April 30, 2008

Ode to Johnny Depp

I’m watching a Biography on Johnny Depp. I learned some things I didn’t know. Like that he’s the marrying kind. That’s beautiful. He’s also really odd. Like the kid in high school…it was an understatement that you were “worried” about them. You suspected they would be jailed and/or committed, and wondered how they made it as far as they did without obeying a single social cue. Imagine if that person suddenly became high profile. Have you noticed that ALL his characters have been misfits? Every time I think about him and what I have to say about him my soul just goes into overdrive and I just want to express all these things, the words sort of get bottlenecked.

Johnny’s face is like…the most beautiful natural wonder. It’s weird because when he was on Jumpstreet, which by the way was pure brilliance now that I look back on it, I wasn’t really feeling him then. I mean what was I, like six? Besides, I was totally into the Asian guy. And Johnny was kind of like, “okay you’re hot, we get it.” Oddly enough the first time I really took notice of him was Edward Scissorhands, because he made this character that I was totally in love with, a character who was by all accounts ugly and had scissors for hands, of all things. He was half man half puppy. Aaaand that pretty much sums up what women want. We really take for granted how good his performance was in that movie. I recently watched it again and to see it as an adult…it’s just sublime.

Not that this matters, but they’re showing pictures of him from like, 1987 and he looks exactly the same. I say it doesn’t matter because it wouldn’t diminish his beauty, but it does matter if you’re making the case that Johnny Depp is immortal. Or a robot. It would explain how he’s able to pull all these characters out of the unseen. Did I mention he’s hot. That’s not even a good enough word…what does “hot” even mean next to him, for he shames the very word. Male beauty is different, it’s a delicate balance. It’s a hybrid of extremes. Soft strength, aggressive gentility, hushed genius, stuff like that.

And can we please have a moment for the Native American DNA. Sweet mother of mercy. God just showin’ out on a few remote pocketfuls of humans. And what do the white people do? Damn near exterminate them. Honestly white people, why? How does less beauty help you? It’s really not like you to take out the rare and the gorgeous.

Anyway, back to the point. Here’s to Johnny Depp. I’m so so glad he isn’t dead

September 19, 2007

boy meets girl. shabbily.

so right now I’m watching my hundredth “guy incapacitated when trying to ask a girl out” part in a movie. Seriously dudes, what is wrong with you. I get the rejection thing. But still. This is one of many “daunting yet worthwhile” activities in life. So what exactly is not happening in your life that is making this endeavor so difficult. “waah, you’re so intimidating, can’t you ask us out?” are you serious? As a woman, I have to say I don’t think we are so unapproachable. maybe somewhere deep down you know good and well you have no business going up to some chick and therefore you have no confidence whatsoever of anything happening. But you figure, hey you never know. Gambling is a decidedly unattractive first impression.

I feel like you really need to grasp where we’re coming from and maybe it will help. let’s start at the beginning. so you see a hot girl your type and you decide you want to talk to her. this is already flawed to me, because I can’t imagine deciding to hold a conversation with someone based on appearance. Most women can’t probably. The visual thing is not how we make decisions, and the logic behind it is a bit foreign. We’re more apt to be drawn to personality and character, which is why you routinely put a presentation together when approaching us. well it’s not entirely true, I will hold a conversation with someone solely because they’re hot, but a conversation is not usually what guys want. After one or two obviously arbitrary questions (so tell me about you, or where are you from, or what do you do etc.) they’re already all, “so you wanna go out sometime/can I call you” or something more creative, which may sound completely harmless in your mind but to me it just sounds like a predator trying to trap an unsuspecting, even dumb victim, to “the second location.” Like those law enforcement people on Oprah or wherever, the SVU guy’s all like, “never let them take you to the second location. whatever you do, fight. FIGHT!”

When it’s not sounding predatory it just sounds really unappealing. Because even though most guys seem absent for the conversation portion of the pick-up game, they ask you out. But last time I checked conversation was kind of the cornerstone of a date so the first impression of some dude just trying to get to the “yes” portion of an interaction with you paints a bleak picture for the interaction to come. For all we know you could be a complete schmuck and we’d have to spend many painful and/or awkward minutes with someone we know or care nothing about. who’s a schmuck. So then we say, “no.” Unless you’re hot or rich or persuaded us in some other way.

