Category Archives: celebrity

On Artists

You are not your job. You are not your relationships. You are not your art either. As much as some artists like to sell their persona as part of their art, it is all bullshit. Only a few people can pull this off. You’re not Warhol. You’re not Dali. Stop it.

너는 너의 직업이 아니요. 너는 너의 관계들이 아니요.너는 너의 예술도 아니요. 일부 예술가는 자신의 페르소나를 예술의 일부로 판매하는 것을 좋아하지만 모두 헛소리요. 소수의 사람만 이것은 할수 있어요. 너는 살바도르 달리가 아니면 멈춰.

Buying a piece of art is not the same as buying a person. A person might be buying a piece of work, but the work should be able to stand on its own, without the artist. Again, I’m talking about artists who are relatively unknown, but I think it’s a mistake to intermingle the personal aspect of social media too much with art. I notice this particularly on Instagram. I think it’s fine to have an art page and have some of your personal life and even development process in your page, but I notice some artists get way too much into themselves and it stops being about the art and more about selling the artist, to which I say, calm down and think first if you really want to do that to yourself. It’s really doing a disservice to your own art and your growth, and probably contributes to perpetuating the image of artists being self-centered attention hounds.

예술품을 사는 것은 사람을 사는 것과는 다라요. 어떤 사람이 예술을 구매할 수도 있지만, 이 예술이 예술가없이 스스로 설 수 있어야해요. 저는 상대적으로 알려지지 않은 예술가들에 대해 이야기하고 있지만 SNS의 개인적인 측면을 예술과 너무 많이 섞는 것은 실수라고 생각해요. 특히 Instagram에서 이것을 발견해요. 아트 페이지를 가지고 있고 너의 개인적인 삶의 일부와 심지어 너의 페이지에 개발 과정을 갖는 것은 괜찮다고 생각해요. 하지만 몇몇 예술가들은 자신에게 너무 깊이 빠져들고 그것이 예술에 관한 것이 아니라 예술가를 판매하는 것에 대해 생각해요. 진정해요. 자신에게 그렇게하고 싶다면 먼저 생각해요. 그것은 정말 너의 예술과 성장에 해를 끼치고 있고 예술가들이 자기 중심적인 이미지를 영속시키는 데 기여할 거요.

One telltale sign of this phenomenon are pictures showing the scale or artworks. Of course this is all just my opinion, but if you want to show the scale of a piece of art and put yourself in the picture, and you take up more real estate than the piece, then maybe the picture on the Instagram page is not about the art at all.

이 현상의 한 가지 분명한 징후는 규모 또는 예술 작품을 보여주는 시진들이에요.물론 이것은 모두 제 의견이요, 하지만 예술의 규모를 보여주고 자신을 그림에 넣고 싶고 예술보다 더 많은 공간을 차지한다면 Instagram 페이지의 그림은 예술에 관한 것이 전혀 아닐 수도 있어요.

The second red flag for me is when I the viewer is constantly informed of the artist’s life and more effort seems to be put on creating the artist’s persona than the art itself. One infamous “artist” in Korea who is no longer in media used to be on TV selling herself as an artist but seems to be more focused on portraying a quirky persona, a dumb and lazy stereotype given to artists. And if one looks up her works, they’re really nothing to write home about. Thankfully, she’s now no longer showing up on television and is so forgotten that her name escapes me.

저에게 두 번째 위험 신호는 시청자가 예술가의 삶에 대해 지속적으로 알리고 예술 자체보다 예술가의 페르소나를 만드는 데 더 많은 노력을 기울이는 거에요. 더 이상 미디어에 출연하지 않는 한국의 한 악명 높은“아티스트”는 예전에는 자신을 아티스트로 판매하는 TV에 출연했지만 아티스트들에게 주어진 멍청하고 게으른 고정 관념 인 기발한 인물을 묘사하는 데 더 초점을 맞춘 것 같아요. 그리고 그녀의 예술을 보면 너는 실망할거에요. 고맙게도 그녀는 이제 더 이상 TV에 나오지 않고 너무 잊혀져 서 그녀의 이름이 기억이 않 와요.

