Today is Day 9 on this lil' ol' project and I've been observing myself.
At Conjecture in Adelaide last month, callistra came up to me and told me how much she enjoyed reading New Ceres Nights. She told me that she liked it because nothing in the book hurt her and she didn't feel like she had to be on guard or on the defensive whilst reading it. That was such a moving and touching compliment and I have been holding it close ever since. But the truth is, it's only in the last couple of days that I actually know, on an emotional level, what she means.
See, I've gone cold turkey on Triple J. It's been 9 days since I listened to it at all and a couple more days where I was slowly walking out the door on the station. I've also been listening exclusively to female vocalists over that time. And I feel different. I feel, like nothing is offending or hurting me and that I have a space to just spread my arms out and whirl around, taking in the sky and the ground and breathing in the air. Just ... I dunno, being me, body and soul.
When I think about it, there was a lot about Triple J that bothered me - mostly in terms of the presenters. I was mostly listening to morning and afternoon shifts and I found Marieke an honest offence. She's clearly an intelligent, articulate, witty woman and yet on the morning show insists on being the Boob - in all meanings of that word. She always goes for the low brow humour, plays the silly, flirty woman in interviews and just makes stupid, one dimensional cracks. She was offensive to me pretty much every morning. And then there's Dools who is not funny. And gets a show to himself, yet he can't carry it single handedly so they pretend we don't notice that they shuffle in and out a series of funnier people than him to fill up airtime. Except a lot of them were not funny and were kinda offensive.
So yeah. Stop listening already GJ!
So I did stop listening. And all that crap accompanying me in and out of work is gone. I am less stressed and anxious and annoyed. I don't even care if people don't merge properly. Whatever.
As for the music, I've been retreating into a world of appreciating female artists whom I like. I'm not putting them up here as alternatives to the Triple J Hottest 100. My only statement would be that there are a tonne of female artists, offering a full range of genres to choose from and who contribute to the scene, and have done for decades. And to ignore their contribution is sexist.
But I've also moved on from that - the anger, the hurt, and so on. And I've realised that getting involved in that discourse, at that level, detracts and derails me from contributing and doing my thing. And I've thought a lot about that and I think this whole thing has freed me from the getting caught up in the feminist education and information type discussions. I'm not going to do them anymore. I am going to be more choosey about the people I hang out with so I can avoid having to do them - everything has a price *grins*.
This project has also reminded me of things I am good at. And every time someone posts a female appreciation month post, I get to sit and listen to music they like, and find maybe someone new to go and discover. So the month so far has been filled with music that I like, and finding new music to like, and been a space full of inspiration, encouragement and creative stimulation. It's no surprise that my mood has been optimistic and forward looking and that I have been quite generally productive work wise.
I've learned a few things about myself - I like a lot more country than I thought I did. I don't own as much music as I should. I like music made by people I admire. I like music that has a voice, or argues a cause or stands to defend or speak out for a cause. I like meaningful lyrics. And I seem to like quite a lot of piano and vocals. I'm going to see what else I have and break out of the female vocalist type acts - though not today and probably not tomorrow :)
This project has also gotten me thinking about after the month is up. I don't know if I am going to have had a chance to talk about all the music I like. And I like the idea of maybe continuing these posts at a once a week frequency. Maybe spend those looking into new music which would fill the gap that Triple J was offering me. I'm still kinda interested in how i will go self programming my music everyday. When I headed off to work in "the real world" music listening dropped off my radar. And I think that in part negatively impacted on my general mood. I am finally going digital, albeit sloooooowly, so perhaps I will have a full ipod with which to deal with this problem.
This project though has changed me, and for the better, which is always a good outcome for an experiment! Thanks for coming along on the journey!