Monthly Archives: August 2012

Man-Boy Communal Life

That title scares me, too–don’t worry, you’re not alone! But it’s not about anything even remotely related to what I have ambiguously titled for trolling effect. No friends, I am in no way suggesting any endorsement of the bane of my existence (paedophilia), but rather, bringing a much needed clarion call to the occurrence of communal living amongst the quickly ageing Gen-Xers as brought to the fore in this article on the NY Times, A Confederacy of Bachelors. Or whatever other generation is now entering its late thirties early forties. (Who are we, anyway? Deep question, eh?)

Never having gone to boarding school or long-term summer camp, I always wanted to live in a commune or some other sort of friend-house-dorm place. In a way I guess I’m kinda like one of the Confederate Bachelor guys, just… not a guy. Much to my chagrin, I don’t know any other women who are even considering this sort of lifestyle as a possibility, which could be because we women as a species have a kind of foresight regarding how the lifestyle could possibly not end well. Or it’s because we’re baby-crazy breeders who need their own individual nests! No nest sharing! (Just kidding. We can share nests. (No, actually, we can’t. This is MY nest. Go get your own.))

So the article made me wonder how many others are interested in this sort of lifestyle while being romantically involved with someone on a long-term basis. Luckily enough, I’ve collected a few emailed links regarding this phenomenon, emails which I’ve sent to my hubby on days that he doesn’t put ANYTHING away–dirty socks, half-eaten food, a gallon of milk, dirty dishes, whatever–to kind of hint that maybe, just maybe, we’d be better off loving each other while living in separate spaces.

While no one talks about being ok living with other people simultaneous to being married (unless Peace Corps and Teach for America counts), they do talk about “married living separately” “commuter marriages” and ‘loving and living alone‘. Would that I could finally drill this point home! But alas, I’m bound to a traditionalist from Eastern Europe; I don’t think it’ll be that easy to get my way with this one.

No matter what you call it, I think that it’ll catch on with the mainstream eventually. At least I hope it will. It’s my heart’s aim!

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Economic Event Horizon

The event horizon, as we all know from our hard copies of Stephen Hawkins’ Brief History of Time, is the point of no return along the perimeter of a black hole. “Abandon all hope,” ye who have travelled light years to this point… or not. After all, black holes could be wormholes, and take you to some totally cool parallel universe or another awesome far-off part of this universe. And then again you could be ripped apart on a molecular level and recondensed into a minuscule part of the black hole.

Whichever the case, the event horizon I’m thinking of today isn’t the type that astrophysicists and physicist theorists are muddling over, but a socioeconomic one. I know. No such thing. Regardless of the nay-saying from the disbelievers in quarks, I’m thinking to myself: When we get this close to the brink of economic collapse, when everything seems like it’s about to implode, to fall down on itself, what is it that we will find on the other side of the event horizon?

I’m wondering: what will happen if all jobs suddenly go kaput? What will we civilized people do if we don’t have to go act as the peons we have for the last 10, 20, 30 years? In other words, what would we do if we didn’t have to work? What if we didn’t have work?

Well, for starters, there are several hundreds of thousands who don’t have work, so don’t get ahead of yourself–some will say. Fully aware, my friends. Fully aware. Some of them are making ends meet (or not) through government benefit programs like unemployment or welfare, and some of them have exhausted those benefits, leaving them in so precarious a position it frightens me to even think about their plight. But I’m not really going there with this thought exercise. This is a hypothetical adventure.

As for said hypothetical exercise I was taking us through: I posit that we’d probably still need to work at sustaining ourselves overall. We’d still need our basic resources: food and shelter. But if all of these essential jobs that are sustenance-related were taken, if the rest of the consumer-employees were left to our own devices, what would we do? A part of me thinks that we would be left with no choice but to [d]evolve into communism, and if I only had to sweep the park or clean up after old people for 8 hours, with no future concerns for my own welfare or job prospects, I then wonder: what would I do in my “down” time?

I think that I for one would learn an instrument. Perhaps a fiddle. I’d go to a parking lot, and play my night away. If we had abbreviated schedules, even more time for creative endeavors. Of course, it gets sticky when we wonder who’s making the instruments, harvesting the wood for them, and who’s concocting the paint supplies, am I right? Don’t we really just start all over again?

I don’t know about what’d happen on the economy side of things–whether we capitalistically start over from scratch, shift into socialist-communism, or just implode and go for all-out anarchy. That’s not my forte. But I think it’s a good question as a vocational exercise:

What would you do if you didn’t have to work?

See this video for more on a marginally related topic.

