A corollary of what I just said is that it’s damn foolish to assume that because you share certain cultural factors with folks you will get along. Yeah, it’s cool to nod at the person of your color on the street, but they have just as high a chance of sucking as someone whose skin (or some other characteristic) isn’t like yours at all. And hey, maybe you suck to them. Heh.
This is something I really learned in Korea, where I bonded with people over English, and that is a very thin bond, when you think about it.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
Going to make certain to increase my presence on here. I am going to commit to a substantive post every tues and thurs on my ride home from work.
So here’s today’s:
I think one of the truly fascinating things about what I have learned over the past two years is that the bigoted reaction to various groups of people is always wrong. But that pretending culture and upbringing has no effect is also incorrect (it’s not morally wrong like racism, but it’s factually false).
We shouldn’t be scared to acknowledge culture. But we must do it wisely. To say, ‘oh he’s korean, he’ll be like xyz’ is too simplistic. And to say, ‘he’s korean, he’s incapable of xyz’ is slavin-level bigotry. But, but, if we take a moment (ideally more than a moment but we don’t always have that) to step back and consider where a person might be coming from, then we stand a far greater chance of communicating effectively.
I think of a former friend of mine who got on my case about class privilege a few years ago. Back then I was certainly far less aware of how many ways said privileged manifested itself, and of course when someone calls you out for it it makes you uncomfortable, as it should. She was right that I needed to learn more about my good fortune at the hands of my parents.
She was wrong though when she took it to explain every single part of my personality. I am loud and verbose. I’m sure being privileged enhanced this, but my maternal family is much much louder than I am, and they did NOT grow up with privilege. I’m loud because my family is. My point here is, we can use categories and culture as a rough guide and a starting point, but we have to go deeper to really understand each other.
I do wish I’d managed to fix things with her, but this is just a lesson for me (and for you handful of readers) that we can’t ignore culture and the way we were raised, but we can’t think only of this when we seek to communicate with people beyond a surface level.
I have a business idea based on this. But I will tell you about that later.
Point is, the work of developing relationships can’t ignore culture nor can it be based entirely on it.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
Now that grad school is over, I can offer some pithy assessment. I’ll be stentorian and stoic when I give my speech, but here’s some fun.
Why 13? Because I like that number, fuck you. :)
1. Absolutely do not apply for, pay for, and attend graduate classes unless you can see a career ahead of you that the additional degree will help you achieve. You do not want to feel like you’re spinning your wheels in the mud.
2. Your professors are smart. They’re not all excellent professors. But you can learn something from all of them. Not everything, but something.
3. There will never be a level of schooling in which you are not, to at least some extent, doing work to fit some conception of what your evaluators want. This is both good and bad, but the point is you don’t work in a vacuum. Remember this.
4. It really makes life more interesting when your whole life isn’t consumed by one environment. I went part-time, but even if you go full-time, keep up hobbies, volunteer, anything so you’re not in a school bubble for years.
5. Bibliographies have sucked since I was eleven. They will always suck. There is no escaping this suck. Use the internet to help you. And speaking of the internet, Blackboard sucks too.
6. Organization is your friend. You’ve long since left behind the time when hand-holding is feasible or even productive. You fall behind and it’s on you.
7. “I work so much better at the very last minute” is not a thing you should keep saying. It happens sometimes, but try to avoid it being your MO. Because no one’s going to accept sloppiness.
8. Sleep. Eat well. Exercise. Be healthy. Unlike college, we’re adults now, and we need to act like it. ‘Oh this paper is preventing me from eating.’ No, you’re preventing you from eating. You’ll feel better if you treat yourself well.
9. Stop blacking out. Hangovers are no joke now. Heh.
10. I still have no idea what ‘The Courtyard’ is.
11. Cultivate productive relationships. With friends, lovers, peers, colleagues, family. Cut out the cancers and cherish the ones who matter. You don’t need 2000 facebook friends either.
12. You always have more to learn…
13. But I’m pretty damn smart. :)
Hopefully some of you who have been through grad school - or are going through it - will find this resonant.
No post Thursday - graduating, and speaking! - so enjoy your week, folks.
