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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Joke That Flew Over Their Heads

I don't watch television often, but I do, on occasion, watch the Daily Show.  For those of you who aren't aware, the Daily Show is a news program relies on satire.  It approaches things that most people avoid in polite society.  It paints the serious, terrifying occurrences in our world with humor meant to help the viewer recognize how insane most political 'dialogue' is.

Many people don't like the Daily Show because the jokes require thought, objective reasoning, an awareness of people besides oneself, and a dedication to dark humor that is beyond some people's capacity.  That was the case with this particular episode segment.


Reading the comments section of this particular clip unfortunately led to a long analysis about the state of our culture, racism, sexism, and lack of awareness.  On the internet, many people are their worst possible selves, the most honest because they think there will be no repurcussions.  Because the comments sections on a few websites featuring the clip, I started to examine the things said using my knowledge of statistics, psychology, and experiences with racial prejudice. 

Most of the majority that claimed that the episode wasn't funny, that the new correspondent "should be fired", and called the segment "awkward and painful" were White males.  I wasn't surprised because it has been statistically proven that those with privelage in a hegemonic power system are more likely to be inter-culturally insensitive.

There was also a number of people who passively didn't get the joke, but defended the comedian.  The, "Give the guy another chance." sorts of folks.  Many of them were of minority backgrounds or women, but there were also still, a decent number of White males- which is commendable in its own way.

But, there were only a few people who not only got the joke, but where also able to defend the Daily Show and the correspondent properly...about 5% of ALL the commenters who responded to this clip on the digital media websites I visited.  Of that 5%, all of them were minority or minority AND female.  Ok.  Most of them were minority AND female.

That's what bugs me.  In this day and age, many Americans are quick to label themselves 'color-blind' and 'humanist'.  They claim that they don't see the differences between minorities and women as a problem.  However, this blindness isn't to the insignificant details that make people different, like skin-color and hair texture or gender.  The blindness that people are creating is a culturally enforced insensitivity that is fueled by stereotypes, ignorance, and entitlement.  They think that because they don't actively say and do horrible things, they aren't racist.  However, they continue to dwell in the offensive, bias, and close-minded stereotypes that make life for minorities and women difficult.  It's this sort of blindness that causes people to believe that dressing up in blackface, that telling a woman to go back to the kitchen is funny, and that using the N-word is fine because we now have a Black president.  It's insidiously evil.

Why?  Because it makes it ok to ignore the things that make us different and worse, allows racial biases and harmful stereotypes to perpetuate and defend themselves with 'you're being hypersensitive', 'Well, I have ____ friends you  know!', and the ever dreaded, 'I'm not trying to be racist/sexist but...'.    All of them seek to diminish one's right to be offended by someone applying stereotypes to others.  They make it impolite to insist that one isn't being treated fairly by claiming 'blind'.  They make it wrong to be upset when things like, 'you're so well-spoken for a _____ person', 'You're into robotics? I thought you'd be into, like fashion design.', and 'Who are you?  O-oh..  From the phone interview I was expecting you to...uh...' come out of people's mouths. 

And that is why I'm going to explain the joke of this particular Daily Show clip, so we can do away with this particular bit of color-blindness and move on with being truly accepting of one another and appreciating good humor and a satire of the values we claim, but have not actually achieved.

Michael Che is one of 4 black comedians invited to act as correspondents on the Daily Show since the show's pilot.  1 of 4... out of nearly 100.  Might I remind you that the Daily Show began airing in 1996.  The others performed in expected comedic fashion- buffoonery, self-depreciating jokes, etc.  But Che delivered his well-informed report in complete deadpan, with all seriousness, in a truly professional, flawlessly polished demeanor.  Jon Stewart and especially Aasif Mandvi immediately reacted by being uncomfortable and even stated that Che's obviously the most informed person there and that he should 'stop making the rest of us look bad'.  He's told to 'lighten up' and 'make it funny'.

That was the joke.  The joke wasn't the deadpan delivery or even the fact that this comedian 'failed' to deliver the news like all the others. The joke, was in the spirit of the Daily Show's dedication to irreverently using satire to expose biases.  It took one of the most damaging of all stereotypes and ground it right in the viewer's face.  It drew it out and let them marinate in it until it made the whole thing viciously uncomfortable.  Because that's how you feel when you're faced with that kind of situation.

