This Blog and Other Lies I Tell Myself

I feel a little like Beyonce. I’m dropping a blogpost after months of silence. And I haven’t told anyone.

In case you were looking for me:
I stopped writing because I was looking for me, too. I hoped that the new year would provide me with some insight about where to take my writing next. People kept telling me I needed to do something with my blog. That I needed to dig a hole and find my niche. That I needed to be an expert in something for people to expect my blog every day. So, I drafted a few ideas. I started to prepare myself for OpEd Tuesdays and Poetry Wednesdays, and to essentially deliver a product that people could swallow without chewing. But I never got far enough to actually start posting with my new format in mind. Maybe something in a deep cranial fold of logic or the stained glass transparency of my heart knew I would never be able to fully commit to a project that did not feel organic or alive to me. Or maybe I was lazy. Probably, I was lazy.

Along the way, I found that life has a way of carving you a tunnel where there was not a path before, and the fact that there is an entire world outside of that tunnel is not enough to convince you that the tunnel is worth leaving. Well, that, and I got a job (that I love) that I needed to get acclimated to before I could continue writing. But now I’m here. And hopefully, you are, too.

In case you were not looking for me:
If you are new here, welcome. Please pretend as if I have been a diligent blogger this entire time and that I have been dedicated to the pursuit of savory word choice and hilarious musings. I’m sure we will get along just fine if you can play pretend as well as I can.

The Pale, White Lies
But in reality, this blog was a gigantic lie that I used to tell myself. In case you didn’t know, this blog is updated every day (except on the weekends), and I do not usually premeditate my topics. I generally sit down to write in the twilight of my day and slip into my writing like the sun sinks behind the horizon. Yet, recently, I would watch dusk turn into dawn without so much as a turn of phrase to show for it.

For some time, I researched other blogs and platforms to get a sense of what I would want for BaileyDailey in the future. I called this progress, and finally, I called my own bluff. I lived painfully with the lie that, yes, oh yes, today was the day, only to pull the covers on my bed up to my chin at its close and chide myself for another wasted day. I decided, very unceremoniously, that I was not good enough to be a writer, and I drowned any notion of writing. But after a month or so without writing, all I wanted to do was throw myself overboard.

Writing, if it is a part of your life in terms of habit or talent, is not a tumor to be separated from flesh and precious organ. It is more of an urge that is as familiar as a headache or a hunger pang. It presses in until you can let it out. And try telling your shoulders to fall to their normal height or your mind to mind the speed limit as it goes racing and tumbling down every turn in a piece or prose or poetry, waiting to be cradled and cast out by a line or chapter break. And try telling yourself that you can read something without imagining how you would craft that line or imagine that character’s faults for yourself. And try telling yourself that reading other people’s works, while not creating your own, will satiate you for the rest of your life.

And words, words, words. They line my soul and march through me and they stay unyielding in their pregnant forms so turgid with meaning and incorrect use but also flexibility in a way no one has ever caressed them before and I’ve lost all control. of. punctuation. There.

And these are the lies I would tell myself. That I was not good enough, and that I shouldn’t be writing, and that I didn’t have enough passion to continue.

But I told a bigger lie. I told myself that I could live my life without writing. And now that I am back to blogging, it’s not that I will start to tell the truth. It’s never been about that. It’s always been about spinning gold threads in reality and churning it with half-truths, lies, and perception. (And if you don’t think that perception should be in that grouping, then you must come back tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.)

And with that, BaileyDailey is back. 

And with that, so am I. 


Is A Creative Writing MFA Worth The Cost?

Looking for a sign? Here’s your sign.

101 Books

Let’s start today’s post with a few relevant stats:

  • The average MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing at a public university costs in the neighborhood of $30,000, according to
  • From what I’ve found on the internet (it’s very reliable!), and from my own knowledge of the freelance writing world, I would say a solid, well-connected, always busy freelance writer will make in the neighborhood of $40,000 per year.

