vesselcollective

Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Folklore #1 | Food + Art

In Culture, Event, Folklore, Uncategorized on March 4, 2016 at 4:06 am

On Wednesday, March 2 magic took place. There were no playing cards and nobody was sawed in half, but magic happened in the form of community. A chef and a curator talked about their struggles, successes, hopes for Tampa, and more in front of a live audience in a local art gallery in Seminole Heights amongst over 40 people, one greyhound named Sabina, and several art installations by Brooklyn-based artist, Langdon Graves (the show by Graves was it’s own exhibition, but lended itself very well to Folklore).

The creator of Folklore is also the person behind its umbrella project, Vessel. Her name is Gina Moccio, and she is me. I am so proud and excited to have been able to dream up another project and see it come to fruition. I’m thankful to have partnered with Tempus Projects and have Folklore be a part of the gallery’s 2016 programming and I’m so excited to get to not only do interviews again, but to do them with people who I admire in the local food, music, and art community.

March 2nd’s Folklore heard stories from Chef Ferrell Alvarez of Rooster & the Till and Sarah Howard, Curator of Public Art and Social Practice at USF Institute for Research in Art. We received radio love from JoEllen Schilke on WMNF’s Art in Your Ear and from Lenora Lake at The Tampa Tribune. Thank you to everyone who attended Folklore and those who will come and see us in June for Folklore # 2 with Ray Roa, Rosey Williams, & Seanissey Loughlin. We’ll see you soon! In the meantime, check out photos from the event below by the wonderful Luis Gottardi and stay tuned for more photos by Trey Penton of Two Keys Press and audio from March 2nd’s interviews.

Follow us on Instagram here & tag photos from the event as well as legendary locals you think would make great interviewees at a future Folklore at #folkloretampa.
Chef Ferrell Alvarez – Folklore #1 [Interview Recording]

 

Sarah Howard – Folklore #1 [Interview Recording]

 

IMG_0257

Photo by Trey Penton

IMG_0320

Photo by Trey Penton

IMG_0348

Photo by Trey Penton

IMG_0406

Photo by Trey Penton

IMG_0420-2

Photo by Trey Penton

 

The Subliminal Messaging of Lady Gaga

In Culture on August 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm


-by Gina Moccio
-Illustrations by Jillian Shannon

         I can’t remember how I first heard of her. It could be her “Just dance” music video that debuted in 2008. I thought she looked like Christina Aguilera, with her platinum hair and almost no clothing; except her style and video friends were much more hip and glam looking in their blazers and metallic purple tights. Though, you barely see the other dancers and extras except in quick cuts of bizarre and drunken positions. It’s mostly her rolling around on a couch and wall covered in floral wallpaper. Anyways, I brushed her off, sick of pop*star gimmicks.

         Then in April of 2009, a photographer I know was taking fan photos at her show at the Ritz in Ybor and asked me to be a runner for the other photographers. I helped take photographs of her really diverse and excited fan base (many had made Lady Gaga shirts and their own disco ball face masks) and saw her show for free. Even though I was in the very back and couldn’t see a thing- I could hear her. And I could tell that those directly around me and the rest of the crowd were really “into it.” A sound clip that is played at each of her shows mentions how Gaga is here to “infiltrate the culture.” Infiltrate is an interesting word because it’s usually used to describe military tactics and entering enemy’s territory for takeover. In science, it’s to pass through a small space or a substance’s pores. In most cases, this word is reserved for discussing forceful entry or moving quickly and quietly. It has sneaky, dark undertones.

         I also couldn’t help but notice during the show how many times on both pre-recorded sound clips and a video clip that “My name is Lady Ga-Ga” was said. It was slow and robotic. And also, seductive, as in it pulled you in. The definition of seduce, is to win over or attract; to beguile into a desired state or position. But seductive was my word. Word choice is so very important. Marketers especially will tell a person that. Suppose two words are very similar in definition, but one can evoke or complete a certain image in ways that the other cannot. Though, her intro wasn’t saying anything spectacular. It was broken sentences full of words describing the general make-up of her life. “I want. The future. Gaga. Fashion. Technology. Dance. New York. Music. Pop culture.” Gaga represented the “gimme gimme gimme” way of living that western culture has adapted to being.
A few more of her words were, “Some say Lady Gaga is a lie. And I am a lie. But everyday, I kill to make it true.” I remember thinking, “Yes. Kill to make it true… wait, what?” Her approach was so aggressive. I literally felt like my mind was being handled. It became uncomfortable. Why were we being incessantly reminded of “who she is”? Why was she fighting so hard for something she clearly had in her possession? No one can take this away from her. All that she has worked so hard for since she has been writing her own songs and playing at open mic’s when she was a young teenager.

