My Online Persona

These are my websites, and when haphazardly stitched together, they almost make up one whole person. Enjoy!

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The Uncritic is my un-approach to popular culture. I discuss and critique anything from books, to films, trailers, music, and politics. Mostly, I make fun of Twilight.

 

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My inappropriate, time consuming, hilarious, artistic, and depressing personal Tumblr. I probably should not show this to anyone, but I’m going to anyways. Sorry, Mom!

 

 

Songs About DriftersSongs about Drifters is my travel photography blog.  Anything gorgeous, pondering, melancholy, ethereal, and wander-lust related. Sit back, relax, and endlessly circumnavigate the world.

 
Existential Crisis? Click here!The essential existential, from Franz Kafka to Fyodor Dostoevsky. I collect quotes, pictures, and images to create a layered bricolage of existential discourse. This is by far my most inspired, literary, and popular Tumblr.

Why Humoring Sexist Politics Breeds Sexism.

War

I am a feminist, and no, it is not a nostalgic term. The very fact that we think of feminism as “passe” is the work of the male dominated culture. The need for radical feminism in the U.S. is growing because male Politicians are discussing the following issues; abortion, birth control, womens salaries, paid maternity leave, rights of rape victims, female health, and autonomy. To humor the sexist comments, and to increase the written legislation that is suppressing women, is making room for sexism in the next generation.

The expectation of me to listen to the politicians who want to invade my uterus is as ridiculous as that sounded. It is a jaw-droppingly sexist, mind-blowingly repressive joke. I will represent the “feminist” and all the negative connotations that come along with it, if it helps to point out the paternalistic attitude of government officials, and seeks to hold them accountable.

I have been struggling with the notion of sexism in politics, particularly from the GOP and Republican candidates who have added women to the ever growing list of people who are to be discriminated against in legislature. Every where I turn my head, I hear disgusting and sexist comments– which would be fine, if those men weren’t in charge of the fucking country. Women have become numb to this gender discrimination. Like any minority group, women have been objectified and put down so many times, we barely feel it anymore. We choose to ignore the negative, and instead focus on positive strides. But the mere discussion brought on by the “pro-life” anti-woman campaign is taking gender equality back 100 years.

I’d like to congratulate Todd Akin for successfully securing the rapist vote. “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

This man is so stupid. Rape isn’t a subject with grey area. It is pure evil. Men like Akin are simply reifying a huge problem in American culture, one that minimizes rape. While most Republicans are disowning Akin’s comments, Mike Hukabee is not only defending Akin, but providing further contexts. Hukabee “Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”

“Rape is rape,” Obama said at the White House press briefing. He called Akin’s comments “way out there.”

Obama in defense of women: "Rape is rape."

“What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, the majority of which are men, making decisions that affect health of women.” Obama spoke to the press to address the core campaign questions, acknowledging how absurd and offensive the subject of “legitimate rape” is.

Mitt Romney has pledged to defund and get rid of Planned Parenthood, which would leave millions of women without access to basic birth control and OB-GYN needs. Paul Ryan also voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and last year sponsored a “personhood bill” that would not only give full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs but could ban some forms of birth control and fertility treatment.

If they are taking the extreme in the case of the personhood of female eggs, then why don’t we take the other extreme and say that every single sperm is a potential person? Every time a man relieves himself in a tube sock, let’s call it reckless endangerment of a human life. Or murder. Why does this analogy terrify the sexist male? Because it is the exact mirror of what they are attempting to control in females, and it makes them aware of their own autonomy being threatened.

I am shocked that the discussion of birth control access is even on the table. A very different yet similar situation exists in Ireland. A country that seems “Western” and modern, and progressive, has made abortion illegal. Women go to England or to the closest possible country to get medical help. Irelands strong catholic traditionalist government also restricts birth control pills and contraceptives until a woman is married. This attempt at control of womens health hasn’t helped the country, it has severely hurt it.

In the United States, the land of the free, are we seriously discussing taking away womens rights? Isn’t health, at it’s most basic level, a human right? I can’t stop some old white man from being sexist. They miss the good ole days, when feminism was docile and obedient, when women had to choose between a career and a family, and when we were told don’t get raped, instead of men being told not to rape. These “good ole days” are not good nor old, they are current. They are antique problems that have held tight for far too many years. It is time to fight these ideals, and call them what they are. Sexism is not an opinion, it is not freedom of speech; it is wrong.

I can stop a misogynist from being the President or Vice President of my country. A country founded on freedom, and womens freedom valued least of all. Don’t take us back in time to the pre-suffrage days of blatant descrimination. And don’t expect me to take this nonsense with a smile on my face.

Localize Green: Fort Collins, Colorado.

I am always looking for news ways to be kind to mother earth. Sometimes, recycling and living below your means is easier said than done. I have been preached the “green” message since kindergarden- but taught only how to throw away. In my search for local resources that could help me on my quest for a smaller carbon footprint, I stumbled upon 3 great thrift stores in Fort Collins.

