Tag Archives: Indonesia

Balance, Brothers and Stewie

12 Aug

A/N: Today’s essay went completely

unbeta’d

. I am late on posting this due to complications involving my own methods of grounding and calm, mainly, sleep. I also am trying to strike the balance in starting the new “Magical Little Practice” and living the Creative Life. Takes some practice. Bear with me as I find my footing, my lovelies. Thank you in advance for your kind leniencies.

“Our brothers and sisters are there with us from the dawn of our personal stories to the inevitable dusk.”  ~Susan Scarf Merrell

 

After a month of successful ninja-ing, our reigning Queen Stewie emerged in a fan pic with her

On the Road costar Garrett and one of her good friends Tom Sturridge in Montreal a couple days ago. KStew appeared happy, relaxed and knowing, her smile full of secrets and promise. Perhaps it’s because she had long already known what the public officially learned just yesterday: TomStu, in addition to his usual duties as friend and protector, has landed a role in the already epic Kerouac-based film alongside Kristen and Garret! Perhaps her smile also indicated that her partner in crime, featured Rebel Robert was in the vicinity as well. Perhaps. Whatever the reason, I loved what I saw in Kristen’s smile. And I rejoiced at the news of Tom’s casting in On the Road. This film, already epic with its brilliant actors and director, storied inceptions and Francis Ford Coppola’s backing, has the makings of legend

in my opinion. Just to revisit the beauty and billiance of this cast, lets look at a few pictures, shall we? The following beautiful pic compilations were found online. I did not make them, but I would love to credit their creator. If this is your work, let me know, please, so I can credit properly. Beautiful.



Sam as Sal/Jack

 

Kristen as Marylou/Luanne
 

Garrett as Dean/Neal

Welcome to such a glorious, prestigious cast, TomStu! We learned last week at this time that the acting greats Viggo Mortensen and Amy Adams were slated to play supporting characters in the film, catapulting the role sheet to mythical status, again, just in my opinion. I think Tom will fit in with this cast juuuust fine.

Hello, Tom. Congratulations.
You have somehow only added to the epicness of OTR.

 

Ok, so outside his pleasing aesthetics, his status as Rob Pattinson’s Bestie, and a protective, brother-type to KStew, Tom is a gifted actor in his own right. Did you SEE The Boat That Rocked (Pirate Radio in The States)?? If you haven’t, you must go watch it RIGHT NOW. Seriously, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time, complete with beautiful Brits (TomStu & Co), a pristine classic rock soundtrack and poetic Others in all their gorgeous rebelliousness. That movie’s cast, much like the cast for On the Road boasts a smorgasbord of Rebel Royals and Others.

 

ICU, Stewie, all smirky goodness, behind Tom’s shoulder!

 

Back to NinjaStew. Let’s give props to the fans who made viewing KStew, Tom and Garrett possible: Gustavo and Miguel. These guys, for me, embodied the nature of supportive, sensitve fans, respectfully approaching Kristen first before snapping a picture with her, and only posting the encounter and pics

afterwards to grant the actors some privacy and anonymity. They didn’t even realize who Tom and Garrett were, until afterward. Their eyes were only for Kristen, spouting descriptors in Spanish:

“Perfection. Beautiful.”
 

We concur, mi amigos.
Today’s Musings will continue last week’s theme, delving further into how we’ve coped with the absence of our Queen, Stealth Stewie and her gorgeous partner in crime: Rebel Ninja Rob. How have we balanced the onslaught of 3D life (work, family, summer vacation planning) with our participation in the Kristen/Rob/Twilight Fandom and our ongoing mission of embracing Otherness and Authenticity as Rebel Royals? Although, it has been lovely to dig up some old outtakes (you all know how i feel about outtakes–why? Too much Pretty? Too many Offenses of Otherness?), like THESE:

 

EW’s 2007 Twilight photoshoot
InStyle Magazine’s 2008 Twilight photoshoot

We already loved her then too, Rob

 

Balancing Cause and Effect

Its a precarious thing, balance. Elusive, even. There are so many things thrown at us within each moment, within each day, it’s a wonder we don’t crawl into the fetal position and beg for it all to wash away. But we do not (not all the time, anyway). There are a few physical places I’ve actually witnessed that embodied the idea of balance and proves the concept of coexistence. One of them I’ll tell you about today. This place is a site on the stunning island of Bali, Indonesia. The entire island represents balance and karma, really, but this site in particular represents coexistence. Floating atop this peaceful lake is the Hindu Temple Uluan Danu:

And a mere few yards offshore sit a Budhhist Temple, a Catholic cathedral and a Muslim mosque, all within walking distance, all amongst fragrant and beatific gardens.

