Saturday, July 29, 2006

Oh Lord, Please No!

“Most of my friends are believers,” said Shannon Staiger, a psychotherapist and church member, “and they think if you’re a believer, you’ll vote for Bush. And it’s scary to go against that.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Fight The Power! (well, not really...)

The other night a friend of mine was complaining about popular people. He essentially upheld the stereotypes of all circa 1980s-2000s teenage movies (their tyranny must be overthrown, they are all souless clones, etc...) while delving deeper to ask "Why them? Why are their opinions and tastes more acceptable to society than other people's?" But the truth is, neither of those statements is true. So get out your crazy clothes, start learning elvish, get a mohawk, or strap on that pocket protector, and I will explain to you how society works.

Let's look at the bigger picture:
Ever since...well, a long time ago there has always been a culture and a counter culture. The 50's had jocks and greasers, the 60s had more preppy jocks and hippies, the 70s were essentially the same except everyone did drugs, the 80s had yuppies and punks, etc. etc. Though at first these counter culture groups were feared and disrespected, they actually gained more respect and influence in the long run compared to their mainstream opposition. Let's look at hippies for example: My dad was raised hardcore conservative in the 50s/60s, so it is a given that he hates hippies. He was raised to see all of the more negative images associated with them, such as rampant drug use and lack of cleanliness, and he was not alone. Many people of that generation did not accept the hippy culture, which what made it so radical at the time. Now however, hippies are cool. Kids dress up as them for halloween, bell bottoms are back in (to stay!), tye dying T-shirts is a popular activity, and 60's music is one of the most popular genres. Most people nowadays recodnize that- despite the darker side of hippiedom- hippies did do alot to better our society, and make it more free and accepting.

How did hippies go from being ruled out to respected in the short run aswell? (By the seventies, many originally hippie-introduced concepts and fashions had become perfectly acceptable) The truth is, conservatism is boring, even for conservatives. So, very slowly at first but then at a far more rapid pace, counter culture ascends to culture. We see this happenning all the time. A perfect example of this is what's happenning in the music industry as we speak. Who was popular ten years ago? Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, and Britany Spears. Sure, classic pop artists exist and are still being signed, but who's getting the radio play now? Green Day, Simple Plan, and My Chemical Romance. Several years ago, those groups would have had far less publicity than they recieve today. (yes, Green Day was around and well several years ago, but they've definitley changed their look to fit the mold) Ten years ago, if someone turned on TRL, they would have been shocked to see a 'hardcore punk' band, something that was considered counter culture at the time, but now MTV is even getting out its studded collars and tattoos during prime time. Hot Topic went from being "the scary store with iron gates for doors" to "hey, let's go in and check out the t shirts!" (though perhaps that's more a product of age than trend) oh, and here's a juicy facy for ya: Hot Topic is owned by the GAP.

But if counterculture eventually becomes culture, where does the counterculture vibe go? This is where the water gets muddied, and the poser is born. Because counterculture wants to hold on to their rebellious and sometimes even presumptious attitude, any one less 'hard core' than they are, or who attempts to imitate their lifestyle for any reason, is quickly labelled a poser. One must keep in mind that whether or not some one or something is a poser is completley up to perspective. Some of my friends, for example, are really into My Chemical Romance, Simple Plan, Hawethorne Heights, etc. Though these bands are by no means bad, they are quickly becoming a dime a dozen. I have a tendency to refer to them as 'poser bands' because though they appear to be edgy and 'hardcore', most of their songs (from what I've heard) are about relatively light material, and follow the same pattern of most temporarily popular bands these days. (the "I'm a bad ass and don't care what you think" song, the "omg rebel girls are so hot" song, etc. etc.) The father of all these groups of course, is Good Charlotte. They were really cool when they first came out, but were then quickly labelled the ultimate in poser punk.

So getting back to the highschool scene...Things are definitley not as they used to be, or at least as they were portrayed in movies and television. Though every highschool is different, there are no 'popular people vs losers', at least in the traditional sense. Though some people may have more friends than others, it is rare to see someone truly wishing to 'climb the social ladder.' (Then again, perhaps I was just spoiled with an exceptional Highschool/Jr. Highschool experience) The people that end up being labelled as 'popular' are usually just conservative, while those who take it upon themselves to be 'outcasts' are those that follow the counter-cultural trend of the day, even though they have just as many friends. It's not that one side is more advatageous than the other, they are simply different. While the conservative, 'popular' people may think to themselves "Yay! Look at us, we're so popular!" the counter-cultural 'outcasts' think "Ew! Who wants to be a stupid popular person? We're so much cooler!" Both sides remain perfectly content and happy with their self-percieved spot on the social spectrum.

