roots&culture

anonymous asked:

Why are you so anti La La Land?

I’m not anti-La La Land at all. I have nothing against it, it’s a cute movie and all. I just feel like movies like Moonlight are more deserving of all of the awards that La La Land has been sweeping up this awards season.

The reason why I want Moonlight to win so bad is because of its story. To have a movie about an African-American boy struggling with his sexuality while growing up is something I thought would never happen. It’s touching and relatable because it’s something that I went through growing up and to see someone that looks like me going through what I went through during my whole childhood really strikes a chord with me. Growing up African-American and gay is difficult because the stigma of showing yourself as weak or feminine is something still looked down upon in the African-American community if you’re a boy. You have to act as masculine as you can to prove yourselves to others or else you would get teased or picked on. Barry Jenkins telling of Chiron’s story through Moonlight paints a story of millions of African American males childhoods. Not only African American males but also other males of color as well.

When you compare that to a musical about a white woman wanting to be an actress and a white man wanting to save jazz, a genre deeply rooted in African-American culture and from slavery…she just doesn’t have the range compared to Moonlight, I’m sorry.

But none of this really matters anyway because we all know that La La Land is going to sweep at the Oscars just like it did with all the other major award shows this season so

How To Blend Cultures (Without Making Impossible Mixes)

This is a guide specifically about fantasy worldbuilding. WWC gets a lot of questions around “I’m mixing two cultures together, how do I do that?” and this is to explain both how to do that and when you very much should not.

For starters, you should avoid blending empires with their surrounding properties, especially if there is recent political strife along those lines. This is why Japan/China/Korea (or even China/Tibet) mixes should not be done. For more information on that, take a look at Research:Large to Small Scale, Avoiding Homogenizing East Asian Cultures, & Paralleling Regions Appropriately.

Next up, mixing Greece/Rome with far-flung cultures gets a little bit eyebrow raising. Unless it was a direct trading partner/conquered property, Greek/Roman cultures do not mix with non-European cultures. The Greek empire only went to the Northern regions of India at its very peak, and that is limited to the ancient world. Rome stopped in the Middle East, so, again, you don’t have the cultural backing for a mixing of anything outside of its borders. 

Depictions of Rome and Greece in ancient literature shows other ancient cultures found them quite backwards, and were adverse to mixing with them. By many standards they were very backwards, and it’s only Europe (and, as an extension, America) that revered them to the extent they do. Asia and Africa had no reason to see them as advanced, because they made many more technological advancements than either. North America and Oceanic cultures hardly interacted with either, and had both their own technological advancements+ cultures closer by to borrow advancements from, instead. 

Outside of that, cultures are born out of the environments that made them. As a result, places with wildly dissimilar climates and resources pools will not be able to blend harmoniously unless you’re taking a modern analogue society where globalism has happened. This is plain old because resources only travel so far, and people are more likely to build culture around resources they have easy access to (even well-established trade links can lead to people re-creating things: Han purple and Egyptian blue point to an ancient trade link, but they were made with local materials processed differently).

Roman architecture exists because the Romans had access to copious amounts of concrete materials/marble and lived in the Mediterranean, which got very hot summers, heavy rains, and not a whole lot of cold. As a result they created structures that worked for this, which included open airways, pillars, easy to clean floors, shade, and ventilation. Places that lack these resources will not be able to replicate Rome.

Their resource pool was very specific to their regions, and there’s a reason Rome had the rule that anybody who did’t live like Romans were slaves: it was really hard to live like a Roman, and they wanted their slave pool as large as possible. 

Different cultures with different resources formed in wildly different ways, and might not even have anything similar to Greece or Rome. Because of this, you need to look really close at why culture developed the way it did. If it’s because they had extremely dissimilar resources pools, it’s wise to not blend the cultures (or at least not think they’ll look anything like their original cultures) 

Which brings me to value systems. Cultures put value on different things. Each culture ends up with a base philosophy for what they esteem and how they use resources, which proceeds to influence how it develops. Architecture has meaning to it. So does what colours you use in different applications. Because these things are sacred and/or practical for certain social orders. “Sacred” in cultures ends up becoming a shorthand for “this ritual helps us survive.”

There is no such thing as “aesthetic” when you get down to the root of each single item, because that aesthetic has a practical purpose. There is also no such thing as a “solely religious reason” under the same logic. Cows have become sacred in most varieties of Hinduism— because cows (and oxen) have been the main farming animal in the Indian subcontinent for millennia. They provide milk for sustenance, power for ploughing fields, and dung, which can be used as a floor polish and, when dried, a source of fuel for fire that gives off a more even heat than wood. As a single provider for crucial elements of agrarian life, their sacredness developed from their practicality. Having cows roam freely meant absolutely everyone could have access to an efficient cooking fuel.

Chinese brush painting has meaning. Jade sculpture has meaning. Pagodas and sloped roofs and gates have meaning. The philosophy, environment, history, and present circumstances of a culture is built into every. single. little. thing. about that culture, meaning you cannot just change it out.

Unless you learn the very root of culture, their values and stigmas and honours and shames, you cannot modify it accurately. Cultures survive because that was the best way to respond to the world at the time. A long-standing culture such as China’s has to be functional and incredibly well suited for the environment, otherwise it would not have survived. There is something about Chinese culture that works extraordinarily well for it to perpetuate itself, and you cannot disrespect that.

