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n u m b


CONCENTRIC BOOKS LONDON NEW YORK ROME


M EL ISSA PH I L L I PS

n u m b reflections of moder n life


n u m b

REFLECTIONS OF MODERN LIFE Copyright Š 2012 by Melissa Phillips All rights reserved. No part of the material herein may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For further information, please write: Melissa Phillips 2102 North Brandywine Street Arlington, VA 22207 USA


d e d i c a t e d to m y b a b y b a b y. w i t h o u t y o u, m y w o r l d i s n u m b.


co nte nts 2

REBELS WANTED

92

44

10

NATURE NO MORE

MONEY RULES

110

TECHNOLOGY TAINTS

64

INDIGESTION

REFLECTION

vii


T h a n k s t o m y d a d f o r a l w a y s e n c o u r a g i n g m e t o k e e p a s k i n g “ w h y,� my mom for exposing me to the ar ts and being her f u n k y s e l f, a n d m y b r o t h e r f o r a l w a y s i n s p i r i n g m e t o b e m y s e l f w i t h b o t h s o u l a n d i n t e l l e c t . To a l l m y f a m i l y f o r s u p p o r t i n g m y j o u r n e y. To a l l m y f r i e n d s , e s p e c i a l l y C a r m e n a n d L i n d s e y. Yo u i n s p i r e m e t o b e m y b e s t a n d a l w a y s k e e p m e o n t r a c k . To a l l m y m e n t o r s a n d p r o f e s s o r s , e s p e c i a l l y R e e c e a n d J a k e . Yo u h a v e b e e n i n v a l u a b l e i n s o m a n y w a y s . Te a c h i n g m a y be a profession, but motivating is a t r u e g i f t . To m y e d i t o r, K a r e n B e a c h , w h o h a s undoubtedly made this a much bet ter book. To m y p r o f e s s o r, M a u r e e n L a u r a n , f o r t r u s t i n g a n d e n c o u r a g i n g m y v i s i o n . A n d m o s t i m p o r t a n t l y, t o D a v e , th e love of my li fe. T ha n ks fo r b ein g my b est c r i tic a n d b eliev in g in m e. I admire yo u r b ig h e a r t a nd dedication to be real. T ha nk you a million times over for encouraging me and mak ing it possible to pursue my dreams.

t ha nk you

ix


M o d e r n l i fe c o m e s w i t h m a n y d i s t r a c t i o n s,

O u r a d d i c t i o n to e a s e, s p e e d a n d

n u m b.

We a r e a f fe c te d m e n t a l l y, p h y s i c a l l y a n d s p i r i t u a l l y.

a r e d i r e c t l y c o r r e l a te d to m u n d a n e a c t i v i t i e s I h a v e g r o w n h a b i t u a l l y a c c u s to m e d to w i t h o u t B e c a u s e o f t h i s, I h a v e t a k e n t h e t i m e to h o w t h e s e d i f fe r e n t s t i m u l i a f fe c t I a m s t a r t i n g a r e v o l u t i o n a g a i n s t b e i n g n u m b to m y s e l f

x

slow


p refac e a n d o f te n e n o u g h I d o n’ t f i n d m y s e l f a s k i n g e n o u g h q u e s t i o n s a b o u t

w h at i t a l l m e a n s.

s t i m u l a t i o n h a s o v e r s t i m u l a te d u s to t h e p o i n t o f b e i n g A l l f i v e s e n s e s a r e i n a s t a te o f u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s. I a m r e a l i z i n g t h a t s o m e o f t h e d e s t r u c t i v e p a t te r n s i n m y o w n l i fe

b e i n g a w a re o f t h e i r e f fe c t s.

and modern conveniences that

down

and

ponder

my b e i n g.

a n d to t h e w o r l d. I h o p e y o u c a n j o i n m e. M P, A R L I N GTO N , VA , 2 012

xi


L e a r n f r o m y e s te r d a y, l i v e f o r to d a y, h o p e f o r to m o r r o w. The impor tant thing is n o t to s to p q u e s t i o n i n g.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

 

re b e l s wa nted


1


ON MY DRESSER MIRROR LIVES a bumper sticker t h a t r e a d s “ S t o p b i t c h i n g . S t a r t a r e v o l u t i o n .” I h a v e h a d it for nearly seven years. Collecting dust amongst my deodorant and cosmetics, this mot to beats strong in my hear t, but my actions are lack ing. I admire the notion of r e b e l l i n g f o r s o m e t h i n g b e t t e r, b u t I s t r u g g l e e v e r y d a y t o f r e e t h e r e b e l w i t h i n a n d t o f i n d o t h e r s n e a r b y. Life is complicated. Just tr y to live your life uninter r upted, with pure thought, intentions and results. T here are so many distractions that, if you are like me, you end up with less cla r it y a nd more confusion about who you are and what you are doing. If we don’t understand ourselves, how can we expect to ef fectively communicate with ourselves, let alone with the rest of the world? F o r g e t h a p p i n e s s . F o r g e t p r o g r e s s . T h e 2 1s t C e n t u r y b o t h c e l e b r a t e s a n d s u f f e r s f r o m u n c e r t a i n t y. O u r postmodern culture was supposed to be one of rebellion and skepticism of truths, thought and reason. With science, technolog y a nd moder nism we welcomed 2


sto p b i tch i n g. st a r t a revo l u t i o n.

globalization, multiculturalism and open minds. Af ter we began questioning ever y thing though, and realizing that nothing was cer tain, we initiated a whole new p ro b l e m—o n e t h at we c re ate d a n d t h at we n ow h ave to re c o g n ize a n d re act to. I believe that we have moved past this phase of p o s t m o d e r n s ke pt i c i s m a n d a r e n o w s t r a n g e r s—s t r a n g e l y happy to be stagnant in a movement of nothingness. 3


We, in a se nse, g ave u p. We b e c a m e c o m p lac e nt w i t h uncer taint y and content to live in a world of “I don’t k n o w ” a n d “ I d o n ’ t c a r e .” W e d e f i n e d o u r s e l v e s t o b e s o diverse and became so consumed in this idea that there was no common ground to be found, w hich then made us question our own identities. What a vicious circle that led to n o p e r so na l voic e. Rep e at. Rep e at. Rep e at. Rep e at.

