Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gothic Hipster

Should Americans Learn Foreign Languages? In my classes we’ve been doing a lot of debates, and i’ve become overly fond of being the devil’s advocate just so that there’s at long last some meaning in the debates. Whorishly pathetic reasoning sometimes. I suppose I and mine were like that when we first went through debate classes though... and we had a full semester to do it (and that was just high school). I won’t say that this is the same scenario. You can guess if you want ^_^ .(still... your guess may or may not be true. I’ll give no statistics at this time.) Should Americans learn foreign languages? I’ve got this splinter of a question working its way into my bones right now. Its kind of excruciating and I was hiding under three layers of covers last night as a juvenile comfort from the question I was asking and had already half-way answered. Actually... I think i’d 75% answered it and was mostly refusing to fully acknowledge my answer. It burns... like The Clap... in some not nice places (not quite the same place mind you). But enough of skirting, because I enjoy it plenty, but its bound to be frustrating as hell for anyone who’d actually go through the effort to read through this. There are those of us who are white as bread, and equally as devoid of origin. We are nothing like wheat, even though we’d like to be. Bleached and “refined” and then moulded into a shape that is pleasing to somebody with a nice fluffy texture. But we are not as wheat was. We dont have the same taste or value even. We do not nourish, no matter how hard we try, and healthy additives are just a joke. Why wouldn’t you just go with whole wheat to begin with? What is this crack-pot metaphor about actually ~ lets parable it down a notch. As Americans, we can ethnically be divided into about 3 groups (4 if you want to dig a bit more). 1) Advanced age Recent arrivals with a different mother tongue than English, 2) 2nd Generations or those who came young with a different mother tongue but through sweat and toil get to a stage where they are bi-lingual(+) in a way that would shake the foundations of the cosmos and, 3) white breads who have either some or no interest in language learning: the best of which get pretty good, but members of the 1st language (that is to say the members of the community of the foreign language that they studied) may still carry a divisive disdain for their language level and or efforts. (the fourth group would be the theoretical possibility of those who are distinctly from a different mother tongue, but become good enough to sneak into position #2 where the 1st language community doesn’t recognize much of a language difference. Dunno about these folks.) White bread though (“other” mother-tongue speakers... or the average American) may celebrate or despise their “refinement” and there is of course the whole spectrum in between. My predicament, and leukemia grade bone poisoning quandary is whether or not white-bread has any place even joining the bakery for competition in hope for sale. Does white bread want to go home and be consumed by the obese consumer with no palate? White bread wants to be enjoyed and appreciated for its own fullness too? I think white bread is afraid of being seen as having no fullness. {Maybe} it even goes so far as to say that white bread is afraid of having no fullness ~ and of the possibility of waking up to a reality where hope is the same thing as delusion. ---------- I went on top of my mountain today. I like to call it my mountain because there’s rocks on top. I don’t think it actually has to do very much with its actual height. I might very much enjoy going back to the North American West-Coast region and have my definition adjusted. I love it on that height because truth seems more truthful. The wind tears out of nowhere b/c its the highest thing close by and I could see the sun set before me and the moon was rising in near-fullness behind me... The White Face as Gollum would call it. Theres a bit (which i’ve actually yet to come-across in this re-read of the “trilogy”) where Gollum says: “They do not see what lies ahead when sun has failed and moon is dead.” and that is how I feel. It is no comfort to me. Neither is it the seal on my scroll of despair, b/c there is a suspicion that b/c I do not know.. there is in fact something to know. One of the moments of clarity I experienced while I was in my barren place was that i’ve become much more treacherously patient than I was a few years ago, but i’ve also become much more desperately polar than I was. (i’ve taken a liking to the words barren and desolate since before I went to Korea when I was flying over the north-pole in winter. Put that on your bucket list, its one of the most impacting things i’ve ever seen.) I say treacherously patient because I used to be so exasperated by a lack of calling, but I have been developing into this “place” where I have become more willing