On a similar note, if viewers kept getting reminded of the artist’s condition, be it depression, physical disabilities, or ailments, then I start getting tired, if not irritated. Van Gogh had a very well-established mental condition, but he developed his own style and grew as a post-Impressionist, selling (and at the time failing to sell) his works solely for their merit and not as a byproduct of his illness. Right now, the works stand on their own. We do not need to know he was mentally ill. The same goes with Munch, Goya, and O’Keefe. And while we’re at it, Picasso, Rodin, Michelangelo, Degas, and many others were assholes. But we do not need to know of their assholery to admire their works. The works stand on their own.

마찬가지로, 예술가이 자신의 상태, 우울증, 신체 장애, 질병 등을 계속 시청자에께 상기 시키면 저는 짜증이 나지 않더라도 피곤해지기 시작해요. Van Gogh는 매우 잘 정립 된 정신 상태를 가지고 있었지만 자신의 post-Impressionist 스타일을 개발여 그들의 예술품을 병의 부산물이 아니라 자신의 장점을 위해서만 판매 (하지만 판매하지 못함)했어요. 지금은 그 예술품들이 독자적으로 서 있어요. 그가 정신적으로 아팠다는 것을 알 필요는 없어요. Munch, Goya, O’Keefe도 마찬가지에요. 그리고 우리가 거기에있는 동안 Picasso, Rodin, Michelangelo, Degas 등 많은 사람들이 즘 나빴어요. 그러나 우리는 그들의 예술품에 감탄하기 위해 그들의 나쁜 성격을 알 필요가 없어요. 예술품들이 자체로 서 있어요.

And since we’re talking about asshole artists, I think there’s a difference between enjoying a dead artist’s genius and giving money to a current, living asshole. I think it’s perfectly fine to enjoy the works of dead artists who might have been assholes in the past. It’s the same way one can admire great ancient structures in Europe while completely ignoring about how Europe plundered so much wealth out of so many countries. It’s another thing however to pay for a movie directed by Bryan Singer, Roman Polanski, or Woody Allen. I do love watching the pirated version of “Rosemary’s Baby” however.

그리고 우리는 나쁜 예술가에 대해 이야기하고 있기 때문에, 죽은 예술가의 천재성을 즐기는 것과 현재 살아있는 나쁜 예술가 에게 돈을주는 것에는 차이가 있다고 생각해요. 과거에 나쁜 였을지도 죽은 예술가들의 예술품을 즐기는 것도 괜찮은 것 같아요. 유럽의 위대한 고대 건축물에 감탄할 수있는 것고유럽이 여러 나라에서 얼마나 많은 부를 약탈했는지 완전히 무시하면서. 같은 방식예요. 그러나 Bryan Singer, Roman Polanski 또는 Woody Allen이 감독 한 영화에 대한 비용을 지불하는 것은 또 다른 일이예요. 하지만 “Rosemary’s Baby” 해적판 보는 걸 좋아해요.

The third red flag is something I mentioned in passing. The works simply don’t stand on their own. Taken without the artist in mind, will anyone take notice of it? Does it look amateurish or plain? Not to be insulting here, but elephants can be tortured to paint canvasses. They are very primitive swaths of color, almost like a random accident. But because they are made by tortured elephants, they become something else. Does an artist’s work look average? Is it elevated by the artist’s “story”? Then maybe it’s not about the artwork at all. Now, I love Dada and the idea of found objects and readymades, but their “stories” are concepts which are itself art. I don’t think the everyday life of an artist and their struggles with whatever ails them compares with Dada.

