Tagged: friendship

How to Become a Modern Artist

This article was also featured on Points In Case

The job market today sucks. If you’re smart, you’ve realized that your job can be done by an iPhone application or a kid in India for a fraction of what you’re getting paid, so you’ve decided to tap into your creative side to make a fortune in art. You can’t outsource creativity, right?! And since you’re not busy working, and have started to build a new drug habit, you’ve picked the perfect time to be an artist.

You’ve possibly even seen some art before—maybe on a billboard advertising a museum, or in a Simpson’s episode denouncing one—so you know it can’t be that hard. If you think that you can just show up on the art scene and be accepted and revered by your peers… well, you’re half right. But if you want to be wildly successful, you’ll have to follow a few guidelines. You may see art as something majestic and complicated, but society has placed a greater weight on “creativity” and “originality” than mundane things like “skill” or “technique.”

Here are three things you need to do if you want to be a modern artist.

1. Have a Disease

Anybody can pick up a brush and paint something; if you’re looking for that extra edge in life that will help you amaze and impress everyone you come across, and you’re great at bullshitting, then maybe it’s time for you to try faking synesthesia, the neurological disorder that will make you 1000% more interesting. Synesthesia confuses your mind into mixing up two of your senses; you can see sounds, hear flavors, or taste textures. Tell people that what you just painted tastes like Belgian waffles and watch their faces flush with post-coital bliss as they pretend to “get it.”
N.E.R.D’s Pharrell has built his career making music that some would describe as “noise,” but since he can apparently see sounds, when he says his music looks amazing, the general audience just nods in agreement. Think of what this can do for your craft if you can tell people that their opinion of your art is irrelevant because they don’t have the same neurological disorder as you!
Stendhal’s syndrome is another good disease to pick up. Stendhal’s causes dizziness and hallucinations at the sight of a great piece of art. It can also cause you to pass out at the sight of a “masterpiece,” so you could just fall asleep in front of your work and blame it on your immense talent.

2. Be Hard to Find

Good art is often found in odd places. Even the famous “Last Supper” painting was stored in stables when Napoleon invaded Milan, meaning that 80% of the painting had to be restored once recovered. Likewise, some of today’s good art is hard to find and even harder to assign credit. Banksy, an English graffiti artist, has made a career out of being invisible, and his career has lasted more than 10 years. All over the world, from Israel to England to Toronto to LA, people have been treated to Banksy’s talents of applying spray paint to stencils in areas that normally don’t get “tagged.”
What can you learn from this? Well, you should probably put your art in a place that people wouldn’t expect to find it, like the bricks walls of a ghetto, the site of a building demolition, or Disneyland’s Thunder Mountain ride. Even though Banksy has defaced hundreds of public properties, nobody knows what he looks like. This sense of mystery is something you should aspire to, making sure that people know your name but not your face. But don’t think that this method will keep you from making money: Banksy’s works have fetched anywhere from $50,000 to $210,000 at auctions, even though it often means that the entire wall has to be removed in order for someone to own the picture.

3. Die

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a crack fiend in New York whose Afrocentric scribbles found their way from the streets of the city to the designs on a line of Reebok shoes, the walls of Jay-Z’s home, even immortalized in ink on the thigh of Rick Ross (that’s an accomplishment, right?). Why is Basquiat so popular? Is it because of his abstract style, his unique look, or his friendship with Andy Warhol? No, it’s because he’s dead.
After dropping out in the 10th grade, Basquiat worked hard in the art scene for years to make a name for himself. He even dated Madonna before she was “Madonna.” This relationship led to an eventual friendship between Basquiat and Warhol (another of Madonna’s close friends), and when Andy died a few years later it hit Basquiat hard. He had always been a heavy drug user, but Warhol’s death pushed him over the edge to the point where he would paint with a bucket beside the canvas for when the heroin made him vomit. He died at 27 of a heroin overdose, and more art collectors showed up to his funeral than actual friends; in fact, the current curator of MOCA gave the eulogy.
Apparently, Baquiat’s best career move was dying, since his last two paintings were sold for $13.5 and $14 million. Do you have any idea how much heroin you can buy with $27 million?? (Seriously, if you do then tweet me as I’ve just come across a duffel bag of money and am looking to invest it.) Can his paintings be called art? Maybe. After all Robert Farris, a Yale art historian, classified Basquiat’s work as a “true masterpiece,” and I think he knows what he’s talking about.

