Thursday, July 23, 2015

Not doin' so great

What’s the point of being smart, clever, talented (and whatever else) if I’m always gonna feel this alone? 

I think my biggest fear is that I’ll lose hope, and then... I don’t know what will happen, but it scares me, and I don’t really want to think about it. 

Hope that anybody really wants to hire me, that they recognize I’m good at what I do and value that over the other shit (i.e., being everybody’s buddy). Hope that I’ll ever really start writing again. Hope that anybody I really want to photograph will be interested ENOUGH to actually schedule a shoot and then NOT back out or cancel or just not show. Hope that anybody will ever want to fuck me again, much less love me. Or even, much more importantly, hope that anybody wants to truly be my friend, not just on fucking facebook, but actually spend some damn time with me, stop by, have some coffee or some whiskey, just hang out. 

Fucking hope that I’ll EVER be somebody’s priority. 

All this shit just fucking hurts. And I’m tired of hope being all I have. But like I said, I’m afraid of what’ll happen when I lose hope. 

As bitter as I feel and sound now, it’s probably better than whatever happens next. But it feels like next is on it’s way. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Celebrate your symbols and “my flag”

So today on the facebook I am seeing lots of American flags with fireworks added – photoshopped, or whatever. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, but here’s an example:

I also saw a few Confederate flags* posted by some guy I used to know 20-something years ago.

* I KNOW – it’s not THE Confederate flag; it’s A flag used by some southern armies during the Civil War, and is occasionally referred to as the “Southern Cross”. (I find the religious connotation in that name interesting in itself, as it’s indicative of the sort of martyr complex its current supporters seem to have.) And it became more widely popular and visible in the South, during the mid-20th Century, as an anti-civil rights/pro-white establishment symbol.

It got me wondering why I haven’t seen – after the past few weeks full of rainbows and battle flags – any Confederate flags with fireworks. So I did a google image search. 

I only found one. It’s a mediocre shutterstock image, with a “shutterstock” watermark.

I do wonder if the pro-Confederate flag people are just not thinking in those terms, not trying to celebrate the flag in that way. I’m sort of glad they’re not, as would it would seem a bit aggressive. After all, it is a flag that was specifically designed to be recognized in battle. And, of course, there’s that whole pesky racism/hate/oppression connotation. Even if you have a knee-jerk feeling that it represents “heritage not hate,” I would ask: is it really possible to separate the symbol from its violent past.

Anyway, there does not seem to be a lot of Confederate firework imagery out there. Which is good. Adding literal explosives to that mix probably isn’t the best idea.

The Confederate flag supporters DO celebrate that flag, but in a different way. They love to display it – on their trucks, their lawns, their mobile homes; or as a fashion accessory – on bandanas, belt buckle, swim suits. Now, you may look at those examples I’ve listed and think I’m just pointing out stereotypes. But honestly, those are places where I have, with my very own eyes, seen Confederate battle flags before the recent ruckus about it.

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Something I’ve been thinking about lately, with the whole flag “debate” is the flag I used to have.

When I was a kid – maybe 10 or 12 years old – I bought a Confederate flag at a flea market. I’d saved up my allowance for a little while, not to specifically buy this flag, but to buy something more interesting than candy or a comic book or whatever I was interested in back then. I was at this flea market with my family and I found a table selling all kinds of flags. This was around the time The Dukes of Hazzard was on TV, and I liked the show. I saw a Confederate flag there on the table at the flea market, and I thought it looked cool. I was a kid, and to me it represented “the Duke boys” and “Yee-haw!”

Now, I wasn’t a particularly redneck-y kind of kid (though I have cousins who were). As I said, I liked the show. So I bought that flag and hung it on the wall above my bed. It was probably 5 feet by whatever – not quite big enough to hang on a flagpole, but certainly big enough to be obviously noticeable when you walked in the room.

I’m sure I’d seen the flag elsewhere, not just on TV. I lived in the South. My older brother is a bit of a Civil War buff, and it may have already been an interest of his at that point. But I really didn’t understand the history and significance of that flag. So, for several years, I had a big Confederate battle flag on my wall. I thought it was a neat looking thing. It has a strong design. I just liked the look of it.

When I was around 14 years old, my family moved. It was probably around that time that I stopped displaying that flag on my wall. I don’t remember deciding to take it down, but I’m pretty sure by high school that it was not on my wall anymore. Even then, I’m not sure I fully understood the significance of that imagine, but I think it just didn’t fit the person I was becoming as a teenager. I was embracing education and knowledge, starting to question religion (funny how those two things tend to go together), having discussions/arguments with my brother about socio-political topics (women’s rights, inter-racial relationships, etc.). I was becoming a liberal.

I do not recall when, or even IF, I actually got rid of that flag. It’s certainly a possibility; I’ve gotten rid of many things. Though it might be folded up, sitting in some box full of childhood mementos in my parents’ basement. Maybe I’ll have a look the next time I’m there.

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Oh, here’s something else. Something I made, based on another version I found online. A few facebook friends of mine (including a cousin) were sharing “if they can fly theirs, we can fly ours” posts, so this was my idea of compromise.