Archive Page 2

03
Apr
17

White or Right, My Views on “Whitewashing”

*****
So, there’s this bad odor going around called “whitewashing.” If you are oblivious to the concept, it basically refers to…well, it has a few uses, already. One being Caucasian people being cast in roles originally set for other nationalities. And, that is what tops my peeve list at the moment. Namely, a certain typically blonde actress being cast to play a raven-haired and distinctly Asian character from a “popular” anime about a female cyborg cop.

[Note I have omitted names and titles lest giving them more specific attention only add to the theory that bad press still adds to ticket sales. For the purposes of this editorial and my own amusement, I will refer to the cast actress as “Red Role-playing Hood” and the movie as “Robocop 4: Turning Japanese.”]

Some say “Red Role-playing Hood” sells movie tickets and that this is enough justification to cast her. Others plain and simple object to her being cast in this particular role, regardless of justification.

According to an article I read, one of the artists behind the original story says the character has lost her original human name and identity, thus she could be just about anybody of any race.

If that is the case, I’d have made a different film. I’d have designed the film as a spinoff of the original story, having “Red Role-playing Hood” play a similar cyborg who looks different. Heck, the protagonist could have any body or hair color she wants if she’s not the original character. The story could have remained the same or similar with some minor changes. There’s a whole series of Resident Evil movies out there now that aren’t exactly about the original game cast, focusing on some lab creation, instead.

Another article states the actress has said she would not take a role she felt would be viewed as offensive…buuuut she IS taking the role; and some find her choice offensive, or, at least, infuriating. Myself included.

I think she, like many, will take just about any role she can get. So, if someone handed “Red Role-playing Hood” the script, I doubt she would have turned it down, considering she is open to expanding her options and likes to play odd roles that may not suit her, roles other actresses would more likely turn down to avoid being judged “weird” or being asked to play more roles like this one instead of roles in other genres they prefer. Months or years from now, one of those actresses that passed on the film will speak out at some interview for another project and admit they passed on the role while subtly praising “Red Role-playing Hood” for being an “amazing” person with whom she worked or met at an awards show.

I say the whole notion of “Red Role-playing Hood” making better ticket sales than an actual Asian, or more specifically Japanese, actress–possibly a “nobody”–is hogwash. Even if “Red Role-playing Hood” draws a certain crowd, it’s as likely the crowd comes to see HER, not the character she portrays. And, considering she looks like a clown in some green-screen body suit and wig, I feel she should NOT be playing this part.

[I am asking would-be film makers.] Would a character written as an African woman be cast/rewritten as a white woman in disguise, as well? And, if the character did not look one bit like Thandie N., would you still cast Thandie N. to play the part because she’s the only dark-skinned actress you could get to take the part? Or, would you go out of your way to find a more perfect match for the character? Is it really so important to put a movie out before all the pieces properly fit? Or, are you so lustful for profits and jumping at any dog that barks that you’ll rush to blow a budget on a lesser prize?

Why was the Thing shorter than the rest of the Fantastic Four in the first films, featuring Jessica A. as the Invisible Woman? Was Michael C. cast because of ticket sales, because he fit the role…or maybe because no one else wanted the role and/or the costume designers couldn’t make him appear bigger…even if they have the technology to fake such things?

I didn’t care for Charlize T. playing Aeon Flux, either. Some people you just get used to seeing with a certain hair color and look. And, throwing them into some character that is completely different without proper blending of appearance just makes the whole image a joke. I don’t want to see a parody of the original story. Thus, I don’t want to boost ticket sales for this film. I’ll give it a try another way, as the modern world provides. And, all ticket sale crap can just fly out the window. It’s bullshit that can be skewed, anyway. [And, I throw all the award show nonsense into the same pot. Such a waste of time and resources with little regard for the source material.] It boils down to what you choose to believe.

[On the flip side, Hugh J. was so compelling as Wolverine, I put up with him being taller than most other X-Men, even though the character was fairly short in the comics.  He also wasn’t a “clown” in a costume.  He was authentically crass, fierce and embittered.]

I believe this instance is a form of “whitewashing.” And, an Asian “nobody” would have befitted the role better, regardless of popularity or anticipated profits. I would pay to see better casting, to see an Asian beauty play this part. And, ever since I started watching films like “The Curse of the Golden Flower” and even “Rush Hour 2,” I think Hollywood can find a few. Or, maybe, such films should be made by people closer to the source material; and, if Americans are so lucky, the film will be dubbed into English, and they will learn to like it.

