THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: History

Johnny Fantastic

Johnny Fantastic

 

Date of Interview: December 9, 2016

Name: Johnny Fantastic

Age: 33

Pronouns: They/Them, sometimes He/Him

Location: Washington, DC

 

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

An animal or character or underwater creature… I suppose I would probably take my run at being an octopus. Because, it would be a completely different experience from being a human being, like being a species that’s constantly being tugged downward by gravity, constantly struggling against gravity to keep upright and walk. Instead, be free from that force more or less to kind of expand all around and swing all my body parts in all directions.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about music. I’m passionate about history. I’m passionate about emotions. I’m passionate about science. I’m particularly interested in lesser known chapters of history. I’m really interested in presidents who are not the known ones like, the really out there ones that no one knows the names of. Like Franklin Pierce or William Henry Harrison who was only president for a month and died. And I’m generally interested in all histories of political movements around the world and how they connect to what might be happening now in the world. The small facts play into the connections because the small facts always turn out to be the butterfly effect that caused the whole collapse. Like the small incident in Sarajevo in 1914, the assignation of the archduke, that triggered the worst war that the world has ever seen. So I like to find out about little events that happened in history that are lesser known, but if you follow those events you might see that if something little hadn’t have happened then the big thing might not have happened either.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Platonic, sexual and otherwise? Umm I think right now I’m pretty against them, I’m living a very solo existence. I find that I like to have complete control of my time and I am not really good at sharing my time with people unless it’s impromptu, Like, “Hey! We’re going here and there you are!” And I’m like, “Great! Let’s go!” But I’m having trouble dealing with relationships because I clam up when people want to see me or spend time with me at all, through text or even email. It’s like… gah! Get out of my life! Get out of my head! That’s probably romantic. Friendships are like… friendships are the same way though. The friends that I’m closest with are the ones that leave me the most alone but somehow end up being in my life a lot anyways despite that fact. Yeah, I like that kind of treatment.

You said you’re passionate about emotions, does that tie into relationship?

Yeah, I’m still in the stage of my life where I see relationships as like, mythical, religious experiences of love and all that stuff so I seem to have the ability to only engage with people in either a fully passionate emotional way. Or to be really unaffected and to not want to be in relationships at all. So, I’m leaning towards the not wanting to be in relationships at all for that reason ::laughs::.

What is something you struggle with?

Something I still struggle with… Ugh. Concentration. Focusing on things. Keeping my, interest in what I’m currently doing without other thought. Like, if I start working on a song and I’ve been working on it for ten minutes, something in my head will pop up like, “But who wrote the article in 1900 that really started the Yellow Press that really started the Spanish-American War on Cuba? I need to look that up”, so now I’m looking it up and “Oh wow, like, it was William Randolph Hearst, I need to learn more about William Randolph Hearst”. So then I’ll watch a documentary on William Randolph Hearst and that could go on for like, 20 minutes and that can turn into me thinking I need to stop watching documentaries and how I need to see acting, I need to see like, real emotion, I need to see something! Then I’ll want to watch Citizen Kane because that’s sort of about William Randolph Hearst, you know. It could go on endlessly and it normally ends up in porn at some point ::laughs::. Sooooo concentration. Started with a song, ends with some dongs ::laughs::.

What is something you’re afraid of for the world?

That humans continue to exist ::laughs::. ‘Cause that would be really bad for the world, if we’re talking about the actual planet. Actually it doesn’t matter really, all things are natural so I guess, if the earth is going to become a wasteland of global warming, that’s just what it will be. It will keep spinning around the sun until the sun eats it up… So, I think the thing I fear for the world is that, is something a little more immediate and is effecting my own personal life and for those that are alive now, is that we lose touch with our desire to understand the world more and grow our brains and be smarter and learn more things and discover more ways to live and be more accepting of the new kinds of ways of living that keep coming up with as we keep moving forward through time. I’m afraid of that reversing and humanity going back to darker times.

What is something you feel accomplished with?

