Wednesday, June 25, 2008
-- I realized what made Addison use ordinary as a derogatory word. Commercials. The next time a commercial comes on for any household product, especially a commercial that shows the split-screen performance comparison shot, pay attention to the use of the word ordinary. The voice-over person always injects abject disdain into the word. "The baking soda formula makes Dry-Skin Wonder Spray go on comfortably, unlike ORDINARY bug spray." Given the deluge of commercials that come on in between Nick Jr. shows, I shouldn't be at all surprised to discover that Addison thinks ordinary is a bad word. Makes total sense.
-- I have loved watching the Cubs play this year. No predictions. No boasting. It has just been a heck of a lot of fun.
-- Colin does not like to sit still. If he's awake, he's on the move. A phrase that has become all too common these days is, "Where's Colin?" It's fun.
-- In South Africa, Asian people are considered Black. It sounds silly, but when you hear the reasoning behind it, it starts to make sense, and then gets silly and then sad . . . and then you might wind up angry. The problem was, Asian people were victims of apartheid. But the post-apartheid compensation laws benefited only Blacks (the label African American never really caught on in South Africa). To correct the oversight that left Asians in the South African cold, the government formally recognized all the descendants of yet another continent as Black, despite overwhelming visual evidence to the contrary. Of course, they could have just, you know, changed the wording of the law. No, relabeling people was definitely the way to go.
It just goes to show how ridiculous and demeaning racial labels really are. My fictitious but nevertheless very close personal friend Wayne Kim (who is a Korean businessman in Johannesburg) used to be considered an Asian American African, but now he's just Black.
Maybe the most overlooked part of White Privilege is the general lack of labels. Sure, it used to be that in America you were set apart because you were Polish, Irish, Italian, whatever. Now white people are just white. And we aren't even that. We only break out the white designation when there are non-white people to differentiate ourselves from. I really don't know what to say about it. Just observing at this point.
-- I haven't blogged in awhile.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
Wow, took me awhile to get there. I don't write songs, but I do make up songs. I just don't write them down. In my head, I'm always composing little songs about whatever the heck is going on up there. Sometimes those songs actually come out of my mouth. People I know well are aware of this as the themes of several songs revolve around their names.
Occasionally, the songs will be set to pre-existing music. For instance, "Elena Bobena (a.k.a. Ukrainian Woman)" is set to the tune of "American Woman" by The Guess Who. "Rhonda" is just a thinly veiled "Roxanne" by The Police. Still others are original music compositions, such as "My name is Heather (I am so beautiful)" and "I'm Addison," which was later parodied with the hit "I'm Colin James."
Not all of the songs are name-related, those are just the ones most likely to be sung out loud. I guess I sing them because I know they will either induce laughter or annoyance, and I find both reactions satisfying. The ones that are never sung are a little better . . . at least, they usually have more lyrics or lyrics that aren't composed for the sole purpose of rhyming with the title and/or someone's name.
The one that popped in and danced on my cortex today was an odd little country ditty called "I just ain't into beautiful things." I'm not sure what triggered the thought, but I realized that for a little while now I just haven't been enamored with beauty anymore. It made me a little sad. I don't know how I got to this point, but I haven't really been listening or looking for beauty . . . or appreciating it when I see or hear it. I'm surrounded by it. But I've just been more into funny, smart, suspenseful, encouraging . . . I guess beauty has been boring for awhile. These aren't the actual lyrics to the song, by the way. But it's the gist. I won't type the words, that would make me a songwriter. I'm just not ready to lose my strict songmakerupper-only status.
This sounds kind of dark to me now, but I don't feel like I'm in a dark place or anything. But I think it's worth making a change. I think it's worth going after beauty in nature, art, music, and whatever. Not sure why, but there must be a reason. I'll let you know when I find it.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Dear Word Guru,
What is it called when you incorrectly use a word that sounds like another word, but you use it incorrectly. Example - I could here (s/b hear) you from the other room.
I know there is a word for it but I can't remember. Dear Guru, please clear this up for me.
Signed, Forgetful in North Carolina
Eye believe the whirred your looking four is homophone. The reason ewe may knot half bin able two remember is that it has become politically incorrect to bee a homophone. Although the definition has nothing to do with orientation and everything too due with pronunciation, sum people git the wrong idea about homophones. Okay, isle stop using them starting . . . now.
The irony is, homophones are words that sound alike but are spelled differently, and, although the two words aren't technically homophones, the very thing that gets the homophone into trouble is its sonic similarity to homophobe. People don't like homophobes. People really don't like phobes of any kind. If your name is Pheobe, you have to watch out. Sure, you're fine in person, but when people see your name in an email, for just a second, they give your message that Mr. Drummond from Diff'rent Strokes "You're a bigot" look before realizing, "Oh, it's just Pheebs," and smiling again without the slightest shred of guilt for having prematurely judged you. Sucks to be you, Pheobe. Sucks to be you.
Anyway, they're homophones. And they aren't hurting anybody.