Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the Decade

Everyone is making End of the Decade lists and I thought I'd join in.

5 Favorite TV Shows
1. Friends
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Fairly Odd Parents
4. Criminal Minds
5. Futurama

Years I Can't Remember Anything Significant About
1. 2002
2. 2004
3. 2005

Nicknames I've Had This Decade
1. Venni
2. Val
3. Valorayray
4. 13.
5. Aila
6. Rie-Rie

Number of Journals I Started

Number of Journals I Finished

5 Fads I Can't Believe We Were Obsessed With
1. Miley Cyrus
2. Jelly Roller Pens
3. Pokemon
4. Ugg (ugh) Boots
5. Those weird stretchy shirts

Initials of Guys I Wish I'd Made a Move On

Jobs I Considered This Decade
1. Writer*
2. Photographer
3. Physical Therapist
4. Teacher*
5. CIA
6. Archivist
7. Lawyer*
8. Linguist*
9. Surgeon
10. Swim Coach
*Jobs I'm Still Seriously Considering

5 Favorite Books
1. Harry Potter, JK Rowling
2. Invisible Monsters, Chuck Palahnuik
3. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
4. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
5. The Avalon Series

Sports I Tried My Hand At

Times I Can Remember it Snowing in Texas

Religions/Philosophies I Bought Into
(in order chronologically)
1. Christianity
2. Paganism
3. Agnosticism*
3.5 Pastafarianism*
4. Atheism*
5. Existentialism*
6. Christianity
*These all happened in the course of one very confused year. Also, 3.5
was a joke I told people while I was agnostic that they honestly

Ages I Was This Decade, in Order of Awesomeness
1. 19
2. 18
3. 17
4. 11
5. 10
6. 14
7. 13
8. 12
9. 15
10. 16

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Classic Christmastime

I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and email in a post about how wonderful Christmas was. Six hour drives will do that.

We visited Dad's family as we always do, and with five kids running around funny moments are always bound to come up. Yesterday, the
youngest, Austin (10), managed to somehow get a splinter in his finger. His dad and Grandma were trying to get it out when his older
sister Grace (14) started antagonizing him. I don't remember what she said first, but I know we were all laughing at it, which Austin took as laughing at him. He lunged at her, but luckily his dad caught him before he could attack. He said, "Come here, let's look at this thing in the light." to which Austin replied, "Hold ON, I have to beat her up!" It was hysterical an a classic family moment. :)

We also saw Sherlock Holmes that night, which was good. I definitely recommend it for anyOne in the mood for some fun action and a little mystery. Plus, you really must see Rachel McAdams and Robert Downey Jr act alongside each other, it's great.

How were your Christmases? Any funny stories?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Teenage Rebellion

Sometimes, when I feel like "sticking it to the man," I steal food or a drink from the concession stand at the pool where work.

Mostly I do this because when I think of "the man," I think of a coach that trains his team at our pool and has tried to get me fired numerous times on various trumped charges.

And, by "sticking it" to him I basically mean doing anything at all to piss him off, which includes stealing the sodas/gatorades he buys for swim meets. It also, of course, means flirting with any of his younger male assistant coaches (when he has them), taking my dear sweet time refilling the toilet paper in the men's restroom, and smiling blankly at him when he tries to tell me that he built this pool and therefore has some say in how it's run.

How do you stick it to the man?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flight Risk

In my last few posts, I mentioned more than once that I was really panicky about exams. It was like having an anxiety attack for six straight days. Now that I've gotten my grades back, I can tell y'all why.

I needed a perfect 4.0 this semester to stay at A&M. Without it, my cumulative GPA would be under 3.5, which was what I needed to keep my scholarship. Without my scholarship, my parents won't pay for school.

I posted a 3.625. That's three As and two Bs. Not bad, not bad at all. Except, it's less than what I needed. Much less.

What sucks is one of those Bs is an 89. An 89! But my prof won't change it, I already asked. Not that it matters -- I'll still only have a 3.8 (rough estimation) for the semester, giving me a 3.41 overall. I'm sitting at 3.317 now.

