Girl Goddess No. 9 — LiveJournal
Dec. 16th, 2003
08:16 am - Wheee!
|You are 50% geek|
Dec. 14th, 2003
03:22 pm - I Love Julia Roberts
Except... that I don't.
I was just reading somewhere that old cliche about Hollywood being a 'dream factory' and
Oh, well, gee! No shit, Sherlock. I guess I'll just withdraw my membership from the John Hinkley Jr. fan club and join the rest of the people not on a 24/7 thorazine drip. Close call there! Thanks!
Honestly, forgive me if I'm making a gauche breach of hipster code here, I think there might be something more to it than that.
So, as I was saying, I don't love Julia Roberts. Never even met the lady. Though I did, at one point, tell anotherkaren that I thought she resembled Miss Roberts. Having meant it as a compliment, I unintentionally inflicted severe emotional distress (anotherkaren REALLY doesn't love Julia Roberts).
But back to my lack of love, here. I've been examining why we do love the famous, these people who we've never met, to whatever extent we do. Very few of us can claim that we've never exclaimed, passionately, "Aw, man, I LOVE (insert name of actor/musician/writer here)!" In my time, I believe I've declared my ultimate devotion in just such a way to Audrey and Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne, Christopher Walken, Hunter S. Thomson, Angelina Jolie, Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, Scott Baio, Morten of A-Ha, Neil Gaiman, Tori Amos, Ani DiFranco, Michael Jackson (pretend you never owned Thriller or envied someone who did... go ahead), Shakespeare, Kenneth Branaugh, Denzel Washington, Barry Manilow and Carl Sagan.
I don't think any of them suspect the others yet. I've been very discreet.
Oh, yes, and Julia Roberts.
Now when I said this, and to be clear for the court I will allow 'this' to mean "I Love Julia Roberts", as spoken my myself, I was not under the the influence of alcohol or any other mind altering substance. Well, I'm sure on at least one occasion I musn't've been. Let's give me the benefit of the doubt and say that I wasn't. I was, rather, under the influence of powerful symbolism.
It all started with Pretty Woman. I think I saw it once in the theater, but for a long time it was an essential of any respectable collection of chick-flicks on VHS. During repeated viewings of the film, I identified increasingly with Vivien, the whore-with-a-heart-of-precious-ore protrayed by Julia Roberts. We all want to be Vivien. We all want to be strong enough to go through the worst of times, degredation and desperation, but come out beautiful, noble and sassy. We want to be unbreakable, like Scarlett O'Hara or Joan of Arc. We want the stainless soul within, and it doesn't hurt to have the fairest skin. (apologies to whoever wrote "But 'tis the stainless soul within that far outshines the fairest skin..." something like that).
For a short time after viewing something with which I strongly identify, I am transformed. After Pretty Woman, I'd walk like Vivien, I'd consider for the guh-zillionth time investing in a pair of thigh-high patent leather boots, I'd laugh louder, because loud laughter on her looked so good. I was thinner in my own mind's eye, so I bore myself with more confidence. My inner eye, the always-on-air camera that follows me throughout the documertary of my exitence, was still following Vivien. It had superimposed her on top of me for a short time, like the after-image of something bright.
The same for music. Listening to certain songs for the first and fiftieth time is a revelation. You were thinking that too. You felt that too, so strongly that it was in every fiber of your being, and someone just said it. They said it for you, bless them, validated your innermost thoughts and flung down the gauntlet to the rest of the world. THERE. This is what we're thinking. Now that we know there's more than one of us, you can't shit on it anymore. We have a community. We have NUMBERS. You're braver then, and stronger, than you were before.
Of course, human beings can and do unlearn what they have learned faster than any other animal. Our favorite stories, music, images are our talismans. We must keep them with us in order to maintain their effects. Lather, rinse, repeat. And repeat and repeat. Sometimes I forget how to bounce. That's when I know it's time to put on "Birdhouse in Your Soul".
Our talismans identify us to one another and the more of them we discover we have in common, the more closely knit out tribes. The things we love, what they symbolize, are the currency supporting the social economy. Each transaction begins with casting the line ("So... you ever listen to Frank Black?")... The reaction will determine our response, of course:
IF Local(TimesTalkedFrank)<1 THEN BEGIN BethCastsLine
SAY ~So... you ever listen to any Frank Black?~
IF ~~ REPLY ~No... He's weird.~ THEN GOTO 1
IF ~~ REPLY ~Well, I liked his stuff with the Pixies...~ THEN GOTO 2
IF ~~ REPLY ~Oh, wow... yeah! Do you have 'Show Me Your Tears' yet?~ THEN GOTO 3
IF ~~ THEN BEGIN 1
SAY ~Ah. So... I guess asking if you like Ween is pretty much right out, then.~
IF ~~ THEN BEGIN 2
SAY ~Oh, well, of course, they were awesome... but have you listened to his latest stuff? I mean, admittedly, the initial offering was a little... unpolished I guess. His music's REALLY matured since then.~ GOTO BethKeepsBabbling
IF ~~ THEN BEGIN 3
SAY ~It's fantastic, isn't it?~ GOTO YayFrank
Excuse me while I code myself for the Infinity Engine *cough*imabiggeek*cough*
So you keep casting, each attempt telling you a little more about what currency is accepted here. The really good conversations are like one of those magical flyfishing montages from A River Runs Through It. The bad ones are about as painful as that IE Script I just wrote. Steve Martin and Heather Graham satirised this foible/phenomenon in Bowfinger, which I highly recommend you run out and rent this second, if only for that scene. (You should, however, watch the whole thing if you can. It's brilliant.)
