Monday, May 30, 2011

Visualizing a Musical Problem

I'm sure everyone knows I'm a music lover. On my iPod, I have everything from Victoria Justice (of course, LOL) to Twisted Sister to Josh Groban to Run-DMC to TobyMac to John Williams to Jennifer Lopez to Rascal Flatts to Sara Barielles to the Donnas to Led Zeppelin to Thousand Foot Krutch and then some. I've said before that I'm an entertainment lover, and music is right up there with books, movies and television as one of my favorite types of entertainment.
However, there's something I've been noticing recently, and I'll use an analogy to explain it: During the summer of 2000, I spent a week at a sports day camp at a nearby church. Every day, while we ate lunch, they would have a short Bible lesson for us. One lesson, taught by a high-school-aged girl, began with a story from years ago about marbles, which she said were like Pokémon cards at the time, meaning everyone collected them. She described how, back then, there were some marble-sized balls that came from a X-ray machine, and people loved them because they looked cool; however, they also emitted radiation, which ended up hurting people. The moral of the story was this: There may be things in our lives that we think are cool, but are actually hurting us.
I bring that up for one reason only: Lately, I've wondered if my music is hurting me. Now, I know many Christians talk about lyrical content, but that's not a problem in my collection. Although I listen to some secular music, it's pretty much clean and without any need of censoring. The problem is that some songs, including many I've listened to dozens of times, evoke strange images in my mind.
What kind of images? Well, usually, they involve a person or group of people dancing. It's usually no one specific; the only ones where it's the same person every time are "Valerie" (which makes me think of Valerie Bertinelli getting down; no joke) and "Got My Mind Set On You" (which causes me to see a nameless dark-haired, fair-skinned beauty doing the Monkey). Some songs cause me to see celebrities dancing, but which one(s) I see depends on where and when I'm listening to that song. Other songs evoke video-game-esque battle depictions ("Wizards in Winter"), a grand-finale-like musical sequence ("Section 23: Get Up and Go"), and maybe some other things I'm not thinking of at the moment.
Now, let me be clear: The music-induced visuals are not obscene in any way. If there were some way to put my imagined visuals onto a screen, you would see that the dancing is quite similar to the stuff seen in Camp Rock or Victorious, and the battles are no worse than anything in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Even songs that have an eerie sound, such as Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me," don't cause me to see anything scarier than what can be seen on PBS Kids.
You may wonder: If the visuals aren't suggestive or violent, then why are they a problem? Well, simply put: While "seeing" those things, I feel like I'm going nuts. I know that what I'm "seeing" isn't real; however, some people with severe mental disabilities--ones worse than mine, that is--see strange things and insist that they're real. The fact that I'm seeing weird things just because I hear a certain song brings me too close to being like that.
Then again, maybe imagining things while listening to music is common, and I just don't know it. I wouldn't know, but I'd like to hear what you think.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Just One of the Girls?