Why do I find this especially significant? Without going into the tenants of any specific organized religion, because that’s not how Musings rolls, I will say that I am touched that vastly different ideologies can exist harmoniously. In Indonesia, with a population surpassing 237 million people, a staggering 86% of those people practice Islam, which includes my husband and his family. The remaining fourteen percent of the country’s citizens may practice anything from Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity to agnosticism. But no one is shut out. There is place for anyone who wants to worship. There is an opportunity for equality, balance. Within walking distance.

So the thing about Balinese philosophy is this: It is based on the what is called tri hita karana, which means that there is harmony, balance, and equilibrium between God–however you know God to be–the environment and the community/people. In other words: Interconnectedness. Happiness and peace can only be obtained, according to the Balinese, when balance is obtained. So how do you obtain balance? Well, the first thing one does is realize that anything put into the world, be it joy, anger, jealousy, unrest, negativity, love, light or forgiveness, has an answering effect: consequence.


Let’s bring this to a place more immediate to our KStew world, our daily lives as Others. We can adore, admire and support Kristen, Rob, The Gos, and today’s Featured Royal Johnny Depp without declaring a rift amongst fellow supporters. We can admire and support these actors and artists without hunting them down and depersonalizing them. Masjids (mosques) can be across the street from cathedrals. Fans and admirers of Kristen and Rob can coexist peacefully too. A hippieCali Therapist toeing the line of whimsy-punk (um, me) following no organized religion can marry and lovingly support her restless, intellectual, kind, Muslim husband (N), especially at the start of Ramadan (now).
ME
+
N
=
Coexistence. Balance.

C’mon, lovelies. If religions as old as time can seek coexistence, so can we. We can seek balance. We can give the space and privacy to our Other Queen Kristen and for Rob while they work. We can admire them and all the Other Rebels in an existence that doesn’t trigger war. We can disagree and banter with fellow fans, but we can do so with respect…for ourselves and in representation of our Rebel Royals and Other Queens. We can give Kristen and Rob the privacy and space they’ve asked for, that they have all rights to. Let’s give our girl and her guy some breathing room. And let’s remind ourselves that whatever we put out there, can and will revisit us. The Balinese and Hindus call it Karma. It’s also known as The Golden Rule: Do unto others…

taking a moment to breathe and ground

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart (with a little help from brother Cam)

Other photos have surfaced since last Musings. These pictures are of the Vogue Italy 2007 photo shoot. We were given a peek of a 16 year-old-Kstew with one of her three championed brothers. Cameron is another perfect example of an Other, vigilantly protective of his younger sister, accompanying Kristen to photo shoots, film shoots and promotions. Tall and thoughtful, exuding a creative spirit and tattoos, Cam has often been referred to along with her other brothers (Dana and Taylor) as Kristen’s best friend and provider of precious grounding and calm. Balance, one might say.

Offenses of Otherness:

**Cites her brothers as her best friends

**Is more comfortable in jeans & Chucks

vs Red Carpet Regalia.

**Visited a Holocaust Memorial

vs amusement parks on a promo tour

**Methods for balancing: Baking pies, cooking meals for family

Featured Rebel Royal: Johnny Depp

Our beautiful featured Rebel this week is someone I alluded to a couple weeks ago. I promised you some Depp, and I follow through on promises (though I ask for some room when I am replying to your beautiful, brilliant emails, ok?). I can bring The Pretty to tie you over. So, Mr Depp is an American actor and musician known most prominently for portraying numerous crew members from the Mothership of Oddballs (YES! #GoTeamOdd) in his chosen movie roles. You may know him as Captain Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, Edward Scissorhands or, in my favorite example, as Roux from Chocolate. *Pausing to breathe deeply*. But before any of these seminal roles that made Johnny famous, those of us children of the 80’s may remember watching him on our TV sets on 21 Jump Street.

yesssss.

As a child, Johnny and his family, which included 3 siblings, moved around frequently. He reports moving to 20 different locations before settling in Florida in his youth. According to Wikipedia, Johnny engaged in self-mutilating behaviors to cope with his insecurities. He referred to his numerous tattoos as “a journal” with “every mark having some special meaning” of an event in his life. He dropped out of high school to be a touring musician with his local band “The Kids”, and never returned.

