If my roommates have a problem with I-don't-have-time-to-wash-my-dishes, they can complain in the slivers of time when I'm home and awake (and not in the shower). Wee! But actually, it's fun, and I'm actually getting less worried about the stress. I'm gonna miss my Skype dates and my friends though.
When you think of a Dust Bowl-era folk hero in general, or of Woody Guthrie in that context, what images comes to mind? I think of someone walking off into vast empty spaces. Maybe with a bindle (I had to look up that word). I think of riding the rails. I think of a man alone, which isn't great for a play. But there are all sorts of encounters on the way. Oh gods, I don't want to do the Odyssey structure, though. #nocoldmountainforme
I think of cheerfulness in the face of all obstacles, which is a big contrast for me with the other rural Dust Bowl associations of Grapes of Wrath. Comradery among the downtrodden, maybe songs around a campfire. But also aimless, rootless, and a little selfless. Beholden to no one but eager to help and to share. But these are not images nor particularly useful at this point.
It's interesting how things seem to get folkier when it comes to immediate responses to current events, or at least the ones that cross my path. There's something to be said for a good, old-fashioned protest song.
John Craigie, "The Silver Lining of Trump as President"
Iris DeMent, "We Won't Keep Quiet"
Jill Sobule, "Our America Back"
Greg Brown, "Trump Can't Have That"
[Future-Zan acknowledges this huge oversight: Jenny Owen Youngs, "Prophecy Girl"] (yes, it's from Buffering the Vampire Slayer, but you've all seen Buffy and even if you haven't there aren't spoilers.)
(To be fair to other genres, Green Day, "Troubled Times"
Fiona Apple, "Tiny Hands")
(And, in honor of my therapist, I'm gonna take a moment to recognize that even since my most recent bout of political nausea, a few good things have happened. Of course, the fact that these things are set up in the first place is... well. The fight is long. But it is being fought.) (The thing is, every time a good thing happens, a worse thing happens.)( I'm trying. I am. )
Lauren: Hey. Um. This is kind of weird -- but do you ever wonder how many times your life is gonna end?
Schultz: Uh... I'm not sure I know what / you...
Lauren: Like how many people you're... like how many times your life is gonna totally change and then, like, start all over again? And you'll feel like what happened before wasn't real and what's happening now is actually...
Schultz: Uh... I don't know. I guess I feel like my life is pretty real.
(There was a time when I thought it would be a good idea to remix scenes with lyrics or bits of songs and I bet you can guess what song would go in this one.)
Don't ask me how I'm choosing songs. I might change them because I wish I'd taken more time with this.
Janis Joplin, "Ball & Chain"
The Doors, "The Severed Garden"
Jimi Hendrix, "Purple Haze" (I feel like in this version, it sounds more like "this guy" than usual.)
Nirvana, "The Man Who Sold The World" (I know I should at least pick something he wrote, but I just wanted to do this one. According to Wikipedia, Kathleen Hanna actually said "smells like Teen Spirit" to him pre-the song. But I am not educated enough in Nirvana to know what is Cobain at his most riot grrrl.)
The Rolling Stones, "She's A Rainbow"
Amy Winehouse, "Tears Dry On Their Own"
Righteous Brothers, "Rock 'n Roll Heaven"
John Craigie, "28" (Yeah, so, I probably wouldn't be including this if it either weren't in the 27 Club Wikipedia article or if he didn't do "What Phase Is This." But it also reminds me that they didn't die on their 27th birthdays, so I'm still younger than they were for now.)
Amanda Palmer, "Bottomfeeder"
-I missed the rally because I was too afraid to strike out alone.* Mike says you couldn't really hear and he missed the Indigo Girls too, but I needn't have feared striking out alone. You're not alone when you're in a crowd of people who love and value the same things, and who are there to stand together. (I eventually did strike out alone, when people were done marching before I was, and the crowd felt great alone. I think one thing I should work on in my life is when I know what I want to do but seek others' permission to do it. Yes, I rarely know what I want, but when I do know what I want, why can't I trust myself? Luckily, the people I ask usually pick up on what I want and say the right thing.) I didn't see any celebrities in the crowd, either, although it seems from Twitter that JoCo and Joss Whedon and others were just marching alongside us regular folks. But I saw a lot of fierce, dedicated people, banding together with love and determination and anger.
-I brought a good amount of snacks (although I ended up giving most of them to a homeless man) but in the future, more water. Or at least accept an extra bottle being distributed, because the bottle I brought might have been full when I passed the bottled watter people, but by the end, I was swallowing my own throat on a very long Metro ride.
-Download some offline maps. Come on, you could have figured that out. Although following random people on the street generally worked well.
-How come there is always a Starbucks there, except when I really want one? When you're thirsty and hungry and tired and in possession of a Starbucks gift card, there should definitely be a Starbucks on the way to the Metro.
