Outrageous Opinions of Old: Of Race and Privilege

I am not a writer for social justice. I do not fight the denigration of basic moral codes and I do not work to eliminate complacency. I do not incite political action.

Most of all, I do not blame any person for the actions of their race, and I do not at all hate white people or even the WASP elite.

But I feel compelled to discuss the ridiculous reality that there are people who actually believe that racism is rare or nonexistent.

I realize that extreme sensitivity toward each other must die if we ever hope to achieve peace, but do not be so condescending as to claim that privilege does not exist–that people are not significantly treated differently based on the color of their skin and the nature of their beliefs. The content of their character is often overlooked.

I am the first to point out that I have privileges that many others do not. I come from an extremely rich family. I am very, very fair. If I am not wearing a headscarf, I pass easily as just another white girl. Unlike my brother, I have the option of stepping out of my other-worldly celestial stereotype almost flawlessly.

But I do not. I wear my scarf like he wears his skin. Blacks, Arabs, Muslims, Hispanics, South Asians, and many others, we are marginalized groups, and we are judged so harshly when we point out someone’s actions as “racist.” We are too sensitive. We are looking for a fight. We just hate white people.

Nothing grinds my gears more than the constant claim that we are compulsively assuming that all acts of unkindness are acts of racism. Not everyone who does bad things is racist.

To this, I will concede. That is true. Not everyone who does bad things is racist, but please do not spout your bullshit bigoted holier-than-thou god-complex-induced spiel depicting this situation as a mass of angry people victimizing themselves.

If you have never been pulled over without cause, if you have never been searched multiple times at an airport because of your skin color or clothes, if you have never been afraid of a police officer, if you have never been watched in a convenience store, if you have never lost out on a job you deserved because of your name, you cannot begin to understand what it means to constantly try to discern a friend from a foe. Almost all the racists have two faces. Just ask Hamlet. They’ve been given a face and they make themselves another. I plot twist the meanings. It’s still there.

And for all the people in the back nodding indignantly as I write this, I have a criticism for you, too.

There is nothing more counterproductive, insulting and bigoted than trying to compare the severity of your consequential pain created by a racist society to others. It does not make you better, to be more marginalized. It does not make you more rightfully indignant, to believe that other people’s socially ignited upset is collateral damage in a system specifically geared to destroy your group above all else.

It does not make you cooler to be hurt the most.

And for all others, if you truly believe that there is no white privilege, no systematic adulation toward white men regardless of their icky mistakes, then consider this:

This U S of A was built on the death and enslavement of those who already populated it, and the very people who caused and perpetuated this genocide have had their faces carved into a stolen land. They are celebrated for the success of outrageous agendas. We have a real-life example of how we justify the means so long as we enjoy the ends; We still until this very day celebrate the voyage of a man who did nothing but murder droves of people whose only crime was to show kindness to a bloodthirsty warmonger.

Let me sell you on Columbus Day, where the weekend never ends, there are no Miserable Mondays, and friendly all-inclusive neighborhood cook outs are hosted to mask the unpleasant underlying white guilt.

Batteries not included.

Swallow my Doubt & Turn it Inside Out

I discovered that a teacher at the school I work in played “I wish they knew” with the kids. The point of the game is to anonymously put in “I wish they knew” comments in a hat about a particular person. I didn’t know my name came up, until today.

Apparently, one of the kids wrote, “I wish she [me] would smile more. She has such a pretty smile.”

We also played name charades, and when a student pulled my name out of the hat, she said, “This person is really sarcastic and reminds all of us of disgust from Inside Out.”

Everyone immediately yelled out my name.

I’ll take it.

Dear White People: Labels, Labels, Labels

Watching controversial shows like Netflix Original ‘Dear White People’ has an extreme tendency to spark up a case of the fairly fluctuating fickle feels. One issue that has risen above the fold that I am inversely besotted to is the argument for and against “labels.”

Now, let’s get this straight: Subscribing to labels isn’t necessarily a juxtaposition to being independent and unique, and the opposite is also true. However, we can’t choose to refrain from being clad with specific labels if we don’t know we don’t understand which we would belong to if we did. If we are, we are simply following the newest trend of our society: It’s not cool to subscribe to anything but magazines.

Think Schrödinger’s Cat; The cat is in the box, but you have no idea if the cat is dead or alive unless you open the box. On a much, much smaller scale, we also cannot decide whether the labels really personify us until we actually explore them–i.e open the box.

So let’s talk labels. There are an ash ton of them floating around just south and north of the equator, but let’s simplify the list to our trending top three: sexuality, race, and gender.

Sexuality: an overarching umbrella. In its most basic family tree, you have your heterosexual, homosexual, and (perhaps arguably) asexual. But it gets complicated. You’ve got your Kinsey sixes, Kinsey threes, and just plain old Kinsey ones. You’ve got your zeros and you’ve got your fluids. Good luck counting them.

