DIY Glitter Sunglasses
WhatIWore: This is a guest post by my intern Val. She had all of the supplies on hand for a quick, easy and free DIY! Take it away, Val!
If you’re anything like me, you probably have more than enough pairs of sunglasses, with most of them being pretty similar. This is an easy way to upcycle a pair of sunglasses that is either a little more worn than you would like or just plain boring.
- Mod Podge
- Painter’s Tape
Begin by taping off all areas you don’t want to be painted. I liked the idea of covering only the top half, but you could do the whole frame or even a geometric pattern.
Next, mix your glitter with mod podge. I like very fine glitter for this project because the chunkier glitter looks too “arts and crafts” in this case. You should add glitter until the mod podge is saturated. Then go ahead and apply. Wait until it’s dry and then repeat until desired coverage is reached. I only used three coats, but it may be different for different colors and types of glitter.
This is a great way to take a pair of basic cheap sunglasses and turn them into something fun! I absolutely love my pair of retro glamour inspired shades. There are a lot of variations you can use such as, glitter placement, the color(s), and the amount used. Have fun!
Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger, a niece of Paul Celan, was born in 1924 in Czernowicz and died at age 18 of typhus in the Mikhailovska labor camp. Fifty-seven poems survived in a notebook that she called “Blütenlese” (Harvest of Blossoms).
This is the last poem in her notebook:
Dec. 23, 1941
This is the hardest: to give yourself
and know that you are unwanted,
to give yourself fully and to think
that you vanish like smoke into the void.
(translation by Pearl Fichman)
Doctor Who and Representations of Colour
submitted by sjaejones
Hey, I saw your call for submissions about Doctor Who and representations of people of colour. I am a person of colour and a pretty huge Whovian, so I thought I’d put in my two cents about it. (Note: I am more familiar with New Who than Classic Who, although I have been slowly catching up on those episodes.)
I think RTD’s reboot of Doctor Who was groundbreaking in many ways, in particular with the inclusion of Martha Jones as a companion. I don’t think I can understate the significance of having a woman of colour as a lead character; if we are given significant roles in television, it’s almost always as the sidekick or ancillary character. We are not given character arcs; we almost usually exist to serve the narratives of the white protagonist as either a help or hindrance.
Now, the way the narrative (and fandom!) treats Martha isn’t perfect; she’s often considered “second-best” when compared to Rose, and in many ways, her story is intertwined with her being the Doctor’s rebound relationship. But Martha has her own journey to undertake, and her travels with the Doctor serve to change her as much as it does to change him. Her story begins with her running away from her family’s problems and ends with her coming back to be strong for them. I would argue too, that Martha leaves the Doctor (and voluntarily!) in a better position than either of his other companions: Rose is trapped and then unceremoniously dumped in a parallel universe with a clone (although, to be fair, I actually ship Rose/TenToo pretty hard) and poor Donna has her memories wiped. Martha walks away from the TARDIS with a renewed purpose in life and the knowledge that she is not second-best; she is her own best. I also love how she takes charge of her future: she asks the man she met on the Year That Never Was out on a date!
Mickey is another character who I find groundbreaking. When we open with episode Rose, we are very casually shown that our lead female is in a relationship with a black man. This is huge; interracial relationships on television are increasing in visibility, but more often than not, we tend to pair people of the same race together. (I am the product of an interracial relationship, and I am in one myself, and yet representations of my sort of romance are still rare.) Of course, Rose leaves Mickey behind for the Doctor (both physically and emotionally), but I appreciate that while Mickey starts as an ancillary character, he too grows and develops and has his own arc, starting in School Reunion and culminating in The Age of Steel when he voluntarily leaves the TARDIS to be a resistance fighter in a parallel universe. When he next see Mickey, we see that he has become a formidable character in his own right.
Now, while I find much to praise in RTD’s treatment of people of colour in Doctor Who, it’s not without problems either. Historically, Classic Who has been subject to exoticism and orientalism (the infamous Fourth Doctor adventure The Talons of Weng Chiang feature white actors in yellowface), and although we might write off those episodes as products of their times, it doesn’t mean exoticism and orientalism don’t sneak into episodes of New Who either. The fortune-teller in Turn Left is an unfortunate example, but even if it’s problematic, I do appreciate that RTD’s tenure had people of colour at all.
