Tuesday, March 25, 2008

RANDOM AWESOME: Little Girls Rock the H*ll Out

I'm not into children, at all. I don't want to have any and I'm sorry if that makes me evil or somehow femininely deficient. But if I had a little girl I would be so down for this:

Willie Mae Mini Rock Camp for Girls promises to train little wannabe prissy wenches into little awesome chicks...little awesome chicks with guitars! Or drums, bass, and turntables! Founded in 2004, the camp is non-profit and "is founded on the proposition that music can serve as a powerful tool of self-expression and self-esteem-building for girls and young women, and can help combat racism and stereotypes by building bridges of communication and shared experience among girls from diverse communities." That's a tall order but they've been going strong all this time and a movie about the original Portland camp is coming out soon in theaters.

The summer program, a week long intensive is located (as if you couldn't have guessed) in Brooklyn. Oh wait, I almost forgot the best part --- the campers write their own songs too! This year promises grrrrl rockers/teachers like Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) and Kimya Dawson (Moldy Peaches).

Like most people, I have a secret dream to be a part of a band, and even though my friends would guess I'd rather be in Danity Kane shaking it in hiphuggers and glitter, there is something to be desired about being in a crazy rock band screaming my head off. Sadly, the camp only takes girls between 8 and 18...my dreams go deferred once again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

LIFE & TIMES: The Bitch

There was a time in my life not so long ago that I began many sentences with the phrase “Not to sound like a bitch, but…” And I saw no problem with that statement until I read an article where the author noted that if you start a sentence with “Not to sound mean but…”, the chances are that what you’re about to say is mean. And you know that it’s mean, so why dissemble about it?
After reading that article I had an epiphany. I still often feel the need to put a disclaimer on myself, especially for people that don’t know me well. More often than not, I’m likely to say “I know this is bitchy but whatever, I’m a bitch and this is what I have to say.” When did the word bitch become the new ‘queer’? Or the new ‘N word’? Is bitch the newest of a crop of derogatory words that the intended victim has turned into a celebration of sorts?
In one of my favorite episodes of “The Simpsons”, Homer finds himself confronted with a gay man and proceeds to tell him that he hates when gays used the word queer to describe themselves. I quote “That’s the word we came up with to talk about you!” Isn’t bitch just more of the same? Many women are more inclined than not to call themselves a bitch before anyone else has the chance to do it for them. I know that I’m one of those women.
The antiquated belief that argumentative, stubborn, tactless women, (i.e. strong women who say what’s on their minds) are bitches still holds true today. I feel lucky that I work in an industry that is largely female-dominated and nurtures the type of balls-busting female I’ve always admired. But as secure as I sound, I definitely worry that perhaps my strong personality is why I’m single. Or maybe that I am perceived largely as a bitch by any and everybody I meet. But is being a bitch so bad??
I believe that most people know more about themselves than they’d like to admit to. I think that a huge part of becoming an adult is being able to admit and embrace your own shortcomings. So here’s my confession: I’m an arrogant, domineering, mean sometimes, busybody and sometimes downright bitchy. However, as one of my personal heroines, Tina Fey noted in a past episode of SNL “I’m a bitch…deal with it. Bitches get stuff done. Bitch is the new Black.”

Watch Miss Fey's full appearance here, the YouTube video is too shitty to use.

LIFE & TIMES: The Asshole: And other friends near and dear to your heart.

So I'm attempting to actually keep writing, and allow other people to read what I write even though I have a crippling fear of people hating the things I create. Which is why I stick to being a tiny cog in a large fashion machine. I recently met the editor/creator of a beautifully designed online magazine: PlaztikMag.com. And she has allowed me to submit some of my blathering for her site. I don't know if she'll like it or use it, but since I wrote it anyway, I'm posting my first article (in it's long-ass entirety---she'll probably edit it down) below. And if it actually makes it to her site, I'll keep everyone in the loop and pass it on.

Our fashion editor posed this question to me over dinner: Why is there always one asshole in every group of friends? And the more I thought about, the more it irked me. Because it’s true. It never matters how cool your crew is, how much you all love and care for each other, one of you is inevitably always an asshole. Why is that?
Maybe it’s because all friends inevitably fall into easy compartments. And while most, if not all people fall into more than one category, all of your friends will fall into one.

The Center: The one that wants you all to bond and be BFFs forever and ever and ever. If she is a girl, she will always call you all ladies, as in ”Ladies, let’s all hang out together!” and “Ladies, I miss us!” If he’s a male, he’s already planned on you being in his wedding and he’s single.
Con: The Center will bug out if anyone else takes the reins as social director and perhaps morph into The Asshole-Passive Aggressive.