Learn the “why” of culture. Learn how it came to manifest and the reasons behind its manifestations. Study the geography and resources available to the people at hand. Know a culture so well you can explain how it works in real life and how your world’s history parallels the circumstances that created a similar culture in fantasy.

Only then will you be able to pull it off with respect.

~ Mod Lesya

American Gods to be released on DVD/Blu-ray on July 31st.

Over 2 hours of Bonus Features: 

  • San Diego Comic-Con Panel Footage - Showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Greene are joined by Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber, Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane and Neil Gaiman at a San Diego Comic-Con panel to celebrate the series
  • Ian McShane Interview - The legendary Ian McShane talks candidly about American Gods, Mr Wednesday and the freedoms a show like American Gods gains by not being on network television
  • Ricky Whittle & Emily Browning Interview - Your new favourite dysfunctional married couple, Shadow and Laura Moon, discuss their unique dynamic and what it means to them to be part of American Gods
  • American Gods Origins with Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman returns to Reykjavik to reminisce about how the city fuelled his fascination for Norse folklore, which in turn led to the creation of American Gods.
  • Bruce Langley Interview - Technical Boy Bruce Langley talks about the most unpredictable of the New Gods
  • Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle Interview - Having been thrust straight into the pantheon of great double acts, the men behind Shadow Moon and Mr Wednesday discuss bringing the characters to life
  • Book Vs Show - The defining question when it comes to adaptations, this featurette examines what fans of the book will get from the series and vice versa
  • New Gods - A look at the New Gods of American Gods, including Media (Gillian Anderson), Mr World (Crispin Glover) and Technical Boy (Bruce Langley).
  • Old Gods - Learn about the cultural roots of the Old Gods seen in the series, from fertility god Bilquis through to the deathly horror of Czernobog and, of course, the enigmatic Wednesday
  • What is American Gods? - Exclusive insight into the most exciting television event of the year from the cast and crew behind
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happy 35th birthday ♥ Harry Shum Jr. (April 28th, 1982) 

It’s strange that I am full Chinese and born in a Latin country, but I love the fact that I was immersed in that culture at birth while maintaining my Chinese roots. I think the cultures share a lot of similarities as far as family values and the love for flavor in their foods. Even though I don’t have it in my blood, I do consider myself somewhat Latin.”

Beauty, just like love, is an experience which sole purpose is to elevate our perceptual senses; it’s the collection of moments or images that represent the most pronounced & exceptional attractiveness of our souls.
And what is more beautiful than our culture, our roots? All of our battles, victories, the foundation of our strength…all perfectly incorporated into songs and dances…Voodoo; an unparalleled and divine universe completely misunderstood, belittled  as time and modernization prevail.

4

Cultural Appropriation is a real, important, and harmful thing, but god damn if it’s not one of the most recklessly abused terms in the social justice lexicon.

Transcription under the cut for accessibility

Keep reading

6 insane things to do that prove Indonesia is the most epic holiday hotspot to visit

From beautiful beaches to delicious street food, Indonesia has it all. You’re almost never short on places to go and activities to do. But if you’re looking for a something more unusual to experience, you’d be surprised at the trove of undiscovered sights and scenes this archipelago paradise has hidden.

1. Feel like a kid again at the Rainbow Village (Kampung Pelangi) in Semarang

A post shared by KITASEMARANG (@kitasemarang) on Jun 8, 2017 at 11:32pm PDT

Who would’ve thought a fresh splash of paint would turn this former slum district into an overnight sensation?! The vibrant new facelift was the community project to rejuvenate the dull hill-side village and re-instil a sense of belonging to the locals.

The result is a multi-coloured kaleidoscope of rainbow roofs, fruit-striped railings and polka-dot panels, perfect for posting on Instagram.

2. Find solace at the Broken Beach (Pasih Uug) in Bali

Just what exactly is ‘broken’ about it you ask? Well the iconic stone arch used to be a cave before it collapsed to form the geological phenomenon we see today. The damaged beach combines the green hills above with the blue seas below which creates a peaceful and tranquil landscape due to the remoteness of its location.

If you’re looking to step away from Bali’s bustling tourist scene, a visit to this exclusive coastal cliff might just be the perfect escape.

3. Get front row seats to the Ram Fights in Bandung

A post shared by @idengerous on Oct 17, 2015 at 9:48am PDT

Believe it or not, the age-old tradition of ram fighting is deeply rooted in Sudanese culture and has been around for hundreds of years. Fights usually take place once a week on the outskirts of town and come complete with live traditional music, loud drums and blaring announcements from the commentators.

Contrary to the brutality of this event, no bloodshed is involved. Ram owners take great pride in training and grooming their sheep for battle—much like professional athletes! If there was a chance that a ram might be hurt, the fight would be stopped immediately.

4. Descent into the dark depths of Jomblang Cave in Yogyakarta

Visitors can put their courage to the test as they make their dramatic descent down the vertical cliff.  

The height of the cave ranges from 40 to 80 metres from the roof to the cave floor. A thick ancient forest also resides within the cave itself, as well as the famous ‘heavenly light‘ which shines in from the cave’s entrance above. Those brave enough to dangle above the rocky cavern below is in for an experience of a lifetime.