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The Entitlement Generation’s Target: Humanity

The Dangers of Having Facebook Friends
Ah, the joys of Facebook. And even more so, of having Facebook friends. Anyone who partakes in this social media site knows the second-hand grief of a boring status or a scandalous profile picture. Unfailingly, our friends somehow adopt personalities of unpredictability when they log on to their FB accounts. But what we can always depend on is that one friend, who, for some reason, offends us, and for some unknown reason, we keep in our news feed. We can recognize these people particularly when it is an election year, or when any sort of event at all happens that provokes an opinion or presents a side to take.

Undoubtedly, you knew where this was going before I even started, so let me impart to you the offensive quote that an acquaintance posted today on Facebook. Even with research, I could not find the author of this quote, but I would love to know who said this:

“The best way to dehumanize someone while claiming you’re not is to believe you are just the same. You erase their experiences and perspective, their struggles and obstacles, their unique way of having to deal with those things in a world that also erases them. With the words, ‘but humans are humans’ or the bullshit dramatics of ‘we all bleed red’ normal people can simply pretend that if we all did things the way they did, then everything would work out okay….You are not acknowledging someone’s personhood when you ignore the very things that make their lives different than yours, and when you refuse to understand that their circumstances have given them their own perspective that is just as valid as yours. More valid in fact – their perspective about their experiences that you haven’t been through is far more valid than anything you could ever think about it.”

Special Snowflake Status
Now, in all seriousness, the above quote has a point. It is absolutely important to be respectful of a particular person’s perspective, and to celebrate their successes and acknowledge their struggles as unique to them. In no way should you assume that you can relate to someone’s happiness or sadness, even if you believe you have experienced a similar situation to which the person is reacting.

However, this quote attempts to combat the simple notion that we are all human; an idea that has rarely offended anyone until now. My first reaction was to dismiss this quote as a precocious whine from the entitled generation, who again, seem to be attempting to single themselves out. Yet, the more I thought about this, the angrier I got, and the whiter my knuckles turned from frustration.

So, let me explain how this sentiment has inflamed me. What we have here is known as a “special snowflake” comment. A “special snowflake” is someone who believes that their opinions and decisions are absolutely unique to them, and at core, believe that they are above other people because they are far too “individual.”

For example, someone who believes that they are the ONLY person who does not enjoy Taylor Swift’s music, since the majority of 16-25 year olds associate and connect to her, is a special snowflake. These kinds of people believe they are “special” for not liking her image, lyrics, etc. because they are going against a large popularity’s opinion. The truth is though that there are people who do not like Taylor Swift and her music, and that’s okay. Actually, with the dawn of the internet, you can actually be connected to those people who share your hate for the blond songstress quite easily. Upon meeting, you could even create an online “I Hate Taylor Swift” club, if you so choose, but I prefer to channel my hate into something more positive, such as this blog post, or like this person did with their Feminist Taylor Swift Twitter.

What Makes You Beautiful, Smart, Funny, Is Yours
At any rate, what this quote suggests is that by being called “human,” it somehow detracts from your individuality. But the thing is, what makes you unique cannot be taken from you by anyone. It is absolutely inherent.

But I’m not sure that sank in the first time. So, let me say this again:  you are you, always. No matter how eloquent the quote, or Facebook status, or lyric is, what truly makes you who you are cannot be labeled or classified with one word. Because people are the sum of their parts; you may be a dog-person, and you may hate sushi, and you might not be a  PC user, but each of these traits do not solely define who you are. And certainly, you may be able to ascertain some characteristics from someone who describes themselves as “granola” or “an accountant” because you will understand, on some level, that this person cares about the environment and that the other works with math in his/her profession, but you will not be able to understand every aspect of that person, and you shouldn’t pretend to.

And this is the same idea when someone calls you “human,” perhaps on an even broader level. So, to say that someone is trying to invalidate your experience by calling you a part of humanity is ludicrous. No one is trying to take away your identity from you, just like Facebook will never try to charge you for their services. We are simply attempting to unify ourselves as humans when we use such cliches. Feeling like we belong and connect with each other does not take away your unique personality, but simply marks you as a human, which you are. Because the truth is, you can’t feel something that NO ONE has ever felt before. And while that may seem horrible and limiting, its actually in how you perceive it, which I understand, may be different from me. But the way I see it, the fact that humanity has experienced everything before in some way, is comforting to me. It is why we read biographies, and study history, and go to concerts, and log on to Facebook because we want to know that we are not alone in our interests and experiences. For we all cry, we all experience lost, and we have all loved. And to make a comment about our unified experience that we call humanity is not dehumanizing; it’s actually liberating.

