Monday, December 28, 2015

the winter clean

The Japanese have something called, Osoji (大掃除), "the big cleaning". This happens every year right before the New Year. The idea is that a person should eliminate the clutter, dirt and emotional baggage carried with them from the last year. 

That is exactly how I spent my Sunday. Cleaning. The only problem is that I have cleaning ADD. Everything takes twice as long. I suddenly find all the things I own immensely fascinating. In this instance, I found some old writing. A.K.A. an entire notebook full of dribble. I tore out three sheets of digestible ramblings, and the rest went straight away into the recycling.

I thought I would share some of it here: 

There is always a secret in the dark. Shouldn't I be scared of it -- that in some way? Most people are. They have that evolutionary psychology that tells them to walk the other way. It's not that I take risks to be dangerous, or that I like to jump out of airplanes. (I don't.) It's that I know that the future is like a great chasm in front of me and no matter where I step, I will have to survive the fall.

Well, I am glad I am leaving that behind for this New Year. Although, it's like eight years too late on that one.

And now for something completely related...


Monday, December 7, 2015

project for awesome


It is almost time for the The Project for Awesome (December 11-12, 2015). What is the The Project for Awesome you might ask? Let me copy and past some useful information from their website.
The very first Project for Awesome was organized in 2007, and has been held every year since. Starting in 2014, Project For Awesome changed dates, now occurring annually on the second Friday & Saturday of December, which this year is December 11-12, 2015.
During Project for Awesome, thousands of people post videos about and advocating for charities that decrease the overall level of world suck. As a community, we promote these videos and raise money for the charities.
In 2014, the community raised over $1,200,000, including several generous matching donations. These were split between two organizations chosen by John & Hank - Save the Children & Partners in Health - along with twenty charities chosen by the online video community.
Legally speaking, the Project for Awesome is a project of the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, Inc. a Montana-based 501(c)3 charitable organization. You can see a list of all the charities that the FTDWS has disbursed money to in the past here.

SOUNDS GREAT! HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

Project for Awesome has three parts.

First: YOU. Amazing community members from around the world make videos about a charity that is particularly meaningful for them. These are uploaded to the Project for Awesome website*, but also should be shared around the internet and viewed, discussed, commented upon, etc. You can vote on your favorite videos on the P4A site, which helps determine the charities that receive funding.

*Videos can be submitted from 12:00pm EST on December 11th through 11:59am EST on December 13th.

Second: fundraising. We will have an amazing selection of perks for you to choose from if you want to donate to the Foundation to Decrease World Suck through our Indiegogo campaign. From digital downloads to signed art, donated items from your favorite YouTube creators and our annual calendar… you’re bound to find something fun.

The Indiegogo will be open from 12:00am EST on Wednesday, December 9th to 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, December 15th.

Third: butfArt. Say what? Yes, this is where things get wacky. John & Hank, along with a number of special guests, host a 48-hour continuous livestream to feature videos, spontaneously announce new perks, and look at dollar bills under microscopes… or something like that. You never know what will happen, so tune in and join the fun!

The livestream will run from 12:00pm EST on December 11th through 11:59am EST on December 13th.

All funds raised during the first half of P4A (12:00am EST on December 9th through 11:59am EST on December 12th) will benefit Save the Children and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

All funds raised during the second half of P4A (12:00pm EST on December 12th through 11:59pm EST on December 15th) will be divided between the organizations chosen by the community.
In the spirit of the thing, I sent in an art perk creation. What is an art perk? Well, creators send in Nerdfighter themed art and donators can receive this art by donating to the charity campaign. I made 15 paper toy packs for whoever to cut and glue together. Here is a photo of my prototype characters and a photo of me putting together a pack set.



Saturday, December 5, 2015

christmas and advertisement

I have a love-hate relationship with advertisement. I understand that it is needed to perpetuate a certain degree of success. Sometimes, (when used properly) it can reflect ideas in a more straight forward way. The idea of compacting a message into a tiny parcel of time is really fascinating to me. However, I am often left with the thought, "What the hell was that?"

Christmas is the worst time for being pummeled by advertising. There is a sense of desperation in it. A cloying pressure to buy that new thing or get that other thing cheap. Then, there is the manipulation of the Christmas ideal. Buy that new car. Have that perfect life with a fireplace, a Christmas tree, and a hot drink steaming in the background. It makes a person subconsciously aware of their, "haves" and "have-nots".

It is not like advertisers aren't aware of this. This Kit Kat commercial proves that little truth.


I can't help compare this to the ad strategy premise behind the movie Crazy People.


But let's get back to the point.

I have noticed a phenomenon in advertising. I will deem this phenomenon, word-salad-propaganda. This is when an advertiser utilizes a lot of disjointed words or phrases to, "inspire" you. They do it so you will connect with them and buy from them. I would say this doesn't work, but they keep doing it so it must be working. How is that possible? It is just bad poetry for the capitalist regime. Okay, maybe that is a little dramatic. But still, I can't imagine someone buying into it.

Just to prove my point, I will write one of these commercials. 

For the setting, just imagine that perfect Christmas imagery I mentioned before. Add to it a family, all wearing Christmas sweaters possibly made by Grandma. A golden retriever rests in the background on that stain free white couch. (Who buys a white couch?) It's Christmas morning and the family is opening their gifts. Each opens their gift slowly. Each family member presents their joy (and their gift) to the room. Superimposed over this scene are words. The words fade in and out as the commercial progresses.

Warmth.
Shine.
Giving.
Joy.
Laughter.
Timeless.
Generic Brand Name.

I wish I could say this was something new and yet, I found this ad after some light Googling. I can't tell you if it's real, but I suspect it is. Nothing says Christmas more than objectified ownership of your lovely bride and spoons. Can't leave out those spoons.

Image Source: Flickr