A “blockbuster” can never smell as sweet as it would with the right cast. Why do you think certain “franchises” got “reboots” so fast? If casting didn’t matter, why was there a reboot, anyway?

Years from now, people won’t look back and, when thinking of this blonde in a black Asian wig, say, “Gosh, she was so perfect for that role.” They WILL say, “Gosh, she sure made lots of movies.” The actress will be regarded like a Marilyn Monroe. And, only fans who concede to give up their cultural roots–including all Asian folks who try to look “American”–will not care who played what part and just be happy a film about that cartoon was made.

It doesn’t matter who is turning what characters into their own nationality. It’s Caucasian Americans and British folks, today. Tomorrow, it could be Mexicans or dark-skinned Africans altering Caucasian characters.

Some if not most movie makers are just too concerned with budget and ticket sales to consider the impact and value of proper casting (and story writing). I may be surprised to see a film pitched poorly play well. But, I will not be steered into accepting poor casting.

30
Mar
17

I Miss You, Chocolate House

*****

MissYou-ChocolateHouse-pianomansurprise_ap-1J

*****
What iIiIiIs Easter fun without you?! What iIiIiIs?! I don’t know anymoOoOre!

 

And, what…what will tomorrow bring? In a world…where you don’t exist?
What…what will I eat on holidays? Well, I know…I know what is missed.
Love bring you back where you belooong. Where my spirit flies…on whipped-cream-mountain highs. Love bring you back where you belooong. Where the chocolate flows. Where the clear favorite goes. [My mouth…is where I was going with that one.]

 

We used to have something special, you and I.
You were the sugar daddy to my childhood dreams.
You were countless flavors of whipped cream magic wrapped up in a thin layer of heavenly sweet milk or dark chocolate.
You were Easter morning surprises in a colorful basket lined with plastic grass.
You were the company that kindly answered the first formal letter I ever composed with an awesome care package.
You were the legalized pot of gold shop my family visited annually to keep everyone happy at an otherwise gloomy time of year.
You were the McDonald’s of desserts without a line of mascots; fast food that brought great pleasure and always put a smile on my face. [Well, maybe not those maple cream eggs…or the fruit and nut ones. Those were kinda gross.]
You were bigger than minty “shamrock” milkshakes.
You were bigger than Cadbury…to me.

And now, you’re gone?

I mean, you’ve been gone a few years now. But, I still get withdrawal pains. And, every time I see a picture of you or hear your name…? Every time I see one of your lesser competitors? I ache. I weep just a little. I have to stop myself before I break down and cry. Because you were just that big to me.

So, I’m sending out this love letter, hoping it serves me…us well. Please, come back to my area. Or, if you could…if you would…please send me another glorious care package with the glossy cards featuring all the products you produce and the cases of whipped cream eggs I like, particularly the mint, chocolate and vanilla ones.

Thank you.

If I never see you, again, I’ll at least have the memory…albeit a painful one when I have to think about how it all went away.

Come back.

[Fingers touching the screen.]

*Sigh*

28
Mar
17

Happy Birthday, Paige Spiranac

****

A belated wish for a happy birthday to the lovely Paige Spiranac who turned…  [I’ll be old-fashioned discreet about a woman’s age.  Though it is such a special year for her (hint).  And, I’m posting this two days late.]

One of the prettiest golfers and blondes I’ve ever seen and an astrological match that blows (or challenges) the mind.  I might just be slightly above or below par for the course.  But, she’s more dazzling than any eagle.  And, I wood be awed to meet the iron woman.

paige-spiranac-golfer-BDay-03261993-aries-rooster_2017-ap-2

 

28
Mar
17

Solution: A Whole Lotta Bull and a Little Girl

****

In recent news, there’s been some controversy about the little girl statue placed in front of the Wall Street bull, particularly from the Italian artist who made the bull statue.

I get the whole women’s movement thing.  [Personally, I’m sick of everything “feminist” being pink, whether it’s for an illness cure hunt or not.]  I also get why the man who made the bull statue is upset…though he DID technically deposit the statue illegally before it was adopted by its present location.  [So, maybe the word “hypocrite” creeps into the conversation.]

