Archive | October, 2007

Good Point, Anonymous

31 Oct

” Why are sales the marker of artistic excelence?”

Do you know? Because I don’t. I’m just sitting in my room, innocently trying to study geology, when that whale of a question was poised on Frosted Flake’s radio show. How am I supposed to concentrate on the ozone layer and river systems now with more interesting thoughts meandering on the perephrials of my mind?It’s like that little brother that pokes you until you pay attention to him….fuck. So this is why I am dedicating a solid 6 minutes to thinking about this to get it out of my mind before i get back to the wonderful world of weathering rocks and rivers:

This was a reference to 50 cent betting with kanye west that he would retire as an ‘artist’ if his record didn’t outsell kanyes.Kanye’s album was titled ” N*GGER”, which doesn’t exactly should ‘grab me’ from a Sam Goody shelf. So absurd situation aside, do sales really measure artistic excelence? Maybe. Things that involve more ingenuity,creativity, time and human effort seem to cost more. Like if the Sistine Chapel were for sale, it would cost a gillion euros, and that would be an acurate measure of its excelence. But I think the focus is less on how much it sold for, and more about how many it sold. 50 Cent is like a Big Mac: a cheap brand name that uses juicy imagery ( in the form of video vixons and beef patties, respectivly) to stimulate a humans deeper cravings ( of sex and food, respectivly) and leave them wanting more. And unless marketing is now synonymous with artistic excelence, I really doubt that sales has much to do with the quality of the product. Go ahead, call me a cynical sally. But how else do you explain the way the number 1 movies in the boxoffice are always really shitty, plot recycled duds produced by major film companies who spend 40% of the funcding on hiring A’ish list actors, 40% on advirtising and promoting, and 10% on anything else that makes a movie good? I didn’t realize realize the paramount ( hah, pun intended) importance that marketing plays–it forms our opinions for us.And because most things are subjective, like artistic excelence, if we are convinced that the 50 cent album makes bethoveen look like linus from snoopy, then we buy his album and redefine the bar for what artistic excelence is.This is dangerous, hella dangerous.

I guess this entire debate leads back to the definition of ‘art.’ I guess it’s a personal definition. If one defines it as accessible and transperant, than 50 cent would be a great artist. Personally, i think art is a window, gateway or portal to the experiance of another or a reflection or statement that responates within oneself that a person wrestles with to make meaning of the art and themself.Good art, that is. I think accsessibility is irrelevant to good art. 50 cent isn’t even art, he’s entertainment. He barely has a message. Oh except that you an find him in the club, if you need him. I really don’t undersatnd some of these entertainers, but the way. If someone were to give me a microphone and the world was listening, I may mention sippin on bub in da club like once, but otherwise, there are other topics i would use my ‘talent’ , ability, and world attention towards. It’s strange to me that someone wouldn’t, that soemone who did work hard for fame would so quickly glamorize his struggles and normalize his newfound extravagance, instead of the otherway around to send a message.

So 50 can sell as much as he wants, i don’t think it makes good art. It makes a good publicist, a following of sheeple, and sucking the tit of commodity culture.

Good Point, Anonymous

30 Oct

” Why are sales the marker of artistic excelence?”

Do you know? Because I don’t. I’m just sitting in my room, innocently trying to study geology, when that whale of a question was poised on Frosted Flake’s radio show. How am I supposed to concentrate on the ozone layer and river systems now with more interesting thoughts meandering on the perephrials of my mind?It’s like that little brother that pokes you until you pay attention to him….fuck. So this is why I am dedicating a solid 6 minutes to thinking about this to get it out of my mind before i get back to the wonderful world of weathering rocks and rivers:

This was a reference to 50 cent betting with kanye west that he would retire as an ‘artist’ if his record didn’t outsell kanyes.Kanye’s album was titled ” N*GGER”, which doesn’t exactly should ‘grab me’ from a Sam Goody shelf. So absurd situation aside, do sales really measure artistic excelence? Maybe. Things that involve more ingenuity,creativity, time and human effort seem to cost more. Like if the Sistine Chapel were for sale, it would cost a gillion euros, and that would be an acurate measure of its excelence. But I think the focus is less on how much it sold for, and more about how many it sold. 50 Cent is like a Big Mac: a cheap brand name that uses juicy imagery ( in the form of video vixons and beef patties, respectivly) to stimulate a humans deeper cravings ( of sex and food, respectivly) and leave them wanting more. And unless marketing is now synonymous with artistic excelence, I really doubt that sales has much to do with the quality of the product. Go ahead, call me a cynical sally. But how else do you explain the way the number 1 movies in the boxoffice are always really shitty, plot recycled duds produced by major film companies who spend 40% of the funcding on hiring A’ish list actors, 40% on advirtising and promoting, and 10% on anything else that makes a movie good? I didn’t realize realize the paramount ( hah, pun intended) importance that marketing plays–it forms our opinions for us.And because most things are subjective, like artistic excelence, if we are convinced that the 50 cent album makes bethoveen look like linus from snoopy, then we buy his album and redefine the bar for what artistic excelence is.This is dangerous, hella dangerous.

