America is one hot mess, it's always been a hot mess. I'm glad that the US has finally taken note of this, with the Occupy everywhere protests. I only wish the protests were more focused. Many things suck, but they get better when we get better...aggressively better. We will work harder than our parents for less, because unfortunately America was build on the backs of stolen, borrowed exploited labor and efforts and most of us has reaped the benefits of that exploitation to some capacity...and honestly we can't all be kings queens, ceo's and overpaid executive, but we can stop supporting the folks and establishments we don't believe in. And there's no shame in using your hands to make things and earning a day's wage. Unfortunately this is something most of us will have to learn to do. Most of my day job pals have finally stopped looking for jobs (after getting hired, then getting laid off then getting hired for less pay, then getting laid off, dealing with delays in payment etc.) I'm proud of them because they are finally putting there efforts into marketing skills they possess. Teaching dance, vocal lessons, baking, basically doing things in which they are not brokers in a service. they are actually providing a valuable task or deliverable. All great changes came from folks that shifted they way they thought about things. Don't like the walls knock them down, or leave the room. Big ups to all the Blue collar workers. America needs more of them. We need to make things, particulary the things we use. Remixed with my hands especially for you: The Remixed Blue Collar shirt
1. Work jointly on an activity, esp. to produce or create something.With in the last year I've noticed a spike in Junkprints collaboration inquiries. In one way this is awesome, because it means that I am making stuff that others want to be apart of and have hopes of contributing. I can definitely appreciate that. Sadly, more often than not these so called collaborations are request to do some form of what I do for junkprints for another line, company or individual. In this case, the request is not actually 'collaboration' it's a request for a donated commission (a.k.a. a favor). A perfect collaboration should result in something new and valuable to all parties involved. I've done a few of those and they are amazing. So I decided create a list of Rules of Engagement based off what I've learned from those and the bad 'collaborations'. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: The terms must be clear. What do you want and what do you want from me? How long do you propose this would take? what would be the final outcome, etc. If you are requesting to 'collab'. You should have clarity for what you're seeking. We're all busy bees. If you are unsure what you want to it wastes my time and your time. Two companies that offer the same thing don't generally make good collaborators. For example: 'Hi I'm a tee shirt designer/illustrator/graphic designer, I'd love to collaborate on some tees with Junkprints' This translates to: 'Hi, I want to do what you do, and would like to cross into your market, utilize your manufacturing resources and will you work on some tees for free for me so that I can brag about it (and you can brag about it too) and we can share the success.' Well all that is fine and dandy, but unless you have a substantial larger audience than I do then what's in it for me? Keep it classy (that word is funny to me, but it does apply) Don't hit up the person you would like to collaborate with in a public social network. i.e, a tweet of facebook wall. I know it seems easy and direct, but can you really convince someone of your worth as far as collaborating in less than 140 characters? You are tying your own hands. Do some research get the persons email address, figure out a good time to call them and state your proposal. If you don't hear back from them follow up...let me tell ya barely anyone follows up, you'd be amazed at the results persistence and consistency yields. If while you are figuring out what you want from the person/company that you want to collaborate with and you discover that you have nothing to offer towards the collaboration besides 'talent' then you are looking to commission work from them and you should be prepared to pay for this commission in some form or another. Keep in mind that requesting a collaboration is a bit like courting. Be creative, clear, honest and confident about you can bring to the table. Make your services/resources of value to the person/company you wish to collaborate. Featured picture: Robbed Tee by Junkprints available on Junkprints.com
My thoughts have been with my friends in Japan. A 9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan north of Tokyo on March 11. It resulted in a devastating tsunami which caused significant damage in coastal towns. That’s crazy and I can’t imagine what folks are continuing to go through with after shocks, rolling back outs and situation at the nuclear power plan. I thought about doing a limited edition doo dad and donating the profits but I want your contributions to go directly where they are needed. Check out www.charitynavigator.org to find a reputable organization providing relief.