repeat.repeat.repe Our lack of communication makes us silent while the noisy world around us falls on deaf ears. We are victims t o t h e r e p e a t e d t r i v i a l i t i e s o f o u r s o c i e t y. O u r c u l t u r e is both over whelmed and under whelmed by ever y thing t h a t s u r r o u n d s u s . T h e r e i s s o m u c h t o d e c i p h e r. M a s s quantities, mass varieties and mass interpretations. W h at is t r u e? W h e re is my p l a c e? W h at d o I m a ke 4


of all of this? O f course we are over w helmed and can’t find answers. We are continuously being pulled in so many directions, with no time to digest, that we just d o n’t k n ow w h at to d o. We a re n u m b. R at h e r t h a n b e a m b i va l e nt to w h at o u r c u l t u re h as m o l d e d u s i nto, I t h i n k i t ’s b et te r to b e c u r i o u s, a n d p e r h a p s e ve n defiant, in this state of chaos.

eat.repeat. repeat. We need to rewind and go back to discourse and asking questions, but this time push it one step f u r t h e r. I f w e f i n d t h a t t h e r e a r e s t i l l n o t r u t h s , c a n w e f i n d s o m e t h i n g c l o s e r t o i t t h a n “ I d o n ’ t k n o w. I d o n ’ t c a r e .” ? G i v e a d a m n , t r y t o f i n d m o r e m e a n i n g , and determine where we fit in with all these uncer tainties. Where are my rebels now? 5


fame

money

commodities

institutions medicine

temptation

texting

violence

politics

energy

fear

murder love

trash

birth control

mass media

technology

obesity

entertainment

video games

freedom

cameras

hormones

addiction

cell phones

minorities

cocaine

facebook

internet

repression

6


sex

anti-depressants

convenience

indulgence

preservatives

popular culture

alternatives

fast food

manipulation water

 chaos

hunger

We can’t change the pace or the nature of the world around us. We can change our own pace and reflect upon what the world makes of us and what we make of it.

advertisements

antibitoics

education

science

pesticides

cars

alcohol

majorities power

identity

religion

unlimited information

7


2


A n d n o, w e d o n’ t k n o w w h e r e i t w i l l l e a d. We j u s t k n o w t h e r e’s s o m e t h i n g m u c h b i g g e r t h a n a n y o f u s h e r e. STEVE JOBS

te c h n o l o g y ta i nts 9


Te c h n o l o g y i s m o ving at such a rap id pace, it bigger than us an d consume the hu man in us love and hate. Ca n’t l i ve w i th i t a n d c a n’t l i ve an iPhone four ye ars ago, my life h as changed. and ente rtainmen t availabl handheld e at my f ingertips computer , I loath t h a t has depr and Face ived me o book eve f r real-life y ten minut signifiers es. Late of future n ight phon relationsh e ips. Now it is all a bout Meaningful co nser vations o nce had over place over th the e impersonal t e x t message. have been red uced to lo-re s snapshots encountered again and los t to cyber spa ce.

10


is likely that it wil l become somethi ng much all. My relationshi p with technology is one of without it. Ever si nce I became a p r o ud owner of While I mar vel at the knowledge, re sources

the resul ting addi ction to a interactio 4. 5" x 2. 5 n in plac " e o f c h e calls wer c k i n g m y emails e once p rized sen tex t mess sations a nd a g i n g . To o easy if you ask m e. phone or eve n via letter ar e now taking And memorie s of impor tan t occasions posted on Fa cebook that m ay never be Has technolo gy gotten the b et te r of u s?

11


cell phones

12


H y p e r- c o n n e c t i v i t y i s t a k i n g o v e r h u m a n - c o n n e c t i v i t y.

13


C E L L PH O N E T EC H N O LO GY H A S A DVA N C E D s o g re a t l y t h a t w e n o longer need maps, calculator s, books or the postal ser v ice. W hile it is incredibly convenient to have ever y thing in the palm of your hand, what about the experience of getting lost and pulling of f the side of a road to ask for directions or pulling out that cumbersome map that no one knows how to fold back up properly? The frustration of getting lost is quickly outweighed by the relief and pride of being a b l e to f i n d o u r way a g a i n—a n d re m e m b e r i n g h ow we g ot t h e re. We re l y s o m u c h o n te c h n o l o g y a n d o u r c e l l p h o n e’s G P S t h a t w e n o lo ng e r n e e d to k now how to nav ig ate ou r ow n cities…a n d a rg u abl y how to use our own brains. T housands of apps are available to replace some of our most basic b r a i n f u n c t i o n s . N e e d h e l p f i g u r i n g o u t t h a t 15% t i p f o r d i n n e r ? D o n ’ t b o t h e r l e a r n i n g a f o r e i g n l a n g u a g e… a t r a n s l a t o r c a n s p e a k o n y o u r b e h a l f. W h y m e m o r i z e y o u r f r i e n d s ’ p h o n e n u m b e r s w h e n y o u r c e l l phone can do it for you? Dit to with their bir thdays. A nd who needs to remember what stars are in the sk y and where they can be found when ou r cell p ho n es c a n replace th e real deal w ith digitize d co nstellatio ns? I am guilt y of all these things, but I didn’t realize the downside of being so dependent on my phone until one day I accidentally locked my s e l f o u t of my of f i c e—l e av i n g my c a r key s, wa ll et, m o n ey a n d p h o n e b e h i n d . T h e b u i l d i n g w a s c o m p l e t e l y e m p t y, a n d I w a s n o t w i t h i n w a l k i n g d i s t a n c e t o a n y w h e r e … e x c e p t , t h a n k f u l l y, a b a r. 14


We n o l o n g e r n e e d to k n o w  h o w to n av i g a te o u r o w n c i t i e s…a n d a r g u a b l y h o w to   u s e o u r o w n b r a i n s. I w a s tot a l l y re l i a n t o n m y m e m o r y a n d a b a r te n d e r ’s g e n e ro s i t y to let me bor row their phone. Luck il y af ter several at tempts, I was able to d i g u p m y b oy f r i e n d ’s p h o n e n u m b e r i n a d u s t y c h a m b e r of m y b r a i n . D a v e t h e n f o u n d m y b o s s ’ s p h o n e n u m b e r, a n d s e v e r a l h o u r s l a t e r I w a s r e s c u e d , b u t n o t t h a n k s t o t e c h n o l o g y. Perhaps the most frustrating feature of cell phones today is the tex t message. I honestl y believe that we have become so addicted to the speed and asynchronous nature of tex t messaging, that we no longer want to actually talk to our friends. We don’t even need to k now how to really express emotions when we have acronyms and icons, like “ l o l ” a n d :) t o d o i t o n o u r b e h a l f . O r a l a n d w r i t i n g s k i l l s s a d l y s e e m 15


tex

tin

to be on the decline. In several of my college courses, professors made it a requirement that tex ting lingo was not allowed in research papers. Besides the decline of communication skills, tex ting robs us from real conversations. We no longer hear t h e s a d n e s s o r j oy i n o u r f r i e n d ’s v o i c e. We n o l o n g e r need to be there for the conversation when we can reply at o u r l e i s u r e‌o r s i m p l y n o t a t a l l.

