Friday, September 6, 2013

In a panic through a forest of eyes


Writing which requires self-description is a daunting task. I don’t believe a list of adjectives would capture the full scope of my personality, especially as I often think I do not know myself that well. According to testimonials from friends and family, I am aloof (a friend), capable (my dad), amusing (most everyone I come in contact with; sometimes I don’t even try. Maybe it’s my face?). I don’t know if it’s a good idea to rely on other people’s opinions of me, for they see me in a forced perspective, so to speak. On to facts: I am a first generation American and the child and sister of Jewish Soviet working class immigrants. I have attended seven schools (not counting Hunter) in my life, not because I moved addresses. (In fact, the biggest move I made was at the tender age of a few months to another building in my apartment complex.) I was never fully satisfied at any of these institutions and it occurred to me that the problem was not necessarily with me but with the overall public education system in the U.S. The idea that everyone is expected to perform and compete on equal footing when students have different abilities and learning methods baffles me. My overall outlook could be described as anti authoritarian, but I rarely confront people who hold power over me because I have too much anxiety in these situations (and in general). I am critical of hierarchical structures. I believe that media and art have a responsibility to represent people and experiences in a diverse and humanistic way.

My earliest memories of media consumption are watching and rewatching Mel Brooks’ filmography and reading the works of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket. I am drawn to absurdism, surrealism, whimsy, and sometimes a certain sense of bleakness in art and media. Media is a form of escapism, education, and entertainment (alliteration accidental) for me. I am intrigued by film noir – the snappy dialogue and urban settings excite me. Additionally, I enjoy the works of Ingmar Bergman, Agnès Varda, Buster Keaton, and Bette Davis. Most of the movies I have watched are part of the Western canon, however, I actively try to watch movies of different eras, genres, and nations. And like most people in my generation, I watch a lot of cat videos online. I enjoy music too, particularly post-punk, Britpop, New Wave, and anything with synthesizers. Self presentation is also very important to me. I wish my aesthetic sensibilities reflected more in my appearance, but financial limitations and neurotic thoughts get in the way, possibly because I prefer an androgynous style. I often ponder, “Why can’t I have the wit and wardrobe of Jarvis Cocker?”

my curated art & culture blog / Twitter

a photo I took of the remnants of an "old" Coney Island

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