Friday, April 12, 2013

Look at me!

Social media is a big "PAY ATTENTION TO MEEEE" game, which we were so good at as children. Then society, or embarrassed family members, slowly let the air out of that impulse. Or took scissors and popped a hole in it. Whichever.

The point is, as adults, we're trying to take it back. Some people don't really seem (to me) to have an overarching goal, other than attention. Others are trying to champion causes, get books published, make money. It's hard, though. We want pats on the head from famous people we think/hope/imagine must be cool. We want the nameless masses to fawn. We want them to say SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY. We want to be discovered, a la the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Golden Age of anything. Are those done? Will we have a new one? Will we know at the time, or only after?

I used to be very good at the "Pay attention to me" game, perhaps without even realizing attention is what I wanted. As a child, I was out to lunch someplace with my maternal grandfather and my dad. The restaurant was coincidentally having some kind of fashion show something; when they took a break, apparently they left the mic on. I know this why? Well, apparently I climbed up on stage and had a turn vamping with it, imitating the announcer.

Children learn to be ashamed, they don't come with it. Remember that.

Even if you don't hold with the Bible, you probably remember Adam and Eve hiding from God because they were naked, way back in Genesis. God had never remarked upon their nakedness, since He'd made them that way. Instead, he said "Who told you?"

Even if you aren't religious, shame as indication of transgression is probably not new to you.

Recently, I discussed whether it was all right to be proud of yourself, be it intelligence or achievements. You get told not to toot your own horn. People make t-shirts and bumper stickers that say "Well behaved women rarely make history." But you should go with the flow, right? When you're writing a query letter, you need it to shout READ MY BOOK. Our world is one of contradictions, and you need to carve out your niche. The best of luck to you! I'm still working on it myself.

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