Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things I hate

Is this the one you were waiting for? I spent all week thinking about this post. What is it that makes us bond more over hatred than love? I think maybe it's authenticity. You see, someone can plaster a fake smile all over their face and pretend they're loving, and we can see right through it. But hate... people just don't bother to fake hate, do they? And so we can come together and gripe together and nod in agreement and think, Man, I hate that too.

I'm sure some of you feel that I'm probably a little Pollyanna in my ways. Always looking on the bright side and all that. But I'm acutely aware that the things I hate define and sharpen my edges, like my love does, and I wrinkle my (cute little button) nose at the idea of hate. After all, if I have such a huge problem with these things in my life, doesn't that just make it MY problem? My hatred doesn't affect anyone else. It's like taking poison and expecting someone else to die from it.

Nonetheless - I will say that there are quite a few things in life that honestly bug the crap out of me, and when I'm feeling thin-skinned, the following things DEFINITELY push my buttons.

Without further ado:

I hate high heels. I want to time-travel back to whenever someone thought to himself (because you KNOW it wasn't a female who thought it up), You know what would make women more sexy to men? If they wore shoes that were elevated by a tiny, minuscule little stick at the end, underneath the heel, where all the balance goes, wouldn't that be glorious? Wouldn't women wincing in pain and falling over on their asses be so incredibly sexy? and I want to punch that person in the face. Guys, if you want, I'll do the same thing for whomever invented neck ties.

I hate writers who don't read, and actors who don't watch television. Know your craft, dammit.

I hate that some people insist on not having a cell phone because they claim that they don't want everyone to be able to reach them. See, there's this nifty thing on your phone, called voice-mail, and it totally solves that problem.

I hate poachers. I don't think I need to explain this one.

I hate tailgaters. Please don't make me break down the laws of Physics for you, because I won't, but a general rule is: you cannot go faster than the car that's in front of you by driving up its ass. Also, if you think that by closing the safe distance that is supposed to be maintained between two moving vehicles weighing approximately 4,500 pounds is somehow going to make me speed up so that you can do that all over again, you are sadly mistaken. I'm just going to daydream about slamming on my breaks and how lovely that insurance check would be.

Tracy hates when people refer to themselves in the third person. She finds it annoying. Even more annoying is when someone refers to themselves in the third person plural. We hate that the most.

I hate drivers who think they can multitask. I've seen women curling their hair with a curling iron; men shaving; people reading books, magazines, and printed out directions that are propped up on the steering wheel while going 80 mph on the freeway; women doing makeup at red lights that turn green and they don't notice because a mirror is in front of their face; people drinking coffee in one hand, texting in the other, and steering with their knee; and people who drive with their dogs freaking out in the front seat on top of them. Stop it, all of you. Before you kill me.

I don't hate ignorant or dumb people. But I do somewhat resent intelligent people who claim the right to be ignorant.

I hate when people put chewed gum underneath desks, chairs, or movie seats. It's disgusting and are people THAT lazy that they couldn't wad it up into a napkin and throw it away?

I hate it when animals are used in the circus. And I know - I hear it all the time - "Those animals are so pampered, they've got it so good, don't feel sorry for them," well, I do. A zoo or animal sanctuary is one thing. A circus - that travels hundreds of thousands of miles, forcing their animals to travel in cages, something already stressful for a domesticated animal, let alone a wild one - takes an animal, puts it in front of hundreds of loud humans each night under bright lights and loud music, and asks it to perform tricks that are not natural to its behavior. No. The animals do not have it good.

I hate torture porn. Do I really want to watch some attractive teenagers get the hubris tortured out of them so I can feel morally smug to the sound of chainsaws and carving knives? No. I don't.

I hate fundamentalism. I hate it in religion, and I hate it in politics. This planet will not survive if we demonize those who do not agree with us instead of having thoughtful dialogue and working towards accomplishing common goals together.

I already really don't like most gossip and fashion bloggers, but when they target children, I genuinely hate them. Honestly? You can't find anything better to write about - anyone else to make fun of - other than the outfit a 12 year old girl wore to an awards show? She's TWELVE. When she's eighteen, fine, give her hell. Until then, leave her alone and get some self-respect.

I hate that Disney has no strong mother characters in almost any of its movies. Go on, think about that. How many of the mothers in Disney movies are either already dead or die during the movie?

