The case of Tiger Woods

CNN has been covering Tiger’s mysterious crash like a week-long version of Entertainment Tonight, and I’m more than bored at this point, I’m ashamed. It was an insignificant event. Tiger is alive and well. The “mystery” lies in what happened before. Could there have been a scandal? Well, if there was, does that give us the right to mask juicy tabloid gossip with a “serious event” like a car accident and post it as breaking news, relevant to everyone in the nation?

USA TODAY columnist Brett Haber had a great perspective on the story. “Notwithstanding the public’s insatiable curiosity for the details of celebrities’ lives, sometimes a car accident is just a car accident,” said Haber.

“Ever since the TMZ’s of the world succeeded in mainstreaming themselves onto the landscape of acceptable media, we the public have slid down their slippery slope to a place where it’s OK to probe with impunity the private lives of public figures. And if those figures don’t give us what we want when we ambush them with a camera outside the restaurant where they’re eating, then we’ll climb up a tree outside their homes with telephoto lenses or chase their cars on motorcycles until we’ve succeeded in trampling on what little privacy they maintain. 

That’s not journalism; that’s stalking.

Real life vs. the red carpet. Let's not allow respectable journalists to turn into a zombie herd of paparazzi.

Obama criticism: Much ado about nothing

I am not a fan of anniversaries. And right now, I doubt our president is either.

obama_book_04

It has been a year since America elected Obama. But the media has taken this sudden awareness of time (a year! not 11 months!) and created all kinds of ruckus about his progress.

Cream of the crock:

1) Fox News – Promises to Keep: Candidate Obama vs. President Obama.
“With the president coming up on the one-year mark since his election, now’s a good time to take a look at his track record.” — In this article, Fox pulls out Obama’s biggest statements (promises?) from his campaign and then analyzes the related issues, ranging from Afghanistan to health care reform, to rank the “promises” as “kept,” “partly kept” or “broken.” The result is a clearly intentional Jekyll and Hyde stigma for the president. Unnecessary. Presidency is a four-year deal.

Time – The Case for Modesty, in an Age of Arrogance
In this essay, Nancy Gibbs focuses more on the cultural evolution and psychology of personality traits than the president, although it effectively puts him in context. “Modesty in private life is attractive, but in public life it is essential, especially now, when those who immodestly claimed to Know It All have Wiped Us Out,” she says. An interesting but frustrating read. Just when you become hopeful about Obama’s modesty, Gibbs closes with “But I heed Jane Austen’s warning that “nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.” …Shit.

The Christian Science Monitor – One year after his election, what has Obama achieved?
“Early failures don’t always portend a failed presidency. ‘A president whom we all admire like John F. Kennedy had to get through the Bay of Pigs before he moved on to his record of accomplishment,’ says Mr. Widmer of Brown University.”

Montreal Gazette – Obama, Year 1: Reality takes a toll on optimism
Includes interviews with former supporters that are having doubts and a timeline of the president’s popularity vote.

How can so many in-depth yet opinion-saturated articles spring up about, well, nothing in particular? People are naturally worried about the state of our nation and drawn to journalism that backs up their beliefs. But if we can hype ourselves up this much when nothing is happening, we can count on all hell breaking loose at the first sign of downfall. Right now, lets all look to our president not for instant magic but for a level head.

Time revives California’s image

Unemployment. Wildfires. Marijuana… Has California become a lot of bums lost in a cloud of smoke?

If the public has been following recent headlines about the state, it might be left wondering. Fortunately, last week’s issue of TIME set the record straight.

“Ignore the California whinery. It’s still a dream state,” wrote Michael Grunwald in his article, ‘Despite Its Woes, California’s Dream Still Lives.’

Glory is restored through an interview with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a reality check about the state’s economy (Yes, it has the most layoffs, but does anyone remember how huge California is? It also has the most homes and jobs) and an impressive list of California-bred concepts: freeways, energy efficiency, health clubs, Google, Myspace, eBay…

That’s right. Whether you love it or not, do not doubt the Sunshine State. California stands as a place to turn to when we get that fever to chase a dream.. our own gold rush. It is the embodiment of possibility.

“The beauty of California is the idea that you can reinvent yourself and do something totally creative,” says Kogi’s Roy Choi, a former chef at the Beverly Hilton. “It’s still the Wild West that way.”California_state_flag

Rawr.

‘Balloon Boy’ rises above reality TV rules

On Thursday afternoon, Americans got a break from their regular soaps when Richard Heene brought a possible unfolding tragedy to the public’s attention. The Heene family, who have previously appeared on ABC’s “Wife Swap,” were experimenting with a homebuilt balloon when it took off into high altitudes. They were unsure if their 6-year-old boy, Falcon, was inside, and so the public followed the device in real time as it soared above Colorado for hours, waiting for conclusion to the bizarre situation.

I'd rather watch a Lifetime movie actor with a better haircut.

I'd rather watch a Lifetime movie actor with a better haircut.

A happy ending came when Falcon climbed down from the family’s attic. However, public sympathy quickly turned into questioning and anger. Was the entire event a hoax?

In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, the family asked their son why he had not come out from hiding when being searched for. “You guy said we did this for the show,” Falcon responded. This interview immediately sparked a new slew of stories to appear nationally and further cluttered our front pages. Lie detector tests and body language experts were called upon to guess whether or not the ‘balloon boy incident’ was staged.

But why does this have to continue intercepting our more relevant headlines? The public should be letting out a chuckle and turning our cheek – the appropriate behavior after being pranked. We could have guessed from the involved elements: a zany father who films his family on storm chase adventure, a flying saucer device, confused young children? This is simply a case of very clever people finding their way into the spotlight. Don’t give it to them.

