Claire-Dee Lim

Writer, Content Marketing

Category: Culture (page 1 of 8)

Thinking About 5 Things: From Fidgeting to Bones

1. Sully

For someone who once had a fear of flying—take-off and turbulence equaled my own personal hell of anxiety and panic—I love airplane movies! Last weekend I saw Sully and it didn’t disappoint in the terror department. Cool effects, gripping, heroic, and the extra bonus of a cartoony portrayal of the NTSB “bad guys.” Very cathartic to see Sully save the day.

Side note: I overcame my 20-year fear of flying with the help of a hypnosis recording. This summer I took 8 flights with no issues. One time I even fell asleep during take-off. Now that’s a first!

2. Fidget

The goal for this Kickstarter started at $15,000 and, at the time of this posting, it’s well over $4 M! For a plastic cube you can play with at your desk. No joke. Check out the link and watch the money pour in.

 

fidget-cube-a-vinyl-desk-toy-by-matthew-and-mark-mclachlan-kickstarter

3. Bone broth

In our continual efforts to achieve good health, we’re consuming bone broth, from grass-fed, grass finished bones. My husband lets it simmer on the stove for two-days, creating a broth rich in minerals and collagen. Our hair and nails are growing like crazy and my skin’s looking healthier too. I can only imagine the positive effects on my innards.

broth-1

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

 

4. Apple Plug

Not yet ready to upgrade to the iPhone 7? Consider this …

apple-plug

 

5. Graffiti

A strange place to find this political statement.

trump-toilet-1

 

La Compañia de Jesus: the Price of Gold

Recently, I visited Peru and Ecuador, and I prepared for the trip by reading Kim MacQuarrie’s book, Last Days of the Incas. While I already knew about the Spanish invasion and colonization of Central America, I became fascinated by how 168 conquistadors, led by Francisco Pizarro, seized control of the Incan empire of 10 million, using brute force, advanced battle tactics, i.e., horses, and deceit. The vestiges and lasting impacts of South America’s bloody and oppressive history are well documented, particularly in the churches throughout the region.

La Compañia de Jesus, located in Quito’s historical center, is a dazzling and mind-blowing testament to the Spanish conquerors’ obsession with gold and religious dominance. The entire interior is covered in gold leaf—4 tons of it! Their desire for the precious metal had everything to do with accumulating wealth for themselves as well as colonizing and controlling access to the rich lands. As MacQuarrie says the conquistadors were “entrepreneurs with guns.” For the Incans, gold was considered sacred but it had no monetary value like it did for the Spanish.

Iglesia_de_La_Compañía_Quito_Ecuador_altar view

View of the altar

The Jesuits broke ground on the church in 1605 and it was completed 160 years later in 1765. It’s a spectacular example of baroque architecture, craftsmanship and Moorish design influences. It’s an overwhelming sight, especially when you think about its history and what it ultimately “cost” the indigenous culture to help build it.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Art Pop Idol: Takashi Murakami at the Broad Museum

How does one even begin to describe the artistry of Takashi Murakami? Masterful, ebullient, scintillating, sarcastic, historical, technical, profound … words like these don’t seem to do him justice. Lucky for us several of his vast canvases are now on view at the new Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of absorbing Murakami’s world, go now. And make sure to give yourself plenty of time. His paintings are so dense with imagery relating to spirituality, pop and drug culture, and social commentary, you could spend five minutes looking at a tiny corner!

I dare you not be mesmerized by his 82-foot long,  In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow. It’s a psychedelic head trip involving Hokusai-like wave patterns, earthquakes, historical figures, and comical crazed animals.

One of my faves is the Hustle’n’Punch By Kaikai And Kiki. Don’t be fooled by its riot of pinky tones and smiley flower faces. Look closer and you’ll see mouths open, revealing gnashing fangs. This is quintessential Murakami social critique. Beneath the bright and sunny lurks the grotesque.

Murakami detail re

Lastly, I leave you with Of Chinese Lions, Peonies, Skulls, And Fountains. How can you resist cuddly puddles of cats atop a cascade of skulls? I know I can’t.

Murakami cat

 

 

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