Monthly Archives: October 2017

Cultural Appropriation in American Popular Culture – A Musing of Abuse and Amusement

The globalization process, starting with man’s first steps beyond the horizon, is nigh complete. This integration of politics, economics, culture and biology has erupted a volcano of change to many traditional societies as well as shaped American culture. Not only have uncontacted Amazonian tribes, carrying on their lips questions of the flying metal birds they’ve viewed for many years, but men such as Percy Fawcett, and Edmund Hillary and David Livingstone have already plucked the apple of uncharted regions for which to explore. The Final brush strokes of Earth’s maps have dried, yet the assimilation, acculturation and alteration that is taking place today is lead by the melding and molding of societies by the hands of globalization.

Not only is American popular culture being affected by the patterns of globalization, it is eagerly seeking out and speeding the appropriation response through globe-spanning networks of exchange. The oldest traditions of a foreign culture are leaking into the American lexicon, as they had for centuries through immigration, economic ties and exploration, yet now even the latest food, dress and technological trends find themselves integrated into Western ways.

When this occurs, there is of course the unfortunate truth of a diversion from original intent, or a bastardization of the original form. The American’s insatiable taste for all things foreign falls into the maw of America’s even more overwhelming sense of cultural superiority. The love of the ways of others falls victim to the lust of oneself as the original economic, technological, sociocultural, political and biological import elements run the gauntlet of both transnational dissemination and the meat-grinder of American interpretation. What comes to pass is not quite parody not quite tribute…but a divergent and distinct breed.

One needs only to look to the average American dress, mannerisms, vernacular, religions, arts, media, and food…. The list is extended as far as the imagination…to find the outcome of cultural appropriation in American life. From Japan, we take the sushi fad, kimono robes, martial arts and more. What we did with them is fry them in oil, wear casually, practice for exercise and mock in movies. The adventurous wear berets and black clothes to the French cinema. Neighborhoods thrive on the reveling of a perceived/dishonest compact with the old country, extending stereotype and generalities to their children. Americans eat up religion, pseudo mysticism, philosophy and iconography quicker than they can tie a Kabbalah bracelet, faster than they can downward dog or rearrange the living room to promote positive chi.

While these corruptions are spreading what was once exotic “isms”, once relegated to crossword puzzles, trivia and social studies classroom posters, ownership also takes on a new significance. With a proliferation of Westernized (read bastardized) foreign elements to be found in the Western world, also is an easing of cultural trauma, acceptance and acclimation that immigrant populations face upon coming to receiving cultures. The “Coolies” of yesteryear, being both gawked at and treated as inferiors, now are nothing to bat an eye at. Americans may well be more apt to spend a day celebrating Bastille Day, Cinco de Mayo or any other day of drink and gaiety than a Frenchman, Mexican or otherwise. Frozen Curry Lean Cuisine, instant Pad Thai and celebrity-endorsed Pannini sandwiches are an easy testament to the Protean proto-culture that reached American society via offshore culture wells. The product may be seen as a usurpation, a co-opting or vulgarity of the original form and intent, yet the melting pot has long been stirred with a skewing soup spoon.

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How to Clip Your Shih Tzu’s Nails

Many people ask how often a Shih Tzu’s nails should be cut. I would recommend your Shih Tzu’s nails be cut every four to six weeks, depending on how fast they grow. Some owners cut the nails a little every week. Cutting any dog’s nails is a delicate procedure since a sensitive piece of flesh called the quick is nestled inside the nails, and is often hard to spot. If you cut into it accidentally, your dog will start to bleed and will be in some temporary discomfort. However, it’s not at all difficult to cut the nails properly, if you know how.

Dogs wear down their nails when they walk; the rougher the surface they walk on, the more their nails will be worn down. Since Shih Tzu’s don’t need a lot of exercise, their nails tend to grow faster than they can be worn down, so they will need to have them cut. And I will also remind you that all dogs have dew claws, which are nails that grow a little higher on the legs. Since the dew claws never touch the ground, they can grow very long indeed. If nails are not cut, they will curl around and grow into the dog’s paw pad, causing a lot of discomfort and they may even break off.

What you’ll need

• Dog nail clippers. Whether scissor or guillotine type is up to you, and whatever you feel most comfortable with. I would recommend speaking to a vet or groomer first, so that you can get their opinion on the best type to use

• Emery board (for filing and shaping the nail)

• Styptic powder or styptic sticks (in case you cut into the quick by accident)

• Treats (optional, to keep your Shih Tzu distracted while you work)

• A second person (also optional, to help hold the dog, depending on how stubborn your Shih Tzu is)

How to cut the nails

1. Hold the paw firmly in one hand and apply the clippers to the top of the nail

2. Look carefully at the nail to identify where the pink-colored quick stops. You must not clip to that point to avoid hurting the dog

3. As soon as you are sure you are only covering the dead area, quickly cut the nail and repeat on all the others

4. Then using an emery board or file, smooth and shape the nail. Use the pointed end of the nail file to remove any dirt or debris, but do not dig down under the nail

5. If at any point you accidentally cut into the quick, apply the styptic powder or insert the styptic stick to stop the bleeding

As long as you are careful, there is no reason why you can’t cut your Shih Tzu’s nails yourself and save some money and a trip to the groomer. Just make sure you have everything you need, work slowly, and remember to pay attention to your dog’s reactions as you cut.

