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August 12, 2011 / missmarymax

30 Days of Shamelessness: Days 1-4

I’d point out that I’m epically behind in the 30 Days of Shamelessness — but to do so would undermine my Totally Accurate Claim that there is no wrong way to participate in this project.  Consecutive days, shunschmecutive days. 

So, shameless participant Libby Block referred to the 30dos as a “wonderfully creative exercise in silliness” — which I think sums up this first week marvelously well.  It’s true (and this has been discussed a bit on the Facebook page), that — for many of us — there are some significantly more “challenging” challenges ahead than behind. (Consider, for instance, the varying weight between “holding yourself accountable for something crap you’ve done to someone else” and — y’know — owning your favorite “bad” television show.)

Speaking of which:

But, despite the apparent simplicity of these first few tasks — and the fact that they’ve been — gasp! — more fun than fear-inducing, I do think they carry some weight.  The notion that important work cannot, on occasion, be fun always tends to strike me as an excuse to play killjoy.  As necessary as it is to, say, bawl openly or focus all our rage — I think it’s also necessary to embrace the ridiculous and hilarious within.

To, in essence, shake our booties, shake-shake:

Of course, all that booty-shaking requires us to focus extra attention on remaining properly nourished.

And properly rested, o’course.

I have to say, the response to this project has totally blown me away. On Facebook alone, we’re up to 96 FRICKING SHAMELESS participants. There is additional awesomesauce taking place on Twitter and Tumblr, as well as throughout the larger blogosphere. I want to do some sort of participation round-up, so you can bounce your way through some of the incredibleness I’ve witnessed, but for now, here’s a completely-non-representative and admittedly-biased-in-favor-of-folks-I’m-related-to taste of what’s gone on:

And in case that isn’t quite enough evidence of what Hank Green (the man behind both “Shake-a-Booty” and my current favorite love song, “Adult Female”) calls “the power and importance of the silly,” here’s a non-30dos video that thoroughly embraces both:

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7 Comments

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  1. Kat / Aug 12 2011 6:16 pm

    still cannot get over the Congress youtube video… absolutely genius. I rarely laugh out loud (not lol – I don’t lol… ever) while on the interwebz… but for reals? that made me.

    • missmarymax / Aug 12 2011 6:27 pm

      Ha, I’m glad you liked it. That was pure “I am now going to be silly on the Interwebz” silliness. And it was fun. (I owe the Congress description to my sister, who — upon hearing the topic of my next slam poem referred to it as one more reason I can never run for office.) Exciting times. 😉

  2. melodyravenclaw / Aug 12 2011 7:03 pm

    Nerdfighter shout-out from another Hank Green fan! 🙂 And I totally agree that “important” does not preclude “enjoyable.”

    • missmarymax / Aug 12 2011 10:00 pm

      Whoo! I have only recently discovered nerdfighteria (all that lost time — TRAGIC) — but am loving every moment of not forgetting to be awesome. Woot!

  3. Amelia Jane / Aug 15 2011 8:06 pm

    All I can say in response to that second video is: YOU STOLE MY MOVES!!!
    Let’s go dancing, yeah?

  4. Bulimic Anonymous (@RecoveringInOA) / Aug 21 2011 5:01 pm

    Ok, I just had to share this with you. I wrote this, like, 12 years ago, not my best writing, but, you know. And no, I don’t think that Bert and Ernie are or should be gay… but I have been disturbed by the responses of people to the idea (including CTW’s history of reaction) that they, or indeed anyone, on Sesame Street should be gay because “sexuality doesn’t belong in children’s television…”

    For the record, I love your perspective. 🙂

    “To See The Day…”

    Fair warning: This is Sesame Street FanFic. It is Bert and Ernie. Yes, in this fic, they are gay. No there is no explicit sexual content. They’re freakin’ puppets. I didn’t create the characters of Ernie and Bert. I do not own them. Disclaim disclaim disclaim

