Is there a particular order in which one should read/watch Shakespeare's plays? I've heard that you have to read a bunch of ancient literature like the Iliad and get to know all the ancient philosophers and then you have to read/watch Shakespeare in a very particular order. Thoughts?
No??? There are no rules in Shakespeare, and there’s no right way to enjoy his plays. You might find you really like the history plays, and have fun comparing Shakespeare’s version of history to the real thing. You might prefer his comedies, and find you have the most fun watching adaptations which preserve the language but throw in contemporary references, gender-reversed roles and a creative setting - like the recent Globe version of Midsummer which had a gay couple, Beyonce’s Single Ladies, and a Bollywood theme. Maybe you’ll find you can’t get past the language at all no matter how hard you try, but you really enjoy the stories, so you’ll watch stuff like She’s The Man, 10 Things I Hate About You and Shakespeare Retold. Maybe you’ll adore tragedies, and you’ll want to do some philosophising with Hamlet so you’ll research all the influences of thought in that play. You might like film adaptations, or prefer to go to tiny productions down the road that have an audience of 20 people and a budget of $2 and a paperclip.
Shakespeare is meant to be enjoyable. Don’t get hung up on the notion that there’s a right way to read Shakespeare, or that you need to Appreciate him as Great Literature™. The guy was a storyteller, and it’s up to you to figure out which stories you like and how you like them to be told. Take his work at face value, and if you want to do further reading to get deeper into the text and tease out possible meanings or cultural contexts you may have missed, do it because you want to, not because you feel you have to.
What do you think about the music done for each Cruiserweight?
You mean their theme music? (this is going to be really long) If that’s the case I would like to take a moment to personally thank everyone who participated in bringing Jack Gallagher’s theme song to life.
Rich’s theme song would be perfect for a cookout, not gonna lie. We just need a line dance and were set.
Brian Kendrick’s theme has a bigger ego than he does. I hope he won’t steal it’s sheet music and teach it a lesson.
The bindi, or the pottu as it’s known in Kerala where I grew up, is an aspect of my cuture that I think I spent a large part of my life taking for granted. Whether it was my grandma meticulously applying kumkumam to her forehead every day (a process involving a base paste which is then covered in red powder, all in a perfect circle created using nothing but her finger), or my best friend and me slapping on a sticker pottu stolen from my mom’s collection while playing dress up, it was never something I gave much thought. It was just there. A part of life no more or less remarkable to the younger me than a blue sky or green grass.
The idea of white women wearing bindis was something that for the longest time got nothing more than a shrug out of me. I’d seen a fair few tourists walking around in ill fitting salwar kameezes and ill placed bindis. I never thought it particularly suited them, but hey, if they wanted to walk around looking ridiculous, what business was it of mine, right?
That was until my parents decided to move us out of India. To go from growing up relatively sheltered, comfortably ensconced within a culture I took for granted, to having that culture questioned or silenced or ridiculed at every turn was as eye opening as it was unpleasant. Because I finally understood.
The idea that the girls like the one who called me weird for putting on sunscreen (“Haha but you’re brown!”) or the one who asked me how my name could possibly be Sarah (“But you’re Indian!”) could be out there right now sporting “forehead jewels” because they saw it on a celebrity, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The idea that men like the ones who yelled “Hey, bin Laden!” at my dad prompting my dad to shave his beard the very next day could be out there somewhere having “Bollywood themed weddings” because they saw it in a lifestyle magazine, fills me with rage. And if at this point you’re thinking “But I would never do any of those things! Is it okay for me to wear a bindi?” The answer is still, not unless you’re invited to.
Look, I get it. You’re a “good” person. You don’t hate brown people, you’d never shout racist things at them, you think South Asian fashion is beautiful and all that jazz. But this is about privilege. You want to wear a bindi whenever you feel like it? Cool. Then wear everything that comes with it. Wear the endless queries about where you’re originally from, wear the insistent mocking of the way you speak, wear the “terrorist” jokes, wear “Do you speak Hindu?” and “Is your dad a taxi driver?” and “You’re going to be forced to get an arranged marriage, right?”
To wear the parts of our culture you find appealing while living free of the realities that accompany them is a sign of privilege. A privilege that doesn’t extend to us. Our culture doesn’t come off when a bindi does. We can’t disassociate ourselves from our identity with a new wardrobe and a makeover. Our culture isn’t just what we wear, it’s part of who we are. We take pride in it, we celebrate it, but we are often forced to pay a price for doing so.
One of the misconceptions I often see with regard to bindis is the idea that people are upset solely because bindis are a religious item. While bindis do hold significance within Hinduism, South Asians of all religions wear bindis. I myself am a Christian Malayali with a half Catholic, half Hindu mom. For many of us, it’s less about religion, and more about culture.
So if you ever find yourself reaching for a bindi or any item tied closely to a culture that isn’t yours, here’s a tip; Wait until you’re invited to wear or use said item by a member of the culture to which it belongs.