Dressing For Con Is Not "Asking For" Sexual Harassment

People tend to sexualize others at Conventions, whether it be Comic Con, Youmacon (or any other anime con), or even a Tattoo Convention. Yes, some people will be dressed in a physically pleasing way. No, that does not mean you get a free pass to be disgusting or disrespectful. 

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What The Death Of Amy Bleuel, Founder Of The Semicolon Project, Truly Means

 
Photo: ACRONYM

Photo: ACRONYM

 

By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM


Amy Bleuel, The Founder of the Semicolon Project, has passed away due to suicide on March 23 at the age of 31. She is most known for her contributions to mental health by creating a project in which people mark themselves with a semicolon, a note that she expressed to The Mighty as follows: 

 “In literature, an author uses a semicolon to not end a sentence but to continue on. We see it as you are the author and your life is the sentence. You’re choosing to keep going.”

The project, both shared in drawings, artwork, and tattoos, became a symbol for those with mental health struggles, whether it be a friend, family member, or themselves. 

Now, the thing that is hard to grasp is the fact that this founder, had all the surroundings in the world by being the champion of this project, and it's illness effects, and still, ended up taking her own life. It's hard to really express how strong depression can be, but if there's any indication that sometimes no matter what you're around, you still may not always be able to handle all of it. 

Amy had the help she needed around her, and it's hard to express all of those thoughts without thinking "Well, she didn't survive, so how can I?" It's not an easy thing, and especially those in the eyes of mental health, sometimes people end up trying to save others instead of looking out for themselves. I know this to be true because I've been one of those people on many occasions. 

This subject hits close to home with me because I too have not only depression that I struggle with, but I did go get the semicolon tattoo, for a few reasons. 1, for my friend Steev. (Not a typo). For those of you that have known me personally for a long time, you've probably heard of Steev. He was a fun person, sort of off his rocker, highly opinionated, but never the less, loved. He had friends around him, he spent a ton of time making jokes, and never gave a sign that he wanted to die. Then he did. And it was hard. Really hard. 

Now, most of my friends, they've gone through their mourning period and let it all go. I might still be the only one of our friends that tries to visit the grave around his birthday every year. But his death impacted me in a way that I can't express enough how bad the pain was. I saw all of my friends completely distraught, beating themselves up. And from that point on, any time that my days got hard, or my life was a wreck, and I wanted to cut, I didn't. He took his life, but I wasn't going to. And for a long time, I did it to protect others. I stayed alive so I didn't hurt someone else. I couldn't put my friends through that again.

That became "not enough" after a while, and after years of on-again-off-again medication, and growing older, I finally sought out other help. And I'm the best I've been in my entire life. But that doesn't mean I don't have bad days. That doesn't mean that some days, I look down at my wrist and have to stare at that tattoo and remind myself that my life is worth living. And that's what it comes down to with everything else, and probably what it comes to when Amy Bleuel is concerned. 

For those of us who don't have a Steev in their lives, Amy is the symbol you need to remember. She may have taken her life, but you don't have to. As a collectively dense group of depression riddled, anxiety stricken people (as it's gotten worse over the years with many of us - I blame technology), we have to keep living. Why? We need to live for them, if not ourselves. Then when it becomes easier, we must learn how to live for ourselves too.

Why? And I want you to read this sentence and remember it for yourself, every single day. You can even imagine me saying it to you. 

Your life is worth living. Don't ever think it's not. You are important. 

Many will say that suicide prevention lines don't do shit. And I know that most people feel that way, but even so, if you don't feel comfortable reaching out to someone you know, please reach out to them to talk. 

Or, my ears are always open. Feel free to send me an e-mail or message, hit me up on social media at @acronymdetroit, or however you get in contact with me. A pigeon-gram would be pretty cool, but not mandatory. (That was supposed to make you laugh.)

To contact a Suicide Prevention specialist, follow the directions below: 

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

Remember, you're worth the world. You are worth saving. Don't go silent. And don't ever feel ashamed for needing or getting help, and if anyone ever tells you that you should be, remove them from your life immediately. 

#HipsterYankeeCandleScents Trend Is So Cool, You've Probably Not Heard Of It

I try as best as I can to not fall into shitposting of viral things - but sometimes something comes along that's too great to pass up. May I present to you, the Twitter Trending Topic called #HipsterYankeeCandleScents

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Happy Valentine's Day, Playboy Is Bringing Back Nudes!

