For good old number 69, I give you the selfie. The narcissistic activity that lies vaguely between the lines of love and lust. Sure it is a form of self-love, but it is act of self-loathing and boastfulness. A selfie doesn't necessarily have to be on Facebook or Instagram, it can be a polaroid or a painting. Since the dawn of civilization, humans have sought to express themselves and artists have tried to do so via self portraits. From the Bavarian artist Albrecht Durer to LA's own contemporary Marc Horowitz. It was through the portrait that Van Gogh to Andy Warhola tried to find their identity and better understand and love themselves.
The selfie is quite the phenomenon, a common bond that links us together, yet pushes us apart. You can share anything and everything, from your terrible haircut to your terrific vacation. I for one have been riding this ego expressway for quite sometime, where how else would I tell my tail of two weddings on two coasts in one week. And with this celebration of love I embarked from JFK-LAX-La Joila, San Diego-LA Santa Monica & Malibu, LAX-SFO Sausalito & Marin, SFO-ATL-RIC, RIC-NYC. My selfies not only showed my self-love, but my love for the couples getting hitched.
As humans we have an insatiable quest for knowledge, like an adult version of show and tell. We're all similar to Narcissus from Greek Mythology, we both have fallen in love with our own reflections, but it is how we see this reflection that differs. Narcissus had his faithful puddle, we have our loyal iPhones. Heck many of us will most likely die with some sort of smart device in our hand, sure you can easily equate this to a heart monitor or your reclining hospital chair, but if you're anything like me, you wake up with a phone in your hand and start your day by diving into the world wide web.
We are all so vain, it is most certain this blog is about us. Does this mean that Van Gogh was any less conceited or self absorbed than the lady shooting a selfie and checking herself out in a shinny window? Our culture is being inundated by the selfie, you need them for dating profiles, to make your friends jealous, to get a job. Products have also infiltrated the market such at the selfie-wand allow you to take distant shots, while a selfie toaster burns your face onto a piece of toast. This fall we'll have an entire TV show dedicated to the notion of a selfie. So what does it mean? Well you certainly don't want to be that girl who took a selfie at the Aushwitz, yikes. However once you start, it is easy to get sucked into the madness where I accidentally forgot and snapped a few pics on a 9/11 dinner boat cruise, agh! Luckily US President Barack Obama got pulled into taking a photo at Nelson Mandela's funeral, so it looks like everyone's doing it.
The selfie has been around as long as humans have existed, it was only a mater of capturing them that has become so easy. Where does the selfie reside between selfishness and selflessness while we are all selfsame experiencing selfdom, selfhood, and selfness with our battle between good and evil self-obsessed. We are self-assured, self-centered, self-loathing and self-healing which is why the selfie
I remember visiting Disney World as a kid, and mom bought me a pair of Mickey Mouse ears with my name embroidered onto them. I also remember going to see The New Kids on the Block and my mom buying me a NYOTB peace sign necklace. It was literally the coolest thing I owned, well for a week until it broke. She has bought Christmas Carol programs, Katie Perry glow sticks, Nascar ticket holders and ear muff radios. Souvenirs are an odd commodity, the physical representation of a moment in time. It is like we have to have them so that we will one day be able to recall the memory. My roommate has traveled to almost every continent and always brings back tokens of his adventures. Sometimes it's a fake plastic globe, a deity or god or some-sort, sand from the Sahara, rocks from the Berlin wall, or a indigenous mask to add to his collection. They are all amazing and individual to each traveler.
I on the other hand love knick-knack and junk stores. Like for instance when I was living in Rome for a month I found the equivalent of the Dollar Store, the Euro Store and I purchased an ice cube tray that made frozen penises and people fornicating. Another time I was in rural Colombia and I purchased soap that supposedly livened up your love life along with one of my pride possessions a camel-toe protector. And for anyone who doesn't know what a camel toe is, it refers the way a woman's private parts look in pants. I've been all around the Caribbean and finally at one point I realized I don't need anymore shark tooth necklaces or statement tee-shirts. I prefer to have a local meal or take home some local hot sauce.
But as for my mom there is only one moment in my life when I recall my mom not buying a souvenir and that was after visiting the World Trade Center site. We had made an appointment last November, at what felt like 6:00 a.m. After heartbreak-ingly staring at the names on the walls and watching the waterfall, we decided it was time to leave. We stopped in the store on our way out. Which by the way there is no way avoiding, you practically have to exit through it. Now this is awful especially for someone who lost a loved one. But as for my mom and I, we were just curious about was sold, plus we didn't want to miss anything. You see we are shopper coupled with an insatiable curiosity. However it was in this moment that we both realized we didn't need anything. We had each-other, we were for the most part happy and healthy in life. So we went about our way and took this moment with us. Maybe we just didn't want to support the commercialism that probably got us into this mess in the first place or is that we just didn't want to look like idiots rocking a 9/11 hat? Either way the moment stuck with me, just as much as visiting the Vatican catacombs or the Hollywood cemetery in Richmond. I didn't and don't need a souvenir to remember.
With the unveiling of Apple's iPhone 6, the world with change. Sure it comes in new sizes 5.5 and 4.7 inches, boast a thinner yet more round curvaceous figure, but now technology and body become one. Like the Jawbone and the Pebble Smartwatch, Apple will assist mankind in monitoring their health and fitness via the iPhone as well as their newest product the iWatch. It is crazy to think it wasn't until 1983 that the cell phones hit the market and that Apple has sold more iPhones than all of their other products combined. Soon enough it will be computer chip fingernails and contact lenses.
It is estimated that the average user checks their cell phone 110 times a day and up to every 6 second in the evening. These statistic estimate the heaviest of user to unlock their phones 900 times a day, equaling to approximately 18 hours total. Obviously these numbers will continue to increase, where like Apple technology companies will have a heavy influence in how we spend our time. If in fact the average user checks their phone 110 times, say each time for a 1 minimum or maximum minute, this closely constitutes to 2 hours of staring at you phone everyday. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is that we've finally found the perfect device to fill idle time? Is that our world has expanded so much that we have to know everything that is going on all the time with everyone. We certainly don't just live in a bubble anymore, which is both a positive and negative. It is absolutely astonishing to ponder how previous generations got along without cell phones; meeting friends, navigating roads, finding entertainment, etc.
A hefty percentage of the developed world considers their cell phone to be their greatest asset. Not that it is in fact their most valuable possession, in comparison to social capital (family & friends), economic capital (money & investments), and cultural capital (knowledge & education). It is that the cell phone, provides us with all of Pierre Bourdieu's Theories of Capital. The iPhone constitutes as wealth, connection for friends and family, and access to the world wide web filled with wisdom.
But we as human beings have an innate desire to decorate and personalize everything, including this device. As if an iPhone doesn't already resonate economic capital, you can adorn it with rhinestones cases, charms, animal covers, and so much more. There is even an minute lava lamp and living plant you can dangle from your earphone outlet. So what's next a miniature goldfish or hermit crab? I mean if you're wasting 18+ hours a day on your iPhone it may as well make it part of you, cover it in sparkles, gems, cartoon characters, fake fruit and ice cream, as well as poetic sentiments. You can have anything bejazzled on the outside of your phone from My Little Pony to Donald Duck. Sure these case are rather large, but think of it as a statement piece that will either look like a tumor or hard-on poking out of your skinny jean's will never fit in your Chanel purse. Take notes from Kris Jenner's and her case that says "Queen of Fucking Everything," just make sure you realize the duel implications associate. Is she the Queen or does she just fuck everything, maybe even her cellphone?
Warning this blog isn't for the weary or close-minded.
Who doesn't like the cock? Straight guys love their penises, as do straight women, then you have the gay guys who can't fathom a world without without the dick. This only groups left are the young, elderly, and some lesbians. I do know it is estimated that 1/3 to 1/6 of the world is circumcised where the World Health Organization calculating 30% of the world's weeniers are mushroom tipped. In the United States alone, the US Center for Disease Prevention estimates that 58% of the male population have lost their foreskin.
This may seem odd for a lot of people; those seeing or experiencing an uncut cock for the first time or the seemingly barbaric nature of cutting a cock that God made, especially an infant's penis. For the uncut men, pros include the freedom of choice however the cons are result in a higher susceptibility to diseases and infection. For cut men, the pros are a lower susceptibility to disease and infection, however the con is the most often inability to choose. So while both the World and US health organizations are advocating for circumcision as a logical defense, NORM a non-profit is advocating for the reconsideration of circumcision along with creating a support network for circumcision-ees.
Well just when you thought you couldn't get your foreskin back, you can! Hallelujah! There are finally a plethora of websites teaching the technique of stretching your foreskin. There are manual techniques where with the use of one's hand and possibly some tape you can recreate your foreskin. However if this isn't working for you there is the TLC Tugger Penis Sensitivity Foreskin Restorer and DTR duel tension restorer which resemble some sort of MacGyver devices found in a serial killer's rape room or garage. Better yet there are dumbbells for your dick called Foreballs followed by PUD penile uncircumciseing device which resemble other Medieval metal torture device. The most clinical option is Novoglan which is a cleaner version of all the above.
Now if you're not quite ready to commit to permanence, Senslip is a silicone devise used to help men overcome lessening sensitivity due to circumcision. The belief is the penis becomes less sensitive after direct contact and friction with clothing, therefore Senslip acts as protective cover for the glans or penis head. Another more fashionable circumcised cock protector is the Manhood which is a soft cloth like envelope for the penis. For only $20 you can expect to experience heightened sensitivity in 30 days or your money back. Other incentives include UV protection and the variety of shinny fabric choices. Having been on the market since 1995, Manhood is probably the safest and best choice, endorsed by GQ, Fortune Magazine, Men's Health, Men's Fitness, and Time magazine.
With all of these options, it is important to remember a picturesque phallus is pointless if it doesn't work. And dick docking wouldn't be the same without diversity.
With most universities and colleges well on to frat parties and mid-terms, NYC public schools open their door's this coming Thursday, September 4, 2014. And although it seems summer slipped by, so did our motivation to buy school supplies. If you're a descent parent you'll take your child to Walmart or the mall. But if you're an awesome parent you'll have your driver take your nanny and kid back to school shopping while you submerse yourself in Soul Cycle and a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé.
Procrastinate all you like, but it's time to turn down Beyonce's Drunk & In Love, put the Chanel surf board away, and get out your Chanel notepad and pen. Made from quilted lambskin, the Chanel planner goes for a mere grand, while the pencil and ruler are much more reasonably priced at $199. Somewhere in the back of your maid or personal shopper's mind, they might be think, "OMG at Costco you can get close to 1300 pencils for that price." But lets not forget, it's not about the quantity but the quality. Whether writing or drawing, these pencils along with as 18K gold sharper and $150 set of Lanvin Caran d’Ache pencils will provide your child with a creative outlet. The creative energy flowing through these Chanel pencils is unlike any other, however only a $2200 Louis Vuitton children's backpack or $700 Gucci kids bookbag should be used to house such contents.
It is time we forget the antiquated Lisa Frank, Trapper Keeper, 5 Star notebook, composition notebook, Yikes pencil grips, Elmer's glue, and mini erasers. It's time to breed better brand recognition. Start early with a silver Tiffany spoon, but don't forget to move up to a Burberry pencil case, quickly followed by a full set of equestrian children's wear with Burberry trainers, trenchs, and wellies. Sure it may seem like a lot at first, but then comes the Juicy Couture lunch pail, white-gold titanium Rolex protractor, diamond encrusted Cartier calculator,topped off with a $27,000 Aston Martin DB Junior or a $11,300 Hermès bike. Let's not forget girls clothing such as the cashmere gym clothes supplied by Coach, Garine Gilson children's lingerie, Christian Louboutin children's stilettos, and most importantly child size fake boobs and veneers. Nobody wants to watch their child go through their ugly duckling stage so mask it with enough conspicuous consumption that nobody notices. Maybe it would be easier for them go to school and hand out $1000 bills instead?
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.