Class this morning and nowhere to be until 2. There's some work I should be doing; some progress yet to be made on Mrs. Dalloway, which I brought with me for downtimes. But I feel like blogging, and goddamn if I don't feel like blogging about Eminem.
He and I have always had a very strange relatoinship, you see. Two years ago, when he was big, I lived with a girl who thought he was dreamy and funny. So she'd tape the MTV video awards and watch his bits over and over again, and I thought he was a nice lookin' guy with some occasionally catchy songs. I never really liked him as a person, but it didn't weigh heavily on my mind. He's homophobic? Woweee. That's something new and different in today's society.
And then I became a bit of a Mobyhead - slowly, over the past three years, his music's become a major force in my life - the soundtrack for my ups and downs. And so when I heard that Moby was being blasted in the first single off Eminem's new album, I got pretty pissed off.
It's not that my opinion necessarily changed, but Eminem was fucking with somebody I care a lot about, and so there was a increased magnitude of caring. Because the lyrics from "Without Me" are just painfully insulting - childish and stupid. I have a hard time taking whiners seriously, as a rule, and anyone that makes an asshole out of himself in his music and then complains that the FCC won't let him be should maybe get over himself. And you want the right to say your opinion, Eminem? Don't call the other kids on the playground poopyheads for saying what they think, as well.
I think what really started getting to me was when Moby posted a sample or two of hate email he'd received, which directly referenced the text of Eminem's lyrics without citing the source, as if the person writing the letter had just listened to "Without Me" on repeat, over and over again, until the words had become engrained in his mind, practically doctrine. Because Eminem does have those young fans. And they do stuff like that. Eminem is in a position of power, and he's dangerous because of it. As far as I can tell, Moby's comments regarding Eminem weren't crying out for his censorship. They were appealing to the angels of his better nature.
So that was early this summer, with the highlight being a memorable fifteen minute rant in a Pleasantville mall Carl's Jr., my family the audience (sorry, guys). But even before then, I had seen the first trailer for 8 Mile. And much to my annoyance, I really, really liked it. It was well-edited and the music worked really well and I was interested - despite my better judgement and the rantings of my roommate, who says she doesn't care and likes his music, but would spit on the sidewalk if he passed her on the street.
Fast forward to now, when the MTV Music Video awards are old news and the new Eminem song "Lose Yourself" has me shakin' my booty during every commute. It's not that it's a better song than his past work - though I think it is - but it's a song that seems to actually be about something personal and meaningful. There are viseral details. There's passion. And nothing is forced to rhyme with FCC.
And at first, I'll admit I was ashamed of myself, even though this is the most trivial, silly thing to feel ashamed of. This guy I know gave me a hard time, said I was "such the Eminem fan" - and maybe I've come to appreciate an artist who, occasionally, uses music to express himself. I've been missing that in a lot of pop music (perhaps even all pop music) recently, and have even found it lacking in the indie scene at times.
Eminem is still an asshole. I'm still a Mobyhead. But I'm trying, these days, to be both more honest and more open - to admit when I like something, and be open-minded enough to like something I might not necessarily enjoy. Because principles are all very good, but this is my time, and my life, and I can like what I want, or dislike it. As long as he's doing interesting things (and not entirely pissing me off) I'll enjoy his music.
So, really, this is an apologist rant about why I like the new Eminem song, even though there's no one really to apologize to. But I'm sick of people who hate personalities and paint the person's material with the same brush, and I refuse to do that. Sure, an artist's work is a reflection of the artist. But it's a big world. There's room for assholes in it - especially assholes with something interesting to say.
Tired. Pretty gosh-darn tired, in fact. And yet there's work to be done tonight.
Should probably take a short nap. Instead, writing this.
So, I owed Su a mix CD and I made one this weekend - some of the most aggressively cheerful music you'd ever have the pleasure of boogie-ing to. I'm looking forward to sending it to her. It was fun to make a mix with a purpose. Make People Happy. Always a nice mission statement.
On that theme, I got this coupon for a free frappuccino in the mail a few weeks ago, and when I reimbursed it today, the girl made too much - the coupon was good for a tall, and she gave me the equivalent of a venti. So that was nice.
