Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The end of tact.

As you know (if you've been reading my sparse posts) I'm entering week five of school at LACC and LAVC. The class I'm most excited about is Writing Memoir, where I'm continuing my story, as started two quarters ago at UCLA. My heart-wrenching, universally-loved saga dives headfirst into my time as a General in her majesty Saint Damita Jo's army as we fought tirelessly against the Empress of Darkness and Eternal Sonic Murder, Queen Puppy Kicker and Failed Abortion Numero Uno, Ashanti...all while fighting Lupus and personally supporting a tribe of starving chilluns in Mozambique. Yes, yes. You can now tell your kids that you know a real live superhero.

*bows*

I know what you're thinking: I make it look so easy. I know, right?

Anywho, don't let me stray from the topic at hand, you nosy Nancies. *finger wag*

What I was saying before you took me there was how exhilarating this writing course is. The initial nerves that overtook me after volunteering to present a chapter of my work produced a pretty interesting piece of work (which you can pre-order for six easy payments of twelve dozen hundred thousand-forty dollars). So far, I'm writing about my diagnosis and struggles with Lupus back in  2005 (mentioned here). Still deciding how far back into my childhood I shall delve. Yes, the content must be juicy, but I'm not sure I need you and your cousins knowing all about my teenage homogeigh exploits.

I wound up presenting what may eventually be either chapter two or three. What I initially planned to share would have explained many of the mentioned medical references, and given clarity to my pretty shitty situation at the time. Making light of a near death experience (not the time I fought a dozen Ashantinian foot soldiers to the death with one hand) proved to be a VERY emotional experience. I can admit that the kid was slightly emotional. I paused once or twice to collect myself. The awesomeness was overwhelming. I just couldn't believe the megadope life I was presenting was my own. WHEW.

I kid.

It was pretty heavy, but I did my best to infuse humor and less depressing. I think I succeeded. Overall, the experience was like stripping naked before the class and saying, "Okay, what's wrong with my body?"

I received positive feedback overall, but got some excellent critiques. Classmates raised great points, asked thought-provoking questions, and got my mind working on an assload of angles to dive into. Good times.

Fast forward to last Thursday, when we discussed the latest portion of the memoir we're reading for class, She Looks Just Like You: A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood by Amie Klempnauer Miller. Yes. All of that. It's not the best book, but its subject matter is unique and interesting to me, as a homogeigh.

So. It was established upon receiving this assignment that the writing isn't superb, which is damn true. The protagonist isn't overwhelmingly likable, but I tend to enjoy her snarky asides and biting plainjanewhitewoman sarcasm.

Now, we're FIVE WEEKS into this book. And one of the two colored women in class asks:
Wait. So it's a LEZBUN BOOK???

I gasped. Hand over mouth and all.

Professor: "Yes...it's about a lesbian couple's attempts to get pregnant and eventually raise a child...."

So we collectively ignored her from then on. Well, I did. Why, you say? She'd already proven herself unworthy of our my acknowledgment. Because:

that's why.

Pink felt hat. Belted Michael Jackson shirt. Dick-sucker boots. And: 

BANGLES. and a bracelet. that. says. HATERS WILL HATE.

I'm all for individual style. But not the kind that includes BANGLES that clank clank clank and jangle jangle jangle whenever you move your pig feet-sucking body or bat your poorly-attached eyelashes. NO. I need not expound on her decision to belt a T-shirt, nor do we need to address pink lipstick being worn by a Negress. Have we forgotten the last pank-lipped gal I met?

Class continued. A classmate shared a chapter she wrote about her brother's drug abuse, and a psychotic "break" that lead to his death after her lit himself on fire. Very well-written and poignant tale, it was. 

So after the awkward silence...after the reader gathered herself after crying...after we offered our condolences, THIS Comptonian Coon responds with:

Wait. So I missed it. Where is your brother now? Does he live with you, still?

GOOD DAY, BITCH.

We then discussed an incident when her brother, being affected both by paranoia and drug use, refused to eat for days, convinced his family was out to kill him. Her right-hand goon offers:

Well...don't you think you could have tried harder to make him eat? I think you should have tried harder to save him. Mmmhmm.
Ah yes, Ashy Jack. Anything I could say to describe Ashy Jack is perfectly summed up with this image from the first day of class:

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 apparently tried to carve his name on his lotion-averse ankle.

This man prefers CROCS and tube socks, and lugs around several laundry bags of goodies, like the women from New York's Chinatown.

No, Ashy Jack isn't his name. After our first actual interaction, I decided I didn't give a shit. On week two he cornered me in the courtyard and shared that he was "disgusted" that we had to read a "gay book" and didn't see how this would help us improve as writers, "especially when she's talking all freely about being gay and whatnot." So that was the end of that.

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Anywho, Ashy Jack and Lady Create-A-Waistline blessed us with their wonderful commentary.


When the reader shared a story about the investigation of her brother's death:
What would you have done differently? Couldn't you have done MORE? (Ashy Jack)







When the reader explained the police's indifference when they had to call the police on her brother when he turned violent during a psychotic episode:
 So he just started....ACKIN ALL CRAZY??? What drugs wuh he own?? (Lady Create-A-Waistline)

When one classmate posed questions after a different reader shared a piece about being a teen model, encountering a potentially dangerous man:

Well..won't really no pedophiles in those days. You know, it was more normal, peepuh bein close with chirren and all....you know. So, I don't know if that's very...realistic. (Ashy Jack)

When another classmate shared a story about her father's illness and eventual death when she was a teen:

So...his...Cancer was....in...recession? (Lady Create-A-Waistline)
 and so on...

All that, while talking through each reading. Needless to say it was quite the interesting time. Ashy Jack and Lady Create-A-Waistline have decided to present last. They aren't ready and haven't begun crafting their Roots saga.

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You can bet your best pair of Air Eddie Longs that I shall document the event via video. Until then, maybe I can convince homegirl to share some beauty tips with you Dereon-wearing peasants.

Sidenote: It occurred to me that the next time I see fuckery afoot, I should approach the offender, and explain that I'd like to capture them or a fashion blog or news feature....or something of the sort. I'll give it a try this week. What say you?


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