Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stupid People.

Those are not Butterflies.

Those are horses.

EDIT: tried my best to work around disabling the embedding crap. But youtube is shut solid. I'd have to mirror the thing on my account, and honestly I don't want to go through the trouble.

Artist's Block?

It's not that I don't have any inspiration to make art, it's that I don't have any art supplies at the moment and I'm living with my all-too-stressful mother at the moment.

Trying to keep a low profile in this place is like storing your lighter fluid and fireworks on top of the stove.

Obviously high-stress environments do not an artist make in my case. Sadly, I'm an artist that thrives in peaceful environments. Right now I'm just kinda 'going' on with the writing of this blog to ease my senses.

I've got a few outlines written for some scripts I want to work on, but I'm probably going to have to exile myself to a nearby cabin before I actually get any writing done. Probably will be happening in the near foreseeable future.

I was an idiot and left all my masks and spraypaints at the dorm which is a five mile drive away from here. Relatively easily remedied though with a small purchase and a change of medium. I'll probably be stopping by Wal-Mart relatively soon to get some paints.

There's a variety of personal issues that have been throwing me off in the past week. One of which involving my mom destroying all her paintings, and giving me back the copy of my book i gave her telling me "She's read it already".

This does not help the balancing of my Chi. I'll probably escape into some old Chinese writings relatively soon, looking for a bit of inspiration to turn one of my outlines into a full fledged script.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms!

Oh fuck yes.

This was a fun movie to watch.

Ray Harryhausen's special effects really got big with this movie. The Beast is the earliest monster movie that I know of. It was made in 1953 and the effects of the monster rival that of Godzilla with Harryhausen's stop motion genius.

The movie starts off with a nuclear explosion in the arctic. After checking some meters in the area afterward, the scientists/explorers bump into 'The Monster' within a few minutes of the movie's beginning.

Afterward the explorer who saw the monster isn't taken seriously, and much of the film is the main character (who is a physicist) trying to prove that he's not insane by tracking down what the monster could be. Meanwhile there's reports of a 'sea serpant' attacking ships and the reports are slowly moving southward.

Ima eechuu!

The Beast's city attack takes place in Manhattan, which is honestly a great city for a monster on the loose film. The actual monster's special effects are well done. And the storyline behind the monster was well constructed. But it's origin story was that it was an oversized dinosaur that was set free by the atomic bomb. Apparently it had been frozen solid for over 100 million years.

As far as the origin story was concerned, Godzilla beats The Beast. Godzilla is an old radiated dinosaur with a beam (which explains why he's so beefed up), whereas The Beast is an old dinosaur fresh out of the microwave.

As far as comparing The Beast with Godzilla and other Japanese monster flicks, Godzilla takes the cake as far as depth of the film. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was a comparatively shallow film and mirrors a lot of the same problems that Varan The Unbelievable has with its story, such as not having much to the plot other than the monster.

One thing happened with The Beast that I wasn't counting on. The creators of The Beast brought to the table that the monster on the loose could carry a disease. It's obvious that the makers of Cloverfield were inspired by this part of the film. As these are the only two monster movies I'm aware of that this plot device is used. And especially because there is apparently a screenshot of The Beast attacking Manhattan in the film somewhere.

For all monster movie fans, this film is a must see simply because it's classic. The monster is an amazing creature. The rest of the film, however, is a B movie plotline complete with random romance. Overall, however, worth the 79 minutes it takes to watch it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


In color?

THEM! is one of the earlier films to use radioactivity to create a monster of some sort. The team that made it is relatively unheard of, even among monster movie fans. But, it is nevertheless a very good film.

The setup to the film is done very mysteriously. It's an awesome film to watch when you have no idea that a shitload of ants are going to come later in the film. The characters at first think a torn apart trailer and general store are the work of some homicidal maniac that just has a strange taste. They find that someone is stealing shitloads of sugar and using formic acid as a weapon.

Mysterious hole in the wall.

The origin of the monsters in this film is that an atomic bomb testing in '45 has given off a significant amount of radiation and mutated a mound of desert ants. These ants have gotten progressively bigger and the radiation has caused a significant change in a lot of their biology along with just making them huge.

The writer obviously did his homework on ants. One of the first encounters with one of these ants is dealt with by shooting the antennae and disabling it's senses. THEN someone unloads a machine gun into it, proving that they're not really that invincible.

That's a big fuckin ant.

As the film goes on, the characters find and attack a nest full of these bastards and then invade it to check and make sure that everything's dead. These scenes are actually about as gripping as they should be. And for 1954 American special effects, well done.

After this, the ants are GONE for what seems like a very long time until essentially the end of the movie when there's a quite impressive standoff between the military and a bunch of ants. The lack of sheer number of ants is excused by the period in which the film was made, but I would like to have seen more of the buggers.

Flame throwers: better than a magnifying glass.

As far as the rest of the film goes, there's not much to it. I learned some cool info on ants through the mini-documentary that they have in the middle of the film. This definitely showed that the idea had plenty of badass points. However, I still raise the same complaint to this film that I had with The Beast. There needed to be more meat on the bones of this film.

As a film bearing shitloads of monsters and another random light romance, this is a good film. And this film should be seen due to it's classic-ness. I was the only person in the room of about sixty film students to get a joke someone made about this film that was hilarious. Everyone else suffice to say missed out because they didn't check this out. Give it a watch just for the 'cool' factor.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another quick comment on Twilight:

I agree.
But I make no excuses.


There's a new blog that some friends and I have put together called

Let's Watch Movies Until We Can't Feel Feelings Anymore!

LWMUWCFFA for short.

From now on, I'll be posting reviews that I write personally on here only after at least a day has passed with it being up on LWMUWCFFA, perhaps longer if I happen to feel lazy. There's also several other authors reviewing other movies at this site, so check it out! Follow it, subscribe, whatever.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Film: Twilight: I'm Revoking Hollywood's Vampire License.

