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Me:Hey Dad, I have a question
Dad:Alright, lets see if it's within my reach
Me:What do you think of cultural appropriation?
Dad:what?
Me:Cultural appropriation.
Dad:I think you mean acculturation.
Me:yeah, I do. But I was using the term the Social Justice Morons use.
Dad:It's a necessary part of being human, you can't just keep the one culture all of your life!
Me:So how offended would you be if a bunch of white people started speaking Spanish?
Dad:Offended? I would be glad, at least they speak my language!
Me:What if a white guy made tacos?
Dad:what kind of taco? why would I be offended? Did I invent it and patent it?
Me:Nope, just an ordinary taco made by a white guy.
Dad:Why would I be offended? It would like a German guy getting offended because I grilled a hamburger
Me:Well, because it's a Mexican food, it was discovered and is integral to Mexican culture. What if a white person doesn't respect the history of the taco.
Dad:When the woman who first created a taco did that, did the Angels descend from heaven with a deed and a copyright form signed by God informing us that only Mexicans can make it?
Me:Nope. It's just a taco.
Dad:Precisely, it's a taco, eat it. I would actually be happy for that white guy, tacos are pretty good.
Me:What if Tyler wanted to celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos? On his own?
Dad:Tell him to pace himself the skulls are made of pure sugar.
Me:What if he wanted to celebrate El Dia de la Independencia?
Dad:Culture is not something handed to you by God to protect and nurse, it's just something that happens to you, and when you think you have it figured out, it changes. That's what cultures do. They change. You know what these people are trying to do, right?
Me:Yeah,
Dad:They want us all to hate each other and not speak to each other. They want us Mexicans in Mexico, Afro-Americans in Africa, Asians in Asia and none of us talking or being nice to each other. With no resources, no trade, no rights, and only the one language that only we're allowed to speak so that we can't communicate with anyone outside. And that's after they'd kill off all the white people. They're like the KKK, if the KKK didn't have balls.
Me:I arrived at the same conclusion.
Dad:Make yourself a coffee.
Dad:
Dad:Just be sure it's Mexican *laughs*
  Sara Murphy to F. Scott Fitzgerald, on (her and her husband) being the inspiration for the couple in Tender is the Night

This week has been creatively brilliant. I’ve gotten into drama in the last few weeks, which is a subject (class reading aside) I’m almost a total beginner in. I decided to give myself a crash course in drama by reading at least one play a day- contemporary, classic, whatever catches my fancy. This week I ripped through Company, The Homecoming, The Glass Menagerie, and today, Arcadia. (And the novel Drive was based on, but that’s a different story.)

Arcadia blew my mind. I’m completely in love with it. It’s so similar in style and thinking to what I’ve always aimed to do- there’s so much to learn from it. I can’t wait to read and re-read and dissect every moment and word of it. 

Aside from my mind-altering reading experience, which mirrored my first viewing of the 2006 Broadway production of Company, I also did something that completely terrified the balls off of me. I went to an audition for the first time in my life. I love acting. I’m not great at it, but I love it. And it’s been 5 years since my last acting class. But I managed to make the callbacks, so there’s something. It was (aside from being TERRIFYING) four hours of something I missed so much in the last month or so. I’m determined to figure out a way to do some acting classes or something theater-related as soon as possible. 

This year is off to a promising start. Must keep taking risks. Must keep reading. Must keep doing the things that terrify the hell out of me. That’s where the art comes from. Right?

Inspiration isn’t the lightning bolt that strikes your brain from the inside. You have to keep your eyes open and look if you want to catch it. 

i’m thinking of writing a series of posts on writing and the process of learning it… (i’m no expert, but i am a student of it, and i will be for as long as i live) anyone interested in reading that sort of thing?

you have to know what you want, and you have to not be afraid to ask for it. 

you have to work and work and work, you have to be obsessed with what you do, utterly in love with it. 

you have to go where your inspiration and love takes you, no matter how obscure or insane it might seem. 

you have to trust your gut, you have to know that that’s the only thing you have, that that’s the thing that makes you an artist. 

you have to be afraid and do it anyway. 

you have to forget about the rest of the world and go inside yourself and listen and then bring out what it is you want to say.

you have to see the things other people’s eyes glaze over, you have to feel the things that others push away, and you have to use them to create something new, something that never existed before you brought it out into the world like only you could. 

you have to study the things you love, immerse yourself inside them, and let them become a part of you, a part of your vocabulary as an artist, no matter how bizarre and unrelated they may seem.

you have to be brave enough to say no to things that aren’t in the direction you want to go.

you have to learn to know when to listen and when to ignore what other people think.

i will be braver, i will face my fears more, i will love harder, i will let go faster, i will keep standing up when i get knocked down, i will keep feeling pain and happiness and fear and hurt and pride and awe. i will take the time to do the things i love and to spend time with the people i love and i will be more open with new people and i will play less candy crush (ha, yeah right) and i will read more books.

and i will make more art.

makes me think of what i used to be like in high school, in college, when i first moved to new york. i was so excited to explore everything, to meet artists and make art, to live in the place my heroes lived. 

where did all the magic go? 

i want it back.