g r ob s u s o f

Fur ther more, instead of actuall y talk ing to our fr iends on our cell phones, we can check our Facebook newsfeed to see what they a re u p to, i ro n i c a ll y e n o u g h. W hy t a l k to o u r f r i e n ds, w h e n we c a n just check Facebook and see what they are posting to the world? And why tr y to converse with our friends on a night out or at a nice d i n n e r, w h e n w e c a n p u l l o u t o u r p h o n e s a n d f i n d m o r e s t i m u l a t i n g distractions. Instead of tr ying to have a discussion about something in question, why not just whip out the phone and find all the a n s we r s o n li n e? We a re i n s u c h a h u r r y fo r i n st a nt g r at i f i c at i o n t h at the joy of conser vation is being silenced in favor of the unlimited data and tex t messaging plans of our cell phones. H y p e r- c o n n e c t i v i t y i s t a k i n g o v e r h u m a n - c o n n e c t i v i t y.

16


rea

l c on ve rsa tio ns

17


Over 90% of the world mobile i nte r n et se r v i c e s.

population has

source: Inter national Telecommunication Union, http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2010/39.aspx

18


The

tre n d

i s r e f l e c te d i n t h e

tripled

which

g row i n g

f r o m v o i c e to d a t a a p p l i c a t i o n s

n u m b e r o f tex t m e s s a g e s s e n t,

o v e r t h e p a s t t h r e e y e a r s to r e a c h a s t a g g e r i n g

6.1 trillion text messages

i n 2010.

source: Inter national Telecommunication Union, http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2010/39.aspx

19


I n ot h e r w o r d s, c l o s e to

200,000 text messages eve r y se c o n d. a re s e n t

source: Inter national Telecommunication Union, http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2010/39.aspx

20


At t h e s a m e t i m e,

SAT writing scores

lowest fo r t h e g r a d u a t i n g c l a s s of 2011 a r e t h e

scores

eve r

re c o r d e d.

source: Wall Street Jour nal, http://online.wsj.com/article/ SB10001424053111904491704576571060049856724.html

21


22


soc i a l med i a

23


T h e re a re 800 million Facebook members wo r l d w i d e. 24


120 is the average number of friends . source: Facebook Statistics, http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

25


S O C I A L M E D I A S E E M S T O B E TA K I N G O V E R t h e w o r l d . It is not only a prime method of communication for many individuals, it is also a prime method of adver tising and gathering personal data for corporations. Facebook, Tw i t t e r, G o o g l e P l u s , L i n k e d I n , M y S p a c e , Yo u t u b e , F l i c k r…t h e l i s t g o e s o n . W h i l e I v a l u e s o c i a l m e d i a ’ s abilit y to help us bet ter share infor mation and ideas, I question what it is doing to the qualit y of relationships and human interaction, as well as raising concer ns of identit y thef t and privacy violations.

qua

qu a nti

Having 693 fr iends may be gratif ying for some, bu t have we succumbed to quantit y over qualit y? I remember as a child when signs of friendship included becoming blood brothers or of fering friendship bracelets. Cer tainly this must have involved a deeper level of intimacy than to d a y ’s c l i c k of a b u t to n to “a c c e pt ” f r i e n d s. I c a n’ t i m a g i n e k i d s t o d a y w e a r i n g 12 0 f r i e n d s h i p b r a c e l e t s , let alone drawing blood that many times. It makes me wonder if the emotional involvement in friendships is decreasing. It seems as though social net working sites, like Facebook, have become more about broadcasting tha n net wor k ing. We ca n be fr iends with people, or even passively stock them, without actually speaking to or interacting with them. Newsfeeds are clut tered 26

quan

quantit y

quantit y


q u a nt i t y

q u a nt i t y q u a nt i t y q u a nti q u aqnti u atntyi t y q u a nt i t y y tqy u a ntqi tuy a nt i t y u ai tnti a nti t yq u aqnt q u a nt i t y

q u a nt i t y

ity

ntit y

quantity

quantit y

q u a nt i t y qu a nti t y

quantit y

q u a nt i t y

quantit y

q u a nt i t y q u a nt i t y q u a nt i t y qq uua ntai tnt y i t y quantity q u a nt i t y q u a nt i t y q u a nt i t y q uqauntai nti t y tqy u a nt i t y q u a nt i t qquu aantnt q u a nt i t y ity i t y q u a ntqi t u y a ntqi tuya nt i t y q u a nt i t y qu a nti t y

quantit y

q u a nt i t y

quantit y

quantity

quantit y

quantit y

quantit y

q u a nt i t y

ove r q u a l i t y ? with both trivial and monumental aspects of our friends’ lives. I find it sad that I have to read through hundreds o f p o s t s o f d r u n k e n b l a b b e r, n a r c i s s i s t i c m i n u t i a , a n d what someone is listening to on Spotif y to find out that m y g o o d f r i e n d j u s t h a d a b a b y o r t h a t m y f r i e n d ’s a u nt p a s s e d a w a y. S h o u l d w e i m p l e m e n t f i l t e r s i n d e c i d i n g what we present to the world, or should we simply rever t back to the good old fashioned way of communicating and maintaining fr iendships? 27


Since at least 1985, Americans are thought to be suf fering a

The average total number of confidants per citizen has dropped from four to two. source: Kornblum, Janet (June 22, 2006). “Study: 25% of A m e r i c a n s h a v e n o o n e t o c o n f i d e i n . � U S A To d a y. M c P h e r s o n , S m i t h - L o v i n , B r a s h e a r s ( Vo l u m e 7 1 , N u m b e r 3 , J u n e 2 0 0 6 ) . A s a n e t . o r g A m e r i c a n S o c i o l o g i c a l R e v i e w.

28


loss in the quality and quantity of close friendships.