I guess this entire debate leads back to the definition of ‘art.’ I guess it’s a personal definition. If one defines it as accessible and transperant, than 50 cent would be a great artist. Personally, i think art is a window, gateway or portal to the experiance of another or a reflection or statement that responates within oneself that a person wrestles with to make meaning of the art and themself.Good art, that is. I think accsessibility is irrelevant to good art. 50 cent isn’t even art, he’s entertainment. He barely has a message. Oh except that you an find him in the club, if you need him. I really don’t undersatnd some of these entertainers, but the way. If someone were to give me a microphone and the world was listening, I may mention sippin on bub in da club like once, but otherwise, there are other topics i would use my ‘talent’ , ability, and world attention towards. It’s strange to me that someone wouldn’t, that soemone who did work hard for fame would so quickly glamorize his struggles and normalize his newfound extravagance, instead of the otherway around to send a message.

So 50 can sell as much as he wants, i don’t think it makes good art. It makes a good publicist, a following of sheeple, and sucking the tit of commodity culture.

lightbulbs

29 Oct

I’ve been alive for nearly 2 decades. Naturally, lots of stuff has crossed my mind. This book, A Dying Colonialism, has made me think of things that I’ve never thought of before–that didn’t exist to me. I love it when that happens. Stuff like role of the doctor/patient relationship in the midst of a revolution is something that I wouldn’t have even known to think about. When this happens, it gets me amped to keep on keepin on with the school buzzinasss.I know there is so much more I don’t know, it’s awesome.

A run down of the retreat this weekend: it was fun.

My personal cheer and jeer:

Jeer: I have a geology midterm, two psyc papers, and two quizes coming up in the 10 days chunk.
Cheer: it’s been a really good week, so i have no reason to doubt that this coming week should be any different.

lightbulbs

28 Oct

I’ve been alive for nearly 2 decades. Naturally, lots of stuff has crossed my mind. This book, A Dying Colonialism, has made me think of things that I’ve never thought of before–that didn’t exist to me. I love it when that happens. Stuff like role of the doctor/patient relationship in the midst of a revolution is something that I wouldn’t have even known to think about. When this happens, it gets me amped to keep on keepin on with the school buzzinasss.I know there is so much more I don’t know, it’s awesome.

A run down of the retreat this weekend: it was fun.

My personal cheer and jeer:

Jeer: I have a geology midterm, two psyc papers, and two quizes coming up in the 10 days chunk.
Cheer: it’s been a really good week, so i have no reason to doubt that this coming week should be any different.

"responsibility"

27 Oct

I’m gone all weekend starting at 8 something am tomorrow. Again. Last weekend I had to leave at 7 something am on saturday, so i guess this is improvement. This isn’t the most convenient weekend to leave with a few papers and a midterm and a few exams coming up, oh yeah and Halloween, but realistically, no weekend is really that convenient to take off. Point being, tonight I read a book about the Algerian Revolution wrote a reading response because I’m trying this new thing called balance, and I want my fun time to be purely fun timewith no stress attached. Anyway, the book turned out to be really interesting. My reading response isn’t that interesting ,( are any reading responses interesting?) and the writing is crappy because its just a blackboard assignment but i think it’s important stuff to be aware of, therefore:

(wait, ps, there is a couple screaming outside my door right now. aw,cute. they are officially the most irrational people i have ever heard. this is entertaining)