Unhappy with the “teen heartthrob” image that emerged as a result of his role on 21 Jump Street, Johnny began seeking film roles that would broaden his exposure to the work he truly sought. His first film role was in A Nightmare On Elm Street (scared the shit outta me, lemme tell ya), and he moved onto work in Oliver Stone’s Platoon as a Vietnamese-speaking soldier, and ultimately to his first Tim Burton collaboration (i.e. GENIUS) of Edward Scissorhands. Of course, his role as Edward would mark his forays into playing the “Iconic Loners”and there really, was no looking back. He lives in France with his partner, actress and singer Vanessa Paradis, and their two children.

Offenses of Otherness:

**Admitted severe discomfort with the “teen idol” label

**Proclaimed that big studios ‘never understood’ those misfit roles

he would take on.

**Prefers an anonymous life, choosing to live abroad

**Methods for balancing: being with his children, playing guitar

Oh Brother, where art thou?

Like Kristen’s view on her brothers, my brother Chew (you all learned of his brilliant existence from the very first Musings) is one of my favorite people in my world. I just this week shared with him my secret world of Musings and writing about The Stew while we were driving along the coast. I’ve had several of you readers write in saying that your family has no clue of your devotion to all things Kristen and Rob. Part of my mission to de-fragment and balance out my life, as initiated a few weeks ago, included outting myself as a Other Queen supporter to my family and 3D friends. I told my own tattooed, punky, surfing-and-hockey-playing big brother that he inspired a movement of Otherness and instead of chuckles and head shakes that I thought I would receive from him, he smiled and congratulated me.

Chew: “When your work is turned into a film screenplay, who plays me?
Me: (after no hesitation), “Matthew Fox”
Chew: “Ok, well, he can act, but can he be a bastard?”

Perhaps my brother (who looks A LOT like Matthew Fox. I know, right? zzzing!) carries a little remorse for some of his torture inflicted upon me in our childhood. This includes stationing me in front of tall rose bushes in our backyard as “goalie”, and proceeding to kick wet soccerballs in quick succession at my head. “BLOCK THIS!” he would scream at me, and being the little sister eager for inclusion, I would dive to block. DIVE…oh, motherfucker, I would DIVE, resulting in so many painful scratches over my face and arms for weeks. But we got through that. I now view my brother’s opinion and his ideas as integral to balance, comfort and security.

No, we haven’t seen a lot of Kristen and Rob lately, but we received a smiling confirmation that Kristen is well, and in the company of a friend who connects her with her partner Rob. And at the time of posting this essay, there have been sightings of Rob since his arrival in Montreal over the past two days, which makes me warm and content. I am pleased that Kristen has her grounding agents of Rob and Tom while she delves into a very complex role surrounding a very complex woman.

I encourage us all to continue exploring our methods for grounding and balance in the lulls of any Kristen or Rob news. Bake some pies. Go for soothing swims, exhilaration runs. Make music. Dance. Find your local masjid and commune with your Higher Power, just as N is this month for Ramadan. Remind yourself that every effort we make to release an emotion or intention into the world returns to us…in some way shape or form. Go be with your loved ones, your brothers, your sisters. Above all, be well.

Because I seek grounding from within, but also from connecting with my brother, even though he kicked soccer balls at my head in punishment, I am on the Other Homecoming Float.

Because he let his surefire ticket to stardom and fame in the form of a 21 Jumpstreet contract expire with no option for renewal, Johnny Depp is a Rebel Royal.

Because she knows exactly who to turn to for support, grounding and balance, even as her supportive network is photographed almost as much as she is, Kristen is our reigning Other Queen.

Johnny is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others realize that anything put into the world,

answers back with the intent to balance.

Embrace your Other.

Question: What are your methods of balancing and grounding?

A/N: Thank you to the usual suspects: Team Other captains: Bouffant, Buff_82, and Cynically Convivial. To my Cyber Sisters/Readers including Julie, Nail, the Clog-Wielding Queen and my OTR Bestie Marble Pole. Thank you to you beauties on Twitter who make me laugh and supply me with the JawP0rn and my Stewie fixes (eyeing YOU @Greenangelice!). Thank you to the fanfiction writers (you know who you are, you hear from me and respond so kindly!) who have ruled my world and contributed to my complete refusal to live in reality. Dedicating this to my brother Chew and my husband N, the boys who bring me grounding and reminder of GOODNESS. I adore the letters and texts and emails you’ve all sent. I am stunned and awed by your beautiful words and courage. And again, thank you for your patience in my slow responses. See you all next Thursday.

