Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Avengers

Hulk and Loki

So.. yeah. I went to see the Avengers.

What can I say? It's exactly like all the Avengers comics ever. Well, the better ones at any rate. I'm trying very hard to ignore all the ones with the "strong female characters" (oh the T&A.. it's fracturing my fragile little spine!) or the cannibalism or the incest or other foolery that gets mistaken for dark and edgy.

If I could just make one request here on superhero comics in general it's would you please please please forget that you ever heard the words "dark" or "edgy". There, forgotten? Good. Now let's never ever use those words ever again when it comes to superhero comics.

The movie? It's not brilliant or deep or multilayered. It's superheores. It's fun and power poses and Hulk Smash and basically just the things that drew you to read those comics before those two words we've now forgotten were introduced to the canon. All that's missing is black hats and mustaches.
And the ending tickled my geek-bone silly.
And I definitely can't say anything more about that because it would spoil everything if you haven't seen the movie.

More of this sort of thing, please.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Accordions and accordions increasing awesome

Street musician concert in Helsinki

Last Sunday there was an openair concert in Helsinki at the Esplanad's park. What made this concert particularly awesome was that the players were a collection of romanian street musicians that had been reqruited for this special occasion from their normal posts all around the town. That is, they're immigrants from Romania who fled here, because they were evicted from their homes in their "own country" without notice and without any sort of government support to keep them from living on the streets and starving to death. Their government just doesn't do that sort of thing. "Own country" in quotations since treating your citizens like that makes you suspect of actually deserving to have citizens and also because I don't want to promote the distinction of us and them. There's no us and them, there's only ever us. (Thank you, John Green)

For a mildly chilly Sunday evening, there were surprisingly many people attending and even more surprisingly, people were moving to the rhythm of the music. This does not happen in Finland, people. Like, ever. Not without cupious amounts of booze. And yet it did. There was polite aplauding when familiar Finnish tunes were played, but what got people really going was when the musicians were asked to perform their own music, to display their culture. There was actual dancing in the audience.
I could not even make this up. Reality just suckerpunched me with a giant wad of roses.

So what were we left with from this concert? That when you run into a street musician, ask them to play something. Talk to them and if they're so inclined, ask them to play things that are dear to them and not to you because you can't imagine the emotion they pour into a song like that. Ask them where they're from and address them accordingly (or better yet, address them by their given name) because calling someone a gypsy just because they're a traveller and assuming that that's their culture and personality is almost as bad as using that N-word. There are travelers and nomads all over the world, and they have their own names and customs that might or might not have similarities.There's also the bit where you realise that instead of trying to beat people into getting a job they would get on their own if they spoke the language but can't get now because they don't, we might want to concentrate on figuring out how to solve the communication issue because most people would still rather contribute to any society than waste away their life.

Oh and I also learned that there are different kinds of accordions. Which I should know considering that grandpa used to play one and we're in the heartland of depressing accordion music. Well, maybe not the heartland. Kind of a little to the left and down from the actual hearland. But close enough.

The difference

Sunday, 13 May 2012

And this is your brain on hipster

Give me an early morning and no coffee (or coffee shops) anywhere within a walking distance and.... I don't even know. 2 years from now I'll just look at these and go "What the hell was I thinking?!". Basically I was just supposed to go through those family photos and this is what happened.
My poor online store. The things I inflict on you...

You are beautiful

You are here.

Eat ice cream

Thank you for existing

Your argument 2


Love bread

Like a boss

Secret ingredient

I don't hate you

Your argument

Saturday, 12 May 2012

This is your brain on tiredz

Tampon cat

This is what happens when I have a stack of projects and it's a rainy, drab day outside.


And now back to going through the birthday and christening photos and reading up on human rights issues, exam books and making notes for Stuff That Actually Matters.

IF - "kernel"

IF - "kernel"

Monday, 7 May 2012

Minor space adventure

You know how pretty much any scifi adventure - a game, a movie or a book - ever made has a couple of basic assumptions and a couple of basic stereotypes. One of the basic assumptions is that we've mastered some sort of not economically disasterous form of space travel, to the point where you don't actually need to be an olympic athlete with 2 or more doctorates to be allowed anywhere near a space shuttle. So there's that. And every science fiction item that operates from this basic assumption (that our society is built on the concept of relatively easy space travel) has some stereotypical characters that can be found out there in space: you have the space ship captains and the red shirts, you have the scientists and the adventurers - cuz stuff just ain't cool until you endanger a bunch of people needlessly just to prove a point about how damn cool you are cuz wishfulfilment and powerfantasies and PIIIIINK!- and you have your space miners. Yeah. Even when they're not mentioned or even shown, there's always this underlying assumption that they're there. I mean, they have to be. Even a fictional world has to have a structure that supports buying rugs, exotic fruit, guns and opening bars. They're doing their heavy duty work, in the most extreme conditions, these big scarred men with their cigars in their space suits and their laser tattoos and their space brothels with squid-ladies. You have space travel, so the first thing we're going to do is go look for natural resources, right? We're running pretty darn low over here, so it just makes sense (and it's not like running low on natural resources has been a big secret ever since it was discovered that the Earth is not, in fact, a limitless universe all unto itself).

And guess what? It turns out that I might actually live to see space miners. Or what our equalent of them will be. I can't lie that it didn't make my geeky heart go all squiggly. <3

Supposedly I'm reading for my exam right now. In reality, I'm watching Scishow and Crash Course! on Youtube and learning about something completely different.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Hey kids, mugs!

There's going to be an event on food and culture, a food culture event even, in Mexico DF this month and I made some mugs to be sold there that're supposed to represent Finland and our native culture in some way. So yeah, after F1 and alcohol were eliminated, I opted for subjects that are supposedly as inoffensive as possible: nature and the native arts that we're doing a pretty good job at trying to ignore. Excuse the hint of snark there. The saami-people are not so much a political hot potato as they used to be, but indigenous peoples and urban cultures and all that...

Anyhooty. Here're the products that are going to be on sale. first image is a wood grouse, the second is a very liberal take on figures used in shaman witch drums. Very liberal. And hopefully I didn't just take anyone's cultural heritage and crap on it.

Metso-mug, blue
Metso-mug, red
Lapland themed mug

And here're a couple of sketches that were not used:

Mug sketch 2
Mug sketch