Monday, December 22, 2008

Secret, special childhood places

"Coming down off the nova somewhere near the boiled egg that is the Royal Albert Hall, we watch Paul's sun crossed with John's star and hold ice cream hands. Someone slipped on a cassette as the one you wanted left with someone else but somehow it was cool because as the music filled the shadows, you heard a sound that was a million miles away from fakery and a step away from your heart.

Just like it always did, this sound puts the swagger back into your step, the rush into your blood but somehow, and i don't know how, they had become deeper, wider, soulful, better at their craft, inspired by so many things like a word that is tilting who knows where, and the applause they always knew was theirs but waited so impatiently to receive. Words cut you from all angles, backed up by a monumental sound that rises high, high, and high to crash against your rocks and then changes, majestically and magically to soothe the wounds inside.

As you are dragged inside on this trip abandon, you hear a council estate singing its heart out, you hear the clink of loose change that is never enough to buy what you need, boredom and poverty, hours spent with a burnt out guitar, dirty pubs and cracked up pavements, violence and love, all rolled into one, and now all this.

At the end you flip over and start again because now you are not isolated. They have gone to work so that you can go home. High above the day turns pink and you feel your feet lift above the ground as new roads open in front of you. In this town the jury is always rigged but the people know. They always know the truth. Believe. Belief. Beyond. Their morning glory.

-P.H in the summer of '95-"

This is on the CD sleeves of one of my favorite albums.

Well.. I don't really have favorite albums. I like lots of individual songs, and then there was one band (Oasis) that I somehow became obsessed with. Never really felt that way about any other band. And I would say I got obsessed cuz of my sister, but it's not true, she just introduced them to me, and then they became mine. I almost feel competitive, it's like the kind of jealous love that says no, only *I* have that secret special connection with them. And I guess in reality it doesn't really matter or make sense... and it seems a little adolescent to have that reaction... but does it really matter if it's mature or not. If something feels true and close to your heart then that's the way it is.

And why? Because there are so many things in this world that have been cheapened by cynicism and media attention, and mockery and there are so many things you have to stop believing in when you grow up, no more magical mystery kingdoms, no more neverlands, no more secret gardens, no more jumping into holes that take you to wonderland. All those beautiful places where you could believe in love and adventure and find friends that get you. And somehow... british literature and music and folklore seems to have preserved that - (or maybe just for me, because my childhood fantasies mostly came from british children's literature) ... but... they have an homage to Peter Pan who refuses to grow up in Never neverland in the middle of Hyde Park. They have a gate marked to go to Hogwarts at their train station, they have Baker St covered in Sherlock Holmes references and Abbey Rd with the Beatles. They were home to the Beatles, to John Lennon, to the guy who wrote Imagine. It's where "Beethoven's Medal" was written. It's a country which is as romantic as it is cynical. As magical as it is oppressive and imperialist. And I don't know how they manage to be both. They are obsessed with elitism and class, but at the same time have an amazingly rich working class culture. And I am so glad, that the americans resent them, and treat them like a step parent, because I want all that romance to be safe from the cynical overly commercial politically correct cheap glare of the american media.

Oasis... and the Beatles, and Peter Pan represent to me that special secret intimate place, the secret garden I can go to when I want to believe in romance and adventure and magic and beauty and truth and heartfelt passion far away from the harsh glare of cynical "reality".

And I guess the thing about Oasis and the Beatles IS that they don't apologize for being romantic and idealistic and they come from working class backgrounds. There is something to be said for people who are sincere and idealistic *after* they have seen and experienced things that should make people too mature to be idealistic, rather than someone who is idealistic due to naivete. And that's worthy of some respect. I want to be that. I want to be a romantic and not lose touch with my true selfness... which I know I can do in secret. I just want to be able to do it without being self conscious or worrying about seeming silly or cheesy or melodramatic.. without apologizing for it. But at the same time keeping it light.. without taking myself overly seriously. Is that contradictory? Who knows?

Ok so I re-read this, and I realize I romanticise them Brits like it was my homeland away from home... I hate to be such a cheesy, stereotypical example of post-colonial identity... but I swear, it's special-er than that dammit! I like the WORKING CLASS, not the uppity weirdos that colonized our country! THAT, my friend, is a very important difference!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Endings

A couple of things... I realized, I haven't been posting much up here.

I also realized, the few posts that I have been putting up have been ridiculously serious/analytical/angsty and honestly kind of depressing, rather than informative, articulate, interesting, exploratory, which is what I intended at first. (Well, mostly the exploratory part). And the reason is, I was becoming introspective again - Ok fine, I am always introspective, and I always over-think and over-analyze, I wasn't just *becoming* it). Too much introspection always leads me to over-analysis, going around in circles and angst. And I do this when I am feeling anxious, stressed, lost. To gain control over the anxiety, I analyze it to bits. To more than bits, and realizing that isn't doing anything, I go and analyze other unrelated things to bits, and if that's not enough I get angry and frustrated about other things that are completely outside my realm of experience or control and failing that I make up reasons to be upset or get upset about things that wouldn't normally matter.

Anyway, my point is, that this thakki patang needs a bit of soul food to calm her down from her flailing, so she can recuperate and get back into living her life!

Of course, currently I am sitting around bored to death because my brain feels like it's burning, I can feel the smoke coming out of it - and I am not sure if its the flu or a migraine or just indoor heating, but that's what it is.

So since I am stuck at home, and secretly grateful I get a day off from stressing about what I have to do, I have been lying on my couch and watching "Something's Gotta Give". Finally. I had been meaning to see this movie forever, because it has two of my favorite tv personalities in it: Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Diane Keaton because she does such great justice to neurotic women like me, and Jack Nicholson cuz he's just plain nuts in an awesome kind of a way. I was 'nesting' and I needed to watch old nostalgic faces and cheesy movies.

The movie is adorable and made me feel all happy and fuzzy inside. Except the thing about these feel good movies is, everyone has a glamorous well paid job and is settled and surrounded by family and loved ones, they have beach houses and the weather is always great, except when you have an intense night time scene when it suddenly starts raining - and everyone always has a chance to turn their life around, no matter how neurotic or insane they may be. So the cynical side of me says, yeah easy for them to make these decisions.. But maybe there is a hidden truth in this. Maybe it really is just about optimism. Maybe you are supposed to whine and wish and throw a tantrum and blink your eyes and opportunities show up in your lap. And even if they don't, it's kind of fun to throw a tantrum anyway, isn't it? Who cares if noone is listening, once in a while you should be allowed to just cry and shout and put on some death metal and sing along at the top of your lungs.. oh god that imagery just traumatized my currently very fragile brain!

In other news, a friend of mine emailed me in the middle of the night, telling me about this Indian graphic novel artist who is "hot, smart and gay" and that it reminded her of me. Yes, I am going to sound horribly vain, but I'm way hotter than her! Although I am flattered that a hot smart gay woman would remind my friend of me :P... Anyway, I get a little annoyed around my own kind, and I am guessing it's a mix of a bit of self hatred and a desire to not be defined by my demographic (see the Lying post). So my first reaction to the angsty tortured other brown queers out there, in the eternal words of Will from Will and Grace is:
"WILL: Oh, who cares? So--so they sell a few less copies of some crappy coming out story. [WHINING] "I'm so confused. I don't understand my feelings." Do a one-man show like everybody else!"

Ok, in all honesty, I am being unduly harsh because I get exhausted from my own confused identity issues, and lifeness and feelings and all that fun stuff. It's a relief to just laugh it off.

My brain is bailing out. Need to get some shut-eye. adios.