The Bane of my Existence.

Everyone involved in the making of this movie needs to be killed by vampires.

I've heard about the recent craze about a vampire book a few years ago. I heard that it was the new Harry Potter. Now I never read the Harry Potter books, but I have seen the movies and I think that it's a good story and it does justice to wizards. The story is intricate, detailed, classic, and just overall awesome for pretty much anyone that doesn't hate it with prejudice. I have little criticism of the films.

With all this in mind, I had high expectations for the Twilight series. I took it in stride the same way I took the Harry Potter books. Listening to the craze but not really taking part in it. When I saw the trailers to the film, I turned skeptical.

Things were happening in daylight.

I was confused.

As any diehard vampire fan knows... daylight doesn't agree with vampires.

Finally, I went to see the film because there was a required showing at my film school. I got a good seat, and watched.

I was wracking my head the entire time at the shitty dialogue that happened throughout the beginning of the film. When this Edward Cullen character WALKS UP TO Bella and says "I think you should stay away from me." I hit the floor with laughter as did the rest of the theater of film students who are used to seeing stuff that's actually good.

THEN this stupid chick responds with "What if I don't want to?" Now keep in mind, this guy has been acting like a creepy stalker thoughout most of the film. So I deduct that the character Bella is either stupid, shallow, or both.

A few scenes later the two characters are head over heals in love with one another. Completely and totally irrationally and unjustifiably. No effort was made to get the audience to get in the relationship with these characters. They just suddenly confessed their love to one another as if it were literally on first sight.

You'd think that someone who's been a vampire for 90 years would have a somewhat mature understanding of love.

So after this they're running around with more shitty dialogue. This dialogue is not only shitty, it takes eons to get out. I swear there were scenes between these characters that were just there to take up time. About seven minutes would pass and about six two-word lines had been said. Beyond that, this movie contained the longest forced kiss I've ever seen on film.

In all of this, I summed up the film to a crappy little emo-girl vampire fantasy of living her oh-so-shitty life (cries) and is then whisked away by a vampire on some pre-pubescent wet dream fantasy of a limitedly attractive pale 'dream boy' devoid of personality.

A modern vampire that is still an actual vampire.

But what pissed me off the most about this film wasn't the shitty acting, shitty story, or shitty writing... but how this movie treated the vampire. Legends of vampires have been around for centuries and the story behind what they are varies with the exception of a few things. They always have fangs, and they always die if they get in the sunlight (speeds vary, but the rule is the same). There's an exception to Daywalkers, but those are only the most powerful of vampires.

John Carpenter's Vampires: Explode into flame when they get in the sunlight.

Dracula: Burns in the sunlight.

Underworld: Skin slowly burns off.

Let The Right One In: turn into an inferno.

Anne Rice Universe: Turn into ashes.


VAMPIRES SPARKLE!!! (and have no fangs)

And then the pretty ponies and unicorns come out and celebrate. A vampire just went into the daylight!


Stephanie Meyer has just revealed that all of her Vampires are not only supercharged in strength and speed, but are ALL DAYWALKERS!!!

All of her vampires are now practically invincible. Nothing can kill them. Absolutely nothing. Every Vampire character in this series is Over Powered to an insane level. Vampires are threatening and evil enough of an enemy as they are, but now we have 100% daywalker from birth vampires.


Vampires cannot survive in daylight for an extended period of time. Twilight vampires only become obvious.

This film does no justice or respect to the traditional vampire. The vampire is a dark nighttime creature that is nearly invincible but can be killed by the simplicity of the Sun. Even if it's cloudy. It's what makes them poetic. It's what makes them real and identifiable. They have a weakness and that weakness adds to the character.

Stealing this weakness can either take away or add to the character. In the case of Daywalkers, (John Carpenter, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Anne Rice's Lestat) it makes for a badass invincible vampire that is a force to be reckoned with BECAUSE he lacks the usual weakness.

But in the case of Twilight, it fucks up the whole concept by making ALL vampires invincible and logically impossible for a human to kill. Every single one of these vampires are on par with Lestat and Dracula even if they haven't lived beyond even 100 years as a vampire.

This is essentially babying down the vampire. Stephanie Meyer has stolen the real darkness from the vampire by liberating them from the night. They still get the pale skin because they avoid direct sunlight for no logical reason other than self-pity, but they lack the prison of night that so affects the vampire psychology.

In the entire cast of vampires from Twilight, I saw vampires hiding from essentially nothing. They have a power that is very corruptible with no weakness whatsoever, but they hide with the same fear we've seen of vampires before us. If you want to make all vampires Daywalkers, run with it. Make them monsters. Don't pussy out. If a human lives for more than 100 years with no weaknesses and a constant thirst for blood. Someone's going to get power-hungry.


I'd have less of a problem with this insanity if it wasn't so damn popular. Everywhere I look I see girls (and some guys) running around with their Twilight paraphernalia and talking about how hot Edward Cullen is. I even heard a review saying that Twilight is what a vampire movie should be. It saddens me that someone has babied down the vampire and is getting a positive reaction.

I wholeheartedly disagree.

Vampires have been influential in my life all the way back to the classic black and white Dracula. There's plenty of crappy vampire movies out there. But this one is the worst that I've ever seen, and I've seen some shitty vampire movies. But the reasoning behind the shittiness for this one for me is that it spits in the face of everything that came before it.

This movie is by far the worst of the recent crappy releases to come out of Hollywood.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Film: Children of Paradise

I saw this film on the big screen on a print. It was showing at my school and I figured... foreign film (french), B&W, made in '44... I'm game. It's also apparently ranked no.5 or something among the greatest french films ever made.

