Thursday, July 31, 2003

Here is a page of over three hundred hilarious proofs of god's existence.
Black churches, and the need for integration

I can see why this is stupid, and why this is a good idea. Black churches seem to be stuck in the seperate but equal era, and this doesn't bode well for young kids to learn much about the diversity of the world they live in if every space they inhabit is all black. I remember that once when I was a child, an old gaunt white man came to church. Everyone was excited because it had never happened before. He sat quietly, showed us pictures of his biracial grandkids. We never saw him again.

Bitchy Buisness

I wonder if the massive hard times that hit the independant comics industry has also affected small magazines. Bitch! needs your help, and I think I'll be subscribing also. No need for a good magazine to go out of buisness because it doesn't have ten tips to thin thighs.
When people talk about stopping school bullying, they aren't talking about the gibes exchanged by you and your popular friends before third period. They are talking about stopping harassment, as it has no place in a school building, and plus, in the real world, that sort of thing is termed assault (and the person who got hit doesn't get suspended) and much of the other behavior would get you fired. Thank you.
I love to read Atlantic Monthly on the toilet. It's not because I have any high level of sophistication. It's because many of the articles continue to the next page without a break. In most magazines, you have to flip and flip and flip to get to the next page of the article you were reading. However, in the Atlantic Monthly, you can just leave it open on the garbage can. I don't know why other magazines seem to need to make you flip, but I hope they stop.
You know what I really want? A silence=death teeshirt. I went to keith haring's site, and while they have many adorable products, they don't seem to have that on a teeshirt. I know that one can have a philosophical stance without putting it on a teeshirt, but that is just such a teeshirtable thing. "Ignorance=fear Silence=death" The image also helps with its see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil reference...

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Thoughts on this video. I liked how it gave viewpoints from all walks of life on black hair. I thought the fictional skit was overlong, but it had some enjoyable parts. I liked how her hair was screaming when they put that straightening comb on it, although having modern dancers represent hair is sort of a weird idea to me.
More about how pop psych is like a religion. It's always promising life changing cures through belief. If you really believe in the power of positive thinking, your depression will be cured! Sure, some are faith healed, but they are susceptible to that. I worry about people who don't get better on the placebo. Will they be attacked by the adherents? Will they say fuck this, and get some real help? I just hope they aren't forever fucked up by this.
You know what just occurred to me? Pop Psych is like a religion. The real psychologists and the fuzzy brained book writers are high priests. All their pronouncements from on high are heeded whether they make sense or not, and if they do make any sense, it is promptly denatured as to not make sense.

The normals that obey this law are the adherents of this religion. Some of them peacefully obey the laws, writing their little affirmations every day, watching Oprah calmly, and just leading their lives. Others are like the Taliban of positivity. When a normal person has a problem, watch out! If you don't jump to executing whatever command the high ups are commanding, right at this moment, they have a lot of convenient labels for you.

Apparently you are lazy and don't want to be cured if you've already tried happy thoughts and it didn't work. You are just playing games, if you have already tried this or that suggestion. It is always your fault. If you've been emotionally tortured for years, it's because you subconsciously exuded negativity (at 12?). If you are ugly, it's because you have a negative thought pattern.

That's actually why I say it is a religion. All religions have convenient things to say when the miracle didn't occur. You didn't pray hard enough. You didn't believe enough. God said no. Most of the time it is your fault. The guilt trips keep people coming back, convinced that it'll happen this time. Most of the time, it doesn't.
This is a good reminder for those of us who enjoy good movies to watch them in the movie theater instead of on DVD. Good movies are a lot harder to see. You must go alone, as your pals who only listen to BIG media hype, haven't heard of it, and they can't possibly see a movie that hasn't be hyped all over the airwaves for months.

Also, a personal problem is transportation. In Memphis, the only art house is in the center of downtown. Sometimes good films (like Bend It Like Beckham) appear in other theaters, but that is more rare. In Atlanta, I am frightened of getting lost on public transportation, as I don't know the city. Yes, I don't know the city. How shocking.

