this morning, instead of taking three minutes to do my make-up, i took five. i have a selfie appointment this afternoon, that’s why. all the make-up i use is really cheap so let’s see if it even lasts that long.
I’ve been in a shitty mood all day, but then I remembered this line and felt better. (I recently reread this play with one of my students and I was surprised to see that I understood Shakespeare! All by myself! That “friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” speech by Marc Antony is phenomenal. Anyway.)
In the context of John Green (and in the quote when it’s by itself), it seems like the speaker is being all martyry and self-deprecating and woe-is-me. (But Green’s revised line when applied to Hazel and Augustus fits much better than the original because their “fault” isn’t something they can control. Anyway, I digress.)
However, in the context of the play, it’s pretty damn inspirational. Here’s the setup in case you haven’t read it: this line is said by Cassius, the leader of the conspirators against Caesar. In this scene, he’s trying to convince Brutus, who’s still pretty loyal to Caesar at this point, that killing Caesar is the best thing for Rome.
Basically he’s saying, “Fate doesn’t suck; WE suck. But you know what? We can fix our suck. The only reason why we’re his minions is because we allow ourselves to be. Why shouldn’t one of us be offered the crown? It is not some divine power that chooses him, but the mob. And the mob is something we can sway.” Then, boom! Stab, dead, war, etc etc.
Point is, everyone has faults. But you can fix your faults because you’re not bound by destiny to anything. YOU control your own fate.
So yeah, you suck probably. But go forth and fix that suck with the gusto of a mutinous Roman soldier. Just don’t….assassinate anyone though.
be grateful. be fucking grateful.
absolutely nothing is a right. read that again: none of your rights are actually rights. not in the world we currently live in.
if they were rights, you wouldn’t have to fight for them; you’d just have them. can you think of one right you automatically had without someone having fought for them?
there are no rights. just different levels of privileges. (the original definition of “privilege” not the social justice definition.)
i’m not just talking politics here, i’m talking everyday life: you are not entitled to love. you are not entitled to happiness. you are not entitled to confidence. no one owes you anything.
do you deserve those things? maybe. maybe not. do you fight for them? hell yes. that’s the whole point of living.
point is, be grateful.
things that you automatically had, other people had to fight tooth and nail for. sometimes it’s as simple as the freedom to step out your front door without the burden of guilt; the freedom to live your own life without feeling like the weight of the whole world on your shoulders.
this is not a “don’t complain, others have it worse than you” post. this is a “be grateful for what you have and work to make it better” post. don’t complain that your car is a piece of shit; be happy that you have the means to a decent form of transportation and do your best to make it less shitty.
and especially, especially, don’t complain to those who cannot be afforded the same luxuries of freedom that you were. at least have the sensitivity for that. a person—regardless of how kind and patient and understanding she is—has her limits.
Toni Morrison, A Mercy
This book took a while for me to get into but I’m about 3/4 done with it and it’s quite good. Today’s dreary weather complements the story nicely.
I was tagged by samanthawin so I’m gonna do this before I do MFA Stuff for the day.
I cheated. This selfie is from a few days ago. Also, I can’t selfie on my phone anymore because the little front camera lenses thing has been cracked beyond repair.
FOOD: sandwiches, particularly VN sandwiches, but sandwiches in general. Pickles and relish. Also…jam is pretty cool.
MOVIE: Right now? Black Pond.
TV SHOWS: Doctor Who, 30 Rock, Friends
BAND: Queen, Bastille, Marina and the Diamonds, Paloma Faith (not a band but whatevs), Stars, OneRepublic, Fitz and the Tantrums…
PLACE: Dalat, Dalat, and also, oh…DALAT. Also (pt 2) bookstores and office supply stores
SCHOOL SUBJECT: English/Literature
ACTOR: idk, I like actors based on movies, not…acting.
ACTRESS: see above
SIBS: I often forget I have an older brother, but I have an older brother.
DREAM JOB: Writer living in some small inconsequential town in Viet Nam while teaching writing for online college courses to make extra money and teaching English to poor local children just because I want to
FEAR: Oblivion. Also ghosts.
TATTOOS: None. Too permanent.
PIERCINGS: None. I’m too square even for regular piercings.
LANGUAGES: English, Vietnamese, and…poetry. yeah, I said it.
reason behind my url: I used to be a little toilet paper roll, but now I’ve matured into a gramps.
# of blogs: About a billion.
also i have a professor who says he can predict our astrological signs by simply reading our poetry.
i’m kinda excited for this.
one of my professor’s speeches in his intro class
i feel like i’ve just been initiated into a very exclusive club.