May include Timelords, Detectives, Superheroes, Art, Science and sometimes, Smut.
Oyeyemi says that she thinks of herself as “ugly but interesting,” and she’s happy with that. “It helps me to think more clearly, if that makes sense.”
I ask why she thinks she ‘s ugly.
"Boys would come up and tell me," she says, matter-of-factly. "I’d be on the bus home, and they would say, "You’re so ugly, do you know that?" And after a while, I would just say, "Yes, thank you." At first I would cry. But I after a while you just think ‘Why does it matter so much?’"
Oyeyemi clearly still carries wounds from her teenage years: “I was suicidal for a long time in my teens and I was so unhappy,” she says. “It was the kind of unhappiness that you know everyone else is feeling, but you don’t care because you’ve dehumanized them, because they’re all monsters and demons and beasts who are out to kill you, so you become a beast and a monster yourself. I regret so much.”
Her fairy tales are not of the happily-ever-after variety: “Sometimes people ask me what I write and I say that I retell fairy tales, and they say, ‘Oh, children’s books!’ And that makes me laugh. People say things like ‘I want a fairy tale existence.’ The Brothers Grimm would be looking at them in this astonished way, like ‘So you would like your whole family to be murdered and then eaten in a pie?’” She laughs delightedly.
"People think they’re soft because they’re these perfect examples of narrative order. There is an ending that is usually happy, and a beginning, middle, and end … In this era where everyone is kind of postmodern and meta, we dissociate in a lot of ways from our circumstance. So I think there’s that sense that they’re so ordered, and therefore orderly, but actually, they’re just completely chaotic."
And fairy tales teach lessons, she says. Lessons like “Everything that you see is not necessarily what it is. You have to find another way to know things. You have to find another way to know things. There is inner vision. And then there’s exterior vision. There are levels of seeing.”
They reveal “some of the hardest and harshest truths about the ways that we live and the ways that we’ve always lived.” She cites a story she found in a book of Czech fairy tales. A princess is being courted by a magician, but she refuses him. In punishment, the magician turns her into a black woman. As Oyeyemi read it, she started crying. “It was awful … The worst thing that the teller of this tale can imagine is being black.” In Boy, Snow, Bird, she writes, “it’s not whiteness that sets Them against Us, but the worship of whiteness.” She tells me, “I feel as if we’re still in that era. There are still lots of ways in which it is horrific not to be the norm.”
The most poignant part of Helen Oyeyemi's interview on NPR where she addresses some very heavy personal issues concerning depression and suicide, race, universal perceptions of blackness and the “worship of whiteness”.
Conversely, the interviewer, Annalisa Quinn, starts off the article by writing, "The first time I met her, it was in a bar so dark that all I could see were her eyes and very white teeth", ignoring the matter that Oyeyemi raised on whiteness and its lack of racial sensitivity.
A conversation between a Raven and a Snowy Owl.
It looks like the raven really wants the owl to leave and is trying to intimidate it, but the owl doesn’t care because it knows the raven is all bark and no bite. Or all squawk and no peck. Erm…
Actually, it looks more like the raven is curious about the funny bird and wants to sit next to it, and the owl doesn’t wanna be friends :[ The raven’s body language isn’t aggressive at all — it’s backing down appropriately when the owl displays aggression. Notice the way it’s careful to draw back every time it gets too close to the owl. This is an animal that’s trying to establish it isn’t a threat.
Keep in mind there’s a huge intellect disparity here — ravens exhibit novel tool use and complex communication, whereas owls aren’t even as smart as ducks. We’re sort of trained to view crows and ravens as villainous, but really they’re very playful animals.
"HI YOU’RE PRETTY WANNA BE FRIENDS??"
This is so cute ‘cause I can imagine the crow being the talkative, friendly one and he’s just like “hi gosh wow you’re pretty I’ve never seen a white crow before! How’d ya get your feathers so white? Do you eat a lot of marshmallows? I eat a lot of marshmallows! This human lady feeds me marshmallows—” and on and on and the owl’s probably just like “What no go away”
Rebageling here because it’s my art blog *shrug*