Thursday, August 28, 2003

Context is very important in how you are viewed. I have been seen as a doctor, a college student, a teen mom, a little kid, a church going girl, and near everything else because of context. If I am wearing a white lab coat and in a hospital, I'm a doctor. If I'm walking around on a college campus, I'm an educated sista, if my cousin's kid is bothering me for candy in a store, I'm a teen mom, if I'm at a church picnic, I'm a Christian.

So don't let anyone say to you that context is not important. You can get treated differently because of context. I once got thanked for my good work by a man in line with me because I was wearing a lab coat. He might not have spoke to me if I was wearing a halter top and makeup and appearing to be a sexy teen.

People's whole lives depend a lot on environment, but we ignore the effects. If you're surrounded with church going people, it looks like everyone goes to church, if you live in a town with intellectuals, what 'everyone knows' changes. We think that just we determine the course of our lives. It's very tempting, I guess to think that we are the masters of our own destiny.

I'm not saying we have no choice in how our lives go, but our choices are bounded by the environment we are in. Since I am an upper middle class American, I chose to come to college. If I lived in Nepal, that might not have been an option. I hope that this has made sense and given someone something to talk about.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Read the 8th post, and then think about what the bully would say to rationalize things. I'm sure it'd go something like this. "Man, that fag deserved it. If he wasn't tough enough to take a bit of jibing, so what? It's not my problem" Maybe making excuses for evil is the most evil thing of all.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

I propose we have a linguistic change. Reverse racism would apply to all whining and griping about stupid stuff- whether it's a black man who is calling a white woman a racist for sneezing on him or a white man who got a 1050 on the SAT and a 2.5 GPA complaining because a black man with a 1400 on the SAT and a 4.0 GPA got into Brown instead of him.

The term racism would be reserved for fun stuff like a police officer beating up a cuffed suspect or a mob of blacks beating up a white for no good reason except for being in the wrong neighborhood. I think it would be terrible for the white guy who had experienced real racism to be grouped into guys who are just mad because they need someone to blame their problems on.

Here is also an interesting post on the origins of racism. I'm not sure if I agree or disagree, but you can read it for yourself.

Friday, August 22, 2003

I don't understand religious people. This guy could have put the monument in the front yard of a church, and everyone would be happy. This may be because I'm not a 'true believer' but there's a time and a place for things. Just because I can put a pentagram on the walls of my room if I so desire, doesn't mean I can use taxpayer money and put a pentagram in public places. The people defending this guy would probably oppose my putting a pentagram in the court house, but if you let one religion in, you have to let them all in.

I never got why they don't just be religious in church and in their personal life, but realize that there are a lot of different religions out there. For example, you never hear of Jews trying to make people pray in schools. They go, practice their religion and don't bother anyone with it. I'm sure their God is pleased, and noone else has to be bothered about their personal beliefs.
I read Forbidden Dance. It's a strong if slightly formalaic story of a girl who has lost her dancing edge, and seeks to join an all male troupe. Reading the little manga author comments, I felt suddenly as if I'd like to make comics. The only problem is that I can't draw. I am pretty amazed that this story is so good as the author came in knowing nothing about ballet. It's very inspiring. Tokyopop is having another Rising Stars of Manga contest. I hope they have them for years to come because I need to learn to draw.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Today I popped over to WaldenBooks and got Death:At Death's Door, Forbidden Dance and Choke. Death is adorable, although parts are copied verbatim from Season of Mists, there's enough new fun to keep me satisfied. Also, manga is the future, says some comics blog guy.

Also, this is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I know that teen sex isn't very kosher, but calling the cops? Millions of teens are fucking every day, and they are trying to give someone a felony charge for it. Why don't they go back to prosecuting real crimes, like dirty old men fucking young girls? I mean, how is this sexual assault? A real victim of sexual assault would probably be incensed by the idea that some 14 year olds fooling around is supposedly just as bad as being attacked by some monster. Man, this is one place where I think personal responsbility should be used.
Here's a page touting how much better widescreen is than fullscreen. I've always wondered why some people don't like widescreen- would they rather not see part of the picture so it can cover the screen? I mean, if the director wanted it to be in that aspect ratio it would have been. Then again, I tend to watch movies for the first time on DVD, so I want an experience close to the theater experience, yet without overpriced snacks and screaming kids.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Don't do this in the workplace. It's not cool.
I'm offended by people trying to paint over the mural at Bolton High School. As a black person, I think that if we don't adknowledge that some people, even founders of schools, were Confederates or slave traders, and the like, we run the risk of wiping out history. Then people will be misinformed and lack context for why say, not being a racist asshole is a bad idea. People give short shrift to history, because they think that the present happened in a vaccum, but I say that nothing happens in a vaccum, everything is affected by something.
The problem with this argument is most 'file sharers' don't care about the artists. I mean, there are tons of services for people who want to try things out cheaply without stealing(emusic, fairtunes,etc). A few people are ethical downloaders and will just try it out, but the problem is that the thousands of people who are just freeriding are ruining this for the people who do this. They go steal tons of stuff and then say they didn't want it, as if that makes it alright. The problem is that there's no way that the decent file sharers can be differentated from people who just think stealing is kewl, every1's doing it! I wonder if this is subject to the 80/20 rule(20% of the downloaders do 80% of the downloading) or not.