When I see the two statues together, I don’t see feminism.  I don’t see Wonder Woman.  I DO see how a little girl standing up to a big business bull might weaken the image of the business.  I mean, if the bull is charging ahead, and the girl is standing in the way…are “girls” the enemy of business?  But, the first thing that came to mind was the story known as “The Last Unicorn,” and how the unicorn-turned-damsel faces up to the big red bull.  THAT would be pretty cool to have somewhere.

So, in short, I offer a solution.  Perhaps someone has already had it and shares this with me.  What if the man who made the bull statue makes another one somewhere nearby, not on the same stretch of road, and the girl statue is relocated there?  The key to this deal is that the second bull statue needs to look just like the first.  Why?  So, we get both images, and people can draw whatever conclusions they want.  The business street gets to keep its ballsy, masculine image.  And, the “feminists” get their “girl power” standoff.

If you are among the “women” who are shaking their heads right now because you think relocating the image away from Wall Street defeats the purpose of the little girl, what do you think will be the value of the standoff when women DO earn their place in the business world…if that really matters in the big scheme of things.  Does the standoff remain a symbol of a fight for equal rights?  Or, does it remain a standoff between man and woman, instead of making peace between the sexes?

But, the more I think about two metal bulls, the more I imagine Greek myths…..like the Khalkotauroi in Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece.

Ah, so many possibilities…

I like the standoff.  But, let’s put all parties involved at ease.

perspective-meme_primitive-concepts_ap-1

20
Mar
17

Getting to Knooow Me, Getting to Know More or Less Aboooout Me…

****

I’m taking the baton/hint from The Indecisive Eejit.  You may find her answers HERE.

If you truly follow my blog and don’t just add me to the card collection collecting dust in your digital box of favorite things to grab your attention for a second, you may know some of this, already.  Either way, this is one of many TV-type interview moments with yours truly.  No question is answered with a lie.  But, some answers are omitted for the given reason(s).

1. Who are you named after?

An uncle who was rumored to be an alcoholic, if you can believe it.  [In part, because of this info being passed to me at a young age, I told myself I’d avoid alcohol.  More on this, later.]  My family has the lousy habit of reusing names in abundance.  We definitely are not the sort to name kids Apple or North.

 
2. Do you like your handwriting?

I did when I was still in school and teachers would compliment my handwriting.  But, once I entered the working world and began suffering new anxieties on top of the old ones, my handwriting went the way it started way back in my early years, when I would scratch out letters to complete homework. I used to joke and enjoy jokes about people who “chicken scratch.”  But, as with other things I joke about, I seem to later be given a slap to the face.  [So, now I am more careful what jokes I enjoy.]  I still pride myself for not–or wonder why I cannot–signing my name in a way some people do which looks more like a squiggle than any actual letters.

 
3. What is your favorite lunch meat?

It varies with time, as do other answers to this sort of question.  Presently, I’d say roasted or smoked chicken with some accent of seasoning like dried tomatoes or barbecue sauce.  A few years ago, it was honey ham.

 
4. Longest relationship?

Depending upon how you define a “relationship,” I could answer this a number of ways.  I have not had any ideal or romantic relationships that would qualify–in my mind–for THAT sort.  But, I’ve been close with a female friend for about 9 years and was semi-romantic with one gal for about 3 years though our time together was rather limited.  [Long-distance relationships suck.]

 
5. Do you still have your tonsils?

Yep.

 
6. Would you bungee jump?

Nope.  I’d rather skydive, to be honest.

 
7. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Usually, no, unless they are taller hiking boots.  And, even then, I have a trick for getting them off without undoing a knot.  I have become quite the casual traveler and like to slip in and out of situations, including my clothes.  So, any way I can make dressing/undressing quicker, I usually find and stick with one, at least, until the thought process changes (as it occasionally does).

 
8. Favorite ice cream?

Just about anything with chocolate flavoring.  Chocolate, Heavenly Hash, Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Chip Mint…all good options.  And, which I go with often depends upon what I’ve eaten recently.  If I have had a heavy meal, the lighter choice (plain Chocolate) is best.  If I had a snack and am out and about, a heavier flavor with stuff in it usually tides me over nicely until I can get something more substantial to eat.  But, I can’t eat ice cream without some form of other food in my stomach.  No dessert before substance/staple.

 
9. What is the first thing you notice about people?

It’s hard to say specifically as my socially-anxious mind tends to rapid-fire thoughts and/or glances at a variety of details in a short amount of time without fully grasping the details.  [Meaning, I may glance at a nose but not register the shape in my mind, simply because my mind wants to register but is also hesitant to stare.]  But, I usually say hair as I favor people with a healthy head of hair (even if mine is not so).