세 번째 신호는 이미 이야기했어요. 그 예술품들은 그 자체로 서 있지 않아요. 예술가 없으면 누가 알아 차 릴까요? 아마추어 같거나 평범 해 보입니까? 여기에서는 모욕적이지 않지만 코끼리는 캔버스를 그리기 위해 고문을 당할 수 있어요. 그들은 거의 우연한 사고처럼 매우 원시적 인 색채요. 그러나 고문당하는 코끼리에 의해 만들어 졌기 때문에 그들은 다른 무언가가되요. 예술가의 예술품이 평균적으로 보입니까? 예술가의 “이야기”로 개선 되었나요? 그렇다면 예술품에 관한 것이 아닐 수도 있어요. Dada와 found objects과 readymades에 대한 아이디어를 좋아하지만 그들의 “이야기”는 그 자체가 예술인 개념에요. 예술가의 일상 생활과 그들이 어떤 병때 투쟁을 Dada와 비교할 수없어요.

So why do I care? Why do I write these things? Because I want you to grow. I want you to look at your work and really evaluate it. If a stranger saw it somewhere, would it be compelling for them or would it be ignored? For what reason should they be staring? Give your audience a reason to stare. Make it about the art and not about yourself. This is why I tend to distrust actors or singers who decide to become artists. Their work can be mediocre but it is immediately elevated by their celebrity, totally separate from any artistic merit of the artwork itself. The only reason people will look at a dumb shoe “made” by Kanye West is that he said he designed it. Forget that they all look dumb compared to other shoes in the market.

그래서 내가 왜 신경을 써야합니까? 왜 이런 것들을 쓰나요? 나는 너를 성장하기를 바라요. 나는 너를 너의 예술품을보고 정말로 평가하기를 바라요. 낯선 사람이 그것을 어딘가에서 본다면, 그것은 그들에게 매력적일까요 아니면 무시 될까요? 그들은 어떤 이유로 쳐다보아야합니까? 청중에게 쳐다보아야할 이유를 제공하세요. 자신에 대한 것이 아니라 예술에 대해 이야기하세요. 예술가되기로 결정한 배우 나 가수를 불신하는 경향이 있어요. 그들의 예술품은 평범 할 수 있지만 예술품 자체의 예술적 장점과는 완전히 별개로 유명인에 의해 즉시 향상되요. 사람들이 Kanye West가 “만든” 멍청한 신발을 보는 유일한 이유는 그가 디자인했다고 말했기 때문에요. 다른 신발에 비해 모두 멍청 해 보인다는 사실을 잊어요.

I think artists need to decide whether they’re selling themselves or their art. Maybe they can be successful at both. It can happen! But often I see people calling themselves artists but are too busy with the art persona and not the art. So yeah, if you’re an artist, start with showing more art and less of your dumb artist face.

에술가들은는 자신의 에술품을 판매하게 아니면 자신의 페르소나를 판매하게 결정해야헤요. 둘 다 성공할 수도 있어요. 그것은 할수 있어요! 그러나 종종 사람들이 스스로를 예술가라고 부르지 만 예술이 아닌 예술가의 인물에 너무 바쁘다는 것을 보에요. 예, 너는 예술가라면 너의 멍청한 예술가 얼굴을 대신에 더 많은 예술을 보여주고 시작하세요.

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How About Just Stay Home Instead?

The experience of going to university is supposed to be opening one’s eyes, widening our horizons. Just by that virtue in itself, the nature of universities is very liberal. You meet people, you learn about the world, etc. This is why I don’t understand people entertaining the idea of conservatives posing as libertarians in campuses fighting against the liberal bias in academia. It is such a bold-faced farce that it boggles the mind how far it has come.

Turning Point USA has been wildly successful disseminating its poison in campuses. They have a professor’s watch list which aims to drive professors which they deemed as having a leftist bent out of campuses. They also provide platforms for far-right bomb throwers like Milo Yiannopoulos. It is a shame that Canada is not immune to this and now Simon Fraser will have a chapter calling itself Turning Point Canada in its campus. Despite distancing itself from the American group, it doesn’t take much to see how close it is the originators down south.

