Friday, May 31, 2013

Words No One Should Use (Part 2)

Because I am largely a creature of my word, I shall finish my list of annoying words and phrases. Hopefully quickly, so that the posts are in the same month in the drop down menus. It's also going to be quick, because I have other things to do, and I'm in a less ranty frame of mind than last time.

-Pejoratives for race, gender, sexual practices, etc
This is just a common decency thing with me. If you're not a total worthless douchewaffle, you don't decide people are not worthy of respect based on anything other than their character. Treating them like crap because you don't agree with them is totally not okay. You don't get patted on the head for it, but you don't deserve to be lynched either. Using words to demean someone because of their  gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc just makes you more of an ass than you're saying they are. Except hipsters. It's okay to hate on them.

-The One
As you may have noticed if you've read basically any of my other posts, I passionately hate romance. When people talk about "The One" in any context other than The Matrix, it basically means you can write them off as a sappy moron and ignore anything else they have to say about people.

-True Love ____
Waits, is whatever, and so on. These phrases just irritate me, because they're not only stupid and/or obvious, they refer to "True Love," another idea I have absolute disdain for, because they mean it in the Disney sense. If we're talking "true" as in real or genuine, I have no issue, but those are far in the minority. People like the idea of having a Destiny, because they're not smart enough or strong enough to take responsibility for their own love life. Or most other things.

This just makes you sound like an illiterate waste of a free education. Can you not read phonetically? Sound it out, you imbeciles.

See above. If you look at a word letter by letter, you can probably say it right, and with simple words like this, there's no excuse.

Who even invented this word? Why would people decide it's okay? It's obnoxious. Puns are supposed to be clever, and they're usually more annoying than not. This is some bastard child of "pun" and "funny," but it's totally unnecessary.

-Pointless letter changes to diffuse profanity
Here's a novel thought: Say what you mean! If you're going to use profanity, use it. If you're trying to be sensitive to people who may be too old or too young to hear those words, get a better vocabulary, and use a different word. Everyone knows what you mean, so you may as well have just used the obscenity you had in mind.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Words No One Should Use (Part 1)

There are things people say, especially these days, that they should immediately be stabbed through the calf for vocalizing, and yet, for some mysterious reason, no one has stabbed them anywhere.

So, next time you feel like violently attacking someone for being a moron, here's words to look out for that I'm sure will make the justice system decide to give you a high five and go home.

Unless referring to the crustacean, this is unacceptable. If you desire to express that something is absurd or unbelievable, I have an alternative word for you that won't draw blank, disdainful stares from people who speak English: "Crazy." Let me say it again: "CRAY-ZEE." It's almost the same, but you'll sound less like an illiterate waste of matter.

Exception: when referring to the owner/seller of a whore or several whores. I hear this all the time as a description indicating the awesomeness of something, and I don't know who the hell okayed that. For one, it's painfully stupid. For two, it implies that you find men who own, abuse, and extort women to be representative of that kind of awesomeness. If you don't, you're stupid and misusing the word, if you do, you're worthless scum, and we should probably kill you anyway. So again, watchword for stabbing permission, just to be safe.

-So dope
Unless this is an obscure, antiquated drug-reference, no one knows what in the world that means. They vaguely understand this is a positive term applied to things one thinks are cool, and so it gets adopted and perpetuated by people who don't even know where it came from. Unless you're referring to weed or heroin, it makes no sense.

-Any and all spoken text abbreviations
I hate any kind of text speak. It's an abomination. We have been taught since childhood how to speak English in free schools. It's really not that hard to type out the few other letters, which in most cases is only two or three. Like "You," or "are," etc. But when people speak those phrases out loud it is clear permission to bludgeon them about the face with the nearest object. If you SAY, "el-oh-el" or "bee-tee-dubs" or "oh-em-gee" or whatever, fully expect everyone to write you off as the hopeless lack-wit you clearly are, and I can only hope that someone hits you in the brain so hard, you no longer remember how to butcher any language.

I'm not clear as to the context to this idiotic word is supposed to be used in, but as far as I know, it's an expression of degree (ie. "It's hella cold outside."), but that doesn't really make sense. It's a contraction of "hell of a" so how did that end up being used in such a way? Because why would you say "It was hell of a awesome"? If you were a thinking, remotely grammatically correct being, you wouldn't, but that seems to be more and more uncommon these days.
(Damn kids these days! Got no respect, or work ethic. When I was a kid, we knew how to earn what we had, by God!)

-Oh my glob*
What does this even mean? Is this an attempt at saying "Oh my God" without blaspheming, or something? Because I'm pretty sure God knows what you mean, regardless of what you say out loud. And if it's other people you're worried about, you're saying "oh my god." Not their god. Swear by someone else's god, and you've probably offended both parties; swear by your own god, and it's between you and your deity.

*After some rudimentary Googling, this appears to be a reference to that current horror Adventure Time. I rest my case. You people are morons.

