i take it back... there is no lesser ben

Dear Blogosphere,

Last March, Ben Folds came to Salt Lake and played a kickin' concert. The opening act was Ben Lee, who I had never actually heard before, and to be honest I was a bit underwhelmed. Maybe it's because he was alone for about an hour on stage... where he replayed "We're All in it Together." Perhaps it was the crowd singing along with it. I'm not sure.

But, whilst in Vegas, I declared that Ben Lee was the lesser Ben. The Bens is a brilliant group made up of Ben Folds, Ben Kweller, and Ben Lee. I love Ben Folds, Ben Kweller is hilarious, and I thought Ben Lee was lame. But I was wrong. Oh, very wrong.

I picked up The Rebirth of Venus today/yesterday at the library. I decided to check it out after reading the first paragraph of liner notes. The rest is covered up by a sticker. It reads:

"This album is dedicated to Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty.

"She is an embodiment of archetypal Feminine qualities such as compassion, nurturing, creativity, spontaneity, intuition, playfulness, tenderness and warmth, amongst others. These are qualities that we all, men and women, need to cultivate.

"Everything seems a tad out of balance these days. In my own life, I am trying to find a balance between my own masculine and feminine nature. A lot of guys find this idea threatening or strange, but it's just another way of trying to be reunited with the qualities referred to above, reunited with a way of looking at the world that we have lost touch with. In recent years, just as we have denigrated Feminine values such as tenderness and creativity, it comes as no surprise that many women around the world in a variety of cultures are still regarded as second-class citizens, and we have treated the natural world as simply a resource..."

Darn library sticker. Anyway, this completely resonated with an ongoing conversation between my friend, Khrystine, and I. She shared the idea that when women are oppressed (or, dare I say, "feminine" qualities are repressed) creativity is lost or diminished.

I liked how Ben Lee mentions that both masculine and feminine qualities are within each of us and I certainly am going through the same thing myself. I'm trying to find the balance between masculinity (as I slowly creep towards androgyny) and femininity. I don't find any of the qualities Ben Lee lists to be necessarily feminine. They seem to simply describe humanity. They also seem to describe so many of the men in my life. Creators, compassionate about the work they do, very nurturing to me, at least. I think we lose so much when we decide to split things, qualities, and people in to only two groups. And I think we lose even more when we describe the two groups as opposite. (Digression in process: why do people call it "opposite-sex marriage?" Opposite sexes? What? Female and male are different, but they are more similar than different... how on earth can we classify them as opposite?)

Well, I am posting this at 2 AM. I am not sure if any other the above is coherent. It appears to be a giant digression as I look back on it. But hopefully it was sort of interesting... if not, it's just more food for thought for me. Ha ha.

So check out The Rebirth of Venus. The music is excellent.


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