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Art and Other Things

Interesting art pieces from around the world

Category Archives: Ramblings

I think propaganda is an art form. Since the beginning of nation states, nations have built propaganda in their favor to manipulate its citizens. Most notably, propaganda was especially enforced during wars or totalitarian regimes. There are obvious forms of propaganda like this US World War 2 poster:
 credit

However, I also think there are more subtle types of propaganda that we don’t necessarily notice. For example, in this “War Against Terror”. When Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Saddam Hussein were murdered, there were crude pictures to prove their death, used as propaganda to portray the ‘enemies’ as weak and helpless.

Thousands celebrated the recent death of Osama bin Ladin, but the fact that his picture wasn’t released to prove his death (just like the other terrorists) is puzzling. It marks a turning point in modern propaganda, or the lack of.

Look at the propaganda poster. Wouldn’t it just fuel further competition and hatred between the two enemies? It was a wise choice to not release pictures of Osama bin Ladin’s death and to bury him at sea, where no mourning or hate crimes can be committed. The fact that the US troops have decided to honor the religion of the terrorist who had hurt so many shows a step towards diplomatic relations and perhaps a precursor to tolerance between the two.

What Osama bin Ladin did was wrong, no doubt about it. But then again, what the rest of the world did to the Palestinian region was also wrong. The international community has been ‘propaganda-ed’ to see the terrorists from a western point of view, not even considering the reasons behind their actions. Honestly, I think that the more fortunate countries must step up to help the countries in need.

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So you have probably all heard about the devastating earthquake in Japan that displaced millions of people. There have been many efforts to help the people in Japan, such as creating prints to sell for no profit.

What does this print say to you?

To me, the poster seemed perfectly normal. It has tasteful design and uses cracked lines of a red circle against a white background to send out a clear message. Obviously, the artist in mind has had good intentions and it has worked. Poster sales have raised up to $7000 for the Japan’s earthquake relief effort!

However, there are some that argue the poster has less-than-good intentions. John Pavlus  (writer and filmmaker) argues on fastcodesign.com that the poster is distasteful in the fact that the artists’ true intention was to attract more publicity to himself. John also argues that there is nothing to do with this poster once purchased; you wouldn’t hang it up in your living room, he says.

I disagree with Pavlus. The print itself shows careful design elements through use of color and line and proves itself to be aesthetically pleasing. Although you may not hang this up in your living room or your bedroom, you may be able to hang it in your office or a public building to spread awareness and motivate others to donate to this cause as well. The devastating graphic moves people in a way that words just can not. The simple design is a piece of art and doesn’t deserve the criticism that John has poured over it.

See John’s post here: http://www.fastcodesign.com//1663419/is-this-poster-to-aid-japans-tsunami-victims-a-crime-against-design#comments

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Although we all lead extremely busy and occupied lives… there comes a time when there is a need to kill time! I have made a list of the list of sites I go to whenever I wish to kill time!

  1. The first one is very cool… It’s a site that collects “Pictures of Walls”. I know it may sound boring but don’t let that discourage you! It’s a neat little site with pictures of… walls. The walls have funny or inspiring messages on them! These pictures will make you cry and laugh! Once you get started looking at these pics, you won’t be able to stop! Click: http://www.picturesofwalls.com/Index.asp
  2. This link will direct you to a simple, yet intriguing game. It’s “Guess the Google”! It will show  you boxes of pictures and you have to guess what the word was that showed these images on Google. Make sure you get your spelling correct! These pictures can sometimes be tricky. Once when I was shown sake (the Japanese beer), I kept writing saki and of course got it incorrect every time…
    Click: http://grant.robinson.name/projects/guess-the-google/
  3. This addictive interactive feature developed by zefrank called Scribbler is very addictive. Once you start, you will never be able to stop. It’s easy to use but creates something actually artsy and creative. If you show off to your friends that you did this, they will definitely be impressed!
    click: http://www.zefrank.com/scribbler/
  4. Here you can find a variety of different creative and artistic flash illustrations created by aron sommer. Click on all the interactive features to discover a wide range of interesting flash products. I warn you, the site if very pointless but interesting!
    click: http://www.aronsommer.ch/
  5. To look at new and innovative ideas of the 21st century, Share Some Candy is the way to go. On this website, you are able to discover new designs and illustrations that you have probably never thought of before. It provides really new and interesting products from the latest and hottest thinkers.
    click: http://www.sharesomecandy.com/

Now when you’re bored, no worries! Visit one of these five sites!

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    Watch the video!

    Whoa… didn’t that just blow your mind? Although one of the funniest videos I’ve seen (the various pictures and status update), it is also one of the most philosophical…

    Are any of you on facebook? I certainly am! I know firsthand that facebook is definitely an easy and effective way to keep in touch with old contacts and make new contacts. But I have never thought of its role as large as this video depicts it to be! The power of social networking must never be underestimated.

    How has facebook affected your life? Do you think you’ll spend your whole life on it?

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    At school, we’ve been talking about the holocaust and WWII and all that good stuff. And I just finished watching “Schindler’s List”, a movie related to the holocaust and anti-semitism. (It’s a good movie I recommend it) And during all this time, I have one question in my mind. Why don’t they just stop believing?

    Honestly, think about it. Keeping your old life for no religion vs. Suffering with religion. And in “Night” by Elie Wiesel, he describes the effects of concentration camp and what it does to you. He wrote that he often doubted the presence of God during the hardest times. Then was it even worth it all? In the beginning of the “Schindler’s List” it shows a scene where rich jews are forced to stuff their belongings into only a few bags, to go to the ghetto (cramped place where all Jews were forced to live). They leave their spacious house with rich furniture, for a small, cracking room to share with at least ten more Jews. Then, a Nazi officer takes their house, lies in their bed and admires the nice house. Seem fair?

    So why do these people cling to their religion like it’s the only thing they’ve got? They could still be enjoying life if it wasn’t for their faith. Race isn’t something you can fake, but faith is. In my opinion, there could only probably be a few reasons why they won’t pretend they weren’t Jews:

    1. Nobody had imagined that anti-semitism would go as far as murder. Maybe racism, but not murder. The Jewish community in “Night” was warned, but they did not listen. They thought that the man who warned them was crazy!
    2. The Jews thought that their God would protect them all throughout this.

    Those are honestly the only two reasons that I can think of. I believe in my God, but I believe that there are certain limits regarding how far you take religion.

    Jews moving to the ghetto, scene from Schindler's List

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    I’m sure we’ve all watched a drama from time to time. There’s one drama that I love and hate to watch. It’s Gossip Girl. It airs every Monday on the CW, and I’m sure to have watched it by the next day via Sidereel (No CW in Korea). What’s so intriguing about this drama is that the plot is so exciting. There are always turns and twists in the most unexpected places. Plus, the characters and the clothes are both beautiful! The characters live an extravagant life and a sweet romance that we have probably, at least once in our lives, dreamed of.

    Then, why do I hate to watch it? It’s simple: the ending always leaves me hanging, and the breaks are long. Gossip Girls tends to make the ending something totally staggering and unexpected, and CW tends to go on equally staggering and unexpected breaks even during seasons. You can imagine my frustration when on my Sidereel schedule, Gossip Girl does not appear on the monday slot. And seriously. Have you guys watched this Monday’s season finale? How can you give us an ending like that and expect us not to be hungry for more? Even the promos intrigue me!

    I almost want to email CW and tell them to start airing again now! And this applies not only to Gossip Girl, but all shows! Do you guys understand my frustration… or is it a teenager thing?

    Check out the promo… Don’t tell me that you don’t want to know what happens!

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    Today, what most people think communism is biased. They look at countries like China and North Korea, and form a negative look on communism, because of censorship and dictatorship. That was exactly my thought until only a few weeks ago, I was enlightened in my World History class.

    Before we started learning about the Russian (communist) Revolution, our class first had to learn what communism really is. Communism was first developed by Karl Marx, a German philosopher, who wanted everyone in the society to be equal. Here are a set of outlines that Marx set for a communist society.

    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in he hands of the state.
    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.
    From
    Communists and Proletarians: Chapter II by Karl Marx

    Look at these ideas. It calls for no individual owning of property, because Marx wanted everyone to be equal. You wouldn’t own anything, but everything would belong to the people. Everybody had an equal chance in society, equal chance of work, education, property. Instead of private firms and companies, the government would own all media and transportation as well as the bank. If a society like this existed, it would perhaps be an Utopia. A place where nobody worked for themselves, but for the greater good of the people. So why doesn’t a true communist country exist?

    Because humans are born selfish. (Goes back to the idea idea of Thomas Hobbes!) We want to be the very top of society. We don’t want to let the other surpass us, and we are jealous of those who are better than us. This was what happened during the Russian Revolution. When the government announced that the surplus of food that the farmers grow will be evenly spread out through all of Russia, the farmers stopped growing the surplus of food. They only grew enough crops for themselves.

    So… can communism really exist in our world!?

    Here’s a short video me and a few of my classmates made trying to portray Marx’s idea of a communist’s world.

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