When I was in sixth grade, there was a big divide in my homeroom's section of the cafeteria. It wasn't based on race, income, or clothes; it was based on gender. All the girls sat together, and all the guys did, too, but they didn't sit with each other...with one exception. A guy in my homeroom sat with the girls and became friends with them. Doing that led to kids labeling him as "gay," but I don't think he was; I think that he just knew how to get along with girls.
Why do I bring that up? Well, even though that incident is over a decade old, it very much echoes my current life. I've admitted more than once in the past that I get along better with girls than I do guys. The most probable reason for me being that way is because I was essentially raised by two women: my mom and my older (by eleven years) sister. I didn't even have anything remotely resembling a father figure until I was almost nine years old.
As most of you reading this probably know, I'd like to get married someday. However, if you've been my friend for a while, you probably also know that my attempts at finding romantic love have always failed. I've often wondered why that's the case. People have mentioned things such as not having a job, or the girl's interests not being similar to mine. However, even when I did have a job, and/or had quite similar interests to the girl I was asking out, I still remained dateless, despite the fact that almost all of my good friends--on and off Facebook--are female. After doing some thinking while experiencing sleeplessness last night, I came up with a theory: Maybe the reason I haven't gotten any dates yet is because girls don't see me as a guy; they see me as another girl.
That may sound quite strange, but I can explain: Just like that sixth grade classmate of mine, I was called "gay" or "a girl" when I was in school, mostly because of my interests. Other guys loved the NFL, graphically violent video games, and leering at scantily clad women. Me? I couldn't have cared less about any type of sports, I refused to even touch any "M" rated games, and the pictures on my binder and desktop were of fully clothed Disney Channel actresses. Who knows what school-aged kids would think of me proudly wearing a Victorious-themed shirt I made myself that imitates the whole "Team Edward"/"Team Jacob" thing, reading novels about wedding planning, or owning DVDs such as Leap Year or Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars? I realize that most people believe kids are just immature and don't know what they're talking about, but, frankly, I think they might be on to something.
I've always thought that being different from other guys would attract a lot of girls. One thing that comes to mind is the early Home Improvement episode where Tim's sports addiction completely ruined a romantic date Jill had planned for them. Since I couldn't care less about sports, any girl who dates me won't have to worry about that! However, after thinking about it last night, I wonder if girls do want a guy who likes things such as sports, tools, and cars, even if they themselves aren't into any of those things. Those things are considered masculine by society, whereas watching romantic comedies and having Josh Groban on your iPod are not. Unfortunately, too many people, including Christians, fall prey to society's standards without realizing it.
Now, here's where you come in: I'd like to get my female friends' perspective on this. If you have a comment you don't want to make public, or if you'd like to have a live conversation about this, send me an e-mail at MacMan4You (at) or message me on Facebook. I look forward to seeing what you all have to say.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Ultimate High School Crush (Version 2.0)

DISCLAIMER: This parody, like others I've done on this topic, is meant as a joke. Enjoy!

To the tune of "Best Friend's Brother" by Victoria Justice

Never before have I such a great woman known
She's better than the girls on those new Disney shows
Every day, after lunch, her I do get to see
Oh, how I wish she and I could just run off and marry!

About her I just cannot stop thinkin'!
I even dreamed about that lady last weekend!
I really wish out with her I could go,
But I don't, don't want my class to know!

My English teacher is the one for me!
Cute, blond woman with a four-year degree!
Ashley Tisdale?
I don't need her!
'Cause I'm going to make that cute teacher mine!
My English teacher is the one for me!
Ms. Jefferies! (Whoo!)
Ms. Jefferies! (Yeah!)
My English teacher, my English teacher!

I just know that Ms. J should so be my wife,
'Cause I've been a reader for my entire life!
She not only reads, she has kids do it, too!
But, when it's required, I would never say, "Ew!"


Ms. Jefferies! (Whoo!)
Ms. Jefferies! (Yeah!)
My English teacher, my English teacher!

'Cause she's such a dream, yeah!
You guys know what I mean!
I'm just so twitterpated!


Ms. Jefferies! (Whoo!)
Ms. Jefferies! (Yeah!)
My English teacher, my English teacher!

[For anyone who has ever had a crush on one of his or her teachers...this one is for you. :) ]

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Jennifer Stone Song

To the tune of "Alone" by Heart and Jacob Lusk

Yes, girl, you are on my desktop
Love seeing you when I click "Start"
Loved you as the new Harriet the Spy
And you were great as crazed Harper!
But, I wish more people truly did know
Oh, about you, the great Jennifer L. Stone!

So, now, I will make your great name known!
The star of Waverly Place and Mean Girls 2!
Every scene that you are in, you own!
You're so great, Jennifer Stone!
You so rock, Jennifer Stone!

For oh so long now I have wanted
To a talented young actress find, oh!
I knew that my search was over
When I saw you play that blogging Spy!
Yes, great places you will go!
With great talent you have been bestowed, Miss Stone!


Can't wait for M: I: Ghost Protocol!
I'll be watching it just so I can see you!
And, it will surely be great, I know!
You're so great, Jennifer Stone!
You so rock, Jennifer Stone!

You're so great, Jennifer Stone!
You so rock, Jennifer Stone!
Miss Stone, Miss Stone!

[For you, Jennifer Stone! You rock!]