So my defining characteristic is that I never learn?

I was probably less hungry than I was desiring bread and cheese, so I bought ham, cheese and a bread roll from the supermarket. Now I’m uncomfortably full. If that isn’t a metaphor for my entire existence, I don’t think I know what metaphors are.

Come to think of it, more accurately I bought ham and a bread roll. I asked the lady at the deli counter if any of the cheeses were sharp (since apparently your average Canadian isn’t super partial to non-mild cheese) and she grabbed me a pre-cut slice of Havarti. I told her sheepishly I was only really looking for a single slice for my filled roll. She nodded and put a finger against her lips, then winked. It felt very conspiratorial.

It must be kinda tough out there right now in Hollywood for handsome white men called Chris. Marvel seems to have cornered the market.

I saw a bunch of dudes standing around chatting while a docile shiba inu lay leashed at their feet. A plastic bag blew over and immediately the shiba pounced, ripping the ever loving shit out of it. It tore the poor bag to shreds and took a massive bite. It happened in an instant and was possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen all day. Something about this cute dopey dog galvanised into action by simple detritus evoked incredible comic timing.

After complaining about the absurd quantities of branded swag people keep dumping on my desk, one of our new employees gushed to me how much she loved free stuff. I told her of my plight and she remarked that she wished she was in my position. I collated it all into a single bag and left it on her desk. In a single swoop I managed to de-clutter my life and make someone’s day. I just hope I haven’t enabled a future hoarder.

I went to a pilates class at work yesterday. One of the exercises involved us moving between normal and neutral spine in conjunction with hip raises. The instructor described the sensation as if we were “rolling a marble between your belly button and pubic bone.” Like a child I giggled, reminding me that even if I pay taxes, maturity has yet to find me. It made me think of when we first heard the word “cum”. It meant we’d excitedly titter whenever someone said the word “come” or “coming”. There was some song we had to sing at school assemblies with lyrics along the lines of “coming on the bridge/coming through the water/coming through the forest/your sons and daughters.” It killed us every time.

Speaking of songs, I don’t know that I’ve been to a concert yet this year. That feels nutty to me. Absorbing live music for years has been one of the large components of my personality. It’s so stirring to have acts you admire in your immediate vicinity, to join in with the communal energy of a crowd. I’ve got Okkervil River, Janelle Monáe and St Vincent coming up over the next few months, but even that feels sparse. This might be the most enduring element of my adult life, that I find myself going out to see bands with decreasing frequency. Excuses range from “but it’s cold out” to “I’m too tired”. Younger Leon who would almost weekly drive two and a half hours/drink/watch a gig/crash on a friend’s couch/wake up at 6am/drive another two and a half hours back to work the next day would slap my current self for such a feeble dismissal of a good time.

Of course, Younger Leon made questionable decisions almost daily. Given my ham sandwich debacle earlier, it’s nice to see not too much has changed/.

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Do you think Grimace is secretly deeply unhappy?

Mostly it feels good to laugh. Sometimes it hurts. Not in an emotionally draining sense, but in a “my cheeks feel like they’ve been pulled into a Clockwork Orange style contraption and was it possible for my eyebrows to feel pain?” sort of manner.

We’re staying with old friends of mine at the moment. Last night was the only evening this week where we were all free. I posited that instead of going out to a bar, we could just grab a few drinks, order take out and chill in the lounge. We did just that. It may well have been my favourite experience we’ve had here so far. It’s easy to forget the depth and breadth of experiences we had together. Never the cool kids, nor were we losers. We floated around in clique limbo long enough that we eventually amassed a cluster of weird mongrels. We were nerds, but not maligned as 80s teen films would have us believe. We did a lot of bizarre stuff, made insane bets and travelled across New Zealand and the world at large.

Last night we sat around the lounge and reminded ourselves how far we’d come. Having lived in big cities across the globe, progressed from our admittedly awkward early twentysomething phases. The world around us had changed and we’d changed with it. Still, we’d somehow not lost sight of who we’d been. Wait, am I writing about us? Or have I somehow transitioned to a longform rendition of J.Lo’s “Jenny from the Block”?

I’m not sure about J.Lo’s history of drunken shenanigans, but we had more than a few. Whether it was minor vandalism, regrettable hook-ups, regrettable relationships or odd experimental phases, we’d done it all with the grace of teens/early twentysomethings. Is this what getting old is all about? Revisiting your greatest hits of fuckups as validation of the notion that you’ve become better people? Will the stories we’re telling now be the same stories we tell for the next 30 years. I hope so, because they’re good ones. We were animals, but at the very least animals who knew some solid tricks.