I feel good that I’ve managed to maintain my identity as I like my identity, without having to coat switch so much. I’m proud that I’m 33 and I’m still who I am. I haven’t cut my hair or put on a suit or like… modified my language to be more normy or go to brunch or whatever. I’m proud that I’m resisting that. “That” being what I’m told is the inevitable result of aging. That I’m being true to myself.

 

Jessica Zeigerman

Jessica Zeigerman

 

Date of Interview: September 6, 2016

Name: Jessica Zeigerman

Age: 36

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Arlington, VA

If you were an underwater sea creature which one would you be?

I think I would be a bioluminescent jellyfish, because they’re so cool and mysterious. And they don’t really have any organs or anything. They’re also a lot smarter than they look. I kind of like that, the hidden intellect. And they’re pretty.

What are you passionate about?

Um, I guess it’s kind of hard to say… I don’t know if I have a specific thing. You know how people say that art is their specific passion or saving earth is their passion or something… I just try to do what makes me happy and that can be anything at any given time. I mean, I love to explore and I love learning. Whether I’m reading something or someone is telling me about themselves or about some historic fact or… anything. That’s what gets me. I think when I was growing up and going to school I don’t think I was really into learning. I mean, I got great grades, I was a really good student but I wasn’t really paying attention. I was there for the grade. And later on in life I think I realized that man… I should have taken more history classes, more philosophy classes. More, kind of, explore more. Instead of only learning what I needed to learn to get to the next level. I don’t feel like I’m missing out from not having a specific passion, but I’m a really passionate person in a different way.

What draws you to history?

That there’s so much of it. And it’s so interesting learning how our civilization and the human race has evolved. Just, learning how things were built and wondering why it took so long to create the technology that we have now. Because we had and still have the intellect, but why didn’t we have the means? Just so much, it’s so vast that you can get lost in it! It’s fascinating. I always wanted to know what it’s like to live in an era or century where the day to day was different. I know what my day to day is and I know what another average person’s day to day might look like but there’s so much in the past that’s untold.

What do you think of humanity now?

I think there is a lot of good in this world but it’s unfortunately overshadowed by the not so good. You know, I don’t know if the good people are the silent majority or what it is… I feel like maybe these days people are afraid to offend another person so they keep to themselves or…Or you have the reverse where people don’t care. And they just do the exact opposite. I like to think that everybody has some inherent good in them.

What are you most afraid of for yourself?

I always look to, or try to be happy. Or try to find happiness somewhere. So I guess I’m really afraid of not being able to find that. I think in the past few years, since I’ve been moving around quite a bit, and just getting older, I find that I’ve become more and more solitary. So I’ve been here for a couple years already and I don’t have to many friends here in town and I moved here without knowing anyone and this being a transient town in itself, it’s so hard to find a group of friends to really click with. And stay with. I guess I’m also a little bit afraid of being utterly alone.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

I think as you get older you get more set in your ways. So… I think that you also get more confident in yourself and you know yourself so you can say “to hell with the next person if they don’t like me”. I always say that to know me is to love me and if you don’t love me you probably don’t know me ::laughs::. So I mean, I love being in love, but with getting older I think you have a different idea of what you want. Like when you’re young you have all of these ideals, maybe touching on the way you were raised, whether you try to marry your parents or whomever you think is ideal. And when you get older you kind of get more confident and set in your ways and you want… a companion. You want someone to share things with. And I’ve always been more of an independent person anyways, so I don’t need to be rescued but I want somebody there. I want somebody there if I’m having a great time so we can share that experience. If I’m going through a bad phase I want someone to give me a really big hug and a kiss and tell me that “Everything will be alright. I’m here for you”. I think it’s something that goes along with friendships, you know, as I get older I want friends who know I have my quirks and my ways and weird tendencies but loves me anyway.

What is something that you feel accomplished with?

I hate to say my job, but for a really long time my job has been my primary focus. So I kind of look back at where I started from and I’ve come a long way. And I love what I do, and now I’m finally making a difference. Or so I feel, and I really feel like I’ve arrived. So I guess that’s something that I’m proud of. I’m also proud that I was able to leave home. I lived in Cleveland for over 30 years and I picked up and left, went to New England not knowing anybody, for a job opportunity. And I made it! I made it up there and moved down here and have made it here too, so I’m proud of finding success professionally but also personally, knowing that I can do it. I feel that much better, more confident in myself.