The point is no label: girl, boy, friend, lover, mistress, beautiful, skinny, fat, ugly, kind, charming, stupid, rude, conservative, liberal, old, young, and even, human, can totally capture your nature, so why be concerned? Add human to the list of positive qualities about yourself, or don’t. But never believe that you are so unique that you are impervious to the human experience. For it touches us all, whether you have Facebook or not.

If you would like to weigh in on this discussion, please comment below!

Why the Zombie Apocalypse is Actually Upon Us


Zombie fans recreate a bloody scene of the incoming apocalypse.

Sick of Zombies?

On the horizon, small shapes begin to form on a deserted highway. They seem to be moving impossibly slow for their outlines are still blurry a few minutes later. And then, you hear them. Snarling, groaning, teeth gnashing, their numbers are so large that they sound like a swarm of hornets with a demolished nest. But these are not garden variety insects; these are zombies. The horde moves as one organism towards the road to wreak havoc on the human race.

Sick of this scene? Tired of seeing zombies in every media medium? Believe me, I too am sick of the slow-moving undead and the gory unfolding of what is assuredly an entirely useless endeavor to combat the zombie apocalypse. Yet, it would seem that our society has the symptoms of an addictive personality. Once we grab hold of a phenomenon, we are loath to see it go until we have explored it in film, television, and in books and then parodied it in those same formats. For tired audiences, the obvious strategy is to give up; let the hordes descend, and pray that pop culture moves on when the food supply runs out, when the market is fully saturated.

Unfortunately, this is not happening anytime soon. Rather, it’s time that we buckled down and prepared for the zombies to unleash their full might in media. So, grab some extra cases of bottled water and canned goods, and hunker down for as zombies are representative of societal fears, we are nowhere near finished with our fascination. Our anxieties have reached an all-time high as a culture, and the parallels between the zombie itself and its audiences’ fears have become truly apparent.

Zombies Are Real

Obviously an authentic zombie apocalypse is not conceivably possible as long as our long-term issues such as bird flu does not yield a 28 Days Later situation. And really, you can thank your lucky stars that zombies are not real. According to Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad and Robert J. Smith in their article When Zombies Attack!: Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection, we would not stand a chance against them without drastic measures, as their study concludes: “While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often.” In light of this study, force, you might say, is a commodity that we as Americans definitely possess. That, and high-powered weapons. Therefore, zombies would not pose much of a threat to us if we follow this line of logic.

However, we, and I mean the entire human race, have been unable to resist turning those high-powered weapons on ourselves and each other. In fact, this is a staple component of the zombie narrative: the survivors of the apocalyptic world are repeatedly seen competing for scarce resources, not with the zombies, but with each other.

Let’s Eat (Brains)

It is exactly this aspect of zombies that attracts us to them. We have always viewed zombies as extensions of ourselves and our fears, and so their relevancy in media is as undying as their bodies. For example, the zombies’ mythic origin in Haiti is especially emblematic of this, as Kevin Alexander Boon explains that the Haitians believed that the zombie would reawaken from the dead to work in the fields at night. Boon adds that the zombie is a dogged worker and so symbolically becomes an American mascot. Subconsciously, there is a mutual appreciation and a recognizable sentiment in a zombie’s hard-working nature for audiences.

But wait, there’s more. Particularly in recent times, the zombie’s portrayal and its parallels to its prey’s existence is too uncanny to ignore, especially in the concepts of terrorism and globalization. For instance, as Nicole Birch-Bayly suggests, the zombie can be largely perceived as a metaphoric attack on home soil; one of the primary societal fears that was borne out of the 9/11 terrorist strikes. This is  further punctuated through a study conducted by Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad, and Robert J. Smith in which the authors mathematically concluded that the population would be effectively decimated if a zombie apocalypse were to happen. Thus, this realistic rendering of the effects of a zombie apocalypse coupled with past terrorist attacks provides a paranoia that is unparalleled in our understanding of the undead. As it is represented by the zombie, we do not only fear terroristic attacks, but our inability to stop them.

