You’d think by now I’d have learned to just sit back and listen instead…

I don’t fully understand cultural appropriation.

I’m sure that’s not the most surprising sentence you’ve ever heard a white dude say. There’s no part of this post that’s meant to be inflammatory, I was just listening to Beyonce’s Lemonade (’cause I’m hip and with it in a 2016 sense) and it made me think. The song “Hold Up” has a real reggae vibe. I’m not knocking it, it’s a great song. It’s catchy, has an unconventional syllabic structure and solid lyrics. If you’re stuck back in 2015 and haven’t heard, the album’s pretty great. I figure most cultural rhythms and beats are useable on a mass scale without much controversy. The bit that stuck out to me was right at the end during the fade out. She says something along the lines of “me sing sing”, heavy on the patois. Beyonce’s american, right? She was born and raised in Texas. So it’s obviously put on. Does that seem weird to anyone else? In my ignorance, I’ve got no idea if this is something widely accepted, discouraged, or if we’re giving it a pass because we all love Beyonce? Or is sharing between black communities/cultures encouraged because of shared experiences? I legitimately don’t know.

It could all be nothing too. From what I understand (which is very little, so please let me know if I’m getting this wrong), it becomes appropriation when you’re taking the customs and conventions of a marginalised group without paying respect to the underlying heritage. White girls wearing headdresses to Coachella is an easy one to spot. They’re taking a sacred spiritual symbol that holds mana for purely aesthetic concerns. The Native American culture for years has been encroached upon since white settlers immigrated to their lands. Ditto “spirit animals”, etc. You’re plucking out the outlines of important personal beliefs because they sound nifty to you, without thinking of the years of systematic abuse and neglect their people have endured.

There was a ton of controversy lately about a young white girl wearing a cheongsam (the form fitting traditional Chinese dress that comes to your mind when I use the words “form fitting traditional Chinese dress”) to her prom. A Twitterstorm ensued with vociferous arguments on both sides. From the very little research I did, the cheongsam originated from a small Chinese town and over decades was adapted into wider Chinese mainstream culture. It was typically loose and flowing, but the influence of Western fashion impacted the design, which eventually became more slender and form fitting. Now you can typically see them in Chinese restaurants all over the world. If you’re looking for steadfast opinions from me, you’re gonna leave disappointed. I’ve got no horse in this race, I was just curious. The overwhelming response from mainstream China seemed to be one of support, happy to see their culture adopted and showcased in a wider manner. The other prevailing attitude is of plain and simple commodification, that the dress was taken because it looked pretty, without respect for the underlying heritage. I get the notion of micro-aggressions, how frustrating it could be to see a symbol of your home flagrantly displayed by some flippant white chick. Just because (let’s be real here) white women serving in Chinese restaurants have been wearing them for years, that doesn’t make it retroactively okay.

I also think to a large extent that the notions of cultural appropriation are part of a particularly Western paradigm. They’re important particularly because of the impact of white colonialism upon pre-existing populations and their cultures. We need to be having these conversations and understanding the concerns of peoples whose heritage we’ve suppressed. I mean, I’m a white New Zealander. I’ve definitely benefited from the colonisation of an island nation. It’s why I think it’s pretty damn important to preserve Maori heritage, language, stories and rituals. The culture has been a big part of my upbringing and I feel privileged to have been given the education I’ve received. It’s also why I wouldn’t go and bust out a drunken Haka. It’s a sacred element of the culture and resonates deeply with me. That doesn’t mean I have carte blanche to pretend like I have any kind of ownership of it.

Now if Beyonce did a Haka, I’d feel pretty damn uncomfortable about it.

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Calling it a day, because what else would you call it?

I slept more than zero hours but probably fewer than four last night. My body is still in the throes of the cold that I’ve had for the past week and a half. On top of all that, I’m in A Mood. So once again, in lieu of quality content, I’m going to drop utter nonsense in bullet point form in the hopes that it fulfils my daily obligation of 30 minutes writing. Today, that’s about all I have in me.

