Men Explain Things to Me: And Other Essays by Rebecca Solnit

Song of the Day: ‘Aucun Express’ by Alain Bashung 

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An old college friend, that I maintain an online correspondence with, recently recommended that I read Men Explain Things to Me and swore that I would absolutely love it. As this felt like the umpteenth time that someone was recommending it to me, it seemed that I should follow their advice and read it.

Women’s liberation has often been portrayed as a movement intent on encroaching upon or taking power and privilege away from men, as though in some dismal zero-sum game, only one gender at a time could be free and powerful. But we are free together or slaves together. Surely the mindset of those of who think they need to win, to dominate, to punish, to reign supreme must be terrible and far from free. and giving up this unachievable pursuit would be liberatory.

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Life and all that it is!

Song of the Day: ‘Protocol’ by Leon Else

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Another rotation, another revolution and life goes on.

Life goes on – it’s a classic statement that’s been made famous (and into a sitcom!) until it’s become clichéd. Yet, a passive one I think. Life goes on? No, the world moves on and so does the pattern of night and day, time moves forward, tick by tock but Life doesn’t just go on. Not unless a part of you is dead. Continue reading

Zest of Youth

Song of the Day: ‘De Perros Amores’ by Control Machete

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There are some movies that really impact one and leave a far greater impression than one might like to admit. I first watched Into the Wild, in the spring of 2008, and, perhaps, it was the time or the place, or even the person that I was but even though I was impressed by several things: the cinematography, the sounds, and the poignant character study; it did not leave a particular mark on my memory (or so I thought) — cynic that I was. Continue reading

A Fine Balance — Rohinton Mistry

Song of the Day: ‘Ma jeunesse fout le camp’ by Françoise Hardy

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Some time last autumn, we were walking around uptown Whittier (one of those little towns sprawled across Southern California, one drives by but hardly ever visits) and happened upon a second-hand bookstore. It was such a cute little shop, the books on the shelves haphazardly arranged into some form of an ordering semblance. I found the entire place quite charming. Anyhow, browsing about and wondering what to get — it’s almost second nature, I walk into a bookstore and I have to buy a book — one of my friends suggested A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. ‘You’ll love it A.!,’ he said. ‘It’s a wonderfully written human story.’ I wanted to ask if other books weren’t human stories but decided that it was best to not start that debate.

Months later, looking for a new read, I found the book under a pile of other yet-to-be-read books. And in hindsight, I’m glad that I made that choice. I must admit, though, that the density of the book combined with Mistry’s style of writing meant that I took my sweet time reading this book. There was just so much to take in.

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Theeb — Beware of Wolves

Song of the Day: El Amaken by Mohammed Abdo

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I usually avoid the ‘Middle-Eastern’ sub-tab under the ‘International’ section of movies on Netflix, because the selection is so limited. However, this past Friday, too tired after a long day of work and in need of entertainment; I found myself browsing the section. One of the movies caught my eye. The description read: ‘World War I: The Arabian Desert has become a danger zone of spies, assassins, and thieves. One boy is about to cross it.’ Hardly much seemed enticing about that description but I still found myself clicking play. (That Netflix gives terrible descriptions to movies that are sometimes misleading and sometimes completely off the mark is hardly a new phenomenon  there is even a dedicated sub-Reddit and countless articles written on the subject.)

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