Tag Archives: culture

How to be happy – a sidenote (via Today I’m happy…)

One of my goals this year is finding happiness in every day, and as part of that, I’m also providing some research, articles, thoughts, etc, on how to be happy on my other blog, DelightfullyHappy. Here is a post from yesterday, a recap of the Oprah show on happiness.

How to be happy - a sidenote What does it take to be happy?  Love?  Kids?  A good job?  Money?  Does what you do for a living make a difference?  What about where you live? This blog was started as a way to recognize happiness in every day, but I also intended to share snippets of wisdom, articles, and book reviews.  Today is the first of those “sidenotes.” Today, Oprah had Goldie Hawn on the show, and they were talking happiness.  It turned out to be a good all-around happi … Read More

via Today I’m happy…

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“It’s all good”

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Image by ﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿ /streetart#+_♥.tk http://www.ALT3.tk via Flickr

It is what it is.

I’ve been hearing that way too often lately, and it’s driving me crazy.

Just because It Is doesn’t mean it has to be.

Just because It Is doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Just because It Is doesn’t mean it’s right or best or good.

Just because It Is doesn’t mean it will always be.

***   ***   ***   ***

As usual, the internet has shown me that I am not alone.  I stumbled across an article by J. Daniel Janzen over at Flak Magazine that reiterates my dislike for the phrase, “It is what it is.”  In the article, Janzen writes, “Language is at best a poor fit for expressing the human condition…”  He brings up the phrase “It’s all good,” saying that “this magical incantation can shine a lot on even the darkest moment.”  It’s “an expression of stoic resilience by the downtrodden.”

“It is what it is” means what it means. Depending on context, it can be a statement of resignation or of defiance, but in neither case does it connote the optimistic good humor of “It’s all good.” If anything, it expresses the absence of emotion, the abdication of feeling. Although it seems to imply value-neutrality, that misses the point; it’s not so much that something is neither good nor bad, but rather that its quality simply isn’t relevant, that it’s not worth the energy to make a value judgment.

To put it another way — it doesn’t matter what you think about it because you can’t do anything about it anyway….

He says it can be “a tautological device to preclude further inquiry.”  It “can also be an agent of insinuation, a coy refusal to spell out something that the speaker clearly thinks goes without saying.”  Janzen goes on to say:

For years, “It’s all good” served as a rallying cry for the down-but-not-out, a smile as the ultimate umbrella. But there’s no smile on the face of “It its what it is.” This is no Yogi Berra chestnut, but a blunt recognition of power, either by those who hold it or those under its shadow, with no illusions about the ability of mere words to shape or alter frank reality….

 I’m making it my personal goal to eradicate the phrase “It is what it is” from my language lexicon.  I’m going to say “It’s all good,” regardless of the fact that I will seem incredibly out of date with today’s terminology.  I hope my friends do the same.  As Janzen says, “What does it say about the tenor of our times, the popular outlook, our existential commonwealth,” that we’ve switched to “It is what it is?”

I don’t want to think about it.  You know why?

‘Cause it’s all good.

Homecoming Mums

Most people I know now have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention Homecoming Mums.  I’ve figured out that it’s very much a Texas thing.  I’ve had to pull up photos online just to show people what they look like, and they always think it’s funny.  This one is from Michael’s:

mum

Now, this one may be 4-5 feet long, and may cost around $100. For a better idea on what kind of mums are available, see www.mumsandgarters.com

Girls wear these mums all day.  They are very much a sign of popularity, at least they were when I was in high school.  The bigger the mum, the more popular you are.  Usually your boyfriend gets you a mum – if you don’t have a boyfriend, you have to beg your parents to get you one.  And it really is much better to pay someone to make one, rather than make one yourself.  (Trust me – I know.)  Really wish I could find my pictures…

I had three mums in school – one year I made my own (disaster), one year my parents bought me one, and one year I was lucky enough to have a boyfriend buy me one.  And it was a good one – a big single, that hung down below my knees.  Yeah, that was awesome.

On the guys side, they get garters they wear around their biceps.  The same applies – the bigger, the more popular you are.  But, unlike for girls, most men who have them actually get them from their girlfriends. 

Trust me – you MUST check out this link to fully appreciate mums and garters.  (What’s funny is, I did a google search for images, found this one to be perfect, then realized it was for The Woodlands HS, which I went to.  Well, actually, I went to McCullough HS, which I think is now a middle school, and TWHS took it’s place, but still – small world, eh?

As you can see from the pictures, lots of ribbons, usually with your name on one, the high school name on one, your boyfriend’s name on one, ribbons with “Go Team” or “WIN!”.  Oh, the possibilities are endless.  Oh, yeah, and little trinkets and things, too, whistles and footballs and helmets and letters and bears…

As you can imagine, these things weigh A TON.  It looks like these girls actually have them strung around their necks, but when I was in school they were pinned to your shirt, usually to one side (I think the left).  Imagine 20 pounds pinned to your shirt.  Yeah, insane, right?

Ah, memories….

(More links to mum pictures, here, here.

Discovering New Things

I met a guy a few years ago, a cartographer. He seemed somewhat impressed when I knew that he made maps. I remember thinking at the time, is there really a need for cartographers anymore?

It amazes me that things are still being discovered. Antiquities, species, native tribes. You would think that, as much as we have marauded the world, there would be nothing left to discover.

September 7th: “An archaeological dig in Jerusalem has turned up a 3700-year-old wall…” A 26-foot tall, 79-foot long wall of cut stones, with boulders as large as 5 tons.

Again, September 7th: “A team of scientists…found more than 40 previously unidentified species.”  I love the quote from the guy who headed the expedition:  “…it is clearly time we pulled our finger out and decided these habitats are worth us saving.”  Is it just me, or do you think there are a couple of words missing between “finger out” and “and decided.”  (Those words are “our ass,” BTW.)

Last year they found an “uncontacted tribe” in Brazil, and come to find out there are “more than 100 uncontacted tribes” in the world today.

Every time there is a new discovery, I think, that’s it, there’s nothing left to discover. Surely there is not one inch of the earth’s surface that we haven’t covered. Right?