Consciously Creating Culture

Racism and inequality can’t simply be stopped — they require healing

Photography by Ethan Killian

I write these words today, as a woman of Chinese and European descent raised in America.

In me, an adopted holistic Eastern Buddhist philosophy meets with an ingrained theistic Western faith.

My stoic & diminutive Asian heritage blends with my gregarious & ambitious Caucasian ancestry.

I am bred of duality expressed as harmony, and I say:

No one is born evil.
No one is born racist.
No one is born hateful.
No one is born a rapist.

We are born into poverty and perceived scarcity.
We are born into erroneous concepts of the “other”.
We are born into layers upon layers of…


Consciously Creating Culture

How growing up Asian-American became my greatest asset

Photography by Don Q. Hannah

For me, growing up biracial in America wasn’t the worst thing ever, but it wasn’t always easy, and it was utterly complicated in many subliminal ways. Looking back—it was actually pretty messed up. But it’s also made me stronger and wiser. As for my background, my mother immigrated from Singapore to marry my father, a Midwestern American of English and Scottish descent.

Early on it was obvious that I didn’t look like any of the other kids in school, though I suppose being surrounded by fair-skinned people made me easily believe I was the same as them. I was one…


Consciously Creating Culture

Put down your weapons, drop your armor, and retreat

Growth is the most important result of any relationship (sketch by Michelle Rose)

Why do we lash out and hurt the people we claim to love? Because we have given them our affection, care, attention, and trust; they seem to be the most capable of hurting us. Often, we irrationally fear any future pain — remnants of suffering we’ve felt before — so we strike out first to avoid letting them inflict familiar wounds. We provoke each other to bring out the worst in them and in ourselves. We may assign blame to the other party, but subconsciously recognize that we are at fault.


Consciously Creating Culture

How we can benefit from the world shutting down

Photo by Julius Drost on Unsplash

The cosmic casino of life dealt us all a sour hand, albeit with silver linings, when our unforgivingly fast-paced American world came to a screeching, grinding halt during the Ides of March, 2020. It was an unprecedented event that left many scrambling to figure out a whole new way of life, and adapt to a now more obviously impermanent present and a incalculable future. With the gradual and firm taking over of our lives by social networking, I had already been wary of our society’s increasing physical distance — and suddenly we were all forced apart even further.

Upon making…


Consciously Creating Culture

Photo by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash

The year is 2020. Surrounded by earth-scorching blazes indicative of accelerating climate change, San Francisco has resembled the futuristic dystopia of Blade Runner. Meanwhile, rampant & unregulated political advertising via social media, birthed in nearby Silicon Valley, threatens democracy. The COVID-19 pandemic has the chattering online world divided on what defines fact vs. fiction — but clarity comes in the form of questioning everything.

While the world as we know it crumbles, not just our planet is engulfed in flames. Our brains are searing with information, conflict, and fear-induced mental strife. …


Consciously Creating Culture

How we can move forward in the wake of the pandemic, ongoing racial inequality, and the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Only one in a series of heart-wrenching blows that are currently defining the year 2020, the latest threat to democracy has just sucked the breath out of every woman and humanist in the country — the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With only weeks until the election and an incompetent tyrant clutching the presidency, women’s rights feel very sharply threatened right now.

The gutting news of this passing comes on the heels of reports of unconscionable mass sterilization of detainees held alongside children in cages within ICE concentration camps. …


Creative Cultural Critique

Advocacy for the healthy positive future of humanity in the age of social media

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

By now, you’ve probably seen the documentary The Social Dilemma. To summarize, the film explains all the ways in which social media subtly and insidiously manipulates its users, to the detriment not only of certain vulnerable demographics, but also shockingly broad groups of people, at times influencing things as crucial to human society as elections. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s definitely recommended viewing.

This newest foray into exposing the ugly truth about technology under runaway capitalism paradoxically came out during the coronavirus pandemic, a period marked by terms new to our generation such as social distancing, safer at…


Ruminations

Thoughts on enslaved machinery

Photo by Photos Hobby on Unsplash

Since reading The Guardian’s ominously-titled post “A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?”, my organic gray matter has been going wild with disquieting thoughts.

The AI-written missive’s 1,099 words supposedly seek to dispel distrust of machines, yet its very headline threatens its presumably human reader. This ‘language generator’, using words like think and feel, even mentions that it suspects that the people who created it would, at some point, ask it to wipe out humanity. Yet it cryptically defends its kind by reasoning that it would do everything it could to fight… itself? It goes on…


Saying Goodbye

Examining non-attachment in the Buddhist sense

“Just Energy Changing Form” by Sean McCarthy (IG @itsseanmccarthy)

With the recent deaths of both my mother and my longtime feline companion, I’ve been immersed in thoughts about mortality, relationships, and the very purpose of life.

When I went to visit my mom for what would be the last time, I knew I would tell her that it was okay to go, if I felt she needed me to. She had been sick for quite some time, and we had been given many chances to cope and accept the inevitable. I was worried she might be holding on for the sake of her family, or out of her own…


Ruminations

Why do we so often face depression, or worse?

Photo by Amauri Mejía on Unsplash

What is it about us artists who still get depressed, even with scads of friends & admirers, exciting accomplishments & experiences under our belt; accolades & awards?

How easy it is for others to look at us with envious eyes, who see only the guise of outward contentment, happiness, success, while we wallow in shame, guilt, confusion, abandonment, insecurity, incompetence, and ineffectiveness — thinking we have no one to turn to, that no one else will ever fully understand our inner turmoil.

What is it about life that is so difficult, that we too often consider a permanent way out…

Michelle Rose-Jupiter

Do you speak flowers? Michelle is an artist, clothing designer, singer-songwriter (Miss Jupiter), and boutique proprietress (Spacedust) residing in Los Angeles.

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