Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Relax it's just...

So most of the fury has died down.  Facebook and Twitter seem to have gotten back to normal.  Such is the lifespan of the scandal in the digital age.

So why am I addressing it now?  Ninety nine times out of a hundred I pretty much ignore the hype.  So why now?  Why after people have stopped talking about it?

Because the whole thing has left a godawful taste in my mouth.  It started off inoccuously enough.  Little comments, snarky posts about her image...her body...whatever.

Then it progressed.  It got ugly.  It got mean.

I had one person counted among my FB friends who started his post with "Why Miley Cyrus is a horrible person."  Then went on to essentially blame her for all teen pregnancies, and raising up a generation of whores.  His words.  It was at this point I pretty much flipped my shit.

So this is what everybody is talking about.

And this is what no one said a word about.

From this moment forward, all arguments are invalid.

Why is it that Miley is the slut, and Lady Gaga gets a free pass?

Is it because Lady Gaga is a symbol of female empowerment, and fuck youitude? (Or so I've been told by those with opinions.)

It is because Mily twerked Robin Thicke?

Incidentally I have no idea who Robin Thicke is, but I can't hear the name without thinking of Mike Seaver's dad.

Also, I pride myself on knowing more words than the average third grader, but I had no idea what a twerk was until a couple days ago.  Turns out its just a stupid thing people do...like planking...or flash mobs.  Except I guess it's supposed to be sexy?  Or something?  I dunno.

Exactly ten years ago, at the 2003 VMAs Brittney kissed Madonna.  Remember that?  Remember how everyone shit a brick because Brittney kissed Madonna.  Nobody really said anything about the fact that Christina did too.  Nobody said anything about how Madonna kissed two girls half her age.  It was all just...Brittney kissed Madonna.  Of the three, there was only one slut.

Hanna Montana debuted March 24, 2006, and finished production in 2010.  I know this because wikipedia told me so.  I never saw the show.  In fact I'm quite certain that in that time period I never even had access to Disney Channel.  I'm sure though it was a delightful romp with fun filled adventure and teenage family friendly mayhem.  There were, I'm sure a requisite number of laughs, and lessons to be learned, all neatly wrapped up in 22 minute episodes.

I have no doubt that Ms. Cyrus was charming, and cute, and won the hearts of parents and children alike across this great nation, and really...kudos to her.  Although I consistently wear the clothes of a cynical hedonistic man o the world...I actually have nothing against and am all for family programming.  I'm glad it's out there, even if I don't really get involved with it myself.

Here's the thing though.  Miley Cyrus is not Hanna Montana.  I know this comes as a shock to some.  I know others who have railed against her in the past couple days who will undoubtedly say "I know she's not...but...", and to that I ask

Do you?

Here's another news flash for some of ya'all.  This one's really gonna grind yer gonads.

Miley Cyrus was NEVER Hanna Montana.
Not once.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it seems necessary to burst some bubbles.

Hanna Montana is a product of fiction.  Miley was paid money to say words written by other people.  She was contracted to act in a certain manner in front of cameras.  There is no doubt in my mostly broken mind, that many times, while on set...saying words and doing things in the charcter and clothes of "Hanna Montana", Miley Cyrus was thinking of nothing more than her next union break.

You see, you claim to know that Miley Cyrus is not Hannah Montana.  Perhaps on the surface you really do know that.  Perhaps somewhere, somehow you've been able to separate the two.  Thing is though, Miley very successfully created a character that you fell in love with, and ergo...created expectations.

So now I'll answer the question I posited at the beginning.  What's the difference between Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga?  Simple really...


Everybody expects Lady Gaga to behave and act in a certain manner.  So when she conforms to expectations, nobody is surprised.  Nobody really has anything to say.
Oh that's just Lady Gaga being Lady Gaga.

But when Miley Cyrus breaks expectations...everybody loses their damn minds.

God forbid a real life human being didn't act and behave like a fictional character you've come to know and love.

Lady Gaga does her thing in front of your 14 year old daughter...well...you can explain that away.
But Miley Cyrus...how dare she betray her role model status.

This makes you very uncomfortale.
And what do you do when you're uncomfortable?

Let the slutshame games begin.

See now she's not Hanna Montan anymore.  Now you can finally make that break.  Now she's the reason your daughters are becoming whores.

I'm sorry to all parents everywhere, but if you are satisfied to allow any celebrity to stand as a role model, without actually talking with your children about the nature of humanity, or willing to stand as a role model yourself...well then...you deserve everything that happens.

To a degree I get it.  I do.  Celebrities.  Sports stars.  Musicians.  These people are in the public eye.  People will see them, and want to be like them.  Hell I'm a grown man, and I still want to be Benedict Cumberbatch.

