Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obsession by Calv.... sorry wrong one

With the movie of the week being Paris is Burning, we saw many young, and older, drag queens that were obsessed with the ball seen, the fashion that went with it, and being seen as a legend in around their pageant community. The dictionary defines an obsession as an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone. I have to say that I do not agree with completely with this definition. Yes to be obsessed you have to focus on one subject so much that nothing else seems to matter, and yes sometimes obsessions take up your life (at least for a little while), but an obsession does not have to be unhealthy. But can an obsession be cool?

Now, by no means am I assigning an equality to obsession and cool, but they do not have to be different. There are many people that are obsessed with many different things. One of my favorite obsession-based groups is a rag tag bunch called Cyclecide. They are so obsessed with bicycles that they have reinvented them. They have made some awesome contraptions, and even a pedal powered circus. There obsession has definitely turned into something cool. Also, so many that are obsessed with the same thing that they made an MTV series about it, True Life. Now this series has some people that are suffering from diseases like turrets, autism, and acne. It also has the stories of people going through hard times like being a single parent, looking for there mother that gave them up for adoption, living in harsh places, and even alcoholism. But some stories are of different people that are all obsessed with the same thing, where it is being super competitive, loving to shop, or people that don’t fit in because they are obsessed with something. The one that sticks out in my mind is a high school student that is so obsessed with Glam Rock that the other kids at his high school won’t accept him. Now, I am not advocating Glam Rock by any means, but there is a part of cool in the story. The guy dresses how he wants, listens to the music he likes, and above all else he is true to himself. I know that sounds a little cliché, but I find it very cool that someone can be who they are no matter what.

On the other side of obsession it the kind that completely conquers your life, but in a bad way. This is the case that is shown in a show that I am currently watching, Avatar: the Last Airbender. In the show, Prince Zuko is obsessed with finding and capturing the Avatar, the world’s last hope for peace. Through the entirety of the series, no matter how much you think Zuko has learned and became a better person, he falls back because of his obsession. He hurts many, betrays his uncle, and just goes down the wrong path in general. Obsession is a tricky thing. To some it can bring ingenuity and self conviction, where in others it brings selfish greed. Obsession can be cool, but that is up to the obsessed.


  1. So where does Paris is Burning fit in? Are the men in it obsessed to the point of coolness? If they aren't cool, what are they? And if they aren't cool, doesn't that destroy some of the premise of the balls? What would the men in the film have if not for them? Does the very fact that they depend on the balls destroy any ability they have to be cool?

  2. I think your last point about obsession is absolutely right. When an obsession comes in the way of things that are really important, like friends and family, it can cause a lot of hurt to people who don't deserve it, and that is never cool.