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I’ve been in something of a funny mood for the past few days, peaking with a strange uncomfortable feeling when I woke up this morning. Since I was diagnosed with depression, I’ve found myself engaging in a ritual that I think of as “emotional temperature taking.” Sleepy at an odd hour. Hmm, is this depression or are you just tired. Cranky? Are you just hungry or is this the sign of something worse? Most of the time, it is something more banal and not a sign of a greater problem. Still, it’s a necessary question to ask.

So, my behavior’s been odd for the past several days, irregular sleep, lack of concentration, and it culminated in feeling rather awful when I woke up this morning. There’s a few possible threads feeding into this, but I’ll stick to one for now. I’ve mentioned a few times something I’ve called my “beauty strike.” One day, I’ll have to write about this at length. Except for a couple of emotional outbursts, I’ve avoided discussing body image issues on my blog. It feels so frankly frivolous. Every once in a while, someone writes a post questioning why people would spend an effort worrying about problem B when problem A is so much more serious. Frequently, when I read this, especially as it applies to people other than myself or my own problems, I’m inclined to agree with a post Greta Christina put up, “Whatever Activism Gets them Excited.”

Are there issues in the world that are, by some objective measure if there is such a thing, more important than atheism? Yes. Absolutely. But atheism is what I’m excited about….  Atheism got me deeply involved in social change, in a way that no other issue ever did. I don’t know why that is: I don’t think it’s entirely rational, and I don’t think that decision is entirely rational for a lot of activists, atheist or otherwise. But I would rather have me — and others — getting deeply and passionately involved in atheist activism than getting half-assedly involved in something else… or not involved in anything.

So while I can get pretty excited about issues regarding sex and sexuality and feminism, both of those can intersect with issues of body image, yet that strikes me as frivolous. I know other people out there write about body image, and I would never dismiss their efforts, yet in discussing it I feel uncomfortable on so many different levels, not least of which is because it feels self-indulgent.

So, I’ve been browsing blogs which have listed things under the feminism tag quite a bit over the last few days, and I feel like I have lots of random bits in my mind which are refusing to coalesce into anything coherent, mainly around the subjects of sex, sexuality, women’s bodies and so on.

Maybe I need to paint a bit. Sometimes when I can’t figure something out logically, I turn to painting. In fact, that’s when I like painting best, when it reaches something logic can’t reach. One of the things I came across to today was a sketch that I really liked. It put me in mind of another post I’ve recently read, “Jack Vettriano – The Necessity of Misogyny” by suzimartin. As someone who has done a lot of art work with sexual imagery, which some people describe as erotica, I’m interested in people’s opinions of work which contains sexual content. I don’t know Vetttiano’s work well enough have an opinion on the post.

Anyway, that’s all the mucky stuff that’s been colliding in my head recently.

a nude woman wrapped in a snake floating through space

One of my own paintings.

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Do you have any songs that you listen to when you’re feeling down? My best friend tells me that he listens to Billie Holiday. So many times, I’ve been told that I have bad taste, I’ve almost come to embrace it as part of my sense of self. Well, not bad taste. Everyone thinks that their own taste is wonderful, but I’m perfectly happy to have a little chip on my shoulder on the subject of taste. You call it bad taste; I call it my taste.

When I’m feeling crummy, there’s a song that always makes me feel better. I love this song, and the fact that I love it totally appalls many people. In fact, quite a few people have told me that it shows that I have bad taste. It’s “Frankenstein” by the New York Dolls. So many times, I’ve been told that this is just an awful song, but I really, really like it for some reason. Yes, I know that it’s totally overblown and over the top, a bombastic mess, and that’s a large part of why I like it. I like it even when I’m feeling good, but when I’m feeling rejected for being a freak or not fitting in, it makes me feel better for some reason. Admittedly, it’s not exactly, “uplifting,” but when you’re feeling marginalized, what other people find uplifting doesn’t always help.

Well, I’m asking you as a person
Is it a crime
Is it a crime
For you to fall in love with Frankenstein?
And is it wrong
Could it be wrong
Is it wrong just to want a friend?

I think it’s easy to see why someone who feels constantly out of place might like this song.

So now you’re telling me
That any time you could just go home
Well, this place here, you know it is my home
So where am I gonna go?

Hmm. Not feeling better yet. I might have to play it again twice as loud.