It was a big day for me yesterday. Despite the fact that I’ve graduated from college, been working full-time for a year and a half, and, by all accounts should be a respectable and responsible adult, I have yet to make any big, huge, old-person purchases (aside from my student loan payments, which are sadly the equivalent of paying rent). But, this weekend- I DID IT!
My car, my buddy, my loyal companion, was given a grim diagnosis last Wednesday. $650 after I left the mechanic I’ve known since birth I was told that it simply wouldn’t pass a smog test. I felt guilty enough that I had been driving around the equivalent of a gas-guzzling SUV-packed into a 4 door sedan, more than irritated that it cost me $50 every week and a half to fill it up, downright terrified that it stalled, quit and gave serious massages while idling at stop lights, and sick of the fact that I had one brake light, no heat, a sad excuse for air-conditioning, a broken driver-side window and a series of miscellaneous blinking warning lights on the dashboard. It was just time.
And, as I explained to my parents the other day, driving my car was like dating a commitment-phobic guy. I could never really count on it, never be sure that I’d wake up to it in the morning and be able to take it places. It was temperamental, selfish and generally uninterested in my needs. It would defrost the windows when it felt like it, start up only if I floored it and gave it enough gas for it to feel “comfortable”. Every now and then it would give me some warning (check engine, check fluids, check lights) just to test me and make sure I’d still put up with it. And it’s right brake light would not stay on no matter how many times I pleaded with it, paid for it or got pulled over by the cops for a “fix-it” ticket. Often times I would just have to give up on it, give it a little space, wait for it to cool off.
And yet it was cool, attractive, fast and generally more interesting than the newer cars (the nice guys) I’d seen (and could afford). It was hard to give up- hard to break up with. But there comes a time in every relationship when the cons outweigh the pros, when sometimes you just want something easy, natural and without all the drama.
And so I said farewell to my (semi) loyal companion. May it spend the rest of it’s life in a farm up-state, or in Mexico driving around drug lords.
I get that we photoshop models because we like to sell the idea of things. The idea of beauty, perfection, a better you, blah blah blah. And I will never criticize photoshop because I love it so much and anyone who doesn’t realize that absolutely every ad, movie, show, whatever is 90% touched up is just kidding themselves.
I do have a problem with bad photoshoppers. Way to break the illusion. You make a mockery of our shallow, perfection-driven existence!
Come on. Really? Zooey Deschanel is GORGEOUS. She could probably out perfect photoshop perfection. So then…was she just so pretty that the only thing a touch-up artist could do was take her down a few notches?
Sometimes I think that one of the most dangerous things in the world is absolute certainty. We can argue that it’s religion, power, greed, evil, whatever. But I think when it really comes down to it, it’s the absolute certainty part that does the most damage. Absolute certainty in your beliefs (there can be no other correct view on the world. people either agree with my beliefs, or they will be condemned and persecuted), your own ideas (i’m absolutely certain that i am right- therefore i can do whatever i want to secure my own certainty. this explains this unwavering certainty in the trickle-down theory of economics, no matter how many times its proven wrong. the unwavering certainty that that all government spending is wasteful, unless it is paying for defense).
I think people think of faith and certainty as interchangable. For many people it is. An unwavering stance on the bible, koran, Milton Friedman’s economic policies, helps many persecute gays, women, the poor and the vulnerable. Absolute certainty is an incredibly dangerous weapon. That’s why it always shocks me- how many people claim to have it.
I was thinking about all this recently since I’ve been seeing those “May 21 2011, Judgment Day is Coming” posters plastered all over La Brea, Fairfax and other random and highly trafficked areas. And by plastered, I mean that the Family Radio Worldwide group paid big money for big billboards.
Out of pure curiosity I did a little research. I mean, who was so incredibly certain of the exact day of the end of the world (especially when it’s less than three months away) that they would buy out billboards? I mean, we’ve all seen the occasional bearded, shoeless “prophet” with a cardboard picket sign claiming the end is near. But that’s just one crazy, and he usually doesn’t have enough money to eat, let alone rent the billboards on Fairfax.
