Tag Archives: blogging

SNS Content, Not Art

Looks like my team won’t be making it to the playoffs. Or even if they do, they won’t be making too much of an impact. It’s frustrating how the Winnipeg Jets was doing so well about a month ago, only to have so many unnecessary losses recently. The team just has a problem with consistency. I never know what kind of team will show up on the ice. And unfortunately, lately, it’s been a lackluster team that has no business making it past the playoffs. I enjoy watching and following hockey. It’s one of the few things that provide me with an escape and brings me back to my hometown. Too bad they can’t maintain their momentum and not fall apart right before the playoffs. Whenever I get asked about hockey, it can be very challenging explaining Winnipeg Jets’ situation to people and why I’m still following them.

I produce a piece of art every two weeks. This goes towards my Instagram feed, and the self-imposed two-week posting schedule keeps me motivated to produce works. It also forces me to keep on thinking and re-thinking ideas for works. If I don’t post, I feel like something was missed, like I dropped the ball. I mentioned this before, but during the pandemic, Instagram is a godsend. It gets me to post my art, get instant feedback, and even introduced me to people online who I can shoot the breeze with.

There are a few things that bother me about Instagram however. First off, it’s part of Facebook. As much as I have disavowed Facebook and try not to use any products sold by the company, I’m pretty much stuck with Instagram at the moment. I get pangs of guilt every time I turn on the app and see “from Facebook.” This is the company that is causing so many of the world’s problems at the moment, the company that fuels vaccine trutherism, instability in the Middle East, the rise of racism and nationalism, etc. It’s horrible. And every time I use the app, I kinda wish they weren’t bought by Facebook. Which makes me wonder why even bother putting “from Facebook” and remind users about Facebook? That’s not going to make people go back to their old Facebook account. If anything, it turns me off Instagram.

Another is that it kinda demotivates me from looking for real-world gallery opportunities. With the pandemic and everything, it’s very difficult to have shows in the real world. Even sending out works is impractical financially and logistically. It takes forever to send things overseas, if the postal service will even allow it at all. And with the instant gratification and interaction I receive off of Instagram, it’s very demotivating to even try with real-world galleries, especially with many of my past shows bereft of interactions with patrons due to me being overseas.

The third thing that bugs me about Instagram is that, I feel like my work seen online is ultimately just content for social networking services. It’s not high art or anything. My works, which I tell myself is the product of self-therapy and a means to cope with internal as well as external stresses, a personal means of expressions free from the pressures of selling work as an artist, they are all just images used to keep people in social media. Most importantly, they keep me in social media. I’m creating images, maintaining a schedule, all to produce unpaid content to a social networking company that doesn’t care about my time.

I’m not saying I’ll be stopping posting works on Instagram soon. I’ll just feel extremely guilty doing so.

I remember feeling a tremendous amount of glee when Donald Trump got banned from Twitter. I myself was banned from the platform due to my language against Newt Gingrich and Laura Ingraham. When Trump got banned, I was like, “ha! To think Trump and I are now on the same Twitter boat!” And now I learn that Trump is now essentially blogging as well. It’s a bit of a letdown compared to his announcement of launching a new communications platform. Well, technically, it IS a communications platform, for Trump, the same way WordPress and Blogspot are communications platforms for anyone who wants to blog. Again, we’re pretty much in the same boat, the same blogging boat. It’s like 2005 all over again and all of the kids are blogging.

Actually, it reminds me of an episode of The Office when Creed launched a blog at http://www.creedthoughts.gov.www\creedthought, which is really just a Word document a coworker set up for him, calling it a blog. I can just imagine an assistant at Mar-a-Lago just getting a WordPress account and calling it a “platform.” Trump might think it’s actually an SNS platform much like Twitter because his blog entries are essentially tweets. They’re not long drawn out articles like on would expect from an actual blogger. Or perhaps this just give us a window into how Trump’s mind works. He can’t stand reading more than a page; he probably can’t stand writing more than a page either. He is only capable of thoughts or ideas in small chunks.

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Blog Burnt

Aunt_Jemima

Aunt Jemimaria

I was about to post something really personal on this entry, a post five paragraphs long. I once thought that despite being on the Internet, my relative anonymity allows me to be truthful and air out my personal grievances. But no, I’ve been burnt before.

I once had a blog that received decent traffic. I maintained it for a few years and it was visited mostly by strangers on the Internet, some of which also have similar blogs and I’ve considered to be my “Internet friends.” My daily escapades entertained some. Many of the things I wrote I would never tell to many people I know. But to close friends and strangers, they were interesting tales… the stuff of conversation when you just shoot the breeze with friends.

Relationships, sex, politics, etc.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last. I couldn’t stay anonymous for long. Someone I cared about did a bit of sleuthing (and snooping), and soon my blog was discovered and all the truths which I have written about were shoved right back at my face. It was a mixture of embarrassment, frustration, and a feeling of being violated. I felt guilty for what I wrote, but then I felt anger and frustration at being discovered. And after mending that relationship, I could no longer maintain a personal blog. The closest I could come to is this. And I know this could also be called a personal blog, especially since I don’t just write about art… but really, I could never truly write about my life and innermost thoughts.

I miss that.

