Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In my first life, I was a musician. (Rambly navel-gazing.)

Why?  Well, I had some talent.  I learned the language of music very quickly, because we had a piano.  I would sit at it, at a very young age, and play--play with those black and white musical blocks, until my parents knew they had to get me into piano lessons.

Because it happened at such a young age, music was a huge part of my identity.  Because my family was pretty emotionally handicapped, and I think also because of Mormonism, I didn't develop an identity outside of music.. and Mormonism.  Not as a child, not as a teen, not even really as a young adult.  I think this post marks me acknowledging and developing an identity apart from music and Mormonism for the first time.

I loved to the play the piano as a kid.  The thing I loved most about playing the piano was improvising and  making up my own music.  I eventually learned to write it down, and I loved to do that.  I was good at it.  But somehow, somewhere along the way, as my Mormon guilt grew, and the bottomless pit that served as its reservoir was being dug, music got linked up with my Mormon guilt.

I went to BYU, and though it took me years, I finished a piano performance degree, and then, because I had no idea what came next, I started a masters in piano performance.  Then switched over to choral conducting.  And all the while I thought it was because I was "supposed to", I thought I was fulfilling my mission, whatever that would be.  I thought that the opaque blackness that stared at me whenever I contemplated the future, my future career in music and how the heck I would support myself, I thought that was just the trial of my faith.  You know, learning to step into the darkness. Maybe it was.

But now that I'm done with that part of my life, the school and graduate school, and now that guilt is such an integral part of my approach to my music, and now that I'm nearly immobilized by it, now that I have a lawyer husband who could technically support whatever musical entrepreneurship I could dream up--I really just want to do something different.

I learned tonight that my favorite high school English teacher, Rob Haug, passed away two years ago.  Somehow I never heard about it, which isn't surprising since I have almost no ties to my hometown.  He was an incredible teacher.  Thinking about him reminded me of that magical time in my adolescence when I was taking the first intrepid, awe-filled steps into the world of the mind, the reading and the thinking and the writing.  I loved that.  I was good at that, too.  I treasured the encouraging messages my English teachers wrote on my papers.  One even told me I was classic English major material.  That surprised me, because I so heavily identified as a musician.  It was my junior year, I was starting to think about college, and I had never thought about English.  I remember I really liked the idea, though it was a vision of my future self that was completely foreign.

Fast forward a few years, I remember a conversation with my piano teacher at BYU.  He thought that one thing holding me back from committing to music in a specific, goal-oriented way, was that I had a very broad field of things I could do well.  It feels somewhat self-congratulatory to say it, but he really nailed it, nailed me.

I guess all of this is to say that I'm really questioning my choice of music as a vocation.  Much like my choice of Mormonism as a religion, music actually wasn't ever really a choice.  It was who I was.  Or--it was who I thought I was, despite the little slivers of evidence to the contrary that cropped up in high school.  And, you know, recognizing that any choice, conscious or not, will have its opportunity costs and regrets, I'm wondering now if I had chosen something like English, would I have a better grasp on what to do with my life now?  Why would I choose music as a career if I don't want to be a private music teacher.. I don't want to be a public music teacher... I don't really want to be a choral conductor, or a free-lance accompanist?  I feel so blah when I think about what I want to do to earn money with music, and it's been that way for YEARS!  (Composition--now that's totally another thing.  I can see myself wanting to do that, but at this point I have such an incredible amount of *should* attached to it, that it doesn't feel good to do, or even think about doing.)        

One thing I learned about myself in grad school, was how much I love the small classroom setting.  That was my favorite part of being a grad student, teaching the lower-division undergrad classes.  I loved having discussions with students, and being an active part in creating and nurturing the unique learning community of each class.  I loved getting to know individual students, and watching how individuals interacted, and worked with and learned from each other.  I loved learning from them.  I wonder if I should rewind and go to school to be an English teacher.  Seriously.  I'm remembering the honors class I took freshman year--it was kind of an out-of-the-blue choice, but it was one of the most influential college classes I ever took: I think it was called "The Making of a Teacher."  