-SO MANY PEOPLE. SO MUCH TIME SPENT ON THE METRO. My back hurts and my legs ache and I almost fell asleep on my feet. And also, note to self, when some guy offers you his seat on the Metro and you're close to collapsing, that is actually a really good time to say yes, thank you. You don't have to say no, you're fine, if you're not quite fine.
-Also, I just have SO MANY FEELINGS. I almost cried when I pulled up to the Metro and saw the sea of people there. I almost cried when little girls on the Metro were discussing their favorite protest signs ("Love trumps hate," because it had hearts, and "Keep your laws off my body," on which she had traced her hands). I almost cried at a lot of things. And then I think about how this doesn't change what we're up against, and I want to cry a different kind of tears. But the Metro conductor on the way home thanked us for what we were doing, and that makes me want to cry too. Because we were doing something, and I was part of that, and we were doing it for all the people who couldn't be there and for each other, because none of us could do it without each other. And there was so much love there, so much diversity (in so many of its forms), and so much support for each other. This kind of thing is how the Tea Party started, and there were a lot more of us than there were of them at the beginning. So who knows. Maybe all won't be lost.
*The upside here is I got to catch up with Mary, whom I haven't seen in ages and whom I was not expecting to see at the March. It was pretty great to see her. If you include Friday, when I was able to catch Jackie for some quality time, I spent time with 3 of my favorite people (2 of whom don't live around here) and I didn't die in a ditch, although in retrospect, the assurance from Nate and Kirsten (is it better without an ampersand?) that they would come save me if I were to die in a ditch doesn't make much sense.
(If you're curious about counterprotests, I saw a grand total of 2 people in Trump paraphenalia, and probably 5-10 anti-choice protestors, who were not hostile at least as we marched by them.)
I had something else to say. I don't remember what it was. I don't even remember the mood. But self-care is good. The long haul is going to be so long, but we have to stay in it.
I don't know how to write music but I want to know. Of course, neo-Nazis are currently threatening DC-area punk venues about the time I'd most want to go.
I don't know what I want to say or how.
I want to make things again though. Starting is the hard part.
I think we need Kathleen Hanna back (fun fact, she's back). But at least we have Amanda Palmer and Grimes and Janelle Monae and lots of people I don't know because I am undereducated.
This is not the lightest music, but you probably know that because "Bigger on the Inside." But I guess it's more trauma and sexism/racism stuff and less fascism stuff because that's where I came out of The Punk Singer.
Bikini Kill, "Feels Blind"
Amanda Palmer, "Bigger on the Inside"
Janelle Monae, "Many Moons"
I'll figure something out 'cause I'm not good at being depressed and if leaving the country helps me, you can shame me if you want but I will put on my mask before assisting others. I don't know if it will help, but it's not like I haven't wanted to move somewhere for ages.
For now, I want to apply for jobs in Canada but also figure out how to be creative again in a way that at least helps me.
I don't know about the artsy people you know, but mine are all concerned with how to do things that matter more, whether that's the word they use or not. How to get through to people who don't already agree with you, how to make sure your work isn't part of the problem, how to give opportunities to those who lack them without appropriating or misrepresenting their stories (some of this may be theatre-specific, but I think the concepts are more general).
(I think the first one is the hardest; art can be an effective tool for empathy, but audiences get awfully insular. We do get a lot of old people seeing theatre made by young people, but it's hard to get outside the regular theatre people. And that can be true in other fields, too. Although in my sf/f/h short fiction days, as limited as the audience could be, I think it has a lot more political and ideological diversity than theatre.)
What I'm thinking right now is that while preaching to the choir isn't particularly productive, there is value in creating things that might contribute to the self-care of people already in your community or on your side. And it's also hard to predict what that might be. Probably when Aimee Mann wrote "Red Vines," she didn't know it was going to become symbolic of one 20-something's self-care. On the surface, it doesn't particularly seem like a song that Says Something Important, necessarily. And representation to wide audiences with diverse perspectives is the most helpful empathy-wise, but it's also super-valuable for the people for whom it's not even empathy to see that representation. So maybe preaching to the choir is an overly dismissive way of looking at it. Maybe it's not self-indulgent to sometimes want to create an artistic support group.
Or THE ALIENS. Or Pokemon Snap. Like, if I could just devote my life to THE ALIENS, Firefly, and Pokemon Snap, that sounds like the best life ever. And, like, Spider & Web. Obviously this list could become extremely long. And I roll my eyes when people talk about probable-queerbaiting Youtubers saving their lives or whatever. Maybe I'm saying that mattering is overrated, or just that it doesn't make any sense.
