Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Oct 18

On Consuming Media with Problematic Messages

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about things that I enjoy and how they’re problematic in some way. Typically, this means the music I listen to and messages that may be racist or sexist, but those certainly aren’t the only mediums or messages that are problematic. I probably just notice it in music more because IO am almost always listening to music.’

For example, I love the beat of the new Nick Jonas song “Jealous,” but the lyrics are fucking terrible as he sings about his right to be jealous of his beautiful girlfriend and to act “hellish” because of it. While Nick plays it like it’s normal, Meg Myers has no qualm about talking about her obsessive desires are pretty far out there. I just discover Meg and both “Monster” and “Desire” are like this. They’re fantastic songs, though!

Another song that I can’t help but dance along to is “All About the Bass.” Megan Trainor has landed on the scene in a big way, and her leading anthem about how the boys love her(and dislike thin women for their lack there of) for her curves just rubs me wrong. It’s not body positive to call a slender people “skinny bitches” no matter how she might follow it up with a quip about how they’re beautiful. It just doesn’t come off as genuine.

I checked out a few more Megan Trainor songs, and I have to say her writing skills — or at least her choice in lyrics as a whole — tend to be problematic. She focuses so single-mindedly on “finding and keeping a man who will treat her like a lady and pay for her lavish lifestyle. She’s fallen prey to a society who says she is only worth something as long as she is useful (read: owned by) a man, and it just makes me.. sad. Because she seems like she’s HGH pretty fuckin’ awesome. She doesn’t necessarily have to be a feminist fighter, but there’s so much more to life and music than what she’s chosen thus far. In fact, I think that Mary Lambert does a great job of this!

Before I wrap up this post, I’ll talk about everyone’s favorite love-to-hate singer and songwriter: Taylor Swift. Taylor recently release a fun pop anthem titled “Shake It Off.” I cannot help but get up and dance when I hear it. The beat is amazing, and it might be causing me to lose weight — kidding, though! I can’t believe it only has 1 million views.

But “Shake It Off” has been on the receiving end of a lot of flack. Perhaps most notable is the idea that the video combines one part definite cultural appropriation and perhaps another part racism, depending on how you view it, thanks to concepts that are reminiscent of ye olde minstrel shows.

I also have a bone to pick with the lyrics, which suddenly show Taylor demanding her right to have fun (and potentially sex) with whoever she wants. This in and of itself isn’t problematic. You get it, girl! But she has spent much of her career slut shaming the other girls for being to promiscuous. The sudden change could perhaps be in relation to her growing up. Taylor has even recently has explained how she has come to realize what feminism is and wishes she had understood early so she could have sooner called herself a feminist.

I think there’s two overreaching thoughts here. I still enjoy these things despite their problems. Critical thinking about music and other things we so passively enjoy is an important part of growth. Secondly, even people and creators who have been problematic are starting to see the fact and coming around to the other side, which is kind of inspiring.


Aug 09

Little Victories

Today was a day full of things that made me laugh, smile and sing. And, perhaps more importantly, it was a day when I was able to look back and see those things, to recognize and appreciate and be happy.

I will breathe deeply and happily as I go to sleep tonight. And while that won’t be for a little bit despite being 4 in the morning, that’s okay!

A very nice cashier at CVS commented on how pretty I looked/nicely I was dressed. I stocked up on all the delicious food, replaced my shorted-out headphones and scored some neat-looking nail polish.

A quick trip to the mall filled my belly and my bag with free VS panties.

Several hours of Cards Against Humanity and laughter later, I felt less alone, more connected and lighter-hearted than I have in days. Weeks. A month?

I signed on to facebook to see Reviews by Cole had finally hit 4800. Then enjoyed a delicious dinner, perhaps a bit too late. Oops!

I finally am making some money on Izea.

And have you checked out my Sverve score?!

I made plans to see Guardians of the Galaxy again! Because it is awesome!

I feel more clear about the things I need to do for me, but now I am sure that these are things I can do. What’s more, I’ve realized that I do have more goals than I realize and more time in which to complete them.

I’ve turned helpless frustration and anger into a plan on which I can act. I’ve let go of anger and replaced it with love.

I will now enjoy some Parks and Recreation while playing on my phone.

Score!


Jul 20

Living the Life

The other day I had a terrible dream. It was one of those emotional dreams where you wake up and you still have the feelings you had in your dreams.. even those it was just a dream. Even though you’re awake now, and none of that actually happens. But your mind has gone ahead and processed everything and all the hormones and chemicals have brought you to that place anyway.

In the middle of that terrible dream, I looked at someone and said “I wish I was at home in my PJs with my cat.”

And I woke up, in my PJs next to Phantom.

In my time of duress in my dream, the only thing I wanted was to get back to my regular life. I didn’t want anything more than that. I woke up to that place, comforting and full of love. Emotionally stable. Free to do as I please.

Since that night, I have been ridiculously grateful of my life. Of the people and things in it.

All things considered, I am in a good place. A place where I am happy to remain; although, I am open to better things, they would have to be significantly better to motivate me to stray

As emotionally tumultuous that dream may have been, it was certainly something I needed.


Jul 14

On Forced Relaxation

I am in a particularly good mood today. Perhaps it’s this crazy weather, but it also has to do with the fact that I just came home from the dentist.  I was in a good mood the last time I came home from a checkup.

for the most part, my appointments have gone quicker and easier than expected, but there’s something else that I like about the dentist. As I sit there in the chair with nothing to do, I just focus on my breathing and relaxation. This sort of forced relaxed is why I like some roller coasters/carnival rides. There’s nothing I can do in the situation. You sit still until it’s over, so you might as well relax.

In some ways, I’ve spent the last week doing the same. I guess I’m the kind of person who comes down with a terrible cold in the middle of July. My head wasn’t in the game, so I definitely took it easy when it came to work. I did what I could,  but I wasn’t writing as much as usual.

To be honest? I needed that. I spent a lot of time sleeping to feel better (I’m still not back at 100%). I stayed home and watched a ton of Stargate: SG-1. And I didn’t feel amazing, but I certainly felt less anxious.

That’s why I’m writing this. Because I have nothing else to do ( Okay, I should be writing a few reviews). I don’t have to be writing this. So I feel more inspiration to write a blog post, even if I’m only telling you that I’m a freak who likes the dentist and being sick. LOL


Jun 15

I Feel Weird

I suppose that Father’s Day is for me like Valentine’s Day is for many singles. I don’t have a father so I don’t understand the hype. I don’t know how to feel, so I impatiently wait for it to pass so I can get on with my life and ignore all the posts on Facebook.

Of course, more people have a father than a significant other — or so I’d guess — and I don’t think it occurs to them that their celebrations might exclude someone. And don’t for one minute think that I don’t want people to be happy. If you have a good father or even if you have a decent-at-best father and even if your father is mediocre but has sometimes done the right thing by you, then you’ve got more than I do. And you should celebrate it. Otherwise, you’re just an ungrateful asshole.

But I have none of the above. Part of me wishes I were angry about it, but I’ve had more than a quarter of a century to come to terms, and I’ve never known anything. Instead, I just sort of feel nothing where other people feel something, even if it’s anger at the fathers they got for being shitty. It’s strange to deal with holidays where you’re supposed to have all the feels and just.. not have any.

So I shall leave with thoughts, instead. Happy Father’s Day if you are one. Mine doesn’t know about me, but there are many fathers who cannot be with their children. The fact that you can be is not  guaranteed.

If you have a father to celebrate, do so. Having a father is not default in this world, and you are almost certainly going to see him die. So don’t waste time while you’re both here.