While the older stereotype is losing its steam,(pops on top, dorks on bottom) we can see how the bigger picture plays into all this. Nerds and losers have been on the counter-cultural backburner for ages, so it is only fitting that they too have their day in the sun. What was one of the most popular films last year? Napolean Dynamite. Another one? Lord of the Rings. There are tons of t-shirts advocating classic nintendo games and other nerdy past times, along with "Talk Nerdy To Me" and "I [heart] Nerds." Yes my tetris loving friends, my friend could not have been more wrong, your day has come!

But there's one more question: "Why are 'popular' (conservative) opinions automatically more acceptable to society than counter-cultural ones?" Well the truth is, they aren't, it all depends which side of the spectrum you're on. Imagine a J. Crew model and a dedicated Marilyn Manson fan both giving each other wierd looks as they walk past each other. If you want to apply for a job as an accountant, wear a conservative style suit. If you want to join a rock group, dress as radically as possible. I understand that that's based on a lot of stereotyping, and I wish that wasn't the case, but it's pretty much true.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Did You Know...?

Do you know what I discovered today? Of course not. Why? because you are not me, nor are you blessed with my supreme intellecutual abilities, nor (in all likelihood) telepathic powers allowing you to observe my advanced thought processes. However, you are a subscriber to my blog, and in return for such interest and loyalty, it is only fair that you are given a few glimpeses into the happennings of my genius intellect. So here you are:

In the movie 'Amelie', Amelie uses her dad's garden gnome to inspire him to fulfill his life dream of travelling all around the world. She does this by taking pictures of him in front of posters of a variety of locations, creating the illusion that he has actually been there.

In the commercials for, the 'Roaming Gnome' serves as Travelocity's mascot, also visiting a variety of locations, and 'denouncing travel myths.'

IT'S THE SAME BLOODY GNOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, maybe they're not aesthetically identical, but I bet you anything that's where Travelocity got the idea! HA! I GET IT!

...I hope you enjoyed this evening's revelation.

PS: Oh, and if you want to continue to follow in my intellectual footsteps, or at least try your best, read "The World Is Flat: Updated and Expanded" by T. Friedman. That should inspire you to go out and buy a hybrid car. But if such logic does not occur to you upon completion of that book, I'm sorry, but your puny mind is simply not capable of grasping such complex ideas.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pep for Prep?

Well I just got the most kick ass shout out ever, so I figured i should get up off my lazy ass and give you mango addicts something to suck on for awhile, so here goes:

About a month ago, my dad forced me to go on a J. Crew shopping spree. Yes, I am dead serious. He made me try on a polo and a skirt, and then bought three colors in each for me to wear at his office when I'm working there (which, FYI, I will now definitley be avoiding. I cannot spend 8 hours infront of a desk, it is simply impossible. Yes, I did actually fall asleep.) I told him of course that this was futile, a joke, and that the clothes were destined to be in Goodwill by the end of the summer. but he persisted, and I am now the shameful owner of three J. Crew polos and three J. Crew skirts.

The key word in that sentance, however, is shameful.

the truth is, one of the skirts (an army colored green-good basic thing to have) isn't so bad. Though at first the polos seemed ill fitting on me, on a second go they're not too hideous, and are actually ridiculously comfortable. In fact, So long as I kept the funky rainbow bracelets, large sunglasses, and earrings, the ensemble really wasn't half bad looking at all, and I'd gladly wear it again. Now for those of you that know me, you might be thinking "WHAT? Emma's gone preppy?!?" and to a certain extent that's why It took me a while to come to terms with these unsettling facts. After all, Isn't that one of evil's purest forms? But keep reading, and your fears shall be assuaged.

It's not that I've 'gone preppy' or even changed the way I dress on a daily basis, I merely opened myself up to a new style, and was reminded about something I had forgotten. I had forgotten than I don't- or at least seriously should try my absolute best to not- support stereotypes. (A personal rule I've been pretty much ignoring lately) In fact, back before I came to prep school, I had no idea what "preppy" was. Seriously, when I got here I thought that the only reason peoples' collars never stayed down was because the laundry service was too lazy to iron things properly. Before prep school, when confronted with Lilly Pulitzer or Eliza B., I had a completely open mind and would gladly try on the clothing. But once I discovered they were all key brands to preps everywhere, I became a little less willing.