Chris Boshoff is a Shih Tzu lover and researcher. If you would like to find out How to Groom Shih Tzu or more about Shih Tzu Care please visit his website.

Low Self Esteem? 3 Ways to Raise it and Improve Your Marriage

Low self esteem kills a marriage. How does it do this? Firstly, the spouse that suffers from low self esteem doesn’t feel like they are able to contribute to the relationship so…, they don’t. It isn’t easy to stay in a one sided relationship.

Secondly, someone who suffers from low self esteem takes even slight criticism very personal. This causes their spouse to be super careful of what they say. The inability to express your thoughts is not one of the main ingredients of a good marriage.

Read on to find out 3 types of faulty thought patterns, identified by Dr. A. Beck, that cause low self esteem and, far more important how to deal with and help change them.

1. Feeling are perceived as facts. This is a common thought pattern that damages a person’s self esteem. It goes like this, “I feel that I’m worthless so I must be worthless.” After he has concluded AS A “FACT” that he is worthless, whatever he does is now seen through the lenses of being worthless. He then becomes stuck with his low self esteem and it gets lower and lower.

The way to challenge this damaging thought is to ask them to think of a time when what they felt was totally wrong. (maybe they felt that they wouldn’t get a job and in the end they did get it, or they felt that they would flunk a test and in the end they got a good mark).

Don’t expect, though, that once you prove to them that their feelings can be wrong and playing tricks on them that they will agree with you and their their self esteem will soar. This is not going to happen. It takes a long time for a person to change his thinking patterns and replace a low self esteem with a more realistic one.

2. Should and must statements. A person who thinks that the world or his life should be a certain way is prone to losing his self esteem. The reason for this is because their picture of this “certain” way is usually something close to perfection. In reality, however, everybody’s life has “ups and downs”.

If you detect in yourself or in your loved one this type of thinking then ask, “Think hard if you REALLY know someone who has no problem at work or at home?” Or the converse, “Think of someone who you feel is a good successful person and think if they only had success in their life, or did they also experience hard times.

3. Labeling. This means that you define who you are according to what you did (or didn’t do). If your wife forget to do something that you asked her to do and you became upset than you think that you are a “control freak”. (Don’t laugh, I know people like this.)

Listen to such a statement and when you hear it, point out to them that no one is ONLY a control freak. They might also be caring, a Yankee fan, an avid reader, etc. Help them to realize that they are much more complex than one bad trait (especially if it happens only once in a while) and this will help them to begin to build their self esteem.

Low self esteem can ruin a matter. However there are ways to raise a person’s self esteem. Try some of the methods above, have patience, and improve your marriage.

For more than 35 ways to improve self esteem, stop depression, and improve your marriage click on this link Improve Self-Esteem And Your Marriage

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Love Quotes Boyfriend Scarf

Fashionable women all around the world have fallen in love with Love Quotes Scarves in a very short time. The line rose to fame in late 2007/early 2008 when it was seen literally wrapped around the neck of every starlet in Hollywood. Celebrity women like Lauren Conrad, Fergie, Hilary Duff, Jessica Alba, Rachel Bilson and so many others helped put Love Quotes scarves on the map. And most of these celebrities have the scarves in multiple colors.

So what’s so great about Love Quotes? These scarves are made of a high quality Italian linen, Italian linen 50% and Viscose 50%. They’re light and airy like gauze, but surprisingly warm when wrapped. And the scarves have hand knitted fringe. Each scarf also comes with an inspirational love quote and 10% off all proceeds from every scarf sold goes to international childrens charities. The scarves come in a wide variety of colors.

For Spring/Summer 2009 the line isn’t only unveiling new colors but also a brand new cut. It’s called the Love Quotes Boyfriend Scarf. This scarf is cut about 10 inches narrower than regular love quotes scarves, and the fringe is about 1 inch shorter. The dimensions for the scarf is 27″ x 71″. The Boyfriend Scarves are ideally summer scarves; the narrow cut makes them much cooler to wear in the hot weather.

For right now, the Love Quotes Boyfriend Scarves come in a limited range of colors, about 12 overall, most of which are shades that are brand new to the line. Two of the standout shades for spring/summer are Azalea and Mykonos. Azalea is a bold, hot pink with a touch of purple to it (which makes it different from the other hot pinks LQ has done in the past, like Cosmopolitan). And Mykonos is a deep shade of dusty blue, sort of like a brighter, lighter shade of navy. Both shades are unique and will certainly get compliments.