Being recently interested in French cinema, I decided to check it out. Afterwards I found out it was three hours long. I figured... well alright. I've seen movies pour over the normal time limit and do fine. Seven Samurai and Kingdom of Heaven to name a couple.

Apparently it was separated into two movies because the Nazis would not allow commercial films go over 90 minutes. I tend to agree on the Nazis on this one. But not completely. So what the director decided to do was to end the first film suddenly, and then release a second film with the same title subsequently.

The first half of the film is mostly a disconnected plot line with shitloads of people irrationally falling in love with one another. There are several characters that are rather easy to keep up with, but I found that I didn't identify with a single one of them (except probably for one character who I found to be the saving grace of the film).

This guy is awesome.

The film is mainly about a mime (funambul) who has a beautiful girl in love with him who he has no real feelings for. But he falls in love at first sight with this not-so-pretty woman who he has a passing moment with and she smiles at him and gives him a flower or some shit. This is the main plot out of several characters who get intertwined in an intense plot that has everything to do with irrational feelings of love (we're talking maybe three minutes after they met and confessing love for one another).

I found myself frustrated throughout the first half of the film with the illogical actions of the characters. It had it's moments of awesome, but was mostly disjointed and the characters kept getting out of character. Not to mention it ends suddenly on a very random note that has nothing to do with the rest of the plot.

The French are so weird.

The second film, or second part rather (damn Nazis) was much more satisfying. I was thrown aback by the introduction when it summed up the first part of the film up to the completely random ending and then said SEVERAL YEARS LATER.


The ending was so random, I had expected it to jump right back into the story, but no.

I won't give any spoilers about the rest of the movie because it's probably worth checking out for the sake of knowing your French Cinema. And the characters actually stay true to themselves throughout the second part of the film. But there was one awesome character who hates all of society that does some pretty amazing stuff in the second part of the film. Of the entire film I found that character to be the only saving grace of the whole thing.

Overall, I walked out of the theater feeling like I had wasted three hours of my life, but having another classic under my belt and feeling ultimately satisfied with the few minutes of film that mattered. If I had been the editor of this film, I would have cut it down to about 90 minutes and made the Nazis happy as well as future viewers.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Masks: The Wall

The Wall

I'm working on more masks to go with the story of The Idealist. I've posted all the masks on the side of my dorm room for all to see. Some people get a little freaked, and some are extremely curious and examine it closely. And still others just ignore the damn thing.

So far all the masks have been the same make mask using spray paint and some with duct tape. I don't know if I'll be using anything else with the masks, but if I do I'm sure it'll be fun.

So far there's quite a few masks to go. But I'm making them. Whenever I come up with a concept I go ahead and make it. Most of them have worked out pretty well. I'll be uploading the occasional mask on here for the sake of it.

Masks: Mistake.

I've been working as an artist for a little while. Producing a couple films and directing one very recently. But something that's been filling my time as of late a new hobby of mine.

Mask making.

This is the first mask that I'm uploading, and probably my favorite. It's called Mistake given that it was made accidentally.


This mask has inspired the character 'Mistake' in my new mask themed story The Idealist (Running Title). I was trying to experiment with blood tears by spray painting the backside of the mask and getting the paint to trickle through the eyes. The experiment failed utterly and some of the paint got onto the front corner of the mask. Then the mask fell on it's side into a puddle of red spray paint.

The Puddle

I shrugged it off and started work on another mask called Cold that I'll be posting soon. I got some of the blue on the side, and then got frustrated with the location of the mask. So I randomly sprayed the colors I was working with on the experimental mask.

accidental blue line

After it dried for a day, I looked at it and really liked the result. The mask inspired me to add a character to the story I'm working on as another anti-hero in the story. A series of female masks have come out of this character, and there'll be a few more to come.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Personal: Back Up and Running

A few of you know that my computer took a swan dive from my bed and killed herself. Luckily a lot of the pieces are still intact and she can be repaired if I take the time to perform some surgery. For the meantime, I have two new computers coming in. Apple is made of win so I bought an iMac.

This is the reason why I've been gone recently. I borrowed my friend Micah's little itty bitty macbook until I got this baby in the mail.

Behold Celos, named for the Etruscan Earth Goddess

I've done all I can to recover files. Luckily I had a lot of my shit backed up on an external HD, so I've got that back. I also lost one of my favorite wallpapers for my desktop. But a /r/ in *that unknown website* fix'd that.

Suit yourself.

Two other wallpapers of mine are here. I have my computer looping through them every five minutes.

Aya Ueto as an angel

Hey look! It's Earth!

Was Earth...

Anywho, I'm obviously back up and posting. My week or so being MIA was not completely wasted, however. I've been making some mask-themed art with spray paint. I will be posting pictures of them shortly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rantings: This is made of Win and Awesome.

I was clicking around on Myspace, and My friend Ariel posted this beautiful piece of awesome.

Dear preppy girls,

Why do you dress up as Goths for Halloween? I know that Party City makes this relatively easy on you. After all, you can buy a little Goth Girl outfit in a plastic bag. You can even get matching accouterments, like black lipstick, pointy bracelets, and long purple wigs.

I helped a girl in birkenstock shoes and a polo shirt find black lipstick in a makeup store the other day. When I asked her why she would want such a thing, she happily informed me she was going to be a goth for Halloween. She then proceeded to show me the all-black ensemble she had picked up for her costume. Had I not been informed of her outfit choice, I would have thought she was going as Bret Michaels (a much funnier choice of costume, indeed).

So, it's creepy, you know? It's just a little weird that you're all dressing up as me circa 2004 for a holiday. I mean, why not just raid my closet? I could certainly provide something more authentic than a strange 40-year-old-rocker-looking-for-love outfit that you've prepared. At least do me justice. Seriously.