  • I woke up with McDonald’s’ “Double Cheeseburger” ad in my head. The thing that’s pissing me off the most isn’t that it’s lodged firmly in there, but that I can’t find an example of the exact ad I’m talking about. I was all prepped this morning to do a Facebook post of “Sure there have been some bangers in the last 20 years, but let’s not pretend McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger song doesn’t exist.” Laughs would’ve been had by all, right? Thing is, it was a campaign that ran years ago and resurfaced basically every decade in a different iteration. Not only this, but there were national variations across the world. There are multiple US versions, multiple Australian versions and a whole host of assorted dubs. You know it for sure, the “double double cheese cheese burger burger please” one. In 90s New Zealand we had our own and I know this for sure because the price on ours was “Only two dollars and fifty cents”. That’s burned into my memory in places where basic motor skills were meant to go. I found a New Zealand version, but it’s clearly too old because it mentions $1.99 or something. I can’t be bothered going down a Google wormhole for the sake of this, so instead I’ll sit here and stew in my own fallibility. Anyway, here’s the old Aussie one ’cause it’s cheesy as shit. Doubly so.
  • Infinity War has too many characters. I’m doubtful it will be a good movie. I’m happy to be proven wrong.
  • The new Venom trailer is out and it looks similarly trash. I don’t think I’m gonna be proven wrong, but I’m very happy that it’s spawned this content.
  • Since we’re on the topic of ads and selling out, I’m happy to be a corporate shill too. I did my taxes today using Simple Tax, like I do every year. It took all of ten minutes (since it links up with your past return details and the CRA). If you’re in Canada and plan on doing your taxes in the next week, give them a shot.
  • Our bus was evacuated this morning because two homeless people got on and started arguing. The bystander effect was strongly in place and nobody really knew what to do. We just heard yelling and conflict (though nothing physical) between these two men who clearly had history. I’m assuming most everyone assumed mental illness was a factor and didn’t want to either dehumanise anyone or intervene in an unpredictable situation. Instead everyone just got off and walked to the bus stopped in front. The driver sat behind his plasticised screen and waited for things to subside, then went out of service. He probably had some kind of report to file. I walked the rest of the way to work in a daze.
  • Toronto in general is pretty conflict avoidant. I guess it has a lot to do with everyone possessing the illusion of being busy at all times. Even in the video of yesterday’s van based terrorism, people in the background are sort of just going about their day. There’s this police and suspect stand off in the middle of the street and passers by mostly seemed to ignore it or not give it a second look. Weird.
  • Speaking of the van attack, it seems to have been a terrorist attack rooted in toxic masculinity. The guy was some kind of incel and, I don’t know, wanted to go out in a blaze of “glory” or something. It was pretty fucked up. The cop who dealt with the situation acted like a total professional. All of the guy’s actions made it seem like he was angling towards suicide by cop. He was acting like he had a gun in his pocket, but the cop called his bluff. If we needed a better illustration of how our rigid forms of masculinity are harming young men, yesterday’s attack was it. This guy, like Elliot Rodger before him, decided that he was entitled to women’s bodies. That their lack of attraction to him demanded violent reprisal. There are ten Torontonians who will never wake up again because this lonely child acted from a place of anger and misguided indignance. How many families are today in mourning because of what we’re teaching men in our society? When are we going to reframe our long held beliefs to teach compassion and understanding instead of harmful stoicism? The Marlboro Man died of cancer. Toxic masculinity is a similar blight. When are we gonna cut it out?

I’m done.

I wonder how they were preserved. For-mole-dehyde perhaps?

You know what sucks? Being sick on holiday. It’s lousy. You’re raring to get out and see the sights, experience all the hope and wonder of being in an unfamiliar place. Instead you feel drained, cloudy and frustrated. It’s hard to have the same kind of mobility when your limbs are sore or your brain is foggy. Being sick on holiday can downright ruin a holiday.

Fortunately, my holiday is far from ruined. I’ve developed some kind of low level sniffly thing. My nose is a little leaky and I get off and on headaches. I’m assuming it was the same affliction I successfully warded off before the flight, but eating bread for every meal and not exercising is taking its toll. My body wants real food and I need to remember to stretch. I’m An Old now, which means I can’t just bounce back at the flick of a switch. Powerade isn’t the magical panacea it was at age 20.

