Etsy Incoming

Over the past couple weeks, my life has drastically shifted in so many ways, all during a very chaotic holiday season. That said, things seem to be going in a good direction, being pushed out of my comfort zone may have been exactly what I needed.

On a whim I picked up a job at an antique shop, and have found some amazing treasures, I’ve had creativity pouring out, and I really do think the opportunities are endless. My favorite find so far is a 1945 1st edition Naked City by Weegee book. They seem to be listed at anywhere from 2-5 hundred dollars online, however rare books aren’t as coveted as they once were, and I really did fall in love with the book after looking through the pages. It’s a photography book with narration in between, the provocative photos that document NYC in the 1940s are amazing and terrifying. It’s like jumping through time, and I’ve found a real love for it.

Anyway, I am onto the next adventure, and seeing how things play out, thanks to everyone who takes the time to read my blurbs about life, and I hope you bear with me and continue to enjoy my all over the place kind of content and personality.

I did start an etsy account that is still being updated with new antique treasures quite often, and I actually plan on looking into starting a second one for antique items that I spruce up with my own artistic influence eventually. Right now though I am a bit overwhelmed with just looking through the things that are already there, and magical in their own right.

I’ll keep you guys updated as I go. I have some 1950s yearbooks that I have to photograph, I want to share them with you. It’s so amazing how different everything seemed, although my favorite picture was a girl with a vodka bottle in one hand, and a cigarette in the other. It seems college hasn’t changed all that much!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtsyAntiquesStudio

Ball of Creativity amidst Uncertainty

Does anyone else find that, once everything gets thrown outside of your comfort zone, you are full to the brim with ideas and opportunities?

Lately I’ve been struggling to balance all of the things that are in motion in my life. I’ve found in this process that I am able to turn uncertainty into creativity. Or creativity forces itself in times of uncertainty. Either way, I am excited for what’s in store, and I appreciate all of you bearing with me through this time. I’ve been all over the place, but there are a bunch of projects in the works that I am thoroughly looking forward to sharing with you.

Like I said, art is pouring out of my ears, and I can feel that it’ll be great, when I finally have the time to get some pieces completed.

Finding a home at an antique shop has been a mind-boggling experience, and please bear with me while I try to catch up.

Thank you, for being you.

What Just Happened

It’s been a minute since I’ve even opened up my laptop. I don’t really know what to say on here, my mind is still trying to catch up with a crazy series of events that hit me out of no where. Basically right now I am looking for a place to stay short term, until I can figure out a living situation. My car is packed up and I’m lost in space, it’s strange because I swear I had a dream about typing this up.

For tonight however, I have a warm bed to sleep in and am content. Sorry that’s really all I’ve got for now, I’m still finding time to paint and wind down throughout the days, even though I am stressed more than I have been in… well, in a very long time.

I hope the holiday season is going well for all of you, thanks for listening. Goodnight, talk to yah soon.

Mental Health Discussion

In the very beginning of this Ted Talk I was captivated, the eloquence with which Andrew speaks, is truly captivating. Truly, no one does think about the ludicrous feeling of not wanting to take food out of the fridge for lunch, not being able to get out of bed to shower.

It is also an interesting idea that we are far behind in treatment for illnesses like depression, yet we have come so far in the past 100, 50, 20 years.

I have found myself not being able to do those same things lately, not walking downstairs to get food out of the fridge, not leaving the house. It’s a huge problem, it’s an illness that plagues the world, and I find it interesting that it seems that nothing can separate this illness from individual personality and character. Diluting your mental state with medication is sometimes necessary and beneficial, but it is that, that separates yourself from your own insight. Existential questions that are asked by all, mingle in the brain of the depressed, are pondered often and thoroughly…. I wish it felt beautiful and profound to be a person who ponders, sometimes I suppose it is.

I’m interested to hear any thoughts about this, it can be lonely struggling with your own mind, it can be frustrating when you search for connection on a ground that is so individual and personal. I myself, am trying to find the beauty in asking the tough questions, finding the possibilities within my own incessant mind. What about you?

Thinking about the view(s)

I’ve been wondering lately why it is that in this time, almost everything can be related to views. We see the world through a lens of pixels and screens, and if we aren’t being seen, we are seeing others who are. I have caught myself refreshing my stats for the day on this blog, constantly hoping someone will recognize me sitting here, all over the place, with no obvious direction, and make sure I’m seen… I’m hoping for someone else to come in and whisk me away to a place where things make sense, I find success, and everything is just a-ok because I have views and that’s all that I need right? Well I’m quite obviously wrong…. The truth really is that this blog has very little direction. It’s where I take all my interests to a screen and hope that someone else sees where I can succeed and carries me along a path that I can’t even see myself.

