Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Robyn As A Symbol

I often dream about the disappointed Swedish singer whose voice inspires me so much. She's unnervingly vulnerable, intoxicatingly sad (I try to resist soaking up the melancholy, but how can I when it's so beautifully rendered?) and seeped in multiple and conflicting musical cultures, ideological stances and various levels of personal acceptance. In short, I am intrigued.



I often think that she's my shadow, double or doppelganger - she has the commercial success I simultaneously covet and shy away from. She embodies both presence and absence - yes, she's poised to be a triumphant gatherer and dispersant of culture, but her guardedness (much like that of Lady Gaga) leaves me asking many questions. The walls she erects between herself and her media wooers, ever-conscious of the global gaze, leave her with an intact sense of privacy which is necessary to her well-being (she says she would never want the fame or media scrutiny that surrounds Madonna).

Being commercially successful comes through paying ongoing attention to what your target audience wants. However my target audience changes with each text I create, and I expect them to grow with me, as quickly as I grow by myself. I could never cater to bigots, homophobes, racists and misogynists, but let's face it - they make up a large part of the mainstream.

Sweden has recently been found the most gay-positive nation in Europe, with Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Norway following. Russia and Ukraine seemed the most homophobic. I was reminded of a girl in Ukraine who exclaimed 'Yuck' when I mentioned same-sex attraction to Sarah Palin (as opposed to being attracted to Sarah Palin, a figure I am disgusted by and avoid reading about as often as possible). I was in a situation where I was literally surrounded by people who evinced hatred for themselves and for me, and wasn't focusing on her - I had an authority figure to prove something to. Anyway, at the moment I'm feeling unsettled that I let such obvious homophobia faze me... why was I unresponsive? What could I have done? It was directed at me, but not at me. I had the floor - and I chose not to focus on it. I was too overwhelmed by the negative energy I was trying to counter from other sources, and didn't expect such a biting, socially unacceptable comment.

I suppose that regarding something as socially unacceptable isn't helping me - I'm aware that there is hate of all sorts floating around in the minds of the people I encounter everyday. I also know that I do my best to counter homophobic attitudes whenever possible. Perhaps I need to get more actively involved in promoting diversity in sexual orientation. I've been meaning to print A4 posters in favour of gay rights and/or marriage equality. Hmm. How about "Marriage equality - it's your right to live in a world where everyone is equal"?

Last night, I didn't dream of Robyn (or if I did, I don't remember); I dreamt of hurtling up and down coast-side roads - as in a roller-coaster - in Africa. The land was a dry, cream-tinted gold with tufts of grass here and there, a silver-gray ocean as the necessary rebuttal. I woke up, went to the bathroom, fell back into bed. This time I dreamt I was in Iceland - I was embroiled in a subversive operation which included decoys and women wearing white with black accessories. I think this was inspired by Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video to some extent. Lol

If only I had someone halfway likable to talk to these weeks in real life... my net friends are wonderful, but I miss having a friendly face in front of me.

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