Fariha Róisín

Teoksen How to Cure a Ghost tekijä

6+ teosta 188 jäsentä 4 arvostelua

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Sisältää nimet: FARIHA ROISIN, Fariha Róisín

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Associated Works

The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me (2019) — Avustaja — 61 kappaletta
Go Home! (2018) — Avustaja — 54 kappaletta

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Mark Gottlieb



An incredibly enlightening look at the damage rampant consumerism and capitalism that drives it has done to our world and our psyche. It highlights the link between our psyche and our bodies. I highly recommend reading this book
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Fish_Witch | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 4, 2023 |
Much of this seems to be unfolding how I expected, although I regret or whatever how infrequently I hear from female South Asians. Of course, I don’t think that having money means that you’re a bad person or that having guilt and/or rage about the money system helps anybody, or that not ever helping people not racially oppressed by the political/social system is the /answer to life/, right. I do think that inclusion is important, and that most people could be doing a better job of actively expanding inclusion instead of fearing and fighting it; and that certainly includes supporting the work of creative and/or professional sorts who are people of color, even though Anglo types aren’t necessarily culpable and ‘bad’ just because they haven’t suffered race-based blockages. But I didn’t really read this book to /discover the answer/ or even be surprised—although what she mentioned about the things that happened in Bangladesh when it stopped being East Pakistan /were/ surprising, and obviously if that had happened to Ireland or whatever in the 70s it would be far from obscure. Though of course, the mention that it’s harder to live in Australia if you’re not white doesn’t come as a surprise to me. Which doesn’t mean I’ll join her in “be poor and angry and destroy the money system and replace it with Enneagram Eight tender/macho love for all people upon pain of death” (I’m a Six, so I have trouble with Eights, although sometimes I appreciate their sense of humor—the Seven in between us, right), but I don’t have to agree with everything I read, especially if I don’t read much like it, and although I have read social justice type books, this is my first health sociology book, kinda the intersectional of oppression and the practical…. Basically, I just came to listen. To give her ten dollars or whatever it was, and a sympathetic (if un-militant) ear, you know.

…. Which isn’t the same as saying, “now we’ve agreed that you like me”. I understand that you might not like me…. I like myself and it’s a little sad if you don’t, but I’m okay with your choice either way.

…. “My friends, distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.” Fred the Nezzy

I don’t think that the money system is inherently bad, or that “commercial” is actually a four-letter word, despite it often being a euphemism for toxic intellect/mind control, or perhaps graspingness, you know. To say nothing of background categories, or the fact that flaws like that in the system are often tacitly thought of as being strengths, features. But I do think it’s toxic to hate money and reject it as bad or whatever, and doing that usually has the effect of ceding the organization of the practical bulk of life to people who think, Well, if money is so bad, let’s try to get lots of it: that way we’ll be compensated, for each individual dollar being bad, you know. 😸

…. It’s also true that, we look at these people who present as fighters in our eyes, you know, and we assume that it’s easy for them to own their anger and so on, whereas they usually were raised as, Be a good kid; don’t get angry at mom and dad; take the hits—and for awhile they did that; I guess I’d call it a rush to (fake) forgiveness, you know. Anger never really feels good, but taking the blame all the time and burying it, is not your best life.

…. Fariha is very jargon-rich and kinda sad, you know: Dr. Nefario, in additional to planning and executing the destruction of the American Indian and burning the South Asian holy books so that their holy knowledge would be destroyed, (four-syllable word, four-syllable word, more words, more words, five-syllable word), now has a side-hustle going where he tries to meditate and research the ancient holy books of the civilization of India; wasn’t it enough that you were born, Dr. Nefario? Wasn’t it bad enough that you’re not really a doctor, and that you killed thirteen children on Halloween? 😾

But I do get that, I mean, I’ve said this before: white new agers usually don’t totally give up on being white in some way no matter how alienated they are, and often like other fellow white new agers than traditional Asian (or whatever culture) sources, and often aren’t troubled by the relative lack of brown new agers and their own white/privileged place in American society…. But, sheesh, wow, you talk about how hard it must be to hold all that hurt, that vulnerability, as a wounded brown person; it must be hard, because so many people cover up the hurt with jargon so they don’t have to be hurt/vulnerable and take the abstraction clan (white people) and make them abstract, right—Dr. Nefario doesn’t want to help anybody; Dr. Nefario isn’t even trying to help himself…. Dr. Nefario is the culmination of 500 years of colonialism, dammit! He is the enemy! ~ Catch Dr. Nefario must die, Tuesdays at 4:30 in the morning, on Cartoon Network.

