Saturday Small Talk: Chat Away While I Wash a Dog!

Happy Saturday! I watched TWO new-to-me movies yesterday! So get excited for new reviews at some point in the next few days. Maybe today! Or maybe not!

Things to talk about!

I am going over to a friend’s house today to wash her dog because she just got her First Dog Ever and she is FREAKING OUT. Any words of wisdom? Beyond, “it’s just a dog! You can’t mess up so bad she won’t forgive you!”

This is the face of a dog that will destroy your life. Yes? But also looooooooooooooooooove you.

It’s Shabanaji’s birthday! Favorite Shabana performance? I’m sticking with Loins of Punjab Presents.

And last thing to talk about, I have crossed the line to “I can keep plugging slowly away at unpacking, but I’ve gotta live my life too.” That’s okay, right? I can help wash a dog and do fun stuff like that instead of dedicating all my time to unpacking/organizing forever?

29 thoughts on “Saturday Small Talk: Chat Away While I Wash a Dog!

  1. I think putting unpacking on hold while you live your life is a good plan. I’m not saying ignore all boxes forever (which is what my family did with two boxes for 5 years until I finally gave a box away), but not unpacking a single box for a day could be healthy.

    My own thoughts this Saturday are too big. I’m sick, and in bed, so I started watching the Malayalam and Tamil versions of Yes Boss. And the Tamil version, staring Madhavan, has an initial song with him in blackface. I had thought that by 2009 (when the film was made) blackface was a thing of the past, but nope, I looked into it and Billy Crystal did blackface for the 2012 Oscars. And so I’ve been thrown into thoughts of racism. White racism, against anyone who isn’t white is hard for me. I recognize my own cultures inbred sense of superiority, a sense that surpasses skin color. But I, well I have a hard time with understanding darker skin vs darker skin and the multitude of cultures which despise the black skin. And it is personal. My kids are enrolled in our small town’s bilingual program, which has a ton of Native & Hispanic applicants because it is recognized as a safe space for children with brown skin. The bilingual teachers aren’t racist. But my son’s black friend faced a lot of racism within his class from his Hispanic peers, open racism in Kindergarten and more closed racism as they grew older. He has no safe space. But fortunately for me on this Saturday when I’m sick in bed and thinking about racism, in India and elsewhere, I have PLENTY of material to look at. English is an official language of India, their newspapers have whole series on racism in the country. I even got to read an article about it by Abhay Deol!

    And SRK, in Yes Boss, his skin is so beautifully brown. Unlike so many actors in Hindi film who could pass for a multitude of different nationalities if I saw them walking down my American street, young SRK looked Indian. But his skin isn’t so brown now.

    And acting. The Malayalam Seema isn’t so beautiful that you believe the plot line, but the actress herself is good. You like her, even if she is a gold digger. But the Tamil actress, more beautiful, can’t pull it off. She isn’t likable. Her chemistry with Madhaven isn’t strong enough for the plot. The director doesn’t focus on her like Aziz Mirza did with Juhi Chawla. Madhaven is good, but without the chemistry, without a likable heroine, the same storyline is failing. However the Tamil movie has higher production values, which even with the worse acting, makes it more watchable than the Malayalam version.

    So if anyone wants to discuss skin color or Yes Boss or the making of the same movie with different actors in different languages- I have lots of time today to think about them…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m trying to stay on a “3 boxes a day” schedule. But today it was the weekend and I could, in theory, have done something really challenging like organizing a closet or putting the doors back on the cupboard. And instead I gave myself a day off and ran fun errands and washed a dog. And tomorrow I am going up to the lake house for a day. I could be all done unpacking in one weekend of working flat out but I just CAN’T FACE WORKING FLAT OUT.

      On the other hand, speaking of boxes, when my sister and I were toddlers a maiden aunt died and my grandparents packed up her china and sent it to my parents. Who have now managed to move the boxes of china FOUR TIMES without opening, unpacking, or donating. Sometimes it’s just easier to carry the boxes around with you for your whole life.

      Have you seen the movie Far From Heaven? It’s kind of brilliant, a perfect recreation of a 1950s soap opera movie. And part of that is showing a white woman and a black man who fall in a very delicate unspoken love. There’s one moment of the film when they are talking in the street and there is suddenly this vague feeling of danger around them from the white people. I was shouting “get out! Go somewhere safe!” And then I remembered, the movie is set in Connecticut. There are few safer places in America for an interracial couple in that era, and it STILL wasn’t safe. Anyway, it’s a brilliant depressing movie, because it captures that sense of “nowhere is safe” versus “some places are safe, some places are unsafe” which most people have the luxury of experiencing.

      I just searched, and I have written WAY more posts on racism than I remembered! Here is the link to the search results: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/?s=racism&submit=Search

      I agree about colorism being confusing for those of us who are not part of that culture. There are several movies where I didn’t even get why someone was supposed to be “ugly” because I was so blind to how “dark” they were. And vice versa, I don’t get when people talk about how “beautiful” someone is and it’s just based on skin tone.