Eco ThriftThe first is called Eco Thrift. This genty-used donation based store offers amazing selection. The best finds are in the furniture section: I found everything from vintage wall decor to lightly worn love seats. Eco Thrift has a lot to offer. I bought an old lamp for only $6. Worth it and then some.

Eco Thrift
208 North Howes Street  Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 484-4224

The Free Store

Another local shop that runs on the same philosphy of renewable threads is called The Free Store. Unlike a thrift store,

they accept donations but do not accept money for the things you buy. Common courtesy is to exchange: bring something of yours, whether it be clothing or gently used appliances and furniture, and trade it. The idea is refreshing and revolves around the community participation of Fort Collins. It is run entirely by volunteers and is a non-profit organization that brings dignity and relief to families in need. They are currently located on Laurel but the small storefront proved difficult to find. Word is they are looking to expand their store size because of an increase in demand.

What a steal!Finally, there is the Arc. Being from Denver, I had never seen these giant used clothing stores. But here in Fort Collins, Arc is the most popular and the largest thrift store around. Besides a reasonable furniture selection, they also have wall art, TV’s, appliances, golf clubs, books, halloween costumes, toiletries and clothes. I found some gems in the Arc throughout my college career, including a one-of-a-kind mosaic mirror that I bought for an itsy-bitsy price tag of $3.

106 E Foothills Pkwy
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 267-8870

How cheap, colorful, and green is my new mirror?

Bikes

Bikes are better than cars. They are cheaper, lower maintenance, and fossil-fuel free. Not only are you giving your wallet a rest, but you are getting those endorphins moving.  This just so happens to be the perfect city to take advantage of from your bike. Denver comes in at number 4 on the Huffington Post’s list of bike-friendly cities. Colorado loves the outdoors! Here are some of my favorite bike paths winding around Fort Collins:

The Poudre Trail meanders along the Poudre River for 10.10 miles.

The Spring Creek Trail follows Spring Creek through several parks in mid Fort Collins for nearly 8 miles.

The Foothills Trail is a 6.8 mile earthen trail that travels along the foothills parallel to Horsetooth Reservoir from Dixon Reservoir at Pineridge Natural Area to Reservoir Ridge Natural Area and Michand Lane. Experience required, rugged terrain. 6.93 miles.

The Fossil Creek Trail currently runs through the Cathy Fromme Prairie Natural Area along Fossil Creek. It is paved 5.17 miles.

The Power Trail follows the west side of the Union Pacific Railroad south from Edora Park to north of Harmony Road via Golden Meadows Park then south on McMurry Avenue and Keeland Drive to the west side of the railroad to Triby Road.

The Throw-Away Generation

The Throw-Away Generation
Why Americans want everything, but keep nothing.

By Lindsey Bartlett

As I write, I am reminded of my disassociation with all the materials around me. I bought my laptop at Best Buy, and that is all I know. I have no concept of all the individual parts, pieces of plastic and metal nor where they come from. Our materials are made up of fragmented parts from all over the world. The mouse is from Thailand, the keyboard from Indonesia, and the screen from Japan, all assembled in California and then sent to a store near you. Every possession we own is a puzzle, each piece a scrap made somewhere else.
Besides actual material items, there is an extreme disconnect from our popular culture and media. As the consumer, we are asked not to beg the question of where things come from. Because a News reporter says something, we assume it is true. It has authority because it is on TV. Americans tend to put a lot of trust into popular culture sources. All of our information is thrown at us and fighting for our attention. It creates what feels like a tornado of text. We have no concept of all the time, work, and effort that each product requires. At the very least, we know there was a process. An expensive one. With film and television, seeing “behind the scenes” feels like seeing underneath a womans skirt. It is secret, a hidden and mysterious process that the consumer is not invited to ask questions about.
This is also seen in the consumers most recent infatuation with “local” products. The idea of our goods deriving locally, whether it be a restaurant or a store, gives us a sense of comfort. We can actually picture the process. It is no longer huge and fragmented, but close to home. From-the-farm-to-your-table is an effective format for a restaurant to take because we feel less displaced from the food. It takes the impersonal and makes it personal again. But this idea of “localizing” materials has become a commodity of its own. We are selling the idea of a “localizing” material, without promising or explaining its true roots. As a consumer, we are also being asked to place these “local” products in a binary against “global”. Companies such as American Apparel have monopolized on our need to feel connected to our materials once again. For something to be Made in America, it must come at a price.
When we go into a supermarket, our senses are literally flooded with products. We are walking down aisles and aisles of choices, we have different flavors, prices, images, names, colors, etc. All of these products have particular ideas associated with the name and the image on the box. It is an illusion of free will. Americans love choice, and the more the better. The consumer is under the impression that we have a choice of gum between Juicy Fruit, Orbit, 5, Eclipse, Extra, Doublemint, and the list goes on. But in reality, no matter which gum you choose, the money goes to one company; Wrigleys. There is a new option called “Up2You” which gives the consumer 2 flavors of gum within one package. Even after choosing out of 60 types of gum, we still get to choose. We are never done with options. From an outside perspective, it would seem we are obsessed with this freedom of choice, and our materials. But the concerning part is that we don’t love them at all. We throw away, waste, and generally don’t care about our materials. This is because of the disconnect from where they come from.