 
10. Football or baseball?

Play or watch?  I watch both, occasionally.  I favor watching American football but am not the sort of fan to quote names and/or stats.  I wish attending football games was more affordable and easier.  I have attended one football game and several baseball games, so far.  And, I cannot deny the electricity one gets when seated in a baseball stadium, preferably in a section that is not too crowded (as the noise can be deafening/painful).  You never known when that free baseball might fly your way.  It’s a safer way to gamble and still feel alive.  Best if you have a buddy to share a soft pretzel or some cheesy nachos.  [I would not go to a game alone unless I was meeting someone there.]

 
11. What color pants are you wearing?

Gray.

 
12. Last thing you ate?

Cereal.

 
13. If you were a crayon what color would you be?

Probably a shade close to forest green or a dark gray.  I feel close to the forest and tend to be a gray person, one who doesn’t answer or do much of anything in a definite way.  I have convictions but am malleable.  I can bend like some trees.  But, if the wrong sort of forces try to bend me, I can be come rigid and volatile.

 
14. Favorite smell?

Fun fact.  I can’t remember the last thing I smelled.  I seem to have a case of “anosmia.”

 
15. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

Hmm.  I am struggling to remember.  But, I’d say one of my sisters.

 
16. Hair color?

That’s confidential.  But, if you use some brain cells, you might figure it out.

 
17. Eye color?

See 16.

 
18. Favorite foods to eat?

Favorite hot food/entree?  Pizza, hands down, because it is not limited to one form.  It can be made any number of ways with a variety of toppings.  I have written a number of pieces on this matter elsewhere, if you can even find them.  Spaghetti with tomato sauce (and maybe a few meatballs) is a good first date/comfort food.  But, I also favor a good cheeseburger, the occasional fried calamari, eggplant marinara and gyros.  Favorite fruit?  I’m partial to red apples that are moderately sweet and firm/crisp, mangoes and bananas (particularly when combined with peanut butter in a sandwich).  Asian pear/apples are occasionally good, too.  Favorite cold sandwich?  It’s been a mix of tuna with mustard, mayo and pickle bits for some time.

 
19. Scary movies or happy endings?

Happy endings.  I can stomach some scary movies but only do so to either please someone or to satisfy a(n) curiosity/interest in something.  [IE I saw the first two Resident Evil movies in hopes of getting a live-action retelling of the video games.  That was not exactly what I saw, though.]  A few years back, I watched an anime in which the female lead cried when she won a fight.  For some reason, since that day, I’ve been shuddering and shedding tears when something well depicted or written crosses my path.  Blending all of this into my work, I like to craft stories that inject little bits of fear and humor before resulting in a happy ending that inspires people to heave a sigh of relief and smile.  I also am not fond of endings/goodbyes; so I tend to leave The End a bit uncertain.

 
20. Last movie you watched?

I just saw Logan the other day.  It did a nice job of explaining how science had doomed Wolverine to an inevitable death, even though he had an innate healing ability that extended his life.  It was also very violent and gory, and the use of vulgar language was excessive and questionable (though typical of some social circles).  I was expecting a little surprise at the end but was disappointed.  Even though the movie stars a little Latino girl, I would not recommend bringing kids to the film (which I think is rated R, anyway).  And, I worry about the kids in the movie growing up a little messed up in the head.  But, that’s showbiz.  Right?

 
21. Favorite holiday?

I’d have to pick Valentine’s Day even if many grumble about it being one of those “commercial” holidays…and even though I have yet to have the romantic or sexual sort some people enjoy.  I like the symbolism and like generating images of love/passion/affection.  I don’t subscribe to the requirements of gifts or any particular treatment of anyone.  I do things my own way.  I’d pick Halloween if people didn’t use it to play scary monsters and worse things.  I like Halloween without the blood and frights.  I’d love more classy costume parties (without the stereotypical snooty, wealthy attendance of movie/TV fame) and am intrigued by the concept of Carnival as it is known in some historical European stories.  I like the sounds, lights and general warm feelings of Christmas but could do without the rush and demand for presents as some seem to entertain.  Holiday shopping is insane and unnecessary.  But, the SPIRIT of many holidays is something that stokes the fire of contentment in this life, just as the Olympics are intended, in a way, to bring nations together in harmony (when they aren’t pitching some product or flashing a corporate logo/sponsor).