I'm just letting you know that as epic payback for your sucky costume, I'm going to dress as you this year. That's right, you! I'm going to prance around in a semi-drunken stupor in Uggs and Abercrombie shirts. I'm going to spray so much fake-tanner on myself I'm going to glow an eerie, translucent orange. I'm even going to smear a little powdered sugar on my nostrils, because real cocaine is just too darn expensive.

Love, Ariel

Wow... I concur.

Art History Feature: The Ziggurat of Ur

The Ziggurat of Ur

The Ziggurat is considered a precursor to the Pyramid. Many early civilizations started to build them at about the same time. Among these are the Sumerians, who were the first, and the Mayans. Ziggurats also appear in a few areas in south eastern Asia. A question among historians is where the original idea came from and whether or not these civilizations on opposite sides of the world were inspired by one another somehow.

The Ziggurat of Ur was one of the first major religious monuments in history, and is one of the major characteristics that makes the Sumerian culture the first civilization.

The city of Ur was the most powerful city among the four major Sumerian cities. Although the Sumerian cities were all of the same civilization, worshiped the same gods, and were all of the same race, they warred over the territory between their cities. Ur's Ziggurat would have been a show of militaristic power just as much as a homage to the gods. It can be noted that the Ziggurat looks like a fortress, and is built in a way that it could be very defensible if needed.

Religion became a major part of Sumerian life, as it did with many early civilizations. The Sumerian Ziggurat was supposed to be a dwelling for one or perhaps multiple gods. It also doubled as a place of worship for zealous civilians of Ur to go and pray.

It's made out of hand-made clay bricks that were sun dried by the Sumerians. These bricks were then assembled into the massive temple that is the Ziggurat. After several layers of brick, the interior of the Ziggurat is filled with sand, as if to prevent anyone from inhabiting the interior of this massive building. Atop the Ziggurat is a temple which would house a Sumerian holy man.

When the Ziggurat was made, it was by far the largest building ever made by man. And it was not devoted to a man, but to the gods. It shows that the Sumerians had an immense amount of respect for their gods in order to spend their time and wealth to construct such a massive structure. However, at the same time, it shows that the Sumerians feared their gods. What did they fear might happen if the Ziggurat was not built?

The Ziggurat's lifetime of use by the Sumerians was relatively short in comparison to the actual existence of the Sumerians. Some time after the Ziggurat was completed, the Elamites conquered the Sumerians and destroyed them city by city. No one knows quite where the Elamites came from. History only accounts that they came from the east and settled in Sumerian land after defeating them. Later they would fight the hardened warrior culture of the Assyrians in vain.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Politics: 700 Billion Dollar Failout.

I'm officially against the 700 Billion Dollar Bailout.

For many of the reasons I said beforehand. It tries to save our failing economy by putting us further into debt which hurts our economy to save people who failed at helping our economy.

Seriously, let them die.

But I didn't see this coming... even though I should have.

I was told recently that the bailout had supplied money for some high executive party or some shit. I did some digging on this and found out that this is indeed true.

The insurance company AIG was bailed out 87 Billion dollars and half a million of this was used for a happy party at an expensive resort with the executives of this company including a large lump sum for 'spa treatment'.

This is retarded. I'm staying at home so as not to use gas and eating cheap food while the government-created-socialized-billionaires get spa treatment at a resort. This is why I hate socialism in any form. You'd think that people would value this money that the government is giving them to save their asses. But they KNOW that if they fail again, the government is going to simply bail them out.

The money that they've been given isn't theirs and therefore they will not treat it with the same care they would if they had earned it their own damn selves.

I believe this is going to be the first of many stories like this. The treasurer needs to come out and wash his hands of the duties assigned to him by this bill. Let the economy drop as the weak companies die, and then the strong ones will fill the gaps.

In the meantime, while the corporations are screwing themselves, something needs to be done to protect the American worker that is employed by the part of our economy that is doing well, which is the small business sector. The person who works at the flower-shop on the corner needs to be protected in this time of economic trouble. I don't see any efforts to do it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Taoism: Chpt 1: Taoing

Note: Ten thousand is a sacred number to the Chinese. The Ten Thousand things can mean everything, but can include the sacred and celestial.


The way you can go
isn't the real way.
The name you can say
isn't the real name.

Heaven and Earth
begin in the unnamed:
name's the mother
of the ten thousand things.

So the unwanting soul
sees what's hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants.

Two things, one origin,
but different in name,
whose identity is in mystery.
Mystery of all mysteries!
The door to the hidden.

Le Guin states that a perfect translation of this poem from Chinese to English is perfectly impossible. This poem supposedly contains the whole book as an opener and sets up the rest of the Tao Te Ching.

The part that I find important in this is the passage "So the unwanting soul.... only what it wants". It highlights how we can see things when we separate ourselves from an issue. Someone who is blinded by their desires or beliefs cannot see what doesn't go along with those desires or beliefs. The Taoist tries to see what 'is' rather than what he or she wants to see.

In the passage "The way you can go.... isn't the real name" it can be produced into a sociological point about how we are offered a way through life that is the one we are supposed to follow, and then there's the spiritual way that you can go which is ultimately more satisfying and true to yourself.

Religion: Taoism

The Tao Te Ching was a book written by philosopher Lao Tzu about 500 BCE (about 800 years older than the Christian Bible). It's an eye opening holy book that reveals a lot about the nature of the universe. I'll be using this blog to post excerpts from it and post my thoughts along with it.

I may create another blog with a compilation of my Taoist postings, but as of now I don't really see the need.

The translation that I'm using is by Ursula K. Le Guin. Her translation attempts to keep the spirit of what's said while preserving the artistic value of the writings. This is the copy I carry around with me and the copy that I use to understand Philosophical Taoism.

It's important to realize that Philosophical Taoism is different from Religious Taoism. Religious Taoism brings in the idea of physical immortality, potions to help you attain physical immortality, and multiple gods interlocked in a huge drama. This is not what I follow because it has the same problems as all other religions like it.

