Category: opinion

Representation

I wonder how different the psyche of the next generation is going to be with lifelong exposure to services provided by computers and technology.  The high level of technological involvement in daily dependency developed entirely within a single generation (half-generation really.  According to current life expectancy data, I am 5% shy of the halfway mark.  I was born into a world where computers were very new and very far from daily integration.  Cassette tapes held music, the telephone is still tethered to the wall, and the internet has yet to be invented.)

What I find fascinating is that voice control, internet speed, and availability is teaching children the important lesson about the representation of things unseen.  This is a hard lesson to grasp- how something can stand in for another thing.   A concept that takes a long time for humans to understand, practice, and eventually apply organically.  The representation doesn’t have to look or feel like the real thing for us to inherently understand this concept of simplified symbolism.

With this lesson already learned and applied at a young age, I wonder how this early involvement with abstract thinking will evolve in the psyche of the next generation.  Will abstract concepts in general be are easier to extrapolate?  Will art be more prevalent since the concept of representation is so well understood? How will this shift in consciousness affect religion?  Can we culturally be more accepting of other people with a broader range of understanding?

Pigeon #Hole

I am glad that we are talking about sexual oppression, but it is beginning to be a media obsession that is pigeonholing the larger issues of gender inequality.

Focusing singularly on this one aspect of female oppression is making the overall issue of gender inequality virtually unaddressed.   It is about respect, and I don’t want to see the same argument being spun in the mud, losing traction against even the greater mission of making all people equal.  Yes, I would like to start with women’s equality- that would afford me with a higher quality of life.  I would have more money in my pocket a long time ago, my career would not have been so stagnant, my apartment and clothes would be nicer, I would have a car, my life would have been easier.

But so many people feel this way.  We can say without a doubt that racism is extremely prevalent in this country.  The #metoo movement is about people telling their story, but inequality between men and women runs way deeper than this one terrible spin-off.  The inequality issue is about not having the same opportunities in jobs, in politics, in finance, in education, in visibility as the male counterpart.  Sexual oppression is one terrible side effect of a historical patriarchal system.

The movement needs to evolve into an uplifting and empowerment movement of people who are systematically abused, one the encompasses both gender and race.  The movement needs to open its pledge beyond this one aspect if it is going to help end discrimination.

Confession of a Feminist

As a single woman in her mid-thirties, with a career-long rap sheet in the culinary industry, you would assume that I would support the #metoo movement.  I have stories, I have harassment, I have glass ceiling lower than a garden apartment.

I am angered by the way I have been treated, I am angered that I put up with it to some degree. I am mad that I thought this “locker room talk” would make me stronger, I am mad that I thought my career was more important than my dignity.

I have never been physically harassed beyond butt grabbing and boob groping, but I can comfortably say that I have been verbally harassed just about every day on the job.

“You gotta have thick skin if you are going to make it in this industry.”

Christ on a stick, I have heard that so many times I want to puke.

It’s not always words, it’s glancing, it’s licking of the lips (I know, ew), it’s the brushing against the butt repeatedly, it’s the unwanted advances, it’s subtly lewd comments, it’s the never being taken seriously because of the way that I look.  I have not been granted second interviews for management positions because of my innocent smile, soft eyes, amiable nature.  Every time I tell anyone that I work in the foodservice industry, people always assume that I must be a server.  I am a damn fine cook and a successful chef,  I don’t rely on talent or beauty, I rely on skill, determination, drive, and a great sense of style.

I do not back the #metoo movement because social media is click bait, and that is it.  #metoo a damn trend and right now at some point soon it will trend downward.  There is no fight in a hashtag.  There is no march, there is no riot, there is nothing beyond words of disapproval.

Last year’s person of the year was a monster who insists still that the title of the Time magazine award should be REVERTED to “man” of the year.

This year’s Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is a fucking hashtag.

GET REAL.

THE CONSEQUENCE OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ARE MORE THAN A MAGAZINE COVER.

Watered Down

Dear people of the millennial clan,

Is La Croix going to water down the term used to describe every other brand of sparkling water, just like how Coca-Cola has replaced the words soda and pop, not to mention any competing brand names like Pepsi and RC?  Like how Band-Aid means a sticky bandage? I don’t even know the nonbranded way to ask for a Band-Aid. Is La Croix going to be the new Rollerblade of in-line skating?  Is La Croix going to be the Kleenex of nose tissues?