         Before her career took off she worked with and was signed to singer, Akon’s record label Konvict Muzik and has written songs for musical acts, the Pussycat Dolls, Fergie, and Britney Spears. Akon is a man whose singles include “Smack that” and “I wanna love you”, both about getting a woman back to his place by flashing his car, money, and identity. The Dolls are popular for being overtly sexy and make it clear in the songs “Dontcha” and “Buttons” that the objective is to sleep with them when they discuss how “hot”, much of a “freak”, and ready to go they are. Fergie is peculiar because she has managed to break away from the Black Eyed Peas and make a name for herself by singing about how fabulous her body is, and by teaching the world and its youth how to spell important words like ‘glamorous’, and ‘delicious’. In the song entitled, “Fergalicious”, she uses the word ‘tasty’ to describe herself, then explains that she “ain’t promiscuous” and has “reasons why she tease ‘em”. I’m sure she does. Last but not least in the line of shallow and predictable pop music, is Ms. Spears.

         Spears is the only one that Gaga seems to have a personal attachment to. She has not only expressed several times how much she respects Britney and how proud she was to write for her but when asked in high school who she thought she had been separated from at birth, her answer was Britney Spears. Even though there are several similarities that could be drawn between them, there is one huge difference. As pop stars, their image is a very large matter. With Spears, who has made her way from a Catholic school girl to the ringleader in a circus act, it has been proven many times in the past that many of her decisions are not her own and are made by assistants, producers, and family members. Gaga’s construction is completely her own. It’s detailed and intentional, and has come a long way. It also somehow includes sentences about art and love being the only things that truly matter in-between songs about fame and money.

         Art, love, fame, and money do not ride in the same boat. Someone who held love and art as high as Gaga claims she does wouldn’t identify with people that their life’s work is commercial, vapid, empty albums full of songs written by people other than themselves. Perhaps Gaga didn’t write “Dontcha,” but she still wrote for all the above. There’s this huge contradiction with her. She is and she isn’t.
For more reference, I looked at her video interviews. I watched her compliment Ellen DeGeneres for being a great role model, especially for the gay community. I watched her teach a few dance moves to two aloof women on the Today Show. I also amusedly watched her being interviewed by Paris Hilton. Hilton was invading her personal space and repeatedly calling her an icon, to which she denied. Hilton sounds and looks permanently inebriated, and really had nothing to ask Gaga, only things to tell her, like how they should write some music together. I was impressed at how she didn’t fawn over Hilton, how genuine she was to Ellen, and how sweet and patient she was with the Today Show hosts. But there is still a but. Why doesn’t any of this reflect in her music?

         During her video interviews she usually never gets to say much. The interviewer talks 75 percent of the time and even cuts her off with pointless, numerously already answered questions. Video interviews are the highlights; they’re short and to the point. The highlights are that she’s different and wacky and her music is selling very well. The lowlights are that her music is about fame and sex, she’s mostly offensive, and no one wants to talk about it. Everything she says has two sides. They never discuss the side that clarifies the point of a song that was inspired during a time of self-absorption, and rich kids taking their parents’ money to buy drugs has all to do with how anyone from anywhere “can feel beautiful and dirty rich”. Is using money that you didn’t earn to get high, rich? Is strung out and being completely out of it beautiful?

         There was one video interview with Newnownext.com that was short, sweet, and to the point of who the person is that writes these lyrics. As naïve as Britney Spears was when asked why she dressed provocatively, Gaga was just as seemingly so, when asked if she thought people viewed her as promiscuous because of the content of her songs. She shook her head and her eyes darted to the wall on her right as she answered, “I don’t really know how people see me.” When asked what she looked for in a man she simply said, “A big dick,” with her hands folded in her lap. “So any guy that has one of those has a chance?” “Yup.” Next question. Her lack of elaboration or hesitation to that question and another where she immediately said she wasn’t looking for anyone seemed as though she may be throwing spite at someone specific who might have hurt her recently. However, she later claimed to be a “free spirit” rather than “promiscuous” though ended the interview by saying she’s “enjoying touring the world and sleeping with really good-looking people.” That person is the one who usually comes out in print.