A Dying Colonialism by Frantz Fanon was, for many years, banned in France for it’s sympathetic tone towards the Algerian cause regarding the Algerian Revolution from France during the late 1950’s. After reading A Dying Colonialism, I see why the French would find it advantageous to restrict circulation of this book in their country in order to preserve their national ego as a proper and civilized nation. In a post-war context, I suspect that the French would not be too surprised to discover details of the Algerian Revolution that are usually associated with war: mutual violence, torture, death, prisoners of war, people consciously choosing their country over their lives, etc. The more surprising and shameful realization the French people would have come to from this book would not be the drastically unequal ratio of Algerian lives lost over French lives, but rather the attempts and methods by which the French aimed to forcefully acculturate the Algerians to French ways. Killing a person is much more impermanent than killing a culture.
A tactic of cultural domination that Fanon discusses which powerfully struck me is the way in which France attempted to use the Algerian women as tools, staking claim to their bodies and space as justification and for the French ‘civilized’ presence in Algeria:“ We want to make the Algerian ashamed of the fate that he metes out to women (pg. 38).” This supposed dreadful fate was, in part, a reference to the veil and seclusion. If France were to succeed in making the Algerian men feel guilty about this aspect of their culture, and moreover, the women want to attain the same exhibition as French women, then the Algerians would be in a vulnerable state, placed below the French pedestal. Fanon explains that the French figured out to control the Algerian women was to control Algeria, and they implemented both tangible and rhetorical means to achieve this goal. French men would no longer only invite Algerian male co-workers alone to dine with them and their French wife, they would insist that the Algerian wife came too. The purpose of this was to expose the Algerian wife to the French wife, who seemingly had more power through association with her husband, the boss, was unveiled and unconfined. An Algerian man then faced a juxtaposition: risking resisting this form of derogatory exploitation of his culture by not bringing his wife and the possibility of losing his job, or to bring his wife and foster a hierarchy which systematically gnawed at the legitimacy of his culture. Fanon describes the prior choice using gendered language, stating that by bringing the Algerian wife he would be “…prostituting his wife, exhibiting her, abandoning a mode of resistance (pg.40).”
Such strong gendered language is not to be taken lightly, but in this situation I think it effectively gets across the dynamic of using solely the body- not the character- of a woman for the satisfaction of a person other than that woman. Fanon again uses gendered language to describe the overlying function of the French domination in Algeria through women: “ Every veil that fell, every body that became liberated from the traditional embrace of the haik, every face that offered itself to the bold and impatient glance of the occupier, was a negative expression of the fact that Algeria was beginning to deny herself and was accepting the rape of the colonizer (pg. 42).”
Because Fanon’s use of gendered language is so bold and frequent, I have pondered why the French-Algerian dispute is described as a rape instead of a war. The French ignoring the Algerian’s saying ‘no’ to the French penetration of Algeria, France forcing Algeria to remain under it’s submission, the French making the Algerians feel guilty about their culture and customs to silence and manipulate them, and the French claiming symbolic license to the bodies of the Algerian women are all facets of this conflict I came up with which have a strong correlation with the concept of rape. Also, militarism (in this case, the French) is often emasculated and countries (in this case, Algeria) are often described as female, makes the concept of a military rape of a foreign nation clearer.
However, I’m not confidant that using the word ‘rape’ to illustrate the dynamic between Algeria and France is beneficial to either party, or completely accurate. Rape is an act motivated by aggression; the French rape of Algeria was motivated by economics, entitlement, and a strange, arrogant drive to ‘civilize’ the world. A more distinct contrast is that the active or passive form of resistance that a rape victim uses to escape, like fighting back or disassociating, are not successful in a rape; Fanon is not regarding the as the ‘attempted rape’ of Algeria. The Algerian people did resist the French presence actively and passively, through arms and through boycotts and veiling, and Algeria did achieve self-determination. To paint Algeria as a victim of rape is to undermine all of the hard-work and resistance efforts put forth to avoid a completed rape.
Frantz Fanon’s A Dying Colonialism has further helped me understand how nationalism and imperialism can play tug-o-war with women’s issues for their own personal gain.

"responsibility"

26 Oct

I’m gone all weekend starting at 8 something am tomorrow. Again. Last weekend I had to leave at 7 something am on saturday, so i guess this is improvement. This isn’t the most convenient weekend to leave with a few papers and a midterm and a few exams coming up, oh yeah and Halloween, but realistically, no weekend is really that convenient to take off. Point being, tonight I read a book about the Algerian Revolution wrote a reading response because I’m trying this new thing called balance, and I want my fun time to be purely fun timewith no stress attached. Anyway, the book turned out to be really interesting. My reading response isn’t that interesting ,( are any reading responses interesting?) and the writing is crappy because its just a blackboard assignment but i think it’s important stuff to be aware of, therefore:

(wait, ps, there is a couple screaming outside my door right now. aw,cute. they are officially the most irrational people i have ever heard. this is entertaining)

