Art Supplies – The Best and the Worst

April 20, 2014 - Leave a Response

Every artist no doubt has their preference, but some things are just mandatory, and others should never be used. Let’s talk about paint bases first.

Egg tempura: Don’t go with the cheap tempura that they give preschoolers. Egg tempura is a combination of egg yolk (white discarded), pigment, and vinegar. The amount of pigment used depends on how intense you want the color to be. Obviously a small amount of yolk and a giant amount of pigment won’t produce good results. Therefore your pigment should be approximately equal to or one third the size of the yolk. Yolk and vinegar when mixed should be equal amounts, and they should be combined before adding the pigment. Egg tempura is a very old media, and easy to work with.

Oil base: Oil can be mixed at home or store bought. Winton/Winsor and Newton are less expensive than other store bought oil paints. Oil base is not as easy to work with as tempura, but it is more versatile than any other media. Oil can be used with any technique, even techniques meant for other paint bases. Oil takes a long time to dry, which means you can work with wet oils long after they are applied. However, you may need to wait several hours, or days even, before doing finishing touches, because wet oils don’t allow fine details without corrupting the colors. In truth, you may find yourself more smitten with studying oil painting rather than using it on your own time. Oil requires quite the cleanup; it’s messy and it gets in places without you realizing until it is too late. But you know someone is an experienced oil painter when they get it everywhere – on clothes, furniture, the easel, brush stems, the ceiling, the walls… it’s a sign of enthusiasm.

Water base: Water base comes in two ways: Watercolor, which is water and pigment mixed together. The other is water and linseed oil mixed with pigment. Water base and water mixable oils are not as blasphemous as some master painters make them out to be. It means you can thin your oils with water, to an extent, thus eliminating unnatural paint thinners altogether (trust me, we will discuss paint thinners next). Watercolors must be studied carefully. It often involves building up many layers of washes, basically a thin layer of paint. After it dries sufficiently, thicker coats can be applied. Watercolor does not have to be completely opaque, you can keep even your final layers transparent and achieve a very skilled effect.

Animal skin: Knowing how to make animal skin based paints will make you feel like an accomplished painter. Animal skins need to be boiled at specific temperatures, and then mixed with pigment as quickly as possible. This is also a base for making your own gesso (primer). Here’s a recipe for it:

Plastic base: Also called acrylic, this is the paint that gives most painters hell. Acrylic dries super fast, faster than watercolor even. So you need to paint fast, because you don’t have a lot of time to stand around like you do with oils. It also dries shiny, rather than matte, which some artists prefer. A shiny surface makes it difficult to photograph paintings without a really great camera. This also means that brush strokes will be very noticeable based on how the light hits them. Acrylic needs to be applied to canvas in the same direction, otherwise it looks sloppy. Acrylic serves one purpose in my paintings – to be a background that I will completely paint over with oils later. I consider acrylic a poor paint media, and unworthy of its existence.

Thinning paint is essential to painting. There’s little point in taking paint straight from the tube to cover a background. On a 36″x36″ canvas, you really wouldn’t want to use half of your tube of burnt sienna or yellow ochre to cover it. Applying any thinner to a small dab of your paint and putting down a few layers over time is faster. If you use oil to cover large areas without thinning it you will exhaust yourself. “Dry” oils, in other words straight from the tube don’t spread evenly or nicely and they take on a crayon look. Unless you are reproducing a painting by Van Gogh, you don’t want the crayon look.

Turpentine: The infamous paint thinner that smells horrible but breaks down any paint extremely well. It is toxic if ingested or inhaled, and might cause skin irritation. Turpentine, odorless or not, MUST be used in a well ventilated space. A room with a ceiling higher than 15 feet, and wider than 10 feet, is open enough to prevent serious harm from fumes, even if no windows are present (though the door should be left open). Turpentine is hazardous, so it needs to be stored in an empty oil drum after use. It CANNOT go down the sink. If you paint outdoors, you should not use turpentine. When used properly, turpentine is safe, but not beneficial to the environment.

