Ronzani III

Toeing The Line Since 1999

I was out with some friends at an unremarkable bar in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Saturday night. It’s apparently a haven for students of Carthage College, which means I was a good 8-10 years too old to be there. This was apparent as I sipped ginger ale from a red solo cup (is that what that Toby Keith song was about?) while bros drank PBR directly from pitchers.

My brother and this guy were hammered and yelling at each other in circles about politics and my other friend was there with his girlfriend. This made me an obvious candidate for fifth wheel, leaving me a lot of time to uncharacteristically stare at my phone, while unintriguing things happened all around. However, there was one moment that I found a bit interesting.

After talking with a male friend from her college, my friend’s girlfriend turns to my friend and the following exchange happens.

GF: Do you think I’m frumpy?

BF: What? No!

GF: (Glancing at the college friend) Because he says I’m frumpy…

BF: (Gives daggers to the college friend)

CF: Naw, don’t worry about it dude… We’ve (he and GF) been friends forever. It’s cool.

I have a few thoughts about this exchange

  1. Really college friend? I didn’t realize friendship tenure earned you immunity as an asshole. Also, why is that something you want? It’s like, “Shit, I’m coming up on five years of friendship with Larry over there. I can’t WAIT to start making him feel horrible about himself!” Seems a bit off, but maybe that’s just me.
  2. What good can come from asking your significant other if he/she thinks you look unattractive (unless I’m misreading this and ‘frumpy’ is a term of endearment)? You’re obviously asking this question from a place of negativity and insecurity. And he’s obviously only going to give one response - “No. You’re not.” What’s the best case scenario? Is his response of ‘no’ going to catapult you into a secret reserve of hidden self-esteem? Probably not. So you’re left feeling crappy. The BF is feeling uncomfortable, also crappy and angry at the CF. And CF, blissfully ignorant as to everything that just happened, excuses himself to refill his one man pitcher.

It’s just a crappy scenario for the couple. It sucks to feel ugly (especially considering the topic was unnecessarily broached by some jerk off). It sucks to hopelessly try and help someone feel not ugly (especially considering the topic was unnecessarily broached by some jerk off). And really, it just sucks in general that physical appearance is something that weighs so heavily into our self-esteem. There’s such a long list of legitimate shit to feel bad about. In my utopia, whether or not we’re ‘frumpy’ doesn’t make the cut.

Selfishly though - I think if I were ever asked that question I’d probably get up and just start running like Forrest Gump. I’d be like seven counties away before I felt safe. So kudos to all involved for hanging in there with remarkably little conflict.

I’ve been listening to sets from the Newport Folk Festival today and happened upon a few selections from the Mountain Goats set from last year. I’ve heard this song a million times and obviously love it - I’m a fan after all. But today? The fucker yanked at the damn heart strings. I welled up a bit! You know, you spend a few days in the goddamn hospital and all of a sudden you turn into a blubbering sack of shit.

Note: This is not from that festival, but I couldn’t find a video of just this song. Click here if you wanna watch 15 or so minutes of songs from Newport and not just this video from, I dunno, somewhere else.

Jenny Lewis, Live In Concert

Weeeeee!

The Jenny Lewis Experience

During the encore, Lewis sang the ballad “Acid Tongue” accompanied only by her acoustic guitar and the rest of her band grouped around a microphone behind her. “To be lonely is a habit,” Lewis sang, her voice ringing out in the near-silent room, “like smoking or taking drugs, and I’ve quit them both… . ” The audience and her band belted along with her as she finished the line: “But man was it rough.”

I guess Jenny’s new record is a major label release and they’re going full bore on the promotion. When I see a new interview or write-up on her seemingly every other day it strikes me as quite exhausting. That said, incredibly cool for that all to culminate in a lengthy New York Times exposé which includes comments from partners Ryan Adams, Ben Gibbard and Conor Oberst. 

humansofnewyork:

“I had cancer when I was sixteen. But honestly, it was so long ago that it’s almost like it happened to a different person. It doesn’t color my interactions or anything. But I’m a dancer, and I do think it’s affected my dancing. There’s this interesting tension between training and striving to control every movement of your body, and realizing that at any moment, your body can rebel against itself in a way that’s completely out of your control.”

humansofnewyork:

“I had cancer when I was sixteen. But honestly, it was so long ago that it’s almost like it happened to a different person. It doesn’t color my interactions or anything. But I’m a dancer, and I do think it’s affected my dancing. There’s this interesting tension between training and striving to control every movement of your body, and realizing that at any moment, your body can rebel against itself in a way that’s completely out of your control.”

Canadian music festival bans Native American headdresses

Hah. I really can’t believe it came to this. You’d think this problem would’ve been nipped in the bud very quickly when these headdress wearing imbeciles were appropriately ridiculed by the least inept members of their respective social groups. Alas, it seems no one told Claire (below) here that this is a pretty flagrant and obvious violation of common sense and decency. Sidebar: If the Washington football team wants to keep adding insult to injury, they should probably just get like 20 of these idiot festival goers together and call them the cheerleading squad.

I’m pretty libertarian on shit like this. I don’t think it should be illegal to offensively culturally appropriate like this, but I think it’s equally fair to let these people know what you think of their choices. It’s just perplexing to me that apparently no one actually delivered the message. I also think it’s perfectly fine for a private company hosting an event to install a dress code. And if the public thinks said dress code is repressive in some way, they don’t have to give that company their money. It works itself out. But I have to reiterate, if only because I can’t believe it myself, IT CAME TO THIS!

So I say, good on you Bass Coast Festival of British Columbia, Canada! I wouldn’t want my event associated with these painfully uneducated cultural appropriators either. It’s a bad look and you put a stop to it. Good work.

The aforementioned Keith Olbermann commentary on sports sexism and Ray Rice.