Consider normal

Consider normal... and reject it.
A blog for things I like, need, love, hate, adore, pancake, cumberbatch, despise, regret, verb, and feel an inexplicable need to share.
Call me Sue.

I would hate to think I am not an amateur. An amateur is one who loves what he is doing. Very often, I’m afraid, the professional hates what he is doing. So, I’d rather be an amateur.

—Yehudi Menuhin  (via mylyngraceviolin)

(via whatshouldwecallconservatory)

A white girl wore a bindi at Coachella. And, then my social media feeds went berserk. Hashtagging the term “cultural appropriation” follows the outrage and seems to justify it at the same time. Except that it doesn’t.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of a specific part of one culture by another cultural group. As I (an Indian) sit here, eating my sushi dinner (Japanese) and drinking tea (Chinese), wearing denim jeans (American), and overhearing Brahm’s Lullaby (German) from the baby’s room, I can’t help but think what’s the big deal?

The big deal with cultural appropriation is when the new adoption is void of the significance that it was supposed to have — it strips the religious, historical and cultural context of something and makes it mass-marketable. That’s pretty offensive. The truth is, I wouldn’t be on this side of the debate if we were talking about Native American headdresses, or tattoos of Polynesian tribal iconography, Chinese characters or Celtic bands.

Why shouldn’t the bindi warrant the same kind of response as the other cultural symbols I’ve listed, you ask? Because most South Asians won’t be able to tell you the religious significance of a bindi. Of my informal survey of 50 Hindu women, not one could accurately explain it’s history, religious or spiritual significance. I had to Google it myself, and I’ve been wearing one since before I could walk.

We can’t accuse non-Hindus of turning the bindi into a fashion accessory with little religious meaning because, well, we’ve already done that. We did it long before Vanessa Hudgens in Coachella 2014, long before Selena Gomez at the MTV Awards in 2013, and even before Gwen Stefani in the mid-90s.

Indian statesman Rajan Zed justifies the opposing view as he explains, “[The bindi] is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol… It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory…” If us Indians had preserved the sanctity and holiness of the bindi, Zed’s argument for cultural appropriation would have been airtight. But, the reality is, we haven’t.

The 5,000 year old tradition of adorning my forehead with kumkum just doesn’t seem to align with the current bindi collection in my dresser — the 10-pack, crystal-encrusted, multi-colored stick-on bindis that have been designed to perfectly compliment my outfit. I didn’t happen to pick up these modern-day bindis at a hyper-hipster spot near my new home in California. No. This lot was brought from the motherland itself.

And, that’s just it. Culture evolves. Indians appreciated the beauty of a bindi and brought it into the world of fashion several decades ago. The single red dot that once was, transformed into a multitude of colors and shapes embellished with all the glitz and glamor that is inherent in Bollywood. I don’t recall an uproar when Indian actress Madhuri Dixit’s bindi was no longer a traditional one. Hindus accepted the evolution of this cultural symbol then. And, as the bindi makes it’s way to the foreheads of non-South Asians, we should accept — even celebrate — the continued evolution of this cultural symbol. Not only has it managed to transcend religion and class in a sea of one-billion brown faces, it will now adorn the faces of many more races. And that’s nothing short of amazing.

So, you won’t find this Hindu posting a flaming tweet accusing a white girl of #culturalappropriation. I will say that I’m glad you find this aspect of my culture beautiful. I do too.

Why a Bindi Is NOT an Example of Culture Appropriation 

by Anjali Joshi

(via breannekiele)

(via derinthemadscientist)

  • jk rowling’s reasoning as to why fenrir greyback turned remus into a werewolf: remus’s father insulted him so he did it as an act of revenge

  • the actual reason greyback bit remus: the temptation to succumb to the fact that biting remus whose name literally means ‘werewolf’ would be the greatest feat in lycanthropic irony the world had ever seen

Thanks to the food styling gods, the scene is held up a bit while Mads and the director discuss an alternative to the samurai egg master trick described in the script. They settle on a potato trick– it’s easier for the set dresser to pick up a slashed potato than it is to wipe smashed raw egg off everything after each take. So now, I have to find a couple dozen identically shaped potatoes and peel them for the knife trick. — œuf

We are more than a bit concerned with the Benihana egg trick called for in the script. I’ve tried it and can only get it 1 out of 4 tries, and I’ve seen Benihana chefs flub the manoeuver when they have an entire grill as target. Mads has to crack his eggs into a 8-inch diameter skillet. The props Master calls his guy. The Production Manager calls in his guy. I call my guy. On the morning of the shoot we have 8 dozen eggs and 3 Japanese chefs with their hands made up to be hand doubles. I guess I don’t have to tell you that when Mads arrives on set, I briefly describe the egg trick to him whereupon he just tosses an egg up in the air and breaks it perfectly on the spatula. Did it. Unbelievable. I insist it was a lucky fluke but he does it again. I accuse him of practicing when I wasn’t looking but he laughs (as if he has time to practise egg-cracking between scenes) and confesses he was a juggler in his youth.— mukozuke

(Source: fuckyeahannibal, via 221b-bakerst-come-at-once)

thecatblr:

horsiie:

smart people can get stressed out by school

smart people can get stressed out by school

smart people can get stressed out by school

  • smart people can get stressed out by school
  • smart people can get stressed out by school
  • smart people can get stressed out by school
  • SMART PEOPLE CAN BE STRESSED OUT BY SCHOOL

Smart people can become so stressed out by school that they dont care about grades anymore

(Source: imovedplsdontfollowthisblog, via 221b-bakerst-come-at-once)

fitstorm:

that—fit—girl:

boots-n-cats:

my-stereo-heart-beats-for-you:

viergacht:

karensrnith:

"this baby came out of you but im not 100% sure its yours"

Funny thing - a woman who applied for welfare after her husband left her hadto supply DNA evidence he was actually the father. The results: he was definitely the father, but she wasn’t the mother. Her children were removed from her custody and she was sued for fraud, even though she insisted they were her children. 
Turns out, she wasn’t a surrogate or a kidnapper (the two most obvious explanations) - she was a chimera. As an embryo, she fused at a very early stage with her twin, forming one individual. Her ovaries apparently developed from cells that had originally belonged to her vanished twin. Later on more tests showed that while the woman’s skin and hair DNA did not match her childrens, DNA taken from her cervix did. 

WHAT THE FUCk

This went from stupid to really interesting in point 5 seconds.

holy shitt

fitstorm:

that—fit—girl:

boots-n-cats:

my-stereo-heart-beats-for-you:

viergacht:

karensrnith:

"this baby came out of you but im not 100% sure its yours"

Funny thing - a woman who applied for welfare after her husband left her hadto supply DNA evidence he was actually the father. The results: he was definitely the father, but she wasn’t the mother. Her children were removed from her custody and she was sued for fraud, even though she insisted they were her children. 

Turns out, she wasn’t a surrogate or a kidnapper (the two most obvious explanations) - she was a chimera. As an embryo, she fused at a very early stage with her twin, forming one individual. Her ovaries apparently developed from cells that had originally belonged to her vanished twin. Later on more tests showed that while the woman’s skin and hair DNA did not match her childrens, DNA taken from her cervix did. 

WHAT THE FUCk

This went from stupid to really interesting in point 5 seconds.

holy shitt

(via 221b-bakerst-come-at-once)