Lovefool 03.24.14 | Say Your Right Words

A little insensitivity distracted Lovefool from a night that should have been all about the love, and she’s got a simple request to help elevate the discourse.

 

 

Nerdlings! Hello! A series of unfortunate events, namely the absence of any sort of inspiration and the birth of a new Ink & Drink book, has kept us apart. I’m sorry. It’s totally not you, it’s me. [And JG,FE. He has been a total flake lately. –JG,FE] And I’m even late this week but that’s because I saw Welcome to Night Vale live last Monday and I was going to write about it. And I’m still going to write about it because it fits in with the concept that I just can’t stop thinking about this morning.
 
First of all, to those of you who took my survey – thank you. Your input is going to lead directly to the content of this column, which is not going to be filled with gushing about Cecil and Carlos like it should be. There sure was a lot of that last night because omg, Cecil and Carlos, Carlos and Cecil and swoooooon. But a lot of you said that you like it when I talk about geek culture, which is cool. I like geek culture, for the most part. I like all the little inside jokes a fandom gets as they grow up and I like the feeling of community and I *love* the exact moment you recognize a fellow fan. (“Hey, I like your shoelaces.” “Thanks, I got them from the President.”)
 
I got to high-five a cross-play Cecil yesterday and it was awesome. There was an umbrella Glow Cloud and a pretty impressive Carlos. The Man in the Tan Jacket was there. These were my people. I sat down in my seat all kinds of excited and then something happened to jerk me right out of the moment, an aside that, now that I think about it, doesn’t seem all that careless at all. The opening act, who shall remain nameless because I’m not into that sort of thing at all, sang a lovely-but-slightly-weird song with all sorts of gardening metaphors and we all nodded along and it was great. I was totally starting to get into my weird, happy place and that was pretty cool. And then, when she finished, she looked out over the audience, twisted her lips a little and said “And the guy I wrote that song for didn’t marry me because he’s a retard.”
 
So that happened. Suddenly, my almost-transformative experience was…not so much, actually. I tried to shake it off, to remind myself that I saw Carlos and Cecil IN THE FLESH, but I woke up this morning feeling kind of bummed out because that happened, not overjoyed because I got to see something I love happening live, right in front of my face. And it was so unexpected because Welcome to Night Vale is so inclusive, so welcoming, so sensitive to the people listening in the world.
 
And, in case you were wondering, while I was rhapsodizing over my love of this community, what I don’t like about geek culture is an unfortunate habit I see of occasionally forgetting to say your right words. Remember that phrase? David Bowie, puberty hitting early, etc, etc? I think it all the time because there are days where I can’t verbalize my thoughts very well. (I know, right? Me, speechless? Har, har.) But when I’m very frustrated or really sad or quite excited, I have to remember, I need to consciously think, to say my right words. And it’s been a bit of a journey. I used to say all kinds of things that I’m totally ashamed of in retrospect, but I’ve slowly stopped as my experiences have gotten so much bigger than they used to be. And maybe I’m oversensitive, but words have power. Words can hurt people and hurting people is bad. Don’t do it.
 
So, no, you don’t mean something is gay. Someone isn’t retarded. They don’t agree with someone, typically, and exception is being taken to that. It’s not gay, it isn’t like someone thought it would be and they wish it had happened another way. Someone isn’t…well, whatever nasty little turn of phrase someone’s come up with. Again, it’s probably just a disagreement that can probably be communicated another way. I understand that I’m probably asking the seas to stop in motion, but I’d like to think that my people, my sweet nerdlings and the people we associate with, are better than that. Because we’re all here because of a common love of the slightly weird and we all need to remember that. We don’t have to agree. We don’t even have to like each other. We can make sly asides and crack wise and generally be the rapscallions that we all have deep inside of us. But we don’t have to say lazy, nasty things that can hurt people. Heaven forbid I tell anyone how to live, but I’m passionate about this: we owe it to each other, to ourselves, to say our right words. | Erin Jameson

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