Monday, January 26, 2009

The Doctor is in the House

Happy new year to all the Chinese friends, It sure is awesome to be Chinese! Apart from splurging at the mall for the past couple of days, (I know, I disgust myself too but I made justly purchases) I have engaged in some creative activities, namely splatter-dying a couple of shirts.

As much as I love American Apparel I generally find their stuff to be just a tab bit pricey. While I do admit the quality and the production ethics are undebatable but in practice, a broke-ass student like me simply can't shop there on a regular basis. I recently visited AA and fell in love with their Space Scape T-shirts (especially the florescent green splatter one), but found the idea of paying $30 dollars for it to be somewhat absurd and frivolous.

The awesomeness of the shirt stayed with me well after I have left the shop and the desire soon turned into a flash of insight. I decided to make my own splatter shirts. On the way home, I purchased two colors of fabric dyes (purple and yellow) and a pack of basic T-shirts from Zellers and decided to kick it D.I.Y. style. Here is how they turned out:

They look like shirts that belong to someone who has just axe-murdered a bunch of purple plums, but I think they turned out fabulously.
To reward my success of saving money via D.I.Y. , I decided (actually, my father did) to make an investment purchase of a pair of very handsome Doc Martens ankle boots. I know in the past I have claimed to never buy new, leather products but the price and make of these babies are simply too irresistible to pass on. I bought them in a store that are currently having a clearance sale in the mall, the lady informed me that they (this particular store) are no longer going to carry Doc Martens because the production value is apparently way too high, hence the sale marking down from $130 to $ 77.50!

Though I was extremely uncomfortable buying new, leather shoes I felt like I have made the right economical decision, plus I can't brave the Burnaby mountain snow in normal boots, and on a grander scheme of things, I am still a very strict vegetarian and am never superfluous or excessive if I were to buy new that contains animals products (the Doc Martens actually are the only new and leather things I own).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ariel Levy the Beautiful

I am currently reading "Female Chauvinist Pigs" by Ariel Levy, and let me just state this for the record that it is a fantastic book and everyone should read it!

Here are a couple of feminism inspired outfits featuring reds and blues.

Beloved "Battles" shirt (I got at Sasquatch last May). The skirt is thrifted and super awesome. Red cardigan reminds me a lot of what women wore during the 50's for some reason, before the second wave of feminism.

I bought the paisley shirt from a girl who was selling her clothes on campus in the AQ...quite strange how I went shopping at school. But it reminds me of the 60's, the height of the sexual revolution as well as the rise of feminism.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lipstick Feminism

In order to understand feminism, I believe one must start with the exploration of the concepts that defines femininity --- what it means to be a woman. For several weeks, I have been struggling with the concept of female sexuality and how that relates to being a feminist because modern feminists basically claim that when women enhances their sexuality to attract the attention of people, it is not objectifying, but empowering. Perhaps I am conservative in my views, but as a feminist, I find that notion to be extremely outlandish and somewhat contradictory. Because, that is indeed the case then prostitution would be considered an "empowering" occupation, because they are essentially selling their body or using sexuality to manipulate men into paying. Applying this concept to the philosophy or feminism I couldn't help but think of what Nietzsche once said about human's innate desire for the will to power. According to him, all people have an inborn strive for greatness thus any exploitative or "crooked" behavoir is seen as justifiable because we regard anything "healthy"or "powerful" as "good" (the master) and anything "poor" or "weak" as "bad" (slave).

This is an incomplete account on my pursuit for the understanding of feminism. Now some pictures!

I found this sensational argyle sweater at my local Salvation Army and I just love the front pockets!"Mom pants" alert!!!

Leaving you with a picture of a pin-up girl...slutty or empowered?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Let a hundred flowers bloom."

The subject of politics has never been a major interest of mine, though I do consider the study of politics to be extremely important. I have just recently enrolled in my fourth year of study with two courses in my major (psychology) and three (though soon to be two), in other areas. For two years straight, I have packed my schedule with all courses to do with my major, on my first day in my criminology seminar, I actually fee al bit unnerved being in a 300 level lecture, that isn't my forte. This sense of daunt however, soon surpassed when I started engrossing myself with researching for materials in preparation for my first assignment.

