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The Journal of Mainon A Schwartz

If You Understood the Drama
07/18/2003 05:18 a.m.
Sometimes my life is like a huge novel in the process of being written, or a screenplay constantly being revised even as the scenes are being shot. No, not sometimes-- my life is pretty consistently analogous to that. I'm just more aware of it sometimes.

And sometimes this is thrilling-- I'm the director in charge of casting and plot changes-- and I'm always looking for the best characters, the new face to light up the season, the old standby to reliably rescue the show...

But other times, I'm so so tired of the drama, and all I want is for someone else to take over, to decide who plays what part and says which lines in what order, and sets the plot in stone for the next few years.

If someone understood this-- and how hard it can be to have to sludge along in something that at times seems like a pointless homework assignment... I'd be so grateful I'd feel like crying (but I wouldn't, of course, because I hate to cry).

I am currently Reflective
I am listening to Evanescence

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Aspersions on my Character
07/08/2003 11:01 p.m.
So in the debate world, it's well-accepted if not necessarily endorsed knowledge that aggressiveness (the hallmark of a good debater) is interpreted as bitchiness when displayed by a female.

Kind advice was given me by my opponents today: "I mean, we both know that girls can't be as aggressive as guys or they just come off sounding like, you know, a superbitch."

They're SO right... how dare I point out their stupidity without kowtowing to their inherent (male) superiority?

Nevermind that they said "If a country commits human rights abuses, it's not sovereign anymore, it's not even a country. It's illegitimate." Of course only a bitch would point out that the United States has been indicted by the World Court and the ICJ of horrible human rights violations, including but not limited to actually sentencing (to death) and executing foreign nationals who had not been informed of their rights to appeal. (Because they're not US citizens, we don't really care about their rights... but wait, does that make us not a country anymore? Are we not citizens of that non-country? Good logic, boys.)

Note that I didn't even say any of that. Granted, I did go a bit hardcore on the hegemonic implications of their advocacy, and ended up citing Cornell West's Race Matters on the nihilism that's created through institutionalized domination... but doesn't that just make me well-informed? It's not my fault their sorry-ass case was full of holes-- but apparently girls should be more tactful if they want to point out those holes... after all, these boys tell me that judges don't want to vote for the bitch, even if she's dead-on.

So anyway, I'm just feeling like sometimes grammar, and vocabulary , and arguments, are the modern Scarlet Letters-- though keep in mind that they're perfectly acceptable when wielded by a male. Women don't wield them, though, so much as they're branded by them. I wrote the poem And Then the Backslash today, partially inspired by the way I felt forced to surrender some of my command of language in order to seem more appealing to debate judges, and to avoid being hated by male oppositions.

This sucks, dude. But I apologize for the profanity contained herein, lest I further offend someone today. But you're right, I should find more tactful ways to phrase my frustrations, as well as my arguments. But the "bitch" words aren't my fault-- they were used against me in the first place, so I refuse to take responsibility for their existence.

If that made any sense to you, you probably should join a debate team. And if it didn't make sense to you, but you've ever been called a bitch, I think you should join too. Maybe if we all behave thusly, the expectation will finally change, and we'll be the norm instead of the undesirable anomaly.
I am currently Angry
I am listening to the sounds of oregonian keyboards

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In an Alternate Universe, Maybe
06/17/2003 08:43 p.m.
Happiness is a complicated concept, one that I'm in no way equipped to define. Just because I can't define it, though, doesn't mean I can't recognize it.

This weekend, I experienced a dizzying gift of happiness, wrapped up with all the things that should accompany such a gift: excitement, spine tingles, surreality, and an overwhelming sense of contentment.

I fell in love. Not the usual way-- I've never wanted to believe in love at first sight (terrifying!) and I refuse (refuse! I mean it! There will be no rebellious, sentimental feelings on my part-- I can't bear having to crush the attachment down the road when I know full well I shouldn't have allowed it to form in the first place, so I won't!) to fall in love with someone I've only met once. No, I think I fell in love with an alternate vision of my life.

I caught a glimpse of my life as it could have been-- in another time, maybe, in a different set of circumstances, in a different place. And yes, with someone I never met before. I have the feeling that it *could* have worked out-- only not here, not now, not with me the way I am and the world the way it is... in an alternate universe, maybe, I would have discovered eternal happiness, on top of a swingset in a muggy summer midnight, and that would have been the beginning of the rest of my life.

Instead, it feels like a brief departure from my life-- a detour that I couldn't afford, but couldn't resist. I stepped for a few hours into another life, one that I could have had, but never knew (and still don't know) how to claim as my own, or how to find again now that I'm back in the real world.

It's like being teased by a vision of your soulmate, so tantalizingly attractive, but with a veil of impossibility keeping it from reach. It's not real, but it's so close you can taste it anyway...

Time to go wash my mouth out-- but not with soap... the aftertaste of this weekend is too beautiful to destroy altogether.

I am currently Reflective
I am listening to Ironic... last line, last verse

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World on a String
10/02/2002 11:14 p.m.
The problem with the world is that it doesn't swing well. I am convinced (for today, anyway) that if I could only pick up the world and swing it twice, like a pendulum, it would settle back into the predictable regularity it was meant to have, like the stable old clock on my grandfather's bookshelf. But it's not-- stable, that is-- and so I'm forced to find another explanation for the ticking in my ears. What else makes a sound like that? A bomb, of course, and there's no ticking after all, just a steady burning fizzing sound. I've carried a piece of rope around with me all my life, ready to dangle the world at the end of it. And now, at the end, I discover that it's been only a fuse all along.
I am currently Odd
I am listening to Machinery

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