Wednesday, 24 June 2009
This recent development with the Obama administration is disappointing. It’s a fucking travesty actually. The most distressing part is that a minority feels like it’s been fucked over by a minority. Now there’s a black man in the White House and all them rap sensations are blinged up, I guess on the front of it all it looks less like a minority. Though that’s only the surface, and you know you’ve got to look at base level to see the truth.
I have to admit the American struggle for gay ‘marriage’ is something I have difficulty with - mostly the word marriage, which the US gay rights movement seems to want to keep a hold of. Way I see it, get the rights whatever way you can. But then I am not hyper-political, and certainly not all LGBT and screamy gay rights political. I forget sometimes, however, that being in Britain right now I can marry, and what that means; that someone fought for that right. What is happening now makes me feel as though maybe I should have done more when I was living in Ireland, where it is still illegal. But of course the quest for rights goes beyond ‘marriage.’ It’s the financial and health stuff that's really the problem, as it factors into marriage. I’ve seen plenty of people blogging that gays don’t seem to standing up for the fight. Maybe I am judging too harshly. Perhaps this is exactly what we need to understand the seriousness of the issue. The younger generation who are coming out of the closest, and in particular probably those who identify as post-gay, who don’t dig the gay pride thing, are the ones who maybe shy away from activism. After all, we are a generation that pretty much came after Stonewall or the HIV crisis. Kids my age or younger, though still suffering, have had a gradual sense of acceptance and recognition in the world and the media alike. In general things are alright, so this is a good kick up the arse.
Obama worship made this a particularly difficult member not to gag on, since the world pretty much had his thick black schlong jammed right down their oesophagus. And of course we should all have been more sensible to view him as a politician, you know, backtracking, shady and out to get what he can. With Hindsight I know some are wondering if Hilary would have done things right. The whole thing is sort of like the final of the last America’s Next Top Model. The judges expected little from Creepy Chan, so when she crawled through the tar in a Rosa Cha fashion show, shaking her little feathered tresses, they were blown away. Teyona was a little cyborg who ‘reverted back to model bootcamp,’ and yet she got the votes (from all, might I mention, except Paulina, now if only we could take a leaf out of her political book). So the black girl won, for sappy, ANTM-centric political reasons. She wanted it more, so she got it. But you sort of know she’s gonna fall flat as a REAL model. A bit like Obama as a real monger of hope for all. Creepy Chan may not have ticked the winners boxes, but you can’t help believe she could have been the right choice, if the competition wasn't based on Tyra's bent, internal politics. Maybe Hillary was the blond, unlikely Cover Girl after all?
Watching the debates is so frustrating, because the opposition is never going to see eye to eye with the fag on the podium. The real fight has to be fought convincing the kids, or those who for whatever reason don’t feel politics affects them, or that their vote matters. When it comes to gay pride, perhaps more time should be spent on, as Tori Amos put it recently "votes instead of floats." Gay Americans need another Milk, they need to be lobbying and getting into the positions of power that makes the decisions. The minority is never approved of, and never right - the majority of America will not agree with gay marriage until years after it has been achieved - when whatever our truly post-gay musicians are in the limelight with their irony-, rather than parody-, heavy bling (o hay Patrick Wolf!). At the end of the day, this isn’t about the best model winning, out of Creepy Chan and Teyona, this is about Kim Stolz getting to the final and stomping out an African american plus sizer. Or better yet, let’s get a lesbian African American plus size model to the final.
It is too easy for people to say “shady negro,” especially if you oppose any kind of stereotyping. It is also unacceptable to allow Obama to rest on his laurels, no matter how much good he is doing. A serious promise is broken - if anything, I hope the developments will somehow push us to push him, because that’s how to get the job done. It might get you fired, like Paulina, but integrity and being in the right are (probably) worth so much more than Pushing the 5” 7 and under cause. When even the likes of Dick Cheney is suddenly to the left of the left, because the left’s moving goal post has suddenly shifted to the right, the Tyra’s and Miss J’s might think that maybe they should have picked a president who could actually work in Europe, and book proper editorials, rather than just satisfy a quick African American fix on the cover of 17 magazine.
