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9/20, 9PM





Wednesday, September 22, 2004
2:52 PM      
Yeah, the political rhetoric is really heating up, but check out Kerry's accessorizing...

[ link | e-me ]

2:14 PM      

Life Lessons
“ These numbers show that mankind has not understood yet that security does not result from a multiplication of the weapons but from a multiplication of the loaves of bread:”

President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella of Costa Rica called for a fairer world economic system, noting that in 2003, the world reached a new record by devoting $956 billion to military expenditure. That is 17 times the amount of resources devoted to development assistance and more than the sum of the foreign debt of the 64 countries with the lowest GDP, he said.


Parallel Lines


“Your dreams are more ferocious the further you fly from home”
— Jerome Charga


What is art?
In 1977 At Rice University in Houston Texas, a student asked Garry Winogrand that question. His reply:

“Art makes you question your conceptions. That's what puns do. You don't really laugh at a pun because anything's funny. You laugh because you realize you're not getting killed. Basically, a pun upsets you. Language is basic to your existence and a pun calls into question what you believe a word means and you laugh out of relief.”


On Brutality and Good Fortune
I had a brief, amazing conversation with my dad today. He was upset about the double standard implicit in characterizing the “bad guys” in Iraq as “murderers.” Hearing about the brutality of the latest hostage beheadings had reminded him of witnessing fellow soldiers beheaded by “friendly fire” during his tour of duty in the Korean War. He talked about how white phosphorous grenades had been used — the phosphorous would burn clean through a person's body, and sometimes they'd find the corpses still burning.

He went on to observe that the brutality of our modern weaponry against “the enemy” and those unfortunate innocent civilians who happened to be in harm's way was no less brutal than the beheadings we decry. When bombs explode, they shred and often incinerate their victims. This may be lost on the average Fox-News-sedated citizen, but it's not lost on any war veteran who's seen front-line action.

My dad was in the infantry. There are times that I'm amazed that he survived. I'm very happy and fortunate that he did.

[ link | e-me ]

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
1:39 PM      

News is Entertainment
At first, I thought it was just a technical glitch, but the more I thought about it, no, I think it was intentional. Instead of running another picture of Saddam Hussein or of Ayad Allawi, the CNN folks ran a picture of a fashion model next to this "success story" about Iraq.

The implication of the story is that the coalition has broken Hussein's spirit, and that Ayad is a man of conviction considering that he's survived four assassination attempts so far, blah blah blah...

But, meanwhile, it's Fashion Week in London: “Model Jodie Kidd is seen on the catwalk ... Monday Sept.20 2004, featuring clothes by a variety of designers, and in aid of the British charity Clothesline. (AP Photo/Myung Jung Kim/PA)” Running the photo next to the unrelated story with a link to a bigger version of the picture with a caption might be a variation on the idea of the crawls that have become ubiquitous on the news channels. It's a way of squeezing more story leads into the same visual bandwidth.

Then, there's Dan Rather... Boy, did he blow it with that memo story. I think the pundits are out to do some damage control for the news industry as a whole. What Rather did may have been unusual for the likes of CBS to date, but it's indicative of the state of television news. If you haven't seen “Outfoxed,” you may not be aware of how far journalistic and editorial standards have been eroded and undermined in the last several years. Stories are ignored because they would be expensive to pursue. Opining and rehashing of press releases and talking points briefs have replaced careful analysis and investigation.

Even though the “news” typically distorts and misinforms these days, it's still entertaining, and even addictive. The news folks may have learned from the roller coaster makers that people will actually pay to get scared out of their wits. Just don't look too closely; the guts of the news business might just gross you out.


What's [with] the frequency Kenneth [Lou]?
A friend of mine was interested in William Gibson's book “Pattern Recognition,” so I looked up Gibson's site. I was happy and disappointed to see that Gibson had blogged for a while, but quit blogging on 9/12/03. Here's part of what he had to say:


Time for me to get back to my day job, which means that it’s time for me to stop blogging.

I’ve found blogging to be a low-impact activity, mildly narcotic and mostly quite convivial, but the thing I’ve most enjoyed about it is how it never fails to underline the fact that if I’m doing this I’m definitely not writing a novel – that is, if I’m still blogging, I’m definitely still on vacation. I’ve always known, somehow, that it would get in the way of writing fiction, and that I wouldn’t want to be trying to do both at once. The image that comes most readily to mind is that of a kettle failing to boil because the lid’s been left off. ...

I haven't given up blogging, but as you can see, my frequency has decreased much for the same reasons that Gibson cites. I've never been a big fan of the one-liner blog entry, and the time and focus that it takes to craft an entry often competes with the time and focus needed for other activities, like my photography.

Unlike Gibson, though, my “day job” isn't writing novels, and I actually find that blogging serves as a different kind of journaling activity for me. So, it actually has a positive impact on my creative process. In other words, while I may never blog with the frequency I once did, I will continue, and I'm glad you've taken the time to read me.


Shooting music
has been a lot of fun. The process has a bit in common with shooting sports: You need to remain calm and steady in the midst of sometimes chaotic action. Don't shake the camera when you squeeze the shutter. You need to anticipate where the action is headed, and once you think you've got a good shot, keep shooting.

Shooting digital gives me a hunch — but only a hunch — of what I've managed to capture. It allows me to change direction if I don't like what I'm seeing, but I never really know what I've got until I open the file on my computer. There's a lot you don't see on that little postage stamp of a monitor.

[ link | e-me ]
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