I Made the Switch to Tumblr!


I will be updating there from now on. Blogspot, it's been a good run.


Unmellow Yellow X Art School Snobs (that I love) X Mindful Pollution

Lauren Kimchi and I met up in downtown LA today. It was great to see her glowing self and I finally got to meet her bf, James. (I'm off record here, but I think they're wonderful for each other. I approve)

She invited me to a performance at REDCAT by Asian-American artist Kristina Wong. The piece was entitled Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She was extremely funny, and I seriously wish I could be her best friend. The underlying issue brought to light was the fact that Asian women have some of the highest rates of suicide and depression, and Wong spent the performance attempting to act as a martyr to resolve the problem. However, she herself ends up going crazy in this process of trying to represent the Asian-American female experience. The performance was multi-layered, an awareness piece, a parody of herself (and of the Asian American experience), an assemblage of "fictitious" accounts of depression that are at the end of the day very real issues. I think she did a really good job of entertaining, but at the same time I didn't connect as much with the piece as I hoped. Not that I expected to be bawling the entire time, but... something was lacking in order to make it feel genuine. She reiterated the fact that she didn't want people to think that the personas she portrayed were related to her personal experiences, but for those 1.5 hours, I kind of wish they were more real. Instead of detaching herself from it, I wish she could have embraced it more. But I think she made it a point not for her own work to be that of monologues, and more of a meta-piece. The performative aspect will inevitable place a degree of separation from the topic at hand. Also, I always feel slightly uncomfortable about the fact, that in order to create awareness on something, one must play into the stereotypes at the end of the day. Not that the stereotypes aren't true, but I shutter at the fact that it may have a reinforcing effect on perpetuating the stereotypes. In this case, I think Wong balanced it well. Her presence, as an Asian women and performer, was enough to prove that Asian women can be anything but what you except. It's always hot to see spicy Chinese women who are doing really awesome shit.

Afterward, we went to Little Tokyo for dinner and after getting lost for a bit, ended up at a gallery opening for some CalArts students. Everyone there was intimidatingly hip, but there beyond hipster. Just cool. The show was in an empty downtown studio, very intimate. My favorite piece was about periods. Perhaps I am biased to work dealing with women right now, but it was insanely funny and uncomfortable watching a girl talk about the cyclical and cosmic nature of periods while she had smothered her face in some blood. At one point, the period blood was spewing from her mouth. Just dripping.

All in all, it was a very chill day. But after seeing Wong's performance and going to the art show, it made me a little sad that I myself am never going to be an "artist." Many times today people would ask "are you an artist, too?" after Lauren introduced me, and if I had told them "Oh no, I'm a public policy student at Duke," I'm sure I would have gotten some blank stares. What am I to them, really? Probably a soulless individual who can't appreciate the conceptual and complex nature of aesthetic renderings. Clearly. No but really, I wish I could be one of them.

Also, I've decided to end every post from now on with a video or two. Or a photo or two. Or anything visual that I find worthy of posting. Because I like visual aids.

Here are two videos about pollution of the mind and death by television:

Television is a drug. from Beth Fulton on Vimeo.



(Note: I haven't blogged in a while, but plan on doing so regularly again starting at some predetermined time... to be determined).

I'm back home. It feels wonderful to breathe easy for a bit, to plan lunch dates and hang outs instead of club meetings and study sessions in the library.

This past semester was... too many things. I hated it at times, kicking and screaming my way through. I loved other moments, when I was able to get over the seemingly overbearing life stressors. To those who saw me at my low points this semester, thanks for sticking by me, lending an ear and some words of wisdom, and for most importantly not rolling your eyes and judging me. (I was all over the place.) Some of you might not have noticed my ineptitude, in which case I succeeded in appearing quasi-functional. But at the end of the day, the past few months was necessary to get to where I am right now. I'm still not quite sure what that state is, but... I'm coming to terms with it all. Embracing it, even. There are things to be excited for. You know, a little thing called life.

To the seniors in my life (you know who you are): You will always remain seniors. I know you will all go off to do great things, however "great" may be defined for you. I am going to miss you dearly. I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself. Truly Madly Deeply.

On another note, here's my itinerary for the next couple months:

Now - June 5 :: LA
June 5 - August 7 :: NYC
August 7 - August 24 :: LA
August 24 - ?? :: Durham

And to close off this weird jumble of thoughts,

Some videos that I have been enamored by:

TORO Y MOI "YOU HID" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.



Cellphones Kill?

