Thursday, May 28, 2009

I know you think you look so special

From the car forum I go amusing picture partnered with not amusing text.
"Retards: we all know one" (picture was some goofy owls)

I made one little comment and got bitched out for it, pretty much. "Amusing picture, not so amusing text." The comment from another user was pretty much this (my own paraphrasing): "Not all this PC-crap, from you. I thought you were thicker-skinned than that. I mean, you take it cool when we poke fun at you for being a girl. We think it's awesome that you're a girl that's into cars! It's just a word, people shouldn't get so up-at-arms about it. I'm just being honest."

My response:
"My little brother has Down Syndrome. Need I say more than that?

You can't say "words are just words" because you are using them yourself for power. Saying something is "retarded" isn't PC anymore to describe a mentally handicapped person, but that doesn't make it any less hurtful or offensive.

It's not honesty, it's insensitivity. HONESTLY if you had a family member who had a mental handicap like Down Syndrome, you would not take the use of the word "retarded" lightly. Why not just call something stupid? The history of the word makes it offensive, no matter how you mean it. The swastika used to be a totally different symbol, you can't use it anymore b/c of its place in history."

I feel that this is a good argument against the "casual" use of the word "retard". I'm putting it here for my own personal future reference, and perhaps to edit in the future into a fuller argument.

Also I'm a very defensive person, hahaha. I forget this sometimes. It's entirely possible that I love my brother more than anyone else in this world, despite him annoying me the way only little brothers can sometimes. I would do anything to protect him, even if he'll never go to the forum and read that. If I could stop all the people in the world from speaking so insensitively, I would do it, just for him.

Defensive to a fault, I'm sure.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Mahoney Brothers - Long Live The Beatles

Apparently this is turning into a review blog?

I went to see The Mahoney Brothers perform as The Beatles today, at Arlington's Regent Theater. They are a Beatles cover-band that has apparently been performing as and impersonating the Beatles since the late-1970's.

I found their impersonations impressive, as any impersonating, especially one done for that long, requires a great deal of dedication, but lacking in some areas. John was good, he even got the awkward knee bounce while singing/playing, and his voice was spot-on. Paul's voice sounded strained, like the performer was not actually able to sing in his range all that well. Actually, he sounded like Paul McCartney now, with his voice worn from years of singing. George was...not very good. He barely sounded like George, in singing or speaking.

The musical performance and the banter was good though. I enjoyed the earlier songs that they played, more than the later ones, specifically the Sgt. Pepper songs were not very good, but after that, stuff from Abbey Road was okay. "Please Please Me" is one that sticks out in my mind as good, and "Day in a Life" sticks out as one that was bad. "Day In A Life" is definitely not an easy song to perform, since they had to do the horns and noise through keyboards (which for other songs worked fine, such as "Magical Mystery Tour"), but the note at the end just sounded like people screaming, which I did not find pleasant at all. Overall though, there were not many noticeable musical mistakes, except for an important missed bass-drum pound in "Carry That Weight".

I enjoyed seeing that there were all sorts of people there. There were some really young kids, including one little boy who had to have been 5-years-old, who said he liked my t-shirt (it has Beatles images and lyrics on it, Nika painted it for me over 5 years ago (possibly 8? yeah and I still fit in it) and the acrylic paint is hardly cracked, and none has come off), and plenty of people who may have grown up with The Beatles as their records came out. Who knows, maybe some of them even went to concerts when there were younger. There was a handful of people with disabilities too, and I found myself wondering what it is about The Beatles that appeals to them. My brother had a blast, he danced in his seat, ran in place, and kept the beat for many of the songs. I'm glad we're raising another Beatles-fan. My parents listened to them when they were younger (I think my mom was a bigger fan than my dad, but they both certainly appreciate them), and my sister and I picked them out on the radio when we were pretty little, and decided we liked them. So I guess you could say we're "natural" fans, since nobody really introduced us to the music.

I don't really feel like writing up a "Star Trek" review, I saw that a couple of weeks ago and it was AMAZING. That's all you get.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

and now, for a crummy little review

Tonight I went to see "With The Needle That Sings In Her Heart" at Lexington High School; a play written by the student cast & Amanda Palmer, inspired by Neutral Milk Hotel's album "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea". The theme is genocide

I invited my godfather to go with me. We had dinner at Tango in Arlington Center, which was pricey, but delicious. His steak was amazing (my chicken with cheese was awesome too). The place is almost always empty, which makes it even more fun. I recommend it if you're willing to spend $20-30 on a meal. Maybe just a special occasion kind of place...if they last.

The play...the production was amazing. I don't even want to compare what Arlington High used to put on (I haven't seen a play there in years, so I can only go from past experience) to this, it pales and withers and dies. The cast was amazing, flawless performances, beautifully constructed scenes and...just everything. I was so impressed. High school students? Really? Wonderful. I hope these kids go far, they really seem like they will.

I was touched by Amanda Palmer's closing Thank-Yous, she seemed near tears, and I wished that I could give her a hug. She looked surprised, and proud. I am sure that is a great feeling. I hope they enjoy their after-show highs!