I got a new camera - it's tiny and cute and burgundy metallic, and I used it this weekend at Rapier Academy, so I'll post a couple of pics this evening, and write about the event when I have more time.
BTW, I've changed my profile page a little - there are a few guidelines about commenting I thought it was time to put in - mostly because I've now got over 700 registered readers (eep! *joy*), and this will make things nicer for everyone when I write one of those posts that makes people argue, scream, and unfriend me in droves. :) Seriously, though - I love you all.
But - let's horn in on a little of the fun going on over at Shapely Prose and Feministing, and talk about four things we personally think are highly overrated. Now, this list is intended to be idiosyncratic and very individual, and actually brilliantly points out that mad compulsion people seem to have to want everyone to have the same likes and dislikes. I base this observation on the evidence in the Intarwebs that whenever someone posts their opinion on something polarizing, like tipping, breastfeeding, or whether Darth Vader or Boba Fett is cooler, people immediately start popping out of the woodwork to point out, in great detail and excruciating length, how they are wrong, and should be burnt at the stake.
I'm fascinated by this compulsion, since in most things, I have a live and let live policy - if it's important to you, I respect that, but don't demand that it be important to me, too. Sadly, many people are unable to let sleeping preferences lie; my theory is that insecurity plays a part, and any opposing opinion is seen as a negative judgement, therefore it must be brutally crushed before anyone else gets the wrong idea.
(I sometimes get the feeling certain religions work on the same principle.)
(Just a teeny bit.)
But anyway - overrated things. You get to pick your top four - otherwise my list would be rather long - and they only need to be things you find overrated. Remember, this is a personal thing, so no jumping on anyone else in an attempt to get them to see it your way. Diversity is healthy.
1. Steak. I really don't get the appeal of steak - sure, it's reasonably tasty, but I can count on one hand the times I've had a steak that really made me react the way some people talk about it. Most of the time, it's a slightly flavourless hunk of protein, even when cooked exactly to my specifications - and I've tried it every which way. Admittedly, I'm not much of a carnivore, but I want my food to dance on my palate and give me fond memories, especially when I'm paying more than $20 for it. Give me a plate of mussels marinara any day.
2. Summer. It's hot, it's got too much sun, it has bugs, poison ivy, and the beaches are packed with a million people all stinking of nasty suntan-lotion. The ocean is filled with stinging jellyfish and the woods are filled with ticks. I'll take any season over summer, especially autumn. The benefits, like roses, long evenings, and butterflies, are outweighed by the disadvantages like mosquitoes to bite you during those long evenings, poisonous and/or stinging weeds to pull out of the roses, and hornets eating the butterflies. I prefer the beach in winter, when it's empty, and I can always wear a wetsuit if I want to play in the surf.
3. Being young. We live in a youth-obsessed culture, where a woman is a crone at 28, and advertising, clothing, and entertainment is aimed at the late teens/early twenties crowd, but I wouldn't want to be that age again even if I did get to keep all my life experience and knowledge (and I got paid. No, not even then). It's a time of insecurity, fear, and a tendency to marry idiotic people because six months of dating seems like a lifetime. I like being the age I am now - things are well in place, I'm finally comfortable in my skin, and I don't care what people think of me. I want my life to show in my face, and I want it to be my face, so I won't be looking into any face lifts, either, thank you very much.
4. Mindless loyalty. It's lazy thinking repackaged as a virtue, and leads to the kind of argument where someone says "I know what I believe, and you can't change my mind!". I think "sticking to your guns" is a highly overrated and deeply misused trope, and it's particularly bad when people use it to refuse the possibility that someone they like is engaged in questionable activities, or use it to attack someone who is actually trying to improve things by seeking changes in the way someone does things. For instance, our political system - "America: Love it or leave it!" is exactly the kind of sentiment that should be questioned, and someone who questions the president's policies isn't neccessarily an enemy. Unfortunately, media reporting has become completely either/or in its reporting tactics, and political pundits like Rush Limbaugh or Lou Dobbs are working hard to finish the job while achieving new heights of hypocrisy (IMO). Having true convictions should not be shorthand for close-mindedness, nor should political hay be made over demanding that one's supporters become mindless drones ready to believe whatever one says. ...Unless you enjoy being a cultist.
Things that almost made the cut:
Fake lesbians who kiss it up to amuse men
Spike TV (all the good programs are gone)
Fast food hate
The obesity "epidemic"
Oh, and, since it's happening in the comments at Feministing, a few things I think are underrated:
Female anger (and people fear it, and react with brutal negativity - bonus. *sigh*)
The Soup (the only really good thing on E!)
Giving credence to women who have experienced abuse (instead of male judges and defendants)
So - that's my list... as of today. It's liable to change without notice. Feel free to chime in with your own, but don't argue anyone else's - no-one is right or wrong, just opinionated. If it makes your teeth gnash and your eyesight blur, hit the back button and rage about it in your own journal. The true beauty of the internet is that no-one need remain silent who has a blog.