Strawberry Confidence & A Little Help From My Friends

1 Jul
Quick A/N: Please forgive the lateness of this Musings. I was out late late last night seeing Eclipse and downing Vodka. And because there is SO much Other goodness to choose from, I needed to narrow down my topics of conversation because you all are already infinitely too patient with my long ramblings already. I know you were up at the Midnight Showings for Eclipse too, so y’all are sleep deprived. Also, a quick moment of stunned gratitude to the now-retired @KStew411 who recommended this blog on their “MUST” list in their departing posts last night. I am shocked and humbled. You ladies will be missed. Good luck on your future endeavors. Lastly, I did not have this post beta’d by my amazing pre-readers Bouffant00, Buff_82 and CC. This one is ridonk late and it’s ALL me. Ok. Onward with the Musings…. 

I’m lonely.

I’m scared.
…Or Desperate for a way
to be awake without faking
to be alive without freaking
to be serious
to be true
to even think of loving someone
when you’re already doomed
You tell me how to be a girl in 2010
…They left it to us.
It sucks but it’s true.
It’s you and me baby.
-excerpt from I am an Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler

Last week, we surveyed and gawked at how cruel and destructive our fellow women are towards each other. We discussed how women were relegated to The Feminine Code and when breaking through that code, you do so at the risk of alienation, isolation and criticism, a very familiar position for our Other Queen Kristen Stewart. But here on Team Other, we realize that “Breaking The Code” earns you a spot on the Homecoming Court alongside legendary Rebel Royalty. This week, I am going to showcase and celebrate the teams of people who serve as support and encouragement for Others as we foray into Code-Breaking territory. Instead of giving anymore clout to the women and critics who tear down Others, let’s focus on the power of alliances and friendships. Because let’s face it: We can’t do this alone.
In addition to my weepy love letter to friendship and support, I must speak of this extraordinary week for Kristen. I want to gush but I’m nearly overwhelmed. How do I summarize the epicness that was The Eclipse Premiere? Can we talk about Kristen’s STUNNING makeover in preparation for next month’s On the Road filming? How ’bout the way her growing confidence and poise translated so beautifully, she was able to withstand and transcend the assault of David Letterman unscathed???
Black (Carpet) Magic Woman
So we know Kristen and Taylor had just returned from their punishing world tour in efforts to promote Eclipse (um, I dont think they have to worry, at time of writing this, Eclipse has already broken the $30Million mark for just the midnight showings only already). So shall we start our review of Kristen’s most Epic week, EVAH? Yessss. The arrival carpet is not RED, per usual, no, our Rebel Royals walk the Black Carpet. 

That’s probably all I’ll post of the Trifecta, if anything to highlight the way Rob, Kristen and Taylor exude genuine affection and love for one another (note: Kristen’s death grip on Rob’s jacket. He anchors her to this Earth at times…See? Support, people)…. and their ability to color coordinate beautifully. Kristen wore a pearl Eli Saab embellished one-shouldered mini dress which received mixed reviews. I can tell you in my most un-educated way that I adored just about everything in her look, but had to warm up to the asymmetrical sleeves (or lack there of). But the lack of symmetry was made up a billion-fold by Kristen’s amazing legs, bare back, her “robust butt” and flawless makeup (Sharpie Incident sidestepped). Ok, really? Why did this night kick start the night of all epicness? Oh yeah. THIS.

uh huh. And THIS.

and really? Weren’t we just waiting for THIS ONE?

Well, we got a million shots of Rob’s openly adoring, loving gaze upon his girl. But THIS one, nearly made me weep. Not gonna lie. I think I teared up just re posting it here.

Rob: I’m here with you. I ADORE you. Kristen: Thank GOD for YOU. I can DO this.

