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Kiss The Flame

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Scarfstruck

What's intriguing to me is that she's basically performing the deal with their songs right now. We are socialized, especially those of us who sleep with men, to equate being "nice" with never saying no. There are plenty of sneaky ways to assert power that don't break that rule, but that rule is a real thing. The system's been gamed that way for the entirety of human existence: For even a provisional amount of determining power you have to sneak under the radar by pretending to be a passive idiot. If being gay weren't so terribly demeaning, weren't just as bad as being a woman, maybe Nick wouldn't be so stressed about it.

That's actually why "What It Feels Like For A Girl" was the first song I thought of, because it's literally about that: When you're trying hard to be your best/ Could you be a little less? Whether you're a gay dude or a straight chick, being Paris Hilton is always the easiest exit strategy to avoid that kind of pressure, because you're the only one capable of fucking up the real good system men have going, so don't rock the boat and don't ever say No.

And Scott's whole song was about trading that begrudging acceptance for personal sovereignty, which is a discovery that is pretty much a miracle every time it happens: If you can learn to equate the pressure to be "nice" with being victimized, which is what it actually is, you can take it apart in your own life and see the deals being made that you didn't even know you were making.

Kara: "Brian, you wasted time on an old-timey track that had zero bite instead of sticking with your gift of writing powerful chords. Jes, you keep telling us you're awesome and then handing us excuses. Your refusal to assert yourself, especially on the empowerment task, is to say the least ironic."
Jewel: "...And yet, we're sending Brian home."

Jes climbs him like a tree and cries all over the place, while Brian just gets quietly annoyed with himself. He reacts in a completely classy way, and it's quickly over. They wish him well, we all wish him well. He is a good man. Backstage, Sonyae is excited to see Jes coming back, while the boys get worried that Brian's not around. Finally they find him crying in a corner, a sight that touches even Nick enough that he awkwardly pats Brian on the back and tries to be of comfort for the first time in his entire life. Brian continues to be awesome all through his exit stuff, and then he's gone. That sucked!

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