Friday, February 18, 2011

Wikipedia Search: Los Angeles Lakers

I can do something else besides stuff a ball through a hoop. My biggest resource is my mind.

Reading Plato doesn't make you smart.
Learning French doesn't make you interesting.
Wearing Rodarte doesn't make you creative.
Watching Breakfast at Tiffany's doesn't make you classy.
Dressing in all black doesn't make you important.

Reblogging things other people have said doesn't make you insightful.
Posting pictures of stuff other people have created doesn't make you unique.
Taking cell phone pictures of stuff and snarking about it on the internet doesn't make what you do better.
Hate doesn't make you loved.

So fuck that.

Stop feeling superior because you have a mental personal brand. Stop trying to be like Audrey Hepburn. Stop using Helvetica just because. Stop only buying stuff from one place. I do not hate any of these things. In fact, I like them. However, so frequently we define what is "good" and what is "bad" in culture and then decide to see that as a reflection of ourselves. Make fun of your friends who watch Jersey Shore and then pop on a Fellini DVD... but you're both sitting on a couch. You think you're unique because you shop at American Apparel instead of American Eagle... but you're still buying in. Cupcakes and Doritos are both bad for your health. Don't you understand that it's all marketing? I know you're smart enough to, even if you do not want to admit it.  

Only make stuff that is amazing.

Amazing does not mean perfect, amazing does not mean it will not be junk later. Amazing is about the fact that you made it, and even the term made does not have to be so rigid. Making amazing can be pictures you take or smart things that you say or responses that you think or things that you share or items that you give away. Actions, words, and thoughts can all be amazing.

I worry because although there is so much variety on the internet, it is also limited. Although there are so many books, a few are truly esteemed. Intelligence should not be based on listening to one professor's lecture about one part of one book by one Greek guy from thousands of years ago. If you actually listen to what old Greek guys were saying (and old French, an old Italian, and old whoever for that matter), most of the time they were encouraging you to think critically. Regurgitating information does not make it better. This does not mean there is not a time or place for showing others have others have done. I know that making things known is sometimes critical, and sharing is important. Tipping our cap is courteous, and gushing about beautiful things made by others is exciting, but right before you go to sleep, isn't it nice when you can say "Today I created something that is mine."

So many of us have the same feelings, but it is what we do with those feelings that truly sets us apart. Sheer capitalism guarantees that anything that is presented at a theater or sold at a store or framed in a gallery or played on the radio, no matter how obscure the location, is liked by a multitude of other people.
It is how we respond to things that actually changes us. 

And what changes us that changes the world.


Claire said...

I like your drive towards originality, it's definitely warranted in the blogosphere. I have a friend who seems to think that because "it's all been done" she can repeat whatever topic I have chosen. I have beat my head against the wall trying to get it across to her that she's brilliant and should really stick to her own thing. The only thing that ended up working was nabbing a few of her most constant readers so that she knew people would make the connection between my posts and hers. Art and creativity are moral grey areas.

I like your idea of thinking up my own questions, I'll let you know what I come up with.
Happy Friday!

Gabriella said...

Thank you.

Nicole✗✗ said...

I love how insightful you are. It's truly refreshing!! These are definitely things I think about from time to time but can't always express and sometimes I contradict them, which sucks but hey I'm human. You are truly amazing.

I loved the XBOX Live dialogue!! It's funny how accurate it is. I have honestly been debating on whether or not I should film it. I'm pretty sure I will.

DilaanD said...

lovely post!

From Suns To Moons said...

I agree with Nicole, this post was extremely insightful. You echoed some of the frustrations I've had (with others' blogs and my own) but haven't verbalized in a post. Thanks.

chelsea said...

But I do want to be like Audrey Hepburn.
I understand the sentiment, however. Judgemental attitudes and hate are so useless. Thinking that you are better than someone doesn't actually make you feel better at all. It makes you feel miserable.
We live in a world of prentension. I work in a very hipster neighborhood and see it all the time. The worst part is that people shopping in the bookstore project that on me. They assume that because I work in a hipster neighborhood, at a "hipster" bookstore that I must be too hip to care about the newest best seller and that my home library is full of only the most obscure writings. I know this as fact since these people have posted those opinions on They obviously never heard the saying "When you assume it makes an ASS out of U and ME." They don't actually talk to me. They don't know that I am obsessed with Harry Potter and that the cooking section is my favorite in the whole store. When customers ask for Balzac I have to look it up on Amazon because I'm not sure what he's written or where we'd shelve him. They are the ones always coming in asking for Sylvia Plath, Anias Nin, Jack Kerouac, and Ayn Rand. I'm the one hiding in young adult reading books that they would deem I am too old for. They judge me by my surroundings, without realizing that I am a great big geek. Aren't we all? Why don't we just embrace that fact? Why do we try so hard to "be cool"?

