Chase the Wind, Touch the Sky

The Adventurous Life of a Homebody


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Not Being an Ass Pt 2: “PC”

I have a friend, Carlita.

(Okay, I don’t have a friend named Carlita.
But really you should have known that statement was a lie as soon as you read “I have a friend”)

BUT let’s say I have a friend Carlita, and let’s say that one day in grade school, Carlita is nommin on some fries and ketchup, when suddenly, she misses her mouth. She’s sitting there, fry smushed onto her face with a splat of ketchup on just the right of her nose, horrified. Keeping calm and trying to work swiftly and discreetly, she puts down the fry and grabs for her napkin to wipe it away when she hears –

“KETCHUP”.

This could have been a lot worse  if she were in Europe - they eat fries with mayonnaise here .___.

This could have been a lot worse if she were in Europe – they eat fries with mayonnaise here .___.

It’s too late. The children are unmerciful, and there is nothing she can do to change her fate. Everyone laughs and points and starts calling her “Ketchup”. Soon her teacher picks up on it too, then the other teachers, then the principle. The nickname sticks with her through high school, rearing its ugly head at the slightest of mistakes.

“HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY MISS THAT GOAL, KETCHUP??”

She writes her college essays on the struggles of becoming Ketchup, which makes for a great personal statement, but she is still somehow rejected from most schools, being waitlisted at her safety school. Can you blame them? Who wants to admit a Ketchup into their school??

The only thing she asks of you, her new roommate is that you please please PLEASE call it “catsup” when you feel the need to discuss any tomato-based condiments that may find their way onto burgers and hotdogs.

Do you respond with: “Don’t be so sensitive?”

The fact of the matter is, that for each of us, every word has different connotations and underlying meanings. All our lives, we learn to associate each word with a unique network of feelings, memories, and lexicons based on our previous experiences, made possible through the magic of neuroplasticity (NEUROLINGUISTS COME AT ME.)

This is how we science.

AND YET everywhere you hear people scoff at the very idea of being “PC”. Cartoons about how silly it is are everywhere (I have included one below because I know you are too incredibly lazy to do a quick google search). Even in academia, some people have gone so far as to call it cultural Marxism (melodramatic much?).

You’re tacky and I hate you.

BUT now that I know you understand the plight of those who are more sensitive to certain words (since you have been exposed to a moving, epic tale about a girl and her difficulties with all 57 varieties of Heinz condiments) we’re gonna skip right onto what up-and-coming non-ass can do to be a little bit more PC

1. Yup. Censor yourself.

Okay that sounds a little strong. But it’s important to know that you don’t have to express your beautiful, unique self in your beautiful unique way all the time. I know, it feels kind of weird not to say “OHMG THAT 134.5 FOOT WATER SLIDE WAS INSAAAAAAAAANE“, but someone nearby might not appreciate that phrasing, and it’s probably more important not to piss them off than to feel natural while expressing your enthusiasm for a slide that isn’t even the biggest in the world anymore.

2. Know what you’re saying?

“But isn’t a fag just a bundle of sticks or a ciga” –
Stop.
No.
If someone has told you that something is hurtful to them, or you’ve heard that a word can be hurtful to people, maybe you should spend some time looking into the history of whatever term or phrase is at stake and find out why it is offensive to begin with. The internet is pretty informative!

Good news: all it takes is a google search to learn the history behind why people want to rename the Washington Redskins
Bad news: I will not do this google search for you as I did with the cartoon oh wait look up there i already did whoops.

3. Know who you’re around

My good friend Leo (full name: Leonardo de CapriSun) is super cool and super trans*. You can tell he’s cool because he drew the picture of Carlita up there, and that is cool (I also hear he might have drawn a few other things before, i dunno, http://www.rorymidhani.com/)

That being said, there’s a certain term that lot of transfolk find offensive but he(and I) thinks it sounds…endearing?? Leo’s kinda weird.
Anyway, that means that on certain occasions, we have used the term privately in conversation with one another and both felt comfortable and safe.

Will either of us ever take the liberty of slingin it around other people who might be uncomfortable with it? No.
Does the fact that he’s trans* and I’m cis factor into this at all? No.
Will you do your best to know what the people around find hurtful and tailor your actions and speech to that? Yes, yes you will.

With allllll that in mind, I admit this: yes, sometimes people are silly and yes, sometimes “PC” is taken “too far”.

This image and other sexy comics like it can be found at http://chaoslife.findchaos.com/ =D

This image and other sexy comics like it can be found at http://chaoslife.findchaos.com/
=D

I present as an example an anecdote from my friend Jojo, who was working with his school’s LGBT group on how to give back to the community when one girl piped up:
“I think it’s offensive to call it ‘community service’ because, well…it’s not like we’re servants.”
(when I heard this the first time, i snorted and a little food came out of my mouth groosssssss)

First of all, I don’t appreciate the implication that she does not want to be associated with a blue collar working-class status, but that is another story.
I think that even in this misguided attempt at thinking critically about our language and actions, there is a place for discourse and understanding. “Could you please elaborate on your concerns?” “What aspect of ‘community service’ do you feel is problematic’ blah blah blah.

But certainly, the wrong thing to do in this situation is to dismiss her concerns outright. It is, after all, supposed to be a safe space.

I don’t really have an ending for this semi-organized stream of wordvomit, so I guess I’ll try and wrap up on a classy note:

Gnight, folks.


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We interrupt this long silence to bring you an urgent message

Don’t be alarmed, we’ll soon be back to silence and procrastinating on writing.

Just needed to write this list of events today:

-Superglued a makeshift earring in my earlobe
-Was told I could be my generation’s Carl Sagan
-Made a friend from the UK
-Gave fun talks about astrocytes and neglecting children
-Got neither an acceptance nor rejection
-Won crowd favorite =)
-Ate a shitton of little desserts.

