I will be away from the blogosphere for a little bit and am sorry if I don’t respond to comments promptly.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
To remake is to make anew or in a different form.
While brainstorming what to write for this week’s episode, I realized that I had already started the post as a comment–and all because of something from the ever-inspiring Rarasaur and Grayson Queen! Recently I shared a memory with this dynamic duo as a response to “Speak Geek to me Shakespeare,” which was posted on their collective blog: The Queen Creative. It’s a perfect fit for the remake theme, so I’m going to be remaking it for you today. Oh my, a remake of a remake. I do believe the creators of Community would be proud!
One day, my English Lit. teacher gave my best friend’s and I an excuse to fly our freak flag: a semester assignment prompting us to do a video remake of a scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Don’t ask me where the idea came from, but we decided to apply the play to the classic Spaghetti western: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Despite the plot of the movie not really lining up with Romeo and Juliet, it worked out pretty well. We chose to film the scene where Mercutio kills Tybalt and is then killed by Romeo: Romeo was The Good, Tybalt The Bad, and Mercutio the Ugly.
This is some of the most fun I’ve ever had. We put together costumes–I played Mercutio, wearing an ill-fitting, child-sized mailman costume; Romeo wore a large poncho and jeans with a white hat; Juliet wore a 1970s bridesmaid gown; and Tybalt (who was also Juliet) wore all black with a black cowboy hat. We made swords out of dowel rods and created five O’clock shadow with makeup. Thus, we became a group of sword-wielding cowboy hermaphrodites strolling down the antiquated town square of our local Pioneer Museum.
Together, we learned that acting is not easy. Even playing dead becomes difficult when a fly is sneaking up your nostril as you try not to breath in your constrictive mailman costume. We also learned that filming takes a long time to create a short video, and that editing takes even longer. The night before our project was due we realized we were several minutes shy of a six minute requirement, and we scrambled to film the next scene of the play in which the Friar and Juliet’s nurse convince Romeo to flee.
With an old blanket and some rope I became a monk, and a Navajo print nightgown and beaded headband made the former Juliet into her own Native American nurse. It went well considering that we had to film this bit with no script in one of our backyards. The Nurse urged Romeo to travel to Mantua by extolling the virtues of their new McDonald’s and lovely botanical gardens while the Monk, trying not to giggle, called him a moron for killing Tybalt. Romeo hammed up the drama, wailing over having to leave his beloved Juliet who now stood next to him as an Indian princess and had recently been stabbed by him as Tybalt.
Afterwards we edited until dawn, guzzled coffee, and dragged ourselves to school the next day. Our teacher loved it, our classmates seemed confused (especially when Romeo fled from killing Tybalt atop his lightening-fast stick horse), and we tried very hard to suppress both laughter and embarrassment as it played before our peers.*clicking on an image will take you to its source.
I’d like to thank Rarasaur for giving me this excuse with Sortaginger’s suggested Prompts for the Promptless segment this week: Gallows Humor!
Really, who does Gallows Humor better than Monty Python (well, aside from the fellows who create South Park)? Whether traversing plague-infested England and admonishing people to bring out yer dead,
extolling the ex-virtues of an ex-parrot,
or harvesting organs before the harbinger has technically expired,
their view of history and the present brings an unexpected humor to the darkest travails of humanity. One could say their chief weapon is surprise, though we cannot forget their almost fanatical devotion to the pope either.
Honestly, I love anything that can make a person laugh at something taboo, serious, or dark. The reason being that learning to laugh at a thing removes its power over ourselves. Fear does little more than restrain us from moving forward. Laughter is both empowering and uplifting, and finding the humor in the grief simply highlights the human weaknesses which caused it in the first place. This serves to remind us that grief and sorrow are
but a wee bite small part of life.
Besides, whenever life gets you down, Mrs.Brown and things seem hard or tough
and people are stupid, obnoxious or daft
and you feel that you’ve had quite enough,
look at gratuitous pictures of penises:
or listen to this song:
Above all remember this: if we can learn to laugh at all the darkness in the world we may gain the courage necessary to stand up to it, bringing about a day when we can sail off into the sunset together–moving against the tides of Westward expansion in all its forms. A wee band of merry pirates who will become capable of taking back this ship and setting a better course for humanity.