And that’s really what it comes down to: make me care. It sounds harsh but it’s only logical. You like me? Good for you. why should I care? It’s the number one rule of marketing. And if I don’t care, I’m gonna say no. Money, looks, fame, elaborate gestures, witty exchanges, you can get by on all this, maybe get a date out of it but it’s the minimum. And it’s what most guys settle for. But if some guy noticed I was reading this book and was like, “oh yeah I like that author too” and “have you read blah blah,” I would probably go out with them. Because there’s a similar interest. We might have more in common, and you might be another cool person to add to my life. And I care about that.

You can say not all women are like me, but we’re not this foreign, autonomous species. Theoretically we’re an extension of you. Men publicly fixate on this image of women that’s physically out of their league and we rush to measure up to that. Then the women who’ve succeeded the most, through effort great or small, men feel like they can never have someone like that. It’s weird. As if her attractiveness is an outer display of her completeness as a person. Like she wore the five inch heels for herself, her friends, and her peace of mind.

Addendum: and don’t call me “baby girl.” Ever. Unless you’re my father. And i’m six. Ew.

Addendum 2: I just heard a story about a guy who liked a girl so he called her, met up with her, and told her. Simple yet elegant. I think maybe if guys treated it as something important than we would too. Which I know is probably hard to do since after all, the world pretty much tells you you’re a big horny ball of irrelevance. But trust me when I say, when don’t second guess, don’t get distracted and get your sh*t together, we’ll fall in line. Don’t try and figure out what we want, ’cause we really have no idea. Especially if we never see it.

October 9, 2006

Results 1 – 10 of about 2,580,000 for men are visual creatures. (0.06 seconds)

 

I had a revelation about boys not too long ago.

 

Well, not really a revelation, more like a concession.  A willingness to give the benefit of the doubt.  This concession stands on the shoulders of another observation.  It’s a solidly known fact that men are visual creatures, whatever the hell that actually means.  As far back as I can remember, this fact, in my mind, was regarded as an ill-conceived explanation, a poor excuse for an excuse.  Because this excuse often functioned as an explanation as well, it seemed more like a Fifth Amendment cop-out than viable reasoning.  And since there’s still a fundamental belief that a man is the default human being and woman the exception, I suppose men never went further into explaining it because they don’t think of themselves as foreign to anything or warranting understanding.  Over the years, this fact would be taken more and more into account, especially when this “visual” issue would be brought up in religious contexts or presumably when no one was really paying attention.  One of Jesus’ many controversial statement asserts that a man has already sinned in looking at a woman lustfully, and the bulk of men exclaim resistant, “that’s impossible!”  While I can only listen passively.  While this passage may well pertain to me, with me it strikes no particular chords.  As a result, this “visual” quality became regarded more with mystery than skepticism.  In past weeks I began to realize once again the subtle differences between our gender’s makeup through vocabulary, an issue that confronts us almost daily.  If this visual component is not only real but a God-given quality, then I would imagine that the sheer cornucopia of females, in some cases outnumbering males, not only present but in some way intentionally enhanced for the sole purpose of being “visualized” must be, at some level, overwhelming.  Indeed, picking just one must seem criminal!  Thus the common belief held by that gender, “So many women, so little time.” 

 

Conversely, women overall do not share this view, at all.  As a woman, I would offer that we are primarily concerned with the personality and, moreover, character of a man than his appearance.  Though attractiveness is a factor I’m sure we can all think of examples, fact and fiction, where a woman was caught way below her beauty class and perfectly happy.   And that was okay.  It usually doesn’t work that way with a man.  A man has to be some kind of secure to be caught with a dog, and even then some beautification process is usually implemented.  But I digress; this glaring difference in role is made even more evident in the common mantra of women: “there are no good men.”  What would cause two, equally valid and conscious groups of people to believe so disproportionately?  One can only imagine the mental repercussions of these precepts.

