Tag Archives: girl

Get Stitches

I had a conversation with a friend of mine concerning the various definitions, ramifications, and iterations of the word ‘bitch.’ As political corrective fluid is spilled across large swaths of society, I think it is important to develop a better understanding of what words mean. Attempting to censor (even the moderate and etiquette-based forms of self-censorship) without delineating will either fail outright, or else create a sort of Orwellian nonsensical paralanguage where words do not mean what we think they do, or did, or should.

If used to refer to any woman as any woman, or the whole of womanhood, it is most certainly bad. This is the definition most ill-used in ill hip-hop; “I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one.” Denigrating a particular woman by categorizing her merely as woman, and specifically coloring womanhood in a demeaning or belittled manner, this is definitely the most misogynistic definition we should focus on eradicating.

But ‘bitch’ even in reference to a particular woman, has had another more specific negative connotation that, interestingly, is ripe for re-appropriation. This same friend of mine readily self-labels herself as a ‘bitch’ in the sense that she is an empowered, opinionated, extroverted, strong-willed fighter. Because women are not helpless, defenceless weaklings dependent on men for sustenance, it makes perfect sense to use a word previously heralded by the oppressors in a new way to ratchet up the language as an empowering tool. She isn’t just “some bitch” or “someone’s bitch”, she’s “THE bitch” as in a declarative statement of only one of her defining qualities; “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother, I’m a sinner, I’m a saint…” It’s edgy, it’s attention-grabbing, it’s powerful. And contextualized correctly, it’s not only deprived of simple-minded pejorative, it’s actually quite complimentary. Actively re-appropriating a word like ‘bitch’ to describe powerful, positive female role models can devalue the negative aspects of the word in all but only the already most hateful of minds: Xena, Wonder Woman, etc.

Then, curiously and conversely, there is the usage of ‘bitch’ to denote weakness or femininity in men (instead of those previously mentioned qualities of stubborn-headedness, strength, and boldness traditionally applied to men). Whenever ‘bitch’ is applied to a man (either heterosexual or homosexual, though in the latter community the former is also used), it is used as a sign that they are clearly far below the alpha males, unto them as members of the female harem might be. You may be familiar with the use of ‘bitches’ in prison, or if you’ve never been to prison, the television show ‘Oz.’ Or if you’ve never seen the television show ‘Oz,’ the movie ‘Baseketball’ where one of the characters (a diminutive and skinny fellow with a gentle nature) is literally nicknamed ‘Lil Bitch.’ This is doubly bad, IMHO, since it not only serves to stigmatize, stereotype, and/or penalize feminine qualities in men, and by extension women, it is also a direct insult to body type and personality that may not be easily changed, nor should they feel the need to have to live up to some archaic masculine standard. Regardless of whether those qualities actually typify women (and the previous examples show that it is surely a poor paintbrush to be using so widely), who is to say that a man cannot benefit from the integration of naturally-occurring feminine qualities and traits? A male friend of mine, a self-proclaimed pacifist who has had his fair share of bullies to deal with in his life, has even proclaimed his desire to re-appropriate this usage for the proud peace-lovers of the world, or in the eyes of the machismo majority, ‘little bitches.’ We’ll see how far that will fly.

This is all getting a little confusing for a single word, unlike the word ‘fuck’ (whose many meanings and usages more or less follow the same common theme), ‘bitch’ has widely different meanings. There are the many adjective forms, such as a person who is bitchy, or a wave that is bitchin’. Its verb form ‘to bitch’ as in gripe, complain, or whine about, is perhaps historically also connected to a derision of women, especially if closer to the ‘strong-headed woman’ noun, as in “What a bitch! She bitched me out!” While some of these other words may have to be eradicated, replaced, or spelled differently, at least this noun-and-verb one-two punch has at least enough thematic collusion to be pair-bonded. Still, verb bitching to yourself because it’s raining is not the same as verb bitching on the phone so that you bank doesn’t unjustly overdraft you $500.

Which finally addresses re-appropriation and censorship. Language evolves and words are discontinued or adapted in usage slowly over time based on the needs of that culture. The n-word in black communities over the centuries, the f-word in the queer community and on GLEE (and even the word queer itself). Forcing the issue will not work if the time and environment for adaptation is not right for the word. Imagine trying to get pre-Civil War slaveholders to stop using the n-word. Probably not the most pressing social justice concern at the time, and realistically, the society was not receptive to such suggestions of change in any way. Confusion occurs when words are ‘campaigned’ against, with advocacy and awareness mixing with backlash, sarcasm and dissenting opinions within and without the ranks. The recent anti-‘retard’ word efforts are not as successful as intended, perhaps due to the many changes to the terminology for mentally or physically handicapped seen by an otherwise uninterested populace, or the equation of ‘retarded’ with simply ‘lame’ in the lexicon of young people.

