Monday, October 19, 2009

Americans and skanky mannequins


What is america? what are "our" values? are we united or merely a mesh of various beliefs forced to co-exist and feign respect for eachother? Paris Hilton versus Miley Cyrus. McDonalds for president. do clothing stores actually depend on skanky mannequins to sell their fashions? are these really the foreign views of our country, and why? this nation was founded on communal strength, the common man for the common good. our forefathers bonded together 13 seperate colonies in a fight for liberty, a fight that would permanently unite this nation in the name of the underdog and using with the strength of family, friendships, and respect.

so, what happened? why are the american people lonlier than ever before? we have created a plethera of new means of communication, of unity. could technology really be driving us apart?

i don't think so. i believe that it is the american people's misuse of a technology that arose in a time of edging mistrust and chaos that propelled our country into a state of isolation. if americans were not naturally inclined to seperate from others, we could have utilized all this budding technology to truly connect our nation instead of dividing it.

below this post is a series of labs that i feel, test not the strength of technology, but the strength of the people using it.

note: the wonderful man i interviewed was an argentenian, and was the most kind and socially willing person i met while performing these labs.

Lab #2 CELLPHONE FREE

^ bidding fair adieu to my wise morgan
freeman PSA ( He's telling all the good children
to read) wallpaper.

Start time: 12:02 AM
as soon as i swore off cellphone use for a day (31 hours) i forced myself to sleep so as not to be tempted, because we all know that the first few hours are the hardest. however, when i woke up and found that i wasn't as inclined to reach for my phone as i thought the night before, i was not that surprised. i had spent 17 years of my life "cellphone free" and the only reason i have one now is becasue i am 700 miles away from my family (or, as i like to think of it, i need to stay in contact with my parents so i can get money). so, i have gotten pretty used to needing to have actual conversations with people rather than just texting 3 word blips, and even searching for clocks when i need the time.
however, i did choose a saturday to do this lab, which definitely made it easier on me. i have found that my number one use for texting is to keep myself distracted from my classes (MATH, which actually explains some of my grades). i don't really know what i would have done if i was forced to pay attention again (or fiddle with various objects on my desk, like i used to do). maybe if i got rid of the phone for a term some of my (math) grades would improve. hmm...
no, the main problem i encountered without a phone was trying to find my friends scattered throughout campus, and once i found them i immediately set up a schedule to when we would meet again (ie: we will meet at the pickle at 6 for dinner). also, when i found said people, i had a lot more to talk about, because i hadn't called about any exciting affairs that had happened that day.
it was interesting not having a phone on a campus full of people, as opposed to when i would either make plans to see people or go home and enjoy the silence. i couldn't help but notice all the extra stimulus occuring around me that i would normally shut out with a cellphone. i feel like i actually experienced more of the ambiance of the campus that day rather than any radical social behavior changes. it was nice though, to be free again from constant texts and without a method of distracting myself from reality. yes, i rather enjoyed fully settling into the actual atmosphere of my life that day, and may even let my phone chill out in my room every once in a while.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lab #10 VOTE



Not surprisingly, most students would easily give away their right to vote. It seems as if it’s becoming a trend again to be anti-democratic, to “fuck the system”. students, especially at an arts school, tend to enjoy the occasional rebellion, but i believe that in recent years this apathetic approach towards the democratic system has increased because of the misuse of the internet. it appears as if one anarchical student will instantly “educate” their friends about his beliefs by spreading a mass fbook update stating something along the lines of freeing oneself from the confines of conformity. the majority of friends dig the rebellious overtones, and so they join him without actually understanding what they are giving up. not only do students abuse the internet with the ability to have mindless control over others, but they are also so caught up in the virtual realm that they don’t stop to see what is occurring, politically, around them. they have no idea what they would be voting for and, therefore, have no purpose to want to vote. and so, it is easy for a student to chuck away their right to vote.the more interesting part is what they would give it up for. i got a wide range of responses from “anther vote” to “dark chocolate” to “Jesus?”
As for me, i must say that i would totally ditch my vote for anarchy.

Talking to Strangers! lab #14

the second video in the second "stalking" post is a segmant of an crazy awesome conversation i had with a spicy argentinean man named "Frederico". He apparently had moved to Miami and then winston-salem because of his wife's traveling business. He has four adorable childeren and is a big fan of Aster Piazzolla!! (if you watch the above clip, you will see the joy i get from that).

He was probably one of the coolest people i have ever met (really), and has inspired me to take the risk of talking to strangers.

STALKING

After a long day of lab work and argentinean interviews, i opted to chill out at krankies before the concert i went to that saturday night. so, after freezing my pooch off outside for awhile, i sat on one of the benches inside the shop where most of the patrons were. while sipping my chai (and having a day of social capitalistism still raping my mind), i couldnt help but notice the obsurd abbundance of macs and swanky iphones creating an apple sponsored iron curtain between every couple there. thankfully, i forgot to leave the camcorder in my dorm and was able to snag this quick stalker vid of america's diminishing social behavior.

STALKING

video video

PenPal

For this lab, i am attempting to reconnect our nation one letter at a time. its my way of foregoing the lathargic and overused method of technological connections. i have always wanted a penpal but i had no excuse because i could always stay in touch with people using impersonal internet sites such as facebook or email. so, i picked a random name in the phonebook (so there would be no previous technological association), and wrote a letter to this person explaining our cause and inviting him to be my first penpal. i will try to update this post if i get a response...and maybe even a friend.

Dear Cornelius,
Hey! to introduce myself, my name is Jackie and i am attending an arts school in North Carolina for classical guitar. one of my acedemic classes here is AP government and politics, and we are currently studying the topic of socio capitalism. we have noticed that most americans have become disconnected with others because of recent technologies such as the internet and cellphones (texting).
so, as part of a social project, I have decided to attempt an "old fashioned" penpal friendship with someone else in this country. i chose your name randomly from the white pages to attempt this connection. so, i am inviting you, Cornelius to begin a long distance friendship, associated by means of letters and snail mail, and to even spread the word about reconnecting with your neighbors and rebuild the social foundation of this nation!
i hope to hear back from you,
jackie