Friday, April 21, 2006

Deniability

Deniability only gets you so far in this life. I used to try to deny where I was from...even while I was still there. I spent my formative years loathing country music and nagging my mom to only buy me designer jeans. Hell, I even chose to be liberal. I was convinced I was way more cosmopolitan than the city I was forced to call home and would dream of life in a "big" city up north. Texas runs through my blood. Not metropolitan, urban Texas but rural, west Texas. In a town surrounded by fields of cotton and corn and a house not more than a mile from a dairy, I sweated out my existence just knowing I was better than that. The problem with denying your reality is that eventually it will hunt you down like an escaped con and remind you who you are. I did eventually did make my way north to the concrete jungle of D.C. The problem is that country followed me. While I thought I never had it, turns out I couldn't shake it. I began to get subtle reminders from some country bitch deep inside me that she wasn't going without a fight. Imagine your first "real" job in the world of PR and letting slip rather loudly in a group conversation that you're fixin' to do something. Hoots and harassment do follow. Overcoming a red flush of shame, I vowed to double-check my vocabulary before ever opening my mouth again.

However, the longer I was here an odd thing began to happen. I became more comfortable with where I grew up and the little bit of country that lived in me. I tired of the pretentiousness of DC and began to embrace my working class background. Don't get me wrong, I still don't want to move back to Texas, but I decided the that internal country deserved some airtime, too. It fought long and hard to get here, so a little country slip every now and then isn't so bad.

Why this? Why today*? I was reminded of yet another article I had seen on Britney Spears and suddenly it hit me. The reason Britney and the rest of the normal world are so at odds or in shock over her past couple of years is that everyone is forgetting what she truly is. She's just Texas country with a little trash thrown in. No matter how much she denies it that internal country bitch will rear its head. Star or not...deniability doesn't work forever.

*I also got a funny email this morning from my mom. I won't share, but let's just say it reminded of how every country we are.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Wowza

I feel the need to apologize to my sensitive readers up front. The poem below may shock and disturb you...I hope it does. It's poetic in both its message and delivery. I'm posting in because things like what happened at Duke still happen and because I feel like this.

with no immediate cause
by Ntozake Shange

every 3 minutes a woman is beaten
every five minutes a woman is raped/every ten minutes
a lil girl is molested
yet i rode the subway today
i say next to an old man who
may have beaten his old wife
3 minutes ago or 3 days/30 years ago
he might have sodomized his
daughter but i sat there
cuz the young men on the train
might beat some young women
later in the day or tomorrow
i might no shut my door fast
enuf/push hard enuf
every 3 minutes it happens
some woman’s innocence
rushes to her cheeks/pours from her mouth
like the betsy wetsy dolls have been torn
apart/their mouths
mensis red & split/ every
three minutes a shoulder
is jammed through plaster & the oven door/
chairs push thru the rib cage/ hot water or
boiling sperm decorate her body
i rode the subway today& bought a paper from a
man who might
have held his old lady onto
a hot pressing iron/ i don’t know
maybe he catches lil girls in the
park & rips open their behind
with steel rods/ i cdn’t decide
what he might have done i only
know every 3 minutes
every 5 minutes every 10 minutes/so
i bought the paper
looking for the announcement
there has to be an announcement
of the women’s bodies found
yesterday/ the missing little girl
i sat in a restaurant with my
paper looking for the announcement
a yng man served me coffee
i wondered did he pour the boiling
coffee/ on the woman cuz she waz stupid/
did he put the infant girl/ in
the coffee pot/ with the boiling coffee/ cuz she cried
too much
what exactly did he do with hot coffee
i looked for the announcment
the discovery/ of the dismembered<
woman's body/ the
vicitm's have not all been
identified/ today they are
naked & dead/ refuse to
testify/ one girl out of 10's not
coherent/ i took the coffee
& spit it up/ i found an
announcment/ not the woman's
bloated body in the river/ floating
not the child bleeding in the
59th street corridor/ not the baby
broken on the floor/
"there is some concern
that alleged battered women
might start to murder their
husbands & lovers with no
immediate cause"
i spit up i vomit i am screaming
we all have immediate cause
every 3 minutes
every 5 minutes
every 10 minutes
every day
women's bodies are found
in aley & bedrooms/ at the top of the stairs
before i ride the subway/ buy a paper/ drink
coffee/ i must know/have you hurt a woman today
did you beat a woman today
throw a child cross a room
are the lil girl's panties
in yr pocket
did you hurt a woman today

i have to ask these obscene questions
the authorities require me to
establish
immediate cause

every three minutes
every five minutes
every ten minutes
every day

(reprinted from vegankid)
-

Monday, April 17, 2006

Now serving: Revenge

I hate to continue to sound like a harbinger of doom and gloom when, in fact, I'm genuinely happy. However, the blog is called radicalflower because, despite my sweet side, I do like to push the envelope every once in awhile. Today is a push the envelope kind of day.