Unfortunately, as we fear another attack on our home front, our anxieties have not stopped America from probing the rest of the world. As a result, while the zombie is symbolic of  domestic terrors, it also encompasses the larger issue of globalization. As the article “Undead Spaces: Fear, Globalisation, and the Popular Geopolitics of Zombiism” by Robert A. Saunders  explains, “The zombie is completely and utterly delocalised; all remnants of culture are wiped clean with the zombie’s ‘death’ and are not reclaimed with reanimation. As a result, they are at home everywhere, yet have no sense of home.” Saunders is able to capture what has not been prevalently emphasized: no one can be immune to the zombie. Capitalist or consumerist, slave or master, the zombie does not openly acknowledge these divisions, though at times, it is representative of them. Through this, Saunders conveys that no one can truly be apathetic to the zombie; it is a collective fear that is symbolic of other authentic fears for us as a society.

Facing Our Fears

Yet, instead of confronting the fears that zombies represent, we instead repress them until a filmmaker, a producer, or an author attempts to redress our issues in media. So, why should you care? Once we isolate these broader issues that we use as fearful mediums of entertainment, we begin to understand ourselves as a whole, and thus we also begin to make peace with ourselves. In recognizing the zombie as a larger extension of ourselves, we can confront our anxieties and address our world issues, and it can fade into the background.

But like I said, that is not happening anytime soon. We have too much to fear and too much to lose to excommunicate the zombie from our consciousness at present. But, in the future, I challenge you to go toe to toe with your cannibalistic counterparts. In fearing the zombie itself, we also make the anxiety it represents taboo. Do not shun the zombie, and roll your eyes over its decrepit form gracing another DVD cover or book. Engage with it as best you can, for decay and decomposing bodies aside, we are the zombie apocalypse in spirit and our fears will always be linked to its presence in some way or another. It’s just best if you do not let it consume you.

In need of more gore? Check out this trailer for Warm Bodies and post in the comments what you think! Yay or nay for zombies!

Introvert Interred

“Caring for Your Introvert” Jonathan Rauch

Larger (and louder) Than Life

In our world, bubbly is not an adjective limited to champagne, and loud is not just the volume setting on our music players. No, conversation is akin to cigarettes; they are both an oral fixation and the notion remains that participation in both activities will make you seem cooler somehow. To this end, everyone loves an outgoing person, a person who can chat. That person who strikes up a conversation in line at Starbucks, or even at the DMV, is considered successful by society. No one understands the wallflower that plants roots at the corner of the party and needs to be dug up from the floorboards when its time to go.

Enter Jonathan Rauch. He seems to understands the value of the simple, but apparently impossible task of letting people stay “in their shells.” Introverts, he argues, are fundamentally different from extroverts, and should be allowed by society to function in their own way. Therefore, they need to be treated differently, and should not be given the same expectations that are presented to extroverts.

Namely, they should not have to talk as much.

However, despite Rauch’s fist pump for the swimming pool toe dippers, and a brush to the side for the cannonball jumpers, he still admits that extroverts excel in leadership positions. According to Rauch, extroverts are simply better than introverts in roles of power, as he depicts several examples of famous U.S. presidents, and their subsequent personalities.

Sustaining the Status Quo

You see, as Rauch explains, introverts have a motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses,” which, contrary to your initial instincts, is not at all offensive.

Because if you don’t understand this article, then you are an extrovert, and you are here to learn about how to “care for your introvert,” so, against your personal instinct, don’t speak.

With this power balance established by Rauch, and with a world that is more culturally aware, and appreciative of the nuances in our population, extroverts can begin to understand their cautious counterparts, but essentially, will just continue to rule the world as regularly scheduled.