…. Again, I don’t know why calling Maharishi (a brown guy) ‘the groovy guru’ is actively exacerbating white supremacy, you know—“C’mon, the guy has white friends! What’s he up to? I don’t trust him. He’s not a good guy!”—but if I were the victim of racism there would obviously be that desire to avoid the hurt and the vulnerability, you know, to just say, I never wanted to be friends with you anyway, whitey. You’re so pale-skinned and funny-looking 😸—and obviously there’s no way to know for sure how I would’ve reacted had the circumstances of my birth been different. Certainly there were times when I was racist, because I succumbed to my socialization, you know. It’s not for me to say what it means if somebody else were to reject who they think I am or who they see me as being, you know.

…. What I mean is, if spiritual practice is “Western” (Christian contemplation, or say wealth visualization would probably strike her as Western, lol), then it’s colonialism—murder, basically. If it’s “meditation without religion”, you’re a characteristically white man devoid of faith, nature, and community, and anyway—you got all your good ideas from me! Don’t write me a check, though, money is evil…. And if you want to learn Hindi or Gugarati, become a Hindu, and move to India—I mean, plenty of Indians might think that’s fine, but beyond it being terribly alienating to your family, just generally /a little unlikely/ Fariha would probably take one look at you, and say, I came here to be with my family, dammit! Why do there have to be white people! White people aren’t normal! 😾

But again, I’m just giving you my own point of view. An educated white person’s point of view is a dime a dozen; there are lots of us. Maybe not as many as there are ignorant and verbally violent white people, but…. 😸

…. Since she does mention the money system, (“capitalism”), and I’m a pill, I’ll add this, though: many socialists are white people too. Like Noam Chomsky basically says that if the world were the way it should be, buying and selling would be 100% rationalistic, because that’s the only good thing, you know: emotions are bad and should be stigmatized and suppressed, and if capitalism can’t stigmatize and suppress emotion it has no business existing, basically. But if only college professors—in the elitist, colonial education system—are qualified to buy breakfast cereal when the world finally arrives on time, that helps brown people…. how? If capitalists and socialists are both white quite often, how do you choose? Do you reject capitalism because it’s here now, and when socialism arrives, you reject it too, because it’s the new here-and-now, the new white-boy-system, right. I mean, Frank Fitzgerald ended This Side of Paradise with the socialism sell, and that guy was one lover of the white boy identity. White men write 99.8% of the books. White women write 0.2% of the books. All others—wait, there are others? 😸

…. I guess I’m sympathetic, but for me it’s never surprising that the New York Times thinks that the only alternative to being a snooty Edwardian butler is being a Confederate soldier or indeed, a dirty pleb. And as something that’s not surprising, it’s not worth talking about, except perhaps in passing. This is a long-standing pattern they have, the snooty white liberal type, and it’s never surprising or worth deep investigation when people simply repeat their old pattern.

…. Also while I think it’s appropriate for women (feminists) to be able to contact the masculine part of their personality—the little man who lives inside them—I think it’s funny when they become that little man and have no idea, and then start fighting “masculinity”. Like, you could spend hours and hours fighting girls and their bling, and join the army, and fight in the wars, and then be like, And what’s with all this masculinity, eh? Eh? EYE never wanted THAT. 🥸

…. Girlie felt sad, mommy! She cried! 🥺

…. I would find her a lot less sympathetic if she were white. I know she often outed her mom as an abuser, but I think that deep down, when she takes on whitey, she thinks she’s fighting for her mom; doing it for her.

But bitches are like: I’m done with my mom. She’s white. Of course, all my friends are white, but they’re moving way beyond capitalism, so it’s okay.

—That makes no sense. That is literally the most idiotic sentence.

(takes off shirt) I’m a white man with a bad body; how much more intellect do you think there is, on God’s green earth?

— So being macho and psychically conservative is the answer?

It’s not just that. Tonight our nuclear submarine sails from Moscow, aimed at the West, where we hope that Fox News will welcome our military rebellion.

—Moscow has no coastline.

I guess I get it mixed up with the white part of Boston, as I’m sure you can understand. There’s only so much spin you can put on the same basic character—and the rest is the Chinese and the Africans, as Comrade Minister said.

…. That said, I think it would be a lot more honest if she said, “I have unresolved issues with white people.” It’s understandable, but she obviously does. But she’s like, I don’t hate white people, just the white people who are Christian, atheist, new age, and Other Religion. But if a white person were perfect, I would love them. I’m perfect, and I love the just. I just need to really see somebody I can see myself in, you know. At least hate your family, right.

