Black And Blue

I was catching up on some news articles today and came across an upsetting one posted about a week ago. This was the headline:

A teen was brutally beaten after making pro-police statements. His mom says it’s a hate crime.

It should be pretty obvious from that title what this article was about. A white teen posted a “Blue Lives Matter” comment online and was then attacked in his school’s parking lot by what a lot of people are assuming was a group of African Americans upset about the teen’s statement. I don’t think what happened to this teen is OK, let me just say that right now, but this article was upsetting to me for other reasons.

Here’s the thing, I don’t think anyone’s life is more valuable than another’s based on something like race, gender, religion, etc., however, I do think the “Black Lives Matter” movement is more important and necessary than most other movements happening at the moment. Making a statement about “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” (or the ridiculous “Clown Lives Matter”) during a time like this is like walking into a funeral and telling every person there that it’s your birthday and then expecting to get attention from them. That’s not how it works. We get that it’s your birthday, but right now, there’s something bigger going on in front of us that needs our attention.

What was most upsetting to me about this article, though, was a statement the teen’s mother gave when speaking about her injured son. She said:

“Not knowing if my son is going to make it to his 18th birthday this month – I don’t know if anybody can understand what that feels like,”

She doesn’t know if anybody can understand what that feels like? Let’s ask the mothers of Philando Castile or Alton Sterling or Michael Brown or Eric Garner or Freddie Gray or Tamir Rice or dozens of other mothers whose children were killed by police officers and see if they understand how it feels. They would know a thing or two about sons not making it to their next birthday.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

 

Taika Waititi Is A God

I’ve never been as infatuated with any other writer/director as I am with Taika Waititi. I went through a Paul Thomas Anderson phase which was mostly because of his work with Philip Seymour Hoffman (R.I.P.) but that still isn’t the same as my love for the guy responsible for the films above. If you haven’t watched any of them yet then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Each one is an absolute gem, all filmed in New Zealand and featuring many of the same faces.

What We Do In The Shadows: A mockumentary following a group of vampires all sharing the same house. This story is incredibly funny and original. It invites you into their secret life and follows their daily activities which include doing chores, going to nightclubs, interactions with werewolves and house guests, and of course, killing people. Each character in this film had a unique personality and the dynamic of their relationships was serioualy entertaining.

Boy: The story of a Michael Jackson-obsessed boy whose absent father reappears after a long stay in prison. As the father and son develop an unconventional relationship, the boy must come to terms with his unmet expectations of his dad. The scenes in this film were imaginative and even magical in some parts. A very funny and sweet coming of age story.

Eagle vs Shark: One of the most awkward love stories I’ve ever watched but also the very best one. You meet a shy girl who helps a strange nerdy guy on his quest to seek vengeance on a childhood bully. The characters are odd but heartwarming and the story is so quirky and honest that you can’t help but enjoy it.

Hunt For The Wilderpeople: An emotional rollercoaster of an adventure. This story makes you laugh out loud during one scene and then cry during the next. It follows the story of foster-child Ricky Baker and his “Uncle” as they survive in the forests of the New Zealand bush while trying to outrun the law. The story isn’t as dark as that may sound, though. The humor in this movie was amazing, the characters all memorable, and the scenery was beautiful. Such an incredible film.

GO WATCH THEM.

Periods Suck. Period 

There’s nothing beautiful about menstruating. I sometimes come across writings about how females should see it as this wonderful, natural, womanly thing but I refuse to do so.

Even by definition it sounds gross.

men·stru·ate

(of a woman) discharge blood and other material from the lining of the uterus as part of the menstrual cycle.

Let’s be real about this, can we? Periods suck. For a few days every month, there is blood, sometimes A LOT of blood, just coming out of me. There is a constant fear of bleeding through my clothing and it leaving it’s mark on anything I sit on. It’s uncomfortable. I have cramps. It makes me tired. Also, tampons are not cheap these days (at least not for a good brand and no girl wants to stick those cheap cardboard ones up their vagina) and it’s not like you only need one or two of them. You have to change those things constantly throughout the day or you worry about dying from Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Which part of that sounds beautiful? None of it. But you know what? That’s ok. Not EVERYTHING about being female has to be described as “beautiful” or “womanly”. We’re humans and some of the things we go through really suck and are gross. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Reading Goal Update


It’s been just under two months since I first posted about my reading goal for 2016 so I thought it was time for an update. Since that post, I have read seven books (the five shown above and two ebooks) which actually puts me back on track to reaching my goal. Shout out to me. While I won’t go into too much detail about any of the books, I thought I’d hair give a quick review of them.

1. Girls & Sex: Navigating the complicated new landscape. I go through phases when it comes to non-fictions novels but I heard about this one on NPR and wanted to check it out. I think what the author talks about in this one is important, however, it was just somewhat obvious to me. It covers the way we view sex today and how it is affecting young women. I thought I would enjoy that the writing was mostly interviews and discussions the author had with girls but I didn’t at all. Overall, it had some good information that did make me stop and consider things but I was still a bit disappointed.