(Hard G) Gillian said...

I'm just here to admit that it gave me a big jolt to read your name as Allison, even though logically I should have known it's not Mary!

Tea For Two said...

Firstly, I fucking love your blog. This post is sensational and, for want of a better and less dogmatic word, true :)


'I have absolutely nothing intelligent to ad than to gush about your writing ability, to applaud your passion, and to imagine that if we could know each other in real life we would probably have a great time swearing in public together really loud and giggling a bit as we do it.

GREAT writing. GREAT.'

THANK YOU! Much appreciated. And I have no doubt we'd get on like a house aflame!

Jem said...

Much like everyone else who has commented on this post, I have to agree this was extremely insightful. I love how after I visit your blog I always feel like I learned something new or was able to think differently about a topic.
One thing which I've taken away from this post is the idea of making amazing. Lately, I've felt like I was in a slump, I wasn't be creative or productive but this has helped me to see why. I wasn't making amazing things. So from now on I plan view everything as amazing. I mean if it doesn't make me happy or make me think, then why should I suffer from it?

Also, I've noticed that so many people think that because they like certain things it makes them better then others. This isn't true. Sure it makes you different but not better. People can be so snotty about their likes and dislikes, sometimes I just want to say, "get over it. This doesn't make you special what makes you special is what you do with your talents." Honestly, I think people could learn a thing or two from reading blogs such as yours, ones which are insightful rather then the same ol' musings. :)

Ruth said...

This post speaks a lot of truth about what goes on in the blogosphere. I prefer blogs that are totally original - take their own pictures, voice their own thoughts about things other than just fashion, and are just generally interesting!

I've made a real effort over the past couple of months to bring my blog up out of the phase of just reposting pictures from weheartit to illustrate my posts. Sometimes I have to because its the only way to convey what I want to say and that's fine, but now I much prefer creating my own images. Its so much more rewarding when someone comments that its a beautiful picture!

(I do love Breakfast at Tiffany's but I don't think its really a 'classy' film. It's quite sad in a way (referring to the book as well as the film) - but its still my absolute favourite!)

kara lynn said...

agreed. we need more bloggers to read this post and do the same. originality is so important!

Melissa Dominic said...


H. Martin said...

hello beautiful lady,

i've just spent an embarrassingly long time reading up all the posts i missed when i was on holiday in london (!) (more on that later).

a) hooray for liking things sincerely, and not for the projected benefits they may imply
b) hooray for making stuff that is amazing
c) you are very talented at both things above
d) i do that thing with double mirrors too
e) your v-day post made me happy. this is extraordinary, because i do not like v-day very much.

i hope you are well and i am happy to be back in front of a computer, if only to creep around your blog compulsively and wish i were you.



MAUD said...


that was clearly me, and not my boyfriend, whose account was still apparently open on my computer.



Green Tea at Midnight (Jessica) said...

1.) Thanks so much for commenting on my blog! I definitely agree that getting business cards is a rite of passage. Even if you're sitting in front of the TV in pigtails and pajamas eating a tub of ice cream you can at least say "but, LOOK. Someone thinks I'm professional" haha

2.) This is a really good, no-bull post. I'm sure everyone has struggled with their identity and "finding themselves" at one point or another, but I would rather deal with being an outlier than try to copy someone else's identity. When all is said and done, you don't know who you are either way, so you might as well take the time to create yourself. If I can go to bed every night knowing that I am creating my own life, I'll be happy :)

Green Tea at Midnight (Jessica) said...

P.S. I find it hilarious, ironic and a little creepy that in order to leave a comment on this blog, we all need to "choose an identity" with which to publish. Blogger is on to us!!!

mckenzie. said...

I totally agree with what you said about all this. I hope that in future I can make something not only amazing, but something I am truly proud of!

Reflections are fascinating. I used to stare at ballet mirrors for far too long... "but how can it go on forever?" "shut up and get to the barre!"

Always Something said...

Gillian: Mary is my middle name and both my grandmothers' names :) I know, weird eh?