29


25% of A m er ic a ns have source: Kor nblum, Janet (June 22, 2006). “Study: 25% of Americans have no one to confide in.” USA Today. McPherson, Smith-Lovin, Brashears (Volume 71, Number 3, June 2006). Asanet.org American Sociological Review.

30


no close conf ida nts. 31


tv


I B E L I E V E T H AT A N Y P S Y C H I AT R I S T c o u l d d i a g n o s e a n y o n e w h o ’ s a product of our culture as having some sor t of at tention deficient d i s o r d e r. I t h i n k w e a l l e x p e c t i n s t a n t g r a t i f i c a t i o n i n t e r m s o f enter tainment and satisfaction. It is probably safe to say that most American living rooms are equipped with a giant electronic screen, encouraging less conversation and more blank stares. We are used to 20 0 plus T V channels, cable on demand, streaming videos, and hundreds of video games. Forget board games, telling stories, playing h i d e - a n d -s e e k a n d r o a d t r i p s. I t ’s a l l a b o u t n o w—a n d r e a l f a s t. It is sad how many books I don’t read and how much time I have wasted watching T V. M o s t A m e r i c a n s c a n Source: Art & Copy probabl y say the sa me. W hy a re we so glued to the T V? M ost of w hat we watch is pure ga r bage, from realit y T V shows to countless numbers of sitcoms that provide n o i n t e l l e c t u a l g a i n . Tr u s t m e , I u n d e r s t a n d t h e v a l u e o f r e l a x a t i o n . D o w n t i m e f o r r e s t i n g o u r m i n d s c a n b e h e a l t h y — b u t n o t f o u r- h o u r s a - d a y h e a l t h y. A r e w e s o e n t h r a l l e d w i t h o t h e r s ’ l i v e s t h a t w e i g n o r e our own, or are we so bored with our own lives that we thrive on the distraction of others? O r do we just prefer mindless enter tainment over healthy stimulation, like reading books, exercising, enjoying n a t u re o r h a n g i n g o u t w i t h f r i e n d s? I t h i n k i t ’s t i m e w e t u r n of f t h e T V in order to turn on our own lives.

75% of A m e r i c a n

34


h o u s e h o l d s h ave 3 o r m o re T Vs.

35


D a i l y, t h e a v e r a g e A m e r i c a n s p e n d s

0.63 hours reading 36


c o m p a r e d to

5.75 hours watching tv. source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm

37


Ye a r l y, t h e a v e r a g e A m e r i c a n w a tc h e s t h e e q u i v a l e n t of

a re you 2 m o n t h s of n o n s to p T V.

38


I n a 6 5 -y e a r l i fe, t h a t p e r s o n w i l l h a v e s p e n t

ave rag e? 9 y e a r s g l u e d to t h e t u b e. source: http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html

39


Ye a r l y, t h e a v e r a g e A m e r i c a n y o u t h s p e n d s 900 HOURS IN SCHOOL

how ab ou t c o m p a r e d to 15 0 0 H O U R S WAT C H I N G T V. source: http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html

40


D a i l y, t h e a v e r a g e A m e r i c a n c h i l d s p e n d s 4 T O 7 M I N U T E S I N O U T D O O R P L AY

you r child? c o m p a r e d to 7 HOURS IN FRONT OF AN ELECTRONIC SCREEN. source: http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Be-Out-There/ Why-Be-Out-There/Benefits.aspx

41


3

S i n g t h e l o v e o f d a n g e r,


the habit of energy

and boldness. FUTURIST MANIFESTO

nature no mo r e 43


A t t h e a g e o f t h i r t e e n I d e c l a r e d m y s e l f a ‘ t r e e h u g g e r.’ I p l a n t e d street drains and per formed e-coli tests measuring fecal matter in

me absolutely cra zy though, is that when the whole world finally longer believe in the ideals of living sustainably to celebrate and

believe it is actually possible. Ever yone seems to be talking about

l i k e c o n s u m i n g l e s s e l e c t r i c i t y, t o l a r g e r a c t i o n s , l i k e r e t h i n k i n g thing. Is it not common sense to live more responsibly in order to

habituated by modern conveniences, so self-consumed and selfish, N a t u r e t o u c h e s u s d i r e c t l y a n d i n d i r e c t l y e v e r y d a y, a n d w e s h o u l d

44


trees on the weekend, plastered “Do Not Dump Here” stickers on local streams for my high school Water Qualit y club. What drives

d e c i d e s t o g o “ g r e e n ,” I h a v e l o s t f a i t h . I t ’ s n o t t h a t s u d d e n l y I n o prolong nature for future generations, but rather that I no longer

it, but nobody seems to be really doing it. From small actions,

the way we get around. I have lost faith in people doing the right n ot d e s troy w h at e n a b l e s l i fe? We h ave b e c o m e s o ro m a n c e d a n d

that we take for granted what it requires to sustain our lifest yles. be more cognizant of how we, in turn, af fect nature.

45


electricity 46


SIT TING IN THE COMFORT OF MY AIR-CONDITIONED home one la z y Sunday evening, I suddenly star ted to notice the large number of blinking electronics, entangled cords and flickering light bulbs. I star ted to wonder how of ten I actually used all these things and what that really meant in terms of energy consumption.

47


I w a n t e d t o k n o w h o w r e l i a n t I r e a l l y w a s o n e l e c t r i c i t y, h o w m u c h e n e rg y t h is e qu ate d to, a n d h ow m u c h of w h at fos sil f u el was n e e d e d to m a ke t h i s a l l h a p p e n. I l e a r n e d t h a t m y h o m e’s e l e c t r i c i t y was provided by Dominion Power from a coal bur ning power plant. I pu t stick y notes all over my house—on ever y light switch and ever y appliance. I noted how many hours the air conditioner was running, how many minutes each light and laptop was on, and how l o n g t h e was h e r a n d d r ye r s p u n. I ’m s u re t h is c o m e s of f a li t tl e c r a z y, b u t I f o u n d t h e r e s u l t s t o b e e n l i g h t e n i n g . I t t o o k a l o t o f research and math to conver t minutes and hours of operation into k W h o f e n e r g y, w h i c h t h e n w a s c o n v e r t e d t o t h e e q u i v a l e n t o f k g o f coal bur ned. K nowing the kg of coal bur ned, I conver ted ever y thing into pounds, and put that exact amount of powdered charcoal into lit tle plastic baggies. Hung on a star k white wall, it made a great

