March 11, 2009

Some Understandings


To start off, I'd like to give thanks to the local Indian man who runs the nearby liquor store. I was buying a bottle of scotch and, instead of letting me do that, he pointed me to the gift package. The same size bottle of the same Johnny Walker complete with 2 tumblers with the Johnny Walker emblem and logo tastefully placed on them, all for the same price. Kudos, sir. I'll be enjoying these.

Secondly, I want to thank Nickolai. Not his real name, but those who know me will know who it is. I normally am not a fan of anything "rap" oriented in the slightest. I can sometimes listen to much older rap at very rare intervals. The only enjoyable exception so far has been Linkin Park, until now. He told me about the Flobots. At first I groaned, I'll admit. These are the same folks who brought us the "Handlebars" song.

After taking my time with some other songs and finding the violin plays prominent notes as well as a strong focus on the bass guitar, rather than purely tired drum beats. The lyrics are powerful and potent. It's an interesting combination. Particularly some of the YouTube videos, actually. I like the song "We Are Winning" and the song "Rise".

The sad part about these songs is that while I am very happy to hear the message presented, I fear it is being misinterpreted by most of the youth who hear them. While Nickolai and I find messages of community and working together to better the situation we are in as well as the world around us, a brief net search results in most people praising the idea of Anarchy and destroying others to achieve their own idea of the "ideal". I don't think that's the message being put out by the artist. As far as I can tell, it's one of peace through working together and understanding.

While I personally don't believe that Utopia is possible, I certainly think the kind of help and bonding that people were able to show after 9/11 and other tragedies is something unique. Sometimes I wonder if the very idea of "fear" or "tragedy" is or has been used to try to maintain that unity. While I certainly understand and agree with the need for order and the like, I don't agree that the police and other agencies of the government are intending to hurt the populace. I can't say honestly that I have ever met someone in the police or the military who joined just so that they could hurt people and ruin their lives.

The funny thing is that my Thanks have seem to run over my initial reason for posting, which was much less serious than the items I presented previously.

My original reason for posting was more of a humorous sort. I believe that I may have finally figured out why women typically win arguments! Again, remember that this is more of an observation and less serious than what I wrote before.

A few days ago, I was unable to sleep due to the neighborhood kids outside. I work late nights, so it's not uncommon for the local kids to wake me up. This time was interesting though. I was laying in bed and listening to two little girls playing outside. I've seen them before. One is something like 5ish and the other more like 3 or 4. They were racing up and down the sidewalks outside the apartment complex. The older one would sometimes lose the race, but then turn to the younger one who had won and tell her she'd lost. The younger one, upset, would inquire as to why. The older one would say that the younger one had not followed the rules. Of course, this begs the question. "What rules?"

At this point, the older one would expound upon the something the younger had not done, like putting her arms in the air as she crossed the finish line. Or she had not jumped over the finish line. Or she had not touched her feet after she crossed the line. Or she had not spun in circles after she crossed the line.

Notice, I'm being VERY specific with the "AFTER SHE CROSSED THE LINE" portion. If men "cross the line", then "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". Also, notice that the rules of the engagement or "race" had been changed to suit the older. That being the case, the rules are subject to change and never solid, no matter what basis of fact there may be. A win is suddenly a loss. Crossing the line in the race does not equal a win.

Similarly, if you've ever seen boys and girls playing "House" as children, the little boy will try something and the little girl will yell at them, telling them that what they did was "against the rules". Dumbfounded, you'll see the little boy either stop complying completely to this game and go do something else, or try to comply and understand. Either that or the little girl will tell an adult that the boy isn't playing by her rules. Strange... It sounds remarkably similar to real life at times, or at least stereotypical real life. The adult in that situation usually becomes the court of law and divorce lawyers. Same with when he just stops complying and wanders off.

That said, it's just interesting to see that kind of interaction, even between two girls. I have seen it between women occasionally though, where one takes a more "alpha" role and the others around her fall into line. If you look at teenage females, it's more obvious. There's usually one "alpha" girl and the rest follow her in a sort of hen house mentality.

Of course there are always exceptions to each generality, but after spending a lot of time listening to stand-up comedians both male and female who talk about their married life or relationships, it's astonishing at times how close they are to the truth. Of course, that may be one reason I like them so much. They aren't always just trying to be funny, but also try to convey a message, as exaggerated as it may be. If people were able to separate the truth from the comedic exaggeration, they'd be able to see some of the most raw and true societal commentary that is available.

Comedy, as much as it is meant for entertainment, also does a very good job of making things like politics and issues of the day accessible. Things like "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" are popular not only for their humor, but also for their capability to bring us news in all its absolute absurdity at times. Truly, some of it is completely absurd, but spun as life and death by the media. Laughter is powerful, but also is very useful for making people comfortable as you try to show them your message.

I could probably go on forever about this, but I'm going to stop for now. Felix the Cat just finished downloading, though I'm going to look up Fritz the Cat, per my Father at some point.

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