For those of you who aren't aware, African Americans are among the least likely to be hired for professional jobs because the stereotype is that they're are lazy, violent, and unreasonable.  Those who manage to claw their way into these positions do so by being impeccably polished at all times or by pretending to be completely stupid.  There are even some minority bloggers who have advised that you keep your smarts to yourself to avoid being seen as a threat and becoming the black sheep of the office.  They squeeze themselves into a non-threatening mold made of educational accolades, work experience, and copious references, or they dumb themselves down to keep people from being scared of them. Women have to do the

They become chameleons, turning off their culture to appeal to a 'color-blind' world.  In the instances where this drive motivates Blacks and other minorities to exceed expectations, it becomes another sort of dangerous game.  You can't outshine your majority counterparts too much or they'll start to see you as a threat and say, 'You're making us look bad,' 'Lighten up', and 'make it funny'.

That was the joke.  A professional minority male in a position where he expects that he must be twice as good to be as good and he's thrown a curveball as his co-workers reveal themselves to be a bunch of light-hearted goofballs who have no clue why he is the way that he is.  They aren't mean about it, they just don't understand it and more importantly, they want him to STOP... because he's making them look bad.

The sad thing is, that the effects of stereotyping are not restricted to just African Americans.  Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, and many others suffer similar struggles as stereotypes label their dark skin as 'bad' or 'ugly' and seek to pigeonhole them in little boxes of 'acceptable careers' for their particular races.  We all know of these stereotypes.  Our lives are influenced by them every single day.  When we become color-blind, we become unaware of when malicious people use these stereotypes to bar our neighbors from jobs, opportunities, and fair treatment.  We become blind to the malice that sexualizes certain races and creates expectations that are unreasonable.  We become racist...without knowing it.

There's also an unexpected, secondary joke at play as well.  The fact that the majority of the people who understood the joke ... were female.  Society is quick to tell us that women aren't funny.  Women aren't witty.  Women are supposed to sit there and laugh even if it's not amusing.  They are supposed to never outshine their male co-workers.  You can either be a bitch, overlooked, or a ditz.  There's no other option for women.  Sad, considering that women have proved that they can do the things that men can, sometimes better- even humor.  It was mostly women who got the joke, found it to be funny because it is a truth that they have lived, and could express compassion.  Think about that.

When I saw the individuals who didn't get the joke and thought about those few who did, I wondered if, in some small part of their hearts, they simultaneously gave a cry of anguish in light of their reality and breathed a sigh of relief because they saw that they weren't hypersentive and that their experiences were real.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tassels of Glory: 3rd Installment

Well, well now.  I'm keeping this short and sweet.  This is the third tassel necklace I made this year.  This time, I used onyx instead of colorful gemstones.  It gives a solid design without forcing you to color match anything. 



I didn't get very many good photos of it, but I tried. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tassels of Glory: 2nd Installment

The second necklace, I decided to continue with the gemstone angle, but used some color inspirations from a design I completed a few years ago.


For those of you who are wondering about the fate of the necklace pictured above, she is gone to a new home, sold for a tidy sum. You will notice that she actually features the same sort of findings as the necklace in my previous post.  That is because years ago, when I was a silly, misinformed thing, I was still sold on the notion that I had to pay full price for my findings, always.  Luckily, I've fine-tuned my shopping skills and I can now gather supplies as good as these for a third of the price.  HA!

But enough about that.  Let's talk about the new kid on the block.





Tata For Now...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tassels of Glory: 1st Installment

You never know where you'll pick up inspiration.  Mine came from a coworker, who, despite the beauty of Swaroski crystals and other such beads, shuns them entirely because they are glass and 'fake'.  I tried combining Swarovski crystals with some carnelian beads I purchased from Let's Get Stranded (That used to be a bead shop on Roosevelt Road about 3 years ago). 

Combining the tassle's refined air with the simple polished gemstone beads proved to be much easier than I expected.  The Swarovski's sparkle only seemed to enhance rather than to detract. 


The result is this gorgeous sun-kissed necklace. 

It's like a slice of the dessert draped across your skin.  The weight of the necklace and findings is simply divine.  You guys know how I love a nice, weighty piece of jewelry.



Sashay away, Darling.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fringes and Tassles

You know, my mother posted a little expose about fringes on her blog recently.  As a jewelry designer, I've always loved tassels, fringes, and drapes.  They have a magical way of slimming the face and neck and adding drama.  Who doesn't love a little drama?

In the past, I've been able to successfully create and sell anything with a drape. It's a solid design element.  However, recently, I've gotten away from it because it costs money to gather up proper bead caps, barrel shaped beads that are unique enough to carry the focal of the design and all that darn chain can get really expensive really quickly.