So, why shine a harsh spotlight on this subject at all, as introverts everywhere will surely hiss at the attention that this draws? Rauch certainly calls upon his extroverted brethren to extend an olive branch to the down-trodden and “oppressed” (his words, not mine) introverts, but for what?

You might have thought he would be the leader of the Extrovert and Introvert peace talks, but think again. For Rauch maturely asks for the treatment of introverts to improve, and largely, for people to shut up. As he concludes his article, “I’m an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.”

Shut Up (Please)

As a fellow introvert, I applaud his venture to a point. Jonathan Rauch’s candid admission that he is also an introvert was brave and open, for, well, a shy, introvert. Yet, a significant precedent has been set, and it doesn’t yield promising results for the introverted population.

While it may have been lighthearted, and he may have used a little bit of tongue and cheek overtones to write this piece, he was not using his most important organ: his brain. What he has written now allows for anyone to be rude, and ignorant and to justify their actions under the label of introversion.

Maybe I sound ungrateful. This issue certainly needs excavating, as only my mother would tell you of my own sister’s ability to belt songs at a moment’s notice and to be less like a social butterfly, and more like a social cheetah, whereas I enjoy the company of books far better than I even enjoy, well, anyone.

But the way that Rauch has framed his argument may allow anyone to claim that they are introverts, when really they are just inconsiderate.

Here’s a scenario: A fraternity boy meets a sorority girl at a party. Frivolity ensues, they have a one night stand. The boy, as most do, tries to avoid the girl on campus in order to evade having to perpetuate any other relations with her, which thus typifies a one night stand.

However, as life often thwarts one’s plans, the girl is able to catch up with the boy one day. She rants in his ear that she feels like he is avoiding her, and why doesn’t he say hello in class, and why haven’t they hung out? “Oh, that” he bashfully replies, “I’m a bit of an introvert. I like my alone time. Class is a bit overwhelming for me” And then he pauses moodily for effect, stares at a point slightly past her shoulder, and purses his lips. She apologizes, as she is embarrassed to have judged him incorrectly.

Talk is Cheap For Introverts

Now, I’m not saying this exact event will happen. I am saying that it has happened because Rauch is allowing personality types and quirks to define our lives. It is the same philosophy that says that all children should receive a trophy for participation. Excellence is what should be rewarded. If you want to be complacent in who you are, and allow yourself to settle like dust like in James Frey’s fanmail box, and allow yourself to slip into the notion that you are an introvert, and that you do not need to step outside your comfort zone and talk to people, then be my guest. You can go home after class because you had a group project, and that was enough talking today. But you don’t get to be the President of the United States because that is for people who are motor mouths, extroverts. You are an introvert, and you should know your place, which I wish was a different message being sent from the man (Rauch) who fantasizes about an Introverts’ Rights movement, but it isn’t. That’s his bottom line.

So, talk is cheap for introverts. But limiting their potential under the pretense of defending them? Priceless.

Getting Freaky with the DJ

Don’t I look so “beary” cool in Arcadia University’s Radio Booth?

I Wish I Was Kidding

My name is Bailey Gunn and if that is a moniker that does not get your brain running on gasoline trying to think of all the potential screen-name puns that I have used over the years, then the rest of this introduction will be wildly underwhelming. Good, now that I have got you in a mediocre mindset, I will continue with a few more characteristics about myself: that I’m shy, and perhaps even quirkier than Zooey Deschanel (if you can believe that) and irrevocably jaded at the ripe age of 22 (even if you can’t believe that). Moreover, I like the taste of envelope glue and I have a double-jointed jaw.

Still with me?

But despite these dazzling qualities that would at least make for a good story over pizza and beer, there is an element about me that is a little surprising. I have only ever dabbled in my greatest interest and passion, and have never pursued it professionally. In short, I have little experience in what I consider my favorite activity.

Yet, this does not trouble me, because for all the envelopes I have savored, and the large sandwiches I have been able to eat like a python because of my jaw, I have never accomplished my one dream: to be a professional DJ, (yes, girl DJ’s are rare, or as I like to call them, Va Jay Jay DJs) at a night club. No doubt this has stirrings and origins in another trait of mine: I like to be in control. Thus, it would make sense that I would have this urge to set the music, and therefore the tone, at a party. To be heard in the spotlight, but not necessarily seen.