Maybe taxes are the way for everyone to be happy. Artists and all others in the music industry would get paid, people would have the superfical freedom to steal,etc. You know, I think I'm for this, except for I have to think about it.

Monday, August 18, 2003

I love these paintings. I never have had any artistic talent, no matter how much I draw. It's pretty sad not being good at anything.
This is a fun site. Mouse over the image for what it really looks like before the airbrush. So women- it's all fake. Eat some food now.

Also, the effects of not knowing that those porn photos were manipulated. So guys get out of the house and look at some actual women!
This web site sells test kits so that people can take Esctasy and still be safe. I personally wouldn't use it, because I feel my serotonin* levels may be off, but hey, if people want to party, let them.

*link leads to infomative slide show on how Esctasy works.
Something that interests me lately is the idea of the communist choice*. It's when people (or even you) think you have a choice, but you don't. For example, migrant farm workers. You could say they choose to work in bad fields like strawberry picking, but without education, and connections and knowing the language, they really can't get a better job. There's also no time off where you can get an education, either.

But people think they choose to be poor, even though it's not the case. Why people think there are no communist choices, that every man is a master of their own destiny is a mystery to me.

(*Communist Choice A situation in a game where you are presented with a choice, but if you choose one of the choices, you just have to choose again until you choose the choice the game wants you to choose. (I did not come up with this term; I don't know who did, but I claim no credit for it.) )

Sunday, August 17, 2003

I don't like people who are like goldfish. They seeming live outside of time, outside of causes and effects. History doesn't matter because it happened before you were born. I wonder if it is because I am so young that history seems so near, but things that happened before 1984 were important. I mean, they put a man on the moon, for goodness sakes.

It seems weird to think that noone has a context. That people are all individual actors without family or friends or culture. That when many women decide to live on their owns to live on cheeseburgers without buns that there's no greater context. That all of human history occurs in a vacuum without the past flowing into the future.

I see the past and the present as a big story. There are causes and there are effects. My mother and my father lived barely streets apart. If one of them had moved when they were teens, would I have been born? How would my life have been if my grandfather had never been working for the department of defense? Would father still have gone to college and got such a good paying job?

I guess I'm a strange person.
Scary Godmother DVD! Region 1!
I read Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) today, and it was great. It's good to see stories that show the emotional core of events, and subjectivity. This is what I always love about shoujo stories. How things feel is depicted as much as how things are. This is important because how things feel is what is ninety nine percent of the events in life.

I also like the lower prices lately. To compete with Tokyopop, Viz has made some of their books smaller and cheaper, which is great. Even American comics companies have followed. Jill Thompson's At Death's Door has debuted with 15,000 copies sold just in the direct market, hopefully spring boarding low price, cute GNs up a notch at the big comics companies.
Here's a bit of African history, and a reminder to do research before opening your mouth.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Fuck Hip Hop.
Oh my gosh, Jill Thompson's Death GN has been out, and I didn't even know. I really need to get some energy back. I really love comics, they have this sort of energy I never get from any other meduim.
Something Awful makes fun of those moronic Creationists.
If you don't know shit about something, don't talk smack. If you don't know, read a fucking book. Get some knowledge in your head. You can think for yourself, and get some actual knowledge to go along with stereotypes.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

I think the Bush Adminstration should support our troops, darn it. Also, here's an article about the brave people fighting in Iraq.
A new study about the minimum wage shows that it's not cool for adults. I could be all snooty and say they deserve it, but it's not like I climbed any great mountain to be where I am. I merely survived elementary, middle and high school, and in all that time, all you had to do to be a success was show up. It is not because of some great power within myself that I am in this position. It is good luck- my ego credits me with a few good decisions along the way, but it is not like I did anything really.
I have seen benches advertising things about the city. Outside the Memphis Mental Health Institute, there is a bench saying "Jesus Loves Born Children". It used to say "Jesus Loves Unborn Children" but I think the new slogan is better.
"We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionares and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't. We're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I don't respect people who are bigoted against gays. This is a good litmus test for assholes, I think. If you are willing to hate someone who didn't do anything to you, and can't possibly affect your life with their trait over flimsy reasons like "other people don't like them" or "some book said so"(although, the Bible does say "love thy neighbor"), you're probably not going to split hairs over hating someone because they wear different clothes, or a different hairstyle.