Fortunately, places like Fire Mountain Gems offer some tidbits from Blue Moon Bead's discontinued design lines, like Oriental Express, Lost and Found, and a few others.  You can pick up some great focals to use on clothing, bags, or even your own jewelry items from there for a reasonable price.  That's where I found these adorable golden ribbon and chain tassles.  I featured them in a destash post a while ago.  Take a look.

There they are on the far left.
Now that I've successfully used up some beads and these glorious findings, I will post the designs tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday to make up for the posts you guys didn't get this week.  Sound fair?

Monday, June 23, 2014

No update today

It's not that I don't have things to post.  I haven't had opportunity to photograph, assign names, and come up with dialogue.  Things will be on schedule tomorrow. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dinn's Fire Necklace

Since I can't seem to create any sort of Zelda fanart bracelet and keep it for any length of time, I've decided to try for necklaces.  They're guaranteed to be too out there for anyone to want to buy them.  Here's my interpretation of Dinn's fire in necklace form.






Hopefully I can figure out a design for Farore's Wind and Nayru's love relatively soon.  Last thing I need is for someone to see this, buy it and have it missing from my next attempt at photographing the pieces TOGETHER.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Nayru's Love Redux AGAIN...Already Sold AGAIN

Well.  The title should explain enough of what happened.  Here are the pictures!




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Assymetry

In our daily lives we're constantly reminded that symmetry is important.  Lack thereof is somehow jarring and draws the eye- and not always in a good way.  I decided to experiment with that concept a bit.  I don't know if any of you has seen this necklace before...



...but it was the first asymmetrical design I've ever made.  Since then, I've refrained from duplicating designs like this, primarily because my first attempt at asymmetry didn't sell well.  I had the necklace a full two years before someone purchased it.  Well.  Since I like asymmetrical designs, I've decided to make as many as I want.  Poopoo on the rest of you if you don't like it.  It pleases me.  Viola!





I made two of these.  One, less lustrous one I will be keeping for myself for..uh... advertising purposes.  The other is now available in my Etsy Store. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tea Eggs

I'd always regarded tea eggs and soy eggs as 'those gross brown eggs'.  I'd seen them in magazines, on WTF foods posts and other features online.  They were mentioned alongside things like thousand year eggs, fermented fish, and unappetizing, pungent dishes that I wouldn't want near my face.  I'm usually quite open minded and will try anything twice, especially food.  However, many pickled, fermented, and 'keep it till it spoils and then unspoils' kinds of foods don't taste all that good to me.  Since the tea eggs appeared with foods most foul, I decided that they too must be yucky.

That is until I ate one.  A friend of mine from college met up with me in chinatown.  I was low on cash but I still wanted to hang out and catch up on life things.  Chinatown in Chicago offers a easy stress free way to do this.  No $7 coffees, or $25 meals.  Eight bucks can get you more food than you can feasibly eat.  We stopped in our favorite restaurant, Hing Kee, which, despite its growing popularity, hasn't suffered any diminishing quality in its food.  I ordered a ramen bowl.  It was only about $6.99 and came with a heap of veggies, meat and noodles.  Perfectly balanced meal.

What I wasn't expecting was the little addition on top of it.  A tea egg.  It was dull brown, and the stain had seeped into all parts of the egg white and yolk, turning them a strange ivory color.  I stared at it, shoved it aside and ate the rest of my food.  At the end of our meal and chat, my friend asked if I would eat the tea egg.  Let's face it, we both grew up with parents who believe in the clean plate club.  I carefully nibbled at it.  If I tasted it, I could at least abandon it with the excuse that it tasted weird.

It did taste weird... but not gross.  It was salty, had a mellow savory flavor and sharp sweet spices.  It was GOOD.  A week later I was craving the darn things, so I looked up some recipes online and tweaked them for my tastebuds.

A tea egg is much like a pickled egg.  Except the pickling process requires different ingredients.

1 1/2 cups of STRONG black tea
1 1/4 cups of dark soy sauce
1/4 tablespoons of chinese 5 spice
1 pinch of smoked paprika (I like my eggs smoky)
4 hard boiled eggs

After that, all you do is mix the liquid ingredients and the spices...and plunk the eggs into the mixture and set them aside in a covered bowl in the back of the fridge for a couple days.  The salt and fermentation from the soy sauce pickles the eggs, keeps them from spoiling and the rest of the flavors sink into them.

Take a look at my tea eggs.

Outsides, clean and unbroken...

The insides sport some of that brownish tint... I botched slicing them though.