“Millennials seems to be increasingly more liberal, so this is just about offering an alternative view. Our professors and so on are increasingly majority liberal and maybe even further left than the Liberal Party of Canada.” How is that any different from Turning Point USA? And as much as the co-founder claim that they are not fans of Milo Yiannopoulos, I’m sure they would be more than happy to host his speeches in Canadian schools of Milo’s stock hasn’t fallen so low that he is now hawking pills for Alex Jones.

See, the reason why there are so many liberals in university is because once you open your mind to learning, to questioning, to empathy, then it is very difficult to subscribe to conservative or what many people would define as libertarian values. Read a couple of books, talk to a couple of people, grow up a little, and you’ll realize that Ayn Rand is a selfish hack. Why come to university to reinforce conservative values when the very act of leaving your small town and living and studying in university is the very definition of being non-conservative? Be conservative? Then live by your old codes, stay in your town, and don’t bother learning new information. Why go to university in order to learn more? Why spin a cocoon when all you want is to remain a caterpillar?

And maybe I’m wrong here, but in terms of academia married to liberal thought, has there even been progress in anything while being fueled by rigid conservative ideals? Has there ever been anything new and wonderful that originated in selfish libertarian values that didn’t end in outright disaster? Laissez-faire is great in expanding the marketplace of ideas and freedom in theory, but caveat emptor will ultimately be too tiring if not deadly. Conservative academia is farce and libertarianism is an unworkable selfish dream.

This really worries me right now because the alt-right’s current darling, Jordan Peterson, is a Canadian, and his pseudo-intellectual arguments, though sometimes difficult to discern, is really quite ridiculous and is nothing but vile racism and misogyny. We also recently had a terrorist incident inspired by incels, a men’s group who gather online and share misogynistic and racist sentiments due to their inability to get attention from the opposite sex. So yeah, Canada now has old hatred cloaking itself open-mindedness, academia, or victimhood right in its own backyard.  The hateful right is coming for our universities and will soon target our teachers.

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Stormy Daniels, Slut Shaming, and the Diminishing Returns of Writing about Trump

Twitter dilemma

It’s very unsatisfying to write about US politics, especially in relation to Trump because whatever outrages me at the moment will soon be overshadowed by another scandal that is bound to come. That, plus with the myriad of controversies surrounding the administration, focusing on one scandal would seem to be doing a disservice to the other scandals/crises which are of equal importance. Just off the top of my head, on March 22, 2018, there is the Russian collusion and Trump’s piety towards Putin where he appears to be bullied/extorted right in front of the world (Putin: Say you congratulated me on my election victory. Trump: Yes, sir.), there is the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal which makes me really want to delete my long-abandoned Facebook account, there is the continuing gun crisis as well as violence against black people, there is the scandal of firing Andrew McCabe 26 hours prior to his retirement, the list goes on and on.

For now, let me focus on Stormy Daniels. There are countless of articles and videos explaining what she’s doing and why she’s doing them. Perhaps she’s doing this for money, exposure, whatever, I’m not really interested in that. She can do whatever she wants, and I really don’t hold it against her for sleeping with Trump back then (he was a goofy character on television). I don’t want to put Ms. Stephanie Clifford in too high a pedestal, but I really do admire how she handles Trump’s defenders and sycophants. Most of them attack her based on her profession and her “lack of morals,” and that’s it. That’s the tired well they keep coming back to. And since she doesn’t really get fazed by people’s slut-shaming, it’s like she’s bulletproof. She just swats their insults off like ugly background noise. And ultimately, isn’t that the nightmare of the conservative male? A strong woman (many of them want to sleep with) who has full control of her sexuality and is unfazed by their slut-shaming?

If Internet statistics are to be believed, the biggest consumers of online pornography in the United States are those living in the Bible Belt. So the same men slut-shaming women who are fighting for their rights, be it the right to use contraception or the right to use their body any way they please, are the same men who probably have had Stormy Daniels cross their screens once or twice when their wives are not at home. It’s a really perverse twisting of self-hate and guilt, and I know self-hate and guilt. I’m a depressed Catholic.