5. Trek to the Abandoned Chicken Church of Central Java, Yogyakarta

Image: Matt Smith

Don’t be alarmed if you stumble upon this towering bird-like structure while trekking through the Magelang forest. The gigantic chicken chapel was built as a place of worship during the 1990s, but was later vacated when construction costs became too high. Although it was never finished, the building remains a hit with many unconventional explorers looking gain entry into the now eerie-looking church for a dramatic 360-degree selfie atop the fowl’s soaring head.

6. Visit the birthplace of Ayam Penyet in Indonesia

Anyone who’s ever had a plate of this delectable chicken dish in Singapore can only imagine how it would taste like right from the source! $2.50 SGD gets you a succulent fried chicken thigh, smashed with a mortar and covered in crunchy chicken flakes, served alongside a bowl of burning hot sambal belacan, fried tahu and tempeh. Killer.  

Semarang also has its very own special version of Popiah as well as one of the best Mee Gorengs in the world. #nojoke

I know where’s my next holiday destination, do you? Start saving and find affordable fares at Airasia so you’ll have more money for the amazing activities and many plates of Ayam Penyets! 

The accusations of white-washing being leveled at The Great Wall are almost funny because there are only 2 white actors in the movie (both playing European characters) (plus Pedro Pascal), and the rest are Chinese. As the director has stated there five key players in the final victory and four of those characters are Chinese. The movie has a Chinese director. Half the movie’s dialogue is in Chinese. Most of the crew is Chinese. The movie is filmed in China. It’s a Chinese film company partnered with an American film company. The title flashes on the screen in both English and Chinese. The fantasy elements are the movies own but are rooted in Chinese culture. The film is made in a style that incorporates elements of Chinese film making. It’s essentially a Chinese movie that is using Matt Damon to gain access to an American audience. 

People got mad and called this movie racist but it’s easily one of the most Chinese movies to ever get a wide theatrical release in the US. 

4

I’d destroy patriarchy. I think that’s at the root… The culture of violence against women is at the root of the problems in our world, and I think we can see the correlation pretty clearly, even as we see how evil most prominently surfaces and bares its teeth – that’s always going to be tied into misogyny. And if we don’t address misogyny, then none of our… Because it all intersects, all issues intersect with the oppression of women and female-bodied people. 

[Ezra Miller when asked what he would change by magic in this world]

The bound foot existed for 1,000 years. In what terms, using what measure, could one calculate the enormity of the crime, the dimensions of the transgression, the amount of cruelty and pain inherent in that 1,000-year herstory?



Consider the magnitude of the crime.


Millions of women, over a period of 1,000 years, were brutally crippled, mutilated, in the name of erotica.


Millions of men, over a period of 1,000 years, reveled in love-making devoted to the worship of the bound foot.


Millions of mothers, over a period of 1,000 years, brutally crippled and mutilated their daughters for the sake of a secure marriage.


But this thousand-year period is only the tip of an awesome, fearful iceberg: an extreme and visible expression of romantic attitudes, processes, and values organically rooted in all cultures, then and now. It demonstrates that man’s love for woman, his sexual adoration of her, his human definition of her, his delight and pleasure in her, require her negation: physical cripping and psychological lobotomy. He glories in her agony, he adores her deformity, he annihilates her freedom, he will have her as sex object, even if he must destroy the bones in her feet to do it.

—  Andrea Dworkin, “Woman Hating”

albaharuland  asked:

Hi! I wanted to ask about fantasy world building based on a mix of cultures, even if those cultures are totally different. For example, a country that has an architecture based on egyptian and arab art, or one that is a mix between indian and russian architecture. I dont know if that would be appropiation or offensive, or how to avoid it or doing it in a respectful way. Also if there is a problem only using the art part and having a different made up traditions/lore (thanks for your time!)

On Combining Cultures Respectfully, Art, and Architecture

“Does it make sense within the world”

Avatar: the Last Airbender mixes Inuit and Japanese culture. Is this any form of sensical in the modern world? Sort of, with how there’s a language link between Siberia and the Canadian Arctic. Does it make sense within the confines of A:tLA? Absolutely yes.

I’m not against the concept of cultural blending. It just has to be sensical within the world itself. They might not be neighbours in the real world, but if you end up with a culture that’s “ocean-heavy Arctic on top of Asia”, then Inuit+ Japan makes tons of sense. But had it been even “continental Arctic”, then the Inuit influence would’ve barely made any sense at all, because they’re really not a continental people.

-Mod Lesya

Like mixed-race characters, blending real-world cultures in fantasy isn’t prima facie a problem, but you’d better make sure it makes sense within the world you’re constructing.  Lots of times authors fall prey to the “Rule of Cool” and just throw in things they think are neat without thinking about how they could have reasonably got there.

In the cases you mentioned, there are some historiocultural overlaps between Indian and Russian cultures (for instance, similar building materials, similar types of timbers in temperate parts of India and southern Russia, very deep cultural roots shared between Slavic and certain Indic cultures, etc.) that would give you a foundation to build on.  Other times shared cultural aspects have a common but non-native root—for instance the Russian onion dome and characteristic Indian Taj Mahal-style dome may have a shared origin in Islamic and Middle Eastern architecture.  Islamic culture is native to neither India nor Russia, but it touched and influenced both areas extensively.

