I would like to dedicate this blog to social justice with the hopes of fighting injustice or at the very minimum starting a dialogue. Having grown up in Richmond Virginia I can still recall the ridiculously ironic holiday Lee-Jackson-King Day devoted to Martin Luther King, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson The first name should need no introduction with his pivotal role American Civil Rights, but in case you are severely behind on your American History the latter two were confederate leaders in the American Civil War. You can imagine how confusing this was to a 5 year-old child.
It wasn't until I was deep in the jungles in Colombia South America, traveling by mini-van, trekking over mountains and through rivers with more passengers than seats, when the topic of social justice came about. Ms. Howse a social activist and brilliant human being inspired me to no longer be a bystander.
So as my buddy Harry always says, we're voting with our dollars. And for measly $500 you can vote for a hand woven Malcolm X sweater made by the Canadian sweater Co. Granted. Sure it's local cotton and organic wool from a family owned business where the weavers, sheep, and cotton spores are serenaded by angels playing the harp. But seriously what would Malcolm X think? Would he agree with frivolous sweater spending, especially from a company lacking diversity and people of color on their website?
Now obviously clothing is necessary, and many believe that by buying and wearing something they are in fact joining the fight and spreading awareness. This may be true. But should companies like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and Hot Topic capitalize on the faces of MLK, Biggie, Tupac, etc.? Should you buy a poster of MLK, Harriett Tubman, and Malcolm X from Walmart? Sure royalties are paid and every corporation has some form of social responsibility, but is this blurring the lines between social activism and social icon-ism? What would Martin Luther King think of sales honoring his birthday? That's not what the holiday is about.
By no means am I an expert, but I do believe humanity has to be kinder to one another, stick up for one another, and follow simple rules of human decency. Obviously this is easier said than done. We're all living breathing creatures making it by, day by day, most of us living on a budget, thankful for the shirts on our back. But I just want people to know you don't need a special T-shirt to fight for justice, and regardless of morality every day we vote with our dollar.
Is Courting Controversy An Urban Outfitters Strategy?http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/12/16/370329870/is-courting-controversy-an-urban-outfitters-strategy
Bathing is a tradition attached to the human experience. Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations had public and private baths, where it was common to for the wealthy to bath at home and others to use the public baths. During the Middle Age bathing got a bad reputation, believing to cause death by rampant diseases and misguided medicine. With time came industrialization where indoor plumbing and a market flush with toiletries made bathing and showering somewhat of a cultural norm.
There has never been more opportune time to bath; you have Jacuzzi jets, pillows, sprayers, rain-like shower heads, shower radios, sponges, loofahs, gloves, soaps, foams, salts, bubbles, and of course the bath bomb. No this isn't an explosion device for your tub, far from it. It is basically the "Alka Seltzer" of bath products, where a three inch diameter ball dissolves in the tub over the course of two minutes, leaving behind an oily-fuzzy-foggy residue with a potpourri like accouterments, consisting mainly of twigs, dried flowers, and God only know's what. Of course Japanese bath bomb had to one-up this ridiculous invention, by revealing some sort of trinket or little toy inside after fizzling out. More importantly there are entire stores dedicated to the bath bomb.
So if sitting in a tub filled to the brim with your own filth wasn't enough, the bath bomb will exceed your expectations by having-never made you dirtier. Imagine converting your bathtub to a less spiritual version of the Ganges. It's hard to say, but some may believe Orville Redenbacher, Jim Morrison, and Whitney Houston all drowned as a result of being bombed in the tub (an intoxicated heart-attack followed by drowning), but in fact they were so displeased with the bath bomb they just simply fell asleep, dying of boredom, drowning with the fishes in a pool of their own filth.
