Tuesday, May 25, 2010

here and back again, a brother's tale

i just came back from picking my sisters up in New York. they both go to school in Poughkeepsie - one at Vassar, the other Marist. man, Vassar is so much infinitely cooler than USC. i wasn't even planning on going with my dad, but i was in greenville already to see Jack for his birthday - which was pretty understated and pretty great. so i offered to my dad a helping hand in driving and we left.

although i really need to find a job SOON i was really glad to leave SC, even if it was only for two days of constant driving. well, the few hours spent in NY was pretty great. i really am jealous of Alix for being able to go to Vassar, being surrounded by such positive energy. they have a freaking rec room in her dorm building with a community piano, board games, ...and hers isn't even the nicest building! she's a freaking sophomore, and she lived there freshman year as well. ugh! there are a million other cool things there. i've been realizing lately all the better decisions i could have made with my life back when i thought i didn't really need to give a shit about things, because i was sharp enough that "everything would work out 'in the end'." better decisions like, for instance, majoring in something that would actually get me a job without like 10 years of school. or, applying elsewhere besides USC.

but i don't feel any overwhelming feelings of regret, just inspired to be a lot more proactive right now. my parents are not happy with my decision to stay in Columbia - not that i have a choice anymore, considering the fact i need to retake that physics lab. but, i've begun to realize that the people i really enjoy in Columbia really are a niche group of people.

the truth is a lot of the 'cool'er kids in Columbia are too reactionary for me. i was just going through a photo album on facebook with images of Sarah Palin's visit to endorse Nikki Haley, and the comments on almost every photo were sooo childish. this goes right along with that entry i made about atheists looking down on people who believe in god - except replace 'atheist' with 'liberal' and 'god' with 'conservative values.'

this holier-than-thou attitude is a perfectly understandable, if undesirable, result of living somewhere like Columbia. this is the capital city of one of the most traditionally conservative, closed-minded, racist, bigoted states in the U.S. but -- there is a small but outspoken scene of progressive, intelligent and creative free-thinkers.

when someone who is more culturally aware & cosmopolitan lives in a town where similar-minded people are few and far between egos inflate.

you're not a big fish in a small pond. you're the cleverest fish in a school of dunces.

i have a friend who never feels very comfortable when visiting columbia and feels judged whenever going out to have a good time. seems about right to me! on the one hand there are the typically judgmental attitudes from meat-heads who think the word 'indian' refers to people we killed off with our big guns hundreds of years ago. and, then there are the hip kids so conditioned to these meat-heads that anyone outside of their exclusive social circle has to prove him/herself before they can actually consider this strange unfamiliar being as socially acceptable friend material.

it sounds pretty harsh, but here's what it boils down to: the smaller or less hip the town, the more exclusive and unforgiving the hip kids can be. some people need to take a break from their ego and take a trip to new york to realize that this is a big fucking world. there is no line between cool and uncool, just a humongous spectrum of people.

it just really irritates me when i see something lame like this:
[click to enlarge]

jesus, get a life.

the positive energy i felt at Vassar came from the fact that there is a LOT less of an attitude of "Us vs. Them." people have moved beyond their Rebel Without A Cause stage of development - a stage that's pretty necessary, but ought to lead to a more mature way of expressing dissent. and maybe this harmony comes from more uniformity, but that doesn't make harmony itself any less admirable a goal

anyway - like the vassar thing, i'm not letting this stuff get me down at all. i'm not trying to attack anyone (if you read this and feel attacked - woops!) and i don't consider myself better than any people i've mentioned. i am just using all of these thoughts to take a more proactive approach toward my own life. i am actively seeking a job in Columbia, but i just applied for an unpaid internship with anticon. records in downtown l.a. - how fucking sweet would that be!

at most i plan on staying in this town for another year. then - grand scheme or no - i am moving on to something bigger better and more humbling. montreal would be ideal, so i guess i need to start working on my French.....!

Sunday, May 16, 2010