Note: clicking on an image will take you to its source.
I often find myself in situations where I have more questions than answers. Even in finite studies, like mathematics, every time I find an answer, I reveal 3 more questions. In spiritual matters, this ratio is magnified ten fold.
Last night, Dave and I watched a documentary called Kumaré, the "True Story of a False Prophet", and all day today my mind has been overwhelmed with questions.
THE EARLY YEARS
He was born during the Second World War, in Montreal, in a French-speaking Catholic family. His mother gave birth to eleven children—he was the eldest, and the only boy. When he was in grade four, he was removed from school, and worked as a store clerk to provide food for the thirteen mouths to feed. He was sexually assaulted by the store owner, removed from his first job, and placed elsewhere.
Usually I don’t do the Daily Post Prompts, the reason being that my brain runs across new ideas to write about every ten minutes or so, but this week their prompts have been awesome fun. I’ve also been putting a lot of my writing/creative energy towards a novel, and planning for the future of new and old segments on this site.
Anyway, the prompt today asks us to describe our ultimate escape plan and what we are escaping from. I have one of these! It’s kind of weird . . .
The town I grew up in is strange (I feel like I’ve said that before. . .) and one of the strange things about it is that sexual abuse and harassment seemed to be rather commonplace. What my mom describes as normal when she was younger is way worse than what I saw/heard in my day, but I still knew far too many people who had been victimized in their life (honestly, one is far too many, we really need a better discourse on this stuff).
Anyway, my parents have always felt that the best way to equip your child for the dangers in life is to be honest with them about those dangers. So, I knew not only to be careful of strangers, but of adults and older children in general, what behaviors to watch for, and why I should be careful of them. This helped tremendously because I was a friendly kid, and knowing what behavior to watch out for helped me discern between who was acting strangely in a dangerous way and who was not. This is important because threats in your child’s life do not always come from strangers–what was happening in the Catholic church is a glaring example of that.
Okay, that was a bit of a tangent. Anyway, as I got a little older and took some self-defense courses, I devised a strategy to escape an attacker in my head. I wasn’t necessarily afraid, but I had just found out that a friend of mine had sustained abuse from another student when she was younger and realized how right my parents were. I wanted to be prepared in case I needed to hurt someone badly enough to give myself a running head start in a dangerous situation.
My plan was to administer a swift kick to the nuts, while the person’s head came down as a reaction to pain I would bring my knee up into their face, probably breaking their nose. Then I would take a quick step back and bring my leg up to kick their head down, sending them sprawling to the ground. One swift kick to the ribs for good measure, then it would be time to run like hell.
Yeah, I had some violent tendencies and anger issues when I was a kid. I knew a lot of people who had been abused in various ways, and I think that’s where a lot of the anger came from. Actually, I know that’s where it came from because my temper triggers often revolved around feeling as though someone was messing with a person I loved, or feeling helpless to help someone in a bad situation.
Obviously, it’s really crappy that I thought like this at that age. This says more about our society than it does of me. My parents weren’t fear-mongering, I know too many people (some not from my hometown) who have been victimized. We have some incredibly strange and damaging notions on sexuality in this country, and I do think that it is creating what is being referred to as a “rape culture.”
And women are not the only people who need to worry about this. Men are victimized too. Men are also subject to the same negative effects of standardized ideals of body image, and many men are taught that to allow their sensitive side to affect who they are is tantamount to being a woman.
What in the hell is wrong with us?
Guess what: I fart, I belch, sometimes I speak in ways that are not ladylike. I have some violent tendencies, I have a mustache (yep, that’s right, it’s not big but it’s there). I’m still a woman. I know men who cry, who preen, who like to take longer in front of the mirror than would be considered normal: they are still men. There are differences between genders, physical and emotional, but they are not nearly so well-defined as we would like to pretend they are. Many of those differences have been exaggerated or created over time, and I really hate to see the idea of the manly man broken down as an advertising ploy to sell grooming products and not because it is good for the overall well-being of humanity. This isn’t going to solve anything, it’s just going to create more problems.