 

Previously, even after acknowledging this “visual” factor, I simply could not reconcile the concept of a man gaining the motivation to approach me solely on the basis of physical appearance.  Any man who dared to do it immediately saw that it vexed me to my marrow, and probably wished they were in a bank while it was being robbed more than engaged in conversation with me.  It just seemed to me the antithesis of all reason and I refused to relinquish any allowances to societal acceptance.  I relayed this thinking to many a friend who all thought I was insane but I was merely staying consistent.  If physical appearance was truly unimportant, then why should this method be used to find potential mates, especially among men, whose “visual” problem kept them hot n’ bothered over endless combinations of traits?  Even more perplexing is that when compiling that list of must haves in a mate, both genders’ lists are eerily identical.  What?  And just how exactly do men detect sense of humor and a love for children in a woman?  Bra size?  A male acquaintance who complained about “mean” women such as myself took particular offense, and offered me this: “women like you don’t even appreciate that out of all the women in a room, we chose to go up to you because you were the most beautiful.” 

 

And I thought, “bless his heart.  He has no idea what he’s saying.”

 

It was good for him that he didn’t know what he was saying, because that meant he wasn’t lying, backpedaling or anything of the sort.  He was genuinely trying to w in the argument with this, which could only mean of two things:  either men are the height of delusional self-importance, or this “visual” component was really a big deal.  Thanks to my God-given female ability to analyze things to death I was able to extract some insight between those lines.  Not only is this visual thing a reality but it is considered a wholly workable method of distinction, a vital component to male decision-making.

 

It was with all this information in place that I came to my most recent conclusion, the conclusion I was speaking about.  About this visual thing:  A real, commonly cited mystery.  Obviously potent, powerful, strong to the point of being persuasive, highly regarded, God-inspired.  So I got to thinking, perhaps this characteristic has more of a purpose than we, including men themselves, realize.  But mostly women.  Maybe this “visual” thing is a tool.  Yeah!  And if this is the case, I’m sure that it wasn’t God’s intention for men to gorge themselves on as much eye candy as possible, nor spend your formidable years counting your memories by lays.  Anytime you have an inherent trait that borders a superpower you can be sure that God is somehow involved.  And perhaps this tool, among other things, is used to find, not just any women for any reason, but the woman for the reason.  Presumably this is already happening.  We’ve all heard the story that goes like “I took one look at her and I knew,” and it’s only romantic because it results in marriage.  This would also suggest that this visual tool can maybe… see more than just what’s, you know, seeable?  I would venture to guess that a man has the ability to see into a woman.

 

This was a difficult conclusion to come to because it sounds crazy and it was damned hard to find.  Piled under the well-watered notion that men are fumbling idiot sex monkeys that can’t tell burgundy from vermillion unless it’s a power tool or a fantasy football team.  Seriously, you should count how many times men are made fun of on TV.  To entertain the idea that men have some kind of knowing?  That’s exclusive to them?  Female intuition has long been accepted and institutionalized in some ways.  Why would it be so outlandish to think men would have something similar?  Are we women willing to share the title of mystifying?  I’d be surprised if men were at all alive to this tendency.  There’s plenty cultural compost to keep men pre-occupied with the wrapper, why would any of them be bothered with seeing into anybody?  I’m sure the ones who are attentive to it are using it for evil and honing it to our detriment.  After all, how does the predatory kind know to choose its victims in a crowd?  Women gussying themselves up and thinking they were fooling a nice one when in reality they were all but exposed to a bad one.  Did he use your vulnerability?  Your foolhardy?  Pride, maybe?  Did he use your ugly against you?  It would definitely motivate some of us to not be lazy about our insides or try to manipulate with our outsides. 

 

This breakthrough could truly be revolutionary.

It would give men a genuine semblance of power and responsibility and they can throw out that useless hand-me-down crap once and for all.  Of course this means we would have to relinquish some power to pick our guys, but that might actually work in our favor.  It’s awful work to manipulate a man into approaching and then staying forever when he doesn’t want to.  In a perfect world, this trait would completely eradicate all new-millennium unisex asking out, which seems like a “step back” and a re-applying of all pressure on men but lookit:  if it was in fact a perfect world and this ability was readily accepted, then women would have to be completely trusting of the process no matter how bleak, thus virtually eliminating all rejection. 