By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM


The titties are back! 

Well, in a matter of speaking. Looks like Cooper Hefner is bringing back nudity to Playboy Magazine. According to A.V. Club, it's only been a year and a half since the mag said they would no longer publish nude photographs.  

Here is Cooper Hefner's Statement:

We will see what direction the magazine will take now, and if there will be "artistic nudes," or will it be like Insta-hoeing? 

6 Reasons Why Being Single On Valentine's Day Is Awesome

The day is upon us when many will be feeling like they are lacking some sort of thing in their lives: A significant other on Valentine's Day. 

Now yes, I do have a significant other. But I didn't always. In fact, I've been single for most of my life, never had a V-Day with a boyfriend, and I even got dumped the day after Christmas once. So trust me, I know my shit.

On a day where many are celebrating the squishy, happy, lovey doveyness, posting pictures of their s/o's, posting shots of their flowers/candy/presents, and otherwise making their relationship look REALLY DAMN GOOD FOR ONE DAY instead of celebrating their s/o's every day in a tasteful and private manner, I'm sure you'll be about ready to download Tinder and start swiping. 

But there are silver linings to everything - I have always believed this. And with every Halmark Holiday in which you feel unfulfilled, there are plus sides. 


You don't have to buy anyone anything:

Just like Christmas, Valentine's Day comes with the stigma that you should get something for your significant other to show them how you feel. Well, if you're single, all you gotta do is buy shit for yourself. And that's 100% fine, and cost effective if you're on a budget. 


It's a chance to go out and do other things:

This particularly works better with females than it does with men, but you can go have a single girls bash with all your other single chicks. Go out, have some wine, eat some delicious food, and have a lady date. Who needs the dudes?


Being single lacks drama:

You're not fighting with your s/o on where to go, or if they booked something for you two to do (think Liz and Shawn in Shawn of the Dead). Honestly, you've got no one to answer to. You can do what you want, when you want, with who you want. 


You don't have to ask anyone out because it's got awkward connotations to ask someone on a date on Valentine's Day. It also prevents any rejection you could get: 

You can make yourself a nice ass dinner, take a bath, and revel in yourself, rather than have to feel incomplete without someone to make you stressed out or confused, "will they or wont they," "are they just a fuck buddy," or "do they like me" crap.  You are free to be. 


You don't have to put out if you don't want to:

There are some people out there that don't like sex. I don't understand those people, but I know they exist. So look at it this way, if you don't have a s/o, you don't have to get primped to get laid.


February 15 means cheap candy at CVS:

If you really like candy, it's probably 50-70% off. Get at it. 


We promise it'll be okay. You're single, and in all reality, it's just 1 day. Tomorrow everything will be back to normal. You got this. 

$13 Tattoos: Would You Or Won't You?

By: Amy Cooper, ACRONYM


Photo: Amy Cooper

Photo: Amy Cooper

It's another Friday the 13th, and let's face it, if you're anywhere near the tattooed world, know a lot of tattoo artists, or just follow a lot of places on Instagram, you'll see a phenomenon of $13 dollar tattoos. 

Now, to be fair, if you have common sense, supplies for tattooing and the time it takes are vastly expensive, even if you're doing simple "flash sheets" of what to choose from, but the question still remains: Would you get a $13 tattoo?

Many do it for fillers in between larger pieces that they've commissioned on their skin, and some kick off getting their first tattoos this way, but many are concerned that if a tattoo artist is offering something like $13 tattoos (or, sometimes they flip the numbers and do $31), is the quality compromised, and/or is that an indicator of a novice or untalented artist. 

I pose these questions as more of an "open-ended discussion, as I'd love to see your responses, and curate the different knowledge from different folks.