So what was wrong with preppy all along? It's not that the style looks so bad, as I've come to realize, (unless of course you're a guy, then there are some definite limits) but it's what the style is associated with. Conformity, and above all things, conservatism. Why are there so many fads in preppy style? Because deviation from the norm is so rare. Why is everyone jumping to get multicolored plaid shorts? Because they're the most original thing designers have come out with in the preppy lines. When was the last time they seriously redesigned anything except for changing the color or fabric? Preppy may seem new and refreshing for me, but for others, it's a boring norm which they have never dared to deviate from for generations.

But before I try to turn my nose up at stereotypes all together, I must admit the term "preppy" does cover a multitude of sins, making it a very useful adjective. If someone is preppy, they don't just dress it, they act it, speak it, and flaunt it with pride. So are stereotypes really that bad then? I suppose they have their place, but we shouldn't let them rule our lives or close our minds, even though such a thing is inevitable. I can't help but wonder...What If I was raised dressing preppy? What if, on my first day of prepschool, I had worn a J. Crew ensemble, instead of all black professional looking slacks and a lacy blouse? (which I admit was wayyy too low cut by the way) Would things have been any different? The truth is, there's a chance they might have, and that is unsettling- more unsettling, at least, than how I look in a polo shirt.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Power of a Paperclip?


Not only did you just get great publicity for Blogspot and aspiring bloggers all over, you proved that if people just work together and give up little things they dont need for the greater good, miracles can be accomplished. (yes that was uber overbye esqe) I'm inspired and encouraged!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


well we all seem to want it to happen, and since you all check my blog, i figure we can figure it out here.

Weekdays are best for me during the day, but not if you're staying overnight until later july. However, this can be worked around. (ill just sleep thru drivers ed-as always) Josh- when is stiffy over? that is causing probs

Weekends are good too, i just need to know a little more in advance. This weekend= maybe if all the other ones are taken, but i have a close friend who moved coming over too. i can move this but she might be pissed, or you can meet her (though im not sure if shell be crazy about a day of star wars and DandD, and we'll have lots of catching up to do) so yeah probly not. Next weekend= i will likely be visiting a college fri or sat, and have a scheduled drivers ed thing friday aswell, but part of sat and sunday is open. Weekend after= i'm free, overbye is out of town. Maybe we should wait tilll early august? or when all the public kids are back in school but we have another week (ill be reallly bored then)

What are we doing?
the following have been suggested:
*camping (are you guys staying overnight or just leaving at 5 am?)
*Star Wars marathon (all 3 oldies)
*DandD (ill need teaching)
* any other ideas?


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sappy vs. Sensitive

Well originally I wasn't going to bother, but I'm bored and stuck in the library till this storm clears up, so I might as well...

There is a clear and distinct difference between sappy and sensitive guys. Here Goes:

Sappy guys may seem enjoyable at first, and the extra attention is pleasant for a period. They like you, ALOT, and you will know about it soon enough. Some times, these guys can turn out to be good companions, though only someone as innocent or naive as they are would probably consider an actual relationship. (There are special circumstances of course, but this is what I’ve gathered from life) How do you recognize a sappy guy? It's easy enough. They are clingy. They will pay lots of attention to you andIM or Call you multiple times regardless of how much you ignore them. (Though obviously that applies to desperate losers as well) They will remember birthdays, but also minor insignificant events involving you. They will obviously try to act cute or funny around you. All usual flirting behavior, only to the extreme. They also tend to be very inexperienced. Once, a "sappy" guy went up to my locker to say bye to me (we were sorta friends) and did a hand shake, making it obvious that he liked me, was nervous, and was unsure of proper platonic actions to be taken. But most importantly: a sappy guy doesn’t just like you, he LOVEs you. Though some people may find this sweet, and maybe even return the affection (and if so, more power to ya) most girls will recognize that it is essentially impossible to "LOVE" someone, especially if you've only known them for a short period of time, which only makes them look more inexperienced and (ironically) hormone driven. Luckily, for them and us, most guys outgrow their "sappy" phase (which is essentially caused by inexperience) once they have found someone equally as naive and sappy to go out with, and/or generally gained more experience in the dating world. I figured most guys had had most of the sap drained out of them by 16, but I get pleasantly surprised on a daily basis : )

