Dogs, Doggy-style & Mad Dogs and Englishmen

DOGS

You gotta hand it to that indie rock band OK-GO. I’d earlier placed two of their videos – the amazingly innovative one with an elaborate arrangement of dominoes & the one known as the ‘Treadmill song.’ They’re in this post: https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com/2010/04/12/this-too-shall-pass/

OK-GO’s videos are made with no computer effects and shot in one take. And their latest one released three days ago is a real heart-warmer.  They took almost 100 takes of the sequence and the one released for the video is the 72nd take.

Since writing my last post, and since the time I’d seen the videos of the truth behind fur (Saltationism of Silliness), I’d been saddened and horrified for days and nights on end. Somewhere, the repulsion at that injustice still stays within. How can people who endorse and work for fur be so cruel?  So watching this video this week was truly heart-warming. And a much needed laugh. Dogs – those devoted, trusting brown-eyed givers of unconditional love.  Take a gander. Or rather, a sniff and a woof:

*woof*

DOGGY-STYLE

I must have been buried in some nerdy bookworld to have missed the following vid. It was released as some much-needed heat in the snowy winter early this year. When you start a blog, you can see in your dashboard search terms people use. And in the initial months, I’d get a few searches ‘Shakira Gypsy’ that had led a few to my blog. (Luckily ‘gipsy geek’  remains a top search word, since this blog has a steady readership now, and has been passed around.) I only decided last week to check what people were looking for when they typed the ‘Shakira Gypsy’ phrase (yeah, I’m glacially slow in checking certain things) and santa calor!! who would have guessed?! The world No. 1 tennis champ getting sweaty with the seductive curves of lady Shakira!

That man who plays in those long goofy bermuda shorts in this surprisingly sexy-though-cute persona! Goes to show how there are so many sides to multifarious people but our perception of their image can often get pigeonholed to the one that is primarily seen. We’re often seeing his rival Federer advertising for apparel and razors,  but have to admit this video certainly beats Roger and many other sportsmen – in its shirtlessness and sharpness and the on-screen chemistry of the duo. You wish you didn’t have to always associate ‘Spanish’ with ‘fiery’ and ‘passionate’ (Nadal of course is Spanish and Shakira a Spanish-Lebanese mix) but darn – this song sure shows a side of Nadal which, after watching, the image of that focused dorkiness he displays on the tennis court is forever shattered. It’s always the quiet shy ones ;-)  Not to mention Shakira’s signature shakes of vocals and ….er, of her round radiant rear. Muy caliente!

Here’s more on the making of Gypsy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_%28Shakira_song%29 About the title, her explanation was:

“(The song represents my) way of living and seeing life. I’ve been on the road since I was very young, so that’s where the gypsy metaphor comes from.”  (Also) “Gypsies are travelers of life, always absorbed in different cultures and learning from them”.

*woof, woof, wowza, ruff!*

MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN

Mad dogs and Englishmen may go out in the midday sun, but my favourite rock band would rather venture out in the dark side of the moon. If the above two videos were not so much for the music itself but only for the imagination of choreography with dancing dogs, and the second for the out-of-usual-context presence and pleasant shock of seeing the Tennis world’s No. 1 player doggy-styling artistically choreographed poses, this one is mainly for its timeless music and lyrics. One of my all time top favourite songs that I can hear over and over and over again. From the group whose quality and innovation has been as consistent and staunch as the proverbial metaphor of the English bulldog.

Time. Turbulent. Tenacious. Timeless.



Breathe, breathe in the air
Don’t be afraid to care
Leave, but don’t leave me
Look around
Choose your own ground

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be…..

Run, rabbit run
Dig that hole, forget the sun
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down
It’s time to dig another one.

(excerpt from Pink Floyd ‘Breathe’ Album Dark Side of the Moon)

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The timeless giver of unconditional love : D-O-G

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Saltationism of Silliness

September. Sepian. Septimenal.  Saccadic. Sapphism. Salinger. Sequela. Saccular. Secular. Secund. Sideral. Sidewalks. Silenus. Silly.