Those problems being that we oversexualize everything. Sex sells, and we buy it. We buy the products and we buy the notions, and all of us suffer for it. We cover the breasts on the statue representing the spirit of justice (journalists, think about the possible effect of what you do and not about how great that wiseacre photograph might be) while glorifying all sorts of lewd behavior in television shows and advertisements. We glorify an unobtainable body image for both sexes, then pump misinformation regarding nutrition out to the public which ensures that most people will not be able to maintain a healthy weight–unless, of course, you buy into the major weight loss programs offered on t.v. . . .
Houston, we have a problem.
The solution? We talk about it. So I’m talking, and I’m researching, and I’m partnering with people who have way more knowledge than myself so I can help. There is a lot of good and accurate information regarding nutrition and how the human body functions out there, and I will be bringing some of this to you every other Wednesday through Eating for Happiness. With the help of my Mother-in-law, who is very well educated when it comes to nutrition and how to create practical meal plans for your family (through both schooling and practice), I will be bringing you easily digestible information on how to live a healthier life. Twice a month the posts will deal specifically with nutrition, sometimes including recipes and practical plans for implementation. The other two Wednesdays a month I will be providing some thoughts on body image issues and how they affect society (with resources). I’m not the only one talking about either of these things, and I will always point you towards others who are because knowledge is power (yeah!).
- Ilya Fostiy. Verdict | Inside My Glitching Mind
- Escape! – I’m Afraid Of The Dark
- 3rd April Daily Prompt: Escape! | Family Photos Food & Craft
- 58/366 – The Great Escape | Camera Girl
- Daily Prompt: Escape! | The Gozum Show
- Go fly a kite… | Sweet Somethings
- The Greatest Escape | The Jittery Goat
- Singaporean sleeplessness | Mind Heart Journeys
- Daily Prompt: Escape Plan for Tornado | My Daily Prompt Blog
- Daily Prompt: Escape! « Mama Bear Musings
- Escaping the future | Prompt Queen
- Daily Prompt: Escape! 3rd April, 2013 | ittikorn1994
- The Hidden Cottage | Hope* the happy hugger
- Ready to Quit | Daily Prompt: Escape! | likereadingontrains
- Daily Prompt: Escape! | Of Glass & Paper
- Escape from the demons of my mind | My unsorted thoughts
- Daily Prompt: Escape! | Dianaruth’s Journal
- Don’t look back | Spunky Wayfarer
- Daily Prompt: Escape! | JUkk
- My worst nightmare | The Local Lens
- Embrace | Conversations
- Escape | Miss Pelican’s Perch
- Human Hearts… | Haiku By Ku
- Daily Prompt: The Pen | One Starving Activist
- Escape! | Drama Queen Under the Sun
- Daily Prompt: Escape! | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Escape! | The Nameless One
- Daily Prompt: Escape! | My Atheist Blog
- The Ultimate Escape | The Story Grey
So lately I’ve noticed something: a lot of people I know (in both real and virtual life) either are, or have been, weighed down by the negative side of things. Myself included. I have only one thing to say to that:
Satan, get out.
You know that old adage, the greatest thing the devil ever did is convince the World he didn’t exist? Well, it’s very true. Satan, evil, the negative side of things (there are a lot of names for it, use your own if the word “satan” throws you off) is the master of lies. Evil doesn’t work by direct action. It is an indirect action, a voice whispering in your ear that you are not good enough, you are not capable, that you are bad. It’s your shin banging against a table in the middle of the night (sometimes literally), it’s all those little things that happen to disrupt your day, your mood, and–above all–your belief in yourself.
holes happen because they listen to this voice, and eventually it becomes the thing that guides them. I don’t think this is a conscious decision, it is more a slow attrition. This carries with it the scary implication that holes started out with a strong connection to the divine that soured. Everyone is connected, some people seem to feel it more. While this is also a mingling of conscious and subconscious choice, the ultimate CHOICE to be good must always be a conscious one; and that is the essence of the matter really. Darkness can run away with you, but free will dictates that you must choose to be good.
No, this doesn’t excuse the bad actions of others. It may not be a completely conscious choice to be bad, but most people reach points where they can see themselves a little more clearly: and in those times of clarity the choice is before them. It is a person’s responsibility in life to make the choice to be good–no matter what circumstances that person may carry with them to explain away why they don’t make the choice.
