This Week's Guest: Fazaad Feroze
How far up your family tree would you have to go before the way your family lives became unrecognizable? My guest this week is Fazaad Feroze, whose parents grew up in huts in Guyana before moving to the United States. As you can imagine, assimilation into American culture wasn't always easy.
Check out Fazaad's lovely artwork at FazaadFeroze.com.
Also, check out the podcast Polygamer -- I'm on the episode posted Wednesday, January 11th, sharing stories about my queer gamer project PlayingWithPride.
This Week's Recommendation: Coraline
We often talk on The Sewers of Paris about the enduring appeal of dark, scary stories, so for my recommendation this week, check out the movie Coraline. It's based on the book by Neil Gaiman, and tells the story of a young girl who's dissatisfied with her boring parents. Coraline discovers a portal to an Other World, complete with copies of everyone she knows from real life, and with its bright colors and attentive adults this Other World seems better in every respect.
But of course, not all is as it seems, and Coraline's temptations are soon revealed to lead to danger -- namely, plucking out her eyes and replacing them with buttons.
I love a lot of things about this film -- namely that it's one of those kids' movies that is so creepy and alarming that it will frighten adults as much as children. There are some creatures in this movie that are truly terrifying, but what unsettles me is the reminder that happiness sometimes comes at a price, and that price is blindness.
It's the corollary to the saying that ignorance is bliss -- bliss requires some measure of ignorance. And I don't think that's something you need to feel guilty or ashamed about. It would be impossible to make it through life if you didn't anesthetize yourself every now and then.
So despite it being a super creepy movie, I actually find Coraline comforting. It reminds me that a little darkness can be good, and that closing your eyes can make you happy -- as long as you don't let them be plucked out altogether.