And, well, one thing is for sure.  When I connect to those memories of the past, of the way I remember my whole soul firing up in response to great literature, I feel more myself. I remember what it is to feel like a whole person.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

the female mentoring relationship in 'Damages'

I've been watching Damages on Netflix lately.  It's totally addictive and.. I don't know.. kind of lascivious.  But addictive.  And more to the point, it was recommended to me by my friend Netflix because of the previous interest I've shown in programs with strong female characters.
Glenn Close as Patti Hewes = the strongest female character.  Ever.  Cutthroat lawyer, willing to do whatever it takes to win, trusts virtually no one, constantly scheming to catch filthy rich, corrupt businessman in their lies and conspiracies.  And she does it--she's wildly successful. Conspiracy on top of conspiracy.  The depth and extent of the crime she prosecutes seems to justify just about every sort of criminal means, including attempted murder. 

But, at the same time, I think she’s an incredibly sympathetic character.  She doesn’t hold back her emotions, and as manipulative as she can be, there are some times when she lashes out in pure, raw emotion—anger, grief, shock, betrayal, even love.  I admire that and am drawn to it.  I love it when people are real.  She’s the classic ends-justify-the-means, kind-of-evil-but-for-a-good-cause antiheroine.

The other, more sympathetic character, maybe the true hero, though it’s hard to tell (only in season 3), is Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne).  While Patti is a seasoned, middle-aged lawyer, Ellen is in her twenties, pretty fresh out of law school and somewhat innocent, maybe even idealistic in the beginning.  Working for Patti, disillusionment comes pretty quick.  Among other drama, the first season is essentially the story of Ellen’s violent disillusionment. 

The most interesting story to me, underlying the considerable legal drama, is the relationship between these two.  From the outside, the relationship has the potential to be one of mentorship, and I think it is that.  But it’s also pretty twisted.  I mean, Patti tries to have Ellen killed in the first season, because “she knows too much.”  The second season is all about Ellen trying to get revenge, and they finally confront the whole issue at the end of the second season, in a situation in which Ellen finally (briefly) wields all the power. 

So the part of me that roots for Ellen was all like, “Yeah, you get your revenge girl!” but the part of me that sympathized with Patti and loved her for being vulnerable had my heart broken a little. 

This relationship is so compelling to me, because of two things simultaneously—mentorship, and tension.  This mentorship by an older, experienced version of myself is something I’ve always wanted.  But this particular relationship is so incredibly full of tension, for obvious reasons. 

And I read into it my own tension—the tension that happens as a result of 1) desiring, needing some kind of female guidance, someone to open my heart to, who will open their heart to me and who will be the wiser one, but 2) having no precedent, no venue for such a relationship, and not having any reason to trust that it’s even possible.  I’m pretty sure that all of the potential female mentorship relationships I’ve ever had were sabotaged (in some cases obliterated beyond recognition) at least in part by this tension, this need for female guidance, driven to dysfunction by fear. 

For so much of my life, I’ve been convinced that this dysfunction of mine is totally my own fault, totally unique to me, and pretty weird.  Sometimes I’ve thought it must mean I’m a lesbian.*  But these days, having steeped myself in the ideas and perspectives of Mormon feminism, and having seen the incredibly overpowering influence of patriarchy for what it is, I think I can't be the only woman who struggles with finding women to look up to, and finding the right way to get close to them and learn from them.    

And Damages is totally capitalizing on what I see as a massive cultural blind spot.  I desperately wish there were more TV shows, movies, novels that explored non-sexual female relationships…  Just to explore!  Just to imagine what’s possible, to work through what’s problematic, to get beyond the tired trope of patriarchy about cat-fighting women,** and take female relationships seriously.    

*These days, very happily married to my favorite person, who’s also my favorite MAN, I’m pretty sure I’m not a lesbian.  But I’m very sympathetic to the idea that sexuality is a spectrum.  For a few years there, I think it was possible I could have swung the other way.        

**For what it’s worth, even though the two heroines in Damages really are trying to kill each other, cat-fighting doesn’t fit at all.  This relationship has so much depth.  These women really see themselves in each other, and there’s potential for so much reciprocal benefit, and honestly, for so much love.  Though of course the kind of sisterly/motherly/Zion-like love I’m talking about won’t get ratings like murder will.  <shrug>  The potential is there.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Ad Campaign

Yup.  That's what the Mormon church is doing this year for Easter.  An ad campaign.  This rubs me wrong.  Am I the only one?