The class focuses on crimes in contemporary society, thus naturally the assignment is going to revolve around case studies of recent social injustices committed by a person whom received just a bit too much media coverage --- the infamous Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and such. Much to my surprise, we were informed that the extend of our research can stretch beyond the "legendary" ones; it can be about petty individuals wrong doings such as cases of vandalism, or roaring mass movements such as riots. The thought of the case of the Tiananmen Square protest on June 4th of 1989 immediately came to me, thus I dove straight into Wikipeida for a quick glance at the event. As I delve deeper and deeper into the case, I realize that I was not prepared for what was found. After hours of gasping in disbelief, my curiosity broadened even further; I wondered about the origin of the fight for democracy, on that fateful day.

Communism! We all have heard of it, but the ideology itself is still a mystery in terms of its functionality and I am no different. I know nothing of the intricacy that this particular socioeconomic system embodies but I think to understand China, and the problems associated with it, one can start by approaching it from a political stance. With that being said, I think my next pursuit for knowledge will be on the teachings of communism, perhaps I can proliferate from there and start to understand the science of politics.

Here are some Chinese propagandized images and literature that were spread around during the Cultural Revolution to promote a sense of "togetherness" and well...socialist ideas.

This is a typical example of "Red" art that was popular during the Cultural Revolution of the in the late 60's. The quote reads "Smash the old world/ Establish the new world", and it depicts a worker smashing what seems to be crucifix, Buddha and Chinese texts (Wikipeida, 2005). This poster symbolizes the idea of moving forward in and abandoning the "old ways of thinking" in building a society that is more modern and less conservative. The only sad thing about this "change" is that during this period, a great deal of ancient historical artifacts and literature were destroyed and ancient religious practices were banned.

This poster depicts a farmer holding the book of Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong. The bottom quote reads, "tremendous support for agriculture" which symbolizes the Great Leap Forward movement which was aimed at transforming the traditional agrarian economy into a modern, industrialized communist system. Ironically, in an attempt to better the economy, the country was faced with severe depression and ravaged by famine.

Ahh...the "little red book", this quote book by chairman Mao to the people of China was the equivalence of the holy bible to devout Christians. It was one of the few "pro-revolution" literature and everyone must have a copy, and anyone caught disrespecting this "sacred document" will be "criticized and denounced" (punishment for being "anti-revolutionary"). In fact, I remember my father telling me about a particular incident in his childhood, during the Cultural Revolution that a woman he knew of, one day accidentally dropping this book in the commune toilette. This was later discovered by others and immediately penalized by being subjected to public "criticizing and denouncing", because they think she purposefully disgarded the book and thus was an "anti-revolutionist". Furthermore, this book glorified Mao so much that it is criticized to promote a cult of personality because Mao uses this medium as a media for mass media and painted himself to be a heroic figure. Again, the irony exists within the notion that this book being a major item during the Revolution promoted tyrannical behavior in Mao, he became a dictator while preaching about communism, an egalitarian notion where a despot would not exist.

"Long live! Chairman Mao --- the people of the nation praise chairman Mao"... As you can see, he was kind of a big deal. You'd be surprised how how many people ate this all up during the Revolution.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Shoe That Fits

As promised, I present photos of all the recent shoe purchases. Seeing them laying there like little "feet-boats", they sure are pretty. I can't wait until the snow melts so I can see them in action, on my feet, walking the streets!

These are the awesome combat boots I will be wearing for the rest of the winter, to combat snow and slush.

These fantastic vintage polka dot flats were found at the Salvation Army thrift store. They were merely six dollars, but practically priceless because they're just so gorgeous!

Got these off the Spring Shoes website. I simply could not resist the awesomeness that multi-strapped shoes embody.

Aldo finally got me with these beautiful, T-strap heels. I already have the perfect black and white polka dot dress to go along with them. The 50's lives!