A Dying Colonialism by Frantz Fanon was, for many years, banned in France for it’s sympathetic tone towards the Algerian cause regarding the Algerian Revolution from France during the late 1950’s. After reading A Dying Colonialism, I see why the French would find it advantageous to restrict circulation of this book in their country in order to preserve their national ego as a proper and civilized nation. In a post-war context, I suspect that the French would not be too surprised to discover details of the Algerian Revolution that are usually associated with war: mutual violence, torture, death, prisoners of war, people consciously choosing their country over their lives, etc. The more surprising and shameful realization the French people would have come to from this book would not be the drastically unequal ratio of Algerian lives lost over French lives, but rather the attempts and methods by which the French aimed to forcefully acculturate the Algerians to French ways. Killing a person is much more impermanent than killing a culture.
A tactic of cultural domination that Fanon discusses which powerfully struck me is the way in which France attempted to use the Algerian women as tools, staking claim to their bodies and space as justification and for the French ‘civilized’ presence in Algeria:“ We want to make the Algerian ashamed of the fate that he metes out to women (pg. 38).” This supposed dreadful fate was, in part, a reference to the veil and seclusion. If France were to succeed in making the Algerian men feel guilty about this aspect of their culture, and moreover, the women want to attain the same exhibition as French women, then the Algerians would be in a vulnerable state, placed below the French pedestal. Fanon explains that the French figured out to control the Algerian women was to control Algeria, and they implemented both tangible and rhetorical means to achieve this goal. French men would no longer only invite Algerian male co-workers alone to dine with them and their French wife, they would insist that the Algerian wife came too. The purpose of this was to expose the Algerian wife to the French wife, who seemingly had more power through association with her husband, the boss, was unveiled and unconfined. An Algerian man then faced a juxtaposition: risking resisting this form of derogatory exploitation of his culture by not bringing his wife and the possibility of losing his job, or to bring his wife and foster a hierarchy which systematically gnawed at the legitimacy of his culture. Fanon describes the prior choice using gendered language, stating that by bringing the Algerian wife he would be “…prostituting his wife, exhibiting her, abandoning a mode of resistance (pg.40).”
Such strong gendered language is not to be taken lightly, but in this situation I think it effectively gets across the dynamic of using solely the body- not the character- of a woman for the satisfaction of a person other than that woman. Fanon again uses gendered language to describe the overlying function of the French domination in Algeria through women: “ Every veil that fell, every body that became liberated from the traditional embrace of the haik, every face that offered itself to the bold and impatient glance of the occupier, was a negative expression of the fact that Algeria was beginning to deny herself and was accepting the rape of the colonizer (pg. 42).”
Because Fanon’s use of gendered language is so bold and frequent, I have pondered why the French-Algerian dispute is described as a rape instead of a war. The French ignoring the Algerian’s saying ‘no’ to the French penetration of Algeria, France forcing Algeria to remain under it’s submission, the French making the Algerians feel guilty about their culture and customs to silence and manipulate them, and the French claiming symbolic license to the bodies of the Algerian women are all facets of this conflict I came up with which have a strong correlation with the concept of rape. Also, militarism (in this case, the French) is often emasculated and countries (in this case, Algeria) are often described as female, makes the concept of a military rape of a foreign nation clearer.
However, I’m not confidant that using the word ‘rape’ to illustrate the dynamic between Algeria and France is beneficial to either party, or completely accurate. Rape is an act motivated by aggression; the French rape of Algeria was motivated by economics, entitlement, and a strange, arrogant drive to ‘civilize’ the world. A more distinct contrast is that the active or passive form of resistance that a rape victim uses to escape, like fighting back or disassociating, are not successful in a rape; Fanon is not regarding the as the ‘attempted rape’ of Algeria. The Algerian people did resist the French presence actively and passively, through arms and through boycotts and veiling, and Algeria did achieve self-determination. To paint Algeria as a victim of rape is to undermine all of the hard-work and resistance efforts put forth to avoid a completed rape.
Frantz Fanon’s A Dying Colonialism has further helped me understand how nationalism and imperialism can play tug-o-war with women’s issues for their own personal gain.

fun

26 Oct

best night evvvvver. this semester.

fun

26 Oct

best night evvvvver. this semester.

Free write

25 Oct

There’s a theory that if you practice 25 minutes of catharsis everyday, you’ll be less stressed out and emotionally healtheir. It just so happens that i love free writes, just unsensored, unfilteredt houghts transposed onto paper. And the only thing more raw than a free write is a drunken free write, and given the evens of the night, I am about to do just that. While emmiting some stuff…becaues even though the personal is political-hence, this blog- too personal doesn’t belong in cyberspace.Isn’t it strange how much easier it is to share thoughts instead of feelings? I think so. I guess emotion has a certain element of vulnerability…and i guess my free write has begun:

