Y’know, this is just going to have to become a Weekend Quick-Takes, instead of just Friday, because sometimes I just don’t have the energy after work at the end of the week. It’ll happen Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, though. And my Quick Takes for today are lackluster. Sorry!
It’s weird–I was thinking about some of the k-pop artists I like, and how some of them are actually Korean-American: born in the U.S (or Canada). But singing in Korean pop bands. I thought how interesting it was that they had that opportunity to connect with their ethnic heritage. Which got me thinking about the United States, and how it’s a country of immigrants, the “melting pot,” as we call it. Not that there aren’t Native Americans, and our predecessors did treat them horribly. But the majority of people here are descendants of immigrants.
Thinking about the kpop artists made me kind of want to connect to my ethnic heritage, too: I’m practically German through and through (control-freak tendencies included). But I don’t know much about Germany or German culture, and I find myself having less of an interest in it than I do in, say, more Eastern cultures. It saddens me, because I want to belong somewhere. Being an American I belong in America, but being a Catholic first and foremost, I struggle to live as both, since society would have that both are in opposition to each other. Because of this struggle and the culture that has grown up within my country, I have become increasingly disillusioned and apathetic about it. I suppose I’m less apathetic than I think, because I do want her to improve and become better. I haven’t lost faith that the principles she was founded on were good; but I don’t think that her government is the only one in the world that will work, and I don’t think she’s the best country in the world.
Perhaps that makes me unpatriotic. I just want to a patriot in the way Chesterton describes: that you love your country, truly love her, and want to make her better and the best she can be.
All that thinking led me to thoughts about how being a Catholic I felt I didn’t belong. Very rarely have I felt that I belonged anywhere: I only feel that way with my family and friends and–surprise surprise–my fellow Catholics. Because of my religious beliefs (and my sad ignorance of American history which I am attempting to correct) I don’t feel a sense of kinship with many of my fellow countrymen, don’t feel a sense of belonging with them. But I do know that after I am a Catholic, I am an American.
And what I want to point out (in my rambling way) is that it’s interesting how Americans are descended from those who, for whatever reason, left their homes and created a new home (Chesterton called us a nation of exiles, I think) and how the Church is made up of many different peoples from all over, who know that they truly belong not here on earth but in Heaven. And I’m not saying America is Heaven, far from it. It was just an interesting kind of parallel. Because it’s really God who says
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me
Just like we’re a country of immigrants, we’re a Church of immigrants, of Jews and Gentiles.
Darn it. I can’t think of anything interesting to say. Do you care about me cleaning my room? Probably not. It usually ends up just becoming a horrible mess again anyway, but if I clean it once a week then I don’t end up getting, to misuse a phrase, “life piled on life,” with things just filling my room up so there’s no space to walk.
Umm…I got called a pajama pant lady the other day. I was returning some rentals to the video store. It was late and I was tired so I just wore my pajama pants out, since all I had to do was get out and put the movies in the slot (there’s a two doors into the store, and in the area before you actually enter there’s a slot). A couple was coming out the door as I was returning them, and the guy looks at me, then says to his girlfriend, “Why don’t you ever wear pajama pants?” She replied, “Because whenever I do you tell me I shouldn’t wear them out?”
Since I had finished returning the DVDs, I was pretty much following them out the second door as they continued to argue, dopey grin on my face out of mild embarrassment but even greater amusement. Turns out I was parked right next to them, so the guy said, “See ya around, pajama pant lady! You started an argument!” His girlfriend said something about it not being me who started the argument, started the car, and they left.
It was one of the strangest experiences I’ve had recently, because most times I’m not so obviously the subject of strangers’ conversation.
And I got called pajama pant lady, of all things.
Ah, this is the other thing I actually wanted to talk about!! I’ve decided I want to start a little series of posts about female role models in fiction. I’ll be relying heavily on literature until I can reread some of my favorite contemporary fiction and write about those women. I’m just tired of people insisting that we need “strong” women.
Ok, so yeah we do need strong women in fiction, but you know what ? We already have strong women, people just don’t notice because they have a ridiculous definition of strength. Being a strong woman doesn’t mean being unfeminine, or modern, or non-traditional, or aggressive, or outgoing, or tomboyish. These sorts of women can be strong, yes, but so can the girly-girls, those with traditional mindsets, those who are more timid and reserved. That’s why I love what we call the “classics” so much because women in these books had strength of character, even though they might have lived in societies where people saw women as inferior or where women were denied freedoms they ought to have had simply because they were women. They lived within the society they lived in, and they were good women, and they were strong. They weren’t perfect–they had flaws, and we can see those flaws and accept that. You don’t celebrate their flaws. You celebrate the fact that they tried to live well in spite of their flaws.
I mean, which do you want? Someone whose character you admire even if you don’t agree with them, or weak, selfish types like Bella Swan?
I also have another post on a song. Not, thankfully, a rant like the one I’m working on–more of an analysis. My rant will be out soon, I just want to edit it a bit.
I guess that’s it for now…hopefully next weeks Quick Takes will be a bit more interesting!
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