flummoxed on Friday

This is a segment I like to call “What I Don’t Understand”, where I explore aspects of every-day life and society that I wonder why are accepted as normal.

  1. I was watching the Olympic Swim Trials this week and while I was awed this way and that with the swimmers’ incredible skills, I got a little confused when I saw that almost all the female swimmers were donning earrings. In a RACE. In the OLYMPIC TRIALS. They shave their entire bodies, wear two caps, buy expensive suits that cover their thighs, yet they wear earrings. Why? I don’t know if it slows them down or not, but jewelry wasn’t permitted in my high school meets, as well as pretty much every sport I participated in. Why, girls, WHY? I mean, if it doesn’t make a difference, why not just not put them on? I don’t know, but that got me FLUMMOXED.
  2. Why, oh, why do I find more than one of those pincher-bugs (or earwigs) all over my house and bedroom daily?! Just yesterday, I found THREE of them whilst in the process of showering – one IN the shower, and two residing in MY CLOTHES I was to wear. Why? Last year it was stink-bugs, now it’s pincher bugs. Get away from me!! (I know they are just teasing me because they know I won’t murder them, but I will find some other way of punishment, I will!!!)
  3. Why do people think jazz is dead? The only genre of music in my opinion that is dead is pop music, or whatever is on the radio. There is literally nothing else you can do to that music; it has hit a wall, it has peaked and hit its prime; I haven’t heard a song that didn’t sound like something else I’d heard before – it’s dead. Jazz, on the other hand, is constantly moving, or branching out like a tree. Jazz has come so far since 1920’s ragtime, has been fertilized by the greats like Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker and the countless others, and is making new hybrids and species all the time. If you look up a popular standard like “Autumn Leaves” there is an abundance of different, unique recordings! You may point out, “But that means jazz is dead – everyone just keeps redoing the same song!” Ah, you see, there is where you are wrong. If you actually listen, each recording is different – there are SOLOS on each recording, which are made-up-on-the-spot melodies, tell me how that’s dead! To me, jazz is the most conversational music genre – people allude to other songs in their solos, people sometimes use humor (music humor, mind you, which isn’t really funny unless you know what they’re doing), sometimes people connect and really jive and it is INTENSELY cool, etc. Pop music is the music that keeps getting redone. Tell me that drum machines and fake clapping are new. Tell me that not using actual instruments is new. Tell me that repeating the same words over and over again is new. Tell me that a “bass drum” doubling its speed, techno-esque, to create some sort of tension isn’t in EVERY song. Thanks for using every example in one song, Rhianna. (who is this British lady talking in the beginning? This song generally scares me)

    I could go on forever, discussing how 10 minutes for an instrumental song is not boring (are you really that impatient? You can’t even listen to a 2-3 minute song that repeats over and over the whole way through) and more, but I will save some time and move on.
  4. I think that it is peculiar how the words “vegetarian” and “vegan” changed meanings since they first came about (I think it was in the 1800s!). Vegetarian meant initially what we use vegan for: not eating any animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Vegan meant what it means today + not using ANY products derived from animals at all, including clothing – probably even paintbrushes from horsehair, quills with feathers, you know. What we call vegetarians today is technically called “lacto-ovo-vegetarians,” lacto for eating dairy and ovo for eggs. Why did this happen? Alas, it probably won’t change back since it’s been like this for at least 30 years (I looked at a book from the 80’s who noted the difference). Because I’m a slave to words, though, I will use “vegetarian” how it was made to be used, no matter how many times I must explain. It is my duty to the Almighty Written Word!
  5. The worst:

    Someone: Hey you play (instrument)?
    Musician: Yes, I do.
    Someone: Aw, is it fun?
    Musician: Yeah, I love it.
    Someone: Man, I wish/I’ve always wanted to play an instrument, but I just don’t have the patience for it.

    Translation: I don’t feel like working very hard.

    Who in this world is patient anymore? You don’t necessarily need patience to play an instrument – that implies that you have to wait around for something. Playing music NEVER requires waiting around (unless you are awaiting results for an audition, but those aren’t required to just play something). Playing mainly requires these things: discipline, determination, and delight. Discipline because you need to sit down and practice regularly, pushing yourself to do harder things to get better. Determination because without that drive, discipline would crumble and you wouldn’t be motivated to do anything difficult. Delight because you need to have that inner amusement with creating sound; you’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing, or NOTHING will get done.

    There, I’ve just given you the recipe for success.

 

What baffles you in this world?

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2 thoughts on “flummoxed on Friday

  1. Came across your site cause I was searching for why the female swimmers were wearing earrings… I didn’t understand it either. It actually annoyed me. The only thing I can think as to why they do….. is so they don’t look like boys. They aren’t wearing makeup and their hair is hidden under a cap. So in order to adhere to “female norms” they wear them. It annoys me that they would be that self conscious.

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