I have a ton to say about HBO series, Girls, the seeming T.V. underdog turned sensation. What is it about this show that has drawn the attention of so many people, even those that are outside of its apparent demographic. I’ve seen a lot of people talk about Girls, heard them talk about it, and I have always wanted to talk about it myself.
The first thing people ask you about Girls is if you like it. There is an extreme polarizing reaction to the show—dividing camps between people who love it and people who absolutely despise it. Rarely have people fallen on the exact, thin divisive line of “it’s okay,” and people who do say this often lean towards one reaction.
The second thing people ask other people about Girls is, “So which one are you?” That’s probably the hardest thing to answer accurately, because they are all awful and freely picking one to embody yourself is a hard and unattractive decision. They are awful, though, in the way that you get, in the way that you can maybe sympathize with. What I see when I see the Girls girls are the worst versions of ourselves, the parts that we try to hide or deny, amplifed and glaring on your T.V. screen for half an hour each week.
We get to know the self-absorbed best friends and roommates: shrill, uptight Marnie and perennially unemployed Hannah (played by Lena Dunham, the twenty-six-year-old female creator of the show—but that’s another story) who recurring character, Elijah, said that were cut from the same selfish cloth. Marnie is fickle and juvenile, though she likes to think of herself as grown up. Hannah seems to have very little self-worth, and likes to pretend she knows what she’s doing when what she really is is lost.
There’s well-traveled, liberated, reformed wild child Jessa who gets by as a good looking nanny with very little to lose. Then, there’s Jessa’s cousin: sheltered, inexperienced Shoshanna, who dubbed her virgin self a Samantha Jones. (Shoshanna is actually not that mean. She is very, very endearing, and I think I would want to be her the most.) These people seem to be oblivious to their own flaws, which is what I find a little hard to believe. But, people do have their own blind spots; it’s just so hard for me to believe that theirs can be as glaring and obvious as they are.
There’s very little that’s aspirational about the Girls characters, but I think that’s why I like them so much. A lot of people have been put off by this plain Jane, awkward version of the New Yorkian stories that HBO seems to make every once in a while, but I like it because it makes you uncomfortable in a way that’s not horrific, but just earnest and real—shame and secrets shoved right up there in your face.
I love it because it gets to the meat of things, even though the truth is often awkward and strange and horrible, instead of beating around the bush for oh, I don’t know, seven seasons. Do I like the “ugly people sex”? Of course not, but it’s a part of the show and it works because it exposes everything, much like how every ugly thing about these people are exposed, too.
Another thing that I really like about Girls, as a show, is that they make no excuses for the awfulness of their characters. It really doesn’t care if you end up liking them or hating them for what they do. What happens is that you develop some empathy or compassion for some of them, because you’ve been there, too. Maybe not in exactly the same situations, but maybe steeped in the same feelings. I find that, as we see more episodes of Girls, their characters enough space and enough layers to be believable as people.
I saw episode 7, “Welcome to Bushwick a.ka. The Crackcident,” last night. I have never been to a warehouse party in Bushwick, but I roared with laughter and I felt for them. Maybe because I’ve done things that I’m not proud of. Maybe also because I have felt as betrayed, as wounded, as discarded, and as embarrassed as they have. Not in the same exact way—I have never faceplanted the pavement falling off the front wheel of a bicycle—but in a way that’s enough.
Plus, it was way funny.
Girls is more than just “Sex and the City for ugly people,” and it’s hardly the voice of our generation. What it is is a damn good show where we see lost twenty-somethings, in their complexity and depth, unafraid to show the ugly, broken bits that a lot of us would love to hide instead. It’s too early to tell what kind of people they are, but each week, another layer is uncovered. Right now, it’s about horrible people-in a real sense, not in a Joffrey Baratheon sense–that you end up rooting for because, sometimes, you can actually see them (secretly) as you.
Courtesy of my LC-A+, Kodak Elitechrome 400, and Art East Island, HK.
We went all the way to Chai Wan to see my stuff up in Lightbombs Contemporary’s pop-up showroom. Art East Island happened parallel to Art HK. We didn’t know it would be so far, or that it would rain, or that we would go up the elevator of the wrong spooky building. Art East Island was in another spooky building.
