Whatever might have been left still growing is dying.
He's been getting pretty good at describing his own work in the third person.
I sure as hell didn't stay with the Mac all this time to have my music player turn to crap, only to be followed by my eReader.
For the month of December, I'm going to be the guest curator for the Echo Park Film Center's Marvelous Movie Mondays!
The story continues.
Like most things in my life I have over-technologized the process.
I'm in my doctor's waiting room. The TV is on, because every quasi-public area in the US must have a TV on. It's the Today show.
One of the journalist-personalities is speaking with a guest-personality about freshening up the air in your house. The first tips he gives is to open your windows for fifteen minutes. To demonstrate this tip, there is a half-scale prop window, complete with surrounding wall and curtains. He opens the little window and looks through it.
This is how we end up with enterprise systems like Blackboard and Banner that are total shit.
Hi! We probably haven't met, but I'll be visiting your FILM 240 class on the 14th, and this post is to gather a few things for you that might be useful to help situate my work, or spark you to formulate questions in advance. As I understand, you're going to be in the throes of studying video and new media, and that's the context in which I'll be visiting you.
Hi there, grad students!
As you know, until last year the state of South Carolina kept all its sensitive records in a giant Excel spreadsheet called "social-sec-nums-DO_NOT_SHARE.xlsx". When the vault marked "Secret Folder" on Rhoda's laptop was breached and everybody's info got sent to some Nigerian prince, we all received a consolation prize of free credit monitoring. For A WHOLE YEAR.
The bad news: that year is up. The good news: I just got a letter from Adobe... One more free year!
I'm pleading with you. If you use a service that has two-factor authentication—Evernote, iCloud, Dropbox, and especially Google—TURN IT ON and use it. Use a good password manager/generator like 1Password to keep unique and genuinely strong passwords.
I mentioned 2-factor to my students the other week and they looked at me like I was nuts. It sounds obscure and neckbeardy right now only because there has not been a data catastrophe. Embarrassments and inconveniences, sure, but no livelihood-destroying disasters.
I can't let some jackass whose entire philosophy of sport boils down to "MAN UP!" destroy years of cultivated athletics and sportsmanship.
I want to re-train my habits to fit my current dwelling reality.
We opted not to find out what flavor kid we would be having, but for some reason we thought it'd be a girl. After a comically fast labor, I cut the cord and said to Jen, "Caspar's here!" She said, "Really?"
He came out all blue, not breathing, not crying or even moving. They said the labor was too fast, and the midwife hit the code blue button and people flooded in. Jen asked, "What's going on?" Her eyes were closed. I said, "it's ok" but honestly I had no idea, but I was determined to be calm. It was quiet.
The nurses were fussing and flailing and talking soothingly to Caspar, I couldn't see what they were doing. Then there was this cough and then came the newborn wail and we all exhaled. "See?" I said.
We washed him in the sink with warm water, and they wheeled in the fast food burger warming station with heat lamps. I don't remember why, but we had to stick him under the burger warmer for a few minutes before handing him off to Jen. He was still doing the little newborn cry, the little wail of, "this is not what I was expecting!"
We laid him there, to finish cooking I guess. I stuck my head under the lamps a few inches from him and said, "hello, little friend." Caspar opened his eyes and lifted his head up, holding it up with his neck and looked at me. "I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to be able to do that yet," I said, "you must be pretty strong, huh?"
The nurse stuck a little hat on him and I picked him up and brought him to Jen. Both of them wiped out, bonding now with a "did that just happen?"
He's ten today. I'm writing this in his school parking lot on a phone. We live in the southeastern United States. We have a black president. We love baseball.
There are things and things and things that are now that were not ten years ago and things and things and things and all I know or care about is that he's ten and when we are in public he still holds my hand.
A medium's demise as a default communication medium has no bearing on its value as an art medium.
Sure, unpacking boxes is tough. But the real slog is resetting a thousand tiny patterns that add up to a routine. Everything is a consideration with a dozen trade offs. Where should I sit to to put on my shoes? I feel like I don't know how to do anything.
I don't know what's more galling. 1.) Being a film pariah for making experimental work. 2.) Being an experimental film pariah for making work that doesn't mesh with the parameters du jour. 3.) Suffering fools who think any shit that happens to be missing structure or narrative is experimental, when they really ought to know better.
Oh. Now that I see it laid out like that, the answer is 3.
This post's title comes from the film PUTNEY SWOPE, written and directed in 1969 by Robert Downey, Sr.
In that incomprehensible, wonderful film, the titular character is a black man on the board of directors of an advertising firm. When the CEO dies, the board votes for a new one, but members aren't allowed to vote for themselves, and each believes himself to be the heir. Everyone decides to vote for the one person they think no one else would ever vote for: Swope. Righteous hilarity ensues.
My Kickstarter campaign to fund my next DVD with pre-orders ends in about 48 hours, on August 8. Absent a miracle, it's not going to succeed. More on why in future posts.
About that miracle. What I need now is a Putney Swope Event.
Who on Kickstarter hasn't chipped in ten bucks to a campaign that you know isn't going to make it? Everybody does it, it feels good, and it doesn't cost anything because its going to fail anyway.
A couple times, I've done that and inadvertently played a part in a last minute surge that funded the project.
Celebrities now use Kickstarter as ATM machines wired to their fans' fantasies, and the front page is filled with 3d printed artisanal granola MMORPG t-shirts. As fast as Kickstarter's potential was promised, I wonder if that promise has already been over-capitalized, co-opted, and homogenized?
So, why not kick in... it's not like it'll actually get funded, right? Swope?
To coin a phrase: I love L.A.
But, in all the fun I've had there over the years, I've never actually shown work there! So, I'm completely tickled to show a batch of recent work at the L.A. Film Forum, at the Egyptian theater no less, on Sunday July 28 at 7:30pm.
I'll be screening a collection of recent work from my upcoming DVD, Discordia (still being kickstarted, if you're so inclined) , and some surprises.
All told, six short films and two live performances—a new and re-worked version of TIA MAK, (my Nanook remix) as well as a non-orchestral version of my Carnegie Hall collaboration with Dan Visconti, Glitchscape.
Tickets and more information are available here. Hope to see you there!
Look, I get it. Many people in my own family sacrificed and some died fighting for our country over the last hundred and fifty years. I, as ever, salute and appreciate them.
But just once on Independence Day, I'd love to hear something other than genuflecting to the military over the PA system during fireworks...
"You know who does a lot of work maintaining foundations of democracy an freedom? Civics teachers!"
"Tonight, we honor those who came before us and literally wrote the books that preceded the American Revolution. Political Philosophers!"
"All that ordnance? All those fireworks? Let's all recognize the chemists!"
Alas, no. It would seem that first, last, and everything with regard to the formation of our country and its sustenance since rests solely on the people that make things go boom.
(Except not the fireworks people. Looks like they had a shitty night last night.)