Turpenoid: This supposedly safer version of turpentine isn’t actually safer. It cannot go down the sink either, and must also be stored in an oil drum. Turpenoid quantities larger than one drop will irritate your skin. It can also be absorbed moreso than turpentine into your skin, which is not good. Smaller containers of turpenoid natural do not provide ingredients lists on their labeling. Anything that doesn’t give you ingredients is questionable. The teacher I have for my painting course this semester requires us to use it, and she doesn’t even know what’s in it. Turpenoid doesn’t need as much ventilation, but it does smell, and inhaling it will give you a nasty headache. All I know is it contains some level of pine tree oil. I also know pine tree oil is toxic for reptiles, especially snakes (I own a boa), therefore it is not environmentally friendly or biodegradable in my book.

Mineral spirits: It has a lower toxicity than the first two on this list. I’ve never used it personally. It will irritate the skin, and it is known to cause damage to the central nervous system just like turpentine and turpenoid (and most chemicals for that matter). Can’t go down the drain, therefore it’s a hazard.

Liquin: Technically speaking, it’s a paint thinner, with a perk. It helps oils dry faster (24 to 48 hours usually). It contains petroleum, but unless your skin is super sensitive it won’t bother it. Don’t eat it obviously, and don’t put it down the sink. However, it can be wiped off with a paper towel and go in your trash barrel. Liquin works like most thinners and thins paint without using a lot of it. Liquin Original is for basic thinning of paint, and Liquin Detail is for thinning paint but giving it a “thick” apparance when you are doing finishing touches. Liquin is flammable, so DO NOT use a hair dryer to dry your paint. You’ll set your canvas on fire and that’ll be embarrassing. I recommend Liquin more than any other paint thinner.

Brushes are a strange thing. Regardless of what people think, any brush can be used with any paint. All brushes shed their bristles, natural bristles more than synthetic obviously. You can use oil with a horse hair brush (sumi brush) for washes and just make sure you clean it very well. Some painters have every kind of brush imaginable, others use only a select few. Van Gogh used mostly small pointed brushes. Salvador Dali used “round” tipped brushes for soft and smooth surfaces. I use everything. Fan brushes are also really annoying, because you can’t have one size, you need at least a small, medium and large. Some fan brushes come with thicker bristles, some with fewer bristles. A large fan brush in a small area will get you a big blob. A small fan brush in a large area won’t do anything but make a baby blob. And then there is my weird favorite that most painters kind of hate: That giant fluffy brush that looks like it can apply makeup. Ya know, this one: Fluffy brush.

The fluffy brush is the most wonderful brush ever. Sweep it over multiple colors and they blend together perfectly. If you want soft clouds, use this brush. Sunset, use this brush.

Cleaning off brushes can be a very involved process. Water base cleans off with water even when dry. Acrylic won’t, so you need to soak your brushes and rinse them repeatedly while painting. Oil can be washed off with Liquin, turpentine, turpenoid and mineral spirits. I find the safest approach is dish soaps, like Palmolive and Dawn. Dish soap is supposed to go down the sink, and it chemically breaks down oil paint. Dish soap should not be used as a thinner during painting though, since it does its job too well. Dish soap also removes that oily or sticky feeling from brushes after use, and removes most stains. It will take the fluff out of your fluffy brush, but the brush will do what it’s supposed to do just as well.

I hope this is helpful to anyone who was curious about these items, or is new to painting (or even not new).

Pill Poppers and Other Drugs

April 19, 2014 - Leave a Response

This is not so much an anti-drug rant as it an anti-pill-poppers-on-the-city-bus-rant.

There is a good-sized group of people, most from Derby (CT), who like to exchange pills and other drugs at bus stops and on the bus as well. Aside from the obvious fact that I’ve seen their exchanges in broad daylight, I also know they are popping pills because they transition from sleepy-time to hyperactive in 0.1 seconds.

Now I can tolerate the people who hang around downtown in New Haven and smoke pot in the kiosk because they don’t start shit with anyone and they mind their own business. But damn, deal your fucking pills and crack somewhere else, like at home, behind closed doors where no one is watching.

