Thursday, January 29, 2009


yesterday i went to the local bookstore and came across this amazing book called, "the world of tattoo", by Maarten Hesselt van Dinter. Stylus Publishing describes it this way:

Despite a growing fascination with tattooing among social scientists--and the popularity of tattoos themselves in general--the practice of tattooing has lacked a comprehensive historical record. Until very recently, there was no good context for writing a serious world history of tattooing. This new volume conveys the richness of the history of tattooing from antiquity to the present day.
Unlike most other tattoo books that describe one aspect this book conveys the overall picture. It takes you to each of the seven continents with descriptions of their tattoo history and tattoo practices. Thus the book provides the reader with a truly global view of tattooing. It adds new information and new examples and insights that give the reader a new perspective.

By combining empirical history, powerful cultural analysis, and a highly readable style, the author adds an important step to the ongoing effort of writing a meaningful cultural history of tattooing. He does not draw new conclusions or present shocking new theories, but suggests and invites the reader to form his own opinions. This publication presents the reader with a vast amount of textual and visual information. From the well known examples from Tahiti to rarely seen Chinese tattoos, from the Ice Maiden to modern day Western tattoos--they are all there. Many of the approximately 400 color illustrations are unique images that have never been published before.

Maarten Hesselt van Dinter is a cultural anthropologist and one of the leading Dutch experts on tattoos. His research for this book took over 10 years.

I really like this book because it reads more like an elaborate history book with facts and fascinating photos about these particularly marginalized cultures. With never before seen and shared pictures of like white women from the turn of the century with native american slave tattoos on their face. sweet. i already feel like i'm breaking the law knowing that photo even exists. i've only begun this book and already I know they even cover the lesser known, Formosan, or Taiwanese, aboriginal headhunter tattoo culture. cause really, if people knew that, they wouldn't always assume that all asians are fucking greasy math nerds or jumpkicking jackie chans. it's more like jumpkicking jackie chans if his feet were made of tribal machetes, but happened to carry an abacus in his sock.

To me, that not only makes me even more proud to be from a land of lightly cladded, head hunting tribesmen,it also makes me continually annoyed at just how bullshitty it is that governments always hide the real history of it's people for the sake of upholding some sort of vision of westernized utopia.


My dad even pointed out the other day while watching a new Discovery Channel documentary on how the history of the Great Wall of China, has not surprisingly been altered by the Communist government (again?). The traditional, underlying meaning of the original story passed down for hundreds of years, has suddenly or conviniently been robbed of any of it's potentially historical significance and cultural integrity. According to my dad who claims himself as a world history buff, especially in the affairs of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese history, said the story basically starts out with a woman looking for her husband after he disappears to go work as a laborer on the great wall of china. to make a long story short, she eventually finds him, that is after she breaks down crying for not being able to find him. a part of the wall collapses and as she peaks over, there he is, not alive, but his remains. some of his bones and his clothes which she recognizes, are now part of the wall's fortifying mixture. this, for the most part, has been the history of the great wall. though a bit grim for some, it has still served an entire people a viable and symbolic story as to the sombering nature of what this wall represents.

fastforward to my dad screaming at the t.v. and he does so only because he is a sort of pro-taiwanese, pro-tibet, pro-democracy, political watchdog that is constantly screaming at the television because all anybody watches in taiwan is the political news channel, and depending on their cable selection, in this case it's my dad, the discovery channel.

anyway, now that story has changed to the woman goes looking for her husband, cries, finds his body, but it's still intact or something laying a few feet away from the actual wall. cause really, that's like saying Sitting Bull is a character on Seinfeld. It's a total fucking lie or major cop out on the millions of dead enslaved or cheap labored chinese souls that most likely went into making that insane wall mixture. where as the great pyramids in egypt only took one or two pharoahs to see through, the great wall of china's construction lasted almost 2,000 years.

looking at the two versions, one can probably come to their own conclusions as to why this version has apparently now been adopted as the more acceptable, communist approved, version for generations to come. it's funny how all of a sudden thousands of years of history can become one government's permanent photoshop project. and all most people can do is scream at a television, blog about it in cyberspace, or feed more made in china, poisonous infant powder formula to their babies.


"the social history of dying", by Allan Kellehear is another book that i've come across that is leaving my mind zigzagging.

Cambridge Press:

Our experiences of dying have been shaped by ancient ideas about death and social responsibility at the end of life. From Stone Age ideas about dying as otherworld journey to the contemporary Cosmopolitan Age of dying in nursing homes, Allan Kellehear takes the reader on a 2 million year journey of discovery that covers the major challenges we will all eventually face: anticipating, preparing, taming and timing for our eventual deaths. This is a major review of the human and clinical sciences literature about human dying conduct. The historical approach of this book places our recent images of cancer dying and medical care in broader historical, epidemiological and global context. Professor Kellehear argues that we are witnessing a rise in shameful forms of dying. It is not cancer, heart disease or medical science that presents modern dying conduct with its greatest moral tests, but rather poverty, ageing and social exclusion.

'This is no ordinary book. The next generation of death scholars will have to come to terms with it. And it is superb in showing how sociology can illuminate the findings of archaeology and history.' Times Higher Education Supplement

seriously, did someone say death scholar? i think i found my new career.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

kanyeXlouisvuitton, that's how you indicate super, totally, fresh, collabs' right? by putting an "X" between the companies? ughhh.. seriously though? heel bite for days plus this dude is totally losing it. talk about jaded. he's so into himself i don't even know what to make of it. it seems like a joke, but sadly it isn't, indicated from the intense product placement in his public service announcement below. it's too bad he hasn't just admitted these shoes look like all black supras with a siamese shoe in the back, branded by some chessmaster cookie symbols on the sole. so much for a college drop out, what about celebrity collab douschery?

A message from kwest on Vimeo.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Nevermind black america or white america, where is the tenderness?

I had a talk with my dad today about why sometimes people blow it in the most peculiar ways. We were talking, more specifically, about a friend of his that ended up marrying an insanely possessive and suicidal nutjob recently. A really smart guy, practices medicine, witty, and a good conversationalist, somehow gets bullied into marriage with a borderline physcotic individual. Harsh, I know, but events that have transpired actually support this assumption. Regardless, you can't help but wonder what it is that makes certain people choose these erratic paths. Anyway, my dad mentioned his dormant EQ that might have played a part in letting that ship sail.


- is a measure of your emotional intelligence, or your ability to use both your emotions and cognitive skills in your life. Emotional intelligence competencies include but are not limited to empathy, intuition, creativity, flexibility, resilience, coping, stress management, leadership, integrity, authenticity, intrapersonal skills and interpersonal skills.


- a number used to express the apparent relative intelligence of a person that is the ratio multiplied by 100 of the mental age as reported on a standardized test to the chronological age. IQ is the measure of cognitive abilities, such as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new situations; the skilled use of reason; the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests); mental acuteness; logic and analytical skills.


EQ gets you through life vs. IQ gets you through school

Appealing to reason and emotions to convince someone vs. Trying to convince someone by facts alone

Using your emotions as well as your cognitive abilities to function more effectively vs. Relying solely on your cognitive skills