Now, between RTD and Moffat, I was surprised to see that the universe had become overwhelmingly heterosexual and white. Other people have discussed at length Moffat’s treatment of sexuality, but I will put forth the question: can you think of any significant characters of colour in the show since The Eleventh Hour? If people of colour do appear in Moffat’s work, they seem to be routinely killed off. In The God Complex, Rita, the potential next companion of whom the Doctor seems to be enamoured is killed. In Closing Time, the first person to die is black. While these little things are not unusual (RTD’s run had its share of casually killing off people of colour—Donna’s first fiancé, for example), it is not balanced out by characters who survive (like Captain Zachary Cross Flane in The Satan Pit) or are given their own significant narratives like Martha and Mickey.
I hope Moffat will try and introduce more characters of colour in the future, but his track records hasn’t been very good on his other shows (The Blind Banker on Sherlock, for example, is a heinous example of orientalism and an egregious use of the yellow scare trope).
Violence in American Horror Story's "Asylum"
The history of mental illness in America is a strange and turbulent one. People with mental health issues tend to be much maligned in society, labeled as “crazy”, “insane”, even “dangerous”. It’s important to consider this while watching the newest season of American Horror Story, which focuses on asylums run by a nun with hang-ups about sin and a doctor who conducts suspicious experiments on patients.
Essentially, the pilot featured nearly every negative aspect of mental health history. In a way, one could say this is fine, because people should be aware of the negative aspects of asylums and sanatoriums. People should be aware that mental health patients have been abused and experimented on. You should be aware that people have been locked up against their consent, for the simple reason that they didn’t fit in with societal standards and mental illness was the best method for explaining away their alleged defection. They could be locked up, never to be heard from again. It really was not that long ago that “homosexuality” was removed from the DSM-III (in 1973) as a form of mental illness. However, while most people know that, what they do not know is that some psychiatrists circulated a petition arguing against the removal of the word, and in 1980, a new category was created called “ego-dystonic homosexuality”, which still claimed this sexual identity as a disorder. Complete removal of homosexuality was official in 1986. See? Not that long ago.
People are also not aware of the extensive history of lobotomies, which was also a somewhat recent practice as it was discovered in 1935. Rosemary Kennedy, JFK’s younger sister, is a famous victim of a prefrontal lobotomy which her father consented to as a method to try and contain her violent mood swings and outbursts. She was only 23. As a result, she was rendered incapable of doing hardly anything at all, even though despite her mood swings and low IQ, she lived a fairly normal life. Other controversial methods of therapies were discovered around the same time, including various forms of shock therapies and electroconvulsive therapy. ECT is actually still used today; Carrie Fisher, of Star Wars fame, talks about her experiences with it frequently and it’s pretty jarring to read about. While she does claim it helps, she also admits that it erases huge blocks of memory: “What I’ve found is that, at least for the moment, most of my old memories remain intact, but I totally lose the months before and after the treatment. Exactly how much time I lose is really difficult to say, because what I’m ultimately doing is trying to remember how much I forgot, which is an incredibly complex endeavor, to say the least” (Shockaholic, p. 5). It helps, but not without a consequence.
The National Mental Health Association (NMHA) has adopted for its symbol a bell. There is an actual metal bell weighing 300 lbs that the NMHA had made, with the inscription: “Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness”. The bell was made from the discarded iron shackles and chains used in asylums to restrain patients by their wrists and ankles as a form of treatment.
This is a history full of pain, suffering, and stigma. There is still stigma today, and this is part of the reason why I strongly dislike the new series of American Horror Story so far. To appropriate this traumatic history and use it as a measure of “freakiness”, to scare and shock viewers, as it explores this strange asylum with a serial killer who skins women, a doctor who performs Mengele-like experiments on patients who have no family or friends, nuns who dream about doing the deed and take their sexual frustration out in a weird form of repressed anger, and apparently, aliens, is exploitative and negates much of the positive aspects that the psychological field has accomplished. Ryan Murphy manages to drive his stereotyping home by featuring a Schlitzie lookalike right down to the gingham dress and hair ribbon, who sweetly gives Sarah Paulson some flowers and in the same scene is mentioned to have brutally killed family. Schlitzie, best known for his role in the 1931 film Freaks, had a sweet, caring disposition and was sadly abandoned to a hospital for a time and became depressed as a result (he was eventually rescued and had a happy ending). This bothered me because it was yet another aspect of appropriation and mangling it into something negative.
