update + wtf (zombie boy)?

I’VE BEEN MIA AND FOR THAT I AM SORRY!

The real reason I haven’t been blogging since the new year is because when I moved into my new place, I decided not to get home Internet service because: a) I have a 1GB data plan on my smartphone that covers my immediate e-mail/social networking needs b) I knew that I was moving out in less than 12 months, and didn’t want to pay cancellation fees c) I have unlimited WIFI service on campus.

So, that just translated into me not always having access to WordPress when inspiration struck.  I know they have an iPhone app, but it has mediocre ratings, and I don’t like cluttering up my phone with mediocre apps.

Also, I’ve been incredibly busy with finishing up my thesis, so….that’s happening.  Let’s not get into it right now (read: STRESS!!)

But the real reason I’ve decided to pause my thesis-ing and update my blog is because I was browsing one of my favourite sites, SmartCanucks, and came across this entry.  I had never heard of Rick Genest, a.k.a. Zombie Boy, before, but it intrigued me because he’s from Montreal and I love seeing a unique, local homie receive recognition for just being himself.

But then, I looked at the entry title again and it bothered me so much. “Zombie Boy: Art or Just Plain Creepy?” (emphasis added)?!  Not only is it rude to suggest that someone’s body art is creepy, but to even ask if he is one or the other is just SO small-minded and essentializing.  It’s like asking “Homosexuals: Flamboyant Queens or Just Plain Godforsaken Humans?”  OK – that’s an extreme example. But what I’m trying to illustrate is that you can’t pinpoint an aspect of a human’s identity as just being ONE thing out of TWO choices, and we all know that homosexuality is not “either/or” of any of the stereotypes that abound about living a homosexual lifestyle – humans have a multitude of traits (whether it be regarding personality, physical, cultural, etc.) that cannot be reduced to extreme ends of a spectrum.

No doubt that Genest has taken on “Zombie Boy” as a large part of his identity, and to reductively suggest that his body art/identity is artistic or “just plain creepy” just seems so wrong to me, and it spawns such negative or flaccid responses.   Responses such as: “Icky!” or “He probably did it to get noticed.” or “What will he do when he has children?” or “He’s going to regret it when he’s older.” or “What does his mom think of this?”

WHAT THE FUCK?!  Does anybody see the problem of assumption in these responses, and the lack of self-awareness and self-indictment?

  1. First of all, “icky” is just an immature response, lacking any veritable clarity of thought to back it up and make a valid opinion.
  2. Don’t we ALL do things to get noticed? We put on makeup, get our hair styled, put on nice outfits, wear perfume, paint our nails, wash our cars, blog, change our phone ring tones, etc.  The list doesn’t end.  So who in the world has the right to accuse someone of doing something to get noticed, as if it’s “WRONG”?
  3. Why are we assuming that he doesn’t have children?  Also, why are we assuming that he plans on having children?  Why are we assuming that he is fertile and not sterile?  Why are we assuming that children are frightened by nature?  Fear (of difference) is taught, remember?
  4. It’s so rude to think that people who commit to getting tattooed are not cognizant of the fact that tattoos, for the most part (and especially at this extent and grandiose-ness), ARE PERMANENT.  Of COURSE it’s going to be there when we are lucky enough to grow old.  When people commit to a partner, do they know how their partner is going to look when they get old and wrinkly, and assume that they’re going to regret their commitment because they just don’t look “good” anymore (again, extreme example, but just trying to illustrate!)? On another level of analyzing that comment: do people’s love and passion for art and desire for self-expression really die off when they age?  Why even commit to full body art if it’s not a true passion?
  5. Finally, what does it matter to us what Genest’s mother thinks of his art? Again: does he know/have a relationship with his mother? Is his mother alive?  The user’s comment/question assumes (via implication) that his mother disapproves.  What kind of mother abandons their love for their child just because of an image decision?

So in response to the post, I submitted this comment:

The question that’s being asked by the blogger is all wrong.

I think it’s incredibly diminutive to consider one’s self-expression as “just plain creepy” (said in a fairly derogatory manner); even to ask it is questionable as it immediately attaches a label. It’s fair to consider a horror film that is intended to evoke fear and the heebie-jeebies as creepy, and perhaps Zombie Boy’s intention is to disarm and surprise people (his Facebook page does not have any detailed info or an “about” page, so I can’t say for sure), but to say he is one or the other is so essentializing.

I understand the desire to evoke discussion and debate. It’s an important way to spark public discourse. However, it shouldn’t be initiated in such a manner that is so black and white, especially when considering the matter of human expression.

