Underneath my yellow skin

A mélange, a potpourri, and an olio–but mostly Lil Nas X

My brain has been jumping all over the place and my sleep has sucked, so this post is going to meander more than usual. I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit on how I write posts. Not on the writing itself because that’s usually just put down whatever is in my brain. No, it’s about how I decide what to write about. Normally, there’s something pressing on my brain and I let that flow from my fingers until I’ve said all I need to say on the subject or until  I lose interest. Sometimes, it’s both, but sometimes it’s one or the other.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with my concentration for reasons I don’t want to get into. Suffice to say, it’s not as easy to get shit done as it used to be. Most of the time, I just grit my teeth and force myself to write the post. It may not be as long as it normally is or very good, but I get it done, damn it. Today, however, I’m going to write about whatever is on my mind with no attempt at coherency. Here we go.

Lil Nas X. I didn’t know he existed until yesterday when I read something about Satan Shoes, his new kicks. That he’s selling. Oh, and he’s a rapper? Singer? Both? Anyway, there are 666 pairs and they contain drops of human blood. That’s all I knew when I made this tweet:

Then, I Googled some more because I was curious as to why he had done this. And found out that he was a queer black man who had been horribly scarred by Christianity and suddenly, I was completely on his side. I knew what he was feeling because I was raised in a similar environment and made to feel lesser than nothing for so many reasons. I didn’t even acknowledge being bi while I was in the church, but I knew that would have been an unforgivable sin. Let’s not even talk about how anti-sex in general fundamental Christianity is. He ‘apologized’ for the shoes with this:

It made me laugh heartily and give him a mental thumbs up.

The more I read, the more I was firmly on Lil Nas X’s side. In addition, people have been slavering over the devil from, well, Adam and Eve. Hell, there’s a current TV show Lucifer that has a very hot Satan in it (the eponymous Lucifer) and I’m certain many people are lusting over him. In addition, it’s not as if people haven’t horned for God before, either. But because Lil Nas X does it so openly, and, oh yeah, he’s gay and black, it’s suddenly howl-worthy. I’m seeing a ton of articles on why this is such a bad thing. Even people who might be sympathetic to him are saying, hey, maybe tone down the imagery. What imagery? Well, mostly him giving a lap dance to Satan while wearing tight shorts. Lil Nas X’s wearing tight shorts and knee-high black leather boots, I mean, not Satan.

I’ve watched the video several times with the controversy on my mind. First of all, it’s a goddamn catchy song. I was bopping along and it put a smile on my face. It’s a happy song if you don’t listen to the lyrics. If you listen to the lyrics, however, you’ll notice that it’s about the struggle of being gay in a world that is so not ok with that. It’s about wanting more and admiring/envying those who have more than you do or perhaps who are in a better place than you are. It’s about a young man who’s drifting and professes to being ok with being a sidepiece and kept a secret, but would probably rather be embraced for who he is.

There’s a line that says, “I want to fuck the ones I envy. Envy!” To me, that adds an interest context to him giving Satan a lap dance. I’m not saying I can read his mind, but I took these two images in juxtaposition to mean that he has an aspirational crush on Satan–for reasons that may or may not match mine. It might be as heady as because Lucifer was the one creature who defied God. Yes, he was kicked out of Heaven and cast down to Hell, but in Hell, he had absolute power. In other words, he took on God and lived to tell the tale. I could see how a 21-year-old who had been made to feel like God hated him because he was gay might want to emulate this creature. Also, what no one seems to mention is that at the end of the video, Lil Nas X snaps Satan’s neck and takes his horns, places the horns on his own head, then sprouts dark wings. So, to use the antiseptic term, ‘aspirational crush’, that’s what I get from the video.

Lil Nas X wants to be the one he fucks, which in this case is Satan. It makes so much sense to me, I don’t understand why other people don’t see it. Am I making it all up out of whole cloth? I don’t think so, but, again, I am not Lil Nas X. This is just my perspective and me throwing my two cents in. Like Lil Nas X needs ME to defend him.

Let me add to this the fact that he is unabashedly gay in the video. He is all up on the mens and there is no veneer of deniability. I am impressed by his bravery and I entered to win the 666th pair of Satan Shoes!

Veering wildly, let’s talk weapons. Did you really think you’d get a weapons-free article? Well, you were wrong. Yes, it’s my current obsession and I WILL talk about it whenever I can. It’s funny because for years, I rarely talked about taiji with anyone not in my classes. It’s not because I was embarrassed by it or thought it wasn’t worth mentioning. It just didn’t seem to fit in with other aspects of my life. It started changing slightly maybe five years ago. I began to notice that even though I was still clumsy, I wasn’t hurting myself as often. Also, I was more comfortable maneuvering crowds, which I used to hate. In addition, I was using mental taiji in order to be more chill in my relationship with my parents. None of this was deliberate–it just happened.

Taiji has also helped get rid of my back pain almost completely. I know I sound like a late-night QVC commercial for taiji, but it has really changed my life for the better. Not by any conscious decision I’ve made, but just by taking three classes a week, practicing every day, and a private lesson every other week. And, of course, the pandemic has really heightened my interest in weapons. Yes, we have to talk about weapons! Weapons are my life. I live and breathe them. Them and Dark Souls, of course. I’ll get to that in another post. For now, I want to gush about my weapons and how they have gotten me through the pandemic.

The sword. Let’s talk about it because I feel as if I haven’t given it enough love lately. I’ve taken it for granted because it’s been so long since I learned the Sword Form. That’s one reason I taught myself the Wu-li Wudang Sword–to get back to my first love. In addition to that, however, I decided to try putting the Sword Forms to music. Contemporary music! I started with Adrenalina by Wisin, featuring Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez. I wanted something fast-paced, and, boy did this song deliver. I’ve been trying a different song a day for the past several days and have found plenty that work. My goal is to pick one song and map out a routine, but for now, I’m just enjoying trying out different songs.

The problem is that I can’t practice every weapon every day. I mean, I could, but my body won’t allow it. Doing forms to music is much more strenuous than doing them on their own and I have to be careful not to overdo it. In addition, I have the impulse to dance as I do the forms. It’s not bad to put a little pep in your step and the Wu-li Wudang Sword is supposed to be personalized, anyway, but I have to be careful not to get lost in the music.

My point is that taiji has gone from being something that I do without thinking much about it to something I want to talk about on the regular. I’ll write more about it in the future, I’m sure, but for now, watch Lil Nas X’s video.


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