Archive for February, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action Figure


One of my life goals is to be an action figure.

I plan to start by appearing here and there as an extra in regular comic books, surreptitiously lurking in the background, glancing over my shoulder in the half-glow of a streetlamp so that only half of my visage is visible.

These random sightings will begin to create some buzz with readers wondering, who is that new chick on the scene? At just the right time, there will be a strategically timed “leak” on the Internet where my alias will be revealed, and people will start to think of themselves as somehow special and “in” because they have “discovered” my “identity.” People will blog about it, mention it on their facebook page as if it is a secret code, and the comic book version of me will have created a small yet respectable alt subculture.

Once I have gained some street cred and name recognition, I will experience my debut, starring in my own one-shot comic book sporting a catchy title like “Kill Your Boyfriend.”

Fans will rave, haters will rant, poseurs will try to emulate me.

After my much-anticipated unveiling, readers will obviously want more. Too bad. I will not appear in any more comic books after that. My face will disappear from comic books forever, leaving only a wistful memory. Someone famous once said that it is better to burn out than fade away.

However, my peeps will miss me and yearn for a relic, something tangible by which they can remember me. The subculture will need merch to bind them together, give them a sense of unity, identity, purpose, and belonging.

At long last, a plastic action figure will emerge on the scene. I will come with poseable appendages, lifelike hair that you can style!, and a plastic M-16 not suitable for children under age 2.

Grownups


Do you remember when you were a teenager and you had these lovely, lofty, half-crazy ambitions about what you wanted to do with your life?

Did you watch the dull sheen in the eyes of the adults around you and wonder how they could just settle for the inane, the mundane, the mediocre? Did you wonder how grownups lost their passion and zeal? Did you wonder why they stopped pursuing the creative outlets they had when they were young, like writing or painting or restoring old cars?

Did you vow that you would never let that happen to you? Did you fear with every cell in your being that you might one day unknowingly trade your gleam for a lackluster existence? Or did you assuage your fears by convincing yourself that your parents and adult acquaintances were aliens, had nothing in common with you, and that is why they sold out and gave up? But you, you were different. You were never going to forget the angst-fueled furor that propelled you to dream big.

Some of you know how I feel about New Years’ Resolutions. But setting personal goals can be a useful venture and can be a staple for achieving growth if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you want to get existential about it, you can ask yourself a series of questions. If you only had one month to live (good health, unlimited finances), what would you do? How would you spend your time if you had one year to live? Five years? What is holding you back from pursuing those goals now? How do you know you don’t just have one year to live?

Blogging about your goals can provide some accountability. The two people who follow your blog can harass you if you do not pursue your aspirations.

•I will learn to skateboard. This means I have to overcome my fear of looking like a tool because I am wearing knee and elbow pads like a second grader whose mom is overprotective and no doubt causing separation issues. I also risk being featured on Scarred or some crappy “reality” show on MTV, whereby I would lose all credibility among my peers.

•I will write a book. I love ideas, theories, and memoirs, but I am not gifted in the area of taking the time and effort to make them into an actual Word document. I fear writers block, not having much to say, and producing something uninspired and dull. I will have to put these fears aside. I think I have to have the book written in my head in its entirety so that when it comes out on my screen, it will be perfectly written (witty, correct grammar, stimulating). I am afraid the publisher will put an ugly cover on it (and you know how people judge a book).

•I will further my education. I need to convince the US Department of Education to loan me $100,000 to pursue a Ph.D. in some esoteric field that will be utterly useless as far as advancing productive society but that will be infinitely fascinating to me, like philosophy, psychology, or theology.

What are your dreams and passions? Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Don’t be afraid of failure or ridicule. Let yourself be/act/look a little strange.

Personal Branding


What is your personal brand?

Are you cool, hipster, alt, mainstream, or suburbanite? Are you metrosexual, retro, chic, punk, or who-me-I’m-just-a-normal-guy?

Do you fashion your personal brand after the things you see and hear that you deem cool and unusual? Or do you try to be like everyone else just to fit in and avoid social ridicule and marginalization?

Why do you attempt to make the mainstream parts of yourself more alternative (wear a funky scarf or get a facial piercing to dress up your jeans and Gap sweater), yet you try to downplay your unusual characteristics to make yourself feel like less of a social outcast (dye your hair a socially acceptable non-graying color)?

How is your brand affected by the music you listen to? When people ask what bands you like, do you spout off the most obscure artists you’ve heard of (the doves, your friend’s garage band), do you name drop cool semi-indie bands that many people have heard of but still sound alternative (arcade fire, bloc party), or do you admit to listening to the bands you actually like (britney, nickelback)?

When you last got your hair cut, did you have a certain celeb style in mind?