As for today, if you are looking for places in the Metro Detroit area that are running this special, note the places below:

Ink Addiction Tattoos & Body Piercing
30960 Ford Rd, Garden City MI 48135  - (734) 261-7944
11607 Telegraph Rd, Taylor MI 48180  -  (734) 374-2574

Steve Webster, Lance Kellar Studios
25534 21 Mile Rd, Macomb, Michigan  - (586) 648-4595

Dbre' Ink Tattoo
5800 E 12 Mile Rd, Warren, Michigan  -  (586) 806-5131

Empire Tattoo Studio
25765 W 7 Mile Rd, Redford, Michigan  -  (313) 952-2330

Premier Tattoo Studio Westland
8043 N Middlebelt Rd, Westland, Michigan  -  (734) 338-9425  

UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY, PANIC, AND AGORAPHOBIC DISORDERS

Originally Published June 6, 2016
By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger


Photo: ACRONYM

Photo: ACRONYM

This is not so much my writing as it is something that I think people need to read and understand in terms of people with Anxiety, Panic, and Agoraphobic disorders. 

I will preface this with that these three things cannot be controlled. The biggest mistake I ever made years ago was telling someone with anxiety to just "get passed it," that it was "all in their head" and that "they were doing it to themselves." How very wrong I was. 

With anxiety, you are constantly worried and sometimes it's to the point where the same thought will loop through your mind. You won't be rocking back and forth like a "psycho" per say, but you'll not be able to escape the feeling of dread about what is stressing you out. 

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America shares this tidbit of info: 

"GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected."

They also explain that "some people can have difficulty carrying out the simplest daily activities when their anxiety is severe."

When it gravitates into more so of a panic nature, which is a gray area in between anxiety and panic attacks, the best explanation is to feel like you aren't in control of your thoughts, rationalizations, and that you can't calm down. 

People react in different ways, which stem between full on obvious panic, zoning out, crying, or overall dread of a situation. Many people who have anxiety also can sometimes react poorly to a large group of people in one place. For example, Times Square during New Years' Eve is not a place you take a person with an anxiety and panic disorder. 

The ADAA explains panic disorders as the following: 

"Panic disorder is diagnosed in people who experience spontaneous seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack. Panic attacks occur unexpectedly, sometimes even during sleep."

When a panic attack comes to the surface, you cannot control it. Bottom Line: That's why it's called a panic attack. When it hits you, all rational thought goes out the window, and the best way to deal with it is to get in a quiet place where you can focus on calming down, and if you have medication for panic attacks, take it.

The most important advice given on panic attacks is that you have to learn how to "ride the wave." What goes up, must come down, and what people who don't understand anxiety or panic attacks fail to understand is that we can't always EXPLAIN what's happening, nor are we able to answer a million questions as to what's happening. Most of the time, trying to talk it out in an actual panic attack situation will only make it worse, especially with people who do not understand it.

You will also potentially experience an aggressive increase in heart rate, blood pressure spike, and shortness of breath, which sometimes can lead to hyperventilation.

Agoraphobia is listed with the AADA's explanation of panic attacks, which shares the following: 

"Some people stop going into situations or places in which they've previously had a panic attack in anticipation of it happening again.
These people have agoraphobia, and they typically avoid public places where they feel immediate escape might be difficult, such as shopping malls, public transportation, or large sports arenas."

Though the article with the AADA does not suggest this, people who have caused anxiety to a person might also trigger panic just by being around them, but there's no medical proof of this (except experience). 

There's not really a conclusion to this piece, except to explain that Anxiety, Panic and Agoraphobic disorders are very much a real thing, and are not to be played off as something that is not considered a medical condition.

It also does not mean that the person experiencing them is weak. In fact, many people who suffer from anxiety and depression have been in traumatic experiences that have worn them down over time. The AADA even says "biological factors, family background, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role." 

If you've skimmed this article, please take the time and read the information above, and learn how to understand this widespread and unpreventable issue. It just might do you some good. 

IN THE CASE OF MENTAL HEALTH: A BLOG POST ON ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Originally Published October 19, 2015
By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger


Photo: Tigris Photo

Photo: Tigris Photo

People make light out of Depression and Anxiety. People also like to use these two things as a crutch, an excuse for their bad behavior, or a reason to stop everything. As much as we’d all like to feel strong, most of us have a hard time of portraying that, and I do think that social media has a lot to do with this sort of thing. 

I see many people finding a way to take issue with life, and people like to complain a lot on social media, and I think, almost in a way, it’s given us this outlet to realize things aren’t always perfect, but more importantly, it gives others a completely different venue. 

A VENUE IN WHICH WE CAN PRETEND EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. 

