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< Seraphim >

Asmodeus didn't stand a chance...

"camera angles"

Wednesday - September 4, 2002

[Seraphim] - 02:10:01 - [link here]

(quick note: part two of my interview with the pulse. is up. The Megatokyo store over at Think Geek should be opening today, so be sure to check back to see when. - piro)

The inspiration for this "Seraphim Check" was a news show about how fashion photographs of supermodels are digitally altered to create the perfect image. I was astounded. First the clothes are pinned, glued, and stapled so they actually fit over the girdles and padded bras used to perfect the model's figure. Then the images are sent to a special facility where inches are taken off of thighs and arms (to correct 'bad' camera angles, don't we all suffer from that?) and any wrinkles, crease lines or pregnancy stretch marks are erased. Super models are gorgeous people, and even they are not gorgeous enough 'au natural'. Does that mess with their minds? So in the end, it isn't enough that real women should look like super models - we're supposed to look like digitally enhanced super models. No wonder so many teenagers have poor self image perceptions and eating disorders.

There was a great deal of controversy regarding the "Angelic Body Attack". Yes, it was my idea. But don't worry, I use a body double. What was underneath the coat? The mass marketing machine that forces the perfect female image on society and makes half of it bow down before it, and the other half try to emulate it, was under the trench coat. The marketing machine that feeds the multi-billion dollar cosmetics, diet supplement, and cosmetic surgery industries. Trust me, even Asmodeus, the evil demon, didn't stand a chance against that. What chance then does the average person have against the media? The greatest irony is that it is all smoke and mirrors. The only people who fit the stereotypical image are 12 and the rest are digitally altered and erased. Whenever I think about it I can't help remembering Mike Teevee from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and all his atoms being blown apart and then reassembled elsewhere. I could afford to lose a few atoms in that kind of process.

As for stereotypes, I am really getting tired of the 'librarian' image that is flaunted all over. From the reference in Frasier that the only women one meets through dating agencies are "librarians who want help bathing their mother" to the King of Queens show about Carrie wearing a her hair in a bun and the only way to make her stop was to show a picture of the school librarian wearing a bun pulled so tight it had the added benefit of acting like a facelift. King of Queens ragged on librarians in another episode where Doug and Carrie donate money to the library and hilarity ensues when the old lady librarian can't seem to count. I also expected George Lucas to be more open minded. Even a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the librarian is a sourpuss old lady in a bun. Of course in LOTR the librarian was a male and he let Gandalf drink in the reading room. What was that? It was a freaking archives and he's bringing in his Starbucks. Obviously, only female librarians 'shhhush' and don't let food or drink in. Let me tell you, if Legolas came in wanting an answer I'd be letting my hair down out of that bun. That elfin look is hot. Mmmmmm. But I digress.

Piro brought back some really nice fan art of Seraphim from Otakon. Vaz did an excellent watercolor. Piro never puts Seraphim in such stylish clothes. And the plushie Seraphim doll by Ramothre-chan was so very clever. The turtleneck tank top was made out of a cut off nylon knee sock that really hugs the curves. Kawaii! I also saw in the photos from the con that the doll was greatly abused throughout and she came to me with only one boot. I also have to say many of the Seraphim cosplayers look more like Seraphim than I do. Although, one observant fan did recognize us driving behind her one evening this past summer in Ann Arbor. I ran across her blog while searching the internet. A perfect stranger recognizes me in a car through her rearview mirror while Mr. Poor who goes to my college and has come into my office sends me an email wondering if I am truly at the 'U' or if it is fiction. I was probably the one that spoke with him! We never run into anyone wearing MT swag but my former coworker Merrie would come in and tell me about her and Dan, her fiance, meeting someone in an MT shirt. Even Tanya at work has a friend who is a reader. If it wasn't for being in grad school, the comic, the book... maybe we would get out more.

Alas, I have some images to digitally alter...

seraphim

< Dom >

"A black (backpack) day"

Thursday - September 5, 2002

[Dom] - 00:01:00 - [link here]

My backpack's dying.

It's been dying for years, really, but it became official this year when the zippers starting popping and refusing to close. I remember that back in grade school, I used to go through a backpack a year--which was pretty common, from what I remember of my classmates. Backpacks made for kids are pretty much made to last a school year before being discarded.

But I think around 7th or 8th grade, I got my backpack. It was big, it was black, it was comfortable, it had just the right number of pockets. And I've had it ever since then. It's funny. That backpack's been with me longer than almost anyone I know. I was talking to my best friend the other night, and he mentioned that he can't remember a day he didn't see me wearing that backpack around.

Heck, no con has gone by without me wearing that sucker for at least half the time. I guess it was sort of like a security blanket full of books, or sometimes a spare pair of underwear--because you know, you'll always need a clean pair of underwear in case you get hit by a car. Or something like that, I forget.

But yeah, it started dying years ago. After years of being hung by a strap while loading and unloading books, after lots of time just hanging from my back, the threads holding the straps started to pop. Not that this mattered to me--I just lightened the load on my backpack, and the straps are still fine, if a little bit looser than before. The waterproofing started to go, but I didn't mind--it doesn't rain too hard around here anyway, and when it does I just wore it under my coat.

But then threads started showing up in the zippers last spring, and I knew my backpack was not long for this world. It's still hanging in there, even though the zipper doggedly hangs open like a dog's mouth on a hot day... but I know that soon it'll be time to put it away and find a new backpack. But it's weird going and buying a backpack when I've had the same one for half my life.

Oh well... hopefully, Eddie Bauer still makes the same model, or something like it. It'd suck if they didn't.

Addendum: A few of you have asked me why I simply don't get it fixed--it's partially because of stubbornness, and even more so because of stubornness now that half of you have e-mailed in calling me a lazy bastard stuck in the American culture of disposable consumerism. I also like it the way it is, even as it becomes unwearable. "Warts and all", you know. If I get it fixed it simply won't be the same backpack anymore. But mostly, I think it's be a good time to let the backpack go. The thing's served me well for a long time, and I figure it's time.

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