Years back, while on holiday, we mocked up a loose draft of our own sitcom. “A Shore Thing”, we dubbed it, given most of us were kids from Auckland’s North Shore. It was insane the number of ridiculous scenarios we had that could’ve been self-contained episodes in their own right. So many different partners, whether short or long term. Certain character arcs or narrative feints. Sometimes an actor would leave for a season or two then come back, being audience favourites and all. It was nothing more than a farcical thought experiment, but it really was humbling to look back at how long some of us had been friends. Friendships since kindergarten stretching all the way through university and beyond.

If anything could be more emblamatic of “friends for life”, it’d be the fact that we’re staying gratis with friends in London and that if the tables were turned, we wouldn’t think twice about offering our spare room back in Toronto. I woke up in a comfortable bed and felt fully refreshed. Maybe because of the nine hour sleep. More likely on account of the massive cardiovascular workout of laughing so hard my face felt pain.

Why question my sovereignty? Sometimes pride rocks.

This update coming to you LIVE from the floor of a tiny alcove outside 21 Wellington Street, London. Notable only because we’re 13th and 14th in line for Lion King day tickets. As an aside, I thought it was pretty cool that rather than type “Lyceum Theatre” into Google Maps I typed “Lion King” and Google Maps was all “I got you bro.” Thanks Google Maps. I wish Cambridge Analytica had my back that hard. I don’t see them helping me out with handy instructions. Instead they just tell Wish, Online Shopping that I must want a plethora of wetlook catsuits and fancy lingerie. So I guess they’re more like “I got you bra.” Credit where credit’s due

Oh wait, I was talking about being in line for Lion King. Line King? My girlfriend and I hummed and hawed about whether to rush line Lion King or The Ferryman. We’ve heard fantastic things about the latter, that it’s a moving theatre experience. On the other hand, we were both children of the 90s, so y’know. That. Truthfully, while I’m not a massive musical theatre person, I’ve been low key jiving to see this show for 10+ years now. For ages (and I’m not sure if this is still the case) it wasn’t running in New Zealand. The only way to get tickets was to buy them for Australia, then fly on over. Still cheaper than a ticket to Hamilton, I guess.  Unless we’re talking New Zealand’s Hamilton. “Hamiltron, City of the Future”, Hamilhole or The Tron, as it’s otherwise affectionately known. I don’t know if their politically aware historical rap is quite as up to snuff, being the City of the Future and all.

Oh shit, I digressed again. Though that’s probably contingent on the fallacy that I have any idea where I’m going with this. Part of the day ticket line is standing around doing nothing. We got here at 9.30am (for an 11am Box Office opening). I’ve got time to kill and since I’m going nowhere, I’m gonna see where this goes. So often while I travel it becomes this kind of “Last Time, on The Leon King” recap bollocks. I mean, that’s fine and all, but anything gets trite if it’s done too much. Sometimes it’s nice to ramble on, sing my song and find the queen of all my dreams, right? So I’m sitting in line for The Lion King at the moment. I’m not blowing anyone’s mind by saying that The Lion King was a formative part of my youth. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how much. I remember seeing it in the cinema multiple times, as we all did back then. In those days it took a lot longer for any kind of large pop cultural product to reach New Zealand en masse. Like, we’d get films a few months after America instead of day and date like it is now.

You can imagine then, how mindblowing it was for my mum’s friend in the US to send us over a VHS copy of the film to borrow not too long after its NZ cinematic release. I remember being so amazed that it was in NTSC, rather than our local PAL format. In those days, when I had the insane fishy memory of a pre-pre-teen, I’d watch it on repeat ad infinitum. I must’ve seen it 30 odd times over a two week period. Some days I’d watch, rewind and watch again. I identified with Simba and reckoned with his struggle. I dunno, I was a dumb little kid and it may have been as simple as “he’s a lion, my name is Leon and that means lion. We’re basically identical.” I also 100% had the hots for Nala. I honestly don’t know how I never became a furry. I thought Scar was a dingus, loved the hyenas, got a kick out of Timon and Pumba doing the hula and knew all the songs by heart. I also earned my stripes dying hundreds of times playing the Stampede Level in the Mega Drive game. In the 90s we didn’t quite have complex gender and sexual identities to unpack, the Stampede Level was our struggle.

