Mirrorface

Mirrorface

“A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another….

One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object — and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.”
― John Berger, Ways of Seeing

“Drawing is a constant correction of errors”

Maybe looking in the mirror is a sort of constant correction of errors as well-

Second Attempt Crossing

A beautiful poem by Javier Zamora.

I am looking forward to experiencing Carne y Arena at LACMA… even though tickets are sold out at present! That’s a positive thing :)

Big. Old. Bag of Trash

Big. Old. Bag of Trash

This one’s going out to Donald J. Trump, a big (old) bag of trash. Who would think he still had the ability to surprise us with his vile, self-serving behavior?! And yet Donald Trump’s tweet about banning transgender people from the military was shocking. Fuck that guy.

Wash the nauseating narcissism from your brain with this lovely TED Talk from human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

…ultimately, our humanity depends on everyone’s humanity. I’ve learned very simple things doing the work that I do. I’ve come to understand and to believe that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. I believe that for every person on the planet. I think if somebody tells a lie, they’re not just a liar. I think if somebody takes something that doesn’t belong to them, they’re not just a thief. I think even if you kill someone, you’re not just a killer. And because of that there’s this basic human dignity that must be respected by law.

 

True Story

Spotted in Portland: a woman wearing a shirt that said

Old Genealogists Never Die; They Just Lose Their Census

In / Balance

In / Balance

Here’s the eponymous track by San Scout, which is gloomy enough for 2017. It’s kind of danceable. But I’m never going to dance again – the way I danced with you, anyway.

The gross gross state of American politics seems particularly unbalanced right now. Gross gross gross.

In the midst of all this, I keep hearing negative things about Gwyneth Paltrow’s, you know, whatever-thing, “Goop”. And I think “WHO CARES!!!!” Who has the negative energy left to SPARE to hate on Gwyneth?? People obviously need SOMETHING to make them feel good right now. At least Gwyneth is promoting reasonably truthful concepts, like:

1. something is wrong with you, and
2. you have the power to change it

If you want to try a jade vagina egg to fix your life – go for it. The ability to try new things in pursuit of a solution is much more important than whether the solution actually fixes you. The pursuit of happiness is a worthwhile endeavor.

—-

In pursuit of my own happiness (always), I watched Get Out. I really enjoyed it. One of the songs in the movie is “Redbone” by Donald Glover and when that song came on, I felt so happy to be seeing the movie and so impressed by it. I had this weird sense of PRIDE. Why pride? I’m not really sure. I had absolutely zero to do with the making of the song or the making of the movie. Maybe a better word is fellowship. I had a strong sense of fellowship encompassing the fictional black hero of the movie, the African-American struggle for equality, and the creatives who made the movie (including Jordan Peele and Donald Glover). I mean, it’s a pretty awesome film that makes you feel all those feels at once.

For me, this was a great example of the uplifting power of art. I’ve written a few blog posts lately that have roughly the same main idea… the Trump administration = bad/sad, art = good/happy. But seeing Get Out made me realize the stuff I’ve been hinting at is actually absolutely true. The American political landscape is beyond bleak right now. It is horrific and tragic. This is having a massive impact on my mental landscape. But when I see a strong creative work, I feel inspired to keep going. The fellowship of the creative truth-tellers is strong and real, and you don’t have to meet the artists in person (or share their race or ethnic background) to be sustained by their work.