 
22. Beer or wine?

If I had to choose, I’d go with wine.  But, I am not a big alcoholic drinker.

 
23. Night owl or early bird?

I consider myself an early bird by nature (including astrological).  I typically like to get up early and get going in a hurry (rather than preen and fuss).  I do NOT like to lounge in bed unless I am having a rare lazy day.  I could not spend all day in my pajamas, even if I was filling my day with fun and games.  Nor can I spend a day solely indoors unless I am doing something creative that just can’t be put down.  But, I’ve been known to stay up late and do some crazy things…  [Who needs alcohol when inhibitions take a sharp dip after midnight?]

 
24. Favorite day of the week?

I dunno how to exactly answer this one.  I don’t have a particular day I favor above all others.  If I could, I’d give a reason for each.  I have no reason to presently favor any day from Monday to Thursday, though I occasionally did, depending upon the job I had (because some jobs bring certain rewards on those days).  Friday is typically a good day because, for some, it’s the end of the work/school week, preceding what should be a rejuvenating weekend.  Saturday used to be a favorite for its bounty of morning cartoons.  [Now, any day is a cartoon day, provided you have the right “service package.”]  Sunday has become a day to catch my breath before another work week; it used to be a definite church day, before work and other matters got in the way.  Now, it’s more of a uniquely meditative, spiritual day occasionally pestered by a bout with anxiety.

———

Phew.  And, as usual, when I complete one of these things, I am inspired to craft a list of my own questions for people to answer.  [Even if not enough people care to answer them.]  So, be on the lookout for that.  And, if you care to continue this or that list of questions with your own answers, it might be a good idea to link your post to this or the first one.

28
Feb
17

My Response to “An Ace in a Hole” (Dear Abby)

*****

You can find my response to this and other letters on the designated page. But, while you’re here, have a read.

Ace is a… Well, let’s be clear about this. Ace doesn’t exactly say if they are a boy/man or girl/woman. So, the mere fact that Abby decides to address the person as a young woman may be in error. While some details might suggest Ace is female, it is not certain from my perspective.

Ace is struggling with an “asexual” identity. He/She is being pestered by friend and family alike to do what is “normal,” including sex and having kids while Ace shows no interest. As with others who feel abnormal or exceptionally unique, he/she is distraught and seeking a means of maintaining friendship with those who bother him/her.

I myself never questioned my sexuality other than how I appear to others (which has been a source of concern and annoying conflict). I have been labeled and scrutinized most of my life and had to accept some battles as defeats or stalemates, which ultimately weakened or even tore ties to certain people. Thus, I will speak from experience.

————-

Ace, you might help me out by making your gender clear. What I have to say might slip into applying to one gender or another. But, I will do by best to keep this asexual.

One quick question: Why do you call yourself “an ace in a hole?” The term “ace in the hole” is defined as an advantage waiting to be revealed. I’d say being openly asexual while enduring punishment from those closest to you does not match that definition.

[If you have no interest in my personal experience/opinion outside the realm of advice geared specifically to your problem, you can skip the following portion and start with the separate question.]

———–

While a mother pushing the idea of marrying a gay man at you tells Abby you are a woman turned off by sexual intercourse, I am wondering if your mother didn’t have another motive, if you are an asexual man, and she thought a gay man would eventually awaken the gay manhood in you or make you comfortable with someone who didn’t look at sex the same way heterosexual couples do. I could be way off base here. But, hopefully, you can see how/why I’d make such a statement.

Some might bring up the matter of having children. Well, would you really be more likely to have children as an asexual woman with a gay man than with a straight one? No. You’d likely adopt or be in a situation like James Corden who is apparently married to a heterosexual woman AND gay (or bisexual) with kids.

At an early age, I was “informed” having children was “normal” and to be expected. And, as early as maybe twelve, I thought about having two kids of m own. But, once I learned about sexual intercourse and all that came with it, over many years and from meeting many people, I kinda lost interest in bringing kids into this world. [I’m not ruling kids out completely; but they seem unlikely in my future. Still, I might help others with their kids and consider that my “parenting time.”]

No discomfort intended, but I am surprised you have ANY supportive friends (unless the friendships are very “cool” and “casual,” not people you spend extensive time with outside of work and/or have heavily personal talks with, for example). Being as you are cannot be common in your area. Can it? If your supportive circle consists of other asexual individuals, well, aren’t you lucky. I’m more likely to believe the people you know are quite comfortable discussing and seeking sexual intercourse while just patting you on the back as they bite their tongues in your presence (if they are that respectful).