Despite it being there for a couple of hours and many others’ comments (similar to the ones I sampled above) being approved after I had submitted mine, my comment is still “awaiting moderation.”

Not surprised.

UPDATE: My comment is no longer awaiting moderation.  It has been duly moderated and deemed unsuitable for the site – it has been deleted.

For more info on Rick Genest/Zombie Boy, check out his Facebook page.  Also, check him out in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video or keep an eye out for the recent Thierry Mugler ad campaign starring Genest.

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why did it take me so long to find this man?

I never browse the YouTube homepage for featured videos, because I like to stick to the channels I’ve subscribed to, but once in a while, I’ll get bored and see what’s new and trendy.

Today, under the “Music” section was an a capella cover of Rihanna’s “Only Girl”, and I LOVE boys that can sing a capella and look good while doing it. It’s unbelievably sexy.

I’m talking about Mike Tompkins, a music producer from London, Ontario. He’s super talented not only at beat boxing and singing, but being able to identify and interpret elements of a song and perform them with his vocals and mouth. It doesn’t hurt that he’s incredibly gorgeous. Too bad he’s married! Well, even Scarjo couldn’t keep Ryan Reynolds around, so I think it’s fair to say that I can keep hoping.

I really love his dorky dancing the most.

i <3 jf

No, not JB, but JF – Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy (I think we’re tight enough to refer to each other by our first names ;D) has always been one of my favourite cast members to ever pass through SNL, and I LOVED it when he was the co-anchor of Weekend Update with Tina Fey.  When he was hired as the new host of NBC’s Late Night, I was a little skeptical, because I hadn’t seen him in any type of hosting capacity before, and I couldn’t imagine him living up to Conan’s amazingness.

Jimmy doing an ode to Perez Hilton, his guest on August 10, 2010.

However, I was pleasantly surprised, and in the past year, Jimmy has gained a lot of momentum with his show.  The most unprecedented success of his show is the sheer popularity of his online presence.

Jimmy’s strength is taking contemporary stories from the media and twisting them into hilarious sketches or original music/dance.  Of course, his constant bits such as “Pros and Cons”, “Thank You Notes”, and “Put it in Reverse” are awesome, and to show how in touch he is with the power of online media, “Hashtags” and “Remix the Clips” has become a very popular weekly bit.

Aside from that, his random antics on the show are what make his work online gold (mostly in the form of viral video).  It doesn’t hurt that Jimmy is well known for being an exacted impressionist.  I think it all started with his spoof of MTV’s “The City” with Seventh Floor West.

PIZZA PARTY DANCE!

It’s become such an ongoing hit that the star of the original “The City”, Whitney Port, made an appearance in one of the episodes.

EAT THE PIZZA!

It should be noted that it’s nearly impossible to find clips of “Seventh Floor West” on YouTube due to NBC’s wretched diligence, but the entire two season reality series is available on the dedicated site.

One of my favourites of his sketch series is Robert is Bothered.  They are a series of videos of Jimmy spoofing Robert Pattinson as a disturbed, pale-faced British it-boy who sits up in a tree and complains about things that bother him, always accompanied by a Moleskine and a blowup doll girlfriend that angers him each episode, landing her at the bottom of the tree.

My all-time favourite has to be his complaints about the iPad.

(Sorry about the quality – watch the video on Jimmy’s site for a better version!)

He takes the spoof to another level when he shows the videos as if they were on YouTube, shown here in the episode, Robert is Bothered by Daniel Radcliffe (complete with insulting response by Daniel Radcliffe, and subsequent insult mashup of both teen heartthrobs).  Although he has since abandoned this format (this was the first episode of the series, which got so popular that it sparked the rest of the series to be created), the online presence of his subsequent videos makes it a little meta. Neat-o.

Here is another example of the original star of the spoof source making an appearance in Jimmy’s parodies: Robert Pattinson is Bothered by Robert is Bothered.

Next is his series of Neil Young impersonations, singing songs about random things found in the media all done in a Young manner.

He has done Double Rainbow, Pants on the Ground, and even performed live as Neil Young at a charity concert singing the theme to “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.

Some of my other favourite Jimmy moments include American Idol Hedgehog Song (ft. Jake Gyllenhaal) (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you want to see Jake dance around in a canary yellow body suit), Balls in Your Mouth (completely safe for work), and the recent Jet Blue Song: the Ballad of Steven Slater.  Actually, any time Jimmy busts out the guitar, you know something awesome is about to happen.

Balls in Your Mouth (again, check Jimmy’s site for original quality)

Jet Blue Song: the Ballad of Steven Slater

So here’s to you, Jimmy, in hopes that you will continue being awesome, and that NBC won’t eff you over for being a nice guy like Conan.

“telephone” inspired look v.2

So, as promised, here is the second look I emulated from the lengthy music video for “Telephone” by Lady Gaga, featuring Beyoncé.

The look I chose was from the section where Ms. Gaga is making a sandwich/poisonous condiments.  She has this amazing bleach blonde hair with yellow accents, and a crazy telephone contraption for a hat on her head.

matte purplish-blue eyeshadow, heavy black liner, dark brows, bright pink lips

matte dark indigo eyeshadow (crease cut with matte black, highlight with powder white), heavy liner, dark brows, bright pink lips

Once again, I don’t have the same deep set eyes that Gagalicious does, so I adjusted the shadow to my eye shape.  I tried the whole blue-on-the-entire-lid thing when I did a trial of this look, but that was NOT working for me.  Besides – my crease is a lot closer to my lashline than Gaga’s, so I had to (as Tim Gunn would say) “make it work”.

I didn’t remedy any of these photos in Photoshop, unlike last time.  Still using my shoddy iSight cam =(

Do you like my makeshift telephone hat? hehe!

Do you like my makeshift telephone hat? hehe!

I tried to give my bangs a nice wave, but I just ended up frying them by trying again & again with a 1-inch flat iron and a curling iron.  Yeah, I’s gots no idea how to do a hair wave.

 

My "telephone" (curling iron, hollaaaa) matches my "telephone" hat!

I actually really like this look – it’s wearable for a night out, for sure!  Definitely tame compared to Gaga’s wacky oeuvre of looks.  Actually, I wouldn’t draw in my brows like this…that’s a bit much =D

I want to end this post with a super neat cover that David Choi did of the song in question. Enjoy!

david choi likes a sweet lemonade

Being a YouTube vlogger, I really enjoy the power of the site.  It has launched the careers of many talented people, whether they be artists, musicians, actors, comedians, dancers, etc.

One of my favourite YouTubers is David Choi, a singer/songwriter/producer based in California.  He has a huge following on YouTube, but being an unsigned artist means little to no publicity besides his own videos, Twitter, and website.  However, YouTube being the huge influence that it is, David has recently been able to successfully complete a West coast tour, and will soon be embarking on a Northeastern tour, including my hometown, Toronto (his only Canadian date)!!


David explains why you should go see his shows, with the help of some famous YouTube friends.

I’ve been pretty active in trying to get David to come to Toronto, requesting him to come through Eventful.com and encouraging my friends to do the same (to no avail…!)  And then, I moved to Montreal.

Crap.

But, the stars aligned, and it turns out that he’ll be in Toronto during my reading week (spring break, for you Americans), during which I’ll be back in Toronto to “study”!

Anyway, with all the excitement, I tweeted about the show, and David graciously retweeted my tweet (of course, to publicize his tour, no doubt).  I then looked at the growing guestlist for the event on Facebook, and noticed how it was comprised almost entirely of Asians (no surprise there).  I just thought it was kind of funny, since the venue he’ll be playing at is so…not Asian.

I, of course, tweeted about it, and David sent this response:

Follow me! @jennynotjen

 

If you’re into sweet lemonade, come join me in Toronto for this rare appearance by David Choi!

Details:

Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Location: El Mocambo (464 Spadina Ave.) – Intersection: College & Spadina (The southbound streetcar from Spadina station, or westbound streetcar from College or University station will take you right there).  Look for the huge neon sign with the palm tree.

Doors: 7 PM

Tix: $12 at the door (no presale – so arrive early!)

19+ event – bring your IDs!

From my experience, the ElMo is standing room only, so I’m hoping that the amount of small Asians at the event will prove to be beneficial to me and my short stature, haha!

For more info on his tour, visit his website.

See you there!!

bobby flay v. maangchi, cooking, and kimchi mamas

I’ve been really getting into the cooking spirit after my relaxing break, where I tried to observe and learn from my mom and my friends so that I would have ideas on what to cook when I got back to Montreal.

So naturally, I moseyed over to the website of YouTube Korean Cuisine sensation Maangchi, and I came across her blog post on Bobby Flay’s attempt at making kimchi.

It’s hilarious!  Give it a read.  She’s referring to Season 2, Episode 10 of Boy Meets Grill.  I have yet to find a clip on YouTube.  And if you’re already on YouTube looking for a clip, subscribe to Maanchi’s channel!

While you’re at it, check out Kimich Mamas!  It’s a fabulous blog for and by Asian-American mothers.  I’m definitely not American, nor am I a mother, but I still love reading their stories.