Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Egg and Boy Chicks

For Easter:
Eggs, Boy-Chicks, Memes,
...& Chick Culling

(You might want to stop reading right now)

As previously mentioned, we’ve been working on a series on internet memes, their importance to our sons, & of course, my basic ignorance. 

Easter seemed like the day to tackle the “World Record Egg,” aka the most liked post ever on Instagram (over 53 million now), & most liked post on any social platform (according to Wikipedia).

And I would have missed it all at the time (January 2019 and onward)  if it weren’t for my sons diligently keeping me up to date.

Apparently the egg’s popularity was not born of pop cultural happenstance, but was initially engineered by select individuals as a challenge to the popularity of Ms Jenner’s picture featuring her daughter. (A mere 18 million likes!)

There were various thoughts and opinions about the egg phenomenon. Was it a triumph of community over celebrity?...populism over consumerism?

Though I don’t think he really had an opinion about any of the above topics, our younger son was definitely an enthusiastic 
egg fan at the time.

Who does not like an egg, after all? Particularly in an iconic, @shutterstock style image?

But let us think further about eggs today on Easter. 

They are pretty ubiquitous. Yes, there’s debate about their nutritional benefits. I had, however, come to the tenuous conclusion that feeding my sons “Pastured, Organic-fed” eggs was better than say Fruit Loops or bagels. Those damn expensive eggs were laid by happy hens, who frolicked on grass, eating delicious bugs, after all....

But like all things diet-, parenting-, environmental-, internet-related: 

Even the production of virtuous eggs does not require more than a small handful of male chicks. 

Google “chick culling,” I dare you. Or don’t, & leave with the tidbit that live “maceration” is the destination for male chicks in the U.S.

I am the caretaker of two young male creatures ....for whom I prepare scrambled eggs...


Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Clay Head

It’s Never Too Late to Illustrate a Basic Incompetence:
(Definitely not a napkin)

A good deal of my work in sculpture and photography used to feature myself as source material. I was available, free, and not offended if I cut off my head and sat on it.  

Now that I am working my status as a crone, strangely, I find dealing with my own image in sculpture more troubling. (Yes. Vanity! Who knew?)

But last semester, I asked the artists in my class at the New York Academy of Art last semester to work on self portraits, and it made me think that it was time to impose the same assignment on myself.

In class, I argued that self portraits were an interesting topic both in the context of art history (mostly in 2D work of course) and contemporary selfie culture....and of course an interesting formal and practical challenge.  

I’m not sure I would give that assignment again, however. Self-source materials, i.e. photos, are always lousy and frustrating compared to working from a live model, and maybe not an extra challenge that you need in a classroom context. And then there is the potential awkwardness of discussing the sculptor’s face in critiques: “I think your face is more asymmetrical, and is more full here” Well, I didn’t say that to anyone. If anything, all participants were more attractive than their self-portraits. Wish I could say the same for myself.

I have always felt that I had a better opinion of my sculpting ability in the past. Whatever the current piece I am working on always seems to suck the most...but this one is a particularly uninspiring moment. 

I used to say that I was a better sculptor than I was a teacher. But now I am wondering a bit if I was talking a better game than I’m playing.

This head is mostly just a test. I am using an unfriendly clay that I am not used to, and working hollow without an armature, which is something I haven’t done in a very long time.

I can only say that it isn’t done, and I have a nefarious plan to cave the face in as part of another it may not matter exactly how I finish arranging my jowls. 

Does that help?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

I Identify as a Flying Attack Unicorn

Continuing the meme series, for National Unicorn Day:

While my feelings about my sons’ developing gender politics are ambivalent, (“Mom, is the wage gap a REAL thing?”) I do understand that they are growing up in an entirely different landscape than the one I experienced long ago when I was a young cishet person.

If you are asking yourself if the previous sentence has a typo in it, then you might be late to the gender nomenclature party. My son has high school friends who use “they” or “hir” as their pronoun. The school addresses teacher reports in the 2nd person (“You wrote a good essay”) to avoid inadvertently using an inappropriate pronoun.

We’ve come a long way on the topic of gender and self determination...Well, not universally of course... But the conversation is certainly out there for everyone to see and participate in, complain about, or make fun of through memes. 

One such gender-discomfort meme is  “I Identify as an Attack Helicopter.”  According to, this one parodies “absurd gender and sexual identification posts often found on forums and blogging sites, most notably Tumblr.”

While I have some serious misgivings about the appeal of backlash memes, (particularly to my sons) is a confusing time for many, and we do have stuff to process....Humor could help...maybe.

At any rate, while I can’t really support the Attack Helicopter Meme, I find the spin-off than my son favored: “I identify as a flying attack unicorn” to be more charming. 

Because. Unicorns. Why not?

In this drawing, unfortunately, I did not do said unicorn justice. I was thinking that maybe it should be helicopter/robot-like, but, giving my poor skill at rendering mechanical objects, this was not a wise choice

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

that moment when ur doge

such doge
much homework
very stress
must scroll

Like most internet memes, I was completely unaware of the Doge meme iceberg, while being slightly annoyed by the tiny bit that my sons kept mentioning.  

A couple of years back, every time we passed a smallish, beige-ish dog, we would have to avidly discuss whether that was a ‘doge’ or not. It was finally made clear to me that a doge was a Shiba Inu...maybe.  But why was this so so compelling and important?

Again, like all things internet meme, I have read the exhaustive history, but am still sort of befuddled on the real why beyond the obvious “dogs are funny” and “it is amusing to imagine that they speak pidgin English.”

To attempt a brief summary of some bullet points from @knowyourmeme:
🐕The use of the term ‘doge’ for dog dates back to a 2005 puppet show video

🐕Pictures of a particular Shiba Inu were posted on a personal blog by @kabosumama (her present handle on instagram) back in 2010. 

🐕The meme spread in various forms and various dogs on Tumblr, Reddit and 4chan from 2010 onwards

🐕In 2013, YouTube inserted a feature that shifted text to brightly colored comic sans font when the search term ‘doge meme’ was used. Many of the doge images feature short words and pidgin phrases superimposed like ‘wow,’ ‘so hip,’ ‘very internet meme,’ ‘such wisdom.’

🐕Reports of the original doge’s death in 2017 were a hoax, but were very popular, and no doubt increased the meme’s popularity.

🐕Also in 2017, Dogecoin was introduced as a satirical cryptocurrency. At its height, one Dogecoin was worth $400.80. At last report, they are worth $0.00322634 each. 


For our part, we have a bit of a history with dogs’ heads on children. (Take that face recognition software.)

And the classic side-eye doge expression seemed appropriate for “That Moment When Your Mom Sees You Scrolling When You Should Be Doing Homework.’