Alas, the world is not so simple, even with all the technology we have at our fingertips.

Alas, I am still figuring life out, seemingly at a snails pace, I’m trying to figure myself out too. Where I fit, who I can be, what I can be, and most importantly, how I can make a living in this cutthroat place.

I have dreams, and dreams require funds, and funds are only made through… well a job. I have been working again part-time during this age of Corona virus, I have been making my keep, but I strive for a passionate interest that can mean both success and a life I love. I have so many things to be grateful for, and I don’t want to take all the things that I do have for granted. I’m simply wondering, and contemplating the struggle that is finding what it is that will bring me sustenance as well as happiness.

Have any of you found a true passion in your work? What do you do? How did you find your happiness in life?

Thanks for listening to this random rant about life, what else is a young adult to do besides share their idealistic fantasies?

*Trigger warning* Talk about injustices in the world of porn.

Someone I know sent me a link to an article titled “The Children of Pornhub” from the NY times. He asked me to write something about it, to which I responded, I’m not sure I can. The reason I said this was due to the nature of the content, the fact that this topic is so vile and frankly depressing. However, I realized that it is not acceptable for me to turn away from the topics that require the most recognition and activism. I have plenty of other things that I could research, and write about. I plan to write about many different topics, if for nothing other than fulfilling my own personal need to learn about the realities of the world.

I will write a brief synopsis of what I have learned about the exploitation of children in the porn industry, and then I will leave a series of links, if you would like to further your knowledge on the topic.

The article that was sent to me, opens your eyes to how easy it is for people to publish pornographic content containing children and/or abuse, neglect, rape, etc. It also explains that there are cases where children go missing (are taken), only to have someone recognize them in videos on sites like pornhub, once the authorities get involved they can force the site to take said videos down. Unfortunately though, it’s most likely too late, as there have already been downloads and shares to other sites and to other people.

“I came across many videos on Pornhub that were recordings of assaults on unconscious women and girls. The rapists would open the eyelids of the victims and touch their eyeballs to show that they were nonresponsive.

Pornhub profited this fall from a video of a naked woman being tortured by a gang of men in China. It is monetizing video compilations with titles like “Screaming Teen,” “Degraded Teen” and “Extreme Choking.” Look at a choking video and it may suggest also searching for ‘She Can’t Breathe.'”

The Children of Pornhub, Nicholas Kristoff

There is also the issue of accountability, as the site itself takes no responsibility for the content posted to the site. It is said that Facebook has taken down 12.4 million images related to child exploitation in only three months, twitter closed 264,000 accounts in 6 months. Pornhub however, noted that the Internet Watch Foundation reported only 118 instances of exploitative content/child abuse in a three year period. This figure seems completely illegitimate for the 10th most visited website on the internet, let alone a website profiting off of sexual fantasies, with “teen” being one of the top searches.

Political action has been very scarcely implemented throughout this ever growing problem, the tech industry has also done little to assist in the fight. There has however been an increase in activism to fight this digital threat. PayPal has cut off their services for the company, and many other credit card companies have been asked to do so as well. Ben Sasse, a Nebraskan senator has also asked that the Justice Department investigate Pornhub. Canada has also been taking a larger stand against child exploitation on Pornhub.

So, looking at all of the problems associated with Pornhub in particular, it is also important to state that Pornhub is owned by a company by the name, Mindgeek, which owns a myriad of other x-rated sites, and is said to have more influence over society than Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. Making it the 3rd ‘largest’ Tech conglomerate.

“The goal for a content moderator is to let as much content as possible go through,” a former Mindgeek employee told me. He said he believed that the top executives weren’t evil but were focused above all on maximizing revenue.

While Pornhub would not tell me how many moderators it employs, I interviewed one who said that there are about 80 worldwide who work on Mindgeek sites (by comparison, Facebook told me it has 15,000 moderators). With 1.36 million new hours of video uploaded a year to Pornhub, that means that each moderator would have to review hundreds of hours of content each week.

The moderators fast forward through videos, but it’s often difficult to assess whether a person is 14 or 18, or whether torture is real or fake. Most of the underage content involves teenagers, the moderator I spoke with said, but some comes from spy cams in toilets or changing rooms and shows children only 8 to 12.

“The job in itself is soul-destroying,” the moderator said.”