No, it doesn’t excuse their actions, but it does make it easier to love a person despite the bad things they may do. Could you imagine being carried away on this current? I’ve coasted it before: it is the loneliest, angriest, most desperate feeling, full of self-loathing and hopelessness. This rarely shows on the surface, most of the time people going through this seem very happy–most times people going through this have convinced themselves they are happy and it is everyone else that has something wrong with them.
I believe people caught in this current have run away with our world, and I also believe that it is our time to take it back.
So, if you find yourself feeling awful about yourself for no reason. If you keep getting sick, kicked in the shins, spat at, slapped in the face; if it seems like everything you try to do is just taking you six steps back for the the three you got ahead; if depression darkens your doorway; if the voice in your head tells you to just give up because it’s hopeless DON’T BACK DOWN.
You are doing what is right in this world. No matter how small your actions seem, you are helping people. Maybe it’s just one person, maybe it’s a hundred–it doesn’t matter. Something you are doing is slowly turning that tide, and satan can ‘t stand losing even a little ground. It is time for us to stand our ground, and here’s a little tool to help you do just that–something my mother taught me.
Stand up, puff out your chest, put out your right hand with palm facing out, and muster as much energy as you can to put behind these words, spoken in a clear and commanding voice: SATAN, GET OUT. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN MY LIFE OR IN MY HOME. I DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR LIES. GET OUT, IN THE NAME OF GOD I COMMAND YOU.
This is essential. Making the choice to be good is conscious, and so is the choice not to listen to satan’s lies. God (and again, God and the divine is so much bigger than words, so use whichever ones feel comfortable to you) grants free will to people, and so He can only hold evil at bay temporarily. It is up to you, to each of us, to tell it to leave; to use our power to banish evil from our world. Anytime you feel like you are being bothered by something, anytime you have deeply negative thoughts that seemingly come from nowhere–stand up and command darkness out of your life. It might try to sneak back in at a later time, so just stand up and do it again.
You have so much potential, don’t let anything or anyone tell you otherwise: you are a beautiful reflection of the divine.
Listen to the words of Tom Petty: stand your ground, don’t back down.
I follow the same slow steps towards knowledge even when I am certain my capability is limited. It’s the process of learning that’s important to me. It’s the steps of study that I enjoy.
While I enjoy the learning process as much as any other nerd/geek/weirdo, for me the best part is when everything comes together. I get so excited by the idea of this end product that I find myself impatiently racing towards it. My strength at learning has always lain within my ability to hone in on the crucial aspects of something. I tear through information, ripping out the heart of the matter and adding it to the mess of organs already gathered from other corporeal bodies of knowledge. Didn’t know learning was such a violent process, eh? Well, sometimes it is.
To put it in nicer terms: when I get
a new idea(s) to follow I begin to feel like a kid on December 1st. I know that Santa Clause is coming with a sack of goodies, but there is a near insufferable number of days to wait (things to read/experience/find) before he arrives/the idea comes full circle.
When Christmas finally comes, there is a flurry of writing.
I read at a painfully slow pace, but I can write 1500 in under half an hour with little to no editing necessary. I honed this skill in college (thank you New College Anthropology department and procrastination!).
My post That’s Schadenfreude, Baby! took me at least a week to research. Really, it took me longer because I’d already been researching related subjects for various book projects (there’s a reason so much of my writing relates). I wrote it in under half an hour. Words have always been my strong point, I talk pretty much the same as I write (and have been laughed at for it before), so once the ideas are fully baked the rest just kind of happens.
On the flip side of this, if I try writing before the ideas are ready I end up with a mess, and one that takes a while to sort through. It took me a bit to learn the difference between laziness and simply sitting down to write too early. Now I’ve learned to switch gears and go on to another topic until the one I’m mucking up feels right (mostly).
The negative side of this is that I have large gaping holes in my knowledge. I deal in generalizations and leave out the specifics, which often leaves me silent in conversation. Sometimes–okay, often–I’m actually embarrassed to speak up because, while I understand the larger ideas associated with what others are talking about, I could no more discuss the specifics than I could perform brain surgery.