I’d read somewhere a while back, a thought that often crosses my mind on the virtues of silliness, but more eloquently written by this lady: “Too often we give up our wonderful childhood dreams and silliness that is an inherent aspect of the true self because we believe that it serves little purpose or is at odds with the role modeling and indoctrination we experienced as we matured. We might play, yet we fail to lose ourselves in the process. Our imaginations no longer has free reign because we regard the product of carefree creativity as being of no value.” Dr. Neddermeyer goes on to add : “Unabashed silliness is nourishment to our vitality and youthfulness. We take in this nourishment by giving ourselves permission to lighten up and embrace silliness for silliness’ sake. Silliness constitutes a vital aspect of human existence on a myriad of levels. Ethereal bliss is often a consequence of our willingness to dabble in what some might deem outrageous, nonsensical, or absurd.” So true….er, I’d simply summarise it as ‘ Silliness is  Sublime.’

Do you remember the time when we’d skip and carouse or pirouette on a sidewalk for no apparant reason?  Don’t know about you – I certainly did. Even as a grown-up along with two of my best girl friends from architecture school when for no reason all three of us would break out into a silly jig and shuffle  sideways on a snowy sidewalk ‘stead of walking straight and proper; or swing from a tree for no other reason than the fact that it exists. and therefore must be climbed; or whistle a silly ditty in a midst of a dead-serious meeting; or randomly let out barnyard animal noises – a bleat or a quack – in the midst of a rabid crowd….(ok – I confess, I have done all this and then some. And still do.  Silly, silly stuff, but oh-so-liberating!)

Perhaps that’s why I’ve always loved the genius of Monty Python so much. Or The Little Prince. Or comedians and artists who dare to be ridiculously silly on the surface yet are  so profoundly clever and insightful underneath.

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(CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE) The FACT behind FUR somewhere in China which lands on the glamorous catwalk in that fur coat in NYC. "One by land & two by sea" -indeed - as the trapper would say. http://www.furkills.org/

(CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE) The FACT behind FUR somewhere in China which lands on the glamorous catwalk in that fur coat in NYC. “One by land & two by sea” -indeed – as the trapper would say. http://www.furkills.org/

As I trot along the sidewalks of this sultry, ‘sexy’ city, the saliferous air of September’s Fashion Week that has turned parts of the city’s sidewalks into an ultra-chic-conscious catwalk, as Vogue magazine’s senescent Anna Wintour gushes about why her cause of Fashion’s Night Out should be supported, as she hosts her dinner at ‘the most happening romantic resto of town’ named One if by land, two if by sea an event for which, I end up getting a facebook invite and choose not to attend (mostly out of laziness, my quasi-schizoid-crowd-free-joys and the fact that classic-narc Wintour  supports and glamorizes fur in fashion indirectly means endorsing the skinning alive of mammals), as a stream of stanchion and super-gorgeous superlicious supermodels with  steely uber-serious stoic Zoolandress expressions catwalk around the city (the poor girls are told how to pose, mind you, it’s not their choosing and often times they are too young to oppose the anti-smile look) – all I can think of, for the silliest of reasons, is the giraffe-legged John Cleese in the Ministry of Silly Walks. Why bother for exorbitantly priced outfits where fur is seen as ‘fun’ in the name of some sinister ‘sexy’ silliness when I have me good ‘ol legs to entertain in silly joy?

Masters of the stream-of-consciousness style narratives, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stream_of_consciousness_writing) Monty Python is timeless. This is the second MP sketch I’ve placed on this blog. The first is The Architect Sketch– with John Cleese once more. Some claimed to see in this sketch a satire of government projects. But in the book The Pythons, members of the troupe indicated that they considered the whole scene nothing more than pure silliness. There is a certain type of people who get the genius of Python. Mostly these are the ones who barely watched the series Friends and found it rather witless, but enjoy Seinfield and Curb your enthusiasm.  And I must admit too that I’m in that second group. My cup of tea has always been Pythonesque.

The only complete version of this sketch available on youtube is with Spanish subtitles….hopefully that’s not too distracting.

Sidetracked Alert: Hey, did you know there is actually a word –squatterarchy? It means : ‘government by squatters; squattocracy.’ Sounds more like the beauracracy joke to me. I am also suddenly gripped by the alarming thought that perhaps my reluctance to party comes from the following condition:  ‘ scopophobia‘ or ‘scoptophobia‘ = a fear of being looked at.