I don't know.  An ad campaign... for Easter?  Because... we're advertising Jesus?  Or because we're advertising ourselves--as Christians?  Or because we don't think there's enough religious art with purdy fonts declaring solemn, inspiring, religious-y phrases?  Because we think spiritual peace is something we can impart through facebook and youtube and twitter?

I guess I want us to have more respect for Jesus than to plaster him with memes (however dignified the font) and paste him in every possible social media context.

People know who Jesus is, right?  It's not to promote Jesus.  In fact, according to this Daily Universe article, the express purpose is to let the world know that Mormons are Christians.  That seems like a very self-serving political abuse of an internationally recognized holiday.  While other Christians use liturgy, ritual, tradition, readings, Lent, Good Friday, etc to celebrating and worship Jesus,  Mormons are running an ad campaign so other Christians know we're Christian.  ("Hey guys!  Look!  We're Christian too!  See--look at our two-minute ads and religious art!")

It just seems weird.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Still trying to figure out what my next career move is.  I think about it every day.

Today I went to a panel discussion on campus about work-family balance.  One male and two female professors.  The man was researching the effect of flexible work situations on family life and found in one study that families in which both parents worked, but whose work hours together did not exceed 60 hours a week, were the happiest, and most successful.

How about that, eh?

One of the women, a history professor, emphasized the importance of staying current in your field, even if you do take time to raise children.  I've actually been thinking a lot about this issue, about the importance for me to actually *make* a career move at this point.

Because, all things considered, it's possible this would be a good time for me to let husband take over the bread-winning and start thinking hard about baby-making.  I'll have a master's in April, he will (hopefully) be gainfully employed in the law.  Somewhere.

But, I'm not feeling that, at all.  I'm not feeling the baby-making.  At all!  And it surprises me a lot.  Not least of all because I am not a young thing by any stretch of anyone's imagination.  Theoretically my biological clock should be ticking, right?  Hm.

What I am feeling is a particular doctoral program.  This program occurred to me only two days after my extraordinarily stressful oral exam, the last requirement of my master's degree before graduation.  So just days after that huge weight had finally been lifted, I started thinking about this program, and all the reasons it makes sense as my next move.  I've even thought that, (if...) once I got started in this program, if all the scholarship/assistantship/student-insurance stars aligned,  I might consider baby-making and doctorate-obtaining.  Simultaneously.  Which is a long-shot for someone like me (totally one-track focus, NOT good at juggling multiple responsibilities).  But the thing is, I've really been rolling it around. 

And then, after several days of rolling this around, I attended this panel discussion.  Both of the women were baby-making doctoral students.  And they both seemed sane--they both seemed to think that the experience was neither bad for them nor their families.  In fact, the micro-biology professor was convinced her children were "cooler" people because of their exposure to the work she did.  (Which, admittedly, involved mouse-embryos in test-tubes on the kitchen table.  Cool-making, fer sher.)

Anyway, those are my most recent thoughts.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thoughts while watching other people's children

I've been thinking a lot about something lately.  Recently I was standing in line at the library, watching a handful of small children squirm with impatience.  I was at the library to pick up a book by Jodi Piccoult called Nineteen Minutes.  I had pulled it off the shelf at my brother's house and started reading, but had to leave before I could finish it.  It's about a seventeen-year-old boy who has been bullied relentlessly his entire school career, and who ultimately brings a gun to school, killing ten and wounding several others. I stood in line at the library thinking about this disturbing plot (which is a relevant bestseller because it's been a reality too many times), and I thought that raising these squirmy children is all of our responsibility.

These recent thoughts of mine have to do with "us vs. them" mentality.  They have to do with Joanna Brooks' "sparkling difference" described in her recently published memoir--that supposed deep-down, soul-difference between members of the LDS church and non-members.  And they have to do with the idea of ecumenism that I've only recently been learning about.

Of course, they also have to do with some of the major weirdness, human-ness, the massive and often embarrassing flaws I've been learning about in Mormon history, the roots of some things that are still difficult in Mormonism today: polygamy, racism, blood atonement, the audacity of the power structure put in place by Brigham Young, which, as it turns out, has its roots in the audacity of Joseph Smith himself.