History is where this lack of knowledge really shines through. My paltry hodgepodge of facts is just enough to make me understand how little I actually know. History is a multifaceted beast (what is it with me and beasts lately?) that I have yet to tame. Has anyone, really? I’ve come to learn that history is in the eye of the beholder (and heritage in the eye of the beholden). To truly know about the past requires a vast amount of reading and study as no one source can be trusted. Instead it requires a person to piece together and critically assess multiple accounts, take a step back, and put it all together. The thought of this makes me both excited and weary.
I think this may be why I like the idea of Wu Wei so much. The notion of thoughtless thought feels very close to what I do. I go through periods of seeking where the same ideas seem to pop up everywhere. I understand that this is because I’ve seen it and am focusing on it, so my brain picks it out. Why does no one ever ask the question of “why is my brain focusing on this one specific idea?” Our brains are tricky things, and they often run away with ourselves, we should pay more attention to that.
Anyway, during these periods of seeking, I store a lot of information. Picking out what seems important and dumping the rest–this is not a conscious process. At the end of this process (there are usually more than one happening at once, and often they converge), I am left with a complete picture made up of a bunch of other pictures–kind of like pointilism.
This is both a helpful and hurtful ability and some days it leaves me feeling very stupid.
What are your thoughts? What is your learning process like?
Also, I apologize if the whole “I write sooooooo fast” thing seems braggy. My goal was an honest assessment of my strengths and weaknesses, words are my strength (in more ways than one).
to act with love,
rendering creative hands that leave you
as a signature in your actions.
The daily act of Meraki is
a life that flows as a river’s course
set by the interplay of land and sky.
Direction arising as naturally as a tide
that pulls ever towards the sea.
Spurn your mind,
love your actions,
and life will arise
I’ve changed some things up on my blog and thought I’d take a quick minute to tell you about them!
I have a new about page, Beginnings is still there, but now there is another section too! In addition, under the “About Me” tab you will also find a “Field Guide”. I noticed that people seemed to be searching for things quite often, and unsuccessfully (I know that last part because I’d see the same search topic come up under a lot of different word combinations in a short period of time). The Guide explains different things available on my blog and–more importantly–includes links by either month and year, or subject!
I also added a section called “Ponderings Pond” to the main menu. It’s a space where people can share ideas and resources, be sure to check it out. I will respond to all comments made in this section (though maybe not immediately).
I’ve also changed my main logo and the background. How do you like the pondering monsters? They feed off your thoughts, MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA . . .ha!
Dun dun DUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!
wELL FOLKS, IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED, HOLD ON, TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES . .
There, that’s better.
Well Folks, it’s finally happened, there’s no feature for today! Cue panic (quick, everybody start looting!).
I have been in a period of transition lately–reorganizing this blog, finishing up projects, and starting new projects–so I haven’t given WTOE its due attention this week. Sorry for that, funny thing is some of the reorganization and changes (coming to you live on Monday) have to do with WTOE! Anyway, today I will be rounding out my thoughts on art a little better and writing on some of my favorite artists and what their work has meant to me.
I just added the answer from Madeline Laughs to the Facebook gallery! Check it out here!
If you have some art lying around, please don’t hesitate to send it along to ponderingspawned at gmail dot com! I don’t have anything to showcase for tomorrow. If you submit, please remember to answer the question of “what drives you to create?”
Also, I’m playing around with the idea of moving the discussion to Reddit, let me know what you think! I have not used Reddit much, so input from anyone who does use it will be greatly appreciated!
Secrets and Stew
The ants go marching two by two . . hurrah . . . hurrah!
The ants go marching two by two . . . hurrah . . .hurrah!
The ants go marching two by two, the little one stops n’ ties his shoe
And they all go marching down
Into the ground
Out of the rain . . . boom boom boo—no, no, N—AAAEEEEee. . .
The little boy’s song was interrupted again. Bored, he flipped out his magnifying glass and started little fires with the leaves next to the ants. The idea of catching one of them in his rays had never crossed his mind, he was a gentle boy at heart and wouldn’t have done it even if it had. He spent afternoons here, at the cellar doors, watching as the ants marched in straight, serious lines through the cracks.