Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Explaining the SONYwalkman

HANGING with the kids is an adventure I'm lucky to have - and that I have the time to actually watch them grow up is something that I can barely I like taking one to school, and rolling in the park with the other, or making way too much noise in the library. WE go to cafes, go shopping, and have really funny conversations together. One time, my (almost) 7 year old asked me what a "sony walkman" was on a packed subway train. I had to explain, and it was really funny to say "well, it was a plastic box which held these things called cassettes".. the look on her face was priceless - I was trying not to laugh, but everyone on the subway was laughing too. Kids are sooo cool. At least mine are.


It's a strange adventure I'm on right now, I'm trying to explore my creative/arts/masculinity critique/ through fashion and design. I simply don't know what to make of this new interest, except to jump on in. I thank 1TBM for supporting me to explore.

Do I currently have some limits.. well, only the ones I put on myself. I went looking online to see what was happening in Europe in terms of style and all I can say is: what the fuck... we are totally repressed and closed minded here!! (men).

I know, there's more to the analysis than that.. it's just that - there are so many styles that I'm just not suppose to wear - simply because I'm a man... and also to some degree because I'm a Black man.

"homophobia, not looking manly, drawing too much attention to yourself" - one, if not all of these reasons is suppose to keep me IN LINE.

We'll frankly, I think I'm gonna get out OF LINE in fact.. as my exploring continues...
Have a look at some of these 2, and let me know what you think. Not many men dress like this and why not? I think it's very sharp. God knows my little boy is saying to myself: no! no! no! people will laugh at you.. just blend in - like what you're parents taught you...
To him (my little boy) I say: don't worry. I got ya. We'll rock whatever we want.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I decided to wear a kilt to pick up my daughter from school - PEOPLE WENT NUTS!

The picture above is me sitting on the steps of a church in my neighbourhood. I was writing in my journal at the time, about a 1/2 hr b4 I needed to pick up my daughter. On the day I wore the kilt, I could feel people eyes burn through my head - or really - they were looking at my lower half. But the real assault came from the little boys at the school. IN fact, two in particular were just plain angry that I was wearing the kilt, as were their mothers.
So, I arrived to pick up Stinkapee and she comes screaming out of school, as she always does. She's happy! happy! happy! that she can do flips and is dying to show me. Off she races to the playground. In the middle of me spotting her, so she doesn't fall, I hear my first playground buzz: "Dude" this boy who can't be more than 8 years old says, "why are you wearing a dress.. er a skirt?"
"Cause I like it". I respond.
"I mean", he continues "I'm Irish and everything, but I think it's a little weird tradition.."
His friend, another boy, jumps in "I really like it" and another girl overhearing while going across the monkey bars says: "boys can wear whatever girls can, it's his choice!" and Stinkapee pipes up and says: "exactly!"

More to this story.. plus my thoughts.. but I have to go clean the back deck b4 my son wakes up.
OK, I'm back, .. it's the next day actually - but i'll just continue inside this post.

So I continue into the playground, following my daughter as she does her flips and such.. very scary those moves.. but she is very confident.

I hear a woman, whom I recognize as a caregiver. She comes up to me excitedly saying: "I love your kilt!." She gives me a warm smile.

Ok, I thought. In fact, it was more the conservative Euro-Canadian moms that took most of the issue. One, in a group of them actually started at me - in a cold tone: "So, like.. we've been talking.. and .. well.. what's with the kilt?"

Hang on. "We've been talking?" what is this? Highschool. Who are they: the gender code/ style police?


"What?" ---I demand the 3 of them.

A little shocked by my response, they begin to smile and say.. "it's just that .. well.."
"Oh ladies .. it's all about style and wearing what you want"
"er.. er.. of course", they offer. "we just wanted to know" as another woman came breezing through saying "We'll all I want to know is, what's underneath!!"
"That can be arranged, outside of school hours"... and she laughed at the friendly flirting.

"I can't believe you said that!!" said one of the others as I exited and crossed back over to the playground, where Stinkapee was still doing her thing... playing and jumping and all..

Observing the kids got me thinking about how much work - not the kids - but the ADULTS have to do, to deal with the gender stuff. Me included. I want my SON to be able to wear whatever the fuck he wants to wear - but he's only gonna do it - if he's leading my example. It was good to hear other boys be "supportive" but .. wow.. you could hear feel the temperature go down when the Euro-Can watched me. I find them unbelievably conservative. The Irish woman was fine, as was the caregiver - also not born here (I talked to her later and found out.) - but I find the Euro-Canadian performing a low-grade snob persona - to somehow mimic what they think is British and high class. Sad really.

Interestingly, people don't seem to have a hard time with Euro-Canadians stealing African American culture - but let a Black person put on an Irish kilt and heads start to roll.
Just another say on the playground.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm back. Never went anywhere really...It's fall - the summer is over...

and I'm back to blogging feelings, and emotions. I'm going to be more regular now - and incorporate more pix, fashion and crucial elements that will take me on my ride. See you all soon. Happy Autumn 2008