“Nobody tells an actor, ‘you’re playing a strong-minded man.’ We assume that men are strong-minded. A strong-minded woman is a different animal.”—Meryl Streep, on being told that she often plays “strong-minded women.” (via josephgordonlevitts)
That there are such devices as firearms, as easy to operate as cigarette lighters and as cheap as toasters, capable at anybody’s whim of killing Father or Fats or Abraham Lincoln or John Lennon or Martin Luther King, Jr., or a woman pushing a baby carriage, should be proof enough for anybody that being alive is a crock of shit.
Being a female musician/rockstar/whatever is a pretty fucking impossible and mind-bendingly frustrating job. … It’s a Chinese finger trap that reflects the basic problems of our women-times: we’re either scolded for looking sexy or we’re scolded for not playing the game. Those who manage to find a perfect balance are rare, and the culture at large seems hellbent on undermining our ability to create that balance peacefully within ourselves. And weirdly, it’s generally women scolding other women… we’re our own worst enemies.
[We] know how it feels to be screamed at by the public, by the music press, to be misunderstood, reviled, ignored, and used as a punching bag for a larger cultural conversation. It is always my fantasy that we can take these painful experiences and feed them back to the upcoming generation of women rockers in a way that creates a larger playing field instead of a smaller one. I want female musicians to feel like they can do MORE with their mad artistic energy, not LESS. I want women to feel less trapped inside their bodies, less afraid to express themselves, less afraid to be nailed to the cross of the cultural beauty standard. But that necessarily means there needs to be room on the vast playing field for Adele to wear a conservative suit, room for Lady Gaga to do naked performance art in the woods, room for PJ Harvey to wear high-collared 18th century jackets on stage, room for Natasha Kahn to pose boldly naked on the cover of her last record, and room for Miley to rip a page out of stripper culture and run around like a maniac for however long she wants to.
“A new study finds that around the full moon humans get less shut-eye and their slumber is not as deep, even if sleep is restricted to windowless rooms free of environmental and time-based cues—such as those found in a sleep lab. The findings … suggest that restful sleep takes a hit during a full moon as well as a few days before and after the phase. Still, no one has any idea why that would occur or what biological mechanism could be at work.”—
“Last night I was thinking of the sort of man I could really love, but he’d be different from anybody I’ve ever met. He’d have to have certain things. He’d wouldn’t necessarily be very handsome, but pleasant looking and with a good figure, and strong. Then he’d have to have some kind of position in the world, or else not care whether he had one or not; if you see what I mean. He’d have to be a leader, not just like everybody else. And dignified, but very posh, with lots of experience, so I’d believe everything he said or thought was right. And every time I looked at him I’d have to get that thrill I sometimes get out of a new man; only with him I’d have to get it over and over every time I looked at him, all my life.”—
Commander Hagar Phoenix looked over the wreckage of Zoar. The miserable planet resisted the might of the Doserians and were obliterated for it. He tried to remember his own planet, before he succumbed to the Calm One, but that was a long time ago when his beard was not white and his scars were still wounds. Just like a scar, the memory was barely a wisp of smoke and a singe of fire.
After decades commanding the lead ship of Doseria, he was fully integrated. A prime example of conversions and the healing power of Soma. Shadows of the past sometimes clouded his thoughts, but sessions in the Soma chambers cleared them away well enough.
Yesenia Gaalisa walked up beside him draped in a sleeveless robe of pale blue silk. The Priestess of Doseria offered Hagar a chalice filled with a thick milky liquid. A light dose of the lord’s bounty. Soma. With her second arm, she gently touched his shoulder stroking towards the neck. Her other arms were clasped in from of her waist.
His face broke its rigid stare and broke into a soft smile. He beamed at her through gray eyes, grateful for a sip. Immediately he felt a rush of warmth and the shadows disappeared.
She lifted a hand to his chin and turned his face toward her. “Think no more on these horrors. Doseria follows the way of Calm One. Those who do not accept the milk of the mother are doomed.”
He looked into her eyes, pale blue like her silks. Like the eyes of the little boy he saw burning on the streets. “There were children…” he whispered.
In her heart she felt the pain and anguish of the children and the mothers and fathers, but she had to be strong for her people. How could they rule the galaxy without spreading the love of the Calm One.
“Children we tried to save, but when the parents insist on letting the world burn, what are we to do?” She turned toward the glass and gazed at the wreck herself. “My commander, this world is cruel. It is difficult for those of us who must lead, but we must do right by our god.”
She took the chalice form him and took a long sip of the elixir. Closing her eyes for a moment she let the euphoria spread and silently thanked the Calm One for the gift of Soma.
“There must be—”
“There is nothing we can do for the children who reject the gift. The Calm One supplied the world with the gift of Soma to calm the fears and doubts and all the sadness of the world. To reject this gift is to embrace evil… and we cannot allow these would be rebels to poison the universe for us all.”
After another long sip the wreckage didn’t look so terrible anymore. There was a beauty in the smoke and fire. A cleansing glow seemed to wash over the planet as their ship moved further from the destruction.
“Your Holiness, there is none wiser than you in all the galaxies. I beg, how do we proceed? How can we keep the Calm One in our hearts?”
“My darling,” she held his hands in her own. “There is nothing to do but hammer on.”
The musician fights against the unyielding buzz of the crowd. He threatens to take hold with a booming crescendo but as soon as he relents, the murmurs consume once more. Infuriated by the hum of apathy, I turn my attention inward.
The glass steals the warmth from my fingers, gently diluting the poison within. Ice melts. Dew condenses. Another sip will turn this scene from irate to droll. I hope.