Aug. 6th, 2001

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For a while there, I thought I was feeling nostalgic. In the same month, I saw Depech Mode and Roxy Music, as well as “rediscovered” a lot of my older music. I worried that it was symptomatic of getting older, that I cast back fondly. Of course, it’s rarely that simple.

What did, and do, miss, is the promise I felt back then. Not so much the “my whole life is ahead of me” promise, but rather the promise that the times offered. I’m speaking here in a personal sense, certainly not in any geopolitical/economic way; I still hold a grudge against the enfeebled, Alzheimer’s riddled ex-pres. What I’m talking about is the fashion, the interpersonal. For a while there, not only was it OK for boys to wear makeup and be femmey/pretty, it was a good thing. (Not that I ever tried; I was terrified.) But still, the thought was that maybe, just maybe, if I could be pretty enough, I could be OK with this whole being a boy thing. Upon further reflection, I think that probably would not have been the case. Back then, I didn’t really envision a possibility of other than the boy-girl continuum; it’s still a great deal of work even today to entertain that as a viable possibility. But, I miss feeling that hope was right there, in reach, and validated by at least some segment of semi-mainstream society.
adrienmundi: (Default)
Talking with a friend of my SO’s (possibly a friend of mine; certainly a friend in the making) Saturday who was impressed with my linguistic take on identity made me realize I need to work more on it, as it’s barely semi-cogent. So, here goes:

I don’t like nouns when applied to people. ZB, “I’m a(n) X”, when uttered by anyone is, I think, necessarily limiting. It’s saying “Of what you think/feel/know of X, apply that to me. I also apply what I think/feel/know about X to myself, and partake fully of the identity of a member of X”. Compare that to “I like X/ I have Xish aspects to me.” To me, that opens the doors to much more varied interpretations. This all came up several years ago when several of my friends decided I was a “goth”. I never thought of myself as such, never even noticed the overlap in some of my interests and predispositions to that of the mythic ur-goth, even though there are many (as have been pointed out to me repeatedly). I fought this, not out of some sense of perversity, nor out of desire to be “uber (sorry, no umlaut) goth by way of proclaiming notgoth status”, but because I definitely did not want someone else to place noun meaning onto me.

Nouns are anchors, if not actual restraints. I think they are strictly bounded; it’s the linguistic purpose of a noun, to be one thing and not another, to differentiate. I strongly prefer adjectives and adjectival constructions when it comes to identity markers. Adjectives are suggestive, evocative, and do not even imply a one to one mapping of meaning; something/one is like/similar/In some way partaking of “X” if it/they is/are “X-ish”. This is probably a lost and tiny point on most of the world, but it’s the lifeblood of survival to me; it gives me some slight mobility in which to navigate myself. Of course, I strongly suspect most of the world is full of noun people, who are quite happy and content to be bounded and bind in return, so my mobility is very limited when in relation to others (damn this colonial superego!).

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