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Yes, well, rant…

Elitism of any form really makes me angry. Whether it’s people who think that new fans of bands aren’t real fans because they’ve only heard the newest album, which isn’t a representation of their good work, or people who snub you because your computer doesn’t have a 3d video card and 8million meg of ram, or people who tell you that you’re not a real musician because all you can do is sing, and anyone can sing, that doesn’t take talent, or people who look down on anything that isn’t up to their standards, even if it’s just done in fun, or people who look at websites designed by the regular population who doesn’t know how to do flash or fancy formatting or really impressive backgrounds so they use generic ones available on free websites, or anything else like that. Not only does having this sort of elitist attitude towards anything hurt the person who might be trying their best, or maybe just playing around, but it can also make them want to run away from what they were trying to do. I’ll never go into a singing career because singers aren’t real musicians and that’s the only thing I can do very well – maybe some people respect Britney or Christina Aguilara or Celine Dion for their singing abilities, but for the most part all I ever hear from real musicians and most of the people I know is about how they suck because all they do is sing, they don’t even write any of their own material, so they’re frauds. Why would I want to put myself through that? Why would I want to try a new game if I’m not really good at it? After all, I’ve played on plenty of CounterStrike servers where I was probably among the worst players there, but all that meant was I got targeted for smack talk. Ever wonder why I don’t play CS anymore? And heaven forbid I should try to design my own website… I’m the first to admit that my personal page is nothing special, and is actually pretty boring when you spend any time there. I’ll bet people don’t even bother reading the poetry and such there, after all, it’s not pretty to look at or anything.

The elitists would have me believe that because I’m not great at any of these things, I shouldn’t even bother trying. I’ve been told outright to quit playing CS because I’m not very good at it, and I ignored it til I just couldn’t ignore it anymore, and just quit playing… it wasn’t worth the stress. I let Jay do all of the design at Mental Fragments because I have no sense of colour and visual style… I guess that means I should just abandon my personal site too. I almost tried out for chorus in Les Miserables once… I went downtown, I stood in the line with hundreds of other people, and then I ran. Never even signed up for it. After all, I’m not really a performer, and besides, I can’t dance, and it’s not like my lifetime greatest dream would be to be part of a Les Miz performance (okay, so when I was 15 I wanted to be Eponine, but that’s besides the point…) I couldn’t do it because I wasn’t a real performer, I didn’t have a list of things I had been in, I didn’t have a nice black & white portfolio picture to go with it, so I didn’t deserve to be there – I wasn’t one of them, so I didn’t deserve to be among them. I take photos, I have a couple of cameras and I carry them around with me everywhere – but they would tell me that I don’t deserve to own anything beyond a point-and-shoot because I don’t know how to develop my own film, I don’t actually have any filters or lenses besides the regular 50mm (which is dented) and I only know what I’ve figured out on my own about photography – oh, and I don’t have the nerve to take pictures of people who either aren’t paying attention or who don’t want their photos taken, and I can’t take pictures of anyone’s pain, ever. That’s what makes a good photograph, right? Sobbing outside of columbine high school, that sort of thing. How dare I post my photos on the web and say I’m a photographer?

Ever think that maybe, once upon a time, they weren’t professional, they weren’t amazing guitarists or songwriters, they weren’t great at that game, they had an entire roll of mediocre pictures, they didn’t know what they were doing with HTML? Whatever happened to encouraging people who were new at something, rather than cutting them down either to their faces or behind their backs? Why can’t people have patience, or maybe just understand that not everyone is as good at something as they are?

I wish condescending wasn’t a tone of voice.

And I’m sorry if small things amuse me.

7 Comments

  • cyn

    September 11, 2000 at 9:17 am

    question

    why do you let the opinions of others restrict you living your life?

    THEY are not REAL.

    YOU ARE.

    when you draw your last breath, will you be thinking of playing by their rules, or regretting the things that you hadn’t done?