The worst part about this group is their lack of self control. The ring leader of this group is ornery. If you so much as look her way and she feels like it’s the wrong way, she’ll get up in your face about it. Very few people in this world can intimidate me. But this woman I avoid with every ounce of my being. Once she gets into a fight she can’t stop, to the point where a whole pack of people will have to drag her away. What’s sad is she used to be nice to everyone, she had friends, and now she’s lost so much weight her skin has broken out and the only people who want to be around her are her fellow pill poppers.

Did I mention all of the people in this group are white? Except for one, she’s Hispanic. I think they think it makes them badass. They pick fights with each other, scream and yell, etc, because they think they have a right to do it. And here’s the kicker for anyone who wants to associate black people with drugs: The only thing that any black person deals on the New Haven green is pot. I don’t smoke pot but I know it’s not exactly a hardcore, dangerous drug. Any other sales are cigarettes and bootlegs. So by all means tell me how bad black people are bad for society…

It’s gotten to the point where I cannot sit comfortably on the city bus without loud, obnoxious people starting shit with other people. I’m about to get an MP3 player because I need to be able to tune it out. Half the bus drivers ignore it, and even though the other half kicks the pill poppers off the bus, they still know there’s a 50% chance they won’t get in trouble. This is the only affordable transportation I have access to, so I don’t have other options besides ones which are very expensive.

CT Transit needs to develop better rules about who can and cannot ride the bus, if they haven’t already. Drivers should be trained to spot anyone who is intoxicated and not let them on the bus. Basic public safety is all I’m asking for here, it’s as simple as that.

I found a hole in vegan logic.

April 13, 2014 - Leave a Response

I can’t stand that “smarter way” that people talk about. How they think it’s smarter to not eat anything that has a mother or a face.

There’s nothing smart about not understanding nature’s concept of predator and prey. We don’t eat things for the sake of eating. We eat other animals to recycle them. Nature does not eliminate things. The nutrients from the food animals eat goes through their bodies, and out, and I’m sure you can imagine what the out is.

Animals in slaughter houses are not pets – that’s why they’re in slaughter houses. I know what goes on in these places, and what types of people work in these places. Do you really think happy go lucky people would work a job where they kill livestock every day?

Going back to the mother or a face logic… This is not smart. Every living thing on this planet has a mother. Even those micro-organisms on your food may reproduce asexually but they also have mothers. In that sense, it’s inevitable you’ll eat something with a mother no matter what you do. The best part is, plants have genders, and they have sex. Trees are female, because they bare fruit containing seeds which make them ovaries. Flowers are male because their pollen fertilizes the seeds in the fruit. Plants may not have faces, but they do have mothers, so based on your logic you should be starving yourself to death.

Artists are Ruthless

April 7, 2014 - Leave a Response

I am a student at Southern CT State University. In the time I’ve spent in their art program, I’ve met some wonderful people and made friends who I think are the types of people I want to surround myself with. I’ve also formed great professional relationships to many professors, teachers of art and other subjects. Unfortunately, I’ve also run into a few individuals who are cut-throat monsters.

I enjoy sharing my art on facebook, because that is where my friends are and my page is private. I usually have a story related to each painting I do, and I like to share that story. I just unfriended a student fro my painting class because I can’t trust her. Here’s why:

Throughout this Spring semester she has repeatedly tried to undermine my intelligence. I am not five years old. I’ve been painting, drawing, sculpting, etc for over 20 years and I know a few things. I’m self taught to an extent; most of what I know I learned in art programs and college. When you start comparing yourself to other artists, you stop growing as an artist.

I think she is insecure, because otherwise she wouldn’t need to copy my ideas. For example, our final assignment is to create a still life with objects that have a meaning to us (in other words a self portrait). I said I wanted to paint books and knick-knacks, and now that’s what she wants to do. There are other things she has copied, this isn’t the only instance. It’s one thing to be inspired by an artist, and it’s another thing to be so ruthlessly competitive. I get it – you’re grade is suffering, because of the choices you made and now you are desperate. Well too bad sweetheart, because it’s time to be a grown-up, and college is where the big kids play.

