I Like it Rough

No, not that. Get your mind out of the gutter. OK, maybe a little that, but this isn’t that kind of blog.

I’m talking about stuff. Things. Well, everything. I like, no I love imperfections. I love dirt and unfinished surfaces and potential. I like musicians who sing startling, unexpected songs with scratchy or angry voices. I love to say bad words, and I love to hear bad words. And I LOVE to hear bad words in songs.

plain sailing

Frank Turner

Frank Turner – Plain Sailing Weather

it will come back

Andrew Hozier

Hozier – It Will Come Back

There’s a word for that, you know? The emotional release you get from swearing. It’s called lalochezia, and it is a thing.

I like art that is imperfectly perfect with rough surfaces and dark lines and things that look like mistakes but aren’t.

van-gogh-tree

And I like homes that look lived in. Even if I was a naturally tidy person, which I clearly am not, my house would never be perfectly tidy, because I live in it. And so does my spouse and child. We LIVE in the house. We run around inside and do “science” projects and eat spaghetti here. We dance and wrestle with stuffed animals and spill cereal. There are patches in the walls and loose floorboards and books EVERWHERE.

I’m uncomfortable around people who seem to have their shit together. If I really like them, I’ll do them a favor and imagine a flaw for them. Generally, I give them some kind of compulsion or germophobia, because I can honestly not fathom HOW they have their shit together. It has to be some sort of disorder, right?

I know people with perfect manners and perfect hair and perfect morals who can freeze your soul if you stand too close to them. Or people who are so sure they have it all figured out that trying to talk to them is like trying to walk on wet ice. There’s nothing to grab onto, nowhere to go and no way to get there.

According to Facebook, there are a lot of perfect kids out there, poor dears. They excel at everything, tops of their class, they do the dishes without being asked and never pout or raise their voices.

My kid likes to run around in his underwear and say “fart” a lot. What can you expect from my kid? He cleans up beautifully; he has the most disarming big grey, green, brown eyes, and the longest eyelashes you’ve ever seen. And I do love to see him nice and tidy, but I don’t know. When he has spaghetti sauce on his face, everything he says just seems cuter.

I don’t want him to think he has to be perfect, and really there is no worry about that. He knows.

I like candid photos of people laughing so hard their mouths are opened and the looks on their faces are ridiculous. I love gag reels of people giggling so hard they can’t breathe.

I love antiheroes. Who doesn’t? I love Loki, Lisbeth Salandar, Léon Montana and Natasha Romanoff.

I’m an imperfect friend. When you’re upset, I won’t give you solutions or advice or even reassurance. I will say, “OH MY GOD! THAT SUCKS!”

That’s my trainwreck vow: If you come to me with a problem, I will say, “THAT SUCKS!” If you tell me someone was mean to you, I’ll say, “WHAT?! WHAT AN ASSHOLE!” Or, I’ll say what my friend Stephanie says, “Just give me a name and an address.” If you tell me you want a cookie, I’m going to tell you to go for it, or give you one if I have one. If you tell me you want wine, I’m going to hand you a corkscrew.* If you tell me you want coffee, I’ll have some with you. (I’ll have a cookie or wine with you, too.)

*unless I’ve made a solemn vow to save you from yourself. I keep my vows.

I’ll do all that because my friends would do that for me. I have surrounded myself with wonderful people who understand that real is so much better than perfect. I’m so lucky to love people who know that it’s better to cry and shout and swear and laugh than sit in a prison made of “appropriate” and “polite” and God help me, “feminine.”

Fuck that.

Casually Dismissed

49585934

I’ve listened to the song a few times, and I liked it. I added it to my Spotify list. It’s a huge hit and seems generally harmless. Then I noticed just when it’s almost over, the singer throws in, “Bitch, say my name.”

When I finally heard that line, I thought, “Oh. I am not this song’s intended audience.” It is catchy, cute, and kind of funny, and casually misogynistic. The song is a good time for everyone except the kind of woman who doesn’t like being called a bitch.

I have this feeling that lines like this are a test. (Come on, don’t take things so seriously. It doesn’t mean anything.) If you do get upset, you are, in fact, a bitch. I don’t know why something like this would bother me more than obviously, outwardly misogynistic songs, and there are tons of those. Like tons. But I think it’s because it’s so unnecessary, and because it is casual. “Just wanted to point out that I have no respect for your gender. Now back to my song.” (Oh come on, that’s not what he’s saying. He’s just being funny.) Haha.

I’m not raging, demanding him to change it or even suggesting that other people don’t listen to it, you know, with my HUGE influence. It actually just hurts my feelings. I feel like an awkward kid at a dance who is having a great time until he notices everyone is making fun of him. I’m part of the audience and part of the celebration until I am suddenly not. Then I am asked to either laugh along with the joke or leave so my weakness and sensitivity can be mocked. (Bitches, man. AmIright?)

This happened to me a couple of other times this past year with music. My son liked the song from the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. It’s got a great beat and is just about four brothers fighting together as a family. Then, again at the end, it talks about the female reporter: “She takin’ pics for me, told her smile fo’ me Pass her off, I’m a real team playa.” Oh. Well OK. We’ll just throw in a little rape there before we close out the song. (Oh, come on. It’s probably not rape. She’s probably just a willing sexual play thing.)

Since I am trying to raise a boy who can identify and speak out against misogyny, these lessons are important. I just wish there weren’t so many of them. Plus, at what point do I start? Should I explain to him why “bitch” is a bad word? Should I just leave it until he’s older? For now, I have stopped playing those songs. Fortunately there are so many talented, respectful musicians out there, that I have no problem filling in the gaps.

My current favorite, Hozier, is brilliant, compassionate and an amazing musician. I need to get in touch with his mother to find out how she did it.

Hozier: You grow up and recognize that in any educated secular society, there’s no excuse for ignorance. You have to recognize in yourself, and challenge yourself, that if you see racism or homophobia or misogyny in a secular society, as a member of that society, you should challenge it. You owe it to the betterment of society.

Hozier: You grow up and recognize that in any educated secular society, there’s no excuse for ignorance. You have to recognize in yourself, and challenge yourself, that if you see racism or homophobia or misogyny in a secular society, as a member of that society, you should challenge it. You owe it to the betterment of society.

Here he is talking about then singing Sedated