Philosophical Taoism helps the follower understand The Tao or 'The Way'. The Tao could also be a singular God or simply the energy of the universe. There are many Taoism references in Star Wars when talking about The Force. Several things brought up by Yoda are lifted directly from the Tao Te Ching.

Now, Yoda's cool and all, but the things brought up by Yoda were not the important parts in my opinion. There are several things in the Tao Te Ching that talk about contentment and letting go of material things. The main thing that the Tao Te Ching does is bring peace to the reader.

Sometimes that's all we need.

Art History Feature: The Mask of King Tut

The mask of King Tutenkhamun was the lowest part of the sarcophagus made by the Egyptians for good ol' King Tut when he died. It would have been placed directly over his face and would have been a likeness of his actual face. Clearly, a lot of time was taken in the making of this mask.

The journey of the dead was very important to the Egyptians, especially the journey of their Pharaohs as evidenced by the construction of huge tombs and pyramids. The sarcophagus was designed to protect the body after death and to help preserve it so that it could be used in the afterlife. This mask could possibly have been for use in the afterlife along with the belongings he was found with.

There's lots of gold used in the making of this mask along with stripes of blue. A great amount of detail was taken in the forging of the mask and the careful design of the facial features. We can see a row of beads along the bottom of the mask as well and some black paint to accent the facial features of the mask.

As a work of art, the meaning behind this piece is purely religious. It clearly took a large amount of time to create due it's complex nature. The piece doubles as a tribute to the Pharaoh and his life. Obviously the maker of the piece respected the pharaoh or at least believed in his need to traverse across the celestial plane to the afterlife.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Religion: God and Science (Intellgent Design)

I had a conversation with someone recently who thought that Intelligent Design was a scientifically applicable idea. I tried my best to explain that it wasn't, but I don't think I reached her.

Intelligent Design is the basic idea that where there is design there must be a designer. So a newt looks the way it does because it was designed by a higher power. This belief is all fine and dandy until you get into scientific aspects of it. Intelligent Design as a scientific theory offers that the gaps in the evolutionary theory (such as why the newt's earliest legged ancestor started to develop legs in the first place) can be explained in the simple sentence that 'God did it' with the premise that it's that way because God designed it that way. This way of explaining things is counterproductive to science.

Science, especially biological science, gets into the nitty gritty details of it's subject and asks all the questions. The answer 'God did it' isn't good enough. Whether or not God did it, science asks the question of HOW it was done regardless of whether or not God was involved.

Personally, I believe that God has a lot to do with why the universe is here and how it came to be. But, I also recognize that in order for science to work, God needs to step out of the theoretical picture. Because God offers no real evidence for his existance other than the emotional connection between him and humanity's subconscious, God has to step out of the realm of science until evidence for his existence is found.

Until then, Science is the study of how rather than why. Religion is the study of why. When the two get intermingled with one another, people get pissed off as evidenced by the evolution vs Young Earth Creationism debate. In my opinion that whole debate is almost worthless. What Young Earth Creationists don't realize is that the world didn't have to come into existance six thousand years ago in order for God to exist or for life to have meaning.

What that whole debate boils down to is Biblical infallibility which is a subject heading for later.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Art History: Art with a capital A: History with a capital H: How old is Art?

The day after I posted the previous blog about Art, I presented it in my Art History class with much approval from the rest of the class. Afterwards I had an in depth talk with the teacher who is a fan of this kind of art with hopes to better understand it.

She explained that much of the Modern Art paintings featured in these museums featuring one color or printed onto the canvas by an artist are not supposed to be appreciated as a subject, but appreciated as a 'poke' at art. With this understanding I can appreciate it.

Much of the point of pieces such as the 'Green' canvas I make reference to could actually be making the point that we shouldn't care about the brush strokes of the artist, nor should we have the response 'oooo this is a Van Gogh painting' because when it all comes right down to it, it's just a damn painting. Why do we stick these people on a pedestal?

Duchamp's 'Fountain'
A little poke at how Art is perceived

I can respect this aspect of Modern Art as a poke at the rest of the art genres, but I still disagree on a level. I retain the point I made about the chair in my previous post. Though I can appreciate the design qualities of a chair as art, I don't quite think it belongs in a museum because it has no statement to make.

A fair majority of the art that inspires me is from many ages past. People invested their time and soul into these pieces without individual gratitude for the completion. They believed that the only gratitude that they received would be from the god they honored or the historical figure that now resides in the underworld (Achilles or Odysseus for example).

A major difference between art in this era and art from ages past is individuality. Egyptian art is all the same. Changing that art would get you killed. It was not the art of the artist, but the art of Egypt. Same with many other civilizations featuring religious art. Art was supposed to remind you of the religion or the person and the story surrounding that person. So in order to truly appreciate this art, you must know the stories.

For example: A stain glass window of Jesus or Mary is worthless to the person who doesn't know anything about the Bible.

The misconception is often made that 'art' as we see it today did not exist until a couple hundred years ago. Art was not appreciated as an individual's creation until recently. To me, this is untrue.

A scene featuring the Qin Emperor in 'HERO'
The very title of this film is a play on calligraphy
in that the word Hero in Chinese calligraphy is both plural and singular.

During the era of the Qin Emperor in China (about 220 BC, the same era as Alexander the Great) calligraphy was being appreciated as the individual's artistic accomplishment (The Qin Emperor saw himself as an artist and a philosopher as well as a ruler). People would look to calligraphy to understand the writer/artist in a number of aspects. Calligraphy was supposed to reveal a number of things about the artist's subconscious, including the artist's skill with a weapon. People would travel great distances to fetch a single word to be painted by a famous calligrapher.

