Thursday, September 27, 2012

vintage baby: the horror

If you have a lot of spare time that you would like to get rid of, may I suggest getting pregnant, going to Etsy, and typing 'baby' in the vintage section? This will also help you get rid of any pesky money you have lying around.

However, in amongst the adorable lurks... the horror. Let me show you some of the things I have seen, and can never unsee. (Click on the image to buy it, IF YOU DARE.)


Why do people think crying dolls are so cute? This is seriously upsetting, although that might be partly because they look like Dr Moreau-esque half-monkey creatures.

These things are called Plumpees, and they reflect a very different attitude to childhood obesity.



Well there's the opening credits for the next season of American Horror Story.

This thing is a bank. It works because once you drop money in, you never want to touch it again.

An adorable depiction of BOUNDLESS RAGE.

You better pray, kid.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the thing that's making me happy today how much this baby bear on Cute Overload looks like Maurice Sendak's Little Bear.

Monday, September 10, 2012

inspiration: colour

From Marc Jacob's Resort 2013 collection. Wear all your clothes, wear them all at once

 Mandarin ducks, the most beautiful ducks

No post about colour would be complete without a Mary Blair painting. 

Giant pencils by Jonna Pohjalainen

Anonymous artist. Found at Project Thirty-Three, an amazing collection of vintage album covers designed with typography and simple shapes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

why i'm having a fight on facebook

 When you see a friend say something you have a problem with on Facebook or Twitter, do you say something? Or do you keep quiet?

For me, it depends on how much I respect the person. If it's someone I think is an idiot, I won't bother (and I'll generally de-friend them). But if it's someone I respect and I want to engage with, I will say something.

I've just had an argument on a friend's Facebook wall. He is an intelligent person whose comments I really enjoy, so when he posted a caricature of Gina Rhinehart I wanted to say something. The caricature focused on Rhinehart's weight and unattractive appearance. While Rhinehart is a terrible person with despicable political views, I can't help but notice that a lot of the criticism of her has focused on her body and used words like 'fat,' 'greedy,' 'disgusting.' Some media coverage has been truly repugnant, with comments about her vagina as well as her fatness.

Rhinehart's politics disgust me; her body does not. I have a problem with this fat-shaming, not because I care about Rhinehart's feelings, but because I think that every time this kind of thing appears in the media (yes, including my Facebook feed) it adds to a culture of fat-hate that is particularly gendered.

So I said something.

Predictably, I got the usual responses:
  • It's just a joke/cartoon. Don't take it so seriously.
Sorry, but no. Racist jokes are not OK. Misogynist jokes are not OK. Jokes which perpetuate hate and shame are not OK. (And spare me the argument about how racism and fat-shaming are not the same thing. That is not my argument, I am making an analogy.)
  • Making fun of people's looks is a time-honoured tradition of caricature.
I have no problem with a cartoon which shows a fat person as fat. I have a problem with a cartoon which equates fatness with greed and evil.
  • People make fun of my chin dimple. This is exactly the same thing.
Oh fuck off. How many people die every year from being ashamed of their chin dimple? Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any mental illness.
  • The artist posted a funny cartoon and doesn't deserve to be criticised.
Actually, the artist posted their work in a public forum and therefore laid himself open to criticism. And the fact that I believe him to be intelligent and mature enough to engage in this discussion is a compliment to him.
  • It would be offensive if it was someone good like Dawn French, but it's an evil person.
My problem with this isn't that I think Rhinehart will see it and be upset. My problem is that this contributes to a culture of fat-shaming. 
  • She deserves to be criticised and you should pick your battles.
Once again, Rhinehart herself has nothing to do with this. It's the fat-shaming I have a problem with.
  • Wil-E Coyote cartoons show explosives, which are dangerous. Should we ban the cartoons?
Thanks for the straw man argument, it always livens up a discussion. I'm not going to dignify this with an answer.

Of course, posting a dissenting comment on someone's Facebook wall has consequences. The person's friends will see you criticising their friend, and will jump to defend them. Many of them will be angry that you are being 'serious' or 'too intense' in a forum that they see as exclusively for fun. (To give them credit, this cartoonist's friends were almost all polite and did not attack me.) The thing that drives me crazy about arguing on the internet is that people are so free to ignore what you're saying and not address your actual argument, which they can't do in person because I will yell at them until they answer my question.

So what's the point? I could say that maybe someone will go away and think about it, and my comments will change their mind. Or that speaking up when you see something you disagree with is important in its own right. But the truth is that I'm an argumentative, scrappy person and I can't keep my mouth shut.