          Interviews that end up in magazines are often given much more time to talk to their interviewee. In many cases, the interviewer is able to spend a few hours with who they’re speaking with or possibly even able to experience a day with them. This was the case for the writer of the article that was published in Rolling Stone magazine in June of 2009. Why this writer mentioned Marilyn Manson’s presence thrice times in an article about someone else is ridiculous. Especially since all Manson had to say were things like, “I want to be that guy. I want to be balls deep,” when he commented on a music video involving Gaga and a model getting physical. This writer seemed more excited about Manson’s presence than Gaga’s- though the fact that she didn’t seem to be bothered by Manson’s inappropriate behavior says something about her. Her lack of a filter for other people and herself is almost as puzzling as the idea that she is original. “I don’t look like the other perfect little pop singers,” she said. Though, the word “look” might as well be “appear to be” since Gaga is a literal culmination of everything she’s ever seen.

         Gaga’s lightning bolt that is often on the right side of her face is basically the same as David Bowie’s, though his is red and hers is blue. The factory-style of collaborating with friends that do creative work is the factory Warhol created for himself in the 60’s. Her name was taken from a Queen’s song. Even her clothing that she has become so well-known for is modeled after previous collections by designers, Thierry Mugler and Hussein Chalayan. Gaga is a hungry hippo. The only thing futuristic about her is that she is an example showing that everything in the future will be influenced by everything of the past. The Flaming Lips represented their own category and The Ramones were just The Ramones, but now a days you can have a band that’s influenced by both The Ramones and The Flaming Lips and even have a bit of you-name-it mixed in. Everything will be a mixture of the past. We’re becoming Generation copy + paste; but what happens when you copy the copy?

          Andy Warhol once said that in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. I don’t think that everyone will. I believe it’s that everyone can. Everyone is capable of coming up with their own scandal. In the Newnownext.com interview, the question, “If you had to give up either sex, music, or fame which would it be,” was unwelcomed with, “That’s a ridiculous question. I wouldn’t give up any. I’d cut off my leg.” Gaga said to break her down into three categories such as those was upsetting since she’s “quite a complex woman.” She’s so complex that how she finds herself underneath all those sequins at the end of a day is something no one might ever know. Maybe she doesn’t and that’s how she keeps going. “Every minute of my life is performance.” There is no truth to be found in Gaga’s world. The reason why she can be broken down into three basic categories is because she would rather lose a limb by her own hand than give up sex or music. Though the answer to which she would not give up is simplest of all. Lady Gaga will always choose fame.

Editor’s Note: Listen up before you call me an ignorant know-it-all. I never said GaGa wasn’t amazing. Or talented. Or beautiful as hell. I wrote this article a year ago and I had never done more research in my life and I’m a senior in college. I realize now that this article’s point was that we need to pay attention to what information we’re taking in, and that goes for listening to the news and reading it on paper and even what enters our ears through headphones because music touches us in ways that can’t be seen. I admire GaGa for letting her positive beliefs spread with her music and all the sacrifice and hard work she did to get to where she is now; even if she had to infiltrate us to do it.

Sans Taste, Sans Everything: The Hills and Accidental Acting

In Culture on August 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm

“We’re actors.  We’re the opposite of people.”
— The Player, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

-by James DeFord

         The first rule of being filmed is: don’t look at the camera.  The camera, the cameraman, the whole crew — pretend that you don’t even know they’re there. Act natural.  And yet, setting aside the oxymoronic and grammatical awkwardness of that phrase, standing in front of a camera is the least natural thing most people will ever do.  Think about it: a device is aimed at you that specifically directs all attention towards you. Not just the attention of everyone in the same vicinity as you, but also the laserbeam attention of an uncountable number of future people, all watching everything you do, repeating it as many times as they like, forever. This device also, by definition, creates the frame and context in which you will appear; you’re not only the center of attention, you’re the center of an attention that is unnaturally narrowed.  You are not just observed but examined. And so your own attention and consciousness turns violently inward.  You freeze, so obsessed with acting “natural”, so preoccupied with pretending that the camera isn’t the only thing you can think of, that you are incapable of any authentic act.  Incapable, most of all, of being yourself.  