I only found out 20 minutes ago. I'm still at work, so my parents only know that I don't think exams went as well as hoped (that was a row all on it's own). They don't know this new information.

I know what they'll say. I don't know how I'll handle it.

I can't believe I'm about to be a college drop out.

For the record, I'm definitely at flight risk.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, December 18, 2009

Audrey Hepburn Defines My Life Perfectly:

“I’m like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don’t even belong to each other.”

-Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly


It's Friday.

Friday, December 18th, 2009.

Why is this date so important, you ask?

Because finals are finally over. And I can get some sleep. And go a whole day without wondering if I have homework I need to do.

I'm going to love the next five weeks of my life. They're totally necessary before I go back to class and grunge work and what sort of kind of feels like mental torture. Except, not really on that last one.

How're y'all? :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Laconic Wit

Sometimes, in between studying for finals and trying not to strangle my professors, I forget exactly why I love history like I love chocolate chip cookies. [That's a lot!] Then I stumble across moments in history like [Photo]threatening letters between Philip II of Macedon and the Spartans.

Philip II: You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.
Spartans: If.


Sunday, December 13, 2009


I wish I had time for a real entry, but I'm freaking out about finals. So, instead, here's my favorite secret from this week's PostSecret post.

Frank Warren titled it onback.iwasgoingtosendthistoher.jpg.

I think we can all relate a little. No one wants to be forgotten, especially by him or her.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Even in London

As I write this, I'm sitting in a coffee shop where I've been for about 10 hours now while studying for finals. I should still be studying, but @TheA21Campaign tweeted a link to this news story, and I couldn't not share it with y'all.

People always think slavery is over. Even if they're aware that slavery is still prevalent in the world (more prevalent now than at the height of the Atlantic slave trade, even), they think it only happens in Third World countries. It's that whole 'It couldn't happen to me' thing that we all like to buy into. But it happens everywhere, even London, and people walk by without even noticing.

We all just need to open our eyes a little bit. Read the story. Learn something.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dear Finals,

Because of you, I'm not getting a whole lot of sleep.

Because of you, I've had six cups of coffee, an energy drink, two Gatorades, and one square meal today.

Because of you, I am not having any fun.

Because of you, I haven't gotten any Christmas shopping done.

Because of you, I really hate school right now. I've never hated school this much before!

I hope you're pleased with yourself.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dearest Santa...

Dear Santa,

I know back in like the 5th grade I said I didn't believe in you, but you and I both know that was just because I wanted that mean popular girl Amber to be friends with me and she couldn't be friends with babies who still believed in Santa.

But I still believe, Santa. I still believe.

And since I have such faith, and have been such a good girl this year (check your list!), I think I've earned a few choice gifts.

Like this recycled hemp shoulder bag with flying swallows on it. Umm, cute much? And think of all the cool things I could keep inside it, like this ridiculously adorable puppy:

Isn't he cute?! Come on, how cute would he look curled up in our living room while Ayla and I watch TV and sip hot chocolate this winter? You know you think it's a great idea. While you're at it, could you pay the down payment our apartment complex requires? I'll totally let you play with it whenever you want! The elves and Mrs. Clause, too!

Speaking of paying for things, could you potentially pay my tuition next semester? I've worked so hard at school, so that seems like a logical gift. And a beneficial one! Education for the win!

You know what, Santa? I've got the perfect gift in mind -- a limitless Visa giftcard. Just slip it in my stocking and you won't have to worry about any of the other gifts -- I'll take care of it. And I'll make sure to put out really delicious cookies out for you -- all kinds! And not the crappy ones with Splenda that my mom makes. I know you like your sugar legit. :)

Merry Christmas, Santa! See you soon!
(This post was brought to you by Mama Kat's writer's workshop.)

Monday, November 30, 2009


Hey, remember me? I'm that person that sometimes used to blog here. Yeah, that's right, Valorie. Uh huh. Yeah, I'm alive. Where have I been you ask? Oh, well, that's a pretty long story. How about I try to catch you up while I catch up and list the ten things I was thankful for this Thanksgiving?

