Saturday, October 22, 2011

Birthday cemetery picnics

Myself: “Is someone else having a picnic?”
Taliesin: “No, that’s an actual funeral.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Some thoughts on my involvement in the Occupy Movement

Monday night (10/03) Occupy Boston was broken up by cops in riot gear. I sat in my bed watching the live feed which streamed what I would personally call an excessive use of force by the police. I’m not sure if I can properly articulate how I felt in that moment, but this attempt is going to have to do. I need to at least try to get this typed out.

At that moment an incredibly unpleasant thought struck me; from here in Los Angeles, there was absolutely nothing I could do. Sit and watch. That was it, and the more I did, the more I became overwhelmed as the feelings of uselessness and helplessness sank in. I watched cops throwing protestors to the ground and quite literally hog tying them. I read through as many newly updated articles that night as I could and came across a video of some of the protestors pleading with the cops to call off the breaking down of the camp.
“Listen to your hearts. You don’t have to do this. We are here for you. You have a choice. You know in your hearts this is wrong.”
The plea didn’t work.

Now before I go any further, I would like to clarify my views on the police in that situation, and within the Occupy movement as a whole. At first I had a strictly, the cops are one of us, we need to understand their side, point of view. I would go out of my way to try and talk to them and be as friendly as I could. Whenever I heard hear anyone saying something like “fuck the pigs”, it frustrates me to no end. However, I have come to understand something important. Though some of the officers may be on our side, the man or woman in that uniform is not who they are at home. They become the role that their uniform dictates. That role is to enforce the law, and as such, they must respond to our obstructions of it. Despite their personal views, they still serve to defend the same system we are fighting against. I can’t treat it as one or the other, even if the polar side I was on was positive.

I now smile if they look my way, maybe say hello, and go no further than that.

Right… now where was I. Ahh yes, being completely fucking useless! 

When I finally went to bed for the night, I couldn’t sleep. Anger, fear, sadness, and frustration don’t take any effort. Productivity begins when you use those feelings to motivate yourself to fight. But for that night, I couldn’t figure out how to turn those feelings into productivity. I just sat their and cried. Make fun of me all you want, call me a pansy, tell me I need to build a thicker skin (which actually is quite true), but I wouldn’t call it an overreaction. Sometimes it is hard to ignore that voice in your head that does whatever it can to break you down, and that night it was yelling.
“You are only one person. Nothing you do is actually going to make a difference. You don’t have time for this. Look at how tired you are. No one will notice if you don’t show up. You don’t matter. You can’t do anything.” 
This isn’t me saying that I want to drop it all and walk away, but there are nights when all of the shit that comes along with throwing yourself full force into the Occupy movement; the politics, the infighting, the violence, sometimes it becomes so overwhelming and all I want to do is stick my head in the sand. Of course I know that if I walked away now, I would feel worse.

The other week a friend of mine said to me, “Each person holds potential power. Our overwhelming beliefs are what create our reality.” Those my personal insecurities make it hard for me to believe that I hold any sort of power, they don’t invalidate what he said. This is going to sound stale and trite, but as a group, we stand strong. I guess I need to remind myself of that.

I need to stick to my guns while also finding a balance between pushing myself too much and giving myself too much slack. If I continue to drive myself as hard as I have been, I’m going to run out of energy and nothing is going to get done. However, if I don’t push myself at all, I still wont get anything done. I guess it’s okay to get overwhelmed and upset once and a while, as long as I don’t let it drag me down.

I’ve got to say, my involvement in Occupy Los Angeles is teaching me a lot about myself. If anything, it’s worth it just for that.

I’m not sure where I was going with any of this…

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No one can spell my name right

My tentcle alphabet was posted on Octopoda Tumblr some odd months ago:

Tentacle Alphabet, by Lauren Lauryn Soorani.

It looks like my alphabet is making its way around Tumblr. Soooo that’s kind of cool. :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This little piggy went to market

I’m working on a new alphabet for my advanced typography class. The last alphabet I made was done out of octopus tentacle and as a sort of continuation of that theme, this one is made from the midline section of a fetal pig. 
Here is a preview of the alphabet. So far I’ve only got nine letters somewhat finished. I say somewhat because I have yet to go through and (re)color correct them all to properly match each other. That said, keep in mind that even the letters below still need more work. Right… so here you go:
I’m amazed at what an annoyingly long time this set of photos is taking to edit. It is averaging around one hour per letter. For reasons I’m not quite sure of, the octopus alphabet was a lot easier (editing wise). Now, that isn’t to say it wasn’t as much of a pain in the ass to photograph. While the pig lacked the revolting smell of fish out of the fridge for way too long, the smell of preservatives was equally as nauseating. A friend informed me that morticians will put things around their nostrils to cancel out the smell (i.e. perfumed lotions), so if I do a project like this again I’ll be sure to do that.
Visually I don’t find it repulsive. In fact, I think some of the letters are cute. It’s the smell that gets to me. Despite having a poor sense of smell, it’s terribly overpowering, and what’s worse is that even after I’ve repeatedly washed up everything, it still lingers.
We have had two critiques in class and during both of them, there was a small handful of students who refused to look at it. I’m not offended, I gave them all a warning and told them I understood if they didn’t want to. What I find amusing is that while I do not eat meat, none of the kids who couldn’t handle looking were vegetarian. Perhaps it is harder to look at when it is something you eat? Of course what do I know, maybe just as many vegetarians would have a problem with it. I should probably take this time to clarify; I’m not trying to make any sort of statement. I have no intentions of presenting this as something to gross people out. What are my intentions? Fuck if I know. Take it at face value. It’s letters made out of a pig. Anyways, after much debate, I decided to create a certain level of aesthetic sterility (well… at least I tried to) in my attempt to make it a little less grotesque. 
I’m so tired of editing out pig juices.