—Even you don’t hate your family, dammit! You’re fighting for your people! Naturally enough.

You are…. Bad.

—And we’re finally honest about our feelings. I think we can call it, now.

…. I guess it’s honest in that that’s how she really feels. It’s emotionally honest. And some of the ideas are true, not because she’s saying it but because that’s how it really is: Whitey is a duck terrible to behold, with many a corpse beneath his boot.

Although I do think that racism is NOT like mental illness or being poor—sometimes we just pile up the labels, we liberals; we want to get seven or eight!—mental illness and poverty are Bad Things, that can be ‘treated’, so to speak, and sometimes are. If you’re a person of color, that’s a neutral or good thing—all cultures have some virtue, albeit of different kinds—but it will Pervasively be seen as bad. It’s just different. She denies that and often seems to think that achievement is the problem, right; like if I were just some nut clinging to my nuttiness like Antonio Artaud, any racism I possessed would be charming. But it’s never pleasant to be crushed by some moron with issues, and it’s not a compliment.

The book also could have been shorter—closer to 200 than 300 pages. I think that a lot of books could be closer to 200 pages than they are; I’m thrilled that I got a ‘Democracy in America’ edit that’s 200 pages, but that’s a topic for a different day. (America is Teh Troll because we’re here now, so it’s like, Give me something else; I don’t care what. Now! —But if France were here now for the whole world, well, the reaction would be the same in many cases.) It’s like, I get that when you walk into a yoga studio you don’t want to see smiling white faces. We’ve covered this. There’s nothing else substantive you can add, informationally or emotionally, and your reaction to a privileged white person preaching and a privileged white person stretching is the same; you see the similarity, so the superficial difference of academics vs athletics means nothing to you, so you don’t need to treat it all over again as though you’d said nothing before. We get that the white face can’t smile broad enough to make you feel included. And of course, sometimes you’re really not included. But by now, either you’ve explained it or else there’s no explaining it, at least not by the same person in the same year in the same medium, you know.

…. It’s like when she sees them smile, that’s how she knows they’re different, so for her it’s like being white.

…. Sadhguru: And remember, try not to look happy; people will attack you. Really put a grimace on your face. Like this. (Does face, people laugh)

—(raises hand) I attack you now; I hate not just white people, but happy people and people who had good childhoods. Man, your parents obviously did a great job—so go do yourself, man! 😹

…. I mean, I know she wants to heal her childhood and honor her family, and thinks that fighting white people and being a real man will do that, right. But all she talks about is the poop. Don’t do yoga, whitey, don’t promote it—and don’t diss it, either. I don’t know what I expect from you, except maybe you not being happy and healthy…. And maybe you could give me a lot of money, and uh, earn less for yourself? That, and, she just has this weird and possibly patronizing thing where she thinks she immediately ‘gets’ every sage with brown skin—because, after all, they’re not contemptible. That’s what the Vedas are all about, you know, the Mysteries of Brown Skin! As long as you’ve got brown skin, you in, baby girl. “But wasn’t that verse you mentioned about inclusion and universality?” Yeah, but guess what the guy who wrote it looked like? Oooh, jump shot—nothing but net! Three points, dog. Head shot. Boom! 🤯 😹

…. I mean, the experiences of white and brown people (I don’t capitalize brown because unlike Black it doesn’t refer to a single culture; it’s generic), aren’t always analogous or symmetrical, right. But the other side of the coin is that people aren’t /really/ separate and what you do to others, you do you yourself. You can try to be inconsistent, but you can’t /really/ say that white people shouldn’t do yoga because they’re bad and not allowed to be happy and healthy, without implicating Vivekananda who tried to spread yoga teachings in 1890s America, and I’m sure we can guess what she thinks of Deepak Chopra, since he has money and white friends, right. Of course, people of color often Do have worse health outcomes, but if you write this book basically encouraging them Not to resolve toxic feelings and to basically stigmatize health and good outcomes, you know—‘I don’t like people who had good childhoods’, right—you’re not going to be able to slap off a chapter or two about self-care and have it stick. You’re too invested in being unwell so you can blame it on whitey, and get up on a soap box and remind people that the government of the unwell brown girls, by the unwell brown girls, for the unwell brown girls, will not perish from the earth.

