Sometimes you’re doing really well, then, after three or four years, everything inexplicably crashes like a house of cards and you have to rebuild it. It’s not like you get to a point where you’re all right for the rest of your life.-Patti Smith
The misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who’s confronted with it.
Two articles were presented to me very recently. One was written local university’s newspaper/website, and the other was a response after a social media discussion on taking kids to a comic book store.
@Ashley__Hinson posted an interesting article called Sexism, The Cycle That Feeds Itself In Music that covers on how women tend to be viewed in the music industry. She brings up the point how this particular gender of artists get labeled as “female singers and/or songwriters”, and stuck with the stereotype that women performers are pidgeon holed in pop music. Granted, I dislike pop music in general, whether it be male or female, simply because it’s not so much about being about anything other than how much can we sell. Music is a business, and not always about talent or even what is good, otherwise, bands like Nickelback would never curse our auditory senses. Country music also falls under this, as it can be just as cookie cutter from one artist to the next.
I am, however, a huge fan of getting to hear a female performer who just comes off as a badass singers, musicians and artists. Even though she is kind of pop, I appreciate a lot of what Pink has to say in her songs, plus she has a very fuck you attitude, which I love. Kristian Rowles and Jen Blackwood of The Creepshow are just awesome vocalists that melds perfectly with the bands Psychobilly sound. Aimee Allen’s gritty, dirty vocals on The Interrupters debut album are badass (check out the opening track “Take Back The Power”). And of course, if you really want to go back and find something pissed off, just find a few Patty Smith albums and spend an afternoon listening (Dancing Barefoot is a personal favorite).
Go read Ashley’s article, trust me, it’ll be worth your time.
And, on a random Facebook post, a friend discussed difficulty in getting his kids to find something at a comic shop that is outside of their comfort zone. I casually mentioned that my wife has enjoyed the Harley Quinn books, and maybe his daughter would when she got older. He then presented me with an article called “What Taking My Daughter to a Comic Book Store Taught Me“. Because I’m not a parent, and a bit shortsighted at times, I learned I just recommended books drawn by men who enjoy making characters dress in skimpy clothing and a near impossible amount of cleavage. So, I felt a bit shitty over that, but his wife also pointed out her dislike of people recommending “girl stuff” and that her daughter could perfectly enjoy any number of comics. Bam, I committed a double whammy”.
Granted, my intention was not suggest either of those things, it was just a casual comment, but…………………………
So, as I was saying, it was not my intent to suggest any of these things, and I chalk it up to a typical fuckup on my part, and yet another lesson to learn from.
Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.
There are situations where you are trying to be funny, and end up just saying something fucking dumb. I did this very recently, and even mentioned it in a previous post. With a group of people playing Cards Against Humanity, it’s not uncommon for vile and awful jokes to get thrown around. It’s pretty much expected. And I managed to make a joke that caused everyone to go quiet. And it wasn’t even that good a joke.
“What is the difference between a stripper and a burlesque dancer? A burlesque dancer doesn’t have daddy issues”
And of course, a woman who performs burlesque was sitting at the table. Fuck me, right? I did appologize for the lame joke, not meaning to intend it as a direct insult, and was just being a smartass (or dumbass, you pick). She was cool about it, and began telling someone else about the kind of stuff she does. She also showed me a video of the pasties she purchased that had color changing LED’s (no, it was not a video of her wearing them, just that they were delivered and looked cool).
So, I fully admit to it being just a dick thing to do. It would be different had this been a person I know, and it was some type of inside joke, and ha ha, you do artsy stripping, and such. But, this was a person I had just met, I think. She did seem familiar, and I suck at names and faces. But, that’s besides the point, and I’m glad she didn’t get pissed off or was hurt, and at least somewhat forgiving of this loud mouth asshole who just insulted something she loves. The intent was to get a dumb laugh, not to hurt someone.
I do find the whole burlesque thing facinating, and not because I’m a guy and would be there for the potential to see skin and boobies and such (come on folks, the internet offers plenty of that). I always find it interesting to meet people who are have the abillity to say fuck you to any of societies so called “moralities”. Considering everyone grows up with the idea that seeing or showing off your privates is a pornographic act and you are a devient for either doing it, or watching it as it is being performed (ironically, the people who preach that sort of thing in the past are the ones whose computers get hosed by the amount of malware installed from adult entertainment sites). I think it’s a pretty badass mentality to have. I also understand not everyone who performs does it as a fuck you to social standards, but because they believe in the art and performance aspect of it.
