Notes on Gavin Chittick's Ice-T Tribunal

Somewhere in the pleasantly distant land of Leeds since I've thankfully been working from home for much of the year, a man by the name of Gavin Chittick is currently taking legal action against his employer, Total Gas and Power after a colleague sent him an image in questionable taste. According to the article, the image in question is said to have been of a picture of prolific rapper, Ice-T wielding a machine gun with the words "Gavin Chittick = Ice Tea"...

Assuming this was a simple case of celebrity doppelgangers, a few of my colleagues were struggling to see why this association would warrant such escalation. They wondered if perhaps it was because Ice-T was violent and shared their own doppelgangers as examples of how it could just be seen as a joke. As uniniterested as I insist on being in life about Leeds news, I felt compelled to procrastinate from work to venture a few educated guesses in Gavin's favour because... well, when have I ever been able to resist flexing my Tumblr upbringing? Rather than let this thesis die in a Teams thread, I thought I'd collate on here for the archives.

Enjoy the midday brain vomit.


i can't really speak for gavin but what i can say that might be a helpful summary upfront is that everyone's on their own personal journey with regards to racism, and this includes Black people so i personally would just opt for empathy but i'll expand on why i am in this case below cos there's actually evidence supporting gavin's perspective that i feel people are unfairly dismissing.





Part 2



Fuck Up, Some Commas

Perhaps such secrets, the secrets of everyone, were only expressed when the person laboriously ragged them into the light of the world, imposed them on the world, and made them a part of the world's experience. Without this effort, the secret place was merely a dungeon in which the person perished; without this effort, indeed, the entire world would be an uninhabitable darkness; and she saw, with a dreadful reluctance why this effort was so rare.” - Cass Silenski in Another Country (J Baldwin, 1962)

I swear, the "guess who's back" loop is a constant refrain round these parts. But back to the matter at hand: this post is part of a series of thoughts I started writing within the last few years months but never published until now. I've tried to date them but I lost a few on the timeline along the way. They're not going to be released in any particular order, nor will they be released in direct succession. We get what we get.


Part I.


You need only look at your fellow commuters on a Monday morning for evidence of the chronic stifling of the self our society suffers from. For every absent smile reacting to wit and humour from the other end of the virtual communication poles web call phones, there are the averted eyes of the deliberately blank faces on the silent shrinking violets right beside, offering minimal action to illicit zero reaction, tensely poised for a swift exit regardless of how many stops there are in between. For those however many minutes or hours on the train, life in all its spontaneous sprightly splendour is suspended. Anything to get out of this cylindrical vacuum and onto familiar ordered shores, unscathed.

In the debilitating age of social media, where people's failures are so raucously picked apart and mocked for entertainment, self expression is for too many a deeply referential, glorified commodity packaged solely for online consumption [and consequent regurgitation in the name of inspiration], and growth is preached about but scarcely lauded. Instead human nature is considered fixed on the straight and narrow in that it lacks any sort of learning curve, and any suggestion to the contrary is symptomatic of an inconsistent aesthetic at best.



Notes on Buying Black

disclaimer: let's pretend i've been here this whole time and you're all caught up on my Instagram rants, political views, recent dibilitating illnesses, new friends, new projects, yes? ok.
Off the back of recent discussions with my mains on Instagram stories, I thought I'd write a longer-form piece on my recent purchasing habits and why I 180-ed on my disregard for bags by adding good old Telfar to my wishlist. This might just be me being your problematic fave but I feel like I didn't really buy Black very much (not including Black-owned skin and haircare products, of course) before the 2020 cultural surge and my own personal forced introspection in lockdown because of residual habits from being a broke bish - they're typically incredibly well-made and therefore, expensive but I didn't seem to identify with their target audience as a result of that, which meant that for the longest time Black art didn't feel like it was meant for me to own.

This had nothing to do with the concept of coonery, just to be clear, that is a very separate conversation; but still, whenever I didn't see any effort going into creating affordable products or mid-market sister lines, my thoughts would be along the lines of "OK, these guys speak for Black creativity, Black manufacturing, Black production but not necessarily for Black ownership from a consumer perspective, unless you got the £££." So as a Black creative myself, in essence, they weren't talking to me, they were talking for me, you feel me?

And I could respect that, 100%. But it definitely drove me to want to make VAGUE* as accessible as possible. Take the community. With our members being more global now - which was a lot sooner than we were really expecting, if I'm honest - what's been a priority for me with the redesign of the Portal v1.3 is making sure that the guys in Botswana, for example, have direct access to creative peers here in England as well as our in-house opps and vice versa without having to pay out of their nose for the service.


Show & Tell

How to strike fear into the hearts of your anxiety-ridden employees: ask them to share a fun fact about their life. Bonus XP if you make them chronicle their life's journey and list three fun facts, put them all in a PowerPoint and present in front of the whole team.

Such was the predicament I faced last week Friday at work - which btw no longer encompasses inhaling cleaning fluid, serving tea and checking toilet bowls for skid marks (knock on wood). For some reason the other designers at the telecommunications company I work for thought giving one member of the team every week about twenty minutes to chart their course in life would be a good team building exercise. And it has been, to be fair. Murdered pets and celebrity run-ins are exactly the kind of bonding ingredients I expect for true long-lasting friendship.

But the relief was staggering nonetheless, when my presentation got cancelled because none of the directors were in but the sun however, was well and truly out so we figured we'd have drinks at one of the bars near the office instead. Just further proof that my evacuation game is fated and solid as a rock. Public speaking, 0. Karina, 1000.

And yet, in spite of my aforementioned relief, naturally I'm also excited to dazzle them with Kruger-inspired visuals and fun-fact gamification. And yes, I do amaze even myself with my ability to flip between bathing in the proverbial spotlight and recoiling in pain and fear at even the faintest sight of it. Last week's cancellation has curried suspense and anticipation in the office in a most appropriate fashion for this closet narcissist: it was neither self-initiated nor forgettable.

But beneath the graphic design and flawless structure, injecting my photo work into my presentation as illustrative material has had me pondering the ideologies of the "exhibitionist photographer" and the difference between publishing pictures online versus showing visual manifestations of an instance of your psyche to a living breathing audience in your immediate vicinity. A belated juvenile fascination but my current headspace, nonetheless.


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