Cherry

She lost him. She stopped as soon as she could to catch her breath. The platform was empty, save for one man, standing by himself wearing a low, soft felt hat with a curled brim and the crown creased lengthwise. He looked at her. Cheater. Quickly, she darted her eyes toward the staircase. She half expected him to come up, but he didn’t.

Instead he played chess and she was alone at last. Cherry slid down onto the cold, non-foliated metamorphic rock commonly used for sculpture and as a building material. Her hand searched for a mushy, ham and cheese sandwich. Eat? The odd man turned and walked toward her using a device consisting of a circular canopy of cloth on a folding metal frame supported by a metal rod. It was his first. She didn’t understand the significance of the red and white peppermint patty stripes though. A big chunk of sandwich wedged in her throat.

There is no resting place in Paradise, Chona. Just the constant chase of Dreams and Toys. Whatever then. I don’t need the job anyway. They need themselves and that will never change. I reached into the fridge, the bright neon light glaring in my face. What’s it going to be tonight? 3% milk bought one week ago, or taro cream buns from yesterday? Her black, acid wash cut-offs were riding up her legs, a product of skipping two workouts over the weekend he supposed. Cherry didn’t want any of it. She slammed the fridge door for Each Other and climbed onto the kitchen island marble.

Boom, boom, boom.

Silence filled the entire apartment.

Dang it, he’s here.

She didn’t even have time to prepare.

Some empty containers of Nanö fell onto the floor. Cherry didn’t wait. Nothing. Then, suddenly again –

Boom-boom-boom-boom-boom!

She didn’t have time to leave.

Outside the window, the landscape was lavender purple.

The air inside her apartment was as cold as stone.

Cherry remembered the Toys in her closet. There was probably enough in there to pay him off. Jared didn’t take cheap toys as a barter. He was looking for some form of permanent reimbursement. She wanted to try to run away. Running to her room, she pulled her closet doors open and found him. A retro blue Ty bear stuffie, sewn together with black thread. His beady eyes were made of wind-blown agate, a mystical find these days in Chon.

Wasn’t it ridiculous to think gems held power these days? Jared was specifically looking to enhance his perception and analytical abilities. The agate eyes on Cherry’s Toy could heal the  anger inside and create a sense of security and blankets, much needed bling required at Life Space.

“Cherry!!!” Jared started, “Open the frigging door! NOW!” She grabbed Blueberry, stuffing it into her shirt, which had a hidden metric built-in. The bear quickly disappeared and she yanked the entranceway agape.

“Where is it?!?” Jared stumbled inside, her apartment was already in shreds. Cherry had old jars of Dream everywhere. But they were empty too. Users. “How fast can you put together a cheat sheet?” Jared stopped and looked at Cherry. They both began to laugh hysterically. She blinked her eyes. One by one, the jars started to break up into small parts, a result of impact and decay. She checked out the window. The purple haze was gone and replaced with a mauve checkerboard.

In the next moment memory, everything sat still and Jared was suddenly a statue, his eyes staring blankly at Cherry’s gaze. It was only going to last another 30 minutes, she thought. She moved taking a short time – the journey was going to be fast and furious. She ran back to her window and stuck her head outside. It was wet and sticky and humid. Further out she could see the retro blue Ty melding into life. Tiny pink flecks, stars, were also starting to become actual fact.

That was on her right brain. Her left was angry, used and taken for granted. She didn’t know how to fix him. It was probably going to be impossible. So why not just skip living and buy some cigarettes?

 

9 – Coming Down

I’m so tired, Daisy thought. You’re always tired, retorted Cherry. She was just sitting there, twiddling her thumbs, looking at her green shoes. She turned her head right, was there something there? She suddenly felt uncomfortable. Someone was watching them. They didn’t know who.

It’s time to pack, dear. The routine was the same every June. Alice from Wonderland would arrive to take Daisy home. Daisy couldn’t do it without help. It was a sad time for her. She was remembering the death of her mom, those last few cigarettes she had outside with her dad, in the snow. She was really angry Being because of Ben. He ruined her life, led her astray. She was an addict when she was with him.

Forget thinking about it, darling. Alice stroked Cherry’s hair, handing her a cheese and ham biscuit. This is ridiculous. I’m practically choking on this bread, it’s getting lodged in my throat! I can’t take it anymore! By then, their tears were flowing, ruining everything including a pink dress and a gigantic muumuu.

All of the pupils present today were busy writing down their answers. Not me. I’m just going to sit it. Read his brain. Oh shit, he’s looking. The girls looked away, frantically grabbing their miniature Navajo backpacks, matching, gifts from the Philippines and their Auntie Stella.