Glow sticks are nostalgic, whether seen though a child's eye of interpreted by every adults inner youth. Patented in 1977, the glow stick consists of hydrogen peroxide and phenol oxalate housed in a plastic tube, with one solution housed in a glass capsule that when snapped a chemical reaction occurs causing the florescent dye glows. The light omitted cannot be turned off, which is why glow sticks do in fact serve some sort of practical purpose during emergency situations.
I guess that means that most ravers and Phish show attendees are in luck should a catastrophe happen. While most likely inebriated by copious amounts drugs and alcohol, they're enamored by the trails from the flying florescent fireworks. Whether in Ibiza, Goa, Berlin or some hippy Burning Man Full Moon Party people spend hours and quite possibly days and years staring at glow sticks; twirled on shoestrings and or launching back and forth by a crowd. Glow sticks enhance the party, taking it to another dimension enhancing the experience as something from another planet or video game. Finally thanks to glow sticks you can step outside your comfort zone, set your body free, while getting whacked in the face with glowing sticks.
Spike TV's show 1000 Ways to Die depict's one raver's fatal love affair, where by injecting the glow stick's mixture the President of the Idiot convention ends up taking his life. It is not hard to fathom how much time the poison control and emergency services waste on glow sticks alone, my kid just swallowed one while this dude just got one lodged in his asshole. One day it we can all expect to come out of the ocean with all our orifices filled with glow sticks and when cutting into a chicken or fish find a glow stick still glowing, especially since it was killed and immediately frozen. But aside from the advert risk, the real question is what are the environmental repercussions? Do we really need these trippy toys or tools to enhance already a doe experience? Glow sticks are not recyclable, so until a program is devised or the party stops they will continue to be manufactured and purchased in the billions.
Beginning as religious celebration paying homage to the Christian Saints and Martyrs, it is hard to imagine Saint Valentines Day without flowers, candies, and cards. It gained it's romantic connotations during the Middle Ages, as love and affection flourished within noble court life and story telling. Acts of love and admiration were expressed chivalrously with poems, cards, confectioneries, doves, flowers, as well as cherub and heart imagery.
This amazing holiday still prevails, where one calendar day is purely devoted to love. If love means never having to say your sorry,then maybe Vejazzling or Pejazzling is not for you. Although...there really is no other way to say I love you, all the while showing your respect and admiration for the martyred Saints of Saint Valentine's Day. Genital piercing, fake boobs, and tattooed tramp stamps are so yesterday, why not try a less permanent approach by gluing knock-off Swarkoski sparkles to your privates. Waxing beforehand, for that pre-pubescent look is recommended, where you may further enhance your childish conduct with a crystallized cunt. Otherwise gluing rhinestones to your enormous pubic patch a hipster-ish interpretation. Designs are customization, so rather than having your genitalia speak for itself, it has finally found it's voice.
So for all you guys and gals out there looking to shock, intrigue, and nauseate your sex partner with something other than your body, Vejazzling and Pejazzling are right for you. In the spirit of my funny little valentine, the crystals are a proven magnet for douche-bags and rampant STD outbreaks. A recipe for disaster, side effects include; depression, chafing, blisters, boils, ingrown hairs, addictions, burning sensations, bird flu, rectal bleeding, inability to smell, Jersey Shore syndrome, jaundice, oil spotting, irritable bowl syndrome, gout, chronic inflammation of belly-button, constipation, black plaque, sudden loss of vision from sparkles, carpal tunnel from hand jobs, erectile dysfunction with erections lasting 4 or more hours or ejaculation failure, and so much more. Nothing shows your commitment to "Sparkle Motion" more! So When the Saints Go Marching In bedazzled your vejazzle.
Magic is having supernatural powers over natural forces. Mysticism has manifested throughout history and society, tracing back to ancient Egyptian civilization and Roman cultures. Magic, sorcery, and witchcraft are seen as means for explaining the unexplainable and deciphering the unknown; some would argue the same for religion. Although around before the birth of Jesus Christ, these notions have long been condemn by the Church, seen as false interpretations of God and the embodiment of evil. Along with the rise in Christianity a fear of black magic took a stronghold in Europe during the 14th Century, which later developed into a full blown hysteria across Europe and the Americas between the 1450 and 1700 a.d. With 20 plus witches executed in the 1692-1693 Salem Massachusetts Witch Trails, along with a hundreds or so accused and tried, it is crazy to think the last US witch trial took place only in 1918.
