There's a raffle! You love raffles!
Plus: why we even create anything--seriously though, a raffle
Est. Read Time: 9 Minutes. Read Time brought to you once again by the Ashburton Energy + Hair Logistics Group, in association with the Bradley Hills Bureau of Corrections. If you like the Sternal Journal, forward it to a friend. They can find the Best of 2020 list here.
Hello again, my wonderful Sternal Journalists!
First order of business: there are quite a number of Sternal Journalists going through major life, career, or otherwise changes recently. Wishing you all excitement and peace in these times of transition. And if nothing is changing for you right now, stay that course! You’re doing a great job!
Moving along, we at the Sternal Journal would like to officially welcome Fruit Gang members! A number of you subscribed after reading last week’s interview with digital creator and comedian Lydia Keating. We couldn’t be happier to have you all! If you missed last week’s SternJourn, check it out here!
Today will be a quicker one, but I believe it will still pack a wollop because we are talking once again about the age old question: what’s the point of creating anything?
This is a regular topic of discussion for me and a dear friend who I saw over the weekend. And I believe the more pointed question within the question is does creating actually do any good in the world?
The tricky part is that I at least generally only find myself asking this question when I’m in a certified, FDA-approved low-ass moment. Whether it’s a shame spiral, general depression, or an OCD flare-up, these low-ass moments inevitably lead to questions whose only intentions are to nurture your self-doubt.
And those are terrible times to be trying to answer the question. Because you don’t have the clarity and of course you will come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t ever create, that it’s dumb, that you’re dumb, and that everything you create is dumb.
So I was thinking about this question during a more peaceful time: on a walk a few weeks ago while listening to Louis Cole’s LIVE 2019. This is a jamtastic, funkified FDA-approved banger of an album.
The final song is incredibly serene, and it started playing just as I rounded the corner behind what used to be the Kohl’s where I once bought a 3 pack of t-shirts because I slept out the night before my first UCB class and was incredibly smelly.
(Unrelated, but two of these three shirts went on to clean up poop situations. One of them was the famous Poopgate fiasco where a still-at-large-today friend or acquaintance pooped on the floor of my bathroom in Brentwood. The other was less notable.)
Anyway, that Kohl’s then became The Britney Spears Experience Instagram museum.
Double anyway, I was rounding the corner there and this beautiful, serene, finale came on and all at once, this line of palm trees in front of me lined up with a line of streetlights, and it had that frictionless bliss of the screensaver on the big grey chunky public school television when the square that’s bouncing around perfectly lines up with the corner.
And it was a perfect moment in my life. And until now, that was my only answer. That everyone who wants to create should create because that’s the only way we get the really good stuff. You know? You can’t just be like, “Prince, Martin Scorsese, and Reba McEntire—you’re the only three people allowed to pursue creative endeavors.”
Would we have a higher percentage of hits out of all things created? Sure. But we would also have way less things created overall. So that’s why we all create. Because nobody knows who the greats are until they’re great.
(Also, of course, self-expression feels really good when done in a healthy way and you never have to share anything you create with anyone. It doesn’t make you less creative. But for the sake of this discussion, I think we’re talking more about people who pursue careers in it.)
But anyway! I now have an entirely new answer to why you should create and I’m not going to tell it to you so much as show it to you. If you remember, way back in the spring, I designed this shirt:
If you’re a veteran Sternal Journalist, of course you remember it. It was all I talked about for a month. But if you’re newer, this was a shirt to raise money for Shower of Hope, an LA nonprofit near and dear to my heart. It pokes fun at how tragically people (me) can treat their (my) career woes in LA when there are way worse tragedies we should be focusing on.
It sold about 20 shirts and raised over $300 for Shower of Hope, which isn’t the most money in the world. But I’m damn proud of it. Because I had this silly idea, I made the thing, and it actually did what it was intended to do. I am planning to do another LA Tragedy drop in the near future, so look out for that.
So really this is a sneaky little reason #2 that there is in fact a point to pursuing creative endeavors: because commerce can be used for good.
But now for the main event. On Saturday night, I got an Instagram notification that someone had tagged me in a post and said something along the lines of “thanks for the shirt!” While I am friends with most of the people who bought them, there were a few strangers or friends of friends so I was excited to get the little burst of dopamine from seeing a stranger liking a thing I made.
But when I clicked through, I found something SO much cooler!
Somebody made a SAILOR MOON MASH UP SHIRT OUT OF MY SHIRT. @m.ed.usa is a mindblowing DIY fashion genius who makes some of the coolest shit I’ve ever seen out of upcycled clothing. Absolutely check out their other stuff.
But the best part is that this shirt could be yours for $10! It’s one in a series of shirts being raffled off for donations to different organizations. Click through to the post for the full directions, but really all it takes to enter is one $10 donation to the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM).
From BEAM’s website: “BEAM is a national training, movement building and grant making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness and liberation of Black and marginalized communities.”
And while I want you to want the shirt that has my shirt in it the most, theres a Golden State Warriors shirt supporting East Bay Housing Organizations and a double Sailor Moon shirt supporting the Palestine Red Crescent Society. These are all good causes. You cannot go wrong. Again, it’s only $10! If you don’t want the shirt, enter and then give it to me!
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is reason #3 why creating does actual good in the world is that, in the best of all worlds but also realest of all worlds, people use the things you create to create things themselves! I cannot convey to you how silly I thought the initial shirt idea was. But if I hadn’t doubled down on the silliness, this Sailor Moon bomb-ass, FDA-approved all-killer-no-filler of a fashion piece would not exist!
So that’s all to say, make the things you want to make. We can’t leave all the heavy lifting and inspiration Prince, Marty, and Reba.
Vote for Shower of Hope. Less of a recommendation, but Shower of Hope is in the running for an LA2050 grant and you can help them by taking one minute to vote here!
Call Me If You Get Lost. Album. I haven’t even finished this new album from Tyler, The Creator, but only because I keep listening to the early songs I really like.
Cruella. Movie. The trailers made it look like The Devil Wears Prada X Dark Knight, but upon watching, I’ll switch that to The Devil Wears Prada X A Tim Burton Batman But I Don’t Know Them Well Enough So I Don’t Know Which One. In short: yes, I actually watched it and I actually liked it.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Video Game. I finally finished it today! This might be the first video game I’ve ever beaten. But I’m mostly resharing this rec because when I looked up why it’s called Breath of the Wild, the top comment was “He was sleeping for 100 years without brushing his teeth. Your breath would be wild too.” And now I’ve shared that with you.
Okay, Sternal Journalists! That’s all for now. Vote for Shower of Hope! Enter that raffle! Have a wonderful week!