Why I Like Eminem and The Wire

I’m in the car the other day and the new Eminem song (the one with Rhianna) comes on.  I sing along to the chorus, it moves me, I think it’s good.  I can’t say that it is actually good though.  The song in essence is about a violent and abusive relationship.    It is an artistic expression of the if I can’t have you no one can attitude.

Knowing this makes me question why I like the song.  Am I sick and twisted?  He sings about hurting her and she answers that she likes the way it hurts, loves the way he lies.  After giving it some thought I realized it is the honesty that speaks to me.  I don’t know that Eminem has ever lied to us in his music and lyrics.  He draws from what he knows, thinks and feels.  He takes the rage and instead of balling it up and pretending to be good and proper, he creates from it.

He admits his mistakes.  He warns of possible back slides.  He tells the truth as he knows it.  The truth reaches people.  It touches them for better or worse.

I loved the TV show The Wire because it told the truth.  The characters were believable.  The good guys were really bad sometimes and the bad guys were really good at other times.  Nobody is one or the other and an honest story shows us that.

Someone mention the honesty factor in response to my Stephen King post.  In his book, King talks about how important it is to tell the truth in your writing.  I’d say that falls in line with all creative expression.  When you put yourself out there and expose real emotions in your art or work, people will connect to it.

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Black Sheep

My new friend Julian, mentioned me in his blog post last Thursday.  It was a post about honesty and after being bestowed the honor of the mention, I am supposed to write ten honest things about myself.  Well, I told Julian that I could not write ten in one post because I didn’t want to use up so much material in one day, but it did spark something in my mind.  I had an Aha moment if you will.  I finally admitted something to myself and have decided to admit it to all of you.

In Martha Beck’s book “Finding Your Own North Star” she talks about how we all have our “everybody.”  These are the people whose standards we measure all of our decisions and behaviors by.  At first I wasn’t sure if I had an “everybody” and who they were.  But as I’ve been blogging I find myself quite often thinking things such as: Everybody will just hate this.  Everybody’s going to think I’m crazy.  Everybody’s going to be so offended.  Everybody’s going to be shocked.  Everybody is going to think I’m selfish.  Everybody will most definitely be praying for me.  Everybody will just stop reading now.

It was only today, after reading Julian’s honesty post that I faced the truth of who my “everybody” is.  They are Mom, Dad, and my sisters. I’m 34 years old and have been states away from them for 11 years, but still at the end of the day, they are the only people whose opinions of me matter.  Which leads me to the title of the post.

I am the black sheep of the family.  Mom denies it (she thinks of it as having negative connotations), but it’s true.  I was reminded of it on my last visit when I was gently nudged to put on make up.  It was made clear at the bar-b-que, when the only thing my vegetarian diet allowed me to eat was the chips, cheese dip, and coleslaw.  I see it when I discuss politics or voice my social and religious beliefs.  I am aware of it when I admit I do believe in reincarnation and don’t believe in “the devil.”  I knew it in 9th grade when the first boy I ever truly fell for happened to be black.  I recognized it in college when I’d arrive home after a night of drinking.  I was reminded when I got my first tattoo, and by the time this posts will probably be reminded after my second.  When I kindly decline an invitation to go to the Baptist church, I feel it.  I am certain it is true when I am asked if I am “saved” and told that none of the good I do matters unless I am.

I’d say to a degree I grew up feeling like an outcast, even though I wasn’t one in school.  I always had a group of friends that I belonged with, I just didn’t always seem to fit in with the group that was most important to me.  These days, I’m sure they pray for me everyday.  I’m also pretty sure that they pray that one day I’ll come around and be someone different, someone more like them.  What I pray for is that they will take the time to get to know ME and find themselves loving me instead of wishing I’d change.

As a final thought, I am sure that everybody’s going to get their feelings hurt, but I’m also pretty sure they’ll be learning something they didn’t know before.  What I’ve put here is my perception of things.  It may not be an accurate depiction, but it is mine and I needed to put it out there.