I am just wondering because I have come to love, truly, calling all sparkling water bubblers.  Can we just decide to say “bubbler” instead of “La Croix?

Yours Truly,

Marigold.

Marco Polo

I think of things to write about, but when the time comes, I go stone cold.  Is this writers block?  If so, then maybe I don’t have what it takes to write a book, maybe I don’t have the charisma to hostess a blog, to live my life by the way of pen, by the stroke of the ink, by the code of the keypad.

I get inspired to write only when I cannot, namely when I am struggling against sleep, tossing in the sea of the comforter, tangled in the seaweed of the sheet, mind racing while the body cannot.

So here I am, hanging out with myself on a late fall evening, bored and avoiding Marigold.

Maybe we broke up and I was too distracted to even notice, maybe that’s it.  Whenever I call on Marigold, when I am ready, when I have time, I have already lost motivation because of how long I have avoided my blog baby.  Marigold has run away, and I do not blame her.

It’s like I am nervous, or scared, intimidated, unclear, and for the first time in  my life, unopinionated.

It certainly is strange, but I miss Marigold, and I do hope she starts to stop by a little more often than never.

XO

Marianna

Talkless Telephones

Who would have guessed that the cell phone revolution would lead to a silent class, to one that never speaks out loud, to one that is reliant on written conversation and reading over vocal skills, noises that having meaning- a skill required shortly after birth as opposed to the one that must be fostered over a long series of years, a form of communication that takes years to master.  Writing text messages, emails, Facebook posts are a lot less innate than talking, but yet everyone has agreed on a preference, universally, and without any loud discussion about it.

Musical Notes

Music is important because it is a lens through which people’s lives are focused.  It is a backdrop, an important motif that supports the theme of one’s life.  Think of how important a soundtrack is to the making a movie truly great and memorable.  If your life has a great soundtrack, then it is going to be better.  Or it can be filled with all the potential that luck can muster, but if low quality expression are prevalent that petty over sex, money, gossip, then your life just may have limits.

Made Up Adventure

This was a throw back to college days adventure weekend: full of fun times, booze, great conversation, exciting stories, seeing old friends, making new ones,  finding new bars, trying new foods, sampling new beers, smiling cheek to cheek, renewing vows of love to nice weather, staying up past bed time for just about a week straight, all around pretending to be a teenager again.  Responsibility is for the birds, tonight we have laugh.

Thursday was a handsome date, Friday was a family celebration of the highest accomplishment, Saturday was drinks with friends of friends involving arcade games, Sunday was dinner at the house with new friends, Monday was Peking Duck birthday bash followed up with soft jazz, Tuesday was fancy cocktails for ladies night out…. and tomorrow is a new day.

This great adventure into the perquisite spring adjustment has reminded me of a valued lesson that I have been taking for granted: wearing make-up everyday, even just for the evening portion, is daunting.  I mean I feel great with eyeliner, blush, gold eyeshadow, highlighted eyebrows, red lip stain, bronzer, perfume, curled hair, jewelry… all the accoutrements to the outfit- but I am so glad that I don’t have to do this routine everyday.  There are many jobs and careers where women are expected to do this every day- it’s professional, it’s what you do.  Well, its exhausting.  I love to keep makeup as fun, as an embellishment. I don’t want it to have to be a daily maintenance, a necessity, a part of the uniform, an expected part of my adult demure.

I am tired of make-up, I can’t wait to return to my plain face tomorrow morning, to look in the mirror and see myself as I am unadorned, and wear just my naked face that for the whole day straight.

The Self Conscious Pee

Gender defined bathrooms, not only is silly, it is unfair because the women always have to wait like literally a thousand times longer. To add insult to impatience, the children go with the women to stand uncomfortably in the forever line.

Its not just that is in unfair to women waiting in the lines drawn, it is unfair to assume that everyone fits snuggle into these two categories.  How is men’s pee different from Women’s?  Why is it taboo to sit on a pot after a dude just sat on?  There is no difference in excrement, there is no gender defining reason why a toilet has to be different.  A toilet is a toilet and we should leave it at that.

I look forward to a situation where bathrooms are universally labeled as a water closet/ a loo/ a rest room/ a pee palace, where gender becomes less of an issue, where the mirror is outside of the stall so that we can all pee faster and in a non discriminated fashion.