Thing is though...you have to talk to your kids.  Maybe instead of worrying that Miley is the cause of teenage pregnancy, you should explain to your kids how babies are NOT made.  It's actually quite simple.

I've had sex at least three times, and still no babies.

Maybe instead of pretending that sex doesn't happen...you should accept that it does.

Moms.  Dads.  I know you don't want to hear this.  You certainly don't want to think about it, but someday, your precious little gem is going to use words that haven't been invented yet, to describe acts that your parents were certain would send them to hell.  They'll do this in text shorthand.

This will happen.

Your sons and daughters are going to do disgusting things with people you don't approve of.  And they'll do it without Miley's help.

If you don't want them to do those things...teach them not to.  They'll do it anyways.  And they'll do it without Miley's help.

Then there's this gem.

I get the joke.  I do.  I see where chucks could be had.  I guess.  Except not really.

First thing is, I hate that we live in such a sensitive society where people are made to apologize for anything they say...even if it is stupid.

Secondly...I've seen strippers.  What Miley did, isn't that.

Third...even if it were all true...
all of it...
So fucking what.

I've more than one friend that is or has been a stripper.  I know the stereotypes.  Single moms stripping for drug money.
Know what?
I've also known single moms working call centers for drug money.
I've known single moms working a warehouse for drug money.
I've know single moms working the cash register for drug money.

So think what you want I guess.  Most of the girls I know who do/have done it are/were paying for school.  I know more than one girl who paid for her masters degree swinging her ass around a pole, and I'll tell you something.  Flashing your titties for a few bucks is a far better way to pay for a masters degree than most ways...like say...student loans.

See that's the thing.  We LOVE to take a moral high ground.  Especially where sex, or anything sexual is concerned.

Well I would never...

It's simply unnacceptable...

I hope my daughter...


Anyone who does that is a whore....

In my experience men who call women whores, are simply pissed off that there is a girl who openly enjoys sex...without him.

In my experience women who call women whores, are simply pissed off that there is a girl who openly enjoys sex, when she hasn't learned how to yet.

We are so easily, made so uncomfortable by the most basic of human biological drives...and anything that makes us uncomfortable, we seem to have an incredible need to vilify.

So Miley's performance made you uncomfortable...and the vilification began.

I think one of the great tragedies of the human experience is attaching sex to religion...or morality, when in truth sex and morality have absolutely nothing to do with each other.

I think one of the great tragedies of the human experience, is teaching our children that they should wait until they're married to have sex.

I did that.
I gained nothing from having done that.

I think in fact, that in a perfect world we would have establishments, with working professionals, and by that I mean people who are equipped to deal in a very nurturing sort of way, mentally and physically, where our children between the ages of sixteen and eighteen are HIGHLY encouraged, though not forced, to go and relieve themselves of that pesky virginity problem.  Somewhere where sex and love are kept entirely separate.  Where they can gain experience and knowledge, and information.

I also think that if two people meet, and there is sexual attraction...just fucking get it over with already.  In the dating process, everything that happens before sex is a lie.  It just is.  Once the initial sex is over with...then the truth can begin.  Then you'll be able to have the real conversations.  then you'll be able to know if this is someone you actually want to be with...or simply someone you wanted to bang.

I think instead of protecting our kids from an over sexualized world...thus creating a greater illusion of the glory of sex, we should be honest.  Tell em, "Yeah..sex is awesome.  You should try it."

Then they'll get that out of the way...and discover all the things that are WAY more awesome.

Instead of slut shaming...become sex encouraging.  Teach safety.  Responsibility.

Most importantly...
Truth...in whatever form it presents itself.

If we...
If our children...
If us as a species

could just be the sluts that we're so convinced that Miley now is...

perhaps we could have realized
that her performance
was just that...
a performance

and not even a great one.

Perhaps we'd be grown up enough to know that
sex happens
whether you you aknowledge it or not.

We're so afraid of the act and illusion of sex...
We glorify and glamourize it...
We vilify it...
We make it dirty...
We become outraged.
We sanctify it...
We tie it to our mythologies...
and get REALLY pissed off when other people don't toe the line of those mythologies.

When the truth is...
We're all doing it.
We're all going to do it.
Most of us enjoy it.

And then we go on and do all the other things we do.

There is SOOOOOO much more to life than simply the act of creating it.

So really
the fact is
If Miley's little circus made you upset...
or uncomfortable...
or twitchy...
or nervous...
or made you feel like you are somehow a better...or more moral person...


That speaks volumes to me about you
and nothing about her.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What goes around...

This wasn't going to happen.

I had an entirely different blog planned out.  One dedicated almost entirely to being a student and lover of all things chaos, and the resulting effects it has had on my life.

And how my pants are being funny.

Instead you get this one.  Another (sort of but not really, but in a way kind of) joint thingy with Deena.

It started out simply enough.

