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Entries in pop culture (3)


Movie Bucket List

I saw an update from a blogger acquaintance, Jim, on my wall last week. I’ve only met Jim a few times, and he seems like a nice, very smart guy. I happen to be in platonic love with his soul mate Mr. Lady who makes Jim seem even cooler. Anyway. 

I fawn and flatter here in hopes that he won’t take offense to my reposting a seemingly benign status update that gave me what I think is the coolest idea I’ve had, like, ever. 

Well, maybe the coolest idea I've had this week.


This Facebook post got over two hundred comments. 

I was surprised to feel a somewhat initial visceral reaction to some people’s admissions. “I’ve never seem ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ ” for example. In case you don’t know, I am a HUGE fan. Like, nerdy comic book buying, own the entire DVD set, would write fan fiction if I had the time or guts kind of fan. 


Except. I’ve never seen Goonies and that, apparently, is some kind of crime against humanity.

There’s a tendency to think of pop culture as frivolous, but, you know, these shared experiences of music, literature and song transcend space and time and connect us in the most powerful of ways. They are shared moments in the production of globalized, communal history. 

As time goes on, I get less less comfortable with trying new things, so I had this idea that maybe I’ll try new things by doing old things that I haven’t done. Like, a cultural bucket list. Of course, I can’t really wrap my head around how experiencing a cabbage patch doll or buying an Atari at age thirty eight is going to really be the same as having one when I was eight. 


I like movies. 

Here’s my plan: 

STEP 1 (Completed): Find a crowd sourced list of “the best movies of all time.” I chose IMDB's Top 250.

STEP 2 (Completed): Among the top fifty movies, identify the movies I’ve not seen. Allow me to brag a little and say that the two of the top three movies on the list are my favorite movies. Godfather I & II. There are fifteen movies on the list that I’ve not seen. Notice many of them came out AFTER I had kids or a very long time ago.


#4 The Dark Knight (2008)

#8 Twelve Angry Men (1957)

#20 Seven Samurai (1957)

#21 City of God (2002)

#24 Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

#27 Leon: The Professional (1994)

#34 City Lights (1934), Starring Charlie Chaplin

#36 Spirited Away (2001) -

#38 The Intouchables (No, not the Untouchables 2011)

#40 Modern Times (1936)

#41 Sunset Boulevard (1950)

#43 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

#44 The Pianist (2002)

#46 The Departed (2006)

#48 The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


STEP 3: Watch the above fifteen movies. Not on the same day. One per week. 

STEP 4: Write a VERY brief post on each movie. I’m a geek in many ways, but I’m not prepared to graduate to the level of movie reviewing geek. I’ll focus on why I didn’t watch the movie when it came out and if I feel like my cultural competency has increased or something smarty pants like that. 

Goals like being healthier and cursing less seem more evolved, but I like the idea of doing this. I’m going to announce which movie I’m watching on the Monday before, so if you want to play along on social media, that’d be cool. I feel like making a hashtag for this is to market-y (which market-y stuff is awesome, but I’m not into that, right now, as previously discussed.)

Monday has passed, but I’m excited to get started. The plan for this weekend is The Dark Knight. And BEFORE you ask me HOW IS THAT YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THIS MOVIE? Remember, I’ll explain why next week.

 I would like to note, for the record, that Goonies? Is not on the list.


These Boots Were Made for Gawking. And Giving Away.

In a couple of hundred words, I'm going to tell you how you can win some boots. Until then, sit back, sip on something for a spell and let's talk about history, culture and identity.

Here’s a surprising admission: I don’t wear cowboy boots. 

I’ve always wanted to own cowboy boots, though. In the spring of 1994, I went to Pakistan for about five months. Before I left, I searched the mall up and down for a pair of, don’t laugh at me, red cowboy boots. I wanted to wear them on the flight over with a pair of Gap jeans and a black button down shirt. I owned the jeans, purchased the top and then was sorely disappointed at not finding the boots. There was a specialty store for cowboy boots in my area. I wasn’t about to go in there, of course. Frankly, I was afraid of looking like a big poser. I’d never ridden a horse or been within ten feet of a cow at that point. Actually, come to think of it, I’ve still not been within ten feet of a cow unless it's on a plate.