Watching family guy and eating cookies and feeling good. Came home from siani scholars…( I DELEATED A GOOD PARAGRAPH OR TWO, SORRY ABOUT THE DISCONNECT)…. There are such things as obligations, but it’s compeltly obvious when someone does something for you from a place of duty or from of place of genuine altruism or desire. Which brings me to the question that an epiSOde of Freinds raised: is there such thing as a selfless good deed? I’m not sure. From an evolutionary standpoint, altruism only exists to benifit our own survival or the survival of our offsprings of species. And in that way, it’s still selfish because the purpose is to ensure the existance of our own gene pool.But away from instancts and into concious motives, do we ever do anything for anyone else that doesn’t in some way benifit ourselves? Tonight someone told me, and I’ve had freinds say similar things before, that he wants to help the world because he empathizes with the struggles of others who have less access to resources. Technically, helping them is helping alieviate our own empathy and concious about the unfair allocation of, well , everything in the world. It gets fuzzy if the movite is based on the self or on others. I’m not sure if getting satisfaction from a good deed nullifies the altruism of the deed and makes it selfish. But I’m not saying selfish is a bad thing whatsoever. I actually think selfish is a great thing, and if a person isn’t selfish they are screwing themselves over because there is noone in the world who will put you before themself 100%. I’ve thought long and hard ( thats what she said) about the reasons why i’ve volunteered and been a quazi-activist for so long. I dont think I’m more altruistic than the next average joe, maybe more empathitic, but not kind. One self psycho-analyzing theory: I see injustice in the world. It makes me uncomfortable and angry because I have been an underdog and felt controlled, manipulated,cooerced,had my intelligence underminded and my disgnity insulted and been disrespected ingeneral, like many other people. I know that things that are unpredictable and uncontrollable are more stressful, so i empathize more with those causes, and try and gain what i percieve as some ontrol over the status of the situation through activism. By participating in a form of resistance, the anger i originally felt turns into empowerment. Instead of being alone, activism sourounds you with other people who care about the same thing/s which is relieving and takes the pressure off me. Why do i feel pressure? because being a bystander is being guilty. And why is guilt uncomfortable? Well, according to prof.Madigan, guilt is one of the four universal social emotions ( along with shame,pride and embarrasement) and it helps me mend social relationships. but why do i care about mending social relationships with people i’ve never met and never will meet? Is it some internal subconcious animal drive to perpetuate my own genes and species? Mmm maybe. So little of what I do is actually me and more of how I’m wired and evolved to function as an animal. But this is where it gets foggy,if i AM wired to care about others, why aren’t most people wired like that? And moreover, if i am programmed to care about survival, why do i have so many self-destructive habbits? And where the hell does this notion of justice come from? Honestly, it’s so strange. I know that I am programmed to see symmetry as beauty, but can symmetry translate to equality and beauty translate to good? The idea of individual morality makes sence to me, but group and cultural moarlality is just weird, and so arbitrary, and puts a lot of stress on people to supress their inclinations that deviate from the norm which probably are outletted in self destructive or aggressive ways. It’s okay for a man to have sex with an 18 year old girl but not gir of 17 year 364 days. In America we live in a consumer culture where almost anything can be used as a commodity to gain from. Except for a woman’s body. The one thing that we cannot seperate ourselves from we cannot sell, but i gues it’s that exact reason why selling one’s body is so much more painfu and invasive than selling anything else, because you can’t get away from your own body, like living in a room with post-it-notes covering the walls with horrifying memories and experiances.I guess the consensus is people are not chatel. It’s illigal to smoke weed but not illigal to drink coffee which makes complete sence from the vantage point of economic productivity. Come ot think, i think most of our laws are based off of economic productivity and not what is actually good for the people. If making smoking cigarettes illigal for people under 18 is truely based off a genuine care for the wellness of our great nation and not off of avoiding having spend so much more on health care, than why isn’t the government as concere with the hole in the ozone layer which is projected to cause 300,000 more cases of skin cancer in America if left untreated in the next few decades? And the FDA is possibly the most fucked up administration in the entire nation.The funny thing is that this topic perfectly circles back to my original thought about the motive for people giving a shit about others. Wheather it’s selfish or not, it’s still there, which is more than i can say for many people in power of many companies and countries.I feel like there is a socio-economic bell curve effect when it comes to caring. On the bottom left side is the poor and the bottom working class who are lower on the curve because they are the people who have the need to be cared for and don’t have the resources/energy to worry about others before tending to their own needs; the top part of the curve where it escaltes to maximum caring potential and then starts to dip back down again is constitued of the middle and upper middle class who have their own basic needs tended to so they can afford to be concered about others and they aren’t so removed from the concept of hardship that they’re able to empathize; and at the bottom of the bell curve are the rich, who have 7 cars and everything is private and fenced off they their detachment from society is physically represented and they make their money off of the rest of us and they can say they care about the poor and even throw company walk-a-thons for Darfur or adopt-a-family in teh office at christmas but the notion of equality is in no way eternalized and they have maids come and clean their houses 6 days a week and they don’t even know which spanish speaking contry she comes from, and they don’t care. These are sweeping generalizations, and of course there are plenty of poor people who spend their paycheck on charity and rich philanthropists who revolutionize and reconstrut the world in wonerful ways. BUT that is just a trend i see. When i started writing this i was really drunk and now im really sober. strange. this will be interesting to read in the morning.

