I came across this interesting little brain nugget that asked ‘Is Social Media a new form of mass hysteria?’ and now I can’t shake that idea. Being a child of the internet the evolution of social media never seemed like a big deal to me. From 90′s message boards, to LiveJournal, to MySpace, to YouTube, to Facebook, to Instagram and everything that came and went in between, I just seized it, used it, and disregarded whatever didn’t suit me. But when you really sit down to think about it, social media has, and constantly is, changing our lives drastically. It is how we keep in touch with friends and non-friends, how we get our news, stay involved with our particular interests, share pictures and opinions, and in essence, shape our image. But we also shape ourselves. Continue reading
Halloween is coming up and as usual I’m left wondering if I’m doing it right. October 31st is probably the biggest celebration of the year in Honolulu. Since the seasons never really change in Hawaii it’s a lot of fun for us crazy islanders to have one night that just feels, well, different, from the monotone of tropical perfection. So, in true excess fashion, it is usually extended to a good two weeks!
I’m from a country (Norway) that didn’t really knew about Halloween until we learned about it from American TV shows towards the end of the 90′s. I threw my first Halloween bash at 14 with my three best girlfriends and we dressed up as vampires and ghouls, scared the pizza delivery guy and watched PG-13 movies because my mom was lame and wouldn’t rent me R rated ones. We were obsessed with the Friday the 13th series and I remember having to settle for some forgettable mind reader thriller instead. It was so embarrassing! Ha ha.
Fast forward 15 years and Halloween isn’t really about scary anymore – more like an equal dose nostalgia (like I indulged in above!) and being outrageous/sexy while getting really really hammered. And that’s why I think I’m doing it wrong. I use Halloween as an excuse to dress up as my all time favorite characters from the stories that shaped me. Continue reading
Being bedridden with a migraine is definitely on my list of least favorite things to do but finding random little film gems is pretty high on my favorite list so I’m calling this weekend a draw.
After high school I worked on and off in an independent video store for a couple of years where the only perk was free access to a 30,000 titles film library. This was before the dawn of torrents so this was the best film education that money could not buy. I’m sure everyone who is interested in filmmaking knows this, but the best way to learn about what makes a movie good is to watch independent non-Hollywood movies. Hollywood movies are too flashy and too filled with good-looking famous people that feel like your friends to really notice if the story works or not. And because Hollywood movies are so expensive to make, they can’t be very complex because it has to reach a wide audience in order to make their money back. There can be no ambiguous endings and all loose ends have to be explained so that the audience can leave fulfilled on what is, just like fast food, basically empty calories. Continue reading
After spending Monday sighing over that the internet won’t shut up about Breaking Bad because it’s not really that good, I decided to catch up on Season 5 (I’d seen up to season 4 a year ago), probably because I hate feeling left out when it comes to Hollywood. That was three days ago. 14 episodes later I have re-emerged and I have pounded my fists on the bed and yelled at my computer on three separate occasions. I have also barely spoken to anyone nor seen sunlight. I’m a little confused as to what my life is right now.
But I love coffee so let’s talk about coffee! My journey to appreciate coffee started, embarrassingly, with Starbucks. Now I call it candy-coffee because let’s face it, most of the concoctions they sell are 3 parts syrup, 1 part coffee and 6 parts milk but at the time I was convinced that a white chocolate mocha (WCM) was this mysterious adult beverage called coffee. And it was delicious! It probably still is but at least now I know to call it by its rightful name: $6 liquid desert. Continue reading
"The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole." —Prof. Caroll Quigley, Georgetown University, Tragedy and Hope (1966)
Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted.
I was too young to really understand all the variables leading up to the Iraq invasion in 2003, but in 2013 I don’t have that excuse. I believe that Syria is our generation’s Vietnam war, and now is the time to decide what side of history you want to stand on. Only this time, the repercussions are truly global.
On one hand you have “western” proxy governments ruled by a handful of multinational corporations that profit from war, environmental catastrophes and keeping the global workforce in poverty. Add to that a bloated military that costs over $600 billion a year and suddenly the need for perpetual war doesn’t seem so far-fetched. And the most incredulous part? This is still considered by most to be the “right” side. Because it is the side backed by media and the people in power.