2. Scary Old Sex. This is another one I first heard about NPR and I’m so happy I did. It’s a collection of short stories about relationships, family, growing old, dying, and yes, sex. Each story was amazing. The author’s writing is so raw, like she doesn’t sugar coat anything even if something may make the reader uncomfortable, and I appreciated it. I definitely recommend this book.

3. My Sunshine Away. I had never heard of this book before randomly picking it off the shelf and after reading it I would say it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Instant favorite. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be. I was thinking it would be more of a dark mystery/thriller because it starts out with a horrible act committed against a teenage girl, but it turned out to be this amazing story about a young boy growing up in a tight-knit neighborhood and his relationships and happenings with the people living there. Absolutely loved it.

4.  Brooklyn. I wanted to read this book because I wanted to watch the movie and I always try to read the book first. It was good, but not great. The reviews I read said that the main character, a girl who emigrates from Ireland to Brooklyn, would be one of the most memorable characters of any novel but I disagree. I think the story was memorable but the character herself fell short for me. It was hard not to feel for her situation seeing as how she left home to start a life by herself in a new world but I was expecting to feel more from this story.

5. Barbara the Slut and Other People. I really did NOT enjoy this book. I decided to buy it mostly because of its name. It seemed interesting. I was wrong. It’s another collection of short stories and I disliked every one of them. It felt like nothing happened in any of the stories. I couldn’t relate to any character. The whole thing was a big disappointment.

6. The Martian. This was one of the ebooks. I wanted to read this one before it was being made into a movie but I just never got around to doing it and I figured since the movie was such a success, I should finally read it. I enjoyed it for the most part. Sometimes it felt a little hard to follow with all of the science/chemisty/botany/engineering talk but I really just needed to know if he got off that damn planet or not so I pushed through.

7. Me Before You. Another ebook. I have mixed feelings about this one. I remembered it being a big deal when the book first came out and I know they’re making it into a movie, too, so I at least wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It covered somewhat of a controversial topic, which isn’t where my mixed feelings come from. I’m actually ok with the controversy, but something about the way the author wrote about the topic made me a little upset. Overall, I don’t think it was a bad book, I just don’t think I’d recommend it.

Counterpunch This


The tweet shown above was posted today by a guy I know. When I first read it, I didn’t even know how to react. How could he possibly mean what he said in that tweet? How could he not see how fucking wrong it was?

Like, thank God a man is going to step up and put women in their place. Thank God he’s going to remind them where they stand in this world. I mean, heaven forbid a woman should seem strong. How fucking dare women not apologize for being comfortable with themselves?

How could anyone agree with any of that?

Girls grow up not always being taught, but definitely learning, that they should apologize for almost everything they do, even when they’re not wrong. Women are told that being “aggressive” isn’t attractive, when really, “aggressive” usually means “confident” and a woman being confident should be the most attractive thing about her. A successful, strong woman like Beyoncé encourages other women to step up and, for reasons I’ll never understand, men like the one who posted that tweet are hoping those women get knocked down.

WHY?

Why do we need a man to counterpunch every time a woman shows the world she’s not weak and that she’s done apologizing? A counterpunch would suggest that the first punch had already been thrown and a woman’s aggression (confidence) is not a first punch or an attack, it’s a liberation.

This Shit Is (Ugly) Bananas 

My friend and I went to our favorite local market today (it’s our favorite because they offer craft beer and wine for you to purchase and drink while you shop), and while there, I tried to make a conscious effort to spend as little time as possible inspecting the produce I wanted to buy. Why?, you might ask. Because I read an article in National Geographic a few weeks back about the ridiculous amount of fruits and vegetables that are wasted simply because they aren’t “pretty” enough for us to want to buy. They said the amount of wasted produce is actually enough to feed the world. How fucked is that? What difference does it make if one carrot isn’t as straight as another carrot if you’re just going to chop it up and cook it anyways? Apparently, a lot of the “ugly” stuff doesn’t even make it to the store. It’s just tossed away as waste right there on the farm. C’mon people. We all know that produce is going to look like shit (literally) once we eat it, anyways. I know I’m only one person and my efforts today aren’t going to make a big difference, but I figure if I buy the ugly stuff, at least that leaves the pretty stuff on the shelf and maybe more people will buy it up and not as much will be wasted at the store.

Goals, Goals, Goals

I made it a goal to watch 100 films this year, mostly ones I’ve never watched before but also a few that I have and just want to revisit. Seeing as how that isn’t a hard goal, I’m on track to complete it on time. However, I also made it a goal to read AT LEAST 25 books this year and I’m slacking on that one. A lot. It’s already April and I’ve only read three books so far. I’m blaming it on a busy schedule and by busy schedule, I mean binge watching the show Hannibal. Anyways, to get back on track, I’m following the advice I read in a Time Magazine article that says you should read no less than one hour a day. Sounds easy enough, right? They also said that its ok to read more than one book at a time and its best to have a big selection of books available to you at all times, so I’m taking that as an opportunity to go do some shopping at B&N tonight. Wish me luck.