Saturday, December 30, 2006

Chick Flicks - And why they're a lose/lose situation for all parties.

I hate them, I can't stand them, they drive me absolutley fucking insane. I haven't watched what could be considered a chick flick since I was about...14. You couldn't PAY me to go to one, let alone have me pay to see one.

So...why do I think they're lose/lose? Well, here's the thing. Almost every woman I know always talks about how much they hate crying. They can't stand it, it makes them look weak/ugly/lame/retarded, or whatever. All right, I agree. I hate crying too, and for the same reasons. However...most chick flicks are purposefully engineered to MAKE you cry. So...why exactly would you go somewhere to PAY for something that makes you cry exactly? Where's the logic in that?

Point #2. Another feature of chick flicks is that they're "love stories". (I always want to puke when I see the name of a movie and the subtitle is: "A Love Story".) Here's the deal. They feature stories that are improbable and would never happen in real life, and also unrealistically portray men as selfless, endlessly loving and patient, and hopeless romantics that will come along as the proverbial Knight In Shining Armor and then sweep you off your feet and ride off into the sunset. Now, don't get me wrong, I have plenty of male friends that are indeed selfless, loving, patient, and romantic, or at least they certainly can be when they occasion calls for it. But come one, people! These things don't happen in real life, and all women I have ever known KNOW this and COMPLAIN about it. Plus, it creates unrealistic expectations of men in the process which also isn't fair.

Point #2a. Related to the above point...most women don't even REALLY want a guy like that anyway. All the nice guys out there always get screwed, and all the sensitive ones out there always get hurt. Its a fact. And why? Because for the most part (and yes I am making a generality here) women like a little bit of "bad boy" in their men. They don't REALLY want something easy, a man that always does what they want and caters to their every need. Oh no. Women want a CHALLENGE. They want to "help" a man "change" his ways. In the process however, they take a lot of crap and abuse and hope that they'll make a difference. Plenty of women I know (including myself, I admit it) have indeed had a man like the ones in the movies and were just plain bored with them. They asked how high when we said jump and we abused them like no other.

I wish more people would think about these things because I ultimately believe that things negatively affect relationships across the board, and lame movie companies are making money out of our relationship dysfunction.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Me: The Ultimate Man-Woman.

This is something I wrote a while back, and looking back on it, I still feel the same way. Even more so now being in the business and all:

I am very fond of calling myself “the most misogynistic woman I know.” Yes, I am proud to hold such an impressive title, but whenever I say this, whoever I'm talking to just looks at me like I’m a freak. Then of course follows the inevitable question: “How can YOU be misogynistic? You’re a WOMAN!” Yes, I KNOW I’m a woman, and still am the last time I checked. So, how can I say that I HATE women? Well, there is a thin line between love and let me explain what I mean.
Being raised in a strict Asian household, my parents were supposed to teach me my “rightful place” as a woman. (Whatever or wherever that place was I still don’t think I’ve found it.) Naturally, in high school, I was determined to be different. I was a rebel. Hanging around with boys all the time had me start to imitate them. I did not behave like a “young lady.” I always sat in chairs with my legs spread, and cursed like a sailor. My male friends were comfortable around me, and talked freely about everything. They told me often that they didn’t really consider me to be a “normal” girl. Privately I was a little insulted. Publicly I took it as a compliment. After a while I began to see that it was indeed a compliment. I also began to sneer and jeer at the “normal” girls- girls that were afraid to break a nail. Girls that hated the “guy stuff” -video games, comic books, sports and cars, when I myself loved these things. Most of the girls I knew were very superficial, and would talk about pretty much only two subjects. Fashion, and boys. That was it. After being in the company of most girls at the time I felt irritated and frustrated. I also couldn’t stand the backstabbing, vindictive, cut and thrust action that you’d see in all female groups. I preferred to be in the rough and tumble, relatively open and honest company of boys.
This attitude of mine has stayed with me till today. I laugh at women who put on makeup in the car and can’t steer. Women that are only vaguely aware (in the last three years) that the Lakers are a Los Angeles basketball team. But I must admit I’ve had my own share of losses to feminine society. My beauty salon owning stepmother urged me to fix my hair and learn what sorts of makeup to buy and how to use it. I began to see boys as men that appreciated a woman that LOOKED like a woman. I’m proud to say that I can now whip out the femininity in the blink of an eye.
As I have gotten older, I have begun to see that women like me aren’t TOTALLY atypical, but we’re still a little rare. A little while ago I was in a nail salon with a friend of mine and I was getting a pedicure but declined to get a manicure. When my friend heard that, she VERY loudly said, “What’s wrong with a manicure?? Stop being such a guy!” She then turned to the girl that was doing her nails, and (STILL very loudly) said, “Can you believe that? Look at my friend over there. She LOOKS like a girl, but she’s really a guy!” At that point, ALL the women in the salon turned and stared at me. At the time I began a very serious inspection of my pedicure and was embarrassed beyond belief. Needless to say, we’re not friends anymore.
A very good friend of mine recently labeled me as a “man-woman”, a name he had made up for his wife and some of his female friends that have similar thoughts and attitudes. When I first heard the term, I laughed. Did it not show the dichotomy of my nature? It stayed in the back of my mind and I later gave the whole “man-woman” thing some thought. Does this dichotomy of my nature make me very atypical and “weird”? I never once thought of myself as an anomaly. Although I must say that if I am, I prefer being the anomaly to being “normal”.

