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i feel unclean...

fridays are often frustrating and apparently today is no exception. the only reason i’m choosing to write about this particular friday is that one of those little aggravations just got under my skin.

i had to stop at a big, faceless electronics store in order to get ink cartridges for my prima donna printer. this is irritating in itself because a) i don’t understand why the printer refuses to print in black when it’s out of yellow ink and b) going to a big faceless electronics store is kind of like being transported to the third circle of hell as far as i’m concerned. could i get some service here? please? help me???? but i digress.

i had completed my task and was standing in the neverending line-up in the hopes that eventually someone would want to take money from me when i became aware of something that wasn’t quite right. at first, i couldn’t put my finger on it, but suddenly, the atmosphere had become slightly less objectionable. then it occured to me: i was hearing decent music.

if you take a quick scan through what music i like, you’ll notice that i’m not exactly a follower of the pop charts. (i have a weakness for the noisy, the eccentric, the iconoclastic and singers with really odd voices.) so for me to hear music that i like in a big box store is pretty much unheardof.

at first, i thought it was funny, but then i realised where it was coming from. there, above my head, in glorious stereo, was the dead kennedys’ ironic anthem “california uber alles” used as the background music in an advertisement for a skateboarding video game.

you know, if i’d had to put the bands i like in order of how likely they were to turn into corporate schills, i would have put the kennedys somewhere near the bottom of the list. i guess corporate colonisation is pretty far advanced when the band who were once threatened with jail time for the distribution of harmful matter to minors is being used to hawk (tony hawk, in this case) the latest mind-numbing passtime for pre-adolescents. (ok, i will confess that the little time i’ve spent around teenagers in the last few years has made me very, very, VERY skeptical about video games. i’d probably have been less offended if the track had been used in an ad for haliburton. well, not quite, but anyway.)

i won’t claim to be pure, i work for a living and that work is in a (somewhat) corporate environment. and i don’t begrudge these guys an opportunity to make money per se, but surely if you made a name for yourself based on a pretty carefully articulated set of beliefs, it’s worse than hypocritical to just shrug those off and flog your creative output to the highest bidder once you're no longer in the spotlight.

this is a group of people i admired. hearing (at a tender age) about their infamous legal battle over the h.r. giger poster included in their “franenkchrist” album helped inspire my still unwavering belief in the power and importance of free speech. i even quoted a portion of their lyrics in a story i wrote (which will remain unpublished, because it’s not like i asked permission or anything...).

damn, i hate being disappointed.

frustrating fridays.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…