Anyway, DVD is just so convienant. You can watch the movie alone, in pirvacy, not have to drive anywhere, and watch the movie over and over, which is what I usually want to do with those arty type films. Then again, my definition of an arty film is any film that actually have chracters and a plot.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Love dolls are always good for a laugh. Warning for the kiddies, there are naughty words like "vagina" on this page.
In more excessive blogging for today, here is some link potpouri! Cheap CDs! I'd also like to lay some invective! Don't just steal people's hard work, support it. Essays by a guy who has a thing for America. More essays, now for 'solo singles'. Somehow this makes my friend think of psychedelic drugs. ASPIE RAGE!, stats lie and kickass Barbie dolls.
Wargles. It's a real project too!
Our leaders are idiots. Maybe I know just a bit more than the average American who knows diddly squat, but I know that this is the stupidest idea I have ever heard of in my entire life.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Desktop background for the week. A squirel on fire! What a refreshing thought.
Yet another depressing reminder that people are assholes. Then again, I think racism is assholic, and don't go through a lot of changes to excuse it, or pretend it doesn't happen.
I am adding to my cheer up box. I have birthday cards in there from my latest birthday, as I like to think about people writing me to wish me good things, I have the Essential Tao, as I like to read things I don't understand , I have It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, as Fulghum is sweet without being too sappy, I have two stress balls, one light bulb shaped and one a giant, soft golf ball. They help me get my frustration out.

I have an essay about the documentary, Mr. Death, that I did last semester, because my film teacher wrote that I had a gift for film analysis on it. A blue ribbon from 1996 is also there, commending me for getting first place novice long jumping. The novices are all the people on the team who can't run. However, it takes more spirit to run when you're slow than it does to run when you are fast, and noone ever heckles your performance. a note pad and pen to record things, and the Art Book, which is one of my favorites. I hear there is a big coffee table size, but I like the little pocket one, which reminds us all of how awesome art is.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

I long for magazines. Those pages, whether glossy or matte, pull me so. I want to be updated on the latest reflections from thousands of mouths. I want to hear something new, something startling, something I haven't heard before, on a monthly basis. I want to try ever newer, ever more daring magazines, despite the price tags.

This is what puts a break on my magazine lust. At five dollars each, they aren't highly cost efficient. I would subscribe, and get the excitement of one every month, but the weirdness of changing addresses deters me.

I don't know what to do about my magazine lust, but hopefully I'll figure something out soon.
I am reading The Tipping Point again, and think all the people shouting about saving comics should do the same. Also, I have been griping about Barnes and Noble's lack of manga selection, but I realized I had been looking in the wrong place. Yes, there are not enough manga in the graphic novel section, but in teens, they are all ordered neatly, and there are no gaps in the collection. Also, someday, I'll blog about the big storm on Tuesday, which claimed my power, and internet service, and has over a hundred thousand still without power.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

John Sayles talks about Sunshine State here, and it got me thinking. I crave community, but can never seem to reach that point. I'm always somewhat on the outside, or something. I can never really get that feeling of connection to others that I crave.

I wonder if community is just an illusion or maybe I can't feel it because of some problem in myself. However this has arisen, there's nowhere I can be myself and feel understood, supported by others. I wonder if others feel connected to others, or maybe they are just pretending.

This is the kind of thorny problem you can never talk about because it can't be resolved by hard work or optimism. It goes against the cultural grain, so all you get is a pickle bottle label.
Look at all the pretty sculptures! I really like looking at art, although I can't create any.
"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe: nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to posses a mind. I am invisible, simply because people refuse to see me." - Ralph Ellison,
in Invisible Man.

This quote cuts deep into the bone of my life. People refuse to see me. I often see them closing their eyes in denial. People couldn't have possibly said cruel things to you, you're making it all up! My snide remark wasn't an insult! Guys hit on you all the time, although I wasn't there, and I don't know you! People plug their ears and see only what they want to see.

If they saw the reality, would they explode? Would they disappear? Would they die? What's so horrible about seeing the truth? It's the same for anyone else who isn't successful.

People refuse to see the struggles of the poor, saying they are just lazy. The mentally ill are just lazy. People shut their eyes to their diseased brains. Fat people chow down all the time, despite the struggles of the women starving themselves, yet not getting any thinner. Racism doesn't exist, all blacks are just pathological liars.

In the world that they see when they close their eyes, everyone has an equal share, and if you aren't getting all you can get, you're just a horrible person. It's easy to believe that, when most people are invisible to you.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

I love myself a good cult film. I saw Bend It Like Beckham today, and really liked it. The jokes were funny, the heartwarming parts were heartwarming, and it was all around well made. I think it is because there was a point to be made(the importance of following dreams,etc) , and the whole movie was focused on that point. Most mainstream movies are all over the place trying to shoehorn this element, or that element in.

However, without focus, you can't have a good film. All you end up with is a big mess. Then again, we keep buying tickets, so it's not like the movie makers will get the message, since most people will watch anything.
It seems that I am only interested in four majors: creative writing, film, NBB(Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology) and Psychology.