Ignorance and Apathy: "Iono n' I dun care"

So here's a question someone asked me recently that I answered in depth:

Why do people hate thinking? Is it because as a society, we teach people that learning and paying attention is a chore? Is it because we're spoiled? Both? Some other reason? Is this necessarily a bad thing?

Here's my answer:

I am of the opinion that these days, we've become so inundated with mass media and its messages that people no longer like to "live" life, they want to "watch" it. Life is a spectacle. This is why so many people love reality shows, because it's supposed to be "real". But the truth of the matter is, your Average Joe LCD is going to want to watch things he can TALK about, (ohmigosh Desperate Housewives!) rather than THINK about, much like a congregation of some sort of dim witted bird - chickens and pigeons. The LCD these days wants their life to be more than the mundane, tedious wretched form of life that they live now.

Learning and paying attention? Forget about it. The overabundance of ADD in children these days is absolutely astounding. As much as I like to watch my two television shows, I have to admit that it's an oversaturation of television and movies today that creates ADD. Kids expect life to move as quickly as it does on TV or in the movies they watch, because that's all they know and are surrounded with all the time. Parents plunk their kids in front of the television to shut them up, and it does...for the rest of their lives, probably. And you know what else? ADD in children, for the most part, is NORMAL in children. When I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, I took a lot of Early Childhood Education classes, and I learned that for most young children, (oh, say between the ages of 4-10) their attention span for the most part is about 15 minutes. So, when I taught martial arts in my father's studio, I taught the children's classes and changed activities every 15 minutes, and it worked. No kids running around and screaming because they were bored. But kids these days are so overexposed to multimedia that they don't have to think, all they have to do is absorb.

And speaking of thinking, people are NOT encouraged to think these days. Shows like "Friends" or "American Idol" are so popular because they don't require much thought or attention. The sheep out there can just sit in front of their televisions after their 9-5 job that they hate, with their mouths open and just absorb everything. Do people read these days? No way. Most people constantly make fun of me for reading as voraciously as I do. For some reason, people that read books are almost snubbed in our society.

I think all of these things are awful. How fucking pathetic is it, that more people voted in the American Idol polls than ever made it to the fucking voter booths when it was time to pick our Fearless Leader?? People are numb and apathetic to almost everything these days, which is why a movie like V for Vendetta is so a propos at this time. After all, who is it that controls all the media conglomerates? Pretty much the ultra conservative right. Rupert Murdoch, Michael Eisner (up until late '05 when he was replaced by a known liberal) and AOL Time Warner's current president has affiliations with Bush's administration.

