My hometown is also one of the most beautiful places on earth.
My hometown is also one of the most beautiful places on earth.
I’m not really an album person but, damn, AM is good.
Random Stranger Number 1: “So where are you from?”
Me: “New Zealand”
Random Strangers Numbers 1 & 2: “….”
Random Stranger Number 1: “… But… how do I say this….”
Random Stranger Number 2: “You’re not going to do the whole, ‘where are you really from’ thing are you?”
Random Stranger Number 1: “This might sound bad but… I thought New Zealand people all looked… aren’t New Zealand people white?”
WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN!?
(#2 is mixed white-American/Japanese; #1 is a white girl — yeah, that’s totally surprising.)
(Also, I’m just going to point out again that these are random strangers; literally the first words they said to me.)
(Omg. I already have a “casual racism for your Sunday night” tag!? … :( )
A while back, after the Golden Globes I think, a friend posted something to the effect of: “So conflicted about Woody Allen—”
— Actually why don’t you have a direct quote:
"… I feel like with Polanski it’s a lot easier to separate the persona from his films, although I still feel uncomfortable watching them. But Allen’s persona is so bound up in his films and while there’s no conviction, that evidence is strong. Argh. Soul-searching required.”
A few comments were posted agreeing etc. etc. and then someone said:
“Do you get sick of compromising though? I’ve been thinking about this. If we write-off people who have committed awful crimes, won’t that just make room for people who have that magic combination of being very talented and also not being terrible people? Why are we so lazy?”
That seems… logical… and incredibly obvious… and I don’t know why we don’t do this. (Well, a reply to that comment was: “Definitely, the ‘creative genius defense’ is also a narrative largely available only to very privileged men.”)
Anyway. Something I was pondering this morning while reflecting on my friendships.
by Kai Cheng Thom
The scholar Edward Said wrote in his seminal work on West-East relations, Orientalism, about an idea he calls imaginative geography: “a kind of poetic process, whereby the vacant or anonymous reaches of distance are converted into meaning”. It is through this process that racist ideas of the Orient as mysterious, magical, backward, consumable, brutally patriarchal, and so on, are created. When the West looks at Asia, it creates a vision for itself about what Asia means – a subordinate vision, a dream that reshapes itself to feed whatever hunger the West is feeling in the moment: for exoticism, for adventure, for a barbarian nation to civilize, for a source of ancient wisdom.
I have believed for several years now that when white boys sleep with me, a similar process occurs, a kind of imaginative anatomy – a process of sexual dominance through which the alien regions of my Asian, genderqueer body are transformed to match the desires of my white lover. In that moment, I am subsumed. My identity is swept up in a current of narratives about what it means to be an Asian making love with a Caucasian man, an overwhelming legacy of stories about submission and inferiority, demure grace, endless humility, and undying devotion to the Great White Savior who deigns to fuck me. In the roar of this current, my voice is lost, and both my lover and I begin to forget that I am anything but an Orientalist stereotype. I call this “The Problem of Miss Saigon”.
Have I reblogged this before? I was going through my bookmarks tonight — anyway. This piece makes me incredibly sad — note: contains racialised sexual violence — but it is also one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever read.
Feel free to follow it up with this piece on sex and sexuality. Writing-wise:
It is time to talk about sex… About the sex we were denied, the sex that we survived, the sex that blew open the locked doors of our haunted hearts and made us scream and moan and cry with rage and ecstasy. The sex we haven’t had yet – the sex we have only begun to imagine. The sex that sets us free.
But also this — “I am aware that as an Asian, transgender body in that white, male-dominated space, the best experience I can hope for is to be ignored instead of raped.” — is something I want to hear more about.
The thing that I’ve noticed about the transgender space G and I were invited into last year is that it is very “race neutral” — by that I mean race is an invisible issue. The community is run by white people. Which, leads to the unfortunate impression that there are a lot of problems trans* people face — racism apparently not one of them.
