or you'll keep on hurting people, you'll keep on hurting you. Someone still loves you, even if you've pushed everyone else away. Someone loves you enough to help you become you can be proud of. Be the type of person you want to meet.