Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another Post On Gender

I like when women act vulnerable. I want to protect a girl and defend her. I want to tell people they can't mess with her or they'll deal with me. I don't like it when she can do everything herself. I want to help her with life. I want her to be able to help me too. But I don't want her to defend me. I want to defend her!

Also, I don't like the word "confident". It implies some annoying mean tough girl with her hands glued to her hips. The kind who's ALWAYS right, ALWAYS wins, and ALWAYS mocks everything. Most sitcom wives are like this. They call it "sassy", I call it "obnoxious".

If this means I'm part of the Patriarchy, then I'm proud of it.

I wasn't raised around feminine women. Most women and girls I knew acted like guys. I wasn't around femininity at all. Femininity turns me on. It always has and always will. This is why gender roles are not a social construct. I didn't grow up with traditional gender roles. My family was conservative in other ways, but "progressive" in gender. Not everyone fits gender roles and we shouldn't make them fit them. We also shouldn't yell at people who do fit gender roles. Even if I do it sometimes. Most people are like that by nature.

To some hardcore feminists, the only people who can act feminine are gay men. It must suck to be a masculine gay man. Most pro-gay straight people act like all gay men are women in male bodies. Society's homophobic, so if you're a man and you don't act 100% male people think you're gay, which is the Worst Thing Ever. This doesn't happen to women. Stereotypes say all lesbians are supposed to be bisexual, and no gay men are supposed to be bisexual. They're wrong of course. So you get Katy Perry, who released an album called One of the Boys. People know about the fake lesbian song "I Kissed a Girl" already. There's also a song called "Ur So Gay" (LyricWiki link) where she yells at her ex for "gay" things like: listening to Mozart and indie rock, reading Ernest Hemingway, driving an electric car, being thin, etc. None of these are gay or feminine in any way. The song's as homophobic as an American Family Association meeting, but a lot of my gay friends think she's great. Don't ask me why. The end lesson is it's okay for girls to act like guys, but it's not okay for guys to act like girls. Which is the hell we live in.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stairway to Heaven

If there's one song I wish I liked, it's Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". It's one of the most revered rock songs ever. I've tried to like it so many times. I like a lot of other Led Zeppelin songs. Most people who attack "Stairway to Heaven" attack everything it stands for - long songs, guitar solos, etc. which are all things I like. I don't like the Velvet Underground either, but I'm not a punk/alternative/indie fan so it doesn't cause me problems. "Stairway to Heaven" is my kind of music and I'm supposed to like it, but I don't.

The first part is boring and lasts way too long. There's no hook to the melody. The drums come in too late and too loud. It reminds me of one of Genesis's weaker songs - the early Genesis with Peter Gabriel. Then everybody told me it got REALLY HEAVY at the end - it doesn't. After about five minutes of dull folk-rock it turns into a nice mellow ballad with LOUD DRUMS. There are lots of songs that start quiet and end loud. "Stairway to Heaven" is not one of them. It stays quiet and mellow thruout apart from the LOUD DRUMS. It isn't even heavy for its era or its album. Lots of stuff in 1971 was way heavier. I love Jimmy Page's guitar solo tho. I'm sick of hearing how it turns into this hard rock song because it doesn't.

Plus their drummer John Bonham is overrated. He's a very good drummer but he's the most overrated drummer in rock music. I don't know why people hold him up as the ultimate rock drummer. He never played quiet. After the first album or two he quit using lots of cymbals and I like cymbals and open hi-hats. After a while he played the same on every song. I already hate te drumming on "Stairway to Heaven", but "Kashmir" is another song with drumming that doesn't fit. Most of his drum parts are boring and a lot of them don't fit the music. I like a few of his drum parts, like "When the Levee Breaks", "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You", and "Communication Breakdown". But most of them don't work. I'd play them very different.

Bonham's still a good drummer. He's better than about 90% of rock drummers. He could play way better than I can. But he's not as good as Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson), BJ Wilson (Procol Harum), Stewart Copeland (The Police), Ginger Baker (Cream), or even Keith Moon (The Who). Bonham had a great sense of groove, but he had no sense of dynamics or fitting the music. So a lot of songs have drums that are way too loud or too quiet. Too bad everyone else thinks he's the best ever. If you say John Bonham is overrated, 5,000,000 Led Zeppelin fans attack you for blasphemy. This is why everyone considers him the god of drums when he's not. Nobody is. They don't want Led Zeppelin fans to kill them.

Now that I've pissed everyone off, I say King Crimson's "Starless" takes everything "Stairway to Heaven" does and does it better. Better melody, better lyrics, an awesome quiet-to-loud build-up, and some of the best drumming ever courtesy of Bill Bruford. There's no normal guitar solo, but there is an awesome sax solo and a guitar noise solo during the loud heavy part. And I get way more feeling from "Starless" than I ever did from "Stairway to Heaven".