Free write

24 Oct

There’s a theory that if you practice 25 minutes of catharsis everyday, you’ll be less stressed out and emotionally healtheir. It just so happens that i love free writes, just unsensored, unfilteredt houghts transposed onto paper. And the only thing more raw than a free write is a drunken free write, and given the evens of the night, I am about to do just that. While emmiting some stuff…becaues even though the personal is political-hence, this blog- too personal doesn’t belong in cyberspace.Isn’t it strange how much easier it is to share thoughts instead of feelings? I think so. I guess emotion has a certain element of vulnerability…and i guess my free write has begun:

Watching family guy and eating cookies and feeling good. Came home from siani scholars…( I DELEATED A GOOD PARAGRAPH OR TWO, SORRY ABOUT THE DISCONNECT)…. There are such things as obligations, but it’s compeltly obvious when someone does something for you from a place of duty or from of place of genuine altruism or desire. Which brings me to the question that an epiSOde of Freinds raised: is there such thing as a selfless good deed? I’m not sure. From an evolutionary standpoint, altruism only exists to benifit our own survival or the survival of our offsprings of species. And in that way, it’s still selfish because the purpose is to ensure the existance of our own gene pool.But away from instancts and into concious motives, do we ever do anything for anyone else that doesn’t in some way benifit ourselves? Tonight someone told me, and I’ve had freinds say similar things before, that he wants to help the world because he empathizes with the struggles of others who have less access to resources. Technically, helping them is helping alieviate our own empathy and concious about the unfair allocation of, well , everything in the world. It gets fuzzy if the movite is based on the self or on others. I’m not sure if getting satisfaction from a good deed nullifies the altruism of the deed and makes it selfish. But I’m not saying selfish is a bad thing whatsoever. I actually think selfish is a great thing, and if a person isn’t selfish they are screwing themselves over because there is noone in the world who will put you before themself 100%. I’ve thought long and hard ( thats what she said) about the reasons why i’ve volunteered and been a quazi-activist for so long. I dont think I’m more altruistic than the next average joe, maybe more empathitic, but not kind. One self psycho-analyzing theory: I see injustice in the world. It makes me uncomfortable and angry because I have been an underdog and felt controlled, manipulated,cooerced,had my intelligence underminded and my disgnity insulted and been disrespected ingeneral, like many other people. I know that things that are unpredictable and uncontrollable are more stressful, so i empathize more with those causes, and try and gain what i percieve as some ontrol over the status of the situation through activism. By participating in a form of resistance, the anger i originally felt turns into empowerment. Instead of being alone, activism sourounds you with other people who care about the same thing/s which is relieving and takes the pressure off me. Why do i feel pressure? because being a bystander is being guilty. And why is guilt uncomfortable? Well, according to prof.Madigan, guilt is one of the four universal social emotions ( along with shame,pride and embarrasement) and it helps me mend social relationships. but why do i care about mending social relationships with people i’ve never met and never will meet? Is it some internal subconcious animal drive to perpetuate my own genes and species? Mmm maybe. So little of what I do is actually me and more of how I’m wired and evolved to function as an animal. But this is where it gets foggy,if i AM wired to care about others, why aren’t most people wired like that? And moreover, if i am programmed to care about survival, why do i have so many self-destructive habbits? And where the hell does this notion of justice come from? Honestly, it’s so strange. I know that I am programmed to see symmetry as beauty, but can symmetry translate to equality and beauty translate to good? The idea of individual morality makes sence to me, but group and cultural moarlality is just weird, and so arbitrary, and puts a lot of stress on people to supress their inclinations that deviate from the norm which probably are outletted in self destructive or aggressive ways. It’s okay for a man to have sex with an 18 year old girl but not gir of 17 year 364 days. In America we live in a consumer culture where almost anything can be used as a commodity to gain from. Except for a woman’s body. The one thing that we cannot seperate ourselves from we cannot sell, but i gues it’s that exact reason why selling one’s body is so much more painfu and invasive than selling anything else, because you can’t get away from your own body, like living in a room with post-it-notes covering the walls with horrifying memories and experiances.I guess the consensus is people are not chatel. It’s illigal to smoke weed but not illigal to drink coffee which makes complete sence from the vantage point of economic productivity. Come ot think, i think most of our laws are based off of economic productivity and not what is actually good for the people. If making smoking cigarettes illigal for people under 18 is truely based off a genuine care for the wellness of our great nation and not off of avoiding having spend so much more on health care, than why isn’t the government as concere with the hole in the ozone layer which is projected to cause 300,000 more cases of skin cancer in America if left untreated in the next few decades? And the FDA is possibly the most fucked up administration in the entire nation.The funny thing is that this topic perfectly circles back to my original thought about the motive for people giving a shit about others. Wheather it’s selfish or not, it’s still there, which is more than i can say for many people in power of many companies and countries.I feel like there is a socio-economic bell curve effect when it comes to caring. On the bottom left side is the poor and the bottom working class who are lower on the curve because they are the people who have the need to be cared for and don’t have the resources/energy to worry about others before tending to their own needs; the top part of the curve where it escaltes to maximum caring potential and then starts to dip back down again is constitued of the middle and upper middle class who have their own basic needs tended to so they can afford to be concered about others and they aren’t so removed from the concept of hardship that they’re able to empathize; and at the bottom of the bell curve are the rich, who have 7 cars and everything is private and fenced off they their detachment from society is physically represented and they make their money off of the rest of us and they can say they care about the poor and even throw company walk-a-thons for Darfur or adopt-a-family in teh office at christmas but the notion of equality is in no way eternalized and they have maids come and clean their houses 6 days a week and they don’t even know which spanish speaking contry she comes from, and they don’t care. These are sweeping generalizations, and of course there are plenty of poor people who spend their paycheck on charity and rich philanthropists who revolutionize and reconstrut the world in wonerful ways. BUT that is just a trend i see. When i started writing this i was really drunk and now im really sober. strange. this will be interesting to read in the morning.