T h e b a g s w e re h e av y, m e s s y, I put on the ear th and m y l i fe s t y l e of c o nve n i e n c e. 48


impact on me to see what my daily energy consumption equated to i n p o u n d s o f c o a l . T h e b a g s w e r e h e a v y, m e s s y, a n d s y m b o l i z e d the burden I put on the ear th and the waste resulting from my lifest yle of convenience. Modern age and technology have blessed us with so many convenient tools that I wonder if we know the full impact of our daily necessities. Could we live a life without these things, or at least a life w ith th ese things in m o de ratio n? We co nsu m e w ithou t contemplating the impact of our excessive lifest yles and the resulting waste. T he suppl y of fossil fuels is not limitless. Until we c o m e u p w i t h s u s t a i n a b l e e n e r g y, w h i c h s t i l l s h o u l d n ’ t b e a n e x c u s e to waste, we should reconsider our dail y habits for the livelihood of something bigger and bet ter than ourselves.

a n d s y m b o l i ze d t h e b u rd e n t h e wa s te re s u l t i n g f ro m

49


my w e e k l y e n e rg y c o n su m pt i o n i s e q u i va l e nt to:

50


tv s t e re o lights

ps3

13 p o u n d s of c o a l

washer

dryer laptops

fridge

51


g were drivin a teenager s a S E I R O f per ect. MEM ight. It was FONDEST n Y y a M d i F r F O a E on ing at SOM with friends u r h a i r, s i n g o n w h o g t u e o r m h o t h air blowing around my r a d i o, down, fresh g out of the d n i e t l l s o a l r b s s w e o m The wind e a care Violent Fem ngs to the e didn’t hav u l W r . u c i o s f u o m s the top beat of the utomobile hor n to the on of the a i e t h p t e g c r n i e k p n y o m es and h ful commut though, how e s— j u s t a w d . I t ’s f u n n y i d r l r y o o j w e e r h o t s in years. No m iddle finger d in fif teen plent y of m e g d n n a a h , c c i s n a a t h ’d h i n k ech driving, you ips to the m e r t t a y h e c w i r o p n I , as to wor k nd . As much p ossible, a low drivers l e f o t d e inly isn’t im d a t r e c ex ten t i t u ing, b r city plann due to poo

cars

r, llute our ai lers that po z z u g s a a g n I the rld? o reliant on und the wo s o r e a w s r e r a a w y se Wh rinking and es and cau malls and d r oil suppli p u i o r t s e t , e l a i p b e r d ubu a smaller t consider ge SU Vs, s r s a a l e l e r t e a h d l w ou countr y ake a ure, we sh of our cult o d ’s s a ke t g t r r a o f p e d r n a a g l y, drivin re efficient errands mo n a l p , e n i eng . be drinking cab if we’ll

52


spor tat public tran n o y l e r o t ble lways feasi p. I t is n’t a u t i e o exist. v i g I ’d por tation d s n a r t f o s mode alternative

ion

53


54


passenger cars 600,000,000 world 136,568,083 usa population 7 , 0 0 1 , 8 6 8 , 9 2 0 w o r l d 313,219,993 usa Read the fine print. 1 in ever y 4 cars on this planet belongs to American recreational drivers, yet we only make up 1 in ever y 22 persons in the world.

55


56


M A N Y P E O P L E I N O T H E R PA R T S o f t h e w o r l d str u g gle fo r f resh wate r in o rde r to stay ali ve. Ye t , I ’ m a s h a m e d t o s a y, I c a n ’ t b r e a k m y b a d habit of leaving on the water while I brush m y t e e t h . W h y d o w e o v e r- c o n s u m e w a t e r ? We love to take long, hot showers, soak in luxurious bubble baths, and water our n i c e g r e e n a c r e l a w n s a l l d a y l o n g. I t ’s not an issue of water being free because even water has a price tag. Is it an issue t h a t w e d o n’ t k n o w w h a t i t ’s l i ke to n ot have faucets with free-flowing water ? Or is it an issue of not having a true understanding that there really isn’t an endless supply of clean water ? We can blame education, our parents, or our gover nment, but at the end of the day it is our responsibilit y to educate ourselves and to be accountable for our own actions.

water 57


An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than 58


a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day. source: water.org

59


Eve r y 20 s e c o n d s,

a child dies

from a

w a te r- r e l a te d i l l n e s s.

Wo m e n s p e n d a day

20 0 m i l l i o n h o u r s

collecting water. More than

3 x m o re p e o p l e

lack water in the

U n i te d S t ate s .

than live

source: water.org

60


have it easy. turn off the water We t r u l y

I s i t s o m u c h to a s k to

p e a r l y w h i te s? while

brushing our

61


Civilization is a

limitless multiplication l i m i t l e sl ismm i cualt i opnl i c a t i o n i t luelst isp lm esl em susm sulstulim latilicntioci aonatnti oi onn l il m i ti ltiel tm sl essi tistl m cl itlacti tp io im iem ciap i lm tplm itlpui up l i m i t l ei m s si t lm p l i c a t i o n elsui m sl t ii m u l t i p l i t l e s s mcual tti ipolni c a t i o n l i m ilti lm el isim st i p tsl ei tm sl esuslm umll tiuci platlitipicolainct iaotni o n l i m il ti m l e ist sl e m t i upllti ci pal ti ci oant i o n s su lm limitless multiplication ii tpluleilcst isapt lm unal tt ii polni c a t i o n l i m i ltilm e si tsl emslusi m ll tim m i t l e s si iocm ultiplication limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.

M A R K T WA I N

i nd i g e s t i on


4

63


M Y W H O L E L I F E I ’ V E B E E N a n e x c e s s i v e c o n s u m e r. I think this is a common trait of most Americans t o d a y. W e l i v e i n e x c e s s b e c a u s e w e h a v e t h e m e a n s t o , b o t h f i n a n c i a l l y a n d s p a t i a l l y, a n d w e d o n ’ t h a v e t h e s e n s e n o t t o . T h e m o r e t h e m e r r i e r, r i g h t ? B i g g e r ca r s, bigg er T Vs, bigg er homes, more g as, more waste, more clothes, more things, more choices. It is as if we have rever ted back to our childhood. M ore. M ore. M ore. Bu t it doesn’t stop there. We even a re excessive with what we physically put into our own bodies. I w ill not lie. I eat too much McDonalds and drink too much Sierra Nevada. In my t wenties, I wasn’t a stranger to drugs, and during most of my life I wasn’t a stranger to food loaded with chemicals, preser vatives and hormones. Either I enjoyed

64


these things so much I didn’t have the s t r e n g t h t o n o t p u t t h e m i n m y b o d y, or I didn’t know any bet ter because ever yone else was doing the sa me. From bir th control, pot, hot dogs, p rocessed cheese, Zolof t a nd B u d w e i s e r, I d i d n ’ t t h i n k t o q u e s t i o n what it was doing to my body and mind, beyond that pleasurable i n s t a n t . S e v e r a l y e a r s l a t e r, I n o w bla me the ev ils of indulgence, l a c k o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y, a n d e v e n ignora nce, bu t I also now k now that I should be more c r i t i c a l a b o u t w h a t I p u t i n t o m y o w n b o d y. I still have my weak nesses though, and inevitably it always ends in a case of indigestion, f i g u r a t i v e l y o r l i t e r a l l y.