…. I think that, like I skimmed lots of “Parachute”, although that’s a different story, I’ll also skim more of these last two parts/second half of this book. It’s just so unprofessional to write a book with four parts and have each part have exactly the same emphasis over and over and to repeat yourself over and over. And to have a book that’s supposed to be about health that doesn’t really promote health, basically. Maybe if she had started with a section that organized everything about her family and personal experiences, then done a section of health disparities in people of color or disadvantaged groups—without saying, you hate, I hate white people, people who are healthy and happy, and people who don’t need to be in ACA or Al-Anon! 😸—and then a section with actual applicable health strategies, like how to meditate, or how to maintain a healthy weight vs fear of not looking ‘the right way’, you know. But she didn’t do any of that, really. She just Antonin Artaud-ed it, you know. MY NAME IS ANTONIN ARTAUD, AND IF THE RED ATTACK ANTS WILL JUST STOP SINGING FOR FIVE MINUTES, I’LL FINALLY BE ABLE TO TAKE A CRAP! 😹

…. If only me being poor and nutty for all those years had held some positive value for her, it’d be easier to understand her desire that I not be happy and well.

…. —Sir, why don’t you want white peoples to be happy?
—So I’m guessing that /you/ don’t want to be happy.

—(sob, sob, sob)
—(whisper) Be careful: he doesn’t like it when white girls cry. He finds it triggering! 😹

…. —(points finger threateningly) Don’t try and fix the system now; I NEED those poor miserable queer brown females to STAY poor and miserable! They’re supposed to be like me! If they were rich and happy and well, queer brown females, what would happen to me! What would happen to my base! You’re trying to chip away at my base! Well, what about me! (turns) Don’t betray me, bitch. Stay poor and unwell and miserable: your sisters are too! You’re not going to BETRAY us, are you! If you betray us with health and wealth and happiness, you’ll have to pay the ultimate price, I’ll do time-travel so that you never get to be born! 😹

—(cloaked) 🥷 (talks into smart watch) Ok, it’s 13:30 hours, I have visual confirmation on the subjects, and I don’t think they’ve made out yet. (mutters) Try and chip away at MY base: /this/ is what happens. (laughs in an unwell way)
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
goosecap | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 2, 2023 |
Best for:
I’m not quite sure.

In a nutshell:
Author Róisín explores multiple ideas of wellness against the backdrop of Western cultural appropriation.

Worth quoting:
“How can we be individually well if we aren’t well collectively?”

Why I chose it:
The title intrigued me.

CN for the book: child sexual abuse, physical abuse of a child, emotional abuse, disordered eating.

I’ve not rated this book because I don’t feel comfortable doing so. It reminds me of a very important, very intelligent, very heartfelt independent film that just didn’t work for me. I don’t think I can rate it in a way that feels true to the author’s intention, nor true to how I felt about the book without those being in pretty stark opposition. On another type of book I’d probably rate it and move on, but this one is so personal and intimate that I think it requires an extra bit of care.

Róisín breaks the book into four sections: Mind, Body, Self-Care, and Justice. I did not finish the book as by the time I had gotten through Mind and Body, I knew that this book wasn’t for me. I don’t disagree or take issue with her statements; she’s clearly well-researched the topics she covers, and has a breadth of knowledge far beyond my own. But there was a point where reading this book became less of a challenge (a good thing!) and more of a chore (not such a good thing) for me. And I think part of that is because of the style of the book - it is much more … poetic? Than I was expecting. I’m not in a brain space for having to work that hard for a book.

And to some degree perhaps that’s a cop-out. Like giving up 3/4 of the way through training for a marathon. But also … training for a marathon is a choice? Reading is something I choose, and I love learning about things and places and people and ideas, but for me, this book wasn’t what I was necessarily expecting, nor did I find it making me think about the topic in unexpected ways. And that’s not me saying there wasn’t anything in there for me to learn, or that was new to me - there was LOADS - but it just didn’t work. For me.

That said, my goodness I can absolutely see this being a book that some people will absolutely love, read multiple times, dog-ear, write in, revisit. It has that feel, and I think that content. Just not for me. So I can’t recommend it, but also I can’t not recommend it.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
Donate it
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
ASKelmore | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 11, 2022 |
This wasn't super my jam, but I did find the forwardness of Róisín's poems to be somewhat refreshing. Róisín works heavily in the abstract which is maybe why I struggled with some of these, but I think it's still definitely worth picking up and reading, even if just to establish that you have a sense of taste in poetry (which is what I discovered reading this!)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
aijmiller | Feb 3, 2020 |



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