Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Public Service Annoucement: "To have self-esteem."

My turkey spectral pal's really awesome and very sad moving tale of her first encounter with pedestrian racism has really put me in such a horrible mood. I'm bowled over by the sort of shitty things parents, guardians and mentors can teach children in the name of love and the latter's self-interest. As I said in the comment section there, I'm reminded of my own experience in having to listen to the sort of bullshit about race and "bad animals" that my elders tried to inculcate in me, which for some reason never really stuck because I was and continue to be doubtful of authority figure and authoritative--and worse, authoritarian--tones.

Unlike many other people, I was always in the company of authority figures who fought a lot with each other, make all sorts of mistakes and cause all forms of hurt behind closed doors. That slightly dysfunctional background led me to understand intuitively that even purported role models are not always right. As my feline friend discovers, older people are not necessarily relevant in their 'wisdom'. By all means respect your elders as you should other people, especially with the common decency that we should accord all human beings (see: Human Rights), but screw that listen to your elders unremittingly bullshit.

This is going to be hard to accept, but even we on the barn makes mistakes for the simple reason that nobody's perfect. (Though, we're still pretty damn close to cutesy perfection, yo!)

So dear searching kid, teenager, jia-buey-tua (literally: eat no big) adult who feels different and alienated from the majority, please find delight in the fact that the sagely ones and even your media bigwigs might be wrong, but that you are capable of change and differing from them. Therein making you a little more real (human or otherwise), and a little more prepared for a life of infinite betterment.

Finally, I dedicate the following clip to Poultrygeist and all the other barnmates for showing us that one can actually wade through all the misogynistic, anti-gay, racist, et al bullshit to come out stronger, wiser and brimming with such admirable self-esteem. This is by yet another American comedienne, Margaret Cho, whom I mostly piggishly love, from her stand-up "Notorious C.H.O." (2002):

And I have a lot of self-esteem, which is amazing 'cause I'm probably somebody who wouldn't necessarily have a lot of self-esteem as I am considered a minority.

And if you are a woman; if you are a person of color; if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; if you are a person of size; if you are person of intelligence; if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world.

And it's going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere, especially women's and gay men's culture. It's all about how you have to a look certain way, or else you're worthless. You know when you look in the mirror, and you think: Urgh! I'm so ugly! I'm so fat! I'm so old!

Don't you know? That's not your authentic self?

But that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself, so that you will take your hard-earned money, and spend it at the mall, on some turn-around cream that doesn't turn around shit!

If you don't have self-esteem, you'd hesitate before you do anything in your life.

You'd hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for.

You'd hesitate to ask for a raise.

You'd hesitate to call yourself an American. [BDP: please feel free to substitute this with your appropriate nationality.]

You'd hesitate to report a rape.

You'd hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender.

You'd hesitate to vote. You'd hesitate to dream.

For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution, and our revolution is long overdue.



  1. Hear hear!

    Am going to bookmark this so that I can watch the Margaret Cho video at a more work-appropriate hour.

    - Angry, but chained to her keyboard now, Alpaca

  2. Oh i do love Margaret Cho! She keeps me sane, I swear.


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