         Except not so much any more.  Look at any home movies or amateur snapshots that are more than ten years old, and find a gallery of people afraid of the camera.  They put their hands over their eyes, grinned with shame and hide their faces.  They pushed their palms at the camera like a prisoner being frog-marched from the courtroom.  Sometimes they just stared into the lens like deer.  What happened?  Every cell phone has a decent still camera in it now; many can shoot video.  Those pictures or clips can be posted seamlessly to Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, a dozen other places.  Now people on film seem casual and self-possessed.  They seem natural.  What changed?  We appear to have finally gotten over our atavistic cultural fear that cameras will steal our souls.  How? Why?

         I had a hunch that the answer was reality TV.  Which is why I decided to sit down and watch the first five seasons of The Hills, all at once.

         If you aren’t familiar with the show, congratulations.  The Hills is an MTV-produced show, a spin-off of one of the network’s earlier reality experiments, Laguna Beach: the Real Orange County.  Where Laguna Beach observed its characters as they went about their obnoxiously privileged high school lives, The Hills tracks a few rich California kids as they figure out what to do with themselves after high school, and is exactly as dull as that sounds.  It sparked the careers of Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, who have successfully done nothing else except humiliate themselves. But as The Real World begat Road Rules, and as those two shows together begat the competitive, broadcast-network-style reality show epitomized by The Bachelor on one hand and Elimidate on the other, so has The Real World spawned Laguna Beach, and so has Laguna Beach spawned The Hills, and The Hills spawned The City and arguably Jersey Shore so on.  It’s worth examining what makes reality TV work, since it’s collected so much of the cultural mind-share by this point.  And The Hills happens to be the (to date) highest evolution of a certain species of reality show — the documentary-style reality show, which asks its actors to ignore the camera.  Reality TV of this type has altered how we engage with each other culturally and regard ourselves personally, so whether or not the show is crap, whether or not it’s boring and listless and mawkish and craven and predicated on a big lie, is irrelevant.  It’s all of those things.  But it’s also important.  And so examining it is also important.

         The Hills stars a variety of young, white women who are referred to by their first names.  The first season revolves around Lauren and Heidi, their apartment in LA, their jobs and their relationships.  Other actors come and go at varying paces.  After four episodes or so it settles into a rhythm of sorts: the two main characters are growing apart, and they go through various disagreements, some of which are resolved but most of which just fester.  Lauren is the more hardworking of the two, and the show clearly presents her as a moral example.  The Hills has no problem identifying both a hero and a villain.  By the end of the season, Lauren has decided to turn down a career-advancing position in order to stay with her high school sweetheart, and Heidi explicitly resolves to do nothing but party, whatever that means.

         Season 2 opens with Lauren having already broken up with her boyfriend.  She and Heidi spends most of the next dozen episodes ticking off the ways they hate each other and spending nauseating amounts of money.  Spencer is introduced, and everyone in both the cast and seemingly the production crew hate him. In fact, everyone who knows or sees him hates him, which makes him a very effective television character. Season 3 is interminable and really focuses the microscope on how shrill and catastrophic Heidi and Spencer are. By season 4 the whole framework of the show has spun itself to pieces — character show up, do one thing, and leave to never be mentioned again; the two main narrative arcs of the show dissociate completely; things happen without context or reference  The show is badly fragmented and aggressive in its disdain for the audience. And in the viewer, a realization slowly dawns.  

         At first The Hills seemed to at least give a head-fake towards its documentary mission.  Sure, there were clues.  It was clear from the way it was edited together that these people weren’t just being followed around with agenda-less cameras.  They were being guided, directed to act a certain way, to do certain things.  It wasn’t clear whether that direction was implicit or explicit.  But as the episodes marched on and on, it took on a different character. Maybe because the show’s production team was forced to put together situations and cut together footage in order to turn something like real life into something like a watchable show (examples: how many times do characters receive surprise phone calls from people who also happen to have a film crew standing next to them? How many conversations, in order to get the camera angles they use on the show, must have been repeated over and over? How do you get someone to record voice-over narration for scenes where they personally got dumped, fired, betrayed?). That’s certainly part of it. But more than that, the actors feel stiff, distant. Their dialogue is clunky and somehow sounds over-rehearsed. The show purports to be real and unscripted; the whole idea is that we, as the viewers, are watching normal people behaving normally, who just happened to be on film. So why do they seem so unnatural?