From as far back as the age of five, I can recall kids being quite mean to me. I’ve had my share of bullies picking on me for everything from the shape of my head to how I walk or dress. I could have curled up in a closet and decided years later I was gay because I couldn’t connect with girls the way other boys did. But, that’s just not me. I knew early on I liked girls; I just didn’t know how to convey my feelings without embarrassment or social conflict. And, as I learned about sexual intercourse, I was turned off, much like you. The new knowledge only made socializing more difficult.

There was one girl in particular I befriended for whom I had strong feelings. And, as these feelings became apparent to our peers, we were harassed until we–or she–made a decision to separate. It was painful to lose touch with her. Meanwhile, a few of the hecklers were having their first sexual experiences with foreign exchange students; and I don’t recall them being harassed for attempting this.

There was also one boy who I’d call asexual because he never expressed any interest in a boy or girl other than as an ally or enemy. Everything seemed to be about war with him. You were either his “right-hand man” or on a list of people he had no problem talking about wiping off the planet (though he never followed through with his threats). I thought he was a Nazi leader. It was hard for even me to understand how he could be so robotic and, in his own way, juvenile.

In my late teens, I was viewed by some of my peers as the equivalent of a “gay priest.” I was, like you, repulsed by the realities of sexual intercourse, especially the common practice of “casual sex” (including “oral” which I refuse to try or accept others doing). I was also serious about respecting religion which seemed to be a foreign concept to my peers though we were attending a Catholic school. [Had I not been given such a steady diet of religion growing up, I might have had no qualms about casual sex.]

I could admit to liking or even lusting for a girl. But, the truth came out under pressure and, usually, with unpleasant results. I consistently hoped I’d have a quiet moment alone with whoever interested me so I could express my feelings without heckling or judgment and cope with the rejection I might yet receive if the feelings were not mutual. I was a passer of notes who had little to no luck doing so. My unique mindset made me an outcast. And, a few bold souls pressured me to try things with which I was not only uncomfortable but also opposed.

On occasion, the suggestions/dares were made in jest, just to see how badly I’d make a fool of myself following orders. Suffice to say, high school put a big dent in my ability to socialize. I went from a “plus one” (in terms of social aptitude, on a scale of 1 to 10) to somewhere in the negative digits. I might as well have been dead. That would have made everything easier. But, in my heart, I still longed for companionship and hid those strong sexual feelings most of my peers had and discussed freely.

Ultimately, I had to accept being an outcast and cutting ties with people who seemed unable to respect my choices. [And, though I didn’t always see it at that age, I was not the most respectful of choices made by my peers, either. If I didn’t like something they did, I’d complain when they were in my company. But, I didn’t nag, tease or challenge anyone. I just bluntly said, “I don’t like ___.” Or, “___ are stupid.” And, often enough, I’d give reasons no one really wanted to hear. I thought I was being social and honest, having an opinion.]

————

How do you maintain contact with these people who are becoming increasingly bothersome/suffocating?

Right off the top of my head, I’d say you don’t (maintain contact). You set yourself apart from them and regroup. Why continue to stand in their line of fire and take that “abuse?”

Give yourself a place and time to shake their pressured intentions from your mind (and soul) like a plane shaking the fire from one of its engines. Maybe there’s a coffee shop or fast food restaurant/cafe you can visit to unwind and entertain yourself with some tabletop hobby (IE reading, crossword puzzles or doodling). And, if they continue to seek you out and push their views, you give them one last warning before cutting ties completely. If they ignore your warning, there’s your answer; they are not going to change.

It may hurt to lose a friend or warm relationship with a parent, but crap happens. If your mother won’t accept you as a person and family member because you don’t get married and/or have kids, you tell her she has only so much time to change her way of thinking because you are going to be who you choose to be until that changes, if it changes, which will not happen because of her pressuring you.

Abby says this is an opportunity to educate. Well, who says you have to be the spokesperson for “asexual America” and go on talk shows to start a movement for supporting people like you? If that sounds good to you, go for it. If not, defend yourself. At the very least, you tell these nags that you will consider other options when and if your feelings change. And, if that’s not enough to shut them up, again, set boundaries, make ultimatums and follow through. Accept the fact that you may not always have the best of relations with your parents and/or that one person you call a friend.