This is a complete 180 from last year’s premiere for New Moon. I don’t think Rob and Kristen were on the carpet (a RED one, mind you) at the same time, let alone anywhere near the same camera lens. This year indicates a major shift. Suddenly we see emotions! Affection! Physical touching! How do I know that this year was different? Well, for one, Kristen, her Royal Highness, displayed and exuded a confidence that we’ve never seen before. And it was GLORIOUS. More on that in a minute. Secondly, I knew the premiere was spectacular because I literally heard the SQUEALING from all sides. I was on the phone with my friend @BellasMommy86 for 5 and a half hours watching the live stream online, she in Florida, I was in Cali. Was exchanging tweets with, and texting, emailing my Cyber Sisters and Readers, and I capped the night off with a conference call with my Team Other/KSIBTU Crew. And that’s really what I want to talk about. The common love that brought us together in this fandom births a stronger, luminous connection…friendship.

Where My Girls At?

I’m going to take a moment to quite candidly tell you that I’ve had a truly difficult couple of weeks. My own personal band of Bullshit People surfaced and were harping away at me for every single thing I did. My physical body nor my state of unemployment were off limits either. Everything was vulnerable to the vultures. In the eyes of my inner critic, I could do nothing right. As these essays are of utmost joy to write for me, they are catharsis, but in my case almost an exorcism. After writing, I feel like I’ve crawled through the entire myriad of emotions: excitement, anxiety, irritation, contemplation, melancholy, release, elation. Last week, as you all know, I was on my cold-tablet high, and feverish. Perhaps the fever burned away the last of my resolve, because suddenly I heard every single critical snarky remark my inner critic and outside forces said to me. For months I’d kept my head held high and refused to give into the dire stress of my current living situation. Nope. Not last week. Much sobbing. MUCH.
Let’s talk about how my female support system saved my ass. The psychological and spiritual benefits of having women friendships and support are vast and numerous. By nature, women simply bond with other women over the exchange of ideas and confirmation of worth. Knowledge and information is exchanged which leads to increased self esteem and perceived control over situations seemingly out of control. Often when women have close female companions, self-esteem and overall positive outlook increases and remain high. Statistically, when women have strong feminine support systems in place, incidences of depression, anxiety and anger are decreased. Cool Fact: There is a society in Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra, in which the women are the tribe leaders. It is a matriarchal system in a predominantly male-led, Islamic-based land. Anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday documents the arrival and maintenance of peace and accommodation in this successful and thriving Matriarchal tribe in her work Women at the Center.  

So The Minangkabau (Indonesian Matriarchy featured) very clearly tout the successful existence of women leading and collaborating. This awe-inspiring society of people is known in Indonesia for their literary prowess, business dexterity, and egalitarian, peaceful coexistence between men and women alike.

We are joined in a common struggle between remaining firm, and assured and authentic versus conforming to society’s expectations of us. We share the daily joys and heartbreak of loving our partners, oh, then hating our partners; loving and then loathing our bodies, relishing in and rejecting our roles in society: caretaker, pleaser, eye candy, mother, child, daughter, sister. We are in this together. And this is my request to rejoice in not only our shared love of Kristen, Rob and Twilight, but also in our strength in union. I ask the feminine critics we visited in last week’s Musings to remember that we really ARE the same. We share the same struggles and insecurites that even Kristen Stewart, Christina Hendricks and Tori Amos experience.

Another amazing book I’m reading that I want to share with you right now: I am an Emotional Creature. It is written by Eve Ensler, writer of The Vagina Monologues. In this amazing little volume of GIRL POWER, Ensler presents essays and poetry using voices of the EveryGirl…American suburbanites, Bulgarian sex slaves, pregnant women… We are ALL Other.

I have a thirst for knowledge and research, so I am always seeking answers, questions and information. Thanks for bearing with me as I share my book recs to you. The knowledge of others is ours for seeking, but one thing I do undoubtedly know: I would not have emerged from the dark nights without the calming, grounding support I received from my ladies. Not only during premieres and Red/Black carpets, but for my wonderful addictions and eccentricities. Not only do I receive phenomenal fan fiction/smut recommendations from my Reader Sisters and KStew411, I’m guided in my search for my YouTube clips and interview publications. The ladies @KstewAngel and my girl Jamie steered me in the right direction so I could get my paws on the Kristen-covered Entertainment Weekly that we discussed last week.
That IS a build-your-own Parfait Station
Because the ladies steered me towards grocery stores and away from bookstores, I grabbed the last 2 copies of EW from a swanky specialty grocery store where people go to olive bars and buy kitchen tongs worth more than my car. The shoppers there don’t have as much interest in entertainment magazines nor in dazzling, sparkly vampires. At least not outwardly. Ok, I lie, the cashier guy actually fangirled a little with me over the Eclipse premiere.
And because my Cyber Sisters/Readers were holding my hand and drying my tears while I sobbed at my failures in life, I was available on chat and email when the new pictures of Kristen and her Slammin Confidence surfaced. HELLO, STRAWBERRYSTEW!