Next, race. You’ve got your classic black/white/hispanic hushed segregated system, but what happens when you’re biracial? Do you belong to two labels or have you created one of your own? Perceptions are everything.

Finally, there’s gender. You’ve got your cis, your trans, and your androgynous. The list goes on there too, but you belong to one of them, and you can’t escape that.

So, I would be an aromantic asexual Muslim Arab-American cisgender female.

These are labels that I cannot change.

And if we’re getting into the even more detailed form of my personal category, then I am an aromantic asexual epileptic diabetic Muslim Arab-American arguably marginally sociopathic cisgender female with an oppositional defiance issue and ADD.

That is a hell of a category, and those are a lot of labels. I carry each and every one of them, just like everyone else.

The only one I refuse to validate is “heteronormative.” Absolutely not.

Point is, believing that you do not subscribe to any epithets and are simply a unique, kindred spirit is nothing more than a delusion. You are branded by many individual labels. You are simply a compilation of them all.

Yes, you are you, and that is truer than true. Sure, there’s no one around, who’s you-er than you.

But that’s not what the cool kids say.


An Anti-Abortion Augury

I am not an activist. I do not rally for anything. I do not push my beliefs on others to control how they act. I do not care about what other people do, especially if I don’t play a part in the outcome. This is not a post about the rightness or wrongness of aborting what isn’t yet a child.

I now recognize that, that statement may convey my actual feelings on the subject, but I’ll move on.

I’m writing this because I simply don’t see why people get so heated about abortion. If you aren’t having the child, why do you care so much about what happens to it? I realize that this sounds insensitive and cruel, but the reality of the situation is, if you are not someone who was personally included in the seed-planting portion of this union, you don’t really have the right to dictate the results. You’re not the one who was throwing free throws and scored.

Some people see it as murder. I get it. Who has the right to take any life? Maybe no one.

I just don’t understand why men get so broken up about it. I mean, if you had a one-night stand, odds are you don’t really care about the person you just soiled with your surprisingly skilled swimmers. It was just companionship, and you were about to face a punishment you probably weren’t ready for.

Bonus points if you’re already dating someone else.

You want to make yourself unhappy just because you believe that keeping an unwanted child is “the right thing to do.” That doesn’t make sense. A woman just gave you an out. You can now walk away, childless and void of responsibility, and be with whoever you want.

I guess what I’m saying is, if she’s going the abortion route, run off and have your fairy tale life and stop trying to make everyone unhappy with your sad-sack beliefs.

I’m not saying abortion is good. I’m just saying that when you get a do-over, don’t be a little bitch about it. Not everyone gets that. Go and live your life the way you were going to live it before. Be happy with the shot you got, and don’t dwell. The kid is gone, now. You can’t get it back.


I clearly have no morals.

And Now it’s an Instagram

And now I have an Instagram. An Instagram, I have. My friend made me one years ago that I never used, and now, I’m using it.

That’s how badly I want to be a writer. I’m using Instagram; A platform I have largely criticized since I discovered it.

The username hendhsalah. I’m still building it, so don’t judge my lack of posting, please.

God I need a drink

of water.

I’m such a loser.

Beauty & the Beast: A Review I Didn’t Want to Write (Spoiler Alert)

But I have to. I have been trying to stay away from critiquing popular film and media, and up until now, I think I may have succeeded.

However, enough is enough. Beauty & the Beast was my absolute favorite movie growing up. Me and my parents and brother watched it every single year by the fire place when it snowed.

And sure, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of sane or reasonable, what with all the Stockholm and beastiality, but it’s a good movie dammit.

Where do I begin? Let’s break this down.

Hold on to your hats, folks. This is going to be a long one.

Not only did they randomly add songs that never existed before, the first song was different. It was difficult to sing along to, and it was awkwardly executed.

The “Gaston” song was a cheap heap of unimpressive acting. It was originally an upbeat, funny, obnoxious number that you couldn’t help but break out in song with. In this movie, the song was slow, slightly disconcerting, and not at all fun or light-hearted. It was a tribute solely to Gaston’s hubris without the snarky and bouncy undertone.

“Be Our Guest” was perhaps the greatest failure of them all. Lumière’s singing was slow and boring. The plates were dancing to a beat that was more suitable for a serenade than an entertaining dinner show. I cannot fathom why the directors would do such a thing.

Cast and characters:
Belle. Emma Watson is a good actress. That is undeniable. I don’t care that her voice was auto-tuned. No complaints on that front, either. However, I don’t think that she quite captured the spirit of Belle. The acting wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good, either. When I look at her, I don’t see Belle.

Gaston. Gaston, Gaston, Gaston. They cast an unfunny version of the original character that does not make up for his narcissism with anything humorous. Gaston is a terrible person, but we love watching him and singing his song. This guy was not Gaston. He was a creepy stalker type antagonist that seemed really out of place, and he was far too evil.