 
 

 

 

 

Of course, the world is not in fact perfect.  So that’s not gonna happen.  But I will say that I for one have elected to change my behavior and frame of mind, and I will be trusting the process more and ripping men’s heads off less.  So yeah.  Hats off to the men.  Take my advice:  try to use your powers of perception for good and not evil.  And don’t take lightly this gift from God, so take notice when it happens.  Pass on success stories.

 

And that’s all.  thank you. 

 

February 3, 2006

Androgenous Zones: an essay
Current mood: inspired

 

The other day my roommate and I went to Wal-Mart together.  She was there to buy food, stuff for the apartment.  I was there to buy nothing.  For about two hours I accompanied her down many aisles and listened as she spouted off excitedly about things I didnt care about, like how well a certain face wash worked on her, how much longer these light bulbs lasted than those.  Stuff that she liked and what she would do with it if she were to buy it.  I just looked at her blankly and nodded.  She laughed a little and asked if I got what she was saying.   Im sure she thought I was annoyed.  I knew what I was supposed to do.  “OMG, I know!” in a high pitched exaggerated voice, eyes really wide.  Or possibly “oooh girl mmhm.”  But I wasnt going to feign interest.  The only emotion detectable enough to access was agreement.  “Yep,” I would sometimes say, a little alarmed that she thought all this interesting enough to voice.  After we’d come home and we were in the living room she was still making observations and expecting me to be excited about at least one.  All I could do was confess: “All you’ve talked to me about tonight was dumb shit I didnt care about.”  She laughed.  It’s times like these that reinforce the painfully obvious fact that I’m a total, dude.

 

In the world there are roughly three ways to possess a characteristic: socially, emotionally or physically.  Rarely is there anyone who’s all three- and in the event they are, they unwittingly become the standard or stereotype.  Anyone who meets only one of these criteria is usually labeled a freak, so you’re safe with two or more.  Take being black for instance.  I meet two out of the three criteria so I’m okay (you’ll have to figure out which ones).  Coincidently my roommate also meets two out of the three, but they’re a different two.  Which also means that with being white, she only meets one of the criteria and therefore is a freak, according to white standards.  It is healthy for all of us to be a freak in at least one way.  As I mentioned earlier, in the ways of gender I am a freak.  Physically, I am a chick.  But thats about it . I communicate sparsely, I am vulgar, I am uncouth.  I wear skirts but rarely will you see me in one.  I am not at all concerned with the fringe of appearance that is makeup, perfume, jewelry, shoes, matching bras or thongs, bleaching, highlighting or moisturizing.  I shop alone.  I like sports, cars and sport cars.  I like sex.  I grew up watching porn.  I like to scratch, lay around and be dirty, solve problems without anyone’s help i.e. I don’t ask for directions.  I communicate non-verbally, play video games, keep my emotions bottled up, and eat anything covered in barbecue sauce [with my fingers], thats not salad.

 

Indeed the subtle difference between me and Bob is that of anatomy.  Which is not to say that I’m lesbian, nor that I ought to be.  I am inspired to the very core by the male penis and find sex with a woman as appealing as dating a rubber chicken.  Even though chick sex is typically characterized by some type of …purchase… at least one woman’s body would have to be treated with contempt, which should never happen.  And chick noises are annoying.  It seems that most people have conceded that the attraction to the opposite sex is soley an emotional one but I disagree.  I think it is in the biology.  No right-minded, sexual creature would turn down the complimentary, harmonious nature of heterosexual sex.  It’s just…too..perfect.  They’re just too many incentives.  You’d have to be looking for something other than being happy, loved, helped, relevant, respected, cherished, completed, and/or fruitful.  I do submit that there are some things about being a woman biologically that inform your emotions.  I will be a mother, and not a father.  The idea of housing someone is a unique one.  The profundity of having a uterus, a virtual city or reproductivity inside, not to mention a heart, a mind, the elements, all speaking among themselves and to me about others.  The reality of pissing blood, being penetrated, being invaded, being milked, used on a consistent basis and adoring the very thought.  The inexplicable link between pleasure and trauma that is undeniably female, this belongs to me.

