angry reader of the week: anna john

It's that time again. Everybody, meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Anna John.

Who are you?
Hi. I'm Anna and welcome to my world! Let's be friends, we'll do things together...oh, wait. That's not me, that was "Cricket", a contemporary of "Teddy Ruxpin" whom I'm sure your readers have never heard of.

I am a girly, often angry vegetarian car-fanatic who prefers boxing to yoga even though I cry at commercials and melt over puppies. Do I contradict myself, very well then, who gives a shit.

I'm also an alum of both U.C. Pepper Spray -- I mean, Davis -- and Delta Gamma. I currently have bright fuchsia hair. In addition to that random follicular fact, I feel like disclosing that I initially answered this query with the words I've now pasted under your second question, "What are you?"

More relevant perhaps to this site and its awesome readers: I was one of the co-founders of Sepia Mutiny, a path-breaking, acclaimed group blog that focused on issues pertaining to the South Asian diaspora from a second-generation, American perspective. We wrote about everything from Macacas to Desi contestants on America's Not Top Model.

What are you?
I am a nightmare walking, pyschopath talking, queen of my jungle just a gangster stalking. Also, I'm a second generation Asian American of Malayalee descent. My parents are from God's Own Country-- the South Indian state of Kerala. They've been here for 40+ years. When my father moved to California in the early '70s, there was no Indian Orthodox church, so he opened a phone book and decided to attend the Greek Orthodox one-- that's why I'm an Indian with feta in my fridge. I was baptized Greek Orthodox and raised in that faith, so instead of studying Bharatnatyam I learned Greek folk dances. It made for an interesting childhood and by interesting, I mean awkward as fuck.

Where are you?
In my living room in a gentrified neighborhood IN Washington, D.C. I do not live in Maryland or Virginia. Yeah, I went there. SUCK IT, ARLINGTON.

Where are you from?
California. Born and raised. It's so nice to be asked that question without the annoying chaser: "No, really, where are you from?" I'm from here, asshole. And I don't owe you anything, least of all the obligation to sate your curiosity.

What do you do?
Not enough, if you ask my boyfriend, mother or puppy. ;) I talk mad shit, I read, I write. Most recently I worked for the D.C. NPR affiliate, WAMU 88.5 FM where I wrote and "curated" the DCentric blog about race, class and gentrification.

What are you all about?
Forgiveness. Pop culture. Kindness. Glitter. Love. Good coffee. Defying expectations. My art journal. Living life like it's not going to last, because...it's not.

What makes you angry?
Yoga. I know it's supposed to relax you, but by my third downward dog I'm irritated and the moment some Lululemon-clad yogi makes a crack about how lucky I am to be Indian, because I must've been doing yoga forever, I'm seething. I also can't relax because of the chanting or the music or the mispronounced words. It's all so odd and awkward to me. This is an ancient part of a culture, MY culture, not a commodity. I start thinking thoughts like that and then it's impossible for me to stop, so by the end of class, even if no one pointed out or asked about my ethnicity, I'm on edge. Now boxing? Wrap my hands, give me my gloves and let me spar with someone for a few rounds and I feel blissful, tranquil, at peace. I like punching people and I'm stronger than I look.

Oh. Wait. You meant important shit. Well, many things make me angry because I'm a passionate, compassionate human. Near the top of my list: abuse of power, especially if it involves harming vulnerable people or animals. That fills me with fury. Trayvon Martin was stalked and murdered because he was Black. A friend asked me if I'd heard the latest horror story about a maid being tortured by her employers in the middle east. Reading about people who abuse animals just destroys me now that I have a puppy from the Humane Society that I adore. These are all situations where the vulnerable are at the mercy of people who are so fundamentally flawed and awful. It fills me with a painful rage because aside from blogging about it or praying for justice, what can I *really* do? Feeling impotent makes me very angry. There is so much wrong going on in the world. Part of the reason I don't have kids (and let me tell you-- to be 37 and Indian and child-free is something) is because despite my outward optimism and "bubbly" nature, I don't have a lot of faith in my fellow man. I love my ova. I'm not sure I want to subject them to a world where wearing a hoodie can get you killed.

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