What have camera phones wrought?

Lately, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend from friends on social media sites-they have begun covertly snapping photos and making videos of strangers. They then upload them to Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter to poke fun for all the world- well, all their friends and possibly friends of friends and/or assorted followers- to see.

 

I’ve been “treated” to pictures of women in ill fitting jeans, leggings and tops, or fat people riding in mobilized scooters at Wal-Mart. There have been photos of feet looking ashy, full of corns and bunions. Children running wild in stores, and oh-so-many bad weaves, haircuts, dye jobs and split ends. In fact, hair (or lack of) may just be the most popular subject to capture for social network scorn. Wigs slightly off-kilter, gray-wite roots, and of course, the “horror” that is natural afro-textured hair.

 

I’ve gotten downright pissed when babies, children, the disabled and the elderly are targeted. Why do this? How is this okay? And if it is so okay, why not ask for consent first? Why turn off the flash and then snap away? Who says these people want to play viral video star for you and your friends’ enjoyment? Why did a quick run to Walgreens for Allegra turn into a photo shoot? How does being in your line of vision equal out to being center stage in some stranger’s Newsfeed?

 

Perhaps, you are one of these people who have done it and see nothing wrong. Would you be okay with someone else turning their iPhone on you, your kids, parents or property? 

 

What’s the big deal, you may ask. You’re just sharing with your friends the way you would if they were standing right there being little mean girls with you, right? Well, no, you’re not. You’re taking a picture, capturing the moment. You’re holding on to it permanently, as opposed to having a fleeting moment to mock the 500 pound scooter-rider holding up the checkout line at Wal-Mart. Yes, you’re holding on for posterity and future nastiness some random person’s physical or verbal failings. And then playing 21st century circus ringleader to get others to marvel at the freaks. 

 

At least the Bearded Lady knew what she was getting as she was being gawked at on stage.

 

But I suppose, in the era of continual streaming and omnipresent wifi, the old saying, “All the world is a stage”, has never been more true. 

Horizon:BCBSNJ: Cover the transplant I need.
*I have an autoimmune disease (CIDP) that has forced me to leave my job, and is steadily taking away my ability to walk, drive, and to function.
*I have tried various treatments such as medication, steroids, intravenous infusions, and plasmapheresis (similar to dialysis) for over two years with no improvement, and over the past five months, serious decline.
*Autologuous Stem-Cell Transplantation uses MY OWN STEM CELLS. There is no donor and has nothing to do with embryonic stem cell research. Dr. Burt of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has had an extremely high success rate working with other patients using this treatment. 
SIGN HERE:
http://www.change.org/petitions/horizon-blue-cross-blue-shield-of-nj-horizon-bcbsnj-cover-the-transplant-i-need

Horizon:BCBSNJ: Cover the transplant I need.

*I have an autoimmune disease (CIDP) that has forced me to leave my job, and is steadily taking away my ability to walk, drive, and to function.

*I have tried various treatments such as medication, steroids, intravenous infusions, and plasmapheresis (similar to dialysis) for over two years with no improvement, and over the past five months, serious decline.

*Autologuous Stem-Cell Transplantation uses MY OWN STEM CELLS. There is no donor and has nothing to do with embryonic stem cell research. Dr. Burt of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has had an extremely high success rate working with other patients using this treatment.

SIGN HERE:

http://www.change.org/petitions/horizon-blue-cross-blue-shield-of-nj-horizon-bcbsnj-cover-the-transplant-i-need

On this week’s Some Saturday Stuff, the books of the Bible by way of Minimalist art, Franklin Graham, on why Putin is handling gay issues better than Obama, the white slums of South Africa, two views on #Cosmos and its Bruno cartoon, and some Jill Scott for your weekend. And, why I took this ugly selfie.
http://www.eastofeden.me/blog/some-saturday-stuff-march-15th

On this week’s Some Saturday Stuff, the books of the Bible by way of Minimalist art, Franklin Graham, on why Putin is handling gay issues better than Obama, the white slums of South Africa, two views on #Cosmos and its Bruno cartoon, and some Jill Scott for your weekend.

And, why I took this ugly selfie.

http://www.eastofeden.me/blog/some-saturday-stuff-march-15th

I almost died.
"That title is, unfortunately, no rhetorical flourish. About two weeks ago, I nearly bit the big one.

 

Regular readers will know I’ve had a permacatheter in for seven months in order to undergo plasmapheresis. Well, thanks to that cath and probably my love of green leafy vegetables, I developed blood clots. One landed and lodged in a vein centimeters from my heart. Another took up residence in one of my lungs.

