I don’t understand this whole “appropriation” thing.

I dunno, I guess I just grew up thinking intermingling cultures was a GOOD thing. That we all have something relevant to bring to the table. 

America was–at least at one point and time, at least according to some, possibly ideo-romantic points of view–supposed to be a melting. pot. People were supposed to be able to come here. All people. And we were supposed to all get along, because we are all people who deserve second chances.

Of course that’s unrealistic. And of course not everyone reading this is American. 

But the internet is the new America.

I say this, not because I hold my nation–or my continent–on some lofty pedestal, but because the Americas WERE a place that people escaped to. 

Hundreds–if not thousands–of people sailed here, risking everything, hoping for a better life.

Of course they had mixed results. Life is reality, and reality does not fit into whatever idealistic vision many people had. But, in the same way–the internet is where people of all nations come, in order to escape their previous reality. It’s an intermingling of many different cultures–and isn’t that a good thing?

When I went to Africa, they “Pokotized” us.  We were visiting the Pokot tribe, see, and they wanted to give us gifts. “We see you’ve already visited the Maasai,” they laughed, referring to the beaded jewelry I wore the entirety of that trip. 

And when one of their leaders came to our nation, our state–we “Texanized” him.

Not because we disrespect their culture.

Not because we wanted each other to be something else.

Because it was our way of honoring each other.

And that’s it, isn’t it?

It’s about respect. 

I think–maybe–that so many people are so scared that people will walk all over their beliefs, their traditions, their religious items they hold so dear. And I can understand that. Really. I have things that are precious to me, too. 

I just don’t think it’s worth all this—consternation.

See, I’m a Texan. I get made fun of a lot. I know, I know it’s not the same thing–but people hate Texans, y’know? And we kind of–we earn that. We puff ourselves up and stick our chests out. We get in other people’s faces, screaming, “MINE’S BIGGER THAN YOURS!’ And I can understand why people would loathe that.

I love it.

I love the way it’s taught me–just roll with it. 

The way it’s taught me to not take everything seriously

The way it’s taught me–it is ok to poke fun at yourself and the things you hold close to your heart. Not in a bad way. In a way that lets people know–this does not bother me, because I am secure in myself. 

And if you’re secure in yourself–in your identity–in your culture–

What do you have to lose? 

The answer is this: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

It is not a bad thing, for traditions to change.

We make new ones.

We always have.

It is not a bad thing, for others to take something dear to you, and to make something different based on it. 

It’s a compliment. It’s saying, “I think your stuff is so great that it inspires me.” 

It’s not worth fighting for. It’s not worth fighting over. Let it go. 

I think, if people were willing to share their beliefs, their traditions, instead of hoarding them like some sort of priceless artifacts that must be preserved totally and completely….

the world would be a better place. 

Just my two cents. 

I grew up in the church.

We “church-hopped” often–that’s my term for when you’re “in between” churches, when you want to go but don’t know where, so you keep trying new ones till one of them sticks. 

I didn’t like that part.

I loved my church families–the childhood memories from my first church. The book binding sessions with a lady we called “G” at the next one, getting the library set up. 

Discovering Left Behind: The Kids at the next one. 

Finding a second family at the fourth church. Discovering “gifts of the spirit” in the fifth.   Interning with the sixth. Loving the seventh. 

But I don’t go to church anymore. 

It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s that I’ve been one (seven) too many times. 

I’ve noticed something–when you don’t show up for church, people do not pursue you. 

Oh, they’ll tell you they’ve missed you. They’ll tell you they love you–when you’re there. 

But very few will follow after you when you leave. 

And that’s important–very important–to me, because that’s my love language. I’m very “keyed in” towards other people’s mentailities and emotions; I’m always feeling you out to see whether you like me–and how much. 

And part of that is insecurity. But I’m done making excuses for the church’s behavior. Because y’know what? 

I felt more accepted at community college than I did at youth group. 

COMMUNITY. 

COLLEGE.

I emphasize this point, because that is not a place to go for love and acceptance. People are coming and going–sometimes, only for a class. Maybe two. 

Maybe they’re trying to earn a degree, maybe you’ll find some people who are pursuing the same career that you are–but chances are good that you will never see these people outside of one class.