Deena had asked on FB for blog topics.  This is not really unusual for blog writers.  We are sometimes curious what our readers may want to read about.  I've done it myself a number of times.  Thing is, it can be kind of frustrating.  I've learned from my own experience that asking that question can actually be pretty futile.  Most of the time the responses we get are either ridiculous, or lean toward things that we have never had a single independent thought about.  How can we write about it, if there is no part of us that cares about it?

Knowing all of this, I decided to be specific.  I simply responded to her query with 10 questions I wanted to know about Deena.  This made it personal.  Something that is incredibly easy for anyone to write about.  It's sort of like an interview...except without all that annoying interviewer crap getting in the way.

She took it to heart and responded beautifully.  Then...in true player form, returned the questions with a gorgeous backhand, and now it's on me to answer the same questions.

So instead of digging into the more troubled parts of myself, and how the past few weeks have not so positively affected me...and my incredibly strange and funny pants...I will answer the same questions I previously asked Deena.

So here goes.  I will word them here exactly as I worded them for her, and then answer as they apply to me.

1)  Why in the world would a talented equity actress make SLC her home?

This question came off sounding more harsh than I intended, but it is a curiosity.  It should come as no surprise that most of my relationships, and deepest friendships are with other actors.  These are the people I spend most of my time with.  Many of them are card carrying equity members.  Most are not.  Of those that are, I hear a common lament, that there is simply not enough great equity work in SLC.  Oh sure there is some, but naturally, for the few contracts available, there is plethora of competition.  Acting is a tough gig no matter what professional level you maintain.  It was assumed that I meant perhaps New York may be a better place for a working actor...but really...there are a ton of great theatre towns in this nation, and SLC isn't really known as one of them.  For good reason.  SLC is where musicals go to die...and die...and die...a tremendously long, agonizing, miserable death.  Fer chrissakes, people are all excited about a production of Carousel here.  Carousel.  Carofuckingsel.  I...  I just can't even begin to express how depressing this is to me.
But here's the thing.  That's my perspective.  It's how I see things.  I must always remember I am but one small voice among many.  Her answer was thrilling to me for a number of reasons...foremost being I'll always have at least a little bit of something to look forward to.
My answer for myself regarding this question will be better explained I think in question number 2.

2) What makes a home?
This is actually kind of a silly question.  I imagine most people would have a similar response.  Home is where your family is...or where you make your family.  Home is where you are comfortable.  Home is where you feel love.  Home is ....(fill in the blank with any given warm sentiment).
Here's the thing though.  It's something, from a personal level I'm deeply interested in.  Especially when it comes to specific locations.
I've written pretty extensively on this in previous posts, so I won't go too deeply into it here, but since the question exists...so must the answer.
I am for all intents and purposes...homeless.  Oh sure, I've a roof over my head, and a key that unlocks the front door.  I pay rent on residence.  I am not houseless...but...
I have never felt at home in any location that I've had a mailing address. So to honestly answer question 1, I have to respond, I DON'T call SLC my home.  If I live here the remaining years of my life, whether they be few...or decades...I will never call SLC my home.  I know this.  I've known it since I moved here.  Hell, I'm pretty sure I knew it before I moved here.  I may live out, and die here, but I'll never belong here.
So for me I ask the question What makes a home, because I don't know.  I know what makes family.  I have the best one on the planet.  I know what makes love, and comfort, and I know about zipcodes, and renters agreements...but I still...after 40 years of life...have no idea what makes a home.

Okay the next six questions are kind of a cheat.  I had an incredibly limited amount of time to come up with 10 questions.  Given more than the 3 minutes I had, I'm sure I could have done better, but I did what I could with what time I had.  But also, sort of not a cheat, because there is/was a certain curiosity.  A compare and contrast with who we are...who we were...and who we wish to be.  All played within a defined space of now, 5 years, and 10 years, each progressive direction.  So I'm going to answer the next six questions with two responses.

