Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Truth In Comedy

Today, while randomly surfing the Internet Movie Database, I stumbled upon a quote from the first season of the "Flight of the Conchords" TV show, spoken by Jemaine Clement:

It doesn't matter what country someone's from, or what they look like, or the color of their skin. It doesn't matter what they smell like, or that they spell words slightly differently...some would say, more correctly...I'm a person. Bret's a person. You're a person. That person over there is a person. And each person deserves to be treated like a person.

Sometimes truths can be spoken most bluntly when they're being played for laughs.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Out of Curiosity...

I have a question.

Every fundamentalist, everyone who uses the Bible as an excuse to hate, everyone who says that the Christian God hates this or that just because they do, everyone who says that Jesus wants them to do awful things to people who they personally disapprove of, and everyone who believes that because they believe something, everyone else should as well...I want them to answer it and answer it well.

I want an answer from anyone who's ever killed in the name of Jesus. I want to hear an explanation from anyone who focuses on Jesus' death rather than what he taught before that, especially if they think that because they believe in him, they are Righteous and Shall Be Saved and can therefore treat any non-Christians, or Christians who aren't from their own denomination, as if they're lower than scum.

Anyone who hates in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Anyone who commits acts of violence in the name of the Christian God. Anyone who clings to their faith to justify their self-righteousness, arrogance and disdain for other people. I want them all to answer this question:

(Image description: hand-drawn picture of a cross with a crown of thorns and "INRI" fastened to the top, and draped with a purple mantle.  The text reads, "What part of love one another do you not understand?")

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unrequited Love

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I think I would not be mistaken in saying that unrequited love is something that most people experience sooner or later. It's certainly been very familiar to me—especially in the past few years, not least because the other person is no longer actually a part of my life. To make a (very) long story somewhat shorter, I became friends with someone who I'd known rather peripherally about eight years after I first met him. Somewhere along the line, friendly affection ceased to be the only form of affection that I felt for him, and because he had a girlfriend at the time, I decided I'd hide it from him. Some months later they broke up, but though he never had a steady girlfriend again during the years of our friendship, I never told him that my feelings for him had grown to be as romantic as they were friendly. There were several reasons—or at least, I had several excuses that I gave myself for never bringing it up.

First, he'd mentioned many times that he was afraid of commitment. Although he also said that he looked forward to marrying and having kids someday, at the time he just didn't feel like tying himself down to one woman. I didn't want to get involved with someone who, while good and supportive as a friend, might as a lover just decide to dump me one day because he was afraid that we were getting to be too close, too exclusive, too committed and that by "settling" for me, he was passing up on the chance of a better woman he hadn't yet met. Loving him was breaking my heart as it was; it is perhaps quite understandable that I didn't want to risk a greater pain.

Second, though I got along with his mother quite well (she and my mother were friends for over thirty years), I knew that she was/is extremely controlling. And because the family is very close-knit, if I got involved with her son, I knew that she would inevitably be one of those people who would be only too eager to interfere with us and should I ever disagree with her about anything, she'd become very offended and if he felt the need to take sides, he would probably not side with me. Remember the very last rule that I made fun of in my last post here, the one about not criticizing his mother? That one would have been in full operation if he and I had become more deeply involved with each other, and I refuse to commit to someone who won't be supportive if I feel I have got a legitimate complaint against the actions of his (or her—after all, I am at least mildly bisexual) mother. That doesn't mean I would want my partner to take sides, but I would hope that s/he would at least be willing to listen to my side of things and take the time to understand why I'm so upset, rather than side with dear old Mom out of a knee-jerk reaction.

Finally, there's that whole insecurity thing that was even worse for me seven years ago. I have always thought that I was quite ugly to look at, and although I wouldn't say that he's outright handsome, he's certainly very good-looking and with his charm, he can very easily "get" almost any woman he wants, so why would he want me? I'm fat and shy, only moderately intelligent with a tendency to misinterpret people's words and actions and in possession of an explosive, if rarely set off, temper and a face that looks like it might belong on a Mrs Potato Head if those things had long brown hair—I had convinced myself that because we had such wildly different amounts of aesthetic and sexual capital, there was no way that he could possibly be attracted to me. He certainly kept me guessing; one day, he'd be all small smiles, holding doors, putting a hand at the small of my back and referring to old, long-established inside jokes between the two of us, and the next he'd be flirting madly with some other woman, sometimes even going home with her. And then he'd eventually start flirting with me again, but I never really thought he meant anything by it. Sometimes I think that's the only way he knows to interact with women who aren't his mother, his aunts or his sisters. Or perhaps it was just a habit; who knows? Certainly not I.