I wanted to hear my favorite line: “It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting ideas and thinking…”

New guy couldn’t pull it off. No disrespect to the actor, but he was not cast for the right role.

LeFeu: I loved him. It was a perfect casting. He was funny, he was true to his character and there should be zero complaints about him. Excellent in every single way. I think Jonah Hill would have been a great casting for that role too, but as it is, this actor did a remarkable job.

Now, let’s talk about Lumière. This was perhaps one of the most agitating parts of the movie. Lumière is my favorite character in Beauty & the Beast. He is funny, charismatic, sarcastic, and debonaire. In the remake, to put it frankly, he is flat. There is no charisma. There is no spirit. It’s just a metal thing with a face on it that looks unpleasant at best.

Belle’s father. Where was the loving and a little off his rocker inventor that kept blowing things up and creating all-too-dangerous inventions that probably wouldn’t be very helpful? He wasn’t even remotely eccentric, in the remake. He was a beloved character who was turned into a wise old man with secrets about Belle’s mom.

Beast. No. He was far too rational with Lumière in the beginning of the movie, and his tempter wasn’t quite up to par. The Beast was supposed to be tearing things to shreds and roaring at literally everyone around him. He was forced into a more humane demeanor, maybe to decrease the psychotic element of beastiality, and it just didn’t work.

Poor old Cogsworth. This character was hysterical in the original movie, but he barely had lines in the remake. His and Lumière’s dynamic was a major part in the story. Bye bye, best friends.

Scenes and Storyline:
Let’s go through it in order. The introduction can only be described as gratuitously ostentatious. It set the scene for a disorganized and mediocre film.

The inventor’s invention. The original movie showed Belle’s father in a frenzy with logs and axes flailing around. He was creating something that would never likely be sold to any sane person. In the remake, he just sits at a desk playing with what looks like a windmill. They have a calm conversation and he then goes off to the market, not an inventor’s convention. It was nothing short of awful.

Upon entering the castle for the first time, Belle’s father is not greeted by the castle’s many inhabitants. He helps himself to food and drink, like a common thief. He gets tossed in jail by his own doing. Not defending the cruelty, but it wasn’t entirely uncalled for.

Gaston ties Belle’s father to a tree and leaves him for the wolves to eat him. Then, the enchantress shows up and saves him, just for her to leave him in town to get thrown into what I can only assume was the asylum. I’m just going to let that logic sink in.

Belle watching her mother’s death; That was unnecessary and did nothing but elongate the movie negatively. It wasn’t even really that clear, and contributed nothing to the actual story. It was just far too depressing.

The fight in the castle. It wasn’t bad. It had a few good moments in it, but the enchantress took way too long. By this point, I was begging her to get on with it so I could go to bed.

The final scene. It was fine. It was comparable to the original movie.

Final notes:
They destroyed so many things that it was almost a whole different film. If it weren’t titled ‘Beauty & the Beast,’ it may have been good cinematography. They did not do the original movie justice.

I understand that this was not intended to be an exact copy, but so many elements were such complete perversions of the original that the nostalgic feeling that may have been entwined in this picture was non-existent.

This was not Beauty & the Beast. This is was Stockholm warped into something pseudo-wonderful to distract viewers from everything that is wrong with it.

Oh, and the Beast isn’t supposed to know how to read, by the way.

That was fun. I’m going to start writing more reviews.

Feel free to yell at me.

Therein the Theory of my Theatrical Thoughts on Theoretical Paper

The struggle inside of each living creature taking up a vastly underestimated amount of space to coexist with the ignorant and arrogant is war.The struggle to continue breathing despite the choking feeling that is more figuratively painful than physical damage, is war.

The fight between truth and desire to conquer the darkest of times is war.

In silence.

Violence in politics conceives a superficial consideration. No one cares about the government; their battle is not our battle, and the battle of their people is of minuscule importance to those in power.

In honest and completely unabashed truth, nary a place escapes the label, regardless of its population’s misguided belief in the existence of contemporary effective nationalism, religious freedom and conclusively inauthoritative free speech.

And the fictionally accurate tale that unfolds within the sequential, mildly related, pages of the compilation of my own creations will either be well-written or famous, possibly neither, and unlikely both.

But, at the very least, I will try to manage to escape becoming an attention-seeking sell-out who is celebrated for drivel that caters to an audience with the mindset of a hormonal child trapped in a whimsically unrealistic daydream.

Would that I become a writer to end all writers, a novelist to novelize revolutionary reads, a creator of plot line to be added to the seven, but ah, perchance to dream.

But I do appreciate the stereotypical arrogance that depict me alarmingly un-charming in the previous sentences.

Oh, how the tones of story-telling devolve.