Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.

sawyersessions:

The Autumn Defense - “What Is This Thing That I Found”

Sawyer Sessions went on the road last month, travelling to SXSW music festival in Austin. While we were there, we met up with The Autumn Defense, the duo of John Stirratt and Pat Sansone (both members of Wilco). They were nice enough to play a few songs from their 2014 album, Fifth, like this one called ”What Is This Thing That I Found”. If you’re digging the sound, you can buy the album HERE on iTunes.

(via wilco-the-blog)

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 mishaminion666)

popculturebrain:

‘Community' uses Donald Glover on renewal campaign poster | Warming Glow

popculturebrain:

Community' uses Donald Glover on renewal campaign poster | Warming Glow

[ ❀ ] meet the blogger:

name: joe biden
height: joe biden
eye color: joe biden
birthday: joe biden
favorite color: joe biden
best school subject(s)joe biden
current shirt colour: joe biden
day or night: joe biden
religionjoe biden
gender: joe biden
sexual orientation: joe biden
single or taken: joe biden
celebrity crushjoe biden
coffee or tea: joe biden
favorite food: joe biden

(Source: choke-on-glitter, via awickedlymiserablecabaret)

wlntersoldier:

don’t date anyone who doesn’t think hawkeye is a valuable member of the avengers

(via bilbo-is-a-cumberbitch)

“It’s a monumental overask to expect women to be gentle with the egos of men who only feigned friendship in order to get laid.”

—   

No One is Entitled to Sex: Why We Should Mock the Nice Guys of OkCupid  (via krabwatch)

One of my favorite assemblages of words ever.

(via foulmouthedliberty)

(Source: peachersen, via ihocklecockles)

234 Female Students Went Missing in Nigeria, and the Media Has Barely Covered It

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The news: South Korea’s tragic ferry disaster has gripped international headlines for the past week as the world watched with bated breath to find out what happened. Though 159 bodies have been discovered by divers, another 143 still remain missing — and families and loved ones are hoping against hope that they are somehow still alive.

But on the other side of the world, 234 schoolgirls in Nigeria, ages 16 to 18, wereabducted two days before the South Korean incident. Armed men broke into a school in the northeastern city of Chibok, shot the guards and took the girls away while they were taking a physics exam. The attack has been linked to Boko Haram, a jihadist affiliate of al-Qaida.

So why haven’t we heard about it? Simply put, because the world has very different views on South Korea and Nigeria. One is among the richest countries in the world and a powerful Western ally with a high quality of life and strong international presence. The other is in Africa, where, you know, these things happen all the time — or so we’re led to believe.

"In Nigeria, the mass abduction of schoolgirls isn’t shocking," CNN claims. “No one knows where the missing girls are. And even more surprising, no one’s particularly shocked.”

Image Credit: Al-Jazeera

But that’s not true. Boko Haram, which is Hausa for “Western education is sinful,” is against the education of girls. Girls have been abducted in the past to serve as cooks or sex slaves — but a kidnapping of this size is unprecedented.

And despite what CNN might think, people aren’t simply giving up on the girls. Desperate family members and town residents have gone on the search, combing the Sambisa Forest, a known terrorist hangout, on motorcycles. The search parties have so far had some success, uncovering traces of the girls.

The government is not helping. According to the school, about 43 girls have already escaped their captors — no thanks to the authorities. ”None of these girls were rescued by the military; they managed to escape on their own from their abductors,” said schoolmaster Asabe Kwambura.

As recently as Monday, education authorities claimed that only 85 girls have gone missing, despite the families’ insistence that 234 were taken. The military even claimed at one point that they rescued all but eight girls — which they immediately retracted the following day.

Nigerian security officials insist they are in ”hot pursuit” of the abductors, but they’ve yet to find a single girl. ”It’s alarming that more than a week after these girls were abducted, there are not any concrete steps to get them back,” said Human Rights Watch’s Nigeria researcher Mausi Segun.

It’s a dangerous environment. Boko Haram has been on a rampage in recent months and on the same day as the girls’ abduction, the group claimed responsibility for a bombing in Abuja that killed 75. The terrorist group, which wants to establish an extremist Islamist state in northeastern Nigeria, has alreadykilled over 1,500 people this year.

But that does not mean we should look the other way when a tragedy like this takes place.

"The South Korean story has unfolded on camera, in a first-world country with every facility for news reporting. In contrast, the young Nigerians have vanished into the darkness of a dangerous world," Ann Perkins writes in the Guardian. "Nigeria is complex and messy and unfamiliar. It is easy to feel that what happens there is not real in the way that what happens on camera in South Korea is real."

The ugly truth is that when young lives are similarly at stake, we are more shocked when the danger takes place in a country that is considered stable and affluent — and less so in a country where violent insurgents are trying to take over.

But the media has a responsibility to report the truth rather than ignoring a story because it sounds familiar. It’s easy to become desensitized to stories coming out of a conflict-ridden region, but that doesn’t mean these human lives are worth any less.

Source: Eileen Shim for Policy Mic

(via ldbigg)

messier51:

Probably Better SPN Spinoff Ideas: Stories about teenage girls and monsters. 

Kate, Krissy Chambers, Josephine Barnes, Tracy Bell, and Annie “Alex” Jones

[8.04, 8.18, 8.18, 9.02, 9.19]

Bonus overseer!Jody: 

image

[9.08]

(via crossroadscastiel)

prettayprettaygood:

Dear CNN,
1. This isn’t breaking news.
2. You spelled “Seinfeld” wrong.
Otherwise, great work.

prettayprettaygood:

Dear CNN,

1. This isn’t breaking news.

2. You spelled “Seinfeld” wrong.

Otherwise, great work.

(via seinfeld-quotes)

fuckinghannibal:

inspiration