While I am interested to see where this season continues, I don’t think it is off to a good start. Horror does not equal shock value, and that is precisely what American Horror Story: Asylum is attempting to do. Where the first season left off on misogynistic representations of women and glorifying bad boy murderers, the second season picks up on the exploitation and stereotyping of mental illness. In a world where mental illness is already still heavily stigmatized, this is an ignorant and unnecessary bastardization of mental health practices.
Adventures in Film Photography: A Pro Digital Photographer Dives In
Guest Post by Tristan Jud. Tristan is a husband, photographer, and the founder and editor of RAW and RAW Live on Facebook. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram.
My story starts over a year ago, back in April to be exact. At that stage we were posting one Interview with a photographer a day on RAW and I had come across Rachel and her film work. It didn’t take long to find “I Still Shoot Film” and my curiosity started to swirl inside me.
At that stage I was still reserved about shooting film. I had no idea and thought It would be a large expense, shooting and then getting the film developed and scanned, but more on that a little later.
About a month after we published the first interview with Rachel and I had started to follow her blog more closely, I got the opportunity to chat over skype with her. Her passion for film and “her babies” as she calls her film cameras, inspired me to perhaps delve in and give film photography ago.
Onto my earlier point, my concern was the ongoing cost of shooting film. I was still in the mind set of shooting in a digital medium where it was not uncommon for me to fire off 200-300 frames per shoot. Thinking like that and looking at the development and scanning costs, were proving that this little experience could be very costly.The monetary aspect was one thing but what about the extra time.
A few months had passed and I started to follow a few street photographers who all raved about shooting street with film and rangefinders. I had tried my hand at street photography before with both my phone and my dSLR, but the experience wasn’t there. The dSLR was too big and I didn’t feel like I could blend in. My experience with shooting street with my phone wasn’t too bad however I still wanted to shoot film and see what all the fuss was about.
I hopped on eBay to look at some rangefinders. I bid on a few and didn’t win, which was a pity, at the same time I was checking out vintage markets but I wasn’t finding anything special there. Then one day I came across a “new-old stock” Fed 5. I thought since it’s brand new I may as well grab it while it’s available.
At the same time I ordered 3 rolls of Ilford Pan 400 to test it out. I wanted the full experience, I had decided that I wanted to develop my own film and scan it myself.
The film arrived the same day as the Fed 5, I timed that right. It was time to load some film and head out. The first roll was purely trial and error. I had no idea what to expect and the whole shooting experience was completely foreign to what I was used to, everything seemed a lot slower.
I had been told that film was fairly forgiving when it came to exposure, well thats true. The funny thing is though, I found that I was thinking more about my shots. This is something that has been documented countless times.
After the first roll was shot, which actually took me about 3 days. It was time to develop. After reading the instructions getting everything together it was time. Shout out to Peter Bowdige for giving me a spare bag, spools and canister for developing. Anyway with great anticipation the film was drying. It looked good as negatives. They weren’t all completely white or black so I knew they weren’t over or underexposed.
The scanning was done and the photos were there in front of me. The photos were crap but the experience was amazing and since then I’ve been hooked. My developing is still hit and miss at the moment. Sometimes I nail it other times I’ve agitated it too much or something and the photos aren’t as clear as they should be, however I look at it completely different than digital. I look more at the photo and what is captured than the actual sharpness and level or grain. I think the unpredictability of film and the entire process of developing it gives you greater connection to the image. You actually feel like you are creating something more than just capturing it on a sensor and tweaking what you don’t like in Photoshop.
Since then I’ve been shooting lots of street photography, I published an article on how to get started which has been translated into Italian by Cultor College and has spurred a followup article with a few more things that I’ve picked up.
Where to from here, well I’ll continue to shoot street photography on my Fed 5 but I’m going to start moving into shooting landscapes and portraits with a Minolta SRT101 that I have. Eventually I’ll get myself a medium format, something that I have my eye for at the moment. I’m also going to look at how to incorporate some film into my portrait work, so there seems to be a place for film in my photography life after all.