We refuse to stop choosing. We live to choose, until we get bored and throw it out. The item is nothing but a means to an end. But, I wonder, do I participate in the throw-away culture because I have too many choices? I know that there will always be another store, another pack of gum, this gum means nothing to me. The Up2U brand represents American ideology in gum-form. We are obsessed with choice as a concept more than the items we are choosing between.
This leads me to the throw away phenomenon. Americans are the most wasteful country in the world. This isn’t news to us. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told how wasteful I am, how terrible it is not to recycle, not to be conscious of the items I throw away. Our parents taught us how to use and abuse materials, and then condemned us for it.
Mira Engler is a scholar in landscape and architecture. In her book “Designing America’s Waste Landscapes,” she uncovers the dirty history of how we deal with waste. It is a necessary part of our functioning society, yet it is seen by all as disgusting “dirty work”. English gardens are clean, pristine, well manicured. But this is directly contradictory to our sewage and garbage dumps.

What does it even mean, to throw “away”? This word does not imply that these items go a place in particular. The diction of “away” just places the trash out of sight, out of mind. But we know that materials never truly go “away”. Even our garbage bags and trash cans are meant to look clean and orderly on the outside. All of this, according to Engler, perpetuates our wasteful ways. We are not asked to live with our garbage. It is placed in a separate and distant landscape, on the fringe of real society. Our ideas of beauty in nature do not include this waste. Garbage dumps are complex and contradictory places. They are both repelling and fascinating; they are full of cultural significance and substance. http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Americas-Landscapes-Contemporary-Landscape/dp/0801878039)

Famous architect Bernard Tschumi explained that margins, boundaries, and “edges” are the best place to break new ground and search for meaning. If we view these garbage dumps as a part of humanity, a part of nature and our life, then we can turn our guilt into hope. As poet A.R. Ammons believes, a world without waste is unrealistic.
(link image to the website where one can find this book Garbage: http://www.librarything.com/work/151245)
If you don’t feel bad enough about your naughty wasteful ways, here are some numbers…
United States waste disposal costs reach $100 billion annually. Thats a lot of trash. Americans only make up 5% of the world population, and produce 30% of the world’s waste. We only recycle 2% of the garbage we produce, of which over 50% is recyclable. The average American produces 600 times their own weight in garbage over a lifetime. This is about 90,000 pounds. (http://students.arch.utah.edu/courses/Arch4011/Recycling%20Facts1.pdf)
Unfortunately, the average American does not consider themselves one.
Okay, okay, we get it. We are wasteful dickheads who don’t care about anyone but ourselves. This is not news to us. But we choose to ignore it. Why is this? For what reason do we throw away objects like they mean nothing to us?
The real reason we practice such disregard for our objects and wastelands is that we are consciously disregarding ourselves and other human beings. Our society comodifies peoples. Instead of being seen as the complex creatures we are, we break humans down in the same way we do objects. For example, once a model is in a magazine, she becomes a piece of text. Literally to be “disembodied”. There are no longer human characteristics to the images we see in the world. Since we have so extremely objectified ourselves, we are able to throw away people like a pack of gum.
One obvious example is found in the older generations. In some cultures, the older relatives receive the most respect, adoration, and appreciation for their wisdom. In western and American culture, the older someone is, the less useful we deem them. We put our grandparents in homes, an equivalent to “throwing away” people we no longer need. The retirement home or hospice are representative of a garbage dump for people. This comodification of others is even more relevant for women. The older you get, the less use you have in our culture. There is a serious problem with this.
What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves. The next time you intend to get rid of an old shirt, or delete a friend off of your contact list, remind yourself of how many objects and people you throw away this year. People are not gum, and there is no such thing as “away”. Away is an illusion, a man-made concept that gives us peace of mind. Keep throwing things away. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Objective

Creativity is a material that is always in demand. Creativity means designing texts with images, harnessing the power of multi modal literature, all while keeping the audience and rhetorical approach in mind. I am a writer and world traveler who specializes in online composition. My ability to work in a wide variety of genres shows an unwavering passion for written word.

My professional purpose is to engage, persuade, and convince my audience using all elements of design. I want to express my creativity as well as my knowledge in popular culture. My ultimate aspiration is to write comedy. I can translate this skill into advertisement, online forums, social media, television and film.