All in all – pretty successful??


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Not Being an Ass Pt. 1: “Phases”

“You’re just going through a phase”

This phrase has spilled out of the mouths of so many parents, peers-who-think-they-know-better, and other well-meaning individuals, that it has now become a socially-acceptable dismissal of anyone’s feelings or experiences because –

Okay wow David, let’s slow the heck down there. That was WAY too many hyphens.

Okay Step1 to talking about what this really means: wtf even is a phase? I think it’s safe to say that a ‘phase’ in this context is implying that the ‘you’ you are right now is not the ‘you’ that you are going to eventually be. Or that you want to eventually be.

Maybe more simply, that you are not in your ‘Final Form’

It’s okay Frieza. You’re just going through a phase.

This is pretty silly in and of itself, since WE don’t know how we’re going to turn out, how in the world is this other person supposed to know? Unless you are from the future and about to tell me how many millions I am going to make and how sexy my future makeouts are going to be, don’t try and tell me what I’m supposed to turn out like, okay?

(Also please bring me to the future with you plz plz plz)

Okay, Step2: Wtf is that word ‘just’ doing there??

And here is where the real Ass-itude of this phrase comes in. That ‘just’. Because when someone tells you it’s ‘just’ a phase, you’re saying something along the lines of “I mean I know this is a big deal right now and you’re having all these THOUGHTS and FEELINGS but maybe you should just ignore those until you stop being all…this”

which, of course, is a DICK MOVE. You are not allowed to tell people that their experiences aren’t important because you think they are temporary.

Let’s go with some real-life examples, yeah? Take for instance, this kid:

At nearly 10 million views, Tom Daley’s coming out video served as a shocking revelation of both his same-sex relationship and the existence of his hitherto ignored youtube account (apparently there are 102 videos?!)

BUT the point here is that alongside Daley’s coming out was a surge of online dialogue (some more informed than others) about bi-erasure and the responses to coming out as bisexual (even though he never described himself as bi).
Including but not limited to ‘it’s just a phase’.
Even his grandparents responded with a related variation: “He’s too young to be making this decision”.
(Also: he is 19?! Granny wtf)

So 1) if you think it’s just ‘temporary’ when someone tells you they’re bisexual, and you’re implying they will for-sure end up straight or gay, then you are being dumb and please stop. This is about as in-depth as we’re gonna go.
BUT 2) If you think it’s just ‘temporary’ when someone tells you they’re bisexual – maybe it is but you should probably still not be an ass about it?

Maybe it is time for graphs, I like graphs. The only thing better than graphs, is headcanon queerinated Weasley brothers…
…in graph form.
Here is what some people imagine sexuality might be like:

In which I am incapable of drawing straight lines (PUN INTENDED)

In which I am incapable of drawing straight lines (PUN INTENDED)

Look at these Weasley brothers. They all fall neatly somewhere on the Kinsey scale and have an identity that can be cleanly defined. How orderly. And insanely unrealistic.

Charlie, on the other hand:

Hahah I am so sorry about the crappy quality of these visuals

Hahah I am so sorry about the crappy quality of these visuals

went through a lot of ‘phases’. And is still going through phases. And he’s learning a lot! And he might be shifting for the rest of his life, and that’s okay. AND he may want to talk to you about stuff, so it would probably be nice for him if you didn’t pretend his ‘rainbow phase’ wasn’t going to have an impact on who he is now and who he is going to be in the future.

(I wanted to do one for Bill too, but I could not draw in 3D with my crayons, and I would have needed a 3rd axis cuz Bill was agender for a while but lately he thinks he just really likes wearing dresses and his selfies are all muscley-flexy pics in sundresses)

This is not exactly what I was imagining but Wolverine in fancy dresses is still pretty awesome

I think we could have one more example, mostly because I would like to draw another graph.

There is one other example that stands out to me that is met with dismissal (particularly in teenagers/young adults) and that most people still don’t understand: depression.
And I want to let you know that depression, like queerness, isn’t the same for everyone who experiences it. Some people fight depression and struggle against it their whole lives. Some people suffer from depression and it goes into remission, with the only lasting reminders being memories of suffering and a line on a medical chart that says “has a history of depression”

GET IT? TONGUE DEPRESSORS????

GET IT? TONGUE DEPRESSORS????

THE POINT IS, if a teenager flops melodramatically on a couch next to you and says something like “UGH I AM SO DEPRESSED” (that’s what it sounds like to you, anyway), and you find yourself thinking “no, you are just hormonal and everything feels really dramatic to you right now”, then 1) no, you are not allowed to tell them they are not depressed and 2) even if they are gonna grow out of it, things really suck RIGHT NOW and please stop being a dickhead.

Conclusion: Patronization is never pretty, and it is the different phases in our lives that define who we are.

On that classy note, I’m gonna heat up some old pizza.

David, OUT.


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Which birthday present is the cutest?

So cute, I cannot even

So cute, I cannot even

This birthday present is the cutest

AND THIS IS HOW YOU CAN TELL:

YESSSSSSSSSSS EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS PERFECT (except for the fact that this unicorn only has 3 legs)

YESSSSSSSSSSS EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS PERFECT (except for the fact that this unicorn only has 3 legs)

(that says ‘sandwich’, btw :3)

IT HAS EVERYTHING! IT HAS:

SUPERHEROES

Snapshot_20131130_2

MONEYS

Tasty :3

Tasty :3

HUNGRY GAMES

The focus of this photo is supposed to be the picture, not my nose.

The focus of this photo is supposed to be the picture, not my nose.

End of story: I am a happy camper. =] Thanks Rory!