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

Her EYES. Mah. Gah.

Of course, we saw the debut of her lighter locks (preparation for On the Road filming) as she stepped out of her car in New York before becoming David Letterman’s target;  but, we got to see some luminous Stew at the New York Eclipse Premiere later that same night. I do not know how it’s possible, but I think Kristen has grown even more beautiful in these past 3 weeks alone. YES. It’s her assuredness in herself. She seems comfortable (finally) in the knowledge that she is OK. She’s articulate, intelligent, quick-thinking, and charismatic. Only now, I think she may actually believe it herself, just a teensy bit. 

The catwalk called. It wants its runway model back pronto.
Not really going to talk about David Letterman. Other than to say that I usually don’t mind Dave’s crochety, dry humor, but the night Kristen came on to his show, he was a TOOL. Another mark of Kristen’s new solid self-possession, was that she emerged from Dave’s condescension and awkwardness as the adult in the interview. She was poised, mature and she steered Dave away from any politicized land mines, all with grace, and snark. She even gave a little back. “Um, I dunno, Dave. What’s a WUFF?”

Oh, Letterman, you petty, simpering man. I’m Team Coco.

This post is all kinds of Other today, friends. I’m going to switch up the Featured Rebel section a bit, but no worries. A little variety has never hurt anyone right? I’ll finish gushing over Kristen and her epic week, and then introduce this week’s Royal Mention. Oh yes. I’m talking bad ass Mofo Feminine Queen Extraordinaire: Ani DiFranco. I said it, bitches, I did. But let’s review some more KStew Beauty shall we? I must mention only in passing (though it breaks my heart to do so) that the night after The Black Carpet Premiere, Kristen was at the LA Film Festival promoting Welcome to the Rileys’. She looked beautiful, confident and proud. And the movie itself? Mah. Gah. The reviews pouring out for the little indie are brilliant. But the reviews specifically for Kristen?? Staggering. I’ll talk more about WTTR in future essays, because I truly believe that the subject matter and Kristen’s recognized genius in her role combine to make a movie that will be…extraordinary.  

Beauty Marks: 1. Fascinated and committed to the joy of doing her job. 2. She is humble and almost extremely uncomfortable with compliments. 3. She gets by with a little help of her friends (hi, Ruth, publicist extraordinaire; Taylor and Rob on press junkets; PoutyScouty for musical roadtrips) 4. Not afraid of embodying her new role: cut, dye, shag or pole dance, she is GAME.

Welcome to the Rileys. Welcome to my adoration of you, Stewie
Offenses of Other-ness: (Per Ass Clowns, Witch Other Hunters and Bullshit People):
1. Refuses to be bought off (She turned down “ridiculous” amounts of money offered by Summit and cut her hair for The Runaways anyway) 2. Refuses to give nosy journos any details about her personal relationships (“I’ll never tell. Because once I do, it still won’t stop. People will still want specifics.”) 3. Uses metaphors and the English language in a correct and articulate way (Breaks Feminine Code by publicly seeming too smart) 4. Declines all offers to be on the world wide web. She calls Twitter Twatter, Mofos!!
Featured Rebel Royal: Ani DiFranco

Born Angela DiFranco, Ani is a musician, writer, defender of social issues and politics and all-around Bad-Ass. She plays “staccato” guitar in the realm of folk contemporaries, blurring the line between folk, rock and alternative. She openly claims to be bi-sexual and writes about her relationships with both genders. She is tattooed, aggressive, sexy and charismatic all in one small package. Her voice is melodious and heartbreaking even while screaming over complicated and mesmerizing guitar playing. Many of her songs are concerned with contemporary social issues such as racism,sexism, sexual abuse, homophobia, reproductive rights, poverty, and war. She cruised onto the music scene in the early 1990’s with her albums Ani DiFranco and Not So Soft (Such a perfect title for another Musings. dude). She cemented her goddess and Other status (in my opinion) with her trailblazing creation of her own record label Righteous Babe Records when she turned down lucrative recording contracts to write and produce music on her own terms.

