For her birthday, Amanda Palmer asked if folks who loved her things might share them and more importantly talk about them a little.
It’s hard, for me a bit, to talk about what music of Amanda’s I like. Because I didn’t find her through her music. I found her through Neil Gaiman and then twitter, I think, although I’m not actually sure I wasn’t quite on twitter yet when he first posted about Who Killed Amanda Palmer. (I just looked it up. That was released late 2008, and I believe I’ve been on Twitter since 2007, so it very well happened simultaneously or very near to.)
This song though, that I’ve embedded above, makes me hurt in a cathartic way. Because I do sort of think about my first marriage, listening to it. We didn’t grow apart in the bed, particularly. Or at least, the increasing size and quality of the bed wasn’t as obvious of a symbol as it is in the song. But we did grow apart. And it was, in large part, due to not talking to each other and realizing the ways we were growing and somehow integrating those things. I’m not sure we could have. We became very different, over the years. But… sometimes I wonder if we couldn’t still have been friends. Perhaps not? In any case, this is a good song to listen to when you’re having a pensive moment about a former relationship.
I also bought, and really loved The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. It’s interesting to me, to learn what people think and are going through that helps them grow. And learn. And trust. I wish we could trust people more. A lot of the time, it actually is okay. Sometimes, it’s very much not okay. And it’s always a learning experience. This book was wonderful for that. And it just made me feel closer. In a lot of ways, that’s what I love about both Amanda, and Neil, and why it was and is wonderful that they’ve come together as a couple and have a new human between them. They truly encourage community around them. People who love them are open to helping each other, just because of the commonality of the artists they love. It’s the same, and yet different, from so many other fan groups out there. And a pretty amazing thing.
So thank you Amanda, and Happy Birthday!
It’s interesting to me the small assumptions we bring to literature/film/television/music/entertainment media.
If someone has always been told “Shut up.” is a rude, dismissive thing to say/be said, they can never hear a nuance of love in it. Seemingly ever.
If someone as a young child, heard someone in a film, like Cary Grant say, “oh, shut up…” in a very gentle, loving, reassuring way, and has a visual memory of the flustered person being tugged into a hug and comforted as they are actually allowed to keep fussing on and perhaps even weeping in relief, well, they can.
Sometimes the latter person does allow larger margins for “shut up” than perhaps they ought. It’s not perfect either way.
People who have always experienced rape culture or been more aware of it for example see “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as a horrific song. (And honestly, with that reading, it is… I mean “what’d you put in this drink?”)
People who used to watch the old Doris Day films? They have memories of her being an adorable klutz. They know the back story of how she was kind of crushing on a guy (we’ll pick on Rock Hudson but Tony Randall actually could work too), but finds him to be a bit of a jerk. The guy is often a bit of a play boy, but maybe realizes he’s a jerk. She’s somehow, via shenanigans, trapped at a place that is basically his. Perhaps his office. He fixes her a hot drink, splashes a bit of brandy in it because that’s what you do to help chilled people warm up (literally, not inhibitions wise) and… the scene is set.
Again, viewed in modern context, still a little shady. At the time? Honestly the films were intended to have various levels of understanding. A certain naiveté with a certain naughtiness. Kind of like the classic Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, and Pink Panther. But those people familiar with those films might forgive more. Should they?
The assumptions we bring mean we both grasp various levels and ignore various levels, especially on a light viewing/reading/listening. Sometimes I’ll dislike a thing fairly vehemently, and won’t watch it again. Sometimes I’ll love a thing, hear a critical review and re-experience it, trying to see the reviewer’s point. Sometimes I can see how they got there, but still disagree.
Not sure there’s a point, other than I saw another thing on another site again today attacking a character and… and I guess it just frustrated me and made me tired, so I wanted to natter at both sides. Haven’t answered anything for myself, but at least I wrote a bit, eh?
Wolves, Stabbing Westward, NIN, vampires, beautiful women and men tied up in rope, Anthony Bourdain, creamy risotto with mushrooms in, Cold Stone Creamery, amaretto. These things all remind me of another very good friend. So does the song “Long Day in the Universe” by The Darling Buds. It’s our song, in a way. I can text him part of the chorus and get the next line back.
It’s complicated and yet not. We met online inside a MU*. I don’t remember if it was a tinyMUSH or some other flavor of multi-user shared hallucination, I just remember there were all these “guilds” you could join to play together and explore. Twin Peaks (which I’ve never watched more than a few minutes of) also reminds me of him, because his user name was from that show. He was roleplaying a vampire, or rather, playing in a vampire guild, and “adopted” me as his daughter. I was roleplaying in a lot of guilds, just kind of hanging out. (One was a Hitchhiker’s guild. I had a towel and a babblefish, among other items, in my inventory.) Mostly, we’d chat in game… somewhat in character, but those things often got muddled and we’d end up just chatting. I’ve fallen asleep talking to him on the phone. He was sad when I got engaged, the first time, I think. In retrospect, I wonder sometimes if he didn’t know that the relationship probably wouldn’t last.
Oddly, we’d known each other for years (maybe more than a decade) before we actually met in person. He’s almost the ONLY person I’ve met in real life who actually seems completely like who he is online. Perhaps a little quieter, but that’s about it. There’s too much in the way we interact to sum up in a short little blog. I wish he didn’t live so far away, or that either of us could afford to travel more.
I’m thinking of him because Pandora played Stabbing Westward. Not the first song of theirs we talked about together, or that we watched (on the phone across the country from each other) together on tv, but still.
Much as I’m not privy to his daily life in the way I used to be, I still consider him one of my closest and dearest friends.
I’ve mentioned before that I associate certain songs with specific people. Sometimes the association fades enough that it’s just the song, again, with a faint undertone of memory, and sometimes not.
There are a few songs I association with relationships disintegrating and much as I once loved them, I can’t listen to them any more. It’s frustrating. Because I remember loving them lyrically, loving the musicality of them.
Then there are songs like “Feed the Tree” by Belly. It reminds me of a friend from college, who I still talk to. If you asked me to pick a “best” friend who knows the most about me, I’d hesitate a lot, but I’d be able to narrow down the list to about 5 people that aren’t family. He’s one of the 5 and he’s probably known me the longest, in some ways. Definitely the longest of the ones who have met me in person and that we still talk to on a regular basis.
Lately, we talk about life things. But back when he introduced me to Belly, we talked about music in addition to computer stuff and relationship stuff. That made me realize I could probably create a short playlist based just on those years. There would be Belly (and of course Tanya Donelly as an offshoot), Sarah McLachlan, The Cure, The Darling Buds, Anything Box, and probably some others as I dug through my CDs and actually remembered, each song inevitably leading to another memory. Driving to a town 30 minutes away, just so we could go to a specific music store, grabbing Taco Bell on the way home. Playing music at one end of campus while typing emails back and forth, almost fast enough to be a chat, to his end of campus where he was finding the next cd or deck to cue up. He put time in at the college station, because of his major. Meeting between classes at the arcade to mostly watch each other play Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. Or just grab a snack and talk.
It’s not quite a college sound track, because other people I hung out with had their own sound tracks. Other parts of my life then had other sound tracks, some of which involve break up tracks I can’t listen to. (Although, sometimes, I wonder about my own taste… Dokken? Ah well.)
It’s interesting to think about, and almost makes me wish I had the time I did then… to make playlists, burn them to CD (well, back then it was cassette, of course) and hand them over to the person you’d made it for.
Guess that’s what DropBox and such is for, today.