3) How is 2013 Deena different than 2012 Deena
4) 2008
5) 2003

I will of course address these questions as though the name above reads JayC

In 2003 I had lived in Las Vegas already for two years.  I was finding my niche as a paid theatre tech at The Rio working all sorts of shows as a spot op, or video op, or stage hand depending on the show.  I was receiving the best pay rate I've ever had, for essentially monkey work.  I was balancing working an ever changing entertainment schedule at work, with my ever persistent need to do my own theatre work.  I was quite successfully making a name for myself as an actor and director in the town.  I was on the board of directors for Las Vegas Little Theatre.  I was happily married, and discovering a freedom I'd never known, as an out of the closet atheist.  I was constantly engaged in a new project, and spent more nights than I can count at the local pub with friends talking theatre, religion, politics, and all sorts of other bullshit til the sun came up.  I had a pretty tight knit of friends...most of whom I had gone to college with, and we were all on the same page.  I grew complacent.  I grew fat, and happy.  I was doing what I loved, with the people I loved.  There were bad times of course.  There always are...but I tend to focus on the happy parts of my past.
In 2008 I was divorced, and the casino had decided that it no longer wanted to maintain an entertainment showroom, turning it instead into a night club, and laying off a majority of the techs.  Myself being one of them.  I was now living in Salt Lake City.  I had been here but a few months, living alone in a tiny half bedroom apartment downtown.  I was cast in my first show in SLC as Picasso, in Picasso at the Lapin Agile.  It was tremendous fun, and I met a lot of wonderful new people.  I met a girl who was...unavailable.  I hate that.  I didn't pursue anything because...well...you just don't do that.
Although she would have no idea, 2008 is when I first saw Deena on stage in a play called Skin in Flames, and to be honest, I didn't love the play.  I didn't hate it.  It was good.  She though...  I've told her this... hell I've told everybody this.  She blew me away.  There was a moment in the play where I was transported.  I was left literally breathless by her performance.  I knew as I left the theatre that night that there was talent in SLC, and I couldn't wait to be part of it.
2008 is when I met the girl who I would spend the next four years of my life with.  We met.  We connected.  We decided to give it a go.  And go it did...for four years, and then it stopped going.  And so it goes.  I gained weight.  I lost weight.  I juggled jobs, and acting gigs.  I knew...all along I knew...that things weren't...well...I don't even know how to put it.  Deena says it best in her blog, so I'll refer to her.  Things weren't yes.
In 2012 I was reunited through small world coincidence with the unavailable girl I met in 2008.  Again I was single.  Again she was not.  This time the crossroads crossed harder.  In the end, I still had to let it go, because well...that's just what you do.  The girl I had started a relationship with in 2008, ended it in 2012, leaving me to decide at the time, that the single road is probably the road I should travel.  A decision I don't regret, and haven't changed.  2013 JayC is in a very strange place however.  A land of never say nevers.  Not looking, not searching, but open to all the winds that blow.  Homeless but not houseless.  Everything right now is disposable.  Everything.  Especially my weirdo pants.

6)What would Deena like for 2014

Deena pretty much stole my answers for these questions, but since she answered them first, I guess it's really I that am stealing her answers.  In these replies we are much the same.
I am not a planner.
Oh sure I make plans.
They almost always...nearly every single time...fall through.
This past weekend I had plans.  Plans that were made in February or March.  Something I was very much looking forward to.  It didn't happen.  Sometimes it's something planned only a few days in advance.  It ends up not happening.  Without fail.
I don't lay blame.  I truly don't  People have lives.  That's the neat thing about life.  It happens.  It changes on a whim.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't often disappointed.  I'd also be lying if I said I was ever surprised.  It's simply how my life is.  Defined almost soley by bad timing.  The only schedules that I've come to rely on are work, rehearsal, and performance schedules.  Once those are set, they rarely change.  Anything planned outside or around those schedules...well...it's fruitless.  I've discovered that for me, the best way to go about things is to arrange for something to happen almost immediately or within the next few hours.  Anything beyon that...well...
So to think 1, or 5, or 10 years in advance is nothing but the purest fantasy.  I suppose my biggest hope for 2023 is to still be alive.  If I am, then perhaps it's okay to hope that my death will take place in some spectacular space battle.  The icing on top would be if I were piloting a TIE Fighter.

9) You once mentioned going back to school, how's that coming?
That question is Deena specific.  Like she responded, never say never...but I have never had plans of returning to school, and still have no plans of such.  For me...every day is school in one way or another.  I just don't have to take out egregious loans for the education I get/give myself now.

10) If at some point in your life you had been wise enough to put together a time capsule, and you opened it today, what would you hope to find?

Little stuff mostly.  Stuff that would have no meaning for anyone but me.  A hand carved knot slip that my dad made for me to wear at my Eagle Scout Ceremony.  I lost it before the ceremony, and never got to wear it.
A picture of my ex wife and I when we were young and pretty and happy.  I can see the photo so clearly in my mind, and I'm sure it exists...or existed...but I have no idea where.
Four or five cassette tapes I made when I was in High School.  No music on them, just...me talking.  A sort of audio journal thing I was trying out at the time.  I don't know whatever happened to them.
Just..you know...shit like that, that has been lost over the years.
I like to think that over the course of my life, little gnomes, much wiser than I, have been collecting this stuff.  Someday when I'm old, and feeble, and ugly, when I have nothing left to give this world, and this world has nothing left to give me, and I'm sitting under my own giving tree somewhere, the gnomes will come and give me all this shit back, to look at one more time.
That's a nice though.

These questions were all originally intended for Deena, and she did answer them in her own blog.  If you'd like to read her responses, they can be found here.

10 things I want to know about Deena