What I'm getting at is that, while my faith in Mormonism as The One True Religion has diminished, my faith in Christ, and in the goodness of humanity generally has strengthened.  My faith in the power of people to address and solve social problems--racism, gender inequity, poverty, hunger, domestic violence--has dramatically increased. My faith in the power of all people to call on and effectively use the grace of Christ--even if they call it something different--has blossomed like a desert rose, so to speak.

I remember reading this fantastic essay on the second coming (I found it through this Mormon Matters podcast on the same subject--I highly recommend it), and having a moment of epiphany.  The last sentence in the essay:

"My coming is this--when all of you see me in each other, I will already have come."

...is the voice of Christ, as heard and interpreted by the author.  It had a powerful effect on me.  It made me think thoughts I'd never thought before.  Thoughts like: We can choose to become people to whom Christ's coming is a daily event.  We can choose to be people who see the fundamental inter-connectedness of all people.  We can choose to transcend the "us vs. them" that pervades and divides all of society--along such lines as politics, religion, nationality, race, gender--and arrive at the realization, the fundamental truth, that when one of us hurts, we all hurt.  The child who is relentlessly bullied, to the point of lashing out in unthinkable violence, is my child.  He is our child.  We all raise him.  

Our world arrives at a state of grace, transcendence, not when everyone sees the truth of Mormonism and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon (as I thought long ago as an LDS missionary).  But when we, one at a time, learn to love each other.    

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mother in Heaven

I'm reading chapter one of Maxine Hanks' Women and Authority, and there's just so much sense here.  Chapter one contains a discussion of the references that were made to the doctrine of Heavenly Mother around the turn of the century, when women's suffrage was a big thing.  I am almost astounded by the freedom with which general authorities and church publications speak of her, and speak of the effect of the knowledge of her on the world.  For instance:

An article in the Deseret News noted that the truthfulness of the doctrine of a mother in heaven would eventually be accepted by the world—that “it is a truth from which, when fully realized, the perfect ‘emancipation’ and ennobling of woman will result.” (“The Divine Feminine,” Deseret News, 4 Feb. 1905.)

Yes!  I agree!  So what the crap happened in the early 1990s, hmmm??  I mean, a popular argument against feminism is that feminism is aiming to separate womanhood from motherhood, that feminism wants women to be more like men, that feminism will destroy families.  And I don't think it's just the popular, cultural understanding, but this fear came from general authorities (This talk, for instance, from 1993.)  Well, say the fear-filled GAs, then we need to squash feminism like the evil infectious virus that it is!  We need to stamp all feminists into the ground!  Excommunicate them!  

Maybe I'm exaggerating.  Elder Packer isn't so extreme in his talk.  (But general authorities did, effectively, do just that.) And he does say in this talk that women can find no real comfort in the feminist movement.  

Ok.  In some people's feminism, maybe it's true there is no comfort.  But what about a church-led feminism?  What about a feminism grounded in LDS doctrine like Mother in Heaven?  Why can't we believe this idea from the Deseret News article (of frickin 1904!?), that a correct knowledge of womanhood, based on the TRUTH of a divine feminine, will yield the very best sort of feminism? Why can't we believe that this truth will lead women--who are hurting, who feel marginalized and left out, who feel driven to worldly (dangerous!) feminism because their church has ignored, disenfranchised and abandoned them--to a steady contentment?  And not just to contentment, but to an ennobled seeking after the divine traits of eternal womanhood?  Why do we have to stamp Mother in Heaven into obscurity, excommunicate those who speak of her, steadfastly refuse to inquire after her?

Mormon feminism could lead the world.  Mormonism has the potential to reveal true womanhood to the world.  But we don't.  Why not?     

Here's one explanation, offered by Hanks in her introduction:

As women, we live in male discourse—culture that speaks a male perspective. We may write a feminist “text” or perspective within a masculine discourse without substantively altering that discourse. This has happened in Mormonism, as well as in every other male-dominant culture: women’s texts are born into an incompatible or unsympathetic male context, and fade; this explains why women’s perspective repeatedly disappears in culture.

...And why feminism must be re-born in every generation, and this is why, when feminism IS reborn in each successive generation, women always feel that they are being revolutionary, even though generations of women have already fought these battles.  Because of male-dominant culture, they must be fought anew with every generation.  That's not to say that some advances of feminism don't remain.  Women are accepted, theoretically, into basically all professions, women have more voice than they ever have--at least in Western society.  