But, let’s do our best to be polite about these matters. Right? Because it wouldn’t be “prudent” to lose our tempers. No. It would just be natural. If you value yourself and what you believe/feel, you do what is necessary and may not be able to sort out–at the time–what is excessively hostile. Still, there are things we can say and/or do via impulse that might be worse than necessary. And, we should avoid doing more harm than good.

28
Feb
17

My Response to “Bored Life in Wisconsin” (Dear Abby)

*****
You can find my response to this and other letters on the designated page. But, while you’re here, have a read.

Bored Life is a fifteen year-old teenager suffering from a mix of social anxiety and depression. It’s uncertain if this person is a boy or girl. But, they are clearly at a crossroad in life, lacking friendship and comfortable chats with peers, questioning acceptance of their chosen hobbies, wanting desperately to improve their situation. [I didn’t know kids (or “young adults”) still play Dungeons and Dragons.]

Abby suggests joining some groups to stimulate social activity. And, that’s sound advice (even I have yet to follow). But, I suspect this teen is resistant to joining (as I was/am). And, that may be why he/she is having such difficulty. I will speak from experience and, hopefully, provide some reassurance. But, considering my ongoing struggles, I can’t promise much. Still, it may shed some light on the paid advisor for future cases.

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Bored Life? I’m going to give you more than something or “anything.” Not just advice but also some of my own experience with what you are facing.

Lesson number one. Don’t ever say you’re bored or boring. Because, to the people that matter in your life, you’re not.

As I read your letter, I am checking off all the points that may match not just my teenage years but also my adult life. Repetitive schedule (including the details you gave)? Check. Depressed? Check. Inability to drive? Check. Trouble talking to others–aka social anxiety–double check. Parents that don’t go anywhere/do anything to stimulate your mind…nor, apparently, your bond/relationship with them? [Which may be something we want to discuss, later.] Double check. No friends with whom you can hang out/feel at ease with in person? Double check and an exclamation point!

Right now–and for who knows how long–you don’t have a “crowd.” You don’t have your niche. You’re a rare purple song bird in a forest full of blue and pink ones. You could perch next to a group and give your two cents. But, that would leave your comfort zone. And, once out of that comfort zone, you fear you’ll get hurt. Right? Who or what will protect you when you are completely exposed to the public and responsible for your words/actions.

Let’s tackle those key notes separately.

1) Your comfort zone/crowd.
This is what suits your desires/interests. It’s what you feel most at ease doing. This includes those “boring” activities you indulge, homework and drawing. When you get older, people start associating this with a career and raising children. Those become zones into which people lock themselves and struggle to escape. Some run away, producing single parents and questionable resumes.

Here’s the first ray of light I’d like to shed your way. What may seem boring today could be seen as a sign of dedicated study and achievement, later. And, perhaps, in the future, your work will pay off with attracting the niche crowd you’ve wanted, allowing you to filter out those who are not what they appear. [And, there will be your share of those, as well.]

Surely, you are not the only person in your world who is focused on homework, drawing and video games. Quite likely, there are others who are just about as secluded as you. And, that is why you don’t see each other or pair up. You are in your own corners, feeling similar doubts and concerns. Yet, even though you may have the same interests, there’s also the matter of personality differences.

2) Fear of painful exposure.
When we aren’t naturally adept to or taught at an early age to socialize, it becomes more and more like a stiff joint we haven’t moved in a while. It’s painful and/or difficult to stretch. It feels alien and uncertain, scary, even. What if we make the wrong move and do more harm? Leaving one’s comfort zone, trying new things…these can become painful to imagine. And, who doesn’t want to avoid pain?…except maybe those who preach “No pain, no gain.”

There are those that seem to make life appear easy. Jocks flock with jocks and hide any emotional responses they may have. Glam queens gab with other glam queens, and one is usually prettier than the rest for a reason. But, just because these people hang out and/or play together doesn’t mean they’re good friends. They may be avoiding your discomfort simply by staying busy. When they go home, life may not be as fun as they appear in school. School becomes their escape from solitude, family troubles and responsibility. It’s a different sort of comfort zone that seems high risk to people like you and me. It’s the fast lane while we coast in the slow lane.