 
As a result of the clot near my heart, the vein became clogged and blood couldn’t flow freely, causing my neck, jaw and face to swell up to first comical proportions, than to “Mon Dieu” frightening levels.”
http://www.eastofeden.me/blog/i-almost-died

I almost died.

"That title is, unfortunately, no rhetorical flourish. About two weeks ago, I nearly bit the big one.

 

Regular readers will know I’ve had a permacatheter in for seven months in order to undergo plasmapheresis. Well, thanks to that cath and probably my love of green leafy vegetables, I developed blood clots. One landed and lodged in a vein centimeters from my heart. Another took up residence in one of my lungs.

 

As a result of the clot near my heart, the vein became clogged and blood couldn’t flow freely, causing my neck, jaw and face to swell up to first comical proportions, than to “Mon Dieu” frightening levels.”

http://www.eastofeden.me/blog/i-almost-died

My nose is big, uh-uh, I’m not ashamed.


"You’ve got a bird nose." So my prominent nostrils were described by my college boyfriend, L.J. Upon registering the look of hurt in my eyes, he also added, "And I have a pig nose. So?"

 

It was a level of bluntness I wasn’t prepared to hear. My heart felt like it was going to burst.

 It’s not like he was the first person to say I have a schnoze. I knew it. I often complained of it’s large size.I fantasized all through high school of getting a rhinoplasty (As an aside, they had to call it that? RHINOplasty? Way to make it just that much worse.). Even family members told me I had drawn the genetic short stick in this area. My grandmother made pronouncements about my poor “nose bridge.” My dad said I had inherited my mom’s “clown nose.” And my cousin Quiana just summed it up with “You’ve got a big nose, Lee.” But, to her credit, she added that I was “still cute.” Blech. Who wants that consolation prize? Months ago I read an article on CNN that stopped me in my e-tracks: “Learning to love my big nose.” WHOA! The writer, Kat Kinsman, had put it all out there.

With a boyish bowl haircut and an outsized nose as the prow of my moon-pale face, I did not sail easily through the rites of womanhood. I was ugly and was told so, both in words and by omission. I remain unsure which was worse: being directly informed of my unattractiveness, or simply never being told I was the least bit lovely. Sure, it’s all skin deep, but it can sink in and leave a scar.

After a “Mean Girls” experience on a field trip involving popular girls tormenting her and especially her “witch” nose, she experienced a dramatic shift.

Something in me fractured that night, and as it shifted, another part freed. There was no way I’d ever be beautiful — so I didn’t have to try.It’s astonishing how liberating that felt. I could focus on the things that brought me some measure of happiness while I was plotting my escape from my small town. I painted, I edited the yearbook, I wrote horrible angsty poems, I made weird and delightful friends and talked to boys like they were actual human beings, because I knew there was no chance they’d think such a funny looking girl was flirting with them.


… 

 


In the first few weeks of art school, I ceased to hide, stuck a ring through my right nostril, dyed my hair the most shocking shades I could find on the shelves and was surprised as a person could be when a boy said he loved me. It flamed hard and burned out quickly, and I assumed he’d just been kindly enough to overlook my obvious facial deformities — though he surely seemed to spend a lot of time painting pictures of the rest of me.
 
And then it happened again. Only this time it was different. I looked across the diner table to see my new boyfriend Jon and our friend Helen staring at me rather intently. I instinctively grabbed a napkin to blot my lipstick, and yanked my flaming crimson hair down over my face. “What?”
Helen nodded contemplatively. “It’s your nose. Definitely your nose.”
 
Jon agreed. “Yep. Definitely.”
 
The grilled cheese sandwich I’d been enjoying suddenly threatened to reappear on the table. I could not take this. Not from the two of them, who I’d started to find essential in my world. “My nose…what?!”
 
"It’s the thing that makes you beautiful. Like, it doesn’t look like anyone else’s. It’s the thing that makes you look like you." Helen went back to chewing her fries.
 
"Yep," Jon said. He returned to Helen’s fries, and I quietly imploded inside.

 When I read Kat’s story, I got teary-eyed and felt that ache in my chest. Being a big-nosed girl, I could totally relate.
Read the rest here: http://www.eastofeden.me/relationships/my-nose-is-big-uh-uh-im-not-ashamed

My nose is big, uh-uh, I’m not ashamed.

