If Kaling is full of opinions-and she is-she credits that trait to her mother as well. This afternoon, she sounds off on…the attention she receives for standing out in a white male-dominated comedy world. “There are little Indian girls out there who look up to me, and I never want to belittle the honor of being an inspiration to them,” she says. “But while I’m talking about why I’m so different, white male showrunners get to talk about their art.”
And don’t even get her started on the attention paid to her appearance. “I always get asked ‘Where do you get all your confidence?’” she says. “I think people are well meaning, but it’s pretty insulting. Because what it means to me is ‘You, Mindy Kaling, have all the trappings of a marginalized person. You’re not skinny, you’re not white. You’re a woman. Why on earth would you feel like you’re worth anything?’”"
As it has done for the past 16 years, the Embassy of Norway decorated a Christmas tree at Union Station in Washington, D.C. — a gift to the American people to say thanks for helping Norway during World War II.
This year is no different. The tree was lit in a ceremony Tuesday evening, but what stands out is the nature of the ornaments that adorn the artificial tree: In addition to small American and Norwegian flags, the tree is decked out with 700 shining decorations with the iconic image from Norwegian Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream.
This month marks the 150th anniversary of Munch’s birth, and Norway’s ambassador to Washington, Kare Aas, told All Things Considered’s Melissa Block the artist is being feted across the world.
"As you know, The Scream is one of Edvard Munch’s masterpieces," Aas says.
Munch’s painting of a ghostly figure pressing his hands to his cheeks, mouth open to deliver the nominal utterance and cowering against a swirling orange-skied backdrop is one of the most recognizable artworks in existence. It’s been parodied by Andy Warhol and The Simpsons, and the image has been on the receiving end of psychological diagnoses — depersonalization disorder, according to the New York Times — and society’s generalized anxieties.
The image may seem a decidedly unfestive choice to whip up Christmas spirit, but Aas says that the dread implicit in Munch’s screaming figure is perhaps not far off from how many anticipate the upcoming holiday.
"Sometimes, you know, when I prepare for Christmas, I really feel like I am scared from time to time and that it is too hectic," Aas tells Block. "The Scream symbolizes an angst which some people have before Christmas."
That aside, Munch’s Scream has become one of the priciest pieces of art ever sold. Last year, a version of the painting — Munch made four of them — sold for nearly $120 million, making it the most expensive artwork sold at auction at the time. (That superlative now belongs to Francis Bacon’s 1969 triptych, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, which sold for more than $142 million in November.)
The Scream-ornamented tree at Union Station will be on display through December. So, what do you do with 700 Scream ornaments when the tree comes down? They’ll be given as gifts, according to Aas. He says they could be used as reflectors when walking at night, perhaps. “We’re always very practical, the Norwegians,” the ambassador says.
Everyone else quit, Norway has won at Christmas 2013.
When I was around 8/9 years old I was really into “Dragonball Z” and would always watch it right after getting home from school when it aired on Cartoon Network at 4:00. Sometimes, though, I would get home and turn on the TV to discover that instead of “Dragonball Z” today they would be showing “Sailor Moon,” which I deemed to be girly and stupid. I would get really angry with Cartoon Network and totally resent “Sailor Moon” for messing up something I looked forward to all day.
I am now 21 years old. This past Monday, when my father checked the DirecTV guide to see what would be on the good ol’ boob tube that evening, I saw that instead of airing my beloved “Antiques Roadshow” at 8:00 PBS would be showing some Celtic Woman holiday special. I was really angry with PBS and totally resented Celtic Woman for messing up something I looked forward to all day.
Conclusion: In roughly 13 years, I have both not grown up at all and also aged approximately 70 years.