Honestly, this month is ridiculous to me. I'm freakin American, not some weird hyphenated sub category version of American, I'm just as American as our slave owning fore(skin) fathers and personally you can keep the coldest shortest month to yourself and just include my(our) story in American History, which by the way is not a simple sad tale of Africans brought against there will, MLK blvds and 'by any means nessessary' speeches. The first string of Africans 'came to America as indentured servants and Africans for many years were similar in legal position to poor English indentured, who traded several years labor in exchange for passage to America. Africans could legally raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, marrying other Africans and sometimes intermarrying with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards'. (taken from Wikipedia) Doesn't get more 'American' than that. When will the folks that create the canon of educational 'American History' realize that the history of diasporic people in America is essential American History? Not a subcategory, elective or group of info that should be reviewed in February. This country was built on the backs of many from day one and a 'lil negro' month isn't going to solve anything. I totally understand where the notion of 'Black History' month came. I get that it was, in it's day, a way to include a part of American History that isn't generally included in standard American History Books, but I feel this needs to be reevaluated. I have a really hard time holding American slave owners in high esteem, sorry kids, I can't get down with George Washington, his cherry tree and slaves, Can't get down with Thomas Jefferson, and his rejection of his black off spring. That's great, he purchased Louisiana, but honestly stop asking folks to excuse these crimes against humanity to see the 'great contributions' these men made. I can't get over it even if it was the way of the day. You would be able to do alot of great things too, like building a nation, if you had slaves. Imagine if we had a European American Month, we took a break from learning about the Indigenous American People, Latinos (15.8% of the American population) and The folks who traveled from Asia and Africa (12% of the American population) to support industries of transportation and agriculture. In this lil month we could put up picture of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and tell the tale of how they were all folks who couldn't move up the social ladder in Europe but they 'persevered' with the help of the indigenous folks and there African 'comrades' and build a white house and a lil constitution and such. Imagine if we requested that Jewish youth to look beyond the concentration camps and appreciate Hitlers medical and gene research contributions to the world. Can't imagine that would do too well. America has a short rough history let's tell the tale a differently from now on. Why is it important to re-write history? because if plays a vital role in how young people see themselves in society. Everyone wants to come from something great (though most folks don't). Which is one of the ways we build our self esteem. History is a matter of perspective, now that more perspectives are being accepted it would serve the American people to include these in 'American History' Besides the dates, and social impact no one really knows exactly what happened in the 1700s and 1800s we weren't there and only have perspective on the situations, so if the tale is giving some youth a negative impression of there position in the land they were born in than it's simply creating monsters. Black history month points out how segregated we still are and honestly I'm over, you can keep February.
Sometimes I get super annoyed at how white privileged fashion is. I hate the B.S., but love the art of fashion. I admit, I stay up on WWD and tend to peep what goes on on the runways. It seems like fashion knows that it caters to white rich people is every once in a while sends a 'fuck you, I'm the boss' to the rest. That's exactly what I felt like this WWD article did to South Africa. The long and the short of it is that they are speculating where Chelsea Clinton and her new hubby spent there honeymoon and stated the following. "Well, sources say the newlyweds have headed into the wild — South Africa. While a spokesman for President Clinton declined to comment Monday, speculation is the couple is on safari in South Africa, which, if true, would make perfect sense. First, few people would recognize them in South Africa. And second, what paparazzi is going to risk being attacked by a lion or rhino just to get a photo of the couple?" Ooooookay, really WWD? That's all there is in S. Africa? Wildness, Rhinos & Lions? It's sooooo scary that no one would ever think to go that far, Even if you REALLY think that, pls explain why it was colonized in the first place, and it seems to be a hot spot for rich western vacationers. I love how South Africa is fit for an ex-president's daughter to vacation, but still a risky endeavour. Geesh, when is this 'Scary Africa' sentiment going to die?
