So I'm taking my leave of LJ- not like that really matters or anything, but I thought I'd let you know that if I don't post anymore, it's not because I'm dead, it's because I've moved:http://maggiejoan.wordpress.com
It was pretty much all over for LJ as soon as I realized you could import your Livejournal into your Wordpress blog. I'm still keeping this username though and will be reading my friends page from time to time.
See you in the funny pages.
Okay, I get it, Dick Cheney is the former vice dictator of the United States, but he was through-and-through evil. He has, since leaving the White House, admitted that the war in Iraq was basically a fraud, and now admits to being a war crimina
l. Why isn't this bigger news? WHY? I hate the American media and the way they make legitimate headlines out of celebrity catastrophes but can't seem to find the space to post an article entitled "HAI GUYZ, YOUR FORMER VICE PREZ SAID HE KNOWINGLY SPENT UR TAXPAYER DOLLARS ON AN ILLEGITIMATE WAR. HIPPIEZ 1, REPUBLICANS 0."
People should be angry. People should be REALLY fucking angry. Instead, they are wondering if Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston are really in some creepy love triangle scenario.
We used to be like this:
This is a country I would be proud of. Instead, now we're like this:
Four people. FOUR. And yes, I am aware that there have been bigger protests, but frankly if you try to compare the reactions to the two wars, there's really no contest as to which unjustified war got the attention it deserved.
I really need to move to Europe.
Man, being a grownup is fucking exhausting. I don't recommend it for the faint of heart. Or for anyone, for that matter. I see all my friends who are still in school and just want to have that Billy Madison moment where I grasp their face and go "stay here. STAY AS LONG AS YOU CAN." And to think, when I was in college I couldn't get outta there fast enough. The grass is always greener I guess, but what kind of retard doesn't realize that the grass where you have to hold on to a job that isn't right for you to get insurance and pay student loans isn't actually greener? Oh right, this one.
The photography stuff is advancing slowly. Right now I'm working on some product photography for the NJ Library Association, in May I'm lined up for a wedding, and in between then I might be getting a fairly regular job photographing events in White Plains, NY. Hell of a commute, I know, but if it helps me along I'll take it. I'm starting to realize that I have an appalling lack of sympathy for people (where the fuck did that come from? seriously... I've been through a pretty decent amount of stuff so I should be more understanding, but I feel like my niceness is a well that's been temporarily tapped out). This could hinder me pretty fantastically in my quests to work with the mentally ill or be an attorney working with various advocacy groups. I mean, my passion for politics is still the same (this is why I would love to be a photojournalist, not to mention it's my favorite genre of photography), but I don't really want to be the asshole who invests herself in a cause just because I agree with the politics behind it without actually feeling genuine sympathy for the people involved. The only time recently I've thrown myself wholeheartedly into a cause was when I was in New Orleans. Maybe it's because I've spent the better part of my life cleaning up damage left behind by other people. Maybe it's because I don't see myself in anything about that situation, so I embrace how different it is. Who knows? I guess I'll figure it out some more when I'm there again in March.
Life is so strange. I wonder if I'll ever stop surprising myself.
- Music:"Pretty Pathetic," Smoking Popes
I'm not entirely sure how an entire month's worth of shittiness can be negated so quickly, but starting earlier this week life just got hyper-awesome. Let's elaborate, shall we?
- My dad has basically been sick and in and out of the hospital since the beginning of January. While this experience has been terrifying and humbling (and guilt-ridden, seeing as the issues started from a meal I bought him for Christmas... good daughter fail), I am ecstatic to see that he's getting better and I suspect will be back to being my dear old dad in no time. As a result maybe I can stop stressing myself out to the point of acid reflux and insomnia. Time will tell.
- I booked my tickets earlier this week to head back to New Orleans, this time with Katie and Simon in tow. Simon is in the US from England and while he was originally planning on coming to NJ to see me for his spring break (from Kansas, no less), I remembered how cold and shitty it is here in March and also thought maybe he could do something more fulfilling. Helping to rebuild is something I think is extremely indicative of the charitable nature of Americans. That's a lot coming from me because I don't speak positively about many things in this country, but something can definitely be said about what I saw in New Orleans: where the government stops caring, people from all over the country will mobilize in the face of administrative shortcomings and pick up where they left off, especially where progress is an obtainable goal. The crew chiefs working with the volunteers have spent a long time living on a very small stipend in free housing from the Episcopal Diocese of Lousiana, the organization that we'll be working through. They are college graduates, or they're not, but I can guarantee that they could probably find something even a little better paying but they'd rather hang out in New Orleans, helping disenfranchised people put their life back together. I think that's a part of the American culture that's not too prevalent in international media, and it's a pretty important thing. Also, AWESOME I GET TO SEE ONE OF MY FRIENDS FROM UEA HOLY SHIT.
- When we booked our tickets, we didn't have housing lined up. Stupid, I know, but how fucking hard could it be to find a place for volunteers to stay for a week? Answer: four days later, after calling a few places and e-mailing like five different places, someone from the Episcopal Diocese e-mails me tonight and tells me that he's lined up housing for us somewhere... which is amazing of him and completely unexpected. Check plus.