I'm thankful...

1. For my family. I drove home last Tuesday to surprise my parents (I was supposed to go home Wednesday) and earned a scream from my mom, who was on a conference call with her boss when I walked into the house. We then drove to Arkansas to visit my Dad's family and stayed there until Saturday, which was simply wonderful. I have a big family but I rarely get to see any of them because we're all so spread out. Like a dummy though, I didn't take a single picture the whole time so I can't show you them. Lame, eh?

2. That I don't have to write another paper this semester. No, seriously, I actually silently said thanks for this at the lunch/dinner table on Thanksgiving. I really do love to write, but I *hate* writing research papers. My only one this semester was due last Monday -- now I just have to wait and see how I did.

3. For my friends. I saw most of the ones I'm really close with over the few days I was there -- it was wonderful. Very few of my close friends actually go to A&M, and I don't really have the money (or the time) to be driving all over the state of Texas to visit all of them. Though I do have plans to visit Cyndi in Houston next semester. I'm excited. :)

4. For dayquil. I've been sick on and off for the past week, so dayquil has been a life saver; without it there's no. way. I could have gotten out of bed for classes today or last Tuesday. Though, if we're honest, the liquid dayquil tastes awful. Absolutely. If anyone involved in the production of dayquil is reading this: step it up. Also, why is it burnt orange? That's pretty much the worst color ever. (Gig 'em, Aggies! [Yes, it was necessary.])

5. For Black Friday. I got some pretty suh-weet brown "leather" boots that day. As well as a really bad a set of 10 picture frames for $12 bucks. And a couple cheap-y necklaces that will break by the end of the week, but that's okay because I paid less than $5 for them, as well as a purse that better not break by the end of the week, though I did pay less than $20 for it. And a bulletin board, though I'm not actually sure why I bought that since I don't know where the heck I'm going to put it. Caught up in the shopping fever I guess.

6. For Barnes & Noble coupons. They send me some pretty much once a week, but last week there was an email for 50% off and another for 40% off waiting in my inbox, like a little reminder that it will all be okay, that the world isn't coming to a halting stop before exploding into a fiery ball of doom. Needless to say, I made a trip over there immediately, and now have a copy of Superfreakonomics and a beautiful leather bound journal that will eventually be used for #55, once I can bring myself to destroy it (which is, of course, the whole freaking point).

7. That I'm still in school. During my catching up with all my friends, I was caught up on all the old high school gossip (don't look at me that way, you do it too), and I realized just how many people that were supposed to go off to college and become successful lawyers and doctors and teachers and whatevers... are now bums, smoking pot and doing nothing with their lives. The most important thing any of them do is wait tables and play at the coffee house on Tuesday nights. On the one hand, it's like, 'okay cool, do what makes you happy.' But they're not going to be young forever, eventually they'll need to make more than $7.50/hr. Maybe I'm being judgmental.

8. That I haven't actually quit Mary Kay yet, though I still have every intention to. I'm actually going to have a big 25% off sale starting on December 1, which I'm extending to you guys through this website. I just feel like it would be easier to sell all the product than return it to the company. (If you have any questions about the sale, feel free to email me -- beautifuliconoclast [at] gmail [dot] com.)

9. For extra credit projects in my Chinese class. And for going to class on Tuesday even though most of the class skipped and finding out that I have an extra credit project. I'm already half done with it and I only spent about an hour on it last night, so it should really work out. The fact that it's giving me somewhere between 1 and 5 points on my final grade it pretty stinkin' wonderful. :)

10. THAT IT'S ALMOST TIME TO START CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS. I love Thanksgiving, really, it's one of my favorite holidays (right after Halloween), but there's just something about the Christmas season that really makes me happy. But, I do really hardcore believe in not celebrating Christmas before December 1, so it DRIVES ME CRAZY when corporate America is like "oh it's November 1? It's almost Christmas! Put up the decorations now! We've got to suck consumers dry before the holidays really even start!" Consumerism isn't even what Christmas is supposed to be about... But that's for a whole different post.