Quiet, quiet weekend. Saw Firefly on Friday, and I'm sure I have some more to say - but it made me happy, and it's so pretty, and I like the characters, and I'm going to be pretty sad when it dies.
On the other hand, the half hour I saw of John Doe left me hideously confused. Because if anyone except Mimi Leder, The World's Worst Director, had been involved, I would have liked it. At least a little bit. For the guy's got to be an alien or something. It looked like he woke up in a big pile of ash, like he just crashed to earth.
There are mornings when I wake up and don't feel like I know where I am, when it seems like I know everything except who I am. So I get that.
The roommate was out of town all weekend, and I was enjoying the quiet. Now, however, she is back, and I usually enjoy her company a great deal - but tonight, something about talking to her chafs me a bit.
Maybe it's because I'm tired.
I probably, at some point, will devote an entire entry to my ever-changing feelings about your friend and mine, Eminem. In the meantime, it's worth pointing out that while I can't even listen to "Without Me", I hate it so much, I have fallen into a great big hole where all they play is "Lose Yourself," the new song from the 8 Mile soundtrack that's featured in the second trailer. And that makes me very happy. Despite myself.
Snap back to reality, oops there goes gravity.
I think I'll lay on the floor and listen to my shiny new mp3 of that song. I may like Eminem's music, but I'll be damned if I pay money for it.
I haven't reminded the LJ peeps about my existence for a while, because there's really nothing to say. I have email I owe people, and friends I should talk to, and things I should be doing... And it's just hard. It's hard, when I'm this tired and this busy.
I need to relax more. This weekend was all right, but there wasn't enough time spent recuperating from the intensity of last week. Too much prep for the week upcoming. Which is something, at least. But this is the fourth week of school, and I have miles to go before Christmas. No point in getting burned out now. Not when things are really going pretty good, in the long run.
My eyes don't want to be open right now. I don't really blame them. Too bad we don't have a choice in the matter.
Well, we do for an hour or so, at least. Naptime, folks. And then, an hour or so of work, and then real sleep. Hopefully.
Oh, the Cinema computer lab. One thought of the eight cheery ethernet-enabled iMacs and fax machines and books of headshots and production notebooks and permit applications, and I'm able to forgive a great many sins committed.
On days when I never seem to leave campus, EVER, the lab is like coming home. Especially now that USC got a webmail thingamajiggy going on.
Today started off very very bad and has gotten better since. But the reason for the badness is that I'm past the deadline for taking my science class pass/no pass, which means a) I have to actually keep paying attention and b) the midterm I didn't do very well on this morning will hurt all the more.
It's just a stupid GE class, but I still resent it, and it's really going to bug me when I get this test back. I just didn't study the right things last night - too much theory, not enough of Aristotle. Stupid Aristotle. We proved one of his theories wrong in my lab section this afternoon, and I found myself writing it over and over in my lab report. "As you can see, Aristotle was wrong." "Yes, because Aristotle was wrong."
Eh, I suppose I should say at this point. I can manage an A- in this class if I don't do any worse than a C on the test. And I don't think it was THAT bad. And if it was, it's just a stupid GE class. And no, I don't keep saying this over and over again because I'm trying to convince myself.
So, what Alison says is mostly true - we are hanging out a lot, though we went the ENTIRE weekend without doing anything. Last weekend, though, there was coffee-shop hanging on Thursday, a movie on Friday, pool-playing on Sunday... It's strange, not seeing Alison this weekend. It feels wrong somehow.
I'll be honest - a lot of this weekend was spent on the couch. In the living room. Watching TV or reading. I'm now 200 pages into Possession (the reason for this to come soon) but when it comes to classwork - well, I'm vaguely screwed. Lots of guitar-playing and synopsis-writing and studying to catch up on. Just didn't have the energy on Friday and Saturday - will hopefully find it tonight. Things are soon due, after all.
Today, though, I had to leave the house, as I had TRAFFIC SCHOOL. Cursed speeding ticket from June. ::sigh:: At least Das Roomie had to go as well, and so we were able to snark about our fellow classmates and play tic-tac-toe and contemplate suicide. Ah, togetherness.