      On Sat, Sep 18, 2021 at 11:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think your parents should unpack the china and use it, even if that means chipping it. And if they never entertain, simply use the china everyday. But I am much more okay with the imperfect than others.

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        • HA! Here’s the problem! They have too much China! This is what happens when your family is filled with maiden aunts. I actually found the perfect place for it, but it’s up to them to follow through. There’s a local catering company that specializes in “fine china”. It’s a really cool idea, you hire them and then provide fine china and clothe napkins and stuff and then take it away with them. I reached out about just giving them a china set and they are into it. Wouldn’t that be fun? My aunt’s china spends 30 years in a box, and then gets to go around to parties all the time.

          On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 12:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Reread your 1/21 post on Wonder vs Assume.

        I thought that folks only wonder about the things that challenge their pre-conceptions. But maybe not. I’m putting the concept in my mental rolodex for further research.

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  2. Race always interested me, Genevieve. So many variables.

    I’m a nice Italian girl whose mother is an Arab. I married a West Indian man and my brother in law married a Japanese woman. We have Jamaican, North and South Asian, Spanish, Greek, Italian, and Pacific Islander in our family. Skin colors range from coffee cream to root beer, hair from nappy to geisha, every eye color under the sun, pug and Roman noses, stern and juicy mouths. Our holiday dinners deserve their own You Tube channel. The kids take it all in stride and most, not all, of the adults, regardless of appearance, identify as black. Haven’t a clue.

    Recently, I find myself wanting to write about blended families but my attempts come out preachy, boasty, and boring.

    And BTW, I adored SRK’s young skin, golden brown as leatherwood honey. When did he go all pasty?

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    • Your comment that your family members identify as black regardless of hue or genetics is fascinating. I once met a lovey biracial woman who identified as white, and evil me, in my head, thought “good luck with that”. Mind you she was gorgeous, Meghan Duchess of Sussex like. She married a white man, and they have a daughter, with nappy hair. I don’t ask her how she identifies, it is none of my business, but she is very aware that her daughter is not seen as white and works to instill in her child a sense of pride.

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      • There’s a little boy I grew up with. Well, now he is a father of 3 and a grown person, but when we were growing up he was a little boy. Anyway, his Mom is white and he had no connection to his father growing up. And he would get so MAD when he had to fill out race forms as a kid. By the time he hit teen years, he started identifying more and more as “Black” and eventually met with his father. It was a whole journey for him, a journey that is still going on. But it was confusing and weird for him from the time he was little little. I know loads of adopted POC children of White parents, but biological is a whole different thing. He looks like his Mom and she gave birth to him and he has a whole family on his Mom’s side, but that’s just invisible to the World.

        And on the flipside, there is a DCIB occasional commentator who is Hispanic but randomly looks “white”. And she mentioned that her kids were given a hard time for listing themselves as “Hispanic” on school paperwork because they don’t “look” Hispanic and nor does their mother. It’s all very confusing and horrible!

        On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 12:03 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Stories like that are the best examples why this “race” system doesn’t work. I’m so glad that German forms don’t have questions like that. Even if part of the reason is that everyone is just assumed to be white.

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          • I’ve been answering the “race” question a lot lately because it is part of filling out the forms for my free COVID tests. In which case it does really matter because the CDC has found and is tracking a correlation. But it still feels weird. And is there maybe other correlations we don’t track because we think of “race” first? Ugh, it’s hard.

            On Mon, Sep 20, 2021 at 1:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Yeah, I find it kind of weird too that the Black identity seems to be culturally dominant. It seems like people are going to judge you by the “one drop” rule anyway, so you might as well self-identify that way.

      Luckily, for our daughter there seem to be at least some safe spaces so far. Everyone who knows us has just congratulated us on our new baby.

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      • The nicest thing about babies is how CUTE they are. How can you have evil thoughts when it is a LITTLE PERFECT BABY.

        On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 9:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I read the best book yesterday, Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Mostly it was a mystery thriller romance, but the protagonist was half Ojibwe and half white. Her White grandmother hated Indians and growing up some of her Ojibwe peers called her ghost because her skin was so white. But with her white skin she was able to cross the border back and forth to Canada easily so she would do the runs for her Ojibwe family members. Reconciling her love for her grandmother, despite her grandmother’s racism was revisited in bits throughout the story.

    My husband teaches at an alternative high school. A favorite student was a White 14 year old mother of a biracial child. And one day my husband a heard his student’s mother dismiss her by saying “Well I didn’t have no brown skin baby”. My husband’s first reaction was – wow, you’re (the mother of the student) just a bad person! But that woman is in the child’s life. And that 14 year old mother, 8 years later, married the father of that child. That child has a sibling. And I’ve often wondered how the family handles it, being biracial with racist elders. But after reading Firekeeper’s Daughter, I’m getting a sense of it.

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    • Wow, 14 is REALLY young, though. Actually, my (kind of awful) first reaction was: If I had wanted to diss that daughter, I would have told her “I didn’t have a baby at 14”.

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      • She was the youngest mother my husband has taught. Her child’s father had an older brother, who told him he should have sex with as many virgins as possible. Thus he became a father at 16 and his his future wife a mother at 14. Her sisters also had children young, though not as young. However I am 45 with a first grader. In my town I am a very old mom. I am older than some of my son’s classmate’s grandparents.

