June 7th, 2012
buddhacrunk

The Case for Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter allow an incredibly diverse group of people the opportunity to build a (digital) community around an artist or idea that inspires them. When I first heard about Kickstarter, I was in awe of the simplicity and power of the platform. It’s changing the whole game. 

Then, Amanda Fucking Palmer blew my brains out completely with her (always) unique implementation during her latest Kickstarter project for the upcoming album. She broke $1 million in support of a piece of art she hasn’t even made yet. She hits the nail on the proverbial head in a quote from the NYTimes article covering the project: 

Fuck yes, I’m on Team Amanda! The idea that I can personally contribute to an album that I already know will bring me endless and repeated joy is, simply, breathtaking. We are, indeed, the media. Take back the media from the powerful few who give us bits of culture like we’re starving dogs begging for scraps! Crowdfunding empowers the consumer; it does not exploit the consumer. 

Kickstarter and platforms like it disseminate the power of the news editor/film production house/record label/’insert controlling entity here’ and brings the creation of art (in this specific case, music) back to its rightful owner - the community that identifies with said creation. A musical artist is nothing without his/her fans. The fans and public opinion at large control when and how an artist will evolve in said public light. Of course, the artist being a badass mother fucking ninja doesn’t hurt anything. 

And, I get it, not all artists are going to be able to pull off what AFP has. The record labels and production houses and so on will continue to operate in the giant machine that is popular culture. But, it’s a fucking breath of fresh air when I can remove myself as a cog in that machine to support something real.

June 6th, 2012
buddhacrunk

The ‘Self’.

Recently, I’ve been struggling with this concept of emotional intimacy. Is it just telling an individual true things about yourself - past or present? Does it require that those facts are reciprocated by the other? Can intimacy be one sided? Can it, in fact, be completely fulfilling if it is? Is intimacy only fulfilling if it’s reciprocated?

And, what happens when that level of intimacy shifts over the course of a friendship or acquaintanceship? How do you deal with that reappropriation of emotion? How is it even possible to become connected or intimate on any level if you don’t embrace yourself fully first? Actually, fuck embracing: How is it even possible to know yourself? Is the task of becoming a self ever completed? Is it the evolution through existence that is actually the ‘self’? Shit just got meta. 

To be fair, saying this is a ‘recent’ existential khole is misleading. This is something I’ve eternally misunderstood - but, haven’t focused on improving or understanding. This lack of focus on connecting with humans in a legitimate/truthful way has left me borderline sociopathic? Okay, again, that may be misleading…it’s not the lack of focus that created my personality, or lack thereof. More so, I grew up in a culture where the true ‘self’ was never celebrated. The only celebrations came when the public image of the ‘self’ was successful. I suppose this value structure permeates American culture at large, but it was especially so within my childhood home. For example, it was not celebrated when I figured out and announced I loved to paint and write and create - those things were cast aside as ‘that’s nice, dear’. However, when I won a spot on any of the sports teams I tried out for in my earlier years, I was showered with praise and gifts. 

My point is, I would have far benefited from the former. This mentality ingrained itself into my psyche as such:

‘It is more important to fit in society’s predefined (albeit impossible to achieve and ridiculous in nature) boxes than draw that shit for yourself.’

And so, two selves were born. There was the public persona. The person I was in front of my parents, god, and everyone. The pearl wearing, marriage-seeking, ‘normal’ American female. In direct opposition of this self, I developed a private persona - or in my opinion, the truest form of my ‘self’. The person I was in front of my closest friends and, later on, the one I used to draw in complete strangers. The crazy bitch who would do any thing at any moment for any reason. I like her. She’s fucking fun. That other self is fucking boring and marriage-seeking. Please. 

I live fast. I make fast friends, have fast fun, and create fast chaos. I’ve been running my life in this fashion for years and, until recently, have not stopped to reflect upon the quality of my life. Current mentalities lead me to say: “Fuck it. Whatever happens, fucking happens.”

But, does this way of existence actually create fulfilling friendships in my life? That answer is a resounding, no. It creates this weird pseudo-bubble between the rest of the world and myself. Select few have penetrated that bubble and - with many attempts of unknowing self-sabotage on my part - have managed to stay inside. Am I safe here? Again, a resounding, no. I’m alone here. Alone does not equal safety - it only means you’re alone. Being alone, for the most part, is great. I do what I want when I want. Awesome. No one is the boss of me. But, life is more fun when you’re able to share it with synonymous selves (aka friends). The pseudo-bubble is judgmental and snarky and prickly - designed to deflect any sense of real connection. Or rather, designed to reflect whatever emotion is coming from the other side. The pseudo-bubble is, also, charming as fuck. 