It’s also difficult to feel truly grumpy when there’s so much goddamn excellent stuff to see. One of my favourite things about London is their ardent commitment to making knowledge accessible. Universities and organisations have all kinds of collections freely available to the public. Like they’ve decided that the people have the right to learn. Last time I was here, I profusely enjoyed seeing the Huntarian collection in the London College of Surgeons. Tons of body parts/foetuses preserved in jars. It was gross and fascinating and a sight I never would’ve been able to see otherwise. This time around we went to the Grant College of Zoology and saw their collection. It was basically the Huntarian, but for animals. There was almost too much stuff to see, but it looked as if it’d been curated by scientists rather than an actual museum curator. I guess part of that was the fact that it was very much still a working part of the university. There was nothing in the way of museum staff, just employees sitting around doing their research. The collection was endlessly intriguing. A ton of skeletons and preserved critters. My personal favourite (and I think the most popular “attraction” in general) was the Jar of Moles. It was precisely what it said it was: 17 moles preserved in a jar together. I don’t know what I expected.

They had way more than just a jar of moles (wait, did I really write the sentence “just a jar of moles”, as if that’s some regular quotidean happenstance?). All manner of mammal, reptile and aquatic life were represented. It was so cool being able to compare the size and scale of rhino, elephant and hippo skulls in real time. The differences between lions and tigers (and bears, oh my!) weren’t always apparent to me. Hell, I didn’t even know that tigers were larger. They had kiwis and other Australasian critters. There was even a cast of a plesiosaur, a dinosaur I had no idea was basically the size of a human being. Like a long necked turtle, as my girlfriend pointed out. They had walls of microbes and tiny bone fragments. Something that I found really interesting was noticing how similar a lot of the mammal skeletons were. That without muscle, skin and fur, they were all vaguely analogous. A rhino, for instance, actually has a pretty long neck. They look way more fragile when you take away everything but their frame. Obviously the neck (with seven vertebrae just like a human/giraffe) is covered in muscle, which innoculates them against the shock of their ramming. It was so cool to look at all these animals and imagine how their structure informed their movement.

It was doubly handy seeing all this, because it gave extra emphasis as to why The Lion King on the West End was so great. After waiting for about 45 minutes, we got our £20 tickets (second floor balcony, 4th and 5th row from the front) and had a fantastic time. I’m not gonna delve into a bunch of the stuff that made the show so great, ’cause I still have hope that y’all will get out to see it (only took me 10+ years). Suffice to say the puppets and representations of animal movement were oustanding. The choreographer had obviously earned their salt, varying so succinctly how each species moved. The giraffes, hyenas and elephant in particular were astounding. The scale was enormous and I can’t fathom how one would bring together all those moving parts to form one well-oiled machine. 100% worth the wait.

Being sick might suck, but at least I’m having a wicked sick time.

I would hope it involves tuna for lunch. Some things never get old.

Today at work I…

Normally this is a statement that leads right to the middle of nowhere. I arrive at my desk. I make coffee. I small talk with co-workers for longer than is reasonable and leave at the end of the day entirely unfulfilled. It’s my job, it pays the rent and feeling dissatisfied is better than destitute in my mind. At the same time, it taxes me. Have you ever felt like your day to day takes more than it gives? Like you’re running on a wheel going nowhere, just getting tired?

Well today at work I…

Knew that I had a lot to do and less time than normal. Still didn’t stop the morning coffee and small talk. I was doing some voicing for a smaller market. They needed a golf announcer voice. Naturally I went to youtube for some research and stumbled upon this little gem. I was voicing with one of the production engineers that really digs in and gets to the heart of it. We’ll do tons of takes, trying alternate reads, going for specific styles and unintuitive angles. It’s considerably more fun than my desk job and helps to make said desk job more bearable.

With less time, I loaded up a Kpop playlist (and to be honest, I think I’m deeply, sincerely in love with Kpop now) and got down to business. I churned through a stack of work in an hour, before deciding that I could probably still fit my day’s  tasks in if I went off to engage in a company supplied pilates class. So I vanished for an hour to do pilates.

You know what? It was a fucking hard class and that was awesome in itself. The instructor has done a fantastic job of ramping up the learning curve over the past month or two. She’s funny, plays great music and structures the class with easier exercises that lead into those that’re more difficult. It’s been so much of a boon for the company to have shelled out for an instructor to come in and take these classes once per week. A nice way of redirecting energy in a physical manner that brings us into the afternoon all refreshed.