I hate these so passionately it's hard to express adequately. Let me paste what I said about it on Facebook:
"In a country where education is FREE, and people have the ability to be as intelligent and openly thoughtful as they want, this is the culture that's grown. People can't even speak their own bloody language, let alone think complex thoughts for more than about thirty seconds, because for some mysterious reason, intelligence is frightening. What is actually better about behaving like and becoming thoughtless cattle driven by all the BS from mass media? I saw it in high school, and I see it now: people being more imbecilic than they actually are so that they can fit into the appalling norms that we've come to expect from that age/social circle/gender/demographic. It's absolute crap!"
It infuriates me that they're used in place of communicating an actual thought, or coherantly expressing oneself. You know when that type of spew is appropriate? When tagging things for seach parameters, like I do for post labels. What if I just vomited solitary phrases at you, internet? Why would you want to read anything I wrote?
Stupid people!
Social experience!
Cute kittens!
Wasn't that thrilling? Don't you feel like we just had a meaningful exchange of ideas? I have to intentionally not capitalize or space when I type. How is this a thing? Is it really that difficult to write full thoughts as captions and status updates?

-Comparing oneself with tv characters
I thankfully hear this less with people I have any respect for, but so often I hear people say crap like, "Ohmygod, you so___" or "you're such a *fill in fictional character name here*" Do I really need to talk about this one? You aren't that character; you never will be that character; in all likelihood, you're not remotely like that character, because characters in recently popular media are seriously lacking in any depth. You get one-dimensional imitations of characters, and you're probably only exhibiting a vague resemblence to their main attribute. So shut up.

I have now run out of both my motivation and my drink, so I shall call this TO BE CONTINUED! I have several more words and phrases that make me want to murder people with forks, so I'll be sure to share those later for your future edification and legal defense.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Some Ranting about Art and Stuff

There's something that clearly needs to be explained to the world at large, and though I may not be the very most qualified to explain it, I'm going to give it a shot. This is me speaking for the art community, internet. Feel free to weigh in, because I have like ten comments on my sixty or whatever posts, and it's mildly discouraging.

Not that I actually write here for you. It's all about me, boys and girls. Unashamed, self-centered amusement.

So here's the thing: When I draw (or really produce any kind of art) in a public setting, I tend to get one of two responses.

1) "Oh, that's really good. I could never do that!"
2) "I wish I could do that. Show me."

While I appreciate the compliments, every artist ever is sick of hearing that no one can do what they do. Yes, art can be an incredibly personal process, blah blah blah. But here's the thing. boys and girls. Ready? It's a revolutionary thought.

Art is a skill. It's learned behavior and thinking that requires discipline, thought, and observation. If someone is good, they put in that time and effort to learn to put what they had in their heads on paper.

Michelangelo supposedly said something akin to, "If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful."

All of the techniques and subjects that you see artists using are the result of practice, innovation, and effort. And more practice, and then refining and evolving from there. And you could learn to do it too. You just have to be willing to put in the years.

Gotta pay your dues to sing the blues, and all those other cliche aphorisms having to do with getting off your lazy, whiny butt and putting in the work to do something.

You don't look at a car and go, "wow, the person who made this must be really talented!" That would be idiotic. All the things that go into a car require specific skill sets to design, build, and maintain. It's not some magical zap from the gods that gives someone the ability to do something. Yeah, there's a certain amount of previous inclination that can give someone a headstart and pleasure in the thinking that goes with those skills, but not everyone who has them goes into those disciplines, and not everyone who doesn't  have them initially can't learn.

And now to my other point. I keep calling art a skill and a discipline, and it is. My 3D Design teacher, the head of the Art Department at the college, would go on rants about the kind of crap people said to her about art majors.

Art isn't a real area of study. You're just playing in there.

Art doesn't require any real academic work or problem solving.

Art is all about execution and not content.

Yes, that is ALL total crap. Yes, there is art for fun and art without deeper meaning, etc, and that's fine and dandy, but a lot of art that does qualify as legit Fine Art gets discounted often because of the ignorance that a lot of people maintain. You don't know how often people go up to artists and go, "hey, you should draw me a picture of ______" for free, whether or not it interests you, because they have no idea what kind of time, money, energy, and thought often goes into art.

And problem solving? Are you serious? Art, especially sculpture is LARGELY problem solving and creative thinking. you don't call physics just screwing around, and I'm fairly sure they're just making up stuff now.

I had someone the other day ask me, just offhand, to teach them to draw. Like it was nothing. It sucks having something you've put years into minimalized like that. I started really working on drawing well and accurately when I was like nine or ten. And I'm not even that good yet.

I love showing people techniques and explaining art to them, but people treat it like it's an overnight thing that's just easy, and that's so inaccurate it causes me to write excessively long posts and rant obnoxiously. Art is something that, if you want to make a career or a decent living out of it, you're going to have to work a hell of a lot harder than you would if you wanted to do a lot of other things. The starving artist is a trope for a reason. Thank you, nineteenth century artists for making that no longer a patron-based profession.