"You’ve got a bird nose." So my prominent nostrils were described by my college boyfriend, L.J. Upon registering the look of hurt in my eyes, he also added, "And I have a pig nose. So?"
 

It was a level of bluntness I wasn’t prepared to hear. My heart felt like it was going to burst.


It’s not like he was the first person to say I have a schnoze. I knew it. I often complained of it’s large size.I fantasized all through high school of getting a rhinoplasty (As an aside, they had to call it that? RHINOplasty? Way to make it just that much worse.). Even family members told me I had drawn the genetic short stick in this area. My grandmother made pronouncements about my poor “nose bridge.” My dad said I had inherited my mom’s “clown nose.” And my cousin Quiana just summed it up with “You’ve got a big nose, Lee.” But, to her credit, she added that I was “still cute.” Blech. Who wants that consolation prize?

Months ago I read an article on CNN that stopped me in my e-tracks: “Learning to love my big nose.” WHOA! The writer, Kat Kinsman, had put it all out there.

With a boyish bowl haircut and an outsized nose as the prow of my moon-pale face, I did not sail easily through the rites of womanhood. I was ugly and was told so, both in words and by omission. I remain unsure which was worse: being directly informed of my unattractiveness, or simply never being told I was the least bit lovely. Sure, it’s all skin deep, but it can sink in and leave a scar.

After a “Mean Girls” experience on a field trip involving popular girls tormenting her and especially her “witch” nose, she experienced a dramatic shift.

Something in me fractured that night, and as it shifted, another part freed. There was no way I’d ever be beautiful — so I didn’t have to try.

It’s astonishing how liberating that felt. I could focus on the things that brought me some measure of happiness while I was plotting my escape from my small town. I painted, I edited the yearbook, I wrote horrible angsty poems, I made weird and delightful friends and talked to boys like they were actual human beings, because I knew there was no chance they’d think such a funny looking girl was flirting with them.

 

In the first few weeks of art school, I ceased to hide, stuck a ring through my right nostril, dyed my hair the most shocking shades I could find on the shelves and was surprised as a person could be when a boy said he loved me. It flamed hard and burned out quickly, and I assumed he’d just been kindly enough to overlook my obvious facial deformities — though he surely seemed to spend a lot of time painting pictures of the rest of me.
 
And then it happened again. Only this time it was different. I looked across the diner table to see my new boyfriend Jon and our friend Helen staring at me rather intently. I instinctively grabbed a napkin to blot my lipstick, and yanked my flaming crimson hair down over my face. “What?”
Helen nodded contemplatively. “It’s your nose. Definitely your nose.”
 
Jon agreed. “Yep. Definitely.”
 
The grilled cheese sandwich I’d been enjoying suddenly threatened to reappear on the table. I could not take this. Not from the two of them, who I’d started to find essential in my world. “My nose…what?!”
 
"It’s the thing that makes you beautiful. Like, it doesn’t look like anyone else’s. It’s the thing that makes you look like you." Helen went back to chewing her fries.
 
"Yep," Jon said. He returned to Helen’s fries, and I quietly imploded inside.


When I read Kat’s story, I got teary-eyed and felt that ache in my chest. Being a big-nosed girl, I could totally relate.

Read the rest here: http://www.eastofeden.me/relationships/my-nose-is-big-uh-uh-im-not-ashamed

30 notes 

"While I hold a bit of hope that one day minorities won’t be relegated to cheerleading sidekicks to the "real" star (or conversely, when they do get a star turn, it’s no longer marketed solely as a race film, a la "The Best Man: Holiday" which is just as much of a chick flick as any other), and they won’t have to play a stereotype, I’m not holding my breath until they do. Hollywood has proven for decades that it has space for tokens, but not change.”

http://www.eastofeden.me/news-culture/no-change-but-plenty-of-tokens

9 notes 

When HBO began airing "Treme", set in post-Katrina New Orleans, I fell in love. I know a lot of people never got it, and never will. Although it was another David Simon creation, it was not "The Wire". Although it had a number of excellent actors (including “Wire” alums Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters and Melissa Leo and Jon Seda of Simon’s earlier Baltimore series "Homicide: Life on the Street"), the real star was New Orleans, period. And I was there for it.

http://www.eastofeden.me/news-culture/to-miss-new-orleans

2 notes 

Why Barilla is in hot water (pun intended), female drivers beware, and all things “Breaking Bad”, including some Gnarls Barkley for your Saturday.

1 note