Similar constraints hold for Egyptian and Arab art and architecture.  They used similar building materials but produced different results because the culture and artistic preferences were historically different, but we know that Arab culture strongly influenced Egyptian art and architecture in the Islamic period (think going from pyramids to Graeco-Roman amphitheaters to mosques and minarets, but all made out of limestone, mud brick, and very little wood).  Saladin Ahmed’s fantasy novel(s) feature an Islamic/Middle Eastern-influenced culture built on top of a dead Ancient Egypt-analogue [Nikhil’s note: I’m reading this right now and it’s awesome and you should too].

But regardless of the cultural influence, the material culture stays similar in place—in some Indo-Russian hybrid you might be looking at imported marble and precious stones for those buildings whose patrons could afford it, provided they have access to those materials either through production or trade, but for poorer constructions you’re looking at local building materials—so maybe thatch and half-timber framing and wattle-and-daub in Indo-Russia, or stone and mud brick in a desert environment like Arabegypt.  Art and architecture are functions of culture, and culture as a primitive exercise arises from the local environment, since it’s only once you get to the level of at least an organized economic community that outside trade starts to be a significant factor, which would facilitate creating art and architecture that would be exotic to the local environment.

-Mod Nikhil

African American culture exists.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen people being very demeaning or hostile toward African Americans, in regards to what culture we have or who we are as a people, and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of people acting like we as African Americans are nothing but “slaves”, I’m sick of people acting like we’re “inferior to real Africans”, I’m sick of white people telling us we have no culture while trying to take effort for what we’ve made for ourselves. I’m sick of negativity toward African Americans by both the black community, and white society.

So I just want to make a point that we as African Americans have our own culture that no one else on this world has.

It’s a culture of hardships, struggle yet at the same time triumph. It’s the culture of forging traditions and customs from ourselves from what we have lost, and making that into something bigger than ourselves.

Our culture is music, hip hop, R&B, rap, blues, soul, rock (yes rock), gospel, etc…etc… Our culture is dance, praise dance, hip hop dance, street dance, etc…etc.. Our culture is the religion/faith we’ve made that got us this far, it’s the food we eat that is only unique to us!  It’s even the lingo/slang we use. It’s the way we dress, wear our hair because that in itself is a political statement and a testament to our culture. The natural hair movement started in the African American community, that is ours.

All that I’ve listed above and MORE is ours, and if someone tries to tell you that you don’t have a culture, then don’t fret because you do. they’re just to ignorant to see it or understand it.

If someone tries to tell you that you don’t belong in their culture, then don’t be upset, because you have your own culture that shows just not how strong you are as a race, but as a person.

Don’t be ashamed of being African American. Don’t be ashamed of not finding your roots, because you have your roots, you know your roots and culture. It is the culture we as a people have made for ourselves that shows our true testament of survival and no one can take that away from us, no one can claim that, no one can claim that we don’t have it because we do.

That is our culture, as African American people…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

And this isn’t an attack on anyone, but it’s a way to uplift African American people, especially African American women because we are always trying to connect back to our roots. I just want all of us to know that we, as a race do have a culture and we should be proud by how we’ve constructed it! It isn’t slavery either, it’s what we’ve crafted from then to now.

Don't Call Yourself a Weeaboo

A Guide on the Word “Weeaboo”

Hello, you may be wondering why I have the text “If you’re not East Asian and call youself a weeaboo, don’t follow me” in my side bar. Here are a few quick disclaimers:

  • I am well aware that many people do it, especially in anime-related and related fandoms. 
  • If you have ever called yourself a weeaboo at some point in time that does not mean that you can never follow me or that I will never follow you. I follow people now who do it or have done it in the past, which is part of why this page exists.
  • I am Chinese, not Japanese. I cannot specifically speak about the pain that this causes me from a Japanese standpoint, but because many East Asian experiences with racism overlap, I am still affected by this.

Origins of the Word

The word weeaboo comes from a webcomic. It is literally a nonsense word. The word became popularized when people on 4chan were getting upset about being called “wapanese” (wannabe Japanese). The mods put in an auto-censor so the “weeaboo” would appear rather than “wapanese.”

Why Do People Call Themselves Weeaboos?

I have several explanations/theories.

  • People use this to refer to their past selves when they come to realize that what they were doing was racist and harmful. This usage is okay as long as you realize that you may mess up in the future and are willing to correct that too!
  • East Asian people use this word to joke about their experiences and joke about weeaboos. This is an okay usage as long as they are doing this for catharsis! If there are other issues about East Asian people doing this, it’s an inter-community discussion.
  • People do not understand the origins of this word and mistakenly believe it means that they are into anime/manga rather than being connected to a fetishist viewpoint of Japan.
  • People do not understand that anti-racists use this word to call out fetishists.

What is a Weeaboo?

A weeaboo is somebody who fetishizes Japanese culture, but it may not be limited to that. A weeaboo also may conflate multiple groups of Asian people, randomly start speaking Japanese at anyone that might look Japanese, put down non-Japanese Asian people for being the “wrong type of Asian,” and even promote imperialism because of their inaccurate viewpoint of Japan!