Despite everything, our friendship was one of the things which helped to keep me sane when my depression was starting to really get bad and my mother also started to show signs of the condition. I'm thankful to him for that, in an abstract sort of way. We'd usually meet at least once a week, or more than that on occasion. But eventually he became impossible to get in touch with, and although he'd always promise to call or drop in, after a certain point in time he never followed through on those promises again. I've no idea why.

The last time I talked to him was in December 2007, shortly before Christmas. We hadn't spoken in a couple of weeks, since I'd had a cold that developed into bronchitis and (to add insult to injury) I'd actually lost both my voice and my sense of smell for a couple of weeks. When I was finally well enough to leave my bed for more than the acquisition of food or a visit to the bathroom, I called him on his cell phone to see if he would like to get together for a chat. To my surprise, he told me that he was in Whistler, British Columbia (which is roughly two-thirds of the country away from here) and that he'd be back just before Christmas Eve. He promised to call me when he got home; he never did, and when I called him, he never answered. I kept trying for about two months after our last conversation, but I admit that near the end of that time, it wasn't so much that I wanted to see him as I wanted to say goodbye, get some real closure. With the passive-aggressive way he ended our friendship, he denied me that, and for a long time I was very angry about that.

Since then, I've gone through quite a few interesting emotions while trying to sort all this out. There's longing, of course. I miss the way we used to talk. I have felt anger. I'd thought we were friends. And even though I don't expect my friends to be at my beck and call—that would be unreasonably, ridiculously selfish—it still strikes me as being distinctly rude and unfriendly to say "don't be a stranger, keep in touch" and then not reciprocate when the other person does try to do just that. I still think of him when I hear (or perform) various songs. I'm not consciously clinging, but we knew each other for about thirteen years, and in that time he gradually became a part of my consciousness, and it's been difficult at best to cut him out of it.

Anyway, I've been trying to learn something from this experience, though sometimes I'm not quite sure what I can learn from it besides "OK, so this guy was a bigger jerk than he seemed to be for the thirteen years you actually were in contact with him" or possibly "I may be a dimwitted little twit for still loving him when he's been out of my life for over two years, but at least I know that I'm actually capable of loyalty". But I do know that just as my spiritual faith, my faith in my friends, my faith in my family and the hope that I will eventually improve my life help me to keep my depression from becoming unbearable, they help me to deal with the lingering pangs of the once very broken heart that I nursed after I realized that he'd cut me out of his life. Perhaps it's not very feminist of me to still be hurting a bit nearly two and a half years after I gave up on even being able to say "goodbye and have a nice life" to him—this, too, bothers me—but it's the way I feel, and over the years I've found that my emotions don't always conform to my ideals. I often think that it's the way I deal with them that matters the most.

And I know that someday, I'll have finally managed to put my feelings for him entirely behind me, and even if "My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore,/ But after one such love, can love no more",* at least I'll know that I'm no longer wasting my time and emotions on someone who may not have been worth my tears to begin with, as he plainly did not appreciate my friendship.

--,--'--@ --,--'--@ --,--'--@

*John Donne, "The Broken Heart".

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sarcastic!Zillah Responds to Dating Rules

I was tidying up my "Works-In-Progress" folder on my laptop this afternoon when I found a list of extremely sarcastic responses I'd made to a list of general dating rules I read on a website. I hope you find these responses as funny as I sometimes do. :)

(My responses are in bolded italic text.)

Source: http://www.topdatingtips.com/dating-rules-for-women.htm

Found via a comment at http://www.feministing.com/archives/020063.html

Lampooned while listening to "Breaking All the Rules" by She Moves.

General Dating Rules
• Always look great, whatever your income. Gorgeous hair and some lipstick with rags will still turn his head. You have the advantage. You are the woman. Look your best as you could meet a potential Mr. Right anywhere at any time.
Remember: a successful man-hunt hinges entirely on whether you have the time and the money to invest in a hairstyle you don't necessarily like and makeup that you may or may not like to wear. Also, lesbians and bisexual women do not exist.

• Never reveal information you don't have to. An enigmatic woman drives men wild.
If you can manage it, don't even tell him your name! And we all know that the way to a man's heart is to drive him insane with your unavailability.

• Keep dates brief, but your men interested. Less is always more.
In Regency England, a proper visit was only fifteen minutes long. Let's face it, you're probably so boring that you'll run out of things to talk about after that much time on an actual date, even if the two of you talked for hours on end before you started dating.

• Try and stay in shape and involve some fitness regime at a gym. However much you hate it, your Mr. Right loves your body as much as your mind.
But he'll only love your body if it's thin. Fat women need not apply! If you're fat, he doesn't really love you. So get thin, fatass, or you'll never get a man.

• Let your man pay. If he is interested, he is interested enough to ensure you eat well and get home safely in a cab.
'Cuz it's all about the money, honey! If he wants to hang around with a classy dame like you, he has to pay for the privilege.

