Friday, October 30, 2009

Course Discussion: The Story of Stuff

This is a blog post concerning the content of this flash-video for my participation of a course in English at Karlstad University.

While I watched the video I wrote down notes to keep thoughts that flew through my head. The little note looks like this:

corporation vs government - sweden vs US
burning itself up?
how to change this?
idealistic - is it possible?

And this will be my index.

1. Corporation vs government.
The thought came up because a couple of friends talked about it. In the US, the perceived image is that the government is your friend, and the large corporations are your enemies. In Sweden, at least this is my opinion, it's the other way around. We're quick to blame the government for things, and if large corporations get critizised it's usually the government-involved ones like SJ or Posten or one bank or another. I'm not convinced either is my friend, really, more like I'm Andorra and they're France and Spain.
Does this have some connection to the fact that many large corporations try out new trends in Sweden first, because Swedes are somehow very "fashion sensitive"? Det lilla landet lagom wants to fit in everywhere, which means the propaganda about shoes and computers really hits the right spot.

2. Consumers.
The video says "our main role in society these days is to be consumers". Is our value judged not from what we produce but what we consume? Transferred to the Arts, this would mean, it doesn't matter if you paint well as long as you have good taste in paintings. And wouldn't you say that in some ways this is true? That a lot of people live according to this? "Good taste". Such bullshit, just like fashion.

3. Burning itself up.
The dude who said "let's consume our heads off because it's good for the economy" apparantly never noticed as a child in the sandbox that if you keep digging the sand away and dump it on your mom's favorite flowers, it will eventually run out, and so will the fun.

4. How to change this.
I wonder how much time and money and effort has been put down to get us where we are now? How much have the big corporations showered us in propaganda and "information"? Can we really turn it around without an opposite force of equal measure? Yes, I guess. With the right angle of application we can chance the course, and with a few smart wall-bounces we might turn it around. But the thought of it is overwhelming. Like the hobbits must have felt looking out over a sea of orcs. Or like the swedish hockey team watching russia play back in the day.

5. Idealistic.
Is it then possible to create a perfect cycle? I don't think nature does perfect cycles, it does cycles but not perfect ones. Things change, things end, things die and break and are lost. Our planet isn't a closed system, nothing is a closed system. But, at the risk of sounding cliché, I don't think that the fact that we'll never get it perfect is an excuse for not trying to make it better.

Final Reflections
It must be all the propaganda I've been force-fed, but this type of environmental/humanitarian/sensible reasoning always sound somewhat... wussy. Which is strange, considering I've grown up with the very particular dialogues of superhero comics. It takes all my strength to take it in and not brush it off as I did religion before, and tend to do feminism now.
I guess the inner cave animal screams in protest at the mere thought of having to give up 42" plasma TV so that starved orphans can have some extra rice a few times a week. And it's possibly the existance of that animal that makes all this so damned hard. If only it could realize that we should just start at recycling the boxes with microwave food in, and work from there, maybe it would see that it's not the end of the world.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Value of a Good Story

I just finished inFamous and... wow.


I did not see that coming.

I mean... yeah.

And... well, I suppose...



Saturday, October 24, 2009

High on Reality and Darkness

I want to tell you something, a lot of things, you being used in its plural form in the meaning of "the people of the world". I just want to pour some things out of my head. I'm not drunk, although I've never before wanted to be as much as I do right now. I'm going to tell you why I'm not drunk in a bit.

This is going to be a long post.

It's the Uppsala International Short Film Festival, and I'm enjoying it as much as I can. Almost 6 hours of short films today makes for a lot of varying quality, and a lot of emotions. They're beginning to settle now because I've gotten home and am returning to my usual bubble, so I have to write quickly. This might turn out a bit without structure.

The last block of films I saw were under the theme of "gay/lesbian". They confirmed even more the growing suspicion of how heterosexual I am. Not that I believe anyone really is 100 % one or the other, but the percentile women who attract me is very, very small. Sadly. Sadly, because it limits my world. On the other hand women scares me, so that might be it. They really, really scare me. All defenses I have, every last bit of bubble and shield and sword, go up at the presence of a woman. Hanging out with guys is much easier. And this from someone who wants to break genders, make them not a factor to social life. Who am I to say "treat genders equally" when as soon as I see boobs I retract like a snail in a shell? No, actually, it's not the boobs. It's the face. The eyes, and the make-up. Women look so sneaky and seductive and mean.

I am coming to terms with that I am woman, and I am disabled. Generally I wanted to paint the former over with thick black paint, and hide the later under a pile of leaves. But the womanhood is still there under the paint, and the leaves blow away and scatter at the slightest gust of wind.

A disabled guy in one of the films compared being woman to being disabled. He wanted the disabled to gather as a people, like a race or ethnicity, and start war on the "healthy". He thought the reasons women are looked down on are the same as why disabled are looked down on. Because humanity fears weakness. He compared disability to Oden's sacrifice of one eye to get the power of the well, or Jesus' sacrifice on the cross; offering one thing to gain another. He cried at the mention of how children with one of those syndromes, I think it was Down's, are no longer born in Denmark because of screening of fetuses. They're selected away.

And I was thinking, if someone gave me the option to cut of my leg right now and replace it with cyborg parts, I would. And the thought have run through my mind more than once, that maybe I shouldn't have children on the off chance that whatever I have is inherited. Not that I have an overwhelming wish to get pregant or give birth anyway, it scares the shitfuck out of me. But still. And I was wondering, would that guy include me in his army of disabled people? Does mine count that far? How bad is it really? On the point scale of sucking, what is mine worth? Or am I stuck in between again.