Expanding upon that, China also recognized martial arts as the individual's artistic accomplishment. China was constantly streamlining the ability to fight along with the schools of thought behind fighting. We can't look at these original pieces of art today because they have disappeared with the bodies of those who created them, but we can see the art piece itself surviving with those being taught martial arts.

Guan Yu: Martial Artist from about 200 AD.
Creator of the weapon 'Black Dragon'

Many moves in martial arts and scrolls of calligraphy can be considered the oldest forms of individual art, yet none of them are appreciated in museums because this form of art has been mostly glossed over as far as appreciation is concerned.

I've noticed that History with a Capital H is also an issue here. History seems to ignore Asia when considering accomplishments. As a matter of fact, it tends to ignore everywhere but Europe. This is probably one of the reasons that no one quite understands China today. History rarely gives China credit for discovering the crossbow, chrome plating, or in this case, individual art.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Art History: Art with a capital A: My Inspiration.

I'm going to take a break from the failure that is American politics for a moment and talk about 'Art' again.

I was asked recently what inspires me visually as an artist. Honestly I don't create much visual 'art' so it's difficult to really answer that. But I'll go for it.

I had a conversation recently with my friend Shannon who said that her college class was going to take a trip to the SF MoMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and that she was reading this book on the definition of Art.

The book discredited ancient art as being 'art' because it doesn't fit with 'our' concept of art. It cited that the Mayans didn't create their art to be looked at, but for religious reasons. I call bullshit on this...

Now, I've never been to SF MoMA, but I have been to NY MoMA (same shit, New York) and I think it's safe to assume that they show the same type of bull. I saw everything from a canvas featuring the color green to a kinda cool looking chair. Can this really be considered art that is worthy of a place in a museum?


The above chair is featured at NY MoMA. Why?

This is the kind of stuff that doesn't inspire me at all. In fact it does quite the opposite. People will pay to go to a museum to see this stuff while the real art in the world is deprived of the valuable space taken up by this crap.

I see that there is artist value in some of this stuff, but that doesn't mean that it needs to be showcased in a museum as if it represents our times or something. My hatred of Modern Art doesn't mean I don't understand it. I understand it fine. I just think it's worthless.

Art in my opinion should have a purpose. One color on a canvas has no purpose unless you bullshit one. I can appreciate the color green somewhere else, get this canvas out of the museum and put up a work of art please.

Art that was made 400 plus years ago had meaning and purpose. Otherwise it wasn't bothered with. Michelangelo and Leonardo created with purpose and meaning. The purpose and meaning can be debatable, but we know it's there. Each work says something.

Modern art does something rather strange. Instead of trying to recapture any meaning or purpose, it decides to abandon it and have none. Instead, Modern Art creates that which looks good or just interesting and sits there.

This does not inspire me.

Behold, Art that is inspiring to me.

New Grange.
No one quite knows what those spirals mean.

Godzilla, representative of the nuclear bomb.

Tyrael, the angel from Diablo 2.
Representative of Heaven's hope for mankind.

Cowboy Bebop. Anime series. Watch it.

Amazing church windows.

Celtic High Cross. Covered in hieroglyphs representative of Bible stories.

The Monastery of St. Kevin.

Now this is just kind of a handful of visuals that mean something to me and therefore inspire. I'm inspired by a lot of different things (especially ancient art). I'm not impressed by things that simply are. I'm impressed by things that are there for something. Art, to me, represents life, or some aspect of it. Art that is meaningless represents the meaningless life and therefore does not appeal to me.

Surrealist, religious, written, even anime... it all means something to me, and is created to mean something. The reason why the 'art critics' have a different definition of Art than most people have isn't because they have taste and we don't. It's because they have lost sight of what art is supposed to be and has been for years. Art is the celebration of life in any form. Art that is meaningless cannot celebrate life because life has meaning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Politics: The Ultimate of Dumbshittery.

RepresentativePress on youtube. Go subscribe. Now.

Rep-Press made this probably assuming that the bill would pass. As we can see, it didn't. As you can see, I made comments earlier about the bailout compromising our capitalism. For the record, Obama came out in favor of it, McCain said 'maybe'. But, we'll never know with absolute certainty because neither of them got to vote for it.

But, it would have been SOMETHING DONE rather than NOTHING DONE, so the market was depending on it. It has now come out that some sort of partisan argument started by Pelosi (so say the republicans) caused some people to vote against it. 95 of the democrats voted against this bill (140 for it), and Pelosi has come out saying that the democrats held their end of the bargain. Rather difficult to accurately say when well over a third of their house members voted against it.

Republicans voted against it rather overwhelmingly (65 yes 133 no). Looking at this bill, it's not very republican. It spends a lot and involves a form of socialism. Even though McCain had talked about backing it, the conservative agenda doesn't normally go for this kind of thing.

The Scorecard for the 700 Billion Dollar Bailout Bill

The ultimate result of this has been that the Dow Jones Industrial has fallen like a damn rock. Today it lost 777.68 points putting it back near the 10,000 mark at 10,365.45. The Do-Nothing Congress has once again done nothing. They need to immediately go back to the drawing board and create SOMETHING that will fix this situation. Economy dropping like a rock coupled with no gas in the southeast (where I live) is killing the morale of the people.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Politics: The Presidential Debates: ROUND ONE

Wow this was depressing.

I watched this with another McCain supporter, three Obama supporters, and an independent. We were all surprisingly relaxed with one another while the candidates talked nonsensically about the issues. There was one major thing that brought us together, our mutual hatred for both the candidates.

Since his nomination, I've been a McCain supporter. I hated Obama from the beginning, and still hate him. The only thing that could have gotten me to vote for him would have been if he chose Richardson as his running mate. But he didn't, and probably because Richardson is Latino.

