Monday, January 14, 2008

expectations

i happen to really, really like this certain song by that old 80's band Motley Crue. i never even gave that group a thought until about 3 months ago when my husband turned the radio on while we were getting dressed and this song by motley crue was playing. and you know how when you're listening to the radio and a song comes on that you don't particularly like, you just tune it out? that's what i did until i realized that i was really liking this song by this weird, heavy metal band. it really rocks. but motley crue? i would have never thought i'd ever like any song by that band.

so, i went to work out at dishman community center here in portland. i had my husband download the song for me on my ipod to listen to when i work out. it's so loud in the weight room that no one can hear what i'm listening to and i was glad. i hate when people try to scrutinize my choice in music.

as my work out went on, i started to sweat. the sweat from my hairline was running down into my ears, causing my earbuds to slip. i decided to stop working out. as i walked out of the weight room, listening to this great song by motley crue, with my earbuds hanging loosely from my sweat, all these [black] heads turned and stared .

i was so embarassed! i'm guessing they could not only hear my loud earphones but what was playing on the earphones must have made them do a double-take once they saw me. i hurried to turn it down. i didn't want anyone there to hear what i was listening to. by the looks on their faces it seemed like like they expected me to be only listening to r&b or hiphop, of course.

i guess i just don't look like a heavy metal type of girl.

39 comments:

keep it real said...

Well i guess i'll be the first to say your wrong again! maybe they were just looking at you because the music was blaring out of your earplugs real loud and that what drawed their attention to you. i don't know who this singer is, but if you like the music that's all that matter. Why do you feel that black people other than yourself like only rap/ r&b? What about jazz, gospel or some soft put you to sleep classical music. step out of the box...not all blacks are as predictable has you think.

tar baby said...

I really think that you're making this an issue when there should be none...if you lived your life by your own terms (instead of by everyone else's expectations for you) you would a lot happier. Also: a lot of black folk probably don't give a damn what kind of music you listen to...

Anonymous said...

The music that black people listen to is so general i.e reggae, gospel, Blues, and the list goes on. And to assume the people were looking at you because of the music is nothing but ludicrous. I listen to everything else but rap, its not becuase i'm being rebellious against my race its just what I like. I like driving down the freeway and heavy rock is blarring from my car do I care? hell no, I like it and I show it. I guess the point I'm trying to make is feel comfortable with yourself and then you will feel comfortable with people around you. You're never going to please everybody the aim should be pleasing yourself.

Anonymous said...

I listen to a plethora of music and yes have also listened to Motley Crue. The problem that you have is you are just a little too self conscious. You seem to believe that people are more concerned with you than they are. Also, what if they heard your music, so what? What are they going to do, snatch you up and do something to you?

Me and my guy go to the gym and between the two of us you could be hearing Barry Manilow to Mihalia Jackson. It doesn't matter to us since we love music and it doesn't matter who or what class it falls into.

Just relax and enjoy your music. Whatever helps you to work out and have a good time is all that matters. Stop being so concerned with others, they don't know you or want to and vice versa.

Eva said...

One thing for sure: people DO make these sweeping judgments based on what you are listening to. Stupid, but it's true. Maybe it applies to people under 30 most of all, but if you are a certain kind of music freak, then it applies at any age...

I used to work at KPSU and everyone was very busy trying to be hip on something. So just about ANYTHING you played supposedly said something about you. No matter what race you are. This might not be about race per se, because for some reason people identify with music, especially pop music.

It is talked about, to a certain degree, in the novel High Fidelity. He even says something like: "What we like and what we are like are two different things." I love that line and it says it all.

Hoopskidoodle said...

Motley Crue? Really? I get embarrassed just remembering that I used to like their song "Looks That Kill" when I was 13.

