Monday, October 3, 2011

Unwelcome visit from an old friend

I was raised not to have a voice. Authoritarian conditioning made sure of this. I am therefore an awkward person at times. Unsure of what the right move is to make. Not sure that I am being taken seriously.

I have a speaking style and voice characterized as "funny". No wonder no one takes me seriously.

I was that kid in high school. The one that fit in nowhere. No one wanted anything to do with me if I wasn't fitting the mold cast by stereotypes and media images of "me". I was miserable, couldn't wait to leave home or high school. Can hardly seem to find a space where I am accepted as me; where I am taken seriously. Doesn't matter what I do to "earn" respect, because at the end of the day, I will be this short, mediocre, plain-looking, stony-faced person who talks funny. Always subject to humiliation at home and at school.

So picture me trying to be a teacher. I thought I was beyond this. Ready to become the person with little trace of these massive insecurities. Facilitating a class of kids barely out of high school. The high achievers. The underprivileged youth in need of a chance to "make it". This is their moment.

 So why are they acting like a bunch of entitled over-privileged spoiled kids that don't deserve sh*t? And why do I feel like the kid with negative 100 cool points angry for not being taken seriously?

I forget that I became an adult mentally as a child of 12, maybe younger. Knew how to navigate the adult world of saying and doing what those in power want  you to say and do in order to simply be left alone. Knew that power was coercive and violence was how respect was gained (knowledge that wasn't for me to obtain; simply to be aware of).   Knew that to be an adult meant being able to pay bills and thus keep a roof over my head. Survival was my area of expertise. Becoming a liberated being with a sense of freedom and empowerment was not a part of my programming.

 Coping with authoritarian styles meant having a cartoonishly violent imagination. Hypothesizing that all it would take for me to be validated as human being deserving of being taken seriously was a baseball bat to the kneecaps of those who thought otherwise. This type of joking goes well with Sis, who understands all too well my conditioning and resulting insecurities and also that I would never do such a thing in real life (thinking it is bad enough).

Overcoming such a mentality has been difficult; especially when it seems time and time again the humiliating ways of status quo norm enforcement remind me I do not belong or deserve to be taken seriously. A most recent incidence occurred in the "liberal" walls of academia in the "socially conscious" and "justice oriented" field of sociology.

In any case, I wonder how I can expect to be respected unless it's through coercion? This is not what I want of any position of leadership. In thinking that this is the only way to be treated decently, I know I am no different than my father and am justifying my upbringing as being warranted. I hate what that man has done to me in this respect. No matter how far I try to run situations like this have me confronting this deeply ingrained and hated aspect of myself.

 This is not who I want to be. It is certainly not who I am, for I am too weak to be such a person. But the fact that I am aware that this "persuasive" mode of power produces results in terms of being validated bothers the crap out of me. I don't want to become this person. I abhor this person and the system that produces and validates it. Love is not the end result of this type of exercise of power only fear and hatred.

I want to overcome this and be the loving and happy person that I aspire to be. A positive beacon to those around me; especially those that have gone without. I want to be a beacon of love in the work that I want to do. I want to give of myself and be empowered when doing so.

But when situations like the one I faced today occur--with people for whom I wish to be a positive beacon only to have them peel back hardened scar tissue--I find myself face to face with this old  hurt and angry friend with the cartoonishly violent imagination coping with humiliation and powerlessness (the one who seems to understand).

If I were to have a conversation with this "friend"  and the positive person I aspire to be about trying to transcend this sort of inward and outward oppression and my reaction to wounding experiences, it would (at the moment) sound like this song (which has so many different meanings for me depending on the weather it seems).

Thanks for "listening". Until next time...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Re: Research Ideas: Comic Related pt. 2

So, yeah, I watched X-Men First Class this weekend and had my super cool research idea blown out of the water (cause it's already been thought about)! Oh well, so much for "original" research ideas. Some day I will strike research idea gold (does this occurring in my dreams count?).

Is it just me that thinks that fantasy oriented flicks re-writing all kinds of history is interesting in a problematic way? Especially if people take it seriously? Being so far removed from historical events re-imagined on film doesn't help matters any.

There I go again problematizing things that shouldn't matter. When will I learn?!

Until next time...