The more diverse your aresenal of currency, the more adaptable your social interface. So get thee to a money changer! Because the point is really this:
We need to identify with one another. We need it desperately. I will swear to you Britney Spears could potentially achieve world peace. She gives American, Iraqi, French, British, Palestinian and Isreali teeny boppers something in common. Fine, I'll admit that it's an exceedingly vapid, trashy and painfully self-satirizing thing to have in common, but amongst certain populations I'm willing to settle for what I can get. It's a start.
Elvis. Marylin Monroe. Mozart. Michael *shudder* Jackson. Stephen King. We have our legends. Right Said Fred, Phoebe Cates, Corey Haim, MC Hammer. We have our flashes in the pan. However long a "star" shines, they create unprecedented opportunities for one person to identify another as human. Recognising a common love, a shared idea, identifies that humanoid flesh-thing as another human being. It will bleed red and shit brown just as you do. Why not try talking to it? It might be friendly, and you should probably conserve your bullets.
Give your children universal currency, people. We're dyin' out here.
So, in conclusion, I don't love Julia Roberts, although I'm sure she's a lovely person. I love the things she has represented to me in her characters. I love the new skins I've been in. (I love ending sentences with prepositions.) I love a great many entertainers and artists for that reason. But if you ask me, I'll probably say, "I love Julia Roberts", simply because the response I've had to her characters is symbolized by her image. I've transferred my love onto her, or expressed it that way anyhow, because all those experiences had her face. This is how we create the cult of celebrity and why we maintain it as a culture.
And whatever redeeming social value or complete lack thereof a piece of art might have, it is saying something. If you can say anything to your neighbour that can in some way transcend culture, context, history and religion; anything at ALL that will translate into awareness of commonality between you... then I suggest you say it, as loudly and as often as you can.
Even if that word is "Pepsi".
Over and out.
Aug. 19th, 2003
10:21 pm - Thoughts on a Tuesday night
I'm turning 30 this year, and I find that concept to be a little daunting. I have, however, decided to take an active interest in the process of fine lines appearing around my eyes instead of trampling overly-preened anorexics on my way to the Estee Lauder counter. I am still writing, I am still breathing, I try to remain in daily contact with God if only to say "Thank You" or "WHAT?!"
I'm finding life more fascinating than frightening lately, though I remain keenly aware there's much to be frightened of, what those things are, and why. I do what I can, I trust much to handle itself, and if I fuck up... well, it certainly won't be the first time. I feel, however, that I've learned a lot from my mistakes. I've tried to probe each and every pain for meaning, believing pointless pain to be a wasted experience.
I have been, I think, overly blessed, and I find that humbling... at the same time I struggle with self-absorption, narcissism, and arrogance. It's quite a conundrum. If I don't believe that I am right, and my ideas important, then certainly others won't. I need, like anything else essential to survival, to be heard, understood, and believed.
Very often, I am, and that seems to be enough.
We move through this life and we leave our impressions, deep or shallow, negligible or profound. I think we are sometimes possessed with the desire to make great impressions, to leave gouges in the cosmic consciousness, and so have our immortality. We pursue celebrity, martyrdom, wealth, sex with the idea that the greater a disturbance we cause in passing, the longer it will take for us to TRULY fade.
Yet, I submit that there is no one alive who has made a greater impression than any other, and that we are equally immortal, equally temporary. The most beloved, international celebrity; the bloodiest dictator; the most solitary hermit; an infant who lives only seconds after being born... It doesn't matter how many people love you, fear you, mourn you, revile you, or are completely unaware you exist. Life touches life in an endless chain reaction, on and on, the great tsunamis and the imperceptible ripples find equilibrium on a scale of infinite time.
Such an idea offends the free-market and capitalist structure of our ideologies. If I can make no more impact than anyone else, if no one's keeping score, if my years and deeds do not /accumulate/, then why do I bother?
That's an excellent question... however, I wholly encourage everyone to continue bothering while they consider they answer.