On familyradio.org's website they claim the bible as evidence of the end of days. “Bible” and “evidence” probably should never be put in the same sentence together, unless it is proceeded by some sort of negative, yet that is the only bit of proof these people have. Apparently, mathematical equations have been applied to the bible to predict the end of days. I cite here, directly from the familyradio.org website:
In 2 Peter 3:8, which is quoted above, Holy God reminds us that one day is as 1,000 years. Therefore, with the correct understanding that the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years, we learn that when God told Noah there were seven days to escape worldwide destruction, He was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day. Because Holy Infinite God is all-knowing, He knows the end from the beginning. He knew how sinful the world would become.
Seven thousand years after 4990 B.C. (the year of the Flood) is the year 2011 A.D. (our calendar).
4990 + 2011 – 1 = 7,000
[One year must be subtracted in going from an Old Testament B.C. calendar date to a New Testament A.D. calendar date because the calendar does not have a year zero.]
Apparently Harold Camping, the founder of Family Radio Worldwide, also circulated a book called 1994, in which it was claimed that Jesus Christ would return in 1994. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.
I just find it hilarious that this is cited as evidence for an entire religious campaign. Just google May 11, 2011 to see how big this has become.
Thinking about our education system, health care system, infrastructure and the constant backtracking we do regarding human rights, workers rights, the dismissal and often vilification of intelligence and forward thinking, I often think “for god’s sake- we should be flattered that illegal immigrants even want to cross the borders anymore!”
I am embarrassed by our country, by republicans as well as by democrats who claimed they would fight for science, common sense and reason. How is it that, in 2011, a time when we expected to have improved all aspects of life in the united states, we have gone so incredibly backwards in both our thinking, reasoning and actions?
In 2011 we now bail out and give incredible raises to wall street executives but want to take away benefits from teachers to take care of costs. We want to outlaw abortions and take away methods of contraception when it is proven that options in contraception greatly reduce the amount of abortions that take place. We demonize gays, saying that they are a threat to the institution of marriage- and by we I mean those Republican politicians that are constantly getting caught with their pants around their ankles, alongside a hooker, an underage boy and a bible, prostletyzing to the masses). People literally vote against themselves- against universal health care that would benefit each and every person, against workers rights and benefits, against improving infrastructure (roads, transportation, safety codes- ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT KEEPS US SAFE). We demonize the fucking planet that we live on. Sometimes I get so infuriated I don’t even want to know what’s going on in the world anymore. You embarrass me America. You make me sick. Each and every republican, every tea-partier, every racist, selfish, hatred-filled enemy of common sense- YOU DISGUST ME.
Sometimes I wonder why it is so easy to convince people of things that are so obviously, so blatantly and undeniably insane. Can we not agree that, when your “party lines” require that opponents be silenced, blackmailed into submission, that truth be shoved under a blanket, hidden from your followers, that what you stand for is innately, undeniably WRONG? For if it were true, would you have to go to such lengths to protect it?
Wisconsin is a microcosm of what is going on in America as a whole. Once again, ordinary people are being sacrificed to pay for the damage inflicted by those who were too selfish to want to pay their taxes, to follow and promote regulations (whether they concern safety, the environment and even morality) and too goddamn stupid to educate themselves on their own policies. The one-liners of this ridiculous debate claim that teachers (union members) get lavish benefits, that unions destroy industry and corporations. Why are those who claim to stand for the average, blue-collar american so keen to destroy one of the only aspects of America right now that keeps us from reverting to an Upton Sinclair The Jungle-esque existence?
The right to organize and bargain collectively is the basic human right to pool our individual power into a unified voice that’s strong enough to stand up against unfair or abusive workplaces and to ensure fair pay and benefits. When workers are denied their most basic right to bargain collectively, rampant abuse and exploitation are inevitable.
And yet…why teachers? Why demonize teachers? Because an education is all that stands in the way of a giant, unquestioning and compliant mass of yes-men and women. Take away the teachers, the correct history of the world in textbooks (yes Texas, I’m looking at you), the books that contradict the bible, sex education, an institution like the national public radio, the freedom of web content or at least the speed and expediency of websites that promote unpopular views, and then promote the very idea that being able to think, to understand and to question is a good thing, and not some elitist, arugula bullshit, and you will have one massive population of dumb, ignorant baby-making machines.