Bouquet is another new color that the Love Quotes Boyfriend Scarves come in. It’s a light pink, which is a good alternative to Azalea, and looks great with khaki and bold colored outfits. There’s also New Earth, which is an earthy, greyish beige. This one is a nice neutral to have on hand. Olive Grove is yet another new addition to the line. The shade is bright green, like the color of leaves, and it really pops up against white and denim. Of course, the Boyfriend Scarves also come in classic colors like Meditation (black).

Be sure to make one or two of these scarves a part of your wardrobe this season. Find the new Love Quotes Boyfriend Scarves at

Alice In Wonderland Movie Review

Alice in Wonderland was a very confusing book for me when I was a teenager. I prefer biographies and books which have some semblance of “realism”. So imagine my joy when I watched the 2010 Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland movie recently.

I was intrigued with the idea of the little daughter telling her father about a reoccurring daydream and then fast forwarding many years to when the child was now a young lady. I recall thinking that the make up artist got carried away with the white face paint and powder because the older Alice was so ashen that it appeared the director was attempting to make her look like a corpse.

Alice sees a white rabbit in a coat, but nobody else sees the dressed up bunny. Per the fairytail story, Alice falls down a crack in the ground and begins her trip in”Wonderland.” There is chitchat of whether this is the “right Alice” – the Alice from her childhood – and she tries to say she is not the “right Alice” but as time goes on, the young woman remembers her first stay to this fantasy land and accepts that she is the Alice they all have been waiting for. There is a scroll which shows Alice fighting a mighty flying beast and she continually tells everyone she can’t and might never ever slay that beast.

Alice has many out of the ordinary adventures and comes upon the Mad Hatter having a tea party. While they are talking, they hear the Red Queen’s army. The Red Queen has heard of an intruder, and she has sent her army to locate Alice. With some potion, the Mad Hatter helps Alice decrease to such a small size she fits into a teapot.

Since I am a dog lover, I also enjoyed a subplot involving a hunting dog who was told that if he located Alice he, his wife and pups would be freed from the red queen’s clutches . The horse tells the knight, “dogs will believe anything.” The hound knows Alice is in the tea pot but the Mad Hatter tells him something so he runs away. The army takes the Mad Hatter and Alice vows to go get him rather than stay safely away.

In Wonderland, the White Queen had been replaced by the Red Queen in an adverse course of circumstances where the Crown landed on the Red Queen’s head. The director really created a very out of the ordinary character with the Queen of Hearts – red locks, inthe shape of a heart, ghost ashen face with stripes of blue above her eyes, and cherry lipstick in the shape of a heart on her lips. Her clothing was very regal in a typical ball gown form with gold and red colors – and of course, hearts .

While red hearts are normally associated with kindness and passion, this queen is the opposite of good. One of her favorite quotes is, “off with their heads.” She is quick to anger and not very brainy. To underscore the Red Queen’s lack of acumen, when Alice is found on the castle property , and she is asked her name, Alice knows she can’t tell her “Alice” and in an attempt to stall, replies, “…um…” which the Queen believes is her first name .

She proceeds to call Alice “Um” and tells everybody that the young lady’s given name is “Um.” In addition, it occurred to me that since this world does not in reality have people like Alice existing there, the Queen of Hearts seemed to have no suspicion that this strange, big, being could be Alice!

Alice tries to help the Mad Hatter escape, but it does not go smoothly and he tells her to go get a special sword and take it to the White Queen. Alice is able to get past a great beast to obtain the sword and she takes it to the White Queen. Ultimately the Mad Hatter and hound family (yeah!) join her and the White Queen.

The White Queen seems a bit atypical to me, as she has dark, black lips and black painted nails. She has long white tresses and a white ball gown so the contrast of light and dark did not make sense to me. The actress plays the part perfectly with agile, flowing movements, including arms that seem to constantly be outstretched as if they were wings – but seem ideal for the White Queen.

After some time the two Queens meet and we find out they are sisters. The White Queen does not want to fight, but the Red Queen refuses to give her back the crown. So the war begins, and Alice, with the special sword, follows the Red Queens example and pronounces “off with your head” when she beheads the Jabberwock.

The fighting stops and then the White Queen banishes the Red Queen and Knight from the kingdom, and no one is to have anything to do with them for the rest of their lives . In the movie, Alice sadly says farewell to her friends and climbs out of the fantasy land and as they say in all fairytales – lives happily ever after!

The popularity of the movie characters has created a frenzy for Halloween costumes from the fairy-tale. Outfits for Alice, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad hatter seem to be the most well-liked and can be bought in all sizes and price ranges.

The Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland is based on pure fantasy and if you would like to break out of reality this Halloween, you can find plenty of options for every size and budget. The website has a plethora of womens, mens and child Halloween costumes from the Alice in Wonderland movie – not just the Queen of Hearts.

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