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On Being Polite

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I was waiting in line the other day at my favorite sandwich shop/bakery. I happened to be third in line when suddenly, some woman skipped the line, ignoring everyone as she played with her oversized sunglasses . I gave her, the cashier, and everyone else the look and even said, “excuse me?” But everyone just ignored me and put up with the woman and her huge order of pastries. I left the shop dismayed and I don’t intend to come back again.

The one thing I don’t like more than people who skip lines are the people who don’t say anything and the clerks who put up with it. Granted, the woman was “older” and in South Korea that counts for a lot, but she wasn’t old enough not to know better, and she was not dying! In fact, the “older” people in the country should be pushing for general courtesy instead of just complaining about younger generations whenever they don’t get the respect that’s supposedly owed to them.

Now I’ve been living in South Korea for quite some time now, and this isn’t the first time people have skipped lines on me. Sometimes the clerk intervenes, but often people just ignore it. The line skipping incident is just one example of the general lack of empathy towards others or just simple lack of common courtesy that turns me off once in a while. I realize that people here tend to have a “mind your own business” approach to things, but people sometimes do it to such an extent that they’ve built a bubble around themselves and ignore the rest of humanity. That’s why people bump you in the streets of Seoul and never say a word. Why people don’t care if they poke your eyes out with their umbrellas. Why no one stands up to abuses they see on the street (I’ve been witness to some crimes and many times I’ve been told not to get involved. It’s none of my business, apparently.). This is why some people think Koreans are rude.

When I visited Japan last month. I was pleased at how polite strangers can be. I was about to attribute it to a unique Japanese attitude when I remembered that it’s the same back home in Canada. It’s also the same in my most favorite city in the world, Hong Kong. People cared about strangers and respected both their rights and personal space. People respected your space. They apologize for disturbing you and wish you well when they see you. It’s a kindness that I find missing here. Now, I’m not saying that all Koreans are rude and don’t care about others in the street. No. It’s just that in blindly following rules such as “mind your own business” or “respect (all) elders,” they make the country less pleasing and a terribly, terribly selfish place.

Maybe I’m just ranting because I’ve “lost” my favorite sandwich place. But really, it’s not a bad idea for everyone to just be a tad bit kinder to one another. Also, if someone could find me a decent deli in Seoul that uses real cheese, I would really appreciate it.

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Toe Clipping Fathers Day What?

toe_nail

There are a lot, A LOT, or unsexy moments in my life. I would say the majority of my life is not really very attractive. In fact, it would turn most people, that’s why I’m extremely lucky to have a very attractive wife. But to me, probably one of the least attractive things a person could probably be caught doing is trimming their toe nails. It’s just one of the weirdest positions. When people do this, they’re not really wearing their best clothes either. Usually they’re in their underwear or something equally comfortable. I suppose women would look better in this position, but I certainly feel really unattractive when I cut my toenails, with all of my gut being squeezed as I hund over. This is why I do this in the wee hours of the morning when my wife is asleep.

……………..

Today is Fathers Day. As a child, I didn’t have the best relationship with my father. I always felt like I was much lesser, that I couldn’t meet any of his expectations. I had three sisters and most of my male cousins were almost a ten years older than me. So my dad wasn’t too keen on me hanging out with my sisters or my female cousins (like I had a choice). In school as well as pretty much everything else, he encouraged me not by saying I could do things, but more of like challenging me like, “what? you couldn’t do it? Why not?” It’s almost like I was a fairy boy growing up in a family of cops.

These days, my relationship with him has gotten better. I suppose the distance sorta helps. But I try not to take things too seriously when it comes to my family. I’ve become the Switzerland in all family matters, never taking sides and just being there to listen to things. And these days, I do A LOT of listening. In any case, I’m glad our relationship has gotten better, and there are times when I do miss him and regret not being the better son that he would’ve been proud to have when I was growing up. I guess now I have my whole to try to make that happen.

Happy Fathers Day, Pa.

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Damned Windows

what

Pet peeve: computers messing up. Losing files, programs not working, re-installing things, re-connecting the Internet, thinking back how I figured it all out years ago. Aaaargh!

I hate how people are doing things with their lives: solving life’s problems, becoming better people, enlightening young minds, etc. And I’m here figuring out why I’m getting the blue screen of death. Ugh!

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Hello Weekly

Grease

I will be posting weekly entries from my personal Web site at https://josephmreyes.wordpress.com here. While I enjoy having my own Web site and putting my work and art out there to who knows who, it feels really isolated. I used to blog over at http://tabulas.com/ but have since moved on. I miss the old community of bloggers back then, it’s something I feel is more active than a personal Web site but not as obnoxious as Facebook. Tabulas is running into some problems at the moment and I hope the admin works things out soon. It was a great blogging platform.

This blog will not only have art-related entries, but sometimes writing or whatever else comes to mind.

A good friend introduced me to Prezi (http://prezi.com/). It’s an online presentation tool that people use instead of PowerPoint, or as a tool to make dynamic resumes and portfolios. I played around with it a bit and found that it could be used for story narratives, something which I’m surprised they haven’t focused on. With Facebook integration and people’s narcissism, making story narratives using people’s pictures should be something popular, much like Conan O’Brien’s vacation slideshow skits back when he was in NBC.

Anyway, I’ve been carried away playing with the platform. I’ve been making a series of slideshow narratives featuring Jeremy Irons at http://happyslides.wordpress.com/. This is not the art idea I was talking about last week however. Although it keeps me distracted.

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