Art can be a multitude of things. A hobby/craft, lifestyle and/or a business. If you treat other artists like your enemies, like they are your competition for success, then you aren’t ready to make art your career choice. You won’t sell your art by pissing off everyone around you, you’ll just ruin your reputation and ruin other opportunities, like collaboration. Granted, I’m not nice to people because I see other artists as business opportunities; I do it because people deserve to be treated nice. But I damn sure won’t shoot myself in the foot.

Ideas should only be shared with people you trust, plain and simple.

Does ___ Make a Good Pet?

April 4, 2014 - Leave a Response

Inevitably, someone who has never kept an exotic pet before will ask this question at least once. What this question really means is “Will this pet snuggle in my lap, be easy to pet and play with, eat food out of a can and be easily house trained?” Exotic pets are exotic for a reason. They are not typical cats and dogs. They require needs that are far different, as well as different kinds of space.

I recently received a disgruntled email from the Center of Biological Diversity. They are pushing for legislation that will ban the trade and import of large constrictors (boas and pythons) across the United States. If such a legislation were to go into effect I would not only be on the phone with the Better Business Bureau immediately, I would also be very angry at all of the foolish people who bought a hatchling burmese python, then got scared of it when it grew to 10 or more feet, and released it into the everglades. The same foolish person was probably told that a burmese python makes a “good” pet.

Don’t get me wrong here, I have three aquatic turtles and a Colombian red tail boa. I did extensive research on how to take care of a boa constrictor long before I got Sophie (that’s her name). She grows to approximately eight feet long, but it is possible for her to grow up to ten feet. Sophie requires a lot of space in her habitat. She needs a water dish she can fit her entire body into for soaking, and plants for hiding. We use aspen bedding so that she can dig/tunnel, generally be comfortable and also because there are no oils or other substances in aspen that her skin can absorb. ALL snakes can absorb toxins into their skin very easily, especially oils. Pine oil could kill Sophie if it got into her body, so we don’t use pine bedding.

So no, Sophie does not make a good pet. She’s interesting, a comfortable challenge, and she is part of our family. But from Sophie’s perspective I’m the human that gives her a rat every three weeks and takes her out of her habitat two to three times a week to let her climb all over me. To Sophie I am not a predator, not food, just a safe animal for her to be around so that she can ensure her survival. Dogs think of you as a companion, cats even think of you as a companion, but snakes do not.

I read an article recently about a female burmese python that was found in the Florida everglades, and he was over twenty feet long. Obviously she was released by her owner who bit off more than he/she could chew, or she escaped. Either way her owner was irresponsible. They did not catch her and try to rehome her. They killed her. She didn’t even attack the people that found her, she was just automatically expendable. And even if she had bitten one of those people, constrictors are not venomous. Snakes bite because they feel their personal space is being invaded, and biting is their last resort. The snake is only a hazard to Florida wildlife when an IDIOT puts the snake in the wild. Snakes don’t sit around plotting against the ecosystem.

I don’t believe banning large constrictors is the solution. I believe banning ownership of snakes with no strings attached is a better solution. A permit can turn off a lot of people very easily, and people who don’t have one get caught pretty quick. Americans are better about calling in animal abuse, neglect and illegal trade/ownership than protecting their own HUMAN children.

Exotic pets don’t make good pets, they make exotic ones. If you have the time, energy, money and responsible personality you can take care of an exotic pet and enjoy doing it.

Is “Princess and the Frog” a Racist Film?

March 31, 2014 - Leave a Response

In early December of 2009, Disney released “The Princess and the Frog”. One of the key sales pitches for the movie was Tiana, Disney’s first black princess. In addition, they also made the point that the typical fairy tale of a princess kissing a frog and turning him into a prince would have a plot twist. When I was a little kid I would’ve rushed to see this film but since it came out after I graduated from college, the appeal wasn’t there. Well, a week ago I went to see Frozen with a friend of mine, and after seeing it I decided it was time for me to get around to seeing Princess and the Frog.