- Last night I went on a spontaneous adventure to Brooklyn with a few awesome people to see Kevin Devine at a show that could have been free, but it was a Haiti benefit and I'm not trying to roll up into a benefit and not donate anything, but it was still dirt-cheap for the show he put on. He and the Goddamn Band had tons and tons of energy, not to mention how great and poetic Kevin Devine's songwriting is. It was practically coming out of their pores. Also, he's cute... really, really cute. I think it doesn't come across too well until you see his stage presence, but man on man, what a great night. I've been listening to Put Your Ghost to Rest pretty much nonstop ever since.
- I applied a couple weeks ago to an internship at an art gallery in SoHo and I have an interview on Saturday. I am so stoked it's absurd. Not just that I have an interview, but that I didn't write a super-formal cover letter to get it: I was just myself. Attempts to be funny were made. I'm glad someone appreciated it because it seems like being all businesslike doesn't work, ever, considering this is my second interview for anything in the eight months I've been a graduate...and the first time was at a restaurant. Durr. I'm slowly learning that there's a difference, a big one, between being professional and being stuffy, and those two things don't necessarily have to co-exist.
- I saw Mahindra tonight for the first time since he got back from Guyana on Sunday. This is clearly a simple pleasure but seeing him never fails to make me really, really happy.
I am really, really hoping this awesome streak continues... because if so, by the end of the year I'll have six million dollars or something.
We want everything we see, and once it's gone we just want more.
- Music:"Burning City Smoking," Kevin Devine
So the photographers
community had a photo challenge this weekend to post our favorite photos of 2009. This made me realize how big of a year 2009 was for my photography: first DSLR (thanks Stacey!), first experiments in post-processing (GREAT SUCCESS... Lightroom is life), first few paid photo jobs. Additionally, I'm helping to photograph a wedding in May... file this under "times I am definitely way too ambitious." Anyway, here are my responses to the challenge. The one below is my very favorite, the rest are just fun ones I liked. I'm missing a few but don't really feel like picspamming you poor people.
- Music:Daft Punk every day for forever
Okay, let's talk about something kind of fucked up. Every year, the travel section of the Times posts a list of places to go that year, all over the world. Now. I am a HUGE fan of the New York Times. But this year's number one place to go in 2010
is motherfucking SRI LANKA.
No one is nearly as pissed about this as MIA, as in the singer, who posted links on her Twitter to photos of dead children killed in the civil war. She is English but her family is Tamil, which was the minority in the Sri Lankan civil war. Her father was a founding member of an activist group pushing the agenda of an independent Tamil state. Over 80,000 people were killed in the 25 year insurgency, which only came to an official end in May, and now the fucking New York Times wants you to pack up your really expensive yuppie bathing suit into your Louis Vuitton luggage and head over there to ignore a traumatized nation. Now, you could make the case that tourism money is needed to get this country back on its feet, but if you think that a substantial portion (or any for that matter) of that cash goes where it needs to go to help displaced, injured, widowed, orphaned, impoverished Sri Lankan people, you are sorely mistaken. It's pretty insulting. Like okay, New York Times, instead of writing up about how everyone should go there even though Sri Lanka has fallen upon some major "misfortune" (be more patronizing please! somehow a genocide and a two and a half decade long civil war don't really sound like MISFORTUNES but a series of national crises), why don't you actually do something with some shred of journalistic integrity and write some more articles about it- like you did three days ago
about a human rights lawyer finding a prison execution video go be authentic
? Yeah, sounds great. Bucolic, even. Sign me up.
Wow so uh, it seems I stopped caring that I have an LJ. Actually, I think the problem is that I do nothing of any relevance or value to the world. That said, here's a photo from the last time I did something that made me feel fulfilled and good about humanity. New Orleans over Thanksgiving week was amazing. Thanksgiving was my grandmother's holiday, and when she died Thanksgiving became impossible for me to enjoy. She died in 2007 and I think she'd be really proud of how I spent my week considering she spent much of her life as a welfare director devoting herself to helping others. This photo is of our group with our crew chiefs, proud and exhausted after a week of sheet rocking a house in Gentilly for a woman whose husband had suffered a massive stroke post-Katrina and was basically incapacitated. She's been sleeping on a trailer floor since 2005. Thanks, American government, you really totally didn't fuck that up or anything.
In any case, tomorrow night we usher in a new decade... crazy. I've been looking at the New York Times' Lens Blog's "Documenting the Decade
," a collection of user-submitted photos that they think accurately represents the events that unfolded in the past ten years. Nothing really struck me nearly as much as the overwhelming quantity of photos from the night Barack Obama got elected. That's seriously the only time I've ever been proud to be an American, and the photos brought me back to that pub in Norwich, England where at four in the morning we exploded into elated cries and happiness and I got hugged by my British friends and welcomed back, as an American, to the international stage. So what if I'm a little disillusioned right now... that's something I will never, ever forget.
Tomorrow I'll be posting my list of my favorite albums of the decade... a little less deep or thought provoking or whatever, but still awesome. Stay tuned.
- Music:"Time to Pretend," MGMT
DUDES, I just booked my flight to New Orleans. I'll be there from November 22nd to November 26th and I can't fucking WAIT. I'll be there helping to build houses and hopefully at some point exploring this awesome city I've wanted to visit since I was in high school... and taking wicked photos, of course.
"What you are talking about is desire - just brutal Desire. The name of that rattle-trap streetcar that bangs through the Quarter, up one old narrow street and down another."