Perhaps they were staring because The Crüe sucks @ss, and not because you are black. When I work out, I'm likely to be singing (under my breath of course) "One Short Day (in the emerald city)" from the original Broadway cast recording of Wicked--and it doesn't get any whiter than that--and I've never noticed an inordinate amount of scrutiny.

cardiowhore said...

you shouldnt care what these people think!!! Your life is short Yesterday ! was on the treadmill listening to "Carmina Burana" I love it, Ilike classic rock N roll My life is short and so is yours and I want to live my life authentically! so I will be listening to Brittany Spears , a tribe called quest and Trans Siberian Orchestra all on my Ipod ! Enjoy!!!

Lee said...

People don't care about you! You should repeat that to yourself every morning. "People don't care about me."

You get mad when white people stereotype us, yet you turn around and do the same thing. You are not, I repeat, NOT, the only black person that listens to Motley Crue. You are NOT the only black person who doesn't listen to rap. You are NOT special. And seriously, what kind of gym are you working out at where it's so quiet you can hear what's goin' down in other people's earbuds?

I hope you get the help that you need. And soon.

Golden Silence said...

When I was young, I used to get the "Why you listen to White music?" crap from my peers. I do listen to R&B and a little hip-hop (the clean stuff, no vulgarity please), but I love, love, LOVE 80's pop and R&B. People would make fun of me for listening to Duran Duran, but I don't care.

If I were to change my music choices because of what some idiots thought of me, then I couldn't enjoy music. I don't give a damn about what people think about my music choices. I wouldn't give it up for the world. (People I know still make fun of Duran Duran, but for being "too old," not for being White.)

In your situation, they probably did react because the noise shocked them, not because "Heavens to Betsy! A Black woman is listening to non-Black music! Let's stone her!" If I hear a loud noise, I'd turn my head. It's human nature to respond to things.

Anonymous said...

Oh, young lady. Try some Johnny Hartman. It will change your life.

mendegirl said...

um, Motley Crue is not heavy metal. Glam Rock, Hair band maybe, it's not like you were listening to Dio or something.

As someone who sings Pat Benatar duets with her little one lodly in the car with the windows open. . . I again wonder why you think anyone gives a damn. You're so .. . um, you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe all the black folks at your gym really dig Motley Crue too?!

Anonymous said...

Golden Silence -- I UNABASHEDLY and WITHOUT SHAME love Duran Duran. Everyone knows I do. Folks contact me when they're in town, or on tv, if there was a sighting of them... anything. THey all know I sadly still worship them. I honestly don't think they consider for a second that I'm black, and if they did, what are they going to do? I don't have time or energy to care. I love all my music, Montaviani to Ministry to Matchbox Twenty-- I LOVE THEM, and that's all I care about. I can't tell you how many shows I've been to and I was the only brown skinned one there-- It's NO BIG DEAL. Especially if you're a girl.

THat Black Girl, you are who you are-- people will judge you for whatever -- your music, your ears, your clothing -- as long as you truly like what you like, anything anyone could say (IF they bothered to say it) would have no effect, regardless of who they are.

Don't be embarrassed. I would have been next to you, singing "He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood, he's the one that's gonna make it alright..." Motley Crue has good work and Nikki Sixx is HOT!

Hoopskidoodle said...

I can't tell you how many shows I've been to and I was the only brown skinned one there-- It's NO BIG DEAL. Especially if you're a girl.

I wonder what that is supposed to mean??? It sounds vaguely Klu Klux Klanny.

Golden Silence said...

Yeah, I've been to two Duran concerts and was one of the only Black concertgoers as well. That, and one of the only 20-somethings. Most of the fans at the concerts are middle-aged White housewives vying for John Taylor or Simon Le Bon's attentions/affections. I didn't enjoy myself at the second one. Two concerts are enough---save the excessive concert touring for the diehards.

(Sorry for the threadjack, or should I say, "blogjack"!)

Sabbath said...