People who know me pretty well think that I am this spazztic, outgoing ball of energy. A spitfire of opinions - most of which people don’t particularly enjoy, but the people that I defend? They love it. They have that watch dog in their corner. I have these crazy, embarrassing anecdotes that make people laugh, and being that I am a writer, I tell stories quite vividly. 

But the truth of the matter, as hard as it is to say is the following: I have anxiety and depression. I’ve struggled with it for years, but I’ve gotten better at containing it inside of my own mind. Most of my babbling, spazztic moments? It’s not me being outgoing - It’s me being nervous as hell, and trying to burn off that energy or fill an empty space. Me talking over people or trying to crack jokes? It’s to be heard and have some sort of approval. I’ve tried tapering it off for years, but sometimes it still leaks out. People see this is an outgoing personality - or a very strong willed one, but sometimes, it really is that I’m scared. I’ll admit it. 

The reason I share this, is that I get a lot of people who compliment me on my tenacity of wanting to be more, wanting to do more, and wishing they had a drive like that to be as busy as I always am. 

The truth is with anxiety, I don’t know how to sit still. If I sit still, I slip into the depression bracket - because then I begin to think. I worry about finding my place in this world, worry about my weight, if I’ll find someone that will love me for all of these flaws that I have.  All of this may seem very surface, but to me, it is not. 

In America, we’ve got money issues, and though I have struggled for many months to maintain a place of my own for the first time ever, it takes a toll. Then on top of the normal emotions of still growing up at almost 27, it makes you see things clearer. 

Being an artist, you come with a completely different set of self doubt. One in which you see every mistake, every flaw, the things you missed, and the things you wish you could change inside your art. It will almost drive you to madness, which is why they say, some of the best artists are always tortured. Why? Simply because we strive to always get better, because we can’t physically see ourselves being the best. 

I used to be a cutter. Not severely, but just enough. I never did it to die, but just to feel pain. I healed from the situation, but even still, when things get too drastic, I have to remind myself not to go there, back to that place. And I am reminded in this by my friend who took his own life. 

I sat down at a wedding, and after quite a few glasses of wine, I relayed to a friend who married into my core group this information: That because my friend took his own life, he reminded me not to take my own. That if I couldn’t keep my literal shit together, I had to stay alive because of my friends. 

To put it down in writing, his funeral was quite possibly one of the worst experiences any of us had. And as we sat in the funeral parlor, I took in the most vivid images of my best friends, dressed in suits and ties, crying. Men who I thought I’d never see fall apart, who couldn’t keep their emotions inside. A friend holding onto my top with his fingernails and crying into my shoulder. It was shattering, and stunning, and still haunts me. And something I’d never for the literal life of me, want anyone to live ever again. 

So when people accuse me of not knowing what depression and anxiety is - they don’t know who they are talking to. I know, 100%. And I’ve successfully put the right steps forward into getting the help I need, and want to say this:  there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help. 

There is someone in my life that makes me feel very terrible about medication that I’ve taken to balance the playing field. I realize they are wrong about getting help, and they are too afraid to get it themselves. And that’s fine, but here’s the thing: There is nothing wrong with getting the help you need to keep yourself alive, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

There is no weakness in asking for help. If anything, there is only strength. To be brave and remove the negativity in your life - that is brave, that is not fear, or callousness. We are allowed to feel. That’s the human quality. I think sometimes, the world tries to make us forget that fact.

With anxiety, you second guess yourself constantly, which has made social media even worse to our brains, because we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others. While people are off getting engaged, or getting better jobs, or falling in love, or have these achievements that we feel we can never be talented enough to match, we fall victim to a new level of self doubt. 

When anxiety takes hold, you literally cannot decide what you want, and you will spend many hours trying to decide what is right, along with going through every possible scenario, getting stuck on a specific subject. The level of hopelessness in that severe anxiety realm is crippling, and can cause people to withdraw from society on some level, simply because they don’t think they are good enough. 

You can’t self diagnose depression or anxiety. I repeat - you cannot self diagnose depression or anxiety. This isn’t some WebMD bullshit where you pull it up and find out you’re dying. This is just like cancer, a gallbladder infection, and a broken bone. It needs to be diagnosed by a doctor. Why? Because when you’re broken, you need to be healed, and a professional is ready and willing to help you. 