New GQ article reveals the growing evidence that cellphone usage is linked to brain damage. Sounds like something you heard back in middle school as a joke, right? And it became something we just dismissed.

But its true:
It's hard to talk about the dangers of cell-phone radiation without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. This is especially true in the United States, where non-industry-funded studies are rare, where legislation protecting the wireless industry from legal challenges has long been in place, and where our lives have been so thoroughly integrated with wireless technology that to suggest it might be a problem—maybe, eventually, a very big public-health problem—is like saying our shoes might be killing us.
Hm. Panic is setting in. Not really sure where to go from here. My phone is basically an extension of me (we'll save cyborg talks for later). Maybe I should start using a Bluetooth headset? But then again, that may cause cancer. Just like breathing.

Don't roll your eyes next time I tell you why I'm dying this decade.


New Caribou Video

I'm more than giddy over Caribou's upcoming album. They've released their first title track, "Odessa." The band never ceases to amaze me with their changing sound. I'm really digging this new global edge. The video is pretty sweet--the lack of focus at any given point is a nice visual effect, really adds to the haziness of the dream pop.


CARIBOU - Odessa from Caribou on Vimeo.


Boing Boing Mass Blast

BoingBoing is a Web site I follow that is chockful of insightful/interesting/useless/fun/weird findings and clippings. For those that haven't really looked into it before, here's my shameless plug for it.

I was looking at the most recent batch of updates, and many I thought were worth reposting and commenting on.

I'm currently having a quasi-big dilemma: what things I should retweet on Twitter, repost on my Blog, or link it to my Facebook? Or all three. There's just too many nuances I haven't really yet sorted out in this new-age Internet fad. But then again, everything is linked to everything, so I guess, just like, whatever.

Here goes a summary of stuff:

1) Safe Sex=Saving Animals!

Now there's an extra added purposive incentive to having safe sex--save endangered species. Center for Biological Diversity has created a special line of condom wrappers featuring an endangered animal that is accompanied by catchy slogans, such as "Hump smarter... save the snail darter." Awww. Who doesn't want to save animals? And maybe stay safe and control population growth as a secondary concern. Good job, marketing team.

2) Men should lie about their height (or about how much they make) online

A shout out to Duke!
A recent study analyzed data from 22,000 online daters and found that "women put a premium on income and height when deciding which men to contact." For example, the study showed a 5-foot-9-inch man needs to make $30,000 more than a 5-foot-10-inch one to be as successful in the dating pool.
Damn. That's a high premium on height, but I think that maybe the 5'9" to 5'10" difference is more important to women than say the 6'1" to 6'2" height differences. After a certain point, I don't think females care that much. But for the folks who are below six feet tall... I hope you make lots of money ;)

3) MGMT is so Lowbrow (and not in an offensive way)

Album art for MGMT's upcoming record, Congratulations, debuted on BoingBoing. The artist is Anthony Ausgang, one of the original members of the Lowbrow art scene that emerged in the '90s. Here's also the link to an interview with him.

4) I want these!

New Post-its that look like blades of grass.

That's all for now. My life is boring right now. I'm doing lots of schoolwork, without feeling very engaged or satisfied in an intellectual capacity. More so just blase and burnt out. Spring break, come sooner please.


The Populism Problem

Check out this short commentary about how public opinion is louder, but more conflicted, than ever.

Here's a clip:
Similarly, the failure of free markets during the financial crisis might have led people to think that the government should be more involved in the economy. Instead, the percentage of Americans who think government is trying to do too much is higher than it’s been since the late nineties. Health-care reform offers a case study in this. The bills passed by Congress, whatever their flaws, would do things that voters overwhelmingly say they support: extend coverage to the uninsured, ban the worst practices of insurers, and guarantee insurance for people who lose their jobs. Yet more voters now oppose the bills than support them, with many saying that the government is overreaching. And, while voters routinely say that the rising cost of health care is a problem, it is the bills’ cost-control provisions—including a tax on expensive insurance plans and rules to restrain Medicare spending—that have proved especially unpopular. On top of this, many people are just annoyed with the whole process: a survey of voters who supported Obama in 2008 but voted for Scott Brown in the recent Massachusetts Senate race found that forty-one per cent of those who opposed health-care reform weren’t sure whether reform went too far or not far enough. In short, they don’t know why they’re against reform; they just are. It’s a bit like Marlon Brando in “The Wild One.” Asked what he’s rebelling against, he says, “Whaddya got?"