All of this is from thought when shaking the Magic 8 Ball. In case you are unaware, the Magic 8 Ball is a toy in the shape of a larger black billiard 8 ball filled with alcohol and blue dye, contains a polyhedron shape, that when shaken predict's one's future with a yes, no, maybe-so answer in it's clear portal. The conception for this device came about in 1940 or so, when Albert C. Carter was inspired by his mother's clairvoyance. Mrs. Carter used psychography to tap into the subconscious, supernatural, and spiritual worlds. The original design was based on a crystal ball but later morphed into a billiard ball with Brunswick Billiards funding and manufacturing help.
With this historical knowledge and incite, it is safe to assume every Magic 8 Ball beholds magical powers. Whether it is the actual toy or an iPhone app you can be sure the Magic 8 Ball is telling you the truth! Should you gamble everything at the casino? Be ready to pawn your watch, sell your car, and use your house as collateral, because if the Magic 8 Ball says yes, it is all in. Sure this may create potential problems after cheating on your spouse and quitting you job. But who needs those thing, after adapting to the Magic 8 Ball lifestyle, you'll realize the freedom of never having to make a decision again plus knowing answers to all the answers to the worlds' most difficult questions. Be that yes, no, or maybe answers, you'll find sanctity in knowing psychic Carter's mysticism along with Mattel's manufactures in China have your back. The only truth is the Magic 8 Ball, and finding clarity in the nswer you are seeking.
Prior to the fall the USSR and pretty much most of communism, Levi jeans were a highly coveted black market item. At this time the asking price for Levi 501's in the United States were $20-40 dollars, but in the USSR a pair could fetch for $400-500 dollars. A bottle of vodka cost $7, the average worker made $200 a month, and a Soviet made car went for $5800= equaling to a dozen pairs of Levis. Although slightly ironic, jeans were originally devised as working class apparel and seen as a uniform for farmers and miners in the US, in contrast Levis' were re-appropriated by Russia seen as an iconic hierarchical fashion symbol as well as a way to revolt against the establishment, communism's anti-capitalism and socialistic tenancies. Levis represented a yearning to be part of the upper echelon and as way of standing-out from the faux pas. Levis jeans were a class and status symbol.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union 1991, Russia acquired its very own Levi Strauss store. Hundreds gathered on February 20, 1993 at Levi's opening in Moscow's Central Department Store near the Bolshoi Theater.upgrade your Walmart wear today,
In honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted in Sochi, Russia, it would only be appropriate to discuss the latest innovation to happen to denim jeans. Pajama Jeans! It's too bad neither Levi Strauss nor Pajama Jean were invited to design the US's uniform. Instead, the bid went yet again to Ralph Lauren; surprising given the 2012 Summer Olympics' "made in china" controversy. But like Lauren's repulsive Winter Olympic sweat pants, Pajama Jean has fully embraced America's tenacity for laziness with "Pajamas you live in, the Jeans you sleep in." With the "looks like denim, feels like PJs" appeal, you can own a pair for a mere $40, the same price as an actual pair of jeans. But with the added incentive of turning your hands, legs, and sheets blue; who can resist! Forget the authentic Canadian or Mexican Tuxedo, try the Pajama Jean Tux. You may already have a denim or jean version of everything, including underwear, wallpaper, and fingernail polish; so why shouldn't you have Pajama Jeans? So forget etiquette and your conscience, society just granted you permission to wear your PJs to the grocery store, not only so they can judge you but purely for sheer entertainment.