But our culture continues to stamp on motherhood.  There still exists a significant gender gap in terms of wages and salary earned by men and women; the attitude of parental leave in the workplace discriminates against families, and it's always women who lose; divorce consistently results in a lower standard of living for the woman than for the man, due to the low value placed on the work of housewives.

And within the LDS church, instead of teaching women about motherhood using the divine Mother as an example, we say "LDS Women are Incredible!"  Empty, condescending words.  Elder Cook, good though his intentions may have been, asserts that

God placed within women divine qualities of strength, virtue, love, and the willingness to sacrifice to raise future generations of His spirit children.

God placed these divine qualities?  Or Goddess?  And were they placed?  Or inherited?  Nitpick, yes, I know.  But it's details like these that empower or diminish.  

I'd rather it were women, awake to the intrinsic power and authority of womanhood, who taught, strengthened and led women.  I'd rather we not relied on "the priesthood," but on other empowered women, to tell us who we are and why we matter.

In a male-dominated, patriarchal society, authoritative female discourse dwindles into obscurity with every succeeding generation.   


Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm in the Idealist quadrant: specifically, Healer.

The last few days I've been re-reading information about the Keirsey personality classification system.  I'm not sure what got me onto it this time, but I have always loved these things.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I feel very helped by them.  I've always felt a little lost in the world, like truly I don't quite belong here, so it's kind of a wonder to me that some of these personality tests can be so accurate.

Also, here I am at the end of my graduate degree (MM in choral conducting), graduating in April, getting ready to take my oral exams, and thinking a great deal about my career.  I should say, "my career."  I'm 31, and I almost have less an idea of what I want my career to consist of than when I started college as an 18-year-old.  Back then, I dreamed of a career as a professional musician of some sort...  Mostly I dreamed of being a great composer.  These days, I'm turning toward teaching secondary music.  Tuesday this week I went to observe some elementary music classrooms.  I'm searching.  Because my masters degree is a performance degree in choral conducting, and is really just a preparatory step for aspiring DMA candidates, university choral conductors, I still have a lot of options as I graduate.

I could get into the secondary system, and in fact, that is the career path for many, many university choir directors.  Of course, their path began with a choral music ed degree, which includes a teaching certificate, making the high school job more accessible (the path is something like this:  choral ed. undergrad, MM in choral conducting, several years teaching in a secondary setting, DMA, get hired by a university).  My undergrad was piano performance, so no teaching certificate. If I could convince myself that I was really excited about teaching high school or junior high choir, then I think an alternative path to licensure wouldn't seem like such a big obstacle.  But not only do I wonder about my personality fitness for that setting, I also doubt my abilities (what's new), both to perform well in the job, as well as to convince potential employers, on applications and in interviews, that I really am the one they want.

Anyway, in the midst of these sorts of thoughts, I came across the Keirsey stuff again, and found it enlightening to take the test again and remember, for one thing, just how introverted I am.  And for the Keirsey stuff to shed light on what very often seems like the incomprehensible aspects of my personality.  And to be validated and reminded that, even if I don't currently understand myself or what I'm really for, there IS something that I am for...  And if I can embrace the things about me that are intrinsic and unlikely to change, I'll be several steps closer to work I find fulfilling and that fits who I am.

I know there are people who will think my approach (and the Keirsey approach generally) is overly self-indulgent.  That I should just get over myself and go out and do some work.  But... I dunno.  There were several times, a notable number of times, that I was told in blessings about a mission, my mission, that is, a life's mission.  That I had work to do.  One was when I was set apart as an LDS missionary, and I distinctly felt that in that context, when the stake president said I had an important mission, he wasn't talking about my 18-month LDS proselyting mission.  When I returned and was about to go back to BYU as a piano performance major, my dad gave me a blessing that said much the same thing.  A few years later, still working through post-mission depression and recently diagnosed auto-immune disease, a boy I was dating gave me a blessing that was remarkably specific about my life's mission.

So... what am I questioning for? Well, because the life's mission laid out for me won't earn me any money!  And furthermore, it requires a level of confidence in my own artistic voice that I've never had.  Never, ever had.