Education is the mortal enemy of political myth-makers who want to shape your thoughts and chart your behavior — all to meet the end of further income redistribution. Consider the latest budget proposals in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the state where I teach anthropology at a public university. Citing the mythic benefits of lower taxes and limited government, Governor Tom Corbett, a Republican, wants to slash the public higher education budget by 50 percent. Such a cut would simply decimate public higher education in Pennsylvania. What does that mean? In addition to staff layoffs, and program cuts, it means that our students, many of whom come from lower-middle class and working class families, would face an estimated 28 percent increase in tuition. Put another way, it means that if Governor Corbett has his way, scores of my students, no longer able to pay for their education, would have to drop out of school.
-Bob Burnett, Suffer the Little Children
However, let’s say teachers really were receiving these lavish benefits, ridiculous salaries, that the right-wing claims they do. Would I really mind? Would I mind that a teacher was making more than a wall-street executive? The average factory worker? An entertainment lawyer? HELL NO. We should celebrate the people that work in order to ensure better futures for OUR FUTURE. Firemen, policemen, teachers, they should all receive their deserved salaries, their healthcare, their benefits. What is the correct compensation for someone who saves people in burning buildings? Faces off with dangerous criminals? Wakes up at 5am to get to school and teach children, only to take on a second job when they can’t make ends meet?
Whatever it is, they’re not getting it.
I’m tired of selfishness being celebrated. Of people being brainwashed to vote against their own interests. I’m tired of our stupidity. But without teachers, without unions, without those who’s sole job is to educate and to protect, all we’re going to be left with IS the stupidity.
An article in The Daily by Josh Bernstein. Gives me chills.
A brutal new crime wave from Mexico is hitting America’s suburbs. Drug cartels and their heavily armed henchmen are moving into the house next door, torturing and imprisoning victims for profit in middle-class neighborhoods. Law enforcement agencies from Texas to Northern California report being overwhelmed by the surge of violence.
“Mexican drug cartels are in well over 200 cities here in the United States,” Gil Kerlikowske, the White House drug czar, told The Daily. When his boss, President Obama, meets with President Felipe Calderón of Mexico today in Washington, violence from the drug war will be at the top of the agenda.
One of the most disturbing and least discussed aspects of this new crime wave is the “drop houses” — rented homes that function as makeshift prisons where criminal gangs and human smugglers hold large numbers of victims for ransom. The phenomenon is centered in the Southwest, often in foreclosure-devastated suburbs, but is spreading across America.
“What we’re talking about is nightmares, the stuff of nightmares,” said Los Angeles-based special agent Jorge Guzman of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ”[It’s] playing out in suburban America — playing out all over America.”
Hundreds of police reports and thousands of crime scene photographs obtained by The Daily expose a startling pattern of torture, rape and murder.
The victims are mostly illegal immigrants who have paid smugglers, or “coyotes,” to bring them across the U.S. border. But instead of letting their clients begin a new life, the cartel-connected smugglers rob them, strip them naked and pack them — sometimes by the dozens — into small bedrooms where the windows are boarded shut and the doors are padlocked from the outside.
“These coyotes treat people like product. That’s all they are to them, vicious and ruthless and don’t really care about human life,” said Lt. Joe Sousa, division commander for the human smuggling unit of the Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff’s Office.
The kidnappers typically force the captives to call family members and beg for ransom payments.
“They’ll have the relative come on the phone and then they’ll torture the [captive] so the other person can hear the screams,“ Guzman said, “blood-curdling screams saying, ‘Help me, help me, help me.’ ”
If they’re lucky, the hostages will be released upon payment of their debt or rescued by police. But many remain victims indefinitely, beaten and tortured until their families pay off the debt.
“They are crimes against humanity,” Guzman said.
Sousa said he has seen victims shocked with Tasers, pistol-whipped, raped and murdered. The 14-year veteran recalls uncovering one drop house full of traumatized, naked victims and one person lying on the floor of the closet with a bullet wound in his head.
