Cultural Villainy

This afternoon/evening, I found myself discussing various voice and talking style stereotypes in American English and in Japanese (from Japan, of course*).

It all started with seeing the film “Aladdin” in the cinema this afternoon, and then, over ice cream afterward, we veered onto Disney music and its composers a lyricists (and how amazing some of the greats are[!!!]).

Then we branched into the Japanese versions of this music, as the friend with me is Japanese, and she grew up only hearing the Japanese language versions of the songs.

We discussed differences I had found in the music, and why I thought each one was so… now that she has been living in the US for about a year, she saw exactly what I meant and genuinely understood.

“Colors of the Wind” sounds somewhat stressed and so compounded and busy in Japanese, yet the English sounds so open and contemplative, filled with deep breaths and space through the notes and the words… there are just too many syllables in the Japanese, and too many consonants in between all the vowels…

An American likely would be appalled at hearing the Japanese version of Scar’s voice, because the voice doesn’t match the type of villain that he is… it is not entitled and brooding and, almost like serial killer style, the voice of someone who is biding his time until his plot can unfurl perfectly to his advantage – until, at last, he is granted his dues, as Scar says.

To American ears, the Japanese Scar in pathetic and angry and holds no weight behind his short-man angry yelling of a voice, desperately hoping someone will listen to him and do what he wants others to do.

And yet, to Japanese ears, the Japanese Scar is exactly right: He is the stereotypical ‘bad guy’ voice and has that same ‘bad guy’ and ‘villain’ manner of speaking… the English version would sound just ‘American’, and have nothing special tied to it for Japanese ears.

And my friend was able to see and hear just these things, and mainly because she has become accustomed to hearing so many different ways of speaking that people have here in English (unlike Japanese English in Japan, which is pretty much always the same).

And, somehow, I found the whole situation to be fascinating and utterly fulfilling… I had never really thought quite so much and quite so pointedly about the translations and the voices of actors until today, though it certainly was not my first or, even, tenth time considering it all.

It had me feel an almost silly passion for Disney and, in particular, “The Lion King”, and yet I couldn’t find a reason not to care so much about it all – I love languages and music and seeing things in new ways, and these Disney movies had huge impacts on my childhood and, therefore, my life as a whole… they are a part of me… and I care about and love myself.

So, I guess I get to love those Disney films, too, silly little perfect details and all. πŸ™‚

By the way, I went into “Aladdin” with an attitude of its being a different film and perspective of the same story as the animated version…, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film – it was wonderful(!).

And it was filmed in Jordan(!)… how cool is that?!

I don’t often go to cinemas these days (in the US, anyway), but I am glad I went today – it was a lovely experience. πŸ™‚

*Does Japanese have a culture of native speakers anywhere else in the world?

Post-a-day 2019

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A bedtime prayer

Dearest Sleep,

Engulf me, please,

For the next eight or nine hours,

So that I might awake

Refreshed and ready to go,

Ready to take on the world

And to use my unique talents and me-ness

To serve the world

By being myself

Fully,

For the greater glory of God,

I offer this prayer and this intention.

Amen.

Post-a-day 2019

Adulting

I shared with a couple adults tonight about my current endeavors, and especially how grad school is for my back-up plan and that photography is my number one plan… and they trusted it and supported it.

It was my brothers’ dad and stepmom, so they’re kind of like slightly distanced close family… like aunt and uncle distance, in a sense… so they care about me and know me rather well.

And, tonight, that was very clear to me (though I already knew it).

They asked questions first to understand the plan and financial logic, and then to understand the artistry and passion of it all.

They accepted my logic and my back-up plan with only a handful or two of questions (at which point their concerns were relieved), and then they genuinely asked about and listened to my responses regarding what I am doing with photography, artistically speaking.

They understood it.

I showed them some photos, and they had funny comments and then also genuine comments of understanding my perspective and approach to photography…

And it felt so…. freeing, I guess…

People whom I’ve always seen as ‘the adults’ in my life haven’t exactly been supportive of my current efforts, some even openly opposed and contradictory to just about everything I believe regarding work and lifestyle, and others not being opposed but not being supportive either… just somewhat passively accepting that I’m up to something or other and taking care of myself.

So it was truly refreshing – yes, that’s the word, refreshing…. aaahh – to have them respond in such a way, especially considering that they are both very practical individuals, especially financially speaking.

Yeah, tonight was really awesome… and they wanted me to show and tell them even more… and even asked if it were possible to make them look “good” in some photos (as opposed to just tolerable or old), and offered to be subjects for me, if I were interested, which I was and am… and they even offered up the idea that my doing photos would happen in exchange for a fee, which I informed them was unnecessary, because they would be doing me a service by letting me use them as low-risk subjects for practice, anyway.