But all that aside, the debate was horrible. I watched the Saddleback Church 'debate' in which both candidates were brought on the stage in a controled situation and asked the same questions. I thought Obama danced around most of the questions whereas McCain answered straight-on which garnered my respect (whether I agreed with him or not). I was hoping for a round two of McCain actually answering questions while Obama put on his point shoes to dance around questions.

The first question was asked and both candidates wasted their time giving the boring thank-yous and introducing themselves with little mini stump-speeches. Then the moderator had to verbally slap them by asking the question again. I figured that the problem would not persist and both candidates would at least be better about it for the rest of the debate.

First question is about a minute into the video.

The rest of the debate was a travesty. Both candidates danced around the question by either not addressing anything remotely close to the subject of the question or by redefining the question and THEN answering their own question (Edwards used to do this by outright saying 'the real question is' and then answering it).

Note Gravel answered the question HEAD ON. The other two didn't even touch the issue. Ballerina alert on Obama. What the heck does that have to do with the question? At least Edwards tried to answer the question before redefining the question and then not answering it.

This is a major problem with presidential candidates. I want to see some answers from the candidates at some point. This has gotten sooo irritating for me. It seemed that the only two candidates who never danced around a question were Mike Gravel for the democrats and Ron Paul for the republicans, and neither of them were given any value for it.

It's depressing.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Politics: 700 Billion Bailout Plan?

Nevermind that Obama supports this blank check (or at least a form of it) as well. loves to bend facts when they're not completely lying. This is a bi-partisan issue that I'm not quite sure whether or not I support because I don't know enough about it. But here's what I do know.

Apparently this new bill is being worked on to bail out some companies whose success would help the economy and whose failure would hurt the economy. There hasn't been a list of companies posted anywhere that I know of, nor is there any real cap on the amount of money being spent.

The way the thing is written, it gives the treasurer the right to bail out Wall Street by using a process which I don't completely understand yet, but is limited to using 700 Billion dollars at one time. Then, it goes on without any specification to how many 'times' the damn thing can be used. So if used twice to its limits, 1.4 trillion dollars could be spent to bail out the economy, thus putting us further and further into debt and... destroying the economy?

700 billion dollars of government money being put into the free-market compromises our capitalism. This is a direction that several governments have gone before us. This is bringing a few terms to mind: Communism, Socialism, Command Economy... etc. I just saw one of the penguins down in our government say that he "hoped" this would be temporary. THAT has been heard before several times in history.

America has some problems.

This is a weird bill that's being put through. But all the penguins down at the senate and house seem to support it. I just got done watching Pelosi talk about the progress being made, and McCain just said that significant progress was made yesterday so he's deemed it alright to debate today rather than be absent from the debates.

I'm not quite sure how all this is going to play out. But this whole thing makes me shift in my seat a little. It just smells bad. A lot of limits need to be put on this thing if my understanding of it is correct, and I hope there's a lot of limitations I don't know about. But if there are, the media isn't showing them the light of day.

This could be compared to FDRs New Deal, or it could be compared to something completely different. I hope it works.

Watch and wait.

Art History: The First Graffiti Artist?

An airbrushed hand at Lascaux Cave

There's a painting in Lascaux Cave that has a negative image of a hand surrounded by a red nova that could have been created by modern spray paint. The red fades into the rock behind it at different lengths around the circle before it disappears completely. The middle two fingers are a little close together, and look as if the artist had injured or deformed fingers. Both of these being a great possibility along with the possibility that the human hand has simply evolved from what it used to be.

This piece seems to me that it should win an award for first graffiti. It looks as if someone put their hand up against the wall and spray painted over their hand which could be the first 'Ug was here' graffiti. This makes me wonder what was the point of him making the little hand print. And did he get punished for it?

Maybe it was supposed to be part of a bigger picture, but this is certainly quite different from the largely animalistic nature of the rest of the paintings in the cave. If this wasn't graffiti, maybe it was that kindergarten project in which you're supposed to make a turkey out of your hand, or perhaps it was simply artistic experimentation with the primitive air brush. Either way, I love to think of it as the first artistic practical joke.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Art History: What is Art with a capital A?

On the first day of my Art History class, the definition of "Art, capitol A" was challenged. Apparently the modern definition refuses to accept things with aspects to them other than art, such as the Woman of Willendorf. The Woman of Willendorf was probably a religious artifact of some kind that might have been used in ritual or perhaps was a pregnant woman's self portrait.

Woman of Willendorf

Art is apparently to be looked at. Modern Art fits this model with its strange blocky colors slapped onto a canvas and hung in a museum. I'm still trying to familiarize myself with Modern Art, so I don't quite understand it.

After this class, I wrote on my notebook the following:

"Art with a capitol A has been put on a pedestal by so many critics that it's hard to appreciate the artistic value of the simple world. Art the way I see it is therefore broadly unappreciated. With this in mind, Art with a capitol A is, in my opinion, inferior as a presentation of art. Where religious artistic endeavors are multi-purpose, 'Art' only has a solitary purpose."

To expand on that, I look to one of the two pieces that I have been presented with, 'Dancing Hunter' from Catal Hoyuk, one of the pre-Sumerian settlements from about 6000 BCE. I don't have the art history book yet, but I can infer from what I know of the time period and the location that this is probably religious as well, given that in this time almost all art was religious in some fashion. Pagan religions in this time drove humans to make paintings to honor the many thousands of gods or singular god in their religions. This is apparent in the art from Ireland on the stones guarding the Hill of Tara or New Grange from a similar time period.

Dancing Hunter

New Grange is an underground temple in Eastern Ireland that was designed to honor one of the solstices. The temple has stones with spirals all over them around the entrances. These spirals show up in other artistic/religious works of the early Irish pagans. No one quite knows what they mean, but they are definitely religious art.

