14 September 2007

I am getting fucking old*

Exhibit A: Found first white hair this morning while putting on makeup. Motherfucker. Dave just laughed at me.
          It’s sort of pretty and silvery on its own, though, and I noticed the other day that Dad (who gave me his hair color and lumpy high forehead – thankfully, not the receeding hairline, though) – anyway, I noticed that Dad just looked like a silvery blond and it was actually quite attractive. (Well, judging by the hair he still has, which is kind of a fringe that starts below his ears and continues around the back of his head, like those headphones that wrap around the back of your head – LOVE YOU, DAD!)

Exhibit B: It seems like all the uses of the world = stale, flat and unprofitable. Although 1) I’ve been cynical and felt jaded for as long as I can remember so maybe it’s not age related and 2) Hamlet is pretty damn young himself. (Yay, English lit degree! Good for making literary references on blog; also helpful in search marketing.)


Exhibit C: Did not get carded by the place that cards EVERYONE.
          The other night I stopped at the liquor store on the way back from Marblehead (back from seeing my parents, hence the sudden urgent need for the booze – LOVE YOU, MOM AND DAD!). Anyway, I saw a rare gem, snatched it up and rushed to the checkout.

"You have cask-strength Laphroig!" I said excitedly.

"That'll be $69.99, please."

"Oh. I guess you probably don't need to card someone who gets excited about that, huh?"

"Not really." The clerk obviously was with me on the stale, flat and unprofitable thing.


Exhibit D: I’ve gained ten pounds and my jeans fit over my chubby thighs like sausage casings. Muffin top seeps ingloriously over the waist of my pants.
          You might think that having a big tattoo covering 50% of your lower back would make the muffin top situation better, but no. It just means your muffin top has variegated foliage. As with the Hamlet bullshit above, this complaint might not be age related, since I’ve only put it on since June, but my inability to get rid of the flabbage is pissing me off and might actually be age-related (but wait, aren’t you supposed to develop more self-control as you get older? And I had a fistful of candy corn this morning for breakfast, which does not sound very restrained to me. CURSE YOU, IRRESISTIBLE CONES OF DELICIOUSNESS!)

Linketty stuff:

Speaking of flabbage:

- Check out Rebecca Traitster’s this salon article on all the outcry over Britney being fat at the VMA:
As has been pointed out before, [Spears] embodies the disdain in which this culture holds its young women: the desire to sexualize and spoil them while young, and to degrade and punish them as they get older. Of course, she also represents a youthful feminine willingness -- stupid or manipulated as it may be -- to conform to the culture's every humiliating expectation of her.
What happened to Spears, and what she chose to do to herself, this weekend was actually pretty hard to watch -- a gross example of exactly how much malicious satisfaction we get out of the embarrassing weakness of an addictive, postpartum, out-of-control mess of a human being. But as sad as anything is that the young musician shows zero interest in making it stop.


- And here's a reality check on the whole fatness of Britney thing. Heh.

Speaking of being an English major:
- Amanda Marcotte unpacks the invisible knapsack of privilege (except she calls it ‘social capital”) you get along with your college degree.
What my parents called “the piece of paper”, social scientists call “social capital“. And it’s much more than a piece of paper. In college, you learn to act like a member of the college-educated middle class. You share cultural touchstones with them. It’s often a little unnerving for me because whenever I run with people that are clearly college-educated and come from a background of college-educated people, they accept me as one of them, because I am, after all, one of them. But I’m acutely aware of the fact that if I’d grown up like my mother did, when the idea of spending money educating your girls was seen as a rip-off (she’s a military brat), there is exactly no way I’d find easy acceptance in the middle class.


*apparently with increased age comes increased need to shout a lot, judging by the liberal use of all caps in this post. My hearing is probably going.

4 comments:

Kaethe said...

The colorless hairs are kind of cool, huh? I've got a crazy hair pinned up on my bullitin board behind me: brown, brown, brown, clear and shiny!

I didn't watch VMA. I've never watched VMA. Unlike Traister, I have not been reading all the tabloids to keep up on all the details of Spears' life, either. No, she isn't fat. I've had two kids and I'd take that body in a heartbeat. But here's what I don't get: is Traister's smackdown any kind of improvement? Isn't it still slut shaming?

>she also represents a youthful feminine willingness -- stupid or manipulated as it may be -- to conform to the culture's every humiliating expectation of her

Seriously, isn't Traister's defense of Spears just a chance to rip her a new one in every single aspect of her personal and professional life? With the added fun of being condescending as hell.

Seems to me that Spears is doing okay. As a publicity stunt the performance was a smash hit.

Joseph said...

"Found first white hair this morning while putting on makeup."

Whippersnapper. Try having silver mixed in with brown over your entire head.

Cara deBeer said...

The, uh, silver lining to the white hair: I've got an excuse to start spending bunches of money dying my hair crazy colors again. The red and black was my personal favorite, but everyone else hated it.

Kaethe - I keep an eye on what's happening in pop culture, although I stopped giving my money to the gossip rags a while ago.

I think you're right that there's some victim-blaming going on in Traister's analysis - the repetition with disapproving headshakes of Silverman's comments about Spears was a clever way to include a couple of vicious jokes (I was just glad they didn't print a visual of that point in Silverman's routine) - and frankly? From what I can gather, Spears is in no position to make any kind of responsible decisions about her career right now.

But there has been SO MUCH SAID about Spears' appearance on the VMA thingie (and only a little bit said about her performance) that it seems obvious that besides being, you know, a real person, Spears occupies some kind of iconic space in the collective cultural psyche.

I guess the part I'm interested in is this: what are we gaining when we laugh at Spears? Why on EARTH is everyone so pissed at her for putting on a few pounds and klonopinning (at a guess) her way through a performance?

Because make no mistake, there is a genuine undercurrect of anger - it's certainly evident in Traister's piece - and I want to know WHY. Beyond the virgin/whore analysis, I mean. Or you can call it Perfect Girl/Starving Daughter - whatever -I'm talking about the disparity between cultural expectations of women vs. women in actuality, and the anger and derision that evidence of that disparity inevitably seems to produce.

I do understand your empathy with Spears, but I've got plenty of understanding about what it's like to be on the recieving end of that anger and scorn myself. (Not to say that victim-blaming is EVER okay - it's just not what I'm interested here.)

I want to know what produces it in the first place, and why women are complicit in it - not just complicit, active participants - and how come (apart from the fat issue) no one seems able to make the obvious parallel and understand that we've all had bad, hungover days at our not-televised work, and that addictions and breakdowns happen?

Anyway, good food for thought. Thanks for reading.

Blogging 'fess up time: my friend Jeff pointed out that bloggers often don't read original sources ... and I didn't watch the VMAs or even the clip of Britney's performance on GooToob. Doh.

Kaethe said...

I did watch the clip. I wasn't overwhelmed, but I've never been overwhelmed. Eh, that's not true. I really like "One More Time" or whatever.

>I want to know what produces it in the first place, and why women are complicit in it - not just complicit, active participants

They get paid. Sometimes in actual cash or bylines. But in attention, approval, etc. A large part of the patriarchy means having women police other women; which is why US mothers say the thing about the hair and the lipstick; and why other mothers hold their daughters down for mutilation.