65


f oo d

66


M o re. M o re. M o re.

67


O N N E A R LY E V E R Y C O R N E R O F A M E R I C A , a n d i n c r e a s i n g l y i n other countr ies as well, sits a McDonalds. No wonder we don’t think a n y t h i n g o f i t a s i t ’ s b e e n l i k e t h i s s i n c e m o s t o f u s c a n r e m e m b e r. W e a r e u s e d t o i t , j u s t a s w e a r e a l s o u s e d t o o b e s i t y, d i a b e t e s and high cholesterol. I’ve already confessed my secret cravings for g r e a s y h a m b u r g e r s , s a l t y f r i e s a n d s u g a r- l o a d e d C o k e s , b u t I a m luck y that I am not included in the t went y-five percent of A mer icans in bad health because of such poor eating habits. I suppose it will hit me some day though, if I don’t cha nge. W hat is our obsession with fast food? Is it this perceived notion that we are always pressed fo r tim e, o r is i t lac k of sel f-re st ra i nt ? O r is i t t h e a p p e a l of d o lla r menu items to our wallets? Per haps it is simply that we don’t k now w h y i t i s b a d f o r u s a n d /o r t h a t w e j u s t d o n’ t c a r e. O r p e r h a p s w e should we blame Corporate A merica and the USDA for brainwashing us w ith tr ick y m a r keting a n d misleading info r m atio n? We are what we eat. Most of the food that we choose to eat is processed, unnatural, dr ug tainted, bio-engineered or sourced f r o m c r o p s a n d a n i m a l s t h a t a r e u n s a n i t a r y, a b u s e d , c o v e r e d 68


60 billion animals are raised each year for food—10 animals for ever y human on ear th. source: Food Matters by Mark Bittman

in pesticides and fer tilizer or pumped with hormones, chemical preser vatives, antibiotics and ionizing radiation. Does that sound healthy to you? We should be concer ned with what we eat. We should eat less chemicals and more nutrients, and spend less time at the dr ive-thr u a nd more time at the dinner table. 69


1 BILLION

p e o p l e i n t h e wo r l d a re c h ro n i c a l l y h u n g r y.

1 BILLION

a re ove r w e i g ht. source: Food Matters by Mark Bittman

70


71


MORE THAN 17% OF YOUTH AGED 2–19 ARE OBESE. source: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

A m e r ic a A d u l t o b e s i t y r a t e s h a v e d o u b l e d s i n c e 19 8 0, f r o m 15 t o 3 0 p e r c e n t , w hile c hildh o o d ob esi t y rates have m o re tha n tr iple d. source: http://www.healthyamericans.org/obesity/

72


MORE THAN 35% OF U.S. ADULTS ARE OBESE. source: World health statistics 2011, World Health Organization 2011

is ob ese % of Obese Adult s over 20 Afr ican Region: Region of the A mer icas: Sou th-East Asia Region: European Region: Easter n Mediter ranean: Wester n Pacif ic Region:

8.2 26.6 2.2 21.8 18.8 5.9

source: World health statistics 2011, World Health Organization 2011

73


WE’RE EATING 25% MORE CALORIES THAN WE WERE IN 1975:

and 10% more meat 45% more grain (mostly ref ined) 23% more sugar.

74


Less than 33% of public school lunches met the USDA standards for either total fat or saturated fat.

u n h ealthy. 25% OF AMERICANS HAVE SOME SORT OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, and near ly as many have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a life-threatening disease. source: Food Matters by Mark Bittman

75


medicine

76


77


P O P P I N G P I L L S I S D E F I N I T E LY P A R T o f o u r culture in America. From pain killers to bir th control pills to high cholesterol suppressants to ADHD medications to antidepressants. Having a couple of run-ins with mild d e p r e s s i o n m y s e l f, I k n o w f i r s t- h a n d t h e negative ef fects of antidepressants. For those of you who don’t, they aren’t so happy-gol u c k y. W h i l e o n a n t i d e p r e s s a n t s I f o u n d I w a s disturbingly more desensitized. Nothing could p h a s e m e . I w a s n ’ t a s d o w n , b u t I c e r t a i n l y w a s n ’ t h a p p y, m a d , a n x i o u s , o r s t i m u l a t e d e i t h e r. I w a s b a s i c a l l y n o t h i n g . It might behove us to avoid the unwanted side af fects of many prescription drugs by finding a healthier alter native, or to at least conduct our own research before swallowing foreign material down our throats. Sometimes taking m e d i c a t i o n i s t h e b e s t a n s w e r, b u t m a n y t i m e s adjusting ou r lifest y le, eating habits o r eve n g oing to cou nseling c a n b e just as ef fe cti ve.

78


common side effects of antidepressants include: dry mouth

constipation

blurred vision constipation

fatigue

weight gain

sexual side effects

dizziness

restlessness

nausea

increased appetite

drowsiness agitation source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/ health/antidepressants/MH00062

insomnia 79


Prescription drugs

now surpass

nu m b e r o n e c au se

m oto r v e h i c l e a c c i d e n t s a s t h e

of

accidental

death

in almost half

t h e s t a te s i n t h i s c o u n t r y.

L a s t y e a r, n e a r l y 3 0,0 0 0 A m e r i c a n s d i e d from an

ov e rd o s e,

w i t h at l e a s t h a l f of t h e s e

d e at h s re l ate d to l e g a l l y c o nt ro l l e d s u b s t a n c e s t h at we re m i s u s e d, a b u s e d, p re s c r i b e d

i n c o r re ct l y,

o r s i m p l y j u s t i n t h e w r o n g p e r s o n’s h a n d s.

80


80% of the world’s opioid pain medications

The

United States

now consumes

and 99% of t h e w o r l d ’s h y d r o c o d o n e.

The milligram per person use of prescription opioids i n t h e U n i te d S t a te s i n c r e a s e d f r o m 74 m g to 3 6 9 m g, a n i n c r e a s e o f

4 02%,

b e t w e e n 19 97 a n d 2 0 07.

source: “America’s fatal addiction to prescription drugs“ by David Kloth, Friday 10 June 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ cifamerica/2011/jun/10/prescription-drug-abuse.

81


I n t h e U n i te d S t ate s, sp e n din g fo r p re sc r iptio n d r u g s was $234.1 b illio n in 20 0 8, w h ic h was m o re t h a n do u b le w h at was sp e nt in 19 9 9.

48% of Americans prescription drug in source: Gu Q, Dillon CF, Burt VL. “Prescription drug use continues to increase: U.S. prescription drug data for 2007-2008. NCHS data brief, no 42. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010.

82


took at least one the past month. T h e U n i te d S t a te s h a s b e c o m e t h e l a r g e s t c o n s u m e r of A D H D m e d i c a t i o n s i n t h e w o r l d; a n d p e d i a t r i c p r e s c r i pt i o n s fo r a n t i d e p r e s s a n t s h a v e r i s e n p r e c i p i to u s l y. source: http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Be-Out-There/ Why-Be-Out-There/Benefits.aspx

83


84


drugs

& a lco hol 85


SIMIL AR TO POPPING PILLS, we also seem to over consume dr ugs and alcohol. Like most things in our lives, we tend to t a k e i t t o e x t r e m e s . W h e n I w a s y o u n g e r, I drank way too much and did some pret t y s t u p i d t h i n g s . A s m u c h f u n a s I h a d , s a d l y, I w a s o u t o f m y o w n m i n d. B l a c k- o u t s are named that for a reason. The older I g et, t h e l e s s I d r i n k…b u t t h e m o re I fe e l it. Hangovers just keep get ting harder to h a n d l e a n d l o n g e r to k i c k . Pe r h a p s i t ’s m y body tr ying to tell me something. I never w a s “s t r a i g h t-x ” a n d I p ro b a b l y n e ve r w i l l b e, but I am star ting to realize that moderation can be a wonder ful thing. 86


87


ALCOHOL DOESN’T KILL BRAIN CELLS, but it does damage dendrites resulting in problems conveying messages bet ween the neurons.

DRUGS DON’T PUT HOLES IN YOUR BRAIN, b u t t h e y c a n c a u s e s h o r t-te r m a n d l o n g -te r m c h a n g e s i n t h e b r a i n. source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/ ner vous-system/10-brain-myths9.htm

88


THE AVERAGE U.S. ADULT CONSUMES 850 DRINKS A YEAR (8.5 l i te r s of p u re a l c o h o l) A lcohol C onsumption of Adult s over 15 liters of pure alcohol per pers on per year

Afr ican Region: Region of the A mer icas: Sou th-East Asia Region: European Region: Easter n Mediter ranean: Wester n Pacif ic Region:

4.3 6.7 0.7 9.5 0.3 4.7

(430 dr inks) (670 dr inks) (70 dr inks) (950 dr inks) (30 dr inks) (470 dr inks)

source: World health statistics 2011, World Health Organization 2011

89


5

90


M o n e y i s p o w e r, f re e d o m , a cushion, t h e ro o t o f a l l e v i l , the sum of blessings.

CARL SANDBURG

m o n ey r u l es 91


E V E N AT A Y O U N G A G E , I h e l p e d a r o u n d t h e h o u s e i n o r d e r t o e a r n a $1 we e k l y a ll owa n c e. I g ot st ra ig ht A s a n d p ractic e d my p ia n o in order to ear n a couple of bucks. All the money I saved up in my p i g g y b a n k w a s s u p p o s e t o b u y m e a p r e t t y, s h i n y b l u e C h e v r o l e t B e r e t t a . We l l, I e n d e d u p w i t h m y b r ot h e r ’s g r e e n D o d g e I n t r e p i d and a free ride to college thanks to my parents. I didn’t have to wor r y about thousands of dollars of student loans, but I did have

92


to wor r y about selecting a major that would make me enough money af te r g rad u ati o n. E n o u g h m o n ey fo r w h at t h o u g h? Fa n cy cl ot h e s, a big h o m e, lots of k ids, retire m e nt, ha ppin ess? I sta r te d in c o mp u te r s c i e n c e, g ra d u ate d w i t h a B BA i n m a r keti n g‌a n d te n ye a r s l ate r w e n t b a c k fo r a B FA i n g r a p h i c d e s i g n a n d t h i r t y t h o u s a n d d o l l a r s o f student loan debt. I came to the realization af ter spending eight years in a job I hated, that money wasn’t the answer to ever y thing.

93


C A N Y O U I M A G I N E L I F E T O D AY w i t h o u t m a s s m e d i a ? T V, f i l m , r a d i o , movies, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, m a g a z i n e s, b illb o a rd s a n d i nte r n et‌ they engulf us in this modern la ndscape. Ca n you imagine T V without commercials, movies without previews or product placement, maga zines without adver tisements, radio without interruptions, and inter net withou t banner ads?

mass media 94


Mass communication is brilliant in its abilit y to reach, communicate to and inform the masses, but should we not forget its abilit y to manipulate i ts a u d i e n c e? B illi o n s of d o ll a r s a re spent by corporations to persuade us, manipulate us, and ultimately own u s . A s a d e s i g n e r, o f c o u r s e t h e r e i s a small place in my hear t for brilliant adver tising, but there is also a par t of me that despises it.