New Grange

Two aspects of this suggest that the Dancing Hunter is religious to me. First of them is the fact that it exists in the first place. Without the religious drive to create art, most people in these periods of time were more focused on surviving than anything else. The second is the fact that the Hunter is dancing. The dance is probably to celebrate an ancient pagan god. Dancing during the neolithic age was a common religious practice, and I actually don't know of any other reason for dancing in that age. Most areas in which we dance in modern society either didn't exist in that age, or the purpose of celebration was supplanted with honoring their god or gods.

So, considering all this, is the Dancing Hunter Art with a capitol A? Probably not with the religious connotation. It might have been made to look at, or as a house decoration, but that wasn't the sole purpose of it. The painting has a number of other purposes than 'being art'. In my personal opinion, this qualifies as art, or at least artistic.

Film: Mobster Mountain Dew

While I'm posting some of my older stuff, here's something I made about a year ago. It involved about two hours of filming and editing to make seventeen seconds of goodness.

This video doesn't really speak as much for me anymore since Mello Yello is all I drink. At the time I made this, I liked both of them but I still liked Mountain Dew a little better. Since then I've changed completely.

This video was made to practice some stop motion and get myself familiar with editing on iMovie. It wound up being kind of a failure for the sake of practice since I should have been practicing in Final Cut rather than iMovie from a professional perspective. But anywho, I got a nice video out of it.

Writing: Whore

First post, figured I'd throw up some of my writing. This is a piece that got me disqualified from a school contest because it had the word 'whore' in it. They basically said I shouldn't have even submitted it to begin with, but at the time it was the best short story I had lying around.

It was inspired rather randomly after talking with a few people. Shortly after writing this, I met a girl named Hannah who thought it was quite awkward that her name was in this piece. I swore to her that I wrote it before I met her, and that at the time Hannah was a random name. I'm still not sure if she believed me or not :P but whatever.

The disqualification issue still bothers me even though it was a couple years ago. I swear that schools need to recognize good writing when they see it, and not disqualify over a 'bad word' that was used tastefully in my opinion.

But here it is,


Hannah awoke to the sunlight pouring in through her window. Her arm flopped over across the bed into the empty space beside her.

He had left.

She knew it would happen. They never stayed for long, playing their way into her heart and leaving in the midst of the night. She wriggled in the bed and pulled her covers over her shoulders and close to her neck, placing her chin over the edge of the blankets and locking the fabric into place.


Not as warm as his body was. She barely remembered his name. It had started with a ‘J’… or perhaps a ‘T’? She wasn’t sure. Her bare feet remained cold under the covers. Winter had that effect on her body. No matter what, her feet seemed to remain cold.

She tucked them in, close to her bare body in the fetal position, wrapping her arms around herself. She shivered ever so slightly beneath the covers. Her lips pressed together tightly in a state of near frustration. The emotion she felt at that moment could not exactly be described… not by her anyway. She had felt this feeling a thousand times before. Each time she let a man into her life, for one night, he left before the next day, leaving her to wake up alone… and for today… cold as well.

She didn’t want to get out of the bed. She would wait a while.

She shivered again.


She wished for that body again, that warm body which held hers the night before. When the arms of a man held her, she felt as if nothing could touch her. She felt the need to get as close as she could to them—even if that meant removing her clothes.

Protection was all she wanted… protection from the world's judgments, assumptions, and hatreds toward her. She only wanted to feel the arms of one next to her each night, knowing he would be there the next morning to kiss her and tell her it would all be okay.

But they all left before dawn… all back to their own lives, carrying on as if she never existed. She would only be a memory to them—only a memory.

Nothing more.

But to her, each man had been much more until she awoke the next day to their vacancy. Each of them had crept into her heart for one ephemeral moment. Yet then they ripped themselves away, as if they had been caught by the fear of staying forever. She only wanted the same hand to hold, lips to kiss, and a shoulder to cry on. She wanted the same ones to be there for years and years again. Yet her confounded reputation always got in the way.

Others saw Hannah as easy—bedded in one night, and left naked in the dark. And though she had to admit to herself the truth of this common assumption…

She hated it.

Hannah’s desperation had led to her own demise. A demise before death. She lived as an empty shell for anyone to fill as they pleased with their lustful instincts.

She stirred from her rest, moving her legs to get out from underneath the covers. Her thin arms removed the covers from her naked body as she moved to sit up in the bed. She stretched her arms out in the sunlight, yawning as she did so.

She had to try again. She had to find love. She needed to be loved.
Hannah would go to find another man. But this time it would work, this time she wouldn’t be left in the middle of the night. She would be so good to him, give him such an experience that he would never leave her.


She examined her frail shadow on the floor opposing the window. What was the matter with her? Why did men refuse to stay with her for more than the night? Why did all of them leave before dawn?

She stood.

Hannah walked delicately across the room and out the door, crossing the hallway into her bland bathroom. She turned on the shower and waited for the hot water to turn on. She examined her body in the mirror.

She couldn’t see anything absolutely repulsive about her… Was it her boobs? No… she had always been satisfied with her breasts. She always wore clothing that showed them a little, hoping men would notice. They usually did. Men could never refuse her.

Was it the small pudge on her stomach that drove them off? Could she not move correctly in the night? Was her touch not soft enough, not hard enough, not warm enough? She shook her head and noticed the steam coming out from behind the shower curtain.

She briskly moved it aside and stepped in, letting the water fall around her. Her hands moved through her hair as she brushed it back, filling each strand with water.

She fell back against the wall of the shower, breathing deeply as she did so. Her frail body slid down to the bottom of the shower against the wet wall. Hannah’s hands covered her face.

Was it her face?

Could it be the pointed nose?

The little mole above the left side of her mouth?

Her blank brown eyes?

Her small mouth?

What could it be?

What could it be that made her so repulsive?

A droplet of water which came not from the shower trailed down the side of her cheek.

She realized her fate.

She could only be what she was.

A whore.