Why Non-East Asian People Should Not Call Themselves Weeaboos

  • Weeaboo is a term that Japanese people and other East Asians use to describe those who do them harm due to fetishized viewpoints.
  • It is a term that people use in solidarity with Japanese/East Asian people to recognize this specific harmful behavior. When you are against fetishization/racism/oppression, and you claim to be this word, you are stripping it of the meaning that we assign to classify people who are harmful to us.
  • To be clear, you are not specifically appropriating Japanese by doing this, but you are undermining East Asian people who try to steer clear of harm. I have experienced a lot of cognitive dissonance about what I will encounter since creating this blog.

What Is Really Wrong with Being a Weeaboo?

  • The amount of harm done varies, so I will speak from my own lived experience.
  • I live in a 99% white area, but in a place with a lot of weeaboos. People will get unfriendly fast where I live and have grown up; if you are not their complacent Asian fantasy when you are around them.
  • When my school had a Chinese teacher teach Mandarin, the children bullied her so ruthlessly that she quit halfway through the year. Some of the white kids were angry that the district did not bring in Japanese and showed it (though I doubt a Japanese teacher would have been treated any better). This environment was very alienating and made it hard for nonwhite (especially East Asian students) to speak up to all the white kids.
  • Weeaboos’ fetishized viewpoints of Japan can be very misogynistic specifically and build up a fantasy idea of what Asian women are like, “submissive, docile, etc.” and cause them to sexualize people on basis of being Asian. This has caused a great deal of harm to my education personally for speaking out against injustice because I am expected to be docile, and I have developed retroactive ways of coping with attention I do not want pulled to my ethnicity.
  • Weeaboos can influence people into thinking they are the “wrong kind of Asian” with a strange policing of someone’s Asianness that centers on whether or not they are Japanese.
  • Weeaboos will thoughtlessly call people inappropriate and alienating things for wearing their traditional clothing because it is vaguely Asian and start fawning over it because they think it’s Just So Cool That You’re Asian. This may or may not wear off if you are a different type of Asian than Japanese. Either way it can be humiliating or uncomfortable.
  • Weeaboos don’t understand how painful it is to be ostracized for not blending enough and trying to connect to your cultural roots and will act like it is the same thing when Japanese people speak up about appropriation.
  • Weeaboos have also defended Japanese imperialism and neofascism, nationalism etc. without any idea of the context and get upset when people who have heritage connected to the countries hurt by this call them out.

If you read this list and thought that you would never do any of that, maybe it is time to stop calling yourself a weeaboo and evaluate your behavior. I am not insinuating that you are doing these things by listing them. I am saying that these are some of the things weeaboos do. Even if they are being less violently harmful than harrassing, they still buy into and perpetuate a larger culture of fetishization. These are the type of people that I, and other East Asians who speak about racism talk about when we refer to weeaboos.

If you are in anime/manga or related fandoms and this is the first you have heard weeaboo used in a negative manner regarding fetishism, I strongly suggest that you do some reading. If you want referrals, I am happy to provide them. Just ask me privately because I am not comfortable setting racist anons on blogs that already deal with enough vitriol.

Beauty, just like love, is an experience which sole purpose is to elevate our perceptual senses; it’s the collection of moments or images that represent the most pronounced & exceptional attractiveness of our souls.
And what is more beautiful than our culture, our roots? All of our battles, victories, the foundation of our strength…all perfectly incorporated into songs and dances…Voodoo; an unparalleled and divine universe completely misunderstood, belittled  as time and modernization prevail.

IG: infi_nerdy_

5% Of China adheres to a vegetarian diet

13% Of Taiwan adheres to a vegetarian diet

It is accepted that some Greek philosophers brought their beliefs of vegetarianism from Egypt.

There are sources that say ancient Egyptians ateplant based diets and have been recorded as abstaining from animal flesh and skins since 3200BCE.

.

Upwards of 42% of India adheres to a vegetarian diet

But because some white people in western cultures also adhere to plant based diets it is now a “white people thing.”

Veganism and vegetarianism spreading is now “imperialistic.”

This kind of erasure is perpetuated to discredit veganism and vegetarianism by the common meat eater, to make veganism and vegetarianism seem childish, pointless, privileged, trendy, and unnecessary. It makes veganism and vegetarianism seem like new concepts without histories deeply rooted in many cultures. Veganism and vegetarianism is NOT a white people club, it never was. It is simply something that has existed in most cultures around the world and continues til this day to be practiced by all colors.

anonymous asked:

Can you recommend some good books for someone in a slump after finishing all the Outlander books? :)

You want me to recommend books? 😍😍😍

Now, for me, recommendations kind of depend on what kind of thing you’re looking for as well as what some of your other tastes include – i.e. the Outlander series is a good starting point, but I’d need to know more of what you like to give a truly effective recommendation. 

But, there are plenty of books that I can recommend generally, so…

Originally posted by arrowreactiongifs


Lenny’s Book Recommendations Masterlist

Highest recommendations are in all caps. Sorting by genre/category but in no particular order. Also including links to my reviews for the ones I have reviews for. If anyone ever feels like talking books, please, please, please don’t hesitate to drop by my inbox/chat me up. If you have questions, recommendations, etc. I am always ready to talk books.

