Anonymous asked: hello pumpkin muffin I have been browsing your blog randomly forever now and you just seem like a genuinely good egg so I really hope you don't take this in a bad way but I just wanted to ask about your opinion on that poetry tattoo thing? because I understand that the interpretation was very far from the intended, but I'm not quite getting why the miscommunication is coming off as an insult, and I'd really like to understand and learn and things so yes hi thank you for even reading this
it is very strange to be called ‘pumpkin muffin’ by somebody i don’t know
anyway my understanding of the sitch is that a white person read nayyirah waheed’s poem ‘tourist’, got part of it (“go. enjoy. leave.”) tattooed on their arm, took a picture of it, uploaded it to tumblr, tagged it with nayyirah waheed’s name, and explained that they got the tattoo to celebrate their consumption and subsequent discarding of the cultures they experienced during brief visits to brown countries
considering that the poem was written at least in part to be a condemnation of the eat/pray/love phenomenon of white people going to brown countries, consuming what is there without thought and using their shallow understanding of brown cultures for their own inner growth or whatever and then going home ~enlightened~ without any actual reciprocation or contribution (“it was all about you, anyway”), the whole thing is not so much an interpretation “very far from” intended as an outright appropriation and actually a pretty good demonstration of what the poem is about
hope that helped and that my good eggitude is still a thing
I don’t understand all those folks leaping up to defend that person either. if you’re going to completely butcher a poem about colonialism & use it to celebrate the very behavior it was written to condemn, that’s a terrible life choice, but no one is going to stop you. in fact, nobody has to even KNOW!
but this attention-seeker had to take a photo & share it & tag it so Nayyirah would see it, then straight-up told her that “I just feel the phrase encapsulates everything I think; have fun, see new places and when the beauty/enjoyment of the place begins to wear thin, find somewhere new.
I’m just so thankful that I found your words, and the way they allow me to understand my current life philosophy in such a direct, uninhibited way.”
a woman of color wrote a poem condemning the way white tourists gallivant around the global South, consuming & discarding cultures like meaningless disposable amusements
a white tourist got excited because they strongly related to the idea of gallivanting around the global South, consuming & discarding cultures like meaningless disposable amusements
so they used this woman’s poem to encapsulate & celebrate the very behavior she condemned (the very behavior that hurts her community, that hurts all our communities) AND MADE SURE TO TELL HER ALL ABOUT IT
and now people are shocked because this didn’t go over well???