Small Town Girl

The simple pleasures and moments in Life.
After the rain. 

#rain #reflection #toronto

After the rain.

#rain #reflection #toronto

Street lights are on in the park.  (at Trinity Bellwoods Park)

Street lights are on in the park. (at Trinity Bellwoods Park)

This might be the room of any small boy, but it happens to belong to a boy named Christopher Robin.

(Source: disfan, via kitkatsaywhaa)

I might like blue a fair bit.

I might like blue a fair bit.

Helper kitty is not being very helpful… 

#cat #kitten #laundry #catsofinstagram

Helper kitty is not being very helpful…

#cat #kitten #laundry #catsofinstagram

Hello under the cupboard cat. 

#arya #kitten #cat #peekaboo #cupboard

Hello under the cupboard cat.

#arya #kitten #cat #peekaboo #cupboard

Downtown #Cobourg being transformed for the Adam Sandler movie #Pixels that starts filming tomorrow.

Downtown #Cobourg being transformed for the Adam Sandler movie #Pixels that starts filming tomorrow.

Basement renovation: carpet demolition. 

And yes, those are actual safety glasses.

Basement renovation: carpet demolition.

And yes, those are actual safety glasses.

My photo is on a shirt! How sweet is that?! #earthbound #music #cobourg #photography

My photo is on a shirt! How sweet is that?! #earthbound #music #cobourg #photography

Books & Tea. <3
#books #tea #davidstea #classics

Books & Tea. <3
#books #tea #davidstea #classics

Happy 1 year to me and my tattoo! &#8220;But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.&#8221; In memoriam for my late grandfather. #robertfrost #poetry #archivetattoo #tattoo #ink

Happy 1 year to me and my tattoo! “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” In memoriam for my late grandfather. #robertfrost #poetry #archivetattoo #tattoo #ink

When Rolling Stone magazine recently asked about the accusation that she was culturally insensitive Perry said: “Can’t you appreciate a culture? I guess, like, everybody has to stay in their lane? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just stick to baseball and hot dogs and that’s it … If there was an inkling of anything bad, then it wouldn’t be there, because I’m very sensitive to people.” In its incredulity and doggedness, this was an answer that reminded me of an exchange in the First Wives Club; Goldie Hawn: “I drink because I’m a sensitive and highly strung person.” Bette Midler: “That’s why your co-stars drink.”

In a similar spirit of cultural insensitivity, Avril Lavigne, pop punk’s Benjamin Button girlwoman, released her video for Hello Kitty earlier this year. In it, we see the probably 49-year-old Lavigne surrounded by four identikit, glassy-eyed Japanese dancers as she enjoys sushi, sake and shouts random Japanese phrases (“KAWAII!”, “ARIGATO”) in an exaggerated child’s voice. Lavigne responded to accusations that it was cultural fetishisation by tweeting: “RACIST??? LOLOLOL!!! I love Japanese culture” – a response pulled from the same chapter in the pop star charm-school book as: “LOL!!! Some of my best friends are black, you know.”

Questions about Perry and Lavigne’s intent (or lack thereof) are less significant than the end result of using these cultural stereotypes. Admitedly, pop stars can be a confused bunch – I was once asked by a white singer if I thought it would be OK if he called his song Blackface – but the power of Brand Perry and Lavigne Inc can’t be denied. Dark Horse has had nearly 500m YouTube views, and Perry’s audience includes the very young (my five-year-old niece and nephew loved Last Friday Night (TGIF)). In not taking the minstrel-y feel of these videos and performances to task, we are somehow complicit in a reductive treatment of non-western cultures. The road of cultural insensitivity leads very quickly to the slipstream of racism, because racism isn’t just someone calling you a name in the street or in the playground; it’s a subtle, creeping thing that hangs about in words left unsaid and moments not challenged when they should be. As Maya Angelou said: “The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams.” Racism is born from cultural stereotypes and the idea that “other” is a thing we don’t fully understand. This is an argument powerfully articulated by the Native American voices in last week’s article about the backlash against headdresses worn at music festivals. It’s like looking at cultures through the distorted glass of a display box in a museum. For privileged pop stars such as Perry or Lavigne, it’s hard to understand the subtleties that create a feeling of outsider-ism when you are not white.