HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I’m a big fan of most holidays, and Halloween is definitely in my top three favorites. I love the festive, spooky energy it musters up in people. I love that it coincides with the peak of autumn, and that my memories of trick-or-treating are juxtaposed to the smell and crunch of crispy leaves. I love how fun it is to brainstorm and create costumes. And I love finding creative ways to make and share theme-appropriate treats!
Not surprisingly, this week’s Friday Five has some Halloween love sprinkled throughout. Enjoy!
The good folks at College Humor provided a nice simple flowchart for you and yours to determine if your Halloween costume is super fucked up and racist. I like to think the RGL community of readers wouldn’t think of participating in any number of the horribly inappropriate costumes that exist out there, so perhaps you can just have this handy for that person in your life who maybe isn’t thinking so critically about their costume choices.
I’m not sure I entirely agree with this article from the NYT, but I am curious to hear people’s thoughts. Basically some scientists did some studies and showed that people who practiced positive thinking (more specifically, achieving goals without challenges) did worse on achieving those goals than people who didn’t practice that kind of positive thinking. I agree that we can’t be all Oprah-fied all the time, but, as the article fortunately points out, the alternative shouldn’t be negative thinking. It should be some middle ground.
I personally feel like as I’ve gotten deeper into yoga (and found many crossovers in Buddhism), that it’s not even just about “moderation,” but rather finding ways to practice both positivity and negativity in a way that promotes balance. For example, in yoga, we intentionally invite sitting in and breathing through things that don’t feel good (much like Buddhism invites us to sit with suffering). But yoga has also taught me to “leave it [negative stuff] on my mat.” I don’t think we should try to run away from or erase our problems with positive thinking, but I think that after we do the work to sit with our discomfort that it’s okay to start affirming the shit out of ourselves and our lives.
What do you think?
Perhaps a lot of you saw the video floating around social media of the woman who records herself walking through NYC and experiences over 100 catcalls. It was, of course, disturbing, and a glimpse into what many women go through on a daily basis. But the video was incomplete–the creators actually admitted to editing out the white men who were complicit in street harassment. Thus, the video became a story almost entirely about “bad men of color.” Feminism is nothing without intersectionality; that is, it’s important to not treat social injustice in a vacuum. If we’re outraged over #Ferguson, we can’t continue to perpetuate discourse that frames black masculinity as always already threatening.
I have to admit that I am one of those people who used to find that waxy sweet experience of Brach’s Candy Corn to be utterly irresistible. Fortunately, my taste buds have changed a lot over the years, and I don’t even want to splurge on a handful of that junk. I do still get nostalgic for the concept though, and that’s why I was delighted to discover not only a recipe for vegan candy corn (there’s actually quite a few of those), but a recipe that is free of refined-sugar and other scary stuff. And to get the yellow color, the recipe calls for turmeric! Cool!
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
seeing a movie by myself for the first time ever!; work study date with my good friend, Michael; the pumpkin candle Michael gifted me knowing I really wanted one!; friend time with a gal pal at a queer dance party; when the bar DJ played “Anaconda” and mixed it into “212,” and our little dancing circle responded with delight; the run-in I had with the Harvard prof to whom I once taught yoga, who I fan-girl over because he’s a big deal in African American studies, and when I saw him at a coffee shop this weekend (a year after the first and only time we met), he remembered my name and my work and invited me to a conference at Harvard about mass incarceration!; shared CSA veggies; hard talks that make me glad because it means there is growth happening; transparency from my colleagues; when the chair of the Women and Gender Studies Department at my school thanked me for inspiring students to be feminists; kitten-love; HALLOWEEN THINGS; the arrival of my friend Logan who is visiting for the weekend; all my fellow professor/grad student friends who share amazing pedagogy ideas on FB–i feel really lucky to have such inspiring friends!; planning for and connecting with the community of folks doing Lacy Davis’ Rest & Restore program; True Bistro; phone calls with momma; feminist book club with such fierce ladies, and the conversation that ensued; making my new sculpt playlist; T-Pain; and my students, always.
What are you being for Halloween?! Have a great weekend! xoox