So, in the end, as usual, think before you make a bad joke (or at least know the people you are making the joke toward), and if you think that seeing a female nipple is vile and shameful, get the fuck over yourself.
“I don’t care what you think unless it is about me.”
― Kurt Cobain
I’ve come to realize just how much the users of Facebook employ the “me, me, me” mentality on everything. I now understand that my rant about people bitching that good vibes are not prayers for that “unspoken” request they spoke of was off. It has nothing to do with believing in something, it has to do with not agreeing with what I believe in. Everyone on facebook is a selfish asshole (even me).
You do not even need to try hard to find examples, just randomly pick a timeline and browse through it. Different religous beliefs: Going to Hell. Showing cleavage: Slut. Gettings tattoos or coloring hair: Immature (If you are an adult who enjoys going play in the mud, please don’t say anything about maturity). Woman cuts her hair really short: Lesbian…. Yes, I can go on and on and on and on.
Don’t think you are being a narcissist? How many selfies do you post a week? How many times do you put down others because they don’t worship how you do, don’t listen to the music you do, cut their hair the way you do, blah blah fucking blah. And realize that this self centeredness transfers to your children. So there is the possibility they will become insufferable douchebags as they get older, but if we are lucky, they will at least rebel and point out this in you. We can only hope. I’m sure this kind of thing is always passed down generation to generation. It’s also why people feel so unhappy with themselves at times, because condesending members of this collective feel the need to tell them they are too fat, skinny, tall, short, or whatever. Most of the time, I think it’s pure jealousy because maybe they are too chickenshit to do what they want and not worry about that type of criticism. And to those that don’t give a fuck about it, I respect and even envy them.
And yes, even I am guilty of this at times. Just a week ago I made a bad joke about burlesque to someone who performs. I appologized and she seemed forgiving. Hell, she even showed me a photo of the LED pasties she purchased for a performance (not of her wearing them). It was a dumb comment that could have easily been treated as a “fuck you” rather than a simple joke. Of course, I’m sure the same people I described above would be quick to call this person a slut, whore, or whatever because she chooses to perform wearing next to nothing, or possibly nothing at all (I’ve never seen her perform, only met her once). Because shaming others is just a way to boost ones own self worth and stroke their own ego. Of course, when the table is turned, it’s an awful atrocity, and what is this world coming to.
So in the end, be different, dress how you choose, and fuck those who feel the need to put you down because they are just miserable pieces of shit. If you want to know the truth, if someone labels you as odd, weird, or unusual, you are probably a good deal more interesting than they are, since they are just following whatever is trendy anyway.
I should make a habit of carrying around a small notebook and a pen. It is not unusual for me to have these completely random thoughts and ideas just pop into my head, and if I’m not sitting in front of my laptop, they tend to get lost. Fortunately, this time, I documented a few to share.
In a previous post, I mentioned spending New Years Eve at a sports bar playing Cards Against Humanity. It also happens that a couple of friends were there as well to ring in 2015. I refer to him as “The Great Bearded Wonder”,or GBW for short. He was there with his girlfriend, who is a pinup model. It was a pleasant surprise, and also a little funny to think we rarely hang out considering we live in the same fucking neighborhood.
After the exchange of hugs and handshakes, the individual sitting next to his girlfriend looked at me, shouted “hey man, how you doing?” and shook my hand. Then he asked if I remembered him, as he was absolutely sure he knew who I was. In the moment, I felt like a total asshole for not remembering this person. He even told me his name, and still nothing. Fucking awkward.
GBW’s girlfriend laughed her ass off and informed her friend that I was not the person he thought I was. Turns out that it was a case of mistaken identity on his part. The awkwarness washed away with the exchange of names and handshakes. But for a moment, I felt real shitty, and I realized that I need to figure out a way to improve my memory when it comes to these sort of things.
Although, I also recently found out that not only was I mispronouncing someones name for months, but she never bothered to correct me on it. So, I suck with names. Get over it.
I spent New Years Eve sitting in a sports bar making bad jokes, drinking beer, and playing Cards Against Humanity. It was not the most traditional way to celebrate the start of 2015, but fuck it, tradition is overrated. Most peoples tradition involves a stupid hat, imitation champaigne, and a has-been TV presentor counting down til a tacky looking ball drops.
It’s kind of weird to think that some people think an event is a waste if they don’t go out and do the same thing as everyone else. Of course, I’ve questioned peoples need to conform since I was in highschool. I find it very strange, the idea of making any effort to fit in and be viewed as normal, even fashionable. Efforts could be better spent being creative, in my opinion. One oddball making something cool will be remember long after your trendy jeans are no longer fashionable.