I remember I knew this girl in high school, who incidentally was a lesbian. She was a Christian, but people thought she was a devil worshiper because she dressed a bit gothic at times. Whereas I, by dint of my fairly conservative clothing, was thought of as a religious girl, while in reality, I am pretty much an atheist. It's not like my puny human mind has the power to grasp whether there are omnipotent beings creating universes or not, so it's pretty silly to base your life around something you probably don't even understand.

That's the crazy thing about religion. People are talking about things they have no way of knowing about, and totally basing their lives around it. It'd be OK if it was like well, I prefer to think this way, but if you think another way, it's good too. (Although, I do know some religious people like that. That's good because they aren't easily tempted into hate, you know?) But many people want to destroy people's lives over this, and it's crazy.

It's like September 11th. People totally ignored any good words this Allah has said, and decide to kill people because of what? Because of a few lines that someone could have misinterpreted? I just don't understand.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

"The administration has developed a highly effective propaganda machine to imbed in the public mind mythologies that grow out of the one central doctrine that all of the special interests agree on, which -- in its purest form -- is that government is very bad and should be done away with as much as possible -- except the parts of it that redirect money through big contracts to industries that have won their way into the inner circle." <--It's that wacky Mr. Gore!

Monday, August 11, 2003

A nice warning to people who want to be writers- print on demand services are not a gateway to writing success. So many people want to be writers that they fall for any old scam- but remember- if you're paying money to be published, that's not the way it works. Also, places with actual editing get more respect since the editor serves as the gatekeeper. Even if the story is not guaranteed to be good, at least they ran spell check a few times, which is more than you can say for places that just take anything. So don't be scammed, be savvy,k?

Sunday, August 10, 2003

It's time for link potpourri! The horrors of broken dreams on the department store floor, some African American art(look below the hip hop drawings to get to the good stuff), romantic advice that's not sappy, a sci fi e zine a writer's guidelines database, and bigfatblog on 'weighing obesity'- a series about whether fat is really as bad as we think.
Paradoxes are funny. On one hand, I'd like to be loved, on the other hand, I'd like to be myself. This is a very big problem as I have not figured out the answer yet. The interesting part is that this dilemma reminds me of the little mermaid. She became human and got her love, but every step was like walking on glass. (this is in the original) but if she had stayed a mermaid, would she have been happier forgetting about love? I don't know. Oh, and if comments work, they are provided by Squawkbox.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

We Wear The Mask by Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Friday, August 08, 2003

Blacks espeically need to boycott all sorts of self hating trash, of which this article speaks.
Here is my wallpaper of the week. Frida's life was beautifully illustrated in Los Bros Hernandez' graphic novel "Flies On The Ceiling"
The idea for today is the pathology of the normal. Let's all remember that just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right or the only way to be. Also, yesterday I found another rock. I seem to have tons of unusual rocks in my bedroom, but the whys and wherefores are lost to me. It's not like a collection, more of a "that's a cool rock, I am saving it". This one is smooth like my pink quartz, but is scratched up, and smaller. I don't know what sort of rock it is, but it is a dark purple, suggesting an amethyst.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Hair stuff, and a check on the price shows they don't cost too much. Heaven.

I'd like to note that supporting small merchants is good. I also find that supporting black merchants is a good idea, people need to be getting out and selling stuff and becoming successful. Too many people are going into debt trying to look rich, you(in general) need to get in debt trying to be rich.
A nice rant/social critique, although I don't think you should be allowed to put allusions to the Nazis in there unless they are absolutely needed.Since Nazis are such a powerful and evil image, they tend to be overplayed. Here's a highlight from the article-

The 'rules' of New Thought( basically all that new age, positive thinking crap that's been so popular lately. A note- this is copyright Geoffrey Hill, from 1997)
Conform and compromise at all costs. Above all, never doubt the manipulative mind science of the leaders, especially the ones who use mass hypnosis.
Stop thinking, questioning and critiquing. This is where negativity comes from. Eradicate it immediately. Why ask why? Your mind is only a part of your flesh, which must be quashed to allow your higher self (or your older member, according to Heaven's Gate) to be revealed.
Deny that there is evil, disease or death in the world. These only cloud your vision of happiness. Besides, these are the most negative of all thoughts. Such thoughts, above all others, must be eliminated forever.
Deny that you or anybody else lives in the real world. If you really want to reveal your higher self, your divinity, you must lighten the load by denying you have a real body. One way of doing this, of course, is through castration.
Think positively at all times, and pretend that you don't live in the same world as the vast majority of suffering humanity. Let the poor and oppressed pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Charity only gets in the way of your own progress.
If you ever happen to become a victim of oppression, prejudice, political famine, ethnic cleansing, genocide, abuse, or sickness, realize that its your own fault, and that all problems can be corrected by positive thinking.
To reinforce this state of happiness, surround yourself with others of like mind who subscribe to the exact same mindset. Ostracize any negative thinkers who remind you that there's such a thing as shit in the world