Cheers and Jeers

23 Oct

Every sunday night, or monday morning depending on my mood, I write the weekly Women’s Student Assembly Newsletter to send to our listserve. In every issue there is a section I like to call ‘Cheers and Jeers’ where I find a positive and negative event in women’s news worldwide. I probably spend half tihe time writing the newsletter looking for quality cheers and chees, and this past week I came across a cheer and a jeer that were both jaw-dopping:

Cheer: Jordan’s Queen Rania launched a $1 million project to fight violence against women. It aims to provide medical assistance and counseling to abused women and to raise public awareness. Eighty-seven percent of Jordanian women believe their husbands are justified in using physical or verbal abuse, according to a 2002 demographic and health survey.”What’s important now is that we’re moving from theory to action,” said Asma Khader, head of the Jordanian National Commission for Women. “The main obstacle is changing people’s perceptions. But this is exactly what is needed to confront this practice.”

HUGE Jeer: Megan Williams, 20, was held captive and tortured for a week inside a West Virginia mobile home. She was forced to eat animal waste, stabbed, choked, sexually assaulted and repeatedly slurred for her African American ethnicity. Her captors–who include a mother and son, a mother and daughter, and two other men–have been arrested; the federal government is considering whether they will be prosecuted for hate crimes.

I’m withholding my commentary because I don’t even know where to begin.In other less noteworthy news, I had a somewhat deep conversation today about what we find sexually/romantically attrative in people. I hadn’t thought about this in a while, but the most important things i ended up saying are nothing, nothing like the qualities in the people i deal with in, um, casual, random romantic episodes. In fact, they’re opposite. I don’t know what that means.If i were to spend time time and energy to a real relationship, they’d have to be worth it. Funny and passionate about something, anything and not complelty apathetic. I know that’s asking a lot ( …sad) so color me out of luck. At least for the time being.

Cheers and Jeers

23 Oct

Every sunday night, or monday morning depending on my mood, I write the weekly Women’s Student Assembly Newsletter to send to our listserve. In every issue there is a section I like to call ‘Cheers and Jeers’ where I find a positive and negative event in women’s news worldwide. I probably spend half tihe time writing the newsletter looking for quality cheers and chees, and this past week I came across a cheer and a jeer that were both jaw-dopping:

Cheer: Jordan’s Queen Rania launched a $1 million project to fight violence against women. It aims to provide medical assistance and counseling to abused women and to raise public awareness. Eighty-seven percent of Jordanian women believe their husbands are justified in using physical or verbal abuse, according to a 2002 demographic and health survey.”What’s important now is that we’re moving from theory to action,” said Asma Khader, head of the Jordanian National Commission for Women. “The main obstacle is changing people’s perceptions. But this is exactly what is needed to confront this practice.”