*These are by no means the only books I recommend. If you send me a list of your 5-10 favorite books/series, I can probably give you a more specific list of recommendations (this is an open invitation to do exactly this; I love tailoring recommendations). 

Update: Newest additions are bolded

Young Adult Fiction

HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY by Suzanne Collins **cannot recommend highly enough** - dystopic young adult fiction at its best

Heartless by Marissa Meyer - Queen of Hearts origin story

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (second book is the weakest but all the rest are fantastic; Winter is my favorite) - if you like reworked fairy tales

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass (mostly just the first and fourth books though) - a bit of a The Bachelor/reality dating show but with a dash of dystopia

Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore - some humans with magical/superhuman abilities; fighting against an oppressive ruler; fantasy setting

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - intriguing narrative structure; does explore a teen’s suicide

HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling (cause duh) - wizard school shenanigans and defeating a dark wizard (if you aren’t already aware)

The Circle of Magic Quartet by Tamora Pierce - fantasy; four children brought up learning specific magical skill sets based on unique, elementally linked abilities

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - teen girl’s struggles with school and friends after her rape

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES by Sarah J. Maas *recommended to me by @bonnie-wee-swordsman​/ @acotargaryen​; fantasy (very sex positive); a human is brought into fae territory as war appears to be brewing and threatening her own human territory as well; as the series progresses, themes related to consent and agency grow stronger in ways that are ideal for YA audiences; Book 2 (A Court of Mist and Fury) is the best as far as both content and pacing

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - (I’m just starting Book 2) a bit of a cross between dystopic fiction and fantasy (so right in my genre sweet spot); Silvers rule over Reds but one Red girl threatens to upset that balance

Young Adult Historic Fiction

Mine Eyes Have Seen by Ann Rinaldi - John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry as experienced through one of his daughters

A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi - Salem witch trials through the eyes of a young woman who knows the accusers

Sisters of the Quantock Hills Quartet by Ruth Elwin Harris - four sisters (artistically inclined) deal with the trio of brothers they love as WW I impacts their lives

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES SERIES by L. M. Montgomery **not really historic fiction as it was contemporary, but SUCH an important book/series for young Lenny** - an eccentric and imaginative orphan girl is adopted by an elderly brother and sister on Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century

Time Travelers Quartet by Caroline B. Cooney - a teen girl stumbles through time to the Victorian era where she meets a young man and gets caught up in his family’s troubles

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene - a young Jewish girl encounters a young German POW during WW II

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse - a young girl’s reminiscences of family tragedy during the Dust Bowl; presented in poems, free verse

Non Fiction

What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club by Gregory E. Pence - bioethics and philosophy in Orphan Black

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport - the lives of the Romanov daughters with quite a bit about their mother as well; also a lot about the family’s life under house arrest and their ultimate deaths

Dead Wake by Erik Larson - the circumstances and events surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania

The Pope and Mussolini by David I. Kertzer - the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church under Pius XI and Mussolini as he rose and took power of Italy

Zealot by Reza Aslan - an exploration of the life of the historic figure of Jesus of Nazareth (what history has recorded as opposed to the Bible’s understanding of the man)

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany as experienced by the American ambassador in Berlin and his family

QUIET by Susan Cain **an empowering MUST read for introverts** - exploring introversion, its many facets, and how business culture/society at large works for and against introverts

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr - the search for and discovery of a lost Caravaggio painting

THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by Erik Larson - looking at serial killer H.H. Holmes and the development of the Chicago World’s Fair; both in action at the same time and in the same area

War is a Force that Gives us Meaning by Christ Hedges - a look at nationalistic wars in the 20th century and the patterns, similarities between them

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss - humor, punctuation, and history

Alternative History

The Boleyn Trilogy by Laura Andersen - what if Anne Boleyn had given birth to Henry VIII’s son after having had Elizabeth? A novel centered on that son’s reign and the friends he and Elizabeth have in common

The Tudor Legacy Trilogy by Laura Andersen (a sequel trilogy to The Boleyn Trilogy) - what if Elizabeth I had had an heir? Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip II of Spain is falling apart but she has her daughter Anne Isabel as her heir

Science Fiction/Dystopic Fiction

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (LOVED the adaptation; definitely recommend checking it out along with the book) - looking at women’s lives when reproduction falls under state/government control

THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER/THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS by Octavia Butler - environmental disaster ensues and chaos reigns but Lauren finds and creates a functioning community amongst fleeing survivors sharing her new and developing religion with them

MADDADDAM TRILOGY by Margaret Atwood (I seriously need HBO to get their shit together and get moving on the adaptation of this trilogy) - the world has ended as we know it thanks to one possibly mad scientist but some of humanity survived along with the humanoid species that scientist engineered

THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST by Claire North - some people turn out to be capable of being reborn into their same life over and over; they can affect the world around them but largely agree altering things drastically should be avoided… but not everyone is willing to follow the rules

Lilith’s Brood (the Xenogenesis Trilogy) by Octavia Butler (not going to be to everyone’s taste, even for sci fi lovers, but I just LOVE Octavia Butler) -aliens save what’s survived of the human race but seek to adapt themselves so that they can continue a new race/species with the humans; those children face trials of their own as the generations continue to develop (really good series if you’re interested in gender identity/non-binary sexuality, etc.)