The Heenes, who have reportedly been trying to land a reality TV show for years, finally got their break. Daytime television thrives on family drama, and they found a way to make everyone tune in. The issue in question is this: Should news networks play along in these cases or use thicker judgment when being approached with strange situations?

It is the journalist’s job to filter our news, but they might have a new opponent. Attention-craved individuals everywhere are sure to be inspired by the Heenes. That means there are likely more ‘balloon boys’ to come, and who can stop them if we are convinced of their story? People are naturally drawn to both dramatic news breaks and the emotional entertainment of daytime television, but we like to feel that we are in control of separating the two. 

Hopefully, the Heenes can simply serve as a reminder that we shouldn’t completely trust everything we see. People know what we want, news networks know what will grab attention, and we are left wasting a couple hours watching a balloon. As the World Turns surely would have been more interesting.

Need further proof that we should get over it? Read this.

the 80’s + tu abuela

Anna Sui: Spring 2009
Picture 2
Loving this.. she found a balance between the crazy retro fads coming back and the Free People look that I adore.

Inspired me to find a few cheaper items at UO..They’re having a wicked sale right now with free shipping on orders of $75 or more.
Picture 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, this is what happens when I get done with class at 1 .. But, I feel more productive if I incorporate InDesign into an afternoon of Cosmo and online shopping.

Anna Sui has also done a line for Anthropologie. I know what site I’m off to next..

GOOD all around.

Here’s an interesting narrative graphic from my favorite magazine and a designer that I’ve been researching today – Nigel Holmes.

Holmes was born in England and graduated from The Royal College of Art. But in 1977, he took a turn when Time Magazine hired him to work in New York. During an era when publications struggled to create graphics without computers, Holmes became an expert at visual communication.

After 16 years at Time, Holmes left to create his own graphic design firm. Simply titled Explanation Graphics, the business has an impressive client list including Apple, Visa, and Nike.

No surprise that the guru teamed up with GOOD magazine. The publication has stellar information graphics. Each issue contains diagrams that expose the hidden infrastructures of our everyday lives.. many of them illogical and damaging.

GOOD doesn’t just map out the problems, it also shows us how simple it is to stop being a jerk. Visuals aside, GOOD (‘For people who give a damn’) continues to kick ass by being recycled and donating 100% of subscription profits to the world-bettering organization of your choice.

No harm in looking.

DIY Inspiration Board

I needed a poster alternative for my new house this year. In the past, I’ve gotten all kinds of posters but without fail I get sick of them within two months. Last year I even framed every single poster in my room. Should have remembered my indecisiveness before spending that money.

So, I decided to create an inspiration board. Especially after looking through all of the lovely, unique ones in this Design for Mankind zine.

I messed around with different ideas until I found a cheap way to make one that I love.

IMG_3511

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anddd here’s how I did it:

1. Gather the essentials

BOARD
2 foam boards @ 5.99 (Hobby Lobby)
2 rolls cork board @ 7.99 (Lowe’s)
3 yd. fabric @ 5.99/yd. (JoAnn’s)
Fabric tape
Fabric glue
Stapler
obv: scissors

PUSHPINS
Pack of earring backs (Michael’s)
Old buttons, coins, other small jazzy objects
Super glue (NOT tacky glue. big mistake.)

2. Pick a snazzy fabric

IMG_0128

 I chose this pattern because it was cheerful.. but not to the point of being sickening. I mean, this was the first thing I’m going to be seeing in the morning. I didn’t want it to bear any resemblance to my overly chipper mother waking me up in high school. I also knew I wanted a vintage theme for my decorations, so this detailed background seemed fitting. 

 

 

 

3. Start with the base

IMG_0119 The cork rolls that I had would make a 4’x4′ board, so I decided to cut my much larger foam boards to size. After creating a base of equal size  for the cork, I sealed it on both sides with fabric tape.

 

 

 

4. Stick on the cork

IMG_0120 That’s my overly chipper mom helping me out. We laid the cork rolls face down and used rolling adhesive (the two sided kind) on all of the edges. Then, we verrry carefully turned them over and lined up the edges. The adhesive couldn’t touch anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0124 This is what it looked like when we had them both secured. There were some air pockets, so we used little pieces of mounting tape to smooth everything out. 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Cover with fabric 

IMG_0129 The roll of fabric needed to be ironed before we put it down. After we did that we covered the board and then flipped the whole thing over.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0130 We used a normal stapler to attach the edges to the back of the board. Worked like a charm. The hardest part was holding the board up after each edge to make sure the fabric looked tight and smooth. A buddy is definitely helpful during this process to keep the fabric stretched out while you staple. 

 

 

 

 

6. Let it chill

IMG_0131 If you can see the crease in the fabric, it’s because the roll I used wasn’t wide enough to cover the whole board. We used superglue to attach the extra fabric. So, afterwards I let it dry for a couple days. 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Accessorize!

IMG_3507 Craft earring backs + old buttons = cute thumbtacks. This was really easy. I just glued the buttons to the little metal parts and let them dry overnight while I picked out magazine and photo book clippings to put on the board. 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Get inspired

Picture books, old magazines, postcards.. For my board I searched through anything with wonderful images and didn’t hesitate to rip them out. I kept words to a minimum, considering I just wanted something that I could get a lift by looking at. I arranged the board with things that made me feel good, visions from a future that I can cross my fingers for. I’ve heard a lot of chatter on Oprah or by the authors of ‘The Secret’ about the magic of vision boards, as they like to call them.. but I’m not trying to tap into anything complicated. Now I simply get to enjoy waking up to a glimpse of everything that I love, a hodgepodge of my life, rather than a tribute to someone else’s (boring old Beatles poster, anyone?).