         By the beginning of season 3 The Hills began to feel like abandoned.  The characters weren’t just being deceptively edited, they were being openly mocked.  The production team knew the characters were hateful, and that viewers turned in (in large part) in order to get some cathartic relief by hating them.  And the show wanted us to know it was in on the joke. Heidi and Spencer (and the other characters) lurch blindly from one crisis to the next, never quite finishing anything, never exactly figuring out what happened.  Imagine a sitcom in which the actors hate the writers, and vice versa. Imagine that it’s about to be cancelled. Imagine further that every episode of that sitcom was filmed as 30 minutes long, but only the middle 18 minutes ever make it to air.  That’s The Hills, season 3 and afterwards.

         Of course, reality TV has always been in on the joke. The rise of reality TV in the late ‘90s and early 2000s is simple to explain. Here, I’ll do it in thirteen words: the shows are cheap; cheap shows mean more ad money per rating percentile. And reality shows were never composed in earnest, although they were marketed that way; the winner of Joe Millionaire, the first big network reality TV success, dumped the star immediately after the show wrapped and split the prize money with him. The Bachelor has run for fourteen seasons, at the conclusion of each of which the prenominate bachelor chooses a woman to be in a relationship with, and as of today each of those fourteen relationships has ended. The highest American Idol ratings are always highest for the episodes where the ridiculous, stunty not-a-chance contestants are weeded out. The makers of reality TV know that we watch because we laugh at and mock the people on it. That’s not part of the appeal; it’s the whole appeal. Pity poor Flavor Flav.

         But there’s a truth underneath that one, too. The people on these shows just seem unreal.  Not that they’re self-centered, shallow, greedy, bland.  Who isn’t.  Not even that they seem posed and intended, even while on a show that’s ostensibly about showing them at their most real.  It’s that they don’t seem to realize that they’re posed.  They are actors who don’t know they’re acting.  And, again, it’s not just the editing; they’re living out a thin soap opera plot, seemingly without realizing it, seemingly while thinking that they’re acting like normal people.  That they’re behaving as normal people do.  

         The Hills presents the viewer with an intimate look at a specific kind of person. The cast members of the show, immensely privileged and in their early twenties, have had television and movie actors as personal role models their entire lives. To a greater or lesser extent, we all have. Characters on TV and in movies are, as the cliché would have it, “bigger than life”, mostly because we see less of them than we do of people in our real lives. All we see are their perfect moments, the best possible takes. They take on mythic, totemic significance, in a way that our friends and relatives can’t. And so we integrate the actions of these huge characters into our own personalities and attitudes.

         But actors, when they’re acting, are pretending to be real. An actor’s whole job is to make you believe that she is the person she is pretending to be. She strives to be realistic, to seem natural. There’s nothing natural about acting. Example: an actor, pretending to have a secret, has to signify that to the audience, and so she darts her eyes around, wipes away sweat, stutters her lines. The other actors she’s performing with have to pretend like nothing is unusual about her behavior, but to the viewer it’s obvious; she’s hiding something. Acting isn’t about being real; it’s about giving a certain impression. And the way acting entertains us relies on us, as the viewers, ignoring some oddness and idiosyncrasy.

         That doesn’t make for a great model. When we learn to be people by watching actors, we tend to magnify and exaggerate that oddness rather than understanding that it’s meant to be a theatrical technique and ignoring it. We act like people who are acting like us.

         And so now The Hills, as apotheosis of reality TV, presents us with a television program that stars people pretending to not pretend (they know they’re pretending, as we all know when a camera is pointed at our faces) which they learned to do by watching professional pretenders pretending not to pretend. And we will learn how to pretend not to pretend from them, too, whether we want to or not. Now we can’t even learn how to live authentic lives from each other, because not enough people are actually around, living authentic lives, to model.

         Don’t misunderstand: I’m not saying that reality TV is bad, that it’s destructive or dangerous.  It is, but that’s not the point.  I’m not even saying that reality TV isn’t real; it isn’t, but that’s not a novel thesis.   It’s not just that reality TV isn’t real — there is no “real” for reality TV to be anymore. Acted TV is an imitation of an imitation of reality. Reality TV is a parody of that imitation. And The Hills manages to be an earnest imitation of that parody while not being aware that it’s parody at all. We have closed the loop of simulation. There no longer is any difference between creation and representation, between making and documenting.  And so when you turn the camera on us now, yes, we act natural.  That’s all we know how to do. We spend our entire lives in character, always remembering not to look at the camera, even when the camera isn’t there, was never there, never will be.  We erased the distinction between the map and the territory, and as a result we aren’t living, anymore; we’re pretending to live.  All of us actors, all the world truly at last a stage.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing: Nylon Magazine

In Culture on August 17, 2010 at 4:36 am

       John F. Kennedy Airport. That’s where I picked up the first issue of Nylon I had ever seen. It was 2005 and the issue had Kelly Osbourne on the cover and bright graphics on its pages that worked nicely in the collages that I made. I eventually stopped buying Nylon because it became just like buying Seventeen or Cosmogirl!. There are only so many brands of lip gloss or types of boots that you can read about before the brain deflates from not being used.