Fledgling by Octavia Butler - a young surviving alien whom humans mistake for a vampire must find her way after the rest of her family are destroyed but others of her kind consider her an abomination and want her destroyed too

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett - science fiction lite; a virus wipes out nearly the whole of the human race leaving the survivors scattered across space (where population and government issues had forced many to colonize) fighting to find each other and decide what their collective future should be

Historic Fiction

THE KILLER ANGELS by Mike Sharra - the battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of some of the commanders on both sides

The Stargazer’s Sister by Carrie Brown - a novel about Caroline Herschel

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert - a little girl escapes one of the trains headed to the death camps in WW II Poland but after the war is transported out of Poland (which is falling under Communist Russia’s thumb) and adopted by a family in Africa

Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian - deals with the Armenian genocide during WW I

Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar - a novel about the Bloomsbury Group, specifically Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa

Poldark Series by Winston Graham - the lives and trials of a mine owning family in Cornwall in the late 18th century; social/class issues a central theme

Silence by Shusaku Endo - a 17th centuryJesuit goes to Japan to investigate apostasy of a priest there and witnesses the plight of the local Christians **I had no idea until now that Silence movie I’ve seen advertised briefly was an adaptation of this book**

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré - Cold War espionage in England; there’s a mole giving valuable information to the Soviets and he must be found before too much is compromised

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy - a novel about the concentration camps in WW II and two children who try and manage to escape

North and South Trilogy by John Jakes - two young men bond at West Point and their families become fast friends but as tensions rise and war breaks out, they’re on opposite sides of the Civil War

Literary Fiction

The Golem and the Jinnie by Helene Wecker *recommended to me by @dingbatland - two mythical creatures rooted in different cultures find themselves unexpectedly in New York at the turn of the 20th century

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood - a young woman is accused of murdering her employer and coworker in the mid-19th century and is convicted but there are many who doubt her guilt (inspired by a true case)

ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan **my favorite Ian McEwan novel and a fantastic movie adaptation** - perspective and appearances matter as a young girl’s accusation changes the lives of her sister and the young man she loves with fall out that carries the family through WW II

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver - a missionary brings his wife and four girls to the Belgian Congo in 1959 and it changes the family forever; the story is told in first person narration through each of the girls’ perspectives and is unparalleled

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon - an autistic young man tries to make sense of an incident that happened and what it means for his important routines

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (currently my favorite recent release recommendation) - Russian folktales are woven into a story where the traditions of the rural outskirts of society clash with the power and will of the Church

The Star-Touched Queen Series by Roshani Chokshi - the daughter of a raja is rumored to be cursed but there is one suitor who wants her and brings her to a realm she’s only heard of in stories; rooted in Indian mythology; Book 2, A Crown of Wishes follows the sister of the lead from Book 1 as she accompanies a young (and powerless) prince to the Otherworld to compete in the Tournament of Wishes

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North - a young film maker’s life and death are told and examined by some of the people in her life: former lovers, friends, acquaintances, family

MOTHER NIGHT by Kurt Vonnegut - a politically indifferent playwright who ended up working for the Nazis writes his memoirs while on trial for the role he played in the regime

Room by Emma Donoghue - a young woman and her son escape the man who kidnapped the woman and kept her in isolation for years but then must adjust to the real world again; told from the young boy’s perspective

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - a young, poor African-American girl grows up in Depression Era Ohio; explores race relations, societal concepts of beauty, etc. (Morrison’s first novel)

A Mercy by Toni Morrison - explores the origins of slavery in early America (1692), namely through the women living and working on a farm in Virginia (a group including immigrants, natives, and Africans)

Mystery/Crime/Thriller/Horror

The Yard by Alex Grecian - in the wake of Jack the Ripper, the new homicide division of Scotland Yard is under scrutiny but there also appears to be someone out to kill their detectives; interesting look at the early methods of both the detectives and forensic science

Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling (the second is my favorite cause I read revenge tragedies in one of my grad classes) - Cormoran Strike is a private detective in desperate need of paying clients; when a young woman shows up from a temp agency determined to do more than just reception work about the same time an old friend appears looking for answers in his famous model sister’s death, things begin to change for Strike’s business prospects

The Godfather by Mario Puzo - Italian mafia battles in New York following WW II

The Shining by Stephen King - a family settle into an enormous hotel in the mountains to live as caretakers there for the winter but the hotel appears to have other plans for them and especially the gifted son

The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (but watch out for book four; it was ghost written after Larsson’s death a few years ago and is not based on his notes for book four) - a disgraced reporter looks for a project to work on while his infamy blows over but gets dragged into a decades old case; a young hacker with her own issues with the Swedish government and social work system becomes involved too and an odd partnership is born; later the woman’s personal and family history begin to cause problems and garner the public’s attention for the wrong reasons

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie - a group of houseguests arrive at a large and secluded island home for a weekend away but their host doesn’t appear to be present and what’s more, none of them have met him or her; when people start dying, those remaining begin to suspect one another

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh - when a child is killed in a hit-and-run crash, the authorities investigating find themselves dealing with a confusing mess while a woman somehow connected to the case and who recently relocated tries to rebuild a life for herself 

Fantasy/Fantasy-ish

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (third book was my favorite) - a young woman who’s long denied her calling as a witch stumbles across an ancient and powerful text that just about everyone in the supernatural world (that she’s done her best to ignore) wants