Having gotten my sweat on, I had about an hour before my next engagement. So I got some lunch and once again did my job (you know, that thing they pay me to come in for?). For that hour. Then it was off for two hours to one of our optional, company supplied lectures.

I’d been on the waiting list and just got my acceptance this morning. Today’s lecture was on storytelling. Out of no vocational necessity, but pure interest, I figured I could learn a thing or two regardless. The instructor was great, and the course brought to mind a lot that I’d never considered. He had a manner of putting into words things that were maybe subconsciously known, but I hadn’t tacitly heard.

Here’s the thing. I feel like humans are natural storytellers. It’s innate to our upbringing. We’re told parables and fairy tales to teach us lessons. The entertainment we so eagerly consume is all based on fundamental rules that’ve evolved over generations. We so rarely put into words what makes a compelling story, but we know it. If the tale doesn’t hit those points, we switch off. Just like that.

Something the instructor raised really stuck with me. It was about audiences. He said that people don’t care about the how, they care about the why. That intrinsically what they care about is what’s in it for them. So to tell a truly effective story, you need to consider what the audience stands to gain from hearing your story. Don’t tell a story just because you want to, but shape it into a tale that benefits those who hear it. Can they learn something? Will it make them laugh? Excited? Emotionally invested? Will it endear them to you and the struggles of the central characters?

When you’re telling a story, don’t just list the facts, plot and outcome, invite the audience inside your story. You’re not giving them empty words, you’re creating a narrative perspective and it’s your goal as a storyteller to bring their view in line with yours. Help them see the world of your mythology as you do. Cause them to invest in the characters, conflict and stakes. Understand the type of story you’re telling and its structure. Is it a rags to riches tale? A quest? A triumph over insurmountable odds? A story of tragedy or rebirth? If you know where you’re going, you’re better able to guide an audience there.

It was all kinds of gratifying to hear this stuff, to participate in discussion and feel like I’d given something back. To feel involved and cared for, to learn little tips of how to expand my knowledge in an area I care deeply about.

After that kind of day, I’m wondering what tomorrow at work could hold.

Are you?

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.

There’s a VR game we could all use.

I may have overdone it with the coffee today and I think my body is imploding. You’d think I’d be bouncing off the walls, but instead my corporeal form is in disrepair attempting to process it all. I’m wading through mental sludge and progress is both slow and plodding. Can you plod in a swamp? Is plodding tied to speed or specificity of action? In my head it’s onomatopoeic and relies on heavy footfalls. Do you make heavy footfalls in a swamp if any evidence is mired within dense and viscous liquid? Does a foot fall of nobody can see or hear it?

Why is there no Buddhist film making team called the Kōan Brothers?

I bought a VR headset yesterday simply because it was cheap. $10 down from $50. Came with a bluetooth controller and earphones. It’s not advanced and for the most part it’s just plastic housing for a mobile phone. Still, I’ve been curious to give VR tech a try for a while. I’ve always had issues with motion sickness and my pre-eminent worry is that VR will be a quick way to throw up. In the past it’s been a depth of field issue. With First Person Shooters if I can’t see the character’s hands, I get queasy. I tried downloading this game Zombie Shooter last night, but five minutes in I got sorta nauseous. I’m hoping it’s not a VR-wide issue. Youtube has a ton of 360 degree videos. Perhaps I’ll try one of them. It’d be sort of shit to be pushed out of an emergent technology because my brain can’t handle choppy visuals.

Wait. Maybe the secret is to overdose on coffee first. How many cups have I had today? Four or five? If my brain is too tired to properly process the information being fed into it, maybe that’ll smooth out the lacklustre frame rate. I can hack my body chemistry with bro science! Or I’ll see what my innards look like on the floor. Bad end.

I got distracted and stopped typing. I’ve gotta keep this train rolling by any means necessary. Is Barney the Dinosaur still around? Apparently it finished back in 2009. Odd as it sounds, when I was younger I half wished I was even younger so I could’ve enjoyed it. Of course I would’ve wanted to learn math from a dinosaur. Still, when it premiered I was old enough to take joy in mocking the show. I remember hearing about a Doom 2 mod called Barney Doom. Back in those pre-internet days, everything was hearsay and bootlegs. It was rare to get a hold of those prized rarities. They were like contraband. I’d heard of Barney Doom but never played it. As a seven year old, nothing sounded funnier than blowing Barney to bits with the BFG. Was it some latent counter-culture manifesting at my young age? Rebelling against what exactly? Saccharine educational content aimed at a younger generation? Woah, don’t cut yourself on that edge, kiddo. Then again, it sounds like the wheel has turned and Barney now has lessons I’d benefit from.