At the end of the movie I couldn’t tell which side Disney is on anymore. In many parts they tried too hard to appeal to a black audience by slipping in racial remarks to show Tiana’s oppression in the economic world. A character like Charlotte, who is oblivious to the feelings of others and demands everything from her father, is an example of white privilege. At the same time, voodoo is grossly misrepresented as black magic, and I’ll get into detail about that later. Tiana spends two-thirds of the film as a green frog, so her skin color is also misrepresented. Then there are these race-neutral parts, like only one stereotype (not that I want that to be there), and Tiana is a self-taught chef and busting her ass to make a living regardless of what people say (to an extent, I’ll get into detail about that too).

Does a film with a black princess need to address racism at all? I don’t believe it does. Tiana did not need to be shown in such a phony attempt to care about economic struggles based on race. When the bankers make a comment about Tiana’s background, and the rich snob known as Charlotte whines that she never gets what she wants, it’s so obvious that Disney is trying to appeal to our “omg that’s racist!” sweet spot (that we don’t actually have). Blacks aren’t all about racism, we’ve got other things going on in our lives. Honestly, the only Disney movies that I believe properly addressed racism and sexism, are Pocahontas, The Lion King 2, and Mulan. I’m not a fan of John Smith, but Disney is capable of making the point that the human race is not divided based on skin color and gender. Kiara and Kovu are an excellent example of a healthy interracial couple. If you are familiar with China’s society, women across the country feel denigrated because of their sex, and Mulan shows that perfectly when she rebels against everybody. Disney could’ve dug deeper in regard to what European settlers (*cough* murderers) did to Native Americans, but they touched on that “savages” attitude quite well. Why was it so hard for them to get Tiana’s story right?

What they got wrong is Tiana spends so much time as a frog, that it makes me wonder what was the point of even having a black princess, if they weren’t going to actually show her? Tiana may work hard, but most of the other black characters are seen partying or lounging around, fitting into that lazy black person stereotype. Her mother’s statements about not losing sight of what’s important, aka romance, is not a viable option for a black woman in the REAL world. She doesn’t have the resources or the time to run around chasing men, because if she let’s go of what she has she can’t get it back like some white people out there. The movie tries to steer toward making it okay to sit back and relax, hope it all works out, but we just don’t have that option in the business world. Furthermore, this romance they create with Prince Naveen is both positive and negative. He’s biracial, but he’s not black. He’s from another country, but he behaves like a leech. Why did he have to be white, rich and useless? Why couldn’t he be black, rich and a good man? What’s so wrong with a black couple? What bothers me the most is Tiana makes a deal with Naveen for him to pay for her restaurant. So she is trying to take a hand-out. The least they could’ve done is give her some integrity.

I get that the movie is set in New Orleans which means people expect voodoo, gumbo, jambalaya and beignets, but there are other things in that city. Mardi Gras was pretty invisible, jazz barely heard and it was sad. Disney did lousy research on voodoo, because voodoo dolls aren’t used to curse or kill people. Each pin has a color which stands for things like peace of mind, love, etc. A regular old spellcaster would have been fine if they needed magic in there so badly. Also, the demons that the villain makes a deal with, are shown as African tribal masks, making it seem like “bad” voodoo came from Africa, or that black people are scary or some other ridiculous association we supposedly have with the spooky stuff. Now, voodoo did originate in West Africa, but I don’t think that’s what Disney was implying.

Why is it so hard for Disney to have black characters? They don’t have to be poor, struggling, or oppressed. If Disney really needs to make a movie about that, show it for what it is, and have the character(s) fight to escape it. Stop trying too hard and misrepresenting people and practices.

Guess What Autism Is, and Isn’t

March 24, 2014 - Leave a Response

Certain things infuriate me, and one of those things is talking to people like they aren’t all there, don’t get it, or don’t understand. There’s a lot of stigma and misinformation surrounding autism and I’d like to have a chat with you about it.

Autism spectrum disorder is not an intellectual delay. People who are diagnosed with an ASD aren’t “idiots”. They are quite the opposite. It’s not uncommon for someone who has a high functioning ASD to have an average or above average IQ score. Savants are not so uncommon either. For example, you could send me to work in a building with absolutely no visible clocks, watches or cell phones for a week, and I’d still be able to tell you what time it is, because I can count time in my head. I can also teach myself most foreign languages within approximately 2 to 4 weeks. Now these traits are because I have OCD, but it’s easier for me to describe myself than somebody else. Someone with ASD can have a below average IQ score, but that still doesn’t characterize ASD as a learning disorder. I’ll explain why later on.