Not to be confused with scopophilia which means ‘obtaining sexual pleasure from seeing’  ;-)

(Go ahead, ogle below. I’m not judging you….I’m rather for those who can appreciate the sensuousness of a genuinely real  gorgeous woman in all her beauty than those who think that wearing fur of animals skinned alive is a source of pleasure or status. *shudder*)

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Perhaps, SHOWING SKIN IS BETTER THAN WEARING SKIN. One does not need clothes made of animal products, and especially fur, to feel sexy or secure or even silly. One doesn’t need fur to appreciate the stunning beauty of a woman. Support cruelty-free clothing as fall and winter approaches. Boycott stores and brand names that sell fur and boycott cruel unempathetic women and men who wear fur or think it’s sexy. Endorsement of farmed-fur-for-fashion is akin to endorsing murder in the most brutal way. We live in the 21st century for goodness’ sake and there are tons of options available for winter clothes!! We do not need to endorse these barbarian practices! Support REAL beauty and the beautiful beasts of the wild not the bestiality of humans who skin innocents alive for wearing their skins in voguish vanity. Don’t endorse cruelty. Don’t endorse psychopaths be they male or female. There is NO excuse; no rationalization for these heinous acts of torture.

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of  weakness or despair but manifestations of strength and resolution.” Kahlil Gibran

or in my words: “I’d rather be ridiculously silly and kind, than remarkably ‘happening’ and cruel. And I’d rather strut around in a metallic home-made bikini than flaunt ‘fall-fashion fur.” [Okay – I may not look like Yamila Diaz-Rahi (who also studied Economics – and is no dumb beauty but a smart, classy woman in real life), featured above in her metal straps, but a metallic bikini sure fulfills my inner geek Star Wars Princess Leia fantasy ;-) ]

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P.S. A dose of Blunt Truth: I think that shit-brown and yellow huge Louis Vuitton logo handbag that I see many women tout because it was so in vogue is absolutely hideous. I’ve never bought one, even when I made a six figure salary and I will never buy one. I’m a designer myself, who had her own firm in my very early 20s and then as a consultant with the man who recently won the Order of Canada (among 50 other awards) for his artistic sensibilities and architecture – so I do know what I’m talking of, should you question my aesthetics. I also designed an entire 16 sq. mile eco-city a few years back in West Palm Beach and many other design works, so I do have some wisdom of the world to say the following, sensitivities be damned : That LV/ YSL bag is awfully ugly – there I said it – had to get that out of my call-a-spade-a-spade truth-serum system. The ONLY reason women spend hundreds and thousands to buy it blindly is because those who endorse the skinning alive of animals endorse it and like herds it is bought without questioning because ‘everyone has it!’. It’s ordinary. Ugly. Extremely inelegant. Frumpy. HUGE. Same for those leather and skin Gucci bags. UGLY. There I said it! (And what a relief after years of politically correct silence.)  Yes – that bag emperor has no clothes – only blood and the skin of deer, crocs, foxes, rabbits, dogs, cats and many other inncocent animals. And marketed to insecure women to make them feel ‘special’ like clueless accomplices to murder.

Give me Cleese’s silly walk any day. I’ll take that over that bag any day. I’d rather laugh than carry that massive elephantine bag and look as though I’m a depressive in an anti-smile mode. (Actually the price and the weight of that bag is bound to lead to depression – so it figures.)

Not murder? Check this out (warning – not for the squeamish…disturbing reality) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rhFj2NfBsI

The 2010 Gucci bag. Disguised murder.

2010 new YSL bag. More murder.

Fur from an animal skinned alive is ‘sexy’, no? The pinnacle of monstrosity disguised as ‘chic’.