Me and my group of friends definately belonged on the Island of Misfit Toys, most of us still do. I openly admit that I was a weird kid, and am still so as an adult. Hell, I’m not much different now than I was when I was 15. I still love so many of the same things I did at that age. I still play video games, watch horror movies and read comics (which is an activity that was revived by my wife), and tend to just be a geek in general. The biggest difference between 15 year old me, and present day me is I’ve learned to be more comfortable with myself and just not give any fucks as to how others view me. It’s a waste of time, and you constantly have to put in effort to keep up with whatever changes in the world of trendy dumb bullshit.
So, basically, what I’m saying is fuck it, be a sore thumb. It’s better to at least attempt to be one in a million rather than just another face in the crowd.
Trust me, you will survive. I did, and I grew up in hillbilly hell.
If you know me personally, you now that I hate the overuse and abuse of quotes on social media, most of the time credited to a celebrity that never said anything evenly remotely like it. So, to spite myself, I searched for a random quote I thought fitting of the upcoming calendar event, and found one by Rainer Maria Rilke.
2015 begins in less than 12 hours, and overall, 2014 was good, and much better than 2013, a year wrought with personal tragedy. It’s almost shameful that an entire 12 month period can be deemed positive or negative based on so few events. 2014 was a year of first world problems, and those are things I can live with just fine.
With the New Year comes social media being filled with empty resolutions that will be forgotten within 10 days. Most of these are superficial, copied and pasted over and over again on social media like a lame political meme. It, at times, is laughable, that most have no intent on improving themselves, but just feel obligated to shout it out to all who will listen.
Don’t just pick a couple of the generic resolutions that everybody else uses. Take on a challenge, do something different. Try to paint a picture, write a story, or learn to play an instrument. Don’t just say you will do it, go out and do it, and who cares if you consider the first attempt to be shitty, at least you tried. And you may discover a new passion, something you never even considered you would enjoy. And fuck anybody who says you can’t or shouldn’t do it.
As for me, I have no idea what I’m going to do, and I think I’ll just try and figure it out along the way. Maybe I’ll sign up and run a 5k. Maybe I’ll have shitty time, but who cares because I’ll have accomplished something, and then next time I’ll try to improve on it.
I’m ready for 2015, and hope that in 12 months, I’ll be writing about all the things I did, improved upon, etc.
Don’t Be A Dick – Wil Wheaton
It’s that time of year when people get their panties in a wad over the imaginary War On Christmas. I’m pretty sure I’d cause permanent damage if I rolled my eyes back any harder due to the fact that so many get upset over being given a Happy Holidays over a greating that specifically references the event you celebrate. It takes a special kind of dumbass to go into child like fits over the fact that “you didn’t tell me happy my thing”.
I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I’m not religious, and see it as a Hallmark holiday (And don’t fool yourself into believing that businesses don’t think that way either, they will play either side as long as they make money). I admit, I’m kind of a Grinch. The reasons for that really have nothing to do with decorations, lights, presents, or music, it has to do with PEOPLE.
The time of year that everyone preaches is when you should be good to each other, show kindness, etc. You know, all the things you probably should do year round rather than need to be told to do once the calendar hits December. Instead, people are angry, rude and greedy. I don’t think this is any more evident than Black Friday, where people will kick, punch, and trample to get some cheap junk 24 hours after celebrating a holiday designed to show thanks for what you have.
And no, I’m not being preachy. I fully admit I’m an asshole. Hell, I’ve embraced it. I use it as a tool when some unruley shopper feels the need to try and shove me over to get to whatever piece of merchandise will determine if their kids will love or hate them on the 25th. Or when someone is being rude to that retail employee because the store sold out of whatever item, or insulting the waiter/waitress because the place you want to eat at is packed due to hungry holiday shoppers. I’m sure a few people that do this to people who work in those industries think they are empowering themselves, but really, you are just being a self rightious, snotty dick who deserves to have their cheeseburger teabagged).
It’s not just my generation and younger that are the only ones guilty of this, so don’t think for a moment you can hold onto some bullshit false pride at how those born in your era are better than those younger. Because you’re not. Doesn’t matter what when you were born, you can still be viewed as a major dick. At the end of the day, you get out what you put in, and if you put out the vibe that you are a miserable prick, you will end up treated as such.
So, no matter what you celebrate, I hope you have a really wonderful holiday season, and if you celebrate nothing, at least have a decent December.