Gay or Fat? The Choice is Yours

This article was also featured on Points In Case

If you’ve been following the news recently, you’ll see that everyone is pretty concerned with bullies and such, because I guess oil spills and Chilean earth-holes can only be relevant for so long. I have personally never been bullied, partially due to my height, but also because I was a “husky” kid—and when I say husky, I mean “the-whole-Iditarod-roster” husky. Except for the time in grade 6 when a girl who looked like a freckled Brock Lesnar punched me in the face after school, I have never been physically picked on. And it would be pretty hypocritical of me to condemn people for posting their opinions on the web seeing how that’s what I do when I’m not running triathlons.

In honor of everyone wearing purple, which is apparently a “gay” color (you hear that, Justin Bieber?), I thought that I would take a look at another lifestyle choice that millions of people choose to make: being fat. If you think about it, the… how should I say this… gourmands, of our society are given a fairly good deal when compared to gays: they get their own parking spots, scooters with wire baskets, two seats on the plane, and access to the family change stall when using the local pool.

With so many people being bullied because of their sexual orientation, I think it’s time we took a hard look at who actually has it worse, gay or fat people. The following are three challenging questions these two groups of people face every day.

1. How Should You Make Friends?

The Fabulous
A gay male should have no problem fitting in with a group of women. To use a basketball analogy, for women a gay friend is like a solid point guard, someone who is always valuable for doing the little things while helping make the big plays when it matters. The gay male can offer advice on anything and women will listen to it like it’s the gospel. Prepare for everything you do to be labelled “adorable.” If you’re a female-gay then I guess you can join a chain-gang or work at a Jamba Juice and hope to make friends that way or something.

The Full
If you’re a large male then you might be able to get away with just wearing a backwards hat and Lacoste polo while getting alcoholically-obliterated at every party in the hopes of becoming “That Fun Fat Guy.” However, if you’re a female you may have a hard time finding a place you can fit… in. Girls are catty but if you find the right one you have a chance at being her emotional rock, someone whose friendship she’ll constantly take for granted while she verbally belittles you. Don’t worry though, if Disney movies have taught me anything it’s that you can become prettier and skinnier than her after a 2-minute montage of you working out to “Let’s Get Physical.”

2. What Should You Wear?

The Fabulous
It’s a well-documented fact that gay people can wear whatever the hell they want and make it come off as trendy, but did you also know that being gay gives you an automatic discount at American Apparel? All you have to do is blow the cashier (so I’ve heard).

The Full
Well, you don’t have all that many options do you? You can throw on whatever fits your spherical body, but make sure that your clothes don’t have any stripes, dots, pastels, colors, or any sort of pattern whatsoever. You do have the big advantage of being able to pull off a Hawaiian party shirt though! But so does the gay guy so I guess we’ll chalk this up as another loss. However, if your government ever gets overthrown by a communist dictator who makes everyone wear neutral-toned uniforms then you’ll be living on easy street!

3. Will You Get Laid?

The Fabulous
Yes. Simply and unabashedly yes. Men by nature try to have sex with everything and everyone they see. So you can only imagine what happens when two unstoppable forces meet each other, probably at a Starbucks with Lady Gaga plays in the background. The thing about queer-culture is that there an audience for everything, are you fat and hairy? Skinny and hairy? Young and pre-pubescent? Overly aggressive? That’s fine, there’s an animal term for every one of those things (Bear, Otter, Twink and Wolf in case you were wondering).

The Full
Outside of weird fetishes that some women might have, the only chance you’ll have to get laid is if there’s a very competitive bachelorette-scavenger-hunt that requires them to sleep with someone who’s mass exceeds the parties combined weight. However, you could always start playing World of Warcraft in the hopes of meeting a nice girl there, or simply make a female account and bask in the attention that you’ll get from the hundreds of nerds who are just as lonely as you!

