Sunday, October 28, 2012

"No one wants to be the person who is made fun of for caring too much about something, who treats in earnest a situation that everyone else considers absurd. Even in personal relationships, feeling too heavily invested while simultaneously understanding that the other person couldn’t be more detached is one of the most profound feelings of embarrassment we can experience. Because it isn’t simply the embarrassment of making a mistake or a poor choice, it’s a shame over the kind of human being you are and how you see the world around you. To be shamed for your sincerity is to be reminded that you are dependent on something which is not dependent on you — that you are, once again, vulnerable.”

Chelsea Fagan

Come On Sweet Catastrophe

So Hurricane Sandy (aka Frankenstorm) is on its way. I've got water, gas, and a generator so bring it Frankenstorm! Oh and a case of Mello Yello which is the best soda of all time ever, don't even try and argue against it. The last time I spent any amount of time thinking about a hurricane it was a little over 7 years ago in New Orleans and we all know how that turned out.

Also I've given up on boys forever. I'm just going to date Sophie. We make such a cute couple.

I started my new job, so far it's pretty good. It pays way more and the hours are better and everyone is nice which is a change of pace. Quitting Petsmart felt so fucking good I wish I could do it again and again and again. Also since it is the spookiest season of the year I've been listening to a lot of this:

Hope the storm treats everyone well, I'll be writing and working my way through it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Post Glacial

So there's been a lot of discussion this week about writer Michelle Lapidos and her blog Before and Afro. To sum it up Lapidos is a white, Jewish woman living in New York City. She has worked as an intern for Vogue and as a writer/correspondent for Spa Week (whatever that is). At first glance she seems to be a typical young woman living in NYC, definitely kookier than your average urbanite, but there is certainly nothing incendiary about her or her work. Recently, however, Lapidos went to a Studio 54 themed party. As part of her costume she bought a huge afro wig. So far not so bad; not something I would have done but to each their own. This is where it gets weird. Apparently she had some kind of transcendental revelation by wearing the afro. Instead of putting it in her attic or under her bed to be forgotten until next Halloween she decided to keep wearing it. I'll let that sink in for a moment. She's been wearing this wig out and about all over the town. She documents all of her excursions on her blog, very public excursions. It get's even weirder when she writes about going to a fried chicken festival, which naturally required her to wear the wig. That in and of itself is offensive, even to someone as sheltered as me. On a side note, she refers to her gay male friends as "the gays" which is a completely different beast that I won't get into here.

She posts copious pictures of her in the wig, her in the wig with black people, and sometimes just black people that happen to be near her. The whole thing has an air of...I don't even know what. Maybe idolatry but definitely ignorance. I'm not going to lecture anyone on how to live their lives, because generally I don't care. But this is such an obviously stupid thing to do that it baffles me. Not to mention the fact that she looks completely ridiculous. Lapidos claims several times on her blog that she understands and is aware of the social implications and ramifications of appropriating black culture the way that she has. However, she continues to do it on a regular basis. In one glorious picture of her at a block party in Brooklyn Lapidos is grinding up on a bemused black man, oblivious to the side eye that a young black woman is giving her. On her blog she pontificates about how she felt liberated, strong, and maybe just a little bit cooler. The fact that she would need some kind of exaggerated, external affect to feel this way is troubling, not to mention the plethora of other problems attached to it. Lapidos also writes of how the whole thing is a kind of social experiment to better the universe, "My ultimate goal here is to help people all over the world look deeper within themselves so they can master their consciousness and fall madly in love with every detail of their lives." There is so much delusional crazy in that sentence that I can't begin to understand where she is coming from. I get being misunderstood. I get searching for an identity. I've been through several before I finally settled on one that feels right (news flash Michelle, the identity I chose is just being myself). I'm all for self expression and experimenting with your image, but Lapidos is toeing a dangerous line here. Perhaps the worst part is her general attitude regarding the criticism she's received. Instead of just listening to what people have to say about it and learning from it, she basically dismisses the criticism and blindly chalks it up to a difference in opinion. She even invites her detractors to lunch where they can have an open and honest dialogue about it. She just doesn't get it.