“I did not know if I was going to live another day,” said Renan Fernandez-Rivera, who survived nearly four weeks in a Phoenix drop house like the one described by Sousa. “There were four coyotes with machine guns. It was a house of torture.” There were about 16 other captives in the house with him.
Because the drop houses blend into the backdrop of suburban America, they’re difficult for law enforcement to uncover. Cartel leaders often take advantage of poor real estate markets, renting from desperate landlords willing to accept cash and ask few questions.
Still, the numbers are staggering: In Phoenix alone, investigators have uncovered more than 800 drop houses.
Federal law enforcement officials say the drop house phenomenon is spreading from the Southwest to Colorado, Kansas and Georgia.
The federal government does not track drop house locations. The Daily had to rely on statistics from local law enforcement and the courts.
Many victims never speak up, fearing their captors will make good on promises to kill them and their families if they cooperate, Guzman said. “Is that a chance you’d want to take?”
Former drop house captive Fernandez-Rivera was an exception. After being freed, he testified as a key government witness. Based on the strength of his account and other evidence, Efrem Sanchez-Plaza, Milton Guzman-Lopez, Jose Meza-Hernandez and Ulises Mora-Alcantar were indicted on felony kidnapping and extortion charges.
Fernandez-Rivera, who lives and works in southern Florida, regrets the entire journey. “I don’t recommend this to anyone,” he said. “It’s better to stay poor your whole life.”
I’ve been missing out on something called the sketchbook project- and by missing out i mean i wish i was the kind of person that kept an amazing and elaborate sketchbook. i’ve always wanted to be one of those people, i’ve always wanted to have that type of sketchbook.
Mette Hornung Rankin, a designer, has created the most adorable little sketches in her moleskin. I really really like this post that she put on her blog about the project as a whole because it shows her creative process. i always love to see how things are made and what goes into all of the little bits and pieces that make up a design. check out the post here
“The thing I hate most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists. Modern art is a disaster area. Never in the field of human history has so much been used by so many to say so little.”—Banksy
“A major cause of mankind’s problems began 75 million years ago,” the Times wrote, when the planet Earth, then called Teegeeack, was part of a confederation of ninety planets under the leadership of a despotic ruler named Xenu. “Then, as now, the materials state, the chief problem was overpopulation.” Xenu decided “to take radical measures.” The documents explained that surplus beings were transported to volcanoes on Earth. “The documents state that H-bombs far more powerful than any in existence today were dropped on these volcanoes, destroying the people but freeing their spirits—called thetans—which attached themselves to one another in clusters.” Those spirits were “trapped in a compound of frozen alcohol and glycol,” then “implanted” with “the seed of aberrant behavior.” The Times account concluded, “When people die, these clusters attach to other humans and keep perpetuating themselves.”
Coralie Bickford-Smith is a senior bookcover designer at Penguin Books. She recently got a fair amount of publicity with her redesign of a series of classic books. I know I can get these classics on my kindle for practically nothing- I also know that, having been forced to read most of these during school I have no desire to read them again. But but but- I still want these!
:)!! happy. I need to remember this next time I get frustrated with a client.
These rock! You have done gorgeous work. I cannot wait to show the team. These are all such a home run. I think as a next step I will print out on high-quality paper stock and will mount them on letramat to present at the next meeting. Will let you know when the meeting gets set so you can attend. I think you should be there to hear everyone’s comments. I know they will LOVE it.
Ty Mattson at Mattson Creative, who also created the iconic screenprinted LOST posters, has managed to combine some more of my favorite things: retro 50’s style, limited and saturated color, and Dexter!
Hes’ been creating amazing screenprint posters for all of the Dexter seasons, and his designs have been so well-received that Showtime now sells the limited edition prints on their website. Along with images of Season 5’s poster (as badass as the rest of them) he has created a detailed blog post about his creative process, along with a seizure-inducing video. I love seeing how people work. Dexter Work
In my constant attempts to find inspiration from virtually anywhere I found the most amazing, most helpful, most wonderful (seriously!) search engine. Multicolr Search Lab lets you search images by color- and not just one color like most of these “search by color” engines, but multiple colors!
Ok, I know I sound like a salesperson, but I’m seriously so excited. I just searched for mint and brown. I looooove