Chanel and I are currently in the midst of decorating our abodes, albeit in different cities. Chanel is of course in Brooklyn and I am in Washington, D.C. I think that the best part of moving into a new place is the opportunity to decorate it according to your likes and interests. The bare walls of a home are really like a plain canvas waiting to be worked on. Maya Angelou once said, "I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself." There are people who find themselves in a single-family home, townhouse, condo, or apartment. There are also those who find themselves in a tent. To most people a tent is an item only needed for that one week during the summer where they are dragged into the woods with promises of s'mores by loved ones. However, with 44% of people currently experiencing homelessness in America tent cities have become somewhat of a last resort for unsheltered Americans in need of affordable and accessible housing. You cannot hang picture frames on the sides of a tent, or install recess lighting, but a tent is still a home in which mouths are fed, and heads lay down to sleep. "The idea of someone living in a tent (or other encampment) in this country says little about the decisions made by those who dwell within and so much more about our nation's inability to adequately respond to those in need", stated Neil Donovan, director of The National Coalition for the Homeless. The National Coalition for the Homeless is undertaking a new project to document the tent city phenomenon across America. Unfortunately, this so-called phenomenon is nothing new. During the Great Depression the housing crisis that accompanied the employment crisis of the early 1930s brought about "Hoovervilles" which were a politicized term used to describes the countless shanktowns and homeless emcampments that were sprouting up across the country. The largest and longest-lasting "Hooverville" was in Seattle, WA and stood from 1931-1941. The fact that so many Americans currently live in tent cities certainly puts my home decor aspirations into a better perspective. There are things more important than trying to find just the right accent rug for my reading nook. Click here to view Lisa Ling's Report on Tent Cities.
In the last decade I have noticed an onslaught of television shows about upper crust teens and their behavior. Whether the show revolved around a birthday party or just reflected daily happenings; these shows have exposed the world to the lifestyles of the rich and not-so famous. After years of watching some of these shows and losing an irrecuperable amount of brain cells in the process I have recently noticed a growing trend of shows in which the family and friends of these usually spoiled teens are beginning to cut the purse strings and force the teens to appreciate the value of a dollar. I definitely used to throw salt at these teens. Not because I wanted to be like them, but because I was annoyed at how spoiled and arrogant they acted. Now I actually feel bad for them. Just a teeny weeny tad bit. I can understand the necessity of these spoiled teens to appreciate how blessed they are, but I believe that the parents on these shows need to take more responsibility. I don't think that it's right for a parent to treat their daughter like a princess her whole life and then suddenly threaten to cut off all funds because they become bratty and spoiled. I don't know what the parents expected to happen. When you give somebody a Fendi purse for their fourth birthday what do you expect them to ask for on their sixteenth birthday? It was the job of the parents to provide their children with the tools they needed to survive in the real world. A world where nobody cares how many times you've been to St. Tropez, but rather how many cups of coffee you can get for the 9am Progress Meeting in the conference room. In the real world, nobody cares if you are Daddy's Little Girl unless "Daddy" owns the company. People are products of their environment, so how can these girls really be completely blamed for their behavior. It's just like Jay-Z said, "When you're used to Filet Mignon it's kinda hard to go back to Hamburger Helper".