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  4. Here to say I watched the first half of Mohenjo Daro with my older kid this weekend (for homework! history comes to life!) and it is just as entertaining and historically accurate as promised. Must say, the fight and chase scenes are terrible and ridiculous – it’s like they don’t know what to do with them if no one can shoot anything – but the songs are super pretty.

    I do have a few questions. 1. How does one push a wooden trident*all the way through* a giant crocodile? 2. Who, 4000 years ago, took the time to stitch poofy pleats into Hrithik’s pants, and fit all of our heroine’s bodices? 3. Who are all of the other people cast with Hrithik in this movie and why have I never seen them before or since? I like the sidekick dude and his dimples a lot. The heroine is not the most amazing actor but she’s gorgeous and dances well.

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    • The heroine is an actual person, but I think everyone else is just TV People, not real people. Pooja Hegde, the heroine, was in a few things in the southern industries, then this, then in a Housefull movie, and I think she’s been working steadily.

      And I want your son to go to school and ask his teacher ALL these questions! And then we can all learn together.

      On Sun, Sep 19, 2021 at 11:15 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • HA! Now I want to go back and watch this movie and think about your questions. To add to Margaret’s comment, the actors who play the evil senate cheif and his son are real people too. Kabir Bebi (chief) has been acting for over 3 decades. He has been in Indian, Italian, and American movies, including the James Bond movie, Octopussy. He is the father of Pooja Bedi and grandfather of Alaya Furniturewala.

      The son, Arunoday Singh, has been around for a while playing a supporting actor/ villian roles but is definitely not very famous. I remember him as the guy Sonam thought she was into in Aisha (the Clueless remake from 2010) and the crazy police officer and Nargis Fakri’s love interest in Main Tera Hero with Varun Dhawan.

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  5. Thank you for your comments, Genevieve. I love reading all the comments on DCIB.

    I’m collecting material for a book with race as one of the central themes and so far, I’ve discovered that racists come in all colors, and hatred doesn’t appear to be the motivating factor. It’s culture, and it goes something like this: like ought to remain with like in order to preserve cultural identity. If everybody mixes with everybody else, then tradition will die. There will be no one left to take pride in the glory of ancient Greece, Noh theater, the pyramids, siva afi. And so on. I know the guys with hoods and torches are out there, but the ones that agree to talk to me are rather nice and reject any suggestion that they may be rationalizing a much deeper pejorative belief.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the theme of culture, there is an interesting debate happening within the Native Tribe in my town. Their language was almost lost, with only a few true, rapidly aging speakers left. Over the last 15 years they have done a lot to bring back their language. They even now have a radio station where the DJs speak partly in Pauite, and introduce a new word every day. Their radio station is also really fun because it basically plays random music, depending on the various DJs moods, so it is a favorite to listen to. So I can say hello in Pauite. But I don’t. I don’t because a significant portion of the tribe does not want outsiders to know their language.

      I was talking to a mom at a soccer game, whose new job is directing the language programs of our local tribe as well as others throughout CA. We were discussing grants and such she could look for that would help cover the cost of training bilingual Natives as teachers, so they could teach bilingual classes in their language. But then there is the hitch, in a public school you can’t restrict access to a class based on race, but some tribal members don’t want outsiders to know their language. Bilingual classes may be the best way to truly bring back fluency to the most people within tribal communities, but then you can’t make that fluency exclusive. They could do a small private school though, but funding would be tough.

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      • Oh, how fascinating! In Chicago history, I ran into the era before about 1920s when public schools taught in non-English. The elementary schools in German areas would offer classes in German and so on. We have moved so far from that now into the “learn English! You live here now!” era. It’s easier to pretend that just never happened, the public schools never acknowledged the need for non-English classes.

        As I am sure you know, there are the same issues with dying languages in India. The argument being “my kids have to learn fluent English to succeed in life, I want them to forget every other language”. There’s no easy answer for it, because who is going to tell a parent “your child has to sacrifice in order to keep this language alive”.

        On Mon, Sep 20, 2021 at 11:20 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • German stopped being taught and accepted as an American subculture because of WWI. Kurt Vonnegut talks about it in his introduction to Slapstick. One generation there were German schools and dinners and summer colonies by the lakes, and the next it was all gone.

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          • OH! There is a story in my family about that which I always find hilarious. One branch of my family had a name that ended in “mann”, super obvious German ending. So during WWI in order to hide their Germanness they changed their name….and dropped the last “n”. HA! Here is a family that is speaking German at home and in church, that has a super German name, but by golly dropping the “n” is going to fool EVERYONE.

            On Mon, Sep 20, 2021 at 9:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Doggie was confused. But now is clean! She is such a silly puppy doggie, must have just had a growth spurt because she keeps bumping into things like she doesn’t remember how big she is, which is HILARIOUS.

      On Tue, Sep 21, 2021 at 10:21 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Our big boy did that recently : ran into the bar across our driveway and was totally confused. We could only tell him: Well, you grew but the bar didn’t.

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