I guess what I’m saying is, if there’s a stampede scene in this musical, I may have ‘Nam style shellshock. Worth it, if it means we get tickets. Wish us luck!

In my day, we had flesh and blood corporeal forms and reproduced sexually instead of memetically.

I feel like I’ve been using the word “perfunctory” a lot lately. Is that a reflection on my life choices? Or just a recently expanded vocabulary leading to unnecessary shoehorning of an otherwise innocuous word?

I’m leaving for the airport in an hour, so the word seems particularly apt.

This trip seems unreal. I don’t mean that in some wide eyed dreamer style ZOMG ALL MY LIFE I’VE BEEN WAITING. Rather, it’s been shoved in the back of my mind for so long, it looks a little messy holding it up to the light. I feel like I just came back from Austin and now I’m jet setting off to London. England, not Ontario as everyone around here has assumed. I’ve done very little in the way of planning. My girlfriend and I have been particularly laissez-faire (is that a euphemism for “negligent”?). We have no itinerary outside of a wedding, and a beer/curry catch up with some friends. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made a colour coded interactive Google map with an assortment of activities and coffee spots, it’s just that we haven’t pinned down particular days to anything. We’re as free as the wind, or Willy the whale.

It’s also meant that today has been a shitshow. Not because there was an overwhelming amount of stuff to take care of. More so that we created hurdles for ourselves to then o’erleap. I’ve created this bizarre tradition where, before a big flight, I create an enormous sandwich to take on board. I figure in flight meals are excessively costed, so why not have a little fun and bring something made with love… and a gratuitous amount of deli meat? The plus is, that since I’m not travelling alone this time, I have someone to share it with. We bought a gluten-free loaf (for my GF GF) and hollowed it out a bunch. We’ll use the innards to make gluten-free stuffing at Thanksgiving. First up was the mayo layer. The mayolayer, if you will. I mixed a healthy spoonful of mayo (is that an oxymoron?) with sriracha, then spread it across the base. I sprinkled lemon pepper, then grated in some sharp cheddar. Then it was meat time. In went 125g of aged black forest ham and 75g of paio hot salami. I folded the slices in half on the borders of the sandwiches, crescent side pointed inwards. Then I made little bi-folds and did a centre line to keep a dense consistency to the sandwich. I ain’t no schoolyard sandwich architect. Then a layer of gouda to break up the meat selection before tossing on 100g of smoked chicken. I wanted a little more moisture on my half, so I put in some chipotle barbecue sauce. My girlfriend opted to leave it au naturale. Next came slices of sour dill pickles and sundried tomatoes. One layer of dijon mustard on top and we closed the lid on it. It must’ve weighed about a kilo.

I must stress, that sandwich was the most planning we put into our entire trip.

Then I decided for some reason it’d be a good idea to go for a swim. I hadn’t swam in a few years, but why not then, right? Turns out it was an excellent idea. My muscles (and back in particular) were munted from going all out at the Kpop party on Friday. The swim really sorted everything out and I left feeling relaxed. That was maybe two hours ago. I came back and at the consummate protein packed lunch: A tin of tuna tipped into the remainder of our cottage cheese tub. If it was gonna go off while we were in London, why not, right?

I came home and decided it’d make sense to start packing. As always, I put too much stuff in there. Imagine the horror of wanting a yellow hoodie and not having one? Madness, right? I learned once more how to fold a suit, remembered to stuff in both of my knee braces and most importantly, packed my bluetooth keyboard. It’s been a godsend for travel writing. One day I’ll tell my future grandchildren how their grandfather used to write by hand on his tiny little phone screen.

They’ll be like “hey grandad, what are phones?” “What’s typing? You mean you weren’t all connected on a grand scale mindmeld? How archaic and inefficient.”

Then I’ll tell them about how I boarded a plane and the thought of non-instant teleportation will blow their sweet little minds asunder.

“How perfunctory” they’ll say. My grandkids, after all.

No more Ace in the hole.

Ace Ventura re-he-heally has not aged well.