I’m all for a world where people do not feel marginalized by words. Ideally, people would stop using those words of their own volition. But that may never be the case. And legislative attempts to censor words are not only unconstitutional, they’re wrong, and they don’t work. Advocacy is great where it gets results, but directed funding may not accomplish much. It is better to subtly slide changes into popular culture over time. Words lose steam on their own anyway, such as mulatto or chinaman, though it could be claimed that Larry David and Walter Sobchak help a little in their roles (respectively). The best thing, I believe, is to refuse to cater and patronize insulting forms of empty media, and to support the humorous devaluing of derogatory language in layered comedies, political satire, and then common usage. On a large-scale, a rift can appear in the societal context of these ‘dirty’ words, with the chaff being separated from the wheat, with the festering hate language relegated to the curiosity of historical record.

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You Must Be Logged-In to do That!

This is the first city I’ve lived in where I feel consistently happy that I’m not dead yet on a regular basis. So that’s saying somethin’. Not only that but I think I really like it here. The food, the weather, the scenery… beautiful California women of all shapes and colors.. but more importantly the food. SweetChristonaCriscuitCracker! The food!

What do the rest of you in them other cities do when you feel upset that life is grinding out the useless parts of the lemon (like zest)? Because when I get down in the fjord about where I am on this long strange trip, I walk down to the pier, buy a churro, and stand as high as I can on whatever rotting piece of board I can balance myself on. There I can feel the cool sweeping air in my face as a luminescent orange blaze sets ’round the back of a gigantic gleaming skyline, crafted by expert artisans over numerous decades. A deep blue sky fades to black aether streaked with the purpleorangeandpink of wispy clouds stretched long by a bay breeze. And I hear the creak of a wet dock, and the clang of passing ships, and the cries of ravenous gulls and communal sea lions. I breathe in the salty mist of untamed waters, and the smell of cooking by a dozen or so mingling cultures. And the cinnamonsugarsnack crunches lightly between grinding molars and warms my insides before I retire to a seafood dinner, a chilled Anchor Steam brew, and a dream-filled night thinking about stars reflecting off of the sea.

Not that I’m bragging.

Okay. I’m bragging. I do like to brag.

O yeh, plus I gotz de new Heroes Season One on DVDz. Breathe it in suckaz, cuz I roxors more than you an’ its so minty fresh the trees is dying. Now I like as needs Extras Seasons 1-2, Venture Brothers Season 2, Flight of the Conchords Season 1 (not out yet), and any other shit that might be lyin’ around. O WAIT. I need one of those… um… *snaps fingers* JOBS first. Like the ones where people give you money to show up every day. Yeh. I know what they are! I saw one in a newspaper once.

Forward into the past!!

At a Future Date

I read somewhere that on a first date, the following topics were poor choices of conversation, if you wanted there to be a second date; work, family, home life, favorite movies, favorite music, how the food tastes, income, hobbies, relationships, philosophy, education, what you think about children, the economy…
Everyone knows its rude to talk about religion and politics. Lord knows if you’re talking about the weather then the date must be going downhill. But what in the world is left? Besides sex, I mean, and you’re not supposed to talk about that in mixed company, so if you’re on a heterosexual first date, and especially if you’re awkward discussing the topic of sex, what are you supposed to do besides stare at each other and grin like idiots.
Ah, true love!
“So, what do you do?” She asks.
“I’m an engineer.”
“Hm. That sounds interesting. Did you go to college for that?”
“Yes, I went to ITT Technical Institute.”
“No no…” she says, laughing, “I mean, like, did you go to a real college?”