Any guy who has progressed into the dating world, but still retained a serious amount of sap is often labeled "sensitive." However, to be perfectly honest I don't think I've ever met a guy that wasn't "sensitive" in his own way. Though it is very important to be able to tell the difference between "I love you" and "I-love-you-ok-I-said-it-now-let's-have-sex", and I'm sure there are many ass holes out there that I haven’t met yet, but everyone has their soft spot; it just might be harder to find. When girls say they're looking for someone who's "sensitive" they really mean someone who will be considerate and pay attention to them, which any guy will do eventually in his life if he finds someone he thinks is really special. (Sorry if that's not you at the moment, but no worries, you'll meet each other eventually.) Another thing that comes to mind when I hear that expression is the old stereotype. You know, the dumb, egotistical jock versus the less popular but "sensitive" nice guy. But the truth is, that jock has a "sensitive" side too, it just might not be as apparent or ready to act as the other guy. In short, the amount of "sap" guys retain into adulthood determines how "sensitive" they are. All guys have some sap, but some far more or less than others. And now we approach an interesting paradox: While the originally 'sappy' guy will evolve to reduce and harness his sap, the less sensitive guy will, through meaningful relationships, try to get in touch with his sappier side. (In an ideal world of course) Only now, because it has been saved up for so many years and its release has been well thought out, it is no longer sap. It has been distilled into the pure maple syrup of something special. That's the difference (to me) between Sap and Syrup. Syrup is something real that takes effort, and comes from enough background and experience to know that what's being experienced is unique and special, and not just some fantastic "sappy" whim stretched to extremes by artificial flavoring.

That's it everyone, hope you enjoyed. *continues to sip coffee and feel like Carrie Bradshaw*

Monday, July 03, 2006

Money Problem?

OK, I would just like to preface this post by saying that all my life I have tried to be a good member of society. I always felt sort of guilty for being really wealthy, and gave lots of money to charities. I would often feel disgusted when I thought about how Paris Hilton's shoe closet could probabaly support a starving 3rd world country for a week, or how the slightest unnecessary luxury of many wealthy people could feed hundreds of starving people for a year. I used to want to get a college degree so I could really help balance out the world (and essentially, I still do) But then, I went to the Hamptons....

In the Hamptons, there are docks, and on the docks, there are the most beautiful yachts you have ever seen. I'm not kidding. Streamlined, four floors, tons of beautiful recessed lighting adorning decks with chic cocktail parties being served by their own private bartenders and chefs, excercise bikes, big screen flat panel TVs with surround sound, several jet skis per vehicle. These things were fucking SEXY. That is really the only word that describes the feeling you get when looking at them, aside from the soreness of your gaping jaw.

...and that my friends, is the scary thing about, well, things. they are so alluring, its easy to lose track of the bigger picture, even though so much more productive things could be done with the money. And what is luxury anyway? Everyone had the same Model T ford, and was perfectly happy with it, until GM decided to make cars with different 'luxury features' (which were probably essentialy not too major and were just a result of overproduction) at different prices. Why did we do that? why, so many years ago even before that, did someone decide they had to have something to make themself seem more distinguished than the rest of society? is it human nature or human evil? and when it comes to capitalism, do we really need the reward of
"things" in order to do our best work? sure, not if everyone has a job they love, but then again, who's going to pick your fruit and sew your clothes? (because lets face it, the US is wayyy to evolved to return to a perfect indian society at this point, no matter what Chuck P says-or is it?)
Will we ever live in a perfect society where everyone has what they need, or have we already fucked ourselves over too much with our sexy yachts?

Here's an idea: What if we forced people to stop making luxury products all together, and then managed to take away all the ones that already existed? we could sell these products to the government either for everybody's use, or to melt down into more useful products. With the profits of selling all these items, we could repay the vendors who make their living off of creating them, and at least give them sometime to find another job. Could we really balance things out? (obviously it is impossible to just take away everyones stuff, but what if luxury items became so rare, that when people saw them it would be obvious that someone had cheated somehow, and instead of envy, they were filled with a feeling of disgust for that persons need to take away from everyone else?) And the most important question of all: Am I becoming a communist?!?!?

I know, I know, lots of questions not enough answers, but at least they're worth asking (even if you're not making a profit) : )