I'm a vengeful person. I like to dream of making people pay for the wrongs they do to others. Over the past few days I've heard stories from my mom of some of the poor business practices of the company where she has worked all these years. For a company that claims integrity, its employees are treated as second-rate citizens and offered so few benefits that many find it difficult to even make it. And folks, we're talking the publishing industry here, not some sweatshop in a third world country. If I can refuse to buy Nike because of their labor practices, I can certainly do more when my family and others I know are involved. Specifics on their many wrongs will come but for now just know that I've made it my personal goal to ensure their name is smeared in the local and perhaps state news. Don't mess with a girl who considers research her best friend and has more than a few brain cells.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

**WARNING** The following may be hazardous to your health

Selfishness may feel good at the outset but once done starts to rot and mold like the dank underbelly where the thought originates. The problem is that giving so much of yourself sucks sometimes, too. You give until they expect it...until they take advantage...until you begin to lose a little part of yourself. I'm tired of giving so freely, of leaving myself open. I want to be one of the first thoughts and not one of the last resorts. Selfish thoughts stomp around my head as I think of taking more for me. I dream of ignoring them ignoring me. I think all of these horrid thoughts and then remember that it's Easter. I remember that today is the day we celebrate the fact that He is risen, that He gave of himself selflessly. I remember that no matter how much I take from Him and ignore Him that the giving, the selflessness, is still there. It's unconditional. And maybe that's what my giving should be...unconditional.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Taking care of our own

What would you do if you'd been living a fairly consistent existence for more than 30 years only to learn one day your world was about to be turned upside down? My mom finds out today if the company she has been with for close to 30 years is being shut down. She called me this morning just to hear my voice, but she cracked a little towards the end. The fissure in my heart cracked just a little more that I wasn't there to put my arms around her and tell her it would be ok. Thirty years of knowing your routine, knowing where your paycheck was going to come from. While in this day and age the thought of staying at one job for that length of time may seem like torture, this kind of tenure at one job seems fairly common for older generations. The question is, how do you cope with such radical, life-altering shift to your status quo? The town I'm from is not ripe with opportunity. I don't want her having to pound the pavement looking for another job in this competitive job market. She could work circles around recent college grads, but because she didn't graduate from college and has such narrow (maybe focused is more appropriate) experience she might not get the opportunity she deserves. All I know is that we have each other and that with brainstorming and support things are bound to be okay.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Track #6

I'm sitting at my desk staring dreamily at the screen, a little bit in love after last night. I can only focus on the what ifs and not the daily tasks at hand. Last night the fates aligned, and I was in the right place at the right time. The place: Iota. Who: Arab Strap. When Scarlet presented me with the opportunity for an evening with Scotsmen, who was I to decline? The evening was an evening of sensations and minor euphoria. Having arrived their early (really early) to secure our place inside this cozy venue, we settled in and began nursing a drink in anticipation. The next thing I knew the BAND (totally spazzing here) was at the bar, and we were hanging with the band before the show!! Earlier Scarlet and I had wondered aloud whether we'd be willing to be that girl with the band. However, after seeing Malcolm and Aidan, my 'huhs' starting turning into 'hmmmms'. Anyway, sound check started and chatting turned to ogling as I managed to catch Malcolm's eye a couple of times and send him derisive look for derisive look.

As the lights went down and crowds pressed in, our intimate moment with the band and Iota was replaced with the opening act, A Whisper in the Noise. They really weren't bad, but by that point, I only had eyes for one band. Scarlet, I am quite sure, was about ready to jump out of her skin seeing as she came already in love, and my smitten affair had only just begun. As Arab Strap went on, we were crafty enough to position ourselves against the stage, practically worshipping their feet.

The next two hours are really so hard to put words to. I felt like I was being seduced by the ongues and fingers of men who never touched me. Mesmerized, I watched Malcolm on the Fender, caught up in the movement of his fingers and the notes they were creating. Every now and again I'd glance up at the face that refused to smile but would occasionally sneer and felt myself slip further down the rabbit hole. I found myself wanting to play a game of find the tattoo with him. I was also directly at the feet of Aidan and kept glancing up as he sang, hoping he would meet my eye. Instead, he sang with his eyes closed, and I was content to let that deep brogue seep down into my soul. Really, I was so into it that I didn't let the indie head bop or the annoying clan* to my right even bother me. At some point in the evening I sent Scarlet a text message. It read: "Affirmed. I would definitely be that girl."

As the band was packing up, we knew we needed to stick around. You can't just leave after a performance like that. Aidan was snagged by one of the annoying clan as he made his way to the back, but Malcolm was alone on stage storing his guitar. A few conspiratorial whispers later, and we decided to go for it. We decided against pictures for fear of being thought cheesy but determined we couldn't leave without a few final words to this man whose music would be on my computer and whose face would permeate my dreams over the next few weeks. False confidence led me to the stage as we told him how much we enjoyed the show. Not one to leave italone, I couldn't resist asking him (with a smile) what was so fucking depressing about playing guitar up there. We were rewarded with a smile and some hard-to-understand words about how he didn't like playing live, didn't like touring in America and wasn't much of a smiler. He said he tried to smile while playing, but it just didn't work. *Sigh* Soulmate anyone?

Anyway, we said farewell and took off. I left feeling like a grade school girl about to poster her room with their photos and also knowing I had more time to be that girl.


*Read Scarlet's post for more of everything!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

When going forward sucks

Tonight is one of the few times in life where moving forward truly sucks. It's the one time of the year when I really wish moving backward was an option. Whatever. Today I'll do a little mental spring cleaning and indulge myself in a list. I love lists but generally hate boring others with them. However, in this case, perhaps putting in words what I want to accomplish over the next two months will solidify my willpower to make it so.

Making Spring 2006 Work for Me:
  • Complete grad school application (April 15)
  • Survive American Rivers (the amount of work I have to do over the next 8 weeks could be a list in and of itself)
  • Complete production of Jem: The E! True Hollywood Story
  • Apply for space/attend at the Atlanta Indie Craft Experience
  • Visit family in Texas
  • Submit the long-delayed article to Bust
  • Hold hands
My immediate future means involves me working on the latest rendition of MailTunes.