It's safe to assume most people have an affinity for bubble wrap, even the deepest diehard environmentalist anti-plastic aficionado has found satisfaction in popping a bubble or two. Whether a simple snap, stepping, dancing, or rolling your desk chair over the bubbles, this is wildly fun.
Similar to the Scratch-N-Sniff technology, bubble wrap devised as a form of 3D wall paper by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1957. Although never fully realized as decor, bubble wrap was branded as a packing material. The bubbles insulate fragile items by absorbing shock and vibration. There is such an affinity for the material that Bubble Wrap appreciation day has been declared on the last Monday of January.
Given the public's love affair of this material, bubble wrap has expanded into the digital realm. It is safe to say that virtual bubble wrap completely defeats the sole purpose of bubble wrap,thus undermining the physical material in the form of downloadable apps and websites. Bubble wrap simulators allow you to enjoy the popping of virtual bubbles to relieve stress. Bltz Pop allows enables you to see how many bubbles you can pop in one minute, Pop 500 allows you to see how fast you can pop 500 bubbles, and Pop All allow you to see how long it takes you to pop an entire sheet of 2000 bubbles. "Tired of all those bubble popping apps…" Bubble Run claims, while Pop the Bubbles Pro HD claims to provide "the satisfying sensation of popping bubble without the mess or feeling of remorse." Guilty conscience? Well apparently with the overwhelming number of bubble wrap simulators everyone has the opportunity to waste time, develop carpal tunnel and computer vision syndrome, without ever having to acquire actual bubble wrap.
Form doesn't necessarily follow function as far as fashion is concerned. Boots are the quintessential footwear for braving the elements, whether that be physical work or the weather they protect your feet. On the hand, heels and wedges are often worn in the workplace, and although they're not necessarily recognized for their comfort, they are revered for fashionably lengthening legs. Quite the opposite, flip flops are reputed for their extreme comfort, especially in sublime weather and work conditions. Now if you put all three of these together and what do you get? Open-Toe Boots. Huh?
Similar to a boot, with the heel of a stiletto, and with the peep-toe of a sandal. It is difficult to determine where to wear these shoes. For instance boots are worn during rain and snow, but this boot's open toe is impractical allowing your feet and toes to get wet, therefore basically defeating the entire purpose of shoes. Like flip flops, you may idealize wearing these shoes in a tropical climate, but since 90% of the shoe is boot and wearing socks is not recommended, your feet are going to sweat like crazy. This will most likely lead to stinky feet, blisters, and athletes foot. Try wearing these along the beach and you'll most certainly end up with sand cankle. Your last resort may be wearing these in the workplace, but if you do physical labor they don't make any sense and if you work a desk job they really don't make sense.
So until shirts with extra sleeves and topless top hats become fashionable, save yourself the fashion faux pas and stick with one type of shoe.
The naming of hurricanes/cyclones has been historically prevalent since 1945. This is a way of keeping a global uniformity over the single weather pattern. Names are drawn from a predetermined list put together by government officials. Over the last year of so, US television and internet conglomerate The Weather Channel has taken liberty of naming winter storms, claiming it is easier for the public to follow. The National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration disagrees and does not name winter storms because it is confusing and winter storms are unpredictable. A winter storm's impact varies from location to location, plus multiple air streams and storms often blending together covering a large surface area.
The Weather Channel is confusing and weird. Most people do not care about a winter storms name, they just want to know the weather. The Weather Channel has strayed from the truth that is weather. Whether you like their take on news, sports, or paint colors to cure winter blues, it has become increasingly difficult to navigate their website in search of the weather. Personally I do not need to know Strange Sea Creatures You Never Knew Existed nor am I interested in 'Taxiderpy': Taxidermy Fails (PHOTOS). If I was, I would have Googled it myself. I just need to know if I need to bring an umbrella? If their new objective is grossing people out, they've succeeded. After being freaked out myself, I simply gave up and looking out the window.
100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.