I like to think of myself as a very open and non-judgmental person. Even though I'm known for talking sh!t (remember, this is the Dookyblog) I try to never cross the line from funny and true to just plain rude and insensitive.I respect people of all religions and spiritual beliefs , but one thing I absolutely cannot respect is when religion is exploited. Recently, I went window shopping (i.e. adding things to my cart that I'll eventually not buy). The great thing about it was that I didn't have to spend any money on transportation to do so. How was this possible? Did I discover how to teleport myself to the mall? No, I simply opened up a window on my laptop and went online. I eventually found myself at the Forever21 website where they were selling "Beaded Rosary Necklaces" and "Religious Saints Bracelets". Call me prude, but I don't feel that rosary necklaces and bracelets with images of saints should be sold in a store that also carries "Posie Pasties" and "High Shine Mini Skirts". After this discovery my mind wandered back in time to an experience I had last semester in college. Picture this; a large dark room which by day is your ordinary recreational room and at night is transformed into a sexy ordinary college party with the help of some strobe lights. You walk in and the party is in full swing. Girls are dancing in groups. Some are praying that the boys leaning on the wall won't come and dance with them while others are praying that they do. The boys leaning on the wall are happy that their roommate went home for the weekend and speculating which girls are wasted (i.e. drunk) enough for them to take back to their dorm room later. Meanwhile the DJ is hoping that the party doesn't reach past capacity because he doesn't want the party to get shut down by the cops like every other party he's ever been to or spun records at.You begin to scope out the scene for a place for you and your friends to talk about people. Who's dancing with who. Who came noticeably drunk. Who looks cute and who looks a hot mess. The usual party banter. Then you turn around to see that someone is coming towards one of your friends. You squint your eyes to get a better look, but the room is too dark. You nudge your friend who immediately grabs your hand and starts dancing with you in order to scare the on-comer away. Nothing scares a guy trying to get with one girl than three of her friends. Luckily, her plan worked (sometimes it doesn't) and the predator finds a new prey in the visibly drunk girl in front of your group wearing heels, a corset, and neon yellow leggings. Since chivalry and respect dies at night on college campuses, the parasite latches himself onto the backside of the visibly drunk host and proceeds to bend her over by the waist in order to "dance" with her. She happily obliges by placing her hands on the floor in a position pretty close to a handstand. You see this and feel disgusted, as if they are essentially having sex with their clothes on in front of you. You grab your friends to go outside for some air. As you walk out you turn your head and take a good look at the visibly drunk girl and her "dancing" partner. He's wearing a plain white-t and a "Beaded Rosary Necklace". Which brings me back to the matter at hand. Is religion being exploited when stores like Forever21 sell religious items? Additionally, should people be partaking in questionable acts whilst wearing these items? Personally, I think it's disrespectful and ridiculous. What say you?
I have one less tooth than I had last time I did a posting. Don't worry I didn't get into a bar fight or anything, just had an impacted wisdom tooth that was grazing a nerve removed. I'm so hard core that I only had local anesthesia and was fully awake for the whole process, strange to watch your own mouth get sewn up. I even took the subway home after. At first I was like 'well that wasn't so bad'. So I went home and continued on the never ending space quilt project that I was working on for etsy's HQ, which by the way has has finally ended. But 4 hours after removal I felt like someone hit my head with a tiny mighty dump truck. I was in soooooo much freakin pain and wished I had no teeth at all. Ya'll who know me personally, know that I truly enjoy sobriety but in this case, good thing for pain meds. They made me super dizzy and gave me crazy dreams...I was over it the first night, but suffered through it for the next week. I've just returned to solid foods, feeling a lot better and am kinda missing my tooth, is that weird?
Last night I took a stroll through the New Museum. Boy was I glad that i did not pay an admission fee. It sucked big fat hairy balls. There were a few pieces that were good but overall it was a bunch of art school type art...expensive to create and mediocre (to say the least), not much amazing, not much to think about just blah not good not bad, not relevant, just a waste of materials. It was the kind of work that makes getting the every day person to wrap there head around spending some major cheese on art impossible. Just like how hip hop has the term 'hater', art also has a wonderful build in defense mechanism that makes the viewer un-refined, un-educated or un-sophisticated if you call it out.
photo by StephanieI try not to give too much shine to things that don't do it for me, but I am really intrigued with how great the museum is packaged. The building itself is a fun obstruction to the surrounding structures, the 'hell yes' neon type totally does it for me, even the green elevator is lovely. The new museum also boasts a great bookstore and fantastic website. All of this makes me wonder if all we really care about is the packaging.