Does that catch y'all up enough? How were your Thanksgivings?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Thought While Researching

I'm reading a lot of John Stuart Mill and Henry David Thoreau tonight in an attempt to do some quick research for a paper I have to write and somewhere between the lines of passive resistance and utilitarianism (the harm principle), I had a thought:

In worrying about who we will be tomorrow, we lose sight of who we are today.

I've been so freaking guilty of that recently. Damn.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photo Blog

I know, I know. It's November 17th. November 17th and I still haven't posted Halloween pictures. Talk about epic fail. But, that will change tonight! As you read, even! For, here are pictures from Halloween!

All the Greeks together. :)

All the ladies. :)My friend Stephanie, a pirate for the night. She's wonderfully photogenic and I love taking pictures of her.

That's all I'll post of those, simply because I don't want to overwhelm you or my computer. Now coming at you are photos from a 20's themed party Phi Lamb threw this past weekend.

Travis and I posing in his newsie and my 20's mobster costume (flapper was simply not going to happen for either of us).

My roomie and her boyfriend, really getting into the theme with their 20's-style flirting.

A cool picture of me Travis took. I love it. :) He's a good photographer, huh? I love my best friend.

Those are my favorites; the highlights. Have y'all taken any cool photos recently? Link up, I'd love to see them. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beauty of Anonymity

I should have been an anonymous blogger so I could tell you guys more about my life.

Oh, paradoxes, how I love y'all.

But, alas, I am paranoid, and while my life has been quite exciting as of late, I hesitate to tell you much about it.

I met someone, I think it's safe to say that. The conditions under which he and I met are less than fantastic, so that will stay a secret; for that I'm sorry, because it's definitely interesting. It had a lot to do with coffee, I'll say that.

He's a good guy, if you're curious. Strong faith, really intelligent, politically aware. Funny, definitely funny.

One of these days, hopefully I can tell you guys more about him. Until then, feel free to theorize all you care to. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Tomorrow, Halloween and Roaring 20's-themed party photos. Get excited. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Letter to Illness

Dear Sickness,

I've noticed that you liked to come at the most inconvenient times, in the most annoying of forms, like a stomach virus that causes high fever and vomiting.

For instance, you so cruelly came into my life at nighttime, between the hours of 1 am and 7 am when all I'd really like to be doing is sleeping.

You decided to pay a visit the week I need to write a big ten-page research paper.

And the weekend that my best friend, Travis, is supposed to come visit me in CS and go to Phi Lamb date party with me Saturday night.

Now, sickness, I understand you're a necessary part of life. I get that you come and go at least once a year, but really? This week? You couldn't have waited like a week, until after I'd written my paper and Travis had left? Really?



P.S. TWLOHA! You better have written love on your arms!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Almost Officially Unemployed

As you guys may or may not know (regular readers, hmmm?) I'm a Mary Kay consultant. Or, I am for now because I'm quitting tomorrow after I finish my economics test.

See, I kind of feel like I'm doing a bad thing there. I've always been this huge proponent of the idea that women shouldn't feel like they need make up to feel beautiful... hell, that we shouldn't feel a need to be beautiful. A desire for beauty shouldn't be such a driving force in our lives. We shouldn't value ourselves based on how beautiful society thinks we are or aren't.

We're so much more important than that.

We should place our value in our intellect, in our caring nature, in our skills as leaders or listeners, in our wisdom or our compassion or our zest for life. In the fact that we get to be mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. In who we are not what we look like.

And yet, here I am, selling make up to women, telling them they need it to cover up that blemish that doesn't exist or that they're not pretty if they have wrinkles or that such-and-such product will help them lose an inch off of their thighs or reduce those fine lines on their hands and elbows and by their eyes. That they need to use our products as a way to stay young forever because youth and beauty equal happiness.

The MK company motto is even, "Enriching Women's Lives." How pretentious is that? As if you won't have a rich, happy, wonderful, beautiful life without their products to keep you young and thin and pretty.

Eff. That.