There were a wide range of women at the showing of the gay/lesbian thing, everything from the femme fatale to the butchy butch. I looked at them and wondered if that was what people saw when they look at me? But I also felt how we overlapped and where we were different. And once again, how much I am a woman. I don't want to replace it, just stash it away in the corner marked "insignificant". Or I don't know what I want. Sometimes I think I know exactly what I want only there is no way to realize it, so I'm just dressing it up in "possible" words, when everything I feel is really "impossible".

I have a new pair of jeans and I love them endlessly. I was waiting for a movie to start yesterday, and a guy and a girl walked by me, and then the guy said to the girl sort of low-key "I thought that was a dude", that's how awesome my jeans are.

I usually have a thingy made from the same stuff that's in hockey sticks to help me walk better, but it's broken so I've been without it for a while, and it sucks giant hairy monkey balls, is what it does. I stumble a lot. On the way home I actually stumbled so much I fell on the asphalt. My thoughts were, chronologically, "oh shit", "cool, I'll scrape my jeans", and "I hope I don't land on my bag and break stuff". Then, on the ground, I was just overwhelmed with anger. A little at me and my sucky leg, but mostly because I felt embarrassed and mortified about falling and it was everyone else's fault that I felt that way. If I'd been alone I wouldn't have. So I was angry at the world, and in an uncharacteristical display of emotion I cursed, flailed about a bit, got up and kicked the curb a few times for good measure. I really wanted to turn into a karate-master, go into a dark alley and kick the shit out of whatever random person I found there.

After that I felt dark. A friend was going to a club and I'd said no because it was reggae and because I wasn't in any way dressed for partying, but I decided I wanted to be drunk and get a hug, so I walked there. I stopped outside, and looked at all the people, and listened to them being drunk and happy, and looked at the girls and then at my jeans, and I turned around and walked home. Even dolphins want to be sea lions at the sea lion beach.

Where are all those butch women normally? I've never seen them before. I've never seen a gay couple on town either. Where are they all hiding? And why can't we all mix? Because sea lions are sea lions and dolphins are dolphins and neither want to admit there are mutant sea animals in between.

Who wants a girl who dresses like me? Boys seem to want women who aggressively declare they are women by the way they are and talk and walk and dress. There might be some evolutionary reason for this. I don't have any clear reason why I dress like I do except I think it looks good. I think skirts look stupid, most of the time on most people. I wish boys would agree with me. Can I has brainwashing power? Most of all I think, everyone want to display who they are through how they dress, in some way, more or less. And if I walked outside in whatever is today's fashion, and felt like I looked like everyone else, I would feel so stupid. Probably how they would feel in my clothes.

It's in my head. I am well aware that the only reason I didn't go inside the club is because I decided against it; I don't blame that on other people like I blame them for feeling stupid about falling. I don't regret or feel like I missed out on something big either. I shot a look at the sea lion beach and decided I wasn't up for it.

If you hug me right now, it'd better not be because of anything I've written in here. Spikes are out for tonight.

I came home and saw myself in the glass in the door to the building, and I thought "you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of". I look awesome. That's not the issue.

I'll make a pact with you. I won't delete this post in the morning when I realize how self-obsessive it is, and you... you handle me with care, ok? Respectful care.

And you might not realize it from reading this, but I am ok. I am so good. I am high on reality and darkness and the energy that random drunken people on town surround themselves with, and the anonymity of being stumbled into or yelled at a friday night. I feel like my edges are sharper. I feel photoshopped. I feel alone and stronger because of it. So no worries :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Expressive Simplicity

Hey, still have some problems with the blog :/ hope I can sort out just why it decides to go all slow and laggy and bog down my entire internet as soon as I view it, does it do that to you too?

Anyway, I've just been poking around in the absense of sensible sleep and was going to try posting some crap just to see if it's gotten better.

This i a logo for something I don't remember anymore. I saved it along with several other funny/good/otherwise interesting logos a few days back. Tell me you didn't first have a flash thought of "hey, what do you mean eight" before you saw through it?

I remember someone writing that they thought the AXE logo was ingenious because the A was the spray can, the X was the spray, and the E was the upper body of someone lifting his arms. But when I look at it these days, all I see is two penises and a big X between them... as if it's selling itself as "man repellant".

It's the logo equivalent of O.O and :O! It's also the baby of a film roll and the Scream ^^

Dunno what this was for either... but awesome, in it's simplicity.

What were they called, those things with a vase and two faces...

Okay, so it's just toblerone right? I never looked at the logo, because it's a mountain. I figured they made the candy that shape because they're from somewhere with a mountan and whatever. But. The place they're from is apparantly named something that means "city of bears". I've known what a toblerone was since I grew teeth, but I never saw that before.

Another logo at least I have seen a thousand times. I never look at logos much, so this was just some random pattern I didn't give a crap about. It isn't so random though, obviously. I might be the only one amazed by this one...

Finally, this is an ad. A serious ad, with a very professional-looking home page. At first I thought it was just a funny word pun and they were some sort of business people like accountants or whatever. But no. These guys are litteral, as far as I can tell.

I hope this displays right on all different screen resolutions. With blogger's unsettling way of handling pictures I can't say I'm convinced it will. Cheers!