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why I Hate Christmas

I hate Christmas. Not the religious holiday. I like celebrating Jesus' birth. I hate the secular holiday. If I wasn't a Christian I wouldn't celebrate it. Here's why:

The holiday is way too commercialized. This is everyone's problem. But I got more:

I. Hate. Snow. I really hate it on Christmas. I hate how all TV and movies have snow on Christmas. Even in Miami. EVEN IN HAWAII. People get pissed if you trash snow on Christmas. Bing Crosby asks how can you have Christmas without snow. Ask the majority of the world. Ask the southern hemisphere. It was over 100°F/38°C in Perth, Western Australia last Christmas. Countries like Brazil, Australia, South Africa, etc. have hot Christmases because it's near the summer solstice. Here in the US, I live in Mississippi and my family's from other hot places like Florida. Make fun of us all you want, but any snow is a disaster in the Deep South. I don't want a disaster on Christmas. Snow has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. I'm not pagan/Wiccan so I don't care about celebrating the winter solstice. The "white Christmas" shit is the northern US and England shoving their ideal conditions down everyone's throat. It's the idealized Christmas TV sells us so they can sell more products. So I say take your white Christmas and shove it up your ass. I'll take a green (or brown) one any year. People care more about snow than they do about Jesus.

People get pissed if you're not "merry" and "jolly" on Christmas. Peace and love? Bullshit. They turn into assholes if you question a "white" "merry" Christmas. The rest of the year you have to be negative and cynical, which sucks enough already. On Christmas you have to be happy and positive, the only day all year people are allowed to be. And you HAVE to be, no matter your mood. What if you're depressed? You can go kill yourself. Christmas while depressed is what I imagine hell is like: everyone's "merry" and "jolly" except you. If I ever kill myself I'll do it on December 25.

There is no reason to change the culture to the 1950s for a month. I like a lot of things from older cultures. Why not keep those things all year? Why be inconsistent? The media send us mixed messages. Everything's this crass modern culture, then it turns into "Traditional Stuff We Think Your Grandma Liked", then to hell with grandma on the 26th. Grandma doesn't matter once you got presents from her.

I'm sick to death of the damn culture wars! You can't be consistent with the other holidays and say "Happy Christmas" because the "Merry Christmas" crowd gets pissed if you don't say "Merry". Why the hell do we say "merry" instead of "happy"? It's stupid. You can't say "Happy Holidays" and be inclusive or people bitch about it. If you say "Merry Christmas" people still bitch at you. So you have to say "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, etc." or people get pissed at you. Those exact damn words. And they STILL get pissed because you were too inclusive. So much for peace and love. Don't get me wrong, I hate everyone in the culture wars debate. But the "merry Christmas" crowd care more about their Christmas traditions than about Jesus. How about "I pray you make it thru this horrible time of year"? It doesn't work for non-religious people but it's way closer to my mood.

Why lie to kids about Santa Claus? This is one thing only fundamentalists and some atheists get right – if you're a parent and you lie to your kids, you make them not trust you. That's a good lesson in real life, but it's not the lesson most parents want to teach their kids. Lying to kids about Santa is stupid and wrong. It may be "cute" and "innocent" but it's stupid.

I have a few more personal problems. My birthday's in December so that month's even more stressful than it is for most people. I'm red-green colorblind and the color combo hurts my eyes. I've seen some Christmas colors that literally give me a headache. I hate driving in heavy traffic and the traffic gets really bad every Christmas. I don't have much family here so I can't have a "family Christmas" unless I go out of state. However...

The single worst part about Christmas is the "rebellious" crowds, the punks and goths and hipsters, embrace the "traditional" Christmas the media built for us! The rest of the year they complain the media manipulate things to sell us stuff, but during Christmas they forget. They switch to "Fa la la snow hot chocolate presents snow family!" then revert back on the 26th. I thought I could count on them for support... hell no! No surprise, considering I never agree with them on anything.

There are a few things I like about Christmas. I like liturgical churches and it's the one time of the year most people care about liturgy. But you can get that any time at the right church. I'm all for celebrating Jesus' birth. I love a lot of old Christmas carols, like "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "What Child Is This". I like receiving and giving presents as long as it's not the focus of the holiday. I even like a few Christmas movies. Miracle on 34th Street may violate every single thing on this list, but it's pretty deep for a Santa movie. But there's no reason to celebrate Christmas if you're not Christian. I don't celebrate Eid al-Fitr or Passover, but I acknowledge they exist. And people turn into the worst kind of assholes every December. And I hate snow on Christmas.

Bah humbug.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Politics and Personality

I hate stereotypes, but sometimes they're true more often than not.

Most conservative men are jerks. Most conservative women are nice. Liberals are the opposite: Most liberal men are nice, and most liberal women are jerks. There's lots of exceptions but it's true more often than not. I assume people are like this. It's because of ME ME ME ME ME. Most liberals are feminists and most conservatives are for traditional gender roles. People who support themselves sound like jerks. People who support others sound nice.

I wrote before that most observant Christians are conservative and most others are liberal because the stereotypes cancel each other out. Gender throws another wrench into this. They don't come across neutral. They come across the way their gender does. What's sad is there's more jerk exceptions than nice exceptions. You find more jerk conservative women and jerk liberal men than you do nice conservative men or nice liberal women.

Politics play a bigger role than religion in how someone acts. Most left-wing Christians act more like left-wing secular people than conservative Christians. This always holds true. Most left-wing Christians swear and drink as much as their secular counterparts, even with conservative theology. I don't know enough right-wing secular people to know if they act like right-wing Christians. I don't know enough people in other religions to know how they act. From my experience, conservatives act conservative and liberals act liberal regardless of religion.

Once again libertarians don't fit into this.