After Jeffrey Epstein opened the worlds eyes to child sex trafficking, and exploitation. How have we not made it absolutely impossible for content like this to surface on the internet? It’s a continual fight against something so incredibly vile. Young people’s lives are at risk, I certainly couldn’t imagine life after an experience like these poor children have gone through. Many who have survived these encounters, end up mentally distressed, and often attempt suicide.

What are we as people, all living on this planet, going to do to make change, and force out these injustices?

https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/46664808/1539-4409_282001_29001_3C0262_3Asrfcsa_3E2.0.co_3B220160621-6773-by22m7.pdf?1466492869=&response-content-disposition=inline%3B+filename%3DSuicide_Risk_Following_Child_Sexual_Abus.pdf&Expires=1607363422&Signature=S-bumyIRIx7WCmyiIKAiL2x0Im2OoxYnaGUEyzVK5vI0o1yTElTk7SMa8Ui7hCxDtErN6FftriVwtB2wH~CMWBDqf-VwZNFWEPwo6aeEWJ69m3Eg8-48OupYbdYt1EUUAYViN2TWzUfTaqYS9q088ZmpJu0jp93oznmJ4KxLy3~EmrPuhroW01oEbKscO8sw44uBddIqzYTyyXPfKipJvW7LxKxeupLVsqdGy0yVwgImMmFeUVNR2fkX2hCmgCelpVosZVo~KpvgfZ39cYQZ0YEFLIjVVZepUPAkNUcuxCb0wddsCLciZJyr8Ua6HGN8fP0R5kqYURkwT23HLw2sSQ__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA

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Whisper Sweet Nothings

Let me know how you feel.

Reality is fleeting

And I just need to know how to heal.

PS. Sorry for being MIA, it really is that time of year. I dyed my hair red, went into hibernation, and have yet to find a way to drag myself out. If anyone has any tips or pointers on staying happy in the freezing cold, I could really use any advice. Thanks for stopping by.

Dear Veterans

War is a terrible thing,

War is carnage and destruction.

You brave soldier have dedicated your life to a pursuit of freedom and for that I am grateful. You have made yourself a target and proudly honored your flag. What a disturbance it is to see that you aren’t taken care of after your valiance.

I have members of my family who have served, and it has been engrained in me to respect and appreciate those who are willing to do so.

However, I do not have to respect and appreciate a government that has so often cast loyal veterans aside. A government that doesn’t invest enough into soldiers acclimation back into a civil society, and a government that documents a soldiers worth off of how long they serve, or how tough they are both mentally and physically. Strength comes from those willing to accept and work on their weaknesses, the military does a great job of hardening individuals, making them more machine than human being.

Like I said, I have family members who have served, and my uncle passed this year, not from Covid or from war. I believe it was a slow degradation of the mind and spirit post-service. It lead to health issues that may have been too difficult for him to handle. The truth is I don’t know for sure how it happened, or when it started. We had always been incredibly close even though we didn’t talk as much in the past 8 years or so… We had a bond that I didn’t think needed confirmation, but I still wish he would’ve called more, I wish I would’ve called more. I wish I managed to take more trips to see him. It was always in the plan, I was going to take a road trip across the US and I would stay in Texas with him for a month or so, just to catch up, have fun, and talk for the first time as adults. I would get some advice about life, and I would listen to anything he wanted to get off of his chest. We would rekindle our friendship and drink a bunch of beer, take a few shots of whiskey. I’d leave with the promise of coming back to visit soon.

34 years was not long enough, and I wish he would’ve been better taken care of because even though he loved and respected the military, it doesn’t seem that that feeling was reciprocated. In that way, the cost was a life, it was quality of life for years, and now it’s the absence of one. And quite frankly that makes me angry.

It also makes me angry that my grandfather served in Vietnam, he went through absolute and total hell, and left with two Purple Hearts. The answer through all of the physical ailments and PTSD was opiates, and is to this day. Therapy doesn’t work as it is in the VA, trauma takes patience and years of diligence, yet once you’re done serving the operative is to get them out of your hair.

So yes, I respect, appreciate, and love the veterans of my country but, will we start taking care of them as they deserve to be taken care of?

Immediate Needs

Things should be clean,

But unseen

Construction of a military sheen

Whether it’s right or wrong

we have needs

Our questions must be answered

is truth important

or is comfort more so

Hold our hand

Tell us it’s going to be alright

Your control lingers nearly out of sight

barricading us from our own fright

You know what’s best

and we just won’t understand

there’s no need to test

because the ego of the few outlives the rest.