Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Things I cannot believe

I attend a crazy people's groups three times a week (that's as much detail as I'm comfortable going into here). At the end of each meeting, the group leader passes around a book of affirmations and we each select one to read. Many of these affirmations have a religious tone, which I dislike because I don't feel that my belief or lack of belief in a deity has anything to do with my personal ability to deal with my crazy issues. Anyway.

Yesterday the group leader read this affirmation: "Fear is the absence of faith."

I couldn't disagree more, and this little phrase embodies so much of what has soured my perception of religious belief. Actually, fear is the absence of KNOWLEDGE. For example, I am "fearful" (actually a little anxious) about a meeting in Washington DC that I will leave for today, because it is the first time I have been to such a meeting. I don't KNOW what to expect, and I will be LEARNING as I go along. I do not have FAITH that I will sail through and everything will just be super.

As has famously been quoted from Marx, faith is truly an opiate of sorts, something to shut down the fear of the unknown so a person can just get through the day. I would rather face the unknown with eyes wide open and the expectation of learning something interesting and new. This is as close as I get to an overarching philosophy of life. I DO want to lift that bushel basket and let the light shine, but I want it to burn away the uncertainty and reveal the underlying order of life, not sedate my mind with it's warm fuzzy glow.

In conclusion:
The absence of faith is learning
The absence of faith is knowledge
The absence of faith is jet engines and artificial hearts
The absence of faith is Japanese beetles that are smarter than you think

(The last one is from my own research :))

By the way, I got the first image from Google image search and I don't know who the artist is. I would like to know- looks like someone who's work I would like to see more of.

UPDATE: I had better correct this post before my husband gets on my case. There are two topics that I prefer to remain blissfully ignorant of: anything that deals with either money or my healthcare. Both of these issues produce irrational stress for me, and if problems with either come up I prefer to stick my fingers in my ears and yell "LALALA" until they threaten to become catastrophic, at which point I finally get around to cleaning up whatever mess need to be dealt with. What can I say, I'm not perfect.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More celebrity musings

But yes, I'm getting my work done, too!

Tilda Swinton won Best Supporting Actress (for a movie I haven't actually seen). Tilda is one of my favorite actresses. She looks like a space alien, which is a positive attribute in my crazy little world. I first saw her in the movie "Orlando" when I was in graduate school. She plays a character that is male for the first part of the movie and female for the second part. This role helped to cement her reputation for being a supremely androgenous actress (below is the Orlando character as a male).

Tilda Swinton has also played some kickass scifi/fantasy characters like the archangel Gabriel in "Constantine" and the White Witch in "The Chronicles of Narnia."

Hooray for eye candy!

Oscars inspired fluffy celebrity post

Well, the Oscars are on and I'm reading celebrity gossip sites instead of attending to the pile of work I need to get done. Oh well...

I'm not normally a big fan of beefed-up guys, but I rather like Hugh Jackman. The annotation in the above picture is from Perez Hilton, who believes that Hugh is gay. I'm not convinced, but I don't really care either.

My crushes on male celebrities are mostly due to the characters they play, in this case, Wolverine. Wolverine is surly and brooding and doesn't take crap from anyone, but he's got a good heart. Is it so wrong to be attracted to a cliché?

I also like Hugh Jackman because he doesn't shave his chest like so many male celebrity types do. Because chest shaving is GROSS and WRONG.

That's all I have to contribute to the blogosphere tonight, thank goodness.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Clothing inspired by insects + altered books

Following various links today, I found this blog posting about fashion designers turning to insects and other arthropods for inspiration. I like the silverfish dress the best (above).

I'm currently working on a crazy altered book, with a completely cheesy old book called "To Have and To Hold" by Mary Johnston as my starting point. It's an adventure/romance novel from the early 1900's. The pages are old and soft and easily cut and torn, with nice texture. I'm about halfway through altering it now, and very much enjoying the cutting and pasting and painting and patina-ing over the past week. Here are some of the pages I have finished so far- some are just random designs, while others are loosely based on the text at that point in the book. The red pages, for example, are done on a particularly florid description of a character named "Lord Carnal."