Recently I've heard the term "post-racial" used to describe our society. I don't know how to feel about that quite yet, but I do know that openly flaunting something so intrinsic to a specific race and acting like it's perfectly normal isn't right. Many people use the term "white privilege" to describe Lapidos and her antics. That's a concept I've had a hard time grappling with over the past few years. I'd like to think that something like that doesn't exist and in many ways I think it has more to do with class privilege or socio-economic privilege than race. However, I can't deny that it is a valid point. In response to the increasing amount of flack that she has gotten this week Lapidos posted a response blog to her critics. In it she talks about hearing every and all complaint and about understanding where people are coming from. Her solution was to discontinue wearing the wig immediately and to educate herself on the history of race relations in this country and the diverse and varied cultures we citizens have...just kidding! She bought a blond afro wig instead because that will make everything better.

I don't know what the future holds for Lapiods, wether or not she will eventually learn that what she's doing isn't right (and that she looks completely crazy doing it). I don't know if she'll blindly continue down this path until it reaches its inevitable conclusion. Hell, maybe I'm wrong and Lapidos is actually more evolved than all of us. Maybe she's just post-everything, but I don't think so. To be honest, I feel weird condemning someone for doing something that even I don't completely understand. I'm white so I'll never know what exactly that hair means to the race that it belongs to. I wouldn't expect someone else to understand me or my journey through life. However, I once heard someone say something about race and privilege that was so profound I've never forgotten it and I wish that someone would say it to Lapidos, "Privilege is invisible to those who have it."

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Face for Radio

Well everyone, today's the day. The first show I've ever produced/written will go live at 1PM on WYPR, 88.1FM. Listen in if you want, the podcast of it will be on the website later this week so you can hear it there as well. I'm more than a little nervous, I really just want to fast forward to 2PM and get it over with. Dan Rodricks (the host) texted me last night about some script revisions which of course sent me into a panic, but, I was able to pull it together and I think it's going to be a really fun hour. Of course everyone I know knows about it and I just ran into my department head who said that she can't wait to hear it either. It may seem like I'm making a bid deal out of this, and if I am, it's because it's a big deal to me. Something that I wrote and conceptualized is going to be read/performed/whatever live on the air today and I feel like there is electricity running through my body right now. To think that my producers do this every day is terrifying. I guess it becomes second nature after a while but, as they say, you always remember your first time. Wish me luck internet.

Friday, October 12, 2012

What a Week

Once again I’m sitting in the WYPR office on a Friday waiting to get out of here. My show airs on Monday and I’m finally, FINALLY, done everything that needs to be done. My script and notes have been turned in and all guest have been confirmed (for the third time). At this point all I can do is wait for 1PM Monday and hope that everything goes smoothly. I’ll admit, I’m slightly worried that Bill Stevenson from the Baltimore Tattoo Museum is going to flip when he finds out that there is also a laser tattoo removal specialist on the show. Bill has been stressing to be this entire time that he’s doing the show because it’s pro-tattoo and it may have slipped my mind to let him know who the third guest is. Oops.

Besides the station it’s been a pretty stressful week. I got the job at Wegmans and it pays so much more than my current part time job. I really just need something to get me through graduation. I’m so behind in my schoolwork so I’ll be spending this weekend catching up on all of that noise. Oh and Virgin Fest was amazing. Skrillex blew my fucking mind. I danced and danced and danced and nary a fuck was given. On a side note, after years of foregoing hats because of my giant fucking head, apparently I look amazing in them. Who fucking knew?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vanessa, do you have a sec?

This show is killing me, almost there though. Everyone should tune in to the Dan Rodricks Midday Show on WYPR 88.1 FM on Monday 10/15 for the show I produced: The Culture of American Ink.

Friday, October 5, 2012

You're a Virgin Who Can't Drive

I'm going to Virgin Fest tomorrow and I'm wearing skinny jeans and my panda hoodie and fuck everyone else it's gonna be awesome...and yes I'm going to dance my ass off to Skrillex.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Gay Skies Are Gonna Clear Up

So I quit smoking, started running, I have a job interview tomorrow, my radio show airs in a little more than a week, and I'm in the midst of a creative renaissance ...I'm happy right? Right?!?!?!

Okay, well I'm on the path to happiness, that's got to be a thing. I don't know blog, I'm feeling some kind of emotional malaise. I'm constantly busy with work and school and channeling my creative energy into art instead of homicide which is good. I should be fulfilled but I'm not. Also the irony of sharing this kind of thing on my blog hasn't been lost on me. I need to go shopping or make pithy comments about people, those usually fill the cracks in the soul.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


As if a 12 hour school day couldn't get worse, I'm simultaneously soaked and sweaty, I don't know how that's even possible.