Let me preface this by triple underlining what a massive Ace Ventura fan I was as a kid. After seeing The Mask, I thought Jim Carrey was a literal embodiment of God among men. For a long time in my life I refused to watch anything that either a) wasn’t a cartoon b) didn’t have puppets or c) wasn’t super hero oriented. The fact that I was willing at all to give Ace and his fine feathered friends a go was a big coup for me. While watching, I realised that Ace Ventura was a cartoon, just depicted by a flesh and blood human. I was in. Ace was goofy, talked through his butt and had so many animal friends. He was my kind of dude. I watched Pet Detective, I watched When Nature Calls, I watched an absurd amount of the Pet Detective cartoon on Saturday mornings. Big fan.

Watching at age 31 in 2018, things have changed. Credit where credit is due, Jim Carrey overcommits to an Olympic extent in every single scene. His neck is always protruding, jaw janked in some odd direction. He’s tossing out a silly voice or doing an imitation maybe 80% of his time onscreen. I don’t know how one directs Jim Carrey because it seems like he’s constantly doing bits. I don’t know how one writes for Jim Carrey because all evidence points to him improvising half of his scenes. I feel like the script is mostly exposition and [Jim will insert something funny here]. The whole film is basically a setup of scenarios in which he can do some kind of impression. His brand of physical comedy is still bloody impressive to watch 24 years later. He’s a talented dude, no doubt.

Egads though, the movie is one big clusterfuck of gay panic, transphobia and obnoxious male posturing. Given how much society has shifted, it’s hard to just turn your brain off and let things slide. The most egregious example is of course the central plot revolving around someone transitioning. The punch line in the climactic scene is not only the gay panic induced vomiting by the entire police squad, but the second beat of her promiscuity. Har har. Also for a character as fey as Ace Ventura, they do a remarkable amount of work to try and fit him in a comfortable box for red blooded American males. He’s still a rough and tumble dude who doesn’t think twice about getting into a physical altercation. He can do car stunts, and LOVES sex. There’s even a scene where he takes a blow job from a busty client in lieu of payment, the punchline being a fourth wall breaking “well, could you say no?” or something of the like. I feel like comedy didn’t have to try as hard back in the 90s. They have to put in SO MUCH WORK to make him a “palatable” representation of masculinity. Stuff that as a kid I probably lapped right up. Ace was the coolest.

In 2018, Ace isn’t quite so cool.

You know what else hasn’t aged gracefully? Sixteen Candles. Holy shit does it ever smack of being a film written about a woman by a man. It’s broad strokes of character all the way through, but really it’s more about the central male characters. If Ace Ventura was egregious, Sixteen Candles is a relic. She’s basically lusting over The Coolest Guy in School, who’s a Sensitive Jock type. But he’s with The Hottest Girl In School (we know this, because we get a naked shower scene that shows basically everything). The Geekiest Dude in School is lusting after her. So what’s the resolution? The Geekiest Dude sexually assaults her a bunch of times. She’s like “ugh. You’re not a bad dude, but that was embarrassing”. The resolution? The Coolest Guy just gives The Geekiest Dude The Hottest Girl as if she’s chattel. She’s drunk out of her skull and the Coolest Guy is all “here, thanks for hooking me up with Molly Ringwald, now go fuck my drunk ex-girlfriend in a parking lot or something.” It’s woeful. Times have changed and thank fuck for that.

I wonder how Blazing Saddles plays in 2018…

By this point, it’s do or die.

An admission. I’m not in a balanced headspace right now. I’ve been watching clips from the March for Our Lives and it’s been affecting me. My skin is hot, I have constant shivers and I’m alternating between states of incredible fury and heartbreak. I’m in a very emotional state and I feel like psychological dissociation is a very real threat right now. So I’m going to write in the hopes that it will tether me. Because I’m not sure what else to do. Frankly, the fact that I’m utterly powerless to do a thing is probably the hardest pill to swallow.

I can’t do shit. I’m an unimportant spec of New Zealand Canadian who has never lived in a country where it was legal to carry firearms. Guns terrify me. Back home our police weren’t even allowed to wield guns. There was serious ethical friction when the idea of equipping the cops with tasers was raised. So everything I’m saying is of a mentality that’s the furthest possible from accepting open carry. I now live in Canada. Open carry is not legal here. The country also has a significantly lower volume of gun violence than America does. I don’t know a single country that doesn’t. I’m saying this not to gloat, but to point out that my words, my emotions, my capacity as a voting member of the public are in every single manner totally useless to do a thing about the horrific state of the United States. I feel worthless and it’s radiating out from a point of frustration into a total body experience. I can’t do a thing. I need to accept the things I cannot change and focus on what’s within my power.

America, you’re fucked and there’s nothing I can do to help.