For my part, I think that every moment means nothing more than itself, every action is only what it is, and what we choose to do means to us only what it means to us. It may, what we choose to do, mean something else entirely to another, and for that there may be consequences. In the end, life is a personal accounting... it is the moment before death when it all condenses into a millisecond-long retrospective that lasts forever. It all means only what is means to you.
What WILL it mean to you?
Perhaps /that/ is Judgement. It is, I'm fairly certain, the only time in our lives we really know who we are, when we discover who we /were/.
I know only this: I want that moment to make me smile.
Feb. 25th, 2002
08:20 pm - Stupidity and Jail Time
You know, I've been contemplating coming back these few months, and I'd originally intended to start posting again when I was inspired and had something important to say. I am not inspired. I have nothing important to say.
But I need to vent before I have a panic attack, and there ain't nothin' like a little public venting.
Allow me to update those of you who are interested on the pathetic events of my life 'Meanwhile'. I lost my nice, cushy receptionist job with benefits and excellent salary in October 2001 due to the fact that I am TOO STUPID TO LIVE and was playing Russian roulette with my Zoloft intake (i.e. skipping dosages, forgetting to take it, whatever). This caused a dramatic decline in my performance and some pretty serious attendance issues. They were nice. They tried to work with me. Didn't work. I don't blame them a bit.
I spent a scary-ass month and a half unemployed, and finally got a part-time job working for the nicest man alive (an architect). Unfortunately, this job did not provide me with medical benefits, and the part-time (18-20 hours a week) salary didn't even cover my rent after taxes. What I should have done was get another part time job and just work my ass off. This I did /not/ do, lacking the general motivation and energy. Unable to afford the $180 a month for Zoloft (I did mention I was only making rent/keeping my utilities on with help from my family, right?), I lost this job as well.
But wait, there's more!
While I was still employed at the part-time job, in mid December, I went to get my driver's license renewed. I found out at this time that I'd been driving on a suspended license since December of the previous year due to a ticket I'd forgotten to pay. So I went and paid the fine. Hunky dory. I couldn't get back to the DMV that day, however, to renew my license. No hurry, I figured. I'd get to it within the week.
A few days later I was driving to work in the morning and ran a red-light accidentally. The cop pulled me over, and gave me a ticket for that AND /driving on a suspended license/ (not expired, suspended). There was another fine I had to pay at the DMV, it seems, to get the suspension lifted, above and beyond just paying the ticket.
There was a court date. I missed it. I'd lost the part-time job, was once again unemployed, and couldn't pay the court fees and fines anyhow. I had -zero- money. SO they issue a warrant, which I figured they'd do. I was depressed and being avoidant, and so I was putting off the whole mess. I knew it wouldn't go away, but I wanted to ignore it for as long as possible. So when I got the letter saying there was a warrant etc. I went to court. That was today.
So the judge reads off the charges, and starts explaining the penalties. Fine of X dollars for the first offense, more for the second, more for the third. Yadda yadda. Guess what? The FIRST OFFENSE for driving while suspended is $120 AND 30 days in jail. Not or, not and/or. AND. I thought I must have heard her wrong. So I asked, "Wait... are you telling me that if I plead guilty to driving while suspended that I'm going to go to JAIL?" All she said was, "Well, I suggest you plead not guilty."
Uhm... WHAT? How the hell am I supposed to plead not guilty to something I actually -did-? I didn't KNOW I was doing it, but for FUCK'S SAKE! Even if I had done it wittingly, how the hell does anyone justify putting someone in jail for a suspended driver's license? People get slapped on the wrist and given probation for assault and... What the HELL is going ON?!
So now I have a court date in March, and Im supposed to plead not guilty. But of course everything proves that I -am- guilty, because I -am-. I feel like I'm having a bad dream. I feel like I'm in an episode of the Twilight Zone. I'm panicking, and confused, and fucking at my wits end. What the hell would -happen- to me if I went to jail? I'm a motherfucking cream puff. They do terrible things to genteel, well-educated weaklings like me in jails.
I bet Canada's pretty nice this time of year...
Oct. 8th, 2001
10:14 am - We interrupt this program...
Hey guys :)
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I'll be leaving LiveJournal for some time. I'm afraid I don't know how long. During this hiatus I'll be neither updating my journal nor logging in to read the ones I follow.
However, I hope many of you will keep in touch. I've enjoyed being here, picking through the brains of those I know and love, and being presented with new and wonderful brains to pick ;)
I can be reached at email@example.com if anyone wants to drop a line during my absence.
Thank you all for being :) I've really enjoyed you. So, until later...
Paxsenarrion/Girl Goddess #9/Beth
Oct. 4th, 2001
09:03 pm - Everybody's doing it
In the interest of succumbing to peer pressure:
1) Name one person you regret dating/liking: A smarmy asshole named Jon who is currently performing his infamous mind fuckery on one of my best friends.