I have no idea why or how this shit-coloured monstrosity of a Louis Vuitton bag and its variations became so popular and ubiquitous. Were they testing to see how a brand name could be used to market this visual and ethical garbage? There I’ve said it – as a say-it-as-it-is-emperor-has-no-clothes pointer can. This by far is the most popular yet the ugliest bag. ever. I’d prefer buying a lifetime supply of toilet paper than buy this piece of overblown kitsch. If you want to feel ‘French’ bellas, don’t buy this shit-brown bag; learn about Rene Magritte or read Rene Descartes. Or even Blaise Pascal if you know some math

Is there an alernative? Yes. Buy purses and handbags made by your LOCAL artists, small business owners, that kind girl in the farmers’ market who makes her own handicrafts – purses made of man-made materials, tie-and-dye fabrics. Or even those spectacularly beautiful handbags of spangles and ethnic cloth that are self-sustaining, women-empowering handicrafts made by resident women in the villages of Kutch and Rajasthan – a centuries-old tradition which was revived in the past century after the colonists had crushed the trade to sell their factory-mill-made cloth. Now supporting, buying and endorsing those products is really cool. And truly beautful. And above all, far more ethical. Or else, buy from the discount store, a smart no-nonsense man-made-material purse. But DO NOT endorse this skin-and-fur cruelty.

It’s a simple equation : Not succumbing to intoxicating glossy adverstising + No demand = No supply = No slaughtering. Show kindness and love to the REAL furry animals instead of gushing over fake soft toys, often made out of the fur of the real ones skinned alive.

Beauty is found in many things – in the sunset, in flowers, the magnificence of a forest, an act of kindness, genuine love, moving music, a baby’s smile, a puppy’s eyes, the blowing seeds of a dandelion in the wind, the pleasure of eating delicious fruit, the endorphins generated from a good run……why do you need a handbag made of a tortured, abused animal’s skin and fur to feel ‘beautiful’? That’s not beauty – that’s cruelty and ugliness, no? The sad eyes of the fox and raccoon that is skinned alive is not much different than the eyes of your own dog or cat. It’s so logical, so obvious – why is it so hard to see? The halogen lamp above a glass shelf on which that bag rests in a chic boutique on 5th Avenue is just an illusion to hide the gut-wrenching truth of its making. Does omission of facts take away reality? No it doesn’t. Truth remains truth. Objective. Hard. Real.

Do you know what carrying a $900 – 3500+( goes up to ridiculous prices of $10,000 ++) hideous oversized brand name handbag really tells about you? It says – “Look at me! I’m an insecure girl/woman whose sense of self-worth is derived not by who I am but by the stamp of approval needed by what some brand name gives me! Even if I may become a ‘celebrity’ or just another party girl, I am a nobody without endorsing what is considered ‘cool’ by the Hiltons and Lohans of the world! I am so crazy about looking ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ before my friends and strangers that I don’t care if I’m carrying the skin and fur of animals cuter and gentler than my teeny lap dog! No, boys and girls, all I care for is your approval, your validation because on my own I am nothing without my brand name items. And I’m willing to let millions of animals die for me. So that impressed by my status symbol my girlfriends will adore me and some equally clueless guys will fuck me!”  That’s what it reads as before objective Truth. And the truth is more than 32 million mammals are killed for fur alone each year.

Go ahead – watch Stella McCartney give the inside story of where or rather how that fur trimming that you hold in your hands comes from :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rhFj2NfBsI Or this: http://www.freewebs.com/shawtyxli/furisdead.htm.  Really. Do your life this favour.

The following video shows Unfathomable cruelty (actually showing a skinned animal alive with his eyes looking on in pain and trying to lick his blood, and how the animals are hit on the head to knock them out before the skinning). This video has been removed from youtube and many other places due to extreme pressure from very high authorities of the design world. They do not want you to see this. I’ve managed to track one of the very few places that still has a copy, though it might be soon removed. You can watch this only if you have a facebook account though: (Or google ‘people who love brand clothes..see how really they are made’ if there are still any more copies left.)

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/video/video.php?v=130719592342&ref=mf

Any men reading this post, next time you think buying a fur coat/hat/bag for your wife or girlfriend is a sign of ‘love’ please show this video to her first. Good luck and good night.

Excuse me, for I have to go for a silly walk now. To clear my head from the remarkable ridiculousness of the world we live in. To find solace in unabashed silliness. Where a ministry of silly walks makes far more sense than the mega-mall-endorsed senseless slaughter of innocents.