HUGE Jeer: Megan Williams, 20, was held captive and tortured for a week inside a West Virginia mobile home. She was forced to eat animal waste, stabbed, choked, sexually assaulted and repeatedly slurred for her African American ethnicity. Her captors–who include a mother and son, a mother and daughter, and two other men–have been arrested; the federal government is considering whether they will be prosecuted for hate crimes.

I’m withholding my commentary because I don’t even know where to begin.In other less noteworthy news, I had a somewhat deep conversation today about what we find sexually/romantically attrative in people. I hadn’t thought about this in a while, but the most important things i ended up saying are nothing, nothing like the qualities in the people i deal with in, um, casual, random romantic episodes. In fact, they’re opposite. I don’t know what that means.If i were to spend time time and energy to a real relationship, they’d have to be worth it. Funny and passionate about something, anything and not complelty apathetic. I know that’s asking a lot ( …sad) so color me out of luck. At least for the time being.

You snooze you Lose

22 Oct

I really haven’t slept much recently. But my waking hours have been more than stimulating enough to keep me going. Random Events of My Life:

Saturday: From 7:45 am to 5:00 pm I was on a Geology field trip for my Planet Earth class, bussing around, stopping to investigate different fault lines, rocks, unconformities, folds, and what not. Our bus driver was a noteworthy guy, an asian immigrant who took pictures and videorecorded us..when we weren’t looking…whatever keeps ya entertained, i guess. At the time the trip was a little bit long, but interesting, and definitly good to get out of the city setting.
Sunday: Another required field trip, but this one had more free stuff, so it was way better. I went to a jewish bathing house for women after their periods, played some bingo, ate lunch with steven spielburgs mom for free, and got 25$ to buy alcohol and cookies for our next clas on wednesday. Not too shabby. I also had a WSA meeting afterwards, which are also kinda loopy and entertaining. Fill in the gaps on sat. and sun. with library time.
Monday (today): In my women and revolution in the ME clas we watched part of a really impactful film on the Algerian revolution in which i sympathized with suicide bombers. I’m really excited to see more of it on Wednesday. After I went to Pink 101 and met Chrstina Ricci, heard her speak, shmoozed a bit, remembered why it’s so important to raise awareness on sexual violence,etc. Now im studying for a midterm. Today was a good day.

You snooze you Lose

22 Oct

I really haven’t slept much recently. But my waking hours have been more than stimulating enough to keep me going. Random Events of My Life:

Saturday: From 7:45 am to 5:00 pm I was on a Geology field trip for my Planet Earth class, bussing around, stopping to investigate different fault lines, rocks, unconformities, folds, and what not. Our bus driver was a noteworthy guy, an asian immigrant who took pictures and videorecorded us..when we weren’t looking…whatever keeps ya entertained, i guess. At the time the trip was a little bit long, but interesting, and definitly good to get out of the city setting.
Sunday: Another required field trip, but this one had more free stuff, so it was way better. I went to a jewish bathing house for women after their periods, played some bingo, ate lunch with steven spielburgs mom for free, and got 25$ to buy alcohol and cookies for our next clas on wednesday. Not too shabby. I also had a WSA meeting afterwards, which are also kinda loopy and entertaining. Fill in the gaps on sat. and sun. with library time.
Monday (today): In my women and revolution in the ME clas we watched part of a really impactful film on the Algerian revolution in which i sympathized with suicide bombers. I’m really excited to see more of it on Wednesday. After I went to Pink 101 and met Chrstina Ricci, heard her speak, shmoozed a bit, remembered why it’s so important to raise awareness on sexual violence,etc. Now im studying for a midterm. Today was a good day.

I’ve got the power!

21 Oct

Consider the following story:

A woman is strutting to her office in high heels, red lipstick, and a form fitting professional skirt and blouse. She feels confidant, sucessful and powerful. Upon entering her office, a group of construction workers whistle at her, and one yells what he’d like to do to her.

In this scenario, who has the power? The woman, for being able to evoke such strong arousal reponses from the oppisite sex? (Afterall, form-fitting clothing and lipstick was her choice. ) Does he men have the power as the vouyers who can deduct the woman as a whole to her bare physical state, replicate that image in their minds, and have the poetic license with it to do what they please?Is there any truth to a woman ‘asking for sexual harrassement’ by the way she ornaments her body? Would this scenario be more unacceptabile if she were in sweat pants and not emphasizing her body? If she were a child?

Just something i’ve been thinking about.

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