I had to turn off the radio conversation about students suspended for twerking at the Scripps Ranch High school near San Diego. Too many people called in offering their opinion without seeing the video or knowing the history of the area. Even the hosts of the radio program were lacking in some information. I did the logical thing and watched some of the video. It has been blocked by YouTube but news sources have broadcast some of the video. Knowing the Scripps Ranch area, there is an obvious reason why the school principle went nuclear and suspended the 33 students. It’s not a valid reason, but listening to the music track for the video, seeing that all of the girls in the video, except for one, were white and seeing that the males in the video were black (and, the black males were acting like rap stars with swagger and throwing signs while the music had the words wh*re and b*tch thrown about) there were going to be some problems with the video. Add to this the students shooting this on school grounds and using the schools video equipment (it is unclear if they uploaded the video from school) and you end up with too many strikes against the students. I want to be clear, I’m not agreeing with the school’s decision. I think the students did too many things where the school could be on legal grounds to be jerks about things if they wanted to. Obviously, the school wanted to use the students as examples. We can argue if this was racially motivated or if this was a zero policy on nuclear, the school has enough circumstantial actions that they could use against the student. My main issue with the coverage and action is listening to comments where people are acting concerned when they haven’t seen the video. It might be true they could be further offended by seeing the video, but at least the comments they are making would be from witnessing the video rather than listening to a description of the video. I think the school acted too rough on the students, but I can also say the students played right into the hidden fears of the community. When your music track throws out derogatory terms about women and the men, the black men, play into the societal stereotype of the young black male in front of white teenage women, there are going to be adults who are going to go crazy about what you filmed. It’s not right but that is how the world is.
The other day I walked into a discussion where people were talking about Hairspray. Luckily I keep my mouth shut for a few minutes because it took a bit to realize they were talking about 2007 version of Hairspray with John Travolta, not the original 1988 version with Divine. The talk about the 2007 version made it seemed so fresh and original and when I mentioned the 1988 version, the reaction I got was blank stares and jokes about me being old. A similar thing happened many years earlier when I had a discussion with someone who praised the 2005 version of The Producers and had no idea there was an earlier version in 1968. I have a feeling people are starting to purposefully getting forgetful of the past in favor of the future. I find when I tell people of TV shows or movies that are derivative of better, older products, in my opinion, I’m first met with blank stares then I’m told the old version had to be bad, thus the remake/revision.
Sometimes I feel like the geeks in Can’t Buy Me Love. The cool kinds think they’re doing a hot new dance craze, just because one of their own says it’s cool. The truth is they’re doing the African Anteater Dance, but no one would listen.
There has been a slight change to my portfolio. I’m putting the main photos on Flickr since it allows them to be unaltered and they can be seen at various sizes. Instagram gives me one dimension and I will use that site for altered photos that will focus on certain parts of the picture. A little complicated but everything will be cross referenced. I’m going to migrate the photos located on Chaotic Fringe to the Flickr page and photos from now on will be posted on Flickr and Instagram. This should allow a lot more people to see my work.
The link to the Flickr account is -
I thought I was going to set up a special page to post my portfolio, but today I realized Instagram could serve the same purpose, so I set up an account and it will handle my portfolio. I’m scanning through a lot of photos now and posting them on the site. Today I found some behind the scene photos I took back in 2007 when I was working at Deadfish Productions on a TV project called Paranormal. There was another batch of behind the scenes photos of the short film Sundown directed by Lou Klein.
The Instagram account is http://instagram.com/chaoticfringe#
It about this time of year when I write some long piece about my birthday and how getting older reveals a lot and other bits of existential observation. I’m not doing that this year. There doesn’t seem a point of doing it, not because I’ve found the nature of the universe nor have I hit some fatalist Goth revelation. We’re all getting older and we look at things in a different perspective as we get older. I’ve done things in life I’m proud of and I’ve done things I’m not too proud to talk about, but in the end I’m still kicking. I have relatively good health and in the grand scheme of where I could be in life, I’m better off than a lot of folks.
I was thinking of writing some backhanded observations but I realized there isn’t much point in doing that. Conversation is becoming something of a dying art. We click things or text to communicate. To get a simple phone call is getting as rare as a letter from someone in the mail. Returning a phone call seems a lot of trouble to many. I can lament all sorts of things and in the back of my mind I know there are people worse off than me. To me, we have made our lives complicated enough that we don’t have the time to slow down and listen to someone.
So, all things considered I’m doing OK and I’m OK with that.
Just got disappointed about the research done by a news radio station. The talk radio station had a discussion about the new Depeche Mode music. First of all, don’t claim to be a fan of the music from ‘back in the day’ and mispronounce the name of the band! Why did you keep calling them De-POSH Mode? Second, if I followed you correctly, and since you repeated it five times I’m sure I did, you claimed to like the old music from the group, said the nostalgia for 80s music was big, then when you heard the music you were disappointed because in your words it was the same music. You based this dislike of the new music because you said the declaration was this was new and different music. OK, color me confused because did you want a new sound or old sound from them? I’m sure there were some FCC rules involved, but if you’re going to complain the old and new sounds are the same, would it hurt to give a sample of the old and new music?