 

Beauty Marks: 1. Received the Woman of Courage Award for her contributions to the awareness of feminism 2. Writes autobiographical songs about controversial subjects: sexuality, war, inequality and racism 3. Played local bars and pubs with her guitar teacher since she was aged 9 4. Created her own recording label to make music on her terms.



Offenses of Other-ness: (Per Other Hunters, Critics and BullShit People): 1. Openly expresses her sexuality 2. Blurs the lines in music styles and Gender Roles (is she a folk singer? An alternative Angry Woman? Is she gay? Why did she marry men and have a baby? ) 3. She turns down lucrative, expensive recording projects if it compromises her vision.

ICU, Joyful Girl

Ani was a prodigious musician at a young age, and she speaks her truth. Per Wikipedia, “the combination of personal and political song-writing is somewhat the upsurge of Ani’s early popularity among college students, particularly those of the left wing, some of whom set up fan pages on the web to document DiFranco’s career as early as 1994. DiFranco’s rapid rise in popularity in the mid-1990s was fueled mostly by personal contact and word of mouth rather than mainstream media.” She has openly discussed her expansion and broadening feelings on topics such as religion and sexuality, and as the years progress, her open-ness has only grown more inspiring. She became a mother in 2007 and has told live audiences that motherhood has effected her views on religion and feminism. Because she is so open minded and willing to challenge her own convictions publicly and gracefully, Ani diFranco is an Other Queen.

Get By With A Little Help From Friends

I let my inner critic, my personal unemployment agent and carb-mongering snark-conscious rip me a new one this past week. I began to doubt my convictions in moving forward when I heard from my beloved husband that my creative pursuits caused dissension and concern. But, by turning to my ladies, my sisters, my fellow Others for guidance, a shoulder to cry on, a drink to share with, a quickie IM, directions to the nearest Kristen-covering EW, I recognized my strength in numbers. We Others need to remind ourselves and each other that we are ALL Others, and we are strongest when united. Separate we fall, united we stand. Because I rely on you brilliant Rebels, Misfits and Unique kindreds to calm my inner uprising, I am an Other Queen.

Ani plays hard, abrupt, staccato passages on an acoustic guitar. She promotes independence, honesty and courage in herself and other women with her music and lyrics. She willingly admits her own convictions are challenged, and remains open to expansion of ideas. Her record label’s name Righteous Babe alone puts her on the Homecoming Court.

Kristen showed us on Lopez Tonight that she juggles, golfs and cooks Mexican Food for large family gatherings. She rocks one-shouldered dresses and two very different colored coifs. She wears Chucks and black cocktail dresses to movie premieres and press junkets. She holds on for dear life to her friends and supportive system, and claims they are who keep her grounded and earth-bound. All these reasons just further concretize Kristen as our reigning Queen.

I am Other.
Ani is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others create harmonious tribes.
Embrace your Other.


See you all next Thursday. Maybe sooner, because we need to DISCUSS ECLIPSE. WE MUST.

A/N: ONE BIG ASS THANK YOU TO THE OTHERS WHO PULLED ME THROUGH THIS WEEK: My sister Puss who may need to barricade me in my bed again, to prevent me from running away. Julie (Constant) for checking in with me each day and encouraging me to cry. My dearest Kathryn L for teaching me about (M)othering and for helping me sing. In public. To @Jittpattzing for sending me the article about Kristen and Rob that decidedly was ANTI-OTHER and then raging with me over it. To @Kate_Suena and @Evalola80 for writing me the most exquisite emails in my darkest hours and showing me the silver lining. @Buff_82 for the pretty. To the KSTEWSBTRTHANU Crew for texting, calling and tweeting the epicness of KStew’s Royal Tour this week, and also sending me pictures of demolished desserts. To @Just2CUSmile for texting me her love even though she was in NYC with the rest of the KSIBTU Crew. To @BellasMommy86 for giving good phone and plotting our careers as the next great Entertainment Correspondents. To ProRobsten, my sister, for trying last minute to get me to L.A. and to @KimmCarr for trying desperately to step in and take it for the team in the final minutes. To @Bouffant00 for everything. Special shout outs to Teb (for helping me find my inner-Kj) and OJ for showing us how to transcend difficulties with grace.  Possum Besties A and E–love you. @MissBettySmith thanks for being on standby for magazine patrol. See you tomorrow. xo To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: YOU YOU YOU are my muses.
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