I hate that when I tell someone I'm an actress, if it's a single male his response will usually be something along the lines of: "Oh, so you're just a really good liar." Yes, you presumptuous ASSHAT, I studied at one of the finest theater companies in all of Southern California as a teenager, learning mime, clowning, mask-making, interpretative dance and comedic timing for over five years before attending this university, where I learned Suzuki, Tai-Chi, Tolstoy, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Moliere, Shakespeare, Strasberg, Stanislavsky, Linklater, and Mamet while interning at one of the most prestigious Shakespeare Companies on the entire West Coast, after taking a quick break to go to London and study Chekhov for half a year, then moving up to Los Angeles so that you could stand there now and tell me you're pretty sure I'm just a flaky bitch whom, if we dated, would just manipulate you because I know how to cry on cue. To which my reply is: Kindly get over yourself and get out of my way so that when I take over the world, you're standing there on the sidelines, still bitter about your life.

So there you go - and now it's your turn. What do you hate?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Things I love

Taking a cue from Snowbrush, one of the newest bloggers I follow, I am going to do a two-part series: one about the things I love, the other about the things I hate, just in time for Valentine's Day (when there is some serious love and hate going on.) I was going to do my Hate post first, since I wanted to save Love for the week of Valentine's Day, but my last post was, how shall I say, a bit vitriolic? So I shall save my hate for next week. I'm sure you all will survive.

Also - I wanted to thank everyone for their very kind, very respectful comments about my last post. There were people who disagreed with me (which I love) but did it in a very mature, understanding way (which I also love) and for that I thank each and every one of you. I turned on comment moderation because I was afraid someone was going to spoil the party by leaving some hateful, over-simplified, politicized comment on the post, and holy crap, no one did. So this week comment moderation is back off because you guys don't need a babysitter ;)

Let's get this party started.

I love summer evenings on a porch, with a chair swing, and an ice cold glass of pink lemonade, watching the sunset.

I love the soft, rope hammocks that are tied between trees.

I love ice cream sandwiches, year round.

I love Christmas lights in July.

I love drinking hot chocolate in bed.

I love getting hand-written thank-you notes in the mail.

I love honesty mixed with kindness. Anything else I feel has an agenda. If you're too nice to tell the truth, you're just worried that the person isn't strong enough to handle the news. And if you're mean with your honesty, then you probably don't actually care about helping someone out, just feeling better about yourself. Either way, it's not honesty for the right reason.

I love chocolate. Seriously. LOVE.

I love kittens, and I love cats, but I love kittens more. Except at 2 am when the kitten has decided to try and eat my face.

I love comic books, cartoons, animated movies, and anything else that makes me feel like I'm eight again.

I love playing. Take that any which way you want to, but there it is. I try to play every single day of my life, keep a playful attitude, play games and sports and music, play jokes, play jump-rope, whatever. Every day I try to make room to play.

I love my mother. I love the way she laughs, the way she smells when I pull her in close for a hug, the way she has the same dark sense of humor that I do, the way she frowns when she's thinking hard. I love every single thing about my mother, so much that it hurts.

I love clean sheets. I am a sucker for clean sheets.

I love being warm. Not hot, mind you, and definitely not chilly. Just...warm. The only real proof I have that I'm a girl is that my warm-o-meter hovers somewhere between 75-77 degrees and after that I'm either too hot or too cold.

I love driving, though LA is trying to rip that one out of me as hard as it can. Suck it, Los Angeles. You can pry my love of driving out of my cold, dead hand (dead at the hands of a soccer mom in an SUV on a cell phone, probably.)

I love patriotism and religion when they are used for the express purpose of spreading love. I do not like them much when they are used to propagate fear, but you can check next week's post on hate for more details on that.

I love other people's babies. They are cute and when they poop or throw up I get to hand them back.

I love thoughtfulness, kindness, patience, gratitude, and compassion. I am trying to recognize and nurture these qualities in myself.

I love short blog posts. Alas, I'm not very good at keeping them short.

and last but not least, I love this picture so much:

It's a hamster attempting to eat spaghetti. OH THE STRUGGLE OF EPIC-NESS.

(photo credit: I got it from here)

I hope everyone has a very (love-filled) Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Give me something I can hit.