I refuse to be a part of it anymore. I refuse to be a part of something that would try to tell this woman that she isn't beautiful because she has wrinkles and doesn't wear any make up. I refuse to be a part of something that claims that it's improving the lives of women when all it's really doing is saying, "oh hey, you're not pretty enough, let's fix that." When it's making them doubt the beauty and personality God gave them.

You're beautiful. Really. I promise.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Letters

Hey you,

You're killing me. The mixed signals? Yeah, they're not cool.

You have a great smile. And you're incredibly intelligent and down to Earth, which makes conversation wonderful.

But I hate you. I mean, I don't really. I wish I did, because that would make things so much easier. That's almost the same right? Hating someone and just wishing you did so you didn't have to like them? It is in my book. At least, for now.

Stop being so great, okay? Thanks.

Simply Valorie

(This post was brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Today, I told my room mate, "I don't know what I want."

She said, "Well, hell, I could have told you that."

We were talking about food, but she seemed to mean it on a deeper level somehow.

I really need to get my life straightened out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I miss the days when I could get lost in a book.

Now, I'm all grown up.

And there are always other things to worry about.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Number 9

Life has been CRAZY this past week, hence the total lack update since the 23rd when I spontaneously told you guys I'm going to LBK for the weekend.

Unfortunately, when I promised you guys pictures (I believe my exact quote was "lots and lots"), I lied. Techie and I didn't take a single picture the whole weekend, except of this ridiculously too adorable puppy that we *definitely* almost stole. Can you blame us?! Look at it! I'm sorry the photo is a little blurry; it wouldn't stay still!

The trip though, was wonderful. Mostly because I got to see my best friend, who I hadn't seen in months, but also because Texas A&M beat Tech in what was probably the most surprising game of the season. 52-30. Whoop! First time we've won in Lubbock since...1993, I want to say? Good times. :)

I wish I could give y'all more pictures. But don't worry, there will really and truly be lots and lots of pictures after Halloween. I promise. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009


9. Visit Techie in Lubbock.

Happening, today. I will be there in less than 12 hours.

I'm ridiculously too excited. :)

No worries, you guys will get pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Passion

I want a tattoo. Actually, I want many, but only one really has to do with Mama Kat's prompt this week.

It's not that I'm passionate about tattoos, or that they make me live my life with passion, or anything. Tattoos don't change me, they don't inspire me. But I really want a little heart tattoo with the word "Shalom" in Hebrew inside of it on my left foot to remind myself to walk in love, peace, and passion. Because I truly am an incredibly passionate person, but my shy nature often allows me to forget that.

I'm passionate about today. You know, carpe diem quam minimum credula postero; seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow. (That's another tattoo I want.) I live every day of my life passionately with the hope that if I die tonight or tomorrow it will all have been worth something, anything, to someone.

I'm passionate about human trafficking. Perhaps I should say I'm passionately against human trafficking. The fact that right now someone, somewhere is being forced into some sort slavery -- whether it be into Joseph Kony's child army, prostitution, or any type of involuntary servitude -- literally makes me sick. It makes me shake, makes me see red, makes me nauseous. That passion is why I'm devoting my life to an organization like The A21 Campaign or International Justice Missions or Human Rights Watch once I finally graduate.

I'm passionate about peace, hence the word "shalom" inside the heart. No, I'm not one of those people that has peace signs all over anything but doesn't really seek it. I honestly crave it; it's like an eternal hunger that gnaws at my heart. In Psalm 34:14 our God, the Prince of Peace instructs us to "Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it," and I intend to do just that every day.

Loving people makes me passionate. I love, love, love people in general. It entirely conflicts with how shy I am, which irritates me to the ends of the earth, but it's true. The biggest joys of my day are seeing other people smile. Sure, I also really enjoy getting an A on a test and watching Grey's Anatomy (it's Thursday!), but those are temporal, and while happiness is temporal as well, it's so much more effectual and in many ways so much more eternal.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

True Story Tuesday

I don't know if Rachel got this idea from someone else, but for today, I'm jacking it for myself. Mostly, because I don't have time for a good blog post. True story.

True story...
...I'm an, er, creative note-taker in class.

My macroeconomics notes. Isn't the robot attacking the business cycle with his laser eyes cute?