I don't think that my masters degree has been an attempt to avoid this mission, but rather a step towards accomplishing it, and something worthwhile to do whilst doing the slow, soul-work of finding confidence to speak, to express my visions.  And, I do think I'm making progress, slowly, on that score.  Marriage and my recent feminist awakening have been the catalysts.

In terms of making money, incidentally, my little brother is very quickly becoming an expert in alternative, passive sources of income on-line. He  has presented me with a number of ideas I could try, that would ultimately allow the freedom to pursue this mission of mine.  I haven't tried any of them yet, mostly just from being too busy with school and teaching.  But I think he's brilliant and now that I think about it, it's kind of a huge blessing that he's an expert in this area, and also interested in helping me....

Well.  There's my naval-gazing for the day.  Going for a run now.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Inaugural Post, Sunday night, 11:53pm

This is my new anonymous blog.  Oh, blessed anonymity.  I don't know why I didn't try this long, long ago.  Maybe I imagined lofty principles about owning my writing, owning myself, abhoring the disembodied discourse.  Well.  Screw that.

Because I have difficult things to work through, things my culture won't accept, and by culture I mean: family... mother-in-law...  all manner of family-in-law...  students, colleagues, ward-members...

I've just been reading the work of one of Mormonism's heretics, and I love it.  I think it's brilliant.  I'm way passed feeling guilty for reading these things, way past fearing that it's "dangerous."  It's been liberating to come to this place, where, finally, I'm no longer afraid of ideas.  I'm not afraid of exploring.  In fact, I desperately need to explore, if I'm ever going to be my own authority.  And maybe because I've accepted my need to explore, get some freedom, maybe that's why I'm ok with an anonymous blog.  (and that's not to say that I don't still have some fear about it all.  I do.  It's mostly about the judgment of others, but it's also my inner TBM, that person inside who has always pleased others, and who has this conception of God that is based in fear of punishment.... .)  Anyway.  I got side-tracked.  It's Maxine Hanks' Women and Authority, that I've been reading.  And, ah, it's just a relief, to finally read something that truly describes my own experience, that pinpoints some of the problems I've seen but never had the means to really articulate.

Incidentally, last week I went to mass at the seat of a diocese, beautiful large cathedral, incredible choir.  When I got home, I decided to explore some thoughts as a result of my experience there which led me to entertain the idea of being ordained.  All I knew at the time was that Episcopalians ordained women, so I explored that in some depth.  Since then I've learned about other Christian sects that ordain women.  I'm allowing myself to explore the real affinity I've always felt to ancient liturgy, the symbolism, the ritual.

And, as it turns out, Maxine Hanks, after her excommunication, was ordained.  I just learned that today.  Part of me says: I want that!  I think?  Part of me really wants in on the ancientness of that tradition.

So... why was Maxine Hanks excommunicated?  This seems like a really important question.  Trouble is, we can't really know the whole story.  I don't know if Hanks has even told her side of the story, and certainly The Church wont' tell theirs.  Her book:  I've only read the preface, introduction, and a few pages of the first chapter, but so far, she just seems like your typical Mormon feminist intellectual...  Oh.  Right.  But what I mean is, it seems like there's more latitude these days, twenty years later, more room in the church for such thinking, if only because it seems there is a lot more of that thinking going on.  Minus the excommunicating.  Or, maybe it's my vantage point which is quite limited.

But if there are things in her book that are so dangerous to faithful Mormons that it merited her excommunication...   Well, then, maybe I'm done.  Maybe I really can't do this church anymore.

You know, I read some of the writing of Joanna Brooks, which I honestly love, but there's an element of her whole approach to Mormonism that I don't exactly relate to.  That is the deep way that she identifies with Mormon history, Mormon heritage, how deeply she is Mormon.  I'm not feeling that way right now.  She describes being at odds within herself because some practices of the current church go against her own personal liberal, egalitarian beliefs, yet at the same time she can't "leave the church alone" because of her deep identification with its cultural heritage.  Maybe I'll feel differently if I leave Utah.  (Maybe I won't leave Utah?....  duhn duhn DUUUUUUUHHHHNNNN <distant screams>). But really, I really really really want to try something different.  I want to take a break from Mormon culture.

  Ah.  Well.  I already feel better.  Anonymous blog, Iloveyousomuch.  SO MUCH!