Archive for November, 2011

Foxconn, Apple and Hell

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Remember that factory in China where 17 workers committed suicide? Remember how we were assured that compared to the general population of China, this rate of suicide was actually very low?

Foxconn is Apple’s largest supplier of iPads and iPhones. Apple wants us to think of it as a utopian company run by the benevolent prophet Steve Jobs. It doesn’t want us to look at the grim truth about how its products are manufactured.

They aren’t brought to us by storks! They aren’t made in the US, either. They are made in Foxconn’s three Chinese  factories, the most modern of which is an antiseptic nightmare of dehumanizing work conditions. Another worker jumped to her death on November 24, but I only found out because I was looking for images from China Fashion Week.

Joel Johnson wrote in Wired Magazine about the sense of guilt that drove him to visit the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, an industrial city in southern China. The company has put nets around its buildings to break the fall of potential jumpers. It has opened counseling offices and forced  workers  to sign contracts that forbid suicide and warn that families of suicides won’t receive any unusual compensation.

Maybe we’re supposed to think that the million workers employed by Foxconn are lucky to be employed. That only works if you think you’d feel lucky to work a ten hour shift with forced overtime, where you raise your hand to use a restroom. You’d have to feel lucky to live in a dorm room with seven strangers and can only watch TV in a common room with bench seating.

Two independent reports found that worker conditions at Foxconn were incredibly poor, and that Apple had failed to keep its promises regarding Foxconn.   In the first quarter of 2011, Apple posted a record high in revenue of $26.74 billion.

As a reviewer of electronic gadgets, Joel Johnson was burdened “with an outsize provision of guilt–an existential buyer’s remorse for civilization itself. I am here because I want to know: Did my iPhone kill 17 people?”

After touring Foxconn, his answer was Yes.

I’m glad I don’t own a single Apple product. I would never buy one now. If I meet Steve Jobs in hell, I’m going to tell him what I think. Meanwhile, I hope you will pass this story on. We can’t easily opt out of  civilization  but we can choose which companies to do business with.

Behold the Willis Girls

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I was thrilled to hear that Tallulah Willis (middle, above) was   chosen to attend the prestigious Debutantes Ball   at the Crillon Hotel on Paris’ Place de la Concorde.

At just 17 years old, Tallulah is one of the youngest of the 23 girls making their debut last night.   Just look at her jewel-encrusted Lanvin gown, created especially for her by designer Alber Elbaz, who she described as “a very dear friend.”

Rumer competes for attention in a breathtakingly low-cut dress that craftily draws the eye downward to her bared breasts. Determined to make a splash in her own right, Scout died her naturally brunette hair for the occasion, achieving the perfect shade of bright yellow.

I can’t wait for more photos of the event, but I knew you’d be dying to get an early look at the splendor of these wonderful girls!

Chanel is Crap and Cunt of the Week™

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Here is Chanel’s new red nail polish, “Pirate.” It was $23 plus tax.

This is what is looks like after one week. It is the shittiest nail polish ever. Ever. Don’t fall for it! Get some cheap brand from a beauty supply shop instead.

Because of this outrage, Karl Lagerfeld is Cunt of the Week™.

The Art of Self Harming

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Mary Coble is a dedicated artist whose 2005 performance piece, Note to Self, involved being tattooed with the names of 436 gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered people who died as a result of hate crimes.   The performance took 12 hours.

On the one hand, wow. On the other hand, is this art?

Here is a  parallel, under the category of Too Much Information:

Late at night, I like to pick at my legs. “Like” isn’t the right word. It’s more, I have to pick at my legs. This has been going on long enough that I know it’s a form of OCD because I don’t want to do it but I do it anyway.

It started with a tweezer and a couple of ingrown hairs. I hate shaving my legs but I hate ingrown hairs even more. Soon, you get a little scab and the next night, you need to   pick off the scab. Pretty soon, it’s war. My legs are a battlefield and no one is winning. I stopped for a few  months  but then started again.

I know this is a response to intolerable anxiety. I know I should wear mittens at night, or take up knitting or wear high boots until I get into bed.

Nevertheless, I haven’t managed to stop.

Mary Coble has inspired me to ask the question: IS THIS ART?!? How about if I call this a six month performance piece, with my husband the sole spectator??

I think that having only one spectator makes it super arty!

I already feel kind of important about my work!

What do you think?

A Very Nice Person

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Look at this nice person I met at the mall today! I asked him about his sit-ups and whether he did a lot of crunches. But he was too nice to talk about his work-out regime.

All he wanted to do was to pull me close and put his  chiseled  arm around me.

I was going to take my shirt off too, but it all happened so fast.

Later I bought a Chanel nail polish and a red chiffon prom dress. but who cares, you know? It’s really all about connecting with nice male models people.