Drawn during English History. It's Richard II, right before being killed. He is NOT happy.

True story...
...I have had five tests in less than two weeks. Stressful!

True story...
...My dream self is dating one of my professors this semester. It's confuses THE CRAP out of me every time I wake up.

True story...
...I'm probably going to have to get rid of my tragus piercing. :(

True story...
...I should *definitely* be studying for a test right now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ArtLurker AND Maroon 5 Lied to Me!

As many of you saw (and were rightfully disgusted by), on Saturday I posted an entry titled "The Craziest Man in America?" about a man and his "artistic" rape tunnel.

Now, I need to kind of rescind that post. And apologize for calling him deranged.

See, the people I got the article from, ArtLurker, admitted a few days after the posting of the Rape Tunnel article that it was all a hoax. I originally thought that maybe it might be, but so many outside news articles and websites supported it that I decided to concede that the world is in fact filled with lunatics that need to be castrated. Luckily, my original hunch was proven correct by my good friend Stephanie (who you should follow on Twitter) who found this article from ArtLurker saying that it was a "joke" posted to encourage discussion about modern art.

Now, while I was initially annoyed that someone would use rape as such a sick joke (one of these days, there'll be a full post on that), I soon breathed a sigh of relief.

There's no Rape Tunnel! My faith in humanity has been restored! The world is in fact filled with rainbows and butterflies, no matter WHAT Maroon 5 says!

Okay, maybe not. But at least I'm not tweeting about castrating the poor guy anymore.

[img cred:]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Craziest Man in America?

This post started as a stream of consciousness Saturday thing that I saw someone do... though now I honestly can't remember who. Sorry!

But, anyways, in the midst of my stream-of-consciousness writing, I was also on Facebook (one can only think about ice cream and puppies for so long before it gets boring to readers) and I came across this article.

Yes, it IS called "The Rape Tunnel."

See, there's this guy named Richard Whitehurst in Columbus, Ohio who is generating a lot of media attention, not to mention protests, because of an "art project" he's working on. The project? A rape tunnel. [The article itself is an interview and I think you should read it in it's entirety to really understand it, but I'll put some key quotes here.]

He describes it as a "22 ft tunnel [made] out of plywood that leads into the project room. There is no way in or out of the project room except for this tunnel. As you travel through the tunnel, it gets smaller and smaller, making it so that you have to crawl and put yourself in a submissive position in order to reach the tunnel’s destination. At the end of the tunnel the subject will find me waiting in the project room and I’ll try to the best of my ability to overpower and rape the person who crawls through."

He concedes that there will be a sign on the door to it, warning people what it is and what will happen to them if they enter, which may or may not make it consensual, but that's not really that point. When asked Why rape? he said it was because "as an artistic gesture" it was the "most impactful" he could think of. He originally did something he called "The Punch-You-In-The-Face Tunnel," which is obviously less awful but ended up ruining a model's career. To this day, the matter still isn't settled, and he takes joy in that, saying, "this took place two years ago, and I’m still having an impact on this young lady’s life, something not many other artists could claim about their work." He goes on to say that "rape seemed like the next logical step."

Seriously? You're deranged.

Let's take morality out of this for a second -- how does punching progress to rape? I would think the next logical step was breaking an arm or stabbing or shooting them in a non-fatal way. Rape might come after that, followed by murder. Now, let's put those morals back in: Uhm. Hi. Rape? ILLEGAL. It's mentally and emotionally damaging to men and women alike. Some people that are raped tend to commit suicide and/or start raping other people and/or start killing people. Is that SERIOUSLY the effect you want on society? You want to be thrown in association with famous serial rapists such as Ted Bundy and Robert Leroy Anderson? Seriously!?

The interviewer even asked, "Is your intention to ruin people's lives?" His response: "Possibly. I’m not necessarily concerned with the positive or negative effects of this project so long as there is some effect on people’s lives. I’ve merely set up a situation where there is potential to impact people in meaningful ways." [I added in the italics.] Yet, this same man later says that he thinks rape is "morally reprehensible," and mentions it should "generally not be allowed in society." Generally? Does that mean there's a time when it's a good idea?

