Zazen Day 5 – The Dream of the 90s

I skipped this post yesterday, but I did sit, late. It’s theoretically easier to focus at night but harder from the standpoint of my crazy neighbor was berating his dog for a third of the time of the sit. I’ll sit – and write – earlier today.

Yesterday I was thinking a lot about the 90s. It’s so easy to glorify whatever era of (pop) culture you came of age under; what was special to you at a formative age will always seem better than what came before or comes after. Me, I miss the women. These women:

pj bjork tori

I got a ride home the other day after watching a poorly-scored but entertaining British mystery. The poppier end of 90s hip hop was the soundtrack and it was a nice little memory jog. After a brief “best of times/worst of times” reflection of the 90s, the driver then put on some Hole. Despite the Courtney Love of it all, it still feels fresh and special like nothing else does these days. (Again, I’m fully aware of the completely subjective nature of this statement.) I listen to my fair share of female artists: Lia Ices, Alela Diane, Neko Case, Robyn, and all of the above, plus a lot of bands whose significant make up is female: Wye Oak, Chairlift, Warpaint, Tamaryn, Viva Voce, etc. But I miss the crazy a little bit. The outsider, the weird.

Girls is starting again tonight and I have to admit I’ve never seen it, but it’s fucking inescapable. I know I should watch it because women making TV, blah blah blah. But it doesn’t really appeal to me. I don’t care about characters in their 20s with alliterative names. What I have seen from it I haven’t really gotten into; the humor just seems too broad for my taste. (not a pun) But for something I haven’t seen, I’ve spent so much time thinking about it. Of course a portion of that is jealousy; what self-hating, uninsured, struggling 30-something writer wouldn’t be jealous? But typically when I’m uninterested in a show, I don’t spend much time thinking about it. I feel with this show you’re sort of forced into an opinion; opting out is not an option. Because there are so few voices, the most prominent current representation gets forced down women’s throats. No one watched Entourage and thought that show nailed masculinity. So, cool, a young woman has a show. Great. I shouldn’t have to care. I’ve linked to an article by the brilliant Roxane Gay on this subject. Her argument is that what defines girlhood varies from girl to girl, woman to woman, so it’s impossible for any one piece of art to fully represent an age, a population, a gender. The point of all the teeth-gnashing and breast-beating is that there should be more voices to choose from.

Enlightened also comes back tonight. I really love that show. It feels weird, strange, angry, reactionary. True. I wish more time was spent writing and thinking about Laura Dern and Amy Jellicoe — a fully realized character. A woman.

Some women of the 90s I’ve been thinking about:
– Homogenic-era Bjork (1997)
– Parker Posey as liberated, sometimes dangerous, heroine or scene-stealing supporting player – Party Girl, House of Yes, Clockwatchers, Henry Fool*, Kicking and Screaming, The Doom Generation, Waiting for Guffman, etc.
– Dana Scully and Chrissie in The X-Files: Jose Chung’s From Outer Space. “Love. Is that all you men think about?”
– Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams

*Where the hell is Hal Hartley?

Best online thing I read today: Girls Girls Girls by Roxane Gay / The Rumpus
*Read everything she writes!
**Just this once, read the comments – or, search the comments for one by equally amazing writer Jill Soloway

Song I loved today: Joga / Bjork

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