Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bella Nova Productions Logo Sketches, with Oscar Flores and Dulce Osuna, My Mind is Drifting Elsewhere

Introductory aside note: the websites of Oscar Flores and Dulce Osuna have some of my photographs on them!

Last weekend, I had a couple of free days (though the shxt hit the fan a few days later), and Oscar had a Quincenera to film on Saturday. I volunteered to help out, and it was a lot of fun! It was a blast and a total escape from my current anxieties of trying to transfer back to UCSB with an interdisciplinary Ph.D. As another random aside, I met Edgar, who is one of the managing heads of the famous Freebirds burrito restaurant in Isla Vista, and I don't know how he related to the quince girl, but I said hello (he teased me for my late night purchases of chips and raids of pico de gallo in large water cups) and said that my dad absolutely cannot wait to come up to UCSB all the way from Riverside and have a Freebirds burrito!

Towards the end of the Quincenera, Oscar and I got really bored. We didn't take the event too seriously because we weren't getting paid, though it is indeed a resume item. Oscar needed help with making business cards, and I gave him some pointers. Also I did a photoshoot of Oscar right then and there, and he liked a few of the images! He placed a few on his website! Happy Vic. Then we also sat down and talked about how the BellaNova Productions logo (Bella Nova Productions is a production company that Oscar and Dulce are starting, and I am going to try to help as much as possible, though right now I am SO stressed out). Yesterday and today I worked on the logo, and the best drawings and photoshop manipulations are above.

The process of making the layers of the logo can be seen on this website:

I want to do better, but I am so full of anxiety, my mind is not focusing like it optimally can. Especially yesterday, when I got blasted with an unexpected phone call from the assistant Dean of the Graduate Division at UCSB (phone call? HOW INHUMANE! THIS IS MY ACADEMIC LIFE HERE. MY BRAIN. DON'T CALL ME. JUST TALK TO MY FACE, PLEASE!). She was nice but discouraging at the same time. And I talked to Shine, Miriam asked me, "Why isn't there a CCS Ph.D?" I'm shrug my shoulders, "I don't know." And I told Shine of this. Shine Ling. Like my undergrad role model in CCS biology. He has profoundly impacted my life intellectually. Shine, who has compiled an extensive history of the College of Creative Studies (an education and philosophy of science journalism project he has been working on) Shine told me two things (or 3) based on my circumstance: (1). In the Conceptual Plan of CCS a long time ago, they had an idea of creating a graduate school, (2). Since Bruce Tiffney is el heffe for now, he is the type of person who could really carry through such an idea (but shxt, it's a frickin' hassle!), Shine further stated that after Dr. Ashby retired, this is the first time in a while where CCS can operate in "non-crisis mode" (3). Though CCS advertises itself to be "graduate school for undergraduates," this is in great part, highly untrue. There kind of needs to be a CCS graduate school because CCS has very different philosophies and operations than typical graduate school. Shine also has found some interesting statistics that many CCS alumni who have attempted graduate school have actually not carried through (though many have, and sucked it up).... I am literally in the middle of a human graduate education guinea pig experiment! I think, and Shine agrees, that many CCS graduate students are suffering in the outer world in general. Because society can only accept and deal with people who FIT into boxes, and don't know what to do with people who CREATE their own boxes. In the end of the evening at Quantum (an academically-named, Japanese-architecture, high-class, locally-distributed, organically-rich, swank American burger joint, okay... only in Santa Barbara....), after all my griping and bullshxtting to him and Jay and Eleanor (and poor Sam, CCS Literature, she doesn't need to hear this!), Shine said he would talk to Bruce about some kind of CCS grad school, whenever he saw him next.

As you can see, my mind is NOT involved in making the logo. My mind is wrapped around my institutional re-incorporation of my brain. It's about mental survival. And physical, consequentially... affecting eating habits, sleeping habits, exercise habits, affecting my emotional stability--I had a mild panic attack yesterday but managed to express it through my voice recorder.... And writing about this has been therapeutic as well....

I have an alternative name for a Production Company. Since I am into "The Matrix" so much, I decided that a cool name would be "NeoNova." It has a COOL ring to it, plus can make a NIN-nine-inch-nail type of logo to it. I think New Star more accurately represents me and "a new birth of thought." Bella Nova is great. Beautiful Star. But in certain ways to me is a bit static. I think I need that sense of "birth" and "change" and "renewal" in a name for me. Bioweb. Evoterre. Eklektecos. Stokastika. Biomathematika. I mean, these names spur images of flow and change and shifts and growth and birth and death and ... and... systems moving in general. Don't get me wrong, Bella Nova is a great name for this production company, but in my own fictictious circumstance, it would be NeoNova.