So there you have it, before making the important choice of what you want to do with your life, make sure to read these crucial guidelines. I only wish that I had something like this when I decided that I would like to lead a straight lifestyle

Blossoming a Bromance

This article was also featured on Points In Case

With 2011 winding down and another year just around the corner, it’s time to get into resolution mode. This is the one time of the year when we decide to change ourselves for the better… for about a month and a half before giving up and promising to try harder next year. I can’t help you save money or lose weight but I can help you out in the relationship department.
I’ve already showed you how to pick your girlfriend for these upcoming months, but what if your New Year’s resolution is simply to make more friends? Unfortunately for you, the male-to-male relationship is one of the hardest to cultivate in nature, and as such, should be handled carefully. If only there was a simple three-step plan to help you with this unattainable goa…wait a minute:

1. The Size-Up

In nature, similar animals gather together in packs for survival—a pride of lions, a pack of wolves, a conspiracy of ravens, etc. In the human world, males generally adopt these packs by participating in mundane routines like attending school or work and befriending those whom they hate the least.
So what do you do when you happen upon a bro in his natural habitat and try to make contact? Upon meeting a bro for the first time, you are both subject to the size-up: is this bro taller or better looking than you? Is he a visible minority, thus giving you “cred”? Would you pick him for your team in a pick-up game? Does he have a sister or girlfriend that you can deny hooking up with at a later date? The size-up is the crucial first step to establishing a bromance; you want to find a bro who doesn’t present much competition, but also one who shares similar interests.
After you and your prospective bro (brospect) have sized each other up and come to the agreement that you’re either “alright” or “cool” (no other words shall be used for fear of sounding gay), there will be plans made to meet again at a later date.

2. The Solo Hangout

On the journey to finding a good bro, this step is vital. It should always be centered on watching “the game” somewhere. It doesn’t matter what game: basketball, football, and MMA all work, but if you’re dealing with a Euro-bro you may have to watch soccer. Don’t offer to watch baseball as it will make you seem soft.
A sports bar gives you plenty of options for conversation, namely the myriad of TV screens and skanky waitresses. If you want to exhibit dominance over your fellow bro, this is the time: buy a pitcher of beer and chug it without using a glass, or order a plate of nachos and don’t share until it becomes a small mound of corn chips. This will establish you as the alpha-bro and allow you to lay claim to the first piece of meat on a fresh kill (read: you get dibs on chicks).

Alternately, you can invite the bro over to your house. Blast your iPod, whip out the bong, and see if you have anything in common with your future bro. Unlike the fairer sex, bros don’t really care about zodiacs and astrology, so you don’t have to pretend to be compatible just because it’s “in the stars.” Be warned: this option may lead to you finding out some horrible secrets about your bro, like the fact that he listens exclusively to country music or watches baseball for the “entertainment” it gives him. Under no circumstances should you cook for the bro unless the food of choice is to be prepared on a grill; so if you two get hungry, your only options are to order a pizza or fire up a barbeque.

3. Sharing is Caring

In general, males aren’t very fond of giving. If you can use something on yourself then why would you give that thing away to anyone else (no bromo)? Boys, men, and bros all hate sharing, so just because you’ve both survived the vetting process doesn’t necessarily mean you’re both full-fledged bromosexuals. Without this final and vital step, you will be forever stuck in that limbo between “acquaintance” and “bro4sho.” You must share with your fellow bro.
This goes beyond giving away the crust of your pizza or letting your bro choose the home team in NBA 2K12—to be a real bro requires sacrifice. You know that moment when you crack open a new type of beer on the patio with your best friend, take a sip and say, “Mmmm, that’s good, try this”? That’s bromance. This means that you’ll not only give away the crust of your pizza, but also the last piece. And if a bro asks you to borrow 2K12 for the weekend you should reply with a simple nod. Once this level of camaraderie has been attained then you have truly become, and can call each other, bro.