I now know: -the stopping distance for a car going 65 mph (305 ft) -when you're legally allowed to use your horn (only in cases where you're directly averting an accident) -the proper following time (4 seconds, rather than 2 as I'd previously thought) -that you don't slam on the brakes when hydroplaning - you simply ease off the accelerator and regain control of the car -that nearly every left turn I make in LA is technically illegal, though impossible otherwise -that Big Brother is watching me, and probably laughing -that motorcyclists have way more rights than any other motor vehicle on the road (Our instructor was a bit of a Harley enthusiast. He had a belt buckle.)
Instead of a real test, at the end we all played Traffic Jeopardy, wherein the class of 20 people got into three teams and competed for points. The winners got their certificates signed first and were able to leave before everyone else. So we were motivated.
Roomie and I joined up with the nicest older man you'll ever meet, a sweet old lady wearing a turban, this bald FAA engineer, and an older black woman with the same birthday as me. And I have to say, with the FAA guy hitting the legal questions and the older black woman knowing all the Aretha Franklin songs referenced and me and SJ covering classic rock and traffic trivia and the old guy kicking ass with some classic car questions - we DOMINATED. To the point that halfway through, we just stopped playing, because it was mathematically impossible for us to lose. So we just sat back, grinning proudly, while Vinnie the ripped-jeans coke freak and Denise the surly executive tried like hell to rip our victory away from us.
And then there was basketball, and I am POOPED now, and yet there is work to be done.
Ah, the personality quiz. A page of HTML telling you who you are in terms of some pop culture element or another. If you have any intelligence, the results can be easily manipulated so that you are who you want to be. The large, gaudy graphics clutter up Livejournal friends pages, waste many productive hours, and often result in being a great big waste of time for all concerned.
That said - I do kinda love them. *g* And I spent bits and pieces of the last week making one. Because Moby albums have personality, you see. And I am The World's Biggest Moby Geek.
So, if you like - please take my quiz. I'm still not thrilled with the results graphics, but this should at least work. And it'd be cool if it gets out there. I'm happy I managed to do it.
So. I will be brief, as I must sleep soon, and there are things to do.
I gave a friend a ride home after class tonight, and she asked me what my thoughts were on tomorrow - what I planned to do. And while my game plan keeps changing - not giving blood, watching TV, not watching - I think, at last, I know.
I'm going to get up in the morning and go to class, listening to my CDs in the car, rather than the radio. And then I'll learn how to write an episodic TV drama, and after that, I'll stop by the noontime memorial service on campus. And after that, well, I go to work.
Because one of those funny little details I won't remember in twenty years is that I start a new job tomorrow - last week, I was hired as a designer-type person for a division of the business school. The people are nice, it's design work, which I enjoy, and so tomorrow, I go find out what the hell they want me to do.
And after work, I'll go to the grocery store and I'll pick up ingredients for dinner, and I'll come home and cook an interesting dish. After that, I'll do the dishes and call my family and tell them I love them. And then, I'll do some classwork, and maybe watch a DVD or read a book before going to bed.
Just a day like any other. Bad things and good things. Sorrow and joy.
LS says to relish life tomorrow. To enjoy what we have, and use it well.
I was planning on making Wednesday business as usual. But maybe I shouldn't. There's a moment of silence scheduled on campus at 6 AM. Which is a near-impossible time for me. But maybe I could give blood again. I was thinking about doing that as an anniversary thing, originally, but then I remembered that I don't like needles AT ALL.
I did it once, though, and I can do it again. I think.
This is an LJ discussion of one woman's beliefs in Christianity.
There are hundreds in this world who would use God as an excuse for violence, yes. That's the reason He sent Jesus. To draw the line. To tell us what God really wants. Love. Tolerance. So says Spacefem, and she has some other interesting points, from a Christian geek background.
Christianity and I are normally like next-door neighbors who see each other now and again on our way in and out. Maybe sometimes I'll borrow a cup of sugar in a crisis. Maybe sometimes I'll politely ask it to turn down the volume on its stereo - not that I don't like the music, but I just don't want to listen to it through the wall.
