Friday, April 17, 2009

fashion mystified

I really like being into fashion without really being in fashion. Coming from a totally different range of fandom (or to be more precise, fandoms) gives me an entirely new context. It also encourages me to appreciate another person's style without having to factor in criteria like "season x/year x", "overhyped" or "designer of the moment". (Which is not to say I don't factor in my own criteria, like "Chuck Jones" or "cyberpunk" or "fairy-tastic".)

That's why I can roll around in delight over the photographer blogger on Jak and Jil calling this photo "The Watchmen":

...without having an opinion or 122. Well actually, I suppose sheer nerdy delight at the idea of The Fashion Watchmen (quis custodiet ipsos custodes?) counts as an opinion!

A huge advantage of being an illustrator instead of a stylist is that I can happily look up to Jane Aldridge as one of my muses:

...without having her wardrobe budget or relying on eBay. Inspiration is free; see below:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amazon Fail, concluded...not entirely satisfactorily

Was really angry and disappointed when I found out that sales ranking had been stripped from several gay and lesbian books on Amazon over the weekend, making them harder to search for and keeping them from the list of recommendations. Most of the gay literature I own I bought from Amazon, after seeing reviews on the net. (Well, I did before I worked at the lovely store with the 30 per cent discount and the geniuses at customer orders, natürlich.)

The most current news is that it was all a terrible mistake, a matter of human error caused by someone in one of the international branches filling out the wrong field and causing the software to rate even children's books and sociological studies on homosexuality as "adult".

It has been been pointed out that it's possible the whole thing was an elaborate prank cooked up by some people who just wanted to see the Internets Fight. Some guy is even claiming responsibility for the whole thing, although these claims are easily debunked.

What still worries me is the ease with which everything snowballed, and a couple of unanswered questions, like why exactly did the Playboy porn shots collection get to keep its ranking when by ANY human- or computer-governed system of censorship it is clearly as "adult" as a book can get? Is there anything people can do (aside from keeping our temper, which I seem to have failed miserably at btw, although I don't feel I've done anything to apologise for) to keep it from happening again? And, as Richard Eoin Nash points out (in bold letters), why is it always the GLBTQ books, the queer books, the non-normative books that get caught in the glitches, the ham-fisted errors"?

We the minorities suspect why, and we don't like it at ALL. And the more frequently people fail to give us a concrete, and a complete, explanation, the more we will continue to suspect.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon FAIL

Amazon Rank

amazon rank
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): amazon ranked

1. To censor and exclude on the basis of adult content in literature (except for Playboy, Penthouse, dogfighting and graphic novels depicting incest orgies).
2. To make changes based on inconsistent applications of standards, logic and common sense.

Etymology: from 12 April 2009 removal of sales rank figures from books on containing sexual, erotic, romantic, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or queer content, rendering them impossible to find through basic search functions at the top of's website. Titles stripped of their sales rankings include "Bastard Out of Carolina," "Lady Chatterly's Lover," prominent romance novels, GLBTQ fiction novels, YA books, and narratives about gay people*.

Example of usage: "I tried to do a report on Lady Chatterly's Lover for English Lit, but my teacher amazon ranked me and I got an F on grounds that it was obscene."

*And Heather Has Two Mommies. Seriously? A children's book about same-sex parents has been rated "adult" by Amazon, while the Playboy Centerfold Collection has not?

Seriously, people. Googlebomb, boycott, spam the reviews, email, do whatever you have to. Here's an idea: Call Amazon's customer service line at 1-800-201-7575.

ETA: The LA Times picks up the Amazonfail story.

Quote: "But as troubling as the unevenness of the policy of un-ranking and de-searching certain titles might be, it's a bit beside the point. It's the action itself that is troubling: making books harder to find, or keeping them off bestseller lists on the basis of their content can't be a good idea."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

bird people (watch out for nudity!)

Have been drawing fashion models with heads made of the head, shoulders and wings of birds. Sorry for the icky webcam pics; I want to draw more before I go out and scan them in a bunch.



2. (not quite finished yet!)

Discovered that the bird people look better with some text. I've been rediscovering the joy of "found poetry"--clipping whole lines of text and making them into something like a cohesive whole. I used text clipped from Lifestyle Asia (a Philippine society magazine) and the Top Gear Philippines editorial letter.

Transcription: SKIN DEEP SOULS

a prestigious object using
a prism of styles
cargoes counterbalance
architectural motifs in shaping the new Elisia

women have another option to reduce fine lines and
worlds with a new cocktail mix

full range of makeup and skincare
with customized outfits
embodies the luxury and prestige
of the property's
free medical services.


he refuses to be satisfied.
I would have no reason to
assimilate useful methods into my own lifestyle
in which my family participates,

acquired "hobbies" like
the over-accumulation of knowledge
from grade school to college, he realized that
leaders are not
those who are underprivileged.


Let me assure you it means nothing
to have serendipity on your side.

my need to show off
a fresh look and feel
will have a higher market value
for your lady companion