I’ve been looking at the groundswell of activism in American youth. It’s both warming and breaking my heart simultaneously. It’s so far beyond incredible that the English language doesn’t yet have a word strong enough for it. This burgeoning generation has inherited a systematic nightmare they should never have had to face and will spend their lives trying to disentangle from it. Those who are lucky enough to still have their lives. Do you want to think about that for a second? The number of children – and these are fucking kids- who face the “privilege” of being able to wake up in the morning? Those who have seen classmates buried. Who will spend the rest of their lives permanently altered by injuries both physical and psychological. Who will have to unpack the unearthly weight of their fortunes for the rest of their goddamn existence.

Despite this colossal opposition, they’re staunchly fighting for their lives with an unbelievable vigour. We don’t deserve them and I can’t wait for older generations to bite the fucking dust so they can inherit the earth. These kids, who’ve been teased about their safe spaces and language policing, are braver than we’ve ever given them credit for. They’re creating the world we’ve told them they deserve and they’re doing everything within their power. Because utopia has been taken from them by the selfish, complacent, short sighted generations that came before them. Fucking myopic nationalist simpletons who think their desire to keep their toys is more important than these kids’ right to keep their lives. Politicians caving to gun lobbyists, favouring the money slipping into their back pockets over the safety of the country they have been charged to preserve and lift.

The thing that breaks my heart, is that it’s all going to amount to nothing. No change will come of this. The rallies, hashtags, impassioned speeches, truth spoken to power. The callouts and cries for reform, the lives lost and sacrifices made? I sincerely fear that there’s no way it will even nudge policy. I would love nothing in this world more than to be proven wrong. If anything concrete was going to happen, it would’ve happened when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 children between the ages of six and seven. Nothing did. Crickets. The lives of kids who probably still listed their ages in half years were ended. Congress gave them thoughts and prayers.

For years you’ve been told that together, your voices can move mountains and make the earth quake. You’ve been told that you live in a democratic society that works for the good of its people. Lies, all lies. You’re all fucked because these politicians consider their income to be more important than your rights. Sorry, you lost. Good luck next time. Your loss, fears, hopes and dreams aren’t enough. None of this will end until the politicians responsible for protecting their broken system know what it feels like on a personal level.

But why would you want to move mountains? Moving a mountain would be a colossal waste of energy. It’s far more efficient to drill underneath, to undermine. Pure force pales in effectiveness to subterfuge and I can’t imagine a generation better suited to using everything at their disposal to manifest their dreams to reality. You’re compassionate, intelligent, resourceful and mobilised. Use that. Don’t try to shame congress into action.

MAKE THEM AFRAID OF YOU.

Reach out to sympathetic legal professionals and discover what the absolute limits of your rights are. Then do everything within your legal rights to make these politicians terrified. Use your resourcefulness to figure out every single politician taking bribes from the NRA, then ruin their lives. Be merciless. Send them physical letters every single day demanding change. Send these letters to their office, their homes. Group together, each of you sending mass individual letters. Send emails too. Post comments. Look for every public outreach channel they have. Dominate them with your voices. Twitter. Facebook. Linkedin. Instagram. Call their offices demanding change. Endlessly. Go to their homes and peacefully protest. When they’re out in public, be there. Be everywhere. When they’re out there looking for a nice PR opportunity? Be there. When they go out for dinner? Be there. At the supermarket? Be there. At their family picnics? Be there. At their kids sports events. Be there. Make your voices be heard. Don’t take no for an answer. Make your presence so insurmountable that they can’t do their jobs. What if they start putting out restraining orders? AMAZING. Get others to join in and force them to bring out more restraining orders. Tie them up in the legal system. Take their time. Force them to funnel their money back into the system or shell out for hiring private security guards. Make it impossible for them to live their lives. Make them terrified to leave their houses. You outnumber them exponentially, you’re quicker to react, you’re smarter and better. Make their existence a nightmare. Every single one of them. Let them see just how effective their thoughts and prayers are against a motivated, politically mobilised generation who are better, smarter and more multitudinous than they are. You’re inspiring the rest of the world with your actions and conviction day by day. They forfeited their right to happiness when they chose comfort over doing the right thing. Let them feel even a percentage of the unbelievable misery they’ve brought into this world. Beat them at their own game by changing the rules.

You are powerful beyond belief, but they only way you can win is if they know what loss feels like.

Show them.