This is a thoughtful little blog entry by someone else. I wonder how we can get others to learn to value children. Because face it, noone who values something lets it get destoryed if they can help it, or neglects it because of more important things(such as chasing the almighty dollars)

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

I like the idea in here that we are allowed to be angry. He is absolutely right about who the winners are when we're not allowed to be angry, or to protest ill treatment. People often act like the actual anger is the problem, not what caused it. However, whenever you try to treat the effect, without treating the cause, it'll just happen again.

Once I had a little grease fire burning on the stove. Instead of putting water on it (that is very dangerous, BTW), I turned the stove off. When the heat source stopped, the fire stopped.

That's a good analogy for me, because when I feel my rights and feelings are being disrespected and ignored, I get angry. It is not because of some huge personal flaw that I should try to psychobabble away, it's because I want respect- a basic human need. You don't get respect by pretending it's your fault when it wasn't. You don't get respect by being passive. You get it by standing up for yourself. So fuck anyone who says I shouldn't.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Here's an article on how they airbursh models. This is important for both men and women, but especially men. Guys say they won't lose touch with how women really look, but I doubt that. Some guys are shocked that women have pubic hair, for goodness sakes.

Monday, August 04, 2003

I am aware that most file sharers aren't honest. Their excuses are as paperthin as they are lame. "It only takes .5 cents to make a CD!"(totally ignoring the fact that it costs money to record the CD, people work recording the CD, the building in which the CD is recorded needs to be heated and cooled, etc) or "They are too expensive" (i.e. you don't know how to shop. You have money for what you want to buy.) but for those who honestly want an alternative to ripping people off, here they are. Never pay that cripping fifteen dollars again! Because while you had the money to buy four hundred dollar shoes, that fifteen bucks is just going to break you. For CDs, you don't have to pay a crippling $12 per CD(because while you had money to get drunk all night,and pay well over twenty and thirty bucks doing it, but somehow your favorite artist isn't worth it. And if you were sampling new music, you'd be downloading something not on the radio, so don't give me that. Also, you'd be buying the good stuff, asshole.) You could act like you had some sense and get your MP3s from emusic(but $10-$14 a month for unlimited mp3s would just break you) or for lucky folk, you could get an ipod(the device actually is expensive, but is pretty cool)

Or you could buy second hand, and at least not help the people who go around ruining things for everyone. While the RIAA shouldn't sue everyone, people did go a bit overboard. There are some honest MP3 users out there- those who just want mixtapes of stuff they own, those who download bands who say "download our stuff, it's great for us!" and those who just try out and then buy the CD. But for the majority, if you're broke, just listen to the radio, since you're not listening to some great unsung little local band, you're listening to Pink and Avril. You guys really fucked things up for the honest people, I worry. Instead of thinking for yourself, thinking longterm or thinking period, you just decided to act stupid.

Here is an extremely well thought out little article about this. Instead of simplistic rhetoric, the guy actually thought about it. I'd reccomend thinking about it too. Why don't you take out a text on economics in the library? Improve your mind.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Yay! Pretty rocks! When I was a child, my mother would drag me to crafts fairs and everytime, there was someone with some table of shiny rocks like this. I wonder if somehow they were late 90s new agers, but when I was a kid, I didn't care. I paid my fifty cents, and walked about proudly with my selection in its mini zip loc bag.

I really like these smooth tumbled rocks, since you can play with them, and it's really relaxing. I also like to hear the powers people attribute to these stones. I like myths of all kinds, for some reason.
Go pubes! Fight back against the pube oppression! I am worried about this generation of men. If they grow up on porn, how are they going to deal with the fact that women often have pubic hair?

Friday, August 01, 2003

This guy is really liberal. I like that.
Obligatory link to blog listing site.
Social Causes Link of the Day: Are Maasai film roles exploitative?
I just now noticed this on the back of the birthday card my brother gave me.


Adventurous journeys marked by many changes of fortune, the Odysessy could be literal or psychic Extensive intellectual or spiritual wandering is a quest for learning, growing, experencing. Our subject looks to the future as the clock hand points to the east for new beginnings"

Somehow my day is much brighter now. I also found the rock from my box. It's a pale pink stone that I got from one of the crafts fairs my mother used to drag me to. I would crave the beautiful stones they sold, and would always get one or two.