INDIEchouette


TOMATOES ARE NOT GREEN

I would risk salmonella for a juicy, ripe tomato right now.  Tomatoes remind me of Brent and what he lied to me about.  Actually, he didn’t lie.  He joked.

And guys, let’s talk about being green.  I’m not talking about the colour.  I’m talking eco-friendly.

First, I need to introduce you to The Body Shop.  I experienced this lovely store for the first time yesterday while I was at Short Pump Town Center with Divya.  It was BEAUTIFUL not only because of the causes they support (animal rights, human rights, protecting the planet), but because they also filled my crazy francophile need for French.  Their products have French names under the English name and there’s even a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL canvas bag with their missions in French on one side and in English on the other.  While I am normally against buying bags because I can make my own in a jiffy for a fraction of the price (or sometimes free), I would have bought that bag if I’d had money because I believe a certain amount was to be donated to a good cause.  I cannot find it on the interwebs, though.

Oh, and look at this.

Moving elsewhere through the mall, which is the most fucking ridiculously pretentious mall I’ve ever been to (and it’s five minutes away from my old home and I would like to call it a ridiculous waste of land because ten years ago, there was a forest there), we came across Delia’s.  Half of the t-shirts in Delia’s are green-inspired and honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that.

For example, I think this shirt is kind of cute.

You know, at first glance.  But then when you think about it, this dinosaur shirt is an exclusive club.  You have to be vegetarian to wear it or else you’re a hypocrite.  And I’ve been against those sorts of shirts since my elementary school days, when Limited Too had sports shirts and shorts and I fit into none of the categories they provided because I was a bookworm, not an athlete goddamnit.  Also, you’re taking credit for being vegetarian.  You are advertising, “I am a better person than you are because I do not eat animals.  Street cred.”  But you don’t see “vegan” shirts at Delia’s, probably because veganism is a bit too radical.

Then you get into their other green shirts.  You’ve got Snoopy, arguably my favourite comic character, lounging on top of his dog house, and underneath, it says, “Save our planet.”  Horton sticks in his head to remind us that “every voice counts.”  A shirt proclaims, “Make art not war.”  There’s this Omni Peace 2025 tee shirt with Africa posing as a hand, and there are fingers forming a peace sign above it.

I have grown to dislike the exploitation of cartoon characters.  Well, good cartoon characters like Snoopy, where the creators are dead and can’t prevent the exploitation.  Snoopy probably doesn’t give much of a shit about saving the planet, and Horton doesn’t care whether or not we vote.

As for “make art not war,” AGREED AGREED AGREED, but fuck, if you’re so artistic and creative, make your own fucking shirt.  Don’t buy it from a store that may use sweatshops (“Made in USA” does not necessarily mean what you think it does–look at all the islands our country “owns” out yonder in the Pacific).

Omni Peace 2025 is a cool shirt, too, but again, child labour and…how many people who shop at Delia’s are educated enough to know about the child labour thing and the situation in Africa?  I’d be willing to bet NOT MANY because they can buy their clothes elsewhere.

My sister, for example, who owns this shirt, is all about “peace and love and no dramaramamama” around her friends, but at home she is a belligerent person and she knows nothing at all about Africa.  She would probably have a fairly difficult time locating it on a globe.  She doesn’t give a shit about Omni Peace 2025.  She bought the shirt probably because one of her friends said they thought it was “cute.” In fact, she probably doesn’t even know that it’s promoting Omni Peace 2025.  She probably doesn’t even realize it’s Africa.

I’m not saying I’m more intelligent than she is, but when I say I support a cause, I do.  And I research it thoroughly until I’m fairly well-informed, and then I attempt to inform other people.  It’s just hard to inform people about animal rights or child labour or anything without it being against their will, because they are so unwilling to admit that they are at fault, even if I’m just trying to help them change their ways.  And when it is voluntary, when they do ask, I can’t make a lasting impression on them.

And Rachael, mysisterRachael, bought a peace-sign necklace from American Eagle recently, thinking she was so awesome and hip, but what she didn’t know is that the necklace part is made of leather and she probably paid close to ten dollars for it, which is so not awesome and not hip.

As much as I love Urban Outfitters, too, “Made in India” is not for me, and I’m surprised how many supposedly hip people go in there to buy aesthetically pleasing clothes and don’t realize that.

