Nice racists

Of Means and Ends

Peggy-McIntosh-290_opt photo of Peggy McIntosh from The New Yorker

For many of us, a get-together with the extended family is a political minefield, and we hold our breath hoping not to stumble onto certain topics. I’ve cringed through hearing gay marriage described as “gross” and lamentations about Arab employees at 7-11 (“you’ve got them up here, too”). While we’re disgusted by these sentiments, we’ve also often had the experience of seeing these people act in kind and caring ways, and we share some kind of connection with them.

We hold these contradictory truths at the same time that our mainstream culture has latched onto the idea of racists as purely villainous. That can’t be my uncle. That can’t be my friend. That can’t be me. It’s become so severe that in some camps, accusing someone as racist is treated as a worse offense than actually being one.

The reality, of course is…

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Women are women, but men are people

I appreciate what Ms Griffin has to say on this consistent, backwards mind-frame most of America seems to be stuck in

Of Means and Ends

photo via businessweek.com photo via businessweek.com

“I am not sure it’s wise. You want a ticket that represents men and women.”

Who said that about running two women on a presidential ticket? Mitt Romney? Mitch McConnell?

Oddly enough, it was Sen. Dianne Feinstein, one of two Democratic female senators from California. Feinstein didn’t explain if she felt like women had been unrepresented by almost every major party presidential ticket in history, but Ann Friedman nails the core issue:

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Godzilla (Or, The Movie You Should’ve Already Seen)

My mother has three staple films- since one of them is the ’98 Godzilla, you’ll understand if I don’t reveal the other two.

So you could say I grew up with the prehistorical monster. So you could say it was my duty to see it on Friday.

And I didn’t just see it- I loved it. (And man, does it look good in 3D despite the fact cinematographer Seamus McGarvey turns his nose up at that particular dimension).

Granted it’s an Oh-My-God-That-Huge-Monster-Is-Going-To-Kill-Us-All movie and while director Gareth Edwards plays on the fear-factor of the audience, the film has strong emotional and familial ties with the family of protagonists in a very honest way. The characters have a definite reason for being involved with the plotline and with the Navy and military, unlike the questionable allies formed in the 1998 version. The pacing is in a steady, enthralling arc, the actors and actresses do exemplary work, and while my knowledge of cinematography is despicably limited McGarvey, to my eye, does an A-job (especially that one scene at the end…). And if you’re one of those soundtrack-people, Alexandre Desplat has an uncannily intuitive ability to fit the song to the shot.

Overall, Godzilla 2014 is entertaining and enticing and rewarding and probably one of the best films of 2014 (next to Captain America: The Winter Solider. Sidetracking, ohmygodthefeelsbucky).

And apart from the dramatization, Edwards even brings in a couple of respectful mentions of Hiroshima and morbid hints of what nuclear energy could mean for the world and for humanity. After all, isn’t that what Godzilla is all about? A warning against the effects of tampering with nature?

Without saying much more and majorly spoiling the plot, I subside at: go see it and support the makings of more superb films like this.

10 Ways to Not Travel Like a Tourist

I really appreciate what Life Out of the Box has to say about traveling abroad- this goes a lot deeper than simply “how to not appear touristy”. It’s about community and giving to individuals.

Life Out of the Box

Life Out of the Box

To kick of this week’s theme of “Exploration”, here’s a list of things to do when traveling that will ensure you have the true local experience. We have found that the best way to learn as much as we can as we travel is to immerse ourselves  into each new culture we travel to. As Andrew Zimmerman says, “Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people and look beyond what’s in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in.” Here, we share 10 of our favorite ways to make sure you do just that.

  1. Live with the locals

    Life Out of the Box in Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

    We definitely recommend living with a local family. You don’t have to live there forever, but try it out for a while. Not only will you learn the small intricacies of a new culture, but you will also make deep relationships with people who…

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Pilot

The future scares me, because I’m afraid I won’t live up to the potential I think I have.

But the future also excites me, because I know I have potential, and I think I can live up to it.

I’m a “youngster” and my SAT scores haven’t even come in yet. But I believe in the power of youth- I believe now is the time for me to form my mind by reading the most inspiring books I can find, talking with the most diverse people I can meet, watching movies that blow my mind, listening to songs that sing to something in my heart and writing from I what know. I’m not the same person I was a year or even six months ago and I want to keep changing; keep forming and learning and growing and living. I want to be with people who morph and want to.

So here’s to the people that make up the facets of life, here’s to me and here’s to you and hell, here’s to this blog.

 

PS I JUST LEARNED VIBRATO ON THE VIOLA WITH ALL FOUR FINGERS AND yes that’s amazing and no that’s not a sexual inuendo. But oooww my fingertips hurt.

PPS I kind of hate this post cause it sounds so incredibly cheezy “power of youth” like really. Come on. But it was all true and who couldn’t work on honesty? Besides perfection is unattainable. Honesty isn’t.