Stop the Straights

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not.

Old joke? Yes. Bad joke? Yes. Am I sorry? No. Am I straight? Also no. And that’s all that matters for now.

You may have heard that Scarlett Johansson was recently cast to play a transgender man in an upcoming film. My thoughts on this matter are extensive, and worthy of a post of their own, though it’s more likely that I’m going to make a video on it because it’s easier to YELL in video format. (Caps lock just loses its effect after a while, ya know?) But it brought into focus some of the friction between the LGBTQ+ community and the Straights.

I’ve been very vocal about my queerness basically ever since I came out, because hey, anything worth doing is worth doing loud, right? And lately that’s been taking the form of that brand of gay humor that essentially boils down to “straight people are the worst” and “down with cis” etc. (If you have to google what cisgender is, it’s probably you.)

Unsurprisingly, a lot of straighties don’t like this. The reaction is much like what happens when people of color make fun of white people, or when women make fun of men. It’s all “well not all straight people” and “we can’t help it” and so on. But I’m not sorry, and I don’t take it back.

‘Cause here’s the thing, chums. Our society has put in place structures that hold white people above people of color, men above women, and cis-straight people above any LGBTQ+ person. That’s just the facts.

So when a straight person makes a joke about gay people, they are helping to strengthen the structures that keep queer people as being perceived as lesser. But when it’s the other way around, that is queer people fighting back against those structures and saying no, you can’t put us down like that. It’s why slurs get reclaimed and gay people make jokes about themselves. It’s the community’s way of taking back the weapons that cis-straight people have used for most of history to tear us down, turning them back on those same cis-straight people and asking, “How does it feel?” More often than not, the answer is not good.

It’s the difference between punching up and punching down. Making fun of people that society has deemed lesser is kicking someone when they’re already down. When we make fun of ourselves, that’s just gallows humor, cause we’re the ones on the gallows. When you make fun of us, you’re just a part of the rabble gathered to see the hanging.

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The Grown Ups Are Gone So YEET Let’s Have Some Real Fun

This is not going to be your usual content, because I am not your usual blogger. I have blood relation to your usual blogger, but I am not she, because I am me. I am Kiki, her sister. You may remember me from such iconic posts as, “Are You There, God? It’s Me, A Bitch-Ass Dyke”. My sister is taking a short break from blogging to pursue other artistic endeavors, so here I am! (Here is relative.)

A little bit about me: I’m studying film in Chicago and I have a youtube channel (shameless plug here I’m called TheAudaciousApple check me out). My Greek is worse than my sister’s but my Chinese is better. I did horseback riding instead of swimming and eat garbage instead of avocado toast. (Except for that one time when my roommate made me some REALLY good avocado toast on ciabatta bread with a poached egg but that was ONE TIME and I IMMEDIATELY ate cold pizza and skittles to remind me who I truly am.) The point is, if you come here for my sister’s well-balanced life advice, you may want to look elsewhere for that over the next couple weeks, cause I ain’t got it.

You know what I do go? OPINIONS. SO. MANY. OPINIONS. Opinions on films (duh), on people, on politics, on the world, I mean, you name it, and I got an opinion on it. The sky? Could be bluer. Water? It doesn’t all taste the same and that’s just facts. Wasps? Far, far too scary by far. 0/10 do not recommend.

In my most recent term at school I found myself engaged in weekly verbal combat with a certain professor of mine. He’s the sort to yell his opinions as though they’re the gospel truth and call you a fascist if you disagree with him. Yes, seriously. Day One, he called me a fascist because I said that I like Marvel films and thought that they weren’t fascist propaganda, but more anti-fascist than he was giving them credit for. He’s very fond of that word, fascist. Interesting, considering that one of the key elements of fascism is stifling all opposing viewpoints, and that’s exactly what he does when he shuts down any measure of dissent in his classroom with a minimum ten minute tirade directed at the offending party. But no, Captain America is the real problem.

Listen bub, when I watch one of these 1960s Czech surrealist films that you assign us, I feel like I need to lay down for at least forty-five minutes. No, an hour. Maybe two. At least one and a half. And if that’s all anyone ever watched, all we’d do is stare at the ceiling and think about how messed up the world is. But watching a sexy sonuvabitch punch the literal personification of evil in the face? Now that shit makes me want to go do things with my life. Mainly it makes me want to do Chris Evans but that’s NOT THE POINT. The point is, if you took a step off from your soapbox about the American military industrial complex (which, honestly, I agree with him about, because yeah, it’s messed up the way the government fabricates and profits off of wars, but he’s such a condescending jerk about it that I don’t want to be associated with any of his views) then you would realize that the title “Infinity War” has nothing to do with the dubbing of the War on Terror as the “Forever War”. The name Thanos is derived from Thanatos, which means death. As they say beyond the Wall, “Death is the enemy. The first enemy, and the last. […] The enemy always wins, and we still need to fight him.”

So Infinity War isn’t so much promoting blind nationalism as it is pointing out the futility of battling with death when, no matter what, we all die. Unless, of course, Thanos has nothing to do with Thanatos, and is in fact referring to the best man and my parents’ wedding, in which case we have a whole new set of problems. Point is, dress it up in spectacle all you want, the Infinity War is a losing fight, and it always was. But my professor will never know this because he dismisses the mainstream out of hand. Moral? Give things a chance. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s stupid.

And all that is just a taste of the OPINIONS and THOUGHTS and FEELINGS that I have so get PUMPED because I have SO MANY MORE.IMG_20180703_125833.jpg

This is me looking much chiller than I have ever been in my entire life because film is inherently a lie and the sooner you learn that the sooner you can start interacting with films more critically. Also it’s a nice picture and I look tan which never happens because I’m pasty as hell 24/7.

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Vacations are More than Relaxation

Long time no see, huh? For the last three weeks I was on vacation in Italy and Greece, and unlike in the past, I did not post while I was away. I even have some posts pre-written that were planned to be released while I was away but for some reason, I never felt the sense of urgency to actually post them while I was traveling. This time, I decided to treat this vacation as a vacation from all things – I did not work, I did not workout (apart from a couple runs), and I did not indulge my normal blogging schedule.

I was able to completely focus on my vacation and actually relax. I have kept such a rigid schedule the past couple years and I think I finally needed a vacation from all of my normal commitments, even the self-imposed ones. For the past year, I was consistently adding more and more commitments to my life whether they were social, self-improvement initiatives, or work-related. And after this trip, I realized that many of them are draining my life, more than adding to it.

Vacations, in general, are always great for me to take a step back and remind myself of what is actually important to me, but this time it was more than that. In a rare change of pace, this last trip was a trip more about the people than the places. I got to see one of my absolute best friends, as well as spend a Greece trip with my family like we used to. Spending so much quality time with people that are so important to me made me rethink my priorities a bit. I’m still working through this whole thought process but the basic idea is that I’d like to flip my thinking about how to plan my life.

I won’t go into it too much here because I still haven’t thought through it all, but the short story is that this vacation was more rejuvenating than most for my perspective and while I apologize for missing three Wednesdays, I don’t regret it at all. In fact, I’ve actually been thinking on going on a longer hiatus from my blog, and leaving it to someone else, but more on that later.

I’ve rambled a bit now, but this post only had one intention, and that was to explain my absence from the blogosphere to the few hundred of you that read my posts every week and to reiterate the point to our overworked populations that sometimes it’s ok to go completely off the grid and just feed your soul (although I definitely fed my stomach as well). I will return next week with some regular content, until then, let me know if you’d like more explanation on my change in perspectives and I’ll be happy to accommodate.