2) Name one person you can do without in your life: Same as above... he's not so much in my face, but as he is currently my friend's SO I find his existence to be a boil on the ass of my life.
3) Name one person of the same sex that you would kiss if you were unattached: I AM unattached - I will kiss you all! Bwhauhauhauhau! Hrm... but someone of the same sex? Well, all good things deserve an encore: pucker up, NEE! :)
4) Name one celebrity star that you find hot: Jeremy Northam
5) Name one LJer that you find hot: Are we going with opposite sex now? Oh, the options... I think I'll have to go with FatBlakDog.
6) Name one city that you find most appealing: Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
7) Favorite piece of jewelry: The tin good luck coin by little brother and I minted at the Franklin Institute in 1986 (I wear it as a necklace).
8) Favorite piece of clothing: a black shirt that is covered in the word FUCK like a million times.
9) Favorite place to be: my apartment - I know, I'm lame.
10) Favorite person to be with: Oof. Difficult question. Probably my friend Karen.
11) What's one regret that you have in life? Being on bad terms with my brother when he died.
12) Name one part of your body that you dislike most: my tummy :P
13) Name one part of your body that you love most: my hands
14) What's one thing you would like to do before you die? publish a novel
15) What's one thing you enjoy doing during your free time:
reading and playing intense RPG video games that take hours to complete and suck out your entire soul -- oh wait, I can't do those things simultaeneously, so that's two. Whatever. Take your pick.
16) Who is one person you'd like to meet (celebrity or not):
We didn't cover alive or dead in this one, so I'll give two again. Dead: Push's brother Shikor. Alive: Annie Dillard.
17) What is one thing that you like to own someday?: My own house.
18) What is one goal that you'd like to achieve?: I thought we covered this in 'before I die'. Well, let's see... I'd like to become more in control of life, ergo less stressed. Like remembering to pay the utilities BEFORE they shut off my electricity. That sort of thing.
19) What's your most favorite memory?: Running around North Carolina with my brother with a video camera, searching for Elvis and the Holy Grail.
20) What's one memory that you would like to erase?: Having an abortion.
04:49 pm - Icky Poo
My womb feels funny :P
*pokes at her belly*
Oct. 3rd, 2001
02:32 pm - Fucking Disturbing
I post here my response to a LJ entry by a young man who (allegedly) raped his boyfriend. I don't know if it was for real or not, but it smacked distinctly and disturbingly of sincerity, complete with semi-maniacal protests that he still loved "More than air" the boy he had brutally raped, and that said boy needed to know who owned him. He vacillated between remorselessly validating his act and hammering on how sorry he was.
Things that make you go, "Oy..."
I have to agree with the other commentators, too. You need some serious help. I'm not trying to make myself out to be better than you are, friend... I think all human beings are capable, under the right circumstances, pressures, with the right history, of doing tremendous wrong. But you've gotta accept - you've done a /tremendous/ wrong. And sure... his ass is probably healing nicely by now, but it's not just your harsh words that will leave emotional scars, the kind you spoke of, the ones that never fade. Your boyfriend was /violated/. He was RAPED. The trust and love he felt for you and whatever modicum of safety he felt in the world are destroyed. He may never regain them. That is some fucked up shit to do to someone, knowingly, INTENTIONALLY, and call it love.
Again, not meaning to be an asshole, but from what I'm reading, you have no idea what love is.
Love would have cut its dick off before raping the beloved. It's that simple.
As far as I can tell, you have no clear sense of self, no self-sustaining sense of worth, and no clearly defined purpose. You have no idea who you are, and so you need to OWN someone to give you meaning. No one will ever stay with you if you remain this way. Even those who are seduced by the darkness of the void are eventually repulsed by the cold. They will all leave you, just as he has. And good for them. You'd wind up destroying them with your need if they stayed.
So get some fuckin' help, already.
12:02 pm - Your dentist is a schlong tickler.
As I am still experiencing a lack of anything meaningful to say, I continue to pelt you, my viewing audience, with things that have tickled my funny-bone!
Behold... THE DIS GENERATOR!
Merely download this ingenious little bit of code, and soon you'll be slammin' your friends and loved ones with utterly COLD (and sometimes bordering nonsensical) lines like these:
"Let Jehova shout it from the mountain tops that you are a devil worshipping tonsil smuggler."
"Your bluish one eyed bandit is nearly 100% yogurt."
"Is there anyone who has not enjoyed your slobbering anus?"
"On the bathroom wall it says if you add a revolting slap happy shitty zit oozing dingleberry to a cum bubble then you get yourself."
And much, much more!
Admittedly, none of these have the charm of "Your Momma's got a glass eye with a fish in it", but they've been making me giggle all morning.
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