to wait until my potential matures into reality. The rough thing is that this “maturation” is coming as I am becoming more paranoid about my limitations and how much closer the ground my potential seems. This is not a comparison with my contemporaries. I am not quite so much concerned with what people around me have or are capable of doing. I’m disturbed by what could be done. If there are those who can and do have mastery over languages and cultures and are offering them to pharaoh, then what is it to keep me, the amateur, from making bricks?? And then there is Harriet Tubman--- Moses... Who not only defied pharaoh and the bricks he demanded, the structure he wanted to build and the laws that he would lay, and became one of the most heroic people of all time. She defied her position as a slave and managed to not only lead a gazillion slaves to freedom, but put a slack-ass would-be husband in her past, wrote her place in history and stamped her intricate sigil on the hearts of many... though far fewer acknowledge her than she actually deserved. Idiots... and petty interests... are what have put that woman in a lesser place than she deserves. Most (some) Americans know that Ms. Tubman led a large number of her people to freedom, but what many do not know is that she was so effective in scouting and espionage that she was put in charge of hundreds plus (ranging into the thousands range I believe... lacking sources at the moment) to do raids during the civil war... AND she died at the ripe old age of 93 from pneumonia. Few have her verve - even less who were dealt a shittier hand of cards. --------- One of the things that has been coming with me on this descent into age and morbid wisdom is a preoccupation with “bones”. There is a phrase in Chinese that I heard in my chinese version of Harry Potter that literally means to hate something to the bone. Now when I talk about my preoccupation, I am not always talking about hate. What I am talking about though is that more and more, questions seem to be shaking and questioning the foundation of what I am. More and more it is like my structure and my foundation are threatened ~ if not simply called into question (same thing). And I find that I am in fact a very fragile creature. One moment I feel like I can control the cosmos with my fingertips and the next, I’m blown over and shattered. I am a gothic hipster. I had a gloriously foul tuesday(my mid-week weekend) two or three weeks ago. I realized that I was a gothic hipster when I finally broke and went to Pizza Hut b/c I was craving crispy carbs (all they’ve got in this interpretation of chinese food is chewy carbs). Some yokel was goading his kid into saying hello to me and I was having none of it. So what did I do? like a refined, tactful North-American, I took out my ipod and made a minor show of putting in my ear buds and also took out my moleskin journal and designer pen. (this is where the genuinely interesting people say --- you hipster trash!) That nipped that notion in the bud right effectively. I ordered my pizza and ate it... and then payed for it... and then left. But in the process of sitting there and waiting for the thing to arrive so i’d have something to do with my mouth for once, I started writing exactly what was going through my head. I was feeling really base at the moment, so I wasn’t exactly thinking through things, but things just sort of “came.” I asked myself, “why do they have to stare at me like i’m some sort of animal in the zoo?” And before I even finished writing the sentence, it struck me: “Why do I assume that they have to stare at me like I’m an animal in the zoo?” ~Do I need validation so much that I am imagining gawking and (not at that moment... but in others) downright ill-will so that at least someone is focusing on me enough to give me ill will? I realized that im a total “gothic hipster”, because I am seeking for validation by being so un-known and misunderstood that I am envisioning scenarios where people are too boobish or boring to actually interact with me. Holy crap... I’m the theme of many a vengeful song by broken hearted girls. Dido sings one called “See you when you’re 40” Katy Perry “You’re so gay” (no judging!! : p) Well... the answer... as with many problems... is alcohol... eccentric prayer... and sleep. It may not BRING answers in a timely fashion... but it is at least an answer to the problem (otherwise known as a response.) --- So I suppose I should go full circle and answer my first question, at least in some capacity. Should American’s learn another language. Hell... if it fires your sun- absolutely. If you’re stuck too far in that corner of the room that you call life... YAH -- figure out there are more people in the room than you. You might like some of them. If your sense of meaning and self-worth is based on the your knowledge or capacity to learn (another/other) language(s) ... I don’t want to answer this one.

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