    ********************************

    “Ernie, what are you doing? Help me with the groceries.”
    This was a common routine between the two of them. So common in fact that Jim had written a skit about it for the show. Bert became nostalgic and a little sad every time he walked into the apartment carrying the heavy brown paper bags to find Ernie sitting in the big armchair, doing what looked like nothing. The skit that Jim had written was a real honest parody that had Ernie explaining to Bert that he was doing so much… he was breathing and his heart was beating and his hair and fingernails were growing… and that all this activity made him so tired he needed a nap. Jim had always been so…
    “Ernie? Is something wrong?”
    “Hmm? Oh, sorry Bert… I was just… thinking…”
    Ernie had been acting somewhat despondent of late, Bert was noticing. Ernie spent a lot of time in that chair thinking. That was what had been so funny about the skit. It always looked like Ernie was doing nothing. But that brilliant beautiful mind was always at work. Bert pretended to be annoyed when Ernie was absent-minded or eccentric, but the same things that made him so were just what Bert loved so much about him. Jim had understood that so well.
    Bert went into the kitchen and put away the groceries… chocolate pudding mix, milk, carrots, potatoes, cookies, a roast for dinner that night… Gordon and Susan’s son Miles was home from college and Bert had invited them all over for a welcome home dinner. When he returned to the living room, Ernie hadn’t moved.
    Bert pulled up a straight-backed wooden chair and sat down in front of Ernie, elbows on his knees, face in his hands, watching his best friend and partner in all things staring at the crack in the ceiling. They sat silently like that for about three minutes.
    “Remember that song Bert…?” The expression on Ernie’s face was hard to define. It was nearly blank, opaque… but at the same time pained.
    “Ernie,” Bert took his hand and held it close to his face “sweety, which song? We have so many songs.”
    “That song… the one about being afraid… about childhood fears.”
    Bert thought back. Yes, he remembered. In the song he had been afraid of the dark until his mommy calmed his fears. Ernie’s fear had been, ironically, of taking a bath… thinking that he’d get sucked down the drain, until his daddy… oh no…
    “Ernie,” Bert’s voice took on that plaintive tone… this time it signified concern… “Are you thinking about Scott?”
    Ernie’s eyes snapped to Bert’s in reaction to the mention of his father’s name. Seeing the pain that was still attached to the memories, Bert immediately regretted bringing it up. His eyes sank to the floor. Ernie’s drifted back up to the ceiling.
    “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to–”
    “No Bert, I’m not thinking about… Scott. And it’s okay.” Bert brought Ernie’s hand to his lips and kissed his fingers. “I’m still sorry. What about the song sweety?”
    “I barely remember it. The words, I mean. I can barely remember the words except for the last line.” Bert tried to remember.
    When I was little I used to be afraid of…
    large chunks of the song were missing from his memory as well. The last line?
    “‘We don’t have to be afraid anymore.’ Was that it?”
    Ernie nodded. His eyes didn’t leave the ceiling as a single tear ran down his left cheek. Bert got up from his chair and sat on the arm of Ernie’s thinking chair. He ran his fingers through his companion’s black hair which was always sticking straight up. “I remember. It was a beautiful line musically. Didn’t we harmonize it at the end? I went up and you went down I think. Did Joe write that one?”
    “I remember talking to Jim once…” Ernie ignored Bert’s attempt to distract him. “It was in the late ’70s or maybe early ’80s. Early on, you know? About… us.”
    Bert felt a pang at the mention of Jim. Jim’s death had been really hard on both of them but particularly on Ernie. Jim had been the only nurturing father-figure that Ernie had ever known. After he died, Ernie didn’t speak to anyone for months. No one was sure that he would ever recover from Jim’s death and there had been rumors that they were going to have to cut Ernie from the show, but he’d made it through. They didn’t talk about him anymore though. They both knew that the other thought about him often… and it was a breakthrough for Ernie to even say his name.
    “I talked to him once… about having us… you know… out. On the show.”
    “Ernie, baby, why are you doing this to yourself?”
    “Jim wanted it, you know. He wanted it so badly. He knew… he knew. He was so far ahead of his time. He told me…” Ernie trailed off. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Ernie was breathing. And his heart was beating. And his hair was growing. “He told me,” he whispered “that he hoped he would live to see the day… when we could… when we wouldn’t have to be afraid. Anymore.”
    Bert slid from the arm of the chair gently into Ernie’s lap. He put his arms around his lover’s neck and kissed his forehead and held him close as he wept.
    “Remember Luis and Maria’s wedding?” Ernie sobbed “Remember when Gabriella was born?”
    Bert remembered. He knew what Ernie was thinking. He remembered thinking the same thing at the time. “Yes,” he said softly. “There’s plenty of precedent on the show for dealing with relationships. It’ll come someday. It’ll have to”
    “But Bert…” Ernie pulled away and held his love’s face in his hands, his eyes red, his face wet and salty. “I want to live to see it.” Bert’s heart crumpled. They held each other and they both cried.

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