 

However, the other traits didn’t come to me biologically.  And certainly not socially.  I was socialized to be girl.  A woman.  And the things that I liked stuck.  Not only that, but I was almost completely sequestered from socialization of boys and men.  I hadn’t the foggiest idea of how they came to be, for my world was a girl world. So how did I come by such an impressive list of guy traits?  Part of it was genetics I suppose. I tend to resemble my dad the most, who is a deep thinking, creative, sensitive guy.  My mom, however is the aggressive, opinionated one, a trait of which I have a noticeable sliver.  But she’s a girly girl at heart, and we had many an uncomfortable clashing because of that.  The toughness of my mom was a direct result of socialization or lack thereof (society has always allowed some of the black ones to fall through the cracks in the process).  It could very well be that I have absolutely no social female traits, and the possible ones I do cling to are the passive, delicate traits of my father, not of chromosomes. 

 

Still there are others.  Untraceable, unexplainable traits exclusive to my existence.  The traits we have to be careful how we label (“that’s just who I am”) and refer to in conversations (“ever since I can remember I’ve been a selfish person”).  These are the traits that act as evidence of design and invisible interaction, and point you towards your decisions.  Your “bents.”  The prophesies you declare over yourself.  Like even before I concluded all of these things coherently I knew I was destined for a girly guy.  And not in a folklore way:  A guy who can’t throw far or stand up for himself.  But a guy who can do more than one thing, and none of those things being in the small, narrow category prescribed to men these days.  Because the person you marry has to be the same, yet balance you out.  Have the same purpose yet go about it in an opposing way that brings about equilibrium and efficiency.  In essence I will be with a man who has a high “um… are you sure?” ratio as I and doesnt care.  Similarly I encourage all freaks of nature to do not what’s emotionally soothing but what’s internally harmonious.  Your human instinct will be to find others like you, but the past has taught that this will be fruitless.  If you’re an outsider, find somebody who’s a bonafide insider.  I guarantee there’s an insider somewhere same as you, sick to death of fitting the mold.  If you’re a freak on one end, find a freak on the other.  There’s a big enough spectrum of freakishness out there to bring balance to this force we call living life.  The potential outside repercussions can’t compare to the calm sea the two of you produce together.  The only thing I know about my soul mate is that he’ll be singing the same song as me and be my opposite in every way.  And we’ll make a countless mess of people really really awkward and confused.  Which will be so much fun.  
 
Yet and still, people will find a way to be close-minded, no matter what the century.  How could I let that bother me?  People seem to think that with enough progress or movies or Ikea commercials we’ll be able to escape ourselves.  As if!  It’s only the variety of close-mindedness that changed.  “Are you sure youre not a lesbian, Christine?  There are ways around everything you’ve mentioned.  You might find it suits you.”  You’re probably right.  But the fact is I dont like women and I dont want to, and I’m not going to will myself to so you can feel better about how you see the world.  And then there’s the more traditional approach. “You seem to have the basics down but lack the rest.  You should take yourself shopping, to a spa, enroll in some cooking classes.”  You’re probably right.  But the fact is I dont like being typical, and I dont want to, and Im not going to will myself to so you can blah blah blah blah.  I’ve taken enough b.s. in my life, I can stand living a boxless existence, whether the culture turns my life into a super cool fad or not.  It’s a proven fact that people are going to care deeply about stuff they shouldn’t.  And after you kindly give them some advice about that, there’s not much more you can do.
 

Anyway, that was a bit of a rant but there you have it.  I had other things to say.  My car’s broken, I’m desperate, but I didnt write about all that and I felt like someone needed to read something like this.  

 

So thats it.

 

*disclaimer:  Christine in no way endorses the watching of porn as a legitimate, inherently male trait, but the preceding sentence was unaltered to portray emphasis.          

