Bandwagoning

January 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I want to say thank you to the friends that reached out to me yesterday, and all the kind things they had to say. I want to also thank those of you who read the post and thought something nice but didn’t end up saying anything. I will also apologize to those of you who thought it was whiny–I personally felt that it was a little bit, but for better or worse that’s where I was at yesterday. It’s harder to write something everyday than you might think, and especially when you write in a free form/thought association style if you want to write anything at all you just have to follow where your thoughts are.

ImageA physical representation of where my thoughts were at yesterday

 

Today I’m thinking about the way that we view ourselves. I have mentioned it before, but my self confidence is not at an all time high at the moment. Today is a better day and I am more okay with that fact–I mean, life is this ride of ups and downs, and right now I’m in a generally lower place. That’s ok, and the whims of life take us where they will and we deal with it the best we can.

I’m thinking more about this in the sense that it’s the weird little things that help define how we feel about ourselves much of the time. Someone will make a remark, and you will be struck by it and change your behavior. For instance, the way I look is almost wholly dependent on past girlfriends. I have been told that I look better wearing a beanie with hair sticking out of the front, and thus I never wear a beanie differently (although I have a sneaking suspicion that it also makes me look more like a lesbian–and that’s where THAT relationship went, so I don’t blame her. And yet I continue to wear the beanie like that–because I like it, I guess). I favor whatever styles of jeans because of an offhand comment that they look nice, or certain shirts/colors. Those are superficial examples, but it also extends to behaviors and vocal tics–I know that the things I do have been molded over the years by exposure to other people and THEIR habits, but also by weird things that people say. I want to give you a great example but of course I can’t think of anything at the moment. So you’ll just have to trust me (or think I’m lying to you, I guess) and we’ll move on.

Humans are inherently social creatures–even the introverts (I think it tends to come down to how often/how many people you want to be with, but even introverts want interaction) and it’s interesting to think about the “herd” mentality (doing something because everyone else is doing it) vs. doing something because you like it. I think my favorite example is Nickelback–a decidedly mediocre band who has a few pretty good songs (IMO) but is absolutely reviled by tons of people because it’s the cool thing to do. I am absolutely lukewarm about Nickelback. For a while I said they were the worst thing ever, too–but then I thought about it and they really aren’t. Why should I give a damn? People will listen to what they listen to and so will I. If I don’t want to hear them play, I don’t have to. And on the off chance that I can’t avoid it (radio, etc) it’s not so painful that 3 minutes will kill me. I think it’s about perspective. If you want to rage about Nickelback, that’s your prerogative. I just think that there are better things to get upset about.

Shifting gears…

I am a total bandwagon fan when it comes to the NBA. I lived outside of Seattle for my early life, developed a great love of football and the Seahawks, and developed a casual enjoyment for basketball (that was not aided by having the meanest basketball coach ever when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade). So when the Sonics were relocated to OKC, I was angry less about the move and more about the fact that the people who bought the team said they weren’t going to move it and promptly did. It violated my sense of fairness. But my family has lived in Camas for the last 15 years, so moving to the Blazers (who already owned some portion of my mild affection) was not a difficult thing. In fact, the Sonics coming back makes life much more difficult for me to choose an allegiance (it’s like 55-45 in favor of Seattle right now, but it’s up in the air where I’ll come down. I’ll wait to make a decision until it’s official). That’s the problem with early indoctrination to Seattle as home but then spending most of my formative years right outside of Portland. Thankfully Brent has made the MLS fandom choice incredibly easy. Go Timbers!

But back to bandwagons. When did it become such a dirty word? I’ll answer my own rhetorical question: when bandwagon fans started acting like lifers and assholes. I mean, honestly. The definition of a bandwagon fan is someone who starts cheering for a team that they have no particular allegiance to in a given season; their fandom is based on something (maybe a player, or the team is good, or they want to send a star out with a ring) and there is no guarantee that the bandwagon fan will stay there. I am, generally speaking, a bandwagon NBA, NHL, and MLB fan (I love the mariners, but it is a strained relationship). I have no particular allegiance, I really only start watching once the playoffs start, and my reasons for liking a team are almost always arbitrary. Last year, for instance, I was on the Heat bandwagon. Lebron was doing WORK in the playoffs, and I couldn’t not root for the guy to succeed. Did you know he READS for a couple hours to calm his nerves before playoff games? Love it. Hell, I still might be on the Heat bandwagon. In any case, while I cheered for them, I didn’t talk any trash and I didn’t throw wins in the face of any Indiana/Boston/OKC fans (although I do hold a grudge against the Zombie Sonics, but as I’ve said, purely for philosophical reasons). I just was on the bandwagon.

I think we need to take bandwagon back. Being on the bandwagon isn’t a bad thing. Being an asshat is always a bad thing, and while being a lifelong fan gives you legitimacy to trash talk, talking trash while on the bandwagon makes you an imbecile. That’s just the way it is. So if you’re on the bandwagon, own it. Don’t take it too seriously.

 

“I don’t entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I’m me. God knows, I’m me.”
―Elizabeth Taylor

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2 Comments

  1. kylegemberling said,

    The biggest issue here is: What bandwagon were you on that made you feel the need to use all the padding in your super-shorts?

  2. politicallymusical said,

    It’s called a dance belt, and it it’s basically a super uncomfortable man thong that keeps your junk from wiggling around but also scrunches everything together and pushes it up front. In any case I have nothing to hide.

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