ASD is a neurological and developmental delay. Sensory and motor function is effected, as well as social interaction. Someone with ASD can have a hard time relating to other people, approaching them and maintaining relationships. They may seem awkward or inappropriate, clingy or distant. ASD effects the ability to walk, communicate verbally, use hands to work with small objects (fine motor skills), and emotional expressions. People can become easily frightened by things like rearranging furniture, which would be “no big deal” to someone who isn’t autistic. Hypersensitivity to sound and touch can be both upsetting and painful. Sometimes hypersensitivity to touch is based on levels of trust, and other times it’s because being touched is uncomfortable or painful.

Asperger syndrome, contrary to popular belief, is no longer considered part of the autism spectrum by most doctors and psychologists. The reason for this is because Asperger syndrome effects social behavior and language, but not always physical development. People with AS tend to be very skilled with manipulating objects, in other words taking things apart and putting them back together. AS involves more obsessive-compulsive type traits, such as fascinations with vehicles, mathematics and physics.

Autism is associated with aggression and violence, but that doesn’t mean it causes those things. Aggression can be brought out by intense emotional experiences, like losing a close family member or friend. Children and adults connect with other people differently from the average population, so they either don’t think too much of someone’s presence in their life, or that person’s presence is the most important thing in their world. Interruption and change in activities and routines can be also be met with aggression because they don’t always have a way to say they upset or make a compromise or easily make rational decisions. Not to insult anyone, but sometimes the solution to a problem is if Luke Skywalker suddenly appeared and started swinging his light-saber all over the place. There isn’t always a clear definition of where reality ends and fantasy begins in the mind of someone with ASD. Autism is not insanity; everything is just the same.

There is a believed link between the increased size of the amygdala in the brain, and ASD. An enlarged amygdala takes up space which means a loss of gray matter, leading to a lower IQ. In addition, the amygdala is directly below the sensory cortex and motor cortex, which explains in part why neurological development is effected. The amygdala is also the main emotion hub of the brain, and when it’s bigger, it’s going to produce bigger emotions. This characteristic has been observed in various brain scans, and many, but not all doctors are willing to call it a direct cause of autism.

Quality of life for someone with autism has the same chance at being great or terrible as every other human being on this planet. People with autism are not destined for loneliness, or living without independence (to an extent, severe ASD can greatly restrict self-care). Patience and understanding may sound cheesy but if you respect people and the challenges they face, you won’t judge them. In truth, the more exposure people with ASD have to other people and the world, the better they do as they grow.

Mental Breakdown

March 14, 2014 - Leave a Response

If you are a fan of 2NE1, you may have heard of the “controversy” surrounding their song Mental Breakdown, abbreviated as MTBD on their album titled “Crush”. The claim by “fans” who say they are Muslim, and soon after by the Korea Muslim Federation, is that the background singing during the bridge contains a prayer from the Quran.

It seems nowadays that people are waiting around to be offended by things that aren’t offensive. The background singing is pretty obviously CL’s voice, which means that she would have had to recite an Islamic prayer in Arabic to utter perfection in order for it to sound like what people claim it sounds like. I worked with refugees for a long time who spoke Arabic around me every single day, and if this background singing was in Arabic I would be able to pick up on it. This Indian/Middle-eastern sort of sampling that hip hop artists like to do these days always sounds the same no matter who does it because it is easy to mimic, dramatize and intensify. CL’s background singing, and the recording of the prayer that people are comparing her singing to, don’t sound the same. The prayer is too short, and CL’s singing is too long.