Pros for Creative Writing:

I can make grammatically correct sentences most of the time, making my writing skills better than 99% of the American population.

Writing is fun.

Cons:

I'd have to live in a cardboard box, eating ketchup soup, which would keep me flat for life.

Also, technically, if you practice enough, you can become a creative writer on your own.

Film:

Pros:

I can analyze things to death like noone's business

I like films.

Cons:

Same as creative writing, except for I'd also have to wear paper bags for dresses, which isn't very flattering to the figure.

NBB:

Pros:

All the cool stuff in psychology nowadays involves the brain.

Brains are cool.

Cons:

I am probably too stupid to do this.

Psychology:

Pros:

Psychology is cool

Cons:

Too soft and goopy.

I'm too stupid to go to med school and become a high paid drug pusher.
This dude draws well. Check out his comics. Also, I'd like to remind all black people having children that while not wanting your baby to have a 'white' name is a perfectly acceptable impulse, please don't name your kid a dumb ghetto name, it'll haunt them for life. Give them a pretty African name. Still unique, still black, doesn't sound stupid. Thank you.
I am feeling a bit more interested in things lately. I have started listening to the radio- 107.4 (the pig) is my favorite so far. It just has a lot of different music, and old music to boot. I don't know why but I like old music. It's a whole different sort of energy from much of the newer music that is played.

Speaking of a different energy, I wonder what it is about illness that makes people want to take you out to restaurants. My brother took me to a Vietnamese restaurant Wed, my mom and dad took me out to Pete and Sam's on Thursday, and I went with my mother and my brother to the One Love Vegan Restaurant and Juice Bar on Friday.

I was insufferably suburban and asked for a Sprite, from the waiter, although white, who was wearing the African headdress that is apparently the uniform in the restaurant. I must admit the portobella mushroom sandwich was good, and my mom and brother enjoyed their soul food platters- kale greens, cornbread, yams, and black peas and rice.

The owner was a heavy set black woman in African garb, with nice twists in her hair. She apparently knew my brother and was really friendly. Outside, the young sons of an earring vendor with a beautifully shaved head played outside and made my mother nervous.

It seems that cities have such a different energy from suburbs. Cities have that nice energy of crowds, of vibrant diversity, but suburbs don't have much energy. Maybe just a quiet buzzing, but not as much as the vibrant energy of the city. I don't know why though.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac too. I remember thinking I was dying, but luckily, that was just a product of excessive anxiety. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Monday, July 14, 2003

(Warning: While there's no real way other than parental oversight to keep kids from looking at pictures of naked girls, if you are under 18, your mother would probably be angry if you clicked the following link) That said, they don't make them like this anymore. Real breasts, and even better- pubes. She's still in our cultural archetype of a 'skinny' girl, but at least she's got some real curves, not just silicone.
This is one kickass interview. Instead of advocating namby pamby excuses for racism, Noel Ignatiev wants to totally dismantle this system of racism, and he wants whites to help, instead of sitting back and making excuses for the racism of whites, and blaming the whole problem on blacks.

I also have to give him props for having a journal called Race Traitor. It has that good PR punch that can get this message heard, instead of just sitting back with the Journal of Social Psychology, maybe doing good work, but not grabbing that media coverage.

Although I'd like to know how he went from doing all these blue collar jobs to teaching history at Harvard..

Saturday, July 12, 2003

I watched a movie yesterday, and let me tell you, I feel much better about not going to the movies very often. I don't require movies to be all deep and nuanced, although that is a plus. But watching Pirates of the Caribbean, all I wanted the protagonists to do is to jump in a lake. There was all this dire danger and daringdo, but no reason for me to care about it.

That's all I really want from a movie-to feel some emotional reaction. I want to laugh, I want to cry, I want to be completely engrossed in that movie from beginning to end. I want to worry about the characters and hope they get their goals. Anything less, and I might watch it on TV, but not pay for it.

I really need to watch a good full blooded movie, with a strong plot and interesting characters, and jokes that are funny and drama that's dramatic. I really can't stand the summer.

Friday, July 11, 2003

It seems like I nearly pissed my self laughing. Now this is funny.
Link potpourri today. Let's start off with some vintage erotica! It's a rarity to see big natural breasts with such nice shape. A good old rant about the suckiness of teen magazines is nice to see. A bit shopworn, but still servicable! President Bush should take personal responsibility for his lying to the American people, I think. Coverage of people who want thier legs cut off, and the psychologists who enable them! Nice biting commentary on the state of psychology today. More Potter! and a page for neuroscience majors for no reason whatsoever.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Whining rocks. I am surely in favor of whining. However, I don't think I like bitching. I think the difference is that whining is about something that deep down in your soul, pisses in your cornflakes, and licks all the frosting off your cookies. Bitching is about stuff that doesn't really bother you. Noone is really deep down in their soul cheesed off because folks want them to not rip them off.

