The Collective Poem, I wrote to question the limits of taking on other people’s voices in the first person as a poet, as if the poet had actually experienced the topic to know rather than just imagined it? That is, how legitimate is it for a poet to write about others’ experiences in their own voice, as if s/he could represent the collective voices of humanity? Today, I write to ask questions about a slightly different, but much more limited, poetic collective writing approach. What if the poet still wrote in the first person under the voice of another, or others, but that they had some connection to the poet? That is, collective in this sense means a very finite collective of people, rather than humanity or some segment of it as a collective. Put it another way, instead of the poet writing in the first person as if they were anyone in the human race collective that they pleased, rather than in the third person to tell about it, here, the poet is writing for all members of some small collective, like each member of a family, or both members of a couple, etc. They’d not only be a collective poet to some extent, but would also be writing collective poems where there are contributions from more than one person, all in the first person voice. How acceptable would that be, whether in general or depending on the situation?

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Amazing Example of Swing Dancing

Happy holidays, everyone!

Just sit back and enjoy this video of some amazing swing dancing by this older couple. It’s not amazing because it involves acrobatics, or fireworks, or extraordinary physical ability. It’s rather likely if most people put enough practice into swing dancing, they could probably dance like this. But it sure looks fantastic and like a ton of fun!


Of Love Universality, Cross-breeding and Interracial Relationships

Technology exists today that you can monitor brain activity associated with being in love. However, up until recently, most of the studies have been done in the Western world, which is only a minor part of the world. So is love truly universal as the idealists would have you believe, or is it cross-cultural and different among cultures like so many things are? I mean, different cultures don’t express love the same ways. They don’t court mates in the same ways. They don’t assign roles or values in love the same ways. In fact, I doubt you could find anything universal about love across all cultures.

But good news. No. Great news!

Love is truly universal!

Dr Art Aron, a professor of psychology at Stony Brook university in New York, and graduate student Xiaomeng Xu, have shown love to be universal by brain activity (Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times blog). Brain activity is the thing that counts when it comes to being able to scientifically define love. For all the talk of feelings and the heart, that’s all metaphors. Brain activity is where it’s at.

They measured and mapped brain activity of people in different cultures claiming to be in love, shown pictures of their loved ones, and did this for some over an 18 month period as relationships sometimes changed. What they got were some “very clear patterns”, according to Dr Aron. However, he cautions against being able to predict the future of relationships on differences on brain patterns seen among those who stayed in and fell out of love during the time they were monitored. Seems the patterns were an indicator of the present state, and not good enough to predict whether the state would persist or degrade in the future.

Still, it is great to be able to scientifically say love is truly universal among humanity!

Yet, despite all this, I cannot help but think of the paradoxes of racism and interracial relationships which I had seen and felt ever since I was a Vietnamese refugee child in Canada. Interracial relationships have generally been taboo in North America. Sure, there are enough people who accept it, though I will save stories of experiments I’ve done which have shown far fewer would embrace it than accept it in others in some places. In other words, I don’t care if someone else does it but not me. But interracial relationships are still taboo. In Nova Scotia, where I live, an interracial couple has been twice subject to hate crimes in early 2010 (CBC). It was the actions of a few, not representative of a community who rallied around the couple, but those actions don’t come out of nowhere without others someone having propagated the sentiments in the guilty in the first place.

Anyhow, what I’ve long wondered is this. I see people cooing and getting giddy over cross-breeds of dogs, cats and other animals all the time. It’s exotic and prized. Yet, two people of the same species, and we are all homo sapiens, who differ in skin colour, aren’t approved to be able to love each other and be with each other?

You tell me how this makes sense.

It’s just as paradoxical as why tanning is so cool, but being brown naturally and longer than a few weeks at a time is not.

Tell me how that also makes sense.

It doesn’t.

But tragically, that’s what makes us human and not Vulcans.


Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.9

Who Wants to See Taylor Swift in a Twilight Movie?

Taylors Swift (l) and Lautner (r)

So, singer Taylor Swift is dating Twilight New Moon werewolf star Taylor Lautner. She (Ms Swift) only blatantly hinted subtly in her Saturday Night Live (SNL) monologue on November 7 (2:42 to 2:55 in the video).

Now, I know Taylor is a name for both genders, like Kelly, but isn’t that kind of weird to be dating someone with your name?

Taylor (Lautner) seems to think (Extra Magazine). He stated that “It gets confusing definitely”.

Wait a minute, Taylor (Lautner). What gets confusing? When you or Taylor (Swift) talk to each other or call, to whom would you be referring except the other?

I’ll tell you one thing, though, aside from strange, it must sound narcissistic! To be talking endearingly as much as you  might in a relationship and having your name in the place of the other person’s name all the time. Imagine all the things you say to your significant other and put your name there. How weird would that sound, especially if you had a purely male or female name, which most of you have? You’d sound like you’re gay! Taylor and Taylor had better come up with some pet names for each other or else it’s going to be weird!

Any of you out there reading this have a spouse with the same name to share some insights?

Anyway, since Taylor’s been in a movie with Taylor before (Valentine’s Day, due out Feb 12 2010), which I believe was where they met, how’s about another one? How’s about Taylor Swift being in Twilight Eclipse or Breaking Dawn?

(Aside: Hey, this poll feature in WordPress has SO improved since the last time I used it!!! Nice!!! You can share this with your friends now, too, apparently!)

Now, I don’t like Twilight myself. I make all the stuff for it on my blog because I know there’s a big fan base out there for it. I haven’t read a word of it or seen any of it, so I don’t know if there’s any classy and pansy characters for Taylor Swift to be. But we could always alter the story so that Jacob Black, Taylor Lautner’s character who’s on the short side of a love triangle with Bella Swan with Edward Cullen and doesn’t seem like he will get her, could dump Bella for Taylor Swift’s character.

Hey, they’ve already altered the story so Edward Cullen could have a boosted profile since Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen, has become an international heart throb. I had heard that somewhere with my TV on one night. I really don’t actually know.


Maybe Taylor Swift could be a cute weregirl. Well, no. There’s no such thing. Cat girl? Still feline but gentler? Or maybe a succubus? Nah. Too naughty for Taylor’s classy and clean image.

By the way, who does Jacob Black eventually end up with anyway?

No worries about spoiling it for me. I have zero plans to watch of read Twilight. 🙂

Finally, what do you think of Taylor & Taylor as a couple, since I’m on a gossiping streak?


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I really don’t follow Twilight or any of this teen stuff. I was making some Twilight New Moon posters for their fans out there so I had to learn about the characters to know a bit about the series. I also had recently seen and posted about Taylor Swift’s SNL video, where I learned she was dating the werewolf from Twilight. I even forgot his actor’s name was Taylor! It was only when I realized that that I had the idea for this post. In “confirming” Taylor was dating Taylor, a quick Internet search revealed some other facts I mentioned in this post. In other words, my research wrote the story after I had the initial idea. But I’ll be honest that I’m becoming quite the huge fan of Taylor… Swift. Total class act. Couldn’t care less for Lautner. 🙂

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.2