During #oscarssowhite was McConaughey reading nominations like “All white, all white, all white.”?

I went to a party last night. Crazy, I know. I don’t know if me having friends is a massive revelation, but if so I’m glad I still have the capacity to surprise you. That’s important in our kind of relationship, to keep things fresh, y’know?

Aw, I love you too.

So I was at this party. A blanket/pillow fort party being thrown by one of my exes. Like so many of my past partners, she was always wonderful and she didn’t stop being as such because we were no longer seeing one another. She’s poly and something I recognised is just how much I’ve enjoyed spending time with her anchor partner after her and I dated. I always thought he was a really cool bloke while we were together, but post-relationship it’s like some kind of vague unspoken tension was lifted. Whenever he’s at a party, it’s awesome being able to hang out. He and I are very different people, in that we look at the world in a wholly different fashion. He’s this very practical and logical person, while also being very creative. I obviously have zero practical skills, I’m just a borderline manic abstract creative person. So it’s cool chatting with the guy and sorta grokking the world with our combined perspectives.

I have this bit perma-locked and loaded in my holster. Every once in a while when the topic of having trouble recognising someone comes up, I’ll reply with “yeah, but all white people look the same”. Growing up in a small country, ethnically diverse as Auckland can be, there was still a lot of that mainstream wallpaper racism. People casually throwing out a “all Asian people look the same” or whatever. It’s always been a mentality I’ve had a visceral reaction to. I grew up in a house with Japanese au pair girls. My best friend’s family always did the same. It was a way to introduce another culture into the house and effectively expand the family by proxy. One of my best friends was Malaysian. By the time I reached high school a lot of South Koreans began immigrating to New Zealand, so I had a bunch of South Korean friends. The notion of collectively grouping all of these people into a homogeneous lump and bypassing their interesting cultural nuances always made me angry. It was not only ignorant and offensive, but intellectually lazy. So this “all white people look the same” bit is on some small level a humorous way of getting back at that idea.

I said my bit last night and people laughed. My ex’s anchor partner laughed and was also like “let’s talk about this, because it’s interesting”. It’s a nice conversational jumping off point, so I was in. We looked at the general idea of this western Pan-Asiatic view and broke down where we thought it came from. It went a little something like this:

While the behaviour is no doubt annoying and regressive, it also frustratingly makes sense. Learning more about a culture, like anything else, takes time. In any activity (and yes it’s more than strangely dispassionate to call recognising cultural differences an “activity”, but I think it helps to be abstract in order to understand this phenomena), say being a hobbyist botanist or something, there are innumerable subtleties to learn. I’m ignorant as shit when it comes to fauna. I might look at a flower and be like “that’s a flower”, whereas a hobbyist botanist could be all “it is, but it’s actually a daisy. That’s its stamen, this is how it photosynthesises, it’s from this genus, etc etc” (in this scenario, they actually said “etc” out loud twice. Botanists are weeeeeird people).

We respond to stimuli based upon our knowledge. It’s very understandable that some middle class white person from small town New Zealand may have super limited experience having met people of colour. They haven’t spent a ton of time with people from diverse cultures and as such, their knowledge points are really limited. So they see a South Korean and Japanese person standing side by side and they’re not able to pick out the subtle differences. They’re all “well they both a) look different than me, b) look more alike one another than they look like me c) have some similar features like eye or hair colour. Therefore they’re the same”.

The more time you spend entrenched in a culture, the more you can discern between these things. Say you went to Okinawa to teach English in one of those JET style programs. Maybe you’ll notice differences in facial structure, noses, ear sizes or whatever. Perhaps you’ll hear them speak and be like “oh shit, totally different dialects”. Or you’ll see them consume some cultural product whether food, entertainment or branding, and go “well it’s more likely they’re Korean than Japanese” or something. The more knowledge points you acquire about anything, the greater appreciation for markers of difference you’ll have (also why did that sound like Yoda talking?). You have a way more complex basis for comparison, so the idea of looking at a Thai and Chinese person without seeing these markers seems absurd.

Did I whitesplain that well enough? I’m sure I didn’t make it through that diatribe without a number of ignorant cultural assumptions either. We’re all constantly learning. I definitely am. Part of that process is fucking up and making mistakes. I’m happy to own any mistake I make, because it’s an opportunity to be better. I can’t imagine any more worthwhile goal than constantly getting better.

Maybe eventually I’ll learn to tell white people apart too.