Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.
I believe that the internet has enabled bands to use grassroots techniques to empower themselves to achieve a fanbase without the mainstream corporate model. With new media technologies bands can brand themselves with platforms that 20 years ago were not available to the everyday person. Without having to rely on corporate heavy weights to gain exposure into the mainstream such as cable television, and retail stores, bands can send their message without having to dilute it. Personally I cannot think of any bands per se, but an artist that comes to mind is M.I.A. M.I.A. is an English born recording performance artist of Tamil-Born descent. Although her music can be heard in clubs, and is distributed through a mainstream record label (Interscope) M.I.A. represents an empowered “global” woman who glamourizes realities in third world countries, and in doing so creates a commentary on them. Her imagery and sound is full of Tamil-symbolism. This is illustrated in her music video Bad Girls.
In this music video, M.I.A. is riding cars, and partying along the gas pipe-line in an unknown middle eastern country. She is dancing with girls in Burkas, and is in the presence of a “suped-up”, which looks like a mash-up of the hollywood film Fast and the Furious and middle-eastern culture. Through presenting this culture in this way, she makes a controversial message in doing so, which illustrates how a band or artist can be both mainstream and political.
Sometimes I find myself getting nostalgic over events that never happened directly to me. Fantasy, and reality blends together, and sometimes things that I witness through pop culture feel like real life experiences. I read Norwegian Wood in grade 12, and I loved the book. I read it when the protagonist was the same age as me. The narrative spans from when he is 18 to when he finishes university. Sometimes I wonder if I unconsciously reproduced the events that happen in the book in actual life. I wanted my life to read like the fiction Norwegian Wood was. I fell in love, went to university, and spent a lot of time alone, just like Watanabee.
Over the last five years I spend a lot of time the way Watanabee did. A lot of time in conversation with a small cast of characters. Contemplating the past, the future. A lot of time in books, movies, mentally somewhere else. A lot of time on trains. And a lot of time in love, and some times feeling scary things. Walking around on my last day on campus, handing in my last assignmenst, felt like a very Haruki Murakami moment. A moment alone, being a voyeur into other people’s social interactions, a moment with nature. It felt like the last moment I would feel the unique feeling of university. University does seem like a very unique experience, that I unfortunately nor be able to emulate in the future, and losing it, seems like a very bitter sweet feeling.
Reading felt like such an authentic experience. Even through the novel was about a teenager in Tokyo, I feel like I can recall everything he felt. I can’t ask anybody “Remember that time when?” or “Remember that time we felt like…” It just shows that dreams, pop culture, fiction, fantasy, and real experiences blend together sometimes, making hard to distinguish.
First Week Post Grad
For the first time in a long time I feel very ready to start working hard, and pursuing career goals and ambitions. It’s only until I looked back retrospective that I realized that I went through a rebellious phase from first year until about the end of third year. I fell in love with my boyfriend at the start of my fourth year, which led to changed how I viewed things. He made me start thinking about the future, and made me focus on the logistics of daily life, which made me grow.
This year led to a lot of changes within myself and made me realize that I’m ready for the future. During the year I volunteered with the Jane and Finch community to make a video as public relations campaign. It was so much fun making the video, and in the end very rewarding. It has been a while since I did something professional that made me feel so good. Although it was a small volunteer assignment, it triggered something within myself, that I did not know was still there.
I’ve spent the last four years bruiting about being indecisive about the future. When I look back I realize that a part of my depression and anxiety stems from not understanding my role within society, and not feeling in control. Feeling like I have agency within my life, and have the ability to use my skills in creative ways like film, makes me feel good.
So in terms of what’s next, I am going to Vegas with my boyfriend, which I am super excited to relax under palm trees and see the Grand Canyon. After that I am doing a Youth Videographer position for the Inisde/Out film festival, which I am STOKED about because I get to watch a ton of queer films, and get a chance to produce content focused on the festival.