Daisy? Can you contribute something to this discussion we’re having? Her teacher was frustrated, but tried his best to be kind and patient. Daisy twitched her mouth. No, I don’t think I can. They could feel every single eye in the room blink. Then, 999,999 heads turned to look at her. What were they expecting? She wasn’t going to put on a show. And especially not in this muumuu. Do you have anything to say, young miss? Neither had enough bitcoins to argue. Clearing her throat, Miss Daisy stood up. Cherry budged in front, knocking her sister to the floor. I bought these with my own cash! Dreams, actually. It was Toys clearly. Can any one of you in the room debate that? We highly think naught. And with haste, they flipped their skirts and left the room.

Flying through the wind, Cherry grabbed her big sister’s hand. They were going to be just fine.

Consonance

IMG_2928

Hi everyone!

We do what we do! Well, I do anyway…

I sometimes find myself questioning my work. Like, is it too complicated for the average reader? Does it come off as fluffy or at the opposite end of the spectrum, dense? And when my mind enters ‘the complex’, I literally have to stop what I’m thinking and revert to self-talk. I used to avoid self-talk for fear that it gave others the impression that I was crazy (my mouth moves when I’m thinking too hard), but now I use it as a gentle form of therapy, to get me back on track to believing in myself. That’s why today, when I came across the word consonance, I felt blessed and it quickly resonated with my current circumstance. Anyway, here’s a bit on consonance as it relates to working and the whole job interview process thingamajigger.

Scott Olster, Ideas Editor at LinkedIn, wrote a brief article around “the idea of business trends, perspectives, and hot topics you need to know to work smarter”. He says –

Success can easily end up feeling hollow when it’s defined and measured by other people’s standards. For our work to have lasting personal value, author Laura Gassner Otting writes that we need to focus on developing what she refers to as consonance.

Laura is a writer for Harvard Business Review and she defines consonance as –

“Consonance is not just purpose writ large (and lofty). It’s your purpose, freely and clearly defined by you, and put into action through awareness of and alignment with your life’s plan. Consonance is when what you do matches who you are (or who you want to be).”

As I enter the interview zone, I will remember consonance as another word that will help me stay on track. Thank you for the opportunity, now I have something to say – always remember, the value of the job is to you (Gassner Otting).

Do you relate to this? What is the interview process like for you? Easy? Intense? How do you prepare?

Katie

She loved the red glitter on her eyes. It was so thick and opaque. Looking into the mirror, she had to tippy-toe onto her Dr. Martens to see the details. It gave her a buzz – the satisfaction of seeing colour on her face. Kate patted down her hair, trying to ignore the grays.

There was a lot now. They came in from nowhere. Probably due to stress. Her mom-in-law. Lack of inspiration or something like that. Katie inhaled a deep breath while admiring herself. One more time, she thought. And then, she turned to exit the restroom.

Her dress was red too. Strolling through the children’s department, Katie saw something green. It was fabulous! Hyper-fantastic and surreal. She had to run towards it. A supreme, three-piece, pastel green, polyester suit. It was a suit of dreams.

Flared pants, minuscule vest, oddly-sized plastic buttons, and a blazer. The blazer. The lapels and the boning. That feeling she got when fresh clothes actually existed was drugs. Not street drugs, but visceral happiness-coated candy love.

Lime green market baskets. Apple-scented Jolly Ranchers. That sort of thing. Why in the world would you even need drugs, if you could find clothes like these? She didn’t know. It blew her mind. As she took the leisure suit to the till to pay, she was anxious, but she still smiled.

She opened her Celine wallet, removing the VISA card – personal purchase – she thought. I’m gonna make this work! Smiling and not evaluating an inch of the sales associate’s grin, Katie took the handles of her JC Penney bag and walked out. Into the world.

***The stores that have given me a sense of fashionable purpose growing up were JC Penney, Fairweather, Smart Set, Dalmys, Le Château, Mariposa, Jacobs, Westbeach, Au Coton, Aritzia, Nike, Winners, Eaton’s and Hudson’s Bay. Most have come and gone. Based on this subset, the champions have focused on a specified niche market, continual dedication through brand evolution and reduced pricing.

CONCLUSION

Time changes everything. How do we keep up (trend)? Stay relevant (worth)? Do you remember your favorite stores and brands? Are they still around? Have they become more or less ubiquitous over time? Why are the champions still in ‘power’ and how do you think they got there?

Influence

Hi everyone!

We want to fit into the human experience, but in today’s digital condition, it can all seem very confusing. Let’s explore the idea of illusion and HOW it relates to social media marketing.

An illusion is a misrepresentation of a “real” sensory stimulus – that is, an interpretation that contradicts objective “reality” as defined by general agreement. For example: reach, likes, your interaction with a mirror or the selfie.

The psychological concept of illusion is defined as a process involving an interaction of logical and empirical considerations. Common usage suggests that an illusion is a discrepancy between one’s awareness and some stimulus.