       This magazine’s focus is fashion and pop culture, I understand, but in a video interview about Nylon and why Nylon came about, Marvin Scott Jarrett, one of the co-founders, said “here’s some cool music, here’s some cool clothes” for girls. The key, offensive words are ‘cool’ and ‘girls’. No one should tell you what to listen to or what to wear. Also, it only weaved a small box of things for the readers to take or keep interest in. Maybe at one time the magazine was as simple as featuring good music and interesting things to wear, but now it’s mostly pages showing off expensive and unnecessary accessories and clothing. The more you purchase, the closer you are to achieving “the look”; the look that fits your so-called lifestyle. This magazine is geared to get the reader to purchase things they never needed that were never really that original, and the music and art that’s mildly sprinkled on a few pages turns into another accessory on the shelf.

       Several subscription cards are littered throughout the magazine with Mischa Barton on the cover. It says, “Mischa Barton exposed!” and she’s wearing a denim vest with nothing underneath- as if the only way to expose a female is by taking her clothes off. As if that’s all she has to offer. The first 10 pages are dedicated to the same brand names in the form of advertisements of women with blank faces selling you a handbag or a pair of sunglasses. There’s only one ad with a girl smiling and having fun in the pictures. The rest are generic looking models that not only could very well be the same person, but also look quite similar to mannequins. Are mannequins designed to look like people, or are people designed to look like mannequins? What do mannequins do? They sell you a product. What does Nylon do but sell you a sub-culture?

       There are hardly any reflections of the foundation of why Nylon can even exist. The people that wore these clothes, the people that are interviewed for Nylon, the musicians featured in Nylon- are all doing more than wearing Chanel’s velvet platform shoes or a necklace with a mustache charm on it. Though, is that all girls are supposed to be interested in? This trendy, hip side of culture that Nylon copies and pastes onto its pages; wasn’t it based on music and ideas?

        I really can’t appreciate the fact that there are no mainstream magazines for girls to read that don’t tell them they need to be attractive all the time and that don’t feature articles on anything about life or the world except what young socialites are up to. Why can’t girls be encouraged to learn how to play an instrument, instead of how to apply liquid eyeliner? Why not dream about visiting a foreign country instead of dreaming that the boy in Algebra will ask her out? What to wear is not a real problem. Girls need something else to think about, because being self-absorbed is too easy.

        An article in October of 08’s issue is entitled “Electric Youth: This year’s crop of It Girls…” Out of the ten random girls interviewed and listed, five are models, two do not know or pretend not to know what the definition of ‘It Girl’ is, one dreams of becoming a housewife, and another wants to host club nights where only girl groups are played because she “doesn’t get sick of hearing these girls singing about, ‘Why doesn’t he love me?’” A few are interesting, though I wonder on what grounds were these girls chosen. One quote that suited the article was, “I would hope that an It Girl would be a girl that is hard-working and inspires other young women to pursue whatever they want. Most of the women I consider to be ‘It Girls’ are the ones who are doing things, who are taking any situation and making the best of it- not even the best of it; making it fabulous.” I would hope so, too. If that’s not the definition of It Girl, then it should be changed so that it is.

        Why aren’t the media and magazines like Nylon doing their best to help the self-esteem and ideas of girls instead of crippling them and giving them the wrong tools necessary to step outside and create; instead of fueling the fire on the already rampant idea that looking the part is the main ingredient? The answer is that looking the part is not enough. If there is nothing behind a look, an outfit, or a list of trendy bands or movies, then there is nothing really there. It’s probably time to stop accepting perceptions and start creating our own again.

“…It’s sad to think what the state of rock n’ roll will be in 20 years from now… Kids really don’t care about rock n’ roll anymore. It’s already turned into a fashion statement and as an identity for kids to use as a tool to fuck and have a social life. I really can’t see music being of any importance to a teenager really.” –Kurt Cobain: from interviews done with Michael Azerrad in 1992 and 1993

-Gina Moccio