January 23, 2006

Of kicks- an expression of novel proportions
Current mood: hopeful

I watch a lot of daytime TV these days. Oprah is seriously on this sexual abuse kick. The other day she had a show about people and their biggest mistakes. Some parents were on, having gone to jail for hiring a stripper for their son’s 16th birthday party who paraded around naked in front of their sons and their friends, simulating sex acts on them. They went to jail lickety split, caught with hard evidence after the mother took film from the party to the neighborhood drug store to get developed. The mother remained unrepentant, in a clearly desperate attempt to save face no doubt. But the more she spoke the more difficult it was for her to refrain from sounding stupid. But the husband was more contrite which proved to be a salve for the knowing spectator, and therefore garnered respect. The wife was a stench to heaven, a pathetic act in self preservation. The difference between the two were their sorrows– one sorry for the incident, one sorry for getting caught and having to look Oprah in the face.

I’m on a reading kick. I read a whole book last night and a good portion this morning, both autobiographies. In the current book, Kite Runner, the author talks about the young discovery of his talent for writing. He was reading to one of his friends and started making up the remainder of the story to his friend’s fascinated delight. I thought, “oh yeah I used to do that.” I dug up one of these rare, undetected memories of me adding parts to books while reading them aloud to my mom and her laughing, genuinely. I did it without a hiccup and tried to mimic the style and tone of whatever established work of fiction we were reading at the time. I felt terribly guilty about it, like if we re-read it she would notice certain portions missing and question me. Thinking about it now, unrealistic as that scenario is, no one really complains about acts of plaigarism that add to a work, only those that steal from someone else’s anonymously.

The one I read last night was one of those women’s redemption journey books, where the chick gets lower than the gutter then becomes something great and distinguished and helps other women and then writes about it. She began her story with the tracing of abuse roots, and it became clear to me that this staggering abuse statistic we’ve known about for awhile is truly, well…. staggering. An established portion of my female friends have communicated some past trauma brought about by a male– not just female friends, now that I’m thinking about it. For f*ck’s sake, who hasn’t been abused? When did this place become such a sesspool of predators and assault on the senses? And immunity to the bad and aversion to the good? And blaspheme and base living and paranoia and “down low” diseases and epidemic and quarrantine… I just look around wide-eyed. We’re gonna take ourselves out. Sooner and more deadly than any foreign attack. The terrorization is in our own state of character, not that the outward threat is any more cheerful. I’m suddenly getting this compassion about women my age. “What about the women, what about these women…” God has been whispering things to my heart. Staccato syllables of gregorian-like chanting, filling it up with airy life, nonsensical, uninterpreted orders manifesting themselves in my mind and soul as urges or ruminations. Perhaps it explains the sudden consistency in lengthy and focused written expression. The hint of plans and ideas and the same manifestation in others and the things around me. Could this be guidance? I feel my responsibility rising, fearful yet anticipatory of any more specificity.

My mom’s moving to Tampa. She’s been trying to use her limited powers of tha hook-up to put her at ease and get me a good job before she leaves. I resisted at first, but as time wore on I relented. I got a call back from one of her colleagues today who gave me a long list of names off the top of his head. I feel a little like Harry Potter when he was attacked by a swarm of flying keys outside the chamber of secrets. What next? Getting speared by the sword of a knight in a big ass game of wizard’s chess? I’ve made it this far, right? The main character never dies like that, defeated.

I had an important revelation in the company of friends last night. During a conversation Christina and I were again confronted with a now redundant and dodgy observation from a friend of ours: “See, ya’ll just don’t understand how a man’s mind works.” This was usually in response to some feminine exchange that compromised their typically unwavering tendency to not get a woodie. Men seem to be uneasy about this largely unintentional reaction. It reveals itself in the explicit nature of today’s songs, the oldest defense mechanism in the book: maybe if we say it up front and make light of it and brutalize it like we feel like we have to do to everything else, we won’t have to admit how truly vexing and clumsy and vulnerable it is. Come now, fellas (pun acknowledged). We weren’t made to be the helpmates because we can’t see through you. Among the myriad of things you don’t know about women one of them might be the fact that we like woodies. But I digress. I just realized that men, particularly ones with any kind of standards, are always going on about some invisible zone of eroticism stimulated by images, actions, scents, memories, encounters, the sound of certain words, etc. Something congenital that God has given them all to deal with, a unique and not always conducive (for you, Cornbread) burden. And I realized that for women, this is no foreign concept b/c we have the same thing. It’s called our emotions. Powerful, necessary, complimentary, and easily set off. We women have cocks for hearts.

So that’s it.