I don't think you're making an issue. I just think that your saying what you experienced. I have felt the same way. I at one point didn't like to blast my music on my iPod at school because I didn't want anyone to bother me because I don't only listen to hip-hop and R&B. But one time my friend blasted my music on speaker and I wasn't embarresed because people either didnt say anything or knew/liked the songs themselves. Of course people will judge you for your music preference but im sure most of the other people wont care or like different kinds of music,too.

cwayne said...

Its easy to say that you shouldn't care what people think when you aren't the one feeling uncomforable 'cause the whole room is staring. I know that I'd still do a doubletake if I saw a black person listening to heavy metal. But them I get stares when I listen to Diana Krall. Especially from my family.

The stares could have come from the music or the loadness---but probably came from both. I know alot of people will disagree, but my experience is that both blacks and whites in the US can be very disdaining towards music they don't consider "theirs."

Sparkle said...

I really don't like it when people assume black people listen to one type of music.

queenkim said...

i just discovered this whole blogspot today and i have been reading your blog religiously as i find it very very interesting.
and i have to both agree and disagree with what was said (about the music thing) alot of people have said that you are stereotyping black people, which i argee with but at the same time we have admit that that 'type' of people do exist, im a young black female, my ipod is a mix of everything from the gossip, marilyn manson, korn, the yeah yeah yeah as well as alot of rap/rnb/soul/hip hop artists, and i get the comment and stares if i have my ipod on loud also. i wear make up, i have my own style and i paint my nails and i have piercings and i get ALOT of comments/stares if i wear my lip ring or if i wear a bright eyeshadow/lipstick/nail polish, or if i wear something thats not considered 'normal'.
so while everyone is saying that your stereotyping black people, its true you are but people conform to the stereotypes and really you shouldnt let if bother you because thats there problem not yours

Hoopskidoodle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoopskidoodle said...

But them I get stares when I listen to Diana Krall. Especially from my family.


I'd stare too. I'd be wondering, why is this person listening to this soulless and antiseptic automaton of an, alleged, jazz chanteuse, when he/she could just as easily be listening to Ella, Billie, Sarah, Dinah or even Madeleine Peyroux for that matter.

mendegirl said...

hoopskidoodle: Iwas thinking it but never said it.

I listen to everything. always have. My "play" grandma, a black woman born in 1917 listened to BB King, the Eagles, Janis Joplin, and Cal Tjader amongst others.

There is a underground punk scene in Portland that folks that look like me are very involved. I'm an old mama now and don't really make the indie scene anymore. but I was a punk rock girl back in the 80's.

None of this makes me a speshul Negro.

chris said...

Don't allow anyone to put you in a box black or white--I know that can be easier said than done, I am black, and very open when it comes to music: hip hop r&b, rock, salsa, indian, arabic, african... you get the point. I struggled for a very long time to not be put in the box of what/ how the world expects black people to behave and think--- my skin is not my burden--it is my pride so I am who I am to hell with everyone else and their expectations--I'm a free bird.

cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle said...
But them I get stares when I listen to Diana Krall. Especially from my family.


I'd stare too. I'd be wondering, why is this person listening to this soulless and antiseptic automaton of an, alleged, jazz chanteuse, when he/she could just as easily be listening to Ella, Billie, Sarah, Dinah or even Madeleine Peyroux for that matter.

Sat Jan 19, 09:25:00 PM PST

Why! why should you look and care? Life is short! we should enjoy our short time here on earth! That seems petty to me that you would pre judge someone with a strange look just because this particular music is not your genre! I gave you credit for being an intelligent man, but sometimes you sound like a typical narrowminded black male who does not seem as well rounded as I had previously thought, for this comment that you made! I am sure your next post will be chock full of eloquent words snagged right out of "Websters" sounding like an newly educated prisoner. I single you out because I really do get the feeling that you are above the typical pettiness of the everyday, Butt sometimes!!! I feel like you come off as one of these black men that tries to be too "NAT X" If you get my point. Keep in mind I am not saying that you are like this, because I donot want to stereotype you, just an
observation of your post!

Hoopskidoodle said...