They taste best when you eat them with an Asian style noodle dish.  By themselves, I find them to be a little too salty.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rakes on a Train: CTA inappropriateness

Have you ever ridden in a train and something unexpected happened? Maybe it was pleasant and some guy just burst into song.  Perhaps it was less pleasant and some teenagers made a fuss on the train or bus.  Maybe it was unpleasant and there was a random naked homeless guy dancing in the middle of train.

On CTA, you see it all.  There are the regular jerks who are just rude and inconsiderate, using their bags to hold the seat next to them because their ridiculous egos fill more space than the rest of ours.  There are people who are trying to make spectacles of themselves for popularity, fame, whatever.  There are panhandlers and solicitors who get upset with you for not wanting to buy their things or give them your money. There are the plain crazies who say and do unnerving things and make people's commutes uncomfortable enough for someone to call the police.  

All of these behaviors fall in the scope of inappropriate for the train.  Take a look at these goofballs who decided to advertise their marriage on the train.  What a sad state of affairs that is.  Of all the places to walk around with a just married sign taped to your backside, WHY THE TRAIN?  Did they expect everyone to pat them on the back and congratulate them?

JUST MARRIED!!  ...Just stop.  These guys aren't even the first to do this.




There's this IDIOT with an EFFING ALLIGATOR on the train.  She should be shot for her blatant disregard for National wildlife.   That poor baby is far from a sustainable habitat and she's just parading it around like a trophy, grinning.  Ugh! 

I'm so cool and interesting!  Look at my baby Alligator! 




Then a drunk girl who decided that CTA was the best place to practice her stripper moves and get her twerk on!    Really, no.  I don't want you swinging your legs around me.  Even that old guy doesn't want to see that mess.  See how he's leaning as far away from her as possible?  He's straight up not having any of her crap.


There's also creepy, smarmy and weird catcallers and wannabe players who don't seem to understand that when a woman says no, she means 'No.  And get the hell away from me.'.  Seriously guys... you shouldn't be hitting on chicks on the train.  They are on a mission to do whatever it is they're commuting to.  Disturbing them in an already uncertain environment that's loud, full of nasty smells and unpleasant strangers is a good way to get maced.
Really, dude.  She's going to kill you..

Homeless fellas just sleeping with it all hanging out and possibly masturbating...  I've seen sights like this too  much.  It's sad.  Some of them are genuinely derelicts, slightly insane and oblivious of their surroundings and of social propriety.  Others are just shameless, rude sods who want to visit their suffering and hate on other people.

Not this guy, though.  He's always asleep on the strain, though not usually with his pants down...

And this creep who thought it was a good idea to run around using a fake boombox as clothing. 
.
I've actually seen this guy on the train- sans boombox and pants.

People do crazy stuff on the train for attention...and they get it.  But all attention is not good attention...and you guys really, really need to realize that.  That goes doubly much for you guys here on the internet.  Anonymity is not an excuse for being a wicked little turdlet and will be traced back to you.  Maybe not now, but someday.  Save the shenanigans for your house party.  Don't muddle my commute, internet news surfing, or anything else with them.  Thanks.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: Salted Nut Roll


If that name ain't suggestive, I don't know what is.  I bought it anyway because I wanted to know just what a Salted Nut Roll was like.  Was it extra salty?  Extra nutty?  Extra...rolly?  Eh.  That's what it was.  Extra eh.  I was a bit underwhelmed.  To be fair, the candy bar wasn't terrible, or even close to bad.  It was actually pretty darn good.  Here's my review.

The look:  Well, it looks pretty much like it does on the package, inside and out.  It's a log shaped thing of marshmallow and coconut bits, dipped in caramel and rolled in salty peanuts.
I wish there were more peanuts.

The texture:
Biting into it, it was crunchy because of the layer of peanuts.  The center of it was very, VERY soft.  It felt really pillowy in my mouth.  The bits of coconut were unexpected, but not unwelcome because there weren't many of them and they didn't dominate the flavor of the candy bar.  It reduced into a nice paste like consistency, even though some of the peanuts were sharp enough to lacerate your mouth.

The taste:
Chewing worked it into a sort of fluffer nutter (Marshmallow and Peanut butter sandwiches) flavored paste, which was good because I LOVE fluffer nutters!  It had some elements reminiscent of a Payday as well.  The peanuts were just a whole lot fresher and the caramel didn't break your teeth.  One thing I didn't like, as I ate it was how SWEET it became as the marshmallow and coconut mixed in with the peanuts and caramel.  I may as well have held a bowl of sugar on my tongue. 