Anyway, it is amazing how so many of Trump’s supporters are willing to ignore his sins while casting stones at Ms. Clifford. I feel like someone should remind them that they’re not married to Donald Trump. They don’t have to live in denial about their partner’s sins. I read one Twitter supporter proclaim that all of Stormy Daniels’ fans are disgusting. This ignores the fact that prior to all of this, Trump was actually a fan of Stormy Daniels, probably one of her biggest fans, enough to send her $130,000. Most men have admired women in pornography before. Many have been obsessed with porn stars. But not many could say they spent $130,000 on one.

In any case, should the whole Stephanie Clifford saga simply just be about her making a name for herself or selling a book or whatever, she’s still coming out of this whole thing not only ethically from a higher ground, but she’s also using a much smarter strategy and employing a savvier lawyer/promoter. She’s never professed to be a good Christian and was never forgiven by evangelical leaders, unlike Donald Trump who has been nothing but a hypocrite throughout this whole thing. If she’s doing this for monetary gain to the detriment of Trump’s marriage, have you ever known Trump to respect other people’s marriages and spouses? Nope. He insulted Ted Cruz’s wife and also McCabe’s. Trump didn’t even respect his own marriages. And really, we can’t really fault her for doing this for monetary gain. Trump has hurt so many people for monetary gain or even just through his public actions (Central Park Five, anyone?). When was the last time Ms. Clifford’s work hurt anyone?

And yeah, Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, could teach Trump’s legal team a thing or two about looking sane on television while shamelessly plugging his own agenda. I also doubt if Mr. Avenatti would be paying for his clients sexual dalliances through a home equity loan. Seriously, where did Trump’s lawyers get their JDs?

Well, before this gets too long, here’s to Ms. Clifford or Stormy Daniels. May you get whatever you want out of all of this! I really hope the 60 Minutes special does not disappoint. It’s very telling when the only two people Trump does not attack on Twitter are Putin and Ms. Clifford. Please, live up to the hype. And keep on making Trump supporters hate themselves for wanting to be with you while slowly destroying their orange father figure.

*Update: As I post this, Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate who had an affair with Trump, is now on television talking to Anderson Cooper about their affair. Also, Trump just tapped one of the chief architects and cheerleaders of the Iraq War, John Bolton, as National Security Adviser. Congratulations, people who voted for Trump because Hilary Clinton was a hawk. As I look back on the entry, it just seems so old now. But then again, I’m sure we’ll be back to talking about Ms. Clifford come Sunday.

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Gah! School Girls!

homeless

I don’t normally give money to panhandlers and charities, but I decided to start doing so, actively pushing myself to giving. This is not humblebragging or anything, but me trying to do something while I can still afford to be generous. It came to me the other day: there might come a time that I won’t be able to afford to give to others. Might as well do my bit now.

I usually take the bus home. During traffic, I sometimes walk a few blocks and take the bus much closer to my place.  I tell myself this gives me a bit of exercise while skipping all the traffic. That’s what I did last week. I decided to walk a few blocks after work.
As I was walking past the shopping district (Myeong-dong) near where I work, I passed by this foreign couple as I turned a corner. They were being followed by a mob of teenagers. This annoyed me since not only were the teenagers blocking my way and drowning out ‘This American Life’ on my earphones, but I can’t stand gawkers. I didn’t bother paying too much attention at the couple I just passed. I just assumed that the man was some minor, white, foreign celebrity that the school girls were gushing over.

Fast forward to Sunday and my wife was watching some fashion talk show and they were interviewing some female celebrity. Apparently, she’s visiting Korea to promote a couple of brands and there are always lines of people on all the events she went to. She then brings out her brother who she says always accompanies her on her trips. I didn’t pay too much attention until I recognized the couple.

chloe_moretz

Hello Chloe Moretz.

My wife was like, “What?! You should’ve stopped her and asked for her autograph!”

And what? Creep a child out?

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