Zappa Shirt

Girl at a coffee counter in New Orleans, about 20 y.o., commenting on my Frank Zappa shirt with the above photo on it,

I like your shirt.

Thanks! Most people don’t recognize him.

Thats because my generation sucks.

Hahaha

It’s true. I hate ’em all.

* image from Zappa’s Apostrophe (‘) record cover. Photo by Emerson-Loew

Forwarding Zeitgeist

 

The movie Zeitgeist came up in a discussion I was having with a friend today. If you haven’t heard of Zeitgeist, it’s a movie that has been floating around for a couple years “about alleged “social myths,” including religion, 9/11 and the banking system.” (from Wikipedia)

I told him I would forward him the link but now that I get home I feel almost irresponsible doing it. When I forward something I’m saying “I like this” or “I believe in this.” But that isn’t the case here. I think the movie is interesting, but I have doubts about some of it and don’t think it should be viewed without a critical eye. If my friend came back saying “Thank you for showing that to me it really opened my eyes.” I would feel like I misled him.

I tried to forward it with links to a couple sites that attempt to debunk it. But many of those seemed to have their own agendas and again, I couldn’t find the right ones to give a good balanced background.

I’ve been thinking about how we ingest information and what questions we ask. We all try to check the validity against our intuition.

Why forward it at all you might ask? Well he had a talk with someone recently about the 9/11 attacks and had been considering if the government may have been involved. Zeitgeist has a whole section on this. I think this is a useful documentary because it is powerful and seems convincing on it’s own. But if you are questioning and researching, you see the holes. The process of finding the holes in these claims, might help him see the holes in what he was told.

And that is something I am looking forward to people doing more of. Questioning what we hear, and talking about those questions. I think people are going to be doing that more with more information available on the web.

In the end, I’ll send it to him. With a warning that he should be looking deep for holes. I’ll send a couple links along of sites with alternate opinions. Quote 2 or so specific points so he can see a counter with good evidence. Hoping to open up a new fold in the movie while he watches it.

Cousin Fred helps a kid get to the Prom

I have to get this story out there before I forget the details.

Fred

My cousin Fred (above) has been trying to sell his truck. A few weeks into trying to sell it he gets hit at an intersection in Reno. Nobody is hurt or anything. A young kid gets out of the car. He’s on the way to his brother’s house to pick up his tux for prom that night. His parents show up, they are screaming at him, “I can’t believe you did this, you just got off probation!” He’s begging Fred not to call the cops, he has no insurance. Fred says, I’m sorry man I gotta call the cops you got no insurance.”

The cops come and do their thing. The whole time the parents are yelling at the kid. The kid is freaking out, “What am I gonna do now”. They don’t have another car and the prom is ruined for him.

Finally Fred interrupts them yelling at each other, “Hey! Look, I got a little old beat up Tercel at home. If you want it for the night it’s yours.”

“Really?” the kid says.

“Really?” the Dad says.

“Really.”

A little later the kid rides his bike up to Fred’s house and the Dad drives up. While Fred is showing them the car the Dad says, “Wait, do you even know how to drive stick?” Nope.

So Fred takes him to the parking lot of the grocery store 2 blocks away for a lesson. There’s 2 Postman on a break. They see them going in circles in the lot. Stalling and, KCHun-KchunGing the whole time. They take off probably figuring they don’t want to get hit.

20 minutes later they are back at the house.

Fred’s giving him the car. “Ok, here’s the license, registration, don’t get pulled over”

“Don’t worry I won’t get pulled over. Umm by the way, do I have to bring it back tonight?”

“Yea you gotta bring it back tonight! What, you think you’re going to get lucky?”

“Well, I’m kinda hoping.”

“Ok, i tell you what. If you get lucky, you bring it back tomorrow. If not, you bring it back tonight!”

“Ok no problem.” And the kid is off.

About midnight Fred gets a call. It’s the kid. “Hey man, you remember that shakey shakey thing (if you ever tried to learn stick, you know what this is) well the cops saw me doing that on Virginia Street and they think I’m drunk and stole it. By the way man, I forgot, what’s your name?”

Needless to say, the cops don’t believe his story.

“…do I have to bring it back tonight?”

The cops finally called Fred, verified him as the owner, and the kid was on his way. Next morning the kid shows up.

“Hey man, I got lucky.”

[Much rejoicing]

So the kid thanks Fred. Takes a white sheet he had brought for the back seat which is all fucked up. Puts it on his back, and rides his bike home.

No shit.

Synecdoche, New York.

 

I don’t understand what I watched yet. Maybe I never will. But it will stick with me and change my perspective on the world for a bit. My strongest initial thought is how much of a waste of a life to try to review and re-live it like that. Afterwards, Flight of the Concords was on and it seemed hollow. Both because it was so light after the Synecdoche mindfuck and after watching Philip Seymour Hoffman sit there and watch his life play out, watching anything play out seem like a waste.

(Jon Brion’s beautiful song from the movie that won’t leave my head.)

After that I read “How the city hurts your brain.” There was bad and good in this. I definitely feel that in cities and try to protect myself from it. I am not usually really outdoorsy but when I am in a city I have more of a longing for nature. I think moving to the Presidio will help balance this. (I’m excited). The other part I thought was really interesting was,

Recent research by scientists at the Santa Fe Institute used a set of complex mathematical algorithms to demonstrate that the very same urban features that trigger lapses in attention and memory — the crowded streets, the crushing density of people — also correlate with measures of innovation, as strangers interact with one another in unpredictable ways. It is the “concentration of social interactions” that is largely responsible for urban creativity, according to the scientists.

When I am stuck on what to write or trying to figure something out, I go for a drive. Seeing the things out there I wouldn’t see staring at a pad and pen trigger my next idea. Sometimes TV does the same. Outside input from this wonderful world we live in shows paths I could never think of on my own.

Toughness, steeliness, and hard work

 

I just got back from Shooting the West photography symposium. There were lots of things that really struck me at it. First was hearing all these people talk about their photos, the process of making them, and why they shoot what they do. That was wonderful because, working in support at Flickr I spend a lot of time thinking about what people do after they take the pictures, but don’t get as many opportunities to think about the taking of the photos. And when I do take my own pics, I might partly be thinking about the fun stuff I might do with them. Geotag, HDR, online editing, tagging, etc. To be in a room full of people, all that just love the images, and more than that; that all are there to celebrate this common way of love and place was very special and different. It was a good exercise in getting out of my own head.

In appreciation of the life reflected in the images. I wanted to link to this episode of “This I believe.” She reminds me of my Grandpa Buckie who is a western man. And the values that I saw in the words and images from this weekend, I know from him and my Dad.

Enjoy

Jazz & Liquor

 

Tonight I am sitting on my floor reading some old draft posts, making mixed drinks and listening to Jazz. Coltrane’s Naima is one of my favorite songs. The notes stick with my like scenes in The Razors Edge. After listening to Naima I wanted more Jazz so I went to iPod > Music > Genres > Jazz and let it play.

Reading the posts, editing some and trying to figure out my working style.

They aren’t good enough to post yet. But close. Im realizing i cant be a perfectionist and I’m going to produce a lot of crap for a while. As noted by Ira Glass. I have been holding ideas in my head and not getting them out there because I can’t express them good enough.

But holding them back ensures I will never get them out.

Accepting some crap for a while is progress.

I’m trying writing them and editing them later to get major kinks out.

The process is a work in progress like the words.

As long as the desire is constant.

I’ll see you in a week or less.