Overall:
All in all, it was a decent candy bar.  Very much like a Payday.  If you like Paydays and ridiculously sweet things, you'll like this.  For me, the best parts of it were the fresh peanuts, the soft, yet crunchy texture and the way that the flavors didn't overpower one another.  What I hated was the overly sweet flavor and the sharp peanut shards.. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Reworking designs.

So, I decided to do a set of necklaces to honor the Legend of Zelda franchise and poll some online communities I frequent for help in refining my designs.  I got a lot of information about new ideas and ways to spruce up my designs.  To all of you guys who gave me helpful suggestions and hints, I really, really appreciate it and THANK YOU.  <3

But anyways, I decided to do a set of LoZ necklaces mirroring the spells from Ocarina of time, Dinn's Fire, Farore's Wind, and Nayru's Love, like I did with the bracelets.  I've actually already got Dinn's Fire finished, and Farore's Wind mostly planned out, but I feel like Nayru's Love could use some work. 





Nayru's element is water, so I wanted the design to be fluid and streamlined, however, it looks TOO plain next to the other designs I cooked up.  Gotta figure this one out.  Suggestions?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

IT CAME FROM THE DOLLAR STORE!!!

I went to the dollar store not too long ago, to see what I could see.  The dollarstore really shouldn't be called a dollar store.  You can gain so much more from walking into one.  New experiences, nostalgia, and the thrill of finding completely weird shit.

Here are some of the random things I bought there besides the stuff that I actually needed.


It's some kind of dehumidifying crystals. 

Kinder Eggs are illegal in the USA because of choking hazards.

Thankfully we have Spiderman eggs that are essentially the same thing.

I bought this because the name of the candy made me giggle inappropriately.
I'm going to review the weird candy I bought, at least.  It should prove interesting...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Stay Beautiful: Make-up review: Etude House Etoinette

Remember when I said I'd do another Etude House make up review the second I got my hands on some more of their products?  Yep.  But before I get into that, let me show you some pictures of their Baby Choux packaging and such.  I forgot to do that in my last review.  Many of the photos are from Atomic Nony's blog because I forgot to photograph my Baby Choux box and such before I tossed it. 

The promotional materials in the original Korean Language.
The original packaging was a little pot.  Cute, but cumbersome, if you ask me.

The current packaging.  Sweet, streamlined and you get a few ounces more.

With that out of the way, this is a review for a lip color from their Princess Etoinette line.  For the first lipcolor, I chose the PPK005 from their 'Season 2' line released around Christmas time. 

The filigree on the box is actually metallic, though you can't tell.
That's how the actual lipstick tube looks.  No joke.

Once again, the packaging is adorable and even comes with a sweet message telling the customer to 'be the princess!'.   Also on the box are English descriptions that I can read.  "This perfumed, smooth lipstick delivers a surge of moisture and soft shimmering flush giving your lips a gorgeous look."

The color of rose petals.  It even has filigree on the actual product!
A close up of the lip stick reveals a slightly shimmery, berry red color.  It's actually a shade that I use most of the time, so it's perfect.  First, I tried putting it on the skin of my inner arm.  It glided on smoothly and was semi-sheer not unlike my M.A.C. Sheen Supreme creamy lipstick.  A welcome discovery considering that Etude House's lip color was about $10 less...with shipping. 

The lipstick has a very faint smell, like roses and peony.  It's not overwhelming but is VERY pleasant.  Also a welcome change, because I HATE that waxy crayon smell that most lipsticks have.  It's like carrying the Crayola factory right under your nose.  The sweet, gentle scent of flowers, though?  That gives me a good feeling.

Well.  The moment you guys have been waiting for.  Time for me to slather this stuff on my fat lips and show you how it looks. 

Naked Lips

One pass of the lipstick

Two passes

As you can see, the lipstick isn't very dark, despite the photo.  What it really does is smooth out the pigmentation of my lips and makes them... SUPER glossy.  I used no lip gloss at all and yet in each photo, my lips looks fuller, more moist, supple.  The lipstick didn't have any plumping agents that I could feel (those usually tingle a bit), it just gives more shine and color to your lips.

First of all, I have to say, that I LOVE the look and feel of this lipstick.  Since I favor a dramatic eye over a dramatic lip, this has great potential for me.  It's also got enough emollients so I can skip my usual lip color +gloss/vaseline on the first application. However, after wearing it for a while, that plush glossiness wears off and you'll need to apply some light lip gloss to refresh it.  However, the color remains fairly strong.  In fact, I've washed my lips twice and they're still berry pink.  

I would recommend this lipstick to anyone who wants a light lip color that refreshes easily, has a good smell and leaves your lips supple and soft.  The price isn't bad either.  Give Etude house a try next time you have a chance!