• Ensure you receive flowers. If he doesn't know what a florist is, dump him.
Yes, even if you really like him and you absolutely hate flowers that smell of formaldehyde, were far too expensive to procure and cause your allergies to flare up. The most stable relationship in the world isn't worth it if he won't give you overpriced plant matter.

• Never ever sleep with a guy until he has fallen for you. Sex early in your dating game plan will ruin everything.
Because he only wants sex, not love. And you only want love, not sex. You're a woman. What else did you expect? Besides, he'll never marry you unless you refuse to put out before there's a ring on your finger, and you KNOW that a wedding ring is really a woman's only ambition in life, unless she also wants lots and lots of babies!!!

• Always keep a guy waiting and never turn up early. It is a lady's perogative.
Not only do you have carte blanche to be inconsiderate, but you don't even have to know how to spell "prerogative". Is that a new kind of perogy? Because I could really do with some cabbage rolls, perogies and sour cream for supper tonight. Mmm!

• Never be available when he wants you to be. Never be at the end of a phone when he calls and always let him leave a message or two first before replying.
Phone tag is SUCH a wonderful kind of foreplay for the sex you're not going to have with him.

• If he is available Tuesday, you are available Thursday.
See? You don't actually have to go out on dates with people to say you're dating them.

• Weekend shopping trips with girlfriends are sacred and not available for dates.
SHOPPING!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all we women ever do with each other!

• Keep your man standing on quicksand by shifting landmarks and goalposts constantly.
Carelessly-mixed metaphors, while worthy of a lengthy jail sentence, are a must. Don't forget to take the bull by the horns and hit him out of the ballpark with your cheap sunglasses. But make sure they look expensive, even if they weren't. The path to a man's heart is being completely emotionally and physically unavailable to him, and looking high-maintenance and constantly changing the rules of your relationship while maintaining a certain sense of class is absolutely vital.

• Ensure you are a good kisser. Men will walk away if you cannot kiss. Practice on a mirror if you have to.
Yum, shiny glass! Makey-outy time is so much fun when your partner is a cold, flat and two-dimensional representation of yourself. Which is what you want your man to be kissing anyway, because real women with real troubles, real lives and real depth are too much for the Fragile Male Ego and Fragile Masculinity to deal with on a regular basis.

• Never ever talk about previous boyfriends, particularly their prowess in the bedroom. Your ex-boyfriends are your business only.
So if you've got a child from a previous relationship, make sure that your new man never meets the kid, because that would mean that he'll find out that you've been with someone else before. The male ego is SOOO fragile and needs to be pandered to at all times.

• Never assume anything about your date until you choose to know him better. You cannot always tell by looking.
"Choose to know him better". No effort required—just choice.

• If any man shows the slightest signs of possessiveness or insecurity, run like the wind. Life is too short for boys.
If you're a grown woman, why the hell are you dating boys, anyway? And how DARE he have any insecurities—you're the woman, that's your territory.

• If his shoes or hygiene are a disgrace, dump him.
Because if his shoes are anything less than perfect, he'll probably forget to buy you those flowers you don't like.

• Never talk too much about your father and how your date measures up in comparison.
Because women always talk about their daddy issues to the exclusion of everything else except for shopping and hair and makeup and all those other girly things.

• Never ever come across as too available or too desperate. He will run a mile. He is the one doing the chasing.
Men are hunters. You're the prey. Got it? Just be distant and unavailable and he'll probably dump you anyway, but at least you won't have looked desperate.

• If the guy in the corner is gorgeous, go get him and create the need in him for you. Never wait for men to come to you because you may watch him leave with someone else.
Who cares about substance when you can go after a total hunk? Snap him up if you can. Even though he's supposed to be the one doing the chasing, you have to catch him before he'll chase you. Men are like dogs chasing their own tails that way. Arf!

• You may well have all the bodily functions of a man, just try not to demonstrate them early on.
Even if the meal you just ate together is doing some odd things to your digestive system, pretend it isn't happening. Explosive gas will turn him right off, but if you're lucky you can blame it on somebody else.

• If you want a child, don't mention it on the first few dates.
And admit it, you want a child. If you don't, you're not a woman. If he actually asks about whether you want children, divert him with another question which will permit him the opportunity to mansplain something you already understand in great detail. Men are fascinating. Just soak up all the testosterone-induced wisdom and shut up, will you?

• Never ever criticize his mother unless you want to remain single.
"Why didn't you eat your steak? Mom went to all that trouble to make it for you, and you didn't even give it a try!"I didn't eat the steak your mother gave me because she dropped it on the floor and didn't even bother to wash it off before she put it on my plate. Besides, you know I'm a vegetarian!" "HOW DARE YOU INSULT MY MOTHER LIKE THAT! WE'RE THROUGH, YOU CALLOUS BITCH!"

Oh, and being single sucks. Why? Because…er, because we say so!