Thursday, January 31, 2008


Sometimes my co-workers are so crass…

There was an article in today’s Toronto Star about black women being afraid of the "’fro”
( My female coworker said that it’s because they don’t want to look like a brillo pad. I usually take her to be a little more intelligent than that comment. I just found that terribly insensitive and judgmental. There are no black people where I work, (not for any “bad” reason, the owners only staff four people, myself and three others); there is no one there capable of growing a natural afro.

I was trying not to contribute to the day’s conflict, so I walked away. (Walking away seems to be something I have to do at the job.) What I wanted to say was that many black women feel compelled to fit into the stereotypes of beauty, which include straight, flowing hair, impressed upon them by a predominantly white media. If my coworker actually read the article before making her careless comment, those ugly words may not have come out of her mouth.

I could go on about the pressures to be beautiful, according to a certain stereotype. I could talk about how this affects the women of different cultures in different ways, from Asia to Africa to South America and the cosmetic/chemical processes these women put themselves through. These comments could turn into an essay on what is considered to be the ideal image. I’m not going to. I hope that the people reading this know what the arguments are. I just wish for a greater acceptance of individualism that looking a certain way, natural or processed doesn’t really matter. I wish a lot of things that I know aren’t true.

Read the Star article. It’s quite good, a little snippet into manufactured beauty from an afro point of view.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

National Treasure: Book Of Secrets

National Treasure was exactly what I thought it would be. It was a mystery, a treasure hunt that took the audience to some interesting locations. It used real historical fact and combined it with fiction. Nicolas Cage did his thing. The girl was beautiful. John Voigt and Helen Mirren were fantastic. The sidekick was exactly what he ought to be. I enjoyed myself.

The one thing that I question slightly is the end. Would Mitch actually do that? Where did this redeeming quality come from? What were his true motivations? It makes me go, hmm….

I loved Bruce Greenwood as president. He was very personable and approachable. Why can’t the president be like that in real life? I really doubt that if someone like Cage’s character did what he did to the president, Mr. Bush would be so accommodating. Clinton may have thought it was funny, but Cage might have had to be a girl… I’m sorry, it’s just so easy to make fun of political leaders. Of course, I’m not sure Steven Harper would make out much better than Bush…. Tony Blair seems adventurous though……

The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger

I think it’s the future. I think that it is our world that has moved on and become Roland’s. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how science and technology was forgotten, how the world fell into another dark age, but that is what I believe right now. After everything the man in black (Walter) said to Roland and about the world before, cars, the round world, visiting the moon, how could it not be our world? I know that there has been some speculation that it’s a parallel universe and Roland & Jake cross the line. I think there is magic in Roland’s world and time is crossed.

The first time I read The Gunslinger, I was in high school. I loved it. I fell for Stephen King and developed a taste for fantasy and other forms of fantastic fiction. The Gunslinger showed me that I could (and would) enjoy novels beyond the standard realm of fiction and literature. Recently, I have acquired the last novels written in The Dark Tower series (they are BIG books), as well as the graphic novel. I’m so excited to read them. However, since it’s been so long since I read The Gunslinger and it’s been eight years since I read Wizard and Glass, I thought that I might start from the beginning and enjoy the novels all over again. Like Roland, I’m working my way to The Dark Tower

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Live Free or Die Hard

The fourth installment of the Die Hard movies does not disappoint. It is full of chases and explosions and ass-kicking. Bruce Willis is still John Mclane. He is still and I think always will be an action star. Everyone who has loved the Die Hard movies and loves action movies needs to see Live Free or Die Hard.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Complicated Kindness

A Complicated Kindness is a beautifully sad story. Nomi goes through so much in her life and she’s only 16. I would never have though that a novel about a Mennonite girl could be so captivating. Miriam Toews is brilliant.

Nomi’s story is so emotional, so tangible; it breaks my heart a little. I think that’s why it took me so long to finish; the emotions reached out and grabbed me. The only way to make them let go was to put the book down. Then, of course, you are left with the longing of wanting to know what happens to Nomi.

A Complicated Kindness also gives you an interesting look at Mennonite life. You get to know a little about their history and the kind of society they’ve become. Some Mennonites truly love their community, others dream of being free from it. Behavioral rules are complex and often contradictory. It’s difficult to know what to do. This is where Nomi and her family struggle. It is a struggle between love, faith and freedom.