It’s incredibly striking when a conversation space is owned by white people. On the THR Actress Roundtable interviews I got really into (like, “marathon session; didn’t sleep until 5am watching them all” really into), there was a huge difference between the white actress only panels, and panels where they had an actress of colour — even adding just one actress of colour (Kerry Washington in the TV Drama Actresses panel talking about how she was turned down for a role because they didn’t want to “go in an ‘ethnic’ direction” with the character pretty much shocked all her white peers (“Did they honestly say ‘ethnic’?)) meant that racial prejudice was suddenly acknowledged and talked about as an issue for actresses in Hollywood. But in the white actress only panels? Not one person thought to mention it. That’s the problem with a lack of inclusivity: issues affecting unrepresented people go invisible. But just because you, personally, don’t realise it exists, doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting other people’s lives.
But one thing to note is to avoid the comments — don’t try it out just to see what I’m on about. Seriously, don’t read the comments. It is nothing new from what you’ve experienced in comment sections before; the only thing different is that it’s sometimes worse here. Don’t give those commentators the chance to take away from what are really well-written articles. How you feel after these articles — hold on to that. Don’t let them take that from you.
Phosphorus extracted from the temporary park urinals will go to a green roof in the city. And today, the water utility will launch a new recovery plant designed to mine the phosphorus out of all of the wastewater in the region. Amsterdam’s pee alone can fertilize 10,000 football fields’ worth of plants, according to officials.
Saw the picture before reading the text and was like, yup that’s The Netherlands. They have these “public urinals” everywhere! There’s no equivalent for women; but honestly, who wants to pee in public?
I feel like this is one of those things that has become so normalised that no one questions its wiseness any more. They are everywhere on the main streets; you can’t walk past them without having your senses assaulted. And, hygiene is really bad because there’s nowhere to wash your hands.
Definitely amongst the oddest things I’ve come across while here.
Edit: have now read the text. Can say lol, yeah right, to the “temporary” comment. That extract makes it seem like some sort of new science experiment; but no, these are permanent fixtures everywhere. Some are the plastic ones pictured (that are never removed!), but others are made of metal and fixed onto the concrete. It’s good that they’re trying to do something positive with the, er, urine now but……. seriously, this is just a way for guys to wave their dicks at you in public with plausible deniability. Also, did I mention how unhygenic it is.
I think MOOC is just a funny-sounding word ;) — but it stands for Massive Open Online Course. Basically, actual university courses provided for free online.
I’m doing mine through edx.org, and I’ve signed up for six for the current “semester”. I’m doing:
I’m just auditing the courses! Last year I signed up for one course (on the economics of international development) but couldn’t keep up with the assessments on top of law school and work. Frankly (being the sort of person I am), needing to get perfect answers kind of screwed with my enjoyment of the course. :\
Just auditing, I’ve really enjoyed the courses that have started already (public speaking and jazz appreciation)! I like learning new things without the pressure of having to prove myself. Plus, I like the freedom of being able to try everything that catches my interest — entrepreneurship? Eh, sure! Also, it lets me try courses I already have a lot of experience in — like, intl. human rights, because, hello, my daily life — but that I would definitely not want to subject myself to any more assessments on. I am interested in how other schools teach the course, and what else I can pick up on IHL, though.
I think MOOCs (hehehehe…) are really great for people with a general interest in a lot of things! The model edx.org sets up is pretty good — each video is about 7 mins max, and there’s a button to play back on 2x speed.
Also. Omg. I just love the free provision of knowledge and education! Including to people who might otherwise not have access to tertiary education.
But downsides: I don’t think MOOCs will ever be a replacement for on campus university — and I think it’s kind of dodgy that some of the courses on edx.org now have a “ID verified certificate” option for those who want to pay for it: I think it’s giving people the false impression that their online 8 week course is really the equivalent of a Harvard degree.
…….. There was another downside, but I got distracted watching Pointless… plus, I have an assignment due tomorrow that I haven’t started (ha). I’m going to go eat dinner now and start on that paper. Maybe reflect on this again later in the early morning.
Oh. This was a rec, btw. If anyone’s interested in this MOOC thing, here’s a list of available courses.
THR Actresses Roundtable with Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), and Amy Adams (American Hustle).
I’m only 20 mins in but already think this is one of the best interviews I’ve ever seen.
This is the video where that gifset comes from of Lupita Nyong’o talking about how seeing Oprah in The Color Purple helped her realise acting was possible for her. — I finally clicked through to the source today, and this whole interview is of these actresses talking about what it means to be an actress and to be a woman in the movie industry. There are some really personal stories and experiences shared, and the other thing I like about this talk is how supportive these actresses are of each other. I would really love to see more features like this.