The Partier: Similar to The Center in the desire to socialize, different in that it’s not about you at all. The Partier is always down for whatever with whoever ‘cause the party never stops.
Con: At some point the party stops and the Partier grows up. Or this friend gets to be the old, bitter person at the bar, wondering what happened to their life?

The Funny one: Feeling down? This hilarious buddy is the one to call. He/she is full of jokes guaranteed to keep you rolling for hours. And not only is this friend funny, everything around them is comical. Boring party +funny friend = awesome times.
Con: As the suicide/overdose rate of comedians has proven, funny people are always crying on the inside and at some point The Funny friend will become depressed and you won’t know how to relate to them any more. Also risk of turning into Asshole-Funny.

The Mom: He/she cares about you so much and will tell you the truth about yourself in a loving way. And how to fix your issues and file your taxes. This friend is like your mom if your mom split 40s with you at house parties.
Con: While helpful, sometimes the lectures get tiresome, so it’s important that your Mom friend be down for dancing and partying, not just long discussions at the local café.

The Dominant One: Decisions, decisions. Decisions are in no way difficult for the dominant one, because he/she always goes with their gut and gets down to business. It’s not so much that everyone else is wrong; it’s more like The Dominant One is always right.
Pro: It’s hard to think for yourself all the time!

The Pushover: This friend is down for whatever, whenever and anything you want to do. Dinner? Your choice. Movies? Whatever you want to see. A friend like this is always necessary because they are easiest to make plans with, hang out with, and even live with because of their amazing adaptability to most situations.
Con: The Pushover will push back someday and become a total brat, because being a complete sucker is hard for most people.

The Come and Go Friend: He’s here, he’s there, he’s nowhere. He’s your own Come and Go Friend. Around enough to still be friends, but doesn’t stick around long enough to have fights with anyone or being annoying in any way. This is the friend you always think of fondly, and wish that you saw more of.
Con: Absolutely nothing. This friend is always awesome.

The Boyfriend Girl: She’s in love, and now you’ll never see her again. Unless she’s got the boyfriend in tow. Not to be confused with The Come and Go Friend: The Boyfriend Girl (or Girlfriend Boy) has left you for love.
Pro: If the significant other is cool you’ve made a new friend. If not, well, you didn’t need all those pesky friends anyway.

The Asshole: Most important to know, this guy or girl has no idea they are The Asshole. And they might never realize it, depending on how narcissistic they are. He/she isn’t mean to everyone, all the time, because that would result in a complete desertion by any and all friends. But there is enough concentrated snarky/bitch-ass/snottiness that the vast majority of said crew will spend way too much time thinking about how much The Asshole sucks. Long discussions going back to when one first met this bastard will ensue, causing questions like: “Why am I still friends with this person?” and “How do I cut this person off without losing all of our mutual friends?” There is no answer to that one, because that is the mark of a true asshole. Some of your friends still love and care about this beotch.
Pro: Any of your trangressions will look like child’s play next to this SOB’s patented blend of sarcasm, back-stabbing and resentment.

Of course, assholes come in all shapes and sizes. They are modified by age, sex, temperament…

Asshole-Aggressive: Just a jerk. No rhyme, reason or even finesse about it.

Asshole-Passive Aggressive: Are you mad at me? I don’t know and even after you get over it I’ll never know why. Maybe it stems from bizarre bouts of hidden jealousy stemming from an incidence long ago. Maybe I inadvertently stepped on your cat’s tail. You’re nice to my face, a bitch behind my back and when you’re actively pissed off you’re even nicer.

Asshole-Funny: I never knew I was funny enough to be the subject of all of your jokes. But because you’re hilarious I guess I have to take it.

Asshole-Narcissist: A regular conversation goes like this:

Person #1: Me, me, me. You?
Person #2: Oh, me, me, me. You?

A conversation with the Asshole-Narcissist is more like this:

Person #1: Me, me, me. You?
A-N: Oh, me, me, me. Me, me, me.
Person #1: That’s great! Me, me---
A-N: And also, me, me, me. Me, me, me. And then, me, me, me, me, me, me…….

Why is one friend always the asshole? After much research I’ve realized that one friend has to be an asshole to balance everything out. Does the asshole always stay that way? I don’t think so, because you’d cut that person out of your life forever if they remained the spawn of evil for any great length of time. People transition and change. But into every life an asshole will come.

And as for my own crew of lady-friends? Well, I’m not telling…