They almost had a better concept of it back then, though. All of those astonishing Renaissance painters that you love (think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo),

(I love this, despite its historical impossibility)

they weren't viewed as artistes. That pretentious dick in a beret is nothing like any real artist ever, so get it out of your head. They were craftsman. You called in an expert painter and his minions/apprentices, and you told them to paint you this thing for this much money. They spent their lives learning and executing a trade, just like carpenters and architects and blacksmiths. And yes, I realize how contradictory that might sound after objecting to being asked to draw something. There's a difference between a commission and just being asked, and that would be A. money, and B. the consideration for the skill and effort involved. Also, I'm a product of the post-Romanticism, post-Modern art movements, and I'll draw what and when I please unless I have a reason!

I have more to say, but I don't feel like continuing this post anymore, and I have boots that require some embellishing. But! Hopefully this clarified some things, because the thinking behind a lot of what people say about art (yours, mine, professional, fine art, whatever) pisses me off. People are stupid, and they should stop it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Let Yourself Be Huge

Happy May, everyone. I thought about slinking back into view and apologizing halfheartedly for disappearing, but I apologize for NOTHING!

Half-ass hooray!

Also, April was kind of a stupid month., so I decided it didn't deserve to exist here.

This last week (by which I mean last monday), I climbed the incline with Rosalinde. Also known as The Hell of a Trillian Steps. Basically, I walked up a mountain in eighty degree (Fahrenheit, of course) weather, because for some mysterious reason, we thought this would be a fun way to use my day off. This, for those of you who don't know, is a three mile staircase going straight up into the Rockies. It's one of the ways crazy mountain people like to walk up a 14,000 ft mountain.

I think this is right after the false summit.

Every hundred steps or so (I wasn't counting, because that would be too depressing), we would stop and rest. We'd look down at the steps we'd just come up and the world spreading out down below us. And the thing about seeing that is that you have too be far enough above it, and because I can't just sit on a mountain side and go, "ooh look, I can see Kansas from here," it got me thinking about a lot of things, primarily how huge and how small we are.

Have you ever studied what perspective means in two-dimensional art? I was taught the basics of it in middle school, and I've learned progressively more as I have grown in my art. Basically, what it comes down to is creating the illusion of a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Objects that are closer appear larger, and objects that are farther away appear smaller, and things that are really far away, like the horizon line, begin to get blurry. That's called atmospheric perspective.

I started applying this art definition or perspective to life, thinking back over the past, and how events that are close to you can seem earth-shattering, and those that you've moved long past have receded and blurred, becoming less important. Mountains and mole-hills. If things are really big enough, you can see them from miles away, and they'll affect your mental landscape from almost any distance.

I think it can be dangerous to equate proximity and importance. But that's not actually what I meant to talk about in this post, as you may have gathered, its title still being utterly unrelated.

A little more than halfway up, we stopped for a real rest. Not sitting down for two minutes and drinking some water, but a real rest. We found this shady spot off the staircase and laid on the ground for maybe half an hour, watching the sky and talking.

A lot of what we do revolves around talking, even climbing a mountain.

The clouds were practically right on top of us, and we could see the color spectrum flowing over them as they passed near the sun. Thousands of gallons of water floating above us, and reflecting the light spectrum. I spent most of that day in a state of awe and gratitude for the world we live in.

While we were there, this big rock caught my eye. It was a few feet to my right, and I could see lichen growing and ants crawling over it, and it struck me:

Those ants have no idea they're living on a mountain. But how different are we, really? Living in our little piece of here and now, and never suspecting the sheer hugeness of the world.

I think people are afraid of their potential. I'm not really sure why, but for some reason, almost no one seems to genuinely want to attain excellence and hugeness. We become content with being small and insignificant in basically every way, and never reach for anything greater.

This probably sounds contradictory to all my talk of small importances; things don't have to be apocalyptic to matter. That's still true, but I think sometimes it becomes an excuse. Defending one's smallness and weakness and complacency by saying that there are lots of ways to matter. I know that sometimes happens for me when I consider not trying to do the things that I desperately want to do with my life. "Well, there are lots of ways to be happy. Maybe that's not the one I need to be pursuing."

And then I have days like that, where I slap that thought in the face, because it's utter crap.

Let yourself be huge, damn it. The world is huge and awesome and crazy, and it's just waiting to be discovered still. It will always be worth discovering, even with every scrap of the universe measured and documented and claimed. There is always more to do and see and say and learn and be. So why not? I want to do everything and go everywhere and learn as much as there is to learn. Why would I settle for this indefinitely?

I think that's probably the best way to stave off lack of motivation and frustration. If you want more, it's your responsibility to get it.

I know, probably a little heavy for me, but this is what's been in my head of late.