What I’ve Learned About Suicide (for Simone)

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

I’ve learned that doctors are trying to develop a predictive tool that could warn of a patient’s risk of suicide.

“We can identify those individuals with highest risk for potential suicide, but we can’t identify those who will commit suicide in the near future.  In part, this is because the duration between the suicidal thought and attempt is usually only about 10 minutes,” said Dr. Igor Galynker, MD, PhD.

Suicide risk factors include psychiatric disorders, chronic physical illness, suicidal ideation, a history of suicide attempts, and poor social supports.

Galynker contends that the suicidal act itself is not a thinking process. Rather, it is an affective state.

In their clinical work, Galynker’s team has identified repeated themes.  These include fear of entrapment and distorted and confused thinking. They also identified a distinct psychopathologic state or syndrome related to panic and psychosis.

Galynker and his coauthors describe the state as being “marked by ‘ruminative flooding’ (a confusing, uncontrollable and overwhelming profusion of negative thoughts) coupled with an acute ‘frantic hopelessness,’ in which not only is there a fatalistic conviction that life cannot improve, but also an oppressive sense of entrapment and imminent doom.”

All of this builds to an intolerable, confused state in which patients feel that suicidal action is the only conceivable route of escape.

I don’t know how effectively anyone can use this information but I know it is helpful to me. It may help you too, if you have lost a loved one to suicide.

While I was stuck in a dark well of misery, I blamed Max’s girlfriend for his decision to end his life. Even though he explained in a message he left that he couldn’t stand the chronic pain of his injuries and the complications that developed.

I blamed her and wanted her to suffer. I wrote about her here and demonized her without mercy.

Not too long ago, I realized how badly I had wronged her. I asked if she could forgive me.

Max loved her and felt their love was a kind of miracle. She loved him back and got this tattoo as a symbol of their love.

She loved him but couldn’t save him, just as I couldn’t save him. He would not be saved.

The other day, I confided to her that I don’t understand those mothers who go on after their child’s suicide and proceed to live a life as if it was just some chapter in their past. I cited Gloria Vanderbilt, whose son jumped out a window, right in front of her.

She agreed and suggested  that Gloria Vanderbilt had simply managed to stay distracted.   I said, “What, for sixty years?!” and she answered, “Yes.”

I think this is a piece of wisdom I couldn’t have found on my own.

I wish I could change so many things but of course I can’t. One thing I can do is apologize to Simone, and I’m doing it  publicly.   I’m sorry for hurting you. We are in this together, after all.   xo

Sruli Recht Delivers

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Remember Sruli Recht, the Israeli/Australian designer with a studio in Iceland?

His ready-to-wear menswear is now available online!

The sweater and shorts above are made from the wool of Icelandic sheep who “have been bred unmixed for 11 hundred years.”   Good to know.   But here’s more:

Garment description:

Fitted Single breasted Icelandic woolen-felt Jacket, draped as a sole rectangle, shaped with one dart running from the scapula through to the nape – draped entirely on a K&L 38 stand and on the body of a man named Emil in Reykjavik.

The shorts were also draped entirely on Emil’s legs. Not only that, but they’re lined in Japanese silk and cotton.   I would buy them just to feel close to Sruli.

What is the point of Herman Cain?

Friday, November 4th, 2011

What is the point of this guy???

Why don’t the Republicans nominate Bishop Don instead?

He’s got the charisma, the likability thing, the business acumen, and possibly a better grasp of   foreign relations.

I’m sick of that stupid arrogant pizza salesman.   What a fucker. His function as comic relief has expired.

Bishop Don could even use personal motto as his campaign slogan!

“Green is for the money, gold is for the honeys.”

Royalty Buffs

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I’m not interested in Royalty, but I love old photographs.   Today I came across a forum for people who are obsessed with Royal families and it is a motherlode of vintage photos.

An unexpected bonus is the number of arguments that break out between the people who post there. I wonder if people have to argue in online forums. Maybe it’s just the competitive nature of people who are proud of their expertise.

My husband reads a forum for audiophiles and he says they don’t argue there.   I’m surprised that guys who can tell the difference between five different masters of a Jimi Hendrix record can accept each other’s opinions without jockeying for authority. But moderators are there to end discussions, so who knows what would happen if the posters were left alone to boast about their rare Japanese boxed sets of obscure Eric Clapton demos.

Check out “Alexander Palace Time Machine” for amazing photos and petty arguments! Start here.


* According to a forum regular, here are the Royals who are worst at being Royals:

Prince Charles of Great Britian.
Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Harry of Great Britian.
Princess Anne of Great Britian.
Crown Prince Philip of Belgium.
Prince Joachim of Denmark.
Prince Albert of Monaco.
Victor-Emmanuel of Italy, Duke of Savoye.
Marina-Doria of Italy, Duchess of Savoye.