But it’s more than that.

A Whole New World

Music for me can influence your mood, and your actions. It could cause you to melt from anger when you hear your favorite song, or your eyes to swim when you hear that song that your grandmother sang to you as a child. Just for example, you’ve never felt anything at a movie that you weren’t made to feel because of the sweeping violins that scoop you up in triumph, or the cello’s deep voice bellowing,


Who wants that kind of power? The question is: Who wouldn’t? To harness music, and to use it for good, is a sublime human experience.

Eyes Front, Soldier

And so, since I have salivated on the page, forgive me. But this has been my dream. Why haven’t I pursued it professionally? Believe me, I have tried in various mediums. I have shoved my shoulder into the door to the music industry, and it has certainly splintered. But, alas, it has not busted wide open for me.

For instance, this girl has over 7,000 plays on one of her playlists on 8tracks. Granted it is one of those summer playlists, with the top 40 hits of the month, and an innovative title like, “SUMMER 2012: THE BEST SUMMER EVER” but hey, progress is often cloaked in the plainest robes.

But really what is plain is the distress on Arcadia diners’ faces when they make their way to their meal in Dilworth, and they HAVE to listen to my selection through the AU radio booth, even if for a moment. Typically, I chuckle at them as they pass, but every once in awhile, when the planets align, I hear a light tap on the glass and I look up, and there is a kind soul mouthing, “I LOVE THIS SONG” and I smile, and give a thumbs up.

And let’s not forget about the time I studied abroad in Ireland, and joined the DJ club out of desperation. I attended the meetings in what appeared to be a closet with several Irish men who winced and grimaced when I tried my hand at the equipment, jabbing elbows into their friends’ bellies at the thought of potentially harboring a girl in their club for more than one meeting.

Then, just when I thought I might be getting the hang of the knob turning among my DJ gurus, the lights went out, and a cheap disco ball went on with flashing rainbow lights.

You know, for real world experience, for mood lighting…for awkward encounters in the dark.

I stepped aside, way aside, and let my clubbing cohorts descend upon the turn table to create a mix of repetitive but epic proportions. Out of my element, I took to emulating my peers by nodding my head approvingly to the beat, even though if I would not have been able to discern a good one from a horrific and awful one.

Va Jay Jay DJ

So, I got to thinking, what do I have to do to break into the industry? Really, where do I fit in the DJ world as a woman, and on a “broad”er scale than just making chill playlists for my friends? Am I allowed to not be a flirty, blond DJ at a club that exchanges requests for more drinks?

As a self-proclaimed feminist, I was deeply concerned with this question. I mean, you think that Ellie Goulding tells Skrillex what to do in bed? No way, and I’ll tell you what else, when that bass is dropping, do not come a’knocking.

So, what’s a Va Jay Jay DJ to do?

I have not yet answered myself, but every trip to Best Buy, I finger the turn tables longingly, and spin the fake records on the machine, as I whisper “wikky wikky” to myself while the employees are poised and ready to tackle me if I try to steal the machine, or worse, break it.

There’s always one imposing man standing with one finger over the register to punch in $599.99 just in case I have to pay for the damages that my own enthusiasm will cost me. And underlying his suspicion, I feel, is prejudice. Who is this girl with a Doctor Who shirt and combat boots? What does she know about teasing out beats to make people undulate? Shouldn’t she be home picking out the perfect, slinky club outfit instead of trying to play the music she would ordinarily be grinding to?

In the end, I think my passion for DJ-ing illustrates my innate desire to help others, and to make sure that they have a good time, while also revealing my deep insecurities of losing control and of people not appreciating my musical inclinations. But I won’t give up on it, I can promise you that. You will see this Va Jay Jay DJ on the club scene, and if you do see me, don’t be afraid to come talk to me, or to just shout at me over the raging bass. Or, just give me two thumbs up. I’ll understand.

The Gunn Effect: Looking for your own rad turntables? Click below for my favorite selection, and live the dream.