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If you want to see what ten years of unbridled shallowness does to you, look no further. Here’s the end result of a decade of purse-crazy ‘fabulousness’: https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/sweatshops-for-your-sex-the-city-too/

Next.

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A whiff of If….

A WHIFF OF ‘IF’……AGAIN & AGAIN

GiGi movie poster

New York. September 9, 2010. As I still go through unpacking, arranging and maneouvering through the boxes and furniture and literally tons and tons and tons of books in my new city, and before I get the time to sit down to write any long posts, here’s a short one – of one of my favourite poems since I was a little girl: A poem which first written in 1895 still holds true to this day…….and somewhere still stirs up that 19th century Victorian part of my soul, even as I walk along the asphalt sidewalks and 21st century stores of the Big Apple, or traverse past its 19th and 20th century buildings.

Though I’ve always had my reservations against British imperialism, or the circumstances under which this particular poem was written, the writer of this gem and many of his fascinating books that I read as a child still remains one of my favourites – the youngest Nobel laureate in literature to this day, the Bombay-born literary genius Rudyard Kipling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudyard_Kipling)

And as I feel inspired reading his poem once again (which I used to keep posted on the wall above my drafting table through all my years in architecture school and at work), the only line I’d change would be at the very end – for that is how I always read it in my mind: instead of ‘you’ll be a Man, my son’ I change it internally to: ‘You’ll be a complete WoMan.’ As a certain 1903-born woman writer Anais Nin had rightly said : “How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself.” Here’s to a sniff of IF, to every good, kind and strong man and woman.

GG (or ‘Gigi’ in the Victorian spirit ;-)

GiGi from the fin-de-siecle-Paris movie

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IF

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling (1835 – 1936)

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For a list of all previous posts, please go here :

https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com/index-of-articles/

Come September !

AUTUMN IN NEW YORK: I just moved to New York City (Manhattan’s Upper East side) a week back, so the posts will be slow to come till I get settled and can surface from the dozens of boxes that still have to be sorted out. As I feel my nose around and hear about the construction business in the city and leaf through this wonderful little gem of a graphic book ‘The Building of Manhattan” (http://www.amazon.com/Building-Manhattan-Donald-Mackay/dp/0060916036) by the incredibly detailed  Canadian-American  illustrator Donald Mackay (click on the name to learn more), the following joke that had been doing its rounds for a while comes to mind, as any architect and engineer knows, if the client is  a hypothetical ‘God’:

If  Noah had lived in the United States today the story may have gone something like this: And the Lord spoke to Noah and said, “In one year, I am going to make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until all flesh is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on earth. Therefore, I am commanding you to build an Ark.”

In a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for an Ark. In fear and trembling, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the ark. “Remember,” said the Lord, “you must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in one year.”

Exactly one year later, fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard weeping. “Noah!” He shouted. “Where is the Ark?”

“Lord, please forgive me,” cried Noah. “I did my best, but there were big problems. First, I had to get a permit for construction, and your plans did not meet the building codes. I had to hire an architecture firm and redraw the plans. Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a sprinkler system and approved floatation devices. Then, my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission. Then, I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. I finally convinced the U.S. Forest Service that I really needed the wood to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won’t let me take the 2 owls. The carpenters formed a union and went on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw or hammer. Now, I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls. When I started rounding up the other animals, an animal rights group sued me. They objected to me taking only two of each kind aboard. This suit is pending. Meanwhile, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn’t take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of ‘God’. Then, the Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed flood plain. I sent them a globe. Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking atheists aboard. The IRS has seized my assets, claiming that I’m building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes. I just got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax and failed to register the Ark as a ‘recreational water craft’. And finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it’s a religious event, and, therefore unconstitutional. I really don’t think I can finish the Ark for another eight or ten years!!” Noah wailed.

The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine, and the seas began to calm. A rainbow arched across the sky. Noah looked up at the Lord bewildered. “You mean you’re not going to destroy the earth, Lord?” “No,” He said sadly. “I don’t have to. Beauracracy already has.”

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The Flatiron Building, Manhattan, from MacKay’s illustrated book. Had today’s zoning and other beauracratic laws been followed this building could never have been built.

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