I mean, I’m fucking guilty, guilty as the next person, maybe more so depending on who you are, but at least I’m willing to change.  And here’s the thing:  This “green” movement has got to inform people better.  I like where it’s started, but it needs to expand.  It shouldn’t just encourage them to buy hypocritically green shirts.  It’s got to make them think about the welfare of others.  I’m not just talking about future generations, because even that is a fairly selfish motivation.  I mean that we have to reach out to the people around us who are still alive today.  People and animals.  You would like to think we’re all so different, but we have more in common than you’d know, and we could have more in common if you’d just stop and think and listen and go a bit out of your way right now to find out some new tidbits of information.

Since I got here on Saturday, I’ve been having regrets about consenting to go to college in Richmond, where drivers are assholes and everyone hates you automatically until you do something nice for them.  I love Lewisburg because it’s quaint and people are kind and you make friends fairly rapidly (I say that because moving to Richmond in second grade made me a depressed lump of lard because I had no friends, as opposed to moving to Lewisburg, which made me a happy lump of lard because I have friends).  But now, I’m thinking that Richmond might need someone with the insight of a small-town person, so maybe I shouldn’t be as scared as I am.  No, I didn’t fit in with the fashionable beautiful people at Rilo Kiley.  But I guess I hope I never do, because then I’d lose my mission and I would be blissfully ignorant.  Can you backtrack from enlightenment?  I don’t think you can.

But guys, if you come across places you like that don’t use sweatshops, hit me up in the comments and I will check them out and write about them.  Expect a post on the Wombats soon.



I’M BACK

I’m not even going to give you an explanation.  I’m just going to jump right into things.

First, you must listen to Eugene Francis Jnr.  When I hear of new bands via MySpace, I’m always wary because a lot of times, they are teenagers who think they have talent.  And quite frankly, they don’t have any talent at their disposal, at least not musically or creatively, even though they cite Bright Eyes as their main influence.  They are not worthy of being compared to Bright Eyes.  Eugene Francis Jnr is different.  I mean, he toured with Tegan and Sara last year by their demands.  And Bright Eyes is at the bottom of his list of influences, so you know you’ve got quite the journey in store for you.

 Eugene Francis Jnr

There’s a bunch of folklore associated with Eugene Francis Jnr, and he hasn’t even released his first album yet.  For example, legend dictates that he was born in Wales to an Apache Indian father and an Eskimo mother and that he travelled the globe with them.  His parents educated him in music and hippie-dom before he eventually settled in London, playing in various bands before skittling off to America.  Yeah, I don’t know how much of that’s true, but at the same time, I don’t really want to know.  If it’s a tale, then it just shows his creative prowess, and if it’s the truth, then it just shows how cultured an artist he is.  It shows in his music.

I want to say that his music is comparable to the wind, but it has layers and flavour that make it more substantial than that.  I notice something new every time I listen.  Perhaps you could just extract the exoticness or the travelled-ness from the wind and say that’s what I’d like to compare it to, because it would be the truth.  There’s also some self-love/world-love, rather inspirational vibe about some of his songs, most especially “Poor Me.”  Lucky for you, I’ve got that there mp3 for you to enjoy.  My favourite line says, “Don’t want a world where religion is power.”  Word.

Poor Me | Eugene Francis Jnr [buy]

This should tide you over until the album, The Golden Beatle, is released on April 28th, 2008.  Unfortunately for us, it’s only being released digitally outside of Europe, but that’s better than nothing, right?  Here’s the video.  Pretty interesting, reminiscent of some nursery rhyme or fairy tale.  I forget which one, though.

In other news, I went to Richmond last weekend.  I even got to miss school on Friday!  The first thing I did when I got there was visit Derek.  Even when we haven’t seen one another in a long time, we don’t know what to do.  This time, though, we watched Across the Universe and let me tell you…it changed my life.  I love the soundtrack, the character development, the art.  I love how relateable the story is.  It makes me want to fall in love and then be separated from a long time to be reunited again forever.  The soundtrack’s constantly playing in my head, and if I don’t have “All My Loving” stuck in my head, then you can be guaranteed that “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” has taken its place.

All My Loving | Jim Sturgess

After movie-ing and Chipotle-ing and Erika visit-ing with my best frieeeend, I waddled over to Paige’s house in my car.  I miss my car.  So many memories.  It’s a black ’92 Plymouth Acclaim with a maroon interior and a new CD player that was added a few years ago.  A hand-me-down from my parents.  When I drove it around this summer, I always planned to fix it up and put pillows in the back (partially because I have to sit on a pillow to drive it) but I never did.  I didn’t know how to sew yet.  I remember once Derek took me to the car wash and we cleaned it out, vacuum and all.  That was a great day.