His goal in all of this? " I’m trying to totally reconfigure art’s importance in the world and make it meaningful."

I'm pretty sure there are other ways of going about that. Try doing it without ruining lives.

[img cred: artlurker]

Read my follow up story here!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Writer's Workshop: In The Mirror

Thanks for the prompt, Mama Kat!

When I look in the mirror, I see green eyes searching for an answer.

When I look in the mirror, I see a girl that just wants to have fun.

When I look in the mirror, I see a Hispanic dancer with "too big" hips waiting to break free.

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who is patiently waiting for the next step. Except maybe not so patiently.

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who really enjoys avoiding homework. A lot.

When I look in the mirror, I see an artsy hippie and a country girl conflicting.

When I look in the mirror, I see a girl that really likes Hard Rock Cafe.

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who is a little confused.

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who really likes coffee. Too much. Maybe loves it. A lot. Uncontrollably. Insatiably. Could marry it if that were legal and not the most bizarre thing ever.

When I look in the mirror, I see a nineteen year old that is still naive enough to believe in changing the world.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Freedom of the Press?

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the World Media Summit. It's basically an opportunity for people working in media to get together to discuss "ways of survival and development for the global media industry." (Li Congjun, President of Xinhua News Agency in Beijing.) The theme of the summit is "Cooperation, Action, Win-Win & Development."

It should probably be titled something more along the lines of "Someone Other Than Me Note the Irony in China Hosting a Global Media Summit to Further Media Influence and Power When They Barely Allow Foreign Reporters in Their Own Country Any Rights At All. I Feel Like I'm Taking Crazy Pills!"

I realize that's a long title. So I'm willing to settle with simply "Hypocrisy!" Hoo-ah!

Luckily, someone else agrees with me. See, there's this little group called Human Rights Watch (maybe you've heard of them?) and they've noted the irony in this too. As they say in that article, important people such as News Corporation Chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch, AP President & CEO Thomas Curley, Reuters News Editor-in-Chief David Schlesinger and BBC Director-General Mark Thompson will all be in attendance. They think (and I agree) that these powerful men should probably use this opportunity to encourage China to stop it's media censorship and abuse of journalists and actually live by not only their April 2009 National Human Rights Action Plan that says they'd cease this behavior, but also their constitution, of which Article 35 says that freedom of the press is guaranteed.

Yet, foreign journalists have been pretty much kept out of Tibet since March of '08. This past May, Guangdong provincial government asked the press to limit negative coverage in "national interest." In August, security guards in Guangdong "attacked Guangzhou Daily reporter Liu Manyuan when he attempted to take photos at the scene," beating him for roughly ten minutes. Three Hong Kong journalists were covering ethnic violence in Urumqi when they were teargassed and beaten by anti-riot police just last month. Five other reporters were arrested the same day and the AP news crews equipment was confiscated. (Read more about specific incidents of ill-treatment of journalists in China here.)

Is hoping they'd hold to their own word really asking too much? I don't think so. I mean, they said did they'd do it first. But, as so many people often do, they've gone back on their word and someone needs to hold them to it. And who better than people who are gathering to further media power? And yet, here is their list of objectives for the summit, directly from their website:
  • Media challenges & solutions in digital & multimedia age
  • Traditional media via new emerging media
  • Financial crisis & media response
  • How traditional media to meet challenges of digital and internet technologies
  • Global media merging
  • Challenges & opportunities in digital & multi-media age
  • Hi-tech's impact upon media development
  • Shaping the future of news rooms & journalists
Some are somewhat rough translations from Chinese to English (again, from website), but I was hesitant to correct them in case it was considered "misquoting" or whatever. But, even through rough translations, they're obviously not planning on discussing China's oppression of it's journalists. I suppose it could be part of 'media challenges,' but I get the feeling that's not really what they have in mind.

I just hope it comes up somehow. These men can't be so ignorant to not notice the irony of this whole situation. It's their duty to stand up for their own who are suffering for simply doing their job.