And finally, you cannot blame someone else for your depression. You may not feel that you have control, especially if you DO have anxiety or depression, but like most things that people don’t realize, depression / anxiety or not, you are the only person that can do something about YOU. 

It is your life. It is your decision. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. You cannot please everyone, but you know who you can please? YOURSELF


On that note, I have pulled some symptoms of depression and anxiety from the National Institute of Mental Health website, and pasted them below. If you feel you are struggling with something like this, please, make an appointment with your doctor. Don’t spend your life not helping yourself be the best you that you can be. Don’t live in pain, or fear. We all have our scars, and that’s fine, but getting help, or asking someone you love to get help can prevent pain, suffering, or death. 

And though people have said that the Suicide Prevention Hotline won’t help anyone who’s really contimplating, some people obviously do call when they need someone to talk to. Here is that phone number: 1-800-273-8255.

I will end with a cliche quote that many have used, but fits this particular post: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."


Symptoms of Depression (pulled from The National Institute of Mental Health Website): 
-Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
-Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
-Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
-Irritability, restlessness
-Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
-Fatigue and decreased energy
-Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
-Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
-Overeating, or appetite loss
-Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
-Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
-There is also Seasonal Depression, that occurs between the late fall months to early spring, most typically related to the lack of sunshine. 


Symptoms of General Anxiety Disorder (pulled from The National Institute of Mental Health Website): 
People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.
GAD develops slowly. It often starts during the teen years or young adulthood. Symptoms may get better or worse at different times, and often are worse during times of stress.
When their anxiety level is mild, people with GAD can function socially and hold down a job. Although they don’t avoid certain situations as a result of their disorder, people with GAD can have difficulty carrying out the simplest daily activities if their anxiety is severe.

Symptoms of Anxiety - Panic Disorder (pulled from The National Institute of Mental Health Website): 
-Sudden and repeated attacks of fear
-A feeling of being out of control during a panic attack
-An intense worry about when the next attack will happen
-A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
-Physical symptoms during an attack, such as a pounding or racing heart, sweating, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, feeling hot or a cold chill, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, or stomach pain.

Symptoms of Anxiety - Social Anxiety Disorder (pulled from The National Institute of Mental Health Website): 
-Be very anxious about being with other people and have a hard time talking to them, even though they wish they could
-Be very self-conscious in front of other people and feel embarrassed
-Be very afraid that other people will judge them
-Worry for days or weeks before an event where other people will be
-Stay away from places where there are other people
-Have a hard time making friends and keeping friends
-Blush, sweat, or tremble around other people
-Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach when with other people.

SHEPARD FAIREY HAS SURRENDERED: WHAT THAT MEANS FOR DETROIT ARTISTS

Originally Published July 14, 2015
By: Amy Cooper, Detroit Ginger


Obey Clothing mogul and Mural Artist Shepard Fairey has surrendered to the Detroit Police for a warrant for vandalism. 

The 36th District Court documents and reports from all matter of news sources today, including the Detroit Free PressThe Detroit NewsMetro TimesDeadline Detroit, and Motor City Muckraker all have released interesting details on the situation, and of all headlines, the most telling was "Worlds Most Menacing Criminal, Shepard Fairey, Surrenders in Detroit."

The hard news side of this is that his bond is set at $75,000 for creating only $9,000 worth of public "damage," along with a potential of five years behind bars and fines that could go well over $10,000.

Fairey came to Detroit for a mural on one of Dan Gilbert's buildings, which resides as a new piece of the Detroit Skyline, along with murals in Z Park and other locations. The Police explained the illegal pieces of Andre The Giant, which is a signature notation for Fairey, were what set off the need for arrest, because they were "city owned properties."

From what Sgt. Rebecca McKay told The Detroit News, he had "vandalized" eight properties in which the  building owners wanted to prosecute against him.

From this point, this begs the question: If an artist travels to Detroit to create artwork, and brings people to the city based on the artwork alone, is this a reason to put him or her in jail? We see it all the time, the negative impact the media has in portraying Detroit, save from New York trying to make it look like the best place ever (which we still haven't quite figured out yet). 

If people like our favorite graffiti and mural artists such as PhybrSintex, and other creatives are under watch for exhibiting artwork on buildings, then what does that say about Detroit as a creative space for art?

VIEW: SOME OF DETROIT'S BEST STREET ART / MURALS