Honest

To be quite honest, its not like I ever actually expected to fall in love with the girl. In fact, at first, I hated her. I despised her and she annoyed the shit out of me with her stubbornness and her fallacies and her bitterness towards men. I’m sure that I must have come off as shallow, arrogant, and foolishly “intellectual” to her at the same time. Slowly, we began to get to know each other. We learned from each other, a mutual respect was formed. At first I though she needed to smoke in order to paint. In fact, she needs to paint whenever it is she happens to be smoking. She paints all the time, sober or not. She just doesn’t see the use in letting creativity go to waste, sober or not. She doesn’t see this as the source for her inspiration, just that when she smokes she runs the risk of getting lazy and unmotivated, and thus enjoys the recreation while doing something productive.
And to be real honest here, its not that I know I’m in love with the girl. I mean, I know that it sure feels like love, or that, I’m desperately trying to convince and tell myself that its not love and that it is at the same time. I’ve never genuinely been in love with anyone before, so logically I do not know what it could be. However, this defies all logic. You can rationalize infatuation to the point of psycho-babble. Love slaps ration in the face and brings to light indescribable things that should not even be accurately called ‘emotions.’

“Beauteous, Beautiful…” O such words!
What shameful trite and clichéd words!
What worthless hollow callow words!
What Elizabeth Barret Browning words!
What Byron, John Donne, Lovelace words!
What wordy William Wordsworth words!
Give me Emily Dickinson any day!
I’ll take Poe over Thomas Gray!
I cannot accept things so bland!
Wrought by redundant poetic hand!
Unexpressive tautology!
Meaningless phraseology!
What things to put me fast asleep!
Used by jocks who think they’re deep!
Repetition to proceed to bore us!
Why don’t they use a damned Thesaurus?
For despicable words like “pale beauty!”
Seems unapt for “anemic scenery!”
To call a woman ‘beautiful!’
Is simply saying ‘viewable!’
Inane, empty, unidiomatic!
Most men say it automatic!
But all the poets who abused it!
Had someone in mind when they used it!
Another to apply new context!
To that previous unworthy syntax!
And that is why I derive no shame!
In applying it to your fine name!
I feel proud and almost dutiful!
To clepe you thus by ‘beautiful!’

F. Scott Fitzgerald had this to say, “When the first-rate author wants an exquisite heroine or a lovely morning, he finds that all the superlatives have been worn shoddy by his inferiors. It should be a rule that bad writers must start with plain heroines and ordinary mornings, and, if they are able, work up to something better.”
Of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald also said that using an exclamation point was like laughing at your own joke.

And to be painfully honest, it hurts. It hurts a hell of a lot more than a high school crush or an infatuation with that girl you could never have or the one that got away or the lust for some unreachable celebrity. It’s a constant pain that whenever she’s near you, you know you can’t have her. You don’t even want her to have you, because you know she’s going to be happier with somebody else and its not fair to unload your burdens of love and emotions onto her. You don’t want to hurt her by telling her how you feel when its not her fault and she cannot reciprocate because she’s happy with somebody else. You take joy in that, but it still hurts. It would hurt you to be with her and ruin her life with somebody else even more. If you love something, set it free, but be damned well aware that it isn’t coming back to you.
Above and beyond all that, I only fool myself into wondering if it might be infatuation. I ask those questions because it would be a lot easier to have this be a passing thing, but I know it isn’t. This isn’t an ‘I think I know,’ but an ‘I know.’ Just the same as I know how to breathe, I know that I love her. The doubts in my mind are but failing threads of the rational and therefore irrational theory of a fleeting crush. Yeah, it hurts, but at the same time, I like being in love. I like how I am in love and I like the person it makes me. Sure, it hurts. But the love that causes it makes that likeable, too.
I suppose I really just want it to be a crush, for her sake, because it’s not fair to her that I love her.
I was told by a friend to grab life by the horns, to go ahead and tell her how I feel because its not as if it could hurt anything. Ha! What does he know? The point is, he put a label and a classification on the ambiguous thing that was there. She and I are too good of friends to make something out of this now! We know each other too well! We’ve gone past that seething resentment to a mutual respect to a dear friendship to a closeness wherein our painful pasts have come out to say hello and eradicate any chance of something ever happening. I wasn’t aware of it until it was clear that it impeded this progress.
To be real honest, here, though, folks, I didn’t even know I was in love until somebody else put it in perspective for me. Sure, I loved her, right from the start, deep down, but I wasn’t in love with her until somebody pointed it out and said, “Jesus, man, you really love this girl.” For God’s sakes, it’s clear from my actions what the feelings are! Why did everybody else know it except me and her!?
Oh, how I long for this to be but some cursory sexual fantasy. If it were but that then I could get it out of head and out of heart, but no. You stalkers and puppy-love angst-ridden teenagers with your crushes and infatuations don’t know how fucking lucky you are to have it be all about sex. To look at a girl and fool yourself into thinking that you want to be with her because you love her when in actuality it’s all about some lecherous quivering orifice. I need to tell myself it’s a passing sexual fantasy, but then I think about her wit, and eyes, and how perfect she would be for me if only I were good enough to be that person that could deserve such love, and not just some dumb fuck. When I think of her, I don’t think of her pussy lips or her bosoms, I think of her smile, and how I could possible make her laugh when she’s depressed. I think of the way her hair shines chatoyant in the sun behind her or falls down into her eyes when she spins. I think of the cute upturned button nose with her cute black-framed glasses sliding down as she works on her paintings and looks up, over the rim of them, when somebody vies for her attention. I think of her art, her music, her history, her silly laugh. She is silly. She’s the reason that writer’s write music and poets compose poetry. Every fucking Beatles song I hear doesn’t just remind me of her, it fucking makes me think that it was written because Lennon/McCartney would somehow someday know how I was going to be feeling for her.