Contrast to a 4-year, even a 2-year types college, where even when you just want to hole up in your room you can’t escape the communities that form around everyone different interests. 

And no, it wasn’t perfect. They didn’t particularly pursue me, either. 

But it was still noticeable, and very disappointing. 

Cry your eyes out, what should I do, why don’t they like me disappointing. 

I’m not saying that the church is horrible, so you should seek the secular, because the secular still leaves me wanting. I long for people who can understand the spiritual…. 

but I also long for people who can do so in a secular way. And that’s a topic for another day, but the point is, the church is doing something wrong.

And nobody seems to want to hear it. 

I’ve been told to just show up, that there are different kinds of friendships, that the problem is me and I should just try harder, and I say: NO way.

I’m done blaming myself.

Maybe I should have done something different. And I definitely need to work on a lot of things–I know that. I’m always correcting, refining, redefining myself and how I do things. I know I do things wrong. I know that, since this is a pattern, there is probably something about me that is affecting my relationships. 

I also know what love looks like. And it doesn’t look like this.

Love pursues. Love protects. Love calls and asks, “Hey, any reason you didn’t show up on Friday?” 

I’m not talking about convincing kids to go to youth group. That’s not the fix. Youth group was great–but it also rejected me. And I’m not bitter, not anymore, but it makes me so angry. Not because I hate anyone involved.

It’s precisely because I love them.

It’s because I’ve seen their hearts–how they love their friends. How they love Jesus. How they love God. 

So it was hard for me to understand, “How can they have so much love and not love me, too?”

Now I understand. 

I understand that humans are flawed, that no matter how much you’d will it into being, you cannot force a friendship.

That some people just “click” as friends, and some people just won’t–even if they’re good for each other.

But I’m getting off-track. 

What I’ve seen is that the church does not listen to criticism; that its humans, though deeply flawed, are convinced they are in the right. 

What I’ve seen is devastating–because to me, something that could be great and is merely good is far more heartbreaking than something that was bad to begin with. I’ve seen the secular world has a level of acceptance that the church cannot copy, and the church has a love that the world cannot copy. 

Funny.

Those two things should be the same. 

 

[BLS] S.U.P.E.R.H.E.R.O. MEP

Ahhh, I adore mashups.

They’re pulling from a bunch of material, so the editing’s usually better. (When you don’t have a lot to work with, it can be hard to find enough scenes to make things flow. Broadening your scope increases your chance of finding an appropriate clip, which helps with pacing–an action clip is normally ill-suited for a slow song, and vice versa.) And this is MEP (multiple editor project), so–those are usually good too, because everyone’s trying to make things as seamless as possible so that the video will actually come together as a whole.

Normally, I don’t like action-oriented vids too much, because I feel people ignore the message of the song in favor of “OH HEY THEY’RE DOING COOL THINGS THIS WORKS RIGHT”

….I don’t know how to punctuate that last sentence. *stares*

This one, though. This one shows them doing superhero stuff, and the song’s about being a superhero, so hey, it works this time! HOWEVER. I’ve seen a similar Young Justice vid before, and I didn’t like it. It didn’t really fit, I thought. That’s why the editing in this one is so great. It’s not perfect, especially at the beginning, but it’s pretty darn close.

AMV rec: [MEP] Headlock

For the uninitiated, amv means animated music video, rec stands for recommendation, and a MEP is a multiple editor project. (I just learned that last one today! :P)

I don’t actually like this one that much. Great way to start out, I know, but I don’t feel it fits everyone very well and I’m not sure what they’re doing when they stick the characters together in scenes that didn’t actually happen. I think it would have worked better if the sole focus had been, say, on Jason Todd, because it’s not JUST that the subject is doing something wrong and the singer knows that they’re “better than that.” It’s a highly emotional song where the subject has a deep bond with the singer, and I feel the focus on people like Starfire and Saturn Girl muddled things a bit.

Having said that, this is exactly how amv’s should be edited. They deserve all the awards just for that.
It’s pleasant to watch and pleasant to listen to, so I’d recommend giving it a shot. Maybe you’ll notice something I didn’t!