Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Ever-Changing Narrative (Sex and Violence Edition)

Today, I cruised by the Slacktivist blog to check up on a thread/topic I'd viewed last night - one of Mr. Clark's linkspams to interesting stories found online (the "Smart People Saying Smart Things" series). I rarely, if ever click on all the links in those, but sometimes I click through a few and find interesting stuff.  Want to cringe and horrible puns? Check the "Christian T-Shirt Fails."   (I think it's a good measure of how changed or "backslidden" I've become when I look at stuff like that and remember the church I went too as a teen and how such things were popular... except, somehow, I remember the quality of the shirts and messages as being so much *better* than today.  I had a "Love All, Worship One" shirt once with a stylish fish-symbol done in a sponge-paint style... cheesy? Sure, but not nearly as bad as a Jesus-Staples Easy Button).  Face. Palm.

I once had a job service try to get me a job as a graphic designer at one of those places. After browsing the online shirt message selection, I had a "Run away!" reaction and emailed my job coach with what essentially amounted to a Big Nooooo! (That place's offerings were even worse than bad puns.  A shirt that read "God loves homosexuals" on the front - sweet - until you see the back "He loves people looking for love in all the wrong places."  - I wanted to smack people upside the head with a rolled up newspaper for sheer rudeness if nothing else)! 

Speaking of that... One of the other links on the linkspam was to a story on an LGBT site about an overlooked old church Saint... A Saint who was a bearded lady.  (According to the story, she didn't want to be married off to a pagan king, so she prayed about it and God gave her a beard to make her ugly so she wouldn't have to marry. Then her dad murdered her over it).  The site speculated that perhaps (if she existed) she was a lesbian who was blessed with the beard or an intersex individual and has become a Saint that some in the LGBT community latch onto as patron.  (She's officially a patron of difficult marriages, I think... I just took a glance at the article).  Anyway, today, on the comments to the linkspam, I saw someone complaining about how this person "automatically" is branded "lesbian" rather than "perhaps heterosexual but just didn't want to marry" or "perhaps asexual." 

The commentator was an asexual who is tired of being ignored. 

I can relate.  I mean, though I'm in a technically heterosexual relationship, sex just isn't a part of it - and I'm happy with it. I mean, what do you call a 33-year-old-virgin without any overwhelming desire to "correct" that particular life-state even though I've had no problems "landing" a partner?  I'm pretty sure I'm asexual, or something close to it.  - Now, it only seems to weird people out when I share it (I'm weirding you out right now, aren't I)? And I run the risk of getting accusations of everything from "prude who's going to tell me I'm evil and going to Hell for having sex" to "stupid, pitiable child who just doesn't KNOW life yet because the big "O" is magical" to "What the Hell is WRONG with you?"  (To which I reply - yes. I do have something "wrong" with me. Want me to go into detail about a health condition)?  By the way, if you want to have sex, no skin off my bum - but if you don't know your partner(s) well, use protection so you don't get sick, okay? I care about you.  

I was struck with the thought reading the commentator of "Yeah, it's kind of annoying to have the possibility of my existence ignored again, but... so what?"  I think the LGBT community is in need of Saints and heroes (mythic as well as the confirmed-real) because historically, not a lot of those have been "allowed" to them by greater society.  As an "asexual" I don't feel particularly persecuted - on the grounds of "What's the point of a unicorn hunt?"   I'm content to be a "unicorn" if it helps other people, people who really need the solace.

So, I guess I'm saying, my attitude right now is if, someway, somehow, I become a Saint or a hero of some sort and people in the future want to look to my lack of obvious sexuality as a sign that I can be a hero to their own - go right ahead.

I'm thinking about this because I have a short story in mind dealing with the “change in narratives” regarding life and people that I'm dawdling on.  It’s just one of my possibly-meaningless stories to post on the blog that I'll probably never make money or fame from - about a man who is resurrected after ten years of being dead.  Just spontaneously resurrected - I'm not going to try to explain it with science though the scientists in the story's world will.  Despite the obvious "religious" connotations to what happened to him, I don't want it to be a religious story. In fact, the "victim" as it were doesn't remember an afterlife (yet, he does not dismiss the possibility that there is one and he just doesn't remember it).  He gets people angry at him from both sides because he's unwilling to take one - also, some will be angry at his general existence, because face it, some people would be because it seems like whenever something that’s “not supposed to happen” does, sometimes even for “good,” some people get angry because “The world does not work that way!” 

Anyway, the main meat of the story (if I ever get it written) is that the hapless man finds that people’s memories of him have shifted.  His family and friends all make assumptions about him and “what he’d want” and are made to feel very strange when he corrects them, or chooses something different.  – I want the story to be about how we go through our lives essentially seeing other people as fictional characters a lot of the time – we have our own images of them, our own ideas about them, sometimes even the people we are closest to.  In other words, the story-idea is a play on “Don’t speak ill of the dead” and “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”   When the dead cannot speak, we make myths around them – good or bad, depending upon what we thought of the person and whether we personally knew them or if they’re just a historical figure. 

The weirdest thing – when first getting the budding ideas for this story, I was pretty sure I wanted my resurrect-character to die in a public shooting (so I could play with the idea of “the martyrs we make – whether or not they ever wanted to be”).  Then, well, news happened…  Okay, if someone shoots up a grocery store anytime soon, consider me one really freaked out writing-prophetess.  I was thinking gas-station-store, that kind of thing, just because robberies there are common… that evolved into a grocer somehow… And if anyone actually does that, even though I’m not sure I believe in an “eternal Hell” anymore, I hope there’s some kind of a “hell” for them.  I hate to be one of those “hangin’s too good” types, but sometimes, I honestly am when I look at all the shit that goes on in the world.

Speaking of violence – here’s another thing I’ve been wondering at for a while in regards to values dissonance and how history looks upon things… I keep thinking that the very “progressive” people of today might be seen as monsters in the future, not for the things they are progressive about, but for side-things.  I keep thinking, for instance, that one day, maybe vegetarianism will win out as the grand moral dietary choice – as is, I have respect for vegetarians, even though I’m a meat-loving butcher’s daughter and well, when it comes to some of the flesh I eat – a stone-killer.  I went fishing yesterday at a nearby creek. I caught four lovely sunfish (they’re small and bony, but I enjoy eating them) and brought ‘em home, beheaded them, gutted them and fried ‘em up with some bacon and garlic.  I am capable of doing that without thinking too much about the fish (I do try to minimize suffering, but they are pretty primitive-brained, so I’m never going to think of them the same way I do people, or even the mammals I also enjoy eating).   I can’t help but think that even as I grow “progressively” on various issues of politics, society, human rights and even spirituality, that history may just look back on me / those like me as horrid because we ate things with faces and / or looked into the faces of what we ate. 

I’m unrepentant, though.  Fish are delish.  Fish aren’t friends! They’re food!

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