People need to really LIVE life, actually take a willing and active part in their own life. But will it happen? I doubt it. Most people could care less about what's going on in today's world. There have been genocides of millions of people in recent history, in the last 10-15 years that people could care less about, in Rwanda, of the Bosnians, and in Sudan right now. But do we care? Of course not. It's not happening to US, right?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

First Come, first served?

I've been thinking for a really long time about blogging, but then there came a point where it became just SO the trendy thing to do. Then I decided not to. Now, however, I just need some sort of creative outlet and I have stuff that I want to say. The first thing, for the grand total of TWO people that are going to be reading this (Yes, you Storm and Tomato) is to post something I wrote recently about racism and affirmative action. One thing that just kills me is when people tell me that racism no longer exists in this country. Wow, seriously? I'm sorry, but it does. Admittedly not in the way it used to, but let me quote one of my favorite artists in this:

"Racism still alive, they just be concealin it. But I know they don't want me in the damn club, they even make me show id to get inside of Sam's Club" - Kanye West "Never Let Me Down"

Honestly one thing that really sucks about living in Los Angeles is the fact that everyone wants to be so damned politically correct. Sure, no one's your FACE, but they sure will call me a gook or chink bitch behind my back. Sometimes I'd much rather have someone tell me how they really feel than be fake to my face and ultimately talk shit about me behind my back. And yes, that movie Crash? Call it melodrama, call it overly sentimental...but it damned sure WAS realistic in the portrayals of racism in LA.

So. Here's my little essay on racism and affirmative action:

I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but there are no longer any affirmative action policies allowed anywhere, in any institution in California, for about a decade now. There were so many complaints about reverse racism when affirmative action was legal that California passed Proposition 209 in 1996 making affirmative action, or showing preferencce in any form illegal.

I do firmly believe in meritocracy, however, because of the pervasiveness of racism/sexism/heterosexism/classism all throughout our country, (despite beliefs that racism no longer exists, interestingly) there would never be any such thing as a complete and total meritocracy. It's the human condition to want to "be better", and to complain about what's not "fair". We all did it in elementary school whenever an adult shows favor to someone else. "It's not FAIR!" you scream. "Why does HE get that, and *I* don't? I'm better!" You've always got to be better than someone else, because who wants to be that person that everyone is better than, right?

I don't think there were ever any actual findings on a job or entrance to an institution given to a minority rather than a white person. Interestingly enough, when there were studies done on affirmative action, 70% of the people that benefitted from it were white women. Not blacks, not Latinos, not Asians, but white women. After all, affirmative action was created to help marginalized people, NOT JUST minorities.

Affirmative action to me, is like Communism. Good idea in theory, but difficult to execute properly. It would require much bigger HR departments than exist now in any company, and diversity training would have to be mandatory in every corporation. That MIGHT be a start, but there would always have to be people making sure that no one was discriminated against and that people that are in charge of hiring would look at people's resumes objectively. Perhaps something that could be done is that when a job opening occurs at a company, all resumes could have the names deleted from them, and assigned a #. It's a little impersonal, but perhaps that way whoever was screening the resumes would only screen for skills and ability. Same with college applications. I did something like that myself when I worked in HR at Warner Brothers.

As far as being racist, of course we all are to a certain extent. However, I think I can safely say that I hate everyone equally. There are shitty people of every kind, whether your're basing your criticism on race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation. I think I CAN say with a clean conscience is that all of my "racist" tendencies are because of direct association with whatever group. I base all of my feelings on personal experience. If I've never experienced some negative quality in someone of a certain group, then I don't automatically label them even though other people might. *shrugs*

What it all boils down to, for me, is that people suck. Most people these days don't give a fuck about you, all they care about is themselves. Whenever I try and help people that are my friends, other people ask me why as if I'm crazy. "Why help them? Who cares? What did they ever do for you?" Perhaps it's because I'm from a collectivistic culture, I don't know. What I DO know is that more and more I wonder if I ever even want to have children. I don't really think I want to bring a child into this world when there's so much shittiness in it. Yes, there's some good, but there's a whole lotta bad out there. I'm sorry if I sound cynical and jaded, but...hey. It all comes from my own life experiences. I can only speak for myself.