Anyway, once I arrived at Paige’s house, there was lots of giggling and the biffs and I watched Across the Universe before bed.  The next morning was Paige’s birthday.  She likes to sleep in, so Erika and I watched Interview with the Vampire before she woke up. I’ll take any opportunity to mock Tom Cruise or Kirsten Dunst as a child.  I’d never really planned on watching it, but it was actually quite enjoyable, especially since we can’t take movies seriously.

I met up with Divya at the mall later that day.  I realized that I don’t get enough time with my best friend.  Isn’t everyone my best friend?  But I have loyalties to Divya because we’ve known one another for ten years.  A whole decade.  I generally hate going to the mall, but Divya and I have many of the same tastes, especially when it comes to clothing, so there were no problems in store choices.  For once, I felt like I fit in at Urban Outfitters, what with my unkempt hair and my weird clothing choice.  I’ve changed so much, not only in mentality, but also in looks.  Long hair, whatever clothes, jeans, no makeup.  Low maintenance is key for me.  Just a smile, come as you are.  I bought a shirt for ten bucks and when Divya and I had to part, it was difficult.

Then I went to Derek’s, lost the keys to my car at dinner, and went home after calling my dad to tell him that I’d lost them.  I always have car troubles.  Like the time I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the headlights.

Valentine’s Day was misleading.  I flip-flop back and forth about it.  For example, I love love and I love making other people feel good.  But Valentine’s Day is sort of exclusive to couples, which sucks, and anyway, as Divya says, you should express your love for people every day, not just on one shitty day in February.  Commas.  And commercialism blows.  This year was different.  I didn’t make valentines by hand with love like I normally do.  Instead, my mom bought me Pixie Stix and I handed them out rather generously but I still didn’t get rid of all sixty.  So when Brent and I went to Cherry Alley as a casual regular after-school gathering, we chugged them.  And I still didn’t get rid of them all.

Now, the fact that we went out on Valentine’s Day is misleading in itself because not a word about it passed between us during those two hours.  No mention of Valentine’s Day.  I figure that’s partially my fault because I assumed that he hated the commercialism of the holiday, and anyway, Brent isn’t a hippie.  He doesn’t love everyone.  I would have been categorized as “naive” to bring it up.  And I am naive, I’m so naive, but you can’t go wrong appreciating people.

It’s so misleading, too, because you’d figure that we’d at least be extremely genuine or kind to each other on that day, but I was being a bitch and then we had a conversation about suicide.  Naturally, that didn’t end well because we have disagreeing views on it.  I find it selfish, though in some contexts it can be beautiful.  You kill yourself, and then you find that people loved you and needed you and you let them down because you were full of self-pity.  There’s always something that could convince you not to do it.  Namely love, I think, or the right expression of appreciation.  That’s not to say I hate people who commit suicide.  It just makes me upset hearing about it.  I could have stopped them.  I could have loved them.  In reality, though, I couldn’t have because I didn’t know them.

Recently, someone said that all you need isn’t love.  You need food, shelter, water.  I read an article about Zimbabwe recently and their 26 000 percent inflation, and how people have to walk epic lengths to get to work because riding the bus costs too much, and how making ends meet is difficult.  And just applying that knowledge to my life, I know I’ve got it great.  It’s cut down on my wants, my so-called “needs.”  I want to walk to school every day just to feel a fraction of what these people are feeling.  I want to pursue my education with greater vigor because not everyone has the opportunity I do.  But when I share this information with other people, this inflation and inspiration and great sadness that just sits inside me that other people have to suffer and they don’t even have it the worst because they have jobs, well, nobody cares.  I get snide remarks like, “Sounds like what’s happening in America.”  It’s not, though, and it frustrates me.  Everyone wants to think he has it the worst.  Even though all these conspiracy theories are circling about American government, even though nothing’s perfect here, we have life so easy, so privileged.  Life is peachy.  There’s hope for everyone here.  There’s love in the form of food, shelter, water.  It’s pretty accessible here, even if it’s not abundant for all.  And you don’t see that in Africa.  I hate how often my acquaintances take things for granted.