As consumers we are targets. Our values, faces, demographics, b o d y s i z e , p r e f e r e n c e s , e a t i n g h a b i t s , h o b b i e s , e t h n i c i t y, s k i n c o l o r, a g e , c h i l d r e n , s e x u a l i t y‌ t h e y a r e n o l o n g e r o u r o w n . T h e y a r e s o u g h t a f t e r, p u r c h a s e d a n d a r e a b u l l s e y e f o r m a r k e t i n g a n d branding depar tments. The ultimate prize is a lot of money for Corporate America. Marketing and adver tising professionals are so good at their jobs that they can convince us which products, ideas, p l a c e s , s e r v i c e s , a n d e v e n p e o p l e a r e s u p e r i o r— a n d i n o n l y a mat ter of seconds. They are so persuasive that we don’t even second guess it. Perhaps more disturbing to me is that politics in America seem to be on the sa me path a nd using mass media to its ad va ntage. H ow mu ch T V space and online search key words can be bought? How many a t t a c k a d s, s u p e r PAC s a n d o p p o n e n t s c a n b e o u t s p e n t ? A m e r i c a n politics have turned into some sor t of war with weapons of money and mass media instead of values and intentions. And once again, we are caught in the middle and bombarded, and even brainwashed with, messages lef t and right. A re we voting for the right politician a n d l e a d e r, o r a r e w e v o t i n g f o r t h e c a n d i d a t e w i t h t h e m o s t m o n e y and best mar keting tactics? A nd is the media in general telling us the news from a neu tral sta nce, or is their message persuaded by sponsors and biased beliefs? How do we k now w hat is tr u th and w h at is o p i n i o n a ny m o re? We c a n st a r t by q u e st i o n i n g w h at we are spoon-fed.

96


I n th e 1970 s, ever y day th e averag e ci t y d well er re cei ve d a bou t

1,0 0 0

adver tising messages. Today, it ’s closer to

5,0 0 0. source: Art &Copy

97


A 3 0 -s e c o n d Su p e r B o w l a d c o sts

$ 2 .7 million. s o u r c e: A r t &C o py

98


Su p e r PAC s c o u l d d r i ve tot a l 2012 e l e ct i o n s p e n d i n g to

$ 9. 8 billion,

a 4 0.9 % i n c re a s e f ro m 20 0 8 s p e n d i n g.

source: Borrell Associates Inc.; 2012.

99


money, power 100


& happiness 101


MONEY SEEMS TO BE THE BIGGEST driving f o r c e i n o u r c u l t u r e . I t e q u a l s p o w e r. C o r r u p t banks get rich while people become homeless, wealthy politicians buy votes, students seek lucrative careers in the financial sector and turn their backs on fields like science and the ar ts, corporations earn billions while employees miserably work 60 hour weeks, and lobbyists spoil politicians rot ten in order to influence d e c i s i o n s i n t h e i r c o r p o r a t e p a y m a s t e r ’ s f a v o r. It seems as though money can buy almost any thing, including power and freedom, and that it has become the determining factor of success and happiness. Despite the impor tance o f m o n e y i n o u r s o c i e t y, w e s e e m t o l a c k f i n a n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y. I t i s n o t u n c o m m o n f o r us to spend more than we earn, buy homes we can’t af ford, and ma x out our credit cards for more worldly possessions we don’t need. H a s o u r o b s e s s i o n w i t h m o n e y, b o t h h a v i n g it and spending it, made us numb to the real riches of the world? Have we become so fixated w i t h m o n e y, f o r t u n e a n d s e c u r i t y t h a t w e h a v e forgot ten about the value of experiencing things that don’t carr y a price tag?

102


the average american has 9 credit cards, $7.8K in debt and 1/160 people declare b a n k r u p t c y. source: http://www.money-zine. com/Financial-Planning/ Debt-Consolidation/ Consumer-Debt-Statistics/

103


It takes $75,0 0 0 a source:http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ article/0,9171,2019628,00.html#ixzz1s4zRLbW7

104


yea r to be happy.

105


O u t o f 151 n a t i o n s s t u d i e d,

Americans

5 h a p p i n e ss, a re

th

i n te r m s o f

33

rd smiling

i n te r m s o f

10 e n j oy m e nt .

106

and

th .

i n te r m s o f


89 b i g g e st

At t h e s a m e t i m e,

w e’r e t h e

the

69

th

5

th

wo r r i e rs,

sa d d e st

and

th

m o st st re s s e d p e o p l e.

source: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ article/0,9171,2019628,00.html#ixzz1s4zRLbW7

107


Yo u m u s t b e t h e c h a n g e you wish to see in the world.

M A H AT M A G A N D H I

ref l e cti on 108


6

109


C e l l p h o n e s r i n g i n g, te x t m e s s a g e s b u z z i n g, 5,0 0 0 a d v e r t i s e m e n t s s c r e a m i n g, f a s t fo o d f a t te n i n g,

m o n e y r u l i n g, p o l i t i c i a n s b r a w l i n g, e n te r t a i n m e n t o b s e s s i n g, e d u c a t i o n f a i l i n g,

It can be over whelming and

su f fo c at i n g

S o m e t i m e s w e fe e l l i k e w e a r e i n a

110

,


life today is chaos. 6 9 3 F a c e b o o k f r i e n d s b l a b b e r i n g, p r e s e r v a t i v e s p e r s i s t i n g, d r u g s

d e s e n s i t i z i n g,

r e l i g i o n s h a t i n g, g a s o l i n e g u z z l i n g,

e n e r g y b u r n i n g a n d te c h n o l o g y t a i n t i n g.

world of uncer taint y and

i r re l eva n c e. 111


112


WHETHER OR NOT WE THINK that our culture has become trivial or comprised of meaningless things and ideals, we are increasingly faced with more distractions. Reflection on how these modern stimuli af fect us seems to be the only way to overcome the u n c e r t a i n t y. R e s o l v e t o t h i n k m o r e a b o u t w h a t w e a r e d o i n g , w h a t w e are consuming, what we consider necessities, what we believe in, a n d w h y. To q u e s t i o n m e a n s t h a t y o u s e e k s o m e t h i n g o t h e r than what you have been handed. My hope is that this will bring you more completeness, feeling, happiness, sadness, resolution, t r u t h, d o u b t, i m a g i n a t i o n, a n d m o r e o f y o u r s e l f. T his is w hat I seek in a wor ld w ith more pur pose. Be present in the moment. B e so m ethin g oth e r tha n nu mb.

W h e re a re my re b e l s n ow ? 113


This single volume was designed and hand bound by Melissa Phillips. All text is set in Helvetica Neue LT Std, a typeface designed by Max Miedinger in 1957. In 1983, D. Stempel AG redesigned the famous Helvetica typeface for the digital age, creating Neue Helvetica for Linotype: a self-contained font family consisting of 51 different font weights. It is the quintessential sans serif font, timeless and neutral. All photographs taken by Melissa Phillips. Printed on a digital press at SOA Print (George Mason University) in Spring 2012.


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numb CONCENTRIC BOOKS LONDON NEW YORK ROME MELISSA PHILLIPS reflections of modern life REFLECTIONS OF MODERN LIFE Melissa Phillips 2102 Nort...

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