I often find myself asking, ‘where the hell are all my friends’. And it comes rushing back to me, ‘Oh yeah. You pushed those fuckers away, by design.’ 

Silly. It’s silly of any of us to not allow the true ‘self’ to exist out loud. It’s fucking silly! What are any of us trying to prove and to whom!? 

I would have saved myself a shit ton of malcontent if I had existed as my ‘self’ earlier.

Look in the mirror. Are you putting on a show? Are you who you think you are? 

April 5th, 2012
buddhacrunk

Production.

The motivation to produce shit seems primal to me. I mean to say, it feels primal enough. The day starts, we make all kinds of crazy things happen, the day ends; the process regurgitates. But all day, we’re going, going, pushing, editing, refining, making, creating. Energy bounces back and forth between a person and a person, a person and an animal, a person and a musical instrument, a person and the internet, a person and ANYTHING, etc. We are/I am capable of creating anything. 

Is production limited to making a ‘thing’? Should it be? Is it only production if you paint a canvas, write a poem, draw a cartoon, edit a video…?

What about wielding the ability to motivate others to make either physical or theoretical products? What about being able to induce a creative, productive, intelligent conversation? What about just being an awesome fucking human that your friends love? Being someone who inspires others to do awesome shit? 

Are you, then, just a leech? Feeding off the energy of others while driving the energy at the same time? Is that mutually beneficial relationship at the crux of production? Producers need muses: muses need producers. 

[Most of the time, my mind automatically calculates dualities - which, then, leads to an excruciating internal dialog. Usually, before I can even determine where I stand - both sides of the argument are present and accounted for in my mind]

Isn’t this, in itself, the essence of production? Not only the ability to organize your thoughts and emotions into a tangible experience, but the ability to collaborate with others - the ability to motivate your friends and coworkers and common strangers to produce more and better shit.

The world has only proven to me, over and over, that society creates us as drones. We are urged to be insular and homogeneous. Stay in the lines. Think in these boxes. Perform these actions at this time when this timer goes off. 

The repetitive nature of human existence is mind numbing.

This started off about production - mostly - about my inability to produce avolume of work, and the fear/anxiety I feel when I try to create anything.  

I started taking piano lessons again (after about a decade) and my newfound motivator told me something that struck: ‘Embrace how bad you are.’

YES. Exactly. Embrace it! I fucking suck at playing the piano (tho, I will say, I’m well on my way to bringing it back), but that’s okay! It’s okay to be bad. Just be bad and be playing! 

I want to get better and am consciously trying to get better - so, eventually, I will.

This concept is scalable. 

I want to produce things and am consciously trying to do so - so, here we are. Proclaiming this in an open forum is step one. Next is finishing any of the misshapen, forgotten, lost, or ignored projects strewn about my mind.

March 27th, 2012
merc3po

What do you really lose to “fake geek girls”?

I’ve had a few conversations now about Tara Tiger Brown’s Forbes Women article “Dear Fake Geek Girls, Please Go Away”, including a Twitter conversation with the author. A day later, I’m still upset by the exclusionary judgmentalism that Brown displayed.

It’s fair to note that the women who need to stop “faking” their geekiness according to Brown are younger than her, because she refers to them as “girls.” This attitude is part of a larger trend of female geeks hating on each other. Brown’s issues with these “girls” is very similar to all the bile written by women about Olivia Munn

Brown begins the article with: “Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it was like for me being a geeky girl growing up and what it’s like for geeky girls nowadays. It’s a totally different world. Now, a geek is synonymous with anyone who has an Internet connection.” Her sentiment that ‘it was so hard to be a geek when I was a kid and it’s too easy for kids now’ is really at the heart of the article. Brown spends many more words on the relative ease of being a geek now versus in the past than she does in communicating what harm is caused.

When I asked her about this on Twitter, Brown said that “It makes it difficult for those that want to be taken seriously about their work because they feel the need to be more ‘splashy’ YMMV.” It’s never occurred to me that any of the geeky women I encounter on the internet might be faking it for some gain (so, my mileage does vary) and I certainly don’t think that another woman tweeting about playing video games is hurting my job prospects.

Brown goes on to say that “the definition of geek is so broad now that it is meaningless” and that “the once coveted term is now being used as a marketing gimmick and those who truly deserve the label are being lost in the noise.”

However, only example that Brown cites of women using the term “geek” as a marketing gimmick seems entirely caught up with male attention: “Pretentious females who have labeled themselves as a ‘geek girl’ figured out that guys will pay a lot of attention to them if they proclaim they are reading comics or playing video games.” 