I mean…, I think that none of my family has done that or even mentioned the idea of doing that with/for me…

Tonight was just a great experience, and filled with love – I adulted really well, confident in my current endeavors and in sharing them with others, and it was all fully accepted and embraced by those others.

Thank you, God and all Creation for the love that has empowered and engulfed me tonight.

May I share it with the world around me tomorrow. πŸ™‚

Sat Naam.

Post-a-day 2019

Trustworthiness

I think it is important that we either always remain alert or always remain fully willing and able to become acutely alert at any moment in life.

Sometimes, situations are perfectly fine and safe to a point, and then w ended to be alert and wary – “Proceed with caution,” our mind must tell us.

But how often are we unwilling to become alert in a situation?

If things have been fine for so long, do we become somewhat ‘immune’ to any concern that may arise, due to the fact that nothing bad has happened so far?

Do we forget that anything can change, despite something’s having been the same for as long as we can remember?

I think this is a common situation that females can run into in relationships with males… he has been reliable and totally safe so far, so long as I have known him…, and so I miss seeing those spots where he suddenly is pushing limits, and I don’t notice things fully until something really big has happened in a way I had never hoped for things to happen… possibly something very bad… Do we give the benefit of the doubt for too long sometimes?… Do we feel guilty for turning our senses on full alert, and so force ourselves to ignore them, convince ourselves that the warning bells aren’t really there, but are just in our minds?

I think it ultimately is important for us, if not to be always on alert, always to be willing to be on full alert, and in any situation.

And I don’t mean merely females, here – I mean all people.

Do you know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Summer days

I was just invited to a swimming party.

I realized that I was feeling a sense of anxiety, and I asked myself its source.

I discovered it was about being seen in a swimsuit (of any kind, really), which has been frustrating for me in recent recent years, due to my poor physical fitness level.

I quickly evaluated my body, to verify the reason for the concern.

I then chuckled silently, as I recalled that I clearly don’t have that same problem anymore, especially considering the fact that I almost ditched my shirt during our workout today (It was just so hot and humid today, and the tank top felt like it was holding warmth in!).

It’s a new feeling for me to be back to swimsuit ready at the drop of a hat, and to be fully comfortable with the thought of swimsuits and whoever might be around while I’m in one.

And it is a very good feeling. πŸ™‚

Thank you, gym, and thank you, God, for getting me to this gym where beautiful magic is happening, at long last.

Post-a-day 2019

People

You know that feeling when you enjoy spending time with someone, and it’s unofficially time to leave, but you don’t want to leave, because you’d much prefer to continue talking with that person, but you know that any lull in the conversation likely would bring about the awareness of it being time to leave one another’s presence, and so you grab for just about any topic of discussion, and you suddenly realize that you’re talking about what feels like some of the most pointless of subjects, but you simultaneously know that it is fully point-filled, because all you’d wanted was to continue talking with that person, and here you have achieved just that?

Yeah… it’s a silly feeling, but I enjoy it anyway.

It has me wonder if things wouldn’t be easier just declaring that ‘I like talking with you and I want to continue talking with you,’ but then I recall that the whole reason I didn’t do that in the first place was out of concern for the person misunderstanding and being weirded out…

It doesn’t mean necessarily anything beyond just wanting to continue talking…, but it often is difficult for people to see that I might not be hinting at something else, but I might just mean exactly what I say.

(People really don’t do that, I find…)

In some cases, however, I want to continue talking because I just want to be around the person and be interacting with the person… that’s most of those cases, actually.

I really am not aiming to jump your bones here – I just like spending time with you.

But when do people say that?

When do people hear things like that?

When do people mean that, even if they don’t say it aloud?

I recently did this, actually(!!!).

I told a guy that I really enjoyed talking with him, and then he tried to kiss me(!). (Little bit o Hashtag outrage, right?)

So, yeah… that didn’t really work out well… I just enjoyed talking with him, and I meant exactly what I’d said with that statement…, but he totally didn’t believe me, nor that my words were exactly as I’d chosen them to be because they were what I’d meant, and not because I’d wanted to hint at something else…

Hmm…

Anyway, it’s a thought…

Post-a-day 2019

Another step forward

Can you guess what this is?

I went to a sort of dentist… orthodontist?… today.

For thousands cheaper than I was offered way back in the day, it looks like I might be able to start a series of 3-D-printed clear retainers that will straighten up my teeth, at last.

In the appointment, they gave me a set to whiten my teeth, and so I am sitting here, plugged into the power strip with my teeth whitening mouthpiece for five minutes of super-powered (though electricity is really doing the powering, to be literal here) teeth whitening.

I hope it works… my family all have slightly yellowed teeth, and we always have, so it isn’t about staining from food and drink for us, but I hope it works, nonetheless.

Whatever the case, I look forward to the teeth-straightening thing working out beautifully… I hope that one works.

Here’s to happy teeth! πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2019