Monday, February 24, 2020

Here's where I write about a show I haven't even seen........

As most of us know, the halftime show at this years Superbowl created quite the uproar because (GASP!!!) the two performers, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, got a bit raunchy. Disclaimer: I have not even seen the performance. But I feel I know enough about them and their acts that I can make a pretty educated guess. 

The general complaint was that it's a bad example for children. And the Superbowl is family programming (riiiiight). It was counter argued that any professional sports cheerleader show includes the same type of entertainment, so why the hassle over this? I stand behind this line of thinking. Also it was brought up that these two women were actually giving a very empowered performance that payed homage to both of their roots. A small amount of research shows that this is indeed correct. Again, I haven't seen the performance in question; I just haven't been all that interested in seeing it.

But there is more to this it seems. I was visiting an older relative when it was brought up in conversation. He and his wife had seen it and were appalled. It was so raunchy!!!!! This is not a surprising thing to hear from someone in their 80's for sure. None of the rest of us in attendance had seen it or had much of a comment to make. But before dropping the subject, he mentioned the coup de grace of it all. He said "And neither of them is young you know! Both of them are in their 50's!!!". Well then. That changes everything, am I right?!?!?

No sir, no it doesn't. Would it have mattered if they were young? Is it acceptable then? Is it forgivable then? Does it at least make sense then? Or maybe, you've bought into the socially acceptable version of aging; the one where we settle down, know our place, sweep our sexuality under a rug, dress modestly, bow down to the god of youth, have only polite conversation, and generally CRAWL INTO A CAVE TO WITHER AND DIE after the age of 40. 

I'm not here to say that it was a great performance or that everyone should like it. We're all allowed to feel however we feel about it. I'm so indifferent I can't even be bothered to watch it! But I would really love it if we could someday accept that women can be Entertaining, Powerful, Provocative and Worthy of Adoration at Any Age. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Trying to Make a Commitment

Welp. I have not posted anything here in......uh, years? I think? Not even sure. I tried using instagram as a platform for what I wanted to say. I have given up on that experiment. Not enough control over my own content or how others react to it. I actually had an ANTI-racist post removed because someone found it objectionable. And I was only speaking about myself mind you. I speak love and get banned? I don't think so! So, no more of that.  *I do have an instagram account. But it's just me posting pics I took and captioning them. I bailed on the one I was trying to be more of an activist on. I just don't think instagram was a good fit for ME for that purpose.

I have resisted writing for quite awhile now. I don't know why I do that. I'm not a twitter-er. I like words. Lots of them. I SHOULD be writing. It's probably that word "should" that I'm getting hung up on and bent out of shape about. But it's not that it's a chore that needs to be done with. It's more of a knowing something is good for me in the long run but feels like too much emotional work so I put it off. I wish I could just give in to it and let the words wash over me. I want to try again. I'm going to try. I really hope I can give it an honest shot. I read something the other day about changing your perspective by no longer saying "try to" but instead saying "commit to". Sigh.......... Commit is a hard word. A heavily weighted word. Which is the point. I get it.

I'm writing this right now as a spur of the moment thing. I have stuff weighing on my mind. I want to write about it. There's always facebook, but really....does anyone on facebook want to hear it? Never seems that way. And of course I could just journal the shit out of it. But what if what I need is feedback, a conversation, a meeting of the minds? Because that IS what I'm here for. Speaking, in person, is typically unsatisfying for me. I don't speak well. I don't formulate thoughts and put them into words that make sense rapidly enough. Conversation zooms by at the speed of light, at least it seems to me. I get spoken over all the time.

So here I am. And my gut spill for the day has to do with facebook content and how it has shown me a lot about friends that I wouldn't have known otherwise. I'm sure most of you have experienced this as well. You spend time with someone in real life and you are cool with them. You hang out, you talk about your lives, and even though you know you aren't soul mates and wouldn't ever call them your BFF you find them overall enjoyable. But then maybe you move away and your only contact with them is through social media. Over time you begin to notice that they seem more harsh, less loving, full of strange contradictions. You visit them at some point with a somewhat more critical eye. And you pick up on things that maybe were there all along but you hadn't noticed before in person. These things reinforce the impression you have gotten from what they post.

Hmmmmm. Maybe you haven't been such a good judge of character. Or maybe you just let things slide because having friends is good, right? And then you go back to being away from them and you would SWEAR that their content is getting really nasty! It gets to the point where you just really can't stand seeing it anymore. So off they go from your feed. Who needs to see that shit, am I right?

This has played out numerous times in varying degrees in the last couple of years. This particular instance I'm speaking to here though has really stuck in my craw (did I just say that? Stuck in my craw???). This person has become the exact representation of everything I despise in humanity. Okay, maybe not EVERYTHING, but too close for comfort. I know that it is considered bad form to cloister yourself with only like minded people, to live in an echo chamber. But at the same time, being surrounded by mean spirited people is so disheartening to me, so profoundly depressing and upsetting that I find myself recoiling from them and anything they have to say. It does bad things to my psyche! I can say, truly, that this person is no longer my friend. And as such I see no reason why I should still feel compelled to be facebook "friends". Gone! And I feel better. Please note that I do have plenty of friends who I am not in 100% agreement with and that I have no problem being around, on facebook or in real life. They are decent people who are tipping the balance on the side of love and that's good enough for me. I am not some perfection seeking holier than thou asshat. I just need to see some evidence that you care about others as much as you care about yourself.

I understand that in the social media world "friend" really just means "contact". But I don't operate that way. If I share something on facebook, I'm sharing a piece of myself. And I'm careful who I share myself with. That's just who I am. Guarded. But wanting to be authentic. And when I let my guard down and show myself, I don't want someone (someone I know for crying out loud) out there sneering at my hopes, dreams and feelings. Strangers I can deal with. That's a world I have no control over and am not emotionally invested in. But people I associate with? Whole other thing. I get to be in charge of who gets a piece of me in real life and who doesn't it.