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - a man returning to his hometown for a funeral begins to recall some strange events from his childhood and the young girl he had been friends with

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern **going to do a reread of this sometime this year** - magicians battle with one another through proxies but those two proxies form an unexpected relationship

THE CHILD THIEF by Brom - a very dark and intriguing take on the Peter Pan story that borrows some Avalon mythology, the accompanying artwork is amazing, even in digital form

LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien (I’m not a fan of The Hobbit though) - the ring of power must be destroyed to prevent a dark lord from taking over MiddleEarth and an unassuming hobbit is entrusted with the task

The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter - a (wrongfully) disgraced student of magick meets up with a professor’s daughter who longs to learn and truths begin to emerge along with powers neither understand yet

Classics

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas - Louis XIII’s musketeers seek to protect the country and their king from the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - a young man’s life appears to be falling into place before he is falsely accused of conspiring to restore Napoleon and imprisoned for twenty years; when he escapes, he seeks revenge on those who locked him away

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - when a young woman’s family circumstances force them to leave their home in the southern countryside and relocate to an industrial town in the north, she becomes acquainted with one of the mill owners and the poor conditions faced by the workers and their families; romantic, socio-economic, and philosophical tensions arise

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen - bad first impressions can still lead to deep love and understanding… eventually

PERSUASION by Jane Austen - when a woman’s former flame returns, she laments the advice that she’d followed years before in breaking off their engagement but is it too late or does he still have feelings for her too?

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky **possibly my favorite novel of all time but it’s definitely not for everyone** - a young man firmly believes that the ends justify the means, even when it comes to murder… until he tries it and finds himself wracked with guilt; can he be redeemed and if so, how?

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - a flirtation becomes an affair and a woman must decide how to handle her husband and her lover as her life changes against the backdrop of a drastically changing Russia

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton - a young woman learns the hard way just how difficult it is to keep running in the circles of high society when one has no money and must rely on the generosity of one’s friends, especially when rumors start to fly

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - a family is threatened by the changing tides in revolutionary Paris and they fight to escape to the safety of London 

(**personally, my favorite Dickens novel is Our Mutual Friend but A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations aren’t as intimidating and are excellent for getting used to Dickens’ style**)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - a family is forced off their property by the banks and circumstances during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, so they head west where there are supposed to be plenty of jobs in California but will they survive the journey and will those jobs still be there when they and everyone else in their situation actually arrive

The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck - a town is invaded in WW II and order is imposed by the invaders but it proves not to be as gentle as the invaders would have the people believe and the townsfolk aren’t as compliant as they first appear

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - **you either love magical realism or you hate it; I LOVE it** - the story of the Buendía family and the town they founded, Macondo, where unusual things tend to happen

Guilty Pleasures

Virgin Series by Radhika Sanghani - a young woman wants to lose her virginity but her embarrassing experiences in the past and navigating societal expectations have her worried it will never happen **very funny and body/sex positive*

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory - a novel about Catherine of Aragon and her marriages to two princes of England, Arthur and then his younger brother, Henry VIII

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - the first in her Cousins War/War of the Roses series (I need to 1. watch the Starz adaptation of this book and 2. get around to reading the next books in this series)

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - a novel about Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary, who had an affair with Henry VIII first and then watched her sister’s rise and fall

anonymous asked:

as far as race goes, biology is the root, and culture is the flower.

Wrong, Anon.  As any actual biologist, geneticist, or physical anthropologist could tell you.

“Race” has zero basis in biology

There are no genetic markers found exclusively within one “racial” grouping of people.  None.  

Race is not biological or scientific reality; it is a social construct, invented in America shortly after European colonization as a way to keep poor white colonists from uniting with slaves and Native Americans and overthrowing the ruling class.  

It’s laughable, Anon, that you believe that culture is race-based.  Take “white culture,” which is the result of white supremacists’ demonstration of their love and respect for their culture by randomly and thoughtlessly mixing every “white” European culture together, creating an incomprehensible mishmash of languages, local and regional allegiances, belief systems, systems of governance, foods, art forms, etc.  By slapping a “white culture” label on all of it, white supremacists ironically obliterate the very distinctions and differences that made each culture special and unique; erasing any meaning or value inherent in the cultures white supremacists claim are so special and dear to them.  

Seriously, you’re going to sit there and tell us that the Albanians and Aragonese and Armenians and Asturians and Basque and Castilians and Catalans and Corsicans and Croatians and Danish and Dutch and English and Estonians and Finns and French and Frisians and Galicians and Germans and Georgians and Greeks and Huguenots and Hungarians and Irish and Italians and Leonese and Normans and Poles and Portuguese and Prussians and Roma and Romanians and Russians and Sardinians and Scots and Serbs and Spaniards and Ukrainians and Venetians and Walloons and Welsh are all just “white culture?”

Do you actually believe that 100+ distinct cultures - many of whom have been or are at war with each other - can all just be lumped together as “white culture” and that term will have a valid, distinct meaning that in no way dishonors or erases the distinctiveness or special nature of each of those individual cultures?

Maybe you should try to think things through a bit more carefully before accepting glib, racist metaphors as something to base your conception of reality on.