...I feel like you come off as one of these black men that tries to be too "NAT X" If you get my point.

As per usual, you have completely missed the point of my post. Diana Krall's music is of a genre that I love. My facetious comment about the insipidness of her musical stylings had nothing to do with her being white. One of the chanteuses who I referenced in my post, Madeleine Peyroux, is white. Rather, it was a gibe referencing Ms. Krall's utter banality in a genre, Jazz, that demands virtuosity. If, in the future, you decide to try to take me to task again, at least bother to know what you're talking about.

cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle said...
But them I get stares when I listen to Diana Krall. Especially from my family.


Sat Jan 19, 09:25:00 PM PST

I dont care who you listen to, and It does not matter to me that the person is black or white, The issue is not about who or what you are listening to, I was remarking about the comment you made below

I'd stare too. I'd be wondering, why is this person listening to this soulless and antiseptic automaton of an, alleged, jazz chanteuse, when he/she could just as easily be listening to Ella, Billie, Sarah, Dinah or even Madeleine Peyroux for that matter.

The point is,why should anyone care about what you listen to and why should you take a moment to wonder why someone chooses to listen to a certain genre of music, music is personal! and I am not familiar with Madeleine Peyroux , and frankly if you like it, then I love it! I am not trying to challenge you or attack you, maybe I am a little rough around the edges, but I mean no harm! I do enjoy the banter a bit!!! And I feel this is the whole point of TBG's post, Why should people decide what is wright for another person or wrong because they share the same skin color, Its like assuming that you should love fried chicken because your black, or you should want a big a--! because your black, and because you want to exspose yourself to diffrent or eclectic things you somehow are wrong for that because thats not what you are suppose to do because you are black! And the Truth is many blacks do feel that you are suppose to enjoy these things to be black! Not all but many!! I protect and Honor my Blackness by being myself! To be "judged by the content of my charector" not the content of my IPOD I think Dr. King would have preferred it this way!

Hoopskidoodle said...

The point is,why should anyone care about what you listen to and why should you take a moment to wonder why someone chooses to listen to a certain genre of music

Good grief, you are obtuse. Do you even know the meaning of the word facetious? I was making a joke about the banality of Diana Krall's tepid interpretation of jazz. She works in exactly the same genre of music as the women whom I mentioned. In fact, she often covers their songs. So, again, please try to know what you're talking about when you comment on something that I've written.

I am not familiar with Madeleine Peyroux...

This doesn't surprise me in the least. For all your talk of eclecticism, you seem to have decidedly pedestrian tastes.

Why should people decide what is wright [sic] for another person or wrong because they share the same skin color, Its like assuming that you should love fried chicken...

I get the impression that you are being disingenuous. You constantly bandy about pejorative anti-black stereotypes, and not just to me. I don't get the sense that you are, at all, the colorblind humanist you would have us believe that you are. I get much more of an impression of a self-loathing and deliberate rejection of blackness from you. I could be wrong, but you come off, to me at least, as someone desperately trying to ingratiate herself to whites through the adoption of their prejudices. You remind me of the Uncle Ruckus character in the animated television show, The Boondocks.

...and because you want to exspose yourself to diffrent or eclectic things you somehow are wrong for that because thats not what you are suppose to do because you are black!

I hope that you're not attributing this position to me. By any stretch of the imagination, I am far more cultured that you. To be brutally honest, I sincerely doubt if you are educated beyond the secondary level.

...To be "judged by the content of my charector [sic]" not the content of my IPOD

That heartfelt (I'm being facetious again) invocation of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech would carry more gravitas if you knew how to spell the word, character.

cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle said...