And it's a big apartment complex, and Judaism's across the hall, always fighting with Islam, and the Hindus and Buddhists on the upper floor are sweethearts about bringing veggie burgers to the Labor Day barbecue. And this is a very demented metaphor, but I hope it's clear enough.
Because my relationship with religion is always changing. I don't like some elements of it at all, especially how misogynistic a lot of the more traditional faiths can be, and in the end, I want to be free to believe whatever I want to believe. And I want to believe that there is tolerance and understanding in the great beyond. Even if there's none here.
I don't necessarily believe in Jesus Christ. But I like a lot of what he says.
As you might be able to tell, some minor modifications were just done to GFB. What do y'all think of our exciting new look? Enjoying that 85% table width?
Also, I'm trying to restructure the archives, but right now, I'm having some problems with the rollovers and images. The only effective way I've ever found of dealing with persnickety rollovers is to ignore them for twelve hours, then try again. So, if any of you were planning on visiting the archives today - beware!
To paint the appropriate picture - my bed is unmade, and some lovely sunshine is trickling in through my blinds. In the apartment next door, an old woman gives piano lessons, students playing the same trickling songs over and over again. Occasionally, you can hear her la-di-da along with the music. I'm wearing a pair of sweatpants I've had since the 8th grade (the blue ones from Alaska, Mom, that we had to buy when I stepped out of the kayak a bit too soon *g*). And I keep thinking about the various things I want to do today - finish a book or two, get some writing-for-class done, figure out why my fingers don't want to play a D chord, listen to my new Nina Simone CD (mucho thanks, Cazaling mon ami! - presents forthcoming!) while writing not-for-class stuff, and watch Blade II. "Pure action, bloody well done!" says Roger Ebert, and god, do I love mutant ninja vampires on a cool Saturday evening.
On my desk is the water bottle I got at the Getty (the label is quite pretty) and a half-written letter to the Sci-Fi channel - I started it by hand last night, before I remembered that it was quite late and Mr. Bed could use some company. Learning about television show cancellation that late at night makes it all seem very unreal, and I'm pretty sad about it - especially the part where they haven't finished telling their story, and they've shot all they're going to shoot. Possibly ever. Chainsaws to Moya. It's horrible.
I'm not going to regret getting into this show, though. It was a summer fling, for me - hot and heavy for that week in Oakland, and then dependable, steady, sweet until August and the return of the real world. 411 aired the Friday before class started. I thought that was appropriate. A nice capper to a strange summer.
And I'll see it again in January, and who knows if it'll be the same, and before I know it it'll all be over. And it's sad, sure. But I'm grateful for "A Human Reaction" and "Revenging Angel" and "The Choice" and John and Aeryn and the gang. And I'm glad that we had this time together.
That's the part I'll leave out of my letter to Sci Fi. But I will mention that I never watched them before Farscape, because I really had no reason. And now that Farscape is off, so am I.
Everyone have a good Labor Day? Mine was spent sulking in the heat until the weather cooled off that night, which was also when das roomie and I went to see a nice air-conditioned movie (Simone, which I'm still processing). We are very smart, das roomie and I.
Really, this LA heat is out of control. This entire weekend was spent in a state of paralysis, fleeing from one air conditioner to the next. Sunday, I got up and did things, but you'd better believe they were, for the most part, air-conditioned and indoors. Well, except for the Getty. But it was pretty cool on a non-temperature level, even though (I realized later) my near-miss heat stroke made it hard for me to really enjoy the old French stuff.
Sunday was actually pretty cool, as I was picked up by a friend and spent the day cruising around Los Angeles, bumping around from Malibu to Chinatown to Manhattan Beach to downtown to return to West Hollywood. I wasn't driving and the car's A/C was very powerful. Ah, a/c. Why do I love your ozone-depleting self so?
As of 8:30 AM Tuesday, btw, everything on my weekend checklist was done. INCLUDING email. Everyone lean back and appreciate this. It's a rare occurence.
I just checked the weather for tomorrow, because I was lead to believe that it would be cool and rainy tomorrow. However, instead I find out that they're ballparking in the 90s, with "haze." Haze is my least favorite weather, as it turns out. That, and heat waves. I miss the rain in LA.
You can tell when I'm tired when I start to ramble. I think I've gone way beyond "starting" at this point.