Arn't I A Woman?: The John Mayer of Atlanta

Lisa

Lisa
This blog intends to be a safe public space; A communal cyber sanctuary from oppression. All are welcome here.

May 17, 2012

The John Mayer of Atlanta


Everyone has always hated John Mayer. Long before his playboy interviews when he declared Jennifer Love Hewitt’s body was a wonderland, if you heard the name John Mayer you probably thought things like ‘egomaniacal asshole”, or “ untalented jerk.” He showed all the signs of a monster in the making. You just knew it was gonna happen. It’s a slippery slope when you are John Mayer, because you have maybe a 1% chance of not becoming a total lunatic.
His transformation was complete following his highly publicized interview in Playboy in which he publically sexualized the women he dated and made racist and just generally offensive comments. It went from ‘oh it’s really fun to make fun of this guy and his stupid guitar and hair’ to ‘wow this dude is a sexist, racist awful human being.’ Here’s one of the LESS offensive comments from said interview:
“I come on very strong. I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douchebag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me.’
            -John Mayer- genius?


 And so now the infamous Mr. Mayer has resurfaced, following something about a “self-imposed exile” in Montana. He grew his hair out because everyone knows that signifies you are now a serious adult, and is promoting some new album or something. I think it’s super great of John Mayer to go live in a cabin in Montana. I’m still a little fuzzy as to why he came back, but I guess you can’t win ‘em all.

As a whole, I can’t say I’m too similar to John Mayer as a person, but he’s a great case study and I will here on out refer to the phenomenon of his life when applied to someone else’s as “the John Mayer effect.”

It happens to a person that probably already has some underlying characteristics that are abrasive to other human beings, for whatever reason. They are also lonely and insecure and probably need a hug. And then they hit their mid to late twenties, and all the failures of dreams unrealized clashed with the impending doom of adulthood are manifested, and they end up in a cycle of doing and saying things that are stupid, offensive, hurtful, and probably ignorant. It’s like you wake up one day, look in the mirror, and see John Mayer’s shit-eating grin staring back at you.

I think the John Mayer effect happens when you are at a very transitional period in your life and you have trouble coping with this so you turn everything sort of into this spectacle, you turn you life into a spectator sport. It becomes less about who you are as a person and more about the things you do, because the things you do overshadow who you are. You begin to feel an overwhelming need to qualify yourself.

It’s like in your mind you are just fighting for what you believe in, in John Mayer’s case he explains that he was trying to be totally “raw” in his interviews:
“It started as an attempt to not let the waves of criticism get to me, but it’s gotten out of hand and I’ve created somewhat of a monster.”

Now, the concept behind this is basically, saying hey, what I care about on a human level and my philosophy on life is all I’m trying to convey, and is really quite pure and innocent but determined, but public disproval made me realize I’m fighting the wrong people, I’m fighting in the wrong way. (Although I think in John Mayer’s case he was saving face and he is just a vile person.) However, I understand this concept. Sometimes I feel like as much as I try to follow my heart and be true to myself, I still John Mayer my life. It’s when you feel so frustrated about something and are trying to get your point across but it falls on deaf ears because you don’t really think about anything but vindication.

The worst thing about the John Mayer effect is the fact that you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late.  I’m still waiting for the goatee to appear on my face and me to pick up a love for the acoustic guitar, but overall when I walk around Atlanta, I basically feel like I’m John Mayer. And once the effect has started, you can’t just snap yourself out of it. After a certain threshold is reached it’s like John Mayer’s soul is living inside your body and everyone sees it. Some probably knew it was happening before you, because the effect causes an obscured perception of reality.  There’s a lot of denial in there, too. Some just treat you accordingly and the others just tilt their head and give you these sort of sad half-smiles.

So I guess I’m the John Mayer of Atlanta. Not exactly where I expected to be at 26 or really at any point in my life. I guess it could be worse though, I could be Chris Brown, and that guy’s a real asshole. 

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Sojourner Truth

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention

Akron, Ohio