I would like to point out that, at the very core of my being, I am a geek. Why do I bring this up now, when I'm about to talk about a very personal, very serious subject? Because I, like most geeks, use fantasy and fiction to cope and deal with very personal, very serious things. I'll get back to this in a minute. But first, my actual point.

A couple weeks ago, a bill was proposed by Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey - H.R.3: "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." Now, maybe you don't think I get it, but I do. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, likes the fact that abortions exist. We can all agree that if we lived in a society where there are less abortions, it would be a more emotionally healthy place to live.

But let's deal with the harsh reality that right now, if the new healthcare plan goes into effect, taxpayers would help women afford abortions for rape and incest. These are abortions that, should the woman choose to have one, are going to put the woman's emotional and physical well-being first before anything else. And as much as abortion saddens me, I cannot look a woman in the eye who was sexually assaulted and tell her that she should not have access to the Plan B Morning After pill, that she should not be able to have an abortion if the pill is no longer an option, that instead she should be forced to carry her rapist's baby for 40 weeks, if she cannot mentally, physically, or emotionally do this safely.

Fortunately, Chris Smith of New Jersey agrees with me. Which is why he is sponsoring a law to legally re-define rape.

Were you drugged at a party and raped? Not anymore. Doesn't count as rape.

Are you mentally disabled and you were coerced into sex? That's not rape anymore.

Did your father, uncle, or grandfather rape you, therefore committing incest, but you're over the age of 18? You weren't raped.

Did your date rape you? Nope. He didn't. Because you weren't raped if he didn't beat you up.

Mr. Smith decided that instead of telling a rape victim she couldn't have an abortion, it would just be a lot easier if he pretended she wasn't a rape victim in the first place. Under this new bill, only "forcible" rape counts as rape if a woman needs her rapist's baby aborted. But if a woman had the ever-living shit beaten out of her, congratulations to her! The United States government recognizes that she was, in fact, raped. Everything else is a little hazy and gray. And the bill even takes it one step further and notes that "it would deny tax credits to companies that offer health plans that cover abortions and it would block anybody with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with personal funds."

PERSONAL FUNDS. As in, nobody else is paying for this abortion of a baby that a woman became pregnant with because someone physically forced her to have sex with him, just her - and she still wouldn't be able to get an abortion.

Dealing with the tragic reality of the existence of abortions is one thing. It takes sensitivity, kindness, empathy, and an honest look at the problems in this society that lead to unplanned pregnancies.

Punishing rape victims by violating their rights all over again is an entirely SEPARATE UNIVERSE.

So when I heard this, my brain exploded, my heart sobbed, and I immediately went to my safe little Geek heaven where I thought: Man. Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a superhero who fought rape? And better yet, if this superhero not only fought rape, but fought those who seek, unintentionally but mean-spiritedly, to keep rape victims even more powerless?

I wanted a superhero - a female superhero - who was strong and smart and kind, to fly around at night and kick the crap out of would-be rapists everywhere. I want her to have her day job as someone who testifies before Congress as a survivor herself of physical assault - and who changes minds daily about what rape really is, who it really happens to, and what we can do to prevent it. I want this superhero to talk not only to girls about defending themselves and staying in safe situations, but also to boys about what it means to really be men - and encourage them to never stand by and watch as a friend of theirs becomes a rapist, either.

And I thought about this particular comic. It's from The Ultimates, Vol. 1, issue #9, where Captain America is with The Avengers and he finds out that one of his "friends", Hank, has been beating his wife. Repeatedly. Since college. In fact, Hank once hit his wife Janet so hard he broke the upper part of her mouth into two pieces.

Captain America, being Captain America, goes out on a revenge mission. And when he finds Hank, who can change size and grow bigger, he says to him:

"Give me something I can hit."

No, this is not my art, buy it off Amazon, please don't sue me, Marvel.

And then he beats Hank down, even as Hank has grown twelve times his size, until he's nothing but a pathetic pile of bruised, terrified little boy under a bunch of pipes. And as Captain America walks away, he asks Hank over his shoulder:

"How big do you feel now?"

No, this is not my art, buy it off Amazon, please don't sue me, Marvel.

So let me ask you, Representative Smith: Now that you've told America what you feel defines rape, now that you've told the women of this country whether or not they've been raped or not, now that you've told rape survivors that you would like to have further say over what happens to their bodies:

How big do you feel now?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin