Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Paper Planes

The artist who created this song is Mathangi Arulpragasm aka M.I.A , she was born in Hounslow, London, England, but went back to her family's homeland of Tamil Sri-Lanka at 6 months old. The name M.I.A "Missing In Action" comes from her own experience of having her father be a political activist of the Tamil Militancy. M.I.A's songs come from the events in her life: father hiding, and the family having to move from place to place because the the Sri Lankan Civil War. When M.I.A's finally came back to London, her family were housed as refugees, struggling just to get by.

I fly like paper, get high like planes
If you catch me at the border I got visas in my name
If you come around here, I make them all day
I get one down in a second if you wait

I can't seem get this song out of my head because of its message. M.I.A. is trying to shed a light on the issues of our world; immigrants trying to reach a dream of freedom and prosperity, but are mistreated by the government. In the video it shows the different forms of hustling, people only caring about one thing "money." Yet money is the key to survival without it your left vulnerable, and not considered a valuable citizen.

Sometimes I feel sitting on trains
Every stop I get to I'm clocking that game
Everyone's a winner now we're making our fame
Bona fide hustler, making my name

What blew my mind was children's voices singing the chorus, blended with the sound of guns firing and cash registers opening. This shows are present and possible future, kids growing up, glamorizing crime, thinking by killing and robbing will give them as sense of accomplishment and self-esteem. I believe the paper air planes in the video symbolize the hopes and dreams of people wanting something more than life, but don't think they are going rise above their current situation because of their cultural or racial backgrounds.

For more Lyrics and info on M.I.A. check out:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Peanuts Gang

This is my tribute to Charles M. Schultz who created the Peanuts comic Strip, featuring Charlie Brown. The comic strip had been featured in Sunday Newspaper's from October 2, 1950 to Feb. 13, 2000 the year that Schultz died. As a kid I couldn't wait to get the Sunday's Chicago Tribune so I could read the comics page, and cut them out so I could save them.

Charlie Brown was the outcast, the kid that did not fit in no matter how hard he tried. He reflected how society judges other based on class,cultural background, and race; anything that doesn't fit inside the box labeled "normal" is ostracized. His best friend Linus holds the spirit of optimism despite the harshness in the world, his honesty and innocence is what people used to possess as children, before society told us who we had to be. Lucy in my opinion was a feminist (though I don't know if Schultz saw her this way) she wanted her voice to be heard, and be a leader in every situation.

Charlie Brown and many of the characters were based on aspects of Schultz's life. The tomboy Peppermint Patty came from his Cousin Patricia Swanson. Heather aka "The little red haired girl," was inspired from his first love Donna Johnson, who he dated for three years. When he tried to propose to her, Johnson turned him down, and ended up marrying a fireman named Allan Wold. Heather is mentioned in many of the comic strips as well as the animated cartoons; Charlie Brown is always loving her from afar. Schultz's political views which were embedded in some of the character's dialogue, come from his experience being in the army.This is why snoopy dressed up as a WWII pilot during its "Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" T.V special.

There are comic strips created by artists, paying homage to Schultz who created characters that all people can relate to. His work has touch many lives and still are loved by younger generations. Its amazing how art can stand the test of time, and its message still valued after so many years.

for more info on Charles M. Scultz check out:

Junk Artists

Have you ever thrown away an empty can of pop, wrapper, or paper bag thinking its just trash? Well there are artists who can take our garbage and turn them into master pieces. I think junk art is fascinating, considering my own mother uses empty champagne bottles she finds at family celebrations and thrown out furniture.My mom paints, sands, and glues until she has a work of art that reflects her own personality. For today's blog I'm going to share with you viewers two junk artists who's work has stood out to me.

Leo Sewell grew up in Annapolis, Maryland; as a kid he lived near a Navy Dump, were he collected objects that intrigued him, and sparked new ideas into his young mind. Now as an adult, he lives in Philadelphia, where he believes its trash is his inspiration, creating pieces such as: Eagle, Bison, Teddy bear and many more. It takes real skill to try to mold objects into different shapes.

Sarah Lucas was born in Holloway England; she expresses her quirky humor in her art. The themes of her work is usually gender,death, and sexuality; she usually makes furniture and found objects resemble human body parts. Cigarettes is the main object that she uses in her pieces; but also collaborates her photography skills with her objects.

Junk artist are examples of how there is no strict rules in art; the sky's the limit. These artist have showed you, uses objects that people discard and give them life.

For more info about these artists check out:

Leo Sewell

Sarah Lucas

Monday, December 14, 2009


The song "Unwritten" sung by Natasha Bedingfield, is so inspirational, and gets to be emotionally. I have dreams of becoming a published author, and right now I'm trying to finish a novel I've been writing. Sometimes I feel scared, unsure of myself and the future; but this song gives me hope.

I loved the concept of people from different backgrounds and cultures shown on an elevator in the video. The elevator is like a gathering place, where individuals have no choice but to be squished together for about 15 seconds. But in those seconds there is a connection, we are all going on our own journeys of self discovery, each floor represents new paths of possibilities.

The part of the song that stands out to me is:

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

For me Natasha is giving the message to her listeners that its never to late to live your dreams or do something that gives you meaning in life. By only focusing on Today, experiencing everything to the fullest in these 24 hours, can give us inner peace. Only we can write our own destinies.


wings give stories flight
eyes possess a secret dawn
beak holds sacred truths

This is my own haiku poem that I have created. A haiku poem is simple, yet beautiful, coming from the Japanese culture. Haiku's usually have three lines, the first line having 5 syllables, second 7, and the third 5. Most Haiku's have images from nature, but can really be about anything that holds meaning for the writer. For me, haiku's are like riddles and pieces of wisdom, that can be discovered, by reading carefully between the lines.

Here are examples of Haiku's from the past and our modern time, I would like to share with you viewers. The first two are from Masaoko Shiki who was a poet born in 1867 in Japan. He suffered with tuberculosis throughout his life; I believe his illness caused him to stop and experience the beauty we ignore in our surroundings, from being so "Busy," and thinking we don't have enough time. Shiki wrote haiku's including those written in several journals that were eventually published after his death in 1902. What made him famous was the fact that he was considered a "radical," while other writers were writing free verse poems, Shiki decided to stick to the rules of Haiku: three lines, to create his art, that is now widely used today.

For love and hate
I swat a fly and offer
it to an ant

A mountain Village
under the piled up snow
the sound of water

The second poet whose work I would like to present is Gerald Vizenor. Vizenor is a poet,fiction, and shot story writer born in 1934on the, coming from from a Chippewa/Swedish background. He used his experience of being bi-racial, the struggles of his youth, and his search of identity in his writing. He came across the Haiku by joining the army and serving three years in Japan, creating haikus to express what he had seen. This evolved into Vizenor publishing books of haiku poetry such as: Empty Swings and Slight Abrasions.

Sudden rain
Scarecrows share an umbrella
bingo night

November Storm
hearts painted on bridge
crossed out

What is so amazing about Vizenor is that he creates his own pattern for his Haiku's. The first poem has the pattern:3/7/3 syllables while the other has:2/5/2.

I write Haiku's to challenge myself by trying to create a message with only a few lines and images. It's not as easy as it seems, you have to make a beat, a flowing rhythm like a song. I dare anyone to write a haiku, it will open your mind to new ideas about the world around you.

For more info about Masaoko Shiki check out:">a> and

Gerald Vizenor: ">

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Untitled Poem

This is another open of mine that I can't seem to find a title for. I created it from finding words in magazines that stood out to me; I had cut them out and placed them together to create a story. Maybe you viewers can help me come up with a title.

Clutching her purse in the evening
Underneath the stars of New York City

Torn T-shirt, smeared blood
In the corner against a brick wall

HE, underneath her jeans
terror, barely breathing

The minutes go slow like a blues song, a blanket
of smoke
Intimidating, bending itself towards you

she, screaming underneath his shirt

Banging, struck a bottle, pressed flowers,
shards of broken glass sprayed across the concrete

purple smoke rings exhale the truth.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is one of my favorite songs that always makes me cry because of its beautiful, sorrow filled lyrics. The song was written for the movie "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939 by E.Y. Harburg and music arrangement by Harold Arlen.

The first video I would like to show you viewers is " Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung by Judy Garland when she was only 16. She played Dorothy Gale who felt trapped in her country life, and wanted to explore the world outside her farm. I believe Judy's own dysfunctional life at this age: Strict Mother,struggling with the death of her father, and MGM Studios trying to mold her into their own image of beauty, lead to her putting her emotions and whole soul into the song.

Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole was a Hawaiian musician and singer who sung his own version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on his CD Facing the Future, which was featured in movies such as Finding Forester and Meet Joe Black. He was an inspirational influence in Hawaii for other young artists, his haunting voice reflecting the pains and triumphs we face as human beings. Israel died in 1997 at the age of 38, from respiratory problems due to his weight.

The song is universal, everyone at one time as dreamed of something special for their futures and feel like they are not able to achieve them due to: poverty, fear, non-support from family and friends, or society degrading you. Its amazing that different generations and cultures have their own interpretation of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but still carries the message of hope.

For more information about Israel Kamakawiwo'ole check \