Sunday, January 17, 2010
I am an outsider
My depression is really kicking my ass this winter, more than I've experienced in well over ten years. The shitty thing about this depression is that it isn't situational. I just have to ride it out. There are issues that feed my anger but those issues aren't going to change so I cope with them. I hope I don't end up sounding crazy but I need to get some thoughts out. Nobody reads this anyway.
One of the things that keeps me feeling like an outsider is my job. The place I work is so conservative. I worked there a long time before taking almost a year off to do music and film. Sometimes the body language of people in administration there send me the message that "you're being watched. better watch your step. don't make waves." It could just be me but I know that I am a pretty good observer of human behavior. The reason it bothers me is that I know I do good work, some would say that I am one of the secret weapons (of strength) of the agency, and yet I feel scrutinized like I'm some kind of invader. And the situation is just typical of history. Outsiders are not understood usually until they are dead and rediscovered in a new context where their actions suddenly make sense. Call me grandiose but that's how I feel. Here in Nebraska, conformity is practically demanded. Unfortunately the values that the midwest pushes on everybody exclude real sensitivity to different cultures. Let me just be blunt, the midwest is white-bread and blind to this fact. I am sent subliminal messages constantly by local media and the way I am regarded when shopping that being black is still a problem for Nebraska unless I am an athlete. It just happened to me. I was at a restaurant minding my own business when this older man stops and says "you're a ball player aren't you? You got the height for it." He had no idea how insulting his comment was. I listen every morning to the news on KFAB and am angered every day by the judgmental bigoted comments that come from their announcers. I used to call and complain. They will not take my calls anymore. What the hell is that about?!
One more issue. I am a fairly well known musician in Omaha. I've done a lot of things over the years but I notice how I can easily get gigs when I'm playing with the young white folks but doors are not open when it's just me trying to get my music heard. I don't think I am imagining these things. Bottom line is that it hurts. It hurts so bad I can't even get tears to come out. It would be so helpful if someone just said they understood what I'm saying.