3) Responsibility and taking chances.
Even I will admit (though I’m genetically inclined to deny) I have moments when I don’t want to be responsible for what happens. Companies satisfy this fear by posting “disclaimers” and “warnings,” all manners of fine print to ward off punishment should their business fail to satisfy the consumer and/or do greater harm. There may be something in the human genetic matrix that detests responsibility. But, if you know anything about Spider-Man, you likely know what Uncle Ben taught him.

Our great power is being the dominant species of this planet. Our responsibility is how we wield that power. We cannot be entirely careless with our actions. What we say and do impacts others.

Yet, we cannot take NO action or risk, either. If we try nothing, we achieve nothing. [But, don’t be so quick to dismiss what you DO try. Sometimes and some people will think you do nothing when, in fact, you ARE doing something that just isn’t apparent.]

One of the hard lessons of adulthood is taking steps to make progress (or even maintain what already exists) and being responsible for what results. If something goes wrong and it’s genuinely our fault, we need to take what comes with this negative result or defend ourselves if the punishment seems unjust. There will be other times when what occurs is just coincidence or cosmic fate, an “accident” we may not have been able to prevent. And, we need to learn to “roll with the punches;” accept failure or lesser achievement, regroup and try, again.

As I say, I am in a similar rut as you and not adept to making improvements/changes. But, many years after being in your shoes, I’ve gathered various tidbits of insight, therapy and wisdom from various sources. Right now, you’re at the start space on the board game of adulthood. Or, maybe, three steps from the start. I took a bit of a detour along one of those chutes or ladders and am not much closer to the finish line. But, I feel “wiser” for the experience. And, every step outside my comfort zone I am able to make, I get a tiny bit less afraid…even if I sometimes meet with what might be seen as disaster.

If I may, I have a few questions I hope aren’t too bothersome.

1) Who got you interested in Dungeons and Dragons? As I said earlier, I didn’t think anyone (especially your age) still played such games. I thought that was reserved for people from my and older generations.

I myself never played but have studied maps and guides. They were sources of artistic inspiration in my youth. I can remember being about seven or eight when I drew a picture of a warrior fending off “yellow mold” (and “black pudding” in another drawing) with a spear or sword.

2) You’ve NEVER had a crush on anyone? I could see not kissing or dating. But, not even a strong feeling about another person?

I had those feelings as early as four years old. I was given some unpleasant labels in my youth and in my teens which did not help me make friends and made approaching the concept of a romantic relationship almost impossible. I knew I wanted more than friendship with at least one girl. But, neither my parents nor my peers were any help in making my wishes come true. Instead, they made life more difficult and made me curl up in my “corner.”

Granted, there was one kid in my class who seemed the sort you claim to be. He had no interest in girls. Nor was he admittedly gay. I’d call him asexual because he was obsessed with annoying details in everything and never once said anything flattering about a boy/man or girl/woman, never showed any interest. If you asked him about such feelings, he’d pick a verbal fight and insult you.

There may be a strange blessing in this absence of “passion.” You could be spared the trials others face because they cannot control their “lust.” You could avoid the distractions and penalties (unplanned parenthood, for one) and get ahead in other areas of living. Then, down the road, those feelings you’ve been without might surface (at “the right time”). Yet, you are feeling discomfort because this difference makes relating to others less likely.

You make a point of mentioning how having feelings for someone can be a big part of interacting/talking with peers. [Can I just say I have not known any teen your age to even use the word “peers” in a sentence? That strikes me as unusual, too. I’d say “classmates,” “fellow students” or “other kids in my school.” But, peers?]

And, I can relate to that, too. I am pretty sure that’s why I was given the labels I received; I didn’t feel comfortable talking about “banging” that girl/guy or how much I wanted to grab some girl’s breasts. [Nor could I gossip about past relationships I didn’t have.] I felt guys who did this were juvenile. I didn’t necessarily say or think I was better than them–as many would argue against me–but I didn’t want to be like them. I chose a different path and was humiliated for it.

My struggles were amplified by factors I never saw coming. I was outnumbered and overwhelmed. I was at war with family. And, all of that slowed down any progress I could make so badly that I could see everyone else walking away and getting ahead in life. I continue to question my decisions and why I had to fight those battles. Could I have avoided the conflicts somehow? Could I have ignored the “jerks” and focused better on those who mattered? Why did I make the decisions I made?

I seem to recall writing a letter like yours back when I was your age (except I made it clear I had feelings for a number of girls and was distraught for losing contact with at least one). I did not find or receive any response. Hopefully, you’ll find my words and get some good out of them.




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