Friday, February 27, 2015

Humility is for suckers.

I got called out yesterday morning by a friend I hadn't talked to for a while.  I fully deserved it.  It was in regards to a facebook post I had made for a recent post on the art blog.

He pointed out that I seem to preface every post with a negative comment about my work.

Fair enough.

Not having ingested enough coffee at the time, I thought this observation to be mainly in reference to the blog post itself, which being a post about one of my first painting attempts, I thought was critical but fair.

It hadn't occurred to me that on the Facebook post, I had included the words "Be prepared for terribleness."

Okay, that's pretty negative.

Although I created the art blog with the intent of sharing more of the stories behind my artwork, I also wanted it to be a place where I could examine and critique my own work:  where I've improved and where I'd like to see improvement.

But I'm not going to lie. I tear myself down, a lot.  I've been using self-deprecation as a defense mechanism for a ridiculously long time, and it's a tough habit to break.

I know there one major thing at play here: there is the desire to point out my own flaws before anyone else can.  It's as though if I don't let anyone see that I might actually be taking this somewhat seriously, then I don't have to live up to the expectation of being any good at it.  It's the thing that keeps me referring to myself as a dabbler, or a hobbyist, as opposed to an artist.  I feel like if I act like I take it too seriously, then I'm at risk at becoming the living embodiment of the insufferably pretentious art snob.  So I fall back on "Ha ha, I suck."

I've always felt rather mediocre at most of my endeavours.  Perhaps I've only ever been mediocre because I won't allow myself to immerse myself in anything enough to be more than 'just okay' because if I do, then there will be expectations.

And let's face it.  Pride is still considered, in many circles, to be a vanity, a sin.  Women especially are expected to downgrade their accomplishments, to deflect compliments with phrases like "Oh, you don't mean that," and "You're just saying that to be nice." 


It's bullshit. The idea that people should be humble, should not draw attention to their strengths, is a great way to keep people down, to keep them from realizing their full potential.  We don't know the things we are capable of if a fear of pride or appearing immodest drives us to downplay every single accomplishment we have.  We internalize the message that those things we learn and do and become good, great, or even experts at (outside, of course, of those things we do to earn money, because capitalism.. you are your job, in this system) don't matter, that they aren't a big deal.

You, my friends, are a big fucking deal.  If you tried something new today, that's a big deal.  If you did something today that you love and did it even the teensiest bit better than you did yesterday, that's a big deal.

From today, I am going to try to work extra hard not to be so self-deprecating when it comes to my art, my music, my writing or myself.  I am a big fucking deal.

SOURCE

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

So did go all that is good and pure in the world.

My heart is broken.

I caught wind through fellow blogger, Lance, that during last night's taping of The Daily Show, long-time host Jon Stewart let slip that he would be stepping down from his hosting duties.

I may have cried a little.  I am not ashamed.

When I saw the posted headline, I silently begged "Please be the Onion.  Please be the Onion," but the AV Club's post had already been edited to include an official announcement from Comedy Central.

SOURCE

This is disheartening news.  It may sound weird, since it's not entirely kid-friendly fare, but watching the Daily Show has become family time around here.

Yes, my kids rock current events at school.

And even though Jon Stewart may have outed the Easter Bunny, he's also opened up dialogues with my kids about war, prejudice, injustice, politics, racism, sexism (but surprisingly, not make-believe holiday creatures).  I recall Reagan laughing at a joke Stewart made a few months back that pointed out the irony in gun-rights advocates invoking Martin Luther King Jr. as an ally.

Granted, she may have just been laughing at the faces he was making, but a little part of me thought she may have gotten the joke. The kid is pretty smart.

Humour makes ideas and current events accessible.  And I think that has been part of the appeal of the Daily Show.

I have a few hopes here.  My first hope involves a long-time desire to see Jon Stewart enter politics, as I am sure many others have also hoped.  Then if he ran for president, Rick Mercer could come out and renounce that time he shilled for the government with those "One-Ton Challenge" commercials and returning to biting political commentary with a northern touch, and make a run for PM and in the end we'd have an entertaining-as-hell Canada-US alliance.

That's just an idea I've been throwing around since pretty much forever.

Second, since Comedy Central's official statement seemed to imply that Stewart's departure would not spell the end of the Daily Show, I really, sincerely hope that they make Jessica Williams the new host.  Not only is she my favourite correspondent out of the current cast, she's pretty badass, but as a WOC she'd be a refreshing change of pace from the current white-dude tsunami that is the late night talk-show circuit (Although I haven't forgotten you, Larry).

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I guess we have a few more months to find out what's in store.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Stuff We Need a Word For, Part 1 (TMI warning for ICKY LADY STUFF)

"A pervasive fear or anxiety that you have forgotten to replace your tampon*, and as such, are slowly bleeding into your underpants."

Does anyone else get this, or just me?

You're sitting there and suddenly you flash back to your last trip to the bathroom.  You distinctly remember removing a tampon, but have no real recollection of putting a new one in.

Did I forget? Is it still sitting there, in its wrapper, on the back of the toilet? 

Am I the only one who has had this nagging doubt?

"Was it a bad idea to wear white today?" - SOURCE

I am loathe to admit this, but the reason I suffer this anxiety is that it's happened to me.  Twice in one day.  God only knows what had me so pre-occupied that day, but ever since I find myself, at least once every cycle, besieged by a need to run to the nearest washroom and do a quick string-check.

Everyone gets this once in a while, right?

Oh, just me?

Perfect.

*Feel free to substitute with pad or DivaCup or what have you.  But if you're having a problem with not knowing if you're actually wearing a pad, let me know what brand you're using, please, because it's probably the best pad ever.




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