Are you able to identify some LABELS OF ILLUSION used in social media today? Do the labels impart a lesser or greater influence in terms of how we see ourselves and others?

Case Study

Label:

She is in a bikini, showing the world her body. She is smiling, so she is happy with her appearance and comfortable in her own skin.

Hypothesis:

Influence, as opposed to reach, can extend beyond numbers/demographics and descriptors/psychographics.

Explanation:

Within our cultural/societal context, the labels identified in pink can impart a greater influence on ourselves and others. (Note: influence does not always have a positive effect/affect.) HOW? Cultural appropriation (in visual arts, to appropriate means to properly adopt, borrow, or recycle) effects/affects everyone using the same medium. Marshall Mcluhan, considered by many to be the first father and leading prophet of the electronic age (leaderu.com) argued that, “The medium is the message.” Therefore, the more people exploring similar labels influence more people and the message itself becomes more significant or important. WHY? Cultural integrity says that everybody is included and can be a part of the message. Support is shown by repeating labels within both our cultural/societal context and the content of our individual situations (message). (Note: again, support can have a positive or negative effect/affect.) The more we relate to one another, the greater influence can be.

Exploration:

What we want to know is – HOW then, can we substantiate, quantify (excellence) or qualify (perfection) the labels that we see across channels and platforms? You’ve probably come across messages proclaiming, “She just looks that way online, but in real life, she is miserable.” Or captions that comment, “That is just a flattering angle, I’m posing.” And, “She used filters to slim her waistline and to make it seem like she is wearing makeup.”

Within our cultural/societal context, the labels identified in red impart an even greater influence on ourselves and others. HOW? Cultural integrity causes a competitive sentiment which promotes unique content and more importantly, individuality. This brings us back to asking WHY? And, we can answer in the same way as above — cultural appropriation says that everybody can be included and is a part of the message. Support is shown by repeating labels (or opposing labels) within both our cultural/societal context and the content of our individual situations (message). The more we relate or contend with one another, the greater influence will be.

So, how can we discern true ownership in a digital condition riddled with illusion? 

Cultural appropriation: to explore further

Cultural integrity: to explore further

Effect: to explore further

Affect: to explore further

Strong values and ideas in branding are important. This is cultural appropriation + cultural integrity. Everyone can play a role because as a whole, we are impressing cultural/societal change and development for ourselves and for others. No matter WHAT the message is, it is being shared and released within a free, digital democracy and thus, the content we create and HOW it is transmuted becomes a message in and of itself.

Influence is an original, unbiased and rare phenomenon. It can create a streamlined effect in messaging (communication), which affects WHY we think.

The questions become:

WHY do we choose to direct the flow of creation, messaging and communication (our omnichannel experience)? To change the human experience? To change negative thought processes? As an outlet to comprehend the difference between analog and digital meaning? To explore our digital condition? To belong to a revolution? To simply participate?

To expand:

Use Digital Presence – A Business Model (exploring left and right-brained equalization through messaging/communication management)

Conclusion (for now):

Blox. Communications is always looking for ways to impact the greater picture. We are a POWER OF INFLUENCE and we want to ask: HOW can we influence positive change in the human experience psyche using a digital mind frame? Can our channels become more transparent if a few simple rules (i.e. questioning ASMR) or set practices (use of the selfie to elevate self-esteem, rather than self-image) were put into place? Can our platforms be used for something other than self-promotion? This competitive nature that we rarely talk about, it is happening and what is it serving us? Do we need to adopt digital minimalism? Studies show anxiety among youths has skyrocketed and Generation Z is suffering the consequence with increased cases of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorder, problems with mental functioning, paranoia, and loneliness (adaa.org). Needless to say, our society is up to speed. We know this is going on, but WHAT are we going to do to change it?

Worry is a false attribute. That is the argument – that our involvement in the digital condition is impacting the human experience, our psyche, modes of thinking and ways of communicating messages. We can choose to negate the entire experience, or we can believe that change is already happening. And, for the better.

We don’t need physical collaboration. It occurs spontaneously through the power and magic of digital media. We are all potentially working together, depending on how you choose to see it.  Your perception is bold enough to see outside of regular composition. You can see more than the truth that the regular world presents to us. You see an ideal, an ideal that is off the grid and too good to conceive. So, it is a matter of comprehension. HOW will we bring the world together in our new digital condition? Can we teach youth HOW to go beyond apparent teachings? Can humankind collectively push the boundaries of medicine and science (through art and language), so that our human experience can be brought into a new time frame that will change the very aspects of our health and wellness?

Continue to imbue your force upon other forces. In this great way, wild things will occur. Changes guys, changes!

This journal (thesis development) is TBC. If you have any inquiries, please reach out – info@chonsfecanlas.com.