Brown’s other two examples are generalized “celebrities”… and Richard Branson. (To the Branson example: If you start a goddamn space flight company, you probably ARE a geek no matter how many naked women you’ve seen.) But it’s not celebrities or even Richard Branson that need to go away, it’s the fake geek GIRLS. 

Brown said on Twitter that she’s “not trying to exclude, just be real.” How the authenticity of someone else’s geekiness can be gauged by another person totally eludes me, though Brown is clearly up to the task. I would love for her to name at least one woman who is “faking” her geekiness if only to provide a concrete example.

My fear is that an actual girl will read this article and hear what I heard: You do not deserve to be taken seriously, treated with respect, or even left to geek out on the internet without someone telling you how unworthy you are, because you have not suffered enough as much as I think I did to get access to the same information. And if you’re conventionally attractive and get male attention you can therefore never call yourself a geek.

:-( 

March 22nd, 2012
buddhacrunk

I’m a sucker for a good SoundCloud integration and Regina Spektor doesn’t disappoint. Listen to “All The Rowboats”.

December 27th, 2011
buddhacrunk

Enamored

I am beyond enamored with Emilie Autumn’s song ‘Marry Me’.

Who wouldn’t be? This kind of irony is a rare breed.

"Marry me, he said, through his rotten teeth, bad breath, and then
Marry me instead of that strapping young goatherd, but when
I was in his bed, and my father had sold me
I knew I hadn’t any choice, hushed my voice, did what any girl would do and
When I’m beheaded at least I was wedded
And when I am buried at least I was married
I’ll hid my behavior with wine as my savior

But, oh, what beautiful things I’ll wear
What beautiful dresses and hair
I’m lucky to share his bed
Especially since I’ll soon be dead

Marry me, he said, god, he’s ugly, but fortune is ours
Running in the gardens enjoying men, women and flowers
Then I break a glass and I slit my own innermost thigh
So that I can pretend that I’m menstru…well, unavailable
My life is arranged but this union’s deranged
So I’ll fuck who I choose for I’ve nothing to lose
And when master’s displeased, I’ll be down on my knees again

When dining on peacock I know I won’t swallow
Through balls, births and bridge games I know what will follow
We’re couple together through hell, hurt and hunger
Or at least until husband finds someone younger
Yes, fertilization is part of my station
I laugh as he drabs me in anticipation
Of sons who will run things when I’m under covers
But whose children are they? Why, mine and my lover’s!”

September 19th, 2011
buddhacrunk

I’m in awe of this woman (In fact, I’m sitting here thinking, how didn’t I think of this first). Thank Flying Spaghetti Monster Nancy Upton had the audacity and intelligence to respond to this horrific 'booty call' from American Apparel in such a perfect way.

Right the fuck on Nancy! Anytime you’re on the west coast, hit us up, we’d love to do a sit down and discuss. Check out the full story on Jezebel here.

extrawiggleroom:

Happy Thursday! I’m trying to include a cross-section of where real discussion is going on, whether people have a positive or negative outlook on the photos and the AA contest. Please email/tweet/post any original content I seem to be missing. I’d love to add any to the list, ESPECIALLY if they offer good counterpoints to my actions. 

Lively and objective debates on the internet, FTW!

Jezebel

Huffington Post

The Frisky

Feministe

Bitch Media

Put This On

Papillon Oui

Shaped By My Life

Reddit 

Madison Plus

The Siren

Madmoizelle

Bloginity

Also, you can still Vote here for one more day.

Or, instead of voting me up, send an email to the editor of your favorite fashion magazine/blog and request to see more of the talented models from the “contest!” Or, you know, do both. Really entirely up to you.

PS. Fashion Week starts tomorrow, right? Supposedly Dov Charney will be out and about in NYC. Just sayin’, if somebody wants to run into him and ask about the contest and mention me by name or photo and maybe capture it all on video I’d maybe possibly send them something cool in the mail or dosomethingcrazyIdunnojustathought. :)

September 15th, 2011
merc3po

I’ve been playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time on my 3DS.Ocarina was the first game that I ever played all the way through, on my family’s N64 console. The 3DS game is just a straight port of the original game. When I walked around Kokiri Forest again I felt like I was walking through a home I lived in as a child. I knew where most things were kept and I eventually remembered the rest of it. 

The fun of Ocarina is exactly the kind of fun I like to have: breaking stuff and picking up coins, completing physical puzzles, and engaging in very light combat with low stakes and not too scary baddies. 

We’re now seeing very similar fun reach the social games market. I’m really excited about Zynga’s Adventure World for the same reasons. It’s light, super fun, short-session play using the elements that made Zelda and the LEGO series so awesome. The time is now for puzzle adventure games on the new platforms. Hat tip to Zynga for priming the players. :)