One of the defining existential dilemmas of my life can be best summed-up by the koan* of "Do I Wish To BE Her or DO Her?" It's really an unanswerable question, as chances are I'll fail at A and never get a chance to experience B as a result of my innate shyness** to say nothing of unlikely physical proximity to the Lady In Question due either to geography or chronology (and usually a combination of both).
*According to Wikipedia, that's pronounced /ˈkoʊ.ɑːn/, which is in itself kind of a puzzling question. How the fuck does one pronounce an upside-down Omega?
**Screw all'y'all--I *AM* SHY, goddammit.
After watching "Conquest" and realizing that courage and skill really have nothing to do with the pastime of heroic questing*** and allowing my mind to drift back to the "Machsima" photoshoot from "Viva," I thought that perhaps it was time for me to set out on a journey of self-discovery. I wanted to find my inner Tough Chick.
***Alcohol may have been a factor.
What better place to study the ways of contemporary Tough Chicks than at a Gotham Girls Roller Derby match? I'm dubious-at-best about sports, but I'm extremely enthusiastic about aggressive women and watching people fall down, so roller derby is really the perfect sport for me. Let me amend that statement--for me to watch. Even though a brief tutorial on the rules of the game from Prof. Jack left me feeling like maybe I could think about auditioning for the upcoming season****, the first time I saw a player go down into a crumpled heap of limbs and still-spinning skates, I was entirely punched out of the idea. Heck, even the JeerLeaders have to do things that kind of look like stunts if you tilt your head at the right angle. Best to leave this sort of thing to the professionals.
****I sometimes wish my personal trainer did NOT imbue me with this concept of myself as being coordinated and athletic. No geek needs to feel that way about her- or himself; it's just a hot trip to Ego-Town.
Realizing that I was in no wise ready for real-life badassery, I decided to take things back to the movie drawing board and watch that classic of tough-itude, David Fincher's "Fight Club." First off--why did none of you bastards tell me that movie was funny? Seriously, I'd avoided it for... ohhhh... A DECADE, assuming it was a hard-bitten dude flick, but no. It's made entirely of coolness. Seriously--by the time Brad Pitt's character had donned the giant Eurotrash sunglasses and monster-fur coat, I was smitten with the movie. Simultaneously, I realized that I was observing things like "Hey, isn't that Meat Loaf?," "wow, the cinematography is really nice in this," and "Jared Leto looks icy-Teuton-gorgeous with the bleached-out 'do and all-black duds" all of which are observations antithetical to the underlying roughnecking-up purpose of my watching the film.
Ultimately, I guess my quest for Tough-Chick-Dom was misguided. If we're to put this into cinematic terms (the only terms that MATTER), Tough Chicks often wind up crushed under the wheels of their own Porsches or bursting into flaming oblivion when crashing a schoolbus into a prison watchtower. I'll just stay over here and quietly admire those with bigger balls and cloudier judgement than mine.