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"Come On, People"

– lifted from Bill Cosby’s book of the same name –

A quick visit to Youtube (August 2012) will show some unpleasant and both surprising and unsurprising statistics. When searching the personal video upload site, the search term “black fight” will render you 229,000 assorted videos, whereas its corollary “white fight” will garner you a proportionally inappropriate 137,000 (surely we all understand why I say “proportionally inappropriate”, but if you don’t, please feel free to message me and I may digress).

I was compelled to look this up after noticing an oddly tipped number of such should-be embarrassing videos on The Smoking Gun some time ago, but am just recently getting around to doing the footwork on Youtube searches (where number counts have changed drastically from 2011 to 2012 by the way). Unfortunately, despite the time lapse between last year and this, little has hindered us colored folk in the perpetuation of such inappropriate and degrading stereotypes, but little has hindered others for reveling and cajoling around the mire we are being sucked down in.

A few more examples from Youtube to demonstrate America’s “black” fixation:

  • black people fight: 81,500
  • white people fight: 52,500
  • nigger fight: 49,500
  • trailer trash fight: 34,600

Related search terms also of interest:

  • nigga fight: 47,700
  • redneck fight: 4,230

The MOST interesting search find:

  • Black people: 9,500,000
  • White people: 884,000

That last number shows that we’re high on the list as ‘persons of interest’–the only problem I have is the reason behind why we’re so high up on the list. I don’t think it’s a good one. And mind you, I originally searched this info out BEFORE Trayvon Martin and the numbers were even more astutely skewed, so I find this continued trend concerning.

More to come on the next Race post where I contrast Earl Ofari Hutchinson’s “Come On, People” position and the commentaries on several Smoking Gun entries (and my god are the comments people post terrible).

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BlogHer12 Conference WIN!

So happy to have been pressured enough to have attended the BlogHer 2012 conference. I learned so much and feel like I GREW so much as a person and a writer–I find it rather ironic I’ve been on here [Blogger] since 2008 and have literally had no idea what I was doing this entire time. Thank you, BlogHer, for nudging my internal compass–sometimes it gets stuck pointing SXSW for some sticky reason. Glad to have that badboy working again!

Arts and Entertainment Conquers All!

Recently there’s been a lot more open and honest discussion in my head about arts and entertainment and the awesomeness the sub-genre of televised entertainment comprises. It’s omnipresent in the developed world, particularly televised entertainment and particularly along the coastlines of America I hypothesize, and it’s just about all we do as Americans–or at least this American gal.

But it’s not really just me and the people in my head; everyone loves film here. Every one of us has a favorite action film, favorite art-house film, favorite smutty film, favorite nostalgic film, favorite thriller–films we love because of the music, the cinematography, the mind-f*ck, the themes, the envelope-pushing, the director, and–dare I say?–the actor (for shame, I know!). I, for one, just can’t get enough of them anymore. It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m newly on hiatus from the bonds of daily travail (such a nice way of saying ‘unemployed’, eh?), but I must admit it’s been festering beneath the surface for quite some time. Since forever truthfully.

And so, in an effort to rub out the value of this fixation, I decided to regurgitate and analyze everything I’ve ever loved in the A&E arena–but got stuck at step 1. How do I do this? Make a collage? Make an Excel spreadsheet? Make a list? The three of those could be crunched together so I immediately set out to do so, but I found that after my first attempt, 5 entries it was too much of a to-do, so I Googled Nicki Minaj’s as–whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. No, I Googled ‘thought delineation program’ and came up with ‘thought mapping’ (thanks Google!), and the search for a freebie began.

‘Thought mapping’ brought up an interesting [read: free] program developed by Tufts University called VUE (Visual Understanding Environment) that’s one of several visual thought mapping apps available to the general public at no cost. So in order to get a better handle on the scope of things with regard to my love of A&E, I downloaded it and rushed headlong my thought mapping endeavor. I must admit that after just two nights of entries this map has gone all over the place. There are links I’ve found in my head that connect music with books, philosophy with directors, actors with writers, psychologies with zoological phylum–it’s insanity and I may need to commit myself for a few weeks when this is over.

But in spite of my Gordian knot of connections, I’m looking forward to coming to a sort of denouement so that I can stand back and ascertain some sort of over-arching pattern to it all. And since it’s a composite of all sorts of elements of A&E, it’s also a veritable body of information, it’s own little universe–something I find very much 3D in nature and very much alive. Once I’ve come a little closer to knowing that pattern, knowing the scope and dimensions of the “body” of A&E, I hope I’ll have come closer to the focus and the locus of my future career in it. Because we have to do what we love, right? And there’s nothing like A&E–at least not for me.

There you have it: A&E conquers all.