Now all that free love he was spouting makes an awful lot of sense.

Am I too contrite to make an Aziz An-sorry pun? Looks like I’m just trite.

I want to talk about the Aziz allegations, because I think it’s worth putting thoughts out there. I’d like to emphasise that I’m not aiming to grandstand, to throw out some pointed think piece to put people in their place. My experiences aren’t relevant enough for that, there are better voices to listen to. Still, some conversation (is that what it’s called when I put words out into an echo chamber?) is better than none.

With all the allegations flying around right now, I’m sure everyone has a list. Some desert island top five of celebrities who you’re only wanting to hear squeaky clean things from. That may not even be the best way of putting it, ’cause frankly we all want to continue to believe that our faves are beyond issue. However, this ever-relevant piece by Ijeoma Oluo stands true. Anyway, I’ve got a bunch of dudes that I really, really don’t want to hear shit about. Aziz was on my list, as I’m sure he was for most. He’s made some great television, written a well-received book on dating, had compelling stand up bits and half-staked his career on the notion that he’s one of the good guys. It’s to the credit of his work that a bunch of people likely responded to his allegations with oh, is that it?

Pieces like this from the New York Times: Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader. Seeking to find fault in the victim’s behaviour, her lack of verbal rejection or conviction in getting the fuck out of an uncomfortable situation. Making it her problem that she wasn’t more direct in avoiding an unpleasant interaction. I get it. I want to keep on enjoying his material guilt free. The most prevalent reaction I’ve seen online has been that’s not assault. It’s just bad sex. I get it. I understand this reaction 100%. Why? Because I’ve been Aziz before.

I can recall a number of times in my early sexual experiences where I entirely ignored clues of disinterest. Whether this was out of ignorance or wilful desire, there’s no question that I was placing my wants over the comfort of others. Taking a soft “no” as a “not right now”. Slipping my hand between a partner’s legs and being rebuffed, only to try again ten minutes later. Pushing for sex when I got the sense she wasn’t interested, but I was. I don’t think I ever pressured a partner enough that she relented and gave in to get it over with. I did, however, fail to create a sexual environment where enthusiastic consent was imperative. I’m certain that I’m not the only guy who could admit as much. In fact, I’m quite sure that similar stories are likely more of the norm than we’d care to admit. I’m sure many guys wouldn’t even see fault with my behaviour. That’s why there’s fault in how Aziz acted. That’s why the culture of sexual consent in our society needs a major restructuring.

My initial response to the Aziz allegations was resigned frustration. As I said above, I’ve been there before. I’d hoped that someone like Aziz would be better than that, which clearly was hoping for too much. I was embarrassed that Aziz, who was 33 at the time, was behaving like a 21 year old. I was embarrassed that this behaviour in my mind was classified as that of a typical 21 year old. Unlike most of the allegations that’ve come out, this one has resonated with me the most. Why? Because these aren’t the shocking actions of a serial abuser like Harvey Weinstein. According to many of the female voices I’ve heard, they’re pretty run of the mill. That’s why it’s important men listen to what’s being said and swim in how it makes them feel.

If they’re not embarrassed or frustrated, maybe they should look at why that is. This movement marks a departure from what we all considered normal and a necessity to explore past experiences for egregious activity. We need to look at what we’ve done in order to learn how to be better. It’s important to sit with guilt, to use it to recalibrate both expectations and behaviour. The system is broken and fixing it is gonna take wilful intention and education.

Do I think Aziz is a monster who deserves to be stripped of his career? Honestly, despite what I’ve said today, I don’t. I think his story deserves to be out there as a cultural learning moment. I think he needs to have a long look at his past experiences and create meaningful change from here on out. I think if his heart is really where he’s made it out to be, that he should use his platform to admit fault and be a role model for the great many men who think he did nothing wrong.

As for me, I’ve spent years trying to unlearn what I took for granted. I’m not done yet. The movement may be called Time’s Up, but for a bunch of us it’s just begun.