October 31st, 2013

mizuno: lil naughty

Winter holidays: We need more.

I love Halloween. Dressing up - and I sincerely think this may be a big reason why people have children, so they can put them in adorable costumes - carving pumpkins, making pie, eating candy. I love Thanksgiving, too, in spite of its appalling cultural associations. "Hey! Let's celebrate slaughtering and stealing the land of native peoples!" CRIKEY. But I do love the way the celebration is executed - it almost makes up for the origins of the tradition. It's not just the mountain of delicious food (although I confess I usually substitute chicken for turkey as I don't care much for turkey), it's that everyone makes a special effort to invite people, even ones they don't know very well, to their house for Thanksgiving. So unless you really don't want to have Thanksgiving dinner, you'll be able to choose to partake in someone's. Also, I enjoy having a special time carved out each year to express gratitude for the good things and to the good people in my life.

I love Non-Sectarian Festival Holiday aka Christmas, because mince pies, mulled wine, and my favourite British tradition, getting drunk at lunchtime with my work colleagues whilst wearing a stupid hat. New Year is fun too. But...why are these things all in a row? After that there is nothing in the Western calendar other than Valentine's Day, which can frankly go jump in a lake with boulders tied to its feet, until Easter. And there's still a lot of winter to get through.

I think we need to invent or adopt some more food-based festivals in January, February and March.

This post prompted by the amazing awesomeness sparked by the collision of Halloween and Diwali. (Photo not by me.)

ETA: Three favourite pumpkin-based videos.

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laibach: kitten

Defeating casual sexism one ignorant lunkhead at a time

Most of the time when confronted with casual sexism or racism, I find myself responding in a manner that leaves me dissatisfied. I'm left instead to contemplate the host of scathing, incisive replies that come to me in the middle of the night, long after they could possibly be useful. L'esprit de l'escalier and that. So I feel the need to record yesterday's cab journey, it being a rare occasion when exactly the right retort leapt to mind and flew off my tongue unchecked by the desire to placate or smooth over.

I hailed the cab from the corner of Prince Consort Road. The driver assumed I was a student from Royal College of Music. I corrected him, being neither a student nor a musician. He spent some time exclaiming over how I must be very intelligent and looked so young to be a member of staff at a university. Suddenly, a woman driving an SUV cut him up. He launched into a tirade about how women are very poor drivers who never pay attention because they're always talking to their passengers or are on the phone.

An awkward pause ensued.

"Do you drive?" he asked me.
"No," I sighed mournfully and untruthfully, "my husband won't let me."

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