Moving on from logic, lets talk about the death threats. All over twitter, youtube and facebook are comments left by people telling CL to “go die”, calling her a variety of gender based slurs, and saying other things which I don’t want to repeat here. At this point, when you threaten to kill someone and cyber bully them, whatever disrespect you may have felt in regard to your religion is moot. If I were in charge of the Korea Muslim Federation, I would not have said the following: “Muslims find this song to be a severe insult and are demanding for the agency to take action including quickly removing it or editing the entire song, and apologizing to Muslims… In the case that they don’t comply to the demand, we will take action with the Muslims around the world who find this to be a serious matter.” Exactly what action do you plan to take? Legal, or violent? I consider death threats far more offensive and deserving to be apologized for, rather than background singing in a song.

Given the gender slurs, like “bitch”, “cunt”, “whore”, and the evolution of this hatred turning into an attack on CL’s sensual choreography during a live performance of MTBD, I really don’t believe this is about the Quran. Or maybe it is, and you are using CL’s womanhood and dance moves as a justification for verbal abuse, and to paint her as “evil”.

MTBD is a rap song, by a woman who is talking about karma, and the belief system by men that women are crazy. In order for CL, 2NE1 and their producer(s) to come to the conclusion to use an Islamic prayer, they would have had to do a fair amount of research, which may have eventually clued them in that karma is a Hindu belief, and not Islam. Wouldn’t make sense to use a Quran prayer about heaven and grapevines. One Islamic belief is “love first”, but clearly that didn’t happen. I am not familiar with laws in South Korea, but on the basis of principle 2NE1 are allowed to express themselves freely and saying they can’t is censorship. It’s not that different from Christians who are offended by gay marriage – your religion does not dictate the actions of someone else who does not worship the same religion as you. I know the Quran is precious to you, and if Muslims aren’t supposed to put it in a song, then Muslims shouldn’t put it in a song. That is your decision that you have the right to make. But 2NE1 have brains of their own, and they are allowed to make their own decisions too.


Word to the wise: Death threats and hate language will not be accepted here, and they will be taken seriously.

Dignified Black People

February 8, 2014 - Leave a Response

Wanda Sykes did a joke a while back and I’d like you to watch it:

I do feel like we can rest easy a little bit. Things are a lot better than they once were. But there’s just one thing I cannot handle… PULL YOUR PANTS UP.

Have a little dignity. I don’t care if you think “saggin” is your backwards lingo for identifying your “niggas”, or if you know and don’t care that wearing your pants low originated in jail and means you want anal sex. Your underwear, leg warmers, bare skin, is something I do not need to see. Have some self respect when you walk down the street. Do you even understand that walking down the street with your pants down is indecent exposure?

Understand that the way you present yourself doesn’t speak for the entire black community, but it does speak for you. Maybe you do want to look “gangsta” and “thug”. Maybe you think this saggy pants routine is part of living in the projects, the ghetto, poor neighborhoods and thus some sort of African American culture, well I got news for you, it isn’t. Do you really want to immortalize a “style” that came from jail?

I used to tell you guys to pull your pants up, and that doesn’t work anymore because your response is to lower them. How childish do you have to be? Do you really think I’m trying to suppress your blackness? Look, I get that people need solidarity and to rebel, fight the machine/power and I do that a lot, but pulling your pants down and signaling your homies for anal sex is not the way to do it. There are thousands of other ways you can freely express yourself, that won’t impact your dignity.

First Earth

February 1, 2014 - Leave a Response

All worlds are made of the balance of nature. In the human world, individuals make up species which work together to create a network. But in another world, the balance is maintained by four governors. Their existence and willpower ensures that the parts of the world they govern will remain intact. But take a governor away, and the continuous circle breaks, then the world slowly crumbles into chaos.

This world has a deep connection with Earth so powerful that four human souls continuously live generation after generation. These humans aren’t aware that they are the human equivalents to the four governors of this other world. When Seria, the governor born of fire, is murdered, her human equivalent is summoned by her best friend, Melly. Without Ethne, the balance cannot be maintained, Seria will remain dead, and since this is a one-way trip, he has no choice but to help.

Ethne picks up a group of damaged and lovable characters to embark on a journey with him across the world. Melly acts as a guide. Arake, a fire-spitting snake takes on a maternal role. Seef, a new woman trapped in an old society, and her estranged sister Koo share their struggles. They stay together because they know without them, the world cannot exist.

October 3rd, 2014.


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