December 2010


About a month ago I was flipping through some gossip or fashion magazine at the gym or maybe in line at the drug store, and there was a spread dedicated to bashing Kim Kardashian because she apparently wears fur as fashion frequently (say that three times fast now!). Now I'm not a huge fan of Kim Kardashian- I only vaguely understand why she's famous in the first place- and I'm definitely not a fan of wearing fur for fashion (with the exception of maybe vintage fur) so I was all for this photo article. THEN, when I turned the next page, there was a spread about the current fashion in purses and shoes (or something like that), and it went on and on about how crocodile and snake skin will always look timeless and classy.

Wait, what? Sorry, fashion magazines, but if you're going to bash someone who wears fashion that involves killing animals, then you really shouldn't be promoting reptilian bags and shoes either (especially right on the next page- sheesh!). Our scaly friends are animals too, even if they aren't as cute as rabbits, foxes or chinchillas.

That said, I gotta say that even though I'm pretty against wearing animal product as fashion, the one exception I really have is leather. I suppose, for me, leather seems less fashionista and more functional (my leather gloves are the warmest pair I have), which makes it seem ok... I also eat steaks. =/ Clearly I have no sympathy for cows. Oh well, I read somewhere that leather comes from the same cows that we eat, so at least we're using the whole cow. There aren't too many people who eat chinchillas or snakes in the world... I guess that's my main "beef" (pun totally intended) with using those kinds of animals for fashion.

Movies watched while inking: The Gods Must Be Crazy- in my movie watching, I try to incorporate a lot of classics that I have not seen. This was one of them. It was definitely odd but enjoyable to watch. Then I watched a French movie called Sequins, which is about a 17 year old girl who runs off after finding out she's 5 months pregnant to give birth in anonymity. I wasn't particularly moved by this movie, but it was pretty. After that I watched Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, which I thought was not as good as people made it out to be. The acting was good, the development was good, but to be honest, I was really disappointed with its upbeat ending- it seemed like too much of a cop out given the other horrible events that transpired. I mean, I get why they probably did that... but I dunno... it seemed really hokey. Finally, I watched Dead Man Walking, which was a very moralistic tale about a nun, a man on death row, forgiveness, humanity, and all that other good stuff. It was ok- nothing particularly special. I felt that the film could have been better if it was a bit more subtle in its message.



Don't you love it when you tell someone that you're a professional in a field, or in my case, getting a PhD in a particular field of study, and then that person you're engaging with, who isn't even involved at any level in what you're doing, tries to get in a debate with you about the field or study that you're working in? That's basically what happened to me. Someone tried to school me on Ancient Egyptian culture. And I don't mean like a controverial aspect of Egyptian culture, either- I mean like basic Egyptology 101, the kind of stuff you learn in an intro to history class. Anyway, I appreciate that you probably read some wikipedia articles and have vague memories of Ancient Egypt when you had to learn about it in the 6th grade, but I've read thousands of books, articles, and wikipedia stubs about Ancient Egypt. I'm pretty sure I have a better idea of what I'm talking about than you do. To tell me that I've gotten something wrong or that I need to do more searching about basic Egyptological "facts" is rather arrogant coming from someone who has not dedicated their life to the study.

Anyway, it's why I never talk about economic issues with people. I recognize my ignorance in the field. I will never argue with my father in law about economics, for instance, because it's something he's been studying and working in since before I was born. I simply don't have the tools to have any kind of debate or discussion about the economy with him.


Movin' on to movies I watched while inking: Amazingly (especially considering that my webmaster, David, went to the midnight showing almost every Saturday night in high school) I have never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I finally watched it- good music, good premise... I can appreciate the film for what it is and especially what it meant back when it was released, but I did feel like it dragged on a bit. I was happy to get to the end, but even happier that I can now finally say that I've seen Rocky Horror. Since I promised that I would try to watch cheerier movies this time, I watched Tortilla Soup, which is a hispanic romantic comedy that takes place in Los Angeles. It was alright. I hear it's a goofier faster paced version of Eat Drink Man Woman. Maybe next time I'll see the original. I went on to watch Lovely Still, which seemed like a cute romantic film about a couple of old people, though there are definitely parts throughout the movie where you sense that something's going to go wrong. Halfway through the film I realized what the twist was going to be, but it was still fun to watch it all unfold. It was a bittersweet ending. I would say Lovely Still is like if M. Night Shyamalan directed the Notebook (which I actually haven't seen, but I know the premise). Then I broke my promise about not watching dark movies (sorry, they're my favorite) and ended up seeing two Woody Allen dramas: Interiors and Another Woman, which I thought was superior to the former. Anyway, on top of being good character studies, Woody Allen dramas are also really good at capturing the disgusting pretentiousness that is in the air at NYC cocktail parties. It makes me fearful that art history is going to turn me into an overly cerebral and emotionally dead person, which was the case in particular with the main character in Another Woman. I think the antidote to that is to continue frequenting dive bars.



It's the anniversary of Mozart's death- happy death day Mozart! 12.5.1791

In other news, I've been back from Los Angeles for a little over a week now. It was very nice to be back home. On top of the Thanksgiving feast, I also went to my 10 year high school reunion, which was super trippy. It was truly the great equilizer in which you realize that all of the social high school hierarchies you had in your mind for the past 10 years don't actually exist (or don't anymore, anyway). I found myself talking to the "popular kids" like an equal, something that I would never imagine happening 10+ years ago. For the most part, everyone was really nice and genuinely happy to see each other after such a long time. Overall, it was a positive experience.

I haven't watched many movies while inking because I don't really have the means to watch anything while I cartoon in LA, but when I got back to NY I did watch a handful of documentaries, which were related to human behavior and psychology. The first documentary I watched was called The Human Face: Face to Face, which was about the importance of facial expressions in human interaction. It was interesting (though not really new to me) and was hosted by John Cleese. I also watched two National Geographic documentaries: Solitary Confinement and The Moment of Death. The Moment of Death is about how we define death and what happens when we die. It was pretty interesting, but I think I prefered Solitary Confinement, which was about the psychological effects of solitary confinement in prisons. The end suggests that solitary confinement actually makes prisoners potentionally more dangerous than it rehabilitates them. Solitary confinement basically sounds like a living hell, and I think I would prefer the death sentence over being confined to a small room 22 hours a day with limited contact with other people. People always seem to forget that we're an incredibly social species. We really do need each other to function properly. Prolonged rejection and isolation results in psychological trauama.

I promise to try to watch cheerier films this week!