    (just offering food for thought) 🙂

    • Jenny Lee Silver

      September 11, 2000 at 9:57 am

      Re: question

      I don’t think I really start to worry about it until people harass me about it. And yes, it happens. I won’t even play Demons for the guys at work because they’ll lose respect for me, when the first thing they ask is “Did you write it?” and I say I didn’t. And it’s not that they say anything, but it’s a difference in how they talk to me about it afterwards… like I’m the hired help.

      If I did everything for myself, I wouldn’t be online. May as well delete my page, wipe mentalfragments, remove my information from every UBB I’m on.

      Everyone else is real. I can’t pretend they aren’t.

      • cyn

        September 11, 2000 at 10:36 am

        Re: question

        perhaps it’s your mind reading more into it than is there.

        i can’t see anyone thinking less you for having a lovely voice and singing your friend’s song. people make fun of celine and gang because they’ve managed to put out tons of albums without ever writing a song. hell – you’re just starting out!

        you really do expect a lot from yourself jen, and that’s great. but you should be just as quick to cut yourself a break now and then too.

        i can’t believe that people would harass you about all of the wonderful things that you do. they are all fired. 🙂

  • jenny

    September 11, 2000 at 10:05 am

    JennyLee,

    I like your singing (and yes, it is a rebutible profession even if you don’t write…I could name countless performers that are singers that *dont* write their own stuff), I like you site (and yes, I did read the poetry and I go check out the new things that you add), I like that you thought of the concept for Mental Fragments (been there too), I like when you cast radio shows (you do a damn good job)…I think it’s terrific that you’ve extended yourself to try and do all of these things. If you don’t try, you never know what you can do. Everyone has to start somewhere with learning new things and trying new experiences. If they feel good to *you* and *you* gain a sense of accomplishment for having done them, then that is all that matters.

    Jenny, who writes all of her html using Front Page Express 🙂

  • magicwoman

    September 11, 2000 at 11:17 am

    Oh, JennyLee

    Oh, JennyLee – I hope you don’t let these “obviously” jealous people get you down. I have enjoyed popping over to your site and checking out the pictures and poetry. There are people out here that do enjoy what you do (I don’t have a web site so I think those that have one are rather “special”). It is easy to let people and their words hurt us (I have been there and you never know when that dart will hit a tender target) – I hope you bounce back quick. Just think of your very cute picture of the smurf outfit (tooooo cute).

    Anyway, sending beautiful vibes your way,
    Susan

  • duncan

    September 11, 2000 at 5:23 pm

    Stop running yourself down!

    Hey Smurfette:

    When you’re the only Smurfette you can’t let those other Smurfs get you down. After all, it’s not their fault you are so much smarter and have way more talent, plus lots cuter. Keep growing and doing because you’ll never know where you may end up.

    Love you.

  • Anonymous

    September 12, 2000 at 8:14 am

    wow…

    Jenny, I don’t exactly know what to say… I don’t know how to put what I’m feeling into words. I can’t believe people would criticize you or put you down for your obvious talent! It makes me so furious when I see this sort of thing… These people are holding you back… just close your ears to them… ignore them… do whatever you have to do, but DON’T stop expressing your talent! It would be a shame if the world was robbed of it.

    I’ve never mentioned this to you before, and I can’t even believe that I’m bringing myself to say this right now… When I read your writing or when I go to your website or when I hear your singing, I get a pang of jealousy. You are succeeding in a lot of the things that I have secretly wished that I could do, but lack the courage to even give it a chance. I don’t even play online games anymore out of fear of being humiliated… and here you are putting yourself out there – kicking ass!

    I just want you to know that maybe those people don’t think you are good enough, but there are others (like me) that wish we could have one ounce of the talent you have.

    Keep your chin up. Don’t let the bastards get you down. Your courage is one of your best qualities… and I look up to you for it.

    If you ever need a pep talk… please email me (silent_ci@hotmail.com).

    -ci-