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Our generation is fucked. Really, we are. Our generation being Y. Let me explain. Generation X riled against growing up with grunge and slackerdom. They made being nothing into something to be. The iGeneration is at the other end of the spectrum; these kids know who they are. Artistic persuasion is no longer for slackers, it is a viable career path that one can realistically make money from, make a life out of. There is no shame in deciding to write or blog in your spare time, study fashion, study film, become a part of a performing arts troupe. Or going on reality TV. In fact the things that were once considered the hallmark of the slacker, the 'zine or the band, are now not only the norm, but almost required to matter. Everyone blogs, everyone makes music on their Mac and shoves it onto Myspace, everyone has an opinion and everyone let's you know on youtube. There's never been a better time to be you, as long as you are good at being you.
Problem is though, for those just on the cusp of either end, we're conflicted, we're guilty, our confidence is shot to bits and we keep oscillating between going for it and holding back. The constant outsiders. For the duration of our late teens and early 20's we were told to work hard, be sensible, rile against our artistic notions and get a degree, because there is no way to get ahead in life without one. Anything else makes you a slacker. But we come out the other side, where the kids behind us are so confident and self aware, who already know not only what they want to do, but that they can do it. They don't need no convincing. They have access to the same entitlement rich kids and Americans have, simply from being born when they were, where regardless of wealth (for the most part) everything was available. I'm from a four TV channel house, a no mobile until you're 16 house, an an-hour-on-the-internet-at-the-weekend house and still sometimes I feel disabled by access. That now it is all around me, I can't feel the urgency anymore - getting to surf the web at my friends house for a night! The hectic printing off of websites as my two hours on a Sunday raced towards its close. By the same token, the most rebelling I ever did was making a point of going to a school and college where I could study Drama, but I'm still at odds as to how I fit this into my life and not be a big fat failure.
No one wants to grow up, and before you had to pick a side. But now the the game has changed. Tying not wanting to grow up with not wanting to be a failure. You can see it being done. It's funny now I get to saying that, I start to realise how the two feelings could be mutually beneficial. I'm starting to think about a pattern among people I know. The girl who taught me all about drugs, she got her head down, she's working in a nice, warm European country, teaching kids Spanish, but when I spoke to her the other day on Skype, she was on her morning spliff and it seemed as though she was doing the same as always, except rather than snaking it into her life, the two things were united. I have a friend who has just completed her history degree and jumped into the second year of a fashion course. Another is speeding towards a music career, after five years of struggling through an education system that favoured those who were willing to tongue it's arsehole. And I'm the same- a faggoty art queer who was just totally overwhelmed by trying to fit the circle of peers that I ended up totally lost - these people I went to college with were hard workers, they were sociable. I think those are two things that I excel at, and yet I was so repelled by their attitude. To be me, who at the beginning was naturally inclined to push the envelope, and to not find kinship should have pushed me to do it on my own, but it didn't. It paralysed me. Made creativity a chore. And now I need to recover.
Even writing this blog post, something I did for years until the last two left me cold, was a chore, but I'm coming to relaise you have to push. That the go getters get becuase they go and get, and they are tough competition. For me to want to push boundaries takes ten times as much effort as it does for my ex class mates to succeed. Because if I don't do that I'm not succeeding. And the thing is, if I was pushing boundaries, and working hard and feeling switched on, I wouldn't feel as old as I do. I would not be growing up. I'd be growing out, and that's the goal really. When I was 10 years old I thought everyone had a kid at the age of 30. and that all mothers were the same age as mine, and they all cut their hair when they got married. Now I am shagging 30 year olds, and some of them aren't even married. Redefining the idea of what a successful, driven adult is, in my own head, is something that I need to do, and something that many people I know seem to be doing. For those who have been failed by the education system, where they have felt backed into a degree or haven't found a college that can support or nurture them, the process of rediscovering your love begins again. I'm glad I'm not the entitled kids who are only figuring out that their chosen paths may not lead where they presumed, be that because of the profession or the recession. Education already knocked that out of me, so here I am, starting from scratch, with an overly serious first post on my blog, realising that it will take a lot before I am good at it again. But at least it's the first step. So says Rumi or someone, I'm sure. Doink.