I don't know. I'm not sure I've ever been one to write about Issues in some kind of Important way. And I've never really minded that before. But the world now isn't what it was then, and now writing a self-indulgent play about self-indulgence seems extra self-indulgent and maybe only justifiable if I were to actually quit my job and work for some saving-the-world type of group (yes, I know I work to make higher education more accessible to nontraditional students, thanks Mom!). So should I write the SLJ one if only because it would have lead roles that necessitate casting women of color? Should I come up with an idea that Matters more than the ones I have? Should I stop trying to get back into the headspace where I was going to start writing again and accept that the kind of fighting that also means not taking much time to avoid the despairs of reality is actually what I should be doing for the next 4 years or more (this necessitates believing in my ability to make a difference, so...)?
(Jonatha Brooke, "It Matters Now")
I know, this is totally self-indulgent in itself. But I think that's often part of the process.
Amontiock, "Hufflepuff Puff Pass" (let's be real, if I were at Hogwarts, I'd be a loser Hufflepuff and not living this life.)
Beyonce, "All Night"
Jenny Owen Youngs, "Pirates" (is it a real thing that music is better once the artist starts a Buffy rewatch podcast?) (I think she was better yesterday though?)
okay but Jenny Owen Youngs, "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (spoilers for the first ep. of Buffy, but really, you've seen it.)
I feel like somehow the most emblematic Steven Universe songs are "Giant Woman" and "Stronger Than You." Although in some ways maybe "It's Over, Isn't It" is the best? This is a rabbit hole, of course.
If you want an accurate Zan listening experience, repeat "All Night" a couple more times.
I'm clearly writing cover letters right now.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. I can't sustain myself on fear, tension, political phone calls, and the empty fluff of instant gratification that feel immediately appealing after a day of the first three. I can reconsider things in my life, I can fight, but I shouldn't abandon completely the things I was going to do to be ridiculous and have fun. I miss that world, but I think I need to reclaim bits of it for as long as I can.
People are gonna write counterfactuals about this. I just try not to spend too long thinking about them.
(Insert comment about not letting the terrorists win.)
(I still hope the Handmaid's Tale TV adaptation is great, but I'm afraid it will be seriously painful to watch.)
Edit- The BBC is already on those counterfactuals. Although of course only the future will tell us how far the paths diverge.
"The second special will involve the team looking back 'at the year that never was, imagining what life would be like had Remain won, Trump lost and a host of other events that just might have happened'."
Oh, 2016. If only what happened in 2016 could just stay in 2016.
Inspired by, and in some cases blatantly stolen from, Elena Gleason's Spotify playlist: https://play.spotify.com/user/
And maybe that's the only reason there's anything new here. But you cope your way and I'll cope mine. This is a mess of what I'm feeling (in no real order), minus the nausea (which is a lot better than yesterday, and I slept through the night!).
Belize being the best from Angels in America pt. 2
David Bowie, "I'm Afraid of Americans"
Girlyman, "Amaze Me"
Rufus Wainwright, "Going To A Town"
The Temptations, "Ball of Confusion"
Grimes, "Kill v. Maim"
Antje Duvekot, "Milk and Trash"
Fall Out Boy, "The Kids Aren't Alright" okay you're reading livejournal stop judging me I am not going to apologize blah blah cheekbones & accents blah. but also sometimes you just feel like an emo kid.
Tracy Chapman, "Talkin' Bout A Revolution" (too bad the tables are turning the wrong way before the right)
Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On"
FKA Twigs, "Elastic Heart" (cover but I think it's cool)
The Black Eyed Peas, "Where Is The Love?"
Paul Simon, "American Tune"
Sam Cooke, "A Change Is Gonna Come"
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme" (plus)
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, "I Won't Back Down" (even if I do move to Canada at some point)
(And, duh, Aimee Mann, "Red Vines." Always "Red Vines.") (Fun fact, Aimee Mann liked my tweet once when I tweeted 'thank @aimeemann for Red Vines.')
I am not yet to this optimistic a point, but Laura Nyro, "Save the Country"
Edit- I'm still adding. FYI.
Youtube playlist. Which omits the emo/British cheekbones because, professionalism?
Kate Klim, "I Choose Me"
The Muppets, "Me Party"
Grimes, "Flesh Without Blood"
The Dandy Warhols, "We Used To Be Friends"
Destiny's Child, "Survivor"
Girlyman, "Storms Were Mine"
This isn't quite what I want it to be, but it's the best I'm finding without a cheesy soundtrack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
(I chose not to do a "Halloween" playlist this year, and I am fine with that decision, but I checked last year and I did the afterlife specifically, which means I haven't had a Halloween playlist with this on it. So, there it is. And then the irony occurs to me that "Michael in the Bathroom" is at a Halloween party in the musical. But that's not where I am now. And from my new experience playing a zombie-fighting first-person shooter ala "Two-Player Game," I may be a good friend, but when they make an attack, I don't have your back. I am probably dying across the room.) (tl;dr how great is Be More Chill? So great.)