Guest Post: The Brief Feminist Revolution of Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane
I’m traveling this week and once again I have some great guest posts for you. The wonderful Tim Hanley is back today with the fascinating tale from the early 70s when DC Comics had Lois Lane embraced “Women’s Lib” as the feminist movement was known then. I was excited when Tim brought up the topic because not only do I love Lois Lane he also writes about Dorothy Woolfolk one of the few female editors at DC in early days. Woolfolk is the person who invented Kryptonite known the world over as Superman’s weakness. Here Tim writes about when DC had Dorothy take over the “lady” books at DC including Wonder Woman and Lois Lane and how she had Lois embrace the budding feminist movement and for a brief time become:
His thoughts follow. (And mine, I love this piece so much I have asterisked some points and inserted comments after.)
Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #1 premiered in 1958 as DC Comics continued to expand their Superman brand. The Silver Age of comics had just begun, and superheroes were more popular than ever. Almost everyone in the Superman family had their own series, even Jimmy Olsen and Lois.
Love in the 18th century
The ideas of love and relationships in the 18th century varied by social status. Extramarital affairs were not only common amongst aristocrats but accepted too. This was not the case with the bourgeois, if affairs cold be considered a privilege, it was one of the nobles only. An excellent case of affair-intolerance among the bourgeoisie would be the fortunate-then-unfortunate case of Madame de la Popelinière.
(Maurice-Quentin De La Tour, Madame de La Pouplinière. Pastel on paper, not dated. Musée Antoine Lécuyer)
Before she was Madame de la Popelinière she lived with her siblings in Paris and her mother (the actress Madamoiselle Daucour) trained her to be a stage actress. But the young Therese never had a need to use her acting skills, because she caught the eye of Alexandre Le Riche de la Popelinière, a wealthy financier. Before long, she was his mistress, and in passing mentioned that he had seduced her to the influential Madame de Tencin. Could this have been part of a bigger plan on her part?
(Anonyme d’après Jean-Marc Nattier (1685–1766), Le Duc de Richelieu, maréchal de France (1696-1788). Oil on canvas, 1732-42. Wallace Collection.)
Eventually the gossip made its way to the upper crust of society, and the Cardnial de Fluery heard of the situation regarding Monsieur de la Popelinière. The situation may have not been of matter to him, had not M. de la Popelinière held the lease of farmer-general from the king. Fluery gave the man an ultimatum, marry the lady or loose your position. Not willing to risk his position and station, he agreed and wed the lady. What good fortune for the would-be actress! M. de la Popelinière was wealthy, well known, and bumped elbows with the best of the best in France.
She took full advantage of her new place in society, holding a salon with artists, musicians and writers. She was a patron of the arts, and became greatly admired. She developed a fine taste for art and writing, her opinions were regarded as refined, and her manor was effortlessly graceful. This young lady would have had made her mark on Paris if it had not been for her own little affair, which was short lived.
She started to see the duc de Richelieu, infamous for his own intrigues, until she was caught by her husband. Disgusted with the whole incidence (fortunately he did not catch them in the act) he wanted nothing to do with the lady. The means of the discovery? A revolving fireplace in her room! So she was being sneaky but not sneaky enough.
Her husband kicked her out of the house but provided her with some money to live on. She appealed to the great men she previously knew for help but to no avail. Richelieu helped her out with lodging, and she may have had the opportunity to regain her place had she not died shortly after the whole disaster.
Be sure to visit Lauren’s blog for more 18th century related posts!
Guest Post: Harley Quinn — Will She Be the Death of the Family?
While I’ve been traveling this week, I’ve had a number of great guest posts. Today I have one by Alexander Añé of Talking Comics about the upcoming first meeting of the Joker and Harley Quinn since the start of the new 52. He examines what her role might be in the Death of the Family arc as well as what effect the changes to the character in the reboot may have on the relationship. His thoughts follow.
With Joker’s return in Death of the Family, and subsequent tie-ins with Suicide Squad, a big question for Harley Quinn is how does this relate to the events of Suicide Squad? Technically, this will be the first, “face to face,” encounter between the two characters in the New 52. What can we expect to see from the classic case of mad love?