Luminescent yellow, halo’d, iridescent, gay
shining brown, orange, close and far away
smells fresh and due to new and purulent
forever instant, temporarily permanent
lighting up, contrasting, impacting deep
dreamily waking, alertfully falling asleep
lovingly is yours.

And honestly, people, none of this does her justice. All the clichés and idioms in the world say nothing that’s actually pounding outwards from the interior of my head. They say that you will only know true love when you thoroughly fail to put it accurately into words. Well, that’s the case here, and all of my attempts are but slaps in the face of what I’m truly feeling.
That pain I was talking about, it’s not even a true pain, you see, because there is so much joy in it. Being in love with her, pain or not, is its own reward, and nobody can take that away. Get stoned on more pot than you’ve ever consumed in your entire life, and listen to the best music in all the Earth, and on top of that all the joys and pleasures and tastes in the world do not amount to a fraction of it. There is no negativity when I’m with her, or when I’m thinking about her. There are no skinned knees in Kindergarten, embarrassing school photos, wet beds, turned down dates, sickness, disease, death, famine, or bad personal history. All there is, is goodness, and deep hued skies and crystal bodies of water, and golden light and birds and squirrels and children and smiling and luminescent green patches of grass and the smell of sweet memories forming and with it all most of all her.
Honestly? I don’t think about her all the time, but plenty enough to make me happy.
Which amounts to ‘too much.’

Party over here

Party at Jacob/Lindsay/Kane/Sam/Professor Madness/Zombie King’s last night. A truckload of people, the cast of which changed every half hour or so. So, instead of playing Halo2 and eating fried chicken like I thought was going to happen, I partied pretty hard. (Da Asian was still about playing Halo but jesus, man, its a party!) So I went downstairs to get a cup of red wine. Then again. Then a third time. The fourth one I had Coco get for me, then I just went down and got the jug. Suffice it to say, I passed out in the shower around four. I’m still here on Professor Madness’s computer, and I feel much better now that I have gotten some water and eggs in me. Lindsay is such a sweetheart though, she made us eggs. NEVER DRINK WILD IRISH ROSE! Shit. Shitty shit thing. Blech.

I’ll spare you the details, I’ll just use random nouns: turntables, hot girls, everybody who’s anybody, t-shirts advertising the cock size of Zombie King and Kane (why? to get them laid, silly) and a lot of tagging. I was just commiserating yesterday, in fact, that I wasn’t living enough like a real college student. Here it goes, I better get it out of my system before I have to get a real job.

Looking back, though, I guess I have been pretty college studenty. Parties every other weekend, narcotics, record store employee, sandwich shop employee, intellectual conversation at coffee shops and in the park and bookstores and spending a majority of my time on the internet or in the student lounge.

I will look back on this and smile one day, and tell my children not to make the same mistakes that I did. Ha! I’ll do it, too!

UPDATE: The next day, this cute girl who I barely remembered was at the party was suddenly being nice and talking to me. Days later, Da Asian regales me with an anecdote of my drunken hijinks in his thick Indonesian accent:
Da Asian: You reary frucked up at party.
Bresh: I fucked up?
Da Asian: No, sorry, you WERE frucked up.
Bresh: Oh, yeah, I know.
Da Asian: You say you fruck girl in green jacket.
Bresh: Oh no! I said that? I never fucked her, oh God!
Da Asian: No, sorry, you said you WOULD fruck girl in green jacket.
Bresh: Phew. That’s embarrassing, but at least its true. Sorry to bother you with my drunken chauvinistic desires.
Da Asian: Oh, you not say this to me. You say this to girl in green jacket.