“Men’s rights activists don’t organize marches; they don’t build shelters or raise funds for abused men; they don’t organize prostate cancer-awareness events or campaign against prison rape. What they actually do, when they’re not simply carping in comments online, is target and harass women—from feminist writers and professors to activists—in an attempt to silence them.”—
“When I go to contemporary Asian restaurants, like Wolfgang Puck’s now-shuttered 20.21 in Minneapolis and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market in New York City, it seems the entrées are always in the $16–$35 range and the only identifiable person of color in the kitchen is the dishwasher. The menus usually include little blurbs about how the chefs used to backpack in the steaming jungles of the Far East (undoubtedly stuffing all the herbs and spices they could fit into said backpacks along the way, for research purposes), and were so inspired by the smiling faces of the very generous natives—of which there are plenty of tasteful black-and-white photos on the walls, by the way—and the hospitality, oh, the hospitality, that they decided the best way to really crystallize that life-changing experience was to go back home and sterilize the cuisine they experienced by putting some microcilantro on that $20 curry to really make it worthy of the everyday American sophisticate. American chefs like to talk fancy talk about “elevating” or “refining” third-world cuisines, a rhetoric that brings to mind the mission civilisatrice that Europe took on to justify violent takeovers of those same cuisines’ countries of origin. In their publicity materials, Spice Market uses explicitly objectifying language to describe the culture they’re appropriating: “A timeless paean to Southeast Asian sensuality, Spice Market titillates Manhattan’s Meatpacking District with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s piquant elevations of the region’s street cuisine.” The positioning of Western aesthetics as superior, or higher, than all the rest is, at its bottom line, an expression of the idea that no culture has value unless it has been “improved” by the Western Midas touch. If a dish hasn’t been eaten or reimagined by a white person, does it really exist?
Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods, often claims that to know a culture, you must eat their food. I’ve eaten Vietnamese food my whole life, but there’s still so much that I don’t understand about my family and the place we came from. I don’t know why we can be so reticent, yet so emotional; why Catholicism, the invaders’ religion, still has such a hold on them; why we laugh so hard even at times when there’s not much to laugh about. After endless plates of com bi, banh xeo, and cha gio, I still don’t know what my grandmother thinks about when she prays.”—Soleil Ho, “Craving the Other” (via cmao)
“When wealth is passed off as merit, bad luck is seen as bad character. This is how ideologues justify punishing the sick and the poor. But poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw. Stigmatise those who let people die, not those who struggle to live.”—Sarah Kendzior, A government shutdown, a social breakdown (via randomactsofchaos)
“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”—Gary Provost (via qmsd)
“For Walt, family was always a sort of abstraction, a thing he truly believes he values above all else, but which he has sacrificed at every turn. Walt’s “family values” are all about Walt, not his actual family. In other words: his sense of family is about, and has always been about, Walt preserving his self-image.
And that, I think, is where Gilligan is really hitting the American Everyman. It’s not so much that anyone could be Walter White. But those who embrace a certain version of masculinity — one which makes men the “Protector,” to the exclusion of all other values — are particularly vulnerable. I suspect a lot of these people are the rabid Walt fans. And in a word: they are toxic, and horrifically so. Sure, they use the rhetoric of family togetherness and protection. But they aren’t about true caring. The Walter White protective vibe relies on inattention and neglect.”—
“The trouble is that, for women, being “nice” often translates into putting up with things we should never put up with. How many times has some creep sat uncomfortably close to me on the bus and stared me down, yet I’m too afraid to just get up and move, lest I offend him?
We smile when we’re harassed on the street or hit on by jerks. We laugh at sexist jokes. We learn that when we have strong opinions, we’ll be called bitches and that if we get angry, we’ll be called hysterical. When we say what we want, we’re called pushy or aggressive.
“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”—John Green, Paper Towns (via quoted-books)
“If you’re young (in high school or college) you don’t even know who you are yet. Those early, failed relationships, or lack of a relationship, do not doom your prospects for romance for the rest of your life. Hell, at this point it wouldn’t even matter if you met the love of your life — you haven’t even fully become the person who will eventually have something to offer them. Getting down about success with romance at this point is like giving up on a team in the preseason. In your early 20s, your starting players haven’t even come off the bench yet.”—John Cheese (via cracked)
“All of a sudden two decades have passed and you still have not kissed anyone with tongue, or kissed anyone at all for that matter, or had a 3 AM conversation with someone who would rather look into your eyes for ten minutes straight than talk. You have never worn a lover’s sweater or “forgotten” it at home in your bedroom just so you would have an excuse to see them again. You have never even stood face-to-face with someone who makes your hands shake so hard it feels like they’re both having a separate anxiety attack.
This causes you much guilt and self-blame and sadness but above all, an overwhelming curiosity. Are you really that ugly, that unwanted, that uninteresting, that boring, that no one, absolutely no one, has ever looked at you like the only thing on earth?
The answer is no. The better answer is that someone out there, somewhere in the world, is “wondering what it’s like to meet someone like you,” and they have two decades worth of love stored in their veins like a shoot-‘em-up drug, and they’re just about ready to inject it into someone else’s bloodstream. All you have to do is roll up your sleeves and wait for it to happen.
At times you felt so lonely you could stand at the edge of a cliff with nothing beneath you but air and grass and a long, long way down, and you’d still feel emptier than that canyon itself. Maybe you even danced with yourself alone in your room a few times, arms outstretched around a ghost, pretending someone else’s hands were on your waist, someone else’s eyes boring into yours.
Or maybe you fell temporarily in love with strangers on public transportation, fell in love with anybody who so much as accidentally brushed your hand on the way past. For you, falling in love with dozens of people a day was a coping mechanism for not having anyone to love you in return. But people are not eggs and falling in love with a dozen of them does not mean your shell will remain uncracked. One day you’re going to hit the point where you’re so desperate for human contact that you’re going to snap in half and all your love will bleed out like egg yolk.
But someone out there is eating a bowl of Ramen noodles right now, or putting on slippers, or settling into bed. They are doing all the normal things that you’ve done in your own life. They are just like you. They have cellulite and extra fat in all the wrong places and goals and fears and doubts and bad handwriting.
The truth is that they are just like you, and being just like you, they’re looking for a lover too. They’re what you might call a soulmate.
They think they’re all alone in feeling the way they do, but you’re really both two halves of a whole.
And one day you’ll meet them, bump into them on the street, and your two halves will be put together, and you’ll make one.”—Writings For Winter - For Twenty Year-Olds who have never been loved (via beepboopboopbeep)