Is your image intentionally shaped by the beverages you consume? Would you drink a Frappuccino when it is below freezing outside? Do you think your aluminum water bottle is kute? Do you brew your own java in your French press at your desk?

Do you choose your image based on the comments you think others will make about you that day? Do you try to be mainly-mainstream-but-a-little-bit-unique-slash-weird so that you will not be gossiped about and shunned by your peers, yet you will receive compliments and kudos from those around you for your sense of style? How much is your brand shaped by how you think your friends and colleagues will percieve you?

How many logos are you wearing right now? Do you feel self-righteous because you don’t have any visible logos? Or are you justifying your swoosh because they really are the most comfortable shoes for your slightly wide feet and anyway you got them on sale?

Because My Shirt Says So


I am a non-conformist
I am vegan
I am a member of PETA because I want someone to hate and meat-lovers-slash-animal-haters seem like an easy target
I am a metrosexual because I use moisturizing facial products that were tested on animals
I am not your brother
I do not care if you hate me
I listen to indie bands
I wear clothing with strategically placed rips and holes that were added by the manufacturer so that it looks used when it is in fact new
No one ‘gets’ me
I am my own brand
I subvert the confines of suburbia
I just want 2 be human after yall
Hi, my name is Constellation
I am a Scorpio
I am deep. Just read my shirt.
I cut all the logos off my clothing.
The brand name logos on my clothing seemed larger than life and gave me an identity until I clipped them off and put them in a pile on my desk. Then it all seemed like such an insignificant lump of fraying embroidery.
I got paid $20,000 to get this logo shaved into the back of my head.
I wore this tee when I posed in an Absolut ad.
Born again.
I am straight edge.
I protest consumerism by making my own shirts.
I wrote an essay on my idea of utopia. You are not in it.
I tried to kill myself in the 1990s.
Because it’s better to burn out than fade away.
I smell like teen spirit.
I wear eyeliner.

Why Alt Will Become Mnstrm


1.big corporations will let u ‘personalize ur brand’ so that everyone will be wearing his own personalized brand of nike
2.marginalized groups will turn slurs into slang with positive connotation (just want 2 be queer after yall)
3.everything will be available in 2 forms: original and pill
4.ppl will start 2 write in abbreviations and codes, substituting ‘real words’ 4 quick txt
5.the music u think is hip and alt now will become ‘popular’ and u will start to make fun of it while secretly loathing urself 4 liking it (e.g. the coldplays and c&c music factory)
6.u will not be able 2 keep up with ‘fashion trends’ bc retro will become mnstrm will become passé will become retro will become teen spirit will become mnstrm will become fig leaves
7.yall will get facial piercings 2 emulate the ppl u see on public transportation from the ‘bad area of town’
8.u will start riding a fixed gear bc u want to avoid the ‘odors’ u encounter on public transportation
9.ur mom will try 2 use ‘popular’ lingo 2 better ‘identify’ with u and be ur bff
10.mnstrmers will think it is ‘cool’ 2 be alt and alts will think it is ‘cool’ 2 be robot

Intensity

he said you work out as hard as you possibly can every single day.

i asked what makes you think that is a true statement about me?

he said because that is how you live your life.

How to be a Genius


Keep your mouth shut.
Unless you are extremely knowledgeable on the subject.
And even then, just be quiet.
Read a plethora of books and literature.
Do not watch television. Watching TV burns fewer calories than sleeping.
Learn obscure vocabulary words, but never use them solely to impress others.
Communicate almost exclusively in written form.
Overanalyze everything until it means nothing.
Throw out all the information you “know” about everything.
If “everyone” does something a particular way, do it differently.
Beware of things you feel you are “supposed” to do.
Doodle during business meetings or lectures.
Give yourself a weird and unique hair style. It’s best you do this yourself rather than go to the salon so you do not become one of those people who conform to the non-conformists.
Get to know yourself really, really well.
Turn all thoughts into metaphors.
When you do speak, which should be very rarely, talk in rhymes.
Ask questions and spend much of your time listening.
Do not take anything at face value.
Be obsessed with your work. Geniuses have to put out a lot of crap to produce the pearls.
Have serious emotional issues. Be clinically depressed or addicted to something. If you need help getting depressed, read a lot of existential literature (the writings of Jean Paul Sartre, Henry Rollins, and Chuck Palahniuk can give you a place to start).
Get a lot of therapy, but do not get too psychologically healthy.
Realize that you will get more criticism than accolade for being a genius.
Relentlessly pursue some artistic or creative venture, such as painting, drawing, writing, or playing an instrument.
Constantly tell yourself you are a genius.
Do not expect recognition for your genius in your lifetime.