Jezebel comments reveal most women apparently bawl if hair is cut incorrectly. I would note that I will change salons, be annoyed, wear a hat, do lots of things. Stop crying, adults.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is my favorite album of the last several years, hands down. I have songs I like more, but I can still plop this album on and just rock out.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
We’re all a little dumber when we’re impaired by various substances. We have loose lips, or we sleep around, or we actually hurt people. Not an excuse, but a reason.
Some people like to wave away some kinds of sexual assault because the assailant was impaired, as if this gives someone a free pass.
I’ve done dumb stuff (not that kind of stuff; mostly saying mean shit) after drinks. And I deserve the shame and scorn it has brought upon me.
If you think you might do something shitty, either don’t take that drink, or stay home. And if you’re prone to repulsive behavior when you do a particular thing, either stop yourself, or remove the cause of it. Ideally, investigate the cause and root out the bad behavior, but the easy way is not to take that drink etc.
I doubt I’ll ever become completely free of saying not-that-kind things on a night out. But there’s no anger left in them, and we’re a long way from how things once were.
The point I’m making here on this random post is simple: the responsibility is always with the transgressors. For small things and for big ones too.
“The more research we do, the more it seems like the only behavior consistently considered normal is the tendency to be way too strict about what normal behavior actually is — and then being really shitty to the people who don’t conform. So next time you hear someone criticized for not being “manly” or “feminine” enough, remember that, for the most part, the only things keeping it from being 180 degrees different are the numbers on the calendar.”—Cracked
With all that’s been said, it’s good we have a bit more equality in entertainment about spoiled man-children and spoiled women-children but…. why for we can’t have something about young folks who are not layabouts? This isn’t a smack at the good entertainment that’s out there. Hell, Louie, on Louie, is pretty pathetic, and I wouldn’t change that. But I’d love to find, on TV or in the movies, a young dude/lady/etc (maybe of color? maybe one day) who has a plan and is going after it. Trust me, you can put compelling obstacles in their way aside from immaturity. But I guess I’ve never been a huge fan of coming-of-age stuff where the characters were older than Scout Finch.
You see I’m 25. I have been very lucky in life and I know it. I can relate to certain types of feelings and relationships, and I can see myself in certain things. But they have yet to make someone like me who isn’t an awful, cold-hearted human being. Someone who cares deeply about his friends and his students and works hard.
I have plenty of flaws. But you’d probably have to make it high-concept to make it interesting to a studio or network.
Which is fine.
Let’s think of some.
A mature young adult of color gets… body-switched with an elderly white lady!
A mature young adult of color gets…. transported to a world where no one is mature! Wait, that’s just “Idiocracy” isn’t it? Damn.
Gays are now a violent, terrorizing sect of people. Miss California was threatened because of an opinion. Gays sodomize on our public beaches and streets. They ransack churches. Blaspheme religion and had public sex on Folsom Street They caused many to lose their jobs in Cailfornia because they voted their conscience on Prop 8.. Gays generate and transmit the HIV/AIDS pandemic threatening everyones life.
In essence Gays are now the bully on the block. They are non gay bigots . They are intolerable of non gays.
People have a right to fear Gays behavior as Gays disregard and trample others rights and free speech,
Hate speech laws now under consideration by a Gay advocating Democrat Congress protecting this abhorrent Gay Behavior will trample our first Amendment and everyones right to free spech.
”—In case you all think we don’t have to keep fighting!
“My personal rule (being an urbanite) is that if someone can’t diversify their social circle in areas like Brooklyn or DC, they are not people I want to know. So whatever, the show isn’t for me. A lot of them aren’t – I don’t watch Two and a Half Men, nor do I watch Rules of Engagement and that’s just fine. I’m not the core audience, and that was made abundantly clear.”—
“Lesley Arfin, apparently a writer on Girls, has tweeted: “What really bothered me most about Precious was that there was no representation of ME.” This is about as un-constructive and un-self-aware a response to this kind of hugely valid criticism as you can possibly get. As Jay Smooth put it to Lena Dunham on Twitter, “You need to come get your people.”—