music, stories worth repeating, trends, writing

When I’m twenty-two…

I’m late to the Taylor Swift party. And I may not stay long.

At the 2012 Grammys, she sang her hit single, Mean, and needless-to-say, I connected. Me, and the millions of others who had already made her platinum selling album, Speak Now, a hit. Let’s face it, is there any person on the planet who can’t turn to someone and say, “Why you gotta be so mean?”

But a beautiful exclamation point on the universal story of wanting to get to the metaphorical “big city” came at Grammys. I had to reverse engineer the story, because I only listened to the original song after seeing her perform, but it was no less powerful in the remembering.

Taylor’s got two things in the story of being picked on, oppressed, and maligned that she’s aspiring to in the chorus. Living in, “a big old city” is my favorite. The quintessential get-out-of-your small-town-living-well-is-the-best-revenge-move-on dream. She’s also got, “big enough so you can’t hit me.” All you’re ever gonna be is mean, she sings.

It’s a nice when the heroine of the story looks and sounds like Taylor, and by age of twenty-two is a mega star. But that’s what makes us want to imagine that we’re her. That our little sad story ends so well; in a golden dress with a Grammy in each hand.

At one point in the song, the music stops and the beat is maintained by clapping. When that happened at the Grammys, Taylor swapped out the lyrics, “living in a big old city” for, “singing at the Grammys.”

That’s got to be a great moment to live through. Then she won a Grammy for the song, and one for best country performance.

And all you’re ever gonna be is mean.

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thoughts, trends, Uncategorized

at the edge; the rise of extreme stakes

Thanks to a free month-long trial subscription to Netflix, I have now watched the entire 5 seasons of Weeds, and season 1 of Californication.

I found this dramatic interlude highly enjoyable. And it got me thinking about the extreme stakes narrative trend that both shows utilize. While both shows are naturalistic, in emotion and character, they flirt with the surreal in their constant crazy heightening of unrealistic stakes and plot.  While I personally have never hurled myself out of an airplane, or “gotten air” on skis, sure, I can see the appeal. Likewise, there is a distinct thrill of watching Nancy Botwin (Mary-Lousie Parker) of Weeds decide, upon finding herself confronted with a threatening drug dealer, that a quickie with him by her car is too irresistible to pass up.  After a few seasons of Weeds, I found myself thinking, just how far can this possibly go?  And go they have, while maintaining just a thread of believability, or at least they are maintaing the suspension of disbelief.

Similarly, Californication has the same surrealistic realism that makes the show both unbelievably enjoyable as in, enjoyable and only barely realistic (LA is like that, but also not like that), but the writers and actors have taken it one step further. David Duchovny’s Hank Moody has an extreme stakes personality.  Talk about a thrill.

He is constantly being humiliated and yet never humiliated, never defensive.  He owns up to everything, embraces every personal flaw, owns everything, and is indestructible as a result, at least as of season one.  It’s breathtaking to watch the imperviousness of a character who never denies who they are and how badly they act.  He is in a constant state of hurling himself into the void.  He is also hugely successful as a likable character.  Deeply flawed, he is fundamentally a good person.  (Hooker with a heart of gold, anyone?) He is simultaneously an excessive lover of women, and an excessive lover of womenkind.

I don’t know if the appearance in the  mainstream of these kama kazi stories and characters represent a bit of our collective yearning to go loco in the face of our very difficult political, economic and environmental circumstances and the difficult future which seems to loom ahead. Stories have always been useful as a means of throwing ourselves, experientially, into the void, and getting to see how it feels without having to actually climb Mt. Everest with an oxygen tank.  And while some actually choose to stand on the mountain top and push off, I am going to stick with the storytelling from those daring writers who imagine themselves there and then dream up what comes next.

dancing, thoughts, trends, Uncategorized

hooping, a short story

First you buy a pink hula hoop,

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then you start calling it “hooping.” You make a hooping playlist, and finally, you begin putting together the crazy outfit, starting with socks–>

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(that yes, you realize should never be worn out in public and will not make the debut outfit…)

 

I eagerly await my official SF bay area citizenship card.  I believe it’s in the mail.

trends

Another Powerful Man Steps Out on His Wife (and bites the dust?)

Surprise, surprise.    

I’m just waiting for the research to claim that man doesn’t have it in him to remain monogamous.  Truly. Not physiologically possible.  Then we can all just stop pretending.  Because if there’s actually something biological (and not that evolutionary psych stuff), that’s more than just mental, I’d like to know.  Now.

And I think this bears repeating, John Edwards:  it always comes out.  Always!  Hello?  Anybody getting that?

Now, even though I am disappointed (in mankind), I don’t think it necessarily needs to be a political issue.  And I don’t think these character issues have to alter the power of a person’s politics or their ability to affect change.  

But I won’t think about him in same way, ever again.

trends

Small is the new Big

Wouldn’t you rather go to some sweet little store that has already sifted through all the junk that’s out there and only stocks one or two of the best honeys, nailpolishes, flours, milks, jeans, computers, sneakers, and so on?
I sure would.  Prediction:  Massive consumption is out. (Even with a rise in prices).  Small is in.  Neat is in.  Saving is in.  Good quality is in.  Who wants to store some massive box of crackers that you bought at Costco.  By the time you’re into your third sub box you’re sick of them anyway and then you’ve just got all that extra cardboard to recycle.

I’d rather buy one really good sweater (preferably not made in China) that is more expensive and wear it everyday and enjoy it, than owning several cheap, poorly made sweaters that can’t make it through the season (re: Barney’s Organic line, circa, last winter).

Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to Bitten, Sarah Jessica Parker’s new clothing line.  I haven’t actually held that stuff in my hands, but it’s hard to imagine an 8 dollar dress really being that nice, well made, high quality. But hey, I’ll have to check it out, and I hold judgement until then.  And who knows, maybe she’ll start a couture line at 30 bucks a pop.  Might I suggest: bittAn…

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…