But, well, obviously we found something else to do.
Lately, most of my ventures into film photography involve just finding enough light and clicking. The LC-A+ has four distances you can choose from, and a lot of my other film cameras only involve stepping away from the subjects. I had the Nikon FM-2 cleaned recently. It was the SLR camera I used in high school, and it was fun actually getting to see how far away your subject is and fiddling with the knobs, instead of making guesstimates and hoping there’s enough light let in.
For this roll, I used Kodak ColorPlus 200, courtesy of Shine.
Sometimes I think of little bits of things to write about, that have nothing to do with each other, or are only vaguely connected by places and things like that. Sometimes, they die their sad idea deaths, but I am hoping that together, they won’t be a waste of space. Here’s the first volume of stories, collected during my last stay in Hong Kong.
One afternoon, my dad and I went up and down Nathan Road, famed for its good deals on cameras. We knew that stores clad in neon signs made dubious deals so we searched far and wide for the little shop that was his go-to. It wasn’t there anymore. So, we scoured the stores to look for good deals, and when it seems too good to be true, be warned, it often is.
Sometimes, waiting just a little bit longer gives you a way better deal than you ever thought possible. At least, I know this to be true for myself.
I’ve been toying with the idea of getting “The New iPad” for a while now (retina display!), to use for work, and planned on getting one when I was in Hong Kong. Funnily enough, Globe just announced that they will have them available in the Philippines very soon. Like, May 29th soon.
Obviously, I wasn’t able to get one during my trip—I had my eye on a camera and my wallet is not a bottomless pit of cash—but it was good to know that a variety of data plans would be available through Globe Tattoo.
I’ve been really keen on getting one, but I am trying to spend my money more wisely. I have a feeling my laptop’s going to give soon, so I’m thinking if a new computer might be a better option for me. However, as you know, I’m going to be taking on a teaching position next semester, and a lot of my co-teachers are toting around the new iPad. They swear by its convenience, portability, and oddly enough it has reportedly been an important part in their productivity as design professionals.
If I had an iPad, I would:
1. Use it for client presentations.
Aside from it’s considerable lightness over a laptop even as small as my 13″ Macbook Pro, it’s also easier to do design presentations to clients because it can act as a barrier between them and you. It’s really awkward sitting in a coffee shop beside a client, showing them your mood boards and planned design treatments, both of you crouched over such a small screen. I know this because I’ve been there.
With an iPad, I can just stay on the other side of the screen and swipe to get to the next page. The gorgeous display is a plus.
2. Use it to take down notes.
Easily done with a pen and paper, but if you need a digital copy on file, the start-up time of a tablet is quicker than a computer or a laptop. I imagine it would be better to use for minutes or meetings as well, as organization can be dealt with right then and there.
3. Use it to type drafts.
I’ve tried making blog posts sans laptop, only with the aid of a pen and paper. It’s not easy, writing complete sentences by hand. Pen and paper’s excellent for outlines and fragmentary drafts, but typing is easier for walls of text. Typing on an iPad seems to be more practical when you’re out and about.
4. Deal with email.
To combat being hounded, you can answer emails quickly through a tablet such as the iPad. When it’s especially urgent, I use my iPhone, but a bigger screen is truly more liberating and less cramped. It feels less rushed, for some reason.
5. Play games and look for productivity apps instead of actually being productive.
While it doesn’t seem like procuring an iPad’s written in the stars for me yet, I’m glad that I can just run off to the nearest Globe outlet, whenever I feel like my laptop has become to heavy to bring around and decide to get the new iPad for myself.
My brother, at an exhibit around Art East Island.
I’ve been going around Hong Kong, so I haven’t had a real chance to sit down and write about the art fair. The last day was yesterday, but I only went for one day. In case you weren’t following my Twitter feed, here are some photos I took while going around the fair.
Yoshimoto Nara. The fair had an interesting variety of Nara’s work, from full-size paintings, to rough sketches and pencil drawings. It was a nice change from seeing just the work that I am familiar with.
Jose Santos III.
And finally, my work! For Zoe’s pop-up space for Lightbombs Contemporary over at Art East Island.
I’ll post about it soon, but Trickie Lopa has already posted about her findings in these three posts: