To take a break from the emotional entries, here are five random things currently rambling around in my head.
1.) Thanks for all the love on the last depressing post. It really helps bring some spark back into things. I think that’s the best thing about writing, someone else saying I know what you mean! It sucks doesn’t it?! Thanks homedogs!
2.) The movie Easy A. It’s not new or anything, but I remember liking it the first time around. This past weekend I’m pretty sure that I’ve watched it at least seven times. The main character is hilariously sarcastic, smart, incredibly caring and Emma Stone plays it fantastically. The relationships she has with her parents, nemesis, and best friend (she says ladyballs, ah love it) set the characters up for amazing word play. There’s naturally high school/social commentary, but it’s done it a really witty way. They make homage to several 80s movies which I’ve been dancing my way through this weekend. I don’t think I can say enough about it, but I will leave you with my favorite part.
3.) Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj, she is the best female rapper I’ve heard in a long time, maybe ever considering my age and not being able to fully enjoy the likes Minaj’s predecessors. The whole album is phenomenal, start to finish. Unlike a lot of rap/hip hop albums today, it’s not all about drinking and being a badass in the club. She’s replacing Eminem at the moment to help me ‘get my grove back.’ Nothing like a good set of snares and rhymes to match that get me amped. Little taste of a verse in the song Fly featuring Rihanna:
Painting their own pictures that they crop me in
but I will remain where the top begins
cause I am not a word, I am not a line
I am not a girl that can ever be defined
The thing that drives me a little crazy about rap sometimes is how often proper grammar is ignored. Makes me shutter all the time.
4.) As if I didn’t already have my hands full with Pink Friday, the equally awesome, actually maybe even better, Born This Way by my favorite artist, Lady Gaga. As with any Gaga album, the first time I listened to it, I thought to myself ‘Wtf is this crazy shit? Gaga, what are you doing to me?’ And then I went through two or three or ten-ish times and homegirl does it again. From the beginning, the beats are amazing, love yourself lyrics (don’t roll your eyes at me, I was on a down here people!), and she delivers throughout. Going to go out on a stand and say Lady Gaga is the smartest, most thought-provoking artist (and I do mean artist) of my generation. Buy, borrow, download this album as soon as possible and give it a listen or two!
5.) Found this on another Peace Corps blog (Cooper in Cambodia, awesome blog, smart guy, and is much better informed than I am on current news in America, check out his extremely popular blog as he finishes his Peace Corps service next month), there’s nothing like questioning the age-old phrase, it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. This is the author of Freedom, Jonathan Franzen, giving the commencement speech at Kenyon College about technology and love/taking the leap. I love how he phrases it.
There is no such thing as a person whose real self you like every particle of. This is why a world of liking is ultimately a lie. But there is such a thing as a person whose real self you love every particle of. And this is why love is such an existential threat to the techno-consumerist order: it exposes the lie.
This is not to say that love is only about fighting. Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. And this is why love, as I understand it, is always specific. Trying to love all of humanity may be a worthy endeavor, but, in a funny way, it keeps the focus on the self, on the self’s own moral or spiritual well-being. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.
The big risk here, of course, is rejection. We can all handle being disliked now and then, because there’s such an infinitely big pool of potential likers. But to expose your whole self, not just the likable surface, and to have it rejected, can be catastrophically painful. The prospect of pain generally, the pain of loss, of breakup, of death, is what makes it so tempting to avoid love and stay safely in the world of liking.
And yet pain hurts but it doesn’t kill. When you consider the alternative — an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology — pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world. To go through a life painlessly is to have not lived. Even just to say to yourself, “Oh, I’ll get to that love and pain stuff later, maybe in my 30s” is to consign yourself to 10 years of merely taking up space on the planet and burning up its resources.
Here’s to not just taking up space on a planet and burning resources!