That said, I want to whine about something. My cousin's little baby goes to daycare, and they decided to put perm in her head! Perm in a three year old's head,and the baby already has sores in her head. Not to mention little kids scratch where it itches and when their heads itch, they scratch. So they decided to do something extremely painful AND unneeded Baby is all broke out, it's a wonder she hasn't lost all her hair, what with that mess on it. If grown women want to mutilate themselves, it's fine and good, but you better leave other folk children alone.

If I have a kid, he or she will have natural hair unless they come to me and are like mama, I want a perm, and only if they were over the age of eleven. Folks shouldn't be sued, they should be whupped.
Maybe Freaks and Geeks will be out by Xmas! Another coup for good TV fans! Some will bitch because they actually have to sell the DVDs and cover costs, and that sucks since those people are the very first people to say think positive if you have a *real* problem...

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Presidents have been impeached for smaller lies.
Another library reflection. While we were in the black section, my mom saw "It's All Good Hair" and said she wished that she had that book when I was little, because then I would have liked my hair more. I think I am touched.

I'd also like to note that no kid under five should be having no perm on their heads. Learn to braid folks, don't damage those babies' hair! Thank you.
Today I went to the library. I went in for How the Irish Became White, Fast Food Nation and Let's Talk Hair, and came out with HTIBW, Fast Food Nation, Tenderheaded, Roots, a collection of contemporary black poetry, and a book on natural hair care. I was trying to be good, but then I walked into the black section by mistake.

Some people may complain, but the library serves the community, and if the community has a lot of black history projects or wants to learn how to braid hair, the library should follow that. Many people ignore what a great resource the library is.

For no money, you can get the works of the world. Richard Wright educated himself on a library card, for heaven's sake. Some people say they don't have time to read books, but that is usually bologna, since they tend to have time to watch a million self hate promoting sitcoms, yet can't read a book about how to love your self and keep your money in your pocket.

I'm not the type who thinks that serious mental illness can be snapped out of by magic or that positive thinking will suddenly make you hot or something, but dude, if you make time for it, it's certainly important to you, eh?

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Man, I saw a woman wearing the sort of flared dress I want on BET. (Never fear, my brain isn't melting, I just glanced for a second) Hopefully this will be the new style so I can get them at a cheap clothing store. My mother may ask where I'd wear it, but seriously, some days I can't get out of bed if I don't have a nice fancy outfit to bribe myself with.

Of course, I should feel bad that I don't have any original fashion impulses, but at least I notice that I am terribly dull and unoriginal.

Monday, July 07, 2003

I like the idea of calling conservatives utopian anarchists. Also, these people have a picture of a real woman naked. Wooo! I'm too lazy to write, why do I suck?

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Man, am I glad I don't shop at Abercrombie and Fitch! While not as socially on top of things as I should be, at least I know that outright discrimination is wrong. Some people will try to make up elaborate rationalizations to say that maybe it's just a coincidence or that all these people are just making it up to get money. Some will listen, and keep their mouths shut.

However, I think that's silly. If folks are fucking you over, being silent won't help anything. The people being asses won't see your silence and say "Look at Bob being so compliant with our white is right philosophy! He's our special minority now- to the counter with him!"

That won't happen. Not to mention, just not opposing this philosophy isn't enough to eliminate it. Just ignoring the existence of racial differences isn't going to make bias disappear. Everyone lacks balls nowadays. Oh, we don't want to confront racial differences or the existence of gays-let's just say all the other races are just lying or try to ban gays from ever having equal rights, that'll fix the problem!

No, it won't. We need to collectively stop being pussies and get in there and start kicking ass.
I don't know how I feel about retro. On one hand, I hope that the stores start selling dresses with nice full circular skirts, even for small sized women since I can never find anything in my size, seriously. I don't want to look like a skanky 13 year old, I want to look like a very short adult, thank you. I've seen a few of these in stores, but only stores where all the dresses cost more than $50, or stores that only stock from size 6- I guess if you're under, you have to dress like a fucking whore,eh? But, isn't it time for something new?

