Archive for July, 2010

I used to believe the scariest thing hid its ugliness in failure– I even wrote my college entrance essay on it.
I used to believe if I did not exceed above and beyond the expectations I set for myself, a despair would wash over me.
I did not acknowledge failure for fear of what it meant about myself.

Then I grew a few years and thought– damn, maybe I am naive to be so unperturbed by the notion of death; maybe I should place my fears in that. I was so confused by the notion of being the sole window into the view of my existence.
Not having any real faith in conventional religion, I had no perception of an afterlife, other than in casual references to it made without heart.  So, this lack of belief in an afterlife coupled with my over-dependence on logic and reason, left me in a realm where the only conclusion about death was nothingness, blackness.
The metaphor I most often defaulted to when describing my feeling surrounding death is:

Imagine you are watching a television show.
Only this show is different; this show is your life.
You view all the people in this show through the  TV and you are alone in the room.
When you die, there’s no white-static, no color bars or emergency television programming.
You don’t change the channel to the best episode of Friends, the Brady Brunch,
or if you are out of luck, a re-run episode of the Jersey Shore.
No, when you die, the TV is off– blackness.

What freaked me out the most was not actually dying, but the question of whether the world would cease existing without me, the viewer. Would it be something similar to The Matrix or The Truman Show, where everything I’ve ever known about life was created only for my immaterial period of life, for my benefit? I grappled with this uncertainty for about half a decade, and then realized, I don’t really care.

Instead I’ve found a new fear that hovers somewhere between my two previous fears.
What I fear now is getting old.

No, that’s oversimplified and ambiguous.
I mean I fear the haunts that come with getting old. It is a prevailing scene in day-to-day life, often ignored by youth. The woman, her smile permanently upturned from the loss of her soul-mate, grocery shopping for a box of cereal that she will eat for an entire week by herself. The happiness of the elderly when strangers sing for them around Christmas because during the 364 other days of the year their families have forgotten about them. The old man eating his breakfast alone, with nearly a century of pain etched into his face from having watched each friend of his fail at the ultimate challenge: Life. I guess in a sense, this fear is partially opposite to my first and second because to see this fear fulfilled is to succeed in not dying. Another issue I have with getting really old is to watch yourself deteriorate. It would be like having the bubonic plague, only someone accidentally hit the uber-slow button and now your skin is rotting at a rate only noticeable to yourself.

This is what worries me. I don’t think I want to be a part of that.

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Graffiti #3

Between the 3 contributors to this blog… I, the Banana, have been doing some major SLACKING! I apologize for this. Dear Cantaloupe and Elephant, I will post some good reads soon (within the next couple days). For now, here is some more street art that has caught my eye. I found these particular ones off a website called Art of Graffiti. Enjoy!

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I am sitting on the Amtrak Acela express train back to Boston. Rewind an hour and 12 minutes earlier, I enter the cabin, searching for a seat where I could dilly dally on my computer in peace; a seat without a sleepy drooling person or children screaming around me. This, I thought, was my only worry. I promptly saw an empty seat across from a friendly looking older man—think 65+. We exchanged phrases of, “Where ya headed?” Maybe this was my first mistake. It has been an hour and (now) 15 minutes and he has not stopped stealing glances at me, occasionally staring, for extended periods of time, at me, or rather my chest. As a defense, I put my sweater on backwards and have mad-mugged him every time we make eye contact. This has not deterred, and while I don’t think I’m in any real danger, this situation got me thinking, can “Gentler Gender” ever escape this oppressive behavior of men?

We have spent the greater part of the past century trying to build ourselves up as equals. We have made headway on the surface, voting rights, higher-power positions and taking on greater responsibilities within the entire family dynamic, more complex than just cooking, cleaning and childcare. Still, deep-rooted in the minds of so many men is this idea they have the right to defile a woman with their eyes, make her feel completely vulnerable despite how many accomplishments she may have under belt.

Sure, stronger woman can confront the aggressor, but doesn’t that merely feed into backwards notions of women being hot-headed, emotional creatures—so much so, women are denied high-level positions for the connotation’s perceived weakness?
Mildly humorous social experiment by the women of 2fruits1elephant: we figured it would be amusing to put on fake lashes and get done up just to experience the night this way. I would say, “You’d be surprised how many males respond to the simple addition of lashes,” but upon further thought, I don’t believe it is surprising. By adding this small detail, we stuck ourselves into a group of women who are especially trapped in the straits of objectification. There were a few cat calls, I’m fairly sure a gay man, who was selling tickets on the street told me if I bought a ticket he would change for me. Ha! My usual-self never prompts such a response. Anyway, the “Skank-Lashes” as I called them for the rest of the night, garnered a lot of attention, and I’m fairly confident none of the men were drawn to our independent, intelligent, support-YOUR-scrub-self, beautiful characteristics. Probably more realistically, they had visions of submission.

So, while full on man-hating feminists suck, perhaps they have some valid points. Days such as these make me feel like all we’ve worked for in the prior decades to level the playing field has been denigrated in the span of an hour. Furthermore, it makes me feel futile, and I hate that THIS inevitability will pervade the rest of my existence…

that is until I become a 300lb beast.

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What kind of world do we live in today where there is a one hour TV special on LeBron James’ decision?

This whole fiasco sounds like a new business pitch: Will the incumbent Cleveland Cavaliers keep him? Or will he trade up for the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, or Chicago Bulls? Who can entice him more, with their players, strengths, location, benefits?

My television is broken so I can’t watch it right now (basically following the Twitter feeds, just like thousands of Americans – see below), but I bet he’s heading to Miami. Why else would he have a party there? (UPDATE: He chose Miami Heat)

Since I’ve been immersed in the media world, I also believe that this is a wonderful time for commercials. LeBron James sponsored commercials, athletic commercials (sneakers, energy drinks, etc.) and male commercials (deodorant, beer, insurance for kicks). High impressions and hopefully CPCs. For people who watched, did you notice these type of ads?

Proof that this is like a pitch: Leo Burnett sent items, daring LeBron James be the next Michael Jordan. The unconventional tactics they used:

  • Sent him a shoebox, with the question “Do You Dare Fill These Shoes?”
  • Sent him a picture of Chicago, with Jordan’s shadow cast over the city, and asked “Can You Cast A Shadow This Big?”
  • A 2 Page Spread in the Chicago Tribune, once again, daring him to beat Micheal Jordon
  • Sent him a case filled with 6 empty championship boxes and asked “Can You Fill These Boxes?”

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I’ve been totally remiss about posting; tsk tsk on me.

In my defense, I’ve been a little busy traveling, but I always kept you, the attentive readers of this blog, in the front of my mind.

Without care for my safety in communist China, I prepared to lie my way through eight-plus cities in China and HK.

“Lie your way through China? What does THAT mean?” you may ask? Well, some crazy Brits devised a game in which the rules are simple.  1) you lie flat  anywhere, everywhere. 2) someone takes your photo 3) the more dangerous, or quirky, the better, and voila! You have just participated in the Lying Down Game.

Click on the photos for larger slideshow. Enjoy!

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