I aim to misbehave...

"The knack of flying is learning how to throw
yourself at the ground and miss"
-Douglas Adams

23 | a designer with a tea addiction

"For the record, feminism by definition is: ‘The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.’
I started questioning gender-based assumptions when at eight I was confused at being called “bossy,” because I wanted to direct the plays we would put on for our parents—but the boys were not.When at 14 I started being sexualized by certain elements of the press.When at 15 my girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear “muscly.”When at 18 my male friends were unable to express their feelings.I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.
Why is the word such an uncomfortable one?”

Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto was born on July 12, 1904 in Parral, Chile; he is best known for his pseudonym, Pablo Neruda. Neruda is famous for his enticing poetry and infamous affiliation with the Communist Party. 
Neruda took on his pen name as a teenager, mainly because it was in style and to conceal his work from his father. His father was a stern man, who preferred his son had a “practical” career. Neruda’s pen name is composed of the Czech author, Jan Neruda; whereas, Pablo is speculated to be derivative from Pablo Verlaine. 
He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. This honor was considered a controversy due to his Communist political streak. Pablo Neruda occupied several diplomatic posts, he served as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When González Videla, the Chilean president at the time, outlawed communism in Chile, a warrant for Neruda’s arrest was issued. During this crucial political period in Chile, Neruda hid until he escaped into exile to Argentina. 
Nevertheless, his mastery in poetry was irresistible. He was deserving of the award. Gabriel García Márquez has called “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” He is famous for being accomplished in several writing styles, specifically erotic and love poems. 
He is credited to be as the most impressive poet to write in the Spanish language. His literature in English is a sliver of his total portfolio. His work is extremely difficult to translate; it is best and most beautifully read in its native language. Mark Strand from the New Yorker commented: 

"There is something about Neruda—about the way he glorifies experience, about the spontaneity and directness of his passion—that sets him apart from other poets. It is hard not to be swept away by the urgency of his language, and that’s especially so when he seems swept away.”

Pablo Neruda died on September 23, 1973. A legend during his lifetime, his death moved the entire world. Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator of the era, prohibited to give the public access to Neruda’s funeral. However, the Chilean people’s love for Neruda caused the first public protest against the Chilean military dictatorship. They disobeyed their curfew and crowded the streets. 
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)
The Poetry of Pablo Neruda  (1979)
100 Love Sonnets (1986)
The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (2004)
Read excerpts by Pablo Neruda here! Get his books here!

It’s almost one of my favorite times of the year. Next week is Banned Books Week. And since this year, the ALA is putting a special emphasis on graphic novels, I have chosen to read Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series this year.

When Zak Ebrahim was 7 years old, his father El Sayyid Nosair assassinated Meir Kahane, the militant ultra-orthodox anti-Arab rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League. 
Then, from prison, three years later, Nosair helped plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — and was later convicted as one of the conspirators. 
Nosair’s terrorist acts sent the family into a downward spiral—and for much of his life, Ebrahim lied to people about his identity. In fact, he changed his name to distance himself from his father. 
His new memoir, The Terrorist’s Son, is about how he came to accept the truth about his father and seek out peace in his own life.
In today’s interview, Ebrahim talks about his father’s involvement with the 1993 WTC bombing and how that changed things:  

"I believe that from his prison cell he would often get visitors and have phone calls with many of the men who would eventually be involved in the World Trade Center bombing and involved in planning the attack.
When my father first went to prison [for the assassination of Meir Kahane], although he had maintained his innocence, there were certain people who thought he had done what he had done, namely because Kahane was seen as a very evil figure in particular in the Muslim community. …
I suppose I thought to myself that even if he was guilty that that was some sort of justification. It wasn’t until after the World Trade Center that it was very apparent that innocent people were being attacked — that even as a child I knew that was wrong and that I couldn’t accept any excuse for that. It was also when I realized that our family would no longer ever be together again.” 

Watch Ebrahim’s TED Talk, "I am the son of a terrorist. Here’s how I chose peace."