I’ve wanted to give all of you an update, but also post stuff that I’ve been thinking about vis-a-vis all the crap going on because I run in circles of privileged white people and I just want to shake all of them. So here is a list, it gets more personal as you go down.
- Anyone who posts on Facebook saying “I don’t understand these people” referring to the white supremist when sharing an article/link needs to stop what they are doing and go watch American History X right fucking now. Yes, it has issues. Yes it’s from 20 years ago but things have not changed, if anything it’s probably gotten worse, now that people can congregate over the internet. In my opinion is the best showing of how people can intellectualise racism to themselves. I saw that movie as a teenager because I was in love with Edward Norton and watched all his movies. Consequently, I was made aware of how people can argue themselves into any position and how dangerous that is. What a random bonus from having a massive crush as a teen.
- Sharing articles from major news outlets on Facebook mostly gets nothing done in my opinion - you’re just virtue signalling that you want people to see that you’re “woke”. If you want to post something meaningful, do like the activist friends of mine and share rallies to attend, organizations to donate time and money to that others might not know about. If you feel like sharing something - share and signal boost articles of people of colour. We’ve all seen the Vice video - it came out a few days ago. Stop sharing it because your friends are sharing it and you want to hop on the bandwagon.
- STOP.BEING.SHOCKED! If you’re shocked you haven’t been paying fucking attention for the last 10 years. Case in point: seemingly nice people can be horrible behind closed doors. Once again in Swing Dance world it’s come out that a high profile dancer is a shitty human being - this time being a she who embezzled $50 000 from a dance venue she (formerly) owned with her then partner. That partner saved her from criminal charges and kept quiet about the embezzlement and her abusive behaviours for years to save her reputation so she could continue teaching on the international circuit. Then she started spreading rumours that he and the other people running the venue (which they saved by getting day jobs and working 16 hours days to keep it going) that they had stolen money and doing shady shit. So as a last resort he shared the story on Facebook to try to salvage his and his other colleagues reputations because the rumours had gotten out of control. And he is of course getting shamed by high profile dancers for it because she is charming and funny and personable on the outside (I can attest to this - I’ve worked with her and she was lovely to me) and doesn’t he understand that he shouldn’t shame an addict? Forget the fact that he spent more than 8 years trying to help her. Forget the fact that she’s now dating a known sexual predator. Forget the fact that she knowingly committed a felony and ISN’T paying the price for it and then decided to try to ruin the reputation of the people that SAVED HER from said charges. She’s nice and this should all have been dealt with behind closed doors because she’s nice. FUCKING SWING DANCE WORLD IS THE WORST.
- More personally and positively I attended and performed at a “erasing Mental health stigma through performance” last night and it kinda healed my soul a bit ( a lot). Being around other performers talking about their experiences and mental health issues just help me feel so much less isolated. There was a panel discussion afterwards and it was actually diverse (there was black, white, east and south asian, trans, queer people.) The highlight was the last performer - a trans black hip hop artist who suffers from BPD - he and his crew were so awesome. My heart grows three sizes when I see young people expressing themselves through their art. Their very last song was called “Get Lucky” (i.e. trying to get lucky at the club) and when they were done they said in the mic “and if you get lucky tonight, make sure it’s with full consent!”. So much winning. The woman who organized it I met (surprisingly) through Swing dancing, but I knew after getting to know her that she was different. I love her to bits and just want to hug her (she likes hugs) all the time for all the amazing shit she does and organizes within the community. And she’s only 25!
- More More personally and positively- a few weeks ago I basically shaved my head and dear god has it made a difference. I’ve always preferred short hair but couldn’t afford haircuts every 6 weeks (a decent haircut in my city is at least $40). So I decided “fuck it” and went out and bought a pair of clippers one evening a few weeks ago. It’s not totally shaved - I kept the front top longer and the rest is about 1/4 long from the clipper attachment. No one can tell I did it myself - I think it’s because I knew exactly what I wanted and knew that I could achieve it with clippers (I’ve had really short hair before). Anyway - BEST.IDEA.EVER. Now I get to have short hair for as long as I want without breaking the bank. FWIW it really helped me start to move on past my breakup - I’m still not over it by any means but between this haircut and the show last night I feel ready to start moving on. It’s a nice feeling.
Feel free to comment on these or post random thoughts of your own!