...To be "judged by the content of my charector [sic]" not the content of my IPOD

Yes!I dont spell so well from time to time when I am in a rush! I was focusing on the thought more than the spelling errors!I have a tough enough skin to admit this, this is my Achellies, always has been. I do have a college education and yes I am more well rounded than others as well as less than others. I am well traveled and I do have a deeper sense of my responsibility as a person. But in the broad scope of all the troubles and problems with people in the world, and how people should simply be allowed to be who they are without having to fit into a category is a bigger problem than my grammatical errors.I think being yourself is self love and not self loathing and I donot feel that you have to love everything about your culture to be accepted either. If I were purposely trying to Impress anyone with my vocabulary I would and could very easily hit spell check on my computer or break out the dictionary!But I have just simply been lazy! Maybe you should take a moment to reflect beyond the pettiness of pointing out my obvious!!grammatical errors and hear what I have written as oppose to how it is written, I am posting so that TBG knows that she is not wrong about her self and should simply be herself.

cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle said...

"
I hope that you're not attributing this position to me. By any stretch of the imagination, I am far more cultured that you."

Excuse me! Mr. Grammatical error, dont you mean "Than You" See! we all make petty mistakes.

Hoopskidoodle said...

Excuse me! Mr. Grammatical error, dont you mean "Than You"

Good one, old bean. But, at least I spelt it correctly.

cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle said...

Good one, old bean. But, at least I spelt it correctly.

Mon Jan 28, 09:03:00 AM PST

Do you mean that you "Spelled" it correctly! get off your high horse!

Hoopskidoodle said...

Do you mean that you "Spelled" it correctly! get off your high horse!

Ha ha! I purposely wrote "spelt," because I figured that your ignorant semi-literate ass wouldn't know that "spelt" is a perfectly valid spelling of the past tense and past participle of "spell." As Bug Bunny used to say, "What a maroon."

cardiowhore said...

wow! are you angry!I am not, Tell me how you really feel! The claws come out! I assumed this was healthy banter between two adults until the slurs started, how " high "low brow" of you. Right or wrong I dont get angry, I try to keep from lowering myself to the gutter with slurs and attacks!I guess you can take some people out of the Ghetto but you cant take the Ghetto out of People now matter how polished they try to be!i assumed this was all friendly but I guess not.

Hoopskidoodle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoopskidoodle said...

wow! are you angry!I am not, Tell me how you really feel! The claws come out! I assumed this was healthy banter between two adults until the slurs started...

I'm not the least bit angry. I'm a bit amused at how easily I tricked you into making a fool of yourself. Moreover, it's funny that you would think that. I never assumed that this was a dialog between equals. I was patronizing to you at first. Then your constant use of anti-black pejoratives--associating black people (particularly black men) with prison, fried chicken, and in your previous post, the ghetto--began to wear on my nerves, and I dropped the pretense.

cardiowhore said...

Hoopskidoodle

I assumed there were no hard feelings with our banter back and forth, I didnt think this would come down to name calling! I can take criticism because I feel that in doses, it is a healthy thing, so no hard feelings in that department, I can take it on the chin. But when it takes a turn to insulting a person directly! Then I have to remove myself from the conversation, I like debate and criticisim, but not personal attacks. I dont mind being wrong, thats is life! and I am a humble enough person, but I just dont want to be part of a conversation when it goes crude. No worries!

cardiowhore said...

Like I said , No worries! I stand by my choices and what I have said! It is unfortunate that I have made you so upset to the point that you have completely lost your cool! I think I had given you to much credit for some of your previous post, you had me thinking that you were actually witty and funny but I see you are nothing more than a wanna be "Niles" from "Frazier" who is clearly overcompensating for lack of something else! Dont bother to respond because I wont read it!

Hoopskidoodle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoopskidoodle said...

It is unfortunate that I have made you so upset to the point that you have completely lost your cool!

Oh yes, I'm positively livid, because you are exactly that significant in my life.

you had me thinking that you were actually witty and funny but I see you are nothing more than a wanna be "Niles" from "Frazier" who is clearly overcompensating for lack of something else!

Oooh, nice one, Freud. Actually, I like to think of myself as more of a Algernon Moncrieff, from The Importance of Being Ernest, but then it's highly unlikely that you're familiar with much outside the realm of network television.