Why the cowboy boots? Because I’m American and I wanted people to know that when I got to Pakistan.

I was contacted recently by Country Outfitters about reviewing a pair of boots and hosting a giveaway for Native Born readers. If you’ve read this blog since the beginning, you know I don’t work with brands or products in this space. I really, really, REALLY wanted a pair of cowboy boots, though, so I said yes. Plus, cowboy boots are interesting and I want to write about them.

As I waited for my boots to arrive, I got to thinking about cowboy boots and the irony of a first generation Pakistani-American chick sporting a head scarf walking around wearing them. If you’ve read my post about why I cover my head, you’ll know that a great deal of the decision rests in cultural authenticity and a desire to express my identity. That was true back in 1994 when I tried to look for those red cowboy boots, too. I’m not any one identity and the fastest way to transmit that to people is through fashion.

Clothes, jewelry, shoes - these are all markers and suggestions of who we are, where we’ve been and they're ways to reinforce not just a community but cross cultural commonalities, too. Most people, for example, associate cowboy boots with America. While it’s a fact that cowboy boots were made fashionable by the likes of Will Rogers and John Wayne, their origins have been traced as far back as the 12th century to Genghis Khan (no relation). The present day construction of cowboy boots is still based upon the specific needs of horsemen that were addressed by Khan and the Mongolians. Four hundred years after Genghis Khan, caballeros and vanqueros in 16th century South America were wearing cowboy boots as they herded cows and livestock. As Americans began to realize the economic potential associated with transporting cattle and livestock from one place to another, the need for a strong shoe that could handle the strain of that type of work became high and thus the use of modified Wellington boots which had been used in the Civil War became widespread in the West and Midwest regions of our nation.

Now, here is where it gets really cool. About twenty years after the Civil War, Buffalo Bill used elements of the cowboy lifestyle to provide entertainment value to the American public in ways that still resonate in today's culture. What had been a sturdy brown working shoe now reflected beautiful and intricate overlay, color and design. The functional had been transformed into the fashionable and as each decade passed, innovative methods of construction and design allowed Americans to claim this specific and fashionable version of a historical riding boot as their very own.

The American cowboy boot’s current construction and visage is reflective of all things American: borrowed, worked over, branded and most beautifully reenvisioned . 

When I look at a pair of well crafted and artistically magnificent cowboy boots, I know exactly how people who do not originate in the subcontinent feel when they see a beautifully patterned sari or scarf. The modern day fashion cowboy boot, like those things, is a symbol of tradition, evolution, beauty and culture. This may sound dramatic, but when I look at a gorgeously designed cowboy boot, I am reminded that the nation of my birth is no less rich in its tradition and beauty than the one of my origins.


I’ve always looked good in blue and I may never take these off.

Country Outfitters has agreed to give away a $150 gift card a member of Native Born's audience. Honestly? You should totally try to win this. The winner will be announced December 7th.

CLICK HERE and enter your email address. Country Outfitter will occasionally send you marketing messages. You are welcome to opt out at any time.

For an additional entry please leave a comment below letting me know that you entered. Must be a US Resident 18 years and older.

To gawk at more boots, visit their main website and like them on Facebook 


Disclosure: As the writer of this blog, I am wholly committed to expressing my real, honest opinion with the highest degree of integrity about products or services I've been asked to review. CountryOut´Čütter, a retailer of women's cowboy boots sent me these turquoise Corral boots to review this month and is sponsoring the giveaway of a gift card, as well.


Photo Credit: Country Outfitter -- Dingo Women's Adobe Rose Boot - Distressed


My Surfing Will Go On and On...

Whenever I'm at my laptop and Tariq heads to bed, he looks at me very seriously, "Now, promise me you'll go to bed soon."  It reminds me of the scene in Titanic where Leo says, "You're gonna go on, Rose, and you're going to die an old lady, happy and warm in her bed, but not like this... not this night, not here.. do you understand me?"
And, then, I go all Kate on him and am like, "It's not up to you to save me, Jack...  leave me alone." I know those lines aren't in the same scene, but they should be. 
Unrelated: I didn't even have to Google those lines. Have a good weekend.


And, hey, have you liked my Facebook page? You should do that!

Photo Credit