What do you wish you had known at 15?

Sooo many things ::laughs::. The small things are really small things. Just be yourself, and be happy. Don’t try to always please your parents if that isn’t making you happy. Don’t try to fit in if you don’t, there will always be people out there that you can fit in with. So like, don’t try to fit in with the wrong group of kids, if they don’t like you somebody else will, it’s okay! Just… take it easy. Take time to smell the roses. And take more history classes I guess! ::Laughs:: or art classes or something, just go explore, explore everything. Expand your horizons.

Alice Peck

Alice Peck

 

Date of Interview: August 4, 2016

Name: Alice Peck

Age: 26

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Location: Washington, DC

 

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

I would be a seahorse, absolutely. I think because I really like the way they move. They also look nothing like horses which has always fascinated me; they look kind of like a saxophone and they move in a really magical way

Did you read fairytales or fantasy as a child? Did this impact who you are now?

A lot of fairytales. As a child I read a lot of the more traditional ones that you read to little girls and little boys. And they’re quite gender binary, very traditional gender roles – like with women saved by the man, and it’s actually taken me a couple years to kind of shake off that. Realizing what is a fairytale and now not wanting that kind of thing in my life at all. So yeah, these kinds of things impact you definitely, but in a way that I can question now.

What are you passionate about?

Gosh, so many things. I love… Right now I love reading so much. I get swept up in words and I think waking up and reading poetry, which sounds so pretentious, is so good for my soul. I just think there is so much unlocked potential when you begin reading. You never know how you’re going to react to it. It can be a really beautiful form of escapism. More broadly, I’m really passionate about challenging inequality, injustice, and discrimination.

Do you think how you were raised effected this?

Yeah, definitely. Well, for a start, I was raised in a way that was very fortunate and privileged. I never had to worry about… anything. I lived a sheltered life but my parents were very good about talking about our privilege. Letting me know that this wasn’t the way for everyone, and what responsibilities come with privilege. Also my responsibility comes from what I really believe is wrong and learning about institutional racism and sexism. And learning why these things are wrong. It’s something that I’m really passionate about as I think everything was handed to me on a plate and that’s really unfair.

What is something that you’re afraid of for yourself?

I would say… Failure. In a… How do I describe failure… I think I have very high standards and ambitions for myself. And I can be my worst critic. Something I’m working on and challenging a bit is this idea of success. I’m questioning what looks good and personal goals. I think not living up to them is something I am definitely afraid of.

What is something that you’re afraid of for the world?

Climate change. Yeah, I feel quite hopeless when I look at the beauty of the planet and how we’re destroying it. And how we don’t know how to respond to it.

Do you think the world was always like this or that there have been changes within the past decade?

I mean, the history of the world is of one that has been at constant war. So, I think, definitely think that there hasn’t been this “Golden Age” of peace and security. And if there was “peace” there was violence against women or suppression of people who are homosexual or people of color. So yeah, I think the world has always been like this but right now it seems very extreme due to the way it’s broadcasted into our lives all the time. The ways that everyone is vocalizing their voice on twitter and broadcasting it out on social media. How people can just say racist bigoted things and it gets everywhere. I think it’s a different form of the usual kind of violence and hatred that we’ve always had. It’s so bleak.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

I think relationships and connections with other humans is one of the most rewarding and hopeful things in life. Especially since we live in such a sad time, being able to connect to another human being and share words and understand and listen… just coming together from different perspectives is one of the most beautiful things. Also, physical intimacy is… Incredible ::laughs::. I don’t know, in terms of a long-term personal relationship… I think I’m more cynical.

If you could tell your 15 year old self something, what would it be?

So many things I would want to tell myself… I think, if I could convince my 15 year old self to believe in myself and love myself a bit… Just have some self compassion. Yeah.

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