A last thought. I told Shine: CCS versus graduate school. Graduate School is a socially acceptable form of entering a gang. Instead of getting physically beat up with blood and guts, you go through bureacratic constipation paperwork and interviews, "mentally beat up" "firing squad." And not only that, they pass your through first year entry classes to make sure that you thoroughly think like their little Intellectual Ingroup Thinktank--little clones of them--and then you are a part of the "ingroup." So there. Undergraduates in Letters and Science get hearded around like numerical cows, branded with a pin, who have the illusion of choice, taking classes because it "satisfies 1 from column A and two from column B" as Bruce Tiffney would say. How mind-numbing! So, there's the epitome of bureaucratic cow-herding and gangsterism of undergrad and grad school. Now, what is CCS? CCS is like lifting all constraints and walls and arbitrary and irrational bureaucratic rules of all departments and disciplines, and rules of society in general (not ALL of them), and let students run around and play in the university like little ADD kindergarteners, who are curious about everything, and just let their intellectual growth be guided by their own INDIVIDUAL INTERNAL QUESTIONING, rather than being ditcated by intellectual gangterism and cow-herding! CCS promotes integrative thinking and renaissance thought (fosters INDIVIDUAL INTELLECTUAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF INDIVIDUAL INTELLECTUAL IDENTITY). CCS allows you to take bits and pieces of knowledge from any department, field, person, inside and outside the university--and integrate all these bits and pieces into something new. A bunch of people of all different disciplines shootin' the shxt in a beat up couch in an old World War II building. CCS is the romantic notion of the university that USED TO EXIST in the past that basically... no longer exists anymore... except for CCS. In the end, I take a step back, and I find this all disgusting. Bureacracy is mentally constipating and killing me, and I am tired of fighting it. "What is rational versus what is bureaucratic convention are two ENTIRELY different entities." This is truly a Rage Against the Machine. The summation of human society across large numbers of people and resources across several generations, has created a MONSTER, INHUMANE system that people can barely exist in--to a point where most of American society is drugged and cell-brain-dead (college-based ritualistic rite of passage) in order to stay in their "molecular places" where society wants them to stay.

It's like this entire illusion of choice. This gradient to a degree of mental freedom to degrees of constraint. And what maximized degrees of mental freedom? CCS. CCS. CCS. And what constrains it? L&S. Grad school. And what program fosters INDIVIDUAL INTELLECTUAL IDENTITY? INTELLECTUAL WAIFS WITH A HOME BASE? ORGANIC-FREE-RANGING INTELLECTUAL THOUGHT AND NOT-MASS-PRODUCED CLONES? CCS. And the rest is just prison. Period. Dxmmit.


AND I'M NOT GOING TO WAIT FOR A 25-YEAR ACADEMIC INTELLECTUAL RITE OF PASSAGE (Ph.D. tenure, etcetera) IN ORDER TO BECOME AN INTELLECTUALLY ORGANIC FREE-RANGER. The problem of the environment is NOW. My survival is today. My survival, our survival, and the EARTH'S PROBLEM IS NOW. NOW. NOW. We need solutions and changes NOW. Every day a scientist conforms to existing bureaucracy and stays in the comfort of his air-conditioned office. Every day a bureaucrat goes about his or her business without questioning the way how he or she has framed or constrained this university environment. Every single day, these people are giving up on themselves. Given up on future generations. Given up on this planet. We are a PART of the experiment of sustainability! All these godxm repeat plaguing thoughts in my head! Get them out!

I see the university structure more like an experiment in human behavior... and it sucks I have to be the victim of it... as of this mentally perilous moment.

I need to see Armand next week. Bruce next week. And Ron Rice next week. And Zia next week. I don't think I can write the letters yet until I know what they have to say.

Sorry if I have any strange cuts-and-pastes in this partially frustrating, cuss-out blog.

Key Words: bella nova, CCS graduate school, Dulce Osuna, graduate school for undergrads, logo design, NeoNova, Oscar Flores, production company, quincenera, Shine Ling, cow-herding, intellectual gangsterism, intellectual identity, university romanticized, rage against the machine, bureacuratic monster, illusion of choice, organic-free-ranging intellectual thought, guinea pig


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