Big problem I had, when your board operator asked what type of music De-POSH Mode played, you stumbled as to their music genre? A few seconds earlier you claimed you were a big fan of their music yet you didn’t have a category for their music? C’mon, you couldn’t even mention, living in Southern California, they were played on KROC, which for any native in the 80s would have given a reference point? Why, when giving a comparison to their music, would you use David Bowie and Adam Ant? OK, I will give you that your board operator gave those suggestions but you didn’t bother to correct him? Just because they’re from England doesn’t mean they have the same sound. Miley Cyrus and James Brown are NOT the same musically, even though both were born in the South.
While I’m on a rant about inaccurate information from the radio show, before the Depeche Mode debacle, you were on-air for over a half hour debating if the Pope was of Latin or European decent. I’ll give you points for an interesting topic but again, research seems to be a weak point in the dialog. I know the station has access to the Internet, and you didn’t claim it was down. Maybe I have to blame the audience for this as well because this wasn’t brought up in the long discussion of trying to justify the nationality of the Pope. If you want to go down that rabbit hole, why didn’t you bring up Fujimori? Who is that? Well, he was the President of Peru, born in Peru of Japanese parents. While there has been some dispute if he was born in Japan or Peru (like our Constitution the President must be native born) it would have given some insight into your discussion since you continually implied the Pope’s nationality was a unique issue. If you really want to complicate matters you could look at the children of the former Peruvian President, who were definitely born in Peru, and would have helped with the side argument you brought up about the offspring of the Pope, if he were able to have any.
I didn’t plan on being too productive today. My goal was to go out and add some pictures to a photo album I had in mind but I think I’m going to save that for later in the evening. After waking up from work I realized my apartment is a MESS! I got off my ass earlier this week and did something I needed to do for some time. The past few days I have been restocking on diabetic supplies. Nothing says desperate and morbid like going to the store and spending over $200 on junk to keep you alive, then realizing you spent all that money and no fun was had. Cleaning isn’t something that cheers me up but I know I would feel less like a pack rat if my place is a little cleaner. So the next few hours are going to be spent tossing things in the trash and trying to make my space livable again. I have a feeling once I’m done it will motivate me to roam downtown Phoenix and get some photos done. Just a thought.
What is more surprising? Jim Nabors getting married to his male partner of 38 years (confirming one of the top five non-secret secrets in Hollywood) or Rihanna announcing she is back with Chris Brown? Leave you comments.
You know your life is at an odd point when you find it soothing to sort through your contact list and edit the files to make them more pleasing because you got a new smartphone to load them on. Oh, the saga of getting the smartphone! Long story short, I ordered the phone before Christmas from China, it got here but the post office messed up on getting it from the local post office to me. I walked 3 miles round trip to pick up, but was grateful the guy at the post office apologized (sincerely I might add) for the error. I know you might think walking there was stupid (believe me on the way back I was thinking the same thing) but it was a good workout. The fun about the smartphone so far is it has NO instructions. Too a bit of high level thinking (laugh) to remove the back cover and put the battery in.
Like most New Year’s Eve / Days I have had in the past few years (more like 10+) I’m spending the time at work. No parties, no drunken debauchery and on top of everything else, not much morose thinking over the past year. Believe me, I’ve been thinking about the good and bad about last year but this year has a lot of possible good things ahead for me so it feels odd worrying about mistakes, missteps and missed opportunities in the past.
Today I was reminded about two things that sum up what I’m looking forward to in 2013. A good friend of mine introduced her daughters to Star Wars. That got me thinking about a pivotal part of the movie when I was a young lad watching at the theater back in 1977. When Luke had the targeting computer on and heard Obi Wan telling him to let go and use the Force, Luke turned off the machine, went on instinct and made the shot. For a long time afterwards I went on instinct. It hasn’t been ‘correct’ all the time, but it was the right choice for me.
The second thing I remembered was from last year when I saw an episode of The Cosby Show where he was celebrating a birthday and his daughter Sandra reminded him that at his age he realized that he was well past the midway point in his life and everything from now on was downhill. Everyone in the audience laughed but it was a kind of truthful statement. What I was reminded of today was Bill Cosby is still kicking, and while I looked at that statement at the time and filed it back in my head, and while now I’m at the age Cosby was when the comment was made, in my mind it seemed like it was a few years ago but it was over 20 years when that line was uttered. Twenty years is a long time and dwelling on age for twenty years only wastes 20 years where something could be done.
I’m looking at this year as a time to start tapping into my instinct again and trying to realize time is as long or short as you make it. I know I got the wind knocked out of me when I got diagnosed with diabetes. I put on a brave face, tried to ignore it to some degree but it did wake me up to my mortality. I made some decisions that made sense at the time but now I’m not so sure. I’ve been on a mental walkabout for a few months and there are a lot of things I have to change about myself. I started the groundwork on a number of things this morning and I’m going to take things one day at a time.
I’m challenging myself a lot this year. I’m grown tired of relying on the targeting computer to force me into a category I don’t want to be in, so I’ve shut it off. The past month I’ve been making small adjustments trying to shed off some bad reward habits I’ve picked up over the years. Some things I tested last year which didn’t work for me I’ve modified for this year. This whole new me, or reclaiming the old me might have me falling flat on my face but I have to try it.
I talked to another old friend a few days ago and he could tell the change in my attitude. So, I have to officially say my exile in Arizona is officially over. I’m still here but instead of looking at my circumstance as a punishment or penance, I’m moving on from it. I’ve got too much stuff I want and need to do. So that’s my pep talk for the beginning of 2013.