pasoori, india, pakistan, Ali Sethi

We're dancing along too.

Art can be a powerful unifier. With just the right lyric, image or word, great art can soften those hard lines that divide us, helping us to remember the immense value of human connection and compassion.

This is certainly the case with “Pasoori,” a Pakistani pop song that has not only become an international hit, it’s managed to bring the long divided peoples of India and Pakistan together in the name of love. Or at least in the name of good music.

It’s easy to see how “Pasoori” has gained its popularity. The visuals are rich and colorful and very eye-popping—the very essence of old-school Bollywood. Plus the song itself is quite the catchy, dynamic earworm with its blend of traditional music and driving, percussive reggaeton beat. That’s a lot of boxes to tick, stylistically speaking.

The song begins with the words “set fire to your worries.” It’s a verse that came to songwriter Ali Sethi after seeing a similar phrase painted across the back of a truck while driving through Punjab. That expression, coupled with the fear that entering India as a Pakistani artist might result in extremists burning down whatever studio he worked in, inspired him to channel the experience into his music, he told The New Yorker.

“I did what desi bards have done for ages. I might not have been able to travel to India, but I knew my music could,” he said.


Translated, “Pasoori” can mean “difficulty,” "conflict" or “difficult mess.” At first glance, the song appears to be a classic tale of star-crossed lovers, with lyrics like “If your love is poison, I will drink it in a flurry.” However, the way it expertly weaves Indian and Pakistani art styles together suggests a larger message. Can two countries see beyond their conflict to celebrate the natural harmonies of their cultures? Sethi seems to be ultimately posing this profound question, all while delivering a bona fide banger.

If “Passori”’s global success is any indicator, the answer appears to be yes. It’s garnered more than 100 million views on YouTube and is getting praise from both Pakistani and Indian stars. According to The New Yorker, “Pasoori” now “sits firmly” at No. 1 on the charts in India.

It already has a viral cover, for cryin’ out loud.

Congrats to all the creators of “Pasoori” for transcending boundaries and winning hearts. This is the magic of music.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

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