This is not a post about the Dixie Chicks.
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I bought a pair of earrings yesterday - little cubic zirconia studs. I've been wearing them since I got home from that shopping trip. I've been feeling a lot girlier than I have in the past - doing a lot of the lace and lipstick and yes, even the long-resisted jewelry. I'd say that it's almost annoying that feeling feminine is something that can be put on with a few pieces of metal and stone and a swipe of gloss, but that would be disingenuous. It's not as simple or immediate as all that - it's the gradual process, watching daily dress-up sessions change how I perceive myself and how I am most attractive.
This is not a post about narcissism.
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It's summer, and I'm through the month or so I had off between the end of spring classes and teaching, plus the first two weeks of the four weeks of physics I'm teaching. I managed to pull decent grades last semester, in spite of succumbing to the temptation to take Way Too Many Credits - again. I think I've learned some valuable study skills in the process. I didn't manage to finish doing my lab write-ups, so I have an incomplete in my lab. I'll finish them over the summer, probably during one of the remaining couple free weeks I have. I'm limiting myself to twelve credits in the fall, because I'm simply not willing to put myself through that kind of unnecessary stress again.
Teaching is going well; I'm pleased with my students, a diligent bunch this semester. I'm also taking a couple of online classes through the community college - black history and human geography. They're both ridiculously non-rigorous and completely insipid, but they both fulfill requirements for graduation, and I save about two thirds off university tuition by taking them at the community college, plus driving money by taking them online.
This is not a post about academics.
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This post is actually about me being really, severely happy. I haven't been posting much, but for once, it's not because I'm stressed out and miserable; it's because life is simply so good that I find myself not wanting to blog much. Hell, I've actually been getting away from the computer altogether. I know, right?
Some of the absolute killer happiness is brought on by the time off. I really needed that month. This makes consecutive semester number seven with me taking at least half-time classes; this summer actually marks my lightest load, as I'm only taking 6 credits, teaching 1.5, and counseling at summer camp for two weeks.
Some of it is love. I'm at various stages of falling-in-love with a few people; Sam and Jess have spoken about this at length, and better than I can (I'm more private about these things than they are, I think; I don't mind them publishing details, but I just don't feel like it), so read them if you want to know what's going on. (The other two people involved may be more private about things than even me, so I'll just leave it at that.) Also in the love genre, Kolya, the youngest of our cats, is finally maturing out of his most kittenish stage, and is given to cuddling much more than usual.
Some of my happiness is coming from a feeling I have of progress and success - those sorts of things. I've been riding a creative wave for the last few months, and I've been doing well in things that I've tried, and that, more than anything, makes me feel fantastic.
That's what this post is about.
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Ok, so this post is going to be a little bit about the Dixie Chicks. They have a relatively new track out called "Not Ready To Make Nice". Let's take a look at it, quick.
Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting
I’m through with doubt
There’s nothing left for me to figure out
I’ve paid a price
And I’ll keep paying
I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should
I know you said
Can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it
I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over
...Jesus Christ, where do I start? Here, the beginning. "Forgive - sounds good."
Apparently this song is about how the Dixie Chicks want to be forgiven - I'd guess for the whole debacle in which they said on stage that they were ashamed that George W. Bush was from Texas.
You know, Dixie* - can I call you Dixie? - I honestly wasn't all that sore about it. I thought it was a little immature and short-sighted of you to say something like that while abroad, and that's in large measure because I recognize the power of celebrity in the world today. When people go to your concerts, they go to listen to you. You have a platform. Having been abroad, I see how people view Americans when one speaks: as a whole. Saying that you're ashamed that the president is from Texas is fine. Saying it in front of someone from another country could well suggest to them that this is an attitude shared by the majority of Americans. I don't care what you think of the president; I'm mature enough to understand that in a country with 295,734,134 people, you're going to have 295,734,134 subtly different opinions. But not everyone gets that, and if I was upset at all, I was upset that you might have given the impression, intentionally or not, that I agreed with you.
But your ridiculous attempt at begging for forgiveness, lamenting how awful people have been to you - it just sounds lame. Forgiveness is for when you've done something wrong, and you're sorry, and you want someone to recognize that you're sorry. It's not for when you're mad as hell, for when you don't have time for apologies, for when you can't bring yourself to apologize, or for when you think that all of the wrong that was done, was done to you.
Stop asking for forgiveness if you haven't done anything wrong. Stop telling everyone how you refuse to apologize if you want forgiveness.
If you'd like some help, here it is:
Dear American who may have been bothered by my statements abroad,
I apologize. The sentiment I expressed while overseas was my own, and while the words are no less true than they were when I said them, I understand that not everyone in the U.S.A. feels the same way, and the nature of celebrity is such that I might have given that impression. Whether you agree with what I said or not, I have enough respect for you as a person to not use my stage to speak for you. I hope that you can forgive me, and I hope that the people out there who heard what I said will understand that I am only one of the 295,734,134 citizens of my country. Though I suspect there are others who feel similarly, it is only fair to let them voice such for themselves.
That I can get behind. I forgive you! See how easy that was?
But if you're really not ready to make nice, I bet you'll find that no-one else is, either.
* Yes, I am completely aware that the group known as the Dixie Chicks is comprised of three separate people; I know the history of apologies and retracted apologies and all. This is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek way of respectfully requesting that Maines, Robison and Maguire make up their freakin' minds.
Update, October 29, 2006: I've disabled comments on this post, as I was getting several spam comments per day on just this one. Thanks for understanding.