A whole new aesthetic would be nice. Romantic has played out, hoochie has played out, dressing like your mother, father or grandparents has played out. It's supposedly a new beginning, but fashion is so dull these days, even with my clothes mania. I guess the good fashion hasn't yet difused down to my level, but still..
There's always room for art.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

It seems that Viz has that yummy Azumanga manga. Also Nerve.com gets to the bottom of the bias against bis. It seems silly to me to expect everyone to only like one sex. I mean, if you've accepted that some people like girls, and some like guys, how much of a stretch can it be to think that some people like both. It seems that human variety is infinitely flexible, but the human perception of that variety can be pretty narrow.
I finally drew something in perspective yesterday. All my life I have struggled with perspective- I simply couldn't do it. Everything I drew was curiously flat. Now at least I've done it once, and might even do it again. I love to draw, but I can't draw at all.

Drawing out of my imagination is even worse since I tend to need a model of some sort to draw anything that looks halfway like it's supposed to look. It's good to have had made some progress this summer.

Although, learning how to twist my hair up is an improvement, too. While I twist it using two strands, it ends up looking like bantu knots. Here's a good article on natural hair with a focus on FAMU.

Friday, July 04, 2003

My new wallpaper, and a quote. "Join me in the hope that this story of our people can help to alleviate the legacies of the fact that preponderantly the histories have been written by the winners" - Alex Haley, Roots. I saw this quote in the front of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. I'll have more about this when I finish, but it seems to me that Packer's stories help alleviate this fact greatly. They don't shy away from such problems as the reflexive racism of children, the filth that sometimes infests a church that is supposed to be clean, and just the real lives of people in general.
A warm and fuzzy view of the Iraq war. Happy July 4th! However, I am pretty annoyed at my lack of fabric cutting skills. I'd like a headband, but one that is cut straight. Although, when I was a child, and took the assessment for kindergarten, I couldn't cut paper, although I could read the instructions. However, I don't seem to be able to get anything straight.

When I draw, my lines are never straight or clean, the way that some people can make them. When I write, my letters are always chickenscracth, and noone can read them. Even with much practice, my hands are never steady. I think my hands have gotten even more unsteady. I used to draw with a very thick line, pressing down very hard, but now I draw more sketch like, with lots of little lines. Both are terrible ways to draw, though. It seems annoying to not have any hidden talents or anything, or any dazzling people skills.

Being a regular jane without the benefit of the average person's charm seems like a big impediment to my future. I'd like to not live in a cardboard box, but it seems that I'll end up that way.
I like the song Humpty Dumpty by Aimee Mann, because it actually tells the truth. This woman is broken beyond repair, and nothing this guy can do can fix it. Most of the time, we don't get the truth. In the movies, the crippled always walk by a miracle, the single always get love, the mentally ill always get well. Even if that doesn't happen, some whole individual gets some valuable lesson from their pain.

But in reality, it doesn't work like that, no matter how much we'd like to pretend it does. People's minds, bodies, and souls can be broken beyond repair. Sometimes people get here broken, sometimes they just break, but people end up broken all the time. We try to pretend it doesn't happen. We hide the dying in hospitals, not acknowledging that they exist, we don't build enough places for the mentally ill to live-the institution is full, the group home is full, and the families don't want to be reminded of the fact that someone is crazy, that they are broken beyond repair. We give the people whose souls are broken platitudes, and blame them, because we simply can't deal with the idea that people can be broken.

I'm sure some people have the bravery to face this. I'm sure that someone that people listen to will alert everyone else someday. However, those are probably foolish hopes. Noone wants to give up their safe bubble in which only reality TV and fucking matters. Maybe the only people who know that people can be broken are the ones that noone will listen to, because the mere knowledge of this taints them in the eyes of others in some way. I don't know. I'd just like people to acknowledge this, and to face it bravely.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Here is an article about the troops in Iraq, and the problems that they face. An interesting point at the end- some soldiers think that Saddam caused 9/11, when no Iraqis were involved.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

I'm finishing up my essay, and man, am I tired. I'm not one of those people who can work all day, and then work extra at night, and still be chipper. However, I'm doing my best to get a little scholarship, even if I'm not bringing down mad cash. First semester of freshman year, my finances would have been doomed except for a well timed check for $250. Most people's parents give them money when they go off to college, but mine expect me to work with the amount of money I already have. It's not like it is hard, since I have a meal plan and student housing, and work study, but I take pride in not blowing all my cash like many people do. I am pretty aware that I am not a golden child, and am not going to be pulling in six figures, so it makes sense for someone like me to learn how to keep their cash in order. If you wanted a point, you're not going to get one, but remember, it's not how much money you make, it's how much you keep.