Thinkers Thursday—Who I Am
I Saw A Headline A Few Days Ago...
Or as it turned out, a snippet of one.
The snippet read:
First Female Oscar Score Winner
I thought okay. Cool. No doubt I'm one of the very few people on Earth who doesn't keep track of that sort of trivia (first female to do such and such, first African-American to do that, and so on), but congratulations to whoever she is.
A while later, though, I saw the snippet again. Curiosity got the best of me, so I clicked on the link.
It took me to the story, and a decidedly, longer, more complete headline:
Hildur Guðnadóttir, First Female Oscar Score Winner in 23 Years, Tells Women ‘We Need to Hear Your Voices’
Okay. So, she's not the first woman to win an Oscar for an original score in a film. It's just been 23 years since the last one. Turns out, there have actually been four women who have one an Oscar for film scores.
Still, not very many, and so someone in the journalism world thought it would be good to make it sound extra special, and then the Bing News folks decided to take it a little farther.
In the grand scheme of things, the fact that this particular headline snippet was deceiving is not as bad as many other headlines tend to be. Yet, it got me thinking about how important it must be to some people that everyone knows that the first person of some particular color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation—whatever main identifier gets used—accomplished whatever it is they accomplished.
Even if it's woman No. 4.
I Get It
Women don't often win the Oscar for best film score. That's probably because there aren't as many women as men who create film scores. So, the ratio could be out of whack. I watch a lot of Sci-Fi, Superhero, and Action movies, and as far as I can remember not a single woman has been in the credits for having provided the music for the film.
So, it's a rare thing. I get it.
I Should Just Leave It At That
But it got me thinking about how I self-identify, and how others might do it.
Will Hildur Guðnadóttir now be known as only the fourth woman in Academy Awards history to win an Oscar for a film score? Should she be?
If I could be identified as anything other than a white, middle aged male, would I want others to look at me as the first (fill in the blank) to do whatever it was I did?
I don't know. I just don't think of myself in terms of color or race. Maybe that's because I don't have to since, the majority of Americans still identify as Caucasian. In that sense, I'm not a minority.
But Is That All There Is To Me?
I don't think so. As I said, I don't think of myself in terms of what color I am. The fact that I am a citizen of the United States does cross my mind much more, simply because of late, I need to remind myself that as bad as things can get here with politics, regulations, restrictions, etc., it could still be worse.
Okay, then. Just how do I think of myself? How about a list, in no particular order?
Family. That's right. Go back far enough, you and I are related somehow. It might go back to a child or grandchild of Adam and Eve, if you believe they actually existed, or maybe even farther back than that, when individual organisms began to separate themselves from the primordial ooze. Take your pick. The idea is, we all come from the same human family.
A son. I'm also a first child to boot. Unless I'm around my sisters, I don't really think of myself in terms of that, though.
A brother. Kind of let the cat out of the bag when I mentioned my sisters. I have a brother too, who passed away several hours after birth.
I can also self-identify as a nephew, cousin, and grandson (I could keep going back, but I don't remember my great grandparents, let alone anyone else before them).
A husband. I have a lovely wife who all who know her seem to adore. I readily admit I'm very blessed. It helps that she proposed (if I'm telling the story that is).
A father. My wife and I have two sons who are grown now and have families of their own. Which now means, I'm also:
A grandfather. This is one of the best things I've ever been. I enjoy being a husband and father, but as a Grandpa, I get most of the happy times without as much of the not so happy times. It's great, and I highly recommend grandparenthood to anyone.
Middle aged. I'd rather not identify this way, but I can't really deny it. I might feel like I'm younger on the inside, and I do try to keep it that way, but my body is fond of telling me otherwise. So, then, is the mirror. It's sad to think that the way I perceive of myself (when some body part isn't aching for no good reason), will be different than what other see me as. Except for my wife. She thinks she's raised me along with the boys. Or still raising me.
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Faith is a big part of my life. It informs the person I am today, inasmuch as I have allowed it. I am by no means perfect at practicing my faith. It's an ongoing, every day kind of thing to become a better person.
Of Danish, English, Polish/German (depends on where the boundaries were at the time in question), and Scottish descent. Which mean, I have blue eyes, fair skin and at one time, mostly blonde hair.
Politically unaffiliated. Originally, I was registered with the Republican Party, then became Independent, and then when that became a party, too, I disassociated myself entirely. George Washington had it right. I prefer to think of myself as politically agnostic, but very much a believer in principles. The two are not the same. If I lean any direction, it's probably to the right, but more and more, I mostly care about the fiscal side of things, probably because very few others seem to. Control the purse strings, and it's amazing how many social issues appear or disappear depending on where the money goes.
A writer. And not just a blogger. I am a published author. Self-published, that is, but published nonetheless. With an editor and everything. I need to write more novels so I can make it a bigger deal than it is right now, which is smack dab in the middle of obscurity.
Bilingual. I speak my native tongue of English (Americanized), and I speak Spanish. My wife, who was born and raised in Mexico, likes to say I'm fluent. I like to say, Hablo un poquito. I don't get nearly the practice I used to get, even with my wife, since she wants to use her English as much as he can, but it seems to come back when I need it.
An employee. It'll be eight months in a couple of days for my current job. Time flies. I'm just glad I didn't manage to get myself fired yet. I'd like to keep it that way, even though being self-employed (not an employer—there's a difference) is still what I want to be.
A college football fan. Primarily, I'm an Oregon Duck college football fan, but I like the pace of the college game much more than the pros. It's just more fun.
A Sci-Fi, Superhero, Action fan. I alluded to that above, but I'm making it official here.
A quadcopter enthusiast. I've been wanting to be for a while now, and after some rather inauspicious attempts, I think I finally have one that I can enjoy.
An investor, user and wannabe entrepreneur of STEEM. This list of who I am would not be complete without STEEM, since I spend as much time as I can here. I miss the days when I could dedicate all day, but I don't miss the financial stress of only my wife's income (mostly, it was her stress). But STEEM is trending upward, hitting $0.28 USD earlier today before dropping back down into the $0.26 USD range, and the amount in my wallet has been reflecting the prior increases.
An introvert. In certain situations, I can be the life of the party, but only for limited periods of time. Then, I'd rather be alone to my own thoughts for a while. I really don't need a whole lot of interaction with people to feel fulfilled or happy. Little doses at a time is just fine.
Glen Anthony Albrethsen. As far as I know, I am the only one in the world with that name. That makes me a minority of one, as unique as it gets.
That's Long Enough
Hopefully, you can see my point. I feel like I am many things, and most are by my own will and choice, rather than luck of the draw or happenstance, or however we come to be of a certain color, ethnicity, sex, personality, etc. I don't think I could consider myself mostly one thing. It would have to be a sizable group of what's on this list at the very least. I mean, there definitely are things on this list that have more longevity, purpose and meaning.
I think that's the way it is with all of us. We are much more of who we are on the inside than we are who people think we are on the outside. I don't want to be labeled, or put in a box. I want to be free to be who I am, and who I want to be.
How Do You Self-Identify?
What sorts of identifiers would make your list? Would our lists be similar, or totally different?