I could write a whole dissertation on why humans apparently crave hierarchies and why we see to have an almost worship-like mentality towards those who mange to climb to the top. Most herd or pack animals function in the same way so it’s probably genetic, but it can’t be denied that humans crave father figures, someone who is ultimately in control, when life can be so very unpredictable. So while we may not always like our rulers, it is very comforting that someone is there to look after us. I mean, what other explanation can there be? USA is arguably one of the most educated countries there ever was, and there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that speaks to the fact that no one is charge has anyone’s interest in mind but their own destructive agenda, yet hundred of millions of Americans will fervently argue otherwise. The fact that their democracy has been hijacked is unthinkable because no one in charge or on TV has told them so. They have even managed to convince us that we deserve to be paid $7.25 an hour when companies profit billions and billions a year from our hard work.
Anyone who says otherwise is instantly labeled a ‘conspiracy theorist’, which is really just a fancy word for ‘nutjob’. (Noun: nutjob: A person of inadequate sanity or lacking normal perceptions of reality; Adjective: normal: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.)
I just find it so interesting that pretty much every single person labeled ‘conspiracy theorist’, either publicly in the media or just by friends, is almost always a person who value peace and truth above all. No one is saying the world will ever be perfect, but it can probably be better than it is right now. Some say doing the same thing over and over while expecting different result is the definition of crazy. Well, I say the definition of crazy is to bomb entire cities, countries and people, and then expect peace.
This other side, call it what you will, consists of people who have mostly nothing to gain by their resistance to those in power. Most of us still lead pretty comfortable lives, yet our concern is mainly for those who don’t. Those millions of people trapped in war zones, the over twenty million refugees worldwide, and the future generations who, if we continue on this path, will have to grow up in a world full of violence and an environment so depleted it will not be able to support them.
Do you want to know make me absolutely certain I am on the right side of history? Because I don’t even have children, and given the present condition of humanity I am not sure I ever will, yet I am more concerned about the future of this planet than any person in power. As much as I love to travel, I am willing to accept even higher airfares as we wean ourselves off cheap oil. I welcome the idea of having to grow my own vegetables rather than having to buy everything flown in from half across the world. That’s not capitalism to me – that’s idiocy. Sustainability ultimately means to look inwards, the opposite of globalism. Look towards your community and what you can do for it to thrive and it in turn will take care of you. It means focusing on the small pleasures that truly give life meaning, which tends to be the opposite of materialism. Globalism has failed, but it did teach us a very important thing. Even though we are geographically far apart, we can still stay connected and care about each other.
But back to Syria. Right now the world’s opinion is against the USA. The only way the military can engage in Syria is through lies, deceit, and this is important, our approval. If the public opinion cries out loud enough maybe we can halt this operation that, let’s not kid ourselves, has been in the work for years and years. It is not for your ‘freedom’, it is not for anyone’s freedom. War never has, and never will, bring freedom. It does bring, however, traumatized people, broken people and vengeful people. Vengeful people who will start new wars.
I think the path to freedom begins with knowledge. Once you know the players and the end games, you can begin to take a stand. This kind of empowerment cannot be given to you by the same people who benefit from your ignorance.
Check out this video for more information:
Most of us are very experienced in shopping for clothes, but few of us really know what to look for in the clothes we buy outside of fashion and trends. Through trial and error, countless disappointments and wasted money, I have come up with this handy guide to ensure you will always be buying quality clothes – no matter what your budget is.
As a disclaimer, I have no background in the garment industry. These are simply lessons learned by a consumer who is tired of being sold junk.
The three words to remember are: fabric, cut, and craftsmanship.
Cut, which determines how the garment will fit, is very important. Too tight or too loose is never flattering. For women, you want your t-shirts to barely skim the body, to look soft and comfortable, yet flatter your curves. You want your expensive silk shirts to be loose and work appropriate, but still have a sense of femininity so you can feel confident and attractive. Same goes for men, if we can see the outline of your six-pack, your shirt is too tight. I know loose shirts are comfy, but if you can fit a family of three under there, you might want to reconsider what signals you are transmitting here. Are you an aspiring teenage rapper? To achieve a great fit you need expert designers and, of course, craftsmanship.
There is no way to get around the fact that most clothes today are made by low skilled workers in developing countries. It works because it keeps the prices down and factories can churn out massive amounts of simple, basic clothing. It has become a disposable industry, both the products and the producers of it. Learn more about this here. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the price the more experience the tailor behind it has. However, this is definitely not always true so don’t use prices as an indication of quality. A lot of so-